Monday, 29 August 2011

Mashable: Latest 10 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 23 Stories You May Have Missed”

Mashable: Latest 10 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 23 Stories You May Have Missed”

Mashable Weekend Recap: 23 Stories You May Have Missed

Posted: 29 Aug 2011 04:50 AM PDT

The approaching storm gave our weekend coverage a countdown drama feel to it, where readers stayed put with their eyes glued to the TV, tweeting all the while. There was hardly anything else to even think about, but we did anyway.

While the Eastern seaboard shuddered at every howl of the wind, the rest of the world watched and waited along with them, but that was not all. There were quirky gadgets to play with, panoramas to peruse and laptops to lust after — and that’s just what we did.

Want to relive the weekend’s drama? You’ve come to the right place, because we’ve gathered the whole shooting match together for you all in one place:

News & Opinion Essentials

Eric Schmidt: If You Don't Want To Use Your Real Name, Don't Use Google+

Twitter Reaction to Tropical Storm Irene: Relief

Irene Looks Tame In NASA's Latest Satellite Photo [PIC]

How Businesses Use Social Media for Recruiting [INFOGRAPHIC]

Hurricane Irene: Social Media Shows Calm Before the Storm [PICS]

What Does Steve Jobs' Retirement Mean for the Future of Apple? [VIDEO]

This Week in Politics & Digital: Super Committees & Fake Followers

Why QR Codes Are Here to Stay [OPINION]

Helpful Resources

Hurricane Irene: Top 5 Online Sources for Weathering the Storm

38 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

HOW TO: Protect Your Laptop In Case of Theft

Hurricane Irene: Find an NYC Evacuation Center on Foursquare

3 Awesome Community-Oriented Apps

Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week [CHART]

New Social Media Analytics Tool Compares Engagement Across Competitor Profiles

Touchanote Brings Evernote to Life With NFC Tags [VIDEO]

Weekend Leisure

Ultra-Thin Gaming Laptop Breaks New Ground With Video Touchpad [PICS]

YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Katy Perry's "Firework"

10 Must-Follow Spoof Tech & Social Media Twitter Accounts

App Showcase: 10 Inspiring iPhone Panoramas [PICS]

10 Quirky USB Hubs

Hurricane Irene Now Has a Twitter Account

Twitter Boasts That It's Faster Than Earthquakes [VIDEO]

More About: Weekend recap

For more Social Media coverage:

Samsung Announces LTE Versions of Galaxy S II & Galaxy Tab 8.9

Posted: 29 Aug 2011 01:53 AM PDT

Ahead of the IFA trade show in Berlin on September 2-7, Samsung has announced LTE variants of Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 8.9. The new versions of these devices will have fast wireless data transfer capability, with download speeds as fast as 100 Mbps.

The Android 2.3-based Galaxy S II LTE will have a humongous 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen and an 8 megapixel camera.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE will be one of the most portable tablets around, being 8.6 mm thin and weighing only 455 g. Both devices will feature a 1.5GHz dual core processor.

The price and availability for both devices is still unknown, but we reckon we’ll know more when the IFA kicks off.

[via Engadget]

More About: Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, IFA, samsung, smartphone, Tablet

For more Mobile coverage:

Ultra-Thin Gaming Laptop Breaks New Ground With Video Touchpad [PICS]

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 06:59 PM PDT

Look out gamers — here comes the Razer Blade. It’s unusually thin at a mere .88 inches, and it’s relatively light at 6.9 pounds, but its claim to fame is those groundbreaking configurable OLED buttons and LCD touchpad that gives mobile gamers a versatile new way to win.

The Razer Blade is due sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, and it’s made by that same company that creates gaming mice that we’ve favorably reviewed, as well as keyboards and other gaming accessories with a certain design flair. In fact, the company wowed us in January at CES with a prototype “Switchblade” laptop whose keyboard did away with conventional keys altogether, instead substituting lots of tiny OLED touchscreens. Yes, Razer has credible design chops.

We haven’t tried this Blade laptop yet, but from what we can see, it has more going for it than just a pretty 17-inch face. It’s powered by a dual-core 2.8GHz second-generation Core i7 2640M processor with 8 gigs of RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GT555M 2GB graphics card. Not bad, but on the other hand, there’s no solid-state drive inside — just an old-fashioned 320GB SATA drive. And we’d rather have a quad-core chip like the fastest MacBook Pro’s. See what you think of the specs — check the Razer Blade’s full spec list here.

That’s why we’re scratching our heads, wondering why this laptop is so expensive at $2,799.99. Maybe it’s because of its snazzy new tiny-screen paraphernalia.

Judging from Razor’s pre-sale guff, the screens and their “Switchblade UI” must be expensive to build — they consist of 10 “dynamic adaptive tactile keys” — each a tiny OLED screen — that can be configured according to whatever game you’re playing.

