Monday, October 29, 2012

Syria's YouTube 'war' could win the war

Another failed United Nations-brokered truce in Syria over the weekend should now force the outside world to again ask: What can stop the violence?

More than 30,000 people have been killed in a conflict sparked 19 months ago when the military arrested 15 teenagers writing graffiti ? ?The people want the downfall of the regime? ? that revealed an unspoken truth. Since then, peaceful protests have largely given way to a civil war that?s also spilling over Syria?s borders. Russia and the United States can?t agree on what to do, so little is done from the outside.

That leaves either more violence to resolve the conflict or something else. What might that something else be?

Perhaps it is the parallel war being waged by the opposition on YouTube to convince the remaining Syrians who support Bashar el-Assad that the regime now survives only on a thin tissue of lies.

OPINION: What world can give Syria

One of the more popular chants during demonstrations has been ?Syrian media is a liar!? To challenge the state?s censorship and its massive propaganda machine, the opposition has smartly used the Internet, relying on satellite connections to upload videos on YouTube. Many Syrians rely heavily on their satellite dishes to watch these daily depictions of what the regime actually does.

The effect is powerful. A string of myths has been knocked down, starting with Mr. Assad?s superficial attempt at political reform last year. Also gone is the regime?s pretense of widespread support in the Arab and Muslim world.

The videos have shattered Assad?s claim that he represents all of Syria?s diverse people by showing how much he now relies on support from his minority Alawite community. The current videos are countering the regime?s claim that the pro-democracy opposition is run by Islamic terrorists.

Assad is losing this war over the truth as more Syrians wake up to the unreality of the regime?s lies. It is forcing him to use state media to build up the Army as a unifying icon rather than himself. TV programs depict soldiers as brave and magnanimous toward the people. Some clips show crowds yelling, ?God save the Army!?

Meanwhile, the foot soldiers themselves, who are mainly from the Sunni majority, are ordered not to watch the Internet. And with the opposition able to reveal Army massacres of innocent women and children, as well as whole villages, the military itself is losing credibility.

The Internet?s ability to democratize information could be the way to bring political democracy to Syria. Its power resides in allowing the masses to sift fact from fiction, which also helps lift their fears. Syrians can make better choices to live the truth of their broader community. The old lies spun by Assad are seen as powerless.

OPINION: NATO must offer Turkey support in Syria crisis

Many ruthless regimes have collapsed without a shot when the truth pours into a country. East Germans, for example, rose up against their communist rulers after years of being able to watch West German television beamed across the border. During a 1986 revolt in the Philippines, a Christian radio station countered the regime?s lies about the extent of its popular support.

Outside Syria, the United States and other nations are providing communication technology and training to help the opposition spread the videos. With few foreign journalists in Syria, the rest of the world also relies on these visual reports.

The more that Assad tries new ways to claim that he has staying power, the easier it becomes for the opposition to win the YouTube war. With enough massive noncooperation from Syrians, the regime will be cornered, perhaps creating more violence for a while, but eventually it will collapse.

Democracy itself is humanity?s best means of bringing out truths to run society. In Syria, hollowing out the lies is the first step toward creating new representations of truth. With that victory, the YouTube revolution can lead to democratic representation for all Syrians.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

10 Things I Hate About Branding | Small Business Branding

Frankly it takes a lot of work to stay on top of my brand. If only I could just push a button like the Staples ?Easy Button? ( which I have on my desk). I hate that I can?t!

I hate having to remind businesses that their brand is more than their logo. I have every design shop and ad specialty shop to blame for the mis-information I guess. (I could be painting with big a brush too)

I hate companies who don?t realize that branding is a top down initiative. Without the captain on board, who?s piloting the brand?

Just too many great books to read. I?m stuck on historical fiction right now and so slipping in books on branding is a tight fit ? I hate that.

I hate those who confuse their brand message with their slogan. There is a difference. I guess since they are both important, I should be happy that they have anything.

I hate followers. Why do some businesses still feel they must follow the leader in their category? A commenter to one of my articles recently lamented their displeasure at businesses who copy the leader?s image almost to the letter. Sheesh!

I also hate people online who make the simple complicated in an attempt to screw a few dollars out of your pocket, only to reveal the obvious. If you see something online you want to get into, email the author ? I?m sure they?ll help you.

I love it when someone says, ?Hey, you?re the branding guy!? I hate that it took so long.

Sometimes I hate that consistency is worth so much to your brand. I get the itch like many of us to change things up a bit. BUT, my better judgement knows that that would diminish what I have achieved so far.

Sometimes I hate focus groups when judging brand image. By their nature they look to criticize regardless if it is even necessary. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Was your brand built on consensus or instinct?

Thanks for letting me vent a small bit, I hate keeping it bottled up inside


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India Art n Design: The India Interiors Summit 2012

IAnD Exclusive

By IAnD Team

As the exclusive online media partner for the India Interiors Summit 2012, India Art n Design brings you an exclusive peek into what the summit is all about, the participating dignitaries and the lofty agenda it proposes to address?

