Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Google Now Updated With Boarding Passes, Improved Voice Search”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Google Now Updated With Boarding Passes, Improved Voice Search”

Google Now Updated With Boarding Passes, Improved Voice Search

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 04:36 AM PST

Google Now unveiled its latest update Wednesday, introducing instant access to your boarding pass and other travel-friendly features.

The intelligent personal assistant for devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher will now pull up a user's boarding pass at the airport automatically, helping reduce travel time through the gate.

Packing for a trip? Google Now will also provide users with the weather forecast for their destination on one of its many "cards," according to a post on Android's official blog.

Upon arrival, the assistant acts like a local guide, offering tips for nearby activities and events, the post said. It also suggests websites for users to consult when…
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More About: Google, Google Now, android

See the First Trailer for ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 02:26 AM PST

The first official teaser trailer for upcoming movie 'Star Trek Into Darkness' is now available for your viewing pleasure.

The movie, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 2013, is directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci. It brings back Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, Simon Pegg as Scotty and John Cho as Hikaru Sulu, among others.

If you're a die-hard fan and can't wait until May, you'll be happy to know that Paramount Pictures will release the first 9 minutes of the movie in 3D IMAX theaters on December 14.

How do you like the trailer? Share your thoughts in the comments!

More About: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, trailer

Twitterrific 5 for iOS Now Available

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 01:31 AM PST

Twitter client Twitterrific has reached version five, and is now available for iOS devices.

The app has been completely overhauled and redesigned. It now offers a very customizable user interface, giving user the ability to change the overall theme, as well as font, photo size, line spacing and other details.

Other notable features include support for gestures, syncing of timeline positions between several devices via iCloud and super-fast account switching.

The app is not without its flaws, at least for power users, who will miss the lack of push notifications, profile editing and list management. Its speed and design, however, will definitely appeal to many users looking for…
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More About: Twitter, iOS, twitterrific

Hey, Small Business Owner: Maybe Social Media Isn’t For You

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 12:58 AM PST

Some small and large companies don't have a social media presence -- sometimes, for good reason.

More About: Small Business, Social Media, features, mashable, open forum

Less Than 30 Percent of Companies Have Social Media-Focused Employees, Survey Says

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 12:01 AM PST

Less than one-third of companies have employees dedicated solely to social-media tasks, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by Ragan Communications and NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions, it found that "organizations are cautious about dedicating resources to social media, and adding social media to the list of tasks traditionally assigned to communicators," a release said.

The survey, which polled more than 2,700 social-media professionals, revealed that 27% of companies have someone focusing exclusively on social. On the other hand, 65% of companies add social media on top of other duties.

For more on the results, check out the video above. Then, tell us in the comments: Does yo…
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More About: Social Media

8 Kickstarter Alternatives You Should Know About

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 11:17 PM PST


Indiegogo is without a doubt Kickstarter's biggest competitor right now. The crowdfunding service raised a $15 million round of funding earlier this year and used it to expand into several new markets abroad, including Canada, the U.K., France and Germany. Indiegogo bills itself as "the largest global crowdfunding platform" which putspressure on Kickstarter to build up its own international presence. Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo ask aspiring entrepreneurs to set fundraising goals and offer rewards in exchange for various funding amounts. A big difference between the two, however, is that Indiegogo offers startups the option to collect the money even if they don't hit their fundraising goal. In these cases, Indiegogo takes a bigger cut of the money transferred.

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Some of Kickstarter's competitors are gaining traction in the crowdfunding market. These services could give Kickstarter a run for its money in the future.

More About: Startups, indiegogo, kickstarter

‘Call Me Maybe’ is Nominated for Grammys’ Song of the Year

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 10:39 PM PST

Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen's viral hit "Call Me Maybe" has been nominated for Song of the Year for the 2013 Grammy Awards. Does this surprise you?

More About: 55th Grammy Awards, Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen, Entertainment, Music, grammy awards, grammys

The 10 Best Political Memes of 2012

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 10:01 PM PST

Texts From Hillary

Who could ever forget Texts From Hillary? The Tumblr the featured Hillary Clinton's hilarious "responses" to text messages. Even Clinton herself got in on the fun. Image courtesy of Texts From Hillary

Click here to view this gallery.

The 2012 presidential election is just over a month behind us, so we've had time to celebrate, mourn or just be thankful it's all over.

Throughout the election, many voters participated in a cultural phenomenon made possible by social media. Any piece of content created by anyone had the potential to go viral on the web — particularly, memes, funny images and captions that commented on the day's events.

In a way, political memes represent the democratization of political cartoons. Just as a blogger no longer requires space in a newspaper to share his viewpoint with millions, a meme-maker can communicate a political point with simple visuals and caustic humor.

