Thursday, 27 December 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Dad’s Ecstatic Reaction to Gift Goes Viral on YouTube”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Dad’s Ecstatic Reaction to Gift Goes Viral on YouTube”

Dad’s Ecstatic Reaction to Gift Goes Viral on YouTube

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 02:50 AM PST

It's the reaction that every gift-giver dreams about -- no thank-yous or polite smiles -- just pure, unadulterated joy.

Daniel Buckhannan was lucky to see just that on his father's face, after handing him a surprise gift. Don, the elder Buckhannan, reacted with delight after receiving what he thought was a black fedora for Christmas. But when Daniel told him to look inside the hat, Don was flabbergasted ... then elated ... then in tears. Watch his whole range of emotions in the video, above.

And what exactly caused this viral-worthy reaction? Tickets to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship, a college football bowl game, between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama…
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More About: Christmas, YouTube

LG Display to Showcase Ultra HD TVs, Full HD Smartphone Screens at CES

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 02:02 AM PST

LG Display's presence at CES 2013 will be measured in PPI (pixels per inch), as the company plans to show several Ultra HD (4K) TV screens, as well as high-resolution screens for smartphones, tablets and laptops, at the technology trade show.

The pixel-per-inch limits will be pushed in almost every category. First, there are the 55-, 66- and 84-inch UHD panels with a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, meaning each of these will have 8 million pixels.

Next up is a 30-inch 4K2K monitor with a whopping 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution, which LG Display claims is the highest-resolution computer monitor to date. Although the monitor is probably aimed at professionals, it's a dream machine for ever…
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More About: CES, LG, screen

Free Calling for Gmail Users Extended through 2013

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:57 AM PST

Gmail users in the U.S. and Canada will get free calling for another year, Google announced Wednesday.

"You'll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013," Mayur Kamat, a product manager at the company, said in a blog post.

Users with Internet connection and a microphone can make calls to any phone from within the email client. An option to "Call phone," indicated by a phone-receiver icon, is part of Google Chat's menu; when clicked, a pop-up with a dial pad appears.

SEE ALSO: Google Voice Mistaken Identity Leads to Epic Exchange

Google debuted voice calls in August 2010, and extended free calling at the end of every year-- through 2011 and 2012 -- since then.…
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More About: gmail, Google

5 Apps for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:02 AM PST

Many people probably will be welcoming the new year with familiar resolutions: Live healthier, save more and, in general, improve one's life.

But New Year's resolutions tend to fizzle out faster than an old bottle of champagne. Luckily, several great smartphone apps can help keep you on track with your 2013 resolutions. Here are a few that provide guidance and encourage you to persevere.

Resolution: Lose weight App: MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter (Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows)

In the battle against bulge, knowing how many calories you consume is key. But tracking how much you've eaten can be a chore. With MyFitnessPal's free Calorie Counter, you keep a food diary that shows how m…
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More About: apps, New Year's Resolutions

Buddy the Virtual Watchdog Looks Over Your Loved Ones

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 10:57 PM PST

The holidays are a time for cheer, family and good tidings -- even if grandpa or grandma can't make it to this year's festivities.

An MIT-based startup GeriJoy created an app that helps families keep their loved ones company when they can't be there themselves. The app offers a virtual companion, in the form of a dog, that speaks and plays with its users.

"The GeriJoy companion is the modern realization of the fabled talking dog," the company says. The talking dog not only keeps home - or hospital-bound elderly company, but also acts as a personal assistant. It offers the benefits of pet therapy without all the mess.

Among its many features, the talking dog can reassure the user,…
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More About: elderly, senior care

Shark Tank Shatters in Chinese Mall, Injures Bystanders

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 09:58 PM PST

While many North Americans were braving the post-Christmas crush of deal-seeking shoppers, mall-goers in China dealt with a much more dangerous -- albeit, unlikely -- threat: sharks.

Fifteen people were injured on the first floor of Shanghai's Orient Shopping Center, after a 33.5-ton aquarium containing sharks suddenly burst, local media reported. Among the injured were customers, shop assistants and security staff. Three of the sharks, which were around 12 to 15 inches long, died. Video footage of the incident, above, is spreading online after being posted on YouTube in the past few days.

The aquarium was made of acrylic glass, according to Chen Yongping, an official with the ce…
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More About: china, sharks

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! 20 Icy Photos from Mashable Readers

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 08:56 PM PST


-Andrew Kohn

Click here to view this gallery.

Even as the holiday season is ending, the cold weather is here to stay. While the nights of eggnog may be over, the pictures above remind us that there is still plenty to look forward to. So grab a mug of hot cocoa and feast your eyes on these 20 beautiful pictures inspired by the prompt "cold" in this week's photo challenge.

