Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Social Site Nextdoor Wants to Connect You With Your Neighbors”

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Social Site Nextdoor Wants to Connect You With Your Neighbors”

Social Site Nextdoor Wants to Connect You With Your Neighbors

Posted: 24 Jul 2012 04:47 AM PDT

This is the neighborhood picnic of the digital age. With neighborhood social network, Nextdoor, communities can stay up-to-date with everything from crime, activities and even ask the neighborhood if they can borrow the proverbial cup of sugar.

Nextdoor announced on Tuesday that it just closed a new round of funding with existing and new funders: Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners and Shasta Ventures, among others, to the tune of $18.6 million.

Nextdoor's CEO and Co-founder, Nirav Tolia, tells Mashable he plans to put the funding toward expanding their 32 person workforce and pushing Nextdoor out to new neighborhoods.

Already more than 3,600 neighborhoods in 48 st…
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More About: NextDoor, social network

Viber Gets Group Messaging and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Posted: 24 Jul 2012 04:14 AM PDT

Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories.

Viber Gets Group Messaging, Hits 90 Million Users

Mobile messaging application Viber has released version 2.2, introducing group messaging as well as improved call quality and several user interface enhancements.

The company also said it has reached 90 million users, with users making over 1.5 billion minutes of calls each month. This is a jump of 20 million users in just over two months.

Apple Wins One, Loses One in Patent Battle With Samsung

Apple has won a prelimin…
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More About: Asus, Transformer Pad Infinity, Viber, features, first to know series, mashable

Google Doodle Celebrates Amelia Earhart’s 115th Birthday

Posted: 24 Jul 2012 03:00 AM PDT

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 115th birthday of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

Earhart was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic ocean, one year after Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927.

She repeated that feat in 1932, and in 1935 became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California.

Earhart disappeared during her round-the-world flight in 1937, never to be found. Though recent efforts tried to solve the mystery of Earhart's disappearance, her fate still remains unknown.

BONUS: Here are some of our favorite animated Google Doodles.

More About: Amelia Earhart, Google, google doodle

New Siri Ad Features Martin Scorsese [VIDEO]

Posted: 24 Jul 2012 02:28 AM PDT

The latest ad for iPhone's talkative AI assistant Siri features film director Martin Scorsese, who is using it to schedule appointments while trying to get through the morning traffic.

"I like you, Siri. You're going places," says Scorsese to Siri at the end of the video. "I'll try to remember that," answers Siri.

This is Apple's fifth "celebrity" video ad for Siri. Previous ads had John Malkovich, Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel starring in them.

How do you like the new ad? Share your opinions in the comments.

More About: apple, martin scorsese, siri

25+ Crazy iPhone Cases You Can Buy in New York

Posted: 24 Jul 2012 12:30 AM PDT

1. Angry Bird Rhinestones

Just imagine playing Angry Birds with this on your case. So hardcore.

Click here to view this gallery.

Are you in need of a new iPhone case?

You'll no doubt want to swing over to the New World Mall in Flushing, Queens, NY. Several stores feature bold collections of mobile accessories -- and bold might be an understatement.

SEE ALSO: 10 iPhone Cases You'll Never Fit in Your Pocket

They may not be the most practical cases in the world. They're certainly not going to float in water. But they'll definitely catch the attention of passersby.

See any you like? Let us know your favorite in the comments.

More About: Mobile, accessories, features, iphone, iphone cases, trending

The iRobot Doc Will See You Now: Roomba Maker Enters the ER

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 09:02 PM PDT

Some of us complain their doctors are too stiff, lack warmth and are too robotic. But calling such doctors "robots" may be a disservice to RP-Vita -- the latest telepresence, healthcare bot from InTouch Health and iRobot.

RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant), unveiled this week at the Clinical Innovations Forum in Santa Barbara, is a remote-controlled telepresence robot that combines InTouch's "telemedicine" technology and the autonomous navigation innovations introduced in iRobots' AVA robot at CES in 2011.

iRobot, which also makes the popular Roomba robot home vacuum, made a $6 million investment in InTouch in January of this year.

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More About: irobot, robots, trending

Pigeons to Present: The Evolution of Olympic Communication [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 08:36 PM PDT

We recently took a look at how the exponential growth of social media since the last Summer Olympics in 2008 will reshape this year's Games in profound ways. But tracing the evolution of Olympic communication back more than 2,000 years proves just as fascinating.

Forget livestreams, score alerts and Twitter -- back in the day, Olympic results were delivered by homing pigeon. Then the advent of the "modern" Games in 1896 came during the same year as the introduction of the wireless telegraph. The first Olympic radio broadcast came more than a quarter century later, in 1924, and 1936 saw (get it?) the first live telecast. In 1960, the Games were broadcast worldwide for the first time ever.…
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More About: Sports, infographics, olympics

Mitt Romney Sees Sudden Unexplained Spike in Twitter Followers

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 08:15 PM PDT

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Twitter account saw two sudden and massive spikes in new followers over the weekend.

The spikes were first noticed by Zach Green of, a blog which monitors Twitter trends relating to the 2012 presidential election.

According to Green's data, Romney "was gaining around 3000-4000 new followers per day for the past month," then his account suddenly got 23,926 new followers on Friday, 93,054 on Saturday and 25,432 on Sunday:

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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney, Politics, Social Media, Twitter, US

Meet the Food Discovery Site for Foodies ‘Frustrated With Yelp’

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 07:59 PM PDT

If you don't have celebrity chef or food blogger friend showing you the tastiest spots to dine, your best bet is to turn to Taste Savant.

More About: Social Media, bizspark, foodie, restaurants, social networking, yelp

5 Apps to Replace Your Music Studio

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 07:33 PM PDT

Looking to write, record, and collaborate on music with people all over the world? Look no further than the palm of your hand.

There are a number of professional-quality digital audio workstations now available for the iPhone and iPad that bring big-studio functionality and social collaboration into the convenience of iOS.

From rockers to R&B singers and every genre in between, here are five apps that you can use to create a full album without ever touching a computer.

More About: contributor, features, iOS, mobile apps

iPods Profound Impact on the Lives of People With Memory Loss

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 07:11 PM PDT

Ask anyone, and they'll tell you the iPod has changed the music industry. What they may not tell you is the more obscure, yet similarly profound, impact it's having on the lives of the elderly suffering from dementia.

Experimentation with iPods and memory began when Dan Cohen, a social worker from Long Island, N.Y., distributed 200 iPods to four local nursing homes in 2008.

"I knew music was the number one activity in nursing homes, so I asked if we could see if there would be any added value if we personalized it," Cohen told Mashable.

When Cohen played songs patients listened to when they were younger, he observed residents become increasingly social, active and happy. In t…
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More About: Social Good, disabilities, ipod, lifestyle

‘Text From Dog’ Tumblr Blog Inks Book Deal

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 06:09 PM PDT

Tumblr blog Text From Dog, which publishes fictitious SMS conversations between a dog and its owner, is the latest web entity to land a book deal.

U.K. publisher Headline Publishing announced Monday it would release the book Oct. 25.

The blog launched in April with a brief description: "My dog sends me texts. I post them here. Yeah, it's weird."

Text From Dog creator October Jones, whose dog is named Cooper, expressed his excitement on Twitter:

WOOF RT @thebookseller Headline to publish Texts From Dog: Headline has acquired a new humour title, Texts...— October Jones (@OctoberJones) July 23, 2012

Other blogs have found success entering the book market. D
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More About: BLOGS, Entertainment, animals, books, dogs, humor, parody, tumblr

Music Monday: Go Back in Time With These Tunes

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 05:33 PM PDT

For this Music Monday, we're stepping back in time. Whether it's back to our high school proms or cruising down the road in our very first cars, we can't help but reminisce when we hear certain songs.

