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22/02/10 - 23/02/10
Armed (and dangerous?) in America’s national parks by Ed Stoddard (Front Row Washington) Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:42:31 AM
One of the biggest expansions of U.S. gun rights in decades took affect on Monday – and it was signed into law by President Barack Obama, whom many conservative groups claim is plotting to disarm law-abiding Americans. People can now take firearms into many of America’s national parks, provided they legally possess them under federal laws and laws that apply to the state where the park is located. You can see the National Park Service press release here. The usual prohibitions on hunting or discharging firearms within the parks still apply. The new “guns in national parks” regulations were signed into law by Obama last May and were part of a new credit card act (yes, American law making is a mysterious thing) that also came into affect on Monday. What is striking about this state
of affairs is that it stands in sharp contrast to the constant mantra in some conservative circles that the Obama administration plans to attack America’s second amendment rights — the right to bear arms — which are regarded as sacred by many and were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008. As a journalist and gun owner, my e-mail address has found its
way to various lists and I get daily e-mail blasts from different groups telling me that Obama plans to take away my gun. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one. Here is an example of one e -blast I got last Thursday: STOP Obama-Napolitano Gun HarassmentActivate All Gun Owners NOW!
Alert: ABC News is reporting that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is monitoring the comments and posts of conservative Americans and gun owners on web sites and within social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Obama You Can Keep the “Change” I Support the Second Amendment. This raises very serious
concerns. This is America NOT Iran! The Department of Homeland Security, led by leftist anti-gun rights Secretary Janet Napolitano, has a history of trying to suppress gun owners and conservative opponents of the President … This is quite typical. But given the fact that I can now take my 10-guage single-shot shotgun into Yellowstone National Park because of a law Obama signed, does this kind of alarmist commentary stand up to scrutiny. What do you think? (Photo: Elizabeth Barmanti shoots a toy gun at a target range supplied by the National Rifle Association at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) during their annual meeting in Washington, February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
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Obama healthcare on political operating table by Tabassum Zakaria (Front Row Washington)
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Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:32:05 AM
Last year, President Barack Obama tried to get Congress to pass healthcare legislation that came from the minds of lawmakers. We all know how well that went. So today, Obama put his own version on the table. The response from Republicans was (shock of shocks) — they don’t like it. House Republican leader John Boehner says Obama’s proposal jeopardizes bipartisan healthcare work (You might ask what bipartisan healthcare work? We’re not quite sure). The response from Democrats was (shock of shocks) — they’ll review it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it contained positive elements from the separate bills that passed the House and Senate last year. All of this is a prelude to the big healthcare summit on Thursday where Obama wants Democrats and Republicans to break bread at the same table and come up with areas of agreement. But being that it’s an election year and all, a major
breakthrough between Democrats and Republicans at the summit would seem about as likely as snow removal on my street after a major storm. “This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of health care,” Boehner said. (In case there was any question about where Republicans stand.)
A Walk on the Edge (Little Green Footballs)
Gardeners urged to weed out exotic invaders
fish to breed. Floating pennywort and water fern can block drainage passages and cause flooding. Miss Dimmock urged gardeners Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:24:28 AM to pull up the plants and make Message from fivefilters.org: If sure they are completely you can, please donate to the full destroyed, rather than just -text RSS service so we can chucked on the compost heap continue developing it. where the roots can still take By Louise Gray, Environment hold Correspondent “Ponds and rivers give us a Published: 1:24PM GMT 23 bounty of amazing wildlife, but Feb 2010 sometimes the balance can be Aquatic plants like water- upset, harming our natural primrose and parrot’s feather are biodiversity. Pond-lovers, like Basically in the political theater, used to liven up ponds with the me, must all play our part in the game is who can make who bright flowers and exotic foliage. making sure invasive aquatic look more partisan. Democrats However the plants, that can plants don’t cause serious will say they tried to get grow up to eight inches a day, d a m a g e t o o u r b e a u t i f u l Republicans on board, and take hold quickly in the waterways. By being plant wise Republicans will say Democrats countryside and have caused in our gardens we can help didn’t make any acceptable havoc for native plants and protect natural habitats in the moves. animals. wild and ensure all ponds and Who do you think will win in Species like Japanese knotweed rivers thrive,” she said. casting the other as the problem? is even capable of growing Five Filters featured article: For more Reutes political news, t h r o u g h c o n c r e t e a n d Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: click here destroying buildings. New PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Photo credit: Reuters/David Zealand pygmy, that sucks Term Extraction. Mdzinarishvili (breaking bread oxygen from the pond, can in Georgia, 2008), Reuters/Jason make it impossible for frogs and Reed (Obama at meeting with state governors)
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Obama hits back at Republicans over stimulus by Caren Bohan (Front Row Washington) Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:43:03 AM
The White House is stepping up its efforts to call out Republicans for what Democrats see as hypocrisy over the $787 billion stimulus package. Republicans have slammed the bill as wasteful and ineffective at creating jobs but the Obama administration says some of the same politicians who have lambasted the package have lined up for a share of the money for their states and districts. “Independent economists credit the Recovery Act with growing the economy and for two million jobs that otherwise wouldn’t
exist,” President Barack Obama told a gathering of the nation’s governors at the White House. “Now, I understand that some of you still claim it’s not working or wasn’t worth it, but I also know that you’ve used it to close
your budget gaps or break ground on new projects,” he added. “I’ve seen the photos, and I’ve read the press releases, so it must be doing something right.” At a conservative gathering in Washington last week, former
presidential candidate Mitt Romney blasted the stimulus package, saying it had failed to spur private-sector hiring. Obama got some support over the weekend from California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who credited the stimulus with creating 150,000 new jobs in his state. For more Reuters political news, click here Picture Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama speaks at a meeting with state governors in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, February 22, 2010)
What Personality Traits Do Designers Share? by Cliff Kuang (Fast Company) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:18:57 AM
65 designers take the MyersBriggs personality test, offering a window into the way designers actually think--and the meaning of "design thinking." In other words, designers are less akin to the stereotypical touchy-feely artist, and more like engineers who always keep the big picture in mind. [Via Michael Roller]
Gang member was on bail for murder when he killed Matalan shop manager (Top stories from Times Online) Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:12:44 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. A member of the robbery gang that killed a shop manager was on police bail for a previous fatal stabbing, it can be reported today. Anthony Maina, 20, took part in the deadly raid at a Matalan store five months after knifing a teenager during a mobile phone
robbery. Jamie Simpson, a popular shop manager, 33, was stabbed in the neck with a 10in kitchen knife during the botched Matalan raid in March 2008. Today it emerged that Maina had been arrested shortly after the murder of a teenager, Rizwan Darbar, in October 2007, but was given police bail due to lack of evidence. He was at large for 15 months, during which time he took part in the killing of Mr Simpson as well as being caught with a knife, cannabis, crack cocaine
and heroin, before finally being charged in January last year over the earlier death. The full extent of his violent criminal history, which began at the age of 14, was kept from the jury in the Simpson case. Yesterday the Matalan gang were convicted: Kobina Essel — known as "Aggro", 19, of east London, was found guilty of murder while Maina, of Canning Town, east London, and Randy Osei-Owusu, 17, of Poplar, east London, as well as Simeon Jumah, 25, were found guilty of manslaughter.
They had planned to steal between £20,000 and £30,000 in weekend takings from the store but fled empty-handed after the killings. Jurors had been unable to agree on a murder charge against Maina, Jumah, and Osei-Owusu. It was only today, after prosecutors decided not to press for a retrial on that count, that the full extent of Maina’s violent past could be revealed. The four killers and three others convicted of conspiracy to rob have been remanded in custody and are all due to be sentenced
next month. Maina was jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years after being convicted of Rizwan’s murder by an Old Bailey jury in August 2009. His name could not be reported as by then he was facing a second trial over the death of Mr Simpson. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Parents given power to demand change of leadership in schools (Latest news, breaking news, current news, UK news, world news, celebrity news, politics news)
ÂŁ10 million of investment, which will support other primary schools and work to raise them to the same standard. Speaking at a school in north Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:50:22 AM London, Mr Brown described of Message from fivefilters.org: If the ''anger and frustration'' he you can, please donate to the full f e l t a t s e e i n g h i s o w n -text RSS service so we can contemporaries fail to fulfil their continue developing it. potential because of poor Published: 1:39PM GMT 23 e d u c a t i o n a l s t a n d a r d s . Feb 2010 And he promised: ''We simply Education authorities would will not accept second best when t h e n h a v e t o b r i n g i n a n it comes to the future of our accredited provider with a children.'' track record of successfully Mr Brown announced the first operating schools elsewhere. six groups accredited to run three Gordon Brown and Schools or more schools, including: Secretary Ed Balls announced B a r n f i e l d C o l l e g e , L u t o n ; the first wave of providers to Outwood Grange, Wakefield; be given an Accredited School K e m n a l T r u s t , B r o m l e y ; kitemark, enabling them to run Woodard Schools; Greenwood chains of secondaries. Dale Trust Nottingham; and Some 200 schools are already the Harris Federation of south eligible to become accredited, London schools. and ministers expect this figure Mr Brown said: ''When schools to rise to 500 by 2015, when partner with other schools every school will have the operating under a common opportunity to join a chain. leadership brand, with a shared From today, interested schools ethos, and a shared commitment and organisations will also be to excellence, standards are able to apply for accredited raised for all - the stronger status to set up chains at primary schools and the weaker level. schools. The Government plans to recruit ''So today I want to set off a 150 primary accredited providers chain reaction in our schools over the next year, backed by with these recognised brands
merging with or taking over our weaker and coasting schools.'' The PM said Labour will offer parents ''guarantees not gambles'' for their children's schooling, and ''opportunity for all not privilege for a few''. ''I stand for excellence in education. And I stand for excellence in education for all,'' he said. ''Because education is a ladder to social mobility. And as Britain comes out of recession - so through education - a new age of aspiration is within reach.'' He also attacked Conservative plans for a Swedish-style initiative, under which parents' groups, community organisations and charities would be able to set up independent schools within the state system. Mr Brown described the Tory proposal as a ''reckless experiment'' that was failing in Sweden and represented a ''gamble with our children's education''. Under today's announcement, a ballot would be triggered where a ''significant group'' of parents say they are dissatisfied with local school leadership. Local education authorities will then have to hold a vote on whether parents want an accredited
provider to be brought in to ''turn things round''. If local surveys find dissatisfaction among parents over the choice of schools in the area, the authority will be required to produce an action plan, including bringing in accredited providers to take over existing schools. Mr Balls said: ''Today's announcement is about putting the best school leaders at the heart of making our schools system great. ''The successful schools and organisations announced today are amongst the most outstanding school providers in the country. They have a track record in not only running just one excellent school, but the ability to spread this excellence to other schools that need more support. ''That's why we're giving them this kitemark today, and encouraging more to apply. We want to see every part of the country covered by the programme. ''It's right that parents drive change where it is needed, so this is our offer to parents: if your child is falling behind in the 3Rs we will guarantee them extra help; and if your local schools
are not doing well enough, and if you are dissatisfied with the progress your local school is making, you will be able to demand change and get a new and quality-guaranteed provider.'' But shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said: ''This is Ed Balls's weak attempt to close down a dividing line he knows he's on the wrong side of. ''Real choice for parents means allowing new schools to open which are free from the control of politicians and therefore properly answerable to parents, not a ballot system allowing a tiny handful of existing schools to federate. ''This glorified federation system won't allow new schools to have academy-style freedoms which they really need to tackle underperformance. Far from a radical plan to raise standards, it moves the Government even further away from the reforms that were introduced by Tony Blair.'' Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Minister Phil Woolas launches personal attack on Christine Pratt
In pictures: sculptures made out of sticky tape
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“Gordon’s the man that I know and the man that I love. People have heard me talk about him Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:13:44 AM and they probably know Message from fivefilters.org: If everything that I would have to you can, please donate to the full say about him,” she told GMTV. -text RSS service so we can “I know him as a strong, hard continue developing it. working decent man and he isn’t Government criticism of the anything else. What you see is head of an anti-bullying charity what you get with him.” morphed into an outright The intervention of the Prime personal attack today when Minister’s wife came after an Christine Pratt was mocked by a apparent campaign in recent minister as a “prat of a woman”. days for Gordon Brown to open The founder of the National up his family life to the public. Bullying Helpline has faced a She was speaking after Mr concerted campaign to discredit Brown flatly dismissed claims her and her organisation since that he had intimidated junior claiming that staff at No 10 had staff. The Prime Minister said asked for help to flight bullying the allegations were wrong after at work. Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Phil Woolas, the Immigration Secretary, ruled out holding a Minister, launched the most f o r m a l inquiry into his aggressive attack yet while b e h a v i o u r . suggesting that she would be After a series of high profile regretting her actions. “It’s a criticisms, the National Bullying tough business, politics. It’s 18, Helpline was thrown into chaos 20 hours a day that people like after all of its patrons quit the Prime Minister work,” he yesterday, citing a breach of told LBC, a London radio callers’ confidentiality. station. Ann Widdecombe, a “I think this attack on him by C o n s e r v a t i v e M P , S a r a h this prat of a woman down in - Cawood, a television presenter, where’s she from, Swindon? - I M a r y O’Connor, Tory think that’s backfiring on her." councillor for Hillingdon, and Sarah Brown also defended her Professor Cary Cooper, a stress h u s b a n d a g a i n s t b u l l y i n g expert, all severed ties with the a l l e g a t i o n s t h i s m o r n i n g . National Bullying Helpline
yesterday after criticising Christine Pratt, the founder who had given a series of interviews implicating No 10 staff in bullying. Ed Balls, Mr Brown’s close Cabinet ally and former advisor, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “I’ve known Gordon Brown for 20 years and at no point has it ever occurred to me that Gordon Brown is or would ever be a bully. Mr Balls, who was chief economic advisor to Mr Brown for five years, was branded a bully himself in autumn last year. He added: “I know it is something which personally he feels very upset about because he knows there is no truth to these allegations. In fact, Andrew Rawnsley’s book — despite its narrative truth — turns out on every one of these allegations to be incorrect,” he said. “I don’t think it damages him. It hurts him personally." David Cameron has demanded an inquiry into what he said were “very serious matters” about what went on in Downing Street, while Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg said the allegations of bullying were “very important” and should be cleared up. In an interview with The
Economist magazine, Mr Brown gave his first direct response, insisting: “The Cabinet Secretary has made it clear that he’s had no inquiries, there’s been no reprimand, there’s been no private message to me... [The] story is completely wrong.” However, journalist Andrew Rawnsley stood by the allegations raised in his book The End Of The Party, pointing out that three statements had now been issued by Downing Street on Sir Gus’s behalf. He told the BBC’s Newsnight programme: “What they have not denied on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary is that he had a conversation with the Prime Minister about his behaviour ... one person’s idea of a verbal warning could be another person’s private word.” Mr Rawnsley’s book includes accounts of Mr Brown allegedly forcing a secretary from her chair, “roughly shoving” an aide and four-letter-word rants that frightened staff. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:05:33 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. The sculptures in this picture gallery are all made out of sticky tape, and are entries in an unusual art competition. They are made by by sticking bits of tape together in a "free-form" style or by wrapping them around objects which are then removed from the piece A Roman helmet by artist Nathan M Picture: SOLENT Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Sterling plunges as King warns on money scheme (Top stories from Times Online) Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:06:57 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Sterling fell sharply today after Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, warned that it may be necessary to continue the Bank’s asset purchase programme and pressed the Government to reveal its plans to reduce the country's record £178 billion deficit. In his last appearance before MPs before the general election, Mr King outlined the political challenges facing the economy. He said: “The crisis has left us facing many serious challenges. Among them are how to reform the international financial system, how to reduce our largest peacetime fiscal deficit, and how to restructure our
banking and financial system to prevent another, more serious, crisis in future. "The crisis did not originate in the non-financial sectors of the economy but that is where most of the costs are falling. “You don’t need me to tell you that its impact is not just economic but also social and political in nature.” The Governor, who was appearing before the Treasury Select Committee, said that ratings agencies were looking for a “detailed explanation” of how Britain intended to reduce its budget deficit. But he warned: “You certainly can’t eliminate the deficit in one year. There has to be a programme announced that will start and continue right through the lifetime of the next parliament.” The pound lost more than one cent against the US dollar after the Governor also told MPs that,
although the UK economy had “embarked on a process of healing”, this would take time. Mr King added: “The risks to the [Monetary Policy] Committee’s central view of a gradual recovery of output remain to the downside.” Sterling fell sharply on Mr King’s remarks, falling from $1.5529 — just before the Governor began speaking — to $1.5398, when he finished giving evidence to MPs. Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the currency exchange broker World First, said: “Mervyn King’s constant assertion that we may see further quantitative easing later in the year is acting like a dead weight around sterling’s neck at the moment. "This, alongside concerns over our fiscal deficit heading into the election and how we are best to deal with it, will leave the pound unloved in the short term.” Against the euro, sterling fell
from €1.1406 earlier in the session to €1.1317, meaning that one euro buys 88.23p — the single currency’s strongest level against the pound for nearly two weeks. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously this month to halt money scheme at £200 billion. Mr King also warned that bank lending could prove scarce during coming months. He told MPs: “We would like to get back to a situation where the banking sector can expand its lending, but I am not sure that is going to happen until we have seen further consolidation in the balance sheets of the banking sector. "There’s still quite a way to go on that front.” Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Record-breaking stick bomb [video] (Holy Kaw!) Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:07:42 AM
Take a mid-week mental break and check out kinetic artist Tim Fort's world recording breaking stick bomb. Fort weaved together 2,250 tongue depressors (think "ahhh" at the doctor's office) to construct his xyloexplosive device. The tension built up by weaving the sticks together means that the slightest movement or removal of one stick sets off the explosion. Full story at BoingBoing. Bored? Have some fun. Permalink| Leave a comment »
Sculptures made from sticky tape (Latest news, breaking news, current news, UK news, world news, celebrity news, politics news) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:53:17 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Published: 2:00PM GMT 23
Feb 2010 They are made by by sticking bits of tape together in a "freeform" style or by wrapping them around objects which are then removed from the piece. The fisherman and pregnant woman are each made from four rolls of tape. But a drum set is made from a staggering 48 rolls and an office desk is made from
36. There are also models of a dragon, a postman and a child on a swing. Other materials, such as wire, cardboard and paint, can make up to 10 per cent of the model if used to support or enhance it. The models had to be made using Scotch packaging tape and the winning entry will receive
3,200 pounds when judging takes place next month. Darrell Coutu, from Scotch, said: "The contest provides an opportunity for people to showcase their originality using a unique art medium. "The strength and durability of Scotch Packaging Tape has inspired artists to create some amazing entries, from jellyfish
and octopuses to peacocks and pop icons. "The judges have a tough decision to make, and I don't envy them one bit." Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Balls defends last-minute 'U-turn' on sex education (Top stories from Times Online) Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:57:51 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Ed Balls today defended the right of faith schools to teach that contraception, abortion and homosexuality are wrong as campaigners accused him of "betraying" children in faith schools and capitulating to the faith lobby by watering down new laws on sex education. The Schools Secretary said that schools should be allowed to preserve the right to teach their pupils about sex and relationships in accordance with their own religion despite new legislation making sex education compulsory. "It has always been the case, for years and years, that any school teaching sex and relationship
education can do so within the context of their own faith," Mr Balls told the BBC. "The bill does not change this." From next year teaching about sex and relationships will become a compulsory part of the national curriculum and parents will also lose the right to remove their children from the lessons once they are over 15. But Mr Balls has tabled an amendment to his Children, Schools and Families Bill, which completes its passage through the Commons today, reinforcing the right of faith schools to teach about issues such as contraception, abortion, homosexuality and civil partnerships in a way that reflects their religious character. David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools spokesman, has accused ministers of being in a “terrific muddle” over the issue, arguing that the lastminute change “completely
undermines the objectives of this part of the Bill”. But Mr Balls said that critics of the Bill were worrying unnecessarily. The revolutionary aspects of the bill - requiring all schools for the first time to teach about sexual relationships in a fair and balanced way, and abolishing the right for parents to opt their older teenage children out of sex education classes were unchanged by the amendment. The Bill has secured the backing of a large number of faith schools and organisations, and has the support of the Most Rev Vincent Nichol, the Archbishop of Westminster, who is the head of Britain's five million Catholics. The Catholic Education Service claimed that the amendment being debated today was "secured" thanks to its lobbying. Mr Laws told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the
Submitted at 2/22/2010 6:00:00 PM
Filed under: Stocks to Buy Cablevision Systems Corporation ( CVC), post-spin off of Madison Square Garden (
MSG), has understandably dipped, but the latter has been more than offset by MSG's current share price, about $19, as Cablevision subscribers were allocated 1 share of MSG for every 4 shares of CVC. I'll review MSG's business
Options Update: UnitedHealth Volatility of 39 Near 20-Month Lows by Paul Foster (BloggingStocks) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:00:00 AM
Filed under: Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI), Options UnitedHealth( UNH) closed at $33.08. President Obama announced a proposal giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by insurers as part of the health care bill. March put option implied volatility is at 39, June is at 38, versus its 26-week average of 40, according to Track Data, suggesting non-directional price movement. Three stocks with IV rise on Feb 22: Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI) +14%, Sequenom ( SQNM) + 11%, Salix Pharma ( SLXP) +14%, according to IVolatility. CBOE Volatility Index( VIX) at 19.94; 10-day moving average is 22.91, 50-day is 21.47, 200-day moving average is 24.95. Update is by Stock Specialist P a u l F o s t e r o f t h e f l y o n t h e w a l l . c o m. Cablevision: Incremental Progress originally appeared on Options Update: UnitedHealth model in the weeks ahead. For BloggingStocks on Mon, 22 Feb Volatility of 39 Near 20-Month now, I still like Cablevision, first 2010 18:00:00 EST. Please see Lows originally appeared on written about on May 29, 2009 at our terms for use of feeds. BloggingStocks on Tue, 23 Feb a price of $19.03. P e r m a l i n k | E m a i l t h i s | 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Continue reading Cablevision: C o m m e n t s Permalink| Email this| Incremental Progress Comments
Cablevision: Incremental Progress by Joseph Lazzaro (BloggingStocks)
amendment would allow faith schools to dodge requirements to promote equality and respect for diversity in a way which some people would consider intolerant, he said. “The issue is, in the 21st century, are we going to have a school system which is going to be tolerant of intolerance in the name of religious freedom?" asked Mr Laws. “Or should we say in the 21st century that it is right that all state-funded schools should be teaching tolerance and respect for diversity? After all, there are already opt-outs for parents and there is already the wider obligation to teach in relation to the religious and culture background of pupils.” Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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How to Improve Your Presentation Skills by Sarah Kessler (Inc.com)
your nerves - Aguilera suggests changing the word “presentation” to “conversation” The opportunity to pitch your when thinking about your big services to a potential client, interested in during his speech. your outcome in mind. You mirror, talk to a wall, or ask a day. Feel better yet? If not, you spell out your business plan to a 2) Structuring your presentation. don’t have to write out your family member to listen. Some c a n a l s o q u e l l p a n i c b y potential business partner, or “The classic format is to tell presentation word for word (or people volunteer to speak at conditioning yourself to be in promote your business at an them what you’re going to say, worse, memorize it) if you just c h u r c h o r j o i n t h e i r l o c a l presentation-mode. Aguilera event may require that you give a present, and then tell them what remember to keep going back to toastmaster club for practice imagines that he is going to stand presentation. Whether or not you told them,” says Aguilera. your main points and working speaking in public. Do whatever up and give a presentation when your presentation achieves its “What I advise is to start off with toward your desired outcome. Be works for you, but make sure it he’s at restaurants, in meetings, desired outcome can be affected the benefits of what you’re going prepared to present both sides of includes practicing out loud so or, one time, even at an outdoor by your skills as a speaker, so to say, the benefits to the an issue. You’ll appear more that you can get a sense of amphitheater. “I walked all the it’s important to step in front of audience, and then present and credible if you acknowledge timing. • Rehearsing does not way to the front of the stage as if your audience with your best review.” Braithwaite says that y o u r c o m p e t i t o r s o r a n y m e a n m e m o r i z a t i o n - I were looking for someone,” he foot forward. The following most presentations can benefit opposing arguments. After Memorizing your speech can says. “Then I stood there and guide explains how to prepare, from using this simple structure: you’ve explained the other side, make you sound mechanical and looked at the audience and said deliver, and answer questions • Opening - Your opening you can spell out exactly why over-rehearsed. “Really the only to myself, ‘this is what it would about a stellar presentation.How should be something that makes your company is better or your p e o p l e w h o a r e g o o d a t feel like to present to 25,000 to Improve Your Presentation an emotional connection with the argument is stronger. • memorizing things are actors,” people.’” • Stop working on Skills: Preparation audience. It can be a story, a Closing - The closing of your Braithwaite says. “if you’re it - “You really need time to start 1) Research your audience. question, or a shocking static. It p r e s e n t a t i o n i s t h e l a s t going to do it well, you actually getting into relaxation mode,” Knowing the needs of your should not be an introduction of opportunity you have to give have to act it out and play a Braithwaite says. “You can’t be audience can help you tailor your yourself or five minutes of thank your audience something that character, and most speakers i n y o u r h y p e r r e w r i t i n g , presentation to target their -yous. David Parnell, the founder will stick in their minds. You can aren’t very good at that.” Even if restructuring mode right up to interests and explain how your of an attorney placement firm go back to your opening or end you are good at acting, Parnell your presentation.” Take a company can be of use in their who recently finished an 850- on a clever slogan or a call to s u g g e s t s t h a t y o u d o n ’ t couple of days to relax before specific situation. If you’re going page book on the psychology of action. Parnell suggests that m e m o r i z e y o u r s p e e c h t o your speech. to be giving a presentation at an e f f e c t i v e c o m m u n i c a t i o n , w h e n m a k i n g a b u s i n e s s perfection. “When an individual Dig Deeper: Polishing and event, Santa Barbara, California- suggests that any stories you use proposal, you end on a positive is too polished, it makes them R e h e a r s i n g f o r a P e r f e c t based public speaking coach Lisa should represent your audience’s forecast. “Your forecast will relatively inaccessible in the P r e s e n t a t i o n Braithwaite suggests sending a position in life and should use provide fodder that can serve to mind of the audience,” he says. How to Improve Your questionnaire to a handful of characters that are analogous to validate any subconsciously “The audience is human at the Presentation Skills: Delivery people who will be in the your audience. • Body - Try generated optimism,” he says.3) end of the day, and this person 1) Verbal Delivery • Be a u d i e n c e b e f o r e y o u s t a r t to stick to your three most Practice, practice, practice…but doesn’t seem to be like them. It Brief - A 2005 study by the w r i t i n g . M i k e A g u i l e r a , a important points. It’s more don’t memorize. “It’s different r e a l l y r e t a r d s t h e r a p p o r t Helsinki institute found that the communication expert who has important to engage the audience for everybody, but I will say one b u i l d i n g p r o c e s s . ” • average adult was able to focus g i v e n m o r e t h a n 1 , 0 0 0 than to tell them everything you thing: If you practice your Videotape yourself - You can’t on a loading web page for only p r e s e n t a t i o n s o n e f f e c t i v e know. You will need to leave speech only once, you’re going know how you come off to four to eight seconds before communication, says that if he some information out, but it is to stink,” Braithwaite says. She p e o p l e u n t i l y o u s e e i t . l o o k i n g s o m e w h e r e e l s e . doesn’t have time to do research likely that what you don’t cover recommends starting to rehearse Recording yourself is the best Attention spans are short; don’t beforehand, he will talk to the in the presentation will come up your presentation about a month way to target the areas where audience at his presentation or when you take questions. Keep in advance. You can talk into a you can improve. • Calm HOW page 9 will even ask them what they’re Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:34:00 AM
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dwell on a specific subject too long. • Ask questions to keep the audience engaged - This can be something as simple as pausing to ask if your audience understands everything you’ve presented thus far. • Speak to your demographic - Match the semantics of your audience as closely as possible. Speak their language. “If you’re selling a skateboard, for instance, your semantics are going to be a lot different than if you’re working with a litigation attorney,” Parnell says. • Work on your tone - Evolutionary psychology suggests that people of both sexes respond better to deep male voices and high female voices, Parnell says. It takes practice to change the tone of your voice, but it can be done. • Avoid speaking softly or other speech patterns that make you seem unconfident - For example, avoid ending sentences in an escalating tone that suggests every sentence you speak is a question. • You should, Umm, avoid, Uh, fill words - Aguilera offers one strategy for kicking a fill-word habit: Say the offending word and concentrate on it.“Then tell yourself, ‘this is a fill word, I’m avoiding this,’” he says. “When you say this, it creates that pattern of changing it so that
you’ll catch yourself when you start saying it.” • Don’t use words like don’t - Don’t think about elephants. Ok, now what are you thinking about? Aguilera says that is why it’s important to avoid phrases like “don’t worry.” Tell your audience what they should do instead. Similarly, don’t say “I hope you will enjoy this presentation.” Say, “I am confident that you will enjoy this presentation.” 2) Body Language • Stand at a comfortable distance - Parnell suggests remaining within 2.5 – 7 feet of your audience. This presupposes (at a subconscious level) a personal to social relationship. • Eye contact Don’t surf the audience with your eyes. Rather, make eye contact with one person at a time. • Appear confident: a) Shoulders back b) Arms at your sides or held in front of your body when making gestures c) Hands open or only slightly closed d) Smile slightly or keep your face neutral. e) Take long strides f) Make every movement purposeful and decided g) Treat props (like your resume or a handout) as though they are of value. Don’t let a paper in your hand flap back and forth carelessly.3) Powerpoint • A Good
Powerpoint… a) Relies heavily on images. b) Has only one or two sentences per slide. c) Entertains. d) Enhances your presentation, but doesn’t summarize it. • A Bad Powerpoint… a) Contains font smaller than 32pt. b) Has more than five or six lines of text per slide. c) Displays a logo on every slide (your audience won’t forget who you are). d) Is printed and distributed as a handout. Dig Deeper: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Presenters How to Improve Your Presentation Skills: QuestionsBeing prepared to answer questions plays a major role in appearing credible to your audience. Parnell says that immediately before their meetings, he asks his clients to write down questions that may come up regarding their presentations. This primes their brains for answering them. It’s also important to anticipate any challenges to your presentation that might arise during Q&A time and to prepare responses.Braithwaite recommends taking questions before the end of your presentation. You’ll have to let the audience know that you plan to continue after questions so that they don’t start packing up their things, but this approach
allows you to close your presentation on your own note. “The audience will leave with your final message in their minds instead of some random question that someone asked that maybe was off-topic,” she says. Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to answer every question. If you don’t know the answer or don’t want to answer a question, a graceful exit line is, “I don’t have that information right now, but I would be happy to get it to you as soon as I can.” Did Deeper: Free Speech Resources on the Web ResourcesLisa Braithwaite’s blog about effective c o m m u n i c a t i o n : http://www.coachlisab.blogspot.c om/ David Parnell’s blog about the psychology of c o m m u n i c a t i o n : http://www.davidjparnell.com/ Inc. Magazine’s Guide to Communication Skills: http://www.inc.com/guides/grow th/23032.html Find a local public speaking club through toastmasters International: http://www.toastmasters.org/
One week without Google by Tom Krazit (Webware.com)
Google is not nicotine, despite what competitors may think: you
can live a Google-free life Originally posted at Relevant without too much difficulty. Results
Best rendition of "Truly, Madly, Deeply" (Football hooligan remix) (Holy Kaw!) Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:46:40 PM
A friend of mine once said, “I believe at any given moment in the world, someone is listening to ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply.’” This time, it’s the hardcore British football rendition as sung by The Hardchorus (slogan: They want to be in your arms. You want to be in the stands.). Turn up the bass and enjoy! See their Web site. For the soccer lover. Permalink| Leave a comment »
Google revamps DoubleClick ad management tech by Tom Krazit (Webware.com) Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:27:00 AM
New tools for Web publishers are designed to help them manage display ad sales and placement on their Web sites, and fulfill the promise of Google's DoubleClick buy. Originally posted at Relevant Results
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Walmart Jumps Into Streaming Video With Vudu Purchase by Dan Nosowitz (Fast Company) Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:33:18 AM
The New York Times is reporting that Walmart has agreed to buy Vudu, a streaming movie rental service. Despite its status as one of the biggest DVD and Blu-ray retailers in the country, Walmart has yet to make any moves into online video--until now. And Walmart (one of Fast Company's 2010 Most Innovative Companies) has the ability to shake up the field more than any other retailer. Vudu is a well-regarded streaming video service; they started out making set-top boxes but recently abandoned that market to focus on packaging their software into TVs and Bluray decks from partners like Vizio, Samsung, LG, Sharp, and Toshiba. Unlike Netflix, the current big dog in the streaming video scene, Vudu also incorporates other media services like Pandora and Flickr, and compatibility with social networking services like Facebook and Twitter(although it remains to be seen whether anybody, anywhere, actually wants to read Twitter on a television). Vudu was the first to stream 1080p video, and still
boasts some of the highestquality streaming video around, but lacks the name recognition, back catalog, and big-money push of Netflix. That last item is certainly no longer a problem, with Walmart at Vudu's back. Peter Kafka over at All Things D puts the purchase price at"more than $100 million," a hefty sum for a company that's never actually made money. But the purchase makes a lot of sense: Vudu already has great
relationships with hardware manufacturers, and a source claims that Vudu was courting Best Buy (Walmart's main brickand-mortar electronics competitor), Comcast, and Amazon due to its excellent optimization technology. Walmart needs Vudu; the retailer lags behind competitors like Best Buy in sales of Internetconnected TVs, and needs to make a stand in this lucrative and forward-looking market
category. Walmart should be able to promote Vudu-enabled hardware better than Vudu themselves ever could--hardware manufacturers would be much more inclined to bundle in Vudu if they know their product will have the backing of the country's biggest retailer. Whether Walmart will get more involved in the software side of things remains to be seen, but Walmart is known for taking what could
Mint founder on branding: Keep it simple by Caroline McCarthy (Webware.com)
Aaron Patzer, who founded Mint.com and sold it to Intuit for $170 million, tells CNET that
entrepreneurs should start their strategy with the most basic of items: the company name.
Originally posted at The Social
charitably be called a "familyfriendly" course in terms of which TV and movies it stocks-and Vudu has, among other things, a porn channel, which Walmart will presumably nix as soon as possible. Other video rental companies should be nervous about this acquisition. Netflix is the obvious target, and Vudu has a long way to go before it's a legitimate challenger to Netflix's throne--but that's not to say it can't happen. Microsoft is making a big push with Zune, but it's currently only available on PC, Xbox 360, and a few portables--not enough. Apple is a non-starter (nobody, even Apple fanatics, likes the Apple TV), and both Amazon and BlockBuster are fading fast. Redbox is the most interesting competition here; its dirt-cheap kiosks are in thousands of Walmart stores, and now the little company that could has to contend with one of its biggest partners essentially backing a different horse. Redbox declined FastCompany.com's request for comment, but you've got to believe they're a little irked at Walmart promoting a competing service. [Via The New York Times]
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Twitter's Success: Tweeting 600 Times Per Second, But How To Monetize This? by Kit Eaton (Fast Company) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:02:30 AM
Twitter has released some analytical stats that reveal how much of a rocketing success story it is: Forget rumors Twitter has plateaued--Tweeps are now Tweeting over 600 times every second. The sheer volume of that data is astonishing. But can Twitter monetize all this activity? Looking at the curve of Tweets per day over time, the growth of Twitter's popularity can only be described as exponential. Since Twitter's very raison d'etre is somewhat viral--like most social networking systems--perhaps this curve shouldn't be too surprising, as more people engage in Twitter it becomes a richer data source, and that makes it more attractive for incoming users. They find it a more exciting, useful
experience...and they stay and take part, in greater numbers than Twitter's early days (when frequently Tweets were something like "What is this thing for?") So, we have 5000 Tweets per day in 2007, with relatively few users exchanging information, and only just beginning to flesh out Twitter's capabilities. In 2008 more people were aboard, Tweeting 300,000 times per day. Last year, 2009, 2.5 million Tweets went out each day, and Twitter itself evolved: People were re-Tweeting, inventing phenomena like #musicmonday and #followfriday (which actively helps expand the social network) and linking their profiles into Facebook. Twitter began to seriously appear in the public's eye. In December came the great Google feed live switch -on, which definitely bumped Twitter's public profile even
more. And right now Twitter's shepherding a flock of 50 million Tweets per day, 600 per second. Assuming the average Tweet is about 100 characters, that amounts to 5 billion characters per day--an astonishing wellspring of fresh new content.
But here's the thing: We think that Twitter's begun to claw in cash, thanks to the deals with search engines, and it's clear from its founder's stance that Twitter is in no rush to be bought up by somebody--its business is sustainable. So exactly how can
Twitter leverage the enormous amount of data pouring through its servers every day to earn even more cash? It's a tricky one, especially as the company's already sealed a deal with the world's biggest search engine. It can always re-negotiate the terms of that, if its live news feed into Google becomes more valuable in user's eyes... No. Now's the time for Twitter to really roll out its business analytics, those premium paid services that Biz Stone described last year. At 50 million Tweets a day, many of them containing useful links and opinion data, and with more and more companies using Twitter for PR and customer liaison, its obvious Twitter's status stream has reached critical mass. [ Twitterblog]
RadioShack Earnings Surge, But Investors Not Impressed by Steven Mallas (BloggingStocks)
quarter results on Monday after the bell. Sales increased well over 4%. Same-store sales at Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:30:00 AM company-operated locations and Filed under: Earnings Reports, kiosks in the United States Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy expanded by over 6%. The (BBY), RadioShack Corp (RSH) bottom line jumped 25% to 60 R a d i o S h a c k ( R S H ) , a n cents per share. electronics chain in competition RadioShack had a relatively with Best Buy ( BBY) and Wal- strong quarter. Gross margin Mart ( WMT), posted fourth- improved, as did the cash and
cash equivalents line on the balance sheet (long-term debt went down, too). Cash from
operations for the full year did contract by 10%; it would have been nice to see an increase in cash flow to go along with the rest of the data set, but at least the bottom line was ahead of estimates(if only by a penny). Continue reading RadioShack Earnings Surge, But Investors Not Impressed RadioShack Earnings Surge,
But Investors Not Impressed originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
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Macmillan's New Digital Textbooks Let Profs Reorder, Rewrite, and Stick It to Rival Academics by Dan Nosowitz (Fast Company)
Twitter hits 50 million tweets per day
Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:42:48 AM
Macmillan's newly announced DynamicBooks textbooks are a huge change for the stodgy, ultra -conservative world of academic writing. The digital textbooks give professors the power to reorder chapters, insert extra reading, delete irrelevant passages, rewrite individual sentences, and scribble in the margins. Oh, and they'll cost half the price of physical textbooks. The inherent question here is whether professors should actually have the right to alter textbooks as they see fit--but the fact of the matter is, they'll do that anyway. Today's college classes often require a textbook, of which only half the content is relevant and which costs over a hundred dollars, as well as a coursepack or smattering of disorganized articles to supplement it. These DynamicBooks would allow profs to simply streamline their existing syllabus into a single digital file--essentially, allowing them to do what they already do, and better.
