Saturday, December 31, 2005
Debbie Schlussel comments on her experience with XM--the number one satellite radio service and rival to Stern's Sirius.
Friday, December 30, 2005
"From simple physics, based only on gravity, density and mass, you can explain within an order of magnitude many features of flying, swimming and running," added James Marden, professor of biology at Penn State. "It doesn't matter whether the animal has eight legs, four legs, two, even if it swims with no legs."
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
Published: 26 December 2005
Secret domestic wiretaps authorised by US President George Bush led to the National Security Agency gaining access to the country's main telephone switches in a vast operation to mine data from phone calls and emails.
The New York Times, the paper that broke the wiretap story, cited disclosures from current and former government officials that the surveillance operation was far broader than anything admitted by the White House and involved the co-operation of private telecoms companies.
Mr Bush said a week ago that he had authorised the NSA to intercept 'the international communications of people with known links to al-Qa'ida and related terrorist organisations'. But The Times report indicated that it went much further than that and involved some sort of 'pattern analysis' of all telecommunications passing through the US in an effort to detect suspicious behaviour.
That, in turn, implied that any US resident hooked up to the phone system or the internet might have been exposed to government surveillance - a shocking notion in a country with a lower tolerance of government secrecy than Britain.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
MU math professor finds proof is positive
By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
As a boy, Steven Hofmann dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. But odds were against that happening, and arithmetic came easier, so he stuck with math.
Unlike athletes, mathematicians rarely garner national or international praise.
But Hofmann is an exception.
The 47-year-old math professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia is in line for applause from around the world for solving a math problem that had baffled his peers for more than 40 years.
Solving the problem got Hofmann an invitation to speak next spring in Madrid, Spain, at the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians, which is held every four years.
For a mathematician, the event is “a really big deal,” Hofmann said.
“It is like a baseball player being picked for the all-star team.”
Theodore Slaman, chairman of the Department of Mathematics at the University of California-Berkeley, says an opportunity to speak at the international congress is a career achievement. And solving a problem as old as the one Hofmann solved “is like finding the Holy Grail,” Slaman said.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Tribune staff reporter
December 26, 2005
DECATUR, Ill. -- Every fall, the starlings descended on Decatur like a plague. Screeching and flapping, thousands of birds seized control of the park and dive-bombed residents, who fought back by lobbing firecrackers and blasting them with a propane cannon.
Nothing worked until town officials called in James Soules. As owner of the Decatur-based Bird Repellent Co., the quiet man said he could beat the birds, but there was a catch: He refused to tell anyone how he would do it. He demanded complete secrecy, warning officials not to spy on him.
Soules might have seemed like a swindler, but over the next few weeks something astounding happened. The starlings began to fly away. "I was amazed," said Dan Mendenall, a city official in Decatur. "It was almost like he wished them away."
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called "Chains."
Although the participants expected the chain to include at least a hundred intermediaries, it only took (on average) between five and seven intermediaries to get each package delivered. Milgram's findings were published in Psychology Today and inspired the phrase "six degrees of separation."
To experience the phenomenon of six degrees of separation, visit The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia.
Friday, December 23, 2005
KGB agents were making records of UFO observations in special Blue Folder
Files comprising the famous Blue Folder have been declassified a while ago. The prominent Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Popovich got the folder from the KGB in 1991. These days Mr. Popovich holds the position of honorary president of the Academy of Informational and Applied Ufology. The folder contains numerous descriptions of UFO flights and reports on some (mostly failed) attempts taken by the military in order to catch the aliens.
Aliens acknowledged back in 1968
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The worm represents an alarming advance in phishing, as it forgoes the need to trick the end user into divulging details. Phishing trojans that monitor keystrokes are not new, but to date have required some form of response to an e-mail "bait." Korgo uses the LSASS vulnerability to auto-infect Windows systems that haven't applied the MS04-11 patch issued April 11.
Korgo's phishing activities were documented by F-Secure, which reports that the associated trojan is aggressively stealing user information from infected machines. "It does this via a keylogger which specifically collects user logins for online banks (the ones which do not use one-time passwords)," writes F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen. "It also logs everything the user types to any web form - this will collect lots of credit card numbers, passwords etc."
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The 457 footprints found in Mungo National Park in western New South Wales state is the largest collection of its kind in the world and the oldest in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.
The prints were made in moist clay near the Willandra Lakes 19,000 to 23,000 years ago, the newspaper reported ahead of archeologists' report on the find to be published in the Journal of Human Evolution.
State Environment Minister Bob Debus said the site showed a large group of people walking and interacting.
"We see children running between the tracks of their parents; the children running in meandering circles as their parents travel in direct lines," Debus told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
"It's a most extraordinary snapshot of a moment or several moments in the life of Aboriginal people living on the edge of the lake in western New South Wales 20,000 years ago," he added.
The first print was reported by a local Aboriginal woman two years ago and a team of archaeologists led by Bond University archaeologist Steve Webb uncovered more than 450, the newspaper said.
Webb was not immediately available for comment.
For tweaking your security settings see, Securing Windows XP.
Those interested can see My Thoughts On Tweaking Windows XP And This Guide.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
XMLMill is especially suited for high volume xml/xsl to pdf generation:
large PDF documents (1000+ pages).
large number of PDF documents (in batch).
XMLMill for Java can be used in:
stand-alone Java applications (using the PDX api).
It can also be used:
as a stand-alone application (own gui front-end).
in batch (using command-line arguments).
XML and XSL sources can be passed to XMLMill in a variety of ways:
as java.io.File objects.
as java.io.InputStream objects.
via a java.net.URL objects.
as org.w3c.dom.Document objects.
XMLMill has been deployed in production environment on a variety of O/S, including:
Windows NT, 2000, XP.
Different UNIX/Linux flavors.
XMLMill has been deployed succesfully on different Application servers, including:
Monday, December 19, 2005
Last update: December 19, 2005 at 1:36 PM
The only Humane Society animal shelter serving two growing counties in western Wisconsin will close later this month for lack of operating funds.
"It's been a teary few days," said Theresa Jonas, the shelter's volunteer executive director. She said the Humane Society of Pierce-St. Croix, Inc., will accept stray animals through Dec. 31. After that, the shelter, south of River Falls, will stay open only until homes are found for the remaining animals, she said.
Sometimes a guy feels so good he just wants to start dancing.
Ah, but don't let that happen in Minneapolis. If you break out in dance on a Minneapolis street you can be hit with a $112 fine.
It happened to 45-year-old Paul Wicklund early in the morning of Dec. 2. He was dancing -- and, according to University of Minnesota police, singing at the top of his lungs -- in the 300 block of Washington Avenue SE. He was stopped and ticketed for being in violation of city statue 427.20.
"No person shall dance or engage or participate in any dancing upon any public street or highway in the city; and no person shall provide for, promote or conduct any dance or dancing upon any public street or highway in the city, except at a block party."
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Police are investigating the bizarre incident outside the Tokyo Detention Center on suspicion of violation of animal protection law and vandalism, an official at nearby Kameari Police Department said.
