Friday, February 29, 2008

How to bypass Internet Service restrictions

There are many situation in which your access to the internet and the services used with it are restricted.
It can be your employer.
It can be your service provider.
It can also be that you live in a country which controls your online activities.
The latter one is mainly valid in the Middle Est, especially in United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
If one of those reasons is your case, how cn you solve your problem if you need to use the blocked services – VoIP (Skype for example) ?

There is one simple solution.
It is called VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network.
As you won’t be able to install VPN by yourself within your environment due to the restrictions mentioned, you can use an external VPN service.
This will allow you to use all these blocked services and Anonymous Surfing. VPN Service is the answer.

The Simpson

"It's been 18 years and 400 episodes since The Simpsons first appeared on Fox, and although the idea of a film has been mooted since round about season three, it's taken until now to materialise. Yet with the TV show generally agreed to be a teensy bit past its best and a weensy bit surpassed in recent years by Family Guy, Baker wasn't all that far off the mark - this has as much potential to go wrong as a ballsed-up Beatles reunion.

Don't worry, though: unless these were literally the only 10 fun minutes out of 90, The Simpsons Movie seems as brilliant as it should be. Where the sublime South Park movie Bigger, Longer and Uncut depicted a gay affair between Saddam Hussein and Satan, Al Jean claimed last night that the theme of their movie was basically "that a man should listen to his wife".

Yet even 10 minutes were enough to tell that The Simpsons Movie riffs on global society's two biggest moral panics: religion and the environment."

We are used to the other way around.
It usually begins with a successful movie and goes on as a more or less successful TV series.
But then: who watches TV now a days?
Easier to go to the movies, better, easier to download the Movie from a P2P and watching it on your computer screen.
This is definitely the victory of the Internet over TV.
Movie on demand, or whatever you want to call it.
Everything but TV.
One thing more: the Internet and Movies Shouldn’t really be a BAD COPY of TV.

Patrizia The Movie Whisperer

My favourite subject is: Good Food

What is my favourite subject?
It a three words letter: PIE
And I think I love all kinds of PIES.
From fruit to chocolate, from ice cream to cheese and I am open to any kind of suggestions.
I am so fond of them that I even like to COOK them, even if cooking comes in the last places of my habitual duties.

Let's be honest, I am not what you could declare a "born cook", but when it comes to produce what I like to eat I can become great.

Of course with a little help from the Internet and some good websites with good recipes.
Something like:, where you really find ALL what you can dream.
You just need to be able to read, to understand and of course to follow instructions and then you can really prepare masterpieces like any great cook.
This is one of the Magic of the Internet, you can easily become what you are not, you can learn, because there are million places where they teach.
So, what about "All Cookie recipes"?
Or "Chocolate history"? In case you fancy to know who had the good idea to invent something so delicious.
I guess that if the Nobel prize was given to people who really did something great to humanity, there would be much more place for the people who invented food like Chocolate or Pizza or Pies...
Well, certainly Agape Technologies understand what I mean...

How to make your network better (for free)

Got a small network, home network, medium-size network -- even an enterprise network -- and want to get the most out of it? Then I've got good news for you: 10 free pieces of software that can make your network easier to use, troubleshoot and maintain. These freebies will help everyone from networking pros to networking newbies and everyone in between.

There's plenty here for you -- great free tools for keeping your network secure; creating a quick, navigable network map; scanning networks and putting together a list of all connected devices; checking to see if your servers are up and running; even designing networks and more.

Note that I'm leaving out extremely popular and well-known free downloads, such as the Ethereal network protocol analyzer or Wireshark and am concentrating instead on lesser-known downloads.

And as a bonus, I'm including a review of an extra, for-pay, try-before-you-buy download that can help your network as well.

Network Magic

If you're looking for a simple, free, all-in-one network management tool for a small peer-to-peer network, this is the one to get. It handles all the basic network chores, including adding new devices to the network, fixing broken network connections, setting up wireless encryption and protection, sharing printers and folders, reporting on the state of the security of each PC, and much more.

Wizards guide you through all these tasks and others. If you've got network experience, the wizards may or may not be useful, but those with moderate or less network experience will certainly find them helpful. But even if you're a network pro, there's a lot in this simple program you'll find worthwhile.

Network Magic's Network Map is superior to Windows Vista's and lists useful information for each device attached to the network.
Click to view larger image.For example, the network map, pictured nearby, displays every device connected to your network, shows whether it's online or offline, and displays details about each, including the computer name, IP address, MAC address, operating system being used, shared folders, and system information such as its processor and RAM. It also lets you change the machine name, and it displays alerts about each device, such as if it isn't protected properly. Overall, it's far superior to Windows Vista's Network Map.

The software's Status Center is also useful. It displays overall information about your network, such as whether there are any problems with overall security or with an individual PC. It also lets you troubleshoot connections, shows whether there are any intruders on the network, and displays information about wireless protection.

Network Magic can create reports about Internet and network use of each PC connected to the network.
Click to view larger image. Parents will appreciate some of Network Magic's features. For example, the software can monitor the use of any individual PC on the network for the Web sites it visits, the times the computer is online and which programs are being used, and then mail a daily report about it to an e-mail address. So it's ideal for parents who want to keep track of their kids' computer use. There's much more as well, including a bandwidth tester to show you your current Internet broadband speed.

Note that there are both paid and free versions of the software. The free version includes most basic features, such as repairing broken connections, issuing security alerts, monitoring network activity and the Network Map. The paid version, which costs from $24 to $40 (depending on how many PCs are on your network), delivers daily reports of Internet activity, supports remote access to your network's files and includes other advanced features.

When you install this program, you may need to tell your firewall to let this application access your network and the Internet.

Full Article

A happy customers is worth 1K words...

For professional use, or just for a personal need you may decide that a label, a real coloured, printed label can add to your products that touch of uniqueness or just order and usability.
But the right one has to answer to special features:

1) Be professionally done

2) be the right size

3) be the right style

4) be the right colour

5) having colours that last

6) In certain cases be water proof

7) be easy to use.

So, where to find the rightLabels? can offer all what you can dream of asking for your labels.
They are printed using HP indigo press, and AB Graphics converting machinery to laminate, die cut, and slit the stickers and labels onto separate rolls.
They do not have "set up" fees, this thanks to the fact that the graphic image is electrically drawn onto a PIP (photo imaging plate) and the fluid ink is then transferred directly onto the substrate or material eliminating the need for costly printing plates.
This also allows to print variable data stickers or labels.( You can have different labels on the same roll).
And you can be sure that your labels will perfectly match the press proof.
For all this you would think you have to wait ages, believe me, the processing time is just three working days.
Not only, if you are in a real hurry they can process your request in one day...

And last, but not least: thy really care for their customers.
They know that a happy customers is worth 1K words, more than any image...

Is encryption the solution?

Several BitTorrent developers have joined forces to propose a new protocol extension with the ability to bypass the BitTorrent interfering techniques used by Comcast and other ISPs. This new form of encryption will be implemented in BitTorrent clients including uTorrent, so Comcast subscribers are free to share again.

BitTorrent throttling is not a new phenomenon, ISPs have been doing it for years. When the first ISPs started to throttle BitTorrent traffic most BitTorrent clients introduced a countermeasure, namely, protocol header encryption. This was the beginning of an ongoing cat and mouse game between ISPs and BitTorrent client developers, which is about to enter new level.

Unfortunately, protocol header encryption doesn’t help against more aggressive forms of BitTorrent interference, like the Sandvine application used by Comcast. A new extension to the BitTorrent protocol is needed to stay ahead of the ISPs, and that is exactly what is happening right now.

Back in August we were the first to report that Comcast was actively disconnecting BitTorrent seeds. Comcast of course denied our allegations, and ever since there has been a lot of debate about the rights and wrongs of Comcast’s actions. On Wednesday, Comcast explained their BitTorrent interference to the FCC in a 57-page filing. Unfortunately they haven’t stopped lying yet, since they now argue that they only delay BitTorrent traffic, while in fact they disconnect people, making it impossible for them to share files with non-Comcast users.

In short, the Comcast interference works like this: A few seconds after you connect to someone in a BitTorrent swarm, a peer reset message (RST flag) is sent by Comcast and the upload immediately stops. Most vulnerable are users in a relatively small swarm where you only have a couple of peers you can upload the file to.

Dewayne Hendricks

Why a MAC

Looking for a new computer?
Or a second one?
One that allows you to do much more than your actual PC?

If you are fond of working with multimedia material the right machine is a Mas as the Mac offers much more professional software in this field than any other. Windows software can’t even come close to this.
No matter if you want to work with digital music files or video files, you will find everything you can dream of.
And these applications offer you features and functions which can fulfil the highest requirements.

