Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Unborn babies can now use Twitter
No you didn't read that wrong, unborn babies can now send Tweets from the womb. Creepy sounding isn't it?After you get past the initial "ick" factor of this, it's not that disturbing... actually it's quite interesting but, do you think Tweeting from the womb is taking social media too far? Tell us.Corey Menscher, an NYU student, has developed a suite of devices entitled "The Honeycomb", the first of which is "The Kickbee".
The Kickbee allows physically separated spouses to connect with one another by transmitting fragments of sensory experiences of prototypical parenting activities from various stages of babyhood. In order to pass long the information, The Kickbee utilizes the popular microblogging service Twitter as a platform to record and distribute “kicks” to fathers as mobile phone text messages, thanks to its publicly available Application Programming Interface (API).
In layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo kicks... you get a Tweet about it.
On the technical side of things, a series of vibration sensors are attached to the belt longitudinally so their sensing areas can register the vibrations within the torso generated by a third-trimester baby. A microcontroller receives these signals, performs software filtering and processing, and transmits validated “kick” signals wirelessly to a custom Java application running on a personal computer.
Personally, back when my wife was pregnant (my son was born January 15, 2009) I would call my wife several times a day for general check-ins to see if the baby had been kicking much. I always enjoyed hearing about it, as it helped ease my worrisome mind, I guess.
I'm not saying that we would've used this product, but it would've been nice knowing when the baby was kicking.
As I mentioned above The Honeycomb also has two other stages, they are "The Burpbee" and "The Bathbee". Judging by the names you can probably tell what they're about.
The Burpbee transmits the warmth of a baby’s body on one parent’s shoulder to the other over a distance. It consists of two objects: a “transmitter” in the form of a burp cloth, and a “receiver” in the form of a men’s button-down shirt. The heater warms slowly, and after 30 seconds has reached its peak temperature of about 110º fahrenheitIn layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo is burping... your shoulder area gets hot, as if you're the one doing the burping.
The Bathbee is an olfactory bathtime awareness device for a parent who is away from home. It consists of two objects: a “transmitter” in the form of a rubber ducky bath toy, and a “receiver” in the form of a rubber ducky-themed children’s lunchbox. When the bath toy is being actively played with in a bathtub, it transmits the smells of bathtime over a distance by filling the room with the scent of baby oil.
In layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo is getting a bath... your room begins to smell of baby oil.
I can see the allure of The Kickbee... but the other two are kind of a stretch in my opinion.
What are your thoughts on The Kickbee and the other Honeycomb devices - Creepy or Innovative?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Retweeting is an integral part of the Twitter experience. The retweet (or “RT”) allows Twitter users to share the best links, tweets, and gems they find from others using the service. But for beginners, it’s not immediately obvious what retweets are, or what tools to use to make retweeting easier.
This HOW TO article not only covers the basics of retweeting, but also highlights some of the best web and mobile-based tools for retweeting and tracking RTs in real-time. If you’re a Twitter beginner, we hope you find it useful; if you’re a more advanced user, we hope you’ll share it with friends who are just starting out.
1. What is Retweeting and How to Retweet
Retweeting is how Twitter users share interesting tweets from the people they are following. They copy and paste the original tweet and send it out. To give credit to the original person, users usually put “RT” plus the originator’s username at the beginning of the tweet. Here’s an example:
- The Twitter user @benparr tweets: I just heard that Apple is releasing new iPods in July!
- You retweet by posting RT @benparr I just heard that Apple is releasing new iPods in July!
2. How to Track Retweets
Once you’ve gotten used to retweeting and seen some excellent retweets in your Twitter stream, you may want to track retweets on a larger scale. The most popular retweets tend to reflect the favorite articles and most important stories of the entire Twitter community. This can be great if you want to find important articles, read useful blog posts, or are looking to track emerging trends.
Here are some of the best web-based tools for tracking retweets:
Retweetradar: Retweetradar [@retweetradar] is a web tool for tracking the most retweeted and trending content on Twitter. It provides a tag cloud to see the most popular content from today, yesterday, and even what’s popular right now.
