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Issue #1 for jrd20001

7/15/2009 - 7/19/2009

5 Atrocious Science Clichés to Throw Down a Black Hole (Wired: Wired Science) Submitted at 7/17/2009 10:21:55 AM

A black hole is the perfect place for stuff you never want to see again. So Wired Science is joining’s extended black hole party by chucking in some of the worst, most overused science clichés. This purging project was kicked off by our pals at Underwire. They were inspired by scientists at the Israel Institute of Technology who, while searching for Hawking radiation, recently created an acoustic black hole using Bose-Einstein condensates. So Underwire jumped on the opportunity to throw five atrocious albums into that black hole, never to be heard again. Autopia followed by launching five atrocious car models into a black hole (the regular kind out in space, of course). This week is our turn. After careful consideration and consultation with members of the local science writing community (only some of them were drunk), we have selected the five most annoying and ubiquitous clichés we think should be sucked into a black hole, forever banished from all future descriptions of science. 1) HOLY GRAIL To me, this is the mother of all bad science clichés, the worst offender. And I recently learned I have back up on this opinion from the venerable journal Nature which has literally banned scientists from putting holy grails in their papers. But outside of Nature, grails are running rampant through science writing. A Google search for “holy grail” + science OR scientists OR researchers yields 2.6 million hits. Among those hits, the holy grail of: physics, climate change, biofuels, cancer research, crystallography, bodybuilding, pain relief, plant biology, nanoscience, cardiology, optical computing, catalyst design and human gait analysis. Here are just a few examples: Discover asks: Can Engineers Achieve the Holy Grail of Energy: Infinite and Clean? and The Telegraph UK says:‘Holy grail’ drug can help scars heal, new research shows. And yes, Wired Science is not immune: Astronomers Closer to

Exoplanet Holy Grail. But no more. I hereby decree all holy grails banned from Wired Science. Image: The splitting of water using a semiconductor immersed into an aqueous solution has been termed the Holy Grail of photoelectrochemistry. From the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2) SILVER BULLET No more silver bullets, please. Apparently they are really only meant for werewolves, witches and the occasional monster. While we’re at it, magic bullets can go into the black hole as well. They attract too many angry conspiracy theorists. In a Google search, the two together, along with science terms, get you 1.7 million hits. And because Alexis Madrigal hasn’t read his werewolf texts very closely, he occasionally tries to put golden bullets into his stories, so we’ll toss those as well. A lot of these bullets are aimed at medical targets. The LA Times asks if there’s A magic bullet for pandemic flu?. And I can’t tell if this instance, Scientists to Tackle Illness with ’silver Bullet’, is made better or worse by the fact that the thing being called a silver bullet is actually silver. Things that are not silver or magic bullets: antioxidants, carbon capture, disk encryption, GM crops, vitamins, and carbon dioxide mosquito traps. At Wired Science, there is no magic or silver bullet for: cancer, the energy crisis, and cloning endangered turtles. And as long as we’re tossing all the bullets, we might as well send the smoking gun in after them. Image: National Archives photo of the magic bullet that may or may not have killed JFK. 3) SHEDDING LIGHT Why must everything always be shedding light on something else? In addition to the light I shed on dark matter in 2006, light has also been shed on virtually everything you can think of: quantum computation, primate eye evolution, the connection between brain and loneliness, consciousness, catalyzed reactions, air quality, and even the Hope diamond. Googling “shed* light” + science OR scientists OR research returns 6.66 million hits, including these: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Robotic Floats Shed New

Light on the Iron Hypothesis, The Washington Post: Researchers Shed More Light on Bird Flu, and The Boston Globe: Scientists shed new light on invisibility. And, of course, Wired Science has been known to shed a bit now and then. A couple gems: Semen Proteomics Sheds Light on Loyalty and Evolution, Sea Cucumber Sheds Light on Healing Mechanisms. Not everyone is trapped in this shed, however. Notably, Nature reporter Erika Check has been known to throw light on stuff like the origins of life. (Full disclosure: Erika is on my soccer team.) UPDATE: Alex Witze has taken full responsibility on behalf of Nature’s editors for any clichés that have appeared in Erika’s stories. Image: The Sydney Morning Herald caught a scientist in the act of literally shedding light on hydrogen. And a bonus holy grail is in the first sentence. Credit: Jon Reid. 4) MISSING LINK Don’t even tell me you aren’t sick of all the missing links constantly being discovered. It’s an epidemic. Googling along with science terms gets you 4.2 million missing links. I mean, what could possibly still be missing after all that? There must be an unbroken, fully linked chain running from kindergarten art projects through Lucy all the way to the Creationist Museum. Of course, a huge proportion of those links are fossils, including Ida, the supposed missing link between humans and lemurs that clogged up the science news cycle for days in May. Some of the other lucky things that have found their links: black holes, cancer gene therapy, industrial relations and the southern ocean. Slate has wondered: How Many Times Will Paleontologists Find the “Missing Link”? Wired Science is also lousy with lost links including: Missing Link in Pulsar Evolution Is a Cannibal and Viral Missing Link Caught on Film. But my favorite example is this New York Daily News story on Ida: Missing link found? Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillae, which also has a holy grail thrown in. Image: This image can be found on Ida’s personal website, Revealing the

Link, and also all over the interwebs. 5) PARADIGM SHIFT According to Google, science paradigms have shifted 1.9 million times. I’m actually surprised it’s not more. Because really, when you get down to it, what doesn’t qualify as a paradigm shift these days? Science writing can actually take the blame for creating this beast and then letting it escape into the rest of the world. It was first used in Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” in 1962, and yes I learned that on Wikipedia, but I also have a copy of the book on my shelf, so there. Wired Science has only shifted a handful of paradigms in fields including drug research and genetics, and happily, no paradigm has shifted since the current editor (me) joined the team. But these shifts may have infected some other corners of including Autopia and Game Life. And elsewhere in the world, paradigms are super shifty, especially in scientific papers. For example, the journal Sexualities: Reading Porn: The Paradigm Shift in Pornography Research. According to the Institute of Physics, space science in the UK was on the verge of a shift in May (not sure of the current status of this paradigm). Even science fairs have apparently shifted: A Global Paradigm Shift in Science Fairs. Image: This shocking paradigm shift occured in the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon. Image at top: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart Follow us on Twitter at @ betsymason and @ wiredscience, and on Facebook. Let us know what you would add to the list, and vote for the worst offenders below. Show predictions that are: hot| new| top-rated or submit your own prediction Submit a Prediction While you can submit as many predictions as you want, you can only submit one every 30 minutes. No HTML allowed. Back to top

