BitStream is the stream of consciousness of the tech internet, gathering up all the pieces of news and rumours that may have slipped by in the last 24 hours.
Obama uses a selfie stick, and that’s a good thing
President Obama is an internet president. He needs to do things and say things that no other president would ever have to do, simply because a majority of his voters consume news online. Last week, Obama did a bunch of interviews with online publications, one of them was with BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith (which you can read the transcript here.)
Along with the interview, BuzzFeed did a little teaser video showing Obama doing some funny sketches, even cursing his own name in frustration (“Thanks, Obama”). And yes, he brandishes a selfie stick. After this video aired, opponents (read: Fox News) were quick to denounce the segment as dumb, “Tone Deaf” and a waste of time.
But I’ve always seen Obama’s appearance on BuzzFeed or talk shows, whether late night or online, as particularly genius. Yes, he’s hawking his own platforms and legislation, but at least he’s smart enough to realise how people consume news now. It’s about going viral, making fun of Zach Galifinakis, and yes, sometimes using a selfie stick.
And if people have a problem they’re just going to have to get used to it, because I can almost guarantee you whoever wins in 2016 is destined to do an entire interview for the Oculus Rift or something. [BuzzFeed]
Twitter doesn’t think we see enough ads online
Want to see more ads? Probably not, but we’re most likely going to get them anyway. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, speaking a tech investors conference in SF yesterday, says he wants 5 per cent of the content you view on Twitter to be ads. For a more tangible example, that means that in the future one out of every 20 tweets may be an ad.
Costolo admits that they are well below that metric now, but 5 per cent would put them on the same ad goals as Facebook. There’s no real timeline for the ad bump, so it will slowly increase over time, until one day you realise that your feed is swimming in ads. [The New York Times]
- SamMobile reports a crazy rumour that Samsung will be unbundling all its apps off TouchWiz, making them optional, but adding on Microsoft services like OneNote and OneDrive for the upcoming S6. [ SamMobile]
Your Apps, Updated
- ESPN gets a major overhaul with added support for iPhone 6/6 Plus and iPad. The app also “pulled a Puff Daddy” and dropped the “Sportscenter” in the name. :/ [ 9to5Mac]
- Apple updated how big an app can be in iTunes from 2GB to 4GB, making your 16GB iPhone and even worse decision. [ MacRumors]
- Dubbed the real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk has more clean energy plans in mind — specifically a new battery that won’t power cars, but rather our homes. [ The Verge]
- Qualcomm’s 810 outperforms Samsung’s new Exynos chip that’s rumoured to accompany the new S6. But it doesn’t matter much because they’re both monsters. [ Trusted Reviews]
- Xiaomi is launching an online shopping portal (Mi.com) in the next few months, will set fitness trackers and other “simple” products but not smartphones.
- You can now get the stainless steel version of Sony’s SmartWatch 3. [NBCNews]
- OnePlus makes an announcement for another announcement. New OxygenOS ROM will be available in March and for non-OnePlus smartphones. [Reddit]
Bucket of Random
- Expedia is like the monopoly man on a bender. Last month, they snatched up Travelocity for multiple millions and now Orbitz for upwards of $US1.4 billion. [ Re/code]
- These rights claims are getting out of hand. A YouTube video of a cat purring on loop for 12 seconds has been flagged as copyright infringement… OK? [ TorrentFreak]
- If you ever had a gnawing desire to know what Windows 98 would look like on an iPad Air 2… Well, lucky day. [ Cult of Mac]
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