Mashable: Latest 24 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 51 Stories You Might Have Missed”

Monday, 2 April 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 24 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 51 Stories You Might Have Missed”

Mashable Weekend Recap: 51 Stories You Might Have Missed

Posted: 02 Apr 2012 04:06 AM PDT

It was a weekend where it was hard to tell what was real, if anything. In this time of springtime tomfoolery, we had to keep our wits about us here at Mashable HQ.

All those pranks, mirth and merriment didn’t keep us from our appointed rounds of finding the top tech and social media news for you, though. To the contrary; we rounded up the most important stories of the weekend, even under the questionable leadership of “our new CEO,” Conan O’Brien.

And after all that, we’re proud to say we weren’t hoodwinked by a single bit of the widespread April Foolery. Or were we? Take a look at this Weekend Recap, and let us know what we missed:

News & Opinion Essentials

Conan O'Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

Exclusive: Mashable CEO Conan O'Brien Steals and Tests Apple iTV

Conan O'Brien Unveils the Future of Twitter: Manual Tweets [PICS]

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Gmail Tap: Say Goodbye to the QWERTY Keyboard

How a High School Prank Call Site Turned Into Serious Business

Apple Developing 'Killer' 3D Camera for iOS Devices

Tablets Are a Dream Come True for Retailers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Google News Fooled by April Fools' Day Prank

Google April Fools Roundup: Google Releases Flurry of Crazy New Apps [VIDEO]

Sir Richard Branson Unveils 'Virgin Volcanic'

Mashable Seeks Graphic Design Rock Star

NBA Brings Twitter Handles to T-Shirts in Pro Sports First

RIM Doesn't Need BlackBerry 10 — It Needs a Time Machine

Now You Can Explore Nelson Mandela's Archives Online

Google's April Fools' Day Prank: 8-Bit Google Maps

Can the JOBS Act Jump-Start Entrepreneurship?

Tax Day On the Way: The 4 Ways You Can Tax Your LLC

Forget Google Instant: In the Future, Search Engines Will Read Your Habits

Did This Guy Just Land the Coolest Job in Sports Social Media?

YouTube Earth Hour Campaigns Dare You to Take Action for the Planet

'The Voice' Now Lets You Vote on Facebook Timeline

No, You're Not Fat — Facebook Just Makes You Think You Are [STUDY]

Helpful Resources

5 Companies Working Hard to Change the World

Top 6 Mashable Comments This Week

10 Resume Tips for Technology Professionals

39 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

7 Apps You Don't Want To Miss [PICS]

Mobile Jobseeking is Going Mainstream [INFOGRAPHIC]

New AppList: Prank Apps for April Fools' Day

Top 10 iPhone Word Games

Shoptiques Lets You Shop Boutiques Like a Local

The Evolution of Facebook for Brands

How to Enchant Your Audience With Social Media [VIDEO]

Twitter Limits TweetDeck Access After Security Fears [UPDATE]

Weekend Leisure

10 Most-Shared Apple Ad Parodies of All Time

Warby 'Barker' Brings You Designer Specs for Your Dog

Facebook Default Profile Pic: The Origin Story [COMIC]

Flickr Gets Back to Basics [VIDEO]

The History of April Fools' Day [VIDEO]

10 Most-Shared Apple Ads on YouTube

First World Problems: 14 Cringe-Worthy Complaints

WestJet Rolls Out Child-Free Cabins With Kargo Kids [VIDEO]

April Fools' Day Classics: Top 10 Viral Pranks on YouTube

Top 5 Podcast Apps for Android

3D Projection Turns Baroque Church Into a Virtual Musical Instrument [VIDEO]

'Sand Flea' Robot Jumps 30 Feet [VIDEO]

Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

This Camera Lets You Take Photos With Your Hands

Help Investigate 'The Killing' Online

8 Crazy Gadgets to Buy If You Win Mega Millions

More About: features, mashable, Weekend recap

BMW Unveils New Sporty Hybrid Concept: i8 Spyder

Posted: 02 Apr 2012 02:21 AM PDT

BMW i8 Spyder

BMW has unveiled the third concept car from its i8 series of electric-gas hybrids: the i8 Spyder.

The i8 Spyder is based on the i8 concept car which debuted in 2011, ditching the top and the back two seats, and perhaps some of the more radical ideas from BMW’s first sporty hybrid concept.

The i8 Spyder sports a 96 kW/131 hp on the front, coupled with a 164 kW/223 hp gasoline engine on the back, which accelerate the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

As far as fuel consumption goes, BMW claims 3 liters per 100 km (62 miles), with 30 kilometres (19 miles) of autonomy on electric power alone.

