China says no google complaint

China has pledged to punish hackers who attacked Google if there is evidence to prove it, but said it has yet to receive any complaint from the world’s top search engine.

Google sent shockwaves across business and political circles in January when it declared it would stop censoring Chinese search results, and threatened to pull out of China — the world’s largest online community with 384 million users at the end of last year — over hacking and censorship concerns.

Google had never filed a report to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology over the cyber attacks or sought negotiations, Vice Minister Miao Wei was quoted as saying by state news agency Xinhua late on Saturday.

“If Google has had evidence that the attacks came from China, the Chinese government will welcome them to provide the information and will severely punish the offenders according to the law,” Miao said.

“We never support hacking attacks because China also falls victim to hacking attacks,” he said.

Google also never informed the ministry that it was planning to withdraw from China, Miao added, speaking on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament.

“If Google decides to continue its business in China and abides by China’s laws, it’s welcome to stay,” he said, vowing to continue providing a sound investment environment for foreign investors and protect their legitimate rights.

“If the company chooses to withdraw from the Chinese market, it must go through certain procedures according to the law and regulations and deal with customers’ problems that may arise.”

A Google spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Last Friday Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said China was in consultations with Google to resolve the issue. Li did not elaborate.

The dispute about Internet censorship has added to tensions over issues ranging from trade and the Chinese currency, to U.S. arms sale to self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and a recent meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The hacking issue made headlines again in late February after reports in the Western media that the attacks had been traced to two schools in China, and the writer of the spyware used had been identified as a Chinese security consultant in his 30s with government links.

The Chinese government has denied Google’s accusation that the hackers were based in China, calling the claim “groundless.

Woman believed oldest in US dies at age 114

A woman certified as the oldest person living in the United States has died.

Mary Josephine Ray, who was born in Canada, died on Sunday at a nursing home in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, at age 114 years and 294 days old.

The Gerontology Research Group says that until her death, Ms. Ray was the oldest person in the United States and the second-oldest person in the world.

The oldest living American is Neva Morris of Ames, Iowa, who is 114 years, 216 days.

The oldest person in the world is Kama Chinen of Japan. She is 114 years, 301 days.

Ms. Ray was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada. She moved to the United States at age three. She lived for 60 years in Anson, Maine, and moved to Westmoreland in 2002 to be near her children.

Railways registers 8 per cent increase in earnings

The Railways registered an over eight per cent increase in earnings during the first ten months of the ongoing financial year, with its revenue swelling to Rs 77,890 crore.

The PSU earned Rs 77,890.29 crore between April-February as against 71,821.97 crore it earned during the same period last year, thus registering an increase of 8.45 per cent.

Out of the total earnings, it earned Rs 52,584 crore from goods traffic and 21,400 crore from passenger traffic, said an official release.

The total revenue earnings from other sources was Rs 2,087 crore during this period, the release added.

The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during this period were 6,780.87 million compared to 6,485.20 million during the same period last year, an increase of 4.56 per cent.

In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the numbers of passengers booked during the 10 month period were 3,520.40 million and 3,260.47 million respectively, the release said.

Tirupati idols, ‘laddu’ for Obama

The governing body of the Tirumala temple at Tirupati is planning to present a golden idol of Lord Venkateswara and prasad to US President Barack Obama.

 “The organisers of Kalyanotsavam (a special puja) at New Jersey are planning to invite Obama. We also want to present him a golden idol of Lord Venkateshwara,” TTD chairman D K Adikesavulu Naidu told reporters.

“He (Obama) believes in Hinduism, Lord Hanuman and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. We also want to give him laddu prasadam, our publications, everything we can give him,” he said.

Naidu said he would seek an appointment with Obama if he does not attend the function at New Jersey.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the governing body, would organise Kalyanotsavam at various places in the country to propagate Hindu philosophy, he said.

On April 21, the Kalyanotsavam would be held in New Delhi; he said but did not announce the date for the New Jersey programme.

Naidu said security arrangements are being spruced up but there is no specific information of any threat.

 He also said a dress code for the employees will be announced soon

Ad rules to take in use of Twitter and Facebook

Proposal would extend Advertising Standards Agency role to include marketing activity on social media and microsites

 Tighter controls on the how Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles are used in company promotions are set to be introduced under new digital advertising restrictions partly designed to protect children.

