Monday, 6 May 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Acrobatic Blogger Puts Your Travel Photos to Shame”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Acrobatic Blogger Puts Your Travel Photos to Shame”

Acrobatic Blogger Puts Your Travel Photos to Shame

Posted: 06 May 2013 04:57 AM PDT


Some travelers take clichéd photos when they visit famous sites; others add their own flare

During Jaime Davila's two-year trip around the globe, he took more than 26,000 photos. Of those, 426 feature acrobatic toe-touches, the jumps popularized by cheerleaders. While not all 426 are in particularly unique locations — and many are toe-touch fails — you can take a trip around the world with Davila and his signature pose.

Davila did not plan his stratal jumps around the world. Rather, he tells Mashable he was inspired by the positive response he got after sharing a jumping picture from Nicaragua (the first in the gallery above) on his blog Breakaway Backpacker. Though his Nicaraguan tour guide mocked his pose, the online feedback inspired him to continue. Read more...

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These Special Gloves Can Detect Toxic Substances

Posted: 06 May 2013 03:44 AM PDT


Sure, we've heard of a lot about color-changing clothing: workout shirts that visualize your workout or blue jeans that fade to white depending on body temperature. But what about color-changing apparel that can detect toxins?

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Regensburg, Germany now have a clever solution for people who work in jobs that expose them to harmful substances that are hard for human senses to detect. Their creation is a protective glove that changes colors when it detects toxic substances in the surrounding air.

Since the glove is made of custom sensor materials, it can change from colorless (safe) to blue when a toxic substance is detected. Basically, the indicator dye in the glove reacts when in the presence of the toxic substances. That kind of visual cue could be useful for those working in industries that deal with chemical production, semiconductors or other labs with similar risks, the research lab noted. Read more...

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World's First 3D-Printed Gun Fired on Video

Posted: 06 May 2013 02:19 AM PDT


Can guns really be 3D-printed? The answer to that question is a simple yes. If you don't believe it, just watch Cody Wilson, the man behind the world's first 3D-printed gun, firing the weapon on video

Following a test firing, documented by Forbes, in which a string was used to pull the trigger, Wilson now took the gun into his hands and successfully fired it. Neither him or the weapon suffered any visible damage (sans a cracked pin that used to hold the gun's barrel in place) on that occasion, but the gun did misfire and explode in one of the test firings

The weapon, called "the Liberator" — a homage to cheap pistols distributed by the Allies in France during World War II — is printed on a Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer. It consists of 16 parts, 15 of which are 3D-printed. The last part — the firing pin — is a simple nail, found in any hardware store Read more...

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This Mask Gives You Superhuman Abilities

Posted: 05 May 2013 11:40 PM PDT


Fans of "Iron Man," take notice: A group of students at the Royal College of Art in London have created two masks that can give you superhuman sight and hearing

The first prototype covers the wearer's ears, mouth and nose and uses a directional microphone to give him the ability to hear an isolated sound in a noisy environment. For example, you could target a person in a crowd and clearly hear his words without the surrounding noise

The other prototype is worn over one's eyes. A camera captures video and sends it to a computer, which can apply a set of effects to it in real-time and send it back to the wearer. One can, for example, use it to see movement patterns, similar to the effects of long-exposure photography Read more...

More about Prototype, Eidos, Tech, Gadgets, and Mask

Digital Camera Features Designs Inspired by Bug Eyes

Posted: 05 May 2013 11:01 PM PDT


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a digital camera inspired by the compound eyes of arthropods — that is, animals such as insects, spiders and crustaceans. Instead of the single-lens eyes that humans have, compound eyes are made up of many small visual units

"In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging systems, with a wide-angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and an infinite depth of field," according to a summary of the Nature study

John Rogers, a University of Illinois scientist involved with the study, said the biggest challenge was imitating the curved structure of an insect eye, as electronics are usually flat and hard. Read more...

More about Bugs, Digital Cameras, Spiders, Tech, and Dev Design

Viral Video Recap: Must-Watch Memes of the Week

Posted: 05 May 2013 09:45 PM PDT


The start of the workweek has arrived, so to stave off those Monday blues, check out this week's viral video recap

Our most recent edition features troublemaking animals, including a leopard taking down a piñata, two cats versus one box and a rogue squirrel interrupting a baseball game.

For some belly laughs, be sure to check out a bad lip reading of The Walking Dead that makes zombies seem considerably less scary

Finally, to cap off your viral-video viewing — and just for kicks — take a look at this exploding LEGO house.

