Monday, 21 January 2013

Mashable: Latest 27 News Updates - including “HotelTonight Reaches 4 Million Downloads, Expands Further Into Europe”

Mashable: Latest 27 News Updates - including “HotelTonight Reaches 4 Million Downloads, Expands Further Into Europe”

HotelTonight Reaches 4 Million Downloads, Expands Further Into Europe

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 03:53 AM PST

Last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight has seen tremendous growth since its launch in January of 2011. The company announced Monday that it has reached four million downloads over the past 2 years, and is now expanding the service further into Europe.

Starting today, you can book a hotel using the service in two new countries: Germany and Switzerland, with initial hotel offerings available in Berlin, Munich, Zurich and Geneva. Hotel offerings in Hamburg will be available in February.

"Mobile technology has revolutionized the way we plan our lives, totally shifting our mindset and approach to travel. We are no longer tied to pre-planned itineraries, but empowered to make spontaneous…
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More About: App, HotelTonight, travel

Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z Is Extremely Thin and Light

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 02:09 AM PST

Sony has launched a new flagship tablet in Japan: the 10.1 Xperia Tablet Z.

The device is very thin and light for a tablet with a 10.1-inch screen: it is 6.9mm thick and weighs 495 grams. For comparison, the 9.7-inch, Wi-Fi-only iPad weighs 652 grams.

The Xperia Tablet Z is no slouch when it comes to specifications, either: it sports a Qualcomm 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage memory, further expandable via microSD memory cards. Its screen has a full HD (1920x1200) resolution, and it comes with an 8.1-megapixel camera, NFC, LTE, and Sony S-Force virtual surround sound.

Last but not least, the device is also dustproof and waterproof, all of which makes it…
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More About: sony, Tablet Z, Xperia

Here’s What Google’s Eric Schmidt Said About North Korea

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 12:43 AM PST

Not everyone was happy with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's trip to North Korea or its secretive nature. Now we have details about what the whole thing was about.

Schmidt posted on his Google+ account this morning, and said the goal was to talk to North Korea about a free and open Internet. The reason many people suspected Schmidt was making the trip was to increase Google's market into the country, but why can't it be both? Google would no doubt get one of its many fingers into an open North Korean Internet, so it could be a classic win-win for Google and the North Korean people.

In his Google+ post, Schmidt said that he was shown the mostly Linux-based software and technolo…
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More About: eric schmidt, Google, North Korea

A Dog’s Life: GoPro Camera Shows Canine’s Point-of-View

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 11:09 PM PST

While GoPro action cameras are typically used to capture daredevil stunts, users have also filmed more mundane activities -- such as playing the trombone and spinning a hula hoop -- to give them a fresh perspective.

SEE ALSO: Turn Your Smartphone Into a Rugged Camera With This G-Form Case

A new YouTube video, however, takes GoPro experimentation to a new level by showing one dog's point-of-view. The nearly two-and-a-half-minute clip follows an unidentified canine, as he swims in a pool and retrieves yellow tennis balls for his owner. Since going online Sunday, the above video has attracted close to 20,000 views.

Do you think this is an interesting way to use a GoPro camera? Tell…
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More About: camera, gopro

Turn Your Smartphone Into a Rugged Camera With This G-Form Case

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 10:04 PM PST

Smartphones and extreme sports are natural enemies, as bringing your prized iPhone on that mountain-biking trip is a surefire way to get it lost or broken.

For this reason, thrill-seekers have often turned to GoPro for action cameras that can capture footage while on-the-go. But one company is challenging the status quo by developing a case that it says can turn a standard smartphone into a rugged camera.

SEE ALSO: 10 Crazy Ways to Use a GoPro

G-Form, which creates protective cases for tech gadgets, has unveiled the G90 Action Sports Camera for the iPhone 5, the latest iPod touch and other devices. Check out the video, above, for more.

