Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Friday, June 3.
When Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati needed a nine-page English document translated to Arabic, the children's advocacy organization turned to Sparked. Someone living in Jordan logged on and translated the prose in a few hours. Then someone from California confirmed the accuracy of the piece. Crowdsourcing skills and bite-size volunteering is what Sparked is all about.
Sparked connects corporate employees with nonprofits via the Internet, giving employees a way to volunteer right from their cubicles. Sparked co-founder Jacob Colker calls this micro-volunteering, a term he's trying to coin.
When I visited the small, barren Sparked office in San Francisco's hip SOMA neighborhood, Colker showed me the company's volunteering platform, which it licenses to major corporations. Employees from companies including new client LinkedIn or Google, Frog Design, Kraft, and SAP can sign in and volunteer during their lunch breaks--and people can focus on certain regions or specific issues. But the volunteer work is not limited to corporate partnerships. Individuals can also sign up at their leisure to help nonprofits with all things digital, from branding issues to blogging advice.
Originally, Colker thought people would volunteer their time while sitting on the bus or lounging by the pool. As it turns out, people out and about are probably not going to be able to help a nonprofit with a branding issue, Colker said. Instead, he maintains, people would much rather help others from their office, right at their desktop, during the free time they have between work-related tasks. The company started as The Extraordinaries in 2008 and within the past eight months rebranded itself to switch its mobile focus more to the Web. … Read more
Microsoft, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and a host of other companies are providing funds and resources to the Startup America Partnership to further the group's goal of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.
More than 15 companies will kick in a total of $400 million in money, services, training, and other benefits that will go directly to entrepreneurs trying to get their ideas and businesses off the ground.
Launched this past January with the backing of the White House and contributions from IBM and Intel, the Startup America Partnership tries to network entrepreneurs, investors, non-profit groups, and corporations in a bid to create … Read more
Better Place, which offers battery service for electric vehicles, opened today its first European retail station in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Better Place stations offer battery swaps for electric vehicles as an alternative to waiting to recharge the batteries. Commercial stations are already running in Israel and Japan. Until now, though, Better Place had only been testing pilot stations in the U.S. and Europe.
Most of the stations offer fast-charging plug-in spots for EVs, as well as battery swaps for subscribing members. The battery swap is a convenience for drivers because it takes only a minute to make the switch, according … Read more
Our apologies to the listeners who waited patiently for us to fix the live stream this morning--CNET Live has a brand new layout and we're still working things out, so thanks for your patience and understanding!
Today's topics include a new generation of Four Loko alternatives, social-networking shoes, and Wilson's struggle to jam a big tip into a small ear canal.
New manufacturers are springing to life to fill the void left by Four Loko and Sparks, and one of them infuses alcohol into an aerosol spray of whipped cream. It's called Whipped Lightning, and it's the newest way to get alcohol poisoning thanks to its 30-proof, 15 percent alcohol content.
But if you really want to end up in a hospital, try whipping it onto a glass of 40-proof chocolate milk, the new newest Four Loko substitute coming soon to Minnesota, California, and Arizona.
Remember the Boba Fett Adidas sneakers we first saw on our buddy Peter Ha's feet back in September? Those looked pretty cool, but check out these new concept designs for a new pair of Adidas Superstars designed to look like Facebook and Twitter.
Luckily they're only concepts (for now), but with fools paying more than $1,000 for an official Facebook hoodie, it's not hard to imagine them arriving at Foot Locker in the near future. And while you're there, be sure to look in the clearance bin for The 404 Adidas Superstars as well. Thanks for the image Ddawg!
Tune in after the break as we advise Wilson how to properly insert the tip of an in-ear headphone like the Monster Turbine into his tiny canals. Be afraid--it's just as terrifying as it sounds.Episode 718 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
As most people know, the thing about buying anything in the computer and gadget world is that you run the risk of your item becoming obsolete after the next revision. People often complain about Apple in this way (first-generation iPhone, anyone?), but it's mostly true across the board: with advances in technology coming so rapidly these days, the neat gadget you got this year will probably be mainstream by next year. It's just the nature of the tech business.
Even though I was armed with knowledge of the "early adopter" phenomenon well before I bought my iPad, it still hurt to read rumors over at AppleInsider saying a refresh of the iPad complete with a front-facing camera might be coming sooner rather than later. Sure, I have the ability to use FaceTime on my iPhone 4, but all that screen real estate is certainly going to make video calls better on the iPad. Much better.
So, here's your chance, readers! Go ahead and gloat--you made the right choice and waited. You didn't fall prey to the keynote for the "magical" device and now you're in the perfect position to get a better version. Congratulations! Now, try not to be too hard on me.
This week's apps include an streaming-audio app with a slick interface, and a fun and addictive puzzle game that will test your math skills.… Read more
Besides the wheel, fire, and air conditioning during the month of August, caller ID is on the short list of life-changing inventions. Though its one hang-up (no pun intended) is that its directory of phone numbers, which is attached to names and readily available for landline phones, has not been carried over to mobile phones. Instead, mobile-phone users get numbers only.
One company that's helping to change that is PhoneTell, which is launching at Monday's TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. Formerly CallSpark (which debuted at last year's DemoFall) PhoneTell aims to help you figure out who'… Read more
Commercial music radio may be an artistic wasteland, but independent-minded stations like Seattle's KEXP, Silicon Valley's KFJC, and New Jersey's WFMU are still great ways to learn about new music. Plus, if you want to hear talk radio, news, or live sports in your car, radio's still your best choice.
The iPhone and iPod Touch lack a built-in radio tuner, but there are plenty of ways to listen to radio stations on these devices, including podcasts and a multitude of apps that offer near-live streams delivered over the Internet. Tuesday morning, the App Store added another … Read more
This post was updated at 2:30 p.m. PST in light of Microsoft's apology, which confirmed the anti-Drupal ads.
Microsoft has launched an advertising campaign against Drupal, an open-source Web publishing system, to promote its WebsiteSpark program. Some will see this as a devious plot on Microsoft's part to crush open source beneath its monopolistic feet.
But here's a more rational explanation: Microsoft competes with Drupal. This is what competitors do: compete.
Here's what Microsoft is accused of doing: