Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “72% of Adults Are Local News Enthusiasts [STUDY]”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “72% of Adults Are Local News Enthusiasts [STUDY]”


72% of Adults Are Local News Enthusiasts [STUDY]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 08:39 PM PDT

News stands - How Americans Read Local News

Social media connectivity and the digitization of news have not squashed American fervor for local news, a Pew study says. Nearly three quarters of adults are consistently plugged into local news — so much so that 32% of survey participants say the loss of local outlets would majorly impact their lives.

A recently published Pew Internet & American Life Project report finds most Americans continue to follow local news. The reliance on local news is consistent in all age groups, though stronger among those who are 40+, and among female consumers.

The younger population, 18 to 39 years old, use the greatest number of local news sources — an average of 4.38 weekly. Older local news followers say they use about two to three different sources a week.

SEE ALSO: Upworthy Aims to Make the News as Shareable as Cat Videos [EXCLUSIVE]

About 80% of adults older than 40 get their news from television broadcasts. Nearly half of the adults surveyed say they regularly use “word of mouth,” the radio and regional newspaper. Besides reading and chatting about their communities, people also stay in-the-know using mobile phones and tablets.

Younger local news enthusiasts, surprisingly also use “word of mouth” to find out about area news and highlights. The connected generation more likely uses Internet news sources including search engines, local newspaper websites, T.V. station websites and social networks.

Individuals who care about local news are characterized as being very connected in their communities. Many have strong roots in their locales; about 32% of the local news consumers surveyed have lived in their community for more than 20 years.

Local news consumers are fans of news in general. About 63%, six in 10 local news consumers, also follow international news consistently, while 78% say they consume national news consistently. One-third of local news enthusiasts say they get everything that need from regional media.

The Pew report suggests local news is not going anywhere yet. Enthusiasts are generationally diverse, using many news sources to learn about their local communities. Americans are turning to local outlets both online and print — though less and less — for news that would affect them including breaking news, politics, crime, business, schools and education.

What role does local news play in your live? Where do you get information about where you live — online or in print? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, acousticskyy

More About: local news, Pew, Social Media, social networking

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These Contact Lenses Give You Superhuman Vision

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 08:24 PM PDT


Contact lens wearers can get a new perspective on their environment with the latest vision technology — contact lenses that let the wearer focus on two fields of view at once. Wearers can keep an eye on a projected image while their surrounding scenery can also be looked at — resulting in superhuman vision.

The human eye on its own can only focus on one distance at a time. The contact lenses, however, will let two images be viewed at the same time. The projected image goes through the retina display, while the background image is still visible.

And, while most of the world is fascinated with Google Glasses, the Pentagon is focused on getting a supply of these contacts, called iOptik. It recently ordered a supply from Innovega, the company that makes them. The Pentagon will reportedly use the technology to develop display screens akin to what Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character wore in the movie Terminator.

In addition to contact lenses, the company also makes glasses with projection images in the lenses, which it showed off at CES 2012. With this technology, the company said, glasses and lens wearers could view content from their mobile devices while still looking at the scenery around them. The technology will be available to the public in 2014.

Futurist tech has been used to address a number of health concerns, as well as expand on the human body’s natural capabilities.

Would you wear these lenses? Tell us in the comments.

More About: Augmented Reality, glasses, Google glasses, health, Pentagon, technology, vision

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5 Things That Waste Your Time at Work [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 08:03 PM PDT

Aside from the time you purposefully waste at work — checking Facebook or playing Draw Something, as the kids do — there’s a lot of other stuff that can slow you down at the office. The productivity of a “knowledge worker” (read: non-farmer) hinges on communication and the ability to locate information quickly.

VoIP communications company Fonality conducted a survey to find out which mundane office tasks suck the most time out of the day. Pinpointing and compiling all those wasted man hours could save companies some substantial coin. The folks at social performance management tool Rypple compiled the infographic below based on that data.

The top time stealer? Trying to contact customers or colleagues. Duplicate or unwanted information (including spam) ranks highly as well.

SEE ALSO: The Internet Is Ruining Your Brain [INFOGRAPHIC]

The study also proposes that “unified communications” (UC) solutions can reduce much of this waste, though it’s difficult to determine by how much.

“Calculating the potential cost savings for a UC implementation is an inexact science at best. Each company has different needs. And UC implementations do not consist of an exact set of components,” the report reads.

Still, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that cloud computing is one way to mitigate certain time sucks. What factors waste your precious time at work? Can they be overcome with better technology? Let us know in the comments.


Thumbnail courtesy of iStockphoto, daneger

More About: Business, infographics, productivity, work

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Explore Alien Planets With This Free App

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 07:35 PM PDT


Ever wonder what those planets orbiting far away stars are like?

Well, now there’s an app for that.

The free Kepler Explorer app for iPhone and iPad allows users to explore some 2,000 planetary systems discovered by NASA’s Kepler Mission. The Kepler Mission scans the Milky Way galaxy in search of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of the stars they orbit.

In short, it’s laying the groundwork for finding other life-hosting planets. So far, the mission has found about 2,300 alien planet candidates in about 1,800 distant planetary systems.

The Kepler Explorer app was developed by a team at the University of California, Santa Cruz and led by associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics Jonathan Fortney. Fortney says one goal of the app was too “keep information more on the lines of what we already know about planets,” rather than root it in hypothetical guesswork.

The app begins with a drop-down menu that lists all the planetary systems discovered by the Kepler Mission. You can then move a slider to show planets’ orbits around their respective stars.

By zooming in and navigating a given system, you’re able to call up more information on specific planets. You can also show how a planet compares in size to its host star.

When viewing planets, you can also play with different possible compositions of their body and atmosphere, using elements such as iron, rock, water and hydrogen to try out combinations consistent with the Kepler Mission’s findings.

Most of the planets found so far by the Kepler Mission are not hospitable to life. But, Fortney tells Mashable, some of the objects you can use the app on are potentially Earth-size temperate planets” — meaning you could be playing around with some other beings’ home.

Fortney believes the Kepler Explorer app will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

“There are certainly a lot of people who are very interested in astronomy,” he says. “Astronomy is the science that the public keeps up with most, besides medicine.”

Will you check this app out? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy University of California, Santa Cruz

More About: apps, space


How a Sports Fanatic Turned His Blog Hobby Into a Career [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 06:14 PM PDT


Back in 2003, when blogs were just catching on with the mainstream, college student Matthew Cerrone started a GeoCities site called MetsBlog.com to track his favorite baseball team. Fast-forward nine years and he’s turned the hobby into a full-time job.

Cerrone’s story offers a window into how sports fans today — with smarts, hard work and a little luck — are able to turn fandom in to a fulltime career.

So how did he do it?

