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Showing posts from December 6, 2010

Auto Parts Chevrolet Auction

Auto Parts Chevrolet Auction - As we pointed out last week, the Chevrolet Volt is now on sale. One of the first retail-ready Volts to roll of the line at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant is up for auction online, and all proceeds will head to the Detroit Public Schools for science and math programs.

So far, so good for the cash-strapped school district: The auction is currently at $185,000 and counting -- with eight days to go. The leading bidder, volter, initially offered $100,000 on Tuesday and bumped that up on Friday to regain a spot in the proverbial driver's seat.

The auction hints at demand the Volt may generate as the extended-range plug-in hits showrooms later this month. And this one's sure to be profitable. Your move, Limbaugh.

Auto Parts Chevrolet Auction

X-37B Space Plane Lands

X-37B Space Plane Lands - The U.S. Air Force is evaluating the performance and condition of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-1), the reusable space plane that lifted off in April and remains the subject of much international speculation.
The unmanned spacecraft landed at 1:16 a.m. Pacific Time on 3 December at Vandenberg AFB, in California after 224 days and nine hours in space.

Though the service is not discussing specifics about OTV-1's classified payload, air force insists the focus of the maiden flight was the aircraft, not the payload or even potential payloads.

"Our ability to launch it and our ability to operate it were two of the key steps in the programme," says Richard McKinney, deputy undersecretary of the air force for space programmes. "But then the ability to successfully autonomously recover and land the vehicle was really the culmination of this first test phase of the programme."

Speculation on USAF's intended uses for the reusable space…

Droid X Update Out Soon

Droid X Update Out Soon - Verizon will be pushing out a new update to Droid X owners in the very near future, version 2.3.340. Included in this update, according to the documents, is EA Mobile's Madden 2011 game which was supposed to be available by now to Android gamers. Considering this, it looks like the reason it hasn't bee released is due to Verizon nabbing an exclusive on it.

While it isn't 100% known if this will be a full version exclusive or just a trial like we have seen with Gameloft games coming on Verizon devices, the fact that it is becoming available is a good sign that, hopefully, all Android users will be getting this highly anticipated 3D sports game to play. I don't think EA would limit themselves to a one carrier exclusive completely, it may be that Droid X owners will have first dibs on the game before the rest of the Android population.

Droid X Update Out Soon

Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy - Those unnerved by the advent of computer-composed classical works should breathe easier: The robots of Daft Punk have written a film score, recorded with the help of an 85-piece orchestra. If the machines are taking over, then the future of composing is in capable LED-lit hands.

Over their long career, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have stood apart from their dance-floor peers for their meticulousness in sculpting long-form tracks that deploy brainy means (virtuoso filter work, interplay between sonic compression and wide track dynamics) to joyful, primal ends. In a genre all about timbre, there’s no production duo that sounds as good.

This system works just as well out of the club and in the concert hall with the “Tron: Legacy” score. From the crackling main synth theme on “The Grid” to the distant timpanis on “Disc Wars,” the duo seamlessly grafts its phosphorescent ambience onto the orchestra’s dystopia-dripping arrangements. The band is unafraid to…

Auto Finance In NY

Auto Finance In NY - The economy may be on a rocky course, but auto loan rates in Albany, NY, are still dropping to record lows. Rates have plummeted again this week, making it an ideal time to finance a new car. New York has a wide selection of lenders offering great auto loan rates. The average 48-month new car loan is currently 6.24 percent.

Buying a new car can be time consuming, but be patient and shop around before settling on auto loan rates in Albany, NY. Many lenders are posting rates well below the national average. For more information on rates, check out research at Bankrate.com.

Auto Finance In NY

Play QWOP

Play QWOP - For anybody that has played the Flash game QWOP where you’re supposed to control a runner’s leg and thigh muscles to make him run, you know that it is the hardest game ever made. If you haven’t played it before.

QWOP is a game where you play an athlete on a running track, and you control the legs with each of the titular buttons controller a different calf or upper leg. The goal is to get as far as possible despite these awkward controls. In the new online game QWOP, you play what is clearly a man inspired by Trevor’s example and who also has had all his bones replaced with Jello.

Play QWOP

Federal Unemployment Extension Likely

Federal Unemployment Extension Likely - After a weekend of political posturing, both Democrats and Republicans are indicating a deal to temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts and federal unemployment benefits is imminent. According to a story in the New York Times, a deal could be announced as soon as midweek.

