Friday, 24 June 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “This Morning’s Top 4 Stories in Social Media, Business & Tech”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “This Morning’s Top 4 Stories in Social Media, Business & Tech”

This Morning’s Top 4 Stories in Social Media, Business & Tech

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 05:03 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. We're keeping our eyes on four particular stories of interest today.

FTC To Target Google in Antitrust Investigation

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing to launch the most comprehensive antitrust investigation of Google's business practices yet, much of it centered on claims that Google manipulates search engine results pages (SERPs) to its advantage, according to a new report.

Twitter To Put Promoted Tweets in Timeline in Next 2 Months

Promoted Tweets will begin showing up in users' timelines within the next eight weeks, according to several sources who have been briefed on the matter.

Apple Files Lawsuit Against Samsung in Korea

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Samsung in South Korea for several alleged patent infringements.

Old Version of Twitter To Be Eliminated “Very, Very Soon”

Nine months after the launch of the New Twitter, the social network is letting users know that the old version of Twitter will be eliminated "very, very soon."

Further News

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: first to know series, FTC, Google, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

Google Sites Now Automatically Render for Mobile

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 03:15 AM PDT

Google Sites, a service that lets you create and collaborate on a simple webpage, has just gotten a lot prettier on smartphones. Google has added an automatic mobile rendering feature to Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, as well as a mobile version of the Google Sites lists.

Now, when someone visits your Google Sites site on one of these devices, the width of the site will be adjusted to match the device’s width, and many other details, such as sidebars and dropdown links, will be tweaked to look good on a smaller screen.

To enable the feature, go to General Settings – More Actions – Manage Site and click on “Automatically adjust site for mobile phones”. You can also preview your page from your desktop by choosing More Actions – Preview As Viewer (Mobile).

More About: android, Google, Google sites, iOS, iphone, Mobile 2.0

For more Mobile coverage:

The Battle for Yahoo’s Future

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:43 PM PDT

Thanks to a weakening business, painful talent exodus and stagnant stock price, Yahoo is a house divided. And as many great figures have proclaimed before, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

It’s no secret that Yahoo is struggling. The company hasn’t staged the dramatic turnaround that its investors envisioned CEO Carol Bartz would lead. Almost half of its market value is derived from its 40% stake in Alibaba, the China Internet giant with a market cap of approximately $8 billion. Most importantly, Yahoo hasn’t been able to create growth or articulate a clear vision for substantive growth.

The result has been turmoil. Yahoo is fighting with Alibaba over online payment system Alipay (the two sides have yet to settle) and the former Internet giant has been experiencing a massive talent drain (Yahoo ranks as the worst in terms of talent retention when compared to other tech giants).

The calls for Bartz’s head have been rising as well, and that has created more headaches for a company that already has a migraine. And it’s not just from the media; investors are publicly and privately questioning the former Autodesk CEO’s leadership. At Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, one investor took the microphone and made scathing remarks about Yahoo’s chief executive:

“The last thing Yahoo needs right now is a lame-duck CEO. The buyout talks over your contract need to start today and a search needs to be accelerated,” investor Steve Landry said. After railing into Bartz for several minutes, the meeting was brought to an abrupt close.

For their part, the board is giving Bartz its full public support. And to Bartz’s credit, Yahoo’s stock price is up a respectable 30% since her arrival (the company’s share price was 11.59 the day before her appointment was announced). Still, an argument can be made that much of Yahoo’s growth comes from Alibaba and not Yahoo’s core businesses.

The Battle for Yahoo

"The hard-won progress that we have made is why this board is very supportive of Carol and the management team," Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock stated at Thursday’s investor meeting. "I want to make it very clear about that support. We are confident that Yahoo is headed in the right direction."

It’s no surprise that Bostock came out strongly in favor of his company’s CEO, especially given the rumors that Yahoo is quietly looking at replacements. He really can’t say anything else if he wants to keep the confidence of Yahoo’s employees, executives and shareholders intact.

Two factions are beginning to form at Yahoo though, despite Bostock and Bartz’s upbeat tone at Thursday’s investor meeting. One side advocates staying the course (or at least not changing captains in the middle of a voyage). The other demands an immediate change at the top so that new ideas can be infused into the momentum-less company.

Let’s be clear: unless Yahoo suddenly collapses, Bartz’s job is safe. She’s approaching the fourth year of a four-year contract, giving Yahoo’s board the opportune time to either retain the often-bombastic CEO or give her the boot. Multiple reports confirm that Bartz is probably safe for now.

Yet as long as Bartz is in charge, there will be two camps battling for the future of Yahoo: the group that wants to give Bartz a chance, and the faction that wants change now. This internal battle will only create more friction and distractions for the company, unless Bartz can find a dramatic way to silence the growing chorus of critics.

Neither side seems to have an answer to a more fundamental question, though: how Yahoo becomes “the world’s premier digital media company,” the company’s recently stated goal? Bartz had better find an answer to that question soon, before Yahoo’s shareholders start looking to someone else for the answer.

More About: carol bartz, Column, The Social Analyst, Yahoo

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

Laptops Powered by Typing Could Be on the Way [STUDY]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 09:48 PM PDT

Australian researchers have figured out a way to harness the energy we use while typing to power a laptop. Using piezoelectricity, this method works in a similar way to cigarette lighters that create a spark by striking a piezoelectric crystal.

To power a laptop, though, a much thinner film of the piezoelectric material would have to be developed using nanotechnology. It’s so thin, it can be coated onto various electronic parts and integrated into a variety of gadgetry.

GizMag reports that the study‘s co-author Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran said:

“The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers — essentially creating an everlasting battery.”

The idea of an everlasting battery is mind boggling. Scientists are also looking into ways to power touchscreen devices with piezoelectric film, putting all that energetic finger-swiping to good use.

Could this be a way around that perennial battery power conundrum?

[via Advanced Functional Materials, graphic by iStockphoto]

More About: everlasting battery, laptop, nanotechnology, piezoelectricity, research, study, trending, typing power

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

Startup Uses Your Smartphone To Tell You When You’re Sick

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 08:17 PM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.


Quick Pitch: lets users know when their behaviors signal health problems.

Genius Idea: Using data from mobile phones, like location and communication, to flag health problems.

Your smartphone senses your location and who you talk to when. But does can it detect when you’re feeling under the weather?

Anmol Madan explored this question in his thesis at MIT Media Lab. After completing a study that involved more than 320,000 hours of data from research participants’ mobile phones, he was able to model smartphone behaviors that predict the onset of common colds, depression, and influenza.

Now he and two other MIT alumni are using the research to launch a business. uses an Android app to collect SMS data, calling data and location data. When these behaviors change in a way that signals something could be wrong, it alerts the user.

Early stages of depression, for instance, often involve changes in how someone communicates.’s app, DailyData, picks up on those changes. In test deployments, the app was able to identify 60%-90% of the symptomatic days for mental health and common respiratory conditions. Theoretically, it will become better at doing so as more users opt to anonymously add their data to the pool for analysis.

“If you’re showing early signs of loneliness/depression, you might not report them to your doctor or family,” explains Madan. “The app currently detects these changes and sends alerts to you, but in the future, these alerts could be sent to a caretaker with your explicit permission.”

Users also have access to a dashboard that shows their baseline behavior and deviations from that baseline. It tries to predict when you might be symptomatic.

The startup used seed funding to launch with its first users in January, and it graduated from Boston TechStars earlier this month. Two medical providers are currently using the app with their patients.

Eventually, Madan hopes to pull in revenue from enterprises, providers and pharmaceutical companies that want to help their employees or patients stay healthy.

“We’re not a diagnosis,” he says. “We’re an early warning, self-support, self-serve tool.”

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark,, health, startup

For more Startups coverage:

Twitter To Put Promoted Tweets in Your Timeline in Next 2 Months

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 07:27 PM PDT

We’ve already noted reports that Twitter is preparing to up its ad game by placing paid-for tweets right in the middle of your Twitter stream. Now we know the deadline for the changeover.

Promoted Tweets will start showing up in users’ timelines within the next eight weeks, according to several sources who have been briefed on the matter.

Twitter has been aggressively courting advertisers in the last few weeks, assuring them that Promoted Tweets are no experiment. They won’t just appear in Twitter search or HootSuite, as in the company’s tentative moves in this direction in the past year. Nor will they be banished to the sidelines of, the way promoted trends are. They’re coming very soon, they’re here to stay, and the company is looking into ways to make sure we’ll see them — such as making the promoted tweets “sticky,” so they stay at the top of the page no matter how far you scroll down.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s the same idea that Twitter had for its iPhone app — the widely reviled Quick Bar, rapidly dubbed the Dick Bar in honor of CEO Dick Costolo. Twitter seems to be betting that we’ll find a Quick Bar much less intrusive on the web — which, given the amount of advertising we’re subjected to on the average page, may be a pretty safe bet. (Twitter declined to comment for this story.)