After college, Cerrone worked part-time for a media relations company on the East Coast, but struggled to divert energy and attention from his Mets site.

“I was probably spending a little too much time writing MetsBlog and not enough on my actual job, such as is the case with most bloggers,” he says.

He was gaining traction though. When Cerrone was offered an opportunity to do public relations work for a gubernatorial campaign — which would have meant a hiatus from his hobby that had grown into a passion — friends and family encouraged him to stick with MetsBlog instead.

By 2006, MetsBlog was attracting about a million readers per month. Cerrone approached SportsNet New York, a regional cable network that had more recently launched a content site, with a pitch: Despite his success with readers, he was having trouble gaining access with the team. Meanwhile, despite SportsNet’s mainstream media bonafides, it was having trouble pulling in readers.

A partnership was formed. His part-time work was left behind, and today Cerrone oversees SportsNet New York’s digital media for several other local team blogs, while still focusing on MetsBlog. Today, he says, MetsBlogs has nearly 3 million monthly readers.

Cerrone points to a number of keys to his own success, which can be applied by others seeking a similar path. First, he says, picking the right domain name is huge. Knowing how to promote work for larger audiences and form relationships with other media players is also useful.

But possibly the biggest thing, he says, is being able to constantly adjust in tools and strategy. Switching from pretending to be a mainstream news source to taking a more authentic, fandom-based approach was a critical move for MetBlog.

“Those things all combined around 2006 and 2007 to help it catch fire,” Cerrone says.

Now that he’s reached a level of stability, Cerrone’s next plans are to revamp his personal website, launch a series of sports and social media-focused podcasts and begin writing advice for how others can replicate his blogging success. But no matter how much of an “expert” he becomes, Cerrone knows blogging will always come with a certain reputation.

“There’s still that blogger skepticism that will be with us forever, and that’s a good thing,” he says. “As long as there’s that skepticism, I’m probably doing things right.”

Check out the video below to see what a day in the life of MetsBlog is like for Matthew Cerrone.

Do you think it’s still possible to start a sports blog from scratch and make it a career? Let us know in the comments.

More About: blogging, Business, sports, Startups

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Why Global Mobile Marketing Starts With Localized Apps

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:58 PM PDT


Liz Elting is co-founder and co-CEO of TransPerfect, the world's largest privately held provider of language and business services.

The world's population reached 7 billion in Oct. 2011, and according to an IDC report, one in every seven of those people owns a smart device. By now, we've all heard, "mobile is the future." What the IDC report should tell us is that mobile is already here.

Emerging markets such as Brazil and China are particularly key, with companies scrambling to reach consumers in these spaces. As companies do this, they should be aware that a one-size-fits-all approach will be ineffective in establishing a presence.

What companies should do is create localized apps in order to increase specific customer bases. To do this you must have a strong localization strategy. Here are four things to consider when getting started.


1. Appropriately Translate the Content


It's exactly what it sounds like. The content should be translated into the language of the target market. Make sure to work with language professionals who can best identify regional dialects or slang terms that will resonate with the intended audience. These experts will essentially keep things from getting lost in translation, or cultural blunders from happening.


2. Localize the Content


Companies must localize their apps to the standards of each regional market. This includes cultural nuances, idiomatic expressions, images and the layouts of mobile pages. Whether it's ensuring that proper sports terminology is used for athletic brands, or that luxury fashion brands maintain their image rights in foreign markets, the key focus is to provide a "local" experience for target market consumers.


3. Determine the Operating Systems


Localizing apps for various platforms, like iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows, depends greatly on the target market. In China, for instance, Samsung holds the largest market share, with Apple coming in fifth. Make sure to research this, particularly if your business must prioritize apps for specific platforms. Doing this will also help identify the necessary post-localization testing, verification and workflow creation. A consultant can help identify which platforms are ideal to focus on in each country.


4. Test


The final step presents one of the biggest challenges. Businesses must be sure to test apps on each platform for which the app is localized, in addition to the main mobile browsers. The testing process will show how an app works on various operating systems, and ensure consistency across all of them. It will also show whether the app needs to be adjusted to contain fewer graphics or media in order to load in a reasonable amount of time.

Flexibility is key when approaching the testing stage on mobile apps. Test apps directly on the devices themselves to ensure their compatibility. In other cases, apps lend themselves more to testing on emulators, which mimic specific mobile environments on a desktop.

Have you ever encountered an app that wasn’t localized properly? How did it affect the user experience?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, tedestudio

More About: apps, contributor, features, Mobile, mobile apps, mobile marketing


HTC Titan II: The Other LTE Windows Phone Is Big, Beautiful, Pricey [REVIEW]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:13 PM PDT


The HTC Titan II is HTC’s first LTE Windows Phone, and one of just two LTE Windows Phones currently on the market.

Debuting alongside the Nokia Lumia 900 on April 8th, the handset is HTC’s followup to the original Titan, a massive Windows Phone the company debuted in late 2011.

Under the hood, the Windows Phone Mango handset comes sporting a 1.5 GHz S2 Snapdragon processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. The phone has 800×480 Super LCD screen, and comes rocking a 1.3-megapixel froward-facing camera for video chatting as well as a massive 16-megapixel rear-facing cam.

However, it’s also $100 more with a new contract than the Lumia, its only LTE Windows Phone competition. So is the HTC Titan II worth the extra cash?


Design


One of the first things you’ll notice about the Titan II is that it’s huge. The phone measures 5.2 in. tall and 0.39 in. thick. The Titan’s curved design makes it easy to hold (even for medium-sized hands), but if you’re used to toting around something smaller like an iPhone then the Titan will definitely be an adjustment.

But if you have trouble viewing content on smaller screens, the Titan II offers a decent amount of screen real-estate that’s easy to read and interact with.


Display


The phone has a 4.7 in. touchscreen, which is on the smartphone high end. The Nokia Lumia 900 has a 4.3 in. screen. Unfortunately, the resolution on the Titan’s screen is just 800×480 — exactly the same as the Lumia and the original Titan.

The screen resolution is a limitation of Windows Phone, which currently can’t support higher res displays. But it stands out on the Titan II’s gigantic screen a little more than it does on smaller displays like the Lumia.

Zoomed-in text on the screen can often look pixelated and jagged, and video and photos look less sharp than they do on some other handsets running competing operating systems.


Camera


The 16-megapixel rear-facing camera is where the HTC Titan II really shines against the competition. 16 megapixels is larger than many of the point-and shoot cameras out there, and the phone’s dedicated camera shutter button can make you feel like you’ve got a traditional camera in your hand rather than your smartphone.

The Titan II’s built-in camera app comes loaded with a ton of scene modes and the kind of settings you might find on a point-and shoot. There’s a great panorama mode which allows you to shoot a panoramic shot by simply panning your phone across a scene.