The severed heads were mostly decomposed and some of them were skeletal, the police official said. The shape and size of the heads suggested they were of adult dogs, he said, adding that investigators believed no human heads were included.
He said police were planning on removing the heads from the water.
Late Friday, an 82-year-old man who runs a neighborhood meat shop admitted to dumping the dog heads into the moat, and police are questioning him, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency said.
The man, whose name was not released, told police that he imported the dogs — frozen and already separated into heads and bodies — from China to sell as food, Kyodo said. All the torsos had been sold, and as there was little interest in the heads, the butcher said he dumped them in the moat, hoping they would be eaten by the fish.
Police were not available late Friday to comment on the report.
The case surfaced after a passer-by found a head inside a shallow moat just outside the detention center and reported it to police.
Casseus, who has a genetic condition that causes deformity in her bones, has undergone surgery on December 14, 2005 at Holtz Children's Hospital , part of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Florida. Casseus' case received global media attention, motivating thousands of people from across the globe to donate to the International Kids Fund which is sponsoring her medical care at the public hospital, part of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Ohio State University
Researchers make long DNA 'wires' for future medical and electronic devices
DNA strands fluoresce in these microscope images from Ohio State University . Researchers here have invented a process for uncoiling DNA strands and forming them into precise patterns – a prelude to biologically based electronics and medical devices. The squares in the lower right image measure approximately 10 micrometers (millionths of a meter) across. Image courtesy of Ohio State University.
Ohio State University researchers have invented a process for uncoiling long strands of DNA and forming them into precise patterns.
Ultimately, these DNA strands could act as wires in biologically based electronics and medical devices, said L. James Lee, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University.
In the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Lee and postdoctoral researcher Jingjiao Guan describe how they used a tiny rubber comb to pull DNA strands from drops of water and stamp them onto glass chips.
Other labs have formed very simple structures with DNA, and those are now used in devices for gene testing and medical diagnostics. But Lee and Guan are the first to coax strands of DNA into structures that are at once so orderly and so complex that they resemble stitches on a quilt.
"These are very narrow, very long wires that can be designed into patterns for molecular electronics or biosensors," Lee said. "And in our case, we want to try to build tools for gene delivery, DNA recombination, and maybe even gene repair, down the road."
The longest strands are one millimeter (thousandths of a meter) long, and only one nanometer (billionths of a meter) thick. On a larger scale, positioning such a long, skinny tendril of DNA is like wielding a human hair that is ten meters (30 feet) long. Yet Lee and Guan are able to arrange their DNA strands with nanometer precision, using relatively simple equipment.
In this patent-pending technology, the researchers press the comb into a drop of water containing coils of DNA molecules. Some of the DNA strands fall between the comb's teeth, so that the strands uncoil and stretch out along the surface of the comb as it is pulled from the water.
They then place the comb on a glass chip surface. Depending on how they place the comb, they leave behind strands of different lengths and shapes.
"Basically, we're doing nanotechnology using only a piece of rubber and a tiny droplet of DNA solution," Guan said.
Computer chips that bridge the gap between the electronic and the biological could make detection of certain chemicals easier, and speed disease diagnosis. But first, researchers must develop technologies to mass produce DNA circuits as they produce chip circuits today.
The technique that Lee and Guan used is similar to a relatively inexpensive chip-making technology called soft lithography, where rubber molds press materials into shape.
In this study, they arranged the DNA into rows of "stitches," pinstripes and criss-cross shapes.
The pinstripes presented the researchers with a mystery: for some reason, thorn-like structures emerged along the strands at regular intervals.
"We think the 'thorns' may be used as interconnects between nanowires, or they could connect the nanowires with other electronic components," Guan said. "We are not trying to eliminate them, because we do not think they are defects. We also believe their formation is controllable, because they are almost completely absent in some experiments but abundant in others. Although we currently do not know exactly how the thorns form, maybe new and useful nanostructures may be created if we can better understand and control this process."
The university will license the technology for further development. Lee and Guan are working on their first application – building the wires into sensors for detecting disease biomarkers. In the meantime, they are collaborating with researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ohio State to measure the electrical properties of the DNA wires. They are also using this technique to produce DNA-based nanoparticles for gene delivery.
Contact: L. James Lee, (614) 292-2408; Lee.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jingjiao Guan, (614) 688-4400; Guan.email@example.com
Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK - The Easter Bunny was hopping mad but kept his cool after being socked by a boy, a Wal-Mart greeter was sacked for showing a lot more than customers cared to see and a prep football coach was reprimanded for some eccentric licking.
2005 offered fresh tales of bizarre lust, quirky cuisine, multiple marriages and other foibles of human existence.
SAY WHAT TO ME, DUDE?
Like most everybody, LaChania Govan of Chicago got bounced around when she called her cable company to complain. She made dozens of calls and was even transferred to a person who spoke Spanish — a language she doesn't understand. But when she got her August bill from Comcast she had no trouble understanding she'd made somebody mad. It was addressed to "Bitch Dog." "I was like you got to be freaking kidding me," said Govan, 25, of her reaction when she saw the bill. "I was so mad I couldn't even cuss." Two employees were fired after company officials went through records and identified them as being involved in the incident.
JUST WHAT WAS IN THAT RECIPE?
How about the Idaho high school boy who fed a batch of semen-frosted brownies to a fellow student and his friends? It seems the teenager was more than a bit ticked when his classmate put peanut butter in his cheese sandwich days before. As a police report said, the prankster, who has since agreed to admit to three counts of disturbing the peace, "hated peanut butter and it made him more mad than he could explain."
GAVE A LICKING AND KEPT ON TICKING
An Oregon education board reprimanded a Central Linn High School football coach for licking the wounds of several student athletes. Coach Scott Reed admitted licking blood from the knee of one student and the arm of another. It was not clear why he did it. Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright called the licking "bizarre" but not criminal because contact wasn't forced. Three students said it appeared the coach was "just joking around."
SO EASY. EVEN A CHILD CAN DO IT
An Anderson County, S.C., sheriff's deputy was temporarily sidelined by his boss after the officer's pistol went off during a gun safety class at a middle school. It seems the weapon discharged when a student pulled the trigger as the deputy was showing the kids how hard it was to take a gun from an officer's holster. The bullet fired into the floor, and debris cut two students.
ONE WIFE AT A TIME
Another South Carolina deputy had a lapse of judgment, too, but his was of the matrimonial variety. Sumter County sheriff's deputy Jay Follin was fired for being married to two women at the same time. Follin, 27, was separated from his first wife when he married his second, according to a department investigation. His second wife, the investigation revealed, was already married to another man at the time. Everything became known when the husband of Follin's second wife filed a complaint with the sheriff's department. The couple was separated at the time.
PSST! TRADE YA SOME GOAT FOR A ROCK
Four Connellsville, Pa., men ended up behind bars after they allegedly stole and butchered a goat so they could trade it for crack cocaine. Two of the men, police said, stole and killed the 4-year-old pygmy goat and then took it to another residence where two more men skinned and butchered the animal.
