Monday, 26 March 2012

Mashable: Latest 19 News Updates - including “Today’s Top Stories: Android Smokes Windows Phone; Yahoo Board Additions”

Mashable: Latest 19 News Updates - including “Today’s Top Stories: Android Smokes Windows Phone; Yahoo Board Additions”

Today’s Top Stories: Android Smokes Windows Phone; Yahoo Board Additions

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 05:02 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories.

Blogger Claims Windows Phone Challenge Is Rigged

A blogger’s claim that his Android phone beat a Windows Phone in an in-store challenge, but Microsoft failed to acknowledge it and reward him with the promised $1,000 special edition laptop made the rounds Monday morning. The item, by Sahas Katta, CEO of Skatter Tech, was on the front page of Reddit and received more than 1,300 comments. Katta claims that he visited the Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft store over the weekend and signed a waiver to participate in the challenge. Using his Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Katta wrote that he was able to pull up the weather in two different cities within three seconds, which was faster than the Windows Phone. Despite winning, Katta wrote that he was told he lost “just because.” Then, another Microsoft employee told him that he needed to pull up the weather in two different cities in two different states to win. “I calmly and politely tried pointing out that I was absolutely never told about having to show off two different states, but at this point I realized there was no point in even attempting to argue since the Microsoft Store employees clearly had no intention of even potentially discussing the possibility of considering me the winner,” Katta wrote. Microsoft reps could not be reached for comment Monday morning on the report. Microsoft launched its Windows Phone Challenge at CES in January, but began using it in advertising in February.

Yahoo Appoints Three to Board

Yahoo, facing a proxy fight with one of its largest shareholders, has appointed three new members to its board — John Hayes, CMO of American Express,; Peter Liguori, former COO of Discovery Communications; and Thomas McInerney, the outgoing CFO of IAC/InterActiveCorp — according to The Associated Press. Hedge fund Third Point, which owns a 5.8% stake in Yahoo, had suggested four other directors for the board last week, but Yahoo only accepted one, turnaround specialist Harry Wilson. Third Point issued a statement Sunday night expressing its saying its disappointment and added that it planned to launch a proxy fight.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at an Apple Store in Beijing over the weekend, fueling speculation that he was in talks with Chinese telecoms over the next iPhone. Apple could not be reached to verify the reports, though pictures of Cook circulated among various blogs. Cook visited China last year as COO, but this would be his first time as CEO. Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, never visited that country.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock

More About: features, first to know series, mashable

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 03:39 AM PDT

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in an Apple Store in Beijing, according to reports, fueling speculation that he was there to work out deals with Chinese telecoms.

A blogger named STwing of Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging service, recently posted a picture of Cook at the Apple Store in the Xidan area of Beijing, a.k.a. “Joy City,” according to multiple reports. The Joy City store opened the same day that Apple launched the iPhone 4 in 2010.

Apple reps could not be reached for comment on the reports.

Though it’s not clear why Cook would be in Beijing, Apple Insider cites “people familiar with the matter,” who say Cook is there to discuss Apple’s next iPhone with China Unicom and China Telecom, Apple’s two wireless service providers in that country. He may also be there to talk to China Mobile, a third carrier, according to the report.

This may not be Cook’s first visit to China; some reports said he was at Apple’s headquarters in Beijing last summer, when he was still Apple’s chief operating officer. Despite Apple’s vast manufacturing footprint in China, former CEO Steve Jobs never visited the country, according to reports.

Apple’s China manufacturing has become a big issue for Apple of late as criticism has mounted that the company has mistreated workers at manufacturing partner Foxconn. China, however, is also a huge emerging market for Apple. At least one analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, believes Apple could sell as many as 40 million iPhones in that country this year.

Image courtesy of Flickr, igrec

More About: apple, china, iphone, tim cook

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Mashable Weekend Recap: 44 Stories You Might Have Missed

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 02:39 AM PDT

Amidst the blooming blossoms of spring around our New York Headquarters, we kept our eyes on our trusty screens and news feeds this weekend, making sure your daily Mashable diet would be fulfilled, no matter how gorgeous the weather.

And our vigil didn’t go for naught, with plenty of stunning stories in the offing for us to explore, report and serve to our eager weekend audience.

What? You weren’t a part of that illustrious group? Well, that’s quite understandable, and so we’ve accommodated your absence with this slate of stories we covered while you were out enjoying the buzzing of those newly-minted bees and the chirping of the just-arrived birds. Here’s the result of our labor — the Weekend Recap:

News & Opinion Essentials

Why Do Magazines Look So Terrible on the iPad 3?

