Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 5 Biggest Stories in Tech, Gadgets & Social Media This Morning”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 5 Biggest Stories in Tech, Gadgets & Social Media This Morning”

The 5 Biggest Stories in Tech, Gadgets & Social Media This Morning

Posted: 22 Jun 2011 05:15 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. We're keeping our eyes on five particular stories of interest today.

iPhone 5 Rumor Mill Kicks Into High Gear

Rumors about the iPhone 5 are ramping up ahead of its expected September release, with some claiming that the iPhone 5 will have a radical new case design, while others say it will sport an 8-megapixel camera and a faster A5 processor.

Is Hulu for Sale?

Online video service Hulu is considering a potential sale after an unknown bidder — possibly Yahoo — made an offer for the company, according to several reports.

Potential Security Breach Forces To Reset Passwords is forcing users to reset their passwords after several popular plugins were compromised by hackers.

Firefox 5 Available for Download

Just three months after the release of Firefox 4, Mozilla has pushed out Firefox 5 for the desktop and Android devices.

Foursquare 3.2 for iPhone Released

Less than 24 hours after announcing that more than 10 million people have registered with Foursquare, the company released version 3.2 of its iPhone app, which boasts faster checkins and an improved “Explore” tab.

Further News

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

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Equip Your Galaxy Tab 10.1 Like a Pro With Flashy New Accessories [PICS]

Posted: 22 Jun 2011 04:24 AM PDT

Samsung has launched a host of accessories for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, including a choice of docks, cases and adapters.

The accessories look great, but they aren’t the cheapest we’ve seen: a full-size QWERTY keyboard dock goes for $69.99 and a multimedia dock is priced $34.99.

Two cases for the tablet are available: a leather case will set you back $29.99, and a book cover case is significantly pricier: $59.99.

Finally, Samsung offers several adapters and other miscellanea, including a $39.99 HDMI adapter as well as a $19.99 USB adapter that will turn your Galaxy Tab into a USB host.

Check out these gadgets in all their glory in the gallery below.

Book Cover Case

Media Dock

HDMI Adapter

USB Host Adapter

Leather Pouch

Keyboard Dock

[Samsung via Engadget]

More About: accessories, galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, samsung, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tablet, tablets

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One-Fifth of Grandparents Use Social Networks [STUDY]

Posted: 22 Jun 2011 03:28 AM PDT

Twenty-two percent of all grandparents are using a social network, a new study by the website MyVoucherCodes suggests.

The study, which collected results from 1,341 grandparents from the UK, showed that 71% of grandparents who use a social network use Facebook, 34% are on Twitter and 9% use the business social network LinkedIn.

A number of these users are quite active, too: 51% say they log in once a week or more, and 35% log in a few times every month.

Sixty-eight percent of those asked said they had joined their chosen social network in the past year. One quarter of participants said they had joined a social network to find old friends, one fifth said they did it to keep in touch with friends and family, and half were encouraged to do so by younger people in their families.

This latest study, although limited to UK citizens, is in line with other similar recent studies. A Pew report from 2010 indicated that the number of seniors who are using social networking is growing rapidly, while another report from that year showed that baby boomers are increasingly joining Facebook.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, nycshooter

[MyVoucherCodes via The Telegraph]

More About: facebook, grandparents, linkedin, Seniors, social network, social networking, twitter

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Interactive Video Shows 360° of Vancouver Riots

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 11:15 PM PDT

New video footage of the Vancouver riots has emerged, and it allows viewers to pan around the scene to see all 360 degrees of revelry-gone-wrong.

The footage was created by Ryan Whitehead of Northstudio360, a web dev shop based in the Pacific Northwest.

As NorthStudio360 SEO specialist Simon Vreeswijk wrote on the firm’s blog, “Our interactive media division was in Vancouver to film what we expected to be a fun event. … Our new 360 video technology uniquely captures the entire environment giving a broader context and perspective.”

SEE ALSO: Vancouver Police Ask the Public for Photo & Video Evidence of Rioters

To get that enhanced perspective — a mind-blowing look about what Vancouver’s streets really looked like during the riots — viewers simply click to play the video, then use the cursors to spin around the environment. The video can be paused and still remains interactive, allowing viewers to slow down and get a closer look at what was happening all around the NorthStudio360 cameras.

Vreeswijk also said that more video will be posted within the next few days as the team edits down the raw footage.

More About: Vancouver, Vancouver riot, vancouver riots, video

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A Camera That Could Care Less About Focus: Introducing Lytro

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 10:45 PM PDT

Remember cameras that would have to focus themselves before taking a snapshot? And how that could lose vital seconds, making a mockery of the term “point and shoot”?

Oh, right — that would describe every digital camera currently on the market. But if one Silicon Valley startup has its way, the very idea of focusing, or adjusting light levels, or having to wait before you click the shutter, will be a relic of the early 21st century — along, perhaps, with photos that only exist in two dimensions.

Lytro is the brainchild of Dr. Ren Ng, a Stanford Ph.D whose dissertation on light-field technology five years ago was showered with awards. Now, with the help of $50 million in funding, most of it from Andreessen Horowitz, Ng has built a company that’s preparing to launch a focus-free digital camera later this year.

The basic premise of Lytro’s technology is pretty simple: the camera captures all the information it possibly can about the field of light in front of it. You then get a digital photo that is adjustable in an almost infinite number of ways. You can focus anywhere in the picture, change the light levels — and presuming you’re using a device with a 3-D ready screen — even create a picture you can tilt and shift in three dimensions. (I got a demonstration of the camera’s 3-D photos on a laptop earlier today, and was blown away.)

You might think that this would produce unfeasibly large digital files, but Ng insists that the files will be roughly comparable to the average size of a digital photo today. The heavy lifting is being done by the camera’s on-board processors, he says. And because its light sensor is incredibly sensitive, you can capture low-light situations like restaurants a lot more easily — even without the flash.

Although the camera itself isn’t due out until late 2011, Lytro today unveiled a carousel of demonstration snapshots — all of them embeddable, available in Flash for the web and HTML5 for your smartphone. Here’s an example. Click anywhere on the picture to change the focus, double-click to zoom.

Remind you of Instagram‘s tilt-shift feature, perhaps? Sure — except when you realize that Instagram can only focus on one area of the screen at a time. See how the chain link fence snaps in and out of focus? That’s how you know it’s a picture with a whole lot of light field information in it.

And the cost of this camera? Ng says it will be comparable to other consumer-priced digital cameras on the market. If the end result is anything like these demonstration photos, the $40 billion camera market is about to meet a whole lot of disruption.

More About: camera, digital cameras, imaging, light field, Lytro, photography, Stanford

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The iPhone 5 Rumor Mill Kicks Into High Gear

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 10:10 PM PDT

Now that Apple has unveiled iOS 5, the media frenzy surrounding the next version of the iPhone is back with a vengeance.

