Confide, a private messaging app that’s being marketed as the “Snapchat for professionals,” launches on Android today.
The app is basically the same as the original iPhone version that launched in January, letting you send self-destructing text messages to your contacts. But the company’s co-founder Howard Lerman told Business Insider in an interview that he thinks the Android version is even better.
Before we dive into the Android version though, here’s a quick primer on how Confide works. The app lets you send other Confide users text messages that they can only view once before they disappear for good. The messages are blacked out, so you have to swipe your finger over the text to read it. This method makes it tough for someone to take a screenshot of a message since it’s nearly impossible to swipe over the whole thing at once.
Here’s what it looks like when you get a new Confide message:
Confide for Android does all that, with the added benefit of letting you quickly copy text from one app and sending it to one of your Confide contacts. For example, if someone sends you an email with some juicy gossip, you can use the standard share button in Android to send the text through Confide.
Lerman said Confide for Android is also more secure than a lot of private messaging apps because messages aren’t stored on your device’s flash drive. Instead, messages are stored in the phone’s temporary memory and deleted when you close the app. It’s a good workaround, considering WhatsApp got into some trouble a few weeks ago after someone discovered messages weren’t securely stored on Android devices’ flash drives, making them relatively easy to access.
Finally, Confide for Android version gives you more control of the kinds of notifications you get, so you’re not constantly flooded with alerts.
Confide may seem pretty basic right now, but Lerman hinted at a longer term goal for the service, especially when it comes to sharing stuff from outside the app like you can with emails through the Android version. For example, imagine forwarding a self-destructing file to a coworker or other business contact, knowing no one else will be able to see it.
Confide is one of several apps trying to figure out the growing trend of anonymous social networks. After years of publishing everything we do online in public and with our names attached, apps like Confide, Secret, Whisper, Wickr, and so on are trying to tap into our desire to share what we really want to say without consequence.
In Confide’s case, the company is trying to bring the confidence of face-to-face meetings and off the record conversations to the digital world. Everything you put into an email can be thrown back in your face later, but Confide’s promise is that you can say what you want without having to worry about repercussions later.
Confide is a free app for Android. Download it here.
SEE ALSO: How to use Confide on iPhone
Policy Horizons Canada worked with futurist and data visualizer Michell Zappa of Envisioning to produce a report called MetaScan 3: Emerging Technologies and accompanying infographics. We are reproducing the summary for emerging energy technologies.
Below are technologies related to energy under three key areas of accelerating change: Storage, Smart grid and Electricity generation. Energy storage involves new, cost-effective ways of storing energy, either in improved batteries, as new fuels or other ways. A smart grid is a set of technologies that pairs information with moving electricity around, enabling more efficient generation and use of energy. Electricity generation is characterized by technologies that generate power from unused sources and that more efficiently produce electric power or fuels from sources in use today.
We have included predictions based on consultation with experts of when each technology will be scientifically viable (the kind of stuff that Google, governments, and universities develop), mainstream (when VCs and startups widely invest in it), and financially viable (when the technology is generally available on Kickstarter).
Fuel cells: Unlike batteries, fuel cells require a constant source of fuel and oxygen to run, but they can produce electricity continually for as long as these inputs are supplied. They inherently displace the need for natural gas turbines, and are ideally used for stationary power generation or large passenger vehicles such as buses (especially at energy-dense future iterations of the technology).
Scientifically viable in 2013; mainstream in 2015; and financially viable in 2016.
Lithium-air batteries: Advances in materials technology is enabling the advance of high energy Li-air batteries which promise an energy density that rivals gasoline, offering a five-fold increase compared to traditional Li-Ion batteries. By using atmospheric oxygen instead of an internal oxidizer, these batteries could dramatically extend electric vehicle range.
Scientifically viable in 2017; mainstream in 2018; and financially viable in 2020.
Hydrogen energy storage & transport: Hypothetical evolution of existing power grids, transporting and storing hydrogen instead of electricity. Could be used in combination with various kinds of energy transformation methods, minimizing loss and maximizing storage capacity.
Scientifically viable in 2019; mainstream in 2021; and financially viable in 2022.
Thermal storage: Often accumulated from active solar collector or from combined heat and power plants, and transferred to insulated repositories for use later in various applications, such as space heating, domestic or process water heating.
Scientifically viable in 2022; mainstream in 2024; and financially viable in 2027.