App Maker Brings 'Benjamin Bunny' to Life on the iPad

Clever App Finally Cracks the Code for Facebook Dating

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Will Teaching Kids How to Write Software Help Fix Young America?

Instagram Sign-Up Page Now Beckons Android Users

What Does the Future Hold for Tablet Devices?

Jessica Alba's Startup Raises $27 Million in Funding

Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

Social Media and Trayvon Martin: Why Did It Take So Long to Care?

Former Major Leaguer Starts Fundraising Site With Youth Sports Focus

Pinterest Updates Privacy Policy, Terms of Service

Researchers Say Memories Can Be Relived, Not Just Recalled [VIDEO]

Inbox-Sanity Tool Boomerang Hits 1 Million Downloads

Meet the $25 Musical Button Seducing Corporate America

Twitter Users Adopt Hoodie Avatars in Trayvon Martin Protest

Klout Doesn't Really Measure Influence [STUDY]

How Google Is Making YouTube More Like iMovie [EXCLUSIVE]

Aziz Ansari: Turning Fans Into Customers, One Tweet at a Time

Twitter Reviews 'The Hunger Games' in 140 Characters or Less

Helpful Resources

15 High Res Wallpapers Perfect for Your New iPad's Retina Display

6 Apps Worth Downloading This Week

3 Key Metrics for Evaluating Your Mobile Ecommerce Site

7 Ways to Rescue Your Crucial Social Media Data from Oblivion

5 Stealthy Ways to Find a New Job with Social Media

53 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

How to Leverage Your Personality Type to Nail the Interview

4 Ways to Optimize Your iPad For Business

Mashable Is Seeking a Director of Sales Development

In a Long Distance Relationship? This App Is for You

Weekend Leisure

10 Ways to Re-Live the '90s Online

10 Amazing Slow Motion Videos of Everyday Things

10 Best Inanimate Objects on Twitter

25 Outstanding Kitty-Themed Tumblrs [LOTS OF CATS]

Westworld Robot Self-Destructs [COMIC]

20 Unique 'The Hunger Games' Items on Etsy

7 Best Interactive YouTube Videos

For Love or Money: Does Online Dating Really Work? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Internet-Based Theater Company Lives Between Cyberspace and the Stage

Top 5 Mashable Comments of the Week

How Tech and Social Media Are Changing Travel [INFOGRAPHIC]

15 Hilarious Sports Parody Twitter Accounts

The Zombie Apocalypse Is Happening in a U.K. Shopping Mall [VIDEO]

11 Hilarious 'Mad Men' Parody Twitter Accounts

8 Unexpected Moments From SXSW [PICS]

More About: features, mashable, Weekend recap

Why Do Magazines Look So Terrible on the iPad 3?

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 11:03 PM PDT

As with any high-profile product release, Apple’s new iPad device has been peppered with complaints since reaching consumers’ hands on March 16. Among them: that magazines look terrible on the iPad 3′s high-resolution display.

The complaints were first brought to light by Tumblr blogger Jamie Billett. He pointed out that in the New Yorker‘s iPad app, the text on some pages is rendered as HTML, and the text on other pages is rendered as an image (.png) file. The latter pages now appear “badly aliased” — i.e. conspicuously pixelated — throughout the app because the images haven’t been formatted to accommodate the iPad 3′s 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution, he complains. (The iPad 2, by comparison, has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.)

The New Yorker and other Conde Nast title have taken the heat for looking poor under the new display, but they’re not alone. Titles from other magazine publishers — we looked at Time magazine and Sports Illustrated from Time Inc., and at Esquire and O: The Oprah Magazine from Hearst — all suffered from the same problems.

The only exception? Vogue, which launched its iPad edition the same day the iPad 3 hit stores. The title planned its debut in conjunction with the tablet’s release, and thus was able to optimize for the iPad’s “retina display” ahead of time, a Conde Nast spokesperson told us. The spokesperson added that the company is “working to optimize the rest of our digital edition portfolio over the next few weeks.”

The New Yorker‘s text appears pixelated on the iPad 3 (viewed at 100%).

But what will the ‘optimization’ process entail? How much will it increase file sizes? (We noticed, for instance, that Vogue‘s premiere issue was a full 408 megabytes on the iPad 3, and less than 300 on the iPad 2.) We spoke with Zeke Koch, senior director of product management of Adobe’s digital publishing arm, to find out. Adobe’s software powers all of Conde Nast’s editions for tablets.

