Thursday, February 28, 2013

Apple patent application reveals a camera with built-in privacy filter

Apple patent application reveals a camera with builtin privacy filter

It feels a bit strange to report on a webcam privacy shade as if it were a novelty: various products already let users put a decorative background on screen in lieu of a live stream, or even pull a physical shade across the lens. What Apple is apparently proposing, though, is a camera with such privacy filters built into the camera module itself. The company just applied for a patent on a camera whose images could selectively transition from opaque to transparent and back again, depending on how much privacy is called for.

Based on that illustration up there, we're going to hazard a guess it could be used in Apple's MacBook and iMac lines, though the patent application doesn't explicitly exclude mobile devices, either. (In fact, the filing acknowledges a camera like this could be used in, ahem, a television.) What we'd really like to know is how easy it would be for the user to active the privacy mode. Alas, though, the USPTO doc doesn't give any definitive answers -- the filing suggests the user could choose to switch modes, or that launching certain applications (i.e., those that use the camera) might trigger a change in privacy settings. In any case, that's about all we can glean from the patent application, but feel free to peek for yourselves if you feel like letting your imaginations get ahead of you.

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Source: USPTO


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The Miracle Bendy Displays of the Future Are Still Years Away

The frustration with devices like a hypothetical iWatch—or a completely imaginary roll-up tablet (maybe a Vaio or something?)—is that they're made up of parts, and sometimes those parts don't exist quite yet. Or, in the case of Corning's brilliantly flexible Willow glass, they exist, but no one knows quite how to use them yet. More »


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Stone Temple Pilots 'Have Officially Terminated' Scott Weiland

Band announce they've parted ways with their frontman in a statement issued Wednesday.
By James Montgomery

Scott Weiland
Photo: Ethan Miller/ Getty Images


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Rambus Binary Pixel brings single-shot HDR photos to phone cameras

Rambus Binary Pixel brings singleshot HDR photos to phone cameras

Most high dynamic range photography 'cheats' by merging multiple exposures into a composite image, which can lead to blurry shots. While HDR camera technology is catching up and will even let us record HDR video on our smartphones, Rambus believes its new Binary Pixel technology can achieve the effect with less waste. Its new imaging chip tries to replicate the human eye's range through setting light thresholds and oversampling the scene in both space and time. The results are more natural shadows and highlights down to the pixel level, with processing processing fast enough for video. The overall image reportedly suffers from less noise as well. Companies will have to talk to Rambus to implement Binary Pixel, although it's a considered a drop-in technology that should talk to existing processors and camera sensors, whether it's for smartphones or point-and-shoot cameras. Rambus may just want to hurry if it hopes to get noticed -- it's joining an increasingly crowded field.

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Source: Rambus


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jeb, George P. Bush talk education in Texas

George P. Bush talks about education as he makes the opening statements at the Texas Business Leadership Council, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

George P. Bush talks about education as he makes the opening statements at the Texas Business Leadership Council, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talks about education as he addresses the Texas Business Leadership Council, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Bush said Tuesday night that America spends more on public education than any other country and yet about a third of students aren't ready for college when they graduate high school. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

George P. Bush, left, talks to guests prior to making the opening statements at the Texas Business Leadership Council, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP) ? Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his rising-political-star son, George P. Bush, spoke together Tuesday in Texas on education issues, and both men resisted efforts to get them to talk in detail about future political plans.

The elder Bush, who is often mentioned as a possible contender for president in 2016, told an education forum organized by the Texas Business Leadership Council, "I urge you to be big and bold, and if people get offended, so what?"

"Politics can't always be like mamby-pamby land," said Bush, who said America's public schools have for too long been organized to best suit the "economic needs of adults" such as unionized teachers and school administrators, rather than students.

Bush was governor from 1999 until 2007 and trumpeted the overhaul of Florida public schools implemented under his watch.

He said public schools here and elsewhere have become "a public, unionized monopoly" and that the only way to weaken it is to expanded school choice while tightening teacher evaluation standards and limiting tenure.

George P. Bush, meanwhile, originally had been scheduled to introduce his father Tuesday, but said that doing so was "very emotional" and instead delivered a short warm-up speech.

He has announced plans to seek statewide office in Texas next year. He hasn't said which one but said he's leaning toward land commissioner ? though he's been mentioned as a possible contender for attorney general or even governor.

His mother, Jeb Bush's wife, is from Mexico and both men speak Spanish. But the younger Bush has been especially celebrated by Texas Hispanics who hope he can help the party connect with the state's Hispanic voters. Hispanics are Texas' fastest growing demographic but also overwhelmingly support Democrats.

Jeb Bush refused to comment on his son's future except to say he was proud of him.

"Now I know what my Dad feels like," Bush, whose father is former President George H.W. Bush, said after the event.

"It's incredibly emotional. It's pride and no trepidation because he's been involved a lot," Bush said of his son. "He's been engaged in helping others, so he knows the ropes, he knows what it's like, he knows what he's getting into."

The elder Bush has been seen by many nationally as a more moderate GOP voice. "The last two or three election cycles, we've been against things rather than for things," Bush said following his speech.

But pressed on whether he should run for president to make sure those ideas are heard, he replied: "I have no idea what I'll be doing four years from now. It's way too early to speculate."

Associated Press


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Carry Zelda's Homework In This Fantastic Hylian Shield Backpack

It's bad news if you're a rabid Legend of Zelda fan. It turns out there's only one of these brilliant Hylian shield backpacks available from Ivana Roso's Etsy store. So if you've got $60 to spare, and are quick on the 'Add to Cart' draw, you can snatch it up and save your own princess from having to carry her books to class. More »


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Did Dame Shirley Bassey's ?Goldfinger? Performance Save The ...