"The G90 case integrates unique, multiple p…
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More About: G-Form, gopro, iPhone 5, iPod Touch, samsung galaxy s4

Why ‘The Guardian’ Is Forgoing Paywalls — For Now

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 09:16 PM PST

Following The New York Times' recent success, online paywalls (particularly the metered-access kind) have been popping up on newspaper websites across the globe. In the U.S. alone, nearly half of all newspapers now have some sort of online paywall, according to estimates from the Alliance for Audited Media. In the UK, adoption has been slower, though many of the country's leading dailies -- The Times, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph among them -- now require a paying subscription for full digital access, including mobile.

As mentioned, the uptake in paywalls, particularly in the U.S., can be largely attributed to the NYT's widely publicized success with its me…
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More About: paywalls, the guardian, uk

10 Glorious Shake My Head Dad Moments

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 08:35 PM PST

1. Disco Fieber

Click here to view this gallery.

Let's face it: Dads, while we love them, can be a little embarrassing. Take a look at some of our favorites.

More About: Dads, videos, Watercooler, Will Smith

5 Fascinating Facts We Learned From Reddit This Week

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 07:43 PM PST

1. Robert E. Lee believed slavery to be a "moral & political evil."

In an 1856 letter to his wife, the future Confederate general wrote:

"In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country."
Howeer, the letter goes on to discuss a significantly less than enlightened view that black people are "immeasurably better off here than in Africa," and that the pain of slavery is "necessary for their instruction as a race." So there's that. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Click here to view this gallery.

Civil War history and strange meat packaging techniques await you in this week's issue of Reddit Facts.

What have you learned from the front page of the Internet lately?

More About: features, reddit, reddit facts, Social Media

An Appointment With Kim Dotcom

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 06:59 PM PST

Paul Spain is the host of the weekly NZ Tech Podcast, one of New Zealand's leading locally produced podcasts and often appears on TV and video as a commentator on consumer and business technology topics.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -- It's been said that Kim Dotcom is a villain. Many, particularly those in the film industry and law enforcement, believe it. To others, he is a hero standing up for the rights of Internet users everywhere.

I wanted to find out for myself where he stood.

I arrived at the Dotcom Mansion early Sunday afternoon New Zealand time. It was just a few hours after the launch of Kim Dotcom's new website and one year since his mansion was raided and he was…
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More About: Kim Dotcom, Mega, megaupload

5 Connected Objects to Smarten Up Your Home

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 06:33 PM PST

Ninja Blocks ($199)

Kickstarter-funded Ninja Blocks are wirelessly connected mini-computers embedded with a range of sensors that can detect humidity, temperature, motion, light and distance, among other things. Using Ninja Blocks' accompanying software system, you can communicate with a range of systems through SMS, Twitter, Foursquare, Evernote and more. You could, for instance, program your Ninja to text you when someone rings your (wireless) doorbell; turn on the light by talking to Siri; tweet at you when your pet's water bowl runs dry; or, when motion is detected in your garage, take a photo from your webcam and upload it to Dropbox. Introductory kits cost $199 and will resume shipping in March. More affordable alternatives include Knut and Twine, both of which cost $99 but have fewer sensors and capabilities than Ninja Blocks. You can purchase a range of add-ons sensors and connected devices for the Knut, however, including sensors for moisture and water pressure, as well as a magnetic door switch, for $25 apiece.

Click here to view this gallery.

Imagine waking up in a fully automated home. The light on your nightstand gradually begins to brighten, your blinds unfold to welcome the morning light, coffee brews in the kitchen and music begins to play, all without you lifting a finger.

Until recently, even partially automated homes were exclusive to the domains of engineers and home owners wealthy enough to hire them (or creative students with some extra time on their hands). But now those systems are becoming more affordable and easier to manage, thanks in part to Kickstarter-fueled interest in "The Internet of Things," as well as integrations with SMS, smartphones and web-based applications like Twitter and Dropbox.

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More About: features, Gadgets, home, internet of things, Lifestyle

New York Times Travel Show Features Safaris, Solar Power and Cigar-Rolling

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 05:45 PM PST

NYT Travel Show

More than 500 destinations were on display at the New York Times Travel Show.

