Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “AOptix Launches First Biometric Scanning Tool for iPhone”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “AOptix Launches First Biometric Scanning Tool for iPhone”

AOptix Launches First Biometric Scanning Tool for iPhone

Posted: 09 Apr 2013 03:58 AM PDT


Smartphones are powerful tools, and with the right apps and accessories, they can become even more so. A California-based tech company has launched a tool that turns a regular iPhone 4 or 4S into a powerful biometrics scanning tool. On Tuesday, AOptix unveiled its app and a wrap-around device that turns an iPhone 4 or 4S into a portable iris, face, fingerprint and voice scanner.

The hardware and software system, the first of its kind for the iPhone, is called AOptix Stratus, which comprises both the iOS app — which will cost $199 — and a wrap around device for an iPhone 4 or 4S. The app uses the iPhone camera to snap pictures of faces and record voices, while there's an extra camera that does iris scanning and a small sensor to scan fingerprints. AOptix will also release a software development kit to its customers so they can customize the app to their own needs. Read more...

More about Iphone, Facial Recognition, Tech, Apps Software, and Us

This Laser Tag Game Uses Everyday Objects As 'Guns'

Posted: 09 Apr 2013 02:45 AM PDT


When you think of laser tag, you probably think of guns and targets. One Kickstarter project is trying to change that by introducing a new range of equipment, including targets that fit underneath everyday clothing and weapons that can be placed in everyday objects.

Meant to be used in environments such as schools and coffee shops where you wouldn't want to pull out a gun of any kind, the project's small “guns” can be hidden up a shirtsleeve, placed in a boot or even deployed as a trap. You can also use any infrared light that oscillates at 38 kHz as a gun — even making your television remote a weapon option. Read more...

More about Tech, Gadgets, and Bc Video Lead

LittleBits Brings Big Installations to the Museum of Modern Art

Posted: 09 Apr 2013 02:00 AM PDT


Open-source electronics company littleBits brought their tiny gadgets to the art world on Tuesday, unveiling large window installations at New York's Museum of Modern Art Design Stores.

The company, which creates systems of LEGO-like electronics that snap together with magnets, featured two window displays entitled, "littleBits Make Big Things Happen" at two museum locations. The four-foot-tall kinetic sculptures turn and glide using sensors, switches and lights, all measuring less than one inch

At the midtown location, one display showcases a giant, glowing ferris wheel propelled by a miniature cyclist, while another has art handlers balancing a wobbly frame between their hands. The downtown MoMA Design Store features a rider dangling a lure towards a large, swimming shark, and a tiny mad scientist controlling a nearly life-sized puppet Read more...

More about Museum Of Modern Art, Gallery, Lifestyle, and Littlebits

Intel's Next-Gen Thunderbolt Doubles Data Transfer Speeds

Posted: 09 Apr 2013 01:15 AM PDT


Intel has announced its next-generation Thunderbolt controllers at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas this week

The upcoming Thunderbolt controller, code-named Falcon Ridge, enables 20 Gbps data throughput, both ways. That means, for example, that video professionals will be able to display and transfer 4K video simultaneously

The production of the new chip should start in late 2013 and ramp up in 2014

At the show, Intel has also showcased the new DSL4510/4410 Thunderbolt controllers which add DisplayPort 1.2 capability when connecting to native DP displays and improve power management Read more...

More about Intel, Thunderbolt, and Tech

Vine Tops List of Free iPhone Apps in App Store

Posted: 09 Apr 2013 12:34 AM PDT


Less than three months after Twitter released Vine, the popular video-sharing service has topped the U.SApp Store's list of free iPhone apps

Vine, which lets users create and share six-second videos, debuted to much fanfare in January. The mobile service was acquired by Twitter last October.

Rus Yusupov and Bobby McKenna, Vine's respective co-founder and designer, took to Twitter to celebrate the app's achievement

Hey guys, remember that time we made the No. 1 most popular app in the world? @ckb @dhof @bobby @vineapp twitter.com/rus/status/321…

— Rus Yusupov (@rus) April 8, 2013

Vine: bigger than Batmantwitter.com/bobby/status/3…

— Bobby McKenna (@bobby) April 8, 2013

More about Twitter, Apple, App Store, Vine, and Tech

NASA's Curiosity Rover Soars at This Year's Shorty Awards

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 11:44 PM PDT


The Shorty Awards, an annual crowdsourced contest that honors the best social media users and Internet celebrities, announced winners Monday at a ceremony in New York City

NASA's Curiosity Rover was among the night's highlights (you can watch the entire show below) as it shared an intimate moment with funny man Seth Green in a short video and even won Foursquare Mayor of the Year for using the check-in app from Mars.

