It has been 17 months since Amazon debuted its Appstore in the United States and only now is the retail giant rolling it out in Europe. Thursday morning, Amazon launched Amazon Appstore, its marketplace for Android applications, in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The storefront?s expected international expansion comes ahead of the Sept. 6 media event at which Amazon will unveil the next iteration of its Kindle Fire and presumably paves the way for the tablet, which is currently only available in the U.S., to debut overseas.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Festival organisers have chosen to host the European premiere of the Dickens classic directed by Mike Newell.
Newell, who previously directed Four Weddings and a Funeral, said: "I'm proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bi-centenary of Dickens' birth.
"I've tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens' darkest-shadowed stories.
"I've tried to make a film for a young modern audience in which Pip and Estella's fated love affair is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad."
The story of orphan pip and his mysterious benefactor was most famously brought to life in 1946 by David Lean, but the new version has been highly anticipated with appearances from Helena Bonham Carter, David Walliams and Ralph Fiennes.
The cast also includes Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner and Tamzin Outhwaite.
The event, formally known as the 56th BFI London Film Festival, will open with the European premiere of Tim Burton's Frankenweenie.
KABUL (Reuters) - Three Australian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday by a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in an alarming series of "rogue" shootings that have damaged trust between Kabul and its allies.
The Australian Defence Force on Thursday confirmed the nationality of the soldiers who were serving in southern Uruzgan province, where around 1,500 Australian troops are based. It said families in Australia were being informed of the deaths.
The deaths bring to 15 the number of foreign soldiers killed this month in insider attacks. NATO-led forces have increased security to try to prevent them, including requiring soldiers to carry loaded weapons at all times on bases.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey visited Kabul last week to discuss the worrying increase in rogue shootings. U.S. President Barack Obama also expressed his "deep concern" over the insider attacks.
Dempsey urged Afghan officials to take tougher preventative action, although Western commanders have ruled out cutting back training and support between NATO-led troops and their Afghan allies.
The killings, many of which have been claimed by the Taliban as evidence of their ability to infiltrate Afghan security forces, are particularly worrying as security transition plans gather pace.
Under those plans, all foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The alarming rise in rogue shootings has raised more questions about the readiness of Afghan forces to take over.
Including Wednesday's shooting, there have been 34 insider attacks this year, leading to 45 coalition deaths, the majority of them Americans.
They account for 14 percent of all deaths suffered by the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan this year.
That is a sharp increase from 2011, when 35 coalition troops were killed in such attacks, 24 of them Americans.
Afghanistan's government said last week it would re-examine the files of 350,000 soldiers and police to help curb rogue shootings of NATO personnel. But, in a swipe at neighboring Pakistan and Iran, it also accused "foreign spies" of instigating the attacks.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Thursday the latest incident was being investigated.
(Reporting by Rob Taylor and Amie Ferris-Rotman in KABUL and James Grubel in CANBERRA; Editing by Paul Tait)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2012) ? Legend has it that Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." University of Missouri researchers are doing just that, but instead of building mousetraps, the scientists are targeting cancer drugs. In a new study, MU medicinal chemists have taken an existing drug that is being developed for use in fighting certain types of cancer, added a special structure to it, and created a more potent, efficient weapon against cancer.
"Over the past decade, we have seen an increasing interest in using carboranes in drug design," said Mark W. Lee Jr., assistant professor of chemistry in College of Arts and Science. "Carboranes are clusters of three elements -- boron, carbon and hydrogen. Carboranes don't fight cancer directly, but they aid in the ability of a drug to bind more tightly to its target, creating a more potent mechanism for destroying the cancer cells."
In the study, Lee and his research team used carboranes to build new drugs designed to shut off a cancer cell's energy production, which is vital for the cell's survival. All cells produce energy through complex, multi-step processes. The key to an effective drug is targeting the process that cancer cells depend on more than healthy cells. By increasing the binding strength of a drug, a smaller dose is required, minimizing side effects and increasing the effectiveness of the therapy. With carboranes, Lee found that the drug is able to bind 10 times more powerfully.
"The reason why these drugs bind stronger to their target is because carboranes exploit a unique and very strong form of hydrogen bonding, the strongest form of interactions for drugs," Lee said.
Lee said that this discovery also will lead to further uses for the drug.
"Too often, after radiation or chemotherapy, cancer cells repair themselves and reinvade the body," Lee said. "This drug not only selectively shuts off the energy production for the cancer cells, but it also inhibits the processes that allow those cancer cells to repair themselves. When we tested our carborane-based drugs, we found that they were unimaginably potent. So far, we have tested this on breast, lung and colon cancer, all with exceptional results."
According to Lee, this is the first study to show systematically how carboranes can improve the activity of a drug. Lee believes this discovery will open additional possibilities of improving drugs that are used to treat other diseases, not just cancer.
"The end result is that these new drugs could be many thousands of times more potent than the drugs that are used in the clinics today," Lee said.
While it will be several years before the new drug would be available on the market, Lee said that clinical trials could begin within the next two years. Additionally, further testing on other types of cancer is underway. The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society.
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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia.
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- Mark W. Lee, Yulia V. Sevryugina, Aslam Khan, Shui Q. Ye. Carboranes Increase the Potency of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltranferase. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2012; 55 (16): 7290 DOI: 10.1021/jm300740t
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.
