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If you're anything like me, then when you see something you'd like to save or share or flag for future reference then you're likely to pin it, favourite it, bookmark it, email it or send it to your kindle depending on what kind of mood you're in. Dragdis is a simple new Chrome extension designed to make saving things you want to take a look at again as easy as possible.

As you can imagine from its name, Dragdis works by dragging and dropping anything that interests you, from an image or video to a link or chunk of text, into a designated folder that pops up at the side of your screen. You can create your own folders and even add apps to the side that allow you to share things to your social networks or other services too.

In many ways it's just like a traditional bookmarking tool, but it's much more intuitive. It could be seen as a competitor to the likes of Pinterest and Evernote, but the fact you can integrate those kinds of services into your Dragdis sidebar means it's more of a convenient filter that you can pass everything through rather than a replacement for your favourite services.

Sign up to Dragdis here.

cameron-face.jpgAt the opening of the CeBit show in Hanover, Germany over the weekend David Cameron spoke about his strategy for the UK's digital spectrum, which will welcome 5G mobile broadband speeds capable of downloading a film in less than a second.

According to Business Week, Cameron spoke at length about his plans to make the UK a world leader when it comes to digital tech, offering £45 million of research into the "Internet of things" and promising a strategy for managing UK's digital spectrum over the next ten years.

Cameron said:

"This is a world on fast forward, a world of permanent technological revolution [...] In this world, countries like the U.K. and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations."

bbc3.jpgThe response to the news that the BBC is taking BBC3 off air and online only is in some way fairly predictable.

In camp one we have those who think that the BBC is deserting its younger audiences and that it is not living up to the ideal of its charter by shifting Bad Education to an online only view. You can of course sign a petition or two if that's your view.

Alternatively there's the view that BBC3 was a pants and quite frankly didn't deserve the money that was spent on it. The view is best highlighted by the stars turns out for BBC (are the reason it should close) story on Anorak - which made me chuckle more than once.

The truth though is somewhere in-between. BBC3 did deliver some great programing, and it does deserve a second chance - which is exactly what the BBC is giving it.

As Tony Hall said this morning, exactly where are those BBC 3 viewers? Answer they are online watching programmes via tablets, laptops and mobiles. The BBC should know too as it has the stats on all this.

The type of linear broadcast channel that BBC3 was is no longer relevant. It makes total sense to meet the audience where it is - online. And the Beeb is obviously not operating in a vacuum and needs to save money, so it is a sensible move.

The only question is really why now? It might have made more sense in a few more years, so I applaud the corporation for far-sightedness.

Why stop with BBC3 though, how about that sacred cow of BBC 6 Music? I always thought that the corporation needs to ditch the high profile highly paid presenters (the ones who could fit in nicely at Absolute and XFM) and instead focus on those who are passionate about music - in other words the evening and weekend presenters many of who are artists themselves.

Cut the BBC Digital Radio budget for this station - and its accompanying marketing spend - and instead focus on producing high quality niche programmes online live and via on demand.

It makes total sense.

metro-large.jpgIn a move that is a total shocker, well to us anyhow, Metro.co.uk, the digital version of the hugely successful morning freesheet, is to be merged with the Mail Online. Well so says the HuffPo who add that it will be confirmed tomorrow.

There has been a few recent exits like head of content, Martin Ashplant,who defected to CityAM, but folding the online version so that the team focuses solely on print is a surprise.

We thought Metro was doing a great job with its social media friendly top fives, showbiz news and speculative football transfer stories. Shifting the team over will only strengthen the Mail, already one of the world's most successful online newspapers.

So BBC3 and Metro on the same day...

UPDATE - there are rumours that the only change is that the Mail Online management team is taking over and that Metro.co.uk will continue as a seperate site.

We will find out tomorrow I guess

We'd forgive the majority of people for not knowing what the acronym HTML stands for (HyperText Markup Language in case you were wondering), but according to a recent study 1 in 10 Americans didn't even realise it was a technical term and instead decided it must be an STD.

The research from Vouchercloud.net also found that 77% didn't have the foggiest what SEO is, 27% decided a gigabyte is an insect and 23% thought MP3 was that robot from Star Wars.

According to the LA Times (where the results were first published), the study polled 2,392 women and men aged 18 and above who were given a list of tech terms and non-tech terms and were asked about the definitions.

