Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

May 03 2013

News: Pakistan Chief Prosecutor in Musharraf Probe Killed in Capital – Bloomberg

The Pakistani chief prosecutor investigating former military dictator Pervez Musharraf over the assassination in 2007 of Benazir Bhutto was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the capital Islamabad early today.

The car carrying Chaudhry Zulfiqar was attacked as he headed to an anti-terrorism court in the nearby city of Rawalpindi for a hearing related to the Bhutto case, according to police. “His guard said that someone from the rear fired on the car,” Irshad Ali, the officer in charge of the police station nearest the incident, said by phone.

Zulfiqar was leading the probe into Musharraf, who is accused of failing to provide adequate security before the killing of Bhutto. He was also directing the investigation into the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai by Pakistani gunmen, Geo television reported, without saying where it got the information.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Wasim Khawaja, confirmed the killing, adding that a female passerby hit by Zulifqar’s car had also died. The prosecutor’s driver was injured during the firing, he said.

Musharraf has been under house arrest since April 19 after a court revoked a bail agreement on charges relating to his declaration of emergency rule in 2007, which was subsequently ruled illegal. He has since been kept at his residence on the outskirts of Islamabad, which has been declared a sub-jail.

To contact the reporters on this story: Augustine Anthony in Rawalpindi at Aanthony9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net


Daily Feeds Mashup

Dollar Likely to Find Greater Drive in NFPs than FOMC

  • Dollar Likely to Find Greater Drive in NFPs than FOMC
  • Euro Slammed by ECB Rate Cut, Threats for More
  • Japanese Yen: BoJ Governor Confirms Stimulus Cap, Sees No Asset Bubble
  • Swiss Franc Extends Longest Rally Versus Euro Since May 2011
  • Canadian Dollar: What Will the New BoC Governor Bring for the Loonie?
  • Oil Posts Biggest Rally in 6 Months After Supply-Glut Plunge
  • Gold Tempers Wednesday’s Bearish Break as ECB Nibbles at Stimulus

Dollar Likely to Find Greater Drive in NFPs than FOMC

The dollar advanced against all of its primary counterparts this past session – a move that contradicted the prevailing risk trend for the session and notably spared the greenback from critical support. This could prove a fortuitous move for the currency considering the heavy event risk through the final trading day of the week. Given the typical sway the Nonfarm Payrolls (NFPs) have over general sentiment trends and its history as a volatility fan, it would have been particularly easy to force the dollar into the next leg of a structural bear wave. Yet, with the Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (ticker = USDollar) up appreciably from 10,400, EURUSD nearly 200 pips below 1.3250 and USDJPY avoiding the 96.50; there is comfortable breathing room should the upcoming event risk ‘disappoint’.

Looking for the source of the dollar’s strength through this past session, the economic docket provided modest support to the benchmark. Initial jobless claims dropped sharply to the lowest levels in over five years for the week ending April 27, while the March trade balance report printed a substantially smaller-than-expected $ 38.8 billion deficit (versus $ 42.3 billion expected). Weightier in terms of headline clout, the trade shortfall was the second smallest in three years – a feat considering the USDollar has appreciated 5 percent since the beginning of the year and thereby makes US goods more expensive. Yet, the inordinate drop in imports (the biggest since February 2009) mars the reading as it suggests domestic consumption struggled.

While the weekly unemployment benefit claims are individually low on the market-moving totem, they plug into a deeper fundamental current: tomorrow’s labor data. There are few indicators more recognizable – and volatility-inducing for that familiarity – than the US labor numbers. The NFPs change alone is likely to generate immediate market swells simply through a kneejerk reaction to ‘front run the market’. However, the real impact comes through the stimulus implications in the Fed’s pursuit of a more temperate unemployment rate. The central bank has set an explicit target for its current regime of loose policy in a 6.5 percent jobless rate. In March, that figure was 7.6 percent. It is important to recognize that the express benchmark is level at which the FOMC will start discussing rate hikes. A full halt on QE3 purchases will likely come well before that milestone and a tapering of the $ 85 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, even sooner. After the write-off rate decision Wednesday, a downtick in unemployment can revive speculation on the deceleration of stimulus. This has direct implications for a smaller increase in the money supply, but far more remarkable would be the possible blow this could deliver to risk trends.

Euro Slammed by ECB Rate Cut, Threats for More

The European Central Bank (ECB) met economists’ expectations for a 25 basis point benchmark rate cut, but they would also go further in their effort to provide support to the region’s strained economy and financial system. Alone, lowering the key lending rate to 0.50 percent does little to further improve the Eurozone’s health as there are clear issues with transmitting the benefits of previous policy moves to periphery economies (like Greece, Cyprus, Spain, etc) much less individuals and smaller businesses. Therefore, had the central bank simple taken this step, the euro may not have dropped. Yet, tumble it did with EURUSD moving back to 1.3050 and EURGBP bouncing at 0.8400. To further show commitment, ECB President Draghi also lowered the marginal lending rate 50 bps to 1.00 percent, noted that the growth outlook was tipped to the ‘downside’ and they would remain open to negative rates on deposits. This is certainly substantial, but it is largely a balance sheet neutral move (doesn’t engage the stimulus war) and supports risk. We may have see the extent of the specific ECB reaction move.

Japanese Yen: BoJ Governor Confirms Stimulus Cap, Sees No Asset Bubble

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda was on the wires Thursday to reaffirm his confidence in the stimulus plan the central bank adopted and ensure the lip service is paid to pacify the G7 by saying the effort is not aimed at manipulating the currency. What is interesting from the various remarks was his suggestion that they would eventually hold after April’s aggressive move. The bulk of the USDJPY and other yen crosses’ moves came well before the central bank actually adopted stimulus regime. We will so find out how important constant escalation was to sustaining the move.

Swiss Franc Extends Longest Rally Versus Euro Since May 2011While the Swiss franc dropped against most of its global counterparts this past session – thanks to the fundamental sympathy to the Euro – the EURCHF actually slid for a sixth session. That is the longest bearish slide for the pair since May of 2011. However, we haven’t seen any serious momentum develop alongside the consistency. Euro-area crises are the franc’s true appeal, and so we wait.

Canadian Dollar: What Will the New BoC Governor Bring for the Loonie?

A replacement was named for Governor of the Bank of Canada when standing head Mark Carney leaves for London in July. Given the USDCAD’s modest jump after Stephen Poloz was named the designate, the market is leery of its inflation-fighting credentials. Few remarks were given by Poloz, but a plan that depends on exports – which he voiced – should also be questioned.

Oil Posts Biggest Rally in 6 Months After Supply-Glut Plunge

Following the third biggest decline in US oil prices this year, the commodity remarkably rallied 3.3 percent for the biggest surge in six months. This incredible reversal was supported by a general sense of risk trend, but the lack of confirmation from the rest of the energy complex draws concerns about follow through. Also of note, futures volume showed relatively little conviction in the move.

Gold Tempers Wednesday’s Bearish Break as ECB Nibbles at Stimulus

The policy decisions this week have done what they can to ensure there isn’t too much pain for the gold. Then again, they haven’t really helped upgrade the fiat alternative’s appeal to the next level and above $ 1,500. After the Fed abstained from a downgrade of its currency devaluing QE3 program, the ECB delivered new measures of support. However, the moves taken by the European authority doesn’t serious expose the currency and thereby leverage the appetite for an alternative. Meanwhile, ETF holdings of gold have dropped for 23 straight days.

**For a full list of upcoming event risk and past releases, go to www.dailyfx.com/calendar

ECONOMIC DATA

GMT

Currency

Release

Survey

Previous

Comments

1:00

CNY

Non-manufacturing PMI

55.6

Indicative of domestic demand; 12 month range between 55-57

1:30

AUD

Producer Price Index (QoQ)

0.20%

Steady downtrend since 12/11, Indicates weak domestic consumption as producers’ lower price to boost revenues.

1:30

AUD

Producer Price Index (YoY)

1.00%

6:00

CHF

UBS Real Estate Bubble Index

1.11

Steady capital inflow from Eurozone has supported the uptrend since recession.

8:30

GBP

Purchasing Manager Index Services

52.4

52.4

Expansionary for three months, reflecting the impact of monetary easing.

8:30

GBP

Official Reserves (Changes)

$ 202M

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Producer Price Index (MoM)

-0.20%

0.20%

Downtrend since 04/11 as overall PMIs are in contraction; Companies’ lower prices to boost revenues.