Which viral video is your favorite? Tell us in the comments, below

Screenshot image courtesy of YouTube, Big Cat Rescue

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What Startups Taught the White House During Disaster

Posted: 05 May 2013 08:55 PM PDT


More than six months after Hurricane Sandy, pockets of eastern seaboard residents remain displaced, even as they rebuild. There is still much to be done to return the region to normalcy. But as someone who was involved in some of the federal government’s efforts to speed that process — in particular to
harness the power of technology and social media to overcome barriers to response and recovery — I believe Sandy marked a turning point in how we as a nation will respond to large-scale disasters in the years ahead.

In unprecedented fashion, tech companies, voluntary and faith-based organizations and federal agencies, including the White House, worked together to build tools and cut through administrative red tape. The process made one thing very clear: Tech expertise and crowdsourced data are revolutionizing disaster response and recovery. Read more...

More about Fema, Red Cross, White House, Airbnb, and Us World

How Hearst Nabbed 1 Million Tablet Subscribers

Posted: 05 May 2013 08:15 PM PDT


In November 2011, Hearst President David Carey predicted that more than 1 million people would subscribe to its tablet editions by the end of 2012. It was a somewhat bold prediction — at the time only 400,000 people were subscribing to the digital replicas of its magazines, with a growth rate between 10% and 15% per month, Carey said.

Hearst didn't hit the million mark last December, but it has now. According to John Loughlin, executive vice president and general manager of Hearst Magazines, Hearst hit 1 million tablet subscribers around the end of March. The reason Hearst didn't make its goal was due to an unanticipated slowdown in the rate of digital subscription sales — from 10% to 15% in late 2011, to 5% to 7% in the summer and fall of 2012. Read more...

More about Hearst, Cosmopolitan, Business, Media, and David Carey

YouTube Launching Paid Subscriptions to Some Video Channels: Report

Posted: 05 May 2013 07:25 PM PDT


YouTube is set to launch a paid subscription model for its specialist video channels as early as this week, according to a report

The move, which has been in development for months, aims to help channels finance a wider range of content such as television shows and films, and will serve as another source of revenue, according to the Financial Times

The service will include up to 50 YouTube channels, and subscriptions to each channel will start as low a $1.99 per month, the newspaper reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources

In response to the report, a YouTube spokesperson told Mashable, "We have nothing to announce at this time, but we're looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer." Read more...

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Hands-On With This Week's Top Apps

Posted: 05 May 2013 06:48 PM PDT


This was a big week for apps, and particularly app updates.

Vine added an update that allows users to shoot video using their forward-facing camera, while Twitter updated its Android and iOS apps to include support for Trends.

What's more, popular beer app Untappd finally made its way to Windows Phone, and Google Now debuted on the iPhone.

Curious about how these new apps look? Check out the video, above, for a hands-on look at some of our favorites from the past week.

Have you tried any of this week's picks? Tell us about your own top apps in the comments.

Image by Mashable

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

11 Epic Graduation Falls Worth a Diploma

Posted: 05 May 2013 05:58 PM PDT


Hang in there, seniors. The light at the end of the tunnel is just a couple exams away

Whether you're embarking on the next step into high school, college, or this is finally the end, there is nothing sweeter than walking across that stage and taking your rightfully earned diploma

SEE ALSO: High School Graduates Perform Nostalgic Pop Music Medley

But don't think it's all downhill from here just yet, unless you literally mean it. There's a lot of pressure that comes with graduation day. This is the final moment in which you will be judged by your entire class. The good news is that you won't ever see most of these people again. The bad news is that you might not want to if you don't pick the right shoes and watch where you're going. Read more...

More about Videos, Graduation, Watercooler, and Fails

Vote For Your Favorite Google Doodle Created By Kids

Posted: 05 May 2013 05:21 PM PDT


There are just five days left to vote for your favorite Google Doodle contest design, created by kids. Soon, five national finalists will be chosen, with the winning artwork featured on Google's homepage.

It's all part of the search giant's sixth-annual Doodle 4 Google design competition for K to 12 students in the United States. This year's contest asks students to redesign the homepage logo based on the theme, "My Best Day Ever..."

Out of 130,000 entries this year, the competition is now down to 10 students from the following grade groups: K to 3, 4 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to 9 and 10 to 12. These 50 selected creations include sentimental depictions ("The day my little sister was born") to those that stretch the imagination ("A Trip to Planet Z"). Read more...

