Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mashable: Latest 11 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 35 Stories You May Have Missed”

Mashable: Latest 11 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 35 Stories You May Have Missed”

Mashable Weekend Recap: 35 Stories You May Have Missed

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 04:31 AM PDT

While those of us in the United States dove into a three-day Labor Day weekend, the rest of the world was still humming along, and your Mashable weekend team was here to keep track of it all.

We looked into stories past, present and future — celebrating Google’s 13th birthday with a retrospective of its accomplishments, trying our hand at a new photo craze called “stocking,” and gazing into the future with outrageous concept cars, NASA space software and clues about the next iPhone.

Worried that you missed something? You did, but it’s not too late — we have you covered with our weekly compilation of all the posts from this weekend, all gathered right here in one convenient place for your reading pleasure:

News & Opinion Essentials

Google+ Power Users Reject Suggested Users List

Could Google Fast Flip Have Survived on Tablets?

Groupon Offers Discount on University Tuition

Netflix Arrives in Latin America

Should Amazon Be Required to Collect Sales Tax? [POLL]

Facebook Flaw Lets You Hijack Page from Original Owner [REPORT]

"Twitter Terrorists" Could Get 30 Years in Prison

Popular Social Media Personality Trey Pennington Dies Unexpectedly

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

Amazon.com Is Testing a Redesign [REPORT]

Leaked Best Buy Document Reveals Sprint iPhone 5, October Launch

New iPhone 5 Clue: Will It Have a 4-Inch Screen?

Editor of TechCrunch Resigns [REPORT]

This Week in Politics & Digital: The Debate Edition

Dish Network is Bidding for Hulu [REPORT]

Helpful Resources

HOW TO: Follow New York Fashion Week Online

The Modern History of the Resume [INFOGRAPHIC]

39 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

4 Tools for Building a Business Mobile App

3 New Mobile Apps Offering a Twist on the Expected

5 Android Apps to Turn Your Phone Into a Mobile Document Scanner

HOW TO: Use Your Social Media Skills to Earn Extra Money

Weekend Leisure

15 Fantastic iPhone Photos of Rainbows [PICS]

How Today's Hottest Startups Got Their Names

The Songs Behind Your Favorite Commercials [VIDEOS]

Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury's Birthday With Animated Doodle

Google Engineer Proposes Using Google Maps [PICS]

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

10 Great Google Accessories Offer Eclectic Mix of Coolness

YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Beyonce's "Best Thing I Never Had"

NASA Web App Lets You Control Space & Time in 3D [VIDEO]

Social Media Avatars: 20 Examples of Personal Presentation Gone Wrong [COMIC]

Mashable Staff Goes Stocking [PICS]

Personalize & Protect Your iPhone With a Handcrafted Wood Back

Digital Doppelgangers [OPEN THREAD]

More About: Weekend recap

For more Social Media coverage:

You Can Now Pre-Order a Sony Tablet S

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 02:17 AM PDT

Remember that snazzy Sony Tablet S we wrote about a couple of days ago? You can now pre-order one at Sony and Amazon, with the expected shipping date being Sept. 16.

The device is a 9.4-inch tablet with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, 16/32 GB of storage and Wi-Fi/3G connectivity. It comes with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), a 5-megapixel rear and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a USB 2.0 port and an SD card slot. All of this fits into a very light case, weighing approximately 598 grams.

The 16 GB version will set you back $499, while the 32 GB version costs $599. The smaller, foldable Sony Tablet P is still not available for pre-order.

More About: gadgets, sony, Sony Tablet S, Tablet, Tablet S

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

15 Fantastic iPhone Photos of Rainbows [PICS]

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 08:04 PM PDT

Everyone loves a good rainbow. Even the most world-weary of folk can’t help oohing and ahhing when the colorful spectrums of light brighten up the sky.

Here at Mashable we’re also big fans of rainbows, so we figured a cool collection of fantastic iPhotography rainbows would keep us cheerful as summer turns into fall.

SEE ALSO: 15 Mesmerizing iPhone Photos of Cloudscapes

Take a look through the photo gallery. Let us know in the comments which images make you ask that famous question: “What does it mean?

1. Double Rainbow by Brian Ball

Intense colors give this double rainbow the woah-factor.

2. Double Rainbow by Dirk Dallas

"This was taken while driving outside of Roswell, New Mexico. It was quite a sight, so much so that people literally turned off the highway just to take pictures of it," says iPhotographer Dirk Dallas.