The Mashable Photo Challenge Series
Risk-Taking | Rhythm | Red | Silhouette | Grid | Urban | Giving

Everyone who submitted their photos is eligible to win a Panasonic LUMIX G5 16 Megapixel Compact System Camera (see the full rules here). Check back tomorrow for the best submissions from our readers over the course of this challenge! Thanks to everyone for sharin…
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More About: Holidays, Mashable Photo Challenge Series, Panasonic Lumix, photography, Photos

Hollywood Studios Caught Pirating Movies via BitTorrent

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 07:56 PM PST

The thought that motion picture studios, including members of the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, have been pirating content through the use of BitTorrent is one of those things that's long been suspected, and TorrentFreak reports that they now have proof.

Specifically, they worked with BitTorrent monitors Scaneye to track down what IP addresses associated with the member studios of the MPAA have been illegally accessing, and the results were pretty much what you'd expect.

TorrentFreak and Scaneye found that IP addresses associated with Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney were using BitTorrent to access a variety of illegal content. Some…
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More About: bittorrent, Hollywood, online piracy

12 Awesomely Creative Christmas Gifts You Didn’t Get This Year

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 06:58 PM PST

1. Cat Bathing Suit

This is one cat that likes the water. Image courtesy of Imgur

Click here to view this gallery.

Santa has power-washed his sleigh, the elves have caught a flight to Cabo and you're left noshing on leftovers, staring at a pile of gifts.

Did St. Nick's magical sack bring you what you wanted this year? Well, you might think you scored the motherload of fabulous presents, but after taking a gander at Imgur, you might have other thoughts.

SEE ALSO: 10 People Who Suffered Awkward Christmas Moments

Gift-givers and receivers hopped on the Internet's humble-brag outpost -- Reddit -- to share the incredibly creative and noggin-boggling gifts they scored this Christmas. We collected 10 of our favorites, and put them in the gallery above for your enjoyment (and envy).

Don't worry --…
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More About: Christmas, Gifts, Watercooler

5 Startups Working to Improve the E-Book Reading Experience

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 05:54 PM PST

The next chapter of digital reading has begun.

In the past year, several startups have emerged with plans to change the way we discover, share and consume e-books. Some have focused on making e-books more interactive, others are trying to build more and better experiences around e-books.

Not all of these efforts may ultimately catch on with readers, but the hope is that they provide readers with more options and potentially inspire some of the bigger players in the space to innovate as well. With that in mind, here are some of the most exciting startups in the e-book space right now.


Image courtesy of Flickr, tsmall

Oyster has been labeled the Netflix for e-books. T…
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More About: ebooks, startup

Watch Barack and Michelle Obama Discuss the Hug That Won the Internet

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 05:25 PM PST

Sometimes the biggest moments have the simplest explanations.

More About: 2012 presidential campaign, barack obama, Twitter

Burrito-Dropping Drone Is the Innovation Dreams Are Made Of

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 05:10 PM PST

The Burrito Bomber is a drone that automatically flies to you and drops a parachuted parcel of Mexican food goodness. But there's a catch.

More About: Drones

Science Fiction Dreams That Came True in 2012

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 04:48 PM PST

As a longtime reader of science fiction, it's always interesting to see how the visions of writers eventually become real. Take Arthur C. Clarke's letter to Wireless World in 1945, which details the geostationary communications satellite network everyone uses today. The satellites are in what is called the "Clarke Orbit." And Isaac Asimov wrote frequently about humanoid robots, which are becoming more common in research labs -- although we have yet to see R. Daneel Olivaw from Asimov's Robot series.

So inspired by these writers and others, here's a look at 2012 and the futuristic technologies that are materializing before our eyes.

Bionic Limbs
The term "cyborg" was coined in 1960 by…
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More About: future, science fiction

20 People Freaked Out by Spotify’s Holiday Condom Ads

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 04:03 PM PST

Trojan condoms ads on Spotify are making some listeners feel really uncomfortable this holiday season. The ads feature phrases like "orgasmic pleasure."

More About: Advertising, Condoms, Entertainment, Music, spotify, trojan

How to Make a TARDIS Bigger on the Inside

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 03:27 PM PST

As any fan of Doctor Who knows, the title character's ship does some pretty incredible things even when it's not traveling through time and space. For starters, the TARDIS is bigger in the inside, letting it keep its diminutive Police Box shape even though there's room for the entire crew (not to mention several swimming pools) on board.