We’ve written extensively about the yet-to-be-announced device already (proof here, here, here, here, here and here), but we’re not the only ones. There’s a cult-like fascination with Apple product rumors, and that fascination turns into an obsession when it comes to iPhones.

Today’s flurry of iPhone rumors started with a Boy Genius Report story claiming that the iPhone 5 will be a radical departure from the iPhone 4. BGR‘s source told the publication to “expect a radical new case design for the upcoming iPhone,” and that an event to announce the device could come in August.

This report is a departure from the intelligence we’ve gathered thus far on the device. We’ve been told to expect something that looks similar to the iPhone 4, but faster (thanks to the Apple A5 processor) and with a better camera. We’re not the only media outlet that was skeptical of BGR‘s report.

It didn’t take long until Bloomberg decided to publish a report of its own on the iPhone 5, complete with its own set of anonymous source. According to its sources, the iPhone 5 will be introduced in September, have an 8-megapixel camera and include the A5 processor. Bloomberg says that the September release date is meant to coincide with the release of iOS 5.

To put the cherry on top though, Bloomberg also added some juicy tidbits about the iPad 3. Specifically, the news outlet reports that the next-generation tablet will have a one-third higher screen resolution and a “more responsive touchscreen.” Bloomberg also resurfaced old rumors of a cheaper version of the iPhone.

While we think Bloomberg‘s report is accurate, we want to stress this point: only Steve Jobs knows what Apple is planning to do next. Besides, these reports fail to address rumors about the next iPhone having a brushed metal back, NFC technology or a wider screen. We’re much more interested in finding out more about those rumors.

Don’t expect the iPhone 5 rumor mill to to quiet down anytime soon; it’s just getting started.

More About: apple, iOS, iphone, iPhone 5

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10 Mobile Astronomy Apps for Stargazers

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 09:35 PM PDT

One of the best parts of summer is sitting outside on a warm night, glass of wine in hand (or bar of dark chocolate, whatever your pleasure), good company by your side and nothing but brilliant sparkly stars above you. If you've ever had the good fortune of spotting a shooting star, you’ve witnessed an amazing display of light and cosmic energy.

You always hear people talking about the relative insignificance of the human race in the grand scheme of the universe. That feeling is never more reinforced than when you start to explore astronomy and what really lies beyond our galaxy.

Whether you’re a stargazer who can only point out the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, or whether you much prefer calling it Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the following 10 mobile apps can help you in your stargazing pursuits.

1. Star Walk - 5 Stars Astronomy Guide

You look up at the stars, but you have no idea what you're seeing – until now. Star Walk is an amazing app that lets you simply point your device to the sky and automatically map out the constellations. You can also track moving satellites, look at skies from nights past or the future and tap anywhere on the screen to get a star's exact position in the sky. (iOS)

Cost: $2.99

2. SkySafari 3 Plus

Yes, it's on the pricey side, but SkySafari 3 Plus is a great companion for any stargazing enthusiast. It contains an enormous database of constellations at your fingertips, with information about star coordinates, physical parameters, orbital parameters and more. Using the iPhone's built-in gyroscope, you can find and search for anything in the sky, including planets, moons, asteroids, comets, named stars, brightest stars and much more. The developer of this app also provides an accessory to the app: SkyFi enables SkySafari 3 to work as a telescope controller. (iOS)

Cost: : $14.99 (Depending on your astronomic knowledge, there are different versions. For fewer features, SkySafari Lite is $2.99; and for a whopping 500 MB, 15 millions stars, 740,000 galaxies' worth of information, SkySafari Pro is $59.99)

3. Google Sky Map

This is a free app that also offers the ability to point Android devices to the sky and map out constellations. In addition, users can search for planets, grids, deep sky objects, and also use the search functionality to find something specific in the atmosphere. It provides a simple interface and is a great tool for identifying anything in the sky. (Android)

Cost: FREE

4. Astronomy Picture of the Day

Stuck at work and counting down the hours until nightfall? Astronomy Picture of the Day can tide you over until your date with the cosmos. The photos, hand-picked by NASA astronomers, are different each day and are accompanied by thorough descriptions. Shake your device for a random image, and even share that extra special photo of Saturn with a friend. (iOS and Android)

Cost: FREE

5. star3map

Here's another great Android app for stargazing that offers similar functionality as some of the more feature-rich iOS apps. It includes constellation/satellite/planet tracking, as well as search functionality and social sharing. There's also an Earth View mode that lets you see our planet from space with cool day/night shading, as well as viewing bands to determine when satellites are visible from where you are.

Cost: $4.99

6. Nasa App HD

In addition to providing information and images about our universe, the NASA App HD offers cool features like live streaming of NASA TV, on-demand videos from NASA, current mission and launch information and more. There is also a detailed Satellite Tracker and data on current visible passes for the International Space Station in your region. (iPad)

Cost: FREE

7. SpaceMap

Remember the part about the human race's insignificance? Watching the intro video to this app makes that point abundantly clear. This app goes beyond what's just in the sky above by placing it into the context of the entire solar system, galaxy and universe. It maps everything you want: 47,000 asteroids, 400 exoplanets, 5,000 galaxies – with amazing 3D effects and animation. SpaceMap provides an intuitive interface and visually stimulating experience that makes you feel intergalactic. (iOS)

Cost: $5.99

8. Planets

This app gives you in-depth information on all the planets (with the exception of Pluto, poor guy). You can locate planets in either 2D or 3D mode and select different visibilities of the sky, such as X-ray, Infrared, Microwave and Radio. There is also a Globe function that lets you view a rotating 3D image of all the planets and the moon. (iOS)

Cost: FREE

9. Hubble Top 100

The images included in the Hubble Top 100 app are as astounding and mystifying as the stars themselves. Taken directly by the Hubble telescope itself, the images feature breathtaking colors, lights and patterns of swirling gases and air. Information accompanies each photo, as well as a slideshow with techno-ish music to fuel your cosmic mood. (iPad)

Cost: FREE

10. Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration HD

Who better to create an app about space than an astronaut himself? Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot on Apollo 11 and the second human to walk on the moon, has created this beautiful app that features a mix of personal perspective, commentary from NASA and a variety of other sources. The app features video, Twitter and news feeds and roundtable discussions on planetary exploration, space tourism, Hubble and anything else you'd want to know about space exploration. (iPad)

Cost: $3.99

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sololos

More About: apple, astronomy, iphone, iphone apps, List, Lists, mobile apps, space

For more Mobile coverage: Helps You Find the Garment You’re Looking For

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 08:06 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.


Quick Pitch: Tap into a community of knowledgeable shoppers to identify the clothing or accessories you’re looking for.

Genius Idea: Using crowdsourcing to find the perfect outfit.

All too often, I will come across a beautiful garment — on the street, in a newspaper photograph (yes, I still read those) — immediately feel I must have it, and then despair because I haven’t the least idea where it’s from, or if it’s even still in stores.

Enter, which co-founder and CEO Nicolas Metzke described simply as the “Quora for shopping” in a #fashion140 panel we did together this spring. Its premise is simple: Log in, upload a photo of a garment you’re curious about and tag the image with a few basic details.

