Rockybid.com, a new online auction website, successfully launch last month but they are planning to lose money on every item until the end of the year. Some recently closed items sold for dirt cheap are a Tom Tom GPS, an iPod Touch and a Nintendo Wii. Biggest ticket item is the 2010 Honda Insight which should close in a week for a bargain

Rockybid.com, a new online auction website, has compiled statistics regarding company revenue, web traffic and user demographics for its first month in operation. Despite a successful launch, the "omega auction" site, as they refer to themselves, is not looking to post profits until Q4 of 2009. This structure creates highly inflated discount opportunities for users.

According to Rockybid, omega auctions differ from other auctions in that the final bidder in the countdown wins. An omega auction does not cater to the highest bidder the way a traditional auction does, rather it is designed to reward the bidder who remains when the time limit ends. The model on which these auctions are based allows each bidder to contribute to the overall price of the product, as the increases in bidding price are completely linked to the number of bids.

However, this model also requires a large pool of users to generate profits. As their site and membership grow, Rockybid has reconfigured their plan so that they can accept a significant deficit before they recoup their losses in Q4. They are hoping that the 90-95% savings offered on their site will draw users interested in purchasing items such as a Nintendo Wii for less than $4, as was recently sold. Other recent Rockybid sales include an iPod Touch for just over $1, a Tom Tom GPS for $0.35, a fifty-dollar gift card to Amazon.com for $0.10, a PC laptop for $1.93, and a Samsung flatscreen TV for $0.47.

The biggest-ticket item that Rockybid is auctioning off is the 2010 Honda Insight Honda Insight, the new Hybrid built by Honda to compete with Toyota's well known Prius. "Because of our low user base, the Honda Insight is likely to sell for more than 90% off!" says Scott Emerson, customer service representative for Rockybid. That auction is set to close on Sunday, May 17.

"In addition to the enormous savings on our top of the line items, we are constantly giving away perks to our users," added Emerson. Free bids are available for just signing up with Rockybid as well as for participating in their rewards system. Through the referral program, 5 free bid is awarded to each referring user w hen the new user purchases an initial bid package. Even if members don't win in an auction, they can still receive prizes for used bids.

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Youniverse.com Launched in UK to Discover Users' VisualDNA™ Using Picture-Based PersonalityTest.

Youniverse, the social discovery website where users can define their VisualDNA, enabling them to learn more about themselves and connect with like-minded people that share their aspirations and personality, has re-launched with a new-look user interface. Much more than a standard PersonalityTest, Youniverse utilises images to help its users on the way to self discovery.

The concept of VisualDNA brings emotions and sophisticated matching to the web. Users build their VisualDNA on Youniverse by responding to a insightful, fun, image-based Personality Quiz, that profile each user's interests, aspirations and motivations.

Unlike other social networks based around the concept of connecting with current and past social contacts, Youniverse is based around the theme of discovery, enabling users to find people, places, experiences and products that they will like, based on their VisualDNA.

Youniverse's image-based quizzes cover topics that include personality, careers planning, travel, mind, art, movies and the Love Test. Following completion of each quiz, an in-depth, personal analysis is produced. Users can then compare their results to others' and find people that match them.

The VisualDNA concept is highly social, offering a means for individuals to better understand themselves and others, in order to facilitate both relevant, new friendships and also to strengthen existing relationships through a heightened understanding of shared attitudes, emotions and values.

Rodrigo Dauster of Youniverse explains "The VisualDNA concept uses images to enable the feelings and motivation of users to be discovered. By responding to a series of carefully selected, open statements, emotional responses are triggered in each user and the results are then used to produce their very own VisualDNA. We believe by understanding more about you and others on the site, users can unlock the door to new experiences and friendships, that they would never have discovered otherwise."

Youniverse is a social discovery website which defines its users' VisualDNA, enabling them to learn more about themselves and their friends.

The concept of VisualDNA brings emotions and sophisticated matching to the web. Users build their VisualDNA on Youniverse by responding to insightful, fun, image-based questionnaires, profiling each user's interests, aspirations, motivations and personality based on their selections.

Youniverse was named by the BBC as 'one of the best sites on the web' (BBC Click Online / Webscape-r, 11th July 2008)

The site was launched in the UK in 2008 has more than 3 million global users - over 15 million people have experienced one or more VisualDNA questionnaires since the concept was launched by parent company Imagini in 2006.

Imagini is the parent company of Youniverse and developed the VisualDNA technology. The company was founded in 2006 and has recently secured $13.5m in funding.

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Podcasts yield high return on investment (ROI) for businesses according to iBlogmarketing, which is releasing a two part blog series on business podcasts. Podcasting offers businesses a new and highly effective way to communicate with their target market, providing a high return on investment.