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More About: Politics, US, Watercooler, Year End 2012, features, memes

YouTube’s 20 Most-Shared Ads in November

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 08:58 PM PST

1. Dumb Ways to Die (Melbourne Metro)

This hilarious dark humor campaign was launched by the Metro Trains Melbourne to reduce accidents on the rails network. The ad shows a series of characters dying in very weird and dumb ways. Like exposing their private parts to piranhas or setting themselves on fire. These dumb accidents are then likened to dying in preventable train accidents, like running across the platform.

Click here to view this gallery.

The world of YouTube ads had a little bit of everything, from eye-popping extreme sports ads by Red Bull and DC Shoes to touching Christmas ads as well as three -- no kidding, three -- videos featuring Justin Bieber.

The most shared, though, was the imaginative infomercial created by Melbourne's public transportation authority to warn commuters of the dangers of crossing the rails or standing too close to the platform edge. Titled "Dumb Ways to Die," the ad features colorful fruit cartoons dying in the most unimaginable ways. The dark humor and funny delivery turns out to be a very effective way of saying "Just be careful."

Political ads make an appearance too, on the heels of the U.S.…
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More About: online advertising, online marketing

NYC Challenges Citizens to Reinvent the Pay Phone

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 08:34 PM PST

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with his tech and digital teams, have challenged innovators to come up with a use for the city's 11,000 pay phones.

The Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge targets urban planners, technologists and policy experts. It aims to find data and design-inspired ideas to modernize the city's infrastructure, before the pay phones' contracts expire in 2014.

"From Wi-Fi in public spaces to the High Line, our Administration has continuously reinvented City infrastructure by matching innovative concepts with extraordinary designs," Bloomberg said at the New York Tech Meetup Tuesday evening.

SEE ALSO: NYC Is Turning Payphones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

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More About: Mobile, NYC, new york city, phones

You Can Buy an Edible iPhone 5 Case for $81

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 08:03 PM PST

What if we told you that you could spend $81 on an edible iPhone 5 case?

The Survival Senbai Rice Cracker iPhone 5 Case is exactly that. The phone cover is made from brown rice and salt -- think of it as a rice cake designed to fit snugly around your phone.

SEE ALSO: 20 Cases for Your New iPhone 5

If you're wondering who would dish out four Andrew Jacksons for an iPhone case that won't last until the next major Apple product launch, get a load of this: The case, made by Mariko and sold in the Japan Trend Shop, has already sold out.

The absurd product is a tongue-and-cheek nod to Japan's obsession with cuisine and technology. What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments bel…
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More About: iPhone 5, iphone cases

UPDATED: Murder Suspect McAfee Arrested by Guatemalan Police

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 07:20 PM PST

Murder suspect and tech entrepreneur John McAfee was arrested by Guatemalan police on Wednesday, according to Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, the country's interior minister.

McAfee was arrested for illegally entering Guatemala, after he entered the country to escape Belizean authorities, Reuters reports. Guatemalan police said it would expel him to neighboring Belize, the wire service added.

Now a fugitive, McAfee is a "person of interest" in the murder of Gregory Faull, an American expat who was shot in San Pedro Town, Belize last month.

SEE ALSO: Fugitive McAfee Says He Forged Location Data in 'Vice' Photo

"He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for…
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More About: John McAfee, McAfee

Why it Rocks to Be a High School Hoops Phenom, in One Photo

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 07:04 PM PST

The sports Internet was thrown into a minor hysteria after a pic of hoops phenom Andrew Wiggins with some very friendly recruiting hostesses hit the web.

More About: NBA, Sports, college sports

3 New Zealand Dogs Learn to Drive Mini Coopers

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 06:30 PM PST

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has teamed up with Mini Cooper in New Zealand to teach three dogs how to drive.

The Auckland SPCA hopes to dispel idea that abandoned pets are second-rate with the social campaign.

"Obviously, we think dogs are pretty smart and amazing. And we reckon, if more people thought the same, more of our dogs would find happy homes," the official Facebook page states. The interactive marketing campaign lives on the Driving Dogs Facebook page where visitors can learn about adopting a smart dog and about the Mini Cooper.

The chosen pooches -- Porter, Monty and Ginny -- are learning to drive in rigs with paw-activated accelerators an…
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More About: Social Media, Video, new zealand, social media marketing

College Football Bowls: The Awesome Tech Schwag

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 05:45 PM PST

College football bowls are upon us. That means lots of games and lots of free stuff for players. Here's the best tech schwag they get.

