Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Today’s Top Headlines in Social Media, Tech & Business”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Today’s Top Headlines in Social Media, Tech & Business”

Today’s Top Headlines in Social Media, Tech & Business

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 05:19 AM PDT

Social Media News

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

Facebook Launches Subscribe Button

Facebook has launched a Subscribe button that lets users follow the public updates of others, regardless of whether they’re Facebook friends.

Twitter Adds Support for 5 Languages

Twitter has announced support for five additional languages: Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog and Malay.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "We Haven't Sold Quite as Many [Windows Phones] as I Would Have Liked”

Although he says he is pleased with response from partners and developers to Windows Phone, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer admitted Wednesday, "We haven't sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year.”

Further News

  • Netflix stock is slipping following a third-quarter guidance cut.
  • YouTube has launched a video editing tool.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back Facebook’s IPO a few months, according to a report.
  • NASA has unveiled plans for the world’s largest rocket.
  • Google has added a feature that allows users to share directions, hotel information and other content from Google Maps to its social network, Google+.
  • A man and a woman in their 20s were tortured and hanged from a pedestrian bridge in a border town for denouncing a drug cartel on Internet forums and blogs.
  • The Taliban and NATO sparred on Twitter following a 20-hour attack by Taliban insurgents on NATO's diplomatic enclave and the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
  • iPad newsreading app has been spun off as an independent company from Betaworks and made available for free in the iTunes Store.
  • Music service MOG is rolling out a free version of its subscription-streaming offering.
  • UPS is launching a service that texts customers before packages are delivered.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: first to know series

Microsoft Ditches Flash on Metro Version of Internet Explorer 10

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 05:12 AM PDT

Windows 8 will have two versions of Internet Explorer 10 — a desktop version and the Metro version, which is optimized for tablets.

Part of that optimization will be a plugin free experience, meaning Metro IE10 will be primarily HTML5 and will not support browser plugins, including Flash.

“The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web,” writes Dean Hachamovitch, head of the Internet Explorer team, on Microsoft’s official blog.

Microsoft’s reasoning is eerily similar to Steve Jobs’s legendary open letter on Flash from April 2010 in which he wrote, “The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.”

Hachamovitch goes on to explain how today’s web is largely HTML5-based and designed for a plugin-free experience. Microsoft recently examined 97,000 web sites, and discovered that 62% of them use Flash, but many of those need it only to display ads. Furthermore, a large number of Flash-using sites fall back to HTML5 if the user’s browser doesn’t support it.

Although the desktop version of IE10 will continue to support all plugins and extensions, this is another defeat for Adobe, whose Flash is slowly losing relevance as the web expands to smartphones and tablets. Interestingly, Silverlight isn’t mentioned in Microsoft’s posts about the plugin-free web.

More About: adobe, Flash, IE10, internet explorer, Internet Explorer 10, Metro, microsoft, Windows 8

Twitter Now Available in Five New Languages

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 12:32 AM PDT

Twitter has announced the launch of the service in five new languages: simplified and traditional Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog and Malay.

This brings the total number of languages Twitter is available in to 17.

Like many other online services, Twitter is mostly relying on volunteers for translation. To join in, head on over to Twitter’s translation center.

Twitter also announced that it would soon add six new languages to the Translation Center: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish and Hungarian.

More About: chinese, crowdsourcing, Hindi, languages, Social Media, translation, Twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

Find a Job in Social Media, Communications or Design

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:25 PM PDT

If you’re seeking a job in social media, we’d like to help out. For starters, Mashable‘s Job Lists section gathers together all of our resource lists, how-tos and expert guides to help you get hired. In particular, you might want to see our articles on How to Leverage Social Media for Career Success and How to Find a Job on Twitter.

But we’d like to help in a more direct way, too. Mashable‘s job boards are a place for socially savvy companies to find people like you. This week and every week, Mashable features its coveted job board listings for a variety of positions in the web, social media space and beyond. Have a look at what's good and new on our job boards:

Mashable Job Postings

Community Intern at Mashable in New York, NY.

Graphic Design Intern at Mashable in New York, NY.

Editorial Intern at Mashable in New York, NY.

Tech Reporter at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.

Editorial Assistant at Mashable in New York, NY.

Mashable Job Board Listings

Junior Project Manager at Sixjax in New York, NY.

System Administrator at Performics in Chicago, IL.

Associate / Account Manager, SEO at Performics in Chicago, IL.

Digital Marketing, Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Glendale, CA.

Digital Marketing Manager at confidential in Nashville, TN.

Social Communications Manager at More Cabbage in Cedar Hill, TX.

Digital Media Multi-platform Product Manager at deltatre s.p.a. in Turin, Italy.

Sr. User Experience (UX) Designer at Quidsi Inc. in Jersey City, NJ.

User Interface Designer at in Palo Alto, CA.

New Media Specialist at Armed Forces Services Corporation in Alexandria, VA.

Associate Digital Design Director at Clinique in New York, NY.

Senior Social Strategist at ComBlu in Chicago, IL.

Software Engineer at Thomas in New York, NY.

Community Manager at Clinique in New York, NY.

Producer-Digital Marketing Manager at Clinique in New York, NY.

Web Manager at The Electrochemical Society in Pennington, NJ.

Senior Vice Presidnet, Group Creative Director – Digital at Edelman PR in New York, NY.

Media and Public Relations Manager at CBIA in Hartford, CT.

Network Services Manager at WestEd in San Francisco, CA.

Account/Operations Manager at MOLOTOV in Los Angeles, CA.

Social Media Manager at rEvolution in Chicago, IL.

Buzz Marketing Manager at Incisent Technologies in Chicago, IL.

Junior Web Developer at UncommonGoods in NY.

Social Media Writer/Strategist at Obama for America in Chicago, IL.

Influencer Activation Manager at SheSpeaks Inc in New York, NY.

Marketing Communications Director at in Berkeley, CA.

Marketing Programs Manager at New Relic in San Francisco, CA.

Financial Service/Data entry/customer service representative at Customer Loyalty concepts in VT.

Senior Project Manager in Social Media Marketing at Social Media Marketing Agency in Chicago, IL.

Account Manager in Social Media Marketing at Social Media Marketing Agency in Chicago, IL.

Personal Brand Manager at Summit Marketing & Associates LLC in Olympia, WA.

Freelance Social Media Creative/Copywriter at Denizen in Santa Monica, CA.

Social Media Marketing Intern at Fanscape in Los Angeles, CA.

Project Manager at Interactive Partners in New York, NY.

Business Development Coordinator at Fanscape in Los Angeles, CA.

Lead Android Developer at EveryFit in Cambridge, MA.

Digital Associate, Campaign Manager at Haven Home Media, RDA in New York, NY.

Manager, Digital Media Buying at Laureate Education in Baltimore, MD.

Social Media Marketing Director at VISISEEK in San Diego, CA.

Account Director, Xbox Social Media at roundhouse in Seattle, WA.

Interactive Account Supervisor at SWIRE in Glendora, CA.

Public Relations and Social Media Marketing Manager at NOVATTE in Singapore.

Sr. Social Media Community Manager at Welltok in Denver, CO.

Web Developer at Bent Media in New Orleans, LA.

Account Director, Digital at Fenton in Washington, D.C.

Account Executive at VaynerMedia in New York, NY.

President at Word of Mouth Marketing Association in Chicago, IL.

Mashable‘s Job Board has a variety of web 2.0, application development, business development and social networking job opportunities available. Check them out here.

Find a Web 2.0 Job with Mashable

Got a job posting to share with our readers? Post a job to Mashable today ($99 for a 30 day listing) and get it highlighted every week on (in addition to exposure all day every day in the Mashable marketplace).

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

More About: communication, design, jobs, List, Social Media

Club Penguin’s First Mobile App Arrives on iOS

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:01 PM PDT

Club Penguin, the Disney-owned virtual world for kids, is making its debut on mobile devices with the release of Puffle Launch for iOS Thursday.

The $0.99 Puffle Launch app for iPhone and iPad tasks youngsters to take their adopted Club Penguin pets — otherwise known as “Puffles” — on a 24-level high-flying, boss-challenging adventure.

Puffle Launch for iOS is a replica of an existing Club Penguin web game that goes by the same name. The web game, launched in March of 2010, is played by 150,000 kids each day, Club Penguin reports.

