Friday, 3 May 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Build a Digital Family Tree With These 5 Tools”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Build a Digital Family Tree With These 5 Tools”

Build a Digital Family Tree With These 5 Tools

Posted: 03 May 2013 04:32 AM PDT


Amateur genealogists hoping to uncover a link to Abe Lincoln can easily turn to the web to dig in their ancestor's closet. But taking the commercial route doesn't come cheap

People curious about family history spent a whopping $2.3 billion on genealogy products and services last year, according to a study by market research firm Global Industry Analysts. They took most of their work to sites like, which charge between $22.95 and $34.59 per month for access to billions of pertinent records. One-on-one consultations set them back $2,000 to $5,000 per session, depending on the length and complexity of the project, a spokesperson told Mashable Read more...

More about Features, Family, Apps Software, Contributor, and Lifestyle

YouTube's 20 Most-Shared Ads in April

Posted: 03 May 2013 03:39 AM PDT


YouTube makes advertisers' jobs easier. When fans love and share ads, they expand the clips' reach far beyond the scope of a TV spot. For some of April's most-shared YouTube ads — many of which were April Fools' pranks — those shares generated millions of pageviews.

Our friends at Unruly put together this list of the month's most-shared viral YouTube ads. Check out the gallery above to see if your favorite ad made the list.

It came as no surprise to us here at Mashable that the most-shared ad on YouTube of April was Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" video, because it was our most-shared story as well! The viral campaign was shared more than 3.1 million times. Though that number sounds astounding, it pales in comparison to its total view count of 37.5 million Read more...

More about Video, Youtube, Advertising, Marketing, and Features

This Is What Google's Self-Driving Car 'Sees' as It Makes a Turn

Posted: 03 May 2013 01:59 AM PDT


Google's self-driving car soaks in a staggering amount of information about its environment as it drives, gathering 750MB of data every second, claims Idealab founder and CEO Bill Gross

Gross, who says he learned the fact and taken the image above at an XPrize event, says the car is capturing everything it sees while moving — even cigarette butts

"If it sees a cigarette butt, it knows a person might be creeping out from between cars. If it sees a rolling ball it knows a child might run out from a driveway. I am truly stunned by how impressive an achievement this is," wrote Gross in a blog post Read more...

More about Google, Self Driving Car, Google Self Driving Car, Tech, and Gadgets

How to Stop People From Swiping Your Online Photos

Posted: 03 May 2013 01:17 AM PDT


Imagine driving down the freeway and seeing a photo that you took on vacation plastered across a billboard. No one asked for your permission to use it, and you certainly haven't received a check.

Scenarios such as this one have struck fear into British photographers now that a new act has been passed that could make it much easier for companies and individuals to license online photos for their own use. While Parliament works out the details of its Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, photographers are up in arms, and have renamed the law the Instagram Act, a reference to last year's Instagram debacle. Read more...

More about Security, Photos, Privacy, Online Privacy, and Apps Software

Google Play is Now on B+N's Nook HD

Posted: 02 May 2013 11:34 PM PDT


What do you do when you’ve made a great product but are struggling to stand out from the pack and meet sales expectations? You offer more. At least that appears to be the strategy behind Barnes & Noble’s latest Nook HD tablet move. As of today, Nook HD owners will finally have access to the 700,000 apps available in Google Play and the Chrome Web browser found on most other stock Android devices.

While Barnes & Noble refuses to reveal exact sales data for its line of Android ICS-based 7- and 9-inch tablets, the company did make it clear that end-of-2012 sales were not as good as they could have been. That led to speculation that the company, which already spun out the Nook business into a separate subsidiary, might walk away from the tablet hardware business altogether. Barnes & Noble quickly discounted the report and now the company’s go-forward tablet strategy is coming into focus. Read more...

