Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How 1Gbps fiber came to Cleveland's poorest, free of charge

In the middle of one of America's poorer cities, residents are about to get an unexpected gift: one gigabit per second Internet access over fiber optic cables courtesy of Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University.

According to the school's vice president for Information Technology Services, Lev Gonick, 72 percent of the homes around campus have no Internet access of any kind; 60 percent are on food stamps. "On a national scale, neighbors of the University have as much Internet access as Panamanians or Vietnamese," he wrote last year in a blog entry announcing the school's new project.

That's slowly changing as the university embarks on an ambitious research project to roll out 1Gbps Internet access to the immediate neighborhood, possibly extending this testbed network to 25,000 total Cleveland residents in total.

While most of the US has to live without any fiber at all, residents near University Circle are getting two strands apiece.

How much will it cost the residents? Nothing. The project is a research-driven attempt to find out if broadband can deliver more than e-mail and Web browsing. Can it provide what the community truly needs—public safety, more educational opportunities, and better medicine?Case Western Reserve doesn't yet know, but within a year, it plans to find out.

Fiber: can it make a neighborhood safe?

The school has a long history of working with fiber internally. Back in networking's Dark Ages—1989—the school had gone so far as to wire fiber to every outlet, offering 10Mbps Ethernet connections at a time when Cat3 was still the main twisted pair standard.

In 2001, Gonick became CIO and the university decided that the future was 1Gbps. It set about upgrading every outlet on campus to that speed.

By 2009, it realized that this bandwidth bounty could be pushed into the surrounding community and used as a testbed to find out just how a transformative truly high speed broadband might (or might not) be.

Given the school's location, public safety was the first priority for the deployment. No less than six separate public safety communities exist right in University Circle, and a fast broadband network could make it easier for them to share video feeds, share dispatching technology, and improve their coordination. In the neighborhoods around the school, a fat broadband pipe could make it easy to do remote video monitoring—in fact, two local apartment building owners have already told Gonick that they plan to use the new fiber build to help monitor each other's buildings. (See a video tour of the neighborhoods around the school below.)

Case Western Reserve researchers also want to see how the network is used for health care, education, and power. Smart grid technologies are one key component of the deployment; residents will have access to high tech thermostats, for example, which can display their home's energy use compared to that of their neighbors or to the neighborhood. On health care, providers like the Cleveland Clinic will use the network to see what sort of cost savings and care benefits might be wrung out of HD video conferencing with patients and automated home health monitoring gear.

The school has partnered with a host of community institutions on the project, encouraging each to develop its own "killer app" for the network within the next 18 months that the project will run. After that, the university hopes to get out of the business of running the network.

The entire network is being run on the "open access" model in which any provider—clinic, pay-TV operator, education network, power company—can access the connection. Gonick tells Ars that three video providers are already interested in selling their services over the link, providing a perfect example of how open access fiber can sever the link between infrastructure and provider that exists in most current cable and telco deployments.

The result, if all goes well: competition.

The buildout

The network build is now underway. The first "beta block" of 104 homes is currently being wired, while a second block has already been identified for future service. A demonstration center is already lit and running, with the official ribbon cutting for the beta block scheduled for May 23.

When it comes to the commercial competitors, such as traditional ISPs and pay-TV providers, the reception has been a bit cooler. Gonick stresses that this is a research program and is totally appropriate for a university to do, and he notes that the school has not "hidden this project at all" from local ISPs.

Jeff Gumpf, the IT architect for the school, tells Ars that the system is meant to last three decades or more, a decision that dictated the network design. Case Western Reserve first consulted with Herman Wagter, who ran Amsterdam's CityNet fiber-to-the-home build (and just described that process in great detail for Ars), about the architecture. Gumpf and Gonick took his advice: two fiber strands to every home, each running back to the main equipment room (point-to-point, rather than shared, fiber).

This approach costs more in the short term due largely to the cost of all that additional fiber, but compared to the cost of digging up the streets to lay more fiber in the future, doing it first is a terrific bargain. Only one strand will be lit initially, with the second strand in place simply to future-proof the deployment.

Case Western Reserve had trouble finding the gear that each home would use to terminate the fiber connection. Here, Wagter helped them out again, hooking them up with European equipment maker Genexis, which makes power-efficient, installer-friendly home gateways that take a fiber connection on side and spit out voice, data, and video connections on the other.

