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Facebook lures 500million "intimate strangers" to live online. Mark Zuckerberg, driving force behind it remains private citizen

Facebook is Redefining Privacy
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and headquarters

(quote)

Private citizen: Zuckerberg is responsible for turning friend into a verb. But don’t try to friend the 26-year-old CEO: the botton on his profile has been disabled.

Friends without Borders
Nearly 500 million people worldwide live their lives - or versions of them - on Facebook. Is there a limit to how much we’ll share? CEO Mark Zuckerberg is betting there isn’t.

Sometime in the next few weeks, Facebook will officially log its 500 millionth active citizen. If the website were granted terra firma, it would be the world's third largest country by population, two-thirds bigger than the U.S. More than 1 in 4 people who browse the Internet not only have a Facebook account but have returned to the site within the past 30 days.

overall vibe of the office is not unlike that of a dormitory, which is just where Mark Zuckerberg and his three co-founders first dreamed up the idea for Facebook  read more »

Actor Ashton Kutcher reveals what's missing in drama business: hometown, genuine quality; & his "daunting" experience in NYC

Ashton Kutcher, movie star and TV producer, wishes he never had to endure the boredom of being a model

(quote)

People in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility

What do you miss about growing up and living in the Midwest?
The biggest thing I miss in Iowa is my mom. She still lives there, and I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. I miss the certain smell in Iowa when it's about to rain. I miss how quiet it is. I miss having neighbors that I know and that I like. The thing I probably miss most of all is that people in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility, a desire to do things for themselves and not complain. I miss being around people that don't complain. I'm in the drama business, and there are a lot of dramatic people that seem to be not very happy with where they are.
Does it bother you to be called Mr. Demi Moore?
No. Why would it? People have called me much worse.
Do you still have all those trucker hats?
Yeah. I've got a giant box of them in storage. I probably have like 500 or 600 hats that people have sent me.

a picture of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ashton Kutcher’s hometown

one man can have a voice as loud as a media network  read more »

"Thank you for dancing with me!" Matt invited people in 39 countries on all 7 continents to come out and dance...

dancing in Istanbul, Turkey

(quote)

Matt Harding is a 32-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on.

dancing in Poria, Papua New Guinea

In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is. A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does.

dancing in Paris, France  read more »

Newspapers' future: news-paperless, or newspaper-less? Century-old Christian Science Monitor ends daily print, goes online

Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of the Christian Science movement - she advocated Christian Science as a spiritual practical solution to health and moral issues

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The century-old Christian Science Monitor announced Tuesday that it will become the first nationally distributed newspaper to stop publishing a daily print edition, and focus on publishing online, succumbing to the financial pressure squeezing its industry harder than ever. The Boston-based paper is not forsaking print altogether - it will offer a weekly print version in addition to daily e-mail editions - but editors acknowledged shifting the focus to CSMonitor.com will save millions in addition to widening its audience.

The Boston-based general-interest paper, winner of seven Pulitzer Prizes, has long since established an extraordinary reputation for high-quality journalism. It was founded a century ago in 1908 by a religious visionary, Mary Baker Eddy, who "discovered" Christian Science and founded the paper in response to critical coverage of her in the New York World. She declared in the first edition that the role of the paper would be to "injure no man, but bless all mankind."

entrance to the Christian Science Monitor building in Boston. A century after it began publication, the paper is giving up its daily print edition to focus on posting news online  read more »

Can Cuil woo you from Google? New search engine launched on Monday to a rocky start, shows promise, needs work

latest rival to the search engine giant Google, Cuil, launched on Monday

(quote)

Boasting big plans, startup search engine Cuil (pronounced "cool") launched on Monday. The Cuil in the name is pronounced "Cool," and derives from an old Irish word for knowledge. Tom Costello, a co-founder and the CEO of the company, is from Dorgheda, Ireland. The company sold itself on having indexed more pages than Google, ranking based on context rather than on popularity, and displaying results organized by concept within a beautiful user interface. There was just one problem: when the search engine launched, it didn't work very well. Cuil's site was down intermittently throughout the day on Monday, and even when the site was up, it sometimes returned no results for common queries, or failed to produce the most relevant or up-to-date results. For example, as of Wednesday morning, searching Cuil for its own name returns nothing on the first results page that is related to the engine itself, in spite of the buckets of press it got this week.  read more »

253 million regular Internet users and counting: China now has the world's largest net-using population, surpassing the US

China has surpassed the United States in having the largest Internet population at 253 million

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China now has the world's largest net-using population, say official figures. The news comes from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which stated that 253 million Chinese went online by the end of June of this year. The total represents a 56.2% year-on-year growth - up by 91 million from June of last year, and up 43 million from December. The figure is higher than the 223 million that the US mustered in June, according to Nielsen Online.

Net penetration in the US stands at 71% compared to 19% in China suggesting it will eventually vastly outstrip the US. The development is significant because the US has had the largest net-using population since records of how many people were online started to be kept.

"This is the first time the number has drastically surpassed the United States, becoming the world's number one," said a statement from the CNNIC, the nation's official net monitoring body.

39.2% of Chinese online go to Internet cafes

The 2008 figure is up 56% in a year, said CNNIC. Analysts expect the total to grow by about 18% per annum and hit 490 million by 2012.

About 95% of those going online connect via high-speed links. Take up of broadband has been boosted by deals offered by China's fixed line phone firms as they fight to win customers away from mobile operators. China's mobile phone-using population stands at about 500 million people.

Despite having a greater number of people online, China's net economy still has a long way to go to match or exceed that of the US or even that of South Korea.

Breaking it down further, 214 million of those on the Internet in China accessed via a broadband Internet connection.

The percentage of the population in China on the Internet now stands at 19%, still way below that of the United States, at 71%.

Comparing this to previous numbers, just in 2006 alone, there were 137 million Internet users in China. This shows that the number of people in the Internet in the country continues to grow at a rapid pace.

China now has the world's largest net-using population, say official figures

People under the age of 30 in China make up 69% of the total Internet users.

Figures from Analysys International said China's net firms reported total revenues of $5.9bn in 2007. By contrast net advertising revenue alone for US firms in 2007 stood at $21.2bn.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of dBTechno, AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, and DanWei.org

Original Source: dBTechno and BBC News

Beyond Blogs - How Blogs, Wikis, and Social Media Have Changed the Way Businesses Work

Original Source: BusinessWeek

(quote)

...blogs, it turns out, are just one of the do-it-yourself tools to emerge on the Internet. Vast social networks such as Facebook and MySpace offer people new ways to meet and exchange information. Sites like LinkedIn help millions forge important work relationships and alliances. These social connectors are changing the dynamics of companies around the world. Millions of us are now hanging out on the Internet with customers, befriending rivals, clicking through pictures of our boss at a barbecue, or seeing what she read at the beach. It's as if the walls around our companies are vanishing and old org charts are lying on their sides.

This can be disturbing for top management, who are losing control, at least in the traditional sense. Workers can fritter away hours on YouTube. They can use social networks to pillory a colleague or leak secrets. That's the downside, and companies that don't adapt are sure to get lots of it. But there's an upside to the loss of control. Ambitious workers use these tools to land new deals and to assemble global teams for collaborative projects. The potential for both better and worse is huge, and it's growing—and since 2005 the technologies involved extend far beyond blogs.  read more »

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