Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Love Cats? Pay to Play With Them Online”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Love Cats? Pay to Play With Them Online”

Love Cats? Pay to Play With Them Online

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 03:58 AM PST

An online service called iPet Companion allows you to remotely control kitty toys so you can keep otherwise bored cats entertained.

"A signal is relayed from the servers at iPet Companion to the control boxes situated within the home (located anywhere in the world) – that allows for users to see and move the toys, with minimal time lag" says Scott Harris, founder and owner Reach-In, the Idaho-based company that developed the software.

Animal shelters across the country are already using the service. But it's available for home use as well. It will set you back $349.95 plus postage for the cat version, $395 plus postage for dogs and a $4.95 monthly service fee for your own i…
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More About: animals, cats, dogs

Leaked Concept Art Reveals Details of Bungie’s Upcoming ‘Destiny’ Game

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 03:01 AM PST


Bungie, the game developer behind popular title Halo, has acknowledged the leaked concept art for its upcoming title 'Destiny' is real.

The concept art, along with some advertising copy, was unearthed by IGN. It reveals a story which happens 700 years from now and includes a huge, mysterious alien ship called the Traveler that floats over the Earth and, of course, some alien monsters which want to take over the Earth and its Last City.

There are few details about the gameplay, except that it's "social" and includes exploring a massive game world. Bungie did not follow up with details, but it did admit the leak is real.

"Go ahead. Take a peek. It's alright. We weren't quite…
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More About: Destiny, Gaming, bungie, game

Facebook Censors Photo After Mistaking Elbow for Breast [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 02:22 AM PST

What's the difference between an elbow and a breast? For Facebook, not much.

The social network recently removed a misleading photo of a woman in a bathtub because it mistook her elbow for a bare breast, according to "Theories of the deep understanding of things."

The Facebook page posted the photo as a way to test Facebook's terms of service, which prohibits the posting of "pornographic" content.

"FB moderators can't tell an elbow from a dangerous, filthy, uncanny and violent female breast," the page said. "No questions were asked and the post is down."

After realizing its blunder, Facebook later restored the photo. In a statement, the co…
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More About: Facebook, facebook terms of service, terms of service

Samsung Galaxy Axiom Now Available at U.S. Cellular for $79

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 01:37 AM PST

galaxy axiom

Samsung's budget-friendly smartphone, the Galaxy Axiom, is now available at U.S. Cellular.

Similar in specifications to the Galaxy S III Mini, it sports a 4-inch, 800 x 480 pixel screen, a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, 4 GB of storage (further expandable via a microSD memory card), as well as a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front.

The device supports NFC and Google Wallet. It runs Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich.

The handset will set you back $79 with a two-year contract, or $399 without one.

More About: Samsung Galaxy Axiom

Watch This Real-Life Spider-Man Leap Across London [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 12:58 AM PST

Spider-Man may be able to crawl on walls and spin webs, but he is just a comic-book character, after all. Instead, catch a glimpse of his real-life counterpart in a new YouTube video.

Clad in the superhero's iconic red and blue colors, an unidentified man -- likely the "Peter Parkour" mentioned in the video's title -- leaps and bounds across London. He backflips in parks, does handstands on bridges, and climbs up the side of buildings.

The video, which was posted online Tuesday, promotes the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Who's cooler: the original Spider-Man or Peter Parkour? Tell us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Flickr, marvelousRoland

More About: Amazing Spider-Man, Spiderman, london, parkour

Why Video Chat Doesn’t Suck

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 11:59 PM PST

Several days ago, Mashable posted an article entitled "Why Does Video Chat Still Suck?," by Rob Lammle. While Rob makes some great points, there is a whole world in which video chat doesn't suck — take the addict, for whom video chat is a lifeline, the sports fan who goes face-to-face with her favorite pitcher, the mother who asks a doctor to see her sick child without leaving the house, the student who learns a language or an instrument from home, and the busy executive who gets to spend more time with her family by avoiding an in-person meeting.

Rob was right: For many people, video chat does still suck. I know first hand how difficult the technology can be, at times. A b…
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More About: UI, Video, contributor, data, features, video chat

iPhone Case Transforms Touchscreen into Keypad [VIDEO]

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 10:57 PM PST

If you're feeling nostalgic for tactile keys, a conceptual iPhone case transforms your touchscreen into an old-school keypad.

Designer Moon Myounghak has created a case that features a physical set of keys, alongside a touchscreen that spans five icons across, according to website Yanko Design.

