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MobileBeat Startup Competition Finalists Unveiled

June 30, 2010 by  

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Mobilebeatfinalists VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall announced the MobileBeat 2010 Startup Competition finalists today.Over 200 companies submitted applications and only twenty have been chosen, the favorites being Snaptu and Aava Mobile from an online poll. The finalists will unveil their latest and greatest on stage at the upcoming MobileBeat Conference in San Francisco on July 12-13, 2010. You can register here and once you register, you can get a sneak preview of the stealth-mode mobile startups. Snaptu turns your favorite websites into ultra fast mobile apps that work on your phone. Aava Mobile gives mobile operators and phone makers the ability develop hardware to tap into consumer fashions and trends. POIdo is a pay-per-action location-based advertising platform that provides ads targeted to mobile and Web users’ location, context and behavior. Call Loop uses voice broadcasting and text messages to develop integrated marketing campaigns. AFK enables social and multiplayer game publishers to enable key features of their products on mobile devices. Micello powers the hyperlocal location-based services ecosystem. BlogRadio is a text-to-speech app that allows users to listen to any blog, any time, anywhere. Locomatix

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15 things I’ll miss in Melbourne

June 30, 2010 by  

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laneway 15 things I’ll miss in Melbourne Duck in and discover: Hidden gems might be tucked away in Melbourne’s many alleys. Photo by Srdjan Nikolic, morgueFile
The process of leaving a place is an experience very different to when you arrive. Especially when you’ve spent a few years there and flirted with the prospect of staying long-term. We’re busy with finalities at the moment, eager to toss away the cloak of security we’ve been huddling under here and embark on something new. It is easy to get lost in that, busied with an endless checklist of errands and obligations, wishing your time away. This is not the first time I’ve moved away from somewhere I’ve lived for more than a few years. But it is the first time I’m thinking about what I’ll miss well before I go. As I write this, I’m shivering away in a winter that’s completely un-Australian. It’s rainy, windy and dark outside in the middle of the afternoon and I’m wondering why we didn’t find our way up to Queensland. If I wanted to be cold, I could have stayed in New York. But…

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Revisiting What I Thought Was a 97-Point Wine

June 30, 2010 by  

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Really getting to know a wine should take some time, and this wine — Molly Dooker Velvet Glove — has taught me a lesson about “speed tasting” in a big way. It was one of 12 wines I sampled during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference red wine tasting session, in which each wine was presented and we were given five minutes to taste, ask questions and post our notes to Twitter or a blog. Here’s what I tweeted within that initial exposure to this very complex (and very expensive – $180) wine (click on headline of this article if the image does not appear at first:)    Tasting Molly Dooker 2009 Velvet Glove. My opinion of Australian shiraz has completely changed. Soft, fruity, complex, wow. 97 pts Since I thought so highly of it, I set my taste glass aside so that I could have a few sips more after the tasting session ended. That was when I realized that my initial impression was fleeting. Here is what I posted about 15 minutes after my first post: still… <a href=

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Courtesy of…

June 30, 2010 by  

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Courtesy of…my kitten!
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Courtesy of…my dog!

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Courtesy of…my grandchildren! They can do no wrong, don’t you know.

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Courtesy of…my husband! Not really, but it went with my theme.

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Courtesy of…nature!

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Courtesy of…mankind!

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Courtesy of…BP!
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Gourmet Food and Wine Short Breaks

June 30, 2010 by  

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One of the problems with taking a culinary vacation is lack of a place to cook! Sure, you’ve got the use of a kitchen during classes — but where can you experiment with new techniques and dishes back in your hotel room? A new series of offerings called Gourmet Food and Wine Short Breaks sounds like a trend this Road Trips Foodie hopes will expand. The trailblazer is Abercrombie & Kent Villas, which has arranged foodie-centric rentals in some of the most intriguing culinary regions in Europe. Choose from Andalucia, where fish and seafood prevail, Tuscany, with its hearty cuisine and full bodied wines, classic Bordeaux with its fine wine chateaux, the Cote d’Azur where the ‘King of the Truffe’ resides, or Provence, home to the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Each “short break” includes four nights at a villa — with many foodie extras. For example: in Italy, the Brunello Wine Trail and Tuscan Cheese Short Break is based at Il Glicine, a five bedroomed villa near the village of Ponte d’Arbia, Tuscany. The focus? two of the region’s specialties: the Brunello wine of Montalcino…

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Constellation Cruise in Norway 5: Geiranger

June 30, 2010 by  

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It was a warm clear day in Geiranger. Geiranger is a small tourist town in the western part of Norway and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. While only 300 people live here year round, they get up to 180 cruise ships in the four month tourist season. How long this will last is up for conjecture. Why? Because Geiranger is under constant threat from the mountain Akerneset and analysts predict a coming landslide. The landslide will go directly into the fjord, causing a flood wave of about 100 ft in height, which will sweep the fjord and destroy downtown Geiranger. The people I met didn’t seem concerned. Although there are five nice hotels in the immediate area, there are a bunch of campers too. My favorite setup was where the tent stretching out made a lovely room. The waterfalls are one of the great attractions. It comes out here. Goes in here. And now to the sea. I…

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Biking with The ‘Boston’: An Interview with David Montague

June 30, 2010 by  

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By Taro Muso and Sylvia Rozwadowska Spurred by a summer day in March, we headed to our local bike shop where we happened across an unusually sturdy, rapidly folding bicycle, the ‘Boston’ by Montague. Thinking such a bike would be of interest to green-minded commuters, we visited the company’s Cambridge headquarters to meet inventor, entrepreneur, and MIT alumnus, David Montague, who founded Montague Bicycles as a graduate student 20+ years ago. Why did you name your most recent model ‘Boston’? Do you think Boston is an especially favorable environment for cyclists? Boston has become more bicycle friendly over the years, thanks to Mayor Menino’s initiative in establishing the Boston Bikes program, led by (2000 Sydney Games Olympian) Nicole Freedman, but Boston still faces some challenges before becoming a truly bicycle-friendly city. Safety is the number one issue. An old city like Boston was never designed with bicycles and cars in mind. You can convince people that cycling is healthy, eco-friendly and fun, but Boston needs to address safety. Mayor Menino himself has been hit twice by cars while riding a bicycle, so we know that the Mayor is very interested in this problem. How do other old cities

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Act 1, Scene 1, Page 1. Need your critique!

June 30, 2010 by  

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OK, my writer and reader friends, I need your help. I’m attending an exciting event in July, the Pen on Fire Speaker Series at Laguna Beach Books. On hand will be literary agents Barbara DeMarco Barrett, Jamie Weiss Chilton, Jill Marr and Sally van Haitsma who have agreed to review a single page of selected attendees’ fiction works in progress. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have just begun Chapter Three–although the truth is that I lay in bed scribbling notes on ways to improves Chapters One and Two. (And, so the process goes on and on until we are satisfied that we’ve offered our very best.) In an effort to offer my very best, would you, could you, be so kind as to read the one page I’ll be offering? Your honest critique is so valued! Here it is: Tossing a long tendril of sun-bleached hair behind her shoulder, Treva stared at her reflection in the driver’s side window of a late-model sedan. She considered sweeping the loose, wavy mass into a clean updo. She preferred a more mature appearance–no one wanted to buy a car from a little…

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