The lack of a Club Penguin mobile application has not gone unnoticed by the virtual world’s insatiable fans — kids have been clamoring for an app, Disney says. Puffle Launch will only temporarily appease their mobile appetites, however, as the application offers a small fraction of the virtual world game-play kids experience on the web.

“We wanted Club Penguin's first app to be a fun experience for all players — whether they are a longtime Club Penguin user, or brand new to the franchise,” a Disney spokesperson explains to Mashable. “With more than 150 million registered penguins, we'll continue to focus on building the mobile experiences our users want most.”

Blast off

Puffle Launch features fast paced gameplay in which players blast pet Puffles through a series of challenging levels.

24 Levels

Get back all the Puffle O's, dodge obstacles, discover surprises, and find a fiery prize at the end of every level.

Unlock extreme modes

Take on Time Trial Mode, Turbo Mode, and replay all the levels in Slo-Mo.

Challenge the crab boss

Battle the cranky crab and his mechanical claw, and counter his moves with some of your own.

Transfer coins

Collect Puffle O's and earn virtual coins to transfer to

More About: club penguin, disney

For more Mobile coverage:

NASA Unveils Plans for the World’s Largest Rocket [VIDEO]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 08:13 PM PDT

NASA has unveiled an animation of a 320-foot-tall Space Launch System (SLS) that could be the most powerful in the agency’s arsenal since the 363-foot-tall Saturn V moon rocket. Its destination? First it might go into low earth orbit, and then maybe on to the moon, the asteroids and even Mars.

According to NASA, the first version of the rocket will be capable of lifting 77 tons of cargo into low earth orbit, using technology developed during the Space Shuttle and Apollo eras. This makes the project less expensive, an even more-important factor given that the U.S. Congress has already cut 9% from NASA‘s budget this summer.

The two solid rocket boosters strapped onto either side of the rocket will use the same technology as the Space Shuttle’s boosters, but will be one segment longer. In addition to those, the five hydrogen/oxygen-fueled engines are the same engines that powered the Shuttle orbiters. Powering the rocket’s second stage will be a single J-2X engine — that’s the same J2 engine that thrust the second stage of the moon rockets into space in the ’60s and early ’70s.

Even though there are no specific missions planned yet for the launch vehicle, nor did NASA mention a price for the project (but Aviation Week estimated the cost between now and 2017 to be $18 billion), NASA says the plan is to begin testing the vehicle in an unmanned launch in 2017, with the goal for the first manned launch set for 2021.

The goal is to begin a series of yearly voyages to asteroids in the year 2025. However, much can happen to government budgets over 14 years, and there will be intense competition from private-sector space projects, already underway, which might be able to build launch vehicles with similar or superior capabilities for less money.

Meanwhile, NASA would like to evolve the rocket’s capability, and could call for a competition among designers and manufacturers to create more powerful kerosene-fueled boosters instead of the solid rocket boosters, thus increasing the vehicle’s lift capacity to 130 tons. That launch vehicle would be more powerful than Saturn V.

Space Launch System on the launch pad

Artist's concept courtesy NASA

Space Launch System on the pad

Artist's concept courtesy NASA

Space Launch System liftoff

Artist's concept courtesy NASA

Images courtesy NASA

MOG FreePlay Gives Free Music Streaming A Klout-Like Boost

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 07:06 PM PDT

Music service MOG is rolling out a free version of its subscription-streaming offering on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Users will have access to MOG’s entire catalog of 11 million songs. Like Spotify, MOG FreePlay will be ad-supported. For the first 60 days however, fans can enjoy MOG FreePlay ad-free.

The launch of MOG FreePlay will also coincide with the broader launch of the new MOG website and web player. Last December, MOG released a Google Chrome web application. Its design has since been carried over into MOG for Mac [Mac App Store link] and the MOG Boxee app.

The new interface works well, in conjunction with MOG FreePlay, especially when it comes to the Facebook integration. If you attach your MOG account with Facebook Connect, MOG will show you music recommendations based on what you listen to and what what bands you like on Facebook.

Earn More Free Tunes

MOG’s CEO David Hyman told us that the company has been working on the free version of its service for over a year. One of the main goals for the service was to figure out how to make the experience more social.

Like Spotify, MOG will limit how much free music a person can listen to each month. Instead of a time-based limit, it’s track-based. MOG isn’t disclosing how many tracks a user can listen to in a month, but visualizes how much music is left using a gas tank motif in the MOG player.

The twist, however, is that MOG will allow users to earn more free music for continuing to use and share the service with friends. For instance, creating and sharing a new playlist will give a user more free music. Referring friends will also add to the tank.

Hyman compared MOG’s approach to the strategy Dropbox has employed. Dropbox spread virally in its early days thanks to space incentives users would get for successfully signing up another Dropbox member. Dropbox is an apt comparison, but we would say the implementation is more similar to Klout. The size of users’ social graphs and their influence can decide how much free music is used. Hyman tells us influential social users can easily never run out of free music.

MOG has gone on to stress they are putting systems in place to limit MOG messages from being spammed out to users of social networks. The idea is to reward people for actively using the service.

Of course, users who want to listen to an unlimited number of songs, get mobile access and use MOG on connected devices can upgrade their free MOG accounts to paid accounts, called MOG Basic or MOG Primo.

Standing Out From the Crowd

It’s increasingly difficult to differentiate one subscription streaming music service from another. Most of the services, including Spotify, Rhapsody, Sony Music Unlimited and Rdio, offer users access to a similar catalog of songs and similar sharing and socialization options.

What we like about MOG’s approach to its free service is that the company is actively rewarding its most engaged and social users, encouraging the viral spread of the service.

Facebook is expected to announce its new music service at its f8 developer conference next week. It will be interesting to see how MOG FreePlay aligns with some of coming social changes poised to hit the digital music landscape.

MOG FreePlay will be available to users at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday. Give it a shot and let us know what you think of the free offering and the ways users can earn more free music.

More About: MOG, MOG freeplay, music subscription services, rdio, spotify, subscription streaming

For more Entertainment coverage:

iPad App Now Free

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:55 PM PDT, the Betaworks-incubated iPad application for discovering news articles experts and friends see on Twitter, became an independent company Wednesday.

The just-hatched startup’s first order of business was to do away with the cost-prohibitive $0.99-per-week fee and make the iPad application free. The company is also promising a slew of application updates in the months ahead.

Two things to note: Existing application users will need to download the new version of the application, and paying subscribers must manually discontinue their plans.

“ is on a mission to reinvent an industry — to use what we've learned from the social web to make the discovery and consumption of news better,” the team said in a blog post.

For those playing catch-up, was born inside the R&D lab at The New York Times and then incubated at Bitly, a Betaworks company. The application arrived on the App Store in mid-April to a mild reception, partly because free social news reading applications such as Flipboard were already proving popular with iPad users.

The application’s hook, however, is its ability to provide users with a news-filtered view of their Twitter connections’ streams. It also has a publisher-friendly mindset — partners (Mashable was a launch parter) receive fixed fees for pageviews — that will continue as enters this new life stage.

Now that is free, will you give it a second look?

More About: betaworks,,

Mexican Blog Wars: Couple Hanged for Denouncing Cartel Online [REPORT]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 04:54 PM PDT

A man and a woman in their 20s were tortured and hanged from a pedestrian bridge along the Mexican border for denouncing a drug cartel on Internet forums and blogs, CNN reported Wednesday.

The incident took place in Nuevo Laredo, a city of 400,000 just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas. Two notes referencing online activity were discovered at the crime scene, one of them tied to the leg of the male victim.

“This happened for snitching on Frontera Al Rojo Vivo,” read that note. Frontera Al Rojo Vivo is a popular online forum where members anonymously post details on drug cartels, and denounce them.

The second message, attached to the bridge, read: “This will happen to all the internet snitches (Frontera al Rojo Vivo, Blog Del Narco, or Denuncia Ciudadano). You better f___ing pay attention. I’ve got my eye on you.” The two blogs also post anonymous information about the cartels. (Warning: Blog Del Narco also contains grisly scenes of cartel victims.)

The second note was signed “Z”, likely a reference to the Zetas cartel, which operates in the area. The cartel has murdered informants in the past, but this is the first known case where online message boards and blogs were mentioned.

None of the sites singled out appeared to have been intimidated by the grisly murders. “It’s very difficult for them to find out who denounced,” wrote one poster on Al Rojo Vivo. “They only want to scare society.”

