Category Archives: Science

Angry Birds Valentine’s Edition Ready to Perch on Your Device

Not only will you unlock new love-themed levels with this Angry Birds update, you can also send an Angry Birds Valentine to your friends and loved ones! Connect the game with Facebook to send the missives or use the new Facebook application.

This update brings you fifteen new levels featuring the usual types of challenges and offering up three golden eggs. Special Bing integration will add in-game links to web searches giving out information, tips and tricks to help complete the game.

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How to Get Rid of Old Electronics

Over on Lockergnome, a user was wondering what is the best way to get rid of old, unwanted electronics and devices. Several people chimed in with suggestions, most of which are excellent ideas. The problem is that while getting some cash back is tempting, most e-waste recyclers aren’t compliant with healthy & safe recycling practices. There are, thankfully, several reputable – and excellent – organizations out there.

InterConnection is right here in Seattle, and donates your old computers to organizations who may not otherwise have any. Electronic Recyclers International is in the process of becoming certified. There are any number of clubs, assisted-living complexes and companies right in your hometown who could put your old machine to good use, as well.

Be smart, and make sure you properly erase all of the information off of your device before handing it over to anyone.

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MySpace is Totally For Sale

We’ve thought for a while now that News Corp has given up on MySpace. We all speculated that the company would go up for sale when the big layoffs hit last month. Even though they aren’t advertising it, the website is most definitely for sale. News Corp COO Chase Carey told a reporter over at PaidContent that “With a new structure in place, now is the right time to consider strategic options for this business. The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach it’s full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.”

Carey makes it clear that while they haven’t offered the social space to the sale block, offers have been coming in. He is quick to point out that they will entertain all offers, including those which may keep his company involved in some way.

Subterfuge aside, it’s pretty clear that Tom’s site is about to change hands. What would it take for someone new to breathe life back into it and make it more viable again?

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Mozy Getting Rid of Unlimited Backup Plans

For those of you who have long enjoyed having an unlimited amount of space within your Mozy account to back up your data are about to cry on your keyboard. As soon as your current subscription runs out, there will be no more “unlimited” plans to choose from. Instead, Mozy will start charging nearly six bucks each month for up to 50GB of data. If you need more space, you will have to pay another two dollars per month per 20GB. If you have more than one machine to back up, you can choose the new multi-machine option: $9.99 per month for up to 125GB and three computers.

“There has been a change in consumer behavior,” said Russ Stockdale, Mozy’s vice president of product management. “What we have seen since we launched an unlimited service five years ago is there has been an explosion in digital content, specifically digital photos and video.” Many customers store many MANY Gigabytes’ worth of videos and photos on their machines – and on Mozy’s servers.

If you’re a Mozy customer, what’s your reaction? Do you plan to stick with the company or start shopping around for something new?

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Angry Birds Heading to Rio

No, your favorite game isn’t taking a vacation. The Angry Birds are going to have some fun down in Rio thanks to a partnership with Fox and an upcoming animated movie “Rio,” which hits theaters in mid-April. The game is scheduled to be released sometime in March, just ahead of the film. In Angry Birds Rio, the original flock is kidnapped and taken to Rio, where they then escape and seek to help their friends–the two macaws Blu and Jewel, who are the stars of “Rio.”

The new movie-based game will start with 45 levels of angry fun. Additional levels will be unlocked via an update. The game will be available for various smartphones and tablets.

Angry Birds does have one detour prior to getting to Rio. Rovio is planning a Valentine’s Day update to the seasonal game.

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Verizon iPhone Pre-Orders to Start February 3rd

Verizon is offering existing customers a chance to buy the Verizon iPhone on February 3rd, a week before the general public. According to an email received by MacRumors, Verizon will begin pre-order sales at 3am Eastern on February 3rd. The email also indicates that the pre-sale inventory is limited, so when that inventory is depleted, customers will have to wait until the February 10th public launch date.