Less exciting is the Titan II’s video-capturing abilities. The handset is only capable of recording 720p video, rather than the 1080p available on much of the competition. Sure, 720p video is by no means horrible. But it’s a definite downside if you’re looking to play your videos back later for friends on a television.


Windows Phone


If you haven’t tried out Windows Phone, you should go check out a handset at your favorite mobile retailer –- even if you’re not in the market for a new phone. The OS is clean, easy to use and perfect for smartphone newbies, as well as anyone looking for a simple no-nonsense smartphone solution.

Even though the Titan II has a single-core processor (another limitation of Windows Phone), the OS was able to zip smoothly along. App support for Windows Phone is considerably smaller than that available for iOS and Android, but we were able to find most of the apps we were looking for in the store. Their design meshed well with Windows Phone’s Metro interface.


What’s Missing


Microsoft is very strict about the requirements for Windows Phone devices. They want to make it so you’re looking at many of the same specs from handset to handset.

One important thing Windows Phone currently doesn't support, besides high-resolution displays, is microSD expansion. The Titan II comes with 16GB of built-in storage. After mandatory installs, however, you’re looking at a little over 13GB of available storage on the device for your apps, photos and videos.

If you’re someone who’s going to be snapping a ton of pictures with the handsets 16-megapixel camera, or recording 720p videos you’re going to eat up all that storage space pretty quickly — forcing you to store your content in the cloud rather than on the device itself.


Worth the Buy?


We really enjoyed the HTC Titan II, and would definitely rank it as one of the best Windows Phone handsets currently available. Unfortunately, its $199 price tag makes the handset twice the price of the LTE Nokia Lumia 900 (also on AT&T) which offers a superior body design and screen for half the cost.

What do you think about the HTC Titan II? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


One of the first Windows Phones




The HTC Titan II is HTC's first LTE Windows Phone, and one of just two LTE Windows Phones currently on the market.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: att, htc, LTE, Titan II, windows phone

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Now You Can Google Like It’s 1986

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 04:43 PM PDT




No, this isn’t the latest Google Doodle celebrating the anniversary of DOS.

Instead, it’s an imagining of what Google would look like if it was invented circa 1986. The design, by Squirrel-Monkey.com, has been kicking around for a few months, but an Austrian web design firm called Mass:Werk has created an actual working search engine that simulates the experience of “logging on” via a low-powered computer of the time.

The reason for the project remains unclear, but if the firm is simply trying to draw international attention, it has succeeded.

The site is the latest in a mini-trend: “What if X Was Invented in X?” So far we have seen Facebook recast as a 90s AOL competitor and Twitter as a 1980s BBS. (See gallery below.)

What do you think? Is the Reagan-era Google tubular, or grody to the max? Choose (Y/N) in the comments.


1. If Draw Something Were an Old PC Game


Break out those diskettes — it's time to play Draw Something. This video shows a player guessing what's being drawn with a catchy chiptune playing in the background of an old PC. Drawsome!

Source: SquirrelMonkeyCom

Click here to view this gallery.

[Via The Next Web]

More About: Google, viral


‘Who Needs Feminism?’ New Tumblr Promotes Gender Equality

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 04:15 PM PDT

Who Needs Feminism? Campaign

Move over, Feminist Ryan Gosling — there’s a new Tumblr battling sexism.

On Wednesday, 16 undergraduate students at Duke University launched Who Needs Feminism?, a campaign that encourages feminist and gender egalitarian discussion over social media.

The Tumblr features posters and statements from individuals explaining why feminism is important. Statements range from the personal to the global, including “I need feminism because it’s 2012 and only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women,” and “I need feminism because I want to be respected, regardless of what I'm wearing.”

Who Needs Feminism? began as the final project for the students’ seminar course, Women in the Public Sphere, the only guideline of which was to focus on social change.

“We discussed this extensively and concluded that there is a disturbingly apathetic sentiment toward feminism, both on campus and on a broader societal scale,” says Amy Fryt, a senior at Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. “We aim to challenge existing stereotypes surrounding feminists and assert the importance of feminism today.”

All 16 students on the Who Needs Feminism? team came from a variety of backgrounds, networks and social groups, which enabled them to connect with a large audience. Each student is female, but various male and transgender feminists have submitted to the Tumblr. One poster from a male Duke student reads, “I need feminism because too many people of my gender find sexual assault excusable on our campus.”

Who Needs Feminism? - Women Deserve Better

The Who Needs Feminism? team originally planned for the project to focus on Duke’s campus, but it quickly spread beyond that.

“Students from other schools started reaching out to us to start Who Needs Feminism? campaigns at their own schools,” says Laura Kuhlman, a junior at Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. “We've gotten posts from Duke alumni saying that they are proud of the university for taking this stance and posts from people who say that this campaign inspires them.”

Kuhlman says that they identified Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter as the main components of their social media strategy early on. “As college students, these are the platforms we use most frequently and we knew that we’d get an expansive reach. We initially thought Facebook would serve as our main source of promotion, but the Tumblr has really taken off,” she says.

Since many users have uploaded and submitted their own photos, Kuhlman says that the Tumblr is a great way to encourage discussion without the moderation that the Facebook page requires.

The Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter accounts all interact to promote the general campaign. According to the Who Needs Feminism? team, the Facebook page received over 4,200 likes within 36 hours of the project’s launch. As of last night, their Tumblr had been accessed by people in 2,509 different cities, has earned 30,000 pageviews and had been viewed by almost 13,000 people.

At the time of this posting, the Facebook page has well over 5,500 likes and counting.

More About: features, feminism, Social Good, tumblr, women


Put the Phone Down: April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 03:46 PM PDT


Even the most LOL-worthy text message is not worth risking your life to read while driving. That’s the message of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, or as you may know it, April.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) catchy slogan for its third annual campaign: “One Text or Call could Wreck it All.”

In 2009, distracted driving killed nearly 5,500 people and injured almost half-a-million. Another disturbing stat: 16% of all fatal crashes that same year involved distracted driving.

But the campaign does have some hopeful statistics to share. Now that California’s ban on texting and talking on a handheld cellphone while driving has been in effect for two years, road fatalities have fallen 22%.

Other states are catching up. In West Virigina, a law prohibiting texting and using a handheld phone while driving will go into effect July 2012. West Virgina will be the 10th state to outlaw texting and handheld devices while driving, not counting Washington DC, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

The DOT still has a lot of work to do to lower the incidences of car accidents caused by distracted drivers. A study by researchers at the University of Utah shows using a cellphone while driving — whether it’s handheld or hands-free device — delays a driver’s reactions the same as having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of .08%.

