Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “‘Black Marble’ Goes Interactive: Explore the Earth in Darkness”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “‘Black Marble’ Goes Interactive: Explore the Earth in Darkness”


‘Black Marble’ Goes Interactive: Explore the Earth in Darkness

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 04:34 AM PST


Black Marble - United States




The satellite that took these images flies over any given point on Earth's surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. Hovering 512 miles above the surface, the satellite sends its data once per orbit to a ground station in Norway.

Click here to view this gallery.


Remember that stunning "Black Marble" image of the Earth in darkness NASA has released last week? Well, thanks to a collaboration between NASA and Google Maps, it has gone from a still image to an interactive experience.

The new map is a composite assembled from data coming from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012.

The satellite captured the nighttime views with a special onboard technology called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). According to Google, it took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of Earth's entire surface.

The new map doesn't seem to be an official feature of Googl…
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More About: Black Marble, Google Maps, NASA

HotelTonight Now Allows You To Gift Hotel Stays

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 03:31 AM PST


Last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight released an update Tuesday, that expands the service into more countries, and allows users to give hotel stays as gifts.

HotelTonight works with hotels in more than 70 different locations around the globe, offering last-minute deals on hotel rooms. In every applicable city, the app offers three different hotel deals each night, categorizing each by the type of experience –- such as luxe, basic or trendy -- you might have in a specific hotel. Unlike other discount hotel services, rooms can be booked until 2 a.m.

Much like buying a gift card for a loved one, HotelTonight credits can be purchased from its app or website starting Tuesday, and g…
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More About: App, HotelTonight, android, iOS, iphone

Google Search ‘Mad Men’-Style Using Punch Cards

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 02:39 AM PST


Google Search is a thoroughly modern tool, having launched in 1997, but a new website is taking Internet users back in time for a vintage twist on the search engine.

Called "Google60," the site enables visitors to search "Mad Men-style." It features a 1960s aesthetic, complete with old-school punch cards.

After users type in a search term on the virtual typewriter, they are prompted to select one of three "modes" -- text search, image search or "get the latest news" -- which are respectively ordered from one to three. Users must then select a number on the "control input" keypad. Clicking "1" prompts the machine to slowly list its search results (the same ones you'd get in a regular Go…
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More About: Google, google search, mad men

Apple Partially Fixes Australian Map After Police Complaint

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 01:57 AM PST


Apple has fixed -- partially, at least -- its map of Mildura, Australia, after local police advised people not to use the company's Maps app because it showed the city in the wrong location.

According to the Australian, Apple Maps now shows the correct location of Mildura for travelers coming from South Australia, but not Melbourne.

"If you're coming from Melbourne it still puts Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park," said Mildura police inspector Simon Clemence.

Apple's quick reaction shows that it is taking the matter seriously, but a partial fix is far from ideal. The Mildura police remains concerned about travelers ending up in Murray Sunset National Park i…
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More About: apple, apple maps

ZenDeals Solves the Biggest Problem With Online Coupons

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 01:12 AM PST


ZenDeals uses patent-pending technology to verify online coupon codes so consumers don't end up wasting time trying to redeem outdated or fake offers.

More About: The Launchpad, coupons, startup

All-Natural Compostable Water Filter Promises ‘Superior Taste’

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 12:08 AM PST


For the eco-conscious among us, the Soma water filter is an all-natural, 100% compostable alternative to purifying H20.

The fancy filter is made from Malaysian coconut shells, vegan silk and food-based PLA plastic, according to Soma's Kickstarter page.

Soma claims to dwarf other standard filters in the taste department. "Soma's proprietary formula produces the best tasting water. You'll notice a crisp, pure taste you won't find anywhere else."

Unlike the plastic of most standard filters, it also comes with a glass carafe that holds five 8-ounce glasses of water. Check out the video, above, for more.

So far, the company's campaign has raised more than $82,000 of its $100,000 goal…
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More About: Soma, filter, water

ELF Electric Vehicle Powered by Pedaling and the Sun

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 10:58 PM PST


Fueled by the combined forces of manpower and the sun, a new hybrid electric vehicle gets you from point A to B in an innovative new way.

Called "ELF," the vehicle is the meeting point between a bicycle and a car, according its Kickstarter page. Using a combination of pedaling and solar power, creator Organic Transit says the ELF is ideal for commuting, deliveries and other local transportation needs.