Magazine publishers who use Adobe’s software all begin with InDesign to develop layouts, Koch explained. Those layouts can then be exported in three different kinds of formats: as images (.png or .jpg), PDF or HTML. Different kinds of files — images, for instance, or video and audio files — are embedded within those larger file types.

Since magazines began publishing on tablets, “virtually all” publishers have chosen to export their digital editions as PNG (.png) files, Koch said. “The primary reason they did that is because the fidelity is perfect. What you see on the desktop when you’re designing is exactly what you see on the iPad when you’re finished. Images are the fastest thing to load, and if you’re trying to create a quick, effortless browsing experience, images are the way to do that,” he explained.

“That was okay when there was only one screen size — when you were just working with the iPad 1 and 2,” he added. “When the iPad 3 came out, you were now dealing with a device with four times as many pixels.” The iPad 3 applies an anti-aliasing filter to all low-resolution content, which blurs images ever so slightly. As a result, photographs still look about the same iPad 3, but the text looks a lot worse — i.e., visibly blurry, or pixelated.

What Vogue did — and what all other titles will have to do in the coming weeks — is begin exporting their digital editions as PDFs, said Koch.

But what about file size? I pointed out to Koch that Vogue was nearly as large as Wired‘s first issue for the original iPad. Unfortunately, he said, magazine files will be larger for iPad 3 readers because the image and video files need to be delivered at a higher resolution. Owners of first and second-generation iPads will still be able to download smaller, lower-resolution files, however. A magazine that is around 400 megabytes on the iPad 3 will be around 280 megabytes on the iPad 1 and 2, Koch said.

But why not render in HTML? I asked Koch. Wouldn’t that make the files smaller, and give readers the added benefit of selectable text?

Koch claimed that publishing in HTML wouldn’t substantially reduce the file sizes. “In both cases, you have a bunch of words, and descriptions of where things should be, and multimedia. Those multimedia files are still the same size.” He said the big disadvantage with HTML is that it’s “not very good at layout out things predictably and perfectly.” Rather, it’s optimal for helping people create content that will adapt to any size screen.

Ultimately, however, Koch believes most publishers will move to HTML as standards improve and as publishers move to publish on a wider range of tablets.

So there you have it. Magazine readers need not despair about the appearances of their magazines for too much longer, as publishers are working to optimize their editions. The fix is relatively simple: publishers will have to increase the resolution of their image and video files, and export their digital editions as PDFs. iPad 3 owners will have to suffer longer download times, and won’t be able to store as many magazines on their devices as iPad 1 and 2 owners, but that’s the price one pays for a visually stunning reading experience, no?

More About: conde nast, hearst, ipad, ipad 3, magazines, Media, Time Inc

Square Renames Payment App, Improves Android Version

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 09:31 PM PDT

Square announced a series of updates Monday morning, including a new name for its Card Case payment app — now called “Pay with Square” — as well as an upgraded Android app.

Android users can now make hands-free payments with Pay With Square for the first time. An earlier version of Card Case for Android didn’t have geo-fencing, which meant you had to press a button to open a tab instead of just letting it work on its own from your pocket or purse. The app also now has a Yelp-like feature that lets you recommend merchants you like to friends via SMS, Twitter or email. Other new features include a search bar and map view. (To see screenshots of the new app, click on the gallery below.)

Megan Quinn, director of products for Square, says the company isn’t trying to compete with Yelp. “We’re focused on forging meaningful relationships between customers and merchants,” she says. About 75,000 merchants are listed in the Square directory.

Known primarily for its credit card-swiping tool for merchants, Square introduced Card Case last May. The app lets users access a merchant’s menu of products, which is updated in real time. It also highlights the best-selling items in store. The customer can use the app to effectively put purchases on their tab. In practice, that means customers can buy stuff from participating stores merely by using their name.

Landing Screen

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, Square, Square Card Case, trending

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10 Best Inanimate Objects on Twitter

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 07:50 PM PDT

1. @MarsCuriosity

After the popularity of @MarsPhoenix soared, NASA launched the official Twitter account of the Curiosity rover, the star of the next mission to Mars. @MarsCuriosity is due to arrive on the Red Planet in August, giving it plenty of time to tweet.

Click here to view this gallery.

