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Testimonial from Amy Roloff.


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Want a Girlfriend? This Startup Can Hook You Up … With a Virtual One

You know what gets the online ladies going? Well, when some other lady is writing all over your Facebook wall. After all, “I love you” means nada unless it’s posted between a video of a big cat in a tiny box and a frantic plea from your friend Jonah to “Gett totaly crunked on sat! dude.”

That’s the idea behind Cloud Girlfriend, a mysterious, “coming soon” startup that declares: “The best way to get a girlfriend is to already have one.”

Right now, potential users (I’m picturing a melange of curious web surfers, model train hobbyists and 13-year-old boys) can sign up for an early invitation to the service, after which one will need to follow a quartet of steps: “Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.”

We’re intrigued to see how this service works — and how it gets around Facebook’s TOS — and if it succeeds in filling that gaping hole inside your heart.

[via Hacker News]

Photo courtesy of Flickr, Don Hankins

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/YU5L0Zee_S0/

 

Google Debuts New Online Magazine

Google has quietly launched its own full-length online magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to create a “breathing space in a busy world.”

The first edition of Think Quarterly, based out of the U.K., is a 68-page dive into the world of data and its impact on business. The first thing most people will notice is that it’s a visually stunning piece of work. It’s a rich Flash app with Google’s quirky sensibilities and the in-depth writing you might find in BusinessWeek or Salon. Google’s quarterly magazine is edited and designed by creative agency The Church of London.

The articles themselves are thought pieces about major business and technology topics from a variety of freelancers and contributors. Google was able to snag Simon Rogers (editor of The Guardian‘s Datablog), Ulrike Reinhard (editor of WE Magazine), and other journalists for the project. Many of Think Quarterly‘s articles feature interviews with Google executives and technology leaders. Some of the people featured include Vodafone U.K. CEO Guy Laurence, Google chief economist Hal Varian and famed psychologist Peter Kruse.

“At Google, we often think that speed is the forgotten ‘killer application’ – the ingredient that can differentiate winners from the rest,” Matt Brittin, Google’s managing director of U.K. and Ireland operations, said in Think Quarterly‘s introduction. “We know that the faster we deliver results, the more useful people find our service.

“But in a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and consider what’s happening and why it matters.”

It’s unclear whether the new online magazine is another sign that Google is entering the media business or whether it’s just a project to feed the company’s intellectual curiosity. Google doesn’t describe its newest project as a magazine or a publication. Instead, Google calls it a book on its website and a “unique communications tool” on its Twitter account.

Regardless of what you call it, Think Quarterly is an interesting and informative experiment by the search giant.

Update: Google says that Think Quarterly is designed as useful information for its business customers. Here’s the company’s statement:

“Like most companies we regularly communicate with our business customers via email newsletters, updates on our official blogs, and printed materials. This short book about data was sent to 1,500 of our UK partners and advertisers.

“There are only a limited number of copies, and they aren’t for sale or designed for anyone other than our partners – but anyone who’s interested can visit the companion website at www.thinkquarterly.co.uk.”

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/uiM8fTBxZYE/

 

Photo-Sharing Network Color Now Available for Android

Shortly after its initial launch on the iPhone, photo-sharing social network Color is now available for Android devices as well.

Well-funded and ambitious (read our preview here), Color is already making big waves in the social networking world. Its premise is simple and could perhaps be described as “Twitter for photos,” but Color adds a little structure to the chaos: It knows your location and shows you pictures from people in your vicinity.

You can also share text and videos, but there’s a catch: Everything on Color is public and visible to everyone. Sure, you won’t be sharing all of your private photos and videos on Color, but when you’re at a party, bar or an event, sharing some of the atmosphere with those nearby (and getting the same in return) sounds like a lot of fun.

Android users, have you tried out the app yet? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Android Market]

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/qtKJFj4aPqU/

 

The Fundamentals & Best Practices of Logo Design

The Web Development Series is supported by Rackspace, the better way to do hosting. Learn more about Rackspace’s hosting solutions here.

