Mashable: Latest 16 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 50 Stories You Might Have Missed”

Monday, 21 May 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 16 News Updates - including “Mashable Weekend Recap: 50 Stories You Might Have Missed”

Mashable Weekend Recap: 50 Stories You Might Have Missed

Posted: 21 May 2012 04:33 AM PDT

What a weekend! As we sprinted through a lively slate of monumental stories such as the Facebook IPO and an impending launch of the first commercial spacecraft, we got blindsided by a super surprise: Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend in a secret ceremony in his backyard in Palo Alto.

The Internet exploded with delight and amazement at the nuptial news, while reverberations of the Facebook IPO continued. The NASDAQ debut of Facebook was the second biggest such deal in history, and we had plenty of analysis and info about that on our weekend plates at the same time. Beyond that, there was a cacophonous cornucopia of delights, refreshingly eclectic in their variety and practically begging you to click and read each and every one.

But you missed it? Take solace, because we’ve made it so you can find all of those valuable nuggets right here in one convenient spot. So click away at our Weekend Recap, enjoy what you will, and then look forward to visiting us next weekend — we have special treats already planned for you.

News & Opinion Essentials

Mark Zuckerberg Gets Married

Who is Zuckerberg's Bride, Priscilla Chan? [PICS]

Mark Zuckerberg's Very Big Week [PICS]

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

What You Can Learn From Zynga's Cool Company Culture [PICS]

'Harry Potter' Web Series Made by Hardcore Potter Fans with Skills

Ecommerce in China: How the World's Biggest Market Buys Online

SpaceX Replaces Faulty Rocket Valve for Space Station Flight

Microsoft Launches So.Cl Network Amid Facebook Hubbub

Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

Pakistan Blocks Twitter, Citing 'Blasphemy' [VIDEO]

Facebook Has Gone Public in More Ways Than You Might Think

Anonymous Hackers Claim to Take Down Chicago Police Website

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

China Approves Google's Motorola Mobility Deal [VIDEO]

Will Facebook Reduce Taxes By Going International?

Changed Windows 8 Desktop Revealed, Interface Improved [VIDEO]

On Facebook IPO Day, Twitter Sentiment Correlated With Share Price

Sunday Solar Eclipse: How to Safely Photograph the 'Ring of Fire'

SpaceX No Stranger to Launch-Day Rocket Glitches

Get a Ride in the Synergy Airplane for Pledging $100 or More [VIDEO]

Facebook Is Worth More Than McDonald's and 4 Other Giant Brands

The Best U.S. Cities for Tech Jobs Might Surprise You [VIDEO]

The State of Windows 8: Cheap Upgrades, Better Apps [RUMORS]

SpaceX's Historic Launch Aborted at Last Second [VIDEO]

Google Further Integrates Google+ Profiles Into Gmail [VIDEO]

Why Digital Accelerates Political Change

Former Yahoo COO Who Almost Bought Facebook Shows Up on IPO Day

Helpful Resources

Terefic Takes the Guesswork Out of Job References

5 Fascinating Things We Learned From Reddit This Week

5 Smart Companies Using Tech For Good

Mobile Marketing by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

44 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

6 Ways to Get a Tech Job Without a Tech Degree

7 Hot Startup Tips for Raising a Killer Seed Round

9 Top Comments on Mashable This Week

Why Social Learning Benefits Your Business

Facebook's IPO: Who Got Rich

How to Open a Beer Bottle With a Chainsaw [VIDEO]

SEE ALSO: All the Weekend Recaps Ever Published

Weekend Leisure

SNL's 'Lazy Sunday 2′ Hits the Web

10 Delightful Nyan Cat Accessories

Show Us Your Eclipse Photos

Top 10 GIFs of the Week

Ca$h Cats: Tumblr's 20 Funniest Filthy Rich Felines

7 Fun Accessories for Your Geeky Pet

Ebay a Hassle? Check Out This Platform for Secondhand Fashion

English Premier League: The Social Media Season

Hey Space Geeks: Help This Guy Build a Real Starship Enterprise [VIDEO]

How to Watch the SpaceX Launch Online

Which TV Shows Are Getting the Most Social Buzz During Finales Week?

Here’s last week’s Weekend Recap.

More About: Weekend recap

See the First Trailer for the Next James Bond Movie, Skyfall [VIDEO]

Posted: 21 May 2012 02:59 AM PDT

The first teaser trailer for the next James Bond movie, Skyfall, has been released.

Clocking at 1:24, the video reveals less than your usual trailer, but quite a bit more than most teasers, so it’s well worth the watch for James Bond fans.

The trailer doesn’t reveal too much from the plot, but it does show quite a bit of action, which is expected from the franchise — especially its latest installments featuring Daniel Craig as Bond.

Producers of the movie had previously revealed that in Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested, and the agent must seek and eliminate the threat that wants to destroy MI6. The movie is slated to hit the cinemas this November.