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Winter-weary New Yorkers took their dreams of warm, sunny islands in tropical locations to the New York Times Travel Show this past weekend. The show, in its 10th year, showcases more than 500 travel destinations from all over the world.

There were seminars on travel and social media, the latest mobile travel apps, as well as ways to use the Internet to research and book your next vacation. The floor was divided into sections by country and type of travel. Given the number of people standing in line for cruise information, vacationing on the high seas is clearly a popular travel option.

SEE ALSO: 7 Tech Essentials for Any Kind of Travel

For those who prefer land -- whether you're l…
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More About: new york times, travel, travel tech

Target Skips Super Bowl Commercial in Favor of Mobile Game

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 04:59 PM PST

On Feb. 3, big brands and their agencies will line up to compete for what they hope will be remembered as the best TV commercial for Super Bowl XLVII, spending tens of millions of dollars in the process. One major retailer, Target, will be sitting on the sidelines, having developed a more modest (and budget-friendly) mobile game instead.

Snack Bowl, which can be played on mobile web browsers as well as downloadable apps for iPhone and Android devices, is pretty basic. You're awarded points for tossing a carousel of branded snacks, including DiGiorno pizza and Coke Zero, to your jersey-wearing guests, who are inexplicably running across your living room one by one. Your guests move faster…
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More About: Marketing, Mobile, retail, Super Bowl, Target

Why It’s OK to Fail at Kickstarter

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 04:05 PM PST

Despite not hitting our funding goal, our Kickstarter campaign was exactly what we needed.

More About: contributor, features, kickstarter

Australian Library Moves All Lance Armstrong Titles to Fiction Section

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 03:18 PM PST

Following Lance Armstrong's doping confession to Oprah on Thursday, an Australian library has moved all books about the American cyclist from the nonfiction section to the fiction section.

Manly Library in Sydney posted a notice to all readers informing them that all books about Armstrong would be recategorized, The Australian reports.

"All non-fiction Lance Armstrong titles, including Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion, The Lance Armstrong Performance Program and Lance Armstrong: World's Greatest Champion, will soon be moved to the fiction section,'' the sign says.

SEE ALSO: Lance Armstrong Movie in the Works

The library was not alone in its reassessment of the numerous prin…
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More About: lance armstrong, libraries, oprah, Sports

5 Games You Should Play This Week

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 02:35 PM PST

1. 10000000

For fans of puzzle games and dungeon crawlers, do yourself a favor and play 10000000 right now. This iOS game was just ported to PC and Mac through Steam this week, and will have you saying, "just one more turn" until the wee hours. The premise of 10000000 is you find yourself trapped in a dungeon, and the only way to escape is to reach 10 million points in your dungeon run. All your actions (fighting, casting spells, and unlocking doors) all depend on matching the appropriate tiles on the game board. The first few times through you'll fail miserably, but you also collect resources and gold by matching tiles and defeating monsters, allowing you to level up your weapons and armor before trying again. The addition of 80 objectives add an extra layer to the gameplay, giving you lots of reasons to try another round. 10000000 was one of the most fun iOS games of 2012, so do yourselves a favor and pick it up at its reduced price on Steam today.

Click here to view this gallery.

It's cold out and the days are short. What better time than January to get some quality time in on your favorite games?

While there weren't a lot of big retail releases over the last week, we rounded up five of the best things for you to spend your time and money on. There's something for everyone, including new offerings and games we've just recently discovered.

SEE ALSO: 'Temple Run 2' Is Necessary and Beautiful

Take a look at the list above for this week's suggestions. Let us know in the comments what you've been playing, whether it be on console, PC or mobile.

