Go Bengals

Here at RunPee headquarters – a hidden location in the Arizona desert – we are all pulling for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL playoffs.Ochocinco iPhone app That’s because Jordan Palmer is one of the partners at RockSoftware – the company that developed the iPhone app.

RockSoftware also developed the official iPhone app for Chad Ochocinco and is working on apps for Terrell Owens, Jared Allen, and appropriately The Rock.

So GO BENGALS!!! – unless you make it to the Superbowl and play against the Cowboys.

RunPee.com website upgraded for multilingual and regional use

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Revamped RunPee.com to display Peetimes for movies in 21 languages

Subject of press release: Major upgrade to the bladder-relieving movie website RunPee.com, adding support for many different languages and regions with exciting new design and visuals.

Concept and website
Contact: Dan Florio
Company: RunPee.com
Address: Los Angeles, California
Phone: 330-353-9338
Email: polyGeek@RunPee.com
Mobile Application Development: RockSoftware.com
URL: http://blog.runpee.com/news [links for the phenomenal media coverage on RunPee.com]

Los Angeles, California – RunPee.com, the next best thing to a pause button at the movies, was until now all in English. But RunPee fans are spread across the globe. An update to the website offers users the ability to quickly switch between languages and independently switch the region that they are in so that they may see movie listings for their location.

The RunPee Mobile Upgrade Includes:

  • Currently the ability to display Peetimes and synopsis in Spanish, French, German and English. Soon there will be support for many other languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Indonesian
  • Currently showing options to view movies as they are released in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, United States. Soon the region list will include China, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Argentina, Spain, Japan, Sweden, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Romania, Finland, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico.

A Basic Mobile Version

Because RunPee.com is built with Adobe Flash many people with mobile phones cannot visit the site. Therefore a simple mobile version of the site was created at: m.RunPee.com. It displays all the same data – only in English for now. Movies that have been in the theater for more than 31 days are free to view. To view movies as they are released is a $1/year registration.

Screen shots are free to use.

Peetimes in English.
Peetimes in English


Peetimes in Spanish
Peetimes in Spanish


Peetimes in German
Peetimes in German


Peetimes in French
Peetimes in French


RunPee logo


RunPee logo


RunPee logo


RunPee logo

Would you like to be a volunteer translator for RunPee?

The new RunPee.com is almost ready. The big upgrade to the new design is that it will support multiple languages. There are two main parts that need to be translated: the interface and the individual PeeTimes. Since the only language I know is English – and I’m not even that good at it – I’m relying on Google Translations to do all my translating. It’s working pretty well but I know from translating other languages to English that the translations can be a bit awkward.

Therefore I’m looking for some bi-lingual people out there who wouldn’t mind pitching in and editing the translations. There are no promises but if I can ever get enough income from RunPee then the translators will be the first people to get paid – after me. 🙂 In the meantime I would prefer that the translators have their own blogs because what I can offer is a little kickback in publicity. Each translator will get a page on the blog that tells about them and the RunPee website will also display a small picture of the translator. So you’ll be able to tell your friends that you’re a part of the team and they’ll see you here on the site.

Those who become translators will get access to an administrative site where they can edit the PeeTimes. Each week after I add new PeeTimes I’ll send out an email to the translators. At that point the translators will be able to log in and edit the existing translations done automatically by Google. It’s that simple.

So what do you say? If you want to be a translator then email me: polyGeek [ at ] RunPee.com and I’ll get you set up. I’ll need to know the language you can edit, a little info about yourself such as your blog, Twitter account, etc. Don’t worry, you’re not expected to see any movies or do any of your own PeeTimes.

Here is a list of the languages I currently need translators for…we will indicate which ones are spoken for as we go along:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese – possibly taken, might need more people!
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish – Taken!
  • Swedish
  • Indonesian

New Disney Princess Celebrates Racial Diversity

I must say I’m excited about the newest Disney princess movie, The Princess and the Frog. I love all the princess movies (it’s my girly side) but have wondered for at least a decade when we’d have a black princess to add to the lineup.

We’ve had some welcome racial diversity with Native American Pocahontas, Chinese Mulan, Middle Eastern Jasmin from Aladdin, Hawaiians in Lilo and Stitch, and a dark-toned gypsy gal in Hunchback of Notre Dame. Jasmin is considered the only official “princess” from this list, from among celebrated Disney Royals including Ariel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, Snow White and Belle.

Happily, a black character finally joins the lineup of mostly white girls in Disney filmation history. The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana is an African-American girl set in Jazz Age New Orleans, who has something to do with kissing a frog, and, one supposes, fights evil (there is always a villain in these movies).

I hope the story is as enjoyable as we’ve come to expect from the princess movies, without falling into racial cliches or embarrassing tokenism. I’ll be seeing the film to get PeeTimes on opening day Friday and add PeeTimes on my return home. I hope to have my movie review up that weekend.