Slim enough to navigate bike trails, but sturdy enough to withstand regular traffic, the vehicle can carry the rider plus additional cargo, the company says. It's equipped with lights, signals and mirrors, as well as an electric motor that can work full throttle for a commute to work, or…
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More About: ELF, electric cars, electric vehicles

The Year’s Best Meteor Shower Peaks This Week

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 09:54 PM PST


Stargazers are about to get their annual celestial treat: A bright meteor shower, the Geminids, will grace skies worldwide this week, with a peak in activity on Dec. 13.

No telescope or binoculars are required to see the show — just use your bare eyes. The moon will set before the meteors come out to play around 10 p.m. local time, meaning the sky should be nice and dark for optimal viewing. There could be as many as 100 to 150 meteors an hour to gape at, for those patient enough to spend a few hours in a dark area and let their eyes adapt to starlight.

The Geminids, unusually among meteor showers, are the leftovers of an asteroid (most showers originate with comets). They are ca…
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More About: astronomy, meteor shower, space

Adobe Updates Photoshop and Illustrator For Retina Displays

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 08:57 PM PST


Adobe has updated Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 to support Retina displays.

This update should make plenty of designers and photo editors very happy. Since the release of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina in June, software developers have scrambled to support the high-resolution screen and pixel density.

The higher resolution of the screen means that all bitmapped application elements, including toolbars, buttons and application chrome need to be redrawn and recompiled for Retina displays. Retina support for Photoshop required the replacement of more than 2,500 icons and cursors. What's more, supporting HiDPI screens presents its own set of challenges for applications that suppor…
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More About: Photoshop, adobe, retina display

‘Sesame Street’ Talks Divorce With Online Kits for Parents and Kids

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 08:15 PM PST


The beloved children's television show Sesame Street is taking on the D-word for the second time in 20 years.

Abby Cadabby, a fuzzy, pink, fairy-in-training on Sesame Street, explains divorce by talking about her parents' separate houses in a 13-minute segment that can only be accessed online.

The children's show attempted to talk about divorce in 1992 with Snuffy telling Big Bird his dad was moving, but in small test groups, kids did not like it and the episode never aired. Now, for Abby, the divorce has happened in the past, so "it is not a new, raw emotion," says Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro in the Tumblr Storyboard video above.

Not every child watching Sesame St
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More About: Children, Families, apps, divorce, sesame street

Twitter Photo-Filters Maker: We Want to Democratize Creativity

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 07:32 PM PST


Startup Aviary powers Twitter's photo filters, which launched Monday, the same day Instagram introduced new tools. Aviary's CEO talks about the coincidence.

More About: Apps and Software, Aviary, Social Media, Twitter, instagram, photography

Messi’s Historic Season: Watch All 86 Goals in One Awesome Video

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 06:54 PM PST


Messi, the FC Barcelona star, set a soccer record this weekend by scoring 86 goals in a calendar year. Thanks to YouTube, we can watch them all in one clip.

More About: Sports, soccer

Hands On With Instagram’s New Features

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 05:59 PM PST


New Camera




The new camera interface is larger and easier to view. The camera button is now larger and the user can choose to turn on a grid to better align a photo. It's also super easy to see your last photo right on the camera. The filter view has also been updated post shot.

Click here to view this gallery.


Instagram updated its iOS and Android apps Monday with a new filter, new crop and scale features and a more refined user interface.

There is a lot of drama right now in the photo sharing space -- especially now that Twitter is offering its own photo filters -- so we wanted to spend a few minutes with the new Instagram features and see how the changes stack up.

I can't help but wonder if the new features were part of a peace offering to users. Last week, Instagram stopped supporting Twitter Cards, meaning that inline embeds on Twitter.com and in Twitter's official mobile apps no longer work.

The most fundamental change is to the camera and edit pages. The interface has been complete…
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More About: android, iOS, instagrapm, photography

Face It, Instagram Is Replaceable

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 05:30 PM PST


Mashable OP-ED

I'm one of those annoying Instagram users who takes too many photos of sunsets and landmarks, all in the never-ending-hope that one of my images will hit the perfect emotional note and make it a must share for everyone.

There's no denying it, I love Instagram -- or at least what it does for me. And yet, if Twitter manages to beat its rival to a "Toaster"-filtered pulp, I probably won't care.

Why? Because Instagram isn't magic. It's pre-made filters, a basic social network that hooks in to your other, larger, favorite social networks.

It's gotten this far -- millions of users, public adoration – thanks to starting out on the right platform (the iP…
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More About: Facebook, Twitter, apple, apps, instagram

Planwise Makes it Easier to Plot Out Your Financial Goals

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 04:49 PM PST


Planwise offers users a quick and easy way to visualize how significant financial events will impact their bank account in the short and long-term.