But cellphones are just the first frontier in distracted driving. The DOT is continuing to conduct research about whether or not GPS devices and hands-free headsets distract drivers by affecting cognitive abilities, Ray LaHood, secretary of transportation for the DOT, says in this YouTube video.

During one pilot program in 2010 conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — called “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” — law enforcement witnessed a decrease in cellphone use while driving. The program was enforced in four waves over the course of a one-year span in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York.

In total, nearly 20,000 tickets or citations were issued.

The results were impressive. In Syracuse, handheld cellphone use while driving decreased by one-third. In Hartford — where the instance of driving while using a cellphone was unusually high — there was a 57 percent decrease in handheld cellphone use while driving and a nearly three-quarter drop in texting while driving.

To drive home the point, the DOT also hosts a series of video on its YouTube called, “Faces of Distracted Driving.” Each of the videos highlight one story of fatalities caused by distracted driving. AT&T presented a similar campaign in 2010 with a 10-minute documentary called, “The Last Text,” which has nearly three million views to-date.

But not all countries are tackling the driving and cellphone use issue the same way. The Swedish National Road and Transport Institute recently said texting or using a handheld phone while driving is “harmless.”

The organization said there are no official statistics of how many car accidents are caused by distracted drivers in Sweden, but there are numerous studies that show driver focus is equally impaired whether drivers are using a headset or a phone. The biggest difference between the two was that drivers using headsets were more confident.

In the U.S. at least it seems drivers and car companies alike have welcomed the idea of using hands free devices to communicate while driving. In-car technology such as Ford Sync allows driver to have their text messages read aloud to them or adjust music via voice control.

But such technology walks the line between convenient and distracting. Plus, it’s facing opposition by the DOT.

What, if any, legislation would you support that restricts drivers’ use of cellphones or other devices while operating a vehicle? Sound off in the comments.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, lisafx

More About: Department of Transportation, distracted driving, YouTube


Pinterest Users: What’s the World’s Most Beautiful Country? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 03:14 PM PDT

The world has fallen in love with Pinterest, the social network with beautiful images at its core. Now Pinterest users get to decide where they most love in the world.

A crowdsourced project created by travel site First Choice — living in an interactive HTML5 infographic — is asking globally-minded Pinterest users which country is the world’s most beautiful. First Choice hopes the competition will awaken a desire for travel among users.

You can vote on Twitter or Pinterest for your favorite country, and share the reason behind your choice.

When you explore the graphic, you can see the pins submitted for other countries and learn why others voted for them as most beautiful.

As we published this, the UK was winning the infographic contest, with the U.S. in 6th place. That could change many times over, however.

An added perk to participation: a chance to win a DSLR camera.

Do you have a travel board on Pinterest? Does using the site encourage you to travel?

More About: infographic, non-profits, pinterest, Social Good

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Angelina and Brad’s Engagement: The Toast of Twitter

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 02:30 PM PDT


News of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s engagement rocked the interwebs Friday — and briefly nabbed the top trending spot on Twitter.

The fact that “Brangelina” are finally making it official was confirmed by Pitt’s manager Cynthia Pett-Dante. She told the Associated Press: “Yes, it’s confirmed. It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy.” No date has been set for the nuptials at this time.

Photos of Jolie rocking a big diamond ring on her wedding finger fueled the public’s curiosity about the jet-setting superstars’ engagement. Pitt’s manager also confirmed that Brad designed Angie’s ring.

SEE ALSO: Angelina Jolie Hilariously Legbombs the Internet

“Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie” was the top trending topic in the Twitterverse, but eventually fell below “Beliebers Are Beautiful.”

The most common responses to the news on Twitter: users who thought the couple was married already.

We grabbed some of the tweets that captured the moment the news was released. Take a look at the gallery below and tell us which one is your favorite.


Twitter Responds To Angelina and Brad's Engagement




Us Weekly was the first to tweet about the engagement news.

Click here to view this gallery.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, EdStock

More About: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Twitter


Mashable Is Seeking a Director of West Coast Sales

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 01:54 PM PDT


Are you based in San Francisco and looking for your next career opportunity? If so, there may be a place for you on Mashable‘s growing sales team. We’re looking for smart, resourceful candidates with ad sales and digital media experience for our Director of West Coast Sales opening.

The Director of West Coast Sales, based in Mashable‘s San Francisco office, will help take our thriving sales efforts to a new level. The person in this key role will take ownership of the entire sales process, from identifying sales opportunities all the way to carrying them through to successful campaign completion. Dynamic individuals ready to hit the ground running are encouraged to apply! See full position details and apply here.


Working at Mashable


We are a team of driven and passionate people who care deeply about the work we do. Mashable is a unique and open culture where innovation and collaboration thrives. Every day is an opportunity to spread knowledge and find solutions — not to mention have fun, laugh, and take risks.

We are proud to be part of the Connected Generation, and we always have an eye on what's next.

Sound exciting? Mashable is looking for smart, driven and energetic new team members. Check out our jobs page for our most recent listings.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ryasick.

More About: jobs, mashable

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Julian Assange’s TV Show to Premiere Next Week

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 01:34 PM PDT


Julian Assange




Julian Assange, 40, is an Australian-born political activist and journalist known for his controversial website WikiLeaks, which has published leaked documents that allege government and corporate misconduct. Assange fell into his career path after he was a hacker-activity in his early days. Photo courtesy Wikimedia

Click here to view this gallery.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has completed filming episodes for his upcoming TV show “The World Tomorrow,” which will air on Tuesday, April 17, on the Russia Today (RT) network.

Assange, who is the subject of a grand jury investigation in the U.S., will be hosting a series of conversations with “some of the most interesting and controversial people alive in the world today,” according to a statement attached to WikiLeaks’s Twitter page.

Assange filmed the series over the past two months at his temporary home in England, where he remains under house arrest.

Although it will originally air on Russia’s RT network, the show will also be available online and is expected to come to more networks in the near future.

"The World Tomorrow" will be a 12-episode series with a range of guests, from politicians and revolutionaries to artists and visionaries.

“The world’s last five years have been marked by an unrelenting series of economic crises and political upheavals,” the statement reads. “But they have also given rise to the eruption of revolutionary ferment in the Middle East and to the emergence of new protest movements in the Euro-American world.”

Assange believes the aim of the show is "to capture and present some of this revolutionary spirit to a global audience.”

“My own work with WikiLeaks hasn’t exactly made my life easier, but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas,” he said.

Although Assange remains under house arrest, he hasn't been shy about staying in the public eye. He recently played himself in the 500th episode of The Simpsons. He recorded his lines while under house arrest and was directed remotely.