More about Google, Android, Tablet, Barnes Noble, and Tech

'National Geographic' Named Best Tablet Magazine of 2013

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:45 PM PDT


The winners of the 2013 National Magazine Awards, often called the "Oscars of the magazine world," were announced in a ceremony held in midtown Manhattan Thursday nightNational Geographic, which nabbed the most nominations of any magazine, also picked up the most awards, including two for its digital media efforts.

Nat Geo was recognized for General Excellence in four categories: News, Sports and Entertainment Magazine; Photography; Tablet Magazine; and Multimedia, the last of which for the "Cheetahs on the Edge" feature in its November issue.

ASME judges said Nat Geo won the tablet category because it offers everything one could want in a tablet magazine: in-depth reporting, world-class photography, beautiful design, smooth navigation, immersive interactivity, social media integration, plus engaging extras like a cheetah darting across a cover. Read more...

More about National Geographic, Magazines, Ipad App, Business, and Media

FoodFan Offers Discounts at Restaurants Without the Fine Print

Posted: 02 May 2013 07:24 PM PDT


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: FoodFan

One-Liner Pitch: FoodFan's "Select" membership program gives members up to 30% off their restaurant bill at great restaurants any time, without any restrictions.

Why It's Taking Off: FoodFan is taking a different approach to the daily deal market.

It's easy to find restaurant deals online, but there always seems to be a catch, whether it's the fine print, blackout dates or required reservations

FoodFan, a New York-based startup, is trying to make it easier to receive discounts at select restaurants. FoodFan’s membership program, FoodFan Select, allows members to dine at top rated restaurants at any time, and always receive 15 – 30% off the entire bill. There are no blackout dates or times, and no reservations or coupons needed. Read more...

More about Startups, Business, Work Play, The Launchpad, and Food

Skydog Lets You Remotely Monitor Your Kids' Internet and Facebook Use

Posted: 02 May 2013 06:12 PM PDT


If you're looking for some serious control over your family's Wi-Fi use and home network, a Palo-Alto, Calif., company has developed a new cloud-based solution.

PowerCloud Systems' Skydog Wi-Fi router and mobile companion site lets parents monitor Internet access and even receive text notifications for certain network activity.

The system works by signing up with Skydog and replacing your existing wireless router with Skydog's 802.11n wireless router. From there, you can monitor all the connected devices in your home through a pretty clean interface on your desktop or mobile device. Skydog outputs fairly detailed information about the home network: who exactly is online, what devices are connected, which websites are being accessed and what the bandwidth usage is. Read more...

More about Wi Fi, Family Networking, Kickstarter, Routers, and Wireless Routers

Basketball Time Machine App Will Satisfy Your Jones

Posted: 02 May 2013 05:48 PM PDT


If you've got a basketball jones like me, then I may have just found the ultimate app for us both.

An amazingly cheesy 1983 Dr. J ad for Crest? Check. The entire 1993 NCAA title game between Michigan's Fab Five and the North Carolina Tar Heels? Check. Three minutes of a shockingly svelte Shaquille O'Neal's rookie-year highlights? Also check

The app is called Basketball Time Machine, and it's essentially a curated YouTube goldmine for hoops nuts. It catalogues 2,000 videos, letting you sort them by a combination of year (1961-2013) and seven categories: Best Games, Superstars, Top Plays, Champs, College, Ads and Fun. Then you can scroll between a range of video options, typically between five and 30, from what I saw, for each combination. Here's a screenshot: Read more...

More about Nba, Entertainment, Apps Software, and Sports

'80s Don Draper Is the Biggest Thing Since New Coke

Posted: 02 May 2013 05:36 PM PDT


Did you ever wish that Mad Men was set in the '80s? Me neither, but The Onion writer John McNamee presents a compelling case for such a scenario with 80's Don Draper, which features everybody's favorite advertising antihero musing about the age of Cosby sweaters

Some of Don's greatest hits so far:

Who's the Boss? The customer.

— 80's Don Draper (@80sDonDraper) April 28, 2013

People don't want to avoid the Noid. They want to be him.