Toshiba's potent TG01 back on sale through O2 Germany (Engadget) Submitted at 7/18/2009 9:48:00 PM

Well, that was snappy. Just days after O2 Germany abruptly halted the sales of Toshiba's 1GHz TG01 smartphone due to an unexplained

virus outbreak among new units, it seems as if things are back in gear. Online, anyway. As of this moment, web shoppers can order the Snapdragon / WinMo-powered from the carrier once more, though there's no word on if retail shops are still

keeping their stock in quarantine. Either way, we'd don a mask before waltzing in to inquire. [Thanks, Fab] Filed under: Cellphones Toshiba's potent TG01 back on sale through O2 Germany originally

appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 23:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


British Open Re-Lives the ’70s for a Day ( The Daily Fix) Submitted at 7/17/2009 7:43:09 AM

It has been roughly 32 years since Tom Watson had one of the greatest rounds in the history of the majors. Watson out-dueled Jack Nicklaus in the final round of the British Open at Turnberry that year and came away with a win. He’s 59 now, and in his next-to-last year of automatic eligibility, but Watson was in his old Carter-administration/Leo Sayer-atop -the-charts form Thursday. Watson’s first-round 65 matched the score he put up in that famed final round in 1977, and earned him an improbable spot just one stroke behind first-day leader Miguel Angel Jimenez on the British Open’s leaderboard. Reuters At least for a day, the British Open got sexy. Tom Watson sexy. “Fifty-nine year-olds do not win majors. Fifty-nine year-olds, if they’re lucky, win the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am,” Yahoo’s Michael Arkush writes. “Sooner or later — and the safe bet here is sooner — Watson will do what he has been doing for too many years, missing one four-footer after another. … Yet what if? What if Watson were to somehow hold it together, staying in the hunt with a legitimate chance to win on the final nine? It could happen. Seriously.” Most golf pundits agree that, seriously, it probably won’t. Indeed, Watson was off to a shaky start Friday.[Update: He finished the day tied for the lead, at minus-5, with Steve Marino.] Still, the Boston Herald’s George Kimball enjoys watching the natural-born links player who has won four British Opens in Scotland play his brand of golf to the hilt. “Although he alluded to several ’spiritual’ aspects to yesterday’s magic, there was nothing mysterious about Watson’s performance,” Kimball writes. “A great links player might lose some length as he pushes past middle and into old age, but he will by and large still be a great links player.” And, as Graham Spiers notes in the Times of London, Watson will have all of the U.K. pulling for him over the next three rounds. Things got a little more unpredictable and British Open-y in the early going on Friday, with the

expected Scottish weather arriving in the form of wind and light rain, Jimenez and Ben Curtis turning in semi-disastrous front nines, and early signs of a surge from rejuvenated, ham-like masher John Daly. As per usual, the player most will be watching is Tiger Woods, who turned in a plus-one first round. “Woods was the favorite when he showed up at Bethpage Black and he was the favorite coming into Turnberry, but slow starts have led to fast walks off the green after the first round at both places,” Golf World’s Thomas Bonk writes. “And after winning his last tournament before the Masters, the U.S. Open and now the British Open, his starts seem even more befuddling.” Of course, this is Tiger we’re talking about — the same Tiger who has won two PGA Championships and the 2008 U.S. Open after over-par opening rounds. He’s far from done, and the British Open, too, is just getting started.[Update: And, it turns out, he's just getting finished. Woods failed to make the cut Friday.] Make sure to check in here Sunday morning for live-blog coverage of the Open’s final day.* * * The evening of July 16 was one of those dense, muggy summer nights of which New York has seen blessedly few this summer. But it’s hard to blame the weather for the poor turnout at Giants Stadium for Thursday’s game between the Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Two years ago, over 66,000 fans turned out to see David Beckham’s debut at Giants Stadium; 23,238 made the trip Thursday. The Galaxy cruised to a 3-1 win, but Beckham didn’t put on much of a show and seemed rusty after not having played since the Italian League’s final on May 31. In a long feature for Yahoo, Josh Peter reports that Red Bulls fans aren’t the only ones underwhelmed by Beckham’s return to the States — the list includes sports-marketing experts, Beckham’s teammates and even the Galaxy’s own superfans. “Huddled in bars or hunched in front of computers, the most rabid fans of the Los Angeles Galaxy work on chants meant to insult David Beckham,” Peter reports. “That’s

right. The same David Beckham who is the most celebrated member of the Galaxy has become the most despised target of the 300-plus zealots who call themselves the L.A. Riot Squad.”* * * If Joe Posnanski were a baseball player instead of a baseball writer, he’d be described as a five-tool talent. Posnanski is equally comfortable with ruminative blog posts, deep-dive features and workmanlike go-into-the -clubhouse-and-interview-BrianBannister quasi-game stories, but he only occasionally gets the chance to step out and take on a full-length magazine-style feature. In light of Posnanski’s upcoming book on the Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s, Cincinnati Magazine gave Posnanski some room to write about Pete Rose, the most enigmatic, polarizing and iconic player on that legendary team. The feature Posnanski delivered is as complicated and sad as its subject, and another example of why Posnanski gets your Fixer’s vote as the best sportswriter working, bar none.* * * You’ve got your masochists. Some loyalists. The significant number of people — your Fixer included — who fall into the overlap between the two aforementioned categories. Presumably some members of Alex Cora’s extended family, if they have nothing better to do. But for most people, there are few good reasons to tune in to watch the injury-decimated, fourth-place Mets. With bad injury news rolling in on a near-constant basis, ESPN’s Rob Neyer was unequivocal in his assessment of the Mets’ odds at getting back into the hunt. “The Mets need a miracle,” Neyer writes. “They need to rip off eight or 10 wins before the end of this month. If they don’t, it’s time to start thinking about 2010. Do you think management has the guts to make that decision before the trade deadline?” Instead, the Mets delivered a desultory 5-3 loss to the Braves in their first game after the All-Star Break. Thankfully, in a very amusing feature for the New York Observer, John Koblin finds one compelling reason to tune in to Mets broadcasts, even if the team is a disheartening, limping, nightmare squad. That

