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July 18 2011

Mashable Weekend Recap: 29 Stories You May Have Missed


It was a weekend for the record books.

The FIFA World Cup Final made some big news this weekend with Japan beating USA in the final match Sunday. We saw tons of people commenting on the outcome of the game on their social channels, and as it turned out, Twitter users set a new record with the number of tweets sent per second.

Of course, we can’t forget about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 either. The final film in the Harry Potter franchise released in U.S. theaters late last week, but it continued to make news as the weekend progressed. Fans set a box office record for opening night and eventually box office records altogether.

And as far as useful resources go, we’ve got the ultimate guide to Google+, Google’s new social layer. You’ll find some other handy tools for Google+ too, including how to set up an RSS feed and how to follow Mashable staff.

News Essentials

Carmageddon Approaches: Here’s What It Will Look Like [VIDEO]

Netflix Heading to Europe in 2012 [REPORT]

LinkedIn Revamps Profiles for Students

The Rise of Mobile In-App Ads [INFOGRAPHIC]

This Week in Politics & Digital: Cyber Security in The Spotlight

Dual-Screen SpaceBook Laptop Up for Pre-Order [UPDATED]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Breaks Box Office Records

Is Google+ Becoming More Female?

Reaching 200 Million Accounts: Twitter’s Explosive Growth [INFOGRAPHIC]

Spacecraft Orbits Protoplanet in Asteroid Belt, a First [INFOGRAPHIC]

World Cup Finals: USA Loses to Japan, the Web Reacts [PICS]

World Cup Final: A New Tweets Per Second Record

David Beckham’s Baby Photo Debuts on Facebook [PICS]

Helpful Resources

HOW TO: Add Mashable Staff to Your Circles on Google+

19 Essential Google+ Resources

46 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Google+: The Complete Guide

Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week [CHART]

5 Tips for Group Deals Success

5 Ways Journalists Are Using Google+

8 Crucial Elements of Startup Success

15 Rad Retro Office Accessories [PICS]

HOW TO: Make RSS Feeds for Google+ Profiles

Tips For Negotiating Employee Equity

Weekend Leisure

Can Web Video Views Predict Box Office Magic for Harry Potter?

Jerry Seinfeld Joins Twitter

Discovered a New Band? Find Out Which Songs To Check Out First With GoRankem

Android App Displays Brain Waves Via Wireless Headband [VIDEO]

3 New Digital Apps For Offline Fun

More About: Google Plus, harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2, Weekend recap, World Cup Final

For more Social Media coverage:


July 04 2011

Scientists Discover Large Deposit of Rare Minerals Used in iPads

ipad image

A huge deposit of “rare earth” minerals has been discovered on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, Reuters reports.

Japanese scientists announced their analysis of the deposits Monday, claiming the area around Hawaii is especially rich in minerals that help build iPads, LCD TVs and other electronic devices.

Prior to this discovery, manufacturers and environmentalists alike expressed concern over the limited and dwindling supply of rare earth minerals. However, experts report that the minerals found in the Pacific may reinforce known land supply by 1,000 times.

The mud is rich in rare earth minerals like gadolinium, lutetium, terbium and dysprosium, which are especially important in the manufacturing of technology like hybrid cars and flat screens. China, which currently produces 97% of the world’s rare earth metals, has at times threatened to cut exports of the materials, leading to fear that the prices of electronic devices could soar.

Now, China’s near monopoly is threatened as scientists say that ocean bed extraction from this particular region should be relatively simple using acid leaching techniques.

“The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths. Just one sq km (0.4 sq mile) of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption,” Yasuhiro Kato, an associate professor of earth science at the University of Tokyo, said in a Guardian.co.uk interview.

More About: environment, ipad, japan, pacific, Science, tech, technology

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


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September 02 2010

15 Essential Back to School Podcasts

Podcast Books

Alexander Hotz is a freelance multimedia journalist and public radio junkie based in New York City. Currently he teaches digital media at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Follow Alex on Twitter at @hotzington.

With another long hot American summer coming to a close, many students are scrambling to get back into “learning mode” before school starts. One of the simplest ways to ease that transition is with podcasts. Whether your passion is American History or Algebra, there’s probably an educational podcast out there for you.

