Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 28 News Updates - including “Al Gore Defends Against Critics of His Al Jazeera Deal at SXSW”

Mashable: Latest 28 News Updates - including “Al Gore Defends Against Critics of His Al Jazeera Deal at SXSW”

Al Gore Defends Against Critics of His Al Jazeera Deal at SXSW

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 09:27 PM PST


Former U.S. vice-president and environmental activist Al Gore has faced harsh criticism recently for selling Current TV to Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based news network funded largely by oil money

After defending his choice in a interview on the Today Show, Gore spoke up again Saturday at a South by Southwest panel in Austin. Watch his full answer in the video, above

"I knew when I made that principle obligation was to do business in a way that makes the world a better place," Gore told NowThis News.

"You have heard me be very critical of American television journalism. I think that the addition of a very high-quality, 24-7 honest-to-goodness news channel that covers international news as well as national — that covers climate, that covers poverty, that cover issues that are ignored today — has the potential to be disruptive in a creative and positive way, and raise the game for television journalism here in the United State of America."

Meet Charlie, the Service that Helps You Rock Your Next Meeting

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 08:31 PM PST


AUSTIN — If you attend a lot of meetings, you often might not know much about your fellow participants. Enter Charlie, a new service designed to help you better prep for meetings, and know more about with whom you’re chatting on your next conference call.

A 2013 SXSW Accelerator finalist, the app pulls in information about people in your meeting as well as details about what you and that person have in common. Currently in development and being tested, the Chicago-based company plans to make Charlie available publicly in Q2, 2013.

We caught up with Aaron Frazin, co-founder and CEO of Charlie to learn more.

Hands on With Leap Motion's Controller

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 08:04 PM PST


AUSTIN — The future of desktop computing is here. Leap Motion's powerful controller, which lets you control 8 cubic feet of virtual space in front of your computer, is, as promised, impressive. I took it for a test drive at South by Southwest 2013 and can tell you, it feels like the real deal

I've seen photos and videos of the device before, but didn't realize how small it was until I tried it out for myself. The controller fit in the palm of my hand, and is light and elegantly designed — much like, well, an Apple product. In fact, with its wraparound aluminum body, and black top and rubber base, it'd be easy to mistake the device for one made in Cupertino

Manage Your Entire Home From a Phone Using This App

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 07:14 PM PST


A new app aims to reassure absent homeowners by letting them manage and monitor household items, straight from their phone or tablet

Prizm is a 5-inch touchscreen controller that uses Z-Wave, a wireless system designed to help users communicate with home appliances. Combined with the Prizm Manager mobile app, they can turn light switches on and off, lock and unlock doors, raise and lower shades, and adjust the thermostat. Users are also notified when a door or window is opened, or when someone leaves or enters the house

The product's creators say they have developed a cloud platform that makes it possible for users to "stay connected to your home from anywhere in the world."

What Happens to Social Media After a Twitter Revolution?

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 06:39 PM PST


Two years after the Arab Spring, questions still remain as to how much social media actually helped fuel and drive the uprisings that arose in Tunisia and swept across the region. But regardless of what happened during those Twitter-fueled revolutions, what's happened afterward?

That's what social media analytics firm Crimson Hexagon and Sanitas International wanted to find out when it decided to analyze tweets coming out of Egypt, Libya and even Syria, where there still is a war going on. The results of its 3-month study, which will be discussed in a panel at SXSW on Sunday, underscore the changes these countries are undergoing

McDonald's Taps Startup Yappem to Spread Buzz About the Big Mac

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 05:45 PM PST


AUSTIN — Startup Yappem has landed one of the world's biggest advertisers — McDonald's — for a campaign that aims to generate buzz for the Big Mac

Yappem employees handed out "Be Our Guest" cards that granted holders a free Big Mac at South by Southwest on Saturday. The recipients were encouraged to log onto Yappem — a social network that rewards users for discussing brands — and post about their experiences using the hashtag, #BigMac. Those who did so got Yappem coins, which can be redeemed for gift cards at Although the campaign began in Austin, consumers across the country are welcome to participate.

Taxi App's 'Closed Door Policy' Helps Female Passengers Feel Safe

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 05:05 PM PST


To help its female passengers feel a little safer during late-night cab rides home, one taxi app has launched a "Closed Door Policy," just in time for International Women's Day

GetTaxi, a free app that lets users order a taxi directly from a smartphone, now requires its drivers to wait until female customers safely enter their destination — and shut the door — before leaving

"We created this policy to allow our female passengers to feel even safer when taking a ride with us," GetTaxi announced on its Facebook page Friday. "No more worrying about your friends when they make their way home alone after a girls' night out!"

Careport Health Helps Patients Find Care After Leaving Hospital

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 04:17 PM PST


Just because you check out of a hospital doesn't mean you're done with care. Many patients require additional rehabilitation, treatment or housing after leaving the hospital, but struggle to make plans before being discharged. That's what Careport Health is trying to change.

