Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “YouTube Video Prompts Calls for UC Davis Chancellor’s Resignation”

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “YouTube Video Prompts Calls for UC Davis Chancellor’s Resignation”

YouTube Video Prompts Calls for UC Davis Chancellor’s Resignation

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 02:40 PM PST

The Faculty Association at the University of California, Davis, is calling for the resignation of chancellor Linda Katehi after a YouTube video surfaced showing police pepper spraying passive Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“The Chancellor's authorization of the use of police force to suppress the protests by students and community members speaking out on behalf of our university and public higher education generally represents a gross failure of leadership,” the Davis Faculty Association wrote in a blog post on Saturday. The post goes on to criticize Katehi for “effectively authorizing [the police's] use of excessive force against peaceful UCD student protestors”

The call for Katehi’s resignation comes after various videos showing police pepper spraying OWS protesters hit YouTube late Friday, shortly after it occurred. In response, Katehi announced on Saturday that she had created a task force to investigate the police’s action.

According to reports, police had asked the protesters to move and then warned them if they didn’t, they’d be pepper sprayed. Soon afterwards, they carried out their threat and the moment was captured on video.

More About: Occupy Wall Street, YouTube

Saved By the Facebook Timeline [CARTOON]

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 02:09 PM PST

Turkey Facebook Timeline

Ever since Facebook executives told me that they planned on using early adopters to train others how to implement and manage their Facebook Timelines, I’ve been imagining different scenarios where this might play out. Some, I realize, are more whimsical than others. I guess it’s unlikely a potential Thanksgiving turkey would know more about Facebook and setting up a Facebook Timeline than Farmer Brown, but one never knows.

Illustration by Lance Ulanoff

More About: cartoon, Facebook, facebook timeline, facebook timelines, thanksgiving, turkey

Top 4 Mashable Comments This Week

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 01:54 PM PST

Every week, the Community team here at Mashable picks a sampling of user-submitted comments we’d like to highlight. Included in this weekly roundup are comments that are on-topic, insightful or submissions that just give us a good laugh. We love how these kinds of responses can drive a great conversation and entertain us and the rest of the Mashable community.

Here are this week’s top comments on Mashable:

Will Google Music Succeed?

After the announcement of Google Music, MichaelADeBose paints a picture of Google's future and shares his love/hate relationship with Google.

We hope he only has love for Mashable, and no hate.

Click here to view this gallery.

Want to be featured in our weekly gallery? It's easy. First, sign up for Mashable Follow. Next, read our comment guidelines to get an idea of what we're looking for. Finally, start posting great comments!

We can't wait to hear what’s on your mind about the topics we love.

More About: community, top comments

For more Social Media coverage:

Is Windows Phone the Best Mobile Platform You’re Not Using?

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 01:32 PM PST

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

In the world of smartphones, Windows Phone 7 is barely a blip. It has, by some estimates less than 6% market share. Android now owns half the market and iOS about 26%. This isn't right. You see, the Windows Phone 7 is a good — possibly great — mobile platform. It's better, in my opinion, than Android and nibbling at the heels of my favorite, iOS and the iPhone.

To understand why things are so out of whack and why I believe they could change, we need to take a closer look at a Windows Phone—which I did.

It’s now been a couple of weeks since I started using the HTC Radar 4G from T-Mobile. It’s one of the new Windows Phone 7.5 or “Mango” phones. As a phone, it’s good; calls come through loud and clear and the 4G is nice when I can get it. It’s not a beautiful or particularly striking handle like the iPhone 4S or Motorola Razr. Yet the somewhat dull combination of pearl, bushed aluminum and one-too-many rounded corners quickly fade into the background as soon I start using the phone.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Metro interface is a malleable tower of hubs that brings more sense to your mobile world than virtually any other platform. Yes, it looks good. Windows Phone 7 features one of my favorite mobile interface color palettes–second only to the iPhone’s gray, rain drop speckled backdrop and consistent, brightly colored app icons.

Like the best smartphones, Windows Phone can use what you tell it to organize your friends, family, e-mail, appointments and more. It does a lot of what I like to call “connecting the dots” and creates a variety of serendipitous connections to your disparate world. The “Me” hub is one of my favorite innovations not only because it’s all about me, but because it brings together everything that matters and relates directly to me in one place.

Windows Phone is full of sensible touches and navigation that should make sense to the both smartphone veterans and neophytes. You can swipe up and down to see all of your tiles (or hubs), and once you’re inside a hub, you’re usually scrolling left to right you see different facets of information for that hub. Yes, you can add and remove tiles. I added Gmail and Twitter.