The design of the car is still as otherworldly as the first two i8 concepts, with plenty of black and electric blue details, upward-swivelling doors and a semi-transparent “V” on the front end, which enables passers-by to take a look at the electric engine.

The interior features an 8.8-inch (22.4 cm) screen display, which, claims BMW, shows “all the relevant driving information in three-dimensional, high-resolution quality.”

There’s no word on when BMW will show this vehicle in the flesh, but the upcoming New York Auto show, which is held on April 4-5, is as good a guess as any.

BMW i8 Spyder

BMW i8 Spyder

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: BMW, i8, Spyder

For more Tech coverage:

SoFi Lets Students Borrow Money For School From Alumni

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 09:38 PM PDT

If you’re looking for cash for school, then you may not have to look any further than your fellow alumni. Meet SoFi, a social lending service that lets alumni of a school help finance the education of future graduates and earn a bit of a return on their investment as well.

The way the program works is simple. Alumni invest money in their particular school’s funding, and then students apply just as they might to any other college loan. Loans are given to students for a 6.24% interest rate (5.99% if they sign up for auto-pay), alumni earn 5% back on money they’ve invested, and SoFi keeps roughly 1%. Alumni can invest with cash, or can invest funds through their IRA.

"The student loan market is broken" Dan Macklin, Co-founder and VP of Business Development at SoFi told Mashable. "Students have very little choice on where to get their loans from. Why can’t we use the social groups that are out there and lend between those groups?"

In addition to lending SoFi also creates a social network for each school where alumni can see the students they’re helping finance, as well as check out what classes those students are taking and what their ultimate career goals are. Likewise, students can learn more about who’s lending them cash, and potentially call upon those alumni for advice on things like internships or to get help on a project.

"All this is about giving the students what they need and helping the student succeed in what they want to do," says Macklin.

When an alumnus lends money, it’s the same as "buying a share" of the entire group of students at a school who have loans. As the students pay back the loans over time, the alumni get paid back. Macklin says students are less likely to default on these loans, because they know the people lending the money to them.

SoFi got its start last year at Stanford, and today is announcing an expansion to 40 colleges and universities across the country. The initial run of the program raised close to $2 million from 40 Stanford alums, and was able to fund 100 students.

Macklin says that the program has helped not only finance student’s education, but also build relationships with alumni that might not have otherwise existed. Students have gotten coffee with lenders, and Macklin says both parties "get a social and emotional return" from taking part in the process.

SoFi already has an alumni ambassador in place at all of the schools it now supports, as well as alumni who have already committed to being part of the project. Starting today students at those universities can preregister for loans, and alumni can start officially signing up to invest.

What do you think about SoFi? Would you consider loaning money to students at your alma mater? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, franny-anne

More About: college, finance, Social Good

For more Social Media coverage:

IBM’s Big Data Challenge: A Telescope That Generates More Data Than the Whole Internet

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 09:01 PM PDT


There’s a massive telescope on the drawing board that hasn’t even started construction yet, but when it’s finished in 2024, it’ll generate more data in a single day than the entire Internet. For scientists to ensure they’ll be able to handle all that raw information, they need to start working on new computing technologies now. Fortunately, IBM is on it.

The computing giant is collaborating with ASTRON (the Netherlands Institute of Radio Astronomy) to develop the next-generation computer tech needed to handle the colossal amount of data captured by the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), a new radio telescope that will spread sensing equipment over a span 3,000 kilometers wide, or about the width of the continental U.S.A.

“One of the goals is to search what happened at the time of the Big Bang, 13 billion years ago,” IBM researcher Ronanld Luijten told Mashable. “We need to figure out what technology needs to be chosen in order to build this large antenna.”

The project is called DOME, and it’s challenged to find a way to capture and process approximately one exabyte every day, which works out to about twice the amount of data that’s generated every day by the World Wide Web, IBM says. To do that in a way that doesn’t consume a massive amount of energy, IBM will need to develop some entirely new processing architectures before construction on the telescope begins in 2017.

“We need to be very creative,” says Luijten. “If we were to use standard servers of today, we’d need millions of them. They would use so much space and use so much energy that we couldn’t afford to build the machines let alone operate them.”

While the project has only just been announced, IBM already has some ideas in the hopper. Specifically, it’ll be looking at novel ways of stacking chips (today’s chips are flat, though stacking or “3D” tech is around the corner) and using optical technology for interconnects, something the company has already had some success with. The promising new conductive material graphene, however, probably won’t play a part.