Retweetist: Retweetist [@retweetist] is a tool that tracks the most popular links being retweeted on Twitter, just like Tweetmeme. Retweetist doesn’t stop there, however - it also lists the most retweeted accounts on Twitter.
Tweetmeme: Tweetmeme [@tweetmeme] is an authority when it comes to retweeted URLs and stories. Tweetmeme tracks the most popular links on Twitter. Once a link receives enough retweets, it appears on the front page of Tweetmeme. Tweetmeme can also be broken down by categories (i.e. sports, entertainment, technology).
3. Tracking Retweets with Mobile Phones
One of the coolest aspects of Twitter is that it’s easy to use on-the-go. Tweets can be sent from any mobile phone via text, the mobile web, or iPhone and smartphone applications.
If you need to track retweets while on the move, here are some of the best mobile tools for tracking retweets:
Tweetmeme Mobile: If you’re not an iPhone owner, you’re in luck - Tweetmeme has a mobile version at m.tweetmeme.com. Bookmark it so you can see the most popular retweets from anywhere!
4. How to Retweet with just Two Clicks
Another cool aspect about Twitter are the great applications people build to make using Twitter easy. There are desktop and web applications that can show you all of your Twitter friends and tweets in one place.
The coolest part? Some of these applications make retweeting as simple as two clicks: one to create the retweet, and one to post it to Twitter. No copy and paste required! Here are some of the best applications for two-click retweeting:
Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a very popular application for running Twitter on your desktop. It has many features, but one of its best is its one-click retweeting feature - hovering over a profile picture provides the easy option for retweeting anyone’s tweets - just click the bottom left icon.
Seesmic Desktop: Seesmic Desktop is another great desktop application for Twitter. Formerly known as Twhirl, it also helps users read, reply, and send tweets from the desktop. Just hover over the profile picture and click the bottom-left bottom to retweet any post.
Tweetree: Tweetree is a web-based Twitter application that helps organize Twitter using conversation trees, so you can see an entire Twitter conversation on one page. Tweetree has an easy-to-use retweet feature at the right hand side of any tweet. TwitZap is another web-based Twitter application that has a similar one-click retweet feature.
5. Mashable’s Best Retweeting Resources
If you’re looking to continue your education in the art of retweeting, then we encourage you to read some of our most popular Twitter and retweeting posts:
- The Science of ReTweets: Dan Zarrella explains which factors make certain tweets more viral than others.
- Retweet iPhone App for Twitter - Our review of the Retweet iPhone App.
- 15 Fascinating Ways to Track Twitter Trends - Covers some of the best tools for tracking trends on Twitter.
- Please Retweet Me Makes Retweeting Dead Simple - Our review of a site that helps people retweet posts.
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Around 10:30 a formation of lights sit in the sky as helicopters head for it. And towards the end watch as 3 lights appear below them. You get to see one appear out of nowhere. Its amazing thing to see.im excited.Hope to get more videos of these strange lights. We did go down to memphis but its too far so we stopped.
This video is spreading like wildfire among the various online communities. Military verterans are saying these lights are in no-way related to flares whatsoever. That it is impossible for these lights to be flares.
FLARES!?!?!?!LMFAO…I served in the Marine Corps for four years active duty and have seen plenty of flares my friend and those ARE NOT flares. For one they do not sit for that long…they move and they have a trail. You know when you see a flare or flares. LOL…flares…how about some swamp gas too…LOL
May 22, 8:15 PM
We are still waiting for better footage as it is strongly believed that at least one helicopter on the scene, had a video camera.
Stay tuned for updates!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009
|Cinco de Mayo|
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
While outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had known no defeat for almost 50 years. However, Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.
While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. However, a common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, which actually is September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish), the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
"You're about to learn how you can start buying homes like these for just a few hundred dollars," says the announcer at the start of real estate guru John Beck’s infomercial. The infomercial airs morning, noon and night all across the country.
In it, Beck says if you send him just $39.95 he'll teach you how to buy beautiful homes for next to nothing. According to Beck, buyers can get incredible deals when people fail to pay their property taxes and the houses are auctioned off by the government.