SEE ALSO: Julian Assange Records The Simpsons Guest Spot Under House Arrest

Assange continues to wait for the ruling of Britain's Supreme Court regarding the possibility of extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

He also recently announced plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, acidpolly

More About: julian assange, wikileaks

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This Dog Jumps Rope Better Than You Can [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 01:18 PM PDT

This is Geronimo — a dog who is not only able to jump rope, but can jump double-dutch.

Considering that a large majority of the staff at Mashable HQ are unable to do that, we are suitably impressed.

The video was posted to YouTube on April 4th, but went viral today due to its inclusion on the Tosh.0 blog and Ellen Degeneris’ list of favorite YouTube videos.

More About: dogs, viral, YouTube


Life on Mars? NASA Wants Your Help Finding It

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 01:03 PM PDT

Mars

Right now, the Curiosity Rover is sailing through space en route to the Red Planet. The one-ton, car-sized beast should hopefully land intact on the surface of Mars in early August, and we can’t wait to see what it finds. Neither can NASA.

But after the robot rover has combed, poked at and rolled over the rocky surface: what then? What’s the next step in finding life on Mars, and putting human life on the Martian surface in the next few decades — especially given the space agency’s unfortunate budget constraints?

Well, NASA announced its plans to draw up a Red Planet road map Friday — and you’re invited to contribute.

“Receiving input from our community is vital to energize the planning process,” Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, told reporters on a conference call.

“We’ll integrate inputs to ensure the next steps for the Mars Exploration Program will support science, as well as longer-term human exploration and technology goals.”

As McCuistion spoke, five-time astronaut and NASA associate administrator John Grunsfeld tweeted this:



The input process isn’t yet as public-friendly as it could be. That link takes you to the homepage of the “Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration” conference, to take place at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston in July. You can sign up to attend and to submit a paper.

But McCuistion promises there will be more web tools for public input, and that the conference will be broadcast live online. The resulting Martian road map will be released in August — around the same time Curiosity lands.

Grunsfeld and the rest of the NASA team seem to be taking a lemons-to-lemonade approach to the Obama administration’s budget cuts. “We’re forced into different strategies,” he said, “but that can help you find different solutions.”

In any case, finding some kind of life on Mars may boost NASA’s bottom line. “Based on observations in the last six months, it’s reasonable to think there may be life on Mars today,” Grunsfeld added.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk: Why I’m a Space Junkie [VIDEO]

“If there’s life already there, we have to understand the effect on humans. It’s not just the question of are we alone, it’s a question of safety … we want to enable a path to putting more life on Mars, ie. us.”

How do you think we should approach the Red Planet? Tell us — and NASA — in the comments.

More About: Curiosity, Mars, NASA


Retro Digital Cinema Camera Is a Hit on Kickstarter [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 12:52 PM PDT


Meet the Digital Bolex D16, a small hand-held video camera inspired by the cinema-quality Bolex cameras popular in the 1960s and ’70s.

The Digital Bolex mimics 16mm film, which essentially provides independent filmmakers an affordable alternative to shoot high-quality, raw images that aren’t compressed.

The project has raised more than $262,000 on Kickstarter.com.

The first 100 backers will receive the Bolex D16 for $2,500 — a $800 discount, says inventors Elle Schneider and Joe Rubinstein.

The Kickstarter fund will help the creators develop the cutting-edge camera technology further.

“Think of the difference between a blocky, low-res JPEG image you find online, and a smooth high-res photographic print in a gallery,” Rubinstein said on the Kickstarter page.

“That's the difference between compressed, normal video footage and raw. It's a big difference.”

The Digital Bolex D16 prototype shoots completely in raw format files. The filmmaker can then adjust color balance, contrast, white balance and more without diminishing the quality of images.

The camera has a side crank that is easily programmable to control frame rates or other camera functions. The D16 offers high-quality resolution (comparable to the HD-quality of the new iPad).

Its creators claim the D16 is the first truly cinema camera featuring RAW, uncompressed video recordings. The camera stores data on dual CF cards.

“There is no camera on the market that offers affordable RAW quality to consumers and independent filmmakers,” Rubinstein said.

Would you back or purchase a Digital Bolex D16? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of Kickstarter, Joe Rubinstein

More About: camera, kickstarter, Raw, trending, Video


RIM Almost Let Other Phones Use the BlackBerry Network [REPORT]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 12:36 PM PDT


Research in Motion was on the verge of adopting a strategy that would have opened the company’s BlackBerry network to competing phones before a change in management led to its downfall, a new report claims.

According to Reuters, former RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie wanted to allow wireless carriers in North America to use RIM’s proprietary network to provide data service to non-BlackBerry phones. The idea was for carriers to leverage the rel atively inexpensive BlackBerry data plans — which would only allow basic social networking and instant messaging — to entice users to upgrade from low-end “feature” phones to smartphones.

However, the report says talks with the carriers led to trouble in RIM’s boardroom. Soon, both of RIM’s CEOs were out, replaced by the current chief, Thorsten Heins. The plan stalled, and Heins appears to have abandoned it, pinning RIM’s future solely on the success of its own platform — and the soon-to-come BlackBerry 10 phones in particular.

SEE ALSO: RIM Doesn't Need BlackBerry 10 — It Needs a Time Machine

BlackBerry phones use both RIM’s network as well as the carriers’ network. RIM’s network is extensive, and the company operates data centers in key locations. By compressing and encrypting much of the data that runs through the RIM network, BlackBerry phones tend to tax their data plans significantly less for everyday operations like instant messaging or Twitter updates.

For a large number of people, that’s exactly what they want to do with their phones. According to statistics from comScore, 64.2 million people use social networks on their phones, with more than half of them doing it “almost every day.”

Balsillie’s strategy would have presumably opened up a new source of revenue for RIM, and would have created a kind of in-between category of cellphone: something better than a feature phone, but not as versatile as a full smartphone, complete with multimedia apps like Netflix and Angry Birds.

But Heins took over, dropped the idea, and Balsillie resigned from the company’s board shortly thereafter.

What do you think of RIM’s almost-plan? Would it have been a good strategy, or was the new CEO right to kill it? Sound off in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, franckreporter

More About: blackberry, research in motion, RIM, smartphones, trending


Apple Releases Update to Remove Flashback Trojan

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 12:25 PM PDT


Apple has issued a new software update that also serves to remove the most common variant of the Flashback Trojan.

The update, which was released via Software Update on April 12, supersedes the previous software updates issued to patch the Java vulnerability that allowed malicious software to track users on more than 600,000 Macs.

In addition to removing the most common variant of the malware from infected systems, the latest update also does its part to protect against future Java infections.

As Apple’s security notes describe:

“This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets.”

The real-world effects of the Flashback Trojan are not really known, but the potential damage is very, very real. All Mac users are encouraged to update their systems immediately.