Did You Hear?

:: Yes, Adele won Best Original Song for her 007 theme ?Skyfall? last night. But the musical highlight, some are saying, of the 2013 Oscars was Shirley Bassey?s performance (watch above) of classic James Bond tune ?Goldfinger.? Leave it to a Dame. [Los Angeles Times]

BONUS: Read what critics say about Shirley Bassey?s ?Goldfinger? performance too.

:: Is MC Hammer heading to the slammer? The iconic rapper was arrested in Northern California on Thursday (February 21) last week for obstructing an officer while sitting in a car outside a shopping center. The artist claims he was the victim of racial profiling. [Rolling Stone]

:: For ?artistic reasons,? Michael Jackson?s brother Jermaine has legally changed his last name to Jacksun. Meanwhile, stay tuned, as we?re currently in the process of officially changing this site?s name to EyeDollUhTer. [The Hollywood Reporter]

:: We love moody British duo Hurts, and so do many others. But apparently their new album is not quite up to scratch. [PopJustice]

After the jump, find out which music acts you can catch on TV today.

Music On TV:

:: Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) ? Aaron Neville
:: Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) ? Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite
:: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) ? Tame Impala
:: Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) ? Blitzen Trapper


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New To Article Marketing? Follow These Basic Steps For Best Results

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Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Take the Guesswork Out of the Recruiting Process | ThinkSales

Sales roles vary widely and place very different demands on the people fulfilling them. Profiling your entire sales team prevents you from making all the obvious blunders in sales management, like confusing farmers, who work existing accounts, with hunters, who bring in new business.

However, before you even think about profiling your sales team, you have to have completed these five exercises:

1. Conduct a thorough market analysis
Look at the sectors you are targeting, including their size and growth rates as well as other characteristics. This will enable you to size the sales team correctly.

2. Identify target market and revenue potential
Compile a list of the major customer groups in your target market, and do a potential spend analysis on each one, so that you know how much time, effort and resources you are going to invest.

3. Describe the structure of your sales team
Typically, a sales team comprises a sales manager, assistant sales manager, team leaders and sales executives. You may also have strategic account managers, line of business managers, telesales people and more.

4. Match your team to the market
Define the size of your sales team in line with the needs of your target market and how you are going to achieve sales targets.

5. Develop the sales strategy
Successful strategies help the sales force focus on target market customers and communicate with them in relevant, meaningful ways to ensure customer acquisition and retention.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to allocate roles to your sales team. As you create a profile for each job within the entire sales function, bear in mind that this is your blueprint for defining the person who has to do the job. A job profile is not a job description.

Jobs can only be profiled once your sales strategy is in place, as this will enable you to structure each one of the jobs that creates your overall sales team. Once you have identified what your team should look like, the deliverable for each job can be aligned to your strategy to ensure it delivers against it.

The key deliverables will define the talent you need and the specifications for each individual function that makes up the sales team. For example, in today?s economy, the most successful sales people are true consultants who have invested a lot of time in understanding the products and services they sell and the benefits to their customers. The role of sales consultant is not one required in a transactional type of business, but certainly in a consultative business where the organisation focuses on partnering with its clients.

Selling to C-level executives

The role of sales consultant is currently one of the most difficult positions to recruit for, largely because the world has changed since the recession. Middle managers are no longer signing orders ? instead, sales consultants have to engage with people in the C-suite, which has all sorts of implications for the talent specification. It?s absolutely essential to get the right talent on board upfront because of this critical sales exposure. One of biggest drawbacks of not profiling correctly in this instance, is the subsequent loss of opportunity.

Reaping the benefits

Profiling is something that anyone in sales management should be doing, because when it comes to sales people, job interviews are simply not enough. You may, for instance, come across a candidate with experience and an excellent track record, but how will you know if that is purely the result of having had an exceptional product to sell.

In a different environment, perhaps, that person may be quite average. What you should be looking out for is the ability to be competitive and self-motivated ? elements of personality which cannot be taught. Profiling enables you to identify behaviours and requirements of the job to help you recruit the right people for the right job, identify development needs, redraft roles and deploy talent as required.

It indicates the talent required for the job in a scientific manner based on what the job entails, which itself is linked back to the business strategy and the sales targets. Simply, it helps you understand specific behaviours that lead to the most effective performance in a particular job.

Select candidates who add value

Profiling often assesses people according to two different criteria:

  • The talent available in the individual candidate which matches the talent requirements
  • The knowing or mastery that person has of the sales process.

Once you have insight into the how and the mastery, you will be able to determine if that individual is going to add value when it comes to execution and achieving the business strategy.


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Pistorius' brother facing culpable homicide charge

JOHANNESBURG (AP) ? The brother of Olympic star Oscar Pistorius is facing a culpable homicide charge for a 2008 road death, compounding problems for the family after the double-amputee runner was charged with premeditated murder in the Feb. 14 shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Lawyer Kenny Oldwage said in a statement that Carl had been involved in a car accident "in which a woman motorcyclist sadly lost her life." He said that "there is no doubt that Carl is innocent and the charge will be challenged in court."

Carl Pistorius was already in court last Thursday, as his brother Oscar was facing a bail hearing, and will appear again at the end of next month.

Oscar Pistorius was released on bail Friday and his brother Carl was seen driving into the home of their uncle Arnold early Sunday in Waterkloof, an affluent suburb of Pretoria, the nation's capital, where Oscar is now staying.