While these programs probably won’t mirror your lesson plan, they will explore topics covered in class. Below is a sampling of some of the exceptional podcasts that both teach and entertain. Best of all – they’re free. Read on for your “2010 Downloading Curriculum.”


Science


radiolab image

Radiolab investigates some of world’s most intriguing scientific questions in a unique conversational format. Recent episodes have examined the importance of words in human development and time. First time listeners will probably notice that the show also just sounds different.

Before becoming a radio producer, Jab Abumrad, one of Radiolab’s creators, was as an experimental musician. Abumrad’s passion for ProTools is apparent in the show’s textured soundscape, which is layered with a variety of sound effects and quick edits. Perhaps the show’s only downside is its frequency. There are only a handful of episodes every season because one Radiolab episode requires months to produce.

Outlet: WNYC, New York City’s Public Radio Station
Time: An Hour
Frequency: 5-6 every season

Additional Listening: The Naked Scientists Podcast


History


dan carlin image

In Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Carlin, a veteran journalist turned podcaster, dissects the textbook version of events. In shows that often run over an hour, the host passionately retells some of history’s best stories.

Hardcore History has become one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes, and Carlin’s widespread appeal can also be attributed to his insight. One podcast asked, “Could widespread child abuse in earlier eras explain some of history’s brutality?” Another show was based off the question, “Does the toughness of peoples play any role in history?” Don’t let the name fool you; all material is appropriate for younger listeners.

Outlet: Dan Carlin
Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours
Frequency: 5-6 every year

Additional Listening: Stuff You Missed in History Class


Economics


planet money image

Planet Money is NPR’s podcast on global economics and business. Initially created by veteran public radio reporters Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson to explain the recent financial crisis, the show quickly became one of the most popular and praised podcasts available.

Planet Money’s success lies in how it tackles complex subjects with great storytelling. A financial instrument like a Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) may sound impossibly boring, but Planet Money routinely makes these types of things the heart of a thrilling narrative. The team continues to explore the financial collapse, but they’ve expanded their scope to include all aspects of the global economy.

Outlet: NPR
Time: 15-30 minutes
Frequency: Twice a week

Additional Listening: Freakanomics Radio

Disclosure: The author interned at NPR.


English


cliff notes image

For those of us who couldn’t make it through Wuthering Heights, Cliff Notes Cramcast would have been a lifesaver. This free podcast reviews some of the stuff you need to know for the big test and does it in three to four minutes. Of course, these podcasts can’t cover every detail. To do that, you would — you know — need to read the book.

Outlet: Cliff Notes
Time: 15-30 minutes
Frequency: Twice a week

Additional Listening: Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips


Foreign Language


radio lingua image

The Internet is full of podcasts that cater to students learning foreign languages. For those interested in the major European languages, Radio Lingua is a good bet. Another reliable hub is Open University, which in addition to the European languages also has a set of Mandarin podcasts. These outlets are mainly for beginners or students who need a quick review. Both are rated highly on iTunes by users.

Outlets: Radio Lingua and Open University
Time: 15-30 minutes
Frequency: Lesson plan

Additional Listening: Other reliable podcasts include Discover Spanish and Learn French.


Math


math dude image

For those of us who struggle to calculate a 15% tip, The Math Dude’s podcast is a must-listen. Every week, affable nerd Jason Marshall explains basic concepts like how to calculate the area of an object or how to add faster. When Marshall isn’t podcasting, he researches “infrared light emitted by starburst galaxies and quasars” at Caltech, which just means his left-brain knows what’s up.

Outlet: Quick and Dirty Tips
Time: About 7 minutes
Frequency: Weekly

Additional Listening: Mathgrad.


Current Events


the bugle image

Every Sunday, comedians Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver recap the week’s events in The Bugle, a satirical podcast that is easily one of the funniest listens on the Internet. Think an audio version of The Daily Show, where Oliver is also a regular. The Bugle’s focus tends to be on the biggest international news, but the duo’s separate locations – Zaltzman in London and Oliver in New York City – ensure a focus on the English-speaking world’s antics. Although the pair has a leftward slant, there are no sacred cows. The Bugle even takes aim at itself in its tagline: “An audio newspaper for a visual world.”

