news.bbc.co.uk — Cuba's ailing leader, Fidel Castro has announced he will not return to the presidency in a letter published by official Communist Party paper, Granma.
full article here
Posted by gjblass at 5:00 PM
The Camel TOE post was so great I had to add this one:
I know it’s a bit late for valentines day, but i’m still recovering from my birthday celebrations, so you will excuse the fact that i have lost a couple of days. Still, back to the point. If your missus has a beaten up old clout that looks like a badly packed kebab or even a abattoir floor (guess who got a profanisaurus for a present) there is a new product on the market for you aesthetic vaginal desires. Clitter, glitter for your cootch. Sparkly.
Posted by gjblass at 4:18 PM
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading U.S. doctors group has endorsed using marijuana for medical purposes, urging the government to roll back a prohibition on using it to treat patients and supporting studies into its medical applications.
The American College of Physicians, the second-largest doctors group in the United States, issued a policy statement on medical marijuana this week after it was approved by its governing body, the group said on Friday.
The group cited evidence that marijuana is valuable in treating severe weight loss associated with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients.
"Additional research is needed to clarify marijuana's therapeutic properties and determine standard and optimal doses and routes of delivery. Unfortunately, research expansion has been hindered by a complicated federal approval process, limited availability of research-grade marijuana and the debate over legalization," the group said.
The Philadelphia-based group, founded in 1915, is made up of 124,000 doctors who treat adults.
"The richness of modern medicine is to carefully evaluate new treatments. Marijuana has been in a special category because of, I suppose, its abuses and other concerns," Dr. David Dale, the group's president and a University of Washington professor of medicine, said in a phone interview.
'SCIENCE SHOULD BE KEPT OPEN'
David Murray, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's chief scientist, said, "The science should be kept open. There should be more research. We should continue to investigate."
The policy statement said, "ACP encourages the use of nonsmoked forms of THC (the main psychoactive element in marijuana) that have proven therapeutic value." It also backed research into additional therapeutic uses of marijuana.
The government should review marijuana's status as a so-called schedule I controlled substance, alongside such drugs as LSD and heroin, given scientific evidence of its safety and efficacy for some medical conditions, the doctors group said.
It called for exempting doctors who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law from federal criminal prosecution and other actions. It also urged protection from criminal penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.
A dozen states have laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. But supporters of medical marijuana accuse the federal government of undermining those state laws by having Drug Enforcement Administration agents raid medical marijuana providers.
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which urges legal and regulated sales of marijuana, said, "This statement by America's second-largest doctors group demolishes the myth that the medical community doesn't support medical marijuana."
"The ACP's statement smashes a number of other myths, including the claims that adequate substitutes are available or that marijuana is unsafe for medical use," Kampia added.
Posted by gjblass at 2:28 PM
A senior Nissan source has confirmed the company is studying the possibility of producing a high-performance four-door sedan based on the exotic Nissan GT-R hardware. The source suggested the car may be sold as an Infiniti.
Producing a four-door GT-R is certainly feasible, though it wouldn't be cheap. Although the GT-R coupe is based on Nissan's flexible FM (front midship) platform, it is what one analyst calls "a major deviation" from that platform's architecture, to the point where it's known internally as PM (premium midship).
The PM platform could be stretched to allow an extra set of doors and useable rear passenger space, while keeping the existing suspension pickup points, powertrain mountings, and other sheetmetal. This would enable the four-door to share a lot of the GT-R's mechanical hardware, including the 480-horsepower twin-turbo 3.8-liter VR38 V-6 engine, all wheel drive, and the rear-mounted six-speed DSG-style auto-clutch transmission.
However a sedan version would require a new bodyside, plus expensive revisions to the carbon fiber intensive front structure, so while Nissan could save some money through component sharing with the GT-R, it's likely that a sedan variant would cost $3000 to $5000 more. One alternative would be to make the car with a conventional steel body (it would add weight, but Nissan would want the GT-R coupe to remain its performance flagship anyway).
The drawings here are purely illustrative; it's unlikely Nissan would retain too many GT-R cues on an Infiniti-badged car. Nissan knows a four-door GT-R would have about as much credibility in Japan as a four-door Corvette would here in the U.S. Furthermore, American and European buyers likely would balk at the idea of paying $85,000 for a sedan with Nissan badges. Making the car an Infiniti could help solve both problems, and it would give the brand the halo vehicle it lacks.
