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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dr. Seuss + Dalí + LSD + Desert = Antelope Canyon, AZ!

[Slideshow] Jaw-dropping pictures from one of the most beautiful places in America. Antelope Canyon is a true treasure... and a photographer's wet dream. These pics are all high-res and downloadable. They make awesome wallpapers.

Backpacker's Dream: 10 Outstanding Hostels Around the World

There are so many fascinating hostels around the world, but here are some of the more interesting and popular places that you may want to consider staying in if you are going to be spending some time traveling.

The water isn't always hot, it is sometimes crowded and noisy, and you can definitely expect the unexpected from the other visitors, but there is no denying that spending some time in a hostel can be one of the most surprisingly enjoyable moments of any backpacker's vacation. Throughout the world, while many vacationers expect the pampering and luxury of the best hotels, some brave souls, both young and old, appreciate the alternative adventure of communal living in a hostel.

Although there are many establishments that you may not want to stay in more than overnight on the way to somewhere else, often comfortable hostels are the perfect place for tourists to set up base for a few days. Many hostels provide not only a great social atmosphere, but they also provide plenty of information on transportation routes as well as supply the visitor with other travel information that they may need. Each country has different traditions, and there may be a large selection of places to stay (depending on your location), but it is good to know something about them before you set out on your vacation.

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands - Flying Pig Uptown Youth Hostel

  • The Flying Pig is located in the heart of Amsterdam and is just a step away from this cities' famous nightlife. With its clean rooms and free breakfast, this is an excellent spot for exploring the crazy parties and the smoky coffee shops that this city has to offer. This cozy Amsterdam hostel has a very friendly atmosphere and a great combination of laidback hospitality mixed up with those wild Amsterdam party vibes. There is also a well known bar in the basement
  • Berlin, Germany - Circus Hostel

  • This stylish hostel is found in an early 20th century building that has since been completely renovated, and is located in the center of Berlin's bustling "Mitte". It has both dorm style rooms and private apartments and provides a fantastic view of the city. With an all-you-can-breakfast lasting until 1pm and a very helpful staff that is expert at providing you with any travel information or questions that you may have, this is an excellent choice for an enjoyable stay.
  • Corfu, Greece - Pink Palace Hostel

  • The Pink Palace Hostel is found on the "Emerald Island" of Corfu in Greece, and is literally a fantasy location that embodies the beautiful green of the Greek countryside with the bluest waters imaginable. Filled with Ancient Greek monuments and Venetian fortresses, this beautiful location offers a unique landscape with a natural breathtaking beauty that has captivated mankind for thousands of years. At this hostel you will have access to a private beach with a Jacuzzi, and can enjoy your evenings with a free 3 course dinner and some lively nights in the club featuring Greek music.
  • Banavie, Scotland - Chase The Wild Goose Hostel

  • Located beside the Caledonian canal and the Great Glen Way in the breathtakingly beautiful and ruggedly wild Scottish Highlands, this lodging is recommended for those who "want to live life to the eXtreme". The highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, is located a little to the east and if you want to party, the town of Fort William has lots of exciting bars and traditional Scottish music available only 2 miles away. This hostel has plenty of modern conveniences including comfortable beds, available private rooms, broadband access and offers plenty of sporting activities like mountain biking, climbing and walking.
  • Sydney, Australia - Wood Duck Inn

  • For cheap and comfortable accommodations in the thrilling city of Sydney, this newly renovated hostel is a great place to stay. Run by young local people who have backpacked plenty themselves through Australia and overseas, these folks know what a traveler is looking for and know just how to provide it. Including a super friendly staff and a large rooftop area with a B.B.Q. and an awesome view of Sydney, the social atmosphere here is definitely contagious and it shows why this has become one of the most popular hostels in the area.
  • Nice, France - Villa Saint Exupery

