Saturday, December 31, 2011

Men's college basketball: Northwestern State at OU

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Samsung Galaxy Y Review by

Phones these days have all kinds of bells and whistles on offer, but if what you really want is simply a handset that you can make calls on and send texts with, along with the added bonus of some apps and access to the internet, then the Samsung Galaxy Y could be the phone for you.


Good looking


There is a 3.5mm audio jack along with a USB charger port on the top of the handset, while the volume rocker sits on the left and the power button on the right side. On the back of the device (which is textured plastic with a metallic-effect finish) you?ll see a snapper.


The phone will fit nicely in most pockets, being 11.5mm thick and weighing only 97g. But for the less careful among you, the plastic lightweight body may not stand up to being dropped on the ground, for instance.


The Galaxy Y looks like a Samsung device ? its curves, flush buttons, light body and easy-to-negotiate menu make this obvious. It has a 3in screen, which has onscreen back and menu buttons as well as a physical Home key at the bottom middle of the device.




The operating system on offer here is Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is really easy to find your way around ? Back and Home speak for themselves, and the onscreen menu key shows what choices you have in any screen or app. You can have up to seven home screens, with four icons remaining constant ? Contacts, Phone, Messages and Apps. On the default home screen you?ll find the likes of Android Market apps and Gmail.


Unfortunately we found browsing the web rather frustrating ? it lacked tabbed web browsing and pinching to zoom was hard to get working reliably. The touchscreen is pretty unreliable too, which leads to more frustration. Under the chassis is an 830MHz chip, which isn't bad, but it crumbles under the pressure if you have too many apps open at any one time.


There are plenty of preloaded apps ? Samsung?s Social Hub, task manager and FM Radio to name but three. Of course, because it runs on Android, setting up your Gmail account is simple. It?s just a shame the display is so low-res (240x320 pixels is very average) and text appears blurred much of the time.

However, the Galaxy Y is still a very accessible handset ? and to get Android features and functions at this kind of price is really impressive.


Our conclusion


We don?t all need or want a fancy smartphone with more features than we can shake a stick at ? and for anyone who wants a pretty basic phone, but wants to try out the Android OS at an affordable price, this is a great start. Okay, it?s never going to be up there with the likes of the Galaxy S II in terms of what it can do, the quality of its screen or its design, but it doesn't pretend to be in its league, and with a price of less than ?100 it?s a great value Android phone with plenty to make it appealing.



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Michelle Beckett: Is Using Facebook and Twitter as Real as an Orgasm?

"It's all very well you being on Facebook, but it's not real, is it? The friendships on there are all very well,'s all on the computer. It can't be the same as being with real people."

I understand why my Dad said what he did about Facebook. At first glance, the social interactions through social media can't sensibly be the same as being in the pub with physical friends. Or can they?

What if we could prove, with science (you know me...or you will do soon), that interacting with friends and contacts on Facebook and Twitter has the same benefits to your wellbeing as being down the pub with them? That to your body and brain, there's no difference?

Now here comes the science bit...concentrate, please...

Okay, who's heard of oxytocin? Oxy...what? Wouldn't blame you if you hadn't. But ,who's heard of those?

Now I've got you listening. Oxytocin is known as the 'trust' or 'cuddle' hormone and promotes bonding between mammals. It's released after orgasm, during labour, and when a mother breastfeeds.

Last year, neuro-economist Paul Zak experimented on blood serum levels of oxytocin before and after a subject using Twitter. Oxytocin levels were found to have been raised by 13.2% and stress hormones cortisol & ACTH decreased by 10.8% & 14.9%, respectively. Powerful physical changes on your body chemistry.

If that's the case, according to Zak, not only does social media make you feel good, but it might also help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What this study suggests with science is that to our brains and bodies, interacting with people on social media via a computer or smart phone is just as 'real' as being with them physically.

"Your brain interprets tweeting as if you were directly interacting with people you cared about or had empathy for", says Zak. "E-connection is processed in the brain like an in person connection. "

The study is non conclusive as it used a very small sample, and further research is needed. But brain scans of people reading fiction would appear to suggest that your brain reacts in some ways as if you were actually living the events. The brain is easy to fool, it would seem.

This 'trust' hormone that's released has vast implications for using social media in business too.

This trust has been eroded somewhat due to the current economic climate: of primary concern to businesses building new relationships is the 'know, like and trust' factor.

Social media is an easy vehicle for someone to get to know, like and trust you. And oxytocin is a hormone to facilitate this. As well as allowing easy interactions across the miles from existing networks.

Earlier this year I posted on Facebook about the day my husband finally moved out and we separated. The countless well wishes I had from my Facebook and Twitter friends were overwhelming and helped me through. Some of whom I haven't seen for 20 years since leaving 6th form.

These people are real friends with real support. I got my virtual 'cuddle' through social media when I needed it. Now I know that the 'cuddle' was just as helpful to me as if it had been physical. With a measurable effect on my wellbeing.