First-generation smart grid: Electrical meters that record consumption of electric energy in real time while communicating the information back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Can be used for remote load-balancing such as disabling non-essential devices at peak usage
Scientifically viable in 2014; mainstream in 2015; and financially viable in 2016.
Distributed generation: Generates electricity from many small energy sources instead of large centralized facilities. Centralized power plants offer economies of scale, but waste power during transmission, and are inefficient in rapidly adapting to grid needs.
Scientifically viable in 2017; mainstream in 2021; and financially viable in 2022.
Smart energy network: Speculative global energy & power infrastructure and set of standards which can be used interchangeably. Could theoretically mimic characteristics of the Internet in channeling heat, energy, natural gas (and conceivably hydrogen) from local and distant sources depending on global demand.
Scientifically viable in 2019; mainstream and financially viable in 2020.
Tidal turbines: A form of hydropower that converts tidal energy into electricity. Currently used in small scale, with the potential for great expansion.
Scientifically viable in 2015; mainstream and financially viable in 2017.
Micro stirling engines: Micrometer sized power generators that transform energy into compression and expansion strokes. Could hypothetically be 3D-printed on the fly and cover entire heat-generating surfaces in order to generate power.
Scientifically viable in 2020; mainstream in 2026; and financially viable in 2027.
Solar panel positioning robots: Small-scale robots able to re-position solar panels depending on weather conditions. More efficient than attaching each panel to motorized tracking assemblies.
Scientifically viable in 2014; mainstream in 2016; and financially viable in 2017.
Second-generation biofuels: New biofuel technologies, such as cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel from microalgae, promise to produce conventional fuel-compatible energy at low or zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientifically viable in 2016; mainstream in 2017; and financially viable in 2021.
Photovoltaic transparent glass: Glass with integrated solar cells which converts IR and some visible light into electricity. This means that the power for an entire building can be supplemented using the roof and façade areas.
Scientifically viable in 2017; mainstream in 2020; and financially viable in 2021.
Third-generation biofuels: Moving beyond today’s organisms, 3rd generation biofuels involve genetic modification of organisms to produce new fuels by unconventional means. Examples include direct production of hydrogen from highly efficient algae, and production of energy-dense furans for automotive use.
Scientifically viable in 2022; mainstream in 2024; and financially viable in 2025.
Space-based solar power: Collecting solar power in space, beamed back as microwaves to the surface. A projected benefit of such a system is much higher collection rates than what is possible on earth. In space, transmission of solar energy is unaffected by the filtering effects of atmospheric gasses.
Scientifically viable in 2025; mainstream in 2027; and financially viable in 2028+.
Micro-nuclear reactors: A small, sealed version of a nuclear reactor (approximately a few tens of meters in length) capable of being shipped or flown to a site. Currently able to provide 10 MW of power, plans are for 50 MW capacity in the near future.
Scientifically viable in 2022; mainstream and financially viable in 2023.
Inertial confinement fusion (break-even): An approach to fusion that relies on the inertia of the fuel mass to provide confinement. To achieve conditions under which inertial confinement is sufficient for efficient thermonuclear burn, a capsule (generally a spherical shell) containing thermonuclear fuel is compressed in an implosion process to conditions of high density and temperature.
Scientifically viable in 2013; mainstream and financially viable in 2021.
Thorium Reactor: Thorium can be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor, allowing it to be used to produce nuclear fuel in a breeder reactor. Some benefits are that thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste and comes out of the ground as a 100% pure, usable isotope, which does not require enrichment.
Scientifically viable in 2025; mainstream in 2026; and financially viable in 2027.
Last night Apple announced a 7-for-1 stock split.
It was pretty unexpected since in 2012, Tim Cook told shareholders he didn’t think stock splits did much. He reportedly said they provide a short term bump, but in the long term, they don’t do much to change things.
On last night’s earnings call, Cook explained why the company decided to do a split:
We are taking this action to make Apple stock more accessible to a larger number of investors. Each shareholder of record at the close of business on June the 2nd, 2014 will receive six additional shares for every outstanding share held on the record day and trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on June the 9th, 2014.
The key phrase here is “accessible to a larger number of investors.”
Apple shares are currently trading at ~$570, which makes them expensive to retail, mom-and-pop type investors. Anecdotally, I’ve had people tell me they would buy Apple shares but it’s too expensive to buy one share.
Splitting the stock makes it cost ~$81 per share, which is much more affordable for small investors.
Cook is probably sick of Apple’s shares being bought by big institutions and hedge funds, and wants to make it available to the people that buy iPhones. It could lead to valuation bump as people go to buy Apple stock just like they buy iPhones.
