Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Facebook IPO Fallout and Two Other Stories You Need to Know”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Facebook IPO Fallout and Two Other Stories You Need to Know”

Facebook IPO Fallout and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Posted: 23 May 2012 04:45 AM PDT

Social Media News

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

Facebook IPO Fallout: What Went Wrong

Three days on the market, and Facebook stock price plunged to $31, down 18% from its initial offer price of $38.

While the IPO may have been successful in terms of investors’ interest in the stock, new details are surfacing each day, casting a dark shadow over the most important day in Facebook’s history.

Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on Facebook's public offering, reduced revenue forecasts for Facebook days before the IPO; more importantly, it seems it only informed its top clients about it. Morgan Stanley claims everything was "in compliance with all applicable regulations," but we wouldn’t be surprised if we see more sordid details about the IPO unearthed in the following days and weeks.

Bing’s Visual Search Is Gone

Microsoft has silently removed its visual search tool from Bing months ago, and not many have noticed, Search Engine Land reports. The visual search URL no longer works, but Bing’s standard image search is still available at

Eugene Polley, Inventor of the TV Remote, Dies at 96

Eugene Polley, the man who invented the first wireless TV remote control device, died Sunday at a Chicago hospital. He was 96.

Polley created the Flash-Matic in 1955 for Zenith Electronics. It was a device that used visible light to remotely control a television, with the option to turn it on and off and change the channel. Polley and fellow Zenith engineer Robert Adler received an Emmy award in 1997 for their work on the TV remote.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock

More About: bing, Eugene Polley, Facebook, features, first to know series, mashable

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Russia and Japan Interested in Moon Exploration

Posted: 23 May 2012 03:27 AM PDT

Russia and Japan want to explore the Moon, and in a big way.

At the Global Space Exploration Conference, which started on May 22 — the same day SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon capsule towards the ISS, which is why NASA administrator Charles Bolden was absent from the conference — Russia and Japan laid out their plans for space exploration, both focusing on Earth’s natural satellite.

"We're not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago. We're talking about establishing permanent bases," said Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

Japan’s space exploration goals for the near future are similar to those of Russia. "We are looking at the moon as our next target for human exploraiton," said Yuichi Yamaura, an associate executive director at JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency.

Interestingly enough, though it was the first country to successfully send human astronauts to the Moon, the US is currently not as interested in Moon exploration as Russia and Japan.

NASA’s Global Exploration Roadmap, which details its plans for the next 25 years of space exploration, offers two main courses — establishing a Moon base by 2020 or sending astronauts to an asteroid. President Barack Obama favors the latter option, but that may change after the November elections.

Which option do you prefer? Would you rather see astronauts sent to an asteroid, or a permanent Moon base? Share your opinions in the comments.

More About: japan, moon, NASA, russia, space, space exploration, trending

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Grockit Wants to Build a Pinterest for Learning

Posted: 23 May 2012 02:58 AM PDT

Search engines may make it easy to find information, but they don’t necessarily do the same for learning it.

That’s why the founders of social test prep startup Grockit want to re-configure online content such as YouTube videos, Wikipedia entries and ebooks into ordered lesson plans.

Their new product, Learnist, works a bit like a Pinterest for learning. Soon anyone (the capability is still invite-only at launch) will be able to compile content pieces onto a board or “learning.” A nifty bookmarklet makes it easy to collect content from other sites.

Unlike Pinterest, however, creators suggest a path in which to consume each content component. Users can check off each component as they go or “re-add” it to one of their own learnings.

So how does Learnist beat Google as a learning tool? Or Pinterest, for that matter?

Grockit founder Farbood Nivi argues that expert curation helps avoid the misinformation, hacked-together how-to articles and other useless content one must weed through in a typical Google search. It also provides a clear learning path and eventually, he hopes, will include some form of assessment.

“We don’t think it’s a Wikipedia replacement,” he says. “We think it’s a Wikipedia enhancement.”

The scope of content he has in mind is larger than that of both online course platforms such as Udemy as well as that of Sophia, a startup with a similar mission of helping experts curate content that focuses on academics. Along with lessons about common core standards, it includes topics such as “how to find the best pizza in Brooklyn” or “how to hack your kitchen” that don’t require courses.

He wants to replace not just textbooks, but also how-to articles.

Grockit will continue to offer its test-prep service for $30 per month, but it is focusing on Learnist going forward. Grockit’s social, adaptive learning question sets are now embeddable within Learnist boards.

“Test prep was always a stepping stone to larger learning,” Nivi says about the change in direction. “We always knew this was coming. We just didn’t know what it would look like.”

Image courtesy of istockPhoto, fotosipsak

More About: clearspring widget, education, Grockit

Tesla’s Model S Is Nearly Upon Us [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 May 2012 12:22 AM PDT

High-end electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla announced the upcoming launch of its Model S four-door sedan, which should be available almost any day now. If you are one of the lucky people who ordered the luxury EV, it could arrive in your driveway as soon as June 22.

The Tesla website breaks the Model S into two groups — the limited edition Model S Signature and the just plain Model S. The former is the more expensive model, ranging from $87,900- $97,900, with only 1,000 made. The site notes the Model S Signature vehicles are slated to be delivered mid-2012 and the Model S — which ranges from $49,900-$84,900 in price — in Fall 2012. So, if you see a Tesla car being delivered to your neighbor’s house next month, be sure to ask for a test drive — the top-of-the-line Tesla goes from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds.

Another California electric vehicle company, Coda Automotive, has also launched its Coda Sedan. Priced at $37,250, it aims to make the EV market more affordable.

Would you buy the Tesla Model S? Tell us in the comments.

More About: electric vehicles, Tesla

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The Flaming Lips to Livestream Epic 24-Hour Trip

Posted: 22 May 2012 09:15 PM PDT

In a nearly 30 year career, the Flaming Lips have never adhered to conventional wisdom. In a truly epic performance this summer, the band will continue pushing boundaries and searching for what singer Wayne Coyne refers to as “absurd.”

In June, the Flaming Lips will attempt a new test of endurance when the group tries to break Jay-Z’s Guinness World Records title for the most live performances in different locations during a 24 hour period. They’ll board a bus that will take them across the American south, beginning in Memphis and winding up in New Orleans. En route they will give 8 different live performances.

The endeavor is being put on by MTV’s O Music Awards, at which the Flaming Lips are nominated for the “Digital Genius” award. The awards show will take place concurrently with the bus trip on June 27, 2012, and will be viewable entirely via live stream at

This marathon live experience follows a prolific output of recorded music distributed in unique ways, such as a 24 hour song, a variety of releases that require you to eat your way to the product, and a song that is designed to be heard only when 12 YouTube videos play at once.

In the video above, Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne talks about the trip, the connective power of digital music, and what it means to be called a “digital genius.”

More About: mtv, o music awards, The-Flaming-Lips

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Google’s Moog Doodle: The Inside Story

Posted: 22 May 2012 09:00 PM PDT

Why do Google Doodlers build the things they do? They’re fans, that’s why. When Google’s Chief Doodler Ryan Germick and Google Engineer Joey Hurst decided they wanted to build the Google Moog Synthesizer Doodle, it was to “Pay tribute to someone who was like a patron saint of the nerdy arts,” said Germick.

Germick told Mashable that he was a huge Robert Moog fan. Moog, who died in 2005 and would have been 78 today, developed what is widely recognized as the first commercial synthesizer. Previous versions were the size of closets. Germick called him “a passionate toolmaker.”

