China’s biggest e-commerce group Alibaba has bought an 18% stake in Weibo, China’s largest Twitter-like service, as it looks to tap into the fast-growing social media sector.
Alibaba will pay $586 million for the stake, valuing Weibo at over $3.2 billion.
The deal is expected to help Alibaba drive traffic from Weibo, which has more than 500 million users, to its e-commerce sites such as Taobao.
It will also help generate additional advertising revenue for Weibo.
According to the two firms, the partnership will bring in $380 million more in advertising and social commerce services revenue for Weibo over the next three years.
China’s biggest e-commerce group Alibaba has bought an 18 percent stake in Weibo, China’s largest Twitter-like service
“We believe that this strategic alliance helps to create a stronger Weibo,” said Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba.
“It affirms our view of the vitality and importance of social media in unleashing value in e-commerce activities.”
China has become the world’s biggest internet market and it is expected to grow even further in the coming years as more people get access to the internet.
Alibaba, was one of the early pioneers in the sector in China and has benefited from this boom.
It offers various services, including Alibaba.com which connects businesses across the globe to Chinese manufacturers. It also runs online shopping sites for retail consumers in China as well as an online payment service Alipay.
Driven by its success, the firm has been looking to increase its dominance in the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, social media sites such as Weibo have seen tremendous growth in China in recent times and have become a powerful medium for consumers.
The two companies said their partnership will help them grow their respective businesses and that they will “cooperate in the areas of user account connectivity, data exchange, online payment and online marketing, among other things”.
“Weibo and Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms are natural partners,” said Charles Chao, chairman SINA, the parent firm of Weibo.
“Together we provide a unique proposition not only to existing online merchants, but also to individuals or businesses, who wish to offer products and services on social networking platform to take advantage of the traffic shift toward social and mobile internet.”
According to the deal, Alibaba will have the right to increase its ownership in Weibo to 30% at a mutually agreed valuation “within a certain period of time in the future”.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Stewart says her divorce was such a surprise that she found out about it on Twitter even though she was still living with her estranged husband, Kordell Stewart.
After watching herself defend Kordell Stewart on part three of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion, Porsha took the chair on Watch What Happens Live to dish all about the breakdown on the marriage.
Porsha Stewart revealed that they’re still living together but horribly, they no longer speak at all.
“I’m blessed. I’m good. I’m here, I’m standing and I’m just being strong right now,” Porsha Stewart said positively as she began her chat.
The reality star then recalled the first moment she knew she was getting divorced after said she got a phone call from her sister, telling her to check Twitter.
“I thought, <<this is just a crazy joke!>>” Porsha Stewart, who had thought that the couple were working it through, said.
“I asked my husband … had he filed, and just a long story short, I felt very disappointed and let down,” the reality star told presenter Andy Cohen.
“When I got married, I meant it for life. … I was heartbroken,” Porsha Stewart added before explaining that she still lives with Kordell.
Porsha Stewart says her divorce was such a surprise that she found out about it on Twitter even though she was still living with her estranged husband, Kordell Stewart
But it doesn’t sound like much of a choice, as she added: “It’s a difficult situation right now. It’s something I did not want at all.”
“What you saw on the reunion was a wife trying her last try,” Porsha Stewart said.
“When you’ve made a vow to that man and that child in your home, you owe him that. … It was a betrayal I suffered from, and that’s something I’ll have to move on with.”
Former NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart, 40, lodged legal papers at Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia on March 22, TMZ reports.
Just three months ago Real Housewives Of Atlanta Porsha Stewart, the granddaughter of civil-rights leader Hosea Williams, defended her husband during a radio interview when asked about rumors he was gay.
Power 105 FM’s Breakfast Club host Charlemagne Tha God asked Porsha Stewart in the December exchange: “You know there were a lot of gay rumors about Kordell at one point. He [allegedly] got caught in the park in Pittsburgh and the police didn’t want to turn him in because he was a star quarterback.”
Porsha Stewart responded: “I don’t know any details of all that. There’s lies out there on the Internet about all kinds of celebrities.
“One thing I do [know] is my husband loves me, and he puts it down and I will be with him forever. He’s more man to me than I have ever met.”
Porsha and Kordell Stewart married on May 21, 2011. Early in 2012 Porsha suffered a miscarriage due to uterine fibroids.
In the divorce documents, Kordell Stewart says the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and that they separated, according to TMZ.
He also says there are no marital assets to be divided, suggesting a prenuptial was signed, writing: “[She’s] an able-bodied person, earning income and is capable of supporting herself.”
Kordell Stewart, who is now a radio sports talkshow co-host with Atlanta’s WZGC 92.9 The Game, has a son Syre from a previous relationship with Tania Richardson.
It looks like Google users are prime targets for pranks on April Fool’s Day.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks beginning with Google Nose – the newest addition to the search engine’s capabilities.