The Advertising Association, the industry body which represents the UK advertising and media industry, has agreed a set of proposals to tighten some digital advertising practices so that they are policed by the Advertising Standards Authority in the same way as TV, press, poster and radio ads.

The ASA regulates all paid-for digital advertising, such as banners and display ads on websites, but so far does not police advertising activity on a company’s own website, a campaign microsite or the via profiles on sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

“The industry has delivered a clear mandate that first and foremost will protect consumers and children [and] that will also protect editorial content,” said Rae Burdon, chief operating officer at the AA.

The recommendations still have to be accepted by the Committee for Advertising Practice, which is overhauling the non-broadcasting advertising code and will launch a consultation on the proposals. But with such broad industry consensus, it is thought that the new rules will come into force in the third quarter this year.

“This is a significant step for both advertising and the internet,” said Nick Stringer, director of regulatory affairs at the Internet Advertising Bureau, a key player in the year-long negotiations to agree the new proposals.

The extension to the ad code will ensure that all online marketing will have to be responsible, legal, honest and truthful under the same regulations as, say, press and poster ads.

The process to develop the new codes stalled last year when it emerged that Google was balking at being involved in the necessary extension of the funding and industry levy collection mechanism of the ASA. A deal was reached with Google and the search engine industry in November.

Hurt Locker sweeps Oscar crown; director Bigelow first woman to win

Kathryn Bigelow accepts the Oscar for best achievement in directing for “The Hurt Locker” from presenter Barbara Streisand at the 82nd Academy Awards

Oscar night always captures the imagination of millions worldwide with its classic blend of the Hollywood royalty, glimpses of movie-making magic and the ceaseless speculation on who would win the most coveted crowns. This year, on a grey Sunday evening in Los Angeles, the 82nd Academy Awards did not disappoint.

With a riveting showdown building between a goliath feel-good blockbuster and a relatively unknown new entrant on a controversial subject, audiences were kept guessing until the very end about whether Avatar or The Hurt Locker would win in the Best Film and Best Director categories. The fact that they were respectively directed by James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow, who used to be married to each other, only heightened the sense of a movie-like plot within the Oscars.

And the day belonged to The Hurt Locker, which swept the coveted prize of Best Picture. It was also a double triumph for Kathryn Bigelow who became the first woman to be awarded Best Director. She dedicated her victory to men and women in uniform world over. The Hurt Locker snatched up six awards in total, a tidy sum for a film made on a budget of $11 million, compared to Avatar’s nearly $400 million. Avatar won three academy awards this evening.

In an unusual shift from previous years, the number of films nominated for the Best Picture award was increased from five to 10. The last time 10 films were nominated was back in 1943, when Casablanca won. “After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year,” said Sid Ganis, president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Sandra Bullock wins Best Actress

In an equally polarised competition for the Best Actress award, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who was highly acclaimed for her role in Precious, as a poor, abused African American struggling against the odds in New York, was pitched against stalwarts of Hollywood like Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Sandra Bullock. Bullock, who was nominated for her Sarah-Palin-esque soccer-mom performance in The Blind Side went on to win the award. However another star of Precious, Mo’Nique, walked away with the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award.

Among the men Jeff Bridges struck gold in the Best Actor category, beating out some impressive rivals such as George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Colin Firth and Jeremy Rener. Bridges, who is from a lineage of actors, said, “Thank you Mum and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession”. Christoph Waltz took home the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for Inglourious Basterds, a quirky and violent rewriting of World War II by Quentin Tarantino.

But as always, the glitter of Oscar night was about so much more than just the top awards. The Academy cinematically remembered its knights who had fallen during the course of the year including Patrick Swayze, David Carradine, Ron Silver, Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson and Natasha Richardson. And of course Hollywood wouldn’t be Hollywood without the usual dose of tomfoolery – ably provided this time by hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, and Ben Stiller who turned up as a blue Naavi warrior (from Avatar). Presenting the award for best make-up, he said, “After I announce the winner I will try to stand as far away as possible so as not to demean their moment of triumph”.

Facebook Better Social Media Marketing Intimacy- Twitter Better Viral Expediency

Twitter or Facebook. Orange Juice with or without the pulp. Which is better for your particular business or entrepreneurial Social Media Internet marketing strategy? Okay, so maybe orange juice can’t directly benefit your Social Media Marketing strategies unless you need the Vitamin C to help your eyes better focus on all the information I’m about to provide you. While there’s no doubt that Facebook, Twitter, or both can reap big benefits for your products or services. The bigger question has become which one and why?

