Friday, 12 April 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Ebooks Now 23% of U.S. Publisher Sales”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Ebooks Now 23% of U.S. Publisher Sales”

Ebooks Now 23% of U.S. Publisher Sales

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 08:51 PM PDT


Big, bigger, but not yet biggest: According to the Association of American Publishers's StatShot study released Thursday, ebooks made up nearly a quarter (22.55%, to be precise) of U.S. trade publishers' book sales last year. That's up from 17% in 2011 and just 3% in 2009.

The financial outlook for books is good. Total industry revenues increased 6.2% to $7.1 billion, of which $1.54 billion came from ebooks. Net revenue from adult fiction/non-fiction and children's/young adult books rose as well — though revenue in the third category, religious presses, did not.

It wasn't just ebooks that sold well. Downloadable audiobooks and paperbacks also saw year-over-year increases, as did hardcover copies of books in the children's/young adult category. Read more...

More about Business and Media

Twitter Music App is Launching Friday

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 08:15 PM PDT


Get ready to rockTwitter is about to launch its long-rumored standalone music app Friday, according to a report.

The app's existence was rapidly becoming one of the worst-kept secrets in social media, especially after American Idol host Ryan Seacrest randomly tweeted about its existence earlier Thursday

As soon as Seacrest did that, the social music startup We Are Hunted tweeted back at him — and then immediately announced it had been acquired by Twitter. (Another poorly kept secret, this acquisition likely occurred last year and was revealed by CNET last month.)

When we asked Twitter whether the app existed, they pointed us — rather meaningfully — to the We Are Hunted announcement. Now AllThingsD is reporting that the music app will launch Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. Read more...

More about Twitter, Music, Apps, and Social Media

Where the Happiest Employees in Tech Work

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 07:35 PM PDT


Tech companies are already well known for some of the extra benefits they offer their employees, but several companies stand head and shoulders above others in keeping their workers happy, a new poll has found.

The survey, based on reviews on the site CareerBliss, ranked and rated the happiest tech companies in the United States. Overall, workers at Intuit were found to be the happiest employees in tech. Texas Instruments (No. 2) and Avaya (No. 3) rounded out the top three.

Employees at Google — which is often recognized for its comprehensive benefits package that includes everything from free food and haircuts to on-site doctors and fitness centers — were rated the fourth happiest workers in tech. EMC Corp and Intel followed Google on the CareerBliss list, at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. The rest of the top-10 list included Unisys, Yahoo!, HCL Technologies and Advanced Micro Devices. Read more...

More about Google, Intel, Tech Industry, Tech Jobs, and Intuit

Workplace Bathroom Monitor Tells You When It's Free to Pee

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 06:56 PM PDT


When you gotta go, you gotta go. There's no stopping nature's call. But if you're working in an office and sharing a bathroom, timing is everything. The frustration of getting to the door, only to have it occupied, can be a big waste of time

Enter BUM, the bathroom usage monitor. The system, developed by employees at Sanborn Media Factory, lets office workers know when a restroom is free — via a desktop app that watches the throne

Company members created BUM out of a necessity at their New York location. There are two individual bathrooms, one male, one female, but no direct lines of sight to their doors. Employees at the interactive agency hacked their way around the problem with a digital solution using a light sensor and wireless connection Read more...

More about Work, Hacks, Bathroom, Lifestyle, and Work Play

We've Taken 1 Million Photos of Earth From the Space Station

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 06:23 PM PDT


The official purpose of the International Space Station is Science: Astronauts living on the orbital laboratory spend the majority of their time in space testing microgravity's effect on physical objects, fellow animals and themselves. The less-official purpose of the International Space Station, however, is Wonder

That there are, at this very moment, six human beings hanging out in space is a source of delight and maybe even inspiration to many of us here on Earth. And the fortunate few who get to do the hanging out take advantage of their vaunted environs, spending a good deal of their free time on the ISS taking pictures of the planetary scenery that spreads out 230 miles below them Read more...

More about Space, Pics, Photos, Nasa, and International Space Station

Stolen Laptop Sends Mystery Pictures from Iran

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 05:42 PM PDT


Laptops, sadly, get stolen every day (at a rate of one every 53 seconds, according to an oft-quoted Gartner study). But not all of those bereft owners get to see the thieves using their machine from 3,000 miles away. Fewer still make a Tumblr out of the situation.

