Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “Spanish Soccer Scores a Goal on Social Media”

Sunday, 27 May 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “Spanish Soccer Scores a Goal on Social Media”

Spanish Soccer Scores a Goal on Social Media

Posted: 26 May 2012 03:56 PM PDT

When Mashable took a look at the English Premier League’s social media side last week, the main takeaway was that the 2012 season marked the big social push of the world’s most high-profile soccer league.

But Spain’s LigaBBVA — considered a tier below the EPL on the pitch, although it’s home to powerhouse clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona — actually looks to be world soccer’s digital leader. To get the fuller picture, we scoured social media sites, and consulted LigaBBVA as well as the Spanish sports and social media site Sportwist.

Perhaps the place where La Liga’s social media dominance shines most is with its biggest stars. Three of the top four sports-related Twitter accounts are from Spanish soccer — Real Madrid stars Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo have 10.7 and 9.9 million followers, respectively, while the FC Barcelona club account claims almost 5.2 million. Last month, Kaka became the first sports figure ever to break 10 million followers on the the network. Fellow LigaBBVA stars Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Carlos Puyol, Xabi Alonso and David Villa each top one million followers as well.

The league itself maintains profiles on pretty much all the social web’s major networks — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and multiple Chinese services.

LigaBBVA engages fans extremely well on Facebook in particular. The league’s official page has more than 1 million fans. During a stretch in April, engagement peaked according to Sportwist, with more than 55% of those fans “talking about” LigaBBVA teams, matches and players — an outstanding level of engagement for a brand in any industry.

SEE ALSO: English Premier League: The Social Media Season

LigaBBVA also dominates world soccer leagues on Twitter. The @LigaBBVA profile counts more than 280,000 followers there, compared with the official @premierleague account’s approximately 209,000 followers. LigaBBVA also has a Klout score of 74, compared to the EPL’s score of 70. The German Bundesliga — considered by many the world’s third-best league in overall quality of play — has a Klout score of 49.

On the Chinese social network Sina Weibo, Spain’s soccer league has 155,000 followers, as well as an additional 106,000 fans on the similar Chinese network Ren Ren.

What powers LigaBBVA’s social media popularity? Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, arguably two of the world’s three most popular club teams. Consider this, for example: Barcelona has more than 31 million Facebook fans and about 5.2 million Twitter followers; Real Madrid has over 28 million Facebook fans and 4.7 million Twitter followers. No other LigaBBVA team approaches a combined total of 500,000.

Why do you think LigaBBVA beats out the EPL on social media? Let us know in the comments.

Image via iStockphoto, mikkelwilliam

More About: Facebook, Social Media, sports, Twitter, YouTube

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7 Top Mashable Comments This Week

Posted: 26 May 2012 03:22 PM PDT

community image

Mashable comments this week were more than fun to read. Our readers found many ways to express entertaining opinions while creating heated conversations.

Top stories included the rumored Facebook Timeline redesign, a fake Facebook suicide video, as well as Facebook’s new iPhone camera app.

Outside the world of Facebook, other popular stories included Google Chrome surpassing Internet Explorer as the most used browser. Commenter, TileGuyJesse, made a joke about Internet Explorer being the number one Internet browser…for downloading other browsers.

Also, earlier this week Guy Kawasaki attended Google+ Photographer's Conference where he spoke and compared Google+ to Apple in how they’re both a religious experience.

At Mashable, we're always on the lookout for thoughtful, insightful comments that add to our stories or further the discussion. Take a look at this week's top comments and let us know what you think of the readers' opinions.

FCC Data Rate Regulation

Mike Ensley comments with questioning the idea of the data rates a cable company would charge if data was charge per usage as opposed to a flat fee. Comment originally seen on FCC Boss: You Should Pay for Internet By How Much You Use [POLL]

Click here to view this gallery.

If you haven't commented on a Mashable article before, check out Mashable Follow, our content curation and social tool, as well as our comment guidelines to learn more. We'd love for you to join the conversation.