The problems surrounding his older brother Carl are the latest twist in a case that has transfixed South Africa and much of the world. Sunday's revelation of the culpable homicide charge immediately created a stir.

"It's also doubly sad because it's involved with Oscar and his brother and all the family ? so they have double sort of trouble. So, not good," said Johannesburg resident Jim Plester.

Oldwage said that "Carl deeply regrets the accident" and that a blood test showed he was not drunk at the time. "It was a tragic road accident after the deceased collided with Carl's car."

He said the charges had initially been dropped, only to be reinstated later.

It was the second time the Pistorius case was weighed down by additional charges.

South African police appointed a new chief investigator last Thursday, replacing a veteran detective after unsettling revelations that the officer was charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

Oscar Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder, but the athlete says he killed his girlfriend accidentally, opening fire after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.

On Saturday, the family took steps to lower its profile on social media after someone hacked into the Twitter account of Carl. They cancelled all the social media sites for both Oscar's brother and his sister Aimee.

Carl has always been close to Oscar but was notably absent when their uncle Arnold, flanked by Oscar's sister Aimee, read out a first reaction to the shooting on Feb. 17, even though he was also on the premises.

The three-story house where Pistorius is staying with his aunt and uncle sits on a hill with a sweeping view of Pretoria. It has a large swimming pool and an immaculate garden.

The character of Pistorius also continued to take center stage. For many, it mirrors his public appearances as an articulate, well-spoken advocate for Paralympic athletes facing hardship. Witness statements backing up Oscar Pistorius as a down-to-earth guy were presented at the hearing.

Others have described him as a reckless risk taker who has been in trouble before, such as a boat accident in 2009 which put him into hospital intensive care unit.

On Sunday, a South African man who said Steenkamp had stayed at his home since September, described Pistorius as moody and impatient. Cecil Myers, whose daughter was close friends with Steenkamp, said in an interview published Sunday in the City Press newspaper, that Pistorius will have the killing of Steenkamp on his conscience. "I hope he gets a long sentence. Gets what he deserves," said Myers.

"Very nice and charming to us when they started dating," said Myers. Myers said Pistorius initially used to come into the house but later just dropped Steenkamp off and picked her up when they began to date steadily, and he described the change as a lack of respect.

Myers recalled their first date and told the newspaper: "After that he wouldn't leave her alone. He kept pestering her, phoning and phoning and phoning her."

According to Myers, Steenkamp "told me he pushed her a bit into a corner. She felt caged in."

Myers said he told Pistorius "not to force himself on her. Back off." He said that after initially agreeing with him, it appeared that Pistorius soon took no heed.

Myers declined to respond to a request for more information from Associated Press.

Pistorius was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect and his legs were amputated when he was 11 months old. He has run on carbon-fiber blades and was originally banned from competing against able-bodied peers because many argued that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. He was later cleared to compete. He is a multiple Paralympic medalist, and won a silver medal at the 2011 Daegu world championships with South Africa's 4x400 relay team. But he failed to win a medal at the London Olympics, where he ran in the 400 meter race and the 4x400 relay race.


AP Sports Writer Gerald Imray contributed from Pretoria. AP Writer Christopher Torchia contributed from Johannesburg.


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'Sequester' on president's agenda at meeting with governors

President Barack Obama on Monday is expected to implore the nation's governors to put pressure on Congress to avoid the sequester as Obama speaks to the nation's governors at the White House.

Members of the Obama administration, heads of federal agencies and others have been issuing severe warnings to Congress regarding the sequester-- $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that will go into effect March 1 absent a budget. Warnings have been released threatening fewer responders to handle wildfires, reduced food safety inspection, less help for vulnerable Americans and on Friday, widespread flight delays and cancellations.

"Travelers should expect delays. Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and others could experience delays up to 90 minutes during peak hours, because we have fewer controllers on staff. Delays in these major airports will ripple across the country," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters at Friday's White House press briefing after announcing that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans massive furloughs and closing air traffic control towers if the sequester goes into effect.

The White House on Sunday night released state-by-state reports detailing what they say would be "devastating" impacts on each state as a result of the sequester, but the topic of the sequester was notably absent from Obama's speech Sunday night to the governors, who are in town for the National Governors Association's (NGA) annual winter meeting.

Instead, the president at the White House dinner struck an appreciative tone, commending the governors for steering their states through tough times.

Democratic Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware, chair of the NGA, followed Obama's address Sunday night by emphasizing the absence of politics from the night's celebration. "On this one night it?s a relief -- politics doesn?t drive the conversation. We don?t speak of partisan issues or presidential aspirations," Markell said.

But Markell did note the sequester.

"One thing for sure is certain -- you don?t let issues fester. You get to deal with education and health care, and even the sequester," Markell said to laughter and applause from the audience.

Republicans such as Speaker John Boehner have publicly stated their opposition to the sequester, though others have threatened they are willing to let it go into effect.

Some Republicans over the weekend continued to accuse the administration of exaggerating the sequester's impact.

"They have plenty of flexibility in terms of discretion on how they spend money. There are easy ways to cut this money that the American people will never feel," Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said on Fox News Sunday.

The president is slated to address the governors at 11:05 a.m. ET from the White House State Dining Room. Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden are also scheduled to speak.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Obama to argue for gay marriage in Supreme Court case

The Obama administration has taken another important step in its advocacy of same-sex marriage, weighing in on an important case to be heard in the US Supreme Court next month.

The essence of the administration?s argument is that the 1996 ?Defense of Marriage Act? violates the US Constitution in defining marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman ? specifically Section 3 of DOMA, which bars recognition of same-sex marriages in the granting of federal benefits including Social Security survivors? benefits, immigration, insurance benefits for government employees, and filing joint tax returns.