would be the freewheeling, frequently Dada announcing trio of Gary Cohen and former Mets greats Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. “The old adage for a good broadcast is that when things are going well, it’s like you’re having a conversation with the viewer at home,” Koblin writes. “Keith and Gary and Ron have done just that over the past four years, for 60 games a season, and about another 90 games using some combination of two of them. But the viewer they’re talking to is jaded, and cosmopolitan, and, not infrequently, a little bored with the Mets.” Those who’ve watched the three will appreciate the piece, but those who haven’t may actually enjoy it more — Koblin’s transcriptions of the inbooth dialogue read like lines from a (pretty funny) movie script.* * * Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher isn’t known as a choirboy on the ice, but he has made little secret of his identity as a dedicated Christian away from the game. In the Ottawa Citizen, Wayne Scanlan describes Fisher practicing what he preaches by means of a trip to El Salvador with the relief organization World Vision.* * * If you start getting too down on the economy, it might help to think of professional athletes. Not your ARods and Shaqs; more like David Schulte and Brian “Doctor Popular” Roberts. Yes, Schulte isn’t making a lot of money as a private yo-yo tutor — although his earnings put your Fixer’s to shame — but that is indeed how he makes his living. In the Journal, Mary Pilon takes readers on a highly entertaining journey into the world of professional yo-yoists, who make their livings through yo-yo competitions, road-show demos and private lessons. The point: They can all make a living this way. The system still works! — Tip of the Fix cap to reader Jason Cohen and fellow Fixer Garey Ris. Found a good column from the world of sports? Don’t keep it to yourself — write to us at and we’ll consider your find for inclusion in the Daily Fix. You can email David at

Your Apollo Anniversary Experience (Wired: Wired Science) Submitted at 7/17/2009 2:01:47 PM

You can’t say NASA hasn’t capitalized on the Apollo 11 anniversary. The agency has pretty much gone hog wild with all the ways you can celebrate the moon landing, which happened 40 years ago on July 20. Here are some of the best multimedia experiences NASA has to offer. Audio time capsule: NASA is playing the entire Apollo 11 mission audio in real time + 40 years. It started on July 16, two hours and 40 years before the mission

launched and will end July 24 with the splashdown of the astronauts’ capsule. New photos of moon landing sites: NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reached the moon just in time to send us some very cool shots of the Apollo mission’s landing sites, complete with astronaut footprints. Restored historical video footage of the landing: Having taped over the original high -res tapes of the landing, NASA is going to great lengths to restore the television broadcast footage. They’ve released clips of some of the key moments in the mission.

Audio that Earth didn’t hear during the mission: The on-board recordings from the mission are often garbled and out of chronological order, but exciting nonetheless. Apollo 11 astronauts share their thoughts: The crew will speak at a sold-out event at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. For those without a ticket, watch it live on NASA TV at 8 p.m. EDT on July 19. Astronaut news conference: The Apollo 11 crew will again be on hand for a press conference at 9:30 -10:30 EDT from NASA

headquarters, which will also stream live on NASA TV. NASA’s more complete list of Apollo anniversary activities includes local events as well. See Also: • Newly Restored Video of Apollo 11 Moonwalk • Scrappy Post-Apollo Lunar Science Sets Stage for New Missions … • Astronomers Uncover Audio of 1969 Soviet Attempt to Beat U.S. to … • Tweet Me to the Moon, Let Me Play Among the Nerds Image: NASA


Bush key men face grilling on torture (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 7/18/2009 4:05:57 PM

Former vice-president Dick Cheney could be forced to testify to Congress over allegations that a secret hit squad was set up on his orders, as Democrats press for inquiries into the conduct of the 'war on terror'. Paul Harris reports from New York America is bracing itself for a series of investigations that could see top officials from the administration of President George W Bush hauled in front of Congress, grilled by a special prosecutor and possibly facing criminal charges. Several investigations will now cast a spotlight on Bush-era torture policy and a secret CIA assassination programme, examining the role played by big names such as the former vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In one investigation into the controversial firing of federal prosecutors, Bush's political guru, Karl Rove, has already been forced to appear before Congress and give testimony behind closed doors. Another investigation, by the House of Representatives' intelligence committee, has already asked for documents from the CIA and has now announced that it will examine the legality of keeping a secret CIA hit squad hidden from Congress, something alleged to have been ordered by Cheney himself. "I intend to make this investigation fair and thorough," said the committee's chairman, Texas congressman Silvestre Reyes late on Friday. The moves reveal a long-awaited desire by elements of the Obama administration and Democratcontrolled Congress to examine alleged abuses of power by Bush officials. They also raise the prospect of a bitter political fight with

Republicans, who are likely to portray any attempt to investigate leading Bushites as a witch-hunt. The inquiries also seem to go against the wishes of some in the White House, including Barack Obama. The president has said he does not want to be distracted by the past and instead intends to focus on economic recovery and healthcare reform. "The White House is more in the mood for going forward on the issues, such as healthcare, by which they want to define their presidency," said Gary Schmitt, a former intelligence official under Ronald Reagan and a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. But Obama may not have too much say in what could be the most explosive investigation: one set to be launched by the attorney-general, Eric Holder. Holder is mulling whether to appoint a special prosecutor to examine CIA activities since 2001, focusing on the use of torture in interrogation of terror suspects. Any such prosecutor could have the power to bring criminal charges. Obama has made clear that the final decision is Holder's alone and news reports last week indicated that Holder was "leaning" towards making such a move. The prosecutor's mandate could be narrowly focused on minor officials or broadened to reach the top levels of Bush's cabinet. Holder's decision will be influenced by the results of numerous reports on his desk. One, a survey on interrogation techniques, carried out by the CIA's inspector-general, is due to be made public at the end of this month. Holder spent two days reading the report and friends have said he was "shocked and saddened" by its contents. Another report, to be released in the next two months, is being compiled about top officials in the Justice Department who drew up legal advice that justified the new interrogation techniques. That probe focuses on

