Monday, 21 November 2011

Mashable: Latest 16 News Updates - including “This Is What the Desk of the Future Looks Like [VIDEO]”

Mashable: Latest 16 News Updates - including “This Is What the Desk of the Future Looks Like [VIDEO]”

This Is What the Desk of the Future Looks Like [VIDEO]

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 04:52 AM PST

EXOpc has posted a video of its EXOdesk — an interactive desk environment that lets you do all sorts of tasks on a virtual space on your desk — in action and it looks amazing.

The actual device is a tabletop computer, somewhat similar to Microsoft Surface, offering 40 inches of high definition space, where you can manipulate virtual objects by touching them and dragging them around.

The video offers a taste of what you can do with EXOdesk: add a virtual keyboard, an RSS feed stream and apps to your tabletop surface. A piano simulation app is shown, and though we don’t see much of its functionality, it looks stunning when expanded to the entire surface of EXOdesk.

Although the release date is vaguely set for 2012, we already know EXOdesk will cost $1,299. If that sounds like a lot, compare it to the recently announced price of Microsoft Surface 2.0, which is $8,900, and it will suddenly seem like a bargain.

More About: desk, EXOdesk, Video

Breaking Dawn Premiere Becomes 10th Highest Global Film Launch

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 04:10 AM PST

Harry Potter may win in the social media buzz-building game, but Twilight has definitely got hard numbers on its side.

The opening weekend of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part One did better than all three of its predecessors on a worldwide scale, netting $283.5 million opening weekend. The dominating numbers make the film the tenth-highest global launch in film history, behind greats.

Domestic numbers were excellent also, faring an estimated $135 million and earning a place as the fifth-highest domestic premiere in history. While it didn’t reach the domestic success of predecessor Twilight Saga: Eclipse (which is ranked fourth-best in domestic premieres), the return was up 15% from last year on the same week, when (coincidentally) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 managed an opening weekend of $125 million.

Twilight blew away its nearest competition, children’s penguin movie Happy Feet 2 by nearly $100 million. Given the astounding numbers, the sequel to Breaking Dawn , which will be released in theaters nearly a year from now on Nov. 16, 2012, is expected to put the series on the map.

More About: box office, Entertainment, Film, premiere, twilight saga, Twilight: Breaking Dawn

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Ice Cream Sandwich Doesn’t Have Flash Support (For Now)

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 01:27 AM PST

The latest version of Google’s mobile platform, Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, lacks a Flash player, and there’s currently no option to download it from the Android Market.

Since Adobe recently said it has stopped the development of Flash Mobile Player, this could mean that Ice Cream Sandwich is never getting its Flash player, but according to Google, this is just a short-term delay.

"Flash hasn't been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS," said Google in a statement.

There’s no info on when, exactly, Flash is coming to Ice Cream Sandwich devices. It is likely, however, that Android 4.0 will be the last version of that operating system to feature the Flash Mobile Player.

BONUS: Samsung Galaxy Nexus: the Best Android Phone We've Seen Yet

Check out those clean lines

I like its minimalist design.

Click here to view this gallery.

[via SlashGear]

More About: adobe, android, Google, ice cream sandwich, trending

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YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away”

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 06:07 PM PST

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

When Katy Perry tweeted a TwitPic of the single artwork for “The One That Got Away” in September, her fans eagerly awaited the music video, which eventually dropped Nov. 11.

Before and after the video’s release, a deluge of musicians uploaded impressive covers to YouTube, including one from five siblings (see video number three). Below, you’ll find 9 more versions. Vote for your favorite rendition in our poll.


Click here to view this gallery.

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

**The winner of this poll will be selected Nov. 25 at 9 a.m. ET.

Last Week’s Face-Off Winner: Arthur Garros

In a heated contest that came down to the final hour, Arthur Garros snagged the most votes in last week’s “Without You” Cover Song Face-Off. Garros told Mashable he covered the track out of the blue.