An august initiative by the gulf-based IDE Global, India Interiors Summit is organized as a platform to strengthen business relationships, targeted specifically at the ?time restricted? purchasing professionals within the interior design industry, who are seeking new concepts and solutions for current and future projects. Being hosted on November 1 & 2, 2012 at the Kempinski Ambience, New Delhi, India, the summit promises a dynamic face-to-face meeting format, bringing together interior designers, architects, contractors and PMC?s involved in several projects across the hospitality and real estate arena.
The tw0-day event will see an industry-focused conference agenda with panel discussions on new subjects like Biomimicry, Green Logistics and the manifestation of Nanotechnology, Parametric Designs and Design Intelligence in Contemporary Design v/s Architecture; among other interesting interactive sessions. Participating are 80 senior decision makers pre-qualified and personally invited among the best project holders in the design sector. Interior designers, architects, hoteliers, real estate developers, project management consultants, carefully selected for the potential of their future projects and their significant purchasing power. Prominent among the attending and keynote speakers are James Law, Wong Chiuman, Mark Igou, Aaron Schwarz, Niranjan Khatri, Jayesh Hariyani, Vidur Bharadwaj among several others; Lodha, Jaypee, Tata Housing, Hirco, Omaxe, Supertech, Ireo, Sobha, ATS to name a few from the developers arena. HBA, Aedas, Nelson, Ong & Ong, Fowler & Fowler, R204 Design, Space Matrix, M Moser, EHDD, Omiros one, Studio U+A, Arcon, Cushman & Wakefield, AWA lighting, STUP, Serie, Jones Lang LaSalle, Edifice, Carlson Rezidor, ITC, Hilton, Shoppers Stop ?- but a few from the large delegate directory.
An honorarium that will serve as a podium to all endowed connoisseurs to interact first-hand with the audacious experts of this domain and an awards ceremony that will felicitate stalwarts from the building and design domains are other highlights of the two-day gala event.

Photographs: Courtesy World Wide Web


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Hello everyone.

Hello everyone, I am TheMysticKnight. There isn't too much information which i am comfortable stating, though i am in my first year of games development and plan on making an RPG as my major project later on in the course. My interest and focus on games are from this genre or setting. While i am not that good or active with text RPs, i am willing to try some (as long as i am not expected to write what feels like a novel length like some can type. Again, not a good text RPer. ^^;)

The reason i joined is for research, may it be selfish a bit or not. I am required to do some research on an audience and have a look at their preferences for my game. I do have a survey which i need people to complete, though the link will be shown when i ask an admin about that. Apart from that i seen a section could help me with some general tips to assist me, so i am going to safely say being active here will benefit me with my project.

As for me personally. I am gamer who takes interest with RPG, adventure and adventure-action games (with First-Person Shooter being a minor interest now.) I see myself as a friendly person as i am able to quickly get back to responses from people without using flame, blame ETC. It feels good to meet new people and friends.

You can also find me on DeviantART, where i will upload drawings either related to my game or unrelated. Feel free to have a look:

Not sure what else to say... Have a nice day!


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quality Home Improvement - Zillow Real Estate Advice

I just recently moved to Atlanta, GA and had my kitchen renovated by [deleted by Zillow? moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] they did a great job; now I have a beautiful kitchen that I always dreamed of. I am planning the next phase of my house transformation and need a good flooring contractor to install marble tile. ?Please provide names of good marble contractors for the Atlanta, GA area.

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Soccer star, pop diva run in Ukraine's election

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) ? An extravagantly dressed pop diva, a retired football star, the son of a famous actor, an opposition leader suspiciously cozy with the government. Meet some members of the eclectic cast running in Sunday's parliamentary election in Ukraine.

Ukrainian political parties have brought in celebrities or even created fake opposition in an effort to boost their ratings and split their rivals' vote. Such tactics raise questions about Ukraine's commitment to democracy and its hopes of integrating with the West.

The two main pro-Western opposition parties hope to challenge President Viktor Yanukovych's nearly three-year grip on power. They aim to wrestle the parliamentary majority away from his Party of Regions and undo actions that have been judged undemocratic by the West, such as the imprisonment of charismatic former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The Party of Regions has tried to raise its profile by offering the No. 2 spot on its candidate list to pop diva Taisia Povaliy, which guarantees her a seat in Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. The 47-year-old blonde, who wears low-cut, floor-length gowns and sings about the pain of lost love, acknowledges that politics had never been her calling.

"I never thought that I would run for parliament, I never planned it. And then I discovered that people ? the people themselves ? want me to represent them," Povaliy said on a TV celebrity gossip program. "What difference does it make if I work on stage or in the Verkhovna Rada?"

Ukraine Forward, led by former Tymoshenko ally Natalia Korolevska, is widely believed to be supported by the ruling party and aimed at siphoning off opposition votes. Korolevska, a 37-year-old businesswoman-turned-politician, was ousted from Tymoshenko's party in the spring after she refused to support a motion calling for the jailed leader's release.