Outlet: The Times (UK)
Time: 30 minutes
Frequency: Weekly

Additional Listening: NPR News, BBC World Service


More Educational Resources from Mashable:


- 10 iPhone Apps to Get You Back to School
- Why Online Education Needs to Get Social
- 5 Innovative Tech Camps for Kids and Teens
- 5 Organizations Helping Women Get Ahead in Tech
- 5 Fun Ways to Help Your Kids Learn Math Online

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock


Reviews: Internet, iStockphoto, iTunes

More About: back to school, cliff notes cramcast, current events, dan carlin, economics, education, english, foreign language, history, itunes, math, planet money, podcast, podcasts, radio lingua, radiolab, Science, the bugle, the math dude

For more Tech coverage:


10 of the Web’s Most Insightful News Infographics

New Infographic

A picture is worth a thousand words. But if you include an entire database, make it interactive, and add filtering options, the word-to-picture exchange rate is even better.

Infographics at their best are more than just pictures — they can provide new understandings, succinct summaries, or just plain old fun.

In that respect, reading newspaper archives isn’t the only way to get a deeper understanding of current events. Infographics can help us get a better grasp on what’s going on.

Check out these 10 visualizations to learn more about the news with a quick look.


1. Google’s Appetite for Acquisition


Last month alone, Google acquired social-search service Angstro, visual shopping search engine like.com, and social currency company Jambool. Google has been on an acquisition binge for some time, and it’s getting tricky to keep track of its appetite.

This graphic shows a timeline of Google’s activity in three categories: “Building Revenue Streams,” “Cutting Competition,” or “A Little of Both.”


2. Gay Marriage Chronology


The campaign for gay marriage has passed a multitude of milestones over the last decade. Unfortunately for those trying to keep track of them, the victories and setbacks vary drastically by state. Decisions are reversed and in some cases overturned by higher courts, which makes progress hard to track.

This map from the LA Times shows the status of gay marriage in each state by month. Click on a state for its most recent ruling or watch the country change from being legally similar in its treatment of same-sex couples in 2000 to sharply divided in 2010.


3. IED Attacks from Wikileaks’ Afghanistan War Logs


The frequency and fatality of IEDs (homemade bombs) in Afghanistan was highlighted when WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 secret documents about the Afghan war. Anti-war activists published this illustrative video that includes all of the incidents reported in these leaked documents.


4. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill


On April 20, an explosion on a BP drilling rig started what has become the largest accidental oil spill in history. Despite numerous strategies that were deployed to plug the leak, it wasn’t capped until July 15.

This video graphic by New Orleans online newspaper NOLA wraps timeline, graphic, and cumulative damage data into one easy-to-digest piece of media.


5. CIA World Factbook Dashboard


The CIA World Factbook has always been a great resource for putting news stories into the context of their geographic location. But now it’s also easy to get the information at a glance.

The World Factbook Dashboard allows you to color code the countries of the world by population, population growth, infant mortality, agricultural GDP, industry GDP, services GDP, total GDP, GDP/inhabitant, or inflation. Clicking on a country zooms in for more information.


6. Geography of a Recession


This map from The New York Times illustrates not only which areas suffered the highest unemployment rate after the recession, but also offers the option to filter data by metropolitan areas, areas with housing bubbles, rural areas, and manufacturing centers.


7. Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Violence Map


The Wall Street Journal updates this map constantly with violent conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to learn about the day-to-day details of the war or understand its scope, there’s no better visual resource.


8. What Does the Health Care Bill Mean to Me?


Even if you read through every health care bill article, it could be hard to exactly pick out what the law would change about your insurance coverage and taxes. The Washington Post made it easy by providing this nifty tool. Input whether you have insurance coverage, your family size, your income, and your marital status, and it will tell you how health care reform will impact your life.

For the broader picture on healthcare reform, see this subway-style map from GOOD Magazine.


9. Obama’s $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan


The government is still busy spending much of the $787 billion it allotted for the economic stimulus in February of last year. This infographic effectively illustrates how that huge chunk of change is being distributed.


