Reminder: May 31 is the last day to order prizes on Club Bing?

As a reminder, games on Club Bing have now ended, but you can still redeem your tickets for prizes through May 31, 2012.  Prizes will no longer be available to order after May 31, 2012 at 11:59 PM PDT.  Please see Club Bing and  Terms and Conditions for more information.

If you haven’t done so already, please visit the Club Bing Prize Mall to redeem your tickets*.  Please note that prize selection is limited and if the prize you ordered is no longer available, Club Bing may substitute a prize or prizes of comparable or higher value.

As an alternative to Club Bing, you can check out Bing Rewards and Bing Entertainment.

  • Bing Rewards: Join Bing Rewards and earn credits when you search with Bing. Redeem credits  for Redbox one-night movie rentals, Microsoft Points, Amazon.com  Gift Cards and more.
  • Bing Entertainment: Play a wide range of free online games on Bing. Choose from word games, puzzles, action games and more.

11:11:11 on 11/11/11

At 11.11.11 on 11.11.11, the time and date will be a perfect same-numbered palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards, an event which can only happen on one day every 100 years. What are you/were you doing at this time?

Two minutes silence for Armistice Day: Remembrance Day

Please join with me in 2 minutes silence today at 11:00am (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2011) to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day and Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918; hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice (“at the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.)

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[1]

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields“. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

China is likely to have military divisions devoted to sifting through social media

Anyone watching James Bond or 1950’s war documentaries may be led to believe that in order to receive useful intelligence, a foreign agency or home-grown threat needs a network of all-charming, ever-discreet spies. Well, you’d be wrong. The chances are – you’re already feeding them all of the information they need via your social media profiles.

Foreign Governments and terrorist cells no longer have a need to hack into secure systems for information, as they – and you for that matter – can get everything they need completely legally. This alarming wake-up call comes courtesy of Data Defender Ltd, a London-based data protection agency who are battling the war against cyber attacks.

Graeme Batsman, the company’s Security Director, explains how we’re all at fault:

“Let me give you an example – say a foreign Government want details on the numbers, skills and location of a certain aspect of the British Military. All they need to do is get onto Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter”, says Graeme. He expands “For example, on LinkedIn there’s a group dedicated to Royal Marine Personnel – from that you can get a list of names as well as their rank, where they studied, their unit and photo. The next stop is over to Facebook to find out their location, religious beliefs, political party memberships and spouse’s name, often without being a friend. When you’re armed with this, a quick search for them on Twitter is likely to reveal exactly what their up to – as members of the Armed Forces are known to regularly post their location, even while on a foreign tour of duty”.

It’s highly likely that foreign authorities have teams that are dedicated to sifting through and researching such information on social media websites to enhance their foreign military statistics. It’s all laid out in front of them, has no cost and is one hundred percent legal; so why not? One example is China, with over 2 million military members – and huge teams dedicated to cyber intelligence and rumoured to engage in cyber warfare.

However, the other worry is terrorists, both in the UK and abroad. Many have already been shut down for using social media to find and target soldiers for kidnapping. As soon as they have their name through LinkedIn they can head to the free online BT Phone Directory to get their home address. That’s all that they need, and they got it free, legally and in less than 30 minutes.

The point that Graeme Batsman and his team are trying to get across is that anyone should think twice before posting even the most minor of details online, particularly if they hold a Government or Defence-based job.

“It takes just the smallest clues to help contribute to their wider plan. Even a name or a company address is fodder for these guys to advance and find out more. We urgently advise everyone to practise vigilance and integrity when using social media”, says Graeme.

Ancestry Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe, Platinum and World

Avanquest Software Publishing has announced the release of Ancestry.co.uk Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe, Platinum and World editions to help unlock rich family history as never before. Perfect for the amateur through to the more experienced genealogist, Family Tree Maker 2012 has exciting new features including a mobile app and syncing capabilities to help users bring their family history to life and celebrate ancestral achievements.

With easy-to-use tools and integrated access to Ancestry.co.uk, the home of more than 895 million records, Family Tree Maker allows the user to create a detailed family tree quickly and easily. This includes the ability to seamlessly add record information from the world’s largest family history website directly into their family tree; to integrate existing Member Trees from Ancestry.co.uk; and to import files from other genealogy programs.

The Family Tree Maker range contains a wide variety of innovative and advanced features, so the user can create the most detailed family tree possible. The new TreeSync feature allows the user to link between their desktop Family Tree Maker tree and its corresponding tree on Ancestry.co.uk; with both trees synchronised, only one need be updated but both will reflect the changes. This allows easy online sharing with invited guests and enables the user to update their tree and continue their research from wherever they are.

The interactive training tutorials make it easy for even the novice genealogist to quickly and easily learn how to build an extensive, detailed family tree. Step-by-step hints and tips are provided to guide users through the range of different functions and features included in Family Tree Maker 2012.

New features in Ancestry.co.uk Family Tree Maker 2012 include:

  • Share your tree online – Friends and family can view and update your tree online, even if they do not own Ancestry.co.uk software or have a subscription. Collaboration with others researching their family tree online is possible too, allowing trees to grow faster.
  • Improved Smart Stories– Previously, Family Tree Maker generated Smart Stories only included information about the individual family member – now it also includes information about spouses and children.
  • Update family trees from anywhere – Using an iPad or iPhone, family trees can be updated easily and quickly through Ancestry.co.uk.
  • New Blended Family View – The family group view now has a new ‘blended families’ option which allows the user to see an individual’s children in one view. It is simple to tell which parent the child belongs to; one, the other, or both.
  • Improved reports – The improved notes report allows the user to display extra facts on individuals in the tree such as more detailed research or relationship information.
  • New index of Individuals Report – This report lists every individual in the tree and enables the user to easily view birth, marriage and death rates.

Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe Edition (SRP £40.84) includes three months Essentials membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £32 and an electronic version of the companion guide. This version is suited to the novice genealogist, just starting to explore their family roots.

Family Tree Maker 2012 Platinum Edition (SRP £61.27) includes six months Premium membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £77 plus a printed companion guide with over 380 pages of detailed information. This is ideal for the more experienced genealogist who wants to explore their family tree in greater detail.

Family Tree Maker 2012 World Edition (SRP £102.12) includes six months Worldwide membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £113 plus a printed companion guide containing over 380 pages of invaluable information. This version has been created for those who may have their family history spread across the world.