More About: BLOGS, Cartel, mexico

The Evolution of Music in 3 Minutes [VIDEO]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 04:11 PM PDT

Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

Watch the evolution of digital distribution crammed into a punchy three-minute video. Its story starts in 1970, and then tracks the rise of digital sales, the fall of vinyl, piracy and major milestones like Michael Jackson’s video for “Billie Jean” and the most expensive guitar ever sold (a Fender Stratocaster for $2.7 million).

In truth, the video, created by PR firm SimplyZesty, is less the “evolution” of music and more an interactive infographic that highlights the uncomfortable balance between the music industry and its digital challengers. The video clearly serves to hype SimplyZesty’s ability to make cool videos, but it’s also a nice little rip through how drastically different the music industry now is.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

More About: Entertainment, Music, Video, viral-video-of-day, YouTube

For more Entertainment coverage:

70+ Essential Resources for Making a Difference on the Social Web

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:31 PM PDT

social good roundup

It’s been a great year for social good and digital philanthropy.

The Internet has been abuzz with ways to create change using social tools, from sparking revolution in the Arab World, to raising relief funds for the Japanese earthquake and Pacific tsunami victims, to spreading awareness of the famine in the Horn of Africa.

As we head into Mashable‘s Social Good Summit, we thought we’d give you a refresher on the latest social good resources.

Learn how group buying is supporting charity, see why activists are becoming “hacktivists” and brush up on the latest social media tools for non-profits.

And don’t forget to stay tuned for more exciting social good coverage as we head into the Summit next week.

Social Good Resource List

UPS Will Text You Before Your Package Is Delivered

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 02:52 PM PDT

UPS introduced a new service Wednesday that aims to make receiving a home delivery on the first attempt less of a crapshoot.

The service, “UPS My Choice,” will launch Oct. 3 and notifies customers who sign up for it by text message, email or phone call at some point the day before they receive a package. There is no charge for the notification.

If a customer won’t be around during the four-hour time window provided by UPS, he or she can authorize release of packages requiring a signature online for free. For a $5 fee, the customer can reschedule the delivery, reroute the package to another address or have it delivered to a UPS store.

UPS is also launching a paid version of the service which, for a $40 annual fee, lets customers select a four-hour time window for an unlimited number of deliveries. For an extra $5 per delivery, they can choose a two-hour window. Premium customers also gain access to a dashboard tracking their incoming deliveries and can leave drivers instructions such as “leave by the front door” or “leave with a neighbor,” using a drop-down menu.

You can already ask UPS to deliver to another address or reschedule a delivery day for a $5 fee. The big change for the average consumer with a free “UPS My Choice” account will be the advanced delivery notifications.

“We’re making missed delivery notices extinct, a thing of the past,” says UPS chief sales and marketing officer Alan Gershenhorn (note the UPS-delivery-slip dinosaur that will be featured in marketing campaigns).

UPS has reason to hope so. Multiple attempts at delivery cost the company much unnecessary gas, manpower and money as it delivers packages to more than 100 million homes every year. Online shopping continues to drive that number higher.

The question is whether pinging recipients with a four-hour time frame for their delivery will be enough to keep them waiting — or paying to reroute and reschedule.

More About: UPS

5 Lessons for Parenting in the Digital Age

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 02:02 PM PDT

Soren Gordhamer is the organizer of the Wisdom 2.0 Conferences. Along with its annual event, it is also holding a Wisdom 2.0 Youth Conference for parents and others focused on supporting young people in the digital age. You can follow him at @SorenG on Twitter.

“Dad, can I use your phone to play games?” asked my son recently as we drove through the southwest on a beautiful summer day. I was taken by his question. On one hand, it was a lovely day, and I had been greatly enjoying our conversation. On the other, why not let him play a game if he wants? I check my email continuously — why shouldn't he also be able to play games continuously?

My son's question is one that millions of parents are asked each day, whether about a phone, computer, Wii or Xbox. The essential plea is the same: “Mom or dad, can I please direct my attention to a screen?”

Parents of older children face similar challenges — for instance, whether it's acceptable for their teen to text at the dinner table, or whether it's tolerable for a teen to peer at his laptop when someone is trying to address him. Essentially, we wonder, just how much technology should be allowed in our lives and those of our kids?

SEE ALSO: Kids & Technology: The Developmental Health Debate

Few parents are going to completely forbid their children from interacting with today's amazing gadgetry. However, it's essential that we focus on a conscious, rather than habitual, use of modern technology.

1. Technology No Longer Has Boundaries

We first need to recognize that times are extremely different today than in previous generations. Once upon a time there were built-in limitations: Kids played games in arcades or tethered themselves to home devices.

Now, as long as someone in the family has a smartphone, games and other ways of being digitally connected are always an option — whether we're carpooling, standing in line at the market or sitting at the dinner table. And kids know it. Without fail, they tote along their PSP or cellphone or, like my son, ask to use a parent's phone.

Furthermore, young people take to technology like no generation before them. According to a Nielson report, adult U.S. mobile users sent an average of 357 texts per month in the second quarter of 2008 versus an average of 204 calls. Teens, however, are sending or receiving an average of 3,339 texts a month, an 8% jump from the previous year.

2. Know When to Cut it Off

New technologies, from computer games to the Xbox, can be a great way for kids to learn strategy and develop hand-eye coordination, but as parents and caregivers, we need to know when enough is enough. According to a University of Bristol study, children who spent more than two hours a day at a screen had a 60% higher risk of psychological problems than children who clocked fewer viewing hours.

Just how much time is appropriate? A 2009 Kaiser study reported that children aged 8-18 engage with media 7.5 hours per day, on average. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that kids spend no more than 1-2 hours per day in front of a screen. Quite the discrepancy.

While one could argue that kids with too much technological engagement might find themselves unable to pace the work environment of the future, parents nonetheless have the responsibility to determine when too much screen time becomes unhealthy. It's not that screens are bad, only that they need to be used in moderation. If our children are not getting exercise, face time with friends or other creative stimulation, their screen time will likely be more detrimental than purposeful.

3. The Difference Between Preference and Addiction

There is a huge difference between an addiction and a preference. A kid may prefer spending an evening surfing the Internet, simply because he or she enjoys that activity more than going out with friends or playing sports. This person functions fine without a gadget or device but might prefer it when given the chance.

In addiction, however, the person seemingly cannot live without something and experiences a deep void when it's unavailable. How many young people today might show signs of addiction, versus simply a preference when it comes to technology? Indeed, 38% of surveyed college students indicated they couldn't last 10 minutes before switching on some sort of electronic device.

Of course, adults often experience the same challenge. A new study found that 53% feel upset when denied access, and 40% feel lonely when they're unable to go online, even for a short period of time. One person interviewed indicated that the 24-hour device-less experience was "like having my hand chopped off."

Despite the attachment, a striking study of young people revealed that about 38% of those 10-18 years old feel overwhelmed by technology. For 25 -to 34-year-olds, it was slightly less at 34%. Essentially, the younger the age, the more one's relationship with technology feels strained.

The young people in our lives may be more overwhelmed than we think, perhaps even looking to adults to help them define the difference between preference and addiction.

4. Focus on Technology That Truly Connects Us to Our Kids

To what extent are we connecting with our kids? Are we engaged with them, giving them our full attention (whether the activity is online or off), or are we living largely isolated from one another?

Recently, I was shopping at a Whole Foods in Santa Cruz, Calif., when a woman walked briskly by me, her high heels clicking rapidly across the floor. Most surprising was not that she could move that quickly in high heels, but that following close behind her was a child about 6 years old, playing a game on a small computer.

The young boy held the device right up to his face, only glancing up occasionally from the screen to make sure he did not run into his mother. The two sped through one aisle then the next, the child completely immersed in his game, oblivious for the most part to the world around him. Though physically near each other, mentally they lived in two different worlds.

On the other hand, a properly chosen game could just as easily connect, instead of distance, mother and child. As parents, we need to focus on that which unites versus isolates a family.

5. Model the Balance

In recent years, I have built a business largely by making connections with people online. Twitter and Facebook have opened up doors for remarkable engagement, and the next generation will benefit enormously from the increased means of communication available to them. Today's social channels create ways of connecting with like-minded people — an opportunity our parents never had.

