Monday, December 13, 2010

AJ Wright Closing Down

AJ Wright Closing Down - The Beach Blvd. location of the discount retailer A.J. Wright will be among the brand’s 71 to shutter as part of The TJX Companies Inc.’s consolidation plan, the company said in a news release.

TJX, which also operates the brands T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, announced the plans Dec. 10. The store at 11160-101 Beach Blvd., near St. Johns Bluff Road in the St. Johns Square shopping center, is the only Florida store to close permanently. The stores are expected to close by mid-February.

The company’s two A.J. Wright distribution centers in Indiana and Massachusetts will also close.
The closing of the stores and distribution centers is expected to eliminate 4,400 jobs.

The 91 remaining A.J. Wright stores that are not shuttered will be converted to one of the company’s other three brands. The two other Jacksonville locations are at 5149 Normandy Blvd. near Cassat Avenue and 934 Dunn Ave. near Interstate 95. It is not yet known which brand the other Jacksonville stores will reopen under.

AJ Wright Closing Down

iPhone 4 Jailbreak 4.2

iPhone 4 Jailbreak 4.2 - Apple has used its constant software updates to push back against those who jailbreak their iPhones. It June, it added a host of enterprise features to iOS 4.0, including a new API that could be used to detect when an iPhone was jailbroken. The API was made available mostly for security reasons, as it allowed third-party device management companies such as Sybase to help its own customers secure their corporate data.

iOS 4 had a loophole that offered a simple approach to jailbreaking that also uncovered a gaping security flaw that could potentially allow malicious programs to access an iPhone. Apple worked quickly to patch the flaw with an iOS upgrade. Hackers have already released jailbreaking methods for iOS 4.2 continuing the game of cat and mouse between Apple and jailbreak developers.

iPhone 4 Jailbreak 4.2

With the iOS 4.0 update in June, Apple had introduced mobile device management APIs that would let third-party mobile device management (MDM) applications have direct server access to iOS features and information. Basically, third-party apps could check if the iOS device has been jailbroken or not. Apple didn’t give any formidable explanation on why the API was dropped and several mobile device management API users would certainly be hunting for alternatives already.

iPhone 4 Jailbreak 4.2

Commonwealth Bank Glitch

Commonwealth Bank Glitch - THE Commonwealth Bank says it has fixed a computer glitch which delayed processing of accounts and left some customers without access to their account details.

CBA said the bank had recognised the computer problem had affected the accounts of both business and individual customers. But all should now have normal access to their funds.

The bank said it had processed the overdue running of a computer file by noon.

"During the file's processing, there were brief, managed outages of up to 15 minutes to our online channels CommBiz and NetBank,'' the bank said in a statement.

Commonwealth Bank Glitch

"The file has now completed processing. All accounts are now up to date and there is no impact to our online channels.

Problems with CBA's auto-teller machine network were also resolved, the bank said.

"Customers whose accounts required data from the late running file may have had difficulty accessing cash through ATMs during processing this morning,'' it said.

"As the file has now been processed, this is no longer an issue for those customers.

Earlier today, the CBA reported the file was primarily linked to business customer accounts, but it had identified a few retail customers were also affected.

"At most, up to 5 per cent of CBA accounts are impacted," the bank said.

The bank said it apologised to customers experiencing problems.

Commonwealth Bank Glitch

Nicole Richie Wedding

Nicole Richie Wedding - The former reality stars of The Simple Life, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, have made their spats and truces very public over the years, and the most recent truce in 2006 may not have been as sincere as it appeared.

When Nicole Richie married longtime boyfriend and baby daddy Joel Madden this past Saturday, Paris Hilton was nowhere to be found. She didn’t choose not to go, but Richie neglected to invite her former BFF, UsMagazine.com reports.

"Nicole knew very well that having Paris involved would have inevitably turned a special night into being about their friendship," says a source. "Nicole's life is completely different now."

Apparently there’s no hostility on Paris’ end. She was traveling to Las Vegas for a friend’s birthday on the day of the wedding. "She and Nicole aren't close anymore, but there are no hard feelings there," the source explains. "They just grew up and apart."

Nicole Richie Wedding

2001 Miami Hurricanes Roster

2001 Miami Hurricanes Roster - As an unabashed Canes fan, you know I’m not going to miss an opportunity to give some love to my Hurricanes, especially when it was prompted by somebody else. After Andre Johnson caught a touchdown prior to halftime of the Ravens-Texans Monday night game, analyst and former coach Jon Gruden began praising Miami.

Introducing what seemed to be a prepared piece by ESPN, Chucky said that the 2001 Miami team was the best college football team ever. He pointed out how 38 of the 89 players on the team were drafted, including 17 in the first round. They showed a team photo and spot-shadowed Andre Johnson and Ed Reed (both of whom were playing in the Monday night game) and mentioned Willis McGahee, who was also playing in the game. Other running backs on that Miami team were Frank Gore, Clinton Portis, and Najeh Davenport. In addition to Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, Jeremy Shockey, and Kellen Winslow II caught passes from Ken Dorsey. Defensive stars included Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, Vince Wilfork, and Antrel Rolle and Sean Taylor as backups.

2001 Miami Hurricanes Roster

Gruden said he wished he had some of those players on his teams and that’s why he’s out of a job. Then he got in the ultimate line saying that team could win the NFC West this year. Of course that’s not true, but it’s funny and it shows how stacked Miami was. Now that we’ve gotten the sucking up out of the way, let’s dive into some real analysis.


While I believe Miami had the best collection of talent on one team, I don’t think they were the best college football team ever. They blew out most of their opponents but they had close calls on the road against Virginia Tech and Boston College. Nebraska was completely overmatched in the championship game and Miami was the beneficiary of a year where there was not another undefeated team.

2001 Miami Hurricanes Roster

Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb and Others Acquitted

Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb and Others Acquitted - The Supreme Court acquitted Hubert Webb and eight others for the murders of Estrellita Vizconde, and daughters Carmela and Jennifer, its spokesman said Tuesday.

Webb is the son of former senator Freddie Webb.

“The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt [that the crime was committed by the accused]. Supreme Court pointed to inconsistencies in the evidence of the prosecution, particularly the testimony of principal witness Jessica Alfaro,” lawyer Midas Marquez said.

Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb and Others Acquitted

The high tribunal also ordered the release of Webb, Antonio Lejano II, Michael Gatchalian, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada, and Hospicio Fernandez as soon as possible.

Joey Filart and Artemio Ventura, who remain at large, and former police officer Gerardo Biong, who was recently released after completing his sentence, were also acquitted of the grisly crime.

They were “ordered released as soon as possible unless they are being held for other charges,” Marquez said. It is not known if they are facing other charges in other courts.

Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb and Others Acquitted

American Airlines Ending Non Stop Flights

American Airlines Ending Non Stop Flights - American Airlines officials say weekend nonstop service between Tulsa and Miami International Airport will end Feb. 6.

American spokesman Tim Smith said the Saturday and Sunday round-trip flights to Miami, Fla., were offered as a means to bring Boeing 737-800 aircraft to American's Maintenance & Engineering Center in Tulsa for periodic maintenance.

Smith told the Tulsa World that the maintenance line performing work on the 737-800s is shifting from five days a week to seven days a week, which will return the aircraft to service through normal operations instead of the special flights to Miami.

Smith said the Miami flights scheduled for this weekend are 70 percent full. He says the service has generated revenue for American and has been popular among American employees.

American Airlines Ending Non Stop Flights

Meteor Shower December 13

Meteor Shower December 13 - Another exciting show of the heavens will unfold tonight as the Geminid meteor shower peaks early Tuesday, between midnight and sunrise New Jersey time. The best viewing time for the Geminid meteor shower will be around 6:00am. There will be around 50 to 120 meteors which will illuminate the night sky every hour. Set your gaze at the Gemini constellation.

Unlike other meteor showers which are mostly from the tails of a comet, the Geminid metor showers are produced by rocky celestial leftoevers. The Earth passes through the stream of debris every December. This debris is produced by 32000 Phaethon which was once believed to be an asteroid and is now considered as an extinct comet.

You can also check out the website of NASA tonight since they will be hosting an online chat with astronomer Bill Cooke. Cooke will be taking qyestions during the online chat.

Meteor Shower December 13

Geminid meteor shower 2010 started to be visible December 12 and will be illuminating the sky until December 16. People will see the meteor shower along the Gemini constellation specially on a very clear night sky.

The Geminid Meteor Shower however is not the only celestial event this month since on December 2010 and wee hours of December 21 there will be a total lunar eclipes. It will be the only full lunar eclipse of the year and the entire event will be visible in North America, Central America, a bit of South America, Greenland and Iceland.

Meteor Shower December 13

Kati Marton Widow

Kati Marton Widow - It could be Quincy Jones. It could be Brian Stokes Mitchell. It could be Glenn Close. And, of course, it could be Hillary and Bill Clinton. I am talking about the people you could meet at Richard Holbrooke's place. He was a diplomat and a journalist and an editor and a writer and an amateur historian, the husband of Kati Marton, an author herself, and he was, in essence, a one-man salon. He had a thousand friends, and he deserved every one of them.

I was one of those friends -- not all that close, but close enough. We had met, as best as I can recall, in a typical Holbrooke fashion, at the screening of a movie. It was George Stevens Jr's film about his father, the Hollywood director George Stevens, and Holbrooke and I had been asked by Stevens to see an early print of the movie. I remember the movie -- it is a fine work of art -- but what stays with me from that day is Holbrooke's voluminous knowledge of film. He seemed to have seen every film ever made and learned something from each one.

Kati Marton Widow

I had heard of Holbrooke, of course. By his late 20s, he was already a mythical figure. He had been in Vietnam. He has been the Peace Corps chief in Morocco. He has been on the White House staff and had edited Foreign Policy magazine. Holbrooke was not a mere man. He was some sort of human key: if you knew him, he could unlock much of the world for you.
"Have you read Rebecca West's "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon??" Holbrooke once asked me. I was writing about the war in the former Yugoslavia, and the Balkans was the subject of the West book. I went out and got the thing. In paperback it is 1181 pages long -- to this day not a single one of then read by me. I am sure Holbrooke read them all. What's more, if I asked him, I'm sure he could quote a passage or two. He was brilliant. In fact, he was that brilliant.