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12 Excellent Etsy Shops for Mother's Day Gifts

Posted: 05 May 2013 04:30 PM PDT


You appreciate your mother year-round, but Mother's Day is the time to really show your appreciation. However, finding the perfect gift for the woman who helped you become the person you are (and probably made a lot of sacrifices to do so) isn't a simple task.

To help you with the shopping process, we've rounded up 12 Etsy shops that offer great Mother's Day gift options. Between etched wine glasses, engraved cutting boards and customized iPhone cases, you'll find something worth purchasing. What better way to express your love and appreciation for Mom than with a handcrafted, personalized and overall unique gift? Read more...

More about Gifts, Shopping, Features, Etsy, and Small Business

Kinetic Floor Generates Energy From People Dancing

Posted: 05 May 2013 03:42 PM PDT


Around the world, engineers and architects are rethinking the current design of architectural and environmental infrastructure, in favor of regenerative systems that are capable of harnessing wasted energy and resources and redistributing them where needed.

A company in Rotterdam in the Netherlands has created a modular dance floor system that collects kinetic energy from dancers' movements and converts it into electricity. Each individual tile from the Energy Floors has a small generator that collects and stores the energy, transforming it into electricity that can be used to power nearby systems or the LED lights located on the dance floor. The Sustainable Dance Floor tiles are available for rent or sale, and the Temple Night Club in San Francisco currently has had them permanently installed. According to the team at Energy Floors, dancing on the Sustainable Dance floor has generated a rough estimate of over 8 billion Joules. Read more...

Justin Timberlake Uses Instagram to Announce '20/20 Experience' Part 2

Posted: 05 May 2013 02:53 PM PDT


Singer Justin Timberlake, who until this year hadn't released new music since 2006, will release part two of his successful 20/20 Experience album on Sept. 30 — just six months after part one debuted

Timberlake made the unexpected announcement Sunday through photos posted on Instagram on Facebook. The picture on Instagram, which he joined on Grammy Sunday in February, quickly racked up nearly 50,000 views within the first hour it was uploaded.

The visual announcement continues Timberlake's use of social sites to tease or release items related to his music career. It all began in January, when Timberlake posted a cryptic tweet on Twitter. The message teased his musical comeback. He also unleashed interactive art for The 20/20 Experience album on image-tagging startup Stipple's website. And he used Myspace to promote the album's lead single, "Suit & Tie." (Note: Timberlake is an investor in Stipple and has ownership stake in Myspace.) Read more...

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'Angry Birds' Is a Tough Obsession to Shake

Posted: 05 May 2013 02:19 PM PDT


Angry Birds Therapy, Maria Scrivan

When an Angry Birds craving hits, it's hard to quiet. Something about slingshotting wingless birds at evil piggies creates an unshakeable obsession in mobile gamers

This Sunday Comic by Maria Scrivan illustrates the results of that fowl fixation. Just imagine the swine-chiatrist bills.

Comic written and illustrated by Maria Scrivan. Published with permission; all rights reserved. Read more...

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Worst Possible Cybersecurity Breaches Could Be Far Worse Than You Imagined

Posted: 05 May 2013 02:02 PM PDT


The cyber-ruffians who briefly tanked the stock market last week by faking a news tweet about an attack at the White House showed how much damage can be done with a few well-placed keystrokes. Those who hacked into a Department of Labor website earlier this week could have wreaked even more havoc, say, if they successfully tweaked the monthly jobs report.

Neither seemed particularly sophisticated, or malicious. But they do pose the obvious question: How much damage could a group of well-trained hackers do, economic and otherwise, if they really wanted to?

That's a question Paul Rosenzweig has been thinking about for a while. He's a former top U.S. Department of Homeland Security official and author of the recently published book, Cyber Warfare: How Conflicts in Cyberspace Are Challenging America and Changing the World. The book's cheerful premise is that technological advances, combined with the ubiquity of the Internet, have spawned a near-infinite range of potentially grave security threats to governments, commercial entities and individuals. Read more...

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Who Would Hack Your Twitter Account?

Posted: 05 May 2013 01:34 PM PDT


Twitter Hack Comic, Jerry King

When hackers broke into an Associated Press Twitter account several weeks ago — tweeting out false information about explosions at the White House — confusion and panic ensued. The tweet even caused a brief plunge in the stock market

It was yet another situation that prompted users to call for two-factor authentication.

In this comic, we can see that all tweeters should be interested in securing their accounts, no matter how big (or small) their following is.

Comic written by Larry Lambert; illustrated by Jerry King. Read more...

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Cracks Jokes During Commencement Speech

Posted: 05 May 2013 12:55 PM PDT


"When I was your age we didn't have the Internet in our pants," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo joked, flaunting his phone, at his University of Michigan commencement speech. "We didn't even have the Internet not in our pants — that's how bad it was."

That was among Costolo's lines that incited UM's 2013 graduating class to break out in laughter Saturday at Michigan Stadium. Costolo, a graduate of UM who pursued comedy after earning his bachelor's degree for computer science in 1985, started his speech by tweeting a photo of the crowd and ended it saying, "hashtag go blue!"

Commencement @umich My view…

— dick costolo (@dickc) May 4, 2013

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Chris Hadfield Misquotes Yoda, But Has Enough Geek Cred To Get Away With It

Posted: 05 May 2013 12:47 PM PDT


Yesterday was Star Wars Day, and everyone tried to ride the wave of "May The Fourth Be With You," but some did it better than others. Surprisingly, geeky space heartthrob Chris Hadfield misquoted Master Yoda's most famous line in a tweet. We're willing to forgive Hadfield, considering all the great things he's done, but also because he sent that tweet from freaking space.

In The Empire Strikes Back Luke learns an important lesson about the nature of effort and accomplishment. When Luke says he'll try to life his X-Wing out of the swamp Yoda tells him, "Do. Or do not. There is no try." It's the line everyone goes to when they're doing their drunk Yoda impressions at parties. Read more...

More about Twitter, Social Media, Us, Chris Hadfield, and Star Wars Day

Beer Drones To Deliver Brew to Concertgoers

Posted: 05 May 2013 12:00 PM PDT


Thirsty music festivalgoers in South Africa this summer may be able to get beer instantly delivered to them — via drones.

During August's OppiKoppi Music Festival, attendees can order beers from their phones to be delivered the event's District 9 campsite. The beer-equipped drones will swoop down and deliver beer via parachute to the appropriate customer, as explained in the video above. The organizers say the beer drones are now hand-guided, but in the future they'll fly on a GPS grid.

But this 21st-century service might not fly without its share of turbulence: Targeting the right customer amongst the crowds at OppiKoppi will be an interesting challenge to overcome. And festival attendees might not have the greatest sense of motor control for catching their drink order, after having one too many. Read more...

More about Beer, Delivery, South Africa, Tech, and Gadgets

Meteor Shower Spawned by Halley's Comet Is Peaking Now

Posted: 05 May 2013 11:25 AM PDT


A meteor shower created by bits of Halley's Comet is at its peak now, and NASA has a few handy tips for stargazers eager to see the display of "shooting stars."

The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is peaking today (May 5) as the Earth passes through a dusty debris field of cosmic leftovers from Halley's Comet. The shower should be at its best at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT) Sunday night, offering stargazers with the best viewing conditions and locations a chance to see between 30 and 40 meteors an hour, according to an update from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center will provide a live webcast and chat during the Eta Aquarids from 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT) to 3 a.m. EDT (0700 GMT). Read more...

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This Tiny Town Is Getting Ultra-Fast Google Fiber Before You

Posted: 05 May 2013 11:00 AM PDT


Google continues to expand its Google Fiber service to more cities, adding a small city in Kansas to the lucky places slated to get the search giant's ultrafast broadband connections

The city council in Shawnee, Kansas — population just upward of 60,000 people — approved the Google Fiber expansion Thursday night. Shawnee joins Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, as the latest Google Fiber additions in the past month

"We’ve also been impressed by Shawnee’s vision to keep their citizens informed and involved using the Internet," Google Fiber community manager Rachel Hack said in a blog post, touting the city's revamped website that lets citizens "easily access city info" such as audio of city council meetings, crime maps and fiscal reports Read more...

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10 Pics From My Dog's Google Glass

Posted: 05 May 2013 10:19 AM PDT


Humans are foaming at the mouth over Google Glass. The tiny projection screen, voice commands and user-friendly experience could very well be the technology of the future.

But what about dogs? Could our four-legged friends benefit from Google Glass? Would anyone actually buy this technology for a dog? Considering that people buy $3.2 million collars for their dogs, why wouldn't they?