  • Voted the number one hostel in France in 2007, this stylish spot near the French Riviera offers high quality lodgings and a professional staff. Including free Internet with 12 computers, a legendary all-you-can-eat free breakfast and a bar (cheap drinks €1), this location also offers easy access to museums, jazz clubs, and the famous beaches. Family-run and well known for its great social ambiance, the Villa hostel is a fantastic place to relax and to meet other travelers.
  • Sinai, Egypt - St. Catherine's Monastery Hostel
  • This destination is "a sparkling example of an undiscovered jewel of travel" and is a place for the world traveler who is looking for something peaceful, remote and wonderful. Located in the same Sinai Peninsula that is associated with Biblical places named in the Exodus, the monastery itself includes literally priceless works of art and one of the most important collections of illuminated manuscripts in the world. The monks from the Monastery that make up the hostel staff are known to be a little gruff, but in this magical location, you may not be bothered. The rooms are single-sex dormitories with seven beds, or rooms with three beds and a private bathroom for a little extra, and breakfast consists of a hard boiled egg, pita bread, humus and olives. Although the conditions are a little rough, this location offers the opportunity of a real once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
  • 8. Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Backpackers International
  • For literally £7 per night, you can find yourself in a paradise hideaway among the huts on a Pacific island beach fringed with coconut palms and lush green tropical gardens. This hostel offers both dorm rooms and private rooms, a large kitchen and dining area, a lounge and Internet terminals, and includes complimentary airport pickup. This holiday getaway also has BBQs and pizza nights, beach volleyball, nature walks, night tours, and a wicked authentic island feast on Thursdays. This is a great place to meet new people, and possibly one of the most relaxing vacations imaginable.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina - Casa Esmeralda

  • A cross between a guesthouse and a hostel, Casa Esmeralda can house about 15 guests, and comes complete with a pretty little garden and a small roof terrace. The house is spotlessly clean, comfortable and cheap with a communal kitchen and old couches and exudes a very friendly atmosphere. Here you can take a nap in a hammock in the back garden or play with Casa Esmeralda's happy-go-lucky, bouncing black dog in the afternoon and in the evening you are walking distance from the infamous Buenos Aires Palermo Hollywood bar scene.
  • Prague, Czech Republic - Czech Inn Hostel

  • Czech Inn offers high quality facilities and services at budget prices and have an innovative approach to "providing accommodation for both the backpacker and comfort seeker". Visitors can appreciate the beauty of Prague's architectural history while staying in this beautifully restored 19th century building as well as enjoying the comforts of a modern designer-hostel with all the amenities it has to offer. Located close to the city center with easy access by public transport, this hostel is an ideal base for visitors to explore historical Prague. The Czech Inn offers a large breakfast buffet, and has an in-house café with a full bar and a complete selection of Czech beers and wines. This hostel has 24-hr reception, no curfew and a comfortable 12 noon check-out time.
that is a great spot to meet fellow travelers as well as being a great place to enjoy some of the cheapest beer in the city.

The next time you find yourself planning a vacation somewhere in the world, don't forget to consider staying in a hostel that can make your holiday time even more memorable. Bon Voyage!


Fire-Crotch wears the Smoke Rings?

Either this bitch is smoking eighteen cigarettes at a time, or she's some type of dragon. It's like she's doing a GD magic trick.

Funniest Valedictorian Speech Ever

I think this guy offended pretty much everyone in there and still got a standing O. I'm sure he was nominated.

Funniest Valedictorian Speech Ever - Watch more free videos

Top 10 Sexually Suggestive Lines in

Top 10 Sexually Suggestive Lines in
the Original Star Wars Trilogy

Star Wars / A New Hope

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI: MAY 25 10. "Get in there you big furry oaf, I don't care what you smell!"
9. "Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?"
8. "Put that thing away before you get us all killed."
7. "You've got something jammed in here real good."
6. "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"
5. "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."
4. "Sorry about the mess..."
3. "Look at the size of that thing!"
2. "Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"
1. "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

The Empire Strikes Back

STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI: MAY 25 10. "I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me."
9. "Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?"
8. "There's an awful lot of moisture in here."
7. "But now we must eat. Cum, good food, cumm..."
6. "That's okay, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
5. "Hurry up, golden-rod..."
4. "I must've hit it pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh kid?"
3. "Possible he came in through the south entrance."
2. "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"
1. "Control, control! You must learn control!"

