September is here, summer is drawing to a close, but not to worry – it’s going to be a bloody good month to go to the cinema.

Check out some of the films we’re looking forward to seeing here:

Sausage Party (02/09)

Whats it about?Food items are horrified to discover what actually happens after humans take them home from the supermarket.

Whos in it?Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Michael Cera and Salma Hayek.

Is it good?It’s probably the weirdest film you’ll see all year, but it’s hilarious.

Don’t Breathe (09/09)

Whats it about? A group of friends attempt to rob a wealthy blind man, but they quickly find out that he’s a lot more capable (and violent) than they’d thought…

Whos in it? Stephen Lang, Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette

Is it good?Reviews have been very positive, and people are already suggesting that this could be the best horror of the year…

Blair Witch (15/09)

Whats it about?After James finds a video that he believes shows his (missing) sister in the notorious Blair Witch woods, he and a group of friends head there themselves, hoping to find her.

Whos in it?Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry.

Is it good?We haven’t seen it yet, but director Adam Wingard (V/H/S, You’re Next) claims it’s his scariest movie yet.

Cafe Society (02/09)

Whats it about? A young New Yorker moves to 1930s Los Angeles, and promptly falls in love with his uncle’sbeautiful young secretary.

Whos in it?Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell and Blake Lively

Is it good?Reviews have been largely positive, with loyal fans of Woody Allen sure to enjoy his most recent effort.

Bridget Jones’ Baby (16/09)

Whats it about?Bridget Jones, now divorced from Mark Darcy, gets pregnant, but has no idea who the father is. Is it her ex-husband, or her handsome rebound, the American Jack Qwant?

Whos in it?Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey and Emma Thompson

Is it good? Watch this space…

The Girl with all the Gifts (23/09)

Whats it about?Based on the best-selling horror novel, this looks at a scientist and a teacher living alongside some very special children in a post-zombie-apocalypse hell.

Whos in it?Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Paddy Considine

Is it good?Reviews have been mixed, but fans of the zombie genre should be delighted.

Imperium (16/09)

Whats it about?An FBI agent goes undercover to take down a radical neo-Nazi group.

Whos in it?Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette and Sam Trammell.

Is it good?Yes – Imperium has attracted some high praise (apparently it’s tense and terrifying) with Radcliffe’s performance in particular seriously making some waves.

The Magnificent Seven (23/09)

Whats it about?Seven “magnificent” men come together to help a village defend themselves from thieves in this remake of the 1960 Western classic.

Whos in it? Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke.

Is it good? Watch this space…

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (30/09)

Whats it about?Investigating his grandfather’s death, Jacob stumbles across a strange home filled with “peculiar children”.

Whos in it?Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson and Asa Butterfield

Is it good?We’ve yet to see it, but if Tim Burton’s other work(and the book that this film is based on)is anything to go by, we should be very excited…

Swiss Army Man (30/09)

Whats it about?A man stranded on a desert island gets some company in the shape of a (still farting) corpse that washes up on the beach.

Whos in it?Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe.

Is it good?This film polarised audiences when it first screened – some walked out in disgust, others gave it a standing ovation. You’ll have to judge for yourself whose side you’re on.

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Wow, is the week over already? It seems like only yesterday we were upgrading our iPhone software to iOS 6.

Perhaps you skipped the update altogether, and decided to camp out and get yourself a shiny new iPhone 5. Or maybe you just spent the week playing video games in your underwear, and watching reruns of Lost. Don’t worry, we’re not here to judge.

What we are here to do is keep you updated on all the resources around the Internet you may have missed. Much of the content this week focused on updates, both to Apple’s mobile software and Twitter profile layouts.

There were also some tips for you movers and shakers in the business world. We had advice on how to avoid job scams, how to get a good job and how to maximize your performance once you get that job.

Gadgets galore, apps aplenty and advice that’s nice — There’s all of this and more in this week’s features roundup.

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With the help of a laser-range finder, a laptop and a Microsoft Kinect, researchers at MIT have created a wearable piece of equipment that can map out a building in real time.