How do you like the teaser/trailer? Do you think the movie could be better than the last Bond movie, Quantum of Solace? Share your thoughts in the comments.

More About: James Bond, Skyfall, trending

For more Entertainment coverage:

Alibaba Buys Back 20 Percent Stake From Yahoo for $7.1 Billion

Posted: 21 May 2012 01:09 AM PDT


Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba has bought half of Yahoo’s stake in the company — 20 percent of Alibaba’s shares — back from Yahoo for $7.1 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo will sell half its stake in Alibaba for at least $6.3 billion in cash and up to $800 million in new Alibaba preferred stock.

Yahoo had bought a 40 percent in Alibaba for about $1 billion in 2005. Back then Yahoo was still one of the most successful internet companies around, but somewhere around that time Yahoo’s revenue stopped growing, and the company never managed to get back on the right track.

On the other hand, Alibaba has been doing great, with $2.34 billion in revenue in the year ended Sept. 30 and a projected 42 percent growth this year. The success of Facebook’s initial public offering probably encouraged Alibaba to go public, and the stock buyback is a step towards that goal.

"The transaction will establish a balanced ownership structure that enables Alibaba to take our business to the next level as a public company in the future," Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Jack Ma said in a statement.

On the other hand, the cash injection is good news for Yahoo which plans to “return substantially all of the after-tax cash proceeds to shareholders.”

In addition to the share repurchasing agreement, Yahoo and Alibaba have amended their existing technology and IP licensing agreement. Under the new terms, Alibaba will make an upfront royalty payment of US$550 million to Yahoo and continuing royalty payments for up to four years.

More About: AliBaba, trending, Yahoo

For more Business coverage:

What You Can Learn From Zynga’s Cool Company Culture [PICS]

Posted: 20 May 2012 03:30 PM PDT

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

When thinking of model places for workplace perks, the successful startups of Silicon Valley undoubtedly come to mind. And while heavy-hitters such as Google and Facebook are famous for their jaw-dropping employee amenities, up-and-coming mid-level companies are also getting in on the act.

Mashable took a tour of Zynga, a wildly popular distributor of some of the most played social and mobile games. When it comes to perks, the father of FarmVille doesn’t skimp. In fact, Zynga’s office is so loaded with perks and amenities, it would make working from home a bore.

Good Food

It’s not uncommon for tech companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to offer its employees catered lunches, but Zynga takes it further with meals cooked on-site by professional chefs. Each floor has a fully-stocked and themed kitchen, including a candy kitchen and a healthy “zen” kitchen.

Everything is prepared on-site — there’s even a pizza oven — and made with locally sourced ingredients. The company’s executive chef is Matthew DuTrumble, who was the youngest chef instructor at the California Culinary Academy and also had a show on the Food Network, Private Chefs of Beverly Hills. Want to eat some meat for lunch? The on-site butcher will take care of that in his two-floor kitchen.

If you’re more interested in keeping a good diet, there are always healthy options, including a fully loaded salad bar and freshly brewed Kombucha. The healthy options are an important perk, considering desk jobs are notorious for helping people pack on pounds.

Good Fun

In the basement, there is a lounge area packed with big screen TVs, a curved wood bar area and free beer on tap. If you’d rather unwind with a workout than an ice-cold beer, you can hit up the Zynga gym. Employees can take CrossFit classes, meet with a nutritionist or schedule a free massage.

And if you want to work and play with your canine friend, he’s more than welcome — every day is bring your dog to work day at Zynga. After all, the company is named after the CEO Mark Pincus’ late dog, Zinga.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Zynga provides hotel-like amenities to keep employees happy and retain (and attract) talent. Tech companies in particular are notorious for providing awesome on-site perks to encourage employees stay at work longer and up their productivity. Facebook offers employees a free shuttle to work, plus numerous “micro-kitchens” stocked with snacks, and a free cafeteria where employees are welcome to invite family members for lunch. Google has a golf course, basketball courts and nap pods for a mid-day snooze.

Zynga churned out six games in the first quarter of 2012, so the team is definitely working hard. Despite the long hours, the employees’ access to a spacious top-of-the-line gym, a team of chefs and all the free beer you can drink makes for quite the hook-up.

All the perks in the startup world make sense — several Gallup studies have shown a correlation between productivity and worker happiness, and Gallup estimates that organizations whose employees are not happy and engaged lose out on billions of dollars in potential revenue.

Check out the gallery of pics below to see some of the cool stuff they get to do at Zynga.

Work Life at Zynga

This staircase leads to the lounge area and the gym.

Click here to view this gallery.

What do you think about this company? Would you work here? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.

More Small Business Resources From OPEN Forum:

- Should Small Businesses Follow Everyone Back on Twitter?
- Are You Falling into the Pricing Trap?
- How to Take Your PR Pitches to the Next Level

More About: mashable, open forum, startup, Zynga

For more Business coverage:

Pakistan Blocks Twitter, Citing ‘Blasphemy’ [VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2012 03:05 PM PDT

Authorities in Pakistan blocked access to Twitter on Sunday, over mention of a contest held in 2010 asking people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad, and a corresponding Facebook page attempting to make May 20 “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.”

