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Monday, January 19, 2009

35 Beautiful Examples Of ‘Urban Decay'/ Abandonded Photography

smashingmagazine.com — The city is a fantastic source of beauty and inspiration, with all the glitz and glamour glistening beneath the city lights. But there is another side of the city altogether, one rife with its own kind of allure.

phill.d
“It never ceases to amaze me the different colours and effects you can achieve in a boring concrete R.C.P drain.”

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Magnus Lindqvist
“Your Worst Nightmare”. “This is a bit different from what I normally shoot. I had this shot in my head for a very long time but it wasn’t until last weekend I finally shot it. The only light source is a shop light behind the door. The place is very narrow and kind of creepy. I had to make sure that the door behind me stayed open or it would have locked me in.” Lexington, Kentucky.

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*pippyzz*
Fuckin’ days.

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Escapista
That Train Don’t Stop Here Any More.

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fotografie.berlin
“This Picture is not photoshopped. It’s real. Don’t really know how and why they made it.”

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These pics are amazing...Click here to see the rest...

Wow, that is a lot of SNOW!!!



Kudos to the highway dept for their Snow Removal.

Super Bowl Remains A Big Bash, But Ads Toned Down

The Super Bowl is on track to remain one big, glitzy bash even in these tough economic times.

That's not to say some advertisers aren't nervous about buying expensive ad slots as business falters. Some stalwarts such as General Motors Corp., FedEx Corp. and Garmin Ltd. won't be advertising on the Feb. 1 broadcast on NBC. Playboy Enterprises Inc. isn't throwing its customary party at the game, for the first time in nine years.

But aggressive marketing by NBC to secure ad deals before last September's financial meltdown helped to ensure Super Bowl XLIII won't be a marketing bust.

NBC said 90 percent of the Super Bowl ads had sold as of mid-January. Most ads have sold for about $3 million per 30-second spot - an all-time high price for the Super Bowl, which is the most watched event in the nation, with about 100 million U.S. viewers.

The sales pace matched those of previous years and the network said it was in discussions on the remaining unsold spots. Most are in the fourth quarter, and tend to go for slightly less than other positions in the broadcast.

"There is unrivaled attention surrounding the game," said Brian Walker, senior director of communications at NBC Sports in New York. "As research confirms, it remains the most powerful vehicle for an advertiser to promote its brand and products."

While some high-profile advertisers have pulled the plug, many are staying put and some, such as Mars Inc.'s Pedigree pet food, will appear in the Super Bowl for the first time.

But the tone of some ads this year will reflect tough times. As Tim Calkins, marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management puts it: A good ad connects with its audience. And that audience is stressed about finances.

Take the case of Hyundai Motors America.

Automotive ads during the Super Bowl tend to focus on vehicle launches, and Hyundai was planning to run two 30-second spots for its Genesis Coupe - one with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing a Bach piece that viewers can re-edit online.

But now, the South Korean carmaker might exchange one of the ads for a spot featuring a new incentive program that forgives auto loans for car buyers who lose their income within a year of the purchase.

"We know consumers are concerned about their future earnings," said Joel Ewanick, vice president of marketing at Hyundai Motor Co.'s Fountain Valley, Calif.-based American division. "That's keeping a whole bunch of people on the sidelines from buying a new car."

Longtime Super Bowl patron Anheuser-Busch is taking a different approach. The Budweiser brewer said it wants its ads to uplift and entertain viewers instead of reminding them about the economy.

The company is still spending heavily on the Super Bowl, even after announcing 1,400 job cuts in December that were tied to its acquisition by InBev SA. Anheuser-Busch will be airing 4 1/2 minutes worth of ads - 30 seconds more than what it purchased last year - broken up into two 60-second ads and five half-minute spots.

The Super Bowl remains a unique marketing vehicle because it's known as much for its commercials as the game itself. A TNS Media survey released this month confirmed that people watch commercials throughout the game, instead of switching channels.

"The Super Bowl remains as truly the only property that has the ability to reach the largest mass audience across all demographics at one time," said TNS Media CEO Dean DeBiase.

That's why Audi of America is staying put and buying a 60-second spot. The Germany automaker Audi AG wants to raise its profile as a luxury brand for younger, affluent consumers.

"We need to make the Audi brand far more popular and far more known," said Chief Marketing Officer Scott Keogh. "That's why we do the Super Bowl and the Olympics."

Last year, traffic to Audi's Web site tripled in the month leading up to the Super Bowl - as details about the ads were teased - and the month immediately after.

In the face of dismal automotive news, Audi said it's important to communicate strength and optimism. Or as Keogh put it, "This is a brand that's spending money."

The Go Daddy Group Inc., which registers Internet domain names, is unapologetic about splurging on the Super Bowl. This is the same company that unabashedly threw a $2 million holiday party last month - flying in thousands of employees and guests to Arizona - as other firms cut back. CEO Bob Parsons rode a motorcycle into a concert that featured Joan Jett and Sinbad at Phoenix's Chase Field.

GoDaddy is elated that NBC has approved two somewhat racy ads for the Super Bowl, one of which will air after a consumer vote. Censors disapproved its ad for last year's Super Bowl, so GoDaddy aired a spot telling viewers to go to its Web site to watch the commercial. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GoDaddy got 1.5 million Web hits before the game ended.

"Our ads are fun, edgy and slightly inappropriate," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll.

That figures to get attention no matter how the economy is doing

Sacramento Cyclist Hides Vicodin in "Crack"


The cyclist (not this one) had drugs in his backside... it was unclear if he was peddling.

A Sacramento man being searched by cops was found to have Vicodin hidden in the crack of his buttocks, police said.

An officer had originally stopped Lance Brewer Jr. at about 6 p.m. Wednesay near the intersection of Zurlo Way and Bridgecross Drive for not having a light on his bicycle.

The cop then found Brewer to be in possession of 10 Vicodin pills that had not been prescribed to him, police said.

Brewer was taken to jail and underwent a strip search. At that time, police found an additional 10 Vicodin pills hidden in Brewer's buttocks, investigators said.

After the discovery of the pills in his posterior, Brewer was booked on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and bringing drugs into jail.