“I learned the song 10 minutes before and decided to put it on YouTube,” Garros says. “I love the way the original version sounds and decided to add my own acoustic spin on it, like I usually do.”

Garros posted his first original song, “Cry,” on YouTube in June (see video number two). His YouTube page has 1,199,547 views.

“I think my style is unique and versatile, so I definitely want to make an impact in the music industry,” says Garros, who one day wants to duet with Adele, Bruno Mars or Karmin, a group that that earned a New Media Honorees trophy at the 2011 American Music Awards this month. “In the future, I will be releasing more original songs, music videos, collaborating with other YouTube artists and hopefully performing in person, too.”

Here’s a collection of covers and an original song from Arthur Garros.

"Without You"

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Entertainment, Music, music videos, viral videos, YouTube, YouTube Cover Song Face-Off

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How Social Media Revived The Muppets

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 04:03 PM PST

muppets oscars billy chrystal

The Muppets are back! On Nov. 23, Walt Disney Pictures is bringing its next live-action Muppet film, aptly-named The Muppets, to movie theatres across the country.

The film release is the culmination of a multi-pronged marketing campaign that has embraced the social and digital spheres, and in the process, helped reinvigorate the Muppet brand.

It’s rare to see such solid execution on so many digital and social channels and for that reason, we wanted to take a deeper look at the various aspects of Disney’s and The Muppets Studios’ efforts.

Going Viral to Revive Interest in a Brand

Over the last two years, The Muppet Studios has embarked on a proactive social and viral campaign. It all started with an epic cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and was followed by more songs, iPhone apps and responses to episodes of Internet backlash with just the right amount of aplomb and visual humor.

In retrospect, the timing of these viral video endeavors was perfect. It coincided with the original announcement that a new Muppet film would be coming to theaters.

Getting the Right People Involved

The key to a successful project, especially when it involves a storied and beloved brand, is having the right people on board.

Jason Segel co-wrote the script for the film alongside his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller. If you’ve seen Marshall, you know why this is important. Both men are bonafide Muppet fanatics and already had a working relationship with the Jim Henson Company.

After Disney decided to greenlight the project, two members of Flight of the Conchords — James Bobin and Bret McKenzie — signed on to direct and handle music supervising duties. Amy Adams also signed on to star in the film alongside Segel, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest.

As a huge fan of The Muppets, I know my interest in the film was greatly enhanced by the fact that Segel was so involved with the script and the storyline. There is a sense of trust that the brand, characters and situations will be handled properly.

Using Social Effectively

Over the last eight months, Walt Disney Pictures has done a lot to virally and socially promote The Muppets across social channels.

In fact, we would go as far as to say that the campaign for The Muppets is one of the most socially savvy we have seen from any studio for a major release window. Let’s take a look at some of the ways social and digital have come together to promote the film, connect fans and spread the word.


The official Muppets Facebook page has more than 1.1 million fans and individual characters like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Animal have their own fan pages and campaigns. The Facebook pages have been well-utilized to spread informational and video content.

Disney also created The Muppets Fan-A-Thon on Facebook to entice fans to “Like” various characters, pages and videos in a bid to unlock advance screenings. Cheekily asking for “1 bazillion likes,” the campaign has yielded over 2 million likes since it started.


The official Muppets Studio Twitter account is manned by Statler & Waldorf, the best hecklers this side of the universe. The account has nearly 70,000 followers and sends out gems like this:

Mobile Apps

Disney acquired the game maker Tapulous back in 2010, so it makes sense that Tap Tap Muppets would hit iOS. Mobile video app Viddy also has special pack that lets users insert characters from The Muppets into their videos.


The Muppets was one of the first brands to join Google+ and its Google+ page is a great example of how brands can effectively leverage the platform.

Stars from The Muppets — including Jason Segel — even appeared in a Google+ Hangout. You can see the highlights in this YouTube clip:


YouTube has had a huge role to play in promoting the film and the brand itself.