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Producer Price Index (YoY)

0.60%

1.30%

12:30

USD

Change in Non-Farm Payrolls

150K

88K

The time frame for easing back on QE3 depends on the strength of US labor market. 6.5 percent is the stated target for rate hikes, but what about QE easing?

12:30

USD

Unemployment Rate

7.60%

7.60%

12:30

USD

Change in Private Payrolls

160K

95K

12:30

USD

Change in Manufacturing Payrolls

5K

-3K

The strongest sector during recovery; Declined for the first time after 5M increase.

12:30

USD

Average Hourly Earnings All Employees (MoM)

0.20%

0.00%

With inflation around 1.5%, Real YoY earnings growth minimal.

12:30

USD

Average Hourly Earnings All Employees (YoY)

1.90%

1.80%

12:30

USD

Underemployment Rate (U6)

13.80%

Approaching 5 year low, sharp fall due to lower participation rate.

14:00

USD

ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite (APR)

54

54.4

Accounting for nearly three-quarters of US economic output

14:00

USD

Factory Orders

-3.00%

3.00%

Subject to cyclical fluctuations.

GMT

Currency

Upcoming Events & Speeches

5:30

INR

India Central Bank Rate Decision

9:00

EUR

EU Releases Spring Economic Forecasts

16:30

USD

Fed’s Tarullo Speaks on Financial Stability

16:45

USD

Fed’s Lacker Speaks on the Economy in Virginia

17:05

CAD

Bank of Canada Gov Carney Speaks on Panel

SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE LEVELS

To see updated SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE LEVELS for the Majors, visit Technical Analysis Portal

To see updated PIVOT POINT LEVELS for the Majors and Crosses, visit our Pivot Point Table

CLASSIC SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE

EMERGING MARKETS 18:00 GMT

SCANDIES CURRENCIES 18:00 GMT

Currency

USD/MXN

USD/TRY

USD/ZAR

USD/HKD

USD/SGD

Currency

USD/SEK

USD/DKK

USD/NOK

Resist 2

15.0000

2.0000

9.8365

7.8165

1.3650

Resist 2

7.5800

5.8950

6.1150

Resist 1

12.9000

1.9000

9.5500

7.8075

1.3250

Resist 1

6.8155

5.8300

5.8620

Spot

12.1773

1.7933

8.9509

7.7597

1.2351

Spot

6.5305

5.7011

5.7983

Support 1

12.0470

1.6500

8.7750

7.7490

1.2000

Support 1

6.0800

5.6075

5.5000

Support 2

11.5200

1.5725

8.5650

7.7450

1.1800

Support 2

5.8085

5.4440

5.3040

INTRA-DAY PROBABILITY BANDS 18:00 GMT

Currency

EUR/USD

GBP/USD

USD/JPY

USD/CHF

USD/CAD

AUD/USD

NZD/USD

EUR/JPY

GBP/JPY

Resist. 3

1.3187

1.5645

99.21

0.9420

1.0167

1.0346

0.8603

130.06

154.24

Resist. 2

1.3159

1.5617

98.92

0.9400

1.0152

1.0325

0.8581

129.59

153.75

Resist. 1

1.3131

1.5589

98.63

0.9381

1.0137

1.0304

0.8559

129.13

153.27

Spot

1.3076

1.5534

98.04

0.9343

1.0106

1.0262

0.8515

128.20

152.29

Support 1

1.3021

1.5479

97.45

0.9305

1.0075

1.0220

0.8471

127.27

151.32

Support 2

1.2993

1.5451

97.16

0.9286

1.0060

1.0199

0.8449

126.81

150.83

Support 3

1.2965

1.5423

96.87

0.9266

1.0045

1.0178

0.8427

126.34

150.35

v

Written by: John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist for DailyFX.com

To contact John, email jkicklighter@dailyfx.com. Follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JohnKicklighter

Sign up for John’s email distribution list, here.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.
Learn forex trading with a free practice account and trading charts from FXCM.


Mashup Google and Yahoo news

News: Super costly submarines get govt nod – Ninemsn – Ninemsn

The federal government has eliminated the two cheapest options to deliver Australia’s 12 new submarines, a project likely to be the biggest in Australia’s history.

An off-the-shelf (MOTS) model of submarine similar to those operating overseas can’t meet requirements for long range and endurance, even if fitted with Australia-specific systems.

So the government’s now pursuing the final options – an all-new design or an evolution of the existing Collins-class submarines, according to the 2013 Defence White Paper.

“We have before us the largest single capital works program or project the commonwealth has seen,” Defence Minister Stephen Smith told reporters on Friday.

“We have learned some painful lessons from the maintenance and sustainment of the Collins.”

Australia recently secured an agreement with Sweden to gain access to the intellectual property of the Collins boats, which were developed from a design by Swedish firm Kockums.

It also decided on a combat system for the new submarines based on an evolution of the US system now used on the existing six Collins boats.

No final cost for the 12 submarines is yet available but analysts put it as high as $ 40 billion for an all-new design, or as low as $ 10 billion for boats based on an existing European design.

While the 2009 white paper left open the possibility of building a fourth air warfare destroyer (AWD), the government has now concluded on defence advice there’s no need for another.

To share the existing work around, the AWD Alliance of shipbuilders will reallocate the construction of four AWD hull blocks for the third vessel from Forgacs shipyard in Newcastle to BAE Systems’ yard in Melbourne.

Mr Smith confirmed the government was committed to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) under the current timetable, with the first of three squadrons to enter service from 2020.

He said the troubled JSF project had greatly improved.

“But there are still risks associated with that and we are not prepared to take the risk of a gap in our combat capability,” Mr Smith said.

So the white paper proposes Australia acquire another 12 Super Hornets fitted with advanced Growler electronic warfare technology.

This will give the RAAF a mixed combat fleet of 36 Super Hornets and 71 older F/A-18 classic Hornets, until the fighters arrive.

Do you have any story leads, photos or videos?


Daily Feeds Mashup

May 02 2013

Techcrunch: Who Is Tech’s Most Inspiring New Founder? SV Angel’s Ron Conway, David Lee, And Brian Pokorny Name Names [TCTV]

Ron Conway, David Lee, and Brian Pokorny meet new startup founders practically every day as investors at renowned angel funding firm SV Angel. So when they came backstage at this week’s Disrupt NYC event after their on-stage talk with Michael Arrington, I asked them to talk about the most inspiring up-and-coming founders they’ve met with lately — people who may be flying a little more under the radar than the Jack Dorseys of the tech scene at the moment, but could very well be the next big thing.

What’s fantastic is that each partner had a favorite, and they all named names — so it was pretty interesting to hear. Conway pointed to Georg Petschnigg of FiftyThree, the startup behind hot iPad app Paper; Pokorny named Arjun Sethi of MessageMe; and Lee said he has been very impressed by the co-founders of Science Exchange, Dan Knox, Ryan Abbott, and Elizabeth Iorns.

And that wasn’t all we discussed. We also talked about why the firm is optimistic that the tech industry’s brightest times are still ahead, the New York companies that SV Angel has been talking to during their current trip out east, how Conway’s increasingly active work in the political realm influences his interactions on the business side, and more. Check it all out in the video embedded above.

SV Angel is the micro VC firm located in Silicon Valley and founded by angel investors, Ron Conway and David Lee. SV Angel provides capital investments to early stage companies focused on the Internet, e-commerce, and information technology markets. SV Angel is a venture fund which has raised investment from external investors or limited partners in industry parlance. In April 2010, the fund announced its size of $ 20 million. Per the firm, SV Angel initially expected to raise a…

→ Learn more


Daily Feeds Mashup

88-Year-Old WWII Veteran Receives Purple Heart – ABC News

As Army soldier Charles Bledsoe was being loaded onto a Jeep with a gunshot wound to the abdomen nearly 70 years ago, he heard someone say, “Give him his last rites.”

“I looked around to see who that was getting the last rites,” Bledsoe recalled. “I went, ‘The hell.’ It was me.”

Bledsoe recovered, but the April 19, 1945, wound was never recorded on his discharge papers so he hadn’t received a Purple Heart. The oversight was corrected Wednesday, as U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., presented the 88-year-old World War II veteran with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star during a ceremony at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Sioux Falls.