That's apparently what happened to Dom Deltorto, a London-based animator who had his Macbook Pro taken from his flat on February 4. Deltoro had installed Hidden App, a $15 piece of Mac software that lets you track a stolen machine the next time it connects to the Internet. It can send you surreptitious pictures of its new owners from the built-in camera, and let you take screengrabs of what they're doing on the desktop. Read more...

More about Security, Tumblr, Theft, and Tech

Ryan Seacrest: Twitter's Music App Is Real

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 05:23 PM PDT


Ryan Seacrest claims he's using Twitter's much-rumored music app — and is loving it.

The American Idol host posted a tweet Wednesday evening indicating that he was playing with the unreleased app, confirming its existence

According to Seacrest, Twitter’s entre into the music scene shows what artists are currently trending, and includes popular as well as up and coming artists

If Seacrest is to be believed, the app also offers the ability to play tracks, a feature that caused a "serious dance party" to break out on the set of Idol.

playing with @twitter's new music app (yes it's real!)...there's a serious dance party happening at idol right now

— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) April 11, 2013

More about Twitter, App, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile

LeBron James Posts a Rather Revealing Pic to Instagram

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 05:05 PM PDT


LeBron James has become a master of social media, but does this quality as an overshare?

First LeBron had the viral tweet after winning last years NBA title. Then there was his starring role in the Miami Heat's "Harlem Shake" video that ruled the Internet. Then he followed a fan on Twitter after the young man had stormed the court during one of his games begging for LeBron to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers someday

Then ... the photo you see above

LeBron posted the pic to his 2.2 million Instagram followers on Thursday afternoon to commemorate a spandex-clad workout. As you can't help but see, the shot leaves very little to the imagination Read more...

More about Nba, Lebron James, Entertainment, Videos, and Sports

To Fund Longform Journalism, 'Toronto Star' Tests Ebook Subscriptions

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 04:33 PM PDT


Seeking new ways to fund longform journalism, newspaper and magazine publishers have lately released a range of short, inexpensive ebooks, featuring repackaged feature articles (see The Atlantic's The Obama Presidency, Explained) and archival material (Vanity Fair's The Best of Vanity Fair: Elizabeth Taylor), through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other ebook sellers. In one success story, Wired was able to sell more than 50,000 copies of an expanded feature story on tech entrepreneur turned fugitive John McAfee, priced at $0.99 per 47-page copy, of which the sole distributor (Amazon) took a 30% share. Read more...

More about Media, Newspapers, Ebooks, Business, and Toronto Star

Watch Tiger Woods Drop a Masters F-Bomb

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 04:09 PM PDT


Tiger Woods has been the talk of this year's Masters since at least a week before the tournament officially started Thursday morning. But Tiger became the sports web's buzziest subject on Thursday after dropping his first live f-bomb of the tournament on the 11th hole of the first round

This isn't Woods' first time being caught foul-mouthed on camera, of course, and he joins a long tradition of inadvertently broadcasted sports f-bombs including, just recently, NFL analyst Warren Sapp and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. And the funniest thing about Woods' little slip-up? He'd actually hit a pretty good shot! Read more...

More about Golf, Tiger Woods, Watercooler, Videos, and Sports

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Adjusts to Your Decor Like a Chameleon

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 04:00 PM PDT


There are plenty of smart thermostats available, but the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat can match its touchscreen display's background color to the wall behind it, or any other color. And that's just its most obvious trick.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart thermostat

How smart is it? Show it what your temperature and humidity extremes are, and it will send you an email if your home exceeds them. It'll nag you when it's time to change its filter, determining the optimum time according to your usage and filter type

It's smart enough to notify your smartphone — via a free iPhone or Android app — if your Internet connection is down or if your power is out. The app also lets you control all your home's environmental settings from afar. That'll be a boon for those with vacation homes, or when you've been on vacation and want to walk into a comfortable preheated or pre-cooled climate when you return home. Read more...

More about Green Lifestyle, Gadgets, Mobile, Lifestyle, and Home

'American Idol' Chooses Top 5 Themes From Twitter Submissions

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 03:30 PM PDT


American Idol producers last week asked viewers to use Twitter to submit suggestions for a musical theme for the April 24 episode, marking the first time the show is letting the public influence contestants' song choices

Mashable exclusively has its hands on the results. Dim the lights, because Idol's wireless sponsor AT&T told us that the thousands of submissions have been narrowed to these five:

  • Dedicated to Someone Special

  • Guilty Pleasures

  • Breakup Songs

  • One Hit Wonders

  • Unplugged

People can vote for their favorite theme at after host Ryan Seacrest announces the top five themes during the April 11 broadcast at 8 p.m. EDT. Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Tv, Social Tv, and American Idol

Can a Hacker Hijack a Plane With an Android App?