Kati Marton Widow

Mariah Carey Is Pregnant

Mariah Carey Is Pregnant - Mariah Carey shows off her pregnant belly as Mrs. Claus at Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

Mariah Carey shows off her growing belly at the ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ taping and at US President Barack Obama’s Christmas in Washington concert.

Just two months ago in October, 40-year-old singer Mariah Carey announced to the world that she was in fact pregnant with husband, actor Nick Cannon. Rumors surfaced saying Mariah Carey is expecting a boy by late March of 2011.

Mariah Carey Is Pregnant

After seeing the latest pictures, I’m starting to wonder if Mariah Carey is expecting twins. She looks bigger than when Jennifer Lopez was pregnant with her twins.

At the US President Barack Obama’s Christmas In Washington concert, set to air this Friday, Mariah Carey wore a tight red lace dress that hugged her baby belly as she sang for the crowd including first lady Michelle, daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, and first Grandmother Marian Robinson.
Mariah Carey’s face, fingers, pretty much every part of her body was swollen. But this didn’t seem to bother Mariah; she was glowing, looking so happy.

Mariah Carey Is Pregnant

North Korea Nuclear War

North Korea Nuclear War - North Korea said today that continuing U.S.-South Korean-Japanese collaboration against the regime in Pyongyang could lead to nuclear conflict, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Dec. 10).

In typically bombastic rhetoric, Pyongyang's state-controlled Rodong Sinmun newspaper characterized the trilateral cooperation as "nothing but treachery escalating the tension between the North and the South and brining the dark clouds of a nuclear war to hang over the Korean Peninsula."

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have increased their cooperation on the North Korean nuclear impasse amid a series of provocations by the Stalinist state this year. Pyongyang's actions include the shelling last month of an inhabited South Korean island and the calculated unveiling of an advanced uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

The three nations have pledged not to resume paralyzed six-nation talks aimed at North Korean denuclearization until Pyongyang has taken demonstrable steps toward nuclear disarmament. They have also rejected a Chinese proposal to participate in emergency talks intended to ease escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea Nuclear War

South Korea today began five days of artillery drills at 27 locations. Seoul has responded to the attack on Yeonpyeong Island by conducting joint sea maneuvers with the U.S. and Japanese militaries and amending its defense policy to allow for a robust punitive response to any future North Korean assaults.

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official said this week's maneuvers would not take place close to a contested maritime boundary line near the shelled island (Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press/Yahoo!News, Dec. 13).

North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chin traveled to Russia on Saturday, one day after he reaffirmed his government's nuclear buildup as a necessary deterrent to the South Korean-U.S. military alliance, Agence France-Presse reported.

Russia, while condemning Pyongyang's assault of Yeonpyeong Island, has said it would participate in crisis six-party talks sought by Beijing.

"We need to think about creating conditions to restart talks between the six parties," Moscow's No. 2 nuclear envoy, Grigory Logvinov, said to Interfax on Friday.

Pak said his government remains willing take part in negotiations.

"Even in the atmosphere of the escalated situation, we have expressed support of resuming the six-party negotiation process," Pak said.

North Korea Nuclear War

Mac App Store

Mac App Store - Cydia is somewhat of jailbreak equivalent of the App Store for iOS devices. It enables users to find and install open source packages as well as buy special modifications made for jailbroken phones—often with features not approved by Apple. Cydia creator Jay "saurik" Freeman has now announced that he is also building a version of Cydia for Mac OS X, called, appropriately enough, Mac Cydia.

Cydia is generally installed either automatically or as a recommended first step after jailbreaking an iOS device. It was originally one of the first sources of installable packages for jailbreakers, including apps and command line tools, but later offered developers an way to sell software that would otherwise be impossible to distribute via Apple's official App Store. Freeman told Ars in 2008 that he named Cydia after the Latin name for a moth larva that thought of as "stereotypical apple worm."

While it is common to think of Cydia as a jailbreak alternative to the App Store, Freeman says that it exists primarily to distribute modifications for iOS and third-party apps. "There are maybe four actual apps available via Cydia," he said.

Mac App Store

The modifications are based on a framework called MobileSubstrate, which makes it relatively easy to install and update such modifications. For instance, Winterboard—its name a clever twist on the iOS launcher called "Springboard"—allows users to change wallpapers, icons, and other system graphics. SBSettings allows users to swipe the status bar to pull up an Android-esque drop-down panel, which can quickly turn on or off certain settings like WiFi or Bluetooth. And unlocking a phone from a specific carrier requires modifying a background daemon called Commcenter.

Freeman created a new version of MobileSubstrate which has calls simply "CydiaSubstrate." This new version can run on both iOS as well as Mac OS X on the desktop. "Just like you can make all these modifications on the iPhone, you can make these same modifications on the desktop," Freeman said. "Until now, there has never been a way to easily install modifications to the system or third-party applications, as well as keep them updated."

Mac App Store

Such hacks are technically possible via command line tools, hex editing, or other techniques. But such hacks can be difficult to maintain, and generally require some programming knowledge to keep from breaking.

Developers who want to offer users some way to change how Mac OS X behaves—such as adding menu bars on more than one monitor, for instance—could use CydiaSubstrate to build the mod and distribute the resulting software via Mac Cydia.

Mac App Store

New Whistle Blowing Site Indoleaks

New Whistle Blowing Site Indoleaks - When Daniel Domscheit-Berg defected from WikiLeaks in September to create his own leak-focused project, he told Der Spiegel that “there must be a thousand WikiLeaks.” The four that launched in just the last few days aren’t a bad start.

Last Thursday, a group of former European Union officials and journalists launched a site they’ve called BrusselsLeaks, focused on obtaining and publishing leaked internal information about the backroom dealings and secrets of the E.U. The Bulgarian newspaper The Sofia Echo reported on Saturday that a Bulgarian expat in Paris has set up BalkanLeaks, a WikiLeaks-modeled site that declares that “the Balkans are not keeping secrets anymore.” WikiLeaks itself pointed on Sunday in its Twitter feed to IndoLeaks.org, a whistle-blowing site that has already published revealing documents from the country’s Suharto administration, though it seems to have since been brought down temporarily by technical glitches.

New Whistle Blowing Site Indoleaks

Though IndoLeaks wasn’t visible Monday, the two other sites appear to use anonymous submissions systems similar in principle to the one that WikiLeaks offered until October of this year, when it stopped taking submissions. BalkanLeaks uses the anonymity tool Tor to protect its leakers, while BrusselsLeaks uses the encrypted messaging service Hushmail.

New Whistle Blowing Site Indoleaks

Carrie Fisher Talks Sobriety

Carrie Fisher Talks Sobriety - Carrie Fisher's not necessarily an expert on sobriety — her own struggles with alcohol abuse are explored in her one-woman show "Wishful Drinking." But as a recovering alcoholic, she does have plenty of insight on the topic. We'll speak with her later in the show, but the actress and writer gives us a few choice insights on sobriety in the meantime.

Carrie Fisher Talks Sobriety

Chipotle Cat Facebook Page

Chipotle Cat Facebook Page - Chipotle Mexican Grill claims on its Facebook page that a hacker approved a post on an employee’s page saying she ran over a cat. We have obtained a copy of the original thread that has since been deleted.

Both the employee and the company have posted the same statement on their respective profile and page. The version on Chipotle’s page has garnered hundreds of likes and direct replies, that continue as we post this:

Chipotle Cat Facebook Page

The statement about the cat is completely false. Someone hacked into our employee’s account and posted that update without her knowledge. We at Chipotle respect all animals and would not joke about something like that. We are working with local authorities and hope for a quick resolution. We also ask that you be respectful as this is a difficult situation for our employee. We appreciate your patience.

The post that offended cat lovers had gone up on the Chipotle employee’s profile last Thursday and appears to have remained up for at least 24 hours before getting pulled. A copy of it is below, with names blocked out.

Chipotle Cat Facebook Page

Enrique Morente Dies Age 67

Enrique Morente Dies Age 67 - Enrique Morente, an internationally acclaimed Spanish flamenco singer who famously both cultivated and tested the roots of his genre, died Monday at a Madrid hospital. The 67-year-old passed away from complications from ulcer surgery performed earlier this month, the AFP reports.

Morente was born in 1942 in Grenada, a city in Spain in the Andalusia region long considered one of the birthplaces of flamenco. At a young age, he was drawn to the music now deeply associated with Spanish history and culture, studying it with his family and absorbing lessons from the famous local and traveling performers. At 18 he moved to Madrid and began a professional career that spanned the rest of his life.

Originally a traditionalist, Morente was set on preserving the roots of flamenco, often quoted as saying that flamenco deserved flawless technique and endless rehearsal. But he was also a tireless experimenter who soon became to flamenco what Miles Davis was to jazz: A controversial force who often inc

Enrique Morente Dies Age 67

Golden Globe Awards

Golden Globe Awards - The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will reveal Tuesday morning the contenders for this year's Golden Globe Awards, officially cranking up the awards season to 11 and forcing cubicle workers across the country to ask their co-workers if they've heard of the obscure-ish Mike Leigh movie that just got nominated.

Of course, we'll be closely watching the noms announcement here in Celebritology and weighing in with our takes on the surprises and snubs. But first, it's time for a fun round of Golden Globe Guessing Game, in which I boldly suggest five locks and five potential surprises that could surface when the slate of film-related competitors is unveiled.

Golden Globe Awards

What Channel is the Vikings Game on Tonight?

What Channel is the Vikings Game on Tonight? - Vikings fans without DirecTV's "Sunday Ticket" won't be able to watch tonight's game against the New York Giants in Detroit.

