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Today we’re announcing an update to the Facebook app for iPhone and iPad with new features in private messages.
Now you can keep chatting even when you’re doing other stuff on Facebook, like checking your News Feed. Tap chat heads to reply, drag them around, or flick them down to close.
Tap the smiley to add stickers to your messages. Get more stickers in the Sticker Store – just tap the basket.
A new look for iPad
Facebook is also rolling out the improvements to News Feed they announced in March. The biggest change is on iPad, where you’ll see brighter, more beautiful stories.
How to get the update
This update to Facebook for iOS will be available later today in the App Store. Chat heads and stickers on the Facebook app for iPhone will roll out fully over the next few weeks.
Below is the Announcement from Facebook regarding their new Online Safety Campaign.
At Facebook, we work hard to make sure people understand how to control their information and stay safe online. The most important components of this approach are a real name culture, where people’s actions are tied to their identity; a set of ubiquitous reporting features, including social reporting tools; specific privacy settings for minors; and state of the art law enforcement tools.
Underpinning all of this is a well-informed community. That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to launch a new consumer education program today designed to provide teens and their parents with tools and tips to manage their privacy and visibility both on Facebook and more broadly on the Internet.
The campaign consists of a few elements, all of which will be available on the Facebook Safety page:
• “Ask the Safety Team Video” series. Over the past few years, we have traveled around the country, teaching educators, parents and teens how to safely use our service. We’ve created a video series from our safety team that answers the questions we’re asked most during this events.
• “What You Can Do to Control Your Information,” a tip sheet that offers the 10 top tools to control your information on Facebook.
• State-specific public service announcements with participating attorneys general and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
NAAG President and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced the new campaign during his Presidential Initiative Summit on “Privacy in the Digital Age” in National Harbor, Md., this morning.
“Teenagers and adults should know there are tools to help protect their online privacy when they go on Facebook and other digital platforms,” Gansler said. “We hope this campaign will encourage consumers to closely manage their privacy and these tools and tips will help provide a safer online experience. Of course, attorneys general will continue to actively protect consumers’ online privacy as well.”
Facebook is excited to be partnering with NAAG and all of the participating attorneys general on this important effort. Together, we hope to ensure that young people make safe, smart, and responsible choices online.
The corner of St. Joseph and St. Francis Streets in downtown Mobile will be the hot spot for New Year’s fun this year. Prepare for a “Fantastic Voyage,” as Lakeside warms up the crowd before legendary rockers Three Dog Night ring in 2012, along with the MoonPie Drop, a laser show and fireworks from atop the RSA BankTrust Building and in Mobile Bay. The event has caught the eye of Travel + Leisure magazine and USA Today, both of which are planning to showcase Mobile’s MoonPie in the coming days.
The events will kick off with a Mardi Gras-style parade at 7:30 p.m. that will parade through downtown. Lakeside and their funky “Fantastic Voyage” will kick off at 9:00 p.m. and be followed by Three Dog Night from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The music will be both diverse and family-friendly taking revelers on a musical flashback. Whether you prefer RC Cola or a glass of champagne, ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile.
“We looked at several locations and wanted to bring the MoonPie Drop and stage location closer together,” said Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile. “The combination of the great entertainment, the uniqueness of the MoonPie Drop and an anticipated large crowd have the makings of one amazing evening,” said Jones. “Our sponsors are making this possible and we are delighted that nearly 20 media markets will be counting down the new year live from Mobile, Alabama.”
The new stage location, adjacent to Bienville Square, will allow for larger crowds, better protection from the weather and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. A new VIP area on the sixth floor of the RSA BankTrust Building parking deck will enable sponsors to get a bird’s eye view of the entertainment and the falling cookie. The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA BankTrust skyrise as the city welcomes 2012 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.
This year’s MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start with a Mardi Gras-style parade double the size of the 2010 parade and will feature floats, bands and a few surprises. Afterwards, a street party of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. Downtown Mobile will be one giant street party that will last into the early hours of the New Year.
“Mobile’s New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring the MoonPie Over Mobile has become a cultural phenomenon in the entire USA,” said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson. “Last year we had more than 40,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year,” said Richardson. “I look forward to this New Year’s Eve being the best that has ever been in our city.” First started in 2008, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year’s Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor. “It is time to ‘Celebrate,’ just like the Three Dog Night song.” Richardson is credited for creating the MoonPie Over Mobile concept.
“All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year’s Eve,” said Kent Blackinton, general manager of Renaissance Riverview Plaza and president of the Mobile Hotel Association. “We are going to make a great party even better this year, and we are looking to fill the streets of Mobile and the hotel rooms in the city. Television viewers throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 35-minute telecast on Raycom stations, but we would rather have you being part of the excitement.”
Why a MoonPie?