Is Prosecutorial Misconduct a Product of a ?Few Bad Apples,? or is the Barrel Mostly Rotten? (Theagitator)
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday held talks with Iran's leaders on its nuclear activities, the Syria conflict and human rights ahead of a summit at which Tehran aims to boost its international standing.
Ban met with the Islamic republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after separately seeing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and parliament speaker Ali Larijani, Iranian media said.
After his meeting with Larijani, Iran's parliamentary news website quoted Ban as saying: "We have concerns about the human rights situation in Iran... Also I will discuss the nuclear issue with the Islamic Republic of Iran officials."
He said "Iran can play an important role in solving the Syrian crisis peacefully," adding that "the Syrian people have suffered a lot ... with more than 20,000 dying in the past 18 months."
Larijani, for his part, said "unfortunately, some big countries have acted adventurously in the region and have created disruption in the region like what we are witnessing in Syria."
Iran, the chief ally of Syria's regime, accuses the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of sustaining the armed revolt in Syria.
The UN chief was to leave on Friday, after attending the two-day summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement.
The United States and Israel had criticised Ban's presence at the summit, even though the NAM represents nearly two-thirds of UN member states.
That has led Iran to seize upon Ban's attendance as a victory over its enemies and a sign it is not as isolated on the international scene as the United States has claimed.
Iran is locked in a deepening showdown with the United States and the rest of the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme. It has also been threatened with possible Israeli air strikes on its nuclear facilities.
The West fears the programme is aimed at developing a nuclear weapons break-out capability. Iran denies that, insisting its atomic activities are exclusively peaceful.
The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is expected to release its latest report on Iran's nuclear programme this week -- perhaps coinciding with the NAM summit.
The report is likely to highlight Iran's expanding uranium enrichment activities -- which the Security Council has repeatedly demanded be suspended -- and Tehran's refusal to allow IAEA inspectors into a military site, Parchin, suspected of hosting explosives tests for nuclear warhead designs.
On Wednesday, the IAEA moved to create a special Iran "task force" to scrutinise the country's implementation of its nuclear obligations and its compliance with IAEA and Security Council provisions.
What to Appear For Although Betting on NASCAR
Auto racing like Formula 1 and other races including the Indy 2000 are large hits internationally. Millions of fans crowd stadiums to watch the diverse cars race by. The screech of burning tires as they spin by you is an encounter that quite few forget.
NASCAR is one of the largest racing organizations within the USA. With millions of fans around the country, and some of essentially the most pricey race automobiles and teams put with each other it is possible to see how NASCAR and betting go with each other like peas in a pod. But today we are going to speak in regards to the teams crews.
The great factor about NASCAR is that it really is an individual sport along with a group sport at the same time. So when we start off talking about sports betting, or race betting, the alternatives that we?ve are spread out and filled with prospective, even though we are going to focus on the teams part these days.
Now on any given day a NASCAR driver can come back from final location and win an extended and hard race. Certain issues must come about to get a gambler to win his bet just like particular factors should take place for any circumstance like this to take place. This really is exactly where the team comes into play.
Sports betting and betting on NASCAR is and around the clock job; the teams mechanics are operating on the cars days in a row to acquire ready for the commence time, changing fuel capacities, and tuning up the engines because of weather situations also as fitting the appropriate tires towards the surface. A teams crew can make each of the distinction on race day whether or not that driver will win or shed. If the car is just not running at complete capacity on account of some over looked object that necessary tweaking, the driver may shed significant horsepower from his engine and lose valuable seconds right here and there on the track.
Now again in NASCAR there is so much telemetry and science that go into these cars; that the teams will drive an auto each of the strategy to the finish line burning off fumes to possibly win the race, or have the race blown simply because the automobile ran out of fuel right after the last turn. The quantity of gas they carry within the auto determines weight, how rapidly the auto will move beneath certain circumstances and for how lengthy the car will travel with no needing to refuel.
This can be what can make betting on NASCAR races so interesting may be the level of variables and how they change minutely on account of a modify in air temperature or how the sun is beating down upon the asphalt or what wind speeds from which direction.
I hope that this short article assists you comprehend greater the ins and outs of car racing in general and NASCAR races in distinct. If you are not a fan, attempt and go to certainly one of the tracks while a race is in progress. It is going to astound you. In case you wish to understand more about auto racing or in regards to the NASCAR race circuit visit http://www.gambling-portal.com/auto-racing.html and possess a ball.
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by Ted Sellers
So you just launch a new website. So what do you do know??A lot of people thank that you should build?or update a website and do lots of SEO right? Wrong there?s a lot more to it. We are going to look at some key things to do after a website Lunch. To save you a lot of money and time.
Top 6 things to work on when you are up and ready for new Business
?Website Check??You need to check your website for the following
Spelling and Vocabulary- One of the best ways to run someone away from your website would be lots of spelling errors. So you need to check the whole website and that also includes the code of the website.
Page titles and H1- You need to be Google?s best friend no matter what. So make sure you all check your websites for H1 tags and Page titles.
Keyword Phrases - Make sure you know what keywords you want to be found bye. I would target 3 word keys words to start off with. You will have a very hard time with one word keywords. You could check out http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/how-to-find-best-keywords-ideas/?? for more information.
Blog Blog Blog-Make sure you have a Blog about your website or whatever you are selling.
The next new thing to look out for- Web Accessibility.You need to make your website can be access by someone who has a disabilities can use your website. So what is Web Accessibility? Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Internet or your website. Some Things to check for website Accessibility you should start off with checking your website Colors. A very big one would be Proper Use of the Alt Attribute and page titles. ?
