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Updated: 29 min 37 sec ago

Google reveals first functional Project Ara prototype (for real this time)

45 min 5 sec ago

Google's Project Ara has reached an important milestone

A new video shows off the most advanced prototype of the modular smartphone yet— one that actually boots and is able to launch an app.

See also: Google Went Public 10 Years Ago, But It's Still Not a 'Conventional' Company

Project Ara is Google's ambitious plan for modular smartphones that have interchangeable pieces. The idea is to create phones whose individual components, like the processor, display, or camera, can be swapped out individually so users have more ways to customize their devices at a lower cost

The latest prototype, called Spiral One, is the most functional Ara prototype yet. In the video demo, the Android device is powered up, the display unlocked and an app launched— though the three-minute video only contains about 15 seconds of footage of the device while it's actually turned on. Read more...

More about Google, Mobile, Gadgets, Tech, and Project Ara

Man in Teletubby costume breaks into home, steals leftover Chinese food

52 min 40 sec ago

Sometimes the urge to eat good General Tso's chicken is too strong.

In this installment of embarrassing Halloween stories, 20-year-old Lehigh Universtity student Terez Sharek Owens was arrested on Sunday after breaking into his friend's home and stealing Chinese food from the fridge while wearing a yellow Teletubby costume. Owens was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief

See also: Visitors in Lake Tahoe are taking too many bear selfies

Video: YouTube, Teletubbies

According to The Morning Call, police received several phone calls from residents just before 2 a.m. reporting that someone had entered the house by breaking the glass on the home's rear door. The victims told police that the man took the leftovers, put them into a black purse and left the residence. Read more...

More about Halloween, Funny, Watercooler, Conversations, and Weird News

Victor Zsasz's 'Gotham' debut looks incredible

1 hour 42 min ago

Zsasz is coming, y'all, and it's going to be awesome

On Monday, Anthony Carrigan, who recently portrayed The Mist on CW's The Flash, visits Gotham as supervillain and serial killer Victor Zsasz. And in a just-released sneak peek at the episode, we get our first extended look at his debut, which looks fantastic and totally creepy.

See also: Alfred Is About to Show His 'Badass' Side on 'Gotham'

The episode, titled "Penguin's Umbrella," also happens to be one of star Robin Lord Taylor's favorite episodes, as it finds his character Penguin "embracing his role in the city and making strides to fulfill his destiny." "It's a really exciting moment," he told Mashable earlier this week during an exclusive sit down Read more...

More about Television, Entertainment, Tv, and Gotham

Why Australians cackle in the face of Halloween

2 hours 16 sec ago

SYDNEY — Halloween is here. Except a random street party held by 20-year-old students and a lonesome house covered in cobwebs, there is a stillness in the air. There are no knocks at the door, there are no groups of kids cackling as they hurry down the street, there are no free sweets. This is Australian Halloween.

Every year, the debate is thrown around — why do we ignore the most brilliant holiday of them all? (When you remove Australia Day and Boxing Day, of course). This year is no different. People are FREAKING out.

See also: 50 last-minute Halloween costumes

This is what I want to do and say to people who celebrate Halloween in Australia

— NZ (@normyzee) October 30, 2014

More about Australia, Halloween, and Us World

Guns, weed and abortion: The issues up for a vote in 2014

2 hours 10 min ago

It's much easier to frame an election around two candidates exchanging verbal punches than it is around an issue such as increasing the minimum wage or legalizing marijuana, but much of what is up for vote during this 2014 midterm election season has as much to do with issues, as politicians

Citizens around the United States will decide whether their states should increase early voting days, loosen or tighten gun control restrictions, and more

See also: The Midterm Elections Are Worth Your Attention. Here's Why

Below, we've mapped out some of the more critical ballot issues in each state

Image: Mashable Christopher Mineses and Bob Al-Greene

More about Voting, Election, Weed, Marijuana, and Us World

Photo challenge: Bring out your dark side

2 hours 24 min ago

For this week's Mashable Photo Challenge, bring out your dark side. Explore the outdoors after sunset, look for shadows on dark pavement and entertain your superstitions

See also: These Vintage Halloween Costumes Will Scare the Sheet Out of You

Your submissions can be Halloween-related — orange and black, spirits and haunted things — but they certainly don't have to be. You're free to experiment with shadows, still life, and low light settings in basements and warehouses. Take advantage of late dusk and early dawn. We want to see a variety of raw images, heavily edited shots and even film photographs with vintage effects. Read more...

More about Photography, Halloween, Social Media, Apps Software, and Mashable Photo Challenge Guest Series

The creators of Google Inbox explain why it's the future of Gmail

2 hours 28 min ago

Google's on a mission to reinvent email. Its weapon: Inbox, a standalone app that launched last week.

