Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Is This App the Next Siri — or the New Big Brother?”

Saturday, 4 August 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Is This App the Next Siri — or the New Big Brother?”


Is This App the Next Siri — or the New Big Brother?

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 09:02 PM PDT




Name: Saga

Quick Pitch: Saga observes your real-world activity through the eyes of your mobile phone.

Genius Idea: After Saga has become familiar with your patterns of activity, it starts making personal recommendations.

We all have our daily routines -- bus route, favorite coffee shop, the corner deli. Once habits are formed, they are difficult to break, even if there are better options out there.

With Saga, a new app from Seattle startup A.R.O., users are given a chance to try new things based on their past choices.

Saga keeps track of where you are, how you got there and who you're with -- all without you having to check in. The app uses senors already embedded in y…
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More About: apps, bizspark, startup


Bon Iver Wants You to Remix His Songs for Spotify Album

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 08:45 PM PDT




American folk band Bon Iver, winner's of Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in February, wants people to remix the songs from its album Bon Iver, Bon Iver.

The 10 best recreations will be featured on Bon Iver's remix-only album exclusively on music-streaming service Spotify. The top music makers will receive $1,000 each if their versions make it onto the 10-track album.

Dubbed Bon Iver, Bon Iver: Stems Project, the contest on partnering social network Indaba Music provides participants with remixing tools and individual audio stems of the vocals and each instrument.

People can enter remixes here until Aug. 29. The remixes will face a public vote and the most-voted ones will…
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More About: Bon Iver, Contests, Entertainment, Music, celebrities, spotify


Video Says iPhone 5 Will Be Larger and Thinner Than iPhone 4S

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 07:34 PM PDT




All signs are pointing to a larger, thinner iPhone 5. A video released Friday by iPhone5Parts.net supposedly compares the display for the iPhone 4 with what is thought to be the display for the next-generation of the phone.

Obtained by "reliable sources," the first thing you'll notice in this video is the purported iPhone 5 screen is much taller than the iPhone 4S version. The upcoming iPhone's screen measures in at 4.065-inches, compared to the 3.61-inch screen found on the iPhone 4S.

The screen also abandons the iPhone's current aspect ratio, taking it from 4:3 to 16:9.

SEE ALSO: What Does Siri Know About the iPhone 5?

Along with being larger, the screen is also 1…
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More About: apple, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iphone, trending


Statue of Liberty ‘Melts’ in NYC Heatwave [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 07:01 PM PDT




It's a hot summer in New York -- like melt your face off and have it licked up by thirsty subway rats hot.

German artist Vincent Ullmann shows how the Statue of Liberty must be feeling in this steamy weather with an incredible video of Lady Libs melting into a slimy mess.

More About: Watercooler, viral videos


How the Social Web Is Talking About the Summer Olympics [CHARTS]

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 06:27 PM PDT





We're about halfway through the 2012 Summer Olympics, and social media has played a bigger role for fans than ever before. But who and what have gotten the most buzz?

To find out, we got a slew of information from social media monitoring platform Salesforce Radian6. Its data takes into account a total of more than 150 million sources including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube and message boards. Below are some of Radian6's more interesting findings from the July 27 opening ceremony through midday Friday. (One quick disclaimer: the data monitors mostly English-language shares, with obviously has impacts results.)

The United States so far is winning the Olympics in both the physical…
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More About: Facebook, Social Media, Sports, Twitter, olympics


Martha Stewart Tells Us: All Those Tweets Are Mine [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 05:57 PM PDT




You could say domestic diva Martha Stewart is quite the rock star. Five thousand Mom, garden and food bloggers welcomed her as the keynote speaker at the annual BlogHer conference in New York City, eager to hear her thoughts on blogging and social media. And she delivered.

"I love Twitter," she told the crowd. "It just made sense to me."

Stewart allowed as to how she tries to limit the amount of time she spends on the social network each day, instead trying to tweet everything all at once. "That's when people think I'm drunk, because of all the spelling mistakes," she said.