With any luck,’s community — which, from what I gathered from looking around the site, are extremely savvy shoppers — will help you identify the piece in question, or at least something similar. During pre-launch pilot tests, Metzke says the community was able to identify items correctly, or at least one similar enough to satisfy the searcher 84% of the time.

Users are incentivized to answer questions with points, badges and status recognition. Metzke says the company is also working with merchants to trade in points for shopping vouchers or gift cards.

The site also functions as a discovery engine, drawing visitors to items they weren’t necessarily looking for before arriving. Users can opt to follow other users as well as queries, just as they can with Quora.

The Paris-based startup, which launched in May 2011, was founded by three seasoned entrepreneurs: Metzke, co-founder of (acquired by Greenfield Online for $154 million in 2005); Gilles Babinet, founder of Musiwave (sold to Openwave for $121 million in 2005) and now president of France’s National Council of Digital Business and Society; and CTO Romain Moyne, a 23-year-old who started is first business at age 16.

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, fashion, quora, spark-of-genius,

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Sir Mix-A-Lot Likes Big … Facebook Games

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 07:05 PM PDT

Oh. My. God, Becky. Look at this game.

Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot of “Baby Got Back” fame has just popped the top on a hilarious new Facebook venture.

Called MixNMatch, the game challenges you to answer either-or questions. The catch is that you have to answer them the way another person would. For example, you might have to guess whether Sir Mix-A-Lot prefers zombies or vampires or whether a friend of yours would pick a front rub over a back rub. You can also pose similar questions to your own friends.

If your guesses line up with the celeb’s or friend’s picks, you earn points. The points can be redeemed for virtual goods such as a Sir Mix-A-Lot video shout-out or an exclusive track. If you’re particularly skilled at guessing the rapper’s preferences, you can even win a ride with him in his Lamborghini.

SEE ALSO: 5 Lessons Celebrities Can Teach Us About Facebook Pages

What makes the game giggle-worthy is the animated Sir Mix-A-Lot that coaches players through each round, complete with voice-overs.

It’s a fun concept, and one that we can imagine quite a few celebrities using to engage with their fans.

The game comes from Giant Thinkwell, an interactive agency that specializes in creating online entertainment vehicles for celebrities. MixNMatch is Giant Thinkwell’s first game, and it’s cute and funny enough that we would like to see more from this shop.

More About: facebook, facebook game, mixnmatch, sir mix-a-lot

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Potential Plugin Security Breach Forces To Reset Passwords

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 06:02 PM PDT is forcing users to reset their passwords after several popular plugins were compromised by hackers.

“Earlier today the WordPress team noticed suspicious commits to several popular plugins containing cleverly disguised backdoors,” Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg said in a blog post. “We determined the commits were not from the authors, rolled them back, pushed updates to the plugins, and shut down access to the plugin repository while we looked for anything else unsavory.”

Mullenweg says that AddThis, WPtouch and W3 Total Cache were the plugins that were compromised in the attacks.

As a precautionary measure, is force-resetting all passwords on This doesn’t affect WordPress-powered blogs, but does affect forums, trac and code commits to plugins or themes.

This isn’t the first time WordPress has been targeted by hackers; (owned by Automattic and separate from was the victim of a low-level root access breach in April.

More About: security, WordPress

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10 Beautiful Social Media Infographics

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 04:43 PM PDT

What’s happening in the world of social media? That’s not a simple question to answer, as this space is quickly becoming one of the busiest, most interesting aspects of our digital lives.

However, if we had to choose the best way to present the wealth of recent information on social media — how companies are using it to improve their business, how individuals are interacting with its many facets, and how it’s affecting our lives — the simplest way would probably be to showcase the best social media infographics from the last few months, and that’s exactly what we did.

We’ve gathered 10 amazing infographics which are still quite fresh, and contain very relevant info. We hope you enjoy them! Let us know which ones you find most insightful in the comments below.

Social Media Users Weigh In on the NFL Lockout

Will there be a lockout for the 2011 NFL season? Will there even be any professional (American) football played this fall? See the predictions from social media users.Graphic courtesy Lab42

The Real Estate Industry and Social Media

Real estate is an industry becoming more and more immersed in social media. This infographic shows how businesses are using it to drive traffic and increase sales.Image courtesy of Postling

The Case Against Having a Social Media Department

Are you sure your company needs a social media department? The decision whether to form one can be daunting, and this infographic shows why.Image courtesy of Flickr, davipt

The Facebook Effect on Relationships

Facebook and relationships: for some, the social media tool is a great way to find new friends and romantic relationships, but for others only a nuisance.Image based on a Flickr photo from rpb1001

Male Social Media Users & Fast Food

Do social media-using guys like junk food? It seems like they do!Infographic courtesy Lab 42, graphic by iStockphoto

How We Use Social Media During Emergencies

Social media is powerful during emergencies such as the earthquake in Haiti and the political revolution in Egypt.Image courtesy of CreditLoan

The History of Social Media

It seems like yesterday that we first started using the term "social media," but the phenomenon already has a rich history.Image courtesy of

Social Media Valuations

Are we in a new bubble? This infographic explores valuations of some social media companies which may be overvalued - or undervalued, depending on how you view the space.Infographic courtesy

The Winners & Losers of Social Networking

Social networking: everyone knows about it nowadays, but who's really winning in this industry?Image courtesy of Ignite Social Media

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media

This infographic breaks down the most popular social media tools amongst small businesses and demonstrates how and why they should be used.Image courtesy of Postling

More About: infographic, infographics, List, Lists, social media, social networking

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Is Hulu For Sale? [UPDATED]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 04:05 PM PDT

Online video service Hulu is considering a potential sale after an unknown bidder made an offer for the company, according to several reports.

None of the reports could confirm the identity of the buyer, though CNBC’s Jolua Boorstin says it’s not Google. It’s also unclear how advanced the talks are, and as WSJ reports, Hulu hasn’t even determined if it wants to sell.

The problem for Hulu is that it is heavily dependent on content from Walt Disney (which owns ABC), News Corp. (which owns Fox) and NBCUniversal (which is a subsidiary of Comcast and GE). Each of these companies have an equity stake in Hulu and will have to approve any sale. If even one of these three partners didn’t approve and decided to pull its content from Hulu, it would dramatically affect the value of the online video website.

Hulu has been trying to appease its network overlords with new deals and its Hulu Plus premium subscription option, but it’s also expanding its roster of original programming with several Hulu-exclusive shows.

The company was reportedly preparing for a $2 billion IPO last year, but has pulled back due to concerns about its deals with the networks. Hulu is the second largest video website in the world behind YouTube.

Our bet is that Hulu decides to remain independent, at least for now. There are too many logistical nightmares with any sale, and the company is better off with an IPO, thanks to LinkedIn.

Update: It seems that Yahoo may be the company trying to buy Hulu, according to The Los Angeles Times.