You follow actors, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers and maybe even your mom on Twitter. But what about your toaster? Or maybe a famous painting?

Inanimate objects are tweeting to have their say, but which ones won’t fill your feed with pointless blathering? Check out the gallery for the best tweeting objects we found, and you may find them worthy enough to click “Follow.”

Do you follow inanimate objects or anything else strange on Twitter? Let us know what you’ve discovered in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sodafish.

More About: features, Social Media, Twitter

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15 High Res Wallpapers Perfect for Your New iPad’s Retina Display

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 07:02 PM PDT

1. Aquarium Fish by @RetinaiPadWallpapers

We like this image -- it reminds us of the first iPhone's fish-themed wallpaper.

Click here to view this gallery.

The new iPad’s retina screen is impressive. Apple has crammed an amazing 3.1-million pixels into the tablet’s 9.7-inch display, boasting 44% greater color saturation than the previous model.

We have previously brought you some great apps to showcase that 2,048-by-1,536 resolution display, and now we have some gorgeous wallpapers that will look stunning on your new tablet’s screen.

SEE ALSO: 9 Stunning Examples of the New iPad’s Retina Display

Take a look through our gallery of great images created specifically for your new iPad. They are all free for personal use, so click through the blue title link of each one to download the full 2,048 by 2,048 size. Then head back here and let us know in the comments which ones you chose!

More About: apple, dev and design, features, gallery, ipad, wallpaper

10 Ways to Re-Live the ’90s Online

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 06:45 PM PDT

“Exciting. Confrontational. Visually interesting. Action-oriented. And capable of producing emotional moments.” These are the lines from a script for an American Gladiators commercial from the early ’90s. It’s also a great way to describe the ’90s themselves.

It’s certainly a decade near and dear to our hearts. Many of us straddled the eras before and after the advent of mobile tech and the Internet. It was a truly rad period of innovation. Cell phones gradually migrated from bulky bags to our pockets, gaming went mobile and computing power increased by leaps and bounds. It was so exciting we created new words like “Cowabunga” to describe our elation.

All jokes aside, it signaled a dramatic shift in the way we consumed information. Music videos exploded in popularity. Experimentation with creating websites took off. Fashion ranged from colorful and daring to gloomy and unkept.

Looking back, it was a time of digital naivety, a time when we were still figuring out what it meant to be constantly connected. So if you’re yearning for a simpler time, put on your slap bracelet, lace up your Rollerblades and get Airborne with us down memory lane. You’ll find everything from rat-tails to tight-rolled jeans, all in the beautifully wonky, 4:3 square aspect ratio.

Did we miss something quintessentially ’90s? Let us know in the comments.

Re-Live the Commercials

The VCRchivist has done a great job of compiling a bunch of different commercial breaks from the 90s. Was the entire marketing and advertising industry constantly on vacation during this decade or what?

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: the 90s

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10 Amazing Slow Motion Videos of Everyday Things

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 05:44 PM PDT

We live in a fast-paced world. Maybe that’s why slow motion videos are so appealing to us. Using cameras with ultra-high frame rates reveals details that are usually invisible to the naked eye. In 1878, a camera that could capture images at a higher frame rate even settled a bet between then California Governor, Leland Stanford and some of his friends. The bet rose out of a debate on whether or not all four of a horse’s hooves left the ground while running. Landscape photographer Edward Muybridge put the debate to rest when he produced the pictures to prove that they do in fact leave the ground.

Today, frame rates can exceed 12,000 fps and still capture images in crystal clear HD resolution. Cameras capable of speedy frame rates are employed in commercial applications and in major Hollywood releases. Remember the dream within a dream about a van falling backwards off a bridge in the film, Inception?

If you relished the cut back to the van to see that it had moved another few centimeters, you’ll get a great kick out of the videos we’ve compiled for you here. Prepare yourself to be amazed by the details that will be revealed.

Is slow motion amazing or boring to you? Let us know what you think in the comments.

1. Slow Motion Billiards

Billiards and pool are games that require a decent knowledge of physics and geometry. This video might help you understand what actually happens when you strike a ball or when the ball strikes a rail, leading you to become a more precise - and accomplished - player. Good luck.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: high fps, Slow Motion, slow-mo

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App Maker Brings ‘Benjamin Bunny’ to Life on the iPad

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 04:51 PM PDT

Loud Crow Interactive, Vancouver-based publisher of children’s books for tablet devices, released this week PopOut! The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, the second book in its ‘Peter Rabbit’ series for the iPad.