"Can I borrow your login for #HBOGo," @MarsCuriosity tweeted to Green in the clip

Other winners — who earned awards for their use of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr and other platforms — included Jimmy Kimmel for Lifetime Achievement, George Takei for Internet Culture, TextsFromHillary.com for Tumblr of the Year, Bravo's Andy Cohen for Best Social Media Manager and @SarcasticRover for Best NonHuman. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Social Media, Shorty Awards, Film, and Gaming

How a Stormtrooper Family Spends Weekends

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 11:28 PM PDT


Monday to Friday, these Stormtroopers are pretty busy protecting the Empire. But when they aren't on that nine-to-five grind, Stormtroopers are like any other family — spending time with their kids on the weekends playing Twister

Photographer Leah Minium used her sons' Star Wars miniature dolls to depict scenes of love and loss in a galaxy far, far away. She tells a sweet story that ends tragically when one of the Stormtrooper parents goes missing. It is sure to tug on your heart strings, even if you're on the rebel side

Minium said she wanted the scenes to be "emotive, almost ridiculously so, for humor's sake," and that the scenes of family time often depicted the activities her family would do Read more...

More about Art, Photography, Star Wars, Gallery, and Watercooler

Alice Cooper Kickstarter Campaign to Fund 'Shock-Rock Horror' Series

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:58 PM PDT


Alice Cooper, the "Godfather of Shock of Rock," has turned to Kickstarter to fund his latest multimedia venture.

Cooper is helping to develop a comic-book anthology, graphic novel and — if demanded — television series collectively called Uncle Alice Presents. The project will be similar to Tales From the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with Uncle Alice (Cooper) serving as presenter of horror tales, according to creator Tom Sheppard, a partner at Los Angeles-based publishing company Dark Matter.

But far from being a mere observer, Uncle Alice will also impact characters directly as a "gatekeeper of the netherworld between heaven and hell." Read more...

More about Kickstarter, Entertainment, Tv, Youtube Video Lead, and Alice Cooper

Here’s What Government Is Vine-ing About

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:08 PM PDT


Government-friendly terms of service inked by the General Services Administration and Twitter cleared the way last week for U.S. agencies to post six-second Vine videos without fear of violating any rules.

A handful of agencies and officials had already begun posting Vine videos before GSA's announcement, though. The breadth of those videos suggests some of the things government may use Vine for in the future, but it's far too soon to speculate on what government's ultimate relationship with the social site might look like.

The U.S. government's in-house social media registry doesn't yet include Vine accounts, but Vine has verified several government accounts itself. Read more...

More about Social Media and Us

Tumblr for Android Gets a Facelift

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 09:10 PM PDT


Tumblr unveiled dramatic changes to its Android app on Monday.

The blogging platform announced that it has "completely redesigned" the app's interface, added post animations and made images more prominent, among other updates

Now available on Google Play, Tumblr for Android also has a new "post anything" screen that lets users share videos, chats, links, quotes, photos and text by clicking on individual icons. What's more, the free app has "advanced controls" such as saving drafts, queuing posts and customizing tweets. So far, reviews have been generally positive, with users particularly fond of Tumblr's new look on Android. Read more...

More about Android, Tumblr, Tech, and Apps Software

Court Rules Texting Laws Also Apply to Checking Maps While Driving

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 08:28 PM PDT


Checking the GPS on your phone while you’re driving may be against the law.

A California court ruling in late March claims that checking maps on your phone while driving is a violation of the state’s distracted driving law. In its current form, the law simply states that a person may not use their mobile phone while driving, unless they’re using a hands-free device. As the ruling reads, quoting the California law:

A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. Read more...

More about Tech and Mobile

More Android Apps Downloaded in Q1, But Apple Had Higher Revenue

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 07:41 PM PDT


Fifty-one percent of the apps downloaded during Q1 of 2013 were downloaded from Google Play, according to a report released by Canalys on Monday

While Google had the majority when it came to the number of downloads, it didn’t earn top honors in terms of revenue. Canalys reported that Apple was the big winner there, taking home 74% of app revenue during the same period.

“Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored,” Tim Shepherd, a Canalys senior analyst, said in statement. Read more...

More about Android, Apple, App, Tech, and Apps Software

What if Fox Quit Broadcast TV?

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 07:02 PM PDT


Mashable OP-ED

It isn't every day that a major national TV network threatens to become a cable-only subscription channel — but that's exactly what happened Monday. News Corp President Chase Carey told broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas that his company was considering "converting the Fox broadcast network to a pay channel" — that is, going over to basic cable, and denying cable-free Americans (all 50 million of them) their weekly fixes of American Idol, Glee or The Simpsons.

