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Off hours, Diplomat families teach swimming in Baghdad, Battle of the Bulge By David Alexander (Front Row Washington)

Laura Center, the spouse of a foreign service officer, has a master of arts degree in museum Submitted at 12/8/2009 3:20:50 PM studies and has been volunteering If you wondered what U.S. at the National Museum of diplomats and their families do in Military History in Diekirch. their spare time in the exotic, less The museum tells the story of exotic and sometimes really the World War II Battle of the difficult places where they live, Ardennes, and especially the here’s a partial answer. Battle of the Bulge, which began T h e y v o l u n t e e r i n t h e i r 65 years ago Dec. 16 and is communities. considered the largest and Secretary of State Hillary bloodiest of the war involving C l i n t o n p r e s e n t e d a w a r d s U.S. forces. Tuesday recognizing half a dozen “The museum thrives on the A m e r i c a n f o r e i g n s e r v i c e volunteer work of men and workers or their family members women who have clocked over for outstanding volunteer work 65,000 hours of personal time abroad. since the museum opened in C l i n t o n s a i d t h e a w a r d 1984,” Center told a gathering in recognized those who “have t h e S t a t e D e p a r t m e n t ’ s furthered our nation’s diplomacy ceremonial Benjamin Franklin and development efforts.” Room. Recipients did everything from She said she has been involved providing medical services to the in connecting the museum to poor and disadvantaged in American troops stationed in Indonesia to teaching swimming Europe. And she has worked to adults living under tight with local schoolteachers to security in the Green Zone in create a traveling classroom Baghdad. exhibit to enhance school

volunteered to help the Panama Chamber of Commerce develop proposals for solving Panama City’s transportation problems. And Joseph Taylor, the head of the Fulbright Exchange Program in Baghdad, who used his off hours to teach adult swimming classes to more than 60 people from 18 countries who live in the restricted, high-security environment of the Green Zone. Taylor said the Franklin Room was an appropriate place for the ceremony. The early American envoy was an excellent swimmer who once curriculums on the Battle of the disadvantaged and disabled in c o n t e m p l a t e d b e c o m i n g a Bulge. Jakarta. swimming coach. O t h e r s h o n o r e d f o r t h e i r Marine Sgt. Bernadetta Ruch, For more Reuters political news, volunteer work included: who led a Toys for Tots drive at click here. Erin Sweeney, a consular officer the U.S. mission in Dushanbe, Photo credit: Reuters/Sebastien in Nigeria who established a Tajikistan, brought children from Pirlet (Clinton speaking at a news community service program that an orphanage for a holiday event conference in Brussels earlier this has helped a school for the blind, and organized other gatherings month) a maternity clinic and a shelter for the embassy community. for victims of human trafficking. Jan Irene Miller, a foreign JanMarie Flattum-Riemers, an service spouse in Panama with embassy medical officer, who experience managing global has worked with the poor, t e c h n o l o g y p r o j e c t s , w h o


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Deficit not my fault, Obama says By Steve Holland (Front Row Washington)

to national security, the war. The war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq,” he said. Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:14:28 PM “It was done on an almost a President Barack Obama doesn’t totally bipartisan basis. They like all this flak from the agreed that it was important to Republicans who accuse him of protect America. So yeah, I wish running up the budget deficit. we’d had a smaller debt. I wish Any why should he? His we hadn’t been attacked on 9/11. approval rating has dropped But these people have been on a below 50 percent in at least two spending spree that’s recent polls and you can assume unprecedented in American the poor economy has something history. They are on a track to to do with it. double the national debt in 5, At his big speech at the triple it in 10. Last year’s deficit Brookings Institution today, bigger than the last four years Obama said it was not his fault, combined. We don’t need any that the $787 billion stimulus lectures from them about plan that he and his Democrats News’ Neil Cavuto, said that spending,” McConnell said. pushed through Congress is under Obama, the deficit has For the record, Obama said he “only a very small part of our gone way up and said “we don’t still feels he can cut the deficit in current budget imbalance” and need any lectures from them half by the end of his first term. that he inherited a $1.3 trillion about spending.” Who do you think is at fault on deficit. the budget deficit? Here’s what McConnell said: Who did he inherit from? Obama “Well let’s put it in perspective. Click here for more Reuters didn’t say, but his implication The deficit in the year that just political coverage was clear. ended is bigger than the last four Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed “In reality, the deficit had been years of the Bush Administration (Obama delivers speech on building dramatically over the combined. The deficit spending economy) previous eight years,” he said. that went on during the Bush Senate Republican leader Mitch years was almost entirely related McConnell, interviewed by Fox

Mozilla lets Thunderbird 3 fly

Onion: DEA Recruits Lil Wayne For War on Drugs

By Seth Rosenblatt (

(Little Green Footballs)

Submitted at 12/8/2009 4:12:00 PM

Mozilla Messaging pushes the stable release of Thunderbird 3 out of the nest, and there's far

more to like than dislike in the latest iteration of this Outlook alternative. Originally posted at The Download Blog

Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:59:39 PM


Official Washington dreams of breaking out of the bubble By Tabassum Zakaria (Front Row Washington) Submitted at 12/8/2009 12:03:02 PM

Many in Washington dream of it, few manage it. But for the President of the United States, it is just about impossible. We’re talking about breaking out of the bubble. The presidency is probably the biggest bubble in town. Think about the surrounding layers: physical protection from the Secret Service, political protection from senior aides and ego protection from a multitude of sycophants. So it caught our ear when President Barack Obama broke away from his prepared remarks for an economic speech today and talked about the difficulty of escaping the bubble. “Sometimes it’s hard to break out of the bubble here in Washington and remind ourselves that behind these statistics are people’s lives, their capacity to do right by their families,” Obama said as he recalled a recent trip to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he met people at a job center. “It speaks to an urgent need to

accelerate job growth in the short -term while laying a new foundation for lasting economic growth,” he said. The president outlined proposals to aid the stricken jobs market where the unemployment rate is at 10 percent. And he spoke about the need for “hearing as many voices as possible as we refine our proposals.” He’s definitely reaching out for input… do we sense a little bubble fatigue? Click here for more Reuters political coverage Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama delivers speech on economy), Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko (couple blows soap bubbles)

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What rift? Eikenberry, McChrystal take vows of unity By Susan Cornwell (Front Row Washington)

Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:30:00 AM

Filed under: Magazines, Time Warner (TWX), (AMZN), Sony Corp ADR (SNE), News Corp'B' (NWS), Media World, Technology Five of the largest companies in the print business are testing the digital waters together. Rather than yield their content to alien formats, Time Inc. ( TWX), Recently leaked documents had that they supported the decision News Corp. ( NWS), Conde led many lawmakers to suspect Obama announced last week at Nast, Hearst and Meredith Corp. McChrystal might think 30,000 West Point, and referred to each have announced plans to develop a digital content format of their more U.S. troops were too few to other as longtime friends. defeat the Taliban; and that “We work together literally every own. This new product would Eikenberry believed more troops day — we have dinner together. compete with the newly released should go only if the Afghan T h a t i s a n a b s o l u t e Nook from Barnes & Noble ( government cleaned up its act misperception,” McChrystal said. BKS), as well as one from Sony ( and fought corruption. “I do share his (McChrystal’s) SNE) and the industry-leading Kindle from Amazon ( AMZN). D e s p i t e t h e i r r e p o r t e d analysis,” Eikenberry said. The new e-reader content will differences the two men have a Sounds like they’ve made up… g r e a t d e a l i n c o m m o n . Click here for more Reuters come in color and in a format that would work across several Eikenberry is also a former U.S. political coverage m i l i t a r y c o m m a n d e r i n Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan devices. Afghanistan. He retired with the E r n s t ( M c C h r y s t a l a n d The five media companies are rank of Lieutenant General, and Eikenberry at congressional equal partners in this joint venture, which will allow like McChrystal is a graduate of hearing) publishers to set their own prices West Point. for their content -- an obvious Both men were at pains to stress response to what they see as unfavorable revenue share deals offered by Amazon earlier this Modern masterpieces like Wall- science fiction cinema. E and Moon make the cut when readers rate the best

Your Favorite Sci-Fi Movies, 2000 and Beyond By Lewis Wallace (Wired Top Stories)

Time, News Corp, Hearst, and others to compete with Kindle By Tom Johansmeyer (BloggingStocks)

Submitted at 12/8/2009 1:45:17 PM

They smiled at each other and publicly said “I do.” General Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, widely reported to have had a falling-out over sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, on Tuesday pledged their support for President Barack Obama’s strategy and for each other. The congressional hearing was on the Afghan war, but it had moments that almost seemed borrowed from a wedding ceremony. “Do you support the president’s plan (for Afghanistan) in each of its elements?” asked Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin. “I do, Mr. Chairman,” responded Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. Levin turned to General McChrystal, the U.S. battlefield commander. “General, do you fully agree with the July 2011 date which the president directed as the start of reduction of some U.S. forces?” “Mr. Chairman, I do…” McChrystal said.


year. Rupert Murdoch has been particularly vocal on this issue, particularly about the fact that News Corp. only receives a little more than a third of the $14.99 a month it costs to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal on a Kindle. He says of the device that it's "a fantastic invention for reading books. It is not much of an experience for newspapers." Continue reading Time, News Corp, Hearst, and others to compete with Kindle Time, News Corp, Hearst, and others to compete with Kindle originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Sarah Palin, climate science and email By Deborah Zabarenko (Front Row Washington)

By Jim Cramer (BloggingStocks)

Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:48:20 AM

Sarah Palin’s bylined opinion piece in today’s Washington Post drew fire from the Center for American Progress, which also took aim at the Post for publishing “falsehood-filled … tabloid nonsense.” Take a look at the liberal think-tank’s take here. Like others who question the scientific evidence for humangenerated climate change, Palin — former Alaska governor, exRepublican vice presidential candidate and now best-selling author — targets hacked e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain. Climate skeptics have cited this correspondence as a sign that the science of climate change has been tainted with politics and maintain the e-mails show repression of data that does not fit the climate change case. The scientists themselves, and others around the world, have said the e-mail comments were taken out of context and reflect an open exchange of ideas. The e-mails came to light in the weeks leading up to the climate

Cramer on BloggingStocks: People have finally seen the light on Disney Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:00:00 AM

Filed under: Market matters, Walt Disney (DIS), CBS Corp 'B' (CBS), Procter and Gamble (PG), Stocks to Buy, Cramer on BloggingStocks, Marvel Entertainment (MVL) From Network • Who Really Wins, Loses in GE -Comcast Deal? • From Ammunition to Diapers: Under the Radar conference in Denmark. Since then, the scientific journal Nature defended the scientists at East Anglia in an editorial that called the hack-attack and the subsequent heated rhetoric by climate deniers “harrassment.” The Guardian newspaper reported that the climate scientists have received torrents of abuse and even death threats. Plenty of people disagree with Palin. Rajendra Pachauri, the Nobel laureate who heads the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told CNN the emails just show scientists “letting off steam.”

Palin said President Barack Obama should boycott the Copenhagen conference, but that’s not going to happen. The White House announced last week that he’s rescheduled his visit to the international conference so he can attend in its final days, rather than at the beginning. In the meantime, he’ll pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Theiler (Book buyers wait in the snow for Sarah Palin to sign her memoir “Going Rogue” at a shopping mall in Gaithersburg, Maryland, December 5, 2009)'s Jim Cramer says this isn't a cyclical story -the company's many drivers can pick up any slack in one division. Disney's ( DIS) ( Cramer's Take) an odd animal. Until these last few months, it always seemed to be measured by what its worst division at the time was doing. If ESPN was going great but theme park attendance was going down, people would sell it. If theme parks were holding up but broadcast advertising had weakened, investors would jump ship. If the owned and operated stations did well and the company delivered a bunch of hit

The Nokia 6700 Classic done up in 18-carat gold By Matt Burns (CrunchGear)

Why? Because they can. It’s expected to cost €370 when it

comes out in selected markets early next year.

shows, but the movie lineup bombed, people would dump the stock down to 12 or 13 multiple status, instead of the premium multiple is used to trade to. Continue reading Cramer on BloggingStocks: People have finally seen the light on Disney Cramer on BloggingStocks: People have finally seen the light on Disney originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments

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Boycott Copenhagen, Palin urges Obama By Paul Eckert (Front Row Washington) Submitted at 12/8/2009 7:06:13 PM

If Sarah Palin had her way, President Barack Obama would be staying away from this month’s global climate change talks in Copenhagen and “sending a message that the United States will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices.” The summit will hear from scientists like those from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, where recently revealed e-mails showed information that raised questions about climate change was suppressed, writes Palin. “Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen,” she wrote in an op-ed in the Washington

Post. “He plans to fly in at the climax of the conference in hopes of sealing a ‘deal.’ Whatever deal he gets, it will be no deal for the American people,” said the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate. The biggest U.N. climate talks in

history are aimed at working out a new pact to curb global warming, replacing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Obama said last week the United States will aim to reduce its carbon emissions by around 17 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels. Meeting Obama’s stated targets

will require cap and trade legislation that would result in job losses and higher energy costs, wrote Palin. “The last thing America needs is misguided legislation that will raise taxes and cost jobs — particularly when the push for such legislation rests on agendadriven science,” she said. Palin said she does not “deny the reality of some changes in climate” — because she observed changing weather patterns while serving as governor of Alaska. “But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes,” she said. Reuters photo by Mike Theiler (Palin arrives in a snowstorm for book signing in Virginia Dec.5)


Hippies need automatic crossbows too By John Biggs (CrunchGear) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:49:38 AM

When you live out in the country and have little else to do with your time, you need to make stuff. Take this self-cocking, automatic crossbow, for example. Made by a fellow called the Duckman, this sassy old man has some great facial hair and extremely inappropriate facial expressions as he ponderously loads and fires bolts into an unseen target. Check out minute 1:57 when ducks cross his path as he hunches over his invention. via Ubergizmo

Yes, there really is a market for bear gallbladders By Jeremy Pelofsky (Front Row Washington) Submitted at 12/8/2009 12:01:43 PM

Who knew that there was a black market for bear gallbladders? Turns out actually a fair number of people. A North Carolina man, Clement Calhoun, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to illegally selling 51 bear gallbladders from the Cherokee Nation trust lands over nine months in 2005, the Justice

Department said. Cherokee code bars tribal members from selling parts of big animals to anyone beyond the Cherokee Indian trust lands and to anyone who wants to remove the parts from the trust lands, the agency said. The trade of bear parts is apparently prolific enough that the Humane Society of the United States has issued a Q&A about it, found here. An averagesized gallbladder can sell for

$3,400 in Asia, the group said. In some quarters, the bear gallbladders are used to treat numerous illnesses, including

liver disease, fever, diabetes, and convulsions, according to the Humane Society. The Justice Department said

Calhoun put the retail value of the wildlife to be at least $6,600. As part of his plea agreement, he will publish an apology in a newspaper. He could also face a year in prison and a $200,000 fine. For more Reuters political news, click here. Photo credit: Reuters/Fayaz Kabli (bear)



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BBC was unfair to Crufts organiser in pedigree dogs exposé, rules Ofcom By Mark Sweney (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:22:25 AM

Investigation that led to BBC ditching Crufts coverage was edited fairly but did not give Kennel Club 'proper opportunity to respond' Read the Ofcom ruling in full (pdf) Read the full Kennel Club statemennt Ofcom has ruled that controversial BBC1 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which alleged that events such as Crufts awarded top prizes to unhealthy and inbred animals, was unfair in some aspects of its treatment of the Kennel Club. Pedigree Dogs Exposed, shown on BBC1 in August last year, led to the BBC deciding not to broadcast Crufts for the first time in more than 40 years. After being broadcast online earlier this year, Crufts will move to Channel 4 in 2010. A backlash against the show followed the broadcast, with organisations such as the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust and Pedigree pet food, which had sponsored the event for more than 40 years, withdrawing support. The Kennel Club's complaint was one of five to Ofcom that the BBC1 film was unfair.

Ofcom said that the way the film was edited was fair and that the Kennel Club "was not deceived about the purpose of the programme". However, the media regulator added that the Kennel Club was "not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party, or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner". The Kennel Club made complaints about the programme in five areas. Ofcom rejected complaints in four of these areas stating that there was "no unfairness" to the Kennel Club. "The club's fifth area of complaint was that it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to 15 specific allegations. Ofcom has found that the club was treated unfairly in four of those 15," the regulator added. In relation to Dr Jeff Sampson, the club's senior scientific adviser and spokesman, Ofcom upheld a complaint about how he was represented, after reviewing hours of untransmitted footage of interviews filmed between 2006 and 2008 for the documentary. "While [Ofcom's fairness] committee did not consider that he appeared in the programme to be flippant, it did consider that in the material used, he was not

given the chance to show how seriously he took the health problems confronting pedigree dogs," said Ofcom in its ajudication. "In the committee's view, the extracts in the programme did not fully or fairly reflect his considered response in the lengthy interviews with the programme makers." The BBC said it stood by the programme. "While we note Ofcom's findings regarding some aspects of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, we stand firmly by the programme, which was clearly in the public interest, and we stand firmly by its conclusions," said a spokesman for the BBC. "The broadcast has accelerated unprecedented reform in the way pedigree dogs are bred, including new limits on inbreeding, changes to the written standards of 78 breeds of dog and a new code of ethics which prohibits the culling of puppies for cosmetic reasons," he added. Ofcom also received complaints from the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain and Virginia Barwell, a breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – a breed highlighted for criticism in the BBC1 documentary. The BBC1 film alleged that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain was not doing all it could about a condition called dermoid sinus. Ofcom found that Pedigree Dogs

Exposed "did not fairly represent research on the subject". The media regulator also found that the show was unfair to Barwell because the BBC "did not convey her explanations for the very brief statements she was shown making in the programme". However, Ofcom rejected complaints from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club and Michael Randall. The media regulator ordered the BBC to broadcast a summary of its adjudication into Pedigree Dogs Exposed. Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed a prize-winning cavalier King Charles spaniel with syringomyelia, a condition that occurs when a dog's skull is too small for its brain. It also showed boxer dogs suffering from epilepsy, pugs with breathing problems and bulldogs unable to mate or give birth unassisted. The Kennel Club said that it still has "serious misgivings" about the way its complaint was handled by Ofcom and claimed the publication of the adjudication was delayed – and changed – following pressure from the BBC. "We have previously indicated our concerns over the lengthy time it has taken to resolve our complaint and over Ofcom's last minute acceptance of further submissions by the BBC," the

body added. "We do have serious misgivings about the conduct of our complaint and on the obvious change of mind which took place between Ofcom's decision in its provisional finding, and the decision that it finally published." The Kennel Club said that it was "surprising" that Ofcom found that the club itself was not unfairly treated in the editing of the show, although the regulator ruled that the views of Sampson were not fairly represented. Ofcom had "actually changed its mind on this point since its provisional decision", the Kennel Club added. Last month Ofcom delayed publishing its ruling on the show while the BBC gathered more information to build its case against the complaints. • To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. • If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication". • BBC • Ofcom • Crufts • Pets • Animal welfare BBC page 7

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Women challenge Irish abortion ban in European court


By Ian Traynor (World news and comment from the Guardian |

Mark Sweney© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

alcoholic and substance abuser whose four children were in care. She feared her pregnancy would prevent her getting her children Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:18:57 AM back, and went to a money lender Law is discriminatory and to finance the abortion in breaches right to life, European E n g l a n d . A n o t h e r b e c a m e court of human rights told pregnant while undergoing Ireland's ban on abortion faced chemotherapy treatment for one of its biggest challenges cancer and feared for her own today when three women forced health and that of her child. to travel abroad for terminations Lawyers and lobby groups for turned to the European court of the three argue that the abortion human rights. ban breaches several articles of In a case being watched closely the European convention on in other Catholic countries such human rights, which is policed as Poland, Spain and Malta, the by the court, notably the rights to Strasbourg court heard the life and to privacy and family arguments for the ban from the life, as well as bans on inhuman Irish government and from and degrading treatment and on lawyers for the one Lithuanian discrimination. and two Irish women. Today the Irish government The three women, known only fielded a high-profile team led by as A, B and C, travelled to t h e a t t o r n e y g e n e r a l , P a u l Britain to have abortions and Gallagher. He argued that the claim their health was imperilled right to life extended to the foetus and that they were traumatised and said broad Irish support for and humiliated by the Irish anti- the abortion ban had been tested abortion laws. "All three women in three referendums and was complain that the impossibility strongly embedded in the moral for them to have an abortion in fabric of Irish society. The Ireland made the procedure complaint was based on "legal u n n e c e s s a r i l y e x p e n s i v e , and factual propositions which, complicated and traumatic. In w h e n a n a l y s e d , c a n n o t b e particular, that restriction supported". stigmatised and humiliated them Abortion was outlawed in and risked damaging their health Ireland in 1861 and can bring a and, in the third applicant's case, sentence of life imprisonment. even her life," said a court The "right to life of the unborn" statement. is enshrined in the constitution. One of the women is a former According to the Irish Family

Planning Association (IFPA) at least 138,000 women have travelled abroad, mainly to England, since 1980 to obtain abortions. The Irish were among the last to endorse the EU's Lisbon treaty, voting for it in a referendum in October only after the other 26 countries promised that its abortion ban would not be affected by the charter. The Strasbourg court, however, has nothing to do with the EU. It is the supreme human rights authority for the 47 countries in the Council of Europe. Representing the three women, Julie Kay told the 17 judges of the grand chamber that all three had to borrow money to travel abroad for "clandestine" abortions and dismissed as bogus government claims that abortions were allowed in cases where the women's lives were at risk. She said that pursuing the case in court in Ireland, as demanded by Gallagher, would have been "futile and costly". The women are being supported by the IFPA and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service on a complaint that took four years to be heard in Strasbourg and on which no ruling is expected until next year. "Today is a hugely significant day for reproductive rights in Ireland. The fact that Ireland's draconian laws on abortion have

been put under the spotlight is a landmark for women living in Ireland," said the IFPA. "Ireland's restrictive laws on abortion are totally out of step with those of its European neighbours … Women and girls do not give up their human rights when they become pregnant." Patricia Lohr, medical director of the BPAS, said: "There is never any moral justification for the law to place a barrier between women and medical care. The Irish abortion ban risks women's physical health, requires abortions to be performed later than necessary, and creates serious emotional upset for women at an already stressful time." US anti-abortion lobbyists have been allowed to submit arguments to the court. The Alliance Defence Fund said "the stakes are high for all of Europe" and that Ireland's defence "of innocent life is under attack". • Abortion • Human rights • Ireland • Gender • Law • Women Ian Traynor© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

continued from page 6

• Animals • Television industry

14 Holiday Decorations You Won't See in the Neighborhood This Year [Photoshop Contest] By Adam Frucci (Gizmodo) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:00:00 AM

I find gaudy Christmas decorations to be a bit of an eyesore. But if they were amusing rather than irritatingly earnest? Then maybe I'd be down.


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West put 'amateurs' in charge of Iraq occupation and risks same in Afghanistan, inquiry told (World news and comment from the Guardian |

economic, governance and power supply problems. "It was rather like going to the theatre and seeing one sort of Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:18:34 AM play and realising you were Lieutenant General Sir Frederick watching a tragedy as the Viggers tells Chilcot that Nato curtains came back. r i s k s d o i n g t h e s a m e i n "We suffered from a lack of any Afghanistan real understanding of the state of The west put "amateurs" in that country post-invasion." important positions in occupied Not enough research had been Iraq and risks doing the same in carried out, he said, and the Afghanistan today, the Chilcot reality was a "long way" from the inquiry was told today. expectation that it would be a Lieutenant General Sir Frederick humanitarian crisis with a Viggers, who was the senior population willing to help. British military representative in Viggers told the inquiry it took Iraq from May to September 16 days for troops to enter 2003, said he was not talking Baghdad from the start line, about soldiers and civilians, "but compared with the estimated 100 it's the intellectual horsepower days. that drives these things [that] "That was a stunning military needs better coordination ... operation but in so doing it took "We are putting amateurs into everyone by surprise," he said. really important positions and After being met initially with a people are getting killed as a "hugely celebratory population", result of some of these decisions. the tide quickly turned against It's a huge responsibility and I the occupying forces, the inquiry just don't sense we are living up heard. to it." "We were not laying on The speed of the military everything that we were expected o p e r a t i o n t h a t l e d t o t h e to do," Viggers said. "They are occupation of Iraq in 2003 took saying to us: 'You people put a planners by surprise, Viggers told man on the moon and now you Sir John Chilcot's inquiry into the are telling us we can't have war, and reconstruction efforts electricity.'" were hampered by a growing Disclosures in April 2004 about insurgency, security issues, torture of prisoners at the hands

of US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison and the bombing of the UN HQ in Baghdad in August 2003 were also major setbacks in attempts to win over the Iraqi people, the inquiry heard. Also giving evidence today was senior civil servant Sir Hilary Synnott, who said that by the time he arrived as regional commander of the Coalition Provisional Authority in July 2003 he had been warned that the situation was "bleak", and "once I got there this was very much confirmed". He discovered there were no phones and no computer so he ended up sending daily reports to the Foreign Office on a machine provided by the Americans via Yahoo. He told the inquiry: "That was an indication of the sort of problems we faced." Synnott said he felt he had the backing of Tony Blair for his efforts but criticised the Whitehall machinery for falling short on delivery. After requesting 37 additional expert staff and 20 armoured vehicles in August 2003, the record of the ad hoc ministerial committee stated he should be provided with everything he thought was necessary – guidance which he understood to

have come from 10 Downing Street. By January 2004, only 18 staff had arrived, he said. "I felt I was getting political support in principle," he said. "The difficulty was that political support was not followed up at political level as well as at administrative level to turn it into reality." The system was undermined because Whitehall "was not mobilised" on a "war footing", according to Synnott. A senior cabinet-level minister should have had responsibility to "make things happen", working with a permanent undersecretary, he told the inquiry. • Iraq war inquiry • Iraq • Politics and Iraq • Politics past • Afghanistan • Defence policy • Foreign policy • Military • Civil service© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

AutoZone drives through analyst expectations in Q1 By Steven Mallas (BloggingStocks) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:00:00 AM

Filed under: Earnings reports, AutoZone Inc (AZO) AutoZone ( AZO) is in the fast lane. The stock has done reasonably well this year, and the first-quarter report, released on Tuesday, shows that the company still knows how to drive earnings growth. According to the company's earnings report, sales increased well over 7% and earnings per share expanded by better than 26%. Income was pegged at $2.82 per share. That was way above the call. Our earnings preview indicates an expectation of $2.66 per share. Clearly, management is doing something right. Continue reading AutoZone drives through analyst expectations in Q1 AutoZone drives through analyst expectations in Q1 originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

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Tigers attack German trainer at show By Kate Connolly (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:16:34 AM

Experienced trainer in critical condition after mauling by animals in front of shocked audience at circus event in Hamburg A German animal trainer is in a critical condition after he was pounced on and mauled by three Bengal tigers at a celebrity circus event. Christian Walliser, 28, an experienced tiger trainer, was attacked after he stumbled during the show in Hamburg. The 200 guests watched in horror as Walliser was pinned to the ground by the tigers. Members of the audience, who had each paid €132 (£120) to attend the Dinner Circus, were on the starter of a five-course meal as Walliser came into the ring to perform his show with five tigers. At first onlookers thought it was part of the act as he fell, and three of the tigers immediately

pounced on him. "Initially it looked like they wanted to play with him," one of the audience told German media. The tigers dug their teeth into Walliser's head and upper body, tearing off most of his left hand. Within 30 seconds other trainers ran to his aid, using water cannons and fire extinguishers to forced the tigers back into their cages. Eyewitnesses said those quick actions probably saved his life. A doctor who happened to be in the audience was able to stop the worst of the bleeding before medics appeared. Walliser was rushed to nearby Eppendorf hospital where emergency surgery was performed. Several of the audience members, including Walliser's boyfriend, were treated for shock. Doctors amputated Walliser's left hand and said he had suffered serious head and chest injuries in the attack. He remains in a critical condition. The event took place last night at the Hagenbeck Dressage hall,

one of the oldest active circus venues in Europe. Hamburg Tierpark, owners of the venue, said it "deeply regretted" the incident. Stefan Pagels, who with his wife, Korinna, organised the Dinner Circus and has been hosting similar events over the past decade, said it was likely that the tigers had "taken advantage" of their trainer's momentary loss of control over them "as an apparent opportunity to play with him". He praised Walliser as an experienced trainer, who he said "stands out for his calm and level -headed approach to the animals". Pagels adding that the trainer had been working with the animals for some time, and had "built up a trusting relationship" with them. He and his wife thanked the guests for reacting "quickly and calmly" for calls to evacuate the circus arena. The Pagels later made the surprise announcement that the show will continue until the end

of the year, albeit without the big cats act. A police investigation was launched into the incident but a spokesman said initially there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. The incident has drawn comparisons with the horrific attack suffered by Roy Horn, of German duo Siegfried and Roy, who nearly died after being mauled by a tiger during a Las Vegas show in 2003. Horn's recovery and his subsequent return to the circus ring despite initial predictions that he would never recover, was followed closely by the German media. • Germany • Circus • Animal welfare • Animals Kate Connolly© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds


FTC Continues Going After Robocallers By Mike Masnick (Techdirt) Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:08:27 PM

Earlier this year, the FTC started going after those annoying and misleading car warranty robocallers, and I've noticed that -- for the most part -- I've stopped receiving such calls. Instead, I've been getting lots of robocalls about credit card "interest rate reduction" programs. So, it's nice to see the FTC is cracking down on those as well(noting, in case you didn't know, that most of those offers are total scams). Now we'll see what sort of robocallers show up next. Still, it does feel like the FTC is starting to respond to these types of things much more quickly, which is a good thing. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): A holiday gift By Steven Halpern (BloggingStocks)

the month, we have chosen Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ)," says Vita Nelson, a specialist in longSubmitted at 12/9/2009 10:50:00 AM term investing through the use of F i l e d u n d e r : N e w s l e t t e r s , dividend reinvestment plans. Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), In her Direct Investing Stocks to Buy newsletter, she explains, "We "For our latest featured stock of think that enrollment in Johnson

& Johnson's DRIP makes the perfect gift this holiday season

because it is one of the most widely recognized names in the world. Continue reading Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): A holiday gift Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): A holiday gift originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09

Dec 2009 10:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Two die in quad bike crash with train By Steven Morris (World news and comment from the Guardian |

of the bikes. The train driver was unable to stop in time when he saw the bikes. One machine was crushed and the other pushed off Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:11:22 AM the track. Davies and Cooper Friends racing quad bikes on were found dead on the scene Cardiff rail line in early hours die from multiple injuries. after being struck by train One friend said: "Everyone Two friends on a quad bike were around here is devastated. The killed by a train today after using boys were just out having fun – a main rail line for night-time they love their quad bikes. They races. regularly go out down there to Trevor Davies, 20, and David race and have fun. There are no Cooper, 27, died instantly when houses around there and they the bike was struck in the don't disturb anyone. darkness by a passenger train. "They were just good lads. They Two friends riding another quad just enjoy going out midnight bike were also hit by the train but racing in the dark down by the escaped injury and fled the scene track and the fields around in south Wales. there." The four friends were using the Davies lived with his mother trackside and neighbouring fields B e v e r l e y , 5 0 , i n n e a r b y as a circuit for races. The main Llanrumney, and is the youngest London to south Wales line at of three children. His family were R u m n e y , C a r d i f f , i s o f t e n planning his 21st birthday deserted at the time of the crash, celebration in three weeks time. around 4am, but the quad bikers A neighbour said: "Beverley is a were surprised by an empty train lovely lady and is heartbroken. travelling at 70mph. All her family have been there It is believed the sound of the today to comfort her. train was drowned by the engines "Trevor was a typical young lad

who liked going out and enjoying himself. A lot of the boys around here love these quad bikes - they are very popular to take down around the fields. "But we had no idea he would go on a railway line. It seems mad but apparently they had done it many times before without any problem." Cooper grew up on the same estate but moved away to live with his girlfriend. The pair have a baby son who is due to have his first Christmas. A British Transport police spokesman said: "Two quad bikes were recovered from the scene. It is believed that two more men were involved and left the scene after the collision." Police were examining the tracks to discover where the bikers rode on to the line. A Llanrumney councillor, Heather Joyce, said the council was aware of the problem of youths racing quad bikes on the unofficial track late at night and it had been brought up in meetings with the police.

"People ride off-road bikes at night through the streets and they take quad bikes to the area where the accident took place." Network Rail closed the fourtrack line while British Transport police investigated. Network Rail said: "There was some damage to the track in the area of the collision." Arriva Trains Wales said: "It was an empty train on its way to be serviced in Cheltenham so there were no passengers on board. It's sad this trespass has led to two people losing their lives. We have consistently warned people to stay off the tracks." • Transport • Rail transport Steven Morris© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

Google debuts news story experiment By Lance Whitney ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:05:09 AM

Search giant teams up with The New York Times and Washington Post for "Living Stories," experiment, presenting a single page of stories and related items on a topic. Originally posted at News Digital Media

Google brings Groups to Google Apps Premier By Don Reisinger ( Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:01:00 PM

The addition of Google Groups allows users to more effectively collaborate with others within the workplace.

Options Update: Philip Morris volatility of 23 near 16-month lows By Paul Foster (BloggingStocks) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:30:00 AM

Filed under: Carnival Corp (CCL), Options Philip Morris( PM) closed at

$49.04. Philip Morris December option implied volatility is at 20, January is at 23, March is at 26; versus its 26-week average of 27 according to Track Data, suggesting decreasing price movement.

Carnival( CCL) closed at $31.83. Carnival is expected to report Q4 EPS on December 18. December option implied volatility is at 43; January is at 41; below its 26-week average of 48, according to Track Data,

suggesting decreasing price movement after EPS. Option Update is provided by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of Options Update: Philip Morris volatility of 23 near 16-month

lows originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments

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Danish police detain climate activists By Bibi van der Zee (World news and comment from the Guardian | Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:46:49 AM

Police detain 200 activists at their Copenhagen accommodation and seize items they claim could be used for acts of civil disobedience Danish police last night raided a climate campaigners' accommodation centre in Copenhagen, detaining 200 activists and seizing items including paint bombs and shields which they claimed could be used for acts of civil disobedience. About 200 police arrived at the shelter on Ragnhild Street, in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, at 2.30am. They locked activists into the building for two hours, and searched some of the nearby properties. Campaigners say they took away various items including a power drill, an angle grinder, and some wooden props.

