Friday, 30 November 2012

Senate votes to tighten penalties on Iran's domestic industries, targeting economy (Star Tribune)

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University of Kentucky's Human Development Institute (HDI ...

Lexington, KY, November 29, 2012 ?( he University of Kentucky's Human Development Institute (HDI) is proud to announce the launch of its National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources at The National Center includes the following medically reviewed programs: the recently updated Brighter Tomorrows website, the Lettercase/Kennedy Foundation booklets, and the Down Syndrome Pregnancy books and website. The formation of this National Center is particularly important at this time as prenatal testing technology continues to advance, and medical providers and expectant parents need support to understand a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

In 2008, HDI created Brighter Tomorrows, a comprehensive multi-media website about Down syndrome for medical professionals and new and expectant parents in English and Spanish, with funding and support provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. In the past year, HDI has also begun administering the Kennedy Foundation's "Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis" booklet in English and Spanish at and Down Syndrome Pregnancy at, a website with resources for expectant mothers. These programs have been supporting expectant parents and medical professionals for the past five years and will now be included as part of the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources.

Together, these three resources provide the most credible, comprehensive support available for new and expectant parents learning about a diagnosis of Down syndrome. In an effort to create a single gateway to all of these resources, The National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources at will serve as a clearinghouse directory of these prenatal and postnatal materials as described in the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, P. L. No. 110-374.

HDI Executive Director Harold Kleinert says, "This is an incredibly exciting development for new and expectant parents and medical professionals who are learning about a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. All of these resources represent our best available knowledge and have been included as recommended resources in the National Society of Genetic Counselor Practice Guidelines for Communicating a Prenatal or Postnatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome, and they have been featured in prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, and Genetics in Medicine."

Stephanie Meredith, Medical Outreach Director at HDI and author of "Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis," says, "Bringing these three resources together under one umbrella at the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources means that it will be even easier for new and expectant parents and medical professionals to find the resources they need during what can be a very overwhelming time. However, we want to do even more than provide these important tools. We want to expand the National Center to make presentations at conferences, provide translated versions of the resources, and develop new materials also."

This vital National Center will continue to strengthen its resources and outreach and will rely on your continued support in spreading the word to medical practitioners and prospective and new parents about the availability of this resource.

Contact Information:
University of Kentucky Human Development Institute
Stephanie Meredith, Lettercase Program/Medical Outreach Director
Contact via Email

Click here to read the full story: University of Kentucky's Human Development Institute (HDI) Launches National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources

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silvio twelfths: Astronomy and Space Sticker Book | Education ...

Astronomy and
Astronomy and Space Sticker Book
by Emily Bone
Publication Date: November 1, 2012

14 Used! | New! from $6.46 (as of 11/25/2012 17:47 PST)

Education & Reference

An accessible, visually stunning introduction to the wonders of space, from the stars and planets themselves to the astronauts and robots who've explored the Solar System. Packed with stickers, both illustrated and photographic, showing everything from the bubbling surface of the Sun to the distant clouds of space dust where stars are born. Written in consultation with an astronmer and astrophysicist.

  • Rank: #224669 in Books
  • Published on: 2012-11-01
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 24 pages


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Apple gets Dutch sales ban on some Samsung Galaxy products


A Dutch court has banned sales of Samsung Electronics? Galaxy products that infringe on an Apple patent describing a way to scroll through a photo gallery using a touchscreen.

The ban only applies to Galaxy products that run Android 2.2.1 through 2.3.7 that don?t use Samsung?s new proprietary photo gallery software, the Court of The Hague ruled on Wednesday. Galaxy products with Android 3.0 and higher don?t infringe on the patent, the court ruled.

Apple patented a way to scroll past the edge of a zoomed-in photo and see a glimpse of the next in a series of images, after which the initial photo bounces back onto the screen, a technique that Samsung has used in its Galaxy products. Samsung?s new proprietary photo gallery software replaces that bounce-back feature with a ?blue flash? that illuminates the edge of the image.

Samsung?already lost a case?over the same patent after preliminary proceedings in the Netherlands last year, leading to a sales ban on the then-infringing Galaxy S, SII and Ace. After the verdict, Samsung adjusted its photo gallery software as a work around, and said it stopped delivering infringing products to clients as of the end of August 2011.

During the plea hearing in September, Samsung said that, since the last verdict, it uses its own technology in all its products in the Netherlands. Samsung, however failed to provide the court with evidence of the change,?annoying the panel of judges.

?The argument raised by Samsung at the hearing that Samsung Benelux does not sell the infringing products any more, cannot lead to a rejection of the ban,? wrote Judge Peter Blok, who presided over the panel of three judges in?the verdict. Blok said he would grant the ban because Samsung refused to sign a declaration of abstinence committing to not infringing the patent.

The court ordered Samsung to tell Apple how much net profit it made from sales of infringing Galaxy products since June 27, 2011. A separate court procedure will determine how much of that profit Samsung must pay Apple.

If Samsung continues to infringe on the patent, it has to pay Apple a penalty of ?100,000 ($124,000) for every day it violates the ban, the court ruled.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company was disappointed with the court?s ruling. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The Court of The Hague?recently ruled?that Samsung does not infringe on an Apple multi-touch patent in another Dutch lawsuit between the companies. In January, the court is set to rule in yet another case between the two in a case about tablet design rights.


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Thursday, 29 November 2012

On the Spot - The Holding Pattern Founder and CEO Nick Arnold ...

Thanks to Budah PR, we had the chance to get in touch with Nick Arnold, founder and CEO of The Holding Pattern (THP), an Australian-owned business that is paving a movement for independent and emerging artists to promote, license and sell music on a global scale and potentially get gigs.

