Monday, 22 August 2011

Mashable: Latest 13 News Updates - including “Khan Academy Integrates With Digital Textbooks”

Mashable: Latest 13 News Updates - including “Khan Academy Integrates With Digital Textbooks”

Khan Academy Integrates With Digital Textbooks

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 04:46 AM PDT

The 12-minute video lectures that Bill Gates has called “the start of a revolution” will now be linked with the material in some digital textbooks. Etextbook maker Kno announced Monday that it will integrate thousands of tutorial videos from Khan Academy into its books.

Khan Academy has been praised and funded by both Gates and Google. At its core, it’s a database of instructional YouTube videos that its founder, Salman Kahn, started creating in order to help his cousins with their math homework. Video production quality does not extend beyond the capabilities of Microsoft Paint, but Khan has a knack for making calculus seem like gradeschool math (the archive contains videos on both topics) that has made his tutorials a popular resource for independent learning.

Kno will be linking them to its books through a new “smart links” feature. When students click on a Khan Academy tutorial from a new tab on one of Kno’s digital pages, Khan’s explanation of that topic plays within the book.

"We're excited that Kno sees the value in our mission and has integrated our videos and study tools directly into their books,” Khan said in a statement.

Kno worked with Kahn Academy to implement its tutorials for the feature’s launch. Eventually, Kno Vice President of Marketing Ousama Haffar says, the feature will expand to include other educational images and videos.

The digital textbook maker is also adding a 3D feature that allows users to turn images like molecule diagrams into 3D objects that rotate on the page.

Non-profit Khan Academy makes videos like the one above for a range of subjects. Digital textbook maker Kno has put links to some of them within its text.

More About: digital textbooks, education, Khan Academy, Kno

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Dunkin’ Donuts Launches Search for “President of Dunkin Nation” via Foursquare, Facebook Places

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 04:42 AM PDT

If you missed your chance to become Dunkin’ Donuts’s ultimate coffee fan, you still have a chance to leverage your social media savvy for proper fanboy (or fangirl) recognition: From now until September 23, the food and beverage chain is giving customers who check in to U.S. Dunkin’ Donuts locations using Foursquare or Facebook Places a chance to be named the “President of Dunkin’ Nation.”

To enter, participants need to register their Facebook Places or Foursquare credentials on Dunkin’s Facebook Page. Fans are then invited to check in at Dunkin’ Donuts locations once per hour, up to 10 times per day.

The person with the most checkins each week is eligible to be named the President of Dunkin’ Nation for the week. (There will be five winners in total, for each of the five weeks.) A leaderboard on Dunkin’s Facebook Page will help them track their status in real-time.

Those whose checkin behaviors are less naturally competitive are also eligible to win a $25 gift card simply for checking in.

One concern: spam. Ten checkins at the same retail location in a single day is considered excessive by most users of location-based social networks, and while users can opt not to broadcast their checkins to their friend networks on Foursquare, the same option does not exist for Facebook Places users. Although there’s a chance that so many checkins will quickly alert participants’ friend networks to the promotions, there’s also a serious risk that participants will overwhelm their friends, thus losing a chunk of their followers and developing a less-than-savory association with Dunkin’s brand in the process.

Kevin Vine, interactive marketing manager in Dunkin's brands division, admitted that he hadn’t considered the possibility of spam, but noted that participants using Foursquare could hide their checkins. At the end of the day, he says, it’s more important to open up the promotion to as many people as possible — and that means making it available to Facebook’s vast userbase in addition to Foursquare’s.

In speaking of goals for the campaign, Vine says the company would be pleased to see 100,000 people participate. He emphasized that the campaign is less about driving traffic to Dunkin’ Donuts locations than “celebrating and rewarding our dedicating fans who are already engaging in this kind of [checkin] behavior,” although the former is still important.

More About: dunkin donuts, Facebook Places, foursquare, MARKETING

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Mashable Weekend Recap: 20 Stories You May Have Missed

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 04:31 AM PDT

With the back-to-school exodus looming, the weekend was consumed by prep for the new semester about to start, so who had time to keep an eye on the social media, business, tech and gadget news? Mashable did, that’s who.