More About: abc, Fox, hulu, hulu plus, nbc, News Corp, Walt Disney

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iPhone App Lets You Cut Movies Using Clips on Friends’ Phones

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 03:41 PM PDT

Here’s a new development in the social video app war: Recently-launched iPhone app Flixlab has included a feature that allows you to create collaborative videos with friends.

Flixlab [iTunes link] is a fairly comprehensive app that allows you to create movies using video clips and photos from your phone’s library (as well as newly shot footage and snaps from Facebook and other albums), tag your friends (so videos will appear on friends’ walls after sharing via Facebook), add themes and transitions (I recommend “Halloween”), and, finally, add music from your library.

“Events” is Flixlab’s collaborative mode. If your friends are using Flixlab, you can create a video using both your footage and your friend’s.

Say you’re at a wedding; if you and your friend are taking pictures and video during the wedding, you’re automatically sharing those images via the app. Just click on “Events” to unearth your friend’s video and photos, and you can add them to your own movie. It’s like having multiple angles. Check out the video below for more info:

This feature really distinguishes Flixlab from other new video-sharing apps, like Blipsnips, Viddy and Socialcam. Still, it could very well face the same issue startup Color has: You need a significant number of people to use the app in order for it to work well.

What do you think? Can Flixlab cut through the clutter?

Image courtesy of Flickr, Gwennypics

More About: flixlab, mobile apps, startup, video, video sharing

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PR Guy Fired Over Duke Nukem Tweet Hits Back

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 03:06 PM PDT

After Jim Redner, who owns one-man public relations firm The Redner Group, expressed his frustration over bad reviews of his client’s game, Duke Nukem Forever, via Twitter, the game’s publisher dropped him. Now, Redner is out with an explanation for the debacle.

Following less-than-favorable reviews of 2K Games’s Duke Nukem Forever, Redner took to Twitter to express his frustration, writing:

The above tweet got the web buzzing with the term “blacklisting.” Redner later apologized to several news outlets, but 2K Games distanced themselves from the PR man all the same.

Now Redner is out with a statement on Wired explaining the whole debacle. It seems that his anger was triggered by one review in particular, which he declines to identify. “It was a scathing diatribe masked as a review. Hate is a strong word, but I believe after reading his review it is fair to say that the reviewer hated the game.”

He goes on to explain that he never intended to evoke the specter of blacklisting, “I do not support the McCarthy era notion of blacklisting,” he says, going on to explain how publishers have limited numbers of review copies, and that he was going to be more choosy about where they went from now on.

“I personally have sent first person shooter games to one editor knowing that he likes FPS games, but then not sent him a copy of a game based on our national pastime because I know he finds baseball boring,” he says. “That's not blacklisting. It's a selection process.”

Although Redner is apologetic about lashing out via Twitter, he still stands by what he said. “It is my opinion that when someone exceeds their journalistic integrity and publishes a scathing, derogatory, uncalled-for review, I have the right to question it,” he says.

Redner joins a long list of people fired for their outbursts on social media. Here are 11 more.

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.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Mrs. Duncan

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Rob Zombie’s Woolite Ad Shows Hidden Terror of Doing Laundry [VIDEO]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:53 PM PDT

Here are two names you probably thought you'd never see in the same sentence: Rob Zombie and Woolite.

The rocker/horror movie director and the fabric care brand have joined forces for a new commercial. The 30-second spot features clips from Zombie's movies House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. The ad also features a Leatherface-type character doing laundry outside and the scrawled message "Don't let detergents torture your clothes."

It's a definite shift in tone for the brand. Woolite's other campaign is much less edgy: It features What Not to Wear host Stacy London comparing doing laundry today versus years ago. Reps from Reckitt Benckiser, Woolite's parent company, could not be reached for comment on the new ad.

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Roger Ebert Defends Controversial Tweet About Ryan Dunn’s Death

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:42 PM PDT

Film critic Roger Ebert has taken to his blog on the Chicago Sun Times website to explain his controversial tweet about Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s tragic death.

The entry includes a few regrets, and a concession that the timing of his tweet was poor, but Ebert does not apologize for or recant the original tweet: “Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive.”

“I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn’s family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell,” he begins, before going on to say, “I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true.”

His explanation reads, “I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn’t calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with ‘Jackass.’ I thought that was clear.”

SEE ALSO: Ryan Dunn Posted Twitter Pic Hours Before Death [PHOTO]

The blog post goes on to recount the chain of events that led to Ebert’s tweet. In one particular passage, Ebert appears torn between justification and guilt:

“I don’t know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated — or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?”

Ebert’s initial tweet reverberated around the web Monday, catching the attention of Dunn’s friend and Jackass co-star Bam Margera, drawing the ire of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and provoking Dunn supporters to flag Ebert’s Facebook Page. The page was taken down by Facebook Tuesday morning, and later restored.

SEE ALSO: Roger Ebert's Facebook Page Removed Following Comment About Ryan Dunn

Margera tweeted in response to Ebert’s remarks: “I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterically for a full day and piece of sh*t roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents.” An additional tweet reads: “About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, f*ck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat f*cking mouth!”

Margera has not yet responded to Ebert’s entry.

More About: Bam Margera, Jackass, roger ebert, Ryan Dunn, twitter

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How Has Social Media Changed Your Life?

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:27 PM PDT

We’re less than two weeks away from Social Media Day, a worldwide celebration of how social media has changed the way we communicate every day. Mashable is always fascinated with the ways social media and technology are affecting people’s lives, and we’d like your help telling that story.

In partnership with CNN iReport, we would like to know: How has social media changed your life? Did you meet your joined-at-the-tweet BFF via Twitter? Find your dream job via LinkedIn? Make a big change in your life after being inspired by a Facebook update?

Send us photos of your key social-media milestones, or put yourself on camera and explain the path you’ve taken. Share your story with us by Monday, June 27 at 12 p.m. ET. The best entries may be featured on CNN and Mashable.

You can upload your photos and videos by using the assignment page, or emailing iReport. Instagram and Picplz users, we encourage you to post your images there, too, and tag them with #smday.

Does a life-changing social media story already stick out in your mind? Brainstorm your submission ideas in the comments below.

CNN iReport Social Media Life Change Contest Info

Submit Your Social Media Story to CNN iReport and Mashable!

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7 Tips for Bootstrapping Your Startup

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:13 PM PDT

boot image

Bill Clark is the CEO of Microventures, a securities broker/dealer that uses crowdfunding to allow investors to invest between $1,000 and $10,000 in startups online. You can follow him on Twitter @austinbillc.

Most entrepreneurs dream of taking an idea and turning it into a successful company, but that takes time and capital investment. Most startups don't get funded by venture capital or angel investors; the money often comes from your savings, credit cards or friends. Because initial cash flow may be tight, you need to keep your budget realistic in order to stretch every dollar. That’s where bootstrapping comes in.

