A New Social Savvy Browser

Yep folks, we have yet another browser to choose from.  It’s called RockMelt and it uses Facebook authentication to synchronize a user’s experience.  This new browser is more in line with the social media way of thinking and is more interactive as opposed to being passive like all the other browsers.  The browser is on a cloud so all your settings are backed up online so if you install it on another machine, all your settings are automatically imported including bookmarks, etc. 

If you currently use Google Chrome, you’ll feel right at home because it is built on Chromium which is the open source project behind Google’s browser.  It also lists your Facebook contacts on the left side so you can easily share your experience with them.  The thought is that older browsers are not made for the way we now use the web.  It’s a very interesting concept and only time will tell if it becomes the way of the future.

New Type of Online Map

RouteLoops.com, the only mapping website that generates customized closed-loop routes of any length from any location, announces the launch of the upgraded RouteLoops.com website. Users of the RouteLoops application input a base location (such as the address for a home, hotel, office, etc.) and a desired distance (5 miles, for example) and the website immediately delivers a route of that distance, starting and ending at the base location.

Unlike the original version of the site launched in 2005, the new release allows users to interact directly with the application via an interactive map. Users can create as many routes as they need, and the routes can be output in a number of formats, including formats that can be loaded into GPS devices.

“We are very excited to have the new site up and running,” said Leigh Chinitz, the creator of RouteLoops. “When we launched the test site back in 2005, we found a lot of interest from the running and cycling communities. But the time required to deliver a response limited the size of the user base that we could support. With our new site, powered by iMaptools, we can deliver as many routes as desired to every user. We are looking forward to our application being more widely available to people such as those who are in training and need routes of different lengths, people who are traveling and need routes in areas with which they are not familiar, and people who just want to add some variety to their existing routine.”

“This is one of the most interesting mapping applications we have worked on,” said Stephen Woodbridge of iMaptools, “and we look forward to seeing it spread throughout the user community, and continuing to enhance it over time based on user feedback.”

What is PC Pandora?

Do you know what is PC Pandora? If you are a parent who wants to know what his kid does on the Internet with his computer, you should pay attention to this program. And if you are a businessman who wants to protect the information of his company in the computers, you should also learn about this program.

The PC Pandora is a monitor system which records all the operations on one computer. It is well-used by some parents and companies. The parents use this system to learn about what does their kid concern about on the Internet and whom they are chatting with through the Internet, even though some are deleted by children. In this way, the parents can keep their kids using the Internet in a right way. The companies use this system to monitor their computers to prevent someone stealing the business information or some secret materials.

With the development of economy and technology, the PC Pandora is becoming more and more popular in modern time. We should also protect our privacy in our computers. The PC Pandora can make this come true while it can tell you all the activities took by the one who use your computer. What’s more, no one can change the records on the computer.

Maybe you are worried about the situation that you can not check your computer when you are far from it. This problem is also solved now with the system sending you some emails about the using record now and then. At the same time, this system works automatically, so you needn’t spend too much time to operate it.

In spite of the complex work, the usage of the PC Pandora program is very easy to master. So you needn’t spend too much time and energy to learn it. This system is fit for any type of computer, so every one who own a computer have the chance to use it. Be careful however, as there are many dangerous websites that sell this product.

Facebook Admits Privacy Breach

In violation of the social-networking giant’s own rules, many of Facebook’s most popular apps are sharing personally identifiable information of their users with dozens of advertising and Internet-tracking companies.

The company admitted on Monday that a number of major apps, including FarmVille, had been transmitting user IDs to advertising networks, which were in turn able to add the data to their own data piles and sell fleshed-out profiles of you, the consumer.

Data-gathering firm Rapleaf was able to link information gathered from those apps to its own database of Internet users, the report found. The San Francisco-based start-up provides a people search engine that lets you retrieve the name, age, and social-network affiliations of anyone, as long as you have his or her e-mail address.

“When we discovered that Facebook IDs were being passed to ad networks by applications that we work with, we immediately researched the cause and implemented a solution to cease the transmissions,” Rapleaf said in a statement. “As of last week, no Facebook IDs are being transmitted to ad networks in conjunction with the use of any Rapleaf service.”

Facebook stressed that the passing on of UIDs by developers to third-party organizations was “inadvertent”, and accused the press of exaggerating the scale and significance of the incident.

“Press reports have exaggerated the implications of sharing a UID. Knowledge of a UID does not enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent. Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy,” wrote Mike Vernal, a Facebook engineer, on the company blog.

