Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Scientists Create Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Scientists Create Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak”

Scientists Create Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:23 AM PDT


The invisibility cloak has long been an idea present mostly in comic books and sci-fi novels — remember the Cloak of Invisibility from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books or the scramble suit from Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly"?

Well, every spy's wet dream is now one step closer to reality thanks to the work of researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, which have developed an ultra-thin material called a "metascreen".

Titled "Demonstration of an ultralow profile cloak for scattering suppression of a finite-length rod in free space," their research, published in the New Journal of Physics, describes a cloak consisting of 66 µm-thick copper tape and 100 µm-thick flexible polycarbonate film which scatters and cancels out incoming waves

Shoe Truck Startup Brings Footwear to You

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 03:38 AM PDT


Growing up, Nathan Fleischmann was the kind of kid that played "fast food drive-through" out of his bedroom window with his sister. Today, at age 30, the Missouri native is no longer just role-playing the part of an entrepreneur. He now plans to open a similar sort of drive-through venture — selling shoes.

Throughout the U.S., long lunchtime lines on urban sidewalks have become no surprise with an emergence of trendy food trucks. But a steady stream of entrepreneurs around the country are now taking their retail businesses on the road. Fleischmann, of Columbia, Mo., wants to catch that wave with his concept for a mobile shoe store. Somewhat like a food truck, Fleischmann's is a shoe store on wheels that travels to high-traffic areas and situations where people may want to buy footwear conveniently: think a 5K race, a football game or a college campus.

T-Mobile Gets Rid of Cellphone Contracts

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 12:56 AM PDT


T-Mobile has done away with cellphone contracts, replacing them with installment plans in an effort to stay competitive in the U.S. market

Instead of offering its customers a phone with a two-year contract, T-Mobile will offer it for a fixed upfront price plus a monthly fee for unlimited calls and data. That second fee will include the cost of the phone, and when the phone is paid off (typically after two years) the fee will be reduced, in contrast with traditional two-year contracts where monthly payments typically stay the same after two years

T-Mobile calls its new pricing plans Simple Choice. For example, a Samsung Galaxy S II costs $29.99 today, and $16 per month on top of the monthly data/voice payment, for 24 months

'World's Smallest Cellphone Charger' Provides Emergency Backup

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 12:22 AM PDT


A cellphone charger claiming to be the "world's smallest" aims to save users in a pinch when their battery is dying.

Comparable to a quarter in size, the Fuel Micro Charger is designed to provide 20 to 30 minutes of extra talk time, or up to a few hours more while on standby.

Massachusetts-based creators Devotec Industries says it's "perfect for when you have had an unexpected delay, or haven't been able to fully charge your phone, and need to make a few calls, send a work email or use your GPS and maps function to find your way home."

To use the Fuel, users just turn on the power switch, and plug it into their phone, which will begin charging immediately.

Google+ Now Lets You Use GIFs for Profile Pics

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 11:41 PM PDT


In what may be a sign of their resurgent popularity, Google+ announced Monday that members can now use animated GIFs for their profile photos.

The social network unveiled the update in a post on its Google+ page, alongside a link to a Google search for "How to create a gif."

Matt Steiner, a software engineer at Google, first made the announcement on his profile page. He said GIFs will animate on both desktop and mobile, "like newspapers in Harry Potter."

Steiner also changed his profile pic to a GIF of himself turning towards the camera and smiling. Check it out, below.

The update comes just a week after Google added a search filter for GIFs and transparent images. When users conduct an image search, they simply click on "Search tools" below the search box, then select "Animated" under the "Any tupe" dropdown menu to refine their results

Sleepy Meerkat Knows How You Feel

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 10:31 PM PDT


Oh Soori, we feel your pain

Who among us hasn't nodded off a time or two (or 12) in the middle of a conversation? Sometimes all the caffeine in the world can't rouse us awake, so snooze we must

And this meerkat clearly just needs a nap. Someone get him a mini blanket and pillow STAT, and throw in a bedtime story for good measure

(On an unrelated note, how did this person get a meerkat and where do we adopt one?!)

Video and image courtesy of YouTube, Oreoraccoon.

10 Firefox Add-Ons for Designers

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 09:45 PM PDT


Firefox is an incredibly popular browser, chiefly due to the vast library of available extensions and add-ons. Since we spend huge chunks of our days working in browser windows, increase productivity by adding functionality to Firefox and cutting down time spent on external applications

From color pickers to tab managers and DOM inspectors, these 10 essential Firefox extensions are geared towards designers.

Have we missed any of your favorite extensions? Share your recommendations in the comments for our readers

Homepage composite image via iStockphoto, JanPietruszka

Zillow Updates Its Home-Rental App For Android

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 09:00 PM PDT


Zillow released an Android update on Tuesday, adding Spanish-language support to the home-rental app.