"And the timing of seeing this double rainbow couldn't have been better considering the 'Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow' YouTube video just started going viral that same week that I took this."

3. Rainbow Along Ala Wai by Allyson Ota

Snapped along the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki, HI, this subtle rainbow looks like a bridge over the water.

4. Rainbow by Eduard van Amstel

A rainbow adds a touch of magic to even the most boring of views.

5. Rainbow by Damian Smith

The grain and saturated colors make this image look like a still from a vintage TV show. Captured near the Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland, Instagram's X-Pro II filter provides the effects.

6. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow..." by Robert-Paul Jansen

The reflection of the rainbow adds another dimension to this great shot. ProHDR and CameraBag helped with the magic.

7. Rainbow by Yoko Foto

We adore the simplicity of this sweet crop.

8. Full-on Double Rainbow Sunset iPhone Panorama by Kevin Baird

"Rainbows are rare enough in San Diego, but such a brilliant one mixed with the sunset was unique," says Kevin Baird.

After the battery on his Canon 20D had died, Baird reverted to his iPhone. We think he definitely did the magnificent scene justice. To view it larger, head over to the photo's Flickr page.

9. Los Angeles Double Rainbow by Steven Greenstreet

Taken from a rooftop after a Los Angeles storm, there's something mythical about this bright rainbow. TiltShiftGen adds to the unreal effect.

10. Double Rainbow in the Badlands by Dennis Jenders

Strikingly simple elements -- the lush green grass, the grey asphalt, the dark sky -- combine to create a breathtaking image.

11. Not Quite Perfect, But Close by Jeremy Lusk

"Driving up the 395 after a hugely satisfying day at June Mountain, I was struggling to think of how the view could have been any better," recalls Jeremy Lusk.

"Huge, mineral-rich lake with unique emerald color? Check. Epic sky? Check. Soft diffused sunlight? Check.

"To be honest, the rainbow wasn't even on my checklist because that'd just be dreaming too high. But since it decided to crash the party, check."

12. Rush Hour Rainbow by Chris Brown

Set against a mundane traffic backdrop on an interstate in Colorado, this rainbow looks surreal.

13. Rainbow by Wendy Laurel

Photographer Wendy Laurel created a stunning triptych from the rainbow she spotted over the pineapple fields near her house.

14. Greenwich Park, August 2011 by Michael Sissons

Quirky and a little off-balance, this Hipstamatic photo seems to capture the urgency of grabbing the rainbow before it disappears.

15. Double the Fun by Erica Hranicka

Snapped at the Sandy River Delta outside of Portland, Oregon, several iPhone pics stitched together make up this gorgeously fun photograph.

BONUS: B&W Rainbow by Lestyn Lloyd

Shooting a rainbow in black and white can make it look sinister -- a menacing arc in the sky -- rather than the cheerful symbol we are used to celebrating.

More About: gallery, iphone, iphotography, Lists, photography, Photos, trending

For more Mobile coverage:

HOW TO: Follow New York Fashion Week Online

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 07:03 PM PDT

New York Fashion Week kicks off Sept. 7, and once again designers and the press are leveraging the web to reach virtual audiences far larger than those present at shows.

Building off success from past seasons, many brands will live stream the unveiling of their Spring/Summer 2012 collections on their websites and Facebook Pages, as well as video platforms such as YouTube and Livestream. Still more will be uploading backstage footage via their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts.

Meanwhile, members of the fashion press will be churning out 140-character reviews and mobile snapshots live from the shows, while posting longer, slideshow-accompanied reviews on their respective news sites.

With so much to choose from, following Fashion Week online can feel nearly as overwhelming as attending in person — which is why we’ve gathered together the best resources for enjoying the festivities online and on your mobile phone. If there's any we've missed, please let us know in the comments section below.

Live Video

For a mostly comprehensive schedule of show live streams, see below. A mobile-optimized version of most of these streams is available at m.youtube.com/liverunway for the first time this season.