In order for the custom keyboard to be functional, however, the iPhone would have to be hacked. There's no word yet on when the concept will become real. In the meantime, those missing the ability to click can always opt for a BlackBerry.

Touchscreen owners, would you use this case? And do you miss having a keybad on your phone? Tell us in the comment…
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More About: iphone, iphone cases, keyboard, keypad

Ericsson Suing Samsung for Patent Infringement [VIDEO]

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 10:07 PM PST

Fresh off a courtroom beatdown at the hands of Apple over patent infringement charges, Samsung is now being sued by Ericsson for similar alleged offenses.

More About: Tech, ericsson, patent infringement, samsung

Alien Hairspray May Help Us Find E.T.

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 09:17 PM PST

Hairspray might one day serve as the sign that aliens have reshaped distant worlds, researchers say. Such research to find signs of alien technology is now open to funding from the public.

Science fiction has long imagined that humans could transform hostile alien worlds into livable ones, a procedure known as terraforming. For instance, to colonize Mars, scientists have suggested warming the red planet and thickening its extraordinarily thin atmosphere so that humans can roam its surface without having to wear spacesuits. To do so, plans to terraform Mars often involve vast amounts of greenhouses gases to trap enough heat from the Sun, forcing carbon dioxide frozen on the planet's su…
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More About: alien life, alien planets, space

Are Your Holiday Cards Bad for the Environment?

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 08:29 PM PST

Everyone loves getting a letter during the holidays from someone they know. But you might want to consider the environmental costs before sending out holiday cards in the physical mailbox.

In 2011 the U.S. Postal Service mail carriers and truck drivers drove 1.25 billion miles and put 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to sources cited in the infographic. While the amount of postal mail sent appears to be slowly decreasing over the past few years, in 2011 people still went through lots of paper -- approximately 168 billion pieces of mail were sent in the U.S. last year. According to the USPS, between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve last year 16.5 billion cards,…
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More About: Mail, ecards, email, holiday cards

Windows Phone 8 Update Will Reportedly Include VPN Support, Audio Improvements

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 07:38 PM PST

Microsoft is reportedly working on an update for Windows Phone 8.

According to The Verge, the update, codenamed Apollo Plus, will bring new features to the mobile operating system that were not present in its initial release.

Specifically, the update is expected to bring VPN support, allowing corporate users to connect to work systems. A Wi-Fi fix will allow Windows Phone 8 users to leave Wi-Fi always on, and audio enhancements will improve the sound quality produced by Windows Phone 8 devices.

SEE ALSO: How Windows Phone Is Turning Its Slim App Selection Into a Strength

Details on the update are expected to be revealed in February at Mobile World Congress.

Microsoft reve…
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More About: Windows Phone 8, microsoft, windows phone

4 Ways to Be More Creative and Productive

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 06:59 PM PST

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "Well, I could move to San Francisco, or New York, or China or Chile! And I could work in tech, or fashion, or marketing or something else!" while another voice in your head says, "This is my list of things to do today. I need to go buy groceries, book a bus ticket for tomorrow's trip, follow up with Joe from the conference… "

Holding these two types of thoughts—big picture ideas and day-to-day details—in your mind at the same time can lead to major stress. That is because they require different types of thinking, which come from different rhythms inside your brain. So the good news is that it's not just you.

The expansive possi…
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More About: creativity, productivity, work tips

Abominable Snowman Uses Windows Phone To Find Dates

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 06:29 PM PST

It's tough being the Abominable Snowman, especially when it comes to making friends and finding someone to love.

Luckily, Windows Phone is here to help. In a new YouTube video promoting Window Phone 8, Bumble, also known as the Abominable Snowman, uses his Windows Phone while at a speed dating event to get tips -- "Sit up straight," for example -- on-the-fly from friends.

SEE ALSO: You Need These 12 Windows Phone Apps

Besides Bumble's dating woes, the video focuses on Live Tiles in Windows Phone 8. Tiles can be created in three different sizes with the OS, and their layout can be customized to meet the needs of whoever might be using them. For bumble, that means his Mess…
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More About: Windows Phone 8, microsoft

Can Viral Sports Videos Give Kenyan Orphans a Better Future?

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 05:58 PM PST

Two videos of Kenyan orphans reenacting famous sports moments have gone viral. The man behind the videos hopes viewers will donate cash to build the kids a field of their own.