Some of the apps at the centre of the controversy were offline over the weekend, as developers sought to resolve the issue.

Eight O’Clock Coffee Live on Facebook/Twitter

Eight O’Clock Coffee, the #1-selling whole bean coffee in the U.S., wants to reduce Thanksgiving stress by helping consumers brew the perfect cup of coffee for their families and guests. The 151-year-old coffee brand will be offering coffee-making advice via social media on the days leading up to the holiday, starting Friday, November 19, 2010. On Thanksgiving Day, a live panel of coffee advisors will be available to answer questions between 8am and 8pm, Eastern, through the brand’s Facebook (facebook.com/eightoclockcoffee) and Twitter (@8oclockcoffee) pages.

“While the big bird may be the star of the show, memorable desserts and delicious tasting coffee present the grand finale. There are so many choices out there from brewer types, sizes and methods to coffee varieties and pairings it can be a bit overwhelming,” says Alisa Jacoby, Senior Brand Manager at Eight O’Clock Coffee. “Whether people are hosting large groups or having an intimate gathering, we will be there to help them make great coffee and hopefully relieve a little bit of the pressure.”

Have a coffee question? Eight O’Clock Coffee provides coffee answers every day on Facebook and Twitter and will be there real-time on Thanksgiving from 8am to 8pm, Eastern, to help coffee-lovers enjoy a truly tasty holiday.

Results of Largest Automotive SEO Study

PCG Digital Marketing and DrivingSales.com have announced that the results of the largest Automotive SEO study will be announced at the 2011 NADA Convention in San Francisco.

The Automotive SEO study is currently in session and began on September 1, 2010.  The study runs until January 1st ,2011.    The study includes 100 dealer professionals who are being trained and coached on how to use content publishing, link building, social media, video, PDF brochures, and automotive networks to improve their Google Page One results for popular consumer search phrases.

The 100 dealers have been given access to winning digital marketing strategies, training videos, marketing outlines, tutorials, and websites managed by PCG Digital Marketing and DrivingSales.com to enhance the results of their work. In return, members in the study are going to share the results of their work at the 2011 NADA Convention and will be included in a whitepaper being prepared by PCG Digital Marketing and DrivingSales.com.

“The Automotive SEO Study is the first of its kind”, according to Brian Pasch, CEO of PCG Digital Marketing.   “The partnership with DrivingSales.com, the leading automotive social media community, is consistent with founder Jared Hamilton’s goal to provide digital marketing curriculums and best practices to assist automotive retailers with online advertising and communications.”

Monthly updates during the four month study, as well as the final results, will be shared with members of www.DrivingSales.com.  Car dealers interested in the results of this study should create a free account on the website and follow the progress of their peers through the interactive blogs and dealership forums.

Blog on Needlework Reaches Worldwide Audience

For one St. Marys woman, what began as teaching children’s embroidery classes has grown into a blog read by thousands from all over the globe.

Teresa Jones started teaching the children’s classes during the summer of 2006.  Little did she know that launching an educational blog dedicated to the needle arts would shortly lead to an international following numbering in the tens of thousands.

When Jones’s brother suggested she create a website and blog about needlework to recoup some of her expenses for the children’s classes she had no idea what blogging even was.  But the subject matter was familiar and something with which she was comfortable so it felt like a natural extension.  So Jones created her pen name, Mary Corbet, and began Needle ‘n Thread as a basic blog with a template from Blogger and attracted four readers her first week.

“And one of them was me,” Jones said.

But she kept at it and focused on the teaching aspect and building solid content.  People soon started finding her blog and responding with questions and comments.  In the first year her subscribed readership grew to around 400.

Soon Jones outgrew the free template with which she had begun Needle ‘n Thread and created a self-customized template.  The blog site continued to grow and over the next three years her subscribers increased to over 3,000.

“It was time for a serious face lift and entirely new layout.  I wanted something clean, bright, and easy for my readers to navigate, but I had no idea how to create that,” Jones said.

That’s when her brother suggested she contact Imagemakers, an award winning design firm in Wamego, for help.

“While change sounded great I wasn’t sure I had the computer and internet skills for anything very complex.  But after meeting with Dan Holmgren, (Creative Director of Imagemakers) I was really excited,” Jones said.

During that initial meeting Holmgren and Jones discussed what she wanted and needed, how she would like for it to look and work, and tossed around some basic ideas.