Hurst and Germick collaborated on last year’s playable Les Paul guitar Google Doodle, but it was Germick who brought this project to Hurst — who actually celebrated his birthday one day before Moog’s — as a kind of a challenge. “Joey is an amazing engineer and I love to come up with a way to stump him,” explained Germick.

The concept was to recreate the Mini Moog Analog Synthesizer in a Web browser. Germick thought there was no way it could be done. Hurst, who knew someone who owned an original Moog, was instantly excited by the project.

Hurst obviously succeeded, but it wasn’t easy. The project, which was done on Hurst’s 20% “work on what you want at Google” time (he is not on the Google Doodle team), took almost four months from the first mention to the roll-out. That unveiling actually began yesterday in parts of the world where it was already the 23rd. Hurst explained it was probably one of the most involved engineering efforts they’ve ever had for a Google Doodle and required thousands of lines of code.

Hurst said he was excited to show the first functioning version to Germick. “It looked terrible,” said Germick with a laugh, but it was producing audio. “That’s the joy of programming in general. You spend a little bit of time and you can make these really amazing things,” said Hurst.

Moog Doodle Guide Thumbnail

Click to see the full guide.

Interestingly, there was a recent development that helped make the fully-functioning, virtual Moog device possible: a new API from Google. Hurst said Google recently added the Web Audio API to Google Chrome. It provides, he said, “Really high-quality, low-latency audio” in the browser, but not in all Web browsers. Outside of Chrome, the Moog Doodle turns into pure Flash.

If you haven’t checked out the Google Doodle yet, then you may not understand how complex it really is. The Google Moog has 19 full-functioning knobs, one wheel, a switch and four tracks that let you record up to 30 seconds of overlaid audio. As with the Les Paul Guitar doodle, you can play, record and share, via a link or Google Plus.

Of course, all that complexity can be overwhelming. I fiddled around with the Moog Doodle, but had no idea what any of the knobs did. Fortunately, both Google and Moog Music are providing a key that offers a larger image of the Moog Doodle and guides on what everything does.

“We had a terrific blueprint,” said Germick. “The synthesizers that Moog made were really works of art in and of themselves.”

Google also got full cooperation from both the Bob Moog Foundation, which is run by Moog’s daughter, and Moog Music. “They could not have been sweeter, nicer, better partners,” said Germick.

What the Moog Doodle does not have, though, are any Easter Eggs — or at least any that Germick and Hurst would tell us about. The fun, they said is in fiddling with all the knobs to create “weird sounds.” In fact, Germick even recreated some from his youth, including the Pac Man sound effects.

You can learn more about how to play the Moog Doodle here and at the Google Doodle blog post.

Share your musical creations and Moog Synthesizer secrets in the comments. The photo below shows the Moog Doodle’s creators, Germick (left) and Hurst.

Google’s official Moog Doodle video:

More About: Google, google doodle, moog synthesizer, robert moog

Is This $15 Million Zeppelin the Future of Air Tourism? [HANDS ON]

Posted: 22 May 2012 08:38 PM PDT

Give me that Old Time Zeppelin

The first time you see Eureka, it's hard not to think of the Hindenberg era. (Of course, they are powered by completely different gases -- helium, not hydrogen)

Click here to view this gallery.

If you live in the Bay Area, you’re likely already familiar with the Eureka. You can see its white and orange frame just about every morning and afternoon, hanging in the skies near San Francisco, casually drifting over the busy city a thousand feet up, like it has all the time in the world.

The casual observer may confuse the Eureka with a blimp. But you don’t have to be an expert to realize it isn’t. Blimps are pudgier, smaller, harder-to-maneuver balloons mostly used for sports coverage. The Eureka is long, thin and can turn on a dime, like a sleek sky shark. And it has only one purpose: air tourism.

Run by a company called Airship Ventures, the Eureka is one of only three functioning Zeppelins in the world — or, to be more precise, a $15 million Zeppelin NT (for New Technology). At 246 feet long, it is also the world’s largest airship, and slightly longer than a Boeing 747.

When I first hopped on the Eureka, in 2009, Airship Ventures was a struggling two month-old startup. After 2008, it seemed an odd moment to launch a helium-based tourism company — who in that economy could afford $950 for a two-hour sunset cruise in the twelve-berth cabin, or even the $199 for half an hour?

But that champagne-sipping, cheese-nibbling sunset cruise over the Golden Gate kept passengers coming from the Bay Area and beyond. Airship Ventures thrived, particularly with sponsorship from companies such as Farmer’s Insurance and Pixar (which used the Zeppelin to promote ‘Up’).

Initially based in NASA’s Moffet Field, near the Googleplex (and with a great view of it), Airship Ventures now also runs the Eureka out of the Oakland Airport. It takes regular flights, chartered and otherwise, down the coast to LA, the OC and San Diego. It has shown up on the Colbert Report. The company is mulling the purchase of another Zeppelin.

And perhaps the biggest compliment of all: Goodyear is retiring its famous blimp and ordering a fleet of three Zeppelins — doubling the world’s fleet. The Goodyear Zeppelins will also do air tours around America starting in January 2014.

So is this a flourishing business model? Airship Ventures is the first to admit that Zeppelin travel is not going to replace the airline industry in getting people from Point A to Point B as fast as possible. Quite the opposite. It’s about being unhurried, and floating above a beautiful city, chatting with the pilots and flying close enough to take fantastic snaps. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

Check out our gallery, and let us know in the comments: would you pay to fly in a Zeppelin?

More About: airship ventures, zeppelin

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What Went Wrong With Facebook’s IPO?

Posted: 22 May 2012 08:22 PM PDT

Facebook’s initial public offering is off to a less than spectacular start, to put it generously. The stock closed at $31 on its third day Tuesday, down 18% from its initial offer price of $38, which valued the company just above $100 billion.

After Facebook’s stock closed flat its first day, investors and media began to speculate whether Facebook’s initial offer price was too high. Others argued that momentum was damaged by Nasdaq’s technical difficulties, which delayed buying by a half hour, as well as by a report that General Motors was planning to pull its Facebook ads just days before the IPO.

Facebook’s revised IPO prospectus, and the relatively poor performance of other social media stocks in 2011, may have further dampened investors’ enthusiasm for the stock.

Now, conjectures about the reasons for Facebook’s spiraling stock performance are growing more sinister. In a report published Tuesday, Reuters suggested that Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on Facebook’s public offering, told its top clients most likely to place large orders for Facebook stock that the bank’s analysts were cutting their revenue forecasts for the company just days before the IPO. That may explain, in part, why demand for Facebook stock has been weaker than expected.

The problem, as Reuters points out, is that Morgan Stanley isn’t allowed to publish earnings estimates until 40 days after the IPO. It’s not illegal for Morgan Stanley to give major clients a verbal preview of those estimates per se, but it does seem, as Business Insider‘s Henry Blodget claims, “grossly unfair” to retail investors and the market as a whole.

But why reduce revenue forecasts in the first place? It’s an unusual move, and additionally alarming because all three of Facebook’s underwriters — Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs — did so after Facebook released a small and vague revision to its IPO prospectus May 9, cautioning investors about its lack of monetization strategy for mobile. The disclosure reads:

“Based upon our experience in the second quarter of 2012 to date, the trend we saw in the first quarter of DAUs increasing more rapidly than the increase in number of ads delivered has continued. We believe this trend is driven in part by increased usage of Facebook on mobile devices where we have only recently begun showing an immaterial number of sponsored stories in News Feed, and in part due to certain pages having fewer ads per page as a result of product decisions.”