The 480 x 800 LCD panel directly below those keys has two modes: If you’d like to use a separate mouse instead of its touchpad, you can use that mini screen as an extra screen to display in-game info (think weapons). In its second mode, the mini-LCD functions as a multi-touchpad if you like your gaming laptop to be completely self-contained.

While there are plenty of heavier, thicker and faster gaming laptops such as the $1,599 quad-core MSi GT683 we tested (and liked a lot), this Blade breaks new ground with that innovative user interface.

What you think, gamers? Does this one pass muster?

Watch this noisy video for a peek at the Razer Blade’s unique Switchblade UI in action:

12 screens, no waiting

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

[via Razer]

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YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Katy Perry’s “Firework”

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 05:29 PM PDT

Each week, Mashable picks a popular song, finds 10 covers of it and asks you to vote for your favorite.

At the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Katy Perry’s “Firework” battled Adele, the Beastie Boys, Bruno Mars and Tyler, The Creator for the Moonman trophy in the Video of the Year category. She won.

In honor of the song’s big win, we’re pitting a myriad of covers — which have attracted more than 7.5 million pageviews on YouTube — against each other. Vote for your favorite rendition in the poll below.

Peter Hollens


Kina Grannis

Eli Lieb

Rochelle Diamante


Passion & Victor Kim

Colton Jacobson



Last Week’s Face-Off Winner

In our inaugural YouTube Cover Song Face-Off last week, people from 80 countries cast nearly 2,500 votes for the 10 covers of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” The winner: Angie Johnson and Sidewinder’s “military” cover, which garnered 55% of the votes.

What popular song should we pick next week for the YouTube Cover Song Face-Off?

More About: music, music videos, viral videos, youtube, YouTube Cover Song Face-Off

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Eric Schmidt: If You Don’t Want To Use Your Real Name, Don’t Use Google+

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 04:43 PM PDT

Already using Google+? Follow Mashable’s Pete Cashmore for the latest about the platform’s new features, tips and tricks as well as social media and technology updates.

Google+ was meant to be an identity service, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said this weekend, shedding some light on Google’s reasoning behind Google+’s controversial real-name policy.

Google’s requirement that members of its social layer, Google+, use only their real names has been a point of contention for several weeks — especially for people with uncommon names and people who prefer to use pseudonyms. Schmidt’s comments at the Edinburgh International TV Festival reveal a new perspective on Google+.

NPR’s Andy Carvin asked Schmidt how Google justifies its names policy when it could put people at risk.

“He replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information,” Carvin wrote in a Google+ post. “Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.”

Paraphrasing Schmidt’s comments, Carvin wrote that the Google exec also said the Internet “would be better if we knew you were a real person rather than a dog or a fake person. Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.”

Because Schmidt’s comments were made during a Q&A session, Carvin said he wasn’t able to ask any follow-up questions.

On Sunday, venture capitalist Fred Wilson followed up with his own thoughts on Schmidt’s “identity service” comments and the products that Google might build based on users’ information.

“It begs the question of whom Google built this service for? You or them,” Wilson wrote in a blog post. “And the answer to why you need to use your real name in the service is because they need you to.”

Since its launch in late June, Google+ has begun to spread its reach across the web. The +1 button now shares directly to Google+ and it’s added friend annotations; and Google+ posts now appear in Google search results. The pieces all fit together to provide Google with a broader picture of its users — not just on Google products anymore.

How could Google leverage users’ identity information for new products? Perhaps through more targeted advertising or personalized search, or maybe something completely different.

Wilson seems to imply that just knowing Google’s intentions is useful. “Well at least we got that out there and can deal with it,” he concluded.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Charles Haynes

More About: eric schmidt, Google, Google Plus, trending

For more Social Media coverage:

App Showcase: 10 Inspiring iPhone Panoramas [PICS]

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 02:15 PM PDT

One of the best things about the many iPhotography apps available is that they increase the capabilities of the iPhone’s camera. One great example is panoramic photography. Pano is one such app featured in the App Store’s Hall of Fame. It is available for both iPhone and Android devices and helps create stunning panoramic images.

We got in touch with Debacle Software, the developer of Pano, to find out more about the app’s history and showcase 10 extraordinary panoramas created with the app.

“When we created Pano in 2008, our aim was to develop a photography tool that would allow users to capture things that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to capture with their cameras,” says Julian Lepinski, Pano’s co-creator.

Take a look through the photo gallery for examples of flawless skies, amazing scenery and more. And let us know in the comments if you’ve created your own iPhone or Android panoramas.

1. Eric Akaoka

"Taken by Debacle Software's own Eric Akaoka, this pano really captures that hot, dusty summer feeling. I love the big blue sky and the golden grass stretching from edge-to-edge through the photo," says Lepinski.