APOD: Methane Discovered in the Atmosphere of Mars

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2009 January 19
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Methane Discovered in the Atmosphere of Mars
Credit: NASA

Explanation: Why is there methane on Mars? No one is sure. An important confirmation that methane exists in the atmosphere of Mars occurred last week, bolstering previous controversial claims made as early as 2003. The confirmation was made spectroscopically using large ground-based telescopes by finding precise colors absorbed on Mars that match those absorbed by methane on Earth. Given that methane is destroyed in the open martian air in a matter of years, the present existence of the fragile gas indicates that it is currently being released, somehow, from the surface of Mars. One prospect is that microbes living underground are creating it, or created it in the past. If true, this opens the exciting possibility that life might be present under the surface of Mars even today. Given the present data, however, it is also possible that a purely geologic process, potentially involving volcanism or rust and not involving any life forms, is the methane creator. Pictured above is an image of Mars superposed with a map of the recent methane detection.

Group Sues Coke Over Vitaminwater Claims

Vitaminwater by Coca-Cola


Consumer Group Says Drink Helps Obesity, Not Health

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vitaminwater, which is marketed as a healthy drink, is nothing more than soda without the bubbles, according to a consumer group that has filed a lawsuit against maker Coca-Cola, claiming deceptive advertising practices.
2009: New Year, New You
The Center for Science in the Public Interest said that Coke's claims that the drinks can improve health are unsubstantiated.CPSI said that the 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of Vitaminwater do more to promote obesity than any health benefits other ingredients might provide. It also said that the claims of help for the joints and bones cross the line into fraud.

Coca-Cola responded with a statement on its Web site that called the move ridiculous and ludicrous."Vitaminwater is a great tasting, hydrating beverage with essential vitamins and water, with labels showing calorie content," it said. The company also said the drink, like all its products, can be part of a healthy diet.CSPI disagreed."Vitaminwater is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it's still sugar water, albeit sugar water that costs about ten bucks a gallon," said Steve Gardner, the group's director of litigation.Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director, said people should get their vitamins from real food or inexpensive supplements.

The Price of Piercing

While body piercing has increased in popularity and social acceptance, long healing time, infections and scarring can plague those who pierce.

CLICK TO ENLARGE
The Price of Piercing
CLICK TO ENLARGE

GeoEye-1, the “Google satellite,” will capture the Obama Inauguration from space


GeoEye-1, the powerful imagery satellite that is perhaps best known as the “Google satellite” (because Google has a deal to use its pictures for its Google Maps and Google Earth products), will be focusing its lens on the Inauguration of President Obama next week. The company notes that while there will be plenty of cameras covering the event on the ground, and some in the air, GeoEye-1 will be the only one offering a perspective from space.

The satellite will be 423 miles above Washington, D.C. on January 20 at 11:19AM EDT. While it will be moving 17,000 miles per hour, it will still be able to look down at the Earth and see objects about a half meter in size. The image above (which I actually had to shrink due to upload size limits) is one the satellite took a few weeks ago of the area. Last month, we posted a picture that the satellite took of Google’s campus.

It’s not Google who is requesting these images, and it’s not the government either. Instead, it’s a company initiative by GeoEye.

“An image of the Inauguration has been requested by many news organizations,” a GeoEye spokesperson tells us. “So, if the weather cooperates, the image will be distributed to news organizations and bloggers around the world. The image will be available about three hours after it’s taken.”

If you’d like some to see some footage a bit closer up on the action, you may want to check out one of the live streams.

Liquid Wood Is Plastic of Tomorrow, Say Scientists

Plastic was one of the great innovations of the 20th century, but German scientists believe a new invention, liquid wood, could soon supplant the chemical in terms of everyday usefulness.

Though it has proven to be extremely useful in the modern world, plastic still has a number of negative selling points. It is non-biodegradable and can contain carcinogens and other toxic substances that can cause cancer.

It is also based on petroleum, a non-renewable resource that will soon be harder to come by. Increases in the price of crude oil leads to parallel rises in the price of plastics.

But there is a new chemical invention that could do away with these long-standing concerns.

Norbert Eisenreich, a senior researcher and deputy of directors at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal, Germany, said his team of scientists have come up with a substance that could replace plastic: Arboform -- basically, liquid wood.

It is derived from wood pulp-based lignin and can be mixed with a number of other materials to create a strong, non-toxic alternative to petroleum-based plastics, Eisenreich said, as reported by DPA news agency.

Paper by-product

A women using a water cookerBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Household items could also be made from Arborform

This begs the question: What exactly is liquid wood?

"The cellulose industry separates wood into its three main components -- lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose," ICT team leader Emilia Regina Inone-Kauffmann told DPA.

"The lignin is not needed in papermaking, however. Our colleagues mix that lignin with fine natural fibers made of wood, hemp or flax and natural additives such as wax. From this, they produce plastic granulate that can be melted and injection-moulded."

The final product can resemble highly polished wood or have a more matted finish and look like the plastic used in most household items.

Reduced sulphur content

Car parts and other durable items made of this bio-plastic already exist, but the chemical hadn't been suitable for household use until now, due to the high content of sulphurous substances used in separating the lignin from the cell fibers.

The German researchers were able to reduce the sulphur content in Arborform by about 90 percent, making it much safer for use in everyday items.

Bolstering Arboform's environmental credentials, Eisenreich's team also discovered that the substance was highly recyclable.

"To find that out, we produced components, broke them up into small pieces, and re-processed the broken pieces -- 10 times in all. We did not detect any change in the material properties of the low-sulphur bio-plastic, so that means it can be recycled," said Inone-Kauffmann.

DW staff (dfm)

President-Elect Invites Sully to Inauguration Hero of the Hudson heading to D.C.

The pilot who made the miracle landing on a New York river Thursday is a California resident who lived in San Diego.

President-elect Barack Obama has personally invited the Bay Area pilot who safely landed an airplane in the Hudson River in New York after it hit a flock of birds Thursday to his inauguration in Washington, D.C., this week, the mayor of Danville said today.

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger III will be joined by his family in the nation's capital as guests at the inauguration Tuesday. The pilot's wife, Lori Sullenberger, is flying to the East Coast with her daughters today to meet with the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich said.

"They are just overwhelmed beyond belief. It's extraordinary for them," Arnerich said. "Lori and their daughters want to see their dad. It is a pretty important thing for them to physically hug and hold him."

Since the events of last Thursday have settled in everyone has been talking about what a hero Sullenberger is, but it could have gone the other way and the family realizes that, Arnerich said.

"Just the emotional impact of seeing the plane hit the water draws out a lot of emotion," he said.

The Airbus A320 was traveling from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Charlotte, N.C., when Sullenberger was forced to land it in the water. Everyone onboard - more than 150 people - made it off the plane safely, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The plane was hoisted from the river late Saturday. Federal investigators are inspecting it to determine if both engines stopped due to the birds, as reports have indicated.

Sullenberger is expected to return to Danville possibly on Friday, which happens to be his birthday, Arnerich said.