40 GOATS FOR CHELSEA CLINTON. DO I HEAR 50?
Kenyan councilman Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor says he offered
Bill Clinton 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter's hand in marriage five years ago. He's still awaiting an answer.
HEY! WHATCHA LOOKING AT?
A Pittston, Maine, man arrested after he was found peering at a teenage girl from the business end of a New Hampshire rest-stop privy has pleaded no contest to criminal trespass. Gary J. Moody was given a 30-day sentence that will be suspended if he maintains good behavior for two years. The judge cited Moody's public humiliation from the ensuing publicity in not jailing him.
HOOD? WHAT HOOD? WE DON'T SEE NOTHING
Two Cedar Rapids, Iowa, men landed in jail after they continued driving on Interstate 380 when the hood of their car popped open and covered their windshield. Instead of stopping to fix the problem, the men stuck their heads out the windows so they could see and kept going. Two Linn County deputies took note and pulled them over.
ANOTHER STORY ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SMOKING
A man riding in a car on Arkansas 234 near the Oklahoma border didn't go to jail following a long night of drinking. But he did go to a hospital after jumping from the vehicle in an effort to retrieve his lit cigarette. Jeff Foran was recovering after leaping from the car and landing hard on the roadway in a failed bid to grab the butt, state police said. "If anything could make him stop smoking, this should be it," said Trooper Jamie Graver.
MAMA MIA! ALL SHE WANTED WAS SOME PIZZA
An 86-year-old Charlotte, N.C., woman spent two nights in the city lockup after police said she called 911 dispatchers 20 times in a little more than 30 minutes to complain about service at a pizza parlor. Dorothy Densmore told dispatchers the shop refused to deliver a pie to her apartment. Densmore wanted the workers arrested. Instead, police arrested her.
NEVER WHEN MARRIED
Authorities in Wisconsin pinched a 63-year-old man who allegedly had a fondness for calves.
Harold G. Hart, of Neillsville, reportedly told police he stopped at a Greenwood farm "at least 50 times" to have sex with calves there. The man, however, told police he never had sex with animals while maintaining a relationship with a girlfriend or his wife.
HONEY, I'M HOT FOR YOU
A 38-year-old Oregon man wearing a gasoline-soaked cape set himself on fire before getting down on one knee and asking his longtime girlfriend to marry him. About 100 people gathered to watch Todd Grannis perform the flaming stunt for Malissa Kusiek, who said "yes."
SHOOT. HE WAS JUST TRYING TO BE FRIENDLY
In Muscatine, Iowa, Dean L. Wooten was fired for greeting Wal-Mart customers with a computer-generated photo in which he appeared to be naked — except for a carefully placed Wal-Mart bag. Wooten reportedly told customers the store was cutting costs and the bag was the company's new uniform. A supervisor told him to stop showing the photo after customers complained. He was canned when he displayed the photo again.
AIN'T FUNNY TO THIS BUNNY
The Easter Bunny wasn't laughing this year. Bryan Johnson, who portrayed the holiday rabbit at a mall in Bay City, Mich., says he was pummeled in an unprovoked attack by a 12-year-old boy.
"He just started hitting," Johnson said. Johnson suffered a bloody nose but kept his cool because he figured it was inappropriate for the Easter Bunny to battle back.
LONDON (Reuters) - An outbreak of opportunistic mistletoe rustling is
threatening a Christmas kissing crisis, British environmental experts
The Wildlife Trusts said over-harvesting of the plant that only grows
in the wild and is mainly found on old apple trees meant it was
becoming increasingly rare.
"Mistletoe is being taken in increasingly large quantities from
orchards, hedgerows and ancient trees to be sold at markets to
Christmas shoppers," said The Wildlife Trusts -- a partnership of 47
British wildlife organizations.
"There are cases of mistletoe rustling, and once the whole plant has
been removed from its host tree it won't grow back."
The parasitic green plant with white berries has been associated with
fertility since the time of the ancient Druids and kissing under the
mistletoe has long been a Christmas party tradition.
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Who pays the writers to produce this drivel?
OK, so I don't pay $3.04 per gallon of gasoline like I had to do for about 4 weeks. I stilll pay the $3 per gallon of milk! This headline is very misleading. All of my other expenses haven't come down any. In fact all my expenses have gone up.
Consumer Prices Plunge; Production Jumps
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer 9 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - A record plunge in the cost of gasoline pushed consumer prices down by the largest amount in 56 years in November while industrial production posted a solid gain.
The new government reports Thursday provided further evidence that the economy is shaking off the blows delivered by a string of devastating hurricanes. But analysts cautioned that the huge drop in consumer prices was overstating the improvement in inflation.
The Labor Department report showed the
Consumer Price Index fell by 0.6 percent last month, the biggest decline since a 0.9 percent fall in July 1949. It reflected a record fall in gasoline prices, which have been retreating since they surged to above $3 per gallon right after Katrina hit.
Federal Reserve said output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose a solid 0.7 percent last month following a 1.3 percent rise in October. Industrial output had plunged by 1.6 percent in September, reflecting widespread shutdowns of oil refineries, chemical plants and other factories along the Gulf Coast.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.
A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outer space. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.
US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima.
Thousands of square kilometres would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.
And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide.
At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid.
Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Researchers and witnesses who believe a UFO landed in the woods of western Pennsylvania 40 years ago are marking another anniversary on Friday: two years since a lawsuit was filed to get NASA to release records of what happened.
A National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman says there's no cover-up: the "UFO" was a Russian satellite but government records documenting it have been lost.
Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter backed by the Sci Fi Channel, and a group connected to the cable TV channel sued the NASA two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Fri Dec 9, 9:48 AM ET
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Potential computer users in the developing world will not want a basic $100 hand-cranked laptop due to be rolled out to millions, chip-maker Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC - news) chairman Craig Barrett said on Friday.
Schoolchildren in Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria will begin receiving the first few million textbook style computers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) media lab run by Nicholas Negroponte from early 2006.
"Mr. Negroponte has called it a $100 laptop -- I think a more realistic title should be 'the $100 gadget'," Barrett, chairman of the world's largest chip maker, told a press conference in Sri Lanka. "The problem is that gadgets have not been successful."
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has welcomed the development of the small, hand-cranked lime-green devices, which can set up their own wireless networks and are intended to bring computer access to areas that lack reliable electricity.
Negroponte said at their launch in November the new machines would be sold to governments for schoolchildren at $100 a device but the general public would have to pay around $200 -- still much cheaper than the machines using Intel's chips.
But Barrett said similar schemes in the past elsewhere in the world had failed and users would not be satisfied with the new machine's limited range of programs.
"It turns out what people are looking for is something is something that has the full functionality of a PC," he said. "Reprogrammable to run all the applications of a grown up PC... not dependent on servers in the sky to deliver content and capability to them, not dependent for hand cranks for power."
Friday, December 09, 2005
Use it to catch up with news from hundreds of sources (including the BBC, CNN, Reuters, New York Times, London Times, CNET, ESPN, ...)
