Saturday, January 31, 2015

Where and how Mashable's community is traveling in 2015

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For everyone who made a resolution to travel more in the new year, there's no better time to start planning than now.

"Take a trip" is a popular resolution, so as millions of people plan their next trips, we wanted to know how Mashable's community will travel in 2015.

A total of 1,358 respondents in more than 40 countries took part in the survey, conducted with SurveyMonkey.

About 90% of respondents in our travel survey said they traveled for business or leisure (or both) in 2014. Of those who traveled, 92% took a leisure trip and 46% traveled for business. Read more...

More about Travel, Surveymonkey, Lifestyle, Travel Leisure, and Mashable Survey

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China's tightens grip on Internet, but some censorship circumvention tools still available

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In the last 10 days, China has been tightening its grip on the Internet, blocking several tools that allow users inside the country to escape and circumvent what's popularly known as the "Great Firewall of China."

Some popular Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, were the latest victims of the sophisticated Chinese Internet censorship system, with several individuals and small businesses reportedly unable to use them in the last few days to connect to censored websites, or to use other blocked services like Gmail, Flickr or Twitter

But not all hope is lost for Chinese users trying to get around the Great Firewall. Read more...

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Carl Djerassi, father of the birth control pill, dies at 91

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SAN FRANCISCO — Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.

Djerrasi died of complications of cancer Friday in his San Francisco home, Stanford University spokesman Dan Stober said. He was 91.

Djerassi, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford, was most famous for leading a research team in Mexico City that in 1951 developed norethindrone, a synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill.

"The pill" as it came to be known radically transformed sexual practices and women's lives. The pill gave women more control over their fertility than they had ever had before and permanently put doctors — who previously didn't see contraceptives as part of their job — in the birth control picture. Read more...

More about Science, Us World, Us, and Birth Control

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RIP Bonne Bell: Lip Smacker manufacturer set to close

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It's the end of an era.

Bonne Belle, the cosmetics company behind the iconic Lip Smacker flavored lip gloss, is slated to close its factory and lay off the vast majority of its employees.

Mawkins International, a California-based cosmetics company, which owns brands like Wet N Wild and Physicians Formula, is acquiring Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker, the two companies announced.

As a result, Bonne Bell will soon be "permanently laying off" most of its employees and closing down its factory, according to a report on Cleveland.com. Read more...

More about Nostalgia, Business, and Us

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'Community' star's documentary spotlights female tech pioneer

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Gillian Jacobs might be best known for her inspiring laughs on NBC's Community, but for the past few months the actress has been zig-zagging across the west coast to find out more about female computer science pioneer Grace Hopper for a new documentary

The result? Jacobs far from Britta'd it.

Released this week, The Queen of Code, which is part of FiveThirtyEight’s “Signals” series, explores the accomplishments and impact of Hopper's work on the first computer, Harvard Mark 1, which led to the creation of programming language COBOL Read more...

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Hockey And Big Data

hockey-data Hockey is a naturally aggressive sport, and the casual fan has learned to associate it with violence, the kind that makes the daily sports highlight segment on the news. But like other sports, there are subtle nuances to the game that are lost in between the bare-knuckle brawls and bone-jarring hits. Hockey is the ultimate team sport in the regard that players are more than willing to… Read More


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Google Now updated with support for third-party apps on Android

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Google's Android app just got a lot smarter.

Google Now will be updated with support for 40 third-party apps, the company revealed Friday.

Google Now, launched in 2012, provides personalized search results — in the form of "cards" — automatically based on a user's previous actions. For example, as you leave work the app may surface a Google Now card alerting you to an accident on your way home and provide an alternate route via Google Maps

But these cards largely relied on Google's own services: Maps, Calendar, Gmail, Search etc. The latest update changes that with integration with a few dozen third-party apps, including Lyft, eBay, Ford, Pandora and others. Read more...

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The enormous Fitbit Surge is a runner's best friend

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When the Fitbit Surge was unveiled late last year, the popular fitness tracking company wanted everyone to know that it was not a smartwatch. In fact, Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said at the time that smartwatches in general "lack a purpose in life."

Instead, Fitbit is labeling its newly-available Surge a "superwatch" because it blends smartwatch capabilities with the traditional (and advanced) ingredients that go into a fitness tracker. It's designed for serious runners, like if you’re training for a marathon, but it works really well for the rest of us too

More about Mobile, Apps, Gadgets, Tech, and Fitbit

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Key & Peele's Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch parody just won the Super Bowl

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Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch are true media darlings (read: terrible at press)

Sherman hasn't stopped talking, basically ever, and Lynch can barely get a word out, so Comedy Central's Key & Peele imagined what would happen if the duo held a press conference — not about the Super Bowl, but about Oscar snubs, naturally.

It would be all biscuits and gravy

A side note: "Sherman" makes some very valid points about Selma.

More about Viral Videos, Parody, Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks, and Youtube

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Gamify your discontent with Mashable's Super Bowl bingo cards

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The Super Bowl routinely draws more than 100 million viewers, but the average NFL game only gets around 20 million.

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that some 80% of Super Bowl viewers are merely casual football fans or maybe not fans at all. If you find yourself in this rather large boat on Sunday, take heartMashable is offering a game that's far superior to anything Seattle and New England can offer

Super Bowl Commercial Bingo will let you track all the clichés in this year's crop of Super Bowl ads. So rather than groaning, you can gamify your discontent. Just print out the handy cards below and share them with your friends. If you're not the Bingo type, you can also turn this into a drinking game Read more...

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Pro football players share Super Bowl predictions at the NFL Shop in Phoenix

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This week we are on the ground in Phoenix asking NFL players some important Super Bowl predictions while they were at the NFL Shop, the biggest place in town to get your official Super Bowl team gear. Visa teamed up with NFL players like Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers), DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers), Jason McCourty (Tennessee Titans), Stevan Ridley (New England Patriots), Jake Plummer (Arizona Cardinals), Drew Stanton (Arizona Cardinals), Michael Floyd (Arizona Cardinals) and Eddie Royal (San Diego Chargers) to showcase the newest payment technology, Apple Pay, at the NFL Shop.

When they were done helping fans learn how to load their Visa on to Apple Pay, we asked these NFL greats their predictions for the big game: Read more...

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Snapchatters not impressed with first episode of original web series 'Literally Can't Even'

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Snapchat's first original web series has arrived, and it's not pretty.

The first episode of the aptly titled Literally Can't Even debuted on the app's new Snap Channel on Saturday

Episode one, called "Sip and Surf Pool Party XXX," stars two 20-something best friends (played by Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, who also wrote the show) in four-and-a-half minutes of cringeworthy video. (Example line: “He follows a lot of hotels on Twitter, which to me says nothing but chic.")

Needless to say, users were not impressed with Snapchat's first attempt at original content, and quickly took to Twitter with their reactions. Read more...

More about Video, Twitter, Entertainment, Tech, and Apps Software

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