Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Fisker Atlantic Luxury Hybrid Sedan Revealed”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Fisker Atlantic Luxury Hybrid Sedan Revealed”

Fisker Atlantic Luxury Hybrid Sedan Revealed

Posted: 04 Apr 2012 01:44 AM PDT

Fisker Atlantic

Fisker has unveiled a new electric hybrid car at the New York Auto Show, the Fisker Atlantic luxury sedan.

Unlike Fisker’s all-electric supercar, the Fisker Karma, the Atlantic is a far more conventional affair, though the details are still very scarce.

It’ll sport Fisker’s second-generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) powertrain, which includes a four-cylinder gasoline engine. We don’t know the exact range on electric power alone, but Fisker claims the EVer technology is designed to reduce the “range anxiety” that comes with an all-electric powertrain.

The design of the prototype exposed at the New York Auto Show, which Fisker calls “dramatic,” should be very close to what the production version of the car looks.

Price and date of availability are also unknowns at this point, but Autoblog has heard the car will be priced similarly to an Audi A5 or an upper-end BMW 3.

The most important takeaway from this unveiling is Fisker’s firm commitment to actually bringing the car to the market. Fisker Karma has been receiving a lot of bad press recently: The first 239 units got recalled in December 2011, and a later unit broke down during a Consumer Report test. Fisker would do well to bring a more reliable car to the market as soon as possible.

Fisker Atlantic

Fisker Atlantic

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More About: car, Fisker, Fisker Atlantic, trending

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Jeremy Lin Holds Post-Surgery Facebook Chat, Throws Up in the Middle of It

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 08:38 PM PDT

“just woke up. lets do this Q&A before i get on my video games lol”

That’s how famed basketball star Jeremy Lin began his online Facebook Q&A just hours after undergoing knee surgery. As of this writing, nearly 50,000 people had liked the status update.

An MRI last Monday revealed the New York Knicks point guard, who catapulted into sports superstardom this past February, had a “chronic, small meniscus tear” on his left knee. Though Lin waited several days before surgery in hopes that he would still be able to play with the tear, he eventually went under the knife. Not only did numerous media outlets announce the surgery’s success early Tuesday, but Lin himself took to Facebook and proclaimed his road to recovery with this post-surgery photo:

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Lin’s Facebook page

The numbers and demographics of the Facebook chat are pretty astounding. According to The Wall Street Journal, 90% of participants were Asian and 50% were evangelical Christian. The average age of the chatters was 15, with males and females equally represented. And the thousands of participants asked more than 8,000 questions — a rate of about two per second.

Lin answered a range of questions including his biggest pet peeves, the video games he plays, how he stays humble and plans for rehabilitation.

With the sheer volume of participants and the rate of participation, the session turned out to be a “tremendously disorienting experience,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

And it wasn’t just that way for the viewers. Lin, still reeling after his surgery, had to interrupt his own chat for some post-surgery puking — which he announced on Facebook as well:

“WOW just threw up in the middle of the Q&A lol. time to get some rest but before i go just wanna say much love to all you fans! thanks to you guys who make MSG the best arena and thanks to all the NY media/beat writers for all your hard work in getting information to the fans. goodnight!”

For someone who initiated his Facebook Timeline a little late in the game, these online interactions reveal a high level of comfort. And Lin’s fans seem to love his ease as well. More than 43,000 people liked his vomiting update alone.

SEE ALSO: Jeremy Lin Gets a Facebook Profile. What Took Him So Long?

Lin also maintains a Twitter account, although he has more fans on Facebook than followers on Twitter.

It’s expected he will need about six weeks to recover from his knee operation. That means Lin will be out for the rest of the season, although he did announce during the chat that he’ll post YouTube videos documenting his recovery. Fans, if you have any ideas for that, he says he wants to know.

What do you think of Jeremy Lin’s online interaction with his fans? Sound off in the comments.

More About: Facebook, sports

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Compare Energy Use With Opower Facebook App

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 08:23 PM PDT

"power" "utilities" "energy" "power lines"

Social media platforms have motivated users to compete in a variety of ways, but can Facebook motivate users to battle with friends to earn the most energy-efficient badge of honor?

The National Resource Defense Council, an international nonprofit environmental organization, sure hopes so. On Tuesday, the NRDC and Opower teamed up with Facebook to launch an app to help social media users lower their energy use by competing on Facebook.

Energy consumption initiatives led by technology companies have not caught on in the past. Google PowerMeter and Microsoft’s 2009 Hohm initiative never took off. Google stopped offering PowerMeter last September and Microsoft plans to do the same in May 2012.

Opower’s social energy app developers are well aware of the challenge and think their new app could be the way to get people to care about saving energy.

“Motivating consumers to take action—something that has traditionally been a challenge—is the key to unlocking this potential,” NRDC said in a statement.

Opower users can compare energy use with their friends on Facebook to find out who has the lowest energy consumption. The app ranks Facebook friends to see who is the most energy efficient. Users can also form groups to compete with other teams. In addition, app users can see how their home energy consumption compares to homes of similar size via a database containing millions of homes’ energy use.

“If every household in the U.S. cut back on electricity use by a mere 1%, that alone would cut more than $1.6 billion off of Americans' annual energy bills. That's the same as taking more than 1.2 million homes off-the-grid all together," NRDC attorney Brandi Colander said in a statement. "This important tool will enhance energy literacy, making our daily energy choices more transparent and empowering people to make smarter, more economical decisions."

The competitive app is a resource for Facebook users to find ideas for how to use less energy. Users are encouraged to chat on the app about ways they’ve saved energy. The creators of the app hope users will share their energy use, rank, group participation, and tips on their Facebook pages.

Anyone can use the app, but 16 utility companies allow users to automatically upload their energy consumption. This incentive will make the app easier to use for more than 20 million households across the U.S., including for people in New York City and Palo Alto, Calif. Those whose energy companies are not partnered with the app will have to manually enter in energy bill totals and other statistics.

Social media users love to see how they stack up to their friends on Foursquare, but will this app motivate people to care about the environment and trimming a few bucks off utilities? Tell us in the comments.

Photos courtesy of iStock, ZU_09 and Opower.

More About: Facebook, Social Good

Porsche Unveils High-Tech SUV, Sleek Sports Car to U.S. Market

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 08:05 PM PDT

Porsche Boxster 2013

Porsche has revealed its third-generation 2013 Boxster, receiving its first all-new design since its debut in 1996.

Click here to view this gallery.

Ahead of the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Porsche introduced on Tuesday its first diesel-powered vehicle to the U.S. market, as well as the latest model in its ultra-sleek Boxster sports car line.

The Cayenne Diesel SUV — which will debut in the U.S. in September — is extremely energy efficient. In fact, it’s said to be 30% more fuel efficient than an equivalent gasoline engine and travel 28 miles per gallon of fuel.

“You can take the Cayenne Diesel from New York to Indianapolis about 740 miles away on a single tank of fuel,” Porsche president and CEO Detlev von Platen told Mashable during the company’s New York International Auto Show kickoff event.

Powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine and delivering 240 horsepower, the Cayenne Diesel can go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and reach a speed of 135 mph.

It was designed to meet strict emission standards and includes selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to help reduce NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions.

SEE ALSO: 7 High-Tech Cars that will Save You Gas Money [PHOTOS]

“The technology of diesel has become much cleaner over the years and the perception of it in the U.S. has also changed in time,” von Platen said. “The Cayenne Diesel is actually a very quiet and light car — much lighter than its competition.”