In addition to being a whiz on Twitter, Martha Stewart has amassed a h…
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More About: Martha Stewart, Twitter, bloggers


Meet The One Your Friends Forgot to Introduce You to with Circl.es

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 04:39 PM PDT




Name: Circl.es

Quick Pitch: Date people your friends haven't introduced you to -- yet.

Genius Idea: Help people find romance by connecting them to their friends' friends.

The world of dating has changed a lot in the past few years. It's been just over a decade since online dating hit the mainstream, and only the past five years for it to become part of our collective online culture. However, the idea of meeting a stranger in person for the first time still leaves a lot of people feeling uneasy.

Justin Krause, the creator of Circl.es found the solution -- friends of your friends. Many people manage this without the help of the Internet, but for those who have difficulty meeti…
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More About: bizspark, circl.es, online dating


5 Things Your Digital Agency Isn’t Telling You

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 04:06 PM PDT




Chances are your digital firm is a passionate bunch, devoted 100% to delivering sound, successful communications strategies to its clients. However, as part of any valued relationship, they should be providing you -- the client -- with counsel that may not always be easy to swallow.

Below are five things you may never hear from your digital half. It's the kind of stuff guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers and rate high on the squirm-factor scale. But that's not always a bad thing. So, if your digital partners haven't brought these possible issues up, don't be afraid to take the lead.

1. You May Not be a Thought Leader
Is your point of view in step with your organization? Do y…
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More About: Marketing, contributor, features, online marketing


Don’t Let Your Password Fall Into the Wrong Hands [COMIC]

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 03:31 PM PDT




It's dangerous out there on the Internet.

SEE ALSO: The Problem With Flat Screen TVs [COMIC]

@MattGoldich's hilarious tweet is illustrated by Twaggies. Be sure to check out more great Twaggies comics on Mashable, and let us know if you've spied a funny tweet that's just begging for a visual.

More About: Twaggies, comics, humor, linkedin, passwords


3D Printer Creates ‘Magic Arms’ For Two-Year-Old Girl

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 03:06 PM PDT




Emma was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a rare disease that cripples joints and limbs. Because of this condition, the two-year-old girl couldn't play with blocks, bring food to her mouth or hug her mother.

That is, until engineers at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children used a 3D printer to create a durable exoskeleton that helps her lift her arms. Emma was able to lift candy to her mouth for the first time while wearing the supportive plastic vest.

The Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) is made of hinged metal bars, resistance bands and tiny 3D printed parts. Emma calls them her "magic arms."

SEE ALSO: How Does 3D Printing Work, Anyway? [
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More About: 3d printing, health


Headphones for Cats? They Cost $1,000

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 02:24 PM PDT




We're not pulling your leg: Headphones for cats exist. But the fully-functional gadgets will set you back $1,000 if you really want a pair for your pet.

Designed for electro-house music maker Deadmau5's cat, Professor Meowingtons pHD, the Meowingtons headphones hit the market this week in limited supply.

Electronics company Sol Republic's made only 10 but may produce more based on demand. The proceeds will go toward the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"They also have a mic and remote, but I don't envision many cats using that functionality."But could humans use this gadget, too?

"You could, but they probably won't fit unless you have a really t…
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More About: Entertainment, Headphones, Music, Tech, animals, cats


Samsung Aug. 15 Event Promises ‘New Way’

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 02:05 PM PDT




Samsung just sent media invitations for an event in New York City on August 15. The invitation doesn't say specifically what's going to be unveiled, but the illustration appears to show the outline of a tablet created with pen strokes -- which may imply another in one of Samsung's line of Galaxy Note devices.

You can guess for yourself what Samsung might reveal based on the invitation below. The rectangular shape looks extremely close to that of Samsung's Galaxy tablets, slightly too short to be a phone. The pen strokes are the biggest giveaway: each model in Samsung's Note line of tablets and phones comes with a stylus, with specialized software.

