Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “MessageMe Brings Rich Media and Context to Mobile Messaging”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “MessageMe Brings Rich Media and Context to Mobile Messaging”

MessageMe Brings Rich Media and Context to Mobile Messaging

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 04:52 AM PST


Just in time for SXSW 2013 comes MessageMe, a new iOS and Android app that offers group and individual messaging, but with twist.

On the surface, MessageMe looks like any group or individual messaging app — such as GroupMe or WhatsApp. You can send messages, of course, just as one would via SMS.

The difference is that with MessageMe, you can also send other types of content too, including photos, songs, videos, audio recordings and even doodles.

WhatsApp and some other messaging apps allow for the attachment of media, but MessageMe feels much faster. Moreover, the speed in which users can attach other content to a message is near instantaneous.

Nokia Befriends Apple in Samsung Patent Trial

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:50 AM PST


Nokia has sided with Apple in its request for a permanent injunction against several Samsung products, Reuters reports

The Finnish company has filed a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday, supporting Apple's case. The brief is currently sealed, but the accompanying summary shows that Nokia thinks judge Lucy Koh was wrong when she denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction of Samsung's products

Judge Koh ruled that, to secure a ban on Samsung's products, Apple must establish a "casual nexus" between its patented feature and the demand for its phones. According to Nokia, that was a bad decision and it "could cause wide-ranging damage to the United States patent protection landscape.”

Distance to Milky Way's Neighbor Galaxy Refined

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:35 AM PST


The distance to one of the Milky Way's next-door neighbors, a satellite galaxy that orbits its outskirts, has been determined more accurately than ever before, astronomers announced today.

The achievement could help scientists calibrate other cosmic distances, which are essential for understanding how quickly the universe is expanding and solving the mystery of dark energy. Dark energy is the name given to whatever is tugging the universe apart and causing its expansion to accelerate.

According to the new measurement, the nearby dwarf galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud lies 163,000 light-years away

Apple Remains the Top U.S. Smartphone Maker, Report Says

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:07 AM PST


Apple has extended its lead as the top U.S. smartphone-maker, by grabbing another 3.5% of total market, according to ComScore's latest data.

The Cupertino, Calif. giant captured a formidable 37.8% of the U.S. market during the three-month average period ending January 2013, leaving its competitors in the dust. (ComScore compares stats from this period to the three-month average period ending October 2012.)

Rival Samsung clocked in at 21.4%, followed by HTC, Motorola and LG with 9.7%, 8.6% and 7%, respectively

smartphone subscribers U.S. comscore

We'll see if circumstances change once sales of new flagship handsets from HTC and LG start showing up in these numbers, but at the moment, the U.S. smartphone race is quickly becoming a two-player game

Google Expands Public Alerts to Japan for Quake, Tsunami Warnings

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 12:27 AM PST


After launching last January in the U.S., Google has now expanded its Public Alerts system to Japan.

"It's important for people in Japan to have crisis preparedness and response information available at their fingertips," Yu Chen, Google's partner technology manager, announced in a blog post Wednesday. "We know that when a disaster strikes, people turn to the Internet for more information about what is happening."

Japan is the first international location to get Public Alerts, which notifies people about emergencies when they search for information online. It was chosen in light of the devastating earthquake that struck off the country's eastern coast in 2011

Boost Your iPad's Sound Quality With This Amplifier

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 11:31 PM PST


iPad users are vociferous about their love for Apple's flagship tablet except for one detail: weak sound quality from its rear-facing speakers. It's a common gripe that one company aims to solve.

Sabine is an amplifier that redirects sound to the front of the iPad. Laser cut from anodized aluminum to match other Apple products, the device attaches without adhesive.

"We wanted to eliminate the need to cup our hands around our iPads ... but do so in a way that complemented Apple's design language," said Sabine's creators

So far, the amplifier has raised just over half of its $10,000 goal on Kickstarter, with 34 days left in its campaign

Reimagined 'Breaking Bad' Intro Brings You Back to 1995

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 10:28 PM PST


What if Breaking Bad aired in 1995?

A new YouTube video revamps the AMC drama's opening credits to include common elements from 1990s television-show intros. There's the serif typeface for the credits, adult contemporary rock music providing the score, lingering shots of characters engaging in inaudible conversation and of course, a closing shot that zooms out to show an expansive landscape.

Brings back memories of My So-Called Life, Party of Five, 7th Heaven and other shows, doesn't it? Take an 18-year blast to the past by checking out the video, above.

Asus Transformer AiO is Part Android, Part Windows 8

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 09:31 PM PST


Asus launched on Thursday the latest device in its Transformer line, and it certainly lives up to the name.

