Sunday, June 30, 2013

CentOS why the Google Apps Engine do not work? Even applying the last patch mentioned in there fix

Google Apps Engine was working in my CentOS there was no changes made, but suddently stop working since yesterday. then i followed the patch for Google Apps Engine but still its not starting up. how do resolve it?

[root@ip-10-59-143-73 tmp]# uname -a Linux ip-10-59-143-73 2.6.32-220.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Wed Nov 9 08:03:13 EST 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux 

According to Patch:

http://code.google.com/p/nose-gae/issues/detail?can=2&start=0&num=100&q=&colspec=ID%20Type%20Status%20Priority%20Stars%20Milestone%20Owner%20Summary&groupby=&sort=&id=61

http://code.google.com/p/googleappengine/issues/detail?can=2&start=0&num=100&q=&colspec=ID%20Type%20Component%20Status%20Stars%20Summary%20Language%20Priority%20Owner%20Log&groupby=&sort=&id=8459

Line 56/57 is changed, like the patch but still problem:

 55   py_file = __file__.replace('.pyc', '.py')  56   #dir_paths = [os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(py_file))),  57   #             os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(py_file))]  58   uncompiled_file = __file__.rstrip("c") if __file__.endswith("pyc") else __file__  59   dir_paths = [os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(uncompiled_file))),  60                os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(uncompiled_file))]  61   for dir_path in dir_paths:  62     sibling_path = os.path.join(dir_path, sibling)  63     if os.path.exists(sibling_path): 

Patch is not helping:

[root@ip-10-59-143-73 tmp]# Traceback (most recent call last):   File "/var/tmp/google_appengine/dev_appserver.py", line 76, in <module>     _DIR_PATH = _get_dir_path(os.path.join('lib', 'ipaddr'))   File "/var/tmp/google_appengine/dev_appserver.py", line 66, in _get_dir_path     'file and %s.' % sibling) ValueError: Could not determine directory that contains both, this file and lib/ipaddr. 

EDIT: issues

https://code.google.com/p/googleappengine/issues/detail?can=2&start=0&num=100&q=&colspec=ID%20Type%20Component%20Status%20Stars%20Summary%20Language%20Priority%20Owner%20Log&groupby=&sort=&id=9176

Source: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17396171/centos-why-the-google-apps-engine-do-not-work-even-applying-the-last-patch-ment

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Glory That Was Thillens Stadium - The Beachwood Reporter ...

"It was the mecca of stadiums," said my boyhood friend Tim Russell.

No, he wasn't talking about the original Yankee Stadium or even old Comiskey. We were talking about Thillens Stadium at the corner of Devon and Kedzie, where the landmark baseball sign was recently removed.

As documented in the local media, the Thillens family, which gave up operation of the facility to the Park District eight years ago, severed all connection to the park when the rusting sign disappeared from the corner.

Apparently the Thillenses - they're the guys with the armored trucks who compete with Brinks to ferry cash from here to who knows where - have been annoyed because of the deteriorating condition of the hallowed ground bearing their name.

Unlike my pal Tim, I never played at Thillens, but I saw a number of Little League games there in the 1950s. And I never had to leave home to do it because WGN carried live Monday night telecasts of the games with none other than Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Brickhouse describing the action.

Maybe "action" is a mistaken term since my recollection is that most hitters either struck out or walked with a few hits sprinkled in between.

"It was a very exciting place to cover games and watch games," said Jack Rosenberg, WGN's sports editor from 1954 to 1994, when I phoned him. But televise Little League baseball? Who would possibly watch that?

"In those days we were willing to try anything because when I came to work up here in 1954 a lot of people still did not have television sets, so obviously there was no color, no videotape, no nothing," said Rosenberg. "It was a different day and age where we were willing to try anything and a lot of it worked. Some of it did not. But that's OK. We went back and tried again. And by the time I left 45 years later, we were all over the world."

My memories of those telecasts were of Brickhouse putting as much expertise and enthusiasm into a game of 10- and 11-year-olds as he did calling another Ernie Banks' round-tripper.

Imagine if the bosses today assigned Hawk Harrelson or Steve Stone to call a Little League game in a North Side neighborhood.

On second thought, they might see better baseball than is being played at either big league park in Chicago this summer.

"We thought nothing of that," said Rosenberg. "Why did Jack and I go to LaGrange every year and do the LaGrange Pet Parade? I still recall we were going to try to have President Kennedy on the Leadoff Man [the Cubs' pre-game show]. People said you've got to be kidding. But we did it. Years later Jack and I went to the White House to interview President Reagan. Here again no one thought this was doable. President Reagan, of course, had broadcast Cubs baseball as a young man in Des Moines, Iowa, on Western Union ticker tape. It was fantastic to be a part of it."

Probably the most notable accomplishment of televising Little League from Thillens - aside from actually doing it with a Hall of Fame broadcaster - was the advent of the center-field camera.

"A number of people had a hand in that," recalled Rosenberg, adding that no one individual can be credited with the idea. "I was not one of them. I was not on the technical side. It turned out to be something that is still used today."

In the '50s Thillens had a house league with six or eight teams complete with replica major league uniforms. These were the games that appeared on TV. In addition, there was a travel team of the best players.

My pal Tim, who grew up in Highwood, which also boasted a vigorous youth program created by iconic recreation director Don Skrinar, played in 64-team, end-of-the-year tournaments at Thillens featuring the top Little League teams in the area.

"The stadium itself I can remember certainly," Russell told me. "But I can remember more about some of the players that played on those teams. They had real authentic major league uniforms, [which were] quite amazing to see, and they were so good - the best players in the city."

Skrinar, a premier promoter credited with the invention of Little Guys basketball for kids under 5 feet, invited teams from Thillens to Highwood, no doubt expecting reciprocal invitations to play at Kedzie and Devon.

"Skrinar gets this idea to bring them up to Highwood on Friday nights against our All-Star team," said Russell. "Not their All-Star team, just one of their teams. The Thillens Cubs were legendary. When they came to Highwood, it was a revelation. They kicked our ass, they were so good."

As were many teams in the tournaments at Thillens in the mid-50s.

"We went up against this kid from Villa Park," Russell said. "We're on our way down there, and I'm crying about this kid because he throws so hard. He beat us 1-0. Skrinar had everybody bunt. Sometimes he told us to bat lefty and don't swing.

