Friday, 28 June 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App?”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App?”

Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App?

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 05:01 AM PDT


We might live in an age of persistent and pervasive surveillance. The recent revelations about the secret National Security Agency programs aimed at collecting vast amounts of data on Americans and foreigners seemingly confirm what tinfoil-wearing netizens have feared for years: They're watching us; technology has turned against its users.

Amidst prying eyes, a small but growing group of hackers and programmers is working on applications that use cryptography — the science of creating techniques to hide data and render it readable only to intended recipients — to fight surveillance and give regular citizens access to what was once only reserved to computer experts. Read more...

More about Apps, Features, Privacy, Tech, and Surveillance

10 Top HTC First Cases

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 04:54 AM PDT


Did you opt for the HTC First? Whether you got the phone when it first came out, or nabbed a bargain with AT&T's 99 cent "fire sale" you surely want a case to protect your handset.

We have found 10 cases tailor-made to shield the "Facebook Phone" from harm. Take a look through our top choices in the image gallery above

Have you seen any other great HTC First covers we haven't featured? Then link us to them in the comments below.

Homepage image courtesy of HTC

More about Mobile, Gadgets, Features, Tech, and Htc

RoboCarp Underwater Vehicle Swims Like a Real Fish

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 04:29 AM PDT


A team of researchers has developed a robot fish that imitates the movements of a carp. They're from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and they're calling their invention, of course, RoboCarp.

The robotic fish, or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is about five feet long, weighs 22 pounds and can dive to six feet. The technology uses an internal ballast system that enables the drone to dive and float like a real fish

Said Professor Xu Jianxin, part of the research team, "Currently, robot fish capable of 2D movements are common, meaning that these models are not able to dive into the water. Our model is capabe of 3D movements as it can dive and float, using its fins like a real fish." Read more...

More about Robots, Dev, Tech, Dev Design, and Robotic Fish

Upgrade Your Baby's Tech With These 9 Gadgets

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 04:28 AM PDT


There are some seriously cool baby tech products on the market today that not only offer the utmost comfort for babies, but also make lives easier for parents. Every little bit helps during those overwhelming newborn months, right?

Combining tech with convenience while simultaneously helping your baby be safer, healthier or sleep better is a win-win for parents and their kin alike.

While it’s true that babies don’t need very much when they enter the world, you'll take one look at how truly awesome these gadgets are, and the want will quickly supersede the need Read more...

More about Features, Guest Post, Parenting, Tech, and Baby

How to Make a Customized Google Map

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:39 AM PDT


Did you know that you're organizing an event, you know you can create a totally customizable Google Map to precisely point your attendees in the right direction?

We've taken a look at how to create a personalized Google Map from the ground up, how to add multiple locations, draw routes, add notes and then share it out

Take a look through our simple how-to slideshow in the image gallery above. In the comments below, let us know about any of your handy Google Maps tips and tricks.

Images courtesy of Google Maps

More about Google, Google Maps, How To, Features, and Tech

Overly Attached Girlfriend Makes the Perfect Sandwich for Her Man

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 01:44 AM PDT


Overly Attached Girlfriend is back once again, and this time she'll show you the best way to a man's heart: through a perfectly executed sandwich

The crucial ingredient of a sandwich, as we learn in the video, is peanut butter. "It makes it really hard for him to say things like "I'm gonna leave you"," OAG claims

SEE ALSO: Overly Attached Girlfriend Returns With Medley of Stalker Songs

Of course, there's a secret ingredient or two in there as well, making sure your man will stick around

So, overly attached girlfriends of the world, what are you waiting for? It's time to make your very significant other that perfect sandwich! Read more...

More about Sandwich, Watercooler, Videos, and Overly Attached Girlfriend

Turn Your iPhone Into a 3D Camera With Poppy

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 12:45 AM PDT


The 3D revolution is upon us. Pictures, movies, printing — and now, camera phones.

Poppy, an iPhone accessory invented and designed by a duo based in Seattle, will turn your smartphone into a 3D camera. The device, whose Kickstarter campaign began Wednesday, captures 3D photos and video clips by mashing up two stereographic images via the iPhone’s single camera.