Not only have Disney and Muppets Studios used YouTube to great effect in creating viral music videos, they also created movie trailer parodies spoofing other blockbuster films like The Hangover Part II and The Green Lantern.

Most recently, YouTube was used to release a new video preview of The Muppets Soundtrack, using commenters from negative YouTube users to pepper the soundtrack preview. We love it.

Saturday Night Live

Of course, no media campaign would be complete without involving traditional outlets. Jason Segel hosted Saturday Night Live last night and his monologue included some special guests (above).

The Box Office Test

Early reviews for The Muppets are overwhelmingly positive, and the film is tracking to be a big success at the box office. Still, we’ll have to wait until the 23rd to see if all the social campaigning and digital interaction have paid off.

I’m going to see The Muppets over the holiday weekend. What about you?

More About: disney, features, mashable, movie marketing, muppets, muppets studio, trending

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4 Tips for Optimizing Your Resume with Social Media

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 03:37 PM PST

Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes and grades resumes instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a slew of other social media platforms, job seekers are closer than ever to the decision-makers at their target companies.

While social media is wonderful as a stand-alone tool in any job seeker's toolbox, you should know that it's even better when combined with other "old-fashioned" standbys — such as your resume.

SEE ALSO: How Businesses Use Social Media for Recruiting [INFOGRAPHIC]

The glory of a resume is that it's completely fluid. A resume can be big, small, online, offline, video-recorded, illustrated, etc. No matter the format, your resume will only improve when combined with social media.

Follow these four tips to optimize your resume with social media.

1. Link to Social

Nowadays, 10.9% of resumes include a social media link, and the number continues to rise. The more transparent you make yourself to potential employers, the the more comfortable they'll be hiring you.

Include your Facebook, Twitter and especially LinkedIn profile URLs along the top of your resume, next to your name, email and phone number. Make sure the links are handy so the employer can quickly learn more about you, without having to do a lot of digging.

2. Fact-Check Yourself

While sending your information out in a dozen different directions, it's easy to overlook outdated information. Therefore, update constantly. An employer shouldn't see one thing on your resume and something different on LinkedIn.

Keep a list of all the social media and career sites on which have professional accounts or information. Once a month, check to make sure everything is up-to-date and matches your current resume.

3. Don’t Just Copy/Paste

Your resume is full of content that also works great for your social media profiles. Feel free to use information from your resume for social network sections like "work experience," "about me," etc.

However, remember to share carefully selected content. Don't just copy/paste your entire resume into your "about me" section. Not only will this flood your profile, but your resume's formatting probably won't travel well either.

Instead of copy/pasting, select a handful of solid phrases or anecdotes for your social profile. That way, you'll guarantee that anyone reading your profile will get the most important information.

4. Use Keywords for SEO

Beyond your experience, skills and goals, remember that keywords are king. The unfortunate truth about today's job search is that potential employers use Google and almighty Applicant Tracking Systems to peruse social media sites for the best candidates.

To stay on top of current industry jargon, study similar job listings for words that pop up frequently. Additionally, a variety of powerful SEO tools, which already exist for marketers, can easily be re-purposed to optimize your resume for search.

What do you think? What other tips should social media-savvy job seekers keep in mind when optimizing their resumes for social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SchulteProductions

More About: contributor, Facebook, features, job search, linkedin, resumes, Social Media, Twitter

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6 Historic Events as They Might Have Been Tweeted

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 03:06 PM PST

We’re constantly amazed by how the communication of news has changed over the past decade alone. A top NATO commander announced the end of the Libyan mission on Facebook, news of Osama Bin Laden’s death set a Twitter record, and news, photos and video of the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread like wildfire over social media.

SEE ALSO: We Hold These Tweets To Be Self-Evident [COMIC]

During an impromptu brainstorming session here in the Mashable Community Room, we decided it would be neat to think about how some major historical events in the science and technology world would have been announced on Twitter.