Although it's not clear whether they were given STD as an option in the most shocking result of them all or whether these bright sparks concluded that themselves, it's still proof we all need to brush up on our tech terms a little more.

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In the same way Medium is particularly appealing for those already using Twitter, Postach.io is a simple blogging platform that's specially designed to link up with Evernote.

Although Postach.io is still in beta, this week the service has rolled out a premium tier for its users, which works out at $5 a month or $50 a year. This will enable Evernote lovers to have more than one site, password protect their blogs and add multiple users who can all contribute - features that really open up doors for how Postach.io could be used in the future.

The site works by writing your posts directly up to Evernote where you can then label them in certain ways to determine how they'll look on your site and when they'll be published.

With the premium features added this week it looks like Postach.io is keen to take on larger blogging platforms given it also has Disqus integration, Google Analytics features, custom domain names and social sharing built-in.

For those in need of a super simple blogging platform that's about your content as apposed to fancy themes then look no further. Of course, it's particularly useful for those already using Evernote 24/7 too who also want to somewhere to house their thoughts, but don't want to put too much effort into all the old school blogging stuff - like agonising over themes, blog rolls and colour schemes.

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Kickstarter announced on Monday that there have now been $1 billion worth of pledges to all kinds of its weird, wonderful (and sometimes terrible) projects.

Since its launch in April 2009, Kickstarter has become the top crowdfunding site for everything from movie projects to sex toy boxes and more than 5.7 million of us across 224 countries have parted with our pennies to fund some of the best ideas.

In the site's announcement this morning, the Kickstarter team has also revealed a number of other stats about who has been using the site the most and exactly what that $1 billion total could also buy - the Roman Colosseum and Instagram in case you were wondering.

Let's add Netflix to the list of companies we'd happily sell our souls to work for. According to the Netflix Tech Blog, the company is all about innovation, creativity and building awesome stuff. That's why it's begun the soon-to-be tradition of holding a Hack Day, when its engineering teams are encouraged to develop an idea from early Thursday morning all throughout the night, which they'll then present to their peers 24 hours later.

Although they may never become part of the Netflix product, some of these hacks are brilliant and would be invaluable to the streaming service's users. Our favourites included:

Netflix beam: a feature that works in the same way Bump used to (it's dead now), just tap your device against someone else's and they can watch what you want them to watch using your Netflix account.

Sleep tracking with Fitbit: a brilliant and simple way for Netflix to track when a viewer has nodded off using Fitbit's wearables.

Radial: a much easier way for you to type out words using a gamepad and a circular keyboard.

Custom playlists: ideal for weekend-long Netflix binges, you can add specific episodes and save each playlist by themes or events.

Check out a longer list of the best hacks over on The Netflix Tech Blog.

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Mobile messaging is becoming more and more popular each day, so you know what that means? More messages! Well yeah, but also, more SELFIES.

Call them silly, call them pointless, call them vain, but there's been a lot of discussion over the past year or so about selfies, our selfie-snapping habits, why we take them in the first place and the psychology behind them.

Now a new data project called SelfiExploratory is here to delve deeper into the selfie phenomenon than ever before.

Developed over at SelfiCity, the project claims to use a range of "theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods" to analyse our selfies. These findings are then presented as fancy data visualisations, which you can then divide up and view by all kinds of factors, like held tilt amount, smile, location and gender.

And what interesting things can you learn from the data? Well, it depends how much time you have on your hands, but interestingly we take selfies less than we think, only around 5% of images from each city were selfies, and women are more keen on snapping their faces than men, especially in Moscow where women take 4.6 times more than the dudes.

At the moment the data is only tracked from Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York and Sao Paulo, but if you're interested in finding out more about our fascination with the selfie then it's well worth a visit on your lunch break.

iceland-14bn.jpgWe all know that Facebook's $16 billion ($19 billion if you count additional restricted stock units) acquisition of WhatsApp was REALLY expensive. But have you thought about what else Mark Zuckerberg could have done with the money?

Well brilliant new Tumblr Things that are cheaper than WhatsApp is here to help you out with that mind-boggling question.

Answer: If Zuckerberg had spent his pennies elsewhere he could now be King of Iceland or Jamaica, well on his way to curing cancer or heading up the space mission. But yeah, we totally get why he wanted to buy a lime green messaging platform full of emojis and lame teenage sexts instead.