Why on Earth would Fox do that? Because of the threat posed by Barry Diller's startup Aereo, which won a legal battle last week allowing it to continue doing what it does. And what it does is rebroadcast regular TV — you know, the kind you get over the airwaves — to tablets, smartphones and the web. A 40-hour dual-channel DVR is included in the deal. The cost to you: $12 a month. Read more...

More about Fox Broadcasting, Broadcast Tv, Entertainment, and Tv

Texting the Wrong Person Is Awkwardly Hilarious on Tumblr

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 06:30 PM PDT


We've all called the wrong number once or twice (maybe 30 times, if you're technologically challenged). Perhaps you've even landed on the other side of a wrong call, and had to disappoint the ringer requesting a delivery that you are not Pizza Hut

It's not so bad, not so awkward, and easy to get over

Texting the wrong person, on the other hand, is where the real cringing happens. Maybe it's because we get a little more personal in written form. Maybe it's because you never know who's on the other line

Either way, texting the wrong number can get you into some questionable social scenarios. Just ask the hottest new Tumblr Oops Wrong Number, which highlights some iffy texts and their consequential responses Read more...

More about Tumblr, Pranks, Watercooler, Pics, and No Lead Image

Ferrets Pumped With Steroids Sold as Dogs

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:56 PM PDT


Story Updated 4/8/13 11:07PM

A man who thought he scored a deal on toy poodles found he got something quite different — ferrets juiced with steroids and fluffed for maximum cuteness.

The unsuspecting buyer purchased the faux dogs (or feroodles?) at the La Salada market in Argentina. It wasn't until he brought the primped mammals to the veterinarian that he found out the truth.

Twitter users showed little sympathy for the duped feller.

Apparently, steroids can also affect humans around them, making them delusional to a point where they think a ferret is a dog.

— RMA (@gelatumulatu) April 8, 2013

More about Dogs, Weird, Watercooler, Videos, and Bc Video Lead

Sony Reveals 4K TV and Media Player Pricing

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:31 PM PDT


LAS VEGAS — If there is any singular buzzword to describe NAB Show 2013, it's 4K — also known as Ultra HD.

4K made big waves at CES 2013, but it's at NAB Show where the technology is really coming into its own.

In addition to panels and sessions on 4K and other display technologies of the future, there's tons of 4K product on the show floor.

Sony announced pricing and availability of two of its 4K Ultra HDTV sets first unveiled at CES. The XBR-55X90A (55-inch) and the XBR-65X900A (65-inch) will retail for $4,999 and $6,999, respectively, beginning April 21.

Now, $5,000 is a lot of money for a TV, but keep in mind that this is still significantly less than the $40,000 price tag on Samsung's 85-inch stunner. Read more...

More about Nab, Nab Show, and Nab 2013

31 Songs From 'Mad Men'

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:00 PM PDT


Last night's highly anticipated Mad Men Season 6 premiere didn't disappoint. If you weren't able to catch the two-hour-long episode, we won't ruin it for you, but we thought it appropriate to dedicate this week's Music Monday to the show that is setting the standard for television period dramas

While Mad Men is well-known for its impressive acting and writing, one of the show's strongest and most underrated qualities is its deference to the changing musical landscape of the times.

Some of the most monumental moments are marked by songs that send a chill down your spine. To name a few: Bobby Helms' sweet "My Special Angel" as Betty aims a shotgun at her neighbor's birds; Megan's sultry version of "Zou Bisou Bisou" during Don's surprise birthday party; the Beach Boys' "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" as Roger and Jane trip on LSD; and last night's "Hawaiian Wedding Song" by Elvis Presley (the song fits perfectly, but again, we won't ruin it for you). Read more...

More about Spotify, Playlists, Mad Men, Music Monday, and Entertainment

Is Samsung Making a Giant 'Galaxy Mega' Smartphone?

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 03:59 PM PDT


Samsung is reportedly working on a mid-range smartphone even larger than its “phablet,” the Galaxy Note

According to Korea’s ET News, the handset will be called the Galaxy Mega, and will sport a whopping 6.3-inch screen, putting it almost on par with some of the smaller tablets out there, such as the 7-inch Nexus 7ET News claims the phone will come with a dual-core Exynos processor and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, with a 2-megapixel forward-facing cam

SamMobile is adding a little fuel to the rumor fire, claiming the Mega will have a 960 x 540 display, 1.4GHz Exynos processor, and 1GB of RAMSamMobile thinks ET News is wrong, however, on the size of the device, suggesting that the Mega will have a 5.8-inch screen, only slightly larger (by 0.3 inches) than the Galaxy Note II. Read more...

