Friday, 7 October 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “iPhone 4S Pre-Orders are Now Live”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “iPhone 4S Pre-Orders are Now Live”

iPhone 4S Pre-Orders are Now Live

Posted: 07 Oct 2011 01:37 AM PDT

The moment you might have been waiting for – depending on whether you’re disappointed or satisfied with iPhone 4S – is here: you can now pre-order the iPhone 4S in the US and the UK.

You can pre-order the device from Apple, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the US, as well as Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile in the UK.

If you pre-order now, you can expect your shiny new iPhone to arrive at October 14, both in the UK and the US.

If all those choices are making you dizzy, check out our handy guide that should help you choose the right carrier and data plan for your needs.

More About: apple, iphone, iPhone 4S, pre-orders

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Find a Job in Social Media, Communications or Design

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:07 PM PDT

If you’re seeking a job in social media, we’d like to help out. For starters, Mashable‘s Job Lists gather all our resource lists, how-tos and expert guides to help you get hired. In particular, you might want to see our articles, 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 on 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

CTO at Sproutlet in Hoboken, NJ.

Front End Engineer at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Platform Product Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Official T-Shirt Wearer at in Jacksonville, FL.

Social Media Officer at Amalgamated Pest Control in Archerfield (Brisbane), Australia.

Account Manager/Search Analyst at adMarketplace in New York, NY.

Senior Web Analyst at Ignited in El Segundo, CA.

Senior Digital Media Planner at Ignited in New York, NY.

Web Designer at University of Washington Bothell in Bothell, WA.

Vice President, Digital at Emanate in New York, NY.

Quality Engineering Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Agency-wide Manager – Paid Search/SEM at Morpheus Media in New York, NY.

Web Analytics Associate (contract or fulltime) at Total Beauty Media, Inc. in Santa Monica, CA.

Director, Social Media at Razorfish in San Francisco, CA.

Director, Digital Cross-Platform Programming at MTV Networks in New York, NY.

User Acquisition Analytics Manager at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. in Burbank, CA.

Digital Product Manager at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. in Burbank, CA.

Junior Digital Traffic Project Manager at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, OR.

Senior Program Manager, Community Engagement at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, CA.

Project Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Senior Engineer at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Web Developer at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in Piscataway, NJ.

Director at Attention in New York, New York.

Digital Account Supervisor – Travel & Hospitality Marketing at BCF in Virginia Beach, VA.

Senior Editor, Kaiser Health News at Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Online, Social Media & Mobile Program Officer at Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, CA.

Internship, Health Communicaiton & Media Partnerships at Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, CA.

Online Marketing Data Analyst at Acquinity Interactive in Deerfield Beach, FL.

Interactive Art Director, Teach For America at Teach For America in New York, NY.

Senior Community (Social Media) Manager, Shooter Vertical at Electronic Arts in Los Angeles, CA.

Integrated Media Program Leader at Whole Foods Market in Austin, TX.

Social Media Director at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Director, Social Media at TrueAction Network in New York, NY.

Director of Student Engagement – Social Media at Chegg in Hillsboro, OR.

Group Director of Social Media Communications at Deep Focus in New York, NY.

Digital Marketing Specialist at The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, VA.

Marketing Manager at Border Stylo in Los Angeles, CA.

Web and Graphic Designer at Evans Hotels in San Diego, CA.

Marketing Manager: New Product Development at The Motley Fool in Alexandria, VA.

Product Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Lead Devloper- Director of Technology at Attention in New York, NY.

Entry Level Designer at Hudson Horizons in Saddle Brook, NJ.

Director of Information Technology at Eastern Mountain Sports in Peterborough, NH.

Product Manager – Local Business Products at Yelp Inc. in San Francisco, CA.

Group Program Manager, Social Media Campaigns & Communities at Spring Creek Group in Seattle, WA.

Media, Social Media Intern at SAGE Publications in Newbury Park, CA.

Creative Copwriter for Digital Advertising at Intermarkets in Reston, VA.

Digital Marketing Director at Direct Wines in Norwalk, CT.

Client Account Manager at C-4 Analytics in Saugus, MS.

Mobile Engineer at eHarmony in Santa Monica, CA.

Project Manager at Paperless Post in New York, NY.

Strategic Partner Development, Media at Facebook in New York, NY.

Strategic Partner Development, Brand Marketers at Facebook in New York, NY.

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, Lists, Social Media

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Bravo Starts Casting “Silicon Valley Reality Series”

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:00 PM PDT

Attention young, confident professionals with big personalities in Silicon Valley: Bravo wants you. The cable network known for its dramatic reality lineup is now casting for a “Silicon Valley Reality Show.”

The NBC Universal-owned network has begun posting Craigslist advertisements soliciting successful professionals in their 20s to early 40s living in the Silicon Valley area.

“Whether you’re in law, business, technology, film, advertising, medical, culinary… any career goes, as long as you’re living life in the fast lane, we want to hear from you,” the ad reads.

“How about a hotshot lawyer, who works hard from 9-5 but parties even harder after dark? Maybe you just got your break working at one of the biggest internet companies burning through the late-night hours and partying in the even later ones? Or maybe you’re a middle school teacher in a small suburb, but you have a secret wild side?”

And while the show doesn’t sound entirely tech-focused, Bravo does appear to be courting celebrity entrepreneurs. Casting Director Desiree Mandelbaum even pitched Digg creator Kevin Rose on the project via emal. Rose responded to the inquiry by tweeting, “yuck, please stay in LA.”

Something tells us if this project comes to fruition, Bravo’s show will be a bit more theatrical and melodramatic than Bloomberg’s TechStars show.

Mashable has contacted Mandelbaum to learn more about the project. In the meantime, what should Bravo call its “Silicon Valley Reality Show?” Share your witty ideas in the comments. Or, better yet, tell us which web-celebs you would want to see on the show?

[via BetaBeat]

More About: bravo, reality tv

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Study Shows Correlation Between Social Buzz and TV Ratings

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 08:40 PM PDT

social tv image

A major undercurrent of the 2011 Fall TV season is the increasing role that social and digital media have on how consumers consume, discover and discuss TV shows. A longstanding question in the social TV space, however, is what impact social media buzz has on traditional television ratings.

NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey Company, worked with Nielsen to try to better answer that question. In the study, NM Incite and Nielsen were able to find a statistically significant relationship that shows a correlation between online buzz and TV ratings. This correlation takes place throughout the TV show season, though the impact online buzz can have on ratings can vary based on a season’s timeline.

Unsurprisingly, the strongest correlation takes place with younger demographics, viewers ages 12-17 and 18-34. Nielsen and NM Incite also found a slightly stronger correlation for women over men.

In the 18-34 demographic, Nielsen found that social media buzz most closely aligned with TV ratings around the time that a show premieres. In other words, the social discussion was most likely to affect or correlate with ratings in the lead-up to a show’s launch or its first few episodes. In this scenario, a 9% increase in buzz volume correlates to a 1% increase in ratings.

This relationship weakens as the show’s season wears on. At the mid-season mark, a 14% buzz increase correlates with a 1% increase in ratings. Likewise, a 14% increase in buzz corresponds to a 1% increase in ratings in the weeks leading up to a show’s finale.

It’s important to note, however, that with older viewers, social buzz has a greater impact on ratings toward the end of the season than at the beginning or middle.

