Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “North Korea Stops Offering 3G Data Service to Tourists”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “North Korea Stops Offering 3G Data Service to Tourists”

North Korea Stops Offering 3G Data Service to Tourists

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 02:42 AM PDT


Shortly after announcing tourists visiting the country would be able to get 3G-ready prepaid SIM cards, North Korea has had a change of heart, and 3G is no longer available to tourists

The news comes from Beijing-based Koryo Tours, a company specialized in tours to North Korea

"3G access is no longer available for tourists to the DPRK. Sim cards can still be purchased to make international calls but no internet access is available," wrote Koryo Tours in a notice on its website

North Korea changed the long-standing policy of taking away cellphones from tourists in February 2013. Shortly therafter, the country's only 3G mobile operator Koryolink started offering prepaid SIM cards to tourists — a sign the secluded nation might be opening its doors a little

'Battlefield 4' Trailer Officially Debuts Online After Early Leak

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 02:03 AM PDT


A 17-minute trailer for Battlefield 4 was officially released Tuesday, after it leaked online ahead of schedule.

Entitled "Fishing in Baku," the gameplay reveal was posted on Battlefield's official website, as well as its official YouTube channel.

"These 17 minutes of Battlefield 4 gameplay provide an exclusive look at BF4's single-player campaign. With dynamic destructible environments, epic vehicular combat and the chaos of all-out war, Battlefield 4 gives you the freedom to do more and be more for an unrivaled entertainment experience," according to the website

Tumblr Now Hosts Over 100 Million Blogs

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 12:57 AM PDT


Tumblr has reached a big milestone: More than 100 million blogs and 44.6 billion blog posts have been created using the platform

The milestone, noticed by the folks from The Next Web, comes after a very successful 2012, in which Tumblr became on of the top 10 most visited sites in the world

In March 2013, the company announced it plans to introduce mobile ads on the iOS and Android platforms in the first half of the year, as it eyes its first annual profit

Tumblr has been founded in 2007 by David Karp. It is currently home to 167 employees, and is available in 12 languages

Image credit: Tumblr

Ocean Array Could Clean 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic

Posted: 27 Mar 2013 12:27 AM PDT


Millions of tons of tiny bits of plastic float in giant patches — or gyres — in oceans around the world. There are five large patches of plastic. One of them, the North Pacific Gyre, is roughly twice the size of the United States. All of them are a problem

These bits of plastic look like food to fish and birds and once consumed, end up killing these animals. But the plastic bits also contain chemicals, such as DDTs and PCBs, that once consumed by small sea creatures then enter the food chain to be consumed eventually by people

And because plastic doesn’t break down and dissolve, these gyres are going to be around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, even if we stopped polluting tomorrow.

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Google Keep

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 11:36 PM PDT


Google Keep, the search giant's note-taking service, launched last week to much debate. How does it compare to Evernote? Does it live up to the hype?

Well, we tested out Google's newest app — looking at everything from its interface to its functionality — and put it all on video. Watch our hands-on with Google Keep, above

What do you think of the app? Do you plan to download it? Tell us in the comments

Image courtesy of Google

March Madness Slam Dunks This Week's Social TV Rankings

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 10:55 PM PDT


Madness reigned on the social TV rankings this week. The NCAA men's basketball tournament accounted for 15 of the 20 top programs on cable and broadcast. More than half of the first week's games earned a million mentions on social media.

But the real star of the week was Nickelodeon; the Kids' Choice Awards secured almost 20% of all social interactions on cable last week, with more than 13 million mentions. The awards had a frequency of 11.2, meaning the average fan posted about the show 11 times in the course of the week.

The data is courtesy of Trendrr, which measures social media activity related to specific television shows (e.g. mentions, likes, check-ins) across Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue and Viggle. To see daily rankings, check out Trendrr.TV.

Judge Recommends Dismissal of Ceglia Facebook Ownership Lawsuit

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 10:12 PM PDT


Three years ago, New York-based woodchip salesman and convicted felon Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that the Facebook CEO reneged on a deal that promised him a majority stake in the social network.

It appears the case may soon come to a close, however, after U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio moved to dismiss Ceglia's suit on Tuesday. The case centers around the authenticity of a 2003 "Work for Hire" contract in which Ceglia alleges Zuckerberg granted him a 50% stake in Facebook in exchange for a $1,000 investment

Zuckerberg and Facebook shot back, calling the suit "fradulent" in 2011They maintain Ceglia's documents are forgeries, and claim that a contract called "the StreetFax Document" is the genuine agreement between the two parties. In March 2012, Facebook filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

Doctor Who's New Star: Why I Shun Twitter, Online Fans, Old 'Who'

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 09:43 PM PDT


Are you a Doctor Who fan, yet? If not, the return of season 7 this Saturday on BBC America might be your best opportunity to jump in

Why? Because the Doctor's brand new co-star, the feisty Jenna-Louise Coleman, has never really watched the show either — and kind of likes it that way

"It was never on when I was growing up," Coleman tells Mashable in a thick Lancastrian accent that's nothing like her London-born character, Clara Oswald

Coleman was born in 1986, just before the British time-travel space opera took a 19-year hiatus. By the time it returned, she was far too worldly wise for what was perceived as (but turned out not to be) just a kid's show.

What's the Fastest Cloud Storage Service?

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 08:58 PM PDT


From Dropbox and Google Drive to SkyDrive, all of the major online storage services have their own unique strengths, but we wanted to answer one question: Who has the fastest cloud? After all, if you have to wait around for those photos to upload or to download that important presentation in a pinch, what’s the point? To find out which cloud service offers the best transfer speeds, we put five popular options to the test

How We Tested

To conduct our tests, we zipped a 300MB folder filled with photos, music and video files then uploaded it to and downloaded it from Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync, Dropbox and Kim Dotcom's new Mega service. We performed each set of uploads and downloads three times and took the average, conducting our testing over the course of five business days.

Prizeo Makes Celebrity-Driven Fundraising More Accessible

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 08:01 PM PDT


The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Prizeo

One-Liner Pitch: Win prizes from your favorite celebrities by donating to their favorite causes

Why It's Taking Off: Prizeo harnesses the power of the Internet to democratize celebrity fundraising, and its platform does the heavy lifting for celebrities and the charities they represent

Non-profit organizations work to promote change all over the globe, but some might wonder if they could use some change of their own. For all the innovation in other areas, the processes around charitable giving can feel outdated

March Madness: Facebook's Big Winners So Far

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 07:34 PM PDT


The first weekend of March Madness is behind us now, with Sweet 16 games tipping off Thursday and Friday, and the Final Four a little more than one week away

So far, the on-court results speak for themselves, but which teams and players made the biggest waves on social media? Data provided by Facebook sheds some light

Endlessly entertaining Ole Miss bad boy Marshall Henderson was a media darling early on, but the most popular player on the world's most popular social network might surprise you. It's Aaron Craft, a player whose on-court demeanor is the polar opposite of Henderson's, but who also happens to helm what might be college basketball's strongest team

Jose Canseco Weighs in on Gay Marriage Debate

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 06:55 PM PDT


The Supreme Court began hearing two days of oral arguments Tuesday in a pair of same-sex marriage cases that could have long-lasting legal ramifications

We've heard from senators on the issue. We've heard from media pundits on the issue. And now — finally, and perhaps most importantly — we've heard from Jose Canseco on the issue

The baseball player took to his ever-confounding Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon to share some thoughts on the issue:

ungay and gay how are they not equal humans

— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) March 26, 2013

Do not act your age scotus lead change

— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) March 26, 2013

A Tribute to the Mainframe Computer in Movies

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 06:30 PM PDT


Hollywood is always a little ahead of the times. Movie makers have been predicting technology trends for ages — even the Jetsons and Flintstones could've told you about Skyping

But sometimes movies really just phone it in with their tech references. Case in point: the elusive "mainframe."

