2000

 




 

Google began its St Patrick’s celebrations in 2000 with a green logo sporting a jaunty leprechaun’s hat.

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Top of the morning to you! Today is Saint Patrick’s Day and here at Mashable we’re celebrating with a gallery of all the Doodles Google has ever posted on March 17.

There’s plenty of different shades of green, a good few shamrocks and yes, you guessed it, a leprechaun or two to be spotted in our ultimate Saint Patrick’s Day Google Doodle collection.

SEE ALSO: How to Animate Your Google+ Profile
So, don an oversized green hat, grab yourself a Guinness and take a look through our image gallery. Let us know in the comments below how you’ll be celebrating St. Paddy’s special day this year.

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The 1990s comprised a fascinating, transitional time in technology — more people were buying home computers, Windows 3.1 was released, and we all started logging on to this thing called the World Wide Web.

Of course, none of that innovation would have been possible without the creative minds behind those advancements. To that end, let’s catch up with some of the people that made ’90s computers and Internet culture cool.


1. Solitaire for Windows – Wes Cherry


It’s hard to believe now, but when many people got their first home computers in the ’90s, they’d never even used a mouse before. To master this basic skill, they often turned to a little program written by Wes Cherry, called Solitaire.

Cherry wrote Solitaire while he was an intern at Microsoft in 1989 as a way to learn the Windows programming environment, and because there just weren’t that many games available for Windows at the time. Unfortunately, despite Solitaire’s presence on millions of computers for the last few decades, a contract technicality meant he never received any royalties for the game. However, the internship paid off and he wound up writing code for Microsoft Excel for most of the ’90s.

Today, Wes Cherry works with apples – but not of the OS X variety. He and his family recently moved to Vashon Island, WA, where they are planting seven acres of apple trees as part of a new venture: Dragon’s Head Cider. He still does the occasional bit of programming in his free time, but mostly, Cherry works on odd projects, like the restoration of a six-wheeled Swedish fire truck. He also makes the trek to Burning Man (see picture). Despite not getting paid for the popular game, Wes Cherry might be only person in history for whom Solitaire wasn’t a total waste of time.


2. After Dark Screensaver – Jack Eastman and Patrick Beard


Before the Internet spawned identity theft and viruses, home computer users only really worried about two things: power surges and screen burn-in. A good power strip solved the first problem, and flying toasters solved the second.

The After Dark Screensaver was released in 1989 by Berkeley Systems, a company that, at the time, wrote Mac software accessible for the vision impaired. The screensaver soon became a Mac staple and was later ported to Windows, where the signature flying toasters really took off.

Later, Berkeley released the very popular trivia game series, You Don’t Know Jack, which helped gain the attention of Sierra On-Line, the makers of classic games in the Space Quest and King’s Quest series. Sierra bought the company for just under $14 million.

After Dark key figures Jack Eastman and Patrick Beard had support from Berkeley Systems co-founders, Wes Boyd and Joan Blades. After the Sierra On-Line buy-out, Eastman left to co-found CloudSource, a developer of website production software, and is now co-founder of Eightfold Way Consultants, which offers website management software with a special emphasis on people with disabilities. Patrick Beard left Berkeley for graduate school, had stints at Apple and Netscape, and has since returned to Apple as a senior engineer. After the 1997 buy-out, Wes Boyd and Joan Blades founded MoveOn.org, which has since become one of the most popular political sites on the web. Blades also founded MomsRising.com, and is an occasional contributor to The Huffington Post.


3. You’ve Got Mail! – Elwood Edwards


Throughout the ’90s, there were only three things you could be certain of: death, taxes and another AOL CD in your mailbox. You could also expect to hear “You’ve Got Mail!” about 500 times a day — from the TV, the radio and your Great Aunt Margaret’s computer.

That familiar phrase was first uttered in 1989 by Elwood Edwards, whose wife worked for Quantum Computer Services, which later became AOL. Quantum was looking for a friendly voice for their new email program, so Edwards sat in his living room with a cassette tape recorder and spoke those now-famous words, as well as other AOL staples: “File’s done,” “Welcome” and “Goodbye.”

Edwards’ voice-over career didn’t end there. Aside from a few gigs, mostly parodying the AOL catchphrase, he’s been working as a graphics and film editor at WKYC-TV in Cleveland since 2002.