Nicholas K
Thursday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m. ET

Thursday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. ET

Richard Chai
Thursday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. ET

Thursday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. ET

Tadashi Shodji
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m. ET

Luca Luca
Friday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. ET

Rebecca Taylor
Friday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m. ET

Nicole Miller
Friday, Sept. 9, 6 p.m. ET

Cynthia Rowley
Friday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. ET

Jill Stuart
Saturday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m. ET

Vivienne Tam
Saturday, Sept. 10, 3 p.m. ET

Charlotte Ronson
Saturday, Sept. 10, 6 p.m. ET

Monique Lhuillier
Saturday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m. ET

Derek Lam
Sunday, Sept. 11, 12 p.m. ET

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m. ET

Tracy Reese
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2 p.m. ET

Diane von Furstenberg
Sunday, Sept. 11, 4 p.m. ET

Custo Barcelona
Sunday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. ET

Tommy Hilfiger
Sunday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. ET

Carolina Herrera
Monday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. ET

Carlos Miele
Monday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m. ET

Rebecca Minkoff
Monday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. ET

Donna Karan
Monday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m. ET

Betsey Johnson
Monday, Sept. 12, 6 p.m. ET

Perry Ellis
Monday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. ET

Badgley Mischka
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. ET

Vera Wang
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m. ET

Herve Leger by Max Azria
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2 p.m. ET

Oscar de la Renta
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6 p.m. ET

Tuesday, Sept.13, 7 p.m. ET

Narcisco Rodriguez
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m. ET

J. Mendel
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m. ET

Milly by Michelle Smith
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 3 p.m. ET

Anna Sui
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. ET

Elie Tahari
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. ET

Ralph Lauren
Thursday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. ET
This season, Ralph Lauren will be live streaming its collection show on the New York Times‘ iPad app.


If you prefer live tweets to live video, we have a few favorites we recommend you follow.

Official Twitter account of fashion trade publication Women’s Wear Daily, tweets commentary and photos.

Retail/fashion reporter for The Wall Street Journal, frequently posts images and news.

New York Times critic, tweets colorful, descriptive commentary from the shows.

Beauty director of Teen Vogue, supplies a good deal of backstage footage.

A live, photo-filled chronicle of runway shows and parties from freelance fashion journalist Jim Shi.

WSJ multimedia producer and reporter, posts high-quality photos straight from the runway.

Fashion market director at Details magazine, covering mainly men’s collections.

Updates (including plenty of gossip) from New York magazine’s fashion blog.

Retweets from Conde Nast fashion and beauty editors.

New York Fashion Week tweets chosen by Twitter.

Fashion News Sites

For those of you who prefer more editorially heavy coverage, here our top six picks for fashion news throughout the week.


Some of the most intelligent collection reviews during Fashion Week, accompanied by comprehensive slideshows and videos from the runway. If you’re more interested in behind-the-scenes stories, see Style.com’s People + Parties section.

Women’s Wear Daily

Reviews and highlights from the collections are paywall-free throughout the week.

On the Runway

The New York Times‘ style blog contains short updates from on and around the runway, often accompanied by slideshows.

Heard on the Runway

Editorial coverage and slideshows from The Wall Street Journal.

The Huffington Post

Trend reports and show reviews from The Huffington Post and its contributors.

Fashion Etc.

Reviews and slideshows. Amina Akhtar, who founded The Cut, will also be penning a Fashion Week diary for an inside look at parties and shows.


Despite some negative backlash over its Fashion Week plans, Tumblr is once again sending a round of bloggers — 16 this time — to chronicle the shows. An internal staff of editors will also be curating posts to display at tumblr.com/nyfw.

In addition to Tumblr’s chosen 16, we’d also like to put these Tumblrs on your radar for Fashion Week:

Consistently one of the first to upload runway footage to Tumblr, plus a hearty dose of backstage and celebrity/front row footage.

If you don’t have the pleasure of sorting through thousands of show invite requests each season, you can live vicariously through the updates from the SVP of global communications at Donna Karan International. In addition to humorously inappropriate requests and other behind-the-scenes anecdotes, you can hope to get a few sneak peeks of show preparations, too.

Teen Vogue
Although not known for up-to-the-minute fashion reporting, Teen Vogue is great about distributing runway footage in a timely manner, as well as capturing the scene in and around Lincoln Center.


After enjoying New York Times reporter Brian Stelter‘s coverage of Hurricane Irene through Instagram, we decided to include a list of some of our favorites for a visual report of the week. To locate them, open up Instagram and search for their usernames under Profile > Search Instagram > Users and usernames.