At first it wasn’t clear who instituted the ban, but the Washington Post reported the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mohammad Yaseen, said "this is not a simple decision, it is a high-level decision.”

The Christian Science Monitor reported the “Minister for Information Technology, Raja Pervez Ashraf, issued a blanket ban on the site inside the country, upping the pressure on Twitter as negotiations continue.”

The shutdown occurred around Noon on Sunday. Yaseen told reporters that Facebook had been cooperative in shutting down the offensive page, but they had heard no response from Twitter. A few hours later, the ban was lifted.

Are there any circumstances in which it’s appropriate for a government to censor social media sites? Tell us in the comments.

More About: censorship, Facebook, Twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

10 Delightful Nyan Cat Accessories

Posted: 20 May 2012 02:35 PM PDT

1. Nyan Cat Stickers

We're sure you won't have any problems deciding where to affix these glorious 10-inch, weather resistant, Nyan Cat stickers. Cost: $9 for three

Click here to view this gallery.

If you love Nyan Cat as much as we do here at Mashable, then we have a treat for you. We have scoured the web for the very best Pop-Tart cat-themed accessories.

From stickers to scarves, these 10 doodads will brighten your day, mainly because each features a caffeinated kitty called Nyan Cat, created by Chris Torres.

SEE ALSO: 15 Rad Robot Accessories for Your Office

Take a look through our gallery — it’s full of rainbows, sparkles and most of all, that special joy that only Nyan Cat brings. Let us know in the comments below which accessory is your favorite.

More About: accessories, Etsy, features, geek, memes, nyan-cat

Terefic Takes the Guesswork Out of Job References

Posted: 20 May 2012 02:13 PM PDT

There are so many digital tools for your job search, but what about services that give you the edge when you’re ready to close the deal? Even after you’ve found the perfect position and impressed your potential employer, there is still a major step you must take before you celebrate your new job — providing references.

Sure, you may have appeared stellar on paper and charming in person, but a potential employer is going to want a coworker or superior to corroborate your professional track record and your stated skills. And no matter how prepared you are to give the names and contact information for those who can vouch for you, it always becomes a scramble.

“For the job seekers, a reference check is a black box — you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and anything can go wrong,” says Terefic Founder and CEO Emmanuel Toutain.

Terefic wants to change that. Instead of hustling for the right contact information to give your potential employer or sending out frantic emails to everyone you’ve ever worked with to find a reference that will work, Terefic’s platform puts the timetable in your hands. Simply fill out your profile and request a reference via email from former managers, employers and coworkers. Then, your references will fill out a given list of questions from Terefic and send it back to your profile. The written references are on your profile but they remain confidential — you are only able to see a ratings system that gauges how descriptive each reference is compared to the total number you’ve stockpiled.

“We’re bringing references into the Internet age,” Toutain explains. “The employer doesn’t have to play phone-tag anymore, and the job seekers don’t risk losing the job because of a bad phone call.”

Toutain says he started Terefic when he tried unsuccessfully to help an international intern get a reference for good work at his company. With no manager willing to commit to the time constraints of providing a live voice on behalf of a former employee overseas, Toutain felt compelled to give a written reference to the intern that spoke on his performance. However, he says he was concerned that companies would be skeptical of the reference and not accept it.

“For my intern, it would have meant the world,” Toutain says. “I had a good intention, but it wasn’t very practical.”

As a result, Terefic is all about personal privacy and security for both the users and their potential employers. Toutain says that job seekers can feel good about knowing their reference information is safely handed over to potential employers, and employers can trust in Terefic for authentic references that aren’t influenced by public visibility. The service has only been around for about a month, but Toutain says that the company has experienced positive feedback from users and employers.

“For HR people, they find it beneficial — reference-checking is a painful process,” Toutain explains. “And the job seekers like the idea. A lot of people are looking for jobs and anything that can help is best to have, so the feedback and the reactions have been positive.”

Toutain says the company’s philosophy is to aid those looking to find employment, and he’s ready to tailor the service to serve that priority. He adds that his service comes before money, and that the overall goal of the company is to give job seekers an advantage over the competition.

“I sincerely believe that our site can make a positive difference for the job-seekers,” Toutain says. “A good reference can carry a lot of weight in the hiring decision.”

Would you use Terefic in your job toolbox? Let us know in the comments.

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, job search series, job seekers, mashable

For more Business coverage:

Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

Posted: 20 May 2012 01:33 PM PDT

1. Happy Mother's Day

This week started off with Mother's Day, with sons and daughters surprising Mom with gifts and visits, showering them with love. Posting this pic of her mother at age 13: young actress Chloë Moretz (@chloegmoretz, 240.000+ followers, who played in Kick-Ass and Hugo and is now featured in Dark Shadows) along with the tweet ""#HappyMothersDay mama :) you even looked chic at 13 #1971"

Click here to view this gallery.

