Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “This Robot Can Read Your Mind”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “This Robot Can Read Your Mind”


This Robot Can Read Your Mind

Posted: 29 May 2013 05:00 AM PDT

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Have you ever had a thirst for a cold beverage, and wished it would just magically appear in your hands? It might just happen in the near future, as researchers at Cornell University have developed a robot which can predict what you want to do next

The mind-reading robot — a PR2 personal robot designed by Willow Garage, equipped with a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera — does that by analyzing your body movements. It then searches through its database of various household activities and decides which action will likely follow

Let's say you're done with your lunch and you want to place the leftovers into the fridge. The robot sees that you're picking up a container with food and proceeds to open the fridge for you, as that action is very likely to happen next Read more...

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'Financial Times' Launches 24-Hour Commentary Wire

Posted: 29 May 2013 03:06 AM PDT

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The Financial Times is taking the wraps off fastFT, a 24-hour financial news-commentary wire that promises, in the words of FT editor Lionel Barber, to "deliver up-to-the-minute reporting and comment in short, sharp and informed dispatches."

"When 140 characters doesn’t cut it, fastFT will go beyond the headlines, providing context and opinion in quick, authoritative reports with a level of transparency and personality that isn’t available elsewhere," Barber wrote in a memo shared with Mashable.

FastFT will be run by a team of eight editorial staff members: three in New York, three in London and two in Hong Kong, according to an FT spokesperson. Other FT journalists, as well as guest writers, will also contribute, the spokesperson added. Read more...

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Spotify Discover Now Available to Everyone

Posted: 29 May 2013 02:21 AM PDT

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Spotify has made its "Discover" feature, which offers personalized music recommendations to users, available to all.

Discover — originally announced in December 2012 — is showing users relevant artists and playlists, based on their current listening habits. It's also offering curated content from music sites and services such as Pitchfork, Songkick and Tunigo.

Other new feature of note is Audio Preview, which enables users to listen to new music without stopping the song they're currently playing. Click and hold over any play button on the Discover page and you'll listen to that song; release it and you return to the song you were playing before Read more...

More about Spotify, Entertainment, and Music

This Inexpensive Camera Measures Your Plants' Health

Posted: 29 May 2013 01:31 AM PDT

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Forget trowels and pruners — gardeners now have another, more high-tech tool at their disposal. A new point-and-shoot camera called "Infragram" can transform into a plant monitor that tells you how healthy your garden is

Public Lab's Infragram camera won't break the bank, and highlights plant growth by taking advantage of near-infrared technology, as explained in the above video. Public Lab, also known as the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, is a community that works on affordable, do-it-yourself versions of scientific equipment.

In the process of converting sunlight into sugars, plants actually absorb red and blue light. Since infrared light is not absorbed, however, Public Lab's near-infrared camera can help compare infrared with visible light to show how productive the plant cells are. Read more...

More about Environment, Photography, Camera, Gardening, and Kickstarter

Is This Homemade 'Lightsaber' the Real Deal?

Posted: 29 May 2013 12:02 AM PDT

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The Force may be strong with one handheld laser that its creator describes as a "homemade lightsaber."

The laser, which emits a blue light and includes a metal handle, can torch through paper, tape, ping-pong balls, cardboard and wooden splints, among other items. Watch for yourself in the video, above.

"Here my BEAST 3000 mW [milliwatt] laser goes up against a bunch of flammable stuff. Most thing slight instantly when placed in the beam of this laser!" the laser's creator, YouTube user styropyro, says in the video's description. "This is the most powerful handheld laser that I've ever used!" Read more...

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T-Mobile to Launch BlackBerry Q10 and HTC One Nationwide on June 5

Posted: 28 May 2013 11:33 PM PDT

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T-Mobile is set to launch the HTC One and BlackBerry Q10 across the U.S. on June 5, TmoNews reported

HTC's long-awaited flagship device originally launched on T-Mobile on April 24, but its availability was limited to 300 stores. Now, it's expected to be available in all T-Mobile retail stores and branded locations

The BlackBerry Q10 is also scheduled to hit T-Mobile retail stores on June 5. It will have the same pricing as the HTC One — a $99 down payment with 24 equal $20 monthly payments

SEE ALSO: BlackBerry Q10 Is for Keyboard Lovers Only

The keyboard smartphone from BlackBerry sports a 3.1-inch AMOLED screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and LTE connectivity Read more...