So don't let anyone tell you your online friendships are less valuable. They might just save your life.

Now...who fancies a pint?


Follow Michelle Beckett on Twitter:


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Asian stocks fall on Europe bank worries (AP)

BANGKOK ? Asian stock markets slumped Thursday amid new signs of pressure on Europe's banking system and a downturn on Wall Street.

Benchmark oil lingered above $99 per barrel while the dollar rose against the euro but fell against the yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7 percent to 8,362.33. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.1 percent to 1,823.44 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was 0.9 percent lower at 18,348.95.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia were also lower, while Malaysia and the Philippines rose and mainland China was mostly flat. Overall, stock markets were quieter than normal as many traders go on vacation the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Investor sentiment waned hours after the European Central Bank said banks had parked $590.72 billion with it overnight, surpassing the record set only Monday. That means European banks were less willing to take the risk of making short-term loans to each other, opting instead to earn low interest rates from the ECB.

The move shook confidence in the euro currency, which on Wednesday dropped to $1.2910 ? its lowest level against the dollar in nearly a year ? before recovering slightly.

"As we have seen time and time again throughout 2011, when EUR/USD falls, so does equities, and so does gold, with traders buying into fixed income assets," Chris Weston of IG Markets in Melbourne wrote in a research note.

Even successful bond auctions in Italy failed to lift the euro against the dollar. Demand for Italian bonds was strong Wednesday, and the country was able to pay lower interest rates.

That's a sign that investors are more confident about Italy's ability to repay its debt. The country recently passed a big package of budget-cutting measures.

The yen's rise to a 10-year high against the euro put stress on Japan's exporters. Kyodo News agency said the euro briefly fell to 100.35 yen in Tokyo, its lowest level against the Japanese currency since June 2001.

Canon Inc. fell 1 percent and Sharp Corp. shed 3.3 percent. Yamaha Motor Corp. lost 1 percent.

In currency trading Thursday, the euro fell to $1.2927 from $1.2941 late Wednesday in New York. The dollar fell to 77.78 yen from 77.91 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.1 percent to 12,151.41. The S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent to 1,249.64. The Nasdaq composite declined 1.3 percent to 2,589.98.

Benchmark crude for February delivery rose 19 cents to $99.55 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.98 to settle at $99.36 in New York on Wednesday.


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Friday, December 30, 2011

Racial Disparities Seem to Persist in Depression Diagnosis (HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and cultural factors still affect the diagnosis and treatment of depression in elderly Americans, despite improvements to diagnostic tools and therapies in recent decades, according to a new study.

Researchers found that elderly blacks are less likely to be diagnosed -- and therefore treated -- than whites or Hispanics.

About 6.6 percent of elderly people in the United States have an episode of major depression each year, making it a significant public health issue for older Americans, the Rutgers University researchers pointed out in a university news release.

If it's left untreated or undertreated, depression can have a major negative impact on quality of life and can also complicate medical conditions that are common in elderly people, including congestive heart failure, arthritis and diabetes, Ayse Akincigil, an assistant professor in Rutgers' School of Social Work, and colleagues explained.

The investigators analyzed data collected from nearly 34,000 Medicare beneficiaries between 2001 and 2005, and found that rates of depression diagnosis were 6.4 percent for whites, 4.2 percent for blacks, 7.2 percent for Hispanics, and 3.8 percent for other groups.

"Efforts are needed to reduce the burden of undetected and untreated depression and to identify the barriers that generate disparities in detection and treatment," the researchers concluded.

"Promising approaches include providing universal depression screening and ensuring access to care in low-income and minority neighborhoods," they added. "An increase in the reimbursement of case management services for the treatment of depression also may be effective."

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about older adults and depression.


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How to Disembowel 30 Salmon in Under a Minute [Monster Machines]

The world consumes more than 2 million metric tons of Salmon annually—both farmed and wild. That's a lot of lox. And to get that much fish to market in a timely manner, one can't gut them by hand. That's why there's the Gutmaster8000. More »


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Macedonia: Europe's New Hotspot for Illegal Immigrants (

This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in Les Temps.

LOJANE -- Several dozen young men are basking in the warm mid-day sun. They are Afghan and Pakistani. Behind them, on a white wall, is graffiti extolling the glories of the UĈK -- ex-Kosovo Albanian guerilla fighters.

Over the past two years, the Macedonian village of Lojane, which borders Serbia, has become a stop-over on the illegal migration routes to Western Europe. "It started when groups of three or four would arrive periodically. It didn't disturb us at first," says Selam Mehmeti, the head of the village community. "But since this summer, it's grown to a whole other dimension: there were 500 in November." (See TIME's photoessay: Immigration in Europe.)

The story these men tell is almost always the same. Khan, a 22-year-old Afghan from Kandahar, travelled through Iran, Turkey and then Greece before arriving in Bitola, Macedonia. He then headed for Lojane so he could get into Serbia. Serbian police have already sent him back to Macedonia twice.