More About: borderlands 2, features, Games You Should Play, Gaming, iOS games, video games

Top 5 Kids Apps This Week

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 02:09 PM PST

1. Fire Station

Ages 3-8 Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars Why we like it: This virtual field trip lets you explore community helpers -- especially a fire station -- by way a set of well-chosen videos embedded in the app. Testers liked the hand-drawn images and the background music which can be toggled on or off. Need to know: Note that this is a big app, weighing in at 400MB due to the embedded videos. It is a good app for any child (or adult) who wants some real-world information and experiences. See this video review. Ease of use: 10/10 Educational: 9/10 Entertaining: 9/10 $2.99

Click here to view this gallery.

Chris Crowell is a veteran kindergarten teacher and contributing editor to Children's Technology Review, a web-based archive of articles and reviews on apps, technology toys and video games. Download a free issue of CTR here.

This week's top apps are all about involvement. Using them, your kids will be gardening, jumping, going on field trips and starring in their own TV episodes -- all from the comforts of home.

SEE ALSO: Why Being Young Doesn't Make You a Social Media Expert

Our friends at Children's Technology Review shared with us these 5 top apps from their comprehensive monthly database of kid-tested reviews. The site covers everything from math and counting to reading and p…
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More About: contributors, family and parenting, features, galleries, mobile apps, Top Kids Apps

Viral Video Recap: Must-Watch Memes of the Week

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 01:22 PM PST

This week's Viral Video Recap features the regular cast of entertaining characters.

In this edition, we see Bad Lip Reading figure out what NFL coaches are yelling from the sidelines, The Slo Mo Guys shoot fireworks from paint cans, an alternate Hobbit ending, plus some additional viral goodies.


What was your favorite video this week? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Viral Video Recap, viral videos

Resume Killers: 3 Things That Will Get Your Resume Thrown in the Trash

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 12:36 PM PST

You know all about getting your resume noticed. Clean layout! Accomplishments, not duties! But do you know what's on the flipside? What could you be doing that could cause recruiters to overlook your resume -- or worse, toss it in the trash?

Gasp! The trash? I know what you're thinking, but the truth is, recruiters have dozens, even hundreds, of resumes to comb through every day. So, in an effort to cull them down to a reasonable amount, they'll simply toss any that don't meet what they're looking for.

To learn more, I sat down with a few recruiters and asked them about the resumes that make the cut and those that get tossed. Here are three of their deal-breakers.

1. You Don't Meet
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More About: job search, resume

This 7-Month-Old Has Mastered ‘Gangnam Style’ Dance Moves

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 12:06 PM PST

Think you've mastered the dance moves to "Gangnam Style" from international phenomenon Psy?

This 7-month-old just might beat you in a dance-off. While the average baby this age is yet to master walking and talking, this tyke can surely be proud of his dance moves.

SEE ALSO: Gangnam Style! The Anatomy of a Viral Sensation

Watch above as he lassos and gallops along with the music. We just might have found the next great pop dancer.

More About: gangnam style, viral video

NASCAR Fans to Shape Race Through Mobile-App Voting

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 11:59 AM PST

NASCAR enthusiasts will be able to take their fandom to a new level next for the 2013 season's first exhibition race by voting to determine what several elements of the race itself look like.

More About: NASCAR, Sports

See Jupiter and Moon Shine Dazzlingly Close Together Monday

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 11:37 AM PST

Stargazers looking up as darkness falls on Monday (Jan. 21) will notice an eye-catching pairing-off between two of the brightest objects in the nighttime sky, weather permitting.

The moon, appearing as a waxing gibbous phase, 78 percent illuminated, will appear to stand close below a very bright, non-twinkling, silvery "star." But it won't be a star that will be keeping the moon company on America's Inauguration Night, but the largest planet in our solar system: Jupiter.

Across much of the United States and southern Canada, this will be closest that the moon and Jupiter will appear relative to each other until the year 2026. On Monday night, the moon will be about of 248,700 miles (400…
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More About: Jupiter, moon, space

Double Comic Feature: Zuck and Users Weigh In on Facebook Graph Search

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 11:31 AM PST

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rolled out Facebook Graph Search this week, what was he really thinking? Our friends Nitrozac and Snaggy at The Joy of Tech were somehow able to eavesdrop on his darkest thoughts, which they faithfully reproduced here in all their glory:

The Joy of Tech comic, published with permission

And we're not stopping there. In this very special Sunday Comics double feature, we also get the reaction of some ungrateful users of Facebook Graph Search:

The Joy of Tech comic, published with permission

And now, without even a hint of irony, feel free to share these comics on Facebook.

