Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Google’s Birthday Reminders and Two Other Stories You Need to Know”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Google’s Birthday Reminders and Two Other Stories You Need to Know”

Google’s Birthday Reminders and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 04:42 AM PDT

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.

Google Starts Displaying Birthday Reminders on Front Page

Google has started displaying birthday reminders on its Google Search front page, proving once again that it's serious about integrating social features into its core products.

Starting today, users will see a reminder on when someone in their circles has a birthday. The feature will initially work only if you're searching in English on, and it will be rolled out gradually over the "next few day…
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More About: apple, features, first to know series, grooveshark, mashable

Next-Gen Fitness Gadgets Will Sync to Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 04:29 AM PDT

The next generation of sports and fitness gadgets and apps will be able to sync with a wider variety of devices -- from smartphones, tablets, laptops and even TVs -- anything that's Bluetooth enabled.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), that manages the Bluetooth technology, has set standards for the next generation of fitness gadgets. Since manufactures will now use standards-based protocols for their products, rather than develop proprietary solutions and forge partnerships, fitness gadget makers can create products that are more likely to sync with the Bluetooth-enabled gadgets in your home.

Up until now, products such as Nike+ iPod only connected to select Apple devices,…
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More About: bluetooth, fitness

LG Unveils Optimus L9 With 4.7-Inch Screen, 1 GHz Dual-Core CPU

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 03:07 AM PDT

LG has unveiled Optimus L9, its most powerful L-series smartphone so far.

Though L-series devices are essentially stylish smartphones for consumers on a budget, the L9 has some pretty solid specifications, including a 4.7-inch IPS screen, 1 GB of RAM and a dual-core, 1 GHz processor.

The device, which runs on Android 4.9 or Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a VGA one on the front.

LG also points out some of the device's software features, such as instant translation with the QTranslator. Another notable feature is My Style Keypad, which adjusts the keypad depending on whether you're using one or two hands to text.

All of these features will likely app…
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More About: LG, Optimus L9

Kids Go Gaga Over Tablets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 02:45 AM PDT

We know the iPad has become a major hit with adult tech consumers since Steve Jobs first introduced the gadget back in 2010. But did you know tablets have scored big points with kids as well?

Humans are becoming familiar with digital technology and devices earlier than ever. In fact, more than half of children between the ages of five and eight have already used tablets to play or learn, according to some research. For kids between the ages of six and 12, the iPad was the most coveted gadget last Christmas. Tablets are permeating family life, too; in households that own a device, kids 12 and under get their hands on it more often than not.

The iPad, especially, is becoming prevalent…
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More About: infographics, ipad, tablets, trending

Choose a Winner in Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter YouTube Video

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 01:38 AM PDT

It's an epic battle in which you get to choose the winner.

A new YouTube video pits Mortal Kombat's Scorpion against Street Fighter's Ryu in a no-holds-barred fight. Since being posted on Tuesday, it has gained almost 20,000 views.

Created by Start, an entertainment channel for gamers, the interactive video begins with martial artist Ryu practicing punches on a tree, when he is approached by Scorpion.

The undead ninja initiates the brawl, yelling, "Get over here!" before unleashing his chained kunai on Ryu.

Emulating the one-on-one style of both classic fighting games, Scorpion and Ryu put on an impressive display of martial-arts fighting that bring the characters from Mortal…
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More About: Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, YouTube, trending

Grab Your Hairbrush Microphone for 10 YouTube Sing-Alongs

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 12:59 AM PDT

1. Bedford Ave Subway Love

Late night on the L train platform in Williamsburg, Brooklyn a sing-along moment of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" broke out.

Click here to view this gallery.

There is something about music that tugs at heartstrings when it is shared in exactly the right way, at exactly the right moment. Naturally, some of these best collective singing moments end up on YouTube.

In the gallery above, we've compiled ten of our favorite YouTube sing-alongs. Some are impromptu, others are planned down to the finest detail, but all will make you want to bust out in song.

SEE ALSO: XKCD Sing-Along: Every Major's Terrible

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: Watercooler, trending, viral video

Students, Here’s How to Kick-Start Your Personal Brand Online

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 12:13 AM PDT

The most beneficial action young job seekers can take while still in school is to pay attention to what's happening online.