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Gramr is essentially just a box of fancy, hipster-looking stationery. But delve a little deeper and you'll find that the mission behind the Kickstarter-funded startup is simple and brilliant: it wants to make you happier.

There's been a lot of research and theory in the past that's suggested in order for us to feel blissfully happy we need to express gratitude and think about how awesome just the littlest bits of our lives are each and every day. For many people this can be quite difficult, which is why Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman suggests writing letters to those who have helped us or inspired us throughout our lives. He suggests that performing this exercise could increase happiness, reduce anxiety and even help to "cure" those battling with depression.

And that's the idea that Gramr is built on.

It's a box that arrives on your doorstep every month filled with great quality paper, beautiful photographs, envelopes and sealing wax - everything you need to write a good ol' fashioned letter. All you need to do is take it to the postbox and wait for the magic to happen.

For anyone not used to writing letters, expressing gratitude or intent on improving their well-being it might seem a little bit pointless, but Gramr has already doubled its Kickstarter funding goal, so there must be plenty of people out there who want to get off the internet and start writing to their loved ones with a little help from this awesome startup.

ebay-phisix.jpgMost of us oddly-shaped people find online shopping a little frustrating, because we only have a super skinny model to show us how our clothes will look in real life. This makes the whole process a bit of a stab in the dark given models generally seem to be a good few feet taller and a good few pounds lighter than the average Joe or Jane.

However, a number of online retailers have been attempting to remedy this problem. For instance, ASOS now provides its customers with their models' vital stats so they can guess how they'd compare and there's a catwalk feature to get a better idea of how fabrics move, hang and cling in the flesh.

This is still quite restrictive and not a great gage as to whether clothes will fit or suit online shoppers, which is why PhiSix has been working on ways to make the e-commerce experience more enjoyable, accessible and ultimately profitable.

Founded in 2012, the computer graphics company creates 3D models of clothing from photos, pattern files and a range of other sources in order to provide shoppers with virtual simulations of how their outfits will look. It's been going from strength to strength and today it's been revealed that PhiSix has been snapped up by none other than online shopping super giant eBay.

According to a post on the PhiSix website, the finer points of the deal haven't been ironed out yet, but the team writes that the technology they've created could well be integrated across eBay's entire online portfolio to "enable a more immersive and compelling user experience so consumers can make informed choices."

Interestingly, PhiSix also envisions its technology being used offline in stores so that shoppers can get a better idea of how the clothes they're trying on will fare in different situations. Although this seems less likely to catch on as quickly as a web-based shopping tool, it could certainly make the awkward changing room experience more worthwhile and less restrictive.

linkedin-cookie.jpegLinkedIn is great for creating a basic online CV and connecting with pushy recruiters. That's what we all know and love (OK tolerate) it for. But when the company starts telling us to celebrate work anniversaries (guys, that's really not a thing), recommend people for the most random of skills and now blog about our business lives the purpose of the site seems a bit scattered and it becomes, I hate to say it, just plain annoying.

According to Reuters, LinkedIn's decision to add in blogging functionality is because it wants to become more like Facebook (when was the last time anyone blogged on Facebook? 2007?) and intends to encourage people to create and share content on the platform instead of just drop in to stalk ex-colleagues. The company hopes this will increase engagement given recent stats that its page views have dropped again for the second quarter.

Well-known business minds have been able to write blog posts on LinkedIn for some time, but it seems all the boring, normal people can join LinkedIn's elite blogging club, which will be called its "Publisher Platform" now too. LinkedIn will allow people to write what they want and will then be using algorithms to serve up the most relevant, shared blog posts to its users.

If LinkedIn was planning on taking a leaf from Medium's book - with a minimal yet beautiful design and intuitive interface - then the additional blogging feature may work, but we worry it's just going to be a stuffy place for recruiters and social media "gurus" to share lame tips about their respective bubbles.

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Launched back in 2012, Tictail is built to simplify the creation and running of online stores.

Its no-frills interface, great-looking sites and friendly branding led the Swedish-based startup to be dubbed "Tumblr for e-commerce" by Wired last year, which seems to have stuck ever since.

So what makes Tictail so appealing?

