Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fast and Furious Actor Paul Walker Dead at 40


Paul Walker, an actor best known for his role as a fast-driving cop opposite bad-guy-gone-good Vin Diesel in the Fast and Furious movie series died on Saturday in a car crash in Santa Cruz, California, according to multiple sources. Walker was 40 years old.

News of the fatal crash spread first online after celebrity news site TMZ broke the story. Initially, most other news outlets and Twitter accounts picked it up as a report.

Has it been confirmed by other news sources? RT @LanceUlanoff: Paul Walker dies in crash: report #RIP

— Jodi Echakowitz (@JodiEchakowitz) December 1, 2013

More about Actor, Entertainment, Film, and Us

from Mashable

Jolla hopes to gain market share by letting Android device owners install Sailfish

P1040752 730x547 520x245 Jolla hopes to gain market share by letting Android device owners install Sailfish

Jolla, a company made up of ex-Nokia employees that were disappointed when the MeeGo project was killed, released its first flagship phone running Sailfish OS earlier this week.

Now, the company says it has big plans to attack the smartphone market head on by making Sailfish available for installation on existing Android devices to help it open up the platform to a wider audience rather than restricting it only to first party hardware.

In an interview with Finnish website, Talouselämä, Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki said that Jolla is a “device business and OS business. It is fairly easy to install the OS on Android devices.”

It’s obvious that the company is well aware of the Android ROM community and its power to help the platform spread, with Pienimäki pointing out that “half of smartphone buyers [in China] are upgrading their older or cheaper devices with a better version of Android” and that the company believes that the community can help Sailfish OS thrive on Android hardware.

Jolla also realizes that it won’t get any money through distribution and that the company will need to add value on top of the OS, with Pienimäki continuing that applications, services and advertising are all on the table.

There’s no information about when the company might introduce a way to install the OS onto Android devices, but there’s a real possibility that if Jolla were make to make Sailfish simple to install, it could quickly gain significant market share.

from The Next Web Feed

25 Top Mashable Resources of the Week


It has been a crazy week in the tech world, so if you've been in a turkey-induced coma most of the week and missed some Mashable news, don't worry—we've got you covered

As always, we've rounded up the top 25 digital media resources of the last week, including plenty of Thanksgiving tips and Cyber Monday deals to ensure you get everything on your list. Scroll to the end for the top news of the week

Editor's Picks

A YouTube Legend Battles for His Basketball Future
Kiwi Gardner has become a star on YouTube, but does that mean he can make it in the NBA?

10 People Who Only Show Up During the Holidays
The holidays bring out some strange personalities. Look through this list and see if you recognize anyone. Read more...

More about Social, Features, Business, Tech, and Marketing

from Mashable

Beyond E-Books: HarperCollins Looks For the Next Big Thing


As competitors in the e-book subscription market, Scribd and Oyster like to emphasize their differences. Yet the two share a common talking point: They both drop the name HarperCollins.

The New York-based publishing house, whose roots date back to 1817, was the only one of the Big Five publishers to offer some of its backlist titles — and perhaps more importantly, some of its prestige — to these startups at launch, helping to kickstart the fledging Netflix-like e-book subscription market

"They intuitively got what we were doing right from the first meeting," Trip Adler, Scribd's CEO and cofounder, told Mashable in a recent interview about his interactions with HarperCollins. "They operate the most like a technology company in terms of their willingness to try new things." Read more...

More about Scribd, Startups, Ebooks, Harpercollins, and Business

from Mashable

In Which We Make Coffee With The Founders Of Bonaverde, A Machine That Roasts, Grinds, And Brews

Last we heard from the founders of Bonaverde, they had just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $135,000 to produce a coffee maker that turns green, unroasted beans into a cup of coffee in under 14 minutes.

At this point the startup has raised $465,475 with eight days to go, so we caught up with founders Hans Stier and Felix Artmann when they were in New York to check out a prototype of the machine. You may be wondering if this was just an elaborate ploy to get a free cup of coffee. The answer is yes.

