Socialwise, Inc. has launched BillMyParents, an innovative online youth payment system that gives teens the freedom to shop online and parents the control over these purchasesâ€“ all in a simple, automated system that keeps credit card numbers and other personal information safe and secure.
The BillMyParents payment system platform addresses this untapped teen spending market with a multifaceted approach to online payment processing for teens and tweens, and gives them an easy way to purchase products online without a credit card. Using the BillMyParents button at the point of sale, teens can initiate a purchase in seconds. Parents complete the purchase at their convenience through a simple, easy to use, and automated system enabled by instant email and text notifications.
Mobiluck, a privately-held mobile services company that offers a location-based mobile social network, has exceeded one million members worldwide since the launch of its service two years ago. MobiLuck allows users to find nearby friends, people and places using simply their mobile. It is one of the largest worldwide location-based mobile social networks in the world and the fastest-growing with 6 000 new members per day. Page views tripled over the last three months to 42 million per month.
Mobile social networking is the number one use of the mobile internet worldwide and a billion people will be doing it by 2012, according to Pyramid Research.
MobiLuck’s users average age is 23 and come mainly from the US, Europe, India, Middle East and South Africa. This new generation of users is making the most of their mobile, using it as their primary connection to the internet. They want a full social networking experience on the go so they can be always connected with their friends wherever they are. They constitute an attractive audience for brands and premium ad agencies who are currently seeing 2% click through rates on their ads on MobiLuck.
Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the preview release of Acrobat.com Presentations, available for free sign-up as a public beta on Adobe Labs. Acrobat.com Presentations extends the Acrobat.com vision of enabling a better way for people to work together on the web by providing an engaging presentation application built on the Adobe Flash Platform.
Acrobat.com Presentations builds on the Acrobat.com set of hosted services, including Adobe Buzzword and Adobe ConnectNow, by making it easy for virtually anyone to create professional-looking presentations online. The application includes built-in tools and layouts for adding visually appealing elements, such as pre-defined color sets, intelligent image placement and graphic tools for creating diagrams and adding effects. Users can enhance their presentations with visual special effects, slide transitions and embedded videos that can be accessed by anyone with Adobe Flash Player, which is installed on 98 percent of Internet-connected desktops worldwide.
Acrobat.com Presentations lets people work together on a presentation, all contributing at the same time or separately, regardless of where they are located. Now, there is no need to search for the latest version or combine multiple copies in order to capture everyone’s changes. With simultaneous editing capabilities, no one is locked out of the presentation while others are making changes. The application also makes it easy to see who has access to the presentation, who is viewing, who is editing and which slide each person is editing. Because the presentation lives online, people can access the latest version from any Internet-connected computer and deliver the presentation from anywhere online via ConnectNow or offline by exporting to PDF.
Zoho announced that the name of its parent company has changed from AdventNet, Inc., to ZOHO Corporation, effective immediately. The name change represents the evolution of the company and the emergence of Zoho as its widely known division.
â€œIn 1996, we started the company with a primary focus on network management. Over the years, we grew significantly, serving different markets,â€ said Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO of ZOHO Corp. â€œWe are now best known for the Zoho suite of on-line business applications. Given the reach of Zoho, we are renaming the company to ZOHO Corporation, and Zoho.com will be one division. The other divisions â€” ManageEngine and WebNMS â€” will continue operating under their established names and also become divisions of ZOHO Corp.â€
The new name complements the rich history of ZOHO Corp. Founded in 1996, the 13-year old company has grown to 1,000 employees and remains privately held and profitable, having never sought nor raised venture capital.
Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, revealed that it has delivered over 15 billion minutes of voice services, demonstrating the rapid growth and broad adoption of VoIP in Second Life. The company also revealed its product roadmap for the remainder of 2009, such as introducing new features that will enhance the Second Life platform and provide unique monetization opportunities. With 700,000 unique users consuming more than a billion minutes a month, voice has become an integral component of the Second Life experience.
Over 50% of Second Life users, a group that includes a broad range of consumers, educators and large enterprises, use voice as part of their everyday inworld experience. In addition to making education, business meetings, simulations, training and casual conversations more meaningful, realistic and fluid, voice is also a key component of Linden Labâ€™s business model and strategy moving forward. With several key product launches scheduled for the latter half of 2009, Linden Lab expects this rapid adoption to continue while also adding several new revenue streams for the company.
In addition to revealing its roadmap for the rest of the year, Linden Lab is also introducing a new service called AvaLine that enables residents to receive voice calls inworld from an outside number. Greatly extending the reach of the Second Life experience, AvaLine lets friends, customers, colleagues and business associates connect to the Second Life viewer via a landline, cell phone or VoIP application.