The buzzword is used in everything from Sky Kids to James Bond and everyone, somehow, knows exactly what it is and what to do with it. And, apparently, these mainframes are pretty easy to hack into, considering how many movie plots rely on the data in them

Flipboard 2.0: Now With Pinning, People Tagging, Search and Ecommerce

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 06:01 PM PDT


If there were two things missing from earlier versions of Flipboard, it was the ability to 1) bookmark content and 2) have conversations about it. Those are two features the Palo Alto, Calif., startup has included in Flipboard 2.0, launching on iPhone and iPad devices Tuesday.

"It's the most ambitious thing the company has ever done," Eric Feng, Flipboard's CTO, said of the app update in an interview at Mashable's offices last week. "It's launching us on a completely different trajectory."

Flipboard 2.0 looks pretty much the same as the version of Flipboard currently installed on your iPhone, Android or iPad: Content, whether news articles, Instagram pics, video or audio files, etc., are clipped and displayed in magazine-style grid spread across a near-infinite number of "flippable" pages. Click on a piece of content and you'll be able to view it in full; click play on an audio track and you'll be able to listen while you flip.

Why Introverts Have All the Fun

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 05:59 PM PDT


If you've ever read or heard author Susan Cain talk about the power of introverts, you already know that they can be misunderstood. Being introverted isn't the same thing as being shy or agoraphobic, it just means you often feel more comfortable in low-key environments.

In this comic, Grant Snider of Incidental Comics explains the true nature of introverts — they are perhaps a little awkward around others, but graceful in their own element

Snider's comics are available as prints through his poster shop.

We Are the Introverts, Incidental Comics

Comic illustration by Grant Snider, Incidental Comics. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

Which Carrier Offers the Best iPhone 5 Plan?

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 05:55 PM PDT


T-Mobile is finally getting the iPhone 5, meaning that Apple's latest and greatest is available on every major U.S. wireless carrier

In addition to the iPhone 5, T-Mobile has done away with cellphone contracts and moved to flat-rate pricing. The company hopes its new plans — as well as its monthly installment payments for the device itself — will lure customers away from the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

So, now that the iPhone 5 is available on all major carriers — which carrier offers the best deal?

We did the math and calculated the monthly rate for an iPhone 5 on Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. We also accounted for the price of the device itself and calculated the total cost of ownership over the course of two years.

Facebook Partners With Goldbely to Gift Your Favorite Foods

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 05:49 PM PDT


Facebook Gifts are about to get more delicious.

Food-delivery startup Goldbely announced a partnership with Facebook Tuesday, which will bring some of the nation’s best food to Facebook.

The Y Combinator-backed startup has searched the globe looking for the best eats, and has made some available on its site for anyone to order and have delivered to their doorstep

Options include epic meals such as 50 Buffalo wings from the place where they were first created — Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., — and a Chicago Deep Dish pizza delivered directly from the Windy City.

On Goldbely, those dishes are shipped directly to you from their source. In some cases, shipping is free, while others require a –- sometimes sizable –- shipping and handling fee.

NATO Researchers Say Stuxnet Attack Was an 'Act of Force'

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 05:43 PM PDT


Stuxnet, the destructive cyber-attack that crippled Iran's nuclear program in 2009, was an "act of force," and probably illegal under international law, according to NATO legal experts.

The conclusion was reached by the researchers of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallin, Estonia, as reported by the Washington Times. The "Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare," a 300-page study was developed over the course of three years to assess how traditional rules of war apply to cyberwarfare. The manual says that "acts that kill or injure persons or destroy or damage objects are unambiguously uses of force."

