Friday, 28 December 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “ZTE’s Upcoming 5-Inch Smartphone Will Be World’s Thinnest”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “ZTE’s Upcoming 5-Inch Smartphone Will Be World’s Thinnest”

ZTE’s Upcoming 5-Inch Smartphone Will Be World’s Thinnest

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:10 AM PST

China's ZTE plans to break some records at CES 2013, among them being the one for the thinnest 5-inch smartphone.

The ZTE Grand S sports a 5-inch, 1920x1080 pixel screen and a 13-megapixel camera while being just 6.9mm thin.

Other specifications haven't been officially revealed, but Unwired View reports the device is likely to have a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 2,500 mAh battery and a ceramic case.

The price for the device is rumored to be 2,799 yuan ($449); we'll probably find out if this is true at CES 2013, which is held Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.

Image credit: MyDrivers

More About: zte, ZTE Grand S

See MTV’s Video Tribute to Amazing Spider-Man

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:48 PM PST

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MTV Geek has put together this video tribute to Amazing Spider-Man #700, featuring several people involved in the comic (including writer Dan Slott), Stan Lee (of course), Norman Reedus and several of the cast members of Jersey Shore. Well… they are on an MTV show, so that makes sense.

Fair warning: Do not watch this if you have not already read Amazing Spider-Man #700. There are going to be spoilers in the comments, too. Basically, if you A) haven't read it or B) don't already know what happens, click away from this story right now lest ye be spoiled.

Screenshot via MTV Geek

More About: Amazing Spider-Man, mtv

Curiosity Rover Spends Holidays at ‘Grandma’s House’

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 09:11 PM PST

NASA's Curiosity rover worked through the holiday season on Mars by taking a close look at an intriguing bit of Martian terrain, a region scientists have lovingly nicknamed "Grandma's House."

The Curiosity rover is currently parked inside Yellowknife Bay, a shallow depression of odd terrain nestled inside the rover's vast Gale crater landing site. "Grandma's House" is an informal name for Curiosity's holiday spot inside the bay, rover team member Colette Lohr said in a NASA video.

"This is a really exciting time for the team because we've started to do what we call discovery-driven planning," said Lohr, Curiosity tactical uplink lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.…
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More About: Curiosity, Mars, NASA, space

Turn Holiday Photos Into a Video Slideshow With

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 08:40 PM PST makes it simple to transform your memorable photos into a video slideshow that you can share online.

More About: startup, The Launchpad

Tesla Unveils East Coast Supercharger Stations

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 07:52 PM PST

Feeling low on power? Need a charge? Or maybe your Tesla Model S is just out of juice?

Fret not. Tesla has now installed three of its 480-volt charging stations on the East Coast. This will allow Model S drivers to drive between Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Until recently, the chargers were only available on the West Coast -- there are six in California. The Supercharger station tops up a Model S in about 30 minutes. Such a charge powers the electric car for about three hours of driving at 60 MPH.

From what we've seen this year -- beating a BMW M5 in a drag race, voted Motor Trend Car of 2013 -- the Model S is a serious contender for consumer-class cars in the coming year.

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More About: eco-friendly, model s, motor trend car of the year, Tesla

Gift-Giving Bot Picks Presents For You, on Amazon

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 07:20 PM PST

From the toy store grab-bags you opened with delight as a child to receiving a "free gift" with purchase at the department store, the excitement of unwrapping a present never gets old.

That's why Darius Kazemi, a game developer from Massachusetts, devised a program -- a "bot" if you will -- called "Random Shopper," that selects a gift for him every month on based on keywords he pre-selected pertaining to his interests.

The "gifts" cost Kazemi $50, so it's more like a surprise grab-bag he's sending himself. So far he's received a CD by Ákos Rózmann, The Oxford History of World Cinema, and Noam Chomsky's Cartesian Linguistics.

Kazemi told Boing Boing that he created t…
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More About: amazon, Gifts, Robot

Our 15 Favorite Photos From the 2012 Mashable Photo Challenge

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 07:15 PM PST

From Silhouette

"Monument That Pays Homage to Portuguese Sailors" -Francisco Salgueiro

Click here to view this gallery.

This week marks the end of the Mashable Photo Challenge Series presented by Panasonic Lumix. To honor the amazing photographers who have submitted their photographs over the past nine weeks, we've collected our favorite 15 photographs from the challenge.

In the carousel above, you'll find the best photos of the Mashable Photo Challenge Series.

We saw photographs from across the world, taken with everything from professional equipment to smartphones. Your photos showed us that a discerning artistic eye transcends the hardware you use. You also proved your creativity through the range of subjects that the various challenges inspired. Our cold challenge drew images of ice, frost and da…
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More About: community, Mashable Photo Challenge Series

NBA Star’s Kick to the Groin Sparks Online Debate

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 06:45 PM PST

NBA star Dwyane Wade appeared to purposely kick an opponent in the nads on Wednesday. The clip spread online and sparked debate about his scruples.

More About: NBA, Sports

Will Apple Launch an iPhone Smartwatch in 2013?

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 06:22 PM PST

Apple and Intel are working together to create a Bluetooth-equipped smartwatch in 2013, according to one Chinese technology news source.

Tech site TGbus says the watch would connect to the iPhone, allowing you to remotely operate the phone from your wrist. That means you could send out text messages, answer calls, or even update your Facebook status on the device while your iPhone is in a pocket or charging nearby.

An iPhone-compatible smartwatch is certainly in a high demand. Earlier this year a Kickstarter for the Pebble smartwatch raised over $10 million in funding from 70,000 people who want one of the watches, $500k of that funding raised d…
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More About: apple, iphone, smartwatch

Blogger Sued Over Rape Story Reaches Settlement

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 05:48 PM PST

Alexandra Goddard, a 45-year-old crime blogger who covered a rape case and was subsequently sued for defamation, has reached a settlement in her case, the details of which were released Thursday.

Under the settlement, the lawsuit against Goddard will come to an end, no statements will be retracted and no money was exchanged, according to WCPO.

The lawsuit targeted both Goddard and anonymous commenters posting on her blog. Had it run its course in court, it might have forced a legal answer to the perennial question of whether bloggers -- not to mention anonymous commenters -- enjoy legal protection as journalists in the eyes of the law.

In August, Goddard began investigating and po…
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More About: blogging, US

Instagram’s Most Popular Photo Location is … This Airport

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 05:24 PM PST

Instagram shared its users' 10 most popular photo locations of the year, and the list is full of surprises.

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Mr. Android, Meet Ms. Mac

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 04:35 PM PST

Those of you with long memories might recall an infographic we ran last December -- "Mr. Android." It was a composite picture of the average Android smartphone user, based on the Facebook fans of a startup called BlueStacks, which lets you run Android apps on PCs. Its average Android fan was a male American decked out in T-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

Mr. Android was mostly partnered up (well, 63% of him had a significant other). But if he were single, and heterosexual, he could do a lot worse than Ms. Mac -- a composite of BlueStacks' average Mac-using Facebook fan, based on about 10 times the amount of data as Mr. Android. (BlueStacks' Facebook fan base has grown from 145,000 to more tha…
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More About: android, mac

Snow Art Puts Crop Circles to Shame

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 04:16 PM PST

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It takes about 10 hours for Simon Beck to create his breathtaking snow art. But you won't find him in a snow mobile, or even a sled. Beck wears snowshoes to trek through the icy terrain on foot.

Since his perspective is from the ground, Beck is armed with a handheld compass and uses measuring tape or good ol' fashioned pace counting to determine his distance. He then anchors clothes lines to create the curves.

SEE ALSO: 12 Cool Photos of This Week's Massive Winter Snowstorm

When it comes to choosing his design, Beck looks to math -- geometry to be specific.

"Designs are chosen from the world of geometry or 'crop circles.' Some are named eg Mandelbrot set, Koch curve, Sierpinsk…
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More About: art, pics, winter

Google Picks 12 Top Android Apps of 2012

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 03:14 PM PST



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Google has released its list of the top Android apps of 2012. This year's list includes not only apps that were released this year, such as Pinterest's Android app, but also apps that saw significant updates during the past calendar year.

Ranging from an app to help you monitor your finances to an app to help you book your next vacation, the chosen apps all sport a clean and easy-to-use design, representing what Google feels are the best of the best in Google Play.

Almost all of the apps on the list are also available for phones and tablets, so whether you have a Galaxy S III smartphone, or a Nexus 7 tablet, you can likely take advantage of everything they have to offer.

Check o…
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More About: android, App, Google

‘Twitterverse’ is 5th Most Annoying Word of 2012

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 02:38 PM PST

As the year draws to a close, one well-known Twitter term is trending -- but not in a good way.

"Twitterverse" made its first appearance on Marist's fourth annual list of the most annoying words or phrases used in conversation. The Marist Institute for Public Opinion surveyed more than 1,200 adults nationwide and found that 9% consider Twitterverse to be the most obnoxious word of the year.

There are still four words or phrases that beat it, however. "Whatever" held onto its title as the most annoying word for the fourth straight year with 32% of those surveyed placing it at the top of their list, followed by "like", "you know" and "just saying," which were deemed the worst words by 21…
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More About: Twitter

5 Petitions That Worked

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 02:04 PM PST

If you think the little guy can't make a difference, you may want to think again. The past year proved numerous times that regular people can bring about major changes, just by gathering signatures., the world's largest petition platform, says its users started 300,000 petitions in 2012, and several of those have led to significant changes within organizations. The website says the biggest of those changes took place at the following companies.