10. American Casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Beyond


This chilling interactive graphic from USA Today simply illustrates the deaths in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Information seekers can search deaths by personal factors like name, age, gender, race, or home town as well as by military service details, date, cause, or place.

CNN has a more elaborate version here.


More Graphics Resources from Mashable:


- 5 Fab Twitter Follower Visualization Tools
- 10 Beautiful Social Media Infographics
- 5 Amazing Infographics for the Health Conscious
- 10 Essential Free E-Books for Web Designers
- 12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started With Photoshop

More About: afghanistan, bp, current events, gay rights, graphics, healthcare reform, infographics, iraq, News, oil-spill, stimulus, visualizations, wikileaks

For more Tech coverage:


June 11 2010

The World Cup’s Social Media Evolution

world cup map imageKaka, one of the world’s premiere soccer players, is using his Twitter account to connect with fans and do things like share a pair of songs that were written for him. During the last World Cup in 2006 Kaka — or any other player, for that matter — could have connected with fans in that way because, well, Twitter didn’t really exist.

This year’s World Cup has an unprecedented volume of social media outlets and initiatives from Twitter feeds to Facebook fan pages, viral videos to mobile apps and more. With so much access, it’s easy to lose track of where all this social media goodness actually came from. Below is a brief look at how the World Cup and social media have evolved together.


2002 – Korea/Japan World Cup


“Social media” as we know it now (complete with Twitter, Foursquare, etc.) did not exist in 2002, but the World Cup still found ways to connect with fans. (Hey, even at the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, fans could use the technology of the day — telephones — to connect to one another!)

In 2002, the Korea/Japan World Cup was one of the first to utilize the Internet by creating homepages for teams and multiple websites for the tournament. However, social media outreach was still limited in scope. “In ’02, I can’t remember anything, any social media methods with that world cup,” said Sports Illustrated producer Bryan Graham. “… I don’t even think the word ’social media’ even existed.”


2006 – Germany World Cup


weallspeakfootball image

By 2006, social media sites were starting to pick up steam. Facebook had launched but it was still restricted to college and high school students. Similarly, Twitter was still in its beta-stage and hadn’t yet caught on; MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the US. Companies like Adidas, Nike and Puma were early adopters with campaigns that included print ads, television spots and online sites.

Nike in particular teamed up with Google to create “the first social network for soccers fans worldwide,” Joga.com, allowing users to create profiles, view video and connect with fellow fans. Other companies joined in, with Adidas launching a MySpace site featuring video and exclusive content, and Coca-Cola launching a blog to track two unofficial World Cup mascots. Users could provide the mascots with suggestions and track their antics. The blog was a predecessor to similar video sites created for MySpace and YouTube.

“All we did was shoot stuff and talk to people and put it on the blog. And now that’s when the real work begins,” said Franz Strasser, a Digital Reporter/Producer at BBC America that independently blogged during the 2006 World Cup. He and his partner set up a blog to record video during the tournament. They were invited to join Coca-Cola’s WeAllSpeakFootball initiative, a site that posted content from several bloggers and vloggers. “It’s literally crazy thinking about our ‘06 projects and all those smart guys in the room who didn’t even think about Tweeting or even putting it on Facebook.”

The blog, however, lacked social interaction: “Podcasting is not live, you record it and then you post it online,” Strassed said. “But you cannot change anything, it’s done.” Interactive social communities were limited online until the birth of Twitter later in 2006. When Strasser blogged about the 2008 Euro Cup, things had changed: “In 2008 we would post [on Twitter] before we recorded a show. We asked for questions, comments, so that we would have that interaction.”


2010 – South Africa World Cup


fifa banner image

In just the two years since the Euro Cup, social media has exploded around the soccer world. Almost any site that even mentions soccer has embraced social media efforts from blogs to live streams to mobile apps. Even still, new initiatives are launched daily, such as Foursquare’s partnership with CNN to create two new World Cup badges and more than 100 viewing parties taking place across the globe.

