Friday, 17 June 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “RIM Financial Outlook Dismal, 500,000 Playbooks Shipped”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “RIM Financial Outlook Dismal, 500,000 Playbooks Shipped”

RIM Financial Outlook Dismal, 500,000 Playbooks Shipped

Posted: 17 Jun 2011 04:25 AM PDT

Research in Motion (RIM) announced its Q1 Fiscal 2012 financial results on Thursday, and the outlook isn’t pretty.

Revenue was up 16% from the year-ago quarter, but earnings per share and net income were down from Q1 2011. The company said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry handheld devices and 500,000 BlackBerry Playbook tablets during the quarter.

In the company’s press release announcing earnings, co-CEO Jim Balsillie acknowledges that RIM is having problems gaining traction in new markets and shipping updated products. He’s quoted as saying,

“Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start. The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter. RIM’s business is profitable and remains solid overall with growing market share in numerous markets around the world and a strong balance sheet with almost $3 billion in cash. We believe that with the new products scheduled for launch in the next few months and realigning our cost structure, RIM will see strong profit growth in the latter part of fiscal 2012.”

Once the world leader in smartphones, RIM has had a difficult time transitioning — not just to the emerging tablet space but to the app-centric nature of the mobile market. Mashable’s Sarah Kessler wrote about RIM’s app problem earlier this month. Additionally, RIM is being challenged by Apple, Google and Microsoft in the enterprise space, where the BlackBerry used to be ubiquitous.

SEE ALSO: “Why Apps, Not Apple, Are Killing BlackBerry”

The latest financial results mean that RIM will need to cut costs, which includes layoffs. The company has also updated its outlook for the rest of fiscal 2012, reducing its expected earnings and earnings per share.

RIM’s biggest enemy may simply be time. The company has already pushed back the release date for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to late August (which means mid-September) and other devices running the next version of BlackBerry OS 7 may not ship until October or November. What makes that even more problematic is that these devices are not the future BlackBerry superphones that will run on the QNX-based operating system used by the BlackBerry PlayBook.

With each passing month, RIM falls further behind the juggernaut that is Android. Apple continues to release regular updates to its mobile OS and SDK, including the recently-announced iOS 5. Microsoft is also aggressively targeting the business customer with the next version of Windows Phone.

Can RIM escape this tailspin, or is it doomed to be the next Nokia or Palm? Let us know in the comments.

More About: blackberry, earnings, playbook, quarterly earnings, RIM

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Gets Final, Scariest Trailer Yet [VIDEO]

Posted: 17 Jun 2011 02:10 AM PDT

Here’s a treat for all of you who cannot wait for the last installment of the Harry Potter saga – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – the latest trailer for the movie is out.

The trailer is possibly the scariest, most haunting one yet, as we get to see a lot of the pivotal moments of the movie and the final battle between the little wizard and his arch-enemy Voldemort.

The movie hits theaters on July 17, which is a long wait for a Harry Potter fan. So, without further ado, we’ll let you enjoy the new trailer for the movie (you can also check out the old trailer for the movie here). Let us know how you like it in the comments!

More About: harry potter, harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2, Harry Potter trailer, trailer, video, web video

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Sony Teases New Tablets With a Mysterious New Video

Posted: 17 Jun 2011 01:45 AM PDT

Sony wants you to know that it’s about to launch two tablets – the Sony S1, and the Sony S2 – but it doesn’t want to reveal much about them, promoting them instead with a visual feast that gives little info, but is amazing to watch.

The video is actually the first episode of a 5-episode story dubbed “Two will”, featuring Sony’s tablets; we can expect the next four installments soon. Back in early May 2011, Sony released a far more straightforward teaser video for its upcoming tablets, showing us at least a little of what they can do.

As far as specifications go, we know that both tablets are based on Android Honeycomb. The S1 is a 9.4-inch tablet sporting a Tegra 2 chip and two cameras, while the smaller S2 is a dual-screen device with two 5.5-inch displays, Tegra 2 and a camera on board.

Check out the new teaser video below and tell us what you think in the comments!

More About: S1, S2, Son, sony s1, sony s2, Tablet, tablets, video

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Who Is Winning & Losing in the Tech Talent Wars? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 11:22 PM PDT

In Silicon Valley, much is made of the fabled “A team” — the crack coven of gurus who can turn even the most suspect of ill-conceived ideas into a plausible web app and who can make a great idea into a wildly profitable company.

But as the best engineers, designers and marketers flock to this tech hotbed, the competition for the brightest minds heats up all the more.

Last fall, as anti-poaching agreements between top tech companies were dissolved by the U.S. Department of Justice, the door was opened for even more competition for the best tech employees.

In this infographic from online learning company Udemy, we take a look at the facts behind the tech talent wars, including which companies are building an all-star roster and which are seeing a not-so-slow brain drain.

[source: Udemy]

More About: digg, facebook, Google, hiring, jobs, poaching, talent, Yahoo

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10 Ways Angry Birds Is Taking Over the World

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 10:28 PM PDT

When video game-inspired merchandise starts selling on Etsy, you know it has developed more than a cult following. Fans around the world have been steadily clamoring for Angry Birds products since its 2009 launch. We’ve gathered proof that the game has transcended almost every corner of the gaming world — not to mention, cooking.

Apart from cookbooks and plush toys, fans download Angry Birds by Rovio 1 million times per day. Founder Peter Vestebacka revealed that the game recently totaled over 250 million downloads across all platforms. That’s almost half of the total number of Facebook users.

Take a look at some of the products and industries into which Angry Birds has swooped.

1. Smartphone Apps

Where the revolution began: Angry Birds first released the game onto Apple's iOS in December 2009.

2. Toys

The official Rovio online store sells plush birds and phone cases.

3. Television

Rovio has partnered with connected TV platform Roku to launch an animated series some time this summer.

4. Google Chrome

Last month Rovio released the Angry Birds web version to Google Chrome's browser.

5. Facebook

"Liked" by 3.7 million people on Facebook, Angry Birds also hosts its game there.

6. PSP

Angry Birds has fallen into the hands of countless gamers with the early 2011 release of its PSP version.

7. Board Game

When your eyes start to cross from playing in front of a screen too long, get back to basics. Mattel partnered with Rovio to develop the Angry Birds board game.

8. Cookbook

Some might find it a little cryptic that the upcoming Angry Birds cookbook will reportedly contain only egg dishes...

Image courtesy of Minimalist Photography 101

9. Holiday Themes

With all its popularity, Angry Birds certainly has cause to celebrate. Its users do too with holiday-themed game levels like Valentine's Day, Halloween and Easter.

10. Movie Partnerships / Superbowl Ads

During this year's Superbowl game, the animated film Rio aired an ad that revealed a clue to a hidden level in the Angry Birds game.

More About: android, angry birds, casual games, games, gaming, iphone, List, Lists, mobile games, rovio, video games

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Revolutionary Mobile Search Queries Apps Instead of the Web

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 09:29 PM PDT

Mobile search startup Do@ is changing how we hunt for information on our phones.