The alt attribute serves three main purposes for websites:
- Assistive technologies such as screen readers use alt text and read it aloud to the user.
- Alt text is displayed instead of the image when images have been disabled by those with a slow internet connection or those using a text-only browser.
- Search engines also use alt text to store information about the page as they cannot read the content of images.
Page Title tag is so important for Accessibility
- Screen readers
- visual anchor
If the information was something you all like make sure you pass around to all your friends on Facebook tweeter MySpace etc
Proteins adorning the surfaces of human cells perform an array of essential functions, including cell signaling, communication and the transport of vital substances into and out of cells. They are critical targets for drug delivery and many proteins are now being identified as disease biomarkers ? early warning beacons announcing the pre-symptomatic presence of cancers and other diseases.
While study of the binding properties of membrane proteins is essential, detailed analysis of these complex entities is tricky. Now, Nongjian (NJ) Tao, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and director of the Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute has devised a new technique for examining the binding kinetics of membrane proteins.
"This is a very important but very difficult problem to solve," Tao notes. "We demonstrate a new method of approaching the issue, which provides a quantitative analysis of protein interactions on the surface of a cell."
The technique ? known as SPR microscopy ? holds the potential to simplify the study of membrane proteins, thereby streamlining the development of new drugs, aiding the identification of diagnostic biomarkers and improving the understanding of cell-pathogen interactions.
The group's results appear in this week's advanced online issue of the journal Nature Chemistry.
Typically, proteins attached to or embedded in the cell membrane's lipid bilayer are either tagged with fluorescent markers or extracted from their locations, purified and immobilized on a glass surface in protein microarrays. These efforts may not accurately reflect native configuration and function.
Membrane proteins are complex structures whose subtle performance is often related to alterations in conformation and the particular binding kinetics at work. Existing techniques using florescent markers have been applied to pinpoint binding events, but these only permit the visualization of the protein before and after binding, omitting the dynamic processes evolving over time. Further, the use of fluorescent labels to tag protein molecules can interfere with the processes researchers hope to observe.
Alternately, proteins are extracted, purified and affixed to microarray slides ? a labor-intensive process that removes proteins from their native environment, potentially affecting the shapes they naturally assume in situ and/or altering protein function.
In the current study, a label-free imaging technique is applied in situ to membrane proteins, which are visualized using a property known as surface plasmon resonance. This effect occurs when polarized light strikes the surface of a glass slide coated with a thin metallic film of gold. Under proper conditions of wavelength, polarization and incident angle, free electrons in the metal film absorb incident photons, converting them into plasmon waves, which propagate much like waves in water.
When nanoscale phenomena, including membrane proteins, interact and disrupt plasmon waves, they cause a measurable change in light reflectivity, which the new microscopy method converts into an image. (Figure 1a illustrates the basic setup of this technique.)
Surface plasmon resonance had already been applied to extracted proteins to study binding kinetics, though Tao explains that many steps are required and proteins may lose their proper conformational characteristics. This is particularly true for proteins normally embedded in a cell membrane's lipid matrix.
Another important consideration for the study of membrane proteins is the fact that that they arrange themselves heterogeneously across membrane surfaces and modify their distribution during various cellular activities. This behavior is particularly important during a process known as chemotaxis, when cells direct their movements under the influence of chemicals in the surrounding environment. For this reason, a tool allowing for both spatial and temporal study of membrane protein distribution in real time is highly desirable.
Tao's method uses surface plasmon resonance to provide high-resolution spatial and temporal information, and also allows for simultaneous optical and fluorescence observation of the sample, combining the advantages of both label-based and label-free methods.
High spatial resolution proved particularly useful for observing the ways polarized membrane proteins (bearing hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions) rearrange themselves, assisting cell migration directed by surrounding chemicals. The phenomenon also plays an important role during immune recognition. Using SPR microscopy, the spatial distribution of membrane proteins in single cells during chemotaxis could be mapped in detail for the first time, using a chemoattractant to induce cell migration.
Cells for study are cultured directly on a gold-coated slide, which can be subjected to simultaneous bright-field, florescent and SPR imaging. A liquid containing binding ligands is then applied over cells and the binding events with cell surface proteins monitored with SPR.
The technique permits millisecond resolution of temporal events and sub-micron scale analysis of spatial distribution. (See Figure 1b). In the current study, the method examined the binding of membrane glycoproteins with lectin ligands, the spatial distribution of membrane receptor molecules and membrane protein polarization and redistribution events.
The versatility of the new method, allowing for simultaneous imaging in optical, fluorescent and SPR modes, promises to significantly expand the study of membrane proteins in their native state, improving the understanding of protein binding kinetics and speeding the development of drugs targeting membrane proteins.
Tao stresses that such techniques ? by more closely approximating in vivo conditions ? provide a valuable window into biological processes relevant to health and disease: "Cells are different from tissues which are different from human beings, but at least now we can move from a system on the surface of a glass slide to an actual cell surface."
Arizona State University: http://asunews.asu.edu/
Thanks to Arizona State University for this article.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
While the publishing of textbooks is monopolised by the Education Publishing House, the reference books market is a lucrative market for many publishing companies.
Most of the reference books plagiarise each other, and only vary based on appearance. Many book stores in Hanoi provide discounts from 10-30%, some even lower the prices by 50% to attract customers.
A parent shared, ?When I was looking for a reference book for my third grade nephew and niece, I found dozens of books from different publishing houses. However most of them have the same content and some even had wrong information. The book stores make money either way.?