John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general and Jay Bybee, a federal judge. Many insiders think public reaction to those two reports is likely to ensure that Holder eventually appoints a special prosecutor, similar to Kenneth Starr, who investigated Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. "I think it is likely that Holder will do that," said Larry Johnson, a former senior CIA official. At the same time, other senior politicians in Congress are investigating the CIA's activities in the Bush era, especially allegations that it kept hidden a secret assassination squad aimed at top alQaida figures. The Senate could announce its own investigation alongside the House one already now going ahead. Both could subpoena officials, perhaps including Cheney. One member of the House committee, New Jersey congressman Rush Holt, told his local newspaper that the inquiry should be as intense as the that of the committee which investigated Watergate. "I think any new investigation will produce revelations that are as jaw-dropping as those that were uncovered by the Church committee," Holt said. These fresh investigations would add to some already under way. Rove is expected to be called again for further questioning later in the summer. Obama has ordered his national security officials to examine allegations that Bush officials resisted efforts to investigate a massacre of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001 by an American-backed Afghan warlord. "I've asked my national security team ... to collect the facts for me that are known and we'll probably make a decision ... once we have all the facts," Obama said during his recent trip to Africa. A series of hard-hitting investigations will be celebrated by many on the liberal wing of the Democratic party and human rights activists. "We have the right to be

informed of our government's failed and egregious policies. Our recent history has taught us that the rule of law is meaningless if left unenforced," said Michael MacleodBall, a director at the American Civil Liberties Union. However, there could also be a political price. Many former intelligence officials are furious that the CIA is being dragged into politics. "It is pure politics. It is just crazy," said Johnson. Others say protracted investigations will sap Obama's political capital at a time when he faces a difficult battle over healthcare reform. Indeed, some conservatives might relish the prospect of rehashing old debates over anti-terror tactics. Cheney himself, who led a secretive life in office, has been a happily public voice defending Bush policy since he left office and he has strong support from the conservative media. One parallel might be the IranContra hearings of the 1980s, when a secret plan to ship arms to Iran to raise money for Nicaraguan rebels made Colonel Oliver North - who helped craft the scheme - a patriotic folk hero. "Republicans will be happy if Democrats want to go down this road. They are happy to have a debate about national security. You could easily see someone have another 'Oliver North moment'," said Schmitt. • George Bush • Dick Cheney • Republicans • Democrats • CIA • Obama administration • Barack Obama • Torture • Global terrorism • Human rights© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

Taliban release video of captured US soldier (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 7/19/2009 1:59:56 AM

Unnamed soldier captured outside US base in Afghanistan three weeks ago pleads for American troops to return home The Taliban have released a video of a US soldier kidnapped outside a US base in Afghanistan almost three weeks ago. Shaven-headed and emotional, he pleads for American troops to return home. A US military spokesman in Kabul condemned the video as propaganda and a breach of the rules of war. In the 28-minute video, which the militants released via the internet yesterday, the young soldier is shown with a razed head, a light beard and wearing a grey shalwar kameez. The US military withheld his name, rank and age but he appears to be in his early 20s. The soldier describes the war as

"very hard" and says he is keen to learn about Islam. Then his captors prompt him to deliver a message. "To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home," he said. "Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home." The tape is heavily edited, and his voice becomes strained when describing his personal life. "I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner," he tells the camera. He says he misses his family and intends to marry his girlfriend. "I miss them and I'm afraid that I might not ever see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again and I'll never be able to hug them." A US military spokesman

in Kabul, Captain Jon Stock, confirmed the captive was a US soldier who went missing outside a US base in southern Paktika province on June 30. "The use of the soldier for propaganda purposes we view as against international law," he told Reuters. "We are continuing to do whatever possible to recover the soldier safe and unharmed." The circumstances of the soldier's abduction remain unclear. The military said he was snatched from outside the base perimeter along with three Afghan nationals. In the video, the soldier said he was captured after lagging behind on a patrol. On July 2 an Afghan journalist based in Peshawar, Sami Yousafzai, said he received a call from a Taliban commander offering to negotiate a prisoner exchange. The soldier dates the tape at July 14. Any US plan to rescue the young soldier would become complicated if, as many believe likely, he is being

held across the border in Pakistan's tribal belt. Paktika province adjoins North Waziristan, a hub of militant activity. Several westerners kidnapped in Afghanistan have been held in Pakistan. Last month a New York Times reporter, David Rohde, escaped from a house in North Waziristan after eight months in captivity. The area is the stronghold of the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida affiliated group with a network of supporters on both sides of the border. Led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of a elderly jihadist warlord, it has been accused of numerous attacks on western civilians and soldiers. • Afghanistan • Taliban© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds


Dublin killings take a grotesque twist (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 7/18/2009 4:06:02 PM

Shootings and grenade attacks are common, but a defiled corpse marks a new low in gangland battles to control the drug trade Dublin's gangland murder rate is now running at almost three killings per month, with the turf wars taking a ghoulish twist last week when a corpse was defaced by rivals who broke into a funeral parlour. On Friday, Anthony Cannon became the 20th, and latest, victim of the feuds running between gangs in the city. He was targeted because he fired into the home of the grandparents of a well-known gangster, garda sources revealed this weekend. Gardai had recently warned him that his life was in danger. At the time of his murder, he was on bail awaiting assault charges. Cannon was the 15th person murdered in the so-called "CrumlinDrimnagh feud" between two rival gangs running the illicit drugs trade in Dublin's south inner city. Three other murders since the start of 2009 are connected to a separate feud between rival gangs in the north inner city and one killing involved a Dublin criminal murdered in southern Spain. Another murder is linked to an ongoing feud in the Cabra district of the city. The current crop of the so-called "soldiers" involved with warring criminal factions in the city are wholly different from the initial wave of gangsters that first brought hard

drugs into Ireland in the early 1980s. Unlike this previous generation of criminals, the present gangs not only control the drugs trade but are themselves habitual cocaine users, which the gardai believe has increased their propensity for using violence to settle scores with rivals. Along with the penchant for cocaine, this new generation of gangsters is getting younger. During searches last week in north Dublin, garda detectives questioned a 15-year -old boy who had in his possession a high-powered automatic Glock pistol. Cannon, 26, who had convictions for assault, drug possession and traffic offences, was shot in the head twice as he ran away from two men on a motorcycle in the Ballyfermot area of south Dublin on Friday afternoon. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and was gunned down in front of women and children. His death was ordered by a notorious south Dublin criminal who spends a lot of time in his homes in southern Spain. At the time of the shooting he was understood to be staying on the Costa del Sol. In the early hours of yesterday morning two houses in the Clondalkin area were raked with gunfire, although garda sources said the shootings were not linked to the "Crumlin-Drimnagh" feud. No one was injured in either attack. Even before Cannon's murder, tensions in the city were running high following a bizarre incident involving the body of a gang member from north Dublin on Monday. David Byrne's body was defaced with a pen while lying in the Jennings

