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Drone porn: The best views from high above in 2014

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 10:00am

Drones. We just can't get enough of them

See also: How drones changed the way we saw the world in 2014

In 2014, we got a chance to see the world from new heights as drones gave us unparalleled views of some of the most beautiful sights in the world. From sweeping views of the Aurora Borealis over Iceland, to a look inside a fireworks display, here are some of our favorite videos captures by drones in 2014. Read more...

More about Photos, Us World, World, Drone, and Drones

Passenger uses emergency slide 'to get off the plane quicker'

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 9:58am

Unruly passenger, or quick-thinking traveler?

A man on a flight in China that had landed safely opened the plane's emergency door, which triggered the inflatable exit slide. He told authorities he did not pay attention during the safety briefing, and therefore wasn't aware that the door was only for emergencies.

See also: The worst things people do on airplanes, ranked

He said he used the door simply "to get off the plane quicker."

China Eastern flight MU2331 landed safely Dec. 8 at Sanya Phoenix International Airport in China's southern Hainan province, but the return flight was delayed two hours after the door incident, according to Chinese outlet Sohu. Read more...

More about Airplane, Lifestyle, Travel Leisure, Emergency Slide, and Crazy Passengers

The 2014 pop music mashup to end all year-end pop mashups

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 9:55am

Daniel Kim just shut down the 2014 year-end pop mashup with his release of "Pop Danthology," which is arguably the only mashup you'll need to remember the year in music by

Unlike DJ Earworm's yearly mashup, which samples from the year's top songs to create a new tune, Kim's mixes take the best parts of the year's Billboard toppers and seamlessly blend them into one beat. Kim has been releasing Pop Danthology since 2010

This year, Beyoncé, Taylor, Iggy, Ariana, Nicki, Katy and Miley were all invited to the diva-tastic party, outshining their male counterparts, including Jason Derulo, John Legend, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Music, Entertainment, Videos, and Watercooler

The 6 new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will make you feel old

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:24am

Joan Jett loves rock 'n' roll, as you've heard her proclaim time and time again. Now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame loves her back

Jett is among the shortlist of artists who will be inducted into the hall in 2015 after voters whittled a pool of 15 choices down to six. They beat out these nine artists who missed the cut, yet are still eligible in years to come: Kraftwerk, Sting, The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., The Spinners, The Marvelettes, Chic, and War

See also: 50 most-tweeted songs of 2014

The six inductees, who became eligible 25 years after their first recordings came out, are: Read more...

1. Joan Jett and the BlackheartsMore about Music, Lou Reed, Entertainment, Green Day, and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Brad Pitt on Sony hack coverage: 'It's more of an indictment on us'

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:21am

More Hollywood A-listers are weighing in on the media coverage of the Sony Pictures hack, and they're not happy

Speaking to Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson at the Unbroken premiere Monday evening, Pitt said no one should be reading other people's private emails

"I don’t see a difference in News Corp. hacking phone calls and hacking emails," Pitt said. "I don't think we should be able to participate. I think someone's conversation, whether in email or in person, should be private. We shouldn't be participating and these sites that are disseminating them should stop. They won't."

See also: The damage done: Sony Pictures hack reveals more embarrassing details Read more...

More about Entertainment, Film, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Sony Coverage

At least 66 journalists were killed in 2014 as attacks grow more 'barbaric'

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:07am

KIEV, Ukraine — Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday that at least 66 journalists were killed over the course of the year as the number of reporters' kidnappings soared in 2014.

While the number of journalists’ deaths dropped slightly from 71 in 2013, the high-profile beheadings of Western reporters at the hands of Islamic State militants in the Middle East signaled a grisly new threat in the types of violence used against the media, according to the latest report on abuses against journalists by the international media watchdog.

See also: The Grim and Growing Business of Kidnappings in the Middle East Read more...

More about Media, Iraq, Syria, Kidnapping, and Us World

Warning: A computer science degree may be a waste of your time and money

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:06am

When he was 15, Shlomo Zippel got his first job programming. And that was pretty much the end of his academic career.

"I had an arrangement with the principal — as long as I showed up for tests and did well in them, he wouldn't tell my parents that I wasn't at school," recalls Zippel. "Instead of getting on the school bus every morning I got on a normal bus that took me to the office I worked at." Zippel, who lived in Israel at the time, was developing software used by all major banks in the country plus Reuters Israel

At 17, the hourly rate Zippel was making for coding was higher than his parents'. "My dad is a surgeon," Zippel says. "This might say more about how little doctors are paid in Israel though." Read more...