In honor of that feeling, we put together a Spotify playlist of our own personal nostalgia tunes. These are the songs that instantly transport us to another part of our lives.

Some of the songs in this playlist are older than others, but each one transport us to a different era in our lives. We can't relive the past (and don't entirely want to), but these songs allow us to call up some memorable moments.

From the 1960s to the early 2000s, these songs cover a range of genres and…
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More About: Music, music monday, spotify

Indie Author: ‘Who Knew Jack Daniel’s Was Full of Sweethearts’

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 04:58 PM PDT

A day after his story about receiving the nicest cease-and-desist letter we've ever seen went viral, Patrick Wensink's book, Broken Piano For President is climbing Amazon's book charts.

The book -- which is a about a man who is far more productive when he is drunk than when sober -- is currently #40 on Amazon's best-sellers list. It's the top selling book in satire and the fifth best-selling book in humor.

For Wensink, the success is utterly unexpected. The source of his success -- that now famous letter from the Jack Daniel's -- was also a surprise.

"I was on vacation when the letter arrived," Wensink told Mashable. "I was drinking whiskey actually, though not JD b…
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More About: broken piano for president, jack daniel's, trademark

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Now $99, But Why?

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 03:53 PM PDT

Verizon has dropped the price of the Galaxy Nexus to just $99 with a new two-year contract, down from $299 when it launched on the carrier in December.

Traditionally, cell phone manufacturers and carriers put their own software on top of the Android operating system before shipping phones out to consumers. The Galaxy Nexus is currently the only phone on the market running pure Android, a feature that allows it to get updates faster than other Android smartphones.

Spec-wise, the phone has a 4.65" HD Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM. The phone is also the first to be able to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean; however, the newest version of Android has current…
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More About: Google, Verixon, android, galaxy nexus, trending

How Iran Silences Its Citizens on the Web

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 03:24 PM PDT

Imagine you live in a country where there is heavily restricted access to the Internet. Websites deemed objectionable are blocked. Even when government censors don't directly vet content, writers practice a high degree of self censorship. The few publications that deviate from this standard are regularly shut down, and those responsible for producing them face potentially serious legal repercussions.

This is the daily reality for citizens of Iran, where access to the Internet has been limited since the presidential elections in 2009, when Twitter and YouTube users informed the world about what was happening on the ground in Tehran. As the government in Iran faces increasing externa…
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More About: Social Media, contributor, features, iran

Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space, Dies

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 02:54 PM PDT

Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died Monday in La Jolla, Calif. after a 17-month fight with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

Ride made history when she became the first woman from the U.S. to reach orbit aboard Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. She was 32 at the time, and for a while was also the youngest American to ever travel to space.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism -- and literally changed the face of America's space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired.…
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More About: NASA, Sally Ride, trending

Watch ‘Step Up Revolution’ Fans Show Off Moves in Virtual Flash Mob

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 02:04 PM PDT

When Summit Entertainment was looking for a way to hyper engage fans of the Step Up franchise for the upcoming Step Up Revolution, the studio turned to Twitter.

The goal was to create a virtual flash mob organized via the social networking site of fans from all over the world dancing to Timbaland's "Hands in the Air." Fans were asked to record themselves performing one of four choreographed routines and then tweet the link with the hashtag #StepUpMob.

As a result, more than 300 dancers from 25 countries participated in the virtual music video, which the studio released on Monday.

Summit told Mashable that the goal with the Twitter flash mob was "showcase the original music f…
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More About: flash mobs, music videos, step up, step up revolution

WWE Looks to Build on Social Success With 1000th ‘Raw’ Episode

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 01:45 PM PDT

Already a titan of the sports and entertainment social media space, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) says it's ready to begin a new era of even more fan engagement and interactivity with the 1,000th episode of its signature program, Raw, on Monday night.

