Thursday, September 29, 2011

Googler Builds Site That Shows You What Top Tech Companies Pay

Screen Shot 2011-09-29 at 7.32.44 PM
Last night at an informal gathering of tech people, someone likened Silicon Valley to a “Las Vegas for people who want to make crazy shit” equating VCs and angel investors to gamblers of sorts.
Well if investors are gamblers, and startups are hands of cards, what does that make engineers? I don’t know (in the Vegas analogy I’m Hunter S. Thomson), but it sure seems like they get paid a lot.
Attempting to match up actual numbers to that “a lot,” Google Customer Solutions Engineer Gareth Jones has set up a site called TechCompanyPay, which allows you to comprehensively search for what $ various postions will pay at tech heavy hitters, replete with LinkedIn links for said positions so you can put faces to an amount...
Via TechCrunch

Song of the Day: Dale Anne Bradley covers U2's "I still haven't found what I'm Looking For"

Some Bluegrass U2...

Listen at Spotify

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - East Kentucky Morning

Jason Alexander admits to wearing a toupee and explains why

He raised eyebrows after stepping out with a thicker head of hair last week.
And after many questions from curious his fans, actor Jason Alexander has taken to his Twitter to explain the mystery of his reappearing locks.
The 52-year-old Seinfeld star admitted that he is indeed wearing a hairpiece and went on to detail his long battle to address his balding look...
Via Mail Online

William Shatner Is Iron Man!

The Pros & Cons of Frictionless Sharing

One of the most controversial aspects of Facebook's re-design announcements last week was the introduction of "frictionless sharing." That's Facebook's term for when something you are reading, listening to or watching is automatically shared to your Facebook Timeline. Up till now, sharing on the social Web has largely been a manual process. You click a Facebook "Like" button, you click the "Check In" button in Foursquare, you click a button to "Re-Tweet" something. With Facebook's frictionless sharing, once you approve a media partner app, all of your activity in that app is automatically shared to Facebook. No need to click any buttons.

Frictionless sharing may well turn out to be a masterstroke by Facebook (I actually think it will). But because this is a relatively new concept, people rightly have concerns about it. In this post we'll review the pros and cons, so that you can decide for yourself whether to enable automated sharing....
Via ReadWriteWeb

Gibson Firebird X guitar tunes itself, runs apps

Gibson Firebird X
Yes, but will it play "Freebird?"
(Credit: Gibson)

I have a Gibson guitar. I have to tune it myself. It doesn't have onboard effects. I can't load third-party apps onto it. My guitar is so old-fashioned, it has a hole in the top for the sound to get out. In short, it's no Firebird X.

The limited-edition Firebird X launches on September 30 with a list of specs that reads more like a Dell computer than a guitar. It even has system requirements for Windows 7 and Mac OS X...

Via Crave - CNET

Class, Turn on Your Cell Phones: It's Time to Text

As we noted in August, cell phones are in the hands of the vast majority of adults, and whether schools like it or not, they're in the hands of most students. While many schools still see cell phones as a distraction rather than as an educational tool, it's hard to deny that these devices are quickly becoming the primary means by which we communicate, in or out of schools.
For most teens, it's not the "phone" part of a cell phone that they use most. Rather it's text messaging. A Pew survey from last summer found that one in three teens sends more than 100 text messages a day -- and more than 3,000 messages per month. Statistics like this point to all sorts of possibilities for educational opportunities around texting, particularly if you want to tap into the tools that teens are already using.
But text messaging has other benefits as well. Unlike apps that are only available on certain smartphones, or mobile websites that are only accessible on Internet-enabled devices, text messaging is widely available. This makes it an important and accessible communication tool, one that can meet the needs of schools and communities.