Watch Oscar de la Renta and his team put the finishing touches on the Spring 2012 collection from Director of Communications Erika Bearman. You’ll also get snapshots of this enviable doyenne’s ensembles more mornings than not.

Expect a fair number of street photographs from Simone Oliver, senior fashion producer at The New York Times.

Eva Chen cross-posts most of her Instagram snapshots to Tumblr and Twitter, but if you’re keen to get backstage snapshots of makeup artists in action directly in your Instagram feed, you can follow her there too.

See what increasingly well-known tastemaker/blogger Leandra Medine of Man Repeller is wearing and watching.

Although not part of New York Fashion Week, followers can look forward to London by following Burberry’s feed of glossy product images and stylish trench coats on the street.

Image courtesy of Lauren Indvik, Mashable

More About: facebook, fashion, livestream, new york fashion week, nyfw, tumblr, twitter, youtube

For more Social Media coverage:

Google+ Power Users Reject Suggested Users List

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:13 PM PDT

You might expect social media superstars to be giving virtual high fives and tweeting with delight at the idea of a suggested users list on Google+. It’s a way to be surfaced for new users, meaning more followers, and that’s a good thing, right?

Wrong — for some.

Since Google released the list late last week, web personalities have been speaking out against it. Tech blogger and commentator Robert Scoble even asked to be removed from it, citing 13 reasons the move made sense for him.

“I totally understand why Google did this list,” Scoble said. “It just isn’t a well curated list and so I don’t want my name associated with it.”

Scoble pointed out that Paris Hilton made the list, further fortifying his reasoning. However, Google+ VP of Product Bradley Horowitz said deeper personalization functionality is on its way. For now, it lets users in different regions and languages get different recommendations — but the goal is for it to become more topic based.

Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, admits that lists are useful for the technorati. For average users, it makes less sense.

“A suggested user list will never help this tool go mainstream or keep the ‘regular people’ around,” Camahort Page said.

Another concern is that less-followed users making extraordinary contributions to the Google+ community will be overlooked. Alida Brandenburg, an accountant at Pandora, begs to differ.

“I ended up on there and I don’t even have 6,000 followers,” she said. “That may seem high compared to the average user, but then you put that against people listed in the same category as me, like Dane Cook, Paris Hilton and William Shatner, and it’s clear that this was not simply a numbers game.”

The list rotates featured users, so there’s no worry about anyone having a monopoly over it.

So what are Google+ power users so riled up about? Their new favorite network becoming a popularity contest.

“It’s going to alienate people and lead to an inevitable followers war that can hurt the health of the social network and inflate people’s ego,” said Craig Kanalley, a senior editor at The Huffington Post.

The suggested user list wasn’t created for older users like the ones quoted here. Rather, it appears for new users to help them get acclimated to the service. It’s up to them to ignore it or use it as a guide for finding accounts to follow.

Do you think the suggested user list is a good move by Google? Or could it create the toxic follower competition some users fear? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

More About: Google, Google Plus

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The Songs Behind Your Favorite Commercials [VIDEOS]

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:31 PM PDT

Songs in Commercials

The union of music and advertising dates back to radio’s infancy. Now, the world’s biggest companies are infusing their commercials with songs from popular musicians as well as emerging artists, to brand their latest products and services.

But why? Studies dissecting music’s effect on consumers suggest that songs — more often than not — positively mold a viewer’s response to an advertisement. The right song choice can influence how long a person watches a commercial and sway them into buying what’s in the ad.

“Music creates a certain mood, feeling or association within consumers you want to reach,” says Jessica Page, marketing manager for Exfm, a music-discovery browser extension for Chrome. “It’s a key part of creating a bond between consumers and brands.”

Take Chrysler’s Super Bowl 2011 commercial, for example, says Kion Sanders, MTV‘s social media coordinator. The “Imported From Detroit” ad (see video five below) praises the Motor City, features Detroit native Eminem and uses the accompaniment from his “Lose Yourself” track. Sanders says Chrysler chose the right song for the right campaign. “The rapper is extremely passionate about his city and so is the brand — this is a win-win situation.”

"The intensity of the song mixed with a narration of Detroit’s history sent a goosebump-worthy and unforgettable message.”

Page says Eminem’s song set the tone for the commercial, which wanted to define Detroit as a city that makes luxury cars. “The intensity of the song mixed with a narration of Detroit’s history sent a goosebump-worthy and unforgettable message. … Everything about his personal story speaks to the city’s blue-collar history as does his music,” she says.