Typically, if you want to find something while you’re out and about, you turn to the mobile web and spend a few minutes on a search engine’s mobile website. Or you launch one of a dozen or more apps to help you find the specific thing you want — you turn to your Yelp app to find a good restaurant nearby, and you open Fandango to find a theater showing that movie you want to see.

Wouldn’t it be easier to have a single utility that searched a slew of mobile apps and websites for the exact thing you need, returning just the pages most relevant to you?

That’s Do@‘s premise and mission: to create a revolutionary mobile search experience.

Here’s how the app works: First, the user types in a keyword, subject or topic, including movies, music, foods, products and more. The app then recognizes what categories the keyword fits into. For example, if you start by typing “lady g,” the app would predict “lady gaga @music” as a query, understanding that you might be looking for music from artist Lady Gaga. (The app will also offer up possible queries like “lady gaga @reference” for Wikipedia content.) You could also search for something like “sushi @restaurants,” for example.

Once you tap the query that fits your needs, Do@ loads your results, which will appear as mobile web apps from a carefully curated selection of the best publishers and app developers. You can quickly swipe from one app with relevant content to the next until you spot the exact tidbit of information or functionality you seek.

Using the previous example, a search for “lady gaga @music” would bring up a slider of results from YouTube, iTunes, Pandora, and more, allowing you to instantly listen, download or watch the exact content you wanted.

Here’s a quick demo video showing the Do@ app in action:

So far, Do@ covers almost everything you might want to find from your phone, including music, film, television, shopping, sports, cooking, and a lot more.

Do@ co-founder Ami Ben David also revealed exclusively to Mashable that the search utility is adding a few interesting and valuable new categories to the product:

Pottermore: New J.K. Rowling Site Sends Harry Potter Fans into a Frenzy

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 08:25 PM PDT, a new and mysterious website, could be many things — an online game, a new fansite, a digital encyclopedia. But whatever it is, we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-popular Harry Potter book series, will be making an announcement about Pottermore on June 23.

The one thing we do know about Pottermore is that it’s not another book. A representative of Rowling told the Guardian Thursday, “All we can say is that Pottermore is the name of J.K. Rowling’s new project. It will be announced soon, and it is not a new book.”

If you’d like to count the seconds until the big reveal, you can do so at a special Pottermore-themed YouTube page, which proclaims only, “The owls are gathering. Find out why soon.”

There’s also a Pottermore Twitter account, which so far holds two updates: one relating to the aforementioned YouTube account and the other to Secret Street View, a Google Maps-powered puzzle game that revealed the letters “POTTERMORE” to Harry Potter superfans who played.

So, keeping in mind this is all idle speculation, what do you think Pottermore could likely be?

More About: harry potter, jk rowling, pottermore

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See the World & Plan Your Next Trip With This iPhone App

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 07:56 PM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: SpotWorld

Quick Pitch: SpotWorld helps users discover the best travel spots anywhere in the world via iPhone.

Genius Idea: Travel guides for a mobile, social generation.

With Facebook’s and Twitter’s social graphs, startups in the travel category are reinventing the way the world goes on vacation. Airbnb is perhaps the most prominent standout, but there’s also a crop of up-and-coming startups — Wanderfly and Gtrot come to mind — with a fresh, social media-infused approach to travel.

Add newcomer SpotWorld, which launched its iPhone app just weeks ago, to the list; it’s taking a hybrid mobile and social approach to reinventing the age-old concept of travel guides.

The two-person company was envisioned by startup veterans Joseph Chong, formerly of PayPal and AdBrite, and Shashank Likhite, previously with social gaming startup Playdom.

“We love to travel. We love going places. We’ve lived all over … and we’ve traveled the world,” says Chong. “But, there’s this universal travelers’ dilemma: ‘How do i discover the best travel spots where I’m going?’”

He points to dated guide books, ill-informed hotel concierges and lengthy web searches as common symptoms of the traveler’s conundrum. “The most trusted information is recommendations from friends,” says Chong, “and the better way to solve this problem is with mobile.”

SpotWorld’s mobile travel guide is a location-aware application designed for place and itinerary discovery at over 500,000 places around the world. Users can fire up the app for quick, nearby spot checks, browse far-away destinations or popular itineraries, and build their own itineraries.

“What makes us different is that the app works in popular destinations all over the world,” Chong says.

Users can create, define and add to their itineraries as they browse, pulling from destination photo tours, popular itineraries or friends’ favorite places. These itineraries can be saved for personal use, published and shared with the SpotWorld community or shared with friends on Facebook.

The entire SpotWorld experience is rich with color and centered around photos of places — the destinations module, for instance, puts images front-and-center in photo tours.

And while SpotWorld is a travel app for travelers, it could be a handy tool to use for uncovering hidden gems in your own neighborhood.

“Users will pull up popular spots near them and discover something new,” Chong says. “That’s the experience that has really delighted users and keeps them coming back.”

SpotWorld also houses a number of subtle novelties, including a feature called “Been There.” Users can browse through the application and mark places they’ve been with the Been There button and build out a place history. The feature, says Chong, has been surprisingly popular with users, and so the startup recently added the ability for users to share their Been There maps with friends on Facebook.

Weeks old, SpotWorld has already netted Apple’s coveted approbation: It’s been featured on the homepage of the App Store in 61 countries and, at one point, was the top travel app in 12 countries.

Now the nascent bootstrapped startup is looking to raise growth capital so it can build on its early momentum and deliver engaging features for each of the three stages of travel: pre, during and post.

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, iphone app, spark-of-genius, SpotWorld, travel

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Facebook iPad App Launching In “Coming Weeks” [REPORT]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 07:08 PM PDT

A Facebook app for the iPad is about to become a reality. Years after the Facebook iPhone app’s rollout in July, 2008, the company’s finally finished a tablet-optimized version, said to now be in the final stages of testing.

According to The New York Times, unnamed sources who have seen the new app say it has a “slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface.”

SEE ALSO: 10 Creative Uses of the New Facebook Profile [PICS]

The sources also mentioned how Facebook Chat and Groups have been overhauled for the iPad, adding that the app will go beyond what the Facebook website can do, allowing users to take photos from the iPad and place them directly on Facebook. Those who’ve seen the app called the photo and video uploading capabilities “amazing, offering full-resolution and full-screen images.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently has changed his tune about the iPad. When asked if his company was developing an iPad app, he replied:

More About: facebook, ipad app

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Lady Gaga Premieres “Edge of Glory” [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 06:40 PM PDT

Right after Lady Gaga’s latest video premiered on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance, “The Edge of Glory” appeared Thursday night exclusively on Vevo.

While she premiered this tune as a part of the countdown to her Born This Way album, now it’s time for us to see her all dressed up and interpreting the song for us in all her inimitable glory.

Gaga says the song is about “Your last moment on earth, the moment of truth.” Take that however you wish, but there’s no one else who can take us to the moment of truth better than Lady Gaga.

More About: Lady6 Gaga, music video, OnTheEdgeWithYou, The Edge of Glory, viral video

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Social Media is Giving Birthdays Back to Disadvantaged Children

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 05:26 PM PDT

balloons image

Children hit by the Alabama tornadoes or the Haitian earthquake are getting a second chance to have a birthday.