We were captivated by Loud Crow’s first digital rendition of a Beatrix Potter story, PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and this book [iTunes link] is no less charming.

The original text, illustrations and naturally interactive pop-out features from early editions of the book — think pull tabs, spin wheels and hinged appendages — have been beautifully adapted for the iPad’s touchscreen. The tale is set to soft piano music and read in a pretty English voice. Click on animals to make them fidget and chirp; tap on the onions falling out of Peter’s bag and they’ll blow up and move around the screen. Every page is alive with opportunities for engagement.

Check out a preview of the book below. A downloadable version is available for $5.99 in the App Store.

Choose to read the book yourself or have it read to you. It's also easy to pick up where you left off reading.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: loud crow interactive, peter rabbit

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 02:40 PM PDT

1. Electro-Superbike

Any company with the gumption to call its product "the Ferrari of electric bikes" has our undivided attention, and that's just what EH Line has done with its Street Racer. It's not going to go hundreds of miles per hour, but it can zip you up to 28 mph, and then you can assist with the pedals at the same time. Beyond its speedy road capabilities, it's a trainer, too, letting you ride it in stationary mode while it simulates the hills and valleys of real-world bike riding. And, you can simulate that same terrain while you're riding on flat land. It's pretty light for an electric bike, but its price isn't: $9250. [via Gizmag]

Click here to view this gallery.

Tech took to the air this week, and the result was spectacularly fuel-efficient airliners, a speedy trip from New York to Beijing in two hours, and even birds flying through space in pursuit of their porcine nemesis. Step into the cockpit with us as we fly through that maelstrom and a lot more on this week’s Top 10 Tech.

Beyond that otherworldly excitement, back here on terra firma we found a car that might be too scary to drive, an electric bicycle whose maker compares it to a Ferrari, a monster camera that might show the way to the future, a super-convenient attachment for Android phones, as well as a brand-new version of our favorite software application on the planet.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week

And for our romantic readers, the icing on the cake was probably the most spectacular piece of jewelry we’ve ever seen. It’s been an unusual week, one you won’t want to miss as we’ve narrowed down thousands of possibilities to the Top 10 Tech This Week.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: angry birds, Canon, space, Top 10 Tech, trending

Will Teaching Kids How to Write Software Help Fix Young America?

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 01:57 PM PDT

New York City is a hotbed of technological innovation, but many of its public school students aren't graduating with the skills needed to be a part of "Silicon Alley," as it's known. Scott Schwaitzberg, vice president of Activate, is planning to fix that problem by helping to build a public high school designed to teach the city's youth everything they need to know about writing software and the tech industry.

Schwaitzberg is part of a team that's creating a revolutionary public high school for software engineering in the heart of New York City. Named "The Academy for Software Engineering," the school will admit 500 students in grades 9 through 12 when it opens in the fall of this year. There's a limited screening process: Prospective students attend an information session and sit down with an advisor to be considered for the admissions lottery.

The Academy's main goal is to teach the art and science of coding to students who don't usually consider a career as a software engineer a possibility, including kids who come from less well-off families. Other programs exist in New York City that teach students basic computer skills, but Schwaitzberg believes the city's youth need something more.

"We don't want to teach coding as just a life skill," says Schwaitzberg, "but rather as a career path."

At the school, students will learn in-depth software engineering skills alongside a traditional high school curriculum. The school will also serve as a "training ground" for computer science and software engineering instructors, who will modify, adapt and improve their curricula as the program develops.

Schwaitzberg's mission is to link the school's students with top tech companies through mentorships and internships, giving kids a first-hand look at the inner workings of Silicon Alley before they even graduate. He's working with a team of advisors from top-end tech companies such as Google, Foursquare, Kickstarter and others to integrate the school into New York's tech scene.

"The goal is to really embed the program into the New York City tech community," says Schwaitzberg.

Not every one of the students who graduate from the Academy will be launched into a career or a college program in software engineering, says Schwaitzberg. But each student will learn how to think like a coder — an education that will develop students' mathematical, logic and reasoning abilities, all skills that software engineering relies upon.

Beyond that, Schwaitzberger wants the school to excel to the point where it's considered a role model for education innovation across the country.

"Not every student will be an expert Quality Analysis Engineer at Google, but we will expose them to something unique and create an education model for other cities," says Schwaitzberg. "That's been the goal since day one. Also, if our graduation rate dramatically exceeds that of New York City as a whole and gains a reputation for preparing and exciting kids for a career in software, that's a win."