Reality shows (competition and non-competition), dramas and comedies were programs that saw the biggest social-to-ratings impact with women 18-34. Men 18-34 showed the strongest correlations with competition reality programs and dramas.

Anecdotally, this matches up with some of the other social TV stats that have shown that programs such as Basketball Wives and The Voice are big social TV hits.

While the data Nielsen and NM Incite presents is interesting, it’s shallow. We would like to see specific gains for specific shows — or specific losses. Moving into the 2011 season, we would also like to see which shows are benefiting most from social buzz and which are cancelled despite strong social media behavior.

More About: Nielsen, nm incite, reports, social tv

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LinkedIn Lets Companies Post Status Updates [VIDEO]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 08:20 PM PDT

LinkedIn has long let users follow companies, but Thursday the professional networking service is finally allowing the more than two million businesses with company pages to post status updates to their followers.

Company Status Updates will enable assigned administrators of company pages to post updates, up to 500 characters in length, to the “Overview” tab of their pages.

“This is a great way to build engagement with customers, potential employees and prospects alike,” says Ryan Roslansky, director of product management at LinkedIn. “Nearly half of our members follow over 2 million Company Pages on LinkedIn.”

Company status updates will also appear in a page follower’s LinkedIn homepage news feed. And any LinkedIn member can see, like and comment on status updates, or share an update with friends, from the company page.

The new addition makes company profiles more similar to Facebook Pages, and should transform the once-static pages into dynamic entities.

Companies interested in the new feature can turn it on here.

More About: linkedin, status updates

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10 Best Live Multiplayer Games for iPhone

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 07:35 PM PDT

Carter Dotson is a freelance writer from Texas, covering the mobile and gaming industries since 2009. He has written for 148Apps since 2010, and hosts the weekly mobile gaming podcast The Portable Podcast.

When one thinks of multiplayer gaming on the iPhone, turn-based board games like Words With Friends come to mind. They’re extremely convenient, allowing friends near and far to play games together at their own pace and convenience.

However, these games lack action and immediacy. After all, there’s a special kind of satisfaction that comes from beating a friend, and instantly being able to view his reaction. Thankfully, iOS is full of games that can help satisfy that desire through live multiplayer action.

1. Super Stickman Golf

This physics puzzler-meets-golf game has online multiplayer access for up to four people. Players race to the finish, instead of attempting to score by fewest strokes. This means that strategy and shot selection have changed dramatically from the more traditional single-player mode. With little time to set up the perfect aim, getting the quickest and most effective shot is key. Thankfully, a variety of power-ups help make this happen. Ultimately, sinking the ball right before an opponent offers the kind of satisfaction that makes online gaming great.

2. Street Fighter IV Volt

This modern entry of Capcom's famous fighting game series has an elaborate, near-console quality iOS version. The Volt version enables online play, allowing for battle between two players anywhere in the world. Capcom has also shown a commitment to post-release support by adding new content and addressing technical online play issues. Those who fear that a fighting game won't work on a touch screen as well will be pleasantly surprised to maneuver Street Fighter mobile play.

3. Zen Wars

This strategy game pits two or three players against one other with the goal of last-man-standing. Players spend three different phases of the game placing weapons, firing at opponents, and trying to rebuild defenses by laying down puzzle pieces to form walls. The game really shines when three players compete, because temporary alliances can spring up between players to bring the leading player down; the built-in voice chat helps to facilitate competition.

4. Star Legends

This online role-playing game allows players to tackle quests with others all over the world. A player can auction items and acquire special equipment, just like the traditional MMORPG games, but now it can be played during the morning commute. The game is free, with no subscription costs, and as a bonus, is a universal app on iOS. Player accounts are cross-compatible with Android, making it possible to play as the same character on both devices.

5. Archetype

First-person shooters are typically the standard of console games, but even touchscreen devices can get in on the fun. This fast-paced game drops players in free-for-all, team deathmatch and capture-the-flag modes, each with special variations. The game doesn't suffer for iOS compatibility, and features great control and multiplayer support for up to 10 players.

6. Deadlock

A surprising rarity on iOS, this dual-stick shooter features competitive online play in both deathmatch and objective modes, alongside standard single-player survival modes. Players hunt down opponents using two virtual joysticks, one for movement, and the other for firing in a given direction. Players can earn experience that goes toward better weapons and equipment.

7. Real Racing 2

Firemint's racing title is possibly the best-looking game in the App Store. It features online racing for up to 16 players. Participants can take their speedy vehicles earned in single-player mode into multiplayer, and race around each of the game's tracks. Watch out for a racing field that won't be afraid to run you off the course -- or just win via precision racing.

8. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Sometimes it's just more fun to launch a precision missile at other racers. Kart racers (think Mario Kart) features a variety of Sonic and Sega characters that race around crazy Sega-inspired tracks, deploying weapons and special abilities to get to the front of the pack.

9. Doodle Jump

That's right, the endless jumping game that millions have played includes a multiplayer mode as well. The goal is to reach the end before the other player by accessing spring platforms, all the while trying not to fall off the screen or get whacked by an enemy. Sometimes just playing smarter than the other player and outlasting him is enough to win.

10. Wurdle

While turn-based multiplayer word games are all the rage, this game lets up to four players take each other on simultaneously. The objective of the game is to form words from tiles laid out on a board by drawing a line between adjacent letters – all in a two-minute timeframe. The multiplayer mode gives each player the same board, and the person with the highest score at the end wins.

More About: contributor, features, Gaming, iOS, iphone, Mobile

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Rdio Starts Free Streaming Music

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 07:15 PM PDT

Rdio users in the U.S. have just been given a huge gift: free music streaming privileges.

The streaming-music startup announced its free, on-demand music offering Thursday, touting it as the only ad-free, zero-cost plan available in the U.S. market.

Members can now stream any of Rdio’s more then 12 million tracks free of charge — until they cross an undefined threshold for the month. A green meter atop the user profile will track usage and give the user a visual, albeit mostly ambiguous rendering of how much free streaming she has left each month.

The amount of free music will vary per user and will depend on a number of factors, Rdio says.

Rdio’s free access plan is available to users on the web and via its desktop application. Users can choose to upgrade to the Rdio Web plan for unlimited streaming via browser or desktop for $4.99 a month, or they can purchase Rdio Unlimited for $9.99 a month and receive mobile streaming privileges as well.

The free access plan keeps the startup — brought to you by the founders of Skype — competitive with Spotify and MOG. It should also help Rdio appeal to the 800 million Facebookers who might happen upon any of its tracks via Facebook ticker.

More About: rdio, streaming music

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iPhone 4S: Should You Choose AT&T, Verizon or Sprint?

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 06:13 PM PDT

The iPhone 4S is available for pre-order in just a few hours, and for the first time it will be available on the U.S.’s three largest wireless networks: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. Pre-orders for the new iPhone begin at 12:01 AM PT on Friday (that’s later tonight, but technically extremely early tomorrow morning) — so if you stay up late, you can be one of the first.

That leaves an important question for the millions of you eager to upgrade to the iPhone 4S: Which carrier should you choose?

The short answer is that it depends on your priorities. Some networks win on price, while others win on network speed or 3G coverage. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve done a quick analysis of the three major carriers.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between AT&T, Verizon and Sprint:


Owning an iPhone isn’t cheap. You have to buy the minutes, the data plan and the texting plan, and that bill can easily top $100 per month.