— 80's Don Draper (@80sDonDraper) April 24, 2013

Come back to me when you know why I should care about these bears.

— 80's Don Draper (@80sDonDraper) April 25, 2013

More about Twitter, Mad Men, Jon Hamm, Entertainment, and Tv

How Photographing Your Food Can Help Fight World Hunger

Posted: 02 May 2013 05:15 PM PDT


If you've ever gotten shamed for taking iPhone photos of your meals, you now have a legitimate reason to take a snap of your food: it could be a small step toward alleviating world hunger.

That's because if you take a photo of your food with the Give Your Calories app (free for iOS), the app converts the caloric value of a food item into dollar values that can be donated to international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger's field professionals work to help severely undernourished children around the world.

This Give Your Calories app uses image recognition technology to figure out what you're eating in the photo or you can scan a food product's barcode. Once it does the calorie calculations, you can donate money via PayPal. Read more...

More about Donations, Donation, Calories, Us World, and Social Good

20 Ridiculously Photogenic Animals

Posted: 02 May 2013 05:03 PM PDT


It is now a proven fact that dogs and cats are photogenic. Any picture, of any puppy or kitten, is camera lens gold. They just have "it" — the thing all supermodels crave and Tyra Banks tries to teach

But dogs and cats have held the spotlight for too long. The rest of the animal kingdom has got to be tired of hearing about their furry cuteness.

Here, we prove to the world once and for all, that any animal can be ridiculously photogenic. Ostriches, lizards, ducks and lions alike can ham it up for the camera just as well as our four legged house pets. Hopefully, they don't all let it go to their heads like cats have. Read more...

More about Pics, Cute Animals, Watercooler, and Megalists

Stephen Colbert Asks Snapchat Founders if Their Profit Disappears Too

Posted: 02 May 2013 04:11 PM PDT


The co-founders of Snapchat — Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy — appeared on The Colbert Report this week to clear up Stephen Colbert's confusion about their photo-messaging app, which sees and deletes 150 million photo uploads every day

Colbert hurled a few jabs at the founders, including one about their finances: "Have you guys made a profit yet or does that disappear after 10 seconds, too?" he asked

Colbert's comedic questions of course didn't stop there. Here are a few of his other gems:

  • "Why would you want to include the option for the photo to disappear? What are the users of Snapchat ashamed of?"

  • "Is starting an app now in college like the old version of starting a band? ... Which one of you is the cute one?"

  • "Is this a sexting app? Is it a sexting app?" Read more...

More about Entertainment, Apps, Tv, Humor, and Stephen Colbert

Tiny ATM Takes Your Money and Gives You Bitcoin

Posted: 02 May 2013 03:52 PM PDT


Trying to figure out an easy way to convert your oldschool printed money to Bitcoin? Try the Bitcoin ATM, a tiny computer that takes your dollars, euro or other currencies and instantly converts them into Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin ATM first prompts users to use the machine to scan a QR code on their cellphone, teaching the ATM where to send the Bitcoin. Users then insert paper money, which is instantly turned into Bitcoin and delivered to users' accounts. All told, the process takes fifteen seconds or less.

Lamassu, the startup that created the the Bitcoin ATM, claims it's the world's first such machine. They initially demonstrated the gizmo earlier this year, and now Lamassu expects to take their first pre-orders in early June. The Bitcoin ATM, a production mockup of which appears below, will cost approximately $5,000 with cheaper deals for wholesalers. Read more...

More about Us World, Us, World, and Bitcoin

Adobe Reveals Cloud-Based Lightroom-Style iPad App

Posted: 02 May 2013 03:44 PM PDT


Adobe's already graced the iPad with Photoshop Touch, a simplified version of its venerable desktop photo editing application, Photoshop. Now the company's offered a sneak peek of an iPad app that promises many of the most powerful capabilities of Lightroom, Adobe's professional photo image editor.