Put color coded sticky notes, todo lists and reminders on it
Keep your frequently accessed bookmarks on it
Name it (e.g. as www.protopage.com/yourname)
Share parts of your page with friends, or keep it private
Set it as your browser 'start page' for easy access "
When we do this we install Windows XP Professional on a computer and customize it to our specifications. Then we install the required primary applications from previously IST-built executables that have also been customized accordingly. Lastly we make a few more minor changes and cut an image of the whole hard disk. This image was then put on most desktop PC’s in Academic Support. (Please note that this gives us a quick and easy way to replace broken hardware and software.) Then the computer is joined to the ADS domain where more changes are automatically applied (by domain policies).
Sunday, December 04, 2005
"Without question, this will be the largest solar project in the world," said Gil Alexander, a spokesman for SoCal Edison. "It will be bigger than all U.S. solar-energy projects combined."
Bosnian Pyramid - Visocica Hill, which is 2,300 feet high, is actually Europe's first pyramid in heart of Bosnia
Some say its so..
The shape of Visocica Hill is consistent with that of a pyramid, having four identical sides, with the exception of the front side which accesses a plateau. Nature does not make correct geometrical shapes like this and the rocks could not have been formed in this pattern by natural forces
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
In the course of a week, he has appeared on national breakfast television and been profiled in newspapers, and is now in the final stages of negotiating a major order with a chain of convenience stores.
He claims the device, named the Mosquito after the flying insect's notorious whine, does not cause pain but is so irritating that young people will not linger in an area where they can hear it.
Explaining the rush of interest in his product, Mr Stapleton said, 'With this trouble in France, it looks like we are descending into gradual anarchy. They have picked up on a novel idea that's really needed.'
At present, the devices are put together at the Servonetic Control (Instruments) plant at Taffs Well.
The plan is that revenue from this project will fund a much more ambitious invention. This is a security system for the fences around construction sites which will be detect if a vibration is caused by someone climbing over it.
Present systems can be set off when a football hits the fence, causing many alarms to be ignored.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
1. Make rules. What rules should any person live by in order to lead a happy, healthy life? Tell your children what these rules are every day, and what the consequences are if they are broken.
2. Follow through. If a child breaks a rule, enforce whatever consequences were previously discussed. Be consistent - don't let your child manipulate you into making exceptions because you feel bad. When enforcing consequences, calmly ask your child, "This is what I told you would happen if you did (or didn't) do XYZ, right?"
3. Take interest. Be involved. Try to understand who your child is, and what makes him or her an individual. Ask questions. What do they want to do? What do they think about this or that? How do they feel?
4. Respect boundaries. Don't be too involved. That is, as your child grows, give him or her more responsibility, and at the same time give him or her more privacy and more decision-making power. Pay responsibility back with trust.
5. Be a role model. Live by the rules you set. Don't be one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" parents. Don't do anything you wouldn't want your child to do, even when they're not around (they're bound to catch you doing it, or find out about it, when you're not looking, and they'll get the message that it's okay to do things behind someone's back).
6. Show and tell them that you love them, even when they seem to hate you, or when they are being punished. If you have followed all the steps above, it will be easier for your children to understand that you are trying to do what's best for them, because you love them. They might still not believe you in the heat of the moment, but they will eventually look back and understand.
7. Never compare your children with others or even with siblings. For example, never say "Look at ABC's son, he is the same age as you and doing so well".
8. Never shame or embarrass your children in front of other people. Protect and rescue them at all cost from all kinds of shame.
Restoring an XP installation
By Matt Hartley - http://matthartley.lockergnome.net/
One of the ideas behind the Windows XP installation CD was that it was supposed to make installing Windows a whole lot easier. Less errors, simpler choices, and removing installation confusion sound pretty good to most of us, right?
Microsoft had hoped for XP to be as pain-free and easy to install as possible. Unfortunately, reality had other plans for some XP users. While it is extremely rare to have major issues installing a fresh copy of XP on a computer, reinstallations can frequently be troublesome even when doing things by the book.
Lucky for us Microsoft has provided us with specific tools to help us deal with these situations. While this may seem like very little comfort when compared to XP's many shortcomings, these tips can often keep a bad day from getting a lot worse, if you know what I mean.
Let's start by looking at some tips and utilities for dealing with XP issues before jumping into a XP reinstall.
Last known good config: Always the easiest to try first before settling for a reinstallation of Windows XP. Reboot the PC and tap F8 while you wait for boot options to be displayed for you. Once there, choose "Last known good configuration."
System restore: In some cases, a reinstallation can be avoided by using system restore. If you are unable to get system restore to work from within safe mode, you can try to access it from within a command prompt. You do not need to leave safe mode to do this, just follow these instructions closely:
Reboot into safe mode with a command prompt.
Get to an administrator account so that you have the needed permissions to get things done.
At the command prompt, type: %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
Follow the instructions to restore your PC to an earlier state of operation.
Recovery console: The XP recovery console can be a very useful utility when employed with care. There are a variety of situations where having access to it can be really handy. In fact, you need to get access to it before we go any further.
Reboot from the Windows XP CD. Once you arrive at the welcome screen, choose "R" for recovery.
You will be asked which Windows installation you wish to access. Choose the appropriate number.
Now a prompt for your administrator password will appear. Enter it and continue (if no password, press enter).
Now we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work. While at the console, you can type help for a list of available commands that are at your disposal. For example, you can repair a messed up boot sector by typing FIXBOOT and then typing enter afterward.
If you are having difficulty booting up because of a messed up ntldr file, however, then you might need to replace it by typing:
COPY E:\i386\NTLDR C:
(Keep in mind this is assuming that E: is the correct drive letter for your CD ROM drive).
Once you have repaired what you have needed to from the recovery console, simply type EXIT at the prompt to leave and restart Windows.
When all else fails, sometimes reinstalling is the best medicine. Below, we will look at two very different methods to accomplish this.
Repair installation: Running a repair install of Windows XP can be a handy way of fixing the installation of XP without having to start totally over and deleting important data from your PC.
To do this type of install, simply follow these instructions.
Boot from your XP installation CD.
At the welcome screen, choose enter.
Once at the license agreement, press F8.
At the next screen, choose to repair the selected Windows XP installation by pressing R.
The files will begin to install and then your PC will reboot. During the reboot you will be presented with option of booting from the CD again by pressing any key. Don't press anything. Allow it to finish the install without booting from the CD again.
Full reinstallation of Windows XP: If all else fails and you are ready to completely delete everything on your hard drive, then you are ready to do a full reinstallation.
You will be erasing everything, so make sure you already have a backup of any important data before you continue. Follow the instructions above 'til you arrive at step 4. At that point, choose to continue installing a fresh copy of XP on your system and NOT the repair option.
This is your best bet for getting help with your Windows XP woes. As a matter of fact, if you have horror stories with Windows XP installations, I would love to hear them. Feel free to shoot them on over and I might even mention some of them here in a future article!
Women have more emotions, men have deeper feelings...