Google Nose apparently allows users to search the “Aromabase” of more than 15 million Scentibytes then catch a whiff of everything from wet dog to dumpsters.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks on April Fool’s Day beginning with Google Nose
There is also the announcement that YouTube is shutting down at midnight – to allow a panel of experts to pick the best video ever for when the site re-launches in 2023.
The hilarious clip includes comments from some of the site’s biggest stars including the little boy who had a dazed conversation with his father following a dentist appointment and Judson Laipply from “Evolution of Dance” clips.
In Google Maps, there is also now a treasure hunt mode after the site allegedly found scrolls at the bottom of the ocean belonging to Captain Kidd with directions to finding his stash of gold bars.
Google Australia also came up with SCHMICK – Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit – offering homeowners the chance to spruce up their houses on Google Street View with different themes and features.
The search engine offers an example of a home spruced up with a fountain, green lawn and Australian flag flying proudly.
Google is not the only one breaking out a sense of humor for the start of the month.
Twitter announced that from April 1 would become Twttr as the micro-blogging site canceled the use of vowels. If you want the use of a,e,i,o, or u, then it will cost five dollars a month.
Scope has launched bacon-flavored mouthwash with the tagline “for breath that sizzles”, just in time for April 1.
Facebook announced they would be borrowing a page from Twitter’s manual and introducing hashtags (#) onto its site.
According to The Week, no specific date has been announced for the introduction, but soon Facebook users who click on a word preceded by a hashtag will bring up all Facebook posts tagged with that hashtag.
Hashtags have become an important marker for Twitter. In the past week they were instrumental during the papal conclave and even signalling the Catholic Church’s newest leader #PopeFrancis.
But there’s also a monetary angle towards the hashtag. Films, television shows, and even recording artists often use promoted hashtags on Twitter’s main page.
The Washington Post reports that “Twitter is expected to make about half a billion dollars in advertising revenue this year, according to eMarketer. Facebook generated $4.3 billion last year from advertising”.
This is not the first time that Facebook has looked to Twitter to re-boot its image.
When Facebook launched its subscriber list it certainly seemed to be moving towards a Twitter-specific demographic.
Facebook announced they would be borrowing a page from Twitter’s manual and introducing hashtags onto its site
Similarly, acquiring Instagram last year also showed Facebook was interested in poaching some of Twitter’s camera-ready users who regularly post photos of epic dinners or cute cats.Especially with its mostly-panned redesign, this copycat move is just further proof for critics that Facebook has “jumped the shark”.
The edginess Facebook faced way back when The Social Network movie was still in theaters has seemed to erode in recent months.
Teenagers, in particular, seem vulnerable towards abandoning the social media platform because it’s simply too toxic or even dangerous.
Internet trolling, a relative small staple of Twitter, has become a major factor for teenage bullying on Facebook.
But the numbers for Facebook don’t lie. In October of 2012 the site passed its one billionth user, meaning one of every seven people has a Facebook page.
No timetable has been announced for hashtags on Facebook.
Satirical news website The Onion came under fire after branding 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis as a “c***” on Twitter.
The Onion said in a post during last night’s Oscars ceremony: “Everybody else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*** right?”
The tweet to The Onion’s millions of followers sparked outrage and was deleted around an hour later.
The post was met with a storm of complaints and demands for an apology from The Onion across social media.
Actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in Treme, described the tweet as an “abhorrent verbal attack of a child”, while another critic called for the writer behind the post to get “exactly what they deserve. From both the law and the street”.
Fans of the spoof website were among those expressing their distaste and disappointment at its use of the expletive in reference to Quvenzhané Wallis.
The Onion website features satirical articles based on national and international news. Its Twitter account has more than 4.5 million followers.
Quvenzhané Wallis was also at the heart of a second Twitter spat during the ceremony, after she was referred to as “Little Q” in coverage, prompting accusations of racism.
The Onion came under fire after posting vulgar tweet about 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis
Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been hacked, and the real estate mogul was not amused by the prank.
“Twitter will soon be irrelevant if lowlifes are so easily able to hack into accounts,” Donald Trump fumed.
In an earlier message, Donald Trump had confirmed that his account was “seriously hacked” and added, “we are looking for the perpetrators”.
The hacking brouhaha was sparked by a tweet fired off from Donald Trump’s account at 11.41 a.m. which read: “Those hoes [sic] think they classy, well that’s the class i’m skippen.”
Hip hop aficionados immediately recognized in the message a lyric by Lil’ Wayne, who is featured on Will.i.am featuring Britney Spears’ song called Scream & Shout.
Donald Trump, 66, has never been known as a major hip hop enthusiast, his followers and commentators immediately suspected a prank.
The offensive message was quickly deleted from the account, and Donald Trump’s spokesman, Michael Cohen, later stated that authorities are investigating the hacking.
Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been hacked, and the real estate mogul was not amused by the prank
“Regrettably there was a single instance of Mr. Trump’s twitter account being hacked. The offensive tweet was removed within minutes of being posted and is currently being investigated by the authorities,” Michael Cohen said in a statement to Politico.
Donald Trump, who has gained notoriety for his relentless attacks on President Barack Obama and his off-color remarks about race relations and immigration, is only the latest Twitter user to have his account hijacked.
Earlier this week, Burger King and Jeep both had their Twitter pages hacked, with the pranksters firing off dozens of vulgar messages and racial epithets before the companies caught on and regained control of their accounts.
Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked by a McDonald’s fan.
Burger King’s Twitter page, which has more than 89,000 followers, has been changed to feature their rival’s food and even their logo and Twitter name have been changed, appearing as McDonalds @BurgerKing.
The first sign of trouble was a post made from the official Burger King account stating: “We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you.”
The Burger King Twitter account has been suspended after several posts, some racist and offensive, were made by the McDonald’s fan over several hours.
From the Burger King account, the hacker promoted McDonald’s food, posting: “Try our new BK (sm) Bath Salt! 99% Pure MDPV! Buy a Big Mac, get a gram free!”
Since then there has been a string of Tweets from several Twitter users as news of the hack went viral with many tweeting and re-tweeting posts from the hacker.
Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked by a McDonald’s fan
A Burger King spokesperson said: “It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of BURGER KING® brand has been hacked.
“We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings.
“We apologize to our followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”
McDonald’s denied any involvement in the hacking, posting on their Twitter page at 6.45p.m.: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”
Twitter and Burger King are yet to make any official statements about the incident.
Rapper Azealia Banks has become embroiled in a bitter Twitter row with Perez Hilton after slapping her own verses over the top of DJ Baauer’s Harlem Shake.
Azealia Banks, 21, let rip in a bizarre foul-mouthed rant on Twitter after her version of the hit track was removed from Soundcloud – branding the New York producer a “f****t” and accusing him of “c**kblocking”.
The rapper’s fiery comments have divided fans, with blogger Perez Hilton taking offence, telling the rapper she is becoming known for her vitriolic rants rather than her music.
Hilton Perez wrote: “Classy as always! How does it feel to be better known for all your trash-talking than your music, Azealia?”
Electro hit Harlem Shake has inspired countless videos where one masked person dances alone ignored by those around them.
After Azealia Banks’ video was deleted she decided to post her version of on Twitter.
Since the feud started Azealia Banks, who is openly bisexual, has been accused of being homophobic – something the 212 strenuously denies.
Taking to Twitter the rapper wrote: “Men in hip-hop beef and say f****t and all kinds of other craziness but I get shunned for doing it.”
She added: “Here we go again. Everyone pretending to be so shocked and moved by the word faggot. It’s like society is so bored with itself it needs to hold on to these outdated rules of what you can say and cannot say.”
Azealia Banks has become embroiled in a bitter Twitter row with Perez Hilton after slapping her own verses over the top of DJ Baauer’s Harlem Shake
This situation is a perfect example of how difficult it is to be a female who raps.
“Art is supposed to be inspiring. If you’re mad at someone for being excited and inspired by your art then you’re doing it wrong.”
One fan added: “The fact that people sweat @AZEALIABANKS about rapping over a beat shows how intimidated they are by her talent and skill.”
The Harlem Shake began as a dance in the 1980s but the latest version featured on a flood of online videos is an electronic dance track by 23-year-old Brooklyn DJ Baauer who released the single last year with the record label Mad Decent.
The video starts with one person, often masked, dancing while everyone else in the room pays no attention but when the chorus kicks in they all join in, usually wearing crazy costumes or with props like blow-up giraffes or bicycles.
YouTube said the craze appeared to have started with a posting by a blogger and spread quickly, with more than 12,000 Harlem Shake videos posted from the start of the month to mid-week watched up to 44 million times.
Harlem Shake has a way to go to top Gangnam Style which made history last December when it became the first ever video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views.
Amanda Bynes branded Jay-Z “ugly face” on her Twitter page.
It was not long before the message was deleted, which suggests Amanda Bynes either had second thoughts or her account was hacked.
In fact there was a massive cull on Amanda Bynes’ page, with just 13 messages being left by the time she had done deleting.
Amanda Bynes, 26, made no reference to the previous message, with neither an apology or an explanation anywhere to be seen.
Instead she seemed in quite a jubilant mood, as she self-indulgently posted an image of herself posing in front of a mirror while wearing cheesy grin on her face.
Amanda Bynes branded Jay-Z “ugly face” on her Twitter page
Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, has obviously taken the proclamation in his stride, as he has not stooped to the level of responding with a message of his own.
In fact the rapper seemed remarkably at ease as he spent time with wife Beyonce and daughter Blue Ivy Carter in Venice.