Another benefit of the stock split is that Apple will likely be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow didn’t include Apple in the past because its share price was too high.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi spent $3.6 million to obtain the “mi.com" URL as part of an international rebranding, one of its executives said on the Chinese social network Weibo, according to The Next Web.
(Originally, The Next Web said it paid 3.6 million yuan, which is ~$577,000. It updated its story to reflect that it is actually $3.6 million. We have updated our story, too.)
Xiaomi is immensely popular in China. It makes high-quality Android smartphones, but sells them for cheap. They’re usually only available online and new models sell out within minutes. The company is often called “the Apple of China” because it evokes the same kind of fervor Apple does in the U.S.
Xiaomi is now trying to expand outside China. It announced today that it’ll start selling its products in 10 new countries this year, including India and Brazil. It also announced a few new products, including a sleek-looking streaming TV box called the Mi Box Pro, which is capable of pumping out 4K, or Ultra HD, video.
Apple’s stock is up 9% in pre-market trading after last night’s earnings report.
Apple delivered significantly better than expected iPhone sales. It sold 43.7 million iPhones versus analyst forecasts of 37.7 million iPhones. That represented 17% growth. Analysts were expecting low single digit growth.
Apple is the iPhone company. The iPhone was 57% of Apple’s sales. A healthy iPhone business, means a healthy Apple.
Apple also announced plans to increase its stock buyback, dividend, and stock split.
We all know the major tech companies have a ton of money. But just how much money do these companies bring in everyday? How about every second?
WorldPayZinc is a website that visualizes this data, showing how their profits grow over time.
The above image shows how much they make in one second. In just ONE second, Apple makes $1,997, while Google makes $658. Facebook brings in $81.
This GIF shows how much they make in 8 seconds.
Good morning! The news is largely about two major tech companies:
Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz had, by far, the best political tweet of Wednesday evening.
Cruz posted this picture of himself, his fellow Texas Republican, Senator Mike Lee, and a tiger skin rug:
As of this writing, Cruz’s tweet has earned nearly 200 favorites. Business Insider reached out to Cruz’s office to ask if either senator actually purchased the rug. They did not immediately respond.
LinkedIn recently announced a major milestone: The professional network now has 300 million members around the world.
But those millions didn’t come easy.
After LinkedIn launched in 2003, it took the company almost a year and a half to win 500,000 members. In April 2004, the startup’s tiny crew assembled in a room in Palo Alto, California, to celebrate the occasion with a photo.
Since then, LinkedIn employees have gathered to commemorate every milestone. At first, it was every million. Then the numbers started flying by — every 5 million new members, every 10 million.
Today, 67% of users come from outside the United States, and milestone photos are taken from all around the world.
LinkedIn shared an exclusive collection of historical photos from its archives with Business Insider, and those photos tell quite the story.
Once upon a time, nine years ago to be exact, the world hadn’t yet heard of keyboard cat.
The very first video on YouTube was uploaded on April 23, 2005, by Jawed Karim, one of YouTube’s founders, and there’s no chance the video would’ve gone viral today.
The 18-second-long video is titled “Me at the zoo.” A man stands in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo, and describes their trunks.
My how far we’ve come.
The video has been watched more than 14 million times. In 2013, in protest of Google forcing people to have a Google+ account in order to comment on the video, Karim changed the video’s description to say “I can’t comment here anymore, since I don’t want a google+ account.”
As of this writing, the video had more than 95,600 comments.
Check out the video below:
Apple is in the process of suing Samsung over its Android devices again. Again, the suit centers on patents. Apple is seeking $2 billion in damages, reports Bloomberg.
But this time, Google has a behind-the-scenes stake. It offered to help Samsung cover costs.
In testimony on Wednesday, Apple’s lawyers showed a video in which a Google attorney confirmed that there were email messages between the search giant and Samsung. In those messages, Google offered to help cover Samsung’s legal expenses and maybe even damages fees, reports Paul Thurrott on the Windows IT Pro blog.
According to the emails, this kind of help (known as indemnification) is covered by Google’s “contractual obligations” to Samsung, the hardware partner that sells the most Android phones, Thurrott reports.
This is the second time Apple sued Samsung over its Android phones. It won the first time, awarded $1 billion in damages, reduced to $929 million.
The lawsuit isn’t just for money. Apple also wants the judge to ban Samsung from selling devices in the U.S., though such bans are rare and, even when they do happen, don’t tend to last long.
