Thursday, 17 January 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Sleep Gadget Simulates Sunrise and Sunset to Help You Rest Better”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Sleep Gadget Simulates Sunrise and Sunset to Help You Rest Better”

Sleep Gadget Simulates Sunrise and Sunset to Help You Rest Better

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 02:41 AM PST

Waking up to the insistent beep of an alarm clock can quickly lead to the throbbing pain of a headache. One gadget aims to make mornings easier by simulating sunrise for a more natural wake-up call.

The Rise and Shine Serenity Sleep System replicates the rising sun so users can wake calmly, rather than being jolted awake by alarms, according to creator Verilux. It also works the other way around, gradually dimming light to help users fall asleep naturally.

"[Rise and Shine] aligns the body's circadian rhythms that regulate normal sleeping and waking patterns," the company said on its website.

The gadget also includes a color-changing light that acts to calm users, Verilux added.…
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More About: Serenity Sleep System

U.S. Employee Outsourced His Job to China, Watched Cat Videos Instead

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 01:58 AM PST

Nowadays, sneaking in a personal call or quick browse through Facebook during work is typical on-the-job behavior. But what if you abandoned work completely and outsourced your job to, say, China?

That's precisely what one U.S. developer got away with last year, paying a Chinese consulting firm 20% of his six-figure salary to do his job. Referred to as "Bob" in a case study outlined by Verizon's security team, the employee worked for a U.S.-based critical-infrastructure company, and was versed in C++, Java, Python, Ruby, as well as other programming languages.

Despite his skills, however, Bob didn't do any work. Here's how a typical day went for him:

9:00 a.m. - Arrive and surf Re
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More About: china, verizon

Apple Lets Online Buyers in China Pay in Two-Year Installments

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 12:56 AM PST

Apple started offering installment payment plans in its China web shop, letting buyers pay for iPhones, iPads and Macbooks over the course of 2 years, Bloomberg reported.

The deal is valid for owners of China Merchants Bank credit cards and for purchases ranging from 300 yuan ($48) to 30,000 yuan ($4,800). Buyers can split payments into three, six, 12, 18 or 24 installments, with additional fees being applied for the last two options.

With this move, Apple hopes to tap into the mid-range consumer market in China, where an iPhone -- which costs 5,288 yuan ($850) -- is still out of the price range of the average customer. An urban worker in China has an average monthly pay of about 3,5…
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More About: apple, china, iphone

Waldo Who? Instagram Dog Makes it All About Finding Momo

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 11:57 PM PST

Instagram users have their noses pressed up to their smartphone screens trying to spot the app's most elusive dog. Momo the border collie and his talent for blending in to scenery has made #FindMomo the real-life version of Where's Waldo?

Ontario-based graphic designer and Momo's best human friend, Andrew Knapp, discovered the dog's knack for hiding in plain sight while playing fetch. "Momo does it himself," Knapp told Mashable. "He runs off when I'm about to throw a stick, and waits until I throw it, usually camouflaged in the forest."

SEE ALSO: Woof! These 15 Slush Puppies Are Crazy About Snow

Knapp's keen eye for landscapes also helped him create photographs people actually want…
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More About: cute animals, dogs, Watercooler

Bird Singing Dubstep Is Feathered Skrillex

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 11:00 PM PST

Move over, Skrillex. One bird is giving the dubstep king some competition with his fat, feathery beats.

In a 45-second YouTube video, Harvey the cockatiel tweets out heavy bass and energetic whirrs that wouldn't sound out of place in a club. In our humble opinion, the yellow-and-grey bird demonstrates such musical prowess that he could be an honorary nightingale.

Since going online earlier this week, the video has attracted more than 5.4 million views.

What do you think of Harvey's skills? Are you aware of other musically inclined animals? Tell us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Jen's Art & Soul

More About: dubstep, skrillex

Pokki’s Start Button for Windows 8 Gets Even Better

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 10:00 PM PST

When Windows 8 launched last year, Pokki came out with an app that brought the familiar Start menu back to the operating system.

