Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mashable: Latest 13 News Updates - including “Happy Birthday Chuck Norris: King of Internet Memes”

Mashable: Latest 13 News Updates - including “Happy Birthday Chuck Norris: King of Internet Memes”

Happy Birthday Chuck Norris: King of Internet Memes

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 03:55 PM PST

What do you get the manliest man in the world for his birthday? A roundhouse kick roundup of Chuck Norris facts, that’s what.

Today, meme king Chuck Norris turns 72, and to celebrate, we’re tearing through lead with our teeth, wrestling grizzly bears and drinking whiskey for breakfast. Just kidding. (Or are we?)

The former Walker, Texas Ranger star is known for being the epitome of all that is manly, which the web has played off of for years — thus, Chuck Norris facts were born and soon turned viral. The facts include anything that has to do with his strength, tough attitude, superhuman capabilty or endurance. The meme has become so well-known, even advertisers have cashed in on the action.

Fun fact about Chuck Norris facts? According to YouTube, the state that loves Chuck Norris the most is Alaska, which generates the most search results.

In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite facts from the popular Twitter handle @chuck_facts. What’s your favorite fact? Let us know in the comments.

The Best Chuck Norris Facts on Twitter

Click here to view this gallery.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios

More About: birthday, features, Meme

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Entrepreneur Astronaut: Here’s How You’ll Get to Space

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 02:58 PM PST

Richard Garriott, age 50, was the 483rd person to leave planet Earth — and he’d like you to be one of the first thousand.

Garriott, creator of the popular Ultima videogame series, spent a good chunk of his fortune visiting the International Space Station via Soyuz rocket in 2008 (with ground-based assistance from his father Owen, a former NASA astronaut). Now he acts as an advisor to both NASA and commercial space companies.

Speaking at the SXSW conference in Austin Saturday, Garriott laid out his vision for the next 30 years of space travel. He said while the cost of his flight was in the tens of millions of dollars, competition will bring the cost of a sub-orbital trip down to the same as a round-the-world ticket within a matter of years.

What’s going to take us there: entrepreneurial spirit. “If I could make a profit in going to space, I would go all the time,” Garriott said. Indeed, he made several million dollars while in space — partly by developing a new kind of earth-imaging software for NASA, partly by growing protein crystals for pharmaceutical companies.

That didn’t offset the cost of the $10 million-plus trip, but Garriott outlined the new technologies that will bring costs down — such as SpaceX‘s reusable launch rocket components and private Space Shuttle-like vehicles that are 10 times cheaper than the NASA version.

Armadillo Aerospace, a private venture by fellow game designer John Carmack, is building its rockets largely from components it is ordering on the Internet.

“All of the cryogenics from the Apollo mission are now in the AC unit outside your house,” Garriott said. “Pretty much any kid who can build a robot can build a rocket that will fly to space.”

All that remains: figuring out how to make more of a profit when you’re up there. Garriott suggested vaccine development and solar satellites — small ones that could power a military base, say — as low-hanging fruit.

“A lot of you are smarter entrepreneurs than I,” Garriott told the SXSW Interactive crowd, “and will make more money than I did.”

Want to know more? Check out Garriott’s documentary Man on a Mission, as of this week available on iTunes and Netflix.

More About: NASA, space, SpaceX, sxsw

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Daylight Saving Time: The Only Clock You’ll Need

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 02:41 PM PST

Daylight Saving Time can make waking up the morning after “springing forward” or “falling back” the most confusing times of the year. Fortunately, the Internet is now home to an absurdly accurate clock that can instantly put any confusion to rest. tells you whether your computer clock is fast or slow — down to ±5 millisecond.

Though boasts about being the world’s most accurate web clock, before its latest upgrade, it had been thrown off by as much as 300 milliseconds because of network latency. Now, the site’s accuracy has been significantly improved by using your current location to compensate for the minimum latency of your connection, giving it almost-perfect accuracy.

