- Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Works While Floating on Water [PICS]
- Google Play Subscription Apps Get Free Trial and Two Other Stories You Need to Know
- How Important Is a Mobile-Optimized Site for Your Business?
- Flying Camera Captures Your Life From Above [VIDEO]
- Samsung to Announce Galaxy S III Mini on Oct. 11
- Watch This Hilarious Bad Lip Reading of the First Presidential Debate [VIDEO]
- Shame Passerby With These Pedestrian Penalty Cards
- Kickstarter Project Sends Solar Powered Androids to Brazilian Amazon
- Dyson Vacuums Solve a Hairy Problem
- Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cloud? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Mashable Surpasses 1 Million Facebook Fans [INFOGRAPHIC]
- This App Makes Clothing Catalogs and Stylish Best Friends Obsolete
- Toys R Us Launches Online Video Streaming Service for Families [VIDEO]
- How the Lenovo Yoga Got Its Name
- Martian’s Smartphone Watch Will Make You Feel Like James Bond [HANDS-ON]
- This Is What an Honest Voting Ad Would Look Like [VIDEO]
- Breaking Down Steve Ballmer’s Letter to Microsoft Shareholders
- ‘It Gets Better’ Campaign Enlists MTV to End LGBT Youth Bullying
- A Fine Frenzy’s Interactive Ebook Picks Up Where Album Left Off
- Tom Hanks Bribed With Typewriter, Agrees to Podcast
- Lenovo Yoga Transforming Laptop Arrives, With Friends
- How Are Apps Shaping the 2012 Election? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Kevin Bacon, Meryl Streep, More Campaign for Reproductive Rights [VIDEO]
- Pandora Reveals How Much It Pays Artists
- Giddy up! How to Win $5,000 Dancing ‘Gangnam Style’
- The iPad Mini Is an iPhone [VIDEO]
- OKCupid Goes From Matching Soulmates to Roommates
- The Darkness Embraces Inner Quirkiness for New Augmented-Reality App
- See The Best Pics From Red Bull’s #Stratos Instagram Feed
- 14-Year-Old Blogger, Peace Prize Winner Shot by Taliban
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 04:26 AM PDT
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 03:14 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 Play Now Offers Free Trial for Subscription Apps
Google has enabled app developers to offer their users a free trial period for subscription content. The option lets users "purchase" an app from the Google Play store for free, and cancel it during a week-long trial period.
"For any subscription, you can set up a free trial period that lets users try your subscription content before buying it. The trial period runs for the period of time that you set and then automati…
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 01:54 AM PDT
The amount of time and money people are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly and yet many businesses don't have a website optimized for mobile -- at what cost?
First, the numbers. Mobile traffic currently makes up 10% of global Internet traffic, as shown in the chart below, and next year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online, according to Gartner. Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. last year, or about 8% of total online sales, and are expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion this year. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion.
Yet many businesses have not yet optimized their websites for m…
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 01:35 AM PDT
Could you imagine the possibilities of a flying camera? No longer would friends need to take photos at parties when a robotic friend could hover about and snap photos throughout the event. The possibilities are limitless and could become a reality with a new hovering camera.
Sky View, designed by Junho Yoon, is a flying camera with an aesthetic unlike anything we've seen. Though not much is known about it as the designer has only released concept images. We can surmise that there could be an autofocus feature and that it can also act as a stand-up camera as well.
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 12:27 AM PDT
The rumors were true: Samsung is debuting a mini version of its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone on Oct. 11.
The new device, which will launch at a special event in Germany, has been confirmed by the head of Samsung Mobile Communications, JK Shin. Hardly a "mini," though, the handset is actually a 4-inch version of the humongous 4.8-inch Galaxy S III.
"There's a lot of demand for a 4-inch screen device in Europe. Some call it an entry-level device, but we call it 'mini,'" Shin says.
No other details about the phone have been revealed, but the phrase "entry-level" likely means it will have a lower price tag and less stellar specifications than the Galaxy S III.
Posted: 10 Oct 2012 12:02 AM PDT
Missed the first U.S. presidential debate last week? YouTube's Bad Lip Reading channel has released video of the face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But you might find it a bit different from the original. Read: Less debate and more drivel.
In classic Bad Lip Reading tradition, the two rivals speak complete gibberish to hilarious effect.
At one point, Obama says, "In horrible weather, I sneeze and I just lose the puppets ... I see a purple idiot who speaks German with a big, spunky Irish Labradoodle puppy.
