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Monday, April 28, 2008

BMW M1 Concept

Sneak Peek! BMW M1 Concept at Villa d'Este

UPDATE: The BMW M1 Homage has now been officially unveiled!

This year's Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este has its public day tomorrow, which is when the world will presumably get its first look at the new BMW M1 concept, a stunning, modern take on Munich's original supercar that is part of Bimmer's 30th anniversary celebration of the classic machine. The private exhibition took place today, however, and the guys at -- they were the first with live shots of the Lamborghini LP560-4 earlier this year -- have once again scored a coup, snapping the new, copper-colored M1 concept in all its glory, both alone and alongside its forebears. We expect to have a lot more on this car tomorrow (assuming a press kit will be released sometime overnight), but for now, head to to see more shots of the car under the lights. Hey BMW, just pull the trigger and greenlight a production version already, because this thing is awesome.

Click here to see high res pictures.

Record-Breaking Mentos And Coke Explosions

Around 1,500 students kitted out in waterproof ponchos have created the world’s largest Coke and mentos explosions.

The students, from Belgium, tried to out-fizz the previous record for so-called Mentos fountains by simultaneously putting Mentos mints into bottles of the soft drink.

The resultant chemical reaction shot hundreds of streams of carbonated soda into the air.

The explosive record-breaking event was held in Ladeuzeplein square in Leuven, Belgium.


Luxury Dog Houses

" The Ultimate in Luxury Dog House Design"

Sullivan Construction has been building custom homes for more than 16 years. Due to the increasing request from our customers, we have now expanded out to offer your furry family member their own Luxury Dream Home. You may want to have a mini version of your own home, or you can choose from one of our unique designs. The options are virtually unlimited!

Your new ultimate dog house will be built with the same caliber of materials that you would expect to be used in your own home. We have considered how to make the dream homes owner friendly. The interior walls and flooring will be constructed out of materials that will be easy to keep clean. The exterior of your choice can be constructed of materials that are essentially maintenance free.

Dogs always love their family's companionship so you may want to consider having satellite or cable installed. Then you can just send Dad and the boys to "the dog house" to watch those football games. Have your own "Bed and Biscuit" play area where all of your pooch's playmates can come and visit.

You can eliminate boarding expenses or in-home sitters if your k-9 has his/her own place. Decorative Doggy Doors are one of the options so if there is an enclosed area for them to go in and out freely, you will only need to have a pet sitter stop by to check in on them. No more guilt feelings for not being able to take them along! They will be in the comfort of their own environment while you are away.

Your pets safety is one of our top considerations when designing their Custom Dog House. All homes are climate controlled and well insulated. Each house is dog proofed as it is being built. Call or e-mail so we can get started on your new Doggy Dream Home today!

Draft Analysis: Trader Bill gets his man

By Paul Perillo, Patriots Football Weekly

Bill Belichick loves to trade on draft day and having a top-10 pick didn't prevent him from doing so again. By swapping picks with New Orleans at No. 10, the Patriots were able to pick up linebacker Jerod Mayo and filled a huge need in the process.

Everyone knew the Patriots would probably trade down from their spot at No. 7. Nobody knew it would be for linebacker Jerod Mayo.

But that’s exactly what the Patriots did when faced with their first top-10 pick in seven years, and once again Bill Belichick came away with the value he was looking for.

The Patriots could have used their No. 7 pick in a variety of ways. Sedrick Ellis, a talented defensive tackle out of USC, was available and based on talks the Pats braintrust had with New Orleans the night before they knew the Saints were interested. Taking Ellis themselves wouldn’t have been a terrible move, but rather than pay another defensive lineman big bucks, the Patriots chose to move down a few spots.

The savings won’t be huge, but swapping with New Orleans and moving to 10 did put a few bucks back in the team’s pockets while also adding another third-round pick (No. 78) while only surrendering a fifth-rounder (No. 154). By doing so, they were able to select a player they felt was good value while also filling a much bigger need. And they added to that by taking Terrence Wheatley, a cornerback out of Colorado, with their second-round pick, filling their two biggest positional needs.

New England also could have moved up, which was a possibility according to some. Various reports indicated the Jets at six and the Patriots were interested in trading with Kansas City to move up to five. The Chiefs sat tight and took LSU’s mammoth defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, a player some felt was as talented as any in this draft. Also, outside linebacker Vernon Gholston, who ultimately went to the Jets at six, could have been the object of their affection.

