Monday, 30 May 2011

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “Samsung Wants to See the Next iPhone and iPad”

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “Samsung Wants to See the Next iPhone and iPad”


Samsung Wants to See the Next iPhone and iPad

Posted: 30 May 2011 02:02 AM PDT


The Apple-Samsung patent infringement lawsuit is heating up: Samsung’s lawyers have filed a motion for Apple to provide them with a sample of the next generation iPhone and iPad.

Since Apple keeps very tight wraps around all its upcoming products, it’s highly unlikely that the company will comply with this request, at least without a fight. However, recently Samsung was ordered by a judge to give Apple samples of its yet unreleased tablets and smartphones, including the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Add to that the fact that Samsung has also filed a countersuit against Apple citing several patent infringements, and suddenly Samsung’s claims don’t seem that far-fetched.

Nilay Patel examined Samsung’s request and he found some subtle differences between the two requests: Samsung products that Apple requested to see were publicly announced, while Samsung wants to see Apple’s products which are unannounced and – if you disregard the rumor mill – officially do not exist.

Either way, if the motion is successful, only Samsung’s lawyers – not even Samsung itself – would see Apple’s products, and the chances of any info leaking out into the public are very slim.

The full text of Samsung’s filing is available here.

Image courtesy of Flickr, boedker.

More About: apple, ipad, iphone, lawsuit, patent, samsung

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Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses

Posted: 29 May 2011 04:27 PM PDT


This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

From our coverage on Mashable, you’ve probably learned a fair share about Foursquare for business. There are more than 9 million people on Foursquare, and there are 250,000 businesses that have claimed venues and use the location-based service as part of their overall marketing program. Foursquare is a free platform for merchants to use to engage and incentivize customers, but only if done right. Here’s what not to do as you embark on your Foursquare marketing endeavors.


1. Creating a Complicated Special


There’s no fun in trying to unlock a special that is nearly impossible to unlock. Try to keep it simple. The purpose of Foursquare’s merchant platform is to bridge the gap between customers and merchants, and a high barrier to entry could easily turn users off. There are seven kinds of specials to choose from, depending on whether you’re targeting new customers, encouraging people to come back multiple times or wanting to reward the mayor (your most loyal Foursquare customer).

Foursquare enables businesses to activate a special only on certain days or during certain times, or they can reward people for every nth checkin, regardless of what time or day it happens. “Receive a free cupcake on your fifth checkin” or “10% off your bill on Tuesdays” are good examples of simple rewards.

Specials can provide discounts, a few bucks off or a free item. If you’re worried about margins, you can offer a special that doesn’t affect your bottom line — maybe users will get to shop during special hours at your shop. Alternatively, you can post videos of your most active Foursquare users on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Eric Friedman, Foursquare’s director of business development, says the best kind of specials are those that make people feel special and provide them with something they couldn’t get as a regular consumer.

Also, remember to set an end-date for your campaign if it’s a limited-time offer and use the fine print if there are exclusions to your special.


2. Not Training Staff


You never want someone to redeem a special and show it to your staff, only to be looked at with googly eyes. Be sure your team is prepared and can recognize a Foursquare special and offer the redemption. Once you create a special, Foursquare provides flyers for you to print — one for employees, and one for customers — to build awareness for the product and make sure everyone is on the same page.

If you add a new special or change your current one, be sure to alert the team so they can answer any Foursquare-related questions.


3. Not Using Foursquare’s Dashboard


The Foursquare dashboard is full of useful information. Merchants can see what times people are checking in, in addition to details on the gender and age breakdown of those users. Businesses can use this information to craft a special to lure people to their venues during slow periods.

Only about 25% of Foursquare users send checkins to Twitter or Facebook, so logging in to the dashboard allows you to see who your most frequent and most recent Foursquare checkins are. This is helpful for businesses and gives them an inside look at their customers, while also proving contact information — such as their Twitter handles — if a user provided it when signing up. The Twitter handle can be used for one-on-one outreach, which will make your customers feel special and appreciated (and hopefully not creeped out).


4. Giving Away Too Much Product Via Specials


Just like on Groupon, there is a point at which your margins could be affected in such a way that you could be losing money. If you’re a cupcake shop, you might not to be able to afford giving away a free cupcake with each checkin. That’s fine, just get more creative and offer a more exclusive special. Perhaps you can do a loyalty special so that people get a reward — a free cupcake — on every third or fourth visit. That way, they’re incentivized to come back, so you’re encouraging and rewarding loyalty with delayed gratification.