So far there's the 5.3-inch Galaxy Not
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More About: Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Note, samsung, stylus, tablets


How to Build a Company Culture of Experimentation

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 01:54 PM PDT




If you are a consumer internet company you should constantly be experimenting with changes to your site or product. That's because no matter how smart or experienced you are at building things, not all of your ideas will be successful.

The benefits of A/B testing -- testing two or more variations in a controlled random setting -- are well documented, with numerous websites devoted to A/B testing case studies. Still, many companies only briefly dabble in it. Why? Probably because creating a company culture that's open to experimentation is tough to do. Plus, integrated A/B testing sounds like a lot of extra work when you already have limited resources.

The truth is, to succeed…
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More About: Marketing, a/b testing, contributor, features, startup, trending


Microsoft Ditches Metro Name

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 01:26 PM PDT




Microsoft Metro is no more; at least as a brand name for the design style found in Windows 8, Windows Phone and other Microsoft products.

That colorful, boxy and built for touch-interfaces style will remain, but, for now, without a specific name.

Here's Microsoft's official statement:

"We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names."

That "code name" part is a bit disingenuous. Microsoft seemed far more wedded to the "Metro" name when I met with them last spring, Metro was more than code,…
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More About: Metro, Microsoft Office 365, Office 15, Windows, Windows 8


6 Hot Mobile Games You Need to Play

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 01:06 PM PDT




The mobile gaming space is a crowded one, and it's hard to know what to download and play next.

We used the mRank mobile gaming leaderboard to find the most-talked about games right now, then tested them to see if they were worth the hype. We rounded up six of the best for you to play.

All of the above games are available on iOS, but many are available on Android as well. They represent quite a range in genres; there are puzzles games, action games, and strategy games all on the list.

Check out our list above, and let us know if you've played any of them in the comments below. What is your favorite mobile game right now?

More About: android games, iOS games, mobile gaming, mrank


Southwest Offering 50% Off Flights on Facebook

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:58 PM PDT




To celebrate the growth of its Facebook fanbase to 3 million, Southwest Airlines is offering half-off fall flights through the end of the day.

The offer applies to select roundtrip flights (they're labelled "Wanna Get Away") that fall on Sept. 5, Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 31 and Nov. 6. Fans are asked to use the promo code "LUV2LIKE" when booking on southwest.com to take advantage of the offer, which expires at midnight PT on Friday.

Southwest wasn't able to tell me what percentage of its flights qualify for the promotion on each of those days, but I was able to find at least one flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to my home airport in Orange County, CA, and back…
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More About: Facebook, Southwest Airlines, trending


Want to Buy Some Twitter Cookies? Just Head to Kabul

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:58 PM PDT




Ever wondered what it would be like to taste Twitter? Now's your chance: You just have to go to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mustafa Kazemi, a Kabul-based journalist who tweets under the handle @combatjourno (and writes guest content for Mashable), found these Twitter biscuits at a shop in the city.

"Real lemon creme biscuits," advertises the box. Kazemi didn't say whether he bought a box, so we've got no idea if they're actually any good.

SEE ALSO: Journalist Dodges Bullets to Live-Tweet Taliban Attack

What other Twitter-themed snacks can we think up? I'll let NPR's Andy Carvin start us off:

Coming soon: Fail Whale Wafers. RT @combatjourno: Introducing @twitter Biscuits from Kab…
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More About: Photos, Social Media, Twitter, Watercooler, World, afghanistan, pics


Google Gives Politicians Game-Changing Targeting Tool

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:44 PM PDT




Political candidates are embracing online advertising this election season more than ever before, and for good reason: Internet ads give politicians a number of advantages over more traditional forms of ads, not least of which is the ability to target Internet users in precise geographic regions.

Many campaigns have chosen to advertise through Google AdWords, which has offered localized targeting by ZIP code for months. While ZIP code targeting is all well and good for national political campaigns that want to blast messages across entire states, it leaves local politicians in the lurch.