It makes little sense for parents to deny young people access to the amazing technologies of our time. At the same time, kids that can't last 10 minutes without checking their email is cause for concern. When they can't engage in a sustained conversation with a friend, enjoy a walk in nature or simply rest under a tree, the dangers of technology can outweigh the benefits.

The path ahead is one of conscious engagement, one in which parents join kids in games and other means of technological engagement, all the while making sure their children connect in other ways as well. The question is not, should people live connected or disconnected lives? Instead ask, how do we live connected in all aspects of our lives, whether online, talking to a family member or taking a walk outside?

The desire to be connected will not go away. But the ways we connect should expand to include more activities. That way, time spent digitally connecting will be one form of many.

Images courtesy of Flickr, incase., Daniel*1977

More About: family, features, Kids, parenting, Tech

Taliban, NATO Spar on Twitter After Kabul Attack

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:20 PM PDT

Introducing the latest tool in modern warfare: Twitter.

Following a 20-hour attack by Taliban insurgents on NATO’s diplomatic enclave and the U.S. embassy in Kabul, a second front erupted on the social web.

The dialogue began when @ISAFmedia — the Twitter handle of the international security and assistance forces in Kabul — asked how much longer terrorists will harm the lives of innocent Afghans. @ISAFmedia generally tweets dry military updates.

This uncharacteristically provocative inquiry spurred a response from @ABalkhi — the handle of Abdulqahar Balkhi or the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s name for the country — in textspeak. The shorthand is ironic considering the Taliban’s infamous aversion to modern technology. @ABalkhi referred to Afghan army troops as puppets and NATO soldiers as invaders.

Responding with statistics, @ISAFmedia tweeted a link to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s 2011 midyear report, which blames the insurgents for 80% of civilian deaths.

The Taliban dismissed the numbers as the source is associated with the NATO forces.

This stopped discussion for a while, although @ISAFmedia later tweeted @alemarahweb — the official website of the Taliban’s leadership — with a video of General John Allen, commander of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, visiting the troops following the 20 hours of violence.

The video below, included in the @ISAFmedia tweet, shows General Allen shaking hands with troops in Kabul.

Do you think that Twitter will help or hurt military conflicts? Let us know in the comments.

[via the Guardian]

More About: afghanistan war, Taliban, Twitter

Google+ Allows You to Share Maps

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:11 PM PDT

Google has added a feature that allows users to share directions, hotel information and other content from Google Maps to its social network, Google+.

Specifically, Google has added support for +snippets in Maps. +Snippets, which rolled out in August, adds a link, description and thumbnail to whatever webpage you want to share to Google+. When you click on the “Share” button on the black Google+ bar, the share will be populated with a description and image.

“With today's launch, Google Maps joins other Google products like Books, Offers and Product Search in having +snippets,” Google’s VP of product management Bradley Horowitz said on the company’s blog. “And like Maps, what you see onscreen is what you share—just click on ‘Share…’ in the Google+ bar to reveal the +snippet.”

Google has been on a mission to integrate its social network into every piece of its empire. In addition to +snippet integration with Maps, Books, Offers and Product Search, Google has also added the ability to launch Google+ Hangouts from YouTube.

More About: Google, Google Maps

YouTube Introduces Video Editing Feature

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:00 PM PDT


Some YouTube users may be noticing that they can now edit their videos onsite thanks to a new feature that’s rolling out globally Wednesday.

Using the feature will enable you to edit uploaded YouTube videos while also maintaining the same video IDs, making it possible to hold onto view counts and comments. Existing links to the video will also continue to work. All you have to do is click “Edit Video” on your video’s page or on the My Videos page.

While the editing feature isn’t necessarily meant to replace software like Final Cut Pro, it is meant to help users fix their videos in a less time consuming manner.

“We noticed that a lot of people were uploading videos to YouTube that we can say are somewhat unpolished,” says Jason Toff, product manager at YouTube, adding that rougher amateur footage tends to be a lot more common than professionally edited work on the site.

A blog post from YouTube Software Engineer John Gregg outlines some of the editing options now available. If you have access to the editing feature, you can stabilize hand-held footage, rotate videos and boost the colors and contrast. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature will allow for one-click color correction.

YouTube’s team also collaborated with Picnik to provide new aesthetic effects. This makes it possible for you to add filters — such as black and white, lomo-ish and cartoon — to your videos. (Google acquired Picnik last year.)

YouTube Editing Effects

Toff says there’s even an option to swap out your audio for something else by choosing from a number of available tracks. And if you have a video with too much footage at the beginning or end, you’ll be able to trim some of that out as well.

All you have to do is click “save” to begin processing video edits. But in case you aren’t happy with the new product, it is possible to go back to the original version. There is also an option to click “save as” in case you’d rather have multiple versions of the video. However, as the blog post points out, popular videos with more than 1,000 views and videos with third-party content will only be saved as new videos once edited.

Check out the video below to find out more about how the new editing feature works. According to YouTube, the feature will continue rolling out to users throughout Wednesday.

More About: online video editing, Video, video editing, YouTube

Fall TV Goes Social: The Wednesday Night X Factor

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 12:45 PM PDT

The Fall TV Goes Social Series is supported by the Samsung Galaxy S II, a faster phone for speedier web browsing and access to all your favorite apps. Check it out here, follow @SamsungMobileUS or join the conversation via #GalaxySII on Twitter.

The Fall TV season kicks off this week and broadcast networks are hoping to entice viewers via social media to tune into their newest shows.

Wednesday night is shaping up to be one of the most competitive nights on TV. Not only are seven new shows premiering across the five broadcast networks (only CBS is keeping its schedule the same), but Fox is also hoping to replicate American Idol‘s success with its new show, The X Factor.

The X Factor will reunite Idol alums Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul in the U.S. edition of the successful UK talent competition.

Of course, this isn’t the only new show premiering on Wednesday nights. We have a closer look at the new Wednesday shows and their social strategies below.

Let us know what shows you’ll be watching this fall by voting in our poll and sounding off in the comments.

Up All Night

Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Time Slot: 8:00 p.m. ET - 8:30 p.m. ET (premieres at 10:00 p.m. its first week)
Network: NBC

Description: An "irreverent look at modern parenthood" starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph.

How It's Using Social Media: NBC is actively using social media to spread the word about its shows. In addition to the official Facebook page and Twitter account, the network is using its Fan It affinity game to promote the show. Show star Will Arnett is also an active Twitter user.

How to Follow: You can like NBCUpAllNight on Facebook and follow @NBCUpAllNight on Twitter.

Free Agents

Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Time Slot: 8:30 p.m. ET - 9:00 p.m. ET (premieres at 10:30 pm. its first week)
Network: NBC

Description: "Based on the witty, cult U.K. series of the same name, "Free Agents" is a crooked, romantic comedy from creator John Enbom ("Party Down") and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") that explores the trials and tribulations of finding love and companionship - the second time around."

How It's Using Social Media: NBC has official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the comedy. It's also using its Fan It affinity game to reward fans and spread the word. The network has also produced a series of videos for search engine Bing.

How to Follow: You can like Free Agents and follow @NBCFreeAgents on Twitter.


Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2011
Time Slot: 8:00 p.m. ET - 9:00 p.m. ET
Network: The CW

Description: "Celebrities go head-to-head with civilians who hate them to win their "haters" over. Mario Lopez hosts."

How It's Using Social Media: The CW has an official Facebook page for the H8R, as well as a Twitter portal. Host Mario Lopez is also active on Twitter. The network is also using its official Twitter accounts and YouTube accounts to promote the show.

How to Follow: The CW has a handy social Twitter portal setup for its various shows, including H8R.

The X Factor

Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
Time Slot: 8:00 p.m. ET - 10:00 p.m. ET
Network: Fox

Description: Simon Cowell's follow-up to Pop Idol in the UK comes to America. The X Factor is a singing competition show open to solo artists and groups. Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger are judges.

How It's Using Social Media: Fox is betting BIG time on The X Factor, giving the show nearly 30% of its entire fall primetime schedule. As a result, the network is doubling-down on its social media involvement. In addition to official Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, Fox The X Factor has its own social network of sorts, The X Factor Community. The community site features message boards, groups and leaderboards. Fans can earn points from show sponsor Pepsi Rewards for doing things like signing in with Facebook, attaching their account to Twitter and logging in daily.

How to Follow: You can follow @TheXFactorUSA on Twitter, like The X Factor (USA) on Facebook and follow the TheXFactorUSA on YouTube.

