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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 Warranty to One Year

In a move to benefit customers, Microsoft Corp. announced today that it will change the Xbox 360™ warranty from 90 days to one year from the date of purchase in the United States and Canada. Microsoft extended the warranty in these territories to be consistent with the standard one-year Xbox 360 warranty that is available throughout most of the world. The news is reason to celebrate this holiday season; it applies to both would-be purchasers and those who already have Xbox 360 and are still within their first year of ownership.

Effective today, the one-year warranty is now the standard for the Xbox 360 console. Customers who experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase can have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers who may have already paid for an out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.

“Customer satisfaction is a central focus and priority for the Xbox 360 system,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Global Marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “In addition to jaw-dropping features such as high-definition graphics, an amazing catalog of over 160 games, and social online and entertainment experiences on Xbox Live®, the Xbox 360 system now offers this extended warranty upgrade. It is truly the industry’s most compelling home entertainment offering.”

Customers who have already paid out-of-warranty repair charges within their first year of ownership can expect reimbursement checks for the amount of their console repair in approximately 10 weeks. Reimbursements will be automatically distributed, so customers need not contact Microsoft. Customers who have questions regarding this policy change or experience any hardware issues should visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/contact where they can check their warranty status, find troubleshooting information for common issues and find Xbox support contact information.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360

Blogger Not In Beta Anymore

Blogger is not in beta anymore(see pic). One of the big new improvements is publishing your blog;
say goodbye to the dreaded “Publishing…” spinner. Now, when you make a new post or change any of your settings, your blog is updated and changes go live immediately; you don’t have to remember to republish.

What are the other new features?

Customize your template
Create a private blog
More feed options; added support for the RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 standards
Updated Dashboard
Instant publishing

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Google Adsense Ad And Image Placement Policy Change

The practice of placing images above or next to adsense banners has been around for a while — the idea here is to trick visitors into thinking that the Google Ads are clickable image captions. Unsuspecting visitors click on the ads, and the webmasters make money. Now, Google has officially announced that the practice is no longer allowed.

From the site:"
Can I place small images next to my Google ads?

We ask that
publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship
between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the
ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item
found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find
something that isn't actually being offered. That's not a good experience for
users or advertisers.

Publishers should also be careful to avoid similar
implementations that people could find misleading. For instance, if your site
contains a directory of Flash games, you should not format the ads to mimic the
game descriptions.

What if I place a space or a line between my images
and my ads? Would that work?


No. If the ads and the images appear to be
associated, inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads will
not make the implementation compliant”

Below are two images showing something that wouldn't comply with their new policies.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Building instructions for Every LEGO Set Ever Made

This site has the complete instructions for building every LEGO set ever made. Since I have 2 suitcases full of LEGO bricks this will come in very handy. I am just waiting for my oldest son to be a little older before I surprise him with this gift.

The link to the site is here

Friday, December 15, 2006

Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games, Inc., Announce “Gears of War” Surpasses 2 Million in Unit Sales Worldwide,Fastest-Selling Next-Gen Console Game

A video game champion has been crowned; “Gears of War” made history today by becoming the fastest-selling next-generation game of 2006 and the fastest-selling exclusive Xbox® game ever.

Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games, Inc., today confirmed that “Gears of War,” the Xbox 360™-exclusive title, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide since its release six weeks ago, with a stunning 1 million copies sold in the U.S. alone.

“‘Gears of War’ clearly has won the battle for the title of the must-have game of the year,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Corp. “Its phenomenal success is one of many reasons why Xbox 360 is the ultimate place to get together with friends to play this holiday.”

“We’ve always held high hopes for ‘Gears of War,’ but we never expected such an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and gamers all over the world,” said Michael Capps, president, Epic Games. “I can’t describe how stoked our team is right now. Our fans can absolutely count on Epic to keep delivering new gameplay through Xbox Live®.”

In addition to being the must-have video game of the holiday season, “Gears of War” continues to rage on the Xbox Live battlefield as well, with more than 1 million unique gamers engaging in 10 million online gameplay sessions and unlocking an impressive 7 million achievements.* On top of being the No. 1 title on Xbox Live, “Gears of War” has driven new members to the network; paid registrations per day have skyrocketed more than 50 percent since the game’s launch.