Return of the Jedi

STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI: MAY 25 10. "Hey, point that thing someplace else."
9. "I look forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master."
8. "I never knew I had it in me."
7. "There is good in him, I've felt it."
6. "Grab me, Chewie. I'm slipping -- hold on. Grab it, almost... you almost got it. Gently now, all right, easy, easy, hold me Chewie."
5. "Hey, Luke, thanks for coming after me -- now I owe you one."
4. "Back door, huh? Good idea!"
3. "She's gonna blow!"
2. "I think you'll fit in nicely."
1. "Rise, my friend."

But of course, one of the best is - "Wedge! Pull out! You're not doing any good back there!"

And another bonus:

Vader: "My son is with them."
Emperor: "Are you sure?"
Vader: "I have... felt him... my master"
Emperor: "...strange that I have not..."

May the Force be with you!

The Force is with you, Colonel Sanders, but you are not a Jedi yet - Jedi Master Colonel Sanders with Lightsaber - KFC - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI - MAY 25


Pink Floyd - Dark Side of That's No Moon - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI - MAY 25

Jedi Squirrels with Lightsabers - UNIVERSAL DAY OF THE JEDI - MAY 25

Hendrix Sex Tape

Following right on the heels of my Hendrix Tuesday Tunes post comes this diddy! I'm not sure I buy the authenticity of this, but I'll get back to you after I scour my favorite torrent sites and do some first hand research.

More info here.

50 Ways to Use Bacon (Not Safe for Vegans)

I wise Team Lead, once said "It's not a Sandwich, unless it has BACON!!" Jim Rindone 2007

You probably know bacon as the star of the BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, in case you didn’t know), and the bacon cheeseburger. But there are so many other ways we can incorporate it into our diets and our lives! Here are 50 ways to use bacon

read more | digg story

Report links Roger Clemens with country star Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready and Roger Clemens
Country star Mindy McCready, left, and former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens(Photocomposite. AP and PAUL J. BERESWILL, Newsday)
reportedly began an affair when McCready was just 15 years old.

Associated Press

9:28 AM CDT, April 28, 2008

Roger Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and the pitcher was a Boston Red Sox ace, the New York Daily News reported.

Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed a long-term relationship but told the newspaper it was not sexual.

"He flatly denies having had any kind of an inappropriate relationship with her," Hardin said. "He's considered her a close family friend. ... He has never had a sexual relationship with her."

McCready's lawyer, Lee Ofman, said he did not have any comment on the Daily News story.

Clemens was 28 and a married father of two when he first met McCready, the newspaper reported.

The story, which appeared on the newspaper's Web site Sunday night and in editions Monday, quoted several people who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The revelation could undermine Clemens' reputation, which is central to the defamation suit the former pitcher has filed against former personal trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee contends Clemens used performance-enhancing substances during his major league career.

"If true, it's just another example of Roger's pervasive prevarications which will be at the core of any defamation case," said McNamee's attorney, Richard Emery, in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The newspaper said Clemens sent cash to McCready to help her with legal issues and reached out to her when she was in jail last year in Tennessee.

The 32-year-old McCready was sentenced last September for violating probation from a 2004 drug arrest and was released from jail last Dec. 30. The violation occurred in July when McCready was accused of scuffling with her mother and resisting arrest at her mother's home in Fort Myers, Fla. She still must serve two years' probation.

McCready had a No. 1 single in 1996 with "Guys Do It All the Time."

Hardin did not respond immediately to an e-mail from the AP.

Update: Mindy McCready: 'I cannot refute anything in the story'

Chismillionaire suggests The Burner to get the whole foot

The Burner

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By Gregory Mottola

From a firearm to a stove range, there are many meanings to the word “burner,” but Alec Bradley has added one more application with The Burner, a very unique butane table lighter. The design is a curious departure from most of today’s streamlined table lighters, as the industrial form seems to allude to both vintage welding and your ninth grade chemistry class (think Bunsen Burner).

