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March 30 2013

PayTango Lets You Pay With the Touch of a Finger

The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: PayTango

One-Line Pitch: PayTango lets you pay by scanning your fingerprint instead of a card so you can leave the plastic behind.

Why It's Taking Off: The startup aims to provide universities and gyms with a special scanner that connects the customer's fingerprint with a credit card, debit card or loyalty card.

Forget paying with credit cards or even your phone, a new service is aiming to let you pay with just the touch of your finger. Read more...

More about Startups, Business, and The Launchpad
Robots Mimic Ant Colony Behavior

Robot swarms can mimic how ant colonies navigate complex mazes relatively mindlessly, researchers have found — knowledge that could help to improve designs for manmade transportation networks.

Scientists are fascinated by ant colonies because they can form collectives called "superorganisms" that function as single organisms do. Investigation into how ants behave has revealed more about how such group behavior arises, and some researchers are using that knowledge to help build smarter robot swarms, said Simon Garnier, a scientist who studies animal behavior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Read more...

More about Robots, Transportation, Science, Tech, and Dev Design
This Bra Dryer Makes Lingerie Laundry Easier

Drying bras is more complicated than you think. Pop them in the dryer and ruin the delicate pieces. Hang them on a line and you'll have to wait for hours. Luckily, one man has found the solution to our intimate first world problem with Ricasol, a bra dryer that solves your undergarment woes

Using an infrared light to warm up the fabric, Ricasol evaporates moisture and preserves the garment's shape. To help maintain form, the warm air is close to human body temperature. The breast-shaped device dries your bra in 20 to 30 minutes on a flat surface and comes in a range of sizes


More about Gadgets and Lifestyle
Tumblr Back Up After Network-Wide Outage

Update: The issue appears to have been resolved:

Network issues that affected certain Tumblr users have been resolved. Thanks for your patience.

— Tumblr (@Tumblr) March 30, 2013

Tumblr was experiencing "network issues" that prompted a system-wide outage Friday night

The company, which recently announced that more than 100 million blogs were using its platform, provided an update on the situation via its Twitter feed:

Tumblr is still experiencing network issues. We’re working very hard to remedy them. Thanks for your patience.

— Tumblr (@Tumblr) March 30, 2013


More about Tumblr, Business, and Media
8 Reasons Easter and Children Don't Mix

Easter has had a strong hold as a kid-friendly holiday. Sure, it's well advertised with its bunnies and chocolate and pastel colors, but in its truest form the holiday is quite dangerous to children

Just ask the kids in these eight videos who have been scared hare-less by these hopping mammals or had their parents plot cruel Easter eggs tricks on them. There is no holiday cheer for them, especially when they're forced to take pictures with a creepy bunny

The Hot Commercials has compiled the most epic Easter fails in a round-up that might influence you to skip the egg-dying and bunny costumes this year and opt for something less terrifying to kids — perhaps an Easter pony? No one is scared of ponies Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Easter, Cute Kids, Share As Post, and Watercooler
How to Set Parental Controls on In-App Purchases

Apps have become an important part of many kids' lives. There are educational apps that lend a hand in teaching math and history skills, apps for staying in touch with parents, and apps that just read you a story when no one else is around. But when no one else is around is when some kids get into trouble — racking up huge charges from in-app purchases from free apps and games

There have been numerous stories in the past few weeks of kids making in-app purchases while playing a free game on their parent's iPad. Some adults call the added costs deceptive, others say it's too difficult to monitor. One parent went so far as to report his son for fraud so he could try to recoup the charge from his credit card company. Read more...

More about Itunes Store, In App Purchases, Parental Controls, Gadgets, and Lifestyle

March 29 2013

Doctors Use Big Data to Improve Cancer Treatments

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is looking to further personalize and improve cancer care by tapping into data from millions of patients around the nation

The organization completed the prototype for CancerLinQ, a "learning health system" that collects and analyzes anonymous patient information to provide immediate feedback and guidance for physicians

Very little is known about most people's experiences with cancer because information is locked in unconnected servers and paper files, says Sandra M. Swain, president of ASCO. Only 3% of cancer patients participate in clinical trials, but that small percentage isn't reflective of patients doctors see every day Read more...