It is not the first time Amanda Bynes has landed herself in hot water because of Twitter.
She has caused a stir in the past after posting messages such as “live fast die young”, posted a picture of her breasts at New Year and boasted of her preference for “chocolate men” while she dated rapper Kid Cudi in 2010.
Flight attendant Tatiana Kozlenko, who posted a picture of herself giving her passengers the finger, has been sacked by Aeroflot airline.
Tatiana Kozlenko put the snap up on her personal page on Vkontakte, one of Russia’s most popular Facebook-style social networks.
Within hours the snap – which appears to show the arm of an air hostess giving the finger to an airplane cabin full of passengers – had clocked up dozens of “likes”.
But the image then went viral after it was posted on Twitter and reTweeted by hundreds of users.
Aeroflot airline bosses soon found out about the photo and fired Tatiana Kozlenko.
Flight attendant Tatiana Kozlenko, who posted a picture of herself giving her passengers the finger, has been sacked by Aeroflot airline
Aeroflot – who announced the sacking on their Twitter account – said: “Posting this photo shows Tatiana’s attitude towards passengers and her duties. She acknowledged her fault when she spoke to her managers.”
But Tatiana Kozlenko claims it isn’t her arm in the snap – or even one of her airline’s planes.
She admitted that she tagged herself in the photo, which doesn’t show anyone’s face – but claims it isn’t her.
“I don’t consider myself guilty! The photo was added to my page, I only tagged myself on it!!! The hand isn’t mine, the plane is not my company’s!!! I don’t understand what they spoil my life for!!! I’m asking you for help and support!!” she said on her Vkontakte page.
Up to 250,000 Twitter users have had their accounts hacked in the latest of a string of high-profile internet security breaches.
Twitter’s information security director Bob Lord said users’ passwords had been stolen, as well as usernames, emails and other data.
Affected users have had passwords invalidated and have been sent emails informing them.
Bob Lord said the attack “was not the work of amateurs”.
He said it appeared similar to recent attacks on the New York Times and others.
The newspaper reported this week that their computer systems had been breached by China-based hackers
Bob Lord said in a blog post Twitter had discovered unauthorized attempts to access data held by the website, including one attack that was identified and stopped moments after it was detected.
“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident,” he wrote.
Bob Lord did not say who had carried out the attack, but added: “The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.”
“For that reason we felt that it was important to publicize this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the internet safer for all users.”
Up to 250,000 Twitter users have had their accounts hacked in the latest of a string of high-profile internet security breaches
Internet security specialist Graham Cluley warned Twitter’s announcement that emails would be sent to users may prompt a spate of spam emails “phishing” for sensitive information.
He says people should be cautious about opening emails which appear to be from Twitter.
“You have to be careful if you get hold of one of these emails because, of course, it could equally be a phishing attack – it could be someone pretending to be Twitter.
“So, log into the Twitter site as normal and try and log in to your account and, if there’s a problem, that’s when you actually have to try and reset your password.”
On Thursday the New York Times linked the attack to a story it published alleging relatives of former Premier Wen Jiabao controlled assets worth billions of dollars.
China’s foreign ministry dismissed the New York Times’ accusations as “groundless” and “totally irresponsible”.
Pope Benedict XVI is to begin sending Twitter messages using the handle @pontifex as his personal account, the Vatican has announced.
A spokesman said Pope Benedict XVI wanted to “reach out to everyone” with tweets translated into eight languages.
The first tweet from his account, whose name means both pontiff and builder of bridges, is expected on December 12th.
Last year, Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet last year from a Vatican account to launch the Holy See’s news information portal.
“We are going to get a spiritual message. The Pope is not going to be walking around with a Blackberry or an iPad and no-one is going to be putting words into the Pope’s mouth,” Greg Burke, senior media advisor to the Vatican said.
“He will tweet what he wants to tweet,” he added, though the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion or so Roman Catholics is expected to sign off, rather than write, each individual tweet himself.
Pope Benedict XVI wanted to reach out to everyone with tweets translated into eight languages
The Vatican said the Pope will be using a question-and-answer format for his first Twitter session, focusing on answering questions about faith in 140 characters.
The Vatican has invited people to start sending in questions ahead of time for the Pope to answer.
The tweets are expected to highlight messages from his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and homilies on key Church holidays as well as papal reaction to world events.
The Vatican has long shown interest in using the latest communications technologies to spread the faith with the inventor of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, setting up Vatican Radio in 1931.
The Catholic Church also already uses several social media platforms, including text messages and YouTube, to communicate with young people.
The Vatican’s own Twitter account has almost 110,000 followers, though it follows no-one.
Papal aides say the pontiff himself still prefers to communicate in longhand rather than using a computer keyboard.
Pope Benedict’s six-year papacy has been bedeviled by poor communications.