Apple has been criticized for allowing the vulnerability in its branch of Java to go unpatched for such a long time. This allowed Flashback to evolve from a user-installed piece of malware into something that would self install if user’s simply visited an infected web page.

While we’ll give the company credit for coming up with a solution that both removes the malware and helps protect against future attacks, this is also the sort situation that didn’t have to happen.

Apple advertises security as one of the key features of OS X — and this is true — but that doesn’t mean that Macs are invulnerable from malware. It doesn’t help when Apple-provided software is left out of date even after a vulnerability is found.

If you haven’t already, install the latest update on your Mac immediately.

More About: apple, flashback, mac, malware, os x, security, trending


‘Bully’ Director Takes Questions From Fans on Reddit

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 12:10 PM PDT


Lee Hirsch, the director of the documentary Bully, has taken to Reddit to do one of the site’s famous ‘Ask Me Anything’ crowdsourced interviews.

The filmmaker will be answering questions about the film, the concept of bullying, and any other question that Redditors may ask — which are known to sometime be a bit odd.

The film, which documents the victims of childhood bullying and their families, has drummed up awareness through a multi-platform social campaign. Hirsch has advertised the AMA on his other social platforms as well.

Here are some of the more compelling questions Hirsch has answered so far.


Ask Me Anything: Documentary Filmmaker Lee Hirsch


artventurer: What drove you to make this film?

As a kid, I was bullied, and it is an issue I have an extremely deep connection to.

JohnWad: Did you meet, Katy Butler..a fellow Michigander lol, the girl who petitioned to have the rating changed? The newspaper here in Michigan did a huge story on her this past sunday. It was in the Detroit Free Press, if you care to read it.

She sounds like an amazing girl.

John, I did and she is wonderful and has become an incredible part of this movement!

mrpibbandredvines: Why did you decide to go into documentary filmmaking, and what are some documentaries that personally inspire you?

I felt like filmmaking was the next step in extending my interest in work as an activist. I felt it was such a powerful medium that took my work to the next level. When I made my film “Amandla” about the power of song in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, I was really moved by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky “Brother’s Keeper”.

Bret16: Who is your biggest influence both as a filmmaker and as a person? Also, if you could be any animal, what would you be?

Nelson mandela and a giraffe!

lovexsongs:What was the most shocking thing that you experienced while filming Bully?
How did you find the schools you went to for filming? All schools have bullies, but did you do research to find schools that were particularly extreme?
Thanks for the AMA!

The whole experience was shocking, but the hardest by far was being with families who had lost their child to suicide. As for finding the schools, we reached out to many schools, and we were fortunate enough to find sioux city school’s who allowed us an entire year of access!

Vdra: In regards to how you are replying to those asking you about last night’s South Park episode:

LeeHirsch2: We are going to be making it free for thousands of kids across the country! Hundreds have already seen it for free !!

I’m not sure if you are trying to dodge the question, or you don’t understand the conveying message in the episode. Saying thousands of kids will be seeing it for free is very miniscule for a box office release. A quick search says we have around 20 million children in U.S schools today between the ages 12-17 in where you might find bullying. So who are the lucky thousand who get to see the movie for free? Will they be watching the movie in school or given free movie tickets to the show?

I still don’t think you answered South Park’s question properly though: If this movie is so important, why don’t you just release it on the internet for free?

As you know, this is indeed a business, and it takes money and time to produce such a film. I have dedicated 3 1/2 years of my life to make sure this film is used as a tool against this epidemic. We have a distributor, without whom you probably would not have ever heard of this film, who is working tirelessly to get it to as many locations across the country as possible. We will also be announcing a program soon, one that you may like, that will help get even more kids to see this film for free.

More About: AMA, bully, reddit, viral


Fans Topple Pane of Glass Onto NHL Player’s Head After Playoff Win [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 11:59 AM PDT

A group of over-exuberant fans banging on a pane of glass knocked the section of spectator protection onto an unsuspecting NHL player Thursday night. The Boston Bruins had just scored an overtime goal to steal a Stanley Cup Playoffs win in front of their home crowd, when Krejci got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Bruins center was celebrating with teammates near the glass partition that separates the hockey rink from fans. Fans repeatedly smacking a section of glass knocked the pane loose and and onto Krejci’s head. He was slammed to the ground and struggled to get back upright. See for yourself in the video above, courtesy of YouTube user MrGoFlyersGo.

Krejci missed practice Friday with a sore neck but is expected to play in the Bruins’ next game on Saturday, according to the Boston Globe.

What are the most amazing sports blooper videos you’ve seen? Let us now in the comments.

More About: sports, YouTube


Netflix’s Unlimited Employee Vacation Policy: Why It Works

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 11:33 AM PDT


Netflix employees have one less thing to keep track of: the amount of vacation days they take. Co-founder Reed Hastings recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that Netflix has an unlimited vacation policy.

In an effort to separate itself from bureaucratic corporations, Netflix, with its 900 employees, abandoned the typical vacation allotment to opt for a sky’s-the-limit plan. Keeping vacation unlimited, said Hastings, requires mature, responsible employees who care about high-quality work.

Netflix has a “freedom and responsibility culture,” Hastings told the publication in an article entitled, “How To Set Your Employees Free.” Hastings said Netflix gauges success by focusing on what employees get done, not on how many days they worked. The CEO does make sure to be a good role model and takes vacations, where he can do some creative thinking.

Hasting explained how the idea evolved: “My first company, Pure Software, was exciting and innovative in the first few years and bureaucratic and painful in the last few before it got acquired. The problem was we tried to systemize everything and set up perfect procedures. We thought that was a good thing, but it killed freedom and responsibility. After the company was acquired, I reflected on what went wrong.”

The pressure to hang onto one’s job in a bad economy, and smaller staffs at some organizations, have caused many workers to push themselves to burnout mode. Now, it seems, there may be a growing focus on employees regaining a work-life balance.

SEE ALSO: Sheryl Sandberg Leaves Work at 5:30 Every Day — And You Should Too

Netflix isn’t the only company that has jumped on the all-you-want vacation bandwagon. IBM has a famously flexible time-off policy — letting employees leave early and take a day off on short notice, just so long as they have a handle on their workloads. Numerous startups and innovative companies working in the tech space are beginning to see the benefits of ditching vacation limits and promoting personal responsibility.

What do you think about unlimited vacation policies? Does your employer offer a flexible or unlimited vacation policy? Tell us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Crisma

More About: IBM, netflix, reed hastings, trending, vacation

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5 Mobile Apps for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 11:17 AM PDT


1. Allergy Advisor





Allergy sufferers can check their local weather and pollen forecast every morning with Allergy Advisor and also see which specific pollens are most predominant in the area. In addition to pollen levels, users can also keep track of their symptoms and how they progress over time. Although the app was created by a pharmaceutical company, the alerts, allergy tips, and general information make it easy to overlook the subtle branding for nasal spray. (iOS and Android) Cost: FREE

Click here to view this gallery.