More about Samsung, Galaxy Note, Tech, Mobile, and Galaxy Mega

JCPenney Ousts Apple's Former Retail Chief Ron Johnson

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:50 PM PDT


JCPenney has replaced Ron Johnson as CEO just more than one year after he joined from Apple, the company revealed in a statement late Monday.

Johnson helped spearhead the strategy for Apple's massively successful retail operation and tried to apply some of that magic to JCPenney. He attempted to refresh the JCPenney shopping experience by getting rid of the retailer's coupon program, but ended up frustrating customers instead. JCPenney's sales and share price plummeted under his leadership, prompting plenty of speculation in recent months that Johnson would be canned.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to thank Ron Johnson for his contributions while at jcpenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Thomas Engibous, chairman of the board of directors at JCPenney, said in a statement Read more...

More about Apple, Jcpenney, and Business

Elon Musk Responds to Sarah Palin's Claim That Tesla Is a 'Loser'

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:18 PM PDT


Tesla Motors Founder Elon Musk on Monday responded to Sarah Palin's claim that his company is a "loser."

Sarah Palin calls Tesla a loser. Am deeply woundedrawstory.com/rs/2013/04/07/…Btw, Model S warranty does cover "bricking".

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2013

Palin criticized Tesla in a Facebook post on Friday that lumped Tesla in with Fisker Automotive, a hybrid luxury sedan maker that received a $193 million low-interest loan from the federal government. Fisker announced last week it was laying off about 75% of its staff

The Anaheim, CA-based start up has failed at pretty much every level – especially when it comes to the company’s ultra expensive luxury electric hybrid, the Karma (what a name!), which is assembled in Finland and received a green-energy loan to transition the assembly to the U.S., something that never happened

This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a "brick" when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair. Read more...

More about Startups, Sarah Palin, Elon Musk, Tesla, and Mitt Romney

Star Wars March Madness Final: It's Yoda vs. Vader

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:54 PM PDT


There's a rumble of galactic proportions going on in the Star Wars world Monday — and it's a meeting that was never seen in the movies. Finally, everyone's favorite syntax-mangling puppet guru is taking on everyone's favorite black-masked, iron-lunged man-machine

Yoda versus Darth Vader — that's the championship match-up in Lucasfilm's answer to March Madness, "This Is Madness." Characters from the Star Wars universe have been eliminated by online vote over the last month; Lucasfilm tells us that more than 2.5 million votes have been received as of Friday night

Here's how the tournament shook out:

More about March Madness, Star Wars, Entertainment, and Film

Private Rocket Moves to Launch Pad for Test Flight

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:05 PM PDT


A new private rocket rolled out onto its Virginia coast launch pad Saturday in anticipation of its first test launch next week.

The Antares rocket — developed by aerospace firm Orbital Sciences Corp. and launching from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. — is expected to eventually deliver cargo to the International Space Station as part of a $1.9 billion deal with the space agency. Liftoff is set for Wednesday, April 17.

"With the completion of the Antares roll out today, we are on a clear path to a launch date of April 17, provided there are no significant weather disruptions or major vehicle check-out delays between now and then," Orbital's Antares program manager Michael Pinkston said in a statement. Read more...

More about Nasa, Spacex, Us World, Us, and Spacex Dragon

#nowthatchersdead: Fans Think Cher Died After Thatcher Hashtag Trends

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 12:45 PM PDT


No, Cher fans, the singer and actress did not die. The Twitter hashtag "#nowthatchersdead" is meant to be read as "now Thatcher's dead" — not "now that Cher's dead."

Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's former prime minister, died Monday at age 87 following a stroke. Website Is Thatcher Dead Yet? quickly reacted, encouraging people to reveal how they're celebrating the death via tweets with hashtag #nowthatchersdead.

The hashtag sparked confusion and humor about Cher, the 66-year-old who has amassed 1.4 million Twitter followers with her quirky and sometimes non-sensical tweets (Mashable even included one of hers in its "50 Memorable Tweets of 2012" roundup): Read more...

More about Entertainment, Us, Social Media, Celebrities, and Hashtags

Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's 'Accidental Racist' Song Causes Online Backlash

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 12:28 PM PDT


A controversial new song from country singer Brad Paisley and rapper LL Cool J has been causing a knee-jerk reaction online just hours after it was released

In an attempt to address complicated issues surrounding racism of the past and today, the two artists have partnered up for a new song called "Accidental Racist." Although we can assume intentions here are good and the duo wants to merge both of their fan bases for this tune, it has certainly stirred the heated pot.