Embarrassing clarifications had to be issued over such thorny issues as his 2005 speech about Islam and violence, and his stance on condoms and HIV.
Lindsay Lohan’s performance as Hollywood great Elizabeth Taylor in new biopic Liz & Dick has been met with jibes and laughter by critics after sparking thousands of Twitter jibes.
Lindsay Lohan, 26, made her hotly anticipated appearance as the Oscar winner on Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, watched by a not-so impressive 3.5 million viewers, the network has revealed.
The movie covered the tumultuous 12-year love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whose famously volatile relationship saw them marry twice.
Despite violet-tinted eyes and a black wig, Lindsay Lohan failed to pull off a convincing performance – boasting an accent that seemed to owe more to her native Long Island than Elizabeth Taylor’s dulcet English tones.
Today, the Huffington Post reported Lindsay Lohan was “devastated” by the reaction to Liz & Dick as a close friend said: “She has got used to all the negative press around her personal life but this is the first time she has experienced it about her work. No matter how bad things were going for her personally, everyone would always agree that she was a great actress.”
Another source added: “Lindsay has already read her own press. She knew the script wasn’t strong but thought she would bring the role of Elizabeth to life. This is particularly heartbreaking as her acting was the only thing in her life that she knew was real. Now she is doubting that, too.”
Thousands of viewers tuned in and made fun of the made-for-TV movie on Twitter while it was on air – including, ominously for Lindsay Lohan, many high profile TV writers and producers.
Model Christine Teigen tweeted that Lindsay Lohan was better in her breakout role in The Parent Trap – filmed when she just 11.
The brunette, who is engaged to singer John Legend, added: “Poor John. I know I had to watch 30 hours of football but he doesn’t deserve this. No one deserves this.”
While writer Liz Meriwether, who is the creator of hit sitcom New Girl, mocked the scene where Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor faints upon hearing the news of Richard Burton’s death, tweeting: “Oh my God. I think that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in TV for a while and I write comedy for television.”
Elan Galen, producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor Pad, added: “Lindsay Lohan breaks new ground and shows her versatility in Liz and Dick by playing a chain-smoking emotional wreck pill-popping alcoholic.”
Writer Ben Widdicombe tweeted: “Can we have Hilary Duff as Grace Kelly next please? Maybe Snooki as Audrey Hepburn?”
However, one stood by Lindsay Lohan – Lady Gaga – who posted the message: “You did a beautiful job on Liz & Dick, Let no one bring u down, Liz didnt, they always try to knock the greats down a few pegs.”
This was despite the fact that Lady Gaga had not watched the show and is currently in Paraguay on tour.
Lindsay Lohan’s performance as Hollywood great Elizabeth Taylor in new biopic Liz & Dick has been met with jibes and laughter by critics
While Liz & Dick might have taken over social media during its Sunday night premiere, in terms of actual viewers the Lifetime movie failed to impress.
According to the network, 3.5 million viewers tuned in – a far cry from Lifetime’s revamped Steel Magnolias, starring Queen Latifah, averaged 6.5 million viewers in October.
This means that Liz & Dick clocks in as the fourth most-watched original movie premiere on an ad-supported cable network for 2012, behind Steel Magnolias, Drew Peterson: Untouchable and Abducted: The Carlina White Story.
To add insult to injury, Liz & Dick was panned by all critics, with The Hollywood Reporter’sTim Goodman calling Lindsay Lohan “woeful as Taylor from start to finish”, calling the movie “spectacularly bad” and a “classic of unintentional hilarity”.
“At one point, Lohan has to shout, <<I won’t live without you!>> and then run down a hall. It’s like a high school play,” Tim Goodman writes.
“By the time Lohan is playing mid-’80s Taylor and it looks like a lost Saturday Night Live skit, your body may be cramped by convulsions,” he says, before suggesting the movie was made for drinking games.
Meanwhile, TV Guide’s Matt Roush called the made-for-TV drama a |well-timed candidate for the TV Turkey Hall of Fame”.
He wrote: “Even deep breaths seem too much to ask of Lindsay Lohan these days, let alone capturing the essence of an exotic film goddess who reigned for years as a superstar sex symbol.
“The most authentic moment occurs when Liz informs Dick, <<I can’t tell you a thing about acting>>. Tell us something we don’t know. And later, during one of the many tantrums and benders that constitute a story line, Liz cries, <<I’m a joke!>> The joke is on anyone who tunes in hoping for a memorable TV train wreck.”
“You’ll find more exciting chemistry in a high-school lab than between Lohan and her Richard Burton, Grant Bowler.”
Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly called it a “peculiar, drab, damp little TV-movie”, adding: “When she opens her mouth, Lohan doesn’t speak in the high-register, almost girlish voice that Taylor was using well into her 20s – instead, we heard the raspy rattle familiar to anyone who’s seen Lohan on TMZ or in the ABC Family movie Labor Pains.