SR. To those of us who do not know what The Holding Pattern (THP) is, how would you best describe it?

NA. The Holding Pattern (THP) is a free, independent music platform owned by musicians and run by musicians. THP has been created to provide much needed exposure for all independent and undiscovered artists through an innovative and engaging marketplace. It?s not just for fans and artists to explore and use, but for creatives sourcing music for public broadcast as well.

We want to provide a unique user experience for all fans to explore, search and discover independent music. We want to expose the sheer wealth and size of independent music and to showcase how amazing it is with revolutionary 3D visual search engines like ?The Visualiser?, which is a 3D visual search designed to educate the user of the many genres of music and the artists within them.

We?re bringing together, for the first time, both creative users and artists in an innovative marketplace where the artist decides what price to sell their music for, whilst introducing an automatic license for creatives and production companies looking to source music from an amazing library of independent music for public broadcast (Film, TV, Documentaries, Radio, TV commercials etc).

SR. How did you come up with the name?

Na. I love flying and the concept of being in a holding pattern when you enter a cities airspace. Only when your aircraft is ready does traffic control allow you to land safely. Same concept for independent artists, we provide a platform for artists to gain exposure through fans exploring new music and also a marketplace for creatives sourcing music for public broadcast,. So a selection process is created, but streamlining this so fans and creative users have access to music they may not have heard before. We don?t help artists land though?more take off!

SR. You?ve been in the music industry for over 15 years now, what made you decide to create THP?

Na. I?ve been signed to major publishing house in LA and played in many bands and still do. I?ve scored music for film, TV, and theatre as a composer and I know what a musician wants and I also know what a creative needs. The music industry is rapidly changing. The independent and undiscovered needs a musical platform that is engaging and educational for fans, transparent and autonomous for artists to use, and provide speed and quality for creative?s to access music and above all, provide innovative tools that provide exposure for independent artists. This what The Holding Pattern provides and this is what inspired me to create this platform.

It?s about creating a free independent movement! Allowing artists, creatives and the everyday fan of music a unique experience that they trust and enjoy, and where they can interact. Bringing people together, making them feel a part of a unified experience, and continuing to expand onto bigger and better things together. Creating a platform that uses music as a currency to communicate, not just an end transaction. Being able to bring exposure to the sheer size and wealth of amazing independent music is what excites me and what I believe to be relatively untapped?.

SR. You?ve put a lot of hard work and research into developing and designing this platform, are you amazed at the response you?ve received so far in both the music industry and from the public?

NA. We have over 10,000 artists and over 25,000 tracks and counting; in about a month we will have over 120,000 tracks! Every minute there are new artists uploading, of which many are up and coming independent artists heard all over radio as well as many established artists signed through MGM. We also have Ditto Music from the UK uploading their wealth of independent artists and others to follow. So the support has been great, but there is still a long way to go?..and we need as much help as we can get to sustain and compete in such a cut throat industry, and to keep independent music alive and well!
We only listen to about 10% of the music that is out there, and I want to showcase the remaining 90%. Do you know how amazing that would be?! Picking a genre of music that you like and discovering an endless run of genius music ? it?s very exciting!

SR. With MGM and Ditto Music on board, how has this benefited THP?

NA. Its helped with supplying the user and music fans with a great selection of music to search, listen and purchase. But the real challenge is getting the artists who aren?t signed to any distribution deals and getting them up on THP. That?s the genius I want to expose, and discover?that is where we can truly find out deep and diverse music really is. So sign up ALL you artists out there, get behind us!

SR. What are the advantages that THP can provide to assist artists that no other company can?

NA. Right now we can provide artists a free platform along side there peers to use, where they can decide the price to sell their music for, and be involved in a creative marketplace where production companies can source music for public broadcast. We are a truly independent music platform that helps independent artists gain as much exposure as possible. By providing an engaging site for fans to use, listen, and purchase music, either through our innovative search engines like our Visualiser, our mobile site, our partners The AU Review which provide our music write ups and reviews of THP artists, daily links from Facebook and Twitter to track pages of artists, plus our our Blog page

SR. Who can upload their music?

NA. Absolutely anyone?.it?s free and designed this way to be non-biased and support independent and undiscovered creativity!

SR. Have you had many success stories from artists who signed up with THP?

NA. We have had many artists join us and love the ease of uploading their music, and the freedom to choose the price of their tracks for both personal, and commercial use. At the moment we are building, and we want to provide a great selection for fans and creatives that use THP for personal or commercial use. The success stories right now are based around the indie artists I speak to that reassure me that what THP is doing for the independent community is needed. Individual success stories will come in time?with amount of tracks uploading from amazing artists everyday?its just a matter of time. No doubt!

SR. What advice can you give to either upcoming artists or people thinking of a career within the music industry?

NA. Work hard, be persistent, stubborn and possess a key ingredient. Tenacity! You?ve got to believe and love what you do, and above all have fun. If your not having in whatever your doing, stop doing it.

SR. Are there any plans to expand the site even more to what it is?

Na. Absolutely!?What you see right now is only the very beginning of THP, and we are still in BETA mode.
We are currently tendering out to the right investor/s at the moment who share the same vision as we do, and can see the massive opportunity within the independent community. I believe with the right partnership we can bring all aspects of independent creativity together under the same platform, interacting with each other on all aspects of music and creation, where a user can be a fly on the wall looking in, or choose to collaborate and be part of the process. It?s a very exciting time for us, but more importantly for the independent community.