A high-tech, high-performance Infiniti sedan also could serve as a halo car for the expansion of Nissan's luxury brand into Europe, China, Japan, and other world markets. After dithering for a decade or more, Toyota has finally made Lexus a global brand, and its new IS-F sedan signals an entry into the premium high-performance segment dominated by Mercedes-Benz's AMG and BMW's M cars.
The significance of both moves won't have been lost on Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Posted by Chismillionaire at 2:27 PM
Posted by gjblass at 2:25 PM
Alfa Romeo plans to pull the wraps off its stunning 8C Spider at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show next week — and is moving ahead with plans to begin selling the soft-top edition of the 8C Competizione in North America as a 2009 model.
Images of the production-ready 8C Spider appeared Tuesday on the Web site Italiaspeed.com, which said the car will feature a carbon-fiber body and will be built in a limited run of 500 units.
First displayed as a concept at Pebble Beach in 2005, the two-seat Spider will feature a 450-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 and a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters. Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels and tires also will be fitted.
The anticipated price is somewhere north of $250,000.
Posted by Chismillionaire at 2:21 PM
It seems a bit counter-intuitive; we are used to seeing Dutch floating projects, not buried ones. Architect Moshé Zwarts says ""There has always been a lack of space in the city, so what we are doing is building a city under the city by using a new construction technique, which will not interfere with street traffic."- by draining and then building under the canals.
And what does he propose filling it with? Parking, shopping and "leisure".
The engineers say it is doable. “It is both feasible and sustainable, creating a city beneath the city is not futuristic, it is a necessity in this day and age.” Zwarts says the geology is great for this. "Amsterdam sits on a 30-metre layer of waterproof clay which will be used together with concrete and sand to make new walls. Once we have resealed the canal floor, we will be able to carry on working underneath while pouring water back into the canals. It's an easy technique and it doesn't create issues with drilling noises on the streets."
In some ways the notion is quite clever; one can work under the canals without seriously disrupting life on the land. But we might question whether one should be digging up Amsterdam for parking and shopping, and they might have added public transit and bike lanes to keep us happy. Michael Hammond of World Architecture News has his doubts too:
"This scheme and its underlying drivers, fly in the face of every responsible principle of sustainability and current trends. The architects also claim that the proposal is CO2 neutral but when questioned by WAN, Professor Zwarts acknowledged that his calculations omitted the carbon generated by construction, which in a mammoth scheme like would take many decades to recoup, if ever.....That this project is technically achievable is not in doubt, but that does not justify its flawed concept." ::World Architecture News
Posted by gjblass at 2:06 PM
By: Ophelia Payne
The makers of “Velcro Mullet” proudly present: CAMEL TOE CUP!
Click here for full-size image
Description on packaging:
Camel Toe Annie says: If there is someone you want to get to know, show ‘em the Toe!! Easily and securely attaches to the included “Toe-Belt”
Not tested on camels
Molded of durable Teflon
Camel Toe Annie approved
Each CTC is numbered and registered at our central office, in case you leave it after a night of whorin’ or it is found in a dumpster
Deep Groove™ channel accommodates all materials (denim, cotton, silk, burlap)
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Available in 3 gauges:
Call for sizing chart*
“The deep groove locks it in place, no more embarrassing shifting.”—Mary Clam, age 22
“I wanted to impress this guy at the bar, so I opened a beer with my cup, we’ve been going out for three days, he drives a Camaro, I’m in heaven!”—Bobbi-Marie Mudflap, age 52
“When I am not wearing it, I use as a recipe card holder, I am always finding new uses for it!”—Rhonda Sluichuck, age 45
*Look for Jr. Model coming soon!!