Vlingo Corporation released results from the second annual Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report. Despite Driving While Texting (DWT) bans in seven states and the District of Columbia as well as reports of accidents caused by DWT, 26% of mobile phone users continue to text behind the wheel. Drivers in Tennessee are the worst offenders, with the highest percentage of respondents (42%) who admit to DWT, while Arizona has the lowest percentage (18.8%). The Vlingo Report also reveals that text messaging has grown steadily over the past 12 months across all age groups, with nearly 60% of mobile phone users now texting, compared to 54% in 2008.
One in four of all mobile phone users admit to DWT and it occurs in all age groups. Almost 60% of those ages 16 to 19 admit to DWT and 49% of those 20 to 29 admit to DWT. The percentages get smaller for older respondents, but usage remains high with 13% of those in their 50s admitting to doing so.
Among survey respondents there is general consensus that DWT should be legally banned. Slightly more than 83% of respondents think DWT should be illegal, while only 7% think DWT should be legal, and 10% are undecided. However, with more safety precautions such as hands-free solutions that enable consumers to text without typing, 40% of respondents favor making DWT legal. Additionally, nearly 70% would use voice recognition technology while driving instead of typing if they could speak text or email messages and have incoming messages read to them.
Mobile games publisher Glu Mobile Inc. announced the launch of the game Cops & Robbers on the Apple App Store. The app is an original Glu title for iPhone and iPod touch that will give players a rush of adrenaline as they play a thief escaping pursuers or play as a cop chasing down a criminal on the run.
Cops & Robbers plays off of parkour-style acrobatics using unique accelerometer controls of the iPhone and iPod touch. Set in a 3-D urban landscape, the game is a visual feast full of shadows and rich glowing effects.
Loop’d Network, the online network for action sports, has secured an additional $800,000 in funding from its existing private investors, along with new investor Tech Coast Angels.
The company intends to use this new financing to accelerate development of its eCommerce infrastructure and social merchandising strategy. Launched in November 2007, Loop’d has an innovative advertising and eCommerce model and became profitable in December 2008.
The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, announced the formal launch of Linux.com. The Foundation took over stewardship of the site in March, at which time it began soliciting input from the community to help define the new Linux.com via its Ideaforge web tool.
The new Linux.com will connect Linux users and developers, and by showcasing their skills through its guru listing, will connect individuals to jobs and collaboration opportunities. Instead of a static information site, the new Linux.com will empower the Linux community to share its knowledge, get questions answered, download the right software and find hardware to solve problems.
Visitors can register and begin contributing to the community and build their Linux guru standing. Other community functionality includes allowing users to have their own blog hosted by Linux.com, review products in the product directory, and submit “HowTo’s” and tutorials to help their fellow Linux users or developers.
Users can earn points toward becoming a “Linux Guru” by participating in different activities on the site. Each year, the top Linux.com user will be recognized as the “Ultimate Linux Guru” and be given a fully loaded “dream” Linux notebook personally signed by Linus Torvalds as recognition of his or her guru status. The top five contributors to Linux.com annually will receive invitations to the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and have a seat at the Linux.com planning meeting as community representatives. And, the top 50 annual Linux gurus on Linux.com will be included in a yearly report from the Linux Foundation: those high ranking users will be able to showcase their status and knowledge to potential employers or consulting opportunities. More information, including “Guru” point values, is available at the site.
MySpace, in partnership with MySpace Records and Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., announced the official launch of Rock the Space, an exclusive competition encouraging unsigned bands or solo artists to submit an original song for the opportunity to score a recording contract with MySpace Records, the companyâ€™s full-service independent label. Beginning today through July 1, 2009, aspiring artists across the country can enter to win the chance of a lifetime by visiting Toyotaâ€™s MySpace Music profile for submission details and contest rules.
To enter the Rock the Space competition artists must submit an original mp3 demo. All entrants will have the opportunity to create a viral music widget with an easy embed code to help them spread their music across MySpace and the web. In July, MySpace Records will select five finalists who will be featured prominently on the Toyota Music profile and the MySpace community will vote to select the winner. The five finalists will receive a media allocation to promote themselves with My Ads targeted advertising throughout MySpace.
The Rock the Space winner will be announced in September and will receive a recording contract as well as a $10,000 musical instrument prize package provided by Fender. The winnerâ€™s song will also be available for download on the MySpace Music Home Page. The four runners-up win a MySpace Records Development Deal friends package.