4. WebCrawler – Brian Pinkerton


Back in the early days of the World Wide Web, finding all of those X-Files message boards and “under construction” animated GIFs wasn’t easy. Then came WebCrawler, the first “full-text” search engine. The service enabled keyword search among its 4,000 indexed webpages, and set a standard that is still the norm today.

WebCrawler launched in April 1994 as a spare-time project of University of Washington student Brian Pinkerton. By November, WebCrawler had served its 1 millionth search result (for “nuclear weapons design and research”). Just over a year later, WebCrawler was purchased by AOL, which later sold it to Excite, and was then acquired by InfoSpace in 2001. Believe it or not, it’s still around today as a meta-search engine, combining results from Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Not surprisingly, Brian Pinkerton is still kicking around the web, too. After Excite closed shop in 2003, he’s worked at a variety of companies as a search engine expert, including his latest gig as chief architect of search at A9, the company that helps you find all the cool stuff on Amazon.com.


5. Hotmail – Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia


For much of the ’90s, the average person’s email address was tied to his or her Internet service provider. You could change providers, but that meant you’d lose the associated email address, so you were kind of stuck. But that all changed on July 4, 1996, when Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia launched the first web-based email service, HoTMaiL (the strange capitalization emphasized “HTML”).

Hotmail offered users free email accounts, each with a whopping 2MB of storage space accessible from anywhere and through any ISP. In exchange, users simply had to look at a few banner ads. With that kind of convenience, the service grew quickly, reaching 40 million users by 1998, when Microsoft knocked on the door with a check for $400 million. Since the acquisition, over 1 billion Hotmail accounts have been created, and there are still several hundred million active users today.

After the buy-out, both Smith and Bhatia briefly worked for Microsoft before striking out on their own. Smith founded Akamba Corporation, which made accelerator cards for high-traffic web servers, and is currently the president of Proximex Corporation, a security system software company. Bhatia has been especially busy founding Arzoo.com, a travel site that services India, then InstaColl, whose Live-Documents.com is an MS Office alternative. And in Nov. 2011, he launched JaxtrSMS, a free, international text messaging service.

Images courtesy of Flickr, monkeymanforever, Wikipedia, Wikimedia, Wikimedia

More About: aol, features, hotmail, Tech

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1. Invisible Car

To promote its new fuel cell vehicle, which has zero exhaust emissions, Mercedes pulled a stunt that showed off an “invisible” car with incredibly low environmental impact.

Although Mercedes says the hydrogen-powered drive system is “ready for series production,” it’s speculated to not be in comercialization until 2014.

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Everyone jokes about the flying cars and robot maids we’ve seen in movies and television, but it turns out the “future” we’ve dreamed of is well on its way.

The majority of these are just concepts, but all are definitely in effect, one way or another. In fact, you can technically purchase a flying car for the low, low price of $200,000. However, it will be a bit longer until we can purchase them as easily as a Honda Civic.

Every day we advance in technology, space exploration, medicine and more. From mind reading to in vitro meat, here are ten crazy peeks at what is coming for the future.

This May we’ll be exploring the future of digital at our signature conference, Mashable Connect. See below for all the details.


Event Information





Our annual destination conference, Mashable Connect, brings our community together for three days to connect offline in an intimate setting at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World®. It will take place in Orlando, Florida from Thursday, May 3 – Saturday, May 5. Registration is now open.

Register for Mashable Connect 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, FL on Eventbrite

Held in a unique location away from everyday distractions, Mashable Connect is a rare and valuable opportunity to be surrounded by digital leaders across industries. You’ll spend time with Mashable’s passionate and influential community, hear from top speakers who will provide insight into the the technologies and trends that are shaping the next era of digital innovation, and get to spend time with the Mashable team.

To keep Mashable Connect as intimate as possible, only a limited amount of tickets are available.



A Look Back at Last Year’s Mashable Connect


1. Mashable Connect Race Powered by Gowalla

Team members check in to a race location at Magic Kingdom during the Mashable Connect Race powered by Gowalla.

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Supporting Sponsor



Sponsorship Opportunities


A limited number of sponsor opportunities are available for Mashable Connect. This is an excellent opportunity to get in front of Mashable’s passionate and influential audience. Contact sponsorships@mashable.com for opportunities.

Image courtesy of Flickr, romainguy

More About: features, future, Gadgets, Science, Tech

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1. Pi Symbol Ice Cube Tray

You can’t have a Pi Day party without Pi-shaped frozen water!

Cost: $12.98

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Pi Day is upon us once again! Obviously, March 14 (3.14) is an appropriate day to celebrate the irrational number — and it also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday!