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 02:48 PM PDT


Imagine the kind of havoc a malicious hacker could cause if he or she were able to take over an airplane simply using his Android phone. With a tap of his or her fingers, the hacker could arbitrarily control the plane remotely and redirect its path. If you think this is only something that could happen in a Hollywood movie, think again, because that's exactly the scenario a German security researcher laid out on Wednesday at a conference in Amsterdam.

Hugo Teso, a security researcher for the German IT consultancy firm N.Runs — he is a trained commercial pilot as well — explained at the Hack in the Box security conference that a protocol used to transmit data to commercial airplanes can be hacked, turning the hacker into a full-fledged hijacker Read more...

More about Faa, Hackers, Cybersecurity, Hacks, and Us World

Google: Tell Us What to Do With Your Account After You Die

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 02:40 PM PDT


You've written your will. You've talked to your family about end-of-life care. But have you told Google what you want to happen to your Gmail or YouTube accounts?

That's the stated purpose behind a tool the search giant announced Thursday: Inactive Account Manager. (In a blog post, the company admitted it was "not a great name.") It covers all Google accounts, including Blogger, Drive, Google+ and Picasa

Inactive Account Manager lets you set a "timeout period" of three, six, nine or 12 months. After that, Google will either delete your data or pass it on to a trusted friend or family member

In case you just happen to be on extended (rather than permanent) vacation, the Account Manager will send a text to your cellphone and an email to a designated non-Google account before taking action Read more...

More about Google and Lifestyle

39 Unforgettable Moments in Tech Startup History

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 02:09 PM PDT


Ask any startup founder for advice, and he or she will probably tell you that it's important to celebrate the milestones large and small. Startup life is a rollercoaster, and if you get caught up in the madness, you might quickly burn out. The little things matter, and they keep you going — when your app launches, when you have a successful investor meeting, when you finally have a customer who isn't a relative, when you get acquired. These are little steps on the road to success, and it's important to take a deep breath, look back on how far you've come (even if it's not that far) and embrace a special moment with your team, perhaps over a cocktail or a team dinner. Read more...

More about Startups, Business, Entrepreneurship, Supported, and Macallanvideo

Pranksters Hijack Strangers' Food for Instagram

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 02:08 PM PDT


The entire food porn industry has blossomed out of the filtered haven that Instagram provides, but the field is still too new for etiquette rules. When is it OK to snap a pic of your food? Are mid-bite pics appropriate? Is it ever acceptable to get a few images of a friend's dish?

This video deals with the temptation that is photographing a stranger's meal for your own Instagramming benefit. These phone-toting pranksters from YouTube channel TheOfficialHungry set out to creep out some poor folk just trying to enjoy Chinese takeout Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Instagram, Share As Post, Watercooler, and Videos

LinkedIn Acquires Pulse Newsreader for $90 Million

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 01:48 PM PDT


LinkedIn on Thursday confirmed a previous report, that it acquired 3-year-old newsreading app Pulse. The news was announced jointly on the companies' respective websites Thursday afternoon.

AllThingsD reports that the acquisition cost LinkedIn $90 millionReps from LinkedIn could not be reached for comment. Update: LinkedIn confirmed the deal is valued at approximately $90 million, 90% in the form of company stock and 10% in cash.

In LinkedIn's blog post, Deep Nishar, LinkedIn's SVP of products and user experiences, writes that he first met one of Pulse's two co-founders, Ankit Gupta, at a technology innovation competition in India years ago, before Gupta enrolled at Stanford and started developing Pulse. Nishar says Pulse, with its 30 million users and network of more than 750 publishers, will help LinkedIn become the primary platform for distributing and consuming business-related content. Read more...

More about Pulse, Linkedin, Business, Media, and Startups

Get a First Look at NBA's Emotional New LeBron Ad

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 01:35 PM PDT


To the delight of basketball fans the world over, it's almost NBA playoff time

A new ad, above, hypes the postseason by taking a look back at LeBron James' epic Game 7 performance against the mighty Boston Celtics in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. It'll debut Thursday night on TNT, but right here on Mashable is one of the only places you can find it online until then

There are two especially interesting things about this spot. First, it plays to the NBA's increasingly global nature, featuring fans around the world as they watch LeBron in awe. There are no fewer than six languages spoken in the ad: English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese and French, for those scoring at home Read more...

