Saturday, 29 December 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “YouTube Favorite ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ Returns After 3 Years”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “YouTube Favorite ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ Returns After 3 Years”

YouTube Favorite ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ Returns After 3 Years

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 08:09 PM PST

One of YouTube's early viral hits, Charlie the Unicorn is back with its first installment in three years.

Charlie the Unicorn 4 is a mini-adventure in which Charlie visits the moon, defeats the mysterious Millipede (but only after singing a psychedelic tune) and narrowly escapes death with the help of his friend, the Starfish. If you're a fan of past Charlie videos, this will not disappoint.

The first Charlie video was released in 2005, the same year YouTube launched, and became one of the network's big successes with more than 60 million views. Sequels to the short film hit YouTube in 2008 and 2009.

What do you think? Does Charlie still have it? Let us know in the comments.

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More About: Charlie the Unicorn, Viral Vidoes, YouTube

Enloop Will Write Your Business Plan For You

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 07:37 PM PST

Enloop, an online service that launched in 2011, helps small and medium-sized companies craft and vet their business plans.

More About: startup, The Launchpad

Dear Today Show, Here’s Why You Need to Know Social Media

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 07:07 PM PST

Mashable OP-ED

It's not OK to know nothing about social media or the Internet anymore. It's especially not OK if you are an anchor for a major network TV news program.

This happened after a segment about Randi Zuckerberg's private family photo being shared publicly. Today's Willie Geist, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales -- three TV journalists at the top of their profession -- laughed about their lack of knowledge about Facebook, Twitter and privacy on social media.

"What's the takeaway here?" Guthrie asked after several minutes of banter about technological ignorance. "We don't know either."

(For the full clip, see below.)

It was meant to be cute, but it came off…
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More About: Facebook, privacy, randi zuckerberg, today show

3 Apple Computer Designs That You’ve Never Seen

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 06:28 PM PST

Some Apple designs never made the cut. They weren't always the sleek, ubiquitous devices we see today. They went through years of trial and error, some of which are much more bizarre and beautiful than you'd think.

Before Jony Ive, Hartmut Esslinger was the lead industrial designer -- an innovator and a creative whiz. In his new book, titled "DESIGN FORWARD: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change," Esslinger discusses the designs that Steve Jobs commissioned from him for $2 million in 1981.

SEE ALSO: Say Farewell: Apple's Skeumorphism Hall of Shame

What we see are slight nods to the future of Apple's design ethos, though some may surprise you. Watch the video above for more and…
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More About: aesthetics, apple, design, Hartmut Esslinger, Jony Ive

Facebook and One Direction Among Top Wikipedia Articles in 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:53 PM PST

Facebook, One Direction and the Mayan apocalypse-that-wasn't were among the most visited English-language Wikipedia pages in 2012, according to a list complied by Swedish software engineer Johan Gunnarsson.

The Avengers, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games also made the list:

Deaths in 2012
One Direction
The Avengers
Fifty Shades of Grey
2012 phenomenon
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hunger Games

Facebook tops the list for other languages, too -- perhaps, as some have argued, the result of confused Internet searchers who want Facebook itself but find themselves on Wikipedia as a result of web search gone wrong.

A look at…
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More About: wikipedia, World

An Epic Walk From Beijing to London Fueled by Social Media

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:35 PM PST

A man who plans to walk from Beijing to London beginning in 2013 will rely on social media to make his monumental journey a success.

More About: Social Media, travel

Why Solar Costs More in the U.S. Than in Germany

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 04:59 PM PST

In Germany, installers added $1.20 to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. But in the U.S., they tacked on $4.36 per watt. Here's why.

More About: germany, solar, solar power

What to Do With Your New Android

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 04:13 PM PST

So you got a shiny new Android for Christmas? Before showing it off to all your Apple-loving friends, the device should be fully optimized at the start. Taking a couple measures ahead of time will make for a better experience later.

If you're a brand new Android owner, the phone's operating system is likely Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich. You shouldn't have to upgrade anything, but there might be newer versions of built-in apps. (We'll get to that later.)

You'll have to set up a Google account, which should be fairly easy if you already use Gmail. If you're completely new to Google, consider a couple things before even setting up your phone.