For more information visit


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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Poll: Are you buying an Ouya or a Wii Mini?

Poll Are you buying an Ouya or a Wii Mini

When the Android-powered, crowd-funded Ouya console arrives next year with a near-$100 starting price, it'll be the cheapest new game console at launch in ... well, ever. Of course, the big entrenched players aren't just taking this lying down -- Microsoft's got a $99 version of its Xbox 360, albeit with a subscription-based subsidy, and Nintendo today introduced the Wii Mini, a $99 Wii console with a fewer abilities than its slightly larger forebear (exclusive to Canada for now, but we doubt it'll stay that way). Neither of these initiatives is a direct response to Ouya, mind you, but the three choices will assuredly find themselves paired against the others in the minds of consumers.

As such, we can't help but wonder where you'll end up. Does Nintendo's revamped, smaller Wii get you all worked up, or is it Ouya's promise of open-source freedom that's doing it for you? Perhaps you've got a custom gaming rig that makes all other options look like Playskool by comparison? Let us know in the poll below!

Update: That whole "voting" part of the poll below seems to not be playing nice with our new look. Alas, we're working on a fix right this minute, and will let you know as soon as you're clear to vote. Terribly sorry about that!

Continue reading Poll: Are you buying an Ouya or a Wii Mini?

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Drew University Men?s Lacrosse Team Aids in Sandy Relief Efforts

Like so many other residents of the tri-state area, former Drew University men?s lacrosse team captain, PJ Martin C?04, saw some of the devastating effects of Super Storm Sandy first hand and looked to his former team for help.

Martin, a former teacher and coach at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. located miles from the some hardest impacted areas of the storm, reached out to former Peddie School graduate and current Drew junior, Kyle Mariboe to see if the current team would be interested in helping out.

Head Coach Tom Leanos, who also coached Martin, was approached by Mariboe to see if he can enlist his teammates to join the relief effort. Within days Martin and Mariboe had a small army comprised of 31 Drew men?s lacrosse players and two coaches including Leanos to help with the clean-up.

?This Drew lacrosse program is a family,? explained Leanos. ?If one of our family members needs assistance, we?re going to figure out a way we can help out.?

The Ranger contingent helped clean-up, assist in demolition, remove furniture and drywall for about 10 homes in a flood zone located about one block of the Raritan Bay. The team divided into six groups with each group working under the direction of a previously existing group called, Team Pecyna, which stepped up and taken responsibility for civilian relief in Keansburg.

Martin now owns his own lifestyle apparel company called Uncommon Fit based in Hightstown and is spearheading a relief campaign called ?We Shore Will?. His apparel company and the campaign have been able to motivate different college age volunteers and young professionals to come down to help in Keansburg and have raised thousands of dollars that are directly benefiting organizations, residents and small business in the Raritan Bay area.The most notable effort in raising funds was at the recent Hope for Highlands concert helping raise an extra $5500 through t-shirt sales by his company.

?This was a life-changing experience for us and hopefully for the people down here as well,? said junior Mark Barus. ?I?m grateful we were made aware of this opportunity by PJ and glad we could help out.?

Although each Drew student-athlete was affected by Super Storm Sandy, the relief effort brought heightened awareness to all involved of how dramatic the hardship was for other communities and families in the Garden State. It also brought a true sense of what the Drew Lacrosse family is all about to the current-student athletes and alumnus PJ Martin.

Other individuals or organizations interested in volunteering in Keansburg may do so by emailing Shawn at for information. To see how and when other Drew University relief efforts are being made, join the facebook group ?Drew Disaster Relief?.

You can also purchase apparel from Uncommon Fit that directly benefitx the Keansburg community by visiting

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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Phils' Ruiz suspended 25 games after positive test

File-This is a 2008 file photo of Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Ruiz has been suspended for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball?s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Ruiz's suspension was announced Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012 by Major League Baseball. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic,File)

File-This is a 2008 file photo of Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Ruiz has been suspended for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball?s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Ruiz's suspension was announced Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012 by Major League Baseball. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic,File)

(AP) ? Add catcher to the Philadelphia Phillies' needs this offseason.

All-Star Carlos Ruiz was suspended Tuesday for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine. The 33-year-old catcher had a career year in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 114 games.

"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."

Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.

"The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball's drug program," the team said. "We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013."

Erik Kratz will likely begin the 2013 season as Philadelphia's starting catcher while Ruiz serves his suspension. Kratz, a career minor-leaguer, filled in nicely when he finally got a chance after Ruiz went down with a foot injury. Kratz hit .248, but had nine doubles, nine homers and 26 RBIs in only 141 at-bats. Kratz also threw out 45 percent of base-stealers (15 of 33).

Still, losing Ruiz hurts a lineup that struggled mightily last year. Ruiz moved up from his usual No. 8 spot and took over for an injured Ryan Howard as the team's cleanup hitter for a chunk of the season. He batted fifth after Howard returned in July.

The Phillies, who finished 81-81 after winning five straight NL East titles, have several holes to fill. Only Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are certain regulars. Utley, though, didn't play until late May in 2011 and late June in 2012 because of chronic knee injuries.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hopes to add a starting center fielder, another starting outfielder and a third baseman either through free agency or trades. Now he'll also need a backup catcher for Kratz for the first month. Brian Schneider served as the team's primary backup the last three seasons, but only batted .212 in 122 games.

The Phillies have two top prospects catching in the minors. Sebastian Valle hit .253 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs in 80 games at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Tommy Joseph, acquired in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to San Francisco, hit .257 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs for the Giants' and Phillies' Double-A affiliates.