9 TweetDeck Alternatives for Mobile

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 05:16 PM PDT


TweetDeck announced in a blog post in early March that Twitter will remove its older apps from their respective app stores in May. That means TweetDeck for iPhone and Android, respectively, won't be available for much longer, and the apps will stop working soon after they're removed.

Before you freak over losing all of your favorite tech services at once (Google Reader, anyone?), take a peek at this list of worthy alternatives, with which you can keep track of your tweets.

From simple interfaces and tools to advanced management platforms for multiple accounts, we bet you'll find something that'll make you forget all about TweetDeck and your broken social heart.

HealthKeep Social Network Catalogues Your Medical Records

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:59 PM PDT


Keeping track of your medical records can get complicatedHealthKeep, a health-based social network, is looking to help people organize their patient history with a timeline of symptoms, medications and conditions

Social media isn't always the best place for sharing health concerns due to privacy issues, but HealthKeep's users join anonymously so no identities are revealed. The site serves as a comprehensive snapshot of your health record, which is compiled with information you choose to post

Similar to Facebook or Twitter, the site operates with feeds. If you wake up with a cough, you can look up the symptom on HealthKeep's database to see what other users are experiencing. Those who take a particular medicine can filter feeds to read more on people's shared side effects or new developments

Will That Tweet Get You Fired? This App Warns You

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:51 PM PDT


If you've complained about your boss or job on Twitter, watch out for a warning from a new app called FireMe!. Ricardo Kawase and his team at the University of Hannover, Germany, created the tool, which tracks certain negative phrases about bosses and jobs and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired

When FireMe! flags such a tweet, it automatically sends a tweet to the user in question, reading something like, "Can you imagine if your boss gets to know that you said: 'I hate my job so much'. You said that on Twitter and the whole world can see it!" according to New Scientist. (I’d be surprised if that exact tweet was sent, since it clocks in at 138 characters with no space for a handle.)

Team Unveils Pee-Controlled Urinal Video Game

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:45 PM PDT


A new kind of streaming technology is set to make quite the splash in Allentown, Pa

Minor league baseball's Lehigh Valley IronPigs announced on Tuesday plans to bring a pee-controlled urinal video game system to their home field when the season begins next month

Yes, that's right: a pee-controlled urinal video game system. The technology, trumpeted by the team as a first in the sports world, comes via UK company Captive Media, and is a partnership with a local hospital system to promote men's prostate health at minor league baseball's most-frequented stadium

But enough with the boring details. Let's get down to what's important: how this bit of cutting-edge tech actually works

Touching Photo of Girl With Autism at Chili's Goes Viral

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:20 PM PDT


A Chili's restaurant in Midvale, Utah, was the subject of a heartwarming Facebook post over the weekend after "fixing" a customer's cheeseburger.

The above screenshot, taken from the restaurant's Facebook page, was shared by a woman named Anna Kaye MacLean, who visited the restaurant with her husband and 7-year-old sister, who has autism. In her comment, MacLean says her sister ordered what she always does: a cheeseburger. When it arrived, though, she didn't seem interested.

"She calmly said, “No, I don’t want it.” Cheeseburgers, or ‘Krabby Patties’ as we sometimes call them, are her FAVORITE! So this behavior was VERY strange. So I asked her, “Why don’t you want it?” She replied, “It’s broken. I need another one thats fixed.” Then it dawned on me why she wasn’t eating it. It’s because it was cut in half. Being a child with autism, she has to have certain things in a particular order at all times. One slight change in her routine can change the course of the day instantly."

William Shatner 'Appalled' by IRS 'Star Trek' Parody

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 04:07 PM PDT


The original Captain Kirk is not happy following revelations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spent thousands of taxpayer dollars to produce a Star Trek parody video.

On Friday, the IRS admitted they spent $60,000 to make training videos that parodied TV shows Star Trek and Gilligan's Island, the Associated Press reported. The IRS videos were shown at a 2010 training conference and depict the spaceship set from Star Trek as well as characters like Spock. The parody plot, which includes a journey to the planet "No Tax," is explained in the video above; the full IRS video is below.