Editor’s Note: The following images are illustrations, and do not represent actual Twitter accounts.

Gutenberg's Printing Press

@Johannberg tells us of his new invention featuring movable type.

We wonder if he ever would've gotten used to a backlit QWERTY keyboard.

Click here to view this gallery.

What Other Events Make for a Good Historic Tweet?

If Twitter had existed since the dawn of civilization, what other 140-character updates would have been shared around the world? Let us know in the comments thread below, and we’ll collect our favorite user-submitted tweets for a future post.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ajaykampani

More About: features, history, Social Media, Twitter

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Harvard Opens Startup Incubator

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 02:37 PM PST

Mark Zuckerberg’s alma mater is hedging its bets to find the next hot entrepreneur (and the next Facebook) with the opening of the Harvard Innovation Lab, an incubator designed for startup-hungry students on campus.

The i-lab, as it is known by abbreviation, began as a response to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's desire to introduce more innovation spaces Boston. “Let our legacy to each other be launching pads for those who follow," Menino said in his January 2010 inaugural address [PDF]. "Let us show the world that in Boston, history is just a prelude."

The city's Ivy League school took up the task, and the i-lab's Nov. 18 opening offered the promise of raising the next generation of startup CEOs right. The building itself not only includes classrooms for study and academic research, but also large meeting rooms available for co-working and project development for the students. But that is only the tip of the iceberg; the engine behind the i-lab is its strong partnerships with local business associations such as the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, which will provide for one-on-one coaching, workshops and training with a community of mentors.

The space even bears Zuckerberg’s stamp of approval. When the Facebook CEO (and Harvard dropout) visited the campus in early Nov. to recruit for his company, he made sure to check out all of the i-lab's features.

Do you think an incubator will make young talent shine brighter? Or is independent bootstrapping what startups are all about? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of, Harvard News

More About: Harvard, incubator, innovation, mark zuckerberg, startup

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5 Sites for Shopping Local Food Online

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 01:52 PM PST

About 97% of consumers used online media to shop local in 2010, according to a study by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat. Now, that wasn’t all food shopping of course, but the statistics show that giving money to local businesses is more of a priority than ever.

Shopping local for food not only makes a huge impact on the local economy, but also reduces human impact on earth’s delicate ecosystem. At the very least, it’s healthy! And we can all use more of that.

Want to streamline your local grocery shopping? Below you’ll find five convenient sites to help you search, shop and learn from the local food movement.

1. Farmigo

Type in your zip code and Farmigo will search for locally grown food in your area, including farmers markets, CSA options and nearby farms themselves.

Farmigo organizes information neatly, and allows you to narrow by food category. The site will also let you know whether there's currently a waitlist for CSA service or whether a farm is open or closed. Also, switch to map view for convenient pickup locations.

Click here to view this gallery.

Image courtesy of Flickr, adrian valenzuela

More About: environment, features, Food, Small Business, web

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3 Mistakes Web Programmers Need to Stop Making

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 01:27 PM PST

Jonathan Goldford is a partner at JG Visual, an Internet strategy company that works with organizations to develop and implement their online presence. You can connect with Jonathan on the JG Visual Facebook page.

Sometimes as programmers, we forget that 99.9% of the population doesn't care how a piece of text, a button, an image or a video ends up onscreen. Most people just care that it's fast, easy to use and gives them the content they want. Otherwise, they get upset — and rightfully so. Here are three common mistakes we programmers make, and what we can do to fix them.

1. Forgetting About Conventions

Ever since they started using the Internet, users have been trained how to interact with a website. Therefore, they often get frustrated when websites don't meet their expectations. Here are some examples.

  • They hover over an object they think is clickable, but become confused when they see an arrow instead of a hand pointer.
  • They click on blue, underlined text, but find it's not a link.
  • They click on the logo in the top left, believing it will return them to the homepage, only to find it takes them nowhere.