“Graphene will not be available in time to build something we start in 2017,” says Luijten. “But it might be available for a later generation. The expectation is that we will go with the traditional CMOS process.”

SEE ALSO: IBM: Mind-Reading Machines Will Change Our Lives

Even though the new computing tech hasn’t even been invented yet, it’ll ironically still rely on one of the oldest storage technologies in existence: magnetic tape. Luijten says tape simply can’t be matched by newer storage mediums since it’s so cost-, space- and power-efficient. The project won’t exclusively use tape for storage, though, also relying on phase-change media and solid-state drives.

“We’re looking at new memory technologies,” says Luijten, “but at the end of the day most of the data likely will remain on tape because it’s still the most cost-effective storage medium. Tape will be around for a long time.”

The SKA isn’t planned to be completed until 2024, but the technologies that IBM creates to service it will have the potential to change entire industries in the meantime, dealing with big-data problems that the world is just now encountering. It’s possible the social networks and search engines of the future will be powered by IBM’s coming tech or something like it, enabling them to process an entire Internet’s worth of data for anyone and everyone.

What problems would you like to see the supercomputers of tomorrow take on? Share your ideas in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sharply_done

More About: astronomy, big data, IBM, space, Telescope

For more Tech coverage:

Conan O’Brien ‘Resigns’ as Mashable CEO

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 06:44 PM PDT

Conan O’Brien has learned that, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, he did not buy Mashable and oust CEO Pete Cashmore. Instead, he purchased a Mash TV fan site. He regrets the error and is returning Mashable to Pete Cashmore’s control.

SEE ALSO: Conan O'Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

SEE ALSO: Exclusive: Mashable CEO Conan O'Brien Steals and Tests Apple iTV

SEE ALSO: Conan O'Brien Unveils the Future of Twitter: Manual Tweets

More About: conan o'brien

For more Social Media coverage:

10 Most-Shared Apple Ads on YouTube

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 06:21 PM PDT

1. Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S

Siri's debut on TV. Some folks didn't take to kindly to the ads though, even prompting some lawsuits.

Click here to view this gallery.

Apple — a small company based in Cupertino, CA that makes technological devices — is often featured on YouTube, a website that features many different videos uploaded by a lot of different people.

If you’ve been wondering which advertisements from Apple have been viewed on YouTube over the last month, then you’re in luck. We have assembled them into an easy-to-peruse gallery just for you!

It’s interesting to see that two of Apple’s oldest ads crack the top five and that people seem willing to watch the longer debut ads of new products and features.

Do you prefer the classics or the new ads featuring Siri? Let us know in the comments.

1. Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S

Siri's debut on TV. Some folks didn't take to kindly to the ads though, even prompting some lawsuits.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: apple, YouTube

Conan O’Brien Unveils the Future of Twitter: Manual Tweets

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 04:13 PM PDT

Twitter is slow and it doesn’t work on paper. What if you could change all that?

Mashable’s new CEO Conan O’Brien has developed a solution: Manual Tweets. They work … on paper. Watch the video to see this astounding social media innovation for yourself.

SEE ALSO: Conan O'Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

More About: conan o'brien, trending, Twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

5 Companies Working Hard to Change the World

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 03:46 PM PDT

In our new series, The World at Work, Mashable interviews the faces behind the companies that are working to make a global impact.

Using the power of digital, these five companies have empowered citizens in need, rewarded innovation and created uniquely shareable tools that are key in affecting real change. Although they range in issues from education to sustainability, the one thing that all of these companies have in common is the drive and passion of those at the helm.

Here’s a roundup of featured programs from the last week, including exclusive video interviews. To read more and watch the videos, click through to the full story, and follow the series to learn about more breakthrough companies.

1. Kaggle

Big Idea: Kaggle hosts contests for data scientists.

Why It’s Working: Using competition to perfect predictive models.

Kaggle hosts contests for data scientists. Companies that want problems solved post them, along with relevant data sets, on the site. Anyone can submit a solution, and each competitor ranks on a leaderboard throughout the competition. So far about 30,000 people have submitted at least one model to a contest.

Read the full story here.

2. Recyclebank

recyclingBig Idea: Recyclebank gives the planet a rewards system using gamification techniques.

Why It’s Working: Recyclebank rewards environmentally friendly actions with points, which are a monetary incentive to recycle. You can also compare your behavior with others on leaderboards in the Recyclebank Ecosystem.

When Recyclebank was founded six years ago, no one had heard of gamification, the concept of rewarding non-game actions with points, scores or other rewards. Thanks to Foursquare, the popular geo-social network that has gamified exploration, many more of us are familiar with the term.