“Thank you, senator, for getting it right,” said Bledsoe, who moved to Sioux Falls after the war. “It’s the first time it’s ever been right.”

Bledsoe, an Indiana native, hadn’t really pushed for the medal until about a year ago when he tried to become a member of the Sioux Falls chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was told he couldn’t join the organization because he didn’t have a Purple Heart, awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces wounded in battle.

Purple Heart.JPEG

“He heard about our chapter and he wanted to join, but (the battle wound) wasn’t on his discharge papers,” said Mark Williamson, commander of the group’s Sioux Falls chapter.

So Williamson began researching records and working with Sen. Johnson’s office to get Bledsoe his honors.

“Most of us have only read about or seen movies depicting the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Hedgerows and the Battle of the Bulge,” Johnson said. “Charles experienced them all firsthand.”

The Purple Heart was created in 1782 as the Badge of Military Merit by George Washington, but was ignored for nearly 150 years until it was reintroduced in 1932 on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth.

The nearly 2-inch-long medal features a gold bust of Washington on a purple background with a gold border, suspended from a white and purple ribbon. The inscription on back reads: “For military merit.”

The Bronze Star, a 1½-inch-wide star engraved with “heroic or meritorious achievement,” hangs from a red ribbon with a vertical blue and white stripe down the center.

Bledsoe, who joined the Army immediately after graduating high school and served in Company F of the 273rd Infantry Regiment, said he now has a lot of military medals.

“Senator Johnson let me ask you a question, what am I going to do with all the medals?” he asked.

“You’ll keep them,” Johnson replied. “And when the time comes, as it will for all of us, we can hand down the medals to our kids and grandkids.”

———

Follow Dirk Lammers on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ddlammers .


Mashup Google and Yahoo news

News: Kazakh students drove BMW with license plate reading ‘Terrorista #1′; father … – Boston.com

The two Kazakh students arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation are not accused of being part of the plot to set off the bombs, but questions have arisen about the novelty license plate on the front of the BMW they drove, which bore the words “Terrorista #1.”

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev come off as fun-loving teens who did not realize what they were getting into when they allegedly disposed of a backpack and laptop belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of planting the bombs that killed three and injured more than 260. The three knew each other because they went to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth together.

The government of Kazakhstan emphasized today that the young men were not charged with any involvement in the bombings themselves. “We would like to emphasize that our citizens did not receive charges of involvement in the organization of Boston marathon bombings. They were charged with destroying evidence,” the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on its website.

But the men’s arrests have forced both of their fathers to answer questions about the plate on the black BMW they drove around in.

“Terrorista #1 doesn’t mean Osama bin Laden, doesn’t mean ‘terrorist.’ In their slang it’s means ‘happy-go-lucky, a leader of the pack, that sort of thing’ and not that they’re going to blow someone up,” Azamat’s father, Amir Ismagulov, said in a recent interview with a Kazakh television station. “They drove around in that car for four months and no one arrested them.”

Ismagulov is a member of the city council in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, a city on the Caspian Sea that is also known as the oil capital of the oil-rich Central Asian country. He is also a leader of the regional business council. Ismagulov was interviewed after the two young Kazakhs were taken into custody on immigration violations but before they were charged Wednesday in the Marathon bombing probe. Kazakh news agencies are reporting that Ismagulov has now left for the United States without commenting on the arrest of his son.

The father said in an interview with a Kazakh television station that Azamat almost never goes to a mosque and only in Kazakhstan.

He said that Azamat had called him when he and Dias were detained just after the bombing.

“They only got involved with Dzhokhar because he went to school with him,” Ismagulov said.

Azamat “told me, ‘We had no idea, papa, that he was the kind of guy who would hurt anyone.”

“He said, ‘We’re in shock.’”

Both fathers have said that Spanish friends bought the two young men the license plate after they bought a black BMW.

In an interview with the Kazakh site Tengri News on April 23, Murat Kadyrbayev, Dias’s father, said, “This joke led to trouble. But it was just a gag of their Spanish friends, just a gift.”

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are facing charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. They were arrested along with Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, who faces a charge of making false statements to law enforcement officials in a terrorism investigation. Phillipos was also friends with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.


Daily Feeds Mashup

Waxy: Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat sue Scribblenauts for infringement

copyright-attorney-trademark-sue-nyan-cat-keyboard-cat-Scribblenauts.jpgLos Angeles, CA – A copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit was filed against Warner Bros. and 5th Cell Media, the creators of the Scribblenauts videogame, by attorneys for Charles Schmidt – creator of the Keyboard Cat meme – and Christopher Orlando Torres – creator of Nyan Cat meme.

Keyboard Cat is a video of Schmidt’s cat, Fatso, wearing a shirt and playing an electronic keyboard with its pause. The meme, which is a communication of ideas or information, has gone viral, receiving over thirty million YouTube hits. Schmidt has registered the video’s copyright with the US Copyright and has two pending trademark application for the term “Keyboard Cat”, click to see the first trademark application and the second trademark application. Keyboard Cat’s stardom has led to numerous appearances in commercials, including a feature role in a national Starburst candy television commercial.

Nyan Cat is a cartoon character with a cat’s face with a Pop Tarts body, basically a pink frosting sprinkled horizontal breakfast bar with glitter and a rainbow flowing therefrom. The GIF animation has also gone viral and it was the fifth most-watched video on YouTube in 2011, winning the 2012 Webbys’ “Meme of the Year” award. Torres also registered the copyright in the animated GIF with the US Copyright Office. Torres has also filed a trademark application to register the “Nyan Cat” word mark with the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Plaintiffs accuse Warner Bros and 5th Cell of including, without any licenses or authorizations, the Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat characters in their original Scribblenauts videogame released in 2009, the 2010 Super Scribblenauts, 2011 Scribblenauts Remix, and the 2012 Scribblenauts Unlimited. Defendants are accused of shamelessly using identifying “Nyan Cat” and “Keyboard Cat” by name to promote and market their games. Plaintiffs claim that Warner Bros and 5th Cell’s trademark infringement was willful and intentional and are requesting an award of treble damages and requesting the case be deemed exception under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), thereby entitling Plaintiffs to an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Plaintiffs, however, mistakenly demand statutory damages and an enhancement of damages under 17 U.S.C. § 504, and mistakenly believe that they are entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs of suit under 17 U.S.C. § 505. Defendants are accused of infringing both copyrights in their initial 2009 release of the video games and neither copyright was registered until 2010. Thus, neither Plaintiff is entitled to statutory damages or attorney’s fees, a prerequisite of which – per 17 U.S.C. § 412 – is either registration before commencement of any infringement or within three months after the first publication of the copyrighted work. Further, both the Keyboard Cat video and the Nyan Cat video were published over five years before the application to register the copyrights were filed, thus they are not entitled to a presumption of validity afforded by 17 U.S.C. § 410(c).

A copy of the complaint is available here.

The case is Schmidt, et al. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., CV13-02824 JFW (C.D. Cal. CV13-02824).


Daily Feeds Mashup

Wind farms to lure back German lobsters decimated by WW2

A European lobster (Hommarus gammarus) is pictured in a breeding station at the Alfred-Wegener institute (AWI) on the German island of Heligoland, about 46 kilometres away from the German coastline, April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

1 of 7. A European lobster (Hommarus gammarus) is pictured in a breeding station at the Alfred-Wegener institute (AWI) on the German island of Heligoland, about 46 kilometres away from the German coastline, April 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN | Thu May 2, 2013 12:33pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) – New wind farms off Germany’s North Sea coast will provide an ideal habitat that could help restore the lobster population near Heligoland after British bombing during and after World War II drove them away.

Biologists at the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research are breeding 3,000 lobsters to be released next year into the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm near the island 70 km off the German-Dutch coast.

The 1.5 square km island had a thriving fishing industry before it became a Nazi fortress in the war, pounded by Allied bombs, and then later used for target practice. It is now a tourist resort.

Billions of euros of investment in wind turbines as part of Germany’s ambitious transition to renewable energy has given the scheme impetus. Lobsters, whose local population is 90 percent smaller than it was 70 years ago, need a firm seabed to thrive.

“The new wind parks mean lobsters may settle in a new habitat, because the stony foundations offer a favorable environment,” project leader Heinz-Dieter Franke said.

