The Finger Your Phone Can’t Live Without (It’s Not Your Thumb)

The pinky is unquestionably the forgotten finger, often considered a mere accessory in a lineup of more valuable digits. If you had to say goodbye to an appendage, the pinky is an easy sell But there's far more to the pinky besides looking refined while sipping tea. In addition to playing a key character in maintaining balance, it's the most important supporting role of the entire digital age. The pinky is the mobile shelf See also: Virtual Reality Is Ready to Manipulate Your Memories Grab your smartphone and do a simple task, like check your email. Like a trusty steed, carrying the weight of your contacts, apps and messages upon its tiny, boney surface, the pinky is most likely propping up the device. I've asked both men and women to participate in my "where's your pinky?" test; nearly always, the results were the same. (Note: You might see your pinky resting on the smartphone's side until you start to navigate through the user interface.) Read more...More about Mobile, Features, Design, Tech, and...

6 Student-Led Tech Projects That Battle Climate Change

The science behind what makes our planet's temperature rise is pretty straightforward. Pollutants like soot and greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide trap heat within the earth's atmosphere, the global average surface temperature goes up, ice caps melt, sea levels rise and extreme weather events become even more extreme. However, American college students are coming with with some of the coolest ways to battle climate change and clean up domestic energy production. See also: 4 Ways You Can Make a Real Impact to Slow Climate Change From earning rewards while tracking your energy consumption to recharging your battery with a run, here are six projects giving a greener future the old college try. Read more...More about Climate Change, Features, Energy, Social Good, and Solar...

The History of Wearable Tech, From the Casino to the Consumer

Wearable technology is perhaps the most prolific trend in the tech industry today. From activity-tracking fitness bands to Google Glass and Oculus Rift, big names are getting involved in the once-niche technology — and they're getting involved in big ways. See also: Lifelogging: The Most Miserable, Self-Aware 30 Days I've Ever Spent You probably wouldn't have guessed that the tech behind wearable computing devices finds much of its history in attempting to cheat casinos. Inventors built some of the first wearables in the 1960s and '70s to count cards and improve a gambler's odds at the roulette table. Read more...More about Technology, Features, Wearable Tech, Tech, and Dev...

Who Is the Average Gmail User?

Gmail, the popular email service hosted by Google, turns 10 years old on Tuesday. By 2012, it reached 425 million active global users, making it today's most in-demand email service. And it's only climbing upward, now estimated to have more than 500 million active accounts. But who is the average Gmail user? See also: 6 Tips for Sorting Your Gmail Contacts Google will occasionally share background data, but does not share specific statistics about its users (when reached by Mashable, Google reps declined to share metric data, or say why they release data so infrequently). With information culled from email analytics companies such as Litmus and MailChimp, and data company Statista, we put together a rundown of who the average Gmail user is. Read more...More about Google, Email, Gmail, Features, and...

Why Indie Game Devs Thrive Without Big Publishers

We deserve better. It's a common refrain among video game developers who work with major publishers. Churning out the latest iteration of Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed takes its toll: inflated workweeks and 12-hour days, lists of notes and changes from the faceless entities of EA and Activision and the like, with simultaneous requests to pick up the pace — all the while making a tiny percentage of the game's profits, not knowing if there will be another job when the project ends. "The publishing people all watch [a game] and then make passive, aesthetic appraisals of active, functional aspects of a game," wrote an anonymous developer, delivering a blistering attack of major game publishers. "This is because the bulk of execs can't and don't want to play or understand how games work." Read more...More about Gaming, Developers, Features, Publishers, and Video...