Egyptian tech pioneer and activist Ali Shaath died of a heart attack Wednesday. He was 45.
Shaath, a computer engineer, was the co-founder of the Arab Digital Expression Foundation, a non-profit that runs summer camps for Arab youths ages 12 to 15. The camps focus on “adding Arabic digital content, enabling more varied voices in the Arab World and promoting active and artistic expression.” He spoke of the changes that came from these youth camps at TEDxCairo in 2012
In addition to summer camps, the ADEF strongly advocated for more Arabic-language and open-source software. Shaath also co-founded the Egyptian Association for Free and Open Software, which criticized the Egyptian government for spending $44 million on Microsoft licenses rather than using locally adapted open-source software Read more...More about Egypt, Us World, and World
It seems there's almost nothing computers can't simulate these days: Now, a new computer program simulates human birth using 3D virtual reality.
The simulator is the first of its kind to take into account factors such as the shape of the mother's body, and the shape and position of the baby. It could help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births, according to the researchers in England who developed it.
"You can't see inside during a live birth. The simulator shows you what's happening inside," said Rudy Lapeer, a computer scientist at the University of East Anglia, leader of the research that was presented Nov. 22 at a conference on E-Health and Bioengineering in Romania Read more...More about Health, Parenting, Science, Birth, and Pregnancy
Up for seven nominations each are Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake. Drake and Bob Ludwig snagged five nods, while Daft Punk, Lorde, Bruno Mars, Kacey Musgraves and Taylor Swift earned four nominations
The veteran rapper came out on top on the strength of his 12th studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. This year, Jay Z gave away one million copies of the album, purchased for $5 each by Samsung, to one million Samsung Galaxy owners, who had to download an app to snag a copy. The marketing stunt influenced the Recording Industry Association of America to "modernize" its 55-year-old certification process to immediately include digital sales. Read more...More about Music, Entertainment, Tv, Cbs, and Jay Z
That might actually be possible without a gun. Hacker Samy Kamkar has built a modified Parrot AR Drone 2.0 — which, coincidentally, can be purchased on Amazon — that can hijack other Parrot drones in the vicinity, taking control of them. Basically, it's a drone that makes zombie drones
Kamkar dubbed his creation SkyJack and published a detailed explanation of how it can be reproduced on his blog Tuesday. All you need is a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 equipped with a tiny Raspberry Pi computer, a battery, two wireless transmitters and Kamkar's software Read more...More about Hacking, Hackers, Gadgets, Us World, and Us
Writers from Thor and X-Men: First Class are working on a script for a new Terminator television series that will tie-in to the upcoming reboot trilogy.
According to reports on the Terminator film, the short-list of actresses up for the role of Sarah Connor included Emilia Clarke, Brie Larson, Margot Robbie and Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany. Recently, it seems the list has been trimmed to just Clarke and Larson. Director Alan Taylor, of Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World, is helming at least the first film in this new trilogy.
According toThe Hollywood Reporter, producers have hired, “writers Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller to write and executive produce a new Terminator television series that will be in conjunction with the rebooted feature. Skydance and Annapurna have combined the forces of the creative teams behind both the film and TV series for the new project.” Read more...More about Tv, Television, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator, and Remakes
Two GIFs by consumer tech blog GadgetLove capture the evolution of both manufacturers' controllers in two hypnotic loop, below. Remember when the Xbox controller used to be too big for most hands? Remember the weird analog stick placement of the of older PlayStation DualShock controllers?