What remains to be seen is whether advertisers will buy the idea and nudge Twitter into profitability. The site is expected to gross $100 million this year, far short of the $3.5 billion Facebook will be raking in from display ads alone.

What do you think? Will Twitter users revolt against sticky Promoted Tweets this fall as they did with the Quick Bar, accept them as a necessary evil, or perhaps even find them useful targeted advertising? Let us know in the comments.

More About: advertising, promoted trends, Promoted Tweets, Quick Bar, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

Old Version of Twitter to Be Eliminated “Very, Very Soon”

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 06:56 PM PDT

Nine months after the launch of New Twitter, the social media company is letting users know that the old version of Twitter will be completely eliminated “very, very soon.”

The old version of Twitter always asked users to switch to the new version of Twitter, but today the message was changed, and it’s more urgent. “You will automatically be upgraded to New Twitter very, very soon,” the top of Old Twitter now reads. The color of the top bar has also been changed to yellow as an alert to users.

We’re not sure what Twitter means by “very,very soon” — it could be days or even weeks until Twitter flips the switch (we’ve emailed the Twitter for comment). However, it’s clear that Twitter is finally ready to eliminate the old version of Twitter altogether and bring everybody into the new design.

Some users are complaining about the change, but it seems to be a very small minority of Twitters 100+ million users.

Frankly, we’re surprised it took Twitter this long to make the switch permanent. The social media company launched the new version of Twitter more than nine months ago though. That’s more than enough time to introduce users to a new interface. It could be a technical issue, though; the social website did revert to the old interface after a bad code commit forced the company to take down New Twitter for several hours.

Are you sad to see the old Twitter finally go? Or should Twitter have made this move months ago? Let us know in the comments.

[via The Next Web]

More About: New Twitter, Old Twitter, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

FTC to Target Google in Antitrust Investigation [REPORT]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:33 PM PDT

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing to launch the most comprehensive antitrust investigation of Google’s business practices yet, according to a new report.

The investigation will begin with a series of civil subpoenas that will be sent in the next few days, according to The Wall Street Journal. The FTC’s probe will include official requests of information from Google. Requests to other companies about their relationship with the search giant will likely come during the course of the investigation.

This isn’t Google’s first rodeo with the FTC; many of its acquisitions have been reviewed thoroughly, and the FTC nearly challenged Google’s acquisition of AdMob last year. It recently settled a case with the FTC over Google Buzz privacy issues. The European Union opened a similar antitrust investigation against Google late last year.

This investigation promises to be more comprehensive than any other U.S. investigation to date. At the center of the antitrust investigation will surely be claims that Google manipulates search engine results pages (SERPs) to its advantage. Google products such as Places are often placed prominently on SERPs, which some argue draws clicks away from companies such as Yelp, Expedia and Microsoft. The latter actually filed an antitrust complaint with the EU against Google earlier this year.

It’s inevitable that people will compare this investigation to the famous Microsoft antitrust investigation of the late 1990s. That case, United States vs. Microsoft, ended with a settlement that stopped Microsoft from using Windows to push its other products and lock out its competitors. Microsoft’s growth came to a halt after the case, and the company has never fully recovered.

The FTC seems serious about pushing forward with a case against Google. The WSJ reports that the FTC fought the Justice Department for the right to handle this case. That can only signal that the FTC doesn’t intend to walk away empty-handed.

More About: Antitrust, FTC, Google, justice department

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

Social Media Day is One Week Away!

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 04:50 PM PDT

Social Media Day is coming up on June 30 — just one week from today! We’re excited to see Meetup organizers throughout the world who are planning awesome events using the Mashable Meetup page and the #SMDay hashtag.

If you’re located in either New York City or San Francisco, we invite you to celebrate Social Media Day with Mashable team members. In New York, we’re holding our #SMDay party at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, just off the Bedford Avenue stop on the L train. We already have more than 350 RSVPs on our Meetup page and even more on our Facebook event. The party starts at 6 p.m., and there will be free bowling for the first hour. As an extra bonus, all Social Media Day attendees are invited to stay for the Q-Tip show at 11 p.m., closing Social Media Day down right.

In San Francisco, a huge event is being held at House of Air, an indoor trampoline park. There will be free jumping, dodgeball and basketball from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and networking all night. The event already has more than 200 RSVPs on Meetup and close to 600 on Facebook. The venue holds 500, so make sure you arrive early enough to get a spot!

We’re already preparing for the big day! Here’s a photo of the banners you’ll see at both the NYC and SF events:

Not in New York or San Francisco? Be sure to use hashtag #SMDay when tweeting and uploading photos and videos. And if you haven’t told us your social media story yet, be sure to do so as your submission could CNN’s iReport, go check it out. Here are more ways to get involved:

Ways You Can Participate

  • Sign up to attend or organize your own event on the Mashable Meetup Everywhere page.
  • Share what you’re doing for your Mashable Meetup or leave suggestions for others in the comments below.
  • Use the #smday hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube.
  • Find your Mashable Meetup community:

Find a Social Media Day Meetup Near You »

Thanks to Our NYC Event Sponsor:

Emailvision is the international leader in software as a service (SaaS) for email, mobile and social media marketing. The Emailvision mission is to provide excellence in software and services for online relationship marketing. With offices and client service teams in 19 countries, Emailvision delivers 5 billion messages per month on behalf of 4,000 clients worldwide. This unprecedented quality of service is driven by 12 years of research and development and by Emailvision's 600 passionate employees. The company is privately owned by Francisco Partners. For more information about Emailvision, visit

Thanks to Our SF Event Sponsor:

Tagged is thrilled to join Mashable in celebrating Social Media Day with you at the House of Air! With more than 100 million registered users, Tagged is one of the world's largest social networks notable for being successful in a Facebook world. How? We focus on social discovery or meeting new friends vs. staying in touch with people you already know. We're an INC 500 Fastest Growing Company based right here in San Francisco. Did you know that Tagged employees enjoy awesome benefits like unlimited vacation and paid time off, free gym membership, lunch and dinner catered in daily from San Francisco's best restaurants and more? We're hiring so come check us out at

More About: community, mashable meetup, smday, social media day

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Why Did Facebook Add Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to Its Board?

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 03:51 PM PDT

Facebook has announced that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has joined Facebook’s board of directors. The move could have interesting implications for the future of Facebook.

Hastings will join a board of directors that includes founder Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen (Netscape, Andreessen-Horowitz), Jim Breyer (Accel Capital), Donald Graham (Washington Post) and Peter Thiel (PayPal, Clarium Capital, Founders Fund).

"Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "He has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day."

Hastings founded Netflix in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail subscription service, but it has quickly become the giant in on-demand Internet video. Before Netflix, Hastings founded Pure Software, which created products for troubleshooting software.

Why Did Facebook Add Hastings to the Board?

Zuckerberg, who still retains significant control over Facebook’s board, wasn’t under any significant pressure to add another board member, so why make the move?

At the moment, we can only speculate as to the motives behind the appointment of Hastings to the board, but we do have a few thoughts:

- Hastings also serves on Microsoft’s board of directors. Microsoft has been one of Facebook’s key partners ever since it invested $240 million in Facebook back in 2007. This appointment will likely bring the two companies closer together.

-Hastings’ expertise in online video could be crucial to Facebook’s future expansion plans. Whether that means Facebook expands its video platform further to compete with YouTube or integrates Netflix directly into Facebook is anybody’s guess. Facebook is clearly interested in media, though.

- Netflix has successfully navigated an IPO (back in 2002), and with Facebook likely to IPO in early 2012, that experience could prove invaluable.

- Hastings and Zuckerberg share a passion for education reform. More importantly, Zuckerberg may simply like Hastings as a person. It wouldn’t surprise us if Zuckerberg just likes having Hastings around to consult.

Whatever the reason, Facebook had added some serious muscle to its board. What it means for Facebook’s future remains to be seen.

More About: facebook, mark zuckerberg, microsoft, netflix, reed hastings

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Latest Mac OSX Release Prepares Users for Lion

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:56 PM PDT

Mac OS X 10.6.8, possibly the last update in the Mac OS X 10.6 series, is now available for download.

The latest OS release fixes some niggling issues and hardens security. It also helps prepare Mac users for the upcoming release of Mac OS X Lion. Mac OS X 10.7, also known as Lion, is due out next month and will be available exclusively from the Mac App Store for $29.

Full release notes are available from Apple. Users who need the full combo updater (roughly 1GB in size) can download directly from Apple.

More About: apple, mac, mac os x, mac software, OS updates, software

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5 Key Benefits of the Collaboration Economy

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:37 PM PDT

Business Collaboration Image

Nellie Akalp is CEO of, her second incorporation filing service based on her strong passion to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting and protecting their business. She has formed more than 100,000 corporations and LLCs across the U.S. To learn more about Nellie and see how she can help your business get off the ground quickly and affordably, please visit here.