Want to know what you missed? You’ve come to the right place, because we’ve rounded up all the stories we covered the entire weekend and placed them right here for your enjoyment and convenience:

News & Opinion Essentials

Sorry, This Is Not the End of the PC Era [OPINION]

Skype to Buy GroupMe Group Messaging Service

Libya: Latest Tweets Say Rebels Are Moving Into Tripoli

Google+ Begins Verification Badge Program [VIDEO]

Unconfirmed: Tweets Say Gaddafi Has Left Libya

Helpful Resources

HOW TO: Land a Job at Meetup

42 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

10 Ways to Make Your Design Portfolio More Appealing to Employers

3 New Startup Tools For Shopping, Selling and Running

HP Tablet: How to Find a Deeply Discounted HP TouchPad

Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week [CHART]

What Kind of Workspace Is Best For Your Startup?

HP TouchPad Slashed to $149 and Below — In Canada

Weekend Leisure

Nikon D5100 vs. Olympus E-P3: Which Camera Is Best For Bloggers? [REVIEW]

YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" [VIDEOS]

Remote Aircraft Is Both Helicopter and Airplane [VIDEO]

10 Brilliant Interactive Billboards [VIDEOS]

Stunning Photo Animations Go Beyond 3D [PICS]

How Social Media is Changing the NFL

iPad 2 App Turns Your Real World Surroundings Into 3D Shooter Game

More About: Weekend recap

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LG’s Ultra-Thin Optimus Sol Comes to Europe in September

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 01:55 AM PDT

LG has announced the release schedule for its latest Android smartphone, LG Optimus Sol.

The device, which is expected to hit Europe mid-September, sports a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, 512 MB of RAM memory, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.8-inch Ultra AMOLED display which is supposed to behave well even in very sunny conditions. Besides the fancy screen, its biggest claim to fame is its ultra-thin profile: it is only 9.8 mm thick.

Optimus Sol will come with Android 2.3 and HSDPA support, while NFC support will be added in a separate model.

After the European launch, the phone will be rolled out in Central and South America. It will be available in black, white and titan, depending on the region.

More About: LG, LG Optimus Sol, smartphone

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HOW TO: Land a Job at Meetup

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 06:30 PM PDT

A Meetup happens every 13 seconds, and there are over 90,000 Meetup Groups for more than 9 million members. As Meetups become more popular and widespread, the Meetup team continues to grow.

Meetup staff are known as “MEME-teamers,” MEME being an acronym for “Meetups Everywhere about Most Everything”– and judging from the numbers, this name is pretty accurate. Mashable spoke with Kathryn Fink, Meetup’s community development lead, and Linda Paul, the team development director, about who they look for, what the company values are and how you can land a gig at this fast-growing startup.

What Positions Are Available?

Head to the jobs page to see what positions the startup is looking to fill. The current openings at Meetup are:

  • Desktop Support Specialist
  • MySQL Hadoop DBA
  • Software Engineers
  • UI Engineers
  • Product Managers
  • Community Specialists
  • Sponsorship Development
  • Community Development Apprentice

The company revolves around face-to-face meetups, so it’s no surprise that they like keeping the 80-person team together (it’s like a Meetup meetup every day). Meetup HQ is part of the “Made in NYC” startup family — and is located in Soho neighborhood, so be prepared to move to the Big Apple if you are offered a position.

“Because of the collaborative nature of our work, the rapid innovations occurring within the company and our belief in the power of face-to-face, we believe that working all together in a place without walls — literally and figuratively — is the only way to get the stuff done that we need to get done to help us a achieve our mission,” says Fink.

What Kind of People Do They Hire?

“At the heart of Meetup is the belief that people are intrinsically good, and people connecting over a shared interest/passion/cause is hugely powerful,” says Fink. The company is the largest network of local groups that meet face-to-face, empowering people to build communities, connections, economies, life stories. That said, “We need people who want to have a hand in shaping the present and future of how people make that happen,” she adds. You can check out the Meetup HQ blog for a glimpse behind the curtain — posts are written by various team members to provide a holistic view of the company.

