মঙ্গলবার, ১৭ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Rupert Murdoch turns to Twitter to attack Obama (Reuters)

NEW YORK (Reuters) ? Media baron Rupert Murdoch used his new Twitter account this weekend to attack the Obama administration's opposition to parts of proposed legislation designed to combat Internet piracy.

"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," News Corp's chairman and chief executive officer posted on his personal Twitter account Saturday.

Murdoch, whose media empire includes Fox TV, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Studios and the Sun newspaper in Britain, continued with several tweets, attacking Google as the "Piracy leader" for streaming movies free. In later tweets he called Google a "great company."

Google said it did not appreciate Murdoch's comment even after he back-pedaled with a compliment.

"This is just nonsense," Samantha Smith, a Google spokesperson, said in an emailed statement.

"Last year we took down 5 million infringing Web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads. Like many other tech companies, we believe that there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking U.S. companies to censor the Internet."

At issue are the concerns White House officials raised on Saturday about elements in the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) pending in Congress. Google and Facebook already have decried them as heavy-handed and Hollywood studios and music labels say the legislation is needed to save U.S. jobs.

In a blog posting, three advisers to President Barack Obama said they believed the act and similar bills could make businesses on the Internet vulnerable to litigation and harm legal activity and free speech.

"Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small," said the officials, including White House cyber-security czar Howard Schmidt.

The House of Representatives' SOPA bill aims to crack down on online sales of pirated American movies, music or other goods by forcing Internet companies to block access to foreign sites offering material that violates U.S. copyright laws.

U.S. advertising networks could also be required to stop online ads and search engines would be barred from directly linking to websites found to be distributing pirated goods.

Those who support stricter piracy rules reacted strongly to Saturday's White House statement, which darkened prospects for legislation already expected to struggle to clear Congress in an election year.

Schmidt and the other advisers said the Obama administration was ready to work with lawmakers on a narrower, more targeted approach to online piracy to ensure that legitimate businesses -- including start-up companies -- would not be harmed.

Murdoch, who opened his Twitter account this year, has used it to colorfully opine on a number of topics. Tweeting last week, Murdoch praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest proposal to overhaul the city's public schools, but referred to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo as "chicken Cuomo."

He also admitted in a post to his company's mishandling of social network MySpace, which News Corp bought in 2005 for $580 million. Today the site is nearly irrelevant.

"...we screwed up in every way possible..," Murdoch posted last week.

(Reporting By Ilaina Jonas, with additional reporting by Caren Bohan in Washington; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/internet/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120116/wr_nm/us_murdoch_piracy

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সোমবার, ১৬ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Louis CK deals with improvising kid (AP)

PASADENA, Calif. ? Beware of improvising 6-year-old actors.

That's a warning from comic Louis C.K., who said Sunday that acting with Ursula Parker is one of the hardest parts of his job. Parker plays his young daughter on the FX show "Louie."

C.K. says Parker likes to improvise and even though he tells her not to, she does it because she knows it bugs him.

The comic joked: "I'm burning film trying to raise this kid."

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/celebrity/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120115/ap_en_ce/us_people_louis_ck

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Zynga Scores Another EA Exec, Interactive Head Barry Cottle

Barry CottleZynga has already hired quite a few senior leaders out of rival Electronic Arts, and today the evisceration continues with one of its biggest hires yet: EA Interactive executive vice president Barry Cottle. Among a long list of other accomplishments, Cottle has been behind the acquisitions of social game developer Playfish, casual gaming leader PopCap, and mobile developer Chillingo. He'll be reporting to chief operating officer John Schappert, who previously held the same position at EA.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/CuBJY7eHNlc/

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রবিবার, ১৫ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Lunch With Zbigniew Brzezinski

?I don?t know much about food,? Brzezinski says as we settle down in his favourite booth, elevated slightly above the main restaurant floor. ?I come here because it tastes nice and it?s convenient.? Despite having eaten here dozens of times, Brzezinski is still puzzled by the menu. ?Remind me again, what is linguine?? he asks the waiter, who launches into a detailed description. ?And what kind of meat do you have in your lasagne?? Brzezinski continues. The waiter explains that ?as usual? it?s minced beef. Before ordering food, we had both chosen the same drink. ?You know that red drink that they have before lunch in France?? says Brzezinski. ?Perhaps wine?? the waiter suggests. ?No, no, it?s stronger than that.? Remembering my maternal grandfather, who loved aperitifs, I have an epiphany. ?Dubonnet?? I suggest. ?Yes, yes, I?ll have a Dubonnet,? Brzezinski says. ?It?s really a very good drink.?

