Monday, 5 September 2011

Mashable: Latest 10 News Updates - including “Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury’s Birthday With an Amazing Animated Doodle”

Mashable: Latest 10 News Updates - including “Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury’s Birthday With an Amazing Animated Doodle”

Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury’s Birthday With an Amazing Animated Doodle

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 12:12 AM PDT

Today’s Google doodle celebrates the birthday of Queen’s legendary singer Freddie Mercury, and it’s definitely one of the most interesting doodles to come out of Google‘s workshop yet. Note that the doodle will become visible on Sept. 6 in the U.S. out of respect for Labor Day.

One of the best vocalists ever in rock music, Mercury was born on Sept. 5, 1946, and he died in on Nov. 24, 1991. He was known for his flamboyant presence on stage, amazing four-octave vocal range and an unforgettable series of hits which ranged from hard rock to power ballads to neo-classical pieces.

Today’s doodle is also accompanied by a blog post from Google, which was written by none other than Queen’s guitarist Brian May, who recently performed at the MTV Video Music Awards with Lady Gaga.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Animated Google Doodles [VIDEOS] | Where Do Google Doodles Come From?

“Some people imagine Freddie as the fiery, difficult diva who required everyone around him to compromise. No. In our world, as four artists attempting to paint on the same canvas, Freddie was always the one who could find the compromise — the way to pull it through. If he found himself at odds with any one of us, he would quickly dispel the cloud with a generous gesture, a wisecrack or an impromptu present,” May wrote.

And the animated doodle itself … well, we won’t spoil it for you. Just go to and hit play.

More About: animation, Freddie Mercury, Google, google doodle, queen

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Google Engineer Proposes Using Google Maps [PICS]

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 07:50 PM PDT

A woman — armed with a Nexus One and the Google Maps mobile app — recently completed a scavenger hunt in New York City that led to a very special prize: a marriage proposal.

Google software engineer Ari Gilder orchestrated the “ultimate romantic scavenger hunt” for his girlfriend, Faigy, to ask for her hand in marriage.

“On the road to ‘The Big Question,’ I wanted Faigy to visit places around New York City that were filled with memories of our relationship,” Gilder wrote on Google’s blog. “I used My Maps to plan out the route — from the Trader Joe's we shop at on the Upper West Side, to Magnolia Bakery where we spent part of our first date, to Hudson Bar & Lounge where we enjoyed a night of dancing, to Carnegie Hall where Faigy once surprised me with tickets to a Beethoven concert, all the way to the lighthouse on Roosevelt Island where we went on our second date.”

At each of the six locations, a friend handed Faigy a red rose, took a picture (see gallery below) of her and reminded her to use Google Maps to check in to the venue. When Faigy checked in to a location, a custom app Gilder and fellow Google engineers built asked Faigy to input a password based on questions the stationed friends asked.

“When Faigy entered the password, the app would automatically initiate walking navigation to the next location,” Gilder said. “When she got to the checkered pin that marked her last destination, her seventh and final rose also came with a question — but this one was from me, and it wasn't any ordinary question. I'll leave it to you to guess what her answer was!”

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Geekiest Marriage Proposals

This is by no means not the first time someone has used technology to propose: In January, a Cincinnati man used Groupon to get engaged. Last fall in San Francisco, a man leveraged Twitter, Foursquare and live streaming mobile service Qik to propose. Other people also have used social media outlets — a tweet on Twitter, a checkin on Foursquare and Google’s Street View — to put a ring on it.

"Faigy & Ari's Engagement Route"

Faigy at Carnegie Hall

Nexus One

Google Maps Mobile

Time to Propose

Images from Google Blog

More About: Google, Google Maps, location-based, Mobile 2.0, Nexus

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“Twitter Terrorists” Could Get 30 Years in Prison

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 06:20 PM PDT

What might the 2011 version of Orson Welles’s War of the World‘s radio broadcast look like using today’s fastest method of information-sharing?

Gerardo Buganza, the interior secretary for Veracruz state in Mexico, said it could very well be the “Twitter terrorism” caused by two people who allegedly spread false reports of gunmen attacking schools and kidnapping children. Those reports caused such panic when parents scrambled around the city to get to their children that there were dozens of car accidents and emergency phone lines were jammed.

The two people, a private school teacher and a radio presenter, now face 30 years in prison for charges under terrorism laws.

According to the Guardian, these are the most serious charges ever for inciting chaos or violence through Twitter.

Prosecutors claim one of the defendants tweeted, “My sister-in-law just called me all upset, they just kidnapped five children from the school.”

Both defendants claim that they only repeated what they saw elsewhere on the Internet.

Do you think people should be imprisoned for inciting violence or chaos using Twitter? How serious should the punishment be? (Welles received no punishment for the mass hysteria that the Halloween 1938 broadcast caused.)