Meetup seeks innovators and “really smart people who are excited about working in an agile, energetic environment.” A company is only as strong as its team, and Meetup places a high premium on its people — they “get” the Meetup mission and have the skills to take it further. When the team meets, they sit in a circle (see above), so that there’s more of a conversation and less of a “lecture” environment.

“We always cast a wide net to find the best possible people,” says Paul — they don’t put deadlines on hiring, because then they’d be “selecting people for the wrong reason.” During the interview process, you’ll be meeting lots of team members, and Paul says it’s a testament to Meetup really caring about who it hires. CEO Scott Heiferman tries to meet as many final candidates as his schedule allows, so that by the time someone starts at Meetup, they already feel comfortable with the team. Paul says there’s a “maybe is no” policy on hiring — if anyone on the interview team is not feeling great about a particular candidate, Meetup will not offer him a job.

That may seem harsh, but Meetup is all about face-time and collaboration, both internally and externally. “Nothing happens at Meetup — whether it’s a new product development or an after-work party — without many people working together in innovative ways,” says Fink.

At the bottom of every job post, you’ll see this blurb:

Every member of the Meetup Team is expected to: be an Innovator; be a Collaborator; be a Champion for their ideas; be an Expert; have High Standards; be dedicated to the power of self-organized groups and our mission of A Meetup Everywhere About Most Everything (“MEME”); and most importantly, Get Stuff Done That Makes a Difference!

And this isn’t just lip service — Paul says everyone is reviewed on these expectations twice a year.

It’s a work-hard, play-hard environment, and the team has its fair share of fun. In fact, Heiferman jokingly created a list that compared working at Google to working at Meetup, which touches on the culture and the people who make up the Meetup team. If you think working for this kind of CEO would be fun, then Meetup might be the place for you.

Perks & Benefits

As mentioned above, Meetup HQ is in SoHo, and the office culture is work hard/play hard. At Meetup, you’ll enjoy:

  • Roof with a 300-degree view of New York City, complete with a grill, lounge chairs and fake grass (and they do hang out up there)
  • Rock Band setup with a projector
  • A dog-friendly office — the resident mascot, Lola, is pictured above
  • $100 towards a helmet if you ride a bike
  • 3 weeks paid vacation plus summer Fridays, personal holidays and no-limit sick days
  • 401(k) matching
  • 3-month paid sabbatical program for employees who have been with Meetup for 7 years
  • Yearly off-site trip and barbecue
  • A nap room
  • Halloween festivities, an annual summer barbecue and a holiday party in December
  • Surprise gifts when you reach certain Meetup anniversaries, such as a mug with your face on it and stapler with your name on it (a la Office Space)
  • Guest speakers, such as Tony Hsieh, Jack Dorsey and ClayShirkey

And the Meetup team creates goals based on the number of successful Meetup Groups and RSVPs, and each time it hits a milestone, there’s a new perk added to the mix.

Some such perks are:

  • A fridge stocked with tea, juice, coconut water and the stuff startups thrive on, beer.
  • Fresh fruit all year long
  • A monthly $40 gift card to Whole Foods (right around the corner)
  • $200 reimbursement every year toward the purchase of any mobile device
  • Breakfast every Tuesday

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

- HOW TO: Spruce Up a Boring Resume [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Tips For Negotiating Employee Equity
- HOW TO: Land a Job at Airbnb
- HOW TO: Set Up an Online Resume
- HOW TO: Land a Job at LinkedIn

Image courtesy of Flickr, rxb, heif

More About: job search series, meetup

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Skype to Buy GroupMe Group Messaging Service

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 05:48 PM PDT

The group messaging battle just heated up with the announcement Sunday that Skype has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GroupMe, a group messaging service that will enhance Skype’s ability to facilitate text and photo messaging.

With this acquisition, Skype said in a press release that GroupMe will provide “best-in-class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties.”

