New Year’s Eve in Times Square live on the Internet

Times Square Corporation and Mogulus Corporation is teaming up tonight to bring the world New Year’s Eve for the first time ever, live on the Internet. Anyone with Internet connection can enjoy the New Year’s Eve party in Times Square, live all night long.

The event starts at 4:00 PM eastern time on December 31, 2008 to 12:15 AM on January 1, 2009.

Both parties also said that they will be working closely in 2009 for more events to cover.

Friendster launches all-new blogs and forums

Friendster, Inc. announced that the all-new Friendster Blogs and Forums are now available to Friendster’s over 90 million members worldwide. Both products have been enhanced with new features and redesigned.

The newly enhanced Friendster Blogs, built on WordPress, enable members of the Friendster community to quickly and easily create a personal blog. Each blog can be customized with themes and skins available on Friendster, and thousands more available across the web, or users can create their own style, colors, fonts and page layout using common HTML and CSS web languages. Friendster users can also add a variety of widgets and a personalized badge for their blog right from the design tab of every Friendster blog. Users can also embed into their blog photos directly from their Friendster photo albums and videos from popular video sites such as YouTube.

Friendster’s new Forums allow Friendster users to participate in discussions within a variety of categories including music, sports, lifestyle, celebrities, TV, fashion, health, religion, food, dating, finance and more. Users can join a current discussion or start a new one under a specified category. Posts are organized under each category by most recent. Each post is time stamped and includes a thumbnail photo linked to the Friendster profile of the user, so users can easily meet others in a discussion.

CityWatch by Zannel keeps you abreast with what’s happening in your city

citywatch CityWatch by Zannel keeps you abreast with whats happening in your cityZannel has launched CityWatch, a new location-based iPhone application which allows users to instantly see, share, and talk about what’s going on around them.

Now available at the Apple App Store, CityWatch enables users to select a location on an easy-to-maneuver map which shows the latest multimedia and text updates, including pictures imported from Flickr. CityWatch users can also post their own geo-tagged updates to start real-time discussions around them via threaded commenting.

In addition to CityWatch, the Zannel community uses their “channels” to instantly and visually communicate what’s happening in their lives across mobile and the web, including all major social networks. People use Zannel to capture and share authentic moments in their lives, tell their stories, debate issues, and communicate with their community.

Zannel.com is available online and on all mobile phones in the US. Instant-membership is available by texting “Join” to 58888 to start creating your own mobile channel.

Gift Your Online Buddies with Real Drinks with GetThemIn

getthemin screenshot11 Gift Your Online Buddies with Real Drinks with GetThemIn

Still in doubt with what to give your online buddies this holiday season? Christmas day is over, but it’s not too late to send those special someones something before the year ends. You could perhaps send them an email or an e-card, but having something tangible is definitely better. You can order books, flowers or pretty much anything online. But for beer buddies, how about something with a little bit more alcohol in it?

Get Them In! lets you do just that.

GetThemIn is a Facebook application (http://apps.facebook.com/getthemin) that allows people to buy each other real beer, wine or other alcoholic drinks for the first time ever – perfect for sorting out those last minute Christmas present dilemmas or getting the Christmas drinks in with your mates without actually being there.

People can choose from a variety of drinks and other real-world gifts and send them to their friends using Facebook platform and PayPal. Recipients receive a personalised message from the sender via SMS, email and Facebook, with the option to keep it virtual or redeem their gift as a voucher that can then be used in one of hundreds of First Quench outlets across the UK (including Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack and Haddows).

The service features several popular brands, including Fosters, Cobra, Heineken, Tuborg, San Miguel, Bulmers Cider, Newcastle Brown, WKD Blue, Old Peculier, Blossom Hill, Hardy’s, Taittinger, Radcliffe’s D.B., Teacher’s, Cockburn’s S.R., Harvey’s Bristol Cream and Courvoisier V.S.

Aside from cheering up your buddies, you also help a worthy cause. GetThemIn has been officially granted the DrinkAware trust trademark license and will be donating a percentage of its profits to COUNTED4, which counsels and promotes the health and well-being of anyone affected by substance misuse.

The drinks can be redeemed in about 1,500 participating wineries. But the deal is valid only in the UK, so folks from elsewhere would have to toast to a virtual drink!

[via WebItPR]

The Sports Network, Contec to offer mobile sports services

The Sports Network and Contec Innovations announced the upcoming availability of their new global mobile sports service in early 2009.

The new global mobile sports service provides unprecedented mobile access to all things sports. Covering more than 50 sports and hundreds of leagues and events from around the world, this initiative allows mobile users around anywhere to access up-to-date news, photos, results, statistics, live action and more.

Available via mobile Internet, SMS and MMS, the service has three distinctive audiences in mind at present: mobile operators seeking to enhance their sports offering, mobile service providers that wish to add new services to their portfolios and media companies/brands that sponsor mobile Sports content in their local markets or on a global basis.

Sarah Palin most desirable celebrity neighbor for 2009

A December 2008 survey by Harris Interactive of more than 2,000 U.S. adults reveals which pop culture celebrities and politicians Americans think would make the most appealing neighbors, and who isn’t welcome anywhere near the backyard.