RunningLate? A New Feature for RunPee.com

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://blog.runpee.com/polls/RunPeePoll_01_First10Minutes.swf” width=”250″ height=”348″ wmode=”normal” /]

Here at World Domination Headquarters we’re always thinking about ways we can enslave you serve you better. 🙂 To that end someone suggested what might be a hugely popular new feature for RunPee.com, called RunningLate.

How would you like it if we added a feature that gave you a synopsis of the first 10-minutes of each movie just in case you’re running late? It’s certainly not something that you want to use. But if you need it then it could come in very handy. It might even save lives. Normally you might be in such a rush to get to the theater that you could be in an accident. But if you know what happens during the first 10-minutes then you might just ease off enough to keep it safe.

There would also be a means for users who have seen the movie to vote on how important the first 10-minutes are. That way people could judge if they should just wait for the next showing, or if they can still get into the story with just the synopsis we provide.

I would really appreciate it if you would vote and let me know if you think this would be a good idea or not. Plus, if you have anything further to add, just drop a comment. I do read them all. 🙂

.

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Take Healthy, Quick Naps

Delays, jet lag, long hours of driving and the stresses of adjusting to new places can take a toll on business traveler’s health. Studies show power napping is a effective antidote to free-floating anxiety and increases work productivity when traveling.

ABC news reports, “A NASA study…shows that a nap of just 26 minutes can boost [work] performance by as much as 34 percent”.

20-40 minutes is considered the optimal nap length. According to Talk About Sleep, longer naps lead to deep sleep and REM (dream) sleep cycles. Those sleep phases can make travelers more disoriented and groggy upon waking. Program your electronics or set the hotel alarm clock for the 40 minute mark if you think your nap might turn into a marathon sleep session.

Get the Room Ready For Resting

  • Turn up the air conditioning – humans sleep better when the temps are somewhat lower.
  • Close the drapes – Dark, black-out drapes are best. A few presentation binder clips can help hold gaps in the curtains together. Some travelers carry along eye masks to block out light.
  • White Noise – Engage your hotel AC unit since the fan noise leads to more restful sleep. Alternatively, bring a small fan from home to plug in for familiar sounds, or a portable noise machine with “nature” settings like ocean and rain. Other options – download nature noises on your iPod (design a sleep playlist of either gentle sounds or soft music), or adjust the hotel radio/alarm clock for soft music or static on a low setting.
  • Unplug. Turn off the cell phone, unplug the hotel room phone, close the laptop.
  • Hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. Many potential great naps have been nipped in the bud by unfortunate knocks on the door by hotel staffers.
  • Quiet rooms. Find out if your room is near the elevator, stairs, laundry area or ice machine. You want a room in a less-trafficked zone of the hotel. Ear plugs are easy enough to pack along as a back-up alternative.
  • Also, ask for a non-smoking room if the scent of cigarettes in your pillow is bothersome.

Prepare Yourself for a Cat Nap

  • Take a warm shower or bath. The heat will make you drowsy and a nap is more comfortable when a clean body slips between clean sheets.
  • Remove all work clothes and anything binding, like a wristwatch. Wear a clean, light cotton tee shirt or sleep unclothed.
  • Stop thinking about travel and work. Allow the strains of the day to fade away. Read a few pages from a novel to distract your mind, or perform a few slow stretches while exhaling to help yourself relax. Some find gentle yoga or a few minutes of meditation great aids to ease one into a nap.
  • Fill a glass with water and place by the bed. Travel Health Insurance reports, “staying well hydrated is a key part of jet lag management–and general travel health”. Whether or not you drink anything, just the ritual act of preparing the glass helps your frame of mind.
  • Some people prefer to travel with their own pillow for extra comfort.
  • Apply a lavender-scented hand lotion or linen spray on the sheets to enhance deep breathing.
  • Avoid caffeine for 3-4 hours before a nap.
  • Ask your doctor about sleep remedies and medications if you have trouble with insomnia when you travel. WebMD lists the pros and cons of using drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, antihistamines and Xanax to help travelers grab a few winks.

The RunPee approach to Twitter

KBuzz, top 60 businesses using twitterThe twitter account for @RunPee was voted into the top 60 Twitter profiles by theKbuzz.com – a social marking company. That’s something I’m very proud of. I’ve been a big Twitter fan for years. My person account is @polyGeek which I’ve had since February of 2007.

Twitter is very important to the success of RunPee.com. Aside from the traffic it sends – about 75 uniques/day – it is a great way for me to connect with many of the RunPee fans. I’ve learned a great deal about what people like and dislike about the service. That has helped me to improve the site in the past and will continue to do so. It’s just as important as the Suggestions page here on the blog.

I would tell any enterprise out there that a presence on Twitter is essential. The big question is how do you manage that presence? I think I have done a pretty good job and would like to share my approach with others.