Old Town Danville is going to be temporarily closed next weekend for a hero's welcome celebration at the Town Green Community Center. The U.S. Air Force Color Guard will be there along with elected officials and community leaders.

The celebration is tentatively scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but everything is based on Sullenberger's schedule, according to Arnerich.

"Here is a local person who instantly became a national hero," he said. "We are ready whenever they get back."

The Coach’s View: Madison Square Garden (Panoramic)

nytimes.com — Rangers Coach Tom Renney describes the view form behind the bench at Madison Square Garden. Renney has perfected a fuming-but-silent pose from his spot on the bench. But for large stretches of the game, the coach gets to watch without yelling, dispensing advice and experiencing the game from the best point of view in the arena.


Click here for this amazing panoramic video

Boy George sobs 'They'll kill me' to inmate

EXCLUSIVE by Nick Owens and Piers Eady 17/01/2009

Cell mate tells of blind panic when he told Boy George: 'You're gay and a celebrity - the other prisoners will come after you.'

Boy George (Pic: Pixel)

Terrified Boy George wept as he was sent to prison and said: “I can’t go to jail… they will try to kill me because of who I am.”

The fallen pop idol broke down and revealed his fears to a fellow prisoner in a court holding cell before he was sent to tough Pentonville Prison in North London.

Richard Lyttle, a father of five held in the same cells on a driving charge, told the bloated former Culture Club singer how to survive life at the category B prison.

But he warned him: “Prisoners will be out to beat you up.”

Richard, 40, from Romford, East London, said: “When I walked into the cell I saw this fat, bald bloke sitting in the corner crying like a baby. He was shaking like a leaf, a total wreck.

“He kept sobbing over and over, ‘I can’t go to jail – I’ll be killed.’

“He was crying about how he was just a fat old pop star that everyone was laughing at.”

George, 47 (real name George O’Dowd) was put in a holding cell at Snaresbrook Court, East London, with five other men on Friday afternoon. He was held there after a judge sentenced him to 15 months for falsely imprisoning Norwegian male escort Audun Carlsen, 29, and thrashing him with a chain.

Richard said that as he walked into the cell one of the other prisoners was hurling abuse at the gay singer. “The bloke was shouting, ‘Don’t talk to him, he is a batty boy.’ (offensive Jamaican term for a homosexual).

“I walked over to him and said, ‘What’s the problem, mate?’

“He looked and me and said, ‘I’m George O’Dowd.’ I was confused and he screamed, ‘I’m Boy George.’ He broke down in tears and couldn’t stand up because he was so upset.

“All the other prisoners were shouting at him to stop making so much noise so he just kept his head bowed. I felt a bit sorry for him.”

Unemployed Richard, who was later bailed for driving while disqualified, has been locked up three times for assorted driving offences and for attempting to obtain money with malice.

He explained to George how he would have his mobile phone taken from him when he arrived and that he would be strip-searched before being put in a prison uniform and locked up.

Richard said: “He was shaking as he listened and kept asking what other inmates would make of him. I warned him that because of who he was and because he was gay people would be out to beat him up.”

George, who sold more than 25 million records with his band Culture Club in the 1980s, then broke down again, mumbling that nobody would have any sympathy for him.

Richard said: “He said he felt all alone and wouldn’t be able to cope in prison. He was gutted, emotional and just all over the place.”

As Richard was called back into court from the cell, George grabbed his hand and begged him to look after him if they both ended up in Pentonville. “He was pleading with me to look after him. I said I wasn’t going to be sent down and he just broke down again,” he said.

“I joked that it wasn’t all bad and said he might even find himself a new boyfriend inside prison. But he just started crying again. As I walked out he was a shaking, quivering wreck. There is no way he will cope inside.”

Yesterday George, a former heroin addict and a recovering cocaine addict, was put on suicide watch after arriving at Pentonville.

He was also moved to the hospital wing to keep him away from the prison’s other 1,000-plus inmates.

Jail insiders revealed the former singer was mobbed by other prisoners when he walked into the reception area, some asking for his autograph. A jail source told the Sunday Mirror: “Governors took the decision to move Boy George to the hospital wing for his own safety.

“He is openly gay, and also a celebrity, which makes him a massive target for somebody who wants to make a name for themselves.

“Boy George would be extremely vulnerable in a normal wing and his safety could not be guaranteed.”

Prison guards have been told to regularly check to make sure he is not harming himself, or is in danger of attack.

While in the hospital wing – where Amy Winehouse’s husband Blake Fielder-Civil was recently held – George will undergo psychological assessment.

His family and friends gasped as he was jailed for 15 months on Friday. In April 2007 he shackled Audun to a hook on a bedroom wall in his flat in Shoreditch, East London, and thrashed him with a chain.

George told police he detained Carlsen, who he had met through the Gaydar website, while he investigated suspicions that the Norwegian had tampered with his laptop computer. But Carlsen said the singer concocted that story after tying him up as punishment for not having sex with him at an earlier meeting.

Before jailing George, Judge David Radford told him: “Your pre-meditated, calculated, callous and

humiliating handcuffing and detention of Mr Carlsen shocked, degraded and traumatised him.”

Because of his conviction, George is now unlikely to be granted a visa allowingt to perform again in the

US and Japan, where he is still a huge star.

nick.owens@sundaymirror.co.uk

The Top 10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know About Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood has become a living monument of Hollywood. He is to film what Chuck Norris is to roundhouse kicks: the founding father and ruling king. His squint alone has the ability to make lesser filmmakers renounce the craft altogether and his gravelly snarl has made plenty of punks reassess the status of their luck. But everyone knows he’s a badass, and everyone knows he’s as talented behind a camera as he is behind the trigger of a .44 Magnum. But there are some things you might not have known about him.

By Nathan Bloch

The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.

10. Clint has directed more movies than Steven Spielberg and George Lucas


Clint Eastwood's Questions

Can this be for real? A man who made his mark in this world for so long with his gritty performances of gunslinging toughs has actually directed more movies than the men who are arguably the two most famous American directors in history?

Clint has topped their counts?

Yes, it’s true. Clint released two films in 2008 (one of the strange times you could actually see a preview of an Eastwood movie at an Eastwood movie), as well as two in 2006, two in 1997 and two in 1990. He’s directed sixteen movies since 1990 alone. This is not normal. This is Clint Eastwood. Respect the man, for he is a living legend.

9. Clint played at Carnegie Hall

image

The man acts, directs, and he even plays a mean piano. And you know when Clint does it, it really is mean, as he demonstrated at Carnegie Hall in 1997. He’s played since he was a boy and is by all accounts self-taught, and has even scored some of his own films (Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino). This is what we call a triple threat. If anyone could take the ivories and make them lethal, it’s Clint.