As Blodget points out, it seems “inconceivable that all three analysts could have read the language above and concluded independently that Facebook’s Q2 was weak and therefore decided to take the highly unusual step of cutting estimates in the middle of a company’s IPO roadshow.”

So what happened? Citing “a source,” Blodget says analysts cut their estimates “because a Facebook executive told them to.” Finra regulations forbid Morgan Stanley from sharing its revenue projections with Facebook, but there’s nothing that forbids Facebook from telling Morgan Stanley that their projections may be too high, or from Morgan Stanley passing that information on to their clients.

A spokesperson would only tell CNBC that the bank was “in compliance with all applicable regulations” regarding Facebook’s IPO.

Morgan Stanley may not have done anything illegal, but the rocky IPO does cast doubts on Facebook’s second-quarter revenue expectations, and it’s likely that doubt will be further reflected in Facebook’s stock price in the coming days. Should analysts’ estimates, which will be made public in 36 days, prove less bearish than the signs above indicate, the stock could reverse its downward trend. But the going promises to be uncertain until then.

Bonus: Facebook's Road to IPO

2004: First Offers Turned Down

Facebook launches with humble beginnings that most people have seen dramatized in The Social Network by now. It was a small social site backed by only a little money, and limited just to the undergrads at Harvard. Right out of the gate, Facebook turned down offers from an unknown investor and Friendster, each offering $10 million. This was, of course, when the company was still called TheFacebook.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Facebook, facebook ipo, Morgan Stanley

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How Tech Savvy Are Today’s Dads? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 22 May 2012 08:07 PM PDT

The blogging, Facebook updating, digitally hip mom has become a domestic trope these days. But what about dads?

Statistics show they’re catching on too. In fact, in some ways dads may even be more social media savvy than their female parenting counterparts, according to family life survey conducted last year. Fathers, the study found, had 26 more online friends than mothers on average, and were 7% more likely to be friends with their child on a social network. Dads also spent significantly more time interacting with their kids online, according to the study.

Dads are using technology and social media to connect with one another, too. A number of popular “daddy blogs” have popped up online, and social media-themed conferences for dads have generated impressive engagement.

The Internet education portal pulled together research from a number of sources to produce the infographic below. Check it out to see a fuller picture of just how connected dads are today.

Who’s more tech savvy — your mom or your dad? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, Squaredpixels

More About: infographics

This Kickstarter for Startups Will Trade Equity for Funding

Posted: 22 May 2012 07:53 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: Fundable

Quick Pitch: Fundable helps crowdfund startups.

Genius Idea: Taking advantage of new legislation that makes crowdfunding legal.

Kickstarter may have provided millions of dollars in seed funding for startups such as Pebble Technology, but the company — which has raised more than $200 million for 22,000 products — has no intention of becoming a crowdfunding hub in the literal investment sense.

“We're not gearing up for the equity wave if it comes,” Kickstarter co-founder Perry Chen said in a recent interview with GigaOm. “The real disruption is doing it without equity.”

Fundable disagrees. The startup, which launched Tuesday, plans to take advantage of new crowdfunding laws that make it legal for startups to solicit investments publicly online and accept money from unaccredited investors.

Its website will offer investors two options. The first will be to contribute money in exchange for a product or reward, which is how the process works on Kickstarter. The second will be to back a startup in exchange for an equity stake in it.

Mixing the two models would set Fundable apart from not just Kickstarter, but also CircleUp, another company that plans to create online crowdfunding opportunities in the wake of the new laws, but doesn’t offer a rewards-based fundraising option.

But the company still has a couple of hurdles to clear before it can put both models into place.

Crowdfunding legislation is so new that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hasn’t set rules for it — it’s required to do so by July 4 — and Fundable needs to be approved by the SEC as a broker/dealer before it can handle investments.

In the meantime, the company is focusing on offering rewards-based deals — which makes it look, for the time being, like a less-populated version of Kickstarter.

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: bizspark, fundable

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Guy Kawasaki Compares Google+ to Apple, Calls it a ‘Religious Experience’

Posted: 22 May 2012 07:32 PM PDT

Former Apple software evangelist Guy Kawasaki thinks that Google+ has a lot in common with Apple.

"When I saw Macintosh for the first time it was somewhat of a religious experience for me," said Kawasaki during a talk at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference Tuesday. "Fast forward about 25 years and I had a second religious experience — which is when I saw Google+ for the first time"

Kawasaki was leading a presentation at the conference on building your brand on Google+. A suggested account, Kawasaki currently has over 2 million people following his posts on the service. He also has 900k followers on Twitter, and a substantial Facebook following.

"When I started Google+ I didn’t need another social media/social networking service,” he said Tuesday. “I had plenty to do with Twitter and Facebook. But when I saw Google + it’s as if scales were removed from my eyes."

Kawasaki also uses the metaphor of scales being removed from his eyes in his bio on his website when referring to the first time he saw the Apple II.

"I noticed something very parallel between Macintosh and Google+, which is I thought Macintosh is a better computer, it was used by far fewer people, and the experts -– I use experts in quotation marks euphemistically and sarcastically -– the experts were saying that Macintosh would die,” he said. “Fast-forward 25 or 30 years, I saw Google+, thought it was better, fewer people were using it, and the experts were saying it would die."

Kawasaki says the design of Google+, particularly the white space of it, reminds him of an Apple Store. He also loves the way photos are integrated into your feed in the network, calling it a “religious experience.”

At the peak of his Macintosh career in 1987, Kawasaki wrote a book called ‘The Macintosh Way’ that explained what they were trying to do with Macintosh. Now he’s decided to write another book about a product, Google’s social network, called "What the Plus?" The $2.99 e-book is available now.

"I’ve written about product twice in my life: Macintosh and Google+. That’s how much I love Google+,” said Kawasaki.

What do you think about Google+? Is the social network going to be a silent hit like Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thumbnail via iStockphoto, franckreporter.

More About: apple, Google

BET Awards Reveals First Interactive App

Posted: 22 May 2012 07:16 PM PDT

Buried in the announcement revealing actor Samuel L. Jackson as the host for the 12th Annual BET Awards were brief descriptions of the ceremony’s first mobile app.

Mashable, however, got an early demo last week of the massively interactive app. It’s sprinkled with gaming elements tied to voting for the award show’s nominees or predicting the order of performers during the July 1 shindig.

The Black Entertainment Television Awards honors African-Americans in music, movies and sports. Last year, producers integrated social media heavily on air and on location through a star-studded "social media lounge."

The slick, colorful app comes out in June and will reward users with prizes and online prestige such as displaying the high scorer’s Twitter handle prominently on one of the game’s main interfaces.

Aside from the gaming aspects, the app will feature a clickable timeline of the BET Awards, in-depth artist profiles, curated tweets and videos. A “Tweetmap,” meanwhile, will show where app users are tweeting from and let them zoom in to view user profiles and tweets. It resembles the network’s app for its 106 & Park show.

“We knew we wanted to make voting fun,” Brandon Lucas, BET’s VP of mobile, recently told Mashable, adding that production on the app began five months ago.

One game, Too Big to Pick, lets users vote for nominees by shooting disks into a moving goal with the slide of a finger. The more disks a user makes into the goal, the more votes that user will tally. Players can see how their Facebook friends fared in the game, too.

Another game, The Line-Up, is a fantasy sports-style game in which people predict the order of the show’s performers and then compare their lists with friends and celebrities.