At the book stores at 45B Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hue is having difficulties in choosing books for her fifth grade child.
?It?s lucky that I?ve done some research before. Though most people don?t seem to like the books written by southern authors, I think their books are easy to understand. Of course, I only select books from credible publishing houses and university lecturers.?
According to a bookseller, the books receive a rudimentary inspection before going on sale.
Most of the book stores in Hanoi still prioritise northern authors, however, the southern publishing houses have opened their agencies in the north recently and provide a great deal of books to the market.
Pham Thi Yen, Headmaster of Thanh Cong B Primary School said, ?It?s kind of hard now to choose from so many books. There are so many reference books that contain the wrong information. This is not something new because these books in reality are mostly written by only one or two authors.?
Yen further advise parents to choose books for children carefully.
Ngo Tran Ai, Head of Education Publishing Houses said, ?There are a lot of books that have the wrong information in them because the education book market is not control by any state agency. But more importantly, some publishing houses don?t control the books as they co-operate with their partners or don?t necessarily fully inspect the books.?
He also said parents should buy reference books by authors who also write text books, famous and credible authors and seek advice from schools and teachers.
?Most schools will give advice to parents when it comes to choosing books. Parents should consult with teachers before buying reference books.? Yen said. ?The books with the least mistakes are written by lecturers of National University of Education.?
In May, we showed you LUMA Partners' incredibly complicated graphic representing the social media marketing ecosystem.
The chart, created by LUMA CEO Terence Kawaja, is one of a bunch that shows how money flows through the dozens of companies that interact in the social media marketing business.
It's overwhelming to look at?and that's the point: The social media marketing landscape is complicated, cluttered with small companies, and thus ripe for consolidation. (That's already happening via Salesforce's acquisition of Buddy Media, Oracle's acquisition of Vitrue, Syncapse's acquisition of Clickable, and Google's acquisition of Wildfire.)
LUMA updates the charts regularly, and here's the latest version. Note that it now includes Pinterest, which wasn't on the May version. Click to enlarge:
Image by Eric Barth
?Embrace risk. That is the key to improving at anything. Without the willingness to go down the uncharted path, you will not learn, you will not improve, and you will not grow. This might sound a little preachy, but it is a life lesson I have learned again and again as a climber, a mountaineer, and a freelance photographer. Safety is an illusion. Get over it. You cannot control everything in this world. I have learned to learn from my mistakes because I learn more from my mistakes than I do from my successes. When I make a mistake I own up to it, and then plot how to avoid making that mistake again. Making a mistake is just part of the learning experience. It makes me aware of certain possibilities and outcomes. Sometimes it is only by making a mistake that you stumble onto an unexpected result, or image in this case, and by analyzing that mistake, you can create a whole new look.
Creative people need risk to ?break on through? to the next level; here I am making a reference to one of The Doors? most popular songs. The musical group creatively pushed the envelope, were unconventional (in the extreme), and took chances with their music and lyrics. I use the band as an example only to make the point that if you can?t embrace risk, your images will never be more than mediocre. And that is a sure way to underachieve.
Red Bull is a company that embraces risk and asks their photographers to do the same. I had only nine seconds total to capture the action for this B.A.S.E. jumping assignment. In this image, Jon DeVore of the Red Bull Air Force Team, is leaping off a 3,200-foot cliff in southwestern Utah in his wingsuit. I was hanging over the edge of the cliff just next to Jon as he jumped. I wore a climbing harness and was attached to three small bushes that might have held my weight but I never fully committed my weight on the rope.
As a climber, a mountaineer, and an adventurer, I implore you to get out and experience your own adventures. They might just be the best motivator for your photography. Stepping out of your comfort zone provides everyone with a chance to grow. The next step is to take the knowledge you have learned and put it into practice repeatedly and as often as possible. Dare to fail. Aim high. Dream up an image you want to create and then go out and try to create it. If you don?t get the result you want, try again and again until you do. Practice makes perfect, or at least in photography it makes your images better. Get inspired, get motivated, and get moving. That is the key to photography.?
The three paragraphs above are from my most recent book, Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer. They sum up my credo as an adventure sports photographer. Over the last sixteen years, I have pursued my craft?and my profession?with a fervent passion. I have also been fortunate to work with clients such as Nikon, Apple, Adobe, Red Bull, National Geographic, Outside, Men?s Journal, and Sports Illustrated. I have crafted an adventurous lifestyle that has allowed me to witness and document some truly remarkable feats of physical prowess.
The cover of my latest book, ?Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer?
In this blog post, I want to encourage you to ?embrace risk? and invite adventure into your life and your photography. I am not advising that anyone take huge risks physically, but a ?willingness to go down the uncharted path? and explore those things that make you uncomfortable will open up a whole new world. As an example, I will share a bit of my story and how taking on a new sport changed my life in a way I never could have imagined.
In my last year of studying physics at the University of Texas at Austin, I took a weekend rock climbing course through the outdoor recreation program. I was a shy kid. I lacked self-confidence?and I was a little afraid of the risks involved in rock climbing. But I had?and still have?an inclination to run headlong into situations I find challenging. Little did I know at the time, but that rock climbing course would be the start of a whole new career.
Over the next few years I became obsessed with climbing in all its forms: rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. As I gained confidence in my skills as a climber I also gained confidence in myself. When I was a teenager I had explored photography as part of my art studies. It was climbing that brought me back to photography and it was the confidence I gained through climbing that gave me the courage to pursue a career as an adventure sports photographer. I started out shooting rock climbing, then branched out into just about every other adventure sport.