It doesn’t end here.
If you also have to or need to prepare professional documents and printing there is again nothing really better than a Mac.
Which is why most of the graphical and printing companies use Mac’s around the globe.

Well, we all know that a new Mac with all the features we would like doesn't come cheap.
But – does it always have to be a new one?
Why not looking for a used MAC?
This is the way to get a machine with features integrated you normally wouldn’t be able to pay for.
And these computers are on sale not because they didn’t do what they should have done, but the main reason is usually that the actual owner wants a new one with more memory or more features or just wants the very latest model.

Think about this possibility and if you go for it, the right place is

The secrets of flying come from Birds, Bats And Insects

Natural flyers like birds, bats and insects outperform man-made aircraft in aerobatics and efficiency. University of Michigan engineers are studying these animals as a step toward designing flapping-wing planes with wingspans smaller than a deck of playing cards.

A Blackbird jet flying nearly 2,000 miles per hour covers 32 body lengths per second. But a common pigeon flying at 50 miles per hour covers 75. The roll rate of the aerobatic A-4 Skyhawk plane is about 720 degrees per second. The roll rate of a barn swallow exceeds 5,000 degrees per second.

Select military aircraft can withstand gravitational forces of 8-10 G. Many birds routinely experience positive G-forces greater than 10 G and up to 14 G.

“Natural flyers obviously have some highly varied mechanical properties that we really have not incorporated in engineering,” said Wei Shyy, chair of the Aerospace Engineering department and an author of the new book “The Aerodynamics of Low Reynolds Number Flyers.”

“They’re not only lighter, but also have much more adaptive structures as well as capabilities of integrating aerodynamics with wing and body shapes, which change all the time,” Shyy said. “Natural flyers have outstanding capabilities to remain airborne through wind gusts, rain, and snow.” Shyy photographs birds to help him understand their aerodynamics.

Full Article

How to have the breast of your dreams

Rachel was the tallest of her family: 5"9.
Somebody like me would think she was the luckiest of girls.
Also because she was quite thin, with a model body.
But, as usual in life, nobody is ever happy about the way she looks...
She felt her small chest was out of proportion and she used to be very unhappy about it.
Till one day she came to know about what they call Boob Job.
It means Breast Enlargement Surgery and it is the most common form of cosmetic surgery with the highest satisfaction rate.
Breast enlargement is a simple and very safe surgical procedure that can help you to regain the confidence you lack in your body as Rachel did.
Very simply an implant is inserted through a small incision made in the natural crease of your breast.
One day later you can leave the Hospital and after one week you'll have your stitches removed.
Simple, isn't it?

We are all born with an evolutionarily ancient mathematical instinct

Our ability to learn sophisticated mathematical procedures resided in an entirely different part of the brain from a rougher quantitative sense. Over the decades, evidence concerning cognitive deficits in brain-damaged patients has accumulated, and researchers have concluded that we have a sense of number that is independent of language, memory, and reasoning in general. Within neuroscience, numerical cognition has emerged as a vibrant field.
We are all born with an evolutionarily ancient mathematical instinct. To become numerate, children must capitalize on this instinct, but they must also unlearn certain tendencies that were helpful to our primate ancestors but that clash with skills needed today. And some societies are evidently better than others at getting kids to do this. In both France and the United States, mathematics education is often felt to be in a state of crisis. The math skills of American children fare poorly in comparison with those of their peers in countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. Fixing this state of affairs means grappling with the question that has taken up much of Dehaene’s career: What is it about the brain that makes numbers sometimes so easy and sometimes so hard?

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A victory against Alzheimer

With a little help, our brains can be trained to heal themselves. After a traumatic brain injury, some of your brain cells go into reset mode, reverting to a stem cell-like state. Using these "reset cells," a group of German researchers were able to coax the brains of injured mice to regrow neurons to replace damaged tissue (the images above are micrographs of the cells regrowing over time).

Though their methods are far from perfect, this breakthrough could help replace dead or damaged brain cells in people suffering from Alzheimer's as well as any type of injury. It's just a matter of extending the brain's natural self-healing powers.

Full Article

At the light speed: who will stop P2P in a near future?

Alcatel-Lucent researchers in France have successfully transmitted optical data at an absolutely blazing speed of 16.4 Tbps over a distance of over 1,500 miles.

The transmission was done with the goal of achieving a 100 Gbps Ethernet connection, which, as I'm sure you'd agree, is a goal we can all get behind. All sorts of fancy, confusing-sounding technologies were used to get the blazing optical transmission, including "a highly linear, balanced optoelectronic photoreceiver and an ultra-compact, temperature-insensitive coherent mixer." I kept telling them that they just needed a more balanced optoelectronic photoreceiver! I'm glad they finally listened.

We're still pretty far from seeing speeds anywhere near this in consumer connections, as the technology being worked on here will go towards the internet's backbone rather than in a line to your house. But I mean, honestly, at what point is bandwidth so fast that it doesn't matter if it gets any faster? When we're talking about speeds that'll allow you to download a full HD movie in 15 seconds versus 3 seconds, you really start to lose the right to complain about it.

Full Article

It's called "Google hacking"the way to unearth sensitive material mistakenly posted to public Web sites.

Automated 'Google Hacking' Software for Unearthing Data on Other Sites Triggers Security Fears

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- It's called "Google hacking" -- a slick data-mining technique used by the Internet's cops and crooks alike to unearth sensitive material mistakenly posted to public Web sites.

And it's just gotten easier, thanks to a program that automates what has typically been painstaking manual labor. The program's authors say they hope it will "screw a large Internet search engine and make the Web a safer place."

Google hacking doesn't mean anyone's hacking Google's Web site. Rather, it refers to a sophisticated searching technique used to uncover flaws in the way Web sites handle confidential details, such as public files containing password and credit card numbers and clues about the vulnerability of the site's own servers.

It works by examining the hidden recesses of a Web site, areas that have been indexed by Google but don't pop up in traditional searches. Sometimes Web sites accidentally post revealing information about themselves, either because employees mistakenly put confidential documents online, or the site wasn't properly configured to obscure sensitive areas.

Security experts say Google hacking wouldn't be an issue if Web sites had proper security safeguards in place.

By looking through Google for evidence of specific types of files used by a Web site or telling responses from the Web site's servers, hackers can learn a lot about how the site was built -- and thus how to begin crafting their attacks.

Although Google hacking has been used for several years by good guys and bad guys to monitor security, experts caution that the new program, called Goolag, could tip the balance in favor of criminals.

"It just makes their job that much easier -- in a very short period of time they can do all these searches for sensitive information," said Ryan Barnett, director of application security at Breach Security Inc. and a SANS Institute faculty member.

Google hackers have typically had to enter in detailed Google search strings by hand, using specially crafted queries to unearth links buried deep in the list of a site's contents. Google has been able to clamp down on past attempts to automate the process.

Experts say the new program, on the other hand, appears to work differently, tricking Google into believing a real person is typing the queries -- in other words, someone Google would be unlikely to block.

Google declined to comment on Goolag, released by the hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow.

Full Article

You are just a few clicks away from your full satisfaction

In a world that is getting more and more a place of illegal legality, where very often insult adds to injury, it is difficult to get Accident Compensation also when you are 100% right.
Very often it costs a lot of money and it doesn’t pay off.
So much that for small accidents it is not even worth to claim damages.
What about legal services that DO NOT "SUCK"?
What about a leading law firm that no matter what and how and who will ALWAYS act in your best interest?
What about a dream?
What about having, for once in life, the feeling that justice still works and somebody still cares for you and your rights?
"We act under a No Win No Fee agreement. If unsuccessful it costs you nothing".
Isn't that gold for your ears?
Is that really possible?
It looks like it is, if you see they have already obtained £180 million in compensation for their clients.
Do you want to be their next happy and satisfied customer?
Easy: Register your claim or alternatively call one of their specialist advisors on 0800 294 1700
You are just a few clicks away from your full satisfaction.

How to prevent breast cancer

A drug that could prevent thousands of young women developing breast cancer has been created by scientists.

If given regularly to those with a strong family history of the cancer, researchers say it could effectively "vaccinate" them against a disease they are almost certain to develop.

The drug, which attacks tumours caused by genetic flaws, could spare those who have the rogue genes the trauma of having their breasts removed.

Currently, a high proportion of women told they have inherited the rogue genes choose to have a mastectomy as a preventative measure.

Researchers hope such a "vaccine" will be available within a decade. Flawed BRCA genes, which are passed from mother to daughter, are responsible for around 2,000 of the 44,000 cases of breast cancer each year in the UK.

