Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “HotelTonight Acquires PrimaTable, Plans For More Personalized Hotel Recommendations”

Wednesday, 3 October 2012 by Irwan K Ch

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “HotelTonight Acquires PrimaTable, Plans For More Personalized Hotel Recommendations”

HotelTonight Acquires PrimaTable, Plans For More Personalized Hotel Recommendations

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 04:29 AM PDT

Last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight made its first acquisition today with the purchase of San Francisco-based company PrimaTable, a move that will ultimately make reserving last-minute hotels on the site a more personal experience.

The PrimaTable team, which developed last-minute perishable inventory demand forecasting and pricing tools for the restaurant industry, will join HotelTonight's staff, applying their algorithms to the hotel industry.

Earlier this month HotelTonight released an update to its mobile app, bringing with it personalized hotel recommendations. Where HotelTonight previously only provided three hotel recommendations to users based on his or her current loca…
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More About: App, HotelTonight

The iPad Mini Already in Mass Production in Asia [REPORT]

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 04:18 AM PDT

Apple's Asian suppliers have started mass production of the smaller version of Apple's iPad tablet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Two sources claim the iPad mini -- as it may or may not be called -- will have a 7.85-inch screen with a lower resolution than the current iPad model.

The device's screen is made by South Korea's LG Display company and Taiwan's AU Optronics, claim WSJ's sources.

Why Apple would launch a smaller iPad, when Steve Jobs maintained a 7-inch tablet screen would be too small? Well, a heated competition from Android-tablet makers and a more affordable price point compared to the standard, 9.7-inch iPad, are two solid reasons.

As is usual with…
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More About: apple, ipad mini, trending

The ‘Lost’ Steve Jobs Speech and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 03:33 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.

Listen to the 'Lost' Steve Jobs Speech in Its Entirety

In 1983, Steve Jobs gave a speech at the International Design Conference in Aspen. The audio recording of this event surfaced in June, but it was missing an interesting Q&A session that took place after the speech.

Blogger Marcel Brown managed to obtain the entire recording, and posted it to his site on Tuesday. In it, Jobs gives some fascinating observations about the future of computing. You can listen to it here.…
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More About: features, first to know series, mashable, steve jobs

Charging Your Phone Becomes a Game With This Toyota App [VIDEO]

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 02:51 AM PDT

Charging your phone is nothing more than a mundane necessity -- not likely anyone's idea of fun.

But a new app aims to transform the process into an entertaining game. Called "Plug-in Championship," it displays a power meter that moves up and down. The goal is for users to plug in their charger when the meter is at its highest; the more accurately timed the "plug-in," the better the score.

It's not a complex game, to be sure, but a good way to pass the (brief) time.

Toyota developed "Plug-in Championship" as part of its promotional campaign for the Prius PHV hybrid car. The app is available for iOS and Android.

Check out the video, above, to see it in action. Then, tell us:…
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More About: Toyota, smartphone, trending

New PlayStation 3 Teardown Reveals Improved Repairability

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 01:36 AM PDT

iFixit has torn down another new gadget -- this time, it's the new, super-slim PlayStation 3 that Sony debuted last month.

The teardown reveals a machine that's quite similar to the previous version of PlayStation 3, but easier to repair. iFixit scores it 7 out of 10 on the repairability scale; this especially goes for the hard drive, which can easily be accessed and upgraded -- if you're the tinkering type.

On the other hand, iFixit didn't have any nice words to say about the sliding disc tray door (new to the 2012 PS3), which felt "janky" and easily breakable, the DIY repair company said.

Check out the entire teardown here.

More About: iFixit, playstation 3, teardown, trending

The Oatmeal Helms Indiegogo’s Fastest Growing Campaign, Raises $1.4M [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 12:41 AM PDT

The Oatmeal's online crusade to save the Tesla Tower ended with $1.4 million in the bank, as well as the title of Indiegogo's fastest growing campaign.