Photo Credit: Nino Munoz / FOX


Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
Time Slot: 10:00 p.m. ET - 11:00 p.m. ET
Network: ABC

Description: "Emily Thorne has returned to Southampton to right the wrongs done to her family 17 years ago."

How It's Using Social Media: ABC has official Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to the show. We should note that with 126,000 fans as of this writing, the show is one of ABC's most popular new Fall shows this season. Revenge star Emily VanCamp is also on Twitter.

How to Follow: You can follow @Revenge on Twitter and like Revenge on Facebook.


Start Date: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011
Time Slot: 8:30 p.m. ET - 9:00 p.m. ET
Network: ABC

Description: "Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs."

How It's Using Social Media: In addition to official Facebook and Twitter accounts, some of the characters from Suburgatory have their own Twitter accounts. Check out @DallasRoyce, the character played by actress Cheryl Hines. That's kind of awesome.

How to Follow: You can follow @SuburgatoryABC on Twitter and like SuburgatoryABC on Facebook.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Start Date: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011
Time Slot: 9:30 p.m. ET - 10:00 p.m. ET
Network: Fox

Description: "A new multi-camera comedy about two best friends who are single moms struggling to raise their difficult and over-privileged teenage daughters."

How It's Using Social Media: Aside from official Facebook and Twitter accounts, we're not sure what Fox has planned for this sitcom. The show won't be on TV until after November Sweeps, so the network has time to start ramping up its strategy. Fox is already actively engaging on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Follow: You can follow @IHMTDFOX on Twitter and like the show on Facebook.

Series supported by Samsung Galaxy S II

The Fall TV Goes Social Series is supported by the Samsung Galaxy S II, a faster phone for speedier web browsing and access to all your favorite apps. Check it out here, follow @SamsungMobileUS or join the conversation via #GalaxySII on Twitter.

More About: fall tv, Fall TV Goes Social Series, free agents, h8r, i hate my teenage daughter, revenge, social tv, suburgatory, the x factor, up all night

For more Entertainment coverage:

Facebook Delaying Its IPO Until Late 2012 [REPORT]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 12:39 PM PDT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back his blockbuster IPO a few months, according to a report.

The reason, according to The Financial Times‘ sources, has nothing to do with uncertain market conditions; rather it reflects a desire to keep employees focused on product development.

The FT says Facebook’s IPO was originally set for April 2012, but a public offering is now being planned for “September or later.” The report pegs the current value of the IPO at $66.5 billion. Facebook reps could not be reached for comment.

The report of the delayed IPO comes as Groupon and Zynga have both pushed back the dates of their planned IPOs. Unlike Facebook, those two companies cited the volatile stock market for their delays. Facebook’s 2011 revenues, meanwhile, have been estimated to be in the $4 billion range.

More About: Facebook, ipo, stock market

4 Tips for Creating a Viral Branded Microsite

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 12:35 PM PDT

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb's free whitepaper, "Measuring Social Media's Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics."

A website has so many components and pages — contact info, FAQs, product descriptions, company values, team bios — that sometimes you need a separate, dedicated site to highlight a certain product or promotion. Enter the microsite. When trying to figure out if a microsite is a good investment of time and resources, consider your goals, think of an idea that makes sense for your brand and keep it simple.

Mashable spoke with the teams behind Juicy Fruit’s Serenading Unicorn, Burton’s Bag Check and Mollydooker Winery’s Label Our Lefty microsites to gather some best practices and see how they found success.

1. Be On Brand

When Wrigley gum brand Juicy Fruit wanted to get social, it played up one of its key flavor notes: sweetness.

“Question: What's sweeter than getting a sloe-eyed mythical creature to croon chartbusters of yesteryear ("Gangsta's Paradise") or topical tunes of today ("Sorry You Lost Your Phone") to one's Facebook friends? Answer: Nothing, besides Juicy Fruit,” says Stephen Goldblatt, executive creative director and partner of Evolution Bureau, the agency that developed the site. In short, the goal of Serenading Unicorn was “to create a ‘sweet’ form of social currency for the brand to share on friends' walls.”

The unicorn was “indescribably sweet,” and branded serenades allowed people to share some sweetness with their friends by posting videos on other’s Facebook walls. The videos lived on the Serenading Unicorn microsite, and there was a Facebook app, too. People could choose from more than a dozen themed videos and post it on friends’ walls with a personal message. The videos racked up more than 1.4 million YouTube views since May.

Then there’s the Burton Bag Check, a choose-your-own adventure microsite, which is appropriate, since Burton is all about discovery and exploration. Because Burton’s bags have many permutations and a bevy of features, they found that the Bag Check tool was “one of the best ways for users to discover a bag that was perfect for them,” says Amanda Wormann, Burton’s social media manager. “We've made a lot of these bag styles for a while now, but it wasn't until creating the Bag Check site that users were able to discover the information and features in a fun way.”

2. Determine Your Goals

Burton wanted to bring awareness to their extensive line of bags — everyone pigeonholes the brand as snow apparel, but the company offers many accessories, too. The choose-your-own adventure shopping experience flaunts the versatility of Burton’s offerings and was timed with back-to-school shopping.

“Oftentimes, people aren't aware that Burton has such a next-level collection of bags for everything from an overnight trip to New York to a three-week mission around the world,” says Wormann. The bags have a variety of features, including skateboard wheels, packable laundry bags, insulation to keep up to 30 cans cold, and speakers that are iPod-compatible. “With such a huge variety of bags, it was really important to create a microsite like Bag Check so our customers could easily discover all these features and find the perfect bag for them.”

The choose-your-own-adventure theme put the experience in the hands of the consumers and made them feel like they found the bag that was perfect for them and had all the functional specs they were looking for, down to how many beers (or soda…) they’d want to carry in it.

Aussie winery Mollydooker created the Label Our Lefty microsite for a different reason — to crowdsource the name of its new wine. “We wanted to find a name, to make our customers feel involved and to reach more new people and get more names on our mailing list,” says Sarah Marquis, Mollydooker’s CEO and winemaker. The idea grew out of a successful promotion a few years back, when the mailing list recipients were asked to help name the brand’s new charity wine, which was eventually dubbed Sip It Forward. Mollydooker received 2,000 entries, and the team was excited by customers wanting to be a part of it. “When we decided to produce this Sparkling Shiraz, which is planned to be our last wine to add to our portfolio, it was the perfect chance to run something like this,” Marquis says.

“They wanted to use social media to make it happen, so we designed a microsite that resembled a contest but didn’t have the usual voting mechanism,” says Rick Bakas of Bakas Media, which developed Label Our Lefty. Instead of casting a traditional vote, each person could submit up to ten names, and each Facebook Like would resemble a vote. But Marquis would choose the final name, influenced in part by the number of Likes. This time around, with the dedicated site and the grand prize being a trip for two to Australia to hang out at Mollydooker, the winery received almost 6,000 entries, and Bakas says the microsite got 80,000 pageviews and 14,000 unique visits.

“I suppose we knew it would be successful because we were going to make it go viral through Facebook and Twitter, and we put a lot of effort into creating a website specifically for this purpose,” says Marquis.

3. Let Your Freak Flag Wave

Most things that go viral are a little quirky — just look at Volkswagen’s Fun Theory and the baby dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Don’t be afraid to be a little different — people will be more inclined to share and talk about something that’s new, innovative and slightly bizarre.

That’s why Evolution Bureau chose a unicorn for the Juicy Fruit campaign — “It had the right combination of cute, creepy and cool,” says Goldblatt. And the agency appealed to every kind of consumer by having the unicorn sing a wide range of musical stylings, including Doo Wop, Hip Hop and Pop. Then, of course, EVB recruited high profile talent like Sarah Silverman and YouTube star Keenan Cahill — who have strong social media followings — to further the unicorn’s reach.

4. Keep It Simple

If you’re building out an entirely new site for a campaign, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. After all, you’re building it to further your brand in some way — it’s a place in which to communicate a brand idea and bring it to life in a new and fun way. Execution should be simple and artful because people are busy — if there are too many steps or something’s unclear, they’ll click away. “Respect their time by making your site easy to use and by making the user experience gratifying,” Goldblatt advises.