So I’m going to get right to the point and do a deeper analysis of a couple facets of Facebook verse Twitter from a Social Media Internet Marketing perspective for businesses and online marketers. And best of all, being the founder of Irbtrax Social Media Internet Marketing optimization. I get to do the final editing of all my work.

Comparison of Twitter verse Facebook as an effective Social Media intimacy platform:

Social Media Intimacy is a buzzword for direct audience communication and interactive exchanges. Facebook is a naturally interactive community due to its ‘wall’ feature. A feature where Facebook users can publish updates, important news or offers which allow for direct commentary. This information, and the related comments, remain visible for long periods of time depending on the activity level. Or they can be reposted at a later date if archived. Additionally, Facebook has an instant message feature that allows you to communicate globally. A free online conference call.

The level of intimacy (interactivity) on Twitter is far lower due to Tweet ‘turnover’. Which makes open dialogue very difficult especially if you have a large following or a high Tweet Volume. Twitter has a direct message component that allows you to alert or update a select follower. This is a handy feature but it’s not yet streamlined for optimal interactivity. Due partly to character length restrictions as well as timing issues since the average user appears to stay logged into Twitter for about 7 minutes at a time.

Advantage: Facebook

Comparison of Viral Marketing benefits for breaking news or creative content:

Twitter Tweets offer strong viral marketing benefits. Creative or newsworthy Tweets can take on the characteristics of a rapidly spreading Press Release. When retransmitted by your followers they are then picked up by their followers resulting in massive exposure. Additionally, Google’s “Real Time” search feature will stream live Tweets for various keyword search phrases at different times. This is a huge benefit that can’t be overlooked. The only difficulty- There’s no set schedule for when this happens so you have to engage in a little Internet Market research to determine which Keyword Phrases are the most common found in “Real Time” SERP’s. Lastly, you can directly measure the viral effectiveness of your Tweets using 3rd party sources. This information allows you to determine which topics are the most popular and maximize your Twitter results.

Facebook is more limited in this area because their ‘share’ feature doesn’t appear to have as strong a viral impact partially due to Facebook being a more closed community at the moment. A follower has the option to comment, share, or do both. Because of these options Facebook’s share results can be diminished by followers who prefer to comment. However, given that it’s much easier to build a large following on Facebook due to the sheer volume of users- Unique, creative or newsworthy information posted on your ‘wall’ can spread virally within this community. However, it’s much more difficult to measure the extent of the viral benefit of the various content or important news published on your Facebook.

Advantage: Twitter

Comparison of unique results from using Facebook or Twitter:

As mentioned above. Facebook has a much larger community than Twitter. Facebook has an Alexa ranking of 2 compared to Twitter’s ranking of 12. When researching upstream traffic, the amount of visits to a website that Facebook or Twitter provides, Facebook almost always wins and wins big. Keep in mind that these results are spread across all markets. Business to Consumer, Business to Business, News, Entertainment and Resource sites. The vast majority of websites on the Internet are Resource (broad based or topic specific information sites including local, state and federal government) and Business to Consumer sites. Followed by Business to Business, Entertainment and News sites.

Facebook appears to have a large advantage in the Business to Consumer and overall Entertainment market. An advantage in the Resource sites market. A virtual tie in the News sites market at the moment. However, independent studies show that in the Business to Business market Twitter has pulled ahead of Facebook. So here’s a case of picking the best platform for your particular niche and understanding its strengths and limitations because smaller sub categories within the above larger categories often favor Twitter.

Advantage: Facebook except in the Business to Business and News markets.

Conclusion- To maximize your Social Media Internet marketing results it’s best to create a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. If trying to decide which one you want to engage first, or where to spend the most amount of your available time, follow this rough rule of thumb. Start with Twitter if you have an available collection of important news, information, or opinions you want to share. And share immediately. If you’re initial objective is to create a strong Social Media presence by leveraging your existing online presence and being interactive then Facebook would be the best place to start. If you’re in the Business to Business market start with Twitter. If you’re in the Business to Consumer market start with Facebook. However, it’s very clear that in either case you can’t go wrong. Providing you perform basic Internet Market research, apply the findings to your Target Audience, and weigh the strengths of each platform.

—-jazzou