No arrests were made. Police confirmed the raid took place and issued a statement saying among the items they had found were "58 fluorescent tubes containing a mixture of paint and oil, closed in both ends with candle wax, 193 riot shields, nine metal cages measuring 4x2m, which are capable of rolling and constructed inside with milk cartons, which could be used for staircases." A spokeswoman for Climate Justice Action (CJA), one of the activist groups, said: "People were enormously frightened and alarmed. We really don't know why the police handled it like this: the Danish government has provided this accommodation for activists and now the police are acting unnecessarily. We'll be asking for the items they confiscated back." The centre on Ragnhild Street is one of a handful of sleeping spaces provided by the government for the protesters

who are expected during the course of the summit. Activists estimate that between 30,00040,000 protesters may arrive over the next couple of weeks. Hundreds of small-scale actions are planned, and three large-scale peaceful protests are also due to take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. Police have said that although they will facilitate peaceful protest, they fear that an international extremist network may come to Copenhagen to join the peaceful protests then break away to commit acts of violence. The head of the Police Intelligence Service (PET), Jakob Scharf, has said that "violent extremists will try to abuse and get a free ride on the peaceful activist involvement in the climate debate." Scharf said he feared that peaceful protesters may end up in a battle zone between extremists and police. Some activists have privately

conceded that there may well be trouble at some of the upcoming demonstrations. But most strongly refute the idea that troublemakers are descending on Copenhagen. "We've found that to be a myth put about by people who are seeking to undermine the genuine reasons people are protesting," said Mel Evans of CJA. "We've issued a call out for people to take peaceful action on climate change and that's why they're coming here." • Copenhagen climate change conference 2009 • Climate change • Activism • Protest • Denmark Bibi van der Zee© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds


Norton Online Backup 2.0 hits the Web By Harrison Hoffman ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 5:00:00 AM

Updated version comes with new features such as support for Mac and Windows, 90-day file versioning, and the ability to send file download links via email. Originally posted at The Web Services Report

10 Best Sports Gear Innovations By Andrew Burmon (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 12/8/2009 5:00:00 PM

Wired pitches the sports world's smartest inventions, from the Ping-Pong ball to soccer cleats to the Zamboni.

Microsoft won't chase Google into real-time search By Tom Johansmeyer (BloggingStocks)

following. The company said on Tuesday that it doesn't see a pressing need to integrate with Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:30:00 AM social media platforms such as Filed under: Internet, Google Twitter and Facebook to deliver (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), real-time results. According to Yahoo! (YHOO), Media World, Adam Sohn, director of Bing, Technology Microsoft's search engine, "We're Google ( GOOG) may be going focused on our customers, not the the freshest updates from social after real-time search, but competition." media platforms as soon as they M i c r o s o f t ( M S F T ) i s n ' t Real-time search involves taking

are posted and including them in search results. For Google, the search engine segment leader by a mile, this has been a priority. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, Google has also inked an agreement with Yahoo! ( YHOO). Continue reading Microsoft won't chase Google into real-time search

Microsoft won't chase Google into real-time search originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Another day, another torture coverup | Clive Stafford Smith

Kroger's Q3 earnings miss, downgrade

By Clive Stafford Smith (World news and comment from the Guardian |

By Mark Fightmaster (BloggingStocks)

never met her. The British government has learned from past mistakes, in one way at least. Last time they Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:40:45 AM had exculpatory evidence that Britain denied evidence to the would help prove that someone lawyers of Guantánamo detainee had been tortured in US hands Shaker Aamer. Does the judicial and was probably innocent was system count for nothing? the case of Binyam Mohamed. Another day, another crime. Then, the UK struck a deal to That's how it seems to be going send the evidence to the US on for the British government at the condition that it was turned over moment. Late Tuesday afternoon, to Mohamed's American legal two high court judges found that team, albeit under the shroud of Britain had been mixed up in secrecy. Even that proved too wrongdoing, and ruled that the open for the Americans, who g o v e r n m e n t h a d a l e g a l objected strongly. Independent obligation to sort out another lawyers (I was one of them) were mess it had helped to create. therefore allowed to see evidence Again, it seems, the British of torture with their own eyes. government is conspiring with While we could not describe it in our American allies to cover up public, the official American line torture. – deny, deny, deny – began to The case involves Shaker become unsustainable. Aamer, the last acknowledged So the next time evidence of British resident in Guantánamo official criminality arose, the Bay. Aamer was cleared for British and Americans wanted to r e l e a s e b y t h e B u s h cobble together a more effective administration, many moons ago, cover-up. In Aamer's case, the and nobody cares to explain why B r i t i s h c o n c e d e d i n c o u r t he is still there rather than home yesterday that they sent the in London with his wife and four material over to their American children. His youngest daughter allies with a strict proviso that it is now eight, but Shaker has should not be made available to

Aamer's lawyers. Again, I represent Aamer in the US courts. I (perhaps like you) find the British position hard to understand on a moral level – although their motives seem plain enough. We are simply told to trust the Americans to do the right thing, without the intervention of pesky lawyers, let alone public scrutiny. After eight years of detention without trial, Aamer still does not have the right to a fair trial. Rather than complaining, the British government seems to have gone over to the dark side. Well, they seem to be saying, we may as well do away with the judicial system altogether. What good was the Magna Carta anyway? • Torture • Guantánamo Bay • Global terrorism • United States • Law Clive Stafford Smith© Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions| More Feeds

First Mobile Firefox enters home stretch By Stephen Shankland ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:00:00 AM

Mozilla plans to release the first Windows Mobile support, and release candidate of Firefox for more. m o b i l e p h o n e s n e x t w e e k . Originally posted at Deep Tech Coming next year: multitouch,

Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:10:00 AM

Filed under: Earnings reports, Analyst upgrades and downgrades, Kroger Co (KR) On Tuesday, Kroger ( KR) reported third-quarter earnings-and missed the Street's estimate. The grocer announced that it lost $1.35 per share during the quarter, down sharply from a 36cent profit during the same quarter a year ago. Taking onetime costs out of the equation, the grocer earned 27 cents per share during the quarter. These results were far short of the Street's expected 36 cents per share.

Continue reading Kroger's Q3 earnings miss, downgrade Kroger's Q3 earnings miss, downgrade originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Facebook MySpace details new launches new privacy settings developer tools By Larry Magid (

By Caroline McCarthy (

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:25:00 AM

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:44:00 AM

All Facebook users will soon be required to configure their privacy settings as company encourages users to make some information public. Originally posted at Safe and Secure

The strategy here is to get MySpace content pushed out across the Web, with a new set of APIs that make its content more searchable and real-time. Originally posted at The Social


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The McIntosh MXA60 celebrates 60 years of audio awesomeness By Matt Burns (CrunchGear) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:00:24 AM

If I was suddenly to get John Biggs’ salary, I would dump a ton of money into McIntosh equipment. They are the best of the best in the audio world and the new compact MXA60 would fit perfectly in my bedroom. And bathroom. Yes, I would put a $7,500 audio system in my bathroom if I could and you would too. I first spied the integrated audio system way back at CEDIA ‘08 when it didn’t even have a model number yet. But I was instantly in love with the somewhat small – but not mini – setup. It doesn’t seem much has changed since then though. It still packs a CD/SACD/MP3 player and is powered by a vacuum tube preamplifer. Pictures don’t do it just either. The entire case is metal with aluminum accents and a backlit glass faceplate. The analog dials dance back and forth with musical grace. To be honest, I don’t get the whole analog tube thing, but all I know is that it sounds fantastic and looks even better. Me want. BINGHAMTON, NY, December 9, 2009 — McIntosh Laboratory, a global leader in home entertainment that has defined the highest quality in sound reproduction for 60 years,

today announced that its 60th Anniversary MXA60 Integrated Audio System (US MSRP: $7,500), the company’s first-ever standalone integrated audio system is now available. Designed by the same team of renowned McIntosh engineers who created the company’s high performance Reference System, this ultimate-quality tabletop system features a highperformance 75-watt-per-channel amplifier, state-of-the-art

CD/SACD/MP3 player, vacuum tube preamplifier, as well as an AM/FM/RBDS Tuner and high performance, two-way bass reflex loudspeaker system that packs all the legendary McIntosh sound into a smaller package. McIntosh President Charlie Randall noted: “Ever since we introduced the MXA60 earlier this year, we’ve been receiving a great deal of interest, both from our retail partners and from consumers. In many ways, this

unique system truly represents what McIntosh has always been about. It combines our ongoing pursuit of audio perfection with our commitment to utilizing the latest, most advanced technologies in products that meet – and exceed – changing customer desires. The result is an audiophile-quality system that delivers on the time-honored McIntosh promise of superior sound, all in an easy-to-use, fully integrated and compact solution.”

Unmistakably McIntosh – Superior Craftsmanship, Audiophile Quality Sound With its solid all-metal casework, anodized aluminum accents, backlit glass faceplates with Peak Reading Wattmeters and heirloom quality construction, everything about the new MXA60 is unmistakably McIntosh – reflecting the company’s 60 years as a leader in MCINTOSH page 15


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NVIDIA shows its 3D Blu-ray readiness in run-up to CES, Acer demos 120Hz LCD By Paul Miller (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:00:00 AM

We recently got a chance to check out NVIDIA's 3D Blu-ray ecosystem, and while we're sure we'll be all 3D Blu-ray'd out by the time CES is over, it was our first chance to see the new tech in action, and it seems pretty raring to go. Specifically we got to check out a movie film(we can't say which for legal reasons) on a fancy new upcoming Acer LCD (the 24-inch G245, pictured above) that does 120Hz and can be synced with NVIDIA's 3D shutter-based glasses. The 3D looked just fine, on par with other movies we've seen from NVIDIA in the past, and close to what we've seen in theaters, with the exception being that this is

being delivered on a backwardscompatible, consumer-friendly Blu-ray disc. 3D Blu-ray is encoded in a new MVC-AVC format, which passes through a regular 1080p video for incompatible hardware, but provides a 3D image for the

software and decode hardware capable of sussing it out. Right now NVIDIA's 3D Blu-ray capable on existing GeForce GT 220 and GT 240 GPUs, along with its upcoming Fermi cards due next year. Software is even more plentiful, with Arcsoft,

Core, Cyberlink and Sonic all promising to by ready for 3D Blu -ray titles when they start shipping next year. Once the 3D Blu-ray spec is formally announced we're sure the floodgate will open even wider, but for now it seems NVIDIA has a nice jump on the tech, and we're sure they wouldn't mind pocketing a few of your gaming dollars in the meantime. NVIDIA shows its 3D Blu-ray readiness in run-up to CES, Acer demos 120Hz LCD originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink| | Email this| Comments

Health Bill AntiAbortion Measure Rejected by Senate (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 12/8/2009 3:18:24 PM

The US Senate has rejected an attempt to tighten restrictions against coverage for abortion in the proposed health care reform bill: U.S. Senate rejects abortion measure in health bill. The measure was co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Nelson has threatened to support a filibuster if his anti-abortion language is not included in the Senate bill.

This Robot Jedi Will Literally Blow Your Mind [Robots] By Jesus Diaz (Gizmodo) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:35:20 AM

Jesusrollerbladinginspandexchrist -alive. I've watched this video of a robot jedi—making all kinds of objects float across complex paths in midair—about ten times, and I still can't believe what I'm seeing. But it's 100% real, and as

impressive as BigDog. The Airbot doesn't use any magic, just a computer-controlled gimbaled air jet, "powered by a 620kPa using a direct current motor-controlled valve." Which to me sounds like magic, but whatever.

Air Jet" was officially presented at IROS 2009, The 2009 IEEE/RSJ International It has been developed at the ping-pong ball, a bottle of water, Conference on Intelligent RObots University of Illinois by Aaron an apple, an orange, or an and Systems. According to their Becker and Robert Sandheinrich, onion—which will get peeled research paper, it could be used helped by professor Timothy too. to sort small parts or handle Bretl. The air-stream can lift any It seems like an April's Fool, but delicate objects in production spherical and non-spherical the " Automated Manipulation of lines. [ University of Illinois via object up to 188 grams and Spherical Objects in Three IEEE via BotJunkie] 97mm in radius. That includes a Dimensions Using a Gimbaled

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Google Books may steal the very thing that makes the French French

10 Gizmos for a Home Theater Tuneup

By John Biggs (CrunchGear)

By Wired Staff (Wired Top Stories)

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:30:22 AM

President Sarkozy is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore. His beef? Moteur de recherche Google is stealing his precious cultural heritage by scanning in books. Another point? France is trying their own hand at book scanning and is planning on investing billions of Euros into the effort. Google

coming along and doing it for essentially free may be the cause of his chagrin. His comment? “We won’t let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is” Big? American? Those are fighting words, Sarko. Look: Google may not have our best interests at heart but the

sheer fact that they want to scan in all those books is a mitzvah. If Google planned to sell the data

maybe there would be an issue. But these are French books that few outside of France may ever see. To expand the French language in this way is an excellent way to expand cultural hegemony. Reuters also notes that France and Germany tried to make a search engine called Quaero a few years ago. It failed.


Submitted at 12/8/2009 5:00:00 PM

Nothing kicks more ass than a finely calibrated home theater system. But you need the right tech to do it. Here's our top gear for entertaining folks this holiday season.

MCINTOSH continued from page 13

themes, the MXA60 features the superior music reproduction technologies that have cemented the company’s singular reputation among audiophiles. The powerful 75-watt transistorbased amplifier features Sentry Monitor fuse-less short-circuit protection and Power Guard anticlipping circuitry to ensure distortion-free performance and reliability. The preamp’s advanced hybrid transistor/tube design utilizes a dual triode tube design for the purest music reproduction capabilities. The MXA60’s dual lowdistortion loudspeakers create a rich soundscape perfect for enjoying ultimate quality audio

performance in any sized room. The MXA60’s two-way loudspeakers were fashioned in the tradition of the revered minimonitors of old, providing an astounding level of high-quality audio from a surprisingly compact package. To achieve their high level of performance, the speakers feature custom designed mid-woofers with a four-inch diameter and exhibit a deep, wide soundstage that By Jesus Diaz (Gizmodo) presents the listener with an Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:30:00 AM engaging, palpable sense of Here's one rumor I really want to realism. see happening: Apple's Think Different campaign may be coming back. At least, according to a December 8 trademark application, and the whispering coming from TBWA\Chiat\Day, Apple's advertising agency. The new trademark covers the iPod and "portable and handheld

Apple Think Different Campaign May Be Coming Back to Make Your Eyes All Glassy Again [Rumor] digital electronic devices." Of course, this trademark renewal could just an obligatory update to the old one, but Seth Weintraub at 9-to-5 claims that there have been lots of talk about Think Different at TBWA Chiat's MediaArtsLab. Nothing solid yet, but lots of rumbling and rambling. I sure hope so. I'm tired of all the on-your-face Hello-I'm-a-Mac ads, and I would love Apple to

get an inspiring short up there. Because that's what the Think Different campaign was: Inspiring, especially in a moment in which Apple was about to fall into oblivion. Watching it still makes my eyes all glassy. Maybe to warm up towards the launch of the mythical Apple Tablet, which after all is all about thinking differently. [ Patently Apple via 9 -to-5]



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AT&T CEO Admits AT&T Sucks, Implies It's Gonna Cost More for People Who Actually Use Their Phones [At&t] By matt buchanan (Gizmodo) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:59:26 AM

Apple Tablet Launching March or April, Analyst Says [Rumor]

If an iPhone app designed solely to report crappy coverage doesn't say it loudly enough, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega By Jesus Diaz (Gizmodo) 30/70 revenue split to book As for the specs, he claims the admitted today that AT&T sucks publishers. That's 30% for Apple, same screen technology of the in NY and SF, saying they're Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:35:20 AM and 70% for publishers for a non- iPhone but in a 10.1-inch size, "performing at levels below our Citing his investigation into exclusive distribution contract. ironbarring the concept of a super standards." Apple's supply chain, analyst Amazon—who apparently has - e x p e n s i v e O L E D But! It's "going to get fixed." He Yair Reiner claims that Apple pissed off everyone in the book display—which I always thought promises. (As AT&T has for over a year.) Besides, part of it's will ramp up production of the industry—only offers 30/70 for was absolutely stupid. wonderdevice in February 2010. exclusives, and 50/50 for the rest. F i n e , M r . R e i n e r , y o u r in your head—AT&T says they His date for the Second Coming He claims that the Apple device predictions seem reasonable. But have a national dropped call rate of the JesusTablet: March or will make "ebooks more relevant I reserve the right to ironbar you of 1.32 percent, which is within April. And apparently, it'll kill for education by simplifying myself if they don't become true. two-tenths of one percent below the "highest-scoring provider." Kindle. functions such as scribbling [ AppleInsider] (Though it's, um, higher in NY He says that Apple is offering marginalia."

on some phones, according to some people.) Disconcertingly, he made reference to AT&T's favorite stat, that 3 percent of smartphone customers push 40 percent of data, and that they're looking at incentives—as the WSJ put it—that'll get those people to cut back, "in a way that's consistent with net-neutrality and FCC regulations." These FCC regulations. Meaning pay-perbyte data. But you know what? If I could get data 100 percent of the time, sure, I'll pay more for it, Ralphie. [ WSJ]

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BBC's iPlayer streams to Cello iViewer HDTVs, those iElsewhere get iNothing By Tim Stevens (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:56:00 AM

Hopefully you haven't exceeded your daily allowance of the letter 'i' yet this morning; this post could push you into CamelCase overload. British electronics maker Cello has announced iViewer, a line of LCD HTDVs available in £399 ($650) 26- and £499 ($815) 32-inch models that will directly stream BBC's iPlayer, no silly gaming console or set-top box required. They'll also stream a variety of other digital channels, including YouTube and American CNN -so why is it that Americans still can't stream content from the Beeb? Sets will be selling soon exclusively at Marks and Spencer stores, and would have been available months ago if not for a delay thanks to an unidentified

Nokia 6700 Classic Gold Edition is expensive, gold plated

The Phrase That's Screwing Up the Afghan Air War By Noah Shachtman (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:32:00 AM

The rules of the new Afghanistan air war appear to be pretty straight-ahead. If a commander on the ground declares that his troops are “in

New 11.6-inch Acer Ferrari One notebook gets dual-core AMD

but apparently American chip maker. Sure, blame the US. Everything's our fault. BBC's iPlayer streams to Cello iViewer HDTVs, those iElsewhere get iNothing originally appeared on Engadget By Doug Aamoth on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:56:00 (CrunchGear) EST. Please see our terms for Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:35:00 AM use of feeds. Permalink BBC N e w s | C e l l o | E m a i l t h i s | Acer has updated its line of Comments Ferrari-inspired notebooks with the newest Ferrari One model. This time around we’re greeted with an 11.6-inch screen, dualcore AMD Athlon CPU, 4GB of RAM, and ATI HD 3200 graphics stuffed into a body that contact” — coming under fire — weighs less than 3.5 pounds. then drones and fighter jets and Full feature list: a t t a c k h e l i c o p t e r s w i l l • AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core i m m e d i a t e l y s t r e a k t o h i s L310 CPU at 1.2GHz location. Too bad no one can • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 agree on what "troops in contact" -bit • 11.6-inch LED-backlit screen really means.

By Joseph L. Flatley (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:08:00 AM

If we know you (and we think we do), your idea of class isn't a modest candybar dipped in gold - no, it's a modest candybar made from hand-cut and polished solid gold. But just in case you feel at 1366×768 resolution like slummin' it, the Nokia 6700 • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 Classic Gold Edition is, as the graphics name suggests, a 6700 Classic • 4GB DDR2 RAM handset with a limited edition 18• 250GB 5400RPM SATA hard carat finish, some special drive wallpaper (to compliment the • Card reader, Draft-N Wi-Fi, phone's Fort Knox-esque new webcam look), and a €370 (roughly $550) • Six cell battery good for up to price tag. Tempted? You have five hours battery life until Q1 2010 to come to your • MSRP of $599.99 senses. Nokia 6700 Classic Gold Edition The Ferrari One “is available is expensive, gold plated now via Acer’s authorized originally appeared on Engadget resellers and at major retailers on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:08:00 nationwide, with prices EST. Please see our terms for beginning at $599.99.” use of feeds. Permalink Engadget [ Press Release] Spanish| Nokia Conversations| Email this| Comments



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Intel's Core i3 530 processor up for order, still unconfirmed by Intel By Tim Stevens (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:31:00 AM

Remember Intel's budgetfriendlier Core i3 line that we've been talking about since June? Despite recent leaks the company still hasn't made it officially official, but it's now unofficially officially thanks to a pre-order at a Canadian retailer. If you're getting a little déjà vu right now don't worry, it isn't a glitch in the matrix; this is exactly the same scenario that played out with the Core i5 back in August, about a month before that proc was finally given its coming out party. In other words, expect this 32nm chip -- with its 2.93GHz

speed, 512KB of L2 cache, 4MB of L3, and $157 CAD asking price (a mere $10 lower in American) -- to be given the full press release rigmarole sometime around the new year. Intel's Core i3 530 processor up for order, still unconfirmed by

Intel originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 08:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink PC World| A-Power| Email this| Comments

Olympus PEN E-P2 gets reviewed and starts Ultra-cheap Archos 1 Vision goes on shipping out sale across the pond By Darren Murph (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:27:00 AM

By Darren Murph (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:45:00 AM

Need a relatively respectable DAP to shove in your next pair of gym shorts, huh? Yeah, we've all been there. If you happen to live on the right side of the Atlantic, Archos' 1 Vision just might be your ticket, as the diminutive, no-frills player is now available to purchase for the tidy sum of £24.99 ($41). For those in need of a refresher, this one's packing 4GB of internal

jotting down grocery lists. There's still no word on a US release, but we're told this is the season for hope. Can we get a confirmation on that? Bueller? Ultra-cheap Archos 1 Vision goes on sale across the pond originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for storage, support for MP3, WMA, u s e o f f e e d s . P e r m a l i n k APE, WAV and FLAC files, DAPreview| Archos| Email this| compatibility with JPEG and Comments BMP files and even an audio recording function for vocally

We've already expressed our opinion on the PEN E-P2's price point (hint: it's not positive), but for those with more cash than problems to throw blank checks at, Olympus' second-ever Micro Four Thirds camera is now on sale and shipping from a wide variety of respected e-tailers. Just in time for the holidays, don'tcha know? If you're still wondering if $1,099.99 is worth blowing on this, The Online Photographer has published an hands-on

critique, complete with a few luscious sample shots and interesting gripes about the viewfinder. Make no mistake -the image quality looks fabulous, but man, that MSRP. It's large. Olympus PEN E-P2 gets reviewed and starts shipping out originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink Slashgear| Amazon, Let's Go Digital, The Online Photographer| Email this| Comments

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ASRock ION 330HTBD nettop goes on sale for $589 By Darren Murph (Engadget) Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:23:00 AM

If you're scouting a nettop that'll hit your doorstep prior to those Christmas bells ringing, you'll want to look elsewhere. That said, those with plenty of time to spare may want to consider ASRock's ION 330HT-BD, particularly if you just can't seem to stop renting Blu-ray Discs from Netflix. The box has just landed on Amazon with a $588.99 price tag and an admittedly frightening "usually ships within 1 to 4 months" warning, and if you're no fan of BD (liar!), the standard 330HT is in the same boat for $458.99.

Trash Can Urinal Is a Disgusting Solution to a Disgusting Problem [Design] By John Herrman (Gizmodo)

which I shouldn't have to tell you came from England, came from England, the only country where D r u n k p e o p l e ! T h e y p e e public micturation is subject to everywhere. So what is a town to stylistic regulation. It looks like a do, about all this urine? How normal trash can you'd see on about they install public urinals, any street in the UK, except for a disguised as trash cans? Yes. curious, and curiously labeled, How about that. little portal. This is for your junk. The Wheelie Bin Urinal concept, As you can see in the video Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:43:45 AM

ASRock ION 330HT-BD nettop goes on sale for $589 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink Netbooked| ION 330HT, ION 330HT-BD| Email this| Comments

Ebay Exec E-mails: Feign Surprise To Craigslist By Alexandria Sage (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:44:00 AM

below, given that they were SAN FRANCISCO — E-mails probably planning on peeing in from a top eBay executive public anyway, people don't seem showed the internet giant was to reluctant to mount the Wheelie Bin Urinal. But it isn't magic: at da end of da day, you're still stuck with a trash can full of piss. Or, if this is any better, piss and straw. [ DesignBoom]

aware that a competing online classifieds site it launched while sitting on the board of Craigslist was a sensitive issue to be handled delicately, according to court testimony


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Skyfire 1.5 Brings A New Interface And A Bunch Of Polish By Greg Kumparak (CrunchGear)

Modern Warfare 2 censored in Japan: ‘No Russian’ changed up By Nicholas Deleon (CrunchGear)

The game’s text was also edited to read, “Kill ‘em, the Russians” instead of “Remember, no Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:30:53 AM Russian.” Why that’s a better Modern Warfare 2, now way to go about things, censored in Japan. The game, especially when you can’t kill which Square Enix publishes your Russian partners either, I By Adam Ostrow (Mashable!) tomorrow, changes the way the don’t know. Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:27:45 AM level “No Russian” works. Here, What else is there to say, really? killing civilians is a no-no. Pretty sure y’all are sick of “No We’ve known that a major Killing civilians inside the Russian” discussion, so I won’t privacy overhaul has been in the airport results in a game over. So, bore you any more. works for some time at don’t do it! Facebook, and last week a letter from founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg let everyone know that changes were imminent. Today, the company plans to By David Kravets (Wired Top a n o n y m o u s W i k i p e d i a a n d start asking all 350 million of its Stories) Facebook prankster who is users to review and update their posting that Livingston is gay. settings as they roll out the new Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:00:00 PM The courts are likely to out the simplified privacy interface. While Facebook’s spinning the Actor Ron Livingston sues the alleged vandal's identity. changes largely as being about

By Charlie Sorrel (Wired Top Stories) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:43:00 AM

Yair Reiner, an analyst for Oppenheimer, has lit some incense, drained his tea-cup and stared deep into the pattern of the remaining leaves. The fates have thus communicated to him the following “fact”: Apple will ship a 10.1-inch touch-screen tablet in spring 2010.

Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:26:21 AM

Skyfire has come a long way in the past few months. Since shedding the Beta tag back in May, it has grown into what is easily one of the best mobile browsers around. If nothing else, it's still the only cross-platform mobile browser able to churn through Flash 10, Silverlight, and a ton of other media formats generally reserved for the PC. Today, Skyfire is launching version 1.5 of their browser for Windows Mobile. In addition to

Apple Tablet Watch: Analyst Says "Spring"

the standard performance enhancements you might expect, v1.5 also brings a number of enhancements aimed at touchscreen users.

It’s Privacy Day at Facebook

Office Space Actor Sues Wikipedia Vandal

post something. That will be key for Facebook becoming as valuable as Twitter in the realm of real-time search, where both are now integrated in Google. Although it has many times more users than Twitter, to date, most Facebook data remains private and, hence, making things easier for users inaccessible to search engines. (which is true; the current We’ll see how that starts to privacy settings are enormously change after today. complex if you care to dive in), See Also: Facebook’s New it’s also all about encouraging Privacy Features – A Complete them to share more stuff publicly G u i d e R e v i e w s : F a c e b o o k , by letting them choose an T w i t t e r “everyone” option each time they Tags: facebook

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TV Station Tells Blogger To Delete Twitter Message Or Face Legal Action By Mike Masnick (Techdirt) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:42:00 AM

How Huge Is the Internet on an Average Day? [Data] By matt buchanan (Gizmodo) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:40:00 AM

The internet is, like, big. So's this infographic showing just how crazy huge it is, and what 210 billion emails, 3 million Flickr images, 43 million gigabytes (on phones) sent on an average day really means. It hurts. [ Online Education]

Tragically, over the years, we've been on the receiving end of an unfair share of totally bogus legal threats from angry individuals and companies. In fact, just last week we got two such threats. We've almost never posted any details about the threats, as I prefer to give the threatener (usually someone enraged by something said in the comments, rather than by us directly) the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they wrote the threat in a moment of emotional anger. I hope that when they realize that there is no legal basis for the threat, they'll back down. So far, no one has gone further than sending a threat. Some ignore our responses, some agree that they have no real intention of suing. But it still amazes me how quickly and how frequently people break out the "we'll sue you!" with no legal basis whatsoever. Luckily, in our case, we're pretty sure when we're in the clear, and (this is important) we have relationships with smart lawyers who do an excellent job

representing us when we receive such threats. Not everyone is so lucky, and no matter how "safe" you are, being on the receiving end of a legal threat is never fun, especially if you are a small business or just an individual. davebarnes alerts us to a story of just such a situation involving an anonymous blogger in Oregon, who had heard about some "embarrassing" videos involving some local TV anchors. In looking for the videos, the blogger discovered the YouTube account in question had been closed, and sent out a Twitter message asking if anyone had seen the videos before the account was closed. In response, the blogger received a legal threat from the news director of the TV station demanding the removal of the Twitter message (which simply asked if anyone had seen the video and linked to a shuttered YouTube account). There was absolutely no legal basis for the threat, but the

blogger admitted: Her legal threat told me she was unpredictable, and she was the only one in the conversation with the resources to go to court. It didn't matter that I had done nothing wrong; I would have no way to deal with a lawsuit, frivolous or not, while still finding time to operate my website and work at my paying job. So, even though the blogger knew the threat was frivolous, he was still in the position of worrying about whether or not it would still be brought to court. That's a huge problem. Even worse is that the news director of the TV station broke out the ridiculous threat in the first place -- especially stunning that a professional reporter would make such a threat. In followup emails, the news director tried to suggest that the lawsuit would have been against the original poster of the video, but that's not what the original letter said: The "kointastic behind the scenes video" lifted by one of your

followers from YouTube, was stolen. That is the property of KOIN Local 6. Kindly remove that posting and link so that we don't have to pursue legal action. That certainly implies that the "legal action" would be against the blogger for posting the Twitter message. We live in a litigious age, obviously. But pulling out the big guns of threatening legal action on no legitimate basis is becoming way too common. Unfortunately, the reason why it's so common is that it's quite scary to receive a legal threat (even one with no basis), and many peole quickly cave and give in. Hopefully, as more people are educated concerning their own rights, they'll push back -- but I don't see that happening any time soon. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Tyler Perry's Mother Dies (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:03:00 AM

ET has the latest...

Movie star and mega-producer Tyler Perry's mother has died, she was 64. Perry announced on his Web site

that his mother, Wille Maxine his fans that read, "Thank you for Perry, passed away on Tuesday, all your prayers." but did not disclose the cause, just simply sending a message to



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Facebook details new privacy settings (CNET Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:25:00 AM

Facebook users are about to see an unfamiliar screen when they sign on to the service--a request to configure their privacy preferences. But it's not really a request. It's a requirement. "As far as we know, it's the first time in the history of the Internet," said Facebook spokesman Simon Axten, "that so many people have been required to make affirmative decisions about their privacy." The company on Wednesday provided details of the changes that CEO Mark Zuckerberg blogged about last Tuesday. These include eliminating regional networks and giving users more granular control over who can see individual pieces of content while making some basic profile information available to everyone. Also, Facebook is simplifying what this blogger and others have criticized as overly complex privacy controls, but it is also requiring members to make some information available to the public. Facebook is requiring users to configure privacy settings. Controversial privacy history Over the years, Facebook has been the subject of criticism, lawsuits, and threatened federal action over various changes to its privacy policy. In 2007, Facebook announced its Beacon advertising service, which broadcast member activity

on partner sites to their Facebook friends. If you bought a movie ticket on Fandango, for example, all of your Facebook friends would immediately know about it. The Beacon program unleashed a campaign from consumer advocacy groups including as well as a class action law suit that was settled this September. As part of that settlement, Facebook agreed to shut down Beacon and to donate $9.5 million to an independent foundation to "fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security." In February of this year,

Facebook found itself at the center of another privacy storm after it announced a change in its policy that would give the company seemingly perpetual control over user-supplied content. That prompted the Electronic Privacy Information Center to threaten filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and also led to the formation of a Facebook group called People Against the new Terms of Service that attracted nearly 150,000 members protesting the changes. The uproar caused the company to rescind those changes and resulted in CEO Mark

Zuckerberg holding a press conference where he announced that the company would create "a new approach to site governance" so that its decisionmaking would be more transparent. Mandatory privacy settings All users will soon be confronted with a "privacy announcement" informing them that they must configure their settings. Initially, you will be able to "skip for now" but you will later be required to go through the steps in order to continue using the service, according to Axten. To encourage people to share information, Facebook has set the

default to "everyone," but you can later go back to set more restrictive settings. You can also keep your old settings. If you're not sure what they are, you can display them by hovering over the radio button. In the final step, Facebook displays your settings and gives you a chance to change them. At this point or at any time in the future you will be able to adjust any of your settings The Facebook settings will be based on four basic levels: friends, friends of friends, everyone and customize. If you FACEBOOK page 24

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First Look: Breaking the print / sign / fax cycle with Zosh for iPhone

Game Developer Won't Edit 'Aliens vs. Predator' To Appease Australian Censors

By Steven Sande (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))

By Mike Masnick (Techdirt)

with text, dates, and signatures. The company says that Microsoft Word document support will be available soon. Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:00:00 AM Zosh works in concert with a Filed under: Found Footage, secure file server to make the iPhone, App Store, First Look, documents available to your App Review iPhone. When you receive a Does this scenario sound document as an attachment to an familiar? You're out of town or email message, you just forward away from your office, and you it from your Zosh account email get a call from a client. They address to a special need for you to fill out and sign a address. Zosh recognizes your contract, and then return it to email address and then stores the them as quickly as possible. document folder; the contents of Right now, you'd probably pull that folder are visible on your out your laptop, pull up the email iPhone on a Documents screen. with the contract, print it out, fill For training purposes, Zosh has out the information and signature created a "Getting Started with by hand, and then find a fax Zosh" PDF that you can read for machine to send the document step-by-step instructions and off to the client; or, if your client hands-on demonstrations. is savvy enough, you could To view the document, you electronically sign a PDF version simply tap on its name. When of the contract. What if you could you find a place that you need to do all of that from your iPhone? annotate with a date, text, or Zosh[$2.99, iTunes Link] signature, you simply tap on the provides a way to do just that. It's Insert button and you're given a an iPhone-based tool for marking choice of what to insert. If you up and signing PDF documents choose date, a date picker with

several different date formats appears. Selecting text brings up a text edit field into which you type the text you want to annotate the PDF with. To add a signature, an automatically scrolling window appears into which you write your name on the touchsc. I found that using a stylus like the Pogo Stylus helped me to create a more accurate signature than my finger. Any of the annotations can be in a choice of four colors -- blue, black, gray, and red -- and can be moved around the page, rotated 360°, resized (bigger or smaller), or deleted. For text annotations, you can choose from a variety of fonts, although none of them really stood out as being unique. Of course, if you're annotating a contract or other legal document, I'm not sure you want to put text in some sort of oddball font. Once you're done signing the document, you "transmit" it back to your email address or that of another recipient. There's no need to print the original, find a pen to

sign the document, then scan and or fax the document before sending it on. Zosh does exactly what it sets out to do, breaking the cycle of wasteful printing and faxing, and it does it on the iPhone alone. While testing the app on a business trip, I had the opportunity to use Zosh to annotate and sign a couple of documents, and I found it to be a lifesaver. While Zosh isn't for everybody, if you are the type of person who needs to receive, annotate, and sign documents, and then return them to another person, the app is worth much more than the $2.99 price tag. TUAW First Look: Breaking the print / sign / fax cycle with Zosh for iPhone originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Why I Left the Right, Exhibits B and C (Little Green Footballs)

World Net Daily is just doing “due diligence” by obsessing over Barack Obama’s birth For the first of today’s facepalm- certificate, and saying “Given his inducing audio clips, we have father’s birthplace, what’s wrong Sean Hannity going Birther, with asking if Obama has a claiming that wacko wingnut site l e g i t i m a t e b i r t h Submitted at 12/8/2009 3:54:01 PM

certificate?”[Video] But wait! Still more facepalm goodness awaits! Also today, Rush Limbaugh indulged himself in some of that good ol’ patented Limbaugh race -baiting, saying “The black frame

of mind is terrible,” and “Tiger Woods’ choice of females is not helping ‘em out with their attitudes there either.” Classy![Video]

Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:26:34 AM

Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that game developer Rebellion has decided not to resubmit an edited version of its game Aliens vs. Predator after it was rejected by the Australian Classification Board for being too violent. The company stated that it agrees the game is not suitable for children:"We agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults... it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent." But Australia apparently doesn't have an option for such "mature" content, and Rebellion seems to recognize how ridiculous that is:"We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices." Hopefully, things like this will make Australia reconsider its censorship of such content. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story


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FACEBOOK continued from page 22

belong to a network, you will also have the setting friends and networks. As before, you will also be able to customize settings to include or exclude specific friends or groups of friends. Some information must be publicly available Some information--including name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks you belong to, friend lists, and pages you're a fan of--will be available to everyone. The only way to keep that information from the general public is to not include it as part of your Facebook profile. Users also have the ability to limit what can be found via a search on Facebook and what information Facebook will make available to search engines like Google and Bing. According to Axten, that information is being made publicly available to make it easier to find people using Facebook search, especially people with common names. If

you locate a "John Smith" in a Facebook search, seeing his picture and knowing where he lives can make it easier to pinpoint the right person. Though not mandatory, Facebook, according to a spokesperson, is encouraging people to make other information public such as where they went to school or where they work. However Axten added that if a user had previously configured their privacy settings, they should keep what they already have. While adults have the option of making content available to everyone, the maximum exposure available to users under 18 will be friends of friends or school networks. Control over who gets to see your posts The most important change is that you will now be able to specify who can see each piece of your content including status updates, photos, and videos. Each time you add content, you'll be

able to determine whether it can be seen by everyone, friends and network, friends of friends, only friends, or a custom setting. Customized settings allow you to include or exclude individual people or lists of people. For example, one could share last night's exploits with his fraternity brothers but not with his fellow church members or office mates. The list feature, which has long been available, allows you to divide your friends into groups. For example, as a journalist, I encourage readers to "friend" me at, but I also maintain a list of "real world friends." Third-party application settings As in the past, you will have some control over the information that can be seen by operators of third-party Facebook applications. Facebook has added the ability to fully block an application from accessing any information but, in most cases, that will disable the application.