Despite the fact that the game would have originally been shown in the Sioux Falls market on KTTW Sunday, it will not be on the local station tonight.

"Because of (NFL's contracts), they have to protect ESPN's 'Monday Night Football'," KTTW general manager Ed Hoffman said.

What Channel is the Vikings Game on Tonight?

The game, which will kick off in Detroit at 6:20 p.m., will be available for all DirecTV subscribers who have the "Sunday Ticket" package. That includes sports bars.

"I would love to have it on (KTTW), but I understand," Hoffman said. "It is one of those things that happens."

The game is only being broadcast in the Minneapolis, Rochester, Mankato and Duluth markets. It will re-air on the NFL Network at 11 p.m.

What Channel is the Vikings Game on Tonight?

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Break Up

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Break Up - The curtain has closed on the romance between "High School Musical" stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron.

The couple, who embarked on a real-life romance in 2006 after meeting on the set of the Disney hit, have split, E! Online reported.

Hudgens, who turns 22 on Tuesday, and Efron, 23, broke up recently, according to the site's sources, and are still on friendly terms.

"It's nothing dramatic," a source said. "There's no third party involved."

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Break Up

A second source confirmed that the relationship ended, noting "it just ran its course."

In Details' September issue, Efron admitted friends have encouraged him to use his fame to get women instead of remaining in a long-term relationship.

"I think a lot of guys would enjoy that. But I'm not really like that," he said. "Believe me, I rack my brain thinking, 'Why am I not out there playing the field?'... But it's not in my heart."

Efron also insisted that rumors about the romance – that it was purely for business and publicity, and a cover for the actor's alleged homosexuality, etc. – are "f—king insane."

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Break Up

Richard Holbrooke Suffered Torn Aorta

Richard Holbrooke Suffered Torn Aorta - Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a key player in President Obama's Afghanistan war strategy and relationships there, has died at 69 years of age.
Holbrooke's passing came after surgery.

Politico had reported that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Holbrooke was in "stable but still in very critical condition." He had just sustained 20 hours of surgery for a torn Aorta. The most common cause of a torn Aorta is High Blood Pressure.

Holbrooke has served three presidents, and been involved in American Foreign policy at some level, almost since he left college at Brown University in 1962 (photo by Brown University). He is survived by his wife, Kati Marton.

Richard Holbrooke Suffered Torn Aorta

Richard Holbrooke Dies Age 69

Richard Holbrooke Dies Age 69 - Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration's emissary to Afghanistan and Pakistan and one of the most celebrated American diplomats of the last half-century, died Monday. He was 69.

Holbrooke died at George Washington University Hospital, where he had undergone surgery after doctors discovered a tear in his aorta on Friday.

Holbrooke, who began his career as a junior Foreign Service officer in the Vietnam War and ended it helping lead the battle to overcome militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, shaped the narrative of U.S. diplomacy as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of State and Democratic presidential candidates.

Richard Holbrooke Dies Age 69

A 6-foot-2, barrel-chested man, he was renowned for his ruthless negotiating style, which earned him such nicknames as "The Bulldozer" and "Raging Bull." His most important achievement came in 1995 when he intimidated Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic and brokered the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian War.

Holbrooke served every Democratic president since John F. Kennedy, and was a contender to be secretary of State for two decades, though he never accomplished the goal. But he was the only person to be assistant secretary of State for two regions — East Asia and Europe — and was also U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as well as ambassador to Germany.

Richard Holbrooke Dies Age 69

Julian Assange Online Dating Profile

Julian Assange Online Dating Profile - JULIAN Assange's weapon of choice - the internet - may have just been turned against him.

A dating profile fitting the description of the notoriously private Wikileaks whistleblower surfaced today, revealing a man who confesses to being “87% slut” with an appetite for “spirited erotic non-conformist” women.

The apparent insight into the Australian computer whiz’s preferences comes as Assange is preparing to face a high stakes extradition hearing over allegations of sexual assault against two Swedish women. Assange denies all claims.

The profile, on OkCupid.com, is not under Assange’s name, and has not been confirmed as belonging to him, though photographs posted on the webpage bear an uncanny resemblance.

Julian Assange Online Dating Profile

The author of the page, going by the name of Harry Harrison, declares: “Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy.”

The page was last visited by its creator on January 1, 2007, before Assange gained an international profile as the founder of Wikileaks.

Harrison, who is described as being a 36-year-old, straight, single, male from Melbourne, admits to having "Asian teengirl stalkers".

Harrison writes that his job involves directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project and that he is involved in international journalism/books, documentaries, cryptography, intelligence agencies, civil rights, political activism, white collar crime and the internet.

One of the first things the entry says people notice about him is that he is often seen “carrying mystery brown paper packages tied up with strings”.

Julian Assange Online Dating Profile

Michael C Hall to Divorce

Michael C Hall to Divorce - It’s over for Dexter co-stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter.

“Having been separated for some time, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall have filed for divorce,” reps for the couple tell EW, adding that the split was amicable.

Michael, 39, and Jennifer, 31, married in December 2008 after meeting on the set of their Showtime drama, where she plays his foster sister.

Michael also completed treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this year.

Michael C Hall to Divorce

Oprah Winfrey Fever Hits Sydney

Oprah Winfrey Fever Hits Sydney - Oprah Winfrey stunned her packed Sydney audience on the Opera House forecourt today with a stream of giveaways.

She gave $250,000 to Sydney couple Kristian and Rachel Anderson. Rachel is battling cancer and caught Oprah's attention when an emotional video Kristian made for his wife and featuring Hugh Jackman became a global internet sensation.

Oprah gave the couple a cheque so they and their two children could "take the year off and get well".

But the audience did not miss out either, with Oprah announcing that everyone would receive a silver necklace with an "O" pendant and a large South Sea pearl from north-western Australia in its centre.

Oprah also took time to speak directly to her fans after the show, telling them that "it means as much for me as it did to you for you to be here".

Oprah Winfrey Fever Hits Sydney

Michael Steele Seeks Second Term

Michael Steele Seeks Second Term - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele announced on Monday that he will run for another term as head of the RNC, setting up what is sure to be one of the toughest fights of his political career.

Steele broke his public silence after more than a month, confirming in a conference call with members of the RNC that he would be seeking re-election after a tumultuous two-year term. He kept his intentions a closely-guarded secret and his decision to jump in the race surprised some Republican Party insiders who speculated that he would step aside.

Michael Steele Seeks Second Term

"I'm asking you tonight for your support, I'm asking for your vote for a second term," Steele said on the call.

Steele’s decision sets up a battle with at least five other candidates who are vying to replace him, including two contenders who recently left RNC positions.

The challengers include Saul Anuzis, the former chairman of the Michigan GOP; Ann Wagner, former head of the Missouri Republican Party; Reince Priebus, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party and the RNC’s former general counsel; Maria Cino, a veteran of the Bush administration and a long-time GOP operative; and Gentry Collins, the RNC’s former political director. Steele’s predecessor, former RNC chief Mike Duncan, is also considering a run.

Michael Steele Seeks Second Term

Yahoo To Layoff 700 Employees

Yahoo To Layoff 700 Employees - It matters a great deal to the unfortunate employees at Yahoo who are being laid off this week for the reporting on the subject to be accurate and to entail some serious effort.

(It’s bad enough to lose a well-paying job in this still-tough economy, but to lose one over the holiday requires quite a lot more than incorrectly quoting a tweet off Twitter without checking first.)

And so here’s the deal, as BoomTown has previously reported, about what’s happening at Yahoo layoffs, set for tomorrow morning:

Yahoo To Layoff 700 Employees

Yahoo will lay off about from 650 to 700 employees.

Those layoffs will come largely from its product division, headed by Blake Irving, although there could be firings from other parts of Yahoo.

The layoffs are mostly in the U.S. units of Yahoo.

Those let go with will notified tomorrow and will likely have to immediately leave Yahoo facilities. Company sources said the action will be completed by early afternoon, Pacific time.

It’s definitely bad timing for Yahoo, given it is less than two weeks until Christmas, but cost-cutting at the company seems unavoidable, as it seeks to improve revenue and spur growth.

Still, it is another sad day in Sunnyvale, Calif., where iconic Internet giant is headquartered.

Yahoo To Layoff 700 Employees

Jerry Jones Interview

Jerry Jones Interview - 60 Minutes tonight will feature an interesting mix of guests from Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones to House Of Representatives Speaker to be John Boehner. No doubt that Jerry Jones will be trying to explain how the Dallas Cowboys will continue to recover from the fiasco that was happening with the team at the first of the season. John Boehner, who will be the next Speaker of the House, will probably be talking about how he will be working with President Obama. This week, Republicans managed to get Obama to compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone. Finally, 60 Minutes will be looking at the thriving economy of Brazil. I hope this segment highlights how Brazil is using sugar cane and the by products to convert into ethanol and even generate electricity with the waste products. Of course Andy Rooney will be talking about something interesting as he always does. 60 Minutes airs at 7pm eastern time on CBS.

Jerry Jones Interview

VTAC Scaling

VTAC Scaling - VTAC adjusts the study scores for each study to take account of the overall ability level of the students and hence the strength of competition in the study.

The overall ability level of the students in each study is measured by how well the students performed in all their studies.

In each study, the study scores are adjusted so that the overall level of scores in that study matches the scores obtained by the same group of students in all of their studies.

For example, in economics in 2009 the average VCE Study Score was 30, but the students averaged 32 for all their studies. This shows that students who did economics in 2009 were of above average ability in their other studies.

VTAC Scaling

The scaling process adjusted the study scores upwards so that the average ENTER Subject Score for economics was set at 32. (Note: the acronym ENTER was changed to ATAR this year.)

The 2009 dance students averaged 28 in all their studies, therefore the scaling process adjusted the study scores downwards so that the average ENTER Subject Score for dance was 28.