The 700,000 euro ($ 923,500) scheme is funded by compensation paid to the state of Lower Saxony by utility EWE for any potential ecological damage caused by the construction of its wind park. The money will fund breeding, reintroduction and monitoring of the lobsters for roughly two years.

“With Germany’s shift to renewables, we could have 5,000 wind farms by 2030, so if it works, this kind of project could have a huge effect on the lobster population,” Franke said.

He estimated that wind farms could help increase the lobster population to as many as 300,000 lobsters in the area around Heligoland in the long run from 50,000 to 100,000 now.

EXPLOSIONS

Scandinavian and Mediterranean lobster stocks have collapsed in the past few decades from a combination of environmental factors.

But some scientists cite British explosives as one reason for the decimation of the lobster population around Heligoland.

In one of the biggest bombing runs on Heligoland during the war, the Allied air force destroyed almost every building on the island, raining down 7,000 bombs in a two-hour raid on April 18, 1945.

For five years after the war, Britain used Heligoland for target practice, and in 1947 it set off some 7,000 metric tons worth of explosives to blow up U-boat pens in one of the biggest non-nuclear detonations on record.

Britain released the crater-scarred island for resettlement in 1952, but scientists say that was too late for the lobsters.

The toxins from the bombs may have hurt the crustaceans’ sense of smell, which is essential in finding a sexual partner and so damaged their ability to reproduce, Franke said.

Lobster expert Dominic Boothroyd, general manager of Britain’s National Lobster Hatchery, said the idea of using the hard foundations of a wind park made sense and that projects to reintroduce young lobsters had taken place in Britain and Norway, though not on wind farms.

“(From these projects), we know the animals survive and that they contribute to fishery and reproduce. We have also got a lot of interesting biological information,” Boothroyd said.

($ 1 = 0.7580 euros)

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Gareth Jones and Jane Baird)



Mashup Google and Yahoo news

Slashdot: Condensation On Your Beer != Good

An anonymous reader writes “Turns out that condensation on your favorite chilled beverage is a bad thing for keeping it cold. Two researchers conducted an experiment in their bathroom proving that condensation can raise the temperature of your beer by nine degrees!”


Daily Feeds Mashup

News: Media to Mark World Press Freedom Day – AllAfrica.com

THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) will pay tribute to all the journalists who were killed for their unwavering commitment in southern Africa and the rest of the world, by celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day tomorrow.

World Press Freedom Day is a celebration of the hard work and commitment by journalists in sharing life-changing news that allow people to better understand their societies.

Commemorative celebrations in nine countries in southern Africa are planned for this day and Misa Namibia will be celebrate World Press Freedom Day with a call for freedom of access to information.

Misa Namibia national director Natasha Tibinyane said the day will begin with a breakfast for journalists, editors, government officials, representatives from the diplomatic community, civil society representatives and the nation at large.

They have invited the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kapaanda as guest speaker.

Misa Namibia is also part of the Action Namibia Coalition campaigned for the passing legislation of an access to information law by the Namibian government.

Misa will also release its annual state of media freedom publication called ‘So This Is Democracy’.


Daily Feeds Mashup

April 03 2013

Engadget: Canon outs VIXIA HF G30 camcorder with premium optics, XA20 and XA25 for pros

The New Canon VIXIA HF G30 Camcorder Opens Up New Possibilities For Video Enthusiasts And Advanced Amateurs

Features Include a 20x Zoom Lens, Newly Designed HD CMOS Pro Sensor, MP4 Recording and Wireless Capabilities

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 3, 2013 – Unveiling an outstanding device for video enthusiasts and advanced amateurs, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a new flagship camcorder, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder. This new camcorder features a powerful 20x Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, MP4 recording, and built-in Wi-Fi® capability with dual band wireless support, making the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder a great device to help preserve inspirational moments in stunning image quality. Whether capturing a once in a lifetime trip or creating a movie, avid videographers will enjoy the sophisticated capabilities of this powerful device in a compact body.

“The new VIXIA HF G30 camcorder opens up new possibilities for advanced amateurs looking to explore their creative potential with professional-level performance and wireless capabilities in a consumer camcorder.” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Professional-Level Optics

The newly designed 20x wide-angle (35mm equivalent: 26.8mm – 536mm) f/1.8 HD Video Lens has been designed to offer advanced amateur videographers wide-angle and powerful zooming without compromising quality. The new lens was built using the same Hi-UD (Hi Index Ultra Low Dispersion) technology found in Canon’s XF professional camcorder line, helping to reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range. A new 8-blade circular aperture on the lens utilizes the same technology found in Canon’s popular EF series of lenses, which helps create a more natural, smoother out-of-focus area than previous G-Series models. In addition to the lens, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a dedicated manual focus ring as well as a custom key, a feature commonly found in professional level video products. While utilizing the manual focus ring, shooters can switch between the focus and zoom feature when using the Focus/Zoom Selection Switch located at the back of the camera. Precise adjustments are right at a user’s fingertip with the ring, allowing users to create videos quickly and smoothly.

The size of the new HD CMOS PRO Image Sensor was increased 1/2.84-inch over the previous sensor, answering the demand for performance from the newly designed lens. The new image sensor, combined with the new DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, work together offering high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, while providing images with low noise, more depth, and enhancing vibration control. The SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization feature includes a new Dynamic Mode. This mode helps to substantially reduce image distortion, even when shooting while walking, resulting in steady video.

Convenient Shooting

The new VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a variety of improvements over the prior G-Series models designed to help enhance the overall shooting experience and inspire users to capture creative content from virtually anywhere. For the first time in the G-series lineup, both 1080/60p MP4 (35Mbps) and AVCHD Progressive (28 Mbps) recording are available through the newly introduced Dual Recording feature. Now, users can experience great output flexibility, whether sharing short clips with friends and family or editing a more in-depth video. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder also supports cinematic recording at Native 24p, allowing for maximum resolution and high image quality, and the easy to use pull-down conversion helps prevent loss of image quality. For added convenience, two SD memory card slots are available, while the Relay Recording feature automatically continues to record on the second SD memory card1 once the first one becomes full.

Operation is intuitive and seamless with the new vividly brilliant 3.5-inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display that utilizes Electrostatic technology. This newly integrated technology allows users to control focus, exposure, and track shooting subjects with the simple swipe or touch of the screen – similar to the experience found on a smartphone or tablet.

The new seesaw-style zoom mirrors the design of professional-grade camcorders and offers improved ease-of-use over prior G-Series models. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe as well as a cold shoe, allowing users to add external microphones or additional lighting. In addition, the audio jack includes headphone and microphone terminals. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder is compatible with the optional Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone, and optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver. The GP-E2 can be connected to the camcorder using a USB cable, providing location and time information of your recording, which can be a very useful tool for editing and archiving purposes.

Advanced Wireless Connectivity

For shooting situations that make capturing the perfect shot difficult, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder’s new Wi-Fi Remote feature allows users to control the camcorder remotely and change settings via a versatile web browser when using your tablet, smartphone or PC. With the dual band wireless support (5GHz and 2.4GHz), users can select from two wireless frequencies to help improve signal strength in areas with increased signal interference.

No matter the level of user, consumers recognize the need and convenience of uploading and sharing their video quickly. While using the Movie Uploader app, you can connect the camcorder to an iOS tablet or smartphone, available for free download in the Apple App store, allowing users to view, save or even upload videos previously recorded on the camcorder without the hassle of cables or wires.

Professional Controls and Shooting Assist Functions

The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder has been packed with several professional features to give the user a level of comfort and operability. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder includes advanced features like manual color temperature adjustment (2,000K-15,000K in 100K increments), color bars with test tone, manual shutter speed and aperture control, a built-in Remote Control Terminal (which supports LANC protocol). Despite its compact body the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features the new 0.24-inch high-resolution (1.56-million-dot) angle-adjustable color viewfinder (CVF) with a large-sized eyecup. The CVF can be tilted at a 45-degree angle, improving operation during low-angle shooting. The new zoom lever inherits the same level of zoom operation as found in professional level cameras, allowing for the shooter to quickly zoom in and out, and respond to almost any shooting scenario.

Pricing and Availability

The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder is currently scheduled to be available in June with an estimated retail price of $ 1,699.99.

