Friday, 8 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “8 Essential Apps For SXSWi Attendees”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “8 Essential Apps For SXSWi Attendees”

8 Essential Apps For SXSWi Attendees

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 02:46 AM PST


SXSW kicks off Friday in Austin. A great place to learn about new companies, make new friends, and network with interesting people –- the experience can get a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

To help along with the process we gathered together a collection of apps that are bound to make your SXSW experience run a little more smoothly.

SEE ALSO: The Most-Buzzed Startups at SXSWi 2013

From apps to help you remember the names of new friends, to an app to make sure you get into all the great parties, we’ve got something that’s bound to be useful for everyone.

YouTube One Channel Now Open for Everyone

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 01:27 AM PST


YouTube has opened up its new design for channels, so far available only as limited beta, to all users

The YouTube One Channel, as it's called, gives users the ability to slap a big header (called Channel Art) on the top of their channels and to have a video trailer which starts playing for all visitors who aren't yet subscribed to the channel

The new Channel Art-adorned channels, YouTube claims, will look good on any screen size and any device

Users can also organize their channel videos and playlists better, having more control over what content subscribers see when they click on their channel

Google to Cut 10% of Motorola's Workforce

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 12:09 AM PST


Google's Motorola is planning to cut 10% of its global workforce, the Wall Street Journal reports

The news comes from an internal company email which explains the reasoning behind the job cuts. "While we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges," it says

"These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition," a Motorola spokesperson said

Google plans to shed jobs in China, India and the U.S. A total of about 1,200 employees will lose their jobs.

Dyson’s New Fan Heater Works For All Seasons

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 11:17 PM PST


Dyson, the company that re-invented the vacuum and made fans cool again, introduced a new product for all four seasons

The Dyson Hot + Cool bladeless heater fan can keep you warm in the winter and provide cool air in the summer. The AM05 model is an upgrade from the previous Dyson Hot and increases the velocity of the cool air by 33%

Though it may not save you money at first glance (the device costs a hefty $399), it saves energy and costs 30% less to heat a whole room compared to conventional heaters

Similar to its other products, the AM05 uses Air Multiplying technology to ventilate through its trademark ring and boasts its intelligent thermostat, which monitors the room temperature. When it hits the desired temperature the machine turns itself off but if there's a drop, it automatically turns back on

4 Work Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 08:45 PM PST


When you’re the new girl at work, you do everything in your power to stay on your best behavior. You show up to the office early, leave late, dress conservatively and absolutely never, ever check your Facebook page from your work computer

But, as the weeks go by, it’s easy to slide into a sense of comfort and let your guard down. Soon you’re missing deadlines, tweeting covertly, making excuses as to why you’re not as productive as before, and in general, setting yourself up for a not-so-great performance review.

So what happened? Well, it’s simple — you forgot the basics. If you’re looking for a way to get back into gear, follow these easy (but often ignored) bits of advice.

'Auti-Sim' Game Simulates Life With Childhood Autism

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 08:30 PM PST


In a playground filled with gleeful shouts, you approach a group of children. Suddenly, your vision turns blurry and pixelated. The echoing screams become raucous

It's the experience of sensory overload, according to a new game called Auti-Sim. The simulation, created by a three-member team at the Vancouver Hacking Health hackathon, aims to raise awareness of the challenges of hypersensitivity disorder and help people understand how it can lead to isolation

The closer you get to loud and active children, the more overwhelming the situation becomes. As you move toward quieter areas, the strain tapers off. Watch the demo here

Make Better Presentations With the Instagram for Pitch Decks

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 07:56 PM PST


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: Haiku Deck

One-Liner Pitch: With Haiku Deck, you can create simple and effective presentations on your iPad.