5. Not Advertising That You’re a Foursquare Merchant


People might not be inclined to check in if they don’t know there’s a reward, so be sure to put the window clings (which Foursquare sends you when you create a special) on display. Setting up a special also guarantees that your business is shown in the “specials nearby” tab when people open the Foursquare app in the vicinity of your business.

The bottom line is that there are nearly 10 million people on Foursquare. Some might be more inclined to try your business — and keep coming back — if they know there’s an incentive on Foursquare. Therefore, not publicizing your special can be a huge missed opportunity.

What are some small business Foursquare marketing mistakes you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments.


More Foursquare Resources from Mashable:


- HOW TO: Start Marketing on Foursquare
- HOW TO: Set Up a Foursquare Special
- Why Location-Based Services Will be the Killer App of the 2012 Elections
- Checking In on Foursquare or Facebook Becomes a Game With Virgin America
- How Geolocation Will Revolutionize the On-Site Service Industry

More About: foursquare, lbs, location marketing, location-based apps, location-based marketing, location-based service, Location-based services, small business, trending

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


Asus PadFone Tablet Hides Smartphone Inside [PICS]

Posted: 29 May 2011 03:36 PM PDT


Here's a novel idea: Hide a smartphone inside the back of a tablet, and you can have the best of both worlds. That’s what Asus has done with its PadFone, nestling its new Android smartphone into a docking bay in the back of its larger-screened tablet companion, complete with a small door that closes behind it, storing the handset out of sight.

You’re looking at the first pictures to surface of this unusual configuration, which reminds us of the Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone. Even that’s not quite the same, though, because the Atrix plugs into a laptop-like companion, consisting of a keyboard and screen.

Details of the configuration are still murky at this point. On its Facebook page, Asus has been plugging its tagline of "Break the Rules: Pad or Phone," and the company is doing that by bringing the Motorola Atrix’s kind of versatility to a tablet form factor. Look at the gallery below, and you’ll notice there’s even a small hole for the Garmin-Asus-like smartphone‘s camera to peek out. The pictures also show what could be a folding tablet with a keyboard inside.

Our take: Both Asus and Motorola are on the right track, because for those of us who must carry around a bag full of gadgets every day, we’d like to avoid duplication of effort. This Asus system uses what’s probably a dual-core processor inside that smartphone to run a tablet as well. Then there’s just one unit that handles both tablet and smartphone processing, and there’s just one cellphone bill to pay.

These pics were somehow leaked to Pocketnow.com, but the big reveal happens at Computex in Taiwan tomorrow, when we’ll find out more details about this intriguing new configuration. Meanwhile, peruse Pocketnow’s pics in our gallery below and please let us know what you think of this coolness in the comments.


Asus Padfone Back




Notice the camera port.


Asus Padfone Flat





Asus Padfone Hero





Asus Padfone Tablet




Graphics courtesy Pocketnow.com

More About: Asus, Computex, PadFone, reveal, smartphone, spy pics, Tablet

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Indy 500 Warmup: World Record-Setting 332-foot Truck Jump [VIDEO]

Posted: 29 May 2011 02:08 PM PDT

Sunday was Indy 500 day, and our thoughts turned to fast cars, the latest automotive tech, the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, and … world-record truck jumping?

That’s what happened at turn 4 of the Indianapolis 500 race track, when stunt driver and Top Gear star Tanner Faust warmed up the crowd by setting a new jumping distance world record for a 4-wheeled vehicle.

Driving down a huge ramp designed look like a Hot Wheels “V-Drop” track as part of a “Fearless at the 500″ promotion, Faust picked up enough speed to launch his specially modified “Pro 2″ truck a world-record 332 feet. That was more than enough to beat the previous record of 301 feet.

Until the day of the jump, Faust’s identity was kept secret. He’d been practicing for months — he tells his story in this video, revealed for the first time on Sunday:

And the video teaser that led up to the jump:

More About: cars, Indianapolis 500, indy 500 2011, indy 500 truck jump 2011, jump, Memorial Day weekend, Tanner Faust, trending, truck jump 2011, video

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Money-Shredding Alarm Clock Is Completely Unforgiving [PICS]

Posted: 29 May 2011 01:14 PM PDT


This design concept might be more sight gag than real product, but it’s clever nonetheless. Bringing new meaning to the phase “you snooze, you lose,” when you place this unforgiving clock across the room from your bed, if you don’t get up when the alarm sounds, it’s going to cost you.

Might we suggest at first being easy on yourself, placing a lower-denomination bill into this sleeper’s trap before you start punishing yourself too much. From the looks of these pics, that shredder does a thorough job of destroying currency or whatever else you’d like to place in it. And look at that — the designer has placed not one, but what looks like a stack of $100 bills into the clock’s hungry maw.

