Air-Powered Lego Car Is Ultimate Nerd Invention Friday, Dec 20 2013 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ObE4_nMCjE‎

BY SAM LAIRD
17 HOURS AGO
If a life-sized Lego car that actually drives and is powered by nothing but air doesn’t sound cool enough, consider this: The project was funded in part through a single tweet.

The car runs on compressed air, is made up of more than 500,000 Legos and can cruise along at some 15 mph. It’s the brainchild of Raul Oaida, a 20-year-old Romanian who previously launched a Lego shuttle into space.

Star Wars MF Tuesday, Dec 17 2013 

Star Wars MF

0-star-wars-walker.jpg Tuesday, Dec 17 2013 

You’ll Make More Money If You Can Code Tuesday, Dec 17 2013 

You’ll Make More Money If You Can Code

Adda Birnir noticed a gender divide between a media company’s business and technical side (read: men) versus the editorial side (read: women). She created online tech education platform Skillcrush to give women a way to learn marketable skills that could lead to steady,high-paying jobs and relevant, satisfying work.

 

Sarah-ang,-sq

Sarah Ang

Sarah Ang is an Editorial: Branded Content Intern at Mashable’s New York City headquarters. She is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studies Journalism and Mass Communication and writes about the arts for The Daily Tar Heel. Follow her at @sarahang5
 

 

World’s E-Waste to Grow 33% by 2017, Report Says Monday, Dec 16 2013 

Image

 

 

By 2017, the global volume of discarded refrigerators, TVs, cellphones, computers, monitors and other electronic waste will weigh almost as much as 200 Empire State Buildings, a new report predicts.

The forecast, based on data gathered by United Nations organizations, governments, and nongovernment and science organizations in a partnership known as the “Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative,” predicts e-waste generation will swell by a third in the next five years, led by the United States and China. The StEP Initiative created a map of the world’s e-waste, which is available online.

 

 

Until now, comprehensive data on global e-waste has been hard to come by, and countries define e-waste very differently. For example, the United States only includes consumer electronics such as TVs and computers, whereas European nations include everything that has a battery or power cord in the e-waste category.

“This is why we have developed this e-waste map. It’s the first time we’re introducing really comparable data,” said Ruediger Kuehr of United Nations University, in Germany, and executive secretary of the StEP Initiative. “In addition, it gives magnitude to the issue on a national level, so policymakers are aware of the issue in order to take action,” Kuehr toldLiveScience.

Mapping Worldwide E-Waste

The interactive e-waste map shows data from 184 countries on the estimated amount of electrical and electronic equipment that hits the market and how much e-waste it ultimately generates. Having this data could helpgovernments and companies manage their e-waste.

The world produced nearly 54 million tons (49 million metric tons) of used electrical and electronic products last year. That’s an average of about 43 lbs. (20 kg), or the weight of eight bricks, for each of the 7 billion people on Earth.

The StEP Initiative forecasts that by 2017, the world will produce about 33% more e-waste, or 72 million tons (65 million metric tons). That amount weighs about 11 times as much as theGreat Pyramid of Giza.

China currently leads the world in production of electrical and electronic equipment. In 2012, China produced about 12.2 million tons (11.1 million metric tons), followed by the U.S. with about 11 million tons (10 million metric tons).

However, the United States eclipses China in e-waste generation, because more products previously put on the market in the U.S. are likely to be retired. In 2012, the U.S. produced about 10.4 million tons (9.4 million metric tons), versus China’s 8 million tons (7.3 million metric tons).

The U.S. generated the seventh highest amount of e-waste per person — about 66 lbs. (30 kg) per capita. (The country with the highest per capita e-waste was Qatar.)

E-Waste in the U.S.

The U.S. National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) and MIT have released a detailed report on U.S. generation, collection and export of used electronics in conjunction with the e-waste map.

The U.S. generated about 258.2 million units of used computers, monitors, TVs and cellphones in 2010, 171.4 million of which were collected for recycling, and 14.4 million were exported, according to the report.