“The next thing I knew, the new and improved Needle ‘n Thread site was exactly what I had in mind.  It was magic!  From the color scheme, to the atmosphere and ease of navigation the team at Imagemakers nailed it,” Jones said.

Her readers seem to like the new site as well.  From May, when the new site went live, to the first of this month, Needle ‘n Thread subscribers have climbed to over 5,500 and some days she has over 200 reader’s comments posted to her site.

From the beginning, Holmgren was impressed with what Jones was doing with Needle ‘n Thread.

“As I got deeper into her blog I kept uncovering more and more pages of unbelievable content.  And it’s all quality work.  She writes about and shows different types of needlework, goes into its history and discusses different cultures and their various methods of doing needlework,” Holmgren said.

That’s why Needle ‘n Thread has readers and subscribers from all over the world.  The blog site receives well over a million visits a year.  There were over 16,000 visits from readers in India and over 37,000 visits from readers in Europe last month.  And the video section is one of the site’s most visited sections, with over 80,000 hits in the last month.

The amount of content and number of readers was a bit of a challenge for the Imagemakers’s team in the beginning.  When the new blog site was first launched the dedicated server couldn’t keep up with the number of hits Needle ‘n Thread was receiving.

“We had to figure out some new ways of caching the site so the server could handle the traffic it was attracting,” Holmgren said.

Imagemakers is presently building a “community” section for the site which will allow readers to interact, post photos and get feedback on techniques.  The community section is also a place where Jones hopes to eventually host online classes, stitch-a-longs and offer many more features than a basic blog would allow.

“I’m happy that Needle ‘n Thread has developed into a good teaching tool for lovers of hand embroidery,” Jones said.  “And I’m happy with the new, improved site that Imagemakers created.”

And Holmgren is happy to have been involved in the new blog site.

“Needle ‘n Thread is an incredible resource for someone who wants to learn more about needlework.  Teresa’s work is of the highest quality and that is demonstrated in her content.  I’m happy we could help create a site that works for her and helps reflect the quality of her work and expertise,” Holmgren said.

High-Tech Resources for Caregivers

Today’s caregiver may be juggling a career, family and personal interests, in addition to being responsible for an elderly loved one’s health, safety and well being. Fortunately, advances in technology are making it easier to manage information, schedule appointments and medication reminders, and monitor the whereabouts of family members. All these tools will help a loved one remain in his own home longer. Whether you use a smartphone or prefer a home computer, there’s something for every caregiver.

Internet resources

StrengthForCaring.com: This Web site offers resources and peer support for caregivers. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, it includes feature articles, expert advice and an online community where caregivers can connect.

ActiveCare: A site that offers tools to help seniors remain active and independent, it includes a Personal Assistant Link (PAL) Handset, which is a combination cell phone, GPS locator and emergency fall detector, at a cost of $59 per month.

Emergency Alert and Response System (EARS): This is a pendant and base station that a loved one can use to call for help. Unlike others, this provides a daily check so you know you’re always protected. Visit www.myears.com.

Assistive technology, or assistive devices, is a broad category of independent living aids and adaptive equipment. Assistive technology includes simple devices like hearing aids, canes, magnifiers, pill organizers, and bathing and toileting aids, as well as sophisticated voice-activated computer systems, physical sensors and mechanical hoists. Read more at CareGiverPartnership.com or Caregiver.org.

Google Health: Organize, track, monitor and act on your health information online, and have the ability to share it with others. See Google.com/health.

Smartphone applications

As smartphone technology becomes more open to application developers, users have more options in personalized assistive technologies, location-aware services and enhanced communications. These functionalities are beneficial for baby boomers – according to a Sept. 1, 2010, AARP Bulletin, 60 percent of people over age 65 have cell phones, and as mobile devices grow more sophisticated, boomers, caregivers, and seniors will all reap the rewards, in the form of convenience and increased safety and communication.

iPhone/iPad apps

Caregiver Apps: Dedicated to identifying the best among caregiving tools, this $.99 application helps caregivers with daily activities, such as tracking medications, illness and appointments. Extras include peer reviews and expert advice.

Personal Caregiver: This app includes reminders to take medication and supplements, refill notifications, missed dose alerts and a detailed history. Cost: $3.99.

Caregiver’s Touch: In addition to a $4.99 iPhone app for information management, users also can sync with a Web subscription to store information accessible to family members, health care providers and caregivers. Web subscriptions cost $19.95 per month or $199.95 per year.