More About: comments, community, mashable follow, top comments

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Fancy Hands: The Most Helpful Startup in the World

Posted: 26 May 2012 03:00 PM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Time Clock
Name: Fancy Hands

Quick Pitch: Delegate work to a smart and savvy band of personal assistants for $25 to $95 a month.

Genius Idea: Fancy Hands lets you hand off time-consuming, menial tasks to reliable web-based assistants.

Ever want to pay someone to sit on hold for you? Or to compile a list of the best gluten-free food in your area? Fancy Hands is a NYC-based startup that lets you do just that. The web-based service makes extra help affordable with flat rates.

Fancy Hands offers the services of personal assistants to the masses. The company’s fleet of professional contractors, located throughout the U.S., are always available for service requests around the clock. The army of assistants will do almost anything that doesn’t involve them getting up from their chairs.

Fancy Hands specializes in research, making phone calls and returning emails. Popular requests also include arranging appointments, finding local services, transcribing small chunks of audio or compiling lists. For a better idea of the range of services, check out Fancy Hands’ list of common requests.

Members can submit requests from anywhere in the world to Fancy Hands. Submissions are received by email, by phone or through Basecamp. Requests are usually completed on the same business day. Tasks may take a couple minutes or an hour depending on details.

The two-year-old startup was created by Ted Roden at a busy point in his life. He had his first child and signed a book deal in the same week. With a full-time job as a developer at The New York Times, he needed help with small, everyday tasks. Roden built the service around his own need.

“If I wanted to do anything outside my core area of responsibilities, I just couldn’t get it done,” Roden tells Mashable. “If I wanted to make a reservation to take my wife out to dinner, I wasn’t able to do it. So, I said maybe I could get someone to do this for me.”

Roden eventually finished the book and turned his startup dream into a profitable business with the help of freelance assistants.

FancyHands HP

Fancy Hands is based in NYC’s SoHo. Its six full-time employees of programmers and developers are building new features within the website. It’s a well-oiled system. Speed and quality are top priorities for the team of handpicked assistants, Roden says. Everything is quality-checked before completion. Detailed reports are written up for each task, stating the amount of time spent and specific actions taken to get the task done.

“All the communication is logged,” he says. “You can get a good sense on how much we’re working on a task for you. At the end of the day, you can say, my time is worth $10 an hour. If someone sat on the phone two to three times on the phone for me, I saved a lot of money.”

The startup’s goal is to make life easier for everyone. Roden wants to revolutionize the way people work the same way the Internet changed airline ticket purchases. Before Orbitz, Expedia and other websites to compare flights, the only option for customers looking to fly was calling the airline or travel agent. Instead of being able to compare prices and buy the cheapest tickets, customers had to agree to whatever the airline agents told them.

“The Internet came along and now it’s almost hard to remember how it was before,” Roden says. “I want to do that for other things. In the future, I want people to say ‘For scheduling, I can’t believe I used to email back and forth.’ I want that to happen for a lot of aspects in your life.”

Fancy Hands offers monthly rates as well as yearly packages. Get five requests a month for $25, 15 requests a month for $45 and unlimited requests for $95 per month.

What is the most time-consuming task in your day? Tell us in the comments if you would consider delegating specific tasks to personal assistants.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Bethan

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, Business, Social Media, social networking, startup

5 Startups Changing the World With Tech

Posted: 26 May 2012 02:39 PM PDT

In our social entrepreneurship series, The World at Work, Mashable interviews the faces behind the startups and projects that are working to make a global impact.

These companies provide technological solutions for non-profits, give fledgling startups a place to work and donate to charity every time a song is downloaded. While the companies are diverse, they are all on a mission to change our lives for the better and improve society.

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

1. Blackbaud

Big Idea: Blackbaud provides customized organizational and fundraising solutions for non-profits, not only focusing on resources needed but also the overall goals of each company.

Why It’s Working: From the biggest non-profits to small, one-person operations, Blackbaud has low-cost solutions for non-profits with a variety of missions. And, it just increased its power with the acquisition of web service Convio.

Read the full story here.

2. Green Spaces

Big Idea: Green Spaces provides coworking office space in New York City and Denver to social entrepreneurs and non-profits.