Facebook's Axten said that application developers will have access to all publicly available information, but can only access other information with the user's permission. Applications are also required to only access user information that is essential for them to run. The company, said Axten, has an enforcement squad to ensure compliance. Facebook is also launching a new Privacy Center that will offer "a comprehensive guide that helps users understand and control how they share information." Disclosure: Facebook is one of several companies that provides support to, a nonprofit Internet safety organization I help run. This content has passed through

Obama Administration Sees Homegrown Islamic Extremism on the Rise (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 12/8/2009 10:20:36 AM

According to DHS head Janet Napolitano, the danger of Islamic extremism in the United States is increasing, due largely to online propaganda: U.S. sees homegrown Muslim extremism as rising threat. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued her strongest public comments yet on the homegrown threat. “We’ve seen an increased number of arrests here in the U.S. of individuals suspected of plotting terrorist attacks, or supporting terror groups abroad such as Al Qaeda,” Napolitano said in a speech in New York. “Home-based terrorism is here. And, like violent extremism abroad, it will be part of the threat picture that we must now confront.”

TIME Names Gadget of the Year: Droid By Pete Cashmore (Mashable!)

on the best network, TIME argues, making it the obvious choice despite being new to the Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:37:05 AM market. TIME has published its top 10 of TIME writes: everything 2009, and the winner Droid is a hefty beast, a metal in the gadgets category is a behemoth without the gloss and relative newcomer: the Droid. finish of the iPhone, but you The Motorola phone on the don’t miss it. The Droid’s Verizon network is a great device touchscreen is phenomenally

sharp and vivid, it has an actual physical (not great, but good

enough) keyboard, and, best of all, the Droid is on Verizon’s best -of-breed 3G network. We tend to agree; the Droid is a fantastic phone and a poster child for Google’s Android OS. Nonetheless, it’ll seem a lot less appealing next year if the iPhone finally comes to Verizon. We still think the iPhone is a superior

phone, albeit on an inferior network. Disclosure: Motorola and Verizon are Mashable sponsors. Reviews: Google, Mashable, iPhone Tags: droid, motorola droid, verizon droid

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Firefox Mobile Browser Finally Set to Launch By Christina Warren (Mashable!)

Current N900 owners can download the latest version of the beta by visiting Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:29:54 AM on their devices. Nokia doesn’t Firefox is one of the biggest plan on shipping the N900 with players in the desktop browsing Firefox Mobile, at least right now space, but when it comes to — but is open to including it in browsing the Web from a mobile the next version of the Maemo device, Mozilla hasn’t made the OS, due sometime in Q3 2010. leap. That’s all going to change You can check out Firefox soon, as the first version of Mobile in action in this video: F i r e f o x M o b i l e ( p r e v i o u s l y Extensions and Other Platforms known by its codename Fennec) Although most latest-generation is being prepped for release by smartphones are powered by the end of the year. WebKit-based browsers (this Nokia’s new N900 will be the includes Safari Mobile on the first phone able to run Firefox iPhone and Android’s browser), Mobile. The N900 runs on the the big draw that some users Linux-based Maemo operating might see with Firefox Mobile is system, and already ships with a its shared codebase with the lightweight browser based on Firefox desktop browser. Both Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine. Firefox Mobile and the upcoming F i r s t R e l e a s e C a n d i d a t e Firefox 3.6 are based on the same Expected Next Week underlying code. This means that CNET quotes Mozilla’s VP of plug-ins like Mozilla’s Weave Mobile Jay Sullivan as saying: can synchronize bookmarks, “Our goal is to have a release passwords and open tabs across candidate next week. If things go browsers — both mobile and smoothly, we’ll have a (final) desktop. version out in the next few For extension addicts, Firefox weeks” Mobile for the N900 can run

many of the same extensions as its desktop counterpart. AdBlock Plus is one of about 30 currently available. The Mozilla and Nokia teams have worked together to create tight integration between Firefox and the N900 platform, but Maemo isn’t the only planned platform. The Windows Mobile version of Firefox Mobile is in the alpha testing stage, with the final version expected sometime in the first half of 2010. Mozilla is also actively developing an Android version of Firefox Mobile, but the due date for Firefox’s arrival on Android seems pretty far off. Firefox Mobile has slightly higher hardware requirements than WebKit-based browsers, so

we should expect to start seeing it extend to other devices as development — and technology — progresses. The Future Mozilla has big plans for Firefox Mobile, including support for JetPack and WebGL. Firefox Mobile is a project with high aspirations. How well it succeeds will be dependent on how much support it can gather from the community and how many device manufacturers are open to embracing an alternative to WebKit. For consumers, whether you end up using Firefox Mobile or not, we see this development as a good thing. Innovation is often best spurred by competition, and it’s nice to see WebKit get some mobile push-back. What do you think about Firefox Mobile? Reviews: Adblock Plus, Android, Firefox, iPhone, linux Tags: Fennec, Firefox, firefox for mobile, firefox mobile, mozilla, N900


Willie Nelson graces the new promo for Lost By Bob Sassone (TV Squad) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:04:00 AM

ABC isn't releasing any new footage for the last season of Lost, but they are releasing some promos, including this one, which features Willie Nelson singing "Amazing Grace." It would have been cool if they had used his song "Funny How Time Slips Away." The new season debuts on February 2. [Watch clips and episodes of Lost and other shows at SlashControl.] Filed under: Lost, Video, Reality -Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Live Video Streaming Comes the iPhone, Courtesy of Ustream By Pete Cashmore (Mashable!) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:15:04 AM

Yes, it happened: Live video streaming has come to the iPhone courtesy of Ustream. In a move that many suspected would never happen — surely the

carriers would loathe the increased data usage resulting from such apps— Apple has approved the Ustream Live Broadcaster application, bringing live streaming video straight from the iPhone to the uStream Web site and any embedded The app works on 3G and Wi-Fi players posted around the Web. connections, supports yes/no

polling of viewers, displays chatroom messages, serves up a viewer count, can transmit your location via GPS and allows you to adjust the resolution. Oh, and did we mention it’s absolutely free? Suffice to say, this looks to be a killer app, and it’s worth giving a

spin if you’d like to post live video from your iPhone. It’s available in the iTunes store here. [via Techcrunch] Tags: iphone, live video, ustream



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Google debuts news story experiment (CNET

videos, and access a time line for an historical view of the topic. As new stories and updates are Google has often been seen as a posted, you can read them on the c o m p e t i t o r t o t r a d i t i o n a l same page. newspapers, but the search giant Google Living Stories is now teaming up with two p a g e ( C r e d i t : G o o g l e ) m a j o r p a p e r s f o r a n e w The Living Story keeps track of experiment in presenting news your activity, so it alerts you to online. updates you haven't yet seen and G o o g l e a n n o u n c e d o n grays out or collapses older news Wednesday " Living Stories," an that you may have already read. e x p e r i m e n t a l n e w f e a t u r e You can also subscribe to e-mail designed to deliver news stories, updates and RSS feeds of your u p d a t e s , e d i t o r i a l s , a n d favorite stories, so you don't need multimedia focusing on specific to return to the Living Story page topics, all on one single Web to grab the latest news. page. Since Living Stories is a new Each Living Story, whether it's experiment in the Google Labs on health care, global warming, sandbox, the number of topics is or the war in Afghanistan, has a limited. Google is working with permanent URL that you can just two media partners to start-follow. That page displays The New York Times and The everything from headlines to W a s h i n g t o n P o s t . T h e summaries to in-depth articles on newspapers decide which topics that subject. By clicking on the appear on their own Living Story various links on each Living pages. But Google has plans to Story page, you can read the develop open-source tools so articles, view photos, watch other outlets can create their own Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:05:09 AM

Living Stories. If the concept takes off, it might prove a money maker for other publishers, according to the Times, as they could sell ads on their own pages. Newspapers have been hit by declining business as more people have flocked to the Web

to grab their daily or hourly news fix. In some corners, Google has been seen as the enemy to traditional print outlets. Media maven and Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch has even accused the search giant of stealing his content and

Twitter to Open Firehose to Developers By Pete Cashmore (Mashable!) Submitted at 12/9/2009 3:51:57 AM

Twitter apps are about to get a lot more exciting. All our favorite Twitter tools, from iPhone apps to Web apps and beyond, have so far been limited by the fact that developers only have access to a specific set of data, not the full “firehose” of

tweets being created. That’s about to change. Twitter announced today at LeWeb conference in Paris that the firehose will be made available to all developers in “early 2010. This would give ordinary coders the same access to data that Google and Bing have, and create a platform for even greater firehose would be monetized via innovation. Twitter’s Director of revenue sharing with partners, Platform Ryan Sarver said the although did not provide details.

threatened to remove his sites from Google listings. Responding to such concerns, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently wrote an editorial in the Journal in which he argued that his company could actually help newspapers boost their business. And in the face of lower revenues, many news outlets have started to embrace the Web rather than compete with it. From its perspective, The New York Times seems optimistic that the Living Stories experiment could lead to bigger and better things. "It's an experiment with a different way of telling stories," said Martin A. Nisenholtz, senior vice president for digital operations of The New York Times Company, in a statement. "I think in it, you can see the germ of something quite interesting." This content has passed through

Perfect 10 Still Not Giving Up In Lawsuit Against Google

Combined with the launch of Google Real-time, the move could restart Twitter’s formerly By Mike Masnick (Techdirt) rapid growth, which many say Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:09:25 PM has flatlined over recent months. [via VentureBeat] Reviews: Back in May, when a court shot down yet another of porn Bing, Google, Twitter publisher Perfect 10's lawsuits Tags: trending, twitter against web search engines, we wondered if the publisher would PERFECT page 27

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PERFECT continued from page 26

finally realize that Google is not liable for what its image search engine finds. Yet, the company doesn't seem interested in giving up. It's claiming that Google abused the discovery process and failed to hand over important materials, including its "DMCA log." At issue is the fact that some people out there had used unauthorized images from Perfect 10 on their own websites, and Google's image search found them. Perfect 10 first tried to claim Google itself was guilty of copyright infringement for displaying those images, but eventually the courts realized that displaying a thumbnail of an image from another website in a search result is not, nor should it be, considered copyright infringement. Of course, this particular statement is pretty amusing:"Google appears to have the view that it is above the law," says Perfect 10 President, Dr. Norm Zada. That's a funny

comment for someone who's been losing pretty much every lawsuit. It seems that the courts have thought all along that Google was very much within the letter and spirit of the law. In this case, Perfect 10 is now trying to stretch what the DMCA requires of a recipient of a DMCA notice, saying:"Under the DMCA, a search engine such as Google may receive limited immunity from monetary damages for copyright infringement if it complies with the requirements of the DMCA," Zada says. "The search engine must act expeditiously to remove or disable access to infringing material upon receiving notice of infringement from the copyright owner, and it must adopt a procedure so that copyright holders will not have to provide the search engine with notices about the same infringing material or the same infringers over and over." The first part is true. The latter part is not true.

However, it's the latter part that Perfect 10 seems to be relying on, demanding its "DMCA log" which is apparently "a spreadsheet-type document summarizing DMCA notices received, the identity of the notifying party and the accused infringer, and the actions (if any) taken in response." Considering Google has a pretty long history of quickly responding to DMCA complaints, it's difficult to believe that it would somehow not adhere to the DMCA in this case. Once again, it seems likely that Perfect 10 is going to end up on the losing side of a court battle. If only it actually put this much effort into actually building a business. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:06:00 AM

I'm a sucker for Christmas episodes of TV shows and I love 30 Rock, which means that I'm really looking forward to

Help Justify Datacenter Management Improvements By Insight Community (Techdirt)

communicate datacenter priorities to non-technical managers? Submitted at 12/8/2009 7:04:45 PM • What datacenter management This post is part of the IT s e r v i c e s c a n y o u n o t l i v e Innovation series, sponsored by without? How do you justify the Sun & Intel. Read more at costs? Of • How do you assess datacenter course, the content of this post priorities? Do you think there's a consists entirely of the thoughts better way? and opinions of the author. • How often do you review your If you haven't noticed, we're datacenter management tools and starting an ongoing series of compare them to alternative cases here to develop interesting, solutions? engaging and useful discussions f o r o u r n e w s u b - s i t e , I T These topics are not exhaustive, Innovations. We're looking for and you do not need to address insights that might help IT a l l o f t h e s e s u g g e s t e d managers stay informed and keep conversations. We welcome their operations competitive. additional proposals for For this case, we're looking for alternative subjects, and if you engaging content and experts to have any questions, please do not be featured who can help educate hesitate to ask. IT decision makers on the This is a case from the Insight management of mission-critical Community, a powerful new applications in datacenters. marketplace that connects The topics for this case will companies with intelligent focus on datacenter management communities like Techdirt. Click services and solutions. We're here to learn more. looking for at least 300 words in • Earn up to$100 for Insights on tomorrow's episode of the show, SlashControl.] "Secret Santa." But even beyond Filed under: Video, 30 Rock, the form of a blog post that can this case. serve as a discussion starter, and • Insights Due: 14 Dec 2009, the Xmas aspect it looks funny, Reality-Free as Jack tries a new social P e r m a l i n k | E m a i l t h i s | | we'd also like to encourage 11:59PMPT commenting on the submitted networking site. Comments insights. Appropriate topics for View Case Details at [Watch clips and episodes of 30 these discussions include: Rock and other shows at • How do you effectively

Sneak Peek: tomorrow night's Christmas episode of 30 Rock By Bob Sassone (TV Squad)



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Siemens aims to be in top 3 in wind power by 2012 (CNET

supplier to the wind market behind Denmark's Vestas, General Electric, Spain's German conglomerate Siemens, products but its energy business Gamesa, Germany's Enercon and the world's market leader in was last year's star performer as India's Suzlon. offshore wind turbines, is aiming a p p e t i t e f o r r e n e w a b l e s European Union countries have to become one of the top three cushioned a fall in group new to present detailed plans on how suppliers to the wind power orders. to reach renewable targets for market by 2012, the head of its Siemens has said its goal of 2010, with wind energy expected generating 25 billion euros of to see a surge in investment, Wind Power unit said. "The global wind power market s a l e s f r o m i t s " g r e e n " according to the European Wind will grow from about 30 billion t e c h n o l o g i e s i n 2 0 1 1 i s a Energy Association. euros ($44.43 billion) annually conservative estimate, with Nauen said Siemens intends to today to more than 200 billion growth drivers from government increase its wind power activities euros by 2030. We anticipate stimulus programs worldwide. "significantly" in Europe, especially robust growth in the New orders at its renewables particularly in Scandinavia and Asia-Pacific region," Siemens division rose 146 percent to 786 Britain. Wind Power CEO Andreas million euros in the fourth He said for 2009 he expected Nauen told reporters Wednesday. quarter to September 2009, while Siemens' market position to have "The market growth in North revenue rose 5 percent to 661 reached the fifth-largest from America and Europe, however, million euros, benefiting from an being the sixth in 2008. will also be significant," he order backlog in Europe, the Story Copyright (c) 2009 Middle East and the Americas. Reuters Limited. All rights added. Siemens, a bellwether of euro Siemens is the offshore market reserved. zone's biggest economy, has been leader in terms of installed This content has passed through hit hard by the recession and c a p a c i t y - - c u r r e n t l y 1 0 , 0 0 0 weaker demand for industrial megawatts--and the sixth-biggest Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:58:23 AM

Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:01:00 AM

TLC will premiere a one-hour documentary about the US Airways flight to be forever remembered as the "Miracle on the Hudson." The doc, coined

"Brace for Impact," is titled after the token phrase Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger used to warn his passengers they’d be making an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River. The special, according to Variety, is narrated by Oscar-

By Mike Masnick (Techdirt) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:30:00 AM

After last year's Spore DRM fiasco, EA and its CEO John Riccitiello seem to have learned that the stick approach to dealing with pirates backfired badly, and it was time to try out the carrot. It started, earlier this year with Riccitiello talking about how they were trying to view pirated software as a really good demo product, with the impetus then being on them to convert those users into paying customers. Later, they started actively embracing the claim that their pirated software could lead to additional sales of in-game content and offerings. The latest, as sent in by william, again has Riccitiello in an interview saying that he now sees "pirates" as a new marketplace, again with the emphasis being on how it's EA's responsibility to give those users something to buy. He still says that he wants people to buy the legit versions of the game, and he thinks it's very wrong to make an nominated actor Harrison Ford. unauthorized copy, but he says In the film, Sully re-creates the that reality dictates that they miraculous flight and celebrates a should embrace those users, reunion with the crew. rather than attack them, and look "Brace for Impact" takes off on for ways to make money off of January 10. them:"There's a sizable pirate

'Miracle on the Hudson' Documentary to Take Flight on TLC (ETonline - Breaking News)

EA CEO Continues To Appeal To Pirates, Rather Than Attack Them market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace." Furthermore, he notes that this approach seems a lot more reasonable than the music industry's approach of just trying to punish people: He said the music industry erred in "demonizing" its consumers rather than reacting to them. He believes that EA has an obligation to make it enticing for people to play games legitimately. And he hopes that services such as EA Sports' community hub or the BioWare social site that hooks into Dragon Age will make it so alluring that it will be "increasingly less likely that people will pirate because there is so much value on the other side of the door." None of this necessarily addresses some of EA's past sins relating to aggressive use of DRM, but it does suggest that Riccitiello (or at least his savvy PR staff) have recognized that giving people a reason to buy is a better way forward than trying to attack those who use unauthorized copies of the games. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

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iCam updated, now records video when motion is detected

MySpace launches new developer tools

By Mel Martin (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))


just works. You can monitor up to 4 webcams, and see them all Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:00:00 AM simultaneously on your iPhone. Filed under: Multimedia, Video, To get everything up and running Odds and ends, iPhone, iPod you'll need an iPhone or iPod touch, App Review I have always touch with OS 3.0 or above, the really liked iCam[ iTunes link]. It iCam app, and iCam Source for will certainly be on my 'best images per second) that I can y o u r h o m e c o m p u t e r . T h e iPhone apps of the year' list. Now view right from my iPhone software runs on Windows it's been updated to automatically wherever I may be. You just hit XP/Vista/7 or OS X 10.4 or later. record video when it detects the play button and you can see Here's a link to a video so you motion, and it allows you to play w h a t o r w h o s e t o f f t h e can see how it works. it back on your iPhone. Just the thing to keep track of the recording. This was a much requested You can remotely turn on the h o u s e / k i d s / p e t s o v e r t h e feature, and in my testing it image recording, and even the h o l i d a y s , o r a n y t i m e . worked like a champ. iCam can motion detection notifications. TUAW iCam updated, now use almost any webcam to All this in a U.S. $4.99 app. To records video when motion is monitor a location. I use my built make it all work you'll need some detected originally appeared on -in camera on my MacBook Pro, software running on your PC or The Unofficial Apple Weblog and a Linksys wireless webcam Mac, and that software is free for (TUAW) on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 to monitor my pet bird. I can set the downloading. If you have the 10:00:00 EST. Please see our either camera to send an alert if cameras, iCam makes for a terms for use of feeds. they detect motion, and now, complete and low cost home Read| Permalink| Email this| w i t h t h e n e w f e a t u r e , t h e security system. Setup does not Comments software takes a very quick require any firewall tinkering. It succession of stills (several

Tiger Woods' Alleged Mistress Rachel Uchitel: I Make Mistakes (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:32:00 AM

ET has the latest... The first woman to make headlines in the Tiger Woods scandal, Rachel Uchitel, is finally

telling her side of the story. make mistakes, but I’m not those "In every story, you need a things. villain and a hero," she tells OK! She says it's difficult to be magazine. " I ' v e b e e n scrutinized by the media. characterized as a villain. People have called me homewrecker, gold digger, tramp, whore. I


News Corp.-owned social site assembled a new executive team with solid entertainment industry Not willing to let Facebook and experience and chose to put Twitter completely own the entertainment front and center market for searchable, up-to-the- instead. It's launched a streaming minute information, MySpace music service, buying several announced on Wednesday a set smaller rivals in the process, and of new developer application is putting the MySpace Music programming interfaces (APIs) product front and center. designed to let third-party sites In fact, word has it, MySpace access more of its content. will likely be adopting the The new APIs offer a variety of F a c e b o o k C o n n e c t l o g - i n features: letting third-party sites standard soon, in a move that tap into MySpace members' further indicates it's given up the status and "mood" updates, battle for social-networking incorporate real-time activity market share and hopes to information (this is something we promote its content offerings saw implemented earlier this instead. Wednesday's developer week in Google's real-time a n n o u n c e m e n t s , m a d e i n search announcement), upload conjunction with the Le Web photos to MySpace from external conference in Paris, play right s e r v i c e s , a n d m a k e p u b l i c into the revamped MySpace M y S p a c e c o n t e n t m o r e strategy: it's about getting that searchable. content further out onto the Web. Developer announcements used The question, then, is whether t o c o m e o u t o f M y S p a c e developers will bite. To provide regularly as it tried to keep up to an incentive, MySpace has speed in what used to be a close launched a developer contest race with Facebook for social- running until January 4 to find networking mindshare. These the best implementation of the days, MySpace has been focused new APIs. more on restructuring: with its This content has passed through traffic increasingly eaten up by the fast-growing Facebook, the Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:44:00 AM


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Is the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide app ready for its closeup?

Will AT&T introduce usage-based pricing?

By David Winograd (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))

By Erica Sadun (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))

Upon launching the app you are presented with a scrolling list of Maltin's current picks. You can tap on them to bring up a full Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:00:00 AM review, links to information on Filed under: iPhone, iPod touch, the director and major actors, and App Review Long before people a streaming video preview of the went to the Internet for film film. If you have an Internet information, movie buffs connection you can see the annually bought the latest videos. If not, the option isn't revisions of huge paperback even presented. I really like that, books like The Leonard Maltin since unlike many apps that won't Movie Guide and Videohound's work without connectivity, the Golden Movie Retriever. These main database is always available were, and are, massive reference for any iPhone/iPod touch books; the current version of running OS 3.0 or better. Maltin comes in at 1664 pages, Continue reading Is the Leonard and the current version of Maltin Movie Guide app ready Videohound at 1700 pages. You reviewing them. That's why I was for its closeup? needed a strong coffee table to very happy to find that the TUAW Is the Leonard Maltin Leonard Maltin Movie Guide[ Movie Guide app ready for its hold these massive tomes. Today there are many ways to iTunes Link] $2.99US, has closeup? originally appeared on get movie reviews, with IMDb morphed into an iPhone/iPod The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Rotten Tomatoes probably touch app, adding features that (TUAW) on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 being the most popular sites. But could never be found in books 11:00:00 EST. Please see our there is a real virtue to reading like streaming preview videos, terms for use of feeds. reviews written by someone with and a tie-in to Netflix and iTunes Read| Permalink| Email this| an encyclopedic knowledge of along with the ability to email Comments film and a lifetime career of reviews from the app.

historically limited highbandwidth applications to Wi-Fionly usage, AT&T has recently given the go-ahead to allow Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:30:00 AM Voice-over-IP apps like Skype to Filed under: iPhone use their 3G network. A tiered Ralph de la Vega, AT&T head pricing system for greater usage of consumer services, has hinted might help offset increased at usage-based pricing strategies demand but would need to be i n r e s p o n s e t o i n c r e a s e d backed by an enhanced network consumer data consumption, infrastructure, which AT&T according to stories on the appears to be building. Huffington Post and Reuters The 2-year contracts for the new newsfeed. De la Vega spoke at a 3GS iPhones introduced this recent USB investor conference, summer will begin to expire in saying that AT&T was working the 2nd quarter of 2011. on improving service to the TUAW has contacted AT&T's strained New York and San PR department to request a Francisco services. AT&T may statement about possible pricing soon introduce pricing tiers that tiers and usage choking but did would penalize high-bandwidth not hear back by the time this users. post went live. Although none of these write- TUAW Will AT&T introduce ups mentioned the iPhone, it has usage-based pricing? originally facilitated greater and greater appeared on The Unofficial network demands with its easy-to Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, -use App Store software and fully 09 Dec 2009 11:30:00 EST. -rendered Internet access. That Please see our terms for use of access, using Mobile Safari's feeds. browser in particular, was a big Read| Permalink| Email this| selling point in early Apple Comments iPhone commercials. Although App Store has

NBA Old-timers Bill Walton and James Worthy to Appear on Feb. 11 The Price is Right By Robert Seidman (TVbytheNumbers) Submitted at 12/8/2009 5:40:03 PM

A sampling of the NBA of my youth, James Worthy and Bill Walton will appear on the February 11 airing of “The Price

is Right.�

Picture via @CBSTWEET This content has passed through

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Ratio cookbook becomes an iPhone app

Yes, MySpace Is Allowed To Delete MySpace Page That Tries To Show Fake And Real MySpace Celebs

By Mike Schramm (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))

By Mike Masnick (Techdirt)

it) is being released as an iPhone app. You can browse the "32 critical ratios" for doughs, meats, and sauces, a unit converter, and Submitted at 12/8/2009 7:00:00 PM other recipes including ways to Filed under: Software, Odds and share and tweak your own. You'll ends, Developer, iPhone, App probably need to know a little Store I recently read this terrific about cooking already (and as article in the New Yorker about that article says, just knowing the cookbooks, and I think one of the recipes doesn't actually give you reasons I liked it so much is that the meals), but it should be a it hits pretty close to home -- I do helpful reference. like reading and browsing All the page says is soon (no cookbooks, and I don't cook price yet, either), but if you keep nearly as much as I want to. And an eye on Michael Ruhlman's I can totally identify with the website, they'll probably post tension between searching the when the app is out in the store. pages of recipes looking for a TUAW Ratio cookbook secret, weighed against actually directions, the book sticks with becomes an iPhone app originally getting the experience necessary math and recipes as a way of appeared on The Unofficial to be a great chef. From the breaking down foods and the way Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, article: "The recipe is to spend they're made. Instead of step one, 08 Dec 2009 19:00:00 EST. step two, step three, it's one part Please see our terms for use of your life cooking." But that hasn't stopped cookbook sugar, two parts fat, three parts feeds. writers from trying to import as flour, mixed up and baked. It's an Read| Permalink| Email this| much knowledge as they can. interesting way at examining Comments The Ratio cookbook is one that cooking, and now it's come to the caught my eye recently; rather iPhone -- the cookbook (or at than giving out recipes and least the ratios and recipes from

Also, my favorite: "What can you expect from site such as yours though." Indeed. Last year, we wrote about a case Unfortunately, it appears that the brought by a woman named Julie district court also "missed the Riggs against MySpace. The point" and did not get the story complaint itself is somewhat of s t r a i g h t , b e c a u s e a s E r i c an amusing read ("At this point Goldman points out, it has Plaintiff was literally seething dismissed the lawsuit. However, with anger to the point that she in this case, it may actually be was now consumed by it"). The true that the court missed the main issue was that Riggs had point. As Goldman notes in his created a website that tried to discussion of the ruling, the court d e t e r m i n e w h i c h c e l e b r i t y seems a bit confused about how profiles on MySpace were real Section 230 of the CDA works, and which were fake. She was and may have dismissed parts of upset (among other things) the case for rather confused because (1) there were fake reasons. Riggs has appealed, so p r o f i l e s o n M y S p a c e ( 2 ) hopefully the Appeals Court MySpace later did something fixes the problems (but still similar itself and (3) MySpace dismisses it). However, again as deleted her profile. After we Goldman notes, this is taking wrote about the case, we received place in the notoriously nutty an angry email from Ms. Riggs Ninth Circuit, which often has a telling us we "missed the point" problem with reading Section and that MySpace "stole" her 230 the way everyone else reads idea -- and that we needed to get Section 230. Hopefully, they get our story straight. She never this one right. explains how coming up with the Permalink| Comments| Email same idea is illegal, of course. This Story Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:29:58 AM

Motorola Droid Sees Its First Rooting [Hacks] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)

What does that mean for adventurous Droid owners who Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:00:00 AM might be willing to hack their The Droid, one of the more firmware? At the moment, not notable and successful Android much. In short order, though, that devices to launch so far, has c o u l d m e a n m u l t i - t o u c h a n d , experienced its first root hack. browsing, customized themes,





CyanogenMOD, firmware that pushes the hardware a bit harder and unlocks locked-down features, like net tethering and full Bluetooth file transfer. [ AllDroid via Wired]


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Motorola Droid Rooted: Let The Games Begin By Pete Cashmore (Mashable!) Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:46:13 AM

For some people, a fancy new smartphone isn’t enough; they want to get into the belly of the beast and customize to their heart’s content. Hence, the popularity of jailbreaking iPhones to add unapproved apps and use an alternative network. That hacker’s mentality has now extended to the Droid, with one smart modder announcing that he has gained root access to the device’s firmware, permitting administrative rights and opening up a slew of possibilities. The modder, who goes by the name program. for greater metropolitan areas in C y a n o g e n , p o s t e d r o o t i n g The Leaf is scheduled to be Arizona, California, Oregon, instructions to the Alldroid showcased at a press conference Tennessee, and Washington. message boards. What can you do with root in Seattle with Mayor Greg For the Pacific Northwest Nickels on Wednesday to kick project, the company is working access? Wired has some ideas: off the Pacific Northwest effort. with a regional planning manager “A person will be able to On Monday, Nissan announced to implement charging stations download widgets that allow collaborations in San Francisco, that would cover the areas them to overclock their processor and in November it announced surrounding Vancouver, British o r i n s t a l l t h e m e s t h a t dramatically change the the program in San Diego, Calif. Columbia, and Eugene, Ore. eTec, which was awarded $100 The "Nissan LEAF Zero m i l l i o n f r o m t h e E n e r g y Emission Tour," Nissan's big Department, heads the Energy marketing push to show off its all D e p a r t m e n t - s p o n s o r e d E V -electric car, will cover 22 cities By Hamilton Nolan (Gawker) Project, which plans to offer in 11 U.S. states, as well as the Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:14:33 AM public charging stations for the D i s t r i c t o f C o l u m b i a a n d cars at both independent stations V a n c o u v e r . Incredible spiral blue alien UFO and existing retail parking lots. This content has passed through l a s e r b e a m e x p l o s i o n When completed, the charging stations should provide coverage

Seattle getting introduced to the Nissan Leaf EV (CNET Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:20:51 AM

Artist's rendition of what EV Project charging stations will look like.(Credit: Johnston Marklee for Ecotality) Nissan is certainly laying the ground work to provide would-be buyers plenty of places to charge the all-electric Leaf car coming out in 2010. In conjunction with Ecotality subsidiary eTec, Nissan North America is announcing yet another area in the U.S. where it will try to sell its electric car and offer public charging stations in conjunction with a U.S Department of Energy-sponsored

appearance of their phone. Cyanogen offers custom builds that truly customize a device and provides easy access to hidden features.” Whether it’s smart to root your Droid is questionable though; if you’re not the hacking type, you could easily break your phone’s functionality. Verizon and Motorola won’t approve either. It’s likely you’ll void your service agreements by doing so. In short: There are very strong reasons not to do this, but for some the desire to tinker will be much too great. Disclosure: Motorola and Verizon are Mashable sponsors. Reviews: Mashable Tags: droid root

Aliens Attack [Wtf] photographed over Norway. SERIOUSLY. [ Daily Mail.]

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How to insult a Mac Mini: make it warm the wipes for you By Lauren Hirsch (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW))

The birth of the iPod By Mike Schramm (The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:00:00 AM

Submitted at 12/8/2009 6:00:00 PM

Filed under: Odds and ends, Mac mini How would you insult a Mac Mini? Well, one way is to discover that, after you move it across the room, away from toddlers with longer arms than they were born with (the better to yank ill-placed computers to the floor through the crib slats, my dear) the Mac Mini makes an excellent diaper wipe warmer. I only stuck the container on top of the Mini because I had to do a quick change before someone crawled off the changing table. The next diaper change I discovered the wipes were warm and cozy. The Mac Mini is sulking. Already its only job was to run the baby monitor cam. Now it can add another job for which it is woefully overqualified. It can talk to the hand, says the lady with the law degree who is relegated to actually changing all those diapers and watching Yo


Gabba Gabba. (Don't click. Seriously. I won't be responsible for the ensuing seizure.) NB: If you're reading this post and screaming inside, "teddy bears? Babies? But I came here for technology!" then have a look at this post detailing my teardown of the standalone iSight so that it works as a night-vision camera. If that doesn't help at least a little, then you may be in need of a hug. Look at the teddy

bear. See? He loves you. TUAW How to insult a Mac Mini: make it warm the wipes for you originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 08 Dec 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Hardware, Odds and ends, Steve Jobs, Apple History, iPod classic Wired has an interesting look at the early days of the iPod, and what's most fascinating is just how fully formed the idea of the iPod and iTunes was. The idea itself originates from a company called PortalPlayer, where hardware designer Tony Fadell had the idea to create a player that could eventually be paired with "a Napster music sale service to complement it." That's it -- even that early, the iPod + iTunes idea that would eventually revolutionize Apple was that complete. Of course, that was before Apple even got invested in the project -- once they did, Steve Jobs put "100 percent" of his time into the project, and they ended with the iconic design and the feel and experience that pushed it beyond any other MP3 player at the time.