Make sure you have your My Verizon self-serve account set-up online. Orders can only be placed through your my Verizon account. On February 3rd at 3am EST, Verizon Wireless will allow our current customers to order upgrades or new lines to their accounts through your My Verizon online account (make sure you have registered before the 3rd).

Verizon is allowing certain existing AT&T customers to trade in their current iPhone for credit towards a new Verizon iPhone 4. Depending on which model you have, you could receive up to $360.00 in credits.

Are you planning to make a switch to Verizon?

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My, How Foursquare Has Grown

In a world of “gotta join it now” websites cropping up everywhere, we’ve become used to seeing astronomical growth on startup sites. We don’t usually so much as blink an eye when someone reports they’ve had “amazing growth” or “so much traffic the servers went down.” It happens almost every day it seems. I have to admit, though, I DID blink when I read a post over on Foursquare today. The company claims to have grown by 3400% in the past year. That isn’t a typo, nor is it an exaggeration.

I admit it – I’m not a user, nor will I ever be. I just don’t get the point of telling someone where I am at every moment of the day. Do you honestly care when your friends are at the grocery store or gas station? I digress, though… there are plenty of you who DO use the service. As a matter of fact, a whole lot of you are regular checker-in’ers. Foursquare reports that the 6,000,000th user signed up last week.

Are you one of millions who is using the service – or any other checkin site – on a regular basis?

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Facebook Launches Live Commenting

When Facebook absorbed Friendfeed, no one was certain what would become of the site that was loved so fiercely by so many. Since the two sites became one, we have seen a few Friendfeed-like integrations on the social networking giant. Just yesterday, Zuck and his team quietly launched a live-commenting feature which takes us back to the days of Friendfeed’s heydey.

It’s also important to note that page owners will now see Post Insights immediately, instead of having to wait several hours (or even days!) for that information to become available. I love how the little updates such as these show up magically – with no fanfare at all – to make my Facebook life even easier. Don’t you agree?

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When Should You Dive into the Social Media Pool?

A reader recently asked me when the “right” time is to begin using sites such as Twitter. This is a youngster who feels he may not have many followers for quite a while, and wonders what the point would be in taking the time to produce content. The answer is a simple one: there is no “right” – or wrong – time to begin your social media journey. If you have something worth saying that you want to share with others, then stop waiting for some magical point in time. Jump in there and spread your message.

Of course you aren’t going to somehow magically have a bajillion followers. It takes time to build up a decent-sized following – for most of us mere mortals, anyway. By opening yourself up and sharing things you feel are important, you will begin to see your number of friends and fans grow. Don’t stress yourself out thinking that you have to be funny, original and insightful with every 140 character message you send. Be yourself. You can bring a bit of your true personality into your business side, mixing the two into something uniquely you.

The worst thing you can do when it comes to jumping into that puddle is to wait. Get out there and create that profile. Close your eyes, hold your breath and type!

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How to Write a Blog Post

For everyone out there who has a successful blog, there are twenty others who struggle trying to figure out what to write. Coming up with several interesting topics per day isn’t an easy feat. Even if you are regurgitating news, you still have to put a fresh perspective on things. You need to inject your own personal style, give your opinion and spin it into something completely different. Doing this can be extremely – well – tiring. There. I admitted it. It’s tiring, frustrating and difficult to blog day in and day out. Do you have any idea how many hours per month I sit here staring at the screen while praying something worth saying pops into my head?

Even when your head is full of great ideas, it can still be difficult to come up with things that will coalesce into a piece you can throw onto your blog. We stress and worry over every detail, and rightly so. There are millions of blogs out there. How the hell will we make ours stand out? We freak out over proper titles, good keywords, advertising links, embedded photos – the list doesn’t end.

I learned today, though, that if I clear my head and actually STOP worrying so much about all of those things that I can actually write. Of course I have to still be conscious of SEO and other important things. But why can’t I let those go until my draft is written? Why can’t I go back and clean up the post once I put my thoughts into words? By taking the stress off of myself and remembering to let my creative juices flow, I found I was better able to come up with something that I feel others will want to read.

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