One of the most uncommon and useful features of this lighter is that it allows you to adjust the intensity of the flame, which can be very handy seeing how most torch butane lighters burn at only one temperature. Ignition is an easy three step process: Turn the long gas knob until you hear that familiar hiss, click the starter and adjust the flame to your desired height, but be careful. The flame will jump up and out if you let out too much gas, and it instantly reaches temperatures as hot as, according to the maker, 2,450° F.

Once lit, The Burner emits a beautiful, clean blue flame that ranges from the mellow to the furious. The large, one-inch diameter surface area of the mushroom-shaped flame nozzle helps ensure that the entire foot of your cigar is evenly toasted, depending on how patient and ceremonious you are when lighting up.

The Burner's three-and-a-quarter inch diameter footprint won’t occupy too much room on your table top and a full tank can give you anywhere from one to two hours of burning time. The Burner retails for $49.95.

Sweet 1:5 scale A-10 Warthog remote control model

Here's the 1:5 scale A-10 Warthog remote control model in some video action at Top Gun 2008, in Lakeland, FL.—the biggest remote controlled airplane competition in the world. And to match it, a real A-10 appeared in the scene, taking off from a parallel runway. We interviewed Mike Selby, one of the model creators, and got all the technical details

read more | digg story

Christina Ricci "a totally new incarnation"

Ricci is here to promote her latest film, Speed Racer, directed by the Wachowski brothers (of Matrix trilogy fame), a live action adaptation of a 1960s cult Japanese anime cartoon series. Ricci was discovered aged six by a casting agent who happened to see her in a school play in Montclair, New Jersey, and began acting professionally aged seven.

read more | digg story

What laptop does Steve Ballmer use for his presentations?

What laptop does Steve Ballmer use for his presentations? Right...CEO of Microsoft

read more | digg story

Orangutan attempts to hunt fish with spear

Last updated at 23:03pm on 26th April 2008

A male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a passing fish.

It is the first time one has been seen using a tool to hunt.

The extraordinary image, a world exclusive, was taken in Borneo on the island of Kaja, where apes are rehabilitated into the wild after being rescued from zoos, private homes or even butchers' shops.

Scroll down for more...

Ape fishing with spear

Monkeying around: An orangutan clings precariously to overhanging branches in a desperate bid to spear a passing fish

Enlarge the image

"Orang hutan" means "forest man" in one of Indonesia's many languages and our long-armed cousins do indeed show a remarkable ability to mimic our behaviour.

This individual had seen locals fishing with spears on the Gohong River.

Although the method required too much skill for him to master, he was later able to improvise by using the pole to catch fish already trapped in the locals' fishing lines.

The image is part of a series taken for a new book, The Thinkers Of The Jungle, which also includes the first photograph of an orangutan swimming.

Thinkers Of The Jungle, by Gerd Schuster, Willie Smits and Jay Ullal, is published by Ullmann Publishing on May 5, RRP £29.99.

To order your copy at the special price of £27 with free p&p, call The Review Bookstore on 0845 606 421.

Apple updates iMac as expected

Yup, another Apple store outage reveals yet another bump in product specs. This time, it's the iMac getting the treatment just as Geeksugar and our own sources predicted -- on a Monday though instead of Apple's customary Tuesday morning approach. So what's new? Well, for starters you're now looking at the latest Core 2 Duo Penryn processors. For the same starting price of $1,199, you now get a 20-inch iMac with 2.4GHz proc, 128MB of ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics, 1GB of memory and a 250GB 7200RPM disk. The top of the line 24-inch model now sports a 3.06GHz processor, 512MB of NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics, 2GB of memory, and a 320GB 7200rpm disk for $2,199. Rounding out the specs across the lineup are Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 802.11n WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, built-in iSight cam, and 5x USB 2.0 (which includes the 2x on tethered keyboard) and 1x Firewire 400 and 1x Firewire 800. Same size, same weight and available now... yes, right now.

Bugatti Greenlights 80 Targa topped Veyrons

Bugatti has released further details on its upcoming targa-top version Veyron supercar, with officials from parent company Volkswagen stating that the car will be limited to only 80 examples, versus the 300 examples of the base car.