If you’re a price-conscious consumer looking for the best overall deal, then you’re going to want to choose Sprint. While Sprint’s voice plans are slightly more expensive ($69.99 for 450 minutes and $99.99 for unlimited) than Verizon or AT&T’s plans ($59.99 for 450 minutes and $89.99 for unlimited), its data plan is much cheaper.

For unlimited data, Sprint costs just $10 per month. AT&T costs a whopping $55 for 5GB of data, and Verizon charges $50. One other thing to note though: Sprint tacks on an extra $29.99 for a mobile hotspot, while AT&T and Verizon include it with plans 4GB and above.

If you were to get a 900-minute plan with unlimited texting and 2GB of data per month, you’d save approximately $120-240 on a two-year contract with Sprint.

Unlimited Data

In an attempt to differentiate itself from the competition, Sprint is offering unlimited data for an astoundingly cheap $10 a month. Verizon and AT&T do not offer unlimited data plans anymore. However, if you had an unlimited data plan on AT&T before they killed it, you’re grandfathered in. That’s how I still have an unlimited data plan on my AT&T iPhone.


AT&T is the only GSM carrier of the three, which means two things: Its 3G network is faster and supports simultaneous talking and web surfing.

Last year, PCWorld tested the three networks for their speeds. AT&T trumped Verizon and Sprint with an average download speed of 1410 kbps. Verizon achieved 877 kbps on average, while Sprint clocked in at 795 kbps.

Of course, networks have improved since then, but AT&T’s GSM network is still faster, hands-down. It will get the closest to the iPhone 4S’s theoretical max download speed of 14.4 mbps (14,400 kbps).

Talking & Web Surfing

In the area of talking while surfing the web, AT&T is also the winner. Sprint and Verizon’s CDMA networks simply don’t support this functionality. So if you love checking restaurant reviews or reading Mashable articles while chatting with your friends, then AT&T is your only choice.

Network Reliability

AT&T’s network is notorious for its dropped calls and dead zones. iPhone users simply went to town on AT&T’s infrastructure. It’s part of the reason why AT&T wants to acquire T-Mobile.

But in a 2010 nationwide reliability test by PCWorld, AT&T and Sprint were tops with 94% reliability (Verizon scored a 92%).

Of course, that was 2010 and all three have been making infrastructure improvements. AT&T has activated several towers in the San Francisco Bay Area (one of its weakest areas) in the last few months, though any Bay Area native will tell you that AT&T still has a long way to go.

In the end, network reliability depends on your location. But Verizon has the biggest advantage here: It has the largest 3G network of the three. You’re more likely to get a 3G signal in the countryside with Verizon than you are with AT&T.

The Bottom Line

If you’re buying an iPhone 4S, which network should you pick? That really depends on your priorities:

  • If you care about speed the most, AT&T is your best choice.
  • If you care about simultaneous talking and web surfing, AT&T is your best choice as well
  • If you’re very price-conscious, Sprint is the way to go.
  • If you care about unlimited data, Sprint is the only one that offers a new plan.
  • If your concern is network reliability, you need to test the different networks in the areas you visit most.
  • If you travel a lot and want constant 3G access, Verizon is your best bet.

In a few years, we’ll have to revisit this issue as 4G networks become more mainstream. But for right now, iPhone users have more choices than ever.

Which network has your loyalty? We want to hear about your experiences in the comments.

More About: apple, att, features, iPhone 4S, sprint, verizon

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Facebook Launches New In-Line Translation Tool

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 05:11 PM PDT

Facebook has quietly introduced a new tool that makes instant inline language translations appear with a single click.

This is different from Google’s translation tool — this opt-in service is powered by Microsoft Bing and works on individual posts on Facebook Pages, including comments. For example, if you’re an English speaker reading a Facebook public Page and encounter a comment in Spanish, you’ll see a Translate button next to it, letting you click to see it translated into a pop-out window in English.

For even better accuracy, the Translate feature lets bilingual users enter a human (and often more accurate) translation in that pop-out window. If enough other users vote positively on the accuracy of a human translation, it will replace the one from Bing each time the Translate button is clicked. The human translations can be managed by page administrators using a “manage translations” link underneath posts on pages they manage.

Facebook Journalist Program Manager (and former Mashable community manager) Vadim Lavrusik says the new feature works now on Facebook Pages, but not on Facebook Profiles yet. According to Ampercent, if you’re a page administrator and want to enable this feature for your multi-lingual users, go to “Your Settings” and click “Allow translations from Admin, community and machine translators.”

Update: To see this new translation feature in action, please go to this post on our Facebook page, and see the Spanish comment there — you’ll have a chance to translate it. For some reason, it’s not offering to translate a French comment, however.

[Via Search Engine Watch]

More About: Facebook, New Tool, translation

Literally the Most Metal Motorcycle In All of Russia [VIDEO]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 04:38 PM PDT

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

Motorcycles are badass, metal bands are badass. A metal band on a motorcycle is some other kind of special.

This clip shows an intrepid group of Russian youths cruising through Moscow on a custom-built motorcycle and buggy outfitted with an entire drum set, amps and room for a guitar player. Or two.

We have almost literally no context for why they did this to their motorcycle or even why they decided to start playing an impromptu concert in the middle of a highway. Will this video make you a better person? Probably not. Is this video safe and/or advisable? Definitely not. Does the guitarist’s smug headbang mid-video sum up why it’s worth it? Absolutely.

More About: Video, viral-video-of-day

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iPhone 4S Camera: A Quick Look at What’s New [PICS]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 03:44 PM PDT

One area in which the iPhone 4S has gotten a major update is its camera. All-new specs have led Apple to dub the upgraded snapper the “you-can’t-believe-it’s-on-a-phone-camera.”

This improved camera, which has yet to be independently tested, could be big news. As Apple stated in its 4S presentation, the iPhone 4 is now the most popular camera for uploading pictures on Flickr with over 16,179,186 items uploaded. Apple is hoping the iPhone 4S will encourage even more people to leave their point-and-shoot cameras at home.

While Apple has been a little vague on the exact technical changes (which we won’t know before a tear-down report), and real-life results have yet to be seen, the new specs appear to promise compact camera quality from a phone.

Take a look through the gallery of Apple’s unedited sample iPhone 4S shots below in which we highlight the major changes. Let us know in the comments if you’re excited by the photographic abilities of the 4S — or, if you’re using an older iPhone, whether you’re already satisfied.

1. Access to the Camera App Is Faster

One huge improvement to the iPhone photography experience is a simple one -- the 4S offers instant access to the camera from the lock screen.

In addition you will also use be able to use the volume "up" button to capture a photo faster.

2. The Camera Is Faster

As well as faster access to the camera app, the camera itself boasts improved speeds. Thanks to the dual-core A5 chip and the new DSLR-quality image signal processor (which also enables face detection and 26% better white balance), the camera will capture images up to a third faster than the iPhone 4.

The 4S claims that snapping a first photo will take 1.1 seconds, and the time in which the camera "recovers" and is ready to take another shot has been reduced to 0.5 seconds.

3. It Boasts 8 Megapixels and a New Sensor

Image quality isn't all about megapixels, but the boost from five to eight on the 4S should make a noticeable difference, especially in conjunction with the next-gen backside illuminated CMOS sensor.

Apple says this sensor "is engineered with increased sensitivity and a shorter exposure time to achieve the same scene brightness." The results? "Colors are less saturated and you'll see more details."