It's been a ravishing week full of photogenic events, and photo sharing appears to be more popular than ever: We collected and analyzed a record number of 56 million pictures posted to Twitter over the last seven days.

This week's imagery on Twitter consisted of an impressive variety of topics, dominated by notable events and people, humor, and stunning photography.

SEE MORE: Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

We couldn’t have done this without the expert assistance from Skylines, whose custom algorithm separates the wheat from the chaff at lightning speed. Leading the way for this weekly roundup is the illustrious Skylines writer and analyst Julie Donders (@IkbenJulie), who makes sense of these pics with her context-rich captions.

So take a look at the crème de la crème of Twitter photography, offering insight in the subjects that dominated the worldwide conversation on Twitter throughout the week.

More About: Top 10 Twitter Pics, trending

Apple Goes After Samsung Galaxy Tab in Court [VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2012 12:51 PM PDT

Apple filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Friday. The district court will determine if the Galaxy Tablet violates Apple’s iPad patent. If a recent ruling favoring Apple can tell us anything, it’s that the court may rule in favor of the iPad-designing company. The ruling allowed Apple to continue to block U.S. sales of Samsung’s tablet.

Or perhaps the court ruling will end like the Galaxy 10.1 ruling in Germany where a court decided the tablet was different enough from the iPad to not violate the patent.

Foss Patents provided an analysis regarding the U.S. injunction: “U.S. preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 won’t be devastating for Samsung’s business. It will basically be an embarrassment and it may have some temporary effects on the company’s related revenues."

On Monday, CEOs from Apple and Samsung and their chief lawyers will meet for court-moderated settlement talks in San Francisco. But is this meeting really worth Tim Cook’s time? In the fourth quarter of 2011, the iPad claimed 54.7 percent of the tablet market share. However, that number is down from earlier in 2011.

Do you think Apple has reason for concern? Tell us in the comments.

More About: apple, Galaxy Tablet, samsung

For more Dev & Design coverage:

Ecommerce in China: How the World’s Biggest Market Buys Online

Posted: 20 May 2012 12:27 PM PDT

China is poised to become the biggest online marketplace in the world within the next few years, according to multiple estimates.

Online retail generated $121 billion in sales in China last year, up 66% from 2010, according to Barclays Capital. The size of China’s ecommerce market is expected to more than triple over the next three years, with sales reaching $420 billion by 2015. That’s 20% more than what the U.S.’s ecommerce market is forecast to bring in that year.

China has an estimated 193 million online shoppers, more than any other country. By 2015, those consumers will be spending $1,000 per year online — the same amount that U.S.’s 170 million online shoppers currently spend annually. By that time, ecommerce could account for more than 8% of all retail sales in China, Boston Consulting Group predicts.

A number of factors are driving the growth. One is the increase of China’s middle class, which is expected to balloon from 200 million to 800 million people over the next 20 years, according to Acquity Group. The spread of government-subsidized, high-speed Internet access and Internet-connected cellphones have widened the pool of potential shoppers to 513 million — or about 40% of the population. Broadband Internet access costs around $10 per month, compared to $30 per month in India and $27 per month in Brazil.

Shipping prices and reliability have also been improved, particularly in urban coastal cities: Shipping costs Chinese corporations about a sixth of what their American counterparts pay, according to BCG. Impressively, China’s major online marketplace, Alibaba-owned Taobao, is estimated to account for half of all packages shipped in China.

People in China shop online for three main reasons, according to an Acquity Group survey conducted among 1,000 people across roughly 150 cities last year. One, greater product selection. (A separate survey by BCG found that a quarter of Chinese shoppers buy online because they can’t get the products they want at brick-and-mortar stores.) Two, the ability to compare prices across vendors: 65% of respondents said they compared retailers before making a purchase. Three, convenience.

Still, ecommerce is a young industry in China. Although more people are shopping online in China as the U.S., penetration is much lower, relative to the population; only 14% of China’s 1.3 billion residents shop online, compared to about 54% in the U.S. Chinese shoppers are also gravitating towards lower-priced items.

What’s holding them back? Trust appears to be the primary issue. As was the case with other markets, including the U.S., the early days of online shopping in China have been plagued by credit card fraud and counterfeit goods — some of which are swapped out for genuine articles during shipment. These two issues have been addressed, in part, by the introduction of PayPal-like payment services, including Alibaba-owned Alipay, which allows users to make purchases without sharing their credit card details with individual vendors. As an extra security measure, Alipay only transfers payments to vendors after clients have received and expressed satisfaction with their goods.

Poor return policies are also thwarting growth. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in Acquity’s study complained that it wasn’t easy to return goods to online stores.

And although shipping infrastructure is improving in China, it still has a long way to go, particularly outside major cities. “Literally thousands of Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities do not have the logistics or supply chains to make products easily available locally," Simon Cousins, CEO of public relations firm Illuminant, told Fast Company.