She went on to found her own party, hoping to attract Tymoshenko voters looking for an attractive, pro-Western female leader. Even though she denies any government links and is calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Azarov, Korolevska gets so much airtime on government-friendly television channels that she is viewed as a tool of Yanukovych's team.

To lead her party's candidate list, Korolevska brought in retired football star Andriy Shevchenko and actor Ostap Stupka, the less illustrious son of late renowned actor Bohdan Stupka. Giant billboards of her and the two celebrities went up along streets and roads.

Shevchenko, the 36-year-old striker known as Sheva, is extremely popular in Ukraine, but many wonder how he would make the transition to lawmaker.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Shevchenko said he planned to concentrate on sports and health issues in parliament and cited the poor athletic condition of many Ukrainian school students as one of the top problems in the country.

"What has Ukraine come to? Today, 70 percent of children cannot do a simple set of physical exercises," Shevchenko said.

Andreas Umland, a political scientist at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, said that political shenanigans are corrupting the democratic process in this former Soviet republic.

"Obviously, the readiness to manipulate politics with all sorts of dubious strategies is high, and includes the active use of politically incompetent, but famous figures," Umland said.

And the celebrities are only happy to oblige. It seems that many of them run for parliament to get the perks and parliamentary immunity enjoyed by Ukrainian lawmakers rather than a desire to serve their nation ? a trend evidenced by the fact that legislators regularly ditch parliament sessions and simply hand their voting cards to their colleagues.

World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, 40, is also running for parliament, but he has years of political experience and a record of challenging Yanukovych's party in the Kiev city council ? "like a burr under the saddle," as he puts it. With Tymoshenko in prison, his Udar, or Punch, party has gained popularity in recent months and is running neck-and-neck with Tymoshenko's Fatherland party. The two parties' failure to join forces plays into the hands of Yanukovych.

Klitshchko, a tower of muscle, says that competing on Ukraine's political arena, with its dirty tricks and below-the-belt punches, can be harder than fighting in the boxing ring.

"We have declared a fight for Ukraine and we will win it!" he told hundreds of cheering supporters at a campaign rally in Kiev last week.

With the campaign almost over, pollsters say that the use of celebrities has largely failed to sway Ukrainian voters. Korolevska's party is now less popular than before recruiting Shevchenko, prompting her to replace posters showing him and Stupka with just her face.

"This demonstrates the stupidity of our politicians," said Iryna Bekeshkina, head of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, a polling agency. "At the end of the day our voter, of course, is still far from being rational, but still he is not that stupid."


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Friday, October 26, 2012

91% Holy Motors

"Holy Motors," from French filmmaker Leos Carax, is the best avant-garde film of 2012 so far. But that's not saying much, as it's been a terrible year for avant-garde film. Despite its title, "Holy Motors" really isn't about cars. It's somewhat about technology, with limousines probably meant to represent traditional celluloid cameras -- so big and bulky that they are a challenge to handle. But oh so wonderful. Big wonderful machines. Stretch limos can barely turn a corner in the old sectors of great cities like Paris and New York. But doesn't everyone's heart skip a beat just a bit when they enter one? First and foremost, "Holy Motors" is about people, as was the case with Carax's first film, "Boy Meets Girl" (1984). This is an avant-garde artist with a deep-feeling heart and a deep sensitivity to the people around him. Holy Love. Amen to that. The film documents a day in the life of a man named Oscar. (Perhaps this is a tribute to American cinema and its big, grand Academy Awards. Holy Glamour.) Played spectacularly well by the protean Denis Lavant, Oscar is carted around all day in a white stretch limo, taken to a series of appointments throughout Paris. At each appointment, he becomes a different character. His limo is a dressing room, where he applies make-up and elaborate disguises to become his next character. The first one is an old, crippled woman begging for money on the street. Another is a revolting barefoot troll (half-man, half-beast) who interrupts a high-fashion photo shoot and kidnaps the model (who is played by Eva Mendes). Every sequence is quite thrilling, and each one is so different from the others. Most breathtaking of all is the sequence where his movements are recorded in a stop-motion studio, for use in what appears to be a pornographic video game. Gradually it becomes clear that these appointments are elaborately planned, and everyone he interacts with during each scene is also an actor. While donning his next costume in the limo, he is also reading a file that someone else has prepared, a summary of what his next character will be doing. We even meet a man who appears to be something like Oscar's employer, who critiques Oscar's performances. Oscar announces that he has been having more difficulty staying in character because the cameras have gotten so small that they cannot be seen. This is when "Holy Motors" started to seem like a comment on digital filmmaking. At my screening at the New York Film Festival, Carax was in attendance, as was Kylie Minogue, who has a small role in the film. (I initially thought this was Minogue's first time acting. But not so. She has appeared in a number of television shows and films, including "Moulin Rouge," where she played the Green Fairy. Who knew?) Carax spoke for about a half-hour after the screening, and it became even more clear that "Holy Motors" was primarily meant as an allegory about 21st-century filmmaking and the demise of traditional cameras. At one point, he said the new cameras today are not really cameras. "They're more like computers," he said. He feels sad about the rise of digital filmmaking, claiming that it "looks terrible." But "Holy Motors," which was shot 100% on digital, looked gorgeous. Gradually during his remarks, the object of his ire shifted. What really angers him is that he's been unable to make a film since 1999. He had several projects collapse at the last minute because producers won't back him. This has nothing to do with the 21st century or changing technology. This is the age-old problem of cinema being enormously expensive. If anything, it's gotten easier in the digital age because the new technology costs so much less. It's no surprise to me that Carax finally was able to get a project green-lighted now that digital has triumphed. To me, Carax has digital to thank. Furthermore, I suspect that "Holy Motors" is going to succeed well enough financially that he's going to get another project green-lighted in 2013. Holy Digital. While I appreciate Carax's work and consider myself a fan, I wouldn't put him in my pantheon. There's something still just a bit underwhelming about his work.