 SEE ALSO: Green Guide to Holiday Electronic Gifts (Op-Ed)

The U.S. is a major exporter of used electronics. The U.S. exports more CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors by weight than any other product, and more cellphones than any other electronics product in terms of numbers.

However, export numbers could be an underestimate, because exporters want to keep them quiet in order to bypass restrictions or bad press, said Jason Linnell, executive director of NCER.

In terms of recycling, “We are a little bit behind compared with countries in the European Union,” Linnell told LiveScience. European countries have had established e-waste recyclingprograms for more than 10 years, whereas only 25 U.S. states have started similar programs, Linnell said.

But recycling of e-waste is on the rise. “We’re seeing more recycling programs, and a lot of states are collecting 5 to 6 lbs. (2.3 to 2.7 kg) of e-waste per person per year,” he said.

“It’s better than the past, but we we still have a ways to go,” Linnell said.

 

Coming Soon: Your Personal Flying Car Monday, Dec 9 2013 

I have been waiting for this since I was 10 years old!

This blog is a repost from last May.

http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/flying-car-terrafugia-tfx/

BY CHRIS TAYLOR
MAY 07, 2013

CSS WEB DESIGN FOR DUMMIES CHEAT SHEET Monday, Dec 9 2013 

CSS WEB DESIGN FOR DUMMIES CHEAT SHEET

Even when using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), building a functional (but still attractive) website requires careful execution and planning. Here are a few tips that will make your website stand out.

 

8 Great CSS Tips and Tricks

Part of the CSS Web Design For Dummies Cheat Sheet

 

Why Your Brand Must Analyze Traffic by Device Thursday, Dec 5 2013 

device-traffic1
Dani
BY DANI FANKHAUSER
1 DAY AGO
http://mashable.com/2013/12/04/traffic-by-device-metrics/
Of all global Internet traffic, an estimated 20% and 33% comes from mobile, according to a report by digital agency Walker Sands and StatCounter, and the percentage continues to rise. iPhone traffic is outpacing Android, and on tablets, users are more likely to make purchases.

But your brand’s traffic is not the same as the Internet’s, and your audience or target market may have different behaviors than web users at large. Although trends can offer direction, measuring your own traffic by device can be a powerful metric in making both marketing and product decisions.

SEE ALSO: How to Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Traffic by device will tell you if someone is visiting your website via a mobile browser (Safari, Chrome or other) and by device (Android, iPhone, iPad or other). Based on this information, you can discover other details such as the screen size and resolution. A few years ago, you may have created a separate mobile website optimized for a small smartphone screen — but now that tablets running both iOS and Android come in multiple sizes and some phones have larger (nearly tablet-sized) screens, it’s no longer enough to be dualistic.

But before you redesign your website to be responsive or create a mobile app, pay attention to your traffic by device to discover what decisions should be made to optimize your reach and conversions on mobile.

How To Measure Traffic By Device
Most analytics services, whether it’s Google Analytics or even the back-end of a hosting service like Squarespace offer this metric. You may want to compare these numbers to your desktop traffic or to one another. Note which devices are leading in conversions and how it compares to your site overall, and learn where your mobile users are coming from.

Product Decisions
If an increasing percentage of your users are visiting your site via mobile, you will need to optimize your site itself for mobile. Of course, desktop still most likely accounts for the majority of traffic, even though the number is decreasing compared to mobile, so your website design should keep smartphones, tablets and desktop in mind. You can remove certain elements from a website when it appears on a small screen, but you won’t want to remove so many elements that it will compromise a user’s ability to navigate.

“From a design perspective, a high degree of mobile or tablet traffic means you need to optimize your site for those platforms ASAP, if you haven’t already,” “From a design perspective, a high degree of mobile or tablet traffic means you need to optimize your site for those platforms ASAP, if you haven’t already,” says Jon Gibs, VP of analytics at Huge.