The Transformer AiO P1801 is part tablet, part PC, with the ability to switch from Windows 8 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the click of a button. The versatility factor gets better too. The tablet can sit on a PC station, equipped with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and serve as a desktop computer. But when you're ready to use it far from the confines of a desk, the tablet can be removed. Both the tablet and PC station comes with its own processor.

The bundled set is $1299 and will be available for purchase starting April 12.

6 Movies Made Better With an All-Muppet Cast

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 08:59 PM PST


Who says the Muppets are just for kids? Artist Kenny Durkin reimagines our beloved friends starring in less-than-kid-friendly movies and TV shows, including The Big Lebowski, Jaws and, of course, Lord of the Rings.

Now imagine what Kermit could do with Legolas' dialogue. "They’re taking the Hobbits to… gulp… Isengard."

Images courtesy of Kenny Durkin

'Gardens' App is a Digital Catalog for Your Backyard

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 08:03 PM PST


For those who enjoy taking occasional breaks from their computer screen to stop and smell the roses, there's a new gardening app that lets you catalog your nature walk.

Gardens, a free iOS app for those with green thumbs, lets you take, label and share plant photos to a personal online scrapbook. Budding botanists, horiticulturists and basic gardeners can use the app as a memory tool, as well as a database for advice and tutorials. Check out the video, above, for more

After taking a photo, users can share snapshots via social media or email. They can also buy gardening supplies directly from suppliers by clicking a wheelbarrow icon, In addition to a personal plant archive, the app offers "Magic Parcels" each month that include videos, pictures and expert information

Homemade Taser Sword Looks Like a Sci-Fi Movie Prop

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 07:06 PM PST


While we would normally start with the obligatory "Don't try this at home" warning, it's precisely one YouTuber's disregard for warnings that resulted in the taser sword's creation, above. That, and a willingness to get tasered.

The user made it by wrapping a double bladed sword — apparently, a common household item — in electrical tape, creating a weapon that looks more futuristic sci-fi movie prop than deadly assassin tool

We're guessing J.J. Abrams will be borrowing the taser-sword concept for his next movie script. (Perhaps it's what the hero uses to slay the villain?)

The 5 Stages of Designer Grief

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 06:03 PM PST


You've heard of the "five stages of grief" model, but with the amount of original work designers have to mourn all the time, they deserve their own grieving process.

In this comic, Angela Liao of 20px shows us exactly what it takes for a designer to get to that final stage — acceptance.

Stages of Designer Grief, 20px

Comic illustration by Angela Liao, 20px. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

Mass Relevance CEO Discusses Sports' Social Media Takeover

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 06:02 PM PST


Austin-based Mass Relevance may be more deep-rooted in the sports social media space than any company not named Twitter or Facebook

The two-year-old startup curates and analyzes social chatter to highlight relevant posts and analyze overall conversation for a surfeit of brands, media companies and digital agencies across several industries. So pervasive is Mass Relevance's reach, in fact, that Twitter made the company its first official social engagement and curation partner last year.

Sports make up a significant chunk of Mass Relevance's work; its clients include Major League Baseball, ESPN, the New York Giants, TaylorMade and others. But why the special relationship between sports and social? We recently interviewed Mass Relevance founder and CEO Sam Decker to explore just that

There's a MacBook Pro Inside This Old Book

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 05:46 PM PST


Attention tweedy professorial types: This BookBook case will let you hide your Retina MacBook Pro from your old-school colleagues, making them think you're carrying around a dignified old tome rather than a laptop from the future.

Twelve South has added the Retina MacBook Pro to the stable of devices that can use its distressed-leather BookBook cases. This one is compatible with the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display, as well as the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air. Similar handcrafted cases are available for iPhones and iPads

The one we tested seems to have been specifically created for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro — it fits perfectly

Free Music App Brings Top YouTube Songs to Your iPhone

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 05:29 PM PST


Digital music subscription services have brought us the ability to stream millions of songs on our smartphones, but generally the good ones cost the equivalent of at least a couple Starbucks lattes a month. A new alternative lets you do the same, without forking over any cash.

No pennies needed for Music Tube [iTunes link], an app available for iOS devices, which lets you listen to and watch music videos from YouTube's huge swath of content. The app also works on the iPad.

Search by genre, create playlists and see what songs make the top lists in various countries. Songs can even be cached on your device for quicker access the next go around.