"The next year we're in the semi-finals, and here comes another kid from Arlington Heights. The kid threw bullets. We lost again 1-0."

Although almost 60 years have passed, the memories of specific players remain alive for Tim.

"The superior players wanted to play at Thillens," he said. "That was the place to play. Jim Woods played there and later played at Lane Tech. He went on to play third base for the Phillies."

Actually Woods signed with the Cubs before making brief appearances in 1960-61 for Philadelphia. Another Thillens product signed by the Cubs was Chris Barkulis who never made it to the majors but played six seasons in the team's minor league system. My friend Tim played in the City-Suburban All-Star game staged every year alternating between Wrigley and Comiskey featuring the area's best high school players.

"Barkulis hit one off the wall at Wrigley in that game in 1960," he said.

Then there was a Little Leaguer named Becker. "He was the only kid who had a nickname when he was 11," said Russell. "Shotgun Becker. He used to get his name in the paper a lot. He played for the Thillens Cubs. His real name was Bob."

Years have passed since the glory days of Thillens Stadium. I can't think of a comparable park in the city that does what Thillens did, but the suburbs are filled with facilities that are fancier, more expensive and fully-utilized. There's no reason to travel into the city today to compete on a stage like Thillens.

"It's a great part of our baseball history here in the Chicago area," said Jack Rosenberg.

Of course, he's correct on both counts. The Thillens we knew was a gem. And now it's gone, a piece of history.

-

Thillens sign.jpg

-

Comments welcome.

More from Beachwood Sports ?

Source: http://www.beachwoodreporter.com/sports/the_glory_that_was_thillens_st.php

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Kerry steps up shuttle talks with Abbas and Netanyahu

By Lesley Wroughton

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accelerated his Middle East shuttle diplomacy on Friday in the hope of persuading Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct peace negotiations.

After seeing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan, Kerry flew by helicopter to Jerusalem for evening talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a sign that he may be making progress in his mission to bring the sides together, a State Department official announced late on Friday that Kerry would return to Amman for another meeting with Abbas on Saturday, then return to Israel for additional meetings.

The frenzied back-and-forth is reminiscent of Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy as secretary of state to mediate conflicts in the Middle East throughout the 1970s.

The State Department official said a three-hour meeting with Netanyahu on Friday, the second in as many days, involved a "detailed and substantive conversation about the way forward".

Israeli President Shimon Peres praised Kerry for his determination.

"I know this is difficult, there are many problems, but as far as I'm concerned I can see how (among) people, there is a clear majority for the peace process, a two-state solution, and a great expectation that you will do it and that you can do it," he told Kerry.

Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories that the Palestinians seek for a future state.

Abbas has insisted that building in the settlements, viewed as illegal by most world powers, be halted before talks resume. He also wants Israel to recognize the boundary of the West Bank as the basis for the future Palestine's border.

MORE TALKS AHEAD

Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said a "clear response" was needed from Israel before talks could resume.

Israel wants to keep settlement blocs under any future peace accord and has rejected Abbas's demands as preconditions. But it has also quietly slowed down housing starts in settlements.

Palestinian and U.S. officials did not immediately comment on the results of the Abbas-Kerry meeting. Zeev Elkin, Israel's deputy foreign minister, placed the peacemaking onus on Abbas.

Asked on Israel Radio whether Kerry's visit - his fifth - could bring a breakthrough, Elkin said: "The only one who knows the answer to that question is not Kerry, nor Netanyahu, but Abu Mazen (Abbas)."

Kerry has divulged little of his plan to bring the sides together, but has said he would not have returned to the region if he did not believe there could be progress.

He is also keen to clinch a peacemaking deal before the United Nations General Assembly, which has already granted de facto recognition to a Palestinian state, convenes in September.

Netanyahu is concerned that the Palestinians, in the absence of direct peace talks, could use the U.N. session as a springboard for further statehood moves circumventing Israel.

State Department officials believe the sides will return to negotiations once there is an agreement on confidence-building measures - for example, partial Israeli amnesty for Palestinian security prisoners - and a formula for fresh talks.

Part of the incentive for the Palestinians to return to talks is a $4 billion economic plan led by former British prime minister Tony Blair, whom Kerry also met in Jordan.

The plan involves investments from large private-sector firms that will boost jobs and spur economic growth in agriculture, construction and tourism.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-steps-shuttle-talks-abbas-netanyahu-193706170.html

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Russia's Aeroflot considers leaving SkyTeam alliance: paper

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state-controlled airline Aeroflot is considering leaving the SkyTeam alliance because of unfavorable agreements with other members, in particular U.S. Delta Air Lines Inc , Kommersant reported on Friday.

The newspaper cited sources close to Aeroflot's board of directors as saying the company was not happy with the development of its routes in the United States, where its partner Delta Air Lines Inc offers high fares.

Aeroflot declined to comment on the report.

Dropping out of the alliance could cost Aeroflot $20 million and the airline may consider joining Star Alliance, the biggest airline marketing group, with 27 members.

As a member of SkyTeam, which brings together 19 global airlines, Aeroflot cannot undercut prices offered by other members and could be more competitive in the Star Alliance, group, Kommersant said.

The agreement to join SkyTeam in 2004 was signed in the Kremlin, a political stamp of approval largely due to close ties with Air France , the leading member.

(Reporting by Maya Dyakina and Gleb Stolyarov; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/russias-aeroflot-considers-leaving-skyteam-alliance-paper-053936639.html

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Reports: Retired general target of leaks probe

WASHINGTON (AP) ? A former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities, according to media reports.

Retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright has been told he is a target of the probe, NBC News and The Washington Post reported Thursday. A "target" is someone a prosecutor or grand jury has substantial evidence linking to a crime and who is likely to be charged.

The Justice Department referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, where a spokeswoman, Marcia Murphy, declined to comment.

The investigation of the leak about the Iran cyberattack is one of a number of national security leak investigations that have been started by the Obama administration, including ones involving The Associated Press and Fox News.

In June 2012, the New York Times reported that Cartwright was a crucial player in the cyber operation called Olympic Games, started under President George W. Bush.

Bush reportedly advised President Barack Obama to preserve Olympic Games.

According to the Times, Obama ordered the cyberattacks sped up, and in 2010 an attack using a computer virus called Stuxnet temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

Congressional leaders demanded a criminal probe into who leaked the information, and Obama said he had zero tolerance for such leaks. Republicans said senior administration officials had leaked the details to bolster the president's national security credentials during the 2012 campaign.