Congressional districts change with each census every 10 years and thus often don't align precisel…
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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Advertising, Google, Politics, US


MashTags: Tweet Us Your Funniest #PetOlympics

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:34 PM PDT




Air Bud. Willy. Seabiscuit. All legendary animals that accomplished what no human thought possible.

More About: MashTags, features, mashable


Apple Doesn’t Want You to Know How Many iPhones It’s Sold

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:17 PM PDT




Apple has asked a judge to keep its sales data private during court proceedings Friday in its patent lawsuit against Samsung.

Phil Shiller, Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, is on the witness stand Friday. Samsung waited into late Thursday evening to reveal that it plans to use the documents in Friday's proceedings while cross-examining Shiller -– documents that Apple would prefer not go public.

The sales summaries include information for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, tracking studies from the second quarter of 2011, and buyer surveys from last year.

SEE ALSO: Apple vs. Samsung: Tweets from the Courtroom

Apple traditionally reports sales data for the iPhone, iPad…
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More About: apple, ipad, iphone, patent, samsung, trending


London 2012 Blocks Unofficial Olympic Ticket Twitter Feed

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:12 PM PDT




An unofficial Twitter account that alerted fans to available tickets for Olympic events has been blocked by the London 2012 organizing committee.

Frustrated fans have been critical of the official tickets.london2012.com site, which is run by Ticketmaster, for repeatedly indicating tickets to major sports such as swimming have been available only to then say the events are sold out when users click to purchase. Television coverage showing empty seats at events has only increased the frustration.

So Adam Naisbitt built a program to check the site every three minutes for new tickets becoming available. Notifications were then instantly tweeted from the @2012TicketAlert feed, which has g…
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More About: Sports, Twitter, olympics


The Sims Strike Back! EA Sues Zynga Over Similarities in ‘The Ville’

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 12:01 PM PDT




In a move that surprised few gamers who have played both The Sims Social and The Ville, Electronic Arts sued Zynga Friday -- charging that the latter was a blatant copy of the former.

EA didn't mince words, either. "The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable," said Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of Maxis (the EA subsidiary that produces all Sims games). "Zynga's design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social ... scores of media and bloggers have commented on the blatant mimicry." (Indeed, we have.)

SEE ALSO: How Zynga Can Save Itself:
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More About: EA, Zynga, the Sims social


Facebook Now Lets Brands Target Posts By Age, Gender

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 11:57 AM PDT




Facebook on Friday announced new options for brand Pages to target their posts.

While previously Page admins could only target by language and location, the company has added new options, including:

Gender
Interested In
Relationship Status
Education
Workplace

A Facebook rep gave the following example of how a marketer might use the new option: "Say you want to target an audience for a back-to-school campaign. You can drill down to college kids 18 to 21, so your post will be seen more by that age group."

The new capability comes a few weeks after Twitter made it possible for marketers to send targeted tweets based on location, devices and platform.

Below are a co…
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More About: Facebook, Facebook brand pages, Marketing


Reddit Photographer Captures Candid Marriage Proposal

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 11:41 AM PDT




Joel Bush didn't know anyone was watching when he got down on one knee to propose to Jennifer Orr. But photographer Patrick Lu happened upon the couple on the capital grounds in Austin, Texas and shared his beautiful picture to Reddit: "Did any of you propose at the capital last night?"

The post made it to the top of /r/Austin with 1,400 up votes (the highest of all time in that subreddit), and Redditors offered many suggestions on how to locate the mystery couple. It turns out, Bush himself discovered the post and tweeted his elation that the Internet had shared in the couple's happy moment.

She said Yes.— joelbush (@joelbush) August 2, 2012

WHAT THE WHAT! reddi
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More About: Social Media, Twitter, marriage proposals, reddit, trending


Dr. Ruth Sexes Up Olympics With Racy Tweets

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 11:22 AM PDT


1. Mrs. Lochte: Wingwoman Extraordinaire




Click here to view this gallery.




The beach volleyball bikinis. The barely there diving Speedos. The Greco-Roman holds. Sex, sex, really awkwardly positioned sex.