Twitter Celebrities Support Woman After Severe Brain Trauma

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 05:06 PM PST


Comedian Matthew Parise, better known on Twitter as @sucittaM, unexpectedly took his wife Danielle to the hospital in January when she suffered a serious brain trauma

Danielle immediately underwent neurosurgery to relieve pressure on the brain, followed by more surgeries to stop and remove a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

The surgeries were successful, and Danielle is out of the ICU and on her way to a long, expensive recovery

To show support, Twitter notables — including Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Jenny Johnson, Lauren Ashley Bishop and Ed Weeks, among others — have auctioned a variety of cool items

Dita Von Teese Debuts 3D-Printed Dress

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 04:41 PM PST


Style icon Dita Von Teese debuted a 3D-printed dress at the Ace Hotel on Monday, born out of a collaboration between designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti

Schmidt, well-known for designing Lady Gaga's famous bubble dress, worked with Bitonti, a Brooklyn-based architect who renders designs with new technologies in unusual material — this time to make a 3D-printed dress from hardened powdered nylon that still allows for movement on the body

"We were an interesting team because I take things that are virtual and I figure out what to make them of," Bitonti said.

The dress was created virtually. Schmidt designed the entire dress on his iPad and communicated with Bitonti through Skype during the process of imagining 17 unique pieces and 3,000 joints that let the dress move with the body

Android App Pays You $25 a Month for Watching Ads

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 04:11 PM PST


It's about time we got paid for watching ads. The Indiegogo project for SmartAds today announced its intentions to pay smartphone and tablet users up to $25 per device, per month to be served on the lock screen of their devices. If you have both a tablet and a phone, you could make as much as $50 each month.

The company, which plans to go public in the middle of this month, is starting with a free Android app that will be smart enough to target ads based on your interests and geographic location. SmartAds claims the ads will be "creative" and "minimalistic". If you find a particular ad offensive or unappealing you can "close" the to reveal your normal lock screen. If you love an ad, you can click for more info, buy the product/service, or share the deal with friends.

Time Inc. Is Up for Grabs

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 03:37 PM PST


Time Warner is spinning off its magazine unit, Time Inc., into a separate, publicly traded company, it was announced Wednesday evening

Laura Lang, who was brought on as CEO of Time Inc. in late 2011, will step down after the transition is completed and a new CEO has been identified

A planned sell-off of most of the magazines to U.S. publisher Meredith will not happen. Neither will Time Warner's plan to hang on to Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated, as seemed likely under the Meredith deal.

Jeff Bewkes, chairman and CEO of Time Warner, said the spin-off would allow Time Warner to focus on its key assets: its film and TV businesses, a portfolio that includes Warner Bros, HBO and New Line Cinema. It's a strategy Time Warner has been systematically executing since 2004, when Warner Music Group was spun off as a separate company

10 Types of People You'll Definitely See at SXSW

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 03:26 PM PST


SXSW 2013 is just around the corner.

The music/film/techie festival has been called a "reverse mullet" event: party in the front and business in the back, with a solid streak of Austin weird throughout. To make sure you're as pumped as we are, we've thrown together a gallery of the 10 types of people you're guaranteed to see wandering the shindig

Any good ones we missed? Let us know in the comments.

The conference runs from March 8-17 in Austin, Texas. Check Mashable throughout the event for up-to-date coverage and highlights

Lawmakers Make New Push for Electronic Privacy Reform

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 03:01 PM PST


Three members of Congress, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), introduced new legislation on Wednesday to reform the Electronic Communications Protection Act (ECPA) and improve privacy protections for electronic messages

The new bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), is called the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act. As drafted, the bill would extend Fourth Amendment protections to email and cellphone geolocation data, requiring authorities to get a warrant in situations where one is currently not required.

Lofgren had introduced a similar bill last year and previously promised to reintroduce it as part of her "Internet freedom" agenda

What Keeps Austin Weird? Share Your Best SXSW Vines

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:52 PM PST


A major aspect of SXSW is sharing — whether that sharing be new ideas, inspiring quotes or eye-catching imagery. This year, in addition to the traditional photos and videos, we expect to see some great vines coming from SXSW.

If you'll be in Austin, we encourage you to shoot some killer vines and tweet them to us with the hashtag #MashSXSW. Get creative with your vine — we better see more than just panels. Find something unique to Austin or SXSW, whether it be wacky fashion or a standout meal from a food truck. Give us a six-second glimpse into what really makes Austin so "weird."

SEE ALSO: 29 SXSW 2013 Panels You Can't Miss

Behind the Scenes at Singer Michael Bolton's Reddit AMA

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:42 PM PST


Tucked away in startup #waywire's office in New York City, singer Michael Bolton answered questions Wednesday during a candid Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.

Mashable exclusively interviewed the Grammy-winning artist minutes before the Reddit AMA, learning details about his viral "Jack Sparrow" video from Saturday Night Live and more.

"I'm happy to risk my life by coming on (Reddit)," Bolton said with a smirk, wearing a dark suit with black sunglasses hanging from his black button-down shirt

  • On Billboard adding YouTube views to the way it picks songs for its charts:

  • "That's interesting because it does calculate the new face and new reality of the industry. It'll be interesting to see how it works out and skews the charts. I like how it's all changing to keep up with the reality and how (music listeners) are responding, so it will be interesting to see how the YouTube translation figures in."

