Friendster to delete users’ content by May 31

Attention, Friendster users: You have until May 31 to save your account contents including photos, testimonials, and blogs —or else you’ll lose them in the social network’s upcoming major reformat.

Friendster, a pioneer social networking site launched in 2002, issued the warning as it prepares a “new and improved version” in the coming weeks.

“Your Friendster account will not be deleted. You will still have the same email login and password in the new Friendster. Also, your list of friends will be preserved, along with your basic profile information. However, all the photos, messages, comments, testimonials, shoutouts, blogs, forums and groups that you may have now will no longer be part of your account by May 31, 2011,” it said in its help forum.

To be preserved are the user’s list of friends, along with basic profile information, wallet, and games.

But to help the user save his or her account content, Friendster offered an application to help download or export photos and blogs securely to third party sites, such as Flickr or Multiply.

Dubbed the Friendster Exporter, the app will be rolled out gradually and is now available for users inSingapore.

Users in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia can expect the app to be available in a few days after April 14, it added.

It said that the app will be available to all Friendster users before the end of April 2011.

Relaunching Friendster

Friendster was acquired in December 2009 by MOL Global, the parent company of Asia’s leading online payment solutions provider MOL AccessPortal Berhad.

Friendster said that it and MOL have been combined to create Asia’s largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network, pairing MOL’s offline retail channel partners and payment platform with Friendster’s large online footprint, social network and user community in Asia.

But MOL CEO Ganesh Bangah explained that the new Friendster aims not to compete with, but instead to complement, Facebook.

Complementing Facebook

He noted that, while Facebook is a site where people can communicate with and find out what their real-life friends are doing, Friendster will be the place where people can meet new friends and play games and enjoy music with them. The pioneering social network will continue to innovate and be at the forefront of the social networking scene, he said in an article on ZDNet Asia.

Friendster said that its “new and improved” version will be focused on entertainment and fun, and will have new features to better enable users to connect with friends or engage new friends with similar interests.

“Our improved site is designed to create new profiles that allow you to connect differently with people and do things differently than other networking sites. Basically, the new site will complement your existing online presence in other social networking sites,” the company said.

Popular in Asia

A July 15, 2010 article in the Global Post said that, while Friendster lost users in the United States to MySpace and Facebook in the mid-2000s, the social network exploded in the Philippines, where nearly half of its userbase is located.

It said that Friendster later spread to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Now, roughly 80 percent of Friendster’s 116 million users live in Southeast Asia, the report said. — TJD, GMA News

Five facts about the Chinese New Year

Chinese people across the world welcome the lunar new year on Feb. 3, a period also known as the Spring Festival and marked by a long holiday.

Here are five facts about the festival, its meaning and some of the traditions and superstitions surrounding it:

* This year is the year of the rabbit, according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar.

People born in the year of the rabbit are believed to be moderate, kind, happy and have great taste, but are also cautious and somewhat mysterious with a propensity to cry.

People born in the years of 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 are all rabbits.

* There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, including the pig, the rat, the ox and the snake, and there are several versions of how this came to be.

In one tradition, an ancient Chinese emperor held a race to decide which animal should get the honor of being first in the zodiac. The rat won after hitching a ride on the head of the ox and jumping over the finishing line ahead of him.

* Chinese cities resound to a cacophony of firecrackers and fireworks during the festival in an effort to scare off evil spirits and attract the god of wealth to people’s doorsteps.

Parents and grandparents give red envelopes stuffed with cash to children, sometimes hiding them under pillows on Chinese New Year’s eve to ward off evil and bad luck. Denominations of the number 8 are considered best, because “eight” sounds like the expression for “to get wealthy”.

* There are lots of traditional foods eaten. Northern Chinese eat dumplings, which symbolize wealth because their shape resembles old fashioned Chinese gold and silver ingots. Fish is a popular dish, for the word “fish” has the same pronunciation as the word for “abundance”.

* Taboos abound. Crying on New Year’s Day means you will cry for the rest of the year, and washing your hair signifies washing away good luck. The word for “four” is avoided, because it sounds like the word for “death”, and using knives or scissors may “cut off” good fortune.

Children are told not to use bad words to avoid bringing misfortune in the year ahead.

Households carry out a full clean ahead of the new year to clear away old and bad things from the previous year and welcome in the new one with a fresh face.

But woe betide those who clean on new year’s day, for you will be sweeping away good fortune in the year ahead. -Reuters

No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed

No, your zodiac sign hasn't changed

Tattoo parlor owners must be salivating. An assertion in a Minneapolis Star Tribune article that our understanding of the zodiac is off by about a month – and that therefore people have been identifying themselves with the wrong sign – caught fire on the internet Thursday, and many folks are in an absolute panic on social media.

“If my zodiac symbol has been changed to a Libra, what am I supposed to do with my Scorpio tattoo?!?!,” read one tweet Thursday.

Some vowed to get their tats removed. Others groaned about losing the sign with which they’ve identified themselves for years. The zodiac and related terms – including Ophiuchus, said to be a 13th and neglected sign – were trending Twitter topics much of Thursday.