More About: Sports, college sports

8 Gorgeous Vacation Villas You Can Rent Online

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 05:21 PM PST

Renting a villa for a vacation sounds extravagant -- and it often can be. But whether you're treating yourself to the trip of a lifetime or sharing a villa with friends (which can be affordable) there are a number of websites where you can find just the right vacation home rental.

A villa can refer to everything from lavish compounds on their own private islands, to beachfront homes, castles, ski-in/ski-out properties, country estates and more.

Airbnb is a well-known site for either crashing with someone at their home or renting homes and villas all to yourself. With Airbnb, you can search to rent an entire home in a certain price range. You'll usually have to pay a deposit and the p…
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More About: travel, vacation rentals, vacations

Hypersonic Skylon Jet Will Break Mach 5

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 04:47 PM PST

Getting anywhere in the world within four hours seems impossible, but a UK company, Reaction Engines Ltd., successfully completed testing of a new propulsion system that could one day make that possible.

The idea behind the REL system is similar to what we now see with current jetliners, but would function as a rocket.

Called SABRE, it burns hydrogen and oxygen but gets the oxygen from the atmosphere, much like a jet engine breathes fuel. The system would be affixed to a 275-foot Skylon spaceplane. Taking off and landing like a regular airbus, the vehicle would then burn its onboard fuel supply once it reaches speeds of about Mach 5.

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More About: Rockets, jets, skylon

The Most Beautifully Depressing Christmas Carol Ever

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 04:17 PM PST

No one is ever going to say it -- sometimes Christmas isn't all it's cracked up to be. Some years it's too cold, the cookies burn, the tree falls over, the lights get tangled and there's no one to kiss under the mistletoe.

And the Other Guys know just what we're talking about.

They won't be rockin' around the Christmas tree anytime soon but they have crafted what may be the most eloquent, harmonious, angel-like list of Epic Fails: the Christmas version.

SEE ALSO: Jimmy Fallon and Mariah Carey Take on 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'

The Scottish a cappella group has definite vocal chops, but apparently has the worst luck. All they want for Christmas this year is a sprinkl…
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More About: christmas carols, holiday 2012, merry christmas

Candidate Puts 51% of Budget Into Facebook Ads — and Wins

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 03:55 PM PST

On Election Day, Bridget Mary McCormack won a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court. Why should you care? Because she may very well owe her victory in part to Facebook, where more than half of her late-game advertising budget was spent.

A week before the election, victory was far from assured. McCormack was running on the "non-partisan" section of the ballot, often overlooked by voters. She was in striking distance of victory, but not on top of the polls. An outside group made a large television ad buy against her, framing her as a friend of terrorists for having represented terrorism suspects in court.

The campaign was in trouble, said new media political consultant Josh Koster, whose…
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More About: Advertising, Facebook, Politics, US

Stainless Steel Wallet Stops RFID-Wielding Criminals

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 03:37 PM PST

Like a small safe in your pocket or purse, Zippo's wallet encased in stainless steel prevents RFID-using criminals from swiping your credit card information.

The new Zippo wallet's stainless steel outer shell not only gives the wallet a sleek look but also blocks radio frequency identification with its RF shield. RFID technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to take data from a tag on an object or card. Thieves can use this from yards away without even touching you.

Concerns over the potential threats of RFID have grown as awareness about how many products contains RFID tags has increased. RFID tags can be found in medications, clothing, and other goods to track them thr…
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More About: Wallet, Zippo, gift ideas

Watch Obama Behind the Scenes During Twitter Town Hall

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 03:23 PM PST

President Obama held a Twitter Town Hall Monday afternoon to address the fiscal cliff in segments of 140 characters. He answered questions on the social media site with the hashtag #My2k and drew Internet buzz like only the President can.

Watch here as the POTUS click clacks away on his computer, complete with the Presidential seal, and decides which questions to tackle. The behind the scenes look proves that your questions were coming straight from the Roosevelt Room via the President himself, and not some press agent.

The President is no stranger to social media -- he held a Reddit Ask Me Anything earlier this year during his campaign for re-election and shared the most retweet
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More About: Twitter, barack obama, the white house

First Look: Dog Bo Graces Official White House Christmas Card

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 03:06 PM PST

The 2012 official White House Christmas card was delivered today, and it features a painting of First Dog Bo by Iowa artist Larassa Kabel. See it here.

More About: Christmas cards, barack obama

Why Facebook Just Turned Your Subscribers Into ‘Followers’

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 02:55 PM PST

It's been more than a year since Facebook introduced the Twitter-like "subscribers" feature, letting you follow public updates from people you aren't friends with.

Well, a year is a long time to go without changing any feature at the rapidly iterating social network -- which announced Wednesday that it would be changing the name of your subscribers. At some point in the next few days, and henceforth, they will be known as followers.