Of course, that idea is a little difficult to get across in toys and models, which tend to be limited by known physical laws. However, one clever fan has discovered a workaround, giving a model TARDIS back its dimensional transcendentality.

Greg Kumparak, who used to be the mobile editor at TechCrunch, started by building a TARDIS model with a remo…
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More About: Augmented Reality, Doctor Who

A Short History of Facebook Privacy Failure

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:57 PM PST

Like many of us, Randi Zuckerberg posted a family snap to Facebook this Christmas. As with many of our snaps, it was funny in context, but a little too candid; you might not want it shared widely beyond your family. Unlike many of our snaps, it contained a billionaire brother in the background.

Randi was outraged when the snap got broadcast to subscribers, who proceeded to share it on other social networks. She got outraged on Twitter. As a result, the photo she was talking about became widely disseminated. And there you have it: even the greatest luminaries on her brother's billion-strong network cannot always navigate their way in the choppy waters of social media privacy.

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More About: Facebook, infographic

The Problem With Windows 8

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:46 PM PST

Sales of Windows machines are way down from the same period a year ago. Why aren't consumers flocking to Microsoft's new OS, Windows 8? Well, it's complicated...

More About: microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Windows, Windows 8

If Santa Were a Hipster

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:33 PM PST

What if Santa was a hipster? We think it would go a little like this.

More About: holidays 2012, viral videos

Google Play Scan-and-Match Feature Censoring Explicit Lyrics

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:16 PM PST

Google's recently launched scan-and-match feature for Google Play has drawn early criticism from users who say the tool is weeding out explicit lyrics.

More About: apps, censorship, Entertainment, Google, Google Play, Music

10 Things to Do on Dec. 26

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:14 PM PST

Christmas has ended and New Year's Eve is still a few days away. What's a person to do during this holiday lull?

1. Complain About Your Christmas Gifts

All I got for Christmas was some CDs and movies and my little brother got an iPad. Thanks a lot Obama!— Nick Pagliara (@NickPagliara) December 26, 2012

All i got for christmas was socks and toothpaste. Thats fucked up— Inferior (@KowaiiShiAkuma) December 26, 2012

2. Use Your New Label Maker

Image courtesy of Imgur

3. Find Weird Crap Around Your Parents' House

Hey @shaq at my parents house for Christmas and found this collectible! #longtime fan!…— Guy Palmer (@GuyCPal…
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More About: Christmas, GIFs, humor, Watercooler

Today’s Top Post-Holiday Tech Deals

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:01 PM PST

If you've got gift cards to burn or money to spend, now might be a good time to make your move. A number of retailers are offering deep discounts the day after Christmas. Everything from laptops to game consoles, e-readers and TVs are marked down on Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: 'Damn You Auto Correct' Unveils 11 Funniest Texts of 2012

Check out the video above to find out some of the tech bargains from Best Buy, Staples, Barnes & Noble, Kmart, Amazon and more. Are you taking advantage of the post-Christmas markdowns?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, PinkTag

More About: deals, shopping

Watch a Christmas Tornado Tear Through Cars

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 01:47 PM PST

A massive tornado hit Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday, Christmas Day, forcing some residents to scramble for cover. Some took refuge inside a Walgreens store, where security cameras recorded the twister's forceful impact.

The store itself was mostly spared, but many of the cars parked outside suffered major damage.

"I've never been in a war zone but I'm sure that's what it looks like," Josh Holman, who was inside the store at the time the storm struck, told local news outlet Fox 10 TV.

The tornado was produced by a giant and deadly winter storm that's still crawling its way northeast through the U.S. Have you been impacted by the storm system? Share in the comments.

Photo cour
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More About: US, Weather, YouTube

What Happens to Your Social Media Life When You Die?

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 01:30 PM PST

San Francisco resident Sarah Buhr's friend Tiffany passed away a couple of months ago but Buhr still hears from her on Facebook.

Tiffany's Likes, and other people's comments on Tiffany's profile, push her information onto Buhr's newsfeed, offering a frequent reminder that her friend is gone. Buhr says she felt she had to unfriend Tiffany because it was too difficult to be reminded of the loss nearly everyday.

Jeff Lutz has a similar story. His beloved grandfather's wife, Laurel Lutz, passed away in 2011. Her side of the family must have continued to operate Laurel's Facebook page because Lutz said he continued to see updates and Likes.