For Serenading Unicorn, the mission and communication is clear. “There is no question as to why you are there and what you can do,” says Goldblatt. “The site is the hub where senders can access the full music videos along with 15 mini-serenades, which are 20- to 40-second videos for everyday milestones, such as ‘Your Haircut is Growing on Me,’ ‘I Heard it's Your Birthday’ and ‘Happy Hump Day.’” There’s nothing complicated about that.

Lastly, across the board, it’s clear that social sharing is important — you want users to feel a connection to the product and tell all of their friends about it. It just takes a few clicks to send a personalized, high-quality unicorn serenade to a friend, meaning that the payoff is big compared to the effort required. And with Bag Check, users can easily share their choices on Facebook so friends can see their favorite bag picks, and of course, “voting” was done via Facebook, to engage social audiences.

Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download the Oneupweb sponsored Marketing Sherpa free study, "Measuring Social Media's Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics" to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, features, Marketing, microsite, Social Media, viral

Google Goggles Gets Smarter, Works in Background on Android

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Google has released an important update to Google Goggles, the app that lets you search via snaps you take.

The new opt-in, Android-only feature allows Google Goggles to work in the background on your phone or tablet, and analyze photos as they’re taken. The app will automatically notify you when any search results match your captures — without you asking for them.

“Let's say that I'm going on vacation, and I decide to use my Android-powered phone as my primary camera,” Google software engineer Pavel Vodenski explains in a blog post. “Goggles would identify landmarks, paintings and other interesting objects in my photos. I can share these facts about my vacation with my friends, right from my Goggles search history.”

It may sound like a small tweak, but it has interesting implications. Android users no longer have to think about querying Google by image. Instead, they can snap photos as they normally would, and discover information on books, landmarks, artwork, businesses and products. Google Goggles could, in theory, become more assimilated into the default mobile experience for Android users.

Version 1.6 of Google Goggles is available for Android 2.1 and up. Users can select “Search by Camera” in the settings to enable background searching.

More About: Google, google goggles

For more Mobile coverage:

How Social Media Is Transforming Fashion Week Coverage

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 12:07 PM PDT

Social media is transforming both the nature and delivery of Fashion Week coverage, broadening its scope and increasing its immediacy to meet a growing demand for play-by-play coverage of shows and events online.

Its effects are felt not only by audiences that take to platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for real-time information about the large-scale events and minutia that make up Fashion Week, but also by the journalists producing that kind of coverage.

“In the past we had stories written in advance to run during Fashion Week, and then we’d go to shows, but we didn’t write about the collections until closer to the season [they arrived in stores],” recalls Ray Alex Smith, who has been covering fashion week in New York and abroad for the The Wall Street Journal since 2005.

“Now we’re writing of the moment, and not just on the runway, but things spotted beyond the runway too,” Smith explains, citing Salman Rushdie’s appearance at a show as an example of a ‘beyond the runway’ moment.

Although Fashion Week is technically a trade show event, popular culture has a weighted interest in the creation and presentation of fashion. It’s this interest that fuels the popularity of films such as The Devil Wears Prada and Project Runway‘s ratings, as well as the demand for live coverage of the particulars of Fashion Week, Smith believes.

Audiences are particularly hungry for backstage coverage, notes Simone Oliver, a senior fashion producer at The New York Times.

“People love backstage,” Oliver says. “Even if it’s just a 20-second video of some new technique for putting on eye makeup, people will retweet it. [Readers] want what they can’t get.”

Eva Chen, beauty director at Teen Vogue, reports similar success with firsthand, backstage material.

“What you see on the runway or is very produced,” Chen explains. “What you see on Twitter and Tumblr are raw. You’re there while [makeup artist] Pat McGrath is mixing these two lipsticks, you’re there for the blow-by-blow action and part of the scene.”

Before she began using Twitter a year and a half ago, Chen would record hundreds of backstage beauty tips with her notepad and tape recorder. For every 100 tips she gathered only one would get printed in the magazine and five would appear online, she says.

Now, everything she can’t use formally goes on Twitter. Her many backstage photographs — shot with an Olympus Micro 4/3, or with her iPhone and filtered through photosharing app Instagram — are shared with readers through Tumblr and cross-posted to Twitter as well.

Of course, producing this kind of live — and, in many cases, highly visual — content presents its own set of challenges for reporters.

“I go to the shows and I have a lap full of gadgets [now],” admits Elizabeth Holmes, a retail reporter for The Wall Street Journal. “I have a tape recorder for backstage interviews, a BlackBerry to keep up with emails, a Kodak video camera to shoot some video and pictures and this season I also have an iPhone for doing Instagram [shots]. It’s multitasking at its finest.”

Her colleague Smith says the demand to capture and express ‘moments’ in real-time makes show coverage more difficult. “Personally I find it challenging to take it all in if I’m constantly tweeting. If I’m tweeting and I look down at my screen and I could miss a look, or Anna Wintour smiling at that look. You have to balance [recording] the show with absorbing the show,” he explains.

For now, Smith has settled on scribbling notes while watching a show, snapping a photo during the final walk and tweeting a summary at the end.

Oliver, Holmes, Smith and Chen all say that their publications encourage reporting via social media, even if those publications can’t monetize the content they’re producing in the same way they can monetize reporters’ articles and blog posts.

“You serve the reader,” Oliver says. “We don’t say, ‘Man, what a rip, we didn’t make $10 off that tweet.’ The priority and journalism quality hasn’t changed, regardless of the platform.”

Holmes believes that her and her colleagues’ use of Twitter has helped the Journal raise its profile in the fashion space. “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I never read the Journal before,’ or ‘I never followed the [Journal's] fashion coverage,’ and now they do. Some people still look at the Journal as a business-centric or finance-heavy publication, and I think having us out there and a part of it helps increase our coverage overall. It puts us in a lifestyle light.”

For Chen, Twitter and Tumblr give her the opportunity to connect with Teen Vogue readers. “Our readers live on Facebook and Tumblr. It just makes sense for me to be reaching those girls,” Chen says. “It’s great that a 15-year-old girl in Wisconsin or Malaysia can ask me questions about their skin or advice about their lives and that we can answer.”

More About: fashion, fashion week, features, instagram, journalism, Media, nyfw, tumblr, Twitter

Windows 8 Tablet: First Impressions [PICS]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 11:48 AM PDT

Microsoft has designed Windows 8 to be an operating system to work on almost any device, whether it’s a tablet, laptop or desktop. But can Microsoft really design an OS that is just as functional with a touchscreen as it is with a keyboard and mouse?

The next-generation OS has everything it needs to work on an array of devices. It contains both a desktop interface and a Metro-style interface derived from Windows Phone. It runs both touchscreen apps and traditional desktop apps like Photoshop. It boots in seconds and has greatly improved its impact on memory.

We got our hands on one of the prototype Windows 8 tablets Microsoft gave out to developers at its Build conference in Anaheim, Calif. The device, developed by Samsung, isn’t slacking in the hardware department. The 11.6-inch tablet sports an Intel Core i5 processer, a 1366×768 Super PLS display, a 64 GB SSD, 4GB of RAM and ports for USB, micro SD and HDMI. It also comes with a keyboard, dock and stylus pen.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8: The Top 4 Things You Should Know

Let’s be clear: this device will probably never make it to market as it stands. It’s an early prototype for Microsoft’s developer community to test Windows 8, itself a prototype piece of software. Still, it provides a good sense of where Windows is headed, and whether it will be able to compete with the iPad.

Here are our first impressions of the Windows 8 tablet.

Photo Gallery: The Samsung Windows 8 Tablet

Windows 8 Metro Home Screen

This is the Metro interface in Windows 8

Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8

This is the Metro interface for IE10. Swiping from bottom to top or top to bottom will open up the URL bar and the tab bar.

Charm Bar

IE10 sports a "Charm Bar" on the right side of the screen, where users can share content, search for content, return to the Start menu, and more.

Windows 8 Desktop Interface

The Windows 8 desktop will be familiar to any Windows user. I installed Firefox in this instance of Windows 8.

Windows Store

The Windows Store for apps isn't working quite yet...


Microsoft's Metro Twitter app, Tweet@Rama, is very simple to use.

Windows 8 Side View

The tablet includes a USB port, an SD card slot, a mini HDMI port and more.

Windows 8 Tablet: The Back

One thing we don't like about this Windows 8 tablet is the fact that it has a fan. Then again, this device is designed to be more "robust" than an iPad. It's part of Microsoft's attempt not to compromise with Windows.