In some studies the scaling process produces ATAR Subject Scores that are greater than 50. However, the minimum ATAR Subject Score cannot go below zero. VCE studies are always scaled in the year in which they were undertaken (this may not necessarily be in the year in which you receive your ATAR). This scaling process is carried out each year for each VCE study and VCE VET program for which there is a study score.

There are no predetermined outcomes, the adjustments are based on the performance of students each year.

Nevertheless, the process is stable and there is little difference from year to year in terms of the scaled ATAR subject scores.

VTAC Scaling

Anthony Mundine Knocked Out

Anthony Mundine Knocked Out - THE biggest names in Australian boxing last night delivered a unanimous verdict on the future for beaten boxer Anthony Mundine - "it's time to hang up the gloves".

Forget the much-hyped foray into the mega-rich pickings of the US market we've been hearing about for the past month, in the fight game it's better to get out too early than too late.

World champion boxing trainers Charlie Gergen and Johnny Lewis may not always see eye-to-eye but the pair were united after Garth Wood's five-round demolition of "The Man" on Wednesday night.

"Mundine's been fooling the public for all this time and finally judgment day has arrived," Gergen said. "He got knocked out by a bloke who's only had 10 fights. He keeps on insulting people by mentioning Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Anthony Mundine Knocked Out

"Comparing Mundine to Mayweather is like buying a brand new Morris Cooper mini minor and then walking into a Ferrari dealer and trying to tell them it's a fair swap. The best thing is he stops fighting."

Gergen knows the Mundine family better than most, having trained Tony Mundine in the 1970s and helped mentor Anthony since he was a boy.

When Mundine walked out on NRL team St George Illawarra in 2000 and fled to the US, he stayed in Gergen's Los Angeles apartment.

Lewis was more measured than Gergen.

"I know Anthony's got a lot of detractors but he's been good for Australian boxing and he needs to be congratulated for that," Lewis said.

"The trash he talks has enabled him to financially reap the rewards. I do think it would be very hard to see Choc come back from this loss.

Anthony Mundine Knocked Out

Wayne Swan Unveils Banking Reforms

Wayne Swan Unveils Banking Reforms - In the first hearing of a Senate inquiry into banking competition, Reserve governor Glenn Stevens maintained that competition was fiercer now than it was 15 years ago. He said consumers had greater choice and banks were under greater competitive pressure, but higher funding costs posed difficulties for small lenders.

As the government strived to support a ''fifth pillar'' to compete against the big banks, Mr Stevens said it must be wary of any unintended consequences of helping smaller lenders, citing examples from the US subprime crisis.

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Some moves - including providing a government guarantee to mortgage bonds - needed to be treated with great care, Mr Stevens said.

Wayne Swan Unveils Banking Reforms

''When you think about extensive public intervention in housing markets, we don't need to look any further than the United States of America to see that that can go wrong if we're not very careful with the way incentives are designed,'' he said.

His warning did not apply to the government's plan to spend an extra $4 billion on mortgage-backed securities. He was reluctant to comment on other aspects of its banking reforms.

National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne signalled that borrowers could still face more out-of-cycle interest rate rises because other funding costs were the main influence on mortgage rates.

Wayne Swan Unveils Banking Reforms

Keli Lane Convicted

Keli Lane Convicted - Seconds after a Sydney jury found she had murdered her newborn baby, Keli Lane screamed ''oh no'' and collapsed with a thud on the dock floor.

Her anguished cry was echoed by her sobbing mother, Sandra Lane, while many of the obviously distressed jurors had tears in their eyes.

Almost everyone in the crowded New South Wales Supreme Court room seemed affected by the raw emotion before Justice Anthony Whealy adjourned the case so Lane could get medical help.

Keli Lane Convicted

The 35-year-old former water polo champion had denied murdering two-day-old Tegan Lane on September 14, 1996, after they left Auburn hospital.

She claimed she handed the infant over to the baby's father but, despite nationwide searches, police found no trace of him or Tegan.

She was accused of murdering the infant and secretly adopting out two other babies so as not to dent her ''golden girl'' reputation.

The jury of six women and six men had been deliberating for a week without a verdict, when the judge yesterday afternoon gave them the option of a majority 11-one decision.

Earlier, he had delayed calling them into court to answer questions after being told ''some emotion is being experienced in the jury room''.

Keli Lane Convicted

Juan Carlos Cruz Sentenced

Juan Carlos Cruz Sentenced - The former host of the Food Network's "Calorie Commando" was sentenced Monday to nine years in a California prison after pleading no contest to soliciting two homeless men to kill his wife, Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez said.

Juan-Carlos Cruz's wife was also in court during the sentencing, Martinez said.
Fertility issues were at the center of the murder-for-hire plot, according to sources close to the couple.

Authorities alleged that Cruz offered the two homeless men $500 to kill his wife, Shiara Davila-Morales of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Police in Santa Monica, California, set up a sting and videotaped Cruz arranging the murder with the two men, Davila-Morales said. Cruz even drove one of them to his apartment and showed him how to get into the secure building, she said.

Juan Carlos Cruz Sentenced

Superior Court Judge H. Chester Horn Jr. ordered Cruz to pay $1,870 in restitution, Martinez said.

Cruz was also ordered to serve half of the nine years before he is eligible to be paroled, Martinez said.

No victim impact statement was ordered, the spokeswoman said.

Cruz's plea agreement called for the nine-year sentence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in late October after the plea was announced.

One count of attempted murder was dropped as part of the plea settlement, the prosecutor said at the time.

Juan Carlos Cruz Sentenced

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Trailer

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Trailer - Swashbucklers of all varieties swarmed the Disneyland Resort this morning, eager to watch the world premiere of the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides trailer. Fans and contest winners lined up in front of the AMC theaters in Downtown Disney, braving the icy cold California morning (in which temperatures plunged into the low 50s) in order to be the first to catch a glimpse of Jack Sparrow’s new adventures. “Official” pirates from the park sang sea shanties and conducted costume contests, while director Rob Marshall appeared beforehand to introduce the trailer. In the midst of it, he dropped a few tantalizing hints about the content of the new film. (Avast mateys! Thar be spoilers ahead. Fairly warned thee be, says I.)

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Trailer

After the trailer screening, guests were taken into the Disneyland park just before the gates opened for the day. The sailing ship Columbia appeared—complete with crew—who sang more sea shanties and swore in the new “crew members” with a lengthy pirate oath. They were joined by none other than Jack Sparrow himself, who seemed confused as to whether the guests were to be conscripted or executed. Once the issue was cleared up (thankfully with no blood being spilt), the guests took a trip on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, followed by a breakfast and after-party at a nearby pavilion. While Disney provided bacon and eggs, the guests could take pictures with Jack and his crew, as well as with the huge mock-up of the film’s teaser poster, featuring a grinning silver Jack skull. Hit the jump for more.

As for the trailer itself? It featured an introduction from Geoffrey Rush, who reprises his role of Captain Barbossa in the film, The wily pirate has changed sides, it seems: now serving as a captain in the British Navy (though we suspect this particular leopard retains the same spots as ever). He and Johnny Depp’s Jack open the proceedings in London, where Jack is seeking the whereabouts of an imposter. From there, it’s back to the New World in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth. Along the way, they’re joined by Penelope Cruz’s feisty pirate queen and Ian McShane’s thoroughly unpleasant Blackbeard.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Trailer

Anne Hatch Commits Suicide

Anne Hatch Commits Suicide - A Minnesota politician’s daughter who faced trial here following a highly publicized dustup with Chicago Police officers outside a North Side nightclub committed suicide in her Michigan Avenue home, authorities said Monday.

Anne Hatch, 27, was the daughter of former Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, who ran for governor of Minnesota in 2006.

She was found dead in her apartment at 535 N. Michigan just before 5 p.m. Sunday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy confirmed she died of hanging. A source said no note was found.

Anne Hatch and her sister, Elizabeth, were arrested in 2004 for allegedly slapping two police officers after being kicked out of the Crobar nightclub during Anne Hatch’s 21st birthday party.

Anne Hatch Commits Suicide

The sisters were found not guilty of misdemeanor resisting arrest, battery and criminal damage to property.

Mike Hatch served as Minnesota’s attorney general from 1999 to 2007. He now practices law for a Minnesota-based law firm.

The Hatch family issued a statement Monday saying Anne Hatch “died unexpectedly.”

“This is a sad and painful time for our family,” the statement continued, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Nothing in life can prepare you for the loss of a child. We are grateful for the outpouring of support and compassion we have received from so many people. We ask that our family’s privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”

Anne Hatch Commits Suicide

Russell Crowe Sails With Oprah

Russell Crowe Sails With Oprah - US talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey sailed a postcard-perfect Sydney Harbour with Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe on Monday as she unveiled an all-star lineup for her Opera House tapings.

Winfrey, 56, hit the famous harbour's glittering waters on board the "Eagle Rock" with Crowe, a Sydney local, tailed by a flotilla of some 20 other yachts.

Wearing a white cap given to her by Crowe and emblazoned with the logo of his South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league team, Winfrey beamed as she sat at the stern of the boat, talking sport with the "Gladiator" star.

"I'm having the time of my life," Winfrey said.

The harbour featured heavily on the megastar's weekend itinerary, with a glittering waterfront reception Saturday night, complete with fireworks, followed by a Sunday morning climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a visit to Bondi Beach.

Australia paid 2.3 million US dollars to lure the talkshow diva Down Under -- mostly to cover accommodation costs -- but pundits claim the exposure could be worth more than ten times that amount.

Winfrey has been mobbed by fans across Australia, and was afforded a reception in Melbourne normally reserved for royals or rock-stars.

Russell Crowe Sails With Oprah

She will film a double episode extravaganza in front of 12,000 Australian fans in the Sydney Opera House forecourt Tuesday, with special guests to include Crowe, actors Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman and rock group Bon Jovi.