When I sampled, it told me the clock on my computer was 1.7 seconds slow. It also knew I was in Brooklyn, N.Y. and sent me this helpful alert: “Brooklyn switches to daylight saving time at 02:00 on Sunday, March 11. The time is set one hour forward.”

Advanced users can take advantage of’s calendar, favorite locations and find the time difference between two locations. The clock is truly global — you can adjust the first day of the week (Saturday, Sunday or Monday), the date format and the time format.

Have you seen any other great time-telling resources online? What about mobile apps? Share your go-to clocks in the comments.

BONUS: 5 Ways to Turn Your iPhone Into an Alarm Clock

1. Luckybits BirdBox Alarm Clock

This avian-themed offering will add a touch of whimsy to your bedside table. Once you've chosen your BirdBox from the four colors available, and downloaded the free app, you've got a sweet (or should that be tweet?) way to wake up in the morning.

The iPhone fits in the box and displays an analogue clock through the hole. You can tap the screen to see the birds inside and wake to the sound of the birds cuckooing -- much more pleasant than blaring alarms.

Cost: $11.95

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: alarm clocks, Clocks, trending

Happstr, the App That Finds Your Happy Place … Literally

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 02:22 PM PST

Looking for happiness? Now there’s a map for that.

Mobile web app Happstr lets users mark the locations at which they’re happy on a map and browse for happy spots left by others nearby.

It was built last week during a mobile hackathon called The Startup Bus. The team of six entrepreneurs completed the project en route to South by Southwest.

Here’s how it works: When users are feeling happy, they navigate to the Happstr mobile site, where they find a huge pink button labeled “feeling happy?” Since they are feeling happy, they push the button.

The app asks for explanation for the happiness, but those reasons stay private for now. Other users, which thanks to Twitter already include people from all over the world, just see a happy balloon at that spot on the map.

Why build a happiness map? The Startup Bus answer, co-creator Ricky Robinett says, is that people might one day pay to track their happiness like they do their fitness. There’s also an opportunity for brands to sponsor some happiness.

But, at least when he’s not competing in a contest for which business model is a criteria, Robinett says Happstr is really just a sincere effort at making the world a better place. He’s worked on similarly amusing (and profitless) hacks before, creating, for instance, a game that pits the five boroughs of New York City against each other in a Foursquare-enabled game of Risk.

Other entrepreneurs on the bus suggested adding other emotions — like anger — to Happstr, but the team refused.

“The real idea is helping people be happier, and that would not help them do that,” Robinett says.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, skynesher

More About: Happstr, sxsw, world of fourcraft

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SXSW Tour: Rain, Food Trucks and Whimsical, Bizarre Promotions [PICS]

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 01:54 PM PST

A look at the ISIS Mobile Wallet Booth

The mobile wallet software was a sponsor at SXSW.

Click here to view this gallery.

As thousands flocked to Austin for the first day of SXSW, they experienced something nobody expects to find in Texas: rain. The weather was one of the most talked-about topics on Twitter in Austin, as shorts and tees were traded in for umbrellas and galoshes.

But the rain didn’t stop anyone’s fun at the conference. There were still lines at the food trucks that had sprung up around Austin Convention Center. Note: If you’re at SXSW, be sure to find Mashable‘s own truck for some free empanadas. It’s becoming a popular way for brands to promote themselves — who doesn’t love free food served from a cool, brightly colored truck?

There were also several other creative promotions: Highlight, the second-highest-trending app on Mashable‘s mRank SXSW buzz meter, was touted with neon-colored shopping carts. HBO lent out bicycles to help attendees navigate the 15 campuses hosting panels this year, and Chevy hosted power stations to help the insatiable need for recharging at SXSW.

Are you at SXSW? Submit your pictures via Olapic or tweet with the hashtag #mashsxsw, and we might include them in our roundups.