  • On what love REALLY has to do with it:

  • "At the end of the day nothing else actually matters. You find out years down the road that it's not about romantic love, it's the people you love — family and friends. Everything else is not quite bullshit, but everything else fades away."

Houzz Will Save Your Home (and Perhaps Your Marriage)

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:19 PM PST


Home remodeling and decorating can be a stressful process that drives couples crazy

Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen experienced that drama after they bought their first home and discovered they had radically different design concepts. But the pain was worth it because it served as inspiration to start Houzz, a home design website so addictive that it has earned the nickname "house porn."

Houzz features stunning galleries of tagged photos from the portfolios of home improvement professionals, ranging from architects to interior designers and contractors. The app is designed to help you visualize your plans and find the right architect or designer to execute them. It allows you to create Ideabooks through collections of tagged photos

Sen. Rand Paul Live-Tweets His Hours-Long Filibuster

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:16 PM PST


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) live-tweeted — or at least somebody on his staff live-tweeted — his hours-long filibuster Wednesday afternoon against John Brennan's nomination as director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Paul first announced his rare talking filibuster on Twitter, then took the Senate floor just before noon. Over the course of the next five hours, he delivered a lengthy speech on the Obama administration's foreign policy and use of drones. He was particularly critical of Attorney General Eric Holder's recent letter in which he said drones could be used against U.S. citizens on American soil in an "extraordinary circumstance" to "protect the homeland."

Galaxy S III Lock Screen Bug Opens Up Personal Data to Intruders

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:12 PM PST


The iPhone isn't the only mobile device that can have its lock screen bypassed with some key button presses and good timing: the lock screen on Samsung's Galaxy S III can be bypassed as well.

As discovered by Sean McMillan and posted to the Full Disclosure mailing list, a user can bypass the Galaxy S III's lock screen with just a few button presses, with the right timing,

McMillan tested his bypass method on a variety of different Galaxy S III devicesMashable was able to successfully unlock a Galaxy S III running Android 4.1.2 using McMillan's instructions, as were other outlets including The Verge and ZDNET

Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Nicholson Impression Is Eyebrow-Raising

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:10 PM PST


Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't have an Oscar, but he does boast a pretty cool party trick. That's basically the same thing, right?

During a recent appearance on a Japanese talk show, an interviewer asked DiCaprio if he could pull off any celebrity impressions. The Django Unchained star immediately put his eyebrows to work demonstrating his best Jack Nicholson

Now if only Nicholson's bellybutton — or ear lobes, or whatever — could do an impression of DiCaprio, we might have something for the Academy to consider.

'Oh My Disney' Recasts Characters for Social Media Sharing

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 02:03 PM PST


Disney is adding some signature magic to its social media presence, thanks to a newly created editorial site which pairs smart and punchy text with classic and current characters.

Called Oh My Disney, the site is taking fun, sharable content and assembling it into an info-snacking, scrolling-friendly package

Among its most recent posts include "10 Paperman GIFs to Make You Believe in Destiny" — an homage to the charming Oscar-award winning short film Paperman — and "15 Reminders That You’re Great Today", which features pictures from Disney films such as Aladdin and Toy Story to Pinocchio

"We were looking for ways to deepen our connection to our large social audience," Mark Walker, senior VP of Disney Interactive Entertainment, told Mashable. "This was a natural extension of the content we’re already developing for channels like Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr."

Ringya App Transforms Paper Lists Into Shareable Mobile Contacts

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 01:52 PM PST


Staying connected in today's digital age is simpler than ever. Family, friends and colleagues are accessible with the click of a button, but managing all your contacts isn't as easy. Dave is listed in your digital black book, but where did you meet him again? Was the plumber's name Paul or Saul?

Ringya, a free mobile app, solves the problem of the ever-growing contact list by letting users organize names and numbers in context groups. The application launched for Android on Tuesday and is available on iOS

The address book app eliminates the need for piles of papers tacked to your fridge or the business cards you've accumulated over the years. Users can snap a picture of the paper lists and contacts are automatically imported to your phone

Startups Bet Audio Is the Next Frontier for Social Media

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 01:46 PM PST


New apps and websites seem to pop up every other week to help us share our lives with friends and family through videos, pictures and text messages, but in the process, we've moved farther and farther away from what was once the central means of communicating: the sound of our own voice. Now, a couple startups are trying to change that.

Dubbler, an app that quietly launched in beta on iPhone and Android in December, offers a simple way to record up to 60 seconds of audio and share them to Facebook, Twitter and the Dubbler community. You can add playful sound filters (similar to photo filters on Instagram) and a cover photo from your phone's camera if you want, or you can let the soundbite speak for itself.

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