The app allows users to search for homes based on location, by using their phone’s GPS, typing in a specific address, or drawing a search boundary on a map (e.g. around your office or favorite neighborhood). Renters can also use Android’s voice-capabilities to search for locations

"With rental markets becoming increasingly competitive, it’s particularly important for all renters to have instant access to tools that can help them track the newest listings, and contact landlords anytime, anywhere,” said David Vivero, Zillow's vice-president of rentals.

Find the Next Steve Jobs: Exclusive Extract from Atari Founder's Book

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 07:51 PM PDT


How do you nurture creative talent in your company? It's an age-old question, and one that Atari founder Nolan Bushnell tackles in his book Find the Next Steve Jobs, released via a new publishing platform Tuesday.

Bushnell, also the founder of Chuck E. Cheese, was Jobs' boss and confidant, to the extent that he was offered a one-third ownership stake in the fledgling Apple Computer in 1976 — and refused. Still, the pair stayed friendly over the years

"I came up with dozens of suggestions for Steve, many of which he wrote down," Bushnell writes. "I kept thinking I should write them down too ... now, three decades later, I have."

Tee Off With These 6 Golf Gadgets

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 07:31 PM PDT


You've been working on your swing all winter and now it's time to debut your expertly-practiced golf skills. Whether you prefer the virtual greens or putt with the pros, we've rounded up gadgets and games to help perfect your shots this season

Along with debuting his Facebook official relationship, Tiger Woods releases his PGA Tour 14 video game this month. Users can channel their inner Arnold Palmer and play as the pro in the "Legends of the Majors" mode

If you'd rather get real-time feedback from your swings, check out the latest motion sensor devices in golf gloves that monitor your playing data, or mounting iPhone cases to record your form

Make Old Speakers Bluetooth-Enabled With This Little Gadget

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 06:47 PM PDT


If you have an old speaker collecting dust in the garage or shoved in the back of the closet, there's now a clever way to make it useful again.

The London-based Paul Cocksedge Studio is raising funds on Kickstarter to further develop "The Vamp," a cube-like device that attaches to any speaker and adds Bluetooth capability. Instead of buying new Bluetooth speakers, The Vamp sort of makes the retro relevant again, as demonstrated in the video above.

Bluetooth devices like your smartphone or laptop can send sound to The Vamp, which can attach magnetically to a speaker with an included metal disc. The Vamp is equipped with a battery that powers the speaker, a USB charge socket, red and black speaker connectors and a headphone jack. We've seen a number of Bluetooth speakers, but this project is unique for its make-new-of-old approach.

'BioShock Infinite' Is a Journey You Should Not Miss

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 05:52 PM PDT


We all want a clean slate. Everyone has past misdeeds, large or small, that we wish could be wiped clean with one broad stroke. It's no different for Booker DeWitt, the hero of BioShock Infinite. His troubled past as a soldier who fought in the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890 and then as a Pinkerton agent, pushing people around for his bosses, has given him a heaping pile of regrets for his violent acts

So when he suddenly gets the opportunity to wipe it all out by rescuing a girl named Elizabeth, he's eager to take on whatever adventure necessary to complete his objective. What transpires along the way, as Booker wrestles with his destructive past and Elizabeth's unique powers, is the story of BioShock Infinite

'Wolverine' Director Teases Movie in Fierce 6-Second Vine

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 05:26 PM PDT


The Wolverine director James Mangold is a big tease. On Monday, he shared a six-second Vine, which serves as the teaser for Tuesday's 20-second teaser for the movie's trailer that arrives Wednesday. He's calling the six seconds of looping video a "tweaser."

The flick stars Hugh Jackman and comes out July 26. Among the action-packed scenes in the Vine are glimpses of Viper and Silver Samurai, and a short clip of Jean Grey, hinting at the possible return of Famke Janssen's character (presumably in flashbacks)

The tweaservine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F

— James Mangold (@mang0ld) March 25, 2013

20th Century Fox also released two movie posters for the film, including this one:

'Angry Birds' Exhibit Swoops Into Kennedy Space Center

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 05:06 PM PDT


Angry Birds are flying off your smartphone screen and into the real world, making a landing at the Kennedy Space Center.

Angry Birds Space Encounter recently opened at the center, and boasts seven unique interactive exhibits for guests to experience, including a "Danger Zone” mirror maze and "Red Planet Laser Challenge."

SEE ALSO: Huge Visualization Shows Exact Moves Needed to Beat Every Angry Birds Level

There's also "Eggstroid Slingshot" in which visitors can launch small Angry Birds at pigs, as well as a station to create your own Angry Bird. A green-screen area also allows families and individuals to take a commemorative photo of the whole experience, complete with their own favorite Angry Birds background.