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

More About: comics, Facebook, Graphic Search, Sunday Comics

Watch President Obama Take the Oath of Office

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 11:03 AM PST

President Barack Obama was sworn into office for his second term on Sunday, Jan. 20, by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.. The ceremony took place in the White House's Blue Room, where Obama and Roberts were joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and the president's two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

In the ceremony, which took less than one minute, Obama swears to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution of the United States.

Vice President Joe Biden also took his oath of office on Sunday, sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The ceremony took place at the Vice President…
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More About: barack obama, inauguration, Joe Biden, Presidential Inauguration

Starbucks Verismo Messes Up Your Name in the Comfort of Your Kitchen

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 10:34 AM PST

We all know the drill at Starbucks -- we order drinks and get served lattes with awkward derivatives of our names scribbled on their paper cups.

Saturday Night Live parodied the phenomenon in this sketch about Verismo, Starbucks' at-home brewing system. How do you think they did?

Image courtesy of NBC, Saturday Night Live

More About: starbucks

9 Ways to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 09:49 AM PST

Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremony is happening Monday, Jan. 21 at 11:30 E.T, followed immediately by the inaugural parade, the commander-in-chief's ball and the inaugural ball. Looking for a place to watch online? Mashable has rounded up nine options for you.

Note: Obama's official swearing-in happened Sunday morning in a small event at the White House.

1. Politico

The aptly named Politico LIVE will be livestreaming throughout the event, featuring analysis from the likes of Jim VandeHei, John F. Harris, Maggie Haberman, Mike Allen and more at

The stream will also be available on Politico's iPhone and iPad apps. Join Politico's Twitter conversation at #pol…
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More About: barack obama, Politics, US

Jennifer Lawrence Mocks Her 9-Year-Old Oscar Competition on ‘SNL’

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 09:01 AM PST

In Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence's opening monologue on Saturday Night Live this weekend, she took material from her infamous Golden Globes moment when she said "I beat Meryl [Streep]" and many onlookers thought she was trash-talking the iconic American actress.

Lawrence explained that she was simply quoting from the movie The First Wives Club, and was not in fact defaming Streep.

"I would never trash-talk any of my fellow nominees at the Golden Globes, but the Oscars are another story. Ladies, I love you all, but you're about to get served," Lawrence said in her opening monologue.

Lawrence's fellow Oscar nominees for Best Actress include the oldest and younges…
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More About: Entertainment, Oscars, saturday night live, TV

12 Weirdest Things That Look Like U.S. Presidents

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 08:11 AM PST

Can you tell the difference between James Polk and Franklin Pierce? Hmm, how about William McKinley and Calvin Coolidge? Fret not, novice presidential historian -- 200 years of men with powered wigs, bushy facial hair and/or stern smirks can all blur together in the old noggin.

SEE ALSO: 100 Years of U.S. Presidential Inaugurations [PHOTOS]

Consider this your opportunity to acquaint yourself with the faces of past U.S. presidents just in time for the inauguration. And to make this whole "learning" thing more fun, we've pinpointed the oddest presidential doppelgangers this side of Pennsylvania Ave.

1. Chicken McNugget and George Washington

Mashable composite. Images courtesy
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More About: humor, inauguration, President, Watercooler

5 Ways to Recruit Top Talent During Rapid Growth

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 07:12 AM PST

Looking for top talent for your startup can be challenging if your company is growing at a rapid pace. Startups may be strapped for the time it takes to fully understand new responsibilities cropping up across the business, including what specific skills are needed and what the best hire would look like to succeed in the job.

More About: contributor, Feature, job recruiting, job search series, mashable, Recruiting

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