More About: The Oatmeal, crowdfunding, indiegogo

Seattle Police Crime Blotter is Now 51 Hyper-Local Twitter Feeds

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 10:44 PM PDT

The city of Seattle is taking its police blotter to Twitter.

Called "Tweets-by-beat," the Seattle Police Department has started 51 hyper-local Twitter accounts, based on officers' beats, to keep residents up-to-date about the happenings in their neighborhood.

The digital program started the last week of August, and will supplement the department's online blotter. Anyone can read these feeds -- even people who aren't on Twitter, says Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the department's Public Affairs office.

"We made it super easy," he tells Mashable. "All you need is an Internet connection."

The idea behind the new Twitter accounts is to raise public awareness of personal safety and t…
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More About: Social Media, crime, police, seattle, trending

Cat Snuggles Up With Prickly Hedgehog [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 09:44 PM PDT

It's the makings of another viral video: A reluctant hedgehog shies away from the advances of an amorous cat.

The unlikely duo make a minute-long appearance in the YouTube video, above, which has seen more than 250,000 hits since going online Monday.

Viewers, what say you? Is the cat snuggling up with the hedgehog or using it as a back-scratch?

More About: trending

Pre-Order Fashion Retailer Aims to Take on Moda Operandi

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 08:45 PM PDT

Name: Bonfaire

Quick Pitch: Pre-order accessories "straight off the runway."

Genius Idea: Gives shoppers another incentive to pre-order by stocking brands difficult to obtain in the U.S..

Keiron McCammon and Shari Rudolph thinks there's room for more than one Moda Operandi on the web.

McCammon and Rudolph, both former executives of Hearst-owned style discovery platform Kaboodle, took the wraps off of last month. It shamelessly imitates a business model pioneered by Moda Operandi, which raised $36 million in its last funding round in June.

Like M'O, visitors can pre-order next season's fashion goods "straight off the runway" -- i.e., shortly after they'…
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More About: bonfaire, fashion, moda operandi, retail

These Beautiful Stamps Almost Make Us Want To Use Snail Mail [PICS]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 07:47 PM PDT

Avid stamp collector? Aerial photography enthusiast? Still actually use snail mail?

Is so, you should definitely check out these new stamps from the United States Postal Service.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Most Stunning Images of Mars in History

Each of the 15 stamps in "Earthscapes (Forever)" shows an unbelievable bird's-eye view of varying scenes from our planet.

According to the postal service, "The beautiful 'earth art' images were chosen to showcase designs or patterns and geographic diversity so viewers can see the world in a new way and contemplate a much bigger picture."

More About: Watercooler, snail mail, trending

Nokia Ad Takes Colorful Jab At The iPhone 5 [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 05:54 PM PDT

The iPhone 5 has some nice features, but to paraphrase Jay-Z, a choice of colors ain't one.

Considering the positive reviews and brisk sales for the device, most consumers don't seem to mind that the phone only comes in white and black. But Nokia apparently thinks the lack of chromatics is a deal-breaker for some or at least a reason to take a flyer on its Lumia 920, which comes in black, white, grey, red and yellow.

Nokia exploits this color gap advantage in the above video, which makes its case in stylized animated form. Though even the least tech-savvy of your friends will probably be able to figure out what the phone with the "5" in the video is supposed to represent, Nokia's…
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More About: Advertising, Lumia 920, Marketing, Nokia, apple, iPhone 5

TV Anchor Gets Called Fat, Has an Awesome Response [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 04:45 PM PDT

An anchor for a CBS affiliate in LaCrosse, Wisc., took what could have been a hurtful comment from a viewer and turned it into a powerful tirade against online bullying.

Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV read a letter from a viewer who took issue with the fact that she is overweight. "Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain," the viewer wrote. "I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."

Livingston's husband, fellow WKBT anchor Mike Thompson, posted the emailed letter on his Facebook Page and received an outpouring of sup…
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More About: TV News, cyberbullying, trending, viral video

If Christopher Columbus Had Apple Maps [COMIC]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 04:17 PM PDT

That would finally explain why Christopher Columbus had such a poor sense of direction.