As far as user experiences go, the Bonaverde is about as easy to manage as the Keurig you bought for your dad on Black Friday - although presumably less so on the cleanup. A couple spoonfuls of green coffee beans go in the hatch on top, you hit “On,” and the machine does its thing: roasting, cooling, grinding, and brewing the beans.

Unroasted beans stay fresh for months - much longer than the pre-roasted beans you might otherwise buy - so flavor is one of the claims on which Bonaverde is staking its business. Turns out their machine brews really solid coffee that's neither stale-tasting nor bitter. Some critics have pointed out that roasted beans should be allowed more time to air before they are ground, and while that may be optimal, Bonaverde's coffee was still really good.

When it launches Bonaverde will also serve as the online marketplace for the raw beans, meaning coffee farmers can connect directly with their end consumers. Down the line, the site will feature all of the producers that shoppers can buy from.

Note that coffee maker in the video is just a prototype of the one that will go to market, which has a much prettier exterior.

from TechCrunch

Kim Dotcom’s Mega to release Windows Phone app in early 2014

Hot on the heels of Mega’s release of its iOS app three days ago and the previous release of an Android app, the company has confirmed that it is also actively working on a Windows Phone version. In response to an email from a Reddit user, the company said that it plans on having the client out in early 2014 for Windows Phone 8 users.

The support representative also pointed out that the desktop sync app for Windows will be released “later this month,” which could mean we’ll see it today. Given that Mega is based in New Zealand where it’s already December, it’ll probably be released before the end of 2013.

➤ Mega coming to WP early 2014 [Reddit]


from The Next Web Feed

Why Traffic Is Digital Marketing's Foundational Metric


If you take the retail marketing adage "location, location, location," and translate it to digital, the result would be visit rate, or traffic. In the physical world, it's possible to pay premium rent to get your product in front of lots of people, but on the web, garnering traffic is a bit more nuanced. The medium requires strategies that are focused on targeted audiences rather than the general public, not because products are narrow, but because methods of measuring efficacy enable marketers to see more success this way.

Visit rate is likely the oldest metric on the Internet, and continues to be highly relevant for every kind of businesses. The most widely used statistic is visits per day, although unique visitors per day is usually seen as more actionable. This rate is often compared month-to-month or year-over-year and is often paired with frequency of visits, return visits or daily return visits Read more...

More about Traffic, Business, Marketing, Supported, and Metrics That Matter

from Mashable

Cyber Monday Deals You Can't Miss


Black Friday hadn't even ended before some retailers started teasing their deals for Cyber Monday.

Amazon announced plans to start its Cyber Monday deals at midnight on Sunday and run promotions throughout the week. Walmart did one better and started its "Cyber Week" sales on Saturday.

The term "Cyber Monday" was first coined in 2005 and it has since turned into the single biggest shopping day of the year for online retailers. Consumers spent nearly $1.5 billion online on Cyber Monday last year, the third year in a row that sales topped the $1 billion mark, according to data from comScore Read more...

More about Shopping, Ecommerce, Cyber Monday, Business, and Marketing

from Mashable

A VC And Olympic Hopeful Taps Indiegogo With A Game To Raise Funds For Young Athletes

Paul Bragiel, the batshit crazy awesome VC who has been training for months in the Arctic Circle to compete in the Sochi Winter Olympics, has a side charity project up his sleeve.

After seeing dozens of other younger Olympic contenders struggle to raise funds for training, he felt he needed to do something to help out. Some friends over at Belarusian and Lithuanian gaming studio On5 offered their talents pro bono to develop a game called Team Paul Skiing.

It's a beautiful, little side-scroller that takes a player through Bragiel's training as he skis in Finland (where he's done the bulk of his preparation). Then it shifts to Colombia, the country that gave Bragiel citizenship to compete on behalf of their Olympic team, and finally it ends in Sochi, Russia, where the Olympics will be held next year.