The plan has already garnered attention from Washington; indeed, it is the first example cited in the National Broadband Plan's "Research and Development" chapter. In essence, Case Western Reserve is doing the research to find out how one of the plan's key priorities might affect local communities—the plan to wire up all "anchor institutions" in the US with 1Gbps fiber, then treat them as "middle-mile" ISPs who can help push that bandwidth out into the surrounding community by partnering with companies and municipalities.

Gonick has already done his homework when it comes to working with the politicians; he wants the entire deployment to be "mayor-proof," not tied to any particular politician whose successor might kill the scheme. The City of Cleveland is on board with the deployment, as are local hospitals, equipment vendors, and community groups, but none can simply veto the plan.

When it comes to the commercial competitors, such as traditional ISPs and pay-TV providers, the reception has been a bit cooler. Gonick stresses that this is a research program and is totally appropriate for a university to do, and he notes that the school has not "hidden this project at all" from local ISPs.

However, when Case Western wrote to those local ISPs for letters of support... it didn't get a single one. Anchor institutions around the country, take note.

Together with Google's similar 1Gbps fiber testbed announcement, such research projects have important roles to play when it comes to policy decisions. Just how important is it to run super-fast fiber to US homes? What will people do with it? Can it truly transform poor or crime-ridden areas? And just how important is an open-access network?

Apart from the Google announcement, similar research is only being done by universities and by those few municipalities who run their own community networks. Case Western Reserve's is one of the most ambitious, and its data should start rolling sometime in 2011.

If the idea works, and if other schools, libraries, and community centers across the US start rolling out similar projects, the landscape for Internet access could change dramatically over the next decade. If it doesn't... well, better to find out now.

Incredible Staircase Designs - DivineCaroline

By: Dahlia Rideout
from: DivineCaroline

Les
1 of 21
Sometimes architects can get a bit carried away. These staircase designs are truly incredible.

Philip Watts Design

This looks straight out of The Terminator. Molten metal forms the organic looking backbone. Source


CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL GALLERY

Lingerie Football League Puts Star Players on Probation for Wearing Too Much

Broward Lingerie Football Cover.jpg
Click here for a slideshow of outtakes from the cover shoot.
Lingerie Football League executives, being the true arbiters of class and taste that they are, have put two of the best players in the league on probation for -- of all things -- having too much on during a recent photo shoot.

Mariam Mortaza, sister of the league founder, recently informed both players involved in a New Times photo shoot that they are now on probation.

This is a league where "accidental nudity" clauses are written into every contract and the players are often covered in baby oil before team photo shoots. So what, exactly, did these women do to upset league executives?

They were photographed wearing shoulder pads. No, really.

It was during a cover shoot for a recent New Times feature story on the Miami Caliente. Miami Caliente quarterback Anonka Dixon was featured on the cover of the Miami New Times. Tina
Caccavale, Dixon's favorite receiver, was featured in New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

During games, the women wear shoulder pads, elbow pads, kneepads, and helmets. But when the women of the LFL are photographed, the league generally has them wear only the satin bra and underwear. For the photos accompanying our story, which details the lives of a few lingerie football players as well as the history of the league, we encouraged the women to wear their shoulder pads to look like the fierce athletes they are.

An email I received from Stephon McMillen, media director for the LFL, explains that the players are in trouble because they were photographed wearing shoulder pads and a Nike wristband "without authorization."

Lingerie Football Cover Miami.jpg
The photo shoot was arranged with the league beforehand. During the week of the LFL playoffs, I spoke with several league officials about the story and the photo shoot, including McMillen, league founder and President Mitch Mortaza, and another league public relations representative. They were all cooperative.

It seems the league wasn't pleased with the article, though. In the email from McMillen, I was informed that I "personally have been banned from being credentialed to cover any LFL or Miami Caliente events and/or games."

According to McMillen, New Times is now banned because we wrote about Mortaza's appearance on the reality show Blind Date ten years ago and because: "You failed to focus on any of Mr. Mortaza's success' [sic] such as launching a women's tackle football league in a tough economical [sic] environment and its growth in 2010." He added:

"Mr. Mortaza has a no non-sense [sic] approach and is extremely passionate about his league and is well respected amongst LFL players. If the LFL is such a horrible experience for its players which you certainly gave an impression of, let me ask you, why do so many return? Why are their [sic] players that have played since 2004? Why are the players that you featured coming back after apparently being placed on probation?"

Dixon had better stats than any other player in the league during the inaugural season, and she accounted for more than 80 percent of Miami's touchdowns. Caccavale led the league in both receptions and interceptions. So apparently the team is willing to punish their firepower if they do something as diabolical as stand for a photograph while they wear shoulder pads.