The latest plan is to try to go through Hungary. "After that -- from Austria on -- everything will be fine. I want to go to Paris, where I have friends. The most difficult thing is to get through Serbia."

The immigrants sleep in the "jungle" -- the fields that stretch between Lojane and Miratovac, the nearest village, some three kilometers away. Miratovac is in Serbia, but its population is entirely Albanian. "The border has been closed since 1993," Blerim, an inhabitant of Lojane, explains. "Traditionally, relations between the two villages have played an important role. Both my mother and my wife come from Miratovac."

Acting like they don't exist

Where the dirt road abruptly turns to asphalt: this is the only place to demarcate the border line between Macedonia and Serbia. Serbian police and military police are on permanent patrol, and stop anyone who tries to go across, either from Miratovac, or the neighboring town of Presevo. Busloads of illegal immigrants stopped anywhere in Serbia are also sent to Lojane.

All the immigrants say they heard about the village either on the Internet or through friends. But village head Mehmeti says that's not true: he says well-organized networks wait for the immigrants along the country's southern borders, at Gevgelija and Bitola, and bring them here. "And the ones that get caught at the Tabanovce border checkpoint, (10 km from the village) come here too." (See more international news in Global Spin.)

There is no visible presence of Macedonian police: the border is guarded only on the Serbian side, villagers say. There are also no humanitarian organizations in Lojane, even though the winter cold is going to make survival conditions for the immigrants that much worse. "Everybody acts as if they don't exist," says Mehmeti.

Despite agreements made with the European Union, Serbia and Macedonia are incapable of dealing with the new tide of clandestine immigrants, who are increasingly opting to take this route instead of the heavily monitored road from Greece to Bulgaria to the north. Skopje has only one immigration detention center that no journalists have been able to visit, and that officially just has space for several dozen people.

The village head is pleased: it's quiet today, there are "only" a few dozen illegal immigrants in Lojane. However, a line of some 15 men can be seen walking through the fields from Tabanovce. A small Macedonian border police patrol watches from the derelict gas pump located halfway between the villages of Lojane and Vaksince. They neither comment, nor pursue the men, but just keep watching instead.

See TIME's Top 10 World Stories of 2011.

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-- Die Welt

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-- Les Echos

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did Columbus' crew bring syphilis to Europe?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but when he returned from 'cross the seas, did he bring with him a new disease?

New skeletal evidence suggests Columbus and his crew not only introduced the Old World to the New World, but brought back syphilis as well, researchers say.

Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria, and is usually curable nowadays with antibiotics. Untreated, it can damage the heart, brain, eyes and bones; it can also be fatal.

The first known epidemic of syphilis occurred during the Renaissance in 1495. Initially its plague broke out among the army of Charles the VIII after the French king invaded Naples. It then proceeded to devastate Europe, said researcher George Armelagos, a skeletal biologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

"Syphilis has been around for 500 years," said researcher Molly Zuckerman at Mississippi State University. "People started debating where it came from shortly afterward, and they haven't stopped since. It was one of the first global diseases, and understanding where it came from and how it spread may help us combat diseases today."

Stigmatized disease

The fact that syphilis is a stigmatized sexually transmitted disease has added to the controversy over its origins. People often seem to want to blame some other country for it, said researcher Kristin Harper, an evolutionary biologist at Emory. [ Top 10 Stigmatized Health Disorders ]

Armelagos originally doubted the so-called Columbian theory for syphilis when he first heard about it decades ago. "I laughed at the idea that a small group of sailors brought back this disease that caused this major European epidemic," he recalled. Critics of the Columbian theory have proposed that syphilis had always bedeviled the Old World but simply had not been set apart from other rotting diseases such as leprosy until 1500 or so.

However, upon further investigation, Armelagos and his colleagues got a shock ? all of the available evidence they found supported the Columbian theory, findings they published in 1988. "It was a paradigm shift," Armelagos says. Then in 2008, genetic analysis by Armelagos and his collaborators of syphilis's family of bacteria lent further support to the theory.

Still, there have been reports of 50 skeletons from Europe dating back from before Columbus set sail that apparently showed the lesions of chronic syphilis. These seemed to be evidence that syphilis originated in the Old World and that Columbus was not to blame.

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      Science editor Alan Boyle's Weblog: Faster-than-light neutrinos? The heaviest antimatter on Earth? The computer that beat those puny humans on "Jeopardy"? Which scientific twist from the past year was most intriguing?

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Armelagos and his colleagues took a closer look at all the data from these prior reports. They found most of the skeletal material didn't actually meet at least one of the standard diagnostic criteria for chronic syphilis, such as pitting on the skull, known as caries sicca, and pitting and swelling of the long bones.

"There's no really good evidence of a syphilis case before 1492 in Europe," Armelagos told LiveScience.

In the seafood?