Full Article

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It pays to give people a chance

Sometimes the chance to get money as credit is linked to a number, a low number means bad credit, a high number means you are very likely to get what you asked for.
But if you have a low score that is usually the moment you need more to get credit.
And of course a low number doesn't mean always you won't be able to pay back your debts.
Luckily there are still companies that can believe in you helping to pay off debts before it causes a bad credit in your name.
Or sometimes is just enough to put all your debts together, fix a new and easier way to pay back and life can smile again to you.
I luckily was never in that situation, because I was brought up in a different way and I was lucky enough to have help when I needed it.
But I still remember when I was a child a family friend (a salesman) talking to my mother and telling her the story of one of his customers.
He was a good man, a good worker, but once in his life he was not able to pay his bills.
And that was a very bad period for him, because his wife gave birth in the same time to a handicapped child.
What would you do, he asked my mother.
One would think that the best solution was to let him go bankruptcy and get all what he could.
He didn't.
He bet on that man.
He let him work out his problems, he gave him credit and he got ALL his money back, with interests too.
He did it because he was a nice and good person, but also because he was a clever business man.
He knew that it pays to give people a chance.
I was very little at that time.
That family's friend died many years ago, but I still remember.

When going backward means going forward

Rev your bike, strum a chord, hit that trail, says Sarah Barrell. There's a whole other country out there.

1 Roswell, New Mexico

Why go? Join the 150,000 Americans who travel across the country each year to Roswell's UFO Festival (1-4 July 2004). This cult community celebration of the supposed crash of a UFO near Roswell in 1947 knocks little green spots off Nevada's area 51. Expect alien costume parades and parties and earnest conferences on alienology. Extend the weekend with a trip to Santa Fe, arts hub and home to an opera festival (July-August).

2 Austin, Texas

Why go? A happening liberal college town with great nightlife and a thriving live music scene, Austin is in most respects as far from cowboy country as LA or New York. A southern refuge for artists, musicians and writers, the capital of Texas won't have tourists doing their frantic rounds but is simply a darn good place to hang out. Austin also hosts the unique South by Southwest Festival, which annually draws the biggest names in "alt-country" (alterative country/blues) and "borders" music - a hip hybrid of US alt-country and contemporary Mexican. This year's festival starts on Wednesday and runs to next Sunday. Little Richard headlines, along with The Thrills, The B-52s, Papa Roach, Athlete, and The Scissors Sisters.

3 The Presidentials, New Hampshire

Why go? Not for the election but the tallest and most impressive mountains in New England. The Presidentials stand at the heart of New Hampshire and represent the best leaf-peeping terrain. The Appalachian trail, through the heart of the range, is beloved of hikers but almost any road in this rugged region offers spectacular views. Mount Washington Auto Road and Kancamagus Highway afford jaw-clanging panoramas.

4 The Southern Rockies

Why go? Beyond the international flash of ski resorts such as Aspen and Vail, there are quiet, quirky little mountain towns. Try Redstone, Colorado, "the Ruby of the Rockies", or, just to the south, Dunton Hotsprings. This is a gold-rush town, renovated by an inspired hotelier into a rustic resort for well-heeled outdoor types. It's located in Telluride, a valley overlooking the Four Corners, where mountains of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet.

5 Charlotte, North Carolina

Why go? A cool small city with southern charm and an artistic flair, non-stop flights from London make Charlotte easily accessible while leaving it its off-the-beaten-track atmosphere. The city is well within striking distance of the "real" Cold Mountain, partial setting of the recent film and great place for panoramic road trips. Follow the twisting Blue Ridge Mountain parkway to spot soaring views of the mountain itself with plenty of short hiking trails, and camp sites and lodges en route for the adventurous.

6 Paradise, Arizona

Why go? A road trip from Tucson to Tombstone on the Old Spanish Trail goes via the Saguaro National Park, a 100,000-acre reserve famous for its iconic wiggly cacti. Follow State Highway 80 for about 75 miles (along the route of the Old Spanish Trail, formerly the main highway across the southern US) and you'll pass some curious roadside attractions before ending up in Tombstone, the site of the OK Coral. Paradise, above Tombstone in the mountains of the Coronado National Forest, is an 1880s silver-mining town. Here you'll be confronted by Cave Creek Canyon's vast red-rock walls, as impressive as those in the parks of Zion or Yosemite, but with fewer tourists.

7 San Diego, California

Why go? If you've done LA, the Californian wineries and San Francisco, the next stop has to be San Diego. The most instantly likeable coastal spot in southern California, San Diego has almost constant sunshine, smog-free beaches, plus galleries and nightlife in its historical Little Italy district. And it's only 20 miles from Tijuana.

8 Memphis, Tennessee

Why go? The Stax Museum of American Soul Music opened last year in the dilapidated southern part of "America's music capital". It is named after the record label that produced so much talent in the 1960s that this part of town became known as Soulsville, USA. The "Stax sound" produced monster hits, including Sam and Dave's "Soul Man" and Otis Redding's "The Dock of the Bay". The museum looks set to revitalise Memphis, which, while known as the "home of the blues", "birthplace of rock'n'roll", and site of Elvis Presley's old home Graceland, may have seen better days.

9 Louisville, Kentucky

Why go? Better known for the Kentucky derby (16 April to 2 May), Louisville has gained more cult attention lately for Lebowskifest (18-20 June 2004), an annual celebration of all things Lebowski. This homage to "The Dude" (the off-beat American par excellence from the 1998 Coen Brothers' film, The Big Lebowski), includes costume contests, screenings, bowling competitions and far too many White Russians.

10 Sturgis, South Dakota

Why go? The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally started 60 years ago as a small road race and now attracts a quarter of a million bikers. Harley-riding chief executives from Milwaukee (where the Harley-Davidson was born) pull up beside teenagers from Iowa on second-hand Hondas for the biggest celebration of the open road in America. The festival (9-15 August, 2004) sends chapters of bikers on competitions and cruises to such hallowed American sights as Mount Rushmore and the spooky Badlands National Park.

Full Article

The deceptive "unfettered" and "fastest" of Comcast

Washington, DC (February 19, 2008)—Gilbert Randolph LLP announced today that it has filed a class action lawsuit against Comcast of the District, LLC in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of its client, Dr. Sanford Sidner, and all citizens of the District of Columbia who have subscribed to Comcast's high-speed Internet service during the past three years. The Complaint alleges that Comcast advertises and represents that it provides the "fastest Internet connection" and "unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer."
These representations allegedly are false because Comcast intentionally blocks or otherwise impedes its customers' access to peer-to-peer file-sharing applications.

According to the Complaint, Comcast surreptitiously impersonates the computers of users attempting to share files and sends forged "reset packets" that instruct the transmitting computers to stop sending data. Thus, users of peer-to-peer applications are denied full access to the Internet despite paying for a service that Comcast promises is "unfettered" and the "fastest" available.

"Comcast promises that it does not block access to any online applications, including peer‑to‑peer services, but then it turns around and does exactly that," said Gilbert Randolph's August J. Matteis, Jr., attorney for the plaintiff. "Comcast deliberately hinders customers from getting the full benefits of the service they purchased, and it does so in an underhanded and deceptive manner."

Full Article

Global warming means global cooling

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began.
Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data.
All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Full Article

The World's fastest Indians

"Herbert J 'Burt' Munro, a plucky pensioner who repeatedly broke the world land-speed record in the 60s on his modified Indian Scout motorbike. As played by Anthony Hopkins, he emerges as a likeable eccentric whose refusal to see out his days quietly will strike a chord with geriatrics everywhere."

A movie to see.
Not because of the story, but for the power and life's lessons of the main character Anthony Hopkins ( 'Burt' ).
How to follow and reach your goals with the strenght of your will.
If you are determined enough people cannot do anything else than following you and liking you.
A breath of youth coming from an old aged person.
Nothing more adrenaline creating than that.
It's the revised "American Dream", where a nobody can create his bright future, providing he wants it enough.
Hopkins is, as usual, at his best.

Patrizia in The Movie Whisperer

About health

I am not a superstitious person, but I never walk under stairs, I touch iron (I am Italian, I know somewhere else they touch wood) when a black cat crosses my road and I have a good Health insurance.
Because the best way to be healthy is having a good insurance, and you can be almost 100% sure you won't get ill, and, in the case you do, at least you have the satisfaction to get back the money you spent...