Here at Mashable, we’re geeking out with 10 awesome accessories that honor pi. From clothing to kitchen accessories, we’ve found a range of items that feature everyone’s favorite mathematical constant.

SEE ALSO: 10 Awesome Accessories Featuring the Vintage Apple Logo [RAINBOWS]
 

Take a look through our mathtastic gallery of goodies. Let us know in the comments below how you’re celebrating Pi Day.

More About: accessories, features, Holidays, math, trending

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Gonzalo E. Mon is a partner in the Advertising Law practice at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and his co-author, John J. Heitmann, is a partner in the firm’s Telecommunications group. Read more on Kelley Drye’s advertising blog, Ad Law Access, or keep up with the group on Facebook or Twitter.

If you work with mobile apps, you may already know that privacy is a hot issue. Regulators are pushing companies to improve their privacy practices, Congress is contemplating new laws, and class action lawyers are suing companies that don’t clearly disclose their practices. In the past few weeks, this focus on privacy intensified as the FTC, the California Attorney General, and even the White House weighed in with new announcements.

Two things are clear from this recent burst of activity. First, regulators are putting pressure on everyone in the mobile app ecosystem to improve their practices, so you can’t just assume that it’s your partner’s responsibility to comply. And with the number of regulators focusing on these issues, it’s going to be a lot harder for companies to hide. No matter what role you play in the mobile app ecosystem, you should pay attention to these developments. Here’s what you need to know.


Increased Focus on App Privacy


In February, the FTC issued a report about mobile apps directed to children. Although these apps can collect a broad range of information, the FTC noted that neither the app stores nor app developers provide enough information for parents to determine what data is collected from their children or how it is used or shared. In some cases, this could be a violation of federal law. The FTC wants all members of the kids app ecosystem to play an active role in making appropriate disclosures to parents.

Shortly after the FTC issued its report, the California Attorney General announced an agreement with the leading app stores in which the stores agreed to add a field in the app submission process for developers to post their privacy notices or a link to a privacy policy. The agreement is intended to ensure that consumers have an opportunity to access pertinent privacy information before they download an app. Moreover, the app stores have committed to provide a mechanism for consumers to report apps that don’t comply with laws or the app store’s terms of service.

And the White House also stepped into the debate by announcing a data privacy framework that establishes a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.” Although the framework speaks broadly about privacy issues, several sections discuss issues that are particularly relevant to the mobile space. For example, the White House encourages app developers to collect only as much personal data as they need and to tailor their privacy disclosures to mobile screens.


5 Tips to Stay Ahead of the Regulators


Given the quickly changing legal landscape — and the growing number of government institutions that want to play a role in that landscape — it can be difficult for companies in the mobile app space to understand what is required. The following five tips address concerns that all of these institutions appear to share. Accordingly, they should form the starting point for your legal analysis when you develop and launch an app.

1. Don’t collect more than you need.

Because data can function as the currency of the digital age, there is often a tendency to collect as much data as possible. Companies think that even if they don’t have an immediate use for the data now, they might find a use (or a buyer) for it later on. Although this may be true, resist the temptation to collect more data than you need for your app to work. This is a core principle of the FTC’s “privacy by design” framework, as well as the new White House framework.

2. Disclose your privacy practices.

You need to make sure that users easily have the ability to learn what information you are collecting from them and how you are using it before they download your app. (The changes the app stores are making as a result of their agreement with the California AG will make this easier.) Make sure that your privacy notices are easy to read and tailored to the mobile setting. If you’re looking for a place to start, consider the Mobile Marketing Association’s Privacy Policy Guidelines for Mobile Apps.

3. Be careful with children.

If you collect personal information from children under 13, you need to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Among other things, COPPA generally requires companies to obtain verifiable consent from parents before they collect personal information from their children. The FTC has challenged app developers for violating COPPA, and the agency’s latest report suggests that the FTC expects all members of the kids app ecosystem to play a role in complying.

4. Consider when to get consent.

Although various bills pending in Congress would require companies to get consent before collecting certain types of information, outside of COPPA, getting consent is not a uniformly applicable legal requirement yet. Nevertheless, there are some types of information (such as location-based data) for which getting consent may be a good idea. Moreover, it may be advisable to get consent at the point of collection when sensitive personal data is in play. Work with your legal counsel to determine what makes sense in your context.