(Holy Kaw!) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:53:00 AM
The Twitter team can break out the Dixie cups and pop open a bottle of bottom shelf champagne because the microblogging site has hit 50 million tweets per day. That's up from 5,000 tweets per day in 2007 and 300,000 tweets per day DynamicBooks will also be $134.29, but the DynamicBooks monitor changes." But reaction in 2008. Not too shabby, Twitter. offered at a heft discount, partly version will sell for $48.76. has mostly been very positive, Full story at TechTree. b e c a u s e m o d e r n p h y s i c a l Some writers and students have especially from students--and Tons of Twitter tidbits. textbooks are designed to be e x p r e s s e d c o n c e r n t h a t this summer's launch of the Permalink| Leave a comment Âť resold after use (which in turn professors might change books Apple iPad tablet may encourage gives the publishers license, or at to reflect personal beliefs--say, a incoming college freshmen to be least they presume license, to science teacher might change a the first to really embrace digital charge a ridiculous premium). chapter on evolution to instead textbooks. Macmillan expects to Digital books can't easily be promote intelligent design. launch its first 100 titles this resold, but they also eliminate Macmillan doesn't condone that August, just in time for the the need for printing, so those kind of rewriting, but also 2010/2011 school year. by Caroline McCarthy savings are passed on. For doesn't provide a built-in way to [Via The New York Times] (Webware.com) example, Psychology, by Daniel check it--instead saying they L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert, "would rely on students, parents Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:46:00 AM and Daniel M. Wegner, lists for and other instructors to help A rumor posted to a blog suggests that the Farmville social gaming craze may be switching from free to paid. Not true, its TextFlow is working with skills into practice on files Crawler parent company says. Box.net to put its Microsoft people have stored on Box. Originally posted at The Social Word document comparison Originally posted at Web
TextFlow partners with Box.net to solve its big weakness by Josh Lowensohn (Webware.com)
Zynga: No, we're not charging for Farmville
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Apple's "Boobie Apps" Banning Resulted In the SuicideGirls' Removal by Gizmodo Staff (Fast Company)
Before the Bell: Futures Slip Ahead of Confidence, Housing Data by Melly Alazraki (BloggingStocks) Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:15:00 AM
Submitted at 2/23/2010 7:49:59 AM
Apple claims they removed those 5,000 boobie apps because women were complaining over the "degrading" and "objectionable" content. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the removal of the SuicideGirls' app--which actually empowers women-seems most questionable. Sure, the free app features nudity. If you count nudity as being of the bras 'n knickers kind. But when the site was set up by a woman, and populated entirely by women, it just means Apple really does have to define what criteria an app has to meet before it's pulled down. Tarring all titillating apps with the same brush, yet allowing some cases such as Sports Illustrated's app to remain on the App Store will end up backfiring on Apple--and I'm sure this won't be the last time we hear about the SuicideGirls' app, with the community being very, very vocal. The app actually had over 5 million
downloads before it was pulled this week. SuicideGirls co-founder Missy Suicide is going on G4's Attack of the Show to discuss the removal of the free SuicideGirls: Flip Strip app today at 7pm EST, which used the iPhone's accelerometer to remove the girls' clothes when the phone is tilted. Without straying too much on Jezebel's turf, Phil Schiller's comments about Sports
Illustrated's app allowed to remain in the store because it's "a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a wellaccepted format" shows he's never acquainted himself with the many SuicideGirls books available. [ SuicideGirls via Gizmodo]
Filed under: Before the Bell, International Markets, Home Depot (HD), Market Matters, Sears Holdings (SHLD), Economic Data U.S. stock futures were lower Tuesday morning as investors were cautious about the strength of the economic recovery, awaiting several key indicators to get a better feel of the recovery, including data on consumer confidence and the housing market. U.S. stocks closed generally lower on Monday following a choppy session devoid mostly of economic news. Investors are still jittery about possible interest rate hikes following the Federal Reserve's surprise move to raise the discount rate last week. Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to give a testimony on Capitol Hill starting Wednesday, perhaps giving more clues about the Fed's direction. Continue reading Before the Bell: Futures Slip Ahead of Confidence, Housing Data Before the Bell: Futures Slip Ahead of Confidence, Housing Data originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments
Will the real Dalai Lama please tweet up? (Holy Kaw!) Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:33:00 PM
The Dalai Lama joins
Twitterâ€”for real this time (unlike the last time when the handle @OHHDL fooled folks into thinking it was the spiritual
leader. And thus verified
accounts were born). You can tweet him up at@DalaiLama. Read the full story at Mashable. More on Buddhism.
Permalink| Leave a comment Âť
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1,000-Mile Commute for Some GM Employees (FOXNews.com) Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:04:59 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. JANESVILLE, Wisconsin In the early dawn, after another week building cars, Michael Hanley leaves his job in Kansas. He quickly zips into Missouri, then heads up a ribbon of highway past grain silos and grazing deer, across the frozen fields of Iowa, over the Mississippi River and into the rolling hills of Wisconsin. Finally, he pulls into his driveway — 530 miles later. It's one heck of a haul: more than 1,000 miles round trip, 16plus hours of driving, every week. "I like to say I gave up an eightminute commute for an eighthour commute," Hanley says wearily, running a hand through salt-and-pepper hair as he watches his two sons play basketball for the first time this season. After the aging General Motors plant where he worked for 23 years was idled about a year ago, Hanley faced a Hobson's choice: Stay with his family and search for an autoworker's salary ($28 an hour) in a county where more than 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs disappeared from 2006 to 2009. Or hang on to his GM paycheck and health insurance and follow the job, no
matter where it leads. In his case, it led to Fairfax, Kansas, the same place his brother and two brothers-in-law — also GM workers, and now his roommates — landed. For others, it has been Indiana or Texas. The long commute is not just a story of hard times, tough choices and a shrinking American auto industry. It also is a case study of what happens when an aging industrial town loses an anchor, when workers too old to start over and too young to retire are caught in a squeeze, and when economic survival means one family, but two far-flung street addresses. ——— Hanley is not one to complain. "GM has been good for us," he says. "This whole town knows that." For 90 years, the sprawling plant — it originally built tractors — became a different kind of family business. Through the decades, sons followed fathers onto the line, sometimes rubbing shoulders as they built Chevy Cavaliers, Caprices, Tahoes, Suburbans and more. Hanley's father and brother worked there. So did his fatherin-law, two brothers-in-law and an assortment of uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. But as GM's financial troubles mounted, car and Sports Utility Vehicle sales fell and gas prices climbed, the automaker closed several plants and eliminated
thousands of jobs. Janesville, then the oldest of GM assembly plants, ended production of sport utility vehicles in December 2008, months before the automaker received billions of dollars in government loans and filed for bankruptcy. (The factory is on standby status; some hold out hope it will reopen one day.) Some of about 1,200 remaining workers took buyouts or retired; some began new careers. Hundreds more stayed with GM, relocating, commuting or just waiting for an opening. The automaker has about 6,500 laidoff workers nationwide. Even before the doors closed, Hanley began preparing for life after GM. He returned to college to complete two credits he needed for an accounting degree, but an offer in Kansas came first. He did not hesitate. Auto work these days is like playing musical chairs. You grab an opening where you can. Hanley did not want to lose his health insurance while his wife, Laura, was receiving costly chemotherapy treatments for a blood disease that probably will lead to cancer. The medical bills last year, she says, were in the tens of thousands of dollars. "There's no way I could possibly go through one treatment without him having insurance," she says. Like many other divided GM families, the Hanleys decided even though the job was important, there were reasons not
to uproot everyone: Laura works at their sons' Roman Catholic school, the boys are immersed in band, Boy Scouts, basketball and church, and the sale of a house was an iffy and perhaps moneylosing proposition. Hanley knew it would be a trade -off — financial security for a lonely existence. His eyes mist as he talks about what he misses: dinner with his family, coaching basketball, going to the YMCA with his boys, wrestling with them at night, attending their concerts and games, watching them grow up. "It's an adjustment, not being home," he says. "I probably sounded cruel because I said I wouldn't miss my wife as much because she's going to be there when I come back, when I retire. But those years with the kids aren't going to be there. That's the hard part, not being able to be around them. ... I don't know if I really appreciated it before." Hanley plans to commute another 18 months, until he turns 50, hoping for a retirement package then, which he says he "prays about every night." Laura, meanwhile, does double duty as a single parent. It is all overwhelming: working, shuttling her sons around, keeping an eye on her elderly mother and worrying about her husband's long commutes. "The kids are tired of seeing mom cry because she's stressed and seeing dad cry when he
needs to go back to work," she says. "We're really close — the four of us. You can't talk to a lot of people, either. They have no sympathy. They say at least he's working." And that is nothing to take for granted in this southern Wisconsin county where unemployment has been in the double-digits for more than a year. For every one of about 4,500 GM and auto supplier jobs that disappeared, another was lost outside the industry, says Bob Borremans, head of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. The ripple effect was enormous: About 9,000 of the county's 75,000 jobs vanished. The plant, itself, had long been a polarizing presence in the community, he says. "Because of the benefits, the working conditions, the pay ... it was THE coveted job in the area," he explains. "In many cases, people, because of who they knew, were able to walk in and get a job there. That created animosity." "There are those people who worked there who have lost something they thought would be around forever and provided them with a real good lifestyle," he adds. "But there are others, I would say, who were jealous of folks who had that opportunity. 1,000-MILE page 15
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And they don't have a lot of sympathy for the stress the (GM) people are feeling these days." ——— After seven months of commuting, Brad Morrison measures his world in numbers. —169,000 miles (272,000 kilometers): The odometer reading on his 2002 Silverado. —$180: The cost of gas for weekly trips between Fairfax (just outside Kansas City) and Wisconsin. —Six years, two months. That is when Morrison will have 30 years at GM and can retire with a full pension. He'll be 49 then. Morrison started at GM as a teen, married his high school sweetheart, Sarah, and they had three children. With "two in college and one in braces," he says, he didn't consider changing careers. "I'm kind of trapped now," he says. With his shock of white-blond hair, Morrison looks a decade younger than 43 but says 24 years of stooping, lifting car parts and standing have taken a toll — three surgeries on his knees, one on his left shoulder, another on his left wrist. Now, he says, there's a grueling Monday to Friday work schedule, heading home at 2:40, arriving around 10 p.m., often too wired to sleep. On Saturdays, it is reconnect-with-the-family time. And that can mean more driving: His 15-year-old son's recent choral competition put
him on the road five more hours one Saturday. On Sundays, he heads back at about 1 p.m. — 39 hours after arriving. "I'm worn down," Morrison says. "You never get any rest. You're always on the move. ... It's hard to have a family life or marriage. Try to be a husband or father at 500 miles (805 kilometers) away." He never considers skipping a weekend. "I don't know how a wife or kids can be too much of a hassle," he says. "The hassle is just not having them with me." Morrison and his wife, a school aide, talk several times a day. In between, they text each other with endearing "I miss you" and "I love you" messages. "We're hopeless romantics," he says. She concurs: "He's my best friend." But living apart is more than an emotional strain. It is expensive, too. Morrison refinanced his house to free up more money for monthly expenses that include gas — $720 when he drives alone — and $425 in rent and utilities for an apartment he shares with another Janesville transplant. (GM, in many cases, provides some compensation for workers who relocate.) This is temporary. The Morrisons decided they do not want to live this way; they plan to sell their Wisconsin house, and Sarah and their youngest son, Austin, will move
when the school year ends. Although they will be together, Morrison does not feel secure. "This plant is no safer (from downsizing) than any other," he says. "I don't take my job for granted anymore. ... Do I regret working for them? No. It's good money. It was a good company back then. It still is." "The auto industry is a lot like a roller coaster," he adds. "When the going is good and you're at the top, everything is boom. When it's times like this, you're at the bottom. But I still feel fortunate even to be there. I can still hold on. And I count my blessings for that." ——— John Dohner can be forgiven if he has that feeling of deja vu when he pulls into the parking lot of the GM plant outside Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has been there before. Decades ago. Then a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Dohner moved from Janesville to Indiana, following his job building pickup trucks. He returned to Janesville when a spot opened seven years later. Now he is reversing course as a 44-year-old family man with a wife, three kids (21, 17 and 15), a house, a 13-acre (5-hectare) farm and a good life almost 300 miles (480 kilometers) and one time zone away. It is a life he is not about to abandon. Ditto for his job. "I'm not going to walk away," he says. "I'm not giving them the
satisfaction of giving them 25 years of my life and not get anything in return." Like others, he has his eye on the prize: the 30-year finish line. Dohner is among dozens of Janesville commuters who form a caravan every Saturday morning to make the 275-mile (440-kilometer) trek home. (He turned down a GM job in Kansas. The drive was too long, he said.) Soon, one of his laid-off brothers will join him in Indiana; another still is waiting. Their father, John Sr., heads United Auto Workers Union Local 95. With Dohner gone, his wife, Jane, has become skilled at everything from repairing water tanks to installing furnace filters. Her day starts at 4:45 a.m., when she and the children feed the dogs, rabbits, cows, chickens and horses. The two boys take care of their dad's snow plow business. Dohner still keeps up his duties as chairman of the tiny township (population 800), using vacation days to attend monthly meetings. On Sundays, Jane gives her husband spaghetti casseroles, brownies and other dishes for the week, and waves goodbye. It is much easier than last summer. She sat on the front porch and cried the first time he left. "You can't think of five years," she says. "I think I can't do it for so long. ... I just texted him Thursday night and said, `This stinks."'
There seems no good solution. "We built this place and worked so hard to get it to where it is, so do you want to leave?" she says, glancing outside at the tranquil snow-covered countryside where the dogs frolic and horses graze. "But some days," she says, "I think we should have all gone as a family." ——— Steve Kerl now knows about the rodeo, the Texas Rangers and traffic jams — all part of his new surroundings. He works at the GM plant in Arlington, Texas. His home remains in Janesville, about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away, making it impossible to return more than a handful of times in the past year, although his wife, Kristy, and two children have visited. When Kerl first drove down last March with his wife, they talked several times about turning around. He forged on, but his wife didn't like what she saw, so she returned home. If it is any comfort, Kerl can look around the factory floor and see others who have picked up stakes, coming from Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri and, of course, Wisconsin. Kerl says he transferred to Texas because it was the only option then and auto jobs were fast disappearing. "I figured it would be better being on the inside looking out rather than the 1,000-MILE page 25
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To some, suicide attack on IRS made pilot a hero (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:21:00 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. DALLAS â€“ Flames were still shooting from the building when the suicide pilot who crashed his plane into the IRS office in Austin was being hailed in some corners as a hero who struck a courageous blow against the tyranny of the U.S. tax code. While most Americans surely see Joseph Stack as an angry, misguided man whose final act was repugnant, his suicide mission has clearly tapped a vein of rage among anti-tax, antigovernment extremists. The way they see it, "he did the ultimate flipping of the bird to the man," said JJ MacNab, a Maryland-based insurance analyst who is writing a book about tax protesters. "He stuck it to the man, and they love that." It is not surprising Stack would be portrayed as a hero on fringe Web sites such as stormfront.org, a forum for white supremacists. But admirers also are expressing their appreciation on mainstream sites such as Facebook, where a fan page supporting some of the things he said in his six-page manifesto had more than 2,000 members Monday. Stack, 53, left behind a rambling, 3,000-word screed in which he ranted about his financial reverses, his difficulty
finding work in Austin and his hatred of big business. Mostly, though, he focused on his clashes with the IRS, including one after he failed to file a tax return because he said he had no income. Stack traced his problems to a 1986 change in the tax code affecting software contractors like him. In Texas, Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina told a San Antonio radio station last week she did not sympathize with Stack, but that his act reflected "the hopelessness many in our society feel." "There is a sense in all of our country that we are not on the right path," she said. Asked whether she considered her father a hero, Stack's adult daughter, Samantha Dawn Bell, said during a telephone interview broadcast Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America": "Yes. Because now maybe people will listen." But she stressed that his actions were "inappropriate." Later, though, in an interview with The Associated Press in Norway, where she lives, she said she does not consider her father a hero. She said she understands her father's animosity toward a "faulty" and "unbalanced" American tax system. But she said he should have found "a completely different way" to address it. "Write letters â€” that's what he should have done, rather than actually doing what he did," she
said. Threats against IRS employees have steadily increased in the past five years, climbing from 834 in fiscal 2005 to 1,014 threats in 2009, according to J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration. "The new commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service has made it clear, and rightfully so, that people who owe the IRS money should pay the money they owe," George said. "That activity, coupled with the economy as well as a general sense of unease, have caused people to react in ways we all hoped they would not." Since the attack, security has been tightened at IRS offices across the country, he said. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who joined U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a Monday meeting with employees who were inside the building when Stack flew into it, said employees would "continue to serve their country and the nation's taxpayers with dignity and respect." "An act like this won't get in the way with us doing our job," Shulman said. Geithner read a letter of support from President Barack Obama. "I think all Americans owe them their support and their encouragement in this time of tragedy," Geithner said afterward. Mark Potok, a director at the
Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacists and other hate groups, said the attack on the IRS has been endorsed by extremists even more enthusiastically than the shooting rampage last June at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington that left a security guard dead. "I think Joseph Stack has tapped into a very deep vein of rage against the government," he said. On one Internet thread full of praise for Stack, one person wrote that he must "suppress the urge to take flying lessons." Pensacola, Fla., pastor and radio host Chuck Baldwin wrote on his Web site that he wished Stack had not died "because we need each other." He added: "My heart goes out to Joe Stack! The sentiments expressed above are shared by millions of Americans who are also fed up with Big Brother." Larken Rose, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania man who served a year in prison for willful failure to file an income tax return, said he does not consider the IRS employee killed in the attack and the man's injured co-workers to be innocent victims. "I don't know how many people they harassed or how many houses they had stolen or how many bank accounts they had swiped," he told the AP. Stack's letter "shows quite obviously he was not crazy. He was frustrated. He had been wronged over and over."
The IRS kept a master list of tax protesters until 1998, when a change in the law prevented the agency from tracking them. MacNab estimated there are more than 500,000 tax protesters today, the vast majority of whom do not file tax returns. "There are people who sympathize with this crime and turn the criminal into a hero," said Fathali Moghaddam, a psychology professor at Georgetown University. "At tax time, what better authority figure to hit than the tax man?" Moghaddam also said the ease and anonymity of the Internet have helped bring like-minded zealots together. "It may be that 50 years ago, there would be 200 people who would like to express support for this kind of action but they couldn't, because there was nobody in their neighborhood to connect with," the professor said. Stack has not been linked to any specific political philosophy or party, though his antigovernment views are sometimes espoused by Tea Party members in Texas who have supported Medina's surprising run against Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Phillip Dennis, a leader of the 15,000-member Dallas Tea Party, disavowed any connection to Stack. "We never advocate violence and SOME, page 18
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NYC bomb plotter plea deal might help broaden case (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News)
organization. The 25-year-old, part of what prosecutors consider one of the most serious U.S. Message from fivefilters.org: If terror threats since the attacks on you can, please donate to the full Sept. 11, 2001, faces life in -text RSS service so we can prison without parole when he's continue developing it. sentenced in June. NEW YORK – Distressed over The jailed Zazi had recently the deaths of civilians in his volunteered information about native Afghanistan, a man who the bomb plot in the first step once operated a coffee cart near t o w a r d a p l e a d e a l , T h e the World Trade Center site Associated Press learned earlier hatched a plan to join the Taliban this month from officials who and fight the U.S. military. spoke on condition of anonymity Najibullah Zazi traveled to because the terror investigation Pakistan in August 2008 but was ongoing. His cooperation never made it to Afghanistan. Al suggests prosecutors hope to -Qaida operatives spotted him. expand the case and bring They had more ambitious plans charges against other suspects. and conspired with him to try to Already charged are an imam, a help him die a martyr in a cab driver and Zazi's uncle and bombing of the New York father, who's been accused of subway system, he admitted trying to dispose of chemicals. Monday. U.S. Attorney General Eric "I had discussions with al-Qaida Holder said in Washington that l e a d e r s , i n c l u d i n g t a r g e t the planned bombings "could locations, such as New York have been devastating." City subways," he said. "This attempted attack on our Zazi, a former Colorado airport homeland was real, it was in shuttle driver, pleaded guilty motion and it would have been Monday in Brooklyn federal deadly," he said. court to conspiring to use Zazi admitted using notes taken weapons of mass destruction, at an al-Qaida training camp in conspiring to commit murder in Waziristan, Pakistan, to build a foreign country and providing homemade explosives with material support for a terrorist beauty supplies purchased in the Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:55:53 AM
Denver suburbs and cooked up in a Colorado hotel room. He then drove the materials to New York just before the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. His plan was to assemble the bombs over the weekend and detonate them within days. Asked by federal Judge Raymond J. Dearie on Monday if he had been willing to be a suicide bomber, Zazi said, "Yes, your honor." While entering the city, Zazi was stopped by police for a routine traffic violation on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York. Suspicious officers allowed him to go free but kept a close watch on his movements. "The plan was to conduct martyrdom operation on the subway lines in Manhattan as soon as the material was ready," Zazi said. Sometime after the traffic stop, Zazi realized authorities were investigating him. "At that point, we threw away the detonator explosives and other materials," he said. Authorities raided several Queens apartments, including a friend's home where Zazi had
stayed. Zazi was arrested. One of the people familiar with the investigation said that Zazi told prosecutors that he made roughly 2 pounds of a powerful and highly unstable explosive called triacetone triperoxide, or TATP. The same explosive was used by would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid in 2001 and by the terrorists who carried out the London bombings that killed 52 people in 2005. Zazi decided to cooperate after being warned that his mother could face criminal immigration charges, one of the people familiar with his case told the AP. Zazi's father was accused this month of trying to get rid of chemicals and other evidence. Prosecutors, after initially demanding that he be jailed in Brooklyn without bail, agreed to a deal on Feb. 17 releasing him on $50,000 bond and allowing him to return to his home in suburban Denver. By contrast, bond for a Queens imam charged with lying to the FBI about phone contact with Zazi when Zazi was in New York was set at $1.5 million. A friend of Zazi's, a New York cab driver, was jailed without bail on
a similar lying charge. Authorities say the cabbie and another former high school classmate of Zazi's, Adis Medunjanin, traveled to Pakistan with Zazi. Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and remains jailed. Officials earlier confirmed Zazi's uncle had been arraigned on a felony count in secret, a sign he could be cooperating. Holder used the case to rebut Republican critics who've said the Democratic administration should try such terrorism suspects before military tribunals rather than through civilian courts. "To take this tool out of our hands, to denigrate this tool," Holder said, "flies in the face of facts and is more about politics than it is about facts." ___ Associated Press writers Devlin Barrett and Pete Yost in Washington and Larry Neumeister in New York contributed to this report. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Video: World Net Daily Columnist Supports Uganda Death Penalty for Gays (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:46:34 PM
World Net Daily columnist
Molotov Mitchell comes right out and defends Uganda’s bill to make homosexuality a capital offense — because “God created
the death penalty” for gays. This caveman even quotes Martin Luther King as some kind of twisted support for his “kill the
gays” rant. This has to be one of the stupidest, most hateful videos I’ve seen yet. Apart from the
obnoxious rock music soundtrack, how is this different from the Taliban?[Video]
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NYC Terror Plotter Plea Deal May Broaden Case (FOXNews.com) Submitted at 2/23/2010 1:34:55 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. NEW YORK Distressed over the deaths of civilians in his native Afghanistan, a man who once operated a coffee cart near the World Trade Center site hatched a plan to join the Taliban and fight the U.S. military. Najibullah Zazi traveled to Pakistan in August 2008 but never made it to Afghanistan. Al Qaeda operatives spotted him. They had more ambitious plans and conspired with him to try to help him die a martyr in a bombing of the New York subway system, he admitted Monday. "I had discussions with Al Qaeda leaders, including target locations, such as New York City subways," he said. Zazi, a former Colorado airport shuttle driver, pleaded guilty Monday in Brooklyn federal court to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization. The 25-year-old, part of what prosecutors consider one of the most serious U.S. terror threats since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, faces life in prison without parole when he's sentenced in June. The jailed Zazi had recently
volunteered information about the bomb plot in the first step toward a plea deal, The Associated Press learned earlier this month from officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the terror investigation was ongoing. His cooperation suggests prosecutors hope to expand the case and bring charges against other suspects. Already charged are an imam, a cab driver and Zazi's uncle and father, who's been accused of trying to dispose of chemicals. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in Washington that the planned bombings "could have been devastating." "This attempted attack on our homeland was real, it was in motion and it would have been deadly," he said. Zazi admitted using notes taken at an al-Qaida training camp in Waziristan, Pakistan, to build homemade explosives with beauty supplies purchased in the Denver suburbs and cooked up in a Colorado hotel room. He then drove the materials to New York just before the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. His plan was to assemble the bombs over the weekend and detonate them within days. Asked by federal Judge Raymond J. Dearie on Monday if he had been willing to be a suicide bomber, Zazi said, "Yes, your honor." While entering the city, Zazi was stopped by police for a
routine traffic violation on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York. Suspicious officers allowed him to go free but kept a close watch on his movements. "The plan was to conduct martyrdom operation on the subway lines in Manhattan as soon as the material was ready," Zazi said. Sometime after the traffic stop, Zazi realized authorities were investigating him. "At that point, we threw away the detonator explosives and other materials," he said. Authorities raided several Queens apartments, including a friend's home where Zazi had stayed. Zazi was arrested. One of the people familiar with the investigation said that Zazi told prosecutors that he made roughly 2 pounds of a powerful and highly unstable explosive called triacetone triperoxide, or TATP. The same explosive was used by would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid in 2001 and by the terrorists who carried out the London bombings that killed 52 people in 2005. Zazi decided to cooperate after being warned that his mother could face criminal immigration charges, one of the people familiar with his case told the AP. Zazi's father was accused this month of trying to get rid of chemicals and other evidence. Prosecutors, after initially demanding that he be jailed in
Brooklyn without bail, agreed to a deal on Feb. 17 releasing him on $50,000 bond and allowing him to return to his home in suburban Denver. By contrast, bond for a Queens imam charged with lying to the FBI about phone contact with Zazi when Zazi was in New York was set at $1.5 million. A friend of Zazi's, a New York cab driver, was jailed without bail on a similar lying charge. Authorities say the cabbie and another former high school classmate of Zazi's, Adis Medunjanin, traveled to Pakistan with Zazi. Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and remains jailed. Officials earlier confirmed Zazi's uncle had been arraigned on a felony count in secret, a sign he could be cooperating. Holder used the case to rebut Republican critics who've said the Democratic administration should try such terrorism suspects before military tribunals rather than through civilian courts. "To take this tool out of our hands, to denigrate this tool," Holder said, "flies in the face of facts and is more about politics than it is about facts." Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
SOME, continued from page 16
overthrow of the government," Dennis said. "We have a framework to solve problems, and that framework does not include flying airplanes into buildings." What Stack did do, Dennis said, was "tap into some people's anger with a large and growing government, a government that doesn't listen to the people." The family of Vernon Hunter, the longtime IRS employee and father of six who was killed in the suicide attack, rejected any suggestion Stack was a hero. "People say (Stack) is a patriot. What's he a patriot for? He hasn't served the country," said Hunter's son, Ken Hunter. "My dad did two tours of Vietnam and this guy is going to be a patriot and no one is going to say that about my dad?" ___ Ian MacDougall reported from Oslo; Associated Press writers April Castro and Jim Vertuno contributed to this report from Austin. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Calif. insurer to face questioning over rate hike (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News)
rebates for consumers. The state legislative hearing is the first public examination of Message from fivefilters.org: If the rate proposal, which the you can, please donate to the full insurer announced in November. -text RSS service so we can On Wednesday, a U.S. House of continue developing it. Representatives committee will SACRAMENTO, Calif. – question executives from Anthem Blue Cross executives A n t h e m ' s p a r e n t c o m p a n y , are scheduled to testify Tuesday WellPoint Inc. of Indianapolis, before a California legislative about its rate proposals. committee about an attempt to The company has said it needs boost insurance premiums by up to increase premiums in part to 39 percent, a proposal that has because younger, healthier become a flash point in the people have been dropping national debate over health care health insurance coverage during reform. the recession, leaving it with a The rate hike by California's pool of policyholders that is largest for-profit health insurer older and more dependent on would affect the company's health care services. roughly 700,000 individual The latest increase would policy holders in the state. average 25 percent but could be The Obama administration has as high as 39 percent for some referenced Anthem's rate customers who purchase p r o p o s a l f r e q u e n t l y i n i t s individual policies. Anthem's arguments for greater federal remaining 7.3 million customers authority over premiums. On in California are covered by Monday, President Barack employer-sponsored plans and Obama put forward a national would not be affected, company health care plan that would give spokeswoman Kristin Binns said. the Department of Health and Individual insurance plans cover Human Services the authority to about 30 percent of Californians, deny or limit substantial a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s t a t e premium increases or demand Department of Insurance. That is Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:46:41 AM
rising as more people lose employer-sponsored coverage. After extensive media reports and pressure from state regulators, Anthem agreed earlier this month to postpone the start of the increase from March 1 to May 1. In a Feb. 8 letter to Anthem president Leslie Margolin, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she was disturbed by the proposed increase and called for the insurer to justify the need for such a significant hike. Last week, her agency released a report condemning Anthem's recent actions. In it, Sebelius noted that profits for the country's 10 largest insurance companies rose 250 percent between 2000 and 2009 — 10 times faster than inflation. WellPoint reported a $2.7 billion profit in the last quarter of 2009, according to the report. The state insurance department lacks legal authority to stop rate increases but can complicate insurers' practices in other ways. The office has hired a consulting firm to review Anthem's rate proposal and determine whether
Monday Afternoon Music: Don Ross (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:08:54 PM
The great Don Ross plays his
composition “Tight Trite Night,” on a terrific-sounding Beneteau“ fan fret” guitar. This tune is on the album Passion Session.(The
iTunes Store has it too.)[Video]
it complies with a 2006 California law requiring insurers to spend 70 cents of every premium dollar on medical care. "I have a healthy skepticism that the increase complies with the law," State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said Monday. Poizner said Anthem's 57 percent market share in California is evidence that state residents lack sufficient choice when it comes to choosing health insurance providers. Deputy Insurance Commissioner David Link is scheduled to take part in Tuesday's hearing before the Assembly Health Committee. He will be joined by Margolin and numerous health insurance experts and consumer advocates. The hearing is intended to help the Legislature develop policies to protect Californians from rate hikes like those proposed by Anthem, said the committee's chairman, state Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento. "A 39 percent rate increase on top of prior increases is simply unconscionable," he said in a statement Monday.
Anthem Blue Cross did not respond to a request for comment on the Tuesday committee hearing. California isn't the only market facing premium hikes. In Maine, Anthem Blue Cross has asked for increases of about 23 percent this year for some individual policyholders. In Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is not part of WellPoint, requested approval for increases of up to 56 percent in 2009. State regulators ultimately approved an average increase of 22 percent. Applications for rate increases in California are not made public until the insurance department officially acknowledges them. Poizner's spokesman, Darrel Ng, said the department has not acknowledged any significant rate increases by California's other health insurers. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
The Future of Money: It's Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free by Daniel Roth (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM
The reign of the bank and credit
card cartel is ending. A new wave of financial upstarts is liberating your cash -- and the economy.
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Toyota took 'too long' on recalls (BBC News | Americas | World Edition)
1100 local time (1600 GMT). In a prepared statement, he said: "It has taken us too long to come Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:02:47 AM to grips with a rare but serious Message from fivefilters.org: If set of safety issues, despite all of you can, please donate to the full our good faith efforts. -text RSS service so we can "The problem has also been continue developing it. compounded by poor Toyota has admitted it took "too communications both within our long" to deal with safety issues company and with regulators and which led to the recall of 8.5 consumers." million vehicles worldwide. He went on: "In the case of James Lentz, head of Toyota in sticking accelerator pedals, we the US, said that on one issue, failed to promptly analyse and "we failed to promptly analyse respond to information emerging and respond" to information from Europe and in the United provided. States. Mr Lentz will face questions " W e a c k n o w l e d g e t h e s e f r o m a U S c o n g r e s s i o n a l mistakes, we apologise for them committee later over the recall and we have learned from them." and Toyota's handling of it. 'Serious flaws' Toyota president Akio Toyoda Commitee chairman Henry will appear in Congress on Waxman wrote to Mr Lentz on Wednesday. Monday and raised three 'Poor communications' concerns following a preliminary In recent months, Toyota has r e v i e w o f t h e d o c u m e n t s been hit by three main safety p r o v i d e d b y T o y o t a : problems - faulty accelerator • T o y o t a " c o n s i s t e n t l y pedals, accelerator pedals getting dismissed" the possibility that stuck in floor mats, and a electronic failures could be problem with braking systems on responsible for acceleration its hybrid models. problems The majority of the recalls have • T h e r e p o r t t h a t T o y o t a taken place in the US. Mr Lentz c o m m i s s i o n e d t o l o o k a t is the first Toyota executive to be potential electronic problems g r i l l e d i n a s e r i e s o f appears to have "serious flaws" c o n g r e s s i o n a l h e a r i n g s . and the company was too slow in He will appear before the House initiating it E n e r g y a n d C o m m e r c e • Toyota's public statements Committee in Washington at about the adequacy of its recent
recalls appear to be "misleading". Mr Waxman also wrote to Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, who will also be questioned. In the letter, he criticises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for "lacking expertise" and said its response to complaints about sudden unintended acceleration appears to have been "seriously deficient". In Mr LaHood's prepared testimony, he said regulators would continue to investigate "all possible causes" of unintended acceleration. Robust sales Toyota said on Tuesday that its global sales were 15% higher in January - when many of the recalls had already been announced - than they were a year ago. Domestic sales jumped 45%, while overseas sales rose nearly 9%. On Monday, Toyota said it had received subpoenas asking it to produce documents relating to the safety problems and the company's disclosure policies. The subpoenas were served earlier this month by a federal grand jury in New York and by the US financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Media focus Toyota president Akio Toyoda had initially said that he wished to stay in Japan and planned to send Yoshi Inaba, chief of Toyota's North America operations, to face Congress. But last week he signalled a change of heart and said he would testify, after the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee formally called for him to do so. Mr Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder, will face tough questioning from the committee. He has been criticised for being too slow to react to the safety issues and for the company offering unclear explanations. His performance will be closely watched. It is not yet known whether he will speak in English or Japanese. He was criticised by the Japanese media earlier this month for not bowing deeply enough at a news conference arranged for him to say sorry for the recalls, leading to questions about the sincerity of his apology. Print Sponsor Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Macworld 2010: Adam Jackson by Victor Agreda, Jr. (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)) Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:00:00 AM
Filed under: Macworld Adam Jackson has been attending Macworld since 2003, including the New York and Boston shows. His devotion to Apple and the Macworld Expo was highlighted in the excellent " f a n b o y " f i l m Macheads(available via iTunes). When I sat down with him at Macworld we spoke about the past, present and future of Macworld. Video after the link (pardon the abrupt start). TUAW Macworld 2010: Adam Jackson originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
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Leaders 'back claim on Falklands' (BBC News | Americas | World Edition) Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:19:00 PM
dispute with London. The Argentine president accused the British government of ignoring international law by allowing a British oil exploration company to begin drilling near the islands. She said: "I think the important thing is that we have achieved very strong support, something that legitimates our claims fundamentally against the new petroleum activity." The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Cancun says that any broad agreement at the summit could put more pressure on the British government in what has become an escalating diplomatic row. 'Return the Malvinas' Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reiterated his support for
an oil industry in its waters. Mr Rammell said the UK would take "whatever steps necessary" to protect the islands and that it had made Argentina "aware of that". Argentina has ruled out military action and is trying to pressure Britain into negotiations on sovereignty. During the seven-week war in 1982 over the Falklands, 649 Argentine and 255 British service personnel were killed. Last year Argentina submitted a claim to the United Nations for a vast expanse of ocean, based on research into the extent of the continental shelf, stretching to the Antarctic and including the island chains governed by the UK. Argentina. as an alternative to the It is due to raise the issue at the "We demand, and I think all of Organisation of American States, UN later this week. us should do the same, the the main forum for regional What do you think of the withdrawal of the submarine affairs in the past 50 years. regional support given to platform, and that the English The British-contracted rig Argentina over the Falklands? government... give that land Ocean Guardian began drilling Are you in the Falklands, back," he said. 100km (62 miles) north of the Argentina or one of its regional Before leaving for the summit, Falklands on Monday, despite neighbours? What do you think Nicaraguan President Daniel f i e r c e o p p o s i t i o n f r o m is the solution to the escalating Ortega called for "Britain to A r g e n t i n a . row concerning the islands? return the territory of the Desire Petroleum, which is Send us your comments using Malvinas to its real owners - to overseeing the operation, said the form below. return it to Argentina" on drilling had started on the Liz The BBC may edit your Venezuelan Telesur television. 14/19-A exploration well at 1415 comments and not all emails will Leaders at the summit, between GMT. be published. Your comments the Rio Group and the Caribbean Argentina claims sovereignty may be published on any BBC Community (Caricom), are also over what it calls the Islas media worldwide. said to have discussed plans for a Malvinas and has imposed Print Sponsor new pan-American alliance shipping restrictions. Five Filters featured article: which would exclude Canada But UK Defence Minister Bill and the United States. Rammell said the government LEADERS page 22 The new grouping would serve had a "legitimate right" to build
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Ill will for slain Mich. activist as trial nears (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News)
shocking as his signs. In high-profile trials, it's typically the accused seeking a Message from fivefilters.org: If new venue because of too much you can, please donate to the full publicity or other issues. Not in -text RSS service so we can this case. continue developing it. "What's the assumption here?" OWOSSO, Mich. – In life, anti- said Drake's defense lawyer, abortion activist James Pouillon Robert Ashley. "That people feel spent years trying to influence someone who had an obnoxious people in his small Michigan city way of exercising his First with large signs of dead fetuses. Amendment right should die for In death, that combative style it? That's extreme. ... I think we could make it difficult to find a can get an impartial jury." jury for the trial of the man Judge Gerald Lostracco is charged with killing him. keeping the trial in Shiawassee Jury selection was scheduled to County, population 71,000, start Tuesday in the first-degree unless the prosecutors turn out to murder trial of trucker Harlan be right and a fair-minded jury D r a k e , w h o i s a c c u s e d o f can't be chosen this week. gunning down Pouillon outside "We'll give it a sincere effort," Owosso High School on Sept. a s s i s t a n t p r o s e c u t o r S a r a 11, then later shooting business E d w a r d s s a i d . owner Mike Fuoss. Pouillon, 63, was holding a sign But prosecutors have warned a depicting a dead fetus when he judge that it will be "almost was fatally shot as students were impossible" to seat jurors who entering the high school across h a v e n ' t s e e n P o u i l l o n ' s the street. Fuoss was shot demonstrations or formed an minutes later at his gravel opinion about him. He was company, just outside Owosso, everywhere — the farmers which is 70 miles northwest of market, City Hall, the county Detroit. courthouse, football games— Police say Drake, 33, confessed with verbal taunts that were as to the killings. Authorities have
not disclosed a motive, although they have referred to a possible grudge between him and the victims. His family has denied any rift and said Drake suffers from depression and was having trouble with his medicine. He attempted suicide in jail. "We'll ask for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity," Ashley said. Pouillon's death led to tributes from national anti-abortion groups. President Barack Obama called the shooting "deplorable." Hundreds of people, most from outside the Owosso area, attended a memorial service at the football field. A perception that Pouillon was being turned into a martyr irritated many in Owosso. No one publicly defended the driveby shooting, but letters in the local newspaper described Pouillon as belligerent and a "nut case" who brought children to tears with his signs. "We had to admire his persistence but did not admire his modus operandi," The ArgusPress said in an editorial five days after the killings. "His sign,
Walmart Jumps Into Online Movie Rentals, Buys Vudu
Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:39:41 AM
continued from page 21
Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
by Ryan Singel (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:22:22 PM
Walmart is set to challenge
often accompanied by his shouting at passers-by, gave his cause, indeed his town of Owosso as well, a bad name." Judy Jackson, 64, of Owosso, said she wouldn't be comfortable on a jury. "I don't agree with someone taking someone's life," Jackson said. "But I don't miss the man on the corner or his foul mouth. He would chase you, call you names. He was evil. His pictures were so gross." A barber, Jim Corrin, 63, once asked Pouillon, a regular customer, why he didn't display two pictures of happy children on his sign instead of just one accompanied by an aborted fetus. "He said, `I want to show people the truth,'" Corrin recalled. "I had no problem with his message. He was just overboard with it. He knew how to push buttons on people, but Jim didn't deserve to be executed on the sidewalk." Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Netflix for the title of king of online video rentals, with its upcoming purchase of videostreaming site Vudu.