Why It’s Working: Green Spaces does more than provide social companies a place to work. Networking opportunities, an intern program and a referral network are available to companies that call Green Spaces home.

Read the full story and see the video here.

3. Givey

Big Idea: Givey provides a payment platform for users to easily donate to charities through Twitter and text messaging.

Why It’s Working: The service lets people make “on-the-fly donations” with short tweets and SMS that benefit charities. Givey 2.0, launching in August, will act as a record of all donations and rank users by their charitable acts.

Read the full story here.

4. The Adventure Project

Big Idea: The Adventure Project is an alternative funding organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries, with the goal of producing one million jobs within the next ten years.

Why It’s Working: With a series of ambitious projects ranging from healthcare to hunger, the Adventure Project provides funding to entrepreneurs in multiple countries. These localized initiatives bring about real change in both the local economy and the quality of life in areas that are desperate for solutions.

Read the full story and see the video here.

5. FairShareMusic

FairShareMusic Online Music StoreBig Idea: FairShareMusic sells millions of songs and vows to give at least half of its net profits to charities that address major issues, such as world hunger, cancer research and endangered species.

Why It’s Working: The website infuses philanthropy into music fans’ lives. The more a user downloads songs, the more donations are made to charities all over the world.

Read the full story here.

What do you think of the efforts of these startups and foundations? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: features, mashable, roundup, World at Work

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 26 May 2012 02:21 PM PDT

Top 10 Tech is presented by Chivas. Access a world of exclusive insider benefits – private tastings, special events and the chance to win a trip for you and three friends to the Cannes Film Festival. Join the Brotherhood.

1. LG 55-Inch OLED: The "Ultimate Display"

When I first laid eyes on the LG 55-inch OLED display at CES last January, it was love at first sight. Now LG says its "Ultimate Display" will be available in the second half of this year. I'm thinking that means December. This astonishing $10,000 TV of the future will be worth the wait. Its displays the most saturated and vivid colors I've ever seen on any screen, and besides its spectacular rendition of video, it brings along additional surprising specs. [continued]

Click here to view this gallery.

It was a momentous week for tech, where commerce met spaceflight, a popular smartwatch faced off with a wily competitor, a futuristic way to compute turned into reality, and a commonplace inconvenience was suddenly eliminated with an ingenious idea.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week

if you’re looking for a quick peek into the future, you’d arrived at our own special portal that will take you there with just a few clicks. So sit back and strap yourself in, pilgrim, and ride along with us in the latest edition of Top 10 Tech This Week.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: features, mashable, Tech, Top 10 Tech, trending

Who’s Up Late Booking Memorial Day Weekend Hotel Rooms Online? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 26 May 2012 01:27 PM PDT

Did you impulsive book a hotel for Memorial Day weekend late at night, tired and groggy eyed? Whether it was because you needed an emergency place to crash for a night or you’re a budget-conscious traveler who spotted an excellent last-minute deal, you’re not alone. It turns out plenty of hotel patrons are reserving rooms after-hours.

Hotel Tonight, an Apple iOS-powered accommodations booking service, did some research to figure out what types of people are booking rooms late at night and why they’re doing it.

Who are these late night crusaders of last-minute late-night reservations? 24% of them are workaholics, 22% are tired drivers who need to get off the road and 20% are “thrill seekers” who crave the adrenaline rush of an impulsive escape.

What kind of hotels are late-night bookers looking to snag? 40% of them want a hip joint — no-frills roadside motels won’t do it for them.

It turns out that Washington, D.C. is home to the greatest number of bookings past 10 p.m. — and you’d think visiting foreign dignitaries would be a little more prepared! Meanwhile, Las Vegas, Nev. had the earliest bookings, so while visitors to the strip want to gamble on the craps table, they’d rather have their hotel confirmed nice and early.

Find out more in the infographic below, then share with us your story of a last-minute online hotel deal in the comments below.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, fototrav

More About: hotels, infographic, online booking, travel

12 Fantastic Memorial Day Weekend Instagram Shots [PHOTOS]

Posted: 26 May 2012 12:51 PM PDT

Celebrating Memorial Day

A collection of photos from Memorial Day celebrations. Courtesy @melissa_marlow

Click here to view this gallery.