Both games allow players to share their scores and line-ups to Facebook and Twitter.

SEE ALSO: BET Makes Social Media Blitz Ahead of 2011 BET Awards

On Tuesday, BET Networks also unveiled the first two confirmed performers: Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown.

“We have many more acts to come,” says Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials at BET Networks. “The Shrine Auditorium will be shaking for the R&B stalwarts Maze featuring Frankie Beverly as they receive the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award. We’re just getting started and already the show is living up to its slogan: It’s too big to miss.”

Kanye West, who is no stranger to going on entertaining, multi-tweet tirades, snagged the most nominations with seven. Beyonce, who has been revamping and boosting her digital presence as of late, received six nominations.

Here is a full list of nominees for this year’s show:

Best Female R&B Artist
Marsha Ambrosius
Mary J. Blige
Melanie Fiona

Best Male R&B Artist
Chris Brown
Bruno Mars
Trey Songz

Best Group
Bad Meets Evil
Diddy-Dirty Money
Maybach Music Group
Mindless Behavior
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)

Best Collaboration
Beyonce f/ J. Cole – “Party”
Big Sean f/ Kanye West & Roscoe Dash – “Marvin & Chardonnay”
DJ Khaled f/ Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne – “I’m On One”
Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – “The Motto”
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – “Otis”
Wale f/ Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Big Sean
J. Cole
Lil Wayne
Rick Ross
Young Jeezy

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj
Brianna Perry

Video of the Year
Beyonce – “Countdown”
Beyonce – “Love On Top”
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – “N***as in Paris”
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – “Otis”
Usher – “Climax”

Video Director of the Year
Beyonce & Alan Ferguson
Benny Boom
Chris Brown & Godfrey Tabarez
Kanye West
Hype Williams

Best New Artist
A$AP Rocky
Big Sean
Meek Mill

Best Gospel
Yolanda Adams
Kim Burrell
James Fortune & FIYA
Fred Hammond
Trin-I-Tee 5:7

Best Actress
Angela Bassett
Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Regina King
Zoe Saldana

Best Actor
Don Cheadle
Idris Elba
Kevin Hart
Denzel Washington

YoungStars Award
Jacob Latimore
Keke Palmer
Willow Smith

Best Movie
Good Deeds
Jumping The Broom
Laugh At My Pain
Red Tails
The Help

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Candace Parker
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Carmelo Anthony
Kobe Bryant
Victor Cruz
Kevin Durant
LeBron James

Coca-Cola Viewer’s Choice Award
Beyonce – “Love On Top”
Chris Brown – “Turn Up the Music”
Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – “The Motto”
Mindless Behavior – “Hello”
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – “Otis”
Wale f/ Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”

Centric Award
Robert Glasper
Robin Thicke

Best International Act: Africa
Camp Mulla (Kenya)
Ice Prince (Nigeria)
Lira (South Africa)
Mokobe (Mali)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Wizkid (Nigeria)

Best International Act: UK
Emeli Sande
Wretch 32

BONUS: The Social Media Lounge at the 2011 BET Awards

BET Awards Social Media Lounge

D'banj (@iamdbanj), who was winner of Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: bet awards, BET Networks, celebrities, Entertainment, Music, social tv, TV

The Business of In-App Advertising [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 May 2012 06:53 PM PDT

Watch previous episodes of Behind the Launch here!

In Mashable‘s new video series, Behind the Launch, we’re taking cameras behind the scenes at Vungle, an in-app video advertising startup. New episodes air every Monday and Wednesday, but we’ll be running bonus footage throughout the series to provide a deeper look into the startup experience.

On Monday, we saw Vungle bring in David Oh as a candidate for a business development position. Above, watch David share his vision for “the great Vungle experiment,” what he sees as a win-win for developers, publishers and advertisers.

Be sure to watch tomorrow’s episode and join the conversation on Twitter, #BehindTheLaunch.

About Vungle

Vungle is a San Francisco-based company that purveys mobile video ads to promote apps. Just last week, Vungle announced that it had raised $2 million from big Silicon Valley and Alley names: Google Ventures, AOL Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, Charles Hudson’s SoftTechVC's, Maynard Webb, Scott McNealy and Tim Draper. Vungle also has offices in the UK and Pakistan.

Zain Jaffer, CEO and Co-Founder — A successful and zany entrepreneur since age 15, Zain launched his first Internet company and built-up an impressive list of clients, including Google, Mozilla Firefox, MTV and Hilary Duff, before his 18th birthday. British.

Jack Smith, Co-Founder — Self-described lunatic marketer and hacker. Started his career as a freelance web designer at age 13, founded a video startup, MediaRoots, in college. Met Zain at King’s College London University in 2009. British.

Bryant Chou, CTO — Full stack engineer and software architect with more than five years of experience developing mobile apps. He’s an enthusiastic traveler who’ll share his travel tales with you over a cold beer. American.

Marta Bulaich, Chief Yoga Officer — Marta’s first job was with the masterminds behind the TV infomercial legends Chia Pet and Clapper. After a career of working with various startups and venture capital firm, she came to Vungle to do public relations and center their chi in full lotus. American.

Ben Lindsey, Senior Software Engineer — A veteran of four Silicon Valley startups with experience in Internet advertising, large scale databases and agile programming. When not slinging code, you cam find him cooking organic food, listening to electronica, backpacking around the world or running marathons.

Colin Behr, Director of Business Development — Previously founded an Internet company, CyberPlanet Ltd, with Zain in 2004, and then moved to San Francisco to start another venture. Colin eventually went to University but dropped out after speaking with Zain about his new venture, Vungle.

Ray Myers, Software Engineer — 25-year-old Linux geek who loves robotics and has been programming since he was 7. Ray is a Shotokan karate third-degree Black Belt, but you can usually find him at his computer, trying to make robots bend to his will. American.

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More About: Advertising, apps, Behind the Launch Series, features, mashable, Vungle

Charge Your Cellphone with the Power of Your Feet [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 May 2012 06:28 PM PDT

From pedaling to charge our laptops to converting our body heat into electricity, the idea of using our bodies to generate energy is becoming more common. And a 24-year-old entrepreneur in Kenya has another idea to add to that mix: He’s created a shoe technology to help us charge our mobile devices as we walk or run.

The technology lies within an ulta-thin chip of crystals that would be inserted within the soles of your shoes. According to creator Anthony Mutua, when put under pressure — such as the weight of a person’s body — the crystals create electricity:

“This charger works using pressure, as you walk you generate pressure that in turn generates energy, once you have arrived where you were going you can now sit down and charge your mobile phone,” he said.

There are two ways to harvest this energy to charge cellphones. The first is to charge your phone while you’re in motion by connecting a thin extension cable from your shoe to your pocket, which presumably holds your cellphone. The second, as Mutua explained in the Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation, is to “charge the phone immediately after a walk because the crystals have the capacity to store the electric energy.”

In other words, you can walk or run wire-free but still generate the energy necessary to charge your devices with the pressure from your feet.

The crystal chip can be fitted into any type of shoe except for bathroom slippers. If your shoe wears out, you can transfer the chip into another shoe sole as well.

Currently, the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) in Kenya is funding Mutua’s project. According to David Ngigi, a senior science secretary for the NCST, the council is planning to sponsor Mutua so he can commercialize his invention for mass production.

“We have been financing the development of ideas to prototype levels, but because most innovators lack funds for commercialization, this innovations [sic] never reach the market. So we are changing this,” Ngigi said in the Daily Nation article.