The 16 reports that did meet the criteria for syphilis came from coastal regions where seafood was a large part of the diet. This seafood contains "old carbon" from deep, upwelling ocean waters. As such, they might fall prey to the so-called "marine reservoir effect" that can throw off radiocarbon dating of a skeleton by hundreds or even thousands of years. To adjust for this effect, the researchers figured out the amount of seafood these individuals ate when alive. Since our bodies constantly break down and rebuild our bones, measurements of bone-collagen protein can provide a record of diet.

"Once we adjusted for the marine signature, all of the skeletons that showed definite signs of treponemal disease appeared to be dated to after Columbus returned to Europe," Harper said, findings detailed in the current Yearbook of Physical Anthropology.

"What it really shows to me is that globalization of disease is not a modern condition," Armelagos said. "In 1492, you had the transmission of a number of diseases from Europe that decimated Native Americans, and you also had disease from Native Americans to Europe."

"The lesson we can learn for today from history is that these epidemics are the result of unrest," Armelagos added. "With syphilis, wars were going on in Europe at the time, and all the turmoil set the stage for the disease. Nowadays, a lot of diseases jump the species barrier due to environmental unrest."

"The origin of syphilis is a fascinating, compelling question," Zuckerman said. "The current evidence is pretty definitive, but we shouldn't close the book and say we're done with the subject. The great thing about science is constantly being able to understand things in a new light."

Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

? 2011 All rights reserved.


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A radar for ADAR: Altered gene tracks RNA editing in neurons

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To track what they can't see, pilots look to the green glow of the radar screen. Now biologists monitoring gene expression, individual variation, and disease have a glowing green indicator of their own: Brown University biologists have developed a "radar" for tracking ADAR, a crucial enzyme for editing RNA in the nervous system.

The advance gives scientists a way to view when and where ADAR is active in a living animal and how much of it is operating. In experiments in fruit flies described in the journal Nature Methods, the researchers show surprising degrees of individual variation in ADAR's RNA editing activity in the learning and memory centers of the brains of individual flies.

"We designed this molecular reporter to give us a fluorescent readout from living organisms," said Robert Reenan, professor of biology and senior author of the paper, which appears Dec. 25, 2011. "When it comes to gene expression and regulation, the devil is in the details."

Biologists already know that errors in transcribing RNA from DNA can lead to improper gene expression in the nervous system and might contribute to diseases such as epilepsy, suicidal depression, and schizophrenia. More recently they've gathered evidence that ADAR is associated with disease. For instance in a study in Nature Neuroscience two months ago, Reenan and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania described profound connections between ADAR and a model of Fragile X mental retardation in fruit flies.

Reenan said that using the new "reporter" tool to look for correlations between ADAR activity levels and behavior or disease might yield new insights into how RNA editing errors lead to such variations. But he also speculated that the mechanics of how he and his research group created the fluorescent ADAR tracking system could be adapted to someday allow therapies based on targeted RNA repair. Their reporter works by requiring ADAR to fix a purposely broken individual letter of RNA on an engineered gene.

"We're actually repairing RNA at the level of a single informational bit, or nucleotide," Reenan said. "Here we've shown we can take a mutant version of a gene and restore its function, but at the level of RNA rather than DNA."

A reporter of an editor

Reenan and third author Kyle Jay began working to create the reporter in 2006 when Jay was an undergraduate student just embarking on what would become a celebrated senior thesis at Brown. They started with a well-known tool of molecular biology: a jellyfish gene that produces a protein that glows green upon exposure to ultraviolet light. The strategy was to intentionally break the gene in a way that ADAR is uniquely suited to fix.

First they engineered the gene to include necessary "intron" code that requires a specific splicing operation to take place. Then they inserted the "stop codon" T-A-G in place of T-G-G, which causes transcription to cease, effectively preventing production of the green fluorescent protein. But before splicing occurs and when ADAR finds the stop codon U-A-G in the RNA transcript, it edits the A to an I, which restores the correct information, and translation of the whole gene proceeds as if there were no stop mutation in the DNA. So when splicing and ADAR editing occurs, neurons with the gene reporter glow green.

To see where ADAR editing and splicing were occurring, compared to just splicing alone, they also rigged up an engineered gene with the splicing requirement, but not the T-A-G codon. That would produce yellow fluorescent protein when splicing alone occurred.

Armed with their new ADAR reporter, Reenan and lead author James Jepson set out to make some biological observations in flies. One was that ADAR activity is more pronounced in certain parts of the brains of developing larvae than it is in the brains of adults. The team also found wide variation in ADAR activity in the brains of flies of similar ages from individual to individual. This was a surprise, Reenan said, because all the flies were essentially genetically identical.

A versatile new tool?

Reenan said he is confident that the ADAR reporter could be useful in more organisms than the fruit fly. The idea of creating the reporter grew out of his lab's studies of comparative genomics in a number of species. ADAR, meanwhile, is found in both invertebrates and vertebrates. In fact, in the paper the researchers describe testing the flexibility of their engineering by inserting into their engineered jellyfish gene ? destined as it was for a fruit fly ? the splicing intron of a moth.