More About: Highlight, sxsw, sxsw 2012, SXSW mRank

Beware: Top 10 Scams of the Year [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 01:18 PM PST

Scams, much like viral cat videos, are a staple of the Internet. Even the savviest of Internet users can still get tangled in the web’s latest harmful trick — such as these 10 highlighted from the past year.

The Better Business Bureau has released this infographic, charting the biggest consumer scams of 2011. Their rankings are based on the volume and spikes in complaints, the economic climate and major events exploited by scammers, information collected by its Scam Source, and alerts issued through local BBBs during 2011.

SEE ALSO: Buyer Beware: BBB Highlights Top 10 Online Scams [INFOGRAPHIC]

The number one scam of the year is attributed to someone pretending to be the Better Business Bureau itself — an email sent mostly to small business owners, which downloaded information-stealing malware.

If these scams seem like tricks you’ve seen, don’t fear (too much). To fall victim to a scam, you generally need to actively follow instructions to give away your personal data.

Did you see any of these scams this year? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, Henrik5000

More About: phishing, scams, trending

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 12:48 PM PST

1. Personal Killer Whale Submarine

Seabreacher Y not only looks like a 17-foot killer whale, it acts like one too. But this is one killer whale you'd like to be sitting inside. It's powerful enough to hydroplane along the surface at 50mph and zip along underwater at 25mph. Besides its killer looks, it even has a rear-facing camera 's video you can watch on an LCD screen. It's not a deep-diving sub, though, going only 5 feet down, but the fun begins when you throttle up and leap the thing out of the water like a porpoise. Save up your $100,000, and you too can turn into a virtual killer whale. [via DVICE]

Click here to view this gallery.

In a week dominated by Apple’s iPad event, there were a surprising number of fascinating tech products introduced at the same time. We dug deep, looking for not only the coolest products and designs, but those that are unusual, useful, and futuristic as well.

We continued our experimentation with Windows 8, and found a plug-in that’s already been developed, perhaps easing the pain of the transition for those resistant to change.

We also got our hands on a spectacular (yet pricy) lens system for the iPhone, and found it to be an exceptional product.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week

As is our wont, we found astonishing conveyances for traveling both underwater and on land, and tossed in a surprise or two along the way. So here it is, the latest Top 10 Tech This Week.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: cars, ipad, iphone, Top 10 Tech, trending, Windows 8

Here’s What Happens When You Hate Your Job

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 12:11 PM PST

Brent Daily is finally contributing to the GDP again as a founder of RoundPegg, a company culture intelligence platform that quantifies culture to help companies hire for culture fit and engage employees.

You're really good at what you do, but you were just passed over for a job that you would have killed. So what.

The typical hiring process is fantastically dysfunctional. There is little that's right, so it feels quite random and unfair if you don't land the gig. And that stings because we've deluded ourselves into thinking the job and the company were perfect (and we hate losing).

We never imagine what it would have been like to work there after the honeymoon period fizzled.

As the great philosopher George Costanza once said, "It's not a lie if you believe it." But failing to do our own diligence has its costs.

I know because I've also been willing to overlook red flags in order to win a job. And after “winning” the job at a then-hot startup, I proceeded to be miserable and an awful contributor for the next 7 months and 17 days. The light bulb went off when driving to work a stoplight turned from green to yellow. My body physically went slack with relief as I realized this was 45-seconds less that I'd have to spend in the office that day*. But those 227 days cost me:

  • Confidence, which spilled over to our initial failed attempts to raise money (I wasn't going to work for someone else again) and took almost two years to regain.
  • Motivation to engage in the other important areas of my life — family, exercise and hobbies.
  • Opportunity to positively advance my knowledge, responsibilities and personal brand.

Neither my knowledge nor my skill set had changed, and yet I was a brilliant failure.

