Heres What Happened Today Thursday

first_imgFinancial woes have led to an increase in calls to suicide helplines by farmers.It is estimated that Irish families will spend an average of €894 this Christmas. More than any other European nation.Direct Democracy Ireland claimed founder Ben Gilroy was portrayed on radio as being anti-English. The BAI disagreed.A judge ruled that it was “entirely improper” that a mother contacted a Dáil deputy in relation to an ongoing court case.WORLD#ECB: Another record low. The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 per cent this afternoon.#SNOWDEN: “Al-Qaeda is lapping it up.” British spy chiefs said today that intelligence leaks by Edward Snowden were being used by enemies to change the way they operate.#PAKISTAN: The Taliban have named Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack. Fazlullah’s men are known to have shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. [BBC]INNOVATION Water supplies for Dubliners are back to normal tonight as restrictions were lifted.The Revenue Commissioners have defended their handling of the property tax saying they assumed people would be familiar with payment options.Gardaí are investigating the discovery of the body of an elderly man in Co. Cork.Over three-quarters of people intend to support the same-sex marriage referendum according to the first poll since its announcement .In 1963, The Beatles played in Dublin and Belfast – and today marks the 50th anniversary of that milestone gig. Updated 23:00NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news.The Beatles relaxing over tea in London in 1963. The famous four-piece played in Dublin 50 years ago tonight. Pic: AP/Press Association Images.IRISHMichael Noonan called it a “red letter day” as the Troika completed their final review of Ireland’s bailout programme but the IMF’s Ireland Mission Chief says they’re not leaving yet.Samantha Azzopardi, the woman found outside the GPO last month, is to be flown back to Australia tonight. PARTING SHOTIn what must be one of the greatest achievements by an Irish professional sportsperson, Tony McCoy rode his 4,000th winner today. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.First published 21:00. Twitter’s stock surged on the first day of trading, jumping 73 per cent as they opened. The sale avoided much of the missteps experienced by Facebook at its launch last year. [New York Times]3D printers have got a lot of bad press recently, but this robotic arm capable of boosting a person’s lifting power by 18kg, was made by one and has won the 2013 Dyson award.last_img read more

139 people slept rough in Dublin on 12 November

first_imgUpdated 10.28amTHE LATEST ROUGH sleeper count for Dublin is disappointing and unacceptable, according to the Peter McVerry Trust.On 12 November, there were 139 people sleeping rough in the city. That is an increase of 45 people since April this year.It is a stark reminder of the difficulties that many people face, says the homeless charity. It is also an important element of the Cold Weather Initiative which was launched by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive on 1 November.Commenting on the numbers, chief executive Pat Doyle said the organisation had increased capacity in its homeless accommodation services “in anticipation of rising rough sleep figures”.“We have added 10 new beds for homeless couples, the first such service within Peter McVerry Trust and have added a further 12 beds for young homeless people aged 18 to 26.”The new beds brings to 265 the number of individuals being housed by the Trust each night.There are also efforts being made to increase the number of emergency bed placements being provided as part of the Cold Weather Initiative. Currently, there are 80 beds available on a nightly basis.Recent events in Bray and the Phoenix Park have highlighted the dangers associated with sleeping rough.Breaking down the numbersOf the 139 people confirmed to be sleeping rough on any given night in Dublin, 80 per cent (111) are male, 14 per cent (20) female and 6 per cent (8) unknown.More than half were Irish, while another 39 were not from the island.There was a large variance in age groups, with about one quarter of the 139 aged between 18 and 30 years old, another 27 per cent in their 30s and 22 per cent in their 40s. At least 12 people were between the ages of 51 and 60, with another three over the age of 61.Of the people counted, 87 had previously accessed homeless accommodation and support.The Cold Weather Initiative runs until the end of March next year.The executive has urged landlords and renters to resolve disputes quickly to ensure rows do not end in temporary homelessness.First published 7.57amRead: Man to appear in court charged with Phoenix Park murderMore: Simon Community says Phoenix Park death highlights the vulnerability of the homelessRead: Concerns about homelessness raised after body found in Bray car parklast_img read more