Now that Windows 8 has been out for a while, Pokki is updating the Pokki Start menu for Windows 8, updating the user interface and adding a number of customization features for users to make it their own.

Pokki�s original app brought the traditional Start menu back to Windows 8, with an added twist.

�We didn�t just bring back the old one, � Chester Ng, co-founder and CMO of SweetLabs, told Mashable during a demo of the original app. �We agree with Microsoft that that one is outdated, and has a bunch of things that people don�t use. So we decided to take a…
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More About: Pokki, Windows 8

‘Temple Run 2′ Swings Onto App Store

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

The sequel to the explosively popular Temple Run is out Thursday morning for iPhone and iPad.

Temple Run took players on a jungle adventure as they attempted to escape from a horde of demonic monkeys with a stolen idol from a ancient temple. Players had to jump, dodge and duck under obstacles with swipes on the touch screen as they ran for their lives. The endless runner was downloaded more than 170 million times from Apple's App Store and Google Play since its 2011 release; 2.5 million of those downloads were on Christmas Day of 2012 as people unwrapped new mobile devices to game on.

Imangi Studios sprung Temple Run 2 on fans with little announcement or fanfare prior to its launch…
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More About: Gaming, iOS games, Temple Run, temple run 2, video games

Russian Railways Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 08:02 PM PST

Apple has been slammed with another suit, this time by Russian Railways, which claims the hardware giant has infringed on its trademark.

The Russian company is seeking $65,000 compensation for use of its logo in a third party app, "Railway Tariff," sold in the App Store, RT reports. Railway Tariff lets users track cargo-delivery costs and times across the country.

A release from Russian Railways, translated by Google from Russian, states:

Clarification of the lawsuit JSC "Russian Railways" company to Apple Inc.
JSC "Russian Railways" to the Arbitration Court of Moscow with a claim concerning infringement of the exclusive right to the trademark under the certificate No. 341333 by Ap…
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More About: apple, russia, trademark

This App Turns Your Phone Into a Virtual Urgent Care Center

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 06:57 PM PST

It's flu season and chances are you know someone who's coughing and sneezing their way through it right now. For many people, especially those who are away from their regular doctor for whatever reason, diagnosing symptoms can become a scary thing.

We know many people self diagnose using the Internet. A recent Pew research report found eight in 10 online health inquiries start at a search engine. But what if you need more info or want to have a medical consult?

GreatCall, makers of the Jitterbug phone, has introduced the Urgent Care app. It lets you search symptoms, peruse a medical dictionary and basically be your own doctor. Unless, of course, you feel you need one.

In that…
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More About: apps, health, medical

AT&T Allows More FaceTime — Except for Unlimited Customers

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 05:51 PM PST

AT&T is allowing more iOS users to place FaceTime calls over its network for no additional charge.

Previously only available for customers with Mobile Share plans and those using an LTE device on a tiered plan, now AT&T customers with non-LTE tiered plans can also make FaceTime calls over AT&T�s network for no additional charge.

AT&T customers on unlimited data plans are still unable to make FaceTime calls over the network.

FaceTime over cellular originally launched on AT&T in September 2012. AT&T�s Mark Collins says that the company wanted to roll the service out gradually, in order to have �minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers.�

Last September seve…
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More About: apple, att, facetime

Could Online Education Be the End of the Typical College Experience?

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 05:22 PM PST

No one ever recalls their online education experience with as much fondness as those remembering their college dorm years.

San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif., is piloting a new program to offer remedial classes online. The university is partnering with Silicon Valley start-up Udacity, an online education platform. At first, the program will let in around 300 students and offer only three courses, but there's a possibility this online education for first-year classes could expand to all California state schools if it's a success. The California State University system is the largest university system in the U.S., so the college experience for future students could potentially b…
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More About: college, education, online education, parenting, students, university

Create a Fake Girlfriend on Facebook for Just $39.99

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 05:14 PM PST

Valentine's Day is approaching and it's just not the time of year that you want to be alone.