These days, an impressive resume might get you noticed, but it won't necessarily land you a job interview on its own. You'll need a well-rounded web presence, as well.

"The first thing an employer is going to do is Google you," Alexandra Levit, generational speaker and author of Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can't Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success tells Mashable. "The worst thing is to have something negative pop up. In the absence of anything negative, having nothing come up really doesn't say much about your level of seriousness in terms of bei…
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More About: Business, Social Media, back to school, career, education, features, students, trending, work

Car Dealership Challenges You to Tweet Your Way to a New Audi

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 10:47 PM PDT

A Canadian car dealership is challenging consumers to tweet their way to a new Audi.

Pfaff Automotive launched a campaign that asks people to register for a "Tweet Race" by signing up for a new Twitter account or signing in with an existing one. Starting from Monday, when the campaign began, the first 10 people to reach 2,500 followers will win a key; one of those keys will unlock the door of a new 2013 Audi A4.

The grand prize comes with a free tuning package valued at $5,000 and a year-long lease, according to the campaign, which is only available for residents in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Those who register will have to authorize the third-party application, PFAFF Twe…
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More About: Twitter, audi, cars, trending

Does This Mobile App Prove Vincent Van Gogh Was Colorblind? [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 09:58 PM PDT

Art lovers have gazed amorously at the works of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh for the past century. Now, thanks to a tool developed by Japanese vision expert Kazunori Asada, we all might start looking at his famous paintings a bit differently.

Asada created the Chromatic Vision Simulator for iOS and Android to show what images look like for people with one or more defective sets of cones, the structures in the eye used to see color.

When examining the works of van Gogh, Asada was shocked to discover that the works appeared the same -- if not better -- when cast under the Chromatic Vision Simulator.

"This painter has a somewhat strange way t…
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More About: Mobile, apps, art, mashable video, trending

Obama, Comedians Top Tuesday’s Republican Convention Tweets

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 09:08 PM PDT

Twitter has had a major impact on this year's presidential election, and the Republican National Convention is no exception to the phenomenon. There were more tweets about the event on its first day, than during the entire 2008 convention.

Several prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney's wife Ann and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, took the stage in Tampa, Florida Tuesday night to deliver speeches. The most-tweeted moment of the night? Twitter reported 6,195 tweets per minute when Mitt joined Ann on stage.

Nearly every word was live-tweeted and fact-checked by journalists, mocked by comedians and rebutted by Democrats. Unfortunately for the Romney campaign, the top 10 mos…
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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney, Politics, Social Media, Twitter, US, barack obama, republican national convention, trending

Success Kid Will Answer Your Questions Live

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 08:47 PM PDT

Dreading summer's end? To get you in the back-to-school spirit, we'll be chatting live with a very special student who's just experienced his first days of kindergarten.

Sam Griner — a.k.a. "Success Kid" -- became an Internet meme associated with personal achievement when a candid photo of him at the beach caught fire on the web.

SEE ALSO: What to Expect When Your Kid Becomes a Meme

We'll chat live with Sam Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST about his first day of school, what it's like to be a meme and what his biggest moment of success has been so far.

Has he found success on the playground? Tune in to find out.

More About: Live Chat, Success Kid, Watercooler, internet memes

Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant? YouTube Mashup Shows Uncanny Symmetry [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 07:39 PM PDT

It's well known that Kobe Bryant patterned his game in many ways off Michael Jordan's legendary set of skills. But just how uncannily Bryant emulates M.J. was never as obvious as it is now, thanks to a mashup of highlight clips recently posted to YouTube. The video is in part titled "Identical Plays," and for good reason. YouTube user 2012Mamba tracked down about ten plays by Jordan and Bryant that are so similar that it's almost scary.

The video has gone viral in sports circles online, gaining over 72,000 views since Sunday. On Tuesday, even picked it up and marveled at the mirror-image moves.