**Cougar model includes built-in bottle opener
Posted by gjblass at 1:09 PM
Posted by gjblass at 12:46 PM
This one was great (Dwight Howard: Superman):
To much to post check out all the highlights and vid clips:
All Star 2008 Recap
Posted by gjblass at 12:39 PM
Unranked, unimpeachable, and incomplete, Esquire’s coast-to-coast list of the finest meals on sliced bread. No burgers allowed
Never mind that Jimmy and Drew left Chicago to sell meat in a vegan stronghold: They survive because they make everything in-house. They thrive because Jimmy’s namesake Reuben swaps pedestrian rye (meh, it’s just a meat vessel) for schmaltz-fried latkes the size of your hubcaps. (2855 Twenty-eighth Street; 303-447-3354)
Bobbing in a sea of Blue Ribbon, battered by gale-force amps, you need something solid to hold on to -- and hold down. So: Dip a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in pancake batter, dunk it in a deep fryer, and dust it with powdered sugar. Voilà: Bar eats supreme. The crisp, cakey crust conceals a molten heart as sweet as Cleveland’s own. (15711 Waterloo Road; 216-383-1124)
Posted by gjblass at 12:33 PM
Living in the United States is an interesting experience for someone who was born and raised in Australia. Quite often, I get asked a lot of questions about what it is like back home. Sometimes I even get questions such as, "Do you know Crocodile Dundee?" - To which I reply a line made famous by Kevin Bloody Wilson: "Know him? Mate, he's my brother!"
The longer I live here in the US, the more it becomes clear that a lot of Americans have some really interesting concepts and visualizations about what the land down under must be like. For example, I get the impression, quite often, that many of our American friends see Australia like these images:
If you ask an American who the current leader of Australia is; or what the capital city of Australia is, they would be hard pressed to answer you correctly; despite Aussies and Yanks being quite close friends on the international scene. If you ask an American what images (besides kangaroos) come to mind when they think of Australia, they would talk about these landscapes:
Well, I'm here to tell you that there's more to us Crazy Australians than koalas, kangaroos, the outback, and Sydney. So, to help you understand why we are the way we are, I have compiled a list of things that culturally shape Australians into the fun-loving, laid-back, hard-asses that we are. On we go:
Article Continues: Great Stuff
Posted by gjblass at 12:26 PM
Feb 14th 2008
By Tom Radler
Posted by gjblass at 12:15 PM
| Steven Stanek in Cairo, Egypt |
for National Geographic News
|February 15, 2008|
| An unusual, well-preserved burial chamber that may contain the mummy of an ancient warrior has been discovered in a necropolis in Luxor.|
Scientists opened the tomb—found in Dra Abul Naga, an ancient cemetery on Luxor's west bank—on Wednesday. (See an Egypt map.)
Inside the burial shaft—a recess crudely carved from bedrock—experts found a closed wooden coffin inscribed with the name "Iker," which translates to "excellent one" in ancient Egyptian.
Near the coffin they also found five arrows made of reeds, three of them still feathered.
A team of Spanish archaeologists made the surprise find during routine excavations in a courtyard of the tomb of Djehuty, a high-ranking official under Queen Hatshepsut whose burial site was built on top of graves dating to the Middle Kingdom, 2055 to 1650 B.C.
(Related: "Rare Middle-Class Tomb Found From Ancient Egypt" [January 18, 2008].)
The coffin dates to Egypt's Middle Kingdom era, though the cemetery is better known for its use during the New Kingdom, 1550 to 1070 B.C.
Based on the coffin's inscriptions and pottery found near it, experts date the burial to the early reign of the 11th dynasty, which lasted from 2125 to 1985 B.C. Soldiers played an important role in society during that time, when Egypt was reunified after years of civil war.
Some intact burials from that period had been found in the 1920s, but the leader of the new excavation, Jose Galán of the Spanish National Research Council, said the new find could offer a fresh look into the era's burial customs.
"It's fairly uncommon to find nowadays an 11th-dynasty intact burial. This is really remarkable," Galán said.
"It gives us information about the continuous use of the necropolis and ... about a period that was not so well documented."
The discovery of burials belonging to soldiers and mercenaries, who had elevated status in the wartime society, are even rarer, according to Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.
Only "a handful" have ever been unearthed, Ikram said.
"It shows that there were a lot of warriors that had been in use," she said.
"Because of their prominence in calming things down [after the civil war], they probably were wealthier and regarded with more honor than in early periods, and that is why they had nice burials."
Bows and Arrows
The wooden coffin—adorned with drawings of Iker presenting offerings to the goddess of the heavens, Hathor—was fairly well preserved, though it suffered some damage from flooding and termites, according to experts who pried it open.