The pooch died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, his owner said. I don't think there'll ever be another Sam, Susie Lockheed said, adding: Some people would think that's a good thing.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
UPDATED: 1:02 pm CST November 24, 2005
PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- Cold and snow forced an Ohio woman sentenced to spend a night in the woods for dumping 33 kittens back to jail.
Michelle Murray, 25, a former animal rescuer, was convicted of animal cruelty last month.
Judge Michael Cicconetti sentenced Murray to spend the night in the woods without food or light. He said he wanted her to feel the same pain as the kittens she neglected.
Murray spent about three hours in the woods before she was allowed to go back to a cell.
She will now finish her 15-day jail sentence.
Murray said family problems forced her to abandon the kittens. Park rangers originally found 33 kittens, but many have since died.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Naturally SmartYou're a naturally smart person.
Your intelligence comes to you naturally, rather than from instruction - and you are better with applied or more real-world things... which comes in handy, here in the real world.
40% applied intelligence 40% natural intelligence
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.
I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.
I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.
And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.
All my love,
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
November 15th, 2005 - We currently are working on a new tool to uninstall First4Internet XCP software. In the meantime, we have temporarily suspended distribution of the existing uninstall tool for this software. We encourage you to return to this site over the next few days. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Fireballs spark UFO speculation
Numerous sightings of massive fireballs in the skies over Germany this week have led to an upsurge in reports of UFOs, but scientists believe the cause could be a bizarre annual meteor blitz.
According to the Web site of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ), such fireballs have been reported elsewhere in the world and may also be due to the fact that the Earth is now orbiting through a swarm of space debris.
Many people in Germany have noticed the fireballs, said Werner Walter, an amateur astronomer in Mannheim who runs a Web site on unexplained astronomical phenomena and a hotline for reports on unidentified flying objects (UFO). "
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
By JOHN PAIN, AP Business Writer
Mon Nov 7, 7:20 PM ET
MIAMI - The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.
Device maker American Technology Corp. said earsplitting "bangs" were directed by trained security personnel toward the pirates. That, combined with ship maneuvers, caused the attackers to leave the area, the company said.
The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Neighbors said the attacks started late Saturday afternoon when children going door-to-door for a fund-raiser arrived at the home of Scott Sword, 41, who owned the dogs.
"We had music playing, and I heard this bizarre sound," said Debby Rivera, who lives three houses away. "I looked out the window, and I saw a young boy. The dogs were just jumping on him."
"The screams were horrible," she said. The dogs were "relentless, like they were possessed."
The pit bulls attacked the two children, and when the dogs' owner tried to stop them, the dogs turned on him and bit off his thumb, Nygren said. The boy's father also tried to protect his son and was attacked. The dogs went after another neighbor as well.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
PowerToys add fun and functionality to the Windows experience. What are they? PowerToys are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released.
Note: We take great care to ensure that PowerToys work as they should, but they are not part of Windows and are not supported by Microsoft. For this reason, Microsoft Technical Support is unable to answer questions about PowerToys. PowerToys are for Windows XP only.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
For some western Wisconsin commuters, the daily trip to the Twin Cities and back will get a lot shorter next week.
That’s because the Stillwater Lift Bridge should be open to traffic.
“It looks good for Nov. 7,” said Steve Adamsky, project engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “If we get lucky it might even be ready a few days early.”
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Highly recommended... Chris
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Dealram adjusts for shipping and sales tax so you can compare prices accurately. We can also send you an email when they hit your price. dealram saves you time, money, and trouble.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
If you generally accept the government line, that there is a "national interest", and believe what you read in the newspapers, then Lobster is probably not for you.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across the street from some homes on a moderately busy road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.
The body, suspended about 15 feet above the ground, could be easily seen from passing vehicles.
State police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham and neighbors said people noticed the body at breakfast time Wednesday but dismissed it as a holiday prank. Authorities were called to the scene more than three hours later.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
From The Wall Street Journal Online
Simon Clausen, chief executive of computer-security firm PC Tools, is tackling one of the biggest online privacy threats -- by encouraging his employees to surf the Web for pornography.
Mr. Clausen knows that these shady sites often host the newest variations of spyware: programs that hide on your hard drive and cause all sorts of mischief, from displaying pop-up ads to stealing private information and spying on your Web-surfing habits. By sending his researchers into the unsavory corners of the Web, Mr. Clausen hopes to keep up to speed on the latest developments in spyware -- and find new ways to defeat them.
Spyware busting is a relatively new niche in the software business. Most of the companies that market defensive products only got into the field in the past year or so, as Web users became more aware of the ballooning problem. Now, like PC Tools, these companies are discovering that fighting spyware is a much tougher, and messier, business than they anticipated.
Incentive and Means
Unlike the pranksters who write computer viruses, spyware makers aren't interested in crashing your hard drive, hijacking your email or playing any other destructive tricks. Instead, they get paid by marketers to serve up annoying pop-up ads or collect information about your Web-surfing habits. Some of the most egregious spyware programs even harvest personal information and sell it to crooks.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Wilma on 10/23/2005
Wondering which 2005 McDonalds pieces are valuable and which are not?
Me too. Visit this site and you'll see.
Here is the list of the valuable pieces:
5001 Mediterranean Ave
5004 Vermont Ave
5008 Virginia Ave
5010 Tennessee Ave
5012 Kentucky Ave
5016 Ventnor Ave
5020 Pennsylvania Ave
5026 Short Line Railroad
Saturday, October 22, 2005
LiveScience Staff Writer
Fri Oct 21, 5:00 PM ET
The main light source of the future will almost surely not be a bulb. It might be a table, a wall, or even a fork.
An accidental discovery announced this week has taken LED lighting to a new level, suggesting it could soon offer a cheaper, longer-lasting alternative to the traditional light bulb. The miniature breakthrough adds to a growing trend that is likely to eventually make Thomas Edison's bright invention obsolete.
LEDs are already used in traffic lights, flashlights, and architectural lighting. They are flexible and operate less expensively than traditional lighting.
Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots, which are crystals generally only a few nanometers big. That's less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair.
Quantum dots contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 electrons. They're easily excited bundles of energy, and the smaller they are, the more excited they get. Each dot in Bower's particular batch was exceptionally small, containing only 33 or 34 pairs of atoms.
When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.
"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."
Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.
The new device gives off a warm, yellowish-white light that shines twice as bright and lasts 50 times longer than the standard 60 watt light bulb.
This work is published online in the Oct. 18 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Friday, October 21, 2005
The shelves are stocked, the employees are trained and the Wal-Mart greeters are ready with their smiles.
Let the New Richmond super center experience begin.
When the clock strikes 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, shoppers will stream into the new 155,000-square-foot store on the southern edge of the city. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will precede the opening at 7:30 a.m.
From Oct. 26 on, the store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The only day Wal-Mart will be closed is Christmas.
The anticipated opening is the culmination of several years of planning, and about nine months of construction. “It’s starting off with a roar,” store manager Sandy Schleicher said in an interview Monday. “The associates are excited, the management team is excited, and everybody in the community is excited. We’re so happy to be here.”