Web design doesn't always meet our expectations. However, developers and designers should always maintain certain rules to avoid user confusion. Here are three.

Clickable Elements Should Have the Pointer on Rollover
Everything clickable should switch to the hand pointer when a user hovers over it. You can accomplish this using simple CSS. The code would look like this

div:hover { cursor: pointer; }

Style Links Appropriately
Links should look different than regular text, and should be underlined within a page's main content. If you really want to stick with convention, make them blue — research found users engage most with blue links.

Make Logos Clickable
The logo in the header of your website should be clickable, and should take the user to the homepage. This is pretty simple: Just wrap your logo in a tag.

<a href=%u201D>
<img src=%u201Dlogo.gif%u201D alt=%u201DExample Company%u201D title=%u201DExample Company Logo%u201D height=%u201D100%u201D width=%u201D100%u201D />

2. Creating Slowly-Loading Websites

Users hate slow websites. Studies have shown that 40% of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Here's how to avoid common speed mistakes by new programmers.

Resize Images Outside the Browser
New programmers will sometimes use a very large image, let's say 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall, but will set the height and width so the image shrinks to the desired size. They use the following code.

<img src=%u201Dbig-domo.jpg%u201D alt=%u201DDomo%u201D title=%u201DBig domo at the park%u201D height=%u201D200%u201D width=%u201D200%u201D />

There are two problems with this method: First, the full image still needs to load. Typically, bigger image files mean longer load times.

Second, shrinking an image using the height and width attributes can render a photo awkwardly, causing the browser to display a photo not nearly as clear as it would be were the image sized 200 x 200 pixels.

To fix these issues, resize and compress images in an editor like Photoshop or Gimp. Then code the image like we did above. Try to use a tool like Photoshop's Save for Web & Devices to further shrink the file size.

Load JavaScript in the Footer
Many programmers unnecessarily load all the page's JavaScript files in the head tag. This stalls the rest of the page load. In almost all cases, except for JavaScript critical to user interface navigation, it's okay to load script in the footer. Then the rest of the page can load beforehand. Try this code.

Rest of the page%u2026
<script type=%u201Dtext/javascript%u201D src=%u201Djs/scripts.js%u201D></script>

Load CSS Externally
Sometimes new programmers load CSS on each individual page using inline styles or an internal stylesheet. For inline styles, code looks like this.

<p style=%u201Dmargin-top: 50px;%u201D>Hi Mom!</p>

And for an internal stylesheet, you'd most likely see this code in the head tag.

<style type=%u201Dtext/css%u201D>
p { margin-top: 50px; }

You should almost never use CSS in the page that holds your html. Store it externally using code like this.

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href=%u201Dcss/style.css" />

There are two advantages to loading CSS externally: First, the user's computer will save the external stylesheet to be used on every page, instead of retrieving the same styles over and over. This greatly speeds up load time.
Second, using an external stylesheet is much easier to maintain. If you need to change the font size of your website's paragraphs, you're able change it in one place, without having to access each individual html file.
Learn more about good CSS practices at CSS Basics.

3. Not Accounting for Potential Backend Changes

Most programmers nowadays are using a content management system like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal to build their websites. This is great because it gives website owners the ability to make changes and updates.

The problem is that a lot of developers only program for a website's content at launch time. For example, at launch a developer may only create CSS styles for website headings 1, 2 and 3. What if two months after the website's launch, the communications director decides to set some text to heading 6, since that's an option in WordPress's format? That decision would revert to the default styles of the browser since the developer never styled for it initially. Here is how to avoid this situation.

Include Styles for All the Common Tags
To make sure that the design of your website remains consistent with any backend formatting, programmers should include styles to handle the following html tags.

  • Body (<body>)
  • Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6>)
  • Link (<a>)
  • Paragraph (<p>)
  • Address (<address>)
  • Preformatted (<pre>)
  • Strong (<strong>)
  • Unordered list (<ul>)
  • Ordered list (<ol>)
  • Quotes (<blockquote>)

It's best to check the WYSIWYG that your website owners are using to make sure you have all the appropriate tags covered.