Source: http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=9d1fcfeb3a1a055419241ff416dad275

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The Greatest Toilet Seat I've Ever Seen [Video]

Hidden away in a remote CES corridor, amidst a sea of gaudy phone cases and chargers, something catches my eye. What's a toilet doing here? Oh, you know, just revolutionizing how you use the bathroom. No biggie. More »

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/kKiwhhemna4/the-greatest-toilet-seat-ive-ever-seen

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শনিবার, ১৪ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

MTV Movie Brawl 2012: Elite Eight Begins!

After the initial play-in, wild card and Sweet 16 rounds, only eight movies remain in the MTV Movie Brawl 2012. Stunning upsets ("Woman in Black" over "Snow White and the Huntsman"!) and down-to-the-wire finishes ("Cosmopolis" beat "Bel Ami" by three votes!) dominated the Sweet 16, and we expect the results of the Elite Eight to [...]

Source: http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2012/01/12/mtv-movie-brawl-2012-elite-eight/

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iTwin announces Multi functionality, wants to host USB filesharing collabs

If you jumped on the iTwin bandwagon, you're about to get even more functionality from your filesharing USB. The company has announced Multi, a free upgrade that will allow users to share files stored on a Windows machine or Mac with a few of their cohorts simultaneously. Once you snag the update, plugging multiple iTwins into the same computer will allow remote access for multiple users via an internet connection. This piece of kit allows you to skip the cloud when collaborating on projects as the files never leave the host machine. Existing iTwin users will be prompted for an update when plugging in the device as a whole. All the details on how the tech works are in the PR, just after the break.

Continue reading iTwin announces Multi functionality, wants to host USB filesharing collabs

iTwin announces Multi functionality, wants to host USB filesharing collabs originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 14:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/itwin-announces-multi-functionality-wants-to-host-usb-fileshari/

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শুক্রবার, ১৩ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Qualcomm shows off new Hanvon Mirasol e-reader, juggles video and text

Alongside the wireless goodness, and new Snapdragons, Qualcomm's pulled out a new Mirasol e-reader. Manufactured by Hanvon, we're promised that 90 percent of content will be in color, and perhaps more notably, it'll be able to juggle both text and video. The e-reader is destined for China, with 150,000 titles and over 100 newspapers to keep our Sino friends in wordage for a while. No word just yet on pricing and launch dates.

Qualcomm shows off new Hanvon Mirasol e-reader, juggles video and text originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 12:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/qualcomm-shows-off-new-hanvon-mirasol-e-reader-juggles-video-an/

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Stratfor hack list includes hundreds of UK military users

January 9, 2012 by legitgov


Stratfor hack list includes hundreds of UK military users 09 Jan 2012 Anonymous's hack of the US global intelligence firm Stratfor yielded the details of hundreds of UK military officials, according to analysis of the breach. The 'LulzXmas' Stratfor hack took place on Christmas Eve last year. The US Cyber Consequences Unit, a Washington-based research organisation that analysed the leaked details for The Guardian, found the list of victims to include 221 British military officials and 242 Nato staff members, the newspaper reported on Sunday. Seven Cabinet Office officials were also on the list, as were 23 MPs and peers, 45 Foreign Office officials, 14 Home Office officials, 67 police officials and two royal employees.

Source: http://www.legitgov.org/Stratfor-hack-list-includes-hundreds-UK-military-users

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ১২ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Troubled Kodak creates new business structure

(AP) ? Struggling Kodak is seeking to simplify its structure and cut costs by reducing the number of its business segments from three to two.

Eastman Kodak Co., once a photography pioneer, was pummeled by consumers' switch to digital. Its fortunes deteriorated further last year, and it said in November that it could run out of cash in a year if it couldn't sell a trove of digital-imaging patents.

Kodak said Tuesday that it now has a commercial and a consumer segment. Both units will report to the new chief operating office, which will be led by COO and President Philip Faraci and by Laura Quatela, who was also recently named as president and COO.

Previously, Kodak's business segments were divided into its traditional film and photo paper products, consumer digital imaging and graphic communications, which included printing equipment. No business segments are being cut, just reorganized.

Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda said the company is not announcing job cuts as part of this reorganization.

"However, we will continue to look for opportunities to streamline operations and properly position the company's portfolio," he said.

Kodak has been reported to be preparing for a bankruptcy reorganization filing if it can't sell the digital-imaging patents, which could fetch as much as $3 billion according to analysts. No buyers have emerged since the company started shopping the patents around in July.

In November, it reported its ninth quarterly loss in three years and said its cash reserves had fallen 10 percent in three months.

The company's stock rose 14 cents to 54 cents before the market opened on Tuesday. The New York Stock Exchange warned Kodak earlier this month that it would drop the stock if its price remained below $1 per share for the next six months.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2012-01-10-Kodak-Restructuring/id-3a6338da04444408bc9c8b6a2954cd70

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Fire destroys church sanctuary in west Georgia

LaGRANGE, Ga. -- Authorities say fire has destroyed a church sanctuary in the west Georgia city of LaGrange.

The LaGrange Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/A0qF9B) the blaze was discovered early Sunday morning at Teaver Road Baptist Church.

Firefighters say they were able to save the family life building and the old Sunday school building, but the sanctuary was a total loss.

Troup County Fire Chief Jerry Heard said the initial call came from a passerby around 7 a.m.

He said firefighters had to kick in the sanctuary door when they arrived, and flames already were visible. A wall of the building collapsed shortly after 10 a.m.

Investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state fire marshal's office are investigating, which is a common practice for church fires.

Source: http://www.macon.com/2012/01/09/1856018/fire-destroys-church-sanctuary.html

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বুধবার, ১১ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

White Samsung Galaxy Nexus unveiled; sticks to black front

White smartphones seem to be creating a rage these days, with mobile phone buyers preferring to settle for this less-than-ordinary color option instead of the conformist black or silver device that we?re all too used to purchasing. Keeping up with tide of white smartphones, Samsung recently announced plans for a white Galaxy Nexus device, leaving the smartphone market mumbling and nodding in agreement. Here?s the first look at this pale Nexus version that certainly pleases the eye. With the insides packing the same you?d find in the previously released black (or gray) Galaxy Nexus, the phones exteriors will sport a black front with a white back and a silver camera module. The phone is expected to surface by the start of February with a price tag just like its darker counterpart.



Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewLaunches/~3/dQSErB5IElc/white_samsung_galaxy_nexus_unveiled_sticks_to_black_front.php

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মঙ্গলবার, ১০ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Daniel Tosh Interviews Casey Anthony

So many questions surround the mysterious Casey Anthony video diaries.

Why is she recording these cathartic messages in the first place? How did they get out? Were they hacked from her machine? Is she profiting somehow? Where is she?

In an exclusive interview on Comedy Central's Tosh.0 Friday night, Daniel Tosh asked none of the above. Instead, it seems he confused Anthony for the Wii Fit Girl.

These things have a way of happening with Tosh. We forgive him.

Source: http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2012/01/daniel-tosh-interviews-casey-anthony/

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সোমবার, ৯ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

South Rome event will focus on classrooms, paychecks

by Doug Walker, Associate Editor Rn T.Com

Melissa Jones, Rome Redevelopment director

Melissa Jones, Rome Redevelopment director

slideshow The two Es, not the three Rs, will be the focus of a session hosted by the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. on Monday night.

Educational and employment opportunities will be the point of emphasis sche?duled for the community meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at the old Anna K. Davie Elementary School site, 301 Nixon Ave.

Dubbed ?Education and Employment: Sustaining Today While Preparing for Tomorrow,? the event will feature representatives from all the local colleges as well as Darlington School, along with officials from the Department of Labor and Goodwill Career Services, until 7 p.m.

?It?s truly just a time for all the residents of South Rome and anyone who lives in Rome to come out and hear this information,? said Melissa Jones, executive director of the South Rome Redevelopment Corp.

College admissions requirements and job pre-

paredness programs will be discussed during the program.

Citizens will be asked to take part in a survey regarding ed-

ucational needs in the community. The SRRC is working to develop a first-class early learning center in the community.

?We know there are a lot of day cares here in Rome, and we don?t want a day care. We actually want an early learning academy,? Jones said. ?We?re not talking basic coloring, but actually focusing on social skills, mental development skills and things along that line.?

Georgia Power has provided a $25,000 grant to help get the early learning academy started, and the SRRC is hoping to get more help from the utility in 2012.

For more information contact Jones or Amanda Cromer at?706-236-2826.

Source: http://rn-t.com/bookmark/17017129

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Chinitech: RT @jeromeleleu La tablette de Google se d?voile http://t.co/Tu2DGD4P #mobile #android: La tablette de Google se... http://t.co/e32vkjsd

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রবিবার, ৮ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Eight-legged evolution exploits editing

RNA tweaks adapt octopuses to water temperature

Web edition : 3:30 pm

The frigid waters of the Southern Ocean don?t slow Antarctic octopuses down, even though their nervous systems are governed by the same genetic instructions as their tropical counterparts. Now scientists know why: Edits to the creatures? genetic instructions tweak the octopuses? nerve cells for smooth operating in the numbing polar waters.