The Times said Cartwright was one of the crucial players who had to break the news to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Stuxnet at one point had escaped onto the Internet.

An element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran's Natanz plant and sent it out on the Internet, the Times reported. After the worm escaped onto the Internet, top administration officials met to consider whether the program had been fatally compromised.

Obama asked if the program should continue, and after hearing the advice of top advisers, decided to proceed.

Cartwright, a four-star general, was cleared in February 2011 of misconduct involving a young aide. An anonymous accuser had claimed Cartwright acted inappropriately during a 2009 overseas trip on which the aide traveled as a military assistant. Several sources confirmed that the former aide was a young woman.

The Pentagon inspector general quickly cleared Cartwright of the most serious allegations, which involved claims that he may have had an improper physical relationship with the woman. The report did find that Cartwright mishandled an incident in which the aide, drunk and visibly upset, visited his Tbilisi, Georgia, hotel room alone and either passed out or fell asleep on a bench at the foot of his bed. Cartwright denied any impropriety and was later cleared of all wrongdoing.

Cartwright, once considered the leading candidate to become Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, resigned from the military in August 2011.

NBC said Cartwright did not respond to request for comment and that his attorney, former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, said he had no comment.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/reports-retired-general-target-leaks-probe-020959907.html

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Iraq official says Baghdad open to US military aid

BAGHDAD (AP) ? Iraq is open to greater American military cooperation as U.S. commanders explore ways to boost security assistance to the country, a top Iraqi official said Thursday as a fresh wave of bombings claimed 16 lives.

The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has recommended that military American commanders look for ways to help improve the military capabilities of Iraq and Lebanon, which both face the risk of spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Dempsey said Wednesday that the assistance would not involve sending U.S. combat troops, but could involve the U.S. sending in training teams and accelerating sales of weapons and equipment.

The last American combat troops left Iraq in December 2011, ending a nearly nine-year war that cost nearly 4,500 American and more than 100,000 Iraqi lives.

About 100 military and civilian Department of Defense personnel remain in Iraq as an arm of the American Embassy to act as liaisons with the Iraqi government and facilitate arms sales. The U.S. has similar offices in other countries.

Ali al-Moussawi, the media adviser for Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, told The Associated Press that Baghdad would welcome increased arms sales and faster weapons deliveries along with U.S. training teams to help it confront rising regional instability and terrorist threats.

"We welcome this kind of cooperation and we consider it a part of the existing agreement between us," al-Moussawi said when asked about Dempsey's comments.

"Because of the high risks the region faces, I think there should be bigger cooperation and coordination between all countries threatened by terrorism."

Iraq is struggling to contain a resurgent al-Qaida that is one of the main drivers behind the country's worst uptick in violence in half a decade. More than 2,000 people have been killed in car bombings and other violent attacks in Iraq since the start of April.

More violence rocked Iraq late Thursday when bombs struck cafes in and around Baghdad, killing 16 and wounding dozens. The attacks struck in quick succession at the start of the local weekend while the cafes were filled with patrons watching a soccer match.

Police reported five people killed and 17 wounded in Baghdad's largely Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah, and another three dead and 14 wounded in Shiite-dominated Umm al-Maalif, in the southwestern suburbs of the capital.

Another blast struck the Shiite town of Jbala, about 50 kilometers (35 miles) south of Baghdad, killing 8 and wounding 25.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information to journalists.

The upsurge in violence comes as Iraqi fighters have been traveling to fight on both sides of Syria's civil war. The Iraqi branch of al-Qaida is pushing to make itself a player in the conflict, and now calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to highlight its cross-border ambitions.

Iraq has acquired billions of dollars' worth of American-made military equipment, including howitzers, armored personnel carriers and Abrams tanks in recent years.

It has yet to receive the first of as many as 36 F-16 fighter jets it has ordered, and Baghdad has been pressing U.S. officials to speed delivery of the warplanes.

Also on Thursday, a spokesman for Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission said a voting list backed by influential Sunni politicians has won the biggest single bloc of seats in provincial elections in the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar.

Safaa al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the Independent High Electoral commission, said the United list led by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi won 8 of 30 seats in Anbar's provincial council. A bloc backed by al-Maliki came in second with five seats.

The western province of Anbar, a former al-Qaida stronghold, has been the center of anti-government rallies protesting what Sunnis say is their second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government.

Residents in Anbar and neighboring Ninevah province voted last week in local elections that had been delayed due to security concerns.

___

Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub and Adam Schreck contributed.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/iraq-official-says-baghdad-open-us-military-aid-142850054.html

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US consumer sentiment stays near 6-year high

In this Friday, June 21, 2013 photo, customers look at models of the Nook tablet at a Barnes and Noble store in Pineville, N.C. A measure of U.S. consumer confidence remained near a six-year high in June as higher home prices boosted household wealth. The survey shows Americans are feeling better about the economy, despite wild gyrations in the stock market. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

In this Friday, June 21, 2013 photo, customers look at models of the Nook tablet at a Barnes and Noble store in Pineville, N.C. A measure of U.S. consumer confidence remained near a six-year high in June as higher home prices boosted household wealth. The survey shows Americans are feeling better about the economy, despite wild gyrations in the stock market. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

WASHINGTON (AP) ? A measure of U.S. consumer confidence stayed near a six-year high in June as higher home prices boosted household wealth. The survey shows Americans remain upbeat about the economy, despite wild gyrations in the stock market.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its final reading of consumer sentiment in June was 84.1. That's an improvement from a preliminary reading of 82.7 issued on June 14. And it is just slightly below May's final reading of 84.5, which was the highest since July 2007.

Rising household wealth was the main reason consumers stayed optimistic. Households with income above $75,000, those more likely to own homes and stocks, reported the biggest gain.

Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic growth.

Stocks pared steep early morning losses after the report was released. The Dow Jones industrial average, which was down as much as 140 points at one point, rebounded to 53 points lower at midday.

The University of Michigan polls roughly 500 people throughout the month and issues two readings.

The slight improvement from the preliminary survey suggests consumers were unfazed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's June 19 comments about the Fed's bond purchases. Bernanke said the Fed could start to slow its bond buying by the end of the year and end it next year, if the economy continues to strengthen. The bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low.