The Cayenne Diesel was introduced in Europe in 2009 and will join its existing sister line of vehicles in the U.S., including the Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid and Cayenne Turbo models. The base price for the Cayenne Diesel is $55,750.

Porsche also revealed its third-generation 2013 Boxster, which received its first all-new design since its debut in 1996.

The 2013 Boxster features a 260-horsepower flat-six engine, while the Boxster S — priced at $10,000 more — comes with a 315-horsepower engine. The vehicles also tout a longer, lower and wider chassis, which is the internal frame, to help the car weigh about 77 lbs. less than its former model.

Boasting a fully-electric convertible top, the Boxster will be introduced to Porsche dealer showrooms later this summer. The Boxster will be priced at $49,500, while the Boxster S will cost about $60,900.

Like many car manufacturers today, Porsche is also adding new features to its internal entertainment and navigation systems.

It will introduce HD Radio to its new cars in 2013 and is working on introducing a feature that allows vehicle owners to take photos from their phone and display them on the navigation screen.

“We are focusing on new technologies and entertainment within the car, but first and foremost, we focus on the car itself,” von Platen said. “It’s important to introduce technologies like the automatic start and stop function, which saves a good amount of fuel economy, before we narrow in on the screen size we want to introduce for internal entertainment.”

However, he noted that adding new technologies within the car for entertainment purposes is still top of mind.

“It doesn’t mean we’re not interested in it though — we’re very interested in it,” von Platen said. “We are always looking toward innovation and we will continue to do so in the future.”

More About: cars, eco-friendly, energy efficient, green

StarCast: Digital Auditions Changing How Aspiring Actors Get Noticed

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 07:50 PM PDT

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.

Name: StarCast Auditions

Quick Pitch: Actors can be noticed by top producers without leaving their house.

Genius Idea: Submit online auditions and top casting directors will evaluate and give feedback on actors’ performance. In addition, the best performances will be promoted on StarCast’s website so Hollywood can easily discover new, young talent.

Gary Beer wants to help undiscovered performers be recognized just like he did when he had a hand in creating the Sundance Film Festival in 1985, revolutionizing the independent film industry.

The former founding CEO of Robert Redford’s Sundance Group has started a new venture he believes will help young talent land jobs and gain feedback from the industry’s top professionals. In late 2011, Beer joined forces with Showtime and Viacom founder Jules Haimovitz and former Polygram TV COO David Hope to launch StarCast Auditions, an online platform that helps up-and-coming actors show off their talent and network with industry professionals.

The trio was inspired to start the site after discussing the difficulties of discovering legitimate talent. Talent agents don’t have time to search YouTube for the next greatest actor, so that’s where StarCast comes in. Reviewers who have cast and worked with household names such as George Clooney, Orlando Bloom and Anne Hathaway weed through the online talent and select the best.

“Basically there was nothing other than standing in line for an open call that would give people the opportunity to be seen,” Beer said. “We set out to build a new kind of platform with the idea that professional casting directors could look at.”

Scripts are posted on StarCast every two weeks. Aspiring actors choose a script, then self-record and upload a video of themselves performing. Top casting directors watch all of the videos and give each person an evaluation.

Reviewers pick the best performances based on the entries submitted. Then, the best performers are featured on StarCast’s website, giving the winners exposure to casting directors, talent agents, mangers and producers. So far, no one has landed a big movie or TV role, but StarCast executives believe it’s only a matter of time before someone does.

Beer said the site doesn’t have any direct competition — all of the other acting sites provide listing services, but no online evaluation.

“We are helping provide fresh faces,” Beer said. “StarCast may eliminate the need for open-call auditions for minor roles, but it will more likely be supplemental to the casting call rather than a replacement.”

More than 3,200 users have signed up to post auditions to StarCast since it launched in December. StarCast has a large following on social media as well, withmore than 20,000 Likes on Facebook and nearly 20,000 Twitter followers. StarCast is free to users while it’s still in beta. Once it is out of beta, users will pay $10 to $15 to submit a video.

Check out some of the talent that has been recognized for best performances on StarCast.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, MicroWorks

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: auditions, bizspark, Hollywood, Movies, spark of genius series

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Fly Baseball Star Brian Wilson’s Beard on This Awesome Airplane [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 07:27 PM PDT

It’s a beard! It’s a plane! It’s Brian Wilson’s beard on a plane!

A Virgin America aircraft that began regularly scheduled flights on Tuesday has a painted-on homage to the San Francisco Giants closer’s bushy beard. And there’s a social media tie-in too; travelers who spot the plane — dubbed Fly Bye Baby — then tweet a photo to @VirginAmerica with the hashtag #FlyTheBeard will qualify for a chance to win free airline tickets.

The Airbus Airbus A320 also features a Giants logo emblazoned toward the rear of the plane, the result of a multiyear marketing partnership between the Major League Baseball club and Virgin America.

In keeping with the promotion’s social media theme, Wilson’s beard long had its own Twitter account, @BeardOfBrian.

Check out the video above to see the bearded airliner in action.

Do you think this is a cool promotional idea or not? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Advertising, Marketing, sports, Twitter

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Hang Ten! How the History of Surfing Went Digital

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 07:11 PM PDT

For the typical land-locked folk, all one needs to learn about surfing can be found on the Wikipedia entry for surfing. The page is filled with a bulleted history, surfing physics, maneuvers, dangers, locations and of course, a photo of the correct way to make the universal surfing Shaka sign with one's hand.

But for a surf enthusiast, this Wikipedia digital surfing history is far from complete. And any other general web search of the term "surfing" nets more news, less history, delivering dissatisfying results for the true surfing historian – until now.

In November 2012, Matt Warshaw, 51, the published author of 2003's The Encyclopedia of Surfing made a digital leap in the name of surfing history.

When it was first published in print, the book instantly became a standard desk reference, with its 1,600 surfing entries. It was named by Amazon as the number-two sports book of 2003.

Hang Ten: From Print to Digital

But Warshaw decided to break out of the print publication model and take his encyclopedia digital. He began the process of creating a rich, historical web archive of the sport, a living, breathing document that will survive the shifting digital sands of time.

However, his traditional publisher wasn’t interested in investing in these digitization efforts. Warshaw — a former Surfer magazine editor and legendary surf journalist — recognized a new source of funding: the global surf community that had purchased his print copies for years.

Warshaw launched a Kickstarter project for the digitization of the Encyclopedia of Surfing. After receiving explosive social media support from insider surf publications, celebrities and the industry in general, the tight-knit community dived deep into its pockets. Within eight days Warshaw's project had reached its fundraising goal.

There are many similarities between the Wikipedia surfing entry and Warshaw's print EOS: formal style, consistency from page to page and finite entries, all qualities which common to traditional reference style. 

However, only a seasoned industry insider can truly deliver to an audience he knows well. EOS is slightly elitist, which is what the hierarchy of surfing society expects. But Warshaw "made it a point, whenever possible, to lighten things up. An R-rated quote here and there from the surfers, a bit of mild humor, and well-chosen anecdote."

Warshaw is nostalgic, though. He loves that, in print, "the sport, for a moment, was kind of set in stone." On the other hand, he understands that in the current digital landscape, a lot of today’s information is dated by the time it hits the bookshelves. With the Encyclopedia of Surfing he hopes to feed the true seeker his or her daily digital dose of historical surf culture.