5. Protect the information you collect.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to read stories about major companies who experience data breaches. Data breaches can be costly to address and they may result in lasting damage to your brand. If you are collecting information from consumers, you need to ensure you have physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect that information. For example, certain data should be encrypted and you should limit access to it. Moreover, you should properly dispose of data when you no longer need it.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, akinbostanci

More About: apps, contributor, data, features, law, Mobile, privacy

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1. LEGO Stationery Art Carousel

Add a colorful dash of blocky fun to your desk with this organizer. It comes complete with LEGO crayons, pencils and erasers.

Cost: $28.29

Click here to view this gallery.

Spring has nearly sprung. If you plan to take advantage of the fresh start to get your workspace sorted, we have found 10 terrific accessories to help organize your office.

From cable management to tidying paperwork to writing implements, our stylish solutions will add some geek chic and a little bit of witty design to your workspace.

SEE ALSO: 10 Awesome Accessories Featuring the Vintage Apple Logo [RAINBOWS]
 

Take a look through our gallery of selections, fresh for spring. Let us know in the comments which items you like and why.

More About: accessories, design, features, Gadgets, gallery, geek, office

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1. LooGix

 




 

LooGix lets you make GIFs from a minimum of two frames to a maximum of 10. You can adjust the size and speed to preset levels.

In addition to GIF-making, this service offers “special effects,” such as blurring, rotation, fading, etc.

Once you’re done, upload your GIF to social services, get the HTML code to embed or send it via email.

Click here to view this gallery.

If a picture tells a thousand words, then an animated GIF must be good for a few more. Whether you want to animate your avatar, get involved in a meme, or amuse your friends with a funny photo sequence, an animated GIF is a great way to do it.

We have found — and tried and tested — five free online services that make creating animated GIFs an absolute cinch. With click-to-upload functionality and simple settings to customize your creation, you’ll be a GIF-engineer in no time at all.

SEE ALSO: How to Animate Your Google+ Profile
Take a look through the gallery for a brief overview of the five free tools we’ve tried and tested. And remember folks, animated GIFs should be used sparingly.

More About: features, GIFs, online, photo editing, software, trending

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David Clarke is CEO and Co-Founder of BGT Partners, a 2011 and 2010 Ad Age Best Place to Work in the U.S. BGT creates interactive marketing and technology solutions for global corporations that strengthen brands, develop more engaging relationships and transform businesses.

It’s time to take tablet design seriously and evaluate how your brand’s web presence caters to tablet consumers. As usual, Apple is the primary driver behind tablet growth, and the new iPad is yet again redefining the tablet experience and pushing the boundaries of how we use the web.

But what does it mean for your web presence? Below are three ways for your brand to excel in the tablet revolution so you don’t get left behind.


1. Prepare Your Site to Go “Beyond HD”


Just as the demand for high-definition technology forced broadcasters to convert their shows, the new iPad may force brands to make their websites retina display-friendly. With the new iPad, your site is not going to look the same as it did before. The original and second-generation iPads both have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, but the new iPad’s resolution of 2048 x 1536 is double that in both directions.

The retina display’s pixel density is so high that your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. And with a 44% better color saturation than before, coupled with A5X quad-core graphics, images on your site will pop off the screen and be crisper and sharper at any size. Existing apps will be updated automatically, and they will look better, but as Tim Cook stated during the unveiling, “If a developer takes a little bit of time, they can do little things that are mind-blowing.”

What does this mean for your brand?

To really take advantage of the retina display, brands need to put more emphasis on high-quality imagery, colors and overall attention to design details. Let’s face it — a poor design will make you look even worse in HD, while high-resolution imagery and a broader range of colors will ensure your site stands out.


2. Prepare for Voice- and Gesture-Controlled Interfaces


New iPad
Do you remember the movie Minority Report? It featured Tom Cruise swinging his hands and using his voice to control a computer screen. This was fiction 10 years ago, but voice- and gesture-controlled interactions are rapidly moving from fantasy to reality. Gesture-controlled video game systems like Nintendo’s Wii and the Xbox Kinect have been hugely successful, and LG recently came out with a voice- and gesture-controlled TV. That’s not to mention the splash that Siri made in the mobile world.

Although the new iPad doesn’t include Siri, it does include a voice dictation feature. However, voice- and gesture-enabled websites are bound to be a key part of the future web experience. In fact, Apple recently filed for a patent called the “Three-Dimensional Imaging and Display System,” hinting that the company is exploring gesture-controlled interactions.

