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Archive for February, 2012


Microsoft execs offered another preview of Windows 8, the redesigned, touch-friendly, Metro-fied operating system that the company plans to release later in 2012. They also announced that a Consumer Preview — a fancy phrase for “Beta Version” — was now available for everyday users to try out on their home machines, as a way for PC owners to get acclimated beforehand to the giant sea change coming to their computers later this year.

The last time we saw something new from Windows 8 was way back in September, when the Red Sox were still in playoff contention and when Microsoft released a Developer’s Preview of Windows 8, available for potential app designers to download, tinker with, and hopefully write some programs for. Five months and dozens of breathless posts detailing the process on the official Building Windows 8 blog later, the trademark “Metro” look remains the same — big, colorful tiles that the user can swipe and touch, similar to the way one would on a Windows Phone device — as does Microsoft’s emphasis on cross-platform compatibility: Windows 8 works just as well on a desktop as it does on a tablet, or an all-in-one computer, or a laptop, we were told again and again.

So what, exactly, is new? What has changed since our last feature article about Windows 8, which details the major features, applications and design updates from Windows 7 to Windows 8?

First, and arguably most importantly, Microsoft revealed a wide commitment to the Cloud. Upon start-up, Windows 8 users will have the option to log-in through the cloud using a Windows Live ID: This makes their email, calendar, contacts and anything they’ve stored on SkyDrive available to them on any machine they sign into and also automatically syncs all of that stuff across all of their devices. Windows PCs still dominate the market in a way that Windows Phones and Windows tablets do not; syncing email and contacts and the like from your primary device — statistically, probably a Windows PC — could be a selling point and a huge boon for Microsoft’s tablet and smartphone business in the future.

Speaking of the great cloud: We also got an in-depth look at the Windows App Store — er, Windows Store with apps — in the Consumer Preview. Just like on OS X, you’ll be able to download apps from both Microsoft and third-party developers; these apps, which will range from games to utilities to productivity software — can likewise be synced across all of your devices. In the CP of Windows 8, only free apps will be available for download, as paid apps will likely arrive with the official release later in the year. Microsoft is actively trying to entice developers to program Metro-style apps for Windows 8 to fill out this Store of Apps, having offered cash prizes and free Samsung tablets to developers in the past.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been the subject of mockery, ridicule, and even a practical joke claiming that its users were mentally deficient. Internet Explorer 10 has been totally redesigned as a full-screen Metro application for Windows 8, and its “Platform Preview 5” ships with the Consumer Preview you can download today. Like much of Windows 8, IE10 looks more like a mobile application than a desktop app, again blurring the boundaries between smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer.

Finally, Microsoft says it has made a number of usability changes, making both touch and mouse-and-keyboard use easier and more accurate. According to Engadget, President of the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky said that over 100,000 changes to Windows 8 have occurred between the Developer’s Preview in September 2011 and the Consumer Preview announced on Wednesday, and many of these are likely small tweaks aimed at refining the overall experience of using Windows 8.

That said: This is still a Beta version, so it’s likely there are still undiscovered kinks and flaws that still need to be corrected before the official release. The brave and the curious, however, can download the Consumer Preview from the Microsoft website here and are encouraged to report all such bugs to Microsoft.

And if you just want to look but not touch? Well, here’s a “Product Demo” of Windows 8 from Microsoft:

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If you’re thinking about packing up and leaving your college campus to spend a semester studying in another country, you’re not alone.

The Institute of International Education reports that upwards of 300,000 American students study abroad each year. Most students study abroad for either one semester or over the summer.

It’s not something just rich kids do either. Plenty find scholarships and financial aid to get themselves overseas.

But where are the most popular countries that students go to?

GoAbroad.com has come up with the most popular countries in which students do study abroad semester.

1. ITALY

2. SPAIN

3. FRANCE

4. GERMANY

5. JAPAN

6. IRELAND

7. ENGLAND

8. BRAZIL

9. SWITZERLAND

10. ARGENTINA

 

Jordan

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan‘s longtime family home in Highland Park is on the market, but it’ll cost a bit more than the latest must-have pair of Air Jordans.
And no, it’s not $23 million.

It’s listed for $29 million, furnished, putting it in rare air as the highest-priced home listing in the Chicago market.