More About: personal finance, startup

Pacquiao Knockout Meme Revels in Boxer’s Violent Defeat

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 04:24 PM PST


Manny Pacquiao got punched really hard in the face this weekend for a shocking boxing loss. Enter this funny Pacquiao knockout meme.

More About: Sports, Watercooler

Big Boi: Music Piracy Produces ‘Bullsh-t’ Records

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 04:01 PM PST


To hear Big Boi tell it, music these days is a beautiful thing — but it's also a transaction.

At the core of our talk, in advance of the release of his second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, is the idea that first and foremost Big Boi loves music. But he also treats it like a business. At this point in his career, he doesn't need to make albums if people aren't buying them. Just don't come complaining to him when there's no more good music.

"If you don't buy records, then you're gonna be stuck with bullshit records, 'cause I ain't gonna keep giving you goddamn free-ass music," he says about piracy concerns.

It sounds like tough love, but you can tell he's (mostly…
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More About: Entertainment, Music, Social Media, features, piracy

Twitter Adds Instagram-Like Photo Filters

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 03:39 PM PST


The Twitter vs. Instagram war just got real: Twitter now has photo filters.

The long-rumored feature of adding filters to Twitter photos arrives today on Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android.

The photo filters are provided by Aviary, a company that knows something about building easy editing solutions. On its blog, Aviary discusses its part of the partnership.

The timing of Twitter's new photo filters release is auspicious. Last week, Instagram pulled Twitter Cards support from its app, meaning that users who share their images to Twitter are relegated to simple links.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Photo-Filters Maker Aviary Wants to 'Democratize Creativity'

Instagram also upda
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More About: Aviary, Twitter, instagram, photo filters

‘After Earth’ Trailer With Will Smith Will Make Your Heart Race

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 03:23 PM PST


A trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth" shows Will Smith and son Jaden fittingly play a father-son duo who are stranded after a crash landing.

More About: Entertainment, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi, Will Smith, movie trailer

Facebook Is Down for Some Users

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 03:08 PM PST


UPDATE 7:55pm EST: A Facebook spokesperson sent the following statement. "Earlier today we made a change to our DNS infrastructure and that change resulted in some people being temporarily unable to reach the site. We detected and resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We apologize for any inconvenience."

For those of you still recovering from the shock of Monday's Gmail outage, there may be even worse news -- Facebook appears to be down for some users, and lacking images for others.

The Facebook outage started attracting attention around 5:45pm EST Monday. The nature of the outage, and its effects, appear to be sporadic. Here at Mashable, three editors rep…
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More About: Facebook, outage

Drill Issue Could Threaten Mars Rover Curiosity’s Mission

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 03:07 PM PST


As NASA's Mars rover Curiosity prepares to use its rock-boring drill for the first time, engineers are troubleshooting an issue with the power tool that may affect the entire mission.

Curiosity's fast-spinning percussive drill should make it through the originally planned two-year prime mission, team members say. But at some point a bond in the drilling mechanism will fail, causing an electrical short that could threaten to knock out the entire rover.

"Unless you do something about it, all hell breaks loose electronically, because it takes our power bus and rattles it around," Curiosity chief engineer Rob Manning, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told SPACE
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More About: Curiosity, Mars, Mars rover, NASA, space

XCOM Invites Players to Memorialize Fallen ‘Soldiers’ on Facebook

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:51 PM PST


It's hard to lose someone you care about, especially when you two have been through a lot together — even if that person is just lines of code represented by artwork.

The creators of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the strategy game in which players lead troops to defend Earth from invading extraterrestrials, have invited players to remember the soldiers they've "lost," via Facebook.

Players of XCOM: Enemy Unknown are assigned a squadron of troops from all over the world, all with different names, appearances and countries of origin. If your soldier survives enough missions on Earth destroying aliens, he even gets a nickname, whether randomly generated or selected by the player.

After a sev…
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More About: Facebook, Gaming, video games, xcom enemy unknown

See 50 Years of Rolling Stones Concerts in Interactive Map

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:37 PM PST


CartoDB has traced every Rolling Stones tour since 1963. Each is given its own page, with individual stops connected on a map.

You can mouse over the stops to see the name of the location and the date they played there. Brief information about the tour is also included. For example, the 1967 European tour was the last to include Brian Jones, who initially formed and named the band.