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and Americans are spending time with friends and family, enjoying the first barbecue of the summer and remembering their fallen military heroes. While people are soaking up some rays or paying tribute to lost heroes, they’re posting some fantastic snapshots to Instagram.

SEE ALSO: Freedom Tower: 11 Beautiful Instagrams of NYC's Tallest Building

Mashable has collected some of our favorites in the gallery above. Show us your Memorial Day weekend Instagram pictures and tell us about your long weekend in the comments below!

More About: gallery, instagram, memorial day, pictures, Social Media, US

iPhone Viewfinder Eases Shooting in Bright Sunlight [VIDEO]

Posted: 26 May 2012 12:25 PM PDT

Have you ever struggled with taking a picture outdoors on your iPhone because of the oppressive glare of the sun washing out the Retina display? A new Kickstarter project might have the perfect solution for you.

The Daylight Viewfinder attaches to an iPhone 4, 4S, or the newest iPod Touch or iPad. The Viewfinder blocks out external light, letting you see your phone’s screen glare-free to take a photo. When you’re not using the Viewfinder, it collapses and becomes small enough to carry around in a pocket or purse.

SEE ALSO: How Kickstarter Is Saving Hardware Innovation

Creator Paul Anderson set up the project on crowdfunding site Kickstarter with an ambitious $44,000 goal to get the equipment he needs to start mass producing the Viewfinder. So far, he’s got 18 backers who’ve pitched in $400.

Interested? If you invest early, Anderson will give you a 33% discount if the Daylight Viewfinder meets its Kickstarter goal.

What are your favorite smartphone hardware add-ons? Tell us why you love them in the comments below.

More About: Hardware, instagram, iphone, kickstarter, photography, trending, Video

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How To Organize A Social Media Day Meetup

Posted: 26 May 2012 12:00 PM PDT

Mashable's third annual Social Media Day is on Saturday, June 30, 2012!

Social Media is quickly changing our world by bringing people closer together. So, in true Mashable style, we celebrate it!

In previous years, we have had incredible Social Media Day Meetups created by event organizers around the globe. To keep that tradition alive, we invite you to once again bring your fellow social media enthusiasts together in person by hosting a Social Media Day Meetup in your area.

Like any event, Social Media Day Meetups require planning. If this is your first time organizing one, here’s a couple of tips to get you started. If you have organized one in the past, here’s a refresher course!

Step by Step

Because we use the Meetup Everywhere platform, there is already a Social Media Day event set up for the over 1,500+ Mashable Meetup Everywhere communities.

Here’s how to find and edit your local Meetup:

  • 1. Visit Mashable's Social Media Day 2012 Meetup Everywhere page.
  • 2. Find the Meetup community nearest you and click on the city name to find the Social Media Day event page.
  • 3. To be the sole organizer, give a date, time, venue and short description of the Meetup.
  • 4. To be a co-organizer, leave other fields blank to allow another Meetup community member to fill them in, which will make him or her your co-organizer.
  • 5. Check the meetup page frequently to answer questions and start conversations on the comment boards.

Find a Meetup Community Near You

Browse through this list to find a Meetup near you! If you can’t find your city, it may be up to you to create the event!

Get The Word Out

Make sure your community knows about your Mashable Social Media Day Meetup!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started promoting:

  • 1. Create a Twitter account and Facebook page for your event
  • 2. Find something that makes your event special, and let your local media know about it.
  • 3. Alert local organizations that have similar interests about the event.
  • 4. Encourage attendees to share the details, both online and by word of mouth!

Gather Organizer Tools

Our Social Media Day website is a one-stop-shop for everything you may need to plan your Social Media Day event.

On it, you will find Social Media Day logos, tweets, photos and videos from events around the globe, and helpful videos such as this one:

Connect with Fellow Organizers

The Mashable Meetup Organizers Facebook group is an incredible community of 250+ organizers who plan Mashable Meetups of their own.

They’re a friendly, active bunch who are always willing to extend a helping hand to people treading the waters for the first time.

Mashable Meetup Organizers Image


To get an idea of what a great Mashable Meetup is like, check out the photos below.