Group SMS for learning

Meeting that need is the goal of Celly, a startup out of Portland, Ore. A simple description of the new company: Celly offers SMS-based group messaging. Anyone can create or join a group by visiting the website or by sending a text to C-E-L-L-Y (2-3-5-5-9). And it's free to use (not counting what phone companies
charge for messaging).
Classrooms can use the service to take quick polls and quizzes, filter messages, get news updates, take notes, and organize group study -- all in real time.
Though it might seem like a simple premise, Celly's messaging tool is actually quite multifaceted, and the founding team -- Russell Okamoto and Greg Passmore -- aims to make it work for schools and civic organizations....
Via MediaShift

Hallmark Now Selling Unemployment Sympathy Cards

Call it another sign of our difficult economic times: Hallmark has taken a cue from the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate and released a line of cards for people who’ve lost their jobs.
Caring or insulting?

“It’s says something about the economy I suppose. But it also says something about that folks are still loving and caring and want to encourage folks along the way,” Emily Louis said....
Via CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Quora releases official iPhone app

Quora, the popular Q&A social network, has just released their official iPhone app in the App Store. Quora for iPhone adds a new iOS-only feature called “Nearby” that lets you browse questions based on location using Google Maps...
Via The iPhone Blog

Monitor Visitor Activity on your Site As-It-Happens [Video]

google analytics real time
Google Analytics, the world’s favorite web analytics tool that lets you track visitors to your website, just got better. It now offers traffic reports in real-time.
Earlier there was a delay of 3-4 hours before Google could update their reports but now the Analytics charts on your screen will update almost instantly (see video) as visitors enter or leave your pages.
Google Analytics offers three key metrics for your site in real-time – where are people coming from (geographic location), how are they finding your site (search queries and referrals) and what are they reading on your site (top pages). You also get to know the number of visitors that are currently on your site.
The real-time reporting feature just got enabled in my Google Analytics dashboard and the traffic reports are now absolutely fascinating to watch. The location real-time report is integrated with Google Earth plug-in as well but for some reason, it didn't work in any of my browsers.
Now if I share a story on Twitter, or if some popular site link to this blog, I can quickly jump to Google Analytics to see the response. This won't have been possible without real-time reports....

Digital Inspiration @labnolThis story, Monitor Visitor Activity on your Site As-It-Happens [Video], was originally published at Digital Inspiration on September 29, 2011 under Google Analytics, Internet.

How To Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds

Woodgrain Post-it Stack: How the Heck Do You Think They Made This?

It never occurred to me that if you printed a woodgrain cross-section on a piece of paper, and the ink bled enough to appear on the paper's edges...
...and you stacked those sheets into a solid brick, you'd then see woodgrain along the sides. Making this one nifty Post-it pad...
Via Core77

Which Telecoms Store Your Data the Longest? Secret Memo Tells All

The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to newly-released Justice Department internal memo that for the first time reveals the data retention policies of America’s largest telecoms....
Via Threat Level

Fresh Start for Vintage Suitcases: Pet Furniture from Atomic Attic

Upcycled pet beds Fresh Start for Vintage Suitcases: Pet Furniture from Atomic Attic

By combining upcycled, vintage and hand-made, Oregon-based Atomic Attic has created fantastic furniture for your favorite pets. Vintage suitcases and TVs were transformed into fascinating pet furniture that add color and style to your pet’s favorite corner of the house. Made from different suitcase – like a Bright Red American Tourister Vintage Suitcase, a Bright Baby Blue Samsonite Vintage Suitcase or a Off-White Lady Baltimore Suitcase – or even vintage office chairs – like the round one seen in the photos below- these pet beds come with “removable, triple stitched, machine washable fluffy cushion for cleaning convenience“. Reinforced bottoms and metal or wood legs turn the classy suitcases into fabulous pet furniture items. The inspiration for these fresh pet beds and furniture came from the benefit of living with “a small army of kids and cats“. If you ever found yourself in need for a beautiful, charming and colorful pet bed, visit Atomic Attic’s Etsy shop...