Here are 15 videos from this year that showcase what happens when music and advertising collide. Each video‘s caption lists the name of the song and artist.

What other commercials have memorable or popular music? Let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome

"Sort Of" by Ingrid Michaelson


"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO

Nokia N8 Pink

"Freedom" by Sugababes


"The Wash" by Brenda and The Tabulations


"Lose Yourself" by Eminem

Google Chrome

"Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga


"I'm a Goner" by Matt and Kim featuring Soulja Boy and Andrew W.K.


"Take on Me" by A-ha

Motorola Xoom

"Ponds" by by Biggi Hilmars


"Climbing Walls" by Strange Talk


"The Golden Age" by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Trident Vitality

"Hello" by Martin Solveig and Dragonette


"Black Betty"


"Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe

Amazon Kindle

"Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" by The New Pornographers

Image courtesy of Flickr, craigCloutier

More About: advertising, branding, business, consumers, MARKETING, viral videos

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Could Google Fast Flip Have Survived on Tablets?

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:21 PM PDT

Google will discontinue news-reading tool Fast Flip, to shift resources to its more widely used products. It will be removed from Google News and Labs in the coming days, though its approach to web content display will be integrated into other tools, Google announced on its blog.

Fast Flip, which celebrates its second birthday this month, is at the top of the list when sorting Google Labs projects by popularity. The tool aims to replicate the print-reading experience online by allowing users to browse stories more quickly. It came at a time when more news organizations were willing to experiment with web content distribution and boasted it had an impressive list of launch partners, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fast Company. These media companies share ad revenue generated through Fast Flip with Google.

Though the product didn’t show much promise from the start, it may have seen success if it had been reworked as a tablet app. As evidenced by CNN’s acquisition of Zite and AOL’s release of Editions, news organizations are shifting focus to optimize mobile reader experiences in a big way.

News aggregation apps Flipboard and Pulse are seeing growing audiences as tablets continue to prove themselves as great content consumption devices. Google may have been better off creating a feature to simplify browsing news on a tablet rather than the conventional web.

Fast Flip is one of nine in a batch of products to be discontinued from Google Labs. The company announced it would shutter Labs experiments shortly after releasing its second-quarter earnings results in mid-July.

Other Labs products Google will shut down:

  • Aardvark: Social search product that helps people answer each others’ questions.
  • Desktop: Gives instant access to data while online or offline.
  • Fast Flip: Provides a faster, richer news content browsing and reading experience.
  • Google Maps API for Flash: Allows ActionScript developers to integrate Google Maps into their applications.
  • Google Pack: Makes it easy to download and install a package of Google and third-party applications.
  • Google Web Security: Protects against web malware attacks.
  • Image Labeler: Helps people explore and label images on the web.
  • Notebook: Helps people combine clipped URLs from the web and free-form notes into documents they can share and publish.
  • Sidewiki: A browser sidebar that lets people contribute and read information alongside any web page.
  • Subscribed Links: Enables developers to create specialized search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users.

Would you have used Google Fast Flip on a tablet? Tell us in the comments below.

More About: google fast flip, google labs

For more Dev & Design coverage:

How Today’s Hottest Startups Got Their Names

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 03:16 PM PDT

There are no rules to naming a startup. And most entrepreneurs do assume that the name they choose will change before their businesses really start to gain momentum.

Consequently, it doesn’t shock us that some of our favorite startups were sired by picking names out of hats, by throwing out odd proper nouns that might be cheap domain names and by haphazardly removing vowels.

Ever wonder what a “Twitter” is, or who the “Hipmunk” is? We’ve asked nine startups to share the story behind their names.

1. Twitter

The name Twitter was picked out of a hat. A small group of employees from Odeo, the San Francisco podcasting startup where Twitter initially began, had a brainstorming session. They were trying to come up with names that fit with the theme of a mobile phone buzzing an update in your pocket.

After narrowing down the options (which included Jitter and Twitter), they wrote them down, put them in a hat, and let fate decide. Fate decided on Twitter (because clearly asking someone if they saw your latest "jeep" is just weird).

2. Foursquare

Dodgeball, Dennis Crowley's first attempt at social networking for mobile phones, was acquired by Google in 2005. When Google killed the project, Crowley founded an improved location-based social game he named Foursquare. Does Dennis Crowley have some sort of unresolved childhood issues relating to playground games?