Most of us were raised to be competitive, beginning at a young age in school and sports, and then right on through to the business world. However, at least in business we're seeing a shift toward companies that play well with others. Both business owners and consumers are looking for better, more sustainable alternatives to “business as usual.” And small businesses that embrace the collaborative spirit find themselves in a better position to compete with their larger counterparts.

We may have social media to thank for this new surge in collaboration. After all, social media is radically changing the way we communicate and interact, both as consumers and as businesses. It's also changing how consumers decide with whom to do business. Today, countless businesses are placing renewed emphasis on corporate philanthropy, social responsibility and community relations. Social tools also give businesses, particularly small ones, an unprecedented opportunity to connect with others and collaborate.

Of course, collaboration isn't just some "touchy-feely" trend. Practical benefits exist for companies that think outside the box and work with others. In short, businesses can harness the power of the collective to move forward in a variety of ways.

1. Networking

No matter your industry or occupation, business is driven by referrals and connections. A web designer recommends a copywriter or SEO expert. A plumber suggests a carpenter. A mechanic recommends a windshield repairman. The collaborative small business is always on the lookout for opportunities to help fellow small businesses out. You can either join a formal referral group or forge informal alliances with complementary companies. Whatever method you choose, just remember that whatever you give out, you'll get back in return.

2. Inspiration and Support

By seeking out a group of like-minded small businesses, you can gain a valuable source of motivation, inspiration and support. Beyond referrals, businesses can share challenges out to their network in order to brainstorm solutions for all. These types of communities can also help relieve the isolation felt by many entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals. Consider joining an online group, actively participating in online forums, finding a weekly/monthly local meetup group or spending time in collocated office space. You'll be amazed at just how inspired you can become from the energy of others.

3. Symbiotic Selling

What if your business had a circle of small businesses that shared customers and participated in joint marketing opportunities? For example, a local CPA whose clients are primarily entrepreneurs can collaborate with other service providers to put on a "small biz bootcamp," where they offer a helpful mix of expertise on financial planning, tax advising, advertising, web strategy, insurance, public speaking, etc. to their combined pool of customers. These informal alliances bring new value to current customers, as well as expand your visibility into new audiences.

4. Shared Ownership

All around us are examples of asset sharing that allow a business to lower its costs. Think about a gas station/convenience store that also includes a Subway or Pizza Hut. A shared storefront or office space is an obvious example, but there are other creative ways that small businesses can share ownership to lower their costs and risks.

5. Economies of Scale

By banding together during the purchasing or bargaining procedure, small businesses can achieve greater economies of scale and begin to enjoy some of the discounts typically reserved for larger companies. In some states, health cooperatives create pools for small businesses to obtain discounted rates on health insurance (of course, health insurance policies will vary by state and are generally in flux at the moment). Small businesses can also form alliances with others that have similar purchasing needs to achieve volume discounting on anything from paper supply to maintenance services to health club memberships.

In short, by seeing fellow small businesses as partners and not competitors, small business owners can harness the power of the collective to attract customers, seek inspiration and help their overall bottom line. Collaboration is the new competition, at least when it comes to building a small business.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, francisblack

More About: business, collaboration, List, Lists, MARKETING, social networking

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James “Whitey” Bulger’s Neighbors React to FBI Arrest on Twitter

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:23 PM PDT

Fabled Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica Wednesday evening. The FBI used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in its efforts to catch Bulger.

Bulger, a fugitive at large for more than 16 years, was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in the 2006 film The Departed.

Several area residents living near The Princess Eugenie apartment complex on 3rd Street where Bulger was staying took to Twitter to post their reactions to his capture.

More About: Bulger, FBI, social media, twitter, Whitey Bulger

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Gaze at the New York City Sky Without Taking Your Eyes Off Your Screen

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:04 PM PDT

New York has been drizzling all over us here at Mashable HQ for the past week. I don’t know that because I’ve actually been outside (I’m practically glued to my desk), but because of the newly launched website, NSKYC.

NSKYC hit the web two days ago — on the Summer Solstice — courtesy of Mike Bodge, the creative director at Lolz LLC. The site has one purpose: It shows you the average color of the NYC sky, updating every five minutes.

Bodge wrote a program that hooks up to a webcam, which takes a photo out his office window every five minutes, uploading it to a server. “The server then reads the sky portion of the photo, and it goes pixel by pixel,” Bodge told the Village Voice. “What it does is it takes all those values, the RGB values, and it averages them. So what you are seeing is not the dominant color in the sky, it’s actually just the average color.”

Bodge hopes to expand the project into other cities. Hopefully he chooses sunnier locales, so at least we’ll have something pretty to look at while staring at our screens.

More About: new york, NSKYC

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YouTube Footage Confirms Vancouver Kissing Couple’s Story [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 01:26 PM PDT

Haven’t had enough of this, the romance of the ages, the Vancouver Kissing Couple? Well, footage has popped up on YouTube showing what happened before and after the iconic photo — and highlighting the terror of the riots.

Soon after the Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, rioting broke out. As the violence became more intense, we found numerous pictures on photo-sharing sites such as Twitpic and Yfrog, as well as professional pictures, like an ardent snap from Getty Images of a couple kissing among the ruins.

Some were speculating that the photo was staged. But photographer Rich Lam stuck by his claim that the shot was spontaneous.

SEE ALSO: Vancouver Fans Riot as Canucks Lose Stanley Cup [PHOTOS]

On Friday, The Star identified the couple as 29-year-old Scott Jones from Perth, Australia, and Alexandra Thomas from Vancouver, and the couple soon appeared on the Today show to tell their story.

It seems that the tale is wholly verifiable, if the video above is any indication. What do you think of this unfolding story?

[via The Daily What]

Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

More About: Meme, social media, Vancouver Kissing Couple, Vancouver Riots 2011, video, viral video, youtube

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Eli & Peyton Manning Are … Football Cops [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 12:59 PM PDT

Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

An ad for Directv has been bopping around the web today. It features Eli and Peyton Manning starring in a fictional TV series, Football Cops.

Much like Jane Austen’s Fight Club and Riverdale, we wish this were real.

Warning: Football-induced violence.

More About: directv, eli-manning, MARKETING, peyton-manning, video, viral video, viral-video-of-day, youtube

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Tesla Discontinues Roadster; Long Live the Model S [PICS]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 12:37 PM PDT

The Tesla Roadster electric car is dead (see update below). Tesla Motors announced Thursday it would stop taking orders for the $109,000 vehicle in two months, concentrating instead on the development of its next-generation Model S electric car, a four-door sedan that will cost about half as much.

The iconic Tesla Roadster, now in version 2.5, has been a specialty two-seater from the get-go. It impressed reviewers with its snappy acceleration, sporty carbon-fiber body designed (update: and built) by Lotus, and relatively long 245-mile-rated range. But that $109,000 sticker price for the hand-built car — a “base price” that usually went much higher with sport options — proved too steep for the mass market.

For mainstream drivers, Tesla announced plans for a lower-priced electric car in 2008. The Model S will sell for around $57,400 (up from its previously announced $49,000) when it’s ready for sale in mid-2012, according to The New York Times.

We caught our first glimpse of a flashy Model S prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show last January, where we were awestruck by its sleek design and huge instrument panel powered by an Nvidia graphics processor.

Update: While the Tesla Roadster as we know it is on its way out, a Tesla Motors spokesperson tells us “a version” of it is coming back: “The Roadster will always be the cornerstone of Tesla, and we look forward to bringing back a version of the supercar that takes full advantage of our advanced electric powertrain in the next several years.”

Take a close-up look at the Model S, on which all of Tesla’s hopes are now pinned:

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Tesla S at CES

Photos by Curtis Joe Walker

More About: electric cars, roadster discontinued, Tesla Model S, tesla motors, Tesla roadster

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Twitter Could Put Promoted Tweets in Users’ Timelines [REPORT]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 12:21 PM PDT


Twitter is considering placing its Promoted Tweets in consumers' timelines and introducing Groupon-style offers, according to a report.

The Financial Times, citing "people with direct knowledge" of Twitter's plans, reports that company executives plan to migrate Promoted Tweets from searches to users' timelines, a move that is likely to irritate some users.

Twitter introduced Promoted Tweets last April and drew advertisers like Coca-Cola and Virgin America. Though some users feared a spam-like intrusion into their conversations, most were either neutral or in favor of the ads. Since then, Twitter has tested putting Promoted Tweets in users' timelines on HootSuite.

Twitter also experimented with a "QuickBar" in its iPhone app, which displayed one Promoted Trend at the top of the screen. After user protests, Twitter removed the feature.