Logo design is one of the first considerations for a founding team of a new company. It’s also a carefully navigated quagmire for an aging brand that needs a refresh.

We’ve consulted a panel of web design and logo experts about the basics and not-so-basics of creating a great logo for new and not-so-new web-based companies. In this three-part series, we’ll share their insights on trends, hiring designers, typography and more.

Our panel includes UK logo designer Graham Smith, designer and logo design blogger Jacob Cass, and Raj Abhyanker, CEO of Trademarkia, a firm specializing in trademarks and logos.

Read on for their advice, and designers, please share your own experiences and opinions in the comments section.


Biggest Challenges for Startups


Cass says that one of the most difficult aspects of logo creation for startups is finding a logo designer whose work is good and who is still within a startup’s meager budget. If you don’t have a stellar logo designer on your founding team, and if your product needs more than a bare-bones logotype, hiring this kind of talent on a shoestring budget can be a challenge.

Smith echoes this concern, stating that startups’ main challenge is “to not look like they have purposefully spent all their money on coffee and code and have not put aside any funds for things like the logo design and other marketing avenues.

“They of course may have limited funds, but unfortunately this will reflect badly on them regardless. Some of these companies just look lazy and uninterested in how their visual identity might fair with the punters.”

As far as a “lazy” logo goes, Smith cites the “classic Beta mode” as a repeat offender in startup identity, calling it cheap and uninspiring. And, he continues, “A truly dire and unremarkable logo can have some kind of festering negative outcome.”

Also, Cass says startups should should think about “if they need to hire just a logo designer or a ‘brand identity designer,’ who would create a full visual system that represents the brand. It’s also important to remember that your logo is not your brand.”

Smith cautions startups to realize that branding can often be the differentiating factor between two companies with similar products and ideas. “Be cunning; assume that another company might come along with a similar startup idea to yours but specifically have a killer logo and identity. If the cards fall right, they will likely create a bigger splash than the original startup.

“Better to put all your resources on the table at the beginning and stake your whole reputation and own confidence in your idea and come out all guns blazing, so to speak.”

He says Flipboard is an excellent example of a carefully planned identity that was inspiring.

Abhyanker takes a similar approach, saying a large concern for startups is “standing out from the crowd, being distinctive and suggestive of the goods and services offered while serving as a marker to identify the logo owner’s company.”

He also introduced the dual concepts of simplicity and distinction as primary considerations for startups’ logo designs.

“A logo is really the first core message, the identity, that any brand provides to the world. And it has to be a logo that will work not just on a website homepage and on business cards but also as its Twitter or Facebook icon. So, you want it be distinctive and yet simple at the same time.”


Traditional Versus Web-Based Company Logos


Abhyanker makes a salient point about one of the main differences between traditional and web logo design. “The web is constantly changing — and at a much faster rate than the brick and mortar world ever has. When you think of websites from early 2000, they look nothing like the web that we know and experience today.

“This means that the web is constantly being redesigned. Finding a logo that can still be relevant (or not feel outdated) in a matter of years, or even months, when we don’t even know what the web will feel like, seems to be a bit more of a challenge.”

Cass on the other hand, says that other than budgets and timelines, “There really shouldn’t be any difference. The process and fundamental principles of ‘good’ logo design should always stay the same.”

As a longtime logo designer, Smith notes that print logo design used to be the bigger challenge. “Now, he says, “with the sheer variety of desktop and mobile devices, platforms and products, designing a logo or icon for the web generally presents more of a challenge.”

In other words, logos need to work for multiple apps, icons, avatars, favicons and other branded collateral — and of course, traditional print business cards, as well.

And don’t think that the color issues of print design are behind you. “Like traditional print,” Smith warns, “color can easily go awry on the web. Color calibration and profile generation across devices and software can leave many people dizzy, and the ensuing results can look pretty awful. As you would need to ensure that your print-based logo reproduces well in CMYK color, you need to ensure that your web-based logo will resize and adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions with color consistency. Creating icons for the complete range of Apple devices is almost a science and quotable job in itself if you are not used to it.”