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Chinese Farmer Turns His Homemade Bionic Arms Into Business

Posted: 28 May 2013 10:57 PM PDT

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When a Chinese farmer couldn't afford expensive prosthetic arms, he reportedly created his own functional, bionic arms, which later turned him into an entrepreneur.

New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television reports that farmer Sun Jifa, in China's northern Jilin province, lost his arms years ago when a fishing explosive prematurely went off. Sun could only afford a low-grade pair of prosthetic arms, but they weren't very useful.

So despite having no instructions, Sun spent eight years building his own steel pair of bionic arms from scratch, NTD Television reported. His story is explained in the video above. Read more...

More about Bionic, World, Lifestyle, and Medical Technology

Hot Mic Catches Adam Levine Say 'I Hate This Country' on 'The Voice'

Posted: 28 May 2013 10:36 PM PDT

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Week after week, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine urges Americans to vote for the contestants he mentors on NBC's The Voice. But on Tuesday night's top 8 results show, viewers unexpectedly heard him proclaim, "I hate this country."

Levine uttered the brief comment — which you can listen to at the 1:14 mark in the video, below, from the show's official YouTube page — just moments before America's votes eliminated his early frontrunners Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons. Seconds earlier, his other finalist Amber Carrington was spared. The moment appears to be the result of a hot mic

Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Tv, Nbc, and The Voice

Could Crowdfunding Help Build Cities?

Posted: 28 May 2013 09:59 PM PDT

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If you thought crowdfunding was only good for Zach Braff's movies, weird Segway-like transportation devices and dancing robot alarm clocks, think again

In Bogotá, Colombia's capital city, crowdfunding will build a skyscraper, thanks to the donations of 300,000 residents who contributed a total of $170 million. Rodrigo Nino, CEO of Prodigy Network — the company behind the crowdfunded effort — thinks this model can be replicated and even improved upon

In fact, Nino wants to crowdfund an entire city, as he announced at last week's PSFK Conference 2013 in New York. It's why he launched My Ideal City, a website where Colombians can contribute to their cities by sharing ideas and funding projects. Read more...

More about Crowdfunding, Us World, and World

Pro Golfer's Astounding Club Tricks Caught on GoPro

Posted: 28 May 2013 09:30 PM PDT

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Meet Romain Bechu. He's a French pro golfer. But maybe, just maybe, his future with the game isn't in trying to win tournament purses. Maybe insane YouTube videos are his true calling

That certainly looks to be the case in the clip, above, which Bechu uploaded on Sunday. Watch as he deftly juggles a golf ball with his club, twirling and flipping the putter as he goes. And what's more? A camera — GoPro, according to the video's YouTube title — also records the action from Bechu's perspective, giving us two views of his amazing tricks Read more...

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Microsoft: Xbox One's Kinect Won't Skimp on Privacy

Posted: 28 May 2013 09:02 PM PDT

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As excitement around Microsoft's unveiling of the new Xbox One and updated Kinect dies down, the inevitable questions about consumer privacy are now cropping up.

Wary of the Kinect sensor, Peter Schaar, Germany's federal data protection commissioner, is calling the Xbox One a "monitoring device," according to a translated report in German news magazine Der Spiegel

"The Xbox continuously records all sorts of personal information about me. Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. They are then processed on an external server, and possibly even passed on to third parties. Whether they will ever be deleted, the person cannot influence," Schaar told Der Spiegel. Read more...

More about Microsoft, Privacy, Kinect, Entertainment, and Gaming

These Crazy Bike Tricks Are Off the Chain

Posted: 28 May 2013 08:47 PM PDT

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Tim Knoll's insane bike skills can ride circles around your popped wheelie on that rusty Huffy.

The BMX freestyler shows off tricks that seem impossible, but Knoll tackles the stunts with ease. The incredible moves include upside down maneuvering, handstands and enough spinning to make your brain dizzy.