That's not to say that development was smooth sailing after that -- apparently there was a major battery issue that kept battery life at a super low three hours until Apple and PortalPlayer got it fixed up. Always fun to hear the backstory on the stuff that would eventually make this company what it is today. TUAW The birth of the iPod originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

'Heart' to Heart with Jeff Bridges About Oscar Buzz (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:04:00 AM

Oscar buzz was humming at the premiere of 'Crazy Heart' in Los

Angeles on Tuesday night. Jeff Bridges told ET what it would be like if he is awarded the illustrious statuette come March. He said, "It's wonderful to be

acknowledged that way by the guys who do what you do...It's also a chance to get some attention for this movie that I'm so happy about and so proud

of...Being involved in the awards, certainly raises the attention." Co-star Robert Duvall voiced his opinion on the matter: "It's about

time for [Jeff] to win an Oscar." He observed, "The whole town is like enamored, enchanted with the concept of the Oscar."


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Gibbs: Climategate is 'Silly' (Little Green Footballs)

reporters. “I think scientists are clear on the science. I think many on Capitol White House spokesman Robert Hill are clear on the science. I Gibbs hit the nail directly on the think that this notion that there is head in a statement about the some debate … on the science is phony “Climategate” scandal: kind of silly.” Climate-gate global warming He’s right. The only reason the doubts ‘silly’. climate change denial industry is WASHINGTON - The White working so hard to promote the House on Monday dismissed as false idea that there’s a “debate” “silly” the notion that global g o i n g o n i n t h e s c i e n t i f i c warming science had been community is to cast doubt and compromised by emails exposing spread confusion among the a row between top climate public. scientists. … No scientific theory is ever “I think everybody is clear on the considered to be “100% certain.” s c i e n c e , ” W h i t e H o u s e But suppose you were about to spokesman Robert Gibbs told take a flight, and a mechanic told Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:09:17 AM

Ben Stiller Asks Ryan Seacrest to Retweet … and to Co-Star in Bad Boys 3 [VIDEO] By Adam Ostrow (Mashable!) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:58:02 AM

As we reported last week, Ben Stiller is out with a new charity campaign called Stillerstrong and is looking to drive awareness to it through social media. Part of the strategy naturally involves viral videos starring the actor, and today Stiller’s revisiting a past online success and asking the omnipresent Ryan Seacrest to retweet Stillerstrong to his 2.6 million followers.

The result is another amusing video, including a cameo by Robert De Niro and the suggestion of a blockbuster costarring Stiller and Seacrest. Check it out: Seacrest is yet to oblige (the video just went up 30 minutes ago), but if you’d like to support Stillerstrong, which is raising money to build schools in Haiti, you can go retweet Stiller yourself. Tags: ben stiller, charity, ryan seacrest, social media

you that there was a 95%+ chance that the airplane would crash. Would you just get on the plane anyway? That’s exactly the situation we’re in with human-caused global warming. The scientific consensus is overwhelming, and it’s supported by mountains of data from multiple sources, all of it in agreement. Does it make sense to say that because we don’t have absolute certainty, we should just sit back and do nothing — and let the problem get worse and worse until it’s too late to do anything about it?

TurboTax Offering One Free Tax Answer Through Jan. 31 [Taxes] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)

(personal) and 1065, 1120, or 1120S (business). You can leave your question from 8 a.m. to 5 Tax season—it's coming up p.m. Pacific time. sooner than you think. If you've You will, of course, likely get a got any questions on your soft push toward TurboTax personal, federal income taxes, services, and questions beyond the folks behind TurboTax will specific, technical issues should once again call you back with a probably go to an accountant. free answer between now and That said, it's still a nice little Jan. 31. freebie for a little piece of mind, Just as with last year, actual and a good number of humans affiliated with Intuit's commenters were pleasantly TurboTax software and web There's a limit of one question surprised with their results last applictions will answer questions per person during the promotion, y e a r . A s k a T a x E x p e r t l e f t o n t h e i r running through Jan. 31, and it P r o m o t i o n F r e e T a x Q u e s t i o n . c o m s i t e , only applies to federal taxes, not calling back within 24 hours. state-specifically Forms 1040 Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:30:00 AM

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Why I Left the Right, Exhibit P for Palin (Little Green Footballs) Submitted at 12/8/2009 6:19:43 PM

During the presidential campaign, Sarah Palin burbled: You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not. …and the crowd cheered! This was a watershed moment; one of the first times I realized how dangerously, self-satisfiedly ignorant Palin is, and her willingness to pander to the antiscience base of the Republican Party. In fact, fruit fly research is tremendously valuable in genetics and molecular biology, and has led to important medical breakthroughs — including for special needs children with autism. You’d think someone like Palin, with a special needs child of her own, would understand the value of this kind of research — but there she was, mocking fruit fly research (in Paris, France! guffaw!) for a cheap round of applause. Today in the Washington Post, Palin demonstrates again her astonishing ignorance on scientific issues, weighing in on

the phony “Climategate” scandal with her trademark total lack of comprehension and promoting every single false and debunked claim about the CRU emails: Sarah Palin - Copenhagen’s political science. With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia is one of the most reputable and respected centers of climate science in the world, and as far from the “radical environmental movement” as it’s possible to get. And isn’t it clever how Palin uses the “tipping point” catch phrase of the climate change movement against them? Actually, no. It isn’t. The idea that a few stolen and cherrypicked emails are going to destroy mountains of scientific evidence from many different sources isn’t clever — it’s stupid. The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse. Throughout this ludicrous op-ed, Palin confuses the terms “climate” and “weather,” and uses them interchangeably. I’m not going to link to refutations of

everything that follows, because there have been numerous posts at LGF over the past week on these subjects. Just scroll down the page and you’ll see how dishonest Palin’s claims are. The e-mails reveal that leading climate “experts” deliberately destroyed records… This is false. No records were “destroyed.” A small amount of data from one dataset was discarded almost 30 years ago, but all of the original data is still available from the NOAA. … manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures … This is false. No data was manipulated, and nothing was “hidden.” … and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Also false. Here’s the real story. What’s more, the documents show that there was no real consensus even within the CRU crowd. Some scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates of temperatures from centuries ago, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate. False again. This video does a good job of explaining the truth behind this dishonest claim (and

several other “climategate” falsehoods). Palin concludes with a call for Barack Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate summit. Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen. It’s not surprising that Palin thinks Obama should just quit. That’s her tried and true method when the going gets tough. You almost have to laugh, when the idiot who mocked life-saving fruit fly research, and thinks the most reputable climatologists in the world are “radical environmentalists” pretends to be an expert on “trustworthy science.” Or you might want to cry instead, because this onewoman factory of stupid has somehow become a reputable political figure, with an op-ed in the Washington Post. Shame on the Washington Post for publishing this dishonest and misleading pile of nonsense. Are all of your fact checkers on vacation? Also see: Palin Proudly Owns Her Creationism

Vevo is Where Your Missing Music Videos Went To [MUSIC VIDEOS] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:00:00 AM

If you've looked all around YouTube and can't find that music video you used to love, there's a reason it's missing. The Universal, Sony and EMI music labels have moved their wares to Vevo, a new streaming video site. We write "new" with a raised eyebrow, as the service utilizes YouTube technology and doesn't offer all that much actually new. Vevo has a fairly clean interface, though, and is centered around creating save-able playlists. The site also allows for fairly free embedding, as evidenced here: Find any features that set Vevo apart from YouTube (other than Hulu-style pre-roll ads?). Tell us about them, and any newly-found video picks, in the comments. Vevo

Your Best Shot 2009: Tattoo By Heather Champ (Flickr Blog)

• About Flickr making photo management an and tags on your photos, post to Flickr is a revolution in photo easy, natural and collaborative any blog, share and more! storage, sharing and organization, process. Get comments, notes, This content has passed through


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World Meteorological Organization and NOAA: 2000-2009 is the Hottest Decade on Record

Gwyneth Paltrow vs. Fergie: A-List Celebs Sport Same Stunning Style

(Little Green Footballs)

(ETonline - Breaking News)

Submitted at 12/8/2009 12:58:29 PM

A newly released analysis by the World Meteorological Organization shows that this decade is very likely the warmest in the modern record, and 2009 is on track to be the fifth warmest year ever recorded. The decade of the 2000s is very likely the warmest decade in the modern record, dating back 150 years, according to a provisional summary of climate conditions near the end of 2009, the organization said. The period from 2000 through 2009 has been “warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s and so on,” said Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the international

weather agency, speaking at a news conference at the climate talks in Copenhagen. The international assessment largely meshes with an interim analysis by the National Climatic Data Center and NASA in the United States, both of which

Climate Progress has more on this announcement, which is based on multiple sources of data: World Meteorological Organization and NOAA both report: 2000-2009 is the hottest decade on record. Here’s the announcement at the WMO site: 2000–2009, THE WARMEST DECADE. The report includes this disturbing graph, produced from three Global datasets: NOAA (NCDC Dataset) , NASA (GISS dataset) and combined Hadley independently estimate global Center and Climate Research and regional temperature and Unit of the University of East other weather trends. Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 Mr. Jarraud also said that 2009, dataset). with some uncertainty because several weeks remain, appears to be the fifth warmest year on record.

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:30:00 AM

It's a fashion face-off for stylesavvy celebs! From Fergie and Gwyneth Paltrow's showstopping ensembles, to Thandie Newton and model Daisy Lowe's leg-baring gowns, see which stars are working the runway and the red carpet in the same styles.

Make Semi-Lazy Peanut Butter Cookies with Refrigerated Dough [Recipes] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)

peanut butter expert—he's the founder of the Peanut Butter & Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:00:00 AM Co. sandwich shop, owner of the Pre-made dough—it's not how domain, your grandmother made cookies. and all-around nut nut. But if you're not of the mood or Zalben posits in prose, and a full mind to bake quality peanut step-by-step recipe, at the Serious butter cookies from scratch, an Eats blog that combining equal expert says combining dough amounts of really good peanut tubes and quality peanut butter butter and refrigerated sugar actually works wonders. cookie dough (note the sugar!) It's easy to dub Lee Zalben a can turn out the kind of peanut

and other treats. Got another half-homemade recipe you turn to when not quite feeling up to wholly-new baking? Do share in the comments. Peanut Butter + Cookie Dough Tube = Genius[Serious Eats] butter cookies that your friends would consider a gift—and, hey, isn't it about that time of year? Beyond the lattice-textured

cookie standard, Zalben offers a few variations with the one-toone recipe for dessert bars, chocolate-chip-dotted squares,

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Google Docs Now Lets You Export Everything At Once [Backup] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:30:00 AM

Download Status Gives More Useful Information in Firefox Status Bar [Downloads] By Jason Fitzpatrick (Lifehacker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:30:00 AM

Firefox: Being told you have a download remaining isn't the most useful bit of information in the world. Download Status expands on the simplistic download meter in the Firefox status bar to give you more information. Download Status replaces the basic "X downloads remaining" text with—as seen in the screen shot above—detailed information like the average download speed, remaining size, the number of

files, and how much time is left before the total downloads are completed. In addition to the information presented the small hard drive icon in the center of the download data can be clicked for easy access to your download queue if you want an even closer item-by-item inspection. Download Status is free and works wherever Firefox does. Have a favorite Firefox extension you can't live without? Let's hear about it in the comments. Download Status[Mozilla]

Google Docs already has an option to export every document you check off, but checking them all off is a time-wasting pain. Now it's much more simple to grab everything, 2 GB at a time, in zipped-up files. The Digital Inspiration blog checking the box to its left, then points out the new addition to hit the More Actions menu and Google Docs' export options. select Export. In the box that Simply select any file by

Ustream Streams Live Video from Your iPhone 3GS [Downloads] By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 5:40:00 AM

iPhone 3GS: It's been a long time coming, but Apple's finally approved a (notable) live video streaming app for the iPhone 3GS. Ustream is one of the first out of the gate, and it seems to deliver on its promise. Ustream already has an app in the Store that lets you record video and upload it to Ustream, YouTube, or other

locations—but not live, and that's kind of the whole point of After another phoneto-phone live video app was

Jimmy Breslin — [Pullquote] By Gabriel Snyder (Gawker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:00:12 AM

the former columnist for the

New York Daily News and Newsday giving his remarks after a gushing tribute last night at New York University's Ireland

pops up, there's a check box at the bottom to "Export all your files (up to 2 GB)," which, for most users, covers just about everything. Those with more will be prompted with a list of the files that couldn't be exported, so you can grab them next. You can also choose what format your files are downloaded in, which is mighty helpful as well. Google Docs Finally Makes It Easy to Download All Your Documents[Digital Inspiration]

York Times. House, according to the New

approved last week, Ustream's potential has been fully unlocked, allowing for live record-andstream on 3G or Wi-Fi connections. Lifehacker East lacks a 3GS to try the app out with at the moment, so if you've given it a shot, tell us how it's working in the comments. UStream Recorder App[via TechCrunch]


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Marissa Mayer Talks About Wave, Music Search and the Future of News By Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:19:56 AM

In an interview with TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington at LeWeb today, Google's Marissa Mayer discussed some of the new product that Google announced over the last year, including the recent integration of real-time news streams into the default search pages, Google Music Search and Google Wave. Talking about the future of search, Mayer expects that people will soon do searches by talking to their phones or through services like the newly announced Google Goggles. Sponsor Going Beyond Text While Mayer expects the search market to continue to grow, she also thinks that a lot of additional growth can come from introducing new ways of searching the web. Translation and personalization are also a major issue for Google. Asked about SearchWiki - which Arrington considers a failure Mayer said that Google wants to morph the user experience a bit, but didn't go into any details.

Regarding the Google Goggles and Google's current dependency on text to power its search, Mayer noted that the application looks at more than just location data and image recognition algorithms. Speech recognition, however, is still easier to do for Google than image recognition. Mobile Search Talking about mobile searches, Mayer said that the number of mobile searches doubled last year. Mobile searches make up slightly more than 5% of all of the search queries that Google processes. Chrome and the ChromeOS With regards to Chrome, Mayer noted that Google wants to focus on the user experience with features like the new tab page. She described the ChromeOS as an anti-operating system. In total, Google sees "tens of millions of Chrome users," though characteristically, Mayer did not go into any details. Google and

the News Media Google wants to increase the users' engagement with news. According to Mayer, if we were to reinvent the news today, it would look very different from what we know today. She cited Google Living Stories as an experiment that tries to reinvent the news for the 21st century. Currently, readers tend to come to articles from Google and only read one article. To increase engagement, Mayer wants to create more personalized services. In addition, she also thinks that newspapers can do a better job at keeping users on their sites. Why, for examples, do most sites not offer links to related articles? The Future of News Mayer's vision of the future of news is a personalized stream of news that is portable. The personalization would take into account stories that your friends read, location and a knowledge of

the topics a user is interested in. Asked about Rupert Murdoch, Mayer noted that Google partnered with MySpace to aggregate real-time status updates from MySpace users. She hopes that Murdoch will not pull all of his content out of Google. Surprisingly, Mayer didn't completely deny that Google would be willing to pay publishers for their content. Music Search Mayer said that she was happy with Google Music as a start, especially because it includes song lyrics. Mayer sidestepped any discussion about the future of Google's Music search feature. Google and Social Networks Asked about Google Social Search, Mayer noted that search can help social networks by helping users to find experts in their circle of friends. Mayer noted that users are more likely to trust their friends when it

My Fare Lady [Open Caption] By Brian Moylan (Gawker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:53:22 AM

[ Cate Blanchett dashes by a taxi while running to meet a friend at a NoHo restaurant in Manhattan

Griffin] yesterday. Image via Bauer-

comes to certain queries (snow conditions, for example). The perfect search engine would also be able to crawl private updates that a user is credentialed to see. Mayer also noted that Google might be able to help to create an authority ranking system for realtime updates from services like Twitter and Facebook. Google Wave Arrington asked Mayer if users need to trained better to understand Wave or if Google plans to tweak the experience. Permanent URLs are one of the features that Google plans to add. The fact that Google Wave doesn't have critical mass yet is also hindering the experience. Internally, some teams at Google are currently using Wave for their internal communication. Mayer did not make any announcement regarding the future of Wave. Discuss

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PayPal Partnering with Philips for NetTV Monetization By Dana Oshiro (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 12/9/2009 1:00:00 AM

It's been a month since PayPal released its global payment APIs and the company is already primed to make some new announcements at today's Le Web Conference. ReadWriteWeb caught up with VP of Product Development Osama Bedier for an early look at the company's latest announcements. Sponsor We've already seen some 3rd party apps at the Innovate Conference last month, what's in store for Le Web? We're announcing a few new partnerships including one on Philips' Net TV. As of Q1 users will see inline payment on their televisions. Others include Greendizer for seamless bill pay and invoicing, GetGiving for one touch charity donations and Training Course Booker for fast course purchasing. The IPTV integration is an interesting one and Philips doesn't seem like an obvious partner. What other types of partnerships do you have in store for us? Honestly, we're not only looking

to partner with the big brands, PayPal also wants to enable innovation from the little guy. We know we'll reach success when developers exceed our expectations. We're looking to them to decide how it plays out. Without taking credit for other developers' work, there are some great areas to innovate in voice authorization, real-time mobile applications, shipping, consumer apps and coupons. What does the future of PayPal look like? We're launching an app store where consumers can check out new and convenient payment forms and merchants can purchase specific solutions. How is this connected to Le Web's theme of the real-time web? We're looking to provide real time payment options and support. As a global leader you've got every opportunity to dictate industry pricing on apps and merchant services. What is the

percentage you're going to take off merchant purchases from the app store?" We're not sure of that yet. What we do know is that it's going to be fair. We don't want to take our cue from some of the other closed platforms. We're offering visibility, easy integration of payment and smooth transactions. We're not trying to be Apple, we want as much cross device, cross platform transactions as possible. We make our money off the transactions, not the applications. If the future of PayPal is about seamless app integration, then doesn't that mean that in a perfect world PayPal is virtually indistinguishable from the app? Not exactly. We offer developers security authorization. Consumers want to know that their money is safe. There are lots of other providers, but developers choose us because our brand offers a sense of security. We're leveraging the success of our payment brand and the developers are responding. For more info on Le Web, check out Social Media Club House Discuss


First look at Lauren Graham on NBC's Parenthood By Kona Gallagher (TV Squad) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:34:00 AM

Parenthood was supposed to be one of NBC's fall shows this year. They really could have used it too, since it's actually good, and "good" seems to be in short supply at NBC these days. However, star Maura Tierney had to stop filming early on due to health reasons. Eventually she needed to leave the cast permanently, and re-shoots had to be done with her replacement, Gilmore Girls' Lauren Graham. NBC has just released the first two promos for Parenthood, which is now premiering in

March, after the Olympics. The first one features Graham as Sarah, a single mom to two difficult teenagers. Her daughter is played by Arrested Development's Mae Whitman. It's a short clip, but it's a pretty good indication of the character, which is basically what would have happened to Lorelai Gilmore if Rory hadn't turned out so perfect. Continue reading First look at Lauren Graham on NBC's Parenthood Filed under: Other Drama Shows, Video, Casting, RealityFree Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Quick Hits: Today in Tiger News ( The Daily Fix) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:49:26 AM

The Journal’s hit the seemingly never-ending Woods saga from some odd, interesting angles over the last several hours: * Speakeasy takes a look at how the scandal and the hospitalization of Woods’s

mother-in-law is playing in Sweden. * Digits, the Journal’s tech blog, looks at what a boon this story has been to Yahoo. * The Journal’s Corey Dade has a piece in today’s paper about the ill-timed end of Gatorade’s Woods-themed sports drink. (This one’s subscriber-only.)


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Twitter: All Developers Will Get Access to the Firehose in Early 2010 By Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:45:09 AM

At LeWeb today, Ryan Sarver, Twitter's Director of Platform, took the state during the morning session. He stressed that Twitter needs the developer ecosystem if it wants to continue to grow. Sarver also announced that Twitter will give all developers access to the full firehose feed in early 2010. In addition, Twitter will also soon launch a new developer site, increase the rate limit for services that use OAuth and launch a new API for browser-less apps. Sponsor Walking through the history of Twitter, Sarver noted that the core value of Twitter is openness. The first Twitter application was written in January 2007. There are now over 50,000 application in Twitter's ecosystem. This, Sarver notes, shows how developers can use simple APIs to create rich experiences. Sarver also noted that 50% of the company's traffic now

Twitter also plans to announce a business model that allows it to share in the success of its partners. Everybody Gets Access to the Firehose Most importantly, Twitter is opening up the firehose of tweets to all developers. Sarver didn't announce any details, but this is obviously a very important move as it will give more developers the ability to build applications that need real-time access to every tweet without having to get Twitter's permission. Soon, developers who use OAuth will be able to ping Twitter more often than services that still use Twitter's old authentication mechanism. happens on partner sites and TweetMeme. Coming Up: More Twitter will soon deprecate its through applications. For Twitter, T r a n s p a r e n c y , I m p r o v e d old non-OAuth authentication according to Sarver, it's all about Communication and a Business mechanisms. In addition, Twitter growing the market and building Model will launch an API for browserout the ecosystem. Throughout Going forward, Twitter wants to less apps. the keynote, Sarver stressed that offer even better tools for third- Twitter also plans to launch a Twitter can only be as successful party developers in its ecosystem. new developers site to educate its as long as its developers are T w i t t e r w a n t s t o b e m o r e developers and will soon host its successful. transparent with its developers first developers conference. Sarver pointed out 3 companies and improve its communication. Image credit:@scobleizer. that have manged to monetize In addition, the company wants Discuss Twitter: CoTweet, OneRiot and to improve the utility of its API.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore Contest Winner! By (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:11:31 PM

Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Ann Taylor and ELLE congratulate Hadley Higginson, winner of our Love, Loss, and What I Wore contest, for her ode to the “transformative powers of ratty pantyhose and Viking brassieres.� Her story will be performed during an upcoming evening of Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Congratulations again, Hadley!

Paris Hilton Tweets: Sister Nicky's House Got Robbed (ETonline - Breaking News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:08:00 AM

Socialite Paris Hilton took to her Twitter handle on Tuesday night

to reveal that her sister Nicky's home had been burglarized. "It's unbelievable how my sister called the cops over an hour ago and they still haven't shown up.

Her house just got robbed, so messed up," Paris tweeted. "I HATE people who steal! It's so wrong! I hope they catch whoever did this! There has been

so many robberies lately. So scary!" Four people were charged with felonies in October after allegedly burglarizing the homes

of several celebrities including Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Ashley Tisdale and "The Hills" star Audrina Patridge.

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Chad Hurley: YouTube Needs to Improve Search - More Live Programming Coming Soon By Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:44:48 AM

Chad Hurley and Loic Le Meur just talked about the past and future of YouTube at LeWeb. According to Hurley, YouTube's users now upload over 24 hours of content per minute. Hurley refused to talk about YouTube's revenue, though he did mention that revenue at YouTube is up and the cost of operating the site are down. Hurley acknowledged that the mobile site is currently growing faster than the regular website. YouTube also plans to provide more live programming on the site with the help of its partners. Sponsor The ratio between creators and viewers on YouTube is very heavily skewed towards viewers. The number of creators doesn't make up more than just a few percent of all of YouTube's users. Challenges: Better Search and Discoverability According to Hurley, one of the biggest challenges for YouTube is to make videos more discoverable. YouTube needs to develop a better search experience, but the team is also thinking about recommendation technologies and adding more

social networking features. Currently YouTube leverages social services like Twitter and Facebook, but isn't much of a social service itself. Hurley hopes that YouTube will be the place where users consumer videos, but isn't necessarily interested in turning YouTube into a fullblown social destination. Moderator Loic Le Meur asked Hurley how YouTube manages to filter content on the site and how the team decides what to take down. Hurley mostly sidestepped this question, though he did mention YouTube's technology for finding copyrighted material. Handful of Users Make more than $1 Million per Year

Hurley noted that a handful of users on the site make more than $1 million per year from their videos on YouTube. The company wants to create more opportunities for publishers on the service, though Hurley didn't go into details. YouTube in the Living Room Asked about YouTube on TV and in the living room, Hurley said that his vision is basically a "box, an Internet connection and pizza." He did note, though, that all TV will move towards an ondemand model. Image credit: @scobleizer and thanks to DutchCowGirls for letting us use the visualization of Hurley's argument. Discuss

Kimbo Slice wins fight but loses some of his Nielsen ratings mojo By Robert Seidman (TVbytheNumbers) Submitted at 12/8/2009 6:45:48 PM

Kimbo Slice one his first official UFC MMA match last Saturday night, but the ratings were less than his first appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter,” when he wasn’t yet officially UFC. Slice’s fight with Roy Nelson more than a couple of months ago set records when it drew 5.3 million for SPIKE. But Saturday night’s match where the YouTube wonder that is Slice outpointed Houston Alexander, drew only 3.671 million. On the plus side, while 39th in overall viewing for the week

“The Ultimate Fighter” was 13th with adults 18-49 (1.947), but ranked much higher with the 1834 (1.783 million) where it was second for the week on adsupported cable trailing only ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” If you’re thinking, “Wait, that means less than 200K adults aged 35-49 watched the bout,” you’re right, but I guess the proper response to that is “so?” Slice will fight on, and get more shots at besting his previous Nielsen mark on Spike. This content has passed through


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Zap2it: TNT’s Dark Blue Renewed By Robert Seidman (TVbytheNumbers) Submitted at 12/8/2009 5:08:19 PM

Zap2it reports that the Jerry Bruckheimer produced drama starring Dylan McDermott will get a second season of 10 episodes. The order seems a little light, which being cynical I would chalk up to a balancing act words like "celebrity" and b e t w e e n k i s s i n g J e r r y "musician". Bruckheimer’s backside, and 4. Photo Upload API: This trying to keep the accountants allows users to upload photos to from snarling. The show that MySpace from 3rd party sites. was “ratings-challenged,” to say In addition to the API tools, the the least, in its first season. company has improved it's post- I said it was cynical! to/share tools. Users can now No word yet on the schedule, but post content from 3rd party sites I’d expect to see it during TNT’s and stream it directly to their summer season. Update: TV MySpace activity stream with a MoJoe confirms the show is set link back to the original content. for a June return. To encourage creative use of the This content has passed through APIs, MySpace is also launching a developer's challenge. For info, developers can visit the MySpace developer's wiki. Discuss

Myspace Opens Floodgates: Developers Get API for Real-Time Stream By Dana Oshiro (ReadWriteWeb)

the company's stream consists of more than 46 million status updates and uploads per day. Submitted at 12/9/2009 3:05:00 AM Some of the unique aspects of the Earlier this week Myspace API include the fact that there is announced a partnership with n o v o l u m e r e s t r i c t i o n f o r Google to deliver real-time status d e v e l o p e r s . A s w e l l , t h e updates to the search experience. MySpace developer platform As of today, the company is a i m s t o e n c o m p a s s o p e n furthering its real-time efforts by standards including OpenSocial, announcing the public release of O p e n I D , O A u t h , the real-time stream, status and A c t i v i t y S t r e a . m s a n d n o w mood commenting, open search W e b H o o k s f o l l o w i n g t h e and photo upload APIs. PubSubHubBub delivery model. Sponsor A complete list of APIs include: Myspace's offer to deliver real- 1. Real-Time Stream API: This time updates to developers is not API gives developers real-time a trivial one. According to Chief push capabilities. Developers can Operating Officer Mike Jones, control data flow through a series

of granular filters. In addition to Google, the company's first API partners include Groovy Corp and One Riot. 2. Status and Mood Commenting API: This tools allows developers to integrate MySpace mood and status updates to 3rd party sites. From there users can comment on the 3rd party site with real-time syncing to MySpace. 3. Open Search API: This allows 3rd party sites to include MySpace profiles in search results. While other services allow users to search for people by location, the unique aspect of this is that you can filter by

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Finding Tweets that Matter to You: My6sense Launches New iPhone App

All Allison wants for Festivus

By Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb)

Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:02:00 AM

receive in your Twitter stream. While the app has an option to turn on the relevancy algorithm Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:00:00 AM for tweets without links, the My6sense just anounced a new T w i t t e r , F a c e b o o k a n d service works best when it can version of its iPhone application Friendfeed, as well as by email. w o r k w i t h t h e a d d i t i o n a l that can automatically highlight Finding Relevant Tweets information that is implicit in the most relevant tweets from the The app trains itself. My6sense these links. u s e r s y o u f o l l o w . T h e just watches what links you click Twitter lists and smarter realmytweetsense feature learns from on and which articles you retweet time search engines have made it the user's implicit and explicit or share on other social networks. easier to keep up with the actions and builds a model of It takes a little bit of training, but constant stream of updates on w h a t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o t h e if our experience with the Twitter, but this is still a random individual user. Mytweetsense my6sense RSS reader is any s t r e a m o f i n f o r m a t i o n . works best for tweets that include i n d i c a t i o n , t h e r e s u l t s a r e My6sense's iPhone app may not links. The app's features are s u r p r i s i n g l y g o o d . replace your favorite Twitter app clearly geared towards these kind We got a chance to talk to Barak right now, but it's a great tool to of tweets and include previews H a c h a m o v , t h e c o m p a n y ' s catch up on your tweets if you for links, videos and images. founder and CEO at LeWeb have been offline for a few days. Sponsor earlier today. According to You do, however, have to use it The default view in the app Hachamov, my6sense creates an for a few days before you can get displays all the recent tweets you extremely detailed personal the best experience. The app first received according to relevancy. p r o f i l e o f e v e r y u s e r . I t ' s has to get to know you, after all. Y o u c a n a l s o s w i t c h t o a i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e t h a t Discuss chronological view of your mytweetsense mostly looks at the timeline and the app allows users content of the links that you to easily reshare content on


By Allison Waldman (TV Squad)

The Festivus season is upon us, and the spirits of joy and viewing visit TV Squad, giving us a chance to make our media wishes known. Oh, the wonder of a TV world of my own making. If only the Festivus wishes I make will come true. Yes, Allison, there is a Festivus! And so, my TV wishes: -- Last year I wished for Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman Palladino to get another shot at TV after the horrible Jezebel James. Well, she's got a deal with HBO. Good for her. Now, for me, let's get her to write and film the finale for Rory and Lorelai and Luke and Star's Hollow that she intended for GG. It's time to

do it now while all the principals are still active. The Mary Tyler Moore reunion with Rhoda came two decades too late. Continue reading All Allison wants for Festivus Filed under: Other Comedy Shows, Programming, OpEd, Lost, Music and Variety, Festivus, Celebrities, RealityFree, The Big Bang Theory, Glee Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Assassin's Creed 2 patch frees you from the Hideout By JC Fletcher (Joystiq) Submitted at 12/9/2009 9:28:00 AM

If you're one of the unlucky Assassin's Creed 2 players who've been wandering around the Hideout for days, with no way to get back into the

playground of Ezio's memories, you'll be relieved to know that a new freedom patch is on the way. It'll launch for PS3 today and on December 11 for Xbox 360. The patch promises to fix the Sequence 11 glitch and many spoilers for you), including a bug others (the list may contain

that allows Ezio to walk on air in "extremely rare occasions." We didn't know about that one, but now we're going to miss it. [Via XboxGaming] Continue reading Assassin's Creed 2 patch frees you from the Hideout

Assassin's Creed 2 patch frees you from the Hideout originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Jack Dorsey Talks About Square at LeWeb: Wants Dongle to be Available for Free

David Letterman is on Twitter?!?

By Frederic Lardinois (ReadWriteWeb)

Don't get too excited (says the guy who put an exclamation point and two question marks in the post title). I really can't see him sticking with it and posting tweets all the time (I'm sure it's just a temporary thing to give him something to joke about), but last night he tweeted while he was doing the show. What's funny is that most of the tweets from the Late Show Twitter account are just basic "here's who's on the show tonight" type posts and links to show video, and then yesterday the tweets suddenly changed to shorter, more odd posts. Dave tweeted "Do you smell veal and peppers?" and "I'm making toast!" (Dave likes jokes about food and drink.) He also asked "I

Submitted at 12/9/2009 1:23:09 AM

At the annual LeWeb conference in Paris today, Loic Le Meur interviewed Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey about Square, the mobile payment system he launched in limited beta in November. While the demo didn't quite work as expected the Square dongle wasn't able to read Loic's credit card at first we did learn a few more details about Square. Among other thing, Dorsey plans to launch an API in the future that will allow Square to connect to other financial systems and bookkeeping software. In addition, Dorsey announced that he plans to make the payment dongle available for free. Sponsor According to Dorsey, finance is one of two industries that is ready for a disruption. The other industry is healthcare, though Dorsey doesn't expect that we

will see any major technological disruptions in this business within the next two years. According to Dorsey, one of the original ideas for Square was to use the iPhone camera to take a picture of a credit card and then use OCR software to read the data. As Square wants to be able to offer its service on multiple platforms, however, the team decided to use a dongle that plugs

into an audio jack. The team is currently working on the private beta and also working on building up its security team. As we noted last week, there are still some questions about the viability of this business, though Dorsey is obviously quite upbeat about the future of its new venture. Discuss

By Bob Sassone (TV Squad) Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:26:00 AM

like Barbara. Do you?" in reference to last night's guest Barbara Walters ( who is on Twitter herself). Continue reading David Letterman is on Twitter?!? Filed under: Late Night, Video, Watercooler Talk, Celebrities, Talk Show, Reality-Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Get Personal With A.P.C.'s New It Jacket By (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:52:50 PM

Take classic French brand

A.P.C. and design savvy girl about town Olympia Le Tan, and out comes the latest It jacket for the witty and wise. Available from January 21, the classic

washed jean jacket comes in

three different embroideries on the back: “Art Is For Monsters,” "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter,” and “People Never Notice Anything.” Well, we’ll have to

see about that. —Laura Stoloff Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan!

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Rewind 2009: “Best of” Lists in the iTunes Store By Charles Jade (TheAppleBlog) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:20:23 AM

Apple has published the “best” and most popular choices for 2009 at the iTunes Store, and the results are interesting, if not necessarily representative of the world outside the store. In music, the top-selling album, “Only By the Night” by Kings of Leon, was also chosen as album of the year. Lady GaGa was best new artist, while Michael Jackson was artist of the year. Since the iTunes Store has a catalog of some 10 million songs and roughly accounts for a quarter of music sales, at least in the U.S., both the popular and editorial choices make sense. With movies and television, not so much. “Up,” from Disney, whose second-largest shareholder and board member is Steve Jobs, has the top corner spot among best movies, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Arguably, what is wrong is “Pineapple Express” being second in top sales and rentals. According to BoxOfficeMojo, that film ranked 34th in 2008, though it was only released this year on disc. However, the highest-grossing

movie of 2009, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” released on disc in October, isn’t yet available at the iTunes Store. Clearly, in terms of film, “best of” comes with a “what he got” caveat, as it does for television. When your best-seller list for television includes “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” you know you have a problem. It’s a problem Apple has been trying to address for years, most recently reported as plans for a subscription-based model for video content. For $30 a month, one would get all the television one could watch. So far, the networks, and for that matter the movie studios, have largely remained outside the iTunes Store, but that’s true for pretty much every other digital store. In contrast, the App Store is exactly where application developers want to be. Following the release of the “funnest” iPod touch ever, we have the best and most popular applications of 2009 divided into

games and other apps. Apple appears to increasingly see gaming as intrinsic to its mobile devices. Critics of iPhone OS as not being a viable and commercially profitable gaming platform take note. All but one of the 10 best-selling games for 2009 costs $4.99 or more, and many of them, like The Sims 3, originally sold for $9.99. Among other apps, is not surprisingly popular, probably because it’s free right now, though $9.99 for the season. More surprisingly, MobileNavigator North America ranks among the most popular of applications, despite a price of $89.99. TomTom U.S. & Canada at $99.99 is also in the top 10, as are SlingPlayer Mobile and Golfshot: Golf GPS, both $29.99. Again, the point is that the App Store is not a place with 100,000 free fart and flashlight apps, but rather a store where serious money can be made at the right price for the right content. If only the movie studios and television networks realize that — perhaps the iTunes Store “Best of” lists for 2010 will be just that, rather than the best of what’s available.


