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Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 1 p.m.

Unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas, Halloween sadly isn't one of those holidays for which friends and family feel the need to gather

If you have far-flung folks you'd like to send an All Hallows' Eve greeting to, we can help. We've gathered 10 free e-cards that are perfect to send a chill down someone's spine from afar

Take a look through our spooky selection in the gallery above.

Image: Valerie Everett

More about Ecards, Features, Halloween, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 12 p.m.

Today Katy Perry turns 29, undoubtedly celebrating with a giant tiger cake and a brand new cronut bra

The pop star is known for her hit songs and candy-colored (and possibly flavored) outfits, but she also has a knack for not taking things too seriously, judging by her constant steams of silly face.

And you too can be as easy going as Katy, with or without the purple hair

Image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images

More about Lists, Katy Perry, and Watercooler
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 12 p.m.

Pinterest may be a visual social platform, but words still have a place on most users' boards. Inspirational, thought-provoking or just funny, the Pinterest quote has become an art form all its own.

Sadly, boards are often filled with plain, grainy, black and white text images created in Microsoft Paint — or even Word — with no attempt at artistry whatsoever

Don't be a Pinterest embarrassment by pinning these unappealing images onto your carefully designed board. If you aren't proficient in Photoshop, there are plenty of apps and tools to help you edit and improve the quality of quote posts for free, and they'll even link you to Pinterest directly Read more...

More about Apps, Social Media, Features, Pinterest, and Apps Software
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 11 a.m.

Muppets may never age, but they can still keep up with the times.

In late September, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational arm of the long-running children's TV series Sesame Street, launched Little Discoverers, a new "digital destination" for children and parents to engage in science, technology, engineering and math.

With support from CA Technologies, the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation, the initiative aims to make the most of early childhood experiences with STEM through games, interactive videos, and even hands-on activities and science experiments Read more...

More about Entertainment, Non Profit, Features, Parenting, and Science
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 4 a.m.

Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde plans to use an "electronic vacuum" to combat the smog that regularly inhabits the sky in Beijing, China.

This "vacuum" actually consists of copper wires that will be buried under the grass at a park in the city. The wires will create an electrostatic field that will drag pollution particles to the ground.

"This won't be the real answer for smog, the real answer is different industry," Roosegaarde told Mashable. "I think it's a very radical statement of what could be."

If the smog-vanishing project works (it will reportedly take a year and approximately $1.6 million to complete), the sun would be able to shine through a 22,500 square-foot hole in the smog that would open up over the park. Read more...

More about Beijing, Artist, Vacuum, Dutch, and Pollution
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 4 a.m.

When you think of industry giants lobbying Congress, you may envision massive oil companies. But tech giants of Silicon Valley are getting a piece of the action, too.

Google, for instance, spent $3.4 million on lobbying in the last quarter aloneFacebook and Apple are also strengthening their lobbying efforts, and their main reasons for doing so include net neutrality, surveillance reform, self-driving vehicle and immigration.

Several big tech companies recently joined forces in their lobbying pursuits to create the Internet Association to work for an "open, innovative and free Internet." Read more...

More about Google, Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, and Apple
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 3 a.m.

The Seinfeld theme song is so universally loved that it can lighten up even the most terrifying horror flicks.

In this genius clip from Matin Comedy, the Seinfeld theme song and laugh track add a much needed dose of comedy to the otherwise dark 2002 thriller The Ring.

The clip is a prime example of the power of a laugh track, which easily elevates the dark mystery to slapstick comedy.

Image: YouTube, Matin Comedy

More about Youtube, Viral Videos, Comedy, Seinfeld, and Horror Movies
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 3 a.m.

The iPhone's Flashlight function eliminates the need for a standard flashlight — assuming of course, your phone has enough battery — and a London-based design team has now used that function to create a bedside lamp.

Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, the talent behind Raw Edges Design Studio, created a few simplistic stands that use the iPhone and its flash to create a makeshift lamp. They recently showcased their designs at the London Design Festival.

The designs incorporate materials like suction cups and rubber to create simple yet modern-looking standsdesignboom released photos of the stands, which look easy enough to use. The team found clever ways to diffuse the iPhone's flash through materials that resemble a stand and a lampshade Read more...