A Funding and Community Revolution for the Surf "Creative"

Conventionally, creative surf projects have been funded by the larger industry lifestyle brands, but with lower revenues the past few years, the once hefty monetary lifeline suddenly has zero budget to dish out. On the other hand, creatives are starting to veer away from the over-branded corporation support anyway, in favor of more artistic freedom.

The independent artists, filmmakers and authors in the surf world quickly noticed Warshaw's success. They’ve launched a flurry of Kickstarter projects over the past few months, and many have raised the support they desperately needed. Kickstarter projects almost always give tangible objects or value back to donors who contribute to a project. As luck would have it, surf enthusiasts love to collect imagery, film, etc. Merely offering some return value to the Kickstarter donor goes a long way.

WAX magazine looked straight to its potential subscribers. It offered donors who pledged $25 or more a free copy of the magazine’s first issue. Soon, it had raised the $15,000 production expense price tag needed for the first print, which focuses on urban surf environments.

Cyrus Sutton, online entertainment pioneer and founder of, successfully funded his 2012 production budget for an original short content web series. He offers the content — a surfing meets DIY, health and environmental awareness series — completely free to his audience, in the spirit of sharing the digital aloha.

Taking hints from #WhileWeWatch — a social media study of Occupy Wall Street — Thomas Brookins, a self-funded filmmaker who admittedly lost money on his first surf film project, has changed his strategy. Brookins is actively engaging the surf community over social media platforms to pull initial funding for his Kickstarter project, a film called Fire & Water. The documentary details the life of Don “Gums” Eichin, a pioneering surfer of the 1960s who became one of New York City’s brave firefighters, and has inspired many surfing souls in the urban playground to take positions of public service.

Getting the word out is crucial to all of these campaigns. The surfing community has proven that the consumer is happy to support the livelihood of these digital crafts, especially when the final content created is made available for free. These creative pioneers have taken to social media and Kickstarter to create awareness for their projects, and have netted consistent financial support. Their industry and community have created a funding model that other creative industries should follow.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, EpicStockMedia

More About: crowdfunding, digital publishing, kickstarter, Social Media, sports

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Why ‘Slacktivists’ Are More Active Than You Think [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 06:32 PM PDT

From SOPA to Trayvon Martin, KONY 2012 to the ‘Bully’ movie, causes are all the rage in the social space this year.

Yet many people would argue that social media campaigns lack the action component of live activism — dubbing those who sign up for them “slacktivists.”

Sortable created this infographic, which looks at the trend of sharing, posting and tweeting to make a difference.

Sortable says slacktivists are twice as likely to volunteer, twice as likely to ask for donations, twice as likely to take part in an event and four times as likely to encourage others to sign a petition or contact a politician.

SEE ALSO: KONY 2012 May Be Flawed, But Slacktivism Isn't the Enemy

The infographic points out that there is strength in numbers. But do you agree? Do you think slacktivism deserves its poor reputation? Sound off in the comments.

More About: kony 2012, Slacktivism

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Nokia Lumia 900: Best Windows Phone Ever [REVIEW]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 06:00 PM PDT


There’s a lot riding on the Nokia Lumia 900. While Windows Phones until now have generally been capable if not outstanding devices, the Lumia 900 brings Microsoft‘s mobile platform to a new level. Not only does it add a super-fast LTE connection from AT&T, but it’ll also serve as a flagship device for Nokia and Microsoft, at least until Windows Phone 8 devices come later in the year.

I’ve been using the Lumia 900 for the past week, and it’s a great smartphone. It’s also an excellent example of just how far the Windows Phone platform has come since its debut a year and a half ago.

Good Windows Phone apps used to be in extremely short supply, but I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the same apps that I use regularly on iOS in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Foursquare? Check. eBay? Check. Spotify? It’s there. Readability? Yep. Kindle? Got it. Pulse? Totally. There’s even Foodspotting, yo.

Still, there’s no Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard or Hulu Plus. So the Marketplace — recently clocked at 65,000 apps to the iPhone’s 600,000 — certainly has some catching up to do.

But if you’re not already locked into another platform, it’s reassuring to know Windows Phone has the essentials covered.

Metro Stretches Out

Most of those apps look gorgeous on the Lumia 900′s 4.3-inch OLED screen. Indeed, the increasing sizes on today’s smartphones are perfect for Windows Phone’s Metro interface. Its design favors big fonts and splash layouts that stretch to the screen’s edges and beyond.

Windows Phone works best when it’s got lots of real estate to work with.

For example, Foursquare makes the multiple menus in the app feel like one giant poster. My friends, activity and checkins are all partitioned into pretty columns. The iOS and Android versions look claustrophobic by comparison (see below).


The seamless Metro-inspired design isn’t automatic, however, and your mileage will vary from app to app. Most apps from indie developers are pretty blah.

The design occasionally trips itself up. Metro presents its iconography as if it were as familiar as street signs, showing symbols with no labels. It’s pretty easy to pick the wrong function, especially if it’s your first time launching the app.

When navigating, you should proceed with caution, especially in social apps. Shares and check-ins can happen before you know what you’re doing.

Begging to Be Touched

Pretty design is one thing, but usability is another. Windows Phone begs to be touched, swiped and pinched, even more than iOS or Android. The big layouts practically beg you to see what’s on the next screen.

Here’s where the Lumia 900′s 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor shines. It’s only a single-core design (Microsoft doesn’t yet allow multi-core chips on Windows Phones), but it was more than enough to keep up as I pushed and pulled menus with my fingers. The whole interface feels alive as you touch it.

Besides the great UI, Nokia offers up some special apps to Lumia owners. Probably most useful is Nokia Drive, a free turn-by-turn navigation service that works with Nokia Maps (not Bing Maps, which are also pretty).

Nokia has also created dynamic Metro apps for CNN and ESPN that look fantastic, especially when it comes to video.

The CNN app highlights one of Windows Phone’s differentiators: live tiles. The photo from the most recent top story in the app is highlighted on the app’s icon on your home screen.

That’s great, but there’s no headline or even a slug to help guide the user. What, for example, is this picture of Barack Obama supposed to signify?

Live tiles have a lot of potential — but few apps use them, and those that do need work.

Nuts & Bolts

Back to the hardware. This is a really well-made phone; even though the screen is 0.8 inches larger than an iPhone’s, it doesn’t feel large in your hand.

That’s partly thanks to the polycarbonate casing, which is smooth but provides an excellent grip. Nokia offers bumpers that can better protect it, but it’s pretty durable. I don’t know why you’d want to cover it up. The camera is 8 megapixels, and to my eye the quality is on par with the iPhone 4S, though it records at “only” 720p resolution.

The Lumia 900′s screen shows off AMOLED’s strengths — bright colors and true blacks that make icons and artwork pop. The screen also uses anti-reflection optics to reduce its reflectance.

The upshot: a screen that’s much easier to see in bright sunlight. You can see just how much in the gallery below.

Finally, there’s that LTE connection. I managed to get download speeds up to 28.4 megabits per second here in the Flatiron district of New York City.

That’s pretty amazing, especially when you consider our office Wi-Fi typically got about 9 Mbps. Puttering along at AT&T’s “4G” HSPA+ speeds, my iPhone 4S maxed out at 1.9 Mbps.

Lumia Rises

The Nokia Lumia 900, which will be in stores April 8 for the tidy sum of $99.99 (with contract), is by far the best Windows Phone ever made. Not only does it have a great screen for Metro apps, it has the hardware to really deliver on the experience they promise.

