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Tech Roundup: Bitly Rage, Hitch up Your ‘Sidecar’

Twitter page loading is getting snappier, thanks to an engineering change that reworks hashbangs, or those tags that look like this: !#. The pages are said to load five times faster, which enables more Tweets to come through in real time. This is especially good news for those who like to Tweet live events.

Things may be speeding up at Twitter, but they are slowing down at Bitly, where users are having to go an extra step to shorten links now. Reaction was, to say the least, not good. Movie critic Roger Ebert (why does he have to always get his two cents in on totally unrelated events?) tweeted “bitly flooded with howls of complaint after incomprehensible and catastrophic redesign.” Incomprehensible and catastrophic? It is more annoying and irritating, an improvement only for the programmers there at Bitly and not the users.

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Top Ways People Share Good Content

How do you discover the next “big thing?” In this over-connected world, there is no end to the way people can seek out new music, books, TV shows and movies. GigaOM Pro is releasing a comprehensive report today at paidContent 2012 about those sharing methods, and some of the results are surprising.

GigaOM Pro‘s report, The Discovery Democracy: How Social Discovery is Transforming Entertainment, looks at the media discovery habits of more than 1,100 U.S. fans and charts and explains how they get recommendations.

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Tech Roundup: Milano Tweets for NHL; Balloonduck is Officially Live

-From the “I’m not sure I like this” file:  The National Hockey League allowed Who’s The Boss? actress Alyssa Milano to take over its Twitter handle during a Stanley Cup playoff game between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. The one-time Charmed witch is supposedly a perfect fit for celebrity Twitter takeover, because, um … she likes hockey?

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Tech Round Up: Twitter Buys RestEngine; Digg Staff To Work at WaPo

If you have been lagging and not Tweeting, Twitter has a plan to get you back. Twitter has acquired RestEngine, a personalized email service that will send out a “best of” list each week to show you all the fun you’ve been missing. Twitter will take on RestEngine employees as well as the company.

The Washington Post‘s Social Code has finished its hiring of Digg employees, and will put them to work on its new service, helping businesses buy ads via social media.

Despite Scandal, There Are Brands That Can’t Be Broken

In the world of public perception, a scandal can knock a brand down for weeks. But Wal-Mart, which is currently facing a public relations problem with a bribery scandal in Mexico, has fared better than other brands like Taco Bell and Target, according to data from YouGov BrandIndex, which measures “buzz score” on a point index.

YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

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Not All Green News is Good News, Americans Say

You see those ads about big companies cleaning up oil spills and ads about huge firms taking steps to “go green.” But do you believe them?

Not really. Results from the third annual “Gibbs & Soell Sense & Sustainability Study” show despite news coverage on corporations going green, most consumers are still highly skeptical of corporate commitment to the environment. But they are still intrigued.

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Tech Roundup: Find Ambiance on Hoppit; No More Chomp?

Trying to avoid hipsters? Or looking for a bar that caters to the Mad Men crowd? Hoppit, a Manhattan-based startup that searches restaurants and bars based on ambiance (choices at left), has launched in 25 cities. Its founders describe Hoppit as a cross between Yelp and Pandora, which allows you to filter locations as they would appeal to, for example, a two-year-old, your great aunt Norma, or business colleagues. Or maybe all three; you be the judge.

Anyone holding out hope of using Chomp on their Android is out of luck. Chomp is an app discovery service that also allows you to see what interesting new apps your friends and co-workers have found. MacRumors is reporting Apple bought Chomp for $50 million and has no plans to let Androidians Chomp their way to new apps. And it won’t be compatible with the competing phones.

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Men Like Manly Cars, Women Like Little Cute Ones

Men and women go for very different kinds of rides. A TrueCar.com study of new car sales for 2011 showed a female affinity for the cute, fuel-efficient MINI, and other small import cars, while men continue to buy trucks, SUVs, and Ferraris in disproportionate numbers.

The matter-of-factly titled study, “Men Prefer Flashy or Brawny Vehicles; Women Prefer Import Brands and Smaller Vehicles,” really shows the gender appeal of car models.

For example, who is buying Porsche 911s? Almost all dudes.

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As Environmentalists, Most Parents Fall Short

It looks like green is the new color of parental guilt.

According to a new survey by iVillage and Today.com, a huge number of parents admit they could do more to help the environment, but don’t have enough money to go greener, inducing “green guilt.”

The survey found 94 percent of parents want to do more to help the environment, but almost half (43 percent) say lack of money keeps them from being their greener selves.  For the record, we would buy everything organic at Whole Foods if we could, right? It’s just that all those sweet peas and pesticide-free artichokes really add up.

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Tech Roundup: Executives Fear Video Leaks; Cision Adds Search Tools

-Cision has released Seek or Shout, a new online community for journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and PR and marketing professionals that allows those writing stories to connect with sources and calls attention to those with published content. The Cision Media Database has also introduced new search tools to help filter results, pull media data, and build media lists faster.

-PR Newswire has launched PR Newswire… for bloggers, a resource for bloggers (of course) and other “self-publishers.” The goal is to provide resources and added visibility to the growing number of people publishing on the Web. In addition, PR Newswire will also review five new blogs per week.

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