There is more to our professional success than having the chops, and it comes back to how well we fit the company culture, the team's work dynamics and our manager's style. The best thing you can do when finding your next employer is to dig deep and conduct your own interview. Odds are the hiring manager isn't going to be able to articulate the culture or how they operate so you have to get your hands dirty to get a better feel for whether it is the right place for you. Specifically:

  • Decision-Making. Who makes the decisions, how are they made, who gets credit?
  • Feedback and Rewards. How and when can you be expected to get feedback? What do the top performers do to be considered such?
  • Team Dynamics. What needs fixing? What are the expectations of new team members? What's a meeting sound like (i.e. thoughtful, raised voices)? How does the team operate with other groups?
  • Management. Is your manager a top performer or is your star going to dim simply by being in his/her orbit? How does the manager resolve differences on the team? How does the manager divvy up assignments?

And then:

  1. Drop Your Preconceived Notions. Every company operates differently, which is often at odds with the consumer-facing brand. Chances are, what you think you know is wrong.
  2. Listen Critically. Everyone is trying to sell you on the job. Pretend like you're buying a new car and read between the lines on everything.
  3. Probe. Ask for specific examples and don't settle for platitudes. You're making a decision that will consume 70% of your waking hours.

Landing a job is less important than landing a job at the right company for you. Take back some control over the process, interview everyone on the team and don't hesitate to be the first one to say, “It's not you, it's me.”

* Realizing how stupid this was; I quit before lunch.

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, MarkGabrenya

More About: features, job search series, jobs, mashable, trending

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Chat With Guy Kawasaki: What’s the Meaning of SXSW? [VIDEO]

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 11:06 AM PST

SXSW in Austin, Texas, is one wild experience. The panels are interesting — if you can get into them — and the booths — at least in the outer halls — are engaging, but it’s the serendipitous lobby meetings that are ultimately the best part of the experience. I’ve had so many interesting conversations, including this one with Silicon Valley venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki.

Yesterday I watched as Kawasaki alternately grilled, gave a big, figurative wet kiss to, and then grilled again Google+ lead Vic Gundotra. Kawasaki is widely known in tech circles. He’s been writing about technology for years and now runs a Web aggregation site, AllTop and still writes about tech. His latest is an e-book on Google+. It’s questionable whether there’s a need for such a book when the young social network still appears to be mostly playground for the tech-savvy and early adopters.

Though we once both worked at Ziff Davis (back in the early 1990s) Kawasaki and I had never met in person, so I introduced myself and then decided to ask him about the meaning of this social networking/statup/movie/music-and-more event in Texas. You can check out his answer in the video and then drop into the comments to let us know if Kawasaki got it right.

Editors’ Note: The convention hall is extremely loud so it may be hard to hear Guy speak. Turn up your volume, if you can.

A look at the ISIS Mobile Wallet Booth

The mobile wallet software was a sponsor at SXSW.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Google, sxsw

Everything Your Employees Need to Know About Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 10:49 AM PST

Who needs an expensive social media consultant when you can train your employees in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn best practices yourself?

This Mindflash infographic breaks down the types of social media users you’ll find in your company — the digital native, savvy technologist, reluctant user, digital newby and digital contrarian — and how to approach training each of them.

This guide also highlights an important fact: 76% of companies do not have a clearly defined social media policy. Whether or not you have an explicit policy, make sure you’re aware of the way everyone in your company represents your brand.

What do you think its most important for companies to teach their employees about social media? Share your best practices in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, narvikk

More About: infographics, jobs, Social Media, trending

How To Follow the Japan Quake and Tsunami Anniversary on Social Media

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 09:29 AM PST

This Sunday, March 11, marks the one-year anniversary of northern Japan’s threefold devastating disaster — a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, a tsunami that engulfed entire towns and cities, and a nuclear disaster that has since shut down 52 out of 55 commercial reactors in Japan and stirred an international debate about nuclear energy.