Rapper Jay-Z will also feature on the show, Oprah's publicists revealed Monday, with a "soaring finale" to star other "special guests" -- rumoured by local media to include rock stars U2, who are currently touring Australia.

The Oprah Winfrey Show said they received more than 350,000 requests for the free tickets, with the lucky 12,000 selected by ballot. The harbourfront precinct will be in virtual lockdown for the event, with street closures and police cordons.

So much footage had been gathered in Winfrey's whirlwind tour the show said it would now screen four episodes of her "Ultimate Australian Adventure" in January 2011.

Russell Crowe Sails With Oprah

Mark Pescovitz Dies in Car Crash

Mark Pescovitz Dies in Car Crash - The weather this past weekend is being blamed for the death of a surgeon from the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Mark Pescovitz was on his way to Indianapolis after visiting his wife in Ann Arbor, Michigan when he crashed his car.

His wife formerly served as the CEO of Riley Hospital and the head of research at IU Medical School.

In a statement, she says:

"This unexpected tragedy reminds us all of the fragility of life and I am grateful for the support and well wishes that my family and I are receiving. My children and I will treasure Mark's memory and take solace from knowing how many lives he saved and touched throughout his career and life.

Mark Pescovitz Dies in Car Crash

PS3 Exclusive

PS3 Exclusive - In the newly released trailer for Mortal Kombat, Kratos from God of War has been revealed as a playable character on the PS3.

With more and more developers choosing to develop cross platform rather than exclusives for a specific console, the trend seems to be for the console makers to gain some form of exclusive content for those titles. Activision’s Call of Duty has an exclusive deal with the Xbox, allowing the 360 to release expansions a full month before the PS3 and PC, while PS3 just received exclusive missions for Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. Now it appears that developer NetherRealm Studios has negotiated a deal with the PS3 to bring the character of Kratos from the God of War series into the Mortal Kombat world as a playable character.

PS3 Exclusive

Fans of SoulCaliber will recognize the tactic, as previous games in that series have shipped with characters that are exclusive to each system. When SoulCalibur II was released, the Gamecube received the playable character of Link from the Legend of Zelda series, the PS3 got Tekken’s Heihachi, and the Xbox saw the comic charater of Spawn, so the idea of exclusive characters being used in a fighting game is nothing new.

This won’t be Kratos’ first foray into the arena either. The character appeared as a playable fighter in the PSP exclusive title SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny.

No word yet on who, or if the Xbox 360 might see unlocked, as Kratos is exclusive to the Mortal Kombat that will be released on PS3. You almost have to feel sorry for the other Mortal Kombat characters…

Mortal Kombat is due out on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in the first half of 2011.

PS3 Exclusive

6000 Fans At Oprah House

6000 Fans At Oprah House - Oprah arrived at the iconic Sydney site this morning via motorcade at around 8am, and was welcomed by screaming fans.

Sydney show ticket holders like Mary Abrahams couldn’t contain their excitement and posted on The Daily Telegraph’s official Oprah coming to Australia Facebook page “Oprah is in the house.... Just saw her!”

Briony Rheuben added: "Yay Mary so did I!!! I'm at the barricades . And I was Soooo close!!"

Oprah, who met media for an early press conference said she has promised to deliver "a four-hour love festival about your [our] country" before starting her Sydney shows.

Oprah House

Sharing her favourite moment of Australia, the talk show host revealed she had been surprised most by Australians "open faces".

"There's a sense of openness and warmth, I haven't seen in any other country," she said.

She vowed to take Australia's "open faces" to her global audience.

"I have the biggest mouth on earth and the biggest platform, aren't you glad I like it."

Fans have already seen Bon Jovi do their sound check before the first show, and the band are expected to perform for Oprah on her first taping, as they have a gig in Brisbane tonight for their Australian tour.

Bono was also spotted doing a sound check and U2 is tipped to appear after Oprah took her 300 US audience members to their Sydney show last night.

6000 Fans At Oprah House

Mona Lisa's Eyes

Mona Lisa's Eyes - We've heard several stories about her smile, now researchers are saying there's something special in Mona Lisa's eyes.

Italian researcher Silvano Vinceti says letters — which may be those of the model in the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting — are painted in her eyes.

Vinceti says the letters are invisible to the naked eye. The letters LV, likely for the artist's initials, are painted in black on green-brown in the right pupil.

"It is what is in her left pupil that is far more interesting," Vinceti told British newspaper, The Guardian.

The letters could be a B or S, or possibly the initials CE.

Mona Lisa's Eyes

If these are the initials of the model, it would further discredit the theory the model is Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a merchant in Florence.

Vinceti said it was not Gherardini because he believed the Mona Lisa was painted when da Vinci was in Milan, likely in 1490.

Vinceti said da Vinci wanted people to know who his model was, even though it has remained a mystery for hundreds of years.

"Leonardo was keen on symbols and codes to get messages across, and he wanted us to know the identity of the model using the eyes, which he believed were the door to the soul and a means of communication," Vinceti told the newspaper.

Mona Lisa's Eyes

Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens

Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens - Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have split up, bringing their "High School Musical" romance to an end, according to several reports.

The pair met on the "Musical" set in 2005, but over the past years the relationship "just ran its course," a source close the couple told Us Weekly.

"They are still talking and still friends. There's no drama. No one cheated. They just grew up," the insider added.

In an August cover story with Details magazine, Efron indicated all was right between him and Hudgens, saying the relationship was "exactly how it should be. It's real." The couple attended a party in celebration of the same cover a few weeks later, looking happy.

Calls to reps for both actors were not immediately returned.

Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens

Google Latitude On iPhone

Google Latitude On iPhone - It seems that whenever there’s a discussion around mobile location services, Google Latitude is treated as an also-ran. Foursquare and Facebook Places have been getting most of the buzz, and there’s also plenty of news around SCVNGR and Gowalla. Latitude, which launched in February 2009, rarely make headlines.

But starting today, we’ll probably start hearing a bit more about Google’s location-based service. It’s just launched a full-featured, native application for the iPhone that includes support for background location monitoring — marking the first time that the application has been available for the iPhone in a form that wasn’t severely crippled. Note that this was spotted in Japan’s App Store a few days ago — obviously that was a mistake in the buildup to today’s launch.

Google Latitude On iPhone

Now, Google actually submitted a native Latitude application for iPhone last year, but Apple blocked it and told Google to make it a web application, supposedly to avoid confusion with the Maps app that ships with the iPhone. Of course, a few days later news broke that Apple had also blocked Google Voice, which likely indicates that this was part of an anti-Google trend as opposed to a one-off concern. Now it looks like those issues have been resolved (perhaps with the threat of government intervention).

Google Latitude On iPhone

Carrie Fisher Outs John Travolta

Carrie Fisher Outs John Travolta - Princess Leia has a bone to pick with Tony Manero. In a no-holds-barred interview published Friday on Advocate.com, the perpetually frank Carrie Fisher opined about her gay fans, what it was like to be married to a man who later came out of the closet -- and those career-long rumors concerning John Travolta. "My feeling about John has always been that we know and we don’t care. Look, I’m sorry that he’s uncomfortable with it, and that’s all I can say." But the former Danny Zuko cares -- he cares a lot. The notoriously litigious actor/Scientologist most recently sent a stern warning to Gawker after it published "false and outrageous" claims regarding the star's alleged long-standing bathhouse habits, a story Travolta's team dismisses as "blatant defamatory lies."

When Travolta first became a sex symbol 35 years ago, there was no such thing as an openly gay star. Good God, even Liberace played it coy. But in ensuing, more enlightened years, performers who began their careers more circumspectly have transitioned gracefully into successful post-closet careers. It's not as if Ian McKellen and Ellen DeGeneres are hurting for work. And a whole new generation of stars have proven that audiences can fall in love with a smarmy womanizer like "How I Met Your Mother's" Barney Stinson and adore the openly gay Neil Patrick Harris.

Carrie Fisher Outs John Travolta

Yet the closet -- and the rumors of which big stars inhabit it -- persists. A man like Travolta isn't some bachelor clinging to the story he's "keeping the private life private" with all the tenacity of a CNN anchor. He's a man with a wife and family, a guy whose new son was just born three weeks ago. Professionally, he may don a dress to play Edna Turnblad, but his roles are likelier to be manly man action heroes. And as a Scientologist, he's also a member of a group that defines homosexuality as a "deviation."

Carrie Fisher Outs John Travolta

Oprah Sydney Show Starts Filming

Oprah Sydney Show Starts Filming - Oprah has started a big day of filming her talk show at the Sydney Opera House by remarking on the big welcome she has received from Australians.

The television queen joked about the adoration and adulation she had received, which she said had been like nothing else in her 25-year career.

She sighted visting Uluru, Hamilton Island, the Great Barrier Reef and watching a giant 'O' being illuminated on the Harbour Bridge in her honour as the highlights of her trip.

The northern end of Sydney’s Macquarie Street is at a virtual standstill as thousands of people queue to see Winfrey film her two Australian shows today.

Those who managed to get hold of the hottest ticket in town - allocated through a hugely oversubscribed ballot - began waiting to get into the cordoned off Opera House at first light.

Oprah Sydney Show Starts Filming

Several people without tickets even slept out overnight at Circular Quay in the hope of securing a distant glimpse of Oprah and the galaxy of stars due to perform at the shows.

"We’ve come all the way from Perth to see her," said ticket holder Kylie McGrath.

"Somehow we managed to get a ticket through the ballot, so the minute we won I said to my husband, 'Book the flights'!"

A small number of standby tickets are also being made available, though show producers have warned those waiting in line for the last-minute allocations that they will be issued depending on space.

Plenty of those waiting are clutching banners or wearing T-shirts professing their love for Oprah.

Oprah Sydney Show Starts Filming

Kanye West Rejected from Exclusive Club

Kanye West Rejected from Exclusive Club - Kanye West recently got club treatment he's not used to - the cold shoulder.

The rapper was initially denied entry to the strictly-invitation Ivy Penthouse in Sydney before eventually being allowed in.