"In the first week after Laurel passed, a not…
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More About: death, legal, Social Media

FreshDirect Suffers Outage After Letting Web Address Lapse

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 01:15 PM PST

Some users of online grocer FreshDirect saw a generic network solutions page after the company apparently was late in renewing its web address.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the company was still getting the page up and running. A FreshDirect rep told Bloomberg that it experienced a "renewal issue" related to the web address. Reps from the company could not be reached for further comment, but FreshDirect has addressed the issue via its Twitter account:

We're sorry about the site outage to some @twc & @verizonwireless customers. We are open, making deliveries & working to get this resolved.— FreshDirect (@FreshDirect) December 26, 2012

FreshDirect isn't the first bra…
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More About: domains, freshdirect, online shopping

Watch This Lego Drone Soar Across the Sky

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 12:57 PM PST

We've seen people do some pretty creative things with Legos, but programmer and Lego enthusiast Ed Scott may have just taken the cake with this Lego quadcopter drone.

While it's certainly no Predator, the Lego drone is well-equipped: Four motors give it lift and thrust, autopilot helps keep it flying right and two cameras provide still and live-streaming video capability.

It would be perfect for spying on roommates or coworkers -- if it weren't bright yellow and red, at least.

Scott programmed the drone's software, but he credits his kids with doing most of the Lego work.

"Most people go to their favorite hobby store to get parts for their UAV," Scott told drone enthusiast site…
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More About: drone, Lego, technology

10 iPad Cases With Convenient Hand Grips

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 12:41 PM PST

1. Grabbit

The Grabbit is made up of a hardshell body and leather strap. It boasts a rotating mechanism and can be adjusted to three positions for various sized hands. Cost: 49 Euros

Click here to view this gallery.

Among the many styles of iPad accessories on the market, the easy-to-hold case with a built-in handle has to be one of the most useful. We have scoured the web to find 10 fine examples of this particular genre of tablet cover.

SEE ALSO: 10 iPad Wallpapers Full of Winter Cheer

Take a look through our hand-picked selection in the image gallery above. Let us know in the comments below if this kind of case appeals to you and, if so, which version you'd opt for.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Grabbit

More About: accessories, apple, features, Gadgets, ipad, iPad Cases, Tech

Right or Wrong About 2012? One Cybersecurity Company’s Look Back

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 12:18 PM PST

December is "prediction season" in the cybersecurity industry. Every major anti-virus software maker and digital-security provider issues its own forecasts of what computer users face in the coming year.

So far this month, the predictions for 2013 look a lot like those for 2012: more Android malware, increased cyberattacks by nation-states and greater activity by "hacktivist" groups such as Anonymous.

However, a few companies go back and check their own predictions at the end of the year to see what they got right — and wrong.

One company that does so is Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, one of the top five anti-virus companies in the world.

"In 2011, we really saw a number of th…
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More About: cybersecurity, kaspersky, Kaspersky lab, malware, viruses

‘We Are Young’ Performed on Vintage Computer Parts

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 12:05 PM PST

Old computer parts find new life as rock stars with a little help from YouTube user BD594. The "band" -- we'll just call 'em the Ctrl-Alt-Deletes -- perform a delightfully geeky rendition of the hit fun. song "We Are Young."

SEE ALSO: Old Computer Parts Bring Techie Spin to Gotye

Vintage hard drives provide the beat as a Yamaha CX-5 tickles the ivories and an HP Scanjet 3C plays frontman with the vocals. Pssh, and you thought the Rolling Stones looked old and outdated.

BONUS: Top 12 Memes of the Year

Thumbnail image courtesy of YouTube, BD594

More About: viral videos, Watercooler

Why Facebook Holiday Cards Leave Me Lonely

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 11:50 AM PST

Mashable OP-ED

Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy getting holiday greeting cards in the mail. There's a door in my house that's regularly festooned with greeting cards, depending on the occasion taking place at that time. (Anniversary, graduation or birthday?) The cards that come in the mail get proudly displayed on the door, at least until the next celebration comes along.

This time of year that door, between my kitchen and my living room, is filled with holiday cards from friends and family both near and far. In recent years, they've transformed from store-bought cards to the kind made on websites like Shutterfly and Tiny Prints -- the cards that let you upload and use your own ima…
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More About: greeting cards, holiday cards

Facebook in 2012: A Billion Users and Counting

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 11:35 AM PST

Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet. It celebrated its eighth birthday on Feb. 4, 2012. Although Facebook has only been around since 2004, it certainly seems like much longer.

For many of us, it feels like we've grown up habitually checking to see who has liked our photos and commented on our status updates. We love to use it. Sometimes we hate ourselves for loving it so much. We complain about it. We use it to complain about almost everything else. It's a revolution and an addiction. In many ways it's like a chair, but in other ways it's not like a chair at all.

Regardless, 2012 was arguably Facebook's biggest year in terms of noteworthy accomplishments. And tha…
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More About: Facebook, features, Social Media, Year End 2012

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