In the Justice Department brief filed with the Supreme Court Friday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli writes that DOMA?s Section 3 ?targets the many gay and lesbian people legally married under state law for a harsh form of discrimination that bears no relation to their ability to contribute to society.?

How much do you know about the US Constitution? A quiz.

?It is abundantly clear that this discrimination does not substantially advance an interest in protecting marriage, or any other important interest,? Mr. Verrilli writes. ?The statute simply cannot be reconciled with the Fifth Amendment?s guarantee of equal protection. The Constitution therefore requires that Section 3 be invalidated.?

The administration made it clear during the latter half of Mr. Obama?s first term that it would not continue to defend DOMA in the court cases where it?s been challenged. Taking up DOMA?s defense has been the ?Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group? in the US House of Representatives, directed by Speaker John Boehner to take the place of the Justice Department in arguing court cases on behalf of the controversial law.

The House brief filed last month asserts that the same-sex marriage issue should be left to the democratic process and that gays are quite capable of pursuing their rights in those venues, according to a Politico analysis.

Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates.

?Gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded, and best-organized interest groups in modern politics, and have attained more legislative victories, political power, and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history,? the House brief says.

Homosexual conduct has a history of being prosecuted as criminal in the United States. And although same-sex marriages now are legally recognized in nine states and the District of Columbia, many more states still have laws aimed at gays and lesbians ? including restrictions on the adoption of children, banning gay marriage, and refusing legal benefits to same-sex couples.

?Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law under equal protection principles,? the Solicitor General writes in his brief.

The Supreme Court next month also is scheduled to take up California?s Proposition 8, which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized? in the state. Both Prop. 8 and DOMA have been declared unconstitutional by lower courts.

It?s unclear whether the Obama administration will weigh in against Prop. 8 as it has with DOMA.

?Next week I think we will see the government urging the same standard of review be used to overturn Prop. 8, and with it, all anti-gay-marriage laws,? Richard Socarides, a gay rights advocate and White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Politico. ?It?s clear from the administration?s DOMA brief that they understand and now embrace its connection to the Prop. 8 case. The discrimination evidenced by Prop. 8 itself is cited to support the standard of review urged by the government to strike down DOMA.?

The DOMA case involves Edith Windsor, who lived with her partner Thea Spyer for many years. They were married in 2007 in Canada, returning to their home in New York where their marriage was recognized by state law. But when Ms. Spyer died in 2009, Ms. Windsor ? because of DOMA ? was forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes that the surviving spouse in a heterosexual marriage would not have to pay.

As he has said, President Obama?s position on gay marriage has ?evolved? in its favor.

In his inaugural address last month, he said, ?Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law ? for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

Polls show a clear shift in public acceptance of same-sex marriage, especially among under-30 Americans ? 63-35 percent approve, according to a Quinnipiac University poll in December. For all age groups, Gallup puts the number at 53-46 approval.

How much do you know about the US Constitution? A quiz.

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Home Improvement Is Not Hard With One Of These Superb Advice ...

Home Improvement Is Not Hard With One Of These Superb Advice

To make certain that any home remodeling project that you have in mind is carried out effectively, there is certainly some elementary information that you have to know. The part that adheres to is full of excellent information for anyone thinking about house maintenance and improvements.

Tired with considering that old dresser within the room? You can replenish old furniture simply by sanding and refinishing it. It can be a great way to have a change at home and save a huge amount of funds. Household furniture can be discolored in several shades.

Tailoring special pillows to fit a teenager?s likes is not that difficult. Just take some outdated items of apparel with exciting patterns, cut and sew in a cool cushion protect. This offers a bit a little individuality to a teen?s place.

Before starting yellowing or artwork wood, use sandpaper so as to make the top easy then wipe the piece employing a humid rag. Sanding the object with great grit sandpaper will help offer the object an even finish off. The moist towel will serve to get rid of any dirt deposits that may keep the mark or painting from sticking.

If your vinyl fabric flooring includes a bubble, try eliminating it! Just piece it permit out of the stuck air. Which will flatten the bubble for that moment. However, you should put in new adhesive to set the fixed area on the surface. Glue, prepackaged in syringes, is perfect for this job.

One simple way of incorporating clean touches to your home is to get new electrical outlet includes and replace that old kinds. With time, electrical outlet addresses will show up discolored. Should you substitute the handles on your shops it would add a nice fresh look.

Painting lines in your old wall space just before putting in sections. No matter what your ability, it seems inevitable that a number of the older walls will demonstrate by means of. As a way to decrease this demonstrating, look at the conference reason for the sections. Make an effort to decide on a shade of color which matches as closely as is possible.

1 crucial home remodeling hint is to be sure that h2o runs from your house whenever it hard storms. You may increase water flow in small ways, like routing downspouts far away from your wall space, or perhaps in major kinds, like setting up a steady slope as a result of neighborhood levels all over your entire garden.

Repainting a deck could be essential. Use exterior paint that may be good quality. You should go with the existing fresh paint, whether essential oil based or water structured, whenever possible. Oil dependent fresh paint is right for cut although not suited to a outdoor patio as it is also clever in drenched problems.

An more than-the-array microwave oven is a great space saver for the cooking area. An more than-the-array microwave swithces the product range hood. This kind of microwave oven can be found in many rates with a wide variety of choices. The majority of these ovens can come equipped with merely a going around filtration, so cooks that need powerful air flow need to look in other places.