About “Gears of War”

More than 80 publications around the world have crowned “Gears of War” the best next-generation game of the year. At the Spike TV Video Game Awards that aired Wednesday evening, the next-gen-defining title garnered four awards, for Best Multiplayer Game, Best Shooter, Studio of the Year (for Epic Games) and Best Graphics. “Gears of War” thrusts gamers into humankind’s epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures who surface from the bowels of the planet. Blending the best of tactical action games with the best of survival horror titles, “Gears of War” features cinematic, beautifully rendered interactive environments with high-definition visuals. Critics everywhere overwhelmingly agree, making “Gears of War” one of the best-reviewed games of all time.

About Epic Games

Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, N.C. and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and game engine technology for PC and console. The company has created multimillion-selling, award-winning titles in its Unreal series, and its latest game, “Gears of War,” broke sales records on Xbox 360, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide in the first six weeks.

Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including Console Game of the Year winner “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” by Ubisoft, PC Gamer’s Game of the Year “Deus Ex” from Ion Storm/Eidos, “America’s Army: Special Forces” by the U.S. Army, and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (PC) by Electronic Arts. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is a two-time consecutive winner of Game Developer magazine’s Front Line award for best game engine. Additional information can be obtained through Epic’s Web site at http://www.epicgames.com

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games ), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®;” Xbox® and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com ), including such games as “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo®,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport™”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com ), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 37 countries by the end of this year. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360
system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across nearly 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Google Web Toolkit GWT 1.3 Release Candidate is 100% Open Source

Today is quite a milestone for Google Web Toolkit: with the GWT 1.3 Release Candidate, Google has announced that all of GWT is open source under the Apache 2.0 license. From their site:
And we're committed to doing this the Right Way. All of our development will be
done in the open, and we're going to be working directly from the GWT project on
Google Code. We've created a charter document ("Making GWT
Better
") that describes the philosophical foundations of GWT as well as the
nuts and bolts of compiling
GWT
yourself, contributing
code
, and participating in the new Google Web
Toolkit Contributors
group. We'll be discussing the GWT
roadmap
and all technical decisions publicly, we've republished the GWT web site documentation under a Creative Commons
license
, and, while we're at it, we'll be publishing our team meeting notes
to the contributors group.


So there you have it

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sun Announces Revolutionary Version of Java Technology – Java Platform Standard Edition 6

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW), the creator of Java technology and the Solaris Operating System and the world's leading contributor of open source code, today announced the availability of Java Platform Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6). The Java SE 6 release is the result of over two years of industry-wide development involving open review, weekly builds and extensive collaboration between Sun engineers and over 330 external developers. Developers interested in getting started immediately with the Java SE 6 release can leverage the new NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) 5.5, which fully supports all the latest features of the Java SE 6 platform.


Java SE 6 software makes development easier, faster and more cost-efficient and delivers enhanced functionality for web services, dynamic language support, diagnostics, and desktop applications. In addition, over 160 companies worked with Sun and tested their Java technology-based applications on the Java SE 6 platform to help ensure compatibility, stability and optimum performance for the Java SE 6 release. Backward compatibility of Java SE 6 with previous versions of the platform preserves the skill sets of current Java software developers and protects Java technology investments. In-depth information and technology downloads for the Java SE 6 release are available at: http://java.sun.com/javase/6

The powerful combination of the new Java SE 6 release and the NetBeans 5.5 IDE provides developers with a reliable, open and compatible, high-performance framework for delivering Java technology-based applications faster and easier than ever before. The NetBeans IDE provides an open source, high performance, modular, extensible, multi-platform Java IDE to accelerate the development of Java SE 6 software-based applications and web services. The NetBeans IDE is available for download along with the Java SE 6 platform at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads, or separately at http://www.netbeans.org

"Java SE 6 technology is now, more than ever, an extremely strong platform for both developers and vendors and the NetBeans IDE is the best way for developers to leverage all the new functionality in the Java SE 6 release. With expanded dynamic language and web services support, the Java SE 6 platform is optimized for building Web 2.0 applications and services," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Software at Sun. "Moving forward, the OpenJDK project will define how Sun's Java SE implementation evolves, and we look forward to working even more closely with the developer community on the next version of the Java SE platform."

Web 2.0
The Java SE 6 software helps accelerate developer innovation for web-based, dynamic and online collaboration applications by including a new framework and developer APIs to allow mixing of Java technology with dynamically typed languages, such as PHP, Python, Ruby and JavaScript technology. Sun has also created a collection of scripting engines at: http://scripting.dev.java.net and pre-configured the Rhino JavaScript engine in the Java SE 6 platform. In addition, the Java SE 6 software includes a full web services client stack and supports the latest web services specifications, such as JAX-WS 2.0, JAXB 2.0, STAX and JAXP.

Diagnostics, Monitoring, and Management

The Java SE 6 platform provides expanded tools for diagnosing, managing and monitoring applications and also includes support for the new NetBeans Profiler 5.5 and for Solaris DTrace, a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework that is included in the Solaris 10 Operating System. In addition, the Java SE 6 software further increases ease of development with tool interface updates for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM ) and the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA).

Enterprise Desktop

The Java SE 6 release delivers significant improvements to the desktop, which enable Java applications to integrate even more seamlessly into the end-user experience. For rapid visual development of interactive applications, the Java SE 6 platform includes a new layout manager component, based on the NetBeans GUI Builder (formerly code named Matisse). The Java SE 6 software also provides enhanced support for the upcoming version of Windows Vista.

"We welcome the Java SE 6 release and its compatibility with Windows Vista because we want to see a good Java technology experience available for customers using Windows," said Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows Client at Microsoft Corp. "We have worked very closely with Sun through the development process to ensure continued compatibility and interoperability between Java technology, Windows and the latest versions of Internet Explorer.

Developer Support and Services

Developers using the Java SE 6 platform or Sun Developer Tools and technologies to leverage the Java SE 6 release, can get support through Sun Developer Services – Sun's complete line of developer how-to help, product support and updates, and training and certification programs (http://developers.sun.com/services ). For the Java SE 6 release, Sun is offering a special promotion for 60 days of unlimited support for Java SE 6 software, free of charge, through Sun Developer Expert Assistance. Sun Java MultiPlatform (JMP) Support (http://sun.com/javasupport ) offers end-to-end, mission critical Java technology support for customers with heterogeneous computing environments and helps to optimize application performance and reduce risk. In addition to the existing one year offering, Sun is now offering new three year subscription pricing for JMP Support to help customers lower costs. Sun Developer Network Program (SDN) members can also get a 10 percent discount on the new Java SE 6 technology training course. Developers are encouraged to join the SDN , at no cost, by registering online at: http://developers.sun.com/register

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sun Announces the Latest in Open Source Tools with the Availability of NetBeans Visual Web Pack and NetBeans C/C++ Development Pack

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW), the creator of Java and Solaris software and the world's leading contributor of open source code, together with the NetBeans community, today announced the general availability of the NetBeans Visual Web Pack (derived from the award-winning Sun Java Studio Creator IDE) and the NetBeans C/C++ Development Pack.


This announcement reinforces Sun's commitment to open source its software portfolio and to promote developer productivity by packaging toolsets that allow developers to leverage emerging web technologies and more easily build native applications, all in one IDE.

"The NetBeans Packs demonstrate our support and commitment to the developer communities to deliver cutting edge technologies," said Jeet Kaul, vice president, developer products and programs, Sun. "The Packs are a great example of how NetBeans is providing a complete set of tools built on the innovative NetBeans IDE and with more than 100 listed partners and more than 11 million downloads, NetBeans continues to change the landscape of software development."

The NetBeans Visual Web Pack is available with a rich visual design-time environment and one of the industry's leading support for Ajax-enabled JavaServer Faces components. It allows developers to visually and easily develop standards-based web applications and includes drag-and-drop binding to several data services and has a Data Provider API that allows a developer to bind to any data source. The NetBeans Visual Web Pack helps developers power their build out of next generation web applications. The NetBeans Visual Web Pack is supported across many common platforms, including Solaris 10 Operating System, GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

"We are excited about Sun moving additional native software development tools into NetBeans," said Patrick Leonard, vice president, product development, Rogue Wave Software. "This expanded access will contribute great value to native language users and the new and growing NetBeans community."

The NetBeans C/C++ Development Pack has been tested with both GNU and Sun Studio-based compilers, provides support for a variety of C/C++ project types and includes a makefile wizard to ease adoption. For a more productive developer experience, the C/C++ Development Pack includes sophisticated language model features, including dynamic syntax highlighting, code completion, code folding and a class browser. With this release of the C/C++ Development Pack, developers can use the NetBeans IDE in conjunction with their specified set of compilers and tools to build native applications. The C/C++ Development Pack is supported on Solaris 10, GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Developer Support and Services

Sun offers developers a complete line of developer how-to help, product support and updates, and training that reduces time and risk for the entire application lifecycle--from development through deployment through Sun's Developer Services programs (http://developers.sun.com/services ). Developers are also encouraged to join the Sun Developer Network Program, at no cost, by registering online at: http://developers.sun.com/register

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Oops She Did It Again: Britney's Back at Number One as Yahoo!'s Top Search Term for 2006

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) released its list of the most popular search terms of 2006 and Britney Spears has topped the list for the fifth time in six years. In 2005 everyone on the Top Search list had music, film or TV hits, but 2006 was all about the under thirty celebrity set making a mark on pop culture. Based on results selected from millions of Yahoo! Search users, the top searches of 2006 gives unique insight into whom and what captivated people this year.

The Yahoo! Search 2006 Top Searches Web page can be found at http://buzz.yahoo.com/topsearches2006 or by going to Yahoo.com and searching for "Top Searches 2006." The site provides a destination where people can view annual recap lists on pop culture topics, news, sports and political happenings and, for the first time, interact with Top Search content by further exploring the moments that made 2006. In addition, top online videos, Flickr photos and Yahoo! Answers content that Yahoo! users contributed this year are also featured prominently on the site.

The Yahoo! Search 2006 Overall Top 10 Searches are:

1. Britney Spears
2. WWE
3. Shakira
4. Jessica Simpson
5. Paris Hilton
6. American Idol
7. Beyonce Knowles
8. Chris Brown
9. Pamela Anderson
10. Lindsay Lohan

"Controversy rocked the lives of several of the stars on this year's Top Search list and The 2006 Yahoo! Top Searches illustrate that people are closely following celebrity happenings and scandals," said Jess Barron, Yahoo! Editor and Buzz Index Guru.

Britney Spears' talent once kept her in the public eye, but this year she nabbed the top spot thanks to a new baby and a divorce filing. Shakira "shakes" her way up to the third position and number four Jessica Simpson separates from Nick Lachey and has a "Public Affair" with crooner John Mayer. Paris Hilton rounds out the top five for making up with reality pal Nicole Richie. The old-timer of the list is 39 year-old Pam Anderson who proves she's still young at heart by tying the knot with Kid Rock three times in a month before calling it quits following less than four months of marriage. In at number 10 for the second year in a row is Lindsay Lohan who admits to a bulimia battle, drug use and a penchant for the single life. In with all the ladies is teen R&B phenomenon Chris Brown, the only male to make this year's list.

"Movers" Rocket to the Top

Movers are Search topics that experience the greatest percentage increase in queries from one day to the next. Often coming out of nowhere, movers momentarily spark public interest and often disappear just as quickly as they arrived. When viewed month by month, they highlight some of the year's hottest news headlines and events. Visitors to the Yahoo! Search 2006 Top Searches Web page can access images and text for the top ten movers for each month that include myriad subjects ranging from specific mainstream happenings to the bizarre.

Yahoo! Search 2006 Top Movers of Each Month:

MONTH MOVER WHY?
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
January Barbara Hershey Boyfriend Naveen Andrews admits to
fathering a love child
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
February Danish Cartoon Drawings of Muhammad sparked a furor
among Muslims worldwide
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
March NCAA Brackets B-ball ruled the 'Net
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
April Cynthia Watros Her Lost character meets a fatal demise
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
May Jimmy Hoffa The FBI digs up a farm in search of the
former teamster leader's body
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
June Connie Chung The Web goes wild for video clips of her
off-key swan song
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
July SexyBack Justin Timberlake's career is back
thanks to a new slamin' single
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
August Gillian Chung Tabloid Easy Rider publishes photos of
the star changing and celebrities
denounce the pub's irresponsible
actions
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
September Steve Irwin The world pays tribute to The Crocodile
Hunter
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
October Mermaid costumes People "fish" around on the Internet for
Halloween outfit ideas
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------
November Jason Alexander Britney's first ex-husband rises in
popularity as news of her new divorce
hits
----------- ----------------- ----------------------------------------



Yahoo! Search Top 10 Searched Celebrity Babies

This year famous couples brought little bundles of joy into the world and into the spotlight. Top searched Suri Cruise and number eight, Grier Hammond Henchy, share a birthday. Coincidentally, respective parents Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields had a public spat in 2005 regarding anti-depressants and postpartum depression. Britney's babes Sean Preston and Jayden James Federline, three and four, are the only brothers on the list, while David Banda, in at number six, is the only adoptee tot of the lot.

1. Suri Cruise (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes)
2. Shiloh Nouvel (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie)
3. Sean Preston Federline (Britney Spears and Kevin Federline)
4. Jayden James Federline (Britney Spears and Kevin Federline)
5. Kingston James McGregor Rossdale (Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale)
6. David Banda (Madonna and Guy Ritchie)
7. Moses Martin (Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin)
8. Grier Hammond Henchy (Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy)
9. Barron William Trump (Donald Trump and Melania Knauss)
10. Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern (Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K.
Stern)

Yahoo! Search Top 10 Searched News Stories

People turn to the Internet and Yahoo! Search as primary sources for hard-hitting information. The tragic passing of Steve Irwin and the mysterious death of Daniel Smith rank as this year's top searched stories. Iraq was a top News Search of 2005 and interest in the Middle East continued in 2006, with conflict in Iraq, the Israel Lebanon conflict and the Saddam Hussein trial all ranking well.

1. Death of Steve Irwin
2. Anna Nicole Smith son dies
3. Conflict in Iraq
4. Israel Lebanon conflict
5. U.S. elections
6. Fidel Castro stroke
7. North Korea Nuclear test
8. Jonbenet Ramsey/John Mark Karr false confession
9. Saddam Hussein trial and death sentence
10. Danish Cartoon protests

Yahoo! Answers Most Answered Questions

In the last year, more than 160 million Answers have been contributed to Yahoo! Answers worldwide. Celebrities topped the list of the top five most answered questions with thousands of answers worldwide.

1. If you were given $1,000 to change the life of a perfect stranger,
what would you do? Asked by Oprah Winfrey - 36859 answers
2. What can we do to make poverty history? Asked by Bono - 29479
answers
3. What do you think happens to your soul when you die? Asked by Dr.
Deepak Chopra - 26817 answers
4. How can the human race survive the next hundred years? Asked by
Dr. Stephen Hawking - 25391 answers
5. Who should I sing a duet with? Asked by Ciara - 14799 answers

Those interested in more "Best of Answers 2006" from Yahoo! Answers can visit http://answers.yahoo.com/best to access an editorially-chosen collection of the most inspiring and helpful questions and answers from Yahoo! Answers users, as well as celebrities and prominent figures who posted their questions on Yahoo! Answers this year.

To see all of this year's Top Searches lists, go to http://buzz.yahoo.com/topsearches2006 or search for "Top Searches 2006" on yahoo.com. Additional categories to those listed in the press release include:

Top 10 Celebrity Searches
Top 10 TV Shows
Top 10 Sports Teams
Top 10 Song Lyrics Searches
Top 10 Movies
Top World Cup Players
Top 10 Blogs/Bloggers
Top 10 Searched Politicians

For the first time, in addition to Top Web Search lists, the Yahoo! Top Searches page will be interactive and will include user generated content top picks from Yahoo! Answers, Flickr and Yahoo! Video. In addition, people can check out social media material including Top Videos from Yahoo! Video, Top "Interestingness" Flickr photos, and Top Answers from Yahoo! Answers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

NEXT, the new novel by Michael Crichton

HarperCollins Publishers announces the publication of Next, the new novel by #1 bestselling author Michael Crichton. The one-day laydown is November 28th. NEXT will be published in hardcover, audio, large print and e-book formats simultaneously around the world by HarperCollins Publishers in the English language. The announced first printing is 2 million copies.