The prototype, called SLAM (short for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), was announced today.

Essentially, SLAM operates as a second pair of eyes by generating a virtual map of the user’s location (think: real-time strategy video games.) Creators of the device say they hope firefighters and emergency personnel will use the device to help them more easily navigate through thick smoke during fire emergencies.

Watch the video above to learn more. How else can real-time mapping be used? Let us know your thoughts below.

Image courtesy of Flickr, GEEK ASiA

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Microsoft’s Surface 2 unveiling on Sept. 23, 2013, was the first event where the Surface Mini was expected. Microsoft instead killed the product months later.
Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

Microsoft has confirmed it cancelled plans to release a Surface Mini tablet in the spring.

During Tuesday’s quarterly earnings call, CFO Amy Hood said that part of the reason revenue from the company’s line of Surface tablets took a hit was because it had decided to kill an unreleased product.

“During the quarter, we reassessed our product roadmap and decided not to ship a new form factor that was under development,” Hood said. While she doesn’t identify the Surface Mini by name, other reports claimed Microsoft has scrapped plans to release the tablet late in the game, then the company accidentally confirmed the product’s existence in a user manual that referenced the Mini directly.

The decision to take the ax to the Surface Mini was reportedly influenced by CEO Satya Nadella, whose bid to reshape Microsoft includes a clear focus on productivity. While the company has many consumer-facing products (notably Xbox), Windows devices have been criticized as not serving small-screen tablet market as well as iPads and Android models, and market statistics reflect this.

The small-screen tablet market has grown quickly over the past two years, but Windows didn’t support those designs until fall 2013 with the release of Windows 8.1. It appeared inevitable that the Surface line would get a Mini version after that, but since smaller tablets are inherently more about consumption than productivity, such a product wouldn’t fit with Nadella’s vision of the new Microsoft.

When Microsoft held the next Surface product launch in May, it instead announced the Surface Pro 3, a 12-inch tablet that runs full Windows 8.1 Pro, powered by an Intel Core processor.

Other manufacturers have filled the void with small Windows tablets, and most run Windows 8.1, powered by Intel Atom chips. Lenovo was reportedly going to stop selling small Windows tablets in the U.S. due to lack of demand, but the company quickly reaffirmed its commitment to different-size tablets and said it would bring a new small Windows tablet to the American market before the end of 2014.

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Today’s interactive Google Doodle commemorates Little Nemo, the main character in the comics strips of Winsor McCay, published in the New York Herald and the New York American from 1905 to 1914.

The strip debuted on October 15, 1905 — exactly 107 years ago.

While not a big success in its time, the strip was later adapted for the theater and influenced many artists, including comic book writer Alan Moore and children’s book author Maurice Sendak.

The Doodle itself is animated and interactive, gradually expanding into the biggest Doodle we’ve seen.

BONUS: Our Favorite Animated Google Doodles


Apple has won a patent for a removable iPhone case that cuts down on background noise.

Touting what the company is calling a “windscreen” design, the concept aims to reduce distracting sounds picked up by the device’s microphone that may make it hard to hear a phone conversation.

“The windscreen is designed to reduce wind noise, air blasts, vocal plosives and other noise,” Apple said in its patent application. “This may enable the speech of a user of the device to remain intelligible despite the presence of such noise during a call, and without requiring the user to shout into the device’s microphone.”

Although the patent was filed on Jan. 11, 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the application last week. The patent is good for all portable electronic devices that enable users to participate in a real-time two-way conversation.

Apple Windscreen Mobile Case

As shown in the image above, device calls for a windscreen sealed across an opening of the case that aligns with a microphone port built into the device (number 11). This would allow the passage of sound to go through the internal microphone and not pick up surrounding sound.

It is unknown if and when Apple will launch the windscreen case. Meanwhile, since the patent was filed before the launch of the current iPhone 4S and judging by the rendering, it looks like the iPhone will stay the same shape and size for some time.