Susan Boyle invited to perform at the White House By Allison Waldman (TV Squad) Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:02:00 AM

Do you think Susan Boyle knows the words to "Happy Birthday"? She better learn them fast because she may be singing them to the First Lady. Susan Boyle has reportedly been invited to the White House in honor of Michelle Obama's birthday. The White House gathering would be a small group in the private quarters on January 17. According to a White House source, "It will actually be a double celebration because three days later, January 20, marks the first anniversary of the president taking office. I would expect that a formal invitation will be made to Miss Boyle in the very near future. The President and First Lady absolutely love her voice and will be delighted if she

agrees." Continue reading Susan Boyle invited to perform at the White House Filed under: OpEd, Music and Variety, Celebrities, Reality-Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Japan GDP revised heavily downward (Financial Times - US homepage)

thought. Growth on the previous quarter was revised down from 1.2 per Submitted at 12/8/2009 7:00:17 PM cent to 0.3 per cent. At an Official estimates of Japan’s annualised rate the revision was g r o w t h b e t w e e n J u l y a n d from 4.8 per cent to 1.3 per cent. September were revised down This content has passed through h e a v i l y o n W e d n e s d a y , suggesting the country’s recovery is more fragile than previously


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Rumor Has It: Apple Tablet Due in March or April, Says Analyst

Review: Scrubs - Our Role Models

By Darrell Etherington (TheAppleBlog)

By Joel Keller (TV Squad)

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:29:56 AM

Source: Piper Jaffray Apple is all set to begin production of a 10.1-inch LCD tablet starting in February 2010, according to a recent analyst note by Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner. Following that, the device should then go on sale in March or April, Reiner says, with an initial production run of around 1 million units. Reiner isn’t working off of leaked or inside information, but his predictions are based on industry supply checks, which means he’s making an educated guest based upon Apple’s activity with its overseas suppliers of late. That’s not the only source of rumor fodder, either. As reported by AppleInsider, Reiner notes that additional support for the upcoming tablet comes from contacts involved in the U.S. publishing industry: Contacts in the U.S. tell us Apple is approaching book publishers with a very attractive proposal for distributing their content. Apple will split revenue 30/70 (Apple/publisher); give the same deal to all comers; and not request exclusivity. We believe

Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:20:00 AM

(S09E03) Since I saw the first two episodes via screener, this is the first time I got to see the "[Med School]" subtitle in the opening credits. Wow, talk about barely there... if you blinked, you the typical Kindle split is 50/50, CrunchPad). Fusion Garage is missed it. I guess it's better than rising to 30/70 if Kindle is given offering its device for $500, and not having it there at all, but e-book exclusivity. you get a good quality 12.1-inch wow; it's as if ABC is really The deal would then be more touchscreen display capable of trying hard to tie this show to the attractive than Amazon’s, if the handling HD video. It would original Scrubs. estimates about Kindle revenue- s e e m t o u n d e r c u t A p p l e I felt a little odd watching this splitting are correct, and Apple significantly, except when you episode. By all objective w o u l d n ’ t i n s i s t o n r e l e a s e consider that the Apple tablet measures, it was a good episode; exclusivity in order to provide will likely be much more than funny, good story, lots of the 30/70 split. If Apple curries just a web-browsing device. glimpses into the characters' the favor of the publishing If the Apple tablet resembles a personalities. But, as in the first industry, and offers a more computer more than a glorified, two episodes, most of the good versatile reading platform, the e- oversized media player, I think a stuff involved the old cast, book market could be in for the price tag around $1,000 is fully mainly Zach Braff. And, since fight of its life come March or justified. If I got decent onthis is supposed to work more as April. device storage, a great on-screen a transition to a new show than Note that Reiner doesn’t see an k e y b o a r d , a n d l o t s o f OLED panel going into the productivity apps, as well as production tablet, as has been wireless connectivity and epredicted elsewhere. Instead, he reader type features, I’d be happy (Financial Times - US says the device will use the same to pay more than I would for a homepage) kind of LTPS LCD multi-touch bare-bones net tablet. I think OS Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:38:26 AM display found on the iPhone, only choice will be key to this this one will be 10.1 inches. device’s success, but Reiner Greece has been warned by a top Estimated retail price for the makes no mention of whether E u r o p e a n C e n t r a l B a n k Apple tablet is around $1,000, it’ll be designed to run iPhone policymaker that it has a year to bring public finances back under according to Reiner. OS or full-blown OS X. control or risk having its bonds Compare that with the recently disqualified for use as collateral unveiled JooJoo tablet(neé by banks borrowing ECB

more of the old show, this trend is getting me worried. Continue reading Review: Scrubs - Our Role Models Filed under: Scrubs, Episode Reviews, Reality-Free Permalink| Email this| | Comments

ECB ratchets up pressure on Greece liquidity. The comments by Axel Weber, Germany’s Bundesbank president, intensify the pressure on the new Socialist government in Athens following revelations that its budget is in a far worse shape than previously feared. This content has passed through

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I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream with Ustream for iPhone By Darrell Etherington (TheAppleBlog)

Other features include the ability to start a yes/no poll, support for portrait and landscape recording, Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:37:10 AM audio muting, video title editing, Just released this morning, the video resolution selection, viewer new Ustream Live Broadcaster count and the ability to broadcast app ( iTunes link) actually allows your phone’s GPS recording you to stream live video from while streaming. It’s a very fullyour video-capable iPhone 3GS featured app, and one that I’m to the web, something which the honestly surprised made it recently released Qik app through the review process. couldn’t (and still can’t) boast. I think this app being released It’s the first app to offer live indicates a relaxation of some of streaming from Apple’s handset, Apple’s strictures regarding the and it even allows you to do so streaming of live video, and over both Wi-Fi and 3G possible the streaming of all connections. video over a 3G connection. I In order to use the app, you’ll expect an updated version of Qik need to sign up for a free shoot. Obviously not something with similar abilities to follow Ustream account if you don’t you can do while recording soon, and possibly a host of other already have one. Ustream will yourself, unless you are so apps that have been waiting at the prompt you to do so, and then intimately familiar with your gates for Apple to give the green allow you to register right within iPhone that you can type when light. the app, without having to even the screen isn’t facing you. Interestingly, the app description pop out to Safari to complete the All of your recorded videos can says that both the 3GS and the process. be shared via the app to Twitter, 3 G m o d e l s a r e s u p p o r t e d , As with any Ustream video, your Facebook and YouTube, but although the sole purpose of the live stream will be automatically people wanting to tune in live app is to broadcast live video as recorded and stored on your will have to go to If its recorded, which last time I U s t r e a m a c c o u n t f o r l a t e r you’re not within range of a data checked wasn’t available on a viewing. You can also notify network when you want to make standard, non-jailbroken iPhone your friends via Twitter that a recording, Ustream Live 3G. Any users out there who you’re starting a stream, and take Broadcaster lets you record now have a 3G, get downloading (the advantage of Ustream’s built-in and upload later, when you do app is free) and help us solve this chat and Social Stream features find a reliable 3G or Wi-Fi mystery. to interact with viewers watching connection. your video in real-time while you

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Stars Come Out as Miss Golden Globe is Announced (ETonline - Breaking News)

history of people that have done this and when my mom approached me a couple of weeks Proud momma Alfre Woodard ago and she said I had the spoke to ET about her daughter opportunity to do this, I was being crowned as the 2010 Miss really excited about it…" Golden Globe. The Hollywood The aspiring model and soon-toduo was joined by Kate Flannery, b e C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y Gilles Marini, Kelly Osbourne, freshman joins an elite group of Kellan Lutz, and many more of star's offspring who have gone on Hollywood’s brightest stars at the to become stars themselves…. Second Annual Golden Globes Rumer Willis, Melanie Griffith, P a r t y S a l u t i n g Y o u n g and Joely Fisher are just some Hollywood. who have bestowed this title in Mavis Spencer, the 18-year-old previous years. In an ironic d a u g h t e r o f a c t r e s s A l f r e choice of words, Alfre revealed Woodard and writer/producer that her daughter makes life Roderick Spencer, was more than "golden." The accomplished congenial while speaking of the actress admitted, "[Mavis] is my honor of presenting the statues at ticket this year [to the Golden the upcoming Golden Globe Globes]." Awards: "There's a long, rich Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:25:00 AM

VW to pay $2.5bn for 20% Suzuki stake (Financial Times - US homepage)

Wednesday confirmed it had agreed to form a “comprehensive partnership” with Suzuki, adding Submitted at 12/9/2009 1:59:42 AM that both companies’ Volkswagen is to pay Y222.5bn management had concluded their ($2.5bn) to buy a 19.9 per cent complementary strengths made stake in Japan’s Suzuki Motor in them a “perfect fit”. a deal that would create the This content has passed through world’s largest carmaker alliance. The German car group on


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Chrome for Mac Beta Available Now Brooklyn's Hottest By Darrell Etherington (TheAppleBlog)

focus on 64-bit performance. It’s not a major strike against it, since the browser is still blazingly fast in my experience, but it could become an issue down the road if Google doesn’t give its browser a bump up.

Submitted at 12/8/2009 8:44:13 AM

The developer builds of late have been pretty stable, but now you can download the official Google Chrome for Mac Beta. Released today, the Beta should offer Mac users a more stable browsing experience, one that hopefully is more representative of what the full release will eventually look like. It’s been a long time coming for us Mac users, but was the wait worth it? I’m going to try my best to use Chrome as my default browser for a decent length of time, in order to give it a fair shake. But I am a little worried about potential feature scarcity. As has been reported before, the Chrome beta is missing some things that its Windows counterpart offers. Below is a brief list of what’s been omitted, and why it worries me that some of these things aren’t there with this new beta. • App Mode: One of Chrome’s greatest strengths is its ability to create Fluid-like single site browser instances that work more like apps than websites. It’s great for Gmail, Google Docs, and any

There are other things I’ve left off my list, like full-screen browsing, for the simple fact that I don’t use them that often and other web app that has its own they probably won’t affect my dashboard, menus, etc. The experience. And despite my option is there, it’s just grayed complaints about what isn’t in this beta, what is there is very out for now. • Gears: I know Gears is dead in impressive indeed. The speed g e n e r a l , a s p e r a r e c e n t with which Chrome renders announcement, but for now the pages never ceases to impress, no existing implementation is much matter how many times I take the appreciated. I’d like to hold on to browser out for a spin on either it as long as possible, pending Windows or Mac machines. HTML 5’s gradual rollout, but Tabs also still do run as isolated the Chrome Beta isn’t onboard. processes, which is the major • Multi-touch Gestures: Both the advantage Chrome brought to the trackpad and the Magic Mouse’s table in the first place. Now when multi-touch gestures won’t work I have 57 tabs open across five in this beta of Chrome. That’s a windows on three screens, a big omission when you’ve badly coded Flash ad on one of become as dependent on multi- them won’t force me to start touch as I have, especially in fresh. Wait, that might not be a good thing… terms of mobile computing. • 64-bit Support: Chrome is 32bit only, despite Snow Leopard’s

Stereotypes in Battle of Bike Lane Martyrs [Williamsburg] By Hamilton Nolan (Gawker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:47:38 AM

Everybody, gather round for the Jews vs. Hipsters fight! Williamsburg's most loathed subcultures in bike lane battle! Black hat vigilantes stalk sexxxy two-wheeled postgrads! Hero hipsters martyred for commuter ease—media swarms! Objectively speaking, some 24 year-olds repainting bike lanes on the street ranks in the bottom 10% of New York crime stories on any given day. But since they are HIPSTERS who love to ride bikes battling THE JEWS who hate hipsters and their immodest bike-riding attire, there in Williamsburg, in a sexxxy culture clash, well then. Two bike lane repainters got arrested

TLC Tells Story of ‘Hero of the Hudson’ in Brace For Impact

Street Chic: New York By (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:00:00 AM

Olivia Palermo rocks two of the

season’s hottest trends—the strong shoulder and shorts with tights. Photo: Anne Ziegler Think you are Street Chic? Email us your photo and you could

and now the cultural martyrdom grows deeper: "We're self-hating Jewish hipsters," Hechtropf joked last night as the two walked out of the 90th Precinct with deskappearance tickets. "They handcuffed us," Piccochi complained. The Post gets a culture clash angle and a hipster entitlement angle all in two short quotes! In all seriousness, hearing every "square" news outlet saying "hipster" as they report this story really hammers home the point of how annoying it probably is when we say "hipster," all the time. You have our apologies.

Chic Daily. Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan!

By Bill Gorman (TVbytheNumbers) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:04:33 AM

appear in's Street

TLC page 49

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Greece and Dubai fears weigh on markets

continued from page 48

via press release: TLC Tells Story of ‘Hero of the Hudson’ in BRACE FOR IMPACT One-hour documentary, narrated by Harrison Ford, premieres January 10, 2010 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ — TLC today announced that the highly anticipated documentary film BRACE FOR IMPACT, about the remarkable landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River by Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, will premiere January 10, 2010 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Celebrated actor – and avid pilot – Harrison Ford, narrates. Produced by Daniel H. Birman Productions Inc., BRACE FOR IMPACT features interviews with Captain Sullenberger, passengers, air traffic controllers and first responders who assisted the landing. Stunning graphics, combined with compelling firstperson accounts, create a 360degree perspective of that fateful event, which gripped global

attention the afternoon of January 15, 2009. “I’m honored and gratified by the attention I’ve received as a result of this event. On January 15, we had a remarkably good day, and I’m proud that my crew and I were up to the task,” said Captain Sullenberger. “I am sure that this documentary will convey the ongoing power of this story and its ability to touch and inspire people around the world.” The story’s nerve center is Captain Sullenberger, whose heroic actions during the incident enabled him and his crew to save the lives of the 155 people on board that flight. Giving the audience an insider’s view to the path he took that day, Sully will be reunited with the actual plane he landed, and will – for the first time – fly the actual route of 1549 and explain what happened and how he needed to make extreme choices while navigating a crippled aircraft over Manhattan. “BRACE FOR IMPACT not only celebrates Sully, but honors

everyone involved in making this event, and its positive outcome, so unforgettable,” explains Eileen O’Neill, President & GM, TLC. “With the aid of personal stories and amazing CGI, viewers will be taken through the entire, incredible journey.” “TLC’s audience is in for a fantastic ride, right in the pilot’s seat with Sully, capturing his story in gripping detail,” says Birman. “The unprecedented access and participation of agencies and individuals – including in-the-moment accounts from air traffic controllers, passengers, and boat captains – makes an extraordinary hour of television.” The one-hour documentary BRACE FOR IMPACT airs in high definition and is produced for TLC by Daniel H. Birman Productions Inc and executive produced by Daniel Birman. About TLC TLC’s innovative docu-series and reality-based programming include favorites Jon & Kate Plus 8, Little People, Big World, What

Not to Wear, 18 Kids and Counting, Say Yes to the Dress, and LA Ink. TLC added to its menu of programming with Cake Boss and Ultimate Cake Off, and continues to expand into the food genre. TLC’s daytime lineup includes the Emmy Awardwinning A Baby Story. The channel is available in more than 98 million homes in the US, nearly 8 million homes in Canada and through the website at TLC is part of Discovery Communications ( NASDAQ:DISCA) ( NASDAQ:DISCB) ( NASDAQ:DISCK) , the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. This content has passed through


(Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:55:14 AM

15:45 GMT. Weak Japanese economic data combined with continued concerns about debtladen Greece and Dubai to keep global bourses in cautious mood on Wednesday. Not even a pull back in the dollar, following Tuesday’s rally, could fully salve investors’ anxiety – though it did help gold reverse some of its recent slide. This content has passed through

Fantasy Football Waiver Chat By R.J. White (Fanhouse Main) Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:30:00 AM

Filed under: Expert Chats Congratulations, you've made it to the playoffs! (I assume that if you're still reading and planning on joining

our chat, you're playing for something. If you just like listening to me answer questions and have nothing on the line in Week 14, well, more power to you.) You've battled long and hard this season, overcome injury, and now you're just a few games

away from the gold. What players are available to get you

there? Join us at 6 PM ET as we go over the perfect waiver wire add for your team. We'll also try and tackle matchup ratings, though our rankings won't be finalized for another day. We'll see you there! < a href="

m/mobile.php?option=com_mobi le&task=viewaltcast&altcast_cod e=b1d17adee1" >Week 14 Waiver Chat</a> Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


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TV Ratings Tuesday: Biggest Loser Finale Wins Large; Leno Bulks Up; Ted Premiere Weak By Bill Gorman (TVbytheNumbers)

entire population being measured.) Time Shifted Viewing– Program Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:23:37 AM ratings for national sources are The season finale of The Biggest produced in three streams of data Loser crushed the competition – Live, Live+Same early, and The Jay Leno Show Day(Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. had its biggest night in months Time shifted figures account for (2.9 adults 18-49 rating), as NBC incremental viewing that takes won Tuesday easily. The place with DVRs which are premiere of ABC’s Better Off currently in approximately 24.4% Ted was (predictably) weak with of all U.S. TV households. just a 1.5 rating. Live+Same Day(Live+SD) One interesting observation, this include viewing during the same weeks repeat of the forgotten did broadcast day as the original better than last week’s new telecast, with a cut-off of episode. 3:00AM local time when meters More analysis coming ASAP. transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day You can see TV ratings from ratings include incremental other recent Overnight ratings include all programming on the normal broadcast feed patterns. the universe of TV households viewing that takes place during reports here. affiliated stations, sometimes For example, with a World Series (or other specified group) tuned the 7 days following a telecast. Definitions: For more information see including network programming, game, Fast Affiliate Ratings to a program in the average *Fast Affiliate Ratings: These sometimes not. The figures may would include whatever aired minute. Ratings are expressed as Numbers 101. first national ratings, including include stations that did not air from 8-11PM on affiliates in the a percent. Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The demographics, are available at the entire network feed, as well Pacific Time Zone, following the Share (of Audience): The Nielsen Company. All Rights approximately 11 AM (ET) the as local news breaks or cutaways live football game, but not game p e r c e n t o f h o u s e h o l d s ( o r Reserved. day after telecast, and are for local coverage or other coverage that begins at 5PM PT. persons) using television who are This content has passed through released to subscribing customers programming. Fast Affiliate The same would be true of tuned to a specific program, daily. These data, from the ratings are not as useful for live Presidential debates as well as station or network in a specific National People Meter sample, programs and are likely to differ live award shows and breaking area at a specific time. (See also, a r e s t r i c t l y t i m e - p e r i o d significantly from the final news reports. Rating, which represents tuning information, based on the normal results, because the data reflect Rating: Estimated percentage of or viewing as a percent of the broadcast network feed, and

Banks in UK hit by 50% tax on bonus payouts (Financial Times - US homepage) Submitted at 12/9/2009 5:12:50 AM

Banks will be hit by a 50 per

cent tax on bonus payouts, the general public. Alistair Darling, the chancellor, The first £25,000 of bonuses will said in his pre-Budget report, in a be exempt from the tax. move that will inflame bankers This content has passed through but is likely to be welcomed by


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Healthcare Opponents Using Scammy Social Gaming to Get People to Spam Congress [Scams] By Nicholas Carlson (Gawker)

reform group called "Get Health Reform Right" is using to pay gamers virtual currency for their Health insurance industry trade support. groups opposed to President Instead of asking the gamers to Obama's health care reform bill try a product the way Netflix are paying Facebook users fake would, "Get Health Reform m o n e y — c a l l e d " v i r t u a l Right" requires gamers to take a currency" — to send letters to survey, which, upon completion, Congress protesting the bill. automatically sends the following Here's how it's happening: email to their Congressional Rep: Facebook users play a social " I a m c o n c e r n e d a n e w game, like "FarmVille" or government plan could cause me "Friends For Sale." They get to lose the employer coverage I addicted to it. Eager to accelerate have today. More government their progress inside the game, bureaucracy will only create the gamers buy "virtual goods" more problems, not solve the such as a machine gun for " ones we have." Mafia Wars." But these gamers OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter don't buy these "virtual goods" spotted the survey and took a with real money. They use virtual screenshot for us. (Click on the currency. image at the left to expand it.) The gamers get virtual currency What is this practice called? three ways: Paying people to act like • Winning it playing the games political supporters is called • Paying for it with real money "astroturfing," because its fake • By accepting offers from third- grass-roots campaigning. So parties — usually companies like maybe this should be called online movie rentals service Virtual astroturfing. VirtualNetflix — who agree to give the turfing? Astroturfing 2.0? gamer virtual currency so long as Who are the people behind this? that gamer agrees to try a product Get Health Reform Right or service. This is done through describes itself as a "project of a n " o f f e r s " p r o v i d e r — a organizations whose shared middleman that brings the mission is to ensure consumers companies like Netflix, the continue to have access to Facebook gamemakers, and the employer-sponsored healthcare Facebook gamemaker's users plans." together. We are concerned about federal legislation that would create new It's this third method that an anti- government bureaucracies that

a few weeks ago, these games included big hits like Zynga's Mafia Wars and FarmVille. Zynga has since removed all offers from its games. On its Web site, Gambit says its clients include: • #1 MySpace Developer • 20%+ of top 10 Facebook applications • • School Vandals • • 2 Top 100 websites • ...and over 150+ more

Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:17:35 AM

would unravel the workplace healthcare system where more than 160 million people get their coverage. Under the "Who We Are" tab on, the following organizations are listed: • Association of Health Insurance Advisors • America's Health Insurance Plans • American Benefits Council • BlueCross BlueShield Association • Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers • Healthcare Leadership Council • Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers • National Association of Health Underwriters

• National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors • National Retail Association Who are the gamers filling out the survey and sending emails to Congress? Facebook gamers tend to fall into two groups: women in their 30s and 40s and teenagers of both sexes. Is this legal? Astroturfing, which involves real money, is not illegal, We can't imagine virtual curreny astroturfing would be illegal either. Whether or not it's ethical is a different question. Who is profiting from this? The middleman facilitating this transaction in multiple Facebook games is called Gambit. Up until

One important thing to remember: Gambit is just the platform here, bringing three parties together: gamers seeking currency, gamemakers seeking monetization, and companies (and, apparently lobbying groups) looking for customers. OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter tells us it's most likely Get Health Care Reform agreed to pay an ad agency for every letter-writer it recruited. Dan supposes it was this third-party that likely created the survey and submitted it into Gambit's offer network. Gambit and Get Health Care Reform's reponse: We reached out to Gambit CEO Noah Kagan for clarification. We'll update the story when and if they get back to us. HEALTHCARE page 52


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Health Care Compromise Reached: Public Option Not Really a Public Option Anymore [Health Care] By Pareene (Gawker)

group that is typically underinsured. Medicare expansion will begin in 2011, though it will Harry Reid won a compromise probably look expensive and not between Senate Centrists and worth it until the "exchanges" Senate Liberals: centrists killed open in 2014 and the federal the public option and liberals get subsidies kick in. the privilege of voting for As usual, the middle-aged and something that they could argue old come out pretty well! The resembles a public option, sort same cannot be said of poor of. people, as the proposal to expand Reid refuses to release any Medicaid eligibility to 150% of details of the plan, but Senators the poverty line died rather have been leaking the results of quickly. Sorry, poors! No money each compromise as it was made, for you! so a basic picture of the new Instead of the public option the Senate plan has emerged. Instead government will ask insurance of a weak, opt-out public option companies to create "nationally(which, we remind you, was based non-profit insurance plans already a compromise made to that would be offered on the "moderates") there will be a exchanges in every state." The "triggered" federally-run public federal public option "trigger" insurance option, and the Senate will be pulled if they don't do will obviously make sure that this. And, shit, we are sick of the trigger is never pulled. compromises but heavily One nice aspect of the new plan regulated non-profit insurance is allowing people aged 55-64 to options with national pricebuy into Medicare, which is an bargaining power are basically an actual public option that exists ok deal, fine, whatever. and is very successful. This will Now, the future of this current keep costs down and help a compromise: it will go back to Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:43:40 AM

And he might be joined by Joe Lieberman, who did vow to filibuster any bill with a public option, even if it is a triggered public option that will never be triggered, like this one. So, following this lengthy and tenuous compromise, expect another one or two or three. Meanwhile: public opinion! Did you know that 10% of Americans oppose the House health care bill because it is not liberal enough, which means 56% of Americans would like a public option? Did you know that more people support the "public option" when it's specifically compared to Medicare? Did you know (and this is the best statistic) that 3% of Americans support health care the CBO to be scored, again. At Democratic Senator from North reform because they think the that point, they will attempt to Dakota and enemy of the rest of bills are so crippled that they vote to close debate. That will America, hates the Medicare buy successfully prevent actual health take 60 votes, again, because the -in option because it is too care reform? Joe Lieberman Senate is broken. Seriously, it's fiscally responsible. Ben Nelson s h o u l d s i g n u p w i t h t h a t not supposed to work this way. is also being a dick about stuff, c o n t i n g e n t ! At all. But it does, so how are we and now that his "no abortions doing on those 60 votes? Well... for anyone" amendment is dead, K e n t C o n r a d , m o d e r a t e he may attempt to kill the bill.


Mongolian wrestling

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We've also contacted Get Health Care Reform using an email address listed on their Web site. We received the following message back: Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by

the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 553 553 sorry, that domain isn't in my list

of allowed rcpthosts (#5.7.1) (state 14).

By Zack Sheppard (Flickr Blog) Submitted at 12/8/2009 1:30:07 PM

â&#x20AC;˘ About Flickr Flickr is a revolution in photo storage, sharing and organization, making photo management an

easy, natural and collaborative process. Get comments, notes, and tags on your photos, post to any blog, share and more! This content has passed through

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America's Worst Gambler Also Great MLB winter meetings: New York Yankees close Tipper [The Rich] By Hamilton Nolan (Gawker) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:31:26 AM

Terry Watanabe, a big wheel in the Asian party favor import business, lost nearly $127 million gambling in Vegas casinos in 2007. But he gave fantastic tips. Call it even? The WSJ wins "What The Hey! Story of the Day" today for its rundown of Watanabe's gambling odyssey: He ran his dad's import business for decades till he was good and bored and rich, then went on an incredible degenerate gambling run that culminated in him (a clear gambling addict and probably alcoholic) blowing up to $5 million a day at Caesar's

and bankrolling a good part of Harrah's Vegas revenue for the year. But oh, the tips! According to court documents, Mr. Watanabe says he regularly handed out to Caesars employees

bundles of $100 bills that could total as much as $20,000. Al Deleon and Kristian Kunder, two of Mr. Watanabe's personal handlers at Caesars, say he had thousands of Tiffany gift boxes filled with $50 gift cards or $100 gift coins that he would hand out to bartenders, nightclub operators, security guards and others. They say he once told a security guard to go to a supermarket and buy every cut of steak, and then proceeded to hand them out to employees. [ Read it all at the WSJ. Pic: AP]

to signing Andy Pettitte By ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:15:51 AM

Veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees are expected to agree later Wednesday to a one-year contract worth approximately $12 million, a source told Earlier this week, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported that representatives for Pettitte said the 37-year-old pitcher indicated he preferred to play for New York if he came back for a 16th season.

Pettitte was 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA in helping propel the Yankees to their 27th World Series championship, bringing his career record to 229-135 with a 3.91 ERA. He went 4-0 in five starts in the postseason with a 3.52 ERA. With 458 career starts, Pettitte has spent all but three seasons with the Yankees. He played for the Astros from 2004 to '06. Information from's Jayson Stark was used in this report. This content has passed through

Recovering Brian Westbrook worried about future By news services (

"I'm worried about it," Westbrook said on HBO's Joe Buck Live on Tuesday. Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:50:49 AM "Concussions have been all over After suffering two concussions the headlines and all over the i n a t h r e e - w e e k s p a n , papers, and it has been on the top Philadelphia Eagles running back of my mind since the Redskins Brian Westbrook said he's game on the 26th of October." concerned about his future in the The 30-year-old Westbrook has NFL and beyond. missed three straight games. NFC East blog "I'm very concerned just because's Matt Mosley writes there is not a lot of data that says about all things NFC East in his in 10 years or 20 years you'll be division blog. fine if you had too many â&#x20AC;˘ Blog network: NFL Nation concussions," he said in the

interview. "I'm worried about that, and, hopefully, next time I go out there I don't have to worry about it anymore. "That's my biggest concern. How am I going to be when I'm 50 or when I'm 60? Will I have all these brain diseases and will I have a problem remembering things? ... Now, I'm trying to get myself together with the help of the doctors as well as coach [Andy] Reid and the training staff. Now, the most important thing is to get 100 percent

healthy -- and not play football ... until I'm 100 percent healthy." On Monday, Eagles coach Reid said both DeSean Jackson(also out after a concussion) and Westbrook would return to practice this week and neither has been ruled out for Sunday's game. Westbrook said he hopes to play Sunday against the New York Giants. He said his practice time Wednesday will be on a limited basis. "My goal every week since I've

been out is to get back and play, so I'm going to do everything that I can to get back out there and play this week," he said in the interview. "I'm going to start practicing, but of course you have to take things slow, and if you have any setbacks, you have to fall back a little bit. We'll see how it goes." Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. This content has passed through



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Woods Needs to Talk, Sooner Than Later By Jay Mariotti (Fanhouse Main)

the one who has cultivated the squeaky-clean, family-man image while making 90 percent Submitted at 12/8/2009 3:35:00 PM of his earnings, as the world's Filed under: Golf Suddenly, first billion-dollar athlete, off nothing at all is funny about the those well-polished perceptions. office jokes, the late-night H o n e s t l y , a n y o n e w i t h lampooning and the running tally f u n c t i o n i n g s e n s e s w a s n ' t of mistresses (are there 12, 10 or s h o c k e d when the just a quadruple-bogey?). The aforementioned others were story of Tiger Woods and his busted. But Tiger? Hooking up serial infidelity has become dark with multiple sex partners, and sickening, almost apocalyptic a l l e g e d l y r a n g i n g f r o m a in its voluminous deceit, now nightclub hostess to an engaged stretching to the fright of his cocktail waitress to porn stars to mother-in-law being whisked by a TV presenter to a waitress at ambulance from his mansion the local Perkins pancake house with stomach pains. If you're like to a "sex-addicted cougar" in me, your thoughts centered on Europe? two people who presumably also MORE ON TIGER were in that house in the wee hours Tuesday. • o. Whitley: Tiger Created This Sam Alexis Woods, 2 1/2 years Circus old. • o. Moore: Tiger All Alone Charlie Axel Woods, 10 months • o. Olson: McNair Casts Pall old. • o. What's the Future of Tiger The children, as always in Inc.? marital strife, are the most • o. Mother-in-Law Released damaged parties. And they'll From Hospital grow up having to learn that their • o. Latest Tiger Woods Stories father, the most famous athlete on the planet, also was the most Had anyone suggested this trail infamous philanderer in the land. of trash ever could have been This has been the Age of Sleaze assembled, the person would in sports, with some of the h a v e b e e n s t r a p p e d t o a industry's biggest names -- Roger straitjacket and committed. But C l e m e n s , A l e x R o d r i g u e z , it's true, at least a thick portion of Michael Jordan, Barry Bonds, it. And now the world will have Michael Phelps and Marion to deal with the emotional fallout, Jones, among many more -- such as this prevailing question: guilty of steroids use, adultery After revering Woods for so and other scandals. But Woods is l o n g , s u r r o u n d i n g h i m i n the one whose reputation will galleries as if he were God, how suffer most, simply because he's do the masses possibly look at

him the same way again? The specific issue is whether people who have rooted for Tiger to break golf's greatest record -the 18 major championships of Jack Nicklaus-- now will turn against him. Juxtaposed against that moral question is the fact Nicklaus truly was the ultimate family man, the all-time prototype of how a champion golfer is supposed to represent class, dignity and virtue. As someone who has covered most of Woods' majors for 13 years, I safely can say a vast majority of fans have wanted him to pass Nicklaus, knowing that Tiger has advanced the game to new and perhaps unmatchable levels with his power, skill, efficiency and brains. But the sordid stories of the past two weeks, as surreal a period as sports has seen, likely will lower Woods into something of a pariah and turn some sentiment against him in his Nicklaus chase. Who knew that Jack, a month from his 70th birthday, could have a personal revival in 2010? No longer will Woods be a fascination as much as a freak show. The oohs and ahhs will

melt into strange looks, heckling and an even larger popularity surge for Phil Mickelson, who never has kept up with Woods as a rival but now looks like an even bigger prince and sympathetic figure as his wife and mother keep battling breast cancer. We also have the mystery of whether Woods was drinking in the wee hours of his SUV wreck; how suspicious that prosecutors, claiming insuffient information, rejected the petition of a Florida trooper who thought he was driving under the influence. Then there is the advertising world, the folks who have made Woods absurdly wealthy, and a Tuesday report from Bloomberg News that the prime-time television networks and 19 major cable networks have yanked all ads that feature him. That includes an offensive ad from Spirit Airlines that hyped an "Eye of the Tiger" fare sale with this stunt: a real tiger in a baseball cap, smashing an SUV into a fire hydrant. Point being, the most marketable athlete ever isn't fit for TV at the moment, especially during the holiday season. All of which surely is taking a devastating toll on Woods, a perfectionist who always has aggressively protected his private life but curiously was open with his extramarital dalliances. As it is, he has kept himself isolated from the public, often refusing to mix with galleries and sign autographs. Now, will he drift further away from the public eye,

become a recluse? He'll play in the four majors, of course, and meet his required number of PGA Tour events. But when he has had difficulty dealing with adoring crowds, how will he deal with fans who have come to dislike him? The best way to redeem himself, at least among the male-driven audiences, is to win and win big - at least two majors next year. That at least will win him continued admiration as an alltime great athlete, though it never can bring back the considerable respect lost off the course, where "phony" is the new watchword. It will take supreme mental toughness to fight through his pain with millions watching him perform. Still five majors shy of breaking the record, Woods is facing his greatest challenge in life. Will he persevere and triumph? Or will he buckle, keeping in mind that he's in his golfing mid-life and vulnerable to injuries and slumps? So much is dependent on when he finally speaks publicly and what he says in that session. So far, he has said good things and incredibly dumb, ill-timed things. The best way to redeem himself, at least among the male-driven audiences, is to win and win big - at least two majors next year. The good things: "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my WOODS page 61


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Tigers Make Out Best in Expected Swap of Granderson By Frankie Piliere (Fanhouse Main) Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:40:00 AM