October 14, 2012


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A map of London painted in Twitter languages

Joanna Carver, reporter


(Image: Ed Manley & James Cheshire)

Twitter has its own #language, but this map shows that in the home of the Queen's English, the Twittersphere is a polyglot place.

Using an algorithm adapted from web browser Google Chrome, engineering doctorate candidate Ed Manley and spatial analysis lecturer James Cheshire, both from University College London, were able to detect the language of tweets sent from the London area over the summer. Of 3.3 million tweets, 92.5 per cent are, not surprisingly, in English. The biggest tweeting tongues after that are Spanish (grey), French (red), Turkish (dark blue), Arabic (green), Portuguese (purple), German (orange), Italian (yellow), Malay (turquoise) and Russian (pink).

Arabic tweeters are busy in the strongly Middle Eastern area of Edgware Road, to the north-east of Hyde Park. They are also thick on the ground in the top-drawer shopping districts of Knightsbridge and Kensington. Turkish tweeting is spread across north London, while there are clear hotspots of Francophone activity - one in fashionable Notting Hill and another at the Institut Fran?ais.

"We're just showing that people can see this pattern going on," Manley says. "I hope this helps people think about the people who use Twitter."

Sixty-six languages were detected overall, and Manley said he was surprised to find a few in Basque, Haitian Creole and Swahili. Quite a few seemed to be written in the Filipino language Tagalog, but most of them turned out to be phrases like "hahahahaha" or "lolololol," and were excluded.

"I don't know much about Tagalog," Manley says on his blog, "but it seems like a fun language."

Manley's and Cheshire's work contrasts starkly with census information, which puts English-speakers in London at 60 per cent, leading Manley to conclude that either people tweet more in English or that English-speakers tweet more.

Manley, a Twitter user himself, thinks that one of the reasons people tweet is to build communities.

"I think it's a sort of democratisation of communication in a way," he says. "Because what you know have is you can communicate with anyone directly without any barrier. You can tweet Barack Obama and he might reply, though he probably won't."


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

U.S. trial set in Chevron fraud case against Ecuador lawyers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. trial has been set for next fall in a Chevron Corp lawsuit that accuses Ecuadorean residents, their lawyers, and advisers of fraud in obtaining a $19 billion pollution award against the U.S. oil company.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said at a brief hearing on Thursday that the trial would begin on October 15, 2013.

The battle over the pollution case has lasted for nearly two decades and is being fought in courts inside and outside the Andean country.

It has escalated ever since plaintiffs from villages in the oil-rich Amazon won an $18.2 billion case in February 2011 against Chevron, the No. 2 U.S. oil company. An Ecuadorean court found that Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, contaminated the area from 1964 to 1992. Damages were increased to $19 billion in July.

Chevron says Texaco cleaned up all waste pits for which it was responsible before turning the sites over to state-owned oil company Petroecuador, which still operates in the area.

As part of its fight against the damages award, Chevron sued the Ecuadoreans and their long-time legal adviser, Steven Donziger, in 2011 in Manhattan federal court. Chevron accuses them of illegally pressuring the Ecuadorean legal system to render a judgment in their favor.

Donziger and the Ecuadoreans deny they acted improperly and argue that Chevron's claims were brought improperly. In May, Kaplan refused the defendants' request to toss out Chevron's fraud and racketeering conspiracy claims, brought under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.

(Reporting By Basil Katz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


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PM Note: 65 Million Watched Debate, Romney's Lady Binder, Courting Women, Jeb's Advice

Psychoanalysis: Obama and Romney on the Couch (Jake Tapper did his Nightline interview lying down).

Nielsen: "An estimated 65.6 million people tuned in to watch the second debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday, October 16? The second presidential debate, and third overall, in this political season's debate quartet netted 2.4 million more viewers than the second presidential debate between then Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in 2008."

That's a hair over one-fifth of the U.S. population.