“Handheld mobile communications devices, particularly mobile phones, have enabled users to engage in real-time two-way conversations while walking, running, riding in a car or during other activities,” Apple noted. “In a number of these situations, a user may be conducting a conversation in a noisy environment, such as outside in the wind or inside a moving car with its window down.”

Would you buy a noise-reducing removable iPhone case? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, LoooZaaa

BONUS: 10 Intriguing Apple Patents to Get Excited About


Product Hunt, which lets users upvote new software products a la Reddit, is debuting an iOS app.
Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

If you like to keep close tabs on what Silicon Valley is up to, you probably know Product Hunt, the site that serves up a daily list of new software products and services, ranking them with Reddit-like upvotes.

Product Hunt now has a product of its own, an iOS app that brings an enhanced experience to iPhone users.

“People come to the site multiple times a day, but the mobile experience isn’t great right now,” says Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt founder. “We wanted to give people an easy way to browse what’s new when you’re on your way somewhere.”

The design of Product Hunt is pretty basic, but the app adds a few mobile conveniences. The “submit product” button is prominently in the top right of the main screen, you can easily switch to a view of the most recent submissions (as opposed to the most popular), and tapping on an entry brings up easy ways to share it.

Product Hunt for iOS

Product Hunt for iOS has an easy way to see items by popularity or how recently they were added.

Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

There’s a tab for notifications, but Hoover says those won’t be active at launch. Although there’s no Android app, he says third parties in the Product Hunt community have been working on them ever since the site opened up its API earlier this month.

Product Hunt started last November as a mere email list and became a full-blown site after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since then it’s experienced healthy growth — a 70% increase in visitors every month since January, Hoover says. The products highlighted are feeling the boost, too: Hoover says sites at the top of the leaderboard have gotten spikes of up to 10,000 new visitors — impressive traffic for a budding startup.

Once the app is fully operational, Hoover says he has ambitions to take Product Hunt beyond just tech. However, he concedes the model won’t work for every traditional “vertical.”

“There needs to be an overlap without existing audience,” Hoover says. “If we started with fashion tomorrow, that would be difficult. We want to have product categories that people are passionate about. One example is video games. If you look at mobile gaming alone, there’s a need for a better way to curate those products.”

Product Hunt hasn’t quite had its “Secret” moment yet, but there’s no question it’s a go-to destination for the Silicon Valley startup crowd. Can the onetime side project become a full-blown destination? Getting into its readers’ pockets is probably a good first step.

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Xbox Video and Xbox Games are coming to Windows 8; this means that starting on Oct. 26 — when Microsoft’s latest OS launches — users will be able to purchase and rent content from the Xbox Video store on their Windows 8 devices.

What’s more, they can browse the Xbox Games catalog for titles that are PC-compatible, including games that can interact with the Xbox console. Along with the new Xbox Music service, this brings a host of new entertainment options to Windows 8 right at launch.

Until now, Microsoft hasn’t offered access to its video catalog outside of the Xbox. When Windows only ran on laptops and desktops, this made sense. After all, users could download or stream video from various services, not to mention watch DVDs. But now that the Surface and other Windows 8 tablets and hybrids are about to hit the market, having access to a more robust content ecosystem is essential.

Plus, with Xbox SmartGlass, Windows 8 users will be able to push video from their Xbox to a Windows 8 device (or vice versa) with the tap of a button.

While the title selection of the Xbox Video store isn’t as comprehensive as what iTunes offers, the catalog still has a wide selection for both movies and TV. For users who are already invested in their Xbox ecosystem, bringing the content onto the PC is a no-brainer.

Microsoft says it’s committed to extending the Xbox brand beyond gaming, and moving beyond the console. It’s no wonder: Xbox is one of the most valuable brands within Microsoft. Bringing Xbox services and extending its content to more devices only makes that brand more powerful.

Xbox Video and Xbox Games are just the latest entertainment-focused apps to hit Windows 8. Last week, Netflix released its official app for the OS. On Monday, Hulu Plus got the Windows 8 treatment, and it looks great.