Good luck planning your Social Media Day 2012 Meetup. We can’t wait to see what you’re able to put together!



An awesome Social Media Day cake was made for #SMDay Cincinnati, the winners of our Most Social City contest. Photo by Christiaan Todd Photography.

Click here to view this gallery.

For more Social Media coverage:

7 Apps You Don’t Want To Miss

Posted: 26 May 2012 11:49 AM PDT

Facebook Camera

Less than two months after announcing its plans to acquire Instagram, Facebook has released its own Instagram clone: Facebook Camera. Much like Instagram, the app lets you view your friend's latest photos, and apply filters to your pictures to give them a distinctive look.

Click here to view this gallery.

It can be tough to keep up with all the new apps that are released each week. But you’re in luck: We take care of a lot of that for you, creating a roundup each weekend of some of our own highlights from the week.

This week we found an app that helps you report bad parking and hopefully shame the offender into cleaning up his act. Another app keeps track of your sleeping habits, and yet another helps you keep track of some of your last wishes, and potentially even meet someone who has similar dreams.

When it comes to sharing your life with others, Facebook released a new camera app this week that helps explain why Instagram might have been worth that $1 billion price tag. Once you’ve taken those photos, another new app lets you share them with a friend while you’re having a voice conversation, and another new app, Sing Something, lets you share your voice in a karaoke-style singing competition.

Check out the gallery for a look at some of the highlights from the week, and let us know about some of your own app highlights from the past week in the comments.

Still looking for more? See one of our previous Apps to Check Out for some other interesting mobile apps worth a look.

More About: apps, Facebook, instagram, trending

Noise-Canceling Tech Lets You Quietly Dine in Noisy Restaurants [VIDEO]

Posted: 26 May 2012 10:51 AM PDT

How many times have you gone out for some fancy food, and ended up spending the evening yelling into the ear of your dinner companion? An accomplished sound engineer has figured out a way to solve that problem, using technology similar to that of noise-canceling headphones.

Using 123 cleverly hidden speakers, an array of highly sensitive microphones and noise-canceling technology, sound engineer (and now restaurant owner) John Paluska has teamed up with Meyer Sound to create a way to make the noise of conversation cancel itself out, letting him control the ambient sound levels in his restaurant using an iPad app.

Paluska’s noise-canceling system’s beta test site is Comal, his restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. How well does it work? If the performance of noise-canceling headphones is any indication, this could be a breakthrough.

[via SF Gate]

More About: audio, trending

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‘Sing Something’ Is ‘Draw Something’ For Singers

Posted: 26 May 2012 10:20 AM PDT

Playing mobile games with your friends just got a little more vocal. Sing Something is like a combination of Draw Something and Karaoke — it’s a social singing game that has you sing a song from a selected category, and your friends try to guess what tune you were trying to belt out.

While the game wasn’t made by Draw Something creator OMGPOP (which was recently purchased by Zynga), it shares quite a bit with that game in terms of play.

“We love singing in the shower and always wanted to create a music based game, we just couldn´t find the right recipe,” Vlado Hrincar, one of the developers for the app told Mashable. “Then we came across the Draw Something concept and that was it. Enlightened by the idea, we put our next-big-thing gaming project on hold and started working on Sing Something.”

To get started with Sing Something, select a friend to play with and a song to sing from a set of three options. If you know the song, you can go ahead and belt it out to send your musical stylings to your friend. The game doesn’t provide you lyrics for the tune while you’re actually singing, but it does give you links to a few YouTube videos where you can get an idea for what the song is supposed to sound like.

When you receive a song, you get to guess what hit your friend likely butchered by selecting letters from a virtual keyboard to fill in the blanks for the song and artist, hangman-style. Sing Something currently has a library of over 1000 songs based on the personal likes of the programmers as well as what tunes are popular on YouTube.

“Currently we have four categories (80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010-2012), covering the overall history of the modern music,” Hrincar tells us. “We are planning to add at least 10 more categories, focusing on specific genres or artists — Madonna, Jackson, and yes, Justin Bieber too and Rebecca Black if we’re really evil.”

