Friday, 7 June 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Kid Tired of Playing Xbox During House Arrest Prefers Jail”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Kid Tired of Playing Xbox During House Arrest Prefers Jail”

Kid Tired of Playing Xbox During House Arrest Prefers Jail

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 04:52 AM PDT


If you asked 100 people whether they'd rather be in jail or on house arrest, there's a strong possibility that all 100 would prefer the confines of their own home over the Big House. However, there will be always exceptions to the rule.

A Whangarei, New Zealand, man was sentenced to 11 months of house arrest for an unidentified crime. The New Zealand Advocate reports that the punishment is for offenders who would have been sentenced to a short stint in jail of two years or less, and that they "are required to remain at an approved residence at all times under electronic monitoring."

The man, apparently unhappy with this set-up, contacted a local police station Tuesday, according to authorities, stating that he had run out of Xbox 360 games to play, was bored and would rather spend his time in jail. Read more...

More about Gaming, Xbox 360, Watercooler, Conversations, and House Arrest

How One Instagram Hashtag Fights Pollution

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 04:01 AM PDT


Instagram can make any situation look better: Flowers appear rosier, skies brighter and complexions clearer. Even garbage can become a work of art on the mobile photo-sharing platform.

About a year ago, Jeff Kirschner was walking with his two young children through the woods, when his daughter Tali noticed a can on the ground. "That's not supposed to be there," Tali noted to her father

That reminded Kirschner of his days at summer camp. The camp director would ask each of the 200 campers to pick up a couple pieces of garbage before their parents visited; it only took a small effort to clean the entire premises. Kirschner wondered if this same model of crowdsourced cleaning could apply to the planet as a whole. Read more...

More about Us, Environment, Features, Social Good, and Instagram

Lock Your Temptations Away in Kitchen Safe

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 03:08 AM PDT


Think you have the perfect place to hide your roommate's birthday gift — but then she finds it? Or do you swear off Cheetos — but give in to a craving at 11 p.m.?

A new Kickstarter called The Kitchen Safe is something of an intelligent cookie jar — a time-lock container that holds the things you love, but shouldn’t have (just yet).

Place anything that fits into the 6 x 6 x 6.5 container, then turn the timer on. The jar won't open until the timer runs out: no overrides, no resets.

The Kitchen Safe will stay locked for anywhere from 1 minute to 10 days. The idea came to one of the three creators, David Krippendorf, during graduate school. He said he would always find snacks that his wife had hidden from him. “I was looking for something fun and easy to use and to help me with my food cravings," Krippendorf said. Read more...

More about Kickstarter, Kitchen Gadgets, Tech, Dev Design, and Newsy

The 10 Wildest Roller Coasters in the World

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 01:56 AM PDT


Buckle your seatbelts. Lower your harnesses into place. Keep your arms and legs inside at all times. Ready?

OK, press play.

As the summer season approaches, traveling carnivals and amusement parks will once again open their doors to the annual influx of thrill-seekers. While many of the country's amusement areas create lasting memories for their attendees, few people remember the many frustrations that accompany such trips until it is too late.

Expensive admission prices. Long lines that snake through boring queues in oppressive heat. Unexpected mechanical malfunctions. Ride operators who repeat the same thing over and over in the same exact tone of voice. Fellow riders with weak stomachs. Read more...

More about Youtube, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, and Roller Coasters

Samsung Launches Galaxy S4 Wireless Charging Kit for $90

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 12:43 AM PDT


Samsung Galaxy S4 owners with no affinity for wires, you're in luck: Samsung has made available its wireless charging kit for the device, priced at $90

The kit, first unearthed by Droid Life, consists of a charging cover, which will set you back $39.99, and the charging pad, which costs $49.99. It's not cheap, but at least the pad works with all Qi-certified wireless charging products, and those include charging covers from Asus, Nokia, LG, iStyle and others

As for the aesthetics of these devices, the Pad is of a grayish variety, while the cover is available in both black and white

You can get Samsung's Wireless Charging Pad here, while the cover is available here Read more...