Read the full story and see the video here.

3. Pencils of Promise

Big Idea: By adopting the pencil, both symbolically and literally, the Pencils of Promise (POP) builds schools and educates children in developing countries.

Why It’s Working: PoP’s newest campaign, Made With Pencils, engages participants via online art auctions, killer website design and a social media strategy that dates back to the roots of Facebook.

PoP is a global project that aims to build schools and establish learning initiatives for millions of children around the globe who lack access to education. The non-profit organization — or as its 28-year-old founder Adam Braun would call it, the “for-purpose organization” — has already helped lower the number of uneducated children from 75 million in 2006 to 67 million today.

Read the full story here.

4. Wefunder

Big Idea: Wefunder provides a platform that allows startups to hold fundraising with a crowd of investors.

Why It’s Working: WeFunder drives innovation by giving startups the ability to go through a formal funding series, and it also takes crowdsourcing to a new level by giving equity to funders.

In the hard and fast world of startups, it’s not easy to get your name heard and money in your pocket. Boston-based company Wefunder aims to change that through another buzzword: crowdfunding.

Read the full story and see the video here.

5. Reward Volunteers

Big Idea: Reward Volunteers is an app for volunteers to log time, share what they’re doing and earn rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve.

Why It’s Working: Users clock in volunteer time so they can focus on doing more good and less on keeping track of hours. The more hours logged and activity shared, the greater chance both volunteers and organizations have to win cash and prizes.

Volunteers deserve a bit of credit for their do-good attitude, and that’s exactly what Reward Volunteers aims to do — it is in the name, after all.

Read the full story here.

What do you think of the efforts of these companies? Let us know in the comments.

More About: features, mashable, World at Work

For more Business coverage:

10 Most-Shared Apple Ad Parodies of All Time

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 03:41 PM PDT

1. Introducing Siri - iPhone 4S

Shares: 47,802

There are several well-known Siri parodies out there, but nothing quite compares to this melodramatic, film trailer-esque video. The protagonist argues with his friends out of love for the indomitable Siri, the main factor that makes the iPhone 4S and it's predecessor "not the same." The Droid makes a surprise cameo.

Click here to view this gallery.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple’s definitely the most popular girl at school.

Fans and haters alike have created spoofs, mocking the widespread Apple advertisements that promote every new product. Whether the iPad, iPhone, MacBook or Siri, you’ll be able to find a thoughtfully executed parody.

Here are the 10 most-shared Apple ad parodies of all time. They range from the artsy to the downright ridiculous. But one thing’s for certain: They’re all darn entertaining.

Thanks to our friends at Unruly for compiling the list.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Picture Lake

More About: ads, Advertising, apple, features, humor, ipad, ipod, macbook

How a High School Prank Call Site Turned Into Serious Business

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 03:03 PM PDT

When Fahim Saleh bought the domain name “,” he fit the demographic one might expect: a high school boy in a small town, an occasional prankster and an Internet geek.

The site ran a simple prank call service. Users entered a message, and the computer would call a number of their choice before reading it in a slow, robotic voice. Saleh put the site up, used it a few times, and then pretty much forgot about it while he was at college.

That is, until someone copied it. When the nearly identical site “” launched, it inspired Saleh to revive the dinky high school prank site he built on a whim in high school. By that point a serial Internet entrepreneur, he reinvented PrankDial, turning it into a profitable business.

Since its revival, PrankDial’s iPhone app has been downloaded 500,000 times, and its Android app (before it was taken down at Android’s request) was downloaded 4 million times. The site has been behind nearly 100 million prank calls to date.

Saleh — now 25 — has used the prank site’s revenue to found new businesses, relating to everything from Facebook cover photos to iPhone games for kids.

“We're probably the number-one prank anything on the web,” he says. “If you search ‘prank’ or ‘prank calls,’ you get PrankDial or one of our properties.”

Here’s how the high school gag site grew up.


PrankDial isn’t the only URL that Saleh purchased in high school. Launching websites was something of a habit — and a profitable one.

The first site he sold, a resource for instant messenger icons called, went for $1,200 on eBay. As he built more sites, he and his business partner (who he met on AIM) outsourced the actual programming involved to agencies abroad.

“We were basically sitting at home in bedrooms, talking to people three times our age, and they have no idea they're talking to a teenager on the other side,” says Saleh. “We're in our pajamas, writing up specs and telling them how we want the design changed.”

By the time he was 20, the pair had founded a conglomerate of websites called WizTeen, which allowed users to customize their avatars on services such as MySpace, MSN Messenger and AIM (remember them?). At the company’s peak, Saleh says the sites were pulling in $30,000 to $60,000 every month from Google Ads.