More about College, Programming, Business, and Jobs

Scotland's first same-sex marriage under new law takes place in Australia

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 7:58am

A same-sex couple at the British consulate in Melbourne have become the first to marry under a new Scottish law that came into effect Tuesday

See also: A global offering of love to 31 Australian couples whose marriages were voided

As the clock struck midnight in Scotland (11:01 a.m. in Melbourne), Edinburgh-born Douglas Pretsell and his Australian partner Peter Gloster signed the register, becoming newlyweds.

So proud to be the first same sex couple in the whole world to be married under Scottish law

— Douglas Pretsell (@adventuresinPR) December 16, 2014

From Tuesday, same-sex couples in civil partnerships can have their unions converted, but because of the 15-day notice period that must be given before getting married in Scotland, the first same-sex weddings will not take place until Dec. 31. Civil partnerships have been legal in Scotland since 2005 Read more...

More about Australia, Scotland, Us World, World, and Marriage Equality

Robin Williams, World Cup and Ebola top Google search in 2014

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 7:50am

Google released the list of the most-searched terms in 2014, and it's a bittersweet mix of tragedy and fun, of terrible events and wonderful attempts to make the world better

Topping this year's list is beloved comedian Robin Williams, who died of suicide in August after a long battle with depression and addiction

See also: Twitter's Year in Review: World Cup, Ferguson and Ellen's golden tweet

The largest Ebola outbreak to date, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' flight 370 and the terror of ISIS round up the tragic events in this year's list

On the brighter side of things, people around the world were gripped by this summer's World Cup, the amazingly addictive mobile game Flappy Bird, Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst, Disney's animated feature hit Frozen and the Olympic games in Sochi Read more...

More about Google, Search, World Cup, Robin Williams, and Tech

The best mobile games of 2014

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 7:21am

December is drawing to a close, so it’s the right time to reflect back on all the great games we played in 2014. Mobile devices continued to offer gamers a vast array of top-notch titles

More and more genres are successfully making the leap to mobile, so there’s something for just about everyone to enjoy on a smartphone or tablet

See also: 12 best iPhone apps of 2014

Here are our choices of the 11 best mobile games from the past year Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Mobile Games, and End Of 2014

5 digital health trends you'll see in 2015

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 7:15am

2014 has been a huge year for health tech. According to digital health incubator StartUp Health, digital health funding in the first three quarters of 2014 has already surpassed $5 billion, close to double what was invested in all of 2013 ($2.8 billion).

"Digital health funding for the year is on track to double last year's total," said Unity Stoakes, co-founder and president of StartUp Health. "Some trends we're watching include a growing corporate interest in digital health, more global cross-pollination of ideas, as well as increasing health consumerism as people move into the driver's seat when it comes to their care." Read more...

More about Features, Wearable Tech, Tech, Gadgets, and Mobile

10 startups to watch in 2015

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 7:04am

Facebook agreed to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion. Uber raised more than $1 billion at an $18 billion-plus valuation, then reportedly went out to raise even more. Snapchat is rumored to be valued at $10 billion.

This year certainly had more than its fair share of shock value, at least in the startup world. While 2015 may not be able to live up to that, there's still plenty of startup drama and excitement to look out for

See also: 19 billion reasons that numbers stopped making sense in 2014

Uber and a host of other extremely well-funded ride-hailing startups will go head to head to control markets around the world. Messaging apps will keep adding features that assert them as a central hub for entertainment, payments and communication. Food startups are raising tens of millions of dollars to transform the industry. Read more...

More about Startups, Features, and Business

Russia hikes interest rate after ruble reaches new lows

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:46am

Russia's central bank jumped its key interest rate from 10.5% to 17% after the ruble suffered its steepest one-day drop in value since 1998 on Monday, according to Reuters.

The decision was reached during an emergency meeting held by policymakers in Moscow at around 1 a.m. local time Monday night. With low oil prices and sanctions plaguing the country's economy, the ruble plunged 11 percentage points against the dollar on Monday, bottoming out at about 67 rubles per U.S. dollar before a slight uptick to about 64.

See also: Russian site invites you to meditate to the sound of the falling ruble Read more...

More about Us World, World, and Russian Ruble

17 impressive dads whose reflexes saved the day

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:30am

Built into every father is a reflex unlike any other

The so-called "dad reflex" is a paternal reaction that's encoded into father the moment their first child is born. The impulse is quick, impressive and has saved countless children from injuries, embarrassment, property damage and even death.