As it turns out, no he doesn't. "Dennis chose to name both companies after playground games because they were both designed to be fun and playful," said Foursquare's PR manager in an email. Apparently, Foursquare was always Crowley's first choice, but the domain name wasn't available at the time he founded Dodgeball.

3. Aardvark

Aardvark has been a sleek website where users can type or email their questions, to then be answered by the appropriate people in their own social networks. But co-founder Max Ventilla's idea began as a chat buddy that could intermediate conversations with people you know online.

There were advantages to having this name at the top of the buddy list, a spot which was occupied on Ventilla's buddy roster by his friend Aaron. Alphabetically speaking, there aren't many options that trump Aaron. "Aardvark" is one of the few names that could shoulder him out.

Other factors the name had going for it were its ability to conjugate the invented active verb "vark," and being an animal that people recognized but typically didn't have strong associations with.

"We also felt that an animal had the right positioning as helpful but not perfect," said Ventilla in an email. "If we chose a human or a robot mascot people would spend their time trying to make it look stupid, but they'd cut an animal more slack."

Google recently announced it would soon shutter Aardvark. Users have until Sept. 30 to retrieve their data.

4. Spotify

Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon crossed "spot" and "identify" when they named their digital music service.

5. Twilio

"In the early days of the company, the name doesn't really matter for anything. You always assume you'll change it later...You should be able to own a word for your company. You should not have any baggage associated with the name.

"What we started doing is saying, we want to invent a word, we know that, so let's just start making syllables without faces and when we have something that sounds good, check and see if the domain name is available ... We'd just make these weird sounds and then run to the computer and see if it was available. We bought the domain name for $7."

6. Zynga

Zynga is named after CEO Mark Pincus's late American Bulldog, Zinga. The name means African warrior princess.

7. Etsy

From a spokesperson:

The origin of the word "Etsy" is shrouded in mystery. Only our founder Rob Kalin knows for sure, and he often throws out red herrings. Some widely-publicized (and certainly fabricated) versions of the story include: a reference to a magic word in a Fellini film, the name of his grandmother's favorite childhood pet, and something about a Unix directory, I think it's "/etc," pronounced "et-C."

Other fun facts (some of which may actually be factual): Phonetically, Etsy has many homonyms too. It can mean:

"and if" in Latin

"horny" in Japanese

A slur for "loose woman" in Russian-speaking parts of Bay Ridge / Brighton Beach. Oh, and it rhymes with "Betsy."

8. Scribd

Scribd CEO Trip Adler says the company picked Scribd (pronounced "skribbed") beause of its ties to writing and publishing.

More interesting is how the coppany decided on the name of its mobile reader app, Float. "We wanted something to highlight the floating reading experience," Adler says. "Namely, the idea of reading without boundaries."

9. Hipmunk

After discarding names like "BouncePounce" (if there were a good travel deal, you'd pounce, right?) and Truvel (travel, but true), Hipmunk co-founder Adam Goldstein was discussing the naming roadblock with his girlfriend.

She suggested they go with a cute animal so that they could have a cool logo. Hipmunk.com was auctioning for about $70 at a time, and so the name -- and admittedly adorable logo -- were born.

More About: Aardvark, Etsy, foursquare, hipmunk, startups, trending, twitter, Zynga

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Should Amazon Be Required to Collect Sales Tax? [POLL]

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 11:53 AM PDT

Should Amazon be required to collect sales tax on online purchases? The behemoth online retailer remains at odds with California legislators over that very issue.

In June, state tax legislation was signed into effect requiring the site to collect a 7.25% base sales tax on online purchases made by consumers in California. Amazon has thus far avoided its obligation, opting instead to circumvent the law by severing ties with its affiliates in California.

Now, the Internet ecommerce giant is collecting signatures in an effort to take the issue to state voters next June. “Once it submits the signatures for the referendum and they are verified, the law will be suspended until the vote,” the New York Times reports.

State lawmakers, meanwhile, are working to pass urgent legislation to thwart Amazon’s attempts. Amazon, says the Times, has drafted a counterproposal that offers to build two warehouses and hire 7,000 workers in the state if the sales tax matter is suspended for a few years.

The battle has become a hot button issue in California — a state in dire need of revenues from sales tax — and beyond.

