Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide”

Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 02:52 AM PST

Aaron Swartz, online activist and founder of Infogami, a service later merged with Reddit, has committed suicide in New York City on Jan. 11, the Tech reports.

The news was revealed to the Tech by Swartz's uncle Michael Wolf and confirmed by Swartz's attorney, Elliot R. Peters. "The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true," said Peters.

Born in 1986, Swartz has co-authored the first specification of RSS when he was 14. He also started Infogami, a service founded by Y Combinator that was later merged with social networking site Reddit.

Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, an advocacy group that rallies people "to take action on the news that…
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More About: Aaron-Swartz, reddit

Obama’s Death Star Response is Best Star Wars Tribute in History

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 01:59 AM PST

Mashable OP-ED

Sometimes, you just have to use a little Force.

When a petition calling on the Obama Administration to begin building a Death Star by 2016 blasted past the 25,000 signatures necessary for an official response late last year, the White House could have gone any number of ways. It wasn't required to reply in a timely fashion; it could have stuck the whole thing in a drawer. The petition was obviously frivolous; it could have just said thanks, but no thanks.

But the President, a known sci-fi geek who once flashed a Vulcan salute with a Lieutenant from the Starship Enterprise, evidently opted for a third direction. The response would be written promptly, in full, with as…
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More About: barack obama, Star Wars

46% of People Don’t Know How Facebook Makes Money

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 08:48 PM PST

A new study has found that almost half of U.S. adults online don't understand where Facebook funds are coming from.

The study, conducted by by The Search Agency, surveyed 2,006 American Internet users. Of those surveyed, only 54% could say how Facebook earned cash -- 57% of men and 51% of women.

So perhaps Facebook isn't being all that clear when it comes to its reliance on advertising.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Search Will Make Money, But Still Be Ineffective

The study also found that 22% of people polled have clicked on an ad via a search engine and that millennials were two times more likely than older users to click on search engine ads.

Check out the video above to learn mor…
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More About: Facebook, facebook ads, facebook ipo, facebook marketing, study

Space Station Contest Lets Students Program Satellites

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 08:28 PM PST

After controlling small satellites in the International Space Station on Friday morning, two teams of high school students took home top prizes for their programming skills.

The teams were part of the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge, an annual competition that asks students to program bowling ball-size satellites to perform maneuvers related to current space-exploration problems. This year's competitors had to mimic cleaning up broken satellites and other unwanted debris humans have put into orbit around the Earth, but haven't brought back down again. Such "space junk" increases every year, which is a problem for new satellites that people want to put into space.

The student-written pr…
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More About: International Space Station, programming, satellite, space

Sculpteo Makes it Easy to Create Your Own 3D iPhone Case

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 07:56 PM PST

Base Model

This skull is one of the base models in the app you can start with, add to, and customize.

Click here to view this gallery.

LAS VEGAS -- Sculpteo is making it easy to create your own 3D iPhone case. Winner of this year's Best of Innovations award at CES, the company has released an app called 3DP Case that lets you create a three dimensional case for your phone in just a few minutes.

Cases can be customized almost any way you can imagine, however, there are a few base models to choose from. Highlights from Sculpteo's booth at CES include cases with the recipient's profile cut out of each side, and one case that had been customized to be cross-stitched after printing.

Cases are easy to create and customize, and are affordable. The average 3D-printed iPhone case from the company is priced at around…
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More About: App, apple, CES, CES 2013, iphone

Website Offers Customized Jet Lag Reduction Plans

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 07:44 PM PST

Does jet lag put a damper on the first few days of a big vacation for you? A handy new website called Jet Lag Rooster maps out a plan to fight it.

Enter the cities you're departing from and arriving to plus the days and times of your departures and arrivals. The calculator is picky about the format, so be sure to follow the example provided.