When 16-year-old Morgan Burnard went to Haiti for her birthday, she didn’t know her impulse to help would turn into a non-profit organization. Burnard created Morgan’s Sweet Sixteen Foundation, a non-profit that is travelling to Haiti this July to give birthdays to 300 orphans.

The goal is to give the orphans a touch of happiness by celebrating something many Westerners take for granted. Ironically enough, many of the children don’t even know what a “birthday” is, so Burnard is calling it a “celebration of life.”

You can check out the foundation’s site or Facebook page for ways to help, videos, and information on the trip. Burnard, a Californian, is hoping to celebrate birthdays in a different country every year. [Ed: we had some trouble finding the non-profit's information on]

birthday image

Alabama’s Lost Birthdays has a similar approach but for U.S. children affected by the recent tornadoes in Alabama. The group is accepting donations of party items and presents and then tries to recreate the birthday plans for children 12 years and younger who had their birthdays — or worse — taken away from them.

Burnard’s campaign is a great example of teenagers helping out teenagers while the Alabama campaign shows the power of a community to support its own. What do you think? Amidst all the relief efforts, is it also important to help the emotional well-being of the community? Sound off in the comments.

Images courtesy of Alabama’s Lost Birthdays

More About: Alabama, alabama tornado, birthday, charity, child, Children, Earthquake, haiti, kid, non-profit, social good

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Angry Birds Hits 1 Million Downloads Per Day

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 04:41 PM PDT

Peter Vesterbacka, the “Mighty Eagle” (read: CEO) of game developer Rovio has announced that the mobile sensation Angry Birds is now downloaded more than 1 million times a day.

Vesterbacka spoke about the milestone at the Mobile 2.0 Europe openIDEAS conference.

This is likely welcome news for potential investors as Rovio solidifies plans to go public on the heels of a huge round of funding to the tune of $42 million.

The Angry Birds empire is also rapidly expanding beyond the mobile space, hitting web browsers, consoles, board games and toys.

SEE ALSO: 10 Ways Angry Birds Is Taking Over the World

Are you a fan of the game? Has Angry Bird mania gone too far? Leave your reactions in the comments.

[via The Next Web]

More About: angry birds, gaming, Mobile 2.0, mobile apps, mobile games, rovio, video games

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Saudi Women Ready To Defy Driving Ban, Fueled by Social Media

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 03:58 PM PDT

Saudi Arabian women plan to start driving their cars Friday, one month after Manal al-Sherif — a key figure in a social media campaign against a ban on female drivers — was arrested when she posted a YouTube video of herself driving around the city of Khobar.

The mass driving campaign is the result of an online movement that began around two months ago, when Saudi women’s rights activists called for the country’s women to start driving their own cars on June 17. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prevents women from driving. Though there is no written law on the matter, religious rulings are enforced by the police, which has the same effect as a ban. Women are forced to rely on live-in drivers or male relatives for transportation.

Activists pushed the movement via Facebook, Twitter and other online outlets before some of those accounts were shut down. And al-Sherif was arrested and jailed after her YouTube video (pictured above) hit the web. Al-Sherif was eventually released from a women’s prison after nine days, pledging she would no longer drive nor take part in the Women2Drive initiative.

But online support for the campaign has lived on through copies of earlier Facebook groups. And people in other parts of the world have also taken up the cause. The Honk for Saudi Women viral campaign is one example, featuring videos of women and men from around the world, honking their horns in support of Saudi women who will drive on June 17. The campaign also has a petition on online activism platform, asking Oprah to make a similar video in a show of support.

Other petitions on call on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton — the European Union’s representative for foreign affairs and security policy — to publicly support Saudi women’s right to drive.

This isn’t the first time Saudi women have tried to organize such a campaign. The initiative has been in the works since November 1990, when 47 women drove around Riyadh before getting caught and arrested. Eman Al Nafjan, a female blogger and post graduate student in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, says the women were suspended from their jobs and faced widespread condemnation from mosque pulpits. Fliers were distributed with contact information for the women, and citizens were encouraged to call up and condemn them.

Al Nafjan says the backlash caused the campaign to quiet down for a while, but this year’s Arab Spring probably inspired women to speak up again — not just to be allowed to drive, but for other rights as well.

The Campaign Continues

Though Al Nafjan, who lacks an international driver’s license, won’t be driving on the streets of Riyadh on Friday, she says she knows of many who are taking part.

“It’s a huge inconvenience not being able to drive,” Al Nafjan says, referring to the need for live-in drivers and a lack of public transportation. “And the taxis in Saudi Arabia are unsafe. They are not supervised, so getting into a taxi alone as a woman is dangerous.”

She adds that there are also a number of men supporting the campaign. “It is a huge burden on the men to have to drive all their female relatives around, or to have to provide them with drivers,” she says.

There are also quite a number of men and women against the campaign; Al Nafjan believes they are afraid of change. One Facebook page (now removed) called for women who drive on June 17 to be beaten. And while June 17 was a date chosen at random, Al Nafjan says, some opponents have linked it to a Shia Muslim holiday and claimed it is an Iranian conspiracy against Saudi Arabia. (Shia Muslims are a minority in Saudi Arabia, and a majority in Iran.)

Despite safety concerns, Al Nafjan says many women will still go through with their plans to drive on June 17 — though others might make their protest on a different date.

“If I drove today, or if I drove next week … the only thing that will happen to me is that I will be taken to the police station, but I wouldn’t be taken into jail,” she explains. “They would make me wait until my male guardian comes in and signs a document, pledging that he will make sure I won’t drive again, and that will be it.”

A statement from Saudi Women for Driving and makes clear that no one expects immediate transformation from the campaign. But many participants view it as a start. And Benjamin Joffe-Walt,’s human rights editor, believes the campaign’s momentum may stay alive — unlike the November 1990 event — through social media.

“It was a big story, it made international news. But the story kind of died in two weeks,” Joffe-Walt says of 1990. “Now, women can really reach out within Saudi society. They can organize themselves via email and Twitter in a way that’s monitored, but much safer.”

“Most importantly, they can get a lot of attention both domestically and internationally for their cause,” he says.

More About:, facebook, manal al-sherif, Saudi Arabia, saudi driving ban, social media, trending, twitter

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How Regator Uses Social Media To Beat CNN at Breaking News

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 03:35 PM PDT

News aggregation tool Regator is launching a desktop app Thursday that it claims beats major news channels, blogs and Twitter trending topics to discovering breaking news stories.

The product, Regator Breaking News, looks a bit like TweetDeck. You can customize columns to follow trending topics in the categories you’re interested in, and a pop up window announces breaking stories. The startup is marketing it as a subscription service to journalists and bloggers.

“We wrote algorithms that basically separate the actual breaking news stories from all of the noise,” says Regator co-founder Kimberly Turner.

The app analyzes social media feeds semantically to find the first signs of breaking stories. The technologies that power Regator’s other products, which include a human-curated blog aggregation website, provide the basis for sorting out what is important and what’s not.

In one trial, the company tracked how word spread about the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Turner says Regator’s news alert beat CNN by 29 minutes, by eight minutes, the Huffington Post email alert by 57 minutes and Twitter trending topics by 11 minutes.