Canon U.S.A. Introduces Two Ultra-Compact Professional Camcorders Enabling Wireless Digital Content Transfer And Remote Operation

New Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders Include a 20x HD Zoom Lens, Simultaneous MP4 and AVCHD Recording, a 3.5-Inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display, and Wireless Connectivity for Digital Content Uploading or Remote Operation Via Tablet or Smartphone

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 3, 2013 – Strategically integrating some of Canon’s sophisticated next-generation imaging and wireless technologies, the new XA25 HD and XA20 HD professional camcorders from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, provide an impressive combination of professional features and optics in a compact design. Ideal for run-and-gun style videography, or electronic newsgathering (ENG), both models weigh only 2.6 pounds, allowing for extreme mobility and portability. Both camcorders feature multiple shooting-assist functions and enhanced key components such as a newly developed Genuine Canon wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens with an ENG-style “rocker” zoom control and built-in real-time optical image stabilization. Delivering outstanding low-light performance and image quality, the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders are equipped with a new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor.

Additional features include simultaneous recording of multiple bit rates and Full 1080p HD formats – including 60p and native cinematic at 24p – on two separate SD cards. Users can simultaneously record Full 1080p HD video at 60p in either AVCHD Progressive (28Mbps) or MP4 (35Mbps) format for crisp moving images, or record at a lower bit rate and transmit MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover and quickly upload breaking news via wireless FTP file transfer. The cameras’ dual SD slots allow for relay recording for long periods without interruption.

“The nearly instantaneous rate by which video news is consumed and shared via TV, tablets and smartphones has fueled the immediacy by which journalists need to capture and deliver their content. The introduction of the XA25 and XA20 professional camcorder models are designed to provide these professionals with a compact, portable, and wireless system for content acquisition and uploading,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “In addition, the tremendous growth of independent and documentary filmmaking as well as innovative, creative online content may also benefit from the compact design, high-quality formats and long-range optics found in both models.”

Advanced Canon Optics

Drawing from the many innovations developed by Canon for its EF-series lenses, the wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens in the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders features a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8mm – 576mm. The MOD (minimum object distance) of this lens is only 60cm, enabling users to capture up-close shots, particularly useful when filming in narrow, tight quarters. Canon’s real-time optical image stabilization and vibration correction in five axes of 3D movement helps reduce picture shake, even when shooting while walking, particularly useful for run-and-gun handheld videography. An eight-blade circular aperture can help create a natural, smooth look for out-of-focus areas such as a blurred nighttime skyline, and is equipped with Canon’s unique EMD (Electro Magnetic Diaphragm) technology for high-precision control.

Optimal Operability

Ultra-compact and designed with professional operability and multiple shooting-assist functions, the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders feature a handgrip with accessible joystick and other controls, allowing for easily adjustable settings including a broadcast-style zoom rocker. Each camcorder’s wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens can also be adjusted using a multipurpose ring on the lens that can switch between zoom or focus control. A convenient custom key dial provides quick access to frequently used set functions.

The XA25 and XA20 professional camcorders are the first Canon video cameras featuring an Organic LED (OLED) electrostatic touch panel. This 3.5-inch, 1.23 million-dot touch panel displays vivid, clear video images allowing for simple, intuitive operation and menu access. Five custom buttons on the panel allow operators to assign settings according to their unique shooting preferences. The camcorders also feature a 1.56 million-dot high-resolution adjustable-angle compact viewfinder, allowing users to see clearly even when filming in bright sunny conditions. The design also allows operators to use the viewfinder and check critical focus while recording.

Essential for broadcast and professional use, the Canon XA25 HD camcorder provides an HD/SD-SDI connector (BNC) to feed video directly to a microwave van, satellite uplink, or other TV transmission system. The positioning of the connector allows for handheld shooting while the SDI cable is attached. A recorder (sold separately) can also be attached to the SDI connector to make uncompressed recordings. The convenient ergonomics of the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also includes XLR terminals with phantom power, a microphone holder, independent audio level controls, multipurpose accessory shoe, and an infrared emitter, all combined in a detachable handle. For extreme low-light shooting, the cameras’ infrared shooting mode makes possible the capture of HD video in conditions with little to zero ambient light. A green or white color option can provide pleasing HD infrared imagery even in darkness for documentary, undercover news, law enforcement surveillance and wildlife operation.

On-Board Intelligence and Wireless Features

In addition to the professional manual operation of the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders, automatic features provide a variety of shooting-assist functions. Controlled by the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 onboard image processor, these sophisticated capabilities include the Canon Intelligent IS feature that automatically switches among four types of image-stabilization control based on shooting conditions (walking, macro, telephoto, and tripod). With real-time optical image stabilization, unnecessary shakiness is greatly reduced or eliminated during shooting. Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium-speed, instant, and Face Detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when shooters need to keep a particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or similar situation.

FTP file transfer of MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover breaking news is enabled by dual-band wireless support (5GHz and 2.4GHz), which also allows for data sharing. A wireless remote feature also enables users to control the XA25 and XA20 camcorders via a web browser of the user’s PC or mobile device. Camera videos can be played back or downloaded to a device using the web browser* of a PC or mobile device connected to the camcorder. In playback mode, video files can be uploaded to social media websites via the free Movie Uploader app, currently available only for iOS-related mobile devices**.

The new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also support use of the optional Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver, which can be connected via USB cable to provide location and time information recorded during shooting. This capability supports editing workflow and can add valuable information for archiving purposes.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon XA25 HD ENG camcorder and XA20 HD professional camcorder are scheduled to be available at the end of June 2013 for estimated retail prices of $ 3,199.00 and $ 2,699.00, respectively.


Daily Feeds Mashup

Report urges cuts in nukes, greater US-Russia cooperation to end ‘Cold War … – Washington Post

‘, ‘
‘] return ret.join(”); } function setCarouselContents(){ var paramUser = getParamUser(); var recipe = “3″; //s.getCookieForRecVidABTest(); var paramABTestBucket = getParamABTestBucket(recipe); var baseurl = “http://md1.washingtonpost.com”;//”http://md1.washingtonpost.com” //The current url var paramCurrentUrl = “&url=” + encodeURI(TWP.Data.NN.canonicalURL);//we have confirmation this is preferred over ‘href’ //test url – we need this especially for recipe 4. Other recipes may work at least partially with prodprev urls //var paramCurrentUrl = “&url=” + encodeURI(“/entertainment/tv/tbss-men-at-work-a-rerun-before-its-even-started/2012/05/23/gJQAcSedkU_story.html”); var rgUrlGetRecommendedVideos = [baseurl, "/search-recommendation/videos.jsonp?callback=?", paramUser, paramABTestBucket, paramCurrentUrl]; var urlGetRecommendedVideos = rgUrlGetRecommendedVideos.join(”); $ .getJSON(urlGetRecommendedVideos, function(data) { if(data == null || data.results == undefined || data.results == null){ return; } //constants – the size of images, count of items per row var itemsPerRow = 3; //the following five lines specify the size. Note that only those sizes automatically generated by Methode are supported. // var photoPathPrefix = “http://img.wpdigital.net/rf/image_172x114″; var photoPathPrefix; var maxPhotoWidth = 172; var maxPhotoHeight = 114; var photoWidth = maxPhotoWidth + “”; var photoHeight = maxPhotoHeight + “”; var maxPhotoHeightpx = maxPhotoHeight + “px”; var minPhotoWidthpx = maxPhotoWidth + “px”; var blankImageUrl = “http://img.wpdigital.net/wp-srv/images/spacer.gif”; var results = data.results; //we want to only show full rows. It was decided partial rows look like an error. var countResultsToShow = results.length = maxPhotoWidth && photo.path != undefined && photo.path != null){ photoPath = photo.path; } //construct the div, by concatenating the array var rgDiv=['']; arrayOfHtmlDivs[i] = rgDiv.join(”); } var rgFinal = new Array(); var iRow = 0; for(var i=0; i‘]; var rowStart = rgRowStart.join(”); rgFinal.push(rowStart); for(var j=0; j