The FT also reports that Twitter is in discussion to include Groupon-like, time-sensitive deals somewhere in its service, though the report didn't offer any further details.

Matt Graves, a rep for Twitter neither confirms nor denies the report. “We are always talking with marketers about ways they could potentially get more out of Twitter. Some of these discussed concepts may materialize; others will not,” he says. Earlier this month, Adam Bain, Twitter's head of revenue, told Mashable that the company has experimented with all kinds of advertising ideas, even banner ads on Twitter's homepage in Japan. Other recent experiments include short, text ads on the homepage. Twitter is also said to be considering offering company-branded homepages.

Twitter’s not the only social media company looking into new ad formats. LinkedIn on Thursday also announced new ad units that leverage users’ activity on the network, including follows and recommendations.

More About: advertising, linkedin, promoted trends, Promoted Tweets, twitter

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16 Food Trucks Serving Up Tweetable Eats

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 12:05 PM PDT

The Social-Savvy Food Truck Series is supported by the Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck. For more information on the scoop truck and where it stops, click here.

Roach coach, begone! Today’s food trucks purvey gourmet delights, they’re digitally savvy and they’ve got loads of personality. We spoke with food trucks from Seattle to Chicago and the Empire State and asked them how they use Twitter to wheel and deal and have some fun. The common thread between all the trucks? They love Twitter, and they love their customers. Read on to get to know the voices behind your favorite food truck tweets and learn more about how they roll.

1. Mexicue, New York

Name: Adam Johnson

Twitter handle: @mexicue

On the road since: July 2010

Followers: 5,754

What you sell: The sweet lovechild of red-hot Mexican cuisine and down-home, BBQ goodness.

Twitter personality:The voice and personality really reflects the people behind Mexicue, but we haven't set out to create anything too specific. We all love food and don't take ourselves too seriously. Once you start trying to "feel" a certain way, any sort of real personality becomes very elusive. We just try and keep it fun, personal, and informative.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Something unforeseen happens every day. I really enjoy the problem solving that goes into navigating those unforeseen events. I also spend a lot of time try to... uh... foresee.

How has social media helped your business? Since we are in a different location every day, people really do rely on sites like Twitter and Facebook to find out where they can find us. Beyond broadcasting our location, we use social media to interact with our customers and get feedback on our food. We take that feedback very seriously and oftentimes make changes to our menu and operation based on good suggestions. It's hard to imagine what kind of business we would have without social media.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations? We use twitter to let people know about our daily market specials, promotions, and of course our current location. We also give unsolicited relationship advice.

Besides Twitter, what social media tools do you use? We try and keep up with what the cool kids are using these days but Twitter and Facebook get the most mileage.

How do you measure social media success?

Do you use other forms of marketing? We don't have any crazy sophisticated metrics to measure our success. The most important thing we look at is the level of engagement we have with our customers online. If we're having active conversations with people and hearing a lot of feedback (good or bad) about our product, then we're happy. In addition to social media, our marketing team uses email marketing, PR and some online advertising.

Any advice for other tweeters? Your tweets should be funny, poignant, full of sharp social commentary and inspire school children to do their homework. All at the same time. You also need to work in your location and opening time.%

2. Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles

Name: Dave Danhi

Twitter handle: @grlldcheesetruk

On the road since: June 2009

Followers: 40,200

What you sell: Gourmet grilled cheese melts

What did you do before tweeted? I was a chef for 20 years and still own a chef recruiting agency in town that's been operating since 1959.

Twitter personality: Casual, funny, informative and to the point.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Watching someone's eyes light up when I hand them their melt they have waited for... it's almost like they are looking at the golden ticket.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter? Absolutely! Everything from secret specials, promos, etc.

How do you measure social media success? If the follower count translates to people in front of the truck. Twitter has been an amazing tool for me in keeping my finger on the pulse of our customers. I hear about the good, the bad and the ugly and am able to react immediately with an email or message. Also, I measure success by the amount of replies and comments back.

Advice for other tweeters: Listen to your followers! I read each @-mention as well as any mention of our name. It can be up to 400 tweets a day, and I still feel it's time well spent (I spend about 4 to 5 hours daily with social media).

Without twitter, we never would have been able to reach the masses as we do. It's an amazing vehicle for out promos, specials, stops and so much more. We opened and were met with huge lines and have basically been keeping up since. Its kind I'd surreal as I'm am currently listed on as the third most influential tweeter in LA, topped by LA Times and LA Weekly. I'm very conscious about what is tweeted, when it's tweeted, why and towards whom.

3. The Karavan, San Francisco

Name: Kara Haspel Lind

Twitter handle: @karascupcakes

On the road since: 2009

Followers: 5,346

What you sell: Cupcakes!

How would you describe the voice and personality of the Twitter feed? I would describe the voice/personality of our Twitter feed as light hearted, sweet, fun and accessible!

Favorite part of working on a food truck: As the largest cupcake bakery in Northern California, it's important for us to share our passion for a product that is baked fresh throughout the day using local and organic ingredients...down to the salt! The best part about working on a food truck is knowing that we are sharing an artisan treat with people who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to visit one of our six bakeries.

How has social media helped your business? Social media has helped our business in a positive way. We offer promotions that are only available on our social media pages ,which creates a brand loyalty amongst our followers. It's also a way for us to get exciting tidbits about what we are doing out to our fans instantly.

Any advice for other tweeters? Have fun and don't be too serious. Twitter and Facebook are about engaging your customers in a way that represents your brand. For us, everything is sweet!

4. Meatyballs Mobile, Chicago

Name: Angus Gorberg

Twitter handle: @FossFoodTrucks

On the road since: September 2010

Followers: 6,250+

What you sell: Elevated Meatball Torpedoes (they destroy subs!) and Grenades (sliders).

Twitter personality: Fun with a heavy sense of humor. We love puns. We're always trying to find new ways to involve our customers outside of their interactions with our team on the trucks.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Nothing is ever the same, especially here in Chicago where you can't even pour a cup of coffee. There's always a new challenge presenting itself and with that, an opportunity to make our brand better for our customers.

How has social media helped your business? It's the cornerstone of most daily operations. People find out where we are, what we're serving, any changes in the schedule and contests we're running. We've even hired most of our staff thanks to responses from tweets.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations? There are those rare days when we won't sell out or even worse, the law shuts down our spot. In those instances, Twitter's been vital in helping us find new places to make sure we're reaching our fans. We also run giveaways.

How do you measure social media success? Keeping a close eye on our @-replies and the frequency of people complimenting our balls versus others asking us to bring our balls to their area/office. Foursquare is also an incredible (and free!) tool for monitoring hard stats on visitors by age/sex/frequency/time of day/etc. It blows my mind that Twitter doesn't offer this service to businesses. Twitter's sitting on a gold mine of useful data for businesses and just needs to cash in on it.

Any advice for other tweeters? Keep your brand consistent. Twitter in the business realm means most people will view your account as your voice. Also, try not to crowdsource. If you've put enough time into development then your brand should guide the way. Having trouble? Hire a marketing consultant. It will take some of the marketing duties off your staff, and it's always good to have a voice around whose job it is to develop your brand. Be concise, aware of timing, and don't overshare.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I was a tour manager then handled marketing for A Comic Shop in Orlando, FL before moving to Chicago.

5. 3Sum Eats, San Francisco

Name: Ryan Scott

Twitter handle: @3sumeats

On the road since: January 1, 2011

Followers: 961

What you sell: daily changing menu of at least 3 sandwiches, 3 sides, and 3 desserts.

How would you describe the voice and personality of the Twitter feed? Informative and sassy

Favorite part of working on a food truck: The diversity among customers depending on our location.

How has social media helped your business? We've been able to update our location and menu, in addition to connecting with customers, at real-time.

How do you measure social media success? By the number of followers and mentions.

Any advice for other tweeters? Keep it simple. You don't need to use all the characters.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? The same thing that I still do when I tweet, drink!

6. Wafels and Dinges, New York

Name: Thomas Degeest

Twitter handle: @waffletruck

On the road since: October 2007

Followers: 14,620

What you sell: Waffles and dinges

Twitter personality: We try to be very quirky, fun and Belgian.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: What we stress in our company is to have genuine interactions with customers. It's far more than a Starbucks transaction where you get your coffee and that's it, and it's not a Chik fil A with a boilerplate "My pleasure!" We try to have regular customer interactions ans experiences and moments/ We're talking to New Yorkers all day and creating a positive environment -- it's kind of a dream job.

How has social media helped your business? We wouldn't exist without social media, because it allows us to be mobile, and it allows people to find us.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations?: Every day we tweet and Facebook where we are (and we have a hotline where people can hear a prerecorded message). Sometimes we'll tweet a command, and if a customer comes to the truck and does what we want them to do, they get a free dinges. It might be imitating a parrot or looking up quirky facts, but we make customers do something silly for their extra toppings.