Relive those memories in both these GIFs. It's interesting to see how some design elements — like the PlayStation controller's four face buttons — never change in placement or shape, while Microsoft altered the Xbox controller buttons significantly. Read more...More about Microsoft, Entertainment, Gaming, Sony, and Playstation
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is coming to a television screen near you (insert "yippee" here)
HitRECord on TV, based on the actor's collaborative project hitRECord, which crowdsources entertainment, is being turned into a 30-minute variety show for which Levitt will act as host
The first trailer for the show dropped Friday and there are several things to glean from the 60-second spot — there will be lots of puppets, Tony Danza, dancing, wackiness, suit-wearing and JGL is so darn excited about it all
"Hundreds of thousands of artists from all over the world contribute to the collaborative projects we have going on our site ... where I've been directing each piece and performing in a bunch of them too," Levitt writes in the video's YouTube description Read more...More about Viral Videos, Celebrities, Trailers, Entertainment, and Tv
Google is taking your holiday photos to the next level — a much more twinkly level
The Auto Awesome feature on Google+ was updated on Thursday to add sparkle to photos that feature items that could use an extra twinkle or two — think Christmas trees, holiday lights, or a Menorah. Images that feature snow will be updated so that it looks like snow is actually falling over the picture
Users' original images uploaded to Google+ will not actually be altered. Instead, Google will automatically create a new image in the form of a GIF with the necessary updates and send users a notification on Google+ when their new image is ready for distribution Read more...More about Google, Holidays, Photos, Christmas, and Snow
When Ryan Ferguson was convicted of brutally murdering a Missouri newspaper editor in 2005, two supposed witnesses lied under oath. The DNA from the murder scene didn't match Ferguson's, but the fictitious testimony persuaded a jury to unanimously convict him
Ferguson spent virtually all of his twenties in prison, maintaining his innocence the entire time, until being released last month at age 29. Meanwhile, five states away — as Ferguson sat confined in a cell, wrongly convicted of a heinous crime — Mike Rognlien lived a young professional's dream, residing in San Francisco and taking a human resources job at Facebook in 2011 Read more...More about Facebook, Us, Social Good, Crowdfunding, and Us World
Looks like Jimmy Kimmel has appointed himself Santa's little helper. He's checking to see whether kids were naughty or nice this year with the aid of a fake lie detector
This week, Kimmel made two adorable little brothers admit to their roughhousing, lest they be caught by the lie detector (a.k.a. the Truth Fairy), sending them straight to the top of Santa's naughty list
The little boys eventually own up to their wrongdoings, then kiss and make up — literally
Coincidentally, Kimmel would probably be on Santa's naughty list, considering all the lying he's done himself this year: the twerking girl on fire, Lie Witness News, and stealing kid's candy. Read more...More about Viral Videos, Christmas, Jimmy Kimmel, Cute Kids, and Tv
NASA's trigger-happy Curiosity rover has fired its 100,000th laser shot on Mars, a science milestone in its mission to determine what rocks on the Red Planet are made of, NASA announced Thursday.
Each laser pulse shot by the Curiosity rover packs the power of nearly 1 million light bulbs — strong enough to vaporize rock and dust from up to 30 feet away.
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) December 5, 2013Space, Nasa, Science, Mars, and Us World
It's been too long since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler graced us with their adorable BFF-ness. But ahead of the upcoming 71st Golden Globe Awards, which the duo will host for the second year in a row, the funny gals debuted a promo displaying one of their lesser-known talents
Fey and Poehler claim they're giving us a taste of the opening musical number and they sound delightfully terrible. But it's OK; these two can really do no wrong in our eyes.
In 2011, a photo of the two went viral for a hilarious photobomb during the 69th annual ceremony. The showrunners quickly snatched up the Saturday Night Live alumni to co-host again the next year, where Fey and Poehler did not disappoint Read more...More about Viral Videos, Entertainment, Tv, Celebrities, and Tina Fey
The towering giant of horror, Stephen King, will now be thrilling us regularly with his updates on Twitter.
That's our hope, at least. King took his first tentative step onto the service Friday afternoon with this quip:
My first tweet. No longer a virgin. Be gentle!
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 6, 2013
His handle quickly gained a "verified" tick mark, and just as quickly changed from @StephenKingAuth to @StephenKing. Presumably whoever previously held that handle wasn't using it any more. (We've reached out to Twitter to find out.)