Column How to score an F on your first date

first_imgBelieve it or not, I have heard examples of all of the above. If you’re a man and you want the winning formula to a successful first date then it’s simple: arrive on time, showered and in clean clothes, make conversation, leave your phone on silent, be positive, have good manners, at least offer to pay the bill, and get her home in one piece. Boom.(*Don’t worry – there’s a set of tips for women coming soon!)Rena Maycock is the founder of Intro matchmaking, a nationwide matchmaking service based in Dublin which has arranged more than 3,000 matches. Column: No one wants to utter the ‘C’ word – but it’s a barrier to blossoming romanceColumn: Is online dating keeping us from settling down?We’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email Being late. Sauntering up 35 minutes late for your date and making no attempt to apologise is never a good idea. Sure she should be delighted you’ve bothered to show up at all, right? Wrong. You might think it’s a clever “treat ‘em mean keep ‘em keen” tactic but any girl worth having will just think you’re not capable of telling the time.Pretending you don’t want to be there. Using phrases such as “ah my friends push me into these things but I’ve no idea why, I’ve no problem getting women” isn’t going to fool anyone. She knows you’re eager – otherwise you wouldn’t be there – and pretending otherwise just makes you look like a fool.Bad presentation. For the love of God – bathe, wear clean clothes, and brush your hair. Do not arrive in yesterday’s clothes with food down your front or stinking of a hard day’s manual labour. Women make a big effort getting ready for a date, the least you could do is arrive clean.Making no effort. Dating is hard work. You must TRY to generate topics of conversation. Simply arriving doesn’t entitle you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show as if you’re sitting opposite a performing seal – you must take part and do your fair share of the talking. Conversely, if you see yourself as the interviewer, you’ve failed already so forget those survey-style list of questions – you’ll come across as the loser that’s been on 150 first dates that nobody else wanted to see again.Using your phone. Nothing says “you’re boring me” like someone taking or making  a phonecall during the date. Let’s face it, you can wait an hour or two for a more mannerly time to speak. Narcissists commonly (and incorrectly) think that taking or making calls makes them seem somehow more popular/busy/important. They are wrong. It’s just rude.Moan, moan and moan some more. If you find yourself using your date as an opportunity to bitch about your ex-wife/girlfriend, your job, the dating scene, the rain or the new iPhone OS – you need to get yourself to a therapist so you can get it all out before your date. Nobody likes a whinger, everyone wants positivity. On the other hand, if your goal is to achieve “My worst ever date” status with as many women as possible, then by all means continue being a negatron and get out on as many first dates as you can with poor unsuspecting women.Forgeting all of your table manners. The next time you’re out for a meal, see if you chew with your mouth open, pick food out of your teeth, pick your nose/ear, break wind or start your meal before everyone at the table has their food in front of them. If you do any of these things you have a problem. If you do more than one, you may never find a woman to meet you for a second date. Whether you like it or not, a woman will decide during your first dinner date whether you have the ability to be civilised – and, unless you’re Ryan Gosling, if your manners are bad she will likely think you’re not worth the time investment to make them tolerable.Being rude to the staff. If you make a habit of clicking your fingers to get a waitress’s attention or complain that the “food is all too fancy” or that you ordered your Grey Goose three minutes ago and you STILL don’t have it, then you’re probably being pegged as the most obnoxious date she’s ever had. Be courteous, it will never do you wrong.Not offering to pay the bill. All of the below actions are equally as shameful and are sure to result in a long and lonely life:  examining the bill and pointing out to the waiter that you ordered the extra portion of chips but didn’t get them so they should come off; getting your phone out, totting up your soup and Mi Wadi and leaving EXACTLY that amount; taking the tip that she has left up off the table and pocketing it; ordering the bill and then conveniently needing to visit the gents; when she leaves half the bill, complaining that she had a glass of wine so she owes more. The number one thing women don’t want in a man is tighfistedness so if you show any signs of meanness you’ll never see her again.Not caring if she lives or dies. Women love a gentleman, and part of being a gentleman, or indeed any sort of man is being a little protective. If you send your date off on her merry way without bothering to escort her to her car or flag her a cab, you really don’t deserve her time. I’VE WORKED WITH a lot of women and men looking for love. Some problems come up over and over again – so here’s some feedback from women on what they DON’T want in a man*: the idiot’s guide to an epic first date “F”ail.If you’re a man on the dating scene and for some reason she’s never interested in rendezvous #2, perhaps you’re doing one or two of these things…last_img read more