How do you measure social media success?: We're very lucky, we have a lot of people following us. We don't strive to get X more by the end of the month and we don't count the followers or worry about the numbers.

Any advice for other tweeters? What's made us really unique is that we found a great brand a great product. We sell it well because we don't sell it -- we're simply providing an experience and a happy moment in people's days. Having great values and a defined mission as a company is very important.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? Worked as a management consultant for IBM.

7. One Taco, Austin

Name: Tony Avila

Twitter handle: @onetaco

On the road since: October 2009

Followers: 1,358

What you sell: Breakfast and lunch tacos

Twitter personality: Friendly and honest

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Meeting new people and making friends everyday.

How has social media helped your business? It has helped us to effectively reach our target market faster in a more friend:friend format, rather than a client:business format.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations?: Yes, we do promotions. Our friends and followers get special promos & free stuff by mentioning tweets or Facebook posts.

How do you measure social media success?: By having people do more than just show up. They might scan a Qwerty-code coupon or tweet at us, etc.

Any advice for other tweeters?: Less is more. Do not saturate friends and followers' walls and feeds.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I was an architectural project manager, and my co-owner Axel was an industrial engineer. One Taco has been on Twitter and Facebook since day 1.

8. Hewtin's Dog Mobile, Providence, RI

Name: Matthew Gennuso

Twitter handle: @ChezPascal

On the road since: 2009

Followers: 1200+

What you sell: All things pork. House-made sausages, pork butt pastrami, bacon-wrapped pork meatloaf, Chez Cuban (pork and pistachio loaf with mustard, pickle relish, dijon on potato bread) and some seasonal specials.

How would you describe the voice and personality of the Twitter feed? Simple and direct

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Interacting with the customers.

How has social media helped your business? A lot. It seems to be all about social media these days.

Do you use other forms of marketing? We don't have any precise formula for tracking the success of social media, we base it on the fact that people show up when we tell them where we are. We only do a very few print advertising in local publications, the rest is direct email and social media marketing.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? My wife Kristin and I own a restaurant called Chez Pascal we have had that for 8 years.

How long has your food truck been tweeting? Almost two years.

9. Sixth & Rye, Washington, DC

Name: Jackie Leventhal

Twitter handle: @sixthandrye

On the road since: May 6, 2011

Followers: 2,559

What you sell: Kosher deli-style food -- corned beef sandwich on rye, Israeli couscous, fresh challah and black & white cookies.

Twitter personality: By taking to the streets, Sixth & Rye is part of the hottest culinary trend in DC, and our voice is inspired by that energy. The tone is light-hearted, fun and interactive. The voice is also prone to puns, but we keep it kosher. See, it's just too easy!

Favorite part of working on a food truck: As the first kosher food truck in the nation's capital, I feel like I'm part of something groundbreaking on the local culinary landscape. The response from the community has been incredible. We've been on the front page of The Washington Post and on The Huffington Post. We also have really cute aprons.

How has social media helped your business? Social media has been essential to our business. Without it, we wouldn't have hundreds of deli aficionados eager for our product, tweeting from the line and as they are enjoying our products.

How do you measure social media success? I measure success by the number of followers in total, the weekly growth in followers and how often people re-tweet Sixth & Rye's tweets. Around the time of our truck's launch, Sixth & Rye was the 4th most common trend on Twitter in DC (President Obama was #1). We don't do any paid advertising because the media attention has been the best form of marketing.

Any advice for other tweeters? Make friends on Twitter. Follow people who tweet about things related to your product. Be relevant rather than redundant. Respond to questions as soon as possible. Find a voice because it allows people to feel like the product they're a fan of is also a friend of theirs.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I tweeted, and continue to do so, for Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, as I'm the director of cultural programming and communications. I produce events with authors on national book tours and manage Sixth & I's website and overall communications strategy.

10. Grill Em All, Los Angeles

Name: Matt Chernus

Twitter handle: @GrillEmAllTruck

On the road since: December 2009

Followers: 18,328

What you sell: Burgers!

Twitter personality: Sarcastic yet uplifting.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Not working for someone else. And getting into rad events like Big Four.

How has social media helped your business? Social media is our business. It gives the customers an automatic outlet to communicate with us and find us in a pinch.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations? We use it for locations but, on occasion, will have little perks like once we said if you are the first customer to say 'Lemmy is God' you got a free order of fries.

How do you measure social media success? It's a success if people show up to the truck.

Any advice for other tweeters? Someone is listening out there, whether its your mom or the president of the United dont say anything too stupid, buddy.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I was a professional wrestler. Really.

11. Creme Brulee Cart, San Francisco

Name: Curtis Kimball

Twitter handle: @cremebruleecart

On the road since: April 2009

Followers: 18,291

What you sell: Creme brulee

Twitter personality: The voice of the Twitter feed is my voice and my personality. I try to make it as informative as possible, but also keep it whimsical, fun, sarcastic and personal, if not personable. It's kind of one person keeping himself and his followers amused. There isn't really a plan.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: It's sort of free-form, so we can make decisions on the fly. In other words, we can make up the day's marketing plan at the cart. We have a chalkboard on our cart that we jot on. It's freeing and fun.

How has social media helped your business? Especially in the beginning when there wasn't really room in San Francisco for this kind of street food, social media was the only way that people could find out where I'd be. It was all very new and underground and felt exclusive even though it was basically open to anyone on the Internets.

Do you offer promotions on Twitter, or is it a tool you use strictly to broadcast locations? Our list of flavors changes often so a lot of what we're tweeting is what's going to be on the menu. Occasionally we offer free high fives or a secret Twitter menu. And around the holidays we offer free creme brulee for ornaments or for Toys For Tots.

Any advice for other tweeters? Make it fun. Make it local. Twitter's a great chance at communicating in a very personal, informal way. Don't cheat its potential by trying to be corporate or trying to be someone else. If you have the tweeting job at your company, you have to be somewhat cool. So just be you and cool and enjoy it.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I've had a lot of jobs. Counselor at a Jewish summer camp, carpenter, mover, plumber. It's been a long and winding road.

12. Chi'lantro, Austin

Name: Jae Kim

Twitter handle: @ChilantroBBQ

On the road since: February 2010

Followers: 3,387

What you sell: Korean + Mexican Fusion

Twitter personality: Personable and courteous, we try to make our tweet interesting so our followers are more likely to interact with us

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Serving customers delicious food and seeing old faces bringing their relatives and friends

How has social media helped your business? Tremendously, Austin TX is a techie city -- we have SWSX here in Austin each year, and they pretty much put us on the map last year. Also, our fans know our latest news with our locations, giveaways, special of the day and our latest projects.

How do you measure social media success?: How many followers are on Twitter and Facebook, how interactive we are with customers and direct feedback from customers.

Any advice for other tweeters?: Be yourself, be courteous and be service oriented

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I had never tweeted, that's for sure.

13. Gaztro-Wagon, Chicago

Name: Matt Maroni

Twitter handle: @wherezthewagon (Matt's also the man behind @chicagofoodtrux)

On the road since: February 2010

Followers: 8,671

What you sell: Modern street fare, specializing in naan-wiches (an Interpretation of Indian naan bread filled with upscale ingredients).

Twitter personality: Raw, uncut, rolls with the punches and informational.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: It changes everyday and we get to be up close and personal with our customers.

How we use Twitter: Social Media is all we use. It gives a voice and soapbox to drive home our message on a daily basis. It's mostly informational and allows for social interaction. For Chicago food trucks, social media started a grassroots revolution and gave us a public voice to help us overturn the silly laws of street food vending in Chicago.

Advice for other tweeters: Use it as not only a marketing tool but as a personal tool to build your brand. Followers have comments and ideas for you. You never know where some inspiration will come from, so be active and try to respond to as many peeps as you can.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? I was a chef by trade -- I had never tweeted or Facebooked in my life before starting this business. Now I'm hooked on Twitter.

How do you measure social media success? Not sure about the metrics, but I know that in the Chicago mayoral race last fall, one of the questions was whether or not to allow food trucks in the City of Chicago. I would say that was a huge success that has allowed us the good nature of being at the forefront of the food truck movement in the city of Chicago.

14. Chomp Chomp Nation, Orange County, CA

Name: Robert Zuetell

Twitter handle: @ChompChompTruck

On the road since: 10/10/10 in the Year Of the Tiger

Followers: 1,500

What you sell: Singapore street hawker favorites with American twist.

Twitter personality: Mostly informational, sometimes irreverent. It's very consistent and thorough – we always have a link, address and map, and we try to respond to individual when warranted. We got a mixed tweet last week from a customer who said our spiced lamb burger was "the Boommmmbbb!" But her fries were cold and soggy. I responded immediately and said the next time she came to the truck I would give her a free Singapore S'more. She came by yesterday and showed me the tweet, so I introduced myself and gave her the dessert -- very happy customer saved. I also adjusted my operation and labor from the soggy fry incident.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: The Smiles and Write Ups about good food.