“No effort seems to have gone into Lohan’s preparation other than to have her eyes tinted Liz-violet.”
Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times referred to the dialogue as “laughable”, while Reuter’s Tim Molloy said it was “redundant and boring in a way no star could save”.
Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Clubadds: “Liz & Dick arrives on the small screen with a giant <<kick me>> sign rooted both in Lohan’s tabloid infamy and the sad overreaching of trying to chronicle an epic love affair that unfolded across continents and decades on a tiny television movie budget.
“It’s a testament to how badly Liz & Dick misses the mark that Taylor receiving news of Burton’s death inspires the film’s biggest unintentional guffaws. At least he has the release of being put out of its misery, a fate that should have befallen this misbegotten vanity project before shooting even began.”
While Jill O’Rourke at Crushable added: “Lohan portrays Taylor as a childish brat, like a teenager playing dress-up in her mother’s furs and jewels.
“It was reported that Megan Fox was also considered for the role of Taylor. After watching Lohan’s portrayal, I would love to see Fox take on the role. For that matter, I think they could have just given Grant Bowler [who plays Burton] a brunette wig, violet contacts and a beauty mark, and he could have played both roles. It still would probably have been better than what we got.”
Even Liz & Dick executive producer Larry Thompson admitted taking on Lindsay Lohan was a risk, telling Entertainment Weekly:“I want the best for Lindsay Lohan and anybody who ever hires her. But they have to know that making a movie with Lindsay Lohan is like jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet with a bolt of white nylon, a string, and a sewing machine. You’re building a parachute as fast as you can.”
Lindsay Lohan herself had seemed to be the only person who seemed to be proud of the project as she tweeted throughout the screening of Liz & Dick last night.
Although she never met Elizabeth Taylor, who died aged 79 last year, Lindsay Lohan said the star had sent her a ring as a gift.
Lindsay Lohan said: “I always admired and respected her….Beauty. Strength. Passion. Poise. Intelligence. She stood for ALL of it & did a great job!”
She added: “2 get 2 feel like 1 of the most amazing women in the world was a thrill all around & wearing the jewels wasn’t bad! “
Her father, Michael Lohan, also thought his daughter’s performance proved once again that she is right up there with Meryl Streep as he told the Huffington Post: “Due to the content, I had to step away from a lot of the scenes, but regardless of what some of these so-called critics, who don’t have an ounce of talent in their bones say, Lindsay proved that she is an amazing actress.
“This was a different role for her at a difficult time of her life. She still has what it takes to be the Lindsay Lohan that is one of Hollywood’s top actresses.”
Author Helen Fielding has begun work on a third Bridget Jones novel, 13 years after its predecessor.
With a new film and a musical based on the singleton in the pipeline, Helen Fielding turned to the world of texting and Twitter to help her write a new “scenario for Bridget”.
“I’m having a lot of fun, and it’s very funny and it’s making me laugh,” she said.
Bridget Jones was born out of a weekly column in The Independent in 1995.
The first two books, Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Edge of Reason, sold more than 15 million copies and inspired two films, with Renee Zellweger in the starring role.
After living in Los Angeles for much of the past decade, Helen Fielding returned to London two years ago with her two children – and it was then that she rediscovered the voice of Bridget.
“After the unexpected success when it first came out, I was startled by the whole thing,” she said.
“When I first wrote it I didn’t think anyone would read it. It was just a column in the Independent, so it was very easy to write and be very honest – and then I got all self-conscious because I knew so many people would read it.”
Author Helen Fielding has begun work on a third Bridget Jones novel, 13 years after its predecessor
However, in spring of 2011, Helen Fielding hit upon a way forward.
“I had new stuff I wanted to say and things that were making me laugh,” explained Helen Fielding.
“Things that didn’t exist when I wrote the last Bridget, like emails really, and texting, the way life is lived through texting and Twitter, and a whole new idea for a phase of her life.”
“It’s more like <<number of Twitter followers: 0. Still no followers. Still no followers>>. But she has grown up,” explained Helen Fielding, who revealed the book will be set in present day London.
“My life has moved on and hers will move on too,” she said.
“She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking], she’s still on a diet.
“She’s trying a bit harder, and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.”
Admitting she is scared by the idea of bringing out a new book, Helen Fielding claims she is still getting great enjoyment from writing it: “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it, then we’ll all be very happy.”
The second film adaptation, The Edge of Reason, was released in cinemas eight years ago, with a further film sequel Bridget Jones’ Baby due for release in early 2013.
Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are set to return as Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver.
Helen Fielding said it has taken a long time to get the film right, describing it as “a different, earlier story, not based on a novel – it started with some columns I wrote in the Independent about six years ago.