Super Sushi - 13lbs

Super Sushi
The Umewaka Restaurant in Anjo City, Japan serves the “Generous Roll”, a futomaki that weighs more than 13 lbs. and has a diameter of almost 8″. The cost? About $200. Itadakimasu!
Via The Awesomer

The Products You Buy - Ode to Consumerism

The products you buy will not make you smarter.
They will not make you successful.
They will not make you more attractive.
They will not make you popular.
They will not make you a better person.
They will not fill your hours with joy.
There is only one thing that can do all of these things, and that thing isn’t found at or on the shelves of your local grocery store.
That one thing that can achieve all of this is you. Not products. You.
If you want to be smarter, don’t buy a product. Instead, head to the library and pick up some books to read on the topics you want to know more about, then spend some evenings actually reading them. Take things you don’t understand in your life and take the time to understand them. Ask questions and seek answers to those questions.
If you want to be successful, don’t buy a product. Instead, work hard. Be reliable. Produce results. Try to look at everything you do through the eyes of your employer (or client or customer) and ask yourself what you would need to do to appear valuable to the situation....
Via The Simple Dollar

Lioness saves cub who fell down cliff

cute animals - Acting Like Animals: Rescue Me!
Who says humans are the only animals capable of pulling off daring and dangerous rescue missions? When no other member of her pride was willing to help rescue her cub, this courageous lioness took matters into her own paws.
cute animals - Acting Like Animals: Rescue Me!

See the rest of this rescue mission after the jump...

Via Daily Squee

No Comment: Proof that Samsung shamelessly copies Apple

Click through for picture series of ways that Samsung has copied Apple:

We saw this image posted to Reddit after seeing it linked on Daring Fireball, and it was just too good not to share. Below you'll see a very long image that shows how extensively Samsung has copied Apple in its products, packaging, presentation, marketing, and even app interfaces. Any one of these things by itself you might be able to pass off as coincidence or with the "there's only so many ways to skin a tablet" argument, but when they're put all together like this it's pretty unmistakable how extensively and shamelessly Samsung is aping Apple....

Baby pandas need a nap

Via Boing Boing

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smartphone app provides custom nutrition information

Honest Label Foods developed an application that provides customizable nutrition information when users scan bar codes with a smartphone. The patent-pending system lets users set calorie and other nutrient parameters as well as specify ingredients to be avoided....
Via SmartBrief

Xobni Rebrands Its Product Smartr, Launches Contact Manager For Android And Gmail

Xobni always was a clever name (it’s Inbox backwards), but perhaps it was too clever. Today, the startup that tries to make your email smarter is rebranding its newer products Smartr and launching them out of private beta for Android and Gmail.
These products have been in private beta for several months. The Gmail add-on shows you contextual information about whoever is sending you an email culled from various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and company databases. It also shows you your relationship history with that contact, a list of pervious email conversations and related contacts, as well as contact search...

Flickr Co-Founder Launches Glitch Game

glitch-logo.jpgFlickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield has launched Glitch, a massively multi-player online game that he created with his company TinySpeck.
The game is an imaginative journey through the minds of 11 giants that is somewhat fun to play, but will probably require a little explanation. We spoke with Butterfield about Glitch.

Butterfield told us he wants to flip the model for online games by creating a gaming environment that is more about creating culture and less about the game....
Via ReadWriteWeb

'Smart' window switches to dark mode to save energy

A new type of "smart" window that switches from summer to winter mode has been made by South Korean scientists.

The window darkens when the outside air temperatures soar, and becomes transparent when it gets cold in order to capture free heat from the sun.

Similar windows already exist, but the researchers say their method allows for an almost instantaneous switch from opaque to transparent....

Via BBC News

Don Draper Pitches The Facebook Timeline

Screen Shot 2011-09-27 at 2.48.22 PM
“This makes me happy on a lot of levels,” tweets Facebook Product manager Sam Lessin, about this Mad Men homage to Facebook’s recently unveiled profile Timeline. Aside from founding (and selling) to Facebook, Lessin was primarily responsible for the look and feel of Facebook Timeline, and has a right to be happy, after all, it could have ended up looking like this.
Says the video’s creator Eric Leist in his explainer notes, “The most compelling elements of Facebook’s Timeline are the ones that made Kodak’s Carousel [what Draper is pitching in the original scene, below] popular. Reminiscing is a social activity. It always has been, and now Facebook is bringing that activity online.”...

