Sunday, 3 June 2012

Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “Photo Sharing App Picplz to Shut Down on July 3”

Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “Photo Sharing App Picplz to Shut Down on July 3”

Photo Sharing App Picplz to Shut Down on July 3

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 03:40 PM PDT

If you’re a fan of the iPhone and Android photo sharing app Picplz, you only have one more month to enjoy its pleasures. In a blog post and email late Friday, developer Mixed Media Labs announced the demise of the app:

On July 3, 2012, picplz will shut down permanently and all photos and data will be deleted. We have provided download links for existing users to save their photos. Thank you for your support of picplz and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Login before July 3, 2012 to download your photos.

Picplz was competitive with market leader Instagram when both were new, especially since Picplz was available on both the Android and iPhone platforms while Instagram was only available on the iPhone. In February, 2011, when both Picplz and Instagram launched their APIs, Picplz seemed to gain an edge when it added analytics for its users at the same time, as well as the ability to add Creative Commons licensing to photos.

Both apps have the ability to add filters and edges to photos, and can share photos with their own networks as well as friends on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. But Instagram gained all-important buzz, thus experiencing explosive network growth, making it more desirable than all its competitors.

On Saturday, Picplz was no longer available on the Apple App Store.

More About: apps, instagram, Mixed Media Labs, photo sharing, picplz

Android Angst: Ice Cream Sandwich Adoption Moving Slowly [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 02:51 PM PDT

What’s the holdup with the new version 4.0 of Android, affectionately known as Ice Cream Sandwich? Announced on October 19, 2011, the new version so far only accounts for 7.1% of active Android devices according to Android Developers — nearly eight months later.

Take a look at this video where we examine why this is happening. Even though Android dominates smartphones with an overwhelming 65% market share, it’s a shame it’s not capable of putting its best foot forward on a wider scale — at least not yet.

How long do you think it will take before Android 4.0 is installed on a majority of Android handsets? Why do you think this has happened?

More About: android, ice cream sandwich, mashable video, smartphones

Wear Your Own Voice Recording Around Your Neck

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 02:30 PM PDT

Looking for a unique piece of jewelry? Designer David Bizer creates necklaces that are customized to the sound of your voice.

The waveform necklace is designed from a personal audio recording, sent via email. Depending on the material, which ranges from acrylic to silver, the necklaces are actually fairly affordable, starting at 10 to 20 euros ($12 to $24).

SEE ALSO: Turn Your Foursquare Check-ins Into Jewelry

If you’re really into D.I.Y., Bizer’s created a tutorial on how to make your own at home.

[via Laughing Squid]

More About: audio, jewelry, pics, viral

7 Apps You Don’t Want To Miss

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 02:07 PM PDT

Zombie Swipeout

Zynga's newest mobile game Zombie Swipeout became available in the United States this week. A followup to the game Zombie Smash, the zombies take flight in the game requiring you to slash them with an assortment of weapons.

Click here to view this gallery.

It can be tough to keep up with all the new apps that are released each week. But you're in luck: We take care of a lot of that for you, creating a roundup each weekend of some of our own highlights from the week.

This week we found an app that will help you read with your kids, and another by a presidential candidate that shows it wasn’t really proofread before it was published to the masses.

Another app helps keep you safe when you’re headed out on a first date or into the unknown, and yet another will let you pinpoint what the weather will be like while you’re out on your adventure to make sure you’re prepared accordingly.

If you’re staying in for the night, Zynga’s newest mobile game was released in the U.S. this week and can help keep you occupied.

Check out the gallery for a look at some of the highlights from the week, and let us know about some of your own app highlights in the comments.

Still looking for more? See one last week’s Apps to Check Out for some other interesting mobile apps worth a look.

More About: apps, trending, Zynga

TomTom Launches Quirky YouTube Summer Contest [VIDEOS]

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 01:54 PM PDT

TomTom, the maker of in-car location and navigation products and services, launched a digital campaign for its summer promotions this week. The videos — like the one above, produced especially for Mashable readers — remind us of the style of the popular Old Spice videos: a single man delivering a monologue in a stilted accent directly into the camera.

The campaign from TomTom includes a competition for five families or groups of friends to win the chance to spend two weeks mapping a paradise island, as well as 10,000 euros to spend.