The secluded compound, built in the mid-1990s and renovated in 2009, encompasses more than 56,000 square feet and includes nine bedrooms, 15 full baths, four half baths and five fireplaces spread between a main house and a connected guesthouse. The property also includes an indoor-outdoor entertaining and pool area, an outdoor tennis court, a putting green, a deep water pond and three climate-controlled garages that hold 15 cars.

And then there’s the attached indoor basketball complex. The facility, completed in 2001, has a full-size regulation basketball court with cushioned hardwood floors, adjustable backboards and baskets, and a sound system tuned to provide the right acoustics in the court space.

“The target buyer is someone who would appreciate the privacy and luxury of the property, as well as its myriad and exceptional features and amenities,” said listing broker Katherine Chez Malkin of Baird & Warner Real Estate.

Property taxes on the home were $165,224 in 2010, according to public records.

Chez Malkin said Jordan is the sole owner of the home, which is his main residence. “Michael is selling for a variety of reasons,” Chez Malkin said. “He has many homes and has decided to downsize.”

It’s unclear how much time he spends in Highland Park. In late 2010, real estate web sites reported that Jordan had purchased a mansion in “The Bears Club,” an exclusive golf resort community developed by golfer Jack Nicklaus, in Jupiter, Fla., for more than $12 million.

If the Highland Park home sells for anywhere near its asking price, it would be by far the most expensive, publicly listed home sale in the Chicago area. In July 2007, a Lake Bluff home sold for $16 million, according to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the local multiple listing provider.

Jordan lived in the home with his then-wife, Juanita, and their three children. The Jordans divorced in late 2006, after 17 years of marriage. Juanita Jordan bought a newly built, 23-room mansion in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in mid-2007 for $4.7 million.

Jordan became part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA franchise in 2006, and then became majority owner in 2010. The Hall of Famer and six-time NBA champion was the first ex-player to own a team.

Oscar 2012 Award Winners.

 

Winners

Here is the list of the winners from the 84th annual Academy Awards:

 

Best picture: “The Artist.”

Actress in a leading role: Meryl Streep, “Iron Lady.”

Actor in a leading role: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist.”

Actress in a supporting role: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

Actor in a supporting role: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist.”

Cinematography: “Hugo.”

Art direction: “Hugo.”

Costume design: “The Artist.”

Makeup: “The Iron Lady.”

Foreign language film: “A Separation,” Iran.

Film editing: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Sound editing: “Hugo.”

Sound mixing: “Hugo.”

Documentary feature: “Undefeated.”

Animated feature film: “Rango.”

Visual effects: “Hugo.”

Original score: “The Artist.”

Original song: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets.”

Adapted screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”

Original screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris.”

Live action short film: “The Shore.”

Documentary (short subject): “Saving Face.”

Animated short film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”

 

Charging your cell phone may soon require only two items: a simple piece of fabric and your body.

Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a “Power Felt” that uses thermoelectric technology to charge devices such as cell phones, according to a press release issued by the school.

Working in conjunction with outside temperatures, the material is capable of turning body heat into an electrical current to keep personal electronics devices up and running.

Currently, the material only produces 140 nanowatts of power, which Gizmodo points out is about “a millionth of the power your iPhone uses when its idle,” but scientists are doing further research and hoping to drastically improve the quality of the material.

Eventually, the research team at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials hopes to market a phone-sized fabric swatch for just $1.

According to a video demonstration, charging a phone with the material is easy: just attach the fabric near the battery and hold the device in your hand, graduate student Corey Hewitt explained to WFMY News.

Hewitt says that with further improvements, the device might come in handy for distance runners who need to charge their digital music players while they’re out on the town.

“I imagine being able to make a jacket with a completely thermoelectric inside liner that gathers warmth from body heat, while the exterior remains cold from the outside temperature, Hewitt said in the media release. “It’s pretty cool to think about, and it’s definitely within reach.”

In addition to the obvious convenience factor, lead researcher David Carroll said the material might be useful in urgent situations.

“Imagine it in an emergency kit, wrapped around a flashlight, powering a weather radio…” Carroll said in the release.

 

Nepalese man Chandra Bahadur Dangi poses for the media after he is officially recognised as the shortest man ever and shortest man living by Guinness World Records

KATMANDU, Nepal — A 72-year-old Nepalese man who is about the size of a toddler on Sunday became the world’s shortest person ever recorded.