8. Clint used to dig pools for a living

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Six, The Perfect Number

This just goes to show that even Clint Eastwood came from pretty humble beginnings. Back when he was just getting bit parts in little movies here and there, Clint spent his time between acting employment digging pools for the Hollywood elite who’d already made their fortunes. Which means the next time you’re in the Hollywood hills taking a dip in your producer friend’s pool, take a moment to reflect on the flinty hands of Clint that quite possibly dug that pool for your overprivileged ass.

7. Clint tried his hand at recording pop records

image

One of the roles that helped make Clint famous was Rowdy Yates on the show Rawhide in the early ‘60s. In an ill-advised attempt to consolidate an audience amongst the teeny bopper crowd, he recorded pop songs meant to reach out to this demographic. He eventually recorded the album titled, “Rawhide’s Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites”. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone was in the mood for cowboy favorites from Clint or anyone else, and his brief stint as pop star ended about as soon as it began. Which is probably for the better. He turned out to be much better at writing scores for his movie and rocking the jazz standards, which is more than you can say for your average action movie star.

6. Clint was fired by Universal Studios for having an Adam’s apple that was too big

Inside The Actors Studio: Clint Eastwood on Getting the Role As Dirty Harry

This is one of those moments in cinema history that is just too ridiculous not to be true. After Universal signed Clint in 1954 for the princely sum of $75 a week, which landed him parts in forgettable movies like Revenge of the Creature and Tarantula, a couple of studio execs happened upon him one day and noticed his Adam’s apple. Deciding it was too big, he was out, just like that. The venerable Clint Eastwood was chewed up and spat out by a couple of Hollywood hacks.

Of course, it was only a matter of time – and not much time at that – before he was rolling, rolling, rolling rawhide, and those execs would be confronted with their own ineffable stupidity.


5. Clint received the French Legion d’Honneur award

image

...by President Jacques Chirac, no less. Having received this award on February 17, 2007, Clint officially became a Knight of the Empire, which I suppose means that if France and Russia ever got into it like olden times, good ol’ Clinty boy would be at the front of the line to duke it out with Putin. I don’t care how many Judo belts Putin has, my money’s still on Clint.

4. Clint drives a beater

Gran Torino - Theatrical Trailer

One might think that with all the riches that come with Clint’s level of fame and success he’d be living about as high on the hog as he could without actually falling off the hog altogether. But one would be very, very wrong.

An anonymous source shared with me a very interesting story. My source, at the time, was an employee at the prestigious Hollywood hotel the Chateau Marmont and happened to see Clint, in the flesh, waiting for the valet to bring his car around. Cleverly quipping to the hoi polloi that surrounded him, “I have my Mercedes Benz here,” he patiently bided his time as the lower species of human marveled at the cinematic deity in their presence.

Clint stood there, squinting his scare-the-daylights-out-of-the-daylight squint, when up came his vehicle of choice. And what kind of vehicle would this be? The newest, slickest Benz on the market? No. In fact, a run-down, battered, late-‘80s Grand Marquis sputtered up to Clint, as if the valet had taken it upon himself to play a dirty trick on Dirty Harry.

But this was no ruse, this was simply more evidence that Clint is every bit the man’s man he appears to be. What kind of man needs leather interior? What kind of man needs a CD player, or seats that heat up, or windows that roll down? Not Clint. Clint only needs four wheels that are round and an engine that goes.

As Clint climbed into his Grand Marquis, the back bumper holding onto the rest of the car by a thread – or a Bungee cord, anyway – everyone else looked on in astonishment and admiration. And no one uttered a single word about the man’s mule.

3. Clint threatened to kill Michael Moore

Bowling for Columbine - Trailer

Once again, fact is way awesomer than fiction. So how exactly did Clint come to threaten Michael Moore’s life? Well, it just so happens that Clint got the opportunity to watch Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine, and he didn’t much care for the scene at the end where Moore sticks a camera in Charlton Heston’s face and pretty much makes an ass of him.

So, while accepting a Special Filmmaking Achievement prize for Million Dollar Baby at the National Board Of Review Awards in New York, he says, “Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera, I'll kill you.” The audience laughs, everyone has a good chuckle, and then the laughter dies down.

To make sure everyone knows that this wasn’t a joke and there’s no punchline, he then says, “I mean it.” Gulp! These are the times when I’m glad I’m not a fat documentary filmmaker. Charlton may have been a gentleman about Moore’s boorish ways, but Clint, as always, knows the answer to obnoxious punks: the .44 Magnum.

2. Clint is allergic to horses

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - I Thought You Might Tell Me Where We're Going

And you heard it first here. Now, while your reaction might be to recoil in horror at this juicy little tidbit of gossip, pause a moment and really reflect on this. The man has spent about half of his cinematic career sitting on horses. Horses that REPULSE his body. But did this ever stop Clint from getting the job done? Did he ever exchange any of his squints for a single wince? Nope. Not once. That's because while Clint's body may experience anguish over the hooved creatures that bring it pain, Clint himself is oblivious to discomfort.

1. Clint is a vegan

image

That’s right. You’d think Clint would maintain a steady diet of rare steaks, beef jerky and live ammunition, but no. He has said that, “I take vitamins daily, but just the bare essentials not what you'd call supplements. I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit, vegetables, tofu, and other soy products.”

Dang. Hard to believe the same guy who played Dirty Harry would also keep the same dietary habits of the hippies living in Haight Ashbury. Maybe that’s why he’s still in better shape at age 78 than most men are at 25. Well, part of the reason is that Death is too chicken to approach him when he’s awake – and Clint sleeps with at least one eye open. The other is because he apparently believes meat is murder.

Veganism just got 100% cooler.

Image source: Getty Images

UPS man delivers daughter

CAROL STREAM, Ill.

-- A UPS deliveryman in Illinois says he handled his most unusual -- and most precious -- package when his wife unexpectedly gave birth in their living room.

Craig Ramirez, 34, of Carol Stream and his wife Lisa, 31, already have four children, so he thought it would be another routine labor when she woke him Saturday at 3:30 a.m. to go to the hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday.

By the time they reached the front door, however, the baby's head was coming out. "I said, 'No, it can't be coming," Craig recalled. "It can't. That's not even in the realm of reality.'"

Craig called 911 as Lisa stood and leaned on a sofa. Craig then got on his knees, put his hands on the baby's head and with a push from Lisa, the infant slid into her father's arms. The birth happened so quickly there was no time even to turn the lights on.