From a personal standpoint, it’s not so much the speed as it is ease of use that makes the app worthwhile. I already use TweetDeck to receive news alerts, but it also will clob my browser with a joke or cat picture from the people I follow. Though I’ve only been using the 14-day free trial of Regator for about four hours, it has yet to turn up anything irrelevant.

“We’re trying to solve the problem that information is moving faster and faster and there’s more and more of it out there,” Turner says. “It’s just really difficult to keep up.”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mgkaya

More About: BLOGS, journalism, News, regator, social media

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Days After Debate, Pawlenty Has Comeback for Romney On Twitter

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 02:34 PM PDT

Three days after the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, Tim Pawlenty is following through with an attack on Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan.

The Former Governor of Minnesota used the phrase “Obamaneycare” on Fox News Sunday to link the national healthcare plan with Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan, but when asked about it in the debate Monday evening, he appeared to back down.

“The issue that was raised in a question from a reporter was, what are the similarities between the two?" Pawlenty said at the debate, by way of explaining the phrase. "And I just cited President Obama's own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed Obamacare.”

Now, from the safety of his Twitter account, Pawlenty is back to flinging healthcare-related quips at Romney.

“On seizing debate opportunity re: healthcare: Me 0, Mitt 1. On doing healthcare reform the right way as governor: Me 1, Mitt 0,” he tweeted Thursday afternoon.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, however, the score is less even in the news polls.

In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Pawlenty had 4% of Republican support while Romney led with 30%.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Gage Skidmore

More About: Mitt Romney, politics, presidential debate, Tim Pawlently, twitter

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Pulse Passes 4 Million Users, Raises $9 Million for Visual News Reader

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 02:10 PM PDT

Pulse, a social and visual news reader application for iPad, iPhone and Android is celebrating two major milestones Thursday. It now has four million users across all its mobile platforms — and $9 million in Series A funding.

The startup’s applications have popped significantly in the past six months. In November 2010, it had 200,000 users.

As such, a slew of investors were apparently eager to participate in the financing round. Pulse opted to work with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Greycroft Partners and Lerer Ventures.

“More than the money, it was the opportunity to work with three terrific firms that are all complimentary,” says Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari on the company’s selections. “Alan [Patricof] and Ken [Lerer] were part of the original team who financed the Huffington Post, and we look forward to leveraging the insight they gained from building a new paradigm in news.”

SEE ALSO: 13 Alternative Ways to Consume Your News

Pulse, initially built as a class project at Stanford, has matured into a fully-fledged company over the course of the past year. The 10-person team has been focused on optimizing Pulse’s interaction design. Its efforts have been rewarded with a placement in Apple’s App Store Hall of Fame.

Pulse plans to hire aggressively and start pumping out more features. Currently on the road map, says Kothari, are enhancements to the newly released read-later product. Users can expect ways to save stories they find via friends or outside of the applications. Pulse will also be weaving in features that help users better connect with each other around the news-reading experience.

Patrick Chung, NEA's co-head of consumer investing, is joining Pulse's board of directors. Greycroft Managing Director Alan Patricof and Lerer Ventures Manager Ken Lerer will serve as advisers to the startup.

More About: funding, Mobile 2.0, news readers, pulse, series a, startup

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10 People Who Lost Jobs Over Social Media Mistakes

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 01:43 PM PDT

Anthony Weiner might be the most recent person to lose his job thanks to his posting on a social network, but he’s not the only one.

In the last few years we’ve seen dozens of instances where individuals, celebrities, athletes and politicians have lost their jobs or been forced to resign because of content posted to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

Post-Weinergate, we decided to take a look at ten other individuals who have found themselves in hot water thanks to their social media actitivies.

Ashley Payne, Teacher

Ashley Payne, a teacher in Barrow County, Georgia, was asked to resign from her job at Apalachee High School in August 2009 because of photographs and status updates she posted to Facebook.

The problem with Payne's updates? They showed her drinking alcohol and one update used an expletive. Payne was on vacation in Europe and some of her photographs included her visits to the Guinness Brewery and a local pub in Dublin.

Payne's Facebook page was private, however she had friended some other teachers in her school. When the principal found out about the photos, she was told to render her resignation or face suspension.

Payne sued the school district in November 2009 because she was "not made aware of her rights."

Christopher Lee, Congressman

Anthony Weiner isn't New York politician to get in trouble using social media. In February, Representative Christopher Lee (R- NY) resigned from his post after Gawker published emails the married congressman sent to women on Craigslist.

These emails included photos of a shirtless Lee flexing his muscles for the camera. The Buffalo-area representative resigned less than four hours after Gawker posted the emails and photo.

Connor Riley, Would-be Cisco Employee

In March 2009, 22-year old Connor Riley was offered a job at Cisco. Her first instinct -- to tweet about her new opportunity -- is pretty common for most people of her generation.

Unfortunately, Riley's tweet mentioned that taking a "fatty paycheck" would come at the expense of "hating the work." A Cisco employee responded to her tweet, offering to pass her sentiments along to the hiring manager. Riley lost the job before it was even started.

The event, dubbed the "Cisco Fatty" incident, went viral and was a good cautionary tale for individuals of all ages.

Larry Johnson, NFL Running Back

In the fall of 2009, former Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson sent a series of inflammatory tweets that got him into some hot water with his employer, the Kansas City Chiefs.

After being suspended for a game for his remarks -- which included derogatory remarks about his coach and a gay slur directed at a fan -- 32,000 Chiefs fans petitioned the team to release Johnson from his contract. The Chiefs obliged.

Chrysler Social Media Employee

When someone with access to the @ChryslerAutos Twitter account accidentally dropped the F-bomb back in March, Chrysler was not amused.

After first claiming that its account had been compromised, Chrysler later admitted that the errant tweet was sent by an employee of the social media agency that handles the Chrysler account.

It appears that the employee accidentally tweeted from the wrong account. When a similar situation happened to the Red Cross Twitter account in February, that organization responded with humor and forgiveness. Not so for the agency employee. The mis-directed tweet was enough to cost the employee his or her job.

Nir Rosen, NYU Fellow

Veteran war correspondent and NYU fellow at the Center on Law and Security Nir Rosen sparked outrage when he made offensive and insensitive tweets in the wake of the news that CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan had suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault.

Comments like "I'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she'll get" and "it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too," didn't earn Rosen any online friends.

After backtracking and apologizing for his statements -- after first claiming that he didn't know the severity of the attack when he made his comments -- Rosen resigned from NYU.

Tim, CPK Employee

When California Pizza Kitchen server @Traphik sent a message to the company's Twitter account, proclaiming "black button ups are the lamest shit ever," CPK's response was to fire him.

Tim, a comedian with his own YouTube channel, then posted a humorous account of the incident on YouTube. This went viral, CPK was probably annoyed with tons of tweets and phone calls from Tim's fans, and ultimately, Tim got more exposure for his comedy.

Gilbert Gottfried, Former Aflac Spokesman

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried isn't exactly known for his tact. Still, when the comedian made jokes about the Japanese Tsunami, the people at Aflac, where Gottfried as served as spokesman, were not pleased.