In 2007, a reporter from the Poughkeepsie Journal wrote an article about WizTeen, in which she interviewed its 20-year-old co-founder. She asked him where he saw himself in five years.

“I see myself behind one project that I’m very passionate about, funded by venture capitalists, in California, working full time in an office with like-minded people, working on a project that we’re all passionate about,” Saleh told her. “Everything I’m doing now is leading up to that.”


Five years later, Saleh is in New York, leading a team of 10 who work on PrankDial, as well as a handful of other services under the umbrella company Tapfury. He says he hasn’t sought venture capital because the site has been profitable.

WizTeen fizzled while Saleh was in college as services like AIM made their way out. Seeing imitator launch (he eventually bought the site) was what turned his attention to his own prank site, which at that point was getting 300 or 400 unique visitors per day.

It needed a makeover. Sending robot messages over the phone wasn’t as funny as it was in high school, and Saleh replaced the robot with pre-recorded character messages. The recordings pause periodically to give the illusion of a conversation. You can send your friend the voice of an indignant pregnant woman who is pretty sure her baby is his. Or a desperate man who needs bail money. Or a threat from Batman.

“At first, it was just me,” says Saleh. “Basically I just got my really terrible microphone and started blurting out things.”

Now, the site hires voice talent to record the calls. PrankDial charges users who make more than three calls a day, but the service free up until that point. About 2 million people visit the site each month.

Saleh swears his users aren’t just high school boys.

“They don’t have that much discretionary income to spend on prank calling,” he reasons. “I think it’s about having a laugh with friends.”

Prank Call-Funded

At the end of the day, PrankDial sells prank calls — which, while not without their merits, are unlikely to change the world.

“I really think if you market something properly, it can be anything on the Internet nowadays,” says Saleh. “It's hard to believe this makes money, but if you're the largest prank call website in the world, that generates revenue.”

Just as he funded his college education by customizing AIM icons, he’s funding new business ventures through prank calls. Though Tapfury runs a handful of businesses, PrankDial — which requires very little maintenance — accounts for about 80% of revenue.

Saleh is still searching for that one project he told the Poughkeepsie Journal at age 20 — something to be passionate about. “I really want to work on one project that has an influence on people's lives,” he tells me, echoing the response he gave that reporter five years ago.

Sure, most people fund such ideas through venture capital or loans. But prank calls seem as good a method as any.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, IGphotography

More About: entrepreneurship, features, humor, pranks, Startups

For more Business coverage:

Top 6 Mashable Comments This Week

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 02:46 PM PDT

Have a look at some of the top Mashable comments from this past week.

Each week the community team at Mashable is on the lookout for thoughtful and insightful comments across Mashable’s web presence.

While there are always outstanding comments on, we are also looking for standout responses across all our social media access points — including Facebook, Twitter, GetGlue and beyond.

If you have a reaction to any story on Mashable, we encourage you to share your thoughts in the story’s comments section.  No comment goes unread and we look forward to reading your responses.

Andrew James Bungum

Andrew gives his thoughts about Siri in response to our Facebook cover photo featuring an eerie new iPhone case that forces the user to interact with Siri. Comment originally seen on Facebook

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: comments, community, mashable follow, online community unconference, top comments, video comments

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Tablets Are a Dream Come True for Retailers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 02:26 PM PDT

Since tablets have burst into the ecommerce space in the last few years, they’ve drastically altered the online shopping experience.

That’s a good thing for retailers. Tablet users prefer to use tablets at home, an environment where they’re more likely to buy. This Milo infographic breaks down the trends in tablet use and retail.

According to an eMarketer report, tablets will be adopted even more quickly in the U.S. than smartphones. By 2014, more than one-third of U.S. Internet users will have tablets, meaning now’s the time for retailers to be looking toward the mobile shopping experience.

SEE ALSO: Tablet Owners Define New Category of Shoppers

Milo makes one key recommendation for retailers: 31% of tablet users compare prices on their device before purchasing in a brick-and-mortar store. This trend means even retailers not specializing in e-commerce should be sure to optimize their stock for tablet shoppers.

What’s your preferred device for online shopping? Are you a desktop loyalist or tablet adopter?

More About: infographic, retail, Tablet

For more Business coverage:

Warby ‘Barker’ Brings You Designer Specs for Your Dog

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 02:18 PM PDT

Glasses for dogs? Just picture it. Or watch this video, where it will be brought to you in living color, showing off the latest fashion accessory for only the most hip-and-trendy doggies.