Column 5 ways to get a career that makes you happy

first_imgTHE WORKPLACE IS changing and so are we. We are all living longer and looking for work to support our lifestyle and that we can continue to work in past the traditional retirement age. We are also looking for work that meets our psychological needs and will allow us to be satisfied and happy – both now and in the future.It’s important that we realise that our career and its direction is managed by ourselves and not by an employer. To manage your career, it is vital to start with a process of self-refection so that you can know yourself and your ambitions clearly. By looking at your career plans in a holistic way and taking some time to really understand yourself, making a decision about your future career path becomes easier. You will find that you will also have more confidence in any transition that needs to be made.Here are five ways of getting to know yourself better so you can plan a career that makes you happy.1. Review your values.Values are beliefs and they affect your attitudes and goals and, ultimately, your behaviour. Understanding your values will enable you to reflect on what is important to you and why it is important. Also knowing the priority of your own values will serve as a guideline for your career goals.  Be clear what is important to you in your career – for example do you want satisfaction, autonomy, financial success, flexibility, promotion, status, or a challenge? ( to name just a few examples).List what is important to you in your career and your wider life and be clear about this as you then think of what type of job you might go for. If you want flexibility and a physical challenge then maybe a corporate office job is not for you, whereas if you want teamwork and security then it may suit you. If you find that values such as freedom, autonomy, independence, then it may be worth considering career options such as self-employment, consultancy or a portfolio career.2.   Identity Often when we meet someone, the first question we ask or get asked is ‘what do you do?’ and we then describe our job. However, we can all wear a few identities in our life. Consider all your identities – some examples may be sister, mother, brother, husband, football player, friend, accountant, volunteer, salesperson, IT consultant etc. Think about how you act, portray or are perceived in all these roles, and you can realise that you have a different perception of each of these roles.If you reflect on each identity and try to understand what you feel about one, or what you like about it, or even why you thought of that identity.  This is a step to understanding yourself and learning to see what fits you best..3. StrengthsReflect on your past career history and consider your own strengths and specific areas you enjoyed in past roles. What tasks or projects from your past did you enjoy or did you excel at? Where there certain environments or groups or people did you work best with? What key achievements can you think of? Thinking about this will give you ideas for further career opportunities that would match times you were working in line with your preferred strengths and abilities.4.   NetworkNetworking is now even more critical to future success, but you should also ensure you are strategic about where you network and who you want to meet. You should network to find out what others are doing, or to get inspiration for career opportunities. If you have an idea for a possible role or career that may suit you, then find a network where people who are working in that sector do attend. Prepare your questions and then find someone who does that role and ask them about it.Networking, as well as building contacts, will allow you to research and learn from others. Support effective networking with having contact/business cards ready to swap with new acquaintances and ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.5. Think outside the boxHave you considered other ways of working, rather than just full time with one employer? Can you work part time in your current role? Is your ideal career made up of a portfolio of three or four different jobs? Do you need to retrain? Have you got an idea for a lifestyle career? Can you skills be used in a different sector? Can you collaborate with others on a business idea?Technology and changing workplaces are allowing different opportunities to the way we work so don’t just think of the one perfect job… there may be more than one!Clare Mulligan is an Organisational Psychologist and researches workplace trends and the impact these trends and demographic shifts for the way we work. She uses her business experience and psychological insights to provide a new approach to career development, with a special focus on encouraging individuals to take a holistic view of their life and career to find careers that suit their whole life, including exploring possible self-employment, portfolio careers or consultancy/freelancing. This training is often used to meet the values of Generation Y, but also people facing redundancy and retirement.Clare can be contacted at or via her website www.claremulliganconsulting.ielast_img read more

Oireachtas agenda Flooding Magdalenes and child benefit

first_imgWHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILPat Rabbitte begins the weeks at 2pm with Questions to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources before the main event of Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm and an hour of Questions to the Taoiseach right afterwards. Topical Issues are discussed shortly after 5pm.At about 6pm the Dáil resumes debating the inter-departmental report into State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries, setting aside about 90 minutes so that members other than party leaders and justice spokespersons can have their say on the report.At 7:30pm attention turns to the first of two 90-minute sessions of debate on a motion from the Technical Group, demanding that the government abandon its plans to sell felling rights to forests on Coillte land. The day ends at 9pm with more debate on the motion tomorrow.The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADThe Seanad’s daily Order of Business (2:30pm) is cut from 75 minutes to 30, allowing an hour of debate on the report of the advisory group on tax and social welfare (the one which recommends the two-tier child benefit system) at 3pm.At 4pm Lucinda Creighton leads a discussion on Ireland’s EU Presidency and how it’s gone so far.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESThere are three committee meetings holding public sittings today: At 2pm, the committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine continues its discussion on the use of commonage lands and plans to encourage the most eco-friendly practices on farms. This week the input comes from the IFA. Before that it’ll discuss the EU’s proposals for fisheries quotas for 2013 and 2014. (Watch here.)The Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation meets at 2:15pm when Richard Bruton visits to discuss the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, the progress made in it, and what will be done under the 2013 edition. (Watch here.)Also at 2:15pm, the Environment committee meets the Irish Rural Dwellers Association to discuss the difficulties that people living in flood-prone areas have in getting insurance.Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img read more