Finally, whether or not you or somebody else you realize is doing a residence improvement venture, it is smart to analysis enhancement ideas. This can help you know you will be following the suitable treatments. Make use of the concepts with this post to begin enhancing your house.

Thanks for reading. Improving your home is as cheap and as simple as just getting new white knobs kitchen shelves and flooring. Home improvements don?t have to cost the earth

Posts related to Home Improvement Is Not Hard With One Of These Superb Advice


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Basic Tip For You Health And Fitness -

Quit Smoking : Smoking is very harmful to your health.

Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is important to your health, your normal diet and to help lose weight. Water is necessary for the metabolism of your stored fat. Weight loss cannot occur without an active metabolism which requires large quantities of water. Another way to use water to lose weight is to drink a large glass of ice water just before meals. The cold causes your stomach to shrink slightly which will make you feel full faster.

Eat small meals slowly & often. Graze healthily.
Aerobic, swimming, cycling, walking and jumping are all considered aerobic activities. These should be performed daily atleast for 20 to 30 mintues.

You can walk almost anywhere at almost any time. It?s one of the easiest ways to be physically active. Find out how to start your walking program, what benefits you?ll get from walking and how to warm up correctly before you hit the road.

Crash dieting, over exercising and fasting will slow down your metabolism.
Avoid eye strain by looking away from the screen and focus on something in the distance, then focus on something close to you, do this now and whilst at work. Good excuse if you get caught looking at somebody, just tell him or her you?re preventing eyestrain.

To lose weight quickly, never skip a meal. Your first meal after waking starts your metabolism. Your metabolism then speeds up for about eight hours and then starts slowing down until you go to sleep when it goes to low until you wake and eat and start the cycle again. Skip breakfast and your metabolism doesn?t get started until lunch time. You?ve just missed three or four hours of fat burning time. When you skip meals during the day, your metabolism also slows down. Weight loss through the burning of stored fat is all about eating enough of the right kinds of foods so you stay full and your metabolism stays as high as possible.


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Bacolod City Mass Wedding 2013

Well, I have to go to Oslo for a few days to close out the flat, get the movers in, finalize and finish my life in Norway. Problem is, I don't want to go. I had SUCH a hard time leaving, it was SO painful, that when I got to Houston I kind of let it roll off me, put it behind me, just...stopped thinking about it. It's been kind of nice. I am here, in this rather nameless, soulless flat, me and my three suitcases of stuff, and a few books and magazines and stuff I've bought since getting here. I am not burdened by possessions, the need to cook, the need to clean (bi-weekly housekeeping comes with the place) the needs of anyone's but my own, ?I only need to focus on getting my job going and relearning how to live in the US. OK, so I AM kind of (at times, very) lonely, and a bit regretful of some things, and missing some things, and thinking about some things. Trying to achieve a 'fresh start' is really hard, and I don't know that it is even possible. A fresh start means leaving behind so much, and pretending that your past is clean and tidy, and sorry, at my age, a messy past is a given and, I think, desireable, ?so there is no way you can ever go 'fresh' again. Everything I was, or have done, or have become, is part of this new venture. That's why I am doing it, actually, as the me I have become is finally up to this, this clean, new me could only rise out of the old, scared, messy, unsure and un-self confident me. But that doesn't mean I have forgotten or am abandon...

Things change, doors close and new ones open.


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New LG ad: iPhone 5 is broadly inadequate

Not respectful at all.

(Credit: LG/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

When it comes to the smartphone industry, it's difficult to get a broad view.

The intensity of entrenched positions makes it resemble Congress. And respect is in even shorter supply than intelligence.

I was, therefore, moved when Apple Insider pointed me to a new ad for the LG Optimus G Pro.

It appeared to be a deep and respectful homage to the iPhone 5 ad in which Apple shows off its panoramic capabilities, as Jeff Daniels intones at his most amiable.

You know, the one with lots of kids and Daniels saying, "Cheeeeeeeese." (Embedded below, should you have been recently detained by the TSA.)

This LG ad, though, suddenly take a wide and critical turn.

"No, no," it seems to say. "The iPhone 5 is a limited lump of metal. Here's the proof."

More Technically Incorrect

And so we see that the LG Optimus G Pro -- I wonder how many branding agencies worked to come up with that catchy name -- can take far better, broader pictures of your unruly kids than the iPhone 5 could hope to.

The LG Optimus G Pro can waft upward.

Yes, it can get the ceiling into the shot. Which is very useful if you've painted pretty colored rockets and planets on it, but perhaps less useful if you haven't.

It can also capture the floor. Which, in this ad, has a lovely earth painted on it. In your house, however, the beige, stained shag carpet might not be so fetching.

This capability was inserted by Google into Jelly Bean 4.2 and is called Photo Sphere. It seems like a highly entertaining way to pass an afternoon, allowing you to keep a safe distance between you and flying paint and children.

Still, Apple might be slightly flattered that its phone continues to be regarded as some sort of benchmark to which other brands compare themselves.

Broadly speaking, that is.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Q&A With California Golden Bears

Its' almost time for another showdown between California and Oregon St., as the Bears are coming to Gill Saturday afternoon to help Joe Burton and the Beavers celebrate Senior Day, so it time for another question and answer session with our friends over at California Golden Blogs, who are on top of everything Bears, Golden or not.

Nick and Leon were good enough to catch Beaver Nation up on everything from the shove felt around the bay area to the current state of affairs with Oski.

Despite the over-reaction, was the dust up between Coach Montgomery and Allen Crabbe the best thing that's happened to Cal basketball in the last year? It sure seemed to get the point across to Crabbe that defense is not optional, and looked like the last touch on a team that's come alive in the last month?