It's thought that the deal will temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years and federal unemployment benefits for one year.

Republicans have been opposed to extending federal unemployment benefits without offsetting the cost, but the WSJ is reporting that a GOP aide said "there may be some 'buckle' on that point in the interest of getting the deal done."

Democrats are also pushing for the deal to include extensions of stimulus provisions that provided tax cuts to working-class Americans. Without the extension of those provisions, 95 percent of Americans would pay higher taxes next year, a White House official said.

The White House has been negot…

Comcast Internet Down

Comcast Internet Down - Another massive Comcast outage impacted scores of customers in Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois on Sunday night to early Monday morning. The outage lasted hours, affecting thousands of users in the Chicago area, southwest Michigan, the Twin Cities and northwest Indiana. This morning, Comcast said that customers in those affected area should have internet service restored, however many are still struggling with online service.

“The Internet outage affected those in the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan,” says Comcast spokeswoman Angelynne Amores. “T he outage did not affect cable or phone service. Engineers are still investigating the outage.”

Consumerist.com named Comcast the 2010 “Worst Company in America.”

Comcast Internet Down

Adrian Gonzalez Traded To Red Sox

Adrian Gonzalez Traded To Red Sox - Adrian Gonzalez joined the Boston Red Sox today and immediately said he was “ready to beat the Yanks.”

The 28-year-old first baseman, who has hit 30 home runs in each of the past four Major League Baseball seasons, was traded to the Red Sox from the San Diego Padres for three minor leaguers and a player to be named.

Gonzalez will earn $6.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, and the Red Sox are confident that they will agree on an extension before he becomes a free agent in 2011, the team said on its website.

“I’m very excited to be here in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks,” Gonzalez said on the website.

In other transactions at baseball’s Winter Meetings, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired pitcher Shaun Marcum from the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Arizona Diamondbacks signed reliever J.J. Putz to be their closer and traded third baseman Mark Reynolds to the Baltimore Orioles for two pitchers.

Gonzalez joins a Boston team that faile…

PS3 Update 3.55 Live

PS3 Update 3.55 Live - Update your PS3 now to firmware v3.55, as Sony have just released the new, mandatory update. It brings absolutely no new features as far as we're concerned. It's a security patch. Thanks for all these useless updates, hackers and Sony, and hackers, and Sony, and on it will go, as the vicious circle has no end in sight.

PS3 Update 3.55 Live

PSN Update 3.55

PSN Update 3.55 - Surprise: amid the recent release of PS Downgrade along with rumors that a jailbreak solution for PS3 firmware 3.50 will soon surface, Sony doles out firmware 3.55. It’s a minor update that adds a mere “security patch.” These recent developments in the hacking scene are no doubt keeping Sony on the offensive.

It’s a mandatory update, of course, meaning you’ll have to install it to continue using PSN.

PSN Update 3.55

Estate Tax 2011

Estate Tax 2011 - Congressional Republicans have negotiated a pretty good deal with President Obama on the Bush tax cuts. Here’s the gist of it:

The Bush tax cuts are extended two years for all income levels. That brings us to 2013, when a new president could conceivably sign legislation to make the tax cuts permanent.

The estate tax will return in 2011 as scheduled, after gradually dwindling to its current rate of zero percent. But at least in 2011, it will only be 35 percent, not 55 percent, and the first 5 million of an estate’s value will be exempt. That’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than what we going to happen.

In return, the Republicans don’t oppose another 13-week extension in unemployment benefits. I hate this as policy, but it’s not a bad concession as part of the larger deal because chances are it would have happened anyway.

Now, what do you make of this quote from Obama, who opposed extending the tax cut for “the rich” but wanted it for the so-called middle class? “…

Andy Rubin Shows Off Android Tablet

Andy Rubin Shows Off Android Tablet - A 3D version of Google Maps will accompany a Motorola tablet running Honeycomb, the next version of Google's Android, according to Google's Andy Rubin.
Rubin showed off the unreleased prototype tablet at the opening session of D: Dive Into Mobile in San Francisco, the same day that the company announced plans to ship Gingerbread, Android version 2.3. Honeycomb and the Motorola tablet will arrive at some point next year, Rubin said, showing off the Google Maps application and eliciting more than one "oooh" from the crowd of mobile professionals.

He declined to provide any further details about the tablet.