Ruiz became the eighth player suspended this year under the major league testing program, the second for amphetamines following Baltimore shortstop Ryan Adams. The eight suspensions are the most since 2007.

This had to be Ruiz's second positive test for a stimulant. An initial positive for a stimulant does not trigger a suspension, only that the player must undergo follow-up testing.

There have been 102 suspensions this year under the minor league testing program.


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Real Estate Companies Focus On the Greenest Side of Green ...

By Joe Salimando
Salimando is a Fairfax, Virginia-based writer and contributor?to?,?, and?
Reach him at

An article posted to the website of National Real Estate Investor noted that 5 real estate companies were included in Newsweek magazine?s Green Rankings (total: 500 companies) for 2012 ? including Vornado Realty Trust at #87 and CBRE Group at #96.

In 2011, Vornado was #177; CBRE was #128. See the NREI article here.

Of course, companies that own a lot of buildings (as does Vornado) or operate/manage them for clients (which is CBRE?s business) would seem to be prime candidates for attention from electrical contractors.

But consider this spin on what?s really important, from the article:

?As a property owner, our focus on sustainability and energy efficiency is centered around lowering our operating expenses while improving our operating practices,? says Sukanya Paciorek, Vornado?s New York-based vice president, corporate sustainability.

?Since 2007, the company has successfully LEED-certified over 30 million sq. ft. of its portfolio and has implemented some of the most innovative energy and data management programs in the U.S.?

Paciorek cites examples including a 6.2-MW co-generation plant in New York and a 980-kW solar system in New Jersey as ?highlights of our forward-looking approach to technology and efficiency.?

LEED involves many criteria but, from what?s above, the ELECTRICAL aspects of projects seem to get a relatively stronger weighting. This can?t be bad for contractors hoping to help customers on a range of energy-efficient measures that help lower customer operating expenses.

Additionally, the article quoted David Pogue, sustainability director of CBRE Group. He was the keynote speaker at NECA?s 2012 Energy Forum.

Addendum: An article in the May issue of TED presented the perspective of Chris Studney, now VP for energy & sustainability for yet another real estate firm, Jones Lang LaSalle. The kicker: Studney spent the first 13 years of his career, up to April 2011, working for electrical distributors. He is, then, an electrical industry veteran ? who?s now sitting on the other side of the table.

To see the article, go here, find the May issue, and go to pages 24 & 25.


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Qoros stops Kia from using Quoris name in the EU

A German court has granted new Chinese carmaker Qoros a preliminary injunction against Kia, to the effect that the Korean company now cannot use the Quoris name for its upcoming RWD flagship sedan in the European Union.

Introduced in Korea as the Kia K9?in May, the name Quoris was chosen for the car?s export markets?in July.?The court determined that Qoros and Quoris were too similar-sounding and could cause confusion among consumers.

It?s just the EU for now, but Qoros states that it will?continue legal efforts to protect its trademark in other territories.?The preliminary injunction is currently served upon Kia in Korea and still can be appealed by Kia.

Established in 2007, Qoros is the result of a?50:50 partnership between Chery and global industrial holding company Israel Corporation. It will debut a?a compact C-segment sedan at the next Geneva motor show in March, with first sales in China scheduled for?the end of 2013 and Europe by early 2014.



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Onex to buy insurance brokerage from Goldman fund for $2.3 billion

(Reuters) - Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp will buy USI, one of the largest providers of insurance brokerage services in the United States, from Goldman Sachs Group Inc's GS Capital Partners private equity fund for $2.3 billion.

USI, founded in 1994 and taken private in 2007, says it is the ninth largest insurance broker in the United States. It offers property, casualty, employee benefit and retirement consulting services.

Onex Partners III, Onex's $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of about $700 million. Onex is a 25 percent limited partner in Onex Partners III.

Onex, with about $14 billion of assets under management, is a co-investor in the transaction.

USI said its employees, who invested alongside GS Capital Partners to take it private, will remain investors in the company.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Onex was advised by Morgan Stanley, while GS Capital Partners was advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co and RBC Capital Markets LLC.

(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore)


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Monday, 26 November 2012

Obama Non-Committal on Means-Testing Medicare - Today's Q's for O's WH - 11/26/12

During the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, President Obama proposed as part of a broad deal - and in exchange for revenue increases - more than $200 billion in cuts to Medicare spending and the implementation of means-testing for some recipients.

"I've said that means-testing on Medicare, meaning people like myself,?you can envision a situation where, for somebody in my position, me having to pay a little bit more on premiums or co-pays or things like that would be appropriate," t he president said in response to a question from ABC News during a July 2011 briefing.

Is that option still on Obama's table as part of negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff"?

White House spokesman Jay Carney today would not say, perhaps reflecting just how difficult a sell such a change would be among Democrats and with the powerful AARP:

DEVIN DWYER: On entitlements: last year from this podium, the president expressed openness - as part of a major debt deal - to means-testing Medicare, or asking higher-income recipients to pay higher premiums. I think his campaign said during the campaign that he would propose a 15-percent hike on premiums for recipients in parts B and D in 2017, down the road. Does that stuff remain on the table, and can you give us a sense of what changes are being discussed here now?

JAY CARNEY: What I can tell you is what the president has said, and that is that he believes and understands that in order to achieve a deal, a compromise, that everybody has to make some tough choices. And he remains committed to that principle.

It should be noted that through the Affordable Care Act, significant savings in our health care entitlements have already been locked in. It should be noted that in the president's own proposal, in his budget, that we - he calls for an additional, I believe, $340 billion in savings out of health care programs. So I think he's demonstrated his seriousness when it comes to recognizing that we need to enact reforms in our entitlement programs that strengthen those programs and produce savings. And that's the approach he'll take.

