By John D. Sutter, CNN
(CNN) - You gotta love another opportunity to put your friends to work.
This week Facebook announced a new feature that lets you see what music your friends are listening to and then - this is the new part - listen right along with them. That may sound kinda blah on first read, but think of it this way: You can turn your friends into your own personal DJs, listening right along with their playlists and chatting about it as you go.
The feature leans heavily on Spotify, the free music-streaming service that came to the U.S. in July and has gotten a huge boost in popularity from the fact that it integrates so closely with Facebook's platform. You've probably noticed Facebook posts like "John is listening to Beyonce" or "Doug is listening to Rihanna" (hey, we like a party) popping up in your news feed. FULL POST
By Brandon Griggs, CNN
Las Vegas (CNN) - Imagine a future in which icons flash on your car windshield, hologram style, as your car approaches restaurants, stores, historic landmarks or the homes of friends.
Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new café up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation.
Mercedes-Benz showed off this vision of the future of driving - complete with augmented-reality and gesture-controlled features - this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
By The Next List Staff, CNN
New York (CNN) - Here at The Next List we’re pretty gung-ho about Jake Shimabukuro and the amazing things he does with a ukulele. And Jake's not the only one. Ukulele lovers are on the rise – all over the world.
Here’s a glimpse into the “uke” subculture right here in New York City as ukulele lovers and players gathered on a cold winter night to celebrate all things uke. It’s the NYC Ukulele Meetup Group at the Uke Hut in Maui Taco in Manhattan. Ukulele aficionado Ken Bari Murray tells us all about it. Enjoy!
By John D. Sutter, CNN
(CNN) - Phones do everything in South Korea.
On a recent reporting trip to the country, I made a point of asking people about interesting ways they use their smartphones.
Some answers weren't too shocking. Lots of people know Koreans use their phones to make purchases (that's a new-ish idea here in the U.S., and one that Google is pushing) and in place of public-transit tickets.
Cab drivers in Seoul give you weird looks if you try to pay with a credit card instead of with a tap of your phone.
But one answer surprised me:
People now use their phones to buy groceries in the subway. FULL POST
By Joshua Belsky, CNN
(CNN) - If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a more peaceful place, says Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele virtuoso who is the subject of the upcoming episode of CNN's "The Next List," which airs Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Based on Shimabukuro's performances, it's hard not to think the world might be a happier place if everyone picked up the small, Hawaiian instrument that he's made famous through YouTube videos and concerts. FULL POST
By John D. Sutter, CNN
(CNN) - Google search is about to get way more personal.
In a change that's been called the "most radical transformation ever" to Google's search engine, the Mountain View, California, company on Tuesday announced an update called "Search, plus Your World," which causes Google's robots to incorporate data from its social network as well as the public Internet when delivering search results to people.
"Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of Web pages, images, videos, news and much more," Google said in a blog post on Tuesday morning.
Over the past few weeks CNN's new show The Next List has profiled innovators, visionaries and agents of change. They’re not household names just yet, but they’re movers and shakers in their own world. We’re introducing them to you because these individuals are steadily mapping the course to the future with their new ideas. Like our "Next Listers," we aim to be as innovative, visionary and passionate about telling you their stories. Here are some clips from a special episode of The Next List devoted to defining our idea of "agents of change":
Marco Tempest is no ordinary magician and in fact he doesn’t even use the word “magician." Instead he calls himself a “cyber-illusionist” or a "techno illusionist” combining videos, computer graphics and other technology of the moment with the ideas of old-world magic. Marco describes it more eloquently as “magic for both sides of your brain”.
When he's not programming iPhone apps or giving speculator demonstrations Tempest still makes it out on the streets to perform some good ol' low-tech “tricks.” In the video above he shows The Next List two of those tricks (and even let's us in on the secret for one of them).
So enjoy some old-school Marco Tempest and see plenty more of him this Sunday at 2 P.M. E.T. on CNN.