Inbox aims to make email more useful with several new tools. It surfaces relevant content (photos, for example) and information from within individual messages so you don't have to open anything to get at what you really want. Bundles sort your messages for you, letting you find important messages faster. Plus you can add your own reminders that work with Google Now.

See also: Google Inbox Hands On: An App With an Identity Crisis

But there's something important that Inbox isn't: Gmail. Although the whole aim of Google Inbox is to make email more useful, it's not intended to replace the Gmail experience. Yet. Read more...

More about Email, Gmail, Inbox, Tech, and Apps Software

Andy Rubin, Google's robot chief and Android founder, steps down

2 hours 53 min ago

Andy Rubin, the man at the helm of Google's robotics initiative and the co-founder of the Android mobile operating system, is stepping down from his post.

The robotics team, which Rubin took over less than a year ago, is to be led by James Kuffner, a Google research scientist, when Rubin leaves, a Google spokesman told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the executive shuffle Thursday. Rubin left his leadership role with Android in March 2013. Google acquired Android in 2005.

See also: Andy Rubin's Next Big Thing at Google: Robots

Up next for Rubin: Creating an incubator for startups in the technology-hardware field, the Journal reported. Read more...

More about Google, Business, and Mobile

Nextdoor's treat map shows you where to find candy on Halloween

3 hours 27 min ago

Trick-or-treating may be the best part of Halloween — but not all neighborhoods are equal when it comes to candy distribution

That's why Nextdoor, a social network aimed at connecting neighborhoods, rolled out new mapping features to help users plan the best trick-or-treating routes.

See also: The unofficial Halloween candy exchange rate

The goal of Treat Map is to help parents identify the best areas for visiting Halloween night. Users indicate whether they plan to give out candy or set up a haunted house. This information then appears on the app's main neighborhood map.

"We’re taking the guesswork out of Halloween to ensure you find the best, most convenient route possible for your trick-or-treaters." the company wrote in statement. Read more...

More about Tech, Halloween, Apps Software, Nextdoor, and Apps And Software

Burkina Faso president plans to step down after violent protests rock capital

4 hours 8 min ago

The President of Burkina Faso said he will hand over his 27-year rule of the west African nation after violent protests rocked the capital city of Ouagadougou on Thursday.

In a televised statement to the nation, President Blaise Compaore announced his intention to hand over power to a new democratically elected leader after a period of transition. Compaore intends to remain in power while the transition takes place

See also: What it looks like when 100,000 people rally for Internet freedom

The government shake up comes after demonstrators stormed the country's parliament building earlier in the day ahead of a planned vote that would have paved the way for extending the president's tenure. Read more...

More about President, Coup, Protests, Us World, and World

7 things Australia spends more money on than fighting Ebola

4 hours 14 min ago

MELBOURNE — As the Ebola virus befalls its 10,000th victim, governments around the world are contributing resources to try and contain the epidemic in West Africa

Among those countries is Australia, who has pledged $A18 million to the cause. While commendable, the contribution has drawn criticism from some who argue it is inadequate and are urging the government to scale up its support

See also: The 5-step process for making an Ebola vaccine

So could Australia be doing more? For a little perspective, here's seven things the country spends more money on than fighting Ebola Read more...

Replacing those lost coins down the back of your couch - $A110 millionMore about Australia, Liberia, Us World, Ebola, and West Africa

Jason Reitman brother-sister comedy coming to Hulu

4 hours 39 min ago

Jason Reitman is hopping into television — casually

Hulu has picked up 10 episodes of Casual, a single-camera, half-hour comedy from the Oscar-nominated director, set to debut on the streaming service in 2015

See also: On Hulu's 'Quick Draw,' Improv Is King

The show centers on a brother-sister duo who help each other navigate the dating world while raising a teenager together. He's a bachelor and she's newly divorced.

Reitman, best known for directing 2007's Juno and 2009's Up in the Air, is set to direct the first episode

“I've long looked for the right first step into episodic storytelling,” said Reitman in a release Read more...

More about Hulu, Television, Entertainment, and Tv

At least 8 women now accuse former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi of sexual abuse

5 hours 14 min ago

At least eight women now have accused Canadian radio personality Jian Ghomeshi of sexually abusive behavior, as detailed in shocking new allegations published by The Toronto Star.

The alleged abuses, which include nonconsensual hitting and choking, as well as workplace sexual harassment at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, span from 2002 to 2014, the newspaper reported Wednesday. Most of the women interviewed by the Star spoke on the condition that they remain anonymous. Ghomeshi reportedly met some of the women during a 2012 tour to promote his memoir 1982, at work, or at film, music and CBC events. Read more...