This is the device that Microsoft needs to show off how good Windows Phone can be. Sure, you don’t get Instagram (yet), but the world of possibility it opens is unlike anything else out there.

Nokia Lumia 900, Home Screen

The Nokia Lumia 900 ($99.99 from AT&T with contract) is the first Windows Phone to have a high-speed LTE network connection.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: LTE, Lumia, lumia 900, Nokia, review, windows phone

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Strike a Pose: Rachel Zoe Invests in Fashion App

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 05:30 PM PDT

Amid the fashion inspiration, advice and bookmarking apps that have wrangled for the attention of shoppers over the past two years, a few leaders are beginning to emerge.

Last month, Pinterest-lookalike Fancy stepped more directly into retail by beginning to process transactions directly on its site. Fashism, a style feedback app popular among teenagers, went a step further, opening up an online shop that quickly began selling out of merchandise.

Now outfit-sharing app Pose has seen a quick rise in interest — both from users and investors — thanks to savvy integrations with Facebook’s Open Graph and well-known tastemakers.

One of those well-known tastemakers, celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe (pictured), is now an investor alongside her husband and business partner, Rodger Berman.

Zoe has only been uploading photos to the app, which is available on iOS, Android and Facebook, since the beginning of the year, but has already amassed around 200,000 followers.

She’s also brought many of her existing followers onto Pose’s platform.

It’s one thing to become involved in the app, another to invest in it. In an interview with Mashable, Berman said he and his wife invested in part because it was a promising business, and in part because they like to support LA-based startups that fuse fashion, technology and media.

App developer Mobile Roadie, trip-planning app Trippy and discount retail site are among their other investments in the space.

“Online sharing, a la Pinterest, is obviously a bit trend right now, and we’re hoping Pose is going to be the leader in fashion for that purpose,” Berman said of their decision to invest in Pose.

“People are posting what they like and tagging it, and what’s next, you’ll buy it. Eventually [Pose] will get into commerce.”

Of Pose’s push into commerce, CEO Dustin Rosen would only say that the company wants to move “past inspiration towards actual shopping.” Whether that will mean driving sales through third-party retailers, developing its own transactional platform or building out a store isn’t yet clear.

“What we don’t want to do is push something down people’s throats. We want it to be a natural progression,” Rosen added.

Rosen wouldn’t disclose the number of signups Pose has received, although he did point out that the Facebook app had 290,000 registered users and that user signups have increased tenfold since Facebook Timeline was released.

He also said that 40 million poses are viewed per month across Pose’s apps.

Several of Pose’s top users, including blogger Leandra Medine and model Coco Rocha, have followers in the 100,000 range.

Image via Rachel Zoe’s Pose account

More About: pose, rachel zoe, rodger berman

Beatles 2.0? These 15 Fab YouTube Covers Could Have Them Beat [VIDEOS]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 05:02 PM PDT

Rumors that the Beatles would reform tantalized music fans for years after the Fab Four’s breakup in 1970. Now get ready for a new round of will-they-or-won’t-they whispers — but this time about the Beatles’ sons forming a band.

James McCartney, son of Paul, told the BBC’s website that he had discussed the idea with Sean Lennon, Dhani Harrison and Zak Starkey, fellow scions of the Beatle lineage. “Sean seemed to be into it, Dhani seemed to be into it,” McCartney said.

While Zak, son of Ringo, didn’t seem to be keen, McCartney added: “I’d be happy to do it … you’ll have to wait and see.”

The BBC reporter suggested the name “Beatles: The Next Generation”, which sounds a little too Star Trek for our tastes. (Beatles 2.0, perhaps?)

If the prospective junior Beatles do decide to come together on stage, they may need to consider the competition. No, not professional Beatlesque bands with big production values, but the thousands of eager amateurs on YouTube.

Engaging, energetic, and surprisingly tuneful, these keepers of the Beatle flame are bringing the band’s music back down to a more human scale. Call it the digital Cavern.

We’ve collected 15 of our favorites. Did we miss any of yours? Let us know in the comments.

From Me To You (Walk off the Earth)

Best known for their single-guitar cover video of "Somebody I Used to Know", Walk off the Earth has a plethora of Beatles tunes in their cover song catalog. Here's one of the Fab Four's early hits.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Music, the beatles, YouTube

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iPhone Case Helps Players Play Safely

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 04:11 PM PDT

A new case hitting the market soon will help owners protect a little more than their iPhone. Called "Playa case," the iPhone case has a special compartment in the rear that can hold two condoms.

Designed by Annex products, this isn’t the company’s first interesting iPhone case. Annex has previously created two different cases as part of Kickstarter projects. Openacase, a case with a built-in bottle opener, and the Quad Lock case that can be mounted a variety of different locations.

According to a video distributed by the company, the case was the result of a mishap with a young lady’s parents, who were able to see the outline of a condom in a young man’s wallet when he came to visit. Playa case supposedly keeps things on the down-low with parents, by hiding condoms in the back of a phone in a case with "Playa" written on it.

"Annex Products has always prided itself on developing strong, reliable protection solutions for the iPhone," says the company’s co-owner, Robert Ward. "With the Playa Case, we have taken protection to another level, for the iPhone user, and not just the phone itself."

The polycarbonate case is designed specifically for the iPhone 4/4S with the goal of making "protection never farther away than your fingertips."

The case will be available in the summer or 2012 for $29.95 in three colors: black, white and pink, each with a "Playa" emblazoned on the rear. If you’re interested in owning one, the company is currently taking signups to "be among the first to become a Playa" on its website.

Would you buy a Playa case? Let us know in the comments.

More About: apple, condom, iphone, kickstarter, Playa

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Follow the Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C. Primaries on Social Media

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 03:26 PM PDT

It’s primary day in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C, as the four Republican candidates for president struggle for the 95 delegates up for grabs Tuesday evening.

Mitt Romney is still in the delegate lead, with 572 according to The Wall Street Journal. Rick Santorum is second with 272, followed by Newt Gingrich (135) and Ron Paul (51). They’re all racing for the “magic number” of 1,144, which would lock up the nomination before the Republican National Convention in late August.

Candidates are turning to the web to win enough primaries to hit that magic number. Meanwhile, citizens are taking part in an online national conversation about the race to the White House and journalists are tapping into digital tools to better tell the story.

Mashable is sharing the best examples of social media’s use throughout primary night. Follow along with us to learn how politicians, citizens and journalists are connecting with one another on the political web:

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, pagadesign

More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Politics, Storify, US

Scanner Will Capture Your Room, Give You 3D Replica [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 02:31 PM PDT

When the Xbox Kinect came out in 2010, most people drooled over its ability to read gesture-based commands.

Matterport founder Matt Bell, however, was more excited about the prospect of low-cost, high-quality 3D imaging.

As a co-founder of a company that makes gesture-based interactive display advertising (such as virtual soccer balls that can be controlled by a kick), Bell spotted an opportunity to create a new visual technology.

He ended up using Kinect to make Matterport, a handheld device that instantly creates 3D renderings of any space.

Seconds after pointing the device around a room, you can browse a 3D replica on your laptop.

Here’s the simplified version of how it works: The Kinect creates millions of individual images as it scans the room. Bell’s software stitches those photos together in real-time in order to create one 3D mesh image that can be tilted, rotated and annotated.

“You can think of it as a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle with millions of pieces that needs to be solved in real time,” Bell tells Mashable.