See also: 16 GIFs that show what animals are really thinking

Not all dads have mastered the reflex, but those who have deserve to be commended

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

More about Reddit, Pics, Lists, Kids, and Dads

U.S. Navy developing robotic fish drone for spying operations

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:21am

The U.S. Navy is finding Nemo — through a new underwater drone program.

The Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Cell and Boston Engineering are currently testing an unmanned vehicle is disguised as a tuna fish that will soon be able to swim on its own and collect intelligence. The project is called Project Silent Nemo, named after the Disney movie about a clown fish

See also: See the U.S. Navy's terrifying new laser weapon in action

The 5-foot, 100-pound unmanned underwater vehicle swims and behaves like a bluefin tuna fish, waving its tail back and forth to propel itself. Its developers say the natural swimming motion of fish is less detectable than typical torpedo-shaped drones. Read more...

More about Gadgets, Navy, Us World, and Us

The FBI kept a fingerprint file called 'Notorious Dead Criminals'

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:02am

Filing doesn't have to be dull. Here is the evidence — in more ways than one.

These photos picture the FBI's overflow filing system, housed during World War II in the Washington, D.C. Armory. By the early 1940s, the FBI's archive housed more than 23 million card and 10 million fingerprint records, with 400,000 new cards added each and every month.

Around the war, the federal government invested huge resources into the FBI to investigate potential defectors and spies. President Roosevelt, for one, was concerned about the lure of Communism and the subsequent threat to democracy. By the end of 1943, the FBI employed around 13,000 people. Read more...

More about Us, Crime, Features, History, and Murder

20 books that make perfect holiday gifts

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 5:30am

What's a relatively cheap and heartfelt gift? Books, of course!

But with so many stellar titles released in 2014, choosing the right book to give this holiday season can be overwhelming.

See also: The 10 Best YA Books of 2014

Have no fear. Here are 20 of the best new books from 2014 to give your favorite readers. (We won't tell if you keep a few of these titles for yourself too.)

Want more great book recommendations from Mashable? Join MashableReads, Mashable's social book club. You'll have the chance to win free copies of new novels, and participate in conversations with various authors.

BONUS: Authors in Conversation with MashableReads


More about Books, Holidays, Gifts, Lists, and Fiction

10 fundamental design rules for nonprofits

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 5:07am

Good design can change the world — or at least help nonprofits and social good organizations in the process.

Whether it's using a website to tell compelling stories or creating an innovative product, design and social change go hand in hand.

See also: Why Nonprofits Are Replicating the Startup Model

We spoke to designers and creatives who work in the social good space. They offered crucial tips for nonprofits and budding designers looking to effect change.

1. Highlight the organization's positive impact.

Image: Heifer International

While your nonprofit might be dealing with terrible, overwhelmingly depressing world events, your design should also zero in on the good your nonprofit does, how it addresses the big issues. Read more...

More about Web Design, Features, Design, Nonprofits, and Social Good

Stretchable prosthetic skin could give artificial limbs a sense of touch

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 4:56am

Scientists say they have developed a synthetic skin that acts a lot like the real deal — it's stretchable and even has a sense of touch.

This is not the first time that scientists have purported to have found a way to sense humidity or temperature in a prosthetic, but a team of researchers based in South Korea said their version could result in the most advanced prosthetic skin yet, according to their new study

See also: Implanted Prosthetic Arm Moves Us One Step Closer to Bionics

The group's study is published in research journal Nature Communications, and it details how the skin uses electronics to imitate real skin. It has humidity and temperature sensors to regular body heat, for starters, and it uses something called ultra-thin nanowire to transmit touch sensations from the prosthetic to the bodySo say a person has a prosthetic arm: She would potentially be able to feel burns, the rain or a cold wind. Read more...

More about Tech, Gadgets, Lifestyle, and Prosthetics

Taliban storms school in Pakistan, killing more than 120

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 4:43am

UPDATED: 9:38 a.m. EST

Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, killing more than 100 people, most of whom were children. It's the highest-profile militant attack to hit the region in months.

Key points:
  • Officials say the death toll has reached 126.

  • Some children are thought to be still inside the school. A rescue mission is ongoing and some explosions have been heard from inside the building.

  • The Taliban have claimed responsibility, saying the attack is revenge for Pakistani military targeting their families.

  • Malala Yousafzai on the attacks: "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us." Read more...

More about Pakistan, Taliban, Us World, and World