SEE ALSO: Top 20 Things Every First-Tim
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More About: android, features, Google, holidays 2012, How-To, Mobile, Tech

Control This Roach Via Twitter

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 03:34 PM PST

Artist Brittany Ransom explores the co-evolution between the living and budding technological innovation in her latest project.

More About: art, bugs, Twitter

Kate Winslet Is Going Into Space

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 02:44 PM PST

Kate Winslet scored a nice gift from new uncle Richard Branson: a $200,000 ticket to space on a Virgin Galactic flight.

The Titanic star married Branson's nephew Ned RocknRoll (yes, that's his legal name) earlier this week in a secret ceremony in New York. However, the ticket wasn't a wedding gift, or anything to do with RocknRoll's official job title: Head of Marketing Promotion and Astronaut Experience at Virgin Galactic.

Instead, Branson offered the ticket after Winslet saved his 90 year-old mother Eve from a fire on Branson's Necker Island retreat last year, according to British newspaper The Sun.

Virgin Galactic expects to start offering flights into space next year. Other ce…
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More About: Kate Winslet, richard branson, Virgin Galactic

Twitter Fans Marvel at Stan Lee’s 90th Birthday

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 02:13 PM PST

William Shatner

Another legend of nerd culture, Shatner was one of the first on Twitter to wish Lee a happy birthday.

Click here to view this gallery.

Comics icon Stan Lee celebrated his 90th birthday Friday, inspiring a flood of congratulations on Twitter, where he posts as @TheRealStanLee. Fans, celebrities, colleagues and even a few superheroes sent their love to Marvel Comics' "Generalissimo," and Lee's trademark catchphrase, "Excelsior," got the hashtag treatment.

This was a busy year for Lee: The legendary co-creator of classic characters like the X-Men, Iron Man and the Hulk launched a YouTube channel, Stan Lee's World of Heroes, this summer. He also hosted his own comic convention, Comikaze, in September. This year also marked the 50th birthday of perhaps Lee's most famous creation: the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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More About: features, Marvel, Social Media, Twitter

Instagram Didn’t Lose a Quarter of its Users, But it Is at Risk

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 02:13 PM PST

Mashable OP-ED

You can tell you've really become a part of the national discourse when the New York Post writes a sensationalist story about you.

That's what happened to Instagram Friday morning, when the Post seized on numbers from AppData that showed the photo-sharing service had lost a quarter of its daily active users in the week since its Terms of Service debacle. But the data was misleading for so many reasons, it would make a good case study for a statistics class.

First of all, the Post article was cherry-picking numbers. AppData's record of Instagram's Daily Active Users plummeted from 16.4 million on December 19 to 12.4 million today. But the number of people who used Ins…
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More About: instagram, The New York Post

Airbnb’s Quest to Make Traveling Less Touristy

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 01:57 PM PST

Wondering what's happening at your favorite bar, restaurant or hangout spot? Localmind was an app that let you contact a random patron at your favorite spot (or maybe a new place) to ask what the scene is like, if the place has Wi-Fi or anything else you're wondering.

The app finds people at your destination using Foursquare or other location-based apps. You send the message and that person is contact through whichever app they used to check-in. They can respond to you in real-time.

Localmind was recently acquired by Airbnb, the website that lets your rent other people's rooms or entire properties around the world instead of a hotel.

SEE ALSO: Location-Based App Maps Nearby Bars, F
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More About: AirBNB, features, Localmind, mashable, Tech Innovators Series

Here’s a Depressing Look at Man’s Impact on Earth

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 01:45 PM PST

Man. Earth. The battle is on.

In this corner, weighing in at 198 lbs., we have man. Annnd, in this corner, weighing in at 13,227,735,700,000,000,000,000,000 pounds, we have the Block'em Sock'em Third Rock...planet Earth.

SEE ALSO: The Story of Earth in 90 Amazing Seconds

YouTube user Steve Cutts illustrates the fight between humans and the place we all call home. Who will triumph? Watch all three-and-a-half minutes to learn the surprising identity of the winner.

BONUS: 7 Videos About Evolution

More About: environment, viral videos, Watercooler

In-Flight Broadband Is Set for Takeoff

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:53 PM PST

Aircraft are one of the few unconnected sanctuaries left in our lives. Unless you shell out the cash for an often-unspectacular bit of airborne bandwidth, a flight typically promises at least a few hours' worth of uninterrupted time to read a great novel, take in a fine film or just sit in deep, relaxing thought.