With April showers, come May flowers and for many, May flowers also come with itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and general pollen-induced misery. Seasonal allergies are on the way, like it or not.

So, if you see the beautiful sights of spring through watery eyes, then these five mobile apps will help you better prepare for the upcoming season.

More About: android, contributor, features, iphone, mobile apps


Online Poker: One Year After the Biggest Bust in Gaming History

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 11:00 AM PDT

On the anniversary of the biggest shakeup in the online gaming world, poker in the digital age is a far cry from what it was just one year ago. But according to industry experts, poker may be back online in the next few years.

This Sunday, April 15 — called the “Black Friday” of the online gaming industry — marks the one-year anniversary of the biggest scandal of the poker world. On this day in 2011, three of the largest gaming sites were shut down by the Department of Justice. Popular poker sites such as Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker were charged with illegal online gambling, as well as money laundering and bank fraud.

“Right now, if you want to play poker online for money, you can’t,” Douglas Tirola, writer and director of the documentary All In – The Poker Movie, told Mashable. “There was a community of thousands of people that made a daily living playing poker. After the industry was wiped out, those players had to find new jobs or many moved to other countries, such as Canada, the Caribbean or parts of Europe, where online poker is still booming.”

All In – The Poker Movie is in theaters now, and will be available for download via iTunes starting April 24, 2012. The film follows the worldwide poker boom that started in the underground clubs of New York City and went on to be played beyond homes and casinos worldwide, thanks to the growing online gaming world. All In features actor Matt Damon, who starred in the 1998 poker film Rounders, which introduced the allure of poker to mainstream audiences. It also featured professional and hall of fame poker players, and discussed the growth and fate of online poker in the U.S.

After online poker player Chris Moneymaker qualified on the Internet to play in the 2003 World Series of Poker and later won, more flocked to the sites to try their hands in online poker. Online poker revenues grew from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005.

SEE ALSO: How the DOJ Forced an Online Poker Savant Into Fantasy Sports

However, after the crackdown on April 15, 2011, players who had money in accounts in sites such as Full Tilt Poker were never reimbursed. (PokerStars reimbursed all of its players.) In addition to losing their money, they had nowhere to play.

Long before the crackdown, politicians who wanted to make gambling illegal targeted the game. In 2006 President George W. Bush signed into law The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which threatened to put an end to the online poker world.

But it wasn’t until 2011 that the Department of Justice stepped in and overtook the sites. PokerStars still has a statement up on its homepage from the government about the matter: “On 15 April 2011, PokerStars ceased providing real-money poker to residents of the United States and related territories. Real money play and deposits by US residents are strictly prohibited.”

Poker Message - 600

The news hit the poker industry hard, as many weren’t expecting a complete shutdown, especially under President Obama’s leadership. During his state senator days, Obama was known to play poker with his buddies, so when his administration shut down the online sites, it left many people perplexed and disappointed. It also affected a lot of people surrounding the poker industry, not just the players themselves.

For now, poker players are getting their fill by visiting casinos when they can.

“There are people more going to casinos because they have no other place to play,” says Tirola. “But there is a misnomer that casinos didn’t like the rise of online poker because it took people away from their properties, and that’s not true. It just provided people another way to get good at poker.”

However, many people in the industry hope and believe that online poker will return in the future.

“The general belief is that poker will come back online in the next few years, and that it will be regulated and taxed,” says Tirola. “People used to go to certain sites because professional players would be affiliated with those brands, but we’re expecting online card rooms to now be run by reputable casinos such as Caesars, Wynn or Mohegan Sun.”

Not only does the industry think poker will come back online; many believe it could be even bigger than the first boom.

“A lot of people stayed out of that space because they thought they were doing something illegal,” adds Tirola. “The next wave could attract more people than ever. You will also have bigger choices for online consumers from different casinos. It may not be as romantic and sexy as the first poker boom, but it has the potential to be even bigger.”

Online card rooms run by casinos would make the experience more about the casino itself than the professional card players behind it. For example, it would be like going to see the Yankees play because you support the Yankees — not necessarily because you love Derek Jeter.

“Before, everyone went to certain poker sites just for the poker stars that played on them,” says Tirola. “If and when poker comes back online, it will be a lot different.”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, nicolas_

More About: Entertainment, games, online gambling, online gaming, poker

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‘Software Engineer’ Tops List of 2012′s Best Jobs

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 10:45 AM PDT


Do you code for a living? Then congratulations, you have the best job in America right now, according to a new survey.

CareerCast, a site for job seekers, listed the top 200 jobs of 2012. Software engineer had the best overall score when you average work environment, income, stress level, physical demands and hiring outlook. The site, which used Department of Labor statistics, pegged the average income of a software engineer at $88,142.

Next on the list was Actuary, a job known for low stress levels and lucrative ($88,202) annual compensation.

The worst job? Lumberjack, judged to have high physical demands and stress and a lousy hiring outlook. Also bad: dairy farmer, enlisted military soldier and oil rig worker. For the full list of the 200 best jobs, click here.

Meanwhile, we’ve identified the top 10 other tech jobs that made the list. Is your occupation on it? Should it be? Let us know in the comments.


#8: Online Advertising Manager




Average salary: $78,148 Image courtesy of Flickr, Davichi

Click here to view this gallery.

Top image courtesy of iStockphoto, track5

More About: jobs, software engineer, study, trending

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Pinterest Contest Addresses Dangers of Driving in Heels [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 10:10 AM PDT


Confused — a U.K. insurance comparison website — has started a Pinterest campaign to steer people away from driving in platforms and pumps.

The Pinterest contest calls for users to submit the craziest shoes they have ever worn while operating a car. Present submissions include giant height-altering heels and gargantuan platforms. The winner will receive safer and more sensible flats to wear while driving.

This is a part of an ongoing campaign to warn drivers about dangerous behind-the-wheel habits. In an online survey of U.K. drivers, women have admitted to applying makeup while driving, while men say they are no strangers to shaving in the car.

The insurance company decided to use the popular virtual pinboard, to raise awareness for widespread, obscure and unsafe driving habits. The company hopes to engage with the 40% of women who drive in heels with the Pinterest contest. The goal is to prevent needless tragedies on the road.

“Wearing inappropriate footwear could cause the driver to lose control of the car and so we'd recommend keeping a pair of suitable shoes in the car to avoid any crashes,” said Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com. “Look at your feet, if you are wearing shoes which you would not wear for a driving test then you probably shouldn't wear them to drive either."