Funeral Home on Dublin's Amiens Street. The 26-year-old father-of-one had died from injuries he received at the start of June while inside Mountjoy prison. Byrne had been beaten with a sock stuffed with batteries after a row over a television remote control in the jail's recreation area. Vandals broke into the funeral parlour and scrawled "Rats" and "I'm not gone" in red pen on the dead man's forehead. Byrne was buried on Tuesday at the Fingal cemetery in Co Dublin. The incident is thought to be linked to the feud between a gang run by jailed Dublin criminal Christy Griffin and a rival group in the north inner city. It has resulted in the deaths of two men, as well as gun and grenade attacks on a number of homes in north Dublin since the beginning of this year. Members of the Griffin gang have vowed revenge for the defilement of Byrne's corpse and at least one member of the rival group has been offered round-the-clock police protection since the funeral. Out of the 20 Dublin gangland murders this year, charges have only been brought in relation to two men. At least three of the feuds are linked in some way to the control of the heroin and cocaine trade in the city. At least one gang is trying to call in drug debts in order to pay off Colombian gangsters following the loss of a huge shipment of cocaine off the Irish coast last year. Gardai are on high alert this weekend as fears grow for retaliatory attacks following the death of

Cannon. As with every gangland murder this year, garda detectives have good intelligence about who is responsible and in the Cannon case were aware of the main suspect's name within an hour of the shooting, although his whereabouts are unknown. In response to one of the bloodiest years in Irish gangland violence the Fianna Fáil/Green Party government has introduced new legislation which would allow senior garda officers to tell courts that they believed certain suspects in court were members of crime gangs. It would then be up to judges and juries to decide whether or not to take the word of officers from the rank of superintendent upwards as evidence against these suspects. However more than 100 Irish criminal lawyers have said the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill contravenes the European Human Rights Act and would be challenged through the Irish and European courts. Associations representing rank and file gardai meanwhile say proposed policing cuts as part of an overall €5.3bn (£4.5bn) cost-cutting public service programme will further emasculate the force in its fight against the crime gangs. Overtime for detectives has already been cut back while the murders and shootings across Dublin continue apace. • Ireland • Drugs trade • Gangs© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

Potential Neurotoxin Could Be in Our Food (Wired: Wired Science) Submitted at 7/17/2009 11:04:59 AM

Long after a potentially neurotoxic flame retardant is off the market, it could linger in our food chain. One of the most comprehensive analyses yet of human exposure to PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, shows that the chemical — long used in everything from computers to sleeping bags — enters humans through their diets, not just their household. “The more you eat, the more PBDEs you have in your serum,” said Alicia Fraser, an environmental health researcher at Boston University’s School of Public Health who headed the new study, published this month in Environmental Health Perspectives. PBDEs are chemical cousins of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which are known to cause birth defects and neurological impairments. PCBs were banned throughout the world by the mid-1970s, when PBDEs were gaining popularity as flame retardants. PBDEs were soon found in most plastic-containing household products. By the late 1990s, trace amounts of PBDEs had been found in people all over the world, with the highest exposures measured in the United States. Researchers became nervous:

Low doses caused neurological damage in laboratory animals, and the highest human PBDE levels were found in breast milk. Whether PBDEs posed an immediate threat to humans was uncertain. Direct testing is unethical, and population-wide epidemiological studies are difficult to run. But there’s enough reason for concern that the European Union banned two of the three most common PBDE formulations in 2004. The Environmental Protection Agency, which in January admitted that it lacked the ability to establish basic standards of chemical safety, has not followed suit, but three states — California, Washington and Maine — have banned PBDEs since 2007. Many manufacturers have either stopped or plan on stopping their use. “They are persistent in the environment. They don’t get broken down. Therefore, it takes a really long time for the contamination to leave our environment and our bodies,” said Fraser. “Even though we don’t know the health effects at this point, most people would want policies that would stop us from being exposed to them.” But though well-advised, these bans won’t eliminate the threat. Most PBDE exposure research has focused on how people can absorb it from dust and other indoor sources that

would ostensibly be eliminated once PBDE-containing products were discarded. Much less attention has been paid to PBDEs in food. Fraser’s team analyzed biological samples from 2,000 people, provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same data was used in 2004 to establish baseline estimates of PBDE exposure in Americans, but that study didn’t look for patterns in food consumption. Fraser’s team found that PBDE levels were 25 percent higher in meat-eaters than vegetarians. Though the channels of food contamination by PBDEs haven’t been conclusively established, it’s possible that “the old products are being moved to landfills, and PBDEs could enter the environment that way,” said Fraser. Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that PBDEs were present in all U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes, with the highest levels found near urban and industrial areas. That PBDEs would be highest in meat products makes sense, as the chemicals accumulate in fat, and it wouldn’t be hard for PBDEs to enter their feed and water. Fraser suggested that the United States adopt chemical regulations similar to those in the European

Union, which in 2007 mandated that chemicals be thoroughly tested and proven safe before used. That’s the opposite of the U.S. system, where chemicals are assumed to be safe until it’s proved otherwise. “The industry is finding new products to use as flame retardants, and we don’t know the health and safety implications of those products either,” said Fraser. “We need to test the health and safety implications of products before they go into use, not after.” See Also: • That (Toxic) New Car Smell • California Takes on PC Waste • Breast Cancer, Common Chemicals and Cause: Better Safe Than Sorry • Scientists Stop EPA From Pushing Toxic Pesticide Citation: “Diet Contributes Significantly to the Body Burden of PBDEs in the General U.S. Population.” By Alicia J. Fraser, Thomas F. Webster, Michael D. McClean. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 117, No. 7. July, 2009. Image: Curtis Palmer/Flickr Brandon Keim’s Twitter stream and reportorial outtakes, Wired Science on Twitter.