"Thus it was, a jellyfish-moth gene chimera was crippled by mutation, and repaired by a fruit fly enzyme," Reenan said. "Rube Goldberg would be proud."

Reenan said he plans to use the ADAR reporter in flies to continue the investigation of the genes associated with Fragile X and is eager for someone who works on the disorder in mice to give it a try.

The idea of adapting this method to direct ADAR to fix mistranscribed RNA or reverse DNA damage at the RNA level in a therapeutic fashion is farther into the future. But in a sense, at least ADAR is now on the radar.


Brown University:

Thanks to Brown University for this article.

This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is Amazon the Next Apple?

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Monday Highlights: Tom Krazit starts his look at 2012 with what's in store for Apple, doesn't see the Cook-team losing steam, sees Apple as "most influential company in consumer technology, hands down"; Posts at Eventide expects Tim Cook's first quarter sans-Jobs to be "monster quarter", maintains his expectation of $640/share target; Boston Globe examines the current state of technology patent wars which have no clear victor but at stake is "domination of the multibillion-dollar" smarthphone/tablet/software market; Intego warns of phishing scam coming across as an email from Apple Billing Information; Macworld has suggestions for your New Years system-backup resolution; top stories of 2011: Steve Jobs' tragic death; "stick-to-it-iveness" a hallmark of Apple puts them in Investor's Business Daily's top 50 of 2011; word from China hints that iPhone 4S will be unveiled before the Chinese New Year; Apple year in review video created by teen; dad creates iPhone gadget for his daughter, stricken with brain tumor, to help her learn to write; GeekMom's first part of her iPads in the classroom case-study; Apple's iWatch, or at least we hope; Harry McCraken tells how his iPad 2 became his favorite computer; Steve Jobs attacked harshly via review of his bio?; meanwhile, over at TechNN, Google, MS both in search of new "game changer"; Bernstein report says Microsoft not in as bad a place as many think; Windows 8 may come with gesture-based login; Qualcomm seen as numero uno threat to Intel.

Today's MacUpdate Promo offers 60% off Fumy 2.0.1. "Fumy (was Smoke) is an unusual bitmap editor with unique tools that allow you to brush and render stunning graphics that resemble smoke."

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  • "EFF's Wish List Includes Apple Providing Instructions on Rooting Its Device"?The Mac Observer?2:13 PM
  • "Perry Wins IPad and IPhone Vote (We CAN take on China and win!)" ["While the rest of the country has been suffering from Obama-itis (too much government regulations and power hungry unionism), Texas has been trying to make itself attractive to business (by limiting regulations, empowering free work rules, limiting frivolous lawsuits, educating ALL its people, limiting taxes) Which brings me back to the IPad and IPhone. As many of you know (well, at least the tech-knowledgeable among us), the brains of the IPAD and IPhone is the A5 chip. These chips are now made in Texas in a new $3.6 Billion facility."]?Free Republic?8:06 AM
  • "Teen Makes Another Apple 'Year in Review' Video for 2011"?iPhoneinCanada?7:40 AM
  • "Appy days: Doting father invents iPhone gadget to help daughter, 3, with brain tumour learn how to write"?Daily Mail (UK)?7:36 AM
  • "Reminder: Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app starts today, free iTunes content for Europe and Canada"?TiPb?8:06 AM
  • "Apple's 12 Days of Christmas giveaway kicks off in Europe and Canada"?AppleInsider?8:59 AM
  • "Cool Things: North Point's iBand Does Feliz Navidad on iPads and iPhones"?iSource?11:43 AM
Non-Apple News
  • "Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today (Updated)"?ReadWriteWeb?8:01 PM
  • "This is what a 5MB hard drive looked like in 1956 (note: required a forklift)."?The Next Web?1:15 PM
  • "Facebook is beating Google in 'the battle for eyeballs'"?ZDNet?1:14 PM
  • "Robots bake, fly and kick at US labs" [Slideshow]?CNET News?11:32 AM
  • "Buyer's Remorse: What to Do with Tech Gifts You Don't Want/Just because you didn't get the perfect gift during the holidays, it doesn't mean you can't get what you want"?Techland?11:21 AM
  • "A Rundown of Holiday Gift Return Policies: Every retail and online store?from Amazon, GameStop, Walmart and more?have very specific gift return policies. Here's what you need to know to swap out a holiday present you didn't love."?PC Magazine?11:00 AM
  • "LG Prepping Ice Cream Sandwich Update For Q2 2012 Release"?TechCrunch?11:18 AM
  • "LG Display Unveils World's Largest OLED TV Panel"?eWeek?10:42 AM
  • "Acer to not give up tablet PCs, says founder"?DigiTimes?10:40 AM
  • "Expect more cyber-espionage, sophisticated malware in '12, experts say"?IDG News Service?10:36 AM
  • "Anonymous denies Stratfor hack"?TG Daily?11:19 AM
  • "Confidential Client List Safe from Anonymous, Says Hacker Target"?PCWorld?11:02 AM
  • "Stratfor Hacked; Anonymous Claims Responsibility"?Forbes?10:44 AM
  • "Nokia Windows phone fails to impress in Europe"?CIOL?10:10 AM
  • "Smartphones at center of a fierce commercial battle"?Denver Post?10:09 AM
  • "Google Nexus launch likely to affect sales of Android 4.0 tablet PCs, say sources"?DigiTimes?10:40 AM
  • "Google explains why it invests in Mozilla"?Fudzilla?9:53 AM
  • "App aims to make a social network more personal"?Reuters?9:49 AM
  • "Meet Telecomix, The Hackers Bent On Exposing Those Who Censor And Surveil The Internet"?Forbes?9:42 AM
  • "Samsung to Buy Sony's Share of LCD Panel Joint Company for $934 Million"?IDG News Service?7:38 AM
  • "Engadget Mobile Podcast 118 - 12.26.2011" ["01:22:05 - ITC sides with Apple, bans sale and import of some HTC phones (updated)"]?Engadget?11:53 AM
  • "iWake With AppAdvice For Monday Now Available"?App Advice?7:38 AM