Much like with Draw Something, you and your friend earn coins when you’re able to guess a tune correctly. You can also use bombs to get different song choices or eliminate some of the available letters when you’re guessing to make things easier.

The game started out as a weekend project and quickly spiraled into a full-blown app. While currently only available for iOS, there are plans in the works to make the app available for Android as well as add new categories.

While definitely a fun concept, Sing Something will certainly be more awkward to pull out on the train or at the lunch table than its drawing counterpart.

Do you think the singing game will catch on like Draw Something? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: App, Draw something, game, iOS, iphone, Sing Something

School Cellphone Ban Spawns Thriving Niche Storage Market

Posted: 26 May 2012 09:56 AM PDT

Gadget Storage Thumb

Mobile devices have become like wallets — among the must-have items on your person when you leave the house. Teens are no exception to this rule, but for New York City’s students, this poses a real problem.

The New York Board of Education has banned the use of electronics in public schools since the 1980s. For years, there was an “out of sight, out of trouble” policy. Recently, new safety precautions such as metal detectors and backpack checks upon entry, have made it harder for middle school and high school students to smuggle their gadgets into classes. Electronics are confiscated on sight.

Two years ago Vernon Alcoser, a Bronx businessman and federal correctional officer, came up with a unique solution for the problem. His big idea — to provide mobile storage for students to store gadgets during the school day. In 2010 Alcoser and his sister Theresa bought a white truck and painted the side with a blue “Pure Loyalty Electronic Device Storage” decal. Parked outside Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx, high school students flocked to the truck’s small window to turn in their electronics for $1 — two gadgets for $1.50.

“A friend called me and said her daughter was storing her cellphone in grocery stores and bodegas in the area,” Alcoser tells Mashable. “[Students] were going away from the direction of school in order to do that. I thought if we brought storage closer to the schools, it would be a favor to the kids.”

The mobile gadget storage business is now booming and the owners expect to expand.

There is certainly a ready market for school-day cellphone storage: The NYC Department of Education (DOE) serves 1.1 million students in over 1,700 schools.

And unlike their suburban counterparts, New York City students generally take public transportation to school. Their commutes can rival those of adult workers in length and complexity.

Every day, Roci Cepeda travels 30 minutes each way from Brooklyn to Washington Irving High School in Manhattan.Students come in to this school from all other boroughs, arriving as early as 7 a.m.

“I need it [my phone] in case I need to communicate with someone,” Cepeda says. “In case of an emergency.”

Parents often want to be able to communicate with their children. Many are enthusiastic about Pure Loyalty’s service.

“We have a lot of parents that call us and ask if we can come to a particular school because they want to stay in contact with their kids that are going and coming home from school,” says Alcoser.

SEE ALSO: Is Total Gadget Immersion Good or Bad for Kids? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jose Garcia, a business student at Bronx Community College, works in the truck each weekday from 7 a.m. to around 5 p.m. — or when the last phone is returned. At schools where metal detectors have been installed at entrances, current students reported having leaving their cellphones at corner stores, delis and markets nearby where owners would watch them for $1.

It’s a system Garcia is familiar with. “When I was in high school, we used to leave our phones in grocery stores,” he says. “This is a brilliant idea.”

The trucks are staffed with two employees at all times. Once the truck is parked and collecting phones, the vehicle never leaves, so students may retrieve their property whenever it’s convenient. Phones are stored in sleeves and students are given security cards with a unique word or code to ensure correct returns. At Washington Irving, roughly 300 to 400 phones are stored each day. A other locations, Pure Loyalty collects an average of 500 to 700 gadgets a day.

Another sign of the venture’s success is the number of copycat services that have sprung up since its inception.

“A lot of competition has formed based on them seeing us on the news,” Alcoser says. “There are a few other companies — I don’t know licensed or insured like us.”

Pure Loyalty pays insurance that protects phones if truck is lost, stolen or damaged. It has a $2 million insurance policy that covers just the phones. NYC DOE officials conducted thorough background checks on the company its staff, according to Alcoser. He says Pure Loyalty is welcomed by the city’s public schools because the service keeps the students and their property safe.

