My Cousin Scott (left) at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich during last year's Octoberfest!

Here is what I am reading today:

“According to TechRice, Facebook will be partnering with Baidu, the largest search engine in China, valued at $50 billion. That’s if Hu Yanping, founder of the Beijing-based Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI), tweets the truth. He says Facebook has already signed an official contract with Baidu to create a new social network in China.

Marbridge Consulting has also heard from multiple industry sources, which say Facebook will be working with Baidu on the new China site, bolstered by rumors that Baidu visited Facebook in February.”

“But in the age of Twitter and Facebook, a diet that “goes viral” is a very, very good thing. Witness the fast rise of The 17-Day Diet, released on March 15 and already a New York Times advice book bestseller. It touts itself as “A doctor’s plan designed for rapid results,” and is based upon boosting the dieter’s metabolism in 17-day cycles of different foods. Also making the global social-media rounds is France’s wildly popular high-protein Dukan diet, which is getting Twitter traffic even before the release of The Dukan Diet book, which is set to hit American bookstores later this month.”

“Playdom today announced the launch of Gardens of Time, a hidden object game re-imagined with social elements on Facebook. Gardens of Time provides the artistic and game play depth of a downloadable hidden object game while setting a new standard of social game play within the genre.”

“With the explosion of social media, the Tribe put their arms around the movement and opened the “Tribe Social Deck” in the left field bleachers. The idea is that if you take people who are active social media users and give them seats at a baseball game, they’ll use social media to tell their friends what they are doing.”

“Google has reportedly applied a new multiplier to staff bonuses for 2011. According to a leaked memo from Google CEO Larry Page, the company is making its social efforts a top priority and will reward all employees if those products are a success — or dock everyone’s bonus if those efforts fail.”