Bush-Era Plans to Reach Moon and Beyond Still Alive Under Obama (Wired: Wired Science) Submitted at 7/17/2009 10:02:38 AM

NASA’s long-term plans to return humans to the moon and then push on to Mars remain a possibility. All week, we heard rumblings that the Human Spaceflight Plans Committee created by the Obama White House to evaluate our manned exploration program might kill off the new Ares rocket program. The committee’s head denied that any such decision had been made in a press conference Friday. “As far as our committee is concerned, it would be completely wrong to say that Ares is dead in the water,” said Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin, and head of the review. With the Apollo 11 40th anniversary looming, all kinds of attention has been focused on whether NASA would return to the moon. The plans that are currently under review were born in 2004, when President George W. Bush announced his Vision for Space Exploration, which included returning to the moon, building a base, then heading for Mars. That may have sounded great, but it put NASA in a tough spot. First, the agency had trumpeted its success

with less expensive robotic missions, not manned flight, and Bush’s priorities seemed likely to defund robotic missions. Second, the Space Shuttle program has been slated to come to an end, leaving the United States without a national option to get up to the International Space Station or into low Earth orbit at all. So, NASA had to design a program that would get humans to orbit, to the Moon and to Mars. Working with those issues, NASA came up with the Constellation program. The plan goes like this: First, a slim rocket, Ares I, would send people in the Orion space capsule into orbit some time during the next decade, then back to the moon, and finally to Mars. A separate, larger rocket, the Ares V, would carry cargo. The program has come under fire from many parties. Some say NASA should focus on robotic science missions instead of human exploration. Others say NASA needs more sharply defined priorities. The best architecture for getting to low earth orbit probably isn’t the best way to get to the moon, which again probably isn’t the best path to Mars. Even Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has come out against NASA returning humans

there. In the battle to steer NASA policy one way or the other, all kinds of technical details are being marshaled by parties on all sides. “Some of these rather subtle technical issues get to be very important in whether options make sense,” Augustine said. But the basic problem is that NASA doesn’t have enough money to do everything that’s being asked of the agency. “Congress and the White House should reduce the ‘too much with too little’ pressure that has led to disaster in the past and that characterizes NASA’s predicament today,” argued MIT’s Space, Policy, and Society Research Group in a whitepaper released last December. The job of the Human Spaceflight Plans Committee is to figure out which pieces of the “too much” should go. They’ve asked NASA to provide several alternative plans for the Ares I, which they’ll mark up and present to the White House by the end of August. It’s unclear what they’ll recommend, but the sheer profusion of alternatives suggests that changes are likely to be made. One thing that must be said about the Committee: It has shown a persistent dedication to openness in

its proceedings. While they aren’t tipping their hand about specific suggestions, Augustine and the committee are actively maintaining an excellent website where they answer questions and provide easy access to documentation. They are also holding a series of public meetings later this month in space centers in Houston, Huntsville, Coco Beach, and Washington, D.C. Correction 4:31 pm: Updated President George Bush to clarify that the Space Exploration Vision originated with George W. Bush, not his father. See Also: • NASA Needs a New Direction, Says Independent Review Panel • Obama Pits Human Space Exploration Against Education • NASA Wants Your Ideas for Digitizing Rocket Scientist’s Notes … • Obama Delivers Space Policy Speech in Florida • While ‘Awesome,’ Shuttle is a ‘Flawed Craft’ Image: NASA/John Frassanito and Associates. WiSci 2.0: Alexis Madrigal’s Twitter, Google Reader feed, and book site for The History of Our Future; Wired Science on Facebook.

Chechen president faces murder claim (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 7/18/2009 6:26:32 PM

Human rights group will not retract its assertion that campaigner was shot dead with official backing Human rights campaigners in Russia said yesterday that they were prepared to defend themselves in court after Chechnya's president, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced he was suing over claims that he is a murderer. Oleg Orlov, head of the Memorial human rights organisation, said he stood by remarks he made last week after the killing of the human rights activist Natalia Estemirova. Estemirova, 50, was abducted last Wednesday from her home in Chechnya's capital, Grozny. Her body was discovered in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia. She had been shot in the head and chest. Estemirova worked for Memorial in Grozny for nearly a decade and documented extrajudicial killings, disappearances and numerous other human rights abuses in the Muslim republic under Kadyrov's rule. She was a close friend of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was

shot dead in Moscow in October 2006. Speaking after Estemirova's killing, Orlov took the rare step of alleging that Kadyrov was her murderer. "We know who is responsible. We know what position he occupies. His job is Chechen president," Orlov told a press conference in Moscow. He said Kadyrov had threatened Estemirova last year and aides had warned her to stop her human rights work or face the consequences. Kadyrov denies involvement. He claims Estemirova's killing was an attempt to "discredit" Chechnya and Ingushetia. The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has rejected the allegations against Kadyrov, branding them "primitive and unacceptable". A Russian radio station reported yesterday that Memorial was suspending its work in Chechnya. Estemirova's murder has provoked international outrage. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, urged the Kremlin to clarify the circumstances. During a visit to Germany, Medvedev promised the killers would be caught and held to account - a claim most observers treat with scepticism. Yesterday Orlov said he would not be intimidated by Kadyrov's legal action. He admitted he had no direct

Walter's lesson (Seth's Blog) Submitted at 7/17/2009 6:33:49 PM

Here's the thing about the life of Walter Cronkite: At every turn, he acted as if he had a responsibility to his audience. He didn't do the right thing because he thought it would help him get ahead

and then one day he'd get his share. Instead, he always did the right thing because that's who he was. No sellouts, no political consulting, no false transparency. That's the way it is. Transparency works if it's authentic.

proof of Kadyrov's guilt, but said that as a Kremlin-appointed president he bore overall responsibility for events in Chechnya. "I am ready to appear before the court, if there is a trial and to answer for the words I spoke," he told Interfax, the Russian news agency. There is little prospect that Kadyrov would lose a legal battle, since Russia's courts invariably do what they are told. But the case threatens to heap further damage on the reputation of the Kremlin, for which Kadyrov - a former rebel turned pro-Moscow loyalist - is now a spectacular embarrassment. Moscow, however, regards him as an indispensable partner and the one leader capable of keeping the lid on a spiralling Islamist insurgency across the North Caucasus. Activists point out that it is no longer sustainable for Kadyrov to claim that his enemies are responsible for killing his enemies - a strategy used every time a journalist, liberal activist or lawyer opposed to Kadyrov is gunned down in Russia. "You can't keep on making this claim. It's no longer believable," said one source close to Novaya Gazeta, the paper for which Estemirova also wrote.