The claim is that the 4S' photos are "rendered pixel for pixel in prints as large as 8-inches by 10-inches," which means almost A4-sized prints from your phone.

4. It's Got a New Lens

The quality of optics is a huge factor in photography. A cheap plastic lens is like looking through a dirty porthole, a correctly shaped quality glass lens will appear more like a sparkling clean window.

The iPhone 4S' new lens is made from five seperate "precision" elements. It's said to be 30% sharper than the lens on the iPhone 4. That kind of percentage means you should be able to see the difference.

5. It Boasts a Larger Aperture

The camera also gets an aperture upgrade -- f/2.8 -- which lets in more light. This is where the "advanced hybrid infrared filter" comes into play, keeping harmful IR light away from the sensor for more accurate and uniform colors.

In practical terms a larger aperture means improved depth of field, with the ability to potentially get creative with sharpness and blur.

6. There's Improved Pinch-to-Zoom

The existing iPhone camera's bar zoom feature may seem counter-intuitive to those used to pinching to zoom elsewhere on the device.

Apple has finally addressed this with the 4S -- you will be able to pinch and zoom. Aided by the new (optional) grid lines, you also can tap to lock the focus, as before.

7. It's Got Better Native Editing and Sharing

The new iOS 5 Photos app offers some basic in-camera edits such as crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye. There's also improved organization within albums.

As well as the existing abilities to email and MMS your photos, the 4S will also allow you to instantly share them via iMessage and the built-in Twitter integration (as well as stream them via iCloud.)

8. There's 1080p Video Recording

The 4S goes more high-res with the ability to record 1080p quality. Thankfully, there's also video image stabilization, as shooting that res on a small handheld device could make you a little dizzy.

More About: apple, cameras, Gadgets, iphone, iphone 45, iphotography, photography, Tech

The Life & Times of Steve Jobs

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 02:39 PM PDT

As a businessman and innovator, Steve Jobs had an extraordinary career. In the past 35 years, he changed the game, invented new industries and reshaped existing markets.

From the Apple II to the iPad 2, Tin Toy to Toy Story 3, Jobs left his mark on the world. We've taken a look back at Jobs's life and times and the incredible legacy he leaves behind.

More About: apple, features, steve jobs, timeline

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Social TV: How Content Producers Can Engage Their Audiences in New Ways

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 02:12 PM PDT

Rick Liebling is director of digital strategy at Coyne PR where he helps clients utilize social media channels to engage relevant audiences. You can follow him on Twitter @Rick_Now and read his blog at here.

As social media matures, new opportunities are arising for content producers. Social TV, for instance, has exploded in 2011. While terms like "cross-media" and "transmedia" have only started to become part of the media lexicon, technology advances are creating new opportunities for content creators and audiences to engage with one another – an experience I call "intermedia."

The Growth of Social TV and the Dawn of Intermedia

Increasingly, social TV has viewers using platforms like Twitter to comment on and discuss their favorite shows. HBO's True Blood, Oxygen's Bad Girls Club and Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, or landmark events such as presidential debates generate thousands of comments, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands. As social TV gains momentum, savvy networks like Bravo, MTV and The CW are poised to take advantage by engaging their audiences in new and compelling ways.

Then intermedia was born, the offspring of social TV and transmedia. Social TV provides a space for audience members to discuss a show, while transmedia encourages content producers to create stories that move across platforms. Therefore, intermedia means that audience members and content producers engage each other between media channels, often with content from one platform affecting content from the other.

Why You Need an Intermedia Strategy

While content producers are currently leading the way, brands will surely follow along the intermedia path, hungry for new, relevant ways to reach consumers. In the months to come, companies and their agencies will be looking to build intermedia strategies.

Overall, intermedia leverages several trends:

  • Viewers are looking for more meaningful interaction with the shows they watch.
  • Stars/celebrities are taking an active role in social media.
  • Content producers are trying to engage viewers in new ways.
  • A burgeoning group of social platforms are catering to various entertainment interests.

Read on to discover the components of an intermedia strategy plan.

1. What Does Success Look Like?

Before you embark, have a measurement of success for your program. Think about how you'll measure the growth of the online community as well as show viewership. Look at quantitative metrics such as followers or retweets, but also observe more qualitative engagement like conversation sentiment. You may also be looking at other factors such as an increase in traffic to online or offline retail outlets for ancillary products such as merchandise or DVDs. Use intermedia as a tool to see what elements of a program are resonating most with the audience.

2. What Are Your Assets?

Do you have access to talent? Will that talent engage viewers as themselves or as their characters? What online owned media channels can you leverage? Does the show already have a Twitter account? Finally, archival footage, brand partners and physical venues can also become weapons in your intermedia arsenal.

3. What Sort of Intermedia Content Will You Develop?

While certain properties have an existing base of passionate fans (think Mad Men), new shows (like 2 Broke Girls) attempt to establish a strong initial relationship with their audiences. Understanding your audience will help determine the type of content you can create, whether by providing character back story or offering exclusive access to table readings from the actors. Ultimately you'll be asking yourself: Am I trying to build deeper ties with those who already know my content, or am I trying to introduce myself to new, potential fans?

4. What Platforms Should You Use?

While Twitter is the obvious choice for intermedia engagement, it's certainly not the only one. Sarah Hill, interactive anchor/reporter for KOMU-TV in Missouri uses live Google+ Hangouts during her broadcast., Skype and YouTube can all be leveraged similarly.

5. When Will This Happen?

Intermedia can be planned for a variety of experiences and settings, including music venues, sports stadiums and fashion shows. Producers can also use intermedia to reinvigorate classic programming; for instance, G4 aired Star Trek 2.0 in 2006.

Recent Examples

Companies like Social Guide and TV Dinner are making social TV engagement easier by developing mobile apps and engagement platforms respectively. Others such as Bluefin Labs show the value of social TV interaction through rigorous measurement.

For their season finale, Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior integrated live segments of the show’s hosts, who answered tweeted questions and commented on real-time poll results taken from the show's website. This dynamic approach helped land the show a Top 10 "Social TV" spot on for the night, edging out CBS social TV juggernaut Survivor.

ESPN is taking a more ambitious intermedia strategy with its NFL32 programming. The show airs Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2, during which ESPN football analysts and insiders take questions from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. An #NFL32 hashtag keeps the conversation flowing alongside the @NFL32 account.

As you can see, creating an intermedia program requires more aggressive tactics than a simple hashtag or a few Facebook video posts. Planning and maximizing assets using an intermedia strategy can drive real results.

Images courtesy of Flickr, wajakemek | rashdanothman, xJasonRogersx

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Siri: From App to Apple & Beyond

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 01:55 PM PDT

Siri was first conceived when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense's innovation arm, hooked up with SRI International. Now, with Apple as her adoptive parent, Siri has been granted a new lease on life.

Siri’s always been a virtual, voice-operated personal assistant, but she’s undergone a butterfly-like metamorphosis from her birth as an iPhone app to her reemergence as the omnipotent, almost-human conduit between the brain of the iPhone 4S and the device owner.

Mashable reached out to Norman Winarsky, vice president of SRI Ventures and the cofounder of Siri, to gauge his reaction to grown-up Siri.

But first, let’s start with an abridged history and look at the important moments from Siri’s short lifespan so far.