Scott Brown's Tea Party Honeymoon is Over (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 2/22/2010 6:56:10 PM
Oops. Scott Brown voted the wrong way on the Senate jobs bill, and now he has tea party heartache. C o m m e n t b y Relentless_Righteous_and_Right 31 minutes ago Great. Another marxist. Case closed. Thanks, Scott. Guess we’ll have to wait another 6 years to find a real Conservative to fill the dead kennedy’s seat. (Hat tip: cronus.) UPDATE at 2/22/10 7:16:07 pm: Scott Brown was actually the first Senator to vote for the bill. As soon as the vote was called, he strode quickly into the well and interrupted the clerk as he read the roll. “Yes,” Brown said quietly, and then, having become Reid’s first vote, he rushed out of the room before Republican colleagues arrived. He stepped into the hallway, then waited for reporters to assemble around him. “I’m not from around here,” he said. “I’m from Massachusetts.”
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Extreme Test: Going Ballistic on Bulletproof Vests
Guilty plea in New York bomb plot (BBC News | Americas | World Edition)
by Kelsey Hazlewood (Wired Top Stories)
Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:46:03 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. An Afghan-born Colorado airport bus driver has pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up New York's subway system. Najibullah Zazi told a federal court in the city that he had been planning what he called a "martyrdom operation". Zazi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder and providing material support to al-Qaeda. US Attorney General Eric Holder said the plot was one of the most serious threats to the US since 9/11. Twenty-five-year-old Zazi changed his plea from one of not guilty. He faces a sentence of life in prison without parole. Zazi said he had agreed to carry out the attack as a protest against American military operations in his homeland, Afghanistan. The US intelligence community has been under pressure ever since it failed to prevent an attack on an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day, says the BBC's Matthew Price in New York. 'We will not rest' Mr Holder said the US
Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM
Three bullet-resistant vests (no garment is truly bullet proof) feel the heat of a dozen .44-caliber rounds. Only one holds up exceptionally well.
Feb 23, 1987: 'Quintessential' Supernova Bursts on the Scene by Alexis Madrigal (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM
But he was recruited and trained by al-Qaeda on the AfghanPakistani border, and then dispatched back to the US armed with the knowledge to attempt an attack on the New York subway system. Last September he rented a car in Denver, Colorado, and made the long drive to New York. With him, he brought homemade explosives, planning to assemble the bombs over the weekend, and hit the subway just after the anniversary of the 11 September attacks. Mr Holder said Zazi was under surveillance throughout his trip, and the investigation was ongoing.
"We will not rest until everyone responsible is captured," he said. "We are at war with a very dangerous, intelligent and adaptable enemy and we must use every weapon we have to win that war." Another two suspects - Adis Medunjanin and Zasrein Ahmedzay - said to be associates of Mr Zazi - were arrested over the plot last month. Print Sponsor Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Supernova 1987A's light reaches Earth. It's the brightest of the 20th century, and the first visible to the naked eye since 1604.
1933 Ford 'E-Rod' Is EV for the NASCAR Set by Chuck Squatriglia (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:00:00 PM
Take one classic American hot rod, add some 21st-century technology ... and vroom!
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Mom Finds Snake Head in Frozen Green Beans
Twitter-as-a-weapon demo script
severed snake head. "When I saw it was a snake's head I just threw it down and Message from fivefilters.org: If called my kids and said I got a you can, please donate to the full snake head in the green beans, -text RSS service so we can everybody said 'Oh lord, you got continue developing it. a snake head in the green A mother of four found a snake beans'," Jamison said. head in a bag of frozen green After the screaming subsided, beans while cooking for her 15-year-old Sarah Jamison family in Houston, Texas, grabbed her camera and took MyFoxPhoenix.com reported video and pictures of their Monday. uninvited dinner guest. Ernestine Jamison said she "I saw big eyes, with a mouth opened the bag of Pictsweet open and a tongue coming out, it frozen cut green beans last looked like it was ready to month to find what she first attack," she said. thought was a rock. Jamison called Pictsweet, and "I saw something in there I they offered her $150. wasn’t for sure what it was. I But she wasn’t looking for thought it was a rock because it money and turned it down. was hard," Jamison said. A letter sent by the company’s But upon further review, the insurance provider to Jamison Jamison family concluded the c l a i m s P i c t s w e e t " i s n o t green and black frozen object responsible for this accident," nestled in their dinner was a and they are "denying liability". Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:23:17 AM
When to be worried (Scripting News) Submitted at 2/22/2010 8:08:50 AM
When big pieces of our culture flow through one company's servers. And when suddenly, that company takes an interest in the ideas that are expressed in that culture, shutting off certain
ideas, without explanation, without answering questions. And when that company shuts off alternate channels for that culture to flow, with nonsense like they're being "open..." That's when it's probably beginning to be too late to be worried.
The company also claims it wasn’t a snake head - it was a frog head. "But it's still gross whether it's a frog or snake," said Jamison. Now Jamison has to try harder than ever to get her children to eat their greens. "Vegetables, umm, I don't look at vegetables the same, I never really liked the vegetables but like now I can't even go near vegetables," 17-year-old Mariam Jamison said. MyFoxPhoenix attempted to contact Pictsweet several times in recent weeks to respond to the report, but calls were not returned. More from MyFoxPhoenix.com Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:36:00 PM
This is the script that I created for a speech for the Photo Marketing Association called “How to Use Twitter as a Weapon.” I designed it for people in the photo industry, but it illustrates Twitter’s usefulness for most consumer-facing industries. Monitor • Search • Nikon • Nikon or Canon • Nikon or Canon or Sigma Engage • Virgin America Sell • Dell Outlet • Kogi BBQ Support • Comcast Cares Prospect • Photography • Advanced searches • Photography near Anaheim
• Canon.alltop • StumbleUpon • SmartBrief How to Get More Followers: Step 2: Tweet It Out • Automatic tweeting, analytics, campaigns: Objective Marketer— (disclosure: advisor). Note: these links will work only for me. • Calendar • Campaigns • Campaign details • Repeat posts • Use promo code “wiseguy” for ninety-day free trial • Automatic tweeting: Twitterfeed Note: this link will work only for me. Indispensable Tools • Twitter client: Tweetdeck • Build traffic Tweetmeme(disclosure: advisor)
The Only Best Practice That You Need to Know: Get How to Get More Followers: retweeted! Final step: text Step 1: Find Good Content “Alltop” to 44133 • Photography.Alltop Permalink| Leave a comment » • Nikon.alltop
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Ex-US Vice-President Cheney ill (BBC News | Americas | World Edition) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:38:11 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney has been taken to hospital in Washington after experiencing chest pains, his office has said. They said Mr Cheney, 69, was "resting comfortably" at George Washington University Hospital and his doctors were evaluating the situation. Mr Cheney, who left office in
January last year, has a history of heart problems. He has had four heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. Hospital doctors told NBC News that the former vicepresident was stable and may receive additional treatment on Tuesday. The television network said that Mr Cheney had had an angiogram test so that doctors could look into his coronary arteries, and that the results showed he might need more treatment. AFP reported that Mr Cheney was due to meet former US President George W Bush and
other members of the Bush administration on Friday, for the first time since they left office in January 2009. Mr Cheney has undergone several operations to clear blocked arteries and was fitted with a pacemaker in 2001. In October 2008 he underwent treatment to correct an abnormal heart rhythm. Print Sponsor Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
They can't find a job anywhere." It may get worse, too, this summer when health care and unemployment benefits expire for some former GM workers. "I don't think the community has felt the entire blow yet," says the elder Dohner, the UAW local president. When the benefits are gone "and it's time to build roads and keep the schools open, everyone is going to realize there's a big, big hole." Now 43, Kerl has seven more years to reach the 30-year milestone. He does not expect that he will
spend all that time in Texas. But that is fine. "If they announced this plant was closing, I'd pack up my stuff and go to the next one," he says. "We'll get through it. I'm going to ride this to the end." Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
1,000-MILE continued from page 15
outside looking in," he says. He wishes he could see his daughter's cheerleader activities and would have liked to have taken his son to college. "He's only going to be a freshman once," he says. And yet, he is reluctant to gripe about his life. "You can't put a negative spin on it and say you hate it. I'm working long hours, making good money," he says. "My kids' educations are being paid for. ... I can tell you right now that a lot of the people who took the buyouts are struggling now.
Hints of video chat for iPhones and iPads by Chris Rawson (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:00:00 AM
Filed under: Rumors, iPhone, SDK, iPad 9to5Mac reports that it has found both icons and code in the iPhone 3.2 SDK that could be indicative of video chat functionality coming to future iPads and/or iPhones. Specifically, there are icons labelled "AcceptVideo" and "DeclineOrEndVideo" complete with camera icons reminiscent of those already used by iChat, as well as a text string in the TelephonyUI which reads: "setButton2:_updateButtonSettin gs:_buttonWidthinitForVideoCh atWithFrame" -- both of which are indicative of at least the embryonic beginnings of coding for video chat. This isn't the first hint we've heard of video conferencing coming to some future iDevice. Apple-issued replacement parts for the iPad's frame contain a slot identical to the one used for iSight cameras on the MacBook, and another repair company has recently issued pics of what it claims is the next-gen iPhone's front face, complete with a mysterious hole that could be used for a front-facing camera. Many have cited the lack of any
kind of camera and therefore the impossibility of video conferencing as one of their biggest disappointments concerning the iPad. General consensus among analysts is that even if Apple doesn't include a camera in the first-gen iPad, it almost certainly will next year; 9to5Mac's unearthing of video chat code in the iPhone 3.2 SDK is only the latest bit of evidence in support of that theory. [Via MacDailyNews] TUAW Hints of video chat for iPhones and iPads originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
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Getting a handle on celebrity Twitter IDs (CNET News.com) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:00:00 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Many Twitter users are said to be confused as to what the company's policies are regarding reassigning IDs. For now, the company is not handling individual requests, unless they fall under its impersonation or trademark rules.(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET) In the fall of 2008, most likely after watching an episode of "Survivor," I hopped over to Twitter.com and registered the ID @jeffprobst. I have absolutely no memory of doing this, or why I signed up using the name of the host of long-running reality show, but I've been a fan of the (CNET parent company) CBS series since 2000 and it must have seemed like a funny idea at the time to anonymously post little tidbits like "The tribe has spoken" or "I'll go tally the votes." But I quickly forgot I'd done this, and for more than 16 months, the account lay fallow. And it would have probably stayed forgotten forever, except that on Thursday, for reasons I still can't figure out, messages began flooding into my Yahoo Mail account, alerting me that one person after another was now following me on Twitter. I didn't even know what Twitter
ID this involved until I logged into my e-mail and read, "Hi, jeffprobst, [such and such a person] is now following your tweets on Twitter." Using a tool that lets you see when a Twitter ID was registered, I discovered that I had claimed @jeffprobst on September 28, 2008, something that was possible since Twitter has few if any restrictions on what names you register, so long as they're available. I was also able to determine that Probst himself had registered @Jeff_Probst on April 28, 2009. Sheepishly realizing the situation, I dashed off literally the first tweet in the account's history, "@jeff_probst I'd like to return this account to you. Do you want it? No strings attached."
He has yet to take me up on my offer. ID reassignment With tens of millions of users, Twitter has become one of the most popular sites on the Internet. Along with that has come the inevitable customer service nightmare of dealing with what must be thousands of users seeking resolution about some account name issue or another. The instances that get the most attention, of course, are those involving celebrities. For example, Tony LaRussa, the manager of Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, recently sued Twitter, claiming his trademark rights were being damaged by someone using @tonylarussa to post some rather insensitive tweets under his
name. Similarly, rapper Kanye West threw a much-publicized fit about the fact that someone else had registered @kanyewest before he did. It seems that folks like LaRussa and West are among the few who can get Twitter to quickly respond to complaints about account IDs. Situations like theirs fall under Twitter's impersonation policy, which reads, "Impersonation is pretending to be another person or entity in order to deceive. Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter rules and may result in permanent account suspension." Under that policy, if Probst had petitioned Twitter for control of @jeffprobst, he would almost certainly have gotten satisfaction, and pronto, and
there would have been nothing I could do about it. The company's policy governing trademarks works much the same way. "Using a company or business name, logo or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others or be used for financial gain may be considered trademark infringement," the policy reads. "Accounts with clear INTENT to mislead other will be immediately suspended." Both impersonation- and trademark-related complaints fall under what Twitter calls "name squatting." Those who feel they have a legitimate name squatting complaint can contact Twitter and fill out a support ticket. On the other hand, Twitter's GETTING page 28
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One week without Google (CNET News.com)
have picked a better week to quit using Google. Between buying a house, planning a wedding, and a Message from fivefilters.org: If trip to Lake Tahoe, my normal you can, please donate to the full routine was already out of -text RSS service so we can whack. And the launch of continue developing it. Google Buzz meant I had to A Microsoft executive recently break my pledge on occasion to compared quitting Google to stay on top of the changes quitting smoking. As I approach Google made to that service. the 10th anniversary of my last But if you're one of those people cigarette, I decided to put that to freaked out by Google and its the test. expansion across the Web, fear If it weren't for hyperbole, of not: you have a wealth of course, marketing wouldn't be options. nearly as effective. But Google's Search presence across the Web does This was perhaps the easiest provoke that sort of response product to avoid. I'm a Mac user from competitors and even who primarily uses Firefox as friends. From search and Google my default browser. Switching to Maps to Gmail and YouTube, it another search engine is as easy can be difficult to steer clear of as clicking on the search bar the Google experience during a within the toolbar. It's more daily trip around the Internet. complicated if you use Safari and But it's not impossible, and it's its built-in Google search bar, not even remotely comparable to but you don't have to use Safari giving up one of the most to browse the Web. addictive drugs on the planet. I decided to go with Bing During a week in which I (which requires Firefox users pledged to avoid using anything who want it in their toolbar to made, owned, or otherwise download an add-on, but that's produced by Google, it was easily done), and didn't really surprisingly easy to cut ties. notice a difference in the Google is a habit; smoking is an experience. But the experience addiction. And for the most part, did drive home something that Google lives up to its pledge to Yahoo's Prabhakar Ragahavan avoid locking users into its pointed out two weeks ago system. I only missed a few during a Yahoo search event. Google products during a week Bing and Yahoo are spending a in mid-February and mostly lot of time trying to differentiate because I was unfamiliar with themselves from Google by their substitutes. working images, graphics, and That's because ( with apologies videos into the search results to Steve McCroskey) I could pages. Niche searches don't Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:00:00 AM
surface that kind of structured content, which means that a majority of searches still produce the "ten blue links" that Microsoft and Yahoo consider dirty words. If they really want to change surfing habits, that has
organizational and spam reasons. I decided that setting up an IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) connection through another e-mail client was cheating since Gmail would still be working things on the back end. So Yahoo Mail got the nod for this experiment, since we use Yahoo Instant Messenger internally for communication across different offices. There are loads of ways to set up free Web e-mail, so this is an easy switch to make. The only pain came in managing the overlap between the two e-mail systems, but that's mainly because I was getting a ton of email from my real estate agent and mortgage broker and didn't want to confuse them by giving them a temporary e-mail address. Simply forwarding Gmail to the Yahoo address did the trick. While I suppose that's technically cheating, it was easier than trying to get houserelated contacts to update their address books at a crucial time. Mobile As an iPhone user, you're locked into Google search as the default option within the Safari browser. But both Yahoo and Bing offer iPhone apps for search, mail, news feeds, and driving to improve. directions. E-mail I've been using Gmail as my Bing's iPhone app was key to a mobile primary e-mail for about a year, G o o g l e - f r e e and although the "conversations" experience.(Credit: Microsoft) view takes some getting used to, I've come to prefer Gmail for ONE page 29
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GETTING continued from page 26
rules make it abundantly clear that the service permits parody accounts, so long as users do not have "clear intent to deceive or confuse." "Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary or fan accounts," the parody policy begins. "Twitter provides a platform for its users to share and receive a wide range of ideas and content, and we greatly value and respect our users' expression...In order to avoid impersonation, an account's profile information should make it clear that the creator of the account is not actually the same person or entity as the subject of the parody/commentary." Not cut and dried For Twitter, which is still a small company, despite its tens of millions of users, situations involving the clear impersonation of celebrities or companies are surely the easiest and quickest to resolve. But what about the countless situations where things aren't so cut and dried? One example involves Denny's restaurants. As I wrote last week in a story about Denny's socialmedia efforts, its dinner menus, as a result of a misprint, mistakenly invite customers to visit the company's Twitter account, " twitter.com/dennys." But that ID actually belongs to a Taiwanese man named Dennys Hsieh.
While Denny's restaurants invite diners to visit twiter.com/dennys, the account is owned by a Taiwanese man. Had he not posted to the account in the last few days, he might have lost it due to inactivity. Now, however, the question of whether the restaurant chain can claim the account is up in the air.(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET) In an interview, Bill Ruby, Denny's vice president of sales and field marketing, said that the company had been in touch with Twitter and that, because Hsieh hadn't tweeted in more than six months, "They've essentially told us it's our domain." Indeed, Twitter's official policy governing accounts considers them " inactive" if they haven't "been logged into or updated in over six months" and states that "inactive accounts may be automatically removed from Twitter." And while Twitter did not make a spokesperson available for an interview for this story, a spokesperson did e-mail CNET last week acknowledging that, "after [six] months of inactivity we may be able to release accounts to another party." In the past, the company had considered nine months the inactivity threshold and had been known to be responsive to requests to take over such accounts. If Dennys wasn't Hsieh's first
name, the Denny's situation would be simple. But according to Laura Fitton, the author of "Twitter for Dummies," "This one is a hard call, because it's the guy's name...If it was a real trademark thing, they wouldn't have to wait the six months. Because it's the guy's real name, it's in a gray area." Contacted for my previous article about the Denny's situation, Hsieh responded after publication that the restaurant chain had never reached out to him about the account. He also said that he had stopped tweeting last July only because of a glitch in his RSS software that had resulted in his blog no longer automatically forwarding his posts to his Twitter account. Indeed, in the days following the publication of the Denny's article, Hsieh has resumed tweeting, meaning the ownership of @dennys is once again in a very gray area. Denny's may well find itself having to stick to its other two Twitter accounts, @DennysGrandSlam and @DennysAllnightr. Due to high volume The vast majority of Twitter users' account ID support requests, however, likely have nothing to do with impersonation or trademark infringement. Rather, they are surely almost all related to someone seeing that what would be a great ID for them is sitting inactive, just
begging to be reassigned. However, despite the fact that Twitter's policy is that accounts may be removed after six months of inactivity, the company states rather sternly that, "We are not releasing inactive accounts on an individual basis at this time unless in cases of Terms of Service violations." Instead, the company notes that it "is currently working on bulkreleasing all inactive user names," a procedure that would free up registered IDs that have been left unused in much the same way that expired URLs can eventually become available. Fitton said that she has heard that Twitter hoped to complete this bulk-releasing project early this year but that, "unfortunately, they haven't been able to do that yet." So does that mean that there's no way to retrieve an inactive ID? Hardly, said Fitton. The best thing to do, she explained, is to try to reach out to the owner of the account and politely ask if there's any way they would be willing to turn over the ID to you. It may, of course, be difficult to figure out who such a person is, since there's no way to direct message a Twitter user unless they're following you and because someone who has abandoned an account may well never become aware of someone sending them a so-called @ message. But by
Googling their name, or messaging some of their followers, it may be possible to figure out another way to find them. For example, I used Facebook to find Hsieh, since that service allows any user to send a message to any other. But Denny's apparently didn't try such an approach in its attempts to claim twitter.com/dennys, at least as far as Hsieh can recall. Ultimately, unless it's a case of impersonation or trademark infringement, Twitter users who want to get their hands on someone else's ID may well have to wait for the company to come up with its automated process and for the account they want to be inactive for six months or more. Until then, short of reaching an accommodation with the account owner, there is probably little that can be done. But what about a situation where the owner of the inactive account wants to hand it over to the rightful owner? Jeff Probst, I have something for you. All you have to do is get in touch. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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ONE continued from page 27
Bing's iPhone app was very useful, with voice-activated search and precise driving directions that came in very handy in Lake Tahoe. The maps part of that application also has nice filters for searching for different kinds of restaurants and shops in a given area. I'd have to say I preferred the Google Maps aesthetic, but Bing Maps definitely got the job done. Everything else Because of the controversy surrounding the privacy options on Google Buzz after its launch, I had no choice but to break my pledge for professional reasons to stay on top of that experience. But as my Buzz followers (and Facebook friends) are aware, I'm not a big updater of social-media services in general and wouldn't have missed Buzz otherwise. I completely and totally forgot that I was using Google Calendar synced with my iPhone and desktop iCal application until I was writing this story, so go ahead and ding me for that. Avoiding Microsoft Entourage--
quite possibly the worst Mac email/calendar client ever invented and the only one supported by our IT department-is definitely worth it. YouTube was hard to dismiss. There's simply no other online video service with the breadth and depth of what is available on YouTube, and I was forced to pass on undoubtedly hilarious (yet probably fleeting) links sent to me by friends. Another difficult separation was from Google Reader: the Web-based alternatives I tried were much more buggy and confusing, although NetNewsWire's desktop application worked very well. Google Docs was another service that I missed, but only because I had already uploaded so much data into that service for wedding planning and real-estate documentation. Several alternatives exist (most notably Microsoft Office Live Workspace) if I was planning to make this a long experiment, but I was able to get around it by forwarding crucial documents to
my Yahoo Mail before the selfimposed ban went into place. But one look at Google's product list shows just how many services I never use, such as Blogger, Picasa, Google Product Search, Knol, and countless others. I have registered accounts with some of those services just to see what they are all about, but don't actively use them. Competition really is a click away There are really no excuses for lamenting Google's reach across the Internet: if you don't want to use their services, you are rarely required to do so and you won't miss all that much by going with alternatives. Google has actually made this one of its calling cards. It reminds regulators and foes alike that "competition is a click away" when forced to defend its amazing growth over the past several years. And through projects like the Data Liberation Front, Google has made it a priority to give its users ways to
walk away from its products with their data intact. That is, if you're a regular person. Advertisers who wish to be online have little choice but to dance with Google and its immense reach. And that's what may one day trip up the company, assuming its hold on online advertising continues to strengthen. But otherwise, a Google-free life is quite attainable. Still, if your objection to using Google's services is that the company stores too much data on your online habits, don't be fooled into thinking that other Internet companies aren't doing the same thing. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Don't Bring Laptops to Class or Else [Practical Science] by Jesus Diaz (Gizmodo) Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:49:00 AM
Some people may ask why a physics professor used liquid nitrogen to freeze and shatter a laptop against the floor, just to tell students that laptops were prohibited in class. Personally, I think that's cool, but I have another question: What is Dr. Egon Spengler doing working as a physics professor at the University of Oklahoma?
Amazon Has To Pay Microsoft To Use Linux? by Mike Masnick (Techdirt)
usual FUD. Last year was the first time the issue ever actually showed up in a lawsuit, when Every few years, Microsoft tries Microsoft sued TomTom, but for to convince the world that Linux the most part, it's still not clear violates its patents. Usually the what about Linux infringes on company gives some arbitrary Microsoft patents. Still, that number of patents. However, doesn't mean Microsoft can't use when asked to show proof, the such FUD to get others to pay company goes quiet. It's the up. The latest is that Amazon Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:31:46 AM
and Microsoft have done a patent cross-licensing deal. These sorts of "we won't sue you, if you don't sue us" deals are pretty common in the tech world, and hardly noteworthy, other than the fact that apparently some of the patents Amazon are getting protected against being sued over -- concern how it uses Linux:
The deal covers both Amazon's Kindle product as well as the company's use of Linux-based servers. Even though it's a straight cross-licensing deal, it doesn't sound like any money changed hands, Amazon still had to pay cash to Microsoft, on top of effectively paying more by licensing its own patents. It does
seem pretty problematic, doesn't it, when a company has to "pay" Microsoft (whether in cash or via licenses to its own patents) just to use Linux? Perhaps it's time to redefine the "Microsoft tax." Permalink| Comments| Email This Story
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As Cars Get More Complicated, Maybe Open Source Is The Way by Dennis Yang (Techdirt) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:30:56 AM
Back in 1999, a well-circulated false press release made the rounds, supposedly written in response to Bill Gates' jab at the auto industry at COMDEX that year. The memo joked: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics: 1. For no reason at all, your car would crash twice a day. Of course, fast forward 10 years, and this is no longer really a joke anymore. Cars are now more complicated than ever, and now computers play a crucial part in the safe and efficient operation of modern automobiles. Today's premium vehicles probably contain close to 100 million lines of software code. That fact, coupled with the recent massive Toyota recall, seems to have spurred Slate's Farhad Manjoo to ask " Should we be worried that our cars are controlled by software?" Perhaps if you're really into worrying for the sake of worrying, sure, I suppose the increasing complexity of the software in cars seems like a good reason to don a tinfoil hat. Certainly, compared to cars a quarter century ago, there's a huge amount of new technology between you and the road. But,
cars are also safer and more efficient than ever before. While it's true that the software in cars may have bugs, that's really nothing new to be that concerned about -- car manufacturers issue recalls and maintenance updates all of the time to deal with not just software bugs, but mechanical problems as well. In the future, regular software updates may replace oil changes as regular maintenance for cars. But, the biggest Toyota recalls this year were still mechanical in nature: the floor mats and gas pedals, neither of which are remotely affected by any software in the car. Finally, as Manjoo points out, driver error is
still the most common cause of accidents, so until we remove the human element from the driving equation (along with all of the driving distractions), recalled cars are really nothing to get worked up about. That said, Michael A. Spiegel over at the Software Freedom Law Center makes an interesting point about this situation: If Toyota truly wanted to repair its public image and reputation for quality, it would make its source code available to anyone interested, not just a single government regulator. The public is far more likely to discover bugs and suggest improvements than a relatively
small number of overworked and potentially inexperienced government employees. This is a intriguing proposition for a number of reasons. By releasing its software to the open source community, they could become key participants in the growing open source car ecosystem. By doing so, they could potentially benefit from the collective intelligence of that community looking at their code. Sure, Toyota may scoff at sharing what they consider to be proprietary IP with potential competitors, but in this case, Toyota could stand to gain more than it would potentially be giving away. After all, while software definitely is playing a critical part in automotive systems, by itself, it is not the selling point of a car. Even the e-voting industry is coming around to open source, after balking at the idea for years. For a variety of reasons, the automobile industry seems ripe for the exploration of new models right now. Programs like CityCarShare and ZipCar could be seen as "Automobiles As A Service" -- so maybe we'll start to see a Red Hat-like automobile company emerge in the near future. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story
It's February 23rd, do you know where your Spring Design Alex is? by Tim Stevens (Engadget) Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:44:00 AM
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it looks like the lovely Spring Design Alex has quietly missed its ship date. Back at CES the word was Febuary 22nd and, after spending a little quality time with the thing, we've been counting the days. Here we are on February 23rd and the only thing up for sale at the Spring Design website is a "coming soon" note, and we already have more of those than we know what to do with. Even more discouraging, the Borders site is still listing only Sony Readers up for sale. We've reached out to Spring Design to see what's up, so hang onto your pulp until we get a response. [Thanks, Matth채us] It's February 23rd, do you know where your Spring Design Alex is? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Spring Design| Email this| Comments
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TextFlow works with Box to solve its big weakness (CNET News.com) Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:00:00 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Here's a useful partnership: take a company that lets people compare and selectively combine multiple versions of a Microsoft Word document ( TextFlow), and put it together with a company that hosts documents and has built-in communication tools ( Box.net). That's the news from these two, which on Tuesday are taking the wraps off an OpenBox integration that lets Box users use Nordic River's TextFlow technology right inside their storage folders. The partnership solves one big problem, and that's wrangling multiple versions of a file. Instead of the onus being on one editor to herd them together by e -mail, they can just have each user edit a single copy stored on Box. Those users can then save the file back as a version of the file, which an editor is able to
compare--at up to seven versions at a time, from a TextFlow page within Box. Box.net users are getting a new option to merge multiple versions of a Word document from within the Box interface using TextFlow.(Credit: Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET) Another benefit of having Box handle the storage is that
TextFlow can now save charts and images from within documents. Previously, these were stripped out in the TextFlow conversion. Users can even move them around within the document, just as if they were in Word. This has one big effect on work flow, specifically the bit at the end, which is where TextFlow's system fell apart. Sure, it was
great to speed up the edit process, but at the end, you were stuck adding these document elements back in from a previous copy. According to Nordic River CEO Tomer Shalit, who spoke with CNET last week, this same kind of functionality, which includes the images and charts within documents, will eventually trickle down into TextFlow
Rocket House, Or What We Get When We Privatize the Space Program [Space] by Mark Wilson (Gizmodo) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:08:05 AM
"It's like, you know man, you
know. People like us were meant for something important, something different than this whole fucked up society. Oh, that? That's the rocket facade left
over from our last house party." [ flickr/ sfist via io9]
proper. The only other road bump--and one Shalit anticipates will be fixed later on--is that Box's system does not allow users to select multiple files and compare them--only multiple versions of the same file. This is the exact opposite of how people use TextFlow on its own, which is where some confusion may initially crop up with long-term TextFlow users. The new feature is free to use-at least on the TextFlow side. Users, however, will have to be paid Box business users to use it, since it takes advantage of Box's file-versioning system, which is available only with the higherend plans. To that end, this will be the first tool for Box users to compare different versions of the same file from within the service. Previously, users would have had to get local copies of each of these, then run them through TextFlow or CompareMyDocs. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Send Coupons to Almost Any Cell Phone With MixMobi by Samuel Axon (Mashable!) Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:50:46 PM
This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. Name: MixMobi Quick Pitch: MixMobi provides easy, fast, realtime, graphics-rich promotions for any social media, SMS or email campaign, reaching all web-enabled mobiles. Genius Idea: MixMobi lets you create graphical coupons then send them out to your customers’ mobile phones. You don’t need any programming or advanced design skills to make it happen. Coupons can be shared through SMS text messages, Facebook, and Twitter. Each promotion also has a web address that you can direct people to, so you can send out the deals via e-mails and instant messages too. While most competing services only work for customers with smartphones — still less than
month of the plan that covers two offers and 5,000 hits if you want to try the service out. Sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark BizSpark is a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as 20% of the market— MixMobi connecting you to a nationwide uses web-based coupons that can n e t w o r k o f i n v e s t o r s a n d be viewed by any phone with a incubators. There are no upfront web browser. costs, so if your business is Another plus: No one needs to privately owned, less than three install any software on his or her years old, and generates less than handset, and no sign-up is U . S . $ 1 m i l l i o n i n a n n u a l required to view the coupons. revenue, you can sign up today. That makes promotion much Entrepreneurs can take easier. Once your coupons are advantage of the Azure Services out there, MixMobi offers platform for their website analytics tools to track how hosting and storage needs. much attention they’re getting. Microsoft recently announced MixMobi charges a monthly fee the“new CloudApp()” contest– d e t e r m i n e d b y h o w m a n y use the Azure Services Platform promotions you plan to run at for hosting your .NET or PHP once and how many hits you app, and you could be the lucky expect your promotions to winner of a USD 5000* ( please receive. It’s $19.95 per month see website for official rules and for 2 concurrent offers and 5,000 g u i d e l i n e s ) . ” R e v i e w s : hits, $34.95 for 4 offers and F a c e b o o k , P H P , T w i t t e r 10,000 hits, $79.95 for 10 offers Tags: coupons, mixmobi, and 25,000 hits, and $349 for 40 promotions, social media, sparkoffers and 500,000 hits. of-genius, startups You can sign up for a free
Bad Publicity, BBB Complaints Causing AT&T To Reconsider Metered Broadband? by Mike Masnick (Techdirt)
A year ago, after a ton of bad publicity around metered billing, Time Warner Cable backed off In the US, there's been an plans to implement it on a ongoing battle by a bunch of widespread basis, and now it ISPs who want to implement l o o k s l i k e A T & T m a y b e metered broadband as a way to recognizing the same thing. increase revenue. While they've AT&T, of course, has been been spinning this as getting running a few small scale tests, heavy users to "pay their fair and it's been pissing people off share" you'll note they never so much that they've been promote any plans to drop prices c o m p l a i n i n g t o t h e B e t t e r for the person who barely uses Business Bureau, which isn't their internet connection. But making AT&T happy. For now, one thing that has become pretty the company has stopped signing c l e a r i s t h a t c o n s u m e r s new customers up for the a b s o l u t e l y h a t e m e t e r e d metered trials and has said that broadband -- not just because it the "experiment" will end on can increase fees, but because it April 1. Whether or not the changes the way they use the experiment ending means no internet. Rather than being free more metered broadband... or to just use it and experiment, m o r e w i d e s p r e a d m e t e r e d suddenly you need to keep track broadband, remains to be seen. of all that usage (without any But large number of complaints kind of reliable meter). This being filed should make AT&T introduces amazingly annoying think twice before deciding to transaction costs that lead people roll this out further. to just not want to use the Permalink| Comments| Email internet as much -- decreasing This Story the value of the connection, even as the price is increasing. Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:20:00 PM
Big Guns Show Up at Premiere of 'Cop Out' (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:00:00 AM
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan
flash their NYPD badges in 'Cop Out' and premiered the film amongst the finest in the Big Apple on Monday night.
Bruce recalled, "We just had fun on the set," and talked about working with funnyman Tracy. Tracy reciprocated, having
nothing but rave reviews of that I've ever done in my career working with the veteran actor. and it was with Bruce Willis," "Just to be able to star in a big said an awed Tracy. action movie, the biggest thing
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Evernote Integrates with Lexmark Printers to Sync Your Scans by Ben Parr (Mashable!) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:00:32 AM
Tech Company Lobbying Group Explains The Importance Of Letting Countries Make Their Own Policy Decisions On Copyright by Mike Masnick (Techdirt) Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:19:00 PM
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represents a variety of big tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, eBay, Oracle and others, has come on strong lately as a defender against the ridiculous and unnecessary expansion of overly aggressive copyright law. This is good news -- seeing as some of the companies it represents haven't always seemed so enlightened on the subject. I was lucky to meet with some CCIA folks about a month ago, and they definitely seemed to recognize that a more draconian copyright policy actually does much more harm than good to the companies whose interests they represent. You may recall that it was the
CCIA, a few months back, that put out the marvelous report that used the same exact methodology that the big procopyright lobbyists have used to claim the "size" of the economic impact on copyright, to point out that the economic impact of fair use trumps that by a wide margin. So it's great -- if not surprising -to see that the CCIA's filing to the USTR for the Special 301 report(pdf) actually matches much of my own filing, though from a more legalistic perspective (and focuses on Canada). The key points are the same, however: the Constitutional basis for copyright has never been that "more is better," but that we should be seeking the most effective ways to "promote the progress." Second, it notes that countries should be free to make
Social note-taking service Evernote may be available on the desktop and six different mobile platforms including the iPhone, but now it can boast its presence on a unique piece of hardware: your printer. their own policy decisions on Starting today, Lexmark’s copyright law, rather than being SmartSolution Interact, Prestige, pressured into them by the US. and Platinum printers will come It further notes that the USTR with the ability to automatically Special 301 process shouldn't be send and store your scans in your focused on legislative and policy Evernote account through a new issues, but merely enforcement Evernote SmartSolution app, a of the law. Unfortunately, it's modified version of its mobile gotten far away from that. app. It doesn’t even require a There were a ton of great filings computer to use. to the USTR that I've seen Lexmark’s SmartSolution line already, and hopefully the USTR of printer already comes with really does pay attention to those apps — about 20 of them to be beyond the usual crew of exact — that range from entertainment industry and MSNBC Headlines to Google p h a r m a c e u t i c a l i n d u s t r y Calendar. It’s an interesting line lobbyists, to recognize that this of touch screen printers that issue is a lot more complex than provides a lot of functionality. it has, at times, been treated in Now with the addition of the the past. Still, it's great to see a E v e r n o t e a p p , i t b e c o m e s g r o u p l i k e C C I A a d d i t s ridiculously easy to send your i m p o r t a n t v o i c e t o t h e scan into the cloud and access it discussion, too. from anyway. Evernote may Permalink| Comments| Email This Story
have surpassing 2 million users and be on a lot of platforms, but we wouldn’t have ever thought that they’d stick the app onto printers. This integration was probably inevitable though, especially as more and more devices gain app stores, and it’s a big partnership for the note-taking startup. It faces some tough competition from Microsoft’s OneNote software, so getting on these platforms is definitely vital to fueling its growth. Does having apps on a printer make you want to buy these printers? Would having an Evernote app on your printer make you want to use it more? Let us know what you think in the comments. Tags: evernote, Lexmark
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Your local park: Actually not that bad for the planet (CNET News.com)
by Stan Schroeder (Mashable!)
Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:46:00 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Amy Townsend-Small wants to set the record straight on her park maintenance emissions study.(Credit: Steve Zylius/UC Irvine) A report asserting that wellmaintained parks in the Irvine, Calif., area were technically polluting the environment has been amended and its official results have been re-released. The study led by Amy Townsend-Small, an Earth system science postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Irvine, originally reported last month that the amount of carbon emissions emitted from lawn-related maintenance was roughly four times the amount of carbon naturally collected and stored by the lawn itself. But that is not true. Due to an error in data in the study, the amount of emissions given off by the plethora of park
Smartphones in 2009: Symbian Dominates, iPhone, RIM and Android Rising Fast Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:38:20 AM
maintenance has actually been found to be similar to or greater than the amount of carbon naturally collected and store by the lawn itself. CNET News was contacted Friday by the media relations department of UC Irvine and made aware of the amended study. "The original version of this news release, distributed January 19, has been updated here to reflect the correction of a spreadsheet error in the scientific paper regarding carbon dioxide emissions during lawn
Research and advisory company Gartner has released their worldwide mobile phone sales report for 2009, showing a seemingly unchanged smartphone landscape, but with trends that paint a very different picture. Smartphones as a category grew fast in the last quarter of 2009, with 53.8 million units sold, a 41.1% increase compared to the maintenance. Please update your same period in 2008. Looking at stories accordingly," the e- individual platforms, itâ€™s obvious mailed statement said. that this growth came largely The rest of Townsend-Small's from iPhones and Android-based data, which can be found in the devices, as iPhone OS nearly original CNET News article(also d o u b l e d i t s m a r k e t s h a r e , corrected to reflect the new data) jumping from 8.2% in 2008 to is still accurate. 14.4% in 2009, while Android UC Irvine did not respond to a improved from meager 0.5% in request for further information 2008 to 3.9% in 2009. regarding the new carbon- Yes, Symbian is still on top, but emissions statistics. it dropped from 52.4% to 46.9% Five Filters featured article: market share, while its nearest Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: competitor, RIM, grew from PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, 16.6% to 19.9%. Another big Term Extraction. loser is Windows Mobile, which dropped from 11.8% to 8.7%
market share in 2009, and this trend will probably continue at least until we see the first Windows Phone 7 based devices. As far as the entire mobile market is concerned, worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 1.211 billion units in 2009, which is a 0.9 per cent decline compared to 2008. Top five mobile vendors lost some market share to other vendors, with their combined share dropping from 79.7 in 2008 to 75.3% in 2009. Their order, however, is unchanged: Nokia sits on top with 36.4% share, followed by Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Tags: android, apple, blackberry, iphone os, Nokia, RIM, smartphones, Symbian, trending
Battle of the Olympians! Who's Your Fave on Team USA!? (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:56:00 AM
It's a battle between Olympians! Apolo Ohno or Shani Davis? Johnny Weir or Evan Lysacek?
Shaun White or Scott Lago? Lindsey Vonn or Lindsey Jacobellis? Which member of
Team USA is your favorite?! Cast your vote!
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FCC: Cost is the Biggest Barrier to Broadband Adoption in the US by Stan Schroeder (Mashable!)
and cost are their biggest barriers for adopting broadband internet access. Finally, the Near Submitted at 2/23/2010 1:45:25 AM Converts make up 10 percent of FCC has a report on broadband the population, they’re relatively adoption in the US, based on a youthful, they have computers, survey of 5,005 Americans in but monthly access cost is the October and November 2009. barrier that prevents them from The report found that 78 percent adopting broadband internet. of adults are Internet users, and have a computer and/or don’t On March 17, the FCC is to 6 5 p e r c e n t o f a d u l t s a r e know how to use one, and cost of deliver a national plan that broadband adopters. It then c o m p u t e r a n d b r o a d b a n d should bring high speed internet divides users who haven’t got connection is also a big barrier. t o u s e r s t h a t d o n ’ t h a v e broadband into four groups. The Then there are the Digitally broadband access. According to Digitally Distant make up 10 Uncomfortable, who make up 7 these findings, lowering the cost p e r c e n t o f t h e g e n e r a l percent of the population; they of access will be their first population; this is the group that mostly have computers and the priority. simply doesn’t want to be online. resources for broadband access, Read the entire report here. The Digital Hopefuls make up 8 but they lack the skills. Lack of Image credit: iStockphoto, enotpercent of the population; they’d available infrastructure, low poloskun Reviews: iStockphoto like to be online but lack perception of the Internet’s Tags: broadband, fcc, internet resources to do so; many don’t relevance, low digital literacy
Did The UK Gov't Back Down On Three Strikes... Or Did It Just Change What It Called It? by Mike Masnick (Techdirt)
wordsmiths decided that "disconnection" is too harsh a word to describe the policy (even There were a smattering of if it's accurate), and are now reports that the UK gov't was going with "temporary account backing down on plans to suspension" (even though it does implement three strikes rules as mean you're disconnected from part of Peter Mandelson's Digital your account). So when a Economy Bill. That would be a petition came through asking the pretty big surprise, if true, as government not to disconnect kicking people off the internet those accused of file sharing, the b a s e d o n a c c u s a t i o n s ( n o t government had no problem convictions) had been the key saying "sure," even though it still thing Mandelson wanted after his supports temporary account little dinner with David Geffen suspension. And copyright last summer (after barely caring supporters accuse those in favor about this particular issue at all). of reform as playing word But, it appears that reality is that games? this is just UK politicians Permalink| Comments| Email playing games with words. This Story Apparently, the political Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:23:00 PM
Found Footage: Photoshop v1.0 recreated on iPhone by Chris Rawson (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))
mere two weeks of development. The application is not available on the iTunes Store; Adobe only created the app as a promo for Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:00:00 AM their 20th anniversary Photoshop F i l e d u n d e r : M u l t i m e d i a , celebration. The app is really iPhone, Graphic Design only valuable as a bit of T o c e l e b r a t e t h e 2 0 t h nostalgia anyway, as Adobe's anniversary of Photoshop, Adobe free iPhone app, Photoshop.com recently recreated Photoshop 1.0 Mobile, has far more features -- on the iPhone. Porting the than the Photoshop 1.0 app venerable application over to the demoed above, which only iPhone reportedly took Adobe a seems to perform global level
and RGB channel adjustments. Even though the app isn't available to the public and is of limited utility compared to more modern offerings, it was still pretty cool to see UI elements from Classic Mac OS running on the iPhone. Using the Mac startup chime when Photoshop 1.0 launches on the iPhone was a particularly inspired touch, even if they did use the modern chime rather than any of the three 1990-
era chimes. Now, if someone ever ports HyperCard over to the iPhone, I think my geek-meter might go right into overload. TUAW Found Footage: Photoshop v1.0 recreated on iPhone originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
Commuting by Sky in Canada (WSJ.com: The Daily Fix) Submitted at 2/22/2010 3:04:17 PM
A seaplane between Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, allows money-saving Canadian commuters to enjoy breathtaking views. WSJ’s Adam Thompson reports:
Tech/ Gadgets/ Entertainment/
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Microsoft and Amazon Sign Patent-Sharing Deal by Ben Parr (Mashable!) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:50:08 PM
In a new deal announced today, Microsoft and Amazon will gain access to each other’s portfolio of patents, including patents related to the Amazon Kindle and the shopping giant’s Linux server technology. The patent cross-license deal makes both companies closer allies, as they are now sharing some of their most important intellectual property, although Microsoft didn’t specify in its announcement exactly which product IPs it would share with Amazon. However, it is known that patents for the Amazon Kindle and the shopping giant’s Linux server technology are part of the patent-sharing deal. In addition to the sharing of intellectual property, Amazon has also agreed to pay Microsoft an undisclosed sum. Microsoft says that it has engaged in over 600 of these types of agreements,
Macworld 2010: iFixit.com although we bet the Amazon deal is one of the more high profile agreements. Details are limited at best, and we’re emailing both sides to get more information. At first glance though, it seems that Microsoft’s interested in bettering its cloud computing and server technology, something Amazon is famous for through Amazon Simple Storage Service ( Amazon S3). Its Kindle technology could also be useful to Microsoft in whatever tablet it may build to compete against the Apple iPad. Reviews: Apple Ipad, Linux Tags: amazon, microsoft
by Dave Caolo (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))
brand new Apple hardware. When I sat down with Kyle Weins from iFixit during Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:30:00 PM Macworld Expo, he revealed that F i l e d u n d e r : M a c w o r l d , who gets the privilege of the first H a r d w a r e , I n t e r v i e w s O n e teardown is determined by the website that must reside in nearly flip of a coin. He also talked every Machead's bookmarks about the site's history, current collection is iFixit. They provide offerings and of course the iPad. detailed, step-by-step repair You can watch the full interview guides (and parts) for nearly after the break. every Mac, iPod or iPhone fix TUAW Macworld 2010: y o u c a n t h i n k o f . T h e i r iFixit.com originally appeared on instructions are always clear and The Unofficial Apple Weblog thorough enough to make even (TUAW) on Mon, 22 Feb 2010 t h e m o s t d a u n t i n g r e p a i r 22:30:00 EST. Please see our possible. If you lack those terms for use of feeds. special tools, they've got those, Read| Permalink| Email this| too. Comments They're also known for being among the first to take apart
Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:00:00 AM
"American Idol"'s first live performance show airs tonight
when the 12 gals of the Top 24 perform a Top 10 hit from the Hot 100 chart on the "Idol" stage for the first time. Then the phone lines will be opened and America
by Doug Aamoth (CrunchGear) Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:30:23 AM
It’s beginning to look like Expensive Speed Day here at CrunchGear, what with the USB 3.0 products and now this solid state drive from SanDisk. The G3 SSD is a solid-state drive available in 60GB and 120GB capacities for around $230 and $400, respectively. All that dough will get you a drive that “opens files up to twice as fast as a 7,200 RPM HDD,” according to SanDisk. Read speeds reach up to 220 megabytes per second while write speeds top out at around 120 megabytes per second. The drive “can endure up to 80 teraytes of data written to it over its lifetime,” which is either a lot or a little depending upon what you’re planning to do with this will get its first chance to vote. to the end of their "Idol" dreams. drive. SanDisk G3 Solid State On Wednesday, the 12 guys will "American Idol" airs on FOX. D rive[SanDisk.com] perform, and then on Thursday, Press Release the results will be revealed and two girls and two guys will come
New Pics: 'American Idol''s Top 24 (ETonline - Breaking News)
SanDisk G3 solid state drive boasts speeds up to twice as fast as 7200 RPM drives
Tech/ Politics/ Sports/
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Macworld 2010: Interview with Roland Saekow of BearExtender n3
UConn gets much-needed win over No. 7 WVU
by David Winograd (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))
by Associated Press (ESPN.com)
your iPhone or a Bluetoothenabled iPod touch, you can click on this YouTube link. We apologize for the poor audio Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:30:00 PM sync. Filed under: Macworld, Video, TUAW Macworld 2010: Interviews At the TUAW booth Interview with Roland Saekow on the Macworld show floor the of BearExtender n3 originally other week, I was fortunate appeared on The Unofficial enough to interview Roland Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Saekow, the developer of the Mon, 22 Feb 2010 23:30:00 BearExtender n3, a product that Roland and BearExtender n3 general interest in the product. EST. Please see our terms for replaces your Airport card giving were nice enough to do a TUAW Roland has a fascinating story to use of feeds. any wireless network a much givaway that ended last week. tell, and you can see and hear Read| Permalink| Email this| wider wireless range. The best The contest garnered over 600 him tell it by clicking on the Comments part is that is sells for US $49.97, comments from entrants, a huge 'Read More' link to watch the about one third the price of its number, which speaks to the video it in Viddler. To see it on competition.
Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:15:18 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Top Performers West Virginia: D. Ebanks 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk Connecticut: S. Robinson 15 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Has American Thinker Saved the World from the AGW Hoax? (Little Green Footballs)
“Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s Recently I received several g r e e n h o u s e e f f e c t t h a t i s emails with links to an article at consistent with concerns over American Thinker by Gary radiative forcing of climate.” Thompson, claiming to have the Skeptical Science has a good “smoking gun” that disproves post on this, with graphs and global warming once and for all. everything: Have American That’s it. It’s over, Johnny. Time T h i n k e r d i s p r o v e n g l o b a l to fold up those weather stations w a r m i n g ? and go home. So what do we learn from the Except that one of the scientific A m e r i c a n T h i n k e r a r t i c l e . papers that Thompson thinks is a Thompson cites peer-reviewed paradigm-shattering disproof of papers but his analysis consists AGW is, in reality, exactly the of eyeballing graphs while opposite. The paper’s authors spurning the peer-reviewed data concluded: analysis. This approach leads to Submitted at 2/22/2010 12:20:51 PM
the opposite conclusion of the papers’ authors. I first encountered Harries 2001 when documenting the empirical evidence for an enhanced greenhouse effect. After reading the paper, I had many questions. Rather than let the gaps in my understanding lead me to think I knew more than the authors, I emailed my questions to the lead author John Harries, an approachable scientist who was forthcoming with prompt and detailed replies. The American Thinker article does not disprove the greenhouse effect. It does however provide further
evidence for the Dunning-Kruger effect. Another good read at Skeptical Science: The Dunning-Kruger effect and the climate debate. One of the best titles for a scientific paper has to be the Ig Nobel prize winning “ Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments”. The paper compares people’s skill levels to their own assessment of their abilities. In hindsight, the result seems self-evident. Unskilled people lack the skill to rate their own level of
competence. This leads to the unfortunate result that unskilled people rate themselves higher than more competent people. The phenonemon is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, named after the paper’s authors, and is often seen in the climate debate. There are many with a cursory understanding who believe they’re discovered fundamental flaws in climate science that have somehow been overlooked or ignored by climate scientists. Some take this a step further and believe they’re being deceived.
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Bipartisanship! by Jonathan Cohn (The New Republic - All Feed)
awards, as several states have already done. California, for example, limits pain and Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM suffering awards in malpractice Message from fivefilters.org: If to just $250,000 per case. you can, please donate to the full More often than not, Democrats -text RSS service so we can h a v e o p p o s e d m a l p r a c t i c e continue developing it. reform. They've pointed to Ever since President Barack studies questioning just how big Obama announced he'd be o f a n i m p a c t m a l p r a c t i c e having a bipartisan meeting to litigation has on overall health talk about health care reform, costs. They have also cited R e p u b l i c a n s h a v e b e e n evidence--fairly incontrovertibledenouncing it as a charade. He's -that most victims of medical not really interested in their e r r o r s n e v e r g e t a n y ideas, they say. And he doesn't compensation at all. As such, really want their support. Democrats have argued, capping But is the problem that Obama damages won't do a lot to reduce won't listen to the Republicans-- health care costs. What's worse, or that the Republicans won't it might discourage people with listen to Obama? One way to legitimate claims of malpractice answer that question is to watch from bringing legal action. what happens at Thursday's The parties' allegiance to special health â€œsummitâ€? meeting if interests has reinforced the discussion turns to medical political stalemate. Business malpractice reform. groups, which traditionally The issue is familiar to anybody support Republicans, have who follows health care policy promoted malpractice reform or, for that matter, anybody who because it's part of a broader has ever spoken to a doctor at campaign to rein in liability length. Republicans have long l a w s u i t s . ( S u c h l a w s u i t s said that frivolous malpractice frequently target corporations lawsuits make medical care more and result in large jury awards.) expensive, by forcing doctors to Trial lawyers, who traditionally s p e n d m o n e y o n l a w y e r s , support Democrats, have fought malpractice insurance and in malpractice reform for the same some cases large jury awards. In reason. (Trial lawyers are the addition, they say, physicians ones arguing and making a living who fear malpractice end up from such lawsuits.) practicing "defensive medicine," But there are ways to break the ordering up unnecessary tests impasse. While malpractice may and procedures that cost a lot of not be a major factor in rising money. The solution, according health care costs, the system is to the Republicans, is to cap jury clearly broken. It forces doctors
to operate under a cloud of suspicion, without necessarily punishing those physicians who are truly negligent. It encourages the use of tests and treatments that are frivolous, if not downright harmful. And it leaves the vast majority of people who need compensation for medical errors with no easy way to get it. The key is finding ways to fix the malpractice system so that it helps both physicians and the patients, rather than one at the expense of the other. And there are several promising possibilities for achieving that. One is to have doctors report medical errors to hospital administrators, who would then notify patients and begin negotiations. A version of this "sorry works" model is in place at the University of Michigan Health System, where it has reduced lawsuits, cut litigation costs and sped the resolution of cases. Another idea is to create a nofault system, similar to the way workers' compensation works, or to channel most malpractice cases through special "health courts" that would come before jury trials. (The Scandinavian countries and New Zealand have such systems in place.) One other proposal--perhaps the most intriguing--is to tie malpractice to quality incentives, by offering some sort of legal protection to physicians who demonstrate they have abided by accepted clinical guidelines. Not only might such
a scheme cut down on frivolous lawsuits. It might also improve the quality of care--which would, in theory, reduce the incidence of actual malpractice. The good news is that Obama doesn't need convincing on this front. Back in 2005, while he was still just a senator, he cosponsored (with Hillary Clinton) a bill that would have implemented a "sorry works" model nationally. It didn't become law, but Obama kept talking up malpractice reform. Last year, he instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to sponsor a series of demonstration projects around the country. Michelle Mello, a Harvard professor and leading expert in the field, says experimenting with the different models is precisely the right approach to take--because the data on the different reforms is still very sketchy. But, she adds, the experiments HHS has launched probably won't go far enough, because they are too limited. To really see which approach works, it's essential to get more data-and, whenever possible, to get data that covers an entire area (or areas) rather than one hospital or hospital network. Otherwise, it's difficult to tell whether a program has worked simply because of idiosyncratic factors like a particularly dedicated staff. This is where the Republicans could push the discussion forward. Both the House and
Senate health reform bills encourage more experimentation. But they don't set aside enough money. If Republicans wanted to do something to change malpractice, they could call for more funding of these programs-and, perhaps, more aggressive guidance about how to handle the results. Of course, that would mean achieving malpractice reform, a cause they've long championed, in a different manner than the Republicans have traditionally embraced. But that's the definition of compromise: Finding common ground with an adversary in order to achieve a goal you both share. Obama has shown he's willing to do that. Will the Republicans do the same? Jonathan Cohn is a senior editor for The New Republic. This item is a collaboration between TNR and Kaiser Health News. KHN is an editorially independent news service and is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. For more TNR, become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction. BIPARTISANSHIP! page 39
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Terrorists Without Borders by David Rohde (The New Republic - All Feed)
school in the town of Makeen, in South Waziristan. The Pakistani Taliban politely ushered my Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM Afghan Taliban guards, myself, Message from fivefilters.org: If and the Afghan journalist and you can, please donate to the full driver who had been kidnapped -text RSS service so we can with me, into a back room. There continue developing it. they fed us tea, rice, and bread Decoding the New Taliban: for dinner. Then they transported Insights from the Afghan Field us to an empty house nearby, Edited by Antonio Giustozzi which would serve as our new (Columbia University Press, 318 prison. pp., $40) Over the next several days, it My Life with the Taliban became clear to me that our By Abdul Salam Zaeef Afghan Taliban abductors had Edited by Alex Strick van not sold us to the Pakistani Linschoten and Felix Kuehn Taliban. Instead the two groups (Columbia University Press, 331 w e r e w o r k i n g s e a m l e s s l y pp., $29.95) together. When we departed After several hours of driving from the area six weeks later for down one of the two-lane asphalt u n k n o w n r e a s o n s , t h e r o a d s t h a t w i n d t h r o u g h coordination between the Afghan Pakistanâ€™s tribal areas, our T a l i b a n a n d t h e P a k i s t a n i kidnappers entered the territory Taliban was equally flawless. of Baitullah Mehsud, the widely T h r o u g h o u t o u r c a p t i v i t y , feared leader of the Pakistani Afghan and Pakistani militants Taliban. It was the middle of spoke in one voice of their desire March in 2009. We had feared to topple the American-backed that our kidnappers--Afghan governments in Afghanistan and Taliban who had abducted us Pakistan, and halt what they saw outside Kabul four months as the oppression of Muslims earlier--would sell us to the worldwide. Pakistani group. But instead our By itself, this anecdote is not car pulled into the parking lot of significant. But its central lessona large government building or -that the tribal areas of Pakistan
BIPARTISANSHIP! continued from page 38
serve as a fulcrum where Afghan, Pakistani, Arab, and Uzbek militants work together in a broadbased ideological movement--is affirmed by these two new books. Decoding the New Taliban is a valuable collection of scholarly and journalistic analyses, and My Life With the Taliban is the autobiography of a former senior Taliban official. Both books offer important clues that could help to answer some of the most pressing foreign policy questions now confronting the Obama administration. Who are the Taliban? And can they be defeated, or convinced to lay down their arms? In their very different ways, both books demonstrate that the Afghan Taliban have become significantly stronger, broader, and more sophisticated since they were toppled in 2001. They also suggest that the Afghan Taliban leadership is increasingly confident, as its military successes multiply and it continues to enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. And the books leave the reader to conclude that hardline Afghan Taliban are unlikely to agree to a negotiated peace
settlement, unless the surge of thirty thousand additional American troops in Afghanistan coincides with a serious military or political drive by the Pakistani government to pressure the Afghan Taliban on the Pakistani side of the border. While American troops are on their way to Afghanistan, however, Pakistani military officials are refusing to confront the Afghan Taliban inside their borders. For years, Pakistani officials have differentiated between Afghan and Pakistani Taliban groups, insisting that Afghan militants pose no threat to the Pakistani state. They also say that they hope to use the Afghan Taliban as proxies to prevent attempts by India to gain influence in Afghanistan after the Obama administration begins withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan in 2011. As long as they persist in this view, it appears that the Afghan Taliban will continue to enjoy a sanctuary in Pakistan. In January, Pakistani officials rebuffed a request from Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Pakistan launch a military offensive in North Waziristan.
"I'll Have the Veal." [Open Caption] by Richard Lawson (Gawker) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:08:27 AM
[ Angelina Jolie filming a new movie in Paris; image via Splash]
The area, which is dominated by an Afghan Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network, is one of the last major Taliban strongholds in the tribal area. These books suggest--as does as my own experience in captivity-that the Pakistani differentiation between the two Talibans is false. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban work closely together, strengthening and supporting each other in various ways. For this reason, the American surge in Afghanistan appears unlikely to achieve a military victory until the Pakistanis themselves move more aggressively against the Afghan Taliban. From its Pakistani base, the Haqqani network has carried out a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul, including a recent attack on the Central Bank that paralyzed the city. As long as the Haqqanis remain unchallenged in Pakistan, American and Afghan security forces will have a very hard time containing them--let alone defeating them. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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The Republican Obama by John B. Judis (The New Republic - All Feed)
had no easy task ahead of him. This year’s CPAC reminded me of the Christian Coalition Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:00:00 PM meetings of the early 1990s. It Message from fivefilters.org: If was carefully staged; the rhetoric you can, please donate to the full was generally inflammatory; the -text RSS service so we can participants, who numbered continue developing it. 10,000 or so, were passionate in Politicians who hold or aspire to their beliefs; and their beliefs high office have learned the hard oftentimes veered into the realm way (e.g Trent Lott speaking at of the preposterous. A good Strom Thurmond’s birthday many thought the best way to get party) that when you speak to a out of the current economic select group of loyalists in these slump was to drastically cut v i r a l t i m e s , y o u a r e a l s o government spending, abolish addressing a national audience, the income tax and the Federal including people who would like Reserve, and go back on the gold nothing better than to latch onto standard. Some wanted to close some gaffe or fringe conviction. the borders, get rid of the United So when Marco Rubio—the Nations, and impeach Obama. former Speaker of the Florida In the booths on the main floor, House of Representatives who is where many of the CPAC running for Senate against visitors mingled, one of the Governor Charlie Crist (and largest and most popular displays leading in the polls)—spoke to was from the John Birch Society, the annual Conservative Political which had been banished from A c t i o n C o n f e r e n c e i n the conservative mainstream by Washington last Thursday, he William F. Buckley Jr. three
decades ago, for the insistence of its founder, Robert Welch, that Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist. In its booth, the Birch Society was selling CDs of Welch’s speeches. How was someone with dreams of becoming a U.S. senator in a state larded with independents and moderates supposed to cope with this assemblage? Well, precisely as Rubio did. His speech to the group was a masterpiece of political positioning. He assiduously avoided endorsing any of the notions of the crackpot right. Nothing about abolishing the Fed. He was against “cap-andtrade,” but did not brand global warming a hoax. He also didn’t criticize Obama himself. In fact, he didn’t mention Obama’s name. Yet, he had the audience on its feet, and for the remainder of the three-day event, it cheered lustily whenever a speaker mentioned his name.
His trick consisted partly of echoing the great themes of conservative America: opposition to big government, support for free enterprise, a determination to defeat “radical Islam and the threat it poses through terror.” But he breathed life into these weather-beaten notions by infusing them with his own life story, which proved their worthiness and their applicability. Unlike many a prominent Republican, Rubio could not be said to have been born with a silver or even stainless steel spoon. The son of Cuban exiles—his father worked as a bartender and mother as a maid—Rubio first attended college on a football scholarship. His is the classic story of the American dream fulfilled. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Video: Carl Lewis Hearts Curling (WSJ.com: The Daily Fix) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:45:57 PM
This is not a piece of information we expected to learn when we first arrived in Vancouver: Olympic track legend Carl Lewis has fallen in love with curling. Geoffrey A. Fowler caught up with him to find out why.
Murtha's Widow Won't Run for His U.S. House Seat (Newsmax - Politics) Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:54:12 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. The wife of the late Rep. John Murtha will not run to finish his
term in the western Pennsylvania House seat that he held nearly four decades. The Murtha for Congress Committee said in an e-mail Monday that Joyce Murtha feels it's "too soon after his death to be on the campaign trail." A special election to fill the
vacancy will be held as part of Pennsylvania's May 18 primary. Murtha died Feb. 8 following complications from gallbladder surgery. Democrats running include former Pennsylvania treasurer Barbara Hafer, former lieutenant governor Mark Singel and
Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic Jr. Prospective Republican candidates include William Russell, who unsuccessfully challenged Murtha in 2008, and Tim Burns, a businessman from the town of Eighty Four. © Copyright 2010 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Texas Tea Parties Hold 'Virtual' Debate in Gov's Race
Is Jive Software Taking Steps Toward An IPO?
(Newsmax - Politics)
by Alex Williams (ReadWriteWeb)
Submitted at 2/22/2010 12:11:11 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. In yet another sign the conservative grass-roots movement is moving further into the political arena, a coalition of tea party-type organizations called The Common Sense Texans Network is planning a "virtual debate" among Democrats and Republicans vying to become the Lone Star state's next governor. "We're clearly looking to affect legislative action by determining who gets to make the decisions in state and federal positions," Greg Holloway, co-founder of Common Sense Texans Network, tells Newsmax. "What we're all about is trying to get conservatives elected â€Ś [and] the best way to do that is to meet with the candidates and see who has those values within their own belief systems." The virtual debate poses videotaped responses to 10 questions submitted by members
of the Texas grassrootsconservative movement. The questions touch on tax policy, border-control efforts, trimming the state's budget, and the privatizing of activities currently managed by the state bureaucracy. Holloway, who also serves as a director for Austin Tea Party Patriots, says that over the next three days the video responses of each candidate will be posted on YouTube. The "virtual debate" will also air on the group's Web site, CommonSenseTexans.net. The Common Sense Texans Network is a coalition of tea party activists and grass-roots conservatives from throughout Texas. The Texas primary will be held on Tuesday, March 2. Leading Republican candidates include incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Debra Medina, a Wharton County GOP chairperson and business executive who has mounted a surprisingly effective upstart candidacy. A recent Rasmussen poll showed Perry leading Hutchison 44 percent to 29 percent, with
Medina at 16 percent. Medina, who stubbed her toe on the Glenn Beck show by suggesting she might believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories, could grab enough votes to keep Perry from winning 50 percent of the vote. That would trigger a runoff election. The main Democratic challengers are former Houston Mayor Bill White and Palestinian-American Farouk Shami, a prominent Houstonarea business executive. White is thought to be the clear frontrunner. "We've gotten some really interesting answers," Holloway tells Newsmax. "And I think they've been honest answers by the candidates. The candidates show themselves to be real people, and very interested in making people's lives better in Texas. It just so happens they have different ways of trying to do it." ÂŠ Newsmax. All rights reserved. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:45:42 PM
If there is any doubt about the social Web moving into the enterprise, then the news today from Jive Software has to make even the hardest skeptics start to wonder. The Portland, Oregon company that has built its success on providing a social layer to the enterprise is pursuing a path that may lead it to a public offering. Fueled by venture capital, the company said today that it is looking for a new CEO. Sponsor Current CEO Dave Hersh is stepping aside from his role to become chairman of the Jive board. The interim CEO will be Tony Zingale, a Jive board member. Hersh has lead the company since 2001. He will lead the search effort for a new CEO. Zingale is an experienced CEO. He most recently lead Mercury Interactive, a company acquired for $5 billion. He was also CEO of Clarify, a CRM company. In a phone interview today, company executives said an IPO is a possibility. It's a move that makes sense. Jive is now competing with the largest
technology companies in the market. For instance, Jive has a Sharepoint integration with Microsoft. But the reality is the two companies are vying for the same accounts. The issue is size. Companies like Microsoft have huge sales channels. Jive does not have that kind of reach. An IPO would give Jive the resources to compete more effectively with the giants of the tech world. It's also a clear sign that the market is there for social software in the enterprise. Hersh said to us in an i nterview recently that there is a mad chase for all applications to be social. That's quite true. And Jive's dreams of an IPO are representative of that reality. Discuss
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CR Names Six New Top Pick Cars For 2010 by Press Room (Consumer Reports) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:59:59 AM
CR Names Six New Top Pick Cars For 2010 Mazda5, Cheverolet Traverse and Volkswagen GTI among the new additions YONKERS, NY — Consumer Reports names six new models to its annual Top Picks car list for 2010. Comprised of nine different car brands, this year’s list is the most diverse group of Top Picks in over a decade. Findings from Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue, including the new Top Picks, were announced today at a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) press conference in Washington, D.C.. The Mazda5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen GTI, and Chevrolet Traverse and Silverado join the Hyundai Elantra SE, Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius and Lexus LS460L as Consumer Reports’ selections for best models of the year based on performance, reliability, and safety. “The diversity of this year’s Top Picks reflect how competitive the industry has become,” said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ automotive editor. “Today’s car buyers have more choices than ever when looking for good allaround cars.” Consumer Reports’ Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories and must meet
stringent road test, reliability, and safety requirements. Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among the more than 280 vehicles Consumer Reports recently evaluated at its Auto Test Center; has average or better predicted reliability (based on the problems subscribers reported on more than 1.4 million vehicles in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey), and performed adequately in overall safety if tested by the government or insurance industry. In addition, each model must offer electronic stability control (ESC), a proven lifesaving safety feature as standard equipment or as a readily available option. All of this year’s Top Picks provide standard ESC and curtain air bags. In recent years, Toyota and Honda models have had their share of spots among Consumer Reports Top Picks list. But the automotive landscape continues to grow more competitive. This year, the Nissan Altima managed to dethrone the Honda Accord as the Top Pick for Family Sedan—making it the first time since 1998 that a Honda model was not selected. The Toyota Prius retains its position as the Top Pick for Green for the seventh consecutive year, while the Lexus LS460L returns as Consumer Reports pick for Best Overall vehicle. At the time of publication, sales of the Toyota
Highlander and RAV4 had been halted and currently Consumer Reports has suspended its recommendation for both vehicles removing them from contention in the Small and Family SUV category. “The competition is quite fierce, and often the difference between a Top Pick and a runner-up can be slim. We believe all of our Top Picks this year to be exceptional vehicles that excel in a number of areas,” Paul added. Consumer Reports’ testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web site. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process. CR buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers. Other reviewers base their evaluations on press cars that are hand-picked by the automakers. Here, by category, are the 2010 Top Picks. • SMALL SEDAN: Hyundai Elantra SE. The Elantra SE ($18,695) made the Top Picks list for the third time this year. It is a solid, all-around car that’s relatively comfortable, quiet, and roomy, and provides good fuel economy and plenty of features for the money. The SE comes with standard ESC, a critical
safety feature that’s absent on other small cars (including the lower-end Elantras).• FAMILY SEDAN: Nissan Altima. The Altima ($23,970 to $30,335) has been a Consumer Reports toprated family sedan for a couple of years, but lacked easily available ESC. A 2010 freshening made it better and improved gas mileage and for the first time provides standard ESC in all trim lines. It offers an appealing balance of comfort and performance, while getting some of the best fuel economy in its class: 26 mpg overall in fourcylinder models and 24 mpg with a V6. The cabin is roomy, well finished, and quiet. And the secure handling, comfortable ride, and spirited acceleration make the car enjoyable to drive.• SPORTY CAR: Volkswagen GTI. Freshened for 2010, the GTI ($27,504) is the sport version of the Volkswagen Golf (formerly called the Rabbit). The GTI is exhilarating to drive and easy to live with. It delivers the agile handling, spirited acceleration, and responsive steering of a true sports car, along with a decent ride, a wellfinished interior, and the cargocarrying practicality of a hatchback. Good fuel economy of 27 mpg overall is another plus, although premium fuel is required.• SMALL SUV: Subaru Forester. The Forester ($20,972 to $28,860) provides one of the most carlike driving experiences of any SUV. It
combines agile handling with the most comfortable ride in its class. Passengers are treated to a spacious cabin, with a roomy rear seat and excellent visibility. The 2.5X provides an impressive 22 mpg overall with an automatic, 24 mpg with a manual. And the turbocharged 2.5XT delivers effortless acceleration and 20 mpg, but it takes premium fuel. The 2.5X has had excellent reliability, while the 2.5XT’s is average.• BEST CAR OVERALL: Lexus LS 460L. The LS ($76,572) scored an outstanding 99 out of 100 in Consumer Reports road tests, making it the highest-rated vehicle. It provides a comfortable ride and luxurious driving environment, including a roomy, well-crafted and exceptionally quiet interior. It offers a plethora of electronic amenities, including an optional self-parking system. Yet, its controls are easy to use. Its efficient 380-hp V8 and eightspeed automatic transmission deliver smooth, brisk acceleration and a relatively good 21 mpg overall. All-wheel drive and a hybrid version are available.• FAMILY SUV: Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse ($39,920) stands out as an impressive overall package with a quiet, spacious cabin that can comfortably seat up to eight adults and leave room for cargo. NAMES page 46
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Automaker Report Cards: Honda and Subaru Lead, Hyundai Makes Strides, Chrysler Lags by Press Room (Consumer Reports) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:59:59 AM
Automaker Report Cards: Honda and Subaru Lead, Hyundai Makes Strides, Chrysler Lags YONKERS, NY — Honda and Subaru have earned class leader status for building the best allaround vehicles for American drivers, according to the Automaker Report Cards published in Consumer Reports’ 2010 Annual Auto Issue. This is the fourth consecutive year that Honda has topped CR’s list. At the opposite end of the annual ranking is Chrysler, which fared even worse than last year. However, Chrysler had one recommended vehicle this year, the Ram pickup, compared to no recommended vehicles last year. Tied with an overall score of 77 out of 100 points, Honda and Subaru were followed by Toyota (74) (Recommendations for eight recalled Toyota models were temporarily suspended), Hyundai (73) and Nissan and Volkswagen tied at (72) in overall score. Although the best vehicles overall are being built by Honda and Subaru, South Korean carmaker Hyundai, and its subsidiary, Kia, has shown the most dramatic improvement, jumping to fourth place from ninth last year.
The full report, “Rating the carmakers” is in the Annual Auto Issue, which goes on sale March 2. It is also available to s u b s c r i b e r s a t www.ConsumerReports.org. The overall score for each automaker is based on the average of its vehicles’ overall scores in Consumer Reports’ road tests and their average predicted-reliability ratings from Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey. Manufacturers received a report card only if five or more of their vehicles were tested. Honda continues to make many of the best all-around vehicles. Overall, its Honda and Acura models, are the most reliable vehicles in CR’s predictedreliability ratings. The most recent models from Honda, however, have not shown the same dedication to interior quality and fuel economy that earlier models did. Despite its outstanding reliability, CR doesn’t recommend the new Insight because of subpar emergency handling and a compromised rear seat. The redesigned 2010 Legacy sedan and Outback wagon raised Subaru’s overall test score from 78 points to 81. That helped contribute to its tie with Honda in CR’s rankings. However, Consumer Reports no longer recommends the Subaru Impreza WRX because its subscribers
reported a relatively high number of problems, including transmission troubles, in the latest survey. Last year, CR recommended every Subaru model. Hyundai/Kia showed a dramatic improvement in CR’s report-card rankings, led by newer models such as the Hyundai Genesis and Elantra sedans, Santa Fe SUV, and Kia Optima sedan. Their reliability continues to improve with only the Kia Sedona minivan below average. Not all Asian models are reliable or good performers. Although many models from Honda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi are very reliable, several scored too low in CR’s tests to be Recommended. Toyota recently issued safety recalls and temporarily stopped sales of eight models because of rare occurrences of a sticking accelerator pedal. Consumer Reports has suspended its recommendations of those models, which caused Toyota’s percentage of recommended vehicles to drop off by almost half. The past year was especially rough for American automakers but there is some good news: reliability of some Ford models now rivals their competitors from Honda and Toyota. But in CR’s testing, Ford vehicles were not always among the best
performers. Although the Flex and Fusion scored highly, most models from Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln rate only midpack. Still, the freshened Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan are excellent overall packages that provide good performance and fuel economy. Consumer Reports recommends 75 percent of the Ford models that were tested, up from 70 percent last year. New models from GM now rank among the best in CR’s testing, although overall reliability, even among some of the new models, still lags behind most of the competition. GM models that score well in CR’s tests include the Buick Enclave and LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette, Equinox, Malibu, and Traverse, and GMC Acadia. Chrysler’s grades fell to the bottom of the class, and it is the only automaker to drop from last year in all measures. Most models from the manufacturer have noisy, inefficient, unrefined powertrains; subpar interiors; and poor visibility. The Ram 1500 pickup is the only Chrysler model on Consumer Reports’ Recommended list. If all that consumers cared about were performance, comfort, and safety, Mercedes and Volkswagen (including Audi) models would go to the head of the class. They have the highest average test scores because they
ride and handle especially well, have comfortable seats, and have relatively good fuel economy and acceleration. In recent years those vehicles have lagged in reliability. But that has begun to change, with several models from Mercedes and Volkswagen, as well as BMW, Saab, and Volvo, attaining average or better predicted reliability. The best vehicles often set the standard for their competitors to follow or improve upon. In the end, it’s the consumer who ends up the ultimate winner. With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-2341645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org. Subscribe now! S u b s c r i b e t o ConsumerReports.org for expert Ratings, buying advice and reliability on hundreds of AUTOMAKER page 45
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Seven Car Problems That Can Leave You Stranded and How to Prevent Them by Press Room (Consumer Reports) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:59:59 AM
Seven Car Problems That Can Leave You Stranded and How to Prevent Them YONKERS, NY — Most of us don’t like surprises when it comes to our cars, especially the kind that leave us stranded on the highway in bad weather. In the magazine’s Annual Auto Issue, the editors of Consumer Reports provide advice on how to avoid unwelcome surprises like blowouts, dead batteries, blown fuses, and broken drive belts, and suggest how to deal with them if they do happen. Titled “Unwelcome Surprises,” the complete story is available in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue, which goes on sale March 2, and online at www.ConsumerReports.org. U p d a t e d d a i l y , ConsumerReports.org is the goto site for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. • Dead Battery: This is often the culprit when the engine won’t turn over or start. All batteries will weaken over time. Certain activities can leave the battery undercharged, like infrequent use, a lot of short trips, or using multiple accessories when the headlights are on. Even
forgetting to turn off a light or listening to the radio with the engine off can drain the juice out of your battery, making it too weak to start when you need it. How to prevent it. Although the effect of a drained battery often shows up on cold mornings, it’s the high temperatures of summer that usually do the most damage. So a battery can fail at any time. Be sure to have the battery and alternator tested as part of an annual inspection.• Flat tire or blowout. Flats and blowouts can be caused by road hazards, a tire defect, or lack of care, and can cause you to lose control of the vehicle. If you experience either of these, Consumer Reports recommends taking a firm grip of the wheel and gently guiding the car off the road as soon as possible. How to prevent it. Many tire problems result from underinflated tires that overheat, due to low tire pressure. Keep all tires, including the spare, properly inflated to the automaker’s recommended pressure by checking them monthly. Also, inspect the tire sidewalls for bulges or cracks.• Fluid Leak. An undetected leak in a critical system can be devastating, possibly resulting in a blown engine or transmission or even brake failure. How to prevent it. Check the car’s fluid levels regularly, using your owner’s manual as a guide. Look
for leaks on the pavement where you park. Black drips are oil; green, orange, or yellow are coolant; and brown or reddish oily drips can be transmission or brake fluid. Any of those can spell trouble and warrant a trip to the mechanic to inspect your car.• Worn out wipers or no fluid. Many accidents are a result of poor visibility. Often drivers don’t realize their wipers are shot or their washer tank is empty until they need them most. And a torn wiper blade can allow the wiper arm to rub against the glass, possibly ruining the windshield. How to prevent it. Consumer Reports’ auto testers have found that wipers usually degrade in their first six months so it’s best to replace them twice a year. Wipers that have done well in Consumer Reports’ tests include the Valeo 600 Series, RainX Latitude, Anco 32 Series, and Michelin RainForce. Stash spare wiper blades and a gallon of nonfreezing washer fluid in the trunk.• Blown fuse. When a fuse goes, it can disable a critical electrical system, such as the headlights, defroster, or antilock brake system, any of which could lead to an accident. What to do. You can’t prevent an electrical problem, but a blown fuse should be the first thing you check if one happens. Consumer Reports recommends carrying a selection of spare fuses and a
fuse puller in the car. Fuse kits range from $5 to $20 and can be purchased at auto parts stores. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure the fuses you buy are the correct amp rating and size. If the same fuse blows repeatedly, have a mechanic inspect the system.• Broken drive belt. It can disable the car’s water pump or alternator, leading to engine overheating and battery failure. And when it comes to maintenance, belts are easy to forget. How to prevent it. Consumer Reports advises periodic checks under the hood. If a belt has cracks or the rubber is fraying or feels brittle, it should be replaced. If there’s a lot of slack in the belt, the underside is shiny, or you hear squealing while driving, it should be adjusted or repaired. Most drive belts should be replaced after about 60,000 miles.• Locked out. We’ve all done it. At best, it’s a minor annoyance; at worse, it’s a serious problem when you’re in an unsafe environment. How to prevent it. Some carmakers provide a valet key or a plastic key for emergency use. If your spare key won’t fit in your purse or wallet, consider a magnetic box for $5 to $10, which you can hide beneath the car or behind the license plate. Often a dealer can cut a door key for much less
than a locksmith would charge. Telematics services, such as GM’s OnStar, can unlock a car remotely.