Careful, though — in the U.S., willfully destroying U.S. currency is a federal crime:

“..Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

Adding a bit of jail time to the penalty of losing your $100 (and perhaps paying another $100 fine) might just make you get out of bed in the morning, sleepyhead.


There's a stack of hundreds in there!




Maybe start out with $1 bills?


Side View




[Via AcidCow]

More About: Alarm Clock, Clocks, design concept, shredder, sight gags, trending

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6 Gadgets We’re Playing With This Week

Posted: 29 May 2011 12:12 PM PDT

Mashable recently kicked off its Gadget of the Day Series, supported by the Energizer Inductive Charger. Each week, we’ll review a number of gadgets that catch our interest. In case you missed them, here are the gadgets from our second week — read on for great reviews of Nike’s SportWatch GPS, the Logitech Alert Security System, Altec Lansing Orbit USB Stereo wireless speakers, Logitech’s HD Pro Webcam C910, and the GoFlex Satellite.

Looking for even more gadget reviews? This roundup will appear every weekend during the series, and you can check out all of our gadget coverage on the Tech & Gadgets channel.


1. Nike+ SportWatch GPS


Runners of all levels who want an accurate assessment of their runs should check out the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS. It’s accurate, and with a little software-side tweaking, it could be the perfect scoring system for your daily exercise routine.


2. Logitech Alert Security System


The Logitech Alert Security System uses high-quality cameras to record and send video to a computer via ordinary electrical wiring. This refined system keeps watch over your stuff in HD quality, giving you clear video of anyone who wants to trespass on your property, day or night. You can install the system yourself, but to fully cover an average-sized house will cost you in excess of $1,000.


750i Outdoor Camera





It's small and solidly built. But can it make it through a bitterly cold winter?


Outdoor Camera Mounted




The mounting hardware is solidly built as well.


Bottom of Outdoor Camera




There's a mic to capture audio, too, but you can disable that.


Outdoor Interface




The interface is mounted on a wall, then plugged into an outlet. Here I've taken off its weatherproof door to install the thin electrical wire that goes to the camera.


Indoor Camera 750i




Attach this camera via suction cup or bracket, front or back.


Indoor Camera Mounted




The suction cup held well.


Network Interface




Plug this unit into an AC outlet and connect it to your router, and it bridges the electrical system with your network.


Alert Commander Interface




Here's what the screen looks like with 4 cameras attached.


One Camera Full Frame




Here's a single camera in the viewer. You can also view them in arrangements of 4 or 6, or go full screen without any controls on any of the arrangements.


Motion Detection Zones




Here I've drawn two small zones for motion detection, and I'm in the process of drawing a third across the bottom of the screen. I'm trying to avoid constantly moving trees, but it was hard to avoid false alarms in this situation.


Motion Detection Alert




Configure the system to send you a text or snapshot alert via email or cellphone text. The advanced settings let you adjust the amount of movement that will trigger alerts.


Alert Web Viewer




View live cameras with this, but no recordings.


Night Vision Quad Split




It's in black & white, and sometimes the infrared lighting makes things look weird, but the images are sharp.


Night Vision Single Camera View




The camera's resolution will let us get a good look at those raccoons that like to lick the grill grease late at night.


3. Altec Lansing Orbit USB Stereo wireless speakers


Portable laptop speakers are a dime a dozen, so you need to stand out to make an impression in an overcrowded market. Altec Lansing has focused on sound quality, portability and ease of use with its new Orbit USB Stereo offering, in an attempt to appeal to laptop owners on the go. These wireless speakers are a great budget option for laptop-toting travelers who value audio clarity over volume.


Flip-Out Legs




The speakers are supported by flip-out stands which fold flat for storage and transportation.


Rear View




The wires wind up inside the end of the speakers so they can lock together for portability.


Side View




The speakers boast an industrial look and a robust build.


The Travel Sleeve




The USB Orbit Stereo speakers come complete with a fabric travel case.


4. iRig Mic


Need a serious yet portable condenser microphone for interviews or music recording? This one plugs into your iPhone, and the results are impressive. The recording quality of the microphone is quite good and the sensitivity settings work as promised. For the mobile musician or reporter, this is a great add-on to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.


iRig Mic in Use




The iRig Mic with a recording in process.


iRic and iRig Recorder




The iRig Mic and iRig Recorder software.


iRig Profile




The iRig Mic resembles a standard karaoke microphone. It comes with its own carrying pouch, a microphone clamp for attachment to a stand and has a headphone passthrough port, perfect for users who want to monitor what they are recording.


iRig Recorder and VocaLive




Users can download free versions of recording apps from IK Multimedia, including iRig Recorder and VocaLive.