Things don’t disappear on the phone because they often bubble up to one of the hubs. The ever-present picture tile means my photos are one tap away, my always updating e-mail box (which automatically groups emails by sender) means I can find new messages in a tap. The People hub is an ever-rotating patchwork of smaller pictures of the people who are active in my social/digital world. In other words, I can learn a lot with very little effort.

That kind of one-click-away M.O. is evident throughout the phone and it points to Microsoft's larger strategy: to simplify the smartphone experience. All Window Phones have a Windows Phone home button, a Bing search button and the ability to bring up the camera simply by holding down a physical camera button for a second or two. If I want to share a photo, I simply tap on the eclipses that appear at the bottom of each, picture, I can then share it on Facebook or Twitter, both smoothly integrated into the Windows Phone system.

For the most part, this simplicity matches much of what you can find on the Apple iPhone—which is my main phone, by the way. iOS 5, for example, integrates Twitter, just as smartly as Windows Phone does and the act of capturing—double tap the home button—and sharing out an image feels not dissimilar across platforms. It is notable, though, that the Windows Phone places your pictures not on Twitter’s photo sharing service, but on SkyDrive—the Microsoft's cloud-based storage and file-sharing service (Apple now uses iCloud and photo stream). And this points to another important, growing similarity between Apple and Microsoft’s mobile platform.

The ecosystem. Yes, with Microsoft Windows Phone 7 you enter what appears to be an impressively well thought out ecosystem, driven largely by your Windows Live or Hotmail account. Once you use this, the Windows phone will bring in whatever contacts, calendar and more it can from your account and then weave it all together with other phone services (like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Windows Phone is also, naturally, a perfect companion for anyone who lives in Microsoft Office. Office files you save on the phone are automatically saved to your SkyDrive account. From there you can share them via e-mail or directly from your SkyDrive account. It smart, and well integrated with the broader Windows Phone and Microsoft cloud ecosystem.

This ecosystem, however, is not a perfect circle yet. Windows Phones will still, for example, default to funneling your App purchases through the wireless carrier, unless you proactively add a credit card to your Windows Live account and then choose to use it. With the iPhone, my iTunes account is set-up offline and once I log in with my phone, it knows who I am and who to charge—the carrier never comes into play. I'm certain, though. Microsoft, will eventually match Apple on ecosystem simplicity.

Windows Phone 7.5 is not an iOS 5 doppelganger. The screen metaphors are all different. The keyboard, for instance, has a much sharper, almost sterner look. I'm just as poor a typist on it as I am on the iPhone's virtual keyboard. The way each phone handles typos differs as well: instead of autocorrect, Windows Phones suggest words in a bar above what you're typing (I prefer this). Text selection is different and, in some ways, more precise than on the iPhone—no magnifying bubble, just a cursor that sits above where you're pointing. However, nothing in Windows Phone 7.5 should confuse any current iPhone or Android user.

Microsoft would be happy, I think, being a solid number three in the smartphone marketplace — behind Android and iOS — but why settle for #3? I actually prefer Windows Phone to most any Android device I've used and I think the Microsoft Windows Phone ecosystem, though still clunky at times, offers a better, smoother, more extensible experience than anything found on the multitude of inconsistent Android devices on the market today.

It's true, Microsoft and its partners did a terrible job positioning and promoting Windows Phone over the last 12 months, and it still makes dumb moves. My biggest peeve is the lack of screen capture. Microsoft figures only developers and media folks like me care about it. That may be true, but how do you think we’re going to spread the word on those gorgeous Windows Phone screens if we can't grab a good copy and post it online? I'm sure this is something Apple considered when including the feature in the iPhone.

Despite this, Microsoft's approach to marketing Windows Phones is clearly changing. It's undertaken and aggressive campaign (they threw a huge, day-long-bash in Herald Square New York) and I think the carrier partners may finally be getting behind the platform. Plus, there are now a number of excellent, lust-worthy and super affordable Windows Phone 7.5 devices on the market. The time is ripe for Windows Phone 7.5 to grab the spotlight. Now, are you ready to grab a Windows Phone? Let me know in the comments.