To test it out, we entered a departing destination of San Francisco, Calif., and an arrival destination of Bangkok, Thailand. The calculator recognized the nine-hour difference in time zones and showed us a customized plan to reduce jet lag. The advice it gave was to seek sunlight and avoid it during certain hours in order to quickly adapt to the…
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More About: jet lag, travel, traveling

Hands On With Pebble, the Internet’s Favorite Smart Watch

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 07:19 PM PST

Rock On

Music controls on Pebble are intuitive and easy to use.

Click here to view this gallery.

LAS VEGAS –- Pebble, the company that raised almost 8 million to create an e-ink smart watch, announced at CES this week that it will start shipping the watch to its Kickstarter backers on Jan. 23.

We caught up with Pebble's creator, Eric Migicovsky, at the show to give the smart watch a try.

Migicovsky told us that Pebble chose CES to make the shipment announcement because a tremendous percentage of the project's backers would be in attendance.

Though absent from the show floor, Pebble had a suite at the Venetian Hotel set up, and it invited Kickstarter backers to stop by and give the watch a spin. It's going to take the company six to eight weeks to get units out to every…
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More About: CES, CES 2013, pebble, smartwatch

Sorry Vader, White House Won’t Build a Death Star

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:56 PM PST

In a memo titled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For," the Obama White House formally (and finally!) responded Friday to a petition asking to secure the resources to begin construction on a Death Star by 2016. Sorry, Dark Side supporters, but the administration's view is clear: it "does not support blowing up planets."

As we, and the White House, know, the real cost of building a Death Star is so high it has 15 zeroes attached, and, for practicality's sake alone, that's one project that will not be getting the green light this year.

But -- that's not all! Cheekiness aside, the White House used this petition response as an opportunity to remind us of all the great space…
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More About: death star superlaser, International Space Station, petitions, White House

10 Pics of Extreme Weather Around the World

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:33 PM PST

1. Drought in the U.S.

2012 was the hottest year, ever, in the United States. More than half of the continental U.S. experienced drought, which dehydrated crops and sparked wildfires across the country. Photo via Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Click here to view this gallery.

From heat waves and hurricanes to earthquakes and droughts, 2012 shattered weather records around the world. And more bizarre conditions are welcoming 2013 with a bang, as a snow storm blanketed palm trees in Jerusalem for the first time in 21 years on Thursday. In Australia, high winds are fueling more than 100 bush fires along the eastern and southeastern coasts.

SEE ALSO: 33 Stunning Weather Photos From Readers Around the World

Take a look through our slideshow of weird weather, featuring breathtaking -- albeit terrifying -- photos of floods in the Philippines, tornadoes in Italy and more.

What extreme weather moments did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail ph
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More About: 2012, climate, Photos, Weather

CEA on ‘Booth Babes’: The Name Is the Problem

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 05:41 PM PST

Following widespread criticism of the use of models to market products at the International CES, a CEA exec tells Mashable that the media is to blame -- for repeating the commonly-used term "booth babes."

According to Karen Chupka, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association, the industry giant has no plans to remove models from CES.

"The story has been overly sensationalized," Chupka says. "A lot of people are hired to come in and support exhibitors, since the booth is only one-third of the cost of attending the event.

"I can't understand. This is the year 2013, and I thought women had come farther than this. I'm really appalled that anybody prints the word 'babe
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More About: 2013 CES, Marketing, STEM, women in tech

Campbell’s Soup Invites Developers to ‘Hack the Kitchen’

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 05:00 PM PST

Campbell's Soup wants to give you new resources for your smartphone and the web to find meal ideas.

The company is inviting developers to "Hack the Kitchen" and create web or mobile apps that make people's lives easier when it comes to finding recipes and cooking. The contest begins on Monday, Jan. 14th and the deadline to submit entries is February 1st.

"The solution can be a web experience, mobile app, something for the XBOX or even an in-car app experience that leverages the new SDKs announced at CES," Adam Kmiec, director of global digital marketing and social media at Campbell Soup Company, told Mashable. "We haven't set a requirement; it's a blank canvas. We know that consume…
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More About: app developers, apps, Contests, cooking, kitchen

E-Ink on a Smartphone? This Android Phone Has 2 Displays

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 04:32 PM PST

Times Up

You can use the rear of the YotaPhone as a clock, or to display wallpapers.