Siri: From App to Apple

Siri for iPhone 4S has been eight years in the making. Here’s a look at how she grew into her role as the intelligent personal assistant of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

2003: DARPA awards SRI with a five-year contract to create an “enduring personalized cognitive assistant.” It would go on to invest $150 million in the project.

SRI calls the project CALO, short for Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes. The stated goal: “To create cognitive software systems, that is, systems that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.”

Jan. 2008: Siri, one of the consumer-branded products inspired by the CALO project, spun out of SRI as its own company.

Oct. 13, 2008: Siri announces it has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Menlo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.

Nov. 24, 2009: Siri announces it has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding in a round led by Menlo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.

Feb. 4, 2010: Siri launches an app for iPhone. The app lets you to talk to your phone and have it find and make plans for you. The app improves with repeated usage and better understands your requests over time.

March 28, 2010: Apple acquires Siri for an undisclosed sum just two months after its public release. Some members of the Siri team move to Apple.

Oct. 4, 2011: Apple announces Siri, a virtual personal assistant for the iPhone 4S.

Siri Grows Up

Winarsky, as one of the original cofounders of Siri, was intimately familiar with the genetic makeup of Siri and speaks of Siri’s accomplishments as a proud parent.

“Apple has started a whole new paradigm with real AI … for the benefit of people,” Winarsky says. “I think it’s a great achievement of Steve Jobs and all of Apple.”

How Has Siri Changed?

Apple, says Winarsky, has made Siri far more intelligent than she ever was as a standalone app. The new Siri has more omnipotence, she can access the device owner’s personal information, contact list and calendar, all areas previously not available to Siri the application. This makes for a much more intimate experience, he says.

“Siri needed to be bought by Apple for that to happen,” he says, pointing to the fact that Apple does not allow third-party applications such deep access to the user’s personal data. “Because of that, you can ask questions and arrange meetings and find your music … things that you couldn’t have done in Siri before.”

Also new is support for additional languages. Apple has made Siri available in French and German languages — previously she could only understand English.

But by far the biggest change to Siri, says Winarsky, is her new reach. “Siri will now be on millions and millions of phones. It could potentially be the largest, most successful consumer AI application that has occurred — it’s huge.”

Perhaps just as interesting is what has stayed the same. “[Apple] really understood and created a huge success with natural language, going beyond speech,” Winarsky says.

And then there’s the name. “I was pleased to see Siri called Siri,” Winarsky says with a smile. In fact, pre-announcement speculation pegged the name to be “The Assistant.”

Rocket Science Made Simple

With Siri, Apple has taken AI, something inherently geeky, and made it consumer-friendly, Winarsky says. More over, Apple will the first company to make it seem natural to talk to your device.

“Apple has done a spectacular job … of showing how it’s natural,” he says. “It is natural language. That’s the beauty of it.”

“People are reluctant to talk to a computer in normal life,” he qualifies. “But when you’re talking to Siri, if you have the model in your mind that you’re talking to an almost-human assistant, than it doesn’t seem funny at all.”

What’s Next?

The influence of Siri will be far-reaching, Winarsky predicts.

But we do it, he adds. “I think there’s a whole new market where people will be able to ask natural language questions to call centers.”

Eventually, we’ll get to the point where we as consumers prefer talking to a virtual assistant like Siri instead of talking to a person. “It’s faster, simpler, more effective and more time-saving than talking to a person,” Winarsky says. “I think people will like that more than they dislike talking to a computer.”

Of course, he also predicts Apple’s Siri will inspire a slew of copycats and competitors. “This is a new paradigm in user interface. There’s no doubt about that,” he says. “I would shocked if people didn’t attempt to do the same thing and bring it on to other devices and other software.”

There will be intense activity all over the world from research institutions and big name companies looking to usurp the title of leader in the virtual personal assistant space, Winarsky says. Even SRI, he says, will continue to its mission to create the next generation of virtual personal assistants.

Siri-ously Funny Twitter Wit


@uRbAnIP takes the diplomatic approach to the news.


Comparisons to HAL have made us a little uneasy.


Meanwhile @slycrel plans to ensure Siri is "Three Laws" safe.


Neither can we!


@MrBigFists puns it up for all the Android fans.


A "Skynet" joke from @JoeGuyAllard made us all laugh. Maybe a little too loudly.


@forrestkoba voices the question we all want answered.


While @tkenny asks a classic...


...and @iBlayne answers.


Referring to the reports suggesting the iPhone 5 would boast a redesigned case, we seriously wonder if anyone actually is asking themselves this question today.


@niwat0ri chimes in with a serious philosophical puzzler.


And @jw makes us feel a little uncomfortable all over again. Artificial intelligence is a good thing, right? We mean, what could possibly go wrong...

More About: apple, artificial intelligence, iPhone 4S, Norman Winarsky, siri, SRI

The Secret to Achieving 3X Better Fundraising Results [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 01:32 PM PDT

Are you ready to learn the secret to a successful fundraising campaign? A combination of targeting potential donors online and offline, simultaneously.

The multi-channel approach is the key to increasing fundraising by up to three times a single-channel campaign. While offline strategies such as direct mail still account for 90% of donations, online campaigns have increased their revenue by nearly 35%.

Take a look at this infographic, which reveals the nuances to successful fundraising campaigns.

Multichannel giving by Blackbaud [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The 10 Most Quoted Tweets About Steve Jobs

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 01:00 PM PDT

It was an outpouring of grief on a scale that Twitter has seldom seen. By midnight eastern time — less than five hours after Apple announced that Steve Jobs had passed away — 1.4 million tweets had been sent with his name in them, according to social media analysts Sysomos.

Clearly, some of those tweets resonated more than others. The @breakingnews account saw its original Jobs alert retweeted 11,000 times — more than any other tweet in its history.

And Storify, a service that lets you collect tweets and other forms of media in a single embedded stream, just released a list of the 10 tweets that have been most quoted by its users. Not surprisingly, Bill Gates and Barack Obama top the list — but there are a few surprises in there, such as sports reporter Darren Rovell and rapper Snoop Dogg.

Check it out, and let us know in the comments what tweets you found affecting and inspirational.

UPDATE: Twitter says it saw a rate of 6,049 tweets per second, starting yesterday at 5pm Pacific time — not quite a record, but certainly the greatest response the service has seen to the death of a celebrity.

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Like Scary Movies? Tweet to Win Paranormal Activity 3 Premiere

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 12:36 PM PDT

paranormal activity image

Fans of supernatural thriller Paranormal Activity 3 can win an exclusive, early showing of the new film just by tweeting. The campaign, called “Tweet to See it First,” pits cities across the entire planet in a tweet war.

The 20 cities that gain the largest amount of tweets related to the film will get a special premiere on Oct. 18, three days before Paranormal Activity 3‘s global release.

Fans can vote through the film’s website, where they can select their city and create a tweet with special hashtags. Every tweet counts as a vote and users can check the site for a leaderboard of the 20 cities currently on top.

There are no limits to the amount of times one person can vote. Even retweets count towards city totals. This means one intrepid — hyperactive — tweeter could win the contest single-handedly. Once a city wins, fans can then RSVP for a free ticket. It’s unclear if this will be capped to people that have already voted by tweeting, or if the screenings will turn into free-for-alls, potentially shutting out voters. The premieres are also limited to fairly large cities. For example, fans have to vote for cities already on the map — no write-ins allowed.