But I'm not going to get into the specifics and negotiate line items on what those reforms might look like as part of an overall package. But he understand that that's - that compromise requires both sides to make tough choices.

DWYER: So does what the president said [in July 2011] about means-testing still stand?

CARNEY: Again, I'm not going to get into specifics because I think that should be left to the negotiators, left to the leaders. But as a general principle, he believes that we - you know, that compromise requires compromise and that it requires tough choices on all sides.

DWYER: May I ask you real quickly on the situation in the Congo that we're seeing unfold in Eastern Congo. It's just the country is on the verge of war. By many accounts, it's a humanitarian disaster already. Is the administration engaged on this issue, and is there any consideration of appointing an envoy to the region there?

CARNEY: I can tell you that Assistant Secretary Carson is in the region working on this issue. I would refer you to the State Department for more on his activity. The president is updated through PDB [presidential daily briefing] on the issue - on the developments there in the Congo and is obviously very concerned about the violence and the loss of life. But for more details, I'd refer you to the State Department.

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Wall Street isn't backing Jack Lew for Treasury - Fortune Finance ...


Jack Lew

FORTUNE -- Jack Lew, the frontrunner to be named Treasury Secretary in Obama's second term, isn't Wall Street's first choice for the key economic post. He's not even its second.

"I've talked to a bunch of investors and it's seen as a net negative going from [Tim] Geithner to Lew," says Chris Krueger, senior political analyst at Guggenheim Partners. "Who does Wall Street want? Not Jack Lew."

Lew,?57, spent three years on Wall Street working at Citigroup (C) as the chief operating officer of its alternative asset investment management unit. One of the funds Lew's group invested in was run by John Paulson, who at the time was betting heavily against the housing markets and banks. But that's not the part of Lew's resume that anyone seems to remember. And it's certainly not the important part.

MORE: Fiscal Cliff: A modest proposal

After Lew, a Queens, New York native, graduated from Harvard University and Georgetown Law, he headed straight to Washington and has mostly stuck inside the Beltway ever since. He's been on teams credited with brokering major budget deals. He worked for Tip O'Neill when the House speaker struck a deal to raise taxes and cut benefits with President Reagan. And Lew was a key member of President Clinton's budget team, which simultaneously erased the deficit and struck a long-term deal with Republicans to preserve entitlements.

Under Obama, Lew served as the head of the Office of Budget and Management, and at the beginning of 2012 he became Obama's chief of staff.

Since the election Obama has seemingly been trying to patch things up with Wall Street, which threw its collective support behind Romney. After the election, Obama called JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon and other business leaders. And Lew recently met with Dimon to talk about the fiscal cliff. Geithner is expected to exit the Treasury job early next year.

Nonetheless, some financial executives say that if Obama were to choose Lew for Treasury Secretary, it would signal that the president is not as serious about mending his relationship with corporate leaders as he says. Wall Streeters say the two other candidates who are considered in the mix for the job, former investment banker and two-time second Erskine Bowles and BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink, would be preferable to Lew. Bowles has been a deficit hawk, and Fink clearly knows the debt market. What's more, unlike Lew, neither one would need an introduction to Wall Street.

MORE: How Tim Geithner can dodge the next debt crisis

Don Marron, a dean of Wall Street who was also once rumored to be a top pick for the Treasury Secretary job (under a Bob Dole presidency in 1996), says he doesn't know Lew, or where he stands on business issues. And Marron?says that will be a problem for corporate America and the market. "Lew will be more of an unknown at a time when you don't want unknown," he says.

Strangely enough, Democrats don't seem so excited about Lew either. They don't think he will be tough enough on Wall Street. And by picking Lew, who has little background in regulating financial markets, Obama would signal that he is more focused right now on striking a budget deal, and less focused on further tinkering with the rules on Wall Street.

Lew wouldn't be the first Treasury Secretary to come from more of a political background instead of Wall Street or corporate America. James Baker, for instance, served as the Treasury Secretary during Reagan's second term.?But the relationship between the Treasury Secretary and Wall Street matters more than it used to. One of the legacies of Tim Geithner, who is a lifetime regulator, has been to focus the position more on market regulation. The Treasury Secretary is now the head of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the newly formed team of regulators that is supposed to be on the lookout for risks that could cause future crises. And the relationship between the economy and the market's performance is much closer than it was back in Baker's day.

So some of this can be dismissed as more Masters of the Universe griping they are not being heard by Obama. But not all of it.


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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hacking For The Sake Of It: ?Eboz? Downed Google, Apple, 300 Other Pakistani Sites, And Many More Just To Show It Can?

penguenbu2Pakistan's internet-using population were slammed today with a systematic take-down of local versions of some of the world's biggest names in tech, and several hours after first going down,,,,, still do not appear to be working. In all,?it appears that?279 other sites?in Pakistan were hacked by a group that appears to be Turkish and calls itself Eboz. Little else is known about Eboz, but it appears that Eboz has been hacking into many other sites, with Pakistan merely today's target.


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Pharmacy Technician Jobs - references and education directory ...

Regardless of how our economic situation fares, the pharmacy technician career will have an easier time staying afloat and the demand for it will only continue to grow. Pharmacy technician jobs are teeming all over the place, but the heavy competition may make things had for you. So if you want to find yourself being sought after by an employer, receiving proper training and certification is necessary.

You don?t really have to undergo formal training in order to become a pharmacy technician, but there are additional benefits if you do. Educational institutions such as vocational schools, community colleges, and hospitals offer formal training programs ranging from a 6 months to 24 months. If you want to be qualified for the best pharmacy technician jobs, getting formal education is recommended.