Poppy's creators, Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg, explain (below) that the device doesn't need batteries and that there are no electronics involved. It's just optics — like the View-Masters of old — so the price can be low without sacrificing quality. Not only can you use Poppy to capture 3D frames, you can also use it to watch 3D videos on YouTube. (YouTube added support for 3D in 2009.) Read more...

More about Iphone, 3d, Camera, 3d Camera, and Tech

Grand Canyon Tightrope-Crossing Was Most-Tweeted Show Last Week

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 12:27 AM PDT


We already knew social buzz equals higher television ratings. But now we know exactly what shows are leading the way based on tweet volume.

Nielsen's SocialGuide has released its top-10 list of the most social TV programs, ranked by Twitter activity — the first of what will eventually be weekly rankings.

Here's a look at the top shows from June 17 to 23:

  1. Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda, "Nik Wallenda," 1,000,194 tweets

  2. Pretty Little Liars, "Turn of the Shoe," 548,962 tweets

  3. The Voice, "Live Finale," 431,435 tweets

  4. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, "Stevie comes between Mimi and Nikko," 425,699 tweets

  5. Teen Wolf,  "Fireflies," 249,127 tweets

  6. WWE Monday Night RAW, "Will Triple H finally be allowed to compete?" 227,546 tweets

  7. The Voice "Live Final Performance," 176,676 tweets

  8. The Wanted Life, "Obama Like A Pop Star," 93,353 tweets

  9. Girl Code, "Compliments," 85,755 tweets

  10. Girl Code,  "Public displays of affection," 84,170 tweets Read more...

More about Social Media, Nielsen, Social Tv, Online Videos, and Social Tv Analytics

These Spellbinding GIFs Put Greek Statues Into Motion

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:59 PM PDT


These classical Greek statues haven't stretched their limbs in centuries — if they're lucky enough to have limbs. But digital artist Zach Dougherty puts these intrinsically solid works of art into motion in his dazzling GIFs

Dougherty stumbled upon these sculptures on a trip to his local museum for a "3D scanning spree." As he told Mashable, he works in the GIF format because he enjoys "the challenge of getting what you want out of a few frames" and the opportunity to experiment

Scroll through the images below for a selection of Dougherty's work.

Greek Statue GIFImage courtesy of Zach Dougherty

More about Art, Gifs, Watercooler, Pics, and Videos

'@SummerBreak' Web Series Fueled by Viewer Feedback

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 06:28 PM PDT


Though only 15 webisodes deep, social media’s first reality series is already making some noise on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.

@SummerBreak, a daily web series that details the lives of high school seniors as they spend their final summer together before college, has so far amassed more than 115,000 Twitter followers and has bagged roughly 500,000 views on YouTube since its debut almost two weeks ago. This is a pleasant surprise for the show's producer, Billy Parks.

Viewers can currently track the show’s nine stars — Nia, Ray, Trevis, Alex, Clara, Zaq, Lena, Kostas and Connor — 20 hours per day via social media mainstays. A crew of approximately 50 monitors the cast’s tweets, videos and pictures with HootSuite and Dropbox tools. Read more...

More about Youtube, Twitter, Entertainment, Social Tv, and Reality Tv

An Online Toy Company Turns to Facebook for Design Ideas

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 05:43 PM PDT


Toy companies like Lego have experimented here and there with crowdsourcing, listening to customers' input and churning out products they're looking for. But it's the core of Squishable's mission.

The New York startup allows fans to choose and design plush, furry stuffed animals. Led by husband and wife, the 11-person team uses social media to build a dedicated following, turning its 850,000 Facebook fans into active participants in the creative process, engaging with customers on every aspect from design to color.

Squishable's approach originally focused on vetting and prototyping ideas based on fan interaction and feedback on their Facebook page. In total, about 160 different designs have been created in the company's history, with hundreds of thousands of units sold in 600 stores nationwide, mostly at gift and independent toy outlets, zoos and aquariums. (Google has purchased droves of Android plushes since 2008.) Read more...

More about Startup, Crowdsourced, Crowdsourcing, Toys, and Business

Is Google Building a Games Console?

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 04:44 PM PDT


The Sony PlayStation 4, Micrsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U can look forward to yet more competition soon, if a new report is to be believedGoogle is building a videogame console based on the Android OS, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites "sources familiar with the matter." Google would neither confirm nor deny the report

The rumor comes in the same week as the release of the Ouya, a $99 Kickstarter-backed console and controller combo that runs a version of Android and fits into the palm of your hand. It is not, however, quite plug and play.