Marijuana Legalization Officially Qualifies for California Ballot

From http://blogs.alternet.org


It’s official. Tax Cannabis 2010, the most far-reaching state effort ever, which would legalize the consumption of cannabis for all adults over 21 — and would finally take the industry that serves those consumers out of a legal gray area — will qualify for the November mid-term ballot later today.

The Tax Cannabis campaign gathered just under 700,000 signatures, well over the 434,000 needed to qualify for the California ballot.

For background on the initiative, read my extensive analysis of the campaign, spearheaded by Richard Lee, the pot entrepreneur behind Oaksterdam University in Oakland.

From that article, here’s a primer on what this measure would change, if it were to pass:

The measure does not actually legalize pot as much as it absolutely decriminalizes certain marijuana offenses. (Marijuana has been “decriminalized” in California since 1975, but it still can generate a fine, an arrest and a misdemeanor charge on your record.) Tax Cannabis institutes a one-ounce personal possession limit and allows for limited personal cultivation.

Interestingly, the ballot initiative refers to local control, meaning that cities and counties can decide whether to allow regulated marijuana sales at all, and if so, how that would work. Tax Cannabis allows for the personal consumption, possession and cultivation of cannabis by any adult over 21 throughout the state, but the business of it would be left to local jurisdictions. (A few people suggested Lee was inspired by his home state of Texas’ dry-county, wet-county policy regarding alcohol sales.)

Polling shows that a growing number of people here in California think legalization is the right solution to this particular segment of the drug war. A poll in April showed 56 percent support for legalization. And Tax Cannabis’ internal polling in March found 44 percent support among likely California voters in non-presidential elections. This was followed by an August internal poll that found 52 percent support by likely November 2010 voters.

These slim majorities are not ideal, but that’s why Tax Cannabis is focused on a public-education campaign, and will be targeting their message to fit the different concerns and needs of all kinds of voters across the state.

I still stand behind what I wrote back in January: This is the best chance for marijuana legalization on a state-level yet. And as 13 states have followed California in legalizing medical marijuana, other states could similarly follow it if legalizes cannabis this year. In other words, as goes California, so could go many others.

IPhone App to Sidestep AT&T

Stuart Goldenberg
From http://www.nytimes.com/

For a little $1 iPhone app, Line2 sure has the potential to shake up an entire industry.
It can save you money. It can make calls where AT&T’s signal is weak, like indoors. It can turn an iPod Touch into a full-blown cellphone.

And it can ruin the sleep of cellphone executives everywhere.

Line2 gives your iPhone a second phone number — a second phone line, complete with its own contacts list, voice mail, and so on. The company behind it, Toktumi (get it?), imagines that you’ll distribute the Line2 number to business contacts, and your regular iPhone number to friends and family. Your second line can be an 800 number, if you wish, or you can transfer an existing number.

To that end, Toktumi offers, on its Web site, a raft of Google Voice-ish features that are intended to help a small businesses look bigger: call screening, Do Not Disturb hours and voice mail messages sent to you as e-mail. You can create an “automated attendant” —“Press 1 for sales,” “Press 2 for accounting,” and so on — that routes incoming calls to other phone numbers. Or, if you’re pretending to be a bigger business than you are, route them all to yourself.

The Line2 app is a carbon copy, a visual clone, of the iPhone’s own phone software. The dialing pad, your iPhone Contacts list, your recent calls list and visual voice mail all look just like the iPhone’s.

(Let’s pause for a moment here to blink, dumbfounded, at that point. Apple’s rules prohibit App Store programs that look or work too much like the iPhone’s own built-in apps. For example, Apple rejected the Google Voice app because, as Apple explained to the Federal Communications Commission, it works “by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls.” That is exactly what Line2 does. Oh well—the Jobs works in mysterious ways.)

So you have a second line on your iPhone. But that’s not the best part.

Line2 also turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone. That is, it can make and receive calls either using either the AT&T airwaves as usual, or — now this is the best part — over the Internet. Any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, Line2 places its calls over Wi-Fi instead of AT&T’s network.

That’s a game-changer. Where, after all, is cellphone reception generally the worst? Right — indoors. In your house or your office building, precisely where you have Wi-Fi. Line2 in Wi-Fi means rock-solid, confident reception indoors.

Line2 also runs on the iPod Touch. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, your Touch is now a full-blown cellphone, and you don’t owe AT&T a penny.

But wait, there’s more.