You’ll be happy to know they’re available online, in a very special April 1 offer for everyone with bleary-eyed dogs, both nearsighted and farsighted.

SEE ALSO: How 4 Business Students Took on the Eyewear Industry [VIDEO]

Hey, people need glasses, don’t dogs need them, too? Indeed they do.

More About: April Fools' Day, dogs

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 01:59 PM PDT

1. See-Through 3D Desktop

Here's an application where a 3D screen might actually make sense. Leave it to the geniuses at MIT's Medialab to invent this brilliant display, which is partially transparent so you can manipulate objects in 3D space with your hands on the other side of it. Its creator, Jinha Lee, explains how it works: "Windows or files are perceived to be placed in a 3D space between a screen and the input plane. The user can lift up his hands to reach the displayed windows and arrange them in this 3D space." Now this is some 3D I could get used to. To get the full effect, check out this video. [via BGR]

Click here to view this gallery.

It was yet another rip-roaring week in the tech world, with a huge batch of compelling innovations from which to choose.

Undaunted, we narrowed it down to the most enticing 10. For instance, we found one of the world’s most beautiful smartphones, we tested a camera that can almost take pictures in the dark, we reviewed a keyboard that also holds its own in the middle of the night, and we coveted coolness ranging from the tiniest guitar to an enormous blimp on which you can hang a McMansion.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week

As you’ve probably already guessed, it was an unusual week in tech, and we found the best of it for you right here on Top 10 Tech This Week.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: Gadgets, logitech, Nikon, Razer, Tech, Top 10 Tech, trending

Facebook Default Profile Pic: The Origin Story [COMIC]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 01:20 PM PDT

Where did that Facebook default profile picture come from, anyway? Mashable’s Editor-in-Chief and Director of Cartoons Lance Ulanoff tracked down the origin of that ubiquitous and mysterious photo, revealing its humble beginnings.

More About: comics, Facebook

Google News Fooled by April Fools’ Day Prank

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 12:45 PM PDT

Who doesn’t love a little April Fool’s Day fun?

Apparently, not Google News. The algorithmic aggregator of the web’s top breaking headlines confused a spoof story for a serious one on Sunday morning, slating it in the page-view-driving top spot.

Business magazine Forbes published a fictional dispatch from the Republican campaign trail, “Romney Drops Out of Race, Endorses Santorum.”

The media company must have rethought its prank, once the story landed in Google News’s coveted number one spot, and removed the story.

“In a surprise move, Mitt Romney announced today that he is ending his presidential campaign and throwing his support behind Rick Santorum. The move shocked observers, including Senator Santorum, as Governor Romney seemed poised for a decisive victory in Wisconsin.

The governor, however, said he concluded that he has ‘no chance’ to win the general election in December and that a Santorum candidacy in 2012 would be in the ‘best interest of the party.’”

You can read the full text of the removed story on Short Form Blog.

Forbes didn’t beat buzz-blog Gawker, which captured a screenshot while the story was trending on Google News.

google news 640

What do you think of news sites engaging in April Fools’ Day pranks? Have any others caught your eyes today?

Image courtesy of Flickr, Gage Skidmore

More About: April Fools' Day, Google, google news

For more Media coverage:

Flickr Gets Back to Basics [VIDEO]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 12:24 PM PDT

Is Flickr taking the Instagram concept a step further? If you visit the photo sharing site today, you might think your photos have been tossed back to the primitive days of the 1980s.

A quick click on an icon on the bottom right of a Flickr photo page first results in an ancient-sounding noise, just as your photo is turned into a pointillist fantasy from the days when image sensors were held together by figurative bailing wire and masking tape.

Check out this video where we give you a close-up look at Flickr‘s whimsical throwback, trying a little primitive video trickery ourselves.

More About: April Fools' Day, flickr

10 Resume Tips for Technology Professionals

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 11:57 AM PDT

Tracy Cashman is a partner and general manager in the Information Technology division at Winter, Wyman. Find out more on the Winter, Wyman blog or follow on Twitter @WinterWyman.

Everyone can use a little help with their resume, especially if they’re pursuing a career in a highly technical field. These ten tips can help tech professionals optimize their resumes in order to nab that great gig.

Do you have a foolproof tip for a technical resume? Let us know in the comments.

1. Understand Attention Spans

Keep in mind that people read resumes about halfway down the page/screen before deciding if they are going to continue reading, save it for later or hit the delete button. Anything marketable about you should be in the top third of the resume.