Inside the coffin, the archaeologists found Iker's mummy, lying on its left side next to two bows and three staffs, which would have been used to indicate his high rank.
(Related: "Surprise Egypt Tombs Yield Ornate Coffins, Dog Mummies" [January 30, 2008].)
"Usually the important people [carried a staff] as a way to be recognized as chiefs of a tribe or family," said Galán, adding that his team had not yet analyzed the newfound artifacts.
The presence of bows and arrows means that Iker was likely a hired soldier in the service of a king, though the exact details are unclear.
"It means this person was a fighter," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
"He was fighting in the army or Publish Postsomething like that ... there were many fighters joining the king, and this could be one of them," said Hawass, also a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence. (National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)
Spanish archaeologist Galán and his team plan to remove the mummy from the coffin to x-ray it and determine more specifics.
"We don't know about the origin of Iker," Galán said. "We don't even know if he was Egyptian, Nubian, or Libyan."
Posted by gjblass at 12:08 PM
Nathaniel Pritchard, 15 and his cousin Kelly Stephenson, 20, are the latest suicide victims from Bridgend. The town has now had 16 apparent suicides since January last year
Posted by gjblass at 12:02 PM
UAV: from wiki
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), sometimes called an unmanned air-reconnaissance vehicle, is an unpiloted aircraft. UAVs can be remote controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. UAVs are currently used in a number of military roles, including reconnaissance and attack. They are also used in a small but growing number of civil applications such as firefighting where a human observer would be at risk, police observation of civil disturbances and scenes of crimes, and reconnaissance support in natural disasters. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for manned aircraft.
There are a wide variety UAV shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics. For the purposes of this article, and to distinguish UAVs from missiles, a UAV is defined as being capable of controlled, sustained level flight and powered by a jet or reciprocating engine. Cruise missiles are not classed as UAVs, because, like many other guided missiles, the vehicle itself is a weapon that is not reused even though it is also unmanned and might in some cases be remotely guided.
The abbreviation UAV has been expanded in some cases to UAVS (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle System). The Federal Aviation Administration has adopted the generic class Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) originally introduced by the U.S. Navy to reflect the fact that these are not just aircraft, but systems including ground stations and other elements.
Posted by gjblass at 11:59 AM
Russian armour has been well known for years. To create it the best scientists have been working in research institutes. Although modern ballistic vests can weigh up to 12 kilos, Russian designers say there's another option. Armour filled with special gel can be light and even comfortable to wear.
Posted by gjblass at 11:54 AM
Madison Avenue thinks a tasty approach will give new life to Welch's grape juice.
Welch's is taking out full-page print ads in People magazine this month that give readers a chance to sample its grape juice by licking the ad. The front of the advertisement shows a huge bottle of the juice, while the back has a strip that peels up and off, with text that reads: "For a TASTY fact, remove & LICK."
|Welch's hopes flavored strips make its ads stand out.|
Marketers are excited about the prospects for lickable ads, but also have to deal with the "ick" factor. Since magazines are often passed from reader to reader (think doctors' offices) there is a good chance that saliva could be left on the ad. Readers are supposed to peel off the entire sticker on the Welch's ad before licking, says First Flavor, the company that developed the technology used in the ad. If someone doesn't rip off the whole sticker, First Flavor says, the flap can't reseal, giving people an easy way to know whether the ad has already been licked.
While scent technology -- such as scratch-and-sniff ads or fragrant ink -- is commonplace in magazines, lickable ads are still in the experimental stages. CBS was one of the first companies to offer them in a marketing campaign. The network's flavor strips, which ran in copies of Rolling Stone magazine in New York and Los Angeles last fall, gave readers a taste of lime-flavored mojitos. The ad, the brainchild of Interpublic Group's Initiative, promoted the fictional rum brand that is central to the plot of the CBS series "Cane," which stars Jimmy Smits as the head of a family that owns a Florida rum business.
"We struggled with the concept," says Greg Castronuovo, senior vice president and group account director at Initiative, the media-buying firm that worked on CBS's mojito ad. "There is a lot of pass-along in magazines -- I had a little bit of aversion to it; it's a little unsanitary, perhaps."