Amy Walter on the Debate Hangover Live Stream - "At the end of the day, the win goes to Obama, because, number one, he, I think, commanded the stage much more than Mitt Romney did - and, number two, because he was so different than the man that we saw a week or two weeks ago that that alone made him the winner." -


The Pace is About to Get Break-Neck - President Obama, Mitt Romney and their surrogates are back on the road today, fanning out across battleground states as the campaigns hustle to shape public perceptions of Tuesday night's bruising debate in New York. (Gregory Krieg)

Lilly Ledbetter Law - Mitt opposed it, but he wouldn't repeal it - ABC's Michael Falcone reports: This afternoon Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie e-mailed a statement to the Huffington Post walking back his comment last night when he said Mitt Romney "was opposed to" the Lilly Ledbetter Act "at the time."

"I was wrong when I said last night Governor Romney opposed the Lily Ledbetter act," Gillespie said, according to the statement on HuffPost. "He never weighed in on it. As President, he would not seek to repeal it."

But Paul Ryan argued today that the Lilly Ledbetter law didn't have anything to do with fair pay even though that is how Democrats portray it.

"The point is, Lilly Ledbetter was not an equal pay law. It was about opening up the lawsuits and statute of limitations. It wasn't an equal pay law. And of course we support equal pay.

Lady Binder - Abby Phillip's report on the fallout from Mitt Romney's oddly worded and instantly seized upon binder meme - "He said his administration had the highest number of women in top positions of any governor in the country.

That version is under fire by a coalition of women's groups known as MassGAP, which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus. The group compiled the names of female applicants before Romney came to office and offered them to both Romney and his Democratic opponent Shannon O'Brien. ? MassGAP, which is non-partisan, issued a statement saying that while the Romney administration started with women comprising 42 percent of newly appointed positions, by 2006, that number had dropped to 25 percent. ? In response to the controversy, Romney tweeted from his official Twitter account today: "I understand the challenges women face and want to make it easier for them in the workplace." The message included a video of testimonials from women who served in Romney's cabinet as governor. And a Romney campaign spokesman responded by emphasizing his cooperation with MassGAP in finding qualified women candidates.

More from Abby -

Obama Has Accelerated His Romney Mocking with Binder Attacks -

But beyond the jokes it is clear that Romney is doing everything he can to appeal to those women who many think will decide this election. The question remains whether he can cut through the chatter and reach them.

Maybe with this - Mitt Romney, the Abortion and Contraception Moderate in New TV Ad-After Democrats have hammered him for months on women's health issues, Mitt Romney is airing a new TV ad that portrays him as a moderate on abortion and contraception. (Chris Good)

Debate Reaction: 'Walmart Moms' Say Obama Won, But Not by Much- (Elizabeth Hartfield)

Top Moments From Townhall Debate-

Republicans Seize on Bankruptcy of Battery Maker That Received $249M in Federal Loan Guarantees-The bankruptcy filing Tuesday of an electric car battery maker that received $249 million in federal loan guarantees and that President Obama had touted as a poster child for green-energy jobs has given fresh fodder to Republicans and presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who have attacked Obama's green-energy initiatives as a waste of taxpayer funds, yielding few new jobs. (Devin Dwyer)

Biden, Ryan Continue Clash on Benghazi-President Obama and former Gov. Romney squared off last night and this morning their respective running mates continued to clash over what was perhaps the most heated moment of the debate - the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (George Stephanopoulos)

Spin from the Top - Candidates Both Claimed Victory Today -

Obama Re-Uses Debate Zingers in Iowa-President Obama today took his presidential debate "zingers" on the road to battleground Iowa, using the catchy sound bites in an effort to appeal to independent voters and women voters. (Devin Dwyer)

Mitt Romney Says President Obama Has Failed America's Women as He Recalls 'Great' Debate-Mitt Romney offered his own summary of Tuesday's fiery presidential debate to voters in Virginia, saying President Obama has failed to present a plan for the next four years and has "failed America's women." (Emily Friedman)

Jeb Bush Gives Immigration Advice to Romney - Speaking in Spanish, Jeb Bush tells an interviewer Romney should continue Obama's deferred action if he's elected -

Meaning Behind First Lady, Ann Romney Matching Dresses-Michelle Obama and Ann Romney may not agree on who should be our next president but their wardrobes were in perfect harmony last night at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y. Both women showed up at Hofstra University sporting hot pink dresses on their husbands' big night. (Jilian Fama)

2 Chainz and Felons' Ability to Vote-Hip-hop artist 2 Chainz - sporting sunglasses and two very big, gold necklaces - has become the latest celebrity to release a video on the issue of voting rights restrictions. (Ariane de Vogue)

Candy Crowley Defends Her Libya Comment During Presidential Debate-Debate moderator Candy Crowley defended her decision to interject in a heated moment about Libya during last night's presidential debate, saying she was not trying to "fact check," but just trying to move the debate along. (Russell Goldman)

Arizona Elections Department Flubs Election Date-Arizona election officials in Maricopa County admit they flubbed the date on an official government document that was printed in Spanish. (Alyssa Newcomb)

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Google will be holding an Android event on October 29th in New York City


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

US House committee seeks FDA documents on communications ...