More about Samsung, Wireless Charging, Tech, Mobile, and Samsung Galaxy S4

Survey: 1 in 3 Dating Dads Lie About Having Kids

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 09:00 PM PDT


We're days away from Father's Day, a time to celebrate everything good about fatherhood. But a new survey by a dating site found something less than celebratory: one in three online-dating dads lie on their profiles about having kids., which conducted the survey, is an unconventional dating site with two specific types of users: the "generous" ones who bid real money to take the other kind, "attractive" users, out on a first date. The "attractive" user, or prospective date, accepts, denies or counters the offer

"Attractive members are more inclined to take a risk on someone who isn’t their usual type", the website says, because of a "little incentive." Read more...

More about Dating, Dads, Father, Parenting, and Online Dating

NSA Also Mining Data From Sprint, AT&T, Credit Card Companies

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 08:43 PM PDT


Yesterday's revelation that Verizon had received a secret court order to hand over data to the National Security Agency was just the beginning. Two other major American wireless providers, AT&T and Sprint, have also been receiving similar orders, as have credit card companies

Sources familiar with the NSA's practices confirmed this latest round of revelations to the Wall Street Journal late on Thursday

The report came just a couple of hours after the Guardian and the Washington Post dropped their bombshell: using a secret program called PRISM, Internet giants incluing Facebook, Google, or Microsoft allegedly let the NSA and the FBI tap into their user's communications — perhaps in real time Read more...

More about Privacy, Fbi, National Security, Us World, and Us

Through a PRISM, Darkly: Tech World's $20 Million Nightmare

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 07:51 PM PDT


If you're still not feeling queasy after reading Thursday's revelations about the National Security Agency tapping Internet records, you're probably not paying close enough attention

In short: a leaked intelligence presentation, verified by multiple major news sources, claimed to reveal the existence of an NSA program called PRISM. This program allegedly lets the NSA tap in to the servers of major Internet organizations, possibly at will

The names of those organizations include Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube and Skype. It's a who's who of popular, often beloved tech services. Who among us does not have one of these company's web pages open on their browser right now, or carry one of their devices in your pocket? Read more...

More about Security, Prism, Tech, Politics, and Us

YouTube Impersonations of Tennis Open Stars is Ace

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 06:39 PM PDT


Just in time for Friday's French Open semifinals, a YouTube comedian's smooth impressions of the tennis world's biggest stars will leave you in stitches

The kid's name is Josh Berry, and his impressions of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet are spot-on. Especially impressive is how he hands the imaginary mic from one player to another, creating a seamless narrative that spans a range of accents, comportments and mannerisms

Check the video out for yourself above and let us know what you think in the comments Read more...

More about Tennis, Entertainment, and Sports

Facebook Starts Rolling Out Home Improvements

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 05:51 PM PDT


Facebook updated its Android app Tuesday, and enhanced Facebook Home, its all-encompassing skin for Android smartphones.

Facebook Home now has a dock, making it easier to access favorite apps

The addition of the dock is the first of many improvements Facebook has planned for Home, improvements being made in part based on the reactions of early adopters to the launcher.

“We’ve spent a lot of time digging through the one star ratings,” Facebook's Director of Mobile Engineering Cory Ondrejka told a small group of reporters earlier this month

Facebook already has plans to add folders for grouping your apps to Home as well. Read more...

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

Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo Make Similar PRISM Denials

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 05:35 PM PDT


Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Apple are denying reports they give the National Security Agency and FBI secret "back door" access to their servers in a program called PRISM

The companies' statements closely match one another and allow a notable degree of semantic wiggle room.

Here's Facebook's statement, as given to TheNextWeb:

“Protecting the privacy of our users and their data is a top priority for Facebook. We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.” Read more...

More about Prism, National Security, Us World, Politics, and Us

Electric Car, Powered by Social Media, Rolls Across the USA

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 04:52 PM PDT


An electric car fueled by social interaction completed a 1,000 mile-plus journey from Kansas City, Mo., to Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

A group of 17 high schoolers and eight mentors left Kansas City on May 31 in a restored 1967 Karmann Ghia — a small two-seater — to travel across the country. They were members of Minddrive, an educational non-profit program that uses hands-on projects to teach at-risk kids about math and science. The social good endeavor, dubbed the "social fuel tour," was also about social media and awareness. The car, rebuilt with an Arduino device that monitored social media activity, triggered the vehicle’s motor based on the number of tweets and posts about the project. Read more...