The program will introduce the #RAWactive social initiative, incorporating platforms including Twitter, Tout, Shazam, Instagram and Facebook for fans to converse with wrestlers and one another during the show as well as help control outcomes and storylines.

Fans will be able to submit videos and photos for a chance to see their posts broadcast on live TV. Fan input via social media will also be used to determine things such as futu…
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More About: Social Media, Sports, Twitter, instagram, tout

Google Earth Adds Timelapse Videos of Earth Taken From Over 40 Years

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 01:25 PM PDT

Google announced on Monday it is celebrating the 40-year anniversary of NASA's Landsat satellites that have been continuously circling the Earth and collecting data about its surface by making its images available on Google Earth.

Images of the Earth taken by Landsat satellites, which have been orbiting the globe every 16 days since July 1972, are now available in the form of timelapse videos. Google said it has been working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Carnegie Mellon University to bring the image collection online.

"With them you can travel through time, from 1999-2011, to see the transformation of our planet -- whether it's deforestation in the Amazon, urban grow…
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More About: Google, google earth, space

Disabled Veteran’s YouTube Complaint Against United Airlines Goes Viral

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 01:13 PM PDT

United Airlines, the subject of a hugely successful YouTube campaign by a disgruntled customer in 2009, is once again the focus of a viral YouTube complaint, this time by a disabled veteran.

Jim Stanek, a disabled veteran and the co-founder of Paws and Stripes, complains that his service dog Sarge was kicked twice and he was called "retarded" during a three-day layover at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., starting July 16, Stanek, a three-tour Iraq veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, recounts his alleged ill treatment by United in the 18-minute video above. In addition to being held over for three days and running low on fo…
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More About: YouTube, united airlines

Mariah Carey Joins ‘American Idol’ as Judge

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 01:01 PM PDT

Down two judges after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler quit this month, American Idol has found its first replacement: five-time Grammy winner Mariah Carey.

Carey, who has more number one Billboard singles (18) than any solo artist in history, will join the veteran TV competition as a judge, Fox announced Monday.

The global pop artist has already appeared on the show as a guest mentor and performer, but now she'll appear every episode when the show starts up again in 2013.

"Mariah Carey is the real deal," Fox's Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, said in a statement. "Not only is she one of the best-selling artists and performers on the planet an…
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More About: Entertainment, TV, american idol, celebrities, mariah carey, social tv

After Viral Fame, Homeless Musician Asks Internet to Fund Album

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 12:36 PM PDT

Daniel "Homeless" Mustard needs $15,000 in spare change.

The musician, whose cover of Radiohead's "Creep" went viral in 2009 when he was homeless, is asking for money to fund an album. Mustard no longer lives on New York City street or in parks, having found temporary housing at homeless shelters and Internet access to mingle with fans at Apple stores.

"When you are homeless you usually have lost some sort of your will to live," Mustard tells Mashable. "A big part of me getting my shit together has been getting that back.

"And in a big way, getting exposure from the 'Creep' video (listen below) and all the support I've gotten on social media, and the making of the new record, h…
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More About: Entertainment, Music, kickstarter, viral videos

Get a Room: 9 Intimate Apps for Couples

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 12:21 PM PDT

1. Feel Me

Feel Me is an iOS app that gives couples live connections over the phone. In real-time, the app shows you where the other person is touching his or her iPhone. When both parties touch the same spot, the area lights up and vibrates. The app is perfect for long-distance couples and duos who don't see each other often. Sign up to learn when Feel Me becomes available.

Click here to view this gallery.

Apps built for two provide private spaces for couples to share messages, photos and videos -- without bombarding friends' walls or news feeds.

These social apps connect couples on several levels. They encourage teamwork with shared to-do lists and drive intimacy through caring note exchanges.