“; //$ (“#storiesConnector”).html(rowOfVideos); var jCarousel = $ (“#recommended-videos-module”).after(htmlToSet); //jCarousel.find(‘.carousel-control-prev’).click(function(){alert(“Clicked prev”);}); //$ (jCarousel).find(‘.carousel-control-prev’).click(function(){alert(“Clicked prev2″);}); $ (‘#btn-prev’).click(function(){ //alert(“button prev was clicked”); moveCarousel(findRowContainer(this), -1); }); $ (‘#btn-next’).click(function(){ //alert(“button next was clicked”); moveCarousel(findRowContainer(this), 1); }); }); function findRowContainer(clicked) { return $ (clicked).parents(‘.panel.postMost’).find(‘.stories-container’); } function findCurrentRow(rowContainer) { return rowContainer.children(‘.on’).first(); } function findIndexLastRow(rowContainer){ var rowCount = rowContainer.children().length; return rowCount == 0 ? 0 : rowCount – 1; } function moveCarousel(rowContainer, delta) { //moves the carousel to the next or previous row, depending on delta //plan: // Find current Row // Figure out which row-to-select // if the row-to-select != current Row // disable all buttons // fade out current row // make row-to-select the current-row // fade in row-to-select // enable buttons based on current-row //find current row var curRow = findCurrentRow(rowContainer); var indexLastRow = findIndexLastRow(rowContainer); //figure out row to select var indexCurRow = parseInt(curRow.attr(“rel”)); var indexRowToSelect = indexCurRow + delta; if(indexRowToSelect indexLastRow){ indexRowToSelect = indexLastRow; } //only proceed if there is a possible change if(indexCurRow != indexRowToSelect) { //disable all buttons $ (‘#btn-prev’).addClass(“deactivated”); $ (‘#btn-next’).addClass(“deactivated”); //fade out current row curRow.fadeOut(100, function(){ curRow.hide(); //make row-to-select the current row //remove class ‘on’ rowContainer.children(‘.on’).removeClass(‘on’) //add class ‘on’ var rowNext = $ (rowContainer.children()[indexRowToSelect]); rowNext.addClass(‘on’); //fade in the new row rowNext.fadeIn(100, function() { rowNext.show(); //alert(“index row to select=” + indexRowToSelect + “, indexLastRow=” + indexLastRow); //enable buttons based on current row var enablePrev = indexRowToSelect != 0; var enableNext = indexRowToSelect != indexLastRow; if(enablePrev) { $ (‘#btn-prev’).removeClass(“deactivated”); } if(enableNext) { $ (‘#btn-next’).removeClass(“deactivated”); } }); }); } } } ]]>


Mashup Google and Yahoo news

Engadget: OUYA review (founding backer edition)

OUYA 619

Most modern gaming consoles are big, heavy and power-thirsty. They dominate the entertainment centers into which they’re placed and suck down hundreds of watts of electricity when they’re running. They’ve evolved this way, growing larger and more powerful to deliver better graphics and more comprehensive gameplay experiences. So too have their talents expanded. It’s no longer good enough for a gaming console to simply play games: modern systems have to be complete home entertainment devices.

Or do they? When the OUYA was announced in July of 2012, its $ 99 cost was low and its processing power as simple as its premise: a tiny little box designed to be a haven for those who want to play (or develop) good, original games. Many gamers connected with this idea immediately, helping to drive the system to an $ 8 million run on Kickstarter. Plenty of others didn’t, saying this would be just a cheap distraction on which to play mediocre Android games. The truth, as it turns out, lies somewhere in between.

Console

The OUYA console is a rather unassuming little thing, as you might expect given it’s basically a smartphone in a box with no display. It’s a small box, measuring roughly three inches on a side, though it is fractionally taller than it is wide. The lower corners have been rounded off, tapering downward nicely to form a circular bottom with openings for a cooling fan. (Subtle vents can be found in the top as well.) It’s a simple, but sophisticated shape that shows Yves Behar didn’t just phone it in when submitting his design.

On the front face of the console you’ll see the word “OUYA” embossed. Rotate this early Kickstarter edition to the left and you’ll find a listing of the top 11 backers, with Markus “Notch” Persson of Minecraft fame sitting at the top. Continue another 90 degrees and you’ll find the system’s inputs and outputs arrayed vertically on the back, matching the orientation of the circuit board within. On top is an input for the AC adapter, below that are micro-USB and Ethernet ports, then on the bottom full-sized HDMI and USB ports. (Yes, an HDMI cable is included in the box.) Additionally, the console supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n.

OUYA 619

The top of the console is covered in the same gloss black plastic as the bottom, slightly raised to present a small, circular power button, which is honestly a little hard to see amidst this dark expanse of polycarbonate. (A significant change from the original concept renders.) Click it and the button lights up subtly as the console powers on, the only visual indication that anything is happening in there.

Inside is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, with a 1.7GHz quad-core A9 processor and 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. This puts it on par with many modern smartphones and tablets, a prognosis that won’t inspire much confidence among those gamers who crave the latest and greatest in graphics horsepower, but certainly enough to run your typically simple indie game with aplomb.

OUYA 619

We measured the OUYA at just about 4.5 watts of consumption during gameplay, a little less when sitting idle at a menu.

Unsurprisingly, this also makes for a very efficient console. While the PS3 took a lot of heat when it launched for sucking down hundreds of watts of power when playing games, we measured the OUYA at just about 4.5 watts of consumption during gameplay, a little less when sitting idle at a menu. When suspended, the console draws about a single watt, which is the price you will have to pay for being able to instantly resume your game right where you left off.

Controller

OUYA 619

The OUYA console offers a two-tone dark gray and black color scheme, and so too does the controller. Likewise, it’s a rather simple shape compared to most modern gaming system controllers, with few drastic curves or lines to be found. It looks closest to an Xbox 360 controller, but one that’s been rather flattened.

On the front you’ll find a very similar layout to the 360′s controller, with dual analog sticks offset from one another, the left one shifted upward to make room for a d-pad. You’ll also find four face buttons (cheekily marked O, U, Y and A going clockwise from the bottom) and a fifth button positioned between the d-pad and right analog stick. This button, marked with the OUYA logo (a circle having the letter U within), will let you return to the OUYA main menu with a double-tap. In some games a single tap serves to pause the current game, in other titles it does nothing.

Move up a bit and you’ll find a roughly two inch wide flat surface that is a small capacitive touchpad, which can be used to control an on-screen cursor. Finally, four small LEDs are embedded along the top, serving to indicate players one through four.

OUYA 619

Four shoulder buttons are arrayed much like the PlayStation 3‘s Dual Shock. The top two are simple, digital inputs while the bottom two are analog triggers, of the sort that fans of racing games will appreciate. Flip the controller over and you’ll find… not much. It’s a plain, smooth black plastic bottom that is quite comfortable to hold. No stickers, logos or FCC-type branding to get in the way here.

That smooth black plastic extends through the center of the controller as well, but the right and left sides are covered by gunmetal gray plates that, interestingly, can be removed — the idea being customization-crazy gamers could swap on different ones later. Beneath here you can position one AA battery in either grip (yes, they’re included with the console) and, when those cells are inserted they give the controller a nicely balanced weight.

Swappable faceplates are an interesting idea, but the execution results in what can only be called a design flaw.

Swappable faceplates are an interesting idea, but the execution results in what can only be called a design flaw. Each plate is held on by six magnets, making them perhaps a little too easy to remove. We’ve seen photos from a number of eager gamers who opened up their OUYA box to find one or both controller faceplates loose in the box, which certainly opens the door to damage during shipment.

Another problem is that they don’t seem to sit flush. We looked at two OUYA consoles and on one the left plate would poke out slightly at the top when affixed. On the other, it’s the right-most plate that doesn’t quite fit.

OUYA 619

Finally, and most critically, the right plate poses some serious problems to both the right analog stick and the face buttons. When you spin the analog stick around its extent it catches on the edge of the faceplate. Additionally, we repeatedly had issues with the four face buttons getting stuck beneath the faceplate. It was most commonly the green O button, because that’s the one you’ll be using most frequently, but all four can and will get stuck.

One of our consoles also had a very sticky right analog stick, which when pushed all the way up would stay there for a few seconds before popping back to neutral. And, we have to say, we’d have preferred concave surfaces on the top of the analog sticks rather than the convex ones here, but that can be chalked up to personal preference.

Overall the controller is usable but it’s far from great. Sticky buttons and gummy analog sticks are the sorts of things you wouldn’t even tolerate on a cheap, third-party controller and so it’s disappointing to find them here on the official unit. This, we hope, is one area that is thoroughly revised before the console ships to retail this summer.

Interface

The console boots into an interface that’s as simple as the design of the console, but offers a vastly different color scheme. Now we move to white and orange layout that begins with an O in the form of a rising sun and a chant of “OUYA” as the system completes its startup. You’re then dropped into a menu with four options: “Play,” “Discover,” “Make” and “Manage.”