SEE ALSO Ouya: Fun For Hackers, Not Ready for Retail Read more...

More about Google, Videogames, Game Consoles, Gaming, and Tech

The Wendy Davis Filibuster: A Win for New Media

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 04:32 PM PDT


In this democracy, with its relatively low voter turnout (about 60% in 2012, depending on who you ask) and highly partisan Congress, anything that sparks engagement in the political process is a plus. Enter Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. By now, you've heard of her. But, as of Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. CDT, when she began her epic, near-eleven-hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas state senate, she was largely unknown

Davis had tweeted, to her some 1,200 followers, the night prior:

The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill#SB5 #txlege

— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) June 25, 2013

More about New Media, Politics, Democracy, Us World, and Us

Google Wants You to Be Its Next Street View Trekker

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 03:06 PM PDT


If you work for a tourism board, a university, government agency or research organization, Google wants your help in fleshing out its Street View photo library.

The company announced on Thursday a pilot program that lets third-party organizations borrow its high-tech Street View Trekker equipment and contribute imagery to its mapping platform. This is a smart way for Google to expand its coverage while minimizing costs.

Google's Trekker backpack captures 360-degree photos of a variety of locations and landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest and the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts stadium. It can be navigated through narrow passages and inclines, bringing users to exotic places around the world without ever leaving their seats. Read more...

More about Google, Mobile, Google Maps, Google Street View, and Tech

Tim Berners-Lee Calls PRISM 'Shocking' on Private Social Platform

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 02:32 PM PDT


Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, is calling the National Security Administration's Internet surviellance program "shocking" on a little-known social platform called State.

PRISM is "an affront to right of privacy, and an overreach of government power," Berners-Lee wrote in the opening post of a thread on State, which is still in closed alpha with a few thousand people. The vast majority of other State users who have posted in the thread agree with Berners-Lee's characterization, per the site's data.


More about Privacy, Prism, Us World, Politics, and Us

The Hackers Behind 4 Years of Cyberattacks Against South Korea

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 02:24 PM PDT


Part of the mystery shrouding the cyberattacks on South Korea has been lifted. Online security firm Symantec revealed on Wednesday that one single group — codenamed the DarkSeoul Gang — is responsible for four years of cyberattacks against the country.

The cyberattacks have been persistent over the past few years, with the country's authorities blaming its neighbors and enemies from North Korea. The most recent of the many attacks came on Tuesday, but perhaps the most massive one hit South Korean banks and TVs in March, wiping off multiple hard drives.


More about Symantec, North Korea, Cybersecurity, South Korea, and Us World

Immigration Reform Bill Increasing Work Visas Passes Senate

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 02:18 PM PDT


The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on a 68-32 vote Thursday. The bill offers 11 million people living in the country illegally a path to citizenship while also dramatically increasing the number of worker visas for high-skilled workers.

The bill raises the H-1B visa cap to 110,000 from 65,000, though a provision allows an even higher extension to 180,000 if the labor markets demand it. It also makes it easier for foreign-born students who've acquired an advanced degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field to stay in the country


More about Congress, Immigration, Us World, Politics, and Us

'Humans Are Awesome' Video Celebrates Daring Adventure

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 01:58 PM PDT


In his video "Humans Are Awesome," YouTube user Gerry B. put together his favorite GoPro action shots in a dazzling tribute, showing the lengths to which people will go to have fun and live life to its fullest

Not only does Gerry's video show what those tiny, go-anywhere GoPro video cameras can do, but it's a kickass showcase of this editor's tremendous aesthetic sense. Notice his tasteful use of slow- and fast-motion, his cuts in just the right places, and the expert way he synchronizes the video to that triumphant music ("Time" by Luckner, featuring Sophie Louise).


More about Video, Youtube, Adventure, Watercooler, and Videos

Sean Parker's 9,500-Word Wedding Defense, by the Numbers

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 01:50 PM PDT


Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and an early insider at Facebook, gave the media he loathes much to chew on Thursday afternoon when he unleashed an impassioned, 9,500-word essay on TechCrunch defending his recent wedding.