More about Mobile, Iphone, Design, Iphone Stands, and Tech
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 2 a.m.

We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question — and one vitally important to the future of the Internet. Read more...

More about Hacking, Internet, Cybersecurity, Government Censorship, and Mobile
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 2 a.m.

I can almost guarantee you've never used a camera like the Sony QX10 before. A camera attachment for your smartphone that already has a built-in camera, you say? Isn't that redundant? For the most part, yes, but using the lens-shaped camera together with a smartphone is just so weird — and different — that it makes photography feel refreshing again.

Sony has two lens-camera models up its sleeve: the QX10 and the higher-end QX100. Aside from the obvious price difference ($250 for the QX10, $500 for the QX100), the QX10 has fewer megapixels (18.2 vs. 20.2), a smaller image sensor (1/2.3-inch vs. 1.0-inch), smaller maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs. f/1.8) and no manual focus Read more...

More about Reviews, Sony, Lenses, Cameras, and Smartphone Accessories
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 1 a.m.

A new version of Tweetbot for iPhone is now available and it’s ready for iOS 7.

Tweetbot 3 [iTunes link] is a brand new app that requires iOS 7, is currently on sale for $2.99, and will normally sell for $4.99.

The decision to charge for the new app may be controversial, especially in the modern age of paid apps, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is the first time Tapbots has charged for a new version of Tweetbot for iPhone since releasing the app in early 2011.

It’s also important to know that along with Twitterrific, Tweetbot is one of the last remaining viable third-party Twitter clients. Back in 2012, Twitter changed the rules around its API, effectively limiting new Twitter clients from amassing more than 100,000 users. (Apps that were available before the Twitter API guidelines changed, such as Tweetbot, were given a new, higher cap.) Read more...

More about Iphone Apps, Twitter, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 1 a.m.

A new shipping option is giving small businesses the opportunity to pack as much into one box as they can, without driving up the cost.

This week, FedEx unveiled its new One Rate shipping program, which gives both small businesses and consumers a predictable, flat-rate shipping option for their express packages. To ship using FedEx One Rate, small businesses choose a free FedEx Express box or envelope, an eligible FedEx Express domestic shipping service and the destination. The FedEx One Rate price is then calculated based on the packaging type, service selected and distance. How much the package weighs is not factored into the cost. Read more...

More about Small Business, Shipping, Fedex, Business, and Travel Leisure
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 12 a.m.

If you asked Rotana Tarabzouni in 2011 about the protests to end Saudi Arabia's ban on female drivers, she would have cynically called the cause hopeless.

Now, two years after the first campaign, the Saudi-raised, California-based singer is optimistic that change is coming to her home country

On Saturday, women in Saudi Arabia will get behind the wheel and take to the streets — an act of defiance against the country's policies blocking female drivers. While there's no formal law banning women from driving, the conservative nation's unwillingness to grant licenses to female applicants has become a de facto way of barring women from legally operating cars Read more...

More about Women, Womens Rights, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Driving Ban, and Saudi Women For Driving
Mashable! · Fri, Oct 25, 12 a.m.

Joey Graceffa is really good at making YouTube videos. So good that he's considered a YT celeb with 2.2 million subscribers. But Graceffa's apparently not so good at following the rules of the road — and he's getting called out for it

Graceffa recently, allegedly, parked his car in front of Nate Clark's driveway. Clark had the car towed, only to later discover Graceffa's status as an Internet celebrity. Clark also realized Graceffa had uploaded a video detailing the experience of having his car towed

Clark didn't appreciate Graceffa saying his car had been unnecessarily towed, so he decided to make a YouTube video of his own. In it, Clark patiently debunks Graceffa's claims, then throws in a few zingers for good measure Read more...

More about Youtube, Viral Videos, Parking, Driving, and Watercooler
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 11 p.m.

Breathe easy, Flaming Lips fans: The band is staying together, despite sending out a break-up tweet earlier Thursday.