We don’t know if Google offered similar types of indemnification to other Android device makers. Samsung is the biggest fish, as the world’s biggest maker of smartphones. But if Apple wins, it could want to pursue others.
Often patent lawsuits lead to one company paying another license fees for each new device sold, too. Microsoft has successfully done this with many Linux and Android device makers.
In that way, Android becomes more expensive for device makers and lucrative for Google’s competitors, but not for Google. It still gives Android to away for free.
It was Reddit to the rescue after an older woman named May Goldberg wandered from her apartment on Central Park West in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.Goldberg had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and her son Josh was desperate to find her.
He shared the following photos of his mother:
Within 7 hours of posting the photos, a Redditor named geryorama had a good update to share with the thread.
"I was walking home from work around 9:30-10 PM and I noticed May at East 47th and Lexington Avenue," geryorama commented.
As I saw Josh’s post in the afternoon she looked very familiar. I quickly pulled out my phone and visited this page to ensure it is indeed her. When I realized it’s her, I approached her, asked for her name, told her that her family is looking for her, and took her to Hyatt Hotel lobby to contact the police. The gentleman and lady at the Hyatt front desk were extremely helpful and they contacted the police. Two police officers arrived within three minutes. They identified May and I believe they called for an ambulance. In the meantime, I quickly sent a personal message to Josh via Reddit informing him that her mom has been found and that she is with the police.
The story is pretty incredible, with many Redditors praising geryorama for being able to pinpoint May in a city of so many people.
Josh Goldberg has not yet returned Business Insider’s request for comment.
(Via The Daily Dot)
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is set to propose new rules on Thursday for governing Internet access.
Specifically, the new rules would allow companies to pay for direct access to customers. For example, a company like Netflix could pay an Internet provider to ensure that its video streams are fast and smooth.
Broadband providers would need to act in a “commercially reasonable” manner, which would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The proposed rules also say Internet providers won’t be able to restrict access to companies that don’t pay for such direct access.
As The Wall Street Journal points out, companies that rely on broadband connections, such as Netflix, ESPN or Skype, could pay broadband providers to make sure that the content reaches customers without disruption.
In a statement, the FCC wrote:
The FCC will be seeking comment on adopting Open Internet rules that achieve the goals of the 2010 Open Internet Order in a manner consistent with the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Verizon v. FCC . The NPRM will propose, consistent with the Court’s analysis, that broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers. In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to review on a case-by-case basis. Exactly what the baseline level of service would be, the construction of a ‘commercially reasonable’ standard, and the manner in which disputes would be resolved, are all among the topics on which the FCC will be seeking comment.
This is a complete turnaround from the FCC’s previous stance on the subject of net neutrality, which is the idea that everyone should have equal access to the Internet and content providers should not be discriminated against in providing content to customers.
The FCC has required for years that broadband Web service providers treat all traffic equally, and not restrict or promote certain websites or services or discriminate in favor of sites they own over competing companies. Those in favor of net neutrality would likely oppose these proposed rules because it favors rich companies that can pay for direct access to consumers.
Apple’s iPad sales for last quarter fell far below expectations. It sold 16.35 million of them, but analysts were expecting about 19 million.
On the surface, 16 million sounds like a lot of iPads, but growth in Apple’s iPad business has flatlined. In fact, growth was negative for last quarter.
So, what the heck happened?
On a call with analysts this afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook did his best to explain.
For last quarter in particular, he said the company reduced its iPad channel inventory compared to the same quarter last year, so sales were actually in line with the high end of Apple’s internal expectations.
Speaking on the iPad business as a whole, Cook made some really interesting points to remain bullish. First, he said the iPad is Apple’s fastest-growing product in the company’s history. Apple has sold 210 million of them so far, which is almost twice as many iPhones Apple sold in the same period of time.
Cook also made a strong case for the iPad in the enterprise market. He cited one study that said 91% of tablets activated in the enterprise are iPads. Meanwhile, nearly all Fortune 500 companies use iPads. He also said it was a smart move of Microsoft to finally release Office on the iPad, which should help with enterprise adoption since many businesses rely so heavily on the software. In fact, Cook said Microsoft should’ve released Office for iPad earlier than it did.
In education, Cook said the iPad has a 95% market share, but the challenge now is to get more schools to buy them and gain penetration.
Finally, Cook still believes tablet computing is the future.
"I believe the tablet market will surpass the PC market," he said on the call.