Turns out Wi-Fi calls don’t use up any AT&T minutes. You can talk all day long, without ever worrying about going over your monthly allotment of minutes. Wi-Fi calls are free forever.

Well, not quite free; Line2 service costs $15 a month (after a 30-day free trial).

But here’s one of those cases where spending more could save you money. If you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot most of the time (at work, for example), that’s an awful lot of calling you can do in Wi-Fi — probably enough to downgrade your AT&T plan to one that gives you fewer minutes. If you’re on the 900-minute or unlimited plan ($90 or $100 a month), for example, you might be able to get away with the 450-minute plan ($70). Even with Line2’s fee, you’re saving $5 or $15 a month.

Line2 also lets you call overseas phone numbers for Skype-like rates: 2 to 5 cents a minute to most countries. (A full table of rates is available at toktumi.com.) As a handy globetrotters’ bonus, calls home to numbers in the United States from overseas hot spots are free.

All of these benefits come to you when you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, because your calls are carried by the Internet instead of by AT&T. Interestingly enough, though, Line2 can also make Internet calls even when you’re not in a hot spot.

It can, at your option, place calls over AT&T’s 3G data network, where it’s available. Every iPhone plan includes unlimited use of this 3G network — it’s how your iPhone sends e-mail and surfs the Web. So once again, Line2 calls don’t use up any of your monthly voice minutes.

Unfortunately, voice connections on the 3G network aren’t as strong and reliable as the voice or Wi-Fi methods. Cellular data networks aren’t made for seamless handoffs from cell tower to tower as you drive, for example — there’s not much need for it if you’re just doing e-mail and Web — so dropped calls are more likely. Fortunately, if you’re on a 3G data-network call and you walk into a hot spot, Line2 switches to the more reliable Wi-Fi network seamlessly, in midcall.

Whenever you do have an Internet connection — either Wi-Fi or a strong 3G area —you’re in for a startling treat. If you and your calling partner are both Line2 subscribers, Line2 kicks you into superhigh audio-quality mode (16-bit mode, as the techies call it).

Your calling partners sound as if they’re speaking right into the mike at an FM radio station. It’s almost too clear; you hear the other person’s breathing, lip smacks, clothing rustling and so on. After years of suffering through awful cellphone audio, it’s quite a revelation to hear what you’ve been missing.

Now, this all sounds wonderful, and Line2 generally is wonderful. But there’s room for improvement.

First, as you’ve no doubt already concluded, understanding Line2 is complicated. You have three different ways to make calls, each with pros and cons.

You miss a certain degree of refinement, too. The dialing pad doesn’t make touch-tone sounds as you tap the keys. There’s no Favorites list within the Line2 app. You can’t get or send text messages on your Line2 line. (The company says it will fix all this soon.)

There’s a faint hiss on Line2 calls, as if you’re on a long-distance call in 1970. The company says that it deliberately introduces this “comfort noise” to reassure you that you’re still connected, but it’s unnecessary. And sometimes there’s a voice delay of a half-second or so (of course, you sometimes get that on regular cellphone calls, too).

Finally, a note about incoming calls. If the Line2 app is open at the time, you’re connected via Wi-Fi, if available. If it’s not running, the call comes in through AT&T, so you lose the benefits of Wi-Fi calling. In short, until Apple blesses the iPhone with multitasking software, you have to leave Line2 open whenever you put the phone to sleep. That’s awkward.

Still, Line2 is the first app that can receive incoming calls via either Wi-Fi or cellular voice, so you get the call even if the app isn’t running. That’s one of several advantages that distinguish it from other voice-over-Internet apps like Skype and TruPhone.

Another example: If you’re on a Wi-Fi call using those other programs, and someone calls your regular iPhone number, your first call is unceremoniously disconnected. Line2, on the other hand, offers you the chance to decline the incoming call without losing your Wi-Fi call.

Those rival apps also lack Line2’s call-management features, visual voice mail and conference calling with up to 20 other people. And Line2 is the only app that gives you a choice of call methods for incoming and outgoing calls.

All of this should rattle cell industry executives, because let’s face it: the Internet tends to make things free. Cell carriers go through life hoping nobody notices the cellephant in the room: that once everybody starts making free calls over the Internet, it’s Game Over for the dollars-for-minutes model.

Line2, however, brings us one big step closer to that very future. It’s going to be a wild ride.

E-mail: pogue@nytimes.com

Vanilla Ice Dishes About The Ford Mustang 5.0

From: http://www.thecarconnection.com/
March 23rd, 2010 Robert Matthew Van Winkle is a busy guy: world traveler, restorer of vintage cars, avid motocross rider. And in his spare time, he grabs a microphone and performs under his stage name, Vanilla Ice.