But West got the celebrity treatment he is surely more used to when he had a craving for some fried treats on Saturday night. According to reports he called on a renowned chef to deliver the goods ... literally.

Rumour has it the spotlight thief called Thai hotspot Longrain about 8pm on Saturday requesting a cook at a private Point Piper residence, where Jay-Z and wife Beyonce were said to be as well.
"Kanye West wanted a chef to go over and cook chicken wings for them and 15 guests," a source said yesterday. "The head chef [went]."

Kanye West Rejected from Exclusive Club

Update on Unemployment Extension

Update on Unemployment Extension - A tax cuts and unemployment benefits bill that is making its way through Congress has the support of half of Americans, a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll has found.

Of Americans, one in every two (49 percent), which is a plurality but not a majority, approves of the deal, while one in three opposes it and a fifth say they don’t know. USA TODAY/Gallup phoned 1,019 American adults. The poll has a margin of error of +/— four percentage points.

Update on Unemployment Extension

The bill, officially called the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, would extend Bush-era tax cuts as well as unemployment insurance benefits, which both faced expiration this winter.

President Obama announced a deal with Republicans earlier this month, reaching a compromise to extend the tax cuts. Extending the Bush era tax cuts is unpopular with Democrats, who worry an extension, which would prolong income tax cuts to the rich, could worsen the deficit. Extending unemployment benefits is unpopular with Republicans, who fear the payments to jobless people could prolong unemployment.

Update on Unemployment Extension

John Boehner Crying

John Boehner Crying - ABC News reports that in both occasions that John Boehner, incoming Speaker of the House and second in line of presidency, has introduced himself to the public, he has cried.

Boehner is the most powerful Republican in Washington at this point, however, it has been a tradition that politicians who cry often take a beating in the polls.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Boehner talked about his ascend from janitor to powerful political figure in Washington, and how seeing children ignites emotions in him.

"Family – kids -- I can't go to a school anymore. I used to go to a lot of schools. And you see all these little kids running around. Can't talk about it," he faltered.

John Boehner Crying

While some peg him as appearing as weak, other commend him for showing his raw emotions.

“This is not exactly the first impression you want to make to the American people," Republican strategist Ed Rollins says. "We've seen his sensitive side enough already. But a sensitive side isn't what the country wants to see in a strong leader. He's got to show strength and leadership and a willingness to stand up to the president. You never saw Pelosi crying".

Democratic speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who Boehner will replace, said in November, "You know what? He is known to cry. He cries sometimes when we're having a debate on bills.”

She added, "If I cry, it's about the personal loss of a friend or something like that. But when it comes to politics -- no, I don't cry. I would never think of crying about any loss of an office, because that's always a possibility, and if you're professional, then you deal with it professionally."

John Boehner Crying

Cleveland Hopkins Airport

Cleveland Hopkins Airport - The mammoth snow storm in the U.S. Midwest have affected thousands of passengers in the region including Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Akron-Canton Airport.

Representatives from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport have reported multiple delays and cancellations from Ohio’s busiest airports. All flights to Detroit, Miami, New York City and Albany from now Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport

Geminid Meteor Shower 2010

Geminid Meteor Shower 2010 - The Geminids are rocky debris that Earth’s orbit encounters each year around this time.

In past years it has been steadily noted that the Geminids’ meteor shower has become more miraculous, issuing bigger and brighter fireballs and trails with each new appearance. Astronomers are anticipating this year’s show being the most spectacular ever!

What is known for sure is that the Geminids will emit bright fireballs and long trails in the night sky.

Geminid Meteor Shower 2010

These meteors are believed to be dust particles from an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon, an unusual fact since meteors tend to come from comets not asteroids.

The Geminids shower is expected to peak between midnight and sunrise tonight and should be easily seen from anywhere in the world, in spite of light pollution. For all you aspiring astronomers out there, astronomer Bill Cooke will be open for chats tonight up until the start of the shower.

Geminid Meteor Shower 2010

NFL Playoff Scenarios

NFL Playoff Scenarios - Many believe that the NFL race is wide-open this season. Though there's one definitive team and player that trump all the rest. The team is the 11-2 New England Patriots and that player is the current consensus MVP, Tom Brady.

In both the AFC and NFC, there are several intriguing matchups that the football world wants to see. Even with four playoff teams getting byes, a lot will be resolved on Wild Card Weekend. Much confusion about who belongs and who doesn't is liable to be settled and positive for the Divisional Round the following weekend.

Even the Atlanta Falcons, who also are 11-2 and lead the NFC are often forgotten because of the Patriots. Though these two are the conference leaders, they aren't the only notable teams in the league. Otherwise,

NFL Playoff Scenarios

AP Bankruptcy

AP Bankruptcy - After a week of rumors that Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea, which was once known as the largest grocer in the U.S., was headed for bankruptcy, finally last night announced it filed for Chapter 11.This comes after a year of battling to profit in the sluggish economy and maintain financial stability.

The company that started back in 1859 in New York City, owns supermarket chains under the names Pathmark, Super Fresh and Waldbaum’s.

AP Bankruptcy

No need to race to the shopping carts just yet, on A&P’s press release they assure shoppers they will continue to conduct business and serve customers at its 395 stores. The Company’s stores are fully stocked with their complete range of high quality products, and all existing customer promotional and customer loyalty programs will stay in place.

The Company will also have access to $800 million in debtor in possession financing, which will enable it to continue paying local suppliers, vendors and employees.

A&P President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Martin said, “We have taken this difficult but necessary step to enable A&P to fully implement our comprehensive financial and operational restructuring. While we have made substantial progress on the operational and merchandising aspects of our turnaround plan, we concluded that we could not complete our turnaround without availing ourselves of Chapter 11.

AP Bankruptcy

Ja Rule Gets 2 Years In Prison

Ja Rule Gets 2 Years In Prison - Rapper Ja Rule is going to see some prison time for carrying a gun.

Ja reached a plea deal with prosecutors Monday after pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon, MTV News reports. The charge stems from Ja Rule's 2007 arrest following a NYC concert performance with Lil Wayne.

After the concert, both rappers were separately pulled over by NYPD. While cops discovered a loaded semi-automatic in Ja Rule's vehicle, they also found the same in Lil Wayne's car, along with illegal substances.

Ja Rule Gets 2 Years In Prison

Per the agreement, Ja Rule will likely serve 16 months in prison, followed by a year and a half of post-prison supervision. "Minor setback for a major comeback," Ja tweeted after reaching the deal.

Last year, Lil Wayne also settled his plea deal, and in March of this year, he turned himself in to begin his one-year sentence. He has since been released and is currently on probation for an unrelated incident in Arizona.

Ja Rule Gets 2 Years In Prison

Lucy Lawless Spartacus

Lucy Lawless Spartacus - Lucy Lawless in Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena is making news to the start off the week. The series is a prequel to the Starz original series Spartacus: Blood And Sand, which has had some trouble getting under way for season two as the series lost its star when Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer.

Lucy Lawless is probably best known for her role as Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, but she has done several roles since then. She has been seen in SyFy's Battlestar Galactica revival, and she also played a role in the first season of Spartacus: Blood And Sand. She isn't only a talented actress, but an established singer as well. She's performed at sporting events, and she also has a running gig at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

Lucy Lawless Spartacus

Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena is set in between one and two of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and it will give fans something to hold them over until the issues of casting can be fixed for that series. Lucy Lawless will play Lucretia in the new series. The series will air for six episodes starting January 21st on Starz. John Hannah is also set to co-star with Lawless in this prequel.

Hopefully, the issues with casting for Blood and Sand can be fixed, so that production on that series could move forward, but at least fans will have a little something to hold them over until those issues are resolved. This production is promising to be more violent and sexier than the first series. Lucy Lawless didn't even want her parents to watch the show!

Lucy Lawless Spartacus

Jenifer Ringer Called Fat

Jenifer Ringer Called Fat - Alastair Macaulay, famed critic for the New York Times, has come under fire for his review of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Not for it’s tepid display of dancing, angular choreography or a lack of musicality…but for the size of Jenifer Ringer — one of the dancers in the show.

A dancer who had left ballet due to her struggle with weight years ago.

On the show, Macaulay wrote “This didn’t feel, however, like an opening night. Jenifer Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many; and Jared Angle, as the Cavalier, seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm.”

In an article from 2001, Ringer has discussed her battle with being “the perfect ballerina size.” Something that forced her to leave the professions she loves.

Jenifer Ringer Called Fat

Jets Coach Trips Player

Jets Coach Trips Player - It may be viewed as unprofessional for a National League Football coach to trip a player from the opposing team.

After all, this is a professional game; the players and coaches are all grown men used to coping with frustrations of the game. That didn’t stop an assistant coach for the New York Jets, Sam Alosi, from taking down one of the members of the opposing team. The Miami Dolphins player who literally took the fall was Nolan Carroll.

Alosi was on the sidelines when he tripped Carroll. It didn’t help his team to win; the New York Jets still lost with a score of 10 to 6. Maybe Alosi was just trying to give his team a chance, however; he took action near the end of the third quarter of the game. It did, however, cause public embarrassment for both the coach and the team. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Alosi admitted to the action and described his behavior as “unsportsmanlike.” He also sent his apologies to the opposing team.

Jets Coach Trips Player

Carroll didn’t make much of the issue, describing it as a situation the Jets have to deal with, not him or the Dolphins. The Jets, meanwhile, have yet to decide on what to do about Alosi, according to their public relations man, Bruce Speight.

The action was apparent during a replay of the game. Carroll was not taken out of the game permanently after the trip but did need to be pulled out after being initially injured. One thing is for certain: the Jets will undoubtedly be careful Also doesn’t trip anyone in their upcoming games against Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Jets Coach Trips Player

New Big Ten Logo

New Big Ten Logo - The Big Ten Conference revealed its new logo today, along with the breakdown of divisions that will occur next season, with the addition of Nebraska.