One of the reasons the mechanics are up in the air is because no one has really tried running a promotion like this for a major motion picture. It’s an ambitious move and one that could pay off big for Paramount and fans.

map image

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Twitter Opens New York Office on Madison Avenue

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 12:23 PM PDT

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey Thursday morning to announce the opening of the company’s first official New York office.

Although New York is likely, as a statement from the city reminds us, “the largest developer population outside of California in the nation,” we have a feeling it’s not engineers Twitter most hopes to reach out to from its new East Coast headquarters.

The company’s new headquarters are located at 340 Madison Avenue (the former address of Facebook’s NYC office space), in close proximity to potential advertising clients.

New York is the city with the most Twitter users in the world, Dorsey says.

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How StumbleUpon Went From Humble Browser Plugin to Social Juggernaut

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 11:46 AM PDT

The Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Series is supported by Diet Coke®. Now, the drink that helps you stay extraordinary brings you extraordinary people. Find Diet Coke® on Facebook for access to a whole lot of extraordinary.

When StumbleUpon launched in 2001, it was a Firefox plug-in. Today it’s a social web discovery service that, by some estimates, refers more traffic to websites than any other social site. The “stumble” button has been clicked more than 25 billion times.

In the meantime, CEO Garrett Camp has experienced more stages of the startup cycle than an average entrepreneur: side project, venture-backed startup, acquired company (eBay purchased StumbleUpon in 2007), and born again startup (StumbleUpon share holders bought it back in 2009).

Mashable spoke with Camp about StumbleUpon’s evolution from apartment project to dominant web presence, its impending international expansion and why young entrepreneurs should stay in school.

Q&A With Garrett Camp, CEO of StumbleUpon

Was StumbleUpon the first company that you launched?

Yes, it was the first company … I had just graduated from undergrad and was in grad school.

Since you were in school, were you planning on starting a company at the time?

Yes. A couple friends and I were basically interested in starting a company, building something new. We started coming up with ideas, and it was probably a month until we realized [StumbleUpon] was the best one. After that point, we started to formalize it, created equity and it kind of went from there.

What has been the biggest change in StumbleUpon since then?

StumbleUpon really started out as being an addition to Firefox. We decided we're not just going to do Firefox, and then we decided that we're not just for computers, we're for any device. So, the first shift happened about two-and-a-half years ago. Then a little over a year ago, we launched our first application on the iPhone, and then for Android and iPad — if you want to stumble, you don't have to be sitting at your laptop at your home or at your workstation. Instead, now you can be waiting for a friend at a restaurant, commuting, sitting on a bus … anywhere you have Internet.

When StumbleUpon was owned by eBay between 2007 and 2009, not much changed about the service. It seems recently you're launching things left and right. Is it at all difficult to start innovating again after being at the same place for a couple of years?

Not really. I think we were coming up with new ideas the whole time. We had a few ideas that just took a little longer to get done. I think a lot of it is … how you take an idea and develop it and get it to the point where it's ready for everybody. We had less people then, and it took longer to get done. Now, we're over 90 people, and it's several times faster.

What's the goal you're going for? What is the final vision of StumbleUpon?

Basically, [the vision is] to help people discover really interesting things — to really be something that, with a single click, you can use to find something really interesting and amazing that you may not have found otherwise. We want to be on every mobile device in every language eventually. If you know what you want, you use Google. But if you don't know what you want, and you want to be surprised and find something you didn't expect, we want you come to StumbleUpon. Really that idea of being a discovery engine versus a search engine. Finding stuff you wouldn't have thought to look for versus stuff you manually type [in to a search engine].

What are the biggest challenges in getting to that point where you can discover something new and interesting with one click on any device?

The short term is how many creative hands can we hire. That will probably be the next year or two. Beyond that, it will be about becoming a well-managed company that can operate efficiently in multiple different countries. Right now, we're operating from New York [and headquartered in San Francisco]. We kind of know what the rules are here.

Have you already started expanding internationally?

We're just exploring it now. Hopefully next year.

What advice would you have for young entrepreneurs who are just getting started?

Stay in school … I would say make sure to finish your undergrad, just get your degree. And then try to get a little bit of practical experience before starting your own thing.

There's a trend of dropping out of school and spending the tuition money on doing your own start up. That's a fine strategy for the 1 in 20 entrepreneurs that are ultra, ultra motivated. I think for most people, it's probably a good idea to get your undergraduate degree. I really liked starting my startup while I was in grad school. It gave me the time to work on it without too much pressure while I was taking a lot of development courses. I could take courses that I thought were relevant to the startup.

What's exciting to you right now in the tech space?

All these different platforms — StumbleUpon included — doing curation and trying to narrow down those hundreds of thousands of links created every day to help people find what's actually relevant. [I'm also interested in] how mobile is used to create real-world efficiency. Services like Airbnb are basically tech companies, but their point is to provide some kind of real-world service.

I think the companies that use technology to be physically more efficient are a lot more entertaining. They have a slightly higher barrier to entry, but if you can do that, I think you can fit into this space where you're not just a tech company, you're a company, you're a service.

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How an iPad Browser Could Change the Way You Search

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 11:46 AM PDT

The search bar tries hard, but it’s just never reached its potential for efficiently finding information on touchscreen devices. Carlos Bhola, the founder of a startup called Kikin hopes to replace it with a “touch to learn” search — one that opens within the page you’re on.

Copying and pasting words into a search bar can be clumsy on a touch screen. So users of Kikin’s new iPad browser simply touch any word or phrase they want to learn more about. A small box appears with a list of search results pulled from a variety of engines such as Google, Wolfram Alpha and the Amazon database. Tapping on a hotel name in a Kayak listing, for instance, immediately pulls up price listings from other travel sites.

Kikin has made a iPad browser that turns traditional search on its head. An iPhone version is due out later this month. But it doesn’t want to be a search engine. And it doesn’t want to be a browser.

The company’s goal is to propagate the search technology it’s been developing since 2008. The technology looks at a user’s behavior and analyzes other words on the page to understand what search results are relevant. (See a more nerdy version of this explanation here).

In Kikin’s previous product, a browser plug-in for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, it used these cues to guess what terms the user would want more information about, and presented results in a sidebar. In the iPad browser, the user explicitly states what he or she wants more information about by touching the term.

Focusing on context is how Kikin knows to bring up price listings for the hotel on Kayak instead of the hotel’s webpage or reviews. Similarly, if you’re reading an article about the original “True Grit” and touch its title, Kikin will know to exclude results for the 2010 version of the film.

Of course, as social browser Rockmelt has proved, innovative features don’t necessarily translate to market share in the browser game. So Kickin, which offers little advantages as a browser aside from its search, has other plans for its technology: a free embed for websites and apps.

About 1.5 million people have downloaded Kickin’s plugins, according to the company, which previously relied on ads and referral fees for revenue. Its new business model will revolve around selling paid search results (similar to Google’s). With an unlimited number of sites, apps and retailers who could embed the technology, the potential user base explodes — and along with it the potential advertising revenue.

Bhola says he thinks it will appeal to publishers and ecommerce sites eager to keep eyeballs from wandering from their pages to search engines. But will eBay really want Amazon’s prices listed next to its own on its website?

“They will if they truly care about delivering the best experience to users,” Bhola says.