Careport, which officially launched in January and is one of the SXSW Accelerator finalists in the health technologies category this year, uses a smarter online booking engine to streamline the process of finding aftercare for patients.

"Currently the process of finding care is frustrating for patients, inefficient, and dozens of phone calls and faxes between the hospital and post-hospital care providers. Critical stakeholders, including patients, caregivers, and primary care doctors, are often left out of the loop," Lissy Hu, Careport Health's co-founder and CEO, told Mashable. "Careport's care matching and bed booking engine finds the right aftercare for patients when they need it."

Self-Healing Asphalt Could Change Your Driving Experience

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 03:29 PM PST


Could pot holes go the way of the Ford Pinto?

Delft University of Technology engineering professor Erik Schlangen may have created a way to make that happen. Schlangen has invented self-healing asphalt, a material that could make roads safer and the dreaded "construction season" a thing of the past.

Porous asphalt, a popular choice in Northern Europe because of its noise reduction and water drainage capabilities, starts showing signs of wear within a few years. Schlangen claims that his self-healing asphalt has a lifespan twice that.

5 Games You Should Play This Weekend

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 02:52 PM PST


The week is already over, and if you're looking for some great games to play, Mashable has you covered.

While you're waiting for the SimCity servers to come back online, we compiled a list of great PC, mobile and console games to pique your interest.

Take a look at the list above and tell us what you think. Please share what you're playing this weekend in the comments.

Front-page image courtesy Rockstar Games

45 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 02:18 PM PST


This week has been one for the books. From the unveiling of Facebook's completely redesigned newsfeed to Paul Rand's 12-hour filibuster, it would be almost impossible to stay caught up with all of this week's news

On top of that, the South by Southwest conference in Austin got underway on Friday. If you're interested in staying current with the trending topics, you can check out the Mashable SXSW Trendspotter powered by Topsy.

For the rest of your news, we at Mashable have got you covered in the tech and social media spaces with the details on some new apps and much more. There's no need to brave that cold snap outside, so sit back, relax and get caught up.

SXSWi Day 2: WWE, Work/Life Balance and the 'Spring Breakers' Premiere

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 02:04 PM PST


AUSTIN — The second day of South by Southwest was filled with action and conversation. Some of the most talked-about speakers included John Cena, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Tim Berners-Lee

The Spring Breakers U.S. premiere at SXSW isn't until Sunday night, but the hashtag #springbreakers was already trending on the Trendspotter put together by Mashable and Topsy. The film stars James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel KorineThe panel with the actresses and director and writer Harmony Korine is on Monday at 12:30 p.m

WWE's John Cena presented on the WWE's social TV strategy and explained how important fan interaction is to the sport of wrestling. Sure enough, multiple related hashtags were trending throughout the day — including #SXSWWWE and #raw

SXSW Day 1: Top Tweets, Trends and Photos

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 01:50 PM PST


Each March, a collection of some of the most connected people on the planet converge on Austin, Tex. for South by Southwest (SXSW). Their common language is Twitter.

We'll been tracking all the action using analytics provided by Topsy. After one day, @American Airlines, #VegasTech and @Snoop Lion have been the social media trendsetters.

Below you'll find lists of the top tweets, hashtags and Twitter pics from day one of the huge gathering

If you want to stay on top of the trends, you can track all the buzz in Austin this week with Mashable's SXSW Trendspotter.

Elon Musk: How SpaceX Saved the Dragon Spacecraft from Certain Doom

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 01:35 PM PST


AUSTIN — At a keynote at SXSW 2013, Entrepreneur and SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk described how his team stopped the Dragon spacecraft from tumbling out of control in space by performing the "equivalent of a Heimlich Maneuver."

In an interview with Chris Anderson, Musk described the moments after launch as "extremely nerve-wracking," since the rockets could fail and destroy the launch pad. He recalled that in the early days of his rocket launches, they had three failures and one left him picking up pieces of the launch pad from the reef for hours.

The Dragon launch went smoothly, but things "went awry" shortly after launch when three of four oxidizer tanks refused to pressurize, which mean the solar panels could not extend. This was especially surprising since these systems are built with multiple redundancies, but instead of one or another failing, two-thirds of them went down.

New 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Trailer #2 Will Blow You Away

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 01:03 PM PST


A new Star Trek Into Darkness trailer surfaced on Saturday, packing more action into its 1 minute and 17 seconds than any teaser we've seen in a long time. This one's even more exciting than this movie's first trailer.

From the looks of it, this second iteration of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot is going to be a rip-roaring good time, with tons of explosions, insane spacecraft-driving that reminds us a lot (maybe too much) of Star Wars, and lots of people jumping out of things, avoiding certain death and generally getting into harrowing situations.

