Want to be popular? Advertising services company uSocial.net has announced it is selling packages of Twitter followers for companies that are having trouble growing their own base of followers.

The recently launched service sells followers in blocks of 1,000 and sells packages as big as 100,000.

It’s the second “artificial popularity service” from the company, uSocial.net said in a statement. In December 2008, the company launched a paid social bookmarking service that allowed clients to buy votes on sites like Digg and StumbleUpon.

The company received and ignored a cease-and-desist order from Digg for selling votes on the site, according to the statement.

Creaform partners with two Canadian investment firms

Three-dimensional technology vendor Creaform Inc. has partnered with two Canadian investment companies, Novacap and Capital regional et cooperative Desjardins (CRCD).

The two companies’ expertise in finance and economy, in particular the “realization of future expansion and acquisition projects,” is an asset to Creaform, said the company’s president, Charles Mony.

Financial support afforded by the two Canadian companies will also help Creaform speed growth and strengthen its product offerings, Handyscan 3D and HandyPROBE.

The agreement was signed following Creaform’s Q1 sales results, which showed a 35 per cent year-over-year revenue increase.

Mandriva releases Linux-based Enterprise Server 5

Paris-based Mandriva SA has launched a Linux-based offering for quickly administering and integrating servers.

The Mandriva Enterprise Server 5 (MES 5) is based on the Corporate Server 4 design, but with new functionalities like integrated Mandriva Directory Server (MDS) for automating and delegating daily admin tasks, shorter boot-up time, modular for easier customization and configuration of specialized servers.

The company is offering a month-long trial version.

Cell phone safety strategies for parents of teens

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) has developed a series of mobile safety guides, sponsored by Telus Corp., that list strategies and techniques for parents. The guides target parents of three different age groups: 10-12 year-olds, 13-15 and 16-17. CCCP, however, notes that it does not recommend the purchase of cell phones for children under 11 years of age.

One strategy for the 10-to-12-year-old group is to “make sure that your child never includes his/her name or phone number on his/her voicemail message.” For the 13-to-15-year-old group, the guide recommends that parents “learn how to block calls/messages from unwanted users on your adolescent’s phone.” Those with 16-to-17-year-olds are reminded to “ensure your adolescent never discloses his/her location when updating blogs or social networking sites remotely.”

The guides are available in both HTML and downloadable PDF format at a new Canadian Centre for Child Protection/TELUS Mobile Safety site. Other useful information is also available on the site, such as tips on what to look for when buying a cell phone for your kids, questions to ask your cell phone provider and various risks in technology, contact and content. Guidance on where and how to report abuse is also provided with contact info for Cybertip.ca.

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