Enough chatter — just watch

Image via iStockphoto, Chilled Images Read more...

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NFL Legend Tweets Justin Bieber 'Needs to Slow His Ass Down'

Posted: 28 May 2013 08:26 PM PDT

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Featuring Justin Bieber, an NFL Hall of Famer, a Ferrari, a Prius, neighborly discord and — of course — Twitter, this is Tuesday's strangest story

We start with a mid-morning tweet from Eric Dickerson, who is regarded as one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time and a 1999 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Long since retired, Dickerson now resides in the tony Southern California suburb of Calabasas.

Calabasas is also, as it happens, home to the Biebster. And the 19-year-old Bieber's driving style has apparently rubbed some of his older neighbors the wrong way, as evidenced by Dickerson's Tuesday morning post: Read more...

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Apple: 'We Did Not Make a Bid For Waze'

Posted: 28 May 2013 08:05 PM PDT

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Apple did not try to acquire Waze.

CEO Tim Cook set the record straight during an interview Tuesday evening, remarking that Apple “did not make a bid for Waze” — contrary to reports by several tech publications earlier this year

According to the rumors, Apple was attempting to acquire Waze in order to fix some of the ongoing issues with Apple Maps.

Cook says that maps are important, which is why you’ve seen Apple investing as much as it has in improving its maps product.

Cooks admits, “We screwed up there,” when it comes to maps, but what the company has now is “greatly improved” from where it started. Read more...

More about Apple, Tech, and Apps Software

YouTube's New Tool Makes it Easy to Create Slow-Mo Videos

Posted: 28 May 2013 07:42 PM PDT

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What turns an average video into a spectacular one? Slow motion.

Working under the premise that “slow-mo makes everything better,” YouTube added a new slow motion enhancement tool to its built-in editor on Tuesday, making it accessible to everyone who uses the site to create videos

YouTube’s built-in video editor already has a number of different effects that users can harness when editing their videos. The slow-mo effect was developed in-house at YouTube, using frame analysis to blend intermediate frames together. The result: Videos look like they were shot with a high-speed camera. Read more...

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Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold 'Over 13 Million' Apple TVs

Posted: 28 May 2013 07:22 PM PDT

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Apple has sold over 13 million Apple TVs, CEO Tim Cook announced during an interview on stage at All Things D’s annual conference currently being held in southern California.

Cook said that for several years Apple was only selling a few hundred thousand of the set-top boxes annually, but has now surpassed 13 million total units — more than 6.5 million of those sold in the past year.

Cook said television continues to be “an area of great interest” for Apple. The company isn’t marketing the Apple TV like it does its other products, so the sales numbers for the device are encouraging.

The Apple TV has seen significant growth over the past several years. In July 2012, for instance, Cook announced that Apple had already sold 4 million Apple TVs in the fiscal year. He said then that the Apple TV was still just a “hobby” for the company, but these growing sales numbers certainly indicate it could soon become something more. Read more...

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Apple's Tim Cook: 'We Have Several More Game Changers in Us'

Posted: 28 May 2013 06:54 PM PDT

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Has Apple lost its cool? “Absolutely not,” says CEO Tim Cook.

All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg interviewed the CEO as a kickoff to their annual D11 conference being held in Southern California

When asked if the company was in trouble, and if it's started to loose its cool, Cook responded with a resounding no, going on to say that satisfaction ratings for the company are currently off the charts, as are usage of Apple products.

Cook says that Apple is a product company and that over the past year it has come out with an unprecedented number of new — and well-received — products such as the iPhone 5, new iPods, and new Macs. Read more...

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How to Land an Internship With LeBron James

Posted: 28 May 2013 06:29 PM PDT

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Getting a late start on finding that summer internship? Well, here's a tip, college students: LeBron James is hiring

James posted a link to the job description on his Facebook page. It seeks applicants "who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing" to spend at least 10 hours per week working for his official site, LeBronJames.com

The job posting specifies that applicants must currently be in college, and requires the typical range of modern digital-media skills

You'll need to be familiar with Photoshop, InDesign and other Adobe programs, as well as WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other social-media tools. Beyond that, you'll need to be a keen observer of both basketball and technology, the listing says, as well as be able to work hard and as a member of a team. Read more...

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Life Is a Doodle in a Notebook

Posted: 28 May 2013 06:00 PM PDT

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Everything you need to know about life, you can find in your drawing notebook. Well, maybe that's an overstatement, but you might learn something about yourself.

Grant Snider of Incidental Comics made this comic soon after he became a first-time father, when he had the irresistible urge to write about life. Which drawing do you think represents your life — is it linear, does it spiral out of control or is it any shape you choose to make it?

You can purchase Snider's comics as prints through his poster shop.

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

More about Comic, Comics, Humor, Watercooler, and Incidental Comics

How the Champions League Final Dominated Online

Posted: 28 May 2013 05:38 PM PDT

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Bayern Munich won Saturday's Champions League final over fellow German club Borussia Dortmund on a stunning 89th-minute goal from star Arjen Robben. That much, by now, is old news.

What's not old news, however, is how much of a success the year's biggest club soccer match was online

The infographic, below, from UEFA — European soccer's governing body — shows just how excited social media-savvy fans were during and before the Champions League final

The match's official hashtag, #UCLFinal, was used more than 150,000 times on match day, while 4.8 million tweets mentioned the final and its players over a period of less than four hours. Buzz peaked at the final whistle, when Twitter users posted updates at a rate of more than 117,000 tweets per minute. Bayern hero Robben was mentioned in more than a million tweets, thanks largely to his last-minute winner Read more...

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Bill Nye the Science Guy Guesses How Superman Shaves in 'Man of Steel'

Posted: 28 May 2013 05:12 PM PDT

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Clark Kent transforms from a bearded man to the clean-shaven Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel movie. In some tales, Superman must reflect his heat vision off his Kryptonian ship or mirror to remove his facial hair, which is known to be as durable as his strong body

But how else could Superman shave on Earth? Bill Nye, famously dubbed "The Science Guy," tackles the question in a video for Gillette's new #HowDoesHeShave advertising campaign.

It took Nye only a "few moments" to formulate his theory.

"Keep in mind that there is some way to use things that aren't as hard as the thing to shape the thing — that's the grinding operation," Nye told Mashable. "Airplane tires land on the end of the runway, squeak every time, smoke comes off every time, yet the end of the runway wears out ... How is that possible? Not magic, my friend. It's what? Science!" Read more...

More about Films, Entertainment, Movies, Science, and Gillette

'Arrested Development' a Streaming Success on Netflix

Posted: 28 May 2013 04:37 PM PDT

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The long-awaited fourth season of Arrested Development made its Netflix debut on Sunday and viewers from across the country tuned in to get their stream on.

Although Netflix has not released official data surrounding the number of viewers who decided to stream one — or all 15 — of the Arrested Development episodes, network intelligence company Procera has offered up a preliminary report of the impact of the show on overall Netflix traffic.

According to the report, the first weekend of Arrested Development on Netflix was a bonafide success. I spoke with Cam Cullen, VP of global marketing for Procera, about the report and what it means. Read more...

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Bad News for Bitcoin? Feds Shut Down 'Paypal for Criminals'

Posted: 28 May 2013 04:17 PM PDT

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In what could be a bad sign for the future of Bitcoin, the feds have shut down Liberty Reserve, a virtual currency exchange system that prosecutors claim was a $6-billion money-laundering scheme designed to help criminals and hackers conceal the origin of their illicit money

Liberty Reserve is a Costa Rica-based online payment network that U.S. authorities dubbed the "financial hub of the cyber-crime world." According to the indictment (.PDF) unsealed on Tuesday, the service was one of the world's largest digital currency systems with more than 1 million users and more than 12 million transactions Read more...

More about Virtual Currency, Money Laundering, Us World, Us, and World

Where Singers Botch the National Anthem Most [VIDEO]

Posted: 28 May 2013 03:52 PM PDT

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Pre-game singers mangling the national anthem rank both among the most cringe-inducing and oddly entertaining traditions in American sports.

Sure, most of the time the anthem goes off without a hitch, but it's often the hiccups and mangled lines we remember most.