Given the hyper-competitive backdrop of this booming group messaging field, it’s no surprise that Skype’s CEO Tony Bates told The Wall Street Journal about how important he thinks the mobile group messaging space is to his company. That’s evidenced by the multiple deals in that space taking in the past year, including Google’s purchase of group messaging company Slide in August of last year, Facebook’s rollout of its Group Chat capabilities after it acquired group messaging app Beluga in March of this year, and Apple’s June announcement of iMessage in iOS 5 that’s also capable of group messaging.

Even though Skype agreed in May to sell itself to Microsoft for $8.5 billion, that transaction has not been completed yet. Skype’s CEO didn’t specify the terms of the agreement between Skype and GroupMe, which is expected to close on Monday.

More About: deals, groupme, Skype

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10 Brilliant Interactive Billboards [VIDEOS]

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 04:02 PM PDT

Advertising billboards are just part of the background of modern, urban living. The challenge for marketers is to get us to notice something we are used to passing by without a second glance.

One way to achieve this is by making a billboard interactive, giving consumers a good reason to stop and engage with the medium, rather than just walk on past.

We’ve found 10 excellent examples of interactive advertising. Take a look through the video gallery and let us know in the comments which ones you find the most engaging.

1. Big in Japan Interactive Billboard

A promotion for a reality TV show gives passers-by a taste of fame.

2. JCDecaux Innovate for Cadbury

What better way to kill time at the bus stop than splatting some chocolate eggs?

3. Honda Interactive Billboard

As well as the ability to "start" the car by texting to an SMS shortcode, this Honda ad also offered more info via Bluetooth.

4. McDonald's Interactive Billboard

By making its billboard a game and giving consumers free food, McDonald's guarantees engagement.

5. JCDecaux Innovate for Yell

This outdoor touchscreen ad offers consumers useful local info.

6. Live Interactive Billboard

This high-impact concept confronts the public with their inactivity in the face of a green-screened scene of aggression toward public service workers.

7. Xerox - Airport Interactive Billboard

Airport travellers are a captive audience. Xerox made the most of this fact with an enticing touchscreen tease.

8. JCDecaux Innovate for Skunk Anansie

Passers-by were encouraged to do their best Skunk Anansie impression in this clever campaign. While the loudest could enter a draw to win free tickets, everyone who had a go got sent their performance as a video clip to their mobile phones.

9. IBM Ad Changes Color To Match Your Outfit

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then this IBM billboard, which changed color to match your clothes, was a clever stunt.

10. Google Video Outdoor Campaign

Google gives tourists a great photo opportunity with this outdoor campaign.

More About: advertising, billboards, Lists, MARKETING, trending, video

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Libya: Latest Tweets Say Rebels Are Moving Into Tripoli

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 03:09 PM PDT

Tweets from news organizations and eyewitnesses have been arriving at an accelerating pace this afternoon, and the latest Twitter posts from inside Tripoli say that rebels are getting close to taking over the capital city of Libya. An unconfirmed rumor that Gaddafi was killed has been retracted.

A confirmed tweet from Reuters doesn’t go that far, stopping short of saying that Gaddafi is dead and reporting that his government is “ready for immediate negotiations, asks for end to rebel attacks.”

As we did in yesterday’s unconfirmed reports of Gaddafi’s exit from Tripoli, today we’ve created another Storify embed showing you selected tweets from the scene and from news organizations, and we will continue updating it as the situation in Libya continues to develop:

Graphic courtesy iStockphoto/Hazim Sahib Jalil Al-hakeem

More About: breaking news, libya, rumor, twitter

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Nikon D5100 vs. Olympus E-P3: Which Camera Is Best For Bloggers? [REVIEW]

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 02:00 PM PDT

Are you looking for a digital camera that does a better job of taking pictures than your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera? When you’re a blogger looking to step up, it’s probably a good idea to get a digital SLR camera. But maybe there’s another way to approach this.

We selected a new midrange digital SLR, the Nikon D5100, and compared it to the latest “Micro Four Thirds” camera, an Olympus PEN E-P3. Both represent the best of breed, with the Nikon holding court in the lower end of DSLRs, and the Olympus the latest sensation in the Micro Four Thirds camp.

By the way, what is this Four Thirds system, anyway? These new cameras are part of a system developed by Olympus and Kodak, aimed at reduced size but higher quality.