With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-2341645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org. Subscribe now! S u b s c r i b e t o ConsumerReports.org for expert Ratings, buying advice and reliability on hundreds of products. Update your feed preferences
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2010 Consumer Reports automaker report cards by Consumer Reports Shopping Blog (Consumer Reports)
road tests and their average predicted-reliability ratings from Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey. Manufacturers received Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:14:59 AM a report card only if five or more 2 0 1 0 C o n s u m e r R e p o r t s of its vehicles were tested. automaker report cards Honda continues to make many Honda and Subaru have earned of the best all-around vehicles. class leader status for building Overall, its Honda and Acura the best all-around vehicles for models, are the most reliable American drivers, according to vehicles in CR’s predictedthe Automaker Report Cards reliability ratings. The most published in Consumer Reports’ recent models from Honda, 2010 Annual Auto Issue. This is however, have not shown the the fourth consecutive year that same dedication to interior Honda has topped CR’s list. At quality and fuel economy that the opposite end of the annual earlier models did. Despite its ranking is Chrysler, which fared outstanding reliability, CR even worse than last year. doesn’t recommend the new With an overall score of 77 out I n s i g h t b e c a u s e o f s u b p a r of 100 points, Honda and Subaru emergency handling and a were followed by Toyota (74) compromised rear seat. (Recommendations for eight The redesigned 2010 Legacy recalled Toyota models were sedan and Outback wagon raised temporarily suspended), Hyundai Subaru’s overall test score from (73) and Nissan and Volkswagen 78 points to 81. That helped tied at (72) in overall score. contribute to its tie with Honda Although the best vehicles in CR’s rankings. However, overall are being built by Honda Consumer Reports no longer and Subaru, South Korean recommends the Subaru Impreza carmaker Hyundai, and its W R X b e c a u s e s u b s c r i b e r s subsidiary, Kia, has shown the reported a relatively high number most dramatic improvement, o f p r o b l e m s , i n c l u d i n g jumping to fourth place from transmission troubles, in the ninth last year. latest survey. Last year, CR The overall score for each recommended every Subaru automaker is based on the model. average of its vehicles’ overall Hyundai/Kia showed a dramatic scores in Consumer Reports’ improvement in CR’s report-card
economy. New models from GM now rank among the best in CR’s testing, although overall reliability, even among some of the new models, still lags behind most of the competition. GM models that score well in CR’s tests include the Buick Enclave and LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette, Equinox, Malibu, and Traverse, and GMC Acadia. Chrysler’s grades fell to the bottom of the class, and it is the only automaker to drop from last year in all measures. Most rankings, led by newer models models from the manufacturer such as the Hyundai Genesis and have noisy, inefficient, unrefined Elantra sedans, Santa Fe SUV, powertrains; subpar interiors; and Kia Optima sedan. Their and poor visibility. The Ram reliability continues to improve 1500 pickup is the only Chrysler with only the Kia Sedona model on Consumer Reports’ minivan below average. Recommended list. The past year was especially Full details and rankings are rough for American automakers available in the article “ Rating but there is some good news: the carmakers.” reliability of some Ford models Visit the annual auto issue now rivals their competitors special section for quick access from Honda and Toyota. But in to the latest Ratings, articles, and CR’s testing, Ford vehicles were videos. Subscribe now! not always among the best S u b s c r i b e t o performers. Although the Flex ConsumerReports.org for expert and Fusion scored highly, most Ratings, buying advice and models from Ford, Mercury, and r e l i a b i l i t y o n h u n d r e d s o f Lincoln rate only midpack. Still, products. Update your feed the freshened Ford Fusion and preferences Mercury Milan are excellent overall packages that provide good performance and fuel
AUTOMAKER continued from page 43
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Street Fighter IV for iPhone Will Cost $10 From Next Month [IPhone Apps] by Kat Hannaford (Gizmodo) Submitted at 2/23/2010 7:15:22 AM
Street Fighter IV is almost here for the iPhone, and Capcom is tantalizingly drip-feeding us with details about the coolest thumbmasher to hit the App Store. It'll cost a rather large $9.99, and will have eight playable characters, including Ryu. Gamepro got an early hands-on with the iPhone and iPod Touch version, and while they haven't published their first impressions yet, they were able to confirm with Capcom that it's due to hit the App Store next month—and film the below video showing the game in action. [ Gamepro via Kotaku] Image credit: IGN
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NAMES continued from page 42
It provides a pleasant ride, communicative steering, and responsive handling. The tested model returned 16 mpg overall, which is respectable for its size. Rear visibility isn’t great, but small convex side mirrors and an optional rear-view camera help.• SPORT SEDAN: Infiniti G37. The G sedan ($37,225) tops this category for the fourth straight year. It is one of the highestrated sedans tested, with a score of 95 out of 100. It provides agile handling, blistering acceleration, a refined powertrain, a fairly comfortable ride, and a high-quality, luxurious interior. The G37 is as inviting to drive on a twisty road as it is on the highway. But compromises include a snug cabin and small trunk. Rearwheel drive is standard; allwheel drive is optional. Coupe and convertible versions are also available.• FAMILY HAULER: Mazda5. The Mazda5 microvan ($23,805) offers lots of practicality in a compact, affordable package. With three
rows of seats and sliding rear side doors, it combines the convenience of a minivan with the maneuverability and stingy fuel economy—24 mpg overall—of a wagon. The interior is airy, with good fit and finish. It’s fun to drive, with a nimble feel and a comfortable ride. The addition of standard ESC for 2010 improved its emergency handling. If you need more room, consider the Honda Odyssey minivan.• GREEN CAR: Toyota Prius. The Prius ($26,950) received a redesign for 2010 and leads this category for the seventh straight year. It’s still the most fuel-efficient car in Consumer Reports’ ratings, with 44 mpg overall. The Prius is a pleasant car to drive, with a roomy interior, a steady ride, hatchback versatility, and excellent reliability and crashtest results. The 2010 redesign also gave it a more solid feel and a dedicated EV mode that allows it to run longer on electric power at low speeds, an advantage in slow, congested traffic.•
PICKUP TRUCK: Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado 1500 ($37,235) returns to the top of the list after a year off. The crew -cab 4WD model is a wellrounded pickup with a roomy cabin, generous payload capacity, decent ride quality, available full-time 4WD, and, on higher-end models, very good interior fit and finish. The GMC Sierra is a twin of the Silverado. Reliability has been average.
the issue. With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-2341645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org. Subscribe now! S u b s c r i b e t o ConsumerReports.org for expert Ratings, buying advice and Consumer Reports’ Annual r e l i a b i l i t y o n h u n d r e d s o f Auto Issue goes on sale March 2 products. Update your feed wherever magazines are sold. preferences Free highlights from the issue will be available at www.ConsumerReports.org. Subscribers will be able to access all the stories and ratings from
Prison Break Video Game Breaks Loose Next Month by Danny Gallagher (TV Squad) Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:07:00 PM
Ever wanted to plot a prison break without having to endure the embarrassment of receiving a felony, disappointing your loved ones or showering with total strangers? Now you can! A new video game version of Fox's 'Prison Break', developed by Deep Silver and ZootFly Studios, is set to hit the store shelves next month and the official trailer has hit the web. Watch it when the guards aren't looking. Video Games| Prison Break: The Conspiracy| UK Debut Trailer XBox 360| Playstation 3| Nintendo Wii Filed under: Other Drama Shows, Video, Software, Reality -Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments
The madness continues: Paris airport installs full-body scanning machines by Nicholas Deleon (CrunchGear) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:00:42 AM
Another international airport has adopted those full-body scanners that have proven to be so
controversial. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle has installed the machine on a three-month trial basis. Concerned about being bombarded with millimeter waves? Don’t be, for the head of the country’s Direction Générale
de l’Aviation Civile—the French
equivalent of the Federal Aviation Authority—says they’re totally safe. Incidentally, the French seem to be cool with the idea of full-body scanner, if this Le Monde poll is to be believed, with 43 percent of
respondents saying they’re in favor of the scanners. Very exciting all around. Allez les bleus, etc.
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2010 Consumer Reports new-car best value list by Consumer Reports Shopping Blog (Consumer Reports) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:29:59 AM
2010 Consumer Reports newcar best value list The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius topped the list of new-car best values according to Consumer Reports’ 2010 Annual Auto Issue beating out more than 280 cars in eight categories. The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius each earned a value score of 2.08 and provided the best overall value despite being very different cars. Scores are expressed in relation to the value of the average vehicle (designated 1.00). A score of 2.00 represents twice the value of the average model. While the Prius IV ($26,750) is more expensive than the Honda Fit ($16,020) and has a higher cost per mile (47 cents vs. 42), the Prius performed notably better in Consumer Reports’ battery of road tests, earning a score of 80
cars Toyota Prius IV Dodge Avenger R/T (3.5, V6) Wagons/Minivans Hyundai Elantra Touring Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8) Small SUVs Subaru Forester 2.5x Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7) Midsized SUVs Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara versus the Fit’s 68. Both cars Upscale sedans Acura TSX (4have excellent reliability. cyl.) Dodge Charter R/T (V8) To determine which cars are the Luxury sedans Infiniti M35 best values, Consumer Reports (RWD) Mercedes-Benz S550 looked at a combination of S p o r t y c a r s M i n i C o o p e r p e r f o r m a n c e , u t i l i t y , a n d Chrysler Sebring Convertible r e l i a b i l i t y f o r t h e m o n e y , Limited considering total owner costs Full details and ratings are over the first five-years. available in the article “ Best The better a car performs in values.” Consumer Reports’ road tests Visit the annual auto issue and reliability Ratings and the special section for quick access less it costs to own, the greater to the latest Ratings, articles, and its value. videos. Subscribe now! Consumer Reports identified the S u b s c r i b e t o best and worst values among the ConsumerReports.org for expert hundreds of vehicles it has tested Ratings, buying advice and in eight vehicle categories: r e l i a b i l i t y o n h u n d r e d s o f B E S T V A L U E W O R S T products. Update your feed VALUE Small cars Honda Fit preferences Chevrolet Aveo5 1LT Family
Video review of the iRex DR800SG Digital eBook Reader by Mobile Tech Review by Tablet (BestTabletReview.com)
better of you. It will be a while before you get to play with it unplugged. It seems very quick Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:44:16 AM on page turns and the Message from fivefilters.org: If newspapers look pretty fantastic you can, please donate to the full o n i t . W h i l e y o u ’ r e n o t -text RSS service so we can completely screwed over if you continue developing it. lose the tiny stylus included As we reported last week, the (there are buttons you can use on iRex DR800SG Digital eBook the side), the iRex is dependent Reader has gone on sale at Best on the pen as an input device. Buy for $399. Talk about the M u c h l i k e o t h e r W a c o m iRex has been leaking out for products, it has to have the months now so its refreshing to Wacom pen to work. We didn’t finally see such a detailed video like the dull, tasteless gray look r e v i e w o n t h e e R e a d e r . of the eReader in press photos, MobileTechReview turned in but after seeing how it matches nearly 20 detailed minutes of the light gray of the EPD screen video review on the product, it looks much nicer when on. i n c l u d i n g s i z e a n d s c r e e n The direct Sony Daily Edition comparisons against the Nook, Reader comparison is very useful Kindle DX and Sony Daily to see the difference in screen Edition Reader. It’s certainly a clarity between the two similarly must watch if you’re even the -priced eReaders. slightest bit interested in the iRex Source: MobileTechReview eReader. Five Filters featured article: Some of the bits we found Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: interesting: it takes around 15 PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, hours to give the iRex a full Term Extraction. charge out of the box, so don’t let “new toy syndrome” get the
The Women of 'The Bachelor' Tell All About Rozlyn (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:05:00 AM
Last night on "The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love -- Women Tell All," they sure did! And ET
was there to find out what several of the bachelorettes had to say about this season's scandal involving ousted bachelorette Rozlyn Papa. "I was the one who saw Rozlyn
and the producer on the stairs," Jesse tells ET. "I wasn't feeling very good. I was outside with the girls -- the other ones were on their date -- so we are all sitting by the pool. I went in to mix
myself some vitamin C and the staircase is right by the bathroom. I heard something and I saw Rozlyn and the producer on the stairs kissing." Earlier this season, both Rozlyn
and "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison came to ET to tell their respective sides of the story.
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From the Tips Box: Faster Browsing, Local Businesses, and Wish Lists [From The Tips Box] by Whitson Gordon (Lifehacker) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:00:00 PM
Readers offer their best tips for getting the quickest browsing experience out of bookmarks, checking out local businesses using Google Maps, and setting up family wish lists for holidays and birthdays. Don't like the gallery layout? Click here to view everything on one page. About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasonsâ€”maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it inâ€”the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments, share it here, or email it to tips at lifehacker.com. Use IP Addresses in Bookmarks for Fast Browsing rovert.haegenschlatt shows us another way to shave a few milliseconds off our page loading time: When I bookmark commonly accessed websites such as Google, instead of typing the web address into the bookmark, I type in the IP address instead. This way, I can get around DNS
and makes my surfing a bit faster. To find the IP address of a specific site, you can use the ping command in your OS's command line program (i.e. ping google.com). You can also do it in the address bar of your browser if it supports custom search engines. Also note that this only works for the domain itself - maps.google.com's IP address will just take you to google.com, for example - also, some sites (like Lifehacker) just plain don't work for some reason or another (at least when I tried it this morning). Pretty useful for some bookmarks, though. Use Google Maps to Find Popular Local Businesses
soldstatic lets us know how to find local businesses in other communities: There's a google maps labs tool that puts a * in your search bar and searches for it. Kind of stupid, but what IS cool is that if you go to a residential neighborhood and search for *, you're likely to see some peoples' home based small businesses pop up. In Lenexa, KS my own small DJ biz popped up, but also a lady that does flowers who I'm going to contact about doing flowers for my own wedding. Local small and home based businesses usually cost less than the big names, and you usually get more too. I'm all about bang for the buck, and this is a neat
idea to find some other small businesses you may not have known you needed. keep in mind, neighborhoods are NOT equal. Certain areas likely won't have very many reputable businesses, small or big. Use Wiki Software to Organize Holiday Wish Lists dongola7 shares his family's holiday wish list method: We're now using a mediawiki installation to host all of the wish lists for my family. Over the holidays, I set up an individual wish list for each of my family members and seeded the lists with their e-mailed Christmas lists (that way they would have a good starting point). Each wish list belongs to
the "Wish List" category, making it easy to quickly find all of the pages. For the holidays, each family member kept their wish list up-to -date. The rest of us used the discussion pages to list what we had bought or discuss future gift ideas. The owner of the list knew not to look at the discussion until _after_ the holidays. This kept us organized and worked very well. We'll be using the same system year-round for birthdays and other minor holidays. Use Bubble Wrapped Mailers as a Laptop Sleeve Stan sends along some instructions for a super cheap laptop sleeve: I needed a laptop sleeve for my iBook, but didn't feel like waiting days for a glorified computer glove. Using a bubblemailer is a cheap replacement if you plan on carrying your laptop in a schoolbag. The bubble mailer itself is a sufficient sleeve for the duties of a backpack. I wouldn't want to drop-test it, but so far have no complaints. I also added a simple Apple logo to the front using transparent printer sheets. If you don't already own these, it might be cost-prohibitive (at least in the sense of using a bubble-mailer to protect a laptop.) I bought my FROM page 49
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Why The iPad May Save The Internet Fridge by Richard MacManus (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:00:00 AM
In part 1 of our interview with Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, we discussed the impact of the iPhone and other smartphones on the Internet of Things. In Part 2, we explore how the Apple iPad may also become a key device. Adam Greenfield thinks it may become the missing link between Internet-connected items in your home, for example the Internet fridge, and the Web. Sponsor In yesterday's post, we talked about how Asian cities are ahead of the curve in deployment of Internet of Things technologies. One reason is that quality of life can be more easily be delivered as a service in a country like Korea, because its citizens are more open to futuristic appliances like the Internet fridge. The counter-argument is that the Western market has never taken to the Internet fridge because of the poor utility of such appliances. The answer may be a device that acts as an effective
intermediary between the fridge and the Internet. The iPad could be that device. Adam Greenfield explained to me that the iPad may become the kind of device that people carry around with them everywhere inside the house, from the lounge to the bedroom to the kitchen. That got me to thinking. Imagine this use case: you're feeling peckish, so you wander into the kitchen for a snack. Your trusty iPad is tucked under your arm, as usual, and you place it on the kitchen bench while you open the fridge. You guiltily pick up a chocolate bar and you're about to close the fridge door when your iPad beeps. You glance at the iPad, where a diet management iPad app has automagically opened and is flashing the message: "Hey buddy, you've already had too many calories today - put that back!" Blushing, you return the chocolate bar into the fridge and pick up a punnet of strawberries instead. You glance back at your iPad, which now displays a large green check mark on its screen! There are many other scenarios I could describe, but the point is the iPad may well become a linking device between Internet-
awkwardness of attaching a tablet to and from a fridge. The iPad, however, will be used anywhere and everywhere by its users - inside and outside the house. So it's a natural device to use to connect (virtually, not physically) to your fridge - along with other appliances and connected appliances and objects o b j e c t s . This isn't restricted to inside the in your house, and the Web. Adam Greenfield explained that house either. We've written the mistake we've made with before about cars as a service. Internet fridges in the past was to This is where you, the consumer, think of them like a dumb can effectively subscribe to a car sensor. He remarked that it's not or a car provider. This is already the instrumentation that is happening with the American important in an Internet fridge - service Zipcars. Greenfield noted that cars will become a "network it's the network. The data will probably be r e s o u r c e " - a d d r e s s a b l e , collected by the fridge, in time scriptable, queryable, and so on. v i a R F I D - e n a b l e d f o o d And once again, the iPad may be packaging. But the fridge itself is the device which connects you to a clumsy interface to that data. cars and all of the data that is Early examples of Internet p u m p e d o u t b y c a r s a n d fridges have tried to be an c o n n e c t e d w e b s e r v i c e s . interface for the consumer. In the not too distant future, Although some have had tablet- household appliances and other like devices that could be real-world objects such as cars disconnected from the fridge and will be connected to the Internet. used on the kitchen bench, users The iPad may well become the have not found even those very connector to all of those things. compelling. There are a variety Discuss of reasons, including limited utility of fridge-tablets, poor user experience, and the sheer
FROM continued from page 48
pack in the clearance section of Staples. My Mac is an iBook, so I picked a representative apple. Choose yours accordingly. The last modification was the strip of Velcro. The section at the opening comes with a plastic strip protecting the sticky side. Over time the plastic strip begins to peel away and defaults to melding with the other side, turning your sleeve into a readyto-mail package. I don't want to mail my laptop, so I put Velcro on to replace the glue strip. That's it! I've been using it for a couple weeks so far and it's working great. I hear the occasional bubble pop once in a while, but for a total cost of three dollars it's worth it. Be sure to check out Stan's original blog post (linked above) for more tips on the sleeve, including putting stylish logos on the front.
Marc Jacobs Heels by ELLE.com (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:50:37 PM
Malina Joseph, Fashion Bookings Editor, in Marc Jacobs heels â€œThe upturned toe reminds of a
court jester. These bring back
memories of when I used to do theater." Photo: Kelly Stuart Follow ELLE on Twitter.
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Blazing the Path to Email Collaboration: Without all of the Buzz by Mike Kirkwood (ReadWriteWeb)
an account *anyone* can send you a message. • Spammers are the single Submitted at 2/22/2010 8:48:00 PM largest sender of email traffic. Today, email is nearly as • Email messages can include ubiquitous as the computer itself. file attachments that offer a way It offers a simple process that to send a file from one computer continuing to use email "as-is". Collaboration Happens: Did "just works" for most users and it to the user on another one. You Get my Email? has become a defacto By offering a cloud solution to communication process for Improving the flow of enterprises and individuals alike. attachments is part of email is deliver the files, YouSendIt was YouSendIt found its place in the that YouSendIt specializes in. also able to track whether the recipient downloaded the file. evolution of email by providing Large Files Needed a Home The company currently has has existing email users a solution to For both user experience, a common problem - sending technical infrastructure, and cost about 5 million "file batches" large files. Along the way, the reasons many email systems cap sent per month with over 10 company has leveraged its the size of attachments they million downloads. On average, position in cloud based solution allow to pass through the each file is being read by two to offer additional benefits to its g a t e w a y . L a r g e f i l e s a r e persons on the other side and the sender is able to see which ones. users. routinely blocked, causing email This audibility provides Sponsor users the challenge of figuring YouSendIt users a way to close What do we Know about Email out another way to get them the loop and gain a deeper A few things about using email across the network. insight to the status of their t h a t d e f i n e i t a s a One way to think about it, is that communications. c o m m u n i c a t i o n s t o o l . large file attachments "real" • Each message can be targeted home is not the inbox, but more Imagine the sales person, who to a person, a list of people, or an rightfully the filesystem (aka My s e n d s a b r o c h u r e t o t h e prospects, getting a report back entire group of people. Documents). And, increasingly • Individuals can respond to the these files are being stored in the for who opened it and who message, ignore it, or mark it as cloud rather than the filesystem. didn't. It automatically separates out the interested from the others Spam. A diagram describing how it • It's security and privacy model works shows how it creates a and gives an opportunity to that starts as opt-out, rather than new channel for connecting the target the next message. op-in. Meaning that if you get u s e r t o t h e i r f i l e , w h i l e Email is a social application that
has it's own rules and nuances Google reminded the world recently with the launch of Buzz that connecting email and social networks is harder than it looks. YouSendIt might be onto something. Instead of reinventing the entire social context of email, the company is focused on enhancing the existing email system as it works today. YouSendIt Adopts the Enterprise Microsoft Exchange has become the dominant email system in the enterprise. YouSendIt spent a lot of time working closely with Exchange and its client counterpart Outlook to bring its cloud-based attachments solution to the platform. This solution offers an approach to a gradual transition to cloud computing one message at a time. Change is in-the-air around collaboration and email. We wonder if the next generation of email going to evolve into the killer app for bringing social networking it into the enterprise. What do you think, will email ever fade away? Discuss
Runway Beauty Face-Off: Roksanda Ilincic by ELLE.com (ELLE News Blog)
Which Roksanda Ilincic hairstyle wins?( survey) —Emily Hebert
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Right-Wing Start to See IRS Suicide Bomber as a Hero [Wtf] by Ravi Somaiya (Gawker) Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:35:53 AM
Joseph Stack, the man who divebombed a tax office in Texas in his small plane last week is being held up, albeit mainly euphemistically and anonymously, as an anti-biggovernment hero by the tea party movement. The Associated Press report that a Facebook page lauding his actions has over 2000 members, that far right Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina said Stack embodied "the hopelessness many in our society feel," and that his own daughter sees him as a hero — though one whose actions were "inappropriate." And obviously right-wing forums on the internet are rife with people saying they have to "suppress the urge to take flying lessons," in the wake of Stack's glowing example. They should just be thankful he wasn't Muslim. That would really have confused them.
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Dolly Parton Says: Mobile Roadie on Modded Asus Eee PC 701 tablet features Flash, snappy Android Rocks by Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:01:00 PM
Mobile Roadie, the popular do-it -yourself platform that allows bands, celebrities and regular users to create iPhone apps without knowing how to program, just announced that it has now expanded its service to Google Android. With this new service, Mobile Roadie users can now create and manage both Android and iPhone apps simultaneously. Dolly Parton, Ashton Kutcher and Madonna are among today's launch partners. A Mobile Roadie-based Taylor Swift app is also in the works. Sponsor Mobile Roadie is mostly targeted towards musicians, athletes, politicians, celebrities, blogs, conferences and venues, though you could also use the service to create your own vanity app. For a set-up fee of $499 and a monthly management fee that starts at $29, Mobile Roadie allows users to create apps that include integration with thirdparty services like YouTube,
Brightcove, Flickr, Ustream, Topspin Media, RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook. Mobile Roadie also allows bands to integrate ticket sales through Ticketmaster and LiveNation. Mobile Roadie will give a discount to publishers who choose to use the service for both their iPhone and Android apps. Customers can also choose to use the service to only create an Android app. Vanity Apps for Android While there are a quite a few DIY app-creation services(including MobileAppLoader, MobBase, Sweb Apps, App Breeder, etc.) for the iPhone on the market, this business hasn't really caught on in the Android world yet. AppLoop, one of the first app generators for Android, for example, isn't even in business anymore. Currently, iSites and MobileAppLoader are among the few app generators that allows users to create and manage both Android and iPhone apps. As the market for Android apps continues to grow rapidly, however, it only makes sense for
companies like Mobile Roadie to offer support for both platforms. The advantage of using services like Mobile Roadie is that users can manage assets in both apps simultaneously. If bands want to highlight new videos or songs, for example, they don't have to make changes to two apps to send these updates to their fans. But Really, What Does Dolly Parton Think? Mobile Roadie's PR release also includes a great quote from Dolly Parton, who clearly prefers Mobile Roadie over smoke signals: "My first phone was two tin cans tied together with string, and it worked pretty good. But now you can watch TV, download music and surf the web from your phone. Sure beats smoke signals. I never thought in my lifetime, that you'd be able to watch movies, read books and listen to music from a phone, but I guess the technology of tomorrow is here today. And to think that folks will be able to watch my Video Diaries and listen to my music on the go is just fantastic." Discuss
touch input and lots of ports by Tablet (BestTabletReview.com) Submitted at 2/22/2010 3:43:24 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. We love when people build tablets out of modified software. It shows that people really love the form factor of a tablet and want it so bad that theyâ€™re willing to build it themselves. In this case, the modder is mxjf from the EeeUser forum. He takes an Asus Eee PC 701 and puts on quite a show. The tablet mod features Windows XP, 1GB of RAM, 4GB SSD, Ethernet, 3 USB, audio in/out, VGA, SD card and an Intel Celeron 900MHz CPU. The speed of the touch interface in the video puts a lot of manufactured tablets to shame. It
even incorporates flick scrolling through an additional plugin. As mxjf states in the video, it has no multitouch capability, but it can multitask, play Flash and has plenty of USB ports and an SD card slot to fulfill all of your desires. Some people may desire that a certain turtle-necked man sat down in a chair and played with something like this, rather than the demo we saw last month. All we want to say to mxjf and others like him is keep up the good work. If you feel the same, stop by his YouTube page and leave some encouraging comments for him. Source: EeeUser via EeePC Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Fashion Week Fall 2010 Runway Visions: Isaac Mizrahi by ELLE.com (ELLE News Blog)
Plenty of sparkle lit up the runway as Isaac Mizrahi showcased his fall ready-to-wear
All Photos: Kelly Stuart Click here for our complete fall 2010 Fashion Week coverage
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Remains of the Day: The Day Credit Cards Change Edition [For What It's Worth] by Adam Pash (Lifehacker) Submitted at 2/22/2010 4:00:00 PM
U.S. authorities identify the hacker behind the Chinese cyber attacks, Twitter hits 50 million tweets per day (which is still significantly below the emails/day mark), and the Credit Card Act of 2009 goes into effect. • Credit card protections in effect Consumer Reports points out that today's the day that the majority of the consumer protections from the Credit Card Act of 2009 take effect. Make sure you know what that means to you. • Chinese Hacker Responsible For Google Attack Code Identified U.S. authorities identify the man who tried to hack Google in China—the event that prompted Google to stop censoring search in China. [Gizmodo] • Twitter Hits 50 Million Tweets Per Day The popular microblogging service is pushing out tweets like nobody's business. Of course, it doesn't beat the estimated 210 billion emails a day(and that's from two years
Project Natal coming in October, says Jonathan Ross (video) by Vladislav Savov (Engadget)
ago), but it's still impressive. [Mashable] • If Eric Schmidt Thinks Privacy Doesn't Matter - He should Publish His Own Browsing History A lot of people are upset with Google CEO Eric Schmidt's recent comments regarding user privacy and the mistakes Google made when they launched Buzz. This is one such response. [BlindReason] • Windows Phone 7 and the End of Hardware Choice Gizmodo notes that, with the impending Windows Phone 7 launch, the "'slap our software on any old hardware' open platform is
dead." [Gizmodo] • Codeorgan This web site plays web sites based on their source code. Not terribly useful, but if you ever wondered what Lifehacker sounds like, there you go. • Microsoft may end up resorting to M&A in mobile Reuters suggests that if Microsoft wants to compete with Apple and Google in the smartphone market, they may need to consider buying other manufacturers like Nokia or BlackBerry.
altogether we find this both credible and logical considering the natural urge to try and get the Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:29:00 AM latest gaming tech in well before As unexpected sources of tech t h e h o l i d a y s . N e e d m o r e news go, UK television presenter convincing? Skip past the break Jonathan Ross is pretty high up to see the Wossmeister having a there. But lo and behold, the whale of a time with that balloon man's had a chance to spend - b l o c k i n g g a m e t h a t ' s s o m e q u a l i t y t i m e w i t h embarrassed many a journalist Microsoft's Project Natal setup already. and while he's not altogether Continue reading Project Natal impressed with the current state c o m i n g i n O c t o b e r , s a y s of it, his note on when it's J o n a t h a n R o s s ( v i d e o ) coming out is the one thing Project Natal coming in nobody has known for sure yet. October, says Jonathan Ross "Got until October" may mean (video) originally appeared on an October release, or it may Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 imply they can work on it 08:29:00 EST. Please see our through October in time for an terms for use of feeds. Permalink e a r l y N o v e m b e r r e l e a s e ( MVC| Twitter| Email this| something we heard earlier), but Comments
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Weekly Poll: Why Is Apple Building a Massive, $1 Billion Data Center by Alex Williams (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 2/23/2010 1:14:04 AM
In last week's poll, we asked if one company will come to dominate cloud computing. We had 115 responses. Today we posted about the massive data center that Apple is building in Maiden, NC. We know so little about what Apple plans to do with the 500,000 square foot data center. So, we want to ask you: Why is Apple building a massive, $ billion data center? Sponsor Why is Apple building a massive, $1 billion data center?( answers) Speculation runs the gamut. Is it to give Apple the ability to deliver its own content? From Dan Rayburn:"...it does indicate that over time, third party CDNs like Akamai and
Apple did with the original iPods, Lala realized that any music solution must include music already possessed by the user. The Lala setup process provides software to store a personal music library online and then play it from any web browser alongside web songs Limelight could very well lose a they vend. This technology plus large portion of Apple's business. the engineering and management While it's way to early to team is the true value of Lala to speculate what kind of content Apple." Will One Company Apple will deliver and in what Come To Dominate Cloud volume, this strategy is nearly Computing? identical to what we've seen We asked that question last Microsoft do over the years." week. We had 115 people People point to Apple's Lala respond. About 45 percent of acqusition as a case in point that you said, no, there is too much Apple wants to offer iTunes in diversity in the market for it to be dominated by one company: the cloud. Michael Robertson, the founder So, what do you think? Why is o f M P 3 . c o m g i v e s t h i s Apple building this massive data scenario:"What is of value is the center? Discuss personal music storage service which was an often overlooked component of Lala's business. As
Watch Burberryâ€™s Fall 2010 Runway Show Live, Tuesday at 10:45am by ELLE.com (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 2/22/2010 3:30:00 PM
Want a front-row seat to the fall 2010 Burberry runway show?
show from the Chelsea College Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday, of Art in London, plus behindFebruary 23, at 10:45 a.m. EST the-scenes, backstage, and red to see the collection live on carpet access. ELLE.com. The brand will stream its womenswear runway
Kondo KHR-3HV robot celebrates Engadget Award with a new Linux backback (video) by Tim Stevens (Engadget)
set you back ÂĽ60,000, or about $660, and yes that's just for the backpack. (The bot itself goes Yes, Kondo KHR-3HV, you for somewhere north of the were our choice for robot of the $ 1 , 3 0 0 range.) So y e a r , a n d w e s e e y o u ' r e congratulations again on your celebrating by going out and victory, 3HV -- just don't let it go getting yourself some new gear. to your webcam. We like your taste. Inside that Continue reading Kondo KHRfancy new backpack is a 32-bit 3HV robot celebrates Engadget Samsung ARM CPU running at A w a r d w i t h a n e w L i n u x 200MHz, powerful enough to b a c k b a c k ( v i d e o ) handle Linux and things like Kondo KHR-3HV robot onboard image processing and celebrates Engadget Award with object recognition. It also a new Linux backback (video) supports WiFi, meaning Kondo originally appeared on Engadget can beam what he sees wirelessly on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 09:13:00 and become a roving security EST. Please see our terms for guard -- a very small and non- use of feeds. Permalink| Plastic lethal security guard, but a guard Pals| Email this| Comments nontheless. This kind of tech (shown off in a video below) will Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:13:00 AM
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Learn How Google's Search Algorithm Learns From You [Google] by Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:30:00 AM
There's a whole lot of mystique, paranoia, and guessing as to how Google comes up with its generally best-in-class search results. Steven Levy at Wired digs in to discover what really makes Google's search engine different, and how it learns from us. PageRank, the generally accepted metric of, among other things, how often a page is linked to, is only a small part of the larger story at Google. Talking to Google's engineers and tracing the history of publicly announced search features, Levy discovers that a good deal of what Google has learned about search comes from the searchers themselves. Take, for instance, the way Google's engine learns which words are synonyms. "We discovered a nifty thing very
Project Natal's Lag Timed at 1/10 of a Second [Xbox 360] early on," Singhal says. "People change words in their queries. So someone would say, ‘pictures of dogs,' and then they'd say, ‘pictures of puppies.' So that told us that maybe ‘dogs' and ‘puppies' were interchangeable. We also learned that when you boil water, it's hot water. We were relearning semantics from humans, and that was a great
US federal grand jury subpoenas Toyota (Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:58:34 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full
-text RSS service so we can continue developing it. By John Reed in London and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington Published: February 22 2010
by Mark Wilson (Gizmodo)
as an input device alone, such a delay will mean certain gameplay situations just aren't Ever since our hands-on, we've possible (Natal might not make been shamelessly excited about the best jet simulator). Project Natal...except for one key However, I still see the delay as piece: The slight but undeniable a non-issue for the aspect of lag. And now, MTV has actually Natal that's still gone without put the difference between your m e n t i o n by most m o v e m e n t a n d o n s c r e e n publications—that of head r e s p o n s e t o a s t o p w a t c h . tracking. You'll see what I mean Over the course of several in this demo by Johnny Chung demos, MTV found that the lag Lee who, it just so happens, ranged from .08 seconds to .12 works on the Natal team now. seconds, and .10 proved to be a The same can be said for vocal 19:04 | Last updated: February pretty consistent average. (You commands, facial recognition, 22 2010 21:58 can time .10 seconds here.) and heck, even just spotting your Five Filters featured article: During our demo, I likened the exact position in a room. [ MTV Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: delay in a driving game to via Kotaku] PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, steering an old Cadillac. Indeed, Term Extraction. advance." If you're at all intrigued by what Google gets right or wrong, Levy's piece is well worth the read. It's a lot of straight talk from inside Google about search, written up in plain English. Exclusive: How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web[Wired via Gizmodo]
Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:30:50 AM
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Keep Tiny Screws Together With an NYT and NYU partner Index Card [Clever Uses] on East Village site by delphinus87 (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:00:00 AM
Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:24:22 PM
Ed. note: If you're inspired to tackle a DIY project this week that involves computers or small parts, reader delphinus87 has a simple tip on keeping tiny screws together with an office supply standard. (Every day we keep a close eye on our #tips page to see what readers have to offer. Often we receive links, other times fullfledged how-to guides, but sometimes just clever little suggestions. Here's one of those little "Huh!"-inducing bits.) In case you ever have to take something apart with many little screws, like a computer, I find the best method for keeping track of those various screws is a simple index card. Just puncture the card with as many screws as you like. You can also draw boxes around similar screws and label them as
"Power Supply,", "DVD Drive," or whatever function they have to label them further. I find this better than the old stand-by of a bunch of bowls. Granted, there are better solutions for larger screws and bolts, but for the little ones in a PC, this method is perfect. If you're pulling screws up from the depths of a dark computer
When I started at NYU, I said there was a project I was going to help with, but I couldn't talk about it. Now it's been announced. Here's the press release: NYTimes.com to Collaborate with New York University for 'Local' East Village Community Site. That's why I started an East Village aggregator, to follow what the local bloggers are chassis, consider dabbing a bit of writing about. The community vaseline on your screwdriver to site will incorporate work of keep them loosely attached to the NYU journalism students and end. And if you've tried the members of the community. index-card-punching method of Further, there are computer screw organization, or have a science students from NYU better one, do let us know in the participating in the project. comments. Thanks for the tip, My role is simply to help the students when I can, and of delphinus87! course to learn from the process myself. Jim Posner asks the question I
would probably ask if I were outside this project -- what about the paywall. I've never asked the question myself. I assume this site is outside any NYT paywall. My own opinion is that the Times will never actually implement the paywall. That's the nice thing about being in academia, I can say what I believe.