1. Corporations Stop Funding Anti-Gay Discrimination

When the Boy Scouts came under heavy scrutiny this year for their controversial exclusionary policy against gay scouts and leaders, their biggest corporate funders -- AT&T, Erns…
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More About:, online petition

Is Your Healthcare Data Vulnerable to Hacks?

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 02:03 PM PST

Is healthcare information the next major target for hackers? A year-long investigation by the Washington Post asserts that online healthcare data is susceptible to hacks, especially considering the increasing number of ways patients and doctors can access health information these days.

"I have never seen an industry with more gaping security holes," Avi Rubin, a computer scientist and technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, told the The Post. "If our financial industry regarded security the way the health-care sector does, I would stuff my cash in a mattress under my bed."

Mobile technology, including video conferencing and apps,…
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More About: hack, healthcare, medicine, online security

EA Removes Links to Weapons Makers From ‘Medal of Honor’ Website

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 01:23 PM PST

Until recently, players of EA Games' first-person shooter title "Medal of Honor" were able to browse and buy real weapons by following links from the game's website.

Now, in the wake of criticism following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the company has removed these links, though its partnerships with weapons manufacturers are still highlighted.

The links directed users to weapons maker's websites where you could purchase similar -- or in some cases, the same -- weapons used in the video game.

SEE ALSO: NRA's Call for Armed Guards in Every School Prompts Immediate Backlash

Watch the video above for more on the company's decision and let us know your thoughts in th…
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More About: ea games, mass shootings, medal of honor, NRA

The Nintendo 64 Kids Are All Grown Up

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:49 PM PST

One of the greatest things about the holidays is surprising loved ones. Parents especially want to win cool points with the No. 1 item on their kid's wishlist -- and the Kuzma kids gave the ultimate seal of approval during Christmas 1998.

Brandon Kuzma is better known to the Internet as Nintendo 64 Kid, thanks to a video of him at age 9 -- and his sister, Rachel, at age 6 -- going ballistic over the game console on Christmas morning.

"It was a Nintendo! Video games equaled melted brains back then to most parents, and I had just gotten use to the idea that we'd probably never have one in our house," Brandon tells Mashable. "So after the first rip of ironically golden wrapping paper,…
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More About: features, memes, nostalgia, Watercooler, web culture

How the Internet IPOs of 2012 Fared

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:49 PM PST

Facebook (FB) -30.3% From IPO

Facebook was by far the biggest tech IPO this year, raising $16 billion with its initial public offering, or about 88% of the total raised from all Internet IPOs this year. The stock quickly fell below its IPO price of $38 a share, but has been on the rebound in recent months.

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This was a mixed year for tech IPOs, but overall, the Internet companies who went public in 2012 fared better than those who did in 2011.

Some 59% of the Internet companies who went public this year were trading above their IPO price as of midday Wednesday and 47% were trading above the price of their first actual trade, according to data compiled for Mashable by Kevin Pleines, an analyst with Birinyi Associates. By comparison, 42% of the Internet companies who went public last year were trading above their IPO price by the end of 2011 and just 14% were trading above the price of their first trade.

That may come as somewhat a surprise considering all the negative press surrounding th…
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More About: Facebook, stocks

The Year in Finance, in Twitter Hashtags

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:13 PM PST

In 2012, journalists and investors took to Twitter to express their feelings and frustrations about the financial world. We wracked our brains to pick out some of the best, most hilarious hashtags of the year.


It began with a silly tweet, and it turned into a meme. University of Michigan professor and economist Justin Wolfers started the hashtag #FedValentines on Feb. 10, just ahead of Valentine's Day on Feb. 14, to joke about the monetary easing measures he'd like to see Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve adopt.

Bernanke and his team put what's commonly called "Operation Twist"—selling short-dated Treasurys to buy long-dated bonds and push down long-ter…
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More About: economy, finance, hashtags

Print Book Reading Wanes as E-reader Usage Surges

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 12:13 PM PST


Bookworms are choosing e-readers over hardcovers and softcovers more than ever, says a recent Pew Research Center study.

A month-long study found more Americans readers, ages 16 and older, are embracing e-readers. The number of traditional readers dropped from 72% to 67% from last year, while digital bookworms jumped from 16% to 23%.

"These data show that the process of book reading is shifting," Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project Lee Rainie wrote in an email to Mashable. "The rise of e-reading devices has major implications that are affecting the publishing industry and eventually could affect the way knowledge is packaged and the way ideas a…
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More About: books, ereader, libraries

Virtual Tech Lets You Swap Bodies

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:53 AM PST

Google Street View already offers virtual tours of Rome, Paris and London. But imagine if virtual travelers could feel the sun beating down on their faces as they toured the Colosseum? Or could feel the burn in their quads as they walked up the Eiffel Tower? Or could smell the old tapestries hanging in Westminster Abbey?