Andy Rubin Shows Off Android Tablet

Google Nexus S Smartphone

Google Nexus S Smartphone - The "Pure Google" Nexus S, announced Monday, enters an increasingly crowded, turbulent smartphone marketplace in which the eventual winner — or winners — are far from certain.

"The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations — but we're not slowing down," wrote Android honcho Andy Rubin in a post on the Google blog announcing Monday's release.

Rubin also reiterated his company's mantra about the Nexus S: that it's "pure Google" — which he defined as having "unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates." He might have also added that the handset's OS purity means that it's unencumbered by the, ahem, improvements tacked on by Android-using hardware vendors and service providers.

More important than the new Googly smartphone, however, is Monday's release of Android 2.3 — aka "…

RBA Keeps Interest Rates On Hold

RBA Keeps Interest Rates On Hold - As predicted by most economists, the Reserve Bank has left interest rates on hold at 4.75 per cent.

Not one of the 25 economists surveyed by financial company Bloomberg expected the official cash rate to increase today.

The moves by banks to increase their lending rates last month beyond the official RBA rise and the strong Australian dollar appear to be helping the Reserve Bank with its job of keeping a lid on inflation.

Last week's weaker-than-expected September quarter GDP number and a decline in retail sales in October may have also given the Reserve Bank a little more room to move.

But most economists expect the RBA will have to tighten monetary policy by the second quarter of next year, as the resources boom drives huge export earnings and could put a strain on the spare capacity in the economy.

RBA Keeps Interest Rates On Hold

PS3 Update 3.55 Coming Soon

PS3 Update 3.55 Coming Soon - Eric Lempel, VP of network operations at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has dropped the word that a new software update is heading to the PlayStation 3 soon.

Software update v3.55 is a minor security-based patch. At this time there is no official release schedule and no further information about what we’ll find inside the patch. It seems like we’ll have to wait until 2011 for any major content updates.

We’ll keep you posted when the update goes live.

PS3 Update 3.55 Coming Soon

Oprah Audience Arrives In Australia

Oprah Audience Arrives In Australia - Oprah Winfrey's giddy audience of 300 arrived in Australia from the U.S. on Tuesday to begin enjoying the talk show queen's ultimate giveaway — an eight-day journey across the land Down Under.

Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in September by surprising her shrieking, jumping and sobbing fans with what she's billed as the trip of a lifetime. The hand-picked audience was made up of some of who the program called its most loyal viewers over the years.

The itinerary for "Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure" remains a closely guarded secret, but it is expected to cover every corner of the continent — from the glittering Great Barrier Reef to the east, to the dusty red Outback in the center, to the crocodile-infested rainforests of northern Oz.

Excited audience members — who on Tuesday still had no idea exactly where in Australia they'd be heading — waved at reporters and …

Giuliana Rancic Trying For A Baby

Giuliana Rancic Trying For A Baby - For any woman, attempting another pregnancy after a miscarriage can be a terrifying process.

And for American celebrity news personality Giuliana Rancic it is no different.
The 36-year-old E! News host reveals her decision to attempt to conceive again in an upcoming episode of her reality show, Giuliana and Bill.

Following a devastating miscarriage earlier this year, Giuliana and her husband Bill Rancic are ready to try for a second time.

A preview shows the couple paying a visit to top infertility doctor, Dr Brian Kaplan to discuss their concerns.

The Chicago-based specialist talks the couple through the options of either using Giuliana’s already preserved embryos for In Vitro or harvesting fresh ones.

At first Giuliana is hesitant: ‘The thing with the fresh cycle and doing it all over again, it's daunting in a way for me.

'It felt like this very long period of time where I was constantly stressed and uncomfortable, so if there is any-way …

Kevin Wilson To Be Named Indiana Coach

Kevin Wilson To Be Named Indiana Coach - “I talked to them,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes. Nothing’s final yet.”

An hour later, however, the Indianapolis Star reported that Wilson will be named Indiana coach at a 4 p.m. press conference. The Hoosier players are expected to be informed at 3 p.m.

Wilson flew from Norman to Indianapolis to meet with Indiana officials, including athletic director Fred Glass, and is believed to be the leading candidate for the job.

Indiana, however, is yet to announce a press conference or made an official announcement about its coaching search to replace Bill Lynch, who was fired last week.

“I don’t think there’s any sense of rush, you know, both ways,” said Wilson, who got back to Norman about 5:40 in the evening.