Why It's Taking Off: Haiku Deck offers just the features that you'll actually use and the design structure makes it difficult to create an ugly presentation. It's the Instagram for pitch decks

"Hey, I really enjoyed making this PowerPoint," is one of those things nobody says. Haiku Deck aims to change that with its iPad app for making and viewing presentations

Could the Most Active Cardinal on Facebook Be the Next Pope?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 07:15 PM PST


If the next pope was chosen on social networks, Cardinal Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle of Manila would succede Benedict XVI.

The second youngest in the College of Cardinals, Tagle, 55, is the most active cardinal on Facebook, according to a social media analysis by the Italian start-up Decisyon.

Tagle, regarded as “The Asian Karol Wojtyła,” boasts 123,000 ‘Likes.’ Decisyon established that since Jan. 1, his page has accounted for 52% of cardinals’s social-media use, producing more than 57,000 posts, comments and shares.

“We hope you are John Paul III, but we will still call you Chito,” one of Tagle’s fans from all over the world wrote.

What's the Secret Behind Amazon's Super Smooth Drop-Down Menu?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 06:34 PM PST


Some say good web design is supposed to go unnoticed. But when it's as clever as Amazon's smooth drop-down menu, people take a closer look.

You may not have spent too much time thinking about's mega drop-down menu the last time your reordered socks, but Ben Kamens, who is lead developer at Khan Academy, broke down the principles behind the design in a post on his site.

SEE ALSO: Keep an Eye on These Web Design Trends in 2013

Since drop-down menus are like the 'kitchen cabinets of the Internet' for sorting information, how easy they are to use can make a big difference in the overall user experience. Making it easier to click may mean a user seamlessly adds more items to the shopping cart, right?

The 4 Stages of Adulthood

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:59 PM PST


There's an incredible sense of liberation when you first enter adulthood, however you might define the transition — moving out of your parents' house, going off to college, getting your first full-time job, eating cereal for dinner. You get the idea.

But it doesn't last very long, does it?

In the comic below, H. Caldwell Tanner of Loldwell shows the four stages of adulthood. At which stage are you?

Stages of Adulthood, Loldwell

Comic illustration by H. Caldwell Tanner, Loldwell. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

3D Printing Coming to Vending Machine Near You

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:36 PM PST


If vending machines can dispense beer, pizza and movies, why not 3D-printed objects?

Combining the hyper-local convenience of Redbox with cutting edge technology, Dreambox is a vending machine that aims to fuel the 3D-printing revolution from the bottom up.

Dreambox was created by co-founders David Pastewka, Ricard Berwick and Will Drevno, who all met in a mobile application development class and competition at the University of California, Berkeley. Frustrated by their lack of accessible, on-campus 3D printing options and the two- to four-week lead time for online 3D printing services, the trio came up with the idea for a more ubiquitous option.

Hands On With the New Facebook

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:26 PM PST


Still in line for the new Facebook News Feed? Want to take a look at the menu while you're waiting for a table? We've got you covered. Check out the gallery above.

The News Feed changes, which start kicking in for users Thursday, aren't just about making the site look cleaner (and more Google+ like) or increasing the size of photos. It's about giving you more options than you could possibly want for how to view content on Facebook.

For the first time in a long time, Facebook is actually making some of those feeds chronological. "All Friends," "Following" and "Photos" will appear in the order they came in — though this is still an experimental arrangement, a company spokesperson said.

NFL Star Richard Sherman Destroys Reviled TV Host Skip Bayless

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:12 PM PST


Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman is no stranger to attention-grabbing Twitter publicity stunts

He recently ticked off fellow standout NFL cornerback Darrelle Revis with some digital trash talk. In October, he tweeted a "U mad bro?" picture about Tom Brady after the Seahawks knocked off Brady's Patriots. Later that same month he changed his Twitter name to "Optimus Prime" before a showdown with Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson, who's known by the nickname Megatron

But on Thursday morning it was a TV appearance by Sherman that lit up the world of sports Twitter. Sherman became a quasi-hero to many for standing up to and obliterating reviled ESPN host Skip Bayless during an appearance on Bayless' talk show First Take.