“Responsive design has mitigated this to some degree, but it is still important to watch. [Increasing mobile traffic] also may signal that a specific brand may want to increase its efforts in developing mobile, tablet or SmartTV apps to account for the new usage patterns.”

When it comes to apps, iOS accounts for 94% of tablet traffic and 72% of smartphone traffic — so even though Apple does not have market share to that extent, these devices are being used more than their competitors. If a native app could offer a better experience of your site than your mobile site does, perhaps it is worth the investment. This is more likely to be the case for an ecommerce site focused on mobile impulse transactions than for other types of businesses.

“We typically find that mobile devices have a lower conversion rate, higher bounce rate and generally lower levels of engagement,” says Gibs, explaining that it might, at first glance, look like mobile is failing. “But what is really happening is that [the mobile experience] is meeting the needs of the user at the time. For example, ecommerce sites are frequently used for navigation to a store or as a price comparison tool at a store, and the person might not in fact convert on the site, but they are very well converting in the store — or even better, leaving a competitor’s store to come to yours.”

Learn how your users are behaving on mobile and optimize design and functionality to drive more of those behaviors.

Business Decisions
When planning a marketing strategy, keep in mind that your marketing assets may be consumed via mobile. The Dove Real Beauty Sketches ad was three minutes, much longer than the usual 30-second spot, but that certainly didn’t hinder viewing.

Unilever Brand Manager Kathryn Fokides says the Dove team analyzes how much of the video’s traffic came from mobile versus desktop. If a longer video is received well, specifically on mobile, it’s worth not only producing more similar assets, but also finding mobile-first ways to promote them, such as social media or retargeting consumers who watched and shared the Beauty Sketches with previews of next year’s fresh content.

Media companies should be especially cognizant of traffic on various devices. Since ad inventory is often sold several months in advance, it’s crucial to forecast how much of your traffic will be on mobile six months from now, as is being aware of what ad products you can offer on specific devices.

“Mobile pages tend to have lower ad inventory levels and higher prices per ad unit,” says Gibs. “As a media company is charting its financial future, forecasting the amount of traffic that is coming from any given source can have significant impact on future revenue.”

How does your business use the traffic-by-device metric? Tell us in the comments.

Mashable composite. Image: iStockphoto, Nik_Merkulov

TOPICS: BUSINESS, MARKETING, METRICS THAT MATTER, MOBILE, TRAFFIC BY DEVICE

‘Jeopardy’ Lays Down the Law on ‘GIF’ Pronunciation Thursday, Dec 5 2013 

http://mashable.com/2013/12/04/final-jeopardy-gif-pronunciation/

BY NEHA PRAKASH
1 DAY AGO
What is Trebek lays down the law on how to pronounce GIF, Alex?

That’s what happened on Tuesday night’s episode of Jeopardy, as host Alex Trebek asked contestants the question of the year: “The inventor of this image format said the OED wrongly has two pronunciations of it — the right one is with a soft ‘G’.”

SEE ALSO: How Do You Pronounce These 5 Tech Terms?

Improved Theme Preview, Widgets Management, and a Responsive Dashboard Tuesday, Dec 3 2013 

There are some really great ideas here! Plus, saves a lot of time to re blog somebody elses really great blog!

The WordPress.com Blog

We’ve launched a number of updates, from visual enhancements to handy admin tools, to improve your overall WordPress.com experience. Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

  • Improved theme preview: A sleeker preview and selection process for themes.
  • Add widgets with one click: An updated panel makes widget management a snap.
  • Refreshed dashboard: A cleaned-up and responsive dashboard area.
  • A more modern look: Introduced over the past several months, your under-the-hood look is simpler and more modern, and served up in eight color schemes.

Improved theme preview

In Appearance → Themes, you’ll find an enhanced theme preview and selection process — and a much more visual experience:

  • A sleek, fast-loading display of available themes to try out and activate.
  • Bigger and bolder theme screenshots, showing more of each theme’s details.
  • Options to customize your current theme (displayed at the top left) and preview and activate other themes.
  • Ability to click on…

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