More about Health, Data, Cancer, Lifestyle, and Health Fitness
Band Hijacks Google Street View Car for Music Video

Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys may be the first folks to create art out of a Google Street View taping.

Unless they're lying to you. In which case they'd be just another band in the back of a pickup truck.

The Grand Rapids, Mich., sextet, an outlaw country outfit that likes "Fishing, Hunting" and "Ridin' in the Hillbilly Hummer and the Hummer Deluxe," just dropped a new music video for their Nashville name-dropping anthem "Could Be Me." In it, the band reportedly puts a friends' access to a Google Street View car to good use.

The video tracks the Grizzly Boys and a big group of their friends as they cruise down a snowy road in Michigan on the backs of three pickup trucks. Rather than appearing in standard video form, the camera's focus fades in and out, as if someone's pushing the forward arrow on a Google Street View map. Read more...

More about Youtube, Google Street View, Music Video, Entertainment, and Music
Android-Powered PC Lets Parents Monitor Kids' Online Activities

When it comes to digitally-inclined children, a parent's biggest concern is safety. Kids' constant connection makes it difficult to keep track of how much time they're spending online or what content they're coming across — but one Kickstarter project is giving parents back the control

MiiPC, a compact personal computing device, connects with most computer monitors or TV screens and lets parents track use from a mobile app. The device runs on Android's OS and each family member can utilize a separate desktop account. Check out the video, above, for more

If your child is playing Angry Birds instead of researching a book report, you can keep them on course by specifying which apps and websites they can access. You can even log them out remotely or prevent future logins. Parents can also review a history of users' online use, and each account is personalized and can be controlled in real-time Read more...

More about Video, Android, Parenting, Gadgets, and Lifestyle
Marissa Mayer Tells Inside Story of How Yahoo Wooed Her

Marissa Mayer was originally planning a six-month maternity leave, but shortened that to two weeks after she got the CEO job at Yahoo, she revealed in a blog post on Friday.

Mayer's contribution, on Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In blog, tells the inside story of her frame of mind when Yahoo came calling:

On June 18th, I got the call.

“I’m doing a CEO search. It’s a Fortune 500 company. It’s in the consumer Internet space. It’s in Silicon Valley — you wouldn’t even have to move. It’s the perfect job for you. The board is asking for you by name. Are you interested? It’s Yahoo.”

Mayer writes that she had gotten similar calls before, but was intrigued because she was a Yahoo fan: Read more...

More about Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, and Business
Follow These 10 Twitter Accounts for North Korea News

Tension across the Korean peninsula is rising: bellicose rhetoric coming from the North has gotten increasingly menacing and South Korea, along with the United States, hasn't backed down

The American military conducted Thursday a test along with the South Korean army, flying B-2 stealth bombers and carrying out mock bombing exercises. The United States' drills were intended to show North Korea that they're ready to support South Korea in case of war. Friday, North Korea announced Kim Jong-un has ordered its missile units to be ready to strike.


More about World, North Korea, South Korea, Twitter, and Us World
Marriage Equality Campaign Causes 120% Increase in Facebook Pic Swaps

If you thought you were seeing all your Facebook friends swap their photos to red equality signs Tuesday, you were right. Facebook reported a 120% increase in profile picture swaps, as compared to an average day

According to a post from Facebook data scientist Eytan Bakshy, 2.7 million more users swapped their photos Tuesday, March 26, than on the previous Tuesday, due to the viral marriage equality Facebook campaign started by the Human Rights Campaign

The HRC kicked off its call to action Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT, in anticipation of the two gay marriage cases argued before the Supreme Court Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more...

More about Facebook, Us, Social Good, Gay Rights, and Supreme Court
UFO Memo Tops FBI's Most-Viewed List

The most popular file in the FBI Vault has been viewed nearly a million times over the past two years. Yet, it is only a single page, relaying an unconfirmed report that the FBI never even followed up on. The file in question is a memo dated March 22, 1950 — 63 years ago last week.