US House committee seeks FDA documents on communications with Massachusetts regulators about firms linked to meningitis outbreak - @Reuters -

CDC says US death toll in meningitis outbreak reaches 19; 2 new deaths reported in Tennessee, 1 in Florida, 1 in Virginia - @Reuters

Health officials confirm 2nd death in Virginia from rare form of meningitis - @AP

CDC says reported cases of fungal meningitis rise to 231, plus 2 peripheral joint infections; death toll stays at 15 - @Reuters


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How chips, PCs, services companies are faring

Companies providing computers, components, services and related software have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. The reports come as consumers shift their spending toward tablets and a weak global economy curbs corporate spending on computers.

Here's a look at how selected companies are faring. The reports generally cover the July-September period, though some companies have fiscal quarters that depart from that.

? Oct. 10: Research firms IDC and Gartner say worldwide shipments of PCs fell sharply in the third quarter, as some consumers spent their electronics dollars on smartphones and tablets and others held off for a new version of Windows. Gartner also estimates that Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. outsold Hewlett-Packard Co. for the first time to become the world's largest seller of PCs. IDC still had HP on top.

? Tuesday: Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, says the usual bounce in sales due to the holiday season is likely to be cut in half this year, even though Microsoft is launching a new operating system that it says will get consumers excited about PCs again. In the quarter that just ended, Intel's revenue from PC chips fell 8 percent from a year ago, in line with reports from IDC and Gartner.

IBM Corp. says revenue slipped below Wall Street's expectations, much of it because of the economic deterioration in Europe and other parts of the world, which resulted in weakened international currencies and translated into fewer dollars on sales made abroad. IBM management also raised the specter of slowing demand for the company's technology-consulting services and business-software products as corporate customers become more cautious and debt-laden government agencies deal with budget cuts.

Coming up:

? Thursday: Microsoft Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., SanDisk Corp.

? Oct. 22: Texas Instruments Inc., Western Digital Corp.

? Oct. 23: Xerox Corp.

? Oct. 24: EMC Corp., SAP AG

? Oct. 25: Apple Inc.

? Oct. 26: Samsung Electronics Co

? Oct. 30: Seagate Technology PLC

? Nov. 7: Qualcomm Inc.

? Nov. 20: Hewlett Packard Co., Dell. Inc., Inc.


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Most Popular Desktop Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF X [Video]

Most Popular Desktop Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF XMost Popular Desktop Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF X When you're ready to build a new computer, one of the first components you'll have to pick up is a case to hold all of the shiny components you're planning to buy. There are a lot of things to consider when buying one: price, airflow, interior space, expansion ports and bays, and more, not to mention overall look and design. We asked you last week which cases you think are the best of breed, tallied the votes, and then took a look at the top five desktop computer cases. Now we're back to highlight the overall winner.

Most Popular Desktop Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF X The Cooler Master HAF X, and by some extension, the rest of the HAF series, took the top spot in the voting with close to 35% of the overall vote. The HAF line earned your praise for incredible cooling, sharp design, tons of space, and great add-on features for fan management, access to ports, no-tool installation, and more.

The battle for second place was much tighter, and decided only by a handful of votes, and an overall margin of less than .5% of the vote. Pulling ahead with 20.8% of the overall vote was the Fractal Design Define Mini, which many of you praised for shedding bright fans, windows, and shining LEDs for a sleek, modern, and grown-up all-black finish. Right behind it in third place was the Antec Nine Hundred, a popular and long-lived case model with great features. In fourth place was the sleek, aluminum and steel Corsair Obsidian 800D, pulling in just over 12% of the overall vote, and bringing up the rear in fifth was the Corsair Graphite 600T, with just under 12% of the votes cast.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it?it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at!


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Plane from Miami quarantined after passenger becomes ill

11 hrs.

A plane that originated in Miami had to be quarantined when it arrived in New Orleans after a female passenger fell ill on board Monday, airline officials said.

This story originally appeared?on

A medical emergency was reported on American Airlines Flight 1003, which left Miami International Airport at 4:31 p.m. and landed at Armstrong International Airport at 5:27 p.m., officials said.

The plane was held in quarantine as the woman was checked out by local emergency medical responders and transported to an area hospital, officials said.

Medics determined the woman wasn't contagious and the rest of the 146 passengers and six crew members were allowed to deplane.

The plane was cleaned and arrived back in Miami at 10:48 p.m.

Also on


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PFT: Samuel throws jab at ex-coach Reid

nfl_g_kennedy12_400Getty Images

Former Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was outed last week as the original bounty whistleblower, but he claims that he never was in.In documents filed in federal court on Monday, the lawyer representing Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma spells out various details regarding Kennedy?s role, or lack thereof, in the bounty case.
In a sworn declaration, lawyer Peter Ginsberg lists several facts that Kennedy shared with Ginsberg.