The paid versions of these apps provide enhanced functionality, but come at a price. iRig Recorder is $4.99 and VocaLive is $19.99.

Both apps are solid workhorse applications and allow users to export audio directly from the app to other sources, including hosting services like SoundCloud.


5. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910


At $99, the C910 is a quality HD webcam that works with both Windows and Mac OS X. For the price, it delivers solid performance and high-quality video. Seeing is believing, so here is an unedited video, recorded in 1080p (compressed) and uploaded directly to YouTube, created by Mashable Christina Warren. The audio hiss in the background is from our office, but otherwise, we’re pleased with the results.


6. GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage


The GoFlex Satellite enables you to wirelessly stream movies, listen to music and view photos with up to three Wi-Fi devices at the same time. It’s perfect for anyone who travels with an iPad and families with kids in the car who’d like to pass the time with photos, music and movies.


Top Side




The rounded area in the foreground is where you plug in the included USB cable.


DC In




There's an included car charger, letting you plug the drive into a car's cigarette lighter for recharging. The batteries are said to last 5 hours.


Adapter Port




Here's where that adapter plugs in. This port is protected by a removable door, which we think is too easy to lose.


Plastic Door




Here's the plastic door that protects the port.


USB Cable Plugged In





Three Playing At Once




Here are two iPads and an iPhone, all three playing back movies from the drive at the same time without a hitch. Nice.

For more gadget reviews, check out the Gadget of the Day Series and visit the Tech & Gadgets channel.

More About: Gadget of the Day Series, gadgets, hard drive, ipad, iRig, iRig Mic, iRig Recorder, logitech, Logitech Alert Security System, logitech c910 webcam, Nike

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Is There a Social Media Tech Bubble? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 29 May 2011 10:53 AM PDT


Valuations of social media companies are starting to remind us of 1999. But are they overvalued?

Now that Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, LinkedIn’s IPO valued the company at $8.9 billion after its first day of trading, and Facebook’s estimated value is pushing $100 billion, you might be starting to wonder if buying into user numbers rather than revenue is a good idea.

Social media site G+, a community of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics, put together this detailed infographic that lays it all out in front of you. Take a look at these valuations and let us know in the comments if you think this is getting out of hand:

(Click here for enlargement)

Infographic courtesy Gplus.com

More About: facebook, infographic, ipo, linkedin, microsoft, Skype, social media bubble, tech bubble, trending

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13 Instagram Apps For More Photo Fun

Posted: 29 May 2011 09:50 AM PDT


In this collection of our favorite Instagram-infused applications, each offers an interesting way to view or enjoy Instagram’s ever-expanding photo archives — some are Instagram-only clients, while others use Instagram to enhance their existing products.

Instagram delights its more than 4.25 million users with photo-enhancing filters, tilt-shift, cool comments and “likes” features and instant social sharing options.

The once iPhone-only experience has spread to the web, Macs, iPads and even the physical world, thanks to a growing crop of developers. They’re harvesting the massive amount of photos shared by Instagram users each second via the startup’s three-month-old real-time API.

As many of our readers continue to point out, the only hole in Instagram’s ecosystem is the lack of an application for Android users.


Carousel




Carousel is a gorgeous Instagram Mac app for your desktop.

Carousel, which sells for $4.99 on the Mac App Store, includes the standard photo viewing and commenting features, but it also packs a number of nuances -- double-click photos to enlarge and save them to iPhoto for instance -- that make it a near picture-perfect interpretation of Instagram in desktop form.

We love the four theme options, keyboard shortcuts and the growl notification options, but its the simple and subtle design touches that make it a standout application.


Instagallery




Instagallery [iTunes link] is a $1.99 application for browsing Instagram photos on your iPad or iPhone.

Swipe through popular photos or login to scroll through, "like" and comment on your friends' Instagram photos. Hit the "play" button and the app will start a slideshow and scroll through photos for you.

Instagallery also includes user profiles, different background options, and supports tag and user search. You can even double-tap or pinch to zoom photos to enlarge them.


Screenstagram




Screenstagram is an Instagram-powered screen saver for Mac. Download the app and you'll be able to view your friends' photos as your always-updating desktop screen saver.

"We wanted to do something that took advantage of the eye candy, something beyond a web-based photo browser – something to really showcase our friends' grainy, bar room photography," app creator Doug Pfeffer says. "A way we could sit with the photos and soak them in longer than usually allowed by the ephemeral, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am approach taken by the feed in the Instagram iPhone app."