The store will include everything from groceries to electronics to clothing to sporting goods. A Papa Murphy’s, snack bar, quick lube and other services are also planned.
And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants" by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...
1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:
a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy
2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:
a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle
3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = butt
b = boobi
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice
Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is Fluffy Chucklefanny.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
33 minutes ago
DES MOINES, Iowa - All eyes were on Oregon, where someone bought the winning Powerball ticket worth $340 million. It was the largest jackpot in the game's history and the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
The winning numbers drawn Wednesday evening were 7, 21, 43, 44, 49 and 29.
Powerball officials said the winning ticket was sold somewhere in Oregon. They had no other information.
Forty-seven tickets sold matched the first five numbers drawn but failed to match the Powerball. They win $200,000 each, plus a bonus of $653,492. The odds of hitting all six numbers were 1 in 146 million.
The Movie PHYSICS RATING SYSTEM
In the name of physics decency, to protect the minds of children everywhere, so that they may grow up in a world where they know the difference between speed and velocity, we have taken the responsibility to rate movies for their portrayal of excessively bad physics. The system is as follows:
* GP = Good physics in general
* PGP = Pretty good physics (just enough flaws to be fun)
* PGP-13 = Children under 13 might be tricked into thinking the physics were pretty good; parental guidance is suggested
* RP = Retch
* XP = Obviously physics from an unknown universe
* NR = Unrated. When a movie is obviously a parody, fantasy, cartoon or is clearly based on a comic book it can't be rated but may still have some interesting physics worth discussing.
After being lost and potentially found, NASA’s Mars Polar Lander appears to be lost once more.
The sharp-shooting Mars Global Surveyor has repeatedly scanned for wreckage of the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), which disappeared on touchdown in December 1999.
Camera specialists at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) near San Diego, California initially thought they might have spotted the probe’s parachute, as well as disturbed terrain from the craft’s landing engines.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Don'tcha just love it!!
Or how about number 39. All teen house parties have one of every stereotypical subculture present (even people who aren't liked and would never get invited to parties).
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
One New Year’s Day a large portion of the Rose Bowl Parade in Southern California sputtered and came to a halt. One of the loveliest floats in the parade had run out of gas, stopping everyone behind it. The sponsor for the float was—Standard Oil Company!
Current events reflect prophetic fulfillment. The Bible says what has been, will be. What you see on the newscasts and read in your newspaper is either the fulfillment of or setting the stage for, the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. A good example is the current oil crisis.
The Current Dilemma
Is America . . . and the world . . . running out of oil? Best-selling book titles include The End of Oil, Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash, The Oil Age Is Over, and others. National Geographic featured a cover story last summer that looked at how the world would survive “After Oil.” Is America’s joy ride coming to a screeching halt? Are we truly about to run out of oil?
Most of the experts say, “No!” The truth is that the earth is swimming in oil. The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859. At that time, there was six trillion barrels of crude oil underneath the ground in America. Today, 146 years later, we have used only about a trillion barrels.
Monday, October 17, 2005
I want this one...
Sunday, October 16, 2005
1 hour, 32 minutes ago
HERMISTON, Ore. - Parked alongside his onion fields, Bob Hale can prop open a laptop and read his e-mail or, with just a keystroke, check the moisture of his crops.
While cities around the country are battling over plans to offer free or cheap Internet access, this lonely terrain is served by what is billed as the world's largest hotspot, a wireless cloud that stretches over 700 square miles of landscape so dry and desolate it could have been lifted from a cowboy tune.
Similar wireless projects have been stymied in major metropolitan areas by telephone and cable TV companies, which have poured money into legislative bills aimed at discouraging such competition. In Philadelphia, for instance, plans to blanket the entire city with Wi-Fi fueled a battle in the Pennsylvania legislature with Verizon Communications Inc., leading to a law that limits the ability of every other municipality in the state to do the same.
But here among the thistle, large providers such as local phone company Qwest Communications International Inc. see little profit potential. So wireless entrepreneur Fred Ziari drew no resistance for his proposed wireless network, enabling him to quickly build the $5 million cloud at his own expense.
Ziara's company built the towers to match the topography. They are as close as a quarter-of-a-mile apart inside towns like Hermiston, and as far apart as several miles in the high-desert wilderness.
Asked why other municipalities have had a harder time succeeding, he replies: "Politics."
"The 'Who's-going-to-get-a-piece-of-the action?' has been a big part of the obstacles," said Karen Hanley, senior marketing director of the Austin, Texas-based Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Finally, someone from the spiritual side has spoken up against the 'prom'. A must read.
"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake — in a word, financial decadence," Brother Hoagland said, fed up with what he calls the "bacchanalian aspects" of the prom.
"Each year it gets worse — becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic," he added. "We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing the parents full responsibility. (Kellenberg) is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy."
Friday, October 14, 2005
Oct. 14, 2005 — - A Pennsylvania woman accused of cutting her pregnant neighbor's belly open in an attempt to steal her unborn child had a bassinet, a baby swing and other baby supplies waiting at home, police said.
Peggy Jo Conner, 38, was arraigned Thursday on charges of attempted aggravated assault in the attack on Valerie Oskin, 30. Conner is being held without bail. State police reported Oskin was in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital and her baby, delivered by emergency Caesarean section, was stable. Hospital officials would not comment about the condition of mother or child.
"The only indication we have right now was her (Conner's) ultimate goal was to get this child and claim it as her own," said Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi.
Andreassi said tests performed on Conner indicate she was not pregnant, although she had convinced her friends that she was. She told police she was seven months pregnant, according to the criminal complaint.
"She is pregnant," said Thomas Wilks, who said he is Conner's estranged husband. "I got a sonogram saying she is pregnant. I've felt the baby kick numerous times. I've felt the baby kick in her stomach."
Conner is the mother of three children, aged 11, 14 and 16. There is no indication she has a criminal history, according to Andreassi, nor has there been any evidence of mental illness.
Conner's hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Oskin's 7-year-old son has been placed in protective custody.
There have been several attacks on pregnant women to steal their babies. Bobbie Jo Stinnet, 23, was strangled in Skidmore, Mo., and the baby cut from her body in 2004. Carolyn Simpson, 21, was shot and killed in December 2003. Her fetus was ripped from her body and the baby later died. Theresa Andrews, 23, was shot and her baby delivered in a Caesarean section in 2000. Carethia Curry was shot and killed in 1996 and a fellow teen ripped the full-term baby from her body.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Oct 10, 2005 : 10:02 pm ET
DURHAM -- When Mebane-based McLeod Oil Co. ordered Steven Grover to boost gasoline prices last month at his Durham station, Grover put his foot down -- and stepped right into the state's first gas price fixing lawsuit in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed suit against McLeod, a subsidiary and a manager for allegedly conspiring to fix prices and trying to force at least one gas station -- Grover's A&P Mini Mart at 1709 Glenn School Road -- to raise its prices by 40 cents a gallon.