And, sure, you could bring back that made-up gal-pal you bragged about around space camp back in the day, but technology has really screwed with your ability to fib. A quick Google search can reveal the truth.

So let technology fix the problem that it created; sign up for For $39.99, all (or at least a few) of your dating woes will be solved. The Brazil-based site can generate a fake Facebook profile for your "girlfriend," complete with comments and relationship statuses from the past 30 days.

It's almost foolproof. (Until, perhaps, someone asks to see a picture of the two…
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More About: Facebook, online dating

Top Apps for College Students Studying Abroad

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 04:38 PM PST

As spring semester begins at colleges across the country, students are boarding planes for study abroad programs.

Spring is the most popular semester for study abroad, according to And the number of students in study abroad programs has never been higher. And while having a few semesters of language classes under your belt is a great start, living in a new country can take some adjusting. From getting around to figuring out expenses in local currency to contacting family and friends at home, there are more than a few scenarios that'll be new to you and possibly require some assistance from your smartphone.

SEE ALSO: 5 College Classes You'll Wish You Could Take

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More About: apps, college, student, students, study abroad, university

See the Coolest Feature of the 2014 Corvette Stingray

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 04:04 PM PST

The 2014 Corvette brings many new features to the design of the iconic sports car: muscular lines, carbon-fiber parts and redesigned tail lights to name a few. But the most head-turning feature may be the dashboard's retracting LCD screen.

At the touch of a button, the screen in the middle of the dash lowers, revealing a "secret" alcove where the driver or passenger can stash a cellphone, camera or anything about the size of a baseball or smaller. There's even a USB port for charging and syncing your phone while it's safely ensconced in the cubby.

Besides being übercool, the hidden space has a clandestine aspect -- hard for anyone to steal objects within if they don't even know it…
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More About: 2014 Corvette, car tech, dashboard

Notre Dame Star Te’o's Dead Girlfriend Was Social Media Hoax

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 03:29 PM PST

A touching story that that captivated the sports world last fall was an elaborate social media-fueled hoax involving Notre Dame star Manti Te'o.

More About: college sports, Sports

KUBI Tablet Stand Makes Video Calls Less Awkward

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 03:22 PM PST

Telepresence allows people to connect and communicate with others around the world. If you're using a tablet, you know the difficulties of maneuvering and angling to squeeze everyone in on the conference call or show off your new pup to Mom.

Revolve Robotics, a San Francisco-based start-up company, created a robot to take away all that awkwardness. KUBI is a motorized tablet stand designed to pivot and rotate for added hands-free convenience.

KUBI, which means "neck" in Japanese, has a 300 degree pan and 90 degree tilt to allow users to look around the room. Creators Marcus Rosenthal and Ilya Polyakov wanted to create a "natural experience that actually gets the KUBI out of the way…
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More About: stands, tablets, telepresence, video calls, video chat, video conferencing

250,000 Social Media Users in U.S. Said They Got the Flu

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 03:17 PM PST

If you came down with the flu in the last six weeks -- and mentioned the fact on Twitter or Facebook -- you're not alone.

Since the beginning of December, there have been 626,379 mentions of flu on those two services, according to sentiment analysis firm Crimson Hexagon. That's a 2,336% increase on the previous month, with flu mentions spiking in early January.

Of those, fully 40% of the posts included the phrase "I have the flu." That represents more than 250,000 Twitter or Facebook users with the dreaded winter bug.

Another 10% of users reported their friends or family had the flu. That kind of post peaked more recently, on Jan. 13.

The good news: Overall mentions of flu…
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Hottest Buzzwords of 2013 Get Illustrated on This Tumblr

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 03:03 PM PST

Collaborative Consumption

"Collaborative consumption is a business model in which goods or services are shared, swapped, or rented over networks. Websites like Airbnb, a platform for short term home rentals, and OurGoods, a bartering network for the creative community, have changed the way that we look at the traditional e-commerce model.?