“The school doesn’t want the kids to leave,” he said. “For them, to send the child who came to school away with a phone is not in the school’s best interest.”

Check out these photos of the Pure Loyalty storage truck outside Washington Irving High School:

Pure Loyalty Electronic Device Storage

A team of two parks outside Washington Irving High School in Manhattan -- one of the eight NYC locations.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Business, cellphones, new york city, Social Media, startup, trending

‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight’ Sink Teeth Into Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 26 May 2012 09:24 AM PDT

TV critics predict True Blood, the hit HBO series about vampires and other superhuman characters, will dominate conversations online this summer. And while the show’s plot is responsible for driving much of the dialogue across social networks, True Blood‘s social media tactics to engage viewers propels the buzz to another level.

Competing vampire brands Twilight (Breaking Dawn part 2 hits theaters Nov. 16) and Vampire Diaries (season 4 premieres in October) leverage similar tactics to get viewers to participate via tablets, laptops and mobile devices. Season 5 of True Blood begins June 10.

SEE ALSO: Summer TV Guide — 20 Social Shows to See

But how do the shows stack up against each other? Direct SAT TV tells all in the infographic below.

More About: celebrities, Entertainment, infographic, Social Media, social tv, trending, true blood, twilight, Vampire Diaries, Vampires

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Facebook Rolling Out ‘Trending Videos’ [REPORT]

Posted: 26 May 2012 08:56 AM PDT

Facebook users have encountered “trending articles” popping up in their news feeds for the past few weeks. This new feature highlights articles that are popular with your friends, ensuring you don’t miss a hot story because it gets pushed down to the bottom of your feed.

Now, Facebook is reportedly doing the same with viral videos.

A new “trending videos” feature is being rolled out to some Facebook users, according to a report from TheNextWeb. Once you’ve got the new feature, it will auto-populate with videos your friends are watching on Facebook’s Open Graph apps.

Facebook has been experimenting with trending articles, giving the feature a less invasive redesign late last month.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Tests Smaller Version of 'Trending Articles' in Newsfeed

However, plenty of Mashable readers found the feature cumbersome and annoying. One, David Holley, called it “obnoxious as hell” because it didn’t seem to actually highlight articles that his friends were reading. How could Facebook do a better job of highlighting popular articles and videos in your news feed? Let us know in the comments.

Bonus gallery: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Facebook

1. Page Views

One in every five page views in the U.S. occurred on Facebook, bringing in more than 400 billion page views this year.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Facebook, Social Media, trending, Video

First Video From Inside SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft [UPDATED VIDEO]

Posted: 26 May 2012 08:11 AM PDT

A day after the unmanned SpaceX Dragon spacecraft berthed with the International Space Station and made aerospace history, NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was the first man inside the cargo-filled vessel. His first reaction?

“The smell inside smells like a brand new car,” he said, adding that the Dragon was remarkably clean and dirt-free — which was good for Pettit’s sake, who was wearing protective gear to protect himself from any debris that might’ve worked itself loose in the Dragon’s ascent from Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to The New York Times.

Watch another video of astronauts speak to reporters from inside the Dragon:

The Dragon launched on Tuesday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. On Friday, Pettit worked in unison with two other astronauts, NASA’s Joe Acaba and the European Space Agency’s Dutch-born Andre Kuipers, to grab the Dragon with one of the space station’s robotic arms and join the two craft.

“Looks like we caught a Dragon by the tail,” said Pettit after successfully completing the berthing operation.

SEE ALSO: SpaceX Dragon Makes History, Docks With the ISS [PICS]

SpaceX is the first privately-owned company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. The company is owned and operated by Elon Musk, known for founding PayPal as well as Tesla Motors, which manufactures high-tech electric cars.

“Just awesome,” tweeted Musk after the attachment was made.

Astronauts on board the ISS will have only a few days to move the Dragon’s cargo onto the space station and fill it with equipment destined for Earth. It will depart Thursday for its planned plunge into the Pacific ocean, where it will be recovered by a SpaceX crew.

How could the SpaceX Dragon usher in a new era of space exploration? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of SpaceX

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