Who’s doing the tweeting?
Initially I tweeted from the point of view of RunPee.com – the website. It was all meant to be information strictly about the website. But then when RunPee became hugely popular people wanted to know more about who was behind RunPee. Since then I tweet as myself – Dan Florio, professional geek – but from the stand point of the guy behind the idea and application and rarely about my personal thoughts. I leave that for my personal twitter account @polyGeek.

More is not better
First off I would say that it is absolutely false to measure your Twitter success based on the number of followers one has. With very few exceptions I only follow those who follow @RunPee. There are plenty of services out there that will help you add huge numbers of followers. But does that really count? There is no way a person can maintain a Twitter relationship with 10,000+ followers. Each day there are a handful of new followers to @RunPee that have tens-of-thousands of followers and to me these are mostly just people talking to themselves in a room full of other people who are talking to themselves. It really provides little or no connection to people at that point.

When someone follows @RunPee I personally visit their timeline to check them out. Here is the criteria that I put them through:

  • Most obviously is the account really being used? If the account has one tweet to the effect of, “Check out my hot body…” and a link then it’s pretty obvious I’m not going to follow back.
  • Likewise if there Twitter icon is of a roll or stack of money then I’ll just skip right over them.
  • If they are tweeting about their general status, the “I need to make coffee now” sort of stuff, plus a few replies/Retweets here and there then they look like a real person and I’ll almost always follow them back.
  • How many people are they following? If it’s well over 5,000 I start looking very carefully at their timeline.
  • I have a pet peeve about people who fill their timeline up with a bunch of inspirational quotes. There must be some service out there that automatically sends these tweets out for people because they are almost always formatted the same and it’s pretty much the same drivel over and over. If I wanted that sort of thing I’d buy a book. Thank you. I think they use it just so that they will look like they use Twitter.
  • Is their timeline just a series of, “read my latest blog post?” If so then forget it. If I wanted to read their latest blog post then I’d subscribe to their RSS feed. But it’s totally okay to me if they do that in the midst of actually engaging with people in between.

I suppose it boils down to: don’t use Twitter for just one thing. Your timeline can’t be just a bunch of quotes, or just @replies, or Retweets. Mix it up. Are you using Twitter or abusing it?

As a side note: early on this past summer I did go through and follow around 200 or so celebrities on twitter. Of course my hope was that they would see RunPee and become intrigued enough to check it out. It was a pretty miserable failure. I don’t think a single person followed me back.

Connecting with followers
My rule of thumb – which I state in my bio – is that I’ll reply to anyone who is talking directly to me. I use Twhirl to view my @RunPee account and always have it set to view @RunPee messages. And it makes a little ding-sound when an @RunPee or direct message comes in so if I’m at my PC – which is most of the time except for Friday/Movieday – then I’ll get right back to that person.

And the main reason I follow anyone is that it gives them access to send me a direct message and make sure that I see when they @me.

#FollowFriday
I take it as a huge compliment when people include @RunPee in their #FollowFriday. I try to remember to do one each Friday myself. I keep a Post-it handy during the week that I add user names to when I see someone who I want to include in my next #FollowFiday. Most of the time I pick out people who Retweet things that I’ve tweeted.Yes, that is entirely selfish. I want to try and help people who RT my tweets get more followers – Duhhh! 🙂 But these are also people who I generally carry on with regularly. So it seems to work for now.

Unfollowing
About once a week I log into Twitter Karma and unfollow everyone that I’m following who is not following me back. There are a lot of people out there that follow others and then unfollow them shortly aftwards. What they are hoping for is that the person will follow them and then not notice that they got dropped. This is how a lot of people get huge follower numbers. There are even services to do this for you. Plus, sometimes people just get tired of seeing my tweets. I have noticed that a lot of people who follow @RunPee have only a few handfuls of people they are following. If I’m tweeting so much that I’m dominating their timeline then they probably unfollow – which is totally fair.

Tweet density
Probably the aspect of Twitter that I’m worst at is tweeting too much in a short period of time. I’ve noticed that this happens often on Fridays because I’m away from the PC for a long period of time, then I get home and tweet about the new PeeTimes and people start @ing me to which I reply to everyone and before you know it I’ve tweeted 10-15 times in just an hour. I know that’s not good and might annoy some people but there’s not a lot I can do about it. I like to respond to people when they ask a question or make a comment.

What about you?
What do you think about my approach? I would love to hear any suggestions or comments.

Summer 09 Movie Recap

Now that the summer movie season is over – because I say so – it’s time to recap. USA Today reports that the season started out with a bang but withered at the end. Overall Hollywood brought in just a little more this year than last, but adjusting for ticket prices the attendance was actually down 2%.