Bootstrapping means starting a company with little or no money, but utilizing the resources readily available to you. This means keeping your budget low, not taking a salary, working with your team to develop your product for sweat equity or outsourcing some functions altogether. It may take you longer to get your product to market because you are relying on yourself for everything, and often learning as you go. It is, however, a way to keep developing your startup concept.

There are plenty of startups that have been successful without taking outside capital. 37Signals has profiles on a few of them. Campaign Monitor was able to bootstrap because the founders had the background necessary to build and design the product. They also used the profits from their consulting business to fund the project. When Admoda started, they set out to bootstrap from the start, avoid the need for investment, make a lot of money and have fun. The founders put up the original investment and then reinvested the profits to avoid taking outside capital.

How can you learn from those examples and get your bootstrapped startup on the right path? These strategies can get you started.

1. Test the Market

Before you spend money on anything, you should talk to potential customers about their level of interest in your product. Ask them how they would use it, what features they might like to see and how much they would consider paying for it.

This will help validate your model and justify spending the time and money to build your company. It will also help determine which functionality you need immediately, versus what can wait until you gain more traction.

2. Efficiency

Marketing Image

To bootstrap, you need to be as efficient as possible. That could mean doing small, inexpensive marketing tests until you find the best results. When designing your website, first add the most important functionality in order to get a product to market, but to minimize your later work, make sure to consider additional features.

3. Keep the Team Small

A large team could drain your cash more quickly than any other expense in your budget. Until you have a positive cash flow, only hire people you absolutely need. If necessary, give current team members multiple job functions, and offer stock option incentives instead of cash.

4. Interns

Using interns at your startup is a win/win for both parties. The intern gains valuable experience working at a startup and you get support at little to no cost. Since the team is small, the intern might have more influence than they would at a larger company, becoming involved in many aspects of the business.

For your startup, interns provide free or inexpensive labor that leads to quicker profitability.

5. Marketing

Business News Tablet Image

Hiring a PR firm can be very expensive, and there is no guarantee that they are going to get you featured in a magazine or blog. Try outsourcing your press releases, but contact reporters on your own. Find stories and outlets that are related to your project and come up with a simple pitch for a story idea.

Use the free service MediaSync to get a reporter’s email address and contact him or her directly. Reporters are interested in hearing from the CEO of a company, and if you have a good story idea, they will respond. Help a Reporter is another site worth mentioning — reporters search for experts like you to quote in their stories. It never hurts to make yourself available.

6. Outsourcing

If you don't have the capital to hire an employee on a short-term project, consider outsourcing the work. You can easily outsource your web design and programming, but you will need to weigh the pros and cons of not having that person on-site.

Some websites that can help in your search for off-site talent include Elance and Freelancer. On these sites you can either post your project and have people bid on it, or you can search through the talent and contact potential candidates directly.

7. Social Networks

Use Facebook and Twitter to connect with your customers. Both are free networks that you can use to promote your business to a broad audience. Become the expert in your field and blog on your website or other sites related to your industry. This will keep customers coming back often, meaning higher potential for sales.

Bootstrapping your company can be a rewarding and beneficial experience. It demonstrates how you can accomplish a lot with a small amount of capital. Once you have proven your product in the market, you may need to take on outside capital to help with the growth period. But continue to manage your growing budget as if you’re still bootstrapping; it will help you keep costs down and stretch your money toward success.

Images courtesy of Flickr, jules:g, iStockphoto, BrianAJackson, pressureUA.

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Amy Winehouse Cancels Tour as UMG Removes YouTube Videos of Failed Concert

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:02 PM PDT

Videos of Amy Winehouse stumbling through a concert in Belgrade, Serbia, hit YouTube Monday, raising concerns about the singer’s wellbeing. Now, Winehouse has canceled the remainder of her European tour, and Universal Music Group has started removing those videos from YouTube.

Click on about half of the videos below and you’ll get a similar message: “This video contains content from UMG, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” Granted, UMG has the grounds for removal, as YouTube includes “videos of live concerts, even if you captured the video yourself” as copyrighted work, but it’s likely that UMG nixed the vids in the interest of damage control as well.

Winehouse has long struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. She checked out of the Priory Clinic earlier this month one week after checking in, according to E! Online.

Her rep, Chris Goodman, told E! that Winehouse “is withdrawing from all scheduled performances” in order to recover.

Amy Winehouse, Start "Just Friends"

Amy Winehouse, "Just Friends"

Amy Winehouse, "Back To Black"

Amy Winehouse, "Back To Black"

Amy Winehouse, "Valerie"

Amy Winehouse, "Valerie"

Amy Winehous, "You Know I'm No Good"

Amy Winehouse, "You Know That I'm No Good"

Amy Winehouse, "Love Is A Losing Game"

Amy Winehouse, "Love Is A Losing Game"

Amy Winehouse, "Addicted"

Amy Winehouse, "Tears Dry On Their Own"

Amy Winehouse, "Some Unholy War"

Image courtesy of Flickr user Fyunkie

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Margaret Atwood Joins Twitter-Based Book Club for Live Chat

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 01:44 PM PDT

Acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood will be answering readers’ questions live on Twitter beginning at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday as part of The Atlantic‘s Twitter-based book club project, #1book140.

Atwood, a dedicated Twitter user, volunteered to participate in the chat shortly after the club announced that her novel The Blind Assassin was its first selection. More than 1,400 votes were cast in the final, three-day voting period, Bob Cohn, editorial director of Atlantic Digital said in an earlier interview with Mashable.

People are invited to pose questions using the #1b140_q hashtag, which will be streamed on

The live author chat is just one of several discussions #1book140 members have held on Twitter so far this month. Jeff Howe, the Northeastern University professor spearheading the project, has been using reporting tool Storify, to put the discussions in context on The Atlantic‘s site.


#1book140 is an expansion of a project Howe began a year ago at Wired, where he previously served as a contributing editor, called One Book, One Twitter. “What if everyone on Twitter read the same book at the same time and we formed one massive, international book club?” he asked, echoing a similar call made by Seattle-based librarian Nancy Pearl in 1998, which launched a series of city-wide reading clubs across the U.S.

One Book, One Twitter exceeded Howe’s expectations, bringing together some 12,000 people to read and discuss Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods last year, primarily on Twitter. “The only problem? It disappeared, like barbecues and seersucker suits, when summer came to a close,” he noted.

Now The Atlantic is giving him the chance to continue his mission in the form of an online monthly reading and discussion club. The club has been heavily cross-promoted on‘s entertainment channel, as well as its Facebook and Tumblr pages.

We applaud The Atlantic‘s innovative use of reporting and social media tools to engage readers globally, and look forward to the discussion with Atwood.

More About: alex howe, margaret atwood, Storify, the atlantic, twitter

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Cee Lo Issues Apology for Homophobic Tweet

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 01:32 PM PDT

Singer Cee Lo Green apologized Tuesday for a homophobic tweet directed at a music critic.

In the tweet, Green typecast the critic as a man-hating lesbian after she negatively reviewed a recent performance.