NorcalNick: Without being able to crawl into the mind of the players, it's impossible to say. Having said that, my eyes told me that Cal looked even more disorganized in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and it took a little bit of time for the team to refocus. The Bears were lucky that enough time was left on the clock for Crabbe to go nutty from three.

LeonPowe: I don't think so - I wasn't a huge fan of the incident personally, and while everyone seems to have moved past it (including me), I don't think it was a watershed moment for the team, Crabbe or Montgomery. I do think the best thing to happen to the team over the past year has been how Crabbe has really become the MAN - his games against Arizona and UCLA have shown that he's the front runner for Pac-12 POY honors.

For his first couple of years the knock on Crabbe has been that he's been talented, but not always - motivated isn't the right word, but he hasn't always been . . .engaged. I guess the shove sort of indicated that this behavior hasn't been cleared out of his system all the way yet, but the way Crabbe has played in the last three weeks has been really impressive.

Starting with the that first game against the Beavers, the Bears have suddenly turned Golden, and are again playing with passion and energy that meets or exceeds their talent. Richard Soloman and David Kravish are seemingly suddenly playing much better, and Justin Cobbs appears to have notched up the intensity of his game as well. In turn, Crabbe can't be double teamed, and is going off on a regular basis. What made the difference? Was it just a matter of getting enough experience to put it all together? Or Kravish getting healthier? Or has Monty been "challenging" others as well, just not with tv cameras trained on him at the time?

NorcalNick: It sure seemed like multiple switches went off at once. Kravish and Solomon have both improved their play, particularly on the glass. The entire team has shown a renewed focus on defense. Cobbs broke out of a month long slump. Crabbe finally got used to the attention he's been receiving from defenses all season.

I don't really know why this has all happened - sometimes it feels like a feedback loop, where an improvement in one player's game allows another player the chance to improve in another area and so on and so forth. Either way, it's been a joy to watch, and it's always fun when your team proves your own pessimism wrong.

LeonPowe: For reasons unknown to me this team got into a funk right before Christmas. Even winning a few games from the loss at Harvard to the Oregon game a couple of weeks ago, the team just seemed to be playing out the string and not able to put the ball in the bucket. I think - and I have no inside knowledge to back this up - that a combination of back-up point guard Brandon Smith recovering from his concussion and freshman combo guard Tyrone Wallace being able to expand his game and responsibilities - have been able to free up everyone.

With two new ball handlers/offense initiators, this then allows Cobbs to run as a 2 and move Crabbe to the 3. The two wing scorers playing on opposite wings then allow the big men (Kravish, Thurman, Solomon) to receive much less attention as allowing them to rebound more freely as well as score off dishes and lobs. A small thing as adding an undersized point guard has been able to have a knock on, domino affect on the whole team. The oddest thing is, I don't even think Brandon Smith is that good. But he fills a role.

When we last chatted, I asked about Cal's defense, and Leon indicated solid man was the theme. But watching the Bears last night against the Trojans, I saw both 1-2-2 and 2-3 zone, and it was very effective. Was that thrown in because USC has repeatedly struggled notoriously against zones, or has it become a regular part of the plan for Cal?

NorcalNick: We saw it plenty against Arizona and USC, though honestly, I thought USC did a pretty good job against the zone, or at least Byron Wesley did. Monty will always prefer man-to-man defense, but if the Bears are struggling to execute the man-to-man, or if there's serious foul trouble, or if he's worried that the team doesn't have the depth necessary to keep their intensity up, he's certainly willing to throw zone. It tends to make me nervous because most teams with a functional offense can find open looks from three against Cal's zone whenever they want. But open looks don't always go in, and when they don't the zone works.

LeonPowe: It's now a regular part of the Cal defense! Obviously against some teams it'll be pulled out less, and others more, but its definitely in the rotation now.

With their recent resurgence, Cal is hanging on the verge of getting into the NCAA tournament according to most projections. How confident are you that the Bears can maintain this? If they do make the big dance, can they make a run from what will probably be a 12-16 seed? Looking big picture, and with all but 2 bench players coming back, would Cal be better off making a deep run in the NIT this year, and maybe getting some home games, rather than taking a risk of being a 1 and blown out in the NCAAs? (It worked well for Colorado and to a degree, for [shudder] Stanford.)

NorcalNick: I think this weekend in Oregon is the critical stretch. If Cal can at least split, then they come back home for their last three games against beatable teams. And although Cal's non-conference resume is mediocre, they have avoided any bad losses. A final conference record of 11-7 or better would be pretty hard to shut out of the NCAA tournament.

The NIT? It's fun in that I get to watch more basketball, but I don't think it has a ton of meaningful value.

LeonPowe: I think the remaining schedule is favorable for the Bears, but it would still require a hot finish down the stretch. I think the goal is always the NCAAs, even an outside seed and single game may be preferable to the a deep run at the NIT. But that's just me.

Has (or had) the fan base gotten squarely behind Monty in the last month? Will there be any lingering fallout from the Crabbe confrontation?

NorcalNick: Nah. Monty has a ton of good will built up for many reasons - his consistent honesty, his long history and reputation, the players he has produced at Cal, and winning Cal's first conference title in 50 years. One error of judgment is easily forgivable, particularly now that he has forcefully apologized both to Cal fans and (more importantly) to Crabbe himself.

LeonPowe: Monty doesn't have a lot of detractors. Winning the Pac-10 title in 2010 and taking 3 squads to the NCAA (even if not very successful once there) has been such an improvement over Braun - additionally, I think the last few teams have been so likeable and well coached, that despite some quibbles (recruiting misses, some transfers and a lack of depth) very few people are clamoring for Monty to go.