If you happen to live in the UK I suggest you as private health cover
Because it is "The UK's leading provider of private health care insurance and health care services", because it can be tailored to all your needs, because it gives a good financial protection and you can insure everything, from yourself to your home and family, your trips and even your dog...
And if this is not enough, may be it would make you feeling better to know that part of your money will be spent for a good cause.
"From October to December 2007, 60 BUPA volunteers travelled to northern Thailand to work on a series of projects to improve Sarnelli House orphanage."
See the Movie

Because I said so

At Jane Austen's times a non married woman of three and twenty was a spinster.
Now a days she is a "happy single" where happy can be seen as ironical, because it looks like not so much has changed.
The goal of today's girls is the same: to find a husband.
Not as a feminist, but as a clever woman (as I humbly describe myself) I didn't like it and I hope many won't.
Nevertheless it could anyway make profits.
It could be used as a commercial for those multi usage electronic devices which are mostly real time communication tools: the cell phones.
The whole movie is an eulogy to them, and 90% of the time the people acting spend, is on their portables.
The only thing they should add is some nice and original ringtones, which I found lacking and are a due accessory to them.
The end is too much granted, but most of the people wouldn't like a different way.
And customers are king, since they pay for it.
Nevertheless I made it to the end, and if I did, I guess most would.
Patrizia in The Movie Whisperer

A light on "Western"

Are you a cowboy?
Or a fan of Western?
This post is for you.
I won't suggest how to be one, but how to live with the same "light".
"Lamps and lighting are a deeply integral part of any home design, and double for any Western home decor plan", so why not looking for western lamps?
They would match any style, but would be perfect for a nostalgic, casual, masculine style.
I would see it perfect for a bachelor (better, a single).
They call it "Lone Star Western decor" and it could be a perfect way to create the real atmosphere of the "Marlboro Country".
And may be also surprise and attract a Western nostalgic like you...

Take the lead

Interesting movie.
First: if you think dancing was for sissies, may be you can change your mind.
Second: great men can use anything to teach life. Also dancing lessons. And this proves what I always knew and said: you can be a real "entertainer" and even more, if you know and love what you are supposed to teach.
"Amor che a nullo amato amar perdona" Dante's words, true almost one thousand years ago and true now.
If you really love something you can make others loving it.
Third: this could be the classic example of how commercials will be in the future.
Do you need to promote Ballroom dancing? Don't use a spot, use a movie like this.
There is no commercial product that couldn't be widespread better than entertaining people and suggesting the real value of it.
How many will suddenly realize that there is no better exercise than learning ballroom dancing?
You acquire grace, fitness, you can control and develop your muscles and more than anything: you will enjoy it...

Patrizia in The Movie Whisperer

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cocaine: some people more vulnerable then others

Brain scans have revealed a possible biological basis for cocaine addiction which may explain why some get hooked, while others can use the drug socially.
The scans show cocaine alters parts of the brain controlling behaviour and appropriate decision-making.

In effect, the drug messes with what is colloquially known as willpower - with some maybe more vulnerable than others.

Trinity College Dublin researchers will present their findings to a Royal Society meeting.

The researchers took brain scans of cocaine users while they performed computer tasks.

They found that cocaine increased activity in areas of the pre-frontal cortex.

The scans also revealed differences in brain structures of cocaine users.

It is unclear whether the differences existed before they started taking cocaine, or were a result of using the drug.

But the findings raise the possibility that differences in brain structure render some people potentially more vulnerable to the effects of the drug.

Full Article

Eco Power

Biofuel has been a buzzward in green political circles for a long time, but are biofuels truly a sustainable solution? Many argue that they are not. Land used in the production of biofuels often replaces much-needed farmland or is cut out of important ecosystems around the world. In short: the big picture for biofuels does not look bright given the vast natural resources that are required to produce them in the first place.

Fusion Power is that fabled cheap-and-clean energy source that always seems to be just on the horizon and out of reach. How many times in the past decades have we heard that this sustainable technology is just a few more years away? Sure, it might be true this time, but there’s no way to say. Some argue though that the mood (and venture capital) is shifting, but is it worthwhile putting so many resources toward something that is anything but a sure bet?

Artificial Islands have been a conceptual idea for ecological power generation for over a decade. The basic idea: use wind, wave and solar power in ideal offshore locations to produce onshore power. The latest idea: use thermal variation to generate power. The problem: setting up and maintaining these offshore islands could be cost and energy prohibitive, a common problem with new technologies.

Plug-In Hybrids are one proposed solution to transportation fuel in a world where soybeans, biofuels and other renewable/sustainable energy sources are competing to be the next be the next big thing. Batteries are the big limiting factor here because they have to not only store a great deal of energy but also be able to output energy at variable intensity in order to sustain both normal use and a range of acceleration rates.

Zero-Pollution Cars have been proposed that would keep rather than exhaust carbon which would then be recycled into usable fuel at a conversion facility. The trick, of course, is converting said non-exhaust on-site within the vehicle itself before it is transported back to a central location. Beyond that, the technology for converting the fuel back is feasible but its redistribution would require extensive and energy-consuming networks.

Gravity Powered devices (such as lamps) sound like a great idea, but no energy is free and the scalability of this concept is questionable. The basic idea: a weight is raised then generates power for hours as it works its way down the body of the lamp. A neat idea on a small scale that could save some energy but may not have many applications beyond more localized novelty and concept devices that still take quite a bit of energy to create.

A 15-Year Light Source that requires no recharges sounds great - at first anyway. It seems that this GloPaint innovation will last a long time as promised but leftover materials are of questionable toxicity so there is still waste to be considered - just fifteen years later. This may help replace emergency lighting in the short term but still isn’t a long term solution.

Full Article

How deep are their pockets?

Any funds PayPal holds for dispersal are automatically deposited in a corporate bank account, which earns interest, according to Paypal representative Amanda Pires. The money is kept there until it's ready for distribution. PayPal, which processes payments for eBay auctions as well as e-commerce transactions from elsewhere on the Internet, counts interest payments on those funds as one of its revenue streams.

That's a perfectly legal practice, as PayPal is classified as a deposit broker, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) spokesman David Barr.

"Deposit brokers make money being deposit brokers," Barr said. "That's the reason they're in business. As long as fees are disclosed, that's fine from our standpoint."

But the revenue generated from this practice is miniscule given PayPal's total revenue picture, said Thomas Weisel Partners managing director Christa Quarles.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) Director of Internet Research Mark Mahaney arrived at similar estimates by examining PayPal's public quotes of average "stored value." Mahaney approximates the interest earned on the float at "single-digit millions per quarter, and at most $10 million a quarter."
"I understand sellers are angry about [the 21-day policy], but the fee changes are really what's going to drive broader revenues at eBay," Quarles said.

Full Article

Call and begin dreaming

I have never been to Canada.
But I know many who were there and are quite enthusiastic about it.
How couldn't they be?
Canada offers so much and has so many and different attractions that it would be hard to find somebody who wouldn't like to be there.
It is perfect for "green" lovers.
Snowy mountains, deserts, prairies, rain forests and long white beaches, as well as big towns, cultural attractions, cosmopolitan cities, two languages and two different cultures, all in the second largest country of the world.
And if you want to plan your next holidays and you haven't been there, there is nothing easier, just : dial a flight .
They have very cheap flights to Canada, besides having very good offers for a complete vacation (flights and hotels) at very competitive prices.
Call for special offers on all the best Airlines.
Call and begin dreaming, your next holiday is going to be "very special".

When eyes are connected to something else than brain...

For partnered women, a manly man with no attachments seems sexiest when she is fertile.

Whom do you fancy? When in a relationship, women's preferences change over the course of their menstrual cycle.

Women beware: instinctive preferences might up the odds of getting pregnant when cheating on a partner.

In a study looking at the ever-interesting (and ever-mysterious) question of why women are attracted to certain men, researchers found that sexual interest shifts with a partnered woman’s menstrual cycle. When fertile, women in relationships are most attracted to single men; when infertile their attraction shifts to coupled men.

The reason, the researchers suggest, is that coupled women who are thinking of having an affair (even when asked to think about it by researchers) subconsciously select a man who is more likely to be a willing partner when they are fertile.

Full Article

Why Not?

Every minute a "Baby Boomer" reaches 60.
But they do not feel sixty, at least not as "sixty" as the previous generation felt.
In Jane Austen times a woman of five and thirty was an old woman, at the time of Edith Wharton was a "Lady", today she is a young girl who doesn't want to grow old, who just wants to live as well as possible, as nicely as possible and as beautiful as possible.
And all this because she can, and why not taking advantage out of it?
Why being ugly when you can be beautiful?
Why looking old when you can look young?
"Baby boomers are turning to cosmetic surgery to defy the signs of ageing, it has been reported."
And the reason is in two words: Why Not?
"When your clothes fit and your husband says ''You look hot,'' at 50-years-old, it really makes you feel good,"
I think it is just hypocrisy to deny it, in the name I do not know what.
If you want to improve your culture and you read and study, you are clever.
Why not if you want to improve your physical appearance?
Why should you feel guilty if you want to look smart and beautiful, if you want to look young when you feel young?
If with the aid of Liposuction, you can have again a wonderful waist and bottom, you can wear a nice bikini, you can feel sure of yourself and the way you look?
And believe me, the best investment is in yourself and may be also in the way you look, because, as dreadful as it can look, that is a part of the way the others see you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Newest UK Big Brother

Motorists will be targeted by a new generation of road cameras which work out how many people are in a car by measuring the amount of bodily fluid it contains.