Love him or hate him, Rob's smash hit, "Ice Ice Baby", defined a moment in pop music history. If you were around, you know it was inescapable: booming from cars, bubbling out of malls, escaping from the foam headsets of Sony Walkmans. It marked the emergence of hip hop as a style for the mainstream -- in fact, everyone from Eminem to the Black Eyed Peas owes a portion of their popularity to Rob's radio rap. But most importantly for car enthusiasts, "Ice Ice Baby" immortalized one of the baddest cars of the late 20th century: the Ford Mustang 5.0.

Since Ford is ramping up to relaunch the 5.0, we thought now was as good a time as any to catch up with Mr. Van Winkle and, as Fergie would say, reminisce on days when he had a mustang. Here's what we learned.

The origins of Rob's gearhead tendencies

Rob's father was a car salesman, and a damn good one. "He was always coming home with demo cars. He was a top salesman, so he was able to get pretty much anything he wanted." But dad wasn't just a big roller, he was a tinkerer, too. He passed on the futzing gene to Rob, who's been a grease monkey and gadget-guy all his life.

The origins of the "5.0" lyric

Rob grew up in Houston and southern Florida, so the guy spent a lot of time outdoors. He whiled away some of those hours doing normal kid stuff, but when he hit driving age, Rob could more often be found behind a steering wheel, racing friends and strangers. Rob had worked himself up to the legendary Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z 5.7, which was an awesome car, but not quite awesome enough: "I'd tricked it out with a Corvette motor, and I could smoke just about anything on the road. Well, anything but the 5.0." Rob's need for speed -- paired with his father's car connections -- helped put him in a Mustang 5.0, which he proceeded to accessorize in the style of the day: said Rob, "It was basically an airbox for my 15-inch subwoofers." Then we digressed briefly on the fashions of the late 80s, including Z-Cavaricci pants. (That portion of the interview has been redacted to prevent our own self-incrimination.)

His new, green eating habits

For the past three years, Rob has been vegetarian. We asked if this change was rooted in some new-found, eco-friendly philosophy, but as much as he'd love to say that, his broccoli lifestyle is actually the result of health concerns: "I have high cholesterol, it's hereditary. When my doctor told me, I decided to change my diet rather than take drugs to lower it. And it's worked". Given that pragmatism, we doubted that Rob's green ways at the dinner table would change his love of big rides -- and we were right: "I wish I could say that I'm into green cars and stuff. I know a lot of people are going that way. But I love my old cars too much. One of my favorites is a 64 Cadillac they used in the film 48 Hours. The car gets a whole four miles to the gallon. Of course, I checked the price of gas in 1964, and it was only about 30 cents a gallon, so I guess filling up wasn't such a big deal."

His current set of wheels

Before Rob cut out -- we were both on iPhones, so a dropped call was inevitable -- we felt obligated to fire off three more questions: What do you roll in now? Is it a ragtop? Does your hair still blow? Rob was kind enough to laugh: "Man, I wish I still had that 5.0. But I'm not doing too bad: these days, I'm in a 2007 Rolls Royce Phantom. And yeah, the hair still blows." As proof of that last bit, here's a video of Rob in action, making an appearance alongside the British twins known as Jedward (whose hair is too stiff to blow) in their UK chart-topping cover of "Ice Ice Baby". Haters can mute the volume and focus their attention on the 'stang in the back:
Screencap from Jedward's 'Ice Ice Baby', featuring Vanilla Ice

Screencap from Jedward's 'Ice Ice Baby', featuring Vanilla Ice

Enlarge Photo
2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Enlarge Photo
2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Enlarge Photo

Robert Matthew Van Winkle is a busy guy: world traveler, restorer of vintage cars, avid motocross rider. And in his spare time, he grabs a microphone and performs under his stage name, Vanilla Ice.

Love him or hate him, Rob's smash hit, "Ice Ice Baby", defined a moment in pop music history. If you were around, you know it was inescapable: booming from cars, bubbling out of malls, escaping from the foam headsets of Sony Walkmans. It marked the emergence of hip hop as a style for the mainstream -- in fact, everyone from Eminem to the Black Eyed Peas owes a portion of their popularity to Rob's radio rap. But most importantly for car enthusiasts, "Ice Ice Baby" immortalized one of the baddest cars of the late 20th century: the Ford Mustang 5.0.