Click here to view this gallery.

LAS VEGAS -- What if your phone had two displays? Announced in mid-December, YotaPhone aims to change how people use their smartphones by bringing together a full-color LCD display on one side of the phone and an e-ink display on the other.

I caught up with Yota Device's Vladislav Martynov at CES to give the phone a closer look.

In essence, the two displays on the handset each have their own unique purpose. The front display is used just as you might your traditional smartphone screen to run apps, browse the web or watch videos.

The rear display on the YotaPhone is what makes it stand out. An electronic paper display, it shows content you push to it from the front of the device.…
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More About: android, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, CES, CES 2013, smartphones

Is it 1925 Again? Florida Man Arrested for Selling Moonshine on Black Market

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 04:03 PM PST

A Florida man was arrested yesterday for allegedly selling over 40 gallons of moonshine to undercover state beverage agents.

The Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco posted a fake Craigslist ad, pretending to be someone "looking for some strong moonshine." A middleman contacted the agents and referred them to 23-year-old Daniel David Pawa, a Lantana resident. Over the course of several months, Pawa sold over 40 gallons of moonshine to undercover agents.

The operation came to a close on Thursday when state agents arrested Pawa and seized his .45-caliber firearm and a grenade. Pawa faces a bevy of charges including possession of moonshine, conspiracy to violate beverage l…
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More About: cops, craigslist, police

Hear Impressive a Cappella ‘Cry Me a River’ and ‘No Diggity’ Mashup

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 03:51 PM PST

You did Timberlake proud, ladies (and drummer dude).

But may we suggest adding Anna Kendrick via Pitch Perfect to your trio? (Skip to 1:25 to hear her rap.)

We out.

Heard any other good versions of these songs? Share them in the comments below.

Video via YouTube, Sarah Crummy. Photo via iStockphoto, MistikaS.

BONUS: Grab Your Hairbrush Microphone for 10 YouTube Sing-Alongs

More About: mashup, Music, viral video

Coders Combine 70 ‘Minecraft’ Servers Into Massive Online Game

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 03:12 PM PST

Redditor HighlifeTTU shared a photo album with r/Minecraft on Friday that details a massive custom overhaul to the online version of the popular building game. The goal: to unify 70 servers into one enormous game space.

Here's why this is kind of a big deal. Multiplayer Minecraft worlds are not served from a central location. Any player can host one, on his local machine or a dedicated server. Other players must know your server's address to join the world. Thousands of public servers are listed on community forums and other gathering places.

Every server is different, depending on who's in charge -- different rules, game modes, communities. Popular servers fill up, preventing others f…
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More About: developers, Entertainment, Gaming, minecraft

CES 2013 Was a Celebrity-Fueled Marathon

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 02:56 PM PST

After five days of hitting the ground running, the Mashable team at CES 2013 can finally rest. The Las Vegas convention is over, and the Mashable staff in attendance have collectively covered hundreds of miles. We tracked their progress using Nike+ FuelBands and can now deliver the final results:

Our champion was videographer Evan Engel, whose lead from day one was never overtaken by the rest of the team. Heavy video equipment in hand, he racked up over 27 miles in five days, further than the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Second-place finisher Samantha Murphy also traveled further than a marathon, completing 26.7 miles. But it was photo editor Nina Frazier who put in the…
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More About: CES, CES 2013, Nike+ FuelBand

10 Pros and Cons of Gmail’s New Compose Feature

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 02:42 PM PST

Gmail rolled out its new Compose feature in October, allowing users the option of a cleaner, more efficient format. Some users rejoiced, while others found the changes difficult to use.

Thankfully, Gmail hasn't made the new feature mandatory; you can order your email in whichever flavor you choose. So, which will it be?

5 Reasons to Switch to Gmail's New Compose

Click to expand.