In the first you launch those games you’ve already downloaded. They’re laid out in a row two deep, stretching off to the right of the display. Things can extend quite a ways off once you’ve installed lots of games, and as of now there’s no way to either move these entries or sort them. Your oldest games will be on the left, newest on the right — an arrangement, we think, that will prove backwards in the grand scheme of things. There’s an option to press Y to search by name, but as of now that doesn’t seem to work.

Searching thankfully does work in the Discover section, which takes you into the OUYA store. There are also a few categories to dig through, like Featured and one called Go Retro that includes a seemingly random subsection of the retro games here. You can also browse by genre if you like.

Each game is presented with an image showing its logo — the modern equivalent of box art. From here you can press the O button to get more information about the title, including a few screenshots and a simple description. Part of the OUYA hallmark is that every game can be downloaded for free, which is nice, but sadly there’s zero indication of how much a given game actually costs.

That is, presumably, because many games have vastly different concepts of what you’re buying. Some are simply free to play. In Stalagflight you’re asked to buy virtual slices of pizza. Pinball Arcade is free but asks you to buy tables ($ 4.99 each). Final Fantasy III, meanwhile, is straight up $ 15.99. The flexible in-app purchasing options certainly put a lot of power in the hands of developers, but for consumers it could get a little confusing.

Through the Discover interface you can also dive into the Sandbox, where dozens of early alphas and betas of games live. We found a few gems buried in here, but all are very rough around the edges and are all just lumped together numerically. Finding anything worth trying is a crapshoot.

The Make section is for developers, allowing one to download new builds of software, while Manage allows you to modify console settings. Settings are, at this point, incredibly limited. You can’t, for example, modify your credit card information, change the output resolution of the console, set any sort of parental controls, change the layout or color scheme or really do much of anything beyond establishing a WiFi connection or pairing another controller. You can, though, dive into the standard Android 4.1 settings page, which is a bit jarring coming from the clean, white and orange interface.

Games

OUYA indicated 104 games would be available at launch, a number that is quite astonishing when compared to your average big console release. Indeed there are some very good ones in here, but we must deliver the very important caveat that the vast majority of these titles have already been released elsewhere — some a very long time ago indeed. If you were looking for original, exclusive, high-quality titles, you won’t find many.

That said, if you haven’t been making much of an investment in the Android gaming scene already, or don’t keep up to date on the indie gaming scene on other platforms (XBLA, Steam, etc.), then you’re more likely to find the selection here appealing.

As mentioned above, pricing is all over the place, but most games can be purchased for less than $ 5, with Final Fantasy III being the notable exception at $ 15.99. All games offer some aspect of free playability, whether it be a few free levels to get you hooked or a limited time demo. Here are a few highlights.

Final Fantasy III – $ 15.99
This is the hallmark title of the OUYA launch and indeed looks and plays quite well. That said, it looks and plays basically identically to the version that was released on Android nearly a year ago, and iOS even earlier than that.
Also on: Android, iOS, consoles

Puddle THD – $ 4.99
This simple, physics-based game has you tilting the world to move a puddle of liquid through mazes, avoiding open flames and the like. Graphics are simple and clean but don’t hold a candle to similar console-exclusive titles, like /Mercury/ on the PSP.
Also on: Android

Gunslugs – $ 1.99
This is an action-packed side-view shooter that fans of the /Metal Slug/ franchise will probably enjoy so long as they don’t mind the pixelated graphics and simplified gameplay.
Also on: Android, iOS

Wizorb – $ 2.99
Perhaps our favorite OUYA launch title. This game has been on Steam and iOS for ages, but still hasn’t seen a proper Android release. We’re glad to see it here, offering a fun mix of RPG gameplay and Breakout-style brick breaking. It’s a ton of fun.
Also on: iOS, Steam

The Ball
Portal fans, this is about as close as you’re going to get on OUYA for now. This Unreal Engine game is also one of the better looking first-person titles on the console, but still we’re talking graphics more or less on par with 1999′s Quake III. It’s reasonably fun, if a bit slow, and annoyingly you can’t change the controller inversion, but it is completely free to play.
Also on: Windows

Syder Arcade – $ 2.99
There are plenty of space shooters and many of the side-view variety in the OUYA store, but Syder Arcade is one of the most fun. Curiously, though, it’s priced at $ 1 more than it is on the Google Play store.
Also on: Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, Steam

Pinball Arcade – $ 4.99 – $ 7.99 per table
With plenty of pinball fans on staff we couldn’t resist trying this one out. The pinball layout naturally works a little better on a phone or tablet held in portrait mode than in a 16:9 widescreen monitor, but the gameplay is otherwise identical to the Android or iOS versions. That said, the graphics on the tables don’t hold up on a big-screen HD display as well as they do on smaller, mobile displays.
Also on: Android, iOS, OS X, consoles

Wrap-up

OUYA 619

The version of OUYA shipping now should be considered a beta release, and anyone hoping for anything more is in for some disappointment. It’s simply not ready for retail. The system is rough around the edges in many ways, quite literally when regarding the controller, but the interface and menus also could use work.

And then there is of course the game selection. There are quite a few titles here worth playing, but virtually all of them have been seen elsewhere in one form or another, which makes the initial offering a bit hard to get excited about. Additionally, the vast majority are what we’d broadly call “mobile” games, simple experiences and simple graphics that are fine for casual play but lack the kind of immersion you might want when you get settled in at home on your couch.

So, is the OUYA a revolution in console gaming? No, it isn’t — not yet. But it’s early days still. As of this writing there are roughly two months until the system launches at retail, time enough, we hope, to flesh out the interface, fix the controller and maybe, just maybe, line up a few new games worth getting really excited about. We’ll be back with a full review of that version when it ships.

Ben Gilbert, Edgar Alvarez and Zach Honig contributed to this review.


Daily Feeds Mashup

Engadget: Amazon’s AutoRip now includes vinyl

Amazon AutoRip Extends to Vinyl-Customers Now Receive Free MP3 Versions of Vinyl Records Purchased From Amazon-Past, Present and Future

Amazon today announced it has extended its popular AutoRip service to vinyl records. AutoRip was introduced in January of this year to give customers free digital copies of CDs they purchase. Starting today, when customers purchase an AutoRip vinyl record, a digital copy of that music will be automatically added to their Cloud Player libraries where it will be available, free of charge, for immediate playback or download. People no longer need to go through the hassle of making a digital copy of a vinyl record. Additionally, customers who have purchased AutoRip records at any time since Amazon first opened its Music Store in 1998 will find digital copies of those albums in their Cloud Player libraries – also for free. Thousands of records, including titles from every major record label, are available for AutoRip, and more titles are being added all the time – just look for the AutoRip logo.

“AutoRip has been wildly popular with customers since it launched earlier this year,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music for Amazon. “It’s a fun experience to suddenly find CDs you purchased just today – or 15 years ago – added automatically and free of charge to your digital library. We’re thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records. Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it’s traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records – now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player.”

AutoRip features include:

Free digital copies: Amazon customers who purchase AutoRip vinyl records get free MP3 versions of the albums delivered directly to their Cloud Player libraries – automatically, immediately, and at no cost – no more hassling with finding a way to get them onto your favorite devices.

For vinyl record purchases dating back to 1998: MP3 versions of AutoRip records that customers have purchased since the launch of Amazon’s music store in 1998 will also be delivered to their Cloud Player libraries for free.

Enjoy everywhere: Music can be played instantly from any Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung TV, Roku, Sonos, from any web browser, and from Ford SYNC Applink-equipped vehicles, giving customers the freedom to enjoy music from more devices than any other major cloud locker music service.

Free storage and backup: All AutoRip MP3s are stored for free in customers’ Cloud Player libraries and do not count against Cloud Player storage limits. Customers can buy music and know that it is safely stored in Cloud Player and accessible from any compatible device.

High-quality audio: AutoRip music is provided in high-quality 256 Kbps MP3 audio.

AutoRip for vinyl is available for industry-wide top-sellers and customer favorites like “Babel” by Mumford & Sons, “The Lumineers,” by The Lumineers, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” by Bruno Mars, “All that Echoes,” by Josh Groban, “Greatest Hits – Chapter 1,” by Kelly Clarkson and “Alabama Shakes,” by Alabama Shakes. AutoRip for CDs launched in January of this year. Here’s what customers said:

“The new AutoRip is great and it couldn’t be easier. You keep offering more amazing services, and I am impressed every time. I will sing your praises to everyone I know! Thank you!”