Since Ford is ramping up to relaunch the 5.0, we thought now was as good a time as any to catch up with Mr. Van Winkle and, as Fergie would say, reminisce on days when he had a mustang. Here's what we learned.

The origins of Rob's gearhead tendencies

Rob's father was a car salesman, and a damn good one. "He was always coming home with demo cars. He was a top salesman, so he was able to get pretty much anything he wanted." But dad wasn't just a big roller, he was a tinkerer, too. He passed on the futzing gene to Rob, who's been a grease monkey and gadget-guy all his life.

The origins of the "5.0" lyric

Rob grew up in Houston and southern Florida, so the guy spent a lot of time outdoors. He whiled away some of those hours doing normal kid stuff, but when he hit driving age, Rob could more often be found behind a steering wheel, racing friends and strangers. Rob had worked himself up to the legendary Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z 5.7, which was an awesome car, but not quite awesome enough: "I'd tricked it out with a Corvette motor, and I could smoke just about anything on the road. Well, anything but the 5.0." Rob's need for speed -- paired with his father's car connections -- helped put him in a Mustang 5.0, which he proceeded to accessorize in the style of the day: said Rob, "It was basically an airbox for my 15-inch subwoofers." Then we digressed briefly on the fashions of the late 80s, including Z-Cavaricci pants. (That portion of the interview has been redacted to prevent our own self-incrimination.)

His new, green eating habits

For the past three years, Rob has been vegetarian. We asked if this change was rooted in some new-found, eco-friendly philosophy, but as much as he'd love to say that, his broccoli lifestyle is actually the result of health concerns: "I have high cholesterol, it's hereditary. When my doctor told me, I decided to change my diet rather than take drugs to lower it. And it's worked".

Given that pragmatism, we doubted that Rob's green ways at the dinner table would change his love of big rides -- and we were right: "I wish I could say that I'm into green cars and stuff. I know a lot of people are going that way. But I love my old cars too much. One of my favorites is a 64 Cadillac they used in the film 48 Hours. The car gets a whole four miles to the gallon. Of course, I checked the price of gas in 1964, and it was only about 30 cents a gallon, so I guess filling up wasn't such a big deal."

His current set of wheels

Before Rob cut out -- we were both on iPhones, so a dropped call was inevitable -- we felt obligated to fire off three more questions: What do you roll in now? Is it a ragtop? Does your hair still blow? Rob was kind enough to laugh: "Man, I wish I still had that 5.0. But I'm not doing too bad: these days, I'm in a 2007 Rolls Royce Phantom. And yeah, the hair still blows."

As proof of that last bit, here's a video of Rob in action, making an appearance alongside the British twins known as Jedward (whose hair is too stiff to blow) in their UK chart-topping cover of "Ice Ice Baby". Haters can mute the volume and focus their attention on the 'stang in the back:

----------------------------------

This Will Blow You Away. Sneak Peek at The New Photoshop.




News just in that Adobe Creative Suite 5 will be released on April 12th, with shipping expected to start a month later.

As usual, CS5 will combine the very best features in graphics, video and Web design for professionals, for an extortionate price.

That said, have a watch of this video of just one of the new Photoshop’s capabilities. You will be blown away. This makes light work of what previous would have taken hours, maybe even days of work.

If you’re low on time, skip through to 2.50.

[Note: YouTube is Down which is why you might not be able to play this video.]

via John Nack on Adobe via Techmeme

ISS to get 'Man Cave' Complete with Robot Butler

Written by Nancy Atkinson

From http://www.universetoday.com/

Cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko floats inside Leonardo during its first flight to the ISS. Leonardo will become a permanant module later in 2010. Credit: NASA

There might be a new favorite hang-out for astronauts aboard the International Space Station later this year. The Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) known as Leonardo – which will be going to the ISS on the upcoming STS-131 mission carrying cargo and supplies — will be transformed after the mission into a Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), and brought up to stay on the station on STS-133 as a storeroom for supplies. But it might also become a haven to get away from it all.

"The thought is, the PMM might become sort of a 'man cave'," said Mike Kinslow, the Boeing payload manager out at Kennedy Space Center. "It won't have all the background noise of fans, computers and other equipment running like in the laboratories, so it will be a quieter atmosphere that might appeal to the astronauts during their off-duty hours."

No plans for a big screen TV Kinslow said, but there will be ports for computers, and since internet is now available on the ISS, Leonardo could be the location of choice to compose emails to loved ones back home, or do a little Twittering.