“I think with a third installment [of the film] the stakes are very high. We all go back a long way, we’re all really fond of each other and everyone really wants to get it right, but that means there are a lot of voices, a lot of writers.
“Getting Bridget right, I always think it’s like a little duck – in the end it needs to skim effortlessly along the surface, but underneath the legs are going really, really fast.”
The third film has been delayed over script issues – and the musical is still very much a work in progress, according to Helen Fielding.
“It’s been huge fun and will take ages because musicals do. It’s herding butterflies, people move off and then come back together again but I think it’s going to be fantastic when it does happen.”
Many of Americans were upset when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the election and most of them used social media to post shockingly racist tweets against President Barack Obama.
A map collected by Floating Sheep, a collective of geography academics, shows the shocking demographic of racist “hate tweets”, many of them collected from states that were won by Mitt Romney.
The majority of the tweets, as Jezebel noted, were often from young white residents in southern states.
One male user wrote on Election Day following Romney’s loss: “Ok we pick a worthless n***** over a full blooded American what the h*** has our world come its (sic) called the white house for a reason.”
Another wrote: “F*** you, Obama. Your (sic) a stupid n***** and you don’t do anything good for our country.”
Using geodata called DOLLY (Data On Local Life and You), Floating Sheep mapped out tweets beginning November 1. They then calculated the percentage of each state’s so-called hate tweets in relation to the gross number of tweets coming out of that state.
Their results showed that states like Arkansas and Mississippi were relatively inundated with racist tweets. However, they measured only the quantity of tweets, noting that a lone Twitter user could be sending out dozens of vitriolic tweets all on their own, thus adding to the location-inspired measure, or LQ.
A map collected by Floating Sheep, a collective of geography academics, shows the shocking demographic of racist hate tweets after Barack Obama re-election
The map also reveals other southern states like Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas had their fair share of people tweeting bigoted things. Floating Sheep noted that both the East and West coast had a lower number of such tweets.
The site noted, too, that the phenomenon wasn’t only in the south – a series of racist tweets trickled up the Eastern Seaboard, and could also be found in Utah and Missouri.
While it was not openly addressed by the candidates on the campaign trail, political pundits have insisted that demographics and race played a huge role in helping Barack Obama keep the White House.
On Election Day, a riot broke out at The University of Mississippi – known as Ole Miss – as more than 400 students yelled out racial slurs and burned Obama-Biden campaign posters after the Democratic incumbent was crowned the victor.
Emotions ran high among the angered college conservatives in Oxford, Mississippi, with university police being called in shortly after midnight to diffuse the crowd.
The incident began as a small gathering of frustrated voters, meeting to share their misery at Barack Obama getting another four years in office, shortly after midnight.
But word soon spread over social media and the crowd began to swell to hundreds of students, yelling out racial slurs, chanting anti-Obama rhetoric and some reportedly throwing rocks at cars.
Police were called and told the crowd to go home but their presence only attracted more attention and the mass began to multiply.
Two students were arrested in the fracas, one for public intoxication and one for failure to comply with police orders, the university confirmed.
“Disperse or go to jail,” University Police Department officers told the crowd, according to the student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian.
But Ole Miss student Nicholas Carr tweeted that the whole thing was being overblown, saying that more people were taking pictures of the so-called riot than actually joining in on the chanting.
“I was there the whole time. No rocks were thrown. There was 1 sign lit on fire. For about 45 seconds,” Nicholas Carr wrote.
“Mostly, it was 100s of college kids who heard the word riot and ran to take pictures and see what it was about. Again, no rocks or missiles thrown.”
But the school’s administration confronted students on Wednesday and blasted Tuesday’s behavior as “a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election”, University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones said in statement.
“The gathering seems to have been fueled by social media, and the conversation should have stayed there.”
Thousands of Twitter users around the world have received emails warning their account has been compromised by a third party.
Some accounts had been compromised, but other users had received the emails after Twitter had unintentionally reset unaffected passwords, the company said.
The mass email coincided with incidents involving several high-profile accounts.
Other media organizations, such as the TechCrunch blog, reported being warned.
Twitter gave no indication of the cause or source of the compromise, and would not share details of the size of the issue.
Thousands of Twitter users around the world have received emails warning their account has been compromised by a third party
In a statement, Twitter said: “When we believe an account may have been compromised, we reset the password and send an email letting the account owner know this has happened along with information about creating a new password. This is a routine part of our processes to protect our users.
“In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised.
“We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.”
Some users who received the email noticed that some of their tweets had been deleted, while others said spam links had been posted without their knowledge – a typical characteristic of a compromised account.
British comedian David Mitchell tweeted that he had received the email, and that a tweet he had written publicizing his column in the Observer newspaper had been removed.
Some users criticized Twitter’s email, suggesting it looked like a “phishing scam” – a message that impersonates an official email in an attempt to trick users into giving up personal details.