The discovery is the first report of such editing actually helping an organism adjust to its environment, scientists report online January 5 in Science.

Because nerve cells can?t send signals as quickly in the cold, scientists decided to compare genes from Pareledone, an octopus that lives in the icy waters off Antarctica, with those of the warm-water species Octopus vulgaris. To the researchers? surprise, the genetic instructions were pretty much the same.

?It was a real disappointment at first,? says molecular neurobiologist Joshua Rosenthal of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan. ?We thought there was going to be a difference in their genes, but they were basically identical. It was puzzling.?

Rosenthal and graduate student Sandra Garrett figured something must alter the way the DNA instructions are relayed to and interpreted by the body?s nerve cell?building machinery.

DNA always stays put in the nucleus of cells, and sections of it are copied when instructions for functioning or building parts are needed. So the researchers looked at this genetic photocopy, the mRNA. It turns out that an enzyme that specializes in editing mRNA alters the blueprints for the octopuses? nerve cells in both polar and tropical species, the researchers discovered.

The mRNA edits slightly change the way that nerve cells open and close gates to produce electrical impulses. In the Antarctic octopus species, the edits speed up the closing of one gate, while in the tropical species, the edits make that gate close more slowly. Because cold slows the gates down, these editing tweaks nicely counteract the effects of temperature and keep the gates in sync with other parts of the nervous system.

?This is amazing, wonderful work,? says molecular biologist Yi-Tao Yu of the University of Rochester in New York. Researchers used to think that dialing down or amping up the activity of genes through DNA mutation was evolution?s main trick for fine-tuning the body?s machinery. But there?s a downside: Change the DNA and you can?t easily go back.

?If you just modify the mRNA it?s very economical and convenient,? Yu says.

Rosenthal and Garrett also examined another polar species from the frosty northern waters off Svalbard, Norway, another tropical species and some in-between species. The researchers found evidence that the same kind of RNA editing happens in those octopuses as well.

The various species that the researchers examined come from very different branches on the octopus family tree, says cephalopod expert Louise Allcock of the National University of Ireland, Galway. This suggests that the RNA-editing trick, or the ability to turn it on when needed, evolved multiple times.

While the discovery is the first report of such editing helping an organism adapt to its environment, many questions remain. The scientists don?t know yet, for example, if a cold-water octopus could change the way it edits RNA in a warm tank. But they?re working on experiments to test just that.

Found in: Genes & Cells and Life

Source: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/337413/title/Eight-legged_evolution_exploits_editing

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2011 Florida high school grades released

How did your school perform? Check here: Florida School Grades

High School grades are out. Locally Hillsborough reports 93% of its high school receiving either an A or a B grade. Three high schools (Brandon, Chamberlain and Spoto) earned A grades for the first time.

Pinellas has no D or F schools. Pasco school officials report 83% of its schools received either an A or B grade and no school received an F.

Below is the press release from the Florida Department of Education with an overview of the grades and a link to each school district.

TALLAHASSEE - Florida's high schools increased in the number and percent of schools achieving high marks for the 2010-11 school year, according to results released today from the Florida Department of Education.? Results show that 78 percent of the state's high schools earned either an "A" or "B" grade, an increase from 71 percent last year.? These grades are based on the high school grading formula that was used for the first time in the 2009-10 school year.

"It's great to see more of Florida's high schools trending upward," said Governor Scott. "Education is critical to improving lives, preparing students for a job and attracting employers."

Statewide, the greatest average increase in high school grade component points earned in 2010-11 was for student performance on accelerated coursework measured by AP, IB, AICE and industry certification examinations, as well as dual enrollment courses.

"I want to commend Florida's students, teachers and school leaders for their hard work in helping students achieve academically," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson.?

"Florida's strategy of raising expectations and expanding opportunities for academic growth continues to yield successful outcomes for our high school students. The $1 billion in education funding proposed by Governor Scott would give school districts additional resources to help students perform at even higher levels."

Of Florida's 474 graded public high schools (including combination schools serving high school grade levels) earning "A" through "F" grades for the 2010-11 school year:

  • 147 earned an "A" (31 percent), compared to 145 schools (31 percent) last year.
  • 224 earned a "B" (47 percent), compared to 188 schools (40 percent) last year.
  • 72 earned a "C" (15 percent), compared to 69 schools (15 percent) last year.
  • 25 earned a "D" (5 percent), compared to 57 schools (12 percent) last year.
  • 6 earned an "F" (1 percent), compared to 11 schools (2 percent) last year.