How Syfy Turns TV Shows Into Social Phenomenons

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 05:02 PM PST


Syfy, known to viewers as Sci-Fi up until 2009, recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary

Along with the channel's revamped branding, new strategies for formulating and distributing content online emerged. Whether it's populating Syfy Sync (a second-screen experience for Android and iPad) or preparing for the April 2013 launch of Defiance (dubbed "the world’s first videogame/TV series hybrid"), Syfy is striving to keep pace with viewers' ever-changing TV viewing habits while exploring new ways to entertain.

"We don't look at social as something we do, we look at social as part of who we are," Craig Engler, senior vice president and general manager of Syfy Digital, tells Mashable.

Thirst Anaylzes RSS Feeds to Determine What's Hot

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 04:59 PM PST


AUSTIN — Mobile app Thirst won the SXSW Accelerator in 2012 as a Twitter magazine, of sorts. It analyzed Twitter in real-time, organized tweets by topic, and presented that content in an easy-to-read way.

A year later, the app is back at SXSW, now with a slightly revamped version that (instead of focusing on Twitter) now focuses on what you read online. Launched three weeks ago, the new version is closing in on 100,000 downloads.

At SXSW, Thirst will be looking at Twitter posts as well as thousands of RSS feeds in order to determine which are the most buzzed-about startups and events. It will be displaying a constantly-updating list of that information on its website, as well as on a television on the floor at SXSW.

Is This Star Older Than the Universe?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 04:13 PM PST


The oldest known star appears to be older than the universe itself, but a new study is helping to clear up this seeming paradox.

Previous research had estimated that the Milky Way galaxy's so-called "Methuselah star" is up to 16 billion years old. That's a problem, since most researchers agree that the Big Bang that created the universe occurred about 13.8 billion years ago.

Now a team of astronomers has derived a new, less nonsensical age for the Methuselah star, incorporating information about its distance, brightness, composition and structure.

"Put all of those ingredients together, and you get an age of 14.5 billion years, with a residual uncertainty that makes the star's age compatible with the age of the universe," study lead author Howard Bond, of Pennsylvania State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, said in a statement

4 Ways Publishers Can Optimize for Facebook's New News Feed

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 04:01 PM PST


Facebook unveiled its "new" News Feed Thursday, and while we won't know the full range of effects it will have on the pages of brands and publishers for some time, Facebook has provided a few clues to help administrators optimize their pages ahead of its rollout.

First, let's take a look at the changes. The new News Feed is cleaner, more visual and has more filtering controls. The size of photos and videos have been enlarged, making the quality of visual media more important than ever before. That's great news for magazines and other publishers with deep photo resources; for publishers that rely largely on Creative Commons or stock imagery, the challenge is greater.

Friend Supports Hospitalized BFF With Adorable Letter

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:36 PM PST


When Redditor JoDiegoJo was dealing with short-term memory loss in 2011, her best friend found a way to make sure she was unforgettable

She drafted up this letter answering questions Jo was repeatedly asking since her memory only had a five-minute retention span. The letter is witty (note the dig on never being "aroused"), and it has the causal and goofy vibe that only two best friends share

Jo recently released the letter on Reddit and explained in comments that a nausea medication prescribed by the hospital reacted negatively with another medication, causing the memory loss. She added that her friend not only made this sweet letter, but took leave from her job and stayed at Jo's house with her kids, so Jo's husband could stay at the hospital with her

Smart Computer Mouse Carries Your Digital Identities Between Devices

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 03:01 PM PST


It's a gadget we likely overlook everyday that has only seen incremental innovation in the last decade: the computer mouse. Now, a European company wants to not only make the mouse "smart," but more mobile by moving with you across devices.

Designed by the team at Italy- and UK-based firm Laura Sapiens, the Ego! Smartmouse stores your digital identity and files, allowing you to move across various computers and systems. Anything that can link up via Bluetooth technology can potentially accept input from the mouse.