1. Multiple Drafts at Once

If you're trying to juggle multiple discussions, or copy text from one email to another, having multiple drafts is incredibly convenient. Drafts can sit right next to each other on on your Gmail screen, or you can choose to pop them out for easier resizing.

2. Minimiz…
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More About: design, email, features, gmail

Your First Screen Names, Illustrated

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 02:22 PM PST

Remember your first screen name? Before you were worried about your "personal brand" and had a professional-facing "" address?

Those were the good old days. The Internet seemed more casual then. Our online identities were never meant to stay with us forever. They were meant to be more fun. Sure, they were often naive, but also more whimsical than what you'd expect to show up on a resume.

So a few weeks ago we asked you to submit yours to us. What was your first screen name? We even offered up some Mashable staff examples ("NakedSushiNight," anyone?) to get you started. And we had Kiersten Essenpreiss illustrate them.

We received hundreds of submissions…
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More About: aim, chat, email, features, instant messaging, Social Media

Puppy Tackles the Stairs in Cutest Video You’ll See Today

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 02:11 PM PST

Sometimes we all just need a mentor, a guiding spirit or a cheering squad to get us through those tough moments.

And while this puppy is having a mega-crisis of sorts trying to conquer his fear of the stairs, this other, bigger dog steps in as quite the shoulder to lean on.

SEE ALSO: Puppy Acts as Seeing Eye Dog for Another Pooch in Touching Video

It's simple -- this paw first, this paw second, trot along, then everyone cheers. See? Now follow me.

Teamwork has never been cuter.

BONUS: 10 Adorable Animals Feeding Other Animals

Photo via iStockphoto, Photogal.

More About: cute animals, dogs, viral videos, Watercooler

5 Chinese Tech Brands You’ll Be Hearing From in 2013

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 01:51 PM PST

As John F. Kennedy once noted, the Chinese word for "crisis" is composed of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity." So characteristically, amid the hand-wringing at CES about the show's decreased relevance, a handful of Chinese brands saw a big opportunity.

In fact, the emergence of several Chinese brands as wannabe major players became one of the central narratives of the show. Typically at CES, Chinese tech brands are relegated to the International Pavilion rather than the show proper.

This year, though, there were at least five brands from China -- Hisense, ZTE, TCL, Huawei and Haier -- that took the main stage or at least got treated seriously by the press.

Next up: Co…
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More About: CES, CES 2013, china, Haier, Hisense, Huawei, Marketing, zte

Here’s a Rubik’s Cube for the Blind

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 01:33 PM PST

Remember the Rubik's Cube? Of course you do. Invented in 1974 and sold non-stop from 1980 onward, the fiendishly difficult six-faced puzzle has fascinated the planet for generations. It is widely regarded as the best-selling toy in the world, shipping more than 350 million units. There's even a touchscreen version.

But there has always been one group unable to enjoy it -- until now.

"My buddy is blind. I want to get him a Rubik's Cube, but I don't really have the skills to make this kind of thing." So wrote Lauren, a user of the website Custom Made, which connects the unusual desires of its customers with makers looking for a challenge.

The maker who stepped up to the plate in…
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More About: rubiks cube, toys

Marlon Wayans Gets Inspiration for His Tweets on the Toilet

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 01:14 PM PST

Actor Marlon Wayans, whose comedy-horror flick A Haunted House landed in theaters Friday, gets inspiration for his Twitter thoughts in the darnedest places.

More About: celebrities, Entertainment, films, Marlon Wayans, Movies, shorty awards, Social Media, Twitter

Listen to the World Premiere of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Nuclear’

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 01:11 PM PST

Sony Music has exclusively given Mashable the audio for "Nuclear," the first song from Destiny's Child since 2005. Here is the world premiere of the song.

More About: beyonce, celebrities, Destiny's Child, Entertainment, EXCLUSIVE, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Music, sony music entertainment

FBI Posts Google Map of Bank Robbery Pics, Tips

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 12:54 PM PST

The FBI has begun collecting tips on the names of unidentifiable bank robbery suspects through a new Google map that pictures heists nationwide, bureau officials announced this week.

