Monday, 24 December 2012

Mashable: Latest 18 News Updates - including “Google’s Santa Tracker Gets New Games and More”

Mashable: Latest 18 News Updates - including “Google’s Santa Tracker Gets New Games and More”

Google’s Santa Tracker Gets New Games and More

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 04:21 AM PST

Google has proven in the last couple of years it's very serious when it comes to tracking Santa, and this year is no exception.

Besides letting you track Santa's whereabouts on an interactive map, Google has launched a couple of new games to keep you entertained while you await the holiday dinner. The games include a sleigh ride with Rudolph and Santa, a rocket-powered present pick-up race, and a simple game of dropping presents into chimneys.

You can also send holiday greetings to your friends and family via an interactive chat.

All these and more are located in the Santa Tracker village, a huge (even for Google's standards) virtual playground with a ton of interactive content.…
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More About: Google, santa claus, santa tracker

WomenWeb Is the Newest Female-Only Social Hub

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 04:13 AM PST

If you want access to a females-only club where you can make friends and share stories, a new website called may be your new favorite place.

Launched on Monday, connects all your social networks onto one dashboard, including Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Google+, YouTube and Facebook accounts.

With this information, you can see notifications and other users' likes. You can also visit chatrooms related to your interests, read horoscopes, see Foursquare maps with other members' check-ins and more. Soon, the site will let you create an RSS feed and access daily deal offers, too.

WomenWeb will be available on computers, tablets and mobile devices.

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More About: social network, websites, women

The Parenting App You’ll Never Download

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 01:55 AM PST

When the evening news anchor said "Big Brother is watching," little Jake thought that meant something totally different.

More About: big brother, comics, humor, iphone

Was NASA’s New Space Suit Inspired by Buzz Lightyear?

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 12:09 AM PST

A prototype space suit developed by NASA wouldn't look out of place on the set of Toy Story. That's because the suit, called Z-1, bears an uncanny resemblance to the intercosmic uniform worn by Buzz Lightyear.

For the uninitiated, Buzz is the "space-ranger" star of Toy Story, a popular computer-animated film franchise. The Z-1, a white suit lined with neon green, looks remarkably similar to the astronaunt action figure's outfit.

The Advanced Space Suit team of the NASA-Johnson Space Center performed a series of tests with the prototype suit, including waist and hip testing and joint torque testing. What is learned from the Z-1 will be applied to the Z-2, the next-generation prototype,…
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More About: NASA, space, toy story

50 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 05:03 PM PST

If you're reading this post, it means you somehow survived the Mayan apocalypse. We offer you our sincerest congratulations.

Just so you know, a lot has happened while you were hiding out down in that bomb shelter. If you're looking to get back up to speed, you've come to the right place.

While you were hiding, we at Mashable spent the past week checking out the newest and neatest in the tech world. As a courtesy, we've rounded all our most usable posts up for you.

The list that follows includes not only the latest gadgets and apps, but also spans social media updates, online business advice and digital resources for your everyday life. For everything you need and a some more coo…
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More About: Business, features, Features Week In Review, Lifestyles, Social Media, Tech

Infographic: Biggest Social Media Moments of 2012

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 04:00 PM PST

Facebook Timeline, SOPA, KONY and U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election were just some of the big social-media stories of 2012.

This year, we also saw Pinterest emerge as one of the top social networks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg became the center of media attention after the social network finally went public.

Social media is no longer a trend, but a way of life, according to an infographic by The SEO Company and Nowsourcing. In fact, people spend 121 billion minutes on social media -- and that's just in the U.S. alone, the infographic reveals.

SEE ALSO: 16 Things You Forgot Happened in 2012

To see what else happened in the social world this year, check out "The State o…
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More About: infographic, kony 2012, pinterest, Social Media, SOPA

Sunday Comics: The Mayan Apocalypse Flopped — Now What?