Parker's June 1 wedding in Big Sur, Calif., became national news after reports emerged that the wedding caused damages to a campsite used for the wedding and Parker had to pay $2.5 million in penalties. Details about the event have been disputed and Parker has come forth with a plausible defense before


More about Sean Parker and Business

From Stonewall to SCOTUS: The History of the Fight for Marriage Equality

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 01:29 PM PDT


After the Supreme Court's historic ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama shared a video to Facebook documenting the history of the fight for marriage equality

Made by the Obama campaign's Organizing for Action and HardPin, this two-minute video, "LGBT Timeline: Love Is Love," maps the 13 states where gay marriage is legal

In the 24-hours since being released, the video has received about 50,000 views on YouTube. Obama's initial post has received more than 100,000 likes and 17,000 shares.

Homepage image courtesy of OFA

More about Us, Obama, Social Good, Gay Rights, and Ofa

Ex Groupon CEO Andrew Mason's Album to Hit iTunes July 2

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 12:45 PM PDT


Former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason's next act will be a musical one.

Mason, who was ousted from Groupon in February, announced on his blog Thursday that Hardly Workin', his new album, will hit iTunes on July 2, "just in time for American audiences to incorporate into Fourth of July festivities." Mason didn't reveal much about the album, but did provide a track list:

  • Look No Further

  • The Way to Work

  • My Door is Always Open

  • Risin' Above the Pack

  • K.I.S.S

  • Stretch

  • It's Up to Us

He also provided a cover image, which looks a bit like an homage to Michael Jackson's 1979 classic Off the Wall: Read more...

More about Groupon, Andrew Mason, Business, and Advertising

Tesla vs. Local Car Dealers: White House Petition Nears Deadline

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 12:26 PM PDT


Tesla sells its electric cars directly to customers, but car dealers in many states in the U.S. don't want to face the competition of direct sales of new cars. This is a crucial issue for Tesla, whose business model depends on direct sales. One Tesla stockholder has petitioned the White House to prevent states from forbidding the direct sales.

So far, Tesla is able to legally sell new cars (like the Tesla Model S pictured above) directly to customers in every state except Texas. However, there's movement among states such as New York and North Carolina to make it complicated or even illegal to sell cars directly to the public. Third-party car dealers don't want direct sales to interfere with their business. Read more...

More about Tesla, Electric Cars, Business, Marketing, and Gadgets

Spotify Expands its Presence in New York City

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 12:23 PM PDT


Spotify is growing its presence in New York City. The company will move to a new headquarters in Chelsea later this year, meaning more than 130 new engineering jobs will be added to the city by the end of 2014.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement at Spotify's NYC headquarters Thursday, where he also revealed that the New York City Mayor's Office has joined the digital music service.

"The ability for us to hire top-tier tech talent is absolutely crucial for us to grow as a business," said Ken Parks, chief content officer at Spotify. New York City is a hub for culture and industry. Spotify's presence in New York City speaks volumes of the city's growing importance in the tech industry," added Rachel Haot, chief digital officer for New York City. Read more...

More about Nyc, Spotify, Michael Bloomberg, Startups, and Music

Android Users: Facebook Wants You to Test Its Latest App

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 12:11 PM PDT


Do you own an Android device? Then Facebook wants you to help it test the next version of its app.

Taking advantage of Google's beta testing tool launched at the I/O conference earlier this year, Facebook is now offering every Android user the ability to try out the new version of its Android app early. This will help the social network correct any issues with the app before launching to the general public.

“The most important goal for us is to get a really great snapshot of the diversity that represents Android,” Ragavan Srinivasan, product manager at Facebook, told a small group of reporters Thursday. Read more...

More about Facebook, Android, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile

Twice as Many Top 100 Brands Use Instagram Video as Vine

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 11:59 AM PDT


It looks like Instagram's new video feature is already beating Vine in the battle to attract the biggest brands.

Since Instagram introduced video a week ago, 14 of Interbrand's top 100 global brands have posted videos, according to data provided to Mashable by Simply Measured. By comparison, just seven of these top 100 brands posted videos on Vine this week

SEE ALSO: Instagram Video: 5 Excellent Examples From Brands

Top brands that posted video to Instagram included Ford, MTV, Disney, Intel, Cisco Systems, Avon, Burberry, Dell, eBay, Facebook, Gap, General Electric, Nike and Starbucks.