How has social media helped your business? Drives it -- exposure and sourcing.

Any advice for other tweeters? HootSuite -- consistent and thorough.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? Action sport marketing and sales (Black Flys Eyewear, FlyGirls, Von Dutch, Bear Surf).

What has been your most successful social media campaign? (include campaign details and success metrics) Yeo's Beverages drove our sales up 11% Free Beverage with Purchase.

15. Dogzilla, Orange County, CA

Name: Bac Dang and Martin Tse

Twitter handle: @dogzillahotdogs

On the road since: August 2009

Followers: 3,718

What you sell: Not your typical weiners.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: The people we met and the lives we change!

How has social media helped your business? Social media allowed us to connect with our fans and it was a foundation.Social Media has been a huge part of our success. We receive most of our website visits through Yelp. Also, Facebook and Twitter allows us to interact with our fans and spread our whereabouts and updates instantly.

Any advice for other tweeters? Tweet often and learn abbreviations for as many words as you can!

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? Fantasy sports guru.

16. Domo Dogs, Portland, OR

Name: Budd and Grae Lewis

Twitter handle: @DomoDogs

On the road since: 2010

Followers: 335

What you sell: Domo Dogs. For the uninitiated, they're Japanese fusion sandwiches served hot dog-style with Japanese-inspired sauces (like teriyaki-mayo, ponzu-mayo and fresh peanut-coconut-pineapple cream).

Twitter personality: Professional, clever, friendly -- and we hardly ever use the F word.

Favorite part of working on a food truck: Watching people who have never had a Domo Dog take their first bite, watching their eyes roll back in their heads and hearing them make what we call "The Domo Moan." That, of course, and parting them from $4.50 (we'd love to give 'em away, but our landlord tells us that's a no-no!).

How has social media helped your business? It's good for letting people know where we're located and it lets them know we're human. Dozens and dozens of our customers have become our personal friends because of us using Twitter and social media as a personality. They love us for our food and the end up liking us as friends. It's really cool, and they're all ages, too, from hipsters to people with replacement hips.

Any advice for other tweeters? Yes, don't b*tch and gripe. Be professional. And if you do need to complain about your business and/or personal problems, make them funny -- people relate to humor.

What did you do before you became a food truck tweeter? We were roadies for The Beatles. Good times. *sigh*

Series Supported by Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck

The Social-Savvy Food Truck Series is supported by the Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck. In New York City or San Francisco and want a free scoop? Follow @BenJerrysTruck and @BenJerrysWest for details!

Image courtesy of Mitch Tobias, cherylble

More About: Food, Food truck, Social-Savvy Food Truck Series, trending, twitter

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Viacom iPad Lawsuits: Time Warner on Hold, Cablevision Moving Forward

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:56 AM PDT

tv image

Viacom and Time Warner Cable are pressing the pause button on the legal battle regarding access to programming and cable channels via the iPad.

In April, Time Warner Cable and Viacom each filed lawsuits over the Time Warner Cable TV app for iPad. The app, which allows Time Warner Cable customers to watch live broadcast streams from various stations, was deemed by Viacom (who owns cable networks Comedy Central and MTV, among others) to violate the channel distribution agreement by the two parties. Time Warner Cable disagreed, arguing that it was essential for it to broaden its offerings.

The Wall Street Journal says the two companies have “entered into a standstill agreement” as they enter talks to bring the channels back to the iPad app.

Meanwhile, Viacom is suing Cablevision over its iPad app. Like Time Warner’s app, Cablevision’s Optimum app for the iPad allows users to stream and access on-demand content from any station on their cable package, provided they access the content from their home. Cablevision has refused to remove channels from its app, while Viacom has called licensing discussions “limited and unproductive.”

Cablevision has responded to the lawsuit with a statement:

“Cablevision’s very popular Optimum App for iPad, which has been available to our customers for nearly three months, falls within our existing cable television licensing agreements with programmers – including Viacom. It is cable television service on the iPad, which functions as a television, and is delivered securely to our customers in the home on Cablevision’s own proprietary network.”

Cablevision’s iPad app

The streaming issue raises some interesting questions about what actually separates a device like the iPad from a traditional cable box. After all, it’s the same content sent digitally, whether received by an app or a set-top box.

Cable networks worry that apps turning iPads into TVs will undermine some of their ratings (not to mention prevent the companies from getting more money from cable providers or customers by providing iPad access to content). But that boat has already sailed — check out the EyeTV system, for example, which plugs into your cable box and broadcasts to your iPad. In an ideal world, the cable giants would be able to agree on a setup that makes watching content even easier.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Chloester

More About: cablevision, ipad, ipad apps, ipad tv, lawsuits, television, time warner cable, tv, viacom

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7 Tips for Better Twitter Chats

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:46 AM PDT

Megan Berry is marketing manager for Klout, the standard for online influence. She also blogs at The Huffington Post and Brazen Careerist. You can follow her on Twitter at @meganberry.

Twitter chat

Twitter chats are an increasingly common way for people to discuss a topic or passion online. Basically, a group will organize around a specific hashtag so people can follow a single thread of conversation on Twitter. There are now hundreds, if not thousands of regular Twitter chats going on, and for good reason. It's an easy, low-commitment way to get involved in a conversation with other people in your industry. It's also a great way to network and get new ideas.

See Also: HOW TO: Start and Run a Successful Twitter Chat

Starting a Twitter chat, however, requires both time and effort. Make sure you're setting yourself up for a positive outcome with these seven tips.

1. Be Clear About Your Goals Going Into the Chat

Some say there are already too many Twitter chats. How does creating a new one (as opposed to joining existing ones) help you or your company? When I spoke to creators of successful chats like #wjchat, #blogchat, #smmeasure and #u30pro, they pointed out some powerful benefits of doing it right. For a company, it can position you as a thought leader and grow brand awareness. For an individual it can help you meet people in your industry and grow your personal brand.

Still, it is not something to take on lightly. You'll have to put in serious time before you see any results. If you’re in a company, make sure you talk about what success looks like before starting your chat. Consider metrics such as the number of people participating, mentions of your brand, sentiment of mentions, and lead generation.

2. Choose a Topic People Care About

How do you know if people care about your chat? They should already be discussing it informally. “It’s better to build a twitter chat around a topic of interest that’s directly related to your brand,” says David Spinks, creator of #u30pro, a Twitter chat for young professionals. “In the end, the participants will still relate the chat back to your brand because you’re the one organizing it.

3. Be Authentic

"The key to true reach and success is being authentic,” says Robert Hernandez, founder of #wjchat. “#wjchat is something organic and represents a passion shared by others. … If you have a topic you are passionate about, there may be others that are looking to connect with you." Don't do it just because you think you're supposed to. Do it if you are genuinely looking for a way to engage and communicate with a community. Use that passion to stick with the chat when it starts out slow. Spinks says #u30pro's first chat only had seven people and 150 tweets. Today, their typical chat includes 150 people and 1,200 tweets. Keep engaging and the right people and community should find you.

4. Choose a Schedule and Be Consistent

Most Twitter chats occur once a week for an hour, but if you're just starting out, you may consider a bi-weekly or monthly chat instead as it's easier to add sessions than to try and cut back. Sheldon Levine of #smmeasure says if he had to start again, he might have made #smmeasure a bi-weekly (as opposed to weekly) chat, simply because of the time commitment involved. Mack Collier of #blogchat points out the importance of choosing a time that works for both you and your audience. You want people to have time to join your chat. Collier suggested "either in the middle of the day around lunch time, or at night around 7 or 8 p.m. Central."

5. Plan, But Stay Flexible

Most Twitter chats have a topical focus each week. The goal is to facilitate the conversation without getting in the way or letting it get out of hand (easier said than done). "Realize also that a Twitter chat for your brand will be another avenue for customers to express their complaints,” Spinks warns. “Twitter chats move fast, and can get out of hand quickly. It’s real time to the fullest." Get ready for just about any question to come up. If you're a business, make sure the person running the chat is someone who can speak for the company.

6. Bring In Thought Leaders

Don’t be afraid to get others involved, whether you need a partner to develop and plan the chat (#u30pro is operated by a team of four), or great guest "speakers" to help bring in audience. Twitter chats are successful because of the people in them. Do what you can to get great people involved, especially when you're just starting.

7. Thank People Who Participate

If people take the time to engage with your chat, take a moment to thank them individually or in the chat itself. Collier has found huge success by following this strategy. “These are your rock stars, and you need to treat them as such,” he said. “That will simply give them more incentive to spread the word, and help you grow your community."