But before astrology fans scrape the ink from their arms because they think they’re now a Virgo instead of a Libra, they should consider this: If they adhered to the tropical zodiac – which, if they’re a Westerner, they probably did – absolutely nothing has changed for them.

That’s worth rephrasing: If you considered yourself a Cancer under the tropical zodiac last week, you’re still a Cancer under the same zodiac this week.

That’s because the tropical zodiac – which is fixed to seasons, and which Western astrology adheres to – differs from the sidereal zodiac – which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East, and is the type of zodiac to which the Star Tribune article ultimately refers.

Two zodiacs. That’s nothing new.

“This story is born periodically as if someone has discovered some truth. It’s not news,” said Jeff Jawer, astrologer with Tarot.com.

The hubbub started with Sunday’s Star Tribune article, which said the following: “The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was ‘in’ on the day a person was born. During the ensuing millenniums, the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth ‘wobble’ around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment.”

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, told the Star Tribune.

“Indeed,” the article continued, “most horoscope readers who consider themselves Pisces are actually Aquarians.” The article also asserts Scorpio’s window lasts only seven days, and that a 13th constellation, Ophiuchus, used to be counted between Scorpio and Sagittarius but was discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.

True enough, Jawer says, the sun doesn’t align with constellations at the same time of year that it did millennia ago. But that’s irrelevant for the tropical zodiac, codified for Western astrology by Ptolemy in the second century, he says.

In the tropical zodiac, the start of Aries is fixed to one equinox, and Libra the other.

“When we look at the astrology used in the Western world, the seasonally based astrology has not changed, was never oriented to the constellations, and stands as … has been stated for two millenniums,” Jawer said.

People who put stock in astrology can ask whether they should adhere to the tropical zodiac or the sidereal zodiac. Jawer argues for the tropical.

“Astrology is geocentric. It relates life on Earth to the Earth’s environment, and seasons are the most dramatic effect, which is why we use the tropical zodiac,” he said.

Source: http://news.blogs.cnn.com

The 13th Zodiac Sign

I am no longer a Virgo. According to astronomer Parke Kunkle, changes in the Earth’s alignment has caused many zodiac signs to change and there may be a 13th Zodiac sign — Ophiuchus!

According to NBC, Kunkle says that, as expected, as the Earth and Sun move slowly the signs change gradually.

The 12 Zodiac signs were designated to different periods of the year nearly 3,000 years ago and the Earth’s position in relation to the sun has changed since then.

And some scientists reportedly believe there is a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

Ophiucus (The Serpent Bearer)

But, horoscope readings reportedly shouldn’t be affected.

Did your sign change?

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18- May 13
Taurus: May 13- June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

What is Ophiuchus?

The 13th sign of the zodiac, unlike the other 12 signs is actually associated with a real person. In the 27th Century BCE in Ancient Egypt lived a man known as Imhotep. Imhotep was known as ‘Aesclepius’ by the Ancient Greeks, however the attributes are the same under either name.

One of Imhoteps abilities was healing and it is said that it was he who introduced it to mankind. His accomplishments also included a wide knowledge of medicine. The serpent or snake symbol which is still used today to symbolize the medical profession was also used to represent Imhotep.

Below is a list of attributes associated with the Serpent Holder, Imhotep i.e Aesclepius. The descriptions below are associated with the 13th sign – Ophiuchus.

  • Many people are envious of this subject as he progresses well throughout life.
  • A seeker of wisdom and knowledge
  • Many people are jealous of this person
  • Tends to go for the more flamboyant in dress sense, favouring bright colours.
  • Authority looks upon him well.
  • Would make a great architect or builder.
  • Number 12 is this persons lucky number.
  • This person will have a big family but leave home at an early age.
  • interpreter of dreams, vivid premonitions,
  • attracts good luck and fruitful blessings,
  • serpent holder, lofty ideals,
  • a seeker of peace and harmony,
  • doctor of medicine or science, natural-pathic,
  • adds, increases, joins, or gathers together
  • poetical, inventive nature, expanding qualities,
  • seeks higher education and wisdom,
  • overseer, supervisor of work,
  • fame – either grand, or completely misunderstood,
  • longevity, aspirations of healing the ills of man,
  • architect, builder, reaches for the stars, figuratively and literally,
  • tax assessor, or levys taxes,
  • astrological talents, intuitive,
  • large family indicated, but apt to be separated from them when young,
  • the number twelve holds great significance,
  • foresight and good fortune to benefit from hard times,
  • has secret enemies in family or close associations,
  • many jealous of this subject,
  • notable father, apple of father’s eye when young,
  • high position in life expected [depending on aspects] highest fame and legend comes after death
  • feelings of granular, wise, genius mentality,
  • likes to wear clothing of vibrant colors, and plaids in particular,
  • receives the favor of those in authority.

UPDATE: https://danrogayan.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/no-your-zodiac-sign-hasnt-changed/