McLeod referred calls to its spokesman, who is out of town on vacation. An employee said the company's Mebane office had no comment.
Cooper said the suit is the first in a number of investigations his office is conducting into gas price fixing across the state. Price fixing, or collusion, is when businesses work together to artificially inflate prices.
"Gas prices are already high enough without suppliers trying to fix prices to make a fast buck," he said. "It's clear that at least some of the price increase has to do with market forces, but we're going to take action if people are raising prices illegally."
There's still a lot of work required for the McLeod case, which will go before a judge in a preliminary hearing this week, a Cooper spokesman said. As the trial proceeds, the Attorney General's Office must determine how much of the 40-cent price increase was based on market factors, whether other businesses influenced McLeod's desired retail price and how widespread the collusion was, Cooper said.
"We will be doing investigation during this case to determine whether this is business as usual," Cooper said. "If it is, that's no way to do business."
In the A&P Mini Mart's case, McLeod, the supplier, allegedly first padlocked the pumps to the tanks and later removed gas from the tanks when Grover, the station's owner, wouldn't comply with the demanded price increases.
McLeod owns A&P's pumps and tanks. But Grover says that until about two weeks ago, the distributor allowed him to set his retail price based on choices it supplied.
To let customers know he wasn't gouging them when prices rose after Katrina, the Granville County resident began posting the "margin sheet" he received from McLeod on his cash register so drivers could see how much he paid for the gas they were putting in their tanks.
But on Sept. 28, a McLeod representative told Grover the company no longer would supply him with documentation and removed his ability to set his own price. According to an affidavit Grover filed, the McLeod employee told him the distributor's competing gas stations were angry with A&P's low prices and said Grover needed to be "in the ballpark of the other prices."
"They said they'd give me verbal orders as to what I would be charged for gas and what I was going to raise the price to and I said, 'No, that's not going to happen,' " Grover said in an interview Monday.
He refused the distributor's demand to increase the price of a gallon of regular gas from $2.86 to $3.26. Nearby gas stations were selling regular gas for $3.09 or $3.19, Grover said.
That night, while he and his wife, Denise, were at church, McLeod padlocked his pumps to the tanks, making them unusable. Then last week, the company asked if the couple was ready to "get with the program and raise your prices," according to Grover's affidavit. When Denise Grover refused, McLeod returned and removed the gas from the tanks.
The request to "get with the program" and the McLeod employee's statement that other station owners were angry point to price fixing, Cooper said.
"I am going to find out what the program is and take action against anyone who's cheating consumers," he said.
In response to Cooper's suit, McLeod unlocked and refilled Grover's tanks on Saturday. He's selling regular gas for $2.81 a gallon -- two cents above the price he paid.
As word has spread about Grover's battle with the gas distributor, people have written letters and driven from across the state to congratulate him. Now posted on the cash register is a letter from a woman who wrote: "I greatly appreciate your moral stand against the greed of the oil companies," and enclosed a check for $25.
Grover says he just couldn't understand how the distributor could demand that he increase the retail price of gas he already had purchased. Cooper said he is investigating the legality of that practice.
McLeod also never had indicated that the margin sheet was confidential, Grover said.
"Business should be enacted aboveboard," he said. "Has nobody learned their lesson from Enron and the other big guys who have fallen? Let's do business but be honest businesspeople."
This photo provided by Angelo State University shows a two-headed Western diamonback rattlesnake on Sept. 20, 2005, in San Angelo, Texas. Chris McAllister, a visiting professor of biology at Angelo State University in San Angelo, said he found the snake after turning over 400 to 500 rocks on Sept. 17, 2005 at a Christoval-area ranch, where he and students were scouring for interesting specimens.
AP Photo/Angelo State University, Tina Miller
"The models show most areas around the world will experience more intense precipitation for a given storm during this century," said lead researcher Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
A warmer world will also mean a wetter one.
"On average the global precipitation increases in a warmer climate," Meehl told LiveScience.
The increase in rain and snow will be on average about 10-20 percent, Meehl said. The more intense storms will most likely happen in late autumn, winter, and early spring. The largest increase in precipitation will occur over land in the tropics where the atmosphere is warming quickest.
Based on computer models, Meehl and his colleagues expect that the regions most likely to experience the more intense storms are places where large masses of moist air converge. These regions include northwestern and northeastern North America, northern Europe, northern Asia, the east coast of Asia, southwestern Australia and the south-central regions of South America.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
TiVo DVR Named One of 10 Best Products in the Last Decade by Tech Gurus at CNET: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
ALVISO, Calif., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The technology experts at the venerable online tech chronicler CNET have selected the TiVo® DVR as one of the 10 best technology innovations of the last decade, citing in particular the superior TiVo user interface that delivers an unprecedented user experience that makes the product so easy to use.
"That'll be a game changer for California and the United States," said Ron Pernick, co-founder of Clean Edge, a research and marketing firm focused on clean-energy technologies.
Currently, the United States lags Japan and Germany in installing new solar power systems, something that Rhone Resch, the Solar Energy Industries Association's president, attributes in part to weaker tax incentives and lower conventional electricity costs. Resch believes tax incentives in the new U.S. energy bill will be particularly beneficial in boosting installations of solar thermal systems, which are used to heat water and typically cost less than $5,000 to install.
"(Ultrawideband is) very inexpensive, works across short ranges, but has very high performance," said analyst Craig Mathias of market research firm the Farpoint Group.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The partial skeleton discovered in a limestone cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 was of a tiny adult hominid, or early human, only one meter (3 feet tall), that would have walked upright and had a chimpanzee-sized brain.
Morwood and his team said it represented a unique species of early humans that evolved to a naturally small size because of environmental conditions and the isolation of the island, which was also home to exotic creatures such as miniature elephants and Komodo dragons.
But critics suggested the small hominid was not a new species and was more likely a pygmy human or a creature that suffered from a form of microcephaly, a condition that causes an unusually small brain.
'The finds further demonstrate ...(it) is not just an aberrant or pathological individual but is representative of a long-term population,' Morwood and his team said in a report in the science journal Nature.
The newly found remains, dug up in 2004, consist of a jaw, as well as arm and other bones which the researchers believe were from at least nine individuals.
A jaw bone reported last year and the latest one were probably from the same species, according to the scientists. Both share similar dental features and lacked chins.
The new species, dubbed "Flores man," is thought to be a descendent of Homo erectus, which had a large brain, was full-sized and spread from Africa to Asia about 2 million years ago.
"Although the original skeleton is estimated to be 18,000 years old, a child's radius (arm bone) was found in deposits estimated to be 12,000 years old," Daniel Lieberman, of Harvard University in Massachusetts, said in a commentary in the journal.
He added that if the remains were from a population of short microcephalic humans they would have had to survive a long time or been susceptible to a high frequency of dwarfism.
"Such possibilities strain credulity," Lieberman added.
CAT scans of the inside of the skull found in 2003 suggested it was a normal adult and not a diseased or mutant species. The brain could have been advanced enough for tool-making.
But Robert Martin, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois is unconvinced.