The parents and little Amelia Yvonne Ramirez were reported doing well, with Craig saying he was prepared to be peppered with delivery jokes when he returned to work at UPS.


© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Scientists find new creatures of Australian deep

Scientists find new creatures of Australian deep
AFP/HO – One of Australia's deepest residents a carnivorous sea squirt, or ascidian, standing half a meter …

SYDNEY (AFP) – Scientists said Sunday they had uncovered new marine animals in their search of previously unexplored Australian waters, along with a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt and ocean-dwelling spiders.

A joint US-Australian team spent a month in deep waters off the coast of the southern island of Tasmania to "search for life deeper than any previous voyage in Australian waters," lead researcher Ron Thresher said.

What they found were not only species new to science -- including previously undescribed soft corals -- but fresh indications of global warming's threat to the country's unique marine life.

"Our sampling documented the deepest known Australian fauna, including a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt, sea spiders and giant sponges, and previously unknown marine communities dominated by gooseneck barnacles and millions of round, purple-spotted sea anemones," Thresher said.

Using a submersible car-sized robot named Jason, the team explored a rift in the earth's crust known as the Tasman Fracture Zone, a sheer two kilometre (1.24 mile) drop to 4,000 metres (13,200 feet) below the ocean's surface.

Blogging on board the ship, researcher Adam Subhas said the team witnessed some "cool biology" as they descended the fracture, including the sea squirt, which he described as "basically an underwater Venus fly trap, but much bigger."

The sea squirt, also known as an ascidian, stands 50 centimetres tall on the sea floor at a depth of just over 4,000 metres. It traps prey in its funnel-like front section if they touch it when they swim past.

"The geology was fascinating too -- the sediment was incredibly fine and lightly packed; it made me think of powder snow," Subhas wrote.

Fossil coral fields were found, dating back more than 10,000 years. Thresher said samples taken would provide ancient climate data for use in global warming projections.

"Modern-day deep-water coral reefs were also found, however, there is strong evidence that this reef system is dying, with most reef-forming coral deeper than 1,300 metres newly dead," he said.

Though close analysis of samples was still required, Thresher said modelling suggested ocean acidification could be responsible.

"If our analysis identifies this phenomenon as the cause of the reef system's demise, then the impact we are seeing now below 1,300 metres might extend to the shallower portions of the deep-reefs over the next 50 years, threatening this entire community," he said.

Rising sea temperatures are blamed on global warming caused by the build-up in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide -- which is also blamed for higher acidity in sea water.

A UN report warned in 2007 that Australia's Great Barrier Reef, described as the world's largest living organism, could be killed by climate change within decades.

The World Heritage site and major tourist attraction, stretching over more than 345,000 square kilometres (133,000 square miles) off Australia's east coast, could become "functionally extinct", the report said.

Sweet Dreams - Impressive Stop-Motion Animation watch!



youtube.com — Animator Kirsten Lepore's tale of a little cupcake who had to get away from it all to find a sweeter life. Cute!

Click through to watch in "high quality" mode.

Boy, 8, becomes youngest IT professional

An eight-year-old boy has become the world's youngest IT professional after passing an exam with Microsoft.

Marko Calasan, from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, has become the world's youngest certified computer system administrator.

"I'd like to be a computer scientist when I grow up and create a new operational system," he said.

Marko, whose favourite subject at school is mathematics, learnt to read and write at the age of two, which was when his interest in computers began.

The news of his achievement has turned him into a celebrity in Macedonia.

His mother Radica, 37, said that her son displayed "exceptional learning abilities at a very early age" and that she and her husband, who run a computer school, call on Marko to help solve technical problems when they crop up.

"He is obviously extraordinary gifted, but children above the age of six could learn much more about computers than generally assumed," she said.

Marko is also fascinated by physics and astronomy and struggled to sleep the night before the launch of the Big Bang experiment at the underground facility of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland.

Marko said: "The media said it could cause the end of the world, but there was never any danger of that."

Death Row Assets Auctioned For $18 Million

"Suge" Knight (right), with Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg


A Billboard staff report

The assets of Death Row Records, said to include master recordings of Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, were auctioned yesterday (Jan. 15) for $18 million to Canadian development company WIDEawake Entertainment Group.

Because of the less-than-expected acquisition price, the only creditor likely to capture a return after lawyers and other Chapter 11 administrative fees are paid is the Internal Revenue Service.

That means other creditors, including unsecured ones like co-founder Lydia Harris, will be left out in the cold. Harris isn't content with the verdict.

"This was all a scam from the beginning," a disgruntled Harris tells Billboard. "Everyone wanted me to bring judgment down, and so I brought on the case. But now I'm not getting paid because I'm an unsecured creditor? Yet, administrators are getting paid and Suge [Knight]'s bills are still getting paid? If it wasn't for me no one would be getting money. They made sure it happened this way because I was the biggest creditor. There must be some internal thing going on and I'm obviously not in on it."

According to Harris, Conquest Media, an online marketing and branding company, made an undisclosed bid yesterday, but the judge overruled it because it wasn't filed on time.

As previously reported, Death Row initially filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2006, and that July, the California judge overseeing the filing ordered a bankruptcy trustee to take over the label. Along the way, three companies put bids in on Death Row, all three valued at about $25 million. But the first two -- stalking horse Warner Music Group and its replacement Koch Entertainment -- both pulled out when due diligence showed that inadequate record-keeping made it difficult to ascertain the label's valuation, let alone whether it was worth the $25 million bid both had made.

An investment group called Global Music agreed to buy Death Row in June 2007, but that deal collapsed amid fighting between investors, who ultimately were unable to raise the necessary financing.

Harris battled Knight for years for a share of Death Row and won a $107 million judgment in 2005, which was one of the factors that tipped the label into Chapter 11.

WIDEawake Entertainment Group Inc., based in Toronto, has had nominal exposure to the U.S. market. Lara Lavi, the company's founder and CEO, is a lawyer, songwriter and entrepreneu, who founded the company in 2006 to work in a variety of media, including film and music. WIDEawake has distribution in Canada through Universal Music.

Lavi says WIDEawake does not have distribution in the U.S. and has not determined which company it will partner with to distribute the Death Row catalog.

"We have some ideas," she says, adding that the label has been in contact with companies in the U.S. about potential distribution. "We're very respectful of Death Row's legacy and when the time is right we'll announce that."

Lavi acknowledged there is significant unreleased material included in the deal, including tracks by Shakur, Dr. Dre and others. "There's probably more that hasn't seen the light of day than has," she says. Lavi says announcements on the unreleased material are forthcoming. In the case of the Shakur material, the company will work closely with his estate.