What one thing will likely happen that will rekindle thoughts of DOOM?

NorcalNick: Playing Stanford to finish the regular season, with an NCAA tournament bid on the line? That's plenty.

LeonPowe: Any injury to any rotation player.

Bonus question:

With all the extra money saved with the Tedford settlement, will Cal buy Oski a new Cardigan? (That old sweater is getting pretty rough looking.)

NorcalNick: All extra money has been donated to the Oski criminal defense fund in case he decides to throw a cake at anybody again.

LeonPowe: We need to save some money to buy Twist NHook a new wardrobe first.

Thanks, guys; its always fun to chat. If we don't cross paths in the conference tournament, there's always baseball, which is already coming around the corner. That was an impressive opening weekend sweep of Michigan by Cal.

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San Bernardino hire has twice declared bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES - The bankrupt city of San Bernardino has hired a new city manager who, according to court filings, has twice declared personal bankruptcy and was recently ousted from the board of a small community's water company after being sued by shareholders.

The city council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to hire Allen J. Parker, 71, as its city manager on an annual salary of almost $222,000. He replaces an interim city manager who resigned last month because, according to friends, she was exasperated by the city's internal divisions.

The interim city manager, Andrea Travis-Miller, could not be reached for comment.

Pat Morris, the mayor of the city in California, praised Parker's "wealth of city management experience" and expressed "great confidence" in his ability to oversee the city's affairs. Parker, who began working in the job on Wednesday, will be crucial in guiding the city of 210,000 people through municipal bankruptcy, in a case that could set a national precedent for Wall Street bondholders and pension funds in future municipal bankruptcies.

The mayor and council members knew about both of Parker's personal bankruptcies -- the first in 1991 and the second in 2011 -- and the litigation surrounding his water board tenure before they interviewed him, according to the mayor's chief of staff. They discussed both issues with him when they interviewed Parker last Friday. They say the issues were no impediment: the council interviewed two final candidates but voted unanimously to hire him.

The California newspaper The Press-Enterprise reported on Thursday that Parker filed in 2011 for personal bankruptcy. In comments to the paper, Parker said that his bankruptcy and his ability to handle the city's fiscal problems were "apples and oranges."

Calls and emails to Parker asking about his bankruptcy filings and his tenure on the water board went unanswered. An email to Parker asking if his wife Sara, with whom he jointly filed for bankruptcy in the 2011 petition, would comment also did not elicit a response.

The bankruptcy of San Bernardino, a city 65 miles east of Los Angeles, is a national test case as to whether the pensions of government workers take precedence over other payments in a municipal bankruptcy -- a high stakes issue for pension plans and their beneficiaries, and for the Wall Street bondholders who lend money to governments.

City managers are central to any city's quest to seek bankruptcy protection, because they have a pivotal role in answering questions from creditors and the court. The judge overseeing San Bernardino's case must still rule on whether the city is eligible for bankruptcy before the case proceeds.

Legal dispute
A 2009 lawsuit brought by a shareholder in the Banning Heights Mutual Water Company, where Parker was a director and then president of the board between 2004 and 2010, resulted in Parker being voted off the board in February 2010 after a court-ordered special election.

Banning Heights is a tiny unincorporated community 85 miles east of Los Angeles. The water company was formed in 1913 to provide water and today it serves about 250 residents.

Despite its small size, the water rights and land upon which the community sits are worth millions of dollars, according to John McClendon, the water board's general counsel. At one point under Parker's tenure on the water board, an entity called The Tahiti Group had placed $7 million in an escrow account to purchase the company, according to correspondence attached to court filings.

Court filings in the 2009 lawsuit, and a subsequent separate lawsuit brought by the water company allege that Parker, along with others, used their position on the board to try to sell the water company, against the wishes of shareholders.

Parker and others were also accused of withholding information from shareholders, according to those court filings. The shareholder sued in 2009 because he said Parker and others ignored the results of previous shareholder elections when they were voted off the board. Parker is not a defendant in the second lawsuit which is still active.

According to one court filing by the water company dated September 20, 2010, when shareholders gained access to the water company's office after Parker and others were voted off the board, computers were missing, hard drives had been wiped and bags of shredded documents sat on the floor.

In a deposition dated November 9, 2010 relating to the 2009 lawsuit, Parker said he never shredded documents and did not believe anyone "during our regime" on the water board shredded any documents.

After a judge ruled against Parker and others in the 2009 lawsuit and ordered a special shareholder election, they were voted off the board by shareholders in February 2010.

Background check
According to his resume, which does not mention Banning Heights Water Company, Parker has long experience as a local manager in several other California cities such as East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Seal Beach and Compton.

Jim Morris, the son and chief of staff to Pat Morris, San Bernardino's mayor, said the city had done its own thorough background check on Parker before he was interviewed by the council, last Friday. His bankruptcies, and the Banning Heights Mutual Water Company litigation, were known about by the time the interview took place, Morris said.

"We talked to the attorneys involved, and pulled the court filings. These were disputes over election results," Morris said. He said the Banning Heights litigation did not involve serious issues, and that such disputes occur on small entities such as the water board all the time.

Morris said there was no reason why Parker should have included his tenure on the water board on his resume. "He wasn't employed by the water board," Morris said. "His resume was an employment resume. If someone was a member of their local homeowners' association you wouldn't expect that to be on their resume."

Parker filed for personal bankruptcy in 1991 in San Mateo, Calif., according to court records. No further details were available. In February 2011, he filed for bankruptcy with his wife, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California.