He pitched his latest protoype, which no longer includes an actual Kinect, at startup accelerator Y-Combinator’s demo day last month

Matterport is targeting its device toward real-estate agents, architects, engineers of special effects for movies and other people who work with space. Currently these professionals rely on either measuring tape and photographs or 3D mapping tools that don’t publish their prices.

Tony Grissim, the public safety and forensic account manager of a company that makes one such tool, Leica Geosystems, said its prices start at $50,000.

The device’s accuracy is within 1-quarter of an inch and it has a range of up to 900 feet. Matterport, meanwhile, has a range of about 15 feet and accuracy that varies with distance. He cautions that comparing Leica Geosystem’s products with Matterport might be comparing apples and oranges.

While Matterport hasn’t set a price for the product, it will begin distributing to beta testers next month. Bell says it won’t be prohibitive to consumer 3D enthusiasts.

Several of them have already answered the question “What would you scan?” on Matterport’s website in ways the company never anticipated.

One family, for instance, wants to capture a 3D image of the houseboat it is moving from so that a young child will remember it. Employees from the USDA want to use Matterport to calculate the square footage of leaves on a plant without cutting them off.

“The power of being able to send 3D realities to each other is going to fundamentally change how we communicate,” Bell says.

More About: 3D, matterport

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Twitter vs. Tornado: Dallas Authorities Tweet Weather Warnings

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 02:04 PM PDT

As several tornadoes caused significant damage Tuesday afternoon near Dallas and Fort Worth, local authorities turned to Twitter to help minimize the disruption.

While the severe weather looked to be heading straight to Dallas Fort Worth airport, the major hub is no longer in the direct path of the storm. Dallas flights were shut down and travelers at the airport were told to take shelter.

During the storm, the Dallas Fort Worth Red Cross and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport used Twitter to reach out to followers and ensure they were taking the proper precautions.

When news of the impending tornado threat hit, the Red Cross also shared safety tips on Twitter — such as how to best find shelter — then continued to tweet out locations where people should be alert and take cover.

The Dallas Fort Worth Intrnational Airport used Twitter to connect with people in the airport confused about where to seek cover, comfort loved ones of people currently in the airport, and share status updates on flights.

To see how the Twitter was used to help people stay safe amid the severe weather, check out the Storify below:

More About: Twitter, Weather

Alvin the Chipmunk App Will Make You Squeak [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 01:50 PM PDT

Now you can carry a digital version of Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks in your pocket.

A new app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch called "iMunk: Alvin and the Chipmunks" hit the App Store Monday. It allows you to interact with the squirrel-like creature, have him play guitar, dance for you or do flips on the screen.

Alvin will also listen to what you say to him and repeat it back in his signature chipmunk voice.

Monday’s release only allows you to interact with Alvin, but future updates will also allow you to play as Simon or Theodore. Currently, functionality is pretty limited within the app. Bagdasarian Productions, the company behind its creation, has plans for future updates that will expand what you’re able to do with it.

These plans include adding the ability to record your own chipmunk antics and share them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as converting those recordings into ringtones and voicemail notifications.

A Chipettes App, featuring Brittany and the Chipettes, is also slated for release later this year.

Alvin and the Chipmunks is currently one of the most successful family film franchises. The film generated more than $1 billion at the box office, and half a billion in DVD sales over the past four years with its three films: Alvin and The Chipmunks, Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

iMunk: Alvin and The Chipmunks is available now from the App Store for $1.99.

Are you an Alvin and the Chipmunks fan? What do you think about the new app? Let us know what features you’d like to see added in the comments.

More About: Alvin and the Chipmunks, apps

Instagram for Android: Advanced Camera, But No Tilt Shift [HANDS ON]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 01:28 PM PDT

Home View

The home view shows a stream of photos your Instagram friends have taken.

Click here to view this gallery.

Instagram for Android is finally here — which is welcome news for Android smartphone owners who waited patiently as Instagram’s iOS user base rose into the millions.

Will they be satisfied when they install Instagram for Android? We did a walkthrough of the new app in order to find out.

“The Android app offers an extremely familiar Instagram experience when compared to the iOS app,” Instagram said in its announcement Tuesday. “You'll find all the same exact filters and community as our iOS version.”

It’s true that Instagram for Android has most of the same features as the iPhone version. The user interface on the Android version has the same layout. The five tabs on the bottom of the home screen are dedicated to five key functions in the app. Another feature that has not changed is sharing photos out to the same four platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Tumblr.

There are, however, some notable differences.

Instagram for Android uses a new camera icon in the camera view. The app also lacks some of the iPhone version’s image editing features — most importantly tilt shift, which allows you to focus on one area of the photo while distorting the rest of the image.

The Android version does have one feature its iPhone counterpart lacks: “Advanced Camera.” When you turn this on, it will automatically resize your photo, so you don’t have to recrop the image in Instagram’s interface.

In the iPhone version, you can only resize or crop if you select a photo from your photo library.

Instagram for Android was tested on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0. Currently, the Android version of Instagram is compatible with Android 2.2 or higher.

You can download the Instagram for Android app for free over at Google Play..

Have you started using Instagram for Android? What are your first impressions? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: android, Android apps, instagram, photography, trending

Morgan Spurlock’s Comic-Con Movie: How to Support a Screening Near You

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 01:09 PM PDT

Morgan Spurlock’s latest film may not have the mass appeal of a flick like Hunger Games — but he still wants fans to have the chance to experience it on the big screen.

The film, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope chronicles the cultural phenomenon that is San Diego Comic-Con. It profiles five attendees at the 2010 show.

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope hits video-on-demand on April 6, 2012. Starting on April 5, the film will make its way to select theaters across the country.

Still, Spurlock knows that won’t be enough to sate the appetite of Comic-Con fans. That’s why the director has teamed up with the startup Tugg to have fans rally to bring the film to their town.

Tugg is like a Kickstarter for movie theaters. Fans agree to buy tickets in advance; in return, they get an extra-special movie experience. Users can buy ticket bundles that include autographed memorabilia, DVDs or Blu-ray and more.

For Spurlock’s Comic-Con documentary, Tugg is giving fans a chance to bring the film to any city they want. Big or small, get enough people to commit and Comic-Con the movie can come to your theater!

For fans in 7 cities across the country, Spurlock will actually show up to host a Q&A with viewers and fans. Those Q&A cities include:

(The Atlanta screening is at my favorite hometown theater, AMC Phipps Plaza 14. ATL fans, show your support!)

In addition to regular tickets, fans can get special ticket combos that include the DVD or Deluxe DVD, a Morgan Spurlock lithograph and even action figures of Stan Lee and Harry Knowles — who are featured in the film. The Tugg campaign is presented by Morgan, Wrekin Hill and NECA.

Making the Movie Experience More Social

As I have long argued, movies are an inherently social experience. The reality is, however, that the changing nature of content creation and distribution realities means that not every film can be screened in a theater.

Spurlock realizes that, and he told Mashable that as a documentary filmmaker, he accepts that some of his films will be viewed more frequently on a smaller screen than at the cineplex. That doesn’t mean that these stories can’t be told on the big screen.

This is why we think the partnership with Tugg makes so much sense. Tugg is a service that was created because of a love for cinema — as well as the understanding that movie fans can make a difference in helping their local theater chains. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is just the latest film to use Tugg as a platform for getting movie goers into theater seats. The intended audience for this film — movie lovers, comic book geeks and fans of Spurlock — are a perfect fit for the site and its mission.