Podcasts yield high return on investment (ROI) for businesses, according to www.iBlogMarketing.com. Podcasting offers a new and effective way for businesses to communicate with their target market that also provides a high return on investment. Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or videos, over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. It has become one of the fastest growing media of all time. eMarketer.com reported that almost 22 million U.S. Internet users are listening to podcasts and predicts that the number of U.S. listeners will nearly double by 2013.

iBlogMarketing.com recommends businesses consider adding podcasts to their promotional marketing plans, offering two ways for them to reach their target markets with podcasts; either sponsoring a relevant podcast or by creating their own PodfomercialSM (i.e. a podcast infomercial). By allowing the listener or viewer to tune in to the show when they want, where they want, and how they want, podcasts can be used as a form of pull advertising. Because these people are taking the time to seek out and download podcasts, they provide qualified audiences already interested in the business or product and are therefore capable of offering a very high ROI for businesses.

Lou Del Monte, President of TMA E-Marketing, offers this advice to businesses interested in podcasting, "A podcast is a lot like a Website. It doesn't matter how great it is if it isn't found in the search engines. The first step in being able to monetize a podcast is assuring it is found by your target market."

For more information on business podcasting and tips from Lou Del Monte on monetizing your business podcast, visit iblogmarketing.com for access to the full blog series scheduled to post according to the following schedule:

May 11, 2009 - Part 1: What are business podcasts?
May 18, 2009 - Part 2: How can businesses monetize business podcasts?

iBlogMarketing.com is owned and operated by TMA E-Marketing (www.tmaemarketing.com), one of the leading providers of Internet marketing services in the US. TMA E-Marketing is recognized as a leader in developing and applying cutting-edge online technologies and offers clients "one stop shopping" for all their Internet marketing and advertising needs. TMA E-Marketing owns and operates some of the most important properties on the Internet, including the number one business blog directory (www.iBlogBusiness.com) and number one business podcast directory (www.iBizRadio.com) in the world.

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Once again, Manny Pacquiao reign supreme in the boxing arena. No doubt Pacquiao is the best fighter in boxing, pound-for-pound. He is one of those rare performers who is able to challenge bigger opponents and still dominate. He defeated Ricky Hatton by 2nd-round techinical knock-out. Pacquaio's speed is undeniably awesome. Hatton was down twice in the 1st-round, and he fell again in the 2nd-round that gave the decision to Pacquiao. It was a good fight. Hatton is good, not great.

Pacquiao is an all-time great who is a sure-shot for the Hall of Fame. He probably is the greatest Asian fighter in boxing history. Congratulations Manny Pacquaio. You gave honor again to your beloved country.

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Procedural Inc. now provides an impressive 3D scenario of a futuristic New York. CityEngine customers and trial users can freely download the city example to explore, modify and use it. As an additional highlight, the 2009.1 CityEngine release will be presented at this year's FMX 09 conference (Stuttgart, May 5th- 8th).

Procedural Inc. has announced the high quality 3D city example NYC 2259, which is available for free download. NYC 2259 is the extrapolation of New York City 250 years into the future, inspired by Luc Besson's great sci-fi movie The Fifth Element. The example features grammar rules and assets to create highly detailed futuristic skyscrapers as well as flying cars.

Procedural Inc., an innovative software company located in Zurich, Switzerland, is creator of the world's foremost procedural modeling technology. With the CityEngine, Procedural Inc.'s graphics experts have developed a radically different 3D application that allows professional users in entertainment, architecture and urban planning to efficiently create 3D city models.

"We are very happy to deliver this cool example to our clients and trial users. Usually, such detailed cities are made in months of tedious modeling work for one angle of view only, but with the CityEngine you can modify and re-generate the whole city within minutes" says Pascal Mueller, CEO Procedural Inc. "And in case there are plans for a sequel to The Fifth Element, I hope Luc Besson knows now where to get the city backdrop for it."

A "Making of" video of the New York example is available online at:

http://www.procedural.com/cityengine/provided-examples/new-york-city-2259.html

And there's more good news for 3D professionals in need to create city models: the new version of the CityEngine will be launched in May! The 2009.1 release will be presented for the first time in public at FMX (Stuttgart, May 5th- 8th) in the scope of the workshop "The Future of 3D City Modeling". The presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 5th, 11:00am, Room Karlsruhe and will broadcasted live via Procedural TV:

http://www.procedural.com/company/procedural-tv.html.

In addition, the CityEngine 2009 will be showcased at Procedural Inc.'s booth during the whole conference.

Availability
The CityEngine can be purchased online and a free 30-day trial version is also available for download at http://www.procedural.com. The software can be purchased via Procedural Inc.'s website, or by telephone order at +41 76 720 3303.