Amazing Infographic Tells Story of Every Pakistan Drone Strike

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 04:47 PM PDT


The U.Sdrone war in Pakistan is what some of its critics have called a "shadow war," a conflict fought largely in secret and far from public oversight. The CIA is — for now — the main actor behind that war. And because of the secrecy surrounding it, we don't have a lot of statistics on the effects of this war, particularly the exact number of victims

A beautifully designed interactive infographic released Monday titled "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" gives us an idea of the war's effects using data collected by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New America Foundation, which have released separate studies estimating the number of people killed by America's drones in Pakistan.

30 Songs That Sound Like Spring

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 04:06 PM PDT


It was a rough winter this year, especially here in New York City. With Sandy and Nemo taking a serious toll on the East Coast, the promise of sunshine could not have come sooner. Spring is a season of transition, an opportunity to become more organized, to let loose on spring break, or to simply appreciate the natural beauty around you

This week's Music Monday is centered around songs that will match your raised levels of seratonin and provide the soundtrack for that newfound spring in your step. With new releases by Bastille, Phoenix, and The Postal Service, and old favorites by Atmosphere, Feist, and Arcade Fire, this mix reflects the positive balance springtime brings

Pick Carly Rae Jepsen's Lyrics and More for 'American Idol' Finale

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 03:48 PM PDT


Grammy-nominated singer Carly Rae Jepsen, whose viral song "Call Me Maybe" spent nine weeks last year at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, needs your help

She's performing during American Idol's two-night finale on May 15 and wants you to choose the lyrics, stage effects, instruments, dancers' outfits and other performance elements — via online polls over the next eight weeks as part of Coke's Perfect Harmony program

This week's poll, for example, asks: "Which lyrics should Carly use in the first stanza of the first verse?" Participants are then tasked to vote for one of three choices.

Teenage You Will Melt at Backstreet Boys 'Harlem Shake'

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 03:03 PM PDT


The teenage you might be having some sort of nostaligic heart attack from boy band overload, but the adult you probably can't process what transpires in this video

The Backstreet Boys have created their own larger than life (wink wink) "Harlem Shake" video. And while even they admit — on their YouTube channel — that the video is late to the game (come on bros, HS is so last month), they know their fans will apprecaite their bumpin' and grindin' at any time

The group opts for an extended cut of the usual viral videos, tacking on a special choreographed dance section. Perhaps it was to prove that BSB has still got it but, more so, who knew these five guys still spend time chilling together?

March Madness: 26% Use Mobile as Main Viewing Device

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 02:42 PM PDT


How's your bracket doing so far? Still worth the paper it's printed on? Maybe you're a bit bummed about losing out in your office pool. It might help put things in perspective to consider the sums of money that change hands every year during March Madness

The marketing machine behind the college basketball tournament is huge — March Madness television rights number in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And that's not even factoring in mobile screens, which a majority of basketball fans will be using during the tournament. More than a quarter of fans used mobile as their main viewing source during the 2012 finals

Activists Abhor Draft Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Amendment

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 02:26 PM PDT


The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has become one of the most hated laws in technology — and a discussion draft of CFAA amendments circulating Monday does not appear to be bridging the chasm of opinion surrounding the law. Instead, the draft, which lacks a known author, is only serving to further aggravate the rising chorus calling for CFAA reform.

The CFAA, originally written in 1984 to criminalize intrusions into military and banking computer systems, has since dramatically expanded in scope and usage. It's become highly popular with federal prosecutors for a variety of situations — notably being used in the high-profile cases against Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning, Andrew Auernheimer and Matthew Keys. Critics argue that it has expanded much too far beyond its original intent, that it's too vague and that it carries punishments disproportionate to the crimes which it covers — problems that may be exacerbated rather than solved under the new discussion draft

Nike Draws Criticism for Tiger Woods Tribute

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 02:15 PM PDT


A Nike Facebook and Twitter post featuring Tiger Woods and the caption "Winning takes care of everything" has drawn criticism for perceived insensitivity about Woods' divorce

Woods became the world's No. 1 ranked golfer on Monday after his win at Bay Hill. Woods hasn't had the top ranking since 2010. Woods' slump began in 2010, the year of his divorce from Elin Nordegren. In late 2009, reports came out that Woods had been carrying on multiple extramarital affairs. Taking Woods' domestic situation into account, some fans found that Nike Golf's exultant message celebrating the feat was off-pitch:

FreedomPop to Bring Free Mobile Broadband to Poorest Americans

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 02:04 PM PDT


FreedomPop, a company offering free and reduced-price wireless broadband Internet connections and equipment, has announced a new partnership with non-profit Connect2Compete to offer up to 1GB of free data to low-income families in cities across the country.

Anyone who lives in a zip code where average income is $35,000 or less is welcome to apply for the service, which requires the purchase of a discounted mobile or home connectivity device, ranging in price from $20 to $59. Connect2Compete previously offered reduced Internet plans only to families with students that qualify for free or reduced-cost school lunches

Evernote vs. Google Keep: Which Does More?