Mobile is the home of America’s first Mardi Gras celebration, and the MoonPie is the favored “throw” of the hundreds of Mardi Gras maskers riding the floats during the extensive Mardi Gras parade season. MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952. Today, Mobile consumes more than four million MoonPies annually, and has adopted the delicious treat as an informal emblem. For the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, this southern city has teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of the iconic MoonPie marshmallow sandwich, to create the largest electronic MoonPie as the featured attraction for its New Year’s Eve celebration. This is the fourth year an electronic version of the delicious treat will light up downtown Mobile.
Mardi Gras was first discovered in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Mobile currently has more than 50 parading and non-parading organizations. An estimated 850,000 people attend parades, parties and other organizations associated with the carnival festivities. This number will likely increase in 2012.
The Lakeside journey began when a group of high school students from Ohio formed a band made up of talented musicians and has sustained them for more than 27-years. Recording moguls Motown, ABC and Solars have felt the Lakeside vibe producing many of the “Fantastic Voyage” mega hits that took the music industry by storm. The sound of funk hits such as “All The Way Live”, “Raid” and “Outrageous”, are known to draw people to the dance floor like a magnet to metal. And of course, there is the Lakeside anthem that sets the band apart from all the rest. Brought back by Coolio, “Fantastic Voyage” boasts to be the only song to knock Michael Jackson’s “Heartbreak Hotel” from the number one position on the Billboard Charts in 1980. The hit single “Fantastic Voyage” continues to entertain new and seasoned fans.
About Three Dog Night
Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night, celebrate their 4th decade, performing to sell-out crowds and bringing along some of the most astonishing chart statistics in popular music including 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10’s, and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.
Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, “Joy to The World”, “Black and White”, “Shambala”, “One”, “Liar”, “Celebrate” and many more songs that drive their success. Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar) and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations. After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business. Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.
Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?
Raycom Media will be doing a live 35-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations: WAFF – Huntsville, AL; WBRC – Birmingham, AL; WSFA – Montgomery, AL; WDFX – Dothan, AL; WTVM – Columbus, GA; WPGX – Panama City, FL; WLOX – Biloxi, MS; WDAM – Hattiesburg, MS; WLBT – Jackson, MS; KAIT – Jonesboro, AR; KTRE – Lufkin, TX; KLTV – Tyler, TX; KCBD – Lubbock, TX; WAFB – Baton Rouge, LA; KPLC – Lake Charles, LA; KSLA – Shreveport, LA; WMC – Memphis, TN; KFVS – Cape Giradeau, MO and KYOU – Ottumwa, IA. Locally, WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast. Other stations are certainly welcome to create their own live telecast.
MoonPie Over Mobile Timeline
New Year’s Eve – Saturday, December 31
7:30 p.m. – New Year’s Eve Parade
The downtown parade will feature some of Mobile’s best Mardi Gras floats and marching bands. As America’s first Mardi Gras, Mobile takes great pride in this family-friendly celebration.
8:45 p.m. – Opening ceremony and remarks on Main Stage
Mobile’s elected officials will officially kick off the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration and help prepare the crowd to welcome the New Year and Mardi Gras season. Street vendors will offer a variety of food and drink options for the revelers. *** No glass containers will be allowed on Mobile streets during these events.***
9:00 p.m. –Lakeside performs on the Main Stage.
Get ready for a “Fantastic Voyage” as Lakeside hits the stage. Dauphin and Royal Streets will become a funky party full of fun.
11:00 p.m. – Three Dog Night performs on the Main Stage.
International hits include “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, “Joy to The World,” “Black and White,” “Shambala,” “One,” “Liar,” “Celebrate,” and many more.
11:30 p.m. – Light show begins downtown
Three Dog Night will continue to perform as the lights of RSA Battle House Tower and the Renaissance Riverview Plaza put on a light show for the crowd.
11:59 p.m. – Countdown starts as the giant MoonPie descends from atop the RSA BankTrust Building.
Midnight – MoonPie Drop reaches 6th floor of building. Laser and fireworks show over downtown Mobile.
In addition to the giant MoonPie and laser show on the RSA BankTrust Building, Mobile will have two synchronized fireworks shows to help properly welcome 2012.
12:30 a.m. –Three Dog Night performance concludes.
Crowds enter downtown bars, restaurants and hotels to continue celebrating the New Year.
MoonPie Over Mobile Sponsors
City of Mobile
Retirement Systems of Alabama
Blue Gill Restaurant
Toomy’s Mardi Gras
Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau
For details on MoonPie Over Mobile, visit www.mobilenewyear.com
Information on visiting Mobile and images can be found www.mobile.org.