More About: apple maps, comics, humor, iOS 6, trending

Rapper’s Mic Silenced at Microsoft Store for Rowdy Performance [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 03:52 PM PDT

If you're one of rapper Machine Gun Kelly's half a million Twitter followers, you know he's prone to routinely drop curse words in his tweets. He recently brought the same vernacular to a Microsoft store during a performance at an event for hip-hop magazine Source.

Machine Gun Kelly's rap, however, was cut short when organizers or employees at the Lenox Square mall in Atlanta silenced his microphone after he hopped atop a table with laptops on it on Friday. "I'm not getting down," he said after his music stopped and before his mic turned off.

The clip of the incident -- which coincidentally occurred just days before Machine Gun Kelly's Lace Up album hits stores Oct. 9 -- has been c…
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More About: Entertainment, Music, microsoft, rap, retail, technology

30+ Amazing Contraptions From Maker Faire NYC

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 03:42 PM PDT

3D printing, circuits and robots, oh my! We took a lap at Maker Faire NYC.

More About: Tech, features, maker faire

Mark Zuckerberg: I Wear the Same Thing Every Day

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 03:15 PM PDT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview on NBC's Today set to air on Thursday that he lives a "simple" life and proudly wears the same thing every day.

Zuckerberg -- who has appeared on GQ and Esquire's worst-dressed list in 2011 -- confessed in an interview taped last week with Today host Matt Lauer that he owns "maybe about 20" identical grey t-shirts.

"I mean, I wear the same thing every day, right? I mean, it's literally, if you could see my closet at home…," Zuckerberg said. "My wife has a bunch of stuff. Although she has her drawer -- primarily scrubs for the hospital -- I get one drawer. And my drawer is about 20 of these gray t-shirts."

He said he has one dra…
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More About: Facebook, Mobile, iphone, mark zuckerberg

T-Mobile May Swallow Up MetroPCS

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 03:11 PM PDT

Deutsche Telekom failed in its bid to offload T-Mobile to AT&T last year, and now it looks like Plan B is starting to take shape. The German company says it's in talks to buy MetroPCS, the U.S.'s fifth-largest wireless carrier.

If the deal were to go ahead, both T-Mobile and MetroPCS would be merged into one company. Even with MetroPCS's subscriber base, which numbers almost 10 million, T-Mobile would still be the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. with about 43 million subscribers. Sprint has about 55 million.

Deutsche Telekom said "major issues" still need to be resolved, but the company will review and possibly approve the transaction as early as tomorrow, Bloomberg reports. In its…
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More About: LTE, MetroPCS, T-Mobile

There Really Is a Smartphone Inside ‘EW Magazine’ [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 02:51 PM PDT

They told us, but we did not believe them: The Oct. 5 print edition of Entertainment Weekly, which features a one-of-a-kind digital ad running video and live tweets, actually has a smartphone inside of it. A real, full-sized 3G cellphone inside a print magazine.

The digital ad is designed to promote the CW network's fresh lineup of action shows (The Arrow and Emily Owens, M.D.) and, when you open the magazine to the ad, the small LCD screen shows short clips of the two shows and then switches to live tweets from CW's Twitter account.

When we spoke to CW representatives earlier this week, they did tell us that "the ad is powered by a custom-buil…
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More About: Advertising, T-Mobile, print, smartphone

Can Kony 2012′s Viral Success Be Repeated? ‘Half The Sky’ Is Taking a Stab

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 02:48 PM PDT

Non-profit Invisible Children's 30-minute Kony 2012 documentary stunned the Internet back in March, as it became the most viral video of all time through the strength of social media users and the almighty hashtag. Kony 2012 never aired on television nor was it screened in cinemas, yet more than 100 million people have seen the video on YouTube or Vimeo.

This week, a two-part PBS documentary Half The Sky is hoping to achieve similar viral success. Though Kony sparked its share of controversy, it undoubtedly changed the rules of intent-driven documentary in the social space. Half the Sky took notes on Invisible Children's successes.