More About: trending, twitter

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Popular Social Media Personality Trey Pennington Dies Unexpectedly

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 04:45 PM PDT

Trey Pennington, a well-known social media personality, died Sunday in Greenville, S.C., of an apparent suicide.

Pennington ran a consulting practice, blog and online radio show. He maintained presences on all of the top social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

The local NBC affiliate, WYFF, in Greenville tells us that police had confirmed a man killed himself in a church parking lot earlier Sunday. As of 6:45 p.m. ET, the coroner had not released the identity of the body, but a member of the news staff there said they had heard from multiple sources that it was Pennington.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. ET: Greenville County authorities have officially confirmed that it was Pennington.

Many of his friends and fans have turned to the web to mourn, as news of his death spreads. People have commented on Twitter and Facebook about the tragic loss and the role of online and offline friends — a sentiment Pennington himself mentioned in his last tweet. It was sent late Sunday morning.

More About: Trey Pennington

For more Social Media coverage: Is Testing a Redesign [REPORT]

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 03:29 PM PDT

Amazon has begun testing a redesign of its retail site — and it could foreshadow the launch of Amazon’s own tablet, according to reports.

The testing began last week and will continue to be rolled out to additional customers, but a full launch date is unknown, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The new design is cleaner and less cluttered, with more white space and a larger search box. Mashable staff with access to the new version noticed that the wish list and shopping cart were easier to get to and more intuitive. Amazon says the redesign will feature apps, digital games, ebooks and MP3s — all products suited for tablet visitors, according to TechCrunch.

A tablet-optimized site fits nicely with rumors of Amazon’s own Android-powered tablet. In July, we heard speculation that it might be released by October, and before we’ve even seen specs for the product, others have predicted both the price ($250) and success of Amazon’s tablet.

Such a low price tag could make it the iPad’s top competitor, because the company would profit from sales of goods and services on the device.

More About: amazon, redesign, Tablet

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YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had”

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 02:47 PM PDT

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

Beyonce entered the world on Sept. 4, 1981. Now it’s 30 years later, and she’s one of the most recognizable faces on the planet — so much so that her onstage baby bump reveal at the MTV Video Music Awards last Sunday shattered Twitter's tweets-per-second record.

To help ring in her birthday this weekend, we’ve assembled some of her fans’ “Best Thing I Never Had” covers, which have collectively attracted more than 3.2 million views on YouTube. Vote for your favorite rendition in the poll below.

Alex Pelzer

The Boom Boom

J Rice

Heather Traska

Luke Conard & Jimmy Wong

Lisa Lavie

Fynn Farrell


Cheryl K

Drew Chambers


Last Week’s Face-Off Winner

The beatbox cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework” from Peter Hollens snagged 60% of the votes in last week’s face-off. Hollens covered “Firework” because of the song’s inspirational message and uptempo beat. It “really highlights the message that we are all unique and special,” he told Mashable.

Hollens — who appeared on season 2 of NBC’s The Sing-Off and has strong fan bases on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube — recently released his first music video for an original song called “Sleepwalking” (see video #2 below).

“I just want to be able to make a living making music and inspiring others,” said Hollens, who wants to perform a duet with fellow YouTube cover artist/producer Kurt Schneider as well as celebrities Adele and Sara Bareilles. “I also hope to bring a cappella music to the forefront of popular music today … and to teach everyone how to actually spell a cappella."

"Firework" Cover by Peter Hollens

"Sleepwalking" Original by Peter Hollens

BONUS: "Born This Way Cover" by Peter Hollens

BONUS: "Pray" Cover by Peter Hollens, Therry Thomas & Courtney Jensen

BONUS: "What's My Name/Only Girl" Mashup by Peter Hollens

BONUS: "Need You Now" Cover by Peter Hollens, Evynne Hollens & Jake Moulton

To listen to more covers used in past YouTube Cover Song Face-Offs, click here.

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

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

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10 Great Google Accessories Offer Eclectic Mix of Coolness

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 01:29 PM PDT

To mark the 13th anniversary of Google’s inception, we’ve pulled together our top 10 G-themed accessories from all around the web.

From lighting to clothing via art, we think these fantastic bits and bobs are perfect for fans of the Mountain View-based business behemoth.

SEE ALSO: 15 Awesome Android Accessories

Take a look though the photo gallery for some fun items made, or inspired by, the world’s largest search engine. Let us know in the comments which ones you like.

1. Google Maps Wall Decal

A bit of a statement for your own home, we think this would look great in an office reception area.

Cost: $23.99

2. Google Motion Lamp

As featured on Google staffers' desks, these G-themed lava lamps are colorful and fun.

Cost: $19.35

3. Google Pillow 2010

This talking-point cushion gives you a list of the top Google searches of 2010. The Etsy shop offers versions all the way back to 2006, so you could collect the set.