Once you have completed you formal training program, you can make yourself even more attractive to potential employers by working hard to attain certification and other credentials. Certification is an excellent indication of your competency as a pharmacy tech. You can seek to become certified by either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (PTCB).

If you try to notice the requirements among the majority of pharmacy technician jobs, they require applicants to have reliable communications and interpersonal skills since they will be spending most of their time working with healthcare workers and interacting with patients. Sound mathematical and analytical skills are also a must when preparing medications.

Pharmaceutical firms are not the only places where pharmacy technician jobs can be found ? there are also plenty of employment opportunities in hospitals, convenience stores, and department stores which have their own pharmacy. To help make your search easier, you can take advantage of the internet and you can also submit your resume to online job directory websites.

The classified ads section of your local newspaper can also give you plenty of options when it comes to pharmacy technician jobs. If you have decided that you want to apply for a job in a pharmaceutical firm, you may want to drop by the company website to check out their employment opportunities and know more about what they are looking for.

If you think getting a diploma from a pharmacy tech school is very difficult, well think again. Check out our website about pharmacy technician certification and we?ll provide you with materials to help you reach your dreams. Visit now.


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Notre Dame reigns atop college football again

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? The postgame roars from Notre Dame's locker room echoed right through the Coliseum's thick cement walls and metal beams Saturday night, moving around the 89-year-old arena like a long-absent force of nature.

After decades away, the Fighting Irish are back on top of college football ? unmatched in the rankings, unblemished in the standings, and unequivocally ready for a chance to end a 24-year national championship drought.

Manti Te'o, the star Irish linebacker from Hawaii who led this improbable revival season, took a moment to listen to those echoes.

"This is where you want to be when you go to Notre Dame," he said.

The Irish are No. 1 again ? a Golden Dome atop their sport.

Notre Dame (12-0) beat Southern California 22-13 to complete its first unbeaten regular season since 1988. That's also the last championship year for the school that produced a legion of the sport's most memorable figures: Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen, Paul Hornung, Joe Montana ? heck, even Rudy Ruettiger.

A no-nonsense win over Notre Dame's intersectional rivals in Los Angeles capped a year of historic dominance for a defense led by Te'o, its inspirational Heisman contender. That defense allowed just nine touchdowns all season long, capped by four downs of unyielding play while backed up to its goal line by the Trojans in the final minutes.

"You just put the ball down in front of us, and if there's time on the clock, we're never going to give up," defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore said.

These Irish never flinched, either in dire late-game circumstances or under the weight of history that has crushed decades of previous Notre Dame teams. After beginning the year unranked and projected for maybe eight victories by optimistic pundits, the Irish produced a marvelous season of old-fashioned, hard-nosed football amid the wacky spread offenses and garish neon uniforms that seem to dominate the sport these days.

After winning half of their games by nine points or fewer, including two hair-raising escapes in overtime victories, it's clear these Irish have something else going for them as well.

"Not saying it was lucky, but luck doesn't hurt," said Terry Brennan, who played at Notre Dame in the late 1940s and coached the team from 1954-58. "The point is, they got the break and they took advantage of it. That's the key."

The Irish have six weeks to prepare for the BCS title game on Jan. 7, but coach Brian Kelly's restoration of the Notre Dame mystique could linger much longer.

The Golden Dome atop Notre Dame's administration building has regained its luster at a school where coaches Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis all failed to restore the program to its most recent glory under Lou Holtz in the late 1980s. All told, Notre Dame lost at least three games every season between 1993 and this fall ? not bad, but not good enough to contend for national titles.

Just three years after taking over a 6-6 team with ancient expectations annually dwarfed by the modern realities of competing at a Catholic school in frigid northern Indiana with tough academic standards, Kelly has put the Irish back on top.

And though he's still one win shy of ultimate success, Kelly did it in his third year ? the same season in which Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Holtz all won national titles during their tenures at Notre Dame.

"It's easy to say, 'Well, yeah, I'm surprised,'" Kelly said. "But when you go in that locker room and are around the guys I'm around, you're not surprised. The commitment they've made ? they've done everything I've asked them to do. It doesn't surprise me anymore."

Thousands of Irish fans turned up at the Coliseum for the regular-season finale, demonstrating the wide reach of Notre Dame's appeal. The Irish have embraced their status as an international program in recent years, playing everywhere from Yankee Stadium to Dublin, Ireland, while Kelly put the ingredients in place for this season's success.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who replaced Weis with Kelly three years ago next month, acknowledges he expected the Irish to need maybe one more year to contend at an elite level.

Although Notre Dame's defense was clearly tough, nobody could have expected such success from an offense now led by the likes of quarterback Everett Golson, who redshirted last year, and tailback Theo Riddick, who was a slot receiver last season.

The Irish were nobody's favorite, but they've ended up on top. The 84-year-old Brennan, who was just 25 when he took over the Irish program in 1954, knows all about the importance of seizing the moment.

"Grab it when you can," he said. "Next year you might have injuries, and the ball bounces the other way."

The Irish returned home Sunday knowing they've still got a bit of work to do ? and if their season to date is any indication, they're still hungry.

Notre Dame is likely to be an underdog to an opponent from the Southeastern Conference in the BCS title game. The Irish will rely on the experience of their unbeaten season, the history of past champions wearing their uniforms, and the support of untold millions who love what the team once represented ? and what it means again.

Te'o, who turns 22 in January, hadn't been born the last time Notre Dame won a national title. He still knows the date of the last Irish national championship by heart, thanks to the sign at the end of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium where he steps on that hallowed field each game day.

"I'm just hoping that we can add our year to it," Te'o said. "But it's going to take a lot of work."


AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.


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Creating A Family Recipe Scrapbook | Fulton Tea Party Home ...

I can not tell you how many times I?ve called my mom and said ?mom I just have to have your recipe for such and such?. It?s been a slow accumulation of recipes, but she chuckles each time I realize I need yet another recipe from her.

Now that I have an adult daughter of my own I really wanted to pass the recipes on to her also. Many of these recipes she?s been eating since she was old enough for solids. My daughter also has a recipe book from her aunt on her dad?s side.

Recipe scrapbooks can be given to aunts, uncles, cousins, children etc. A 6?6 scrapbook works wonderfully. They are large enough to hold a 3?5 index card. You can also use an 8?8 scrapbook and have the recipes on paper, instead of index cards.

I think it?s a great mix to combine photos and recipes. For example, a group family photo at the beginning of the album is a great way to start off the album. If you?ve asked for recipes from multiple family members, put a photo of the recipe submitter on one page and the recipe on the opposite page.

It?s also a great help to have a shopping list. Consider the actual recipe on one page and a shopping list on the opposite page. I very often take a recipe to the market with me and shop off the recipe page. By creating the list, the recipe book holder just needs to remove the shopping list page and take it to the market.

Another idea is to create a bit of history with your recipes. If you?ve had several family members contribute recipes, consider having the recipe on page, photos on one page and a bit of information on the author on a 3rd page. Most scrapbooks are very expandable, so there is room for many pages in one album.

All of my cookbooks have measurement charts and converters in them, so when making a recipe album, it?s great to add this information to either the back or the front.

Recipe albums are a great gift for both the new bride, especially if the gift comes from her husband?s family with recipes for all of the dishes he grew up with and for the college graduate setting up their first home.


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Saturday, 24 November 2012

The X Factor Results: Fowl Play?


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Friday, 23 November 2012

Why Camera Flame Wars Will Not Make You A Better ... - Filmmaker IQ

I?ve been involved with online camera and filmmaking discussions for nearly a decade now and in that time I have seen one of the most important shifts in the history of filmmaking for the beginning filmmaker and professional alike: The Digital Revolution. We?re coming to the completion of that digital shift ? technology is maturing and these new tools are now widely available. But now what? What is the future?

Technology can only progress so far. It will get better but not at this astounding pace we?ve seen in the last 5 years. Now we are entering a perfect storm of social propaganda that threatens to enslave us in a never ending [camera] consumer cycle and it has nothing to do making films or making films better.

For 95% of video applications, what is currently available on the market and affordable to most people is ?good enough?. ?For the remainder 5% of projects there are a myriad of options available for rent.?And yet I keep reading comments like ?I?ve been asking for a camera that does x, y, z? or ?This camera is crap because it can?t do 60p? or ?Z Camera company is finally listening to their customers.?

Bullshit.?No camera is holding you back.

You are holding yourself back.

The digital revolution has ushered in an era of artistic freedom. But freedom is scary. Freedom means we have to take responsibility for our success and our failure. This freedom also means your audience now has the same tools as you and you no longer belong to a special class with?privileged?access. ?Freedom requires you to compete, which means you have to be good. You have to bring something unique to the table. That?s downright terrifying.

The reaction is to build up imaginary walls ? Walls to separate you as a REAL Filmmaker?from the hobbyist. Walls that reinforce your?superiority?over the riff raff.

And this is exactly what?s happening with camera discussions and flame wars.?And the camera manufacturers love it.

They want your money.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist. I have no moral issue with companies making money. They build the tools I use to tell my stories and without that exchange for profit I would not be able to do what I want to do. It?s not a zero-sum game where they win and we loose ? it?s a win-win. Filmmakers and Manufacturers have different objectives and our relationship is mutually beneficial.

The problem emerges when we as filmmakers loose sight of our objective (to tell stories) and play into imaginary walls vanity and class. The camera manufacturers have product to sell and once everybody has a camera, they need to convince us to buy another one to keep the revenue coming in. That?s when they appeal to our need for vanity, helping us build up our imaginary walls. The result is a constant state of dissatisfaction for sole purpose of selling cameras to replace the perfectly functional cameras we already own.

?I want it now. Give it to me now, or I will scream and scream until I am sick!!!!?

That hissy-fit quote above came from Philip Bloom?s run down on the new Sony F5 and F55 cameras. In context of the article it is clear he is being facetious. The F5 and F55 are studio grade cameras made for professional productions and he?s playing on the juvenile attitude for comedic effect.

But the childish sentiment is not uncommon in the online arena where aspiring (and inexperienced) filmmakers are trying?desperately?to crawl up the social ladder.

If Hollywood is about the manufacturing of dreams, then the industry of filmmaking is the wide glossy-eyed?pursuit?of those dreams. As filmmakers, we?re all looking for the golden ticket in.

For some, the camera has become that golden ticket. The camera has become a symbol of filmmaker?s status than a tool of creation. Higher end cameras are?perceived?as a luxury item catering to the filmmaker who has a ?refined taste? or ?great eye?.

It is more than just brand loyalty. With the product life cycle of cameras getting shorter and shorter (about 2-3 years before the community deems them ?obsolete? even though they?ll function much longer) maintaining the imaginary walls as a filmmaker means you must have access to the latest camera offerings. You can?t be seen with last year?s model. But the cost of cinema-level cameras keeps wanna-be-filmmakers from ?buying-in? to the?prestigious?class.