Click here to view this gallery.

Quick quiz: Are you familiar with the term "SoLoMo"? How about "the Internet of things"? Collaborative consumption?

If at this point you're asking WTF, then check out Behind the Buzzwords, a Tumblr with illustrations of some of 2013's hottest terminology. In addition to the charming illos, there are some cogent explanations from people in these industries. CreativeFeed, the marketing firm behind Behind the Buzzwords launched the project "in order to explore the direction of enterprise, tech and marketing" says Sona Rai, a rep for the agency. For the full list of buzzwords, click here.

What do you think? Do these images help you process what Big Data means? Let us know in the comments.…
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More About: buzzwords, Marketing

‘Largest Structure in Universe’ Discovered by Scientists

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:57 PM PST

Scientists have discovered a quasar group, or LQG, measuring 4 billion light-years wide -- the 'largest structure in the universe.'

More About: discovery, Newsy, report, space, videos

This Is CES 2013 in 50 Seconds

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:49 PM PST

The trade show was big, loud, crazy, fun, star-studded and, surprisingly, can all be squished down into just under one minute.

More About: CES, CES 2013

Twitter Opening Office in Brazil to Compete With Facebook and Google

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:42 PM PST

Brazil is social media-obsessed: It's home to more than 65 million Facebook users, more than 40 million Twitter users and 29 million users on Orkut, a Google-owned service that predates Google Plus.

Facebook and Google have already planted their flag by setting up offices in the country -- and now Twitter is joining the fray by opening an office in Sao Paulo, the country's largest city, according to Reuters.

"We believe our new office in Brazil will allow us to get closer to the users and show the value of our platform," Twitter's country manager for Brazil, Guilherme Ribenboim, told Reuters. "Brazil has rather mature Internet and advertisement markets. Our audience is very big and ac…
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More About: Brazil, Twitter, World

Samuel L. Jackson Covers a Taylor Swift Song

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:30 PM PST

Ever wonder what it would be like to be broken up with by Samuel L. Jackson?

It would hurt, but it would sound great, as witnessed by Jackson's on-air cover of Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

Jackson has more edge than Swift (who doesn't?), but his voice is just so damn intoxicating -- It's like hot fudge telling you to get lost.

SEE ALSO: Samuel L. Jackson Might Have Dropped the F-Bomb on SNL

And Sammy's not afraid to cuss you out either. He really wants you to leave him alone.

T-Swift, might we recommend a collaboration for your next single? Or maybe just date Jackson; We'd love to hear that break-up song.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, Mike D
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More About: cover songs, samuel l jackson, taylor swift

Can a Parental Notification App End Distracted Teen Driving?

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:27 PM PST

Texting and driving is a serious problem among teenagers in the United States. In fact, according to a study, one in four teens respond to texts at their wheels, and 30 percent read messages while on the road. A new app hopes to change that by giving parents a tool to track their children while they are in their cars.

The app is called Canary and allows parents to track a teenager's phone, letting them see when they make calls, text or even leave a certain area in real time. It also notifies when the app is disabled.

"Parents get immediate alerts via the app installed on their own phones and by email, with complete details of their teens� activities," states the app description. Basic…
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More About: apps, Children, parenting, texting and driving

Call Friends for Free With Facebook’s Messenger App

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:16 PM PST

Now you can call your Facebook friends for free -- if you�re an iPhone user, that is. The company has rolled out a new feature in the U.S. that allows Facebook Messenger app users to place voice calls with friends over the social network using their data connection or Wi-Fi.

The feature started rolling out in the United States Wednesday, and comes as a simple �free calling� button in the existing app. Users don�t have to update the existing Messenger app in order to take advantage of the feature.