2. Julian Lepinski

"I was in China this spring, and shot this [panoramic photo] looking out from the great wall (a portion of which is visible in the right region of the photo). The great wall was breathtaking, and the views from the wall are one of those things that are hard to capture with a normal photograph."

3. PhotoPoinky

"This photo of Bow Lake in Banff, Alberta, is wonderful not only for the beautiful scenery and colors but for the incredible reflection of the mountains captured in the lake."

4. Julian Lepinski

"South of Korea there's an island called Jeju which has a peak at its easternmost point called Sunrise Peak. I shot this pano immediately after sunrise, looking west over the island. This shot made the 5 a.m. hike to the top worthwhile!"

5. Lassi Kurkijarvi

"Shot at Lake Geneva ... this photo does a great job of capturing a person as well as their surroundings. With such a wide angle, the photographer has managed to capture a beautiful sunset, the glassy lake and their subject all at once."

6. Julian Lepinski

"I shot this myself looking out over Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California. Stanford's campus has these wonderful red-tiled roofs (as you can see) and is ringed by foothills, which was a perfect opportunity for a beautiful [panoramic]."

7. Uvbirke

"I can't look at this picture without catching my breath. Taken in the Swiss Alps, this photo takes in such a wide expanse that you can see the light and dark of the cloud cover playing across the mountains. The small cabin in the foreground adds something amazing to this photo."

8. Shengamillo

"This is a really unconventional shot and I love it. I don't know [how] the photographer got this shot and had everything turn out so perfectly, but this really feels like a bug's-eye-view of this field ... I love this one because it takes you somewhere that is new and familiar at the same time."

9. Brandon Beers

"Add another bias to our list: sunrises and sunsets! This is the type of photo that a single frame simply doesn't capture. This one was shot in Miami with the sun going down, and the city looks absolutely gorgeous!"

10. Taiyo Fujii

"When we developed Pano ... we never even thought about taking vertical panos. That was not an issue, however, as our users quickly adapted it to take innumerable [panoramic photos] that we would have never imagined. This gorgeous vertical pano captures the sunset in a way that no normal photo could do justice to."

More About: gallery, iphone, iphone apps, iphotography, Lists, photography, photography apps

For more Mobile coverage:

How Businesses Use Social Media for Recruiting [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 12:45 PM PDT

Savvy job seekers have turned to digital and social media tools to help them in their job searches, and now recruiters are on board with the power of social media as a recruiting tool.

LinkedIn isn’t the only social network that helps in the job search process — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ have all been used by people to land jobs in innovative ways.

And interesting takes on the digital resume are increasingly popular, with job seekers creating infographic resumes, video resumes and other visual resumes that set them apart from other job applicants.

Employers are taking note of the importance of social media in the recruiting process, and the majority of businesses are turning to social media to find and evaluate job candidates, according to this infographic compiled by Career Enlightenment, a resource for online job seekers.

Take a look and let us know what you think of using social media to find a job.

Social Media Job Listings

Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

More Job Search Resources From Mashable

- 6 Companies With Awesome Employee Perks
- Tips For Negotiating Employee Equity
- HOW TO: Spruce Up a Boring Resume [INFOGRAPHIC]
- HOW TO: Find and Land Freelance Work
- 9 Dynamic Digital Resumes That Stand Out From the Crowd

More About: infographics, job search, job search series, jobs, Social Media, trending

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

10 Quirky USB Hubs

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 11:23 AM PDT

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can never have too many USB ports. Even though modern laptops boast more ports than ever before, a USB hub is a handy accessory to expand your options.

With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some great USB hubs on the market right now. Rather than go down the boring black box route however, we’ve dug up some fun designs.

If you’re looking for a little more USB in your life, then take a look through the gallery for our selections. Let us know in the comments which ones you’d consider for your connectivity needs.

1. Peas USB Hub

MoMA's pea-inspired hub will add a spring-fresh string of four green ports to your desk.

Cost: $32

2. You Sunk My USBattleship Hub

This utilitarian-looking hub will give you four extra ports before you can say "Potemkin." If you need more, you can buy additional boats to boost your USB fleet.

Cost: $20.99

3. Roboto USB Hub

This Japanese creation comes with a sheet of decorative stickers to personalize your 'bot. "Roboto" boasts wind-up action and glowing eyes (as all good robots should).

Cost: $24

4. Cassette Tape Hub

Kick it old skool with this cassette-shaped hub.

Cost: $24.99

5. Aphrodite USB Hub

The goddess of love offers a classic alternative to your traditional hub solution. Made of ceramic, she'll give your workspace some useful, Greek chic.

Cost: $38

6. USB Building Block Hub

These brick hubs are fun, even if you can't actually stack them.