Chime In Stay Tuned


We’ll have more from these experts in the weeks to come, but in the meantime, we’d love to get your feedback in the comments. Designers, how would you have answered the questions we posed to the panel this week?


Series Supported by Rackspace

rackspace

The Web Development Series is supported by Rackspace, the better way to do hosting. No more worrying about web hosting uptime. No more spending your time, energy and resources trying to stay on top of things like patching, updating, monitoring, backing up data and the like. Learn why.


More Dev Design Resources from Mashable:


Ruby on Rails: Scaling Your App for Rapid Growth
HOW TO: Transfer Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org [VIDEO]
A Beginner’s Guide to Integrated Development Environments
10 Chrome Web Apps to Check Out
10 Tools for Getting Web Design Feedback

image courtesy of iStockphoto, TommL.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/86zpZ6uMvto/

 

Color Launches, Internet Piracy Declines, Google Mag Launches: This Morning’s Top Stories

Social Media NewsWelcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. We’re keeping our eyes on four particular stories of interest today.

Photo-Sharing Mobile Application Color Launches

Color, a new mobile photo-sharing application with a star-studded list of entrepreneurs and an eye-popping $41 million in funding, has launched versions for both iPhone and Android devices.

Only 9% of U.S. Internet Users Are Pirates

Only 9% of U.S. Internet users use peer-to-peer networks to share files illegally, significantly less than the percentage that did so in 2007, according to new research from NPD Group.

Google Launches Online Magazine

Google has quietly launched its own full-length online magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to create a “breathing space in a busy world.”

WordPress Optimizes Blogs for iPad

WordPress’s 18 million blogs are available now in an iPad-friendly interface, complete with touch interactions and easy customization.

Further News

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/-07X5bRg8p4/

 

The Latest Social Media & Web Development Job Openings

If you’re seeking a job in social media, we’d like to help out. For starters, Mashable‘s Job Lists section gathers together all of our resource lists, how-tos and expert guides to help you get hired. In particular, you might want to see our articles on How to Leverage Social Media for Career Success and How to Find a Job on Twitter.

But we’d like to help in a more direct way, too. Mashable‘s job boards are a place for socially savvy companies to find people like you. This week and every week, Mashable features its coveted job board listings for a variety of positions in the web, social media space and beyond. Have a look at what’s good and new on our job boards:


Mashable Job Postings


Regional Sales Director at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.


Regional Sales Director at Mashable in New York, NY.


VP Product at Mashable in New York, NY or San Francisco, CA.


Events Sponsorship Manager at Mashable in New York, NY.


Executive Assistant at Mashable in New York, NY.


Ruby on Rails Developer at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.


Mashable Job Board Listings


Head of E-Commerce at Quirky in New York, NY.


Director, Digital Communications at Weber Shandwick in Chicago, IL.


Demand Generation / Marketing Director at LiveLOOK in Matawan, NJ.


Engineer at RightsGenie in New York, NY.


Social Media Account Executive at Pandemic Labs in Massachusetts.


Database Marketing Analyst II at AAA Mid-Atlantic in Wilmington, DE.


Managing Director, Marketing Operations at Teach for America in New York, NY.


Internet Graphic Designer II at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, NC.


Social Media Manager at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV.


Social Media Coordinator at Ippolita in New York, NY.


Web Designer at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, NC.


Supervisory IT Specialist at Department of Veterans Affairs in Tampa, FL.


Flash Animator at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners in New York, NY.


Digital – Vice President at Edelman PR in Seattle, WA.


Social Media Manager at Haute Media Group in New York, NY.


PHP/Ruby Developer at Spies Assassins in New York, NY.


Contract Specialist at Department of Veterans Affairs in Missouri.


IT Specialist at Department of Veterans Affairs in Woodbridge, VA.


Social Media Manager at ABLE in New York, NY.


Information Technology Specialist at Department of Veterans Affairs in Eatontown, NJ.


Software Engineer I at Northstar Travel Media in Secaucus, NJ.