A doctor and Guinness World Records official measured Chandra Bahadur Dangi to confirm his height of 21.5 inches (54.6 centimeters).

Guinness official Craig Glenday presented Dangi with two certificates for being the world’s shortest living man and the world’s shortest person recorded in Guinness’ 57-year history.

“I am very happy. Now I want to travel across Nepal and to foreign countries,” Dangi told reporters afterward.

He said he has no desire to get married or have a family of his own, but would like to meet the prime minister of Nepal soon.

Dangi lives in a remote mountain village, Rhimkholi, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Katmandu, with his youngest brother and his family. His five brothers are all average height.

Before being measured in the capital, Katmandu, on Saturday, he had never seen a doctor and his relatives say he has never been seriously ill or had any injuries. The doctors who saw him at the clinic also found no immediate health problems. His family is not sure when he stopped growing.

Because of his height, he has never worked outside the house, doing only household chores.

He has a normal sized head and regularly shaves, but his body is small. He is able to walk and climb small stairs. He eats mainly rice and vegetables, and occasionally meat, but in small portions.

Dangi takes the shortest man record from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall. He also beat the record of Gul Mohammed of India as the shortest adult human to have their height verified by Guinness. Mohammed, who died in 1997, was 22.5 inches (57 centimeters) tall.

Since Dangi’s village is so remote, it was only recently that Dangi gained notice. A forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and told local media.

Another Nepalese man, Khagendra Thapa Magar, was declared the world’s shortest man at 26.4 inches (67 centimeters) before Balawing took over the title in June on his 18th birthday.

In December, Guinness recognized an Indian teenager as the world’s shortest woman. Jyoti Amge is 24.7 inches (62.8 centimeters) tall and wants to attend university and become a Bollywood star.

Aside from a Guinness certificate, the titles don’t come with any cash award.

 

NY TIMES: There was talk of kokolets all Sunday night at Irving Plaza. D’Banj, the Nigerian pop star who was headlining the show, boasted, “I have too many kokolets around the world.” Later on he wondered, “Can I get two kokolets that can dance better than my dancers?”

If it seemed like D’Banj, one of thequickest-rising stars in Africa, has a one-track mind — kokolets, in his lingo, are beautiful women — that wasn’t far from the truth. As a style, his was as monomaniacal in focus as Miami bass, one lusty come-on after the next.

He is at the forefront of an emergent style loosely calledAfrobeats by some, a mélange of hip-hop, R&B and other traditionally urban sounds with elements that hark back to older African styles.

In practice on Sunday all that meant was that D’Banj, backed by a live band, was a thoroughly accessible pop star. He emerged in a gold-sequined dinner jacket and began the night with a harmonica solo of “My Love Is Your Love,” the austere Whitney Houston hit. Before long he was undulating around the stage, his microphone at his crotch when it wasn’t at his mouth.

Switching back and forth between singing and rapping, primarily in English, D’Banj was never less than enthusiastic, an entertainer above all, and one used to much larger stages than this one.

Accordingly, the show had the feeling of a significant event. The crowd was slickly dressed, skewing young and African. Outside before the show a correspondent for the Lagos radio station Cool 96.9 FM was recording a report on the scene.

Along with the producer Don Jazzy, D’Banj recently signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, a rare example of a mainstream contemporary African star being given an opportunity to work with an American record label. Mr. West recently performed with D’Banj in London.

But that’s just one step in an evolution that’s been unfolding for some time. Mo’ Hits Records, D’Banj’s home label, has a range of young talent, and during this show several label mates shared the stage with him: Don Jazzy, the brawny crooner Wande Coal, the limber dancer Dr. Sid (who came onstage to Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor”), the quick-spitting rapper Ikechukwu, the deeply charismatic D’Prince, and more.

D’Banj was the main attraction, but there was plenty of stage sharing among the crew. Wande Coal was particularly impressive, sometimes attacking a song with force, other times caressing it with a soft coo. D’Banj was maybe less nuanced, but that was very much the point. After one song that sounded like what would have happened if Michael Jackson had recorded a Nigerian highlife record, he shrugged and said, “It’s not my fault that I’m bad.”

Research In Motion Ltd., the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry, released an update to its PlayBook tablet computer almost a year later than promised. Here are some developments related to its struggles to compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPad and phones running Google’s Android system:

Sept. 15, 2011: RIM reports a sharp drop in net income and revenue in the fiscal second quarter and says it has sold far fewer PlayBook tablet computers than it expected.