Wilson, 49, has been OU’s offensive coordinator since 2006, and has been a Sooner assistant since 2002. His several ties to the Big Ten and Indiana have made him an attractive candidate for the Hoosiers, who have had only one winning seaso…

Notion Ink Adam

Notion Ink Adam - Rohan Shravan, CEO has posted the bi-weekly Notion Ink Adam tablet news update on the companies official blog today. This weeks updates cover new developments on the Adam tablets trip to the FCC for certification; how the pre-order’s process will go and he even stated that Android Gingerbread OS will be launching on December 6th and the company will be aiming to make the Eden platform that the Adam tablet runs on compatible with the new Android OS; but that is just a snippet of this weeks updates.

Notion Ink Adam

Estate Tax Deal

Estate Tax Deal - On December 6, 2010, President Obama announced that a tentative deal has been reached with Republicans to extend the Bush Tax Cuts.

Significantly, the estate tax would come back in 2011, but at an exemption and rate that many Republicans have been arguing for. Under the deal, the estate tax exemption would be up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples. The tax rate would be at 35%. The exemption and rate would be in effect for two years.

American Farm Bureau Federation has been backing a $5 million exemption and a 35% tax rate. This is the exemption and rate that was proposed by Sens. Blanche Lincoln [D-AR] and John Kyl [R-AZ].

But many Democrats are opposed to a tax rate of 35%. Just a few days ago, Sen. Baucus proposed legislation with a permanent estate tax rate of 45% and an exemption of $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples. Sen. Baucus’ proposal failed to get the 60 votes in the Senate that are needed to break a filibus…

The Sing Off Premiere

The Sing Off Premiere - Tonight the show The Sing-Off returns to NBC. To be 100% honest, I had no idea it had actually aired in the past and that this was the second season. But it is the second season and host Nick Lachey will return to emcee the contest.

The Sing-Off is a singing competition that pits singing groups against one another. No music, this is an all acappella contest. The idea is that it is basically a real life Glee which is exactly how NBC is promoting it. The groups take some of today’s hottest songs and twist them up, rearrange them and make them their own. The winning group gets a Sony Music recording contract and $100,000. They may also get some extra work. Last season’s runners-up, The Beelzebubs, appeared on the hit show Glee as one of the glee club’s rivals The Warblers.
Judging the The Sing Off is Shawn Stockman, Nicole Scherzinger and Ben Folds. All three have a lot of music industry credibility. Shawn Stockman was part of the mega-hit group Boyz II Men who ha…

QWOP Game Strategy

QWOP Game Strategy - We haven’t posted about QWOP yet, have we? It’s the webgame that’s turned up in most of my game related conversations for the last few week or so, so it’s probably best we give it at least a nod. Its a running game, with direct control of thighs and calves, and is the most ill-conceived attempt to directly simulate human experience since Trespasser’s sinister floating limb. Brrr. In a real way, it’s this year’s Sumotori Dreams.

QWOP Game Strategy

Denver Broncos Fire Coach

Denver Broncos Fire Coach - The Denver Broncos fired head coach Josh McDaniels on Monday.

The move came 28 games into his tenure with the Broncos, in which he went 11-17 despite winning his first six games.

The Broncos named running backs coach Eric Studesville interim coach. He and team COO Joe Ellis scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Studesville has never been a head coach in the NFL. He joined the Broncos in January after spending six seasons coaching running backs in Buffalo.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," team owner Pat Bowlen said. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts.

"In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed."

McDaniels' dismissal came one week after Bowlen said he was not interested in making a head coaching change. Less than a day later, however, Bowlen backtracked and …

Huge Fire In Baltimore

Huge Fire In Baltimore - A huge five-alarm fire in Baltimore spread quickly along East Baltimore Street on Monday with firefighters turning up en masse to try and extinguish the flames, the Baltimore Sun reported on Monday afternoon.

The area, known as The Block, is occupied by mostly strip clubs and historic theaters. The Sun reported that at least four buildings on the street were on fire.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which likely spread due to high winds that hit the city.

A spokesperson with the local fire department said that the fire started at around 4 p.m. in a three-story building and from there, spread to several more, according to the Associated Press.

On a firefighter's union group's Twitter page at http://twitter.com/BCFDL734, the fire had reached five alarms.