The expanded high school grading system, first used for the 2009-10 school year, focuses on a broader set of student outcomes, including graduation rates and student participation and performance in advanced coursework. The high school grade is earned based on two major elements: 50 percent from the performance of each school's students on the FCAT, and 50 percent from factors that include the following:

  • The school's graduation rate.
  • The performance and participation of students in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Dual Enrollment, Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), and industry certification.
  • The postsecondary readiness of high-achieving students as measured by the SAT, ACT, or College Placement Test (CPT).
  • The high school graduation rate of at-risk students.

School districts have an opportunity to appeal the grade through February 3, 2012. Based on the results from that process, school recognition funds will be determined and will reward schools that have sustained high student performance or demonstrated substantial improvement in student performance.

For detailed information on the 2010-11 high school grades, visit: Florida School Grades


Source: http://saintpetersburg.wtsp.com/news/news/98622-2011-florida-high-school-grades-released

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শনিবার, ৭ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Movie Scores: How the critics rated the new movies (AP)

It's the first week of the new year so the pickings are typically slim, with just one new nationwide release for critics to ponder. And they didn't get much time to do that: "The Devil Inside" only screened the Thursday night before its Friday opening.

The horror movie, which purports itself to be inspired by real events, is about a woman who asks two young exorcists to cure her institutionalized mother using unconventional methods. As early word trickled in, it wasn't faring well, with critics saying the film isn't scary and has a terrible ending.

Opening to much stronger reviews in limited release is "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," Turkey's entry for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards. It follows a group of men who are thrown together to search for the body of a murder victim in the countryside.

Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:

? "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia": Metacritic, 79; Movie Review Intelligence: 80.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 95. Average: 84.7.

? "Roadie": Metacritic, 61; Movie Review Intelligence: 59.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 68. Average: 62.8.

? "Norwegian Wood": Metacritic, 52; Movie Review Intelligence: 60.6; Rotten Tomatoes, 73. Average: 61.9.

? "The Devil Inside": Metacritic, 42; Movie Review Intelligence, 35.2; Rotten Tomatoes, 8. Average: 28.4.






Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/movies/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120106/ap_en_mo/us_movie_scores

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Woodford gives up fight to head Olympus, will sue

Former President and Chief Executive of Olympus Corp. Michael Woodford speaks to reporters after a press conference at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Woodford, who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Former President and Chief Executive of Olympus Corp. Michael Woodford speaks to reporters after a press conference at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Woodford, who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Former President and Chief Executive of Olympus Corp. Michael Woodford speaks to reporters after a press conference at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Woodford, who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Former President and Chief Executive of Olympus Corp. Michael Woodford ponders during a press conference at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Woodford, who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Former President and Chief Executive of Olympus Corp. Michael Woodford arrives for a press conference at the National Press Club of Japan in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Woodford, who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

(AP) ? The former Olympus Corp. CEO who blew the whistle on dubious spending at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker said Friday he is giving up his fight to regain the presidency and plans to sue the company.

Michael Woodford said he decided to drop his bid when he realized he didn't have the support of Japanese institutional investors, whom he blamed for tacitly allowing the current board to stay on despite acknowledging a massive cover-up.

"Despite one of the biggest scandals in history, Japanese institutional investors have not spoken one single word of criticism, in complete and utter contrast to overseas shareholders who are demanding accountability from directors," Woodford told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.

"Even if I win, do I want to come back" to such a situation, the 51-year-old Briton asked.

Woodford also said he planned to sue for wrongful dismissal. "I will most definitely be suing Olympus," he said.

He said Japan lags far behind other advanced economies in the area of corporate governance largely because a system of cross-shareholdings at many companies in which corporations to hold stakes in each other to ensure stability.

"Cross shareholding keeps everything comfortable, cozy, nice ? no confrontation, no challenge, no takeover," he said. Japan "will go into terminal decline" if this system persists, he said, urging Japanese legislators to pass laws that "stops this incestuous club."

In October, Woodford confronted Olympus management about the excessive spending on questionable acquisitions and fees paid to an obscure Wall Street firm, which later proved to be part of the cover-up. He was quickly fired as president.

An independent panel found that the deception at Olympus dated to the 1990s, and involved an elaborate scheme to hide 117.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in investment losses. The company had initially denied any wrongdoing.

After that, Woodford mounted a campaign for a comeback at Olympus, saying the company needed a new board of directors, mostly outsiders, to make a fresh start, ensure transparency and leave the scandal behind.

