Wait! What? 6/5: Swipe right for funding; Google’s magical ocean view

Thinkstock Photos
Thinkstock Photos

While you were busy gawking at #CaitlynJenner’s new following (2.3 million fans on Twitter — more than Obama), we were catching up on some crazy tech news you might have missed. Here it is:

  • Be prepared for excessive temptation to kick in: Instagram just launched a Shop Now button, allowing users to shop outside the app with a click. All of those #filtered photographs just got so much more enticing.
  • Ever wondered what lies in the deep, dark depths of the ocean? Thanks to Google Maps Street View Oceans, you can now see spinner dolphins, humpback whales, giant turtles… and gain access to 70% of the untapped territory on our planet.
  • Better Re: The solution to all panic caused by dead or dying phones. Just pop an old battery inside Better Re and it becomes a portable charger for anything that uses a USB cable.
  • Swipe right for…potential equity crowdfunding investment opportunities? Unusual matchmaking app Tendr launched in the U.K. on Wednesday. It allows investors to “star” investment opportunities, promising to remove friction and thereby increase efficiency in deal sourcing.
  • Finally, meet Huggable, the robotic teddy bear. He’s a high-tech puppet that lives in pediatric hospitals to help alleviate anxiety, pain and isolation. He can even talk and play with patients with the aid of a remote operator. Touching, but also further evidence robots will be taking over in the near future.

And that concludes this week’s news bites. Go out and celebrate the first weekend of June with some time on the beach. Or at least enjoy the ocean through the lens of Google Street View. See you next Friday!

Wait! What? 11/21: Robot takeover, outrageous in-flight Wi-Fi charges and … a Mercury landing?

"Come to me, minions." (Thinkstock)
“Come to me, minions.” (Thinkstock)

In celebration of Friday and slightly warmer weather around the country (I said slightly), here’s the latest and greatest in tech news. Break out your snuggy, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy:

  • The European Space Agency is looking into landing on scorching-hot Mercury for its next mission. Landing on a comet is so two weeks ago.
  • After spending six years of acting like humans in a Tennessee home experiment, robots are ready to start planning their takeover.
  • Google rolled out “Suggested for you” for more personal and relevant news. If only that came ad free.
  • Facebook Groups got its own app, making it simple to create, join and navigate between groups with a few taps. (Don’t worry, you can still use the feature with Facebook’s original app.)
  • One man racked up a terrifying $1,171.46 bill for in-flight Wi-Fi on a flight from London to Singapore. Another sad reminder that airlines can’t be trusted…or ahem, to read the fine print.
  • Uber and Spotify teamed up to spice up your commute. Uber drivers everywhere are rejoicing that Taylor Swift will not be available.

There you have it! You are ready for the weekend. Check back in next Friday for your weekly dose of juicy tech news. In the meantime, send any other cool stories our way @BlancandOtus.

Wait! What? 8/1: Bicentennial (wo)man, LinkedIn’s new content strategy, and the return of Sharknado

What secrets lie within this mystery realm... (Nitot, Wikimedia Commons)
What secrets lie within this mystery realm… (Nitot, Wikimedia Commons)

The tech and PR industries saw some pretty interesting storylines this week. From the female version of C3PO to the secret dirty laundry of European countries, check out a few stories that caught our eye:

What other stories piqued your interest this week? Send us comments and links at @BlancandOtus.

Wait! What? 7/3: 80’s TV and cinema technology, coming to a real life near you

Admit it. The 80's were tooootally cool. (Thinkstock)
Admit it. The 80’s were tooootally cool. (Thinkstock)

Talking cars, Jedi mind tricks, household robots…these are just a few of the futuristic capabilities and technologies that captivated us children of the 80s. Well, brush off your Members Only jacket and parachute pants ‘cause 80s film and cinema technology is about to “like totally” make its grand debut in the real world:

  • Talking cars (The “Hoff” not included). Hard to imagine a car as cool as KITT, but yours may soon be telling you to “fill up” and other tasks, thanks to a partnership with SAP, Toyota and VeriFone.
  • Humanoid Robots. Ever wish you had a robot like Rosie on the Jetsons? Google will soon sell robots that can walk, drive a car and more.
  • Jedi Mind Tricks (don’t say you haven’t tried it!). A company named Emotiv has created headpiece that allows people to move objects by scanning their brain signals.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty. According to a fellow at Stanford University, much of the technology we have seen in Star Trek, from the 60’s through the 80’s, has materialized – from sharing holographic messages, to real life “tricorders” and “replicators.” Next up… quantum teleportation.
  • Americans can’t live without their cell phones. Good thing we aren’t still carrying around those five-pound, early prototype cell phones from the late 80’s, as a Bank of America survey found that nearly half of Americans wouldn’t last one day without their phone. 91 percent said their cell phone was just important as their car or using deodorant (yikes!).

Hope this post put a big hyper color smile on your face. If not, maybe you’re just still bummed out from Facebook manipulating your emotions.

What were your favorite 80’s movie and TV technologies that you would like to see come to life? Share your thoughts @Blancandotus.

Wait! What? 4/18: America is scared of the high-tech future, but we still kind of want Google’s creepy picture-taking contact lenses

Let’s face it: B&O’s jellybean guessing contest was undeniably the big thing in tech PR this week. But if you’re interested in seeing what else happened, check out the below!

Those were our favorites from the week—what were yours? Always open to hearing from you @BlancandOtus.