Information Technology Specialist at Department of Veterans Affairs in Harlingen, TX.


Web Developer at Cision in Chicago, IL.


Consumer Product Marketing Manager at Pixorial in Englewood, CO.


Community Creator Strategist at AFS Intercultural Programs in New York, NY.


Web Developer at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls, IA.


Senior Web Developer at Ziff Davis Enterprise in New York, NY.


Social Media Manager at First Republic in San Francisco, CA.


Vice President, Digital Communications at Powell Tate in Washington, DC.


Client Services Manager at TIG Global in Chevy Chase, MD.


Product Manager / COO at a confidential company in Philadelphia, PA.


Software Engineer at Pronto Content in New York, NY.


Senior Analytics Marketing Manager at Demand Media in Santa Monica, CA.


Facebook App Developer at Conversation in New York, NY.


Mobile Developer at Conversation in New York, NY.


Director of Business Development at Interactive Partners in New York, NY.


Account Supervisor – XBOX at Edelman in Los Angeles, CA.


Digital – Account Supervisor at Edelman PR in Seattle, WA.


Director of Technical Operations at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


Digital Marketing Consultant at The Hoffman Agency in San Jose, CA.


Senior Communications Consultant at The Hoffman Agency in San Jose, CA.


Lead Developer at Achilles Media in Toronto, Canada.


New and Social Media Sales Professional at Eagle Wheeler in Texas.


Account Coordinator at roundhouse agency in Portland, OR.


Social Media Coordinator at CreativeFeed, Inc. in New York, NY.


Digital Marketing Specialist at Focus on the Family in Colorado.


Digital Communications/SMPR Producer at Deep Focus in New York, NY.


Product Director, eHow Money at Demand Media in Santa Monica, CA.


Interactive Facebook App Developer at Gluttony in New York, NY.


Mobile User Experience Designer at Fidelity Investments in Boston, MA.


Senior Copywriter at Recyclebank in New York, NY.


Lead Engineer at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


iOS Developer at Fluent, Inc. in New York, NY.


Senior Mobile Producer at Veritude in Boston, MA.


Assistant Manager, Online Marketing at Direct Brands, Inc. in New York, NY.


Software Engineer at HealthCentral.com in Arlington, VA.


Global Social Media Strategist at L’Occitane in New York, NY.


Digital Marketing Project Manager at L’Occitane in New York, NY.


Performance Test Engineer at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


Web Architect at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


Product Manager, TV/Video at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


Social Marketing Specialist at IMRE, LLC in .


Associate Director, Project Management at Digitas Health in New York, NY.


Sr. MySQL DBA at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


Digital Manager, Integrated Marketing at HarperCollins Publishers in New York, NY.


Editorial Intern/Blogger Extraordinaire at Social Media Today, LLC in New York, NY.


Sr. Developer at Simplexity.com in Upper Marlboro, MD.


Senior SEO Manager at Simplexity LLC in Reston VA.


SEM Analyst at Simplexity LLC in Reston, VA.


Mashable‘s Job Board has a variety of web 2.0, application development, business development and social networking job opportunities available. Check them out here.

Find a Web 2.0 Job with Mashable

Got a job posting to share with our readers? Post a job to Mashable today ($99 for a 30 day listing) and get it highlighted every week on Mashable.com (in addition to exposure all day every day in the Mashable marketplace).

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/PCSZSZvDC5g/

 

Mobile By The Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mobile is a rapidly developing sector. According to some projections, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage before 2015. In preparation, companies are developing new mobile commerce platforms, strategies, and marketing efforts.

Microsoft Tag recently attempted to sum up this constantly changing space with a single infographic.

Here’s the summary: The mobile market is large; local searches, games, and YouTube are all doing well on Mobile; and socializing is the most prominent use of the mobile Internet. See the full infographic below.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/znwdI5sXAxg/

 

Official Node.js Job Board Pops Onto the Web

Nodejs.org has just launched its Node-specific job board on the web. It offers a new marketplace for finding work with the still quite new but white-hot framework.