The notion of the airborne oasis, though, may be coming to an end: The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced rules changes that will make it easier for airlines to install in-air broadband technology on their aircraft.

Since 2001, airlines have gotten approval for in-flight broadband technology on a per-case basis. The changes announced today will standardize…
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More About: aviation, broadband, US

OneTesla Is a Singing Tesla Coil

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:51 PM PST

Sing praise for the power of Tesla. No, literally -- make the power of Tesla sing. A group of students started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a DIY solid-state Tesla coil that plays music.

Developed in MIT's Miters hacker space, the group created kits to build a Tesla coil that plays music using sparks. Called oneTesla, the 10-inch coil, when connected through a MIDI port, shoots out sparks that reach nearly two feet. The kit comes complete with all the parts necessary to construct your own. All you need are some basic tools: soldering iron, solder, glue and small hand tools.

SEE ALSO: 10 Kickass Kickstarter Projects From 2012

The campaign has raised $5,109 out of a $20,000 goal wit…
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More About: energy, kickstarter, mit, Tesla

11 Must-Have Games and Accessories for Your New Xbox

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:31 PM PST

You're the proud owner of a shiny new Xbox 360. With scores of classic games and plenty of add-ons, there are so many different options available that it can be overwhelming to choose what's right for you. And as a new gamer, it's even more difficult to feel like you're making an informed decision.

SEE ALSO: Unwrapped a PS3? Start With These 10 Tips and Tools

Well, worry no longer. Here's a handy guide to everything you'll need to get the most out of your new system. From the best accessories to the most engaging games, there's not a bad investment in the bunch -- and you'll enjoy your Xbox 360 more than you ever thought possible.

What's your Xbox must-have? Let us know in the comme…
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More About: accessories, Entertainment, features, Gaming, holidays 2012, xbox, Xbox 360

Hulu Names Top 5 SNL Sketches of 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:17 PM PST

Hulu subscribers got a little year-end refresher on the year's funniest and most popular Saturday Night Live skits -- according to Hulu, that is. The 38-year-old franchise remains a benchmark for comedy, and despite 2012 seeing the end of an era with the departure of Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig after seven years, Hulu's list proves SNL is still relevant, fresh and funny.

1. Disney Housewives

This spoof of Real Housewives may have been Lindsay Lohan's one moment to shine in 2012, but the real scene-stealer in this perfect parody was Wiig's trashy, vodka-guzzling Cinderella.

2. Undecided Voter

In this hilarious, Onion-inspired pre-election skit, voters ask hard-hitting questi…
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More About: hulu, humor, saturday night live

Watch the Scariest Skiing Lesson of All Time

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:16 PM PST

Clearly, this father is not a professional skiing instructor.

More About: Sports, Watercooler

5 Ways to Backup Your Hard Drive

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 11:53 AM PST

That sleek new laptop or PC you received this Christmas, with all those programs and apps, needs more protection from crashes than just occasionally clicking "save."

To ensure your programs and apps are salvageable in the event of a crash, you might want to consider taking an image of your hard drive or cloning it. Instead of having to reinstall your operating system and your applications if your computer crashes (which takes hours), just recover your hard drive from an external source. This way, you only lose what you have installed after you saved your hard drive.

The difference between imaging and cloning is that cloning is usually for when you want to replace your hard drive with…
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More About: data, online security, secure

I Dreamed a Meme: Les Miserables Meets the Internet

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 11:31 AM PST

Les Misérables, the musical phenomenon, has been a quick hit with audiences. So naturally, there is no shortage of witty Les Mis memes.

More About: Les Misérables, memes, Movies

Israeli Lingerie Company Uses Facebook Poke for New Ad

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 11:10 AM PST

It has only been a week since Facebook released its Poke app, a competitor to Snapchat, but at least one company has already tried to put the app to use for marketing purposes.

The ad agency Grey Group used Facebook Poke to film and distribute a short video advertisement for Delta, a lingerie company in Israel. The 10-second video shows a model getting dressed with Delta's lingerie and features a promotional message at the end for a sale on Delta's website.