But Romney dominates with most of the zingers, including, "I'm not a robot, okay. I wish. Then I could go higher, and yo…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 11:28 PM PDT
Walking around major cities can seem almost like a video game -- dodge the picture takers, weave through groups, avoid the giant umbrellas for extra points.
Even if they are a total first-world problem, bad walkers really are a nuisance.
The next time you encounter one, you may want to have these ready-made pedestrian penalty cards handy. After all, what could be more satisfying than taking a wrong-way walker down a notch?
What is your biggest pedestrian pet peeve? Let us know in the comments below.
More About: Watercooler
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 10:29 PM PDT
When most people think of the Brazilian Amazon, they imagine a dense jungle and twisting river, cut off entirely from the industrialized world around it. Certainly not a place where smartphones would be necessary -- or even welcome, for that matter.
Jeffrey Mansfield, a masters candidate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, disagrees. Three weeks ago, he launched a Kickstarter project to introduce solar-powered digital toolkits to the people who live in the Amazon Rainforest, in hopes of bringing increased opportunity and communication outlets to the often overlooked community.
"The smartphone is our generation's answer to the Swiss Army Knife"
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 09:57 PM PDT
Cleaning up after your pet can be a little messy. Hair gets everywhere and when it comes time to vacuum the floors you spend half your time unclogging your conventional vacuum. With that common struggle in mind, the innovators at Dyson created a tool to tackle those hairy jobs.
The Dyson Tangle-free Turbine tool attaches to your Dyson vacuum and uses two counter-rotating brush heads. The dual heads are what make this design different than the brush bar design of other vacuums. Normally hair can easily wrap around the brush bar, slowing down the roller and eventually needing to be cut or pulled loose. The Tangle-free Turbine tool collects more hair without getting hair caught on the br…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 08:48 PM PDT
Few words in tech have had more buzz over the past couple years than the omnipresent "cloud." Cloud computing has ushered in a new era of technology, changed the way many companies do business and facilitated the age of mobile devices and social networking.
Among its more interesting findings: While 80% of respondents say…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 08:22 PM PDT
We are very excited to share the latest Mashable community milestone: We've surpassed 1 million Facebook fans!
Our Facebook community is an important part of Mashable. Since launching our fan page in 2007, we've further connected with readers around the world and have seen our audience grow alongside the site. The Mashable Facebook page has been a place for us to share and discuss the latest news affecting the connected generation.
To commemorate this milestone and thank our community for making it possible, we've collected some of your most inspiring Facebook stories and created the infographic below. During the past few weeks, we asked our community how Facebook has led to meani…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:59 PM PDT
Quick Pitch: Personal shopping app that helps you discover trendy clothing and accessories available in stores.
Genius Idea: Swirl enhances the in-store shopping experience by adding exclusive deals and a social layer, allowing users to see what Facebook friends are buying or adding to their inspiration boards.
When you're picky about what you wear and need to sift through racks and racks of clothes before finding something you like, shopping can be a pain. The Swirl app, which launched in August, can help with these difficult sartorial decisions.
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:46 PM PDT
Kids' retailer Toys R Us has launched online video streaming service called ToysRUsMovies.com.
As of Thursday, parents and children can stream family-friendly films and television shows online. The service, which is only available in the United States, will reportedly work with PCs and Macs among other devices.
ToysRUsMovies.com requires no subscription fee; content is streamed or purchased on-demand. Movies start at $2.99 for a 24-hour rental, and $5.99 for a licensed download or stream. TV shows typically cost $1.99.
For more on the service, check out the video above. Wou…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:16 PM PDT
The Lenovo Yoga isn't just redefining Lenovo's product line -- it's also transforming how the company names its products. The company's marketing chief says the laptop/tablet hybrid's name was a serendipitous moment, and Lenovo will be re-examining how it names its products in the near future.
"Yoga" is the incredibly apt (but no too clever) name for Lenovo's laptop whose screen can bend backward a full 360 degrees thanks to a special hinge design. When the screen folds past 180 degrees, the keyboard automatically shuts off, and when completely folded it effectively becomes a tablet.
It's a novel design, and Lenovo CMO David Roman says the name was conceived very early in the proce…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:48 PM PDT
At first glance, the Martian series of watches look like most any other watch. Pair them together with your smartphone, however, and you're in for a Bond-like experience you won't find on any other watch out there.