More About: Sports, philantropy

Powerball Photo Fever! 5,000 Players Instagram Their Tickets

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 05:41 PM PST

If you needed a reason not to buy a ticket for Wednesday's $500 million-plus Powerball lottery, here are a few. In fact, here are 5,000 -- roughly, the number of people who have taken pictures of their tickets on the popular photo-sharing service Instagram with the hashtag #powerball.

Taken together, the multiple ticket pics should give you a sense of how unlikely it is that you'll win. Bear in mind that if you look at all of them, you'll still have an over-inflated sense of your odds of matching six winning numbers -- which are 1 in 175 million. Imagine if half the U.S. population Instagrammed one ticket each. You're getting close.

Still, the explosion of Powerball photos is an in…
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More About: instagram, lottery

Retina Implant Instantly Turns Text Into Braille

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 05:35 PM PST

Retina implants are already being used to restore partial vision to patients who have lost their sight through outer retinal degeneration. While those implants do restore some sight, patients often still have difficulty reading text.

Now researchers have developed a way to allow traditional text to be viewed instead as Braille letters with an implant. Patients won't be able to feel letters but they will be able to see visual representations of the letters in Braille, which may be easier for patients to read and understand than traditional text.

SEE ALSO: For Texting Without Looking, Researchers Adapt Braille

Designed for viewing things like…
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More About: Braille, Retina

Smart Sock Alerts Parents if Baby Stops Breathing

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 05:24 PM PST

Every new parent has, at one point, stood over a sleeping baby and asked the same question; how do I make sure my baby is still breathing, even when I'm not with her?

We have high tech monitors that let you see your baby's room in night vision, we can hear the sounds our babies are making five rooms away, be alerted to a cry in the night, but how do we know if
they're breathing normally?

It took a parent to finally figure it out, and yes, there's an app for it. A team of students at Brigham Young University has created a baby monitor that is strapped around the baby's foot, worn like a sock, which monitors the heart rate and blood-oxygen levels.

If the baby does stop breat…
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More About: baby products, smart home

‘Boy Meets World’ Star Speaks Out on Tumblr About New Sequel

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 05:13 PM PST

Attention, '90s kids. "Boy Meets World" stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel will reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga in a new series spin off.

More About: 90s, Entertainment, TV, tumblr

Samsung Is the Breakthrough Brand of 2012

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 04:48 PM PST

South Korea has about 0.7% of the world's population and is smaller than California, yet it was responsible for two instances of world domination in 2012.

The first was Gangnam Style's Psy's frenetic juggernaut of a viral video that, by November, had become the most-viewed ever on YouTube. The second was Samsung.

Psy can perhaps be dismissed as a one-shot novelty act, but Samsung's success is no fluke. The company has been around in one form or another since 1938, first as a grocer and now a chaebol that makes everything from apparel to medical equipment to ships. However, in 2012, Samsung became a top-tier player in mobile computing and the only serious rival to Apple in the seg…
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More About: apple, samsung

Technology Can Fix the Budget Crisis

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 04:35 PM PST

A pair of Clinton-era telecom regulators and "card-carrying Democrats" want to bring back some of the economic magic of the go-go 1990s with an ambitious plan to accelerate growth, shrink the national debt while revolutionizing the delivery of government services and help slow global warming.

The plan from former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt and his former chief of staff, Blair Levin, is outlined in an e-book called The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama's Legacy. It modestly proposes that huge economic growth can be spurred through reconfiguring the way energy is produced, purchased,…
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More About: budget, economy, fcc

Gadget Connects to Lights to Help Hearing Impaired

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 04:15 PM PST

The Spark Socket can do for the lights in your home what apps have done for smartphones, says Spark Socket founder Zach Supalla in a video on the project's Kickstarter page.

Spark Socket is a small Wi-Fi device that screws onto any standard dimmable light bulb and lets you control the light from your smartphone. It fits between the light bulb and light fixture.

Spark Socket offers a lot of uses for the average consumer -- the ability to wake yourself up in the morning by programming your lights to turn on, or having your lights turn on and off when you're on vacation to make it look like you're home. You can also program your lights to dim depen…
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More About: lightbulbs, smartphone, wi-fi

Polar App is the Ultimate Tool for Indecisive People

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 03:59 PM PST

Polar lets users quickly set up polls to get feedback on timely issues ranging from purchasing decisions to pressing personal debates.