The "Great Summer Journeys Start with TomTom" integrated marketing campaign includes radio, online, PR and social media elements during the summer months.

“This campaign shows how TomTom helps get summer journeys off to a great start,” Corinne Vigreux, managing director at TomTom, said in a statement. “With our fuel offer and Map Paradise Project, we hope to engage with people on lots of different levels and via different touch points.”

SEE ALSO: YouTube's 10 Most-Shared Ads in May

Check out the other official videos for the campaign below.

"TomTom's Map Paradise Project"

Please click on the CC button for subtitles in your own language.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: ads, TomTom, YouTube

10 Funniest Tweets of the Week

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 01:38 PM PDT

1. @JDShapiro

Click here to view this gallery.

Molly McAleer, writer for 2 Broke Girls and HelloGiggles co-founder, curates this week’s Twitter comedy, and she’s taking a less-traditional approach.

“My favorite Tweets this week are — for the most part — nontraditional,” says McAleer. “You’d never hear them in a stand-up act or see them printed on a bumper sticker, but they’re hilarious to me just the same.”

McAleer is a Twitter veteran, having joined the site in 2006. Back then, she says, it was a small community of her “favorite Internet-types, uber dorks and a bunch of random folks from Godknowswhere.” Before hashtags, retweeting and “@” replies, it was a random directory of users you stumbled upon without interaction.

“People would quite literally answer Twitter’s prompt question of ‘What’s going on?’ with things like, ‘Driving home from work and passing a candy factory. The highway smells like Butterfingers,’” says McAleer. “I found that to be very charming.”

But Twitter has evolved into something else completely now. Social media has altered traditional journalism. One of the most profound examples of the shift within news organizations on Twitter came after the Iran election, and since then, Twitter’s become the primary source for breaking news and celebrity deaths.

It’s also a great source of entertainment, especially for comedians.

“Over the last couple of years, Twitter (or at least my feed) has become a place to read and share jokes and quips,” says McAleer. “While I enjoy humor as much as the next person, this has been my least favorite era of Twitter. I find it to be the least interesting.”

What McAleer does like about Twitter, and the Internet altogether, is that she has control over what she wants to see and can ignore the rest. Her favorite people on Twitter are the ones who make her laugh without trying.

“I mean, save trying for your paycheck or your family or something legitimate, right? Let’s maybe just bask in the ordinary, the silly, the unique ways that people naturally share their voice,” says McAleer. “Do I sound like a hater? I don’t mean to be a hater.”

Looking for more funny tweets? You can check out last week’s roundup here.

More About: comedy, humor, trending, tweets, Twitter, viral

Oprah Book Club Returns in New Digital Form

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 01:21 PM PDT

Oprah Winfrey’s book club is coming back, now in a lively new version 2.0 that’s all digital. Starting next week, she’ll upgrade her wildly popular club, adding interactive features that encourage members to chat about the books on Facebook and Twitter.

The move happens just in time for Winfrey, whose cable-based Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has been met with flagging ratings that are nowhere near those of her immensely popular television show, last broadcast in 2011.

It’s been a couple of years since Winfrey selected a book for her original club, which was a favorite of authors who loved the promotion the club gave them. According to The New York Times, if an author’s book was chosen as one of Oprah’s selections, sales would regularly soar to well above 1 million copies.

Do you think this updated version of the book club will be able to match the success of Oprah’s first book club?

More About: book club, mashable video, oprah

Radical Skateboarding Tricks Dazzle in Super Slow-Motion [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 12:46 PM PDT

You’ll have a newfound respect for skateboarders’ skills after watching these two minutes of tricks in super slow-motion. Adam Shomsky shot 13 uncommon flips and twists at 1,000 frames per second with a Redlake N3 high-speed camera and turned it into this rad mix.

Check out 10 more slow-motion videos below.

1. Slow Motion Billiards

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

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: skateboard, Slow Motion, trending, viral videos, YouTube

Pinterest Rolls Out Curated Newsletter for Users

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 12:14 PM PDT

Users on Pinterest usually have to seek interesting content for themselves, but a new feature quietly rolled out Saturday drives them to even more personalized content.

Pinterest has become a hot social pinboard that drives more traffic than most major social networks — meaning there is more content on the site than ever. That’s why many users are sure to appreciate Pinterest’s new weekly email newsletter, making it easier to find even more great pins and helping them keep tabs on how their own pins are doing.