Have these tips helped? What advice can you give for organizing a Twitter chat? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: brand, business, social media, tips, twitter, twitter chat

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iPads Consume 400% More Wi-Fi Data Than Other Mobile Devices [STUDY]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:22 AM PDT

Apple’s iPad accounts for an ever-expanding percentage of the browser market. It’s also becoming a huge Wi-Fi data hog, consuming 400% more Wi-Fi data on a monthly basis than the average iPhone, iPod or Android device, according to a new report.

Meraki, a cloud services provider, anonymously surveyed more than 100,000 devices accessing public, educational and general use Wi-Fi networks in the U.S. It analyzed bandwidth usage and operating system popularity between 2010 and 2011 to uncover the massive gap between the Wi-Fi data usage of iPads and other mobile devices.

Mobile devices on the whole, according to the study, have usurped desktop platforms as the most ubiquitous Wi-Fi devices. In 2010, iOS and Android devices accounted for a combined 33% of Wi-Fi devices. Now they represent 58%. By comparison, Windows and Mac OS X devices together declined from 63% to 36% during the same time span.

Meanwhile, the iPhone has become the single most popular Wi-Fi device, with an impressive 32% share of the market.

The next time the Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop slows to a halt, look around you. The slew of iPads, iPhones and Androids in the room may be the culprits.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Alexander Smolianitski

More About: android, Apple iPad, iOS, ipad, meraki, Mobile 2.0, wifi

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New LinkedIn Ads Leverage Recommendations & Follows

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:04 AM PDT

LinkedIn has introduced new ad formats that integrate member activities into advertising.

The changes, announced in the company's official blog, include the Facebook-like inclusion of relevant people in your network in banner ads. For instance, a recruitment ad could show people in your network who could refer you for the advertised job.

Another new format is LinkedIn Ads, which bolsters the advertiser's credibility by showing how many people have recommended or follow the company. LinkedIn Ads is a self-service solution, meaning the process of buying the ads is automated. So far, the ads have only rolled out to a small portion of members.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn is grappling with the question of how to employ advertising solutions that exploit the social nature of its network without compromising users' privacy. On June 10, LinkedIn began giving members the opportunity to opt out of being featured in advertising when they follow or recommend a company.

LinkedIn, which went public in May, posted $79.3 million in advertising revenues in 2010, about one-third of the company’s overall revenues and more than double its take in 2009.

More About: advertising, facebook, linkedin

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Nonstop High-Speed Trains Enabled by Docking Trams [VIDEOS]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 10:28 AM PDT

No matter how fast a high-speed train travels, it still has to slow down to 0 mph to pick up additional passengers. That problem has been solved by a designer who dreamed up a way for high-speed local trams to catch up to those speedster trains, picking up and dropping off passengers without requiring the express train to stop.

Designer Paul Priestman of UK-based Priestmangoode puts it succinctly in the video below: “Moving platforms is a new concept to allow people to travel from their street to another street in another city in another country by train without stopping.”

If you think about it, this is a problem that needed to be solved long ago. You’ve probably noticed that trains (and buses, too) waste a lot of time slowing down, pulling into stations, waiting to pick up and drop off passengers, and then speeding back up again. But with this idea, high-speed trains might be able to keep on rolling indefinitely, while those feeder “trams” do all the slowing down and speeding up.

Priestman adds, “I'm under no illusion this is a big idea. But we have to think big. The world is going to a be a very different place in 10 to 20 years’ time and we have to think of alternative ways of travel.”

Listen to Priestman talking about problems with our current transportation infrastructure and the way his new train feeder system could revolutionize rail travel like the Internet revolutionized communication:

Tram approaches nonstop train

Speed equalization


Transfer about to begin

Transfer greenlighted

[via DVICE]

More About: design concept, high-speed train, moving platforms, priestmangoode, transportation

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HOW TO: Choose a PHP Framework for Your Next Project

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 10:06 AM PDT

framework image

There’s no doubt that web frameworks have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and while it’s likely that a large part of that growth can be attributed to Ruby on Rails, the outpouring of MVC frameworks in other languages is no less impressive.

If you’re a PHP ninja, and not a die-hard Rubyist, you may be wondering what options are out there and which framework is right for you. The answer depends on a number of factors, and today we’ll review the questions you should be asking when choosing a PHP framework for your next application.

We’ll also take a look at popular PHP frameworks and what sets them apart. That way, you can make an informed decision on which framework best suits your project — or if you should even use a framework at all.

Determining Your Needs

Before you can decide on a framework for your project you should first understand its needs, its requirements, and a little about the development team working behind the scenes. There are three main questions to ask yourself before going forward:

  • What’s the primary focus of your application? Will it be an ecommerce business, a social community, a messaging platform or a directory? If you’re building an ecommerce site, for instance, you may want to choose a framework with some baked-in libraries with proven extensions for dealing with credit card processing. On the other hand, a lightweight messaging platform may need to scale very rapidly or use multiple servers and databases for load balancing and faster connectivity.
  • What will your hosting environment be? Some frameworks require additional PHP modules or software installation on the server, which may not be an option in shared hosting environments. Furthermore, a lightweight framework on which everything is self-contained and highly portable may not provide the best functionality for serious data manipulation or large information processing. For example, some frameworks work best with MySQL, while others include libraries for working with key-value and document store databases, for example.
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the developer(s)? It’s important to get a sense of the skills and shortcomings of the developer(s) who will actually be building and maintaining the application. Some frameworks are more user-friendly and better for beginners. While the answer to this question probably shouldn’t be a deciding factor (learning new things is good), it is definitely one to take into account given your timeline, budget and security considerations.

The Frameworks

Now that we’ve looked at some of the basic requirements of your application and the dev team behind it, let’s examine some popular PHP frameworks and see what each one has to offer.

Cake PHP

If you still need to write PHP4 compatible code, CakePHP is a great option. This PHP 4 & 5 MVC framework is one of the oldest and most popular on our list. Cake PHP has built up a reputation as a formidable and capable framework. It also has many avenues for support (groups, message boards, IRC) and excellent tutorials. CakePHP is a good framework that's easy to get into but one that you won't outgrow in a couple of weeks.

CakePHP's conventions are fairly strict, however, and it's not the most flexible framework available. This could be a plus if you want to guarantee consistency across the application regardless of the user. There are also built-in tools for unit testing, XML-RPC and feed parsing for integration with web services as well as scaffolding for rapid prototyping.

Zend Framework

The Zend Framework is for more experienced developers and those building enterprise-level applications. The framework is highly modular, meaning you can use as little or as much of the Zend code as you need. Several libraries can easily be extracted for stand-alone use. With Zend, you're not tied to the MVC pattern (though it is certainly an option), and there is a lot of built-in support for tasks such as integration with existing web services, localization and extensive unit testing.

Zend requires PHP 5.1.4+ but has multiple configuration options and excellent documentation. It's a framework with corporate backing and a strong community. You'll get long-term stability and fairly quick integration of new features, not to mention security updates tested by a team of professionals. While the Zend framework may be a large overhead for small projects, if you're building large-scale applications it is typically considered the framework of choice.


CodeIgniter is (as of v2.0) a PHP5.2+ MVC framework with a small footprint and great documentation. Often called a "beginner" framework because of its relative ease of use and short learning curve, CodeIgniter is nonetheless flexible and powerful. The framework has a large community surrounding it, so it's fairly easy to find an existing CI library for just about anything you could dream up. If you need to do it, chances are, someone out there already has.

CodeIgniter is best suited for content sites and small-to-medium web applications. You'll likely see a performance drop with very large numbers, but there is some built-in caching to help with that. If you're new to PHP frameworks or want something that can be picked up and learned in a few hours, CodeIgniter is one of the top frameworks to consider.


Symfony is one of the oldest PHP frameworks, and is designed for enterprise-level web applications. For all its power and performance, however, Symfony has a small footprint and is easy to configure on a variety of PHP hosting environments. Since it's been around for so long, you'll find a lot of tutorials and books available on framework use, a perk for new users.

Symfony uses command line generators for quick project setups and automatic code generation, which may be new to some developers. However, they allow you to get up and running with your code in very short order. If you feel intimidated by this, don't worry. The Symfony's web site has a large collection of tutorials, showcase applications and screencasts to get you going.

The framework has all of the advanced features you'd expect of a system designed for the development of enterprise software. For example, it offers internationalization, URL routing, test suites, a robust templating engine and a powerful plug-in API for extending Symfony's features, or adding your own.


Kohana began as a fork of CodeIgniter, though it's much more than a simple branch off. Like CI, Kohana strives to be a lightweight, easy-to-use framework that performs well for small-to-medium web applications and custom content management systems.

Unlike CodeIgniter, Kohana requires PHP 5.3. The developers have taken advantage of this by including some advanced functionality not present in Codeigniter. The 5.3 requirement also means less code can accomplish some of the same tasks with less concern over backwards comparability. While Kohana's documentation is a little lacking, it tends to implement features more cleanly. The community is active, so getting help shouldn't be an issue.