Social media will also help link those already in South Africa trying to stay connected between the 10 far-flung soccer stadiums, some more than 1,000 miles apart. “This is a way to tie all of them together,” said Cindy Boren, the Washington Post’s Sports Social Media Editor. “It’s the string that sort of binds it together.”

Traditional media outlets like Sports Illustrated magazine are running profiles of the US national team, but are also including each players Twitter handle (10 of the 23 have accounts). “You know with FIFA, the accessibility of these players is so guarded and so controlled,” Graham said. “Just the idea that these guys are kind of removing filters, connecting with their fans, I can’t believe people aren’t talking about it more. Maybe one reason is that it’s happening across all sports.”

The World Cup starts today (Friday) but the social media storm has been gaining momentum for years ahead of time.



For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook<!--</h3-->




More sports resources from Mashable:


- HOW TO: Follow the 2010 World Cup on Twitter
- 10 Best World Cup Goals on YouTube
- 5 Amazing Android Apps for Baseball Fans
- 5 Brilliant iPhone Apps for Baseball Fans
- How the PGA Tour Uses Social Media to Connect with Fans

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, zorani

Tags: bryan graham, cindy boren, foursquare, franz strasser, kaka, myspace, social media, South Africa, twitter, world cup


June 08 2010

8 Ways to Follow Internet Week New York Online

Internet Week New York, the annual festival celebrating New York City’s web industry and community, kicked off yesterday and will continue through June 14. The week-long festival will feature more than 150 events, including panels, demos and conferences happening all over the city. Mashable’s own Media Summit event is going on right now (watch the livestream here).

Want to keep tabs on all the events this week? Check out the following ways to follow the conference online:


1. Livestream


Many of the events happening during the week will be broadcast live on the web on the conference website which means even if you aren’t in NYC you can still follow what’s going on in the city this week. You can also grab the official widget and embed live and previously recorded events on your own site or blog.


2. Twitter


internet week twitter image

You can find out the latest news from Internet Week by following the official hashtag: #iwny. Twitter users are already buzzing about the various events and discussing the hot spots around the city. You can also follow the official Internet Week Twitter feed at @internetweek.


3. PepsiCo Zeitgeist


If you like something a little more visual, you can track the latest tweets, Flickr photos, and Foursquare checkins in one place using PepsiCo Zeitgeist. The cool interactive visualization is a great way to see what’s popular at the festival and what people are talking about. It also includes a Google Map that displays the latest Foursquare activity and an animated bubble chart that displays the most popular keywords used by festival goers on Twitter.

Disclosure: Pepsi has been a sponsor of Mashable.


4. Flickr


Internet Week attendees are snapping photos all over New York City and many of those photos can be found on Flickr. You can find the latest photos from the festival by searching for photos tagged Internet Week 2010 or IWNY or by following the specific Flickr users such as Laughing Squid and Kelly Samardak who are already uploading photos from events in NYC to the site.


5. Official Calendar


internet week calendar image

The Internet Week New York website includes a schedule of events and an interactive calendar you can connect to your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn profiles to track the various events. You can also use the calendar to connect with your friends and colleagues to find out which events they are attending.


6. iPhone


internet week iphone app image

The Internet Week iPhone app includes a calendar, live Twitter updates, and the latest headlines. You can also use the app to check into Foursquare or upload photos to be included in the festival’s official Mosaic Wall.


7. Pegshot


Pegshot, the mobile application that allows users to share photos of videos directly from their smartphone, has already been buzzing during Internet Week, with users uploading content from around the city. You can also follow your fellow Internet Week attendees and be notified when they upload new photos or video.


8. Mashable’s Internet Week Channel


You find all the latest updates from Internet Week, including coverage of the events and demos, right here on Mashable. Click here to visit the Mashable Internet Week page, which will include updates and content from events throughout Internet Week.



For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




More social media resources from Mashable:


- 5 Things the Library of Congress is Archiving Online
- 5 Ways Government Works Better With Social Media
- How the U.S. Engages the World with Social Media
- How Social Media Can Effect Real Social and Governmental Change
- 6 Ways Law Enforcement Uses Social Media to Fight Crime

Tags: calendar, flickr, Internet Week, internet week ny, iphone, iwny, Live Stream, pegshot, Pepsi, twitter


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