The targa-top Bugatti will feature the same 987-horsepower quad turbo W-16 engine and will be stiffened significantly as a result of the car losing its integrated carbon-fiber roof. Targa versions will be meticulously constructed alongside its coupe sibling at Bugatti's Molsheim, France facility.

Due to space constraints, the provided removable composite roof will not have a storage place inside the vehicle, but Bugatti will provide owners with a temporary cloth soft-top for instances of sudden inclement weather.

It's anticipated that the newly developed open top Veyron will suffer slightly in performance compared to the main car, if you can call 210-plus mph top speed suffering when it hits the 10 U.S. Bugatti showrooms sometime in 2009.

Source: Auto Express

M3 V8 sans top

First Drive: 2008 BMW M3 Convertible

By Paul Horrell

Blazing toward 8400 rpm in sixth gear on an autobahn in a BMW M3 is already intense. Doing it in the brand-new Convertible -- roof down with a more direct sonic route from eight open throttles and four fat tailpipes to your ears -- is more intense still. Doing it with the brand-new M DCT double-clutch transmission, the shift lights blinking, just a finger-tap from an instantaneous (and we mean instantaneous) shift to seventh? Well, that's probably all the intensity most of us will ever need.

The new $2700 M DCT transmission doesn't just pack seven gears, it also has a science-lab's worth of electronic know-how and is the first such tranny that can cope with supercar levels of power and torque. Audi might promote DCTs, but its top-line R8 automated manual is still a rather clunky single-clutch mechanism.

BMW guys say their new DCT will even cope with the M5's 500 horses, but won't say whether a business case exists to replace the single-clutch SMG in the current M5 generation.

To make things easier for drivers who owned the previous-gen M3 with SMG, the interface of the DCT is exactly the same. You get a stubby "gearlever" (actually just a giant switch) with R and N on one plane, N in the middle, and +/- to the right. As in competition-car practice, it's forward for down, back for up. There are also steering-wheel paddles, nice firm metal jobs, with - on the left and + on the right.

Finally, a Drivelogic button controls the degree of aggression of the shifts and, in auto mode, the actual shift strategy. It runs from 1 to 5, plus a position 6 for launch control. So you get plenty of choice as to how the thing operates.

In D mode and set at level 1, upshifts are smooth and early. It's far preferable to the nodding-head effect of a conventional single-clutch AMT in this mode. Interestingly, though, it has not been set to creep in traffic -- you need to touch the throttle to get the car to move.

At the other extreme in manual mode and set to level 5, you actually get shift shock, as this harnesses the rotational inertia of the engine as it sheds revs, propelling you forward and helping make a 0-62-mph time of 5.1 seconds. That's 0.2 quicker than the six-speed manual. During downshifts in levels 4 and 5, it blips the throttle explosively and addictively.

Oh, and having seven ratios also marginally helps the DCT's fuel-consumption numbers by about two mpg compared with the manual.

But is this the optimum M3? Trouble is the Convertible weighs 510 pounds more than the Coupe, and so with the same transmission gives away a half second in the 0-to-62 sprint. Sure you get an enhanced feeling of speed with the roof down, but then there are body-rigidity issues. Handling is still fabulous, but feel through the steering is lost.

Sure you can drive with the roof up, in which case refinement and rigidity pretty much rise to coupe levels, but you're still carrying the extra mass and so you are dulling that most precious M3 asset, the blinding punch.

For the ultimate driver's 3 Series, go for an M3 Coupe or sedan with DCT, we say.

Interesting tidbit on Nissan GTR

Widely speculated to be underrated at 480hp, Nissan engineer clears up mistaken assumption on drivetrain losses.

Nissan engineers insist the GT-R really does only have 480 hp.
Motohiro Matsumura, president of Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc. in Farmington Hills, Michigan, says our dyno test story, which revealed the GT-R develops 430 hp at the wheels, is basically right. But he insists our estimate of a minimum 15-percent friction losses -- which suggests the GT-R is making 507 hp -- is wrong. Matsumura-san says ultra-low friction bearings in the wheel hubs and transmission, plus the careful alignment of the all-wheel-drive system's propshafts, mean friction losses are reduced to an unprecedented 10 percent or so. We're going to get a GT-R back and conduct some coast-down tests to see if he's right.