Andrea Swensson is City Pages magazine’s music editor. She wrote a rather unflattering review of Green’s Thursday night performance in Minneapolis, calling various elements of the show “gross,” “forgettable” and “inept.”

In the retaliatory tweet, which has since been deleted, Green wrote to Swensson: “I respect your criticism, but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I’m guessing you’re gay? And my masculinity offended you? Well f**k you!”

While we get the reference to Green’s hit song “F**k You,” we also see how LGBT folks and their friends and supporters might have been offended by Green’s remarks, which he says were intended as a joke.

Green told US Weekly, “[Swensson] was very critical of me. At the time I didn’t even know what gender the person was. I was being a little outspoken that night… I assumed that whoever it was would assume it was all in good fun. It wasn’t taken so well, apparently.”

The real punchline, however, is that the critic is actually a straight woman, as it says on her MySpace page. We’re guessing Cee Lo has a lot to learn about gender politics — not to mention how to handle criticism as a public figure.

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Sluggish Print Ad Business Prompts Gannett To Cut 700 Jobs

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 01:15 PM PDT

Citing a slow economy, newspaper chain Gannett on Tuesday announced it was cutting 700 positions, about 2% of its total workforce.

In a memo obtained by Gannett Blog, Bob Dickey, Gannett US community publishing unit president, blamed an economic recovery that “is not happening as quickly or favorably as we had hoped and continues to impact our U.S. community media organizations.” Dickey highlighted weakness in the real estate sector, slow job creation and less demand for autos as challenges to the organization. “National advertising remains soft and with many of our local advertisers reducing their overall budgets, we need to take further steps to align our costs with the current revenue trends,” Dickey wrote in the memo.

Despite Dickey’s assertion, not everyone is faring poorly. Kantar Media this month reported that the overall advertising market grew 4.4% in the first quarter compared to 5.1% in Q1 2010. But ad revenues for local newspapers fell 1.1% in the quarter, and the segment had declined for 22 consecutive quarters. Revenues for national newspapers fell 7.5%, Kantar reported. Meanwhile, Internet display advertising revenues rose 14.6% for the quarter, buoyed by — among other factors — strong demand by automakers.

Though Gannett’s digital business is growing, the increase isn’t happening fast enough to offset print declines. In the first quarter, Gannett’s revenues from traditional publishing fell 6.2%, to $929.8 million. Digital revenues rose 12.4% to $251.3 million, representing about 20% of the company’s operating revenues.

The move comes after Gannett CEO Craig Dubow received $9.4 million, including a $1.75 million cash bonus in 2010, and Chief Operating Officer Gracia Martore got $8.2 million with a cash bonus of $1.25 million. Those bonuses were awarded partially for cost cutting, which included layoffs, according to a shareholders proxy report filed in March.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, fotosipsak

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Postano Offers Real-Time Social Hub for Brands [VIDEO]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:57 PM PDT

Real-time Facebook newspaper-style aggregator PostPost relaunched Tuesday as Postano. The core of what made PostPost great still exists, but with Postano, parent company TigerLogic is adding more sources and focusing its target audience.

PostPost turned the Facebook newsfeed into a manageable collection of links, photos and videos. Think of it as Flipboard for the web browser. Other companies like have launched similar products, but part of what made us like PostPost was its use of jQuery Masonry to display post types, its ability to organize stories by category, and the ability to customize who you see in the feed.

With Postano, TigerLogic is moving away from users who want to see their newsfeed more cleanly (though that is still an option), and is shifting its focus to brands, businesses and community managers that need a way to aggregate social content in real time, in a way that can be branded and embedded on their own sites.

Check out this video to see Postano in action:

Setting up Postano is easy. Sign in with Facebook, choose what content and what Facebook pages you want to add to your Postano, and add in your personal newsfeed, a specific Facebook page, a fan page you monitor yourself, and feeds from Twitter, YouTube, Google Reader, Google Alerts, or RSS.

Even better for brands, Postano lets users style their Postano to match their own designs. Everything from fonts, header colors, basic theme colors, custom backgrounds to logos and headers can be customized.

So brands can create their own Flipboard-esque streams of selected content that is then visible on the web or embeddable on their own sites. For companies that have a hard time aggregating the various social channels from their clients or their multiple accounts, this is a great way to put everything in one place.

Postano also lets brands control exactly what is posted on their pages. Posts to Facebook can be restricted to the page or page owner only, and certain sources of content can be removed on a case-by-case basis or blocked completely (to prevent Foursquare checkins showing up all over pages, say).

The Google News and Google Alerts feature actually has to be approved by the Postano admin before it is posted, which is great for brands that want to set a Google Alert for their name, but might not want to publish every update that hits the wire in real time. Brands can also make certain posts “sticky” and keep them at the top of the page. The Postano team told us they have plans to make Tumblr and WordPress integration even better.

Postano is free for users or brands that want TigerLogic to host their Postano at For users that want the ability to embed a Postano as an iframe on their own websites, pricing starts at $10 a month.

More About: Flipboard, postano, postpost, social aggregation, social aggregator

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New York Times Reduces Character Limit of Readers’ Comments by 60%

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:52 PM PDT

The New York Times has announced it’s cutting the character limit on site comments from 5,000 to 2,000. In Twitter terms that’s like going from 36 tweets to slightly more than 14 — a 60% drop.

According to a note on the site’s homepage Monday, “The shorter length will allow for an improved experience for commenters and readers alike.”

The statement is good news for readers who roll their eyes when commenters hog the soapbox. But for Internet users who view commenting as an opportunity to see reactions that would have otherwise been limited to personal letter or email, it’s a step in the wrong direction. Though 14 tweets’ worth of discussion is still a fair amount, the change opens the door for further character cutting in the future.

The new limit was inspired by feedback from readers and Times employees, Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news, told The Wrap.

“5,000 [characters] is a lot,” Pilhofer said. “That’s not a comment, that’s an article.”

The shorter character limit will change community behavior. Readers who are used to writing essay-length comments may become more blunt as they aim to get to their point faster. Or they may work around the limit by breaking thoughts into multiple comments. Still, the shorter length will help Times moderators get through comments more quickly, allowing them to quell inappropriate threads with greater speed.

In late May the BBC dropped its limit to 400 characters — 20 characters less than is allowed for a Facebook status update.

The BBC’s character cut inspired Martin Belam, lead user experience and information architect at The Guardian, to survey the comment character counts of a range of U.S. and UK news media sites. Here’s a sample of his findings, updated to include The New York Times‘ recent change:

Website,Comment Character Count
BBC News400
Facebook (status update)420
Daily Mail1,000
The Huffington Post1,800*
The New York Times2,000
The Sun2,000
The Washington Post3,000
The Times (U.K.)3,000
The Guardian5,000
Facebook (comment)8,000
Al Jazeera10,000
The Telegraph10,000

*The actual limit imposed on Huffington Post is 250 words, which equates to 1,820 characters.