First Flavor, the small, privately held company in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., that worked with Welch's, also did in-store marketing patches for a new flavor, dubbed Brilliant Sparkle, of Church & Dwight's Arm & Hammer Advance White toothpaste. First Flavor has been experimenting with how far it can push its technology, and has created test ads that taste like everything from cheese pizza to soy milk and children's cold medicines.
In some lickable ads, including the Welch's ad, some of the essence of the actual product is added to the strip, while in others, the strip is made up of unrelated flavors, both natural and artificial. Creating savory flavors such as pepperoni pizza is particularly tricky. "It's difficult for the consumer to get the feeling that they are tasting the product," says Jay B. Minkoff, chief executive of First Flavor.
Welch's says it suspects some folks will pass on the free taste test. "A lot of people won't lick a magazine no matter how good it tastes," says Chris Heye, Welch's marketing chief.
The company, which is owned by a cooperative of grape growers, says it went to great lengths to make sure the ad tasted good and that the ingredients used in the lickable strip met safety guidelines laid out by the Food and Drug Administration. It says it spent weeks conducting consumer taste tests and enlisted more than 50 company employees to try the lickable ad. The ad was created by WPP Group's JWT.
Print ads present a unique challenge for marketers because they don't typically have "sound or motion," the two things that tend to make ads stand out, says Paul Caine, president of Time Inc.'s Entertainment Group, which includes People magazine. Adding taste is one way to create a new way to grab reader attention, he says. People has experimented with adding sound chips to some print ads.
Welch's says the ad costs a couple hundred thousand dollars more to create than a normal national print ad because it had to pay to make the sticker plus an additional fee to People for the added production costs. The ad will appear in the Feb. 18 issue of the magazine, which has a circulation of about 3.6 million.
Getting people to use multiple senses to process ads is a good way to build a stronger connection with consumers, ad experts say. "It's hard to forget whose brand you are licking," says Lisa Haverty, a cognitive scientist who works in the marketing field.
Assuming, of course, that the consumers like what they taste. "If the taste is unpleasant or not good, the ad could flop worse than a regular ad," adds Ms. Haverty.
Write to Suzanne Vranica at email@example.com
Posted by gjblass at 11:53 AM
A 2,000-year-old mechanical computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck has astounded scientists who have finally unravelled the secrets of how the sophisticated device works.
The machine was lost among cargo in 65BC when the ship carrying it sank in 42m of water off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. By chance, in 1900, a sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos discovered the wreck and recovered statues and other artifacts from the site.
The machine first came to light when an archaeologist working on the recovered objects noticed that a lump of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. Closer inspection of material brought up from the stricken ship subsequently revealed 80 pieces of gear wheels, dials, clock-like hands and a wooden and bronze casing bearing ancient Greek inscriptions.
Since its discovery, scientists have been trying to reconstruct the device, which is now known to be an astronomical calendar capable of tracking with remarkable precision the position of the sun, several heavenly bodies and the phases of the moon. Experts believe it to be the earliest-known device to use gear wheels and by far the most sophisticated object to be found from the ancient and medieval periods.
Using modern computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning, a team led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth at Cardiff University peered inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing of the machine. Detailed imaging of the mechanism suggests it dates back to 150-100 BC and had 37 gear wheels enabling it to follow the movements of the moon and the sun through the zodiac, predict eclipses and even recreate the irregular orbit of the moon. The motion, known as the first lunar anomaly, was developed by the astronomer Hipparcus of Rhodes in the 2nd century BC, and he may have been consulted in the machine's construction, the scientists speculate.
Remarkably, scans showed the device uses a differential gear, which was previously believed to have been invented in the 16th century. The level of miniaturisation and complexity of its parts is comparable to that of 18th century clocks.
Some researchers believe the machine, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, may have been among other treasure looted from Rhodes that was en route to Rome for a celebration staged by Julius Caesar.
One of the remaining mysteries is why the Greek technology invented for the machine seemed to disappear. No other civilisation is believed to have created anything as complex for another 1,000 years. One explanation could be that bronze was often recycled in the period the device was made, so many artefacts from that time have long ago been melted down and erased from the archaelogical record. The fateful sinking of the ship carrying the Antikythera Mechanism may have inadvertently preserved it. "This device is extraordinary, the only thing of its kind," said Professor Edmunds. "The astronomy is exactly right ... in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa." The research, which appears in the journal Nature today, was carried out with scientists at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens where the mechanism is held and the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki.