“I haven't seen smoke like that before. From three blocks away, it was just black,” Alex LeBlanc Trela, an consultant who works near the fire, told AP.

Huge Fire In Baltimore

Josh McDaniels Fired As Head Coach

Josh McDaniels Fired As Head Coach - The Denver Broncos have fired coach Josh McDaniels, whose nearly two-year stint was marred by the Spygate II videotape scandal, a series of personnel blunders and the franchise's worst skid in four decades.

Running backs coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim coach for the final month, succeeding McDaniels, 34, whose hiring by team owner Pat Bowlen in January 2009 is now viewed as a monumental mistake.

In a statement, team owner Pat Bowlen said: "My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly. I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts."

Studesville and chief operating officer Joe Ellis will meet with the media Tuesday. There was no word on whether McDaniels would hold a farewell news conference.

The Broncos are expected to undergo an extensive search for a new head coach in the offseason.

Players didn't know of McDaniels' firing when…

American Country Awards 2010

American Country Awards 2010 - The first annual American Country Awards airs Monday night live on FOX (8-10PM ET) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The two-hour special is the only country music awards show that gives fans the chance to vote for their favorite artists. And it’s not just the traditional categories like “Best Album” and “Best Female Vocalist.”

For instance, you can even vote for “Best Tour.” (Voting ended December 4, so if you haven’t voted yet, sorry, you’re outta luck.)

Another thing that makes this show difference, organizers say, is that big-name country talent will be sharing the stage with big-name comedians.

Rodney Carrington and Jeff Dunham are scheduled to host alongside Adkins, and the show’s live performers include Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith and Reba McEntire.

American Country Awards 2010

Ben Bernanke 60 Minutes Transcript

Ben Bernanke 60 Minutes Transcript - “It’s certainly possible,” Bernanke said during an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” according to a transcript provided by CBS “It depends on the efficacy of the [existing] program. It depends, on inflation. And finally, it depends on how the economy looks.“

Bernanke defended the Fed’s already-announced $600 billion purchase of Treasury securities, pointing out that high unemployment is a major concern while inflation is dangerously low.

“We’re getting awfully close to the range where prices would actually start falling,” which would lead to falling wages and an overall downward spiral for the economy, Bernanke said.

Critics who say the Fed risks overheating the economy and fueling inflation “are not looking at the risks of not acting,” he said. “Fear of inflation, I think, is way overstated.”

The risk of a double-dip recession “doesn’t seem likely,” Bernanke said, because some of the most cyclical parts of the economy, such as housing, “can’t g…

Kayte Walsh Engaged

Kayte Walsh Engaged - Kelsey Grammer has proposed to his girlfriend, Kayte Walsh, his rep confirms to JustJared.com.

The 55-year-old actor split from wife Camille Donatacci back in July. Camille is currently featured on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Kayte, 29, was expecting a child earlier this year with Kelsey but suffered a miscarriage.

Congratulations to Kelsey and Kayte on the engagement!

RadarOnline first broke the news of Kelsey and Kayte’s engagement.

Kayte Walsh Engaged

Aspirin Daily Helps Fight Cancer

Aspirin Daily Helps Fight Cancer - Taking a daily aspirin may do more than lower your heart disease risk -- it could lower your risk of death from cancer as well.

So says a new review of studies published today. Still, many doctors say more must be known about the reasons for the possible benefit before their advice to their patients will change.

Researchers found that after five years, cancer death rates were 21 percent lower in patients assigned to take an aspirin a day -- a reduction in cancer risk that persisted for 20 years -- according to pooled data on a total of 25,570 individuals participating in eight randomized studies.

The meta-analysis, led by Peter M. Rothwell of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, was published online in the journal The Lancet.


The researchers called the results "the first reliable evidence that aspirin prevents non-colorectal cancer in humans" -- a possibility to which earlier studies had pointed -- though the preventive effect was ev…

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa - Prices at the Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Plata, the Domican Republic, have just been slashed 90 percent to $20.10 per person, per night. And what will you get for your Andrew Jackson? Just what you'd get at any other all-inclusive: all meals, beverages, entertainment and lodging. Plus, you'll get access to the resort's VIP parties and beach. Really.

The deal is part of a year-end sale over at CheapCaribbean.com and is good for stays between January 3 and December 20, 2011. That's a nice, long window of opportunity to plan a vacation. There's no such window for booking, though, because the sale ends on Dec. 10.