Originally inspired by trying to use a phone while on a ski trip, the watch lets you send text messages, search the web, and even make phone calls from your wrist without ever having to take your phone out of your pocket. Those are features quite a few people are apparently looking for in a watch -- Martian was able to raise $221k for the project on Kickstarter earlier this year.
The creators of the watches recently stopped by Mashable's San Francisco office with a…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 05:46 PM PDT
Jest is here to answer that question with a satirical video in which the actors ask citizens to vote, even though they themselves might not.
One of them confesses he doesn't think it's gonna make a difference, since he's registered in New York. "It's not like I'm in Ohio," he says. "If you're in Ohio, you have to vote. It's like the only state that matters." A girl comes up with an array of other excuses not to go: dental appointment, family stuff, too much stuff to do on a Tuesday, e…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 05:22 PM PDT
In his annual letter to shareholders, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spells out the future of Microsoft, as well as the "fundamental shift" taking place in its business.
The letter is an extension of what Ballmer has been hinting at for the last few months: Microsoft is changing and the way it views its business is changing too.
We've parsed through the shareholders letter and come away with a few key takeaways.
Microsoft: A Devices and Services Company
At the start of the letter, Ballmer calls Microsoft a "devices and services" company. Ballmer writes:
This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves. As a devices and services company. It imp…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 05:00 PM PDT
Sex columnist and It Gets Better Project co-founder Dan Savage will host his second 60-minute MTV special, featuring stories of LGBT youth who've come out to their family.
Savage tells Mashable that MTV's young audience -- not just LGBT kids who may be experiencing bullying -- are his target for the special.
"We'll reach more people with our hour long specials on MTV, because that's the power of TV, it's where middle schoolers and high schoolers are," Savage says. "We're not just reaching LGBT kids on MTV. We always want to acknowledge and normalize the queer kids, but straight kids will also see it and they're potential perpetrators or bystanders to bullying."
The special focu…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 04:29 PM PDT
The Story of Pines ebook
Photos by Nina Frazier
Sudol wrote the The Story of Pines companion ebook and lyrics on Pines to combat the stressful emotions she felt about the fact-paced lifestyle she and people around her were seemingly forcing themselves to live.
"I was in a very low place when I started this album -- I got lost and it was terrifying," Sudol told Mashable while giving us a test-drive of the ebook. "I couldn't fit my whole story onto the record so I did this book."
Along the way, Sudol got happier. Her deceleration paved the…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 04:18 PM PDT
Comedian and Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick could teach a thing or two about public relations. Hardwick just snagged actor Tom Hanks as guest on his podcast, using a vintage typewriter as bait.
Hardwick and the folks at Nerdist Industries sent Hanks a 1934 Corona typewriter, which included a typed invitation to come on the Nerdist podcast.
"We are nice guys who are easy to get along with and have never murdered anyone," Chris "Vintage Typewriters" Hardwick wrote in the letter.
Hanks tactfully responded with the clever letter, shown below. Hardwick shared his excitement on Reddit, and it quickly shot to the front page.
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 04:00 PM PDT
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Able to swivel its screen a full 360 degrees, the IdeaPad Yoga 13 leads Lenovo's "convertibles" line of Windows 8 devices. It'll be available Oct. 26 starting at $1,099.
Lenovo got a lot of kudos when it first unveiled the Yoga, a "convertible" laptop whose screen can fold all the way over -- a full 360 degrees -- to become a tablet. Today the nimble notebook gets real with a price and release date, and it's bringing a few friends.
The Yoga will lead Lenovo's new line of convertible Windows 8 PCs. It includes two versions of the Yoga, with 13- and 11-inch models, as well as the IdeaTab Lynx tablet (powered by Windows RT) and a folding laptop called the ThinkPad Twist, aimed at businesses and schools.
The Two Flavors of Yoga
The headliner is definitely the Yoga, though, with its swiveling hinge. The big-size model sports a 13.3-inch screen 1,600 x 90…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 03:24 PM PDT
EngineYard.com created an infographic that breaks down how the U.S. has used mobile apps, in both sending and consuming information, during the 2012 election season so far.