In his brilliant new blockbuster, Michael Crichton takes the reader into the realm of genetics: fast, furious and out of control. Prepare to enter a world where nothing is as it seems and a new set of possibilities is opening up at every turn. NEXT challenges your sense of what is happening, what is true and what is ethical. NEXT will overturn your assumptions of what you thought you knew. Provocative yet playful, dark and disturbing, NEXT is Michael Crichton as you've never seen him before.

Next will have you asking yourself:

Could your loved one be missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? It's 2006: do you know who all your children are? Do you know humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes? Do you want to design your own pet? Change the stripes on the fish in your aquarium? Or sell your eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars? Did you know one fifth of all your genes are owned by someone else? Come to think of it, could you and your family be pursued cross country just because you happen to have certain genes in your body?

This is not just the world of the future-it's the world right now! Most of the events in this book have already happened. And the rest are just around the corner.

Get used to it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

MSN Teams Up With Kristin Cavallari, Al Roker, Jerry Rice and Perez Hilton for the MSN Holiday Challenge

Players can win a share of $100,000 in holiday cash giveaways.

MSN today launched the MSN® Holiday Challenge at http://www.msnholidaychallenge.com, kicking off the holiday season in style with the help of four celebrities who will share video clues with consumers for a chance to win a share of $100,000 (U.S.) in cash prizes.

The innovative promotion gives consumers the opportunity to win grand prizes of $50,000, $20,000 or $10,000, or daily cash prizes through an MSN exclusive online content scavenger hunt.

The celebrity-hosted video clues direct participants to various sections of MSN: MSN Entertainment, MSN Shopping, MSN Tech & Gadgets, MSN Lifestyle, FOX Sports on MSN, MSN News, MSN Travel, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money and MSN Autos. After consumers answer three questions they will be automatically entered for the grand and daily cash prizes. Players may receive clues from one of these celebrities:

• Al Roker, star of NBC’s “The Today Show”

• Kristin Cavallari, star of MTV’s “Laguna Beach”

• Jerry Rice, the legendary NFL Super Bowl MVP who was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times and was recently on “Dancing With the Stars”

• Perez Hilton, one of the Internet’s hottest celebrity insiders and bloggers


“The MSN Holiday Challenge is our gift to MSN visitors this season — tons of fun and helpful holiday information, delivered by the hottest celebrities, with the chance to win big money for the holidays,” said Lisa Gurry, director of MSN. “We encourage participants to play every day to learn more, be entertained and win big.”

The promotion starts today and lasts through Dec. 20, 2006. Consumers can play once a day to increase their chances of winning. Mr. Youth LLC is handling the promotion for MSN. Official contest rules can be found online at http://www.msnholidaychallenge.com/rules


About Mr. Youth LLC

Mr. Youth® leverages critical relationships and unparalleled experience to provide marketing, partnership, and promotional solutions to corporate marketers looking to reach the elusive 14-22 demographic. Mr. Youth serves as a powerful resource in the development and execution of promotional tactics built to build brand awareness, drive retail traffic, generate buzz, and generate PR coverage.

Mr. Youth®, a PROMO 100 company, is one of the nation’s fastest growing promotional firms. In 2004, Mr. Youth was awarded with the prestigious International Globes Award for Best Use Of Event Marketing in the world. In 2005, Mr. Youth was ranked #6 in the nation by PROMO Magazine for “Quality Of Work” in Promotional Marketing and one of the top 5 fastest growing agencies in the nation.

Mr. Youth’s® proprietary marketing properties include the TKO Campus Technology Tour (www.TKOTour.com ), operated in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association and CollegeFest® (www.CollegeFest.com ), the nation’s largest back to school college marketing event.

For more information on Mr. Youth, please visit www.MrYouth.com