While the Fukushima disaster has become a story of its own, numerous projects have developed to help document the personal perspectives of those who lived through the earthquake and tsunami. These two disasters — which lost media attention as the Fukushima crisis unfolded — have killed nearly 20,000 people and displaced thousands of others. Here’s Mashable‘s official list of the top five projects documenting and commemorating the earthquake and tsunami, which are available in English on social media sites:

“Children of the Tsunami”

Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching videos to come out of the disaster is this BBC documentary showing the disaster through the eyes of Japanese school children. With the children describing step-by-step what they were thinking and what was happening at the time, the video takes you straight to Japan at the heart of the disaster. Catch the preview below and view it in its entirety here.

Japan In A Day

Director Ridley Scott’s crowdsourced project, in collaboration with Fuji Television Network, invites people in Japan to submit videos of their lives this March 11 as a way to commemorate the event online. Modeled after Scott’s Life in a Day, Japan In A Day is not asking for any specific views about the disaster — rather, it’s seeking the ordinary, everyday activities that people have been doing since, as they rebuild their lives and move forward. Since the film is asking for users to submit videos on March 11, it won’t be available for screening on the exact date of the anniversary. But, it will be available the day after, on March 12. Check out the trailer below:


Before there was Storify, there was Quakebook, a Twitter-sourced account of the disaster whose proceeds go directly to the Japanese Red Cross. Propelled by OurManInAbiko, an expat in Japan who voiced the idea in a single tweet when the quake hit, the project gained an incredible amount of steam in a short amount of time. Within four weeks, a team of 26 people — including copy editors, translators, designers and illustrators, advisors, a tech team and a press officer — created an e-version of the book, and a hardcover edition soon followed.

[Screenshot taken from OurManInAbiko's website]

Quakebook Anniversary BookThis year, for the anniversary, the Quakebook team has created another book, this time striving to provide independent, unfiltered analysis about — in Quakebook’s words — “what has happened, and what has not since 3/11.” The book, Reconstructing 3/11: Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown — how Japan’s future depends on its understanding of the 2011 triple disaster, was published on March 8 and is now officially available on Amazon.

“Tsunami Stories”

A project by Voice of America, Tsunami Stories is a Tumblr-powered website crowdsourcing content around the web from survivors. With the tagline, “How a nation heals from invisible wounds,” the site looks to find how people affected by the disaster are coping. They can submit pictures, videos, links or text describing their experience. The site just launched on March 8, and the hashtag #tsunamistories is gaining some traction on Twitter to encourage submissions. My favorite post so far is this video of robot seals comforting Japanese elderly:


Of course, what would a commemoration be without Twitter? The Japan Times will be doing official commemoration coverage using the hashtag #311memory.

Graphic courtesy iStockphoto/PhotoTalk

More About: Feature, japan, japan earthquake, Japan Tsunami, Twitter

Dog Blogs: 15 Adorable Tumblrs for Canine Connoisseurs

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 08:44 AM PST

1. Dogs & Great Views

Canines + inspiring landscapes = win.

Click here to view this gallery.

Man’s best friend is well represented on the Tumblr blogging platform. A wealth of blogs cover all kinds of canine capers you can follow for some furry fun.

We have picked our 15 favorites, so take a look though our selection for dogs eating pasta, pooches waiting for their humans, and hipster puppies.

SEE ALSO: 10 Entertaining Tumblr Blogs About Your Parents

When you’ve surfed our selection, let us know in the comments below which other animal-themed Tumblrs you follow.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, happyborder

More About: blogging, dogs, features, humor, Social Media, trending, tumblr

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Top 8 Mashable Comments This Week

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 08:09 AM PST

The big stories of the week included the unveiling of Apple’s new iPad and the viral spread of the KONY 2012 video.

Mashable readers weren’t reserved about expressing their thoughts on either story.  Some readers were impressed by Apple‘s announcement while others weren’t completely sold. Also, a heated discussion broke out on this story that raised questions about non-profit Invisible Children.

Every week, the Mashable community team closely watches our comments section in search of thoughtful discussions from our readers.  If you haven’t made your voice heard, check out Mashable Follow to join the conversation.