'24' - '12:00 AM - 1:00 AM' Recap by Mike Moody (TV Squad) Submitted at 2/23/2010 12:36:00 AM
(S08E09) Now the clock is really ticking. Farhad's crew raised the stakes for the season with a plan to set off a radiological bomb in New York. And things finally erupted
in a big way with the Dana/Kevin/Cole storyline. Jack got Renee out of the hot seat, but it cost him his plane ride back to his family (again). The moral of this episode? You just can't trust anyone these days. Josef stabbed his daddy in the only to get gunned down by back by stealing the nuclear rods, Farhad and friends. Looking to
make a big bloody statement, Farhad's goons double-crossed their boss with a plot to use the rods as a weapon. And Weiss set Renee up to take the fall for the mission's failure (I never trusted that guy). Let's talk about that last development. Continue reading'24' - '12:00
AM - 1:00 AM' Recap Filed under: 24, Episode Reviews, Reality-Free, Episode Recaps Permalink| Email this| | Comments
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'Men of a Certain Age' 'Back in the S#!t' Recap (Season Finale) by Jason Hughes (TV Squad)
Bakula was particularly impressive this week, I Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:25:00 AM remembered a couple of scenes (S01E10) A lot of things have between Andre Braugher and changed for our favorite trio of Richard Gant (as his father) that men over the past nine episodes, were simply awe-inspiring. And and yet this tenth and final then there's Ray Romano in the episode of the season managed to car with his son Albert, played by Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker) a double-click as GIMP or p r e v i e w . I f y o u l i k e h o w push each of them boldly into by Braeden Lemasters. With another heavy tool loads up with Gloobus looks, you can install even bigger moments in their very little dialogue, that moment Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:30:00 AM your file. And thumbnail icon CoverGloobus, which shows the lives. For one, the change is was just oozing with emotion. Linux: Sometimes you just need previews aren't available for cover art for the music you're definitely good. For another, it In a word (and I'll use it to sum to see what's inside a file without every file you can create or currently playing, whether certainly has the potential for up this entire season): amazing! actually opening the application download. Gloobus aims to you've downloaded it or not. g r e a t n e s s . T h e t h i r d i s Continue reading'Men of a meant to handle it. Gloobus, a provide universal file previews Gloobus and its related plug-ins c o m p l e t e l y u p i n t h e a i r . Certain Age' - 'Back in the S#!t' sleek, dark file previewer based inside its dark, stylish interface. are free downloads for GNOME- Everything that's great about Recap (Season Finale) on the Mac Quicklook tool, Installing Gloobus isn't quite a based Linux systems only. Hit this show was on display in this Filed under: Other Drama wants to make file previews one-step processâ€”you'll need to the link below and its Installation installment. There is not a Shows, OpEd, Episode Reviews, elegant and convenient. install either a repository or page for help getting Gloobus up member of this cast who isn't Reality-Free Ubuntu and other GNOME- compile from source to patch and running. Gloobus â€“ A Quick knocking their performances out Permalink| Email this| | based Linux distributions have your system's desktop display L o o k f o r G N U / L i n u x [ v i a of the park on this show. Just as I C o m m e n t s their own built-in file preview program (Nautilus) to work D o w n l o a d S q u a d ] was about to write that Scott tool, sure. But that previewer better with Gloobus. Once it is doesn't act on every file type, there, though, smacking the leaving you sometimes regretting space bar on any file brings up a
Gloobus Provides Snappy, Sleek File Previews in Linux [Downloads]
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Belkin launches pricey USB 3.0 products by Doug Aamoth (CrunchGear) Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:00:01 AM
In an age when standard USB 2.0 cables can be purchased for next to nothing, the $40 price tag on Belkin’s 4-foot USB 3.0 cable ought to be enough to keep most of us out of the early adopter demographic for a while. If you’re hell bent on transfer speeds that are “three times faster than USB 2.0,” though, you’ll be able to pick up a few products from Belkin starting in April. There’s the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCIe Add-In Card for $80, the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ExpressCard for $80, and four different cables: a 4-foot A-B cable for $40, an 8-foot A-B cable for $50, a 4-foot Micro-B cable for $40, and an 8-foot Micro-B cable for $50. Those are the suggested retail prices, so they may be a bit lower once they hit the market. Everything’s backwardscompatible with USB 2.0 devices, too. Full Press Release: Belkin Introduces SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Products • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Products Deliver Transfer Speeds of up to Three Times Faster Than USB 2.0 • Download HD Movies, Charge Mobile Devices, and Transfer Videos and Photos from Your Camera to Your Computer More Quickly with SuperSpeed USB
USB 3.0 is specified to transfer at five gigabits per second, or 10 P L A Y A V I S T A , C a l i f . – ( times faster than USB 2.0*. In BUSINESS WIRE)– Belkin our tests we observed speeds of a n n o u n c e s a n e w l i n e o f up to 180 megabits per second, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 products, or three times faster than USB including a PCIe Add-In Card, 2 . 0 , w h i c h i s a g r e a t ExpressCard, and Premium A-B improvement for activities such and Micro-B Cables. SuperSpeed as large file transfers. USB 3.0 USB 3.0 products provide a high p r o d u c t s a r e b a c k w a r d rate of transfer speed that allows compatible with USB 2.0 devices you to move content-rich media and will interoperate with them back and forth between different as well. devices. With SuperSpeed USB 3.0
products, you can do the following faster than before: • Download HD movies and other multimedia • Transfer high-bandwidth media and files back and forth • Charge and sync devices, like a digital camera or smartphone STATISTICS • An In-Stat 2008 report shows more than 3 billion USB-enabled devices currently being shipped. • According to The NPD Group
data from February 2010, Belkin is the current market leader in USB connectivity**. AVAILABILITY • April 2010 in the US. • May 2010 in Canada. SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCIe AddIn Card(F4U023) – $79.99 • Connects up to 127 USB devices (through cascading BELKIN page 59
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Maybe used game sales are actually good for the industry? by Nicholas Deleon (CrunchGear) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:15:57 AM
What is it with publishers fascination with second-hand sales? Yes, for every used video game you buy on eBay, the publisher sees zero dollars and zero cents, but are they operating at such razor-thin margins that teens auctioning off their old PSP games is worth their attention? You don’t see Ford or GM or Toyota or Honda or anything complaining about used cars sales, do you? (Actually, do you? I know next to nothing about cars.) Electronic Arts’
“Project Ten Dollar” was concocted to battle against the scourge of second-hand video game sales, forcing gamers to pay upward of $10 for DLC that usually comes for free alongside the purchase of a new video game. Turns out, not only does it hurt consumers and retailers, but it hurts publishers in the long run! Anyhow, the deal is that retailers that specialize in second -hand sales have explained that, the reason why so many people sell their old games is to fund the purchase of new video games. Little Timmy sells Madden NFL 09 for $10 so he can afford
exclusive DLC is a menace. Why do I have to buy the game from four different stores to get, say, all of the available weapons and armor in the game? To me, rather than being a “value add” (“bonus armor when you buy from us!”), it’s a removal of functionality. “Oh, so if I pre-order the game from Store A, I won’t get the weapons and armor from Stores B, C, and D? Well that stinks. Way to sell me an incomplete Madden NFL 10. Of course, at some point) and not the game.” publishers like EA are far too enabled Madden NFL 10 sale. Not that I buy used video games myopic to see this—all they see It’s but a part of the same ethic much—I think I bought a used is the “lost” Madden NFL 09 that I complained about, quite Castlevania for the GameBoy sale (assuming the game is sold shrilly, might I add, the other: Advance like five years ago.
The Digitalrise S1 and X9 tablet PCs go on sale by Tablet (BestTabletReview.com)
their“embarrassingly underpowered” PC-729 tablet PC. Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:11:20 AM Now Digitalrise has issued two Message from fivefilters.org: If new tablet PCs, both running you can, please donate to the full Windows 7 and an Intel Atom -text RSS service so we can N270 1.6GHz CPU, the S1 and continue developing it. X9. These tablet are identical The Digitalrise S1 and X9 tablet s a v e t h r e e e l e m e n t s : t h e PCs single/multi-touch input, Digitalrise has put out a few memory and the price. The S1 tablet PCs in the last few months. features single-touch input, 1GB If you don’t recall the name o f R A M a n d i s l i s t e d f o r there’s probably a reason for $659.99. The X9 has multi-touch that. The last time they were input, 2GB of RAM and costs m e n t i o n e d o n B e s t T a b l e t $789.99. R e v i e w i t w a s d u e t o Both feature a 10.2-inch 1024 x
dongle. So the real question is (if you’re even interested in the tablets themselves): is $130 worth it for multi-touch and 1GB or RAM? The S1 is currently on sale while the X9’s sale date has been delayed until March 3rd. Source: China Grabber Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: 600 resolution touchscreen, - 1 c a r d r e a d e r PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, 160GB SATA HDD, a Li-Ion (SD/MS/MMC/MS-Pro), SVGA, Term Extraction. 3000mAh battery (rated for a u d i o i n / o u t a n d n e t w o r k around 4 hours of use), 1.3MP connector. They also come with webcam, 3 USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in WiFi a/b/g and a GPS/Bluetooth
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BELKIN continued from page 57
additional hubs) • Supports plug and play and hot -swap functionality SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ExpressCard™(F4U024) – $79.99 • Fully compliant with ExpressCard specification 1.0 and Universal Serial Bus 3.0 specification Revision 1.0 • Supports plug and play and hot -swap functionality • Connects up to 127 USB devices (through cascading additional hubs) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Premium A-B Cable, 4 ft. (F3U158-04) –
$39.99; 8 ft. (F3U158-08) – $49.99 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Premium Micro-B Cable, 4 ft. (F3U16504) – $39.99; 8 ft. (F3U165-08) – $49.99 QUOTE RJ Theodore, General Manager of Core Products, at Belkin: “Belkin has always led in adopting new technology and bringing products that support these new technologies to consumers. USB 3.0 is positioned to have a major impact in connectivity for computers, media players, and other devices. Similar to when USB 2.0 was first introduced, we
plan on leading the integration of USB 3.0 with a line of thoughtful solutions that are easy for our customers to understand and use.” *This is the theoretical performance of the USB 3.0 standard as specified by the USB -IF. Real-world throughputs will vary. **USB connectivity consists of the following NPD categories: USB Hubs and USB Cables.
Alyssa Milano is 'Romantically Challenged' (ETonline - Breaking News)
Bornheimer plays her romanceaholic best buddy. Josh Lawson is Kyle's slacker roommate and Alyssa Milano dives into the Kelly Stables is Alyssa's sassy d a t i n g p o o l f o r h e r n e w , sister. u p c o m i n g A B C s i t c o m The former child star is lucky in "Romantically Challenged," and love in her real life, telling ET ET is first on the set! with a smile, "I am recently The former "Charmed" and married -- I don't have to go "Who's the Boss" star plays a through the awkward dating recently divorced mom of a 15- anymore. … I have a lot to tap year-old boy stepping back into into, though, let me tell you." the world of dating. Kyle Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:01:00 AM
Report: Samsung No. 1 in global flat TV market, LG now on par with Sony by Serkan Toto (CrunchGear) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:21:26 AM
What was unthinkable 10 to 20 years ago, has been reality for quite some time now: Not Japanese but Korean electronics companies are dominating the TV hardware market. American market research firm DisplaySearch says regarding shipment value, Samsung has maintained its position as the leader in the global flat-panel TV market last year. And another
Korean company is becoming stronger, too. Samsung now commands a market share of 23.3% (up 0.2 points from last year) in the flat TV segment, which – under DisplaySearch’s analysis – includes LCDs, plasmas and even OLEDs for some reason (the picture shows Samsung’s 40 -inch OLED TV prototype). And for the first time, another Korean electronics company, LG, has managed to climb up the ranking to reach the second
competitiveness and the weaker won. Apparently, the Korean companies were also more successful in selling LED-backlit TVs last year, an area in which the big Japanese makers (namely Sony, Panasonic and Sharp) are lagging. Via The Nikkei[registration required, paid subscription] position: With 12.4% market share, LG (+2 percentage points) is now on par with Sony (whose share fell 2.9 points). According to DisplaySearch, 2005 was the
last year Sony was on top of the TV market. The research firm says both Samsung and LG have benefited from strong price
Gadgets/ TV/ Economy/
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Nokia and Symbian Still on Top in Gartner's Annual Sales, Android Creeping Up Slowly [Smartphones]
PBS Launching New Sherlock Holmes
by Kat Hannaford (Gizmodo)
Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:29:00 AM
by Allison Waldman (TV Squad)
BBC Worldwide and PBS have decided that it's time for a new The iPhone 3G may be the most 'Sherlock Holmes.' The 1984 popular phone in the US, but series, which ran ten years and Gartner's annual phone sales 41 episodes, had Jeremy Brett as tally still puts Symbian as being Sherlock and is still widely the most-used smartphone OS regarded as the best Holmes worldwide. Snapping at its heels, since Basil Rathbone's BlackBerry's OS has less than incarnation in the movies, but half the sales. after the success of Guy Ritchie's And the iPhone? They may have kinetic Robert Downey Jr. 14.4 per cent market share version last Christmas, the worldwide (a nice rise from people in a position to make 2008's 8.2 per cent share), but things happen are ready to give they're still a far way off from us a 21st century variation on S y m b i a n ' s 4 6 . 9 p e r c e n t . fall. They're still top of the list Windows Mobile should be on Holmes and Watson and 221B Android's done very nicely for for worldwide sales, though (on the rise with the launch of Baker Street. itself, rising from 0.5 per cent paper) need to be watching out W i n d o w s P h o n e 7 , a n d Thus far the casting is market share in 2008 to 3.9 per for Samsung and LG, who Motorola, buoyed by Droid sales promising. Martin Freeman, who cent in 2009. Windows Mobile increased their sales by 3.2 per and whatever else they have in is best known as the British unsurprisingly fell from 11.8 to cent and 1.7 per cent each. store for us this year, should version of Jim in the UK'The 8.7 per cent in the last 12 The full scorecards of stats are hopefully be seeing an increase Office,' will play Dr. Watson. In months. included here for your perusing, in market share, not a decrease the role of Sherlock, the actor Symbian sales may've dropped but it's worth noting that next like they've seen in the last year. chosen is named Benedict 5.5 per cent between 2008 and year's Gartner report is bound to [ Gartner via Hexus] Cumberbatch. That's a great 2009, but Nokia's doing a bit show some major shaking-up. name for an actor cast as better, with only a 2.2 per cent Holmes; it just sounds so British. But Benedict also has the look of Submitted at 2/23/2010 7:56:30 AM
a Holmes, and he was in 'Atonement' and was nominated for a BAFTA playing Stephen Hawking in a BCC drama. Continue reading PBS Launching New Sherlock Holmes Filed under: OpEd, Celebrities, Awards, Casting, Reality-Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments
Hummer deal faces Beijing hurdle (Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:03:44 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full
-text RSS service so we can continue developing it. General Motorâ€™s deal to sell its troubled Hummer brand to a Chinese company is facing possible collapse after the buyer
failed to secure approval for the purchase from Beijing, according to people close to the deal. GM and the Chinese buyer, the previously little known Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial
Machinery Co, have set a deadline of Sunday to conclude the $200m deal. The two sides had already extended that deadline by a month, due to problems gaining regulatory
approval. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Source: Carolina Panthers won't put franchise tag on Julius Peppers by Adam Schefter (ESPN.com) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:26:33 AM
Polaroid PoGo instant digicam on sale next week, toilet graffiti will never be the same by Thomas Ricker (Engadget)
price in Japan compared to the $199 price announced at CES. Of course, you still have to shell We still don't have the European out for the ZINK instant photo or US release dates for the paper 10-packs scheduled to run Polaroid Pogo instant digicam for $4.99, or $12.99 for the 30but they can't be far behind the pack variety. As a camera, it's F e b r u a r y 2 6 t h d a t e j u s t not much with its 5 megapixel announced for Japan. Looks like sensor, SDHC storage, weakwe might see a price cut too, sauce LCD, and 0x optical zoom given the 짜10,000 (about $110) as we discovered during our Submitted at 2/23/2010 7:38:00 AM
hands-on. What it lacks in specs, though, is made up for by its novelty. 2-inch by 3-inch photo stickers in 60 seconds? Urban ego tagging just got a brand new playbook. Also announced is a bevy of forgettable budget shooters, including the 12 megapixel t1235, 12 megapixel i1237 with touchscreen LCD, and 9
megapixel a930. Lady GaGa must be so proud. Polaroid PoGo instant digicam on sale next week, toilet graffiti will never be the same originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 07:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Impress| Email this| Comments
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers will not be given the franchise tag, a team source said Monday night. The official announcement is likely to come Tuesday, when the Panthers hold a news conference to address a number of issues. If the Panthers had opted to tag Peppers, it would have cost them $21.4 million -- about $1.3 million per game -- which the team deemed too pricey. Peppers will be one of the highest-profile free agents since Reggie White. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to use their franchise tags. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Rachael Leigh Cook to Star in 'Nirvana' by Danny Gallagher (TV Squad) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:00:00 AM
The gal from the "This is your brain on drugs" PSA has come a long way from smashing some poor sap's house up with a frying pan. Now she's got her own Fox sitcom. Rachael Leigh Cook will play the female lead in a new sitcom called'Nirvana.' The series revolves around two Indian-American brothers trying to assimilate into the American culture, and Cook plays one of the boys' girlfriends. It's one of two Indian infused shows coming to a television set near you, along with the NBC office
MSI converges everything with 24inch 3D HD Wind Top all-in-one by Vladislav Savov (Engadget)
list of goodies. The new flagships will be known as the Wind Top AE2420 in the 24Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:06:00 AM incher category and AE2280 in Now here's a spec sheet maven's the 22-inch class. They're joined dream: MSI has just announced by a selection of high-efficiency its new Wind Top all-in-ones, machines, such as the AP1920 and the top model brings every and AE1920, which promise to modern spec you can think of. cut down the electricity bills for Full HD resolution, 3D "environmentally-minded capabilities with 120Hz refresh business users." That's still rates, Intel processors up to Core hardly scratching the surface, i7, and even multitouch adorn its t h o u g h , a s M S I i s r e a l l y
preparing a small army of AIOs to display at CeBIT, and you can bet the house we'll be there to touch and ogle at their latest and greatest. MSI converges everything with 24-inch 3D HD Wind Top all-inone originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| PR Newswire| Email this| Comments
sitcom'Outsourced.' Filed under: Other Comedy Shows, Celebrities, Pickups and Renewals, Reality-Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments
Home Depot swings to profit on DIY demand (Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:36:55 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Home Depot, the world’s biggest home improvement retailer, swung to a profit in the fourth quarter as customers turned increasingly to “do it
yourself” renovation projects as they gained confidence in the value of their homes. The company, whose results beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts, announced its first dividend increase in three years and raised its outlook for 2010. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Apple, It’s Time to Focus on the iPhone’s Camera by Liam Cassidy (TheAppleBlog)
London where everyone with a camera is considered a terrorist these days). Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:58:02 AM My iPhone is always where I With the next iPhone revision happen to be. That means most theoretically only months away, of the time, day or night, my attention is turning again to what iPhone is the best camera I have. we can expect in the form of And that’s a pretty galling updates. Obviously, we’re all thought, given how limited it is. looking forward to the fourth And, I might as well mention generation iPhone sporting an now, before the inevitable octocore A4 processor, 3D backlash from fanboys defending OLED HD screen and, naturally, Apple from even the tiniest Flux Capacitor. But the question criticism; it’s not an unforgivable on my lips is — what will Apple crime to point out the iPhone’s do with the camera? Because, failings, and that little camera let’s face it — something needs has always been something of a to be done. disappointment. Bigger Picture, Both the original iPhone and More Noise iPhone 3G sport a fixed-focus The obvious prediction I could two megapixel camera. The make for the next iPhone is an iPhone 3GS offers a beefy 3.2 upgrade to a five megapixel megapixel camera with auto image sensor. Those sensors are focus, auto white balance and cheap, they’re proven technology video recording. Even so, the and they could fit into the camera in the 3GS is nothing to existing iPhone form. But even if write home about. that happened, the results As the saying goes, your best wouldn’t be much better than we camera is the one you have on get with the 3GS. Sure, they’d be you, right now. Your Canon bigger pictures, but they’d just DSLR might have cost a small contain more noise than ever fortune and produce stunning before. Y’see, the problem is photos, but it’s pretty much light; there’s just not enough of useless if it’s not within reach it, unless you’re standing outside when you need it. When I leave on a bright sunny day. m y h o u s e i t ’ s n o t a l w a y s In moderately low-light (indoors practical (or appropriate) to take in your home, for instance) most my pro-kit with me (especially in c e l l p h o n e c a m e r a s w o u l d
Nerdvana You just knew I had a list of suggestions, right? Hardware One easy way to greatly improve the camera’s quality is to use an actual optical lens made from precision-ground glass rather than the current arrangement — a tiny blob of resin atop an image sensor. Just this one change alone would produce far higher-quality struggle without a powerful images. It would also increase flash. Significantly larger, more the iPhone’s manufacturing cost, sensitive image sensors fare not to mention its waistline — better without a flash, but due to c a n y o u s e e S t e v e J o b s their size (and the need for a p p r o v i n g t h a t ? S o f t w a r e absolute rock-solid stillness Most cellphone camera software when shooting) they tend not to is appalling. Even well-regarded megapixel handsets are often find their way into cellphones. Some might argue at this point hobbled with fiddly, lackluster (somebody almost always does) c a m e r a s o f t w a r e ( N o k i a , that I’m expecting too much. “If anyone?) By comparison, the you want to take better photos,” iPhone’s Camera app is lightgoes the argument, “just use a y e a r s a h e a d o f o t h e r manufacturers. And yet, it’s still real camera instead.” Y’know, three years ago I was really tricky hitting that button if so impressed with everything you find you must use only one else Apple had accomplished hand. Plus, a more sophisticated with the iPhone I’d have been c a m e r a w i l l d e m a n d m o r e i n c l i n e d t o a g r e e . T o d a y , sophisticated configuration & however, my response is a shooting options which the Mosspuppet-inspired “Shut up!” current software simply doesn’t You see, there is simply no offer. Processor Power r e a s o n A p p l e c a n ’ t v a s t l y Ever noticed that awkward lag improve the camera in this when launching the Camera app device. Three Steps to Camera and waiting for the iris to open? Or the lag when you hit the
Supplemental Directive: Foreclosure & Bankruptcy Changes by Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture)
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continue developing it. Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: Policy Proposals SD 10-02 PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Five Filters featured article: Term Extraction.
‘shutter release’? The delay is simply the time needed for the app to load into memory, for the auto-focus and white balance to do their thing and for images to be processed, geo-tagged and stored. It all makes sense, but boy could it use a speedbump. Increasing the iPhone’s horsepower will help enormously, and if the iPad’s A4 processor proves anything, it’s that Apple knows how to make custom silicon that delivers impressive results while remaining power-efficient. We can only hope the next iPhone gets something like an A4… As it stands, I get a little anxious when I have only my iPhone’s camera to rely on — it makes me feel like I have to settle for second-best those times when I can’t take my beloved Canon DSLR. But it doesn’t have to be this way. And now that Apple has perfected so much else that was once considered ‘wrong’ with the iPhone, it’s about time it focused (ahem) a little more on the camera. Related GigaOM Pro Research: How Apple’s New Nano Makes Pocket Video Mass Market
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Hints & Tips: Google Chrome for Mac by Alfredo Padilla (TheAppleBlog)
etc., by using keywords in your search. In Google Chrome you can set this up by right clicking Submitted at 2/22/2010 8:31:48 AM on the address bar and select Edit Historically I have always been Search Engines… from the list. a loyal Safari user. Sure, I’ve If you’ve been using Chrome for flirted with Firefox occasionally, a while you’ll notice that several but I always came back to Safari websites have already been eventually. I’m afraid, however, populated, this is because that I’ve finally found a browser Chrome automatically adds any that has led me to leave Safari search engines you use to the list. for good: Google Chrome. To make any search engine I started using Chromium, the easily accessible double-click on open-sourced branch of the it and change its keyword to browser, a few months ago and something easy to remember, switched to the developer branch such as fb for Facebook. From of Chrome when it got support now on you can use that specific for extensions. Even though the search engine by entering the Beta version of Chrome for the keyword first in the address bar Mac now has extensions support and then entering your search I’m sticking with the developer query. Sync your bookmarks branch just because I like getting with Safari and the iPhone new goodies before other people. If you’re an iPhone user, one of Whatever version of Chrome the problems with switching you’re using on the Mac, you away from Safari is that your now have access to most of the n e w b r o w s e r d o e s n ’ t features that people will want synchronize bookmarks with from a browser, so if you’re your phone. Thankfully the ready to take the plunge and Xmarks extension offers a handy make Chrome your default w o r k a r o u n d s i n c e i t w i l l browser here, are a few hints and synchronize both your Chrome tips from you from someone and Safari bookmarks with the who’s been using it for a while cloud. Thus when you make a now. Set up custom search change to your bookmarks in engines Chrome it will automatically A feature that’s been available synchronize with Safari and by on other browsers for a long time extension the iPhone. Get but was always missing from 1Password into Chrome Safari is the ability to set up 1Password is my go to password custom search engines. This manager and not having it in allows you to directly search Chrome was a pain. Thankfully websites, Google Images, Yahoo the helpful folks over at Agile
heartily endorse VerticaTabs, which is both simple and stable. Get rid of unresponsive tabs One of Google Chrome’s most interesting features is that each tab is an independent process. With Safari when a tab became completely unresponsive I was often forced to relaunch the entire browser. With Chrome, however, you can use the built-in Task Manager to get rid of a tab, are working on an alpha as we even if clicking on it does speak, and even though it’s not nothing. perfect yet, it’s good enough for Simply go to View > Developer me to use it on a daily basis. To > Task Manager to see a list of use the extension you’ll need to all processes, including your download the latest beta build of extensions. Pick the offending 1Password, which you can do tab from the list and press the from your update settings in the End Process button. Please note program. You can get the that you may need to be on the 1Password alpha extension here. developer branch of Google If you’d prefer to avoid alpha Chrome to use this feature, as software, which is certainly I’m not sure it’s been added to something to consider, there’s the Beta version. Get on the also this workaround available developer channel of Chrome Speaking of the developer until we get a final shipping channel, if you’re willing to put version. Keep track of your tabs If you’re anything like my wife, up with some risk and want your browser windows quickly Google Chrome goodies before become crowded with tabs. the more stable Beta channel gets Finding the exact page you’re them, then you can switch to the looking for is difficult when d e v e l o p e r c h a n n e l . T h e those tabs shrink down to the developer channel is a bit more size of a thimble. Thankfully s t a b l e t h a n t h e C h r o m i u m there are a variety of tab nightly builds, which include all m a n a g e m e n t e x t e n s i o n s the latest updates to the openavailable for Chrome. I’ve gone source version of Chrome, but I through almost all of them, and can’t promise it won’t crash on have found some unstable and you. some just plain ugly, but I can
Dragon Age comic delayed until April by Richard Mitchell (Joystiq) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:00:00 AM
It looks like Dragon Age fans hoping to delve further into its fantasy realm will have to wait a little bit longer. IDW Publishing editor-in-chief Chris Rydall tells Big Download that the planned March release of its Dragon Age comic has been pushed to April. Furthermore, the second issue will release in June. The comic was announced last year, and is slated to feature a story written by Orson Scott Card. The plot itself focuses around a band of rogue mages that "will defy the rules of the Templars and change the course of the world forever." Dragon Age comic delayed until April originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 05:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
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Once Upon a Time, Long Before the iPad, Steve Jobs Rode a BMW Motorcycle by Charles Moore (TheAppleBlog)
interviewed by Johnston over herb tea at a vegetarian restaurant, was modestly at the Submitted at 2/22/2010 12:22:43 PM time to become “the Two years before the Macintosh V o l k s w a g e n ” o f t h e was unveiled, Apple’s then-and- microcomputer sector rather than future CEO was photographed its BMW — which became a by Charles O’Rear for a National popular automotive analogy with Geographic Magazine feature on Apple-watching commentators Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, l a t e r o n — a l t h o u g h h e riding a 1966 BMW R60/2 emphasizes that “We’d rather motorcycle. call the Apple a personal than a 27 years old, with longish hair home computer.” (no helmet), wearing tan boots The article notes that the Apple and a light-colored shirt with c o m p u t e r “ h a s i n s p i r e d a sleeves rolled back (no black dedicated cult of hard-core turtleneck), Jobs looks like he’s enthusiasts who trade new uses having the time of his life riding for the computer in the columns the two-wheel Bimmer in San of Apple magazines” and that Francisco freelancer Moira Jobs had “become a potent role Johnston’s feature “High Tech, model for a new breed of bright High Risk, and High Life in kids who are writing and selling Silicon Valley,” published in the software programs and, with magazine’s October 1982 issue. their arcane computer skills, However, notwithstanding his gaining the prestige formerly (excellent) taste in bikes, Steve’s tasted only by the high-school s t a t e d a m b i t i o n , w h e n football team.”
Johnston also reports that besides the BMW two-wheeler, Jobs, already holding $100 million worth of Apple stock, also owned “the requisite Mercedes,” but that “success seems not to have spoiled the first folk hero of the computer
age,” who still preferred according to an unnamed friend quoted, “to drive his motorcycle to my place, sit around and drink wine, and talk about what we’re going to do when we grow up.” Of more than passing interest is that not unlike Apple’s
performance through the current economic recession, the company seemed to be weathering a late ‘82 downturn the microchip sector rather well, with revenues soaring 81 percent year-over-year and Apple occupying 22 buildings in Silicon Valley as well as having plants in Texas, Singapore, and Ireland. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Read here for a scan and transcript, with photos, of the entire National Geographic article. A tip of the hat to Modern Mechanix for posting the article scan and to Peter Orosz of jalopnik.com for drawing my attention to this fascinating snippet of history.
Prosecutors and Judges May Bone One Another in Texas, No Problem [LOLaw] by Hamilton Nolan (Gawker) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:13:53 AM
The Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a condemned man's execution should go forward even though the judge in his case
was sleeping with the prosecutor. And the judge in question has an unintentionally comical rebuke, for her detractors! Judge Verla Sue Holland (pictured) has had just about i n m a t e , enough of this Death Row
"assassinating [her] reputation" (he's now appealing to the Supreme Court) just because she sentenced him to death after boning the man prosecuting his H o o d , case. "She was 'tired of laying over,' she said, and 'getting
licked without any input.'" Judge Verla Sue Holland demands input prior to being licked! Go, Texas! [ NYT. Pic via]
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Lindsay Lohan Broaches the Subject of Her Daddy Issues [Gossip Roundup] by Maureen O'Connor (Gawker) Submitted at 2/23/2010 7:04:43 AM
Papa Lohan's acting out coincided with LiLo's "rock bottom." The search for Andrew Koenig continues. Russell Brand leaves Katy Perry"bedridden" for days. Lady Gaga wants to make babies with her stylist. Tuesday gossip is in need of a father figure. • Lindsay Lohan told all about her drug abuse to The Sun: "I tried to mask my problems with alcohol, cocaine and mindaltering substances." She hit "rock bottom" "when my father was going public." (Subtle laying of blame? I mean, it obviously was his fault.) She went to rehab three times, including one time that she took Ambien, turned on the bathtub, then woke up on the bathroom floor in a watery swamp. "When I woke up I was so scared, I called my therapist and said, 'Can I just go somewhere for a month?'" She's learned how to dump bad influences (Samantha Ronson? Nicole Richie? We want names!) and is "allowed to drink now but I know my limits." [ Sun] • • Now, LiLo is addicted only to shots of Vitamin B12. Isn't that the stuff from carrots? Is this a new fad diet? She's chain smoking, too. [ P6]
• • Katy Perry says Russell Brand leaves her "bedridden most of the week." Eww. "He's a walking genius. Just standing next to him makes me smarter." Aww. (But kinda "eww," too.) [ ShowBizSpy] • • Vancouver police have been flooded with Andrew Koenig sightings ever since they went public with the Growing Pains star's disappearance over the weekend. Some of the sightings sound pretty wild but cops say they're still looking "for a living person." Meanwhile, a Brooklyn friend says Koenig returned borrowed items and had goodbye-ish interactions before going to Vancouver. [ TMZ] [ NYDN • • At least one tabloid editor says he's "thinking twice before printing lies" about Brangelina. Judging by yesterday's Angelina plastic surgery story, the honeymoon is already over. [ NBN second item] • • This is a new take on movie promotions. Johnny Depp is taking a break from the Alice in Wonderland circuit to advocate for "three men convicted of murdering three boys in a suspected satanic ritual," in part due to their love of heavy metal and Stephen King. One man is on death row; the other two have
life sentences. Depp is going on 48 Hours Mystery to say the trial wasn't fair; he joins peculiar company of Winona Ryder, Metallica, and the Dixie Chicks in this cause. I sort of think they
could find a better advocate than Johnny Depp, though. He's kinda satan-y, himself. [ P6] • • Lady Gaga is ready to make babies and have a husband, and
once considered "style collaborator Matthew Williams" for the role (can you believe her stylist is straight?) but "mixing work and love became too difficult" so now she's back on the market. [ ShowBizSpy] • • Sen. Chuck Schumer opened his car door all fast and almost killed two scooter riders, who cursed him out until they suddenly realized it was a famous person, and got all quiet. [ P6] • • Remember how yesterday's Philippe-Cornish break-up spin was that he was a family man, and she ran out without reason? Looks like Abbie's people are firing back: Ryan partied constantly and cheated. Gatecrasher is on Abbie's side: "We'll say: Most recently, Phillippe was out and about in NYC, and Cornish was nowhere in sight." [ Gatecrasher] • • Pee Wee Herman got caught going 50 in a 35MPH zone. He was driving a 2009 Lexus. No word whether he honked a laugh. [ TMZ] • • Charlie Sheen's wife Brooke Mueller is suing her rehab facility for leaking info about her stint there. Rehab-to-the-stars LINDSAY page 68
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The Newest Hotspot in NY: Some Dude's Apartment [Only In New York] by Ravi Somaiya (Gawker)
stream, for pre and post club debauchery. As many as 150 people have crammed into the Beatrice Inn and the Jane Hotel space. w e r e c l o s e d b y p r i s s y It happened because Mike has neighbours. Downtown stalwarts worked in the restaurant industry like Lit and the Box face for nearly a decade. While constant scrutiny from the city. developing a new nightclub So the newest hangout for project over the last few months celebrities (not to mention he accumulated some fairly strippers and transsexuals) is a unorthodox nightlife friends — random apartment. who eventually started hosting Mike is from Rumson. He lives impromptu parties at his place. "I in a reasonable-sized studio/loft get text messages and phonecalls downtown somewhere. His decor whenever anyone wants to bring is sparse; the former dance studio a crew through," he explains. is painted battleship gray with a You enter the building through a large L-shaped couch around a red door — the buzzer is broken coffee table, which has a copy of so you have to call someone Wine Spectator magazine on top. inside to let you in (there are There are Phish and Wilco rumors that Mick Jagger fell at posters, abstract paintings and a this hurdle last week). You walk Y u c c a p l a n t . H i s w i r e l e s s past a trash can, up some rickety, password is Nirvana1. black-painted stairs and turn left. Over the last couple of weeks During the evenings, ashtrays Mike's apartment — it has no and bottles are filled with other title — has hosted rockers cigarette butts and thick smoke like Guns'n'Roses and Sebastian wafts through the air. There is no Bach of Skid Row and the soul smoking ban here. The neighbors singer Daniel Merriweather. An in the six story building are a f t e r p a r t y f o r t h e t h i r d either at the parties or don't care anniversary of the Box ( where a about noise. Unconstrained by transsexual threw up on Susan licensing laws, the parties tend to Sarandon) came complete with go until sunrise — or until the boxers, debutantes, strippers and last of the booze is gone and CIA models. Promoters from Avenue, analysts and starlets are strewn 1OAK and Greenhouse bring across the floors and couches in their crowds here in a steady unfeasible positions. Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:04:03 AM
someone. "I'm like dude she's probably a hooker, don't give her a $50 glass of MacAllan." In the same cabinet is Mike's pickle collection — he's been collecting and making pickles for about three years. It has remained mysteriously untouched. "This one," he said, on a recent afternoon, holding up a jar of green, unripe tomatoes in spiced brine "is my favourite because my mom grew the grape tomatoes herself." Journalists from the New York Post, NBC, and the New York Times have been through. "But everyone seems to be sitting on it, keeping it to themselves," said Mike. And we're not mentioning Mike's full name, or the location, or running any pictures that might give away either, so as not to ruin perhaps the last refuge for New York debauchery in the era of smoking bans and wealthy neighbors who expect perfect Over the next two weeks, along Inside are several $500 bottles of quiet downtown. "No one is with the usual crowds, a high- O p u s O n e C a b e r n e t . H e here, and this doesn't exist," said end New York fashion house estimates that $5000 of whiskey one regular as he reached into will have a party here, and an has been sneakily consumed the cabinet for a nip of artist will host a reception for a since his apartment turned into Glenfiddich 21-year-old major exhibition. Mike is mostly an unexpected hotspot — despite whiskey, on that recent happy about the development. the hardest door in New York. afternoon. "There will never be a But it's not all harmonious. He gets particularly upset when Tweet sent from this apartment." M i k e k e e p s h i s e x p e n s i v e guests give it away to mysterious whisky and wine collection in an u n k n o w n w o m e n w h o unlockable wooden cabinet. sometimes turn up, invited by
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LINDSAY continued from page 66
joints must be so used to this particular legal battle. [ TMZ] • • Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald got out of five traffic tickets because cameras revealed the driver was a white guy and thus could not be him. This is the first time that driving while black got someone off the hook. [ TMZ] • • David Remnick strenuously disagrees with the characterization of his forthcoming Obama book as a "pimped out" version of that one New Yorker article. It will be "pumped up," he says. It's all pomp to me. [ P6] • • Producers for Ellen and The View are fighting for Oprah's time slot, and right now The
View is winning because Joy Behar is on fire these days. Did you know Joy is from Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Back when it was an Italian neighborhood. She's O.G. [ NBN] • • "You became gay in the '70s" is how 58-year-old B-52's frontman Fred Schneider explains being a gay of the certain age. He came out to his mom and she said "Oh I know, Freddie." So he was like, "Well, OK. I guess I'll go back outside and smoke some pot." [ Popeater] •
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant 'good to go' against Memphis Grizzlies by Dave McMenamin (ESPN.com)
through strength." Los Angeles went 4-1 with Bryant out of the lineup. The Submitted at 2/22/2010 4:53:04 PM loss came down to the final Message from fivefilters.org: If possession against Boston. you can, please donate to the full "He's not coming back in the -text RSS service so we can same position he was at two, continue developing it. three weeks ago, but it's good to The 18-day layoff has paid off. have him out there on the floor," Kobe Bryant will end his five- Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. game absence because of a "I thought his movement was sprained left ankle and strained good." tendon in his left leg Tuesday in Jackson and Bryant said the Memphis and play in his first shooting guard's minutes will not game since Feb. 5. be limited Tuesday despite the "I'll be good to go," Bryant said o n g o i n g h e a l i n g , b u t after Lakers practice Monday. Wednesday's game in Dallas The 14-year veteran said that could be a challenge. strength still remains an issue in "There's always the ultimate test the ankle, but overall, "it's to see how it develops and how it healthy." holds the stress or the pressure of "Where I'm at now, I feel travel and playing in a back-toconfident about playing and back," Bryant said. "That's while I play getting to 100 always a huge test. We'll just percent," Bryant said. "It's about have to see how it does." probably 80-85 [percent] right A dialed-back Bryant could n o w a n d t h e r e s t o f t h e benefit the Lakers considering percentage is made up just what happened the last time Los
Angeles played the Grizzlies when Bryant scored 44 points on 16-for-28 shooting and L.A. lost the game 95-93. Bryant picked apart the 6-foot-4 O.J. Mayo, and Jackson said Monday that Bryant likes to take advantage of smaller guards, but after that Grizzlies loss there were rumblings in the locker room about the Lakers post players not getting enough touches. Bryant seemed intent on the Lakers keeping the chemistry they developed with him on the bench. "I think now everybody is playing with a pretty good rhythm," Bryant said. "So the key is just to keep it going." Dave McMenamin covers the L a k e r s f o r ESPNLosAngeles.com. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
LT Out: Fantasy Implications by R.J. White (FanHouse Main)
the best running back in their franchise's history. Our own Nancy Gay wrote that two NFL Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:10:00 PM executives think LaDainian Filed under: NFL Waiver Wire, Tomlinson may be finished, and NFL Bust a Move It's official -- then went on to point out a few San Diego has severed ties with locations where Tomlinson may
land. I'll throw a couple more into the mix and briefly talk
about the former top fantasy pick's worth in each potential landing spot. Tomlinson himself said he'd only look towards signing with a contender that has an elite quarterback in place. That
narrows down the field considerably.