Prohibition When alcohol was banned in America

first_imgIF YOU LIVED in the United States in the 1920s, and wanted to celebrate with a glass of champagne or rum, you had just a few options open to you: find a speakeasy, or a friend who knew good bootleggers and didn’t fear the law.From 1920 – 1933, the sale, manufacture and transportation of liquor (alcohol) was banned, just as the Roaring Twenties were about to get swinging. The 80th anniversary of the repeal of the amendment that led to the ban was marked in April of this year, coincidentally as a film about the excess of the age, the Great Gatsby, was about to be released in cinemas.Pic: SarahDeer/FlickrPic: SarahDeer/Flickr With a rise in drinking levels following the American Revolution, the temperance movement – including groups like the Anti-Saloon League – became concerned. Was alcohol to blame for violence, murders, and all-round bad behaviour?Pic: Wikimedia CommonsInterestingly, women played a large role in encouraging people to adopt temperance as a way of life, at a time when they themselves were not afforded the right of suffrage.However, of course it was not the case that every woman supported the move, as this protest showed: there were plenty of women who wanted their beer back.An anti-prohibition parade and demonstration in Newark, New Jersey, October 1932. Pic: AP PhotoPressure from the evangelical Protestant churches and the spread of temperance groups did not go unnoticed by legislators, and the 18th amendment to the US constitution was made in 1919. It came into effect on 16 January 1920, and banned alcohol outright.The amendment was clarified by the Volstead Act. It set out the terms of the law, which notably allowed people to drink alcohol if it was permitted by a doctor.A prescription for medicinal liquor. Pic: Wikimedia CommonsDid Prohibition work? These Ohio State University statistics appear to show it did reduce the amount of people drinking alcohol – but only for a few years after its repeal.Pic: AP PhotoOf course, the fact that alcohol was banned meant that it became even more enticing. To get around it, ‘speakeasies’ (illegal bars) were created and alcohol was smuggled to these secret bars around the country.The largest distillery ever uncovered in Detroit was raided and prohibition officers are seen inspecting tanks and vats in one part of the plant, in January 1931. Pic: AP PhotoSome people came up with rather enterprising ways to conceal their illicit goods:Estelle Zemon, left, and an unidentified woman model ways to conceal bottles of rum to get past customs officials during the U.S. alcohol prohibition, March 18, 1931. Pic: AP PhotoEstelle Zemon shows the vest and pant-apron used to conceal bottles of alcohol to deceive border guards during the U.S. alcohol prohibition on March 18, 1931. Pic: AP PhotoAlongside this came the rise of the gangster, with mobster Al Capone being one of the era’s most notorious men. There was money to be made in smuggling and selling alcohol, and gangsters were quick to take advantage.Chicago mobster Al Capone. Pic: AP Photo/FileThe threat of the Prohibition agents, who were sent to raid speakeasies and arrest those breaking the law, was not enough of a deterrent.State police who hunt rum runners during prohibition, in 1924. Pic: AP PhotoThis month saw the release of the film the Great Gatsby, the interpretation of the F Scott Fitzgerald classic novel. It is set in 1922, during the Prohibition era and also the Jazz Age, when jazz music became a movement, flappers emerged as a female force to be reckoned with, and bootlegging kept gangsters in money and people intoxicated.Author Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald poses with his wife Zelda Sayre and his daughter Scottie in their apartment in Paris, France on July 16, 1925. Pic: AP PhotoIt was a time when modernity ruled, and cars, celebrity and music held a distinct cultural and economic power. In the post World War I USA, just as the 20th century came into its own, the pursuit of this modernity changed things forever.The USA was the richest country in the world, things were booming, and even the law wouldn’t stop people from partying. But as the Great Gatsby showed, the American Dream could sometimes be as discomfiting as a nightmare.Actress Joan Crawford is seen dancing the Charleston in the lead role in “Our Dancing Daughters” in Hollywood, 1928. Pic: AP PhotoThe Great Depression brought the Jazz Age to a crashing end, when the stock market crash of Black Tuesday 1929 ushered in a new, darker era for the United States. As businesses suffered, unemployment soared, and the nation’s mood dropped, the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment grew.Pic: Minnesota Historical Society/FlickrThe amendment to the US Constitution was finally repealed in 1933 – the very first, and so far only, time for this to happen.When Prohibition was officially ended, the celebrations were enormous. But the clinking of glasses and imbibing of alcohol took a different tone that night: for the first time in 13 years, it was legal.A crowd gathers on Broadway to celebrate the repeal of prohibition after midnight in New York City, April 7, 1933. Pic: AP PhotoRead: Is The Great Gatsby any good? Here’s the answer…>last_img read more

Scientists decode DNA of living fossil fish believed extinct for 70 million

first_imgSCIENTISTS HAVE DECODED the DNA of a celebrated “living fossil” fish, gaining new insights into how today’s mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds evolved from a fish ancestor.The African coelacanth (SEE-lah-kanth) is closely related to the fish lineage that started to move toward a major evolutionary transformation, living on land. And it hasn’t changed much from its ancestors of even 300 million years ago, researchers said.At one time, scientists thought coelacanths died out some 70 million years ago. But in a startling discovery in 1938, a South African fish trawler caught a living specimen. Its close resemblance to its ancient ancestors earned it the “living fossil” nickname.And in line with that, analysis shows its genes have been remarkably slow to change, an international team of researchers reported earlier this week in the journal Nature.Maybe that’s because the sea caves where the coelacanth lives provide such a stable environment, said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, senior author of the paper and a gene expert at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Two endangered speciesModern coelacanths make up two endangered species that live off the east coast of Africa and off Indonesia. They grow to more than five feet long and have fleshy fins.The coelacanth’s DNA code, called its genome, is slightly smaller than a human’s. Using it as a starting point, the researchers found evidence of changes in genes and in gene-controlling “switches” that evidently aided the move onto land. They involve such things as sense of smell, the immune system and limb development.Further study of the genome may give more insights into the transition to living on land, they said. Their analysis concluded that a different creature, the lungfish, is the closest living fish relative of animals with limbs, like mammals, but they said the lungfish genome is too big to decode.The water-to-land transition took tens of millions of years, with limbs developing in primarily aquatic animals as long as nearly 400 million years ago, by some accounts, and a true switchover to life on land by maybe 340 million years ago, said researcher Ted Daeschler.Daeschler, curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, who didn’t participate in the new work, said genome research provides a way to tackle some previously unanswerable questions in evolution.He emphasized that DNA is best used in combination with fossils.‘Great detective tool’“This is a great detective tool,” he said. “You might collect DNA evidence at a crime scene, but you can’t ignore the dead body…. With paleontology, we have the dead bodies.”Read: Bray Sea Life to display largest collection of seahorses in Ireland >last_img read more