Aflac fired Gottfried from his role as voice of the Aflac duck and then embarked on an innovative social media campaign to find a new spokesduck.

Disgusting Domino's People

Note to self: Publishing mis-deeds in the workplace is a great way to lose a job.

That's the lesson that some former Domino's Pizza employees learned, and we're glad they did. A few workers filmed themselves doing gross things to food - food that was probably served to customers. They then posted this video to YouTube, because it's all about the lulz.

Fortunately, some investigative work on the part of Consumerist tracked down the employees behind the video. Domino's fired the employees.

Today Show Jokester

One of our favorite memes from earlier this year was a classic video from The Today Show archives featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel attempting to understand the intricacies of the Internet.

Apparently, NBC didn't find the joke that funny (even though the current crew from The Today Show found it fit to comment on the hilarity) and fired the guy that posted the clip online.

Anthony Weiner, Congressman

The Weinergate saga may be coming to an end -- now that Representative Anthony Weiner has resigned from his position in the U.S. House of Representatives -- but its repercussions will stay with us.

When the New York City congressman sent a lewd photograph of himself to someone on Twitter as a public tweet rather than a direct message, his social media faux-pas became fodder for comedians and generated public calls for his resignation.

It also opened up a larger discussion about the growing role of social media in politics and the separation between public and private behaviors online.

More About: Anthony Weiner, facebook, twitter, weinergate

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7 Ingenious Resumes That Will Make You Rethink Your CV

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 01:22 PM PDT

You love resumes. You really do. When we published “10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From” in May, our readers enthusiastically responded by sharing it with friends, commenting on it and sending us links to their own snazzy resumes.

We sifted through those links, picked our favorites and placed them in the gallery below. After clicking through the collection of resumes, were you inspired? What works for you in your industry? Do you already use any of the tactics employed in these resumes to promote yourself and your skills? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

1. Be Multidimensional

Meghan Molino's resume pops out for many reasons: Not only does it have a 3D feel but it also reveals the multiple dimensions of her personality.

"I'm a very visual person, and I wanted a resume that honed in on how I prefer to digest data and that also showcased my own creativity. I'm an out-of-the-box thinker. I didn't want a standard resume that on first glance makes you look like everyone else," said Molino, who is a product launch specialist.

Molino had Hagan Blount (whose resume is slide seven in this gallery) redesign her resume to further establish her online identity as a creative professional. "I love my current job, so I'm not necessarily on the market for something new."

Despite not actively looking for a new employer, Molino has created buzz around her skills. "What's been fascinating is to see who has approached me since publicizing this resume. It's a sort of vetting document. Corporate America may not 'get it,' but companies that embrace individuality and want their employees to be impactful, curious and take risks — they've loved it."

2. There's an App for That (Resume)

João Dornellas, a designer for YDreams, created this iPad app resume to show off his portfolio. It has been downloaded more than 2,200 times.

3. Make the Most of Facebook

In need of a job, Claudio Nader turned his Facebook profile into what he dubs the first "FacebookCV," a curriculum vitae on his profile.

The FacebookCV landed him a gig as social media assistant and content editor for a web marketing agency in Milan, he said in a blog post.

If you'd like to mimic his efforts, check out the FacebookCV tutorial he wrote.

4. Match the Design With Your Style

Jonathan Cropper has always felt that the standard text-driven resume needed a refresh.

"Resume design is a classic branding error. Institutional conformity in a design-driven world is a recipe for failure," said Cropper, a communications and branding expert.

Cropper wanted to give his resume a "futuristic, militaristic precision tone" to match his work style. (Hagan Blount, whose resume is slide seven in this gallery, designed the resume.)

"The map and SMS and QR codes on that document also communicate that I have a global and digital mindset," he added.

5. Get Inspired

This Twitter-inspired resume comes to us from Rouyer Arnaud of France.

Although the design of the site resembles Twitter, Arnaud said all of the code was rewritten from scratch. When you click on a tweet, more information pops up on the right panel. Give it a go here.

"Who said resumes and CVs all have to be boring and official and unfunny? I'm too creative for that! I'll make a resume that looks like a Twitter account," Arnaud wrote in a tweet on his resume website.

6. Add Subtle Flair

Saidur Hossain added tags to his resume [PDF link].

It's a subtle, fun addition for a web designer's resume.

7. Visualize Everything

Hagan Blount's infographic resume is packed with visuals: a map, a chart, QR codes and logos.

"Jon (from slide four in this gallery) actually inspired me to create the resume," Blount said. "I'd seen the 'creative resume' posts from graphic designers but not from people looking for jobs outside that field.

"Jon showed me some of those resumes and postulated that they would become the de facto standard. I agreed and made one over the course of the next few days, and Jon was my first client. I sent it to a few friends on Facebook, and when I saw the massive amount of hits I had [on] my site the next day, I started pushing it harder and it ended up being published all over the world."

The 10 Resumes That Inspired the Post You’re Reading Now

In May, we brought you these awesome resumes to help you to stand out from the crowd.

1. Put Your Best (QR) Face Forward

At first glance, Victor Petit's resume looks similar to any other text-based CV. But flip the document over and you'll find a full-page image of his face as well as a QR code where his mouth would be.

Once a recruiter scans the QR code and places his or her phone on top of it, a video pops up revealing Petit's mouth, ultimately completing the full-page image and allowing the recruiter to hear Petit's voice.

QR codes are easy to make and can help you get noticed, especially if you ditch the standard black-and-white QR code and opt to add some pizazz to your design.

2. Sell Yourself ... Literally

Shopify, an ecommerce platform, says the best resume it has ever received is this one from Mike Freeman, who wanted to work at Shopify's marketing department.

"He built an online store using Shopify where you can read about his background, experience, etc. and the ecommerce part is you can 'buy' an interview with him for '$0.00,' " said Mark Hayes, Shopify's manager of marketing and media. "We get an infinite amount of resumes here. Yes, he got the job."

3. Leverage Facebook Pages

Henry O'Loughlin took to Facebook to showcase his "Social Resume," including a video in which he describes how to navigate his resume on Facebook.

"I work with mostly small businesses doing social media, so I am demonstrating through this resume all of the tools out there that can be utilized without an ad budget."

Using Facebook's Page feature, O'Loughlin was able to showcase his skills as well as show potential clients what he can offer them.

4. Video Killed the Resume Star?

Video resumes can be a clever complement to your existing job-search materials (i.e. print resume, cover letter and website).

Graeme Anthony ditched his print resume altogether and created a fun, interactive video where viewers can click on words (see 0:34) linked to an "about me" section, portfolio, skill page, timeline and contact information.

If you decide to make a video, be sure not to just rehash what's on your print resume. Have fun with it and show your personality. Anthony sure did.

5. Gather Online Networks in One Place

Alisha Miranda used as an online hub for all of her social media networks. Her profile, which essentially acts as an abridged online resume, caught the eye of her eventual employer.

"Before approaching Alisha, I monitored her social profile for about three weeks and saw what she was doing on Tumblr, Twitter, etc. to evaluate her marketing effectiveness and if her style matched what I wanted," said Tracy Brisson, CEO of The Opportunities Project. "Once I saw that she had all the goods, only then did I contact her to talk. As a career coach and recruiter, I can't emphasize the importance of creating something clients and employers want, which is results and evidence."