"The new Big Ten logo provides a contemporary identifying mark unifying 12 outstanding institutions," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "It conveys some elements from the past while simultaneously introducing new features. We think the new logo is fun and has something for everyone."

The new divisions (a first for the Big 10), will split the conference in half as follows:

New Big Ten Logo

LEGENDS: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

LEADERS: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

The Big 10 also announced the creation of 18 new trophies to honor student athletes, starting in 2011.

"These trophies will honor our legends and leaders for generations to come," said Delany. "The names on these trophies are fitting tributes to the hundreds of thousands of student-athletes and coaches whose hard work and dedication have contributed to the legacy of the Big Ten Conference over the past 115 years."

New Big Ten Logo

Virginia Healthcare Lawsuit

Virginia Healthcare Lawsuit - A ruling by a federal judge in Virginia today could have an impact of Florida’s challenge to the new health care laws. The judge called part of the new health care law unconstitutional. He says the constitution won’t allow the government to mandate its citizens buy health insurance. The mandate is part of a further reaching lawsuit filed by Florida’s attorney general and 20 other states attorneys general. Joe Jacquot, the Attorney General’s Chief of Staff, says what happened in Virginia bodes well for Florida’s suit.
“The judge in Pensacola is reading the briefs, reading the order of the judge in Virginia and visa versa. I’m sure the Virginia judge was looking at our Pensacola judge’s order as well on our motion to dismiss, but he will judge independently. He will look at our case which is both on the individual mandate and also on the Medicaid claim, which is a significant difference in the Virginia case,” said Jacquot.

Oral arguments in Florida’s case are scheduled for 9AM Central Time in Pensacola on Thursday. The hearing is expected to last two and a half hours.

Virginia Healthcare Lawsuit

Jennifer Aniston Supports Courtney Cox

Jennifer Aniston Supports Courtney Cox - Courteney Cox has thanked best mate Jennifer Aniston for her support in the wake of her marriage split.

The actress is on a trial separation from her husband of 11 years David Arquette and admits she doesn't know how she would have coped without her former Friends co-star. "Jennifer has been so wonderful," she said.

The 46-year-old actress hasn't ruled out getting back together with Arquette but insists their main focus now has to be on their six-year-old daughter Coco.
"It's too early to say if we will get back together," she said. "But we are always going to be very close and supportive and be good parents to Coco. That's the most important thing."

Jennifer Aniston Supports Courtney Cox

Selena Gomez Duet

Selena Gomez Duet - Selena Gomez wants to duet with Cheryl Cole.

The US pop star is a big fan of the UK singer and insists it would be a dream come true if they could record a song together.

She said: "I'm so a massive fan of Cheryl. I want to be her best friend! I love everything about her. She's my role model. It would be my dream to collaborate with her."

Selena Gomez Duet

As well as wanting to work with Cheryl, Selena, 18, is also a fan of Katy Perry, and has revealed she was so grateful when the California Gurls hitmaker let her record the song Rock God instead of her.

She told Top of the Pops magazine: "Everyone wants songs written by Katy Perry. I asked her and she was so nice – she just said, 'Yeah, you can have it.' She was very kind."

She said: "Cheryl Cole is the s**t, not only that she's f***ing hot
"It seems like it's something my fans really want, and also something that's so not typical for me to do, work with another person who's in the same genre as me, so I think it'll be amazing.”

Selena Gomez Duet

Stockholm Bombing Causes Fury

Stockholm Bombing Causes Fury - The identity of the man suspected of carrying out a suicide blast that injured two people in Stockholm on Saturday has started to emerge, as the quest for answers moved to the London suburb of Luton.

The name of the man suspected by Sweden’s security police Saepo of being the author of two blasts in a shopping neighbourhood of Stockholm over the weekend has appeared in the Swedish and British press, as the investigation into Europe’s latest terrorist scare moves to the northern suburbs of London.

On Saturday, two separate explosions, a car bombing and a suspected suicide blast, rocked a bustling pedestrian quarter of the Swedish capital. The presumed attacker -- identified by an Islamist Web site as Taymour Abdel Wahab – died, and two people were injured in a plot apparently targeting Christmas shoppers.

Stockholm Bombing Causes Fury

The Swedish news agency TT, as well as Saepo, received a threatening email referring to Sweden's troops in Afghanistan and controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammad minutes before the explosions.

According to Olivier Truc, correspondent for French daily Le Monde in Sweden, the man’s identity was quickly published. “He signed the threatening message to the press and police, and he’s also registered as the owner of the car that exploded. It may not be the man who died on Saturday, but the Swedish press quote police sources”, Truc said.

Stockholm Bombing Causes Fury

Samsung Galaxy S 16GB

Samsung Galaxy S 16GB - The Samsung Galaxy S 16GB is an Android based mobile device that is very popular among customers. It offers a range of great features. It is a stylish mobile device that boasts of a 4-inch Super AMOLED display. It is a pocket friendly handset that comes with the following dimensions: 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm. Its display showcases an iPhone style interface, which is full of widgets, such as a web browser, Google Maps and social networking tools. The handset integrates a 1GHz processor that is powerful enough.

Samsung Galaxy S 16GB

Moreover, the Galaxy S is enabled with a 5 MP camera that features LED flash. The memory can be expanded up to 32GB by means of microSD.

You can start ordering the handset, which is available on pay monthly deals through Orange as well as O2. The starting price of O2 is £20.00 per month. Such a deal offers a free mobile device, unlimited texts as well as 100 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S 16GB

Ozzy Osbourne Postpones Tour

Ozzy Osbourne Postpones Tour - FilmMagic
Ozzy Osbourne has pulled the plug on two remaining dates of his arena tour due to an ear infection. The rock legend took the advice from his doctors to cancel the last performances after learning the infection would leave him unable to entertain his legion of fans.

In a statement on his official website, Osbourne canceled shows at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on Friday, December 10 and at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., today, Dec. 12. The multi-platinum Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will reschedule the shows for later dates, which include Wednesday, January 12, 2011, in Minneapolis, and Friday, January 14, 2011, in St. Louis.

Ozzy Osbourne Postpones Tour

After the rescheduled dates, the British performer moves into the 2011 leg of his tour when he hits Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 16. Osbourne will travel for six weeks and play a set of intimate shows as well, including Jan. 26 at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix and Feb. 1 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Longtime friend and musical collaborator Slash will open all the concerts on the second leg of the tour.

The 'Prince of Darkness' is currently promoting his tenth studio album, 'Scream,' which features the lead single 'Let Me Hear You Scream.' The track was recently nominated for a Grammy in the Best Hard Rock Performance category.

Ozzy Osbourne Postpones Tour

Snow Causes School Delays

Snow Causes School Delays - Overnight snow with forecasts of more to come were slowing the morning commute Monday and causing school delays and closings across the region.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools were among the districts operating on a 2-hour delay. Others, such as Albert Gallatin and Laurel Highlands in Fayette County, are closed for the day. See information about school closings and delays on KDKA.com, the Post-Gazette's news partner.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for southwestern Pennsylvania until 7 a.m. Tuesday, but locations to the east and north will be hit harder.

In Pittsburgh and nearby suburban areas, lake effect snow, coupled with winds that could gust to 30 mph, will cause hazardous travel conditions. Two to 4 inches are forecast to fall during the day with another inch or two tonight.

Snow Causes School Delays

A winter storm warning is in effect until 7 a.m. Tuesday for the ridges of Fayette and Westmoreland counties, and for all of Cambria and Somerset counties. As much as 10 inches could fall in lower elevations with as much as 15 inches on the ridgetops.

In the hours before dawn, suburban highways were mostly clear. Some side streets were snow covered and slippery. Just after 5 a.m., many Downtown streets had some snow on them.

Snow Causes School Delays

Punjab and Sind Bank IPO

Punjab and Sind Bank IPO - Initial public offering of Punjab & Sind Bank subscribed 68% till 4 pm on the first day. It received bids for 27 million shares as against 40 million shares on offer. A total of 2.54 bids were received at cut-off price.

The price band has been set at Rs 113-120 a share. The issue will close on December 15 for qualified institutional investors (QIB) and on December 16 for other investors.

Punjab and Sind Bank IPO

Punjab & Sind Bank is a GoI undertaking, incorporated in June 1908 in Amritsar. PSB was one of the 6 banks nationalized by the GoI in April 1980 and today, they are one of 19 nationalized banks in India. As on October 31, 2010, PSB had 926 branches and 63 ATMs across India. They have sponsored a regional rural bank, Sutlej Gramin Bank, in collaboration with the GoI and the state Government of Punjab. As on September 30, 2010, PSB had a total of 8,047 employees, serving over 6.6 mn customers.

Punjab and Sind Bank IPO

French Children Held Hostage

French Children Held Hostage - A group of children are being held hostage by a 17-year-old at a nursery school in eastern France, officials said.

The teenager, carrying at least one sword, initially took 20 children hostage at the kindergarten in Besancon at 9am (8am GMT) but released most of them about an hour later, officials said.

"Around 14 children have come out and at the moment there are five or six still inside," Besancon's mayor, Jean-Louis Fousseret, told France Info radio.

The children being held are aged between four and five. Their teacher and a classroom assistant are also being held. An official with city hall said they were in the Charles Fourier pre-school. Mayor's aide Jean-Marc Magda said on BFM-TV that the children's families were being offered psychological and medical assistance.

French Children Held Hostage

The hostage-taker has been in contact with police negotiators since the beginning of the siege but the motivation for his actions is unknown.

An elite police unit has been sent from Strasbourg to deal with the incident.

Local police said it was possible more children were being released but they did not have any more information.

The school is in Planoise, a neighbourhood of housing estates with a big immigrant population on the western edge of Besancon.

Other classrooms in the building have been evacuated. The education minister, Luc Chatel, is reportedly on his way to the school.

French Children Held Hostage

Metrodome Collapse

Metrodome Collapse - Once the shock wore off, once teammates had watched the earthquake-like online videos of the Metrodome roof collapsing a few times, the Vikings accepted their fate.