Kikin iPad Browser

Kikin iPad Browser

Kikin iPad Browser

Kikin iPad Browser

Kikin iPad Browser

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In Memoriam: Letters to Steve Jobs

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:57 AM PDT

Even someone who’s not a total Apple fan girl could easily see why someone would be, while at Apple’s flagship store in New York City Wednesday night, following the news of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s death.

At the NYC store, there were throngs of mourners, shoppers and people simply trying to get on camera. Media presence was high. People were chastised for loitering, and repeat offenders were asked to leave the premises.

Security and police removed letters, confiscated flowers, and blew out memorial candles consistently for three hours after news of Jobs’s death surfaced. One frustrated man ripped three bouquets away from security and demanded to know where he could place them without fear of removal. After that, security eased, and a shrine slowly began to form.

SEE ALSO: Mourners Create Impromptu Memorials for Steve Jobs at Apple Stores [PICS]

Flowers, signs, apples (both bitten and whole), and candles lined the steps. However, it was a notebook that especially defined the moment. People — who had never met the former Apple CEO, but were still touched by his life — had left him handwritten letters.

Here are a few of the notes left for Steve, presented anonymously.

If you saw this notebook on the steps, what would you have written?

"You inspired me"

Dear Steve,

You inspired me to care deeply about the things I make, people I spend my time with, and choices I make every day. I learned about thinking different and embracing it. Your innovations have changed me and our world. I hope we can continue your legacy by continuing to work in your likeness by being overwhelmingly passionate about what we do and caring about the people around us.

Thank you.

- Nick

"There are two kinds of men in this world"

Dear Steve,

There are 2 kinds of men in this world: those who need obituaries written for them and those whose accomplishments and successes are so magnified that obituaries are needless. You are one of the few men in American history who firmly belong to the latter category.

Thank you for all you've done and for inspiring so many generations of thinkers.


"I'll follow you."

In the jingle-jangle morning, I'll follow you.


"The biggest apple fanboy ever"


I will enjoy your products for life.

Thanks for everything.

- Josh, the biggest apple fanboy ever.

"I love you"


"You changed the world"


You changed the world in the space I used to write this.

Rest in Peace

"We will miss you"


Thank you for changing the world. We will miss you.


More Coverage of Steve Jobs’s Death

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PepsiCo Selects 10 Startups to Pilot Digital Marketing Projects

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:36 AM PDT

After scoping out startups across Europe, PepsiCo announced the 10 finalists it has chosen to participate in in its 2011 PepsiCo10 program. The program gives startups the opportunity to work together with PepsiCo companies on pilot marketing programs.

For the second year, Mashable participated as a media partner, meaning we reached out to our community to help find the best ideas.

This week, PepsiCo announced the 10 companies a panel of company executives, digital strategists and brand managers have selected from more than 130 submissions. New technologies in display advertising, interactive ads, television and even football are represented in the new class — many of them with a mobile twist.

Two of the companies focus on making it easier for consumers to buy products without being in a physical store. ParcelGenie gives consumers a way to send friends physical gifts even without an address. Instead, the recipient receives an “instant gift message,” allowing them to insert their own postal address. Slingshot Shopping allows consumers to place products in their existing online shopping baskets from any website, Facebook page or mobile device.

Interactive mobile apps were another big theme. StreetAd allows businesses to build ads and purchase display time on digital billboards in busy locations. ScreenReach offers a unique platform that allows consumers to use the smart phone as a device to create real-time two way interactive experiences with public digi-screens or the mobile device itself. For instance, using mobile phones as a controller to play a game. TvTak allows users to access additional content about a TV show or commercial they're watching by pointing their smartphone or tablet at the TV for one second.

Some of the winning companies take the “active” in “interactive” a bit further than others by requiring physical participation of users. Roamler, much like Zaarly, uses a network of consumers as a mobile "workforce," enabling them to earn rewards by performing small tasks on behalf of corporations, organizations and individual. Flypost is a location-based smart phone game that lets users discover and interact in real-time with live events happening in their city. Sports Team Space is a social network in which amateur football clubs across the UK manage their leagues, teams and subsidies.

It would be almost odd to have a startup competition without including the music and social media monitoring categories, and they, too, were well represented by ChartsNow and Sodash.

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Mourners Create Impromptu Memorials for Steve Jobs at Apple Stores [PICS]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:13 AM PDT

Since Wednesday’s news of Steve Jobs’s death, people around the world have been memorializing the man whose name stood for innovation.

Many have ventured to their local Apple Stores to leave personalized notes, flowers, candles and even bitten apples. We’d like to share some photos people have posted to Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare that document how mourners are paying tribute to the late Steve Jobs.

Please share links in the comments below to any similar photos you’ve encountered on the web or taken yourself.

More Coverage of Steve Jobs’s Death

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Print and Ship Postcards From Your Favorite iOS Apps

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:01 AM PDT

Social gifting startup Sincerely, makers of Postagram and PopBooth, is bringing its popular mobile postcard making, printing and shipping features to an iPhone app you already love.

Sincerely is launching Ship, an iOS Library and SDK, as a plug-and-play software kit that developers can use to turn their iPhone photo apps into mobile printing studios.

“The printed photo [is] the world’s simplest but most ubiquitously appreciated gift,” Sincerely CEO and cofounder Matt Brezina says. “This extends [our] platform to a much broader user base. Right now, we have two apps in the App Store, tomorrow will have 14 … a couple months from now will have 100 apps in the App Store that are all exposing the Sincerely experience.”

More than a dozen launch partners will feature Sincerely’s print and ship technology in their iPhone apps, starting Thursday. Partners include Lonely Planet, Path, Pic Collage, Waddle, Quiption, Picsicle, Filtermania, Ship Mate, Interlacer, Pregnancy Progress, I’m Awesome and Color Effects.

At launch, Sincerely will continue to hand select app partners and evaluate interested parties on a case-by-case basis, Brezina says. The startup has already fielded inquiries from more than 200 developers, he adds.

App makers will earn 70% of revenue earned from the sale of each postcard above $0.99. Sincerely prices its postcards at $0.99 a pop, a fee that includes printing and shipping costs to anywhere in the world. App makers can keep the $0.99 price point in tact or price postcards higher to make a profit on sales through their apps.

Coincidentally, Sincerely’s SDK release comes just two days after Apple announced that it would enter the greeting card business with Cards, an iPhone application for creating, printing and sending greeting cards.

Brezina sees the Cards app as a competitor, but does not view it as a substantial threat to Sincerely’s business. In part because, he asserts, gifting is not Apple’s core business focus.

“I don’t think it’s a new direction for Apple,” he says. “I don’t think they’re going to make an amazing gifting experience or offer amazing products like Postagram…I think it’s kind of a checkbox for them.”

Meanwhile, Sincerely will forge ahead with what Brezina believes to be the best mobile gifting experience available. He points to Postagram’s high ratings on the App Store and Android Marketplace, and its appearance in a series of Apple ads as proof. Brezina would not disclose the size of the company’s user base or the number of postcards that have been purchased via Sincerely apps.

“We believe very strongly that a printed photo is this gift that every person on the street would appreciate,” Brezina says.

Sincerely Ship

Lonely Planet Postcards


Ship Home

Compose Message

Ship Order

Pic Collage Layout

Pic Collage Print Button

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Announcing the 2011 Mashable Awards

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Mashable is pleased to announce the return of the Mashable Awards! This is our fifth time running the annual community-nominated awards program, which recognizes the companies, people and projects that made the biggest impact on the digital landscape this year.