Do you drive in heels? Would you trade in your pumps for flats? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Thomas Hawk

More About: fashion, pinterest, shoes, Social Media, Video

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Mashable Is Nominated for a Webby Award

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 09:56 AM PDT


We’re pleased to announce that Mashable has been nominated for a Webby Award in the Websites category for best business blog.

Business coverage has always been core to Mashable since our days covering early Web 2.0 companies. Today, we continue to document how digital transforms business at all levels. Beyond business news, our community depends on us as a resource for excelling in their own careers.

Mashable has grown its editorial coverage of business over the past year, and now reports on a breadth of stories that span marketing, advertising, media, small businesses and startups.

There are two honors for each category: The Webby Award and The Webby People’s Voice Award. Members of the Academy will select the winners of The Webby Awards, and the public will determine the winners of The People’s Voice.

You can help us win the People’s Voice Award by voting here! Polls are open from now until April 26.

We’d like to thank our community for helping us earn this nomination and we’d greatly appreciate your support in helping us win an award.

More About: 2012 Webby Awards, Awards

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Google’s Amazing Growth, By The Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 09:40 AM PDT

Google may not be the new kid on the block anymore, but it’s still growing like one.

As this infographic from Statista shows, the company continues its upward trajectory, at least if you go by revenues, stock price, net income and market share. As of the first-quarter of 2012, Google seems set to once again have its biggest year ever.

Though Google+ has dropped some impressive stats lately, the company has a track record of social media failures and a federal antitrust probe could also derail Google’s growth. But as a snapshot of this moment in time, Google appears to be at the height of its powers.

Do you think Google can keep the momentum going? Let us know in the comments.


For the full-size version of this infographic, click here

More About: Google, Search, trending

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NAB: Broadcasters Conference Highlights Digital Content

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 09:19 AM PDT


At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, digital media professionals will present, educate and collaborate on the industry's latest technology. The show takes place April 14-19 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Founded in 1923, NAB has certainly come a long way from its roots in film and radio advocacy. Now the show tackles new media and entertainment technology in the widest scope possible — from content creation all the way to content consumption, and every step in between.

"Our event is about bringing together the leaders, the folks who are really driving media, entertainment, content development and distribution," says Chris Brown, EVP of conventions and business operations for NAB.

Some major players in the digital media space will be attending NAB to discuss current events and announcements. Ben Silverman, founder and CEO of entertainment studio Electus and producer of shows like The Office and Ugly Betty, will talk about how we can connect digital media titans and players with those who create content. Other speakers include Stephen Dubner, author of Freakanomics, and James Cameron and Vince Pace, who will provide updates about their company, the Cameron Pace Group, which fuses creative and tech. Last but not least, Hollywood sweetheart Betty White is a keynote speaker.

As you can imagine, the digital media landscape changes drastically from year to year. More and more the industry is being impacted by particular consumer preferences and buying habits.

"[The NAB Show] reflects a new reality today that's being driven by consumer demand," says Brown. "There's more demand for content, and maybe more demand for a new kind of content." And in fact, this year's event theme is "The Great Content Shift: Defining Your Evolution."

That's where creative comes in. Brown explains that NAB is dedicated to fostering content creation that can not only reach a wide number of people, but tell a story across a variety of different platforms and devices. NAB calls it "disruptive media."

And new creative means new business opportunities. "There's both an operational challenge in figuring it out, but then there's also a business model challenge in trying to understand how does that affect the way we make money?" says Brown.

NAB also features intricate technology that directly impacts content delivery and consumption — namely, connected TV systems, second screens, rich media streaming, next-generation 3D technology, and high-definition streaming in cloud-based platforms.

Content delivery platform Akamai specializes in making sure many of these technologies are accessible to the average viewer. The company will be attending the NAB Show, where it will demonstrate how it manages to deliver about 30% of the world's Internet traffic — by hosting high-quality content at very high volumes.

In fact, Akamai plays a role in the content delivery of almost every major broadcaster, event and sporting league in the world, says SVP and general manager of Akamai's media division, Bill Wheaton. The company has built the largest video delivery system over IP in the world.

"We're basically looked at as the FedEx of the Internet. People outsource to us that large-scale delivery at very, very large volumes," he says.

At NAB, Akamai will be announcing its work related to this year's Olympics. Wheaton says 30-36 broadcasters are expected to participate in the 2012 games, the majority of which Akamai will be helping to deliver content. Just how much content? About 3,600 hours of footage over a 17-day period, all of which needs to be high-quality, adaptive bitrate streaming across a myriad of devices. Oh, and it has to be secure from potential cyber attacks. Akamai employs KONA Security Solutions to protect its customers' content from these threats, of which it sees about 1,400 in a given 24-hour period.

"[Akamai security] allows high-profile sites and companies to work on the web very securely, and they don't have to worry about potential attacks from groups like Anonymous," says Wheaton.

Other attending companies are more involved in the search and discovery stage of digital content. For instance, Rovi's discovery technologies and entertainment metadata help consumers who seek all kinds of content, from live broadcast, video on-demand, recorded, cloud-based or over-the-top entertainment.

Chief evangelist at Rovi, Richard Bullwinkle, explains the company's role at the upcoming NAB Show. "For companies involved in the delivery of professional video, we will unveil new encoding solutions designed to streamline the preparation of video entertainment for digital distribution channels."

Rovi will also be sharing an updated version of the MainConcept SDK, its video and audio codec library, which helps developers serve the broadcast, professional and consumer industries.

Interestingly, NAB isn't just about serving strictly the new media and entertainment spaces. Traditional TV, radio and cable powerhouses, independent content creation agencies, special effects and computer animation houses also benefit. The event is also valuable for enterprise sectors, like health care, education, retail, government and even the military (at the show, an unmanned surveillance drone will circle overhead).

Where does your industry fall into the mix? Are you involved in any phase of content creation or distribution? Where do you see digital content and media technology going in the future?

Images courtesy of NAB Show

More About: content delivery, Entertainment, Events, NAB, new media, TV, Video

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5 Modern TV Shows Recut as Classic Sitcoms

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 08:46 AM PDT


1. The Walking Dead Alternate Intro


A zombie apocalypse is a great vehicle for comedy, right?

Click here to view this gallery.

It is fascinating how clever editing and a fresh soundtrack can dramatically change your perception of existing footage.

Previously, we’ve collated movie trailers recut to resemble horror films. Now we’re taking a look at popular television shows re-edited with situation comedy title sequences.

SEE ALSO: 7 Amusing Nature Mockumentaries [VIDEOS]

Grab your popcorn and take a look through our video gallery above. Let us know in the comments below which ones you thought were most effective edits.

More About: Entertainment, features, gallery, Video, viral videos, YouTube

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