Windows 8 Tablet With Dock

The dock includes an ethernet port, a USB port, an HDMI port and a headphone jack.

Windows 8, Dock & Keyboard

Turn your Windows 8 tablet into a fully-functional PC by bringing out the keyboard and mouse.

Using the Stylus

The Samsung tablet comes with a stylus for interacting with the touchscreen. It's rather responsive and useful for applications like this drawing app.

Windows 8 Start Screen

When you boot the Windows 8 tablet from sleep, this is the screen that greets you.

Windows 8 Login

Swipe up or down and the login screen will appear.

Samsung’s Windows 8 Tablet: First Impressions

Here’s how Windows 8 stacks up as a tablet OS:

- Speed: Windows 8 is very fast. While we haven’t had a chance to bog down our build with software that would drop its performance, it’s still impressive that the tablet boots in approximately eight seconds and comes out of sleep in even less time. We have no complaints about the overall performance.

- Aesthetic: The OS itself is quite pleasing. We’ve always liked Metro as an interface, and it works well on the tablet form factor. It stands out amongst the Android and iOS interfaces that dominate the tablet market today.

In case you’re curious, Windows 8 in desktop mode looks almost identical to Windows 7 — there will be no learning curve for the desktop portion of the OS. As for the hardware itself, it’s clean and simple, just the way it should be.

- Usability: Windows 8 depends on a series of touchscreen actions to operate effectively. The entire front of the tablet is a touchscreen, which allows for different touch interactions. Swiping from the far left of the screen to the right pulls up recent apps you’ve launched, and swiping from the far right of the screen to the left in certain apps brings up the Charm Bar, where you can share content with friends.

The touchscreen interface doesn’t feel as intuitive as the iPad, but overall it works well. Once I learned the touch commands, it was easy to navigate. Even the Windows desktop was surprisingly easy to use with touch commands. I was able to use most of the desktop apps I installed with relative ease.

- Metro: The big change to Windows 8 is the addition of the Metro interface. The block style is unique and usable. We can see a lot of people, especially the less tech-savvy, enjoying the straightforward interface with a mouse or a touchscreen. Apps designed in Metro are pleasant to use overall.

- Apps: The Windows 8 Developer Preview comes with a few Microsoft-built apps as demos. They are not apps that will launch with Windows 8, but they give you an idea of what is in store for the platform.

Apps launch fast and are easy to access. The ones I played with were simple, but fun. It’s likely you could run some pretty sophisticated games on a Windows 8 tablet, thanks to Microsoft’s “no compromise” policy.

- Keyboard/Mouse: When you connect a keyboard and a mouse to the tablet (via Bluetooth or USB), the device becomes a laptop with an 11.6-inch screen. Interacting with Metro apps with a mouse wasn’t always as easy or as fun as using my fingers, but it usually did the job.

- Desktop: There’s not much to say about the desktop interface. It’s Windows 7 with some speed and design improvements. If you love Windows 7, you’ll love the Windows 8 desktop. And if you hate it, well, there’s Metro.

Conclusion: Windows 8 feels more complete than a developer preview. It feels like using two operating systems, but the fact that they transition seamlessly into each other helps bridge that gap. The touch controls need some more work, but the basic concepts are solid.

Windows 8 is positioned to become a worthy competitor to iOS on the tablet and Mac OS X on the desktop. Still, we’re concerned about the hardware needed to run it, which is far ahead of the specs of the iPad — and, at this stage, requires a fan. That will make it tough for PC manufacturers to squeeze the OS into a device that can be cheap, simple and small enough to compete with Apple.

We give credit to Microsoft for taking a bold risk with Windows 8. Our guess is that it will pay off in the long run.

More About: microsoft, samsung, Top Stories, Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8 Tablet

The Guardian Launches a New U.S. Homepage

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 10:29 AM PDT


UK newspaper The Guardian is reaching out to its American audience via a newly launched online frontpage for U.S. readers. The move is part of an effort to improve The Guardian website for U.S. users, and also indicates the start of a New York City-based digital operation.

Janine Gibson, editor in chief of Guardian U.S., explains the new venture on The Guardian blog.

“We hope that by presenting a targeted homepage, we’ll be able to better display the stories that are most relevant to our U.S. readers,” she writes, adding that users can look at the UK homepage or the U.S. homepage while anywhere in the world by using a button at the top lefthand corner of the homepage.

In addition to launching the U.S.-centric homepage, Gibson says The Guardian is hiring a new U.S. team of writers, technologists and editors to work alongside its UK journalists. She says the team will build on successes such as live blogging during the Middle East uprisings, as well as investigative reporting.

“We’ll also be drawing on reporting from the hundreds of Guardian journalists based around the world,” she writes.

The new U.S. homepage can be accessed via — not, the URL used when The Guardian last attempted a similar venture. Launched in 2007, the portal was abandoned in 2009 with a U.S. consultant saying The Guardian would focus on getting content to readers via social networks, blogs and search engines.

Gibson says the new U.S. homepage is only the beginning — not a finished product. She encourages readers to submit their opinions as the team works on finalizing its efforts.

The Guardian U.S. Homepage

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, OwenBlacker

More About: Media, newspapers, the guardian

Calling All Bloggers: Join Mashable in the Digital Media Lounge During UN Week

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 10:28 AM PDT

Digital Media Lounge

In conjunction with 92Y and the UN Foundation, we're proud to host the Digital Media Lounge at this year's Social Good Summit at the 92Y in New York City.

The Digital Media Lounge offers a dedicated venue that is completely wired and accessible to today's top online voices and influential bloggers, bringing the conversations from this historic Summit out of the halls of the UN and into 92nd Street Y.

During UN Week — Sept. 19-22, the Digital Media Lounge will be a place for bloggers to have exclusive in-person access to experts on issues like universal education, youth and mobilization, developing technologies around the world, and the fight for global health.

The Digital Media Lounge is open to bloggers or journalists who are looking for an innovative way to cover the events of UN Week and the Social Good Summit. This is an exclusive opportunity to connect with the brightest minds and biggest names in social good and technology. Accreditation is necessary. Press and bloggers can apply here:

Image courtesy of Flickr, romainguy.

Social Good Summit Event Details

Date: Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, through Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET
Location: 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

Tickets have officially sold out for the Social Good Summit, but you can still join via our Livestream.

Register for RSVP for Social Good Summit 2011 LIVESTREAM - Presented by Mashable, 92Y and UN Foundation - September 19-22, 2011 in New York, NY  on Eventbrite

You can RSVP until this Sunday, Sept. 18 and will receive a reminder as the event approaches.

Starting on Monday, Sept. 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET, you can tune into the Livestream on and

Sponsored by Ericsson

For over a century, Ericsson has seen communications as a fundamental human right. Today, it is the leading provider of technology and services to network operators. Its networks connect 2 billion people and almost half of the world’s 5.5 billion mobile subscriptions. Now, Ericsson intends to do for broadband what it did for the telephone; make it mobile, available and affordable for all. Ericsson's vision is to be the prime driver of an all-communicating world, where Information and Communications technologies (ICT) come together to create a Networked Society. A Networked Society will bring many opportunities and challenges. As Ericsson works in the world, it aims to apply innovative solutions together with partners to make a real difference to peoples' lives, to business and to the economy, enabling change towards a more sustainable world. We call this Technology for Good.

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Facebook Launches Subscribe Button for Following Anyone’s Public Updates

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Facebook has launched a Subscribe button that lets you follow the public updates of others, regardless of whether you’re Facebook friends.

The new subscription options are part of Facebook’s effort to give users more control over their Facebook accounts and their News Feeds. “Facebook has always been working on giving users more control,” said Facebook Product Manager Naomi Gleit.

Starting Wednesday, users will begin seeing a Subscribe button alongside the “Message” and “Poke” button on Facebook profiles. The button gives you a way to follow the content others are posting without actually becoming Facebook friends with them. In a lot of ways, it’s like following somebody on Twitter.

This button works a bit differently based on whether you’re looking at a friend’s profile. If you subscribe to the profile of somebody who is not your friend, you will get access to his or her public status updates in your News Feed. You can fine tune what type of updates you see. For example, you could subscribe to my Facebook Page and choose only to see my status updates and ignore my game or photo updates.