The 2011 Mashable Awards will honor nominees and winners in 28 categories, covering four of Mashable‘s core content areas: Social Media, Tech, Business and Entertainment. Who gets nominated and who wins is largely up to our readers.

The nomination period for 2011′s Awards program will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and run through Friday, Nov. 18. This year, Mashable‘s editors will select seven finalists for each category from among the most nominated submissions. Your nominations will greatly influence the editorial selection of the finalists.

On Oct. 11, we’ll give you all the details on how to nominate and when the voting period begins, as well as when the winners will be announced at our celebratory MashBash at CES in January. For now, take a look at the categories below and start thinking about whom you want to nominate.

The Categories

Social Media

  • Best Social Network
  • Up-and-Coming Social Media Service
  • Must-Follow Actor or Actress on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Musician or Band on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Athlete on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Media Personality on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Business Personality on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Non-Profit on Social Media
  • Must-Follow Politician on Social Media


  • Best Smartphone
  • Best Mobile Game
  • Most Useful Mobile App
  • Most Innovative Mobile App
  • Most Useful Tablet-Based App
  • Best New Gadget


  • Viral Campaign of the Year
  • Most Innovative Use of Social Media for Marketing
  • Must-Follow Brand on Social Media
  • Best Branded Mobile App
  • Best Social Good Cause Campaign
  • Most Digital Company of the Year
  • Breakout Startup of the Year


  • Game of the Year
  • Viral Video of the Year
  • Best Music Service or App
  • Best Online Video Streaming Service or App
  • Most Social TV Show
  • Best Social Movie Campaign

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YouTube Goes Political with New Channel

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:48 AM PDT

youtube politics image

Just in time for the the 2012 Presidential election race, YouTube has just launched a channel dedicated to all things U.S. politics. The channel will feature political campaign ads, parodies, speeches and a variety of relevant clips.

The channel will also serve as a full-function social video tracker for the 2012 election. Scrolling down the page will reveal graphs and charts comparing each major candidate’s YouTube individual views or subscribers as well as brief profiles condensing their core YouTube stats such as views, video shares and even the amount of times they were searched.

YouTube has been steadily increasing its coverage of American politics including a YouTube town hall with President Obama, a virtual town hall where the public can vote on major issues and co-hosting a GOP Presidential Debate (via Google).

The new channel looks like another step in the right direction for YouTube. The analytics give the channel a sense of purpose and a reason for politics junkies to return to the hub.

youtube graph image

More About: Political, Social Media, Video, YouTube

HootSuite Integrates LinkedIn Company Pages & Groups

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:37 AM PDT

HootSuite is adding LinkedIn Company Pages and Groups, the social media management tool announced on Thursday.

The integration is key for HootSuite — which previously only supported LinkedIn profiles — in evolving side-by-side with its main user base: social media marketers.

Since filing to go public in January, LinkedIn has increasingly gained attention as a social platform. Publishers and brands have especially taken note after seeing increased buzz (and, for some, referral traffic) around the IPO announcement and network-wide roll out of news product LinkedIn Today in May.

In short, LinkedIn is quickly coming into its own in the social networking realm — and social media managers need to stay on top of it. With the new HootSuite features, they can send company status updates and start group discussions around their content. For companies using LinkedIn for HR marketing and recruiting, it’s an opportunity to post job openings and share professional expertise as well.

This is just the beginning of the two services’ budding partnership. LinkedIn has named HootSuite one of its four charter members in its new Certified Developer Program, a network of developers designated to help marketers, agencies and companies use LinkedIn to connect with their audiences. Needless to say, there’s more LinkedIn functionality on the way for HootSuite.

Here’s a look at how the LinkedIn integration will appear in the HootSuite dashboard:

LinkedIn Groups integration will be available starting today. Users interested in LinkedIn Company Pages access can apply for the private beta program.

Are you using LinkedIn for social media marketing? How might you use the new integration with HootSuite? Tell us in the comments below.

More About: hootsuite, linkedin

Stream New Releases From Radiohead, Bjork & Ryan Adams

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:20 AM PDT

It’s not uncommon these days for artists large and small to offer free previews of their work before it goes on sale. Offering single tracks for stream or download only serves to pique the listener’s interest. It’s a smart move given that users can stream pretty much any album via services like Spotify and MOG.

This week, some big names are offering streams of their much-anticipated albums, starting with Radiohead. Radiohead is streaming TKOL RMX 1234567, an album of remixed songs taken from their latest record, The King of Limbs. The album isn’t due until Oct. 11 but you can stream it via Soundcloud below, courtesy of blog aggregation site Hype Machine.

American songwriter Ryan Adams is also using Soundcloud to offer a free stream of his new album, Ashes and Fire. The album is slated to go on sale Oct. 11 and features Norah Jones on piano and backing vocals. Adams’s label has also launched a special album website where listeners can hear four non-album tracks that are not available in the Soundcloud stream.

Bjork‘s new album, Biophilia, is also being released with a corresponding iPad app. While we haven’t had a hands-on with the app yet, you can hear the 10 songs that make up the album right now. Like the others, Biophilia will also be released Oct. 11, but NPR has the exclusive stream right now. Check out the first music video from the album for “Cystalline,” directed by Michel Gondry, below.

More About: bjork, Music, radiohead, soundcloud, streaming

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Steve Wozniak on Steve Jobs [VIDEOS]

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:07 AM PDT

Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak, the man who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs, says “his mind went blank like it had been clobbered with a hammer” when he learned the news that Steve Jobs had died.

“Steve really excelled as the most incredible person, and business person and technology person in the world,” he said in an interview on The Early Show.

In that interview, he also discussed the impact Jobs’s worsening condition had on his spirit. “Steve spoke to me of the illness more recently than a few months ago as something that really did bother him,” Wozniak said.

Wozniak also chatted with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I think if he had a goal, he certainly far, far overachieved any goals he had from the start of things,” he said during the two-minute interview.

We’ve included Wozniak’s interviews below:

Steve Wozniak on The Early Show

Steve Wozniak on CNN

Steve Wozniak Talks to AP

More Coverage of Steve Jobs’s Death

More About: steve jobs, steve wozniak

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Airbnb Gives Out Free Professional Photography

Posted: 06 Oct 2011 09:00 AM PDT

Rent-your-space startup Airbnb is offically launching a photography program Thursday that will give hosts access to professional photography services and allow them to spruce up their listings free of charge.

An Airbnb host anywhere in the world can now place a request to have one of the startup’s contracted photographers visit and photograph his or her property.

Resulting photos will come with a “verified” ribbon that the startup asserts will equate to more bookings for the host. A host with Airbnb-verified photos will get booked 2.5 times more frequently than a host without verified photos, and, on average, the host will gross $1,025 in bookings per month, the startup contends.

Airbnb considers its growing photography division essential to its future growth. Why? More bookings and more host earnings will translate to more revenue for the company. A company spokesperson also tells Mashable that Airbnb is motivated by an interest in guest safety, a commitment to host success and a desire to have the highest quality product.

Prior to Thursday’s launch, Airbnb had been piloting its photography service for more than year. Its fleet of more than 1,000 professional photographers has shot more than 13,000 properties in 383 cities.

More About: AirBNB, photography

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