Billboards Make Times Square Green

New York saw one of the biggest pushes during Earth Day, including 1,000 free rain barrels given out for local residents and a clean energy vehicle parade. With images of trees sprouting up on Times Square billboards Earth Day New York’s managing director Joanne Black called it a “a visual call to action.”

Large screens also displayed the number of people who text message “tree” to 85944, pledging $5 for the United Nations’ Year of Forest. The tally was sponsored by companies like CNN, MTV, Reuters and Toshiba, with funding helping to plant trees in Mexico, Kenya, India and the Philippines.

“It’s rare for so many companies to give up their screens,” noted Black. “For this, they have.”

“We hope to engage a broad segment of the public and show that even a small contribution can really make a difference,” said Earth Day New York Executive Director Pamela Lippe.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced plans to make the city cleaner, such as by using cleaner fuels instead of heating oils. Estimates say that a 10 percent reduction in heating oil pollution could prevent 300 deaths, 200 hospital admissions and 600 emergency department visits from airborne pollution each year.

Source: Reuters

Nintendo Confirms Wii Successor For 2012

Rumors have been coming hard and fast of a Wii successor, and now Nintendo has publicly acknowledged its existence. A fiscal report by the company included a note that their next home console will release in 2012 with a public revelation at E3 2011.

This comes at a time when the company’s operating income dropped over 50 percent and their net income dropped two-thirds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011. The Wii was blamed for the company’s fiscal woes, selling 15.1 million or a 25 percent drop over the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the 3DS saw hardware sales of 3.61 million units, slightly below the company’s original forecast of 4 million.


Tweeters, start your engines! Starting now until the launch of Fast Five on April 29, fans can compete in one of nine Twitter races. Participants will have a chance to win awesome prizes like IMAX tickets to see the film and cash cards. Start by following @FastFurious on Twitter to know when it s time to get to the starting line and when the post time begins. Fans must first qualify by responding to the #F5READY or #F5SET tweets from this account. A trivia question will be tweeted and fans must answer with the #F5GO tweet correctly to complete each race for a chance to win $50. Five randomly selected participants in each race will also win a pair of tickets to see Fast Five in IMAX.

iPhone Location Tracking May Be About Ads

Apple has gotten some heat from politicians and privacy experts when it was revealed that the iPad and iPhone have been tracking users locations. The main reason data is being collected might be to supply relevant ads via Apple’s iAd application.

“Information is transmitted securely to the Apple iAd server via a cellular network connection or Wi-Fi Internet connection,” wrote Apple to U.S. Rep. Edward Marke. “The latitude/longitude coordinates are converted immediately by the server to a five-digit ZIP code. Apple then uses the ZIP code to select a relevant ad for the customer.

Google Android phones are also said to collect location data, which might also be shared with their mobile-advertising provider AdMob. According to Iain Gillott, president of wireless industry analysis firm iGR, this practice is neither new nor insidious.

“I don’t think there’s anything too sinister going on,” said Gillott. “The iPhone forever and a day has tracked location and stored it on the phone. It puts it in a locked file that’s buried within the operating system. That s not new. It’s done that for years.

The likely goal of all this from Google and Apple is to breach the $2.9 billion location-based services market, expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014. Combining location with customer data could help them create a dedicated profile for their users.

“Just because you know I’m in Austin doesn’t tell you anything about me,” Gilliott said. But pull all the other activity and everything else I do and you can build a really good profile of me. Location is an enabler. It makes information about you hugely more useful.

Source: Fox News

PlayStation Plus Discount Offered Through May 3

Sony has announced that they are offering a discount to to PSN users who want to get on board with PlayStation Plus. The offer for three-free months is similar to the agreement they offered when the service originally launched.

“Don’t forget, if you haven t signed up to a year membership then now is definitely the time. Everyone can benefit from the limited offer of 15 months for the price of 12 until the May 3,” wrote James Thorpe, “PlayStation Network product manager. Even if you have a membership already, you can stack another one on top and the 15 months will roll on when your current subscription ends.”

Source: PlayStation Blog

The Electric Company Is Looking For New Members!

This month on PBS Kids Go!, the Prankster Planet initiative begins at the end of each full Electric Company TV episode. 12 multi-level online quests, 60 mini-games, an avatar creator, rewards system and a magazine will live in a new area on the show s website. A progress tracker will launch this summer that will allow parents and teachers to follow kids learning status. Electric Company members Jessica and Marcus appear at the end of each episode as comic book heroes and discover that pranksters are sucking up all the words on earth. They enlist the help of fans to end this total word domination. Each animated episode ends in a cliffhanger that offers a direct hand-off from story to the transmedia game. When a player completes all 12 online missions, he or she becomes an official member of The Electric Company. The Lost Guide to Prankster Planet magazine will round off the experience by extending the math concepts and vocabulary featured online and in the animated TV segments. The magazine, distributed to PBS and other Electric Company partners, contains secret Prankster Planet information the reader can use to collect hidden words. The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet will air starting May 2 with the online component going live the same day.