The latest snooping device on the nation's roads aims to penalise lone drivers who abuse car-sharing lanes, and is part of a Government effort to combat congestion at busy times.

The cameras work by sending an infrared beam through the windscreen of vehicles which detects the unique make-up of blood and water content in human skin.

The system's inventors believe it will catch out motorists who try to fool existing CCTV road cameras by placing mannequins in passenger seats or fixing photographs to windscreens.

It will at first be used to police car-sharing lanes in Leeds, but councils across the country have already expressed an interest in using them.

Full Article

What antidepressant drugs do

It is my humble opinion that when you are depressed and begin taking antidepressant drugs you begin with a problem and end up with two.
After a short time effect, you fall in an even deeper depression and have the further problem of addiction to the antidepressant.
There is no drug that can help you unless you can help yourself.

Prozac, the bestselling antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and nor do similar drugs in the same class, according to a major review released today.

The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill.

When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs.

The only exception is in the most severely depressed patients, according to the authors - Prof Irving Kirsch from the department of psychology at Hull University and colleagues in the US and Canada. But that is probably because the placebo stopped working so well, they say, rather than the drugs having worked better.

"Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed," says Kirsch. "This study raises serious issues that need to be addressed surrounding drug licensing and how drug trial data is reported."

The paper, published today in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, is likely to have a significant impact on the prescribing of the drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) already recommends that counselling should be tried before doctors prescribe antidepressants. Kirsch, who was one of the consultants for the guidelines, says the new analysis "would suggest that the prescription of antidepressant medications might be restricted even more".

The review breaks new ground because Kirsch and his colleagues have obtained for the first time what they believe is a full set of trial data for four antidepressants.

They requested the full data under freedom of information rules from the Food and Drug Administration, which licenses medicines in the US and requires all data when it makes a decision.

The pattern they saw from the trial results of fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Seroxat), venlafaxine (Effexor) and nefazodone (Serzone) was consistent. "Using complete data sets (including unpublished data) and a substantially larger data set of this type than has been previously reported, we find the overall effect of new-generation antidepressant medication is below recommended criteria for clinical significance," they write.

Two more frequently prescribed antidepressants were omitted from the study because scientists were unable to obtain all the data.

Concerns have been raised in recent years about the side-effects of this class of antidepressant. Evidence that they could prompt some young people to consider suicide led to a warning to doctors not to prescribe them for the under-18s - with the exception of Prozac, which was considered more effective than the rest.

Full Article

Computer desks superstore

It can look useless or futile talking of computer desks, but they can be invaluable help in your daily work.
There is nothing that can drive me crazier than a disordered place where I have to work and have to spend 50% of my time looking for what I need, or having to fight with the printer while using the scanner, or not having enough space for a piece of paper I have to read while working with my computer.
All this sums easily up and easily makes me a nervous worker instead of a happy one...
So little can do so much.
Well, it is true, sometimes life is in the small things and ten centimetres more space can make your day.
It is in this view that a Corner Computer Desk is the favourite of
With something like this you can maximize your office space efficiently without sacrificing style. ( also the eye wants its part)
It was designed to perfectly follow the lines of a ninety degree angle to provide an optimum working area for those who have limited space however still need a large enough work area to accomplish every day office tasks.
And you can have Corner Computer Desks in every style, material and colour.
From wood to plastic and glass.
Besides is the case of "buying one while getting two".
One part follows one side and the other is where another desks starts, so that two people can work on one workstation without sacrificing comfort.
And this is the result of been in the office furniture business for well over twenty years, always improving to find the best solutions for the restricted space of today's office.

Marijuana looks safer than Alcohol

There is no lethal dose of Marijuana as there is Alcohol, and no significant changes to brain structure. However, alcohol can severely damage brain function. Many Universities across the country including both Colorado State Universities and Appalachian State University have brought arguments before their schools in an attempt to equalize penalties for alcohol and marijuana consumption.

Marijuana is much safer than alcohol in terms of temporary impairment. While alcohol causes sever motor skill deficiency rendering one unable to drive or perform other coordinated tasks, marijuana does little other than slow these processes down.

Alcohol withdrawal is widely known as one of the biggest reasons it is hard to stop drinking. Marijuana however, has no physical withdrawals (other than the psychological withdrawal of not being high).

Alcohol tolerance increases substantially with abuse. While marijuana tolerance will increase with use, there is a much smaller difference between a pothead and first time smoker’s needs than there is an alcoholic and a first time drinker.

It is very difficult for Alcoholics to put the bottle down for good. Marijuana has been smoked by nearly 50% of all Americans, and only 1% of that number smoke regularly. Take the total number of citizens in the United States and figure how many people have tried alcohol, and how many are alcoholics, and you’ll be left with a figure 10 times that of marijuana.

Reinforcement is one of those qualities that it is hard to measure by taking a substance, but what it really means is potential for addiction. Marijuana has almost no potential for physical addiction (as stated in withdrawals) but can be psychologically addicting. Many marijuana users get used to the lifestyle and quitting the substance isn’t the problem, it’s the social life they have developed around it.

Full Article

Borrowing money is still SMART

The word "debt" or "mortgage" has never been so "badly" popular as in the last few months.
It looks like the full world is drowning into debts and bankruptcy and making a loan is some sort of devilish practise that will bring you to ruin.
I still believe that making debts for the right goal is a positive way of living and working.
Debts allowed people to reach goals they wouldn't have been able to.
Let's talk about the most common reason why a family makes a loan: to buy a home.
This, in my opinion, is a smart way to invest your money.
Because you buy something you need today and will pay for it in the rest of your life, while you enjoy it at once.
And you save the rent of course.
A property in England, not so many years ago, a "gentleman house" in a very sought of location, was considered expensive at the some of 12000 pounds.
Nowadays that sum of money is considered almost ridiculous.
If you go shopping in Regent Street, you hardly buy something like a good piece of furniture.
Imagine if your grandfather had made a loan at that time and bought that property, paying the ridiculous interest rate of 3%.
Of course if he had borrowed the same sum of money and bet on horses the result would have been quite different.
So, if you ever thought of borrowing money, there has never been a better time.
Now you can easily get a Secured Loan between £5,000 and £150,000.
That could allow you to invest money in a new business, a new career, may be in education, or your children's education.
With this inflation rate, you can risk that the money you owe will be worth three times less than what is worth now...
In spite of all what they say, I still believe that, if done in the right way, and for the right goal, borrowing money is still SMART.

What newspaper history says about newspaper future.

"Michael Kinsley made me laugh a decade ago when he argued against Web populists replacing professional writers, saying that when he goes to a restaurant, he wants the chef to cook his entree, not the guy sitting at the next table. I'm not laughing anymore: When there are millions of aspiring chefs in the room willing to make your dinner for free, a least a hundred of them are likely to deal a good meal. Mainstream publishers no longer have a lock on the means of production, making the future of reading and viewing anybody's game.
The newspaper guild (again, reporters, editors, publishers) can't compete by adding a few blogs here, blogging up coverage over there, and setting up "comment" sections. If newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters don't produce spectacular news coverage no blogger can match, they have no right to survive. "

Jack Shafer

News in itself is nothing.
Presentation is almost everything. The entire question is a question of style.
Stories are written backward, they are supposed to begin with the facts and develop from there, but in reality they begin with a journalist's point of view from which the facts are subsequently organized..
Journalism is a way of "cooking" the facts.

And there are a lot of wonderful chefs blogging now a day.
Sometimes "Spaghetti alla carbonara" can be one thousand times better than the best lobster, and they can be one thousand times cheaper.
A good journalist is just like a good cook: he must know what his customers want.

Spend today and pay (dearly) tomorrow...

"From homeowners in Michigan to Wall Street financiers, Americans at every income level are caught in a full-blown credit crunch. While problems in housing-related credit are now familiar even to casual readers of the financial pages, the rot of bad debt is spreading. "In addition to mortgages, there are also indications that people are straining in credit cards, auto loans and student loans and default rates are starting to rise," says Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University.
In the Federal Reserve's January survey, 55 percent of U.S. banks said they had tightened lending standards on prime mortgages in the past three months, while 60 percent had done so for home-equity lines of credit."