The fight between Woodford and Olympus management would have come to a head at the next shareholders meeting, the date of which had not been set.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Woodford sounded upbeat about gaining support for his comeback, with support from non-Japanese investors as well as the Japanese public.

But in recent weeks, Woodford said he realized he could not overcome the resistance of institutional investors, such as Olympus' main creditor bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. He said he requested a meeting with the head of the bank, but was turned down.

Even if he had won the proxy fight, there would have been a "fracture" between the overseas shareholders and the Japanese institutional shareholders, Woodford said.

He said the scandal comes across to the rest of the world as "an Alice in Wonderland, bizarre situation. I get fired and lose my job for doing the right thing. And (the directors) are still there."

Sumitomo Mitsui and Olympus had no immediate comment.

The company remains under a criminal investigation. Last month, Japanese prosecutors raided Olympus headquarters and the home of former President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who is suspected of helping to orchestrate the cover-up.

Woodford said in a statement released Friday that another reason for his decision was the emotional pain suffered by his wife, who wakes up screaming at night.

He said his firing and the hammering he has taken were "traumatizing for all those around me."

Woodford, a 30-year employee at Olympus, said some good had come of his effort by drawing attention to what he called a corporate culture that encouraged "yes-men."

Japanese government officials have defended the country's corporate governance record, with Industry Minister Yukio Edano saying that it was on par or even better than that of the U.S. Edano didn't elaborate, but notable accounting scandals in the U.S. include those at Enron and WorldCom.

Woodford said his fight had not been about an outsider fighting Japanese, but about someone who wanted reform versus those who had resisted it. Woodford said he liked Japan, and will visit often.

"The last 12 weeks have showed me the opposite of what I've seen in the boardroom. I've seen great kindness, support and empathy, the very best of Japan," he said.

Woodford was alternately pessimistic and cautiously optimistic about Japan's future.

"Japan has such ingenuity and human talent. If you look at Olympus, Japanese engineers who designed world-beating medical technology," he said. "But at the senior level, the checks and balances don't exist in the same way."

He said he was hopeful that the scandal at Olympus may have stimluted debate in Japan: "It's only in retrospect, in maybe a year or three years, we look back. Did the Olympus scandal change things?"


Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama contributed to this report.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2012-01-06-AS-Japan-Olympus/id-3f0cc3b21d654b94bf53b148b308c2fe

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শুক্রবার, ৬ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

slashgear: See the ISS tonight in the Houston, Texas area with binoculars http://t.co/2cG6GPAs #tech #slashgear

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Reports: Pats assistant O'Brien to coach Penn St (AP)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ? New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be Penn State's first new head football coach in nearly a half-century, according to multiple reports.

ESPN, citing unnamed sources, first reported Thursday night that an official announcement would be made Saturday, and that O'Brien would continue as an assistant with the Patriots the rest of the postseason.

Penn State coaches contacted by The Associated Press said they had not received any word late Thursday night about O'Brien or anything else related to the two-month long search to replace Hall of Famer Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions' leader for 46 seasons was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

O'Brien has no apparent ties to Penn State, which has rocked by a scandal that also led to the departure of school President Graham Spanier.

A Patriots spokesman declined to comment. Penn State athletics spokesman Jeff Nelson cited department policy to not comment on reports to "protect the integrity of the search."

O'Brien interviewed on Thursday, his agent said. Joe Linta told The Associated Press, earlier Thursday, that O'Brien was "flattered by the interest."

USA Today first reported that O'Brien was scheduled to interview, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the situation.

This was O'Brien's first year coordinating the Patriots' high-scoring offense, but has he coached Tom Brady since 2009 and spent 2008 coaching receivers.

O'Brien recently was in the spotlight when he and New England's star quarterback got into a heated argument, shown on national television, after Brady threw an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 34-27 win over the Washington Redskins on Dec. 11.

"He's been a great coach and friend. We have a great relationship; probably a very unique relationship in that we communicate all the time," Brady said Sunday about O'Brien. "I always enjoy working with him and he's done an incredible job with this team and this offense."

The Patriots are off this week, and will host a divisional round playoff game next weekend. They went 13-3 this season, won the AFC East championship going away, and secured the conference's No. 1 seed throughout the playoffs.

New England closed the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, and scored 513 points, the most in the AFC. Brady threw for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns, while being picked off just 12 times.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Brady said when asked if he would miss O'Brien's coaching. "I hope he's here for a long time and I told him that, too."