According to the 2011 bankruptcy filing, Parker and his wife listed among their debts two home mortgages with unsecured balances of $267,500, as well as bank and credit card debt of $137,252.

Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Guess how much Americans spent on their pets last year

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The economy may have remained sluggish last year but Americans refused to scrimp on their pets, with animal lovers spending upwards of $53 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other services in 2012.

That's up 5 percent from 2011, when spending first broke the $50 billion barrier, says the American Pet Products Association, a trade group based in Greenwich, Conn. And APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere predicts another 4 percent gain this year.

At about $34.3 billion, food and vet care represented about two-thirds of total spending, with money spent on supplies and over-the-counter medications rising by more than 7 percent. Spending on the growing market of alternative vet care, such as acupuncture, totaled about $12.5 billion.

Vetere says spending on services like grooming, boarding, hotels and pet-sitting grew nearly 10 percent during 2012 to almost $4.4 billion.


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Video: Currencies in Focus

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Watch as Last Week's Asteroid Decides to Fly by Peacefully Instead of Destroying Us

That little, white pixelated bean spinning around above might look more like a bad 80s video game than the near-messenger of quick and devastating apocalypse, but that's what happens when you're taking shots 74,000 miles away from your subject. What you're seeing is, in fact, 2012 DA14 at a resolution of around 13 feet per pixel over an 8 hour period just as it was mercifully passing our beautiful space marble by on the evening of February 15. More »

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Matthew Barry: Kings Win Again in Canada!

Vancouver last year

Edmonton last night

Calgary tonight

Two Words: Jonathan Bernier - do you still have doubts? How good would he look on YOUR team?

Bernier and Quick have allowed only 7 goals in the past 5 games... all without Greene and Mitchell.

The Kings have scored in the 1st period about as often as I score in a strip bar. Tonight they scored 2 and that was all they needed.

For those of you who are too lazy to look up the boxscore on the 1,357 sites that actually have the boxscore, Dustin Brown scored for the first time in 9 games

Trevor Lewis, upgraded to a line with Carter and Richards because Dustin Penner sucks, scored for the 1st time in the regular season since March of last season!

And Jeff Carter scored again.

Jarome Iginla - 2 goals in 25 games, yet teams will be stupidly lining up for this guy at the trade deadline.

So let me get this straight. Some rich dumb ass millionaire ridiculously overpays for scrubs like Ville Lieno and doesn't provide the team with ANY centers, and when that team sucks, you fire the coach?

The Ontario Reign signed Dwight Kings brother D.J.

My first time in New Orleans and I might not leave!



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Einhorn says S&P lawsuit pressures rating agencies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - David Einhorn, hedge fund manager and chairman of reinsurer Greenlight Capital Re Ltd, said Wednesday that the U.S. government's lawsuit against Standard & Poor's has made rating agencies vulnerable.

Einhorn, who also runs the $8 billion hedge fund Greenlight Capital, said on an earnings call for his Cayman Islands-based reinsurer that the civil lawsuit reinforces short positions in Standard & Poor's parent McGraw-Hill and Moody's Corporation .

"We believe the recent case against S&P is a negative for the rating agencies and Moody's is not immune," Einhorn said.

The U.S. government said earlier this month that rating agency Standard & Poor's inflated ratings and understated risks associated with mortgage securities. The lawsuit is seeking $5 billion.

The 2007-2009 financial crisis was due in large part to massive losses triggered by risk mortgage loans packaged and sold to investors, often with top ratings from credit raters.

Einhorn also said that his investment fund lowered its net long exposure to 29 percent at the end of January from 39 percent at year's end. He also said that he added to his short positions, or bets that a company's share price will fall.

He cited the U.S. economy's decline in gross domestic product at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter.

"As the market continues to advance even as the economy doesn't, we tend to become less enthusiastic," Einhorn said.

Einhorn added, however, that his short positions negatively affected performance in January, and that Moody's was his biggest losing short position last year.

Einhorn also said Apple, one of his biggest long positions, "has a fortress balance sheet with opportunities to unlock significant shareholder value." He owns roughly 1.3 million shares in the company

Einhorn announced on February 7 that he is suing Apple Inc to halt the company's falling share price and get it to deploy its $137.1 billion cash pile more effectively. Einhorn proposed that the company issue preferred stock and return more cash to investors.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by James Dalgleish, Jennifer Ablan and Maureen Bavdek)


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NFL Combine 2013: Power Ranking the Top 50 Players

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is an interesting exercise. It combines some really important aspects of player evaluation with some things I would almost consider gimmickry for NFL fans, that serve almost no real purpose in sorting out who the top players are. I wrote earlier about what I consider the things that matter and the things that don?t during the NFL scouting combine for me. But I understand that for the casual college football fan who?s primary focus is the NFL, this event holds much more value.

But the question for these casual fans becomes, who to pay attention to? And what does the combine mean for the top players? For some it?s really meaningless. There?s nothing some of these players can do to hurt or help their draft stock short of a total breakdown during the process. But for a borderline prospect, say close between a 1st and 2nd round pick, there could be something like a medical check or an interview that makes all the difference. Having said that, history tells us one thing. The league loves speed. So, if you are a prospect who can get into that magical 4.3 and below range, you are almost assured to improve your stock with some teams from just that single drill.

Here are my top prospects from the 2013 NFL Combine from 50 all the way to No. 1. The best of the best among the 330+ players who will be among those drafted in April. Check the list out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Curt covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL draft, and college football for Rant Sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard.


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