Filed under: Diamondbacks, Tigers, Yankees, MLB Transactions, Advanced Scouting The first big shot has been fired in this Hot Stove season. With Curtis Granderson expected to be on his way to the Yankees, Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy headed to Arizona, and an impressive haul of young talent headed to the Detroit Tigers, everyone wants to know how well each team did. The Yankees got their man and filled the center field position, a spot in which they've been searching for a long-term solution since the end of the Bernie Williams era, but they are not the only ones getting what they need in this blockbuster. Both the Tigers and Diamondbacks also got players of whom they can be proud. What exactly did they get and how might each player impact their future? Before touching on the Granderson aspect of the deal, let's get this out of the way: the clear winners here are the Tigers. While each team got what they wanted in a well-balanced three way trade, this is an absolute mission accomplished for Detroit and general manager Dave Dombrowski, pictured above. If they were going to trade their premium center fielder, it was evident from the start that Detroit

was insistent on receiving a premium center field prospect in return. It couldn't have done much better than Austin Jackson, making New York a natural trade partner. While he's probably best off spending more time seasoning in Triple-A to start 2010, Jackson is big-league ready and has the star upside to fill Granderson's shoes in a couple years. This was the key to the deal for Detroit. Not only did the Tigers bag the immediate heir apparent to Granderson in center field, but they also landed three hardthrowing young pitchers. Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke could make for a dynamic two-headed southpaw monster in Detroit's bullpen, both of them possessing above-average fastballs and swing-and-miss breaking pitches. Given the early rumors that Detroit wanted another hardthrowing Yankee left-hander, Mike Dunn, it was clear from the start what they were going to try to get. They were unable to pry that second hard-throwing lefty away from the Yankees, but let's not forget about potentially the most impressive piece of the deal, Max Scherzer. If you look at it from a perspective of getting Scherzer, as well as Schlereth, at the cost of Edwin Jackson, the deal looks even more impressive from a Tiger standpoint. Clearly Scherzer will need to adjust to the American League, but given his expansive new

home ballpark, the transition will not be as drastic as it could be. Although Edwin Jackson was traded as an elite commodity, the reality is that he still has some rough edges and had his bad patches in 2009. So, this is not a case of landing a pitcher (Scherzer) that is noticeably further behind in his development. Both pitchers have outstanding raw stuff, with Scherzer living around 93-95 mph with the fastball, and mixing in a hard slider and a changeup. His stuff may be a notch below Jackson's, and there have been concerns since his days as an amateur about his delivery and how it could impact his longterm health and durability, but the reality remains that the Tigers received a comparable pitcher in terms of ability that is younger and more affordable. None of these three teams were robbed, but if a loser has to be chosen it is the Diamondbacks. Losing two power arms in Scherzer and Schlereth is one thing, but they did so to get a pitcher that, while very talented, is far from a model of consistency. Jackson should

thrive in the National League with his power stuff, but the fact remains that Arizona paid a premium price of two big-leagueready pitching talents. They have to be pleased with landing Jackson, but his price tag may have been a little too steep. Easing the pain of that big price tag, however, is Ian Kennedy. On his way from New York, where it appeared he'd have a hard time ever getting any lengthy chance to get acclimated to the majors and take his lumps, Kennedy could be an ideal fit in the National League and in the far less scrutinized Arizona market. Do not lose sight of just how talented a pitcher Kennedy is, despite his recent health setbacks and his struggles in 2008. This is a guy who still has the potential for plus command and can throw three pitches for strikes when he's right. With a fastball at 89-92 mph, he is not overwhelming but with an opportunity to learn on the job, the former USC standout is a pitcher with the smarts to make adjustments and become a dependable middle-of-therotation starter. Then, of course, there is the centerpiece of this blockbuster deal, Granderson. Some may be concerned about the dip in his average and the rise in his strikeouts, but this is a case where you trust the tools. The physical tools remain and some scouts thought that Granderson was hitting into some tough luck in 2009 as well. We aren't going

to see him settle into a yearly .250 hitter. Expect that average to rebound in 2010. He's a pullconscious hitter and will strike out, but with the inviting porch at his new Yankee Stadium home, the fit could really be ideal. We could see the home run totals spike even more in his first year with the Yankees. Granderson will also bring an element to the Yankee lineup they haven't had in recent years. He plays aggressively, uses his athleticism, and knows how to take that extra base when he can. He'll be just 29 on Opening Day, so this is yet another spot on the field that the Yankees can bank on for a number of years. The pessimistic Yankee fan will probably continue to point to the decrease in average in 2009 and his high strikeout numbers, but you can't do much better at a premium position than a multitalented, athletic player with power like Granderson. And, from a makeup standpoint, this is a personality and a quality human being that you don't need to worry about and can simply insert into the lineup. This is a major victory for the Yankees. Aside from the players directly involved in this trade, this could also have far reaching effects on the Yankees' roster. What does the presence of Granderson mean for free agent Johnny Damon and current center fielder, Melky Cabrera? If they lose Damon and TIGERS page 58



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Stinkface Chronicles: Boom with a View By Rob Peterson (Fanhouse Main) Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:20:00 AM

Filed under: Clippers, Heat, Lakers, Rockets, NBA Videos They will never consider it, but it may be time to rechristen Staples Center the Stinkface Center. For some reason, the Anschutz Entertainment Group's pleasure palace in downtown Los Angeles has been the place to see and be seen when it comes to unleashing the stankiest, funkiest and most malodorous dunks of this, the nascent 2009-10 NBA season. This is the seventh entry of the Stinkface Chronicles and dunks at the Staples Center have been featured in half of our previous chapters. What will we give in you in Stinkface VII? You receive a double-dose of Staples stink, though -- apologies Clippers and Lakers fans -- no member of the two local fives uncapped any of the funk. Trevor Ariza on Chris Kaman Last week, Trevor Ariza made his second appearance at Staples as a Rocket, a mere six months after winning a title with the Lakers. In his first game back, new Laker Ron Artest threw Ariza's shoe to Dyan Cannon. In his second game back to Staples as a Rocket, Ariza took it out on Kaman. Watch. As the video is titled: Trevor Ariza dunks on Chris Kaman's children's children. No wonder

Ariza made it look so easy, dunking on kids like that. And Kaman may be losing his hair, but he doesn't look old enough to be a grandfather. Regardless, Ariza isn't an ageist. He brought the tomahawk down hard on Kaman's head. It sounded like the following video at the 3:10 mark. That's Kaman and his buddies lighting a fuse and exploding unused mortars on Kaman's thinning front lawn. You can see a parallel in Ariza blowing up on Kaman's receding hairline. First, we have the anticipation: the lighting of the fuse. It begins at eight seconds into the video as Ariza gets the ball at three-point line on the left wing and he's alone. I mean alone as in the other nine players are on the opposite half of the court. The fuse is lit. Clipper center Marcus Camby tries to blow it out, but Ariza lets him blow by instead. Ariza has no intention of shooting the three. The lane has turned into a runway and he's ready to soar. One teammate knows it, too. Please look at the posture of the fifth Rocket down the bench. Talk about chillaxin'. Yet, as soon as Camby sails past Ariza and into the scorer's table, that fifth Rocket slides forward in his seat in anticipation. He just doesn't want to see the explosion; he wants to feel the heat as well. Baron Davis then tries to snuff the spark, but he too goes flying by. As Ariza takes off outside the

can't miss them. They're practically the only ones in that section. There's a gentleman in a blue shirt and a guy in a white Lakers No. 24 jersey. I would like to thank them for their sartorial choices because it made them easy to identify. They act as if they've been caught in the Ariza dunk blast and lean way back in their seats. You can't see their stinkfaces, but you know they're making them because -- coupled with the pained "Ohhhhhhh!" the crowd restricted area, his teammate rises lets out -- they both cover their out of his seat. When Ariza face. A close up of those two reaches his apex and Kaman would have made for good comes into view, the fifth Rocket comedy. The gent in the Lakers -- a clairvoyant -- leaves his seat jersey goes so far as to do it with and pivots toward the rest of the both hands and then doubles over as if he's in pain. Maybe he bench. He's ready to react. Here it realized he's a Lakers fan at a Clippers game and that the comes: BOOM! Of course, the fifth Rocket's Clippers' starting center just got response is like that of a kid on treated like the Lakers' backup Christmas morning who gets center. Maybe he likes Kaman w h a t h e a s k e d f o r : p u r e and feels tender toward him as exultation. That PlayStation3 is would a mother to a child who gonna play real nice on daddy's just got posterized. Maybe he exploded in laughter because new HDTV. For the players on the floor, their that's just how silly the dunk was. reaction is far more measured. Again, it's all speculation. But They turn and run down the there is one thing we know: Ariza floor. They have a game to play. on Kaman blew up real good. Jermaine O'Neal on Lamar For the fans, the explosion Odom's Back rippled through the seats like a shock wave. At 10 seconds into Not every Stinkface needs to the video, watch the group of come during the dunk. To wit: people in the third row behind Jermaine O'Neal and Lamar the hockey boards behind the Odom, the best shoving match Rockets bench. Don't worry, you between NBA players with last names beginning with O since

the great Don Osten-Wally Osterkorn dustup in the early '50s. (Maybe there was a Greg Ostertag-Charles Oakley tussle I missed.) Anyway, O'Neal gets a nice feed from Dwyane Wade, Odom tries to help on defense, but lags behind the play as O'Neal slams it home. But O'Neal has a difficult time returning to the Staples Center floor because Odom's standing under the hoop. As is his right, by NBA rule, O'Neal hangs on the rim without receiving a tech, but as he lets go of the rim, he lands on Odom's Kardashian karrier. Odom takes exception, of course, because that spot is for toting his lady on romantic moonlit walks on the beach in Malibu. O'Neal mentions he didn't see a "reserved" sign on Odom's back. Odom says it's a given. NBA pushes are exchanged as are technical fouls and Odom gets the rest of the night off because that was tech No. 2. Alas, O'Neal thinks not one bit of this is funny as his stinkface is profound. His teammate, Quentin Richardson, however finds the whole incident hilarious. After the fact, it's hard not to agree with Q. Later this week: Deron Williams and Andre Iguodala Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


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Tiger Created the Circus, Not the Media By David Whitley (Fanhouse Main) Submitted at 12/8/2009 12:35:00 PM

OCOEE, Fla. -- There were 13 TV satellite trucks in front of Health Central Hospital, at least twice that many support vehicles and enough talking heads to start three networks. The media circus returned Tuesday, and a lot of people were probably disgusted by all those tabloid jackals waiting to chew on the latest bit of Tiger meat. Please. To paraphrase one of Jack Nicholson's signature lines, the media were on that lawn because you wanted them there. You needed them there. You just don't want to admit it. It's more self-flattering to pretend you're above wallowing in the story or that it's not a story to begin with. "It's not anybody's business, man. It's his and his wife's and his children's business, and the problem I have with it is all the people who are trying to take this guy down because he made a mistake like everybody else does in the world a million times." Fellow golfer Rocco Mediate said that last week on a Chicago radio show, or about seven mistresses ago. Nobody's trying to take Woods down; he's doing far too good a job of that on his own. All the media are doing is their job. Let us recap:

The world's most famous athlete crashes SUV at 2:30 AM under incredibly suspicious circumstances. He's rushed to hospital in "serious" condition. He stiff-arms police investigators. Turns out his scrupulously constructed image as a brilliant decision maker (see: Accenture ads) is largely a mirage. Yep, nothing to see here. Please move along. Woods has given people the perfect gift to take to that Christmas party they were dreading. Just mention his name and you'll have a conversation that will kill the entire evening. I'm currently sitting in a sandwich shop about three miles from his house. Three businessmen at the next table are discussing Woods' prenuptial agreement. At the nearby YMCA earlier, a couple of guys complaining about all those TV trucks clogging the road in front of Woods' enclave at Isleworth. They stopped and stared at the overhead TV when the latest Tiger report came on. We love gossip, only now there's a cornucopia of papers, websites and TV channels giving it to us. The things is, this isn't mere gossip No need to explain, fellas. Humanity has always had the Gladys Kravitz gene. We love gossip, only now there's a cornucopia of papers, Web sites

not just on the salacious aspects of this story. Levin disputed my premise that TMZ is tabloid at all, pointing out that it has been cited thousands of times in the past four years by old-guard stalwarts like the New York Times. You know, the media outlets that pretend to be above chasing down mistress stories. Or they complain how the 24-7 news environment has warped and TV channels giving it to us. journalism. Or they ignore The things is, this isn't mere stories, like ex-presidential candidates cheating on their gossip. "It's a legitimate news story," c a n c e r - s t r i c k e n w i v e s a n d said Harvey Levin, managing possibly using campaign funds to editor at TMZ is do it. As with John Edwards, the a joint venture of Telepictures Productions and AOL. AOL National Enquirer wrote the first story on Woods flying Rachel owns FanHouse). We'll pause now to let the Uchitel to a tryst in Australia. It traditional media finish choking. was largely ignored by the Levin is sort of the Walter mainstream media until Woods Cronkite of the new media, and ran his SUV into that fire his name supposedly should hydrant. Then it was impossible never be in the same sentence as to ignore what drove him to such the phrase "legitimate news crazy driving. MORE ON TIGER story." I'm not all that keen on TMZ's v i d e o p a p a r a z z i s t a l k i n g • o. Moore: Tiger All Alone celebrities hoping to get a • o. Olson: McNair Casts Pall reaction. And I'd rather watch a • o. What's the Future of Tiger John Daly porn film than endure Inc.? two seconds of a fully-clothed • o. Mother-in-Law Released Nancy Grace. But they are not From Hospital • o. Latest Tiger Woods Stories the problem here. If anything, TMZ has been the solution. It has kicked the butts Has there been excess? You bet. of traditional news outlets, and I didn't necessarily need to read Mistress No. 7 (or was it No. 8?)

discuss Tiger's passion-making in the News of the World: "Sometimes I looked like a rag doll after we'd make love," she said. "He really did like it quite rough." Okay, maybe part of me enjoyed reading that. I blame Gladys Kravitz. Does the mere fact people are interested justify such stories? No, but I'd feel a lot worse about the invasion if Woods hadn't been so demanding that people respect his privacy. Turns out he had a good reason, or a bad reason. Now what started as a car accident has exploded into the hottest story of the year. The media didn't make it that. Tiger did, first by apparently chasing women like they were wearing only green jackets, then by having the worst crisismanagement team since Pee-wee Herman. That's how his mother-in-law's stomach pains became an international incident Tuesday. Was she sick from food poisoning or the latest news from the Mistress Front? Whatever the answer was, when the talking heads came on TV from outside the hospital, nobody switched the channel. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


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Sources: Trade sending Curtis Granderson to New York Yankees nearing completion By news services ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:14:05 AM

Yankees On Verge Of Landing Granderson Yankees On Verge Of Landing Granderson The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers are on the verge of the first major trade of baseball's winter meetings, a deal that would send Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson to New York, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney. In the trade, the Diamondbacks would obtain Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, while the Tigers will pick up Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson. Granderson Scherzer The speedy Granderson would displace Melky Cabrera as center fielder on the Yankees. Cabrera, a 25-year-old switch-hitter, batted .274 last season with 13 homers, 68 RBIs and 10 steals. He could shift to left, depending on whether New York re-signs Johnny Damon or designated hitter Hideki Matsui. Damon said Granderson's arrival doesn't necessarily signal the end of his days in the Bronx. "I don't think it affects what I can still do. Either they come out and pursue me or they don't," Damon told the New York Post. "I still

know how to play baseball and will make any team better." In return, the Tigers would get a hard thrower in Scherzer and a well-regarded prospect in Austin Jackson, while the Diamondbacks get a pair of starting pitchers in Edwin Jackson and Kennedy. "There's a lot of noise out there. Clearly I can't speak to the noise," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. Granderson, a left-handed batter, was a first-time All-Star last season, when he had 30 homers, 71 RBIs and 20 steals. His batting average has dropped from .302 in 2007 to .280 in 2008 to .249 last year. More from The New York Yankees paid a steep price to add Curtis Granderson, and the first -- and only -- big move of these winter meetings so far comes with risk, writes Jayson Stark. Story â&#x20AC;˘ Law: Grand deal for Tigers Granderson could shift to left, depending on whether New York re-signs Johnny Damon or designated hitter Hideki Matsui. Cashman spoke last weekend with Damon's agent, Scott Boras, and met Tuesday with Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem. Cashman also met twice with Randy Hendricks, an agent for left-hander Andy Pettitte. "You always want to get younger, especially when you

have an older team," Cashman said before adding: "Just because somebody is younger doesn't mean they're actually better." Detroit, which failed to make the playoffs following a late-season slide, may be looking to cut payroll after a big attendance drop this year at Comerica Park. Granderson is owed $5.5 million next year, $8.25 million in 2011 and $10 million in 2012, and his contract includes a $13 million club option for 2013 with a $2 million buyout. Kennedy, who turns 25 on Dec. 19, impressed when he came up from the minors at the end of the 2007 season, going 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts. But he struggled with injuries in each of the last two seasons. He strained a muscle near his right rib cage and had bursitis in his right shoulder blade in 2008, when he was 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA in nine starts and one relief appearance. He pitched in just one big league game this year, when he was sidelined by surgery May 12 to remove an aneurysm from beneath his right biceps. "We just went through a very rough season, and so for us to turn down any way to make our team better would be irresponsible," Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. Coke was 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 72 relief appearances. While he pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings

TIGERS continued from page 55

put Cabrera in left, the upgrade to the roster is not as noticeable as it is essentially Granderson in the AL playoffs, he gave up r e p l a c i n g D a m o n . two runs over 1 1/3 innings in the Odds are that they will continue to work hard to retain Damon World Series. A u s t i n J a c k s o n , 2 2 , i s and look to move Cabrera. considered one of the Yankees' Frankie Piliere spent the last top prospects. He hit .300 last three seasons working as a scout, season at T r i p l e - A most recently in the professional Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with 23 scouting department for the doubles, four homers, 65 RBIs Texas Rangers in 2009. He now serves as the National Baseball and 24 steals. Scherzer, the 11th overall pick in Analyst here at FanHouse. the 2006 amateur draft, is a 25- Permalink| Email this| Linking year-old righty who went 9-11 Blogs| Comments with a 4.12 ERA in 30 starts for Arizona last season, striking out 174 in 170 1/3 innings. Schlereth, a 23-year-old lefty, was the 26th pick in the 2008 amateur draft. He made his major league debut this year and went 1 -4 with a 5.89 ERA in 21 relief appearances with 22 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. He is the son of (MediaPost | Media News) former NFL offensive lineman Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:04:45 AM and current ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth. Leo Wolinsky has been named Edwin Jackson was 13-9 with a e d i t o r o f D a i l y V a r i e t y . 3.62 ERA this year and is eligible Beginning in January, Wolinsky, for salary arbitration after making a longtime Los Angeles Times $2.3 million, including $100,000 staffer will handle all editorial in performance bonuses. He can content for both the Los Angeles become a free agent after the and Gotham print editions, 2011 season. reports The Wrap. He will report I n f o r m a t i o n f r o m T h e to Variety Group editor Timothy Associated Press was used in this M. Gray. Wolinsky had been report. with the LAT from 1977-2008, This content has passed through holding various editor posts. He left as associate editor of features and entertainment. This content has passed through

MediaDailyNews: Wolinsky To Editor, 'Daily Variety

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The View From Upper Lockjaw: All Is Splendid With Golf ( The Daily Fix)

Bravo, Mr. Woods! Muffin pointed out (since I have little eye for such things) that W a l l S t r e e t J o u r n a l g o l f many of the magazines featuring columnist John Paul Newport Mr. Woods were lighter fare received this dispatch Sunday publications that normally focus f r o m h i s f r i e n d , T h u r s t o n on pop figures from the motion Thurber IV. Mr. Thurber files p i c t u r e a n d e n t e r t a i n m e n t sporadically from his customary industries. I think its fine for corner table in the mens grill average people to know more room at the High Hedges Golf about our great game and its Club in Upper Lockjaw, Conn. estimable new personalities. I Associated Press say: Hooray for pop culture! Its been gratifying this week to Indeed, my son-in-law informed see so many people taking an m e , t h r o u g h a n e l e c t r o n i c interest in golf! At the airport message, that of all the searches yesterday, returning from our on the Google this past week, six splendid little scamp down of the top 10 were golf-related! Bermuda way, I noticed that one Some of these searches were for of our games bright young g o l f n a m e s I d i d n t e v e n talents, Mr. Tiger Woods, was recognize, mostly women. And gracing the cover of numerous this in a week when, to the best magazines. Thats marvelous, of my knowledge, neither the although I do wish the magazines PGA Tour nor the Ladies league h a d c h o s e n m o r e u p b e a t were staging a tournament. Its a photographs to use. Why the very exciting time, indeed, to be long face, Tiger? This young involved with golf. gentleman has the world by its But alas, theres a snake in the tail (please pardon the pun!) and ointment. When we arrived home he ought to be portrayed that and the staff had settled us in, I way. This year Mr. Woods won tuned into my cable news source six tournaments on the PGA to check on my investments, and Tour. Thats top-drawer shooting what did I see but a gnomish no matter what your ethnicity is. little man in funny round glasses Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:06:03 AM

talking about yes, you have divined correctly Mr. Tiger Woods again! But in the part I caught, he wasnt saying nice very nice things. Rather pugnaciously, he advanced the view that the golf media had not been tough enough on Mr. Woods and had given him a free ride. As if the golf media ought to be charging tour professionals for all the nice things they say. Heaven forefend! We have a free press in this country, I wanted to tell that little man, in case you forgot what you were taught back at prep school (if you even attended!). And that means the media are free to lavish all the praise they want on Mr. Woods and on anyone else we who love and protect the game deem worthy to carry our standards beyond the clubhouse gates! If the medias coverage is so lame, as he so insultingly opined

on the public airwaves, why are so many pop magazines suddenly taking an interest in the Ancient Game? Certainly not because of impudent contumely such as that mouthed by this nattering nabob of negativity! Much of the coverage of Mr. Woods this week seems to be what I believe is called human interest, rather than strictly about golf. That rather misses the point, methinks, since clearly the thing that interests most people about Mr. Woods is his ability to score. But I dont run magazines, so thats their mistake to make. In any event, although I havent had a chance yet to dive into the details of these stories, nor much inclination, it seems that Mr. Woods was involved in some kind of minor traffic mishap last week and the world has beaten a sympathetic path to his doorstep. Many of the headlines express a tender concern for his wife, Elin. Poor Elin was one that I saw. Another was Driven to Distraction, and the accompanying story included a heartwarming illustration of the obviously distraught Mrs. Woods chasing after her husbands car.

Apparently she was confused in that moment of crisis, because she was brandishing a golf club. I wish that cynical TV commentator had seen those stories. That kind of compassionate coverage is never expended on public figures whom the world does not deeply respect and admire. And Ive seen a preponderance of additional headlines that also focus on the feminine angle. This is further sign of golfs expanding appeal, but also, I will admit, a bit surprising. Mr. Woodss oncourse demeanor, frankly, is sometimes a bit dour. Stiil, judging by the photographs beneath these headlines, the fair ladies of our landmany of them quite fetching, I might add, in a wanton sort of wayapparently still hold Mr. Woods in high esteem. More power to them! So thats my view from clubhouse this time. All is dandy in the world of golf, and the future has never been brighter.

Graffiti Artist Pochoir Customizes Adidas Shelltoes By (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:40:00 AM

Adidas has some very cool collaborations going on, and the most recent is the "City Artist"

concept. They took five cuttingwho is a die-hard Shelltoe fan. edge artists from five of the Pochoir helped to launch the hottest cities around the globe edgy kicks here in Londontown (New York, London, Tokyo, and even spray-painted a chair Milan, and Paris) and had them for the Adidas store. Am c u s t o m i z e t h e c l a s s i c London graffiti artist Pochoir, personally loving this video Shelltoe. Among them was the where you get to see some

Pochoir graffiti in action. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Rebecca Suhrawardi Austin Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan!


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U.S. House of Representatives readies for hearing on football playoff bill By Lester Munson ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:43:14 AM

Federal legislation that could lead to a college football playoff tournament will move a step closer to reality on Wednesday in a hearing before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will consider a bill that would allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit any bowl game from calling itself a "national championship" unless the game is "the final game of a single elimination post-season playoff system." The subcommittee is expected to vote on the proposal on Wednesday after a line-byline consideration of the bill. "With everything going on in the country, I can't believe that Congress is wasting time and spending taxpayers' money on football," Bill Hancock, the BCS

executive director, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "We feel strongly that managing of college sports is best left to the people in higher education." Written and sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the bill is a direct attack on the BCS and, if enacted, would bring the long simmering controversy over the BCS to an end. In a legislative process that is long and can be tortuous, the hearing is a significant step. This is the furthest any bill on the BCS controversy has ever progressed on Capitol Hill. At a hearing on the BCS issue in May, Barton demanded a playoff and warned BCS officials that if "they sit on their hands and yawn, this legislation could end up on the President's desk for his signature." This week's development, according to a spokesman for the committee, is Barton's response to the BCS's refusal to consider a playoff. Wednesday's hearing is known

as a "markup," a procedure that allows any committee member to propose amendments to the bill, followed by committee action on the amendments. The procedure is frequently used to iron out technical problems in the bill's language and to provide a forum for compromises among committee members on substantive issues. Barton's bill is supported by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), the chairman of the subcommittee. If the subcommittee approves the bill, it will move to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where Barton enjoys some leverage as the ranking Republican. The next steps would be a vote on the floor of the House, passage by the Senate, and approval by President Barack Obama. Obama has said in numerous interviews on ESPN and on "60 Minutes" that he supports a playoff system. The bill would give the FTC the authority to regulate the college football postseason with the

power to obtain injunctions and to assess huge fines against any organization that promotes a "national championship game." If enacted into law, the rule would become effective for the 2011 college football season and would affect bowl games played late in 2011 and in January of 2012. "We're pleased that Congressman Barton's bill is moving forward because it will require the BCS to choose -- either make college football's championship a competitively earned honor or admit that it's currently the equivalent of being elected homecoming king," said Matthew Sanderson, a founder of Playoff PAC, a political action committee aimed at electing members of Congress who favor a playoff system. Lester Munson is a senior writer for Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. This content has passed through

Fla. Woman Accused of Attacking Boyfriend With Raw Meat ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 4:42:56 AM

DUNNELLON, Fla. A 53-year -old Dunnellon woman has been arrested after alledgedly hitting a man in the head with a raw steak. According to a Marion County Sheriff's Office report, the man told deputies that Elsie Egan repeatedly hit him with the uncooked meat and slapped his face after he refused a piece of sliced bread. The man said he wanted a bread roll. Egan denied hitting the man with the steak but did admit to slapping him, saying she did it "so that he could learn." The man told deputies that Egan was his live-in girlfriend. He declined medical assistance. Egan is charged with abuse of a disabled adult. According to online records, she has been released on $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in January. It's unclear if she has an attorney. This content has passed through

Voltron game forms the head on iPhone, mobiles By Justin McElroy (Joystiq)

that it's not only an iPhone game, but an iPhone game(iTunes link) that's being ported to other What a tease: First we read on phones. That's fine, but befitting IGN that one of the the great of Voltron? We say no. untapped licenses, Voltron, Seriously, Sony, has no one would finally be made into a explained Voltron to you well needs to be a real game? OK, let video game. But then we learn enough to convince you that it Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:00:00 AM

us take a swing. It's a robot made of lions made of robot. When the aliens exterminate us for being a failed species and we ask them what proof they have, exhibit one's going to be the fact that Voltron isn't a game and Dante's Inferno is.

Voltron game forms the head on iPhone, mobiles originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 02:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

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WOODS continued from page 54

values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family ... I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology." And the incredibly dumb, illtimed things: "Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives ... No matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize

there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions." For 99 percent of the people alive, his commentary is dead on. For Tiger Woods, who has made his fortune off the public, it's dead wrong. When a celebrity is willing to extend his profile and make hundreds of millions of dollars in selling it, he must accept and deal with the consequences when he screws up. How will Woods handle the crisis from this point on? A good start would be having a news conference as soon as possible, certainly before Christmas, when the world is more apt to be cheerful and more forgiving. Don't do something contrived such as picking a

favorable interviewer -- such as Oprah Winfrey, who already has issued personal advice to Woods -- and taking softball questions. No, stand behind a table, invite every journalist who wants to be there and take questions for hours, days and weeks if necessary. Answer all of the questions truthfully. Express sorrow. Let us see his eyes, his facial expressions, his remorse. Only then will he -- and we -have a chance of finding middle ground. If he waits until his traditional first tournament, at Torrey Pines in late January, more animosity will have developed and he'll have more trouble trying to break free and focus on the Masters. In retrospect, it was a mistake for Woods to blow off the police in the days following his postThanksgiving accident. That only led to an avalanche effect -- what is he hiding? -- that led seemingly the entire world to start snooping around his

business. In an amazing blur, lie after lie and woman after woman emerged, turning a regal sportsman into an American scumbag. He can retreat further into his cave, or he can come out and see the people who have admired him and bought his products and want to hear real answers. The sand in this bunker has buried his mind, body and soul. He needs the golf shot of his life, not only for his legacy but for the future of his kids. It's time for Eldrick Woods, son of Earl, to be a good father and a better human being. We can't move on from the madness until he does. Follow Us on Twitter Friend Us on Facebook Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


Around the Net In Media: Vinyl Records Make Comeback (MediaPost | Media News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:13:51 AM

Vinyl albums, mostly replaced by CDs in the mid-1980s, have rebounded in recent years as enthusiasts warm to the sounds of a record. Ass sales have rebounded, music makers ranging from big acts like Jack White and the Flaming Lips to local bands in major cities have been cranking out vinyl and treating fans to old-style liner notes or posters. The current resurgence picked up in 2007. Last year, 1.9 million vinyl records were sold. Industry tracker Nielsen SoundScan projects that 2.8 million units will be purchased in 2009. Bands from Radiohead and the Beatles to Bob Dylan and Metallica have been shipping albums on vinyl. This content has passed through

Done Deal: Charlie Strong Is Louisville's New Coach By Brett McMurphy (Fanhouse Main)

FanHouse has learned. Strong and Louisville officials finalized terms this morning in Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:59:00 AM Gainesville, Fla., said a source Filed under: Florida, Louisville, with knowledge of Strong's Big East, Coaching Florida decision. associate head coach and As required by state law, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong's hiring must be approved Strong finalized his agreement to b y t h e s c h o o l ' s P e r s o n n e l become Louisville's next head Committee of the Athletic coach and will be introduced at a Association Board of Directors simply a formality. 4 PM ET news conference today, today at 3:30 PM, which is Strong, 49, has been given the

option of coaching with the Gators for the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl, but it's unknown if Strong will coach in the game. Strong will become only the third African-American head coach among the 66 Bowl Championship Series member schools and only the 11th minority head coach among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Strong is a three-time finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, honoring the nation's top assistant. Strong has been a finalist the past two seasons and also in 2000, when he was defensive coordinator at South Carolina. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


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Chone Figgins, Ichiro Will Be 'Special' Atop Mariners' Batting Order

Around the Net In Media: CBS Cancels Long-Running Soap 'As The World Turns'

By Matt Snyder (Fanhouse Main)

(MediaPost | Media News)

looking for power, but Figgins will team with Ichiro to create one of the best table-setting duos Submitted at 12/8/2009 1:31:00 PM atop the order in baseball. Filed under: Mariners, AL West, Figgins, who had a .395 on-base M L B H o t S t o v e percentage last year with 42 INDIANAPOLIS - Tuesday stolen bases and 101 walks afternoon, Seattle Mariners figures to slot behind Ichiro in general manager Jack Zduriencik the everyday lineup and will give mockingly announced that he a huge boost to the offense. was revealing the "best kept "When you look at what he's secret of the Winter Meetings," going to bring to our club, with when he informed the press that Ichiro Suzuki batting at the top of they had inked Chone Figgins to the order, I think that's pretty a four-year deal with a fifth-year s p e c i a l i n a n d o f i t s e l f , " option. If the Mariners can add Zduriencik said after making the any kind of punch to their batting deal official. order between now and Spring Now, the Mariners will shift Training, there won't be much their focus to a different part of laughter from opposing pitchers. the offense and it's pretty obvious Ichrio Suzuki sported a .386 on- to anyone what the focus will be. base percentage in 2009, but his "Getting somebody with power," rate of runs scored and stolen Z d u r i e n c i k s a i d f i r m l y . bases fell, likely due to the lack "Certainly we would like to have of consistency and power behind somebody with power." him in the lineup. The Mariners They do have Jose Lopez(25 f i n i s h e d d e a d l a s t i n t h e home runs in '09), Franklin American League in runs scored Gutierrez(18) and Ken Griffey last season. They didn't get on (19) who can provide some base well and lacked power. punch, but none of those guys (in They were just collectively Griffey's case it would be not anemic. The Mariners are still anymore) is a big-time power

every effort to keep him there, but it's still got to be nice for Seattle to know they have options with him. Regardless, throwing a big bat into the mix would make Seattle a major player in the American League next year. They already have great defense and solid pitching. Figgins and Ichiro atop the order would give opposing teams serious headaches. If they add, say, Jason Bay-- who some threat who can hit cleanup on a say the Mariners are after and some don't -- to the mix, guys playoff team. Bringing back Russell Branyan, l i k e B r a n y a n , L o p e z a n d who led the team with 31 home Gutierrez would become an runs last season, would be a start, excellent supporting cast of but he's battling back from a hitters to what would essentially herniated disk and had a career be a "Big Three" in the lineup. After shedding a significant year at age 33. The versatility of Figgins makes amount of payroll this offseason, things easier as the M's seek the Mariners have plenty of another bat, because he can slot money to spend. They are very in at third base or in the outfield - serious about contending in 2010 - meaning the Mariners can (and beyond) and the Figgins pursue a left-fielder or a third signing is not the end of their baseman with power and shift activity. Figgins accordingly. Zduriencik Permalink| Email this| Linking stated that Figgins prefers to stay Blogs| Comments in the infield and they'll make

Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:14:00 AM

Soaps are having a tough time in this economic climate. First, CBS ended the extraordinary run of "Guiding Light," now a second soap, "As The World Turns," which has been on air since 1956, will bite the dust. Both shows were produced by a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble. The term "soap operas" was created because the shows sold Ivory soap and Duz detergent. But as women join the work force, the audience for daytime serial has faded, replaced with competition from news, talk, reality and game shows, cheaper formats to a soap's cast and crew. That leaves CBS with only two daytime dramas: "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and Beautiful." This content has passed through

Around the Net In Media: WB To Expand TMZ (MediaPost | Media News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:17:51 AM

Out front on the death of Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods' crash, TMZ is being

expanded by Warner Bros. The tabloid news site and TV show has become the bane of every celebrity's life for its scathing -and usually accurate. TMZ, which was the brainchild

of lawyer turned muckraker Harvey Levin, has been run as a partnership between Warner Bros.' Telepictures unit and America Online since December 2005. Now, TMZ will become

100% owned and operated by Warner Bros. AOL will continue to feature TMZ on its home page to drive traffic to the site for the next year, but Warner Bros. is also going to start establishing

relationships with other portals in an effort to broaden its reach. This content has passed through

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The Count: Heisman Pollsters See Close Race Ahead ( The Daily Fix) Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:27:08 PM

Last year, the Heisman Trophy came down to a tight three-way race. This year is shaping up to be even closer — with four legitimate candidates in the mix. Reuters Mark Ingram might outrun his Heisman competition by a nose. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford beat Colt McCoy by 1,726 points to 1,604 in voting among sportswriters and past winners of the award. A third quarterback Tim Tebow received the most first-place votes, and finished a close third. Bradford missed much of this year to injury, and McCoy and Tebow are among the five finalists but aren’t likely to win. Three polls of Heisman voters show that three non-quarterbacks are the leading contenders, with McCoy also in the mix but likely to finish fourth. The three leaders this year are Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Alabama running back Mark Ingram and Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Chris Huston of the Heisman Pundit, a blog which analyzes the race and surveys 13 Heisman voters, has Ingram in the lead with 46 points, Gerhart second with 43 and McCoy and Suh tied

at 36. The Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll of 10 voters hasn’t yet released its final numbers, but John Lindsay, sports editor of the Scripps Howard News Service, says that with one vote waiting to come in, “It’s Ingram by a point over Gerhart with Suh a point behind.” And Kari Chisholm, who runs Stiff Arm Trophy, has Ingram (projected 1,151 points) a nose ahead of Gerhart(1,104), who’s just ahead of Suh (1,034) and McCoy (869), according to the 164 ballots he’s amassed so far. (For more on the various Heisman pollsters’ methods, see this post about last year’s race.) Last year, Chisholm and Huston correctly picked Bradford, while Lindsay had McCoy winning. “I think it’ll be one of the closest races in quite a while and not just among the top two, but the top three or four,” Huston said in an email. Lindsay added, “This race should be closer than last year in that the vote will be so split.” “I expect it to be very close this year,” Chisholm said. “It may not

have the novelty of the Tebow ‘08 scenario (most #1s, third place) but it’ll be close. I also expect substantial regional disagreement, which is to be expected in a close year.” Huston and Lindsay survey throughout the season, while Chisholm is interested only in the season-ending forecast. Huston explained that he surveys just 13 people because “it’s hard to get a huge amount of people to do a season-long survey, as people are busy and it’d not be easy to coordinate. Plus, I think there should be an element of sanctity to the Heisman race and creating too big of a sample would harm the drama of it all.” Still, he added, “Kari does a great job.” Lindsay offered a rather different reason for his poll’s sample size: He has “not enough time to do more. This poll used to be run by the late, great Rocky Mountain News I picked up the remnants of the voters and managed to keep it going this year under the Scripps Howard News Service flag.” He added, “I do know that my voters are an excellent cross-section of college -football experts who have all been voting for the Heisman for at least 10 years. That’s all I really worry about.”