Shatter I was breathalysed but hadnt done anything wrong

first_imgJUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has sought to clarify the nature of an incident where he was breathalysed by Gardaí.Shatter says the incident – brought to light by Mattie McGrath in the Dáil this morning – actually happened “in 2009, or possibly late 2008″ at Pembroke Street in Dublin.McGrath raised the issue during this morning’s Leaders’ Questions, asking if either the Taoiseach or Tánaiste were aware of an incident where Shatter was stopped and breathalysed by Gardaí.The Tipperary South TD had claimed that the incident took place sometime between the 2011 general election, on February 25 of that year, and Shatter’s appointment as a minister on March 9.“No such event occurred at the time stated by the Deputy,” Shatter said in a statement this evening, saying he did recall a separate incident at a mandatory checkpoint.“There was a queue of motorists and when I was reached, like those before me, my Road Tax and Insurance discs were checked and I was asked to exhale into a breathalyser,” he said.“I did so, but failed to fully complete the task due to my being asthmatic. I explained this to the Garda.I also explained that I was on my way home from Dáil Éireann and that I had consumed no alcohol of any nature that day. The Garda consulted with another and I was waved on.There was no question of my having consumed any alcohol, nor of my having committed any offence under the Road Traffic Acts. The minister said he had not heard any further mention of the incident until it was mentioned in the Dáil today.Shatter also clarified the nature of an incident he had mentioned during Tuesday night’s discussion of his disclosure of the incident where Mick Wallace had been warned by Gardaí for using a mobile phone while driving.He said that incident was on Ormond Quay along Dublin’s north quays at 11:30am one morning “some years ago”.“A Garda on a motorbike stopped by my car and directed me to roll down my window and informed me I should not be in a bus lane,” he said.I explained that the signage detailed that all vehicles could travel in it between 10am and 12 noon.  No more was said and he moved on.Read: Greater protections for whistleblowers after penalty points furorelast_img read more

Six illegal taxi drivers stopped during money laundering investigation

first_imgCannabis resin estimated to be worth £1,500 seized.£800 cash seized.Six illegal taxi drivers stopped and spoken to regarding various offences.Six people detected working whilst claiming benefits.More than 60 road traffic and motoring related offences being investigated.One vehicle seized for using suspected “red” diesel.One illegal gaming machine seized. POLICE INVESTIGATING MONEY laundering stopped a number of suspected illegal taxis yesterday.The PSNI is conducting an investigation into suspected money laundering and illegal taxis in association with a number of partner agencies.Detectives from Serious Crime Branch searched some business and residential properties in west Belfast and Co Down yesterday and stopped a number of suspected illegal taxis.This resulted in: A number of other items were removed for further examination, said the police.In relation to the drugs seizure, a 52-year-old man charged with possession of cannabis and possession with intent to supply. He will appear at Downpatrick Court on 24 July.last_img read more

Gardaí write lengthy Facebook post laden with Garth Brooks puns

first_imgExtensive inquiries and investigations have been carried out which suggests this male might be in the vicinity of Croke Park for 1 ,2 or possibly 5 days over the week end. This however has now been eliminated as a possibility.Stop. Our sides.Fair play Gardaí. Fair play.Open thread: What are you doing instead of going to the Garth Brooks concerts>The very best of the Garda Traffic Twitter account> Source: Mark HumphreyWITHOUT GOING TOO much into it, we all know that a certain someone was supposed to kick off a few gigs at a certain stadium in Dublin this evening.He’s, er, not coming, but there is a replacement gig taking place in Dalymount Park tomorrow evening.The Gardaí have gone all out to give the promotion of the gig (in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital) a push with the following message on Facebook.They’ve managed to shoehorn SO many song titles in there.And this… this is priceless:last_img read more

WETA Workshop builds Valve a working Team Fortress 2 sentry gun

first_imgValve Software’s frenetic, quirky, almost Pixar-like team-based mutliplayer shooter Team Fortress 2 has a lot of fans, but one in-game Engineer showed his love for Valve and their game with the ultimate gesture: by giving Valve their own working, life-sized Team Fortress 2 Sentry Gun. Of course, a project of this magnitude wasn’t created by just any fan. In fact, it was lovingly assembled by the guys over at New Zealand’s WETA workshop, which is the special effects and CGI house responsible for the cutting-edge effects in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar and District 9, amongst others. The gun itself is a level 1 Sentry Gun from Team Fortress 2, and it does everything short of rip enemy spies and heavies into gelatinous ribbons: not only can it detect movement and track targets, but it also lights up and makes authentic Team Fortress 2 sentry gun sounds. Absolutely incredible. The only way it could get any better is if you could upgrade it by banging on it with a wrench. Maybe you can, but somehow i doubt any of the Valve guys want to give that a try.Read more at Technaboblast_img read more