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 03:03 PM PST

Wondering what's next now that the Mayan apocalypse turned out to be a flop? For those of you interested in alternative end-of-the-world scenarios, our friends Nitrozac and Snaggy at The Joy of Tech have a thought:

Comic illustration provided by The Joy of Tech. Published with permission; all rights reserved

More About: apple, comics, global warming, Mayan Apocalpyse, Sunday Comics

11 Funny Texts Leaked From Santa’s Phone

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 02:02 PM PST

Today, if Santa Claus solely relied on snail mail to communicate, things would never get done in time. That is why he sticks to texting when it comes to quick conversations.

But ho, ho, hold the phone. Unfortunately, most of us can't just text our Christmas wishlists because only the very elite have Claus on speed dial. So, who is so lucky to have access to Santa?

SEE ALSO: How to Track Santa on Christmas Eve in 2012

We hacked Santa's phone to see some of his texts. While I figure out how to get off of his naughty list before Christmas, enjoy these snippets of conversation with the holiday A-list.

1. Mrs. Claus

Mashable composite: Photos courtesy of Flickr, LadyDragonflyCC,
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More About: Christmas, text messages, Watercooler

How to Track Santa on Christmas Eve in 2012

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 01:12 PM PST

For 62 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has been tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, as he makes his way around the world delivering gifts to all the good boys and girls.

This year, the tradition will continue, and now there are even more ways that you and your little ones can follow Father Christmas' progress. A stunning 25 million people from around the globe are predicted to follow Santa in real-time online, on mobile phones and tablets, by email and phone.

What makes the program so special is that more than 1,250 Canadian and American uniformed personnel and Defense-Department civilians volunteer their time on Christmas Eve to answer thousands of phone calls…
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More About: apps, Christmas, family and parenting, holidays 2012, Lifestyle, microsoft, norad, online, software

Watch This iPad Magician Do Cool Christmas Tricks

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 12:14 PM PST

Here's a magician who combines traditional sleight-of-hand with his prop of choice, an iPad. Simon Pierro, better known as iSimon, is no stranger to Mashable. We've featured his videos teasing the introduction of the iPad 3, revealing a video preview of a "beta version of iOS 5," entertaining us with a bit of digital magic involving a couple of cats, and dazzling us with a bit of Halloween magic.

Now Simon is back, this time commemorating the Christmas season of Advent with his magical APPvent Calendar. He's been creating a separate video for each day of December, and plans to release one each day until Christmas Eve. Here we present a special version of all those videos, edited into…
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More About: Christmas, ipad, Magic, Simon Pierro

Top 5 Apps for Kids This Week

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 11:37 AM PST

1. I Spy With Lola HD

Ages 3-8 Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars Why we like it: This app effectively takes the common hunt-and-find play pattern down a notch by way of a series of carefully leveled challenges, clear labels and a playful theme. Need to know: Don't confuse this with the Scholastic I SPY titles. This is a different kettle of fish. And get the paid version. It is well worth the $2 -- there are no gimmicks or in-app purchases. Ease of use: 9/10 Educational: 9/10 Entertaining: 9/10 $1.99

Click here to view this gallery.

In this week's Top 5 Kids Apps, your kid will learn counting and language and scroll their way through a beautiful interactive e-book.

More About: contributors, features, mobile apps, Top Kids Apps

Viral Video Recap: Funniest Memes of the Week

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 11:07 AM PST

A cat stuck in a box. A dramatic reading of Fifty Shades of Grey from George Takei. And another "Gangnam Style" remix. These are just three examples of the top videos that the web world watched this week.

We rounded up the most viral videos from this past week for your holiday weekend viewing pleasure. After all, what's better than explaining the significance of a philosophic cat to your mother at the dinner table?

What was your favorite video from this week? Tell us in the comments below.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of YouTube

More About: George Takei, Viral Video Recap, viral videos

Apocalypse Never: Huge Asteroid Will Miss Earth in 2040

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 10:22 AM PST

This is a bit of cheery news a few days after the nonsensical "Mayan Apocalypse of 2012" -- the potentially hazardous asteroid 2011 AG5 will not (I repeat, will not) threaten Earth in the year 2040.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Ways to Stop an Asteroid

The 140-meter wide space rock whopper made headlines soon after it was discovered as its projected orbit gave it a 0.2 percent chance of giving us a very bad day in 2040. But University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomers rose to the challenge to better refine the asteroid's orbital trajectory to reveal that 2011 AG5 will miss us by 890,000 kilometers (550,000 miles) -- that's over twice the Earth-moon distance.