In this image, Chris Sharma is hanging from the biggest hold on this very difficult climb while ?Deep Water Soloing? in Mallorca, Spain. This image was shot early on in my career while on assignment for Men?s Journal. And yes, he is not wearing a harness or a rope. Deep Water Soloing is a form of rock climbing where you climb solo without a rope and if you fall the water catches you. I am hanging next to Sharma on a rope to get the shot.
In the beginning, I shot everything ?on spec,? meaning I went out and created the images and then licensed them to various magazines and climbing companies after the fact. This was, and still is, a risky way of doing business. I never knew where my next paycheck was coming from or when it would show up. My first big break was an assignment for Men?s Journal shooting rock climbing in Mallorca, Spain. That came to me about five years into my career. My second big break was an assignment to shoot freeriding (a cousin of mountain biking) for the first version of Adobe Lightroom. After that assignment, advertising and editorial assignments started to come more frequently and with increasing regularity.
I don?t want to give the impression that my career was a joyride on easy street?just the opposite, it was a constant struggle to make it work. Working as a freelance photographer involves an insane amount of hard work, stress and risk. For me, that risk was both physical, as an adventure photographer, and financial. Many of my early climbing trips were sponsored by VISA and MASTERCARD, both of which were stored safely in my wallet. It took me years to pay off those climbing trips and my camera gear but to this day I don?t regret it one bit. I certainly don?t recommend using your credit cards to fund your business adventure but at the time I had no other options.
Above is an image of YouTube superstar Danny MacAskill that was shot for Red Bull. Working with Danny was a supreme pleasure and his story is incredibly inspiring. His story is a perfect example of a motivated, and extremely talented individual, showing what they are capable of and reaping the benefits of being able to show that to the world, via YouTube.
Even now, sixteen years later, I can?t tell you exactly where my income will come from six or more months from now. I have to have faith that, like the last sixteen years, the assignments and the work will come to me. This certainly isn?t the job for anyone that wants some vestige of financial security in the form of a steady job. But for me, the rewards of this job are that I am able to see and create images of stupendous feats of bravery in the outdoors. My life of risk has also allowed me to follow my passions to places I never thought I would ever visit and being able to share these adventures with the world, through my clients, is a great pleasure.
It is only by pursuing risk on a continual basis that my career has grown, and blossomed into what it is today. I still seek out challenging assignments, new sports and even new genres of photography. I still long for that next adventure. If I don?t have an adventure on the horizon?something to look forward to?I start to get a little stir-crazy. I am not an adrenaline junkie, as so many ?extreme? athletes are labeled. I am just addicted to having adventures.
One of my latest passions is capturing the dynamic sport of surfing. This image of pro-surfer Dylan Longbottom surfing a barrel at Teahupo?o was shot in Tahiti specifically for my book Exposed.
When I wrote Exposed last year, I had serious doubts about the topics covered in the book and if they would be of interest to anyone at all. The idea to write about the realities of working as a professional photographer, the stories behind the images and detailing how a handful of my images were created was hashed out prior to starting the book with Ted Waitt, an editor at Peachpit. I wanted to be extremely open and honest about my experiences as a pro photographer including all of the embarrassing moments so that the reader could see how I got from A to B to C.
As an example of hard work, creating this image of professional rock climber Timy Fairfield involved lugging over 200-pounds of lighting gear and equipment up into the cave in 98-degree heat?not to mention that fact that Timy still had to climb this difficult route in very tough conditions.
When the first few reviews of Exposed came in a few months ago I was amazed. The reviews were well beyond anything I had imagined. Yet again, taking a risk paid off.
It is my hope that this blog post will at the very least make you sit up and think about how you can add some adventure to your life and inspire your photography. Embracing risk may not be easy, and it may not be pleasant, but it will certainly make life interesting?and interesting often makes for phenomenal photographs.
While shooting an assignment for Men?s Fitness with the Henry 1 Search and Rescue team in Santa Rosa, California, I saw the opportunity for this image and had only twenty minutes to create it. This image was only possible because of the digital preview available on the rear LCD of my Nikon camera, which allowed me to refine the lighting in a matter of minutes.
Thank you to Scott, Brad and the gang at Kelby Media for asking me to write a guest blog post. It is a great honor to be included among the wonderful photographers here on Scott?s blog. And thank you for taking the time to read this guest blog post.
If you would like to read more about the adventures behind my images and how they were created please check out my book, Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer.
You can see more of Michael?s work at MichaelClarkPhoto.com, keep up with him on his blog, and find him on Facebook and Twitter. Michael also produces a quarterly newsletter, which is a mini PDF-magazine that details his latest adventures, and includes news updates, equipment reviews and other articles on various topics related to the photo industry. If you would like to sign up to receive the newsletter send him an email. You can check out back issues of the Newsletter on his website here.
You can also get 35% off Michael?s book by using the code KMCLARK at the Peachpit Store!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Conventional wisdom holds that when it comes to gaming, your CPU doesn?t matter all that much. Ever since 3dfx launched the original Voodoo 3D accelerator, we?ve strived to offload more and more work to a dedicated GPU, leaving the CPU free to handle other tasks. Nvidia and AMD have driven this trend for the past 12 years, first with dedicated hardware transform and lighting (T&L) and again when Nvidia launched the G80 back in 2006.