In addition to being an optical mouse, it has features you normally see in a smartphone: an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, touch sensor, embedded VGA camera — and it even runs its own Linux OS. Not only can you utilize its available 2GB, 4GB or 8GB of flash memory as a portable storage device, but the Ego! Smartmouse comes with cloud storage.

NHL Fight Ends in Actual Knockout

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 02:44 PM PST


Seeing a fight during an NHL game? Extremely common. Seeing an NHL fight end in an actual knockout? Extremely uncommon

Yet that's exactly what happened during Wednesday night's game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto's Frazer McLaren challenged Senator Dave Dziurzynski to a go and the two traded punches for several seconds before McLaren landed his KO haymaker

To his credit, McLaren called the blow a "lucky punch" and was apologetic after the game

“Any time you get into a fight, you never want to see that happen," he told Toronto's National Post. "Obviously, I hope he’s OK. I asked the doctor between periods to just get word that he was all right. It was just an unfortunate incident that that happens.”

Pandora's CEO Is Stepping Down

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 02:38 PM PST


Pandora announced Thursday CEO Joe Kennedy will be stepping down after 10 years in charge of the company. Kennedy will stay on until a successor is found.

"As part of our Board discussions of the road that lies ahead, I reached the conclusion and advised the Board that the time is right to begin a process to identify my successor," Kennedy said in a statement. "There is a tremendous market opportunity ahead and I look forward to continuing to work with all the great people at Pandora to keep driving the business forward."

Kennedy joined Pandora in 2004 — four years after the company was founded by Tim Westergren — after having worked at E-Loan and Saturn. Under his leadership, Pandora's user base has grown to more than 67 million monthly active listeners and there are now more than 700 employees on staff. In recent quarters, Pandora's business has been plagued by high royalty costs and low ad revenue for the growing number of mobile listeners. The online radio service has also been threatened by competitors such as Spotify as well as rumors that Apple might enter the music streaming space

Sports Fans: Where Has the RefCam Been All Our Lives?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 02:19 PM PST


You know how sometimes there's a really cool idea that seems so natural you wonder why it didn't happen sooner and isn't more widespread?

The RefCam definitely qualifies

Australian Super Rugby ref Chris Pollock wore a GoPro-like device strapped to his head for a match between the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs in Brisbane on Saturday. Video from the match — embedded above — has been online since then but the Internet's verdict of major approval came in Thursday when the clip was up-voted to Reddit's front page

Pollock was the first Super Rugby ref to pull off the maneuver, according to the Newcastle Herald. Of course, the NFL experimented with with cameras mounted on umpires' hats in 2000 but that hasn't truly caught on and small, rugged devices such as GoPro introduce a new set of options

'Iron Man 3' Inventor Fair Looks for a Real-Life Tony Stark

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 02:06 PM PST


Marvel Studios announced the Iron Man 3: Inventor and Innovator Fair, a competition for students that looks to find young tech groundbreakers and — perhaps — a real-life Tony Stark in the making

Sixth- through ninth-grade students throughout the United States have been asked to create projects based on themes from the movie, including securing cyberspace and engineering tools of scientific discovery. Along with Marvel, the fair is sponsored by Discovery Science Center, the Broadcom Foundation and Visa Signature

Participants are also encouraged to submit projects related to themes in the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges. Submissions can focus on subjects like eco-friendly car development, limb regeneration, the study of protective armor for injured body parts, aeronautics and more. We might just see an improved re-creation of Iron Man's arc reactor.

Activists Want Your Help to Legalize Unlocking and Fix the DMCA

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:53 PM PST


Think the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) needs to be fixed? Now's your chance to let Congress know how you feel.