2. Make It an Appropriate Length

The optimal length of the resume will depend on your experience. A person with a single year’s experience and a four-page resume is in trouble, as is a person with 10 years experience and a one-page resume. Be concise and try to fit your resume into three pages. Need to cut down? You don't need an objective — it's a waste of precious space, unless you are a career changer.

3. General Summaries Bad, Technical Summaries Good

General summaries can help if used sparingly and appropriately. Technical summaries are more helpful, because the first person reading your resume could be non-technical and only knowledgeable enough to look for keywords. However, there should not be a laundry list of every technology you have ever heard about.

4. Dates Matter

Be clear about your dates of employment. Most companies want to see months, not just years — especially if you have some jumps or if you are currently unemployed (i.e. they want to see how long you have been out). It's better to be upfront than to make them guess.

5. Highlight Accomplishments, Not Just Job Functions

The descriptions of your positions should ideally be a mix of a broad overview and specific accomplishments. That way, recruiters will know what you did day-to-day, but also what effect your activities had on the overall company or department.

6. Quality Writing Still Matters

Long-winded paragraphs or bullets are mind numbing, but short choppy sentences can appear simplistic. The ideal resume should have a combination of short paragraphs and bullets — or even just bullets. If you opt for bullets, combine related activities into one bullet where appropriate to save room.

7. Use Action Verbs

The most overused phrases on resumes are "responsible for" or "participated in." It's hard to know if you were just a bystander or a true contributor or even a leader on a project. It's okay to use these terms once or twice, but it's much better to use something like "managed," "completed," "administered," "developed," etc. If you are having trouble coming up with action verbs, should be your new best friend.

8. There Are No Rules About Education Placement

Education placement is variable. If you went to a particularly good school, have an advanced degree or have a very relevant degree to the types of roles you are pursuing, then it might be worth putting at the top, but it's okay for education to be at the bottom, too.

The same applies for certifications — but if you have many, then it might consume too much space at the top. Assuming your resume has the experience to back up the certifications, your prospective employer will be intrigued enough to get to them at the end.

9. People are Not That Interested in Interests

The ubiquitous "Interests" section isn't really necessary; however, if there's something you are particularly proud of and it's short, then feel free to include it at the end of your resume. There is always the possibility that when you put "competitive running" on your resume that the person reading your resume is a marathoner and gives you an interview for that reason. However, you should exclude any activities that could be seen as overly political or offensive.

10. Be Prepared With A Versatile Resume Template

Sometimes it’s valuable to have more than one version of your resume. For example, if your background could be applicable to manager or individual contributor positions, you don't want to scare someone off with a heavy manager resume for a contributor role or vice versa. However, you should not make yourself crazy writing a new resume for every position that comes up (an especially tempting habit if you are unemployed).

You should develop a resume template you feel comfortable with, and then make minor tweaks if necessary. Also, be sure to update your resume annually to avoid having to revamp it in a panic when you really need it.

Social Media Job Listings

Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

More About: features, job search series, mashable, resume, tech jobs

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Google April Fools Roundup: Google Releases Flurry of Crazy New Apps [VIDEO]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 11:11 AM PDT

Did you really think Google's 8-Bit Google Maps “upgrade” was the only trick the company was going to pull for April Fools' Day?

Think again.

Google has packed a boatload of faux product releases into the first day of April, even offering to help optimize content for rotary phones.

YouTube joined in the fun as well with a prank of its own, offering the entirety of the content shared on YouTube in DVD form. On the YouTube Blog, director of DVD product management Chet Flanagan asked:

"Loved a video so much that liking it, favoriting it, sharing it and even subscribing to the channel wasn't enough? Just had to hold it in your grasp and never ever let it go? We know the feeling, so today we're making The YouTube Collection available for you in a new holdable version: DVD. A direct result of your feedback and demand, The YouTube Collection is a first of its kind offering in web video."

Here are the Google “innovations” mentioned in the video above:

What is your favorite Google April Fools prank you’ve seen today? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: april fools, April Fools' Day, Google, trending

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The History of April Fools’ Day [VIDEO]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 10:12 AM PDT

You’ve probably thought long and hard about how to prank your best friend this April Fools’ Day, but have you ever thought about where the silly holiday came from?

This informational video by Jeremiah Warren reveals interesting facts about the history and culture of April Fools’ Day, or “All Fools’ Day.”

Did you know in France, children tape a picture of a fish on your back and shout “P’oisson D’Avril!” (April Fish)? The video also reminisces over some of the more memorable pranks in pop culture, like when the Liberty Bell almost became the Taco Liberty Bell.

The facts in the video are true, this is no prank — really!