You can employ sites like or to showcase all of the social media websites you use. Your existing website or blog are also good spots to place your social media icons.

6. Add Personality to Your Print Resume

HAMSTER? Hired! It's hard to take your eyes away from Katie Briggs's visually pleasing resume, which pimps her "fancy hamster," Belafonte.

"I wanted the first thing that people notice about my resume to be that it's a little fun, but still pretty much all-business," Briggs said. "In any creative field, at least, I think it's important to make your resume a testament to your work ethic. It shouldn't look forced but it should give the impression that the work you put into constructing your resume is an indicator of the kind of dedication and hard work you'll bring to the job."

Takeaways: Make sure your resume shows your personality and represents who you really are. Also, don't bore job recruiters.

"I can say that I haven't been turned down for anything I've applied for with this resume," Briggs added.

7. Think Outside the Box ... or On It

In 2D form, Omondi Abudho's resume goes beyond the standard text-driven resume. It even adds extra "creative juice" with a nutrition label-inspired skills column.

However, the resume can be folded into an actual three-dimensional box. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Think Outside the Box."

Using a resume design or structure that strays away from the typical printer paper size is a surefire way to get noticed.

8. Pitch Electronically

Beyond Credentials believes that "finding talent based solely on a resume is fundamentally flawed." Its service allows users to build "personalized pitch pages."

For example, Nadia Kouri's pitch page lists everything she would have on a print resume as well as her story, an enlarged quote, accomplishments, personality, a Q&A and writing samples. The page also includes icons linking to her LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

9. Highlight Recommendations

While Jenn Pedde was revamping her full, multi-page resume, she used this one-page resume "teaser" on her blog. The resume puts major emphasis on the recommendations people left on her LinkedIn profile.

"The one page got so many compliments and it was so right to the point and social," Pedde said.

It's an effective way to translate your online presence to an offline print form.

Pedde's recommendation-focused resume led to her current job at 2tor where she works as community manager for the Master of Social Work program at USC.

10. Let Them Read Your Back

Even as a social media person, you'll have to interact with the offline world.

For those instances — if you are job hunting — you may want to make a resume T-shirt, which would have your resume on the back and something silly or informative on the front. The T-shirt pictured is from Blackbird Tees.

Social Media Job Listings

Inspired yet? Feel free to visit Mashable‘s jobs board where every week we put out a list of social media and web job opportunities. Take a peek!

More Job Search Resources from Mashable:

- 10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From
- HOW TO: Set Up an Online Resume
- 9 Dynamic Digital Resumes That Stand Out From the Crowd
- Top 5 Tips for Creating Impressive Video Resumes
- Are Cover Letters Still Relevant For Social Media and Tech Jobs?

For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SchulteProductions

More About: business, employment, job search, Lists, resumes, social media, trending, video resumes

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Amid Losses, Guardian Announces Digital First Strategy

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 12:59 PM PDT

Staffers at the Guardian News & Media group in London have reportedly been told that unless the company shifts directions, it will deplete its cash reserves in the next three to five years.

The company is expected to report operating losses of more than £30 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, a GNM spokesperson told Press Gazette, rivaling 2009-2010′s loss of £34.4 million.

The solution, said Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger and Andrew Miller, chief executive of parent company GNM, is to double digital revenue — which totaled £37 million in the year ending March 2010 and is expected to total £47 million for the year ending March 2011 — in the next five years by making The Guardian a “digital first” publication.

“[We are] embarking on a major transformation that will see us change from a print-based organization to one that is digital first in philosophy and practice,” Miller told employees. The transformation will include, in part, investments in new mobile offerings and the opening of a U.S. arm in New York.

“Circulation and advertising revenues in print continue to fall throughout the sector as readers and advertisers embrace new technologies and digital platforms, and this is not a trend that's about to go into reverse,” he added. (Notably, The Guardian‘s print circulation was up 3% last year while comparable newspapers saw declines.)

The company will continue to extract as much revenue from print as possible, but resources will be shifted away from print toward digital initiatives.

Whether some of these resources will be shifted out of the company altogether — in the form of layoffs — is not yet clear.

Image courtesy of Flickr, gigijin

More About: digital, media, newspapers, print, the guardian

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Kissing Vancouver Couple Is a Meme in the Making

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 12:34 PM PDT

Not since the Royal Wedding’s “Frowning Flower Girl” have we seen a snap as worthy of remixing. May we introduce: Kissing Vancouver Couple.

This image comes courtesy of the riots that erupted after the Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins. The photo has been buzzing around the blogs today, at least one remix has already cropped up.

The web has been replete with stories and pictures from the Vancouver riots, with Tumblrs and Facebook groups emerging to document those who participated in the looting, burning and mayhem that came on the heels of the hockey team’s loss.

The picture, which bears a striking similarity to another iconic photo (see below), seems to aptly encapsulate the carousing that occurred last night.

Update:Our commenters have brought to our attention an incriminating snapshot that suggests this photo was staged. But photographer Rich Lam is sticking by his claim that the shot was spontaneous.

Lam writes in this statement to Esquire: “I noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were laying in the street with the riot police and a raging fire just beyond them. I knew I had captured a “moment” when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos but it wasn’t until later when I returned to the rink to file my photos that my editor pointed out that the two people were not hurt, but kissing.”

Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

More About: frowning flower girl, humor, Kissing Vancouver Couple, Meme, pop culture, stanley cup, Vancouver Canucks

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Rep. Anthony Weiner Resigns Over Tweeted Photo Scandal

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 12:27 PM PDT

Rep. Anthony Weiner, who’s been the center of attention over a lewd tweeted photo, announced his resignation this afternoon.

Earlier this week President Obama suggested that Weiner should resign. The New York congressman was said to be waiting to make a decision until his wife returned from traveling abroad with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

SEE ALSO: Post Weinergate: 10 More People Who Lost Jobs Over Social Media Mistakes

News of Weiner’s resignation began spreading on Twitter around 10 a.m. ET Thursday, though reports suggested he’d formally announce his resignation this afternoon.

He made the resignation announcement in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, at the same place he announced his 1992 run for city council.

More About: Anthony Weiner, politics, weinergate

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eBay Takes Local Shopping Mobile

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 12:22 PM PDT

ebay image

eBay is beefing up its mobile arsenal with an updated Android app and its first local shopping app.

The latter app is from the local shopping search engine that eBay acquired in June, Milo. Through partnerships with more than 140 retailers, Milo has access to real-time information from the inventory management systems of about 50,000 stores. The mobile app uses this information to show whether a nearby store actually has a product on its shelves, and if so, how its price compares to other local stores.

In-store, you can scan an item’s barcode to compare its price with the price at other stores in the area. Like competitor Wishpond, Milo’s app will also tell you how far away each of those stores is from your current location.

eBay has also updated its Android app to include seller functions like a barcode scanner that provides details for listings. Most of the new features are similar to those in eBay’s iPhone app.

Combined, eBay’s mobile apps have been downloaded more than 45 million times.