Justin Bieber, the world’s richest self-made teenager, has now 47 million Facebook fans, 29 million Twitter followers and three billion YouTube hits.
As the world’s first social-media superstar, Justin Bieber, 18, built up a fan base of millions before he’d even signed a record deal.
His world record puts him ahead of Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Eminem.
“The genius of Justin Bieber is he used the power of social media like no other artist – and he doesn’t stop,” said Simon Cowell.
“Only a fool would underestimate him.
“I’ve met him a few times. He’s bright. The kid is more in charge than people think. I know this industry, I know what it takes, and he will be around for a very long time,” added Simon Cowell.
With a fortune estimated at $105 million – which is set to double in the next two years on the back of a world tour, a movie and the returns from numerous investments – Justin Bieber is part teenage heart-throb, part superstar businessman.
His latest album, Believe, topped the charts in the U.S. and throughout Europe, and his tour is sold out.
This amazing success has brought him a $6 million, 10,000sq ft house north of LA, a Disney-princess girlfriend, Selena Gomez, and a $750,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van customized with three high-definition TVs and a recording studio. About the only thing lacking in his fairy-tale world is a private jet.
“No way,” he says emphatically.
“It’s a total waste of money. You buy the plane, then you have to pay for storage, and on top of that you have to think about the fuel, the cost of the fuel – that’s maybe $4,000.
“Even hiring a private plane is like 50 or 60K. Once you get into that it becomes a habit – a bad habit.
“I’ll get one when I need it – if I have to go somewhere instantly – but you don’t want to buy a plane; it’s definitely not worth it.”
What makes this exchange truly surreal isn’t the fact that Justin Bieber barely even shaves yet – but that he’s only out by $100 on the cost of a tank of jet fuel.
“I never stop working,” says Justin Bieber.
“In what I wanted to do in music I’ve never had any fear. But now I’m at the top there’s nowhere to go but down; for me it’s about staying standing at the top.
“I’m not a kid any more – I’m an adult, I’m making the decisions and I want to keep on growing, and I believe I can.”
Unlike, for example, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber didn’t spring fully formed from a major TV show.
Instead, aged 12, he appeared from nowhere – or more precisely, from YouTube, where his mother, Pattie Mallette, posted videos of her son singing in a local competition and in their tiny basement apartment in the blue-collar town of Stratford, Canada.
Justin Bieber has now 47 million Facebook fans, 29 million Twitter followers and 3 billion YouTube hits
Justin Bieber’s backstory is straight out of a Hollywood script. Troubled teen (Pattie Mallette) gets pregnant by her on-and- off boyfriend (Jeremy Bieber).
At 18, Pattie Mallette gives birth, and – besotted by her baby – turns her back on drugs and alcohol and embraces Christianity.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Bieber, 19, languishes in jail for assault. Jeremy Bieber and Pattie Mallette eventually separate.
At the age of two, Justin Bieber starts playing the drums, and soon he’s astounding his mother’s friends with his natural talent.
A hyperactive child, he teaches himself to play the guitar, piano and trumpet too, and begins performing in his home town.
Then, when Justin Bieber was 13, talent manager Scooter Braun spots him on YouTube. Scooter Braun flies him and his mother to Atlanta, attracts interest from R&B star Usher and gets him a record deal with Usher’s mentor LA Reid.
At 16, Justin Bieber’s debut album goes double platinum. His dad reforms and settles down, and his mother tours the world with him.
“What happened was I found something I wanted to be good at,” says Justin Bieber now.
“I wasn’t good at school because I had no passion for it. If I hadn’t found music my life would have been bad.
“My family are all poor, so the cycle would have continued. My kids would have been poor, and their kids would have been too. I feel I broke the cycle, and when you get to break the cycle, you don’t go back.”
Justin Bieber was originally painted as a pretty puppet, with Scooter Braun, now 31 and worth $23 million, pulling the strings.
“That’s the greatest misconception of me,” he smiles.
“People think I’m a product, that they found this good-looking kid, cut his hair nice and put Auto-Tune on his voice, wrote him good songs, taught him how to dance and then said, <<Here is a pop star for you>>.
“I am the furthest thing from that. I’m a musician; I play instruments, I write songs. I’m a businessman; I want to create an empire. I want people to know I don’t just sing songs. I’m the guy who signed the girl who just had the biggest single all round the world [Carly Rae Jepsen with Call Me Maybe; he brought her to the attention of Scooter Braun, who gave him a 50% cut when he signed her].
“I’m going to do movies – I’m talking with Mark Wahlberg about my first big movie. I invest in start-ups and IT. I have a very smart manager, but I always wanted to learn from him.
“The education I’ve had you couldn’t get in any school. If I want to be good at something I will be. I’m good at this.”
With all his money and fame Justin Bieber can do anything, except walk down a street without being mobbed. You wonder how he gets his thrills.