It was authored by Guy Hottel, then head of our field office in Washington, D.C. Like all memos to FBI Headquarters at that time, it was addressed to Director J. Edgar Hoover and recorded and indexed in FBI records.

So what is this document that has so many people talking? It’s a short memo titled “Flying Saucers, Information Concerning,” and begins: “An investigator for the Air Forces stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico Read more...

More about Ufo, Fbi, Hoaxes, Aliens, and Us World
Nick Offerman Break Dancing Is Best Thing You'll Ever See

Add break dancing to Nick Offerman's list of many talents

The Parks and Recreation actor got jiggy with it on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, after recalling his childhood days on the soybean fields. Turns out Offerman needed a way to keep himself busy while killing weeds, so he turned to the fine art of break dance (as one does)

At the time, he dubbed himself "Tick Tock" and busted some sweet moves. And, after all these years, he proved to Fallon that he hasn't lost the beat

But really, did any of us doubt his ability to get down and get funky? Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Tv, and Share As Post
Chances Are You've Been Resetting Your Router Wrong

The first line of troubleshooting for any Internet issue is always to restart the modem and router - annoying, but usually effective

But did you know that there's actually a precise optimal sequence for powering down and rebooting those devices? A new Kickstarter project is betting that you didn't —or that if you did, you'd still like the process to be streamlined

Enter The Amazing Jellybean - a device that "reboots your connected devices in the correct order to solve connection problems," according to its description

Plug your router and modem into The Amazing Jellybean and then plug the device into the wall. When you need to reset, simply press one button and the rest of the process will take care of itself. Read more...

More about Gadgets, Troubleshooting, Routers, Tech, and Dev Design
Kung Fu Grandpa Will Kick You to Easter Sunday

While some people prepare for Easter inside of the grocery store, one man makes use of the space right outside of it.

A man in Richmond, Va. was practicing some Kung Fu moves in a Food Lion parking lot when a bystander couldn't help but cheer him on from afar. The enthusiastic commentator — known as Rev. Aamon R. Miller on YouTube — sets an imaginary scenario for what was happening outside of his car

SEE ALSO: This 84-Year-Old Is No Match for Video Games

Was this man really whipping nunchucks next to his pickup truck in preparation for Easter Sunday? Probably not, but it's fun to pretend. One thing is for certain — no one is going to mess with this guy Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Humor, Watercooler, Videos, and Youtube Video Lead
The First Ever Honest Cable Company Ad

Hey, you. Yes, we're talking to you. The person who is getting scammed by their cable company

You're probably paying $300 a month for "high-speed cyber hyper double turbo speed extra secure Internet and premium cable" — aren't you? That company promised you it was the latest and greatest of packages that would save you billions of dollars over the course of a lifetime, so you opted in

After all, how else are you going to stream Game of Thrones while simultaneously using Pinterest?

But your cable and Internet has been out since last June and you're still waiting for that repair guy, right? Well, here's the cable company you should be investing in. They are honest, they are reliable and, unlike the rest of them, they'll tell you straight up how they are cheating you out of your paycheck Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Parodies, Watercooler, Videos, and Youtube Video Lead
Vine Grows the Ability to Embed Videos

Vine, with its easy way to create short GIF-like looping videos, has been a hit for Twitter, but its fans long for more features and functionality. Vine is answering that call a little bit today by adding the ability to embed Vine videos.

Previously, Vine users could embed tweets with vines, but now they'll be able to embed the Vine videos themselves, at full 600 x 600 resolution, on any website. Like so:

When you click on the Embed button on a Vine link, you can choose between a standard embed (above) or a "Postcard," which puts the Vine user's profile picture and the caption for the Vine in a white frame that surrounds the video (for standard embeds, that info appears via mouseover). For both standard and postcard embeds, you can choose between 600, 480 or 320 pixels for the resolution. Read more...

More about Vine, Twitter, Tech, Apps Software, and Animated Gifs
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