Those scenarios all would have cost the team more – both in money and picks – than the direction they chose. Time will tell if the 6-1, 242-pound Mayo, an athletic linebacker out of Tennessee, manages to provide the youth and speed the New England defense sorely lacks. But there’s no denying that Belichick needed to make an attempt to fill that void, and he did.

“He has some versatility and he played against a very high level of competition,” Belichick said shortly after making the pick. “He’s one of the better linebackers we’ve seen in a while.”

That’s what makes this move so pleasing. Mayo represents a lot of things the Patriots defense has lacked over the past couple of seasons. For all the success the team has achieved – and they’ve been a whisker away from winning back-to-back Super Bowls – they’ve done it with an aging defense that ultimately has failed to get the job done at the biggest junctures of the season.

Two years ago the season came to an end in Indy when the defense was powerless to keep the Colts out of the end zone with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Last year in the Super Bowl, despite a subpar game from the record-setting offense, the Patriots were one stop away from their fourth title. The Giants needed a touchdown and had to go the length of the field to get it. They were playing against an 18-0 team looking to make history, and one that had an air of invincibility that seemed to be worth as much in intimidation as their actual talent.

Despite all those factors the defense couldn’t get the job done, and the main reason for that was an increasingly slow core group of players that needed to be invigorated with talent.

Enter Mayo and his 4.6 speed and versatility to play a variety of spots.

Mayo was the heart of Vols defense playing in the dynamic Southeastern Conference, considered to be the deepest and most athletic conference in college football. Facing the likes of Florida, Georgia, Auburn and LSU on a weekly basis, Mayo stood out as a playmaker in a playmaking conference.

Athletically he’ll be able to fit in immediately inside with Tedy Bruschi and free agent newcomer Victor Hobson. Depending on the rookie’s learning curve, which could be considerable in Belichick’s complicated 3-4 sets, Mayo could see significant time right away in a three-man rotation.

Belichick said Mayo was an extremely bright player who made all the calls for the Vols defense and had a high aptitude for the game. If that proves correct, it might make Junior Seau’s decision on whether to return much easier. And if the ageless chooses to return, Belichick will suddenly have some depth a position that has sorely lacked it in the recent past.

GLASSBOOTH: an interesting way to pick your Presidential Candidate


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Open Computers: these pc will install Windows / Mac OSX / LINUX

A Peek at the Open Computers

Wednesday, 23 April 2008 16:16

We've put together a little video to show everyone what Open Computers are all about. Open Computing is about having choices and we allow for Open Computers to be purchased with pretty much every major consumer operating system. Both Windows XP and Windows Vista cover most of the market segment while Ubuntu Server and Desktop represent the Linux crowd. We're bringing powerful and economic computers to a new market segment as well: the group that uses OS X.

Fast and the Furious 4 - video from on the set.

Fed to lower rates again to 2%

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Battling risky economic crosscurrents, the Federal Reserve is ready to bump down a key interest rate again to brace the wobbly economy. That rate cut could turn out to be the last one for a while as zooming energy and food prices heighten inflation concerns.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues are walking a tightrope. They are trying to shore up economic growth and at the same time they are mindful that they can't let inflation get out of hand. It's a bit of an economic dilemma: The very rate reductions the Fed depends on to energize the economy can also sow the seeds of inflation down the road.

"It's a very challenging environment," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia.

In a nod to those conflicting forces, the Fed probably will opt for a moderate-sized rate reduction of one-quarter percentage point this week, Silvia and other economists predict.

At its previous meeting on March 18, the Fed slashed rates by a hefty three-quarters point. The action, however, drew opposition from two Fed members who favored a smaller reduction because of concerns about a potential inflation flare-up. It was a crack in the mostly unified front the Fed often shows the public.

The Fed, which has been cutting rates since last September, turned more forceful in January and March, when housing, credit and financial problems took a turn for the worse, threatening to plunge the country into a deep recession. The Fed's rate cuts in January and March alone marked the most aggressive Fed intervention in a quarter-century.

This time around, though, the Fed is likely to go with a smaller rate cut at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

A quarter-point reduction would drop the Fed's key rate for influencing national economic activity to 2%. This rate, called the federal funds rate, is what banks charge each other on overnight loans and affects a wide range of interest rates charged to people and businesses.