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LaDainian Tomlinson released by Chargers after 9 years by ESPN.com news services (ESPN.com)
Since then, it has been downhill. "It was a long time coming, but I knew it was coming," Tomlinson Submitted at 2/22/2010 9:09:44 PM said, according to SI.com. "Now Message from fivefilters.org: If that it's official I can kind of look you can, please donate to the full to the next step in my career and -text RSS service so we can playing football for someone continue developing it. John else." Clayton On Tomlinson's Release Tomlinson ranks eighth on the John Clayton On Tomlinson's all-time rushing list with 12,490 Release VIDEO PLAYLIST yards. His 138 career rushing • John Clayton On Tomlinson's touchdowns rank second, and his R e l e a s e J o h n C l a y t o n O n 153 total touchdowns rank third. Tomlinson's Release He was the NFL's MVP in 2006, • Chargers Release Tomlinson when he set single-season Chargers Release Tomlinson records with 31 touchdowns and 186 points. Tomlinson won the SAN DIEGO -- The slashing, NFL's rushing title in 2006 and d a z z l i n g r u n s c a m e l e s s '07. frequently. The yards didn't pile "This is a part of the business up as easily as in previous that I hate, and it's particularly seasons. hard when you're dealing with LaDainian Tomlinson was someone I consider a friend," slowing down because of injuries Chargers president Dean Spanos and age, becoming less and less said in a statement. "Change the face of the franchise as his involving great players is never role was reduced in a pass-happy easy. I respect L.T. as much or offense. more than any player I've ever On Monday, he was released by known. And no one appreciates the San Diego Chargers, a h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h i s franchise he helped revive with a organization more than I do. brilliant nine-year run in which That is why this is such a he became one of the NFL's difficult announcement for me to greatest running backs. make." At the age 30 and with declining General manager A.J. Smith numbers, Tomlinson has been called it "a tough day, a sad day anticipating his release for the f o r e v e r y b o d y i n t h e past month. organization. But it's always Declining Returns tough to part ways with great LaDainian Tomlinson had his players who helped you win MVP season in 2006 when he set games. It's not a pleasant day, NFL single-season records with but we're working through it." 31 touchdowns and 186 points. "He was one of the greatest
players and people that I've ever had a chance to be around and he will be missed," outside linebacker Shawne Merriman said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Tomlinson reaction The San Diego Chargers released running back LaDainian Tomlinson on Monday, and fans want to know if he's going to wear their colors. Could he end up in the AFC East? Blog • Blog reaction from around the NFL Tomlinson, who turned 30 last summer, was injured early in the 2009 season and finished with 730 yards on 223 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per carry, all career lows. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a Charger came on Dec. 10, 2006, when he swept into the end zone late in a game against the Denver Broncos for his third touchdown of the afternoon to break Shaun Alexander's year-old record of 28 touchdowns in a single season. His linemen hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him toward the sideline, with Tomlinson holding the ball high in his right hand and waving his left index finger, while the fans chanted "L.T.! L.T.!" and "MVP! MVP!" "What L.T. has meant to this town and to this team, in nine years, the impact he's had both on and off the field, we may
never see that again," quarterback Philip Rivers said before accepting an award at a sports banquet Monday night. "You're not just going to replace L.T. himself. He was more than a running back." The Tomlinson years were some of the best in Chargers history. Tomlinson established himself as a star during a rookie season in 2001 when he rushed for 1,236 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. His ability to run, make big plays and score touchdowns helped allow quarterbacks Drew Brees and Rivers to develop into Pro Bowl stars. The Chargers reworked Tomlinson's contract last offseason to give him one more chance to re-establish himself as a top running back. He was scheduled to get a $2 million bonus in March and a $3 million base salary under the restructured contract. The Chargers will pay Tomlinson a $1 million bonus, guaranteed if the team released him. "The main thing for me now is to try to win a championship," Tomlinson said to SI. com when asked about the future. "That's my No. 1 goal. That's why I still work hard and train like I do, because I still believe there's a chance of winning that championship. So the next team I go to has to have a chance of winning a title. I can think of a few teams off the top of my head, but that's what my agent is
for. I'm sure he's going to do some research, talk to some teams and present some options to me." Agent Tom Condon said he'll spend time at the forthcoming NFL combine in Indianapolis determining interest from other teams. "I think they did us a favor in terms of releasing him before we go to the combine. That part of it was positive," Condon told the AP. "L.T. during Super Bowl week had indicated it was time to move on, and they accommodated him. He's had a Hall of Fame run there as a Charger." Condon doesn't think Tomlinson is finished. "It's one of those things with the very, very special players, like Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, guys like that," Condon said. "You can't predict what they're going to do. They seem to defy the odds. He keeps himself in tremendous condition. I think he feels like he can go forward for several more years." ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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The Count: Canada Shoots Blanks Against Team USA (WSJ.com: The Daily Fix) Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:37:32 PM
Canada outshot the U.S. 45-23 on Sunday in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament. And yet the U.S. won, 5-3, with the fifth goal an empty-netter. “If you outshoot a team 45-23, you have to win,” ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun wrote. European Pressphoto Agency Martin Brodeur takes little solace in knowing his teammates outshot the U.S. But it’s not that simple. Consider, for instance, that just three days earlier Canada beat Switzerland, 3-2, in a shootout. In that game, the Canadians outshot the Swiss, 47-23, according to the match’s official stats. Behind the Net blogger Gabriel Desjardins, citing his stats showing a shooting margin of 46-23, reported that over the last 15 years, when an NHL team outshoots its opponent by between 21 and 25 shots, it wins about 60% of the time. Outshooting your opponent hardly guarantees victory. One reason is that the trailing
team often outshoots its opponent in the third period in a bid to catch up. Those shots are likely to be of lower than average quality. Last night, Canada outshot the U.S., 14-4, in the final period, connecting only once. However, overall Desjardins counted twice as many close shots for Canada than for the U.S., so there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of desperate peppering of the U.S. goal from far out. Another factor is goaltending. ESPN’s LeBrun calls for Canadian goalie Martin Brodeur to be benched. As noted here before, Brodeur has assembled a very good NHL career but isn’t quite as good as his stats suggest. But also keep in mind the role of luck. Desjardins considers seven of the Olympic men’s teams to be good — the U.S, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. There have been five games between those teams. Overall, the losing teams in those games have outshot the winning teams, with more opportunities from up
Mavericks, the Spectators by Zack Sheppard (Flickr Blog) Submitted at 2/22/2010 4:07:29 PM
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-text RSS service so we can continue developing it.• About Flickr Flickr is a revolution in photo storage, sharing and organization, making photo
close. Desjardins attributes the winning teams’ wins, in such a small sample, primarily to luck. Consider that Canada has gotten 2.42 times as many close-in shots as its opponents, while the U.S.’s ratio is just 1.15. Because of such lucky breaks, Desjardins figured a few days ago that Canada, even as the favorite, probably had just a 20%-25% chance to win the tournament, with a format that requires the winner to survive at least three single-elimination games. Goals and wins, not shots, are ultimately what count, though. At Sports Reference’s Olympics blog, Neil Paine tallies those from every Olympic tournament since 1998 to rate each country and each individual team, and finds that this year, the U.S. ranks highest, followed by
Sweden, Russia and Canada in a virtual dead heat for second place. None of this year’s teams is historically dominant, with 10 teams from the last three Olympics rating higher, including the Canadian teams in 1998 and 2002 and the 2002 American team. And when combining all four Olympic tournaments, barely half a goal separates the top six teams: Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Canada and the U.S. Paine also finds virtually no home-ice advantage in the Olympics, which will come as no great surprise to disappointed Canadian fans this morning. But let’s not overstate this upset. Desjardins points out that the oft -repeated 50-year dry spell for Team USA against Canada in the Olympics isn’t very meaningful, since for most of that time neither country sent its NHL stars. In the last 14 years at major international tournaments, the two teams have split eight games.
Euro’s relapse halts rally in stocks (Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 2/23/2010 5:59:19 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. By Jamie Chisholm, Global Markets Commentator Published: February 23 2010 08:34 | Last updated: February 23 2010 13:59 Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Northug Kicks His Way to Gold in Cross -Country Sprint Relay (WSJ.com: The Daily Fix) Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:58:44 PM
management an easy, natural and Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: c o l l a b o r a t i v e p r o c e s s . G e t PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, It’s a safe bet that North Americans will never learn to comments, notes, and tags on Term Extraction. appreciate cross-country skiing. your photos, post to any blog, That’s too bad, especially share and more! NORTHUG page 71 Five Filters featured article:
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considering what Norwegian Petter Northug is capable of on waxed skis and with a pair of long poles in his hands. Associated Press Norway’s Petter Northug, right, skis towards the finish line to win the gold medal followed by Russia’s Alexey Petukhov, left, and Germany’s Axel Teichmann. Northug was a good eight meters behind Germany’s Axel Teichmann enetering the stadium in the men’s sprint relay final Monday when he put on his signature kick to the finish. With five overpowering thrusts of his poles, Northug flew by Teichmann, giving the Norwegians yet another gold medal and giving his country redemption after a week in which
they have not performed up to expectations in their national sport. Northug has proven controversial in recent years for relying on his prowess in the finish and not taking turns at the front of the pack where the wind is strongest. But no one waving Norway’s red, white and blue flag would dare complain about that Monday afternoon. He thrilled his countrymen, who dominated the hillsides at Whistler Olympic Park. If there is one Olympic highlight to search for today on the Internet — because don’t expect NBC to give the country much play in prime time — this is the one to watch. Northug’s kick is like a Michael Jordan dunk or a home
run from David Ortiz — something to savor. In the women’s race, Germany pulled away from Sweden to win a gold medal in another race that came down to the final lap through the stadium. The U.S., which is improving but still struggling in Nordic skiing, finished sixth in the women’s event on the strength of Kikkan Randall, and 9th in the men’s on strong skiing from Andy Newell, who kept the U.S. near the front for much of the race, but faded in the end.
Christopher Kane’s Fall 2010 Collection: Bad Girl With a Twist by ELLE.com (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 2/22/2010 5:07:25 PM
Today in London, 27-year old designer Christopher Kane added a touch of nice to his naughty new look for fall: leather mixed with lace, while pretty little flowers blossomed out of shiny black patent. Topping it all Photos: Imaxtree off—a lace-up dominatrix shoe, Click here for our complete fall of course. 2010 Fashion Week coverage Click here to shop Kane's spring Follow ELLE on Twitter. collection. Become our Facebook fan! —Violet Moon Gayn or
Enduring Legacy of the Miracle on Ice by Lisa Olson (FanHouse Main)
both earn substantial paychecks from the New Jersey Devils. They are friends and teammates Submitted at 2/22/2010 4:15:00 PM eight months of the year, but for Filed under: USA, Ice Hockey a f o r t n i g h t t h e y a r e f a u x V A N C O U V E R , B r i t i s h enemies, competitors who'll do C o l u m b i a - - F r o m s e a t s whatever it takes to win a gold comfortably above ice level, they medal for their respective watched as Jamie Langenbrunner countries. Langenbrunner has buzzed around the Canadian insight into Brodeur's deep, dark crease, pestering goalie Martin s e c r e t s , s u c h a s h o w t h e Brodeur. Langenbrunner was up Canadian goaltender despises in Brodeur's mask, rattling him, traffic congestion in front of him. and it was a fine and timely "That right there illustrates the example of how Olympic hockey difference compared to when we has changed in 30 years. played. The atmosphere was Langenbrunner and Brodeur similar, it's just electric right
now, but it's really impossible to compare what we went through to this," Jim Craig (right) was saying not long after the tense,
exhausting seconds had ticked down on Team USA's 5-3 upset victory over Canada here Sunday night. "Imagine if we had been that friendly and familiar with guys who wore the other sweaters," Peter Stastny observed later, as he waited for his son Paul, center for Team USA's top offensive line, to emerge from the crazy crush inside the cathedral called Canada Hockey Place. "We didn't really know that much about the other players. That's what made it so special."
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Ilgauskas' Buyout Could Happen Soon by Matt Watson (FanHouse Main) Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:40:00 PM
Filed under: Cavaliers, Wizards, NBA Rumors The NBA will not block a potential Cleveland homecoming for Zydrunas Ilgauskas if he's able to successfully negotiate a buyout with the Washington Wizards, a league official has informed the Associated Press. Under current rules, a player who is traded and subsequently released or bought out is allowed to sign with another team immediately or return to his original team after sitting out for 30 days -- provided that a return to his original team was not agreed upon prior to the trade. When reached via email on
Monday, Ilgauskas' agent Herb Rudoy informed FanHouse that he hoped to negotiate a buyout "in the next 48 hours" but denied having an agreement with Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry or any other team in place.
"I have not heard a word from the NBA about stopping Z from playing for the Cavs should he choose to return to them," Rudoy wrote. "I had no deal with the Cavs or Ferry before the trade!" The AP's report and Rudoy's statements run contrary to a report over the weekend by Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times, who cited an unnamed source of his own indicating the NBA would not allow Ilgauskas to return to Cleveland. But considering the rules are clear about how long a player must sit out before returning, it seems unlikely the league would (or could) prevent it unless there were indisputable proof of some kind that an agreement was in place before the trade.
Samsung's E6, E101 and E61 e-readers shown on video (Engadget) (Yahoo! News Search Results for e-readers) Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:15:50 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. Boss of the Year Entry Form Now that we've thrown 'em off
the trail, use the form below to get in touch with the people at Engadget. Please fill in all of the required fields because they're required. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, by Kevin Blackistone (FanHouse Main) Term Extraction. Filed atunder: Ice Submitted 2/22/2010 3:00:00 PM KICK page 73Hockey,
A Kick to Canada's Collective Gut
Big 12 Notebook: Kansas State Contending for a No. 1 Seed by Terrance Harris (FanHouse Main) Submitted at 2/22/2010 3:45:00 PM
Filed under: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Big 12, Missouri The Kansas State Wildcats were maybe the biggest surprise team in the nation a couple months ago. They are no longer surprising to anyone. The sixth-ranked Wildcats, led by an experienced starting five that includes guards Denis Clemente(right) and Jacob Pullen, are good and perhaps worthy of elite status. So much so, Kansas State has a shooter's chance of possibly securing the Big 12's second No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament depending on how the next few weeks finish out. The Wildcats are No. 6 in the latest RPI estimate, but would need to be among the top four by the time Selection Sunday rolls around March 14. Third-year KState coach Frank Martin, however, would prefer to stay in
the moment which means focusing on Tuesday night's game at Texas Tech. "We don't spend a lot of time thinking about it," Martin said during Monday's Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Teleconference. "But we've talked about it and we talk about that opportunity being the reason our next practice needs to be the biggest practice in our time we've had at K-State and our next game being the biggest game we've had at K-State.
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Canada VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Over a fine Chinese lunch, a friend of mine in this polyglot city, who was born and reared in Ottawa, assured me a few days ago that whatever discomfort he and his countrymen were feeling from failing to Own the Podium of their own Olympics would be assuaged by success in a single sport. "We just care," Brian Wood, a literary agent, told me with a dismissive chuckle between stabbings of vegetarian pot stickers, "about hockey." Indeed, it was reported on Monday that more Canadians -10 million plus -- watched their guys on Sunday play the U.S. team in hockey than viewed any
televised game in history. Some Canadian fans who attended the match said they forked over $1,000 for tickets that were $80 face value. Some ticket buyers slept in line overnight outside the arena to get the last tickets to be sold to the public. Group masochism would've been less painful and certainly not as expensive. Canadians could've found someone to beat them over the head collectively for free. For what this hockey-crazed country witnessed was its team fall, extremely unexpectedly, 5-3 to the Americans south of its border.
Mavericks, the Surfers by Zack Sheppard (Flickr Blog) Submitted at 2/22/2010 12:53:52 PM
U.S. Comes in 11th in Ski Jumping, but Still Bests the Canadians
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. There are lots of amazing photos from the Mavericks Surf Competition last week. To see more, try a search for mavericks (WSJ.com: The Daily Fix) between the two teams. The surfing. To see photos from this Austrian team, led by Gregor Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:09:38 PM year only you can do an Schlierenzauer, ran away with it, advanced search and limit it to AFP/Getty Images The U.S.’s besting Germany in a romp, photos posted after Feb 12, 2010. Nicholas Alexander jumps in the followed by Norway. (The competition was on the men’s team ski jumping round 1. But perhaps we should give the 13th.) Coming into the Olympics, there Americans a break. The U.S. Ski Photos from Eggz, vonvonvon, was no sport the Americans had and Snowboard Association vonstanger, gemmamio, less of a chance to medal in than p r o v i d e s n o f u n d i n g o n a elsparquito, prgibbs, and ski jumping. Now that the national team level for ski BarCad. jumping competition is over, it’s jumping since it doesn’t view the Five Filters featured article: safe to say the Americans have U . S . a s c o m p e t i t i v e Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: met those expectations, failing to internationally as has to pick and PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, crack the top 30 in the individual choose where to spend its limited Term Extraction. competitions or make the final resources. So not only did the round of the team event. team of Anders Johnson, Peter The Americans came in 11th Frenette, Taylor Fletcher and place in the team competition Nicholas Alexander beat the M o n d a y , b e s t i n g o n l y t h e Canadians on their home hill, Canadians and winning a bet they did it on their own dime. over a jug of maple syrup
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Warner Bros. acquires Batman dev Rocksteady Studios by Ludwig Kietzmann (Joystiq)
applause and has since shipped over three million copies. Jamie Walker, studio director of Submitted at 2/23/2010 8:36:00 AM Rocksteady Games, expressed Holy strategic acquisition, pride in the deal -- the cost of predictable Batman reference! which has not been disclosed. W a r n e r B r o s . H o m e "We are proud to strengthen our E n t e r t a i n m e n t G r o u p h a s association with WBIE, a world announced its purchase of a class publisher that we have majority stake in Rocksteady enjoyed working with since we S t u d i o s , t h e d e v e l o p e r began developing Batman: responsible for towing Batman's Arkham Asylum," he said. In star vehicle out of a muddy addition, games director and Gotham ditch. Rocksteady's excellent sniper position Sefton B a t m a n : A r k h a m A s y l u m Hill noted, "The Rocksteady debuted in 2009 to critical team is very much looking
forward to creating more great games based on widely recognized Warner Bros. brands like Batman." What Warner license will
Rocksteady revive next? Whatever it is, it'll have to wait until construction is completed on the unnamed Arkham Asylum sequel.
[ Update: Square Enix Europe (Eidos) has confirmed that it still retains a 25.1 percent stake in Rocksteady.] Warner Bros. acquires Batman dev Rocksteady Studios originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments
Get your big break in Pro Gaming thanks to Doritos by JC Fletcher (Joystiq) Submitted at 2/23/2010 9:27:00 AM
Do you want to get in fighting shape for your pro gaming debut? Turn to Doritos! The "bold, intense snack brand" announced a "Pro-Gaming Combine" -- essentially a training camp for kids who want to play Halo 3 for a living. During the three-day event, players who show promise in the areas of "slaying power, teamwork/communication, leadership, objective play and support play" will undergo further evaluation by the "MLG Scout Team," just like in sports! One four-person team and four
Team passes for the first event, in Nashville, Tennessee, go on sale at 7PM EST tonight, with individual passes available tomorrow at the same time. The full schedule of Combines is available after the break. Continue reading Get your big break in Pro Gaming thanks to Doritos Get your big break in Pro Gaming thanks to Doritos originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 09:27:00 EST. by Richard Mitchell (Joystiq) individuals from each location Please see our terms for use of Submitted at 2/23/2010 2:00:00 AM winning a trip to the Major feeds. League Gaming Pro Circuit Read| Permalink| Email this| Tripwire Interactive has E v e n t a n d N a t i o n a l Comments announced that the retail version Championship Competition. of Zeno Clash is now available. The press release notes that the game is available at Best Buy,
Zeno Clash now at retail and a quick search reveals the game is available from several other sources, including Newegg and Amazon. The retail version includes Steam Achievements, the full single-player campaign, ZENO page 75
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Catch Jirachi at your local GameStop on February 27 by Griffin McElroy (Joystiq)
As an added bonus, trainers who have Jirachi in their collection Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:00:00 AM will have access to a special Is your elite Pokémon fighting training route on HeartGold and f o r c e l a c k i n g a c e r t a i n SoulSilver's bundled accessory, adorability factor? Starting this the Pokéwalker. That might just coming Saturday, February 27, be enough to give us the courage GameStop will have the perfect required to suffer the judgmental remedy to your problem -- the looks of our local GameStop's r e t a i l e r w i l l o f f e r a f r e e customers and employees. download of the legendary Catch Jirachi at your local Psychic/Steel-type Jirachi for GameStop on February 27 anyone who treks to the store originally appeared on Joystiq on with a copy of Poké mon Pearl, Tue, 23 Feb 2010 03:00:00 EST. Diamond or Platinum in tow. Please see our terms for use of The promotion will run until feeds. March 13 -- the day before Read| Permalink| Email this| HeartGold and SoulSilver hit Comments store shelves.
survival mode and free extra content known as "The Pit." For those unfamiliar with the game, it's a first-person adventure in which you beat up lots of weirdlooking dudes in a bizarre fantasy world. If that doesn't help, we've handily embedded a trailer for the upcoming XBLA version after the break. Zeno Clash has landed some decent reviews since it launched, so those of you who held out on the downloadable release might consider picking up the $20 retail
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package. Continue reading Zeno Clash now at retail Zeno Clash now at retail originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 02:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments
direction. Let me start with the good news. Real gross domestic product, or GDP, the broadest measure of a country’s total output, has turned around impressively. It rose at a robust 5.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. That’s a very welcome change from the huge declines we saw during the recession. In fact, it’s the best gain in GDP we’ve seen in six years. If we were able to sustain JANET page 76
Janet Yellen: Outlook for Economy and Monetary Policy by Guest Author (The Big Picture)
The Outlook for the Economy and Monetary Policy 1 Thank you, William. It’s very Submitted at 2/22/2010 3:00:08 PM nice to see a familiar face and to Message from fivefilters.org: If r e c e i v e s u c h a g r a c i o u s you can, please donate to the full introduction. And it’s a pleasure -text RSS service so we can to be here with you in beautiful continue developing it. San Diego. This morning, I will President’s Speech try to cover a lot of ground. I’ll Presentation to the Burnham- survey the economic landscape, Moores Center for Real Estate and give you my reading of the S c h o o l o f B u s i n e s s outlook for the national Administration, University of economy. I’ll also discuss the San Diego situation in San Diego and finish San Diego, CA with some comments about By Janet L. Yellen, President monetary policy. In particular, I and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank want to go over a matter that’s of on the minds of many people San Francisco right now: the Federal Reserve’s For Delivery on February 22, strategy for winding down the 2010, 8 AM Pacific time, 11:00 extraordinary measures taken AM Eastern during the financial and Download PDF Version(79KB) economic crisis of the past few
years. My comments reflect my own views, and not necessarily those of my Federal Reserve colleagues. Given the dismal economic news we faced for so long, it’s a great relief for me to report that the tide appears to have turned. We are seeing convincing evidence that an economic recovery is well under way. Still, as I’ll explain in greater detail in a few minutes, the fact that the economy is growing again doesn’t mean we’re where we ought to be. Far from it. In particular, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high, creating real hardship for millions of Americans. But, at least we’re heading in the right JANET page 75
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growth like this, we would experience a vibrant V-shaped upswing like those that occurred following past severe recessions. Unfortunately, I’m not at all convinced that a V-shaped recovery is in the cards. That fourth-quarter leap in GDP overstates the underlying momentum of the economy. Much of it was due to a slowdown in the pace at which businesses were drawing down inventory stocks compared with earlier in the year. Less than half of the fourth-quarter growth reflected higher sales to customers. Those sales did grow, but at a lackluster 2.2 percent. It appears that businesses are getting their inventories closer in line with sales, which is a good thing. But such inventory adjustments can be a potent source of growth only for a few quarters. I’d feel much more confident about the prospect for a sustained robust recovery if I saw evidence of more vigorous growth in actual sales. On that front, the most recent data show consumers releasing somewhat their tight grips on their wallets. But that doesn’t mean that people have thrown caution to the wind and returned to their spendthrift ways. Indeed, my business contacts tell me the consumer mindset is still in a fragile state. Clearly, the big weight hanging over everyone’s heads is jobs. The current high level of unemployment is severely restraining income and
undermining confidence as people worry whether they will have a paycheck in the months ahead. Even those with secure jobs may worry about their finances since debt burdens were near historic highs at the onset of the financial crisis and, since then, equity and house prices have declined sharply. At this point, households are actually paying down debt, a development that partly reflects the reluctance of banks to lend to households with battered balance sheets. The housing sector appears to have stabilized, but here too I don’t see any signs of a sharp turnaround. New home sales and construction finally stopped falling last year and have been reasonably stable, albeit at very low levels, for several months. Existing home sales surged late last year in response to the homebuyer tax credit. But, the credit expires this spring, so this source of support won’t be around much longer. The housing sector has also been benefiting from the Fed’s policy of buying mortgage-backed securities. These purchases appear to have helped keep home finance rates low. But, the Fed is now in the process of tapering off these purchases and plans to stop them at the end of March. As support from Federal Reserve and other government programs phases out, there is a risk that the housing market could weaken again.
If the consumer and housing sectors aren’t up to the task of delivering a V-shaped recovery, can business investment spending do it? It’s true that, in past recoveries, business investment typically grew rapidly once the economy turned the corner. And, in the current recession, businesses sharply curtailed capital expenditures, so they will eventually need to rebuild capacity and replace old equipment. In fact, we have already seen a rebound in business spending on equipment and software, and recent indicators for this type of spending point to solid growth. Arguing against too much optimism, however, is that businesses remain very nervous and exceedingly cost conscious. One of my contacts referred to a “scarring effect” in the wake of the recession that has left businesses focused on survival and leery of investing. Many businesspeople say they are concentrating instead on process improvements, keeping supply chains lean, waiting for purchase orders before they produce, and meeting increases in demand with higher productivity from their existing workforces. True, they are beginning to plan with greater confidence. But the watchword remains caution. Even for those businesses ready to expand—especially smaller ones—financing remains an impediment. Credit is becoming more available, but terms such as
collateral requirements can be onerous. What’s more, the crisis made businesses keenly aware that they can’t count on being able to get credit. Some of my contacts say they plan to keep more cash on hand, rather than investing it, as protection against a renewed credit crunch. Meanwhile, commercial real estate remains a bleak spot and investment in nonresidential structures is likely to stay depressed for some time. The recession drove up vacancy rates for office, retail, warehouse, and other income-producing properties, severely reducing demand for new buildings. In addition, credit is tight. Lenders and investors are demanding extra compensation for risk, driving up commercial real estate financing rates compared with pre-recession levels. And the market for commercial mortgage -backed securities remains distressed, despite support from the Fed’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. So, I just don’t see this sector contributing to growth for quite some time. 2 Put it all together and you have a recipe for a moderate rate of economic growth, well below the spritely pace set in the fourth quarter. The current quarter appears on course to post growth of around 3 percent. I see the economy gradually picking up steam over the remainder of this year as households and businesses regain confidence,
financial conditions improve, and banks increase the supply of credit. I expect growth of about 3½ percent for the year as a whole, picking up to about 4½ percent next year, with private demand coming on line to pick up the slack as government stimulus programs fade away. In addition to some of the weak spots I already mentioned, a number of other factors are holding back recovery. First, even though the banking and financial systems are gaining strength, they still bear wounds from the financial crisis, and these will take a long time to fully heal. Second, losses on mortgages, commercial real estate credits, and other loans continue to mount, and the full weight of foreclosures and bank failures on the economy has yet to be felt. Finally, the Fed, as well as central banks in other countries, has faced limits in the amount of monetary stimulus we have been able to generate. That’s because we can’t push interest rates below the near-zero level where they’ve been for more than a year. To be sure, we’ve developed many innovative programs to make credit cheaper and more readily available. But, all in all, monetary policy can’t give the same kick to the economy that it delivered in past recoveries. Earlier I noted that, even though the recession appears to be over, JANET page 77
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it does not mean that we are where we want to be. Even with my moderate growth forecast, the economy will be operating well below its potential for several years. Economists think in terms of what we call the “output gap,” which measures the difference between the actual level of GDP and the level where GDP would be if the economy were operating at full employment. The output gap was around negative 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. That’s a very big number and it means the U.S. economy was producing 6 percent less than it could have had we been at full employment. That’s equivalent to more than $900 billion of lost output per year, or roughly $3,000 per person. I’m afraid that the economy will continue to operate well below its potential throughout this year and next. Let me do a little math for you. The San Francisco Fed estimates that the potential level of output is increasing roughly 2½ percent a year due to growth in the labor force and increases in productivity. Hence, over the next two years, potential output will increase by about 5 percent. My forecast is that real GDP will increase about 8 percent during that period, or 3 percentage points more than potential output. This implies that the output gap will shrink from its current level of negative 6
percent to around negative 3 percent by the end of 2011. In fact, I don’t expect the output gap to completely vanish until sometime in 2013. This brings us to a subject that is of paramount concern to all of us—the job situation. This recession has been very severe, indeed. The U.S. economy has shed 8.4 million jobs since December 2007. That’s more than a 6 percent drop in payrolls, the largest percentage point decline since the demobilization following World War II. The unemployment rate, which was 5 percent at the start of the recession, rose to around 10 percent in late 2009. The rates of job openings and hiring are also stuck at very low levels. These statistics represent a tragedy for our country, our communities, and each of the families and individuals who have had to cope with a loss of livelihood. There is a glimmer of good news on the employment front. The pace of job losses has slowed dramatically and some indicators, such as gains in temporary jobs, suggest that we may be close to a turnaround in the labor market. I was encouraged to see the unemployment rate drop from 10 percent to 9.7 percent in January. Nonetheless, given my forecast of moderate growth and a shrinking, but still sizable, output gap, I expect unemployment to remain painfully high for years. The rate should edge down from
its current level to about 9¼ percent by the end of this year and still be about 8 percent by the end of 2011, a far cry from full employment. I should warn that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this forecast. In the past, a given level of economic growth produced a more-or-less predictable change in the unemployment rate. Historically, a pattern emerged in which unemployment declined by half as much as the difference in the growth rates of actual and potential GDP. This is commonly referred to as “Okun’s law” after the economist Arthur Okun, who first described this relationship back in the 1960s. Let me sketch out how this should work. In my forecast, GDP growth exceeds the growth rate of potential GDP by 1 percentage point this year and 2 percentage points next year. According to Okun’s law, the unemployment rate should fall by about one-half percentage point by the end of this year and a full percentage point during 2011. These figures are in line with my unemployment forecast. However, Okun’s law let us down big-time in 2009. Given that GDP was stagnant last year, the unemployment rate should have gone up by about 1¼ percentage points, according to Okun’s law. In fact, it shot up 3 percentage points. Understanding what happened last year has
important implications for what unemployment does in the future. Economists have come up with a number of possible explanations for why the unemployment rate rose so much last year. The first explanation for the failure of Okun’s law is that special factors not directly related to output growth may be pushing up the unemployment rate. One possibility is that the severe recession is fundamentally altering the labor market, shifting jobs away from such sectors as manufacturing, real estate, and finance to other sectors. This reallocation takes time. Until it is complete, we will see higher levels of unemployment. A second possibility is that extended unemployment benefits are artificially boosting reported unemployment rates because workers who collect unemployment checks may be saying they are looking for work even if they have given up. In the past, such people might not have said they were searching for jobs and would no longer have been considered part of the labor force and counted in the official unemployment statistics. Still, there is little evidence that structural shifts in the labor market or extended unemployment benefits have had large effects on the unemployment rate. Take the unemployment benefits explanation. If true, we would
expect to see a large increase in the labor force participation rate, that is, the percentage of people who are working or saying they are looking for work. In fact, currently, the labor force participation rate does not appear to be unusually high. A second possible explanation is that last year’s enormous decline in employment was somehow an aberration. GDP was basically unchanged over the four quarters of 2009. But payroll employment fell by 4 percent over the same period. In other words, the economy produced roughly the same quantity of goods and services with 4 percent fewer workers, which translates into a 4 percent increase in output per worker. That’s a huge rate of productivity growth, well above estimates of the long-term trend in productivity gains that stem from such factors as improved technology. So, if we ask where Okun’s law went astray, we can see the fingerprints of this unusual pattern of employment and productivity last year. But that’s not the end of the mystery. What would cause employment to dive and productivity to soar during such a severe recession? And is it a temporary or permanent phenomenon? Those who believe it’s temporary point to the unusual nature of this terrible financial crisis and recession. Its severity made employers believe that it JANET page 78
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would be a long time, if ever, before they would need as many workers as they previously had. The credit crunch may also have caused some to fear that they wouldn’t be able to borrow in order to meet their payrolls. These factors prompted employers to break from the normal cyclical pattern in which workers are laid off relatively slowly and some are kept in reserve in case demand picks up. In this scenario, workforces have been cut to the bone and perhaps beyond. Businesses were able to continue to produce the same level of output despite big cuts in their workforces by working their employees harder. But that can only go so far. If demand continues to increase and businesses become more confident, they will eventually begin hiring again. If so, productivity growth will slow and the unemployment rate will fall faster than usual, reversing its unusual rise last year. There is an alternative explanation regarding the events of last year though that bodes poorly for rapid employment gains going forward. According to this view, last year’s large increase in productivity is here to stay. In that case, we won’t see a quick drop in unemployment and may be in for a jobless recovery akin to those in the early 1990s and early 2000s. This is closer to my view and broadly consistent with my forecast. According to this perspective,
the recession has forced businesses to reexamine just about everything they do with an eye toward restraining costs and boosting efficiency. Strapped by tight credit and plummeting sales, businesses have overhauled the way they manage supply chains, inventory, production practices, and staffing. Stores don’t order merchandise unless they think they can sell it right away. Manufacturers and builders don’t produce unless they have buyers lined up. My business contacts describe this as a paradigm shift and they believe it’s permanent. This process of implementing new efficiency gains may have only begun and we may be in store for further efficiency improvements and high productivity growth for some time. If so, the rate of job creation will be frustratingly slow. I’d like to bring this discussion home now by talking a little about San Diego. Obviously, the area economy was hit hard during the recession, but it does seem to have weathered the storm better than many areas of California. And, significantly, the San Diego area has shown signs of a job market turnaround in recent months. Employment grew notably in October and the gains were largely maintained in November and December. To be sure, San Diego still has far to go. The unemployment rate was significantly above the national
average in December, the most recent data we have. San Diego is among the nation’s leading biotechnology centers and this industry has been a bright spot. Biotech accounts for about two-and-a-half times as great a share of employment and income here as it does nationwide. Biotech wasn’t entirely immune—if I may use that word—to the recession. But demand for medical services continued to expand and that supported the industry. It appears that local biotech employment has largely held up during the past two years. Makers of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment manufacturers, and providers of research and development services even registered significant employment gains. Moreover, growth should continue. After bottoming out in early 2009, venture capital spending has risen substantially, with an important share going to biotech. The local housing market appears to be improving as well. Fortunately, San Diego never saw as big a subprime mortgage boom as Nevada, Arizona, and some other places in California. Nevertheless, home foreclosures have surged in the San Diego area, rising from under 1 percent in the fall of 2007 to slightly over 3 percent of existing mortgages in December of last year. The trend, though, may be heading in the right direction. Foreclosures declined slightly in
San Diego in December, even as they continued to rise nationwide. Overall, the San Diego economy will likely recover along with the national economy. At the same time, I would not be too surprised to see the recovery take hold here with a bit more vigor than in the nation as a whole for the reasons I mentioned a moment ago. Let me move on to the outlook for inflation nationwide. You can get into quite a debate on this topic. Some people worry that sustained federal budget deficits and the huge increase in the Federal Reserve’s lending and stimulus programs could eventually lead to high inflation. Others take the opposite view, arguing that economic slack and downward pressure on wages and prices are pushing inflation down. I would put myself squarely in the second camp. I’m no fan of persistently large budget deficits. I’ve warned against them throughout my career. But the real danger I see from them is not inflation. Rather, they may be harmful once the economy recovers because they are apt to boost interest rates and absorb private savings that would otherwise finance productive investments. This is potentially a serious problem in the long term that could reduce investment and lower living standards, although, in the short run, federal deficits have cushioned the blow from
the financial crisis and recession. As far as inflation is concerned, there’s no evidence that big government deficits cause high inflation in advanced economies with independent central banks, such as the Fed. Japan is a case in point. Japan has run enormous fiscal deficits for many years and its government debt has risen to very high levels. Yet is has suffered from persistent deflation, not inflation. I believe that the more worrisome challenge for price stability over the next few years stems primarily from the sizable amount of slack in the economy. Whether measured by the output gap, the unemployment rate, the manufacturing capacity utilization rate, or whichever measure you like, the economy is running well below its potential. As a result, inflation is already very low and trending downward. Over the past 12 months, the personal consumption price index, excluding volatile food and energy prices, rose a modest 1.5 percent. This increase in core inflation was below the 2 percent rate that I and most of my fellow Fed policymakers on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consider an appropriate long-term price stability objective. And, with slack likely to persist for years and wages barely rising, it seems quite possible that core inflation will JANET page 79
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move even lower this year and next. So where does all this leave Federal Reserve policy? Traditionally, the main tool of Fed monetary policy is the federal funds rate, which is what banks charge each other for overnight loans. The Fed controls that rate by varying the amount of reserves it supplies to the banking system and we have pushed that rate to zero for all practical purposes. This is as low as it can go. Such accommodative policy is appropriate, in my view, because the economy is operating well below its potential and inflation is undesirably low. I believe this is not the time to be removing monetary stimulus. Consistent with that view, the FOMC has repeatedly stated that it expects low interest rates to continue for an extended period. Of course, in response to financial and economic emergency, the Fed has done a lot more than simply lower the federal funds rate. It has provided secured loans to banks and other financial institutions to make sure key credit markets were functioning. It is also in the last stages of purchasing $1.25 trillion dollars of mortgagebacked securities guaranteed by agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and $175 billion of the direct debt of these agencies. These programs were vital in preventing a complete financial breakdown, which would have
done immeasurable damage to our society. As financial and economic conditions improve, the need for such extraordinary support diminishes. Accordingly, the Fed has begun to phase out its emergency lending programs. Special lending programs for primary dealers in the Treasury securities market, for money market mutual funds, and for corporate short-term debt have already been ended. So too have we shut down special arrangements to make dollars available to foreign central banks. The Term Auction Facility (TAF) and the TALF, which respectively supported financial institutions and credit markets, will be largely closed next month. 3 Finally, the Federal Reserve has readjusted the terms of its loans to banks and thrifts—so-called discount window lending. During the financial crisis, we encouraged depository institutions to borrow from us when they needed cash to meet essential obligations. Now that financial markets are functioning more normally, banks can meet their usual funding needs by tapping private markets. As we carried out our emergency lending programs and eased monetary policy in response to the recession, our balance sheet swelled from roughly $800 billion to its current level of over $2.2 trillion. Despite the reduction in our
lending programs, our balance sheet remains, for want of a better word, enormous, owing to our holdings of mortgage-backed securities and agency debt. Now I just said this is not the time to be tightening monetary policy. But eventually the economy will gain enough momentum and won’t need today’s extraordinarily low interest rates. When that time comes, we will begin to tighten policy and remove monetary stimulus. And when we start doing so, we will face some technical issues due to the size of the balance sheet, as Chairman Bernanke noted in recent Congressional testimony. 4 Let me briefly outline our strategy. In normal times, the Fed raises interest rates by reducing the size of its balance sheet, say by selling Treasury securities to the public. This draws in cash from the economy, or, as we say, reduces the supply of bank reserves, which in turn causes the price of those reserves, that is, the federal funds rate, to go up. Since the fed funds rate is the benchmark for banks’ cost of money, other short-term market interest rates tend to follow suit. Higher interest rates in turn help slow the economy and reduce inflationary pressures. But these aren’t normal times. Our securities purchases have caused the quantity of reserves in the banking system to swell to something like $1 trillion—far above the pre-crisis level of
around $50 billion. If we were to follow our standard approach of selling securities to raise interest rates, we would have to sell off many hundreds of billions of dollars of securities to reduce the supply of reserves enough to have any chance of pushing rates higher. The problem with doing that is that such massive sales of mortgage-related and Treasury securities could be disruptive to markets and cause mortgage interest rates and other long-term rates to shoot up when we are still in the early stages of the recovery and the financial system, although improving, is still not at full health. There is an alternative. To push up short-term interest rates without selling off our securities holdings, we can instead raise the interest rate that we pay on reserves held at the Fed. Because banks would have the opportunity to collect a higher reward for keeping funds on deposit at the Fed, they would demand commensurately higher returns on the overnight loans that they make in the federal funds market. So an increase in the interest rate paid on reserves would raise the fed funds rate and tighten financial conditions more generally. The ability to pay interest on the excess reserves that banks deposit with the Fed is an important new tool that Congress gave us just over a year ago. It will play a lead role when the time ultimately comes
to tighten monetary policy. And, to make sure this works smoothly, we have developed some technical tools that can help keep the federal funds rate near our preferred target. 5 Eventually, after economic conditions have improved and a policy tightening has begun, we may then start a gradual process of selling securities in order to help return the Fed’s balance sheet to its pre-crisis levels. The bottom line is that we are already unwinding the emergency programs we set up during the financial crisis. When the day comes to start raising rates again, we have tools at the ready. But, for the time being, the economy still needs the support of extraordinarily low rates. Thank you very much. # # # End Notes 1. I would like to thank Rob Valletta, John Williams, and Sam Zuckerman for assistance in preparing these remarks. 2. See Yellen 2009 for an indepth discussion of commercial real estate. 3. The TALF for loans backed by new-issue commercial mortgage-backed securities will remain open until June 30. 4. See Bernanke 2010. 5. See Bernanke 2010 for a discussion of reverse repurchase operations and the term deposit facility. References Bernanke, Ben S. 2010.“Federal JANET page 80
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Health reform: Looking for progress (The Economist: News analysis)
ago. After months of wrangling, the Democrats did manage to push (slightly different) reform Submitted at 2/22/2010 10:24:14 PM bills through the House and the Message from fivefilters.org: If Senate; all they needed to do was you can, please donate to the full to reconcile them into a final -text RSS service so we can law. But before they could, the continue developing it. upset Republican victory in the Health reform Barack Obama r e c e n t S e n a t e r a c e i n unveils a revised health-reform M a s s a c h u s e t t s r o b b e d t h e plan Democrats of the 60 votes they Feb 23rd 2010 | NEW YORK | need for easy passage in the From The Economist online upper house. HEALTH reform has been the That has made it extremely Obama administration’s main difficult for Democrats to pass domestic policy priority for health reform this year. But not nearly a year, but the president impossible: Democrats could yet himself has been frustratingly win over a few Republicans, or slippery on the topic. Although try to push a bill through the he has given plenty of speeches Senate using a manoeuvre on the topic and discussed k n o w n as “budget various worthy ideas, he has reconciliation”—which requires sounded more like a chin- 51, not 60, votes in that chamber. stroking academic than a tough- Either, veteran analysts agree, minded politician. Until now, he would be a long shot. has preferred to let Congress Mr Obama insisted in his statecome up with specific proposals. of-the-union speech that he Then, on Monday February would push for comprehensive 22nd, Mr Obama at last unveiled r e f o r m t h i s y e a r . H e h a s his own set of proposals for promised to listen more carefully reforming America’s troubled to Republican ideas and plans to health system. hold a televised health summit I t i s a g a m b l e b r e d o f with the opposition on February desperation. Mr Obama’s aloof 25th. His aides suggest that he is strategy, adopted in response to n o w o p e n t o u s i n g t h e the failure of Bill Clinton’s controversial tactic of budget micro-managed attempt at health reconciliation for health reform. reform over a decade earlier, At heart Mr Obama’s reform seemed shrewd just a few weeks proposals are similar to those
contained in a comprehensive health bill passed by the Senate just before Christmas. Using a mix of regulation and subsidies, Mr Obama’ s plan would also restructure the health-insurance market so that individuals would be required to purchase coverage and insurers would be mandated to provide it. But seizing on recent popular outrage at rate increases announced by regional health insurers (rises of 39% were announced for some Californians, for example), Mr Obama’s proposal would go further, creating a panel to watch for “unreasonable or unjustified” increases. Mr Obama’s plan does differ in some other ways. To get the Senate bill passed, Democratic leaders had to cut special deals that stank of corruption. For example, labour unions hated a tax on gold-plated insurance plans found in the Senate bill (because their members often enjoy such plans), so dealmakers carved out an exemption for them. Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson refused to join the caucus unless the federal government paid for his state’s extra costs for Medicaid, a government health scheme for the indigent. Now Mr Obama’s plan simply extends these special deals to everyone. This largesse comes at a price.