At least one other Node job boards exists, but this is the first official listing service from the creators of Node.

The board itself, brought to you by Node sponsor Joyent, is still rather sparse on content; however, given the relative newness of Node, we don’t expect an employment bubble to swell up around the framework just yet.

Still, if you’re tinkering with or hacking in Node and you’d like to get some professional, paid experience with it onto your résumé, the Node job board might be a decent place to start looking. And we fully expect to see more listings and open positions popping up on the board in the days and weeks to come.

Currently, positions range from server engineers to game developers. Most positions are based in San Francisco, CA.

If you’re a company or a dev looking for a Node developer, you can post your own job listings to the site at the rate of $350 for 30 days. Given the currently small number of positions available, you can expect applications to abound and competition to be relatively fierce.

We look forward to seeing how this board develops; Node devs, bookmark this site now and check back periodically to keep tabs on Node offerings around the world.

In other Node news, if you don’t necessarily need paid or professional experience for your C.V. but you would like a good excuse to exercise your Node.js chops, the 2011 Node Knockout is coming up in a few months. The site for the 48-hour, Rails Rumble-like hackathon has just gone live, and it’s a reference to The Watchmaker, a contender in last year’s competition and a very strange little game in itself.

According to the site, you have exactly 156 days to get your Node together and form teams for the hackathon. Will you be participating this year?

Image based on a photo from iStockphoto user alxpin

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/80Xye_otjPY/

 

Better Than Albums? Music App Builds a Playlist To Fit Your Mood

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Moodagent

Quick Pitch: Moodagent creates playlists based on your mood.

Genius Idea: A proprietary system categorizes any tune — even those never before released.

The rise of digital music has been the death of the album. The total number of albums sold in 2010 was the lowest since Nielsen SoundScan began compiling data in 1993. The only category on the rise last year — though just by a mere 1% — was digital singles.

“The album is lost when the tracks are being cherry-picked,” explains Peter Berg Steffensen, co-creator of Danish company Moodagent. “We started the company trying to create interesting playlists that have the same effect as an album.”

Steffensen and co-founder Michael Henderson spent four years perfecting a system that measures each tune in five basic categories: how sensual, tender, happy, or angry it is, as well as its tempo. With the Moodagent app, users adjust bars representing each of these qualities, in a bid to match their current mood. Based on their selections, the app assembles a playlist from their music libraries.

Unlike music discovery services such as Pandora, Moodagent has an indexing engine — rather than a human — categorize the songs. The app has already categorized more than 1 billion songs, which means it can instantly adapt to users’ music libraries.

Does it work? In a test run, yes. The app delivered Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” when “tender” was called for, and The Early November’s “Hair” when I switched moods to Happy. It’s a little harder to say whether Dispatch’s “The General” was equal parts sensual and happy, as the app claims.

In any case, the app has proved sufficient enough for Nokia to make it a default option on some phones in 2009 and for more than 5 million people to download its Android, iPhone, and Nokia versions (BlackBerry, Web OS, and Windows versions are in the works).

Despite this popularity, Moodagent’s parent company, Syntonetic, is not yet profitable. Current revenue streams include royalty fees from Nokia phones preloaded with the app, advertising revenue from a free version of the app and the $.99  ad-free version.

In the future, the Danish company plans to explore “mood-based” advertising as well as other revenue-earning features. One popular model in music discovery services is to refer users to music they might like in order to collect referral fees from music retailers.

A new version of the Moodagent iPhone app is scheduled for next week.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mooneydriver


Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/lcQPhmaXu0s/

 

Say Hello to Google’s New Online Magazine

Google’s has quietly launched its own full-length online magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to create a “breathing space in a busy world.”

The first edition of Think Quarterly, based out of the UK, is a 68-page dive into the world of data and its impact on business. The first thing most people will notice is that it’s a visually stunning piece of work. It’s a rich Flash app with Google’s quirky sensibilities and the in-depth writing you might find in BusinessWeek or Salon. Google’s quarterly magazine is edited and designed by creative agency The Church of London.