Apparel is the most popular buying category, making up roughly half of all online sales in China. (By comparison, apparel makes up about a fifth of online retail sales in the U.S.) And while sales of physical goods are increasing quickly, digital content is growing at a slower rate, making up about one-third of all online sales, says BCG.

The Major Players

The three big Internet companies in China are Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, which dominate three different categories of the market: ecommerce, search and messaging, respectively.

The vast majority of online transactions in China — 85% as of 2009 — take place between consumers, according to AK Kearney’s estimates. Approximately 90% of those transactions are executed on Alibaba-owned Taobao, frequently described as the “eBay of China.”

Like eBay, users on Taobao can purchase and sell new and used goods at fixed or negotiated prices, as well as through auction-style listings. Unlike eBay, most goods are new, and there are no listing or transaction fees — the majority of Taobao’s revenue comes from advertising. Next year, the company will bring in $716 million in pre-tax earnings and will be worth $14.3 billion, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs.

Business-to-consumer retail is quickly gaining steam online, however: AK Kearney estimates that B2C transactions will make up 40% of the market by 2015.

About half of B2C transactions currently take place on Taobao Mall, or Tmall, another Alibaba property. There, 50,000 merchants and 200,000 brands, including major western brands like Nike and Gap, have already set up shop. Unlike Taobao, Tmall charges businesses fees for transactions. An estimated $16 billion in sales was generated on Tmall in 2011, a figure BCG expects will double this year.

Together, Taobao and Tmall were responsible for 81% of online transactions by dollar amount in 2010. Forty-eight thousand products were sold per minute on Taobao that year, more than the number sold by China’s top five brick-and-mortar retailers combined.

More than 60% of buyers on Taobao and Tmall pay for their transactions using Alipay, a payment system comparable to PayPal. Twenty percent of transactions on B2C sites are also paid for using Alipay.

Other players in the space include, a multibrand retailer often described as the online, Chinese equivalent of Best Buy. It is the second largest B2C site in China, generating around $5 billion in sales in 2011. Individual brands are also setting up shop to sell directly to consumers.

Social Media’s Role

Because Chinese consumers distrust advertising and news sources, recommendations from online reviewers and peers on social networks have heightened roles.

Ninety-five percent of Internet users living in Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities in China are registered on at least one social media site, according to a study released by McKinsey in April. They’re active, too: 91% of the survey’s 5,700 respondents said they had visited a social media site in the previous six months, compared to 67% in the U.S. and 30% in Japan. They spend 46 minutes per day on social media sites, compared to 37 minutes in the U.S. and seven minutes in Japan.

More than 40% of online shoppers in China consume and post product reviews online — about double the percentage of online shoppers in the U.S., according to BCG.

Why the distrust of advertising? “Advertising is associated with [government] propaganda,” Calvin Soh, a former chief creative officer of Publicis Asia, told me in a conversation at Asia’s Fashion Summit in Singapore this week. “Social media is the people.”

In terms of volume of users, MySpace-like Qzone leads with 536 million, followed by microblogging platforms Tencent Weibo (310 million) and Sina Weibo (250 million), according to a November 2011 report from we are social. Renren, a Facebook-like site particularly popular among students, has 137 million users. Kaixin, another Facebook-like site popular especially among white collar office workers, has 116 million. Demographics vary among networks: Consumers who identify Sina Weibo as their favorite site tend to have higher incomes and are more likely to live in Tier 1 cities, McKinsey finds.

McKinsey believes that social media has a greater influence on purchasing decisions for consumers in China than for anywhere else in the world. “People rely more on word-of-mouth from friends, family and key opinion leaders, many of whom share information on social media,” the study reads.

But many companies in China have yet to leverage social media properly, McKinsey says. There’s a lack of familiarity with online social platforms at the executive level. Many companies are also failing to mine consumer insight data from these platforms — and many who are have yet to act on the information they’ve gathered.

International Entry

Given the growth projections for China’s retail market, it’s no surprise that foreign brands are increasingly upping their investments in the region. Investment began in earnest in the 1980s, when sports apparel brands like Nike and Adidas, luxury and accessory giants such as LVMH, and fast food franchises including Yum! Brands (and later, in 1990, McDonalds) began moving into the region.

At the time, real estate in Tier 1 cities was comparatively cheap, and foreign brands established themselves through aggressive brick-and-mortar expansion, says Maureen Mullen, head of research and advisory services at L2. Nike, for instance, now has more than 6,000 stores in China.

In a report on fashion and China, BCG describes China’s consumer markets in the ’80s as “unsophisticated, yet eager,” one “hungry for highly recognizable brands.” Sportswear brands did particularly well because they complimented “the low-key wardrobe needs of consumers at a time when there were very few occasions that required more fashionable apparel.” By 2008, between 20% and 25% of the average Chinese consumer's wardrobe was composed of sportswear by dollar amount.