They set a low goal of raising $10,000 in the next seven days, and half of the proceeds will go toward different youth sports foundations in Finland and Colombia while the other half will go toward game development. But they hope to raise somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000.

Bragiel, who started i/o Ventures out of San Francisco, decided earlier this year to realize his lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics.

But there were many hurdles. For one, he didn't have a sport. Then, he was also pretty old for an Olympic hopeful at 36 years of age.

But he's hacked his way so far. After considering everything from curling to the luge, he settled on classical cross country skiing, which is a more traditional Winter Olympic sport that has more lenient rules around qualifications.

Then he secured citizenship in a warm, tropical country that is less competitive for winter sports - Colombia.

Now he's in the middle of qualifying races. To make it to the Olympics, he must be able to finish five qualifying races where he's not more than 10 minutes behind world's top cross-country skiier - no hard feat. He's competed in his first qualifying race already, which was a miss. But he's definitely not deterred. There are plenty more to come.

from TechCrunch

Tell A Compelling Story Through Diptychs For Our Photo Challenge


In photography, a diptych is a pair of photographs placed side by side to form one single artistic statement or comparison. The images can be identical or similar in composition, they can show different angles of the same scene, or they can demonstrate polar opposites such as morning and night, old and new, or before and after

Diptychs are great because they can deliver twice the storytelling impact of a single image. We want you to try this technique for this week's round of our Mashable Photo Challenge

You can use Photoshop on your computer or any collage app on your smartphone to combine your images. Feel free to check out this Flickr group for some diptych inspiration. Read more...

More about Photo, Photography, Social Media, and Mashable Photo Challenge

from Mashable Hopes To Become Kickstarter For Independent Media

The Internet wasn't kind to media. Huge media corporations have managed to transform their businesses, for the most part, but independent media, often playing a vital role in emerging countries, are seriously threatened by the lack of available funds. hopes to change that. Founded by Sasa Vucinic, V Media Ventures CEO and a former Editor-in-Chief of B92 (Serbian media corporation which played important role in the overthrow of Milosevic), the project is essentially a crowdsourcing platform focused on providing necessary funding to independent media in developing countries.

Just like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, uses a familiar concept. Media owners can create campaigns and specify the amount of money they need to run their venture. Contributors from all over the world can fund their campaigns in return for valuable prizes (ranging from a postcard to a dinner with former Prime Minister of Thailand).

However, crowdfunding isn't the only way aims to help independent media raise money. By announcing no-interest loans and mini-loans for 2014, the platform will enable its users to choose the best funding option for their media. Think of it as a mix between Kickstarter and Kiva.

"Our goal is not just to fund independent media. We want to engage the audience and democratize the ownership of media. It is the only thing that hasn't changed about this industry in the past 20 years" stated Vucinic in an interview for Netokracija.

And he should know a thing or two about financing media. Vucinic co-founded Media Development Investment Fund which he ran for over fifteen years. During that time, MDIF has raised 123 million dollars and funded more than 220 independent media projects all over the world.

Much like MDIF, supports different media outlets ranging from investigative journalism reports and local radio stations, up to specialized blogs covering various topics of interest. Although anybody can submit a project, only those which are curated and checked will actually be eligible for a campaign. We are ensured that this is necessary to maintain a certain standard of funded media.

Despite all this, is not your ordinary crowdfunding platform. Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this service is not looking to cash-in on their revenue any time soon as it is specifically trying to operate as a non-profit.

"Our goal is to break-even beginning 2016. If our revenue is higher than expected, we will definitely lower our initial cost per campaign", Vucinic added.

Although media isn't every investor's cup of tea, “there are those who might find interesting opportunities in specialized media covering a range of interesting subjects”, stated Vucinic. Is leading the revolution independent media owners have been waiting for? It sure seems like it.

from TechCrunch