Again, the real potential of these app-specific developments is when you look at Windows RT tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface. Out of the gate, Windows 8 will have support for the biggest entertainment video platforms and the ability to easily connect to an Xbox account to play games or view achievements. In the future, we can envision multiplayer games getting released on Xbox and Windows 8 simultaneously, with the option of users picking up a match from one device to the next.

Are you excited about Xbox content making its way to Windows 8? Let us know in the comments.

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Toyota gave car fans an up-close look at its video game-inspired FT-1 concept car at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday.

Hosted by old-school rapper Biz Markie and Makerbot founder Bre Pettis (who helped 3D-print a special Gran Turismo trophy for the event), the event provided an up-close look at the FT-1.

Toyota FT-1 concept

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

Designed by Calty Design Research in California, Toyota‘s FT-1 concept first made its debut in January at the Detroit Auto Show, but in person, the vehicle’s sleek curves and bold race-car aesthetic is even more impressive, and definitely evokes the hyper-reality in Gran Turismo 6.

Toyota FT-1 concept

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

“In celebration of [Calty’s] 40th anniversary, they were given the opportunity to design a super sports car,” Toyota’s vice-president of product communications, Mike Michels, told Mashable. “It was originally designed and conceived for Gran Turismo 6 on the Sony PlayStation. The designers took it to our global president, Akio Toyoda, who is a real gear head — he loves cars. They had him drive it, and he was so in love with it that he said, ‘You have to make this a real car.'”

Toyota FT-1 concept

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

At present, there are no plans to put the FT-1 concept into production, but this marriage of bold muscle-car lines and angular race-car curves would likely do well with real-world consumers. When asked about the chances that the video game-inspired vehicle might one day be available in reality, Michels said “50-50,” so there’s hope.

There’s something about abandoned, forsaken places that gives people the creeps. Here are the 20 most surreal deserted spots on Earth, and get a glimpse at a world without humans….

1. This house was part of what was once a fairly successful small island colony in Chesapeake Bay in the US. Rapid erosion of the island meant that there was less and less room to live. This was the last house left on Holland Island before it’s collapse in 2010.


2. The former headquarters if Bulgaria’s Communist Party are just as eerie the inside as they our outside. In use from 1980 – 1991, it feel into disrepair after the fa;; of the Soviet Union.


3. Sorrento, Italy. A former mill that fell became abandoned after the construction of Tasso Square.


5. Michigan Central Station was built in 1913 in Detroit, but due to several planning oversights and mistakes it gradually declined before it’s close in 1988.


6.  Neo Tiew Village in Singapore, was once a thriving housing estate. Residents have since vacated and it has become a ghost town


7. The New Bedord Urpheum is an old theater and entertainment building located in Massachusetts in the U.S. It was opened in 1912 and closed in 1959 and since then has stored tobacco and served as a supermarket.


8 This train station in Abkhazia, Georgia, was abandoned during the War in 1992 and 1993.


9. This 1341 year old city is trapped under water in the Zhejiang province in eastern China.


10. An abandoned subway tunnel under Kiev, Ukraine.


11. This is the hull of the SS Ayrfield, a large steam ship condemned to dismantling in Homebush Bay, Australia after WWII. When the dismantling yard closed down, however, is and several other ships remained where they were. Now, it is a beautiful and haunting floating forest that serves as an example of nature’s capacity for survival.


12. Abandoned Military Hospital in Beelitz, Germany. Hitler recuperated here after a leg wound incurred at the Battle of Somme in 1916


13. This beautifully designed metro station sits abandoned underneath the City Hall in New York. Because of it’s location, much thought went into it’s design, but nearby stations ensured it never received much traffic.


14. This is the Mar Sem Fim, shipwrecked near Ardley Cove in Antartica. It has since been recovered.






17. Willard Asylum, New York, closed in 1995. Housing 4000 patients at it’s peak, more than half of the 50,000 people admitted died within in the walls and were never discharged.


18. Wreck of the SS America on the Canary Islands


19. Abandoned sugar factory, Brooklyn, New York.


20. Guido Galletti built this statue of Christ in 1954 and placed it into the water at a depth of 55 feet in San Fruttuoso, Itay.


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