Cost: $69

4. Google MacBook Decal

Make your own Google Doodle on the lid of your Mac with this cool decal.

Cost: $7.99

5. Google Stress Bricks

Take your stress out on these LEGO-like squishy bricks. A set of four boasts the Google colors.

Cost: £4.69 (approx $7.60)

6. Google Chalk It Up Mug

We're fans of this mug that you can write, draw or doodle on with chalk -- two pieces of which are included.

Cost: $9.10

7. Google Neon Light

This neon Google light would be a funky way to brighten up a dark corner of your office.

Cost: $26.85

8. Sesame Street Google Doodle Stickers

The only problem we can see with this set of Sesame Street Doodle stickers is deciding where to put them.

Cost: $3.45

9. Google+ Propaganda Poster

In the style of Soviet propaganda posters, this print would look striking on your office wall. There are versions for other social networks available on Etsy, so you could create a terrific display.

Cost: $8

10. Google Sneakers

Finally, for the truly hardcore fan, Brass Monki offers Google-themed footwear.

Cost: £180 (approx $290)

More About: accessories, gallery, geek, Google, Lists

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CinematoGIFs Show Classic Film Moments in a New Way [PICS]

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 12:15 PM PDT

Animated GIFs have gone far beyond dancing babies and cats playing the piano. Occupying a twilight zone between still photography and full-motion video, the animated images are getting close enough to artwork to deserve their puffed-up new name, cinematoGIFs.

They’re fascinating, because unlike still photography that grabs an instant in time and moving pictures that depict longer durations, these images represent a few seconds that are stuck in time, playing over and over in a circular loop, suggesting infinity.

Photographer Gustaf Mantel combines the world of cinema and stills with his new collection of cinematoGIFs, celebrating the work of Stanley Kubrick and other classic filmmakers. It’s a subtle effect, but the images’ compelling and ghostly beauty makes it hard to look away:

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

Full Metal Jacket

The Shining

The Shining

Dr. Strangelove

A Clockwork Orange


Blade Runner

Taxi Driver

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

American Psycho

True Grit

Graphics courtesy If We Don’t, Remember Me/Gustaf Mantel

More About: art, cinematoGIFs, GIF, Gustaf Mantel

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Leaked Best Buy Document Reveals Sprint iPhone 5, October Launch

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 11:14 AM PDT

Best Buy, you’re going to need to plug those leaks, lest you incur the wrath of Apple. Case in point: This Best Buy internal document uncovered by BGR, clearly indicating a Sprint iPhone 5 in the works, as well as pre-sales beginning for the iPhone 5 in the first week of October.

In case you’re having trouble reading this blurry photo, here’s a clearer version of the exact wording on this document dated “Week 9/4″:

BBYM: iPhone 5 product introduction expected, pre-sales begin for expected October week 1 launch/Sprint launches iPhone 5
(Apple product introduction/launch dates subject to change)

Perhaps this is deliberately written in a vague way, but it’s not exactly clear whether the iPhone 5 product introduction is expected this week (as in, now?) with an “October week 1 launch,” or if the product introduction and pre-sales will both begin in the first week of October.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 5 Clue | iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup

If this is indeed a document from Best Buy (and BGR‘s sources have been credible in the past), it looks like that widely rumored October release date for the iPhone 5 just got a little more likely.

[via BGR]

More About: iPhone 5, leaks, sprint

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Happy Birthday Google: Making Sense of the Web for 13 Years

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 09:48 AM PDT

What were you up to 13 years ago? Maybe you were perfecting the ideal AIM screen name. Or you might have been surfing the “WestHollywood” neighborhood of GeoCities. Chances are, you had been using Yahoo! or AOL as your primary search engines. But Google’s debut on this day in 1998 would change the World Wide Web forever.

On September 4, 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin filed for incorporation as Google Inc. — they had received a $100,000 check from an investor made out to Google, Inc., and needed to incorporate that name so they could legally deposit the check.

Prior to the launch, Page and Brin met at Stanford in 1995, and soon decided to launch a search service called BackRub in January 1996. They soon reevaluated the name (and the creepy logo) in favor of Google, a play on the mathematical figure, “googol,” which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name embodied their mission to create an infinite amount of web resources. And that they did.

Since then, Google has become a household name to billions of people worldwide. You’ll overhear senior citizens command their grandchildren to “google” the price of foot cream. You’ll witness toddlers punching the screen of the latest Android phone. And chances are, you’ve navigated the circles of Google+ (if not, let’s get you an invite already).

SEE ALSO: 10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Google

We’d like to guide you on a trip down Google lane, presenting the key products and acquisitions that were born in the first Google garage office, and innovated in the Googleplex. In the comments below, please share how Google has had an impact on your life, and join us in wishing Google a happy birthday!