Free calls are placed by tapping the "i" icon on the top right side of chat, and then selecting "Free Call" from your friend's contact card. Your friends will need to have Facebook's stand…
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More About: Facebook, Facebook Messenger

Afghan Students Sneak Prank Names Into Apple Maps

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:10 PM PST

We've all seen that Apple Maps is a far cry from perfect, but the Wall Street Journal's Kabul bureau chief may have just discovered some of its most amusing glitches while browsing on his iPad.

Yaroslav Trofimov discovered a street named "Bad Monkey" and another named "MoJo Way." After discovering these unlikely streets on Apple Maps, he shared his findings to Twitter, UN Dispatch reports.

So is one of #Kabul 's main streets really called Bad Monkey, as the new Apple Maps on my iPad claim?#TooGoodToBeTrue�— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) January 13, 2013

The street behind the #Kabul Serena, meanwhile, has been appropriately renamed MoJo Way by #Apple
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More About: afghanistan, apple maps, OpenStreetMap

New York City Parking Signs Take a Cue From Twitter

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 02:08 PM PST

Parallel parking is no easy feat, let alone doing it in New York City. Anyone who's tried to park in Manhattan can attest to the impossibly narrow lanes and no-nonsense pedestrians.

Design firm Pentagram is trying to make the ordeal a little less stressful by creating clearer parking signs. Taking a cue from Twitter, the 6,300 new signs give drivers information in no more than 140 characters.

Since every second counts in a New York minute, the makeover is intended to clarify on-street parking regulations by making signs easier to understand. The change reduces information on the signs by nearly 50% with messages no longer than a tweet.

SEE ALSO: Listen to Coldplay if You Want to
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More About: design, driving, parking, redesign, tweet, Twitter

Let’s! Get! Weird! ‘Workaholics’ Before They Were Stars

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 01:54 PM PST

1. "Wizards Never Die"

Click here to view this gallery.

These throwback videos show what the cast of Comedy Central's Workaholics was up to on YouTube before they made it big.

More About: TV

21 Amazingly Nerdy Nail Art Designs

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 01:50 PM PST

1. Robot

Photo courtesy of Flickr, borispumps

Click here to view this gallery.

Nail art has been around for centuries, but the trend has gained widespread popularity over the past couple years.

However, today's manis are far from the prim and proper French classic. Reddit users of the nail art community RedditLacqueristas, among other web users, have turned stereotypical genres of nerd into elegant works of art. Whether you like video games, computers, robots, pirates or memes, there is a cool and elegant design found on someone's finger tips.

This is Revenge of the Nerds, nail art style.

SEE ALSO: YouTube Beauty: Top 10 Channels to Follow

Most of these manicures are done at home. Do you have what it takes? Share your nerdy nail art in the comments below.…
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More About: beauty, pics, Watercooler

Obama Calls Out Video Games in Gun Violence Address

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 01:40 PM PST

President Barack Obama suggested more research needed to be done on the affect of video games and other "violent media" on children during his Wednesday morning address detailing his plan for lowering gun violence in the United States.

"Congress will fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds," he said. "We don�t benefit from ignorance. We don�t benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence."

Obama's 23-part plan gave more details on how this research might be conducted: The Centers of Disease Control and other scientific organizations would receive funding to conduct investigations into "the causes of gun violence." Funding for thes…
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More About: barack obama, gun control, Politics, sandy hook, video games

Still Wondering What Adaptive Design is? This Website Will Help

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 01:32 PM PST


"Liquid (also called "Fluid") is characterized by scaling the width of parts of the design relative to the window. It tends to fail when the window is much smaller or much larger than it was originally designed for."

Click here to view this gallery.

Adaptive design. It's one of the big buzzwords in digital media right now, but what does it mean?

Nick Davison, director of web development for ad firm Digitaria, has come up with the quickest explanation we've ever seen, not only for adaptive design, but for static, liquid and responsive designs as well. Best of all, it's almost completely visual.

Still confused? Then check out Mashable CTO Robyn Peterson's explanation here.

Images courtesy of Nick Davison; thumbnail image via iStockphoto, marekuliasz

More About: adaptive design, design

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