Mimicking the website’s pinboard style, each pin or board in the email is linked to the website, but users are unable to re-pin or like a post directly from the newsletter. The newsletter lists a few popular boards, pins from friends that might be of interest and a useful feature for brands especially: your most popular pins of the week.

SEE ALSO: Eyes On Pinterest: How People Look at Your Boards

Pinterest also includes its own favorite post in the newsletter, which this week was a lip-dub marriage proposal that went viral on YouTube.

Though Pinterest is stepping up its curation game, startups are seizing the opportunity to make Pinterest a more enjoyable experience for users. Earlier this month, a site launched that notifies users via email when their pinned items go on sale. The recent startup Pinerly offers basic analytics about pin performance and scheduling pins.

There’s also WP Pinner, which is a plug-in that lets WordPress users share, track and schedule material on Pinterest.

What features would you like to see added to Pinterest’s email newsletter? Share your thoughts in the comments.

More About: content curation, email, newsletters, pinterest, Social Media, trending

For more Social Media coverage:

Cellphone Plans Could Be Data-Only in 2 Years, Says AT&T CEO

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 11:30 AM PDT

Instead of seeing separate charges on your phone bill for data and voice, the services might soon be wrapped up into one data-service plan. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Friday that cell plans could be data-only within the next 24 months, so separate voice and text messaging charges could be absorbed.

“I’ll be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don’t see people in the market place with data-only plans,” Stephenson said at an investor conference in New York. “I just think that’s inevitable.”

He didn’t say AT&T had such plans in the works, but the technology is there, and so is a new pattern of use by smartphone owners. Mobile minutes are down for AT&T, yet texting and messaging apps continue to flourish. And, services like Skype and other VOIP clients make it easier to place calls on a mobile device using the data service.

Check out the video above to learn more. Tell us in the comments: Do you use your mobile device’s data service to place calls? Do you think mobile carriers should offer data-only plans?

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, TommL

More About: att, data plans, trending

For more Mobile coverage:

Reddit 101: Co-Founders Explain the Community [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 10:28 AM PDT

Reddit‘s culture is enigmatic to many. The social news site started in 2005 as a place for people to find new and interesting things online. Today, the front page consistently tracks the unique and hottest stories by the hour.

The Reddit community has shifted from an intimate community of anonymous users to 35 million unique visitors per month.

SEE ALSO: Here's What Reddit Looked Like 5 Years Ago [PIC]

Though anonymity is still a prominent part of the Reddit community, users have shown plenty of heart — from small gestures for the terminally ill to powerful social good for mainstream media.

It’s rather difficult to sum up all of Reddit — including its subreddits, community, controversy and culture. But PBS’s web series Off Book interviewed co-founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, and they explain extensively in less than 10 minutes.

More About: alexis ohanian, pbs, reddit, trending, viral, viral videos, YouTube

For more Video coverage:

In a Relationship: Mobile Apps and the Cloud [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 09:38 AM PDT

Mobile apps and the cloud are going all the way to the altar together. They’ve been in a relationship for several years and are now inseparable.

True love can be hard to explain, but in this case the relationship is based on pragmatism. More and more people are buying, using and relying on smartphones in their everyday lives. Much of that use and reliance revolves around mobile apps. The more mobile apps people use, the more data their phones consume and the more space they need to store all that information. Enter the cloud.

Just how ubiquitous are smartphones becoming? More than a billion such devices will be sold in the year 2014, according to a Credit Suisse estimate. By the same year, the market for cloud-based mobile apps will have increased by 90% compared to 2009. By 2016, analysts predict there will be 10 billion connected mobile devices in use globally, and smartphone traffic will be 50 times what it is today.

Many of your favorite apps are cloud-based now — Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, Yelp, Groupon and LinkedIn, just to name a handful.

Apps are moving to cloud for three primary reasons, according to a survey of IT executives: accessibility to data from multiple devices, lower cost and increased speed for businesses.

And increased consumption is disrupting hiring patterns. By 2015, development projects centered around mobile apps are projected to outnumber PC-based projects by four to one. From 2010 to 2011, the IT job site reported a 220% increase in job postings for iPhone-related developer positions and a 302% increase in postings for Android developers. Jobs site, meanwhile, reported a 100% increase in overall mobile app developer postings.