Deal Brothers Daily Deal: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 12MP Digital Camera:? $148.00 Delivered - $30 Drop

  • "Google, Microsoft each seek search 'game changer': Analysts expect big moves after Google and Bing maintain leadership positions in 2011"?Computerworld?10:13 AM
  • "Three reasons Microsoft's Bing will gain ground against Google in 2012"?Computerworld Blogs?2:48 PM
  • "Microsoft in a better place than many people think, concludes Bernstein report"?GeekWire?10:13 AM
  • "A look back at Microsoft's busy year, A to Z"?Seattle Times?11:08 AM
  • "Microsoft: Five things to look for in 2012"?CNET News?9:47 AM
  • "Microsoft And Intel Try To Fend Off iPad Frenzy With Ultrabooks"?Forbes?11:36 AM
  • "Report: Windows Phone Will Have 6.2% Marketshare In 2012 With 40 Million Units Sold"?WMPoweruser?10:09 AM
  • "Windows 8 gesture login, perform gestures to unlock your device"?TweakTown?10:09 AM
  • "Xbox Live To Remove Guns From Avatar Marketplace In January"?GamerFront?10:11 AM
  • "IBM's Emptoris Deal Expands Smarter Commerce Initiatives"?Forbes?10:16 AM
  • "IBM's Watson Shows up for Work at Cedars-Sinai's Cancer Center"?Computerworld?2:45 PM
  • "Dell To Host Customers And Partners At Inaugural Dell Storage Forum In Europe"?VAdvert?9:56 AM
  • "AMD's Bulldozer Architecture: Overclocking Efficiency Explored"?Tom's Hardware?9:53 AM
  • "Broad base helps Intel expand lead over rivals"?Taipei Times?2:47 PM
  • "Intel Antitrust Case Heads to State Court"? [Paid Membership Required]?3:47 PM
  • "Intel considers Qualcomm threat No.1"?Fudzilla?10:04 AM
  • "Intel adjusts Atom development focus, say sources"?DigiTimes?10:40 AM
  • "Intel and Kraft's iSample vending kiosks study shoppers"?BBC?10:03 AM
  • "Booting an Intel Architecture System, Part I: Early Initialization"?Dr. Dobb's?10:03 AM
  • "Intel Thunderbolt to be available in April"?DigiTimes?8:20 PM
  • "With CloudVerse, Cisco Shows How Clever It Is"?ITBusinessEdge?9:54 AM
  • "The 10 biggest tech stories of 2011"?CNN?10:20 AM
  • "Top 10 articles of 2011: Windows 8, iPhone 5 hype and tablet fever"?V3?11:25 AM
  • "Tech stories of 2011: Jobs, Android, and Anonymous rank in top 10"?IDG News Service?10:48 AM
  • "25 Top Network and IT Industry News Stories of 2011"?Network World?9:54 AM
? ?


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Salem_Statesman: Woman, 90, killed in California apartment fire

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Israel hints that Turkey was guilty of its own 'holocaust'

In a step that will further inflame already fraught relations between Israel and Turkey, parliamentarians in Jerusalem have publicly debated for the first time whether to recognise Turkish responsibility for the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

The Knesset session yesterday followed a French vote last week outlawing denial of the massacres, a step that angered the Turkish government.

"Denying a holocaust is something that history cannot agree with," Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said during a discussion in the Knesset's Education, Culture and Sports Committee, breaking a decades-long taboo on public debate by the Knesset on the issue ? and a longtime avoidance of the use of the word "holocaust", which most Israelis prefer to apply only to the Nazi massacre of six million Jews. "We believe that as humans, as Jews and as citizens of the State of Israel ? along with members of Knesset that are not Jewish ? we must put the subject on the national agenda," Mr Rivlin said.