What does this mean for your brand?

Well for now, Siri only works with a few of the iPhone’s built-in apps (email, search, calendar, etc.), but just imagine what will happen when Apple opens Siri up to third-party developers. Brands will be able to create Siri-friendly apps (for mobile and tablet) to allow customers to use their voices to carry out mundane tasks, such as paying your electric bill or transferring money from one account to another. To prepare yourself, focus on your key customers and their most important tasks and consider how your current apps can be improved through voice-controlled interactions.


3. The New iPad Is a Tipping Point for Tablets


New iPad Resolution
With the explosive growth of tablets and mobile, people are accessing the web on an increasing array of devices, and your consumers are now expecting your site to work equally well on their desktop, smartphone and tablet. But how do you accommodate for this when there are hundreds of different devices and screen resolutions? Creating separate sites for each device on the market can be expensive and difficult to manage, as the landscape is constantly changing.

What does this mean for your brand?

A smart approach to this challenge is implementing responsive web design, which utilizes one set of code to display content effectively across all devices. Gone are the days of creating entirely separate websites in parallel desktop and mobile versions. Now you can construct an extremely flexible website to handle multiple environments.

A responsive design responds to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. As the user switches from a laptop to iPad, the website will automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. Essentially, your site will scale to whatever device your customer is using.


In Summary


Before you do anything, start with a thorough audit of how your current website performs on the new iPad. Look at imagery, colors, fonts and overall opportunities to improve the visual experience. Next, start the planning process to integrate voice and gesture-controlled interactions into your site — this is the future of tablets. Finally, convert your site design to one that’s responsive so it can be viewed optimally on every device in the market, starting with a tablet.

Follow these steps and your brand will not only be “beyond HD,” but will also excel in the tablet revolution.

 

The New iPad Details Hit Apple.com

The new 9.7-inch iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders start today, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Credit: Apple.com

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More About: Business, contributor, features, ipad, Marketing, tablets, web design

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1. Transformation

Similar to Dove’s “Evolution” video, this timelapse clip shows the entire process of a beauty shoot.

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With ever-more sophisticated software, media photograph touchups are now commonplace and widely accepted.

But should it be so extreme? Some would argue that airbrushing images for the beauty industry’s version of perfection grossly distorts our ideas of beauty, creating a false benchmark that’s utterly unattainable.

At the very least, when you see the extent to which photos can be digitally altered, you’ll view future images with a healthy dose of skepticism. We’ve found nine YouTube videos that take you through the Photoshop transformation process.

SEE ALSO: Tool Reveals Which Celebs, Models Have Been Photoshopped
Take a look through our video gallery for some stunning transformation sequences. In the gallery below, take a peek at 15 dramatically Photoshopped “before and after” celebrity photographs.

 

Fergie

 




 

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More About: features, gallery, photo editing, Photoshop, software, videos, YouTube

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Thomas Edison once said that “genius” is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In the world of technology startups, that 99% involves a heck of a lot of coding and wireframing. If you’ve got an idea for a startup, that’s great — but odds are that an idea is all you have. (Well, maybe you have passion and some savings, too.) But you’ll need more than that to bring your idea to life — you’ll need a developer who can transform your vision into an elegant app or website.

If you’re just foraying into the land of entrepreneurship, you may wonder where the to even start looking for such a person. And even if you do find a developer, how will you know the extent of his talent and whether he’s a good fit for you?

From trolling your network to attending meetups, there are myriad ways to meet skilled developers. When you find one you like, you should have an informal meeting — you’ll be spending a lot of time with the person, so it’s good to get to know him on a more personal level. Plus, you can determine whether he’s equally excited about your vision. If you’re not jibing, let him go — there are other dev fish in the sea, and it’s not worth it to force the partnership. When you find a personality match, move into the formal interview. If all goes well there, you can confidently extend an offer.

Throughout the search, there’s plenty of room for missteps, and you might not know the right questions to ask. But there are some pro tips you can employ to make the dev hunt more efficient and successful. The folks at General Assembly have created this easy-to-follow flow chart as part of the curriculum for its “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship” program. If you’re serious about your startup idea, this chart can help you navigate your dev search and find someone who’ll turn your napkin sketches into a reality. And if you have any personal experience hiring a dev, tell us about it in the comments below.

 




 

 

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, nullplus, Infographic courtesy of General Assembly

More About: developers, features, general assembly, infographics, Recruiting, Startups, Tech

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