They were headed to Detroit.

Eighteen to 20 inches of Minnesota snow ripped holes through the Metrodome, scrambled the NFL's scheduling plans and stole the Vikings' home-field advantage, pushing what was once a noon Sunday kickoff against the Giants to a neutral-site game in Ford Field at 6:20 tonight on Fox.

Coach Leslie Frazier said the team will miss the home-field advantage of playing in the Metrodome, but the Vikings realize their slim playoff hopes exist because of Green Bay's loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The Vikings (5-7) must win their remaining four games to have a remote chance at the postseason.

Metrodome Collapse

"Our guys are resilient; they're professionals," Frazier said. "This is what they do for a living. They'll adjust."

Any ticket holders for the originally scheduled game will be admitted to Ford Field and receive "preferred seating along the 50-yard line," the Vikings announced, or they can receive refunds. Free general-admission tickets will be available at Ford Field's box office starting at 8 a.m.

Fox will televise the game in New York City and the Twin Cities, as well as the Duluth, Rochester and Mankato, Minn., markets.

The game had to be moved from Minneapolis because TCF Bank Stadium, where the University of Minnesota plays, was not a viable option.

Metrodome Collapse

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away - Controversial former F1 team boss Tom Walkinshaw has succumbed to his ongoing battle with cancer, passing away over the weekend at the age of 64.

The burly Scot, who headed up the Benetton, Ligier and Arrows teams during his tenure in the top flight, often found himself in the headlines, but also found himself handling some of the biggest names in the sport, including world champions Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill.

Having made his name in sportscars, both as a driver and, later, as head of the eponymous Tom Walkinshaw Racing outfit that took Jaguar to success at Le Mans, he was seconded to the ambitious Benetton team, initially as director of engineering, in 1990. As well as Schumacher, whom he prised out of his deal with Jordan after an impressive debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, Walkinshaw was also credited with introducing Ross Brawn to F1, having used the Englishman's design talents at TWR.

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

Although success followed with the 'dream team' at Benetton, culminating in Schumacher's maiden world title in 1994, Walkinshaw left for Ligier amid a rules row over the supposed use of a then-banned traction control system on the B194. Although the FIA later ruled that Benetton's 'launch control' system went 'unused', rivals believed otherwise, casting a shadow over both the title and Walkinshaw's role, which would later be called into question by the revelation that a crucial filter was missing from Jos Verstappen's refuelling equipment, potentially speeding the rate at which the cars could be topped up at pit-stops.

The missing element only came to light after the pit-lane conflagration that made headlines around the world..... Again, however, the team went unpunished, although it was fined heavily for Schumacher ignoring black flags at Silverstone and also for refusing to release computer codes, thought related to the traction control enquiry, after the tragic Imola weekend. The championship, perhaps fittingly, was clinched with the controversial Adelaide clash between Schumacher and Hill.

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

Living Social Challenging Groupon

Living Social Challenging Groupon - LivingSocial, the second-biggest website for daily deals, is planning to use a $183 million investment from Amazon.com to overtake market leader Groupon Inc. At almost the same time, Groupon turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google.

LivingSocial and Amazon are apparently preparing to combine their websites in significant ways. But one reason why Amazon has not bought the smaller company outright is the matter of state sales tax. As things stand, Amazon collects no sales tax for most of the states in the U.S. Vendors are required by law to collect sales tax only for states where they have a physical presence. Theoretically, when a customer orders from Amazon, the customer should report and turn the sales tax in himself, but that rarely if ever happens.

Living Social Challenging Groupon

But LivingSocial’s type of business depends on an enormous sales team, physically located in every market in which it operates. If Amazon bought LivingSocial, that sales force would become Amazon employees, Amazon would gain a physical presence across the nation, and become liable for sales tax in all those additional states.

Living Social and Groupon both offer their members coupons for their local businesses via daily emails, which they buy online. These coupons offer big savings, at times up to 75% off. Local businesses who have participated in group-coupons have discovered that, if the merchant provides a good product and good service, he may win a customer who keeps coming back, long after the special deal is over. Some estimates of success with coupon sites are as high as 95%

Living Social Challenging Groupon

Will Muschamp Departure

Will Muschamp Departure - Before the end-of-year college football recruiting dead period begins in a week, the Longhorns will try to assure worried 2011 commitments that all is well as Mack Brown prepares to fill vacancies on his coaching staff that currently number four.

"Currently" is the operative word.

Will Muschamp became the fourth with Saturday night's announcement that he'll be the new head coach at Florida. But conflicting rumors that Muschamp could take one, two or even three UT assistants with him have added to the uncertainty enveloping Brown's program, which is going through an unprecedented upheaval in the aftermath of a 5-7 season that is his worst in 13 seasons at Texas.

Unconfirmed reports have speculated that current UT running backs coach Major Applewhite, a candidate to call offensive plays for the Longhorns, might join Muschamp's staff as offensive coordinator. There also has been speculation that secondary coach Duane Akina and defensive ends coach Oscar Giles might be candidates for spots on the Gators' staff.

Will Muschamp Departure

Muschamp and Applewhite were seen departing from the nearly empty UT football complex Sunday afternoon and getting into their vehicles. Muschamp declined to answer questions from a reporter.

NCAA rules allow seven coaches from a staff to be on the road recruiting. Texas football spokesman John Bianco said Sunday night that former running backs coach Ken Rucker, now the Longhorns' director of high school relations and player development, is available to help recruit.

Rucker would give Texas six recruiters on the road, at least for the moment: Rucker, Akina, Giles, Applewhite, Bruce Chambers and Bobby Kennedy. Kennedy, who coaches wide receivers, also reportedly is looking at other job possibilities.

Will Muschamp Departure

Credit Suisse To Issue Bonds

Credit Suisse To Issue Bonds - Credit Suisse may issue up to $30 billion in contingent-capital bonds over the next several years to help shore up the firm's finances ahead of the start of new bank rules, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The FT quoted Credit Suisse Chief Executive Brady Dougan as saying in an interview the company aims to issue the so-called coco bonds soon to assure investors and regulators there is enough demand for its debt.

Credit Suisse To Issue Bonds

Cocos, bonds that convert into equity under certain conditions -- usually when a bank's store of capital falls below a certain trigger point -- have got a boost after Swiss regulators said the bonds could help bolster capital bases for banks. [ID:nLDE6930O4] Switzerland announced in October its two biggest lenders -- Credit Suisse and UBS -- would be subject to tougher capital rules than the internationally-agreed Basel III framework. [ID:nLDE6931X1] Plans laid out by a Swiss government commission said both banks should hold a total of 19 percent of risk-weighted assets. The first 10 percent of their capital holdings must be in the form of common equity, but the commission said the next 9 percent could be in the form of coco bonds.

This initiative marked a step forward for the asset class, which has seen UK bank Lloyds and Dutch-based Rabobank issue the bonds in November 2009 and March this year.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is looking into the use of coco bonds as a means of additional loss absorbency for large banks and is due to report on this early next year.

Credit Suisse To Issue Bonds

Wellstream To Be Sold

Wellstream To Be Sold - General Electric Co (GE.N) said on Monday it would buy British oilfield services company Wellstream Holdings Plc (WSML.L) for about 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion), in a deal that would expand the U.S. conglomerate's subsea equipment and services portfolio.

GE said as per the deal, Wellstream shareholders would receive 780 pence in cash and a special dividend of 6p per Wellstream share.

Shares of Wellstream closed at 747p on Friday on the London Stock Exchange.

Wellstream To Be Sold

The deal will also help enhance GE's ability to capitalize on growth in Brazil, Africa and Asia, the company said in a statement.

The Wellstream deal will further extend GE's reach into the floating production, storage and offloading offshore segment, the company said.

Wellstream reported a sales backlog of 250 million pounds ($398 million) as of November 16, GE said.

Wellstream To Be Sold

Dubai World's Chairman Replaced

Dubai World's Chairman Replaced - Dubai's ruler has replaced the longtime head of Dubai World with his close aide and uncle as the debt-laden conglomerate works to retool its business.

Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum was named chairman of the sprawling conglomerate, whose holdings include seaports, high-end retailer Barneys New York and a stake in Las Vegas casino operator MGM Mirage, in a decree carried Sunday evening by state news agency WAM.

The order reshuffled the rest of the company's board too, giving seats to top lieutenants of Dubai's ruler who are charged with cleaning up the emirate's financial troubles.

Dubai World

Among them are Mohammed al-Shaibani, director of the Ruler's Court, the seat of executive power in the emirate, and Ahmed Humaid al-Tayer, who heads the Dubai International Financial Center banking hub.

Sheik Ahmed replaces as chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who spearheaded Dubai World's supercharged growth but also oversaw the accumulation of what turned out to be unmanageable levels of debt.

Sheik Ahmed holds multiple roles in Dubai. He is best known as the chairman and CEO of Emirates, the city-state's rapidly expanding international airline, and is president of Dubai's civil aviation department. He also chairs a government committee set up to oversee Dubai World in the wake of the emirate's financial crisis.

Dubai World's Chairman Replaced

Kimbo Slice Is Not Dead

Kimbo Slice Is Not Dead - Rumours have been spreading around the Internet over the past couple of hours that MMA fighter Kimbo Slice has died but according to the man himself, he's not!

Slice took to Twitter on Monday morning to address the rumours which quick spread on the social networking site following the death of a Kevin Ferguson (Kimbo's real name).

Kimbo Slice Is Not Dead

But the Ultimate Fighter star said of the rumours: "I'm straight y'all. Thnkx for the concern. Some1 else with the same name passed away earlier from my old neighborhood." (sic)

He added: "My government name is Kevin Ferguson and somebody from the place where I once frequented died. There are a lot of Kevin Fergusons in the Miami area."

Slice is current planning his boxing debut for sometime next year.

Kimbo Slice Is Not Dead