Via TechCrunch

Dynamic Views: seven new ways to share your blog with the world

As we said a few weeks ago when we launched a completely rebuilt, streamlined authoring and editing experience, we’re in the process of bringing you a much improved and modernized Blogger. The next phase of these updates starts today with seven new ways to display your blog, called Dynamic Views.

Built with the latest in web technology (AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3), Dynamic Views is a unique browsing experience that will inspire your readers to explore your blog in new ways. The interactive layouts make it easier for readers to enjoy and discover your posts, loading 40 percent faster than traditional templates and bringing older entries to the surface so they seem fresh again....

Via Official Google Blog

‘Cat Scratch,’ The Turntable for Kitties

If you own a cat, there's little reason not to buy it its own record player

Fact: Cats will scratch everything in your home except the expensive purpose-made scratching post you bought them. Shredding a sofa is always better than following the rules for these devil-creatures, but that doesn’t stop the Cat Scratch Turntable from being 100% awesome (and probably 100% tacky)....

Via Gadget Lab

Finland's Baby Boxes for Expectant Mothers: A Nation's Gift

Finland's tradition of sending expectant mothers a boxful of baby goods to get them started reaches back to the 1930's. It still exists today, and you can take a detailed look at the contents of the 2011 box right here.
When I studied in Finland a decade ago now, a Finnish friend of mine was expecting her first child. I remember one day she received a maternity package in the mail. It was an eagerly-awaited milestone for her, but completely new to this American. It amazed me then, though I was a young college student. And it amazes me even more now that I'm a mom:...
Via Ohdeedoh

The Best Of The 2011 Surf Dog Competition

Click through for full series of photos:

This past weekend was about legends. It was about honoring the old guard and celebrating one sport’s superstars. As you can obviously tell from the banner image, that sport is dog surfing. On Saturday, the 6th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon competition took place in Del Mar, California, and the event, hosted by the Helen Woodward Animal Center, raised more than $100,000 for orphaned pooches. And I like to imagine that they all live in a really cool surf academy called “Surf’s Pup!” because that would be awesome....

Via With Leather

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friends Can Help Recover Your Facebook Account

Use Trusted Friends to Recover your Facebook Account
Trusted Friends is one of the other useful security related feature of Facebook that some of us may not be aware of (video).
You choose any 3-5 friends, who you trust, and Facebook will send them recovery instructions for your account in the worst case scenario where you have forgotten your Facebook password and have also lost access to your email accounts and your mobile phone....

Digital Inspiration @labnolThis story, Friends Can Help Recover Your Facebook Account, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on September 21, 2011 under Facebook, Security, Internet.

Sesame Street: G - Glee Parody

"G," a spoof of the television show Glee and Journey's song, "Don't Stop Believin'." To prepare for G-gionals, the G Club members sing a song about the letter "G" and the two sounds it makes. Sesame Street's 42nd season begins September 26th, 2011.

Hulu reaches 1 million mark in paid customers

Hulu has already surpassed its goal of reaching 1 million paying customers by the close of 2011, according to chief executive Jason Kilar. The video site will spend more than $375 million for content this year, Kilar said at an investor conference. Meanwhile, a potential $2 billion sale of Hulu by its owners -- News Corp., Walt Disney Co., Comcast's NBCUniversal and Providence Equity Partners -- is still being evaluated, said Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp....
Via CEA SmartBrief

Facebook to add a "Want" button to aid social shopping

Facebook users will soon have a way to alert their friends when they see a product they covet for sale via the social site. The new "Want" button will offer Facebook and retailers greater insight into customers' desires and help them target ads to users, according to this analysis...
Via SmartBrief

Dutch engineers make 'robot legs' for stroke patients

LOPES therapeutic robot
The LOPES therapeutic robot can do all or some of the walking for you

Scientists in the Netherlands are using robotic legs to try to improve the movement of stroke patients.