Basic styling isn't the only opportunity for your website to break down. Also make sure to prepare for large image uploads and for copy/paste from Word. Although items like these can seem trivial, educating your website owners about how to add content can make all the difference.

You're Smart, But It's Hard To Remember Everything

The mistakes listed here have nothing to do with a developer’s intelligence. Like most jobs, things fall through the cracks, especially when you're just getting started.

Do you agree with the items listed above? Are there any others we should have included?

Image courtesy of Flickr, …Tim

More About: contributor, design, dev, features, programming, Tech

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10 Best iPhone Action Games

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 12:45 PM PST

One common complaint against mobile games is that they aren’t up to snuff with so-called "actual" games, that games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja can't compare to action-packed console and PC games. We're putting that assertion to rest with the following 10 captivating mobile games, each of which holds its own against download services like Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network.

SEE ALSO: 10 Best iPhone Arcade Games

1. Zombieville USA 2

Partly inspired by classic arcade beat 'em ups from the late '80s and early '90s, this game has players patrolling side-scrolling city streets, using various guns and melee weapons to hold off the zombie menace. Players can buy new weapons and upgrades with in-game money. Plus, they can brave the zombie apocalypse together – the game supports online co-op multiplayer. Also, transfer game progress to the game supports iCloud and access from iPhone and iPad.

Click here to view this gallery.

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

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How To Take Control of Your Next Job Interview

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 12:13 PM PST

At the end of every job interview, you’ll encounter the inevitable question, “Do you have any questions for me?”

While it’s an oh-so-predictable event, many job candidates aren’t prepared to shine when they reach this final test in the interview. Failing to ask any questions or asking the wrong questions can send the wrong signals.

Stephanie Daniel, senior vice president of career management company Keystone Associates, spoke with us about her thoughts on how job interviewees can take control of their next job interview by asking the right questions. Read on for her thoughts on what to ask and which questions to avoid when it’s your turn to interrogate.

Asking the Right Questions

When the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask your own questions, be prepared. Daniel recommends that interviewees prepare five to seven questions, with the expectation that there will probably only be time to ask just three. “Keep in mind that some of the questions you might have prepared will be answered during the course of the interview, so it's always a smart idea to have back-ups,” says Daniel.

“Too many job seekers respond to this standard interview question with the standard ‘safe’ responses,” says Daniel. “‘Will I be hearing from you or should I contact you?’ or ‘Why is this position open?’ In this very competitive job market, job candidates cannot afford to ask safe questions. Candidates must show that they are the best candidate by demonstrating that they are looking out for the needs and interests of the interviewer.”

So, what types of questions should you ask? Daniel suggests considering a few of the following:

  • Is there a work issue that keeps you up at night and, given what you know about my background, how do you think I could help?
  • “Here's your opportunity to demonstrate a genuine interest in the day-to-day challenges your future manager is facing, Daniel explains. “By asking this question, the interviewer will start to envision you as an employee and will give you some initial thoughts on how you might help solve their most pressing problems.”

  • What is the most gratifying aspect of the work you do for XYZ company? What's your best advice to someone starting out at this company?
  • “Asking the interviewer about the most gratifying aspect of the work she or he does helps you better understand what drives them,” Daniel explains. “Drivers include things like making the best product on the market, helping others, making money, curing an illness or creating a hot, new technology, etc. Ask yourself how the interviewer's drivers align with your own. The answer to the ‘best advice’ question yields valuable insights on what behaviors lead to a successful transition into the company. It gives you clues on what you can do to put your best forward in your potential new role vis-à-vis building new relationships, gaining product knowledge, and avoiding potential pitfalls.”

  • Could you describe your ideal candidate for this job? Why are these qualities important to you?
  • “The ideal qualifications were probably outlined in the job posting,” says Daniel. “But many of these postings are not actually written by the hiring manager. Here's your chance to directly ask the interviewer what he views as the most important qualities of the successful candidate and why.”