But in a twist that reflects the global reach of both the NBA and social media…
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More About: NBA, Sports, YouTube, trending, viral videos

Facebook and Twitter: A No-No for Federal Jurors

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 07:00 PM PDT

Were you hoping to waste away your hours of jury duty on Facebook or Twitter?

Federal judges are hoping you won't, and have a new list of instructions from the Federal Judicial Conference Committee on how to discourage social networking in the courthouse throughout cases. While you may just be browsing breaking news or your friends' updates, judges are concerned you'll engage in external research or leak details about the case.

The new guidelines, drafted in June and issued Friday, instruct judges how to best deter jurors from using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube to research and communicate about the cases for which they're serving. Judges are told to review these instructi…
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More About: Social Media, US, court

Accused High School Shooter Posted Clues on Facebook. Who Was Listening?

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 06:17 PM PDT

The first day of school at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County, Md. turned tragic when a student opened fire, critically wounding another student in the school cafeteria.

Police have charged 15-year-old Robert Wayne Gladden Jr. with attempted first degree murder and first degree assault. He's being charged as an adult and held without bail.

Luckily, a school official was able to wrestle the gun from the shooter before he was able to hurt anyone else. But where were officials, adults, even friends, before the shooting?

Gladden, a sophomore at the school, posted "First day of school, last day of my life" on his Facebook page before heading to school on Monday.

Surely a r…
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More About: facebook privacy, school violence, social media rules

This Android Robot Is Controlled by Your Phone [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 05:18 PM PDT

Love robots? Have an Android phone? Have we got the thing for you. Meet BERO, and Google Android-inspired robot that is controlled by an app on your Android phone or tablet.

Originally inspired by the Google Bug Droid at Maker Faire, the open-source robot can be programmed to do virtually anything you want, with a fully programmable and customizable interface. Robots can be voice activated, and can be programmed to react to smartphone notifications.

Out of the box BERO comes with software so it can play your favorite tunes, and dance to the music with "realistic" dance moves such as head turns, arm waves, and side-to-side poses. Headphones on the…
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More About: Robot, kickstarter

ESPN Who? iPhone and Facebook Nab NFL Star’s First Interview

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 04:52 PM PDT

For fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, star wide receiver Mike Wallace's extended holdout over a contract dispute has been one of the most important stories of the NFL preseason. The young playmaker finally rejoined the team on Tuesday after missing a few preseason games and dozens of practices and off-season workouts.

But Wallace's first interview of the 2012 season didn't go to ESPN or the hometown Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper. It didn't air on the news or land on any of a number of high-profile Steelers or NFL blogs. No, Wallace's first interview after rejoining the squad was an iPhone video Q-and-A (embedded above) with teammate James Harrison, which Harrison posted to his Fac
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More About: Facebook, Sports, mike wallace, nfl

Send Us Your Hurricane Isaac Photos

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 04:26 PM PDT

Seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Gulf Coast residents are bracing themselves for Hurricane Isaac.

Forecasters predict up to 20 inches of water after the slow-moving storm makes landfall, which is expected to be in southeast Louisiana Tuesday night. Although the storm is not expected to make as much of an impact as Katrina, government officials in New Orleans suspended public transport and enforced mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas.

Gulf Coast residents started sharing snapshots of choppy waves, though the storm has yet reach its full strength. Instagram user Tracy Killen posted a photo of surf breaking on a beach, saying, "WOW - we are not even…
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More About: Hurricane Isaac

Watch NASA Play the First Song Ever on Mars [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 03:53 PM PDT

Mars: a great place to visit if you like rocks, red sunsets, giant dormant volcanoes and 300-mile-an-hour winds.

But if you're looking for a little music? Not so great. Not until Tuesday afternoon, when the Curiosity Rover broadcast a song by former Black Eyed Peas frontman and CNN hologram -- the first song, so far as we know, ever played on an alien planet.

The tune, entitled "Reach For the Stars," isn't what you might expect from No pumping beats here -- just an uplifting orchestral background and heavy-duty inspirational lyrics about setting our goals higher. Props to in particular for destroying that old clich…
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More About: NASA, curiosity rover,

Barbie and Ken Say ‘I Do’ to Wedding Photo Clichés [PICS]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 02:59 PM PDT

Image courtesy of Beatrice de Guigne

Click here to view this gallery.