Conventional wisdom, it turns out, is moderately wrong. Scott Wasson at Tech Report has just published a major investigation into the topic. Instead of simply measuring average frames per second (fps) or providing a Min/Max/Average grouping, Tech Report also breaks down the data by frame time (graphed over the benchmark run). The term ?frame time? refers to the time (in milliseconds) that it takes to render each frame. For example, a perfectly steady 60 fps rate has a frame time of 16.67 milliseconds (1/60).Frame times are a less familiar metric than frame rate, but they capture an issue that standard fps measurement doesn?t. Even a Min/Max/Average plot is a graph of static values, measured in one second intervals. The human visual system, however, is capable of detecting variations in motion speed over a considerably shorter period of time.
Wide variations in frame time create split-second stutters that the eye sees and notices, even if the game runs at an average of 60 fps. This is sometimes referred to as microstuttering, though that term is generally reserved for describing a particular type of GPU latency when rendering in a multi-GPU configuration.
Examining CPU performance with frame times gives a very different perspective on their relative performance. Tech Report tested multiple games on a vast range of CPUs; I?ve borrowed a single comparison between two chips in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to illustrate the difference.
Here you can see the average frame rate, the time each chip spent above 16.7 milliseconds (meaning how often did it take the CPU more than 16.7ms to draw the frame), and what the draw time was for the bottom 99 per cent of frames. The fps difference between the Core i5 and AMD?s X4 980 is significant ? the i5 is 30 per cent faster ? but the Phenom II is still way above the 60 fps threshold. Compare the amount of time spent above 60 fps, however, and the gap becomes an ocean. The X4 spends more than five times as much time below the 60 fps mark. This translates into more stutters of the sort that the human eye picks up on.
Relative performance between Intel and AMD depends on the game, but there?s a significant gap between the two companies overall. The Phenom II X4 980 remains AMD?s best overall gaming CPU and many of the Intel chips are grouped in a relatively small space. Overall, performance is still mostly GPU dependent, but this work shines a light on areas where CPU choice can still make a modest difference.
You can read more at Tech Report.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright ? 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc
As we welcome Lil' Lorenzo to the world, we offer him some time-tested advice to help guide him through his formative years.
By James Montgomery
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Friday, August 24, 2012
Florida Keys emergency management personnel are holding a conference call Thursday afternoon to discuss preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac, but it is not expected that mandatory evacuations for tourists will be issued at that time, said Andy Newman, head of public relations for the Florida Keys Tourist Development Council.
While the island chain remains in the cone, visitors who are already in the Keys are being told to monitor the tropical storm. Those with plans to come in the next few days are also being told to watch how Isaac is progressing and be ready to change plans, if necessary.
With the storm not forecast to reach Category 3 or above, emergency management officials do not expect to issue a mandatory evacuation for residents of the Keys.
?When you don?t have to worry about a mass exodus it gives more time to make a decision [on a tourist evacuation],? Newman said.
That means emergency management can wait until 24 to 36 hours before the predicted landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac and still have time to safely evacuate all visitors of the 100-mile island chain, which runs from Key Largo to Key West and has only one main road.
It will be recommended that Keys residents in mobile homes and low-lying areas and on live-aboard boats move to county shelters if the storm is predicted to reach Category 1 or 2 wind levels.
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If you thought Google's perspicacious searching application was clever before, prepare for a shock. Google Goggles version 1.9 adds support for devices without autofocusing optics, giving those on budget gear a chance to use the real world as a search box. Point it at a QR code containing a URL, and it'll show you a thumbnail of the page and check its credentials against its blacklist of malicious sites. If it comes up short when searching for a product, it'll even search for similar-looking items to help you find what you're looking for, and it's available from the Play store for free -- so you don't really have any excuse.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Atlas Economic Research Foundation selected the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process (IPCMP) as a 2012 Templeton Freedom Award recipient. The IPCMP is one of 16 winners representing 10 countries around the world that will be recognized at a ceremony on October 3, 2012 in New York City.
According to Atlas, the IPCMP represents some of the best work from think tanks around its global network and demonstrates effective strategies for communicating and defending the message of free enterprise, individual liberty, and the morality of capitalism.
The IPCMP is one of two programs recognized in the Special Achievement by a University-based Center category. The other program is Duke University?s Center for the History of Political Economy. All winners will be awarded a $10,000 monetary gift and a travel grant to attend the Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner event in October.
?Congratulations to Peter Calcagno and his students who have worked diligently on building the Initiative to a nationally distinctive program,? says Alan T. Shao, Dean of the School of Business at the College of Charleston. ?The award is a testament to the quality and commitment of Dr. Calcagno?s work for his students and supporters of his program.?
Calcagno, director of the IPCMP and professor of economics in the School of Business, has led the mission and expansion of the IPCMP and its popular BB&T Speaker Series and Adam Smith Week since it began four years ago. Its mission is to advance the understanding of the economic, political, and moral foundations of a free market economy. The IPCMP supports the growth and development of teaching and research at the College of Charleston School of Business while engaging students and the greater Charleston business community.
The keynote speaker at the 2012 Atlas awards ceremony will be Virginia Postrel, a recent guest lecturer for the BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series that is part of the IPCMP.
About the School of Business College of Charleston?s School of Business offers five undergraduate programs, an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA. Approximately 1600 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit http://sb.cofc.edu/ to learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) ? As United Flight 731 climbed out of Newark with 107 people aboard, the pilot and first officer were startled to find screens that display crucial navigational information were blank or unreadable and radios were dead.