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa

CNN iReport Waits On Nauru

CNN iReport Waits On Nauru - The world’s smallest republic is the only country holding up CNN iReport’s biggest project, as Nauru is the only country that has not been the source of an approved iReport in the iReport Global Challenge.

iReporter and freelance journalist Daphne Sashin posted on the iReport Blog:

We are thrilled to announce that we are down to just one country in the iReport Global Challenge: Nauru, the world’s smallest republic.

Those of you who have been following the iReport Blog know that we’ve been striving to get photos, videos and stories from every country on the planet.

As of Monday morning, we have approved iReports from 193 of the 194 countries considered independent nations by the U.S. State Department.

Only Nauru is left! We want to hear from citizens of, or visitors to, this tiny island in the South Pacific, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Send us a snapshot of life in Nauru — the local culture, food, architecture, natural sites, or an unusual event h…

Jonathan Franzen On Oprah

Jonathan Franzen On Oprah - The road to Jonathan Franzen’s appearance on Oprah has been a long and fraught one. There was the whole debacle of Oprah uninviting him to the show after Franzen publicly expressed concerns that having the Oprah Book Club seal on his previous novel The Corrections would discourage men from reading the book, and the ensuing media speculation and brouhaha. And then, Oprah named Franzen’s latest offering, Freedom, as the first book club installment of her latest and last season. We turned in because we’re suckers for a dramatic confrontation. Skip below to read the best moments of when Jonathan met Oprah, nine years later. (Spoiler: There was no couch-jumping)


Oprah introducing Franzen to the audience: “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet this next guest.” (knowing audience laughter) “Don’t start with me, people.”

Franzen on meeting Obama: “I got summoned to the White House. Someone told me that I had 20 minutes with Obama, which I was told was an eternity. …

Students First Advocacy Group

Students First Advocacy Group - Former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee announced on Oprah Monday that she had launched a new national organization dedicated to reforming the nation's public schools.

The controversial and pugnacious advocate for upsetting the status quo in America's public schools pulled no punches during a brief pre-taped appearance with the queen of daytime television.

"I am going to start a revolution," Rhee declared. "I am going to start a movement in this country on behalf of the nation's children."

As part of the rollout for her new organization—dubbed "Students First"—Rhee landed on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Rhee quit her job at the top of D.C.'s public schools when her mentor, Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost his bid for reelection this autumn. Rhee said that her decision to leave prompted loads of mail and phone calls from parents, students and teachers who begged her not to stop fighting for education …

Prop 8: California Gay Marriage Ban Overturned

Prop 8: California Gay Marriage Ban Overturned - A federal court in California has begun hearing arguments about the legality of that state's ban on same-sex marriage.

A lower court this summer overturned the ban on same-sex marriage that resulted from a statewide referendum on the issue, known as Proposition 8.

The lower court judge ruled that the ban violated the civil rights of gay Californians.

Due to enormous interest in the case, Monday's hearing in San Francisco is being nationally televised.

A three-judge panel will consider two aspects of the case.

Firstly, it will hear arguments about whether the group that successfully lobbied for the referendum is eligible to appeal against the lower court decision.

The judges will then consider the constitutionality of the ban itself.

Prop 8: California Gay Marriage Ban Overturned

Julian Assange Questioned By British Police

Julian Assange Questioned By British Police - Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is expected to appear in a UK court tomorrow after his lawyers said he would meet police to discuss a European extradition warrant from Sweden relating to alleged sexual assaults.

As the legal net continued to close around the whistleblowers' website and US attorney general, Eric Holder, said he had authorised "a number of things to be done" to combat the group, Assange appeared to be reconciling himself to a lengthy personal court battle to avoid extradition.

Jennifer Robinson, a solicitor with Finers Stephens Innocent which represents the Australian freedom of information campaigner, told the Guardian: "We have a received an arrest warrant [related to claims in Sweden]. We are negotiating a meeting with police."

Another lawyer representing Assange, Mark Stephens, added: "He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the po…

Obama Tax Cuts For Rich

Obama Tax Cuts For Rich - For Republicans, it's about keeping the same tax rates that have been in place for nearly a decade.

For Democrats, it's about tax cuts for the rich.

Those differing views dominate discussion of a possible deal over the George W. Bush tax cuts that expire at the end of the year.

Obama and the Democrats are, reluctantly, discussing an extension of all the Bush tax cuts, even those for the wealthy, but only a temporary one.