If you happen to live in cities such as Austin, Los Angeles or New York, it’s easy to find theaters that play older cult or classic films; Tugg’s mission is to bring that experience elsewhere.

Frankly, we hope more filmmakers look at using services such as Tugg to get movies on the big screen. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: comic-con, features, morgan-spurlock, tugg

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Stumble Into StumbleUpon’s San Francisco Office [PICS]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 12:54 PM PDT

The Startup Spaces Series is supported by Turnstone, a Steelcase brand. Running a small business is hard enough, having a great space to work in should be easy.

StumbleUpon is all about discovery, and if you happen to stumble upon the company’s San Francisco headquarters, you’ll have plenty to see.

The tailored web-crawling platform currently has more than 20 million users performing more than 1.2 billion “Stumbles” per month. All that stumbling means the company needs a big team to keep things running smoothly.

Its San Francisco office houses nearly 120 employees, ranging from software architects to designers, spread out over three floors. The space is open and lofty — the bullpen of desks is out in the open, and those seeking privacy can take advantage of meeting rooms scattered throughout the office.

Since StumbleUpon is all about uncovering great stuff from the Internet, all of the conference rooms in the building are named after great inventors — complete with tchotchkes related to the person’s discoveries. The Edison room, for instance, contains baskets of light bulbs, while the Pasteur room includes a working microscope with slides.

Aside from decor, StumbleUpon goes above and beyond with perks, too. Benefits for employees include catered breakfast and lunch everyday, unlimited drinks and snacks from the company fridge, and a $100 Uber credit to use each month for transportation. Stressed? A massage therapist visits the office every two weeks to provide free massages. As for interpersonal activities, employees can participate in the ongoing pool tournament on the company’s billiards table, March Madness, Fantasy Football and the yearly Hack Week, during which employees work together on new ideas they’re passionate about. The winning team from the most recent Hack Week walked away with new iPads.

You can tell from walking around the office that everyone who works there really loves StumbleUpon, a point driven home by many of the people we talked to when we visited. "There aren’t people here just to get a paycheck," says Erica Meade, senior design lead at StumbleUpon. "People who work here love StumbleUpon and are ‘stumbling’ on their way to work."

Mashable took a tour into StumbleUpon’s San Francisco office — check out the digs in the gallery below.

Engaging Office Life

"This is the first job I've ever had where it is fun to go to work everyday." - Jack Krawczyk, Sr. Product Marketing Manager.

Click here to view this gallery.

Series supported by Turnstone


The Startup Spaces Series is supported by Turnstone, a Steelcase brand. Turnstone, ready when you are. For more information please visit Turnstone.

More About: features, mashable, office decor, Startup Spaces Series, stumbleupon

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Students Create Musical Jello; Here’s How to Make Your Own [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 12:47 PM PDT

A couple of design students in Paris have created jello that makes music — or at least, something close to it. They’re calling it “noisy jelly” — and now you can make your own.

The makers, Raphaël and Marianne Cauvard built different kinds of jello molds, which are filled with solutions of water, agar agar (which makes it gelatin-like) and food coloring.

Different mold shapes and salt concentrations change the sound each gelatin piece makes. Once the jello is set, you can create sounds by adjusting the distance and strength of your finger contact on the mold.

The “game board” that the jello mold sits on detects that touch and converts it into sound. The board is actually a capacitive sensor with an embedded Arduino microprocessor.

Basically, the sensor and microprocessor do the technical work to create the sound. The finger contact does the creative work.

You can see how to go about making the noisy jelly in this music video the students created.

They also wrote out directions, which are listed below, in case you want to make your own musical jello:

1. Pour some jelly powder in the mold.
2. Add some water.
3. Choose a musical coloring and mix it vigorously.
4. After 10 minutes, unmold the jelly on the game board.
5. Ready to play!

What do you think of this new kind of instrument? Would you play hot pink jello for a crowd or listen to it on some headphones? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Music, Science

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Facebook vs. Yahoo Round 2: Social Network Files a Suit of Its Own

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 12:33 PM PDT

The Facebook-Yahoo grudge match continues.

Now Facebook is countersuing Yahoo, denying Yahoo’s allegations that Facebook infringed on the company’s patents — and claiming Yahoo is actually infringing on Facebook’s patents.

Facebook’s counter-claim, filed Tuesday, denies Yahoo’s statements that many of Facebook’s tools and features on the site stem from developments made by Yahoo. Facebook requests that any triable issues be taken to court.

The social network also says Yahoo is in violation of some of its patents, including patents the company holds for “generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network,” and “tagging digital media.”

Facebook says it plans to fight the original lawsuit.

“From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo’s lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook’s patents,” Ted Ullyot, Facebook General Counsel said in a statement.

“While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation.”

Yahoo formally went after Facebook in March, claiming the company violated 10 of its patents.

Yahoo said it had “a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property.”

The Twitterverse, meanwhile, showed its support for Facebook. Even Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook’s former marketing director, got in on the Yahoo-bashing.

“This Yahoo stuff feels to me like the business equivalent of when celebs do ‘Dancing With The Stars’ in a last-ditch effort to save a career,” she tweeted.

What do you think about Facebook’s counter-suit against Yahoo? Tell us in the comments.

More About: Facebook, legal, randi zuckerberg, trending, Yahoo

11 Early Pics From Android Instagram Users

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 12:24 PM PDT

1. emilyphant

We really enjoy this clear shot of a dandelion -- spring is here!

Click here to view this gallery.

Android users are rejoicing over their long-awaited admittance into the Instagram community. The app became available Tuesday for a free download in Google Play, and early adopters are already jumping at the chance to show off their photography skills on Twitter.

SEE ALSO: The Best Instagram Photos Ever Taken [PICS]

We’ve rounded up 11 great first shots from the new Instagram for Android users. Have you downloaded the app yet? Share your best shot in the comments!

More About: android, apps, features, instagram, photography, Twitter

iPhone 5 Coming In June, Says Foxconn Employee [REPORT]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 12:06 PM PDT

iPhone Apps

According to a Foxconn recruiter, we’ll see a new iPhone in June of this year.

The recruiter suggested the iPhone would be headed our way this summer in an interview with TV Tokyo’s "World Business Satellite" broadcast Monday.

In the interview, a reporter asked the recruiter how many people the company was looking to hire, and he answered “We’re looking for 18,000 employees … for the fifth-generation phone.”

The reporter went on to clarify that the recruiter was talking about the iPhone 5, and the recruiter added that the next generation of the handset will come out in June.

The iPhone 5 — or, if Apple maintains the naming scheme it started with the iPad, the “new iPhone” — will actually be the 6th iPhone released by the company.

After the the initial iPhone release, the company launched an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S.

The June rumor, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt. Rumors of the iPhone 5 started almost immediately after the announcement of the iPhone 4S last year.

Current rumors have the device’s launch pinned between June and October, with many speculating that the next generation will be LTE-capable to run on carrier’s new speedy data networks.

Are any of you looking forward to the release of the iPhone 5 or "new iPhone”? Tell us what you’d like to see in the next-generation handset in the comments.

More About: apple, Foxconn, iphone, iPhone 5, trending

LG Viper Will Be Sprint’s First LTE Phone

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 11:51 AM PDT

The LG Viper will be Sprint’s first LTE handset. Sprint announced Tuesday that pre-orders for the handset will officially begin on April 12, with the phone becoming available on a yet-to-be-announced date later this month.

The LG Viper was announced at CES in January. The 4-inch touchscreen handset comes running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a VGA forward-facing cam for video chatting.

The phone has a 4GB microSD slot that can support memory cards up to 32GB in size, and is mobile hotspot capable so you can use the handset’s 4G speeds to surf the web on your laptop and other devices as well.

The handset also has built-in NFC capabilities, which will allow owners to make mobile payments at select retailers using Google Wallet.

The Viper also sports some eco-friendly features. The smartphone is protected by casing made of 50% recycled plastics, is RoHS compliant, and is ULE Platinum Certified, the highest level of environmental performance recognized by sustainable requirements established by UL Environment and Sprint. The phone also comes with an eco-friendly charger, which only consumes 0.03 watts of power when plugged into a wall socket and not the phone.

Priced at $99.99 after rebate and with a new 2-year agreement, the phone will be able to take advantage of Sprint’s Everything data plan. The unlimited plan includes unlimited web, texting, and calling starting at $79.99 per month.

Sprint‘s LTE network is still in its infancy stage. While AT&T and Verizon both boast coverage areas around the United States, Sprint has only announced a few cities that for its upcoming LTE network. The company will offer LTE service and enhanced 3G coverage in Baltimore, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio by the middle of this year.

In addition to the LG Viper, the company has already announced plans to release the LTE-capable Galaxy Nexus on its network later this year.

More About: 4G, LG, LG Viper, sprint

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How Twitter Got March Madness [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 11:36 AM PDT

After last night’s championship win, it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that the University of Kentucky was the most mentioned team on Twitter during the 2012 March Madness tournament.

Email marketing provider ExactTarget has put together an infographic highlighting some of the biggest wins on Twitter throughout March Madness, which ran from March 15 to April 2.

According to the infographic, “Final Four” was the top trending word during the competition with 466,492 tweets. Meanwhile, the games raked in a total of more than 2 million tweets, with the most popular sent from @SportsCenter with nearly 7,000 retweets about Norfolk State’s win over Missouri.

The Championship game on Monday night especially drew lot of buzz, as nearly 150,000 tweets mentioned the winning team. Its opponent University of Kansas was mentioned 97,000 times.

Kentucky’s star Anthony Davis — a freshman who won the coveted Final Four's Most Outstanding Player Award — was the most discussed athlete during the Championship game, while John Calipari (also from Kentucky) was the most mentioned coach.

SEE ALSO: 20% of March Madness Traffic Comes From Smartphones, Tablets [STUDY]

“Just as we saw in the Super Bowl, Twitter has become a consumer’s channel of choice to amplify and extend the fan experience,” Kyle Lacy, Principal Marketing Research and Education at ExactTarget, told Mashable.

“Throughout March Madness, we saw the frequency of tweets increase with every round of the tournament, topping more than 745,000 tweets during Monday’s game alone.”

Although Kentucky dominated chatter on Twitter during the final game, Ohio State University received the most mentions in the Final Four (3,923 tweets), followed by University of Kansas (3,861), University of Kentucky (3,408) and the University of Louisville (1,736).

Ohio State had the most tweets (15,034) for a single non-Championship game during March Madness when it played Syracuse University in the Elite Eight, bringing in 15,034 mentions.

Syracuse had the most mentions during the Sweet Sixteen, while Lehigh University had the most in Round 2 and the University of Missouri was the most buzzed about in Round 1.

For a more in-depth look at how well NCAA teams fared on Twitter, check out the infographic below.

Thumbnail via University of Kentucky

March Madness Infographic

More About: march madness, sports, Twitter

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Apple, Microsoft Spark Antitrust Investigation of Motorola in Europe

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 11:20 AM PDT

Two separate complaints filed by Apple and Microsoft accuse Motorola Mobility of overcharging for its products in Europe.

The European Union’s antitrust enforcers are investigating the charges, which Microsoft was the first to bring last month. The software giant says Motorola was charging exorbitant prices for its 2G and 3G patents, as well as H.264 video compression and WiFi patents.

“The [European] Commission will examine whether Motorola’s behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU,” said the European Commission in a statement on Monday about the investigation.

“In addition, the Commission will also assess the allegation by both Apple and Microsoft that Motorola offered unfair licensing conditions for its standard-essential patents.”

A Motorola spokesperson told Mashable the company was confident it had done no wrong. “MMI will continue to work closely with the European Commission to resolve this matter as soon as practicable,” the company said.

Microsoft took to its blog in February to explain how it says Motorola was charging unfair prices for patents. In the post, the company claims that Motorola charges $22.50 on any $1,000 Windows laptop sold to satisfy its 50 patents on H.264 video compression.

Microsoft says it must comply with 2,300 other patents– all of which cost a total of two cents.

The EU is also investigating possible violations by Samsung.

Google announced it would acquire Motorola in 2011 for $12.5 billion. The search giant has said it will offer the company’s patents at fair prices. The EU approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola on Feb. 13, despite antitrust charges.

What do you think about the charges Apple and Microsoft are making against Motorola? Tell us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of

More About: 3g, apple, europe, European Union, Google, microsoft, Motorola, patent

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Students More Likely to Apply Directly to Companies Than Via Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:57 AM PDT

Students approaching graduation are chasing after the companies they want to work for directly, a new survey shows. Applying directly to a company outweighs finding opportunities on LinkedIn, the top social media platform used to find jobs.

According to a new survey from Experience and Achievers, about 88% of college students apply directly to the companies they wish to work for. Employers can also find students at job fairs and other networking and recruiting events. 46% of students look for and apply for jobs on, and 35% of students said they look for job opportunities on LinkedIn.

Although social media platforms may lag behind other options, nearly half of Millennials say they plan to use social media tools — LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook — for job searching, according to infographic creator, Achievers.

“This number has more than quadrupled since we started the study in 2010 (which was 9.9%), demonstrating the explosion of social media use for Millennials and why companies need to shift their recruiting strategies online,” said Razor Suleman, Founder and Chairman of Achievers.

Compared to two years ago, Achievers says the number of college students using LinkedIn to find job opportunities has increased by 700%. Online job searching has replaced scanning a newspaper and has decreased the use of recruiters.

4.7 Million LinkedIn Users Are Employed by Small Businesses [INFOGRAPHIC]

Businesses trying to lure in college grads need to have lots of opportunities and should offer a competitive starting salary. College students said they care most about landing a job at a company where they can move up the ranks and earn a decent salary — starting around $50,000. For the past three years, students surveyed have said career advancement is the most important factor when deciding where to work. 51% of those students consider finding interesting and challenging work to be important part of the job search.

In addition, 80% of college grads expect yearly performance reviews, so they can improve their performance and reach a raise sooner.

Not only do students want to move up the ladder, the data in the infographic below shows 22% of students expect to stay with the same company for 10 or more years. Another 22% plan to stay at their first out of college job for five years and 19% are shooting for two years. However, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says most will work at their next company for only 1.5 years.

Achievers surveyed nearly 8,000 soon-to-be college graduates of 2012 and 2013.

How do you prefer to search and apply for jobs? What is most important to you when you’re looking for a job? Tell us in the comments.

Infographic provided by Achievers

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

More About: infographic, jobs

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How ‘Draw Something’ Is Taking Over the World [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:30 AM PDT

A Darth Vader Draw Something doodle drawn by a Mashable reader.

It’s official: The world is obsessed with Draw Something.