Another interesting piece of hardware scheduled to fly on the PMM is the Robonaut 2, NASA's second generation of dexterous robots with a human-like torso that can work with tools and one day are envisioned to be able to do EVA work outside the ISS. But for now, R2 will be tested inside the station in zero-g. "It will be used on orbit for routine maintenance indoors only." said Kinslow, "This is not an external unit."

It has a "head" with a vision system, with hands that can do work, controlled by virtual-reality-like operation. Any chance R2 could be programmed to serve drinks or bring food into the man cave?

See our article on how General Motors is going to use R2 for manufacturing cars.

Turning Leonardo into a permanent module will take some work, said NASA Payload Manager Joe Delai. "Once it returns from this flight we will beef up the external shield and change things internally to become a permanent module. It will be about a four month process to get it ready."

Leonard being attached to the ISS on a previous mission. Credit: NASA TV


The MPLMs were built in Italy, but are owned by the U.S. and provided in exchange for Italian access to U.S. research time on the Station. Four modules were built; three flew to the ISS. STS-131 will be Leonardo's seventh trip to space.

Kinslow said shields for an MPLM are lighter weight because they are only meant to be on orbit for 2 weeks at a time. "Leonardo will be plated with a multilevel Kevlar blanket, the same type of exterior shielding other modules have, which is similar to armor plating, to protect against meteorite or debris impact. Internally, not a lot of changes will be made," he said. "It already has a ventilation system like a normal module, but will need a computer system and a few other additions."

Leonardo won't be outfitted with a sleep station or crew quarters because it might be in a more vulnerable position for radiation or debris hits. "They don't really want crew to get in and sleep because of the shielding," Kinslow said. "It will be a storage module, and we're discussing putting exercise equipment in there."

The PMM will be berthed on the Node 1 nadir, or Earth-facing port. Leonardo measures about 6.5 meters (21 feet) long and 4.5 meters (15 feet) in diameter.

STS-131 is currently scheduled for an April 5 launch, and STS-133 is shooting for a September 2010 launch.

Just a note on the ISS internet: T.J. Creamer, who is on board the station now told Universe Today that they aren't able to have streaming video or download large files. "In terms of download speeds – you know, back in the old days, it kind of compares to 9.6 and the 14.4 kilobyte modems, so it's not really fast enough to do large file exchange or videos, but it certainly lets us to do browsing and the fun reading we want to do, or get caught up on current events on that day. It's a nice outreach for us, and of course you've heard about the Twittering which is a nice feature that we can partake in also."

James Cameron trashes Glenn Beck

'Avatar' director wants to debate Fox News host

By Alex Ben Block

From: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

Update: Beck responds (video)

"Avatar" director James Cameron lashed out at Glenn Beck at a news conference Tuesday, offering to debate the Fox News personality on environmental and political issues.

Asked what he thought about Beck during a junket appearance in support of the "Avatar" home video release, Cameron said: "Glenn Beck is a fucking asshole. I've met him. He called me the anti-Christ, and not about 'Avatar.' He hadn't even seen 'Avatar' yet. I don't know if he has seen it."

Cameron was apparently referring to Beck's reaction to his 2007 documentary, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," which casts doubt on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and makes the case that the ancient "Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries" belonged to Jesus' family.

After blasting Beck (audio at left), Cameron, surrounded by journalists inside a West Hollywood hillside mansion, seemed to reconsider: "I think, you know what, he may or may not be an asshole, but he certainly is dangerous, and I'd love to have a dialogue with him."

What makes Beck dangerous, THR asked Cameron at the junket.

"He's dangerous because his ideas are poisonous," Cameron answered. "I couldn't believe when he was on CNN. I thought, what happened to CNN? Who is this guy? Who is this madman? And then of course he wound up on Fox News, which is where he belongs, I guess."

Asked by THR if he felt the right wing's attacks against him were continuing, Cameron replied: "They're not attacks. They're just people ranting away, lost in their little bubbles of reality, steeped in their own hatred, their own fear and hatred. That's where it all comes from. Let's just call it out. Let's have a public discussion. That's what movies are supposed to do, you know, you can have a mindless entertainment film that doesn't affect anybody. I wasn't interested in that."

The "Avatar" director was equally unsparing in his comments about those who don't accept global warming as fact.

"That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."

Turning more serious, he added: "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I'm not sure they could hear me."

By making the environment the theme of his home video release plan, Cameron is sending a message.

"Look, at this point I'm less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that? I mean, look, I didn't make this movie with these strong environmental anti-war themes in it to make friends on the right, you know.