Oct. 10: Email and Internet services are disrupted for three days, primarily outside North America. RIM says a crucial link in its infrastructure had failed, and a backup didn’t work either. By the third day, other users, including those in the U.S. and Canada, were affected by a backlog of traffic.

Oct. 25: RIM says it is delaying the launch of an upgraded operating system for the PlayBook until February, saying it isn’t up to its standards yet. The company also says the new version initially won’t have the popular messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. It’s the third delay announced since the features were promised in April.

Dec. 1: RIM suspends two employees after their drunken rowdiness forced an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing to be diverted to Vancouver. The two are later dismissed from the company.

Dec. 2: RIM says it is writing off much of its inventory of PlayBook tablets after it had to sell them at a deep discount. The model originally priced at $500 now costs $200. The company says it’s taking a pre-tax charge of $485 million in the just-ended quarter. RIM also says it will sell fewer BlackBerrys in the holiday quarter than in the one that just ended. It also says it won’t meet full-year earnings guidance of $5.25 to $6 per share, the third cut in a row.

Dec. 5: Police in Indonesia say a senior RIM executive is a suspect in a stampede at a BlackBerry promotion there in November. Police say several people fainted and dozens were injured at the global debut of the BlackBerry Bold 9790.

Dec. 6: RIM says “BlackBerry 10” will be the new name for its next-generation system after the company loses a trademark ruling on its previous name, BBX.

Dec. 15: RIM says new phones deemed critical to the company’s future won’t be out until late 2012. The company says the BlackBerry 10 phones will need a highly integrated chipset that won’t be available until mid-2012, so the company can now expect the new phones to ship late in the year. The company also says BlackBerry sales will fall sharply in the holiday quarter compared with the three months that ended Nov. 26. RIM says it would only ship between 11 million and 12 million BlackBerrys in the fourth quarter, down from 14.1 million in the third quarter.

Jan. 22, 2012: RIM founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis announce they will step down as co-CEOs. Thorsten Heins, a chief operating officer who joined RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, was named as their replacement.

Tuesday: RIM finally releases an upgraded operating system for its PlayBook. The free upgrade allows for built-in email, calendar and contacts on the tablet — features promised within 60 days after the PlayBook’s launch last April. The PlayBook had received negative reviews because it launched without an email program and the popular messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. The new version still doesn’t include the messaging service.

(Reuters) – Sports network ESPN said Sunday that it had dismissed one employee and suspended another after apologizing on Saturday for an anti-Asian slur that appeared with a story on its website about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin.

The headline — “Chink in the Armor” — accompanied an online analysis that blamed Lin, a Chinese-American, for the Knick’s surprising 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets at a sold-out Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The loss ended the Knicks’ seven-game winning streak.
In a statement Saturday, ESPN called the headline, which was up on the mobile website for about 35 minutes early Saturday morning, “offensive” and “inappropriate”. In an updated statement published on their website on Sunday, ESPN announced that the employee responsible for the Mobile headline had been dismissed, the ESPNEWS anchor involved had been suspended for 30 days, and a radio commentator who had made a similarly offensive reference on Friday on ESPN Radio New York is not actually an ESPN employee.

ESPN concluded by apologizing again to Lin, writing that “his accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community.”

Lin, who contributed to the Knicks’ loss to the Hornets by committing nine turnovers, did not address ESPN’s gaffe on his Twitter site, @JLin7.

But the 23-year-old Harvard graduate, whose on-court heroics have made him a sports sensation and media darling nearly overnight, did talk about his performance in Friday’s game, his first defeat as a Knicks starter.

“9 TOs wont get it done…gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one. See you guys sunday!”

The Knicks played Sunday and “Linsanity” helped them again to a massive win against Dallas Mavericks with 28 Points and a career high of 14 Assits.

Lin, who was rejected by a string of NBA teams, became the unlikely driving force behind the Knicks’ seven consecutive wins.

His surprising performance inspired an outpouring of fan adoration that has been dubbed “Linsanity.”

Hottest MCs In The Game VII

  1. What do you guys think? I personally think J Cole should be somewhere on that list or Kendrick Lamar. This is MTV Top 10 though, everybody has an opinion to their own.