"One element of Kony that was very good was the g…
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More About: Social Good, documentary, kony 2012, social gaming, viral video

‘FarmVille’ Players Plant Seeds of Creativity With Crop Art

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 02:09 PM PDT

1. Dracula

Click here to view this gallery.

Zynga's FarmVille has become one of the most popular games ever and with millions of users playing it, creativity abounds.

Playing FarmVille has always been about cultivating your own virtual farm, and doing it in a creative way created an added challenge for many players. You can find everything in this artificial world. From farms that have carefully placed crops that form the iconic face of Marilyn Monroe to that of classic videogame character Sonic. Of course, The Simpsons and Pikachu are there too.

SEE ALSO: Zynga Board Games Bring Your Facebook Favorites to Real Life [REVIEW]

Check out the photos above to see the best FarmVille art designs. Do you decorate your FarmVille fie…
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More About: Watercooler, creative work, farmville, videogames

‘Honey Boo Boo’ Gets Own Character on ‘South Park’ [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 01:42 PM PDT

Toddlers and Tiaras breakout star Alana Thompson a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo earned her own reality spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, this year. Now Comedy Central is turning the 7-year-old into a South Park character.

Cartoon versions of Honey Boo Boo and her mother, June Shannon, will appear in Wednesday's South Park episode in which "Cartman discovers he has a rival in America's Sweetheart, Honey Boo Boo."

Honey Boo Boo, who became a web sensation after an outlandish clip of her caught steam in January, apparently wants to find a pig with a "sassy heart" on South Park. Watch the preview clip here:

On Here Comes Honey Boo Boo's Aug. 8 episode, "Gonna Be a Glitz Pig," Honey Boo…
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More About: Comedy Central, Entertainment, TLC, TV, Viral, humor

‘Internet-Use Disorder’ Is Real, But Who Has It?

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 01:42 PM PDT

Internet-Use Disorder has been accepted for inclusion in the official psychiatrist's diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV, as of next year. Of course, any self-respecting Internet addict knows that already.

In fact, if you haven't already Googled it, trawled the Wikipedia entry, tweeted about the fact that 'Internet Addiction Disorder' started life in 1995 as a satirical hoax, and started a Reddit forum to discuss the symptoms, we have our doubts about whether you can truly claim to be addicted. Heck, you're probably only using a single screen.

Seriously, it's unlikely many of us fit the description of the disorder. A tendency to waste hours on Facebook just doesn't cut it. (If it did,…
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Obama Campaign Deletes ‘Lady Parts’ Tumblr Post

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 01:14 PM PDT

Should you vote for Barack Obama because your "lady parts" depend on it? That's what a meme reblogged by the Obama campaign's Tumblr account early Tuesday morning suggested:

The image, originally created by Tumblr user "vennstiel," was deleted from the Obama Tumblr hours after being reblogged.

After being posted by the Obama campaign, it caused a stir on Twitter:

Hi @barackobama: maybe you should rethink giving $450 million to Egypt, where female genital mutilation is still practiced. #LadyParts— E-Du (@ezradulis) October 2, 2012

Dear .@barackobama: My #ladyparts have cancer & want Obamacare repealed so my treatment isn't rationed.They are voting for #RomneyRyan2
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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Politics, US, barack obama, tumblr

Toyota Unveils Super-Compact Car With Location-Based Ads

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 01:02 PM PDT

Toyota Tuesday demo'd its own version of a "smart car." The single-user vehicle, called the Smart INSECT (short for "Information Network Social Electric City Transporter"), uses the company's COMS ("super-compact electric vehicle") system to create a variety of hands-free features.

The five-minute demo introduced some of those features, including facial recognition-based locks and verbal directions (like Siri). Users can connect the vehicle to their homes, too, so they can turn off their lights after they've already left the garage.

SEE ALSO: How Much Bird Poop Does it Take to Total a SmartCar?