More about Sexual Abuse, Us World, World, and Jian Ghomeshi

Twitter names a new head of product — after just 6 months

5 hours 39 min ago

Twitter has named a new head of product — for the second time in just six months

Twitter has appointed Kevin Weil, previously the head of revenue products (ads, basically), to serve as VP of all product efforts at the company, people familiar with the matter confirmed to MashableThe Wall Street Journal was first to report the executive change

See also: Twitter Isn't Essential and Probably Never Will Be

The move comes a little more than six months after Twitter announced it had hired Daniel Graf, a former Google Maps director, to head its consumer products efforts. Graf's hiring boosted Twitter stock, with investors optimistic that the ex-Google employee might be able to help the company renew its slowing user growth rate and engagement. Read more...

More about Twitter and Business

50 last-minute Halloween costumes

5 hours 49 min ago

Remember about 10 months ago, when you swore that this would be the year that you finally get your act together and plan a Halloween costume ahead of time?

Yeah. There's always 2015.

See also: 12 Halloween costumes you can make in 5 minutes or less

If you've found yourself panicked because you waited until the last minute to select a costume, don't worry. Depending on your level of skill in painting, makeup, hair and wardrobe, there's likely a costume below that you can create ASAP. (Remember: you can always keep it simple, stupid.)

Just don't be surprised if you see someone wearing the same costume — the two of you can bond over the fact that there's never enough time. Read more...

More about Lists, Diy, Halloween, Costumes, and Watercooler

New York City's most haunted buildings

5 hours 54 min ago

It's a city of almost nine million people — so there are bound to be a few spirits here and there, right?

Andrea Janes, founder of Boroughs of the Dead, a "macabre" New York City walking tour, stopped by our office to give us a brief history of the Big Apple's surprisingly eerie past

See also: 12 Halloween costumes you can make in 5 minutes or less

Some highlights: Washington Square Park is basically a giant graveyard, and John Lennon still plays the piano

Happy Halloween

Also, here's how you can turn your pumpkin into a keg:

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

More about Holidays, Videos, Us, History, and Halloween

North Korea to quarantine foreigners over Ebola fears

5 hours 55 min ago

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country — or anywhere in Asia — and very few foreigners are allowed to enter.

North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now that it perceives the deadly disease to be a threat, its anxiety has reached a new level. It has banned tourists, put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders. Read more...

More about North Korea, Us World, World, and Ebola

Brace yourself: Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran sang 'Stay With Me' in surprise duet

6 hours 6 min ago

The English are coming to invade your heart

Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," arguably the ballad of the year, just reached an entirely new level: Smith performed it as a duet with Ed Sheeran

See also: Nailed It: Demi Lovato Slays 'Give Me Love' Bridge in Duet With Ed Sheeran

The duo teamed up Wednesday night at Albert Hall in Manchester, capping the performance with a hug. Here's another clip from a fan:

Sheeran previously covered "Stay With Me" during a visit to BBC Radio 1.

BONUS: Kelly Clarkson Sings Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'

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

More about Music, Entertainment, Covers, Cover Songs, and Ed Sheeran

Cops can make you unlock your smartphone with fingerprint, says judge

6 hours 36 min ago

Cops can force you to unlock your smartphone with your fingerprint — but they can't force you to unlock it with your passcode, according to a judge in Virginia.

The decision, one of the first ones to deal with fingerprints and cellphones, confirms the fact that law enforcement agents can get access to a locked phone with legal means if they need to. At the same time a PIN or a password might enjoy more protection than a fingerprint.

See also: FBI Director: Encryption Will Lead to a 'Very Dark Place'

Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Steven Frucci ruled that a criminal defendant can be compelled to give up his fingerprint and unlock his cellphone in the course of a criminal investigation — because that's just like handing in a DNA sample or a physical key, which citizens can already be legally compelled to give to police Read more...

More about Privacy, Surveillance, Police, Us World, and Us

Tim Cook, authenticity and America's (slowly) changing corporate culture

6 hours 36 min ago

For years, John Browne led two lives. In public, Browne pretended to be "asexual" while he ran BP, one of the largest corporations in the world. He lived with his mother and took her to business events in lieu of a date. In private, and only in private, John Browne was gay.

The idea of bringing both of these lives together seemed impossible at the time. As the company's CEO in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Browne worried that publicly opening up about his sexuality would damage BP and perhaps end his career

"My suppliers will leave, my customers will leave. [Competitors] would think I was weak. Foreign governments would stop doing business with me," Browne told Mashable in an interview, recalling his many fears from that era Read more...

More about Apple, Tim Cook, and Business