Adobe product manager Tom Hogarty, who is in charge of Lightroom and Bridge, showed off the app on The Grid, a web-based video program. Hogarty said the iPad app will let photographers accomplish many of the advanced image editing tasks of Lightroom on their iPads, including processing raw images. Photographers prefer raw images, because they include all the information a camera's imaging chip has gathered, rather than processing the images into a JPEG file inside the camera. Read more...

More about Adobe, Apps, Ipad, Tech, and Apps Software

'Monsters University' Preview: What to Expect When You Enroll

Posted: 02 May 2013 03:34 PM PDT


It's almost that time of year again — when Pixar releases its annual movie, and kids and adults alike flock to the multiplex to see if the company that revolutionized animation can do it again. This time it's Monsters University, which opens June 21.

Even on the rare occasion that a Pixar movie is a critical dud (we're looking at you, Cars 2), we're still curious enough to see them in droves. Every one of the California studio's 13 films has found itself the top film in the U.S. in its opening week

So will Monsters U also graduate with honors? Judging by an advance screening I attended, the answer is yes. It's not the greatest thing Pixar has ever produced, and sadly can't hold a candle to the joyful sophistication of the original Monsters, Inc. It's a prequel, and a college picture, and those are some pretty serious limitations. Read more...

More about Animation, Pixar, Entertainment, Film, and Monsters University

Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat Sue Warner Bros.

Posted: 02 May 2013 03:13 PM PDT


The cats of the Internet are coming together in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. for copyright and trademark infringement. The feline memes in question? Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat.

A Warner Bros. game called Scribblenauts Unlimited features two Easter eggs that unlock images of the two cats. Typing "Keyboard Cat" will reveal a cat in a blue shirt with a keyboard, while typing "Nyan Cat" into the game brings forth a Pop-Tart-bodied cat

Image courtesy of Chris Torres

Both Charlie Schmidt, who created Keyboard Cat, and Chris Torres, creator of Nyan Cat, have registered copyrights on the memes. Schmidt and Torres have established full-time careers out of the memes, which are currently managed by Ben Lashes, who also represents other notable memes like Grumpy Cat and Scumbag Steve. Read more...

More about Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Memes, Keyboard Cat, and Web Culture

This Flask Looks Just Like an iPhone

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:43 PM PDT


You can carry your own booze to events and parties without attracting too much attention with the iFlask, a drink container that cleverly masquerades as an iPhone.

The iFlask is made from polyethylene and polycarbonate, making it lightweight, smooth and sturdy. It's toxic free and can hold five ounces of liquid. Users can pour and drink from what should be the headphone jack, which opens and closes with a sliding switch. The back is fitted with a bottle opener made of stainless steel. Each iFlask comes with a free funnel for easy refilling.

The project was initially unsuccessful on Kickstarter, but the iFlask can be pre-ordered from the official website. Read more...

More about Iphone, Alcohol, Kickstarter, Lifestyle, and Travel Leisure

Squirrel Storms Field, Gets Nabbed by Baseball Player

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:08 PM PDT


We're not sure if he drew inspiration from this soccer fan, or perhaps this one, but a squirrel has entered the pantheon of historic sports-field rushers

The rebellious rodent made his move during a recent college baseball game between Kansas and Wichita State, scurrying around the infield until Wichita player Tyler Baker scooped him up in, of all things, a batting helmet, then carried him off the field to raucous applause

Knowing good Internet when they see it, the folks who run the Kansas athletics YouTube account were kind enough to post the clip you see above online. Check it out for yourself, then let us know what you think in the comments Read more...

More about Entertainment, Videos, Sports, and Watercooler

iOS 7's Siri and Maps to Be Tightly Integrated Into Cars

Posted: 02 May 2013 01:52 PM PDT


Apple is working on tightly integrating iOS 7 apps such as Siri and Apple Maps into car consoles, according to a report by 9 to 5 Mac. Taking the concept of Siri Eyes Free for cars a step further, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system might be able to provide a voice-activated navigation system with Siri at its core.