"They're not on my Christmas card list," Cameron added. "It's not going to change my lifestyle at all if they don't talk to me. But, you know, they've got to live in this world, too. And their children do as well, so they're going to have to be answerable to this at some point."

Fox had gathered nearly 100 journalists from around the world for a press junket that included a screening of four vivid video clips from the movie to show the quality of the conversion.

Cameron and "Avatar" producer Jon Landau opened the program by pledging an environmental theme to the release of "Avatar" into the home video market. The video release of "Avatar" is now set for April 22, which is not insignificantly Earth Day, as Beck is likely to notice.

While still working for CNN, Beck teed up an on-air interview with Cameron regarding "Tomb" with the following comment, according to a CNN transcript: "Many people believe James Cameron officially has tossed his hat in the ring today and is officially running for anti-Christ."

HTC EVO 4G is Sprint's Android-powered knight in superphone armor, we go hands-on

By Paul Miller
From http://www.engadget.com/
We've been rumoring a WiMAX "HTC Supersonic" for a while now, and Sprint just dropped the hard news: the phone will be dubbed the HTC EVO 4G, will be released this Summer and it's easily the best specced phone we've ever witnessed. The hardware is of quite obvious HD2 descent, but with Android onboard and some nice aesthetic tweaks, the EVO 4G takes on a life of its own. The handset is centered around a 480 x 800 4.3-inch TFT LCD, with a Snapdragon QSD8650 1GHz processor under the hood (the CDMA version of the QSD8250 in the HD2 and Nexus One), and even a helpful 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM -- hello app storage! Even the battery is bigger than the HD2, and the camera is an 8 megapixel monstrosity with flash, that's capable of 720p video, and is augmented by a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera for good measure. The phone features HDMI out (though you'll need an adapter for turning it into a TV-familiar HDMI plug), 802.11b/g WiFi, and an 8GB microSD card. There's that still-rare Android 2.1 underneath an updated version of HTC's Sense UI. But... despite all these wild features, what actually sets the EVO 4G apart is the fact that it's Sprint's first 4G phone. The handset runs a combo of EV-DO Rev. A and WiMAX, with calls still being made over CDMA and the EV-DO / WiMAX options for data. Interestingly, it sounds like concurrent data and voice use might be possible for the first time on CDMA carrier in this way (killing AT&T's well-advertised differentiator), though Sprint says that's still in the testing phase. One other new feature is the Sprint hotspot app, another MiFi-style connection sharing number, which is obviously aided greatly by the WiMAX on board and can support up to eight concurrent users. Follow after the break for our hands-on impressions and videos of the phone in action, including an up-close-and-personal test of the touchscreen keyboard. Below you'll find galleries of the phone by its lonesome and up against the Nexus One and iPhone 3G.

Update: We've got a graph comparing the Nexus One and Droid with the EVO spec for spec, and there's also a pictorial shootout with the Desire and HD2. Pick your comparo poison!
HTC EVO 4G press shots



HTC EVO 4G hands-on



HTC EVO 4G vs. iPhone vs. Nexus One



We got to play with the phone for an all-too-brief matter of minutes, but everything we saw was frankly breathtaking. The camera does seem to be indeed of a high quality (though we'll still be holding on to our compact shooter, thank you very much), the screen is naturally gorgeous, and the Sense UI was as responsive as we've seen it, and frankly delicious at this jumbo size. The capacitive face buttons are flat and almost a little difficult to see due the thin chrome icons, but the physical buttons (a volume rocker and a power button up top) are very large, tactile and friendly. Around back there's strong, chrome kick stand, and when you pop off the cover the battery is surrounded by beautiful "Ferrari red" plastic. The touchscreen keyboard is positively ginormous, though we're not sure we're feeling some of the recent things that have been crammed in there like huge cursor buttons and the voice recognition button -- just because you can fit stuff in there doesn't mean you should, and they look a little comical at this size. In our testing we weren't really able to get a feel for the browsing speed on WiMAX, but at this point we're primarily enthused that it's even an option, and obviously the theoretical speeds are far beyond 3G, with a bunch of new markets due to go online this year. Battery life is stated as "comparable."

Our biggest questions at this point are availability and pricing. Sprint is keeping mum, just stating a "Summer" availability, and interestingly clarified that not only is it not announcing device pricing, but it's not announcing plan pricing yet either -- sounds like a 4G-on-a-phone surcharge could be somewhere in our future.




sourceSprint

48 Parenting FAILs (Pictures) | Fork Party

FeedM8 - Go Mobile