Foreign luxury brands have also fared well, particularly apparel, accessories, beauty and auto brands, as well as watchmakers. These categories are favored in China as channels for conspicuous consumption. “People don’t have homes to invest in in the China; homes are small, not spaces to invite your friends and display your wealth,” Julie Harris, global managing director of trend forecasting agency WGSN, tells Mashable. “As a result, conspicuous consumption manifests itself in what they wear.”

Mid-range brands like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch have had a tougher time in China. The former, for instance, has only about 15 stores in the country. “There is not a clear ground for mid-range brands to stand,” says Angelia Teo, content director of WGSN’s Asia-Pacific region. “China understands luxury and heritage, it understands best-in-class product, it understands value,” she says. Brands that simply do a look well, like Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister, are not as appealing. You have to be cheap, or “you have to offer craft or technique or a unique point-of-view,” she explains.

What’s Next

Mullen says it’s increasingly important for Chinese companies to focus on ecommerce, whether they’re established international conglomerates or young retail startups. “If you look at wealth creation in China, 75% is expected to come from some 200 Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. To build out an aggressive brick-and-mortar presence would be a huge challenge, at this point.”

Those investments might not pay off in the short-term, says Mullen, but that will change as the online retail market grows.

One thing’s for sure: China’s ecommerce market is certainly a very different beast than the U.S.’s.

Images courtesy of Flickr, Kent Wang, Robert Ennals

More About: Business, china, ecommerce, economy, fashion, features, luxury, retail, trending

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5 Fascinating Things We Learned From Reddit This Week

Posted: 20 May 2012 11:35 AM PDT

1. What Your PC Is Doing During Shutdown

This in-depth explanation of what the computer does when it shuts down is fascinating. For many in the tech world, this may seem like a no-brainer, but there are a lot of people who may believe the PC simply turns off and remains dead until the user turns the power back on. The discussion leads to why hard reboots and stopping software installations half-way are not good for your computer -- something basic users might not realize. Originally, the user posted his question on Google, but could only find information on viruses. Image courtesy of David Masters

Click here to view this gallery.

Reddit often gets a lot of flack. Under all of the chatter, upcoming memes and viral videos, there are tons of conversations that share at least one new, interesting fact every day.

The web is moving past the stigma that crowdsourced sites like Wikipedia are unreliable. On Reddit, as it is with any source, users know that every fact must be carefully scrutinized. But Reddit is getting more credible every day.

There are educated conversations happening with professionals in technology, fashion, medicine, science, history and pop culture — among other fields. Even celebrities and professionals are taking to the platform to hold casual interviews with its users, because let’s face it, these are some of the smartest people who see through the crap on the Internet.

We’ve gathered five interesting facts you may, or may not, have already known that came from a discussion on Reddit.

More About: computer, fact, fashion, features, reddit, Science, TED, trending, water

Microsoft Launches So.Cl Network Amid Facebook Hubbub

Posted: 20 May 2012 11:11 AM PDT

Microsoft’s So.Cl quietly launched out of beta.

The social website was tested by a handful of students at select universities since late last year. The site combines search and sharing for research purposes — making students the perfect group for testing the site.

It’s similar to Pinterest in that users can create boards. And just like the early days of Facebook, the network is only for college students right now.

Pronounced “social,” the site was developed by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs to encourage collaboration and enhance social search for learning purposes. In a report from December 2011, Microsoft asserted the site is not meant to compete with Facebook or search engines, but to allow students to share materials for academic purposes.

“We expect students to continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other existing social networks, as well as Bing, Google and other search tools,” So.Cl noted in its “About” section. “We hope to encourage students to reimagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved, by researching, learning and sharing in their everyday lives.”

Would you like to use So.Cl? Tell us in the comments.

More About: microsoft,, social network

For more Social Media coverage:

Facebook Has Gone Public in More Ways Than You Might Think

Posted: 20 May 2012 10:49 AM PDT

Facebook ipo Ticker symbol FB

Facebook has just become a publicly traded company — and almost all its privacy settings are being switched to “public,” too, in a trade-off Facebook is making for access to the stock market and potential windfall profits for its biggest shareholders.

As a private company, Facebook was free to keep plenty of secrets from the general public. It could hide away, for example, how much money CEO Mark Zuckerberg took home in annual pay ($1.5 million in 2011) or the intriguing details of the Instragram acquisition — both of which have become known only from the company’s S-1 filing.

Now that Facebook’s selling stock to the general public, it’s going to have to report to the federal government’s agency for regulating public companies: the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Facebook will have to give the SEC three different kinds of reports: one quarterly, one annually, and one every three years.

The reports, which all publicly traded companies must submit, are designed to ensure that Facebook isn’t violating any federal securities laws. They’ll include anything that could have an impact on future business operations, such as advertising sales or business uncertainties. All of Facebook’s reports to the SEC will become a matter of public record, instantly available on the agency’s website for the whole world to read (and, perhaps, share on Facebook).