Ubisoft gets into the Wii sports racket with Racquet Sports By JC Fletcher (Joystiq)

"wacky rules." There's no word on how the camera peripheral will interact with the game, U b i s o f t ' s n e w W i i s p o r t s though our money's on "your collection, Racquet Sports, is on face as an avatar" more than the way to help you use some of camera-based controls. Racquet the Wii peripherals you bought! Sports will be in stores by March Ubisoft is cleverly aiming not 2010, though you may not see it just at the Wii Sports Resort behind the ten thousand other audience, thanks to MotionPlus games also being released that compatibility, but also the people month. who bought Your Shape and Gallery: Racquet Sports (Wii) would feel weird about having a Ubisoft gets into the Wii sports camera that works with just one racket with Racquet Sports game. originally appeared on Joystiq on Racquet Sports includes tennis, Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:30:00 ping-pong, badminton, squash, EST. Please see our terms for and beach tennis (which totally use of feeds. counts as a separate sport). It Read| Permalink| Email this| features various single-player and Comments multiplayer modes, including a Party Mode with randomized, Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:30:00 AM


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Report: NCAA investigating Tennessee Volunteers recruiting practices, use of 'hostesses' By news services (

"Typically, we do not comment on inquires that are in progress," he said, according to the Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:57:12 AM newspaper. T h e N C A A i s p r o b i n g Tennessee has committed at Tennessee's football recruiting least six secondary NCAA practices, according to several v i o l a t i o n s - - u n i n t e n d e d prep prospects, their family violations of rules not deemed to m e m b e r s a n d h i g h s c h o o l have given the school an unfair administrators, The New York c o m p e t i t i v e o r r e c r u i t i n g Times reported Wednesday. advantage -- since Lane Kiffin SEC blog took over as coach.'s Chris Low writes The NCAA appears to be about all things SEC in his strongly interested in Tennessee's conference blog. use of hostesses -- students who â&#x20AC;˘ Blog network: are part of a university group that College Football Nation hosts prospective students on Much of the investigation is campus visits, including athletes. centered on the use of recruiting It was not clear whether the "hostesses" who have helped the university sent the hostesses to program convince prep prospects visit the football players, the t o c h o o s e T e n n e s s e e b y newspaper reported. befriending prep prospects and In one case, hostesses traveled attending their high school nearly 200 miles to attend a games, according to the report. football game at James F. Byrnes B e c a u s e t h e h o s t e s s e s a r e High School in Duncan, S.C., considered an extension of the one of the nation's best high university, it could be considered school football programs, where a violation of NCAA rules if they at least three potential Tennessee h e l p e d r e c r u i t p r o s p e c t i v e recruits were playing, according athletes off campus. to the report. Tennessee Athletic Director Marcus Lattimore, a running Mike Hamilton confirmed the back who had made an unofficial school was being investigated but visit to Tennessee but was not d e c l i n e d t o a d d r e s s t h e interested in attending the school, a l l e g a t i o n s i n t h e r e p o r t . said the hostesses brought signs,

including one that read, "Come to Tennessee," according to the report. Two of Lattimore's high school teammates, Brandon Willis and Corey Miller, have orally committed to Tennessee. Lattimore said the hostesses were "real pretty, real nice and just real cool" and thinks they had "a lot" of influence in his teammates making oral commitments, according to the report. "I haven't seen no other schools do that," Lattimore said, according to the report. "It's crazy." Gary Willis, Brandon Willis' father, said the NCAA had interviewed his son about the hostesses' visit to the game, according to The Times. Gary Willis said the girls met his son at Tennessee's football camp last summer and told him they would be attending one of his games. He also said the trip was not arranged by Tennessee coaches or staff. NCAA officials have visited with four prospects and are scheduled to visit two others this week, according to the report. This content has passed through

Analysts: Modern Warfare 2 composed over 22 percent of November game sales By Griffin McElroy (Joystiq)

percent of total November sales. Wilson added that this feat is Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:30:00 AM made especially impressive due In one day, the NPD Group will to his firm's prediction that "this release its game sales report for November's sales will match the the month of November, which month's highest historical total on should reveal the (near) exact record." In related news, news number of units Call of Duty: stories dealing with Modern Modern Warfare 2 has sold in the Warfare 2 composed 67.2 percent US thus far. In the meantime, of all news stories over the past Gamespot reported on two month. Oh, wait -- now it's 67.5 analysts who have predicted the percent! portion of November software Analysts: Modern Warfare 2 sales that were made up of composed over 22 percent of Warfare purchases. Industry November game sales originally analyst superstar Michael Pachter appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 09 says the game accounts for 23 Dec 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please percent of total game sales. see our terms for use of feeds. However, Pacific Crest analyst Read| Permalink| Email this| Evan Wilson has it pegged at 25 Comments


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Dead Rising 2 dev working on new action project By Justin McElroy (Joystiq)

Brutal Legend DLC 'Hammer of Infinite Fate' coming Dec. 17 By Justin McElroy (Joystiq)

The pack's apparently going to be a bit cheaper for PlayStation 3 users, who will pay $4.99 If you claim to love Tim compared to 480 MS points ($6) Schafer, the new Br端tal Legend on Xbox 360. That might be a DLC, " Hammer of Infinite misprint (we've asked EA for Fate," is your chance to prove it. confirmation), but we recall that When it arrives on Dec. 17, you'll PSN users did get the first DLC be able to pay the designer the free for two weeks. Teacher's ultimate tribute and carve his pets. giant, disembodied head into Brutal Legend DLC 'Hammer of Mount Rockmore. Sure, you're Infinite Fate' coming Dec. 17 still a stalker, but in a totally originally appeared on Joystiq on socially acceptable way. You'll Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:00:00 also get the Oculus of the Lost, a EST. Please see our terms for Deuce upgrade that shows every use of feeds. collectible on the map, as well as Read| Permalink| Email this| new outfits for Eddie and four Comments new multiplayer maps. Submitted at 12/9/2009 10:00:00 AM

The best of December 1-8, 2009

Submitted at 12/9/2009 11:00:00 AM

Before we've even laid hands on its death-by-giant-cellphone sim, Dead Rising 2, developer Blue By Mike Schramm (Joystiq) tweaks and tips for getting your Castle Games is thinking about add-ons ready. Find ten of our its next project. According to a Submitted at 12/9/2009 3:00:00 AM most popular posts of the past job listing spotted by VG247, Filed under: RPGs, Meta (about week after the break, and head potential applicants will be Joystiq), MMO It's patch day over to for the latest required to have their finger on the pulse of "open world and FPS again in the World of Warcraft, on the game's newest update. and that means there's a whole Continue reading The best of games like Prince of Persia, bunch of upgrades and updates December 1-8, 2009 Assassins Creed, Halo, and and brand new challenges, quests T h e b e s t o f W o W . c o m : everything in between." and things to do in the most December 1-8, 2009 originally Right, so look for Blue Castle's successful MMO ever made. appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 09 Dead Rising 2 follow-up, Royal Joystiq's sister site Dec 2009 03:00:00 EST. Please Wall-Running Secret Killer Space Marine, coming in the fall has all the patch 3.3 info you'd see our terms for use of feeds. ever need, from the new P e r m a l i n k | E m a i l t h i s | of 2011. Dead Rising 2 dev working on Dungeon Finder system to class C o m m e n t s new action project originally changes, to all of the various UI appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Michelle Trachtenberg for Poppy By (ELLE News Blog) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:58:30 AM

Michelle Trachtenberg lends her innate design sense and penchant for perfecting that tough-girlwith-a-sugary-sweet-side vibe to her first jewelry collection in collaboration with Coach Poppy. Slated to launch in Spring 2010, Michelle Trachtenberg for Poppy is refined-romantic with attitude, bringing a decidedly punky look to a lush mix of materials and inspirations. Pegged as having a uniquely “Marie Antoinette meets Blondie” quality, the capsule collection fuses Swarovski crystals in light amethyst, black diamond, and clear gemstone colors together

with ivory pearls and bold mismatched hardware. A heartshaped crest and antique key charms are the centerpieces of this ultra-femme and edgy collection; in essence, Poppy is the key to Michelle’s heart. The collection is preceded by a small preview assortment of bee

motif pieces for holiday, available now in Coach retail stores and on Michelle will be previewing her Spring 2010 collection with a series of in-store trunk shows where she’ll give out style tips and walk customers through both her Holiday Bee collection and samples of her upcoming Spring 2010 pieces. The collection will be available exclusively for preorder at the following locations: Coach Garden State Plaza, December 10, 6-8pm Coach Roosevelt Field, December 11, 6-8pm Coach Westchester, December 12, 2-4pm —Alexa Brazilian Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan!

Around the Net In Media: Comcast Won't Sell NBC (MediaPost | Media News)

Electric Co. Roberts says, however, that his company's goal is to improve the Comcast executives have no fourth-place network's ratings plans to sell NBC Universal's rather than abandon the broadcast broadcast TV business when they business, which as been hurt by take control of the company, the recession. Retrans fees for though Comcast CEO Brian cable networks have helped them Roberts admits NBC Universal's cushion some of the ad fallout. cable channels, such as CNBC This content has passed through and Bravo, were the driving force to buy a 51% stake from General Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:14:09 AM

Saint Martins: The Final Stretch to London Fashion Week By (ELLE News Blog)

After roaming the studios earlier today, the designers are up to their eyeballs perfecting their Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:15:24 AM toiles. Toiles are a rough draft of While the rest of the college is a garment; rather than doing quiet because Saint Martins has mock-ups in fabric, which is closed for term, the MA floor is pricey, the toile is the place from alive with activity. Tomorrow is where the garment can be taken the day when all the hard work to further perfection. When the the designers have invested into toile is perfect, it's then used as a the program will come to a blueprint to create the finished head: It is lineup day. The garment. womenswear designers will Everyone is very calm, working present their lineups for review s t e a d i l y t o f i n i s h t h e i r and will find out who makes the lineups. While they may still be LFW show, and who doesn't. students, only professionalism is

right from the runway to the store or on to someone's body. Case in point, David Koma's graduate collection. It dropped last February and so far has been worn by Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole. Who shall make the cut? We just have to wait and see! —Rebecca Suhrawardi Austin Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan! emphasized in the course. Every student is expected to produce work that is retail quality with the idea that the garments should go

Elton John's Highly Anticipated Closet Sale By (ELLE News Blog) Now this is a pop-up ELTON page 67shop that you can really sink your teeth

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ELTON continued from page 66

into: It's Elton John and his partner David Furnish's onceevery-five-years closet sale to benefit (you guessed it) the Elton John AIDS foundation. From December 12 to 19, the famous couple will be filling up the Flower Cellars in Covent Garden with loads of their personal wardrobe goodies. Nothing has been spared; there will be shoes, accessories, Elton's concert costumes, David's jeans, and presumably, top-notch designer wares as far as the eye can see.

And the prices shouldn't be too, too bad: They will start at £20 and go up to £2000, with most of the goods falling somewhere in the middle. But isn't it worth it to go just for the "wow" factor? —Rebecca Suhrawardi Austin Follow ELLE on Twitter. Become our Facebook fan!


Kennedy special election puts GOP in spotlight (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:58:28 AM

BOSTON – A state senator's victory in the Republican primary for the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat gives the Massachusetts GOP something it's sorely missed: a place in the political spotlight. Since Mitt Romney left the

Statehouse to pursue his 2008 presidential campaign, and his one-time running mate Kerry Healey failed to hold the governor's office after 16 years of GOP control, the Massachusetts Republican Party has further atrophied. Now its most immediate hope for revival in one of the nation's bluest Democratic states is state

Sen. Scott Brown, one of just five Republicans in the state Senate. He won Tuesday's Republican primary and will go head-to-head in the Jan. 19 special election with the winner of the four-way Democratic race, Attorney General Martha Coakley. KENNEDY page 70

Surfers Take On Monster 30-Foot Waves in Hawaii (

eighth time the conditions have been right since the event was founded in 1984. HONOLULU A one-day Many of the 28 competitors surfing contest that takes place w e r e p r o f e s s i o n a l s u r f e r s , only in extreme conditions was including Kelly Slater, Bruce held for the first time in five Irons and Sunny Garcia. All were years Tuesday, thanks to the experienced big-wave riders. massive waves pounding Oahu's Entrants were selected by a poll famed North Shore. of surfers. Thousands gathered at Waimea "We want guys who can't wait to beach to watch the world's top pull themselves over the ledge surfers rocket down waves 30 and drop into a 25-foot wave," feet high. Some arrived at 4 a.m. said Bob McKnight, president of for a good spot, while others Quiksilver, the event's sponsor. camped out all night. He was at a meeting in 1984 that Popularly known as "The led to the founding of the event. Eddie," the competition is held The contest is held in honor of only when waves top 20 feet in E d d i e A i k a u , a l e g e n d a r y Waimea Bay. This is only the Hawaiian surfer, Waimea Bay Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:20:50 AM

lifeguard and waterman. Aikau died in 1978 at the age of 31 when the traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe he was on capsized en route from Hawaii to Tahiti. Aikau paddled on his surfboard toward Hawaii's Lanai island, 19 miles away, to get help, but never returned. The rest of the crew was rescued soon after. Clyde Aikau, Eddie's brother and 1987 winner of "The Eddie," is competing at age 60. He said his family was humbled by the contest. "It's always cool to surf for Eddie," Clyde Aikau said in a television interview Tuesday after riding a wave.

"Hawaiians call it chicken-skin to have so much support for Eddie over all these years," he said, using the local slang for goose bumps. "It's a tremendous feeling." The winner, Greg Long of San Clemente, Calif., took home $55,000, while the total purse was $98,000. Long, 24, edged ahead of his childhood idol Slater with a score of 323. Slater, 37, placed second with 313. "I'm humbled to be even in this event," said Long, noting he had posters of his competitors on his walls growing up. "To be recognized amongst them on the invitee list was a dream come

true for me." Kauai-born Sunny Garcia placed third. The National Weather Service forecast 30- to 40-foot waves, with some sets approaching 50 feet on the outer reefs as Hawaii remained under a high surf warning. The high surf was caused by two large storms northwest of Hawaii. The storms were expected to send significant — but smaller — waves to the West Coast of the U.S. mainland Wednesday and Thursday, said Jonathan Hoag, a National Weather Service forecaster in Honolulu. This content has passed through


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Heavy snowfall, wind pounding Midwest, New England (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:25:52 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A fierce storm left dangerous ice, heavy snow and vicious winds in its wake as it slogged eastward Wednesday, snarling traffic and closing hundreds of schools from the Upper Midwest through New England. More than a foot of snow was expected in parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, where the National Weather Service warned of "extremely dangerous blizzard conditions" and near whiteout driving conditions. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph could build snow drifts between 8 and 15 feet tall. Parts of New England also girded themselves for bone-chilling wind gusts and snow accumulations of up to a foot. The storm was blamed for at least 10 deaths, most in traffic accidents. "It's horrible out there," said Todd Lane, an assistant manager of a Quik Trip convenience store in Des Moines, where several inches of new snow was reported overnight. Plow drivers came into the store all night seeking energy drinks and coffee to keep them alert. Motorists got stuck on driftblocked highways all over Iowa. State troopers were dispatched with National Guard soldiers in Humvees, but some drivers had

to wait two hours or longer for rescue. Even the plows were being pulled off the roads because snow drifts were too high to navigate. "They're not even plowing the streets anymore because the wind will just blow it back down and cover it," said Dan Hansen, a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Iowa City. He was bundled up in hand and feet warmers, snow boots and a parka to brave his route. "It'll get worse before it gets better." In Wisconsin, as many as a dozen tractor-trailers were stuck on interstate ramps made impassible by heavy snow where I-39, I-90 and I-94 intersect near Madison, the State Patrol said. Holiday shoppers hoping to use the snow day to get ahead on their gift lists also were out of luck: The city's two largest malls were closed. The storm felt like a rude surprise after an unseasonably warm and dry November in parts of the region. The massive system is the first major blast of winter weather for many parts of the Midwest. "I've been dreading this day," said Kim Brust, shoveling the sidewalk in front of his Minneapolis home before sunrise Wednesday. "I was starting to enjoy the global warming." Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed at O'Hare

International Airport in Chicago, and only a few were scheduled at Des Moines International Airport. Blizzard warnings also covered eastern Nebraska, where overnight snowfall reports of 12 inches were common, and parts of Kansas, Illinois and Minnesota. Snow also fell in western and central Michigan. Thousands of power outages were reported in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin. In the West, pounded by the storm's rain and snow earlier this week, bitter wind chills as low as 40 below swept across portions of southern Montana. The biting winds also were moving across Wyoming and South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. By the time the storm moves off the Maine coast Thursday night, it may have affected as much as two-thirds of the country, said Jim Lee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines. Maine and New Hampshire could see snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches capped off by rain and sleet in the evening. In northern New York, as much as a foot of snow was expected to accumulate Wednesday and more than 3 feet was expected by the week's end near the Great Lakes. "It's a monster of a storm," Lee

said. The storm drenched California with rain, blanketed the mountain West with snow and brought 100 mph winds to New Mexico earlier this week. More than 20 inches of snow fell over Flagstaff, Ariz. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more than four times the record of 5 inches set in 1956. Heavy rain also hit some parts of the South, and more than 4 inches reported in spots in New Orleans on Tuesday. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the weather, including an Arizona hunter who was killed Monday night when a large pine tree snapped and crushed him as he slept in a tent. The driver of a sport utility vehicle that plunged 90 feet off an icy road into the Texas Panhandle's Palo Duro Canyon also died. Three fatal accidents were reported along slippery roads in Missouri, and a Minnesota driver who braked to avoid a stalled vehicle and wound up crashing down an embankment. ___ Associated Press Writers Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee, Scott Bauer in Madison, Kevin McGill in New Orleans, Pat Condon in Minneapolis, Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Ariz. and Nigel Duara in Iowa City, Iowa contributed to this report. This content has passed through

Wanted Fugitive Worked for Homeland Security Department ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:46:34 AM

NEWARK, N.J. Prosecutors don't understand how a fugitive wanted in New Jersey worked for the Homeland Security Department in Georgia despite a nationwide alert for her arrest. Tahaya Buchanan was sought on a 2007 indictment on charges of staging the theft of her Range Rover. Paul Loriquet of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office says the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Atlanta was unaware of the 39year-old's status even after Buchanan was arrested in July during a traffic stop in which police noticed the warrant. Immigration spokeswoman Ana Santiago tells The Star-Ledger of Newark she did not have information whether the office regularly checks its employee list against national criminal warrants. A Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman in Washington said Wednesday she couldn't immediately comment. Buchanan pleaded guilty to one charge of insurance fraud on Monday and faces three months probation. This content has passed through

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Patient jailed over clinic shooting of Ky. doctor (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News)

made a threat he was going to come back and blow up the Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:00:48 AM building," said Deputy Sam CORNETTSVILLE, Ky. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Mullins, who responded when patient charged with shooting a the clinic called about the threat. popular community doctor at a Clinic officials didn't want to rural clinic hours after being press charges, Mullins said, so denied narcotics there was being the deputy left. h e l d o n $ 1 0 m i l l i o n b a i l "They didn't think he was going Wednesday. to follow through," he said. "I John Combs, 46, was scheduled asked did they want to press to be arraigned on a murder c h a r g e s , b e c a u s e i t w a s a charge Wednesday, a day after terroristic threat, a very serious Dr. Dennis Sandlin, 57, was one. We see threats all the time. killed. Authorities said Sandlin, This is one of those occasions, who had worked at the clinic for someone followed through with a almost two decades, was shot in threat." the head while he stood in a Combs was arrested at his home hallway outside exam rooms, in the Redfox community in apparently filling out a medical Knott County. Watts would not chart. say what type of gun was used "He was shot in the head," Perry and did not know how many County Coroner Jimmy Maggard s h o t s w e r e f i r e d a t t h e said. "He had a pen in his hand." Leatherwood-Blackey Medical Police don't yet have a motive, Clinic in the southeastern area of Kentucky State Police Trooper the state. Tony Watts said. He said Combs Watts said Combs spotted had been a patient of Sandlin's Sandlin in the doctor's treating earlier in the day, returned with a area, which is separate from the gun and fired at the doctor. An waiting room, and fired. Patients official at the Perry County were at the clinic, but Watts did Detention Facility did not think not know how many because Combs had an attorney. they had cleared out by the time A Perry County sheriff's deputy police arrived. said Combs had asked the clinic Watts said he had no knowledge for narcotics but was required to of Combs pointing the gun at give a urine sample, which he anyone else. refused to do. An autopsy was scheduled "From that point, he got real Wednesday morning at the angry, he just went crazy, and he K e n t u c k y S t a t e M e d i c a l

Examiner's office in Frankfort. Sandlin was well-liked and know for charity work as well as for his health services. Estella Brashear, coordinator for volunteers at Appalachian Regional Healthcare hospital where Sandlin used to work, said he donated lots of money for Christmas gifts for children in the community, but was frank and direct with patients about what their needs were. "He was a community-minded person who really cared about his patients. He would tell you what it was and that may have happened here." Kathy Haney, night manager at Ramey's BP gas station and convenience store a few blocks from the clinic, said everyone was talking about the shock of the shooting. "I've had grown men stand here in tears," Haney said of her customers. "I've had people tell me, 'He helped my mother stay alive for 30 years.' It's been the talk of the store all day long." Malcolm Neace said his wife used to be a patient of Sandlin's and the shooting came as a shock. "If you aren't safe at a doctor's office, where are you safe?" Neace said. Michael Caudill, CEO of Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp., which runs the clinic,

described the shooter as "a disgruntled patient" but did not elaborate. Caudill said Sandlin had worked as a primary care physician at the clinic since 1990. Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, also a physician in Perry County, knew Sandlin. He said if the killing had to do with the doctor refusing to give the patient prescription pills then "this drug problem is tearing the fabric of our communities, of our society, and I'm angry." About two months ago, officials in eastern Kentucky arrested hundreds of people accused of selling illegal prescription drugs, a problem in the area. Sandlin graduated from the University of Louisville medical school and had been a doctor in Kentucky since 1978. His practice focused on older patients with chronic illnesses and he was active in Hospice, Caudill said. Mountain Comprehensive's Web site says the nonprofit corporation's clinic is one of the largest rural health centers in Kentucky. ___ Associated Press Writers Beth Campbell, Brett Barrouquere and Dylan Lovan in Louisville, Roger Alford in Frankfort, and Joe Edwards in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report. This content has passed through


'Scissorhands' Stylist Cuts Hair With Razor-Sharp Fingers ( Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:19:41 AM

A hairdresser in Florida has invented a scary-looking fingertip razor blade attachment he believes will revolutionize the industry. Valentino LoSauro, of Fort Myers, Fla., has spent close to $244,000 and many years developing the menacing-looking "Clawz," which he says shaves the time it takes to cut hair. With small razors attached to his fingers, the stylist has drawn comparisons to Tim Burton's famous Edward Scissorhands character, played by Johnny Depp in the 1990 film. LoSauro, a hairdresser for 35 years, claims his musical dexterity helped inspired the creation. "I am a pianist as well as a hairdresser and wanted to combine that light-fingered touch with my styling," he said. The cutters are made from stainless steel and responsive elastic and are fitted with replaceable razor blades that last for up to 15 cuts. Click here for the full story and photos at Sky News. This content has passed through


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Brown and his team are relishing the opportunity. "The voters will have a clear choice: Do they want to send somebody down there who is going to be in lockstep with (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid and do what they're told, or do they want somebody who's going to be down there looking for the interests of Massachusetts?" Brown told The Associated Press in an interview. Coakley ignored Brown in her victory speech, but she didn't shy away from aligning herself with President Barack Obama or congressional Democrats during an interview with the AP this week. "We overwhelmingly elected a Democratic president who has an agenda to bring change to the way we do business here in this country," she said. "So I look forward to making that part of why it's important to send a Democratic senator to Washington to help affect that change." Coakley added, "By and large, the Republican Party has sort of sat on their hands, refusing to acknowledge that we're in a huge economic mess, that we need to do something about it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by the way, one created under their jurisdiction over the last eight years." Jeffrey Berry, a Tufts University

political science professor, said the challenge confronting Brown is highlighted by the lack of national financial support he received for his campaign. "The (Republican National Committee) and its affiliated committees have decided he doesn't have a chance, which makes it something of a selffulfilling prophecy," Berry said. "They are hard-nosed, and they don't see it as a very good investment amid competing demands." RNC spokesman Tyler Brown said the national party will work with the state party "to make sure he has the resources he needs to win," but he wouldn't discuss dollar figures or strategies. Kennedy died of brain cancer in August at age 77, ending a nearly 47-year political career that saw him become the fourth-longestserving senator in U.S. history. Expectations for a high-profile succession battle fizzled, with Kennedy's widow, Vicki Kennedy, and the bulk of the state's most prominent politicians deciding against campaigns. Coakley bested Rep. Michael Capuano, City Year service organization co-founder Alan Khazei and Boston Celtics coowner Stephen Pagliuca. Coakley garnered 47 percent of the vote. Capuano had 28 percent, Khazei had 13 percent

and Pagliuca, despite spending more than $5 million of his own money, finished with 12 percent. Brown almost had the GOP race to himself before perennial candidate Jack E. Robinson launched a last-minute nomination signature drive. Brown beat him by a margin of 89 percent to 11 percent. Coakley, 56, targeted women and abortion rights supporters. She also urged voters to assess her resume as a federal prosecutor, district attorney and, since 2007, the state's top law enforcement officer. Brown, 50, is an attorney, lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard and triathlete whose personal life has made him a staple of the local tabloid. His elder daughter, Ayla, was a semifinalist in the 2006 "American Idol" televised talent show, and he helped pay his law school bills by posing naked in the June 1982 edition of Cosmopolitan. One immediate policy flashpoint: Coakley opposes Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, while Brown supports it. A Brown aide said the campaign was eager to highlight such differences. "I think the recent election in New Jersey and in the one in Virginia, which is a swing state,

sent a very strong message that people are fed up with business as usual in Washington and they want to see the pendulum swing back in the direction of fiscal prudence," said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Brown senior adviser. Berry, the Tufts professor, said Romney's personal and political story highlights the opportunity available to Brown during the coming month. In 1994, Romney gave Kennedy the stiffest re-election challenge of his career, even in defeat. He then returned to the private sector, left again to resurrect the financially troubled 2002 Olympic Winter Games and was embraced upon his return to Massachusetts and easily elected governor that fall. Berry said that through the campaign Brown will get the recognition he seems to be seeking. "The downside to that," Berry said, "is if he gets beaten really badly, that doesn't augur well for a race he might otherwise have a shot of winning in the future." This content has passed through

Neo-Nazi in murder trial gets makeover for trial (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:57:15 AM

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; John Allen Ditullio is a walking billboard for the neo-Nazi movement: a large 6-inch swastika tattooed under his right ear, barbed wire inked down the right side of his face, and an extreme and very personal vulgarity scrawled on one side of his neck. Jurors will never see any of it. A judge has ruled that the state must pay a cosmetologist up to $150 a day during Ditullio's trial on murder and attempted murder charges and apply makeup to cover up the black ink. Judge Michael Andrews, acting on a request by Ditullio's lawyer, ruled that the tattoos are potentially offensive and could influence a jury's opinion in the state's death penalty case against the 23-year-old accused of donning a gas mask, breaking into a neighbor's home and stabbing two people, killing one of them. Since his arrest in the March 26, 2006, crime in this suburban county just north of Tampa, the self-described neo-Nazi has added tattoos to his body that are prominently displayed and not easily concealed. Ditullio doesn't have the money to pay to have the tattoos covered up, said his NEO-NAZI page 71

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public defender, Bjorn Brunvand, who was worried that a jury might be biased against his client on the basis of the tattoos alone. "Whenever someone is facing the death penalty, they should get a fair trial," Brunvand said. "The jury can judge this case on the facts and the law and not base their decision on being offended." Any tattoos Ditullio had before his arrest won't be covered, such as a small cross under his right eye. Earlier this week, he wore a neatly pressed blue shirt and gray slacks yet several tattoos on his hands and wrists were still visible. As is common with defendants on trial, Ditullio's appearance had been scrubbed clean: his hair was trimmed, and his unruly beard was cut into a neat goatee. The trial began Tuesday with opening statements. Proceedings are expected to stretch into next week. Prosecutors allege that Ditullio

broke into his neighbor's home and stabbed two people — injuring 44-year-old Patricia Wells, the home's owner, and killing Kristofer King, a 17-yearold visitor and friend of Wells' son. Wells lived next door to a mobile home that was commonly known as "the Nazi compound," which had large swastika flags flying on the property, authorities said. Ditullio was arrested at the mobile home after a SWAT standoff. Authorities called the stabbings a hate crime, and Wells agreed, previously telling local media that she believed Ditullio attacked her because she had a black friend — and because her own son was gay and Ditullio may have mistaken King for her son. Brunvand said his client is innocent and plans to tell the jury that someone else inside the neoNazi compound could have committed the crime.

In 2007, while awaiting trial in the Pasco County Jail, Ditullio was charged with attempted escape; authorities found smuggled saw blades, sheets made into a rope and a hole sawed into the stainless steel toilet inside Ditullio's cell. A similar case involving a tattoo makeover happened in Laredo, Texas, in 2007, when a teenage assassin for a powerful Mexican drug cartel was charged with murder. Rosalio Reta was charged with murder and wore makeup in the courtroom to cover his facial tattoos; he pleaded guilty to a 40-year sentence before the case actually went to the jury. Covering tattoos for a trial is rare, said Michael Siegel, professor of law at the University of Florida, especially in a case like this when the content of the tattoos — neo-Nazi symbols — mesh with the facts of the case. "The defendant did initially make the choice to communicate to the

world through the tattoos on his body," said Siegel. "Now he's asking for protection from his own decisions." Siegel said he believes the judge was trying to be "conservative" in his judgment in case the trial results are appealed. "Judges bend over backwards to be fair," said Siegel. "It's human nature when you're a judge." What doesn't bother Siegel, however, is the fact that taxpayers will foot the bill for the hourlong makeup session each morning before court proceedings begin. "It's the responsibility of the taxpayers, whether we like it or not, to provide people with a fair trial," he said. "And it costs a lot of money." This content has passed through


No one hurt in college classroom shooting in Va. (AP) (Yahoo! News: U.S. News) Submitted at 12/9/2009 12:05:43 AM

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – In a scene reminiscent of other school shootings, a Northern Virginia Community College teacher spotted a weapon and ducked to avoid gunfire. Students ran from the classroom building while others barricaded themselves inside, piling desks in front of doors. This time, though, no one was hurt. Police said Jason Michael Hamilton, 20, opened fire in a classroom Tuesday with a highpowered rifle, but did not hit anyone and surrendered peacefully in a hallway. He was later charged with attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a school zone and was being ONE page 72

'No quick success' in Afghanistan (BBC News | Americas | World Edition) Submitted at 12/9/2009 8:19:24 AM

A top US general has warned that military success in Afghanistan is likely to be slower than in Iraq after the troop surge there. Testifying before the US Congress, Gen David Petraeus said, as in Iraq, the situation in

Afghanistan was "likely to get harder before it gets easier". Gen Petraeus was speaking a week after President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. The general said he supported the announced increase in forces. Gen Petraeus, who oversaw the troop surge in Iraq in 2007, said "while certainly different and, in some ways tougher than Iraq,

Afghanistan is no more hopeless than Iraq was", when he assumed command there in February of that year. He said success in Afghanistan was attainable, but warned that "achieving progress... will be hard and the progress there likely will be slower in developing than was the progress achieved in Iraq". The general urged lawmakers to

"withhold judgment on the success or failure of the strategy in Afghanistan until next December". President Obama's policy, he said, "will over the next 18 months enable us to make important progress" in Afghanistan. His remarks, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came a day after the top US

commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, told legislators the troop boost would make success there possible. Gen McChrystal said the mission was "undeniably difficult" and the next 18 months would be crucial. Print Sponsor This content has passed through


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Gatorade drops Tiger Woods drink (BBC News | Americas | World Edition)

That commercial was broadcast eight times during November, Nielsen spokesman Aaron Lewis Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:28:10 AM said. Soft drink brand Gatorade says it Woods' other sponsors include is to drop a Tiger Woods- consultancy firm Accenture. He endorsed product but said it was is reported to be the first sports not related to revelations about star to be worth more than $1bn. the golfer's private life. Nike has been Woods' biggest PepsiCo-owned Gatorade said sponsor since the start of his the decision to axe the Tiger career, signing its first contract Focus drink was made a few with him as long ago as 1996. months ago. 'Mentally tough' Since the 14-times major winner He signed a five-year deal with crashed his car on 27 November, G a t o r a d e i n 2 0 0 7 f o r a n many women have claimed to estimated $100m (ÂŁ61.7m). have had affairs with Woods. "We decided several months ago There are also reports that to discontinue Gatorade Tiger adverts featuring Woods have Focus along with some other vanished from US prime-time products to make room for our broadcast and cable TV. planned series of innovative According to data from US products in 2010," said PepsiCo media research firm Nielsen, the in a statement. last prime-time advert featuring The marketing of Gatorade is the 33-year-old golfer was a 30- closely linked to sports. Other second Gillette item on 29 athletes it sponsors include November. former basketball player Michael

Jordan and sprinter Usain Bolt. Gatorade Tiger Focus was launched as a sports drink aimed at athletes. Gatorade's website describes Gatorade Tiger Focus to be a drink "designed with athletes in mind, helping them to be as mentally tough as they are physically". The decision to drop the drink was first reported by soft-drinks' industry newsletter, Beverage Digest, on 25 November - two days before Woods crashed his car and sparked off the chain of events which continues to feature in the global media. Tiger Force was launched in March 2008, and according to Beverage Digest the Woodsbacked drink represented less than 5% of Gatorade's volume. Print Sponsor This content has passed through

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held without bond. A neighbor described Hamilton as a loner who lived in his family's basement in an affluent new subdivision near the school in Woodbridge, about 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. Two police cars were outside his home and wouldn't let reporters close. Whether Hamilton had hired an attorney was not immediately clear; neither was a motive for the shooting. Prince William County Police spokeswoman Kim Chinn said the unidentified teacher ducked when the student opened fire. "When she saw the gun, she hit the floor," Chinn said. In a classroom nearby, biology professor Miriam St. Clair said she heard a loud noise. "It sounded like a desk fell over and we heard another loud pop, we knew it was a gunshot," said St. Clair, of McLean, Va. When St. Clair looked out the window, she saw students fleeing. The professor told her students to get inside the classroom and they piled about 20 desks against a door that didn't have a lock. About 2 1/2 hours later, a SWAT team came and told them it was safe. "We were very frightened," said St. Clair, 58.