Posted by gjblass at 11:51 AM
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from The Art of Manliness reader and my good friend, Josh Wilsie.
Just like anything in life, you aren’t going to get what you want if you don’t ask for it. It’s the same principal as asking girls out on dates (instead of “hanging out”). You will never make any sales if you don’t make any calls. I am constantly surprised by how many of my friends and coworkers are fearful of asking for a raise because they don’t want to seem ungrateful or are afraid of getting turned down and feeling rejected.
People don’t seem to grasp the concept that you are simply selling a service to your company by being employed with them. That service is your time and your labor. If you’ve been with your company for over 6 months or up to a year and haven’t received any pay adjustments, I’d say just asking will work 75% of the time (if you’re good at your job). Learn these magic words: “I’d like to talk to you about a salary adjustment.”
A big mistake I have heard a few people make when asking for a raise is giving ultimatums to their employers. I can’t stress enough that the workplace is a competitive environment, and while there is nothing wrong with asking for a raise, demanding one can backfire in the worst kind of way. Many managers, faced with this situation, will simply call your bluff.
Obviously if you suck at your job, or the company is losing money hand over fist, you don’t stand a snowballs chance, ultimatum or no ultimatum. If you aren’t yet sure if you are worth more, then read on, as you can do something about that too.
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what a fair and competitive wage is in your industry. Recruiters and online job websites can be great resources for determining what you can expect to make. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job, check out Monster.com, dice.com, and other job boards (not at work preferably). Find a similar job suited to your talents and send them your resume.
Feel them out, and if given a phone interview, ask for specifics with regard to salary range. If you know you aren’t interested because they’re not paying enough or you’re comfortable with your existing job, be upfront and courteous. Inform the person with whom you’re speaking that you’re happy with your current position (if you are) and be sure to thank them for their consideration. Hopefully you have wasted as little of their time as possible.
Remember that you aren’t indebted to your employer. You entered a business arrangement with them when you were hired. You sell them your time and labor in return for your salary. Shopping around isn’t unethical. It’s good business. Who knows? You might even go on an interview and land a great new gig.
Everybody knows the brash and obnoxious “hot-shot” type at work that needs to validate his worth publicly. Everybody resents that person for it too. A real man knows the thin line between confident and cocky. Mastery of this line at work is key to proving your worth to those around you. Just as Teddy Roosevelt was famously quoted, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick, and you will go far.” Instead of trumpeting every small success you have every day, quietly get everything assigned to you done and done well.
When people around you struggle with their work, give them the help they need to get it done, unless of course you work in some ultra-competitive Glengarry Glen Ross type boiler room (Third place is: You’re fired). In that case, get a new job.
Having a “go-to” and “willing to help” attitude has a strange way of uplifting everyone around you. It increases morale and productivity. If your boss or supervisor doesn’t pick up on this and recognize this kind of leadership, get a new job.
If you are still having trouble establishing value in your position, consider learning something relevant in your free time. Not everything requires a class or course to be learned. Often times it only takes putting down Call of Duty 4 and reading about the subject. If your employer ever offers optional training or certifications, do not pass up on the opportunity. For example, I was offered an optional training course in Asterisk, an open source PBX (like Linux for phone systems) in 2006. With that course and a bit of tinkering in my free time, I became an authority on the subject. Ever since our company moved our software platform onto Asterisk, I’ve received three separate pay increases. Seriously, do everything you can to improve your worth.Once you’re sure you have established your value as a go-to guy, it’s time to seek your reward for all that hard work. Without sounding accusatory or argumentative, let your employer know about the successes you’ve had since you’ve been at your current position. Show them projects you have spearheaded and people you have helped. Make sure they know about all the relevant job skills you’ve picked up while working there. If through conversations with others in your industry, you’ve discovered your salary isn’t competitive, let your current employer know. Win them over to your side and you’re almost guaranteed to be earning more
Posted by gjblass at 11:49 AM
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.