2009 Porsche 911 Updates

Models Available

• 911 Carrera Coupé / Cabriolet
• 911 Carrera S Coupé / Cabriolet
• 911 Carrera 4 Coupé / Cabriolet
• 911 Carrera 4S Coupé / Cabriolet
• 911 Targa 4
• 911 Targa 4S

• New engine generation with direct fuel injection (DFI):
- 3.6-l boxer engine with 345 hp (+20 hp), 390 Nm (+20 Nm)
- 3.8-l boxer engine with 385 hp (+30 hp), 420 Nm (+20 Nm)
Increased performance with significant reduction in fuel consumption and
CO2 emissions; all engines comply with stringent EU5 regulations (see Appendix 2)

• Optimised manual gearbox, upshift indicator in instrument cluster for economical
driving (standard for manual gearbox)
• Self-adjusting clutch now also on 3.6-l models
• Drive-off assist (standard for manual gearbox and PDK)
• Porsche Traction Management (PTM, standard for C4 / Targa 4 models)
• Mechanical limited-slip rear differential (standard for C4 / Targa 4 models)
• Enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM) now also with additional functions
for C2 models

• New braking system for 3.6-l models: closed-top calipers, brake disc diameters:
330 mm front (+12 mm), 330 mm rear (+31 mm), thicker brake discs at rear
(+4 mm)
• Standard wheels with new design: 18-inch Carrera IV wheel, 19-inch Carrera S II
• Larger wheel width and offset at rear for 18-inch Carrera IV wheels on C2 models
(10.5J x 18 ET 60)

• Bi-Xenon headlights with cleaning system now also standard on 3.6-l models
• LED daytime running lights and side lights, conventional foglights discontinued
• LED taillights with new design

• New Porsche Communication Management (PCM):
Central multimedia system including:
- 6.5-inch TFT colour display (touchscreen)
- Radio with RDS twin tuner and scan/phase diversity for optimum reception
- CD/DVD drive, MP3-compatible, supports audio output from audio/video DVDs
• Restyled front bumper with larger air intakes
• Restyled and separate auxiliary front light units above air intakes
• New rear bumper
• New, semi-integrated stainless steel tailpipes
• Larger exterior mirrors with new design
• Additional differentiation on all-wheel drive models: rear light-strip (coloured in red), black trim at base of rear bumper, titanium paint finish on front air intake surrounds and horizontal grilles
• Optimised hood system on Cabriolet models

• New colour range:
- Porsche Racing Green Metallic (metallic colour) replaces Forest Green Metallic
- Aqua Blue Metallic (metallic colour) replaces Cobalt Blue Metallic
- Nordic Gold Metallic (special colour) replaces Dark Olive Metallic
- Cream White (special colour) replaces Slate Grey Metallic
• Front centre console with new styling, black paint finish, modified air-conditioning
controls, fewer switches
• All standard steering wheels with rim in smooth-finish leather, machine-sewn seam
and airbag module with soft-touch paint finish
• New controls for hood/roof (Cabriolet, Targa / worldwide) and window lifts (NAFTA markets

• Uprated vehicle key
• 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) (250) incl. new 3-spoke sports steering
wheel for PDK and new, specially designed gear selector
• Sport Chrono Package Plus in conj. w. PDK: new functions - launch control, racetrack
gearshift strategy and additional ‘Sport Plus’ button (640)
• Mechanical limited-slip rear differential (only for C2 models, standard for C4 /
Targa 4 models) (220)
• PASM sports suspension (incl. 20 mm lowering) and mechanical limited-slip rear differential, also offered for USA (P17) (only for Coupé models, limited-slip differential for allwheel drive models as standard)

