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Popular Stories from Across Gawker Media

io9 They mocked her "science fantasy." Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back.| Lifehacker Why It’s So Hard to Make Friends After College | Deadspin ESPN Blunder Leads To Amazing Bob Ley Moment | Gawker The Medium Model: Can Writers Live Large?| Valleywag Tech Bro’s Agency Implodes After Sharing Dick Pics of a Client |

Popular Stories from Across Gawker Media

io9 They mocked her "science fantasy." Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back.| Lifehacker Why It’s So Hard to Make Friends After College | Deadspin ESPN Blunder Leads To Amazing Bob Ley Moment | Gawker The Medium Model: Can Writers Live Large?| Valleywag Tech Bro’s Agency Implodes After Sharing Dick Pics of a Client |

Popular Stories from Across Gawker Media

io9 They mocked her "science fantasy." Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back.| Lifehacker Why It’s So Hard to Make Friends After College | Deadspin ESPN Blunder Leads To Amazing Bob Ley Moment | Gawker The Medium Model: Can Writers Live Large?| Valleywag Tech Bro’s Agency Implodes After Sharing Dick Pics of a Client |

This week on gdgt: Panasonic’s ST60 is a must-have HDTV

This week on gdgt

Each week, our friends at gdgt go through the latest gadgets and score them to help you decide which ones to buy. Here are some of their latest picks — along with a few you should probably avoid. Want more? Visit gdgt anytime to catch up on the latest, and subscribe to gdgt’s newsletter to get a weekly roundup in your inbox.

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ShakeDown On /DRIVE Is Back

Season 6 restarted /Drive this week. And ShakeDown holds the Friday slot starting now, with ’10 Reasons To Follow Racing’ and an intro to the 4 different styles of SD that will be there for you each month.

Editor’s Letter: Welcome to May

In each issue of Distro, editor-in-chief Tim Stevens publishes a wrap-up of the week in news.

DNP Editor's Letter Welcome to May

A bit of a lull this week ahead of what is shaping up to be an insane May — and perhaps an even crazier June. We have events stacked three-deep at times, with industry ones like Google I/O, BlackBerry World, CTIA and SID Display Week looming along with private ones like Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox unveiling. Next month? WWDC and the Electronic Entertainment Expo, just to name a few. Giddyup.

This week, we got what should be the final dredges of first-quarter earnings, with Facebook reporting $1.46 billion in revenue. That’s a 38 percent increase over this quarter last year and a healthy $312 million in profit. Daily active users are also up, from 526 million to 665 million and, perhaps most importantly, Facebook managed to increase the performance of its mobile ads. That will be the key to its long-term success.

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Insert Coin: $250 Casetop turns your smartphone into a laptop (video)

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.

Insert Coin $250 Casetop turns your smartphone into a laptop video

We keep hearing about how handheld devices are replacing laptops, so how about doing it literally? Casetop just launched a laptop-style dock on Kickstarter that you can plug your smartphone into, turning it into the processor, graphics engine and trackpad of a “laptop.” In return, the dock will give you an 11.1-inch 720p display, full-sized keyboard, stereo speakers, HDMI input, MHL video input, dual-mode MicroUSB, audio output and “always-powered” USB for charging other devices. Unlike similar offerings such as the still-unshipped Clambook (or Motorola’s ill-fated Lapdock) the Casebook uses the handset as a trackpad, and the creators say that it won’t be device-specific, working instead with a large number of smartphones from Apple, Blackberry, Samsung and others. Of course, it needs to meet the lofty $300,000 funding goal for all that to happen, but if you’re optimistic, hit the source to plop down your $250 minimum pledge.

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Source: Casetop

Wikimedia’s small-screen future

Wikimedia's small screen future

The office is silent when our small film crew arrives at Wikimedia’s San Francisco headquarters. There’s none of the newsroom buzz one might associate with the operators of one of the world’s largest sites. Hell, the day I started at AOL, there was a bulldog skateboarding through the halls. There are a few subtle, telltale internet startup signs, like several bottles of liquor hastily packed in a filing box on the lower floor, sitting next to a small CD mixer. While it’s Friday afternoon, the company’s resident mixologist is out at the moment. The celebration will have to wait.

Just to the right of the party box is Song Yingxing, a conference room named for the Chinese encyclopedist, which has more recently adopted the “Mushroom Kingdom” name, owing to a slew of gaming consoles and peripherals housed inside. It won’t stay that way for long, according to Matthew Roth, the foundation’s global communications manager, who’s kindly devoted much of his afternoon to chaperoning us around the two floors. “No one really plays the games,” he says. The hammock, too, is empty for our visit. It would be easy enough to chalk up such good behavior to the presence of a visiting media outlet, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best: Friday afternoon or not, the folks seated at these desks are hard at work.

In the lower of two levels occupied by the foundation, developers have their heads down, rushing to get the soon-to-be-released in-house Wikipedia app out the door. The project has only been on the drawing board since January, and the foundation only hired its first dedicated iOS developer in the past month. The move is the next step in expanding the site’s already massive reach to corners of the world that it hasn’t quite penetrated, an attempt to help the organization approach its utopian vision of free information for all. On its face, it’s a simple photo uploader — but it’s more than that, really. It’s a chance to open up Wikipedia editing to an even larger global audience. It’s as good a reason as any to be inside on a beautiful mid-April Friday afternoon in Northern California.

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Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US (video)

Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US

Early this morning at Moffet Air Field in Mountain View, California, Solar Impulse finally took off on the first leg of its barnstorming tour across the US. Of course, this isn’t the first time the sun-powered plane and its pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, have flown long distance, but it is the first time it’s taken wing through American airspace. Why has it come across the pond? To raise pubilc and political awareness about the benefits of going green and increasing energy efficiency — and perhaps pick up an additional sponsor or two for its second-gen aircraft (currently in development) meant to fly around the world in 2015. “With the technologies we have onboard, we can divide by two the energy consumption of our world, and produce half of the rest [energy we need] with renewable sources” according to Piccard.

This first portion of the journey will end in Phoenix, and it’ll take around twenty hours to get there, as the plane’s meager output limits its average speed to around 40MPH. Should any of you want to join along with Piccard and Borschberg as they fly across the country, you can hit the Solar Impulse Across America website to see a livestream from the cockpit, along with real-time altitude, air speed and battery status of the aircraft. And, you can watch a video of Solar Impulse taking off on its North American journey and hear Borschberg talk about learning to fly it after the break.

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