The platform-as-a-service company Engine Yard recently pulled all these stats and more together to create the infographic below. Check it out for a deeper dive and let us know what you think in the comments.

Platform as a Service

Courtesy of: Engine Yard

More About: cloud computing, infographics, Mobile, mobile apps

YouTube’s 10 Most-Shared Ads in May

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 09:28 AM PDT

1. Nike Football: My Time is Now.

If you spend the money, they'll share the ad. That formula certainly applies here. The video is laden with superstar athletes from soccer and beyond and does a great job of communicating Nike's message: wear our shoes and you can compete at the same level as the world's elite athletes. I'm sold.

Click here to view this gallery.

Ads. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to watch or play things for free. Some ads are better than others, and thus achieve protracted life on YouTube.

Each of May’s top 10 share a common thread — they’re all riveting. They vary in length, but they don’t falter in capturing our absolute attention.

We couldn’t wait to see what a young basketball superstar dressed as an old man was going to do once he got on the court with a bunch of “youngbloods.” A reminder of motherly devotion will have your eyes watering. And feeling like you want to strap on cleats and run onto the pitch no matter the weather is invigorating.

This month’s list is full of big-budget productions, but the ad at number 10 proves that home video can be just as powerful. Cut to beguiled advertisers shaking their heads and accounting staff cursing the books.

Thanks to our friends at Unruly for compiling the list.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ozgurdonmaz

More About: Advertising, features, trending, YouTube

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Facebook to Receive GLAAD Award for LGBT Efforts

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 08:57 AM PDT

Facebook LGBT Efforts

Facebook will be the first social media company honored at the GLAAD Media Awards, hosted annually by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Representatives from Facebook will accept a Special Recognition Award at tonight’s event, held at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in California.

This will be the 23rd Annual Media Awards for the notable lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, recognizing fair and inclusive representations of the LGBT community in television, journalism, music and more.

GLAAD announced in March that Facebook would receive the award, citing the social media company’s efforts against bullying as well as the inclusion of various options — such as relationship statuses — for LGBT users of the social network.

Throughout the past two years, Facebook has taken many initiatives to promote and enable LGBT rights and equality. The company worked with GLAAD in October 2010 to monitor a memorial page for LGBT youth after users posted violent anti-gay images and comments. It also launched the Network of Support, a panel of five leading LGBT advocacy organizations with MTV's A Thin Line campaign to help Facebook address LGBT issues.

More recently, Facebook launched the Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign with Time Warner, which empowers students, teachers and parents to help prevent bullying. The campaign just launched across Latin America this week. Facebook also added Help Center content that provides guidance on how users can help an LGBT person who has posted suicidal content.

“Facebook has set the bar high for ensuring LGBT people have a safe space to connect with friends and family,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement on Thursday. “GLAAD is pleased to present this award to Facebook in recognition of its efforts to make their platform welcoming to everyone.”

Brittany McMillan, the high school student who founded Spirit Day, will present the Special Recognition Award. Facebook was among leading companies that participated in Spirit Day on Oct. 20, 2011, encouraging employees to turn their Facebook profile pictures purple and wear the color to show support for LGBT youth.

Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s manager of public policy and communications, will accept the award on behalf of the company with Sara Sperling, head of diversity and inclusion. Noyes, who acts as the liaison between Facebook and LGBT groups, was influential in launching the Network of Support.

Although Facebook’s higher-up executives will not be in attendance, a recorded thank-you video from Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will be played at the awards.

More About: Facebook, glaad, LGBT, Media, Social Good, Social Media

What to Expect From E3 2012

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 07:57 AM PDT

The biggest gaming conference of the year, E3, is set to begin next week on Los Angeles. Typically where huge game consoles and popular games are announced, the conference is sure to bring with it at least a few blockbuster titles and advances in gaming technology, as well as more information about what’s in store from some of the biggest movers and shakers in the gaming industry.

About 47,000 video game industry professionals are expected to descend on L.A. for the event, with over 200 exhibitors being represented ranging from big household names to smaller developers you may have never heard of — we even hear there’s a video-game movie premiering during this year’s show.

So, what are we likely to see at E3 this year? Here are some of our predictions for three of the biggest players in gaming: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.