Stocks fell sharply in the days after Bernanke's comments and interest rates jumped. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage surged this week to a two-year high of 4.46 percent. That's up from 3.93 percent last week and a full point higher than a month ago.

"Consumers remain optimistic despite recent market volatility and a back-up in mortgage rates," said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas.

Americans seem to agree with the Fed's view that the economy is slowly improving. A measure of their expectations for future growth rose to an eight-month high.

Employers have been adding jobs at stable pace, while the unemployment rate has slowly fallen to a still-high 7.6 percent. Higher home sales and prices have driven a steady housing recovery. And on Tuesday the Conference Board said the improved job market helped lift its survey of consumer confidence to the highest level in 5? years, a point echoed by Friday's Michigan consumer sentiment survey.

"Consumers now believe the recovery has achieved an upward momentum that will not be easily reversed," Richard Curtin, director of the Michigan survey, said.

More Americans said they planned to buy a home, despite rising mortgage rates, according to the Michigan survey. The number of consumers who said it was a bad time to buy a home fell to the fewest in 10 years.

The survey also found that rising mortgage rates and home prices may be spurring more Americans to buy homes, rather than discouraging them. The proportion of Americans who said it is a good time to buy because rates and prices will be higher in the future reached post-recession highs this month.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2013-06-28-Consumer%20Sentiment/id-a10e7351ebe74fb1940ab264e12378ae

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

CNN bringing 'Crossfire' back on the air

NEW YORK (AP) -- CNN said Wednesday that it is bringing the political debate show "Crossfire" back on the air this fall with Newt Gingrich as one of the combatants.

The former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate will be one of the four regular hosts of the program, taking the conservative side along with commentator S.E. Cupp of The Blaze. Stephanie Cutter, a former campaign spokeswoman for President Barack Obama, and Van Jones, a Yale-educated attorney and advocate for green projects, will speak from the left.

"It just feels like the right time for 'Crossfire' to be coming back," said Sam Feist, CNN's senior vice president and Washington bureau chief. The show will air weekdays but no time slot has been set.

The original aired on CNN from 1982 until 2005, and its alumni list reads like a Washington who's who ? Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, Geraldine Ferraro, Lynn Cheney, James Carville, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson among them. It was essentially killed by Jon Stewart.

"The Daily Show" host appeared on "Crossfire" in 2004 and got into a bitter fight with Carlson, with Stewart calling the show "partisan hackery" that did little to advance the cause of democracy. When then-CNN U.S. President Jon Klein cancelled it a few months later, he said he was essentially siding with Stewart.

But with Fox News Channel tilting right and MSNBC leaning left, there really isn't a debate program on cable TV now that is a fair fight, Feist said.

"CNN is really the only network that can have a bipartisan debate show with some level of authenticity," he said.

Each show will have a single topic and feature two of the four regular hosts, joined by two guests who are experts on the particular issue being discussed, Feist said. It will be a studio show without the audience that was used in a later incarnation of "Crossfire," he said.

New CNN chief Jeff Zucker began pushing for the show's resurrection almost since taking over this winter, saying he had long been a fan of it, Feist said.

___

CNN is a unit of Time Warner Inc.; MSNBC is part of Comcast Corp.; Fox is owned by News Corp.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/cnn-bringing-crossfire-back-air-183543553.html

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Snowden mystery deepens: All eyes on airport

MOSCOW (AP) ? Moscow's main airport swarmed with journalists from around the globe Wednesday, but the man they were looking for ? National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden ? was nowhere to be seen. The mystery of his whereabouts only deepened a day after President Vladimir Putin said that Snowden was in the transit area of Sheremetyevo Airport.

An Associated Press reporter entered the area Wednesday by flying in from Kiev, Ukraine, and found ordinary scenes of duty free shopping, snoozing travelers and tourists sipping coffee, but no trace of America's most famous fugitive. If Putin's statement is true, it means that Snowden has effectively lived a life of airport limbo since his weekend flight from Hong Kong, especially with his American passport now revoked by U.S. authorities.

Adding to the uncertainty, Ecuador's foreign minister said Wednesday it could take months to decide whether to grant asylum to Snowden and that the Latin American nation would take into consideration its relations with the U.S. when doing so. Speaking during a visit to Malaysia's main city, Kuala Lumpur, Ricardo Patino compared Snowden's case to that of Julian Assange, the founder of anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, who has been given asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

"It took us two months to make a decision in the case of Assange, so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time," Patino told reporters.

Snowden, who is charged with violating American espionage laws, fled Hong Kong over the weekend and flew to Russia. He booked a seat on a Havana-bound flight Monday en route to Venezuela, but didn't board the plane. His ultimate destination was believed to be Ecuador.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa shot back at critics on Wednesday, taking special aim at a Washington Post editorial that described him as "the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador" and accused him of a double standard for considering asylum for Snowden while stifling critics at home.

"The shamelessness of the century: Washington Post accuses Ecuador of double standard," Correa said on his Twitter page.

As a contractor for the NSA, Snowden gained access to documents that he gave to the Post and the Guardian to expose what he contends are privacy violations by an authoritarian government.

Correa complained that the international press "has managed to focus attention on Snowden and on those 'wicked' countries that 'aid' him, making us forget the terrible things against the U.S. people and the whole world that he denounced."

The airport zone where Snowden is purportedly staying serves both connecting passengers traveling via Moscow to onward destinations and passengers departing from Moscow who have passed border and security checks.

The huge area unites three terminals: the modern, recently built D and E, and the older, less comfortable F, which dates to the Soviet era. The transit and departure area is essentially a long corridor, with boarding gates on one side and gleaming duty free shops, luxury clothing boutiques and souvenir stores selling Russian Matryoshka dolls on the other. About a dozen restaurants owned by local and foreign chains serve various tastes.

Hundreds of Russian and foreign tourists awaited flights here, some stretched out on rows of gray chairs, others sipping hot drinks at coffee shops or looking out through giant windows as silver-blue Aeroflot planes land and take off.

Business ran as usual at the terminals on Wednesday morning. An Asian girl, about 10 years old, slept peacefully on her father's lap. A middle-aged mother and her teenage daughter tried out perfume samples at a duty free store, while nearby a woman in a green dress picked out a pair of designer sunglasses. A pilot was buying lunch at Burger King.