More About: Opinion, smartphone, Windows, windows phone

16 Online Resources for Preparing the Perfect Thanksgiving

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 12:44 PM PST

Whether you plan to whip up a lavish feast for your in-laws or stick with the kids table, there are always ways to prepare for Thanksgiving. The tips below can help absorb some of the holiday stress, even if all you plan to do is stuff your face and watch football.

Read on to discover 16 online resources that can help plan a successful and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday.

1. Invites: Before you even start planning the menu, make sure to send out a memorable invite or reminder card. Try exploring Someecards if you're up for something witty and bold. If not, an interactive card is sure to keep guests on their toes for the big reunion.

2. Food Prep: Practice your cooking skills in advance by viewing the Food Network's Thanksgiving Live! show on Nov. 20. Experts will offer tips, solutions and recipes for cooking the best meals. Act quickly to add your own questions or to tune in live via Skype.

3. Travel: Whether you're traveling 10 or 3,000 miles for turkey day, it's important that you make travel cheap and efficient. Use the GasBuddy mobile app to discover the cheapest gasoline prices in your vicinity.

4. Décor: As the leaves begin to fall and the weather chills outside, you're concerned with making sure it's warm and cozy inside. If you don't have a fireplace, there's an app for that. Then spice it up with a variety of DIY centerpieces that feature mother nature's finest elements. Finally, make sure each person is accounted for by personalizing your table's place settings.

5. Cooking: It’s turkey time! Are you sure you know what you're doing? If not, Butterball has the best tips, like how to pick and cook a turkey, complete with videos and step-by-step guides — as well as a telephone helpline for last-minute kitchen emergencies. Still lost? This interactive quiz from Bon Appetit helps plan your meal depending on timeframe and number of guests.

6. Vegetarian: There are plenty of healthy and meatless alternatives for those PETA or calorie-conscious guests. Or try a non-traditional protein option, like pork or roast beef.

7. Entertainment: Instead of zoning out in front of a football game or answering the same old questions from Aunt Kathy, try a playing a game that involves everyone. Go on a scavenger hunt, or play a game like Fictionary – which bring out the competition in my family.

8. Leftovers: Rather than waste that half-eaten turkey, prepare it for a variety of meals over the following week.

Share your own tried and true holiday resources in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Flickr, QuintanaRoo, intersubjectiv

More About: features, Holidays 2011, How-To, thanksgiving, web

For more Entertainment coverage:

Police Pepper Spray Occupy Wall Street Protesters [VIDEO]

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 12:28 PM PST

A disturbing video of passive Occupy Wall Street protesters at University of California, Davis, getting pepper sprayed by police made the rounds Saturday afternoon on YouTube.

By mid-afternoon, several versions of the video, shot on Friday, were being circulated. In the video above, an officer displays the pepper spray can before spraying it at protesters who are seated with their heads down. After that, cries are heard from the crowd. As the protesters are arrested, some in the crowd shout “Shame on you” at the officers.

Pepper spray is often used for crowd control and usual causes tears, pain and even temporary blindness, but rarely causes death or lasting harm.

Update: The chancellor of the University of California, Davis, announced on Saturday that the school launching a probe into the incident.”The use of the pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this,” Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a message posted on the school’s web site.

The distribution of the video comes as public support for OWS has slipped in recent weeks. A survey last week by Public Policy Polling found 35% of Americans support OWS and 45% oppose the movement. When PPP took the same poll last month, only 36% of respondents were against OWS.

Though the video would seem to present the protesters in a more sympathetic light, it’s unclear how it’s being received. For instance, YouTube commenters for the video above overwhelmingly “liked” it, though many comments were in support of the protesters and critical of the police.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Occupy Wall Street, YouTube

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 11:20 AM PST

1. Hypersonic Weapon Flies at Mach 20

Look out, evildoers, because here comes the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), a super-smart bomb that could be opening up a can of whoopass on you. It flies many times faster than a speeding bullet, and is certainly more powerful than a locomotive. Its blazing speed of Mach 20 will let it deliver a non-nuclear warhead anywhere on the planet faster than Domino's used to brag about how quickly it could deliver a pizza -- 30 minutes or less (or your bombs will be free?). [via DVICE]

Click here to view this gallery.

The future looks bright in the tech world, and this week was an especially lively one, packed with astonishing innovations. All week, we’ve been surveying the crowd of fantastic and futuristic inventions and ideas, narrowing it down to the 10 best. Here’s our weekly collection, accompanied by dramatic photos and opinionated descriptions.