Lavi would not disclose who WIDEawake's investors are, other than to say the company has financing to secure the Death Row deal. She says the value of the acquisition makes sense considering "it is a clear deal. There's no debt to worry about." WIDEawake lists its investors as Mississauga, Ont.-based New Solutions Capital.

Lavi says she is unconcerned about any potential involvement of Knight, the label's co-founder. "He's moved on," she says, noting he has started a new label.

For her part, Harris also recently launched an independent label, Lady Boss Entertainment, which she had planned to continue funding with the money she hoped she'd be awarded in the settlement. Now, Harris says she's looking for investors to "make it what Death Row was supposed to be. I need people who believe in me."

"My head is spinning right now. I feel like a victim," says Harris. "They took all this time and tried to attack me, now there's no money for unsecured creditors. Now I wonder if it was all worth it. But I'm definitely not giving up. I never thought I would end up with anything. I'm going to keep pushing."

Reporting by Mariel Concepcion, Ed Christman and Robert Thompson.

'Memory pill' that could help with exam revision could be available soon

A "memory pill" that could aid exam revision and help to prevent people forgetting important anniversaries may soon be available over the counter.

'Memory pill' that could help with exam revision could be available soon
Memory-enhancing pills, created to treat Alzheimer's disease, could be redeveloped as a 'lifestyle pill' to combat memory loss and help exam revision Photo: OLI SCARFF

The medicine has been designed originally to help treat Alzheimer's disease, but could be adapted and licensed for sale in a weaker form within the next few years.

One brand of memory-enhancing pill is being developed by the multinational company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Targacept, an American company, while Epix Pharmaceuticals, also from the US, is developing another.

Both have "cognitive-enhancing effects" which are aimed at treating patients with age-related memory loss.

Steven Ferris, a neurologist and former committee member of the Food and Drug Administration in the US, has predicted that a milder version will be available for healthy consumers as a "lifestyle pill" available over the counter.

Dr Ferris said: "My view is that one could gain approval, provided you showed the drugs to be effective and safe. It could be a huge market."

There is anecdotal evidence that mind-improving drugs are already being taken in Britain by healthy users.

Provigil, used to treat narcolepsy, is being taken by some students to help them stay awake, while Adderall XR and Ritalin, treatments for attention deficit disorder, are being used to help promote concentration.

A spokesman Adderall XR said: "We get a lot of calls from college campuses asking about it.

"There are risks though. It can raise blood pressure, people shouldn't do it."

The Department of Health said it was not illegal to buy the medicines over the internet, but it was not recommended.

Barbara Sahakian, professor of clinical neuropsychology at Cambridge, said: "It's hard to quantify the scale of the phenomenon but it's definitely catching on.

"The reality is we're not always at our best. After being up at night looking after the kids or travelling, many people would love to have something to sharpen them up. It's not taboo to drink Red Bull. The principle with cognition enhancers is not so different."

Microblogging in orbit from new satellite

Send your messages from space with new photo platform

radio-telescope

You won't need one of these to start orbital microblogging

We often hear how Twitter is rapidly becoming the first port of call for citizen news stories like the Hudson River plane crash, so it shouldn't be a great surprise to see the same techniques extended a little.

Still, pushing microblogging all the way into outer space on a satellite is quite a step.

Collaborative launch

The notion comes from Japan, where a non-profit called Kansai Space Initiative (KSI) has been set up to build a tiny satellite that anyone can use once it's in orbit.

The KaSpl-1 will weigh just 50kg when it goes up as an extra payload on a Japanese launch in 2013. The diminutive size has already seen the class dubbed 'microsatellites'.

Have it your way

KSI is encouraging anyone with an interest to pay ¥3,000 (£22) and join the team that will plan exactly what the satellite will do.

So far, it says there will be a camera pointing at a digital screen that can display emailed user messages while in orbit.

One small step

Having the entire Earth as the backdrop to the photo is sure to bring in users to grab the resulting personalised orbital shots as downloads.

After low-Earth orbit, how long can it be before we get Tweets and more from the Moon or further?

Security at Obama inauguration is tight and high-tech

Obama's limosine
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press
A U.S. Secret Service agent stands watch by a presidential limousine parked under a security tent in front of Blair House, at the White House, in Washington today.
Officials say that a lone wolf could still slip through protective measures and cause chaos but that contingency plans would keep Obama safe.
By Josh Meyer

Reporting from Washington -- As the multitudes arrive for the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, the most high-tech security bubble ever created is in place to protect the incoming president from any foreseeable act of God, nature or man.

But authorities say they still dread the "X factor" -- intangibles that they cannot control and that could upend their most carefully laid plans by panicking the immense crowd.

At the top of that list, they say, is the lone-wolf individual or small group capable of slipping through the intelligence and security net. A burst of gunfire or an explosion, they know, could cause significant casualties or pandemonium.

That is considered extremely unlikely. Law enforcement and intelligence officials say they have seen nothing to suggest the president-elect or his inauguration are being targeted.

Still, they say, no one can know for sure. And the inauguration of the first black president -- coming in the first White House transition since the Sept. 11 attacks and about two months after the terrorist strike in Mumbai -- poses special concerns, U.S. law enforcement and security officials say.

"We can prepare and we can prepare, but there are always variables," said one senior FBI official involved in the planning. "It only takes one person to come in and cause havoc."

Many disgruntled individuals fly under the radar, officials say, keeping violent thoughts and plans to themselves and out of Internet chat rooms that have been monitored for years by undercover agents.

And they easily could hide among millions of visitors expected to overload transit systems and wedge into every nook and cranny of indoor and outdoor space, straining crowd-control measures.

By most accounts, the Secret Service has done everything possible to safeguard not only the president-elect and his entourage, but the parade route, the National Mall and other locations that will be part of Obama's short but symbolic path to the swearing-in.

For instance, Obama will be riding in a new limousine -- nicknamed "The Beast" -- considered the most secure ever, virtually impervious to chemical and biological attacks and rocket-propelled grenades.

And as in all major events, the Secret Service has spent months working with dozens of local, state and federal agencies on security, crowd control and logistical support.

Thousands of extra police officers and military troops are being brought in from around the country, and measures to protect against chemical and biological attack will be in place, along with decontamination tents.

At least 150 multiagency "intel teams" will deploy throughout the region so that undercover FBI agents and other behavior analysis specialists can look for trouble. Of particular interest: individuals or small groups of men with backpacks lurking in large crowds, or entering the Metro from distant suburban stations -- a pattern similar to the deadly attacks in London's subways in 2005.