Professor James D. Cox, professor of law at Duke University, said those reports will give outside observers a look at Facebook’s inner workings that wasn’t possible while the company remained private — and Facebook might find that attention uncomfortable.

“Those reports could reveal some important proprietary information,” said James D. Cox, professor of law at Duke University. “Companies feel a lot more nimble not being in a fishbowl, now Facebook’s going to be in a fishbowl. Facebook is really stepping into a regulatory ball of wax.”

Todd Henderson, professor of law at The University of Chicago’s Law School, agreed that Facebook might find the increased scrutiny unpleasant.

“Facebook is going to have to make enormous disclosures about its business,” said Henderson. “It’s going to be under much more scrutiny. They now have to reveal information about their business model, where revenue comes from, who sits on the board of directors, how much stock they have, how they’re compensated — that’s all information that Facebook would rather not share. Transparency brings with it increased scrutiny.”

“Sometimes those disclosures can be quite embarrassing, as they recently were for Yahoo,” added Henderson, referencing the departure of Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson amid controversy over a falsified academic record.

SEE ALSO: Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Officially Steps Down

James J. Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, had yet another metaphor — and a word of cautionary advice for Facebook about insider trading.

“When you go public, it’s like taking the curtains off your windows,” said Angel. “And if you don’t do that, you can really be in trouble.”

According to Angel, anything the now-public Facebook does that could affect financial statements will become a matter of public record, accessible by journalists, lawyers and the social network’s competition. Angel believes Facebook will be watched very closely by regulators because of the size of its initial public offering — approximately $100 billion — and because of its worldwide notoriety.

“The SEC will look very closely at insider trading around big price-moving announcements that Facebook makes,” said Angel. “I would expect the company to have internal warnings in place saying, ‘this is when you can trade, this is when you can’t.’ This is one of the areas in which the SEC is fairly efficient in tracking down bad guys. If a Facebook insider sells stock the day before bad news comes out, you better expect an unpleasant call with the SEC.”

“And even if they don’t haul you off to jail, the legal costs are momentous,” added Angel.

Do you think the forced transparency is a worthwhile tradeoff for Facebook being allowed to sell stock on the public market? Sound off in the comments below.

Anonymous Hackers Claim to Take Down Chicago Police Website

Posted: 20 May 2012 10:19 AM PDT

The Chicago Police Department website is down, and “hactivists” from the group Anonymous are taking credit. It’s part of a protest in Chicago against the NATO summit, where U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting with world leaders.

Activists are protesting NATO’s policies, holding signs such as “War (equals) Debt,” and “NATO, Go Home.” Members of the hacker group Anonymous, calling themselves “AntiS3curityOPS,” posted a video on YouTube with an ominous message to the Chicago Police Department, but that video has since been made private. We added a full transcript of the video to the bottom of this post.

In the bold video manifesto, the group responded to what it perceived as police brutality against the protesters on Saturday night, and vowed to take action:

“We are actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Department, and encourage anyone to take up the cause and use the AntiS3curityOPS Anonymous banner. For those able, should be fired upon as much as possible. We are in your harbor Chicago, and you will not forget us.”

Police are investigating the possible hacking of the city of Chicago’s website, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Law enforcement officials told the AP late Saturday they planned to arrest people committing violent acts. Said police superintendent Garry McCarthy, “If anything else happens, the plan is to go in and get the people who create the violent acts, take them out of the crowd and arrest them. We’re not going to charge the crowd wholesale — that’s the bottom line.”

At press time, the site, was still inaccessible. According to Cyber War News, the Anonymous group also claimed to have taken the NATO website offline, but it was accessible early Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a transcript from the Anonymous video that has since been removed from YouTube:

Greetings fellow citizens of the world. We are AntiS3curityOPS.

While this has come to no surprise, the NATO protests are already reaching a boiling point. As tonight we have already witnessed the Chicago Police Dept sending out a request for two water cannons deployed on Michigan Avenue, which the protesters briefly were able to close off the street completely. Just a few moments ago we witnessed cops on horses seemingly all too content with the destiny that has turned their hearts cold, trampling over protesters trying to intimidate. And you know what we saw during this? Protesters locking arms and holding their ground. A few had Anonymous masks on, a few were girls who looked like they belonged safely off on the sidelines bravely charging cops with shields and on horse. All the while the protesters are chanting "Take those animals off those horses," drowning out any attempts by the Chicago police to get a word in. Everyone of you are heros to us.

What we saw tonight watching a bit of the protest was everyday, average people fighting back and finally refusing to stand down. The NATO Summit is being utilized in such a way, and we couldn't have predicted it more accurately. On the video we saw mothers, teenagers, elderly, the anarchists, white, black, Hispanic — this movement sees no skin color. Every sort of person is well represented in these actions.

This is not a time to have our differences divide us; this is a time we all need to come together and rally around our brothers and sisters bravely in the streets of Chicago risking their lives to make the one voice they have, heard. If every single one of us has a voice, one opinion, let us unite and show the violent Chicago police, and the government big brother tactics that we are not going to take this.