The new site,, shows visitors the location of incidents down to the street level, as well as the traditional Wanted poster photos and physical descriptions. Users can search by location, weapon used and the unidentified robber's nickname, among other clues, to help authorities ascribe names to faces.

The site is intended to protect citizens from gun violence, not just financial losses, FBI officials said in a statement.

"Many bank robberies are committed using verbal demands or n…
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More About: FBI, Google Maps

‘Feel the Love’ for Gray-Haired Crooners’ Restaurant Sing-a-long

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 12:30 PM PST

This video of several men singing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" -- yes, the Disney song -- in harmony, a cappella could be the greatest contribution Canada has ever made to the Internet.

Who else thinks Tim Horton's should have this gray-haired, harmonizing gang as their new TV commercial?

SEE ALSO: The Most Misheard Lyrics of 2012

Come for a coffee, stay for some happiness. That's the Canadian way.

Video via YouTube, Danfi Parker. Photo courtesy of Flickr, oursintheafternoon.

BONUS: Grab Your Hairbrush Microphone for 10 YouTube Sing-Alongs

More About: Canada

Vimensio Gives 3D the Bird

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 12:06 PM PST

LAS VEGAS -- 3D hasn't quite lived up to the hype: We're not all sitting in our living rooms, wearing special glasses and marveling at the soccer ball some player just kicked in our face. That doesn't mean, however, there's nothing useful for 3D to do. Companies like Leonar3Do are using passive 3D technology to build education products that put teachers and students inside the design process. It introduced its latest product, Vimensio, here at CES 2013.

The virtual reality company's still-in-beta 3D educational system is actually comprised of multiple parts: the content and app-building environment Edit and Vimensio Play, where you interact with the virtual 3D app environment.

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More About: 3D, CES, ces2013

Megan Fox Tells Dirty Jokes in Deleted ‘This Is 40′ Scene

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 11:58 AM PST

If you like dirty jokes, we've got a treat for you. "This Is 40" director Judd Apatow has given Mashable a deleted scene from the new comedy flick.

More About: celebrities, Entertainment, EXCLUSIVE, films, Movies

Startup Wants to Use Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 11:39 AM PST

Drones can be deadly. They're used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to spy and take out suspected terrorists. But drones can be good too. We've already seen that their potential extends beyond the battlefield. And other than delivering burritos, they can be used for humanitarian reasons as well, like delivering medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas.

That's the goal of a Palo Alto startup called Matternet, that wants to build a network of unmanned aerial vehicles to bring medicines and other important supplies in countries where some communities live in areas not served by usable roads.

"Imagine if we can deliver the medicine within hours or even minutes with a small autonomous…
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More About: Drones

Fandango Will Stream Live Chat With ‘Silver Linings’ Cast Today

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 11:23 AM PST

The cast of Oscar-nominated "Silver Linings Playbook" will participate Jan. 11 in a live chat streamed on Fandango at 9 p.m. ET.

More About: 85th Academy Awards, academy awards, celebrities, Entertainment, fandango, films, Live Chat, Movies, Oscars

Toshiba’s OLED Smart Watch Knows Who You Are By Your Pulse

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 11:19 AM PST

LAS VEGAS – Toshiba is showing off at CES a prototype of an OLED smart watch that knows its owner by his or her pulse.

An embedded ECG sensor in the rear of the watch lets it recognize its owner's unique pulse patterns, and will shut down the watch's smart functions if an impostor tries to put it on.

Able to connect to both iPhones and Android devices, the watch displays alerts for incoming calls, emails, and calendar events. Its display can be used for navigation, or to display the latest news and weather information.

The watch's high-resolution OLED display has sensors built-in that optimize for brightness and viewing angle, so you'll always be able to see what's o…
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More About: CES, CES 2013, OLED, smartwatch, Toshiba

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