Two-thirds of the world's top 100 brands were members of Instagram prior to its introduction of video, according to a previous Simply Measured report, which may explain why it has been able to attract big brands right out of the gate. Vine, on the other hand, launched earlier this year as a new network, which means it had to build up a community of users and brands from scratch. Read more...

More about Brands, Vine, Business, Marketing, and Instagram Video

Create a Virtual Concert on GIG-IT to Win Social Media Day VIP Tickets

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 11:48 AM PDT


GIG-IT, a new social game coming to Facebook in July that lets players create 3D concerts featuring virtual versions of famous musicians, is getting in the Social Media Day spirit

GIG-IT is throwing a contest, and one winner will receive two VIP tickets to the big Social Media Day party at New York City's Milk Studios on June 29. To be eligible, you must create and share a virtual concert using GIG-IT (see how to enter the contest and gain advanced access to the game below). The winning submission also will be displayed at the NYC party

Dressing Room

Participants will be able to customize every aspect of their concert such as the main performer, music, backup dancers, speakers, opening act, headline performers, wardrobes and venue. Players will be able to choose virtual likenesses of Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius, 2 Chainz, Machine Gun Kelly, Nas and other artists. Read more...

More about Contest, Social Media Day, Smday, Social Media, and Gig It

LIVE: Ask This Mobile App Founder Your Design Questions

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 11:48 AM PDT


Welcome to our live Hangout with Keenan Cummings, the designer and cofounder of Days, a mobile app that incubated at TechStars. We'll be talking with Cummings about mobile app design, his workflow process and trends in the industry

Recently at Designer's Debate Club, a meetup Cummings also cofounded, the discussion was on whether designers needed a formal education. One trend in the industry is towards flat design over skeuomorphism, to which Days seems to adhere. A design challenge we haven't seen solved is a modern-day RSS reader — to do for news what the Mailbox app did for email. All of these things and more we will discuss with Cummings Read more...

8 Tips for Pranking Your Co-Worker

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 11:38 AM PDT


An office that pranks together, stays together. Thanks to the Internet, you have an endless toolbox at your fingertips to pull off the perfect joke.

If you're a newbie to the pranking world, don't worry — I've been at this for years. (My prank at age 5 almost got my grandfather arrested.)

Since day one on the job, Mashable Video Production Manager Evan Engel has been pulling pranks on me. So when he was out of the office for two weeks, I went in for the emotional long con. Here's what I learned.

Step 1: Do your research.

You already have a major advantage: You're sitting at the computer. Stalk your prey online (not creepy when you're in prank mode). For our stunt, we found out that Evan's lifelong dream was to meet Star Wars' Mark HamillHe's even expressed his love to him on Twitter. Read more...

More about Reddit, Pranks, Office Pranks, Watercooler, and Conversations

Foursquare Comes to Windows 8

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 11:27 AM PDT


Microsoft showed off a Windows 8 app for Foursquare this morning at the company's Build 2013 developer conference.

The new Foursquare app was designed specifically with tablets in mind, said Microsoft Vice President Steve Guggenheimer as he showed the app for the first time publicly. The app has large, full-screen entries for venues, with an emphasis on photos. As a tablet app, Foursquare for Windows 8 appears to focus on browsing venues and seeing what your friends are up to rather than checking in.

Foursquare joins Twitter and Facebook on Windows 8, completing the social network "trifecta" of apps that many connected users expect on most platforms. Read more...

More about Foursquare, Windows 8, Tech, and Apps Software

Study: Global Ecommerce to Hit $1.2 Trillion This Year, Led by Asia

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 10:50 AM PDT


Ecommerce sales are forecast to increase 17% to $1.2 trillion worldwide this year, led by growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Indonesia is expected to experience greater ecommerce growth, proportionately speaking, than any other country this year, according to estimates published Thursday by eMarketer. Online sales are expected to increase 71.3% to $1.8 billion. China, whose ecommerce market is already more than 100 times larger than Indonesia's, is expected to grow the second fastest, increasing 65.1% to $181 billion. (Other groups believe China is generating much more than that already.)

SEE ALSO: Ecommerce in China: How the World's Biggest Market Buys Online Read more...

More about Indonesia, China, Retail, Ecommerce, and Asia

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