  • I'm sure you have a number of goals you'd like to achieve in the coming year. Do you have a particular one that is top priority?
  • “This question allows you to turn your attention to the interviewer and his most important priorities,” says Daniel. “Is there a particular goal the interviewer has talked about that lines up well with some of your current experiences? If so, let the interviewer know how you can contribute.”

Other great questions may revolve around key drivers for employees, what characterizes top performers at the company and whether the interviewer would like to know anything more about the interviewee’s background, says Daniel.

Avoiding Questions with Negative Connotations

To avoid making a bad impression at your interview, Daniel suggests thinking about the connotations behind each of the questions that you’re asking before you ask them. Here are three questions that tend to leave a bad taste in interviewers’ mouths, she says:

  • Could you tell me about your work/life balance policy?
  • “A valid question, yes, but if you ask it too soon, it might appear that you are more concerned about the work schedule than you are about the actual work,” says Daniel.

  • Is there a possibility I could work remotely?
  • “Telecommuting can be a positive thing for both the job seeker and the company, but your timing in asking this question is critical,” Daniel explains. “If asked too soon, it will convey a lack of enthusiasm for getting to know the team and work environment. Demonstrate your interest in the role and potential contributions to the company before inquiring about telecommuting/flex-time, etc.”

  • How long do people typically stay in this position before they move on the next role?
  • “A desire to grow in the organization is admirable,” says Daniel. “But if you're asking this question early on in the interview process, the interviewer may question your genuine interest in the position you've applied for. Frame the question in a way that demonstrates both your long-term commitment to the company and your professional growth.”

Preparing and Managing Time

Once you’ve chosen which questions you’d like to ask, you can either memorize them or write them down. Daniel advises:

“It is not unprofessional to bring a list of questions on paper. If you choose to write them down, make sure you bring them in a presentable notebook or folder, not on a crinkled, loose-leaf sheet of paper. Presentation is very important. That said, make a conscious effort to remember the questions so that you don't have to rely on your notes. Opening a notebook can be somewhat distracting, and what's even worse is reading the questions verbatim without making eye contact with the interviewer.”

Once you’ve finished asking all that you’d like to ask, it’s important to close an interview on a good notes, says Daniel. “Rather than fretting about running out of questions, take the left-over time to thank your interviewer and let him or her know how much you're interested in the position. Cite specifics about why and briefly reiterate a key point about your background that relates to the position. This is called the ‘close,’ and it's a critical phase of the interview.”

Social Media Job Listings

Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, danleap

More About: features, job search series, mashable

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Scenes from Occupy Tahrir [PHOTOS]

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 11:47 AM PST

Over the weekend, Egypt’s military-backed riot police stormed Tahrir Square and attacked protestors participating in “Occupy Tahrir.”

Now, with a little more than a week until the country’s general election for a new government, hundreds of activists are recovering from serious injuries and at least five have been reported dead.

Using the power of Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, these protestors documented the devastation as it unfolded around them. See images from the clash below.

Riot Police Approach

Military-backed riot police approach Tahrir Square to break up protestors located at "Occupy Tehrir" on November 19 in Cairo, Egypt.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mosa'aberising.

Click here to view this gallery.

Photo courtesy Flickr, Mosa’aberising.

More About: flickr, instagram, Politics, twitpic, Twitter, World

Instagram Tips From Top Beverage Brands

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 10:55 AM PST

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

On the face of it, they don’t seem to have much in common: Instagram and the beverage industry.

One is a hot social media company that lets users take pictures and post them on various social networks. The other is a business that is solidly entrenched in the physical world. Yet, a symbiotic relationship exists. Instagram very much wants real-world brands to endorse it, and beverage brands are always looking for the imprimatur of a hot social media technology.