You do not need to be an Economy Guru to understand how and when you can fall in heavy debts and from there to bankruptcy.
You earn 2 and spend 3.
The 1 is the borrowed money.
And the 1 of today plus the ones of the days that follow won't make the situation better.
One thing is sure: soon, the sooner you would like to, you have to face your situation and find a way how.
But how?
First step is acknowledging you have to do something and not just let your debts to drawn you.
And this is the unavoidable step.
Second you need the help of somebody who knows how to and you need to follow his advice.
Do you know what IVA is?
It is the binding agreement between you and your creditors.
And your road to "redemption" begins from here.
With the help of a licensed insolvency practitioner, you work out what you can realistically do to pay back the 1 in excess of your negative balance in a reasonable period of time.
If most of your creditors agree, then you can begin the hard road in an easier way, since all your debts and the future interest on them will be frozen at the time that the IVA proposal is agreed.
If you can manage to maintain your monthly payments, then you could be free of debts in five years or less.

Let's face the "worst case scenario", where your creditors won't agree to an IVA.
You still can propose a Structured Repayment Plan with the aid of Clear Debt.
It will probably take longer than five years, but you will be able to reach your goal.
But your goal shouldn't just be "without debts", it should be "without making debts".
While borrowing money to invest in a job or a career you think will give you a better income and most of all will allow you to pay back the borrowed money, making debts without knowing you will be able to honour is the stupidest thing one should do.
And it is better understanding before than crying later.
Many of us have been brought up with the false idea than the future will always be better than the present and spending today and paying tomorrow is the normal way of living.
But many of us have understood that this is rarely the case.
Very often spending today means not being able to pay tomorrow and THERE IS NOTHING like a FREE LUNCH, even less a FREE LOAN or a FREE MORTGAGE or a FREE DEBT.
If you spend today you will pay dearly tomorrow...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eat healtier, live longer

The Problem With Most Diet Plans
New fad diets in books and magazines and the Internet are a dime a dozen. Some of them are actually pretty decent, but almost all of them have one single flaw that will make it very difficult for anyone to stick to them.

The flaw? They try to get you to change your entire diet at once.

That just doesn’t work for most people. I’ve tried lots of diets, and for the first week, I’m extremely enthusiastic and determined. But such a drastic change in diet is hard to sustain, and soon you give in to temptation and then it falls apart. We’ve all been there.

The Power of Small Changes
The title of this post is misleading, and I’ll admit that. Most people associate a “12-step program” with alcoholics anonymous or similar program, but this post isn’t about those programs at all.

That it is about is making changes to your diet one small step at a time. Baby steps. The miracle of this is that we adjust to these small changes after a couple weeks, until they seem normal and we don’t feel like we’re depriving ourselves of anything.

Take meat for example. Let’s say you wanted to become a vegetarian, and you cut out all meat from your diet completely. You’d feel very deprived, and you might have a very hard time. Most people wouldn’t last very long — maybe a week or two at most — before caving in and eating meat and feeling guilty.

But let’s say instead that you just started with beef. Well, at dinner tonight, you probably wouldn’t notice much because you could have chicken or fish or turkey or pork — all the stuff you might normally eat. After a few weeks, going without beef would seem normal, and you probably wouldn’t miss it much.

Repeat that process for pork, and soon you’ve cut red meat from your diet (assuming you don’t eat much venison or buffalo or otter or whatnot). Then do chicken — this might be a difficult stage for many — and just eat seafood for awhile. After a few weeks of that, though, you’d get used to it. Next step is dropping seafood, and soon you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t miss meat one bit.

Full Article

Tired to be a single?

Among all services that the Internet provides I guess the most used and probably the most sought of is the online dating.
Once friendship and meeting your soul mate was much easier.

Life was different and human relationships much easier.
You had a personal friendship with your baker or butcher or whatever.
Now a day we are more numbers, emails, websites than people.
There have never been so many social sites, meetings, parties, and there have never been so many "Singles" or "Lonely People".
In a Communication Era what is getting very difficult is to communicate.
And that doesn't mean a telephone call or an email, because in that things have got much easier.
Once to communicate by mail from Europe to USA it took minimum two weeks.
Nowadays it is immediate.
It is what we say and what we share that amazingly has got less personal and more casual.
We talk about business, about the weather, about politics, but we are getting unable to talk about ourselves.
Less privacy and more humanity, that is what we would need.
It is in this view that dating sites are getting so popular.
Because we find it much easier to talk to somebody we never saw than with our neighbour.
Online dating is the new form of blind date, but if you choose the right site you have many more chances to find your soul mate.
How to choose the niche website where you can find the right person you want to meet?
The one with your tastes and your view of life?
Prime Dating is where you can find a long list of most dating sites.
If you tend to be shy is your site.
If you are scared to make the first move, can do it for you by introducing you to one of its members by sending both of you a message.
That is a perfect way to begin and you decide if you want to go on or to stop.
Or if you choose, you can be sure you'll find the soul with your same "Chemistry".
Or may be you're just looking for a friendship?
Friend Finder, as the name says will certainly find the right friend you are looking for...
Well compared to the old way to meet friends and lovers, at least you'll be able to choose among millions...this is the nice side of Globalisation...

What Global warming will bring us to

Green house gases stay can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds and thousands of years. No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on Earth. Here are the 5 deadliest effects of global warming.

Spread of disease
As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them. Indeed some scientists believe that in some countries thanks to global warming, malaria has not been fully eradicated.

Warmer waters and more hurricanes
As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes. We saw in this in 2004 and 2005.

Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves
Although some areas of Earth will become wetter due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a dangerously rare commodity in Africa, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will exacerbate the conditions and could lead to conflicts and war.

Economic consequences
Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be good. And these effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes cause do billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts exacerbate all of these.

Polar ice caps melting
The ice caps melting is a four-pronged danger.

First, it will raise sea levels. There are 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice caps, glaciers, and permanent snow. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet. Luckily, that’s not going to happen all in one go! But sea levels will rise.

Second, melting ice caps will throw the global ecosystem out of balance. The ice caps are fresh water, and when they melt they will desalinate the ocean, or in plain English - make it less salty. The desalinization of the gulf current will “screw up” ocean currents, which regulate temperatures. The stream shutdown or irregularity would cool the area around north-east America and Western Europe. Luckily, that will slow some of the other effects of global warming in that area!

Third, temperature rises and changing landscapes in the artic circle will endanger several species of animals. Only the most adaptable will survive.

Fourth, global warming could snowball with the ice caps gone. Ice caps are white, and reflect sunlight, much of which is relected back into space, further cooling Earth. If the ice caps melt, the only reflector is the ocean. Darker colors absorb sunlight, further warming the Earth.

Full Article

Thursday, February 21, 2008

There is no product that a celebrity couldn't make "looking better"

The success of entertainment media worldwide in the last few decades, since the advent of TV, Internet, social media, has made celebrities powerful agents of new social habits and trends.
Commercial marketing is mostly successful when uses the basic rules of psychology, the basic instincts of the human being.
First of them, is the identification in the behaviour of parents, friends and other humans.
Since childhood, we develop our tastes and attitudes towards life learning by the ones who are closer.
We begin to build idols to imitate to reach the same goals they did.
We learn by identification, we live in the hope to become what we believe the best.
It is in this view that celebrity endorsement is particularly effective to launch new products, to create new needs and most of all, of course to sell one product instead of another one.
I still remember in the sixties my hair cut was exactly like Twiggy's, my clothes were mostly mini skirts Mary Quaint style and my favourite drink was Coca Cola.
In the eighties my clothes got as long as my favourite actress of that time and my tastes evolved following TV, Movies and Music.
And it looks like celebrity product endorsements are successful more then ever.
There is no commercial product for which you cannot find the right celebrity.
What about somebody like Hulk Hogan?
There are very few teenagers boys who wouldn’t like to identify with him.
Or what about Pamela Anderson?
I would bet that any kind of cloth would sell if seen on her.
May be it would look different on somebody else, but the dream of looking like her wouldn't.
Well, this is what I call "buying the outside connecting it to the inside".
And in a world that is getting everyday more "virtual" than "real" is not difficult anymore feeling to be what you would like to.
And one way could be wrapping yourself in the same way...

Looking for Ghosts?

1. Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War - even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds’ dog cemetery.

2. The Whaley House - San Diego, California,US

Located in San Diego, California, the Whaley House has earned the title of “the most haunted house in the U.S.” Built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley on land that was partially once a cemetery, the house has since been the locus of dozens of ghost sightings.