The Olympus camera in our tests uses the Micro Four Thirds format, making it smaller and lighter than the Nikon and nearly as small as a point-and-shoot camera. Its “Micro” designation means it does away with the mirror of a DSLR camera, using just a viewscreen (and no optical viewfinder) to frame your shots. It still has a Four Thirds sensor, larger than point-and shoot cameras, and closer in size to a digital SLR’s sensor (see graphic above). We’re not talking about how many megapixels can be crammed on an image sensor; we’re talking about the size of the image sensor itself, an important factor in low-light performance and overall quality of the resulting pictures.

Both the Nikon D5100 and Olympus E-P3 cameras cost about the same, retailing for around $900. Which one was better for the purposes of an occasional photographer — perhaps a blogger who needs minimum size and maximum quality — who usually shoots in automatic mode? Let’s put these two cameras to the test.

The Nikon D5100 crosses the bridge between point-and-shoot cameras and the behemoths used by the pros. One reason it appealed to us is because of its relatively diminutive size — it’s smaller than most DSLRs. Even so, it’s still bulky and big. It weighs 27.1 ounces, and is 5 inches wide and 6 inches deep with its included 18-to-55mm lens.

Compare that to the Olympus PEN E-P3 that is much lighter, weighing 17.4 ounces. It’s about as wide as the Nikon at 5 inches, but when its 14-42mm lens is collapsed, it’s a mere 1 inch deep, small enough to fit in a medium-sized purse. Its 12.3-megapixel sensor doesn’t have as many pixels as the Nikon’s 16.2 megapixel sensor, and because the Olympus camera’s sensor is about 40 percent smaller than that of the Nikon, its pixels must be packed slightly closer together.

What are the other differences between these two cameras? In our testing, we really liked the adjustable viewscreen of the Nikon. It lets you take self portraits, take low-angled pictures while looking at the viewfinder from above, and gives you a lot more flexibility. The downside of that is you must use Nikon’s Live View technology to use that viewscreen, and it’s a relatively slow process, necessitating an operation it feels like you’re taking two pictures in a row.

On the other hand, while the Olympus camera lacks that adjustable viewscreen (you can get that in a lesser model of the Olympus), it makes up for that with its lightning-fast response while giving you a live view just like a point-and-shoot does. In fact, the viewscreen is the only way you’re going to be able to see the picture you’re about to take on the Olympus E-P3, because there’s no optical viewfinder unless you buy a separate attachment. However, we noticed that even in the brightest sunlight, the E-P3 viewscreen allowed us to see precisely what we were shooting.

Another advantage of the E-P3′s viewscreen is its touchscreen capabilities. The screen is as wonderfully sensitive as a iPhone’s, and it makes picture taking feel like an iPhone, too. Tap on the viewscreen, and the camera will quickly focus, expose and take the picture. Or, you can set it to merely focus and expose that area, and take your shot with the shutter button. While I did feel more confident using the Nikon’s optical viewscreen on a sunny day, in the long run, I preferred the Olympus viewscreen.

Bloggers often need video, and both the cameras can shoot 1080p footage. Take a look at the comparison below, and you’ll notice that both are comparable, but I think the Olympus did a better job of automatically exposing and focusing, and there were fewer strange artifacts in the challenging video test I put the two cameras through. The good news is, both of these cameras are capable of shooting sharp and colorful 1080p video and passable audio. By the way, the odd sound you hear on the Olympus audio is its neckstrap holder clanking against the body of the camera:

What about picture quality? Even though the Nikon has a bigger sensor and packs more megapixels, I noticed very little quality difference between the two cameras. Some of us thought there was better sharpness in the Olympus camera, which we think is due to the higher quality of its lens. Even so, the picture quality of the two cameras was similar in low light conditions and outdoors, and was not different enough to be a dealbreaker either way.

Here’s a gallery that includes pictures we took with both cameras, comparing their quality. After the gallery, continue reading for more.