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The administration estimates that its bundle of proposals will cost some $950 billion, a price tag which falls between the cost of the Senate bill ($871 billion) and the House version (over one trillion dollars). This estimate breaks Mr Obama’ s pledge to keep any reform effort under $900 billion. And that $950 billion figure may yet grow. The Congressional Budget Office, an official agency that is the referee in such matters, this week said that the president’s plan does not offer enough detail for the agency to determine its likely cost. In sum, the proposal looks like a gamble. Because budget reconciliation must be finalised within two months, the strength of his hand will become clear shortly. Even if health reform does fail this year, however, critics can no longer say that was because Mr Obama refused to enter the scrum. Readers' comments The Economist welcomes your views. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Reserve’s Exit Strategy.” Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, February 10. Yellen, Janet L. 2009.“The Outlook for the Economy and Real Estate.” Presentation to the Phoenix Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, Phoenix, AZ, November 10. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Treasury Looks to Mandate Foreclosure Abatements, Mortgage Mods by Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture) Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:15:50 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. One of the most disappointing policy initiatives of the Administration to date has been the expensive and ineffective attempts to fight foreclosures at all costs. The net impact of this is to artificially prop up home prices and reduce the number of real TREASURY page 81
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estate transactions. In the high foreclosures regions (California, South Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas), the foreclosure process have driven prices down to the point where buyers have materialized and sales numbers are improving significantly. The uptick in real estate transactions benefits durable good sales, increases mortgage volume, and positively impacts other real estate related activities. As wrenching and unpleasant a process as foreclosures may be, the net impact of artificially high real estate prices is even more problematic. It punishes savers and first time home buyers (think Newlyweds). This is what makes the latest proposal out of Treasury — found here: Supplemental Directive: Foreclosure & Bankruptcy Changes— so disappointing. It seeks to mandate Foreclosure Abatements and Mortgage mods. These (and other related) policies that have shown themselves to be
ineffective, and ultimately, counter-productive. Some of the highlights of the proposal: • Mandate a 30 day freeze on foreclosures until a delinquent borrower is evaluated and found ineligible for HAMP; • Once a borrower is in a mortgage mod program, “servicers must stop all foreclosure action” during the trial period; • Banks must produce “written certification that a borrower is not HAMP eligible” prior to proceeding to foreclosure; • Requires servicers to consider borrowers in bankruptcy for HAMP’ (!?!) • Removes other bankruptcy barriers for mortgage mods; In this proposal, all 60+ delinquent borrowers (who meet eligibility) must be solicited for HAMP. Even newly bankrupt mortgagees should be considered for mortgage mods. The problem we have in housing is that over the past decade, 5-10
Cost of Home Ownership by Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture) Submitted at 2/23/2010 3:31:58 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. With Case Shiller out later today, its as good a time as any
to take a look at what the actual cost of home ownership is. The current Fed policy of ultra low rates, have made ownership costs on a monthly basis appear cheap. However, the most important ratio — median annual Income to Housing costs — shows that prices still remains elevated at at 363% versus the
million people bought homes they cannot afford. Many of these homes are now worth less than their underlying mortgages. The best options in these cases are: 1) A negotiated capital cost reduction (i.e,, “cramdown”) with their lenders; 2) A short sale; 3) Walkaways. The Treasury Department proposal accomplishes nothing more than keeping people in homes they cannot afford with payments that are onerous. The mortgage mods are failing in huge numbers because lowering the interest rate and or/extending the terms does not address the basic issue . . . Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
Acoustic Metamaterials Could Make Ultra-Thin, Ultra-Effective Noise-Cancelling Panels by Jeremy Hsu (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now)
grid of squares, with a small weighted plastic button sitting in the middle of each square. Related Articles The Sound of Silence... Almost FYI: Why Submitted at 2/23/2010 6:18:12 AM Does My Voice Sound Different Hong Kong researchers have When I Hear it On a Recording? combined simple latex with What Sound Does Space Make? some plastic buttons to create Tags Technology, Jeremy Hsu, metamaterial panels that can stop absorb, acoustic, metamaterials, sound waves very effectively, reflect, sound waves, soundproof according to New Scientist. The materials, soundproofing, sounds reflected sound waves include Sound waves that hit the panel low-frequency bass sounds that cause the latex membrane and typically manage to sneak weighted buttons to resonate at through the walls. different frequencies that cancel T h i c k p i e c e s o f c e r t a i n out the sound waves. Individual materials, such as the commonly membranes are tuned based on used foam, can typically absorb the weight of the plastic buttons, or reflect sounds, but creating a so that each can cancel out a thin soundproofing material that certain frequency band of sound can block low-frequency sounds waves. has proven extremely difficult. Stacking five differently-tuned F o r i n s t a n c e , a t h i n l a t e x membranes together can produce membrane by itself cannot a soundproof panel that works resonate at the right frequency to from 70 to 550 hertz, and is just either absorb or reflect the bass slightly thicker than a ceramic rumble of a jet taking off. bathroom tile. At least one The team at the Hong Kong independent researcher envisions University of Science and such tiles seeing use at airports prior decade ratio of 300-325%. T e c h n o l o g y i n K o w l o o n or other noisy environments -> managed to solve the problem by and we're not saying that your via Visual Economics creating a "membrane-type home doesn't count. We're also Five Filters featured article: acoustic metamaterial with not saying that soundproofing Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: negative dynamic mass" that will discourage your neighbors' PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, combines latex and plastic robotic drum circle. Term Extraction. buttons. Each soundproofing [via New Scientist] panel consists of latex stretched over a 3mm-thick rigid plastic
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Underemployed Report Spending 36% Less Than Employed (All Gallup Headlines)
personal doctor (63% vs. 81%) or to have visited a dentist in the last 12 months (57% vs. 72%). Message from fivefilters.org: If Demographics you can, please donate to the full There are several important -text RSS service so we can demographic differences continue developing it. between the employed and the WASHINGTON, D.C. -underemployed. While numerous Gallup's daily measure of U.S. reports have highlighted men's employment reveals that 19.9% struggles to find employment of the U.S. workforce was during the current economic underemployed during the month downturn, Gallup data indicate of January, translating to close to that underemployment levels 30 million Americans who are among women (21%) are similar working less than their desired to those among men (19%). capacity. Those who were Adults aged 18 to 29 are almost underemployed reported twice as likely (31%) to be spending 36% less than those underemployed as 30- to 49-year who were employed, $48 per day olds (17%) and 50- to 65-yearversus $75 per day. olds (17%) are. These results are based on Underemployment declines with January interviews with more increasing education levels. than 20,000 adults in the U.S. While nearly 4 in 10 respondents workforce, aged 18 and older. j u s t o n e o f m a n y w a y s about the amount of money they Additionally, respondents who (38%) with less than a high Gallup classifies respondents as underemployment costs the U.S. have to spend, while only half as are underemployed are more s c h o o l d i p l o m a a r e "employed" if they are employed and hurts its workforce. Gallup's m a n y ( 2 9 % ) o f t h e likely to report that they did not underemployed, the figure drops full time or are employed part e m p l o y m e n t m e a s u r e a l s o underemployed report feeling have enough money for food, to 12% among those with a fourtime but do not want to work full r e v e a l s f u r t h e r d i s p a r i t i e s g o o d . Further, t h e shelter, or healthcare at some year college degree and further t i m e . G a l l u p c l a s s i f i e s between the employed and the underemployed are less likely time during the past 12 months. to 10% for those with education respondents as "underemployed" u n d e r e m p l o y e d o n v i t a l than the employed to say they Healthcare beyond college. if they are employed part time indicators such as attitudes a r e a b l e t o m a k e a m a j o r Access to preventative care and Among racial and ethnic groups, but want to work full time or are t o w a r d m o n e y , a c c e s s t o purchase, such as a car or home health insurance also differ blacks (27%) and Hispanics u n e m p l o y e d . " T h e healthcare, demographics, and repair, if needed (25% vs. 58%, between the employed and the (29%) are most likely to be underemployed are less likely wellbeing. respectively). underemployed, illustrating the underemployed, while nonthan the employed to say they Personal Finances Particularly noteworthy are the s t r a i n that h i g h Hispanic whites (17%) are least a r e a b l e t o m a k e a m a j o r Underemployment is generally d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e g r o u p s ' underemployment can place on likely. purchase, such as a car or home associated with a less-than- reported ability to afford basic the healthcare system. The Taken as a whole, the repair, if needed." employment status of certain desired income, and Gallup data necessities. Slightly more than underemployed are less likely As unemployment rates remain highlight the stark contrast in half (56%) of underemployed than the employed to have health demographic groups is bleak. high, reduced spending by spending attitudes between the respondents say they have i n s u r a n c e ( 5 9 % v s . 8 7 % , Gallup's data illustrate that full millions of underemployed e m p l o y e d and t h e enough money to buy the things respectively), to have had employment is not available to A m e r i c a n s h a s o b v i o u s underemployed. Sixty percent of they need, compared to 84% of enough money for healthcare i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r e c o n o m i c employed respondents feel good employed respondents. UNDEREMPLOYED page 84 (63% vs. 85%), to have a recovery. Spending is, however, Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:00:00 PM
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Obama Approval Rating Continues to Hover Around 50% (All Gallup Headlines) Submitted at 2/22/2010 7:45:00 AM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. PRINCETON, NJ -- President Barack Obama averaged 49% job approval from Americans for the week of Feb. 15-21. His recent approval ratings, based on Gallup Daily tracking, have shown a high degree of stability, with the weekly averages ranging between 48% and 51% since mid-November. At the beginning of an important week in his presidency, highlighted by the bipartisan healthcare summit on Thursday, the latest three-day rolling average of Obama's job approval rating (based on Feb. 19-21 polling) is also 49%. Since midNovember, Obama's daily approval ratings have ranged from a low of 47% (several times, most recently Jan. 27-29) to a high of 53% (three times, most recently Feb. 1214)."Democratic approval of Obama has shown a small but noticeable decline since midNovember." Obama hopes to jump-start momentum for healthcare reform
after it stalled following Republican Scott Brown's victory in the Jan. 19 special election for U.S. senator from Massachusetts. Obama has for the first time submitted his own version of healthcare legislation, after previously deferring to House and Senate Democrats to put forth a plan. The most recent weekly approval averages by party nearly match those that Gallup has measured since midNovember -- 83% approval among Democrats, 45% among independents, and 17% among
Republicans. Democratic approval of Obama has shown a small but noticeable decline since mid-November. Obama averaged 86% approval from Democrats the first two weeks of November, but his approval rating from his fellow partisans has since averaged 83%. Independents' weekly approval averages of Obama have exceeded 50% just once since early August, about the time the debate over healthcare reform intensified. Republican approval of Obama has not exceeded 20%
since that time. Bottom Line There has been a lot of inertia in President Obama's job approval ratings, which have been right around the 50% mark since midNovember. His recent ratings rank on the low end compared with other presidents at this time in their presidencies. Generally speaking, those near the bottom - including Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter -were dealing with struggling economies. That certainly applies to Obama, though healthcare also seems to be
holding his approval rating down, given that his support dropped as the healthcare debate intensified in August. Obama is taking a major step to turn the tide on healthcare reform this week, and has also said jobs are his top priority this year. Survey Methods Results are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 3,596 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb. 15-21, 2010, as part of Gallup Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is Âą2 percentage points. Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones and cellular phones. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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all U.S. workers, and opportunities for employment are in short supply for American youth and minorities. Presidential Approval Employment status is related to a number of political and ideological variables. As one example, underemployed Americans (55%) are more likely than the employed (48%) to approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president. During the same time period, 49% of the American population approved of Obama's job performance. As a point of reference, among the employed, 29% identify themselves as Republicans, 31% as Democrats, and 33% as independents. Twenty-two percent of the underemployed identify as Republicans, 34% as Democrats, and 35% as independents. Wellbeing Individuals who are employed (60%) are more likely than the underemployed (40%) to be classified by Gallup as "thriving." Those who are thriving respond affirmatively to
present- and future-circumstance questions based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, which asks respondents to evaluate their present and future lives on a ladder scale, with steps numbered from 0 to 10. By comparison, 53% of the U.S. population in general was classified as thriving during the same period. Bottom Line Gallup data spotlight the stressors faced by 30 million underemployed Americans. Underemployed Americans report spending 36% less than their employed counterparts on average, potentially costing the U.S. economy hundreds of millions of dollars as underemployment continues to remain high. Compared with employed respondents, underemployed respondents also report greater difficulty in affording basic necessities, have lower levels of access to healthcare, have less satisfaction with their financial resources, and evaluate their lives less favorably.
Learn more about Gallup's economic measures. Survey Methods Results are based on telephone interviews with 20,503 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 2-31, 2010. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is Âą1 percentage point. Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only). In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
An Astronaut Peeks Out from the Space Station's Lovely New 360-Degree Window by Jeremy Hsu (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:16:08 AM
I see you, space shuttle Space shuttle Endeavour has landed safely after installing a new observation deck on the International Space Station. But the Endeavour astronauts didn't leave without first checking out the new view from the cupola window. Here we get a view of George Zamka, NASA astronaut and STS-130 commander, peeking out from the newly-installed cupola on February 19 while the space shuttle remained docked with the space station. ISS
resident Soichi Noguchi has already made good use of the cupola to take pretty Earth Twitpics with his 800mm lens camera. Speaking of Noguchi, the astronaut also took advantage of his fresh vantage point to capture this stunning image of the space shuttle making an s-turn while undergoing atmospheric reentry on its return home. Besides providing stunning sights, the cupola gives ISS residents a better view to control the space station's robotic arm. That feature should come in handy, considering that NASA's new budget has extended the space station lifetime until at least 2020.
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World's First Junctionless Transistor Could Revolutionize Chip Industry by Clay Dillow (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 2/22/2010 11:59:04 AM
Transistor junction, what's your function now? Irish researchers at the Tyndall National Institute have fabricated the world's first junctionless transistor, a nanotech development that could change the way semiconductors are manufactured. The challenge over past decades has been to keep up with Moore's Law by cramming more and more transistors into the limited real estate provided by silicon chip fabrication methods. But as future tech leans more heavily on smaller, lighter, more mobile devices with increased computing power, the imperative to slim down chip design while increasing efficiency has grown increasingly greater. Unfortunately, existing transistor junctions -- two pieces
of silicon with opposite polarities that allow the current to be switched on and off within the transistor -- aren't all that efficient. Current can leak from junctions, upping power consumption and causing overall inefficiency in devices that increases with the number of transistors. Junctions are also a major factor in driving up costs in the chip manufacturing process; as gateways for current, they are the key mechanisms in transistors, and manufacturing high quality junctions can quickly become very expensive. The junctionless transistor circumvents the need for junctions by pumping current through a thin silicon wire just a few atoms in diameter. A component nicknamed the "wedding ring" regulates the flow of current by electrically "squeezing" the wire to stop the electron flow, much in the way you might crimp a drinking straw to stop liquid from moving
through it. The architecture of the junctionless transistor is simple enough that it can be cheaply produced even at very small sizes, meaning that the tech could contribute to significantly cheaper transistors in future. And because the current is moving straight through a silicon wire, it leaks very little current, making these new structures a good deal more efficient. Of course, crimping a silicon nanowire to control current in a lab setting and manufacturing these junction-free transistors en masse are two completely different things, and it remains to be seen whether the innovation can scale effectively across the chip industry. But if the technology does indeed pan out on a large scale, the breakthrough could lead to a paradigm shift in chip architecture. [ Silicon Republic]
Stars Can Teach Us a Thing or Two about Manufacturing Carbon Nanotubes, NASA Finds by Jeremy Hsu (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 2/22/2010 1:55:28 PM
Efficient space-born recipe requires no metal Carbon nanotubes may push future innovations ranging from self-repairing electronic devices to batteries based on nanotube ink and paper. Now NASA scientists may have uncovered a new recipe for making carbon nanotubes based on interstellar processes. The tiny but strong carbon nanotubes emerged as the
surprising by-products of lab experiments at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Researchers used a mixture that included graphite dust particles, carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases as they tried to figure out how carbon gets recycled after a star dies in a supernova. They published the findings about their surprise chemical reaction in the February issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. "I am amazed at the implications of this paper, not only for astrophysics but also for materials science," says Dick STARS page 87
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Obama Pledges $475 Million to Rescue Great Lakes by Jeremy Hsu (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 2/22/2010 12:45:00 PM
Top threats include toxic contamination, loss of wildlife habitat and invasive species Pollution and ravenous Asian carp may threaten the U.S. Great Lakes, but the Obama administration has now put forth a four-year, $475-million rescue plan that would clean up the huge lake ecosystem and institute a "zero tolerance policy" against future incursions by invasive species, AP reports. The Great Lakes supply drinking water to more than 30 million people, and also support regional shipping, outdoor recreation, tourism and manufacturing. This latest effort goes toward fulfilling a campaign pledge by President Obama to spend $5 billion over a decade on rescuing the lakes, and will launch under the aegis of the Environmental Protection
Agency. Goals for 2014 include cleaning five toxic hot spots, cutting down the invasive species discovered in the lakes by 40 percent, reducing phosphorus runoff, and extending protection over almost 100,000 acres of wetland. Part of the plan also involves saving native species such as the massive lake sturgeon, a prehistoric fish that can reach 8 feet and 200 pounds. The plan
would provide 25,000 young sturgeons for restocking programs, and also try to combat overfishing and loss of habitat. The proposal has largely drawn praise from environmental groups. But one quibble comes from the Healing Our WatersGreat Lakes Coalition, which says that too much restoration money has gone toward fighting the Asian carp that threaten the region's $7 billion sport fishing
industry. Instead, the coalition suggests that such funds should come from another part of the federal budget. Keeping the Asian carp down has proven a tricky battle for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has deployed electrical barriers and mass poisoning to try and keep the intruders from spreading. [via AP]
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Zare, a chemist at Stanford University in California. "Could Nature know a new chemistry for making carbon nanotubes that we have yet to discover?" Scientists previously discovered the existence of natural cousins similar to carbon nanotubes, called graphite whiskers, inside three meteorites in 2008. They speculated that a hazy cloud of such graphite whiskers in space might explain why some supernovas appear dimmer and thus farther away than they should be, according to computer simulations. The latest experimental results with carbon nanotubes show how such graphite whiskers might have emerged, and may also point toward a future method of
creating carbon nanotubes. That process is a variation of FischerTropsch synthesis, a well-known way to produce gas or liquid fuels from coal. If NASA can develop this some more, it could prove a very nice alternative to recycling our plastic bags to make carbon nanotubes -- "upcycling" requires a high amount of metal catalyst that the space recipe apparently doesn't need. [ NASA]
IBM and Johnson Controls Team Up: Bad News for Building Start-Ups? by email@example.com (Greentech Media: Headlines) Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:49:59 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. It's one step closer to the merger of building systems and IT systems. But it could be scary for start-ups and others promoting building management software. IBM and Johnson Controls are going to work together on smart building technologies. IBM, of course, is an expert on networking, hardware, computer simulations and all things IT. Johnson Controls, meanwhile, remains one of the largest names in building management. To date, however, building management networks and IT networks have been separate and managed by separate divisions within companies. Technology, along with the need to cut energy costs, is prompting large companies to seek out ways to merge the two networks so that
air conditioners and lights can be more easily and dynamically controlled. An IT-aware building management system, for instance, could contain hooks into weather forecasts: if a heat wave was expected, the building could be pre-cooled in anticipation. Corporate managers could also more easily cross-check power consumption data across different departments or functions. Potentially, making building management systems more IT-like will also cut their costs. The alliance is an outgrowth of an earlier alliance between the two on energy efficient data centers. In fact, you could argue it's good news all around, except for companies such as Adura Technologies, BuildingIQ, Lumenergi and others who have created systems for controlling power consumption in commercial real estate. It's not a death knell. Only around 1 percent of lights in commercial buildings in California are
networked. Building operations consume 39 percent of the energy in America and 76 percent of the total electricity: the market opportunity is huge. IBM also isn't know for offering bargain basement prices for its technology or consulting services. Both IBM and Johnson will also likely enlist start-ups to help on various projects. (The three comapnies listed above, for instance, have all said they don't want to replace traditional building management systems. Far from it: they want to ride on top of applications from Johnson and Honeywell. Intel also wants to get into building automation and has a long history of seeking partners. Still, having two trusted large names like IBM and Johnson band together will likely make everyone re-examine their status in the market. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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Utility R&D: EPRI’s Technology Innovation Program
$1.37B in Loan Guarantees for BrightSource Solar Project
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Greentech Media: Headlines)
by email@example.com (Greentech Media: Headlines)
• Strategic Programs are more focused and directed towards a specific goal. • The Breakthrough Technologies group are projects that move a little further ahead and get significant funding from EPRI. These are technologies that EPRI believes can jump significantly with an investment of a few million dollars, and that represent the best funding opportunity.
footprint, according to Kamath. One of the things that EPRI is doing is working on ND testing for wind turbines, as well as looking at advanced PV and trying to develop a strategy focused on penetration of renewables into the utility mix. • High efficiency PV -- EPRI is focused on third generation technologies; looking for lowcost, high-efficiency PV • Biotechnology • Water
One research thread being followed by EPRI is in isolating plant genes and bacteria with Submitted at 2/23/2010 4:28:44 AM superior Boron tolerance to be Message from fivefilters.org: If used in water and wetland you can, please donate to the full remediation -text RSS service so we can • Nondestructive evaluation continue developing it. NDE -- for assessing the state of We've spent a lot of time with wind turbines and nuclear plant the Electric Power Research structures Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, CA • Energy Storage - "Storage is a and reported on them in the great idea except for the cost," in following articles: the words of Kamath. According EPRI on Nuclear to this EPRI spokesman, the EPRI on Energy Efficiency They currently have 11 strategic technologies that are most likely EPRI on Compressed Air programs: And here's a sampling of their to reach commercialization in the Energy Storage • Health and Environment projects: near term are Lithium-ion E P R I o n E n e r g y S t o r a g e • Materials for fossil and nuclear • Zero Emission Coal -- flue gas batteries and Compressed Air Technology -- materials degradation is a huge cleaning, reducing mercury and Energy Storage (CAES). In the E P R I o n S i n g l e W e l l issue across the power industry reducing coal emsisions to the longer term, EPRI is looking at Geothermal a n d E P R I i s l o o k i n g i n t o level of natural gas. technologies that will bring the EPRI on Hydro Power nanoscale characterization to • CCS -- electricity generation cost of storage even further EPRI's Smart Grid Vision assess crack initiation and accounts for 40% of total CO2 d o w n . K a m a t h m e n t i o n e d EPRI is funded largely by propagation in Light Water emissions in the U.S., with more Amprius' battery technology and u t i l i t i e s , p r i m a r i l y t o d o Reactor (LWR) components and than 80% of those emissions ReVolt's Zinc-Air batteries. development in the short term wind turbines coming directly from coal-fired EPRI is working with both of (less than 5 year timeframe), but • Nondestructive Evaluation plants. Near-term carbon capture these firms. Kamath expects the their Technology Innovation (TI) • CO2 Capture technology will raise the cost of cost of large-format Lithium-ion program works on longer-term • Near Zero Emissions electricity and reduce plant (for electric vehicles and utilityopportunities (5 to 20 years). • Electrinet (that's EPRI-speak efficiency, so EPRI is looking at scale storage) to drop to $250 per Haresh Kamath, the Strategic for the smart grid) more efficient carbon capture k i l o w a t t - h o u r ( b y m o s t P r o g r a m M a n a g e r f o r t h e • Materials for energy delivery technology for the longer term. measures, small cell lithium ion Technology Innovation Group, and end use, e.g., nanodialectrics • Biotechnology -- non-intuitive is already at $250 per kilowattspoke last week on his group's for underground cables but relevant to the utility hour). activities. • Sensors, e.g., sensors for wind industry; algal biofixation to The Technology Innovation turbines, transmission line capture CO2 As pat of the Five Filters featured article: Group has three sections: inspection and monitoring, biotechnology group EPRI is Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: • The Polaris initiative funds any robotics for data collection in looking ar Boron reduction -- PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, type of research that has an high-voltage environments Boron is produced by fossil fuel Term Extraction. opportunity -- wireless power • Renewables -- utilities are plants but there is no costtransfer, for example. m o s t i n t e r e s t e d i n c a r b o n effective treatment technology.
Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:50:48 PM
Message from fivefilters.org: If you can, please donate to the full -text RSS service so we can continue developing it. How does a growing solar company bridge the chasm from demonstration facility to utilityscale energy production plant in a weak economy and a troubled project finance environment? BrightSource Energy, the VCfunded solar thermal hopeful is doing it with $1.37 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. The startup received conditional approval today for their Ivanpah project which would be the first new solar thermal plant built in California in almost twenty years. The project is notable as one of the world's largest solar projects at hundreds of megawatts of power -- capable of electrifying more than 100,000 homes while providing hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenues over its 30 year lifetime. It's a milestone for BrightSource and answers a lot of questions about the fate of that firm, the future of solar in the U.S., and the viability of VC-funded solar. The loan guarantee was through $1.37B page 90
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Hewlett-Packard Selling Off Fuel Cell Patents by firstname.lastname@example.org (Greentech Media: Headlines)
development at WavePoint. Bloom Energy, which came out of stealth on 60 Minutes last Submitted at 2/22/2010 2:26:34 PM night, makes solid oxide fuel Message from fivefilters.org: If c e l l s . H P ' s p a t e n t s a l s o you can, please donate to the full potentially pertain to the design -text RSS service so we can o f p o r t a b l e f u e l c e l l s , a continue developing it. technology the military has Who knew that Hewlett-Packard examined for years as a way to was into fuel cells? provide troops in the field easier Back in the earlier part of the access to electricity. Fuel cells decade, HP filed and obtained a can also be viewed as energy number of patents for fuel cells, storage devices. If there is a tank particularly proton exchange of the appropriate hydrocarbon membrane fuel cells powered by handy, you can make electricity hydrogen. Toshiba and other on demand. consumer electronics companies The first lot consists of 27 were doing the same then too. patents and revolves around The company, however, never hydrogen generation, fuel flow pursued commercialization. But control and increasing fuel cell instead of just sitting on the efficiency. Patent 6790416, for intellectual property, it has instance, discusses a way to decided to sell them off. The generate hydrogen from water t h r e e p a t e n t l o t s - w h i c h with sodium borohydride and collectively contain 86 patents-- electricity. It is similar to the low are being sold by WavePoint and -energy approach contemplated the minimum purchase price is by SignaChem and Alumifuel. $500,000 per lot. Patent lot number 2 consists of Although the patents revolve 17 patents revolving around fuel around hydrogen fuel cell, the cell cartridges (think of print patents also relate to solid oxide c a r t r i d g e s c r o s s - b r e d w i t h fuel cells, according to Paul batteries) and the final lot of 42 Cannata, director of business patents revolves around the
design of a fuel cell stack. This last lot, potentially, could be the most interesting because it deals with material science, which could be exploited in other products or types of fuel cells. U.S. patent number 6620542, for example, describes a porous metal that effectively eliminates the need for microchannels or micro-plumbing to allowoxygen and/or fuel to move around inside a fuel cell. At the beginning of the decade, start-ups and large outfits like IBM and Microsoft began to try to extract more value from their intellectual property portfolios through auctions and/or licensing. Some feared that it would lead to an explosion of litigation with so-called patent trolls wielding patents as a way to extract legal settlements from innocent bystanders. Although a few trolls emerged, the reality has been far more prosaic. Patent auctions actually occur relatively infrequently and the U.S. economy has not been brought to its knees by patent disputes. (And don't ever listen if Google starts whining about
patents. The company got started with an exclusive license on patents owned by Stanford.) In fact, some of the more innovative ideas in green tech have come out of the intellectual property industry. TerraPower, a start-up that wants to make modular nuclear reactors that don't need to be refueled for 30 years, emerged out of Intellectual Ventures, an intellectual property firm co-founded by ex-Microsoft chief scientist Nathan Myhrvold. IBM, meanwhile, has found that a material it originally created for immersion lithography could be used to reduce the cost and energy required to desalinate seawater. HP, meanwhile, has devised some novel transistor patents that it has tried to license. Interested parties should contact WavePoint before the end of the month. Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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the Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was started in 2005 under the Energy Policy Act to support commercially proven technology. In a mild refutation of the rooftops versus deserts debate, the Brightsource project is solar on a massive scale. The project, in southeastern California, is approximately 400 megawatts of solar power from three separate solar thermal power plants. The power generated from these solar plants will be sold under contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). PG&E will purchase about two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah and SCE will purchase approximately one-third. BrightSource’s contracts with PG&E and SCE total 2.6 gigawatts. Bechtel,will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Ivanpah Solar Electricity Generating System. Bechtel
Enterprises, Bechtel's project development and financing arm, is also an equity investor in the Ivanpah solar power plants. When you hear the name Bechtel in the same breath as a solar startup, it's proof that solar has entered the realm of big money, big projects and utilityscale reality. Last year, Bechtel signed a project labor agreement with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to ensure that California’s local workforce benefits from the project. There's another debate about solar that pits environmentalists and politicians against more environmentalists and more politicians. BrightSource recently bowed out of a project in the Eastern Mojave in an area that may receive the national monument designation. BrightSource had been set on developing a 500megawatt solar thermal power plant on part of Broadwell Dry Lake but decided to stop the project a few months ago. The
decision came after U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she would push for legislation to turn the lake area into a national monument, a designation that would prevent any alternative energy development. BrightSource seems to be picking its battles carefully and playing the political aspect of large-scale project development with some finesse. The Ivanpah project is scheduled to begin construction in the second half of 2010 following permitting by the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. The Ivanpah Facility uses BrightSource Energy’s Luz Power Tower technology. Electricity is generated the same way as in traditional power plants -- high temperature steam turns a turbine. Thousands of mirrors are focused on a boiler filled with water that sits atop a tower. When sunlight hits the boiler, the water inside is heated
and creates high temperature steam. The steam is then piped to a conventional turbine which generates electricity. Technology development is important in renewable energy. Solar has to work and work at the right price. But political will and financing tools have to be in place to make big solar work and today's announcent is a positive step in that direction. Doug Buchanan, the VP of Project Development at BrightSource will be speaking at the Greentech Media Solar Summit next month, along with scores of other solar luminaries. More details here: Five Filters featured article: Chilcot Inquiry. Available tools: PDF Newspaper, Full Text RSS, Term Extraction.
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