US Family IP, Wikipedia Printed, Crispin’s Daddy, XBox Social Media, Sofa Surfing

A couple from the United States got a shock when they learned their family photo was being used, unauthorised, on an advertising poster in Prague. Danielle and Jeff Smith used the photo as their Christmas card, and also posted it on an internet blog. A friend travelling in the Czech capital alerted them when he spotted the Smiths smiling at him, life-size, from a poster in a supermarket.
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Rob Matthews has created a hefty physical version of Wikipedia’s featured articles. The 2,559 digital articles have been transformed into a massive, 5,000 page hardbound book that looks to be around 2 feet tall. Thoroughly impractical, the project also involves a huge waste of paper. Ho hum.
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Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, one of the more-successful U.S. advertising agencies, said it is expanding abroad, launching CP+B Europe by acquiring Daddy, a digital-ad firm in Gothenburg, Sweden. Daddy, which has 50 employees, works on behalf of marketers including H.J. Heinz and the Scandinavian airline SAS. Terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed.
Says Microsoft: “By bringing Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm to Xbox 360, we’re not only extending the walls of your living room beyond your home to your friends all over the world, we’re creating the definitive social network, uniting more than 300 million people to share thoughts on music, play games and tweet.”

Sofa Surfing goes Social, gets a Business Plan
CrashPadder is a global community which enables travellers to stay with like-minded people for a fair price, and enables hosts to earn cash from their extra space. It gives everyone a chance to meet new people without the cost of a hotel, or the discomfort of a hostel. We have over twenty-five hundred and twenty users, eleven hundred and fifty-two rooms, in thirty-eight different countries – and growing all the time!

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Prototype v Facebook, Publicis v GM

Prototype, a game for Xbox and PS3, just launched a Facebook Connect powered trailer. Jesse Pickard asys “It’s one of the most innovative Facebook Connect executions out there. Be sure to check it out.”

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GM Bankruptcy: Publicis Says Its Exposure Is $78 Million
Publicis Groupe said today its maximum financial exposure to its client General Motors Corp.’s bankruptcy filing is $78 million. The French holding company’s Starcom MediaVest Group is listed in the automaker’s Chapter 11 filing as its sixth-largest unsecured creditor, owed $121 million and Publicis itself is 18th on that list, owed $25 million.

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Console-less Games, Army iPhones, McDegrees

Whether one is a Playstation fan or an Xbox devotee, most gamers tend to be loyal to a specific console. But despite the magnitude of importance consoles have among gamers, might console-less gaming be the next big thing in the gaming world? Eliminating the need for a console, San Francisco-based start-up OnLive has created a gaming system in which gamers can use a PC, Mac, or their TV to stream on-demand games.
consoleless Gaming
Apple‘s iPods and iPhones, symbols of a modern urban lifestyle, are now in use in a very different setting – the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are, say the US forces, ideal for the age of “network centric warfare”, relatively easy to use, safe with secure software, and far cheaper than manufacturing a military version.

McDonald’s considers offering degrees to employees
McDonald’s is mooting an idea to launch its own PhD in management as it continues with attempts to shed the “McJobs” stigma associated with working for the fast food chain. Speaking to the Financial Times, McDonald’s chief people officer David Fairhurst said offering a PhD was the next logical addition to the chain’s other training programmes.

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Most Social Brands of 2008

That Top 50 in full

1. iPhone
2. CNN
3. Apple
4. Disney
5. Xbox
6. Starbucks
7. iPod
8. MTV
9. Sony
10. Dell
11. Microsoft
12. Ford
13. Nintendo
14. Target
15. PlayStation
16. Mac
17. Turner
18. Hewlett-Packard
19. Fox News
20. BlackBerry
21. ABC
22. Coke
23. LG
24. Best Buy
25. Honda
26. eBay
27. Sharp
28. Lincoln
29. NBA
30. Pepsi
31. General Motors
32. McDonald’s
33. General Electric
34. Walmart
35. NFL
36. Mercedes
37. BMW
38. Samsung
39. Nike
40. Subway
41. Dodge
42. Pandora
43. CBS
44. Mercury
45. NBC
46. Disneyland
47. Last.fm
48. Toyota
49. Cadillac
50. Chevy

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Gaming: Moms, Girls

The Xbox 360 is utilizing a marketing strategy that is reminiscent of the Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics parties of old and despite the radical change in product, the target audience hasn’t changed. To that end, Microsoft recently invited 1,000 women from around the country to host events in their homes as a way of showcasing many of the Xbox’s new web-based games and services to their family and friends.
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Girl Gaming
Until recently, gaming has always been regarded as a male-dominated activity, especially as games ripe with shooting, action, sports or racing continue to break sales records with their mass appeal. Due in part to the popularity of the Nintendo Wii and the portability of the Nintendo DS, new data suggests that the girl gaming market is bigger than first thought and has room to grow. Research also suggests that girls tend to favor more social and collaborative games with less competition and more opportunity for personalization and nurturing.

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