• Uprated Tyre Pressure Monitoring (TPM) with faster tyre pressure display (482)
• Dynamic cornering lights (603)
• Seat ventilation for standard and comfort seats (541)
• Steering wheel heating, only in conj. w. seat heating and PDK (345)
- Navigation module with hard-disc drive (672)
- Voice control with whole-word input (671)
- GSM quad-band telephone module (Bluetooth® SAP) (666)
- Cordless active handset for telephone module (669)
- Mobile-phone preparation with console (Bluetooth® HFP) (618)
- Mobile-phone preparation (Bluetooth® HFP) (619)
- Integrated CD/DVD autochanger (6-disc), MP3-compatible (693)
- Universal audio interface for connecting external audio devices, e.g., Apple iPod® or USB stick in centre console storage compartment (AUX, USB and iPod® ports).
iPod® and USB stick operated via PCM (870)
- BOSE® Surround Sound System, 385 Watts, supports 5.1 discrete surround sound
format (680
- TV tuner (analogue & digital reception DVB-T) (676)
• New multifunction steering wheels for PDK in smooth-finish leather (844), macassar
(847), carbon (845) and Aluminium Look (XPU)
• Airbag module in smooth-finish leather as additional feature in optional leather
• Sycamore wood options discontinued
• Optional external antenna relocated to front right-hand wing on all models (461)

• PCNA: XM satellite radio (SDARS) (686)
• PJ: Extended factory-fitted sat-nav preparation (Japan) plus Clarion aftermarket
navigation system from VPC (standard)
• PGCN: Factory-fitted sat-nav preparation (China) plus Panasonic aftermarket
navigation system in PCM from Porsche dealer (optional, from week 45/08 )

Philippines' dancing jail; everyone wants to go inside

The central Philippine island of Cebu is renowned as a holiday destination but these days it's the provincial jail not the balmy beaches that's drawing in the visitors.Inmates at the prison shot to fame last year when a video clip of them gyrating in synch to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as part of their exercise regime became a You Tube hit.

read more | digg story

Ochone! Japanese whisky is voted the best in world

Like English wine, it has suffered from the taint of inauthenticity and has been the butt of condescending jokes. Now Japanese whisky has finally scotched all criticism by being voted the best in the world, ahead of its Highland rivals.

Yoichi 20 years old, distilled on the shores of the Sea of Japan, has become the first variety produced outside Scotland to win the coveted single malt award in an international competition run by Whisky Magazine, the main industry publication.

The whisky, distilled near the city of Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, beat dozens of other varieties, including last year’s winner, Talisker 18 years old, produced on the Isle of Skye.

Suntory Hibiki, the brand advertised by the washed-up actor played by Bill Murray in the film Lost in Translation, scooped the award for the world’s best blended whisky. The historic double for Japanese whiskies has provoked consternation in Scotland, where whisky is as integral to a certain strand of national identity as bagpipes, haggis and the kilt.

Yoichi 20 years old, which sells for £150 a bottle, was praised by the judges for its “amazing mix of big smoke and sweet blackcurrant”, “explosive aroma” and “big, long and sweet finish”.

The decision to give the top prize to Yoichi followed a blind tasting of more than 200 of the world’s finest varieties by a panel of 16 of the world’s leading whisky experts.

The judges said Japanese distillers had succeeded in producing top Scotch thanks to the variable climate in Japan, which assists maturation and creates a purer whisky with a heightened aroma.

Traditional distilling apparatus such as coal-fired pot stills, used widely in Japan but rarely seen in Scotland, was also praised for producing a superior dram.

“Japanese whiskies performed magnificently and they are really starting to make waves,” said Rob Allanson, editor of Whisky Magazine.

Nikka, the company that produces Yoichi, and Suntory, the biggest spirits company in Japan, are making inroads into the British whisky market.

Tetsuji Hisamitsu, chief blender at the Yoichi distillery, said he was “very moved” by the award.

Unmotivational Posters (some NSFW)

A selected collection of a twist on those motivational posters, with a focus on the ladies...(although the emo kid raging in mom's minivan is precious)

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Sesame Street uses virtualization to save a Monster amount

April 02, 2008CIO — Noah Broadwater, VP of information services for Sesame Workshop , likes using open source virtualization tools for several good reasons—starting with green ones that have nothing to do with Oscar the Grouch.