In the past, successive Israeli governments had suppressed discussion of the issue for fear of offending Turkey, a rare Muslim ally of the Jewish state. Academic symposiums have been held at Israeli universities and the former Education Minister Yossi Sarid attended two Armenian government conferences marking the 85th and 90th anniversaries of the massacre.

Following the breakdown of relations over the killing of nine passengers aboard a Turkish ship trying to enter Gaza in 2010, pressure grew for Israel's parliament to acknowledge the historical suffering of Armenians.

"Acknowledging the horrors that took place in the past should not affect future relations with Turkey," Zahava Gal-On, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, said during the debate. "The moral duty to recognise the Armenian genocide is not a partisan issue.

"As a daughter to the Jewish people, who underwent a holocaust that has no precedent in human memory, we have the moral duty to show sensitivity to the calamity of other nations.

"A million and a half people were butchered. I know this is a sensitive topic and that throughout the years it has been used as a foreign policy tool in the hands of Israel's governments, but we have a moral duty. It is inconceivable that our school curriculums are silent on the Armenian genocide."

Foreign Ministry officials told the committee yesterday that Israel's view should be discussed "by historians, not politicians". Yaakov Amidror, security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urged postponement of the discussion because of the sensitivity of government efforts to repair relations with Turkey.


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Monday, December 26, 2011

Minister: Spain to fall back into recession (AP)

MADRID ? Spain will slide back into recession early next year with the current quarter and the first of 2012 both registering negative growth, new Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Monday.

De Guindos said he expects the economy ? the eurozone's fourth largest ? to contract by between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent in the final three months of this year and again in the first quarter of next year. He said the outlook for next year was poor.

"Let nobody be fooled, the next two quarters are not going to be easy either in terms of growth or employment," de Guindos said.

Spain began to emerge from a near two-year recession last year. It had two successive quarters of growth in 2011 before posting zero growth in the third period.

De Guindos took office last week as part of the new conservative Popular Party government. He said then he was confident the country would emerge from its severe economic crisis and return to prosperity and its former status as a job creator.

Spain has the highest unemployment rate of the 17 countries that use the euro, with 21.5 percent joblessness, and is running a swollen budget deficit following the recession that started with the collapse of a real estate bubble.

The Popular Party won a landslide victory in Nov. 20 elections on a promise to get the economy moving again.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged austerity cuts totaling euro16.5 billion ($21.6 billion) and promised labor reforms.

His government is to begin approving urgent measures Friday, including a freeze on filling new civil service vacancies. except in key areas such as the security forces.

Spain has already made sharp cuts to its national spending and introduced several reforms under the former Socialist government, but the economy has failed to respond.


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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Welcomes News of Drop in District?s Unemployment Rate


From Robert Marus:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray today welcomed new figures from the federal Department of Labor showing a significant drop in the District?s unemployment rate last month. The rate stood at 10.6 percent in November ? a drop of nearly half a percentage point over October?s 11.0-percent rate.


?Although we have a long way to go, I am encouraged by this significant drop in the unemployment rate,??Mayor Gray said.??This is a validation of our work to grow the economy and create jobs ? but I will not stop until every District resident who wants a job has a job.?


The federal statistics show the District gained 3,200 jobs in October, for a total of 719,000. The private sector added 4,000 jobs, while the public sector payrolls were reduced by 800 jobs.? The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of D.C. employers.?


Since January, the total number of private-sector jobs in the District has increased by 3.7 percent, or 17,100 jobs.?



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Kids with cancer get Christmas shopping spree thanks to Hometown Heroes

MONROE, NC (WBTV) - On Christmas Eve, one of the largest retail chains transformed into Santa's toy store for close to two dozen sick children.

For two hours, children and their families got $500 to spend on anything in the store they wanted.

It's all thanks to an organization called Hometown Heroes. Founded by a former Monroe police officer Donnie Dixson, the group has helped needy families for 13 years.

"It's worth the trip..we have a good's fun," Dixson said.

Nicole Gordon's 5-year-old son Chase was diagnosed with nueroblastoma. She says there were times in the hospital they worried how they would have a Christmas.

But for Gordon and the other families, that's all forgotten for a few hours.

"We come in here..turn him loose and he gets what he wants," Chris Crook said. Crook's 3-year-old son Corbin is fighting a rare form of anemia.

The group raises money throughout the year with a motorcycle ride, Christmas tree sales and with the help of local businesses.

For more information, go to They also have a Facebook page, under "Hometown-Heroes, Monroe NC."

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Teen Mom' Amber accused of 2 new felonies

Madison County Sheriff Department

By Anna Chan

Things continue to get worse for troubled "Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood.

On Monday, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest and she?was taken into custody for allegedly violating the terms of her probation. She had pled guilty in June to two counts of felony domestic violence after MTV aired an episode during season two of "Teen Mom" in which she was seen repeatedly punching and slapping ex-fiance Gary Shirley, who is also the father of her daughter, Leah. Portwood was given a two-year suspended sentence and placed and two years of probation in the case.

