Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “President Bush Bewildered by Flash Mob Dancers”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “President Bush Bewildered by Flash Mob Dancers”

President Bush Bewildered by Flash Mob Dancers

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:57 AM PDT


After wrapping-up a photo op at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush and other family members were surprised by students dancing to Brooks & Dunn's "Boot Scootin' Boogie."

"That's a flash mob, grandpa," Jenna Bush Hager could be seen explaining to a visibly bewildered Bush, with his mouth hanging open.

Flash Mob America arranged the three-minute performance.

Click here to view this gallery

Image via Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Why You Couldn't Share Your Nexflix History on Facebook Until Now

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:55 AM PDT


Netflix users outside the United States have long enjoyed integration with Facebook that let them share their viewing history with friends, but American Netflix users are only just this week getting to enjoy the same social sharing features

Why did it take so long? You can blame Robert Bork, President Ronald Reagan's 1987 nominee to the Supreme Court.

Let's rewind history a bit: During Bork's confirmation process, his video rental history was leaked and published by the Washington, D.C.-area Washington City Paper. Bork's rentals were uncontroversial and the leak had little impact on his nomination — the Senate voted against his confirmation, but that had more to do with his views on civil and women's rights than his taste in films.

6 Questions With GetGlue's Sean Besser

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:43 AM PDT


AUSTIN — Television networks ramped up their presences at South by Southwest, some for the first time, this year. Sean Besser — social entertainment platform GetGlue's executive vice president of business development partnerships and strategy — roamed around the festival exploring what those brands had to offer attendees. He was at SXSW on the heels of GetGlue unveiling a redesigned iPhone app and new advertising product called Promoted Entries. Besser took some time to answer six candid questions from Mashable.

1. What are the best shows ever before social came along, and could they have benefitted from social TV had they been around after Facebook and Twitter surfaced?

Google Gives Eric Schmidt a $6 Million Cash Bonus

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:28 AM PDT


It's good to be Eric Schmidt.

The Google executive chairman and former CEO has been traveling around the world for Google events and diplomatic missions, occasionally trash-talking competitors (politely, of course) and dancing Gangnam Style. Now he's about to get a nice annual bonus for his work at Google.

Google revealed in an SEC filing late Tuesday that Schmidt will receive a $6 million cash bonus on Friday for 2012. As usual, the company's two co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page will not be getting a bonus, but other Google execs will be including CFO Patrick Pichette, who will receive a $2.8 million bonus, and chief legal officer David Drummond, who will receive a $3.3 million bonus.

Carlsberg Sadistically Puts Friends to the Test in Latest Shock Ad

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:22 AM PDT


It's the latest thing in advertising: Sadistically put ordinary people through a stressful situation and then reveal that it was all a joke and bask in the relief.

The latest example is this Carlsberg ad. The beer brand challenged its fans to put their friends to the ultimate test by calling them in the middle of the night. The friends were then told that they needed to deliver some money to bail their friend out after he lost at poker. Upon arrival, the faithful friend comes to a gritty building to see two shirtless guys fighting and a lot of strange, shady characters milling about. Then the payoff: After dropping the cash, a curtain opens up to reveal dozens of people cheering the friend for his or her fealty

Registration for Google I/O Conference Now Open

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:20 AM PDT


Google has opened up registration for its annual developer conference, Google I/O.

Students and members of the academic community can sign up for $300, while other attendees will have to pay thrice the price: $900

The conference, held May 15-17, 2013 in Moscone Center, San Francisco, will bring the usual mix of keynotes, technical sessions, code labs and, of course, news related to Google products and services

The tickets typically sell out in less than a day, so if you're interested, hurry up and get them here.

Image courtesy Google

Learn to Code for Free With These 10 Online Resources

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:09 AM PDT


If Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates say so, it must be true: Understanding how to code is the new literacy

Take Zuck and Gates' advice — learn to code. Understanding computer programming will open doors to new jobs and opportunities. But you're probably thinking, where do I even begin? Will code classes drain my money and time?

Fortunately for you, there are loads of ways to learn coding online, without paying a thing.

We've rounded up 10 places on the web that teach coding through video tutorials, games and quizzes. Try out one or two and let us know what you think.

The 'First Tablet for Women' Is as Awful as It Sounds

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 07:00 AM PDT


Finding difficulty using that iPad or Kindle? Don't worry, ladies. There's finally an easy-to-use tablet just for us

It's called the ePad Femme, and the Middle East–based Eurostar Group, who developed the product, are describing it as the "world's first tablet made exclusively for women." It's already going over about as well as the Bic "Cristal for Her" Ball Pen on Amazon.

The eight-inch tablet comes preloaded with a pink background and a number of apps (so we don't have to stress over the difficulty of doing it ourselves) that revolve around yoga, grocery shopping, weight loss, and cooking. If a 5-year-old can figure it out, we probably can too, right?