Online publication 9 to 5 Mac's multiple sources say that Apple plans to be aggressive about its presence in car infotainment systems, with Siri-controlled Maps finding their way into cars "later this year."

The latest iOS 6 version of Siri Eyes Free for cars lets users send texts to anyone in their address books using Siri's voice control, plays music from the user's iTunes libraries, and accesses calendar functions Read more...

More about Cars, Navigation, Tech, Gadgets, and Mobile

LinkedIn Falls 11% on Lower Projected Q2 Earnings

Posted: 02 May 2013 01:36 PM PDT


LinkedIn handily beat Wall Street's expectations for its first quarter, but a lower-than-expected outlook for the second quarter appears to have caused the company's stock to drop by as much as 11% in after-hours trading.

The company posted Q1 revenues of $324.7 million compared to an expected $317 million and earnings of $0.45 a share vs. a predicted $0.31. However, LinkedIn's guidance for 2Q is for $342 million to $347 million compared to the $359.2 million that analysts had been expecting

The company's stock had also been rising lately. It was up about 95% for the last six months and broke $200 for the first time on Thursday on expectations for the earnings report Read more...

More about Linkedin and Business

5 Fascinating Facts We Learned From Reddit This Week

Posted: 02 May 2013 01:04 PM PDT


Ever wonder where the "pinky swear" comes from. Or what would happen if you smoke poison ivy?

Neither have we, but those tidbits and more await you in the latest episode of Reddit Facts.

Don't forget to subscribe to Mashable's YouTube channel for more fun shows, reviews, interviews and cats.

DON'T SMOKE POISON IVY: [Reddit] [Source]


LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE: [Reddit] [Source]



Previously, on Reddit Facts:

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Joshua Ommen.

More about Reddit, Social Media, Features, and Reddit Facts

J.J. Abrams, George Takei to Do 'Star Trek' Facebook Chat

Posted: 02 May 2013 12:45 PM PDT


Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams will participate in a Facebook Live video chat hosted by comedian Andy Samberg on May 10, just a week before the anticipated summer blockbuster hits theaters on May 17

The chat — in which Facebook users will be allowed to ask questions — will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET, a Facebook representative told Mashable. It will feature special guest George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu on the original 1960s Star Trek television show.

"This is an exclusive opportunity for Facebook fans to ask anything about the Star Trek universe, and to boldly go where few have gone before," Paramount teased Thursday. Read more...

More about Facebook, Films, Entertainment, Movies, and Celebrities

The Strange Truth About Introverts

Posted: 02 May 2013 12:12 PM PDT


It's a difficult task to pin down the exact characteristics of an introvert

Actually, it's difficult to pin down an introvert, in general, because they are often hiding behind the couch. At least that's what Pleated Jeans' classification of this very peculiar species of human has found

Introverts, it seems, exhibit tendencies of skittishness, awkwardness, an obsession with the indoors, coffee shops with wireless high speed Internet and Game of Thrones.

So, basically, we are all introverts

This Pleated Jeans video mimics popular comedian Ze Frank's "True Facts" series, which is known for slowly reciting (mostly made up) facts about odd and unique creatures of the world. And luckily, introverts seem to fit perfectly into that bunch Read more...

More about Video, Introverts, Watercooler, and Videos

Playing This Video Game Will Sharpen Your Mind

Posted: 02 May 2013 11:39 AM PDT


Researchers at the University of Iowa have been studying ways to reverse the effects of aging on mental agility.

Their answer? Play a video game.

Not just any game, mind you. They developed a game of their own, a simple visual puzzle game called Road Tour. Their research shows that playing the game can markedly improve processing speed, mental agility and peripheral vision.

“A physician could write a prescription and say ‘take this [game] home and play,’” Fredric Wolinsky, a professor at the University of Iowa's College of Public Health, told TechNewsDaily.

