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Wisconsin Boy, 17, is Declared Fastest Texter in U.S. After Faceoff in Times Square (AP)
Seventeen-year-old Austin Wierschke, who says he has “abnormally fast thumbs,” has been named the fastest texter in America for the second year in a row. He gets $50,000 in prize money, which he says he’ll save and use to pay for college, along with the $50,000 he won last year. CNET The competition, which takes place in New York’s Times Square, tests texters on three skills: speed, accuracy and dexterity. The thumb athletes must text blindfolded, know “text speak,” be able to copy phrases quickly and text jumbled words. Los Angeles Times Eleven contestants had to make it through eight grueling rounds of challenges. The gripping play-by-play of the contest, which was sponsored by cellphone maker LG Electronics, was listed on the LG Texter Facebook page. Daily Mail Wierschke sent 500 texts a day to friends to prepare for the challenge and plans to hold on to his title. “I’ll see you next year … bring it on,” he said. New York Daily News Kent Augustine, a 16-year-old Queens, N.Y., boy, blew home field advantage but still walkged away in second place with a cool $10,000. “I think that I had a huge advantage because I’d been here before,” Augustine said.
Zynga COO John Schappert Steps Down, Effective Immediately (AllThingsD)
Zynga has announced that COO John Schappert has stepped down from the company and its board of directors, effective immediately. This comes as perhaps no surprise given that last week it leaked out that the social game company’s founder and CEO Mark Pincus had begun overseeing the company’s game development. Reuters Zynga did not immediately name a replacement for Schappert on Wednesday. “John has made significant contributions to the games industry throughout his career and we appreciate all that he has done for Zynga,” Pincus said on Wednesday in a statement. Business Insider Zynga no longer sees itself as a company that makes Facebook games and mobile games — the way it was organized under Schappert. And once it erased that line, it wasn’t clear where to put Schappert.
Pinterest Drops Invites, Now Open to Everyone (Mashable)
Pinterest announced Wednesday that it began open registration, dropping its invite-only approach. Users can now sign up for the social photo-sharing website without waiting for an invitation, according to Pinterest’s blog.
YouTube Updates its Video-Editing Interface, Adds New Features Like Real-Time Interactive Preview (The Next Web)
Google has announced some enhancements to its editing interface and experience for YouTube. The new features include an interactive preview of your video, so you know if your edits are on the mark or not.
How Turner’s Using Social TV for the PGA Championship (Lost Remote)
Turner Sports begins airing coverage today of the PGA Championship, one of golf’s biggest events. The TV company has launched a social TV strategy to give fans a greater opportunity than ever before to interact with the 18 hours of exclusive live coverage that will be on TNT.
Skyscrpr Launches Simple Sexy Monetization Solution for Bloggers (VentureBeat)
Blog monetization start-up Skyscrpr is launching a new service for small and medium-sized blogs to sell, manage, and place their own ad inventory … all in about five minutes, flat. Placement is simple: after signing up and entering the site, publishers are presented with a framed view of their sites. Then they simply drag and drop ads right where they want them.
Facebook App Subscription Payment Model Now Available To All Developers (AllFacebook)
The test of a subscription payment model for applications with developers Zynga, Kixeye, and Playdom that Facebook launched in June is over, and the social network has extended the capability to all developers. Facebook said in a post on its developer blog that subscription billing will allow developers to establish recurring revenue streams for their apps, as well as offer users updated content and premium features. Herald Sun In a major win for people power, Facebook has taken down a page mocking Aborigines after it sparked widespread outrage and campaigns for its removal. The social network said that while it doesn’t remove “this type” of content from the site entirely unless it violates its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, out of respect for local laws, it may restrict access to content that violates local laws.
Why Tumblr’s Ads Will Be Nothing Like Facebook’s, Google’s (SocialTimes)
Tumblr is determined to turn its blog network into an advertising business without alienating the people who will have to look at the ads. But the same models that work for Google and Facebook will not work for Tumblr.
Police Identify Twitter User Accused of Making Threat (CNN)
Authorities have identified the Twitter user accused of posting violent threats against the Longacre Theater, New York Police Comissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday. Kelly said the user is not located in New York City, but police were preparing to interview the person.