"Whatever else is true, that brain is simply too small for an 18,000 year-old hominid," he told Reuters.
The answer may be in the DIY Notebook market. With a combination of today's mobile technology and performance, laptops are becoming the majority of computers in the marketplace. It is gradually becoming realistic to custom configure your own notebook, and it’s been a long time coming; building one’s own notebook offers one of the few remaining “new frontiers” for enthusiasts.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Nearly 20,000 people were estimated killed in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan as a result of Saturday's quake.
The death toll is expected to rise once remote areas of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and the country's North-West Province are reached. Communication to many of those areas was cut off because of the temblor, and landslides had rendered roads inaccessible.
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf issued a plea on Sunday for foreign aid -- specifically, cargo helicopters and relief goods such as tents and blankets.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Critical Technical & Behavioral Skills/Qualifications: Critical Technical & Behavioral Skills/Qualifications
Bachelors degree or equivalent experience in field.
MCSE 2000/2003 Certification.
Excellent verbal, written, and electronic communication skills.
Ability to multitask and work on project tasks as a team member or on an individual effort as needed.
Leadership ability: must be able to effectively win both client and peer confidence and drive project oriented efforts to successful outcomes.
7 or more years experience in MS Windows Operating System Support, both at the workstation level and server levels.
Experience with Windows 2000/XP Professional and Server 2003 administration, installation, analysis, and troubleshooting.
Experience with Microsoft Office 2000/XP/2003 installation, analysis and troubleshooting.
Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Active Directory design and management utilizing Microsoft documented preferred (best) practices.
Knowledge of systems management principles and technologies, including SUS (WSUS) and SMS 2003.
Thorough understanding of basic networking concepts (TCP/IP, Subnet, Routing, DHCP, DNS, etc) and ability to analyze, design, and document network from a vendor-neutral perspective.
Must have a solid grasp on systems security principles.
Working Knowledge of Desktop Management Interface (DMI), Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) & Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
Knowledge and experience with application packaging.
Ability to compose, deploy, and troubleshoot scripts using VB scripting, WMI, KIX, InstallShield, WSH, and/or other scripting tools.
Strong MS Access, MS Excel, and SMS Reporting skills for generating reports.
Strong MS Project and MS Visio skills for project architecting, tracking, and documentation.
Enterprise Desktop Migration, Deployment, and Image Management experience.
MS Office and Outlook knowledge required for documentation and communication.
Boy, if a person can do all that, why would they be around here? Oh I see, its a (leadership) supervisor position, no doubt without the pay! Still, if I had all of those specific skills, I'd be in Austin.
Pakistan took the brunt of the quake with dozens of people feared to have died, amid reports that entire villages have been wiped out in northern areas and many trapped in a collapsed apartment block in the capital Islamabad, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"The earthquake epicenter lay 100 kilometers north of Islamabad," Mohammad Iqbal, a meteorological department official, told AFP.
The first tremor rumbled through the country at around 7:55 (4:55 GMT), followed by another after a few minutes.
Friday, October 07, 2005
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Blown-out candles rekindle themselves, silverware moves untouched around vacant tables and a shadowy figure lurks in the basement.
Based on the manager's description, the Moon River brew pub is a perfect spot for Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson to hunt for ghostly shadows and eerie bumps in the night — at least those not coming from the cameraman filming their every move.
"It's a different world when the cameras aren't here," says Wilson, half of the plumbers-by-day, ghostbusters-by-night duo from the cable reality show "Ghost Hunters." "When there's no show, it's just us two. So when you hear footsteps, you know there's no one else around."
Though their Sci Fi Channel series debuted just a year ago, Hawes and Wilson of Warwick, R.I., have been investigating haunted hotspots for 15 years as leaders of the Atlantic Paranormal Society.
Away from their Roto Rooter day jobs, they seek solid evidence of spectral encounters with no-nonsense skepticism, relying on the electric eyes and ears of techno-geek gadgets rather than the sixth sense of mediums and psychics.
"I'd really like to get away from the sensitives who come in and do the floppy tuna, saying, `Satan's living in your closet,'" says Hawes, 33, as the four-man team sets up six infrared cameras to constantly record the rooms throughout the brew pub.
The ghost hunters have traveled to Georgia's oldest city, founded in 1733, to film an upcoming Halloween episode. There's no shortage of raw material here.
The city's haunted history stems from its grimmest episodes — a bloody Revolutionary War battle, a harsh Civil War occupation, devastating fires and three yellow fever epidemics. In 2002, the American Institute of Parapsychology dubbed Savannah "America's Most Haunted City."
"Everyone here has told us, `Oh, you've got to go to THE most haunted place,'" Wilson, 31, says after posing for snapshots with fans outside the pub. "And it's always a different spot."
At the Moon River, built on the bones of an 1820 hotel, manager Chris Lewis gives the ghost hunters — cameras in tow — a tour and a rundown of spooky sightings reported by his employees.
Workers say a folded chair propped against a window upstairs will upright itself with all four legs on the floor. They say candles snuffed on tables in the basement will flicker back to life after 20 minutes. One reported spotting a hooded figure in the darkened basement.
Lewis says he's witnessed one strange occurrence himself, enough to make him jittery about sticking around after the bar closes.
"We have silverware that gets left on the tables, and if you watch it'll start circling around on the tables," he says. "I would hope they could find some proof of something in this building, just so I know there's some validity to me being scared to be here after 2 a.m."
After the bar empties after 11:30 p.m., the Atlantic Paranormal Society team shuts off the lights and goes to work. Infrared cameras and digital audio recorders will record from six rooms through the night. Hawes and Wilson begin by monitoring the camera feeds on a computer screen in the main bar area.
A small ball of light appears on-screen from one of the upper floors and shoots across the room. Wilson types into a computer log: "11:50 light anomaly" and zooms in to review the footage.
"It's a freaking bug," Hawes grumbles.
After midnight, they head to the basement with their thermal imager displaying objects in the room in a rainbow of blue, green, yellow and red, depending on their temperature. Besides the image on the screen, the basement's pitch black.
They stop by a wall, noting a blue blob on the gadget — there's a trail through the room that's 10-degrees colder than the surrounding air.
"It looks like a human shape," Hawes tells Wilson. "It's stops with your knees and it's as high up as your head."
A ghost? They can't say for sure. Hawes and Wilson will spend hours in the coming days reviewing recordings and examining other evidence before returning to the brewery with their conclusions.
"About 80-to-85 percent of the time, you're able to disprove the claims," Hawes says. "That's not to saying the 15-to-20 percent that's left, it's actually a ghost. It's saying it's paranormal — meaning above the normal."
They've managed to capture some spooky stuff on tape for "Ghost Hunters." At Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, they filmed what looks like a caped figure swooping toward the camera, then quickly retreating.
A show taped at a National Guard armory in New Bedford, Mass., caught footage of their sound technician knocked flat when the 40-pound equipment bag at his waist swung up to smack him in the face. A tavern in Ashland, Mass., yielded a recording of a whispering voice that seems to say, "I am not dead."
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