More about Social Media, Social Good, Richard Branson, Electric Car, and Us World

NSA Leak: Internet Giants Let Government Tap Your Data

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 04:10 PM PDT


Facebook, Google and seven other major Internet companies are allowing the National Security Agency direct access to a wealth of users' data, according to a report

Called PRISM, the program involves the NSA accessing the emails, documents, photographs and other sensitive data of users from all nine involved companies, according to a PowerPoint presentation obtained by The Washington Post and The Guardian. The PowerPoint was provided by a whistleblower in the intelligence services

Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple are also party to the program, the report alleges. Dropbox is reportedly "coming soon," while the PowerPoint document reveals that Apple held out for five years before finally relenting. Read more...

More about Google, Facebook, Privacy, Us World, and Politics

'The Last of Us' Is Raw, Real and Awesome

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 04:02 PM PDT


The Last of Us is a superb game that makes players think about every choice they make while playing. It also brings up bigger questions, like what will happen to humanity once we lose all our comforts and luxuries, and must fight every day to survive.

The Last of Us is the Naughty Dog-developed third-person survival game out next week for Sony's PlayStation 3. While the questions of human tenacity aren't new for fans of fiction like The Road and The Walking Dead, they have been tackled by fewer mainstream video games.

The Last of Us is set 20 years in the future, after America is torn apart by a fungal infection that turns its human hosts into mindless monsters intent on spreading their parasite to other victims. Players control Joel, a man approaching middle age just as the crisis hits, and is now grizzled and hardened by what he's had to endure. Joel has been asked to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie across a country still tearing itself apart years after this crisis. Read more...

More about Gaming, Features, Video Games, Entertainment, and Game Review

377-Foot Migaloo Submarine Yacht Is Perfect for James Bond Villains

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 03:28 PM PDT


James Bond villains, take heed: Here's a way to one-up all those other yacht owners in the bad-guys club — the Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht. This luxury design concept for a 377-foot submarine was created by design firm Motion Code: Blue, and could become a reality if some well-heeled buyer steps up.

Of course this vessel features all the usual super-luxury features that are so important for taking over the world on your yacht, such as a helipad for quick escapes, a two-story owner's suite with a private patio on the bow, six VIP suites for all your henchmen, and plenty of room for those white cats you love to pet as you concoct your diabolical schemes Read more...

More about Luxury, Submarine, Design Concepts, Tech, and Dev Design

Nook Seeks an Edge With $2 E-Books

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 02:58 PM PDT


It's not easy being Nook. With Amazon Kindle's dominant share of the e-book market — not to mention all of the exclusives Amazon is landing through its own publishing imprints and self-publishing platform — the Barnes & Noble-owned subsidiary has struggled to convince e-book readers to shop at its e-bookstore over its rival's.

That's why Nook is now investing in original content. On Thursday, the company unveiled Nook Snaps, a collection of short fiction and narrative non-fiction commissioned by Nook. Three to five works, each at least 5,000 words and priced at $1.99, will be added to the collection every other month. Read more...

More about Amazon, Kindle, Ebooks, Nook, and Barnes And Noble

NBA Finals: Where to Watch and Follow Online

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 02:09 PM PDT


LeBron versus Duncan. Wade versus Parker. Bonner versus Birdman. The 2013 NBA Finals, pitting the Miami Heat against the San Antonio Spurs, promise to be a major treat for basketball fans the world over

But you say you want to watch and follow the action online, oh digitally-savvy sports fan? Here's how

Stateside, there's only one (legal) way to watch the actual games live via the web, and you'll need some cable login credentials to do soESPN is carrying the finals for TV broadcast, meaning you can take advantage of its online ESPN3 option if you're away from a TV. Simply visit the site, provide your cable subscriber details and you'll be good to go Read more...

More about Espn, Nba, Nba Finals, Entertainment, and Sports

Facebook to Streamline Ad Units, Remove Half

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 01:16 PM PDT


In an effort to make its ad units more friendly to marketers, Facebook announced on Thursday it planned to streamline its offerings from 27 to roughly half that figure.

Facebook also plans to axe Offers for online deals, though it plans to keep Offers for offline deals and is bringing elements of Sponsored Stories into a more generalized unit that will include social information like Likes and comments on the top of the ad

Though there won't be an option for a "Sponsored Story," the social element of Sponsored Stories will be available in most ad units. Some of the changes will start in the next few weeks, but others won't be available until the end of Q3. (Click sample image below to enlarge.) Read more...