Younity Makes All Your Files Available Everywhere You Need Them

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 12:48 PM PST


AUSTIN — We’ve all been there: You get to the office only to realize you left the document you were working on all night at home. Enter Younity, a service that attempts to make all of your files available on all your devices whenever you want them, with no need to intentionally sync those files to make them available.

The company started working on the idea in 2010, but raised its first bit of capital and began building a team in late 2011. The Santa Monica and Boulder-based company received its first of a few patents in October, 2012, and is a 2013 SXSW Accelerator finalist.

We caught up with Younity’s CEO and co-founder Erik Caso to learn a little more.

Top 10 Tech This Week

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 12:25 PM PST


Mobile World Congress in Barcelona brought a flurry of new mobile launches, but this week in tech has been just as exciting. There was no big gadget announcement, but a lot of other exciting news.

Perhaps the biggest was the launch of a new Ferrari, the LaFerrari, a hybrid super car that goes from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3 seconds and reaches 205 MPH. Talk about speed! The Italian car manufacturer will only produce 499 of these cars and the price has yet to be announced. Rest assured, they won't be cheap.

This week we've also learned about scientists' new plans to track sharks with underwater robots, a projector that helps you play pool, the first-ever 3D-printed skull implant, and a vending machine that dispenses 3D-printed objects.

You Don't Know Aaron Swartz, But They Did

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 11:34 AM PST


AUSTIN — You don’t know Aaron Swartz, at least not the way those assembled on Friday night at a Town Hall for the late Internet Activist did. Colleagues, friends, associates and his partner all joined on a SXSW 2013 stage to remember the complex, intense, beleaguered and sometimes troubled tech genius who took his own life in January.

Despite being only 26, Swartz’ had already done more in a quarter century than others do in a lifetime. He helped develop RSS, helped launch (and then sold) Reddit, founded Demand Progress, was widely known as an Internet Activist (one who helped stop SOPA) and, in the last two years of his life, was the subject of a federal investigation.

Startup Light Aims to Give You a Digital Record of Your Life

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 11:27 AM PST


AUSTIN — Paolo Schellino's father died when he was 18. Many years later, Schellino has imagined how great it would be if there was some sort of record beyond the odd photograph of his dad he could show his daughter. "I have nothing to show her who he was," he says, "what were his dreams, his fears ...."

That is the concept behind Light, an app from Schellino's Miami-based Light of Creativity art workshop that aims to be a digital record of your life. Think of it as Dropbox with social functionality. You can download all your personal photos, videos and blog posts and let a few friends and family comment. And those comments will be part of a file that represents you in digital form, perhaps long after you've died in a ".Life file."

Your Twitter Account Is Pitiful

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 11:14 AM PST


Five Twitter Followers, Formal Sweatpants

When using Twitter, if you feel like you're only talking to a room full of eggs, spambots and your weird Uncle Sal, it might be time to rethink your social media strategy.

Not that there's anything wrong with talking to eggs.

Comic illustration by Josh Mecouch, Formal Sweatpants. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

Wallet Cases for iOS and Samsung Galaxy S III Are Surprisingly Versatile

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 10:39 AM PST


Premium case manufacturer Element Case rolled out its Soft-Tec line of wallet cases for the Samsung Galaxy S III, iPhone 5 and iPad mini, and they all represent a departure from the sculpted aluminum cases it has released in the past.

The interior of the cases are lined with Ultrasuede microfiber and fortified with an inner impact-resistant polycarbonate shell, and their grip-friendly exteriors make it almost impossible for you to drop your treasured gadgetry.

We've received all three Soft-Tec cases for review, consisting of mobile wallets for the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III, and a folio for the iPad mini

Russian Satellite Hit by Debris from Chinese Anti-Satellite Test

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 10:37 AM PST


A small Russian spacecraft in orbit appears to have been struck by Chinese space junk from a 2007 anti-satellite test, likely damaging the Russian craft, possibly severely, has learned.

The space collision appears to have occurred on Jan. 22, when a chunk of China's Fengyun 1C satellite, which was intentionally destroyed by that country in a 2007 anti-satellite demonstration, struck the Russian spacecraft, according to an analysis by the Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI) in Colorado Springs, Colo.

CSSI technical program manager T.S. Kelso reported that the collision involved the Chinese space junk and Russia's small Ball Lens In The Space (BLITS) retroreflector satellite, a 17-pound (7.5 kilograms) spacecraft. The Fengyun 1C satellite debris was created during China's anti-satellite test on Jan. 11, 2007, and has posed a threat to satellites and crewed spacecraft ever since.

Koozoo Lets You Explore The World Through Live Smartphone Videos

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 10:27 AM PST


AUSTIN — Ever wonder what it looks like right now across the globe? On vacation and want to know what it looks like outside back home?