The pairing of Instagram and Lipton Brisk, a PepsiCo brand, illustrates how this relationship works. Jamal Henderson, senior marketing manager for Brisk, says he hadn’t heard of Instagram in late 2010 until he saw fans on Brisk’s Facebook Page discussing it. “We just kind of dug into that digital insight,” he says.

That epiphany coincided with Instagram’s own attempts to cozy up to brands. In January, the company introduced hashtags, which were designed to make it easier for marketers to carry out brand campaigns.

It worked. While Instagram has proven to be a draw for fashion brands especially, some beverage brands have had some success as well. Below are three recent examples of purveyors of soft drinks using Instagram to spread their message. And if it can work for soda and fashion, then Instagram can be a valuable asset for any business.

1. Lipton Brisk

PepsiCo's Lipton Brisk initiated a clever use of Instagram around this year's South By Southwest festival.

In January, Brisk announced a program soliciting users' photos via Instagram. The prize? Photos selected by Brisk would appear on 4,000 Brisk cans distributed at the event. In what was clearly a case of trying to reach the right kind of consumer rather than seducing the masses, Brisk has cultivated a fairly small following on Instagram -- just around 500 followers.

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Does your business use Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: features, hashtags, instagram, mashable, Pepsi, redbull, starbucks

Social Media Plays Witness to Clash in Egypt’s Capital

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 09:52 AM PST

Once again, citizens of Egypt have flocked to Twitter and YouTube to expose injustice in the ongoing protests against the newly instated military government.

Just days before the general election is set to take place across the country, riot police forcefully cleared out protestors in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday and Sunday. The clash brought about at least five deaths, and several injuries.

As protestors continued to hold their ground in Tahrir Square Sunday, riot police escalated in force. Police released tear gas and fired rubber bullets at the crowd. Witnesses have tweeted that they have seen the use of guns and live ammo, a disturbing new twist in the story. Hospitals are also reporting that they have seen casualties to gunfire. Still, protestors refuse to leave their encampment, even with the threat of bullets overhead.

See a timeline, including media, from the clash below. You can also watch live video coverage on

Riot Police Approach

Military-backed riot police approach Tahrir Square to break up protestors located at "Occupy Tehrir" on November 19 in Cairo, Egypt.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mosa'aberising.

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More About: Arab Spring, Egypt, protest, trending, Tweets from Tahrir, World

Top 9 Thanksgiving Apps for iPhone

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 09:28 AM PST

1. Chow: Thanksgiving Dinner Coach

This app makes preparing for the big day as easy as pumpkin pie.  It has step-by-step tutorials (with pictures) on how to roast that turkey and how to perfect that gravy.

It even creates a shopping list of items you will need and a cooking timer depending on the size of your bird.

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Want to learn how to cook a turkey? There’s an app for that. Want to pluck the feathers off a turkey and watch him squirm? There’s an app for that too. With a multitude of Thanksgiving-centric apps, there is no possibility of you getting bored or antsy this holiday season.

SEE ALSO: HOW TO: Plan the Perfect Thanksgiving With the Help of Social Media

Whether you’re traveling or spending a quiet evening at home, here are nine great iPhone apps for an easy and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, seaturtle

More About: apps, contributor, features, Holidays 2011, iphone, thanksgiving

8-Bit Music Videos: 8 Pixel-Perfect Examples [VIDEOS]

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 07:46 AM PST

1. Golden Shower - Video Computer System

Quite simply, arcade-tastic. How many classic game references can you spot?

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Here at Mashable we love music and we really love computer games. What better way to combine those two passions than game-themed music videos?

We have collated eight great videos that offer 8-bit graphics, game-play themed storylines and more pixels than you could shake at a joystick.

SEE ALSO: 16 Rad Retro Gaming Accessories for Your Home or Office [PICS]

Take a look through our 8-bit video gallery. Let us know in the comments which other gaming-related videos you would have included.

More About: features, gallery, Gaming, music videos, retro, retro gaming, trending, Video

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