The Rolling Stones have performed more than 1,300 concerts all over the world and traveled more than 621,000 miles in the last 50 years. CartoDB scraped the band's tour data from Wikipedia and imported it into CartoDB 2.0. The company then mixed in Reveal.js with its new Javascript library CartoDB.js to c…
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More About: bands, concerts, the rolling stones

Music Monday: Songs for Coding

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:36 PM PST


Exactly 197 years ago today, a woman named Ada Lovelace was born. The daughter of legendary romantic poet Lord Byron, Lovelace also enjoys an impressive reputation of her own. Rather than follow her father's literary pursuits, Lovelace opted for mathematical discovery. She is considered to be the first computer programmer, and the creator of the first algorithm constructed to be processed by a machine. Today's Google Doodle paid tribute to Lovelace, and we're doing the same with Music Monday.

Innovations in computer science touch every aspect of human life. The way we listen to music is changing -- yet again -- thanks to the rising popularity of services like Spotify and the release of n…
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More About: Ada Lovelace, Music, coding, developers, google doodle, music monday

Nike+ FuelBand Accelerator Opens the Door for Fitness Innovation

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:20 PM PST


Nike is looking for some entrepreneurs to make the most of its fitness-tracking technology, the Nike+ FuelBand.

On Monday it was announced that Nike+ Accelerator, powered by TechStars, will invite "10 companies for a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator."

This incubator will let developers work on fitness related products or services that will work on Nike's platform. This could result in some new and useful fitness-tracking apps and gadgets that could be available for purchase in the future. Have you ever wished your Nike+ FuelBand could do something else, or perhaps you've dreamt of an entirely new fitness-tracking app or device? Programs such as this one give de…
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More About: Nike+ FuelBand, fitness, incubator

Internet Goes Bananas for Lost IKEA Monkey

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:20 PM PST


The Internet can't resist a cute animal lost amongst Borgsjös and Flärdfulls. The Ikea Monkey -- a tiny Rhesus Macaque sporting a fashionable coat and found wandering a Toronto location of the retailer -- had meme makers delighting like a primate throwing feces.

Twitter and Instagram images of the Swedish furniture-loving monkey underwent the 'Shop treatment, making the Ikea Monkey the most famous primate since Marcel on Friends.

According to the Toronto Star, the monkey will have a new home at the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Good thing IKEA delivers.

Image courtesy of @GraphicMatt

Image courtesy of @HailoToronto

Image courtesy of @AIHHockey

Im
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More About: Watercooler, memes

Hands-On Learning in School Just Got Very Real

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:04 PM PST


Here's a surefire way to get tech-obsessed middle school students interested in learning again. Bring an over-sized iPad into the classroom, and fill it with games and apps based on the school's curriculum. Then, let them loose.

The over-sized iPad is actually a table called an Activ Table made by education company Promethean. It uses Microsoft Surface technology which lets kids interact with touch, gestures and movement. It also allows collaboration so up to six kids can work together at one time.

Students have grown-up using the power of touch and gesture control, and bringing that understanding into the classroom is what many teachers are hopi…
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More About: Kids, e-learning, education, surface

How Online Dead Ends Can Derail Sales

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 02:04 PM PST


Online retailers anticipate a record $43.4 billion payday from the holiday sales season. But a new study indicates that they may be leaving plenty of consumer cash on the table. The Grinch in this tale are dead ends in the purchasing process that litter the online aisles with abandoned shopping carts.

Online sales would be significantly greater if online shoppers had easier access to customer service assistance when they need it, according to a national consumer panel survey sponsored by VHT, which develops online customer service solutions.

More than three-quarters of shoppers attempting to make an online purchase said they had been frustrated trying to obtain help when experiencing d…
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More About: customer service, online shopping, sales

Santa and Moses Spar in Rap Battle Starring Snoop Lion

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 01:49 PM PST


The creators of the parody rap battle between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are in the holiday spirit (kinda), unleashing a Santa Claus vs. Moses lyrical feud.

More About: Snoop Lion, snoop dogg

10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2012

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 01:49 PM PST


Red Bull Stratos


Advertiser: Red Bull Ad Agency: N/A Why It Works: Red Bull went to the edge of space to get our attention. Felix Baumgartner's breaking of the sound barrier in a 23-mile freefall to Earth was riveting wherever you saw it. Red Bull has rewritten event marketing forever, leaving us with transcendent images of a man who could have exploded in space. Felix's final words before his jump: "Sometimes you have to get up really high to understand how small you are." Indeed.

Click here to view this gallery.


Viral advertising is a whole new ball game. Here's who got it right in 2012.

More About: Advertising, Business, Video, Year End 2012, features, viral video

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