The prototype device is called the Lower-extremity Powered ExoSkeleton, or LOPES, and works by training the body and mind of a patient to recover a more natural step.

The machine is also being tested on spinal injury patients who have recovered some restricted movement in their legs....
Via BBC News

A fool-proof teen driver tracking device?

The keys to the family car are a teen's passport to freedom, but a new tracking device could help parents curb the wanderlust in young drivers.
The iTeen365 is the GPS equivalent of a toddler leash for cars.
Parents can purchase the iTeen365 device online, have it professionally installed in their vehicle, set up a geofence online, and sit back and relax. The tracking system takes care of the rest...
Via CNET Reviews

Samsung Unveils Flexible Android Smartphone

Think a flexible smartphone is just science fiction? You might have to think again, thanks to Samsung. The Korean company recently unveiled Galaxy Skin, an Android smartphone that can take on different shapes and take on even hammer blows, set for a 2012 Q2 release.
So aside from its flexible form, what specs can Galaxy Skin boast of? For starters, it will have a flexible 4″ AMOLED display (800×480) made of plastic polyimide substrate. Samsung already confirmed that they have started production of such screens. This form of AMOLED technology consumes less energy but still delivers good screen brightness compared to the normal Samsung AMOLED screens....
Via Android Authority

Google-Branded SIM Card May Suggest Future Google Cellular Service

Well look at what we have here: a Google-branded SIM card. Could this be a foreshadowing of a future Google cellular service? The card is said to have come from Spain, where it is being tested by engineers with the Nexus S. Another picture has surfaced showing ‘Google_Es’ identified as the carrier with the SIM inserted....
Via Android News, Rumors and Updates

Neutrino Humor

"We don't allow faster than light neutrinos in here" said the bartender. A neutrino walks into a bar.Fri Sep 23 15:41:25 via Twitter for Mac

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BBC Overhauling Its Website For 'Swipabiity'

Expect to see more of this. The BBC is redesigning its website to take account of how users are now “swiping” using touchscreen devices.
The programme began under new future media director Ralph Rivera’s regime on Wednesday with a homepage redesign beta that includes scrolling carousels of featured content.
“The beta provides a first glimpse of core design principles that will underpin the reshaped BBC Online, which take into account changing user behaviours including the preference for ‘swiping’ through content – increasingly intuitive given the rise of touch-screen smart phones and tablets,” the BBC says....

$577 Million in Daily Deals Go Unredeemed [infographic]

dealsgoround_150.jpegDealsGoRound says it has uncovered a $577 million opportunity in the daily deals space. Nearly 22% of deals purchased from Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe and elsewhere go unredeemed according to a survey from Rice University. This represents a huge secondary market for re-selling deals, which is precisely what DealsGoRound does. To illustrate the opportunity here, DealsGoRound has released the following infographic breaking down what Petersen calls the "cycle" of daily deals....

Via ReadWriteWeb

Apple finds a use for some of those first-generation iPads

...It's part of a public service program Apple initiated last spring with the launch of the iPad 2. Owners of first-generation iPads who had no use for them were invited to donate the devices to teachers in low-income communities.

It's not clear how many units Apple collected, but in August every Teach for America corps member -- more than 9,000 in 38 states -- was offered a free iPad 1....
Via Fortune Tech

Gling? Glam Buys Ning for $200 Million

Glam Media, a social content platform for sites primarily targeting women, said it’s buying Ning, the custom social-platform start-up co-founded by Marc Andreessen.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed, but sources close to the deal said the sale price was $200 million, mostly in stock. Glam has been eyeing an initial public offering, so shares being part of the deal is not a surprise...
Via AllThingsD

The perfect solution for sleepy travelers

Click through for more photos:

...The mini, portable hotel room features up to three beds, electrical outlets, luggage storage space, reading lamps, blinds, Wi-Fi, safety deposit box and a touchscreen TV. Weary globetrotters can rent the Sleepbox for between 30 minutes and several hours, but the units are currently only available at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
Via Holy Kaw!

