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Family Movie Night with NBC’s ‘Secrets of the Mountain’

Get ready for a family movie night with “Secrets of the Mountain” airing on NBC on Friday night.

secretsofthemountainNBC Family Movie Night with NBCs Secrets of the Mountain

Secrets of the Mountain (NBC)

Paige Turco stars as a single mom hoping to reconnect with her children during a trip to an old family cabin.  Here is a description from NBC:

Somewhere between the demands of her career, her ex’s wedding and her kids’ busy schedules, Dana James (Paige Turco, The Agency) is noticing her tight-knit family starting to unravel. An unexpected offer to purchase her family’s mountain property sets up a weekend road trip, which she hopes will bring her family back together. But when they arrive, they quickly learn that the mountain is much more than it seems. An ancient secret and a treacherous quest will test the family like never before. It’s an edge-of-the seat thriller that reminds us that when times are tough, families don’t run away from problems – they run back to each other.

 The movie also stars Barry Bostwick and “Days of our Lives” actor Shawn Christian.

“Secrets of the Mountain” will air at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Friday, April 16 on NBC.

Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble joined together for this made-for-TV movie, in an effort to promote “family-friendly” alternatives to what they say is increasingly risque TV fare.  Advertisements for both companies will run during commercial breaks and the movie will include product placements for both companies, according to company executives.

Posted in Companies, Economy, Entertainment, Movies, News, Television, US0 Comments

Get Free And Discounted Food On Tax Day

In an attempt to make Tax Day a little better, some chain restaurants are offering freebies and discounts for customers on April 15.

Some of the chains offering freebies include Cinnabon, Maggie Moo’s, Dairy Queen, Taco Del Mar, and Starbucks.  McCormick & Schmick’s, P.F. Chang’s, and Whole Foods all have special discounts on April 15.

Some of the deals are only offered in certain areas.  Here are some of the Tax Day deals:

  • Maggie Moo’s offers small sample slices of its new MaggieMia’s Ice Cream Pizza (ice cream shaped like a pizza) from 3 to 7 p.m. local time.
  • Cinnabon will hand out bite-size portions of its new cupcakes from 6 to 8 p.m. local time at participating stores.
  • Dairy Queen will give away its new Mini Blizzards from its “Blizzardmobile” from noon to 1 p.m. outside the Washington, D.C. office of the IRS.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s has $10.40 food deals all day in its bar.
  • P.F. Chang’s has 15% discounts on meals all day, excluding alcohol.
  • Whole Foods will pick up sales tax all day on grocery bills at stores in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.
  • Taco Del Mar, a mostly West Coast chain, gives free tacos all day to those who download a special coupon at its web site.
  • Starbucks will offer free brewed coffee all day for customers with any reusable mug or tumbler; however, this freebie is geared toward the upcoming Earth Day (but still offered on April 15).

 Know of another Tax Day deal? Share your info below for others.

Posted in Companies, Economy, News, US2 Comments

Nike Comments on Tiger Woods Ad Featuring Late Earl Woods

A 30-second commercial featuring golfer Tiger Woods, with the voice of his late father, Earl Woods, is sparking up controversy.  And now Nike has released a statement about the ad.

(Watch the Nike commercial featuring Tiger Woods below.)

tigerwoodsnikeadearlwoods 300x240 Nike Comments on Tiger Woods Ad Featuring Late Earl Woods

Tiger Woods (Nike)

The married Tiger Woods has been in the headlines for affairs with reportedly more than a dozen women.  He has apologized publicly for his actions and said that he spent some time in rehab for his sexual addiction.

Tiger Woods made his return to professional golf with the Masters this week.  Some fans felt his return was too soon, saying he needs to put more effort into his family. 

Now a new commercial featuring Tiger Woods, with the voice of his deceased father, Earl Woods, has caused more controversy.  The commercial has Earl Woods telling his son that he wants to know what his feelings are, and asks him, “And did you learn anything?” (Watch the commercial below, and then share your thoughts in comments.)

CNN obtained the following statement from Nike regarding the ad:

“We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father.”

The commercial reportedly debuted on ESPN and The Golf Channel on Wednesday, and will air up until 4 p.m. (ET) on Thursday.  Meanwhile, The 2010 Masters Golf Tournament, in which Tiger Woods is playing, continues until April 11.

Posted in Companies, Entertainment, News, Sports, Television, US0 Comments

April Fool’s Day: Google Renames Itself ‘Topeka’

is celebrating April Fool’s Day (April 1) with a name change of “Topeka.”

googlebecomestopeka 300x125 April Fools Day: Google Renames Itself Topeka

Google Renames Itself Topeka

Why did they change it to “Topeka?”  Last month, the mayor of Topeka, Kansas temporarily changed the city’s name to ‘Google, Kansas’ in a bid to become one of the test beds for the company’s Fiber for Communities project. So Google returned the favor today, in honor of April Fool’s Day.

You can read more about this from Google here.

The search engine site commonly changes its logo for holidays and special events with photos (such as Sesame Street characters when the children’s show recently celebrated a milestone) and other appearance changes.  And April Fool’s Day is no exception.

Posted in Companies, Entertainment, Lifestyle, News, Technology, US0 Comments

Is Hello Kitty Wine Appropriate?

Hello Kitty wine will soon be available, but there are debates as to whether it is appropriate.

Hello Kitty Wine

Some critics say having a cartoon character on a bottle of wine promotes underage drinking. But for others, it is just considered a fun bottle for adults who grew up (mostly in the 1980s) enjoying Hello Kitty products by Sanrio.

In fact, the product’s tagline reads: “Our favorite girl has grown up!”  And so have lots of fans of Hello Kitty.

For those interested, there will be four different types of wine: the Angel and Devil Pinot Neros, Brut Rose, and a demi-sec Sweet Pink sparkling wine. The wines are produced and bottled in Italy, and will be available for purchase on the Hello Kitty Wines website soon (NOTE: site is under construction).  Prices will reportedly range from $19.99 to $29.99.

Do you think it is appropriate to have a cartoon character on a bottle of wine? Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Animation, Companies, Economy, Entertainment, Food, Lifestyle, News, US28 Comments

Google Ends China Search Censorship, Redirects Users to Hong Kong

Google has officially ended censoring search results in China. Google has shut down its Chinese search site at, and is redirecting its users to its Hong Kong, .hk. .hk includes a note in Chinese that reads ‘Welcome to Google China’s new home.’

Google explains, ” Users visiting are now being redirected to .hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, especially designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from .hk. Due to increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users  may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.”

“Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from .hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created the new web page, which we will update regularly each  day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them.”

Posted in China, Companies, Economy, Entertainment, Featured, Technology, World1 Comment

Wal-Mart Investigating Source of Racist Announcement in NJ Store

s WALMART large Wal Mart Investigating Source of Racist Announcement in NJ Store

A Wal-Mart store announcement ordering Black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies from the leaders of the company, which has built a fragile trust among minority communities.

A male voice came over the public address system at a store in Washington Township, in Southern New Jersey, and announced: ” Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people, leave the store now.”

A manager quickly got on the public address system and apologized for the remark. And while it was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment, many customers expressed anger to the store management.

A concerned customer who was shopping at the time asked the authorities, “I want to know why such statements are being made, because it flies in the face of our children about tolerance for all. If it was meant to be a prank, there is only one person laughing, and it’s not either one of us.”

Two other customers said they plan to boycott the retailer until they are assured that the issue has been addressed so it does not happen again. The pair confessed that initially they thought they had misheard, but later as it sank in, they got upset and angry.

One loyal customer said, “I am dependent on Wal-Mart for all my needs because the store has everything that you want. But until the issue is addressed in a way that I am comfortable with, I can’t walk through those doors again.”

Officials with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., based in Bentonville, Ark., said that the announcement was “unacceptable” and that they are trying to determine who made it and how it happened.