Putin insisted Tuesday that Snowden has stayed in the transit zone without passing through Russian immigration and is free to travel wherever he likes. But the U.S. move to annul Snowden's passport may have severely complicated his travel plans. Exiting the transit area would either require boarding a plane or passing through border control. Both require a valid passport or other documentation.

Hordes of journalists armed with laptops and photo and video cameras have camped in and around the airport, looking for Snowden or anyone who may have seen or talked to him. But after talking to passengers, airport personnel, waiters and shop clerks, the press corps has discovered no sign of the leaker.

Russian news agencies, citing unidentified sources, reported that Snowden was staying at a hotel in the transit terminal, but he was not seen at the zone's only hotel, called Air Express. It offers several dozen capsule-style spaces that passengers can rent for a few hours to catch some sleep. Hotel staff refused to say whether Snowden was staying there or had stayed there in the past.

"We only saw lots of journalists, that's for sure," said Maxim, a waiter at the Shokoladnitsa diner not far from Air Express. He declined to give his last name because he wasn't allowed to talk to reporters.

The departure and transit area is huge and has dozens of small rooms, some labeled "authorized personnel only," where someone could potentially seek refuge with support from airport staff or security personnel. And security forces or police patrolling the area can easily whisk a person out of sight through back doors or corridors.

There are also a few VIP lounge areas, accessible to business-class passengers or people willing to pay some $20 per hour. Snowden was not seen in those areas.

Sheremetyevo's press service declined to comment on Snowden's whereabouts. A policeman at the airport laughed off a question from an AP reporter about where he might be. "Journalists have searched this place for three days and have found nothing. Was he ever here in the first place?" the policeman asked. He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Hong Kong officials said they allowed Snowden to leave for Moscow because the U.S. government got his middle name wrong in documents it submitted seeking his arrest. Hong Kong immigration records listed Snowden's middle name as Joseph, but the U.S. government used the name James in some documents and referred to him only as Edward J. Snowden in others, Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen said. The U.S. also did not provide his passport number and did not respond to requests for clarification, Yuen said.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks gave a terse update on Snowden earlier on Wednesday, saying in a statement posted to Twitter that he was "well."

WikiLeaks says that one of its staffers, Sarah Harrison, was traveling with Snowden, but the statement gave no indication if the update came from her, from Snowden, or from some other source. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson did not immediately return a call and a text seeking further comment.

In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Assange said he was limited in what he could say about Snowden due to security concerns. He denied reports that Snowden was spending his time at the airport being debriefed by Russian intelligence officers.

_____

Yoong reported from Kuala Lumpur. Lynn Berry in Moscow and Raphael Satter in London contributed to this report.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/snowden-mystery-deepens-eyes-airport-170621319.html

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Obama embarks on trip to Africa, Mandela's health a question

By Mark Felsenthal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama set out on an eight-day trip to Africa on Wednesday that is aimed at reviving U.S. engagement with the continent but that will be overshadowed by the uncertain health of South Africa hero Nelson Mandela.

Obama's trip, his second to the continent as president, will take him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. While the president hopes to spotlight trade and economic development themes, his visit would be dwarfed if Mandela's condition takes a turn for the worse.

The 94-year old former South African president remained hospitalized in critical condition after being admitted more than two weeks ago with a lung infection, the government said on Tuesday.

Air Force One carried Obama, his wife Michelle, their daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as the first lady's mother, Marian Robinson, and an Obama niece, Leslie Robinson.

Africans feel a special bond with Obama, the first African American U.S. president, and have been impatient for him to make an extended visit to the continent. Africans are also disappointed that the Obama administration has not engaged with the continent as much as the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Administration officials say the trip is an opportunity to jump-start the relationship. Obama's first stop will be Senegal, where he will visit Goree Island, the site of a monument to Africans who were sent to slavery in the Americas.

His next stop will be in South Africa, where aides say he will be available to visit Mandela but will defer to the wishes of the Mandela family to determine whether the former South African leader is up to such an encounter.

In South Africa, Obama is due to make a speech outlining his Africa policy at the University of Cape Town, where Robert F. Kennedy gave his famous 1966 address comparing the struggle against apartheid in South Africa with the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

The president will also visit Robben Island, where Mandela and other political prisoners were held, and visit a health clinic.

Obama's last stop will be in the East African nation of Tanzania, where he will take part in events with business leaders and visit a power plant.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Vicki Allen)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-embarks-trip-africa-mandelas-health-133056090.html

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Live With Your Parents In Style in This Split-Level Palace

Live With Your Parents In Style in This Split-Level Palace

One of the best parts of home ownership (I imagine) is having a place that's all to yourself. Unfortunately, in the beautiful Wall House you'd have to share some space, but when that space looks like this, it'd be hard to mind it.

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Coding camps for kids rise in popularity ? Artesia News

In this Wednesday, June 19, 2013 photo, instructor Thaddeus Owings, left, helps camper Nicholas Sanchez work on creating a video game while at an iD Tech Camp at the Emory University campus, in Atlanta. So-called coding camps for kids are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and later careers in technology. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)

In this Wednesday, June 19, 2013 photo, instructor Thaddeus Owings, left, helps camper Nicholas Sanchez work on creating a video game while at an iD Tech Camp at the Emory University campus, in Atlanta. So-called coding camps for kids are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and later careers in technology. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)

ATLANTA (AP) ? The video game Jacob Asofsky is creating is simple: ?Someone who is trying to take over the world and you try to stop them.?

The 12-year-old from Florida is spending two weeks at a summer camp in a program that teaches programming skills to young people.

?It?s about having fun, but it also gives them the tools to be able to do this at home because they don?t have this in school,? said Taylor Jones, director of the iD Tech Camp at Atlanta?s Emory University.

So-called coding camps for children are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and careers in technology. Their rise underscores a seeming mismatch in the U.S. economy: people like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tumblr founder David Karp illustrate the opportunities programming skills can create, yet universities are not graduating enough code-savvy students to meet employers? demands.

The iD Tech Camps, which have grown from 200 students in 1999 to 28,000 enrolled this year in courses at dozens of locations nationwide, use interest in gaming to build bridges to computer programming and hopefully careers in Web developing, film animation and app creation for smart phones. Courses start at $829 for a one-week course during the day with overnight students paying $1,348.