Road Tour works by showing an image of either a car or a truck. Around the vehicle plate are eight signs — seven say "Rabbit Crossing" and one says "Route 66." The signs and the vehicle quickly disappear, and players have to identify what kind of vehicle they saw and where the Route 66 sign was. Read more...

More about Brain Games, Video Game, Memory, Entertainment, and Gaming

New App Brings Reddit to Google Glass

Posted: 02 May 2013 11:21 AM PDT


Reddit is now available for Google Glass

Glass Explorer Malcolm Nguyen has published an app, which he's calling Reddit Timeline, that provides much of the Reddit web experience on Glass.

With the app you can swipe through the top 25 FrontPage posts, upvote or downvote, and comment. If you see something worth sharing while you’re out and about, you can share directly to Reddit from Google Glass as well.

FrontPage posts are updated as a bundle every hour within the app, so you’ll constantly have new content to check out

Comments can also be read to you aloud, if you’re not up for reading an entire comment on Glass’ tiny screen. Read more...

More about Google, App, Tech, Apps Software, and Gadgets

How You Really Look Wearing Google Glass

Posted: 02 May 2013 11:02 AM PDT


Google Glass is the future — or at least, that's what techies across the web keep saying. Google continues to distribute Explorer editions of its augmented reality glasses to developers and early adopters. As such, we're seeing more and more of those same press images featuring extremely attractive, wonderfully diverse models wearing the gadget.

And if you buy Google Glass, you'll look just like them, right? Doubtful.

We've put together some images to show you how you really look while wearing Google Glass, and it's not exactly photo shoot material. The future looks terrible. Read more...

More about Google, Features, Tech, Humor, and Memes

Cats Make for Delicious Sushi Rolls

Posted: 02 May 2013 10:52 AM PDT


Would you like a side of whiskers with that California Roll?

Neko-Sushi — also known as Sushi Cats — is a series of prints available for sale by Japanese company Tange & Nakimushi Peanuts

While some of the sushi-themed felines are more traditional, donning seafood and vegetables, some are just plain bizarre.

"Neko-Sushi is an extremely unusual life-form consisting of a cat on top of a portion of sushi rice," writes the company on its website. "Although several references have come down to us through history from various researchers and witnesses, their existence is still shrouded in mystery and actual sightings remain rare." Read more...

More about Pics, Cats, Apps Software, and Watercooler

Brooklyn Mom Illustrates Kids' Lunch Napkins Every Day Since 2006

Posted: 02 May 2013 10:39 AM PDT


Last week, we told you about a Massachusetts man who's been illustrating his kids' lunch bags every day for the past five years. Now, we've found another parent dabbling in lunchtime artwork.

Nina Levy, a photographer from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been illustrating napkins for her two children — Archer, 10, and Ansel, 6 — every school day since 2006. She tracks all of them in a blog called Daily Napkins

"When my first son went to nursery school, I drew a little sketch of Chicken Little on his napkin that just said, 'Have a good lunch — Love, Mom,'" she told Mashable. "He really enjoyed it, and it just kind of stuck. Then, when my second son starting going to school, I began drawing on his napkins." Read more...

More about Photos, Art, Watercooler, Pics, and Conversations

Stellar 'Hockey Night' Promo Might Actually Get You Into Hockey

Posted: 02 May 2013 10:28 AM PDT


We know, we know: There are plenty of hardcore hockey fans stateside. But the fact is it lags behind football, basketball and baseball in the attention scrum among the four major American sports

This NHL playoffs promo for the CBC show Hockey Night in Canada, however, might win the sport some new fans

It features The Who's riff-heavy "Baba O'Riley" over shots of NHL stars past and present. The spot has been buzzing among drama-addicted sports fans online since hitting YouTube this Wednesday. Is it enough to get even the most casual of hockey fans pumped about the playoffs? Check out the video for yourself above and let us know what you think in the comments Read more...

More about Nhl, Entertainment, and Sports

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