In some areas, Washington will look like an occupied city. Sharpshooters will be on virtually every building. Law enforcement and intelligence nerve centers and mobile command posts are sprouting. The FBI is deploying a scary-looking armored assault vehicle and a weapons-of-mass-destruction response truck.

The military, supporting civilian authorities, is using sophisticated surveillance systems developed for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to monitor the Mall. A P-3 Reconnaissance plane will fly above the Mall to collect information that can instantaneously be transmitted to the ground in the event of a threat. The high-tech system is known as "Rover."

The Pentagon also will station cameras and other detectors on buildings around the Mall on Inauguration Day to ensure a constant picture, Defense officials said.

Officials familiar with the military surveillance efforts say they will be able to do much more than watch the crowd. They can sense radiation associated with a dirty bomb and in some cases detect a conventional explosive device.

In addition to response, officials have worked on prevention. Authorities have been scouring the Internet and other extremist gathering places to look for signs of trouble. So far, they say, they aren't seeing any.

Domestically, white supremacists have discussed Obama in threatening terms since early in his candidacy. Threats increased after Obama won the Democratic primary and again after he won the election.

Obama has been a lightning rod not only because of his race, but due to what extremists believe to be his ties to Islam, perceived sympathy for Israel and even support for gun control measures.

But in recent weeks, the threatening "chatter" has died down, according to law enforcement officials and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is active in tracking U.S.-based extremist activity.

Yet current and former security specialists say that such screening procedures usually can't catch the kind of zealots Obama might attract.

"He brings dynamics into this that we haven't seen before. And they can't be taken lightly," said Joseph J. Funk, a former top Secret Service official who spent eight years protecting Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Obama will remain safe even if some event causes a stampede during his inauguration or along the parade route, said Funk, whose U.S. Safety & Security firm headed Obama's campaign security until spring 2007. The incoming president will have secure escape routes and other contingency plans.

The Secret Service took over security for Obama in May 2007, at the earliest stage ever for a presidential candidate.

"Your concern is the person who wants to make a statement, the person who wants to use this as the day to 'make myself famous,' " Funk said. "You can't get to the president to cause harm, but you can hurt a lot of other people and cause an embarrassing situation. You know there's enough media here, and you think, 'Watch this.' "

Few protections exist against such assailants, Funk and others said.

Metal detectors will screen ticket holders to events. All inaugural personnel -- even waiters and doormen -- undergo criminal background checks. But there are always last-minute replacements and changes in plans.

There will be pressure for security to be unobtrusive, and to avoid aggravating long waits, especially where VIPs are concerned.

At that, most would-be assassins of political figures -- such as John W. Hinckley Jr., President Reagan's assailant -- would have passed background checks anyway, because they had never done anything wrong before.

Authorities warn that attackers could also strike soft targets that are virtually impossible to protect, such as hotels, mass transit and large crowds at inauguration-related concerts and other events.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned of such Mumbai-style attacks on the inauguration in a recent confidential Joint Threat Assessment, portions of which were leaked to reporters.

"How do you predict what is in a person's mind?" said FBI spokesman William Carter. "A person who sits in their basement and self-radicalizes or has some type of grievance and decides to take some action -- that is part of the makeup of the lone-wolf individual. They fall below the radar."

josh.meyer@latimes.com

Times staff writer Julian E. Barnes in Washington contributed to this report.

Our First Glimpse of an Alien World

Astronomers capture the first visible-light image of a planet orbiting another star.

by Francesca Lyman
Fomalhaut b Planet

Image courtesy of NASA

Achieving a feat that seemed impossible not so long ago, a team of scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope captured the first visible-light image of a planet orbiting another star (above and inset). On the same day as this announcement, last November 14, came the report of a related breakthrough using the ground-based Gemini and Keck observatories in Hawaii, with which astronomers captured the first infrared image of three planets orbiting a star. A week later, another exoplanet candidate was spotted in infrared—this time by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope—orbiting the hot, bright star Beta Pictoris.

Astronomers’ newfound success at imaging planets trillions of miles away comes with the use of more powerful telescopes, improved optics techniques, and software that compares images to minimize background starlight. Bruce Macintosh, an astronomer with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that changes in the kinds of stars astronomers are seeking out—stars 50 to 100 percent more massive than our sun—may also factor into the number of exoplanet sightings. Spotting an Earth-like planet around a sunlike star remains beyond current technology, but it suddenly seems much closer.

A DIY Test For Your Broadband Provider’s Net Neutrality

By Christopher Rhoads

Worried that your broadband provider is slowing down your Web traffic?

If so, you might want to download the aptly named “Switzerland” — a tool that tests whether your Internet provider is violating the principles of so-called “network neutrality.”

switzerland_E_20090116115338.jpg

Network neutrality, which prevents carriers from blocking traffic or manipulating the speeds of traffic from certain Web sites, became a hot-button issue several years ago when carriers suggested they should be allowed to charge content providers more for using faster lanes on their networks.

The issue resurfaced last summer when the FCC determined that Comcast had interfered with its subscribers’ use of a file-sharing technology, called BitTorrent, a free application used to distribute sometimes large software and media files. Comcast is contesting the ruling.

Net neutrality is likely to re-emerge in the coming months, as the incoming Congress considers expected legislation on the issue. At the moment, the FCC advocates only broad guidelines to “preserve and promote the open and interconneted nature of the public Internet.”

Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit in San Francisco that helped discover Comcast’s actions, decided it needed to help users detect similar violations.

“Congress may or may not decide to pass legislation on this,” said Peter Eckersley, a staff technologist with the EFF who designed Switzerland. “But we are going to need tools to know what’s going on and spot causes for concern on the network.”

EFF released Switzerland in August. The tool can be downloaded by users for free, and has been downloaded several thousands of times, according to Mr. Eckersley. It’s designed to detect when packets of Internet traffic have been modified or inserted into the network by service providers.

Still, in a hint of the debate to come, some contend such tools don’t detect anti-competitive practices that should also be included in any net neutrality legislation.

“It’s important to note that this tool tests for only ONE set of behaviors that are claimed by SOME people to be a violation of network neutrality,” wrote Brett Glass, a technology consultant, in a Web site comment on the EFF tool.

How To: Add Wi-Fi To Your Xbox 360 Smartly and Cheaply

The Xbox 360 is the best console you can buy. Except it's inexplicably missing something the Wii and PS3 have: Wi-Fi. You could buy Microsoft's $90 dongle. Or you could follow our guide.