On a recent weekday, Asofsky was attending an iD Tech Camp on the campus with some 95 other youths under the age of 17. He was using the gaming software RPG Maker to create a video game in which the main character travels around the world, buys animals and armor and interacts with others along the way.

?I have to say the interface of actually making a game is just as fun as playing a game,? Asofsky said. ?It?s a lot like playing a game inside a game.?

Early courses for children starting at age 7 use the photo and illustration software Adobe Photoshop and the gaming software Multimedia Fusion to create a simple arcade-style game.

?We sit down and talk about what makes games fun,? said instructor Melissa Andrews, who was working with the youngest group of campers. ?We get it down to the basics so they can make their own game.?

Courses for older children include designing apps, creating sophisticated, 3-D, first-person shooter games using the Unreal Developer?s Kit ? also known as UDK ? and learning programming languages like Java and C++. The idea is to build self-confidence and spark interest in learning how computers work, all to perhaps plant the seed of a future career in programming.

There will be 1.4 million computing jobs by 2020 but only 400,000 computer science students by that time, according to Code.org, a nonprofit with a list of who?s who in the tech world on its advisory board including Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.

And the jobs pay well. The median annual wage for a computer programmer, for instance, was $71,380 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, jobs for network and computer systems administrators are growing at double the national average, with a median annual salary of $69,160.

Yet high schools and universities seem to be out of step with the job market. Nine out of 10 high schools don?t offer computer programming classes and the number of students graduating from college with a computer science degree is down from a decade ago, according to Code.org.

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama said programming should be a required course in high school, similar to foreign languages.

?Given how pervasive computers and the Internet is now and how integral it is into our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not just simply consume stuff,? Obama said during a Google+ Hangout.

Yale Oseroff?s high school back in Virginia doesn?t offer programming classes. The 17-year-old is spending his fourth year at an iD Tech Camp working through C++, a popular programming language used for systems and application software, for drivers to communicate between an operating system and devices like printers and to create some video games.

?I?m learning (computer) networking, which is what I want to do in college,? he said, as he worked on developing a program to capture usernames and passwords and store them in a database.

On the Georgia Tech campus, the Institute for Computing Education offers a variety of camps clustered into elementary, middle and high school groups. Courses include making apps with App Inventor, creating moving sculptures with the WeDo Robotics systems that uses rotational motion and creating animations using Alice software.

Barbara Ericson, director of computer outreach at the Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech, said people sometimes ask: why not wait until children are older to start teaching them how to program?

?Anything over the age of 7 is capable, they are capable of learning reasoning,? she said.

During a presentation earlier this month at a technology conference in Washington, D.C., Code.org founder Hadi Partovi said less than 5 percent of U.S. high school students spend class time learning computer science while it?s a graduation requirement in China. He noted that many ?software? jobs are outside the tech industry such as banking, retail, government and entertainment, which makes programming skills particularly versatile.

?It could mean starting your own company,? he said. ?But it could mean you?re a doctor and you?re tired of entering the same data into a chart using paper and you want to write an app that does it for you.?

___

Associated Press videographers Johnny Clark in Atlanta and Bill Gorman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

___

Follow Christina Almeida Cassidy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Christina .

This entry was posted on June 25, 2013, 12:39 pm and is filed under United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Source: http://www.artesianews.com/2013/06/25/ap-news/united-states-ap-news/coding-camps-for-kids-rise-in-popularity/

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Imagination Tech reveals Warrior CPU core to fight (uphill) battle against ARM

Imagination Tech promises new 'Warrior' CPU to fight uphill battle against ARM

This news isn't remotely surprising, given Imagination Tech's recent acquisition of CPU designer MIPS, but reporting it still gives us a little flutter of excitement. And for good reason: Imagination has just revealed that its first MIPS-based CPU core, which should be able to run Android, will be introduced by the end of this year, and that it'll go by the totally appropriate codename of Warrior (or, less dramatically, "MIPS Series5"). The core's first battle will be to prove that the MIPS architecture really can be a competitive alternative to ARM (which uses a similar low-power RISC architecture) and that Imagination didn't just blow $100 million on hot air. Speaking of which, the attached press release comes with plenty of bold claims, including a statement that the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Warrior will offer "best-in-class performance and efficiency," and a promise that Imagination "will change the landscape for CPU IP." We have no idea how all of this is going to play out, but we fully intend to be ringside when it does.

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Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/gaSJ6aCLy-M/

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What the New 'Star Wars' Movies Need: Zuckuss

By Ryan Rigley Now that production on "Star Wars VII' is starting to heat up, the flood gates have been opened for rumors a plenty regarding the film. Last Wednesday, Bleeding Cool intercepted a casting breakdown for the movie revealing seven brand new characters; late-teen female, young twenty-something male, late twenty-something male, seventy-something male, second [...]

Source: http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/06/24/star-wars-movies-need-zuckuss/

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'70s Show' star parks on freeway, is arrested

Celebs

14 hours ago

IMAGE: Lisa Robin Kelly

Handout via AP

Lisa Robin Kelly is shown in the mug shot from her November 2012 assault arrest.

Sometimes cars must stand still on the freeway -- but only when traffic forces the issue. In the case of former "That '70s Show" star Lisa Robin Kelly, it was purposeful parking in a lane of Interstate 5 near Burbank, Calif., that caused problems.

The actress, who played Eric's older sister, Laurie, on the sitcom, was arrested after apparently parking on the freeway Saturday night, E! has confirmed.

The California Highway Patrol responded to calls about Kelly's car blocking the lane. She reportedly failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence.

Kelly, 43, has been in trouble with the law several times recently. She pled guilty to DUI in 2010 in North Carolina. In March of 2012, she was arrested on a felony charge of corporal injury upon a spouse and released on bail. The L.A. County district attorney declined to file charges in that case.

In November 2012, Kelly and her husband were both arrested for assault after a disturbance at their North Carolina home. They were later released on bond.

After the 2010 DUI arrest, which included the release of a wild-haired mug shot of Kelly, the actress said she was embarrassed, but was not abusing drugs or alcohol at the time. "My poor mother has to look at that picture of me," she told ABC News in 2012. "That doesn't look like me. That's not me."

Kelly left her regular role on the sitcom in 2003, made a few appearances later, and was eventually replaced. She told ABC News that she lost a baby during her time on the show and as a result, " I lost everything and I was abusing alcohol."