O'Brien joined New England in 2007 following 14 seasons on the college level, including stops at Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech. He played football at Brown ? Paterno's alma mater.

Paterno, Division I's winningest coach with 409 victories, coached 46 seasons before being ousted by trustees.

Penn State officials had termed the search "methodical and deliberate." Acting athletic director David Joyner had said he would like to give Paterno's replacement at least a few weeks to recruit before high school seniors can begin to announce their official intentions to attend college on Feb. 1.

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who took over for Paterno on an interim basis, also interviewed. Bradley was on the road recruiting Thursday, the second of a four-day recruiting contact period. Another 16-day contact window starts Jan. 13.

"I believe the search is continuing and progressing very well as we hoped it would," Joyner said during a taped segment at halftime of the radio broadcast of Thursday night's basketball game between Purdue and Penn State. "I anticipate having a new head coach in place in time to take full advantage of the open period that's coming up."

Calls and emails of interest from qualified potential applicants were still coming in, Joyner said during the segment.

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson also received an interview. Two persons with knowledge of the search also confirmed earlier reports that Paterno's son, quarterback coach Jay Paterno, interviewed for the job. The persons requested anonymity because no one was authorized to speak about the search.

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed in November and his agent said this week he was on the "short list" for the job.

Among other rumored names, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak denied interest in the job three times since Paterno, his former coach, was fired. And Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements declined to comment when asked if he was interested in the job and would not confirm a report that he had interviewed.

The Patriots are third in the NFL overall in scoring (32.1 points per game), and second in total offense (428 yards) and passing (317.8 yards).

Penn State finished a 9-4 campaign with a 30-14 loss in the TicketCity Bowl to Houston on Jan. 2. The Nittany Lions relied on defense much of the year after the offense struggled with a two-quarterback system.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/topstories/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120106/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_penn_state_coach_search

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ৫ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

One Republican Senator Supports Obama Recess Appointment of Cordray (Michellemalkin)

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SEC sues life settlements firm, alleges deception (AP)

WACO, Texas ? Federal securities regulators filed suit Tuesday against a Texas-based provider of so-called "life settlements," accusing it and three top executives of defrauding shareholders by overvaluing the life insurance policies it buys from its customers.

In a statement, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Life Partners Holdings Inc. and its top management lowballed life-expectancy estimates used to price the settlements they pay customers.

With life settlements, policyholders sell their life insurance policies in return for a lump-sum payment. Investors buy the right to collect the policy's death benefits, but must continue to pay premiums until the original policyholder dies.

The lawsuit the SEC filed in federal court in Waco, Texas, also names as defendants the company's founder, chairman and chief executive, Brian Pardo, its president and general counsel, R. Scott Peden, and Chief Financial Officer David Martin.

In its civil complaint, the SEC alleges that Life Partners and its executives engaged in deceptive disclosures and improper accounting to overvalue its assets and exaggerate its revenue stream from brokering life settlements. The SEC also accused Pardo and Peden of insider trading.

"Life Partners duped its shareholders by employing an unqualified medical doctor to assign baseless life-expectancy estimates to the underlying insurance policies," said Robert Khuzami, head of the SEC's enforcement division. "This deception misled shareholders into thinking that the company's revenue model was sustainable when in fact it was illusory."

Waco-based Life Partners said the lawsuit is "without merit," and it promised a vigorous defense.

"It is very disappointing that the SEC has chosen to pursue litigation over issues that we believe have no merit and financial presentation issues that we do not believe are material," Pardo said in a company statement. "We have always done our best to deliver value to our shareholders and to run an honest and transparent company."

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/stocks/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120104/ap_on_bi_ge/us_life_partners_securities

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বুধবার, ৪ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Sorbella Returns...

Erm, well I first joined this site about three years ago, looking for a good roleplay site. But then I never got into it, and forgot about it. Until today. Well, tonight, rather. I was cleaning about my email inbox when I discovered an unread email from RPG, telling me of all these new improvements. So I thought 'what the hell' and ventured forth.

Now, I can't promise that I will put forth much effort into doing any roleplaying. As it is, I am severely rusty. I may not even return here after roaming around here tonight. But for the time being, my interest is once again peaked in this site and so I say on to you all:


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RolePlayGateway/~3/AGedwog8RP4/viewtopic.php

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মঙ্গলবার, ৩ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Haniyeh in Sudan: Hamas will Never Recognize Israel

Hamas? Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, reiterated on Saturday that his organization will never recognize Israel and will never give up on Jerusalem, Channel 10 News reported.

Haniyeh made the comments during talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where he several days ago met President Omar al-Bashir. The visit to Sudan is part of Haniyeh?s first?official regional tour since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007.