Actor William Shatner, who portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, took to Twitter to share his disappointment with the agency.

7 Amazing Startups to Watch

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 03:41 PM PDT


Startup incubator Y Combinator has funded more than 500 startups, including big names such as Reddit, Socialcam, and Airbnb. The incubator brings in a new class of startups twice a year

Those startups relocate to Silicon Valley for three months, get curtain-ready, and then demonstrate their startups at a Demo Day in front of investors. The first Demo Day of 2013 was held Tuesday in Mountain View, Calif., and brought with it a number of interesting new startups worth a look.

This crop of newcomers includes everything from an innovative way to help people get the medical help they need to a delivery service that gets your favorite food to your door. Another company promised to help you make money by parking your car while you're traveling out of town.

Check Out This RPG Trapped in an Excel Spreadsheet

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 03:26 PM PDT


Prepare to lose hours of your workday. An accountant has built a role-playing game that works inside of Excel Spreadsheets.

Arena.Xlsm is the product of Cary Walking, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a CPA and MBA student in Ontario, Canada. It is an expansive RPG with 2000 enemies that include necromancers, succubi and balrogs; over a thousand collectible items, and four possible endings all contained in one Excel Workbook.

Your character appears as smiley face in the middle of the spreadsheet, and you are delivered bits of story in the form of letters. For those looking for more information or play help, the game already has its own wiki.

10 Ways the Internet Built on the HRC's Marriage Equality Logo

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 03:19 PM PDT


Marriage equality is a serious and controversial issue, but leave it to the Internet to bring a dose of levity.

The Human Rights Campaign's pink and red version of its logo spread across Facebook on Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. Never missing the opportunity to parody the news, Facebook and Tumblr users began creating their own, less weighty versions of the image

We collected ten of the more clever takes on the logo in the gallery above. Have you seen any other creative versions? Share it in the comments.

Homepage image courtesy of Tumblr, sugarhut

Baby Giraffe Learning to Walk Will Brighten Your Day

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 02:57 PM PDT


Take a moment to appreciate the circle of life by watching this baby giraffe stand up. It's truly a precious moment, during which we dare you to not say "awwwww" five times

The calf's mom, Petal, is a 6-year-old endangered Rothschild giraffe at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center and gave birth earlier that morning. Petal's baby wasted no time gettin' up and at 'em after being alive for only 30 minutes

Petal also wasted no time licking her calf clean — We're sure when he's a teenager he won't appreciate the viral footage of his first bath, though

How the T-Mobile iPhone 5 Changes the Game

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 02:48 PM PDT


In case you haven't heard, there's a new iPhone in townT-Mobile announced today it would begin selling the iPhone 5, becoming the last major wireless carrier in the U.S. to do so. But it changes things for other iPhone customers, too.

First, a little background: To accommodate different radio technology and spectrum, there are actually two versions of the iPhone 5 (three if you count China, but that's not relevant here). One is for GSM networks (such as AT&T and T-Mobile) and the other is for CDMA carriers (Sprint and Verizon). Feature-wise, the phones are identical, but the radios are different.

'Parks and Recreation' Superheroes Keep Pawnee Safe and Awesome

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 02:34 PM PDT


Never fear, Leslie Knope is here!

Knope and her colleagues are currently undergoing a bit of a Clark Kent crisis. They are mid-level bureaucrats at the parks department by day, superheroes by night

At least they are in the mind of Vicktrola, the artist that dreamed up this masked posse of quirky co-workers. We're sure Amy Poehler and gang would completely agree to their Justice League alter egos — without them, Pawnee would transform into a chaotic, crime-filled mess

Vicktrola told Mashable that each painting took three to five hours to create. Check out Vicktrola's Etsy shop if you're in the mood to add some Ron Swanson artwork to your life

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