More information on Three Dog Night is available at www.threedognight.com
Menu provides greater value and broadens appeal through more choice and variety
Today, Red Lobster introduces their most comprehensive core menu transformation in the brand’s history. The menu will offer significantly more items with price points below $15. It will also substantially increase the number of non-seafood selections. Additionally, the menu will offer more choice and variety, including lighter-style options and more fish and shrimp entrées.
The new Red Lobster menu is the latest in a series of changes contributing to the brand’s broader refresh, which includes their new “Sea Food Differently” advertising campaign featuring the real people of Red Lobster, their Bar Harbor restaurant remodel program, the introduction of wood-fire grills in the restaurants and the expansion of the Today’s Fresh Fish menu.
‘’We know guests are looking for value and greater choice and variety, and that’s exactly what this new menu will deliver,’’ said Salli Setta, executive vice president of marketing, Red Lobster. ‘’We’re excited to give more guests more reasons to visit Red Lobster more often.’’
Nearly 60 percent of the dishes on Red Lobster’s new menu are under $15. That’s an increase from 40 percent on the previous menu. The 15 new dishes under $15 are called ‘’Maine Stays’’ and are available every day.
New “Maine Stays” include entrées like:
- Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables: Seasoned and roasted in a parchment bag with white wine, asparagus, artichokes and wild rice pilaf.
- Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp: With a peach-bourbon BBQ glaze and pico de gallo, served over mashed potatoes and choice of accompaniment.
- Wood-Grilled Chicken with Portobello Wine Sauce: Served with mashed potatoes and choice of accompaniment.
Also, in response to its popularity, Red Lobster’s 4-Course Feast has been added to the menu permanently. The 4-Course Feast allows guests to choose a soup, a salad, one of nine entrées and a dessert, with unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits, all for only $15.99 (may vary by location).
More Than Just Seafood
Nearly 25 percent of Red Lobster’s new menu offers non-seafood options. That’s an increase from 8 percent non-seafood options on the previous menu.
Examples of these dishes include:
- Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Alfredo: Served over corkscrew pasta and fresh broccoli.
- Wood-Grilled Pork Chops: Topped with apple compote and peach-bourbon BBQ sauce, served over mashed potatoes and choice of accompaniment.
- Roasted Vegetable Skewer: Topped with a lemon-garlic beurre blanc and served with wild rice pilaf.
- Blue Cheese Sirloin: A 7 ounce peppercorn-crusted sirloin, wood-grilled and topped with a creamy blue cheese sauce. Served over mashed potatoes and choice of accompaniment.
Choice and Variety
Red Lobster’s new menu offers more choice and variety, including lighter-style options and more fish and shrimp entrées. Some examples include:
Lighter-style options like:
- Bar Harbor Salad with Shrimp: With dried berries and honey-roasted pecans with a blueberry-balsamic vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese served upon request (260 calories, 9 fat (g) with no dressing or blue cheese).
- Tropical BBQ Glazed Chicken: Wood-grilled and brushed with papaya-BBQ sauce and topped with fresh pineapple salsa. Served with wild rice and choice of an accompaniment (390 calories, 6 fat (g)).
New seafood options like:
- Island Grilled Mahi Mahi and Shrimp: Wood-grilled, wild-caught mahi-mahi and a shrimp skewer brushed with a papaya-BBQ sauce and topped with fresh pineapple salsa. Served with broccoli and choice of accompaniment.
- Chesapeake Shrimp with Crab: A Chesapeake-grilled shrimp skewer topped with crab butter and five crab-and-seafood-stuffed shrimp with lobster beurre blanc, served with wild rice pilaf and choice of accompaniment.
New appetizers like:
- Sweet Chili Shrimp: Hand-battered shrimp tossed in a spicy chili sauce.
- Southwest Chicken Pizza: A crisp thin-crust pizza topped with BBQ chicken, roasted corn and poblano peppers. Drizzled with jalapeno ranch.
Several guest favorites remain on the menu including:
- Today’s Fresh Fish Menu: Features four to eight fresh fish selections daily.
- Wood-Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops: A split Maine lobster tail, skewered shrimp and wild caught sea scallops with a buttery garlic finish, over wild rice pilaf.
- Ultimate Feast: A tender split Maine lobster tail, steamed North American snow crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi and Walt’s Favorite Shrimp.
The brand will be supporting the new menu with a robust communications program, which includes new national advertisements and a significant presence in the digital and social media spaces. The advertisements feature real people and their unscripted reactions when invited to taste various dishes from Red Lobster’s new menu. These advertisements launch today and are part of the brand’s current ‘’Sea Food Differently’’ campaign that features the real people of Red Lobster.
Plateware Donations and Bar Harbor Remodels
With the introduction of the new menu, Red Lobster is also introducing new plateware into all restaurants. As part of Red Lobster’s commitment to the communities they serve, the company has donated an estimated 330,000 pieces of plateware – including bowls, plates and platters – to local hunger relief agencies and Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets across North America. This supports the company’s goal of sending zero waste to landfills and making a positive difference in local communities.