We are actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Deptartment, and encourage anyone to take up the cause and use the AntiS3curityOPS Anonymous banner. For those able, should be fired upon as much as possible. We are in your harbor Chicago, and you will not forget us.

So for those unable to engage in attacks online by ddos, share with everyone you know what's presently going on in Chicago, Tweet celebrities on twitter with the #SolidarityWithChicago #FuckNATO #FTP hashtags and get it trending. Also keep watching the live feeds, and spreading the live feed links all relevant places. Together, we the people, are going to take the power back.
We are AntiS3curityOPS.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forget.
We do not forgive.
Chicago Police Department, expect us.

Images courtesy of Flickr, gaelx

More About: anonymous, hacking, protests

Who is Zuckerberg’s Bride, Priscilla Chan? [PICS]

Posted: 20 May 2012 09:53 AM PDT

The Facebook founder married his girlfriend of nine years on Saturday, May 19, just one day after the the company’s stock went public.

On Sunday, the interwebs were asking “who is the woman now married to the 28-year-old billionaire?” Her Facebook profile provides some details: Chan was born in Braintree, Massachusetts and graduated from Quincy High School in 2003. Chan graduated from Harvard in 2007 with a degree in biology. It was at Harvard where she met Mark. She worked as a fourth- and fifth-grade science teacher for about a year, from 2007-2008, until she left to pursue a graduate degree at University of California, San Francisco to become a doctor. She graduated last week, and that’s what the pleasantly surprised wedding guests thought they were celebrating.

Take a look at the reactions to news of the wedding from those in the Twitterverse:

Mark and Priscilla

Photo courtesy Facebook/Priscilla Chan

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Facebook, mark zuckerberg, trending

5 Smart Companies Using Tech For Good

Posted: 20 May 2012 09:14 AM 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.

By harnessing the power of the web and digital technology, these organizations help children with autism communicate, match volunteers to their perfect charity and fund classrooms all over the country. 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. Keepon

Big Idea: Keepon is a little robot developed in Japan that is used to research childhood communication and interaction. The consumer version, MyKeepon, funds the construction and distribution of Keepons to labs around the globe.

Why It’s Working: Keepon’s simple design and mannerisms make it an effective communication tool that doesn’t intimidate kids with autism. Also, its cuteness factor is nothing short of infectious.

Read the full story here.

2. Donors Choose

Big Idea: Donors Choose is an educational charity that allows donors to choose to fund a variety of classroom projects and materials.

Why It’s Working: With more than $116 million raised and 6 million kids helped in classrooms all over the country, Donors Choose has been increasing its impact and surpassing funding records every year since it went live in 2003.

Read the full story and see the video here.

3. Social Reality

Big Idea: Social Reality is an app developer that integrates philanthropy and gaming into brands’ social media strategies.

Why It’s Working: The app network blends gaming and social good to create viral digital engagement programs as part of a brand’s social strategy. Its network of social apps reaches more than 300 million visitors each month.

Read the full story here.

4. Idealist

Big Idea: Idealist is a platform that helps connect non-profits and charities with volunteers, interns and employees.

Why It’s Working: With more than one million registered users, Idealist is a conduit for those interested in working at non-profits or charities to find a job with purpose. It’s also a win for non-profits and charities, which benefit from visibility and resources found on Idealist’s website.

Read the full story and see the video here.

5. Raspberry Pi

Big Idea: Raspberry Pi is a small, lightweight computer that runs on Linux and costs next to nothing — the Model A retails at $35, while the forthcoming Model B will be priced at $25.

Why It’s Working: By far the cheapest computer on the market, the creator of Raspberry Pi hopes to get the gadget in the hands of children 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, trending, World at Work

Ca$h Cats: Tumblr’s 20 Funniest Filthy Rich Felines

Posted: 20 May 2012 08:10 AM PDT

"My best guess: The owner and cat have robbed a bank, and are hiding out in a cheap motel. The cat is requesting premium, tuna-based snacks."

Click here to view this gallery.

The Internet’s love affair with the feline species continues to gain steam. Now, people are seeking more extreme ways to get their cat kicks online.

Enter Ca$, a Tumblr blog that consists of reader-submitted photographs of cats with cash. We asked Will Zweigart, the site’s creator, what inspired him to curate such content.

“The internet is overcrowded with cats,” Zweigart told Mashable. “I wanted to create an exclusive VIP room for high net worth felines from around the world — a premium lifestyle destination showcasing how the ‘one purrcent’ really live.”

SEE ALSO: 12 Funniest ‘Animals Being Dicks’ [GIFS]

To celebrate this concept, we’ve asked Zweigart to collect his favorite submissions. Take a look through the gallery above for Zweigart’s picks, complete with his commentary. Let us know in the comments below if cats + cash = awesome for you, too!

More About: animals, cats, features, humor, photography, tumblr

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