Posted in Companies, Entertainment, US2 Comments

Boosters Added to TechBanyan Servers

Xeon WordPress Migration

I have completed migrating TechBanyan to much powerful servers. This is part of the testing process to ensure writers can write and that the WordPress dashboard editor is correctly visible and functioning as per the design.

I can clearly see the Visual and HTML editor page. If you have problems correctly viewing the dashboard or editor, try refreshing a few times. Closing the browser and clearing the cache also might help. If not give me a buzz and we’ll look into it.

I will further continue to test the server and see if anything breaks. If you spot any differences, good or bad, let me know.

For the record, I have gone with a web hosting company called Server Point (formerly known as A+ Hosting) and I am using their XEON servers.

As part of the upgrade, I have had to update the IP address of the site as well. This update process usually takes about 24 to 48 hrs to have the cascading effect across the world.

To enable this migration, I exported the database using PhpMyAdmin and then imported the database on the new servers. The import and export was failing initially because the internet connection at my place was not the best. I tried it like thousand times but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why the DB export and import was getting only partially done. Eventually I decided I will spend the weekend in a library to get a handle on this thing and within first try it worked.

Apparently when migrating big databases (over 4000 posts), it is important to have excellent internet connection. Thanks to Warner Library, I was able to get my job done in the most time efficient manner. This example underscores why it is so important to have excellent infrastructure in place to facilitate and grow business.

Had I been in some other part of the world or even in the country of my birth, I am not sure if I had similar options available to me.

PS: Incidentally, the second half of the process was completed in Greenburg Public Library.

Posted in Companies, Startups18 Comments

Fire at Carlton Towers, 9 Dead 5o Hurt

Nine people have died in a major fire that broke out in the Carlton Towers, a high-rise office complex in Bangalore, India. The deaths were caused either by choking in smoke or injuries when someone tried to jump from the seven story building, fire officials said.

Nine, six men and three women, died and around 50 injured in the incident.

The fire broke out on the fifth floor office of an IT firm around 4 p.m., trapping several hundreds in the Carlton Towers, an office building on the busy old Airport Road in Bangalore’s central business district.

Visuals caught on cell phones and televisions showed a woman trying to jump from the seventh floor to the sixth, slipping and falling to the ground. Another showed a man jumping to the ground from the top floor. It is feared they are among the nine dead.

A large number of people were trapped in the building. A user stuck in the building tweeted about the incident:

“Carlton Towers is on fire and six of us are trapped inside the building. The fire’s above but there’s smoke everywhere. Saw people jump to their death. Don’t call me folks. You can’t help. Will keep you posted.”

The blaze suspected to have been triggered by a short circuit, created panic with several inside the building for help and many others breaking the window panes.

Posted in Companies, Fire, News3 Comments

Re-Watch and Vote For Your Favorite Super Bowl XLIV Ads

It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without the commercials.  And this year is no different with ads expected from, Budweiser, Doritos, and even a controversial ad featuring an anti-abortion college football quarterback and his mother, according to reports.

super bowl xliv 150x150 Re Watch and Vote For Your Favorite Super Bowl XLIV Ads

Super Bowl

If you missed any of the advertisements during Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday (click here for start time and game details), you can view them all online here following the game:

CBS Sports 2010 Super Bowl Ads

Also, watch the video below for a sneak peek at a commercial featuring race car driver Danica Patrick (in the infamous Lisa/Kelly LeBrock “Weird Science” role).

If you had a favorite commercial, be sure to place your vote here:

Super Bowl XLIV Ad Blitz

And lastly, share your thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl XLIV commercials below in comments.

For more about the 2010 Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, read the following stories:

Super Bowl XLIV Reality Star Battle: Kim Kardashian Vs. Kendra Wilkinson

Super Bowl XLIV: Start Time, Half-Time Show

Fans Can Vote for Super Bowl XLIV MVP

Posted in Companies, Economy, Entertainment, News, Sports, Television, US65 Comments