Astute readers will notice that's exactly the word Twitter uses to describe folks who, er, follow you on that service. Conspiracy-minded readers might surmise that Facebook always intended to take the Twitter nomenclature outright, and simply waited a yea…
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More About: Facebook, subscriber

10 Videos That Inspired Us in 2012

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 02:38 PM PST

1. Arthur Boorman's Transformation

Arthur Boorman was a disabled, overweight Gulf War veteran for 15 years. Over and over, doctors told him he'd never walk without the support of crutches again. On a bit of a whim, he joined a local yoga program, and ended up achieving what almost everyone had told him was impossible. Watch his story for yourself.

Click here to view this gallery.

Take a look at our favorite inspiring, heart warming and tear duct-activating videos from the past year.

More About: 2012, Watercooler, roundup, video gallery

Interactive Blocks Are a Clever Gift for Intelligent Tots

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 02:38 PM PST

Gift of the DayMashable's Gift of the Day series highlights cool, interesting and fun products for that special someone on your holiday list.

Looking for a unique gift for the casual gamer in your life? The award-winning Sifteo Cubes might be the answer you're searching for this holiday season.

Fresh on the market (so you'll look like a hip kid), the Cubes are part of a new interactive gaming system that combines real world objects with high-tech digital games.

The starter pack, suitable for ages seven and up, consists of the necessary base with a built-in speaker for game audio, three Cubes, and four pre-installed games -- Chroma Splash, Cube Buddies, Code Cracker and Word Caravan.

Sifteo promises the games offer "intelligent play," which it describes as "a gaming experience that will get mind…
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More About: Gadgets, Gaming, Gift of the Day, Kids, Tech, family and parenting, holidays 2012, sifteo

10 Astonishing New Species Discovered in 2012

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 02:19 PM PST

1. The Insect Hiding in Flickr

We all know Flickr houses a treasure trove of beautiful images. But this year, we discovered it's also nature's attic-box of undiscovered lifeforms. Wildlife photographer Hock Ping Guek posted a picture of a fly with patches of color on its wings. Turns out, that fly was actually a never-before-seen species of lacewing. A couple months later, entomologist Shaun Winterton spotted the picture online, identifying it as an entirely new species, which was named Semachrysa jade. The findings were published in the journal ZooKeys. Both Guek and Winterton received credit for the discovery. Image via

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From a mini dinosaur and a Jurassic scorpionfly, to a sneezing monkey and a familiar-looking mushroom, these are the new species the world met in 2012.

More About: Dinosaurs, Science, Year End 2012, animals, features

Add-on Turns iPhone Into Rugged Wide-Angle Action Cam

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 02:19 PM PST

With more and more of us using the camera on our ever-present smartphone to document our lives, we sometimes settle for pictures or videos that don't quite do the moment justice. That might be OK if you're taking a quick shot to share via Twitter or Instagram, but what if you're skiing down the Matterhorn in Zermatt? That's an action shot or video you want to make sure you can capture and share -- without ruining your phone, of course.

Mophie, known mainly for those Juice Pack extended battery cases for iPhone, is out with an add-on case that turns your iPhone into a rugged waterproof video camera.

The Mophie OutRide is a polycarbonate, high-impact case that protects your phone from…
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More About: action sports, iphone, mobile video

Apple Stock Suffers Biggest One-Day Loss of the Year

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 01:57 PM PST

Apple's stock declined by more than 6% on Wednesday, cutting about $35 billion from the company's market cap.

More About: apple, stocks

To Help or Document: The Citizen Journalists’ Dilemma

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 01:44 PM PST

Mashable OP-ED

The New York Post's decision to publish an image of a man on the New York City subway tracks moments before the impact that led to his death has become a lightning rod for controversy. Why did the Post run the photo? Why didn't freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi, the man who took the photo, save Ki-Suck Han? I want to know these things, too, but I have a very different question. What would you do?

Abbasi's predicament may seem a world away from you, but it's not. You, you smartphone-toting citizen journalist, stand just as much a chance of being a witness to history and horror as today's garden-variety journalist.

Consider this: Abbasi is described as a ph…
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More About: The New York Post, Twitter, citizen journalist, creative citizen, instagram

Spectacular Black Marble Images Show Earth in Darkness

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 01:31 PM PST

Black Marble - United States

The satellite that took these images flies over any given point on Earth's surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. Hovering 512 miles above the surface, the satellite sends its data once per orbit to a ground station in Norway.

Click here to view this gallery.

NASA's Black Marble is a set of high-resolution composite images of the mysterious dark Earth during the evening hours as seen from space.

More About: NASA, blue marble, pics, space

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