On Friday Novaya Gazeta pointed the finger of blame at Kadyrov. In a long article, it recounted the grim circumstances surrounding Estemirova's execution, noting that the white car used to abduct her had been waved through several police checkpoints - only possible if her kidnappers had official ID. Chechen exiles have alleged that Kadyrov has drawn up a top-secret death list of his enemies, 300 of whom, they say, have been pencilled in for assassination. There is no proof the list exists. In March, however, Umar Israilov, who had complained to the European court of human rights that Kadyrov had personally tortured him, was shot dead in the streets of Vienna. Another Kadyrov opponent, Sulim Yamadayev, was gunned down in the same month in Dubai. • Chechnya • Russia • Human rights© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds


Happiness Lesson from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

AMD's Neo to hit nettops, allin-one PCs soon

(The Happiness Project)


Submitted at 7/17/2009 11:57:00 AM

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project. This Friday’s resolution: Cultivate friends of different ages. I’ve read so much happiness research that now I often remember some fact or study without being able to figure out where I read it. I’m pretty sure that I read about a study that showed that people who have friends of different ages tend to be happier than people who have friends of the same age, but I can’t find the cite. So I will just say from the authority of my own experience: it boosts happiness to have friends of different ages. Take Tuesday night, midnight. I went to the very first U.S. showing of the movie Harry Potter and the HalfBlood Prince. I’m a huge raving Harry Potter fan, but I also have two little kids, and I

don’t often spend an evening in a way that keeps me out until 4:00 a.m. Most of my friends are about my age, in fairly similar circumstances in how they conduct their lives, and they keep the same schedule. But I have some younger, childfree, zestful friends, who think that going to a midnight show is fun, that getting in line at the movie theater at 6:30 p.m. is fun, that eating a picnic dinner in the theater lobby while you’re waiting for a midnight movie is fun. And it is fun! Making time for fun makes people happier. Adrian Gostick’s very interesting book, The Levity Effect, reviews research that shows that regularly having fun is a key factor in having a happy life; people who have fun are twenty times more likely to feel happy. Also, people who have novel experiences are happier than those who stay in a routine. If my friends hadn’t planned the outing to the midnight showing, I never would have gone on my own. Having younger friends, who have fun in different ways from me, gave me a great night. Same thing with older friends.

People of different ages have different experiences, different schedules, different bases of knowledge, and different tastes. By having friends of different ages, you broaden the range of your life. Of course, you can’t just announce, “Now I’m going to make friends of different ages” and make some. Friendship doesn’t work like that. (Here are some tips for making friends.) But it’s something to think about, as you make time for friendship in your day; remember not to let your circle gradually narrow down until you only see people who are in step with you – even though it’s usually most convenient to spend time with those people, because at the very least, you share the same bedtime. Have you found that having friends of different ages – or different in other ways, as well, not just in age – has boosted your happiness? * Speaking of fun, for little fun, here's a video of -- well, of someone doing hand tricks. It's more fun than it sounds. * If you’re interested in doing your own happiness project, check out the Happiness Project Toolbox.

but I can control effort, right? Garmin puts my heartrate in 3 point type in the top right corner. It's unreadable by anyone old enough to be crazy to use one of these devices. And my speed? They convert miles per hour into some sort of runner's fraction that I still haven't figured out. Broken. Acumen, on the other hand, has built a charity dashboard that lets them evaluate projects on costeffectiveness across sectors. It's a marvel, and it completely changes the way you think about philanthropy. Or consider the ambient dashboards that have been built in surprising ways. One company put pinwheels on a VPs desk. When sales went up, the pinwheels spun faster. Just curious: what do you think

would happen to energy consumption if every car registered in the US was required to have a digital mileage readout installed? Building good dashboards isn't difficult, but it's an excellent marketing strategy. A few brainstorms: • If you can add a digital dashboard to your service, do it. • If you can make the dashboard public, it gets more powerful. • Highlight data that changes behavior. • Allow the user to highlight the information that matters to them. I'm not focused on digital companies here. If you can add a dashboard to a payroll company or a sleep measurement device, you can add one just about anywhere.

Dashboards (Seth's Blog) Submitted at 7/19/2009 2:08:00 AM

Your users, employees, consumers and donors are obsessed with data now. Are you helping them solve their knowledge problem? Years ago, I had an automatic transmission car with a tachometer. Why I needed to know my RPMs when I couldn't do a thing about it is beyond me. Yet useless data and hidden data continue to plague users. I have a Garmin 305 watch to track my bike workouts. It's just fine, except I hate it. I hate it because there are only two pieces of data I care about while I'm working out: how fast I'm going and what my heart rate is. My theory is that I can't do anything about time,

Submitted at 7/19/2009 4:18:00 AM

AMD's Neo ultra-portable platform was seen as something that just might rival Intel's mighty Atom in the oversaturated netbook space when it debuted back in January, but up until now, the system has remained largely in the background. Indeed, it has only found its way into a select few machines, none of which have managed to gain any sort of traction beside the sea of Atom-based alternatives. Now, however, it seems as if the chips -- which were originally engineered for ultraslim, thin-and-light laptops -- may find themselves shoved into an array of nettops and all-in-one PCs. Here lately, a slew of underpowered SFFtype desktops and PC-in-a-monitor type units have found favor with bargain hunters, and Bob Grim, the outfit's director of client marketing, isn't looking to miss a golden opportunity. To quote: "We've known all along that this type of technology would really work well in multiple platforms and multiple types of form factors. These CPUs perform better than the Atom processor, and the graphics are superior. These things... can play Blurays, they can play games." There's still no word on who exactly plans on equipping their future machines with this here platform, but considering just how tired we are of Intel's sluggish N270 and N280, we'll take all the competition we can get. Filed under: Handhelds, Laptops AMD's Neo to hit nettops, all-inone PCs soon originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Jul 2009 06:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