Awesome video particle player created in Flash

first_imgRalph Hauwert is a creative director expert who has a long history of creating websites, toys, innovative apps, and is generally someone who likes to experiment with technology.He has done a lot of experiments using Adobe Flash and made them available on his website UnitZeroOne. Those experiments include a 2D voxel column twister, a particle reactor, a tiny Commodore 64 music player, and a bunch of work with 3D such an interactive vertexmap. But his latest project is in my opinion one of his best.It’s called a video particle generator and it does exactly as the name suggests: reproduces a video source out of particles. While that may not sound amazing on its own, when you consider the particles are being generated in real-time from the video, and that this is running in Flash, it’s an achievement worth shouting about.There are three videos to watch, but I think Action Figure – Slowmotion is the best, especially when people start getting punched in the head. The particle reaction to that action looks fantastic. There’s also an experimental YouTube video playback option.The pictures here don’t do the effect justice, so head over to the UnitZeroOne website and start watching. Hauwert has also included some sliders so you can mess with the particles. The options include the ability to:DampenForceRetentionTrailGradientRead more at UnitZeroOne, via HNlast_img read more

Sugarcane Biofuel Fields Actually Cool Air

first_imgWhile biofuel is one of the many potential options to replace gasoline, it’s not without it’s problems. Namely the sheer amount of land and water resources that are required to grow enough crops to create the fuel. But one of those crops actually has an environmental benefit.Recent research shows that sugarcane grown in Brazil actually cooled the landscape. By looking at satellite data scientists were able to determine that while other types of crops actually warmed up the air by 1.6 °C, sugarcane caused things to cool down by 0.9 °C.AdChoices广告But according to Scott Loarie from the Carnegie Institution for geek-cetera, while the cooling effect is good, growing sugarcane to use as a biofuel still takes up land that would otherwise be used to grow food. This in turn would likely mean that more land would need to be converted for farming, which would negate the cooling benefits of the sugarcane.Via New Scientistlast_img read more

LulzSecs last data dump includes data about Battlefield Heroes NATO AOL and

first_imgLulzSec‘s goodbye message said that their 50-day term had run its course, that they were finished, and that they would lend their support to Anonymous going forward. It’s become apparent that what the group has really done is simply meld back into Anonymous, but their last data dump included some interesting information from law enforcement agencies and gaming companies, two of the group’s favorite targets.Among the data in the last dump were a CSV of over 550,000 Battlefield Heroes beta users, complete with account credentials. Also in the dump are about 50,000 “random gaming forum” accounts which haven’t been specified, but most people assume are EA forum accounts.AdChoices广告EA, in a statement, said that all of the information is outdated and doesn’t pose a threat to players. They said the accounts and credentials are from “an early beta version” of Battlefield Heroes, and reiterated that no personal information about the players behind those accounts were compromised.The dump also included information from the NATO e-Bookshop, a site affiliated with but not operated directly by the alliance. NATO said in their own statement that the site had been shut down and subscribers notified that their information may have been compromised. They went out of their way to point out that the e-Bookshop does not store classified or sensitive information of any type.Also buried in the dump are internal documents from AOL and AT&T, as well as imagery from a defacement of the US Navy’s website. None of the information released in the last dump is as bombastic as some of LulzSec’s prior reveals, but there’s definitely a great deal of data to sift through.It’s also worth noting that some of the data released by LulzSec contained a Trojan. Anonymous went out of their way to defend LulzSec, and said that if there was a Trojan in the data, it came from AT&T that way: they claim that neither they or LulzSec examined the data before releasing it.via PCMag and Joystiqlast_img read more

Sprints iPhone 4S page is live unlimited data plans confirmed

first_imgIf you want to start getting used to the idea of seeing a Sprint logo next to the iPhone, here you go. After staying initially quiet following Tuesday’s iPhone 4S announcement, Sprint has now updated their website with information on the updated phone. As we reported earlier, they are continuing to offer unlimited data plans for the iPhone. The plans don’t appear to have changed from those that Sprint has been recently offering for other smartphones.The carrier’s info about the iPhone 4S is basically identical to that on Apple’s site. Highlighting Siri, the A5 processor, the upgraded camera, iOS 5, and iCloud, it all looks quite familiar.Not surprisingly, they are pitching the uncapped data offering as their network’s biggest perk. Taking a direct stab at Sprint’s rivals, their site highlights both AT&T and Verizon only offering 2GB of data and charging you extra past that limit.The carrier’s plans, as you can see below, are exactly what Sprint customers have been offered for a while now. Packages start at $69.99 for 450 voice minutes, and unlimited data and messaging. A similar plan, but with 900 minutes, can be had for $99.99, and an unlimited everything offer will cost you $109.99.Sprint, of course, will become the third US carrier to sell the iPhone, after AT&T and Sprint. Their network is the only one of the three that still offers unlimited data.All versions of the 4S will be available for online pre-order on this Friday, October 7, at 12:01 am PST. The phone will be available the following Friday, October 14.Sprint via Electronistalast_img read more