The tweet has since been deleted, but we got this screengrab:

That led to consternation around the Internet. We contacted Flaming Lips spokesman Andrew Ludwick, who said he "highly doubted" the tweet was for real. Sure enough, minutes later, the band walked it back:

lol just joking guys

— The Flaming Lips (@theflaminglips) October 24, 2013

It didn't escape fans' attention that the Flaming Lips happens to have a new EP out, based on the movie version of Ender's Game. Read more...

More about Twitter, Entertainment, and Music
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 11 p.m.

NBC has agreed to a put pilot commitment on a reboot of Angela Lansbury‘s hugely popular and long-running mystery series Murder, She Wrote. That means that we’re definitely seeing Octavia Spencer in the lead role some time soon.

There’s usually no guarantee that a show will actually air until after a pilot is produced and the network commits to a series. A put pilot, however is a distinctly different animal, and that’s what Deadline is calling Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari‘s new project, starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer. The “put” part of a put pilot means that the network has agreed to air the pilot, regardless of whether they pick it up for a series or pay some steep fees to the production studio that made it. It means that whatever Cunningham, Janollari and Spencer produce, we’re very very likely to actually see it air. Read more...

More about Television, Nbc, Reboot, Tv Shows, and Entertainment
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 10 p.m.

Mobile devices have changed the way we consume all sorts of online content. We now spend more time looking at photos, using maps, playing games, checking the weather and social networking on mobile phones rather than desktop computers.

Desktop is still king for some activities, such as e-commerce and getting entertainment news.

Statista's chart, which uses ComScore data, shows the breakdown between desktop and mobile consumption for 10 different types of content.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: iStock, SimmiSimons

More about Mobile, Tech, and Gadgets
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 10 p.m.

The most patriotic comic book hero needs help fending off evil in Marvel's upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie, and as the new trailer shows, Captain America and ally Black Widow find that assistance in the wing-wielding Falcon

Captain America, played by Chris Evans, is trying to defend the nation's capital alongside Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson). The action-packed trailer sets the captain out to "neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen," according to Samuel L. Jackson's character, Nick Fury, the head director of international intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D Read more...

More about Films, Entertainment, Comic, Trailer, and Movie Trailer
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 10 p.m.

Amazon's headcount surpassed 100,000 in the last quarter, a milestone the company quietly recorded in its third-quarter earnings.

The company now has 109,800 full-time and part-time employees, compared to 97,000 last quarter. The figure doesn't include the 70,000 that the company plans to work during the holiday season on a temporary basis.

By hitting six figures, Amazon joins a short list of tech companies including Foxconn, which has 940,000 employees, IBM (433,000), Samsung (371,000) Hewlett-Packard (331,800), Panasonic (328,000), Fujitsu (173,000) and Dell (106,000) Read more...

More about Amazon, Business, and Jobs
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

It looks like Microsoft is trying to get rid of the original Surface Pro tablets. The company has now reduced the Windows 8 tablet’s price by another $100.

The discount, which only seems to apply to buyers living in the United States or Canada, sees the first-generation model fall to $699 and is due to expire on Dec. 31. The Surface Pro price was previously cut by $100 in August.

Microsoft is almost certainly doing this to sell off remaining inventory and might well stop selling the first-generation device altogether in 2014, as it is no longer listed on the firm's main Surface website.

The company announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in New York last month and the former is now available starting at $899. Read more...

More about Microsoft, Tablets, Tech, Apps Software, and Gadgets
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

Zynga's third-quarter results came in better than analysts had expected, sending the company's stock up more than 15% in after-hours trading.

The company reported bookings of $152 million for the quarter and a loss of 2 cents a share, which beat the $142.7 million and the 4 cents, respectively, that Wall Street had predicted

The third quarter was the first one with new CEO Don Mattrick, who replaced Mark Pincus in July. The company also launched several new titles during the quarter, including Fairy Tale Twist, Ninja Kingdom and New Scramble With Friends. None were huge breakout hits on the order of FarmVille, which, along with Zynga Poker and Words With Friends, remain its most popular games Read more...

More about Stocks, Zynga, and Business
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

A year ago, Star Wars fans everywhere cheered the news that Michael Arndt would be writing the script for the as-yet-untitled Episode VII. Arndt brought us both Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3; fans felt he would bring a measure of emotional depth to the galaxy far, far away

According to a Lucasfilm announcement on Thursday, however, it appears Arndt is out — replaced by both the director, J.J. Abrams and veteran Star Wars script polisher, the legendary Lawrence Kasdan

"Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of the company and Lucas' hand-picked successor. "There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right." Read more...