This is in addition to the donations being made to Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets as part of Red Lobster’s large-scale restaurant remodel program. Red Lobster donates its furnishings from remodeled restaurants to Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets, which sell quality, donated household and construction materials to the public to help Habitat provide decent and affordable housing in communities. This is part of a larger partnership between Red Lobster’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, and Habitat for Humanity International. To date, more than 50 percent of Red Lobster restaurants have been remodeled, and all Red Lobster restaurants across North America will undergo the redesign by the end of 2014.
ABOUT RED LOBSTER
Red Lobster is the world’s largest casual dining seafood restaurant with more than 700 locations and 60,000 employees delivering delicious, high-quality seafood to guests across North America. Red Lobster is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the second year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. Red Lobster is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, all Red Lobster restaurants participate in the Darden Harvest program, which has donated more than 50 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information on Red Lobster please visit www.RedLobster.com.
Top Content Delivern Network Technology Usage Trends 2012
|AJAX Libraries API||20.55%|
|GStatic Google Static Content||1.89%|
|Yahoo Image CDN||1.03%|
|Clear Channel Communications CDN||0.05%|
|Akamai Global Host||0.04%|
|Limelight Networks FasterWeb||0.01%|
Are you one of the millions who spent the day trying to win Gold running Internet Track and Field via the animated Google Doodle on the Google home page? Well if so, today you get another chance at Gold with Google’s animated doodle featuring Olympic Basketball.
I can’t wait to total up this weeks hours spent by millions on the Google home page. Leave to Google to come up with a fun creative idea that drives people to their site and entertains them at the same time =) Gotta love Google!
Click here to try your hand at Internet Olympic Basketball.
It’s Pacman Day all over again …… I’m anxious to see just how many hours will be wasted today playing with Google’s Olympic 2012 Animation Doodle!
If you are one of the few who hasn’t played it yet check it out here.
To view past Google Doodles visit their Google Doodle Archive.
What was your score? Post it in the comments below! Happy Hurdling !
Don’t Panic Twitter is Down!
After receiving at least 20 phone calls from clients, and trying to send a few tweets myself, I am able to confirm Twitter was indeed down. Much to everyone’s relief, Twitter is up and running again! The very popular social networking site Twitter suffered an outage midday Thursday. The main site, twitter.com, was completely down for more than 45 minutes. Tweetdeck and other similar Twitter related platforms were down as well.
I did miss seeing the famous fail whale that graced the site often in it’s growing stages when it would hit capacity. During today’s outage, the company said in a post to it’s status blog, at status.twitter.com, “Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter” at status.twitter.com. “Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue.”
No further reason has been given at this time for the disruption. We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE on Twitter Outage:
CNN has just reported that the June 21st Twitter outage was the longest disruption in service since an hour-long episode on October 7, which came during a month filled with hundreds of very brief outages, according to Pingdom’s data. Downtime is a common problem for websites, though Twitter has been far better lately than it was a few years ago, when the site became notorious for its extensive outages.
“Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue,” a Twitter spokeswoman told CNNMoney on Thursday. She declined to comment on a reason for the outage.
Read More from CNN regarding the Twitter Outage.
Twitter allows users to post text updates via SMS, instant messaging, email, Twitter’s website and third party applications. Users have their own profile page that displays their latest updates. In addition, users can become “friends” with one another, or simply be a “follower.” Other than reading another person’s profile page, a user can also receive others’ updates through text messages, RSS or third party applications. Twitter itself is a free service.
Today Facebook is launching the Facebook App Center to make it easier to find apps you can enjoy with your Facebook friends.
The new Facebook App Center features mobile and web apps, such as Draw Something, Pinterest, and Nike+ GPS, and new apps including Jetpack Joyride, Ghosts of Mistwood, and Ghost Recon Commander.
Discover the Best Apps For You
The Facebook App Center gives you personalized recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your Facebook friends use. It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who actually use the app.
Install Mobile Apps
To make it easier to find social apps for mobile, the Facebook App Center isavailable in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, as well as Facebook.com.
You can send apps you find on your computer to your mobile device using the new “Send to Mobile” feature. If a mobile app requires a download, you’ll be sent to install it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Easily preview Facebook Social Apps
Every app in the Facebook App Center has screenshots and a detailed description, so you can learn more about it before installing it. It helps you control your privacy by showing the information an app needs and letting you choose who can see your activity on Facebook. If you decide you want to use an app, you can get started directly from the Facebook App Center.
The Facebook App Center will begin rolling out to people in the U.S. today, with more than 600 apps. The Facebook App Center will be available to everyone worldwide in the coming weeks.
Watch a screencast of the Facebook App Center.