Tuning in to the Olympics, you can't avoid naughty thoughts sneaking into your brain. In polite company, you might hold back the witty comments and risqué observations. Thankfully, psychosexual therapist and pint-size spitfire Dr. Ruth is tweeting what we're all thinking and also offering handy sex encouragement.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things Social Media Tells Us About Ryan Lochte

We gathered seven of the wise doctor's sexiest Olympics tweets that cover everything from Ryan Lochte's wingwoman mama to the ping pong of frisky antics. Flip through to find…
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More About: Twitter, olympics


European Travelers More Willing to Forgo Wi-Fi for Cheaper Hotel Rates

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 11:09 AM PDT




Would you forgo a Wi-Fi connection if that meant saving on your hotel? A recent survey shows Europeans are more willing than Americans to go without Wi-Fi if doing so means a chance to save some cash on hotels.

A survey of more than 6,000 travelers by online travel site Trivago asked international travelers which hotel amenities they would be willing to give up to save money. The results showed 21% of Portuguese, 15% of Brits and 14% of Italians are more likely to give up Wi-Fi in their hotel than television in exchange for a cheaper rate. That's compared to only 4% of Americans.

Twenty percent of Americans were more likely to give up TV for a cheaper rate -- perhaps because you can…
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More About: travel, wifi


Hackers Hit Reuters, Post Fake Stories

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 10:46 AM PDT




Global news organization Reuters was the subject of a hack on Friday that "compromised" its blogging platform, according to the company.

Reuters announced the hack via Twitter on Friday afternoon:

Reuters.com was a target of a hack on Friday. Our blogging platform was compromised... (1/2)— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 3, 2012

...and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists. We are working to address the problem. (2/2)— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 3, 2012

Among the fabricated posts was a false blog posting, purporting to carry an interview with the head of the Free Syrian Army Riad al-Asaad that was posted…
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More About: Reuters, hacking, security


Intense Video Shows How to Survive Mass Shooting

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 10:27 AM PDT




Run, Hide, Fight: three words of advice given from the video above for anybody in the midst of a mass shooting.

In the video, a lone gunman armed with a shotgun goes on a bloody and graphic rampage through an office building. He quickly kills a security guard and a number of people while other office workers scramble to escape or defend themselves from the onslaught.

The video, produced by The City of Houston Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, was released less than a week after the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado. According to the Mayor's Office in Houston, it "provides key steps individuals should take if they encounter an active shooter."

"Our though…
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More About: Video, Watercooler, YouTube


76% of Colleges Struggle to Meet Bandwidth Demands

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 09:54 AM PDT




At the start of the semester, students haul more than books, clothes and furniture to campus. They bring a slew of bandwidth-sucking devices with them.

The largest bandwidth-consuming devices used by students include tablets, smartphones, iPods, gaming consoles and e-readers. On campus, about 41% of students will have three or more devices connected to the Internet at one time. That's a problem for the 76.4% of institutions looking to reinforce their networks to support more devices.

SEE ALSO: iTunes U Now Lets Teachers Invite Students to Lesson Plans

As college-aged students rely on an expanded arsenal of web-connected gadgets, schools face an unprecedented growth of network band…
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More About: Tech, bandwidth, college, education, infographics, lifestyle


Man Creates Life-Size Wall-E That Tugs the Heartstrings

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 09:36 AM PDT




The picture above represents two years of work by Mike Senna, a California robot fan and hobbyist.

Having already built a working R2-D2 in 2002, Senna set himself a somewhat tougher task in 2010 with his Wall-E project. Based on the 2008 movie, Wall-E is a life-size version of a robot that never actually existed. To get the movements right, Senna worked from screen grabs and posters from the movie. Senna, who has a full-time job, spent 25 hours a week on the endeavor.

The result is a real-life version of Wall-E that, as the video below illustrates, can wave, move, hunch his shoulders and elicit the same sounds as the movie character.

Why? For years, Senna took his R2-D2 robo…
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More About: inventors, robots, trending, viral pics, wall-e


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