Handson with the CAT B10 rugged Android phone

first_imgSmartphones are entirely impractical on a construction site. After all, what hope does your smartphone on a job site when it can barely survive day-to-day life without a case? For those of us who want a smartphone, but also need it to survive life outdoors, it has to be ruggedized and nearly indestructible. While several companies have tried in the past, there hasn’t been that one really amazing phone that I would recommend. Caterpillar, who is the name in heavy duty construction equipment, has entered the smartphone arena with the B10 rugged smartphone.Built with the job site in mindWhen you put the B10 in your hands, you are holding a nearly 1-inch thick rubbery brick. Squeeze it, try to bend it, the phone will offer you nothing in return. Even the 3.2-inch Asahi screen is no slouch, as a competitor to Corning and their Gorilla Glass they are up to the challenge. The face of the phone offers you an answer and hang up button, as well as a bright yellow home button. Each of these buttons are large enough that you can press them with gloves on, and require you to put some pressure in to press the button.On the top of the phone you have the power button and the headphone jack, with a rubber stopper to help make it water resistant. Additional waterproofing measures include a rubber stopper for the microUSB port, which was recessed so far in that most microUSB cables you find at the store won’t actually reach the port. Along the opposite side of the phone from this port is a dedicated camera button and a dedicated flashlight button. The flashlight button activates the camera flash on the back of the phone any time the phone is powered on.The 5MP camera on the front and VGA front camera on this phone are nothing to write home to, but they get the job done. Both lenses are protected on either side with rugged impact rubber, making it far less likely that the cameras will break.The B10 comes with a massive 2000mAh battery, which will power that tiny screen and 800MHz Snapdragon SoC inside for quite awhile. The battery itself is protected by a thick metal door that is screwed into place by two screws. If you’ve got a decent fingernail or a quarter you can get the backplate off in about a minute.Just above the camera is a notch in the rubber and plastic for a lanyard style hold, which is for the heavy duty wrist cable the phone comes with.Stock Android with some CAT onboardThe CAT B10 runs stock Android 3.2 right now, but there are some talk about CAT implementing a few software tweaks for the device before it is launched. In lieu of that change, the phone has five different CAT apps installed. Some of them are things like a parts catalog or a helpdesk for CAT equipment. These apps really just re-direct to a mobile website or take you to a very basic list app.While those apps are still being polished, there’s also a CAT Toolbox app. The Toolbox is filled with apps like rangefinders, levels, and a calculator. It is expected that all of these apps will be on the device when it launches, but right now they are all fairly unpolished.The CAT B10 also has a range of use-case specific sensors on-board to make the phone even more useful on a job site. The first of which being an NFC chip, which among other things would allow the user to check in to a job site by tapping the phone to an NFC panel at the entryway to the site. The representative from CAT said that NFC is becoming increasingly more useful in this arena, and so put the chip in the phone for this use specifically. There weren’t any apps on board to control the NFC chip, but it is expected that something will be included at launch. On top of this, the phone is equipped with several pressure sensors for safety on the job site. If an unfortunate accident occurs, and a worker is crushed, the phone will respond to the massive increase in pressure and send out an emergency notification to the responsible parties on the job site.Final ThoughtsIn my opinion, none of the rugged smartphones I have seen so far hold a candle to the CAT B10. The phone is amazingly sturdy and highly functional. Aside from placing it right under a jackhammer, I can’t see how someone would break this phone even on a dangerous job site. There’s no official date or price for the CAT B10 aside from “soon, we hope”, but this phone is absolutely work keeping an eye out for if you are in an industry that would benefit from this kind of protection.CAT B10 CameraCAT B10 CameraCAT B10 RearCAT B10 AppsCAT B10 FlashlightCAT B10 FrontCAT B10 BottomCAT B10 SideCAT B10 TopCAT B10 Open BackCAT B10 Open RearCAT B10 Boot Screenlast_img read more

Google Glass XE8 update adds video player new voice commands

first_imgGoogle’s monthly update spree with Glass has continued into version XE8, with a fresh batch of features for the wearable computer.Glass updates happen at a seemingly random point in each month, but they always bring something new to the headset based on the 10,000+ Glass Explorers out in the world right now. Google’s big updates for this version focus first with Google Now, introducing new cards to the left hand side of the UI for the first time. Glass will now pull Movie showtimes, restaurants, and emergency alerts alongside the existing traffic, weather, and sports notifications.Just like Google Now on the phone, these updates appear only when you are within range or have searched for something relevant to the results while logged into your Google account.Google’s main menu for Glass got a UI tweak during the last update, to make it easier to issue commands with your voice or just use your hand on the touch panel. This update brings speech to text based “Take a note” and “Post an update” commands that can be issued from the main menu. There’s also new contextual voice commands in the Navigation app, like the ability to show the route overview and the stop command for directions. These commands currently only connect to Evernote and Path respectively, but developers have been given new tools to add these commands to their existing apps with a warning that Glass users will be able to use voice commands to trigger “all sorts of services” soon.Finally for this update is a video player. In the last update, users quickly clung to the ability to watch video through the browser, but the experience was often somewhat clumsy. A dedicated video player app, which currently only works with your videos or videos from the CNN app, relies on the touch panel for quick control once playback has started. To compliment this, there’s now also a volume control card in the settings app.Glass Explorers will start getting this update once their Glass is connected to power over the next couple of days.last_img read more