“Amazon Cloud is one of the best services I’ve ever used on the internet; ever. The AutoRip feature has just upped the ante again.”

“Amazon, thank you so much for creating the AutoRip feature. What a huge surprise!! All of this great music I’ve bought over the years on my laptop and Kindle Fire HD and anywhere else we wish!! You rock.”

“AutoRip is simply awesome. A cloud player is a commonplace item these days, but MP3 files of CDs purchased in last 15 years instantly loaded and do not count toward number of songs quota?!! I even forgot that I purchased a Chick Corea CD back in 2002, yet Amazon gives me the MP3 files instantly. What a *very nice* surprise. Thank you Amazon!”

“Thank you for this new service AutoRip…AWESOME!!!!!”

Customers can sign up for a free Amazon Cloud Player account by visiting www.amazon.com/cloudplayer or by downloading one of our free apps from the Amazon Appstore for Android, Google Play or the iTunes Appstore.
AutoRip for vinyl is the latest in a series of new digital music features from Amazon launched in recent months. Recently, Amazon announced a new Cloud Player for iPad app, just following the launch of an Amazon MP3 store optimized specifically for iPhone and iPod touch. Earlier this year, Amazon announced Cloud Player integration in Ford SYNC Applink-equipped vehicles, giving customers access to their Cloud Player libraries while on the road. Last year, Amazon launched Cloud Player apps for iPhone and iPod touch, Sonos, Roku and Samsung TVs. The company also introduced scan and match technology that enables customers to import music into Amazon Cloud Player by scanning their iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matching eligible songs on their computers to Amazon’s music catalog. All matched songs – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are delivered in high-quality 256 Kbps audio and are made available instantly in customers’ Cloud Player libraries, making it even easier for customers to enjoy their entire music collection anywhere. The Amazon MP3 Store now offers more than 23 million songs and everyday low prices on best-selling albums, many starting at $ 5.


Daily Feeds Mashup

Engadget: Quickoffice on Android and iPhone now free for Google Apps for Business users

Quickoffice on Android and iPhone now free for Google Apps for Business users

Quickoffice for iPad became a free perk for Google Apps business subscribers back in December, and now Mountain View has extended the offer to its Android app, and made its iPad application iPhone-compatible. By wielding the office suite, users can edit, create and view Excel, Word and PowerPoint files that reside on Google Drive. In addition to going gratis, the software has been tweaked to show Drive folders such as Recent, Shared With Me and Starred, as well as subfolders, to boot. On iOS, Quickoffice picks up a few additional improvements, including support for multiple Drive accounts, refined chart rendering and the option to create and share zip folders from several files. Ready to take the search giant up on its deal? Click the neighboring source links for the downloads. If you aren’t a business type, picking up a Chromebook Pixel will snag you Quickoffice for free as well, but that route is a wee bit pricier.


Daily Feeds Mashup

World War II bomb found near Berlin’s main train station – NDTV

Berlin: An unexploded World War II bomb has been unearthed near Berlin’s main train station, risking possible disruptions to rail and road traffic, authorities said on Wednesday.

“The bomb was found yesterday afternoon on property belonging to the rail company,” a police spokesman told AFP, adding that the 100-kilogramme (220-pound) explosive was dropped by the Allies during the Second World War.

The site lies about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) north of the main train station and the spokesman said police were still determining how to re-route road traffic around the area.

A spokesman for the rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said it was deliberating whether to re-direct trains while authorities defuse the bomb or destroy it in a controlled explosion.

More than six decades after the war, authorities believe there are still some 3,000 bombs buried beneath Berlin alone, and unexploded devices are regularly discovered in construction work.

In June 2010, a 500-kilo Allied bomb, thought to be British, exploded and killed three German sappers, and seriously injured two others in the central city of Goettingen as they prepared to defuse it.

Follow NDTV on Pinterest


Mashup Google and Yahoo news

Engadget: HTC One 802w for China spotted with removable cover, dual SIM slots and microSD slot

HTC One 802w for China spotted with dual SIM slots and microSD expansion

Much like how three (or four) of the major US carriers will be getting the HTC One, China’s three carriers will also be receiving the same treatment, according to the country’s official device approval database. The three flavors are known as 802w, 802t and 802d, each heading to China Unicom (WCDMA), China Mobile (TD-SCDMA) and China Telecom (CDMA), respectively. For the record, the European version we have is 801n, so perhaps the third digit represents the number of SIM slots featured on the device.

This is certainly the case for the 802w. Earlier today, a Sina Weibo user posted the above photo of said phone with its back cover — between the two plastic lines — removed, thus exposing not only its two SIM card slots but also a microSD slot just below the camera. It’s worth noting that the European version of the One doesn’t come with a removable back cover, let alone a secondary SIM slot or a microSD slot; but at least it has LTE, right? Since Sina Weibo requires you to login before letting you see the post, we’ve got the full picture for you after the break.

HTC One 802w for China spotted with removable back cover, dual SIM slots and microSD slot


Daily Feeds Mashup

Engadget: Google+ now allows full-size photo uploads from desktop browsers

Google Plus photos

As glad as we are that Google gave mobile photographers the chance to upload full-size photos to Google+ back in December, the absence of a desktop equivalent has been more than a little conspicuous. We’re back to equilibrium now that Google has enabled full-size uploading from any old computer’s browser. Enable the option and a collection can hit the servers just as you’d remembered it. Like with mobile uploads, though, this isn’t intended as a large-scale backup service: any images more than 2,048 pixels across (or videos over 15 minutes) will still count towards whatever your Google Drive cap may be. Don’t upload a gigapixel-class photo of your vacation, then, but do know you’ll have a safe place to store everyday photos in all their original glory.


Daily Feeds Mashup

April 02 2013

Engadget: The Daily Roundup for 04.02.2013

DNP The Daily RoundUp

You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.

Hands-on with the smaller, less expensive 7-inch Wikipad (video)

When the Wikipad went from 10.1-inches to just 7-inches earlier this year, subsequently cutting its price in half alongside the size reduction, the gaming-centric Android tablet went from riskily priced potential failure to affordable item of interest in one swift move.

HTC First pictured ahead of Thursday’s Facebook event

The mysterious Facebook event is quickly approaching, and as luck would have it, @evleaks is hooking us up with an image of the device that we’ll be introduced to on Thursday, known as the HTC first. If this is indeed accurate, the press render you see above is what was previously known as the HTC Myst (as well as the Opera and Buffy, if you go back in time far enough).

Windows Blue to be called Windows 8.1?

It’s a world of code names out there, and final products rarely ever inherit the name given to them during the development process.

Firefox 20 official with a seamless download manager, private windows

Some Firefox releases have more noticeable changes than others. We’d say that the newly finalized Firefox 20 is firmly in that first camp.


Daily Feeds Mashup

Iraq still haunts me, says US war hero Jessica Lynch – Zee News

Iraq still haunts me, says US war hero Jessica Lynch New York: Ten years after becoming the first American to be rescued since the Vietnam War, soldier Jessica Lynch has revealed that she is still haunted by what happened in Iraq.

“About every night I have some kind of dream where there’s someone chasing me,’’ the 29-year-old Lynch said.

Iraq still haunts me, says US war hero Jessica Lynch


It’s hard. It really is mentally and physically draining, she added.

Lynch, who lives with 6-year-old daughter Dakota, became a symbol for Americans fighting abroad after she was rescued by U.S. Special Forces from an Iraqi hospital on April 1, 2003.

According to the New York Daily News, her exploits became the stuff of legend, so much so that she testified before Congress to clear the air after some people expanded her role in the firefight that led to her capture.

She told Congress she was a survivor, not a hero. In fact, she has needed 21 surgeries since the rescue.

According to the paper, despite the nightmares, Lynch is looking ahead, not behind. She is engaged to Dakota’s father and working on a Master’s degree.

Iraq still haunts me, says US war hero Jessica Lynch

(ANI)
For Zee News’s Updates, follow us on Twitter , Facebook, Google+, Pinterest

First Published: Tuesday, April 02, 2013, 13:58


Mashup Google and Yahoo news

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl