Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “London Tube Has ‘Contactless’ Payments, Why Don’t We?”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “London Tube Has ‘Contactless’ Payments, Why Don’t We?”

London Tube Has ‘Contactless’ Payments, Why Don’t We?

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 04:16 AM PST

London's transit agency, Transportation for London, announced the rollout of contactless credit card readers on all of the city's 8,500 buses last month, allowing riders to charge their bus fare directly to their bank accounts.

Previously, Londoners had the option of paying a discounted fare with a prepaid Oyster card or handing over an extra pound and paying in cash. Now, anyone with one of Britain's 30 million contactless credit cards can avoid being one of the daily 36,000 people who "[dash] to board a bus only to discover that [their] Oyster card has run out of credit" and then have to "scrabble for change" and pay a higher fare, as London's Mayor Boris Johnson press release explaine…
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More About: contactless payments, london, public transportation

‘Business Cards’ Let Restaurants Know You Might Write a Review

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 03:05 AM PST

Have you ever left a restaurant after experiencing either fabulous or really lousy service and went online to write a review of it? Congratulations, you too can now be a restaurant reviewer.

Self-described "lifelong entrepreneur" Brad Newman says his ReviewerCard program is a great way for people to let a restaurant or business know they'll be writing a review about it. He's selling Reviewer ID cards for $100 bucks a piece to bloggers he thinks merit ReviewerCard status. He tells the LA Times he screens the applicants to make sure they only go to worthwhile applicants.

Newman says he got the idea for the card after he was treated rudely by a waiter on a trip to France. When he complain…
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More About: restaurants, reviews, travel reviews

Yahoo Acquires Social Content Curator

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 02:03 AM PST

Yahoo confirmed Tuesday that it acquired, a social tool that lets users collect and share web content.

"The team created an innovative technology that lets people share content in a social and fun way. We're excited to welcome them to Yahoo!, where they will help us build experiences that bring people with shared interests together," Mike Kerns, Yahoo's vice-president of product, said in a statement.

"Reading and sharing content is a core daily habit for most of the world, and we can't wait to work with the team to make that experience even more entertaining for our users." will join Yahoo's "media group," company spokesperson Sara Bettencourt Gorman…
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More About: Snip.It, Yahoo

The Pirate Bay Documentary Will Debut Online For Free

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 01:32 AM PST

TPB AFK, the documentary about torrent-indexing service The Pirate Bay, will premiere Feb. 8 at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.

The film will also debut online that same day, for free, director Simon Klose announced Tuesday. It will be shared under a Creative Commons license, marking the first time a movie would screen online at the same time as its Berlinale premiere.

TPB AFK, which was partially funded through Kickstarter, tells the story of The Pirate Bay's founders, who were found guilty in 2009 of promoting piracy in Sweden. They were sentenced to serve one year in prison, and pay a fine of 30 million Swedish krona ($3.5 million).

"I don't want to tell to…
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More About: Berlin film festival, documentary, the pirate bay, TPB

500px Removal Highlights App Store Inequalities

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 12:59 AM PST

Mashable OP-ED

The removal of 500px from Apple's App Store raises questions over review equity, fairness and API functionality.

When Evgeny Tchebotarev started the day, he wasn't expecting to end up spending so much time fielding calls from the media. Tchebotarev is the COO and co-founder of 500px, a popular photo site and community for professional and amateur photographers.

Yet that's exactly what happened after Apple removed the 500px app from the App Store. After more than 16 months in the App Store and over 1 million downloads, a routine app update had unintended consequences.

On Monday night, Tchebotarev tells Mashable that he received a call from Apple. There was a problem…
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More About: 500px, app store, apple, iOS apps

World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive Now Online

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 12:32 AM PST

The "largest and oldest" collection of natural sounds in the world is now digital and available online, Cornell University announced.

The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology houses a scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings. Previously in analog format, the recordings -- which go back to 1929 -- are now completely digitized, and can be heard at

"In terms of speed and the breadth of material now accessible to anyone in the world, this is really revolutionary," Greg Budney, Macaulay's audio curator, said in a statement.

It took archivists 12 years to finish digitizing the collection, which has nearly 150,000 audio recordings…
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More About: Cornell, Cornell University, ornithology

Amiigo Is a Smart Wearable Sensor That Knows What Activity You’re Doing

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 11:56 PM PST

Wearable sensors or fitness-tracking bracelets, such as the Nike+ FuelBand or Fitbit Flex, are starting to go mainstream. But now, there's a new competitor in town -- the Amiigo.

The team of entrepreneurs behind this new wristband claims their product is better than the others because it can automatically tell what kind of exercise you're performing. Amiigo will also be able to differentiate more than 100 exercises, track your movements and collect a number of physiological metrics like heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

"Amiigo provides a more personalized fitness tracking experience because we can detect exactly what you are doing and how your body is responding," the group states…
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More About: activity tracker, exercise, health and fitness

Print Your Own 3D-Printed Robot

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 11:34 PM PST

We've all dreamed about having a robot friend, right? At least, that's the case here at Mashable. But there are other people out there who share our dream and are actually working to make it reality. Take Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and model marker who has been 3D-printing his own mechanic companion since early 2012.

Langevin started his project, called InMoov, by designing and printing the robot's arm and hand, but he has since built another arm and is on his way of completing the torso and the head, too. The robot can also understand voice commands and respond to them.

Judging from the pictures and videos available on his website, the robot looks impressive.

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More About: 3d printing, Robot, robotics

How Facebook Graph Search Can Descend Into Creepiness

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 11:01 PM PST

Facebook's Graph Search, which the social-network giant rolled out last week, is an undeniably cool new feature.

The internal search system sorts through user data to unearth information shared by your friends, as well as what's publicly available on Facebook. So you can look up, say, "Which of my college friends like Metallica?" and other very detailed questions.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things We Learned From Facebook's Graph Search

But one humorous video demonstrates how Graph Search can quickly degenerate into something creepy. In it, Slacktory editor Nick Douglas "uses" the system, and suggests a series of increasingly weird (and funny) search terms.

Among them:

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More About: Facebook, Graph Search

NASA’s Alien Planet Archive Now Open to the World

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 10:32 PM PST

Scientists with NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft have revamped the mission's online archive of alien worlds, opening up the database for the entire world to see.

More About: alien planets, NASA, space

How Social Media Could Land You Your Next Job

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 09:55 PM PST

This infographic explores the growing role social media plays when recruiters look for new talent. Check it out for some handy tips!

More About: infographics, Social Media

How Technology Has Revolutionized Tennis

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 09:29 PM PST

From rackets, to ball-tracking, to social media, this infographic details the massive role technology has played in changing the sport of tennis.

More About: Sports

The Second Space Race: It’s On

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 08:59 PM PST

Mashable OP-ED

Fans of Joss Whedon's cult TV sci-fi hit Firefly will be glad to know the show lives on -- as the name for a new kind of one-way exploratory vehicle launching in 2015.

That's if the newest space startup, Deep Space Industries, gets the commercial sponsorship it is seeking. A scrappy collection of NASA veterans, entrepreneurs, aerospace and mining consultants, with as-yet unknown sources of funding, DSI seems to embody much of the spirit of Firefly.

Like the motley crew of the good ship Serenity, this asteroid mining company is talking a bigger game than it currently has. It's running an angle on the best intersteller plunder available, while trying not be outfoxed b…
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More About: asteroid mining, space

Film Engages Millennials in Choice Dialogue on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 08:30 PM PST

On the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic decision about a women's right to chose, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws is kicking off a social-focused campaign targeting millennials. NARAL released the short film 40 on Tuesday to launch its new Choice Out Loud campaign.

"40 is the beginning of a dialogue with a younger generation," Jeff Martin, 40's creative director told Mashable. "We're going to have millennials be the core of the voting population in the next 15 years, and the dialogue about women's reproductive rights is a different dialogue than it's been in the past."

40 is a stop-motion portrait of choice, incorporating the work of 40 phot…
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More About: abortion, reproductive rights, Social Good

New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men Team Up for ‘Package Tour’

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 08:04 PM PST

Move over, One Direction -- the big boys are coming back. New Kids on The Block announced their new summer tour on The View Tuesday, joining boy-band forces with 98 Degrees and best-selling R&B group, Boyz II Men.

NKOTB is also set to release a new album called 10 in April. Their first single, "Remix (I Like The)," hits iTunes on Jan. 28.

"The Package Tour," which will include more than two dozen shows throughout the U.S., kicks off on May 31. It'll be the first tour for 98 Degrees in more than 12 years.

"Ladies, we're coming for you," NKOTB member Donnie Wahlberg said in a press release. "We can't wait to give fans 'The Package!'"

Eighties babies, hold onto your Lis…
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More About: boy band, brightcove, Music, new kids on the block, Tour, Video

10 Dogs That Are Better at Winter Than You

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 07:27 PM PST

Winter is the worst. The nippy temperatures, leg-breaking ice patches and booger icicles -- no matter how many layers of fleece you pile on, you can't escape Jack Frost's favorite season.

As humans grumble and shiver through January and February, our best furry friends delight in winter's chilly offerings. Be it snow or ice, dogs find a way to have fun and make winter look easy.

Image via YouTube

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr, omgtooreal

Image via Imgur

Image via Reddit

Image via YouTube

Image via Gifbin

Image via Tumblr, drag0ness

Image via theboredninja

BONUS: Woof! These 15 Slush Puppies Are Crazy About Snow
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More About: cute animals, dogs, GIFs, Watercooler, winter

Is This Kate Upton’s Mercedes Super Bowl Ad?

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 07:02 PM PST

An ad for the new Mercedes-Benz CLA hit YouTube on Monday, starring the buxom model Kate Upton.

More About: Advertising, Sports, Super Bowl

President Obama Brings ‘Sexy Back’

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 06:32 PM PST

Barack Obama makes bringing sexy back an issue worthy of national attention. Now we know what Michelle sees -- clearly his ability to drop a beat better than ol' Justin Timberlake.

And VP Biden? If his plans for 2016 get bulldozed by Hillary, he can fall back on a career as a hype man. What fool says politicians don't have rhythm?

SEE ALSO: The Many Faces of Barack Obama

Take us to the chorus, Mr. President.

BONUS: Obama singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"

Image via YouTube, baracksdubs.

More About: barack obama, cover songs, president obama, viral videos

How Much Flu-Related Advice Should You Take From the Internet?

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 05:58 PM PST

The flu is particularly nasty this year. Flu season is typically the worst at the beginning of the year, but can start as early as October and last as long as May. And this year's virus is especially bad.

On social media, 626,379 people reported having the flu in the last six weeks -- a 2,336% increase from the previous month. With the recent outbreaks of both colds and flu, whether you're sick, or trying to avoid getting sick, we're guessing you've turned to Google to search for information. But how much cold and flu information can you trust from a web search?

Dr. Charles Chiu, M.D., Ph.D., an infectious diseases physician at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center,…
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More About: doctors, health, influenza, medicine, online, telehealth

Disfigured Portraits Reveal ‘The Ugly Truth’

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 05:33 PM PST

Posing for a photograph means risking your reputation with every "say cheese." Taking a bad photo tells your Facebook friends that maybe you don't always look as perfect as your profile pic.

Photographer Rut Mackel can provide a bit of solace for all you worried photo subjects with his deliciously disfigured photo series, "The Ugly Truth." Mackel has his subjects squish their faces against panes of glass to create contorted portraits that look like the cousins of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

SEE ALSO: Sip on Whimsical Illustrations of Important People Drinking Coffee

On his website, Mackel explains his motivation behind the series:

The project explores the ugliness and the beaut…
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More About: art, photography, Watercooler

SimCityEDU Teaches Students STEM Subjects in a Virtual Environment

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 05:13 PM PST

In the near future when you ask your kids what they did at school, they might answer that they played video games.

It was recently announced that a new game inspired by the SimCity virtual reality game is coming to the classroom. Teachers will be able to upload educational content to the game that requires players to build virtual cities.

Launching this March, SimCityEDU was developed by a partnership between game-maker Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and GlassLab, a research and development initiative aiming to transform learning practices through digital games. Educators can utilize SimCityEDU in the classroom to teach students STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) cu…
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More About: education, learning, schools, simcity, students

How Facebook Can Make You Envious

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 04:33 PM PST

Remember back when a scientific study showed that writing more Facebook updates makes you feel less lonely, more at one with the world, even if nobody reads them?

Ah, but that was way back on January 7. This Tuesday, in the ongoing science of social networking, a research team unveiled evidence of "Facebook envy."

"We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry," researcher Hanna Krasnova at Berlin's Humboldt University told Reuters.

What Krasnova's team did, in a couple of separate trials, was to record emotional responses to posts in 600 representative Facebook users. No prizes for guessin…
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More About: Facebook, Science

How to Get The Turtle iPod Case Sasha Obama Uses

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 04:30 PM PST

Want to dress up your electronics like a young Obama?

During Monday's Presidential inauguration, Sasha Obama was repeatedly spotted taking pictures with what looked to be an iPhone in a green turtle case. The case, which is made by Griffin, can be yours for just $14.99 on the company's website. The company also sells an owl and a hippo version.

The case is only made for the iPod touch -- so while it may have appeared the tween was sporting a smartphone, it looks like that's a privilege still only held by her older sister Malia.

If you want the case for iPhone, however, there are a few companies on Amazon selling similar cases for under $5.