And it?s here where the dangers of the camera flame wars rears their ugly head. Ownership and Experience are not prerequisites to discussion anymore, all you need to at least waft a scent of filmmaking authority is sound like you know something.

Fanboys and Speculation

It happens like clockwork. Every time a new camera is announced, even before official press releases are sent out, blogs get filled up with comments from people either in eager excitement or trashing the camera. These debates almost always devolve into flame wars ? any discussion on the grey areas quickly posterized into black and white ironically by people who shout the loudest for 12-bit color space.

Almost all ?camera news? prior to a release is pure speculation.?In the fast paced socially connected online world, information is a valued commodity and being perceived as ?first? with any sort of news is key, even if that news is wishful thinking and/or completely made up.

Speculation is so prominent that a cottage industry has sprung up around it. There are sites?that contain the word ?rumors? for almost every hotly anticipated brand.

Of course fanboys eat it up. Fanboys have identified themselves as lords of the brand and superior to the ignorant masses. Having information on any new camera (even if it?s not their preferred brand) gives them a sense of authority that they can lull over their fellow internet commenter. Being able to say, ?This camera sucks, you should wait until my favorite company releases their new camera? makes them feel as though they are speaking with a voice of experience even though that experience does not come from actually making films or making anything useful to society.

But what value to REAL filmmaker does speculation have? ? Absolutely nothing.

What serious filmmaker is going to base a hefty buying decision on what amounts to nothing more than gossip?

Why should an aspiring filmmakers put off producing a film in order to wait for a new camera to arrive that?s only talked about by people that have never seen it and never used it? Speculation may be ?fun? but it?s taking your energy away from what really matters.

None of this Crap has to do with Filmmaking

Filmmaking begins with a camera, that fact cannot be skirted around. The Camera defines the art form, but the camera is not defining element of a film.

Having the same type of camera that was used on?The Hobbit?for example does not mean you have the same screenwriters, the same visionary director, celebrity actors, story rights, production designers, locations, lighting specialists, prop designers, stunt coordinators, editors, digital artists, location managers, producers, office staff, marketing representatives and distribution deals that are the REAL reason The Hobbit will be successful.

It?s belabored point and so tiresomely cliche: A camera will not make you a better filmmaker. It will not make a great movie.

Thanks to technology, the camera is starting to become the?least important element on a set: trumped by things like a fantastic story and extraordinarily talented cast and crew.

And that?s the terrifying fact, especially to fan boys.

Confessions of an Addict

I have a lot of gear.

I have a garage full of grip stuff and shelves of cameras. I?ve reinvested most of my money working professionally back into my collection. Do I need it? Yes, it makes my job easier. But they also make my job harder. More gear, more choices, more problems ? more space to store it all.

Running Filmmaker IQ, I?ve been exposed to a lot of the propaganda that camera manufacturers and camera fanboys throw my way. I?ve even been a?participant?of it. I get excited over new cameras just like everyone else and I admit that I have felt that my now two-and-a-half year old Canon 5D MkII is some how an inferior camera. A camera that has make me films that ahve won me awards and had RED users complementing me the image quality.

But?occasionally, when I look at a well-lit piece of video I shot with my?five-year-old Sony EX1 camera, I take pause and marvel at the clarity. This really does look good. ?When I compared my 5D MkII with the MkIII last April at NAB, I saw no?discernible?difference between the two that jumped out at me despite what some on the Internet were telling me.

I know there are limitations of these cameras ? they?re not perfect. But?I can take out the credit card and order any camera I want. I even make deals with myself ? if I reach a certain income, I?ll reward myself with this lens or that light or that camera. But for all that gear, it?s nothing without a story to tell, without great actors, a great story and a great soundtrack. What?s the point of credit card debt if there?s nothing to shoot?

And perhaps my eyes are starting to fail me as I get older. But as my age adds up, my heart gets wiser. I connect to films differently now. It?s not about the clarity of 4K projection or the?pristine?nature of the image, it?s about whether I care after the first 10 minutes.

Go out and make your stories. Gear is important, there?s no getting around that. But never loose sight on the real reason why people watch films in the first place ? for the story.


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Thanksgiving Made Possible By Immigrant Farm Workers

When giving thanks for a Thanksgiving meal, there?s one group who deserves a disproportionate amount of gratitude: the farm workers of the United States.

The roughly 1.8 million people who spend their days harvesting the crops and raising the livestock that wind up on American plates rarely get treated with the admiration they deserve. They work long hours in harsh conditions, often without steady salaries, paid vacation or sick leave. The median pay for farm workers in 2010 was $18,970, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It's not a new issue. CBS News drew national attention to the poor treatment of farm workers more than 50 years ago in a broadcast called "Harvest of Shame" on the eve of Thanksgiving in 1960. (Watch the classic broadcast below).

Since then, that labor force has grown increasingly Latino, composed mostly of immigrants. Some 72 percent of farm workers were born outside the United States, according to the National Agricultural Workers Survey -- most of them in Mexico.

Roughly half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented, leaving them more vulnerable to all kinds of abuses ranging from lower pay to sexual violence. The Justice Department has prosecuted seven cases of slavery since 1997, liberating over 1,000 farm workers from forced labor, according to Holly Burkhalter of the International Justice Mission.

Immigrants from Latin America don?t just harvest our crops -- they also play a disproportionately large role in the livestock industry that supplies the American market with its Thanksgiving turkeys, according to the National Council of La Raza.

So when giving thanks this holiday season, don?t forget to give thanks for the men and women whose labor made it possible for you to enjoy your meal.

Related on HuffPost:

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