More about Star Wars, Entertainment, Film, Episode Vii, and Jj Abrams
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

Twitter plans to offer 70 million shares priced between $17 and $20 when it goes public in the coming weeks, which means the company may raise as much as $1.4 billion in its initial offering

The company revealed the share price and volume in an update to its S-1 filed with the SEC on Thursday afternoon, which also announced that it has been approved to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter had previously announced that it was seeking to raise $1 billion in its public offering

To put that in context, Twitter's IPO will be significant smaller than Facebook's, which sold more than $400 million shares priced at $38 each and raised $16 billion from the public offering Read more...

More about Twitter, Business, and Twitter Ipo
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

Twitter announced on Thursday that Vivian Schiller, the chief digital officer at NBC News, will join the company in a newly created head of news partnerships position beginning in 2014

Twitter announced the news from one of the company's Twitter feeds, @TwitterForNews, and Schiller also tweeted about her upcoming job switch. Schiller brings an extensive news background with her to the microblogging site, having spent time in senior management positions at NPR, the New York Times and CNN over the past 12 years

Schiller's role with Twitter will be broad, according to sources familiar with the situation. She will serve as an intermediary between the social network and the numerous media outlets it works with daily, and she will also provide journalists' feedback to Twitter so it can build the service around the needs and wants of the media industry. Schiller's television background should come into play in helping Twitter increase involvement in real-time news broadcasts during events like Presidential debates. Read more...

More about Twitter, Nbc, Cnn, Vivian Schiller, and Twitter Ipo
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 9 p.m.

During a special few hours during the mornings and evenings, the sky glows with intense, magical colors. For this week's round of the Mashable Photo Challenge Guest Series, we want to see your best photos of our extraordinary sky. Guest curator Andreas Wonisch will choose his favorite submissions to feature on Mashable.

"The same sky can look completely different when you are there at different times," Wonisch said. "Usually the golden hour around sunrise and sunset works best for photographing."

Wonisch works as a physicist in Germany specializing in computer simulations. But in his spare time, he shoots landscape and skyscape shots, which are two of his biggest passions. (His photo, above, was taken in Iceland.) Read more...

More about Community, Photo, Photography, Social Media, and Mashable Photo Challenge Guest Series
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 8 p.m.

Buckle up, Trekkies, your favorite helmsman of the USS Enterprise has heard your X-rated fantasies

During an interview on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, host Andy Cohen asked Star Trek's George Takei to read some interesting erotic fan fiction. Takei obliged, narrating a story that involved Sulu, Chekov, pajama pants and a red lollipop

And the results were hot — kind of

Perhaps this could also mean a Star Trek-50 Shades of Grey mashup starring Takei as an intergalactic Christian Grey. Trekkies can dream, right?

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Star Trek, Tv, George Takei, and Watercooler
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 8 p.m.

The Austrian law student who famously forced Facebook to release 1,222 pages of data kept on file about him remains a thorn in Facebook's side

Max Schrems' activist group, Europe v. Facebook, scored another small victory against the social networking giant on Thursday. It received the go-ahead from an Irish court to keep challenging Facebook's role in the NSA's top secret Internet surveillance program PRISM, which was revealed by Edward Snowden this summer.

In June, Schrems, who also forced Facebook to abandon photo-tagging suggestions for European users last year, filed a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), arguing that Facebook's cooperation with the NSA's PRISM program breached European data protection lawsby illegally exporting data to its American parent company Read more...

More about Facebook, Europe, Privacy, Prism, and Us World
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 8 p.m.

Instagram offered a first glimpse at what its ads will look like in a blog post Thursday.

The sample ad, which you can see below, will resemble a typical image or video shared on the social network except it will include a Sponsored label in the top right corner and offer users the option to hide it from their stream.

Instagram announced earlier this month that it would begin rolling out ads to users in the coming months. In the blog post Thursday, Instagram revealed it will introduce the sample ad sometime "in the coming week."