The articles themselves are thought pieces about major business and technology topics from a variety of freelancers and contributors. Google was able to snag Simon Rogers (editor of The Guardian‘s Datablog), Ulrike Reinhard (editor of WE Magazine), and other journalists for the project. Many of Think Quarterly‘s articles feature interviews with Google executives and technology leaders. Some of the people featured include Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian and famed psychologist Peter Kruse.

“At Google, we often think that speed is the forgotten ‘killer application’ – the ingredient that can differentiate winners from the rest,” Matt Brittin, Google’s managing director of UK Ireland operations, said in Think Quarterly‘s introduction. “We know that the faster we deliver results, the more useful people find our service.”

“But in a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and consider what’s happening and why it matters.”

It’s unclear whether the new online magazine is another sign that Google is entering the media business or whether it’s just a project to feed the company’s intellectual curiosity. Google doesn’t describe its newest project as a magazine or a publication. Instead, Google calls it a book on its website and a “unique communications tool” on its Twitter account.

Regardless of what you call it, Think Quarterly is an interesting and informative experiment by the search giant.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/uiM8fTBxZYE/

 

Color’s Ambitious Photo App Seeks to Reinvent Mobile Social Networking

Say hello to Color, a new mobile photo-sharing application with a star-studded list of entrepreneurs and an eye-popping $41 million in funding. Its goal is nothing less than to become the ultimate local discovery tool.

The app, which made its debut just a few hours ago on iPhone (and very soon on Android), is best described as public photo and video-sharing app for groups. Yet it doesn’t have the typical friending or following that you’ll find on Facebook, Twitter, Path or Instagram. Instead, Color chooses which pictures you see based on your location and how often you’re sharing photos with someone else. Every photo and video is public, not only to the people you consider your friends, but to any stranger within your proximity.

When you launch Color, the app delivers a stream of content from anybody within 100 feet of your location, as well as anybody within your “elastic network.” In Color, you don’t choose your network; instead, the app determines your social network by figuring out who you’re hanging out with on a regular basis. Every time two friends use the app near each other, Color’s algorithms detect it and use it to essentially rank your friendship. You can also curate your elastic network through actions such as asking the app to “Show More” of a particular friend or liking/commenting on a friend’s picture.

Keeping your elastic network takes work, though; if you don’t see a friend for a while, his or her pictures start to lose their color until that person eventually disappears from your network.

The result is that whenever you fire up the app, you can see what pictures are being taken around you, as well as the pictures friends in your elastic network are taking. Not only that, but the app will show you the pictures being taken by others within 100 feet of your friends. The app even has the ability to pull pictures that your friends took in the past, so long as you’re standing in the same location in which the pictures were taken. Imagine visiting the Statue of Liberty and then being able to magically see your best friend’s pictures from a different trip three year ago.

It’s the ultimate voyeur app for those who simply want to know what’s happening with their close friends or that cute neighbor that just happens to live next door.

A Colorful World?

It’s hard to pinpoint the best use case for this app because it is so unique in design. You can use it to share photos among a group without having to pass the phone around, or you can use it to keep a visual log of not only your life, but of the lives of those you see the most. It could potentially be a new way to meet someone at the other end of the bar — I used it to meet a neighbor. I haven’t had enough time with the app to really figure out its potential, but I have a feeling I’m only scratching the surface of its capabilities.

One key aspect of Color is that every photo is public, so if you decide to take sexy pictures with the app, then everybody potentially has access to them. For those who like to keep their personal lives private, this is not the app for you. In a lot of ways, Color is the polar opposite of Path, the mobile photo-sharing app that only lets you share pictures and videos with 50 friends.

The app is packed with a ton of technology; for example, it doesn’t simply use the GPS to figure out your location, but it uses your camera to determine lighting and your microphone to hone in on ambient noise. By matching these environmental conditions, Color is shockingly accurate at determining who’s in the room with you and even where they are in relation to your position.