SEE ALSO: SNL Mocks How Google Glass Can Be Used "Discreetly"

We went undercover to learn what it would be like to be a dog wearing Google Glass, playing with a canine friend.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Moosicorn

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Get Psyched for 'Iron Man 3' With This Superhero Remix

Posted: 05 May 2013 09:45 AM PDT


Tony Stark makes his epic return to the big screen this weekend with the release of Iron Man 3, but it's been a while since we've been privy to the superhero's — shall we say — swagger?

Ease yourself back into Stark's world of wealth and fighting evil with the "Iron Man Trilogy Remix" by YouTuber relmvision. Prepare to remember all those lovely explosions, fire blasts and special effects that made you fall in love with this protector of Pepper Potts and gang

For some added Stark power, there are even a few soundbites from The Avengers


More about Viral Videos, Remixes, Iron Man, Superheroes, and Watercooler

Watch Hugh Jackman Answer Twitter Users' 'Wolverine' Questions

Posted: 05 May 2013 09:14 AM PDT


Golden Globe winner Hugh Jackman unleashed a series of YouTube videos this week in which he answered 11 Twitter users' questions about The Wolverine movie

Fans submitted questions via Twitter using hashtags #AskHugh and #TheWolverine

Jackman, who is playing the disgruntled hero with regenerative abilities for the sixth time in the X-Men film franchise, tweeted his answers and links to the videos on his @RealHughJackman account. You can watch all of them in this video gallery:

The film hits theaters July 26, and tackles Wolverine's immortality. "Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before," according to 20th Century Fox. Read more...

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15 Notes That Prove Kids Write the Darndest Things

Posted: 05 May 2013 08:53 AM PDT


Children. Those precocious, adorable, sassy little humans. As any parent can tell you, kids are oh, so awesome and oh, so witty when you least expect it

And especially so when you give them a pen and a piece of paper (or for the 21st-century family: a tablet). Bill Cosby may have proven that kids say the darndest things, but clearly kids have no issues writing some pretty darn funny stuff. Some of it is a bit disconcerting, but most of it just proves that kids are too smart for their own good

But where do all those brains go when we grow up? Read more...

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'SNL' Mocks How Google Glass Can Be Used 'Discreetly'

Posted: 05 May 2013 08:13 AM PDT


There has been a lot of chatter about how Google Glass will allow us to do things more discreetly. For example, the new gadget lets you take a photo with a slow wink or tweet with your eyes.

But during Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" skit on Saturday, tech correspondent "Randall Meeks" (played by Fred Armisen) showed just how "discreetly" a Google Glass user can send commands to the high-tech eyewear, while holding a regular conversation with anchor Seth Meyers.

"I used to spend so much time of my life looking down at my phone, and now, thanks to Google Glass, the phone is up here and I can use it without being rude or distracting," Meeks said, with a hint of sarcasm. Read more...

More about Parody, Snl, Saturday Night Live, Entertainment, and Tv

Is This Article Earned Media? Depends Where You Got it From

Posted: 05 May 2013 08:00 AM PDT


If you pay to have something distributed, then it's paid media. But if someone else distributes it for you, then it's earned media.

That's the basic definition of earned media, a term that earned its place in the pantheon of marketing buzzwords, though if this chart is to be believed, it is in the process of unearning it.

The popularity of earned media was spurred by the social media revolution, but the term traces its roots as far back as 1988, when it appeared in a Newsweek article:

Satellite hookups and cable TV, which furnish saturation coverage of the campaigns, have made the search for the perfect line a near obsession. Campaigns spend — and often waste — thousands of dollars boiling down all of the issues into broad themes that can be used in both "paid media" (political TV ads) and "earned media" (which recently replaced "free media" as the favored euphemism for news). Read more...

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Siri and Google Now, Can't We All Just Get Along?

Posted: 05 May 2013 07:54 AM PDT


The rivalry between Apple and Google continues. The latest skirmish between the tech behemoths may sound familiar

If you ever had a sibling rivalry or competitiveness with a frenemy, you can probably relate to this Sunday Comic from our friends Nitrozac and Snaggy at The Joy of Tech. Google Now and Siri square off to win their owner's heart and prove the other wrong.

The bickering, the disagreements, the "I'm not touching you" teasing — it's all there on your mobile devices. This is why we can't have nice things, Siri and Google Now

Siri Vs. Google Now Comic, Joy of Tech

Comic illustration provided by The Joy of Tech. Published with permission; all rights reserved. Read more...

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