What is really significant about this summer is the emergence of RunPee.com – hey, it’s significant to me! So what was the most popular movie viewed here at RunPee.com this summer? First let me give you some clues: RunPee is sort of attractive to the geek crowd because a lot of technically oriented websites like Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc, reported on it. Especially early on in the summer – another hint.

Turns out that Star Trek was hugely popular – big surprise. It also came out right before RunPee had its initial huge traffic spike – server crash #1-of-5.

Here’s the breakdown from RunPee: ( Movie – visits )

  1. Star Trek – 103,518
  2. Terminator Salvation – 69,263
  3. Angels and Demons – 65,263
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 54,641
  5. Harry Potter – 29,748
  6. The Hangover – 23,871

According to the Examiner.com – Los Angeles the box office take for this Summer’s movies are:

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – $399.6
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $295.1
  3. Up – $289.9
  4. The Hangover – $270.7
  5. Star Trek – $256.8

Avoid Flu Germs in When Flying

Travelers on planes are trapped, breathing the same air as dozens of other passengers. Some of these people are bound to be ill, down with a flu or cold, possibly carrying some other contagious microbe. The Independent Traveler says travelers “may be more than 100 times as likely to catch a cold on a plane as in your normal daily rounds”.

New emerging diseases travel around the world via air flight. Movies like Outbreak (1995) offer possible scenarios that the World Health Organization (WHO) would be hard-pressed to prevent.

WHO reports, “In the Middle Ages deadly plagues were shipped from one continent to another – carried by flea-infested rats on board ships. Today they travel by plane – carried by airline passengers from one corner of the earth to another. And all in a matter of hours.”

People in planes are sneezing, coughing, wiping their noses and touching things…in the same cabin as you. Breathing recirculated air. This can’t be good.

How to prevent catching germs when you fly:

  • Take Airborne. This supercharged vitamin and mineral cocktail fizzes in water and doesn’t taste bad at all. I actually like my Airborne a little more concentrated than recommended for a super fizzy sensation. Airborne users need to keep taking the tablets once they start, however, as recommended (every two hours, for a few hours before the flight, during and after). Taking this pill just once isn’t going to cut it. Travelers serious about not coming down with a flu from their flight take heed and follow directions.
  • Some travelers swear by massive doses of Vitamin C, taking antioxidants, Zinc lozenges or Selenium tablets, or even fortifying their systems with pre-flight doses of herbal Echinacea. Do your research and ask your doctor before you try any self-prescribed herbal concoctions, especially if you are taking medications that might be contraindicated.
  • Hydrate your body and sinuses. Drink lots of water, hot tea and juice (and less dehydrating coffee, cola and booze). Arid cabin air dries out crucial protective sinuses, leaving travelers more vulnerable to microbial infection. Steam from hydrating beverages like herbal teas will help keep mucous membranes moist. Basically, just keep drinking fluids all flight long. An aisle seat will make things easier for those inevitable trips to the toilet.
  • Look into flu shots, nasal flu sprays, and other new antivirals coming out all the time.
  • Try not to fly during high flu seasons or when the news is reporting an outbreak. The world is very small these days – a microbe from New Guinea could lurk on a armrest, right next to you, on tomorrow’s commuter flight.
  • Consider avoiding the most popular international travel routes.
  • Wear a face filter mask. This would work if people had the nerve to wear them during a flight. A mask could almost completely prevent illness via air droplets, used properly.
  • Wear gloves. Surgical gloves might be less obvious than a facial mask. This won’t provide protection against airborne droplets, but will keep you from touching things and wiping your face.
  • Fly First Class or Business Class. The better class seats are further apart. This can only be helpful when someones sneezes. Or think about a private jet.
  • No gloves or masks handy? Try not to touch anything with your hands. Don’t shake hands with anyone. Avoid opening the overhead compartment or toilet handles with your bare hands – use your sleeve or a bandana/hanky. If you do have to touch something, remember to wash your hands briskly, with hot water and soap, before touching your face or eating.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer – a germicidal gel – if you cannot wash your hands.
  • Use a travel sized container of a germ killing mouthwash like Listerine during flights.
  • Wipe surfaces like arm rests, tray tables, seat belt buckles, vent controls and other non-porous surfaces with something like Clorox Wipes. Bring your own wipes and don’t be afraid to use them.
  • Try not to talk to too many passengers in general. People can be contagious with something and not even show signs of illness.
  • Move your seat, if possible, if your seatmates are sneezing, coughing or exhibiting obvious signs of flu or cold illness. You have the right to protect your health.

The Single Best Way to Prevent Illness:

Live a healthy lifestyle – eat right, sleep lots, prevent stress, don’t smoke, and get some exercise. Yes, easier said than done for the busy businessman/woman. Living right will help your immune system do its job. Business travelers would do well to allow slack time in their busy lives to this sort of flu prevention. Remember, sick time is downtime, after all.

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