On cosmic scales, that's close, but on…
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More About: Asteroids, Mayan Apocalpyse, NASA, space

10 Apps to Keep You Safe and Healthy in 2013

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 09:34 AM PST

When it comes to our health, there should be no messing around. Luckily, smartphone users don't have to go very far.

With thousands of medical applications, it is not easy to figure out how to start or where to turn to. From helping to diagnose a weird pain or decoding a mysterious pill in your medicine cabinet, it is nice to be able to get instant advice in situations where you may have no idea what is going on, what to do or how to identify something.

While it is always important to consult with a physician, we sifted through the bunch and found several helpful medical apps for your digital arsenal.


From a jellyfish sting to food poisoning, Everyday First Aid is…
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More About: apps, contributor, features, health, Lifestyle

8 Things I Learned About Tech in 2012

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 08:39 AM PST

The year flew by, and we saw a lot along the way. Here are the eight most important things Mashable editor Charlie White learned about tech in 2012.

More About: 2012, steve jobs, tech trends, Year End 2012

Scientists Develop World’s First Peel-Off Solar Cells

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 07:57 AM PST

Stanford University researchers created the first flexible, reusable decal-like solar panels that can attach to almost any surface.

The Thin-Film Solar Cells (TFSCs) can be affixed to paper, plastic and glass without direct fabrication. The adhesive comes off with some room-temperature water.

The solar cells are generally made with rigid silicon and glass structures to maintain their form, according to a paper by lead investigator Chi Hwan Lee, a mechanical engineering doctoral candidate, and the study's contributors in the Dec. 20 issue of Scientific Reports.

While manufacturers have produced TFSCs on paper, textiles and rubber in the past, the strips were easily deformed in hand…
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More About: Science, solar cells, solar energy, solar power, Stanford University

Final Newsweek Cover a Poetic Farewell to Print

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 07:21 AM PST

The final issue of Newsweek magazine will hit newsstands on Monday morning, but the publication debuted its last cover online on Sunday morning.

The cover (full-size version is below) features a throwback photo of the New York City office building nestled in a black-and-white sea of iconic skyscrapers. But the retro photo's headline is one of modern times -- a #LastPrintIssue hashtag.

The poetic final nod to social media is fitting as it -- in a bigger way -- was part of the path that led to this last issue. Newsweek announced in October that, after nearly 80 years, it would shut down its print production due to the slump in print advertising sales, a common story among many print publ…
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More About: journalism, magazine, Newsweek

Watch the Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 06:07 AM PST

The Polyphonic Spree began performing an annual Holiday Extravaganza 10 years ago in their hometown of Dallas.

This year, for the first time, the psychedelic rock collective decided to take it to the road, playing in six cities in support of their first-ever Christmas album, entitled HolidayDream: Sounds of the Holidays Vol. One. The group, which is led by Tim DeLaughter and features a choir as well as rock band-meets-orchestra instrumentation, is not one that can just pack up and hit the road on a whim.

This fall the Polyphonic Spree turned to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for the first time. The band raised $136,505 - exceeding the $100k goal. Instead of simply presenting a sing…
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More About: Holiday, kickstarter, Music, Video

Harvard Scientist Proposes Refreezing Arctic to Prevent Global-Warming Disaster

Posted: 22 Dec 2012 04:06 PM PST

Harvard University geoengineer and environmental scientist David Keith has a "plan B" in case of an environmental emergency.

Keith's unusual proposal is this: Force reflective particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere -- the stratosphere -- to reverse global warming.

"One approach is to disperse particulates at high altitude to reduce the effective solar flux entering the atmosphere," Keith and his fellow researchers report in the Nature Climate Change journal and Environmental Research Letters.

The idea comes from nature, Keith said in a TED talk. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted and cooled the Earth. About 15 millions tons of sulfur dioxide rose into the upp…
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More About: climate change, global warming

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