Police spokeswoman Sharon Richardson said officers responded about 2:40 p.m. to an "active shooter" following reports of a gunman in the main administration building. The college enacted its emergency lockdown and later issued a statement saying all Woodbridge classes were canceled. Some students, faculty and staff were sent to a nearby high school. All classrooms are in one building and the students were in lockdown until about 5:30 p.m. Swat teams went into each classroom during the lockdown, said Chinn, who didn't know how many students were inside or how many shots were fired. One of the suspect's neighbors said Hamilton's parents moved to the subdivision about three years ago and he sometimes saw the suspect jogging alone, or with his mother. "He's always by himself, he's always isolated," said Daren Edwards, 38. This content has passed through

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Obama announces job creation plan (BBC News | Americas | World Edition) Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:35:28 AM

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Obama outlines proposals for small businesses US President Barack Obama has outlined a number of proposals aimed at boosting employment, including winding up the $700bn (ÂŁ425bn) US bank bail-out fund. Mr Obama said the remaining money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp) could be used to facilitate lending to small businesses. Speaking at the Brookings Institution think tank, he also called for tax cuts for small businesses. However, there were few details on the scale or cost of the measures proposed. The unemployment rate in the US currently stands at 10%. The Tarp fund was set up in the last few weeks of the Bush administration as a bail-out package for US banks. On Sunday, a Treasury Department official said the longterm cost of the package would be at least $200bn less than


(BBC News | Americas | World Edition) Submitted at 12/8/2009 7:51:06 PM

previously estimated. Mr Obama acknowledged that it had been unpopular. With regards to small businesses, he proposed a oneyear elimination of capital gains tax on new investments, and adding a new tax cut to encourage small business hiring in 2010. In the last few years, small businesses had created 65% of new job growth, he said. 'False choice' "We avoided the depression

many feared," Mr Obama said, before adding, "Our work is far from done." He stressed that boosting jobs was the best way to tackle the massive US deficit. "There are those who claim we have to choose between paying down our deficits on the one hand, and investing in job creation and economic growth on the other. But this is a false choice," he said. The president reiterated his commitment to halve the massive

US deficit - which stood at $1.3 trillion when he took office - by the end of his first term. Other measures put forward included more money for infrastructure projects and rebates to consumers who made their homes more energyefficient. Print Sponsor This content has passed through

A US judge has reduced the jail terms of two Cuban men convicted of spying. Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez were part of the Cuban Five group, jailed in the US in 2001 for spying for the then government of Fidel Castro. Labanino's life sentence has been reduced to 30 years and Gonzalez's by one year to 18 years. The resentencing follows an appeals court ruling that the terms originally imposed were too harsh. A third man had his jail term reduced in October. Antonia Guerrero had his life sentence reduced to 22 years. Gonzalez had requested a greater drop in his sentence, said the Associated Press news agency. But US District Judge Joan Lenard said it was "important that foreign governments know that such activities are not tolerated in this country". 'Unjust' The case has long been a cause of friction with Cuba, where the men, who have been in US custody since 1998 - are considered national heroes. CUTS page 74


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US soap cancelled after 54 years (BBC News | Americas | World Edition)

and Gamble, set up in 1933 to promote its detergents in the first "soap operas". Submitted at 12/9/2009 1:27:18 AM Barbara Bloom, of CBS, said: US show As The World Turns, "The almanacs will show As The one of the world's longest- World Turns as a pioneer of the running daytime soap operas, is format, a hallmark for quality being cancelled after 54 years, with its numerous Emmys, the broadcaster CBS has announced. l a u n c h i n g p a d f o r m a n y The show, which has helped to television and film stars and a launch the careers of stars like daytime ratings powerhouse for M e g R y a n , w i l l e n d i n parts of three decades." September. Actress Eileen Fulton, The announcement was made on meanwhile, who has played Lisa the day the show's 13,661st Grimaldi on the show for 49 episode was aired. years, said: "It's a hell of a It is the last daytime drama made Christmas present." by a media subsidiary of Procter Ratings for the show, which also

CUTS continued from page 73

Labanino, Gonzalez and Guerrero - along with Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez were found guilty in 2001 of infiltrating US military bases and Cuban exile groups, and giving the information to Cuba. Last year, an appeals court upheld their convictions but ordered three of the group to be resentenced. US prosecutors have insisted the men were found guilty on hard evidence, while Cuban exile groups say they were justly punished. The Cuban government says the men were not in Miami to spy on the US but to prevent anti-Castro

exile groups from launching what it calls terrorist attacks on Cuba. Following Tuesday's hearing, the president of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, said the new sentences were "not without importance". But he said the jailing the men was still "unjust" and called on the US to release them. Print Sponsor This content has passed through

featured Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, have dropped to about 2.5 million viewers from 6.5 million in 1993. The series, which began in 1956, followed the lives of families in the fictional Illinois town of Oakdale. In 1988, it introduced the first gay male character on a daytime television programme in the US. Print Sponsor This content has passed through

Publishers make pact on e-readers official (MacNN) (Yahoo! News Search Results for e-readers)

expected to evolve away from static images to take advantage of Internet connections and more Submitted at 12/8/2009 9:12:13 AM powerful hardware. True to a late leak, five major As expected in one leak, Time American publishers today executive VP John Squires is cemented plans for a joint leaving to run the venture and venture to promote a universal hopes to become CEO later on. standard for digital magazines Most of the companies involved and similar content. Cond Nast, i n t h e v e n t u r e h a v e b e e n Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and preemptively developing their T i m e e x p e c t t h e u n n a m e d own platforms, such as Hearst's company to develop digital Skiff, but are expected to magazines that will be readable ultimately work together. The on many platforms, including p u b l i c a t i o n s a r e p r i m a r i l y different operating systems and targeting e-book readers but have screen sizes, such as computers, b e e n d e v e l o p i n g w i t h t h e smartphones and tablets. The expectation of supporting a still technology will also be designed rumored but widely anticipated such that it should scale up to Apple tablet, with Cond Nast and color reading devices with mixed Time going so far as to prototype media like animations and video. a t a b l e t f o r m a t w i t h t h e The format will also aim to expectation they could adapt it to centralize the storefront and give the touchscreen slate through an rights to read a publication on app. any supporting device no matter This content has passed through w h e r e i t ' s b e e n b o u g h t . Advertising is ultimately

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VW, GM and Peugeot-Citroën: Asian alliances (The Economist: News analysis) Submitted at 12/9/2009 12:45:45 AM

VW, GM and Peugeot-Citroën Dec 9th 2009 From The Economist print edition New ties for VW, GM and Peugeot-Citroën signal a way forward for the car industry HAVING weathered the storm, the thoughts of global carmakers are now focused on the tie-ups they hope will give them an edge in the upturn. Two such deals, the first involving General Motors and its Chinese partner SAIC, the second between Volkswagen and Suzuki, have been concluded in the past few days. Another, linking PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Mitsubishi, is still under negotiation. All three are aimed at winning a bigger presence in Asia and tapping into low-cost manufacturing expertise, while sharing components and development budgets. Of the three, the most significant is Volkswagen’s announcement on Wednesday December 9th that it has agreed to pay $2.5 billion for 19.9% of Suzuki, a familyowned Japanese maker of small cars and motorcycles. Along with Fiat, Suzuki is the only international outfit that knows how to make money out of small,

inexpensive cars. That is something VW forgot long ago. But it needs to relearn it, argues Max Warburton of Bernstein, as asset-management firm, if it is not to suffer from the worldwide trend towards downsizing, as new emissions laws bite and growth shifts to poorer consumers in emerging markets. The other thing Suzuki offers is unique exposure to emerging markets. Through its 54% stake in Maruti Suzuki, it has managed to keep more than 40% of the increasingly competitive Indian market. It also has a strong position in Pakistan and Indonesia, two other teeming countries with nascent car markets. VW, which is the market leader in China and has around a quarter of the Brazilian market, was uncharacteristically late setting out its stall in India, where it only began manufacturing this year. If the alliance blossoms, and VW ends up turning Suzuki into its 11th brand, it will have taken a big step towards its long-term goal of overtaking Toyota as the world’s biggest car firm. The deal between GM and SAIC to set up a 50:50 joint venture to produce small cars in India, announced on December 4th, is another sign of the times. GM will contribute the factories and

distribution network it already owns in India; SAIC will invest up to $350m in cash and other assets. The plan gives China’s biggest carmaker a foothold in the second-fastest-growing car market in the world (after China), while helping cash-strapped GM to mount a more vigorous push into India, where it has struggled for several years to reach its target of a 10% market share. GM and SAIC are also intending to bring to India the ultra-cheap micro-cars, minivans and pickups they make with another Chinese partner, Wuling. At the same time, GM said that it was ceding control of its successful joint venture with SAIC in China by selling a 1% stake to the Chinese firm for $85m. With a 51% shareholding , SAIC will have the right to approve budgets and all senior appointments. Nick Reilly, the architect of GM’s Asian strategy who was recently appointed boss of Opel/Vauxhall, insisted that the sale was merely a technicality to allow SAIC to consolidate its earnings from the venture. Some observers interpret it as the price for getting SAIC’s help in India. Others detect the beginning of a trend whereby Chinese car manufacturers will assert greater authority over their Western and Japanese partners. Mr Reilly

merely said that GM had agreed in order to get SAIC’s “full cooperation and the full cooperation of the Chinese government in other things.” PSA’s negotiations to buy between 30% and 50% of Mitsubishi, which has several times been close to bankruptcy and is still carrying a heavy burden of debt, have some way to go. The two firms have had ties for several years: Peugeot and Citroën sell a rebranded version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander crossover (somewhere between a car and an SUV) and PSA shares a factory with Mitsubishi in Russia. Mitsubishi, with its presence in Asia and its network of factories and dealers in America, could help the French group reduce its reliance on Europe. But cultural clashes have bedevilled such cross-border deals in the past. And PSA, whose automotive business has junk-rated debts of $3 billion, may have difficulty finding the $3.5-4 billion that a 50% stake in the Japanese firm is likely to cost. Back to top ^^ Readers' comments The Economist welcomes your views. This content has passed through


Publishers Collaborate On E-Reader Platform (InformationWeek) (Yahoo! News Search Results for e-readers) Submitted at 12/8/2009 1:17:54 PM

Major magazine publishers on Tuesday announced their intent to launch a digital storefront and a software platform for publishing content on electronic readers, smartphones, laptops, and other portable devices. However, in announcing their joint venture, Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Warner's Time offered few details of the technology that would be used or which hardware and software makers the companies would partner with. What the companies did say was that the venture would develop "open standards for a new digital storefront and related technology." The partners also said the digital initiative had four major goals: the development of a reading application capable of rendering a magazine format; a publishing platform for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes; a consumer storefront for buying and subscribing to content; and a "rich array of innovative advertising opportunities." The latest announcement leaves in question whether the publishers will develop their own open standard for publishing content or adopt the existing PUBLISHERS page 78


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Major Publishers Plan Digital Content Store for E -Readers (NewsFactor via Yahoo! News) (Yahoo! News Search Results for e-readers) Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:00:35 PM

On Tuesday, five major publishers joined forces to develop open standards for a new digital storefront and other technologies that will allow consumers to read content on portable digital devices. Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time want a reading application that can render the distinct look and feel of each publication. They also want a publishing platform optimized for multiple portable devices, operating systems and screen sizes, a digital magazine store, and advertising opportunities. "For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops," said John Squires, the venture's interim managing

director. "Once purchased, this content will be unlocked for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime on any platform." 360-Degree Benefits? The publishing partners have an audience of 144.6 million, according to Mediamark Research & Intelligence. Although the five publishing powerhouses are launching the venture, the group welcomes other publishers to get involved. Much like the print magazine world, publishers will drive revenue from content sales, print subscriptions, and advertising fees. The yet-unnamed consortium pointed to clear benefits for advertisers and publishers. The venture, they said, will offer a cost-efficient, consumer-focused environment. Once the digital storefront launches, the group said, advertisers can leverage new ad formats that work with the planned interactive medium. Beyond newspapers and

magazines, publishers can also sell content from books, comic books, blogs and other media. The publisher group also noted benefits for the hardware, software and retail industries. The initiative, it said, will provide potential new revenue streams through an organized library of content with a common format and technical specifications. No Overnight iTunes It appears that the print behemoths are looking for new ways to cash in on the digital age amid declining print advertising sales. One way may be to tap into the move toward e-readers like the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook, and Sony Daily Reader. Of course, consumers are also accessing digital content via smartphones, like the iPhone and Android devices. The consortium highlighted some key figures that hint at its motives for the initiative. By the end of 2010, Forrester Research estimates that 10 million e-

readers will be sold in the U.S., and, according to m:Metrics, there will be more than 50 million smartphones in the U.S. by the end of 2010. But Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret, throws a note of caution to those who expect quick success from the new publisher venture. "When people come up with projections, they are almost invariably wrong," Gartenberg said. "It's a question of what they mean by ereader." Although some in the industry are calling the new venture the Hulu of magazines, Gartenberg said it's success, in part, comes down to the details. He called it a first step toward something interesting: "We don't know if they are planning to focus on tablets or future devices, and I guess it comes down to will these device emerge and how will they help?" This content has passed through

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Digital Publications May Be A Hard Sell (PC World) (Yahoo! News Search Results for e-readers)

touchscreen-equipped smart phones, e-readers, and tablet computers, including the justSubmitted at 12/8/2009 2:48:15 PM announced Fusion Garage F i v e o f t h e l a r g e s t U . S . JooJoo(previously known as the n e w s p a p e r a n d m a g a z i n e CrunchPad), and the anticipatedpublishers have announced plans but-unannounced Apple tablet, to develop a new digital e-reader which many industry watchers format that would meld the visual expect to debut sometime in esthetics of print with the rich 2010. capabilities of online media, The e-reader format could offer including video, social magazine and newspaper networking, touch input, and publishers an opportunity to games. A joint venture of regain the legions of paying publishing powerhouses Time subscribers who've migrated to Inc., News Corp., Conde Nast, free content online. The concept Hearst Corp., and Meredith is pretty slick, as demonstrated Corp., the project will launch by this Sports Illustrated Tablet next year. It's designed to offer a demo: superior user experience to By combining easy-to-read current e-readers such as the magazine-style layouts with high Amazon Kindle and Barnes & -res color images and videos, and Noble Nook, which are fine for links to additional content--such book-reading but ill-equipped to as the fantasy football and handle video, high-resolution statistics examples used in the color images, and other media video--publishers could provide elements that today's Web- an experience superior to today's b r o w s i n g r e a d e r s t a k e f o r websites, particularly on large granted. touchscreen displays. The new digital format is But "large" is the key word here. targeted at a new generation of The SI example, for instance,

may prove visually stunning on, say, a 10-inch Apple tablet-should one exist--but difficult to appreciate on the iPhone's relatively tiny display. And what about e-readers? Well, nobody's come out with a color screen yet, and for good reason. A grayscale, non-backlit display means less eyestrain and longer battery life. But the dazzling SI demo demands better hardware than that. Will today's Web user, accustomed to free content, be willing to fork over some cash for an enhanced digital experience? That remains to be seen. In fact, nobody's sure if consumers will take to tablet computers, which could be the ideal platform for the publishers' new format.

Other burning questions: 路 Using the SI example, how good would those sports videos look if viewed via an AT&T 3G connection on an Apple tablet? 路 Would participating publishers shutter their free websites? Perhaps not, but companies might erect some type of pay wall, or greatly reduce the amount of free content available online. Then again, the latter might happen anyway. 路 Do commuters want to lug around a large tablet in addition to a smartphone? A phone is easy to carry. A tablet, probably not. 路 If publishers offer a tablet directly to subscribers, what would they charge? Perhaps a multi-year subsidized subscription plan would apply. But would you sign up? Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter(@jbertolucci) or at This content has passed through



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PUBLISHERS continued from page 75

ePub standard. Adobe's upcoming Creative Suite 5 will support content development in ePub, giving publishers a powerful tool for developing digital content in the standard. A spokesman for the publishers did not respond to a request for an interview by InformationWeek in time for this writing. However, Allen Weiner, analyst for Gartner, said magazine publishers are long overdue in entering the digital revolution rocking the publishing industry, which has seen large amounts of ad revenue move to the Web. While book and newspaper publishers have been working toward adopting digital formats and business models, "magazines have kind of fallen by the wayside," Weiner said. Part of the problem has been the difficulty of putting a magazine on an electronic device while maintaining the integrity of the layout and color. But despite that problem, publishers have missed

opportunities, such as failing to partner with netbook makers to offer magazine subscriptions with the mini-laptops, Weiner said. Netbooks have been the hottest selling PC category during the economic recession, with 50 million units expected to be sold this year, according to ABI Research. "Magazines have totally missed the netbook opportunity," Weiner said. Overall, the publishers' announcement is seen as a general roadmap with details to follow. "It's going to take awhile to come together," Weiner said. "I wouldn't view this announcement as the answer, but more of an indication of the trajectory of the (magazine) industry." One implication of the announcement is that proprietary publishing standards, such as the one used by Amazon in its Kindle e-reader, won't be favored by the publishers. With 10

million e-readers expected to be sold next year in the U.S., along with more than 50 million smartphones, the intent is get their content on as many of those devices as possible, the publishers said. "Once purchased, this content will be 'unlocked' for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform," John Squires, interim managing director of the joint venture, said in a statement. Data is a company's most important asset, yet it's also the easiest to lose. In our new report, you'll find out where sensitive data is going unencrypted and what's holding IT back from adopting encryption end to end. D o w n l o a d t h e r e p o r t (Yahoo! News Search Results here(registration required). for e-readers) This content has passed through Submitted at 12/9/2009 2:40:23 AM Justin Mullins, contributor Thanks to a growing selection of e-books, innovative new devices, and the notion that trees are just too valuable to waste on print, ereaders are ready for the mainstream. Yet draconian software is a significant barrier, preventing copying, lending or even freely accessing most modern books. Here is our lowdown on the latest devices. Amazon Kindle($259) The Kindle automatically connects to

Holiday wish list: Ereader round-up (New Scientist) a free 3G cellphone network so you can buy books, newspapers and magazines direct from Amazon. Slim, light, easy to use: it's the device to beat. Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS -600($299.99) Sony's Touch has the advantage of a touch screen that allows you to navigate menus, add notes with a stylus and turn pages with a finger swipe. Needs a PC or Mac to download books and articles from the web. This content has passed through

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Honesty and Ethics Poll Finds Congressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Image Tarnished (All Gallup Headlines)

For most of the past two decades, more Americans have typically said the ethical standards of PRINCETON, NJ -- For the first members of Congress are low time in Gallup's annual Honesty than have called them high. and Ethics of Professions poll, a However, the spread between majority of Americans -- 55% -- these two views is now the say the honesty and ethical widest seen. s t a n d a r d s o f " m e m b e r s o f The deterioration in Congress' Congress" are low or very low -- ethics rating over the past year slightly worse than "senators," has occurred about equally whose ethics are rated low by among all three party groups. The 49%. By contrast, 83% of percentage rating members' Americans say nurses have either honesty and ethical standards as v e r y h i g h o r h i g h e t h i c a l low or very low rose by 8 points standards, positioning them at the a m o n g R e p u b l i c a n s a n d top of Gallup's 2009 ranking of independents, and by 10 points various professions. among Democrats. The percentage of Americans Pharmacists, Doctors, Police, now believing that members of a n d E n g i n e e r s A l s o W e l l Congress have low ethics is up R e g a r d e d from 46% in 2008 and 45% in Nurses are the undisputed leader 2007, and has more than doubled in this year's list of professions -since the start of the decade -- and have ranked No. 1 all but one rising from 21% in November year since they were added to the 2 0 0 0 t o 5 5 % t o d a y . " T h e list in 1999 ("firefighters" was deterioration in Congress' ethics asked as a special item in rating over the past year has November 2001, and ranked first occurred about equally among all in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist three party groups." attacks). In addition to nurses, A similar pattern occurred in the pharmacists, medical doctors, early 1990s, spanning a series of police, and engineers are all well s c a n d a l s s t a r t i n g w i t h t h e regarded for their honesty and "Keating Five" and the related ethics by more than 6 in 10 savings and loan crisis, the A m e r i c a n s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , House banking scandal, and the dentists, college teachers, and House post office scandal that members of the clergy earn high resulted in the conviction of Rep. marks from at least half of Dan Rostenkowski in 1996. Americans. However the percentage Aside from members of "low"/"very low" rating during C o n g r e s s , t h e o n l y o t h e r that period topped out at 46% in occupational group that the 1995, lower than today's figure. majority of Americans see as Submitted at 12/8/2009 8:00:00 PM

having low or very low honesty and ethical standards is car salespeople. At least 40% of Americans perceive several other professions as having low integrity, including senators, stockbrokers, HMO managers, insurance salespeople, and lawyers. Still, it should be noted that two professions not included on the list this year -telemarketers and lobbyists -received even lower ratings in 2008(60% and 64% "poor" ethics ratings, respectively) than members of Congress do today. The full list of 22 professions included on this year's list is

ranked according to the percentage of Americans rating each profession's integrity as "very high" or "high." Bottom Line Congress has long ranked among the worst-rated professions on Gallup's annual Honesty and Ethics of Professions list. Now, it has earned the unwelcome distinction of having a majority of Americans rate its integrity as low or very low. Americans are deeply concerned about the nation's economy, and eager to see the nation's leaders find meaningful solutions to that and other problems. But it's not

clear that Congress' perceived lack of success is entirely to blame for its poor integrity ratings. While Congress has low job approval, the 26% of Americans currently approving is higher than the 19% recorded about this time last year. However, over the same period, Americans' rating of Congress' honesty and ethics, rather than showing analogous improvement, has in fact worsened, and not just among Republicans. Sign up for Gallup e-mail alerts or RSS feeds Get Gallup news on Facebook and Twitter Survey Methods Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,017 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Nov. 20-22, 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is Âą4 percentage points. Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line 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. This content has passed through



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Test Drive: Inside The 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo By Jon Alain Guzik (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now)

system work, press the “Sport Plus” button on the redesigned center console, which in turn lights up a small “Sport Plus” logo on the left spoke of the Submitted at 12/8/2009 2:14:41 PM optional PDK sport steering With Porsche, you sometimes wheel. Mash the brake pedal with can't parse the new from the old. your left foot and punch the hell It's a company known for out of the throttle with your right, evolutionary design this will activate the “Launch changes—sticking with tradition, Control” logo on the right spoke. making small yet significant Release the brakes and the 911 changes where they matter. This Turbo lets out first a tire squeal, is certainly the case with the new then minor clutch slip and finally, top-of-the-range 911, the 2010 as much acceleration as a Turbo. Its evolution can be seen Colonial Fleet Raptor. All the fun most drastically not in the you can have without worrying exterior—where each subtle about a voided warranty. redesign takes the work of Included on the 911 is an array professionals and Porschephiles of bells and whistles like to identify—but in the rear of the Porsche's Active Suspension car, directly over the rear axle. Management (PASM) which Here, Porsche took the already configures the 911's cornering robust horizontally-opposed sixdynamics based on two driver cylinder engine and, to use a selected modes. When activated dated Emeril quote, kicked it up from “Normal” to “Sport” mode, notches unknown to man. The the electronic dampers change new Turbo engine puts out more and reworked turbo system. efficiency and fuel economy. 2009 911 Carerra, the PDK from a more comfort focused power than its predecessor—500 The twin-turbochargers in the Combine all this with variable system is essentially two half- compression rate to a more horsepower, up from 480 in the new model are equipped with valve timing and a new intake gearboxes merged into one. performance driven one. Add to last iteration, and 516 lb-ft of Porsche’s Variable Turbine manifold, which allows the U s i n g t w o c l u t c h e s , t h e this the optional Porsche Torque torque (up from 460 lb-ft) when Geometry, or VTG, technology. engine to breathe easier than transmission is able to manage Vectoring (PTV) and you get a equipped with overboost, which VTG uses moveable turbo vanes before, and the result is more ultra-fast and hardly discernible 9 1 1 t h a t o u t p e r f o r m s a l l is available in the optional $3470 which, depending on the flow speed and consistent acceleration gearshifts in either automatic or expectations. When entering a Sport Chrono Pack. This is due in rate of the engine’s exhaust than you know what to do with. manual mode. With the optional corner, this system applies subtle part to the displacement rising gases, adjust their angle to It's also remarkably efficient for a t w o - p a d d l e P D K - e q u i p p e d brake pressure to the inside rear from 3.6 liters to 3.8 liters, but achieve an optimal air flow. Also top-of-the-line sports car; official steering wheel, you can use the wheel. This allows for more also an increased compression available for the first time on the numbers aren't yet available, but wheel-mounted paddles to shift power to be sent to the outer rearratio from 9.0 to 9.8:1 that allows 911 Turbo is direct fuel injection, it should overshadow the last in manual mode. wheel, pushing the car through the engine to create more power which, as the name suggests, Turbo's 16 mpg city and 23 mpg With the optional Sport Chrono the corner. This results in across the rev band, more shoots fuel directly into the highway. Package, launch control is improved cornering speeds and effective intercoolers to cool off combustion chamber at an Then there's the new 7-speed available too, and it is, as the truly awe-inspiring driving hot air passed through the turbos, e x t r e m e l y h i g h p r e s s u r e , P o r s c h e D o p p e l k u p p l u n g French say, totally sweet. To TEST page 81 a more refined exhaust system o p t i m i z i n g p e r f o r m a n c e , gearbox (PDK). First seen on the make the PDK's lauch control


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Hubble Snaps Deepest-Ever Image of the Universe (Again) By Clay Dillow (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:00:43 AM

Hubble uses its new and improved imaging equipment to capture glimpses of distant galaxies never before seen After nearly two decades and five servicing missions to repair and update its precision observation equipment, the Hubble Space Telescope is still pushing the envelope of astronomical observation, most recently by snapping this image, the deepest image ever taken of the universe. Taken over four days in late August 2009, this newly released composite image allows researchers to see farther back toward the Big Bang than ever before. Taken with the Hubble’s newlyinstalled Wide Field Camera 3, Hubble gathered light from nearinfrared wavelengths, allowing

scientists to see how galaxies developed early in the universe’s history. The research implications are vast; several research teams are currently searching for undiscovered galaxies that were previously undetectable. Some researchers are convinced Hubble is on the verge of discovering " quantum

TEST continued from page 80

dynamics. under the sheet metal. So, what's it like to drive? It's fast (it has a top speed of 194 mph, though I could only get it up to 150 mph on track), smooth, and handles perfectly. Porsche took an already fantastic car and updated it where it matters –

foam"--a model for the foundation of the universe and a big step toward to reconciling relativity and quantum mechanics. Perhaps most importantly, Hubble is laying some important groundwork for NASA and ESA’s next-gen space observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which

will enter service in 2014. Of course, from its orbital vantage point Hubble has provided researchers with a bevy or amazing glimpses into deep space over the last nineteen years. It has consistently looked deeper and deeper in to space as various upgrades have boosted its vision, finding the source of gamma rays bursts from distant stars, and allowing researchers to see extrasolar planets for the very first time. Though JWST is launching in 2014, don’t make the mistake of thinking Hubble is done making new discoveries; though JWST is superior to Hubble in many technological respects, it will only observe in infrared, leaving the visible and ultraviolet spectra to Hubble’s capable eyes. For a hi-res download of Hubble's deepest look at the universe, click here. [ NASA, PhysOrg]

Stem Cells Can be Engineered into Genetic Vaccines Against HIV and More By Stuart Fox (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/8/2009 1:28:03 PM

While some viruses attack the lungs, and others the blood, HIV attacks the only system that could put up a fight: the immune system itself. The immune system mounts some defense, but after HIV launches its surprise attack, the body simply can't produce enough killer T blood cells to take out the virus. Now, thanks to researchers at UCLA, it's payback time for the blood cells. A team of scientists have plucked T-cells out of someone infected with HIV, and used them as a template for creating an army of HIV-fighting immune cells out of stem cells. Essentially a genetic vaccine, this technique could be used to copy T-cells designed to fight any virus, opening up the possibility of universal vaccination via stem STEM page 82



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Targeted Video Compression Brings Cell Phones to Sign Language Users By Stuart Fox (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/8/2009 11:53:05 AM

Most people use the video camera on their phone for bootlegging concert footage or recording drunken antics. But for the deaf, to whom cellphones' audio capability is moot, cellphone video offers a chance to expand beyond texting, and into the more expressive communication of American Sign Language. Unfortunately, low-bandwidth American cellphone lines can't carry video clear enough for sign language. That's where MobileASL comes in. This multi-university project developed a special algorithm that selectively compresses the

image way down, while increasing the sharpness of the speaker's hands. The resulting video has hands clear enough for ASL users to understand, but a total size small enough for American cellphone carriers to handle. European and Asian users have utilized their phones for sign language for years, since their high-speed cellphone networks can handle uncompressed video featuring clear hands without the help of a fancy new program. Now Americans can join the party. For more on how MobileASL works, and for a shot of the prototype device, check out this video: [ Cornell University]

video, lowering the resolution on everything but the speakers hands. This lowers the size of the video to the point where it can pass over regular cellphone signals. And now, the MobileASL project has developed the first prototype

phone that incorporates this technology. The algorithm uses skin-tone sensing and motion tracking to separate the hands from the rest of the image. Once the hands are identified, the phone's computer dials the fidelity of the rest of the

final showdown, after stem cells develop into HIV-targeting Tcells, the T-cell army is reintroduced into the body in sufficient numbers to overwhelm the virus. So far, the researchers have only attempted the technique in the lab, and have not tested it on actual people. However, this study serves as proof on concept that stem cells can be trained to

hunt down and kill specific -- they'll be back. viruses. They also need to work [via EurekAlert] out the issue of transplantation, as the immune cell surface proteins are individual-specific, and, without the right engineering, they could be rejected like a transplanted organ. And since this technique could be applied to any virus, HIV is just the beginning: these guys are looking for a sequel. Don't worry

STEM continued from page 81

cell implantation. Like the plot of an '80s action movie, the scientists take cells fighting the losing battle against HIV out of the body, and into the safety of the lab. Then, in a sequence presumable utilizing a montage and a Kenny Loggins song, they copy the identifying structures those T-cells use to identify HIV, and implant them in stem cells. In the climactic

Bacteria-Busting Genetic Bombs Make Biofuel Processing a Blast By Clay Dillow (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/8/2009 12:33:25 PM

Generating biofuels from bacteria would be easier and potentially more efficient than producing it from plant matter -if it weren't for the energyintensive chemical reactions needed to extract the fuel from the bacteria after they've manufactured it. But the most promising sources of bacterial fuel, like cyanobacteria, are wrapped in multiple layers of protective membranes that make it difficult to get at the fatty material. So a team of Arizona State University researchers got an idea: why not blow the bacteria wide open from the inside with a genetically engineered bomb? Bacteriophages are the sworn enemy of bacteria, latching onto them and pumping them full of foreign genetic information that eventually causes the bacteria to BACTERIA-BUSTING page 83


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First Internet-Enabled Undersea Observatory Now Operational By Stuart Fox (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/9/2009 6:16:41 AM

More people have been to the Moon than to the deepest parts of the ocean, and scientists have more detailed maps of the surface of Mars than they do of much of the ocean floor. That glaring lack of knowledge about our own planet comes in part from the difficulty of communicating with robots and submarines traveling beneath the waves. As an attempt to address that issue, the new NEPTUNE network went online today, bringing the Internet to the briny deep, and boosting


BACTERIAcontinued from page 82

burst. So the ASU team inserted into the bacteria bacteriophage genes that are triggered by the quality of the data on the ocean presence of nickel. Then they floor, while at the same time waited for their cyanobacteria to significantly reducing the cost of fatten up. m o u n t i n g a n u n d e r s e a At harvest time, the researchers simply added nickel to the expedition. This Internet connection is bacteria's growth media. The enabled by a 497-mile ring of nickel was consumed, triggering fiber-optic cable sitting off the the genes which in turn kickcoast of Canada. The cable s t a r t e d t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f incorporates five nodes that serve membrane-eating enzymes inside as routers for the Internet-linked the bacteria. In time: a very tiny experiments trolling around boom. The bacteria are blown beneath the waves. Each node open, attacked from the inside out, their fatty cargo now easily undersea communication, and physically docking with the craft. sits inside a 6.5-ton cage, to harvestable. protect it from fishing trawlers undersea research, like never Now, NEPTUNE lets a range of The bacteriophage genes act as a before. experiments, instruments, and and giant octopuses. kind of Trojan horse, waiting Check out a cool gallery over at: P r i o r t o N E P T U N E , undersea robots broadcast their inside the membrane for the c o m m u n i c a t i n g w i t h a data directly onto the web. This [ Scientific American] signal to attack. Since the process submersible required either a increased connectivity will BACTERIA-BUSTING page 84 r a d i o - e q u i p p e d b u o y o r drastically boost the quantity and

Pneumatic Ball-Levitating 'Bot Preps Produce, Wins at Beer Pong By Clay Dillow (Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now) Submitted at 12/9/2009 7:11:59 AM

Using an air jet to make a ball appear to levitate is an old physics lab trick; the air rushing around the ball traps it in a lowpressure pocket. But guiding

"floating" balls through an obstacle course of hoops, making asymmetrical objects like apples and water bottles float as carefree as perfect spheres, or launching balls across a room with precision accuracy? That's impressive. A pair of grad students at the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign have done exactly

that, using a computer to control a gimbaled air-jet system with

two degrees of motion to not only "levitate" two differentsized balls at once, but also to make them follow difficult trajectories through obstacles, and even land in a small bucket of water all the way across the room. Stereo vision cameras keep tabs on the objects, feeding a control algorithm data that allows the jet

to keep objects at equilibrium and under control. Oh, and it peels onions. Don't believe us? Check out the video below. It makes your Slap Chop look pretty simple by comparison. [ IEEE Spectrum]


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BACTERIAcontinued from page 83

of blowing open cyanobacteria from the inside is completely natural, it doesn't require the high costs or energy expenditure associated with existing chemical or physical methods. Not to mention it's far cooler.

[ Science Daily]

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