How To Be Happier – in Four Easy Lessons. (The Happiness Project) Submitted at 7/15/2009 11:02:00 AM

I realized that I’ve never done a post about my Four Splendid Truths, although I think about them all the time. I named these realizations the “Four Splendid Truths” because I was reading a lot about Buddhism when I started to come up with the list. I get a tremendous kick out of the numbered lists that pop up throughout Buddhism: the Triple Refuge, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths, the eight auspicious symbols:

parasol, golden fish, treasure vase, lotus, conch shell, endless knot, victory banner, and dharma wheel. (After I formulated the First Splendid Truth, I just had to assume that I’d end up with more than one.) Each one of these truths sounds fairly obvious and straightforward, but each was the product of tremendous thought. Take the Second Splendid Truth – it’s hard to exaggerate the clarity I gained when I managed to identify it. Here they are: First Splendid Truth To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and

feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. Second Splendid Truth One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. Third Splendid Truth The days are long, but the years are short.(click the link to see my oneminute movie) Fourth Splendid Truth You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy. corollary: You’re happy if you

think you’re happy. [Many argue the opposite case. John Stuart Mill, for example, wrote, “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” I disagree.] Now I’m trying to come up with my personal eight auspicious symbols for happiness. Let’s see -- bluebird, ruby slippers, dice, blood, roses…hmmm. I will have to keep thinking about that. * Ah, I love the blog Zen Habits. * If you like the blog, you'll love the book! Pre-order The Happiness Project.


The Count: History May Make Dodgers Fans Uneasy

Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus selling well, and Wii Sports Resort ain't even out yet

( The Daily Fix)

Submitted at 7/19/2009 1:20:00 AM

Submitted at 7/17/2009 1:44:53 PM

The AL East may be the best division in baseball, but only the NL West has three teams with a greater than 40% chance of making the playoffs: the Dodgers (93.8%), Giants (43.1%) and Rockies (41.8%). That’s according to, which simulates the rest of the season one million times, using home-field advantage, strength of schedule and teams’ run differential. Associated Press Wandy Rodriguez’s defeat of the Dodgers on Thursday helped sink L.A.’s playoff chances, but they’re still baseball’s best. Should the Dodgers — the only team with a postseason probability above 81% — miss the playoffs, it would be just the third worst collapse in franchise history. The 1962 Dodgers blew a 98.1% shot at the postseason — up four games with

seven to play — thanks to a furious Giants comeback. And 11 years earlier, the Dodgers, then in Brooklyn, blew a 99.7% chance, also to the Giants. You may have heard about that one. The Giants have had their share of misery, too, though — they and the Dodgers each have suffered four of the 20 biggest collapses in major-league history. No other team has more than one. Those are two of the six biggest collapses of all time. The worst? The 1995 Angels, who were in first place and ahead in the wild-card race by 8.5 games on August 24, with a 99.9% chance at the postseason, but managed to miss the playoffs entirely. And the 1914 Boston Braves made the biggest comeback, from a less than 0.1% chance at the playoffs when in last place on July 4. (See more on advanced baseball standings here.)

Kazaa also turning its life around, becoming legal music subscription service (Engadget) Submitted at 7/18/2009 11:39:00 PM

We must have missed the memo that informed us of the impending revival sweeping the illicit music landscape, but there's no denying its potency now. Just weeks after Napster and Pirate Bay decided to right the wrong and morph into legitimate music subscription services (or something of the sort, anyway), the infamous and all-but-forgotten Kazaa has evidently decided to do the same. According to "sources close to the company," the site is expected to officially exit beta and begin a $20 per month unlimited download service as early as next week, though details beyond that are few and far between. On the surface,

it seems as if it'll be shooting itself in the foot from day one by charging a Jackson per month, but hopefully that includes a little something extra that we aren't privy to yet. At any rate, it looks like your illegal acquisition options are slowly dwindling down, but hey, it's not like a little consolidation ever hurt anybody, right? Filed under: Portable Audio, Software Kazaa also turning its life around, becoming legal music subscription service originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Jul 2009 01:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

(Engadget) For a device that took a solid year to go from " debuting at E3" to " shipping," we're pretty surprised to see that Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus held as much steam as it did. With overall video game sales dropping in June for the first time since 2000 (when looking at year-over-year figures, anyway), the Big N still had a few hundred thousand reasons to smile. Aside from the 361,700 Wii consoles and 766,500 DS units that shipped in June, the company also managed to sell 169,000 Wii

MotionPlus dongles -- and that's not including the ones that were packaged with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, of which 272,400 units were sold. The real kicker, however, is that the accessory's real partner in crime (that'd be Wii Sports Resort) has yet to be released. It's good to be king, ain't it Mario? Filed under: Gaming Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus selling well, and Wii Sports Resort ain't even out yet originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Jul 2009 03:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

The law of the little shovel (Seth's Blog) Submitted at 7/18/2009 3:38:00 AM

If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place. If you walk around town with a little shovel, you'll just end up digging thousands of little holes, not one big one. Call on one person ten times and you might make the sale. Call on ten people once each and you will likely get ten rejections. The important thing to remember is that separate events are often separate. If you use the same ineffective approach on one thousand

people, it's not going to start working better just because you use it more often. Connected events, on the other hand, often benefit from frequency and trust. Which leads to two viable strategies: 1. If you can stay still, stay still. Earn the trust, earn the sale by repeatedly demonstrating value and authority. 2. If you can't stay still, get a bigger shovel. Your marketing and your sales pitch has to be so refined and focused that it works the first time, because you don't get a second time.


Newspaper for testing this application


Newspaper for testing this application