Schwaitzberg first began working on the idea while he was working on digital initiatives at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office. The plan is part of the Fix Young America campaign, an initiative to help reduce youth unemployment through entrepreneurship.

SEE ALSO: Can We Fix Young America With Technology and Entrepreneurship?

Do you think a public high school to teach kids how to write software code is a good approach for getting more students integrated into the tech community? Should other cities adopt the idea? Sound off in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mediaphotos

More About: education, fixyoungamerica, Social Good, software

Clever App Finally Cracks the Code for Facebook Dating

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 01:03 PM PDT

Huffington Post alumni Rob Fishman and Jeff Revesz launched a matchmaking app for Facebook this week designed to help you meet your friends’ single friends. The app’s feature set is rather limited, but compared to the other Facebook dating apps I’ve seen, Yoke shows the most promise.

Signing up is simple. Unlike most dating sites, you don’t need to set up a profile. Simply select five photos from your profile album you want to share. The rest of your info — i.e., your age, education, hometown, friend network, likes and interests — are automatically pulled from the data you’ve shared with Facebook. Yoke will then begin matching you with people with compatible profile data.

The app doesn’t just set you up with direct matches — i.e. people who went to the same school, or with whom you share the greatest number of likes and friends in common. Rather, it leverages its own and third-party APIs that help find people with similar tastes. So if you list Mozart and Beethoven as likes on your profile, and someone else lists Schubert, the app will still know that you’re a potential match because you have a common interest in classical music. Yoke is also more likely to set you up with people with whom you share more obscure interests, like a little-known band or a favorite bookstore, and with people who are friends with the people you’re close to (i.e., with whom you share lots of friends).

Exploring matches is similar to using OkCupid’s Quickmatch feature. Thumbnails of potential matches appear on a rotating carousel at the top of the app. Each profile displays up to five photos and the interests you have in common. Beneath the profiles appear all of the friends you have in common. Click on their names and you can send them a quick message to ask about the person you’ve been matched up with. If you like someone, select “yoke” to let him or her know, or privately save someone to your favorites. If not, click “next.”

Yoke isn’t just for singles. When you sign up, you have the option to identify yourself as either “single” or “in a relationship.” If you’re in the latter camp, you can still use Yoke to meet people with similar interests, or use it to set up your friends with each other.

As I mentioned previously, Yoke’s featureset is limited but expanding. Fishman tells me that he and his team want to take better advantage of Facebook’s Open Graph to show potential matches that they both listened to the same Spotify song the day previously, or read the same article on The Washington Post that morning. The team also wants to connect to additional services, including Twitter, Foursquare, perhaps even Goodreads, to match people by the people they follow, the places they go and the things they read.

Beyond improved matchmaking functionality, better profile customization is also in the works. Soon, users will be able to fill out a box with more information about who they are and what they’re looking for. A mobile-friendly site and iPhone app are also on the horizon. Personally, I’d like to see better exploration features — search would be a nice addition, as would the ability to filter by criteria such as height.

Yoke is the first in what is likely to be of a series of Facebook apps from Fishman and Revesz’s new company, Kingfish Labs. The New York-based startup raised $500,000 in seed funding from Lerer Ventures and Softbank Capital in August, and plans to raise another round “sooner or later,” Fishman tells me.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, leminuit

More About: Facebook, online dating, trending, yoke

7 Ways to Rescue Your Crucial Social Media Data from Oblivion

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 12:15 PM PDT

The pace of social media has become so rapid that a tweet could get lost in mere seconds. While real-time data has become increasingly important for businesses to keep up with trends and provide accurate reports, your company’s history is still relevant — the tweets you sent six months to a year ago could provide important insights. You want to save that data, don’t you?

SEE ALSO: The Return of Real-Time Social Environments

If you’re churning out dozens of messages per day on social media, old tweets and posts on Facebook can quickly fall into the abyss. We know the Library of Congress archives tweets, but what about the average small business owner?

We’ve rounded up six ways to rescue your social data from the Internet’s point of no return. Here is how you can rescue your content.

1. Google Takeout

Google offers a built-in archive service for many of its applications, such as Google+, Google Docs, Contacts or Google Voice.

If you're a heavy Google user, it can take a bit of time to download, however it does let you pick and choose which services you want to archive.

