Seeking Girl Scout Cookies? There’s an app for that!

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time again!

If none of your co-workers or family members have girls in the Girl Scouts, you might find it a little tricky to track down Girl Scout Cookies.

Not if you have a smartphone.

There are a pair of apps — each available for iOS and Android — that allow you to search and find Girl Scout Cookie sales in your area.

One, from Kellogg’s, does a reasonable job of letting you know where the sales are by date and location.

The other, from the Girl Scouts themselves, is a little more robust.

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Tire firm enters video game world

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin’s business page today carried my story about Kumho Tire’s hiring of a video game developer to create a game that doubles as an advertisement for its product. 
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The president of the development company, Austin, Tex. based Retired Astronaut Collective, foresees ad-inspired games as being the foundation of a new business model for companies designing free or inexpensive apps for mobile devices.
Company president Chris Chuter expects the popularity of smartphones will enable his company and other development houses to win contracts to devise inexpensive games with product tie-ins.
“We can make these smaller games, of pretty good quality, and wrap it around a product,” Chuter said, observing that a game could be a better marketing tool than a billboard.
“As a business model, we are telling customers that you can make a high-quality product that isn’t just a branding thing,” Chuter added.
Kumho Tire is a Korean firm. Its American headquarters is in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Angry Birds Seasons: An Advent calendar of pig-pummeling

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The monstrously popular time-sucker known as Angry Birds has been given the holiday treatment as Angry Birds Seasons.

The twist here is that, instead of being able to advance through all the levels as you complete them, you’re treated to a new level each day.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Angry Birds, developed by Finland-based Rovio, is a mobile game where the goal is to destroy green pigs by using a slingshot to fling birds (of varying destructive capabilities) at the pigs’ homes.

Yes, I’m aware of how insane that sounds.

The best-selling app has grown into a pop culture phenomenon, spawning plush toys and even being spoofed on Israeli TV (Parents note: Video contains four-letter words).

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In addition to the 25 “Seasons Greedings” Christmas-themed levels, Angry Birds Seasons also includes 45 previously-released Halloween-themed levels and two bonus levels.

Rovio has added small visual touches (falling snow, for instance) and seems to have ramped up the difficulty level. It took me several tries to get past even the initial Christmas level.

Angry Birds Seasons is available for iOS, Android and webOS. Just don’t blame me when the kids don’t get fed and the laundry goes undone.

Blame the green pigs.