Daniel Barak, who developed the ad with Grey Group, told Mashable that the prompt for the video was to advertise a "one-time sale" on Delta's lingerie. That made it a good fit for Poke because messages can only be viewed once and a…
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More About: facebook poke, Marketing

5 Fun Ways to Learn a New Language

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 10:41 AM PST

For many of us, the start of the new year is the time we often dust off our language dictionaries and workbooks and resolve to learn a new language. We conjure up dreams of communicating seamlessly with locals during our next trip and impressing our friends with newfound skills. But most of the time, as we get caught up in work and life, our plans get shelved along with our books.

But the truth is, learning a language shouldn't be a chore. After all, reading, listening and chatting with others are all great, enjoyable activities and learning should be, too. And it also can be easy—if you approach it in a fresh way.

So put down the books, and try one of these other ways of learning…
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More About: foreign language, language learning

Family Christmas Gift Leaves Dad Speechless

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 10:19 AM PST

Every holiday season, almost nothing feels better than giving someone you care about the one gift he or she truly wants. But sometimes, the right present can completely overwhelm that person with emotion.

While the memories of that moment may suffice, those lucky enough to catch it on video have evidence of that awesome present to look back on annually.

This holiday season, we asked you to share your most memorable gift reaction videos, whether they happened this year or in years past. One video, shared by Phillip Hess of New York City, stood out as the clear winner.

SEE ALSO: Dad's Ecstatic Reaction to Gift Goes Viral on YouTube

Watch the video above to see how Hess' fathe…
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More About: Christmas, Gifts, Holiday, holiday season

Chuckle at the Best News Bloopers of 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 10:04 AM PST

Local news provides the perfect breeding ground for epic bloopers. Toss in a tongue-tied anchor or oddball local and you end up with a serious outbreak of oopsie-itis.

More About: humor, News, viral videos, Watercooler

Extraterrestrial Oceans Could Host Life

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 09:44 AM PST

Finding life in an extraterrestrial ocean would unequivocally prove that a Genesis II took place in the solar system.

More About: alien life, Mars, NASA, space

Congress Votes to Let Government Continue Spying on Your Emails

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 09:43 AM PST

The Senate on Friday voted in favor of extending for five years the FISA Amendments Act, which allows the government to monitor American citizens who communicate with foreign citizens when terrorism is believed to be involved.

As part of the monitoring program, the government can get court orders -- which do not require probable cause, like typical search warrant -- to access citizens' phone calls as well as electronic messages such as emails, provided there is evidence those communications involve "foreign intelligence information."

Individual FISA orders can cast a huge net, targeting large groups of people at a time, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital priva…
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More About: Politics, privacy, US

It’s Easy to Save Videos From Facebook Poke Permanently

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 09:31 AM PST

Apps like Snapchat and Facebook Poke let users send short messages, photos or videos that automatically self-destruct after a few seconds. However, it's actually very easy for a recipient to save some of those messages permanently -- and without the sender knowing.

Both apps will alert the sender if the recipient takes a screengrab of whatever was sent, of course, but by connecting your phone to a PC or Mac, the messages can be secretly offloaded without the sender knowing -- a possibility first reported by BuzzFeed. For an iPhone, all you'll need is a third-party file manager like iExplorer.

For Poke, only videos can be permanently stored in this manner, and only videos that you haven…
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More About: apps, Facebook, facebook poke, poke, snapchat

Parents Slapped With Stalking Order After Tracking Daughter’s Phone

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 09:18 AM PST

University of Cincinnati student Aubrey Ireland won a stalking order against her parents after they installed tracking software on her cellphone.

More About: college students, parenting, tracking

Smartphones Will Replace Your Car Keys by 2015

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 09:05 AM PST

Smartphones are set to replace more than our wallets.

South Korean Hyundai Motor Company predicts by 2015 drivers will be able to unlock car doors and start the engine with a swipe of a smartphone over an embedded near-field communication tag.

But, that's not all your smartphone can do. Connected car systems will be able to detect your phone automatically to stream your favorite music, phone contacts and radio station preferences seamlessly. Seat and mirror settings will also automatically change depending on who is at the steering wheel. The best part is your battery will wirelessly charge while it's sitting in the center console, according to Hyundai.

The automaker recently dem
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More About: cars, near field communication, smartphone

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