More about Nba, Advertising, Entertainment, Sports, and Youtube Video Lead

Share Your Most Enchanting Light-Filled Photos

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 01:29 PM PDT


Sometimes the most stunning photos are the least manipulated. In a world dominated by photo-editing tools, scenes captured in natural light can feel like a breath of fresh air

For this week's Mashable Photo Challenge Guest Series, we're asking for your best photos taken using natural light. Send us your picture and a guest curator will pick some of the most creative submissions to feature on Mashable

Our guest this week is Santiago PerezGrovas of Mexico City. Santiago is a power Instagram user. He has more than 80,000 followers, and met his girlfriend through the photo-sharing app

"In a world of perfection, the production of the photos we see every day is overwhelming, to the point that everything has to be flawless," Santiago says. "I try to give that breath of naturality to people." Read more...

More about Community, Photo, Photography, Social Media, and Mashable Photo Challenge Guest Series

March Madness Hero Wins Title After Quitting Twitter All Season

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 01:12 PM PDT


Breanna Stewart, a superstar freshman on the UConn women's basketball team, has more than 4,700 tweets to her name

Yet none of those posts happened between Oct. 13 and April 9 of this year. Why? In Stewart's own Twitter words, she had some "some business" to deal with:

Bye twitter✌see you in April, we got some business to take care of! #chasing8

— Breanna Stewart (@bre_stewart30) October 13, 2012

That business? Becoming a March Madness legend and leading the Huskies to their eighth national title

You see, Oct. 12 was the first day the NCAA allowed college hoops teams to practice for the 2012-2013 season. It seems Stewart wanted to completely eliminate any digital distractions to focus on making her first season of college basketball as memorable as possible Read more...

More about College Sports, March Madness, Entertainment, and Sports

'Unnecessary Quotes' Mocks the Best Punctuation Fails

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:58 PM PDT


Punctuation is hard, we get it. There are commas, and semi-colons and colons — sometimes there are even brackets, slashes and parentheses. It's a lot to wrap your head around, but sadly, punctuation is here to stay

There seems to be one particular form of punctuation that is plaguing sign-makers worldwide: the elusive quotation marks. Two simple lines floating in mid-air have "brought thousands to their knees." Apparently, it is just "too hard" to figure out when it is appropriate to use a pair

So to help everyone "learn," here are examples of when not to use quotations marks, courtesy of the blog Unnecessary Quotes. (Hint: A "good" rule of thumb to abide by: Don't use them. Chances are you will be "better off.") Read more...

More about Grammar, Punctuation, Gallery, Watercooler, and Pics

U.S. Social Ad Revenue to Hit $11 Billion by 2017

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:58 PM PDT


Annual U.S. social ad revenue is expected to reach $11 billion by 2017, according to a recent study by BIA/Kelsey.

The jump would represent a growth rate of more than 18% over the next five years. BIA/Kelsey projects that video and mobile social ads will be the prime motivators for the future growth.

"Social networks are evolving their ad products and features to improve performance," said director of consulting and senior analyst at BIA/Kelsey Jed Williams.

"Native social formats, including video and mobile-social advertising will be the principal market growth drivers."

BIA/Kelsey says over the course of the coming years social networks will improve their social ad offerings, leading to an increase in revenue. The company projects that local ad targeting and campaign management will continue to improve moving into 2017. Read more...

More about Online Advertising, Sponsored Tweets, Sponsored Post, Social Media Advertising, and Business

Father of Teen Suicide Victim Issues Emotional Plea

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:43 PM PDT


The father of the teen who committed suicide after a photo of her alleged rape went viral says he can't understand how there can be a digital trail of a crime and the police do nothing

Writing on his website, Glen Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons’ father, said his daughter was "disappointed to death" in the handling of her rape case and the lack of support from her school. In his letter he criticizes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for doing nothing with the the photo the alleged rapists took and bragged about online

"How is it possible for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime? What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t enough?" he wrote. Read more...

More about Cyberbullying, Suicide, Bullying, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting

5 Fascinating Facts We Learned From Reddit This Week

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:42 PM PDT


The latest episode of Reddit Facts is upon you, and we've got some delicious tidbits about Middle-Earth fan fiction, shark fetuses, and a horrifying but totally real product called The Baby Cage.

MORE VIDEO: The Best of the Internet in 2 Minutes

Hungry for more knowledge? Subscribe to Mashable's YouTube channel and catch every episode. Read more...