First, Kennedy said he never discussed a supposed bounty program with anyone ? including NFL investigators or former Vikings coach Brad Childress.

Second, Kennedy said that, at halftime of the 2009 NFC title game, he screamed at his teammates:? ?These m*****f***?ers are killing our quarterback as if there?s money on it.? These m*****f***?ers are killing us and we better start playing some ******* football.?

Third, Kennedy said he didn?t have any reason to believe that the Saints had a bounty on former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

Fourth, Kennedy said he didn?t speak with former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove at any time before or after the game, contrary to a contention that Hargrove told Kennedy of the existence of the bounty on Favre.

Fifth, Kennedy said neither Hargrove nor anyone else told Kennedy that there was a ?bounty? on Favre.

Sixth, Kennedy said he never talked to Childress about the Saints having a bounty on Favre, contrary to the league contention that Kennedy told Childress about the bounty.

Seventh, Kennedy said the NFL never interviewed him, contrary to the NFL?s contentions.

Eighth, Kennedy said that NFL investigator Joe Hummel called Kennedy twice, but that Kennedy never talked to Hummel about the situation.

Ninth, Kennedy said he?s not aware of Hummel ever calling Kennedy?s lawyer.

Tenth, Kennedy said he?s not aware that any members of the Saints offered $10,000 or any amount of money as an incentive to injure Favre.

If it?s true, it?s powerful stuff.? Still, it?s odd that Kennedy didn?t provide a written statement of his own.? With Ginsberg acting as the funnel of Kennedy?s claims to the court, Ginsberg could come dangerously close to becoming a witness ? which would make it hard for him to continue being Vilma?s lawyer.

And if the NFL did indeed interview Kennedy, the evidence the league has been required to produce to the federal court in Louisiana surely would include at least some reference to Kennedy being interviewed, and regarding what he said.


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finding joy: happy in the midst of motherhood

It was a frustrating day - one of those days that didn't end up going like the plan at all. In fact, it was one of those days where the entire day was eaten up doing things not on the schedule. I had been running errands, returning things, driving, and ended up arriving home frustrated and tired. And of course, in my tired state, I wander in the house, a house that's not exactly how I would want it to be, and I blurt out I am so not happy about this mess to a family who was just happy to see me arrive home.

I could see the kids scurry away.

What happened to it's so good to see you all??Instead, I let my frustration over some books, toys, and dishes sitting out cloud my idea of happiness - and it wasn't even that terrible. I just crowded that out with my agendas of cleaning and to-do lists and having everything perfect.

Being a mom takes work and patience and allowing yourself to feel happy and joy in the midst of chaos. That is hard. It's hard because no matter how much you try to control things - with the color coded charts, cleaning routines, neat rooms, daily schedules - chances are the plan won't work perfectly. And, in fact, in reality most days won't function ideally and you'll end up blurting out something you really don't mean {like I did}. The toddler will throw a tantrum, the kids forgot their bags, there is nothing to make for lunch, milk was spilled - four times, the five year old didn't listen, ?the shower you wanted to take at nine didn't happen and it's now three, you have so much laundry that you truly have the title to Mount Washmore, and someone just called last minute and said they're stopping over -- and will be walking into a living room that might look like a mini explosion or science experiment.

That robs at happy - especially if you're looking for the rare smooth day as the barometer for happy in the midst of motherhood. But, that stuff is also draining. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Sometimes those little things, the spills, whines, yells, and everyday motherhood must deal with it now moments chip away at our energy little by little by little. Don't let it steal at your motherhood joy. At happy.

So today, today I'm encouraging you to embrace today - even in the messes, struggles, great moments, and ordinary everyday stuff. I want you to open your eyes to the good, the blessings, even in the midst of all the rest. A toddler's smile. Kids playing together. The sun filtering through the window. A full loaf of bread. Peanut butter in the jar. Books to read. Friends to call. The gift of those children. That your shoulder is the one they want to put their head on when they are tired.

You see, once again, you matter. Those words I wrote on Thursday last week are the truth. You, right now, sitting where you are reading these words that I typed out while sitting on my couch early in the morning, matter. You matter even if your house isn't perfect, or you have had pbjs all week long, and you have those moments of overwhelm that leaves you wondering what happened to happy and joy? That stuff? That happens. What matters is that you keep going, keep trying, keep learning, keep loving.

I know you can do it today.

My wish for you? For a day filled with happy motherhood moments in the midst of the everyday.

Oh yes, make sure to go back and apologize if you blurt out those phrases like I did yesterday - gather them, tell them you love them more than the mess, and then say you're sorry. That matters just as much - those moments spent telling them they matter more.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Will college students turn out on Election Day?

TAMPA (FOX 13) -

USF students are getting a chance Monday to voice their opinions, with the university holding what you could call a mock election day.