Well, for starters its totally free. Anyone with stuff to sell can sign-up and build their own site. Tictail then makes its money by selling on apps to its users that they can then add in to their shopping experiences. Top apps currently include analytics, discount tools and codes, custom domain names and live chat services, but there are plenty more to turn a basic shop into an all-singing, all-dancing e-commerce experience to rival the biggest of brands.

Just like Tumblr, with a little love Tictail's sites look fantastic. Users can customise the design of their store and it'll be mobile and tablet friendly too. Although, there's definitely a move towards sparse, clean design rather than garish colours and clutter, which makes sense on a platform where the products should really be doing all of the talking.

The team don't just give you the tools to set up your shop and send you on your way, they provide constant support and advice about how to make your business thrive, teaching retailers how they can better run their sites on an ongoing basis.

If you look at some of the example sites on Tictail's website it's clear the platform could be a valuable asset for lone designers and small hipster brands looking for a way to flog their stuff.

But does it have the potential to compete with the likes of eBay and Etsy?

Well who knows, but with more than 35,000 stores on its platform to date, an $8m Series A fundraising round announcement earlier this week and ambitious plans to expand into the US, Tictail is definitely one to watch.


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We know, we know, GIFs are just so 2012, but there's something about those quick moving, poor quality little nuggets of pop culture that just make them irresistible to share - even if our grans are now sending them to one another.

There's no shortage of sites that allow you to create your own GIFs, but there's nothing quite like And Then I Was Like, because it's so simple and it's all about you, you, you - a winning formula these days.

All you have to do is hit "OMG... LET'S GIF", press the record button and then save your masterpiece. There are some really simple editing options - like adding in a caption or changing the direction of the loop - but that's pretty much it. You can then share away via Twitter, Facebook or Google+ or even embed your little video wherever you like.

The idea behind And Then I Was Like is that yes, we all bloody love GIFs, but we seem to be sharing the same ones (Tina Fey, Nicholas Cage and Mean Girls are my personal faves) over and over and over. So why not create something individual that has our faces in them instead?

Of course this defeats the whole point of a GIF - aren't they meant to be of US actors and comedians and dumb regular people who have walked into things? Maybe. But as selfie fever well and truly takes over the globe, here at Shiny Shiny we're pretty sure that And Then I was Like's unique brand of fun and shameless narcissism could well catch on.

Related: Coub: Move over GIF there's a new guy in town and he's much better looking

If you're a big fan of House of Cards, the season two launch last week will have taught you that in the list of life priorities Netflix probably comes higher up than say going to work, sleeping and personal hygiene.

So what do you do when you're travelling and can't get your Netflix hit for the day? Or even worse, a whole week?! Because let's face it, binge-watching [Insert your TV show addiction of choice] will always beat visiting famous landmarks.

Enter ZenMate, which allows you to access any website from anywhere in the world. The Chrome extension is like a regular Virtual Private Network (VPN) and once it's installed you can choose where you want your browser to be detected to be coming from, meaning you can watch whatever you want regardless of where you are.

Many of ZenMate's early users were from countries with restricted access to the internet - like China and Iran - but in recent months its Netflix and TV addicts from the US and Europe that are using it to get their fix regardless of where they are. Which doesn't surprise us in the slightest.

Tip: If you've always happily watched Netflix from the UK and assumed you weren't missing out on anything, then use ZenMate to "pretend" you're watching from the US instead. This way you'll get access to all kinds of different shows and movies.


The best of #VictorianFacebook

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An amusing trend has swept the Twitters this morning, as everyone imagined what it would be like on a Victorian Facebook - so we've collected together some of the best responses. Take a look!

There's no better way to challenge your left-wing values opinions about freedom of speech and participatory democracy than actually encountering the general public. This can be done on a weekly basis by taking a look at the Question Time audience - but today Yahoo have announced a top ten list of what people have been searching for this year. And by "people", it obviously means "people who don't know how to change their browser homepage", because who uses Yahoo these days?

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Here's the first list - the Top Ten of all search terms:

The Top Ten of Everything 2013

1. Royal Baby
2. iPhone
3. Arsenal FC
4. Kindle
5. Liverpool FC
6. House Prices
7. Football Transfers
8. One Direction
9. iPad
10. Manchester United

Interesting to see that Kindle is the more interesting brand than iPad - a sign that Apple's dominance is being challenged, or that more people can afford Kindles?