More About: April Fools' Day, viral, viral videos

Gmail Tap: Say Goodbye to the QWERTY Keyboard

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 09:35 AM PDT

Google has cooked up an idea it calls Gmail Tap, reinventing the QWERTY keyboard as we know it.

The new text input system, announced in a blog post on April 1 (ahem, April Fool’s Day), uses finger taps rather than keys in mobile Gmail.

“Think about the size of that device, it’s only two inches, two and a half inches — and we’re trying to cram an entire 26 key keyboard in that space,” the video says.

Reed Morse, Google software engineer and relative of Samuel Morse, designed Gmail Tap by re-imagining Morse Code for a touch device. Every letter of the alphabet can be written using just two buttons, Gmail says.

Though the Gmail Tap draws upon a real problem — too many keys on crammed touchscreens — the video’s full of humor. One engineer remarks, “I think the people that will be best served by Gmail Tap are people with fat fingers.”

April Fool’s Day aside, do you think the keyboard could use an update?

BONUS: Top 10 Viral Pranks on YouTube

1. Gmail Motion

Last year, Google announced a "new feature" in Gmail that would allow your webcam to recognize simple actions like pretending to open an envelope in order to open your inbox. Because gesture recognition is indeed a hot trend, this video is almost real enough to believe.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: april fools, gmail, QWERTY, trending

First World Problems: 14 Cringe-Worthy Complaints

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 09:01 AM PDT

Social media has given us a voice we never could have imagined 20 years ago. We can easily share content online, free — from inspiring images to our grandest hopes for the world.

We can also use the social platform to whine like the spoiled brats we sometime are.

That’s where Tumblr blog White Whine comes in. It offers a user-generated collection of “first world problems,” in which rich Westerners are called out for complaining about “issues” many around the world would love to have to endure.

We asked White Whine creator and curator Streeter Seidell why it’s so compelling to read the petty complaints of the privileged.

“I love ‘white whines’ or ‘first world problems’ because they illustrate just how well we’re doing as a society,” says Seidell. “When the archeologists dig down into the ruins of our culture 10,000 years from now, someone complaining that their coffee was too hot will really give them a good perspective of how pampered a lot of us were.”

We asked Seidell to highlight and comment on his best White Whine submissions (or “worst,” depending on your perspective). You can find his (occasionally NSFW) choices in the gallery below.

1. Golf

"Celebrities are great at complaining about their fabulous lives, but Frankie Muniz ends this first world tweet with 'ugh,' so it's an instant favorite of mine."

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: features, humor, Social Media, tumblr

Exclusive: Mashable CEO Conan O’Brien Steals and Tests Apple iTV

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 08:21 AM PDT

Conan O’Brien has succeeded where others, especially Pete Cashmore, have failed: Conan has stolen the upcoming Apple iTV so he can bring it to his fellow Mashables. This is his hands-on report.

SEE ALSO: Conan O'Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

More About: apple, Apple iTV, conan o'brien, trending

WestJet Rolls Out Child-Free Cabins With Kargo Kids [VIDEO]

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 07:45 AM PDT

We love kids, we really do. We even have a few of our own. But that love is stretched awfully thin when they’re kicking our seats on a redeye flight, screaming in our ears from coast to coast, or doing some of the other alarming and distracting things little rug rats tend to do on airplanes.

That’s why WestJet is our new hero, thinking of us when it created its all-new Child-Free Cabins™. Take a look at what happens to the little darlings when you want to get some peace and quiet during your travels. You don’t have to leave your children at home — now there’s Kargo Kids®, the next great innovation in airline travel.

We love this video. There’s even ukulele music. What do you think?

More About: trending, viral video, YouTube

April Fools’ Day Classics: Top 10 Viral Pranks on YouTube

Posted: 01 Apr 2012 07:13 AM PDT

People love a good trolling, whether it’s online or not, and there’s nothing like a company having a bit of harmless fun at the expense of a few thousand customers.

Whether it’s a gag product or a fake movie trailer, when an April Fools’ Day prank video is convincing enough, it has the potential to go viral on YouTube.

Unfortunately this leaves fans punked, potentially even get their hopes up. (We’re pretty sure Zelda fans are still a little heartbroken over IGN Entertainment’s faux trailer.)

Our friends at Unruly Media have provided the ten most-shared April Fools’ Day videos on YouTube. Take a look back at some of the best online pranks, and let us know your favorite in the comments.

1. Gmail Motion

Last year, Google announced a "new feature" in Gmail that would allow your webcam to recognize simple actions like pretending to open an envelope in order to open your inbox. Because gesture recognition is indeed a hot trend, this video is almost real enough to believe.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: April Fools' Day, features, humor, trending, Video

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