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:55 PM PDT


Now that Google Keep is officially out in the wild, how does Google's note-taking and syncing service compare with longtime favorite Evernote?

From the moment Google Keep was accidentally leaked, it looked like Google was building an Evernote clone. In the wake of the official release, its name, announcement video and aspects of the user interface all evoke a certain Evernote-like quality.

I spent some time over the past few days comparing the latest Evernote mobile app and web app with Google Keep on the web and on Android

Here's what we found:

Basic Features

Evernote and Google Keep are both services that let users create and store audio notes or voice-to-text dictated notes, memos, checklists and images. Both offer up a way to seamlessly sync this data with the web — and in the case of Evernote — other clients.

Golfer Climbs Tree, Hits One-Handed Backward Shot

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:51 PM PDT


Sergio Garcia is going above and beyond to get the perfect golf shot — 12 feet above, that is

At Sunday's Arnold Palmer Invitational, the golfer was faced with quite the conundrum when he found his golf ball up a tree. But that didn't stop the Spaniard from completing the hole. Garcia simply shimmied up a tree to make his 10th-hole shot

And while most golfers prefer their game to be on the green, Garcia was perfectly at home among the branches, where he not only swung backwards, he did it all one-handed

Hey caddy, grab the iron that works best on bark, will ya?

Google Shows Its Zany Side With 15-Second Chrome Ads

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:45 PM PDT


Google gives three solid reasons for using Chrome and one nonsensical one in this new batch of ads for its Chrome browser.

As Business Insider speculates, this may be the first campaign from 72andSunny, the hot ad agency behind Samsung's and Carl's Jr.'s latest ads. 72andSunny won the account last month. Reps from the agency could not be reached for comment

Though the ads will probably convince a few holdouts to try the browser, it also appears to be a nice branding exercise for Google, which gets to let its hair down a little

What do you think of the latest ads? Let us know in the comments.

RebelMouse Will Now Auto-Update Your Blog for $10 a Month

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:30 PM PDT


RebelMouse, a social publishing service, has received plenty of buzz for helping users create a dedicated page for all of the content they share on social networks. Now, the company is launching a paid feature called Powered Sites that lets users create and manage a more social webpage from their own custom domain or sub-domain

For $9.99 a month, RebelMouse will automatically populate your website with your posts from social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and it will provide you with a full publishing platform to post videos, blog entries and slideshows. The goal is to make it easier for anyone with a webpage to keep it active and fresh even if you're not actually updating it on a regular basis.

The 10 Coolest Things Coming to Your Home

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:19 PM PDT


The Architectural Digest Home Design Show is a great place to go, if you're dreaming of winning the Powerball jackpot. The show, which wrapped up this past weekend in New York City, provided an up-close, hands-on look at all the ways you can spend that money by creating the home of your dreams

There were luxury kitchens with built-in gadgetry, designer closets with top racks that lowered with the flick of a switch, and bathrooms you'd never want to leave.

Luxury items on display ranged from eco-friendly designs for driveways to ways to customize and automate your home.

A Totally Helpful GIF Guide for NYC Rookies

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 01:12 PM PDT


If you're planning a trip to the Big Apple, you've probably heard the usual advice: snap a picture in Times Square, grab a sandwich at Katz's and remember to fold your pizza when you eat it. Oh, and watch out for the yellow cars — they don't stop

Nathan Pyle, a freelance artist and television producer, moved to New York five years ago from the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. He's learned a thing or two about life in the urban jungle since then. Most recently, he's released an animated series of "big city" basics that outline, in almost too-true fashion, what you should really know about the city before you visit

Is Tildaing the New Tebowing?

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 12:55 PM PDT


Tilda Swinton’s literal snoozefest at the Museum of Modern Art inspired us to sleep pose like the acclaimed actress. Say hello to #Tildaing, Internet.

In the vein of Planking and Tebowing, Tildaing is a photo fad that has participants displaying their finest poses. To properly master Tildaing, pretend to sleep in a place other than bed, preferably somewhere that people will stare at you with puzzled looks on their faces.

It’s art, people, so show us what you got.

Look through the gallery above for bit of inspiration. Annnnd, the real thing, for reference:

How to Host a Successful Reddit AMA

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 12:27 PM PDT


Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, and a PR strategist for brands and writers. He gives monthly book recommendations at RyanHoliday.net.

What was once a fascinating yet relatively obscure subsection on a fledgling social news site is now one of the most coveted interview spots in our media world. Properly done, the Reddit AMA (short for "Ask Me Anything") can generate hundreds of thousands of impressions and drive fans into a frenzy. It can reinvigorate an established persona or hoist a completely obscure or unusual person into the Internet spotlight.

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