More about Videos, Social Media, Features, Reddit Facts, and Youtube Video Lead

Hilarious 'How Animals Eat Their Food' Wins YouTube

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:27 PM PDT


Sometimes the Internet makes you laugh. Sometimes it provokes a big "WTF?" Oftentimes it does both

This is one of those times. The video you see above is called "How Animals Eat Their Food," and involves one man's over-the-top impressions of just that. It's funny. It's weird. It's also extremely popular with Internetters, racking up nearly 7 million views since hitting YouTube on Monday

Check the video out for yourself, then let us know what you think in the comments

Homepage image courtesy MisterEpicMann via YouTube

More about Viral Videos, Watercooler, Videos, and Youtube Video Lead

NYC vs. San Francisco: A Comparison of Dispositions

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:21 PM PDT


New Yorkers and San Franciscans probably have a few things in common: Proximity to an ocean? A poppin' tech scene? But the opposite coasts don't share a lot when it comes to disposition. Well, at least according to artist Teddy Hose, who illustrates the differences in the city-dwellers' mentalities.

Hose, a former New Yorker and current San Francisco resident, points out that this very scientific comic is based on reliable sources like Yelp reviews and weather conditions

Homepage image courtesy of Flickr, wwarby and salim.virji

More about Comics, New York City, San Francisco San Jose, Watercooler, and No Lead Image

Facebook Employees Share Their Favorite Graph Searches

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 12:13 PM PDT


There's a good chance that you don't even have Facebook's Graph Search yet, but even for those who have it, it's safe to stay few have gotten past the "getting to know you" stage.

If anyone is to be considered a pro user at this point, it would have to be the Facebook employees who actually work on Graph Search. At Mashable's request, 10 of those Facebookers have shared their favorite Graph Searches, so far at least.

Facebook rolled out Graph Search in January. The feature was presented as a major upgrade to Facebook's search engine, which had won few fans. While Google is based on the collective knowledge of the Internet, Graph Search is more about users' stated preferences. For instance, you can use Graph Search for queries like "my friends in New York who like Jay-Z" or "People from my hometown who like hiking." The initial version of Graph Search, which is still rolling out, focuses on four areas — people, photos, places and interests. According to Facebook, the following were the top Graph Searches over a recent, random week: Read more...

More about Social Media, Facebook, and Gallery

Socially Awkward: The Best of the Internet in 2 Minutes

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 11:49 AM PDT


Do you love rumors about Cher and pictures of adorable chihuahuas?

Then you'll want to watch the first episode of Mashable's newest YouTube show, Socially Awkward, with your intrepid host Kevin Gisi.

MORE VIDEO: 5 Fascinating Facts We Learned From Reddit This Week

Every week, Kevin rounds up the strangest, funniest, coolest stuff from a little ol' place called THE INTERNET and serves it up on television.

And by television, I mean that smaller, online television you can watch on your computer.

What are you waiting for? Subscribe to Mashable's YouTube channel and catch every episode.

Homepage image by Mashable

More about Video, Youtube, Social Media, Features, and Facebook

Digital Textbooks Know When You Haven't Been Studying

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 11:38 AM PDT


Students often come up with excuses for not doing homework — the dog ate it, the printer's broken, the Internet was down. While teachers still can't guess the real reason why a paper's late, they can now figure out when students haven't opened their textbooks

CourseSmart, a digital course materials provider, allows teachers to track students' ebook progress. Using CourseSmart Analytics, faculty can measure engagement with materials, including how long someone's been reading, average page views and how often notes are taken

The goal is to help teachers assess which students are at risk for falling behind and pinpoint their study habits early on. By using the analytics in conjunction with other factors like class participation, quizzes and assignments, they can work with class members to improve performance, explains marketing senior vice president Cindy Clarke Read more...

More about Education, Ebooks, Digital Textbooks, Lifestyle, and Coursesmart

Sun Unleashes Biggest Solar Flare Yet

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 11:29 AM PDT


The most powerful solar flare of the year erupted from the sun on April 11, sparking a temporary radio blackout on Earth, NASA officials say.

The solar flare occurred at 3:16 a.m. EDT (0716 GMT) and registered as a M6.5-class sun storm, a relatively mid-level flare on the scale of solar tempests. It coincided with an eruption of super-hot solar plasma known as a coronal mass ejection.

"This is the strongest flare seen so far in 2013," NASA spokeswoman Karen Fox explained in a statement. "Increased numbers of flares are quite common at the moment, since the sun's normal 11-year cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum, which is expected in late 2013." Read more...

More about Sun, Space, Nasa, Us World, and Us

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