After download, simply select Screenstagram as your screen saver in the Desktop & Screen Saver settings panel. Input your user name and password, and optionally select to show user names or include popular images. Then, sit back and watch as Instagram photos are swapped in and out as tiles on your screen.

No Instagram account? No worries. You can still use Screenstagram to view popular photos.


Gramframe




Like Screenstagram, GramFrame is an Instagram screen saver, but this one is for your iPad.

The $1.99 iPad application [iTunes link] is as simple as they come. You can log in to Instagram and choose to watch popular photos, friends' photos or your own photos cascade on to your iPad.


MorningPics




Instagram early adopters have been posting photos for more than seven months and have likely developed a massive photo archive. MorningPics offers a simple way to relive those memories.

MorningPics delivers one randomly selected previously taken Instagram photo via email each morning. The email includes comments and "likes." Depending on what you post to Instagram, your daily morning trip down Instagram memory lane could be quite emotional or inspiring.

Sign up here for early access to the private beta.


Extragram




Extragram is a third-party web app for Instagram you can use to view, search, "like" and comment on Instagram photos.

The elegant interface displays photos in three different styles: Grid, Filmstrip (pictured) or Map view. We like it for its subtleties and finesse. We also enjoy the "Discover" tab for finding trending tags and profiles on Instagram. Plus, the app developers frequently release new features so it continues to get better with time.


Gramfeed




Gramfeed, like Extragram, is a web client for Instagram.

Gramfeed is a little less flashy than Extragram, but the interface does offer two different photo views and an enjoyable way to view your Instagram timeline, add comments and "likes" to friends' photos, search and browse popular photos.


Inkstagram




Inkstagram is also a web app for browsing Instagram photos. You can view photos in small, medium or full sizes while browsing your feed, popular photos or your own photos.

We especially appreciate the "My Likes" view which showcases all of the photos that you've liked on Instagram.


Instaprint




Instaprint is a printer for Instagram photos.

Each Instaprint box, intended to be an Instagram photo booth for parties, is set with a location or tag so that any Instagram photo appropriately tagged will be automatically printed in an ink-less Polaroid-like fashion.

The Instagram prints even include comments. For the Instagram geek, it really doesn't get much cooler than this.


Keepsy Instant Album




Scrapbooking startup Keepsy's Instant Album is a print photo book for your Instagram photos.

The online app connects to your Instagram account, pre-selects your best filtered photos and auto-generates an instant album of roughly 35 photos that you can purchase and place on your coffee table. If you'd rather customize and design your album, have at it; Instant Album lets you edit page layouts, drag-and-drop photos onto the same page, tweak backgrounds, customize text and so forth.

The 11-by-8.5 inch hardback albums start at $29.95.


Destroyed




Musician Moby used Instagram to add photo flare to his Destroyed album release. The artist launched a microsite tying together Soundcloud and Instagram to create an album/photo book experience with interactive appeal.

Users can listen to the new album while clicking on map points to view Instagram photos taken from Moby's tour.

We think it's a marvelous and highly creative use of Instagram's API and hope it will inspire more artists to explore photo-sharing and music mashups.


Momento




Momento, the $2.99 personal social media diary application for iPhone users, was one of the first applications to add Instagram integration.

The app is a winner in our book because it lets you automatically import your Instagram photos for inclusion in your daily diary entries. Now your Instagram moments don't have to be so fleeting.


Flipboard




When social magazine Flipboard added Instagram integration in March, application users were presented with an elegant way to leanback, flip through and enjoy their friends' filtered and tilt-shifted photos.

The rich integration displays brighter, bolder photos, and lets you comment and "like" friends' photos from within Flipboard.

Instagram inside Flipboard is a fresh take on leisurely weekday or weekend reading.

More About: instagram, instagram API, instagram apps, trending

For more Social Media coverage:


46 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 29 May 2011 08:42 AM PDT

icons image

Guess who’s back, back again? Mashable has wrapped another week jam-packed with tools and resources for your digital life.

This week we have stories walking you through the startup investment process, Lady Gaga’s social media spectacle, a history of advertising on Twitter, and even some cool decals for your iPad.

Looking for even more social media resources? This guide appears every weekend, and you can check out all the lists-gone-by here any time.


Editors’ Picks



Social Media


For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Tech & Mobile


For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Business & Marketing


For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Image courtesy of Dawghouse Design Studio

More About: business, facebook, Features Week In Review, gadgets, List, Lists, Mobile 2.0, social good, social media, tech, technology, twitter

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