Libraries in southeastern Michigan are turning the page on peace and quiet.
Video game events at public libraries are drawing crowds of teens, including about 100 competing monthly at "Guitar Hero" at the Rochester Hills Public Library.
"Getting teens to come to the library is right up there with getting them to go to church: It's not exactly the first place they want to go," Christine Lind Hage, library director, told the Detroit Free Press for a story Sunday.
Hage stocked the shelves with 1,823 games. And the games are hot items, with an average of 1,300 checked out daily.
A competition in Rochester Hills was held Feb. 9, and similar events are being held at other Detroit-area libraries.
Nearly 30 teens play "Guitar Hero" or "Dance Dance Revolution" every few weeks at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, which offers 300 video games in its collection.
"It's a big social event," said Stephanie Jaczkowski, 17. "I've met a lot of friends there, and they're really good friends."
The Canton Public Library six months ago began offering games and holding monthly tournaments for Nintendo Wii bowling and "Super Smash Bros."
"Many of the games are complex. They're worthy in their own right. They can help build cognitive skills," said Brad Bachelor, teen librarian.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures
Posted by gjblass at 11:48 AM
This article should come in handy for the next time you’re stuck in traffic: have you ever wondered why the Audi in front of you has a logo of four interlocked rings? Did you know that the Cadillac emblem was inspired by a family crest of a nobleman who later turned out to be a fraud? Or that Volkswagen was Hitler’s idea?
We took a look at the evolution of tech logos before. Today, let’s take a look at the fascinating stories behind the logos of some of the most popular cars in the world:
Posted by gjblass at 11:46 AM
You may think of sunsets as something nice to look at, but if you have an older cell phone or a home alarm system, there's one coming up on Monday that may not be so pretty.
That day, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will let mobile operators shut down their analog networks. It's called the "analog sunset" because those AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) networks, which were first deployed in the 1980s and brought cellular service to millions of Americans, will finally disappear behind the digital networks that serve almost all mobile phones in use today.
The biggest U.S. mobile operators, AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless, will close down their analog networks that day. At the same time, AT&T will turn off its first digital network, which uses TDMA (Time-Division Multiple Access) technology. (Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA don't have analog networks.) Calls to some small, rural mobile operators indicated that most of them plan to shut down AMPS, too.
There aren't many mobile phones out there that will go dark after the analog sunset, according to the big carriers, which have been warning subscribers about the change for months and offering them incentives to switch over.
"We're talking about a very, very small number of customers here," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. He estimated that 99.9 percent of AT&T's traffic is carried on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis estimated that less than 1 percent of that carrier's subscribers were on analog even before it started a big effort to reach them last year. Neither gave exact numbers of subscribers. But given that those operators have about 60 million subscribers each, the number might still be in the hundreds of thousands.
However, AMPS isn't only used for cell phones. Many alarm companies use the system to alert police or fire departments to emergencies at homes or businesses. About three years ago, the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) industry group took a survey which revealed that just under 1 million of the approximately 30 million monitored home and business alarm systems used an analog cellular network, said AICC chairman Louis Fiore. About 850,000 of them used the system only as a backup in case the phone line was cut, he said.
Alarm manufacturers are now replacing many of those analog systems with digital ones, Fiore said. About six months ago, the manufacturers believed there were about 400,000 AMPS systems still in the field, he said.
"There are some small companies out there that probably have not made the conversion yet," Fiore said.
One problem is that, except for a few high-end CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) monitoring systems, all digital cellular alarms today rely on GSM, Fiore said. That creates a problem in areas that have good CDMA coverage but poor GSM, and Fiore has heard from at least one alarm company in Colorado that has customers outside of GSM's reach. Until now, they have been relying on analog cellular.
Some users of wireless roadside assistance have also been left behind in the transition. General Motors launched its OnStar system in 1996 on AMPS and later switched to CDMA. The automaker didn't wait for the Feb. 18 deadline but instead shut down its analog service on Jan. 1. In a statement on the transition last year, GM said about 90 percent of its subscribers' cars had CDMA or could be converted to use it. Others would lose their OnStar service. The wholly owned subsidiary of GM said last October it had about 5 million subscribers.