More About: apps, startup

Watch Lunar Eclipse Darken Full Moon Wednesday

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 03:45 PM PST

The western United States will be able to see the moon dip into Earth's shadow during a minor lunar eclipse on Nov. 28. Here's how to watch it online.

More About: NASA, eclipse, moon, space

News Blooper: What the Vacuum Cleaner Guy Saw

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 03:33 PM PST

A news blooper that went viral Tuesday features a woman making a odd -- and seemingly unintentional -- non sequitor about her and the vacuum cleaner man.

More About: Watercooler, news bloopers, viral videos

AMC Greenlights Drama About 1980s PC Boom

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 03:22 PM PST

AMC ordered two scripted drama pilots Tuesday, one of which will embellish the 1980s personal computing boom. Halt & Catch Fire will tell the tech story "through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time."

Breaking Bad executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein will serve similar roles for the show's production, which begins in 2013. Chris Cantwell and Chris Rodgers created Halt & Catch Fire.

The show is set in Texas' Silicon Prairie and its characters "will be challenged by greed and ego."

SEE ALSO: Beyonce HBO Doc Will Feature Footage From Her Laptop | AMC Settles Dish Legal Battle
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More About: Entertainment, Personal Computer, TV, amc, technology

Windows 8 Sells 40 Million Licenses in First Month

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 03:01 PM PST

Reports of slow Windows 8 sales may be unfounded. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it has sold more than 40 million licenses of Windows 8.

On its Windows Blog, Microsoft writes that "Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades." Microsoft's Tami Reller shared the sales stats at Credit Suisse's 2012 Annual Technology Conference.

As Mashable has discussed, Windows 8 is a big release for Microsoft. It's also a big change for consumers. Last week, Windows blogger Paul Thurrott reported that Windows 8 sales weren't hitting Microsoft's early projections.

Today's announcement doesn't necessarily run counter to Thurrott's original story. Microsoft hasn't broken out Windows…
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More About: Windows 8, microsoft

10 Pics of People Giving Back on #GivingTuesday

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 02:50 PM PST


Having lunch at #ussco's @habitat_org house in Lake Co. #smallworld #GivingTuesday #edelchigives

Click here to view this gallery.

As founding partners of #GivingTuesday, we were thrilled to see the social web adopt this new American cultural tradition. #GivingTuesday trended in the U.S. and worldwide throughout the day, proving that the Connected Generation is ready to embrace this day celebrating giving back.

We asked the community to share photos of how you're celebrating #GivingTuesday, sharing the organizations and causes you're supporting.

SEE ALSO: Happy #GivingTuesday!

Twitter and Instagram were flooded with your pictures! We loved watching our community embrace #GivingTuesday, with individuals choosing how to best observe the day in a way they found most meaningful. Here are 10 photos of people showin…
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More About: Social Good, giving tuesday

Women in Gaming Tweet About Sexist Industry With #1reasonwhy

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 02:28 PM PST

Women who work in the game industry took to Twitter Tuesday to express their feelings on sexism in the gaming world.

More About: Gaming, hashtag, sexism

12 Ways to Nerd Up Your Christmas Tree

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 02:12 PM PST


Find a new home for books, other than collecting dust on a shelf. Via Reddit

Click here to view this gallery.

Not a fan of the traditional red bows and white lights of Christmas? Would you rather face a Dalek invasion than hear Wham! sing "Last Christmas" again? Do you prefer exchanging YouTube videos over presents?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, chances are this might not be your favorite time of year. But there are plenty of ways to deck the halls in a way that expresses your true self, starting with the tree.

SEE ALSO: Ermahgerd! Christmas Ernamernts for Meme Lovers

Everyone knows that nerds are clever, which is why some of these tree ideas do not even require a true evergreen. Depending on what type of niche you prefer, there's a tree for just about every stereotype.…
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More About: Christmas, Watercooler, pics

Are Your Facebook Friends Stressing You Out?

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 01:51 PM PST

Your (Facebook) friends may be stressing you out. And the more you have, the more stressed you may be.

Per a new report from the University of Edinburgh Business School, the more friends you have on Facebook -- or, perhaps more accurately, the more "friends" you have on Facebook -- the more stressed you're likely to be about having them.

The finding, which is similar to one determined last year, is nice as a headline: It's both unexpected (friends! stressing you out! ha!) and ironic (the currency of the social web, taking value rather than adding it!). What's interesting, though, is the why of the matter: the idea that, the report theorizes, the wider your Facebook network, the mo…
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More About: Facebook, facebook friends, stress

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