Michelle Obama recently talked ab…
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More About: iphone, obama

Knicks Star Blasts Kris Humphries With Kanye Kardashian Tweet

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 04:10 PM PST

After his Brooklyn Nets eked out a road win against the New York Knicks on Monday night, infamous Kim Kardashian ex and paragon of NBA mediocrity Kris Humphries took to Twitter do a little gloating about how Madison Square Garden "got really quiet on the way out!"

But J.R. Smith, the Knicks' second-leading scorer, wasn't going stand idly by and let Humphries talk that kind of smack. So he RT'd Humphries' tweet while adding a pretty epic little dig referencing Kim's current paramour and soon-to-be-baby-daddy Kanye West:

Wasnt quiet when Kanye tore it down last month! RT @krishumphries: Big game tonight!The Garden got really quiet on the way out!#Brooklyn— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith…
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More About: NBA, Sports

This Cooking App Will Be Your Best Friend in the Kitchen

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 03:34 PM PST

There's no shortage of food and drink apps, but few rarely pack as many features as BigOven, well-beloved among online foodies for its practicality and ease.

More About: cooking, food, food apps, foodie

PBS’ NOVA to Premiere Documentary on ‘Rise of the Drones’

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 03:09 PM PST

The robotic planes more commonly referred to as drones have gone from a secret, rarely covered military and CIA program to a regular fixture on the national media as well as technology websites.

As one of the leaders behind the U.S. drone program, White House adviser John Brennan, gets ready to face confirmation hearings to head the CIA, drones have never been more in the spotlight. Popular science show NOVA hopes to shed more light on these flying bots with a documentary titled "Rise of the Drones."

The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as w…
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More About: documentary, Drones, pbs

Everything You Need to Know About Kim Dotcom’s Mega

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 02:40 PM PST

Meet Mega

Mega is the new cloud-based storage service from Kim Dotcom. Born from the ashes of Megaupload, the service purports to be a secure way to trade files, regardless of type.

Click here to view this gallery.

Mega -- the long-anticipated file sharing and cloud storage site from Kim Dotcom -- is now open to the public.

Thanks to its association with the now-defunct Megaupload -- and the legal issues facing its founder Kim Dotcom -- the amount of press, user interest and hype surrounding Mega is greater than any file hosting/cloud storage launch in recent memory.

SEE ALSO: An Appointment With Kim Dotcom

According to Dotcom, more than 1 million users signed up for Mega in the first 24 hours. On Twitter, the larger-than-life entrepreneur has continued to share usage stats and traffic graphs that compare Mega with perennial cloud favorite, Dropbox.

If you're curious about the inner working…
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More About: cloud storage, features, Mega, megaupload

Inauguration Interview Fail Will Leave You With No Hope

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 01:53 PM PST

Did you see that Beyonce concert on TV yesterday afternoon? Her opening act was some guy named Barack Obama.

If you shook your head at any time while reading the last two sentences, then stretch your neck before pushing play on the video above. You might just shake your head right into a neck brace.

SEE ALSO: 'So Help Me Internet': Funniest Inauguration GIFs and Pics

Chicago station WGN conducted a facepalm-worthy interview with enthusiastic Obama supporter, Melanie. The flag-wielding inauguration attendee shared her wise observations from the festivities -- just don't ask her about what Obama actually spoke about.

BONUS: 12 Weirdest Things That Look Like U.S. Presidents
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More About: inauguration, viral video, Watercooler

Google Has Its First $50 Billion Year

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 01:47 PM PST

It looks like 2012 was a pretty good year for Google.

The company hit $50 billion in annual revenue last year for the first time ever thanks in part to the strength of its fourth quarter earnings. Google generated $14.42 billion in the December quarter, an increase of 26% from the same quarter in 2011, and beating Wall Street's estimates of $12.36 billion in revenue for the quarter.

By comparison, Google generated just under $38 billion in revenues in 2011.

"We ended 2012 with a strong quarter," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year – not a bad achievement…
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More About: Google, stocks

Bill Gates Is Now Doing ‘God’s Work’

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 01:38 PM PST

Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, is known to be decidedly non-religious. In an interview this weekend, he broke from his usual tune with an uncharacteristic mention of God.

In an interview with UK newspaper The Telegraph, Gates addressed the consequences of his foundation's work in Pakistan. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working for the past few years to eradicate polio, which only remains in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Pakistan, some health workers have paid with their lives for distributing the vaccine, because Islamist groups have spread a belief that the vaccine is a Western evil.

"It's not going to stop us succeeding," Gates says. "It…
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More About: bill and melinda gates foundation, bill gates, Social Good

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