Click here to view this gallery.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Laura @Pistachio Fitton of HubSpot all-in-one marketing software

Image courtesy of Flickr, vpickering

More About: data, Facebook, features, Google, Social Media, Twitter

25 Outstanding Kitty-Themed Tumblrs [LOTS OF CATS]

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 11:25 AM PDT

1. Cats. Where They Do Not Belong

From the creator: "I decided there is not enough internet space devoted to pictures of cats trying to fit into anything they can, so I have graciously decided to take on this challenge."

We thank you.

Click here to view this gallery.

If you thought dogs were the most popular pets on Tumblr, then think again. Canines fall short compared to their feline cousins who have a ton of Tumblrs dedicated to them.

We’ve found a wide range of content for cat fanciers, from the very niche (cats in neck ties) to the populist (f*** yeah cats) via the downright odd (cat scientists of the 1960s).

SEE ALSO: The Million Dollar Question: Why Does the Web Love Cats?

Take a look through our selection in our slide show. For fear of imploding the Interwebs, we’ve limited our list to 25, so shout out in the comments below, letting us know of any blogs you follow that we haven’t included.

More About: BLOGS, cats, features, gallery, humor, Lists, Social Media, trending, tumblr

Westworld Robot Self-Destructs [COMIC]

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 11:02 AM PDT

We’ve heard about robots running amok at Westworld, lashing out at innocent bystanders and unsuspecting tourists in the 1973 sci-fi flick, but here’s our chief cartoonist and editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff’s take on what happens when those robots turn on themselves, perhaps giving away their secrets prematurely.

Could this comic signal the beginning of a heretofore unknown self-destruct sequence, saving us from our robot overlords?

By the way, if you haven’t seen Westworld, it’s a classic, written and directed by Michael Chrichton, who also wrote the Jurassic Park novel and screenplay. Highly recommended.

More About: comics, robots

20 Unique ‘The Hunger Games’ Items on Etsy

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 09:57 AM PDT

Do you want to own a unique piece of The Hunger Games?  The popularity of The Hunger Games film has created a boom around mockingjay-related merchandise.  Instead of going to your local retail store and purchasing a mass-produced product, check out these The Hunger Games-inspired items created by the online community at Etsy.

Etsy is filled with unique and handmade products from all over the world. Due to the nature of Etsy, some items are one-of-a-kind and may be sold out.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Reviews The Hunger Games in 140 Characters or Less

Would you want to own any of these Hunger Games inspired items?

Mockingjay Sculpture

This stunning mockingjay sculpture is crafted from pages from The Hunger Games books. Available from the BeckyJArts Etsy store

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Thumbnail courtesy of flickr, KendraKaptures

More About: Etsy, Movies, the hunger games, trending

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7 Best Interactive YouTube Videos

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 09:15 AM PDT

Interactive YouTube videos have been around for a while. Dating back to at least five years ago, users and viewers have been using annotations to choose their own paths on adventures, learn something new or even take part in a short film.

Last year we covered some of the best interactive videos up until that time. Here, we’ve weeded through lame, unnecessarily offensive and Justin Bieber-heavy videos (seriously, what’s with all the Bieber interactive videos?) to find recent projects that allow for worthwhile interplay while you’re surfing for visual entertainment.

Which interactive videos did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

1. Mad Men: The Game

In anticipation of the hit show's fifth season, the Fine Brothers released this 8-bit game on March 21. Its main appeal is in the multitude of inside jokes for those familiar with the show (my personal favorite is when Don and Pete are racing to Cooper's office and they dodge a secretary riding a John Deere ride-on mower).

Warning: There are numerous spoilers, so if you haven't watched the first four seasons, we don't advise playing it just yet.

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Image courtesy of iStockphoto, pressureUA.

More About: features, games, interactive videos, trending, YouTube

Instagram Sign-Up Page Now Beckons Android Users

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 08:01 AM PDT

The day when Android users will first lay hands on the red hot photo-sharing app Instagram just got even closer. Late Saturday, a sign-up page appeared on Instagram’s website, inviting all those of the Android persuasion to sign up to be notified when the app is first available for that OS.

The company still isn’t saying when the long-awaited Android Instagram app will actually become available. But now, at least those eager to try out the free app can take some sort of action that brings them closer to Instagram.