The shoe-charging chip will sell for the equivalent of about $46 in Kenya and come with a two-and-a-half year warranty.

Would you be interested in charging your cellphone with the power of your feet? Sound off in the comments.

More About: cell phone, fitness, international, technology

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Soccer Hero Uses YouTube to Bid Chelsea Fans Adieu [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 May 2012 06:11 PM PDT

Days after giving London soccer club Chelsea its first ever Champions League title with a stunning penalty kick, star player Didier Drogba used YouTube to let fans down easy and tell them he’ll leave the team this summer. In a video posted to Chelsea’s official page on the video sharing network, Drogba looked fans in the face and thanked them for their support during his eight years with the club.

“This will be something that we always share, something that will be in our head and blue will always be our blood and our hearts,” Drogba says in the one-and-a-half-minute video. “Thank you very much. Thank you for everything.”

SEE ALSO: English Premier League: The Social Media Season

After eight years, 157 goals, three English Premier League titles and finally a Champions League win, taking to YouTube was a smart and personalizing move for Drogba and Chelsea to formalize their separation for loyal supporters of the Blues. Drogba, originally from the Ivory Coast, joined Chelsea in 2004 from a French club. His next move is uncertain, but many rumors have him cashing in for a huge, career-ending payday in China’s professional ranks.

The YouTube farewell wasn’t Drogba’s only social media hit this week, however. He dominated the Twitter conversation among players in Saturday’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Tweets that named a specific player mentioned Drogba 25% of the time — more than all of Bayern players’ mentions combined. Chelsea also dominated the Champions League Twitter buzz as a team — this infographic has the details.

Do you think using YouTube was a classy move by Drogba and Chelsea, or should they have addressed fans another way? Let us know in the comments.

More About: sports, YouTube

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Outsourcing? How to Build Great Contractor Relationships

Posted: 22 May 2012 05:44 PM PDT

Nellie Akalp is the CEO of, an online legal document filing service, where she helps entrepreneurs incorporate or form an LLC for their new businesses. Connect with Nellie on Twitter or visit her free resource center.

Today, independent contractors are a critical part of small businesses. They fill any number of roles, from social media consultant to web designer. And freelancers often contract particular services out themselves, creating an interconnected network of independent workers.

This relationship is more important than ever, given that freelance positions are expected to make up half of all new jobs added during the economic recovery. However, many business owners and managers struggle to learn how to navigate a relationship with a valuable team member who isn't exactly part of the team.

But at the end of the day, successful outsourcing isn’t different from any other business relationship: It requires nurturing and smart management. Here are the best ways to accomplish that.

1. Don't Think of Contractors as Just Vendors

A vendor keeps your business stocked with paper or provides your Internet. A contractor brings his or her own knowledge, skills, and expertise to the table. By treating a contractor as an integral member of your team, you can keep them with you for the long haul, as well as discover new ways to leverage those skills and expertise in your business.

Little touches can go a long way. For example, if freelancers are local, remember to include them in holiday parties or after-work meetups. Whenever possible, add contractors to company-wide emails and keep them dialed in to your long-term strategy. Most importantly, always be on the lookout for ways to expand their role or responsibility as your business grows.

2. Invest in Your Contractors Early On

A business owner or manager typically contracts out certain tasks that they're too busy to take care of themselves. Therefore, it can be disappointing when the contractor doesn't immediately hit the ground running. However, your freelancer can only be as successful as the time your company is willing to invest.

Consider this a long-term investment. The more time you dedicate working with contractors early on, the more value you'll get back in the end. Depending on the specifics of the arrangement, be prepared to walk your contractor through all necessary details, such as: company branding, tone, your products/services, competitors, long-term goals, any company processes, etc.

3. Don't Become the Client You'd Hate

In short, if you want to build a healthy long-term relationship with a contractor, don't be the client you'd hate to work for. You can build a solid rapport by being appreciative for jobs well done, receptive to a contractor's expertise and advice, and respectful of their time.

Remember to always say "please and thank you" along with offering just some general courtesy. You'll be well on your way toward cultivating a productive working relationship. Just remember: It's human nature to work harder for people we like.

4. Be Careful How You Negotiate

You may be on a budget, and every successful business needs to operate within the confines of that budget. However, when signing on the dotted line, both parties need to feel the deal is worthwhile. If a contractor feels like they've been pushed too far to give you a bargain, you might just get bargain work in return.

Figure out what you can afford to pay in advance. In contract work, payment schedules and compensation vary widely. If you're not sure what a fair market rate should be, take a look at a contractor-hiring site like or other sites like If a particular contractor seems too expensive, you may be better off looking for someone else who's more in line with your budget.

5. Communicate Openly From Start to Finish

Good communication is key to any relationship, and it's particularly critical in the contractor ecosystem where freelancers are often scattered across locations and time zones.

Set the tone early with a comprehensive discussion about the project needs, schedule, and objectives. Then, maintain good communication throughout the project and set up processes for sharing information at all levels. Regular check-ins can provide valuable information on the health of the relationship. And lastly, don't forget to share good news and not just bad news.

When outsourcing relationships work, they can deliver value well beyond your initial expectations. What are some of the ways you develop happy, productive relationships in the freelance economy?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Neustockimages

More About: contributor, features, networking, outsource, work relationships

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Motorola Under Google: 3 Possible Futures

Posted: 22 May 2012 05:15 PM PDT

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

Now that Google has officially and completely swallowed up Motorola Mobility, the question becomes: What now?

It’s a good question. When Google announced it was acquiring the company that built the iconic RAZR phone in August last year, it caught many by surprise. Until then, Google seemed to be content to be the chief architect of the Android mobile operating system, leaving hardware manufacturing to, well, hardware manufacturers.

But the buy made sense as straight-up purchase of intellectual property. Motorola holds many patents (more than 17,000) and some even serve as the basis for standard technologies in wireless communication. The main purpose of the acquisition was clearly to beef up Google’s relatively weak patent portfolio — a smart move, given the litigious nature of the tech world today.

However, besides the IP, Google also got a hardware company for its $12.5 billion. Now it has to do something with it.

In his announcement today, Google CEO Larry Page says Motorola will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Google, suggesting the company’s operations will remain at arm’s length from Google proper. Since Android (and Google) are supposed to remain hardware neutral, this is cautiously good news for Motorola’s competitors.

But in the same note, Page says it’s replacing Motorola’s CEO with a “longtime Googler” and several other key executives will be replaced as well. Google appears to have big plans for Motorola Mobility, but given that newbie CEO Dennis Woodside doesn’t have a strong history in telecommunications (he began his career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, according to his LinkedIn profile) or Android, it’s unclear what those plans are. I see three possibilities:

1. Motorola Forever

Google could go full speed ahead with Motorola as a hardware company. Motorola used to be a buzz-worthy brand and, with the RAZR and StarTAC, created some groundbreaking products. For a moment, it captured a little of that magic again with the Droid RAZR, which debuted last year.

However, owning Motorola complicates Google’s relationship with other Android manufacturers. Given the replacement of many top executives, you’d have to be tremendously naive to think Motorola now won’t have some kind of inside scoop on Android, even if the relationship is kept distant on paper.

However, if recent rumors are to be believed, Google could be mitigating this problem — not by limiting Motorola, but by giving several hardware makers preferential treatment. Google is said to be expanding its partnerships to give more manufacturers an early look at future versions of Android.

There’s also the side note of Motorola’s cable-box business. If Google is serious about pressing forward with Motorola, as my colleague Christina Warren observed, it would be a big missed opportunity if it didn’t see this as its gateway for Google TV. Of course, what will really make that service sing is content partnerships, not fancy tech.