Find your car with myPark for iPhone

mPark is an iPhone app that not only saves the location at which you parked your car and warns you when your meter is running out of time, but it keeps track of how long it will take you to walk back to your car and takes that into consideration when sending you alerts....

Via iPhone Blog

Google+ for Everyone

Three months after the launch, Google+ no longer requires invitation and it's available to anyone who has a Google account. "For the past 12 weeks we've been in field trial, and during that time we've listened and learned a great deal. We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta," informs Google....

...Hangout has many other features you can preview by clicking "Try Hangouts with extras": screensharing, sketchpad, Google Docs integration and named hangouts "for when you want to join or create a public hangout about a certain topic".

Via Google Operating System

AVATAR Coming To Disney Parks

We have great news to share today. At a press conference happening right now at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs just announced a long-term creative partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Disney Parks. And it’ll all begin at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.
AVATAR Coming To Disney Parks
James and his producing partner Jon Landau and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will serve as creative consultants on the project and will work side-by-side with our Walt Disney Imagineers as we dream up experiences that will take our guests deep into worlds of AVATAR like never before....

Via Disney Parks Blog

The Milky Way from the top of the world | Bad Astronomy

Click through for full size photo and details:

In case your jaw has not been hitting the floor enough lately, here is an exquisite photograph of the Milky Way seemingly wedged into a mountainside of Nepal:
Via Discover Blogs

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WSJ Social, For a World Where Facebook Is the New Internet

...Now The Wall Street Journal has what it thinks is an answer to this problem. Called WSJ Social, it filters Journal content through the so-called social graph to yield a news product that lives entirely within the walls of Facebook. It launches Tuesday. Here’s what it looks like:
...But it’s also about reimagining newspaper reading as an inherently social experience. Users choose whose streams they want to follow — the official ones produced by the paper’s, and each other’s — and that determines what stories they see. The most-followed users can compare their rankings on a leaderboard and earn prizes — possibly including their own WSJ-style stipple portraits. “It’s really about the users being elevated to editors,” says Maya Baratz, the Journal’s head of new products....
Via Forbes

The Coming Irrelevance of SEO

Before planning the next set of revisions to your e-commerce website, you might consider that consumer behavior is changing -- and search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming less important. Thanks to improvements in trust and safety, as well as predictability enhancements that brands like Amazon and eBay have brought to the space, consumers simply aren't turning to Google to purchase products. Instead, they are going to trusted marketplaces that offer a safe shopping experience. Consumers, especially younger ones, are less likely to go to unfamiliar websites....

Via E-commerce Times

Tomorrow's New TV Tasted Today: Fox's "New Girl"

Click through for a a series titled "Tomorrow's New TV Tasted Today" including a posts on "Unforgettable", "Ringer", "The Playboy Club" and "Two Broke Girls" with more shows to come.

If you could bite into a TV show, what would it taste like?

Tasting for Tuesday, Sept 20th at 9pm:

Fox's "New Girl"Fresh Fruit Salad

My Recommendation: Bite!1

Fresh and light. Sweet, but not too sweet. Guilt free. Gluten free. Fox’s “The New Girl” is probably the best tasting new comedy of the year. I’m talking really fresh fruit salad, with raspberries, blackberries and fresh kiwi. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good fruit salad bought in a can and packed in light syrup. (And by that, I mean CBS’ “Mike and Molly.”) But this is different. Like a good fresh fruit salad, with the occasional over-ripe joke still mixed in, “The New Girl” is a refreshing treat, bursting with natural sugars, but not overly sweet. The guys in the cast are the melon, apple and other fruit salad filler, while Zooey D is the best bite of this fruit salad. The strawberry at it’s peak of ripeness...
Via Rich Media Blog