She also said she hoped for an acting comeback.

Source: http://www.today.com/entertainment/70s-show-star-arrested-after-parking-l-freeway-6C10424016

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Vitamin D improves mood and blood pressure in women with diabetes

June 25, 2013 ? In women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D supplements significantly lowered blood pressure and improved their moods, according to a pilot study at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing.

Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.

The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

"Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects," said Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, lead author of the study and a professor in the Niehoff School of Nursing. "Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes."

Penckofer recently received a four-year, $1.49 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health to do such a study. Penckofer and her Loyola co-investigators plan to enroll 180 women who have type 2 diabetes, symptoms of depression and insufficient levels of vitamin D. Women will be randomly assigned to receive either a weekly vitamin D supplementation (50,000 International Units) or a matching weekly placebo for six months. The study is titled "Can the Sunshine Vitamin Improve Mood and Self Management in Women with Diabetes?

About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 1 in 4 persons by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse outcomes than men. The reason may be due to depression, which affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient's ability to manage her disease by eating right, exercising, taking medications, etc.

Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D, and people with diabetes are at especially high risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Reasons include limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure and genetic variations.

The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of 8 years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D. (By comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 to 70 years is 600 IU per day.)

After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly. For example, in a 20-question depression symptom survey, scores decreased from 26.8 at the beginning of the study (indicating moderate depression) to 12.2 at six months (indicating no depression. (The depression scale ranges from 0 to 60, with higher numbers indicating more symptoms of depression.)

Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.

Penckofer is internationally known for her research on vitamin D, diabetes and depression. In October, she will be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her scientific contributions in improving the health and quality of life of women with chronic disease. And she recently was appointed as the first nurse researcher to the Chicago Diabetes Center for Translational Research.

Co-authors of the study are Todd Doyle, PhD, Patricia Mumby, PhD, Mary Byrn, Mary Ann Emanuele, MD and Diane Wallis, MD.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/nutrition/~3/DPhOiwJotg4/130625091841.htm

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Sloth bear cub debuts at the Smithsonian's National Zoo: Hank is the zoo's first sloth bear cub in seven years

June 21, 2013 ? The daring and adventurous sloth bear cub, Hank, made his public debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo this week. He is the first sloth bear born at the Zoo in seven years.

Born Dec. 19, 2012, Hank and his mother, Hana, have spent the past six months in a den near the Asia Trail exhibit. Now that he is adept at climbing, the Zoo's animal care staff are confident he can conquer the yard's complex climbing structures and varied terrain. Visitors can see the family on Asia Trail daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., weather permitting.

"Sloth bears in general are full of personality, but watching Hank explore and play in his yard is especially endearing," said animal keeper Mindy Babitz. "Only 18 zoos in the U.S. exhibit this species, so visitors are in for a rare and special treat watching him grow up."

Via the live Sloth Bear Cub Cam on the National Zoo's website, animal care staff and the public have had the opportunity to watch Hank play, grow and ride on his mother's back. Keepers will share the information gathered with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for the benefit of other institutions that exhibit and want to breed this species. Hank is one of seven sloth bear cubs born to the North American SSP this year, and his birth increases the population in human care by 3 percent.

Last month, the Zoo's Facebook fans elected to name the cub Hank, a moniker that combines the cub's parents' names, Hana and Francois. Keepers have spent the last few months training Hank and teaching him behaviors that will help animal care staff evaluate his health, such as presenting body parts and opening his mouth.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists sloth bears as vulnerable because populations in their native Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are decreasing due to loss of habitat and poaching.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/top_news/~3/rsDvHU6MPmM/130621141700.htm

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wine tasting in Australia and New Zealand with VIP Backpackers ...

Travelling to Australasia and fancy a dibble in the local plonk while you?re there? Well there?s no need to be a teetotaler in this part of the world as VIP Backpackers has some excellent wine tasting tours in Australia and New Zealand.

Sydney and the Hunter Valley
This region has been pivotal in Australia?s wine making history so make sure you go along and check it out. If not then just go along for the amazing scenery, the great wine and incredible food. There?s also plenty of mountain bike riding, horse riding and meals to be had here too! It?s a great day or weekend trip from Sydney. Click here for the full list of Hunter Valley wine tours.

99N ? Hunter Valley

2 Day Safari- Wildlife, Whales & Wine

This 2 day safari runs from May to November and visits Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Newcastle. On day 1 we visit a local wildlife park where its hands-on contact with kangaroos, koalas, emus and other native and non-native animals. Then its a 3.5 hour whale watching cruise departing Port Stephens where we witness the annual migration of the mighty humpback whale and get close to resident dolphins. On day two we visit the best wineries in the Hunter Valley where we spend the day indulging in wine, cheese and chocolate tasting.
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Melbourne
The cool climate of this part of Australia produces magnificent wines with excellent fruity flavours. Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula will probably be on your itinerary anyway when you visit Melbourne so why not extend the viewing of stunning coast line and penguins to wine? Click here to see all Melbourne tours.

1 Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour

Hostel ImageSee all the world class attractions of Phillip Island in one day on this small group eco tour from Melbourne. Indulge yourself with wine tasting at The Phillip Island Winery and tasting of a range of Gippsland cheeses, see chocolates being made at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and get up close to koalas at the Phillip Island Koala Conservation Centre. The highlight of your Phillip Island experience will begin at dusk as you watch the fairy penguins waddling up the beach into their burrows in the sand dunes.
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1 day Mornington Peninsula incl NP ? Bunyip Tours

Only one hour from Melbourne, the charming Mornington Peninsula showcases Victoria?s stunning natural treasures. See the stunning Point Nepean National Park, visit a prestigious winery and explore the famous strawberry fields of Sunny ridge farm (Nov-Apr). Lose yourself at Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Australia?s oldest and largest maze.
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Perth and Margaret River
Viticulture is the largest primary industry in this region so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting wineries. There are 150 wine producers and 5,500 hectares under vine. That means wine wine and more wine! Margaret River is renowned for chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends but the shiraz and sauvignon semillon blancs are well worth tasting too. Click here to see all Perth tours.