More about Facebook, Advertising, Facebook Ads, and Business

16 Photos Vladimir Putin Should Use on His New Online Dating Profile

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 01:06 PM PDT


Ladies. LADIES. Russian President Vladimir Putin and and his wife Lyudmila have announced plans to divorce

You know what that means? Russia's hottest topless horse-rider is putting — err, Putin — on the charm across the Internet

Vlad is probably too busy doing diplomatic stuff to craft his profile, so we decided to help him out by collecting 16 of his fiercest photos

1. Chicks dig dogs

Image via Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images

Image courtesy of gifbin

2. Athleticism is a must


3. Snow bunny

Alexsey Druginyn/AFP/Getty Images

4. Wind in the face = hot

More about Pics, Vladimir Putin, Watercooler, and Lists

Throw Virtual CDs to Vote for BET Awards Nominees

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 12:56 PM PDT


The BET Awards app, which debuted last year and attracted 300,000 downloads, returns with updated gaming elements, including a fun way to vote. The game lets players vote for nominees with the slide of a finger, by flicking CDs at a moving DJ booth. The more CDs a user makes in a short time span, the more votes he or she will tally for a chosen nominee.

Another gaming feature, "The Hustle," rewards power users with status upgrades and real-world prizes. People can move up in the rankings by voting and exploring the app's clickable timeline of every BET Awards, videos of memorable moments and in-depth artist profiles. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Apps, Gaming, Viacom, and Bet

Rip-Roaring New 'Man of Steel' Trailer Explodes Online

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 12:50 PM PDT


The countdown to the June 14 premiere of Man of Steel continues, and now Warner Bros. has released the most dramatic trailer yet for the highly anticipated Superman reboot.

After watching this exquisitely paced montage, we have to ask: Are there any spectacular shots and effects from the movie we haven't seen yet? Be warned: This preview does an exceptional job of telling a story — however, that story might include most of the movie.

So if you want to be completely surprised by Zack Snyder's super extravaganza, you've been warned. For the rest of you looking for a cheap thrill, be prepared for a hell of a two-minute-and-14-second ride. Read more...

More about Warner Bros, Movie Trailers, Entertainment, Film, and Superman

Snapchat Update Adds Quicker, Flashier Features

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 12:32 PM PDT


Everybody's favorite photo-sharing (and photo-disappearing) app just got a slick makeover in the App Store.

Snapchat rolled out version 5.0, dubbed "Banquo," on Wednesday for iPhones. It boasts a slew of speed and design enhancements, including swipe navigation, double-tap to reply, an improved friend finder and in-app profiles.

snapchat composite

The revamped design has shed its blue coat (seen above) and now dons a more transparent look that features a full-screen view. To get from your list of snaps to camera mode to the beefed-up search page, simply swipe to the side. From your inbox, double-tapping speeds up the transition from self-destructing to snapping, and the new in-app profiles include score counts and best friends (without links to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr). Read more...

More about Apps, Iphone, Smartphone, Photography, and Tech

Obama Wants to Upgrade 99% of Students to High-Speed Internet by 2018

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 12:11 PM PDT


President Barack Obama thinks American students aren't connected enough, and that access to faster Internet connections and technologies is crucial in today's schools. That's why he wants to make sure that 99% of students have high-speed broadband access within the next five years.

"We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology," Obama said in a statement published by the White House.

Obama will announce the new initiative, ConnectED, on Thursday during a speech at a high-tech middle school in Mooresville, N.C Read more...

More about Barack Obama, Internet Access, Broadband, Education, and Us World

Study: U.S. Smartphone Penetration Now at 61%

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 12:00 PM PDT


Smartphone owners are now a solid majority of U.S. mobile subscribers at 61% according to Nielsen. Smartphones became the dominant mobile device in the U.S. in March 2012

The figures, for the three-month period ending in March, also show Android was the predominant smartphone OS with 53% versus 40% for Apple's iOS. Apple's share was up 7%, mostly likely because of the late 2012 iPhone 5 release. But Android also grew 2%. BlackBerry claimed a 3% share while Windows Phone pulled in 2%. The rest was composed of "others."