But then King's Twitter experience took an eerily familiar turn. He fell victim to one of the same problems that afflicted Jack Torrance in The Shining: writer's block. Read more...More about Books, Twitter, Writers, Stephen King, and Writers Block
Yahoo has acquired Evntlive, an online platform for live concerts, the two companies announced Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed
Evntlive was founded in late 2011 and launched in beta in April 2012 after raising $2.3 million in funding from notable investors including Vint Cerf, often referred to as one of the fathers of the Internet. Like many of the companies Yahoo has acquired over the past year, Evntlive will be shutting down and the team will work on Yahoo projects
"Since launching our beta service in April 2013, we have live streamed hundreds of performances from amazing artists and festivals to fans all over the world," the company wrote on its website. "Although our service will no longer be available, we are excited to be joining Yahoo's video team." Read more...More about Yahoo, Business, and Startups
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died on Thursday, leaving behind a heartbroken global community and a legacy that will far outlive any of his mourners
Millions of people took to social media to honor the great political leader. On Twitter, users generated 7.2 million tweets about his death, including a peak of 95,000 tweets per minute, according to a Twitter spokesperson
See also: World Leaders Honor Nelson Mandela
That total surpasses some busy Twitter moments from this year, but doesn't set any Twitter records. For comparison, the Super Bowl in February between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens generated more than 24 million tweets, including more than 231,000 per minute during the game's power outage Read more...More about Facebook, Twitter, Miley Cyrus, Tweets, and Social Media
UPDATE, Dec. 5., 5:59 p.m.: The six patients hospitalized with radiation poisoning in Mexico are suspects in the truck hijacking that resulted in their exposure to cobalt-60, according to the AP. The alleged thieves were arrested on Thursday and taken to the hospital for treatment. If they survive the radiation poisoning, they will be turned over to federal authorities.
Police barred access on Friday to a hospital in Pachuca, Mexico, that recently took in six people believed to have radiation poisoning, according to the Associated Press. The news comes one day after thieves hijacked a truck carrying radioactive cobalt-60. Read more...More about Mexico, Hospital, Radiation, Us World, and World
Bill Nye just became the unofficial spokesman for a group of planetary scientists who say space exploration and their careers are in danger.
Nye uploaded to YouTube an open letter to President Obama calling for an increase in funding for NASA's planetary science division, which is responsible for exploratory missions to other planets, including the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Nye's video debuts at the end of a tense week for planetary scienceNASA on Tuesday announced a restructure that will change the way it selects which missions it will fund. Officials say it will help NASA pursue the "best of the best" projects. However, some planetary scientists are upset because they won't be able to apply for grants until 2015, leaving a possible year-long gap in funding in a battlefield of top talent. Read more...More about Space, Nasa, Obama, Science, and Us World
Maybe you too have had this experience: you're browsing Facebook and see a sad status update from an acquaintance or friend you've lost touch with. They've been fired; they've had a death in the family; maybe they just had a bad day
You want to show that you care, but you don't know them well enough to say anything that doesn't sound trite. Then you see that someone has — perhaps accidentally — hit the Like buttonWhatever you do, you think, don't be that guy.
One Facebook engineer has come up with a solution for such a situation: a Sympathize button. We learned this Thursday from Facebook's annual Compassion Research Day — yes, the social network devotes a whole day to sharing various ways it's trying to "build empathy and foster trust" with users. Engineer Dan Muriello revealed that one of his colleagues had designed the Sympathize button during a recent hackathon. Read more...More about Facebook, Facebook Like Button, and Social Media
Events are excellent for building your brand and connecting with your customers. But for all the time, effort and money you put into planning and executing an event, wouldn't it be nice if the buzz started well before and continued well beyond the actual event time?
This is something Ben Hindman discovered when he ran events for Thrillist — he had to reinvent the wheel every time he planned an event. He knew there was room in the marketplace for a better events tool, so he and co-founder Brett Boskoff designed and developed the tool that Hindman needed.
"As we started using Splash more and more, it just became clear that the world needed this," says Hindman. Read more...More about Mashable Videos, Supported, Inflection Points, and Splash
Seasons are changing around this time in each hemisphere across the globe. In some areas, the winter snow has already fallen and is now melting away. In others, beautiful palm trees are swaying under the summer sun and rain
We want you to show us a view from your window for this week's round of the Mashable Photo Challenge. Take a peek out your bedroom window, your fogged-up car window or your floor-to-ceiling window at work and check out all there is to see. Is your lawn covered with golden leaves? Do you have a picturesque view of the whole city from your balcony? You can include the frame of the window in your photo or stick your head out to get a clearer shot of just the outside. Read more...More about Photo, Photography, Social Media, and Mashable Photo Challenge