The vehicle includes one innovative -- and p…
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Every Sip, Toast and Chug on ‘Mad Men’ [VIDEO]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 01:01 PM PDT

While you're waiting for Don Draper to sling back more old fashioneds in season six of Mad Men, here's a way to stay entertained: watching the entire cast drink a fatal amount of alcohol in less than five minutes.

SEE ALSO: 'Mad Men' Cast Perform World's Classiest Rickroll [VIDEO]

Slacktory compiled every on-screen drink of the past five seasons and served the clips straight up in one tasty mashup. This video would make for a dangerous drinking game, but it's interesting (or concerning) to see just how much alcohol has been consumed overall.

BONUS: 11 Hilarious 'Mad Men' Parody Twitter Accounts

More About: Watercooler, YouTube, mad men

U.S. Patent Office Opens First Branch on University Campus

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 12:46 PM PDT

Cornell's New York City Tech campus will be the first university to have a direct partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, giving future students access to resources and expert advice as they look to bring ideas and innovations to market.

The university made the announcement on Tuesday morning at its temporary campus in New York's Chelsea district, office space donated by Google. The first class of about 20 students will begin classes in January 2013 while construction proceeds on the main campus on Roosevelt Island, scheduled to open in 2017.

The partnership marks the first time the USPTO, part of the Department of Commerce, will have an office at a university with p…
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More About: Cornell, Patent law, patents

Which Presidential Candidate Is Winning the Social Slugfest?

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 12:30 PM PDT

Are you friends with the president of the United States? Do you Like him? Do you follow him? Maybe you're just a fan.

The 2012 election won't just pick the next President, it will conclude some hotly debated issues. No, we're not talking the 47% or the 99%, nor the debt crisis or the Iraq war. This election cycle seems to have raised the competitive bar, at least in terms of digital savvy: Did President Barack Obama or his opposer Mitt Romney better master the fine art of social media politics?

With one month until Election Day, it's still hard to determine which candidate gathering more Facebook and Twitter votes. So we're turning to the experts. Data analysis company SocialBakers an…
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More About: 2012 presidential campaign, Facebook, Mitt Romney, Social Media, Twitter, barack obama, infographics

Facebook Likes Could Lead to Jail Time Under New Philippine Law

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 12:29 PM PDT

Internet users are up in arms in the Philippines over a new law that could land them in jail for engaging in "malicious" online activity.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which takes effect Wednesday, criminalizes identity theft, hacking, spamming, online trafficking and file-sharing. However, a couple of controversial provisions changed  what could have been a standard law against illegal online activity into a potential way to gag free speech.

A last-minute addition to the law prohibits online libel "committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future," which allows a wide range of online activity to be interpreted as libelous. Ac…
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Former Apple, Nasa Engineers Design $11,000 Coffee Machine

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 12:17 PM PDT

Get ready to rethink the way you brew coffee -- and the cost of it. The Blossom One Limited machine makes a fresh, hot cup of coffee, but it's not your average coffeemaker.

A team of engineers who worked previously at Apple and at NASA designed the $11,000 coffeemaker that brews coffee at just the right temperature. Don't start saving for your personal use, though -- it's not designed for the home at all. It's intended for commercial use in cafes and restaurants.

SEE ALSO: Verismo Coffee System Brings Starbucks Into Your Home

This high tech machine, which is surprisingly smaller than I thought it would be, has a camera built in. That way,…
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More About: Coffee, blossom, software engineer

NASA Astronauts Dressed Like Jedi Monks in 1964 [PIC]

Posted: 02 Oct 2012 12:15 PM PDT

On Aug. 13, 1964, four NASA astronauts participated in desert survival training in the dusty sands of Reno, Nev. John Young, Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong and Deke Slayton wore brightly-colored parachute fabric that made the space travelers look like some sort of intergalactic Jedi monks.

Add a Wookiee to the mix and you have the premise for a Star Wars sequel starring real life space heros.

Image courtesy of NASA

(H/T Kuriositas)

BONUS: Remembering the Life of Neil Armstrong Through Images

More About: NASA, Neil Armstrong, Watercooler, space

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