"Too often, social media plays a role in exacerbating an already existing condition of disconnection," Dr. Karen Ruskin, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Mashable. "A couples app provides an opportunity to use technology to the couple's advantage, rather than playing a role in the potential harm of the couple."

SEE ALSO: How Social Media Helps Romantic Relationships Thrive
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More About: Mobile, Social Media, android, apps, features, iphone, lifestyle, relationships, social networking

Bacon Rock Makes Nature Look Tasty

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 11:50 AM PDT

Nature delivers a delicious surprise with the bacon rock, discovered by Redditor jgoodma3. Somewhere Mother Nature giggles every time a hallucinating hiker licks a boulder that looks like cured meat.

Redditor SirWilly77 thought the meal looked incomplete and added a side dish to round out the breakfast. Your move, Mother Nature -- where's the orange juice?

Images courtesy of Reddit

More About: Bacon, Watercooler, humor, pics, reddit

Teen Could Face Jail for Tweeting Names of Her Assailants [UPDATED]

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 11:36 AM PDT

UPDATE: The AP reports an attorney for one of Dietrich's attackers has withdrawn the request that she be held in contempt of court.

A Kentucky teenager could land in jail for tweeting the names of two boys who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her and sharing photos of the attack online.

Seventeen-year-old Savannah Dietrich passed out after drinking at a party before being assaulted in August 2011, she told the Louisville Courier-Journal in a lengthy interview this weekend. After learning later on that her two attackers had passed photos of the incident around on the Internet, she told the Courier-Journal that, "For months, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn't go out in publi…
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More About: Twitter

The iPad Mini Is Inevitable. This Chart Explains Why

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 11:22 AM PDT

We've been seeing an increasing amount of chatter around the notion of an iPad Mini, a seven-inch version of the Apple tablet that would compete directly with the Google Nexus 7 (the 16 GB version of which just sold out online) as well as the dominant small tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire.

One of the most respected Apple analysts called the Mini "highly likely" last week; another analyst got so specific as to predict a launch month (October) a price ($299) and an exact screen size (7.85 inches). A Bloomberg report on the Mini cited two sources with knowledge of Apple's plans.

SEE ALSO: iPad Mini: Why It's a Bad Idea

But you don't have to listen to analysts or the media; they've…
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More About: apple, ipad mini, tim cook

What You Probably Didn’t Know About London [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 10:56 AM PDT

The Olympic Games direct the attention of the world to London this summer, but how much do you really know about the UK capital? YouTube's resident knowledge bestower

More About: YouTube, history, london, videos

Traffic Downs Stream of Aurora Shooting Suspect’s Court Appearance

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 10:45 AM PDT

Suspected Aurora, Colo., theater shooter James Holmes's first court appearance Monday was pushed offline due to large interest in the subject and limits set forth by the courts.

The Internet watched the suspect appear before a judge on Monday via local station KUSA-9News' live stream, but high-traffic volumes to the feed caused a series of audio and visual glitches to disrupt service for those watching around the world.

The District Court of Arapahoe County agreed on Friday -- just hours after the massacre occurred during a midnight screening of the Dark Knight Rises -- to allow expanded media coverage for the advisement proceedings on Monday morning. In his ruling, the judge allow…
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More About: Colorado shooting, The Dark Knight Rises

Create Your Own 4D Stories With Meograph

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 10:20 AM PDT

Everyone enjoys digesting interactive stories, although the creation process can be incredibly tedious.

Meograph, a new tool launching Monday, makes it easy for anyone to make and share multimedia stories using four dimensions -- facts, multimedia, interactivity and context.

Founder Misha Leybovich invisions Meograph to be a great product for journalists, educators and people looking to share travel stories.

"Everyone's creative and has a story to tell, but not everyone has the skills to use professional tools like Final Cut Pro," Leybovich told Mashable. "We've made it easy to create a professional story, using simple structured prompts."

According to Leybovich, the two mos…
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More About: Media, infographics, multimedia, storytelling

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