Republicans will agree to extend unemployment benefits as well as a series of middle-class tax cuts Obama wants.

Democrats who reluctantly support theoretical agreement say it's the only way they would be able to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, who they say are held hostage to Republican emphasis on the wealthy.

The GOP's position is a continuation of "the Bush economic policies," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

"And the Bush economic policies of tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals ha…

Payroll Tax Holiday Possibility

Payroll Tax Holiday Possibility - The Obama administration proposed a year-long reduction in payroll taxes of 2 percentage points as part of a broader compromise to extend Bush-era tax cuts temporarily, a congressional aide said.

The proposed reduction was offered as an alternative to renewing the “Making Work Pay” tax credit, a creation of President Barack Obama that expires Dec. 31 along with lower income-tax rates enacted in 2001 and 2003, the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some Senate Republicans oppose the credit.

Negotiators also are discussing including Obama’s proposal to allow a full deduction for equipment purchases that currently must be deducted over time, an administration official said. The proposal would accelerate $200 billion in tax savings for companies in the first year and benefit 1.5 million companies and several million individuals who run businesses, according to White House estimates.

Total revenue lost from the so-called expensing proposal over…

Kathy Griffin Fat Attack

Kathy Griffin Fat Attack - Kathy Griffin hosted the VH1 Divas salute to the troops this weekend, but her “jokes” about Bristol Palin being “fat” fell flat.

"She's the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight," Griffin said in reference to Bristol's trip to the finals on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Even after the troops' loud booing, Griffin continued the attack.

"No, come on, come on. She gained like 30 pounds a week, I swear to God, it was fantastic,” Griffin said. “She's like the white Precious."

(Actress Gabourey Sidibe played the role of “Precious,” a 350-pound black woman in the hit Lee Daniels film which was released last year.)

But Palin, 20, isn’t letting 50-year-old Griffin’s digs bring her down.
“The audience's reaction to this ‘comedian’ spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would probably have booed her, too,” Palin told Pop Tarts in an exclusive statement. “I hope people didn't have to pay money to …

Elizabeth Edwards Cancer Spreads

Elizabeth Edwards Cancer Spreads - Elizabeth Edwards' loved ones were rushing to her bedside Monday after her cancer took a sharp turn for the worse and doctors said further treatment was useless.

The wronged wife of the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee posted what read like a goodbye on Facebook:

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that," she wrote.

"I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces ­ my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope," Edwards said.

"These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined."

The Edwards family in Chapel Hill, N.C., released a statement saying that doctors told her any further treatment would be "unproductive."

"She is resting at home with family and friends," the statement said.

ABC News reported the former senator was also by his estran…

Kim Kardashian May Be Pregnant

Kim Kardashian May Be Pregnant - Well, this is a new one. MediaTakeOut reports that Kim Kardashian is reportedly pregnant with Kanye West’s baby, but GossipCop is trying to put a stop to the spreading rumors.

“KIM KARDASHIAN IS REPORTEDLY PREGNANT… AND YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHO THE FATHER IS!!!” MediaTakeOut wrote.

According to the site, a source close to Kim suspects she’s pregnant and Kanye is the father.

“Kim has been seeing Kanye [West] off and on for years now,” the source said. “But this summer, they [hooked up] five or six times.”

But Gossip Cop spoke with their own source, who works with Kim, who called the story “beyond ridiculous.”

However, hearing from another “source” may not do the trick to ending these rumors for Kanye and Kim fans.

Kim Kardashian May Be Pregnant

Google Ebooks Launches With Android

Google Ebooks Launches With Android - Google Dec. 6 trotted out its long-awaited and delayed Google eBookstore, offering hundreds of thousands of paid titles and more than 2 million free titles, totaling 3 million-plus works. With so many titles at launch, eBooks is certainly an aggressive alternative to Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad and Barnes & Noble's Nook electronic reading platforms. What differentiates Google eBooks from those services is that there is no dedicated device for the books to run on. Google encourages users to search and pay for hundreds of thousands of titles from publishers and read them on their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Book content, which includes more than 2 million free titles scanned into the Google Books platform, is not tethered to specific devices, but procured from the cloud. Google did, however, provide free e-reader applications for the Android and Apple iOS platforms, allowing users to read books from Android handsets…

Donna D'Errico Gets TSA Scan

Donna D'Errico Gets TSA Scan - The TSA full-body scanners have claimed their first mainstream celebrity victim: Donna D'errico, former Baywatch star and Playboy playmate.