In turn, the prime lending rate for millions of consumers and businesses would fall by a corresponding amount, to 5%. The prime rate applies to certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans. Both rates would be the lowest since late 2004.

Economists think the Fed may be inclined to leave rates at such low levels possibly through the rest of this year and maybe into next year - as long as the country is not hit with another blow to economic growth.

"We are entering the stage where it is time for the Fed to wind down and move to the sidelines," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at "A quarter-point reduction is a nice segue to that transition. Short-term interest rates could stay low longer than many currently expect," he added.

The Fed's rate cuts - which take months to work their way through the economy and affect activity - along with the government's $168 billion stimulus package of tax rebates for people and tax breaks for businesses - should help strengthen the economy in the second half of this year, Fed officials said.

It's the first half of this year where damage from the housing, credit and financial debacles could be the worst. The economy may grow little, if at all, during this period and could actually shrink, Bernanke told Congress earlier this month. A recession, he said, was possible. It was Bernanke's first public acknowledgment of such a scenario.

A growing number of economists now believe the economy probably will contract in the current April-to-June quarter. Many analysts also now think the economy will manage to eke out a barely noticeable 0.4% growth rate during the first three months of this year as opposed to falling into negative territory as some had previously thought. The government reports on the first quarter's performance on Wednesday - the same day the Fed's decides its next move on interest rates.

Even if the economy heals in the second half of this year and into 2009, the unemployment rate, now at 5.1%, is likely to rise, perhaps reaching close to 6% early next year, analysts said. Job losses for the first three months of this year neared the staggering quarter-million mark.

The Fed's rate cuts ordered thus far would help to cushion the fallout.

On inflation, Bernanke said rising prices are a source of concern and must be monitored closely. Still, he is hopeful inflation will moderate in coming quarters.

Gasoline prices have shot up to record highs in recent days and could hit $4 a gallon this summer. Food prices are up 5.3% on an annualized basis in the first three months of this year, outpacing the 3.1% rise in overall inflation.

If the Fed does drop its key rate to 2% and holds it there for some time, that would still be low enough to provide relief to stressed homeowners facing a rate reset to their adjustable-rate mortgages, McBride said.

Trying to get the economy back to full throttle after its last recession in 2001, the Fed ratcheted down its key rate to 1% - the lowest in more than four decades. Then-chairman Alan Greenspan held the rate at that super-low level for a year, before the Fed began to bump it up. That action has since fueled criticism that Greenspan helped to create the very housing boom that has now gone bust, wreaking havoc on the economy. Foreclosures have surged to record highs, financial companies have wracked up multibillion losses and all the fallout has sent the economy reeling.

Candy Consolidation- Mars/Buffett to buy Wrigley for 22 Billion

Mars Inc. and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., were close to a deal to acquire the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company for more than $22 billion, according to media reports, a takeover with the potential to transform the confectionary industry worldwide.

The buyout could be announced as early as Monday, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported.

Wrigley shares soared 26.5 percent, or $16.55, to $79 in premarket trading.

The Times' sources cautioned that the deal could still fall apart. Neither newspaper identified the people providing the information.

Mars and Wrigley had no immediate comment. Calls to Berkshire Hathaway were not immediately returned.

The merger of Mars, maker of M&Ms, Snickers bars and other candy, and Wrigley, which produces such gums as Extra, Eclipse, and Orbit, could hasten a market consolidation.

All major chocolate makers have been questioned recently about price fixing, both in the U.S. and in Europe.

Buffett, who already owns Sees Candies, is helping Mars finance the transaction, the newspapers said.

Representatives of the companies and Berkshire Hathaway declined to comment.

Buffett has a history of investments in iconic brands.

The sale price would represent a sizable premium above Wrigley's stock market value, which was about $17.3 billion Friday.

Wrigley, based in Chicago, sells candy in nearly 200 countries. Founded in 1891, the company has been led by four generations of the Wrigley family.

The company is scheduled to release first-quarter earnings results Monday.

Mars is a family owned company based in McLean, Va., and has global sales of about $22 billion each year. It was founded in 1911.

It is already the world's largest chocolate seller and an acquisition of Wrigley could put more pressure on other major players, such as Switzerland's Nestle, Britain's Cadbury Schweppes, and Hershey Co., of Pennsylvania, to consolidate.