Meet Koozoo, a crowdsourced video app that displays smartphone videos from around the world. The San Francisco company launched its service in both San Francisco and Austin on February 28, and is a 2013 SXSW Accelerator finalist.

The app is “the first crowdsourced network of continuously broadcasting smartphone video cameras,” and allows users to share video from wherever they are with the rest of the world, live. The idea behind the service ultimately to allows people to answer questions such as ‘how long is the line at my favorite brunch spot?’ or ‘is it foggy at the beach today?’ from their phone.

HuffPost Live Bets On Community for Civil Political Discourse

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 09:49 AM PST


HuffPost Live, The Huffington Post's 12-hour-a-day online video news network, is doing something few might have expected when it launched six months ago: bringing civil political discourse to the Internet and video news.

Comment sections on news websites, left untouched, can quickly degenerate into hellish pits of insults, mockery and racial slurs. Panel discussions or head-to-head segments on 24-hour news networks usually aren't as bad, but they can still be painful to watch for those seeking a higher level of conversationHuffPost Live — one part news website, one part television network — suffers neither problem

Watch Grumpy Cat Hate Adoring SXSW Fans

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 09:02 AM PST


With hundreds of brands, celebrities, artists and technologists vying for attention on day one of SXSW, one cat may have stolen the show — Grumpy Cat.

Fans lined up to have their pictures taken with the famous malcontent meme on Friday. Why wait in a long line to see a cat, you ask? One fan replied:

"I've just been following Grumpy Cat for a while now, and it makes my day."

"I've just been following Grumpy Cat for a while now, and it makes my day."

Check out the video above from NowThis News for more about Grumpy Cat's visit to SXSW.

Hating Social Networking Just Got Easier With 'Hater' App

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 08:34 AM PST


AUSTIN — Hater is a new app, unveiled at the 2013 SXSW conference, that encourages users to share their grievances rather than post about all their favorite things

On the Hater app, users don't press the Like button for their friend's posts and pictures. They hate them instead, banding together and bonding over the frustrations of everyday life such as bad weather, traffic delays or the rising trend of the duck face.

Like Instagram, users have a feed where they can share text-based "rants," upload or take pictures and tag their friends or followers. Others can share in the misery, contributing their own pain points and bonding over the mutual dislikes. The most hated items bubble up to the top of the popular lists, providing a real-time feed about things people hate.

Need Funding? Pass Shaq Your 15-Second Startup Pitch on Tout

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 08:07 AM PST


AUSTIN — "I'm a geek, I'm a nerd and I'm proud to say it," former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal tells Mashable by phone in Atlanta, taking a break from packing for his business trip to South by Southwest Interactive.

Yes, a business trip. While Shaq — whom you may forget has a master’s degree in business administration — is best known for his slam dunks on the basketball court, he now wants to be recognized as the guy who helped usher in something special into the tech world

Enter "Pitch Shaq," his SXSW competition. Shaq wants startups to submit 15-second elevator pitch videos on Tout, the same social video-sharing service he used in June 2011 to announce he's leaving the NBA to retire after 18 years to pursue other opportunities

6 Top Entries So Far: 'NowThis News' and Mashable's #6secondpitch Contest

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 07:41 AM PST


AUSTIN, TEXAS — It's not easy to get a message across in 6 seconds. Even writing that sentence probably took about that length of time and it didn't really say much

So we at Mashable and partner NowThisNews are extremely appreciative of the wonderful Vines that startups have sent us in response to our #6SecondPitch contest at SXSWi this year. It was tough to narrow down the list, but the following Vines were chosen for a combination of storytelling and creativity

If you haven't entered yet or your startup didn't make the cut this time around, fret not: The contest is still open until 12:01 AM Sunday, Austin time. At that time, we will choose five winners in the contest — the three most-shared and two wild-card picks. The grand prize winner will get face time with a partner at Lerer Ventures and be featured in a post on Mashable produced by NTN. The five finalists will be announced March 10. The grand prize winner will be announced a few days later

You Will Be Googled

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 07:24 AM PST


Kevin Nakao is a guest contributor for Mashable and CEO of Meritshare. You can follow him on @knakao or on his blog.

Chances are high that a recruiter or hiring manager will Google you online before offering you an interview or job. Search insiders tell me that non-celebrity people searches account for more than 10% of Google’s search volume.

Here are five easy things you can do to manage your online reputation.

1. Google Your Name

Admit it, we've all Googled our names. Make sure you are logged out of Google so you see standard versus personalized results. Think of the first page of results for your name search as your home page. Studies show the first page of results get 90% of the click-through volume. Now look for anything negative in the next 5-10 pages. If you have a fairly common name and share it with some dubious characters, start using a middle name and initial on your LinkedIn profile, resume and job application.

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