Cost: $19.99

7. USB HubDog

Because USB ports are a man's best friend ...

Cost: $18

8. USB Flower Hub

Pretty and cheerful, these tulip-shaped ports will add a dash of color to your desk.

Cost: $12

9. USB Octopus Hub

Last time we checked, octopodes had eight arms. That, however, doesn't stop us from liking this cute little four-limbed fella.

Cost: $19.99

10. Robot USB Hubs

We want all three of these retro robotic hubs, although we do think the one on the right looks a little shifty. We've been assured they're Three Laws compliant ...

Cost: £9.99 (approx $16)

More About: accessories, gadgets, gallery, Lists, usb

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Twitter Reaction to Tropical Storm Irene: Relief

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 10:32 AM PDT

The Twitterverse heaved a collective sigh of relief when morning turned into afternoon today, as the mood moved almost into the giddy range as people realized Tropical Storm Irene was not nearly as bad as many had anticipated.

Here’s a sampling from Twitter, where people realized that although the storm is not quite over yet — there’s a significant amount of cleanup and commuting problems ahead — for most, the storm amounted to a lot of worry and anticipation and little impact:

Photo courtesy Flickr/David Shankbone

More About: Hurricane Irene, Irene, trending, Tropical Storm Irene, twitter

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Irene Looks Tame In NASA’s Latest Satellite Photo [PIC]

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 09:28 AM PDT

Tropical Storm Irene (click image for enlargement)

To the relief of everyone on the Eastern seaboard and the rest of the world, Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to Tropical Storm Irene. Throughout the time the storm soaked the eastern seaboard with blustery winds and a deluge of rain, NASA’s GOES-13 satellite has been sending magnificent pictures back to Earth. This latest shot was taken at 8:32 A.M. EDT on Sunday morning, 28 minutes before Irene’s landfall near Coney Island in New York City.

Notice how the storm lacks the tight organization showed in the Hurricane Irene pictures NASA sent back to earth yesterday, with today’s Irene lacking that ominous eye that peered out from its center as it moved up the coast as a Category 1 hurricane. By the time it had reached New York City, its maximum sustained winds were a manageable 65 mph.

SEE MORE: Calm Before the Storm | Hurricane Irene Has a Twitter Account | Tracking the Storm

That’s not to say there wasn’t suffering involved in the enormous storm, where officials have attributed at least 9 deaths to Irene’s massive amounts of rainfall, wind, flooding and its associated calamities. Even though millions of people are without power today and flooding is a serious problem in numerous cities and towns, Irene didn’t turn out to be the monster most observers anticipated.

Photo courtesy NASA

More About: GOES-13, Hurricane Irene, Irene, NASA, pics, trending

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10 Must-Follow Spoof Tech & Social Media Twitter Accounts

Posted: 28 Aug 2011 08:40 AM PDT

Twitter continues to prove itself a valuable current affairs platform. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for some laughs. We’ve taken a look at the lighter side of microblogging with some more hilarious spoof accounts that add some comedy to your Twitter stream.

In addition to our top fake celebrities and fictional characters, we’re here with 10 fantastic parody accounts from the worlds of tech, social media and the web.

Take a look through our tweet-tastic gallery below and let us know in the comments which figures — fake or otherwise — from the world of business you’d recommend following on Twitter.

1. Android PR

Who knew that cute little green bot had a wicked streak? If you're a fan of the Android platform -- heck, even if you're not -- then follow this account for some Google-centric fun.

2. Walt Mosspuppet

Walt Mosspuppet, a puppet comedian and apparently "the only technology journalist in the World," is well worth a look for a funny take on tech.

3. Fake Stephen Elop

Nokia's CEO gets lampooned in fine old style here with a seriously sarcastic perspective on the Finnish phone company.

4. Fake Carol Bartz

This account spoofs the director, president and chief executive officer of Yahoo by imagining the successful businesswoman as a foul-mouthed alcoholic.

5. Fake Facebook PR

If ever a social network was ripe for a parody, it's got to be Julian Ass

With a surname that starts with "Ass," WikiLeak's Julian Assange hopefully has some thick skin. If not, well, he certainly has more pressing things to worry about.

7. AT&T Parody Relations

The underlying tone behind AT&T's "Parody Relations" can be summed up by its bio -- "Covering the USA, kind of..."

8. Peter Molyneux 2

This fake version of British video game designer Peter Molyneux amps up his overly complex thoughts to their funniest extremes.

9. Not Mark Zuckerberg

Poor old Zuckerberg. All of that money and he still has to put up with people writing amusing tweets under his (almost) name. Yeah, we'd take that deal too.

10. Google Brain

Imagine the immense power behind all Google properties is an evil, HAL-esque sentient machine. Funny, or too real?

More About: Lists, parodies, spoof, trending, twitter, Twitter Lists

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