The game, which asks you to sketch objects and pop culture references on your smartphone or tablet for your friends to guess, has become a dominating force on the social graph. In a short time, it has earned the number-one best seller slot in many countries, in both the iOS App Store and Android Market. It has sold 37 million times worldwide, as of this writing, and doesn’t show signs of petering out.

MBAOnline took note of Draw Something‘s incredible growth and came out with a clever animated infographic done in the Draw Something style. It shows that 20 million active users have created 3 billion drawings since the app launched just seven weeks ago.

SEE ALSO: Draw Something: 20 Amazing Smartphone Sketches

Draw Something has been a tremendous success for the game’s creator, OMGPOP, which was acquired by Zynga for $180 million. OMGPOP said that Draw Something had grossed more in a single day than all its other games combined.

To view the infographic, click the arrows on the bottom to move to the next slide, and watch the sketches bring the numbers to life.

Created by

More About: apps, Draw something, Gaming, inforgraphic, omgpop, trending, Zynga

White House: Yes, We’re Still Anti-SOPA (But Pro-ACTA)

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:19 AM PDT

A White House annual report on Intellectual Property reaffirmed President Obama’s stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA): American intellectual property needs to be protected, but SOPA was too broad a bill.

This new report indicates that the White House is willing to support new intellectual property legislation in Congress, but it must meet the administration’s goal of preserving an open Internet.

“Online piracy is a serious problem … The Administration is interested in working with Congress to ensure that these issues are addressed in a manner that takes into account the challenges and opportunities of the Internet and that is consistent with the Administration's goals and public policy principles,” reads the report from the office of Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator.

However, the administration also reaffirmed its support for the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.

“ACTA represents a considerable improvement in international trade norms for effectively com­bating the global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st Century,” reads the report.

In mid-January, the Obama administration announced it wouldn’t be supporting SOPA in a response to an online We the People petition. Back then, Obama’s team said it would not support “legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

The White House also used the report to fire a warning shot at state-sponsored digital intellectual property theft — a volley aimed mostly at China. The country was mentioned 223 times throughout the document and got its own chapter, entitled “Administration’s Focus on China.”

The report warned that economic espionage — wherein a country or a foreign-owned business steals intellectual property for its own benefit — “represents a significant cost to victim companies and threaten the economic security of the U.S.”

According to the White House, the Department of Justice and the FBI saw a 29% increase in economic espionage between 2010 and 2011. China has long been considered a hotbed of such intellectual property theft.

It wasn’t all doom-and-gloom, though: the report also highlighted several of the Obama administration’s self-declared successes against intellectual property theft, including:

1. A voluntary agreement between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content providers wherein ISPs alert movie and music studios of infringement on peer-to-peer networks.
2. An agreement between credit card and web companies to fight online pharmacies illegally selling counterfeit drugs.
3. U.S. law enforcement’s increased efforts to find and prosecute counterfeiters.

According to the report, of the 270 websites seized by DOJ in 2011, 248 were distributing counterfeit goods and 22 were distributing copyrighted content.

President Obama previously called intellectual property one of America’s greatest exports during a Google+ Hangout, but added that protecting it must be done "in a way that's consistent with Internet freedom.”

SOPA stalled in Congress after thousands in the tech community rallied in opposition to the bill. On Jan. 18, popular websites including Reddit and Wikipedia went offline for the day to protest the bill, while anti-SOPA rallies were held in New York and elsewhere. Over the course of the day, 2.4 million people tweeted about SOPA, some Congressional websites were overloaded with traffic and seven million people signed Google’s anti-SOPA petition.

White House Annual Intellectual Property Report

BONUS: SOPA and PIPA: How Did We Get Here?

May 12: PIPA introduced

The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011), better known as PIPA was introduced into the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The act's goals were described by its sponsors as protecting intellectual property and punishing foreign sites who post copyrighted material. If a site was discovered doing so, the U.S. attorney general could order U.S. based Internet service providers, search engines, payment systems and advertising networks to suspend doing business with the website.

Photo courtesy Mikedish on Flickr

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What do you think of the White House’s stance on intellectual property? Sound off in the comments below.

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More About: china, cybersecurity, intellectual property, SOPA, US, White House, World

3 Twitter Rumors and What They Could Mean for Brands

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:01 AM PDT

David Clarke is CEO and co-founder of BGT Partners, a 2010, 2011 and 2012 Ad Age Top 15 Best Places to Work in the U.S. honoree. BGT creates interactive marketing and technology solutions for global corporations that strengthen brands, develop more engaging relationships and transform businesses.

With increased competition for ad dollars, Twitter is making a big push this year to become more attractive to advertisers. It has invested in a redesign, as well as brand pages, but that may not be all the social network plans to unveil.

According to a recent Ad Age report, the company is looking to add new experiences to its platform, in the hopes that the move will entice brands to spend more ad dollars.

Although Twitter hasn’t officially confirmed these rumors, it's worth taking them seriously. See below for the three possible changes, and what each could mean for brands.

SEE ALSO: 6 Successful Twitter Hashtag Campaigns

1. Open Platform

Facebook and Apple transformed their businesses by opening their platforms to third-party developers. The move allowed independent developers to create new ways for consumers to engage with brands. As a result, we now have multi-million dollar businesses built around these apps.

If the rumors are right, Twitter is heading in the same direction by opening its platform to developers.

An open Twitter platform would allow brands to create deeper interactions with consumers through custom experiences. This would not only be an opportunity for developers, but also for brands — especially those with strong Twitter presences. For example, if you're using Twitter as a customer service channel, then a customer service app could potentially streamline the way you handle customer support.

That said, apps on Twitter will face inherent challenges. The Twitter stream is the main attraction, and most people don't visit brand pages directly. Plus, popular Twitter browsers such as TweetDeck and HootSuite are built around the Twitter stream, which deals another blow to the power of brand pages. Perhaps custom apps can find a way to drive more traffic to brand pages, but it seems doubtful.

2. T-Commerce

Social commerce was hailed as the next big thing in ecommerce. Several brands developed ecommerce integration on the Facebook platform, hoping people would want to purchase while on Facebook, but it never really took off. Gap, JC Penny, and Nordstrom closed down their Facebook shops because customers preferred to shop on the main websites. This probably had more to do with the poor Facebook ecommerce user experience than with Facebook itself. Most of these early f-commerce attempts were simply developed without an understanding of how Facebook could add value to the shopping experience.

Now, Twitter is rumored to try its luck with social ecommerce for brand pages. Will it be successful?

Fundamentally Twitter has to succeed where Facebook failed. Twitter ecommerce, or t-commerce, has to create a significant added value to make it more compelling than shopping from a traditional web store.

It's likely that Twitter's ecommerce solution will include a deep integration with Square, the mobile payment company Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey established in 2009. It’s possible that t-commerce will be a mobile-only service that uses location-based technology and one-click payments with your Twitter name. That would add significant value to Twitter's mobile user base, especially when you consider that 50% of Twitter's users are accessing Twitter on mobile devices.

3. Contests and Sweepstakes

Lastly, Twitter is rumored to introduce contests and sweepstakes for brand pages to create deeper brand engagement. That said, brands have been pushing contests and sweepstakes on Twitter for some time, and given the viral capabilities available with retweeting and hashtags, it will continue to happen.

Will an official change by Twitter be groundbreaking? Probably not, but it's likely that these changes will allow brands to more efficiently manage and execute campaigns on this social network.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, matspersson0

More About: Business, contributor, ecommerce, features, Marketing, Social Media, trending, Twitter

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