Netflix Adds Facebook Integration in the U.S.

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 06:37 AM PDT


Netflix users in the U.S. this week will for the first time see video recommendations from their Facebook friends.

As the video above explains, the changes will be manifest in two new rows on Netflix's homepage and app. One row shows "Friends' Favorites," or movies and TV shows that your Facebook friends have given a high rating. The other displays "Watched by Your Friends." You can also break it down by items watched by specific friends. To get such information, you need to connect your Netflix and Facebook accounts.

To share your favorites and recently watched films, you need to do the same. There is an option, however, to not share certain titles as well. You can also unshare any item that you've previously shared. According to Netflix, the activity "will only happen on Netflix," and won't appear in Facebook's News Feed

Google Now on iOS And Other News You Need to Know

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 06:24 AM PDT


Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. Google Now could be coming to iOS, according to a video that leaked to the Internet briefly on Tuesday eveningIDC's analysts have revised their estimates for the size of the tablet market — by the end of 2013, they expect 190.9 million tablets worldwide. Finally, the FTC has tweaked its disclosure guidelines for online and social media advertising.

Check out the video above for more on these stories

The Biggest Disaster in SimCity Ruins It for Everyone

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 06:04 AM PDT


SimCity and Origin Comic

SimCity's sixth major release from Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts (EA), hit the gaming scene last week with much excitement. But overcrowding of EA's required server, Origin, prevented gamers from actually playing the game and excitement quickly turned to frustration.

In this comic, Scott Johnson of ExtraLife wonders if SimCity's biggest disaster — despite tornadoes, earthquakes and UFO encounters — is actually Origin itself. Luckily EA announced that the servers should be fixed soon.

Comic illustration by ExtraLife. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

Get In-Car Entertainment Without Buying a New Ride

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 06:00 AM PDT


In-dash screens were all the rage at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show. Just about every car company ramped up their in-vehicle entertainment systems to include options for using your smartphone apps on the road

But what if your car is a little older and you still want to enjoy the latest car technology? That's where an after-market product like Pyle Audio's 10.1-inch In Dash Touch-Screen Bluetooth/DVD Receiver comes in handy. It's a second screen for your car that connects to your iPhone, Android phone or any hand-held Bluetooth-enabled tablet. Once paired, you can stream audio directly from your hand-held device to the larger screen in the dash.

Report: Google Glass Was the Clear Winner of SXSWi Buzz

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 05:52 AM PDT


The big buzz at South by Southwest Interactive this year wasn't for a startup, but for a rather mature tech company — Google — and its Glass wearable computing device in particular.

Google Glass accounted for 21% of the brand conversations at SXSWi, according to NetBase, which analyzes discussions in social media. NetBase determined that SXSW itself generated about 1.1 million conversations in social media, 97.3% of which took place on Twitter. (Blogs accounted for another 1.6% while Facebook generated just 0.4%.)

Among the other hot topics at the show were Steve Carell, who was on hand for the premiere of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell was the most talked-about person at SXSX and the subject of 15.1% of people conversations the the show. The top term overall was "Austin," which monopolized about 9.4% of general conversations

Internet Porn Is Safe in Europe (For Now)

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 04:31 AM PDT


The European Parliament passed a proposal Tuesday which included a blanket ban on pornography, including Internet porn, in European Union member states

However, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) removed explanatory wording from the porn ban section, essentially limiting the ban to advertising and print media.

The proposal "Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU" was put to a vote in Strasbourg. MEPs passed it 368-159.

The original proposal called for a ban "on all forms of pornography in the media," with a section suggesting that there would be a block on Internet porn:

[The European Parliament] points out that a policy to eliminate stereotypes in the media will of necessity involve action in the digital field; considers that this requires the launching of initiatives coordinated at EU level with a view to developing a genuine culture of equality on the internet; calls on the Commission to draw up in partnership with the parties concerned a charter to which all internet operators will be invited to adhere.

Google Offers Help to Webmasters Whose Sites Were Hacked

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 02:23 AM PDT


Google has launched a page and a set of tutorials aimed for webmasters whose site was hacked

Specifically, Google explains webmasters how to deal with Google's search warning that a site is dangerous, which usually appears if a hacker has infected the site with harmful code

"Every day, cybercriminals compromise thousands of websites. Hacks are often invisible to users, yet remain harmful to anyone viewing the page — including the site owner," claims Google on the site titled "Webmasters help for hacked sites."

Google starts with a video tutorial (above) which explains the basics of how and why sites get hacked, and then goes into more advanced territory with info on how to quarantine a site, identify its vulnerabilities and clean it up from harmful code

Samsung Builds Up Galaxy S IV Announcement With Cheesy Flash Mob

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 12:44 AM PDT


With just a day away from the Galaxy S IV's big unveil, Samsung is pushing hard to ensure its next-generation flagship smartphone is on everyone's mind.