SEE ALSO: Sinful Robot: XXX Virtual Reality

If Ikei Laboratory has anything to say about it, that soon may be no stretch of the imagination. A part of the Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School of System Design, the lab is developing so-called "virtual body technology."

Revealed at the Digital Contents Expo 2012 in Tokyo, the system will engage all five s…
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More About: concept designs, virtual world

8 Ways to Keep Your Screens Looking Brand New

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:49 AM PST

1. Toddy Gear Smart Cloths

Toddy Gear brings coutre to screen cleaning with its line of Smart Cloths. Elegantly designed with dual-sided 100% microfiber cleaning surfaces, these are more than just cleaning tools -- they're a fashion statement. $14.99 Cleaning Pro Tip: Press gently when cleaning screens, LCD monitors in particular, because too much pressure can damage pixels or cause them to burn out faster than normal.

Click here to view this gallery.

Holding your shiny new device in your hand -- the one you've been cooing over since its release date was announced before the holidays -- you're giddy with excitement. All your shiny new toys have plastic factory screen protectors that you'll soon discard, but no matter -- you just can't help but slide and swipe your fingers across your screens.

SEE ALSO: 10 iPad Cases With Convenient Hand Grips

Those protectors had some merit when it came to keeping your shiny new screen clean. Over time and with use, grease and dust will accumulate and smudge across your screen. The screens of yesteryears were made of glass and could be easily cleaned with water or other household products. Today, de…
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More About: cleaning, LCD care, Plasma screen care, screen protection

Avery Johnson’s Teenage Son Unloads on Twitter After NBA Firing

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:28 AM PST

The teenage son of deposed NBA coach Avery Johnson isn't happy -- nor is he afraid to vent publicly on Twitter. Did he go too far?

More About: NBA, Sports

Senator Scott Brown’s Facebook Post Sparks Fiscal Cliff Rumor

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:20 AM PST

After Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown wrote on Facebook and Twitter early Thursday afternoon that he had "just learned that the Pres. reached out to Senate GOP leadership with a proposal," several media outlets reported that President Obama indeed sent a modified fiscal cliff deal to Congress, based primarily on Brown's posts.

Getting on place to DC to review plan from Pres.We will see. Better late than never— Scott P. Brown(@ScottBrownMA) December 27, 2012

Among the media outlets that reported the news were The Hill and Business Insider. The timing of the posts made some sense: Obama had touched down in Washington, D.C. an hour earlier, after cutting his Christmas vacati…
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More About: congress, fiscal cliff, Politics, Twitter, US

First ‘Alien Earth’ Will Be Found in 2013

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 10:56 AM PST

The first truly Earth-like alien planet is likely to be spotted next year, an epic discovery that would cause humanity to reassess its place in the universe.

While astronomers have found a number of exoplanets over the last few years that share one or two key traits with our own world — such as size or inferred surface temperature — they have yet to bag a bona fide "alien Earth." But that should change in 2013, scientists say.

"I'm very positive that the first Earth twin will be discovered next year," said Abel Mendez, who runs the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

Planets Piling Up

Astronomers discovered the first exoplanet orbiti…
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More About: alien planets, NASA, space

Watch the First 4 Minutes of Zombie Movie ‘Warm Bodies’

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 10:42 AM PST

Online movie ticketer Fandango has its hands exclusively on the first 4 minutes of the zombie romance flick "Warm Bodies," which arrives in theaters Feb. 1.

More About: Entertainment, fandango, films, movie trailers, Movies, Warm Bodies

10 Bizarre New Year’s Resolutions on YouTube

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 09:57 AM PST

1. 50 New Year's Resolutions (NSFW)

YouTube humorist Ross Everett reels off 50 resolutions in under three and a half minutes. Comedy ensues.

Click here to view this gallery.

Usually one makes a new year's resolution in earnest, and it only becomes funny a few days into January — when it fails miserably. These YouTube users decided to get right to the point.

Scroll through the gallery above for 10 videos of people discussing their resolutions from years past. Are they serious or satirical? You can make that decision.

SEE ALSO: 10 Apps to Keep You Safe and Healthy in 2013

Do you have any epic resolution fails, or you the rare type who can actually follow through on a resolution? Share your stories or secrets with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, nautilus_shell_studios.

More About: features, holidays 2012, humor, Social Media, Video, YouTube

‘Today’ Anchors ‘Don’t Know Anything’ About Facebook Privacy

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 09:21 AM PST

After a "Today" segment about Randi Zuckerberg's recent Facebook photo incident aired, banter among three Today show anchors upset some social media users.

More About: Facebook, facebook privacy, randi zuckerberg, today, today show, TV

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