Sina Khanifar, an entrepreneur and the author of a recent White House petition urging the government to re-legalize cellphone unlocking, has a new website that lets users email and tweet petitions of their own to lawmakers:

FixTheDMCA goes a step further than Khanifar's White House petition by asking for the permanent legalization of three other technologies and procedures: jailbreaking, modifications to products that have been legally purchased and screen reading software for the blind:

What Facebook's New News Feed Means for Marketers

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:33 PM PST


Facebook on Thursday unveiled its first major redesign of the News Feed since 2009, making the page more visually rich, and giving users new options to filter what they see by different feed categories like Music, Photos, Games and Close Friends. At first glance, the changes appear to be a win-win for users who want more control over their Facebook homepage, but the redesign may prove to be more of a mixed bag for marketers.

For brands, the biggest positive about the new changes is that there is suddenly more real estate for in-stream ads. Facebook has expanded the size of the News Feed itself and shrunk the right and left rails surrounding the Feed. "Having a larger canvas to work with will be a real benefit to marketers," said Debra Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer. "[Marketers] have always wanted more real estate and Facebook has always been more reticent to give them more play. By expanding the News Feed, that by default gives advertisers more room to play with as well."

Vacuum Sucks Up Fire in Blazing Glory

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:26 PM PST


We're all aware the Dyson vacuum cleaner is no joke. It can tackle the meanest of messes, the stickest of spills and has helped more than a few of us hide the remnants of a rager before our parents got home

Now, thanks to the YouTube channel of Photonicinduction we are all aware that the beast of all vacuums is even immune to fires.

The video shows a fearless — or maybe foolish — duo pouring tubs of gasoline onto the pavement and then setting it ablaze (we hope we don't even need to tell you not to try this at home). Without any reservations, the gutsy tester turns on the vacuum and sucks up the flames as if they were just dust mites and hairballs

The Wolfpack Is Back in 'The Hangover 3' Trailer

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:09 PM PST


Bless the comedy gods, because the wolfpack is back and up to more hilarious antics in The Hangover 3

The official trailer, which dropped Thursday, features the boys out of Thailand — the setting for the second movie — and returning to their original stomping grounds in Vegas.

Even Mr. Chow has made a comeback (this time with clothes, it seems) and beloved Melissa McCarthy seems to be stopping by the Strip. Who wouldn't love to see a romance bud between the Bridesmaids star and wolfpack leader Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis)?

Is Facebook the New Google+?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:05 PM PST


Facebook unveiled today a radical new look for the news feed, but it wasn't the only social network getting major buzz following the design announcement

Minutes after Facebook debuted the overhaul, boasting multiple feeds, mobile consistency and a bigger focus on pictures, people took to Twitter to discuss the similarities between the update and the existing look of competitor Google+, which was trending on Twitter in the U.S. for a good portion of Mark Zuckerberg's presentation.

Facebook's announcement comes just one day after Google+ launched new features of its own, including a "Local" reviews tab and larger cover photos.

Is Play Time the New Work Time?

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 01:02 PM PST


All work and no play makes for less productive employees, right? That seems to be the motto at companies like Google, which sponsors fun activities for their employees during the workday. The logic behind said fun times? "Play time" increases creativity and fosters teamwork among employees

How effective is play time at work in boosting worker performance? Does having Guitar Hero at work yield better results company-wide? Do quirky decorations make for higher-powered brainstorms? We're asking you for your help to find out.

SEE ALSO: 10 Creative Solutions for a More Productive Workspace

Along with our partners at CNN iReport, we want you to share your experiences mixing work and play. Do you go to work-sponsored happy hours, or take part in any office games? Do you find that these kinds of events are well-attended? What benefits do you feel come from recreational activities in the office? Do you see any negative consequences to mixing work and play?

The State of United States on Twitter

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 12:36 PM PST


Twitter is a vital tool for more than just casual and business-related communication. Residents rely on official state accounts in times of emergency, or during big local news stories. Tourists might use an account to find information before visiting

Most states are aware of this importanceEvery Senator is on Twitter, and so are nearly all members of the House of Representatives.

It might seem like a no-brainer, then, to consider your state's Twitter handle. Yet out of the 50 states, only four have acquired their actual name as a verified account. Others have less obvious verified accounts, like @AlabamaEMA or TravelWI.

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