If the user is your friend, subscribing gives you the ability to granularly control how much of his or her content enters your stream. If you want to see every post your significant other is posting to Facebook, you can set the Subscribe button to show “All Updates” in your News Feed. On the other hand, if you want to ignore one of your acquaintances unless he gets engaged, then you can select the “Only Important” option under the Subscribe button.

The Subscribe feature is totally optional — you can choose not to subscribe to anybody, and you can choose to turn off the Subscribe button on your profile if you don’t want to gain any subscribers.

Much like Twitter, the total number of people subscribing to your public posts and the number of people you’re subscribed to appear on your profile. This number does not include pending friend requests. Existing friend requests will not turn into subscribers automatically, but Gleit says that going forward anybody who sends you a friend request will automatically be subscribed to your public updates (unless you turn the Subscribe button off).

The Subscribe option makes public Facebook posts more useful, especially if you start gaining an audience. However, it provides yet another layer of complexity on top of an already complex product. It could spur more public sharing a la Twitter, or it could raise more privacy concerns for a social network that has had its share of privacy controversies.

What do you think of the Subscribe button? Is it a smart addition to Facebook, or is it a useless feature? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Subscribe Button, Twitter

RIM Has Sold Just 490,000 PlayBooks [REPORT]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:57 AM PDT

Just 490,000 Research in Motion PlayBooks sold in the device’s first quarter compared to 9.25 million iPads sold over the same period, according to a report.

Bloomberg cites a survey of analysts for the figure, who predict RIM will sell around 2.2 million PlayBooks for the full year. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, estimates RIM will ship 1.5 million tablets in 2011, according to the report.

RIM introduced PlayBook, priced at $500, in the U.S. and Canada in April. The device, which targets the corporate market, sports a 7-inch screen compared to the iPad’s 10-inch screen. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs has called such 7-inch tablets “tweeners,” because they’re too large to be a smartphone and too small to be a tablet.

Jobs’s opinion about the small-sized tablet’s viability may be confirmed by RIM’s poor success with PlayBook. RIM, of course, isn’t the only manufacturer to have trouble gaining traction with a non-Apple tablet device. Most famously, Hewlett-Packard pulled out of the market entirely after its TouchPad experienced dismal sales.

More About: playbook, RIM, tablet pcs

The PC: Old, Unsexy & Still King of The World

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:40 AM PDT

The Consumer Trends Series is supported by CBS Interactive, which helps you find the perfect audience with a network of #1 sites like CNET,, CBS Sports and GameSpot. For more, visit

After the year that most of the PC industry has had, you would be forgiven for writing its obituary. The iPad is by far the sexiest computing device on the planet for the second year running, with nearly 30 million sold and a host of touchscreen tablet imitators hitting store shelves. Steve Jobs used the iPad 2 launch to inaugurate what he famously called “the post-PC era.” Hewlett Packard, meanwhile, decided it may be better to get out of the consumer PC business altogether. And when Microsoft launched its preview version of Windows 8 this week, the company seemed to be doing its damnedest to tout the operating system’s tablet functionality more than its ability to run a PC.

But rumors of the PC industry’s death have, of course, been greatly exaggerated. Yes, it’s a mature market — but what that means is that a whopping 82% of U.S. households own one PC. Nearly half own more than one. Amazingly, a quarter of Americans have three PCs or more at home. There may be a move away from the humble desktop, but it’s toward laptops as much as — if not more than — toward tablets. Windows 7 sold 400 million copies in a year, dwarfing the iPad’s success. And while the younger generation may be synonymous with smartphone usage — what self-respecting teen doesn’t show his off in public? — when they get home, they too are predominately PC users.

In short, PC ownership is a very hard thing to kill, and that state of affairs is not going to change any time soon. As Mashable ‘s Todd Wasserman opined last month: “If anything, the end-of-an-era pronouncements say more about the tech blogosphere's skewed perspective than anything else.” Here are some of the major takeaways from a recent report by Mintel on the PC space:

Ownership is Near Universal

Windows Still Dominates in Software …

… As Does Dell in Hardware

Laptops Are Booming, Desktops Are Hard to Kill

More People are Buying PCs in Person

Teens Prefer PCs to Smartphones at Home …

… And Do Just About Everything With PCs

Series Supported by CBS Interactive

The Consumer Trends Series is supported by CBS Interactive, which helps you find the perfect audience with a network of sites starting with CNET,, CBS Sports and GameSpot – to name a few. To see how our exclusive content, video and mobile can help you engage with your ideal target, visit

More About: Consumer Trends Series, features, pc

How Much Money Do Americans Give Online? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:02 AM PDT

Everyone says it’s hard to measure social good success. Well, non-profit consultancy Convio begs to differ. The firm recently put out an infographic showing that the Internet is the fastest-growing channel for non-profits.

The graphic compares money raised, awareness gained and a variety of other factors across a three-year period. Since 2008, non-profits have cracked the $1 billion mark for online fundraising. In 2010, the average online gift jumped up to $91.94.

There’s clearly a long way to go for online fundraising and social good when compared to the huge sums still collected through traditional fundraising and offline giving, but the upward trend certainly bodes well for digital philanthropy.

What do you think of America’s growing support of online giving? Let us know in the comments.

social good infographic

Event Details

Date: Monday, September 19, 2011, through Thursday, September 22, 2011
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET

Livestream: RSVP for the Livestream to join us online.

Register for RSVP for Social Good Summit 2011 LIVESTREAM - Presented by Mashable, 92Y and UN Foundation - September 19-22, 2011 in New York, NY  on Eventbrite

Sponsored by Ericsson

For over a century, Ericsson has seen communications as a fundamental human right. Today, it is the leading provider of technology and services to network operators. Its networks connect 2 billion people and almost half of the world’s 5.5 billion mobile subscriptions. Now, Ericsson intends to do for broadband what it did for the telephone; make it mobile, available and affordable for all. Ericsson's vision is to be the prime driver of an all-communicating world, where Information and Communications technologies (ICT) come together to create a Networked Society. A Networked Society will bring many opportunities and challenges. As Ericsson works in the world, it aims to apply innovative solutions together with partners to make a real difference to peoples' lives, to business and to the economy, enabling change towards a more sustainable world. We call this Technology for Good.

More About: infographic, non-profits, Social Good

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AOL, Yahoo & Microsoft Team Up to Sell Ads [REPORT]

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 08:01 AM PDT

AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft are teaming up to sell ads on each other’s sites, according to a report. The three companies are reasoning that there’s strength in numbers and perhaps hoping to gain some ground against Google.

Executives from the three companies told top web publishers and ad buyers about the plan Tuesday night in New York, reports All Things D.

Under the plan, each of the companies will sell each other’s “Class 2 display” inventory — leftover banner ads the companies can’t sell on their own. Usually such inventory would go to ad networks. The new plan is set to roll out later this year. Reps from the companies could not be reached for comment.

Google is relatively new to the banner ad business and still relies on search advertising for the bulk of its revenues. However, Google’s ad business is growing much faster, overall, than Yahoo’s or AOL’s. Still, Microsoft’s is growing faster than Google’s, according to eMarketer. The report also comes after AOL was said to consider the idea of a merger with Yahoo.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Davichi

More About: Advertising, aol, banner ads, emarketer, Google, microsoft, Yahoo

App Tells You Which LinkedIn Connections Are in the Room

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 07:30 AM PDT

Sonar, a new app that tells you which of your Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook friends are in a room, is treading into the professional world Wednesday as it adds data from LinkedIn.

The iPhone app [iTunes link], which first launched in May, shows you who is checked in to the same place as you on Foursquare and who are your mutual Facebook friends, Twitter followers and now LinkedIn contacts. You can tweet at anybody on the list directly through the app.

Since Sonar’s launch, users have tweeted through the app about 60,000 times.

The addition of LinkedIn could make that number skyrocket as professionals use the app to ease introductions at awkward corporate events and conferences. Whether it will be useful to your professional networking, however, is largely dependent on how tech savvy the folks in your industry tend to be. While your connections don’t need to be using Sonar, they must check in with either Foursquare or Facebook Places, which limits the app’s scope. One recent study found that only up to 17% of the mobile population uses checkin services.

If your industry happens to be made up of that 17%, Sonar can help you spot that guy who you met at a conference three years ago or give you a reason to introduce yourself to a key contact. And as anyone who has ever hovered nervously over the cheese plate at a networking event knows, this information can be an invaluable crutch for professional mingling.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, gehringj

More About: iphone apps, networking, Sonar

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