They had no way to communicate with air traffic controllers or detect other planes around them in the New York City area's crowded airspace.
"I made a comment to the captain about steering clear of New York City, not wanting to get shot down by USAF fighters," first officer Douglas Cochran later told investigators. He wasn't joking: "We both felt an extreme urgency to get this aircraft on the ground as soon as possible."
Within minutes, Cochran and the captain had turned around and safely landed the Denver-bound Airbus A320 at the Newark airport. Cochran later told investigators that clear weather might have been the only thing that saved them from a crash.
The January 2008 emergency was far from the first such multiple electrical failure in what is known as the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and it wasn't the last, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. More than 50 episodes involving the planes, which first went into service more than two decades ago, have been reported.
And it could be another few years before the last of the thousands of narrow-body, twin-engine jets in use in the U.S. and overseas are modified to counteract the problem. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order in 2010 giving U.S. airlines four years to make the fixes. The FAA's European counterpart did the same thing in 2009.
While no accidents have been blamed on the problem, the pilots union in the U.S. wanted the FAA to give airlines just two years to comply, but the FAA rejected that.
Aviation safety consultant Douglas Moss said the FAA should have acted a lot more quickly.
"These things cost money and the industry is in bad shape, so you have the economics thrown into it. But if the end result is higher airfares and higher cost of transportation, then that is the price we have to pay to ensure a safe transport system," said Moss, a California-based commercial pilot with 34 years' experience, including 14 years flying Airbuses.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said long time frames for fixing problems are not uncommon, because of the inconvenience involved in grounding planes for repairs. And FAA spokeswoman Allison Duquette said the four-year window was determined by the estimated 46 hours required to fix each jet. Safety regulators put the cost at $6,000 per plane.
The Airbus A320 family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321 models ? passenger jets with 100 to 220 seats.
France-based Airbus told NTSB investigators in 2008 that 49 electrical failures similar to the Newark emergency happened on its planes in the U.S. and abroad before that episode. Nearly half involved the loss of at least five of six cockpit displays.
Also, pilots who post to a website operated by NASA have described at least seven more instances of multiple electrical failure that forced them to abort takeoffs or make unscheduled landings. Four happened after the FAA directive was issued in 2010.
Rudy Canto, director of flight operations-technical for Airbus Americas, said that temporary electrical failures in all makes of jets aren't uncommon and that all planes have backup systems ? as well as backups to the backups ? to handle those situations. New Airbus models are equipped with an automatic power switchover to counteract failures like the one at Newark, Canto said.
But Patrick Smith, a commercial pilot since 1990 who has written extensively on aviation safety for www.askthepilot.com, said he has never experienced anything remotely similar to the multiple failures described by Cochran and others.
"I can't even recall a case of losing more than a single non-critical instrument, so the idea of all critical flight displays going out at once is pretty radical," Smith said.
Also, electrical failures that cause communication blackouts are more dangerous nowadays, given the post-Sept. 11 fear of terrorists seizing the cockpit.
It isn't known how many of the 633 A320-series jets operated by U.S. carriers are flying without the required modification because airlines do not have to notify the FAA about each one. United said it has completed work on about 90 percent of its fleet of 152 Airbuses covered by the FAA's directive, and Delta said it has made the fix on 124 of its 126 planes. USAirways said it has modified "more than 60 percent" of its 189 affected Airbuses.
About 2,400 of the planes in service with non-U.S. carriers are required to make the modification, according to Airbus. A spokesman for the European Aviation Safety Agency said the organization doesn't have figures on the number of planes fixed.
A pilot who recounted a 2009 incident on NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System said that 28 years and 20,000 hours of flying experience couldn't help him explain why the cockpit was "like walking into a simulator with no power or batteries on ... only light was the moon." The website does not identify the airlines or airports involved.
On the Newark flight, Cochran told investigators, nearly all cockpit indicators and gauges were lost, including his standby attitude indicator, a display that enables pilots to keep a plane at the correct angle. His primary attitude indicator also failed, but re-emerged shortly before landing.
"If they'd had bad weather, they could have lost the airplane, absolutely," said Moss, who has conducted accident investigations and served as an expert witness in aviation cases. "It was just dumb luck that it was daytime and the visibility was good."
In the Newark tower, a chilling thought occurred to controllers as Flight 731 circled back without warning: Was this another 9/11 about to unfold?
"You could see him making a hard right and then another turn; he's deviating off his course and loaded with fuel," a controller working that day recalled. The controller spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of rules against talking to the media. "He turned back east and was going right toward New York, and I thought, 'Oh, here we go again.'"
A 2006 failure described by Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch was similarly alarming. Ninety minutes into an EasyJet flight from Spain to England, electronic instrument displays and radio communications went dead. As the pilots struggled to fix the problem, the Airbus stopped sending radar signals for 10 minutes.
With "no means of knowing where the aircraft was or what had happened to it," French air traffic controllers diverted another plane that would have passed through the same airspace less than 20 seconds apart, according to the British report.
The plane landed safely in England with the pilots trying unsuccessfully to reach the control tower with cellphones. They told investigators they worried they would be intercepted by military aircraft if they tried to land at another airport.
Bill Bozin, Airbus Americas vice president for safety, said the company took steps to address the problem before the Newark emergency, issuing two service bulletins in 2007 recommending electrical system modifications. Unlike a regulatory agency, an airplane manufacturer can't require airlines to make safety upgrades.