Hence, the company's ill-advised flash mob, which took place in New York City's Times Square. Chock full of winks and grins, several men dance around while clad in bowler hats and black and white suits emblazoned with the number "4."

The men, who are each holding rectangular boards, merge together several times during their performance to display a larger sign that says, "BE READY 4 THE NEXT GALAXY." Watch the entire video, above.

Will Mickey Mouse's 'Croissant de Triomphe' Give Disney Another Viral Hit?

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 11:35 PM PDT


After scoring an Oscar and viral hit with its animated film, Paperman, Disney has debuted another short — this time starring Mickey Mouse.

Entitled Croissant de Triomphe — a play on Paris' famed monument, the Arc de Triomphe — it follows hero Mickey as he speeds through the City of Light, battling heavy traffic and other obstacles, to deliver croissants to Minnie's cafe. While the film is spoken entirely in French, any viewer can enjoy its simple storyline.

Croissant de Triomphe is the first in a series of 19 cartoon shorts that Disney will release on the Disney Channel, and WATCH Disney Channel, starting June 28. Paul Rudish, the creator of Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, is the executive producer and director for this new Walt Disney Television Animation project.

Hot TV Mic Catches NFL Hall of Famer's Critical F-Bombs

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 11:01 PM PDT


Oops! A hot mic caught NFL Hall of Famer and current analyst Warren Sapp dropping some choice words about his network's quality of programming on Tuesday

Sapp works as an analyst for the NFL Network, and apparently feels the channel has spent a little too much time lately talking up New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick. Only problem? He may want to double-check whether his mic's on the next time he feels like sharing

During a segment featuring guest Scott Pioli, the former Kansas City Chiefs general manager, Sapp was heard off-screen muttering that Pioli was, in effect, giving "the same fucking speech we had Mike Lombardi give — the fucking Bill Belichick fucking angle."

Man Makes Music By Electrocuting Vegetables

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 10:01 PM PDT


In his latest video, Brooklyn-based artist j. viewz performs an electronic version of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” using only vegetables. Well, not just vegetables, actually; with some grapes, kiwis, and strawberries thrown in, this band is 50% fruity. Regardless, his performance is captivating – certainly not your average vegetable medley. But how does it work?

The key to the whole thing appears at 0:26, where Dagan shows Makey Makey, a circuit board created by MIT graduate students Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum that lets normal objects like mushrooms or eggplants take the place of keyboard keys. Dagan describes how it works in a brief interview below

Hotmail and Outlook Experiencing Service Disruptions

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 09:33 PM PDT


UPDATE: As of 1:13 a.m. ET, both Hotmail and Outlook are still experiencing problems. Microsoft's service status dashboard says, "We're working to restore service right now."

Some Hotmail and Outlook accounts have been down for hours, after getting hit by service disruptions Tuesday afternoon.

"We're having a problem accessing email. You might not be able to see all your email messages. We're working to restore service right now," according to Microsoft's service status dashboard. Both web apps have been experiencing issues since 5:35 p.m. ET, the notifications added.

Cellphones: A Teen's Lifeline to the Internet

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 09:04 PM PDT


It's a sight that's all too common, now: teenagers never looking up, glued to their cellphones every hour of the day. Text messages may seem like the major culprit for this behavior, but a new report shows that one in four teens use cell phones as their device of choice when browsing the web

According to a study by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, mobile access to the Internet is pervasive among teenagers. Instead of using desktops or laptops, most rely on their phones to go online. The survey of teens ages 12 through 17 found that 78% have a cellphone, with nearly half of those being smartphones

Why the Gatorade Bath Never Caught on in Basketball

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 08:32 PM PDT


The time-honored celebratory Gatorade bath is one of the funnest traditions in sports. You know the drill: In the closing moments of a championship game, players from the winning team stalk their coach before dousing him from behind with a massive tub of ice-cold Gatorade

It's a perfect ritual for sports like football and baseball, which are played outside on water-absorbing surfaces that maintain traction even when soaked. But basketball? There's no place for the Gatorade bath on the hardwood court. The video, above, from a recent community-college basketball game in Nebraska, shows just why

Google Uses SXSW To Share More About Glass

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 08:01 PM PDT


AUSTIN — Google used SXSW this week to share a little more information about Glass. During a session catered specifically to developers, the company revealed more details about Glass’ Mirror API, and showed off several apps that have already been developed for Glass, including products from Gmail, the New York Times, Path and Evernote.

“It feels like tech is often getting in the way more than it needs to," Timothy Jordan, Google’s senior developer advocate, said on stage during the event. “That’s what we’re addressing with Project Glass”

While the company showed off some functioning apps, Jordan was quick to point out that Google isn’t finished with the project, and what we see now might not be what we see a few months from now.

