Beloved British pub chain quits social media, tells customers to get their news the old-school way


In the era of brands competing for attention and affection on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, one British company has done the unthinkable—it’s quitting social media completely. 

JD Wetherspoon—a chain with 900 pubs in the UK and Ireland— announced it’s closing down its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts for all its pubs and head office with “immediate effect”. At the time of publication the accounts had already been deleted. 

According to an official statement from the pub operator, the move comes after “the bad publicity surrounding social media” including “the trolling of MPs” as well as the recent news surrounding “the misuse of personal data.” Read more…

More about Lifestyle, Uk, Social Media, Pub, and Culture

Starbucks faces social media backlash over tepid apology for alleged racial profiling


Cell phone video captured a bewildered man at Starbucks this week asking Philadelphia police why they were arresting his two black friends. 

Onlookers said there didn’t appear to be a reason for the arrest. The men were simply sitting at the coffee shop, waiting for their business associate — the aforementioned bewildered man — to show up before placing their orders.

Now, Starbucks has confirmed that the incident was a mistake, and “are disappointed this led to an arrest.”

The three-sentence apology, however, is short on details or a even just a blunt admission of guilt. The company did not reply to Mashable’s request for more details at the time of this publication.  Read more…

More about Twitter, Starbucks, Culture, Racism, and Social Media

Google Assistant gets better with the addition of new Actions, better media playback, more

Google continues to update its digital assistant and adds new features and improvements to offer an even more immersive user experience. This week’s update brings quite a few changes that will be demoed throughout the weekend at South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin.

Apparently, starting this week, due to a new feature for Action that goes by the name Custom Device Actions, device makers will be able to extend the Assistant and add “native” functionality specific to their devices. In real life, it means that Google Assistant users will be able to ask it to activate very specific …

Android P lands native HDR video and high-efficiency media format support

Phones and tablets with HDR-certified displays are starting to inundate our specs database, and there is now barely a high-end phone announced that doesn’t have wide color-capable screens. Some are even able to capture true HDR video to showcase on said displays, too.
Well, Android is finally catching up with the times, and Google just mentioned in its Android P Developer Preview roundup above that the new version will have native decoder for HDR VP9 video, making it easier for devs to create playback-capable apps. In addition, there will …

How hard is it to give up on social media?

Ever since it’s inception in 2005, Facebook has set a worldwide phenomenon by inventing the ‘social media’ term. The latter is responsible for revolutionizing the way we communicate and is being used by everyone – from kids to multi-billion businesses. Having such a role in our lives, it should come as no surprise some concerns have emerged regarding the addiction rate of such a service and how hard it is to live without any social media interactions. Well, the majority still thinks it’s not hard, but there is some worrying data, too.

According …

Samsung hides Galaxy S9 3D images in its Unpacked 2018 app for the media to view using AR

Samsung recently published its Unpacked 2018 app in the Google Play Store. There is a countdown timer that ticks off the seconds until the 2018 Samsung flagships are unveiled next Sunday in Barcelona. Now you need to think about what Sammy has done here. A Reddit subscriber posted that his tear down of the Unpacked 2018 app discovered 3D images of the Samsung Galaxy S9. To access these images, media attending the trade show will take their individual press badge and tap it against their phone. That will allow them to see the Galaxy S9 in AR.

The images reveal a few things. There will be …

Samsung sends out invitations to media for Galaxy S9 unveiling on February 25th

It’s getting closer, which means it is getting real. Samsung today sent out press invitations for the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S9, which will take place during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 25th. That is the day before the MWC trade show in Barcelona begins, traditionally when Samsung would unveil its new flagship models. However, last year Samsung pushed back the unveiling of the Galaxy S8 until March.

This year, it appears that Sammy is reverting back to its old time schedule. The invitations, which don’t mention the Galaxy S9 precisely, show a big purple 9 with the words …

Which social media “stories” do you use most often?

A while ago, Facebook started adding some pizzazz to its apps — Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram — in order to improve user retention and even attract more users. Such features include the virtual face masks / makeup and stories, with special effects, stickers and emoji on video also making an appearance. Any of these sound like they were lifted off of Snapchat? Naaaah…

Anyway, stories are popular, and fully autonomous within apps — if you post a story through your Facebook app, it won’t be visible in Messenger, nor Instagram, and certainly not in Snapchat. …

New sunglasses can record HD video, snap photos, and stream video live to social media sites

Back in September 2016, Snapchat parent Snap introduced a new product called Spectacles. Basically a cheap pair of sunglasses with an embedded video camera, the device was priced at $129.99 and recorded 10 seconds of video everytime the “record button” was tapped. A maximum of 30 seconds could be recorded and uploaded to social media. Originally sold out of a vending machine that moved from location to location, the company announced last October that in one year it had sold over 150,000 units, 50% more than expected. Once Snapchat started selling them online, sales began to tumble.

Now, …

Analyst says Taiwan media is mistaken; rumored iPhone production cuts are for 8/8 Plus

Yesterday, we passed along some bad news for bulls on China’s equity markets; stocks of companies that supply Apple with parts for the iPhone X had lost as much as 40% of their value in a single day. What brought on such a rush of selling? It was a rumor that Apple had cut production of the tenth anniversary model by 20 million to 30 million units. But today, an analyst with securities firm Rosenblatt says that this rumor is incorrect.

Analyst Jun Zhang says that his firm’s research reveals no such production cut is taking place with the Apple iPhone X, and that Taiwan’s media is a bit confused. …