What do you think of The Times‘ comment character cut? Will it truly make for a more inviting commenting space or is the site infringing on commenters’ rights? Sound off in the thread below — we won’t cut you off.

Mashable’s comment character limit: 16,384

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Onswipe Launching “Insanely Easy” Tablet Publishing Platform

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:10 PM PDT

New York-based startup Onswipe is launching its web-based, app-free publishing platform for tablets late Tuesday.

Onswipe has so far been available as a plugin for self-hosted WordPress installations, and has been powering the default iPad view for blogs since March. The new Onswipe is platform agnostic and is designed to work with multiple content management systems and content networks.

Onswipe’s mission statement is “insanely easy tablet publishing.” In essence, it’s a customizable pre-built platform designed to help publishers create touch-enhanced web experiences without building a native app.

There’s a lot of discussion and debate right now over whether native apps or optimized websites are the best solution for publishers. The Financial Times made waves recently when it announced that it was going to eschew the App Store and make its tablet experience a web-only affair. Apple recently adjusted its subscription guidelines for publishers, but many outlets are still looking for a web-only approach to tablet publishing.

As GigaOm notes, Onswipe’s original plan was to sell its platform to publishers. The company has changed strategies after gaining an additional $5 million in Series A funding, and is offering its service for free, along with revenue sharing agreements with its customers.

TechCrunch reports that Onswipe’s launch partners will include Hearst’s Marie Claire, Slate,, PE Hub, Forbes and

The idea of a publishing platform targeted at touch-based devices could gain traction. Still, we have reservations — about the technology’s quality and the business model’s viability.

Onswipe wants to build its own advertising network within sites that run on its platform. This could pay off, provided the company can sign on enough big names that can entice advertisers to buy ads en masse. Does that make Onswipe more of an advertising network masquerading as a publishing platform? If so, what impact will that have on publishers?

For the largest publishers — those that would be most attractive to advertisers — the flexibility of the platform is going to be key. Frameworks like the new Pugpig (think PhoneGap for tablets) combine the best of HTML5 and native platform components, and can offer larger publishers more options and flexibility.

Still, we look forward to seeing what Onswipe has to offer — and to seeing its product in action.

More About: ipad magazines, ipad publishing, media, OnSwipe, publishing

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Top 20 Most-Shared Tennis Ads of All Time [VIDEOS]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:02 PM PDT

Wimbledon is under way and so is the accompanying marketing blitz. You may have seen some of the recent ads for Sony, Head and IBM hyping the event. You might also be wondering if you’ll even remember any of those ads the next time a big tennis tournament comes around.

Based on Unruly Media‘s list of the most-shared tennis ads of all time, few stand a chance without Roger Federer. He appears in seven ads on the list, two of which are repeats. No one even comes close, least of all his main rival, Rafael Nadal, who had to prance around in his skivvies to make the list. Another surprise: Men dominate the list. Anna Kournikova is nowhere to be seen and only four ads feature women.

In fact, aside from Nadal and the three WTA ads, when it comes to viral tennis ads, sex doesn’t sell as well as humor. Although it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the handsome Federer on hand to lob the jokes.

Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

"Amazing Roger Federer Trickshot" (Gillette)

You're going to see a lot of Roger Federer on this list. Here's his biggest hit: A supposedly behind-the-scenes bit of horseplay in which Federer performs a William Tell-like shot with his racket. As the 6,000-plus YouTube comments show, there's a lot of debate as to whether it's actually real.

"Prank" (Mercedes-Benz USA)

Spurring even more "was it fake?" arguments, Federer shows off his precision by lobbing balls into his manager's Mercedes.

"Roger Federer : Home Tennis Assault" (Nike)

The Flight of the Conchords's Rhys Darby tests Federer's reflexes in a nod to the love-fight relationship between Cato and Inspector Clouseau.

"Animated Ad" (Vizzavi)

Word of a bird's embarrassment spreads fast in this animated ad for Vizzavi, a U.K. Internet service provider.

"Andy Murray Tennis Street Magic in London" (Head Tennis)

Andy Murray performs amazing (and possibly fake) feats on the streets of London in this ad hyping last year's Wimbledon.

"Novak Djokovic Plays Tennis on Wings of Flying Plane" (Speed Wing Tennis)

The title says it all. A mysterious brunette throws Djokovic the gauntlet and he takes flight. You know it's not a U.S. ad because there's no idiotic, "Professional pilot: Do not attempt" disclaimer.

"Djokovic Head Commercial" (Head)

Djokovic is so unbelievably fast that he has time to woo a comely female fan (and her grandmother) with balloon animals and nipple tassels before hitting a winning shot. Good thing the instant replay was there.

"Rafael Nadal for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans" (Emorio Armani Underwear & Armani Jeans)

Nadal struts his stuff in this bit of beefcake. Judging by the YouTube comments, the response has been pretty positive.

"Roger Federer's Exclusive Test Drive of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster" (Mercedes Benz USA)

As Federer points out in this brand new ad, this model isn't out on the market yet, so we can only imagine what it's like to drive one.

"Roger Federer - Sportsvibe TV" (Gillette)

This is another iteration of the Gillette Trick Shot ad from the top of this list.

"Roger Federer Netjets Commercial" (Netjets)

Federer's got so many trophies that he may need a bigger plane. Sounds tough, right?

"2011 Australian Open Tennis Ad" (Optus)

Crocodiles play with what looks like a sugar glider in this ad for an Australian telecom. PETA would not be amused.

"Sugar and Spice" (WTA)

Sam Stosur, Ana Ivanovic, Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters are featured in this tribute to the grit and glamour of professional women's tennis.

"Get Closer to Andy Murray" (Head)

Head tennis engages in some unabashed but good-natured "Like"-mongering with its star Andy Murray.

"Roger Federer : Home Tennis Assault" (Nike)

The number three video on this list makes another appearance as a French import.

"Wimbledon As You've Never Seen it Before" (Sony U.K.)

Sony U.K. will film the 2011 Wimbledon Finals in 3D. There's also a contest in which you can claim an online Sony tennis ball to win prizes.

"I Feel Pretty" (Nike)

Maria Sharapova is tired of being told how pretty she looks. Now she's ready to kick some ass.

"Roddick vs Pong" (American Express)

This is sort of like Watson on Jeopardy: Andy Roddick takes on a virtual Pong paddle in this 2006 ad for American Express.

"Li Na: Strong is Beautiful" (WTA)

Newly minted French Open winner Li Na of China returns a ball in a sheer, butt-exposing dress in this WTA ad.

"Ana: Strong is Beautiful" (WTA)

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic talks about how her determination allowed her to transcend her war-torn country's hardships.

More About: advertising, american express, MARKETING, Nike, tennis, video, wimbledon, WTA, youtube

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Grooveshark Adds Channel for Emerging Artists

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 11:41 AM PDT

Are you an on-the-cusp band hoping to get in on that music subscription craze? Well, Grooveshark has just launched a radio channel called "Breakthrough Radio,” packed with tunes courtesy of Indaba Music.