Broadwater recently faced a budget crunch at the same time he needed new Web servers and was physically running out of room in his data center. His solution: new HP blade servers based on Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise server software, which builds in Xen's virtualization software (Xen is the leading open source alternative to VMware's offering.)

"We said let's try it," says Broadwater, who leads the non-profit company's IT staff of about 20 people. "It saved us from buying new servers." Happy with the results from virtualizing the Web servers, Broadwater planned a substantial virtualization project to make over his other servers, starting with his test and development boxes, beginning about one year ago.

The Vendor Road Less Taken

Sesame Workshop had been spending approximately $250,000 every three years on hardware and support for its Sun Solaris servers, Broadwater says. The new approach combined 25 virtual machines onto 4 physical servers within a blade center and reduced that cost to $24,000 every 3 years, he says. Broadwater's team also consolidated 10 servers including application, image and log servers onto 4 physical boxes. When done with its virtualization effort, the company will reclaim 2 racks worth of space in its already cramped data center, and reduce power consumption by 15 percent, Broadwater estimates.

Broadwater's desire to save is not unique: Many IT leaders now tap into the consolidation benefits of virtualization. But his choice of vendor is relatively unusual. Today, the overwhelming majority of enterprise shops use VMware's tools.

Do many enterprise leaders even think Novell when they're considering virtualization options? "On the technology side, Novell has made significant headway; however I think they need to up their marketing efforts to further build brand recognition for their virtualization offerings," says Burton Group research analyst Chris Wolf. "That is also crucial in building a strong partner ecosystem." VMware and Citirx have rounded up more partners to date than Novell, to offer complementary products to IT managers.

With Microsoft entering the virtualization market with its Hyper-V hypervisor (expected to ship in August) and a virtualization management suite, Novell will face even more competition. But that's not a death knell for Novell, Wolf says. "The virtualization market is more than large enough for Novell to carve out its own sizable chunk," Wolf says.

Out With Relics, In With Open Source

So with VMware commanding the enterprise virtualization market, why didn't Broadwater use the leader? "First, obviously, cost," Broadwater says. "VMware has a great solution, it's just very expensive. Second, we're a firm believer in and use a lot of open source. Not just because of cost but because of philosophy. We actually work on open source projects and give code back." Broadwater has been using open source tools such as the Apache Web server software for years.

As for why he went with Novell SUSE Linux, comfort played a part here. "We've had Novell in the data center a long time  nothing against Red Hat [and its Linux products,]" Broadwater says. "With Novell, I knew what my support was, I knew how to work that system."

"The plan is, within the next three years, to be off Solaris completely," moving over to as much Linux as possible on servers, Broadwater says. "I looked around at what I saw with my engineers. I told my engineers 'Every one of you knows Linux. If there's a problem with the base OS, if it's Linux, any one of you can fix it.' Today my Solaris guy can't fix Windows problems," he says. "It [virtualizing on Linux] also makes our disaster recovery a lot simpler."

What about the internal IT group politics of making such a broad change in OS strategy? Respondents to our recent survey, Your Virtualized State in 2008, ranked IT organization politics issues as their second toughest management challenge around virtualization, second only to balancing server workloads.

"We've always had a heterogeneous environment," Broadwater says. "They all knew Linux. We've had, obviously, some fear. Our Unix administrator has been supporting Solaris for 18 years. His job isn't going away; he's getting certified on Linux," Broadwater says. The small size of his IT group helps minimize the political battles, he adds.

As for what's next: By June 2009, Sesame Workshop also plans to virtualize its 10 non-critical, low utilization servers, some of which are running Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Some of these are one-application, one-server relics, a problem that many CIOs know all too well.

One example: "Our conference room scheduler has its own server," Broadwater says. "It's taking up space in my data center. It uses maybe 7 percent of the processor [in the server] and none of the memory."

One reason this resource-waster has hung around: The scheduling application requires Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Sevices) web server, Broadwater says. "Everything else we run runs on Apache [web server]," Broadwater says. Thanks to virtualization, application servers like this one will soon be a thing of the past for Sesame Workshop.

Why it sucks to be a younger brother

Thank go I was the Eldest.