And, as many new peer-to-peer markets launch on location-based mobile apps, eBay has also been making investments in both mobile and local technologies. The company bought barcode-scanning app Redlaser last year and announced in April it would buy location media company WHERE Inc..

“We're in a new retail environment, where the lines between offline and online commerce are converging through mobile and local experiences,” an eBay spokesperson said.

More About: ebay, milo, Mobile 2.0, Wishpond

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Muppets Spoof Green Lantern in Parody Trailer [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 11:56 AM PDT

The Muppets are out with another parody trailer for their new movie, The Muppets, and this one plays on upcoming film, The Green Lantern.

This is the third parody trailer we’ve seen for the upcoming film, slated for release around Thanksgiving. The first mocked traditional romantic comedies, and the second took on buddy comedy The Hangover II.

Spoiler: It gets kind of meta at the end there.

More About: Film, green lantern, humor, MARKETING, parody, pop culture, the muppets

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Friday No More: Rebecca Black Takes Down Her Hit YouTube Video

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 11:44 AM PDT

It’s a black day for Friday fans, as Rebecca Black’s “Friday” has been taken down due to a “copyright claim by Rebecca Black.”

We’re just as confused as you are. YouTube sent us the following statement:

“YouTube takes copyright infringement very seriously. When we receive a complaint alleging that a video infringes another person or company’s copyrights, we remove that video. Users who believe that a video was removed in error can appeal the copyright takedown.”

The video, which had been viewed more than 167 million times, does have a history of disappearing briefly from YouTube. On Monday, it was briefly made available as a YouTube rental, costing $2.99 to watch, before returning to its normal free state.

We hope it returns soon — otherwise, how are we going to figure out what day it is tomorrow? If you already miss “Friday,” check out the videos of our favorite “Friday” parodies and other Friday-themed clips below.

Update: the original version is still available, for now, via an educational site called SchoolTube. What’s educational about “Friday”? We have no idea. Still — here, for your listening pleasure, is the original:

And our favorite parodies:


Tamar Weinberg: Because this parody needs as many views as the original.

Rebecca Black, "Friday" (Brock's Dub)

Matt Silverman: This one's my new fav.

Rebecca Black, "Friday" as Interpreted by a Bad Lip Reader

Zachary Sniderman: Probably the only way I can even like this song a little bit. "How am I going to show this cowboy I'm alive?"

The Cure, "Friday I'm In Love"

Amy-Mae Elliott: In my youth I sang this at a country and western karaoke night. It went down like the proverbial lead balloon.

Conan O'Brien, "Thursday"

Sarah Kessler: Thursday. So under-rated.


Todd Wasserman: Here's a young Larry David & a young Michael Richards in a somewhat-funny sketch from the long-defunct ABC show Fridays, which was that network's response to Saturday Night Live. It takes a bit too long (about two minutes) to get to the punchline, but it's not bad and sort of gives a hint of what David would later do on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Friday, Best of Chris Tucker

Adam Ostrow: I'll go with the "Best of Chris Tucker" from the movie Friday. NSFW

Epic Mullet Guy Covers Rebecca Black's "Friday"

Brian Hernandez: Mullet!!!

NES, Friday the 13th Ending

Ada Ospina: My love for Friday and NES combined (although I've never beat the game).

Death Metal "Friday"

Jenn Van Grove: Me me me so excited about this much angrier version.

"Days of the Week (clap clap!)" [to the tune of the Addams Family]

Ben Parr: This is what Rebecca Black should have sung.

ABC's TGIF Theme (1991)

Josh Catone: It's Friday night. We all know what that means. TV really peaked in the '90s.

Rebecca Black, "Friday" (cover)

Erica Swallow: Friday! Fried egg!

Rebecca Black, "Friday" (Music Video Parody)

Erica Swallow: Hey, wow. Some good may come from this... this cover sounds beautiful.

More About: Friday, music, Rebecca Black, video, youtube

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Get Charts & Graphs on Your Instagram Photos & Friends from Statigram

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 11:21 AM PDT

Millions of hobby and professional photographers alike have been drawn to Instagram, amassing extensive collections of stylized photos. Statigram, a third-party Instagram application, gives these photo-sharing aficionados a bird’s-eye view of their app activities.

Statigram connects to your Instagram account, analyzes your past behaviors alongside your connections’ actions, and distills all this data into interesting metrics, charts and graphs.

The end result is a lovely looking and shareable profile page (as seen below) that sums up your Instagram history and identity.

Statigram includes the date of your first Instagram photo, total number of photos, counts and averages for all comments and “likes” on your photos, your top photos organized by “likes” and comments, a collection of the people you “like” most frequently, a days-of-the week breakdown of your activity and a few other interesting data points — like most used filters, for instance.

Statigram comes from France-based startup Tripnity, also makers of the Patchlife application for iPhone. So far, the relatively new application is proving quite popular with the Instagram crowd; it’s already racked up more than 40,000 users around the world.

More About: instagram, instagram apps, Patchlife, Statigram, stats, Tripnity

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Chocolate Website Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Browser

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 11:01 AM PDT

If marketing leaves a bad taste in your mouth, take a bite of this: Portuguese brewery Sagres has fashioned a website entirely out of chocolate to promote its new cocoa-flavored beer.

According to the video below, the company created the website in lieu of TV or print promotions, hiring a chocolatier to sculpt the site out of chocolate. The chocolate was then photographed, and those pictures were used to create an interactive website.

Click around and tell us what you think. Just try not to drool on your keyboard.

[via The Next Web]

More About: Beer, business, chocolate, MARKETING, Sagres

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How Non-Profit Organizations Are Bolstering Citizen Media Around the World

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 10:49 AM PDT

journalist image

Geoff Livingston co-founded Zoetica to focus on cause-related work, and recently released the book “Welcome to the Fifth Estate” on social media strategy.

The most recent uprisings in the Middle East have brought citizen journalism back into the limelight, but bloggers and independent reporters have been breaking stories that major media outlets never could for some time. Janis Krums’ iPhone snapshot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 emergency landing on the Hudson River, George Allen’s infamous “macaca” incident, or the continuing reports of protests from Syria in the face of violent oppression are just a few examples.

This new source of information fills a void left by a diminished traditional media corps. In some cases, the media have openly embraced citizen contributions, most notably CNN with its iReport features.

To help foster this new trend, several non-profits and social enterprises are actively working to improve the strength of that citizen media across the world.

Non-Profits Back Citizen Media

Citizen media is seen as a benefit to society and democratic principles. Many organizations are actively dedicating resources to improving citizen journalism, including the venture capital-backed AllVoices, three organizations (Global Voices, Internews and startup Small World News), and the U.S. State Department.

Internews, Small World News and the U.S. State Department provide various training programs, grants and technical resources to citizen journalists. For example, Small World News, which focuses on conflict and post-conflict situations, is in Benghazi training Libyans to report stories using video. Its team of citizen journalists has been so successful that it is now breaking footage that no mainstream media outlet has been able to capture.

“We believe it takes more than a citizen and a media creation device, such as a smartphone, camera, or video camera, to make an impact,” said Brian Conley, director and cofounder of Small World News. “User generated content or ‘citizen media’ often lacks context and fails to tell a story. We believe by combining the ubiquity of media creation devices with training, it’s becoming possible for nearly anyone to become not just a ‘citizen journalist,’ but a journalist in their own right.”