1996-1997: BackRub

Google was first launched under the BackRub nomer. Soon after, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain name in September 1997. The two arrived at the name as a play on the mathematical figure, "googol," which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name embodied their mission to create an infinite amount of web resources.

1998: Google's First Homepage

The original Google homepage prototype debuted in November 1998. Earlier that year Google received a $100,000 check made out to as-yet-unestablished Google Inc. from first investor Andy Bechtolsheim.

In September 2008, the two founders set up shop in Susan Wojcicki's garage in Menlo Park, CA, deposited their check and hired their first employee, Craig Silverstein.

1999: The Uncle Sam Homepage

Apart from adding Uncle Sam to its homepage, in 1999 Google outgrew its next office and moved to its first Mountain View, California location. The team announced $25 million in equity funding from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins in its first press release.

2000: Google Becomes Yahoo's Default Search Provider

Apart from its partnership with Yahoo, in 2000 Google announced that its index reached the 1 billion-URL mark, making it the largest search engine in the world. Google also launched AdWord, a self-service ad program that allowed people to purchase keyword advertising that would appear alongside search results.

2001: Google Image Search

Image search launched in July 2001 with an index of 250 million images. That same year Google acquired Deja Usenet and archived its index into categories that ultimately made up Google Groups.

2002: Google Search Appliance

Early in 2002 Google marketed its first hardware, the Google Search Appliance, a device that plugged into a computer and provided advanced search capabilities for internal documents. In May Google announced Labs, a resource for people interested in trying out beta programs emerging from Google's R&D team. Later Google launched its News tool that provided links from 4,000 sources.

2003: AdSense

Google announced the world's largest content-targeted ad program, later dubbed AdSense after Google acquired Applied Semantics. Earlier in the year Google acquired Pyra Labs, the creator of Blogger.

2004: Gmail

Google launched Gmail on April Fool's Day 2004, but the beta version required an invitation to join. In January Orkut launched as Google's foray into social networking. In August, Google's initial public offering contained 19,605,052 shares of Class A common stock at $85 per share.

2005: Google Maps

Google Maps launched in February 2005, to go live on the first iPhone in 2007. Additionally, went live to provide resources for developers, and included all of Google's APIs. The company also acquired Urchin, whose content optimization service helped create Google Analytics, launched later that year. In June Google released Google Earth, a satellite-powered mapping service. In October Reader was unveiled to help organize and consolidate content into a single feed.

2006: YouTube

In a $1.65 billion stock transaction, Google acquired YouTube in October 2006. Google also unveiled Trends, a tool that allows a user to evaluate popular searches over a specific timeframe. Earlier that year Google released Gchat, a Gmail-based instant message service derived from Google Talk. Google Checkout emerged later as a way to pay for online purchases.

2007: Android

In November 2007 Google announced its first mobile venture, Android, which the company called "the first open platform for mobile devices."

2008: Google Chrome

In September 2008 Google introduced Chrome, its open source browser. The surprise was spoiled when the comic book that was meant to help debut Chrome leaked a day ahead of schedule. Later that month T-mobile announced the G1, Google's first Android-powered mobile device. That year Google also added Google Suggest capabilities and site search.

2009: Google Wave

To much anticipation, Google announced its venture into real-time communication via the Wave platform. Little more than a year later, however, Wave was no more. That same year Google launched Mac-based photo application Picasa.

2010: Google Apps Marketplace

In 2010 Google launched its Apps Marketplace, an app store that allows third-party developers to sell their creations. That same year Google unveiled Google Buzz, its latest attempt at social sharing that originated in Gmail. The company also released Google TV after teaming up with Intel, Sony and Logitech.

2011: Google+

Google's most talked-about and participatory social platform thus far, Google+ launched in June 2011 with invite-only access. The tech giant also announced its most expensive acquisition to-date when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

More About: Google, media, Tech

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The Modern History of the Resume [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 08:31 AM PDT

The role of the resume has remained constant throughout its 500 years of existence — the point of the resume is to get a job.

Relative to other forms of communication, though, it hasn’t changed all that much. In fact, most of the changes have been merely cosmetic — most employers still require a one-sheet, black-and-white printed resume at interviews, regardless of the fact that we all use email and have had access to much better design options for years now. Not to mention, printing is unnecessary in the digital world we live in. At this point, even the role of cover letters in today’s job market is being scrutinized.

The proliferation of digital and social tools over the past decade has brought about the social media resume, the infographic resume and the video resume, among other creative options.

This infographic, created by RezScore, an online resume-grading tool, looks at the history of the resume.

Do you plan to change your approach to resume writing? Let us know in the comments below, and share your creative resume while you’re at it.

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: career, job search series, jobs, resumes

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