Last March, two OnStar customers in Pennsylvania, Robert and Sarah Gordon, sued GM for leaving analog subscribers behind. They are seeking damages and an injunction to force OnStar and GM to provide repairs or upgrades, and they want to turn the suit into a class action. It has been consolidated with a handful of other actions in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Older Cell Handsets in Trouble
Among cell-phone subscribers, the analog sunset is most likely to hurt so-called "glovebox users," said IDC analyst Scott Ellison. These are users, often elderly, who just keep a cell phone in the glovebox in case their cars break down. They usually don't feel a need to update their handsets.
"If you know that you have some kind of wireless link or wireless communications device and you're unsure whether you are affected, call your service provider," Ellison advised. A tip about phones: "If it has a color screen, you should be fine," he said.
AICC's Fiore gave similar advice. Some consumers have ignored potential problems with alarms because they confused the analog cellular shutdown with the end of analog TV, which won't happen until next January, he said. If you notify your alarm provider and they are prepared to go digital, all a repair person will have to do is come into your home and replace the radio, possibly moving it to another part of the house with better GSM coverage, Fiore said.
The perils of the analog shutdown point to a mismatch between technology lifecycles, IDC's Ellison said. Cars and home appliances often stick around for many years, while wireless technology changes more quickly. In fact, Illinois Valley Cellular, in rural Marseilles, Illinois, serves few analog phone users but plans to keep its analog network running after Feb. 18. That's because wind turbines that generate electricity in its service area still use AMPS radios to exchange operating data, according to Data Routing Manager Pam Craig. Replacing those radios would be difficult and expensive.
But as new technology comes along, such as cellular networks that use scarce radio spectrum more efficiently, the old often has to give way, Ellison said. As technology rapidly advances, will it happen again to wireless networks we take for granted now? "It probably will," he said.
Posted by gjblass at 11:40 AM
Posted by gjblass at 11:38 AM
Montage of clips of the F-22 airshow demo including cobras, backflips, super-high-alpha flight, the Raptor hovering with its nose pointed straight up, some super-fast pitch-ups, and some "vapor" (sonic shock condensation cones and wingtip vortex contrails) at the very end. Sweet, sweet stuff.
As we know, the F-22 is pretty much invisible in the battlefield (in simulated wargames, F-22 pilots always kill everyone else before being detected), has the fastest cruise speed of any airplane currently flying (MACH 1.5-1.75 depending on whom you ask), is powerful enough to break the sound barrier while flying straight up in a vertical climb while fully loaded, and is extremely advanced in how it manages, shares, and integrates information and presents it to the pilot. This weekend, the USAF has allowed one more thing about the F-22 to be shown to the public: its maneuvering capabilities. This video is a montage of clips from the F-22's first full tactical airshow demo (performed in Langley this weekend by Major Paul Moga) plus a few other F-22 clips from YouTube. I don't think I need to tell you that no American fighter has ever enabled a pilot to do these kinds of aerobatics:
Posted by gjblass at 11:26 AM
gizmodo.com — Rob Foster has almost all the Star Wars figures and models known to mankind, Hutts and Bothans. He and his girlfriend share their home with an overwhelming army of Star Wars collectibles, from vintage 1977 figures to full battalions of the latest Storm Troopers and giant Ultimate Collector LEGO models. 134 pictures documenting every angle of it.
click here for more
Posted by gjblass at 11:25 AM
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Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads…
Christopher Lloyd has stepped back in front of the cameras, reprising the now classic role of Doc Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy. But sadly this film shoot was not for a fourth Back to the Future film. This time the mad time-traveling scientist makes an appearance in a new music video by Universal Motown recording artist O’neal McKnight Featuring Greg Nice.
If my calculations are correct, the last time Lloyd appeared as Doc Brown was in 1992 for live-action segments of the Back to the Future animated series (Actually, I just remembered that Lloyd also returned as the famous Doc for a Back to the Future Slot Machine in Las Vegas
No details on when the video will be released (or for that matter, where it will be played, since MTV no longer plays music videos, at least from what I gather). For now we’ll have to settle for a set of these photo stills, and a behind the scenes video which is available for your viewing pleasure on BTTF.com.
Discuss: Would you like to see a Back to the Future 4? Pitch me your story ideas!
Posted by gjblass at 10:44 AM