Nintendo is likely to give us a little more information about the Wii U, and possibly even a release date for the device. Nintendo announced the Wii U at its press conference at E3 last year. The console’s biggest claim to fame is its innovative 6.2-inch touchscreen controller that looks like a tablet and is used to interact with games along with your television. The Wii U is also compatible with traditional Wii controllers, opening up a ton of interesting possibilities for gameplay.

At Nintendo’s press conference on Tuesday we’re likely to learn more about the console, as well as information about some of the titles that will be available for it come launch time.

The console is currently expected to be released "sometime in 2012," so with luck we’ll also get a more firm release date for the device.

"We’re absolutely excited about the advent of what we’re calling ‘Gen 4 Console Cycle’ with the launch of the Wii U," Tony Bartel President of GameStop told Mashable in an interview about the company’s expectations for the show. While GameStop doesn’t know any more about the console’s launch than you or I, Bartel says it is excited about the console’s launch and what it may potentially bring along with it. "We really see that [the Wii U] as the advent on Gen 4 consoles," says Bartel.

Wii U

Nintendo says it chose "U" for the name of its new device to emphasize the personal aspect of the new controller.

Click here to view this gallery.


Sony has already indicated it won’t be showing off any next-generation consoles at this year’s show, but has promised to show off "The Future of Gameplay and Innovation" at its press conference on Monday.

The company has promised to showcase a new lineup of products and services for the PlayStation brand, and will have over 200 kiosks set up at the show for event-goers to get some hands-on time with them.

The PS3 is still rocking it in the sales department, but the same can’t be said for the PS Vita. Sony will likely use E3 as an opportunity to convince consumers that the PS Vita is in fact a console they want to buy, perhaps highlighting the game titles that work across both the Vita and the more popular PS3.

SEE ALSO: PlayStation Vita: Everything You Need to Know

The PS Vita may also see a price drop to help bring customers over, or the company many announce a PS3 + Vita discounted bundle to help drive additional sales of the handheld system.

PlayStation Vita

Click here to view this gallery.


Microsoft has also indicated that it won’t be making any major console announcements at E3 and is likely to instead highlight some of the big titles coming to Xbox this year, focusing perhaps in the biggest title headed to the console: Halo 4. We’re also likely to see at least a few new Kinect titles for the Xbox.

Windows 8 is also set to make an appearance soon, and Microsoft may use their press conference at the show to highlight the Xbox Live integration in Windows 8, perhaps also highlighting gaming opportunities on Windows phones and tablets.

Microsoft is streaming its press conference for Xbox enthusiasts live on both Xbox LIVE and Spike TV on Monday starting at 9:30am PST.


While hardware is traditionally the spotlight for E3, games are likely to steal the show this year. Nintendo will be the only company making a huge console announcement, and even then it will be just providing more information about a console we already know is coming, providing just a little more detail on what we can expect with its release.

Do any of you have any of your own E3 predictions? What are you hoping to see come from the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: e3, Nintendo, playstation, trending, video cames, Wii, xbox

Egyptian President Ousted During Arab Spring Is Sentenced to Life in Prison

Posted: 02 Jun 2012 06:40 AM PDT

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president who was ousted from office during an uprising last year, was sentenced by a judge Saturday to life in prison for the killing of unarmed protesters during what has become known as the Arab Spring.

Social media played a key role in the uprising that began in January 2011 on the Day of Rage — a protest of Mubarak’s 30-year rule. It acted as a means of large-scale organization, coming together partly because of a Facebook Page, and also as an amplifier for the events happening within the country, even as the government tried to shut down access. YouTube and Flickr showed images of the escalating violence in late January 2011.

Two weeks after the protests began, Mubarak resigned. Saturday’s news of his life sentence may be the greatest achievement of the uprising, says the New York Times; yet, the country still awaits the election of a new president, the ratification of a new constitution and the end of military rule.

The judge Saturday dismissed on technical grounds corruption charges against Mubarak and his sons. According to the New York Times, angry protesters had gathered in Tahrir Square to protest the ruling, which may not survive an appeal.

SEE ALSO: Why 2011 Will Be Defined by Social Media Democracy

A woman mourns for the youth who have lost their lives. Image via yfrog

Top image courtesy of iStockphoto, mtrommer

More About: Arab Spring, Egypt, mubarak

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