Six polling sites on campus will be holding a campus-wide straw poll, and it should be interesting to see exactly what students think when it comes to politics.

It's a USF tradition organized by several student groups. Students will be polled on the presidential race, the U.S. Senate Race in Florida and several ballot amendments.

Organizers say each year this gives some unique insight into how young voters may influence the upcoming election, and reports indicate they will have less of an impact than they did in 2008.

One report shows that many students across the U.S. who came out in force to support President Barack Obama are now backing off. It shows 50 percent of college-age youth approve Obama's overall performance, but only 43 percent think he will win.

To be fair, many survey's show Mitt Romney lacking support by young adults as well. Right now, it looks like a lot of students are either less interested in politics this election season or still undecided.

And then there's this: Out of 20 issues presented to young Americans, 78 percent said jobs are the most important issue.

The polling opens at 10 a.m. at USF and ends at 3 p.m. You can find the locations here.

Students say they'll have the results in by Monday evening.


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Self Improvement | Monday Again | The Self Improvement Blog

Self Improvement | Monday Again | The Self Improvement Blog
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    Box (Personal)

    File syncing, or making the most up-to-date version of your files available to you anytime, anywhere, somewhat effortlessly, has singlehandedly changed basic workflows for people who have multiple computers and mobile devices. Say you have files on your office computer than you want to edit from home. A file-syncing service puts those files in your hands without requiring you to lug home a clunky laptop or worry about emailing files to yourself, which is sloppy and error-prone. And with half a dozen very good file-syncing services available, finding the one that meets your needs can eat up precious time.

    Box, formerly and now sometimes referred to as, deserves serious consideration by anyone looking for a file-syncing service.? Although its fee-based version for businesses offers a more enticing proposition than its free Personal edition. (This review considers the latter.) Box has a few unique features that you won't find in other file-syncing services, as well as a decent 5GB of free storage space to start. A paid account will buy you more space and several additional security and collaboration features, but at a much higher price than what'll pay for most other services (more pricing details below).

    Because Box has some online document creation and editing capabilities, it's more closely comparable with Google Drive (formerly Google Docs, and now with localized syncing included) and SkyDrive than Dropbox or SugarSync. Head-to-head, Box just can't beat Google or SkyDrive. Historically, it didn't have to, though. Box was a great solution to tough problem before Google Drive existed and before SkyDrive reached its current and mature iteration. Box can actually integrate with Google Drive, but why would you need it to when Google can take now care of all your file-syncing and online document creation and editing problems on its own?

    Neither Dropbox nor SugarSync offers online document creation and editing, but for their stated purpose (file-syncing), they both work smoothly and across a multitude of devices. Box sits somewhere between those two options and Google Drive, not quite reaching the bar set by Google, but exceeding the capabilities of Dropbox and SugarSync. ?

    The Basics
    A Box account starts with creating a login and downloading some light apps to the devices that you want to synchronize. You can download and install the desktop apps, Box Sync for Windows or Mac, to sync local files on your computer, and on mobile devices, it's compatible with Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone.

    The installed Box worked fairly seamlessly on the Mac where I installed it, showing up as Box Documents which contained a folder called Default Sync Folder (in the directory /users/name/Box Documents). This set up mirrors Dropbox in some sense. Both find a default location and put a folder there for you. End of story. SugarSync, on the other hand, lets you choose which folders you want to sync (in addition to giving you one dedicated SugarSync folder). Anyone who is familiar with the ins and outs of file syncing will likely prefer SugarSync's method, but the simpler solution works, too.

    When Box is syncing your files, you'll see a little orange syncing image on the left side of the file or folder icon (see the slideshow). When a file or folder has fully synced, the tiny icon for it will have a blue circle with white checkmark.

    Anything put into the synced folder becomes accessible via Box's Web app, and also synchronized across other devices on which you install Box. If you don't have one of your connected devices with you, your files are still accessible via the Box website. From there, you can download files, upload new versions (if you're working on a shared or public computer, for example), create new Web files either with Box's document editor or Google's, share files, add tags, and more.

    Box's ability to create files right from the website would be a huge deal if it weren't already available in Google Drive and SkyDrive. Google Drive and SkyDrive both have more file formats, plus thorough exporting capabilities, so you can export a spreadsheet, for example, from Google Drive or SkyDrive to .xlsx, .txt, .csv, .pdf, and so forth. Box doesn't.

    Box in Use
    When I first started syncing files on the Mac where I had installed the syncing app, I dumped them into the Box Document area, which shows up in the Finder window under Favorites, alongside Applications, Downloads, Music, and Pictures. It's not a folder you can move.? I balked when the files jumped into the Default Sync Folder (a folder that's automatically created within the Box Document space) all on their own. I guess Box wants you to keep your files tidy in a folder, but I'm the kind of user who wants to know exactly where my data is stored, which is part of the appeal of SugarSync. SugarSync gives you the keys to the car, whereas Dropbox and Box play chauffer (well, their default settings do anyway).


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