Swan Valley Wine Cruise

As you glide along the smooth waters of the river your captain will show and explain to you highlights along the banks of the Swan. Sit back on the open deck or in air-conditioned comfort with restaurant style seating and taste a selection of West Australian wines. Learn about the ancient art of wine making and enjoy a delicious lunch at Chester?s Winery. Then, only a short coach trip away to the beautiful Houghton Vineyard for further wine tastings. Once the wine tasting is over, it?s off to the famous Margaret River Chocolate Factory ? chocolate should always follow wine!
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Queenstown, New Zealand
While it may be better known as an adventure capital, Queenstown is also replete with wineries ? there are actually some 74 to choose from. This fabulous wine producing region is renowned for its Pinor Noir. Click here for a full list of tours.

Boutique Wine Tour

Join New Zealand?s International award winning wine tour company , Appellation Central Wine Tours, and discover the best Central Otago has to offer. Departing Queenstown at 12 noon, this tour offers a fantastic taste of Central Otago featuring the region?s boutique vineyards, the hidden gems of Central Otago. We visit four vineyards including a delightful vineyard lunch in Bannockburn. Max group size of 11 adults ensures a relaxed pace and fun tour.
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Original Wine Tour

Join us for an in-depth introduction to local wineries with an option of purchasing a winery lunch. We allow plenty of time for sightseeing and wine tasting at a variety of vineyards just a short journey from Queenstown. Tour includes tastings at four wineries, an underground wine cave tour and a view of Queenstown?s original bungy jump.
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Hostels with wine tours

Sydney?s Jolly Swagman and Katoomba?s Flying Fox Backpackers also offer wine tasting options.

??

Hope you?re enjoying the VIP Backpacker?s Travel Blog. There?ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

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Raytheon's updated JTACs situational awareness system eyes-on (video)

Raytheon's updated JTACs system lets soldiers call in airstrike targets by looking at them

Though you may think drones do all the fighting these days, actual soldiers on the ground are still used to call in airstrikes. Sometimes it's still necessary to visually confirm targets before the flyboys create a smoking crater. Though the army has toyed with smartphones and other means to connect soldiers, Raytheon has created a new JTACs (Joint Tactical Air Controller system) prototype for ground forces to let them separate friendlies from enemies and relay the information to strike forces. The system consists of a chest-worn computer, heads-up monocle viewer and wrist-worn display, which together let the solider select a target merely by looking at it and pressing a button. They can also tag friendly forces the same way or send update situational data to the rest of the team, whether they're on the ground or flying a fighter overhead. That assistance from the ground will make it easier for those at the yoke to differentiate between friendlies and targets.

We tried the prototype ourselves in a limited, 2D environment here at the 2013 Paris Air Show and, without any help getting set up, were able to tag targets as red diamonds and friendly forces as amber squares. Everything we did was also displayed on second screen, simulating the ability to send live updates to other soldiers or the base. Impressive as it was, the whole thing is merely a prototype for now, though, that could eventually change. The military AR system is part of a larger platform called AWARE, which Raytheon hopes to eventually deploy. For a detailed explanation about how it works, check out the video after the break.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Iran's Ahmadinejad given court summons over feuds

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ? Iran's official news agency says a criminal court has summoned outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over a lawsuit filed by the country's parliament speaker and others.

Monday's report by IRNA gave no further details, but Ahmadinejad and the speaker, Ali Larijani, have waged political feuds for years. In February, Ahmadinejad released a barely audible videotape that purported to show discussion over bribes that included Larijani's brother.

A parliamentary committee also joined Larijani in the legal action.

IRNA, which comes under the president's authority, noted there were several other subpoenas issued previously against Ahmadinejad. It described the latest as unconstitutional. The court set a November date for Ahmadinejad's appearance.

He officially leaves office in August after the swearing-in of President-elect Hasan Rowhani, a relative moderate who won a landslide victory last week.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/irans-ahmadinejad-given-court-summons-over-feuds-102224892.html

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Why I like Mathematics and why Students should Discover and ...

I gave a presentation yesterday to some Year 11/Grade 10 students about why I like maths.?I tried to steer clear of?the applications of mathematics in?technology and science and wanted to give a presentation that made sense from their reference frame ? hence if I was giving a presentation to younger students, older students or parents I?d probably choose different things to talk about.

Whilst I think that technical skill and learning content is important in everything we do and aids?discovery and creativity,?I do think that we don?t do enough in school mathematics to expose students to discovering and creating their own stuff. That?s the fundamental aspect of the talk.

At the start of the presentation, I showed two clips (Clip 1 ? if you?re stretched for time watch from?1:50 onwards?and Clip 2)?about the new Karate Kid film and asked them for their opinions on why he became so frustrated and why he didn?t enjoy learning Kung Fu. The answers are obvious:

1) He didn?t have a clue why he was putting a coat up on a peg and couldn?t see how this would help in his life.

2) Continuous drills of doing the same thing over and over again is not Kung Fu ? it?s practice!

In the second clip, even though he knew he?d continue to get bullied, he decided that it wasn?t worth the effort and nearly quit. It was only when he was able to apply skills to a scenario and ?Do Kung Fu? that he began to understand and was genuinely shocked at what he?d been able to achieve ? he obviously had no idea that he was able to do that?and?just needed Mr.Hang to provide the right opportunity for him to be creative.

After that, I asked them to?the second page?from A Mathematician?s Lament by Paul Lockhart. It?s the part where an?Art teacher has a nightmare about observing a class that is solely based on rote learning, drills and no creativity. I said that I felt that my own maths Education was quite similar to that and a student said that this is a common perception about how maths is taught in schools.

After that I started talking about a few examples which I felt would illustrate the playful and creative side of mathematics to a class of 15-16 year old students. Unfortunately we only had 45 minutes so we couldn?t explore things together,?it was more about my explorations.?It?s highly edited due to the 500MB capacity of vimeo. [By the way, I don't?have a clue?where I plucked out the 90% statistic towards the end - extra planning was needed here I think!]

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Agent Smartwatch Banks On Design, Developers, Distribution To Survive Battle

Backed or Whacked logoEditor?s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and blogs at Techspressive. Stop me if you?ve heard this one. A guy walks into a watch store and... a smartwatch business partnership is formed. OK, it?s not a funny joke; in fact, it?s not a joke at all. When Secret Labs? founder and CTO Chris Walker walked into the House of Horology store on Prince Street owned by neighbor Lawrence Layderman. A discussion about the future watches led Walker to show Layderman a prototype of a state-of-the-art smartwatch he had already been working on for a year and a half.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/st5Y_XAITbM/

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