Yii is a highly modular, high-performance PHP5 framework designed specifically for developing web applications. Yii uses a lot of command line generators and tools to get you up and running quickly; therefore, it's best used by people that aren't intimidated by a terminal window. All those generators mean more commands to memorize, but once you do, you'll find that they greatly decrease the time it takes to set up and configure your application.

It's easy to extend Yii and add in your favorite third-party libraries. Yii also supports templating, themes and widgets, and includes tools for testing, libraries for internationalization and web service integration. Yii's performance is good and the automatic code generation makes it a great framework for rapid development. The framework is well-documented, but since so much of the work is done at the command line, it can be intimidating to some users.

Image courtesy of Flickr, baldiri

More About: dev & design, framework, php, php framework, web, Web Development

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HP TouchPad To Include Digital Publication for Discovering Apps

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 09:50 AM PDT

When HP’s webOS-based TouchPad makes its debut on July 1, it will ship with a new way for users to discover various apps for the platform, webOS Pivot. HP says it has designed Pivot to complement the webOS App Catalog.

Pivot is basically a digital publication designed to help users discover different types of apps and content and to give developers more exposure. Every month, HP says it will publish Pivot, and that it will “include visually driven editorial pieces, columns from notable guest writers sharing their perspectives on digital culture, feature stories focused on applications around specific topics, and in-depth reviews.”

Pivot will be published in English, French, German and Spanish, and will be updated over the air on TouchPad devices.

Building its own device magazine and building that into the platform seems like a smart move for HP. App discovery is a frequent pain point for app developers and end users. Having an editorially curated source to showcase apps and offer reviews could ease some of that pain.

It’s also possible that HP is hoping to lure more developers into its ecosystem by showing them that there are more opportunities for promotion.

We’re really excited about the HP TouchPad and can’t wait to see what webOS looks like on a larger screen device. Of all the mobile operating systems, webOS has always struck us as the most “tablet ready” from the offset and the preview videos look really enticing.

What do you think of the TouchPad? Let us know in the comments.

More About: hp touchpad, pivot, tablets, Touchpad, webOS

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FBI Used Social Media To Search for Fugitive Who Inspired “The Departed” [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 09:36 AM PDT

Many advertisers have included social media outreach in their campaigns for years, but Wednesday’s arrest of fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger illustrates how the FBI is also a convert to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The law enforcement agency launched a campaign in 14 cities on Monday aiming to help agents catch Bulger, the Boston mobster who had been on the lam for 16 years and was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in the 2006 film The Departed. The campaign included outreach on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. By Wednesday evening, the feds had their man: Bulger surrendered in Santa Monica, California. The FBI announced the arrest on Twitter:

Before we give too much credit to social media, though, it should be noted that Bulger was ultimately done in by a TV ad. The ad, which appears above and targets Bulger’s companion, Catherine Greig , was also placed on the FBI’s Facebook Page on Monday. It was also loaded to the agency’s YouTube Channel and referenced in its Twitter feed.

The FBI began using social media in 2009, when it set up shop on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. "To reach out to the public, we need to be where people are—and we know tens of millions of people spend their time in social media sites,” said John Miller, head of FBI Public Affairs, in a statement at the time. Prior to that, a company called NIC, which was founded by a former law enforcement officer, introduced a Most Wanted iPhone app [iTunes link] that displayed the agency’s “Most Wanted” list.

More About: Bulger, facebook, FBI, The Departed, trending, twitter, Whitey Bulger, youtube

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Bring Google Voice Search Into the Real World With The Verbalizer

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 09:18 AM PDT

Google Voice search for Chrome hit the web just the other week, and the company asked interactive agency Breakfast to come up with something cool to showcase the feature. Well, Breakfast came through swinging with The Verbalizer, an open source hardware gizmo that lets devs (novice and otherwise) play around with the tool.

Touching the board, which looks like a microphone, will set off Voice Search from 10 meters away, prompting users to “speak now” to search. You can use it as such, or, if you know anything about wires and whatnot, modify it however you choose. See the video above for examples of what the board can become.

Breakfast is also responsible for Instaprint, a lunchbox-sized device that turns photos modified with the iPhone app Instagram into physical prints, as well as Precious the Tweeting Bike. The company will be giving away a small number of Verbalizer kits for free, via a drawing.

What would you create if you could get your hands on this gadget?

More About: Breakfast-NY, google voice search, The Verbalizer

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Republican Presidential Candidates To Participate in Twitter Debate

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 09:02 AM PDT

A Republican U.S. presidential debate is set to hit the Twitterverse on July 20.

While those following the debate will be able to do so on their regular Twitter clients, it will also be hosted on an additional site that will display tweets by the moderator, debaters and members of the public in separate streams. Organizers, which include Andrew Hemingway — chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire — hope this will allow for a public conversation on Twitter that won’t get drowned out by its observers.

Adam Green, founder and CEO of 140 Dev, LLC — a consulting company that specializes in the Twitter API, helped create the debate platform, which will appear on (The site is currently only in demo mode.)

“We basically have an online tool that tracks all tweets for a specific account name and hashtag,” Green says. “It takes all those tweets, aggregates them into a database, separates the ones who are the lead speakers and puts them in one stream, and then puts the others in a separate stream.”

So this is how it will work during the debate: A lefthand column will display real-time stats, such as how many followers, mentions and retweets each candidate is receiving. A center column will show the debate as it happens, with the moderator in blue and candidate in white. A righthand column will feature a tweet box, so the public can comment as the debate is going on.

The system will also automatically retweet any related tweets into a separate Twitter account: @140townhall. Interested parties will be able to view the debate after it’s over as well: will maintain information about candidate stats, and the center column will switch tweets to chronological order, so people can easily view how the debate progressed.

Green says the candidates themselves will be participating in the debate, unlike the 2008 presidential elections when representatives for Barack Obama and John McCain tweeted the candidates’ stances on technology policy and government reform. For this year’s Republican debate, a backend system was created, so candidates can work out debate strategies in advance.

“We realize that debating on Twitter is something that no candidate, no politician has ever done,” Green says. “It seems they’d want to practice that.”

Hemingway, who approached Green about the venture after seeing his work on (which analyzes the 2012 election through Twitter), says he intends for the Republican debate to lead to other projects.

“We’re using this to launch a platform that will be used to host multiple Twitter town halls in the very near future, not just presidential,” says Hemingway, who does media and Twitter consulting in addition to his personal involvement in politics.

He adds that he can foresee the technology being used for panel discussions and webinars, and says they’re even working on a Twitter talk show. Meanwhile, Green hopes for a debate between Obama and the Republican candidates.

“This technology obviously facilitates a very clean type of conversation and ability for users to be able to interact with candidates like they haven't been able to before on Twitter,” Hemingway says. “So we see it as really – it moves towards bringing the public into the whole debate scene.”

The July 20 Republican debate will be moderated by radio host Rusty Humphries, and will also be sponsored by Hemingway says most of the major Republican candidates, including Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, are set to participate.

Mashable‘s efforts to contact Bachmann and Cain’s campaigns for comment were not answered at the time of writing.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, zentilia

More About: 140townhall, 2012 presidential campaign, politics, presidential debate, republicans, twitter, u.s. politics

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Sad Keanu Meme Inspires Reeves To Write a Book

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 08:36 AM PDT

Because no Internet meme is validated unless it comes out in printed form, Keanu Reeves has used the uber popular “Sad Keanu” meme as inspiration for a book.

Sad Keanu” hit last summer courtesy of a glorious paparazzi photo and the folks over at Reddit. Strangely enough, it took Reeves until October to find out about his own memetastic existence.

Still, he’s apparently taking it all in good stride — in spite of the fact that he’s had a rather hard life, jam-packed with things to be sad about (aside from Bill & Ted 3).

The New York Daily News reports that Reeves is out with a very limited edition book called Ode to Happiness — 4,000 copies are being sold in the UK. The book, which really started off as a joke, basically features a lot of ink blots with sad sayings under them. Sample: “I draw a hot sorrow bath.”

“[I was listening to a radio station that] was playing, like, an orgy of depressing, self-pitying, nostalgic music,” Reeves told the Daily News. “You know, ‘I’m so lonely and I’ve been left and my heart is broken.’ It was so voluptuously horrible. And I just started to write on this piece of paper, because I had this image of, you know, that moment when you take that bath, you light that candle, and you’re really just kind of depressed. And it was making [my friend] laugh so hard.”

Reeves also apparently hopes to pen another book called Haikus of Hope. “Basically like, ‘I want to kill myself’, and go from there,” he told the publication.

More About: Haikus of Hope, humor, keanu-reeves, Ode to Happiness, pop culture, sad keanu

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