Tech News

Prepare for Apple Watch Hard Sell, Facebook Does Timehop, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 25-03-2015

Apple Watch fashionistas, Facebook On This Day, Google Pony Express, an online drum machine, Catstacam trumps Instagram, and an online relationship with a difference.


The Apple Watch is Fashionable

If you plan to venture into an Apple Store later this year, you should prepare to be offered fashion advice, at least as far as your choice of watch goes. This is because, according to 9to5Mac, Apple Store employees are being “trained to provide personal fashion and styling advice to customers.

This is a change of strategy prompted by the release of the Apple Watch Apple Watch Finally Arrives, HBO Now Exclusive to iDevices [Tech News Digest] Apple Watch arrives, HBO Now exclusive, Google releases Android 5.1, Facebook kills Friendfeed, Gigaom is no more, and Samsung builds a Dream Doghouse. Read More , which will be sold in a similar vein to traditional watches. Talk of specs and features are out, to be replaced by talk of which strap and color best suits each individual Apple Watch buyer.

Critics have long argued that Apple products offer a certain amount of style over substance Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? All technology companies experience peaks and troughs. Products come and go, execs get up and leave, consumer tastes change. Just look at RiM and the fortunes of the BlackBerry platform for proof. Apple is just... Read More , and this will only cement that feeling. Especially as most right-thinking people would still prefer to spend hundreds of dollars on a real watch that will last decades rather than a smartwatch (Apple Watch iTime For An iWatch: Funny Reactions To The New Apple Watch [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Apple Watch. It's a watch, a smartwatch, a watch that is smart. Sort of. And it's ripe for mocking. Read More or otherwise) that will be out-of-date in the blink of an eye. Sorry, i.

Facebook Launches On This Day

Facebook has officially launched a new feature called On This Day. Having been tested for the last two years, On This Day is now rolling out to Facebook users around the world. In a nutshell, it’s Timehop for Facebook, offering a reminder of what you were doing on this day in years gone by.

By default only you can see your nostalgic content, with the option to share specific content with friends. Facebook has also sought to avoid embarrassing or upsetting people by hiding content from previous partners and people who have recently passed away. That is as long as all the relevant information was filled in at the time. Which, if you’re as lazy as I am, is unlikely.


Pay Bills Directly Through Gmail

You may soon be able to pay bills directly through Gmail, with Google working on a feature brilliantly codenamed Pony Express. Expected to be rolled out by the end of 2015, Google’s Pony Express is being billed as “the future of paper mail.

After providing personal information such as a social security number, users will be able to pay bills directly from within Gmail The Power User Guide to Gmail This free Gmail Guide is for those of you who already use Gmail as an email client and want to take maximum advantage of its many productivity features. Read More using a bank account, or credit or debit card. It could also be used the other way round, with a user billing a roommate or friend for their share of an outstanding debt. And thus petty arguments about money are ended forever. Or perhaps not.

Play an Online 808 Drum Machine


You can now play an online version of the legendary Roland TR-808 drum machine, the real-world version of which was used by such artists as the Beastie Boys, Outkast, and Kanye West.


The online HTML5 version features all of the real percussion sounds, which you can adjust to your heart’s content. And when you’re happy with your hip-hop bassline, you can export it as a WAV file. [H/T FACT Magazine]

Catstacam Puts Cats on Instagram

We already know cats have taken over the Internet at this point in time, but their popularity has always relied on loved-up owners posting pictures online. Until now. Thanks to Catstacam, which lets your cat post pictures to Instagram without any involvement from the owner.

Catstacam is a small camera that cats wear around their necks. Developed by cat food company Whiskas, it snaps one photograph every 10 seconds, posting the snapshots to Instagram when the cat comes into range of your Wi-Fi network.

Catstacam is a prototype currently being tested by a handful of celebrities, but it may be released to the wider population at a later date. If you hate pictures of cats then you’d better keep all your fingers and toes crossed that this thing never sees the light of day.


An Online Relationship With a Difference

And finally, most of us encounter random strangers online 10 Tips to Start Random Chats Worth Having Want to have random chats with people online? These use these tips the next time you use Omegle, Chatroulette, or similar. Read More on a daily basis, whether on social networking sites or the comments sections of blogs. But very few of us then take those relationships any further, perhaps by meeting up in the real world.

This short film, titled Windscreenwiperman, tells the story of an adult male who meets a teenage boy online. Their relationship develops further, but is this all entirely innocent or is there a sinister twist in store? The result is an intriguing film directed by Sam Baron. [H/T CNET]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Could you be persuaded to buy an Apple Watch? Will you be using Facebook’s new On This Day feature? Would you ever consider paying bills directly through Gmail?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.


Image Credit: CalypsoCrystal via Flickr

Related topics: Apple Watch, Facebook, Gmail, HTML5, Instagram, Money Management.

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  1. Bob
    March 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Pony Express?! Catstacam!? Let us not forget that April Fools Day is a week away.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I'm pretty sure these are both legit... but I'm dreading April 1.

  2. dragonmouth
    March 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    "The Apple Watch is Fashionable"
    Rolex, or even a Times, is fashionable, iWatch is a gizmo.

    "Pay Bills Directly Through Gmail"
    Not Bloody Likely! Google already knows too much about everybody.

    "Pony Express is being billed as “the future of paper mail.”"
    Let's not forget that the original Pony Express lasted only 18 months. Given the history of Google apps, I don't give their Pony Express even that long.

    "Catstacam Puts Cats on Instagram"
    I think that's discriminating against other animals. How about a Snakestagram?!

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Snakes aren't cute or cuddly enough to warrant their own picture-sharing service!

    • dragonmouth
      March 30, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      "Snakes aren’t cute or cuddly enough to warrant their own picture-sharing service!"
      That is only your opinion. :P