The sports site Deadspin recently took a tally of more than two dozen "Star-Spangled Banner" flubs to try to determine which lines trip performers up most. It seems as if two relatively unrecognized lines in the middle of the song hold the most dastardly potential for mistakes Read more...

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North Korea's English Propaganda Broadcast Now Online

Posted: 28 May 2013 03:13 PM PDT

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If you wanted to listen to North Korea’s English-language propaganda in the past, your only option was to buy a shortwave radio or listen to edited clips on the Voice of [North] Korea website

Now, according to North Korea Tech points out, you can listen to the full hourlong daily broadcast streaming on the WRN site.

Based on a Monday broadcast, the sound quality is pretty terrible. In fact, there's so much static that it’s barely comprehensible. If you want something clear, you can always watch North Korean TV. If you need something in English, though, this is one of the only options out there at this point. Read more...

More about Censorship, Propaganda, North Korea, Us World, and World

Boeing's Phantom Badger Combat Jeep Fits in a Small Plane

Posted: 28 May 2013 02:35 PM PDT

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It's neither an ATV, nor a mini Humvee. Boeing's new Phantom Badger vehicle is a little jeep that can fit inside of a V-22 Osprey aircraft.

Boeing's new proposal for a tactical vehicle can be loaded into a V-22 plane with six inches of space left on the sides, according to Shephard, a media organization focused on aerospace and defense. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, while also transporting 24 combat troops.

The Phantom Badger vehicle would give troops some tactical mobility on the ground, since it has off-road capabilities. Boeing told Mashable in a statement that, with its all-wheel drive, the vehicle can even drive through 60% inclines and more than two feet of water. See more about the proposed truck in the video above. Read more...

More about Military, Cars, Vehicles, Tech, and Us

Chris Christie Won a Stuffed Bear for Barack Obama Today

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:54 PM PDT

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President Barack Obama got a lesson in football carnival games from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday afternoon as they toured the rebuilt Jersey Shore together.

Obama missed several attempts at throwing a football through a hoop — the objective of the "Touchdown Fever" game. Christie stepped up to the quarterback position and scored on his first throw, winning a Chicago Bears-themed stuffed animal that he gave to the president.

Image via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The pair made the joint appearance to promote tourism on New Jersey's beaches, many of which are just about to reopen after being severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Read more...

More about Barack Obama, Us World, Politics, Pics, and Hurricane Sandy

LG Won't Make Another Google Phone, VP Says

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:41 PM PDT

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LG will not make Google's next Nexus device, the Nexus 5, despite previous rumors.

In an interview with Dutch website All About Phones, Won Kim, vice president of LG Mobile Europe, indicated that the company has no plans to produce another Nexus device, in part it seems because the company doesn't need to

"The Nexus 4 was a great success, despite the production problems for us and Google. However, we do not need such a marketing success again," Kim said in the interview

Furthermore, Kim said, LG doesn't plan to make any of its future devices available as “Google Editions" without the preinstalled LG software. Read more...

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Google Brings Skeeball to Your Browser

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:30 PM PDT

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Just in time for summer, Google is rolling out a modern twist on the classic boardwalk game Skeeball

The game, called "Roll It," can be played directly in your Chrome browser — and if you don't already have Chrome, this is as good as an incentive as any to download it now

To play, Chrome must be running on your computer or smartphone (any device which can access the browser should do actually). Visit Google Roll It on your desktop and g.co/rollit on your phone. Enter the code provided to sync the two. You'll have the option of playing against yourself or others, and then can set the ball up to roll in any direction you choose. Read more...

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Kickstarter Tops 100,000 Launched Projects

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:20 PM PDT

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Kickstarter announced Tuesday that it passed a major milestone: More than 100,000 projects have been launched on the crowdfunding service


Just under 44% of those projects have been successfully funded, raising a total of $535 million. The vast majority of launched projects are categorized under Film & Video (26,343), Music (22,358) and Publishing (11,595)

Kickstarter launched publicly four years ago and has seen the rate of launched projects skyrocketed since then. During the first two years, just more than 20,000 projects were launched on the site, and nearly 80,000 more were launched over the following two years Read more...

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