On Friday, she appeared in a Madison County, Ind., court from jail?via video conference. According to TMZ and Radar Online, Portwood was not only accused of violating probation, but was also accused of committing two new crimes: felony battery and possession of a controlled substance. According to several reports, Portwood had too much to drink and hit someone while at a restaurant recently, which has now resulted in one of the new charges.

As for the possession charge, the reality personality's brother, Shawn, told our friends at E! Online earlier this week that when his sister missed a probation hearing, authorities went to her home. While there, they reportedly found some "old pills" in her purse that she couldn't show she had a prescription for.

According to the Herald Bulletin, Portwood testified that she has back issues and scoliosis, and that a doctor prescribed hydrocodone, which she said she abused. (It is not clear if the pills authorities found were hydrocodone.)

Sources also told TMZ that she failed to submit to drug tests on Dec. 16 and 19.

The paper also reports that Portwood said she felt exploited for her work on MTV's "Teen Mom." "I want to quit and I will," the Herald Bulletin quotes her as saying.

MTV did not have a comment.

Judge David Happe ordered her to remain in jail until at least Jan. 27. Shirley currently has custody of daughter Leah.

Do you believe that Amber will really quit "Teen Mom"? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.


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Sea Shepherd says drones find, photograph Japan's whaling fleet (Reuters)

SYDNEY (Reuters) ? Hardline whaling opponents attempting to stop Japan's annual whale hunt in the Antarctic said Sunday they had intercepted and photographed its whaling fleet using pilotless drone aircraft.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said it located the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru off Australia's western coast Saturday using the drones, the first time this season it has made contact with the whalers.

However, other Japanese ships shielded the vessel "to allow it to escape," Sea Shepherd said in a statement.

"We caught them due west of Perth," founder Paul Watson told Reuters by satellite phone from the ship Steve Irwin. "For the next few days we will be chasing them. We are heading south."

The two drones are equipped with cameras and detection equipment and allow Sea Shepherd to monitor the whaling fleet from a distance, he said.

Watson said Sea Shepherd's three ships were well outside Antarctic waters when the Japanese vessel was seen. The Sea Shepherd waited for the Nisshin Maru after hearing from fishermen it had sailed through the Lombok Strait in Indonesia on its voyage to Antarctic waters.

The Sea Shepherd society's annual attempts to stop the Japanese whale hunt by "direct action" have been widely criticised by other environmentalists and governments, particularly Japan. However, it also has influential supporters.

Watson said sympathisers in New Jersey in the United States contributed to the cost of the two drones.

An international moratorium on whaling has been in place since 1986, but Japan exploits a loophole allowing whaling for scientific purposes to justify its annual hunt.

(Reporting by Chris McCall; Editing by Paul Tait)


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dunham?s Sports opens store in Burlington

RBR Staff Writer
Published 19 December 2011

Dunham?s Sports, a US-based sporting goods chain, has unveiled a new location in Burlington at Fox River Plaza in the former Pick ?n Save space.

The new 55,000ft? store, which is about 25% larger than Dunham's average, features clothing brands including Adidas and Columbia, Nike and Under Armour, reported

The Burlington has expanded hunting and fitness departments, in addition to a large 'value area' featuring footwear at 30-50% off manufacturers' suggested prices.

Near the front of the new store is a seasonal game shop with pool, pingpong, air hockey and shuffleboard tables. The basketball area had backboard stands priced from about $200 to $1,700.

The large fitness area in the shop included many types of exercise equipment, weight benches and power towers. The footwear section includes special shoes and cleats for sports including soccer, hiking and wrestling.

The hunting department includes rifles and shotguns, tree stands and a full archery area including crossbows. A corner of the Burlington shop is devoted to licensed team apparel and college hoodies.

The Michigan-based Dunham's Sports operates more than 150 stores in 14 Midwestern states.


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From Abkhaz to Zuni: The Language Collections of the University Library, thru Feb 17, 2012

From Abkhaz to Zuni: The Language Collections of the University Library

Exhibit - Artifacts | October?6, 2011 ? February?17, 2012?every?day?with exceptions | Moffitt Undergraduate Library, Elevator Lobby

(No event on these dates: November 11, 24, 25; December 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 2011; January 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 2012)


This exhibit highlights the linguistic diversity of the UC Berkeley Library?s collections, a cornerstone of the world-class research for which the University is famous. The campus libraries include material in over 400 languages, representing a vast array of cultures and time periods.

Some of the highlights include a reproduction of the Bancroft Library's Codex Fernandez Leal, one of the oldest surviving documents of Indian America, about nine feet of which is displayed on the back of the security desk of Moffitt Library; a Swahili cookbook from the Biosciences Library's famed cookbook collection, and a delightful bilingual children's book from the Education/Psychology Library.

Open during operating hours of Moffitt Library. See our website for current hours.

Check the Exhibit blog for more information and virtual updates from the Library's collections.

Anyone wishing to enter Moffitt Library must show a current UC ID, UC Berkeley Library Borrower's Card, or Stanford ID., 510-768-7899


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