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon D5100

Olympus PEN E-P3

Our premise for this review is to find the camera that can deliver higher quality photographs than a cellphone camera or point-and-shoot, but will still satisfy those who will be shooting in automatic mode most the time. After extensive testing, the two cameras’ performance was similar, but I think the Olympus E-P3 does a better job of fulfilling that mission. Even if you leave it in automatic mode all the time, it can usually give you a usable shot, regardless of the conditions. Its low-light performance is stellar, its images sharp, and best of all, it’s so much smaller than the Nikon, you’re more likely to take it with you. And that’s what makes it a better camera for bloggers.

Olympus E-P3

Nikon D3100

Olympus E-P3

Nikon Viewscreen, great for self portraits

Olympus side view: Zuiko lens is in the collapsed position

Nikon D5100

Olympus E-P3, lens in the extended position

Olympus viewscreen, viewable even in bright sunlight

Nikon viewscreen, equally viewable in sunlight, but live view is slower.

Olympus E-P3 Top Shot

Nikon D5100 top shot

Olympus E-P3, side view. The unlock switch lets you extend the lens, but it was inconvenient to use.

Nikon, Side View

Size Comparison: All other features being equal, size was the biggest differentator.

Size Comparison

Nikon Adjustable Viewscreen: This was the chief advantage the Nikon had over the Olympus

Nikon Adjustable Viewscreen: low-angle shot

Olympus pop-up flash: Clever design

Olympus pop-up flash, side view

More About: comparison, digital cameras, Nikon D5100, Olympus E-P3, review

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Remote Aircraft Is Both Helicopter and Airplane [VIDEO]

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 01:11 PM PDT

Quadshot is a remote-controlled aircraft that combines the attributes of helicopters and airplanes, giving you the best of both worlds: It can both hover and fly.

Developed by four guys with enough creativity, hardware/software chops and patience to hand-build 10 working prototypes, it’s a Kickstarter project that has already surpassed its $25,000 fundraising goal with 27 days to spare. (If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s an organization that invites inventors to present their proposed products, and visitors to the Kickstarter site pledge financial backing that must meet predetermined financial goals and deadlines).

How does this remarkable aircraft accomplish such feats of hovering and soaring? The guys gave it a brain that’s bristling with a trio of accelerometers and gyroscopes, controlled by open-source flight software and flying on an airframe that’s mostly wing.

They’ve even built in a beginner mode that makes it easy for first timers to fly, and an advanced mode for daredevil (remote) aerobats.

Our favorite feature is the camera mount that will let its users employ this little aircraft as a relatively stable camera platform. Let’s just hope the resulting product will be used for recreation and not for spying on unsuspecting citizens.

The finished products will range in price from $400 for the basic model to the more hackable and sophisticated “Kopi Luwak” for $2000.

Want to see more? Here’s a video of the inventors flying prototype number 8, demonstrating the remarkable stability of the aircraft:

[via Kickstarter]

More About: kickstarter, Quadshot, RC, Remote-Control Airplanes, trending

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YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” [VIDEOS]

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 12:05 PM PDT

Welcome to Mashable‘s first YouTube Cover Song Face-Off. Each week, we’ll pick a popular song, find 10 covers of it and ask you to vote for your favorite.

First up: Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” The tune — which came out at the end 2010 and spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 — most recently snagged seven nominations for next Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The covers we’re featuring this week have amassed more than 26 million combined pageviews on YouTube. YouTube artists have taken a variety of approaches to covering this song, with our picks including acoustic, beatbox, choir, duet, garage rock, guitar, live, mashup, military and piano. Vote for your favorite rendition in the poll below.

Acoustic: Boyce Avenue

Military: Angie Johnson & Sidewinder

Garage Rock: Travis Ratledge

Guitar: Maddi Jane

Choir: PS22 Chorus

Beatbox: Mike Tompkins

Piano: Christina Grimmie

Mashup: Alex Goot, Justin Robinett & Michael Henry

Live: Connie Talbot

Duet: Sam Tsui & Tyler Ward

BONUS: Celebrity Covers of “Rolling in the Deep”

A slew of music, TV and Internet celebrities have put their own spin on arguably the year’s biggest pop song. The second gallery includes “Rolling in the Deep” covers from Linkin Park, John Legend, David Cook, Mike Posner, lip-sync extraordinaire Keenan Cahill, and Glee‘s Rachel Berry and Jesse St. James, among others.