But what’s the big deal with Instagram, anyway? Why’s this so-far Apple-only app so heavily anticipated for the Android platform, even when there’s a plethora of Instagram alternatives already available? In my experience, it’s just plain fun. It’s almost like a game to try to create artistic photographs in this tiny medium, only available on one platform, in one size, and in one aspect ratio. There’s a huge horde of users already embracing Instagram, far exceeding the critical mass that would mark it as a social extravaganza. And it’s so easy and seamless to share with Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Technically, Instagram is not exactly groundbreaking. Its filters are not as expansive nor capable as you can get in other apps, but Instagram levels the playing field for everyone, functioning as a great equalizer for photographers spanning the spectrum from top professional to the rankest of amateurs.

Perhaps another reason Instagram has that cachet is because of its Apple iOS exclusivity. Will the port to Android take away some of the appeal of Instagram? Certainly not for Android users, but perhaps it will cause some Apple aficionados to turn their noses up slightly more than usual.

More About: instagram, trending

5 Stealthy Ways to Find a New Job with Social Media

Posted: 25 Mar 2012 07:16 AM PDT

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.

Searching for a new job while you're still employed can be tricky — and almost two-thirds of employed individuals are open to looking for a new job. While you certainly want to leverage social media as much as possible, you don't want to jeopardize your current job by making it obvious that you're looking for a new position.

However, that doesn't mean you should avoid social media during your job search. In fact, 54% of social media users employed Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter in their hunt for work in the last year, according to a recent infographic by Jobvite, and one in six found his last job through an online social network.

Here are five ways to show you're a valuable professional (in order to make employers come to you) without telling everyone you're on the hunt.

1. Raise Your Personal Visibility (Carefully)

Spruce up your existing networking profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, among other networking sites. Build a strong resume by adding more content and information. Make sure each profile is as complete as possible — including key skills, experience and education — to ensure you show up in search results.

Build your networks on these sites and re-connect with people you've known for a while, such as your supervisor from your high school job or your mom's cousin who works in your field. These people might be your "in" at one of your target companies — so keeping up those connections is important to your job search.

2. Don't Broadcast Your Job Desires

One easy way to blow your cover is to put “Seeking a position as…” or “Looking for a new job in…” on your profile. This might seem obvious, but some job seekers think their current employer won't see their profiles, so they share that they are job searching with their whole network. Instead of blatantly telling contacts that you're on the job hunt, stay visible by logging in and participating on the site on a regular basis. You can show your expertise by sharing relevant content, joining and participating in industry groups and communities, and by keeping in touch with your network connections.

3. Understand Your Company's Social Media Policy

The way you conduct yourself online has the potential to affect your current employers — and they're fully aware of what goes on. Many employers now have a social media policy written out for current employees, so take a close look at the policy to ensure you're not doing anything online that might result in disciplinary action.

​For example, Walmart wants its employees only to focus on customer service on social media tools such as Twitter. Here's part of their social media policy: "Walmart wants to make sure its employees who are ‘official’ Twitter users for Walmart are identified as such, stick to customer replies, and focus on this alone. Walmart’s Twitter users should only talk about Walmart and not engage in unnecessary banter."

4. Monitor Your Contact and Privacy Settings

On LinkedIn, you can choose several options in your contact settings, including "career opportunities" and "job inquiries." It may raise a red flag for your current employer if you suddenly check off those options and display that you're open to opportunities publicly. Many people also assume if you update your LinkedIn profile, you must be looking for a job. To avoid signaling a red flag to coworkers or your boss, update your profile actively even when you're not looking for a job, or manage your settings and disable broadcasting your updates.

On a similar note, privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter might be important if you're job searching on the stealth. If you plan on talking about it with friends or family online, you need to make sure that your current employer, clients or co-workers cannot see what you're saying. (Not sure how to navigate the latest Facebook privacy settings? Check out this privacy guide for more details.)

5. Don't Job Search at Work

Many employers monitor email, voicemail and web surfing. Bottom line: Don't bring your job search into your current job. Not only will it be embarrassing if you get caught, but it can also be harmful to your job search if you're using your work email or phone number. If you quit your current job (or get fired), employers won't be able to get in touch with you with the contact information you've provided. It's best to use your personal cellphone number and personal email address. You might also consider including these on your social media profiles if you originally signed up with work information.

Social media is an amazing resource for connecting with other people, sharing information, and learning about job opportunities. Although you might need to be a bit more careful if you're job searching while still employed, the above tips can help you leverage these tools to land your next gig.

What do you think? How else can stealth job seekers show their expertise through social media?

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, iPandastudio

More About: job search series, job seekers, social media jobs, trending

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