2. Spin Off

Going the other direction, Google could just take its patents and sell off Motorola’s hardware operations and other assets to the highest bidder. This would be a public-relations nightmare for the company, not to mention a tremendously wasteful thing to do. If Google really wanted to just boost its IP arsenal, there were cheaper ways to go about it (as Facebook has recently shown).

While making hardware does appear to be strikingly against Google’s general philosophy (by the same token, it’s not a media company), a spinoff is unlikely. If that were the plan, Google could have just issued a press release noting the acquisition — there was no need for Page to write a personal note praising Motorola’s history of hardware innovation.

3. Somewhere in Between

Then there’s the ugly possibility that Google will end up crippling Motorola because the two businesses together are actually less than the sum of their parts. IP aside, if Google is keeping Motorola separate — or is treating all its hardware partners in the same way — what’s the point of owning it?

Also, a corporate merger like this sends ripples throughout a company. Will Motorola engineers now be gun-shy about introducing phone features that might annoy its corporate parent? By the same token, will managers be too careful about tightly integrating some Google services to avoid accusations of collusion? And if Windows Phone eventually achieves significant market share, I think we can forget it ever showing up on a Motorola device. But is that the position a true hardware innovator would take?

Good management can deal with some of those issues, but some pose fundamental questions about what kind of company Google wants to be. With good answers, Motorola could end up influencing Android for the better. A few years from now, today’s gung-ho note from Page may be looked back on as the seed of a brave new Motorola, which rose to new heights once it was under the Google umbrella.

Or it could be like when eBay bought Skype: a confusing move, poorly executed, involving two companies that don’t really fit together. That would be a depressing outcome, but both sides should take heart: Those brands are still around today, and they’re more successful than ever.

More About: android, Google, larry page, Motorola, Opinion

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Olympics Venues Hit Foursquare

Posted: 22 May 2012 04:41 PM PDT

Foursquare users can now check-in to Olympics venues around the world — and potentially win a trip to the 2012 London Games by doing so.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched check-in locations around the world and an official Olympics badge on Tuesday. The IOC’s official Foursquare page has details on more than 40 historic sites from past games and venues for the upcoming edition in London.

Fans who check-in to at least two venues and follow the IOC on Foursquare will unlock the “Get Fit for Olympic Day” badge pictured above. They’ll also be entered into a contest for a trip to this summer’s Olympics in London.

"Our integration with Foursquare and the ability to leave location-based tips from the athletes is one more way to serve highly engaged fans of the Olympic Games and to integrate social media directly into the Olympic fan experience," Alex Huot, the IOC’s social media director, said in a press release. "We wanted to do something fun and thank our fans who make an effort to stay fit by offering them a chance to win a trip to the Olympics."

The Olympic Day tie-in refers to a holiday taking place June 23 to promote fitness and health in countries around the world. The holiday was first celebrated in 1948.

Foursquare check-ins are just one aspect of what are being hyped by some as “the first social Olympics.” The IOC is heavily promoting social media, and Twitter and other platforms are expected to play a prominent role with fans, athletes and media in London.

Last month the IOC unveiled its Olympics Athletes’ Hub, a digital portal to verified athlete Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as additional digital content. However, a series of stringent restrictions on what fans and athletes can post from where during the Games has some crying foul.

The 2012 Summer Olympics take place from July 27 through August 12 in London.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, nkbimages

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Hands-On With, Microsoft’s Social Search Site for Students

Posted: 22 May 2012 04:18 PM PDT

Microsoft’s new site — which combines social networking and search — is giving college students a platform to learn and collect information, news and pictures from around the web. But can the latest social network truly stand out in an already-crowded social space?

Since borrows and builds from a bevvy of existing sites — and doesn’t aim to replace sites such as Facebook and Twitter — it has the potential to take off, especially among its target audience.

Following a series of tests at universities including the University of Washington, Syracuse University and New York University since December 2011, — pronounced “social” — officially launched over the weekend. The model allows you to create and share posts based mainly on Internet searches, but it also features many standard social features such as sharing text, photos and videos. - 600 was first developed after Microsoft FUSE Labs staffers analyzed data from Facebook, Twitter and Bing, tracking how shared URLS spread around the web.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Launches So.Cl Network Amid Facebook Hubbub

"We started to think about how we could create an experience around that — about making search social and making it easy to share rich, beautiful posts without having to leave your network,” said Lili Cheng, general manager of FUSE Labs, on Microsoft’s research site. is intuitive, allowing users to easily navigate the platform, follow others, set up feeds and search popular trending topics. But the site boasts many traits we’ve seen before — its layout is similar to Pinterest in that users can create boards and registration is currently limited to college students. (Remember the early days of Facebook?) Its streamlined news feed also resembles Google+’s ultra-white minimalist design.

However, still differentiates itself in various ways, such as with its fun and engaging “viewing parties” feature. Whether you decide to watch a music video or an old reel of bloopers from Two and a Half Men, users can pop in and out of chat rooms that play video footage. This opens up the floor for discussion. (Note: Since is still young, we noticed that the chatting within these rooms has been relatively quiet.) Viewing Party

The network also showcases profiles from users in the community, flashing their interests with pictures of, for example, their favorite cuisines and bands. This allows members to connect with new people based on topics about which they feel most passionate. However, since it’s an open community, we also saw some graphic images that might catch some people off guard, including Osama bin Laden’s alleged death photos and a GIF of a couple engaging in some intimacy. You can, of course, unfollow certain users and set up restrictions.

Although requires you to sign in via Facebook or Windows Live, the good news is that it doesn’t automatically post searches, comments or likes to your Facebook stream unless you elect to do so. But be mindful — every search you do on the site is actually public unless you indicate via its search bar that you want restrictions. Right now, you can’t limit searches to those who you follow. In order for users to truly be at ease, more privacy options will likely roll out in the near future.

What do you think about Do you think its model is poised for success? Let us know in the comments.

More About: bing, Facebook, features, microsoft, Social Media, social networking, Twitter

Impossible Wooden Light Bulb Shines Bright [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 May 2012 03:55 PM PDT

A wooden light bulb might sound like an impossible concept — how would it light up without generating at least a few sparks? — but thanks to a Japanese artist, it’s an actual light source.

Ryosuke Fukusada has created a working wooden light bulb by designing an extremely thin wooden shell that wraps around an LED light bulb. Because LEDs produce little heat, the risk of fire is minimal. Instead, the light bulb produces a soft glowing effect.

According to Fukusada, the light bulb was created “to achieve the mix of modern design and traditional craft technique.” He incorporated the Japanese artisanal technique Rokuro to chip the wooden shell to its absolute minimum thickness. To give the light a modern look, he designed a recyclable aluminum socket to use with it.

The Wooden Light Bulb project is the winner of the Kyoto Renaissance design competition and is still under development, according to the artist’s website.

It’s not just the sustainable approach of using wood and an LED to create this light bulb that has people buzzing (most traditional light bulbs are lit by tungsten, which generates much more heat and is not as energy efficient as LEDs). The symbolism behind the design that gives this modern bulb its appeal:

“The traditional craft technique is the real value behind the bulb. More than just a lamp, the bulb means to preserve cultural heritage and man’s timeless link to his true roots, nature. It was wood that gave light and heat to the oldest of civilizations. This lovely illuminant contrivance is perhaps symbolic of that golden age.”