3. The Borley Rectory - Borley, England

Borley Rectory was constructed near Borley Church by the Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull in 1862, and he moved in a year after being named rector of the parish. The large brick building was built in a style influenced by Pugin, that replaced the rather earlier Georgian house built for a Reverend Herringham, which Henry Bull demolished. The rectory would eventually be enlarged to house a family of 14 children.

4. The Bell Farm - Adams, Tennessee, US

The Bell Farm has been made notorious through books, TV specials and movies. Most recently the events at this small Tennessee farm were dramatized in the 2005 movie An American Haunting. The story behind the Bell Farm haunting is so notable and recognized because it is said to be the only documented account in paranormal history when a ghost caused the death of a living person. Between the years of 1817 and 1821, the Bell Family was terrorized by some sort of entity, mostly said to be a woman, who became known as the Bell Witch or, more personally, “Kate.” She is said to have perturbed and tortured John Bell (the father of the family and victim of a nervous system disorder) so much that it lead to his inevitable death.

5. Raynham Hall - Norfolk, England

Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, is most famous for the ghost of “the Brown Lady,” which was captured on film in 1936 in what is considered one of the most authentic ghost pictures ever taken.

6. The Queen Mary - Long Beach, California, US

This grand old ship is quite haunted, according to the many people who have worked on and visited the craft. Once a celebrated luxury ocean liner, when it ended its sailing days the Queen Mary was purchased by the city of Long Beach, California in 1967 and transformed into a hotel.The most haunted area of the ship is the engine room where a 17-year-old sailor was crushed to death trying to escape a fire. Knocking and banging on the pipes around the door has been heard and recorded by numerous people. In what is now the front desk area of the hotel, visitors have seen the ghost of a “lady in white.”

7. The White House - Washington D.C., US

That’s right, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is not only home to the current President of the United States, it also is home of several former presidents who occasionally decide to make their presences known there, despite the fact that they are dead.President Harrison is said to be heard rummaging around in the attic of the White House, looking for who knows what. President Andrew Jackson is thought to haunt his White House bedroom. And the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams was seen floating through one of the White House hallways, as if carrying something.

8. The Tower of London - London, England

The Tower of London, one of the most famous and well-preserved historical buildings in the world, may also be one of the most haunted. This is due, no doubt, to the scores of executions, murders and tortures that have taken place within its walls over the last 1,000 years. Dozens upon dozens of ghost sightings have been reported in and around the Tower. On one winter day in 1957 at 3 a.m., a guard was disturbed by something striking the top of his guardhouse. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw a shapeless white figure on top of the tower. It was then realized that on that very same date, February 12, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded in 1554.

9. Ballygally Castle - Ballygally Bay, Ireland

Ballygally Castle is a castle in the village of Ballygally, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located approximately three miles north of Larne. The castle overlooks the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay. The castle is the only 17th century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland, and is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the province.The castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw, of Scotland, who had come to the area and rented the land from the Earl of Antrim for £24 a year. It was built in the style of a French chateau with high walls, steep roof, dormer windows and corner turrets. The walls are five feet thick with loopholes for muskets. An open stream ran through the outer hall to provide water in case of siege. The castle did come under attack, from the Irish garrison at Glenarm, several times during the rebellion of 1641 but each assault was unsuccessful. The castle was owned by the Shaw family until it passed into the hands of William Shaw in 1799.

10.The Rose Hall Great House - Montego Bay, Jamaica

Rose Hall great house, the most famous in Jamaica. It is a Georgian Mansion with a stone base and a plastered upper storey, high on the hillside, with a fantastic panorama over the coast. Built in the 1770s, Rose Hall was restored in the 1960s to its former splendour, with mahogany floors, interior windows and doorways, panelling and wooden ceilings. It is decorated with silk wallpaper printed with palms and birds, ornamented with chandeliers and furnished with mostly European antiques. There’s a bar downstairs and a restaurant.

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Buy-to-let properties

"Investing in buy-to-let properties should be seen as a long-term investment. Despite this, brokers expect nearly 80 per cent of landlords to make a positive return on their investment this year."
In spite of all the house market crises I am still convinced that investing in houses IS a good investment.
With the inflation rate as high as in the last months, the cost of money as low as it is, if you have to predict the future you will come to the conclusion that an investment in a buy-to-let property is the best you can do.
You can have a capital that with the actual inflation rate will keep its value in the future, and will guarantee a good income, certainly much higher than the one you could get from ANY Bank Investment.
The same, even more, could apply to the situation where you actually do not have the full amount requested to buy the property.
You risk to borrow money which is worth a certain value and giving it back with a much lower one.
That means you will make a profit in owning a building worth much more than what you paid and another one being able to pay the interest rates with the money you get from the rent.
And this is EXACTLY the way many people began with nothing and have millions now.
And if in the meantime the interest rates grow?
Well you can always find the right Remortgages to pay back your property.
But the whole thing is not so easy as it looks.
Every business to be successful has to be done in the right way.
You have to carefully evaluate what you are buying.
Keeping in mind that it must be worth what you are paying for.
Keeping in mind that it must be a location sought of, a building size you can easily rent and of course something that doesn't need a fortune to keep.
If you are good in buying, you will be good in selling, no matter how difficult the moment can be.

Legoland: the mirror of life

I am not a teacher, but I am a mother and I live in the society, so I am interested in education as what will make tomorrow's society where I will (for a part of it) live and my children will live.
I guess the Lego experiment was a very good one, and it could also be very helpful to study children's behavior.
I do not believe in interacting with "worldviews" and I do not believe in the right or duty to "instill the values of equality and democracy" from people who would instill "their" "values of equality and democracy".
I still believe in "free will" and in the possibility of every human being to understand and build its own "values of equality and democracy".

"Children absorb political, social, and economic worldviews from an early age. Those worldviews show up in their play, which is the terrain that young children use to make meaning about their world and to test and solidify their understandings. We believe that educators have a responsibility to pay close attention to the themes, theories, and values that children use to anchor their play. Then we can interact with those worldviews, using play to instill the values of equality and democracy."

Our school-age childcare program — the "Big Kids" — involves 25 children and their families. The children, ages 5 through 9, come to Hilltop after their days in elementary school, arriving around 3:30 and staying until 5:30 or 6:00. Hilltop is located in an affluent Seattle neighborhood, and, with only a few exceptions, the staff and families are white; the families are upper-middle class and socially liberal. Kendra is the lead teacher for the Big Kid program; two additional teachers, Erik and Harmony, staff the program. Ann is the mentor teacher at Hilltop, working closely with teachers to study and plan curriculum from children's play and interactions.

A group of about eight children conceived and launched Legotown. Other children were eager to join the project, but as the city grew — and space and raw materials became more precious — the builders began excluding other children.

Taking the Legos out of the classroom was both a commitment and a risk. We expected that looking frankly at the issues of power and inequity that had shaped Legotown would hold conflict and discomfort for us all. We teachers talked long and hard about the decision. We shared our own perspectives on issues of private ownership, wealth, and limited resources. One teacher described her childhood experience of growing up without much money and her instinctive critical judgments about people who have wealth and financial ease. Another teacher shared her allegiance to the children who had been on the fringes of Legotown, wanting more resources but not sure how to get them without upsetting the power structure. We knew that our personal experiences and beliefs would shape our decision-making and planning for the children, and we wanted to be as aware as we could about them.

We also discussed our beliefs about our role as teachers in raising political issues with young children. We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity — whether we interceded or not. We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children's understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the Legos out of the classroom.

We had an initial conversation with the children about our decision. "We're concerned about what was happening in Legotown, with some kids feeling left out and other kids feeling in charge," Kendra explained. "We don't want to rebuild Legotown and go back to how things were. Instead, we want to figure out with you a way to build a Legotown that's fair to all the kids."

This brief exchange raised issues that we would revisit often in the weeks ahead. What is a fair distribution of resources? Does fairness mean that everyone has the same number of pieces? What about special rights: Who might deserve extra resources, and how are those extra resources allotted?

After nearly an hour of passionate exchange, we brought the conversation to a close, reminding the children that we teachers didn't have an answer already figured out about Legotown. We assured them that we were right there with them in this process of getting clearer about what hadn't worked well in Legotown, and understanding how we could create a community of fairness about Legos.

few days after we'd removed the Legos, we turned our attention to the meaning of power. During the boom days of Legotown, we'd suggested to the key Lego players that there was an unequal distribution of power giving rise to conflict and tension. Our suggestions were met with deep resistance. Children denied any explicit or unfair power, making comments like "Some-body's got to be in charge or there would be chaos," and "The little kids ask me because I'm good at Legos." They viewed their power as passive leadership, benignly granted, arising from mastery and long experience with Legos, as well as from their social status in the group.