“Amazon fears that a defeat in California will sway legislators across the country, and that it will lose a critical pricing advantage. It is fighting a similar measure in New York in the courts,” the Times writes.

“Like so many others, I love the convenience of shopping at Amazon, the unparalleled selection, the great customer service, the ease of checkout, the low prices. I don’t need the added incentive of no sales tax to make me shop there,” O’Reilly Media founder and Silicon Valley thought-leader Tim O’Reilly opined on Google+ Monday morning. “Yes, it would be a minor inconvenience for Amazon to collect sales tax for every county in the nation … But at this point, the added advantage we’re giving to them and other online retailers is completely unnecessary, except to gild their bottom line.”

Where do you stand on the issue? Should Amazon be treated as any other brick-and-mortar store and thus be required to collect sales tax from its customers? Vote in the pole below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Fosforix

More About: amazon, california

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Groupon Offers Discount on University Tuition

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:40 AM PDT

A private, Chicago-based institution will be the first to put forth a deeply discounted deal on tuition via Groupon.

In an effort to bolster interest in its graduate teaching program, National Louis University will offer would-be teachers a Groupon for nearly 60% off tuition of an entry-level graduate teaching course.

The deal, set to go live Tuesday, will discount the cost for the three-credit introductory course from $2,232 to $950. The offer is open to as many as 25 buyers, who must possess an undergraduate degree to participate. Students will need to complete another 33 credits at full price to earn a graduate degree.

The deal will tip with 15 buyers and run through Wednesday, Julie Mossler, Groupon’s communications director, confirmed.

“There are all kinds of factors in the K-12 world that are really discouraging teachers and people seeking teaching degrees,” Jocelyn Zivin, vice president of marketing and communications for National Louis, told the Chicago Tribune.

The idea behind the deal, she says, is to encourage prospective teachers to “understand what the realities are, whether you are committed to this profession … and see if you have what it takes.”

The IPO-in-waiting Groupon, on the other hand, sees this new genre of deal as an experimental step in the right direction, whether it tips or not.

“This is… an opportunity for our subscribers to take the first step toward what could be a new career,” Mossler says. “National Louis joins an innovative list of merchants who were the first in their industry to experiment with collective buying power, and do it on Groupon.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, swanksalot

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Netflix Arrives in Latin America

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 07:34 AM PDT

Netflix on Monday began offering its video streaming service in Brazil, which it plans to extend to 43 Latin American and Caribbean countries by September 12.

Netflix’s Brazilian service, which is offered in Portuguese language only, costs 14.99 Brazilian real (about $9.35) per month. On Wednesday, a Spanish version of the streaming service will be available in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In Argentina, the service costs 39 Argentine pesos (about $9.28), while in the other two countries, it will cost $7.99 per month.

On Thursday, Netflix will add Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.

The company announced the Latin America expansion in June. Previously, the service had only been available in the U.S.

Netflix is reportedly planning to launch in Europe in 2012.

The expansion comes as Netflix faces some challenges in its core market, namely consumer opposition to a new pricing plan announced in July and a reported rival service from Dish Network. Dish Network is also said to be bidding on Hulu, which offers a competing streaming service and recently expanded into its first foreign market, Japan. To make matters worse, Netflix will also lose content from Starz on February 28.

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Facebook Flaw Lets You Hijack Page from Original Owner [REPORT]

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:39 AM PDT

A Facebook security flaw — or, perhaps, a misunderstanding — lets Page administrators boot original Page creators from admin status, effectively enabling new admins to hijack Pages, the blog Naked Security reports.

One could argue that this is working as intended. If the creator of a Facebook Page lets someone else in as admin, they should have equal administrative rights, correct? Wrong. Facebook’s FAQ clearly states that “the original creator of the Page may never be removed by other Page admins.”

Unfortunately, as evidenced in the video embedded below, a newly appointed Page admin can remove the Page creator’s admin status, which can be very nasty in certain cases. Today, Facebook Pages are more than fun, they’re a serious part of business promotion and losing administrative access to a Page can lead to host of problems.

Is it a security flaw or simply an error in Facebook’s FAQ? According to the Register, it’s the latter. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because the discrepancy between the FAQ and reality creates confusion either way.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for further clarification on the matter and will update this post accordingly.

In the meantime, we’d like to hear about your experiences with the flaw. Have you ever had a Facebook Page hijacked by another admin? How was it resolved, if at all?

[via Naked Security]

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