Would you use wooden light bulbs in your home? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, tumpikuja

More About: Gadgets, japan, lifestyle, sustainability

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Follow the Kentucky and Arkansas Primaries on Social Media

Posted: 22 May 2012 03:24 PM PDT

Mitt Romney still hasn’t crossed the threshold to have locked up the Republican nomination for president, even though he’s more than 800 delegates ahead of his nearest rival, Ron Paul. Thus, the primaries continue on. Tuesday night is election night in Kentucky and Arkansas — and social media will be ablaze with tweets, twitpics and video from the night’s voting action.

Whichever Republican candidate comes out on top in Arkansas is likely to carry the state in November’s general election, too – it’s a solid-red state with little love for President Obama. There are whispers that a write-in Democratic candidate could put up a fight against the president in the state, although that would have no real political significance.

Both states will also feature primaries for races in the House of Representatives, which should prove more interesting to watch than the pretty-much-settled national-level showdown.

In all of Tuesday night’s contests, politicians will be using social media to garner support, voters will be talking about their candidate of choice and journalists will be covering the election night story. Follow Mashable to see the best examples of social media’s use throughout the night.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, Henrick5000

More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Politics, US

Marvel Comics Fans: Submit Your Questions for Stan Lee

Posted: 22 May 2012 02:34 PM PDT

Stan Lee, titan of the comic book industry, will be interviewed by Mashable‘s Sam Laird on Thursday.

For those unfamiliar, Stan Lee is one of the creative forces behind Marvel Comics. He took part in the creation and development of some of the most famous superheroes and comic book series, such as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, and X-Men.

Without the vision and talent of Lee, the Marvel Comics franchise would not have grown to become the great success it is today. The company has converted many of the original comic book franchises into movies, including most recently The Avengers movie, which set a record for the highest grossing film on opening weekend.

Even at 89 years of age, Lee is taking full advantage of digital media. He is currently in the process of launching his own comic convention, called Stan Lee’s Comikaze Presented by POW! Entertainment, and plans to bring all sorts of social engagement for those attending and following online. He also recently launched a YouTube channel called Stan Lee’s World of Heroes.

Lee has a showcase of awards and honors for his achievements including a member of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame as well as receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

We're taking questions for Stan from you, our Mashable readers. We want to know: what would you like to be able to ask the comic book visionary?

We'll choose some of the most unique, poignant, or just plain interesting reader-submitted questions to ask him. Submit your question in the comments below by Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00 P.M. EDT, and be sure to check back to read our interview with Stan Lee.

Image courtesy Gage Skidmore, Flickr.

More About: comic books, interviews, Marvel, Stan Lee

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Hellmann’s Brilliant Campaign Turns Grocery-Cart Contents Into Recipes

Posted: 22 May 2012 02:04 PM PDT

In an effort to expand Hellmann’s relevancy beyond the sandwich, the company and ad agency Ogilvy Brazil recently launched a campaign that told consumers how the groceries they had just purchased could be used to make a new mayonnaise-intensive dish.

They partnered with a large supermarket chain called St Marche to install software in cash registers at about 100 stores. When customers purchased Hellmann’s mayo at these stores, the software automatically looked at the other ingredients in their cart and compiled a recipe that used them. The recipe, complete with preparation instructions, was then printed on the customer’s receipt.

Within the first month, sales of Hellmann’s mayonnaise increased by 44% at stores with recipe receipts, according to a video about the campaign.

“We needed to take advantage of the moment when customers had all of the right ingredients at hand,” explains the same video.

More About: Advertising, Hellmann's, Marketing, retail

The Blurring Line Between TV and Web Video

Posted: 22 May 2012 01:42 PM PDT

The Leaders in Digital Series is supported by Samsung. Follow Samsung USA on Google+ and Twitter, and like it on Facebook.

On Monday, Hulu revealed a slate of 10 original shows it plans to premiere on the site this summer.

The news followed a slew of announcements from the likes of Yahoo, AOL and other big media companies that are now developing original video content for the web — much of which looks much like traditional television (Mashable also recently premiered its first episodic series, Behind the Launch).

Earlier this month at Mashable Connect, we caught up with Wilson Cleveland, who is the creator and executive producer of Leap Year, a scripted series that debuted in 2011 and will go live with its second season in June. We chatted with Cleveland about what's behind the sudden boom in premium web video content, why advertisers are jumping on board (Leap Year is funded by Hiscox insurance) and how audience consumption habits are changing.

Check out the interview above. You can also watch the first season of Leap Year on Mashable Video.

Series presented by Samsung

The Leaders in Digital Series is supported by Samsung. Follow Samsung USA on Google+ and Twitter, and like them on Facebook.

More About: features, leaders in digital series, mashable, mashable connect, mashable video, TV, web video

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High-Tech Immigration: Vital to U.S. Economic Recovery [REPORT]

Posted: 22 May 2012 01:31 PM PDT

A report released Tuesday argues that high-tech immigration reform is a vital ingredient in the economic recovery of the United States.

The report, commissioned by the Partnership for New York City and the Partnership for a New American Economy, suggests U.S. immigration policy is bogged down by bureaucracy and politics — while other highly competitive countries tie immigration rules to the economic needs of the country.

“Artificially low limits on visas and serious bureaucratic obstacles prevent employers from hiring the people they need –- and send entrepreneurs to other countries, who are quick to welcome them,” reads the report.

“In fact, other nations have learned from the American experience and are employing aggressive recruitment strategies to attract the key high- and low-skilled workers that their economies need to compete and grow.”

If the U.S. is to turn its economic ship around, argues the report, it must follow the example of other countries, such as Canada and Singapore, and prioritize economic over political goals in terms of immigration policy — particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.

The report warns the United States will have a deficit of 230,800 advanced degree holders in STEM by the end of the decade, despite the country’s numerous top-tier technology universities.

The source of the problem? Currently, foreign students earning advanced STEM degrees in the U.S. are given a short window to find work and an unclear path to citizenship.

Part of the solution, says the report, is to staple permanent visas to advanced STEM degrees.

John Feinblatt, chief policy advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, backs that notion wholeheartedly. “When you look at our universities, people in our STEM programs are populated by people from other countries,” Feinblatt told Mashable.

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by sending them back home, no company would ever do that. It used to be the gold rush, now it’s the talent rush.”

SEE ALSO: Lawmakers Want High-Tech Foreigners to Stay in the U.S.

Another high-tech immigration reform idea backed by the report and by Mayor Bloomberg himself involves giving visas to foreign entrepreneurs to build businesses in the U.S., an idea modeled on a similar law in Singapore.

The report found that in 2006, technology and engineering firms founded in the U.S. by immigrants made $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2006, and for every immigrant with an advanced STEM degree from an American university working in the U.S., 2.62 jobs were created for other Americans.

“If you want best and brightest, you’ve got to go out and get them,” said Bloomberg of the idea during a panel discussion about the report at the New York Forum.

Allowing state governments the flexibility to set their own visa requirements, a policy currently in place in Canada, is an additional solution pitched by the report and supported by Bloomberg. New York could, for example, set requirements that attract investors and entrepreneurs, while other states could pull in agricultural workers.

“There’s no reason you need the same immigration policy across the nation,” said Bloomberg. “In New York we’d be first in line for immigrants, we’d take as many as we could get. There are states in America that don’t believe that and that’s up to them. Why not let us do that and let them do what they want to do?”

Read the full report here.