Jason Spencer and bmichaelf commented on Why The New iPad Did Not Blow My Mind – Jason reacts to those are were disappointed by largely unchanged appearance of the new iPad.   bmichaelf pokes fun at those who expected a drastic redesign.

Rich Bianch is a freelancer having trouble finding work.  The Mashable community stepped up and gave him some advice. (Way to go, guys!) Comment originally seen on the post The Pitfalls of Freelancing.

adrianguida and Sheena Rajan added their voices to the long thread of comments responding to the article KONY 2012: Is the Viral Campaign a Scam?

Kelly Smith questions the place of technology in our daily lives.  Comment originally seen on the post A Day in the Life of the Internet.

Maxwell Knight responds to the article ACLU Sues School For Punishing 12-Year-Old Over Facebook Comment.

Nick Aster gives a great evaluation of the Tweet-A-Beer service. Comment originally seen on Tweet-A-Beer Lets You Buy Drinks for Twitter Pals.

What are you thoughts about Mashable‘s top comments this week? Let us know in the comments below.


Image courtesy of flickr/ Marc Wathieu

More About: comments, community, mashable follow, top comments

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Documentarians: KONY 2012 Achieved Its Goal

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:06 AM PST

KONY 2012

Even at SXSW in Austin, Texas, KONY 2012 is the topic of conversation. It was the elephant in the room during a panel on social documentary filmmaking and social media. Fortunately, the panelists addressed the elephant — more than once.

KONY 2012 is the massively viral YouTube video, directed and narrated by director Jason Russell who founded Invisible Children, that shines the spotlight on Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord who has been abducting children and turning them into soldiers and sex slaves. In the space of a few days, the video has become an international sensation, garnering almost 70 million views on YouTube and even triggering a response from the Ugandan government, which now plans to capture Kony. It has also drawn some criticism for potentially oversimplifying the issues, possibly encouraging "slacktivism" and turning Kony into a celebrity.

The panel's assembled documentarians, though, chose to address the effectiveness of KONY 2012 as social documentary.

Ontario community manager and panel moderator Meghan Warby said the documentary was stripping away the politics to get to the actual conflict in Uganda.

Dorothy Engelman, who currently runs GetINvolved.Ca in Canada, spent 20 years as a producer and documentary maker. She recognizes that KONY 2012 used celebrity because that’s how you reach everyday people.

"This film is everything we need to talk about," said Engelman, adding that it does raise questions about "the filmmaker as a point of view or subject." She also acknowledged the backlash and believes part of it is because the filmmaker's goal is to bring about change.

"So when you get this kind of half-a-billion dollars-worth of earned media you have to be able to be transparent." She then quoted a favorite saying, "Transparent means you're naked and when you're naked, you better be buff." In other words, you have to be ready to withstand the scrutiny. By Engelman's measure, the Invisible Children Foundation, and its founder Russell, has been offering an answer for virtually every question.

See Also: KONY 2012 May Be Flawed, But Slacktivism Isn't the Enemy

Rob Dyer who makes online videos for his Canadian-based SkateforCancer cancer awareness organization, thinks KONY 2012 achieved its goal. "What was the purpose?" said Dyer, "The purpose was to make Kony famous. I think it served their goal. What happens now, we don't know."

Dyer, however, thinks, there's a larger achievement here. "Now 13-25 year olds around the world are at least talking about it [strife in Uganda]. That's the most important thing to come out of that film."

The documentarians noticed something else interesting about the online video: It breaks a commonly-accepted online video rule. KONY 2012 is nearly a half-hour long. When the panelists asked the audience how many had seen the film, many raised their hands. When they asked if the audience members had watched the entire video, an almost equal number raised their hands.

According to Engelman, the rule of thumb with online video is that people stop watching after two minutes. She said that rule "has been proven wrong this week."

More About: kony 2012, sxsw, sxsw 2012, trending, YouTube

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