Some notable stats from the graphic: 70% of the most active iPhone states (New York, California, Illinois) tend to vote Democrat, while 70% of the most active Android states (Colorado, Arizona, Georgia) tend to vote Republican. And, of the approximately $1 billion spent on the election by both parties, around $54 million has be…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 02:46 PM PDT
A new celebrity-filled public service announcement released on Tuesday by the Center for Reproductive Rights is campaigning for people around the country to fight against attacks made on a woman's fundamental and constitutional rights by signing the Bill of Reproductive Rights.
The bill is part of the Draw The Line campaign. The two-minute ad references the power of new media in online activism, including Facebook, texting and email to rally people behind the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The PSA plays on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game -- one phone call from the actor leads to a message spread across the entertainment industry, and celebrities join the petition. It also n…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 01:54 PM PDT
Responding to critics' claims that musicians make little or no money from music-streaming services, Pandora founder Tim Westergren has detailed the amounts certain artists rake in -- some nearing $3 million annually.
Westergren, the company's current chief strategy officer, said Tuesday the "revenue stream is meaningful" and further explained Pandora's philosophy on paying musicians.
"For over two thousand artists, Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more than 800 we'll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household," he said in a statement. "We'…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 01:31 PM PDT
If you are like us and secretly love "Gangnam Style," you must have tried many times to imitate Psy's quirky dance moves while listening to the song. We know you have; there's nothing wrong with that. We've pretty much done nothing else at Watercooler HQ for the past month.
Well, today is your lucky day because, if you're really good at dancing Gangnam Style, you will not only receive the admiration of your friends but you will also have a chance to cash in with some bucks -- 5000, to be precise.
All you need to do is create an animated GIF of you doing your best Psy impression. The imaginary horse riding contest was launched by startup Gifboom and Psy himself. Gifboom is an Insta…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 01:11 PM PDT
"We've taken everything you love about the iPad, and re-envisioned it as a go-anywhere device that will fit in your pocket," the narrators of the parody video above state.
The so-called iPad mini has a "revolutionary" four-inch display and can wirelessly connect to the "gigantic global network of tubes."
SEE MORE: Is This The iPad Mini? [PICS]
It also uses a "cornea display" that harnesses the world's first "micronized particle accelerator," which projects electrons on the display at nearly the speed of light -- "a first for any portable device."
And of course, in true Apple style, there is one more thing:
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 01:03 PM PDT
OKCupid has been helping people find their soulmates for eight years. Now, it wants to help people find the ideal roommate too.
Sam Yagan, co-founder and CEO of the popular online dating site, told Social Times that the company is working on a separate website that will allow people to look for housemates using a system that will mirror the one OKCupid uses to search for ideal romantic matches.
The algorithms that the site uses to find perfect couples can be easily tweaked and used to look for compatible roommates, Yagan said.
Watch the video above to learn more about this new website. Would you use an OKCupid-style website to look for roomma…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 12:47 PM PDT
You may remember '80s-inspired hair band The Darkness from the 2003 hit song "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," which featured a music video of the band rolling around in skin-tight leotards. The band and song shot to fame -- all without the help of viral-making machine YouTube, which didn't come online until two years later.
Now, the band is back with its third album, "Hot Cakes," and a quirky new augmented-reality app for iPhone and Android devices that uses image-recognition technology to unlock virtual band memorabilia.
The app is as unique as the band. From the platform's welcome screen, users can access a collection of five-second audio clips, ranging from lead singer Justin…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 12:33 PM PDT
More than 1 million people tuned in to YouTube to watch Felix Baumgartner's aborted 22-mile jump from space on Tuesday.
The plan was for Baumgartner to float up to that height in a pressurized capsule pulled by a weather balloon and then break the record for the world's longest jump. However, windy conditions prompted him to postpone the effort.
Red Bull, the sponsor of the jump, has spent five years preparing for it. Not surprisingly, the company is looking to benefit from the association as much as possible. Hence the brand's #Stratos stream on Instagram. Red Bull has been an enthusiastic adopter of Instagram and has more than 400,000 followers on the platform.
For those lo…
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 12:16 PM PDT
Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old girl who won Pakistan's first National Peace Prize, was shot and wounded on her return from school Tuesday in Swat Valley. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, which has been condemned by the country's president.
The teenager has been the subject of frequent death threats, because she blogs about the Taliban's restrictions on education for women.
A Taliban spokesperson, Insnaullah Ishan, told CNN Yousafzai was targeted for spreading feminist messages.
"She wanted to make our women leave their homes for secular education, something the Taliban will never permit," Ishan said.
Yousafzai was injured when armed milit…
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