What do you think the United States can do to attract and keep the world’s top technology talent? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, selimaksan

More About: immigration, Politics, US, World

FCC Boss: You Should Pay for Internet By How Much You Use [POLL]

Posted: 22 May 2012 01:13 PM PDT

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has some short words for Internet providers that want to charge customers by how much bandwidth we use: Go right ahead.

“Usage-based pricing would help drive efficiency in the networks,” Genachowski told the cable industry’s annual confab NCTA, in Boston Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Even if the FCC chief had wanted to shut the Net Neutrality stable door on per-use pricing, the horse appears to have bolted.

As of last week, Time Warner and Comcast have both introduced limited trial pay-per-use services — despite the fact that previous trials of monitoring users’ bandwidth haven’t gone over well.

According to a large number of comments, customers suspected the cable companies were mostly exploring the option as a way to raise prices overall.

What do you think? Is it reasonable to insist that consumers pay by how much bandwidth they use? Or should we all pay a flat fee? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

More About: fcc, net neutrality, trending

Newark Mayor Uses Twitter, YouTube to Defend Criticism of Obama

Posted: 22 May 2012 01:08 PM PDT

Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been taking heat for the controversial comments he made about President Obama’s campaign during a Meet the Press panel discussion on Sunday morning. Booker, one of the prolific tweeters in politics, has since taken to his social media accounts to defend himself.

Booker originally called the Obama campaign’s attack ads against Republican rival Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital “nauseating,” suggesting that the company’s record isn’t as bad as the Obama campaign has been making it out to be. Booker was equally critical of a Republican Super PAC’s reported plan to invoke Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a controversial pastor from President Obama’s former church, in advertisements.

During the discussion, Booker said that negative ads distract from the real issues which most Americans worry about every day.

Republicans almost immediately took advantage of the gaffe by launching a web petition and Twitter hashtag, “I Stand With Cory,” labeling Booker a campaign surrogate gone rogue. Republicans across Twitter are using the hashtag to lambast Booker’s comments and Obama’s anti-Romney ads. The GOP has also purchased sponsored tweets and Google ads which appear when searching for “Cory Booker” and direct users to the petition.

On Sunday evening and into the earlier part of the week, Booker used Twitter and YouTube to explain his statement and launch a hashtag of his own, #IStandWithObama.

SEE ALSO: Super-Mayor Cory Booker Gets Memed

“I made it clear on Meet the Press this morning how I believe that President Barack Obama has done such a strong job as a leader of our nation and how he more than deserves re-election,” said Booker in his YouTube video. “I also expressed my profound frustration with the kind of the campaigning that’s becoming too much the norm in our nation, which is generally negative campaigning. And this campaigning is about to become an avalanche, and in many ways, I believe, could risk muting out the important voices of the candidates themselves talking about the issues that matter.”

Is Booker’s use of social media to defend and explain his comments appropriate? Sound off in the comments below.

More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Politics, US

Samsung’s Galaxy S III Available on Amazon, Comes With a Catch

Posted: 22 May 2012 12:57 PM PDT

If you’re itching to get your hands on Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, you may not have to wait much longer. Amazon put the phone up for pre-order on its website, with a delivery date of June 1.

Priced at $800 the handset isn’t exactly something you’re going to pick up on a whim, and comes with a few compromises beyond the hefty price.

The $800 model for sale on Amazon is the unlocked international version on the phone. Samsung has yet to announce a version of the phone for the U.S (although that announcement is expected this summer). So you’ll be getting the same version of the phone that’s up for sale overseas.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Reveals Galaxy S III

Since the phone is unlocked, you can use it with any GSM carrier you’d like, which in the U.S. means you can use a SIM card from T-Mobile or AT&T (the only GSM carriers in the country) in the phone and make calls. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t support the data network T-Mobile uses, so while you’ll be able to make calls using a T-Mobile SIM, you won’t be able to hop on the data network to surf the web or use any of the phone’s cool new S-voice capabilities.

The international version of the phone is also not compatible with AT&T’s LTE network, so while you’ll be able to use the phone on the carrier’s HSPA+ network (slightly faster than 3G), you won’t be able to speed along on the much faster LTE network with all your friends who hold out to buy the U.S. version of the phone later this year.

What you will get, however, is a quad-core 1.4 GHz Exynos processor. That particular processor isn’t compatible with LTE, so chances are good when the S III does make it to the United States it will be rocking a slower dual-core processor instead. We’ll have to wait and see what difference the processor might potentially make in the phone when Samsung releases the U.S. version of the phone later this year.

Are any of you planning on buying the Samsung Galaxy S III? Are you tempted to buy the unlocked international version rather than hold out for the U.S. version of the phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Galaxy S III

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More About: android, galaxy sIII, samsung, trending

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Beyonce #BeyHive App Debuts: Look Out, Fan Colony [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 May 2012 12:47 PM PDT

The chart-topping songstress Beyonce sent her first tweet, launched a Tumblr blog and redesigned on April 5. This week, fans of the singer have revealed an inspired #BeyHive app in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

#BeyHive is the new mobile home for fans. The colorful app — which looks like a mix of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare — was built for Beyonce buzz.

Users must sign into the free app with a Twitter account. Fans can access Beyonce-related news, her entire discography (with sample audio and links to buy tracks) and current concert schedule. Badges are also up for grabs with activity.

Fans are encouraged to generate their own news. They can earn points for tweeting about #BeyHive, checking in at events and liking photos within the app. Hashtags such as #BeyVideos, #BeyNewSite and #BeyLove are used.

Tweets with the #BeyHive hashtag are collected and showcased in a live stream on the official BeyHive website.

SEE ALSO: First Photos of Beyonce's and Jay-Z's Baby Emerge on Tumblr [PICS]

See the video above for more about the app’s social features. The digital community, with Queen Bey, at its center has its own vocabulary — to which it’s good to have a guide handy.


Do you think digital fan bases for celebrities will be a hot trend? Sound off in the comments.

More About: beyonce, Mobile, Social Media

Berkeley Police Chief’s Son Lost iPhone, Drug Cops Went in Pursuit

Posted: 22 May 2012 12:37 PM PDT

Losing your iPhone is worse than losing your wallet these days, considering all the information we store on it. But does it require a 10-man police hunt?

Berkeley, Calif. Police Chief Michael Meehan and a crew of 10 police officers searched for his son’s missing cellphone on taxpayer dollars this January after it went missing from the boy’s unlocked locker at school.

After that, eight members of the department’s drug task force worked on overtime to track down the cellphone, which was equipped with the Find My iPhone tracking software.

The search was unsuccessful, but did succeed in stirring up more controversy for the police chief.

In March, Meehan sent a sergeant to a reporter’s home at around 1 a.m. to ask for changes to an online article, Inside Bay Area reported.

The city of Berkeley hired a San Francisco law firm to investigate the chief’s actions that night.

Another issue with the January incident is that no report was filed. “At minimum there should have been a police report. If a department is going to put people onto an investigation, they should have a police report,” said Michael Sherman, vice chairman of the Berkeley Police Review, according to Inside Bay Area.

A spokesperson from the department said it’s not “uncommon” for patrol officers to track a stolen phone if they get an active signal while on the streets.

In a statement sent to Mashable, the Berkeley Police Department wrote that the chief did not order an investigation, but the drug task force officers volunteered to help locate the lost smartphone.

The Berkeley Police Department offers these guidelines for phone theft cases online.

If you walked into your local police department to report a missing cellphone and had the cellphone finder app, do you think the police in your area would jump on the case right away? Tell us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Antonprado

More About: cellphone, iphone, legal, police, smartphone, trending

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