More About: android, ice cream sandwich, ipad apps, Top 10 Tech

The 10 Most-Retweeted Pics of the Week

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 09:17 AM PST

Twitter is known for its sub-140 character bursts of commentary, but there are a fair amount of photos that get passed around as well on the network.

How many? About 20 million a week, according to Skylines, an Amsterdam-based company that bills itself as the first real-time photo search engine. At Mashable‘s request, Skylines analyzed photos that circulated on Twitter over the seven-day period from Nov. 10 to Nov. 17. As you might expect, many of the most-retweeted photos came from pop stars and were merely a reflection of those stars’ notoriety. A few of the pics seemed to have come out of nowhere, though, and rose through the ranks because the imagery or the story behind the photo are so compelling.

A few caveats about the list: Skylines just took into account photos from the English-speaking world. The ranking you see is also a snapshot of the time period. If you click through to the original, the tweet counts will invariably differ from the period in which Skylines made its determination.

1. Missing Girl: Jhessye Shockley

This photo by @MildStonee (2,500 followers), features a girl named Jhessye Shockley who went missing on Oct. 11 and, as of this writing, hasn't been found. The tweet attached to the photo says: "Don't Ignore- Retweet- ".

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Photos,, twitpic, Twitter, yfrog

For more Social Media coverage:

3 New Takes On Personalized Web Video

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 08:47 AM PST

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Each weekend, Mashable selects startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.

This week we’ve focused on three personalized web video apps.

Rawporter helps you get credit and compensation for valuable images you snap during newsworthy moments. iBroadcast.TV makes creating a personalized channel for YouTube videos easy. Bambuser puts the power of live video in the hands of anyone with access to a smartphone.

Rawporter: An App For Selling Social Media to News Organizations

Quick Pitch: Rawporter helps you sell newsworthy mobile footage to news outlets.

Genius Idea: Rewarding accidental news reporting with cash.

Mashable’s Take: Photos and videos of newsworthy events posted on social networks often end up making the rounds in mainstream media, but there is no standard system for how their creators should be compensated or credited.

“They basically see it as a free source and they’re taking photographers’ and videographers’ jobs away,” says Janis Krums, who used his phone to snap footage when a plane safely executed an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009.

Rawporter is an app breaking news bystanders can use to make sure they’re paid for the images they capture. The app automatically tags videos with the time, date and location, and it markets them to local news outlets. Meanwhile, news outlets can push requests for specific content to Rawporter users near an event. The creator of the content collects a fee and gets on-screen credit if it is used.

In theory, the app is an easy guarantee content won’t be hijacked. But it launched just last week, and it has yet to establish itself as a source for news outlets and bloggers.

iBroadcast.TV: A Personal Television Channel For Every User

Quick Pitch: iBroadcast.TV is a social video site for creating and watching personal video channels.

Genius Idea: A simple, easy-to-use interface.

Mashable’s Take: iBroadcast.TV is a minimalist approach to personalized video channels on the web. It does two things: broadcasts videos queued up by friends and queues up your own. That’s it.

It does not, like Shelby.TV, automatically pull videos posted by social media friends into one channel. Nor does it, like VHX, allow users to use it as an “Instapaper for video” by providing a handy bookmarklet. If you want to post your channel on a homepage or blog as you can with Panejea, you are also out of luck. Adding videos that aren’t on YouTube? Sorry.

Simplicity, however, does have its advantages. There are few tools on the web where one can queue up video channels to play continuously without bothering to incorporate other social actions. If that’s all you’re planning to do, iBroadcast.TV should suffice nicely.

Bambuser: A Mobile Broadcasting App

Quick Pitch: Bambuser lets anyone broadcast live from anywhere.

Genius Idea: Making mobile live broadcasting interactive and accessible to anyone.

Live broadcasts once required equipment only television stations owned. Bambuser transferred the capability to a tool that, according to the United Nation's International Telecommunication Union, 90% of the world’s population has access to: the mobile network.

Bambuser’s apps record video that can be watched online by anyone in real-time. They also have an interactive feature that lets the person who is recording view comments from viewers at the same time. Videos and their surrounding live conversations are archived and searchable on the Bambuser site.

The app has been a popular broadcasting tool among activists in the Middle East, and it was blocked by the Egyptian government along with Twitter and other websites during the January uprising. It has also been favored among those with more frivolous intentions. One man, for instance, recorded his 28-day journey driving across Finland in a mini digger.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, narvikk

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: Bambuser, bizspark, bizspark weekend roundup, iBroadcast.TV, Rawporter

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