Indaba, a music creation/collaboration platform, is open to any band with the capital to join. The service already has 600,000 registered users, and now Grooveshark is tapping into those indie bands to provide entertainment for its 30 million monthly unique visitors. Indaba members need only to submit music via the site to be considered for inclusion in Breakthrough Radio.

Yes, musicians can submit their music to other streaming/subscription services, like Pandora and MOG (which pulls in music via distributors). But the fact that Grooveshark is working with Indaba will likely make this a much more straightforward experience for bands — and will likely bring more bands into the Indaba fold.

This isn’t the first time a music service has focused on up-and-coming bands — startup EarBits draws solely from that well. But Grooveshark is an extremely popular service, so this is a good move for musicians.

Keep in mind, however, that Grooveshark’s iPhone and Android apps have been booted from their respective stores due to record label complaints, which does significantly limit the potential number of listeners.

Image courtesy of Flickr, hell*yeah

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Why the Best Innovations Are Incremental, Not Monumental

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 11:05 AM PDT

invention image

Gabor George Burt is an internationally recognized expert on innovation, creativity and strategy development. His book Slingshot explores the connection between systematic creativity and smart strategy. Download your free copy of the first chapter at

Innovation is a vital ingredient for the sustainability of any organization, especially during these fast-changing times. If you don't continuously re-imagine what you offer, you are in danger of quickly becoming obsolete. But what sort of innovation should you pursue? Moreover, do you need to invent something completely new in order to innovate, or is there a more practical path?

Many of the most successful innovations were not brought about by outright inventions but rather by reconfiguring existing technologies. They represent a refreshing shortcut for today's businesses.

As Virginia Postrel once remarked: "The most successful innovations are the ones that we stop noticing almost immediately." The boldest innovations achieve this integration not by being market driven — fulfilling existing demand — but by being market driving — creating new demand and advancing the way people live.

A Few Examples

The Assembly Line

Let's look at a few examples, first going back in time a bit. Automobiles were already around well before the Model T was introduced in 1908, but they were widely disliked. It was Ransom E. Olds who first created the assembly line in 1901 but it took the pioneering vision of Henry Ford to create mass appeal by combining the two.


Café culture has thrived in many parts of the world since the 15th century, yet it wasn’t an integral part of modern American society before Starbucks. The company combined a well-established concept (cafés) with an efficient and replicable quick-service platform.

In the process, Starbucks gave coffee consumption a lifestyle-driving quality. Instead of people taking coffee to work, consumers would go do work at their local Starbucks. Again, the innovation of Starbucks was not about some decisive, proprietary invention but about creating broad relevance from existing components.


The original inspiration for Twitter came from traditional communication networks for urban transport dispatch systems like those found in taxis and buses. Twitter was built using pre-existing technologies like SMS, email and IM, but combined them in a unique way. The result is a transformative "instant micro-blog" that is changing the way people communicate.

There are already more than 200 million people using Twitter, with 13% of online Americans currently using the social network.

As The New York Times points out: "It has helped transform the way that news is gathered and distributed, reshaped how public figures from celebrities to political leaders communicate, and played a role in popular protests."

What’s On the Horizon?

Finally, let's consider a couple of budding innovations that combine existing technologies with market driving possibilities. MyCube is based on meshing the concept of social network sites with the ability to monetize and shield personal content online. Imagine a variation of Facebook in which users have complete privacy and control over their profiles with the option to monetize.

Square is a mobile payment system recently acquired by Visa. It combines handheld devices with credit card readers to allow for mobile transactions. Square’s goal is to facilitate micro-commerce by enabling electronic payment collection for small businesses and service providers that might not be able to accept credit cards.

Such inspiring examples abound. They demonstrate that the innovation shortcut is yours for the taking. Look at the wealth of current technologies as building blocks for your next incremental idea.

Images courtesy of Flickr, lgb06, time_anchor.

More About: business, innovation, MARKETING, Square, tech, technology, twitter

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Rise Against, Gaga & Katy Perry Say “It Gets Better” on Vevo

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 10:51 AM PDT

Anti-bullying videos are taking center stage on Vevo with the premiere of Rise Against’s new music video, “Make It Stop (September’s Children).” The video is just one of many featured clips from top acts that fight bullying and empower victims to stand up.

Rise Against’s video, filmed at lead singer Tim McIlrath’s former high school, shows LGBT teens being bullied and harassed. It’s a response to the multiple teen suicides this past year and the band’s own fan confessions. While the video starts dark with scenes of abuse, it ends with clips from Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” Project, which features videos from celebs and everyday people telling LGBT youths that life does get better. The campaign can add Rise Against to its list of partners including Neil Patrick Harris, MLB athletes and President Barack Obama.

"I decided to create the song as a response, and when I discovered the It Gets Better campaign and Dan Savage's commitment to such an important and concise message, I was moved," McIlrath said. "I immediately felt that if our song is the road, then the It Gets Better campaign is the destination. I hope the synergy between the two can reach people and make a difference."

As part of the video’s premiere, Vevo will be posting similarly themed music videos to its various homepages ( and mobile apps). These videos include Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” Pink’s “F-cking Perfect,” Eminem’s “No Love,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Marsha Ambrosius’s “Fly Away” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

What do you make of the video and Vevo’s decision to support anti-bullying? Sound off in the comments.

More About: dan savage, it gets better, music, musicians, rise against, vevo, youtube

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Don’t Just Listen to This Trippy Music Video, Play It, Too

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 10:35 AM PDT

We’ll say it once and we’ll say it again: More music videos should also be video games. Example: “Cryosphere,” a new video/game from New York-based synth pop band Konnichiwa.

“Cryosphere” (click the title to access the download page) is a relatively simple game that lets you navigate through a colorful, geometric plane as the statue of David encased in a spinning rectangle. The song — a soaring, spinny jam reminiscent of a slightly more shrill, tinny (in a good way) Phantogram — carries you through the landscape.

The game was designed by one half of Konnichiwa, D.V. Caputo, who also produces the tracks on the band’s debut album, Visions [iTunes link]. “Making a computer game still makes for a more immersive experience for more people by default than even the most extensive augmented reality iPad app,” say Caputo, who studied design and technology at Parsons in New York. “It feels more like a special package than something downloadable from the app store.”

The game really has no objective. It’s more about exploring a world created by imagery that the song evokes. “I designed ‘Cryosphere’ to be somewhat synaesthetic, in which the visuals correspond to different parts of the song,” Captuo explains. “The ‘objective’ is really to stay on the path and take in the sights.”

If “Cryosphere” seems at all familiar, you’ve probably messed around with computer games like Myst at some point in your life. The musician was inspired by such vintage games and multimedia programs when creating this offering. Personally, the game evokes hypertext projects like Fibonacci’s Daughter but with much better music.

Give “Cryosphere” a spin and let us know what you think. Is it better than your average music video?

More About: Cryosphere, Konnichiwa, music, video

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