Bozin said increased awareness of the problem has improved the situation "immensely" even though many planes are still flying without the required modification ? an automatic power switchover.
"With both Airbus, through its communication with its customers, and FAA, which has put out safety bulletins on this issue, we feel that the procedures have been sufficiently emphasized that we are safe right now even before we get the ultimate solution, which is the automatic switchover," he said.
While the NTSB has called the electrical failures "a significant safety risk" on takeoffs and landings in low visibility, long gaps between when a safety recommendation is issued and when airlines must carry it out are not uncommon, an investigator in the Flight 731 probe said.
"I would love for it to be done immediately as a safety protocol, but that can't happen," said Scott Warren, team leader of an NTSB group that investigates electrical and hydraulic failures. "That puts a huge burden on the operators to ground the planes every time a safety recommendation is made. So you have to evaluate whether it makes sense to wait a month, two months, four months, or more."
NEW YORK (AP) ? Shares of WebMD fell Thursday after Raymond James suggested the company's earnings and revenue could fall further in 2013.
THE SPARK: Analyst Alexander Draper lowered his rating to "Underperform" from "Market Perform." While WebMD expects to lose money this year and is predicting a sharp decline in revenue, Draper said its EBITDA ? earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ? and total revenue will get lower in 2013 and the shares will continue to decline.
"We are concerned not only that the macro environment will remain challenging, but also that WebMD's troubles include increasing competition and deteriorating pricing," Draper wrote in a note to clients.
THE BIG PICTURE: The New York company says many pharmaceutical customers are re-evaluating their marketing expenses as they deal with the expiration of patents protecting their products and unanticipated delays in Food and Drug Administration approval for new products. WebMD is also experiencing more competition from social networking sites and ad networks.
WebMD is forecasting $455 million and $480 million in revenue this year, down from $558.8 million in 2011. Draper said he expects WebMD to report $460 million in revenue in 2012, and said revenue will decline 5 percent to $437 million in 2013.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet are forecasting $465.7 million in revenue in 2012, near the middle of WebMD's current estimates. On average they expect a slight improvement to $469.7 million in 2013.
SHARE ACTION: Shares of WebMD lost 51 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $14.84 in afternoon trading. The stock is down 58 percent since Jan. 9. On Jan. 10, WebMD said it expected a significant decrease in income in 2012, said it had stopped talking to potential acquirers, and announced the resignation of CEO Wayne Gattinella.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, nabbed a burglary suspect in his home in Studio City this morning! The rapper/actor, who [...]
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Historic document reveals settler's storyTRACY NEAL
REMARKABLE FIND: Seonaid Lewis with the 500-year-old Jennings family tree.
Details of a 500-year history of the family of an early Nelson settler have been found in the attic of a house on Auckland's Waiheke Island.
The document, titled A Genealogy of the Jennings, covers the family history of David Jennings, a solicitor who emigrated from England to Nelson in 1849 and eventually became a farmer in Lower Moutere and later Motueka.
Auckland Libraries desperately wants to reunite the family tree with its owner, or a descendant of the family whose history is charted on the document, which was created more than 40 years ago.
The large family tree has been intricately documented on an A2 (large poster-sized) sheet of paper. It was found in the attic of a house on Waiheke Island and given to the local library for safekeeping.
Family history librarian Seonaid Lewis, from Auckland Libraries' Central Auckland Research Centre, said the family research went back about 500 years and included images of significant family members.
Ms Lewis said that after the 43-year-old document was handed in to the Waiheke Library, it was restored and preserved by library preservation specialists.
She described the find as a "remarkable example of genealogical research".
"You might expect to find such a comprehensive family tree in England, so it is pure gold to find a piece of work like this in an attic in New Zealand."
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Provincial Districts] lists Jennings as an "Old Colonist", who with his wife and two children left Gravesend on the ship Mary and arrived at Wakatu in February, 1849.
Details recorded on the family tree reveal that from 1831 to 1848, he lived at various London addresses, including the Strand and Whitechapel Rd. He then "emigrated to the Nelson province via France, where the third child was born".
Jennings settled in Lower Moutere and bought the property named Moutere House, where he farmed and raised cattle. In 1852, he bought about 81 hectares of land on the west bank of the Motueka River at Pangototara, and in 1855 he built a new house for his family.
He was instrumental in getting a post office for Motueka, was a member of the local road board, and for many years was chairman of the Riwaka School committee.
He had an active interest in the building and management of schools under the Nelson Education Act, and in building bridges and other road work under the Provincial Road Board Act.
Jennings remained at his Motueka property until he died on December 10, 1877.
He and his wife had six sons and five daughters.
?It is very apt that we begin this search during Family History Month, and we hope to return this information to its family,? Ms Lewis said.
Features of the family tree which may assist with identification are:
Titled A Genealogy of the Jennings.
Compiled from the records of the Drapers' Company of London and family records in A Kentish Country House by Mary Adelaide, Lady Jennings.
Details the line of David Jennings following his arrival in New Zealand in 1849.
Features a drawing of Hall House, Jennings' English home.
Compiled by a son-in-law of Laurence Arthur Jennings, elder son of the Rev Charles W Jennings, 7th of the 12th issue. Signed and dated "Keiller 1969".
To find out more about A Genealogy of the Jennings, contact Seonaid (Shona) Lewis on Seonaid.Lewis@auckland council.govt.nz or call 09 301 0101.
- ? Fairfax NZ News