"We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community," the company wrote. "If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the '…' below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future." Read more...

More about Instagram and Business
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 8 p.m.

The U.S. government is fixing a lesser known problem with its online insurance marketplace,

No, the website still isn't working properly for most people who are shopping for insurance, but its administrators updated the site's source code after reports of a copyright violation. An official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the site, acknowledged the error and said it was not intentional.

"We are aware of the issue and are working to add the copyright header to the code," the official told Mashable earlier this week. Read more...

More about Open Source, Copyright, Healthcare, Coding, and Us World
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 7 p.m.

Time for a throwback Thursday — galactic styleStar Wars has released the original 1983 trailer for Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

But fans will notice that the trailer promotes a different film title: Revenge of the Jedi. George Lucas changed "revenge" to "return" before the movie's release — a good choice noting the film's portrayal of Darth Vader. But "revenge" did eventually get a spot in a Lucas movie, appearing in 2005's Revenge of the Sith.

Over the past few months, the film's YouTube channel has released teaser trailers from each episode, giving us all a look into how Lucas and 20th Century Fox originally branded the movies. While Return of the Jedi seems to be more on par with the famed Star Wars we all know, the first teaser (for A New Hope) was inconsistent with the film's legacy Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Movie Trailers, Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Film Trailers
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 7 p.m.

NASA made history in early October by beaming a four-inch, data-packed laser the 239,000 miles between Earth and a spacecraft orbiting the Moon. According to a press release provided to Mashable, the transmission took place at an error-free rate of 622 megabits per second.

The laser technology, which we reported on as it was loaded onto the spacecraft in early September, was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to speed up communication between a station in New Mexico and spaceships orbiting the Moon. 

This rate of transmission is six times the current standard, and will allow for transferring more data that could come in the form of higher resolution photos and 3D imagesRadio waves, which NASA has been using to transmit information, can't compete. Read more...

More about Radio, Space, Nasa, Lasers, and Spacecraft
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 6 p.m.

Last Chance Kitchen, the companion web series for Bravo's cooking competition Top Chef, returned this week on the heels of winning an Emmy for multiplatform storytelling

The web series on takes the TV show's eliminated contestants each week and pits them against each other for a chance to earn a spot in the main show's finale

Last season's Last Chance Kitchen winner, Kristen Kish (pictured, above), re-entered the competition for the televised finale and claimed the title of top chef

"There's often, every season, one chef who should have gone much further — and has the talent to win — but made a mistake or was on a losing team that made a mistake," Top Chef judge and Last Chance Kitchen host Tom Colicchio told Mashable"Some of the chefs now are willing to take bigger risks because they know there's a second chance." Read more...

More about Entertainment, Tv, Reality Tv, Bravo, and Web Series
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 6 p.m.

Super Mario 3D World results from the evolution of a lot of different Mario games, its creators say, and they hope it's the most fun and accessible title in the long series.

When fans first get their hands on this new Mario title, out Nov. 22 for Wii U, they'll notice it feels like the culmination of a lot of different ideas. You'll see the free-roaming movement from single-player games like Super Mario 64, and the chaotic multiplayer of recent titles like New Super Mario Bros.

"The 3D Mario games, up until Super Mario Galaxy, had really been a separate series for us, but after Galaxy we began to explore the relationship back to these 2D side-scrollers. In the case of Super Mario 3D World, we've figured out a way to evolve these elements," Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario's creator and producer of almost all his games, told Mashable. "Our goal right now is to expose as many people as possible to this type of gameplay in a 3D world." Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Nintendo, Super Mario Bros, and Wii U
Mashable! · Thu, Oct 24, 5 p.m.

The United States Army began developing an exoskeleton to rejuvenate damaged legs in 2008, and soon, this technology will be available to all.

A soldier whose leg was damaged by bullets or blasts would make an appointment with Ryan Blanck, the creator of the exoskeleton, and have his leg cast in a mold. From that mold, Blanck would construct a carbon-fiber cast that fit around the injured leg. The cast let soldiers push off from the ground again, and with time and physical therapy, the vast majority of soldiers have regained full mobility, Blanck told Mashable

More about Army, Us World, Us, World, and Health Fitness