Facebook has made weddings a social experience. Not social like chatting with Aunt Mildred over chicken Kiev at the reception buffet -- social like web social.

From the courtship to the engagement to the honeymoon, social networks ensure all your online friends witness your nuptials. If you have a Facebook page, you have likely seen a fair number of wedding photographs and chances are that many of those shots shared common poses and themes.

SEE ALSO: Memes, Pixar and the Most Adorable Wedding Ever [VIDEO]

Wedding photographer Beatrice de Guigne noticed the similarities and decided to showcase some of the most popular pictures by reenacting them with Barbie and Ken.

The relatio…
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More About: Watercooler, barbie, wedding

Should You Break Up With Pinterest for LoveIt?

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 02:31 PM PDT

At first glance, LoveIt looks exactly like Pinterest. And that's on purpose. The more visual something is, the more shareable it is.

LoveIt is a platform where you can discover, collect, organize and share images of -- you guessed it -- things you love. Yes, that's the same idea behind Pinterest. So, if you already use that platform, why in the world would you need another one?

Because you are going to fall in love with LoveIt.

LoveIt Gets You

Pinterest hooks you up with your Facebook friends, which is great. But you could be missing out on the content that you really love, rather than the content your friends are sharing. LoveIt constantly works to identify your specific i…
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More About: features, loveit, photo sharing, photography, pinterest

What You Need to Know About Hiring a Contractor

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 02:07 PM PDT

The contract workforce is fast becoming the new normal. Independent workers now make up 30% of the nation's workforce, according to the Freelancers Union. Online employment middleman Elance is also experiencing record growth, hitting more than $500 million in total freelancer earnings since 2007.

The uncertainty in the economy undoubtedly drove many employers to hire freelance or contract workers in place of full-time employees. Along the way, many employers also quickly recognized the unique benefits of this approach, particularly that the cloud offers a vast pool of experts ready to pitch in at a moment's notice.

However, this new workforce dynamic carries tricky legal impli…
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More About: Business, business models, contributor, features

Fun With Anagrams in Romney, Obama Rap Battle [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 01:57 PM PDT

Funny or Die pits Mitt Romney against Barack Obama in a rap rumble more entertaining than actual presidential election coverage.

A regular rhyme-tossing brawl would be dandy, but the dueling duo takes it up a nerdy notch by battling with anagrams. So politics-loving grammarians rejoice because in this conversation, voices rant on. See what we did there?

BONUS: Elect to Laugh With 10 Mitt Romney Tumblr Pages

More About: Watercooler, viral video

OneRepublic’s ‘Feel Again’ Uses Real and Social Media Heartbeats

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 01:36 PM PDT

OneRepublic's new music video for "Feel Again" arrived Tuesday -- escorted onto YouTube and Vevo with a social good initiative benefiting Save the Children and Ad Council's "Every Beat Matters" campaign.

Dubbed The Heartbeats Project, the online initiative from ad agency BBDO began when production company Rabbit Content recorded heartbeats of healthy children in Malawi and Guatemala. OneRepublic used the heartbeats as inspiration for "Feel Again" (listen above).

Every paid download of "Feel Again" [iTunes link] throws money into the movement's coffers, eventually helping to prevent the death of infants and kids across the globe.

The campaign is spreading on social media. At EveryB
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More About: Entertainment, Music, Social Good, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube, celebrities, music videos, vevo

Remix the Old Spice Guy With New Interactive Video

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 01:22 PM PDT

Old Spice is adding interactivity to its viral video repertoire with its latest spot for its new scent, "Danger Zone."

In the "Muscle Music" ad, Old Spice Guy Terry Crews composes music by doing nothing but flexing his muscles. Each muscle is hooked up to a different musical instrument, which is activated when the muscle flexes.

The coolest part is after the ad ends. A recordable player pops up and users can create their own sounds by pressing different keys on the keyboard. The keys control various sounds from Terry and different beats. Trust us, you'll get sucked into this one, quickly. Users can record their creations, upload them to Vimeo and then share them across the web.…
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More About: Vimeo, interactive video, old spice

1 Terabyte of Data Will Be Sent Daily During Conventions

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 01:02 PM PDT

Thanks to all the e-mails, tweets, streaming video and mobile Internet usage at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, both events are estimated to see an astonishing one terabyte (that's 1000 gigabytes) of data sent from each event.

That number comes straight from Cisco, the official networking provider of both conventions.

Other data about convention data? The Republican convention will have 12.5 gigabytes of bandwidth, while the Democratic convention will use 10. And they'll be plenty of IT support on site, too: Cisco will be helping connect thousands of politicians, delegates and reporters during both events.

"For two weeks, countless pieces of content -- video, ph…
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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Politics, US, cisco, republican national convention

Where Does Consumer Tech Go to Die?

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 12:43 PM PDT

Samsara, a new documentary directed by American filmmaker Ron Fricke is "a non-verbal guided meditation on the cycle of birth, death and rebirth."

The film explores many layers and components of the cycle of life, one of which investigates the demise of tech hardware after humans have no more use for it.

In one scene, viewers travel to the world's e-waste repositories, the result of a global society's wanton need for electronic consumption. There, they witness Chinese factory workers assembling irons. In a one-minute shot, one employee touches almost 10 irons as they travel the assembly line. She performs small adjustments before quickly mov…
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More About: Entertainment, Film, Gadgets, Tech, documentary, features, review

RunKeeper Partners With GymPact, Now You’ll Pay For Missed Workouts

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 12:40 PM PDT

Sometimes we need a carrot dangling in front of us when facing a tough workout. One of the most popular apps for runners, RunKeeper, is partnering with an app called GymPact, which syncs with your checking account and withdraws a pre-determined amount every time you miss a workout. Now that's some incentive to get to the gym!

GymPact works like this: You make a pact with yourself on the site saying how many days per week you want to workout and then set the stakes in dollars. To hold you accountable, you must check into the gym on your smartphone and stay in that location for at least 30 minutes. Every week, the money paid by individuals who didn't make it to the gym is divided between t…
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More About: Gympact, apps, runkeeper

Flipboard Quadruples User Base to 20 Million in 8 Months [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 12:22 PM PDT

Usage of Flipboard has increased drastically over the past year. The company behind the social newsreading app, which is celebrating its second anniversary Tuesday, announced it now has more than 20 million registered users, up from 5 million in December.

Flipboard owes that growth largely to platform and geographic expansion. After nearly a year-and-a-half as an iPad-only application, Flipboard launched on the iPhone in early December, growing from 4 million to 5 million users in a week. In late June, the app arrived on Android smartphones. Flipboard also released a number of international editions with region-specific content, including China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, the…
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More About: Flipboard

How You’re Using Your iPad [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 12:18 PM PDT

If you are one of the 53.2 million people currently with an iPad, there's a good chance you've already developed habits related to how you best like to use your device.

The team at Infographic Labs has put together an infographic that details how users have embraced the iPad over the years, from using it while watching TV to cozying up to it in bed or even using it in the bathroom.

There's no denying that the iPad's popularity has grown significantly over the years -- only 11.5 million people owned an iPad in 2010, but that number grew to 28 million users in 2011. Now, the Apple device makes up 65% of all owned tablets on the market.

Not surprisingly, the third-generation iPad broug…
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More About: apple, ipad

Did Google Just Jump the Shark?

Posted: 28 Aug 2012 12:01 PM PDT

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

In case you missed it, Google broke a cardinal rule of its famously clean white-space design Tuesday morning. For the first time, the company put an animated banner ad on its sacrosanct search homepage.

"The playground is open," the ad, for the Nexus 7 tablet, declares. And indeed it is -- the home page just became a playground for Google's legion of marketers. The question is, can it ever close again?

As my colleague Lauren Indvik pointed out earlier, Google has previously pushed the boundaries of its homepage design with tiny text ads.

Here is the ad for the Nexus One phone from 2010. It was relatively clean and unobtrusive. The text outweighed the icon.

It fit into t…
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More About: Google, Opinion, banner ads

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