It begins as Paisley walks into a Starbucks with a confederate flag on his t-shirt. He explains he's wearing it because he's a Lynyrd Skynrd fan. Some of the lyrics are as follows: Read more...

More about Music, Brad Paisley, Controversy, Watercooler, and Conversations

Biggest Makeup Pet Peeves, According to Reddit

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 12:13 PM PDT


The Internet is ripe with tutorials for anyone who wants to try a new look. From perfecting the cat eye to selecting the right foundation, one visit to YouTube will give you an answer every beauty question.

This, however, is the anti-tutorialReddit users gave their biggest pet peeves in the subreddit /r/MakeupAddiction, including too-dark foundation, failure to blend and gloopy lip gloss.

SEE ALSO: Artist Imagines Barbies Without Makeup

YouTube beauty guru Shannon Farrell was inspired by the conversation and turned it into a video. Watch as Shannon transforms a makeup-less face into a scary mask. Read more...

More about Reddit, Beauty, Makeup, Watercooler, and Videos

News Corp. Threatens to Pull Free Fox Programming in Aereo Dispute

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 11:57 AM PDT


If Fox doesn't prevail in court vs. startup Aereo, News Corp. will consider making Fox content subscription-only, an exec from the company said on Monday.

News Corp. President and COO Chase Carey (pictured) made his remarks offstage during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. "Aereo is stealing our signal. We believe in our legal rights, we’re going to pursue our legal rights, and we believe we’ll prevail ...," Carey said, according to Variety. "If we can’t have our rights properly protected through legal and governmental solutions, we will pursue business solution. One solution would be to take the network and make it a subscription service. We’re not going to sit idly by and let people steal our content." Read more...

More about Media, Fox, News Corp, Business, and Aereo

10 Must-Follow Breaking News Accounts on Twitter

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 11:27 AM PDT


In just seven years Twitter has evolved from a microblogging social network to become, among other things, an essential source of breaking news

Are you tuned into all the major breaking news accounts on Twitter? We have created a list of the top 10 English-language accounts we recommend following for all the latest current affairs

Take a look through our list (arranged in no particular order) in the gallery above. Share in the comments below any other accounts you'd recommend that deliver fast and accurate news-related tweets

Homepage image courtesy of Flickr, Brian Gratwicke

More about Media, Twitter, Us, World, and Social Media

OMG, Prom! The 13 Cutest Promposals

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:54 AM PDT


Prom is one of the biggest events in your life for most teenagers. Though it might seem silly when you're older, most spend months getting ready for the big evening

Some take it to the extreme before they even have a date. These gentlemen went above and beyond to ask a special girl to the dance. FYI, adults: The term "promposal" is now popular among high school students to describe the over-the-top techniques employed by boys in search of a gal pal.

SEE ALSO: How to Ask Someone to Prom via 'Draw Something'

From flash mobs to a simple gesture, these guys have the right idea. Although, keeping it simple doesn't hurt either. Take a look at these determined fellas for inspiration on how to woo your lady. (Or cry into your pillow, forever alone.) Read more...

More about Prom, High School, Gallery, Watercooler, and Videos

G-Technology Evolution Drive Pushes Thunderbolt to the Limit

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:34 AM PDT


Video and photography pros love G-Technology's hard drives. They'd probably say it's because of their performance, but it's really because they're designed to match the look of Apple's Mac Pro desktops. But with the company's new Evolution system, no one would accuse them of fibbing.

G-Tech created the Evolution to take full advantage of the high-speed Thunderbolt connector that's been standard on all Mac computers (except, oddly, the Mac Pro) since 2011. Thunderbolt tends to transfer data at about 1 gigabyte per second (GBps) in real-world setups, but a typical hard-disk drive will max out at around 150 megabytes per second (MBps), due to physical limits (those disks can only spin so fast) — so you can never really use all of that bandwidth. Read more...

More about Storage, Hard Drive, Thunderbolt, Tech, and Gadgets

Macklemore Photobombs the Internet

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:22 AM PDT


Macklemore took your grandpa's style — and now he's taking McKayla Maroney's schtick.

The rapper and thrift shopper inadvertently started a new meme when a fan tossed her phone on stage at his concert at George Washington University. Macklemore, according to Redditor GWizzle, picked up the phone and snapped a photo of himself in front of the crowd.

Image courtesy of Reddit, GWizzle

Macklemore's goofy grin has inspired Photoshop wizards to place his head in new, less duckfaced situations. Macklemore photobombs Gandalf? Check. Macklemore photobombs Grumpy Cat and that crying Tumblr kid? Yes and yes. Read more...

More about Gallery, Watercooler, Pics, Memes, and Macklemore

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