BlackBerry apps

My Medical Pro: For $4.99, users can keep track of medical information, such as emergency contacts and physicians, allergies and insurance profiles, as well as schedule reminders for upcoming appointments and tests.

Nurse’s Pocket Drug Guide: This 6th Edition givers users instant access to data on 1,000 of the most commonly prescribed medications, including dosage, side effects and drug interactions. Cost: $12.99.

Pill Reminder: Keeps track of medications and alerts the user when it’s time to take them according to a customized schedule. Cost: $3.99.

Android apps

Stabilix PHR Pro: Track your family’s health records, including blood glucose, blood pressure, calorie intake, cholesterol, and BMI/fat calculators. This app is $3.99, but there is also a lite version you can try for free.

#1 Rated GPS Tracker: Use this app to track family members in real time. The app is free but required a monthly subscription, which includes additional safety features and resources.

Other apps to look for

Search any platform for big dialers and phone pads that turn a phone’s screen into a large-key touchpad – perfect for smartphone users with decreased vision. And, as the WebOS and Windows 7 platforms continue to grow, look for caregiving apps in their catalogs as well.

New Website For Finding Best Food

TipSense, LLC today announced the launch of dishtip.com, which allows users to search for specific food dishes, such as ‘french toast’, ‘chicken wings’ or ‘tuna tartare’, in order to discover the top dishes and corresponding restaurants. An intelligent web 3.0, semantic-focused mashup, dishtip performs a deep analysis of millions of web based-reviews, photos and content to provide suggestions for the best dishes, offer related search items, as well as filter by such categories as food taste, price and cuisine.

Users can also search by cuisine, such as ‘Chinese’ or for dishes containing a specific food ingredient, such as ‘nutella’ or ‘curry’. A search on a specific restaurant will identify the top rated dishes to order at that location. Whether a user searches by food item, cuisine, restaurant or taste, dishtip always provides specific dish recommendations for that given category.

“Our goal is to provide a destination that greatly enhances the way people search for food dishes, enabling them to discover the very best dishes and restaurants,” said David Schorr, Founder of the dishtip.com website. “We’ve harnessed vast amounts of web content and analyzed the data with sophisticated semantic mining and natural language processing technologies. dishtip will help people discover amazing dishes.”

One of the key features making dishtip so unique is food ‘discovery’. Using a multifaceted classification scheme, dishtip analyzes multiple data points about a dish or search term to offer suggestions. For example, by analyzing a search for ‘chicken wings’, dishtip might predict that the user may also be interested in other dishes related to ‘poultry’, ‘spicy’, ‘BBQ’, ‘finger foods’ or ‘savory’. In essence, the user is on a journey during the search process that often leads to the discovery of dishes and corresponding restaurants that would otherwise have remained unknown.

Another differentiator is the innovative image processing and classification technology that delivers an unsurpassed user experience by providing a picture of the specific dish being suggested. Seeing photos of actual dishes adds a critical visual perspective to help users make better decisions about what to eat and where to get it.

Envelopes.com Launches Non-Profit Discount Program

Envelopes.com announced the national availability of the Non-Profit Discount Program, a forward-thinking online marketing initiative that will help Non-Profit organizations, big and small, reach their funding targets through cost savings.

The new Non-Profit discount program will help any 501(c)(3) Organization to purchase supplies at an automatic discounted rate of 10% on every order.  Even bigger savings, up to 25%, can be earned when combined with the Loyalty Discount Program, which is instantly applied when shoppers register for an online account.  Savings are based on points earned for every dollar spent, $1.00 = 1 point.

“In this economy, it’s a tough time for charities.  Non-profits are seeing a trend in dwindling donations and everyone is fighting to attain their goals.   We’ve always highlighted volume discounts through our Loyalty Discount Program, but now Non-Profit organizations can benefit from the guarantee of savings every time,” said Theresa Gerardi, Customer Service Manager at Envelopes.com.

These days, charitable donations are becoming a less frequent practice due to the daily struggles that families face today.  The priority of giving to others in need has been replaced with the need to support their own.  The economic downturn has really hurt the success of philanthropy.

“In these hard times, it’s even more difficult for non-profits to achieve their goals with the limited resources available.  At Envelopes.com it is a part of our core values to “find a way” and to “continually improve”, and we believe our new Non-Profit Discount Program does just that on many levels. Its a triple win; for the non profits, their beneficiaries and Envelopes.com” said Seth Newman, President of Envelopes.com.