MC10's New Biometric Health Sensor Is Like a 'Second Skin'

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 07:31 PM PDT


You wear it like a temporary tattoo, but it's certainly for more than just style. A company has developed an electronic sensor that attaches like a "second skin" to your body and monitors your health.

Originally crafted for sports physicians, company MC10 designed a microchip that can now be printed directly on the skin. The bond to the health sensor is formed with spray-on bandage material you might find in stores.

SEE ALSO: Temporary Tattoo Attaches Health Sensor to Your Body

Since it's bound directly to the skin, the "epidermal electronics" can detect things like the temperature of the wearer and hydration levels.

Adorable Dancing Grandma Charms Entire Internet

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 06:59 PM PDT


While we were all busy watching a pasty nature nerd with some of the hippest dance moves around, a dancing grandma was blowing up in her own right. According to the viral video's uploader, "Nana" is 88 years old. And from the looks of it, she can really shake a leg to the 1961 pop hit, "Runaround Sue."

Six days after showing up on YouTube, the clip has gained more than 1.3 million views, and has been picked up by outlets across the web, thanks to Nana's infectious charm. Check it out for yourself, above (and here's a tip: If you watch to the end, you won't be sorry)

Artist Recreates TV Show Apartments With Intricate Floorplans

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 06:32 PM PDT


Television shows have often been noted for their ability to whisk us out of our own lives and plop us into the alternate reality of Hollywood. We pretend the characters' exciting lives are our exciting lives, that their awesome friends are our awesome friends, and that their amazing, beautiful, pricey, well-decorated apartments are our apartments

No matter your current living situation, that guy or gal on TV is always living in much more style than you. So every week, when you tuned into The Simpsons, Dexter or How I Met Your Mother, you made sure to get plenty comfortable on their couches

Social Meditation App Connects You With Users Around the World

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 05:46 PM PDT


Living an active, healthy lifestyle oftentimes requires some support. Whether it's running a mile each morning or taking a few hours to de-stress, having a friend along for the ride can be good motivation

One app brings the concept of community to a sometimes solitary task: meditationInsight Timer [iTunes link] combines meditation techniques with a global community of fellow meditators to support the relaxation process. Check out the video, above, for more

The app uses the sound of Tibetan singing bowls as a guide through the meditation session, and the noises can be set at specific times. Users can track their progress through charts and statistics and are awarded Insight "milestones" for session achievements

Watch 3 Drones Do the 'Harlem Shake'

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 05:17 PM PDT


AUSTIN — Just when you thought it was safe to check the Internet again, one more "Harlem Shake" video has emerged. The good news is that this one has a neat nerd twist: Dancing Drones.

Eyes and Ears Entertainment spent four hours at SXSW 2013's Drone Day Hackathon reprogramming these Parrot AR.Drones to sync up and respond to tweets. In this case, they respond by dancing in sync to the "Harlem Shake."

The execution on a windy day was not perfect, but when Eyes and Ears first presented their work during the competition, they did win the "Cultural Award" for tying the hack to the meme we now love to hate.

Watch 3 Days of SXSW Concerts Online

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 05:08 PM PDT


AUSTIN — Warner Music Group's premium YouTube channel, The Warner Sound, will provide live streams for its three nights of concerts at South by Southwest.

Viewers can watch such artists as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paramore, The Flaming Lips and Tegan and SaraCheck out the full list of streams and performers, below.

Footage from "The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon" live streams, which take place from March 12 to 14, will come from D4 HDSLR cameras to help bring attention to Nikon's newest Wi-Fi cameras

"This is a fantastic case study for what’s possible when you put together great artists with an imaginative brand at SXSW," Jonathan Feldman, Atlantic Records' vice-president of brand partnerships, told Mashable. "It's a great way of amplifying these unique performances and reaching new audiences in an innovative way."

Forrester: U.S. Online Retail Sales to Hit $370 Billion by 2017

Posted: 12 Mar 2013 05:00 PM PDT


Up, up and away: Ecommerce, which generated $231 billion in sales for U.S. retailers last year, is expected to increase 13% to $262 billion this year, according to forecasts technology and market research firm Forrester plans to release Wednesday. The growth of ecommerce, which already accounts for about 8% of total retail sales in the U.S., is expected to outpace sales growth at bricks-and-mortar stores over the next five years, reaching $370 billion in sales by 2017. By that time, ecommerce is expected to account for a full tenth of all retail sales in the U.S.

What's driving the growth? Forrester cites two factors. The first is proliferating use of smartphones and tablets, which are boosting the amount of time consumers spend online. More than half of U.S. online consumers now have smartphones, and they're using them to research purchases, find stores and to find the best prices available — often completing a transaction directly on the device. Tablet owners are also spending their leisure moments (weekends, evening prime-time hours) shopping online.

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