AllVoices and Global Voices both seek to provide a platform for citizen journalists to be heard. Their communities represent voices from all over the world. Both organizations believe that providing a platform is as essential to citizen journalism as training.

“Cultivating readership of citizen media is probably just as important as cultivating citizen media itself,” said Solana Larsen, managing editor of Global Voices. “People could be typing away in Egypt but if no one inside or outside the country were reading what they were saying or taking them seriously, it would have little effect.”

The Citizen Watchdog

Some experts see citizen media as a sidekick to traditional journalism, covering stories that the media cannot get to or inaccurately reports. “We see it as very complementary — filling a void for other points of view, for events not covered and fostering engagement largely lacking in conventional media,” said Aki Hashmi, general manager of AllVoices.

Others see it as a more intertwined relationship. Media theorist Stephen D. Cooper dubbed bloggers and citizen journalists the Fifth Estate, a play on the media’s watchdog moniker of the Fourth Estate. Cooper believes that bloggers and other voices hold the media accountable when they misreport or completely drop news stories. However, as social media has evolved, the relationship has become much more complex.

“It's not an either/or thing,” said Jeanne Bourgault, president of Internews. “Journalists are using social media tools to integrate community-driven information into their newscasts and citizen journalists are learning the principles of accurate, fact-based journalism to use in their reports.”

Global Voices’ Solana Larson sees citizen journalism almost as an ombudsman to traditional media: “When media misreport, there is often a strong motivation to correct and improve. Many see themselves as watchdogs.”

What is clear is that the two — traditional and citizen journalism — have become permanently intertwined. Whether it is reporting earthquake damage in outlying areas of Japan or leaking news out of autocratic Syria, citizen journalists have become a critical source for news in general.

The Global Picture for Citizen Journalism

The Middle East has dominated the recent discussions on citizen reporting. But in actuality, citizen journalism is a global phenomena. For example, AllVoices says it has almost 500,000 citizen reporters on its network from 191 different countries.

Hotbeds of citizen journalism are developing across the globe. “We see citizen media everywhere,” said Internews’ Jeanne Bourgault. “In Kenya we've piloted a project with Google to map Korogocho, a Nairobi slum, where residents plotted their local landmarks. Ultimately, residents and health workers will connect health information to community radio stations in the area, and it will be broadcast out to the community ‘traditionally,’ you could say, but the information gathering is all collaborative between citizens and professionals.”

There is also citizen journalism blooming in Korea. “The Korean site OhmyNews comes to mind as an international leader,” said Small World News’ Brian Conley. “There are many nascent projects now in Libya including our own Alive in Libya. India also has quite a variety, from the work of to … ‘India Unheard,’ which empowers community correspondents all over India to tell stories about their lives.”


There are still many challenges facing citizen journalists. For example, they struggle to rise above writing the many “day in the life” stories that unfortunately categorize the field. Teaching would-be journalists how to create quality, reliable information continues to be a focal point for non-profits cultivating these voices. Even getting access to social technologies for publishing is still an issue, particularly in oppressed countries.

The latter issue is so challenging that the U.S. State Department is now funding independent wireless networks in foreign countries so would-be journalists can escape reprisal. Those countries include Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Libya.

How citizen media continues to impact global news and information sources remains to be seen. What is certain is that the trend of citizen journalism is only strengthening with each new success thanks to the help of organizations seeking to foster new and better independent voices.

Image courtesy of Flickr, RandomThawts

More About: Arab Spring, citizen journalist, citizen media, media, middle east, non-profit, social good

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Nyan Cat Runs Amok in YouTube Time Bar [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 10:33 AM PDT

Possibly the world’s most annoying meme, Nyan Cat, refuses to die — perhaps because folks keep finding intriguing new directions to take the simplistic meme. Behold: The Nyan Cat time bar.

Click on the video above and hover your cursor over the bar to unlock a surprise! You know what they say: Two cats are better than one.

[via Buzzfeed]

More About: Meme, nyan-cat, pop culture, youtube

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New Yahoo App for Android Mixes Shazam & iTunes Genius [EXCLUSIVE]

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 10:23 AM PDT

Yahoo is about to muscle further into the music business Thursday with the launch of Play by Yahoo. It’s a free Android app that combines one of the best features of iTunes — the ability to make instant playlists based on a song or a mood — with music-identifying apps like Shazam.

Play’s bare-bones home screen offers three options: Library, Shuffle and Identify. Library, naturally, takes you to your tunes (all stored locally — no trendy cloud music here). Shuffle is the Genius-like option. You can create a playlist based on a single song, or simply tell the app to create a playlist based on the kind of tunes it knows you listen to a lot. This is the algorithmic option for when you stumble to your car in the morning, bleary-eyed and decaffeinated, and want to listen to music that works for you, but you don’t want to make any decisions.

Identify is where the Shazam-like functionality comes in. Yahoo doesn’t yet have quite as extensive a library as Shazam; In my tests, I managed to fox it completely with the 1 Giant Leap album, for example.

But where the Identify feature shines is its “Continuous” option. As you’d imagine, this listens continuously to the music playing — taking samples every 30 seconds or so — and builds a list of tunes. At a party or a club where you really like the music but don’t want to bother the host or DJ for the full set list? Enjoying the light rock set on the radio but can’t name any of the songs? Then your app has arrived.

Play is a little too bare-bones at the moment. There’s no way to purchase songs once you’ve identified them, though Yahoo says that’s coming soon. The option to play from the cloud — or from Google Music‘s local cache — would be great. And of course we’d love to see an iPhone version, as would Yahoo, but good luck getting an app that threatens iTunes into the iOS app store.

But overall, this is a strong showing from a company that many consider to be on the ropes. Taking two popular services like Genius and Shazam and not only combining them in a single app, but improving on the functionality of both? That seems to be a sign that Yahoo genuinely understands the needs of users and has the talent and focus to create great things.

More About: android, genius, iphone, itunes, play, playlists, shazam, smart playlist, Yahoo, yahoo music

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Evernote Launches Windows Phone 7 App

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Evernote for Windows Phone 7 drops Thursday as the multi-platform social note-taking service continues to round out its mobile application lineup.

The new release includes the same note-taking, saving and Facebook sharing features as the startup’s other applications, but it leverages the Windows Phone 7 panorama interface to offer users on the OS a distinct experience optimized for their devices.

The Home Panorama on Evernote for Windows Phone 7 includes four panorama panels: Notes, Notebooks, Tags and Recent notes. Each of the Panorama Screens has been designed for an optimal note-browsing experience.

Windows Phone 7 Evernote users can also seamlessly create and edit notes — more so than on other platforms — and add multiple audio recordings and images to a single note.

The application also includes sophisticated search features and a maps interface for browsing notes by location. Premium subscribers can also download their notebooks for offline access.

Altogether, the new application looks to provide Windows Phone 7 users with a sophisticated and rich Evernote experience that their iPhone and Android friends could very well envy.

More About: evernote, startup, windows phone 7

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