It’s no surprise that Color is so advanced technologically; it has a team of co-founders led by Bill Nguyen, the founder of Lala, acquired by Apple in 2009 for a reported $80 million. D.J. Patil, the former Chief Scientist at LinkedIn, serves as the company’s head of product. Another recognizable co-founder is Peter Pham, formerly of Photobucket, BillShrink and Trinity Ventures.

Speaking of venture capital firms, Color already has a whopping $41 million in the bank, including $25 million from Sequoia Capital, $9 million from Bain Capital and $7 million from Silicon Valley Bank. The company already has about 30 employees, but intends to triple that number very soon. It even owns the domain Color.com and the Twitter account @Color.

These firms are making a huge bet on Nguyen’s vision and the team he has assembled. Color needs to not only capture millions of users, but it also has to find a way to monetize them. The potential for highly-targeted, location-based advertising is there, but Color still has a lot to hurdles to overcome and a lot of users to acquire before it can even begin talking about revenue.

What do you think of Color? Is it a game-changer or destined to drowned out by the sea of photo-sharing applications already on the market? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/q65KeeMklxc/

 

Want Fast, Scalable Python Apps? Try Whirlwind

The team behind Trendrr is open-sourcing a homebrewed suite of tools for Python development.

These tools, collectively called Whirlwind, build off Facebook’s Tornado — the name is an obvious reference to that fact — and rely on Mako templates and MongoDB, one of the more popular NoSQL database technologies. Whirlwind was created by the Trendrr devs as the framework for the latest version of Trendrr, a social media analytics tool for businesses.

Trendrr dev Matt Dennebaum wrote on the parent company’s blog, “As the focus of our business has shifted from overtime to realtime, we quickly realized that our previous web stack just wasn’t built for speed.

“We did a lot of digging around and came up with a stack that was a much better fit for managing and delivering the massive amounts of data we process in a much more real-time manner.”

With an emphasis on high speed, Whirlwind also delivers session management, a middleware plugin system, structured app templates, flash messaging, role-based user authentication, a simple admin script for making new apps and secret hashes, a database and file logger, and ever so much more.

The idea is that all these tools will make building fast apps faster. And the Trendrr devs aren’t ones to hide their light under a bushel, so to speak, so they’re open sourcing the entire project.

Better frameworks for the real-time web have been something of a focus on Mashable‘s development design channel — specifically, we’ve been taking a long, hard look at how Node.js is giving JavaScript devs better tools for building real-time web apps. As more of these types of tools, frameworks, and languages pop up, we’ll be sure to pass them on to you for your inspection.

That being said, take a look at the Whirlwind GitHub pages, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/wKo2wjQQSkI/

 

Lady Gaga Calls YouTube Star Rebecca Black a Genius [VIDEO]

Unlike millions of people, Lady Gaga has not watched 13-year-old Rebecca Black’s much-criticized “Friday” video, but that didn’t stop the superstar from defending the teen’s efforts.

When asked Tuesday whether the fame teens and children attract from YouTube is good or bad, Lady Gaga declared it’s “fantastic” and then unleashed choice words aimed at nasty critics.

“I say Rebecca Black is a genius and that anybody telling her she’s cheesy is full of sh*t,” said Lady Gaga during the QA portion of “Google Goes Gaga.” View this part of the video starting at the 48:00 mark. Prior to the live interview at the company’s headquarters in California, Lady Gaga promoted Google Moderator, a tool her fans used to submit questions via text or video on the musician’s YouTube channel and subsequently vote for the best ones.

Google executive Marissa Mayer kick-started the event by showing a clip of Lady Gaga’s online highlights through the lens of Google tools such as Translate, Image, Video and Search. “At Google, we’ve seen Gaga build her career by embracing technology … as well as constantly innovating for her fans,” Mayer said before introducing “Mother Monster” to online viewers and the crowd of Google employees, some of which were dressed in costume.

The 25-year-old is no stranger to success in the web and technology industries so it’s fitting Google latched onto her momentum to promote Google Moderator: She was the first first artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube; she beat President Barack Obama to 10 million Facebook fans; Vogue released a Lady Gaga-focused iPad-only magazine app; and she became creative director at Polaroid.

Watch the full event in the video below to discover why her tweets sometimes irk her security guards, what inspired the songs on her forthcoming album due out May 23 and how she feels about radio stations in Malaysia editing out LGBT-inspired lyrics in her latest chart-topping single, “Born this Way.”

The video spans a lengthy 73 minutes, so we happily watched every second of it to provide these standout tidbits and quotations:

  • Lady Gaga’s favorite YouTube video is “David After Dentist.” She said sometimes she gets so tired while touring that she jokingly asks people, “Is this real life?”
  • “When I was in high school, all my girl friends wanted to get jobs [at Google]. … I respect all of you so much. I know that there are some really amazing minds in this room.”
  • If you search for Lady Gaga on Google, you will get more than 440 million hits.
  • Lady Gaga has “Googled” herself before, mainly to look for fan videos and messages.
  • Lady Gaga will make her directorial debut alongside choreographer Laurieann Gibson for her next single called “Judas.” Through Google Moderator, her “Little Monsters” asked 643 questions about that upcoming single. The song’s message: “You have to look into what’s haunting you, and you need to learn how to forgive yourself in order to move on. … And it’s really fun to dance to.”
  • Mayer dressed as Lady Gaga for Halloween in 2009 (see picture at 19:05 in video). Mayer used poker chips on her top hat, stars on her face and long eyelashes.
  • A Google employee, who helped set up “Google Goes Gaga,” attended New York University at the same time Lady Gaga did when she was 17. Lady Gaga said that employee was a resident assistant and wrote her up for drinking. “So, we go way back, Google,” she said.
  • “The reason we’re here at Google today is because the original campaign for my music and my project began with online- and media-based advertising.”
  • With the release of her new album, Lady Gaga wants to create a fan experience that takes them away from the computer to experience the music and lyrics offline, suggesting her fans seek her in real life just like they’ve been doing by attending her Monster Ball concert tour.
  • “I, too, am a child of the dot-com era.”
  • “That’s the thing about fame that is difficult because if you screw up … Google. It’s there.”
  • “Don’t you love the Internet?”
  • Lady Gaga turns 25 on March 28. Happy early birthday, Gaga.
  • Do you think Lady Gaga sets a good example for how musicians — or even brands — should use social networks wisely? What do you think musicians and brands can learn from Lady Gaga? Chime in by leaving a comment below.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/VZMdLdon2cQ/

 

Firefox 4, Chrome 11 Beta & NYT Paywall: This Morning’s Top Stories

Social Media NewsWelcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. We’re keeping our eyes on three particular stories of interest today.

Firefox 4 Launched, Surpasses 5 Million Downloads

Firefox 4 surpassed the 5 million download mark within the 24 hours of availability, according to Mozilla’s official download stats page.

Google Releases Chrome 11 Beta

Google has released the beta version of Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux.

NYT Asks Twitter To Disable Paywall-Jumping Feed

The New York Times has asked Twitter to disable the @FreeNYTimes account, created to help readers get around the paywall the Times is erecting next month, citing trademark violations.

Further News

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/NIEaRkw1ZRU/

 

Apple Removes “Gay Cure” iPhone App From the App Store

After more than 146,000 people signed a petition against a “gay cure” app, Apple has removed it from the App Store.

The app’s goal, according to its creator Exodus International, was to “provide support for individuals who want to recover from homosexuality.” The app, which could best be described as a mobile version of the Exodus International’s website, was previously available at this link [iTunes link].

The activist organization Truth Wins Out and Change.org, the platform used to launch the petition, on Wednesday praised Apple for removing the app from the App Store.

“Apple made a wise and responsible decision to dump an offensive app that demonized gay and lesbian people,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out.

In a similar situation last year, Apple removed an anti-gay app after 7,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for its removal.

What do you think? Did Apple make the right move by shutting down the application? Should Apple have ever approved the app in the first place? Please share your opinions in the comments.

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/Vtnl-nLLgjo/