The hostess in the infomercial says, "We could not be telling you about it on national television if it was not true."
INSIDE EDITION’s Senior Investigative Correspondent Matt Meagher went to Oklahoma where every house featured in the infomercial is located. There, with just a little digging, Meagher discovered, how Beck misleads viewers about the homes featured in the infomercial.
On his infomercial Beck boasts about how a big two story home was purchased at a tax foreclosure sale for only $521.56. However, INSIDE EDITION learned that it actually cost three times as much, which would still be an amazing deal. But what Beck didn't show is what the home really looked like when it was purchased. It was completely dilapidated and took ten years and more than $100,000 for the current owner to make it look as good as it did in the infomercial.
The current homeowner tells INSIDE EDITION the house was “pretty much…uninhabitable” when he purchased it.
Also featured on the infomercial is another dazzling house that Beck says was actually purchased for less than $100. But, that’s not true. County records show it was acquired for more that $2,200 and was a falling down piece of junk at auction. It took four years and $40,000 to fix up.
Beverly Glover was shocked when INSIDE EDITION showed her the infomercial. The infomercial implied that she lost her home because of just $329 in back taxes. Glover says, “That's a lie.”
In the infomercial, Beck claims "[Glover’s home] was purchased free and clear for only $329.90."
However, she actually never lost possession of her home. A clerical error had applied her tax payment to the wrong property. The mistake was corrected and she never left her home until she sold it for $158,000.
Freeman says that not one of the homes featured in the infomercial has sold for the price John Beck has quoted them at.
As many as 15,000 people a week cough up nearly $40 for Beck’s instructional DVDs and booklets. But that's just the beginning.
Everyone who responds to the infomercial soon gets a call from a telemarketer at a company called Mentoring of America. It's owned by the same people who own the John Beck infomercial and several others like it. This is where the company makes the real money.
Telemarketers follow a script that says the potential buyer is being considered for a select team that will be trained by John Beck himself, but that’s baloney.
The telemarketers urge people to put up to $15,000 on their credit cards to pay for private over-the-phone tutoring, and say they’re almost certain to make that money back in just a few months
Dawn Zuvic of Mississippi and Lani Maplesden from California both say they fell for the pitch.
“I know that there's always money to be made in real estate,” Maplesden tells INSIDE EDITION.
Zuvic says, “I was always hoping that eventually that I would be able to be make a good living at it.”
They each paid more than $10,000 for the tutoring and have had no success.
“It makes me cry a lot,” laughs Maplesden. “I'm still paying on the bills.”
Dawn Zuvic says her mentor talked her into buying a tiny piece of land in Pennsylvania at what was supposed to be a huge discount.
But, INSIDE EDITION found property records showing the land had been bought for only $585 and then sold to Zuvic for more than $2,595 only five months later. That wasn't a discount, it was more than a 300% markup!
The land was sold to Dawn Zuvic by none other than John Beck himself! She's never been able to resell the land and has now had to take a second job as a waitress.
Zuvic tells INSIDE EDITION, “I felt like, like I was taken.”
Bill Mitchell of the Better Business Bureau in Southern California says John Beck's infomercial has generated hundreds of complaints and the company has received an “F” rating.
“Their real business is selling blue sky, hot air,” Mitchell says.
When Meagher asked how his companies helped people, Hewitt responded, “Why are you confronting me like this?!” He says that Mentoring of America is not a scam. “It is not [a scam]. First, first of all...you have your facts wrong.”
His attorney later supplied INSIDE EDITION with a list of 13 people who said they had a good experience with the program, earning between $550-$39,600.
But Lani Maplesden isn't convinced. She's $20,000 in debt and in danger of losing her home. She says if she could talk to John Beck, she’d ask him, “How can you sleep at night? Do you have any conscience at all?”
The company says they dispute the Better Business Bureau's ratings system and claim they work to resolve consumer complaints. As far as the houses, they say Beck never states in the infomercial that the homes were in the condition shown when purchased.