CityEngine is a registered trademark of Procedural Inc. Other product and company names herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

High-resolution images:

http://www.procedural.com/company/press_room


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ABC news correspondent Dan Harris interviewed author of the controversial new book ''10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith.'' ABC is featuring former rocker, ex-pastor, and new writer Jason T. Berggren as the subject of two separate segments due to the national attention his book has been attracting with his candid approach to faith.

According to author Jason T. Berggren, the Bible is boring, praying doesn't work, and Christians are self-righteous. Those are a few of the emotionally charged subjects Berggren answers for in the first of two interviews which debuted online this week on ABC's video news blog The Quick Fix. Berggren discusses openly the challenges he has faced over the 20 years of his faith journey as chronicled in his bold new book ''10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith.''

News correspondent Harris describes the book as "a fascinating and rather risky critique of Christianity." The assessment seems accurate based on recent comments gathering on ABC's site and around the web. Berggren openly admits hate is a very strong word and reveals that he wrestled deeply with using the term. In the end, he decided it was the best way to describe his angst-ridden frustration, which is how he justifies the use of the term. Berggren emphasizes that this is not a closed and bitter anger. It's the type of deep dissatisfaction that can be a motivator towards personal growth and forward momentum.

Berggren highlights the sub-title when clarifying this, "It's working through the frustrations of faith." Berggren explains that he doesn't just point out problems in the 10 foundational areas of his faith that he has constantly had to work through over the last 20 years, but backs them with his own personal resolutions. He acknowledges that many may not come to the same conclusions, but the author feels that others will be helped in their own spiritual experience as they read about his.

To learn more about Jason T. Berggren, his blog, and his controversial new book visit www.10thingsihate.com. ABC will be featuring Berggren in a primetime interview for the debut of a new show called "Beliefs" airing in a few weeks. Specific showtime to be announced on www.abcnews.com.

Watch the interview here, taken from YouTube:

video

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Legacy of 9/11 Rescue Dog to Live on through Cloned Puppy, Growing Interest from Hollywood in Creating a Movie

Trakr, the heroic German Shepherd whose 9/11 rescue, legendary police work and community service made him one of the world's most revered dogs, died peacefully early this week of old age at his home. He was 16, according to spokeswoman Linda Press.

Trakr first attained hero status in the 1990s as both a K9 police and a search and rescue dog whose acuity for locating people, evidence and stolen goods quickly became renowned. Extraordinarily tenacious, Trakr was credited with hundreds of arrests and recovered more than one million dollars in stolen goods. He received accolades and global media attention throughout his career as a result of both his accomplishments and his ability to capture the hearts of all he touched.

But search and rescue was Trakr's true calling. His exceptional abilities were showcased around the world following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trakr and his partner, then Police Officer James Symington, were one of the first K9 search and rescue teams to arrive at Ground Zero. In addition to locating numerous victims, Trakr found the last survivor buried beneath the rubble. For his heroic efforts, Trakr was presented with the Extraordinary Service to Humanity Award by Dr. Jane Goodall, United Nations "Messenger of Peace," and was featured in books and magazines dedicated to 9/11 heroes including, Dog World and In the Line of Duty.

Commenting on Trakr's life, Symington said, "I am honored to have been Trakr's partner, best friend and lifelong companion. He possessed a rare combination of uncanny intuition, pure heart, and relentless courage and has been an inspiration to so many. He'll live in my heart forever."

Throughout his career, Trakr and Symington were closely involved with various charities. Trakr was the first police K9 to have his head shaved for Cops for Cancer, a national initiative for kids with cancer. He was also a regular guest of various children's organizations, schools and hospitals where kids would eagerly line up to rub his belly and get his autographed police card. Remarkably perceptive, Trakr always reached out to children with disabilities who were unable to come to him. Without exception, he would seek them out, licking their hands and evoking smiles and giggles.

While Trakr dedicated his life to fighting for others, the fight for his own life was often perilous. Symington helped him narrowly escape death when a few misguided Canadian Police officials proposed a euthanasia policy for all retiring K9 dogs. After his 9/11 rescue, Trakr collapsed from smoke and chemical inhalation, burns and exhaustion. Likely a result of this exposure, Trakr was disabled for the past two years, but he continued to be a devoted companion and inspiration to many.

In 2008, Trakr received international attention again when BioArts International named him the "World's Most Cloneworthy Dog." This honor enables Trakr's DNA to be used to clone a puppy, which Symington, now head of entertainment talent management firm Prodigy Talent Group, plans to name Prodigy.

Trakr lived in Los Angeles with Symington and his wife. The couple has been approached by various Hollywood executives and best-selling authors to turn Trakr's dramatic and poignant story into a book and movie. For more information about Trakr's amazing life, visit his "Trakr - Heart of a Hero" Facebook page.

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