Yahoo have put together a top ten tech searches too - quite how "Samsung Galaxy" ranks above iPad in this list, but doesn't make the over all list... your guess is as good as mine.

Yahoo Most Searched 2013 Tech

1. iPhone
2. Kindle
3. Samsung Galaxy
4. iPad
5. Playstation 4
6. Xbox One
7. Blackberry
8. iPod
9. Nokia Lumia
10. Sony Xperia

Interesting too to see the PS4 just edging about the Xbox One - a sign of things to come? Blackberry are probably in there for less happy reasons, given that this was the year they basically just gave up and retreated to the corporate market.

And just for fun, here's the top ten news stories searched for - with the Daily Mail royal baby and house prices agenda clearly edging out the competition. Bad luck Assad - there's always next year!

Yahoo Most Searched News Stories

1. Royal Baby
2. House Prices
3. Nelson Mandela
4. Rolf Harris
5. Oscar Pistorius
6. Syria
7. Madeleine McCann
8. Michael Le Vell
9. Samantha Lewthwaite
10. Margaret Thatcher

And finally, here's some of the most searched for celebrities... with Noam Chomsky roundly beaten by Michelle Keegan AGAIN.

Yahoo Most Searched Celebrities

1. One Direction
2. Miley Cyrus
3. Kim Kardashian
4. Cheryl Cole
5. Susanna Reid
6. Helen Flanagan
7. Katie Price
8. Kelly Brook
9. Jennifer Aniston
10. Michelle Keegan

I hope next year Yahoo reveal how many people are using Yahoo to search for "Google".

TaskRabbit brings Chores 2.0 to London

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taskrabbit.pngA new website has launched that aims to be the "eBay of tasks" - creating a marketplace for people to do tasks like DIY, home cleaning and stuff. All you have to do is provide TaskRabbit with your address and it'll match you up with people who can be at your service.

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What's useful is that not only can you search by what you're looking for ("I want someone to help me put up some shelves"), but the results will show you their rate - so you can directly compare. Plus all of the "Taskers", as they call them get their photo displayed, and there's a bio too, to convince you that you're not letting some crazy knife killer into your house. Once you've matched up with a Tasker, you can converse with them in private messages, to nail down the exact details of what you need. TaskRabbit also seems to control the payment - which seems nice and convenient, and useful for keeping everything above board (and this is presumably how they plan to make some money).

It certainly sounds like a useful proposition - doing for difficult and tedious home chores what Zipcar did for car rental and what Hailocab did for Taxis - all controlled through a simple website or app. Much easier than Googling around and hoping you'll be able to find someone to help you move house.

The US version of the site, which has been running for longer, claims to have 15,000 background checked Taskers - but it appears to be very early days for the UK. When searching for Taskers to help clean my flat in South London, the results were the same people as featured in demo, in which Hoxton was searched. Still - presumably the number of British Taskers will keep going up.

Similarly - the only options available at the moment appear to be DIY help, cleaning and "Christmas Helper" (whatever that means) - here's hoping that it's expanded in future to include plumbers, electricians and locksmiths too.

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Thinking of selling your home and want to know which are the best performing estate agents in your area?

whosoldwhere.co.uk allows you to find the top selling agents in your area over the last 12 or 24 months. Importantly you can select by price band or by radius to help you pinpoint exactly who are the most successful and suitable agents where you are selling your home. 
Sales for each estate agent in your chosen area are updated as soon as the deal is done. 

They are then verified with Land Registry and listed with the price, description and date of the sale to provide as much information to a potential vendor as possible. Images for each sold property are also provided helping you identify exactly which homes the agent has sold.

Contact information for the agent is also provided, including telephone number and email address. What's more, in addition to being able to see who has sold where in the past, it's also possible to view properties both for sale and rent in any chosen area. Users who register their details with the site will be able to save specific properties to their favourites and request details from estate agents. 

Over 900 estate agents are currently displaying their for sale, sold and rental data on the site and that is expected to rise to over 1000 by the end of the year. 

In addition to providing invaluable sales and rental data both past and present whosoldwhere also offers a regularly updated blog (http://www.whosoldwhere.co.uk/content/blog/), providing useful information for those looking to sell their homes. 
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