Apple recall MacBook Air at risk of catastrophic SSD failure

first_imgIf you own a mid-2012 MacBook Air, the thin, black strip pictured above is what’s storing all your precious data. And if it was made by Toshiba like the one shown, there’s a chance that it could die on you and take all your data with it.Apple has issued a recall for the defective drives, which were used in the mid-2012 revision of the MacBook Air. Only 64GB and 128GB drives are affected. The 256GB drive Apple chose for the Air was manufactured by Samsung and isn’t experiencing the same issue.How do you find out if your MacBook Air is affected? For starters, you can check how much built-in storage it has. If you ponied up for the much more expensive 256GB Air, you can breathe a sigh of relief and move on.Those of you with a smaller drive — and who bought your Air between June 2012 and June 2013 — will want to head to the App Store and download Apple’s latest SSD firmware update (version 1.1). It’ll automatically check to see if your drive is at risk and redirect you to the Apple recall page if you need a replacement.Was your drive blackballed by the utility? Apple’s preaching caution while you wait for your new drive, saying that you should back up regularly until it arrives.That’s certainly good advice, but you shouldn’t just stop once the new drive has been installed. Any drive can fail at any time, so it’s best to make sure that you’re always backing up your files.last_img read more

Man arrested in New York after chainsawing through door and injuring his

first_img Feb 25th 2017, 7:20 AM Saturday 25 Feb 2017, 7:20 AM 10 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Dario Lo Presti STATE POLICE SAY a 29-year-old man used a chainsaw to cut through a door at his boss’s upstate New York home, causing severe injuries to the employer’s hand.Troopers say Kyle Poore, of Lyons Falls, used a running chainsaw late last Sunday night to cut through a bedroom door at his employer’s Lewis County home, located 55 miles northeast of Syracuse.Police say Poore caused severe cuts and tendon damage to his boss’s hand, then fled the scene on foot before troopers arrived.A state police K-9 tracked Poore through nearby fields and a wooded area before he was caught.Police haven’t said what led to the incident.Poore is jailed on assault and other charges. Prosecutors say lawyers assigned to his case had conflicts of interest, so he’ll be assigned another lawyer.Read: Teenagers shoot 14-year-old girl in the head and leave her in a ditch for iPod and $55 Share Tweet Email 11,958 Views Short URL By Associated Press Man arrested in New York after chainsawing through door and injuring his boss Police haven’t said what led to the incident. Image: Shutterstock/Dario Lo Presti Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

SuperValu wins the Christmas supermarket war

first_img Image: Shutterstock/06photo Monday 16 Jan 2017, 1:29 PM By Órla Ryan 21,907 Views SHOPPERS IN IRELAND spent an additional €92 million on groceries over the Christmas period, 3.8% more than the same period 12 months ago.The figure is included in the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, published today for the 12 weeks ending 1 January 2017.Kantar said the fact Christmas Day fell on a Sunday in 2016 may partially account for the increase in spending as shoppers had two extra days to buy groceries.The average household spend was €193, €35 more than last year.Friday 23 December was the busiest day for retailers, with 55% of the population going to supermarkets on this date.Supervalu was the most popular supermarket, increasing its market share to 22.8%. It was followed by Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl. Source: KantarDavid Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “With shoppers willing to fork out more over Christmas, it’s a vital time of year for grocers – an opportunity to pull away from the competition. 51 Comments Image: Shutterstock/06photo Short URLcenter_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Whether that’s via a heartwarming Christmas ad or the best premium own-label offers for the big day, we’ve seen retailers going all out to persuade the Irish public to shop with them this festive season.“It was Supervalu that came out on top after a tussle with Dunnes Stores at the end of last year, a position the retailer has held for 10 out of the past 12 periods.”Increase in salesDespite a return to second place, Dunnes Stores continued to perform well. Sales for the Christmas period were almost 5% higher than in 2015 and the average spend per trip reached a new high of €41.60, significantly ahead of any other retailer.Tesco continued to improve its performance, with sales growing by 1.3% over the final quarter – up from the 1.2% growth the grocer saw in the 12 weeks to 4 December 2016.Elsewhere, Aldi posted the strongest growth of all Irish supermarkets, with sales up by 5.3%. The retailer managed to attract 37,000 new shoppers this Christmas, boosting its market share to 10.5%. Lidl also recorded positive results, with festive sales 2.3% higher than in 2015.Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director with Aldi Ireland, said this was the chain’s busiest Christmas ever, noting: “We sold over three million mince pies, 200,000 bags of chocolate coins, 170,000 Irish steaks, 70,000 litres of Prosecco, 60,000 kilograms of Christmas pudding, 30,000 Irish lamb legs and 6,500 litres of Champagne during this period.”Read: SuperValu is still Ireland’s most popular supermarketRead: Supermarkets’ obsession with perfect produce is causing massive food waste Share218 Tweet Email2 Jan 16th 2017, 1:29 PM SuperValu wins the Christmas supermarket war Irish shoppers spent an extra €92 million on groceries over the festive period. last_img read more