The Xbox 360's lack of Wi-Fi is a totally killer hardware flaw—if you're not right on top of your router, you've either gotta string miles of ethernet cable or buy that pricey ass dongle from Microsoft. Unless you check out one of the cheaper alternatives. Here's every major way to get your Xbox going on Wi-Fi, sorted by easiest to hardest (but most satisfying).


Donglage
Dongles are, by far, the easiest way to get your Xbox 360 on a wireless network. But they also tend to be the priciest.

Microsoft's official wireless adapter is $87, which is absolute horseshit for a Wi-Fi antenna attached to a USB cable. But it looks the nicest and is super easy to use—just plug and play. Update: This weekend you can get one for $69.

• The next stop is a third-party wireless adapter, where you've got your pick from Linksys ($65), Belkin ($70) and hey, Linksys ($90, but it's 802.11n). Same deal, plug and play.

• Finally, your cheapest option is from...Microsoft. Turns out, a regular Xbox wireless adapter (which is a supercheap $50), works just fine, with a tiny bit of finagling: Don't put in its actual install CD. Just plug it in, and set your encryption. It might take two tries to get it to work, but it will. And, it won't eat up a USB port like the official Xbox 360 one. Spoiler alert: This is our pick for best option, based on its combo of cheapness and convenience, if you can find one.

Share Your Computer's Connection
Sharing your computer's connection is the cheapest option—it's actually the freest one. It'll work with a laptop or desktop, though a laptop is more truly wireless—the desktop bit is an option if your router's just a step too far out of the way. Basically, you're plugging your Xbox into the computer's ethernet port, and then having it use your computer's wireless connection to connect to the internet.

Windows
It's actually harder to reliably share the internet love on Windows with its cousin, the Xbox 360, than it is on a Mac: No method worked reliably for us across multiple Windows computers. But here's how it should work:

1. Share your computer's wireless connection. Microsoft actually details the process here, and it's pretty easy. From the Network and Sharing center, click on the manage network connections option on the left. From there, right click on the connect you wanna share (probably wireless, unless you're daisy-chaining 'cause your box just won't reach) and hit properties. Under the sharing tab, just check the box to allow that connection to be shared. Plug your Xbox into the ethernet port.

2. There are a few other ways to proceed at this point, and you're probably going to have try at least a couple of them to find one that'll work. You could bridge the two connections (dicey), or you could manually assign the ethernet port an IP address, detailed here (PDF). This Instructable relies on automagicalness to resolve the settings, and I have had that work in the past, though not when I was sorting through methods for this how to.

All in all, expect to do some Googling and troubleshooting if you go the Windows route.

Mac
You'd think this would be easy, 'cause I heard somewhere that Macs just work, and internet sharing on Macs typically ain't hard, but there is a tiny bit of jujitsu involved here. This method, from Joystiq, is the most reliable one I used.

1. On your Mac, pop open Terminal, and type "ifconfig en0" (number zero, no quotes). A whole bunch of crap will pop up. Find where it says "inet 192.xxx.x.xxx" (it should be 192, anyway). Write that junk down. It will probably be 192.168.2.1, like mine. Also find out your router's IP address, which is most likely 192.168.1.1 (Linksys) or 192.168.0.1 (D-Link uses this), depending on your manufacturer. If you have Apple's Airport gear, the router will be at 10.0.1.1.

2. Then plug your Xbox 360 into your Mac, open up Sharing in Preferences. Turn on internet sharing, and share your Airport's internet connection with ethernet.

3. On the Xbox, flip to your network settings (under system settings), and enter the IP address you got from the terminal freaky deaky earlier but + 1, like 192.168.2.2 to my original 192.168.2.1. Subnet should be 255.255.255.0, and then set your gateway as the ifconfig number, 192.168.2.1. Under DNS (back one screen, then down), put in your router's actual address for both. Test your Xbox Live connection. Your NAT might suck, but you can get on Xbox Live.

Hack Your Router
This method is the least straightforward, and requires a little bit of work on your part. Essentially, you're buying a second router (a cheap one, for about $40) and installing custom software on it that turns it into a giant wireless antenna that's hooked up to your Xbox 360.

There are tons of Linux custom firmwares for routers nowadays, with DD-WRT and Tomato being the most popular. Tomato is a bit more user friendly, but it works with far fewer routers than DD-WRT. DD-WRT works with dozens of different routers (click for the list).

Whichever firmware you go with, the method for putting on your router will vary from device to device, with Buffalo routers being a notorious pain in the ass. Tomato includes instructions with the firmware download—but here are some of the details, and Lifehacker's complete guide to installing and using Tomato.

DD-WRT is my preferred firmware. Here are the detailed install instructions, but with most Linksys routers, you can just drill into the router settings from the web address (192.168.1.1) and upload the DD-WRT firmware, directly, making it pretty easy. But some routers require different, exceptionally specific install methods. So check out the list before you run out to Best Buy or Circuit City.

My preferred router for this because of its tininess and cheapness (under $40), was the Buffalo G-125, which required you to flash it over TFTP backdoor the DD-WRT firmware onto it during a brief window of time, like Luke dropping those bombs into the Death Star's vent shaft. It's a pain in the ass, but everything else about the Buffalo routers make it worth it. Unfortunately, you can't buy it in the States until the next month or so, so your cheapest bet is is Linksys's $40ish WRT54G, which unfortunately, has different install methods depending on the revision. The DD-WRT wiki is very good, so you shouldn't run into problems following it.

Once you get either firmware installed, you're going to set your hacked router up as a wireless client.

1. You're going to need to go into the hacked router's settings. Set the hacked router to client mode.

2. These numbers are going to vary slightly based on your router, but you need to assign it an IP address—if your main router's IP address is 192.168.0.1, set your hacked router at 192.168.0.2 or 192.168.0.101 (a number that's in your main router's DHCP server range). Then make the gateway and DNS the same IP address as your main router.

3. When it reboots you're gonna have to re-login to whatever IP address your hacked router is. Do that, go back in, and give the hacked router the same SSID (name) as your main router (Linksys, gizrox, whatever you have it named). You can also configure wireless security at this point, though for me, it's always been kind of flaky, WEP in particular, so you might have to play around to see what works.

4. To test, try to get online using the hacked router as your internet connection, with all of your computer's IP settings left on automatic. If it works, plug the hacked router into your Xbox. If not, check out the DD-WRT wiki for more halpz.

4. On your Xbox, you can leave everything set to automatic—the hacked router does all the work.

The hacked router method might take the longest, but at least you won't have a useless dongle when the Xbox 720 comes out, you'll have a full-featured router, and it's cheaper than the official dongle. Plus you'll have a feeling of accomplishment that will carry over to gaming, so you should kill a lot more people in Call of Duty.

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