He also called for the establishment of a ?Jerusalem Army,? an army of Arab nations who will conquer Jerusalem from the Jews, the report said.

Haniyeh?s remarks were reportedly made in a forum entitled ?The Jerusalem Forum? being held in Khartoum. Channel 10 reported that during the discussions, Haniyeh?s men met with senior members of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood movement. According to the report, the purpose of the meetings was to look into the possibility of having Hamas join the Muslim Brotherhood.

While Haniyeh?s comments are consistent with ones he recently made during Hamas? 24th anniversary celebration, where he said Hamas? long-term strategic goal is to eliminate all of Israel, they are not consistent with comments made by other Hamas officials in the past week.

Hamas? politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, said last week that for the time being Hamas intends to focus on popular?protests?in the spirit of the Arab Spring, rather than armed resistance against Israel.

Mashaal?s remarks came following reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo last week, which resulted in an announcement that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror factions would be?joining the PLO. Hamas? co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar?later confirmed?Mashaal?s remarks.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/151264

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WhigSports: The Quincy University men's basketball team rallied from a 16-point deficit to finish third in the QU/Subway... http://t.co/Ted0a5Nv

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সোমবার, ২ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

ATF Agent Killed in Pharmacy Robbery Getting Dad's Cancer Meds, Dead Suspect Identified as James McGoey

A Long Island?pharmacy's alleged robber, whose crime led to the death of an off-duty law officer Saturday, has been identified by Nassau Country police as 43-year-old James McGoey,?according to an AP report.

Agent John Capano of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was in the?parking lot of a shopping center?on?Merrick Road in Seaford,?N.Y., around 2 p.m. when the gunman entered the pharmacy and robbed it of OxyContin and cash. Capano was picking up cancer medication for his father, according to published reports.

Several patrons were able to flee the store during the robbery and then identified the suspect to Capano as the man exited.?Capano immediately confronted the suspect and a struggle ensued as?Capano attempted to disarm him.

A retired Nassau County police officer and an off-duty New York City police officer who happened to be in a deli next door were also alerted. They came out of the deli and discovered the men struggling. One of the officers fired at them, killing the suspect.?Capano was also fatally wounded during the shooting, according to the official report on the ATF website.

Capano, who lived in Massapequa and was married with two children, was a 23-year veteran of the ATF, and had taught blast investigation in Afganistan to both U.S. military and local forces there.

"He was a veteran agent who did his job well," O'Connor told AP. "Even though off-duty, he felt the need to take action in an attempt to protect the public."

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Source: http://newyork.ibtimes.com/articles/275065/20120101/atf-agent-killed-pharmacy-robbery-getting-dad.htm

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Chinese Official, Wang Yang, Tests New Political Approach

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Source: www.nytimes.com --- Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wang Yang, an up-and-coming Chinese official, is seen by some analysts as the most likely person to push for political and social reforms at the highest level of China?s leadership. ...

Source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=e86dc5b6795d1b27570ad25818bbe8ee

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রবিবার, ১ জানুয়ারী, ২০১২

Actress Patricia Clarkson to lead Carnival parade

By Associated Press ??|??Celeb Stalker??|??December 30, 2011 Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

Actress Patricia Clarkson will lead the Carnival parade of the Krewe of Muses in her hometown of New Orleans.

The star of the 2010 thriller ?Shutter Island? and the 2003 drama ?Pieces of April? will step into a whimsical limelight by riding on a red fiber-optic-lit float shaped like a high-heeled shoe.

The Krewe of Muses is an all-women?s organization that parades through New Orleans on Feb. 16.

The krewe traditionally selects an honorary rider who exemplifies a muse from Greek mythology, such as dance, poetry or music. For 2012, the club said it chose Clarkson as its honorary ?EveryMuse? because she embodies the spirit of all muses.

Source: http://www.pbpulse.com/gossip/celeb-stalker/2011/12/30/actress-patricia-clarkson-to-lead-carnival-parade/

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UK to investigate French-made breast implants (AP)

LONDON ? The British government says it will investigate whether potentially faulty breast implants fitted by a French company pose a risk to women.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on Saturday ordered the urgent review of the safety of silicon implants made by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese.

The implants were pulled off the market last year in several countries amid fears they could rupture and leak silicone into the body. Around 40,000 women in Britain have such implants.

British health regulators had previously said there was no need for women have the implants removed, but Lansley said the government has since received new data and decided to investigate.

He declined to give details of that new information.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/britain/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20111231/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_breast_implants

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