Live: Linkin Park

Lip-Sync: Keenan Cahill

Duet: Glee's Rachel Berry & Jesse St. James

Live: David Cook

Petapalooza Las Vegas 4/9/11

Live: David Cook & PS22 Chorus Another amazing moment with David Cook and guitarist Neil Tiemann! Denise and David together on the leads is mind-blowing!! And it should be noted that Denise was improvising her harmony at the second chorus! Such an amazing special spontaneous moment!! Big thanks to David and his guitarist Neal Tiemann and Jamie for making this happen! Also thanks and props go to Mr. Eberle for some additional guitarwork and rock star Marquis on the skins! And lastly, big thanks to Ms. Lisa for her amazing filming on this! Nobody could have captured this unplugged performance on one hand-held camera better!

Remix: Mike Posner

A capella: John Legend

A capella: Ariana Grande

Live: Todrick Hall

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

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

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Stunning Photo Animations Go Beyond 3D [PICS]

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 10:47 AM PDT

Take one look at these multidimensional photos and you’ll think there’s magic afoot, but there’s a reasonable explanation for this. Artist/photographer Ignacio Torres used conventional digital SLR cameras and a bit of fairy dust to create a series of photos that give you a peek into the third dimension.

How was it done? We asked Torrres, and he revealed his secret that you might have already figured out: He combines four images in an animated .gif file.

“I created the images shooting the subject from four different angles,” he says, taking the pictures “all at the same time with a synched flash.” At the same time, he sprinkles a bit of dust and reflective confetti into the scene, and the result is magic.

In this project entitled “Stellar,” Torres is making a deeper philosophical point, channeling Carl Sagan with the notion that “we are all star stuff.” On his website, he describes the concept:

“This project began from the theory that humans are made of cosmic matter as a result of a star’s death. I created imagery that showcased this cosmic birth through the use of dust and reflective confetti to create galaxies. The models’ organic bodily expressions as they are frozen in time between the particles suggest their celestial creation.

“In addition, space and time is heightened by the use of three-dimensional animated gifs. Their movement serves as a visual metaphor to the spatial link we share with stars as well as their separateness through time.”

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Ignacio Torres: "Stellar"

Photos courtesy Ignacio Torres, used with permission

[Ignacio Torres, via Gizmodo]

More About: 3D Photos, animated gif, Carl Sagan, Ignacio Torrres, trending

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42 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 09:44 AM PDT

The weekly roundup is back and, as usual, Mashable has been working hard compiling the latest features and news analysis to fuel your social and techie adventures.

Whet your appetite with a list of Google’s top 10 most expensive acquisitions. Move onto an appetizer of MySpace memories. Have a second helping of back to school iOS apps. Finally, satiate your sweet tooth with a history of online activism. And be sure to come back for seconds next week!

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

10 Ways to Make Your Design Portfolio More Appealing to Employers

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 08:35 AM PDT

Dan Dao is a Reporter at Fueled, an iPhone & Android app development agency based in New York City, where he writes about the tech industry. You can follow him on Twitter @da0_o and read the blog on Fueled.

Employers who hire designers are often not designers themselves. That reality can cause a disconnect between what designers display in their portfolios and what employers are actually looking for.

If you're curious about the types of design portfolios that shine at job interviews, why not learn from the employers who loved them? Below, three employers share useful tips about maximizing the appeal of your online portfolio.

1. Choose the Right Hosting

Make sure you choose the right hosting and content management system (CMS) to feature your work. Whether you've built your own website or plan to use a portfolio service (like Carbonmade above), make sure your site will translate identically across all web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.).

Image courtesy of Veronica Pisano

2. Simple, but Professional Presentation

The goal of your portfolio is to make your work accessible. Fancy, animated designs may look interesting, but they can distract from the actual work you're attempting to showcase. Simplicity will translate as professionalism more often than fancy, overdone graphics. As far as aesthetic and visual presentation, keep it simple and neat, and let the work speak for itself.

  • David Lifson, CEO of Postling: "Oftentimes, designers will have brochure websites, and I find that those are not helpful. I look for data-dense examples, something where there's more usability than visual design. That's what I would say highly functional websites are built on."

  • Merill Stubbs and Amanda Hesser, co-founders of Food52: "Whatever you're shown, whether it be a website or a specific presentation...[it] should be very professional."

  • Carter Cleveland, CEO of "Although it is an opportunity to show your chops and do something fancy, I've seen more examples of people failing to pull it off...I've seen more 'fancy' websites done badly than done well."

Image courtesy of Alastaire Allday

3. Make it User-Friendly

Stubbs and Hesser warn that although employers may like a designer's visual work, the designer "might not understand the user experience implications of their designs." By making your design portfolio user-friendly, you're displaying an understanding of navigability and user experience. If your portfolio is user-friendly, chances are the product you design will be user-friendly as well.

Start by reducing the number of clicks and links, as well as the amount of scrolling needed to access all of your content, suggests Cleveland.

Image courtesy of We Are Sofa

4. Know Your Audience

Determine the specific skills your potential employers are looking for. For instance, bonus expertise in product management, web development (HTML, Javascript, and CSS) or marketing adds bonus points to the portfolio of a clearly talented designer.

Each employer will have different hiring needs, and you need to adapt accordingly. Food52's Hesser and Stubbs needed a designer with experience in building social sites due to the strong social aspect of the company, while Lifson and Cleveland were looking for someone with experience in product management as well as design. Smaller companies in particular will seek designers with versatile experience, which can include knowledge of different programs like Photoshop and Fireworks.

Seen above, designer Jordan Fretz provides a full list of tools with which he is familiar alongside a detailed description of his background.

Image courtesy of Jordan Fretz

5. Have a Varied Portfolio

Hesser and Stubbs say, "A portfolio that is varied is important so you can work with as many different types of clients as possible." Food52's designer Camillia Benbassat features works in her portfolio that use different types of media. Dragging your mouse over each photo in her showcase reveals the name of the company, the type of media, and a few essential details about the project. Each is clearly labeled and categorized, whether by web design, mobile app, user experience, identity, print or packaging.

Image courtesy of Camillia BenBassat

6. Be Organized

While including many examples is a plus, you still need to clearly sort and organize your work in the porfolio. On Elliot Jay Stocks' website, the top header showcases featured work, but the remainder of the showcase is organized by client and project type.

Image courtesy of Elliot Jay Stocks

7. Be Accessible

Your contact information should be the easiest thing to find on your site. Include multiple forms of contact, if possible. Designer Jared Christensen nicely presents his LinkedIn profile next to his resume, in addition to other social networking sites under his About Me page.

Image courtesy of Jareditigal

8. Keep it Current

Frequently updated portfolios show that you take enough pride in your work to actively produce more. Even if your portfolio contains a few unfinished projects, provide samples alongside a "work in progress" note, as designer Matt Bango does on his portfolio.

Image courtesy of Matt Bango's Portfolio

9. Credibility

It's important to build and maintain credibility. This means you should be able to reproduce and tweak everything in your portfolio. Part of Postling's hiring process involves contracting the applicant to complete a small (paid) work assignment. "I want to see that [the designers] can actually produce what their portfolio says they can produce," Lifson says, "because you never know if sometimes they get some help."

Hesser and Stubbs look more at past experience. They believe a designer's former employment indicates whether she is accustomed to deadlines and memos, and maintains a level of professionalism.

Cleveland also looks for what he calls "social proof," in other words, past work credentials or testimonials. Providing links to these things on your site makes it easier for the employer to get an immediate sense of your professionalism.

Image courtesy of Jamie Kim

10. Share Your Portfolio

Once you've created a stunning portfolio, share and advertise across multiple platforms. Postling says designers need to "get their work out in the open, whether on Forrst, Dribbble or Tumblr. Provide links to your portfolio from various social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as in the signature of your work email. You'll get more views of your showcase, which can lead to more interviews.

Image courtesy of Postling

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