US adults would most like to be neighbors with Sarah Palin (14%), followed closely by Oprah Winfrey (13%), according to the survey commissioned by real estate website Zillow.com. Retirees (26%) and residents in the South (19%) disproportionately favor Palin as the most desirable neighbor. Paparazzi magnets apparently don’t make the best neighbors, as only 2% of U.S. adults would like to be neighbors with David and Victoria “Posh” Beckham in the coming year.

It also seems age and gender play a prominent role in neighbor preferences:

• Among adult men, Sarah Palin is the most desired neighbor (17%), while 17% of adult women said that Oprah Winfrey was the most desired neighbor, ahead of Palin (12%).

• Among 18-34 year old men, Michael Phelps tops the list as the most desirable neighbor (17%). In comparison, only 9% of 18-34 year old women thought the gold medal Olympian would make a desirable neighbor.

• The gender gap reveals that among 45-54 year old women; 21% voted for Oprah, compared to only 6% of their male counterparts.

Britney Spears, the trouble-prone pop star, was voted the worst celebrity neighbor in 2008, according to one in five (19%) U.S. adults. However, Spears’ reputation has improved over the past 12 months. In 2007, 21% voted Britney the worst neighbor. Rosie O’Donnell was a close second in 2008, with 18% of the votes, compared to 14% in 2007. Rounding out the top 5 worst list is Joe the Plumber (8%) Lindsay Lohan (7%) and Adam “Pacman” Jones (6%).

neighbors Sarah Palin most desirable celebrity neighbor for 2009

VideoMD.com hits milestone with 2,500 patient education videos

VideoMD.com, a new website that focuses on physician-generated video health information, has reached a milestone of 2500 patient education videos. VideoMD.com would like to thank all of the physicians, health care providers, and institutions that have helped to contribute to this milestone.

“We are quickly building the most comprehensive library of health information videos on the web. All of our featured videos are reviewed by physicians for medical content. We want the health information consumer to know that our video library is up to date, and trustworthy. We have videos from your own trusted physicians, as well as some of the preeminent specialists in their field of medicine,” said Dean Heller, MD, President of VideoMD.com.

In addition to providing a portal for all health information consumers, VideoMD.com serves as home for physicians to better educate their own patients. Health care providers can post educational videos for their own patients on their individual page of VideoMD.com.

Young Money launches stock market game with UpDown.com

UpDown.com, the online community that allows young people to practice investing, has partnered with Young Money to power YoungMoney.com’s “Stock Market Game.”

The Young Money “Stock Market Game” features real-time trading simulation and multiple contests. Beginning investors can practice stock market trading, compete with friends and investors, and even win real money.

UpDown.com is a free community for investors that allows members to practice trading in a lifelike brokerage simulation. By participating in the community, UpDown.com members learn the ins and outs of Wall Street by investing $1,000,000 in virtual money. UpDown.com also provides a platform for investors to improve their financial analysis skills by sharing stock tips with other members.

Blinkx introduces Un-roll Unit

Video search engine Blinkx has introduced the Un-roll Unit, an entirely new and immersive branding experience that gives advertisers the unique opportunity to tell a compelling story through their brand and online television, and enables users to engage with a brand continuously throughout a video.

Un-roll was developed in-house by Blinkx in response to the industry’s need for an alternative format to traditional pre- and post-roll advertisements. Available through Blinkx AdHoc, the contextual advertising platform for online video, the Un-roll integrates a brand with relevant, professionally-produced programming on the web and serves up multiple touch-points, including contextual overlay ads and logos, throughout the viewing experience. This ability to weave a brand into online television is extremely powerful, not only in terms of enhancing viewer experience, but also in generating higher rates of engagement.

The Un-Roll works like this:

• The unit begins with a branded curtain that draws back to reveal the video and a branded blinkx video player when the video has fully buffered.

• As the video plays, touch-points such as overlay ads and logos appear at contextually relevant moments within the video

• The video ends with a clear call-to-action and the viewer has the option to continue the experience on the brand’s web site.

Priceline.com releases list of top New Year’s party spots

Priceline.com has released its 5th annual list of top destinations (or can be places to avoid for people who do not like the crowd) for ringing in the New Year.

For the 4th consecutive year, Las Vegas is once again the #1 destination for New Year’s revelers.

To compile its list, priceline.com looked at a sampling of more than 30,000 Name Your Own Price hotel room booking requests made by Priceline.com customers for the New Year’s holiday. Because the survey is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, Priceline.com believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of New Year’s travel trends. Also, by focusing on hotels instead of airline tickets, the Priceline.com survey is able to include the travel intentions of consumers who will drive to their destination.

Priceline.com’s Top 50 New Year’s Eve Destinations

#1 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South
#2 New York City, Chelsea Area
#3 New York City, Times Square/Theater District
#4 New Orleans, Downtown/Convention Center
#5 Chicago, Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park Area
#6 New York City, Empire State Building Area
#7 Orange County, Disneyland Area
#8 Orlando, Universal Studios/Sea World
#9 San Francisco, Union Square West/Nob Hill
#10 New Orleans, French Quarter [Read more...]