Search The Web Using Emoji, Fitbit Surge & Charge [Tech News Digest]
Also, Amazon Kindle Scout, an Xbox One price drop, Plague Inc. goes viral, and OK Go promise I Won’t Let You Down.
Search Bing Using Nothing But Emoji
they dressed up as the “????” emoji pic.twitter.com/jZG4UbtWGk
— Teenagers (@ohdiaryforteenz) October 28, 2014
Bing now enables you to search the Web using nothing but emoji. This means you can discover the meaning of a particular emoji, use emoji in place of text, or even combine emoji with words to launch relevant searches.
Emoji are, for the uninitiated, those tiny pictures used in place of words. They enable you to condense messages down to just a few characters, which is why they’ve grown in popularity alongside smartphones.
How useful they can actually be when conducting searches online remains to be seen, but it’s surely better to have the option to use them than not. Which is where things currently stand with Google, which hasn’t yet added the ability to search using emoji.
Microsoft 1, Google 0.
Fitbit Launches New Range Of Devices
Fitbit has announced its new range of fitness-focused wearable devices.
The first is the Fitbit Charge, a direct replacement for the Fitbit Force which was pulled from sale due to users suffering allergic skin reactions . The Charge, priced at $130, features an OLED display, and measures steps taken, distance covered, and calories burned. The Fitbit Charge HR adds a continuous heart-rate monitor for an extra $20, but unlike the regular Charge, the Charge HR won’t be available until next year.
Also launching in 2015 is the Fitbit Surge, a smartwatch priced at $250. The Surge features an LCD touchscreen, a three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart-rate monitor, and GPS. Once paired with a smartphone, the Surge adds text notifications and incoming call alerts to its repertoire, which is why it’s classified as a smartwatch rather than a fitness band.
The wearables market is becoming increasingly crowded with devices, but Fitbit should have enough fans in place to be able to compete with the likes of Apple and Google. Especially amongst fitness freaks.
Kindle Scout Crowdsources Book Publishing
Kindle Scout, Select, Worlds, Unlimited, self-pub and A-Pub. Amazon going big and bold — but also competing with itself? Hmm.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 27, 2014
Amazon has opened Kindle Scout [Broken URL Removed] up to the public, with users invited to vote for the books they’d like to see published. Kindle Scout is a U.S.,-only effort to give unpublished authors a break , with submissions which receive a lot of votes considered for publication through Kindle Press.
Successful authors will receive a $1,500 advance, and a 50% royalty rate on all e-books sold. More importantly, they’ll receive the kind of marketing needed for a book by an unknown author to gain a foothold.
Microsoft’s $50 Xbox One Price Drop
Microsoft is cutting $50 off the price of the Xbox One for the holiday season. From Nov. 2, 2014 through to Jan. 3, 2015, all of the various console bundles will be subject to the discount, which means the Xbox One now starts cheaper than the PlayStation 4. Whether this will be enough to tempt people to buy the Xbox One over the PS4 remains to be seen, but it can’t do any harm.
Plague Inc. Lets You Spread Virtual Ebola
If you have a morbid fascination of how pandemics spread, Plague Inc. may be the game for you. Plague Inc. has been around for a while, but its popularity has recently spread thanks to the threat posed by Ebola.
Plague Inc. , which is the spiritual successor to classic flash game Pandemic, lets you wipe out humanity as we know it. You’re cast as the disease looking to kill as many humans as possible, which is actually more fun than it sounds.
Plague Inc. is available on iOS and Android, with versions for the PC, Mac, and Xbox One currently in development. Let’s just hope the game spreads faster and further than the diseases it features.
OK Go’s Music Video Won’t Let You Down
And finally, OK Go are back with another innovative music video. As has become their trademark, I Won’t Let You Down was shot in just one take, and keeps you watching from beginning to end. Amazed by what you’re seeing, probably.
There is plenty of geeky technology featured too, with OK Go riding around on Honda’s Uni-Cub unicycles, and the whole thing filmed using cameras mounted on a flying drone. And this drone didn’t even get shot down, thankfully.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Would you ever search the Web using nothing but emoji? Does the new Fitbit range hold any interest for you? Is it a good idea to crowdsource book publishing?
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: The All-Nite Images via Flickr