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These 8 Funny Videos in 8 Days Earned Weird Al His First No. 1 Album



Weird Al Yankovic has finally laughed his way to the top of the charts with his 14th album, Mandatory Fun, more than 30 years after releasing his first.

The project’s debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart was bolstered by his #8videos8days stunt, which gave fans eight parody music videos in just as many days across YouTube and other online platforms such as College Humor, Funny or Die and Nerdist.

Weird Al’s social…

Microsoft Admits to Killing the Surface Mini



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…

Add Landscape to Milky Way Pictures For Breathtaking Stellar Photography



Mike Taylor is an accomplished landscape astrophotographer and an instructor for night photography and post-processing. Taylor contributed this article to’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

As a night photography instructor, I’m always encouraging students to integrate inspiring landscape elements in their photographs to create stunning night-sky compositions. During a recent trip to Utah, I came across an iconic, gnarly tree clinging to the top of the canyon wall at Dead Horse…

George R.R. Martin Writes Back to Young Fan’s Heartfelt Letter



Who knew so many people want to be killed off by George R. R. Martin?

Martin’s wolf sanctuary crowdfunding campaign with Prizeo, through which fans could purchase an in-book death at the hands of the Game of Thrones author for $20,000, has raised more $450,000 — more than double its initial goal. While the two “martyr” slots available were both purchased (one by a Facebook employee), one young fan’s touching letter was enough to draw a personal response from the author

See also: The Brutal…

Climate Change May Doom the Wine Cork



Wine lovers might treasure the oaky, full-bodied taste of a cabernet sauvignon or the light and fruity aroma of a pinot grigio. But if the bottle is stopped with a low-quality cork, they can kiss that meticulously cultivated flavor goodbye.

Many people may only worry about corks when it’s time to pop the Champagne, but some experts are worried about wine cork quality, which has been mysteriously in decline for almost 20 years.

Corks are made from the bark of Quercus suber

Scientists Use a Sponge to Turn Sunlight Into Steam Energy



Nearly all utility plants generate electricity with steam. Whether it’s a coal plant or a nuclear plant or a solar thermal plant, all of these facilities use fuel to heat water to create steam that turns a turbine that generates electricity.

Now researchers at MIT have developed a completely new structure for turning sunlight into steam: a sponge. The advance could one day lead to an efficient, inexpensive and

Big Data’s Effect on Organ Transplant Wait Lists



Of 28,594 organs transplanted in 2013, you haven’t heard about most. The stories of a few might go viral thanks to social media, but the vast majority of donated organs are harvested from deceased donors or taken from living donors in relative obscurity.

Wallaby Launches Mobile Wallet App for Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch



Despite the wave of new shiny smartwatches that came with Google I/O, some developers are still focusing on non-Android Wear smartwatch apps before taking the leap into creating apps for Google’s homegrown wearable platform

This is the approach mobile payments company Wallaby is taking. The company rolled out a new smartwatch app for Samsung’s Gear 2, its third app for wearables.

Wallaby focuses on helping users choose the best credit card…

Need a Career Boost? 5 Events to Keep You Motivated



The Mashable Events Board is a great place to find leading conferences in your industry, whether it’s advertising, technology, media or public relations. This week, we’re highlighting five events that we think can help move your career forward.

If you don’t find something that’s right for you, check out dozens of event listings featured in our complete listing.

Read more…

On the Events Board, you can sort listings by date added, get discount codes as a Mashable reader and watch videos of…

Visual Social Marketing 101



In preparation for the upcoming Mashies awards, we are running a series of articles looking at the changing face of marketing. More information on the Mashies can be found here.

There’s no shortage of mobile platforms available for brands to reach consumers with gripping visuals. If anything, the problem is picking out which platforms to embrace and which to ignore

Brands can now share images and videos with followers through Instagram, Vine and Snapchat, just to focus on three of the most…