Among other findings:

  • Penetration among ages 25 to 34 is 78% while 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds have smartphones. Adults over 55 have the lowest penetration (42%), but that doubled over the last year

  • Asian-Americans have the highest ownership rate at 75%. Caucasians had the biggest increase in smartphone ownership — 56% now versus 45% a year ago Read more...

More about Smartphones, South Korea, Tech, and Mobile

Report: Apple Will Launch Trade-In Program to Lift iPhone 5 Sales

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 11:44 AM PDT


Apple is planning to launch a new trade-in program later this month in an effort to increase the number of customers upgrading to the most recent iPhone, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation.

Bloomberg reports that Apple will partner with Brightstar Corp, the wireless distributor that it has worked with for trade-in promotions on products sold by AT&T and T-Mobile. The new program may also help Apple's overseas expansion since the company could resell the devices abroad, according to the report.


More about Apple, Iphone 5, Business, and Gadgets

Coke's Latest Cool Innovation: Ice Bottles

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 11:25 AM PDT


Coca-Cola, which recently introduced a can that splits in two, is messing with its bottle design as well.

In Colombia, the brand recently rolled out bottles made of ice that, if the video above is to be believed, doesn't result in bottles melting in your hands and frozen liplock. That plus weather and potential health issues may put the kibosh on global expansion. Nevertheless, it's a cool experiment.

Image via YouTube, Coca-Cola

More about Coca Cola, Business, and Marketing

House Intel Chair: Phone Monitoring Thwarted Terrorist Attack

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 11:21 AM PDT


House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) claimed Thursday the National Security Agency's secret phone surveillance program helped thwart a "significant domestic terrorist attack."

The attack, Rogers told The Washington Post, would have struck the United States "within the last few years." Rogers did not share specifics because they are classified, though he added his committee is working to declassify the relevant reports.

If Rogers' claims are verified by declassified information, they will complicate the renewed debate over the appropriate balance between privacy and security. Civil liberties groups are furious the NSA has been snooping on Verizon business customers' metadata. Some lawmakers, however, argue the program is necessary for national security. Read more...

More about Verizon, Us World, Politics, Us, and Nsa

BlackBerry: BBM Is Not Coming to iOS, Android on June 27

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 11:08 AM PDT


Despite reports that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is headed to iOS and Android devices later this month, the company has confirmed the rumored date is wrong.

The news comes following a tweet sent from T-Mobile UK that the chatting platform would be coming to iOS and Android, starting June 27. The message has since been taken down.

"While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on June 27, this is not accurate," a BlackBerry spokesperson told Mashable. "We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share." Read more...

More about Mobile, Blackberry, Android, Ios, and Tech

NBA Finals: Who's Winning the Online Buzz

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 11:01 AM PDT


After months of high-flying action and weeks of playoff elimination, the NBA season finally comes down to two remaining teams. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs tip off their best-of-seven NBA finals series on Thursday nightLeBron James, Tim Duncan and several more future Hall of Famers will look to add another title ring to their already impressive legacies

With the on-court battle set to begin, how do the NBA Finals' hottest players and their teams stack up when it comes to online buzz?

Over the past few weeks, the Meltwater Group has used its Meltwater Buzz social media marketing software to see what fans are talking about digitally. The infographic below, which comes from more than 300 million sources across the web, presents some interesting stats that Meltwater's social listening turned up

Chris Bosh has been the most-maligned Finals player online, with more than a quarter of the conversation around him expressing negative sentiment. That still beats the NBA refs, however, who have been hit with 60% negative mentions since May 19. James, meanwhile, has dominated the overall conversation Read more...

More about Nba, Entertainment, and Sports

Microsoft and FBI Take Down Global Cyber Crime Ring

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 10:36 AM PDT


Microsoft, working along with the FBI and 80 authorities from across the world, took down the vast majority of computers that were part of a malicious botnet network known as "Citadel."

The Citadel botnets were one of the biggest cyber crime rings, allegedly responsible for stealing more than $500 million from the bank accounts of more than 5 million infected computers over the past 18 months.

The network was made of at least 1,400 botnets, which are an army of infected computers used by hackers to exfiltrate data, attack other computers and commit other types of cybercrimes. According to Reuters, Microsoft took down more than 1,000 of them, while the company later claimed that it had taken down more than 1,400 Read more...

More about Microsoft, Cybersecurity, Botnets, Fbi, and Cybercrime

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