Now, with Legotown dismantled and the issues of equity and power squarely in front of us, we took up the idea of power and its multiple meanings. We began by inviting the children to draw pictures of power, knowing that when children represent an idea in a range of "languages" or art media, their understandings deepen and expand. "Think about power," said Kendra. "What do you think ‘power' means? What does power look like? Take a few minutes to make a drawing that shows what power is."

As children finished their drawings, we gathered for a meeting to look at the drawings together. The drawings represented a range of understandings of power: a tornado, love spilling over as hearts, forceful and fierce individuals, exclusion, cartoon superheroes, political power.

During our meeting, children gave voice to the thinking behind their drawings.

Marlowe: "If your parents say you have to eat pasta, then that's power."

Lukas: "You can say no."

Carl: "Power is ownership of something."

Drew: "Sometimes I like power and sometimes I don't. I like to be in power because I feel free. Most people like to do it, you can tell people what to do and it feels good."

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What you need to be a successful business man

I am a pharmacist and I owned my store for many years.
My biggest profit was not actually in my job, it was on the sale of my business.
The secret of making a lot of money in my case was in buying a store which
was on the verge of bankruptcy, making it a successful business and selling it.
My profit was actually in transforming an unsuccessful business in a very successful one.
How did I do?
I knew how to sell, I knew how to deal with customers, I knew what to buy, and I knew when I had to lower the price and when to upgrade it.
There are millions of people who make a fortune with much less.
Never heard of "Power Sellers"?
Those are people who do not even own a store, they virtually buy and virtually sell.
And they make good profits, because they know "HOW TO SELL".
And, believe me, this is not a knowledge you are born with, this is something you can learn, with experience or with the right training.
If you have the right Sales Training, you can sell everything.
The trick is not in WHAT, but in HOW.
Some years ago I had an interesting meeting with an expert sales CEO of a very important Software and Hardware Company.

He had to sell big Mainframes and he didn't know almost anything about Computers.
He was graduated in Psychology and was very good.
You actually have "to convince" your customer that your product is good, "all the rest is just technology".
And believe me, he WAS very successful in it...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's the role of a journalist

The ideal news should be "neutral", that is, they should be reported in a way that expresses just what happened.
But that is impossible.
It is like if the outside reality reflected by the eye wouldn't change depending by the eye that reflects it.
On a human eye it will be different from the one seen by a cat's eye and so on...
So, what's the role of a journalist? It is everything.
Depending on him the news will be different.
And the better the journalist, the more so.
Because news are not supposed to be just the report of something happened, they are supposed to be a GOOD report of it.
People want to know, but they like to be entertained by the news.
They like to be awoken, they like to be involved in the news.
A good painting doesn't reproduce the model, it reproduces the artist.
The same a good piece of music, a good piece of news.

The journalist must be an artist, he must be able to write in an alluring way, he must be able to catch the audience, to entertain the reader.
And THIS is something you do not learn.
You can learn to write in a correct way, but you ARE BORN a journalist.
That is why SOME bloggers can be better journalists than the journalists.( I wrote some and mean also the opposite, some journalists can be better than bloggers)
That is why some blogs can be more amusing than a news paper.
That is what a newspaper should aim to be.
SOMETHING people like to read, WANT to read, read as much as possible.

The mean being paper or a computer screen, matters very little.
The BRAND even less.
The BRAND of tomorrow could be an unknown blogger of today.

Customers' owned Network

To foresee the different outcome and evolution of VoIP we must consider three different scenarios.

1) Evolution of the actual system. Softphone, IP phone, Gateway connecting the Internet line to a PBX or normal telephones. Free IP to IP calls, rates per minute or flat rates for termination.

This is the existing model in which an Internet provider or VoIP telephone company, (Skype, Vonage, Lingo...) more or less copies the business model of the existing Telecoms and provides alternative telephone services at lower cost, using the Internet for long distance and the local PSTN for last mile (local) delivery of voice.

The competition is getting tough, the number of customers is growing slowly, the quality of the calls is directly chained to the cost of the service.
The less you pay, the less you have.
In this way VoIP potential is highly underused, the chances of getting a good quality alternative service are getting narrower and proportionally decreasing together with the cost of the call.

The chances that VoIP will fast grow are daily fewer, also because VoIP itself is NOT a Mass market product.
The actual providers fail to understand that the fight is NOT on prices, but ON Services.
For an enterprise could be more convenient having a higher quality/cost VoIP service that would allow it to use only one line (convergence of both data and voice line) than having a cheap and low quality VoIP service that would oblige it to keep the voice line for quality reasons.

2) The business model of the VoIP providers changes.
Higher cost calls, but more and better services.

Actually VoIP is more a niche market than a mass market, even though the niche is of considerable proportions.
Since for its nature VoIP is mostly competitive on pricing on international and intercontinental calls, the priority usage is on the enterprise's side.
Private people tend to have mostly the need to call locally or nationally, service usually provided by Telecoms at good prices and very often at a flat rate.

The need for quality is higher.
And the need for new applications will be the successful spring of this new technology.
When a new product is offered to the market and aims to be competitive with the existing ones either is offered to a lower price or promises and delivers better features.
This is exactly the case of VoIP.
Using the Data line not only means lower cost, but also more power.
Instead of a simple device like a telephone at both end of the data line we can have two sophisticated hardware, completely programmable and able to deliver unlimited features.

3) Customers' owned network.

This scenario will be the natural evolution of the second one.
It will give quality and in the meantime it will be competitive to the first one, because it will offer "free termination" to any call.
It will make possible to the user to exchange his last mile with anyone's in the world, transforming any international and intercontinental call in a local call at cost Zero.

The world will be a big Network in which any user will be connected to the Net and use any other network member's local telephone line.

It will be a real P2P VoIP network in which everybody will share minutes instead of files.
And the infrastructures will be very cheap and easy to build.

Every enterprise will need:

1) A connection to the Net
2) A connection to the local telecom
3) A gateway to connect the Net to the PSTN line and his telephones.

He can use his gateway for his VoIP and let the other members to use his PSTN line through it.
He will share as many lines as he decides to as well as many minutes.

The following step could be to connect our Wireless base station and using a wireless phone (5KM. coverage) connected both to the PSTN and Internet line.

In a future hopefully not so far away, we will have most of the calls as IP to IP, but the third scenario will highly accelerate VoIP towards this.
A good and very cheap mean of communication will open the door to always new and alluring features.

Patrizia from a World on IP

Failure or success?

"Failure’s easy to achieve; all you have to do is plan for it. Here’s how:

set only low goals; then you’ll fail even if you meet them.
when you get behind schedule, revise the goals down; that’ll incent everyone not to break his or her neck trying to catch up.
revisit goals frequently; you may have accidentally set them too high.
don’t monitor progress; you might scare yourself.
form a committee to revisit the goals; that’ll protect against undue enthusiasm and deflect blame (and responsibility).
make sure you’re the first to cry “uncle”; then failure won’t be your fault.
never revise the strategy for achieving goals; it’s much easier to move the goalposts.
make sure everyone knows that you know the goals are unachievable; that’ll help assure that you’re right." Tom Evslin

Failure or success? It doesn't really matter, because the fun is in DOING, not in reaching.
Remember Wilde? Something like:
There are two terrible disater in life: One is in not being able to achieve what you want, and the second, even greater, is in actually achieving it...

He was right, but he forgot that, providing all lives are the same, you can still make YOURS...

Zero Emission Car

Georgia Institute of Technology hope have developed a technology to store and eventually recycle the carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.
They envision a system that could trap the carbon emissions - which would be collected and processed at a fueling station - and reuse them to power vehicles, thus forming a sustainable closed-loop system. The scientists are currently working on a fuel processing device to separate the carbon dioxide from the hydrogen and store it in liquid form; the hydrogen would be used as a fuel source.

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Fusion power is our Future?

A prominent venture capitalist, Wal van Lierop, of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, has begun to invest in companies (such as General Fusion) who are providing patents and technologies for economical fusion power. In a recent interview at the Clean Tech Investor Summit (which we're very sad we're not attending), van Lierop said that he expects large energy companies to start thinking about building fusion plants within the next five years.

General Fusion hopes to create small fusion reactors that cost around $50 million a piece and generate roughly 100 megawatts allowing for roughly 4 cent / kwh electricity. That's about the same cost as coal.

The fusion system the use, called Magnetized Target Fusion which uses lithium as a fuel. The lithium is heated and mixed with intensely pressurized plasma. The lithium then breaks down into tritium (hydrogen with two neutrons), which is then mixed with deuterium (hydrogen with one extra neutron.) In the high energy environment, the tritium and the deuterium fuse to form helium, and create a whole lot of heat.

The heat captured is significantly greater than the energy used to run the device and the only byproduct is helium and other harmless gasses.

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