When Donna D'errico asked why she was singled out for the "porno scan", out of all the passengers in the LAX security line, the TA agent allegedly told her, "Because you caught my eye, and they didn't."

So now there's a porno-scan of Donna D'Errico out there, even as the TSA says that these scans are not recorded.TSA spokesman Nico Melendez fell back on the familiar talking-point of the agent viewing the body-scan being in a separate room from the subject, as if that is relevant.

Donna D'Errico Gets TSA Scan

$1 Million NY Lottery

$1 Million NY Lottery - How about a nice million in the bank for the holidays? It just may happen. The New York Lottery plans to give away $1 million in cash on December 7 at 11 p.m. at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. So, if you haven’t picked your numbers, do it soon.

You could be NY Lotto’s next Mega Millions winner.

The top prize right now is $74 million. Another drawing will follow on December 8 in the New York Powerball drawing, and that grand prize is $25 million. That drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m.

$1 Million NY Lottery

Amber Heard Introduces Tasya Van Ree

Amber Heard Introduces Tasya Van Ree - Actress Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) publicly came out on Friday, introducing her girlfriend and speaking as an “out actress” at the GLAAD at 25 event in Los Angeles. On the red carpet for the celebration, Heard, who walked with her partner, Tasya van Ree, told AfterEllen.com, “I think GLAAD is one of the many reasons that I, as a 24-year-old, can come out. I think that organizations like GLAAD make that possible, because if it weren’t for opinions being changed, people being influenced, people being engaged to do the right thing, then there would be no prerogative for anyone to come out. Like I said, I can’t be a part of the problem. I hate the idea of a label just as much as anyone else, but I’m with who I’m with, I love who I love… “

Amber Heard Introduces Tasya Van Ree

Don Meredith Dies Age 72

Don Meredith Dies Age 72 - Don Meredith, who died Sunday at age 72 in Santa Fe, was like a 21st-century TV sports personality back when Richard Nixon was president.
Meredith became a pop culture icon as an original cast member of a show —Monday Night Football — that debuted in 1970 with a daring premise: Sports might actually work in primetime if it was wrapped in show biz.

TRIBUTE: Remembering Dandy Don's best lines
Teamed with Howard Cosell and Keith Jackson, Meredith didn't sound like the often-solemn NFL announcers of the era. He cackled. He sang, most memorably Willie Nelson's Turn Out the Lights when games seem clinched. He became the marketing prototype of the modern athlete-turned-announcer with high-profile product endorsements and roles in primetime TV shows.

Meredith had two stints on ABC's MNF, from 1970-73 and from 1977-84. In between, he worked for NBC, teaming with Curt Gowdy on NFL telecasts and starring on Police Story. He also did Lipton Tea commercia…

Google Announces Gingerbread Android

Google Announces Gingerbread Android - Google on Monday unveiled the Nexus S smartphone from Samsung, its second flagship Android device it hopes will take on Apple's iPhone, with a unique curved screen and integrated near-field communications technology.

The Nexus S features a 4-inch AMOLED screen with a 480-by-800-pixel display on a unique "contour display," with curved glass. It also has forward- and back-facing cameras, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, and 16GB of flash memory.

As was previously rumored, the Nexus S will also include an integrated near-field communications chip, which allows for short-range wireless data transmission for activities like an "e-wallet."

"Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform," said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google. "We co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of…

Mark Daley Beats Scott Smith

Mark Daley Beats Scott Smith - Nottingham's Paul Daley scored a devastating first-round knockout over Scott Smith on the Strikeforce show at the Scottrade Center in St Louis.

Daley opened up with kicks and punches. He then found his range with a one-two combination and landed a right hand that put Smith down.

The fight went to ground before a dazed Smith got back to his feet.

Daley didn't dive in but used his jab and waited for another opening. He didn't have to wait long as Smith walked on to a stunning left hook and crashed down to the canvas unconscious. It was all over at the 2:09 mark.


Daley was also the star of the post-fight press conference.

"Coming into the fight, I was a little worried about Scott's power," said Daley. "He's a nice guy, he's a great fighter and I had to be cautious. He's been in a few Rocky moments, but this ain't no movie.

"I hit him to stay hit. 'Semtex' is for real."

Confident Daley already …