TOP Women’s handball tournament – World Cup, as every year was held in Denmark. In the Final match, Russia beat Norway 25:23 and take a gold medal. Third place won France after success over Spain 16:15..All Stars team was also published:Goalkeeper: Maria Sidorova (RUS)Left wing: Siraba Dembele (FRA)Left back: Macarena Diaz (ŠPA)Playmaker: Allison Pineau (FRA)Right back: Ekaterina Davydenko (RUS)Right wing: Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth (NOR)Pivot: Marit Malm Frafjord (NOR)MVP: Allison Pineau (FRA) Handball World CupRussian handball ← Previous Story In Skopje EHF Champions League for 1 (One) EURO! Next Story → Ulrich Strombach is President of DHB for the fifth time
German vice-champion, THW Kiel celebrated an easy win in Serbian capital, Belgrade, where home-team Partizan 35:24 (19:10) wasn’t on the level from their first match last Weekend in “Sparkasse Arena”, when Serbian team won first half. From the very beginning, THW Kiel was better oponnent and easily break resistance of young Belgrade’s team. Filip Jicha had fantastic evening, scored 11 goals from 16 shoots.PARTIZAN – THW Kiel 24:35 (10:19)BelgradeHall „Pionir“Spectators– 1800Reffeeres: Lemanovic i Baranovski (Poljska)7 meter: 4(3) 4(3)Exclusions: 4 min / 4 minHC PARTIZAN: Vasić sedam odbrana i sedmerac, Milošević 3/4, Ilić V 2(1)/4, Mandić 3/9, Radanović, Dimitrijević 4/12, Maksić 3/8, Milić sedam odbrana, Radivojević 1(1)/3, Babić, Ilić, Milinić 2/3, Kostadinović 2/2, Mešter 2/5, Marsenić, Potić 2(1)/3THW Kiel: Omejer 13 odbrana i sedmerac, Anderson 3/7, Lundstrom 1/1, Dragićević 1/2, Šprenger 2/3, Palička dve odbrane, Alm, Kubeš, Rajhman 5/8, Cajc 1/3, Palmarson 1/3, Narcis 1/1, Ilić 6/10, Klajn 3/4, Jiha 11/16Results: 1:5 (8.) 3:7 (13.) 5:10 (15.) 8:11 (18.) 10:13 (22.) 10:19 (30.) 12:23 (36.) 16:23 (41.) 17:25 (43.) 17:29 (47.) 20:30 (50.) 24:35 (59.)Best Player: Filip Jiha EHF Champions LeagueHC PartizanTHW Kiel ← Previous Story Polish League (Round 12): Poor Wisla lose in Olsztyn! Next Story → Gyori appoint new coach – Karl Erik Bohn
1FC Barcelona5410167:1389291 EHFFC Barcelona 5Alingsaas HK400493:1200-270 FC Barcelona showed high form on the place where revenge was the question of honour – Flensburg 37:33. Team of Xavi Pascual has a big motivation to show, once again, that the last six minutes of the last years EHF F4 semi-finals against Germans was just a short night mare which will never happen again. Lazarov (10), Karabatic and Co have control over the results in the biggest part of the match and deserved to win.Holger Glandorf scored 11 goals for Ljubo Vranjes’ squad.Situation about the two TOP teams in the group are, now, more certain, since Kolding won in Plock.STANDINGS: 3SG Flensburg-Handewitt5302147:141660 2KIF Kolding5410147:119928-1 6Besiktas Istanbul400488:1230-350 4Wisla Plock SSA5203137:1384-10 ← Previous Story Veszprem beat Vardar after crazy finish in Skopje Next Story → Tickets for Qatar 2015 on sale
German Berliner Zeitung bring the story about the intention of Hungarian Telekom Veszprem to sign Serbian playmaker Petar Nenadic from Fuchse Berlin! According to this source, Hungarians want 31-years old shooter immediately, as they need to fill the gap after a surprising decision of Icelandic Aron Palmarsson to refuse to join the team’s preparation in the last year of his contract.Manager of Füchse Berlin, Bob Hanning, said it to Berliner Zeitung:Yes, it’s true. Before the season there was a request, which we however declined. If someone still has a contract, they are not for sale. I did not want to make the problems of others mine. The Hungarians suddenly needed a playmaker because they lost Aron Palmarsson. We will talk about the topic of whether we want to continue the “Nenadic concept” with the coach in November. There will be no decision until December,” Bob Hanning stated and continued:It would be a pity if he leaves, but if Petar wants to go, he will go. It has been this way for years. Steffen Fäth, unfortunately, decided at an early stage to leave us to go to the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, I’m not sure if he would do that again at this moment. I am quite relaxed with the situation, nor are we in the decision-making phase.Negotiations between Telekom Veszprem and FC Barcelona Lassa about “buying-out” last year of Aron Palmarsson contract, are still active. The Icelandic star will join Spanish team next summer, but still, they want to see him ready and fit, without season’s break which can decrease his playing potential. Bob HanningFuchse BerlinPetar NenadicTelekom Veszprem ← Previous Story LNH: Montpellier win in Nantes! Next Story → Sporting CP beat Chekhovskie Medvedi
IN THE BEST Toy Show moment in years, Irish footballer Robbie Keane walked onto the set of the Late Late Toy Show this evening to surprise a young fan.Everything from Domhnall’s face to his speechlessness to his eventual recovery would melt even the coldest hearts.Enjoy: Source: RTÉ – Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster Robbie, Mary, Bosco and cups…The Late Late Toy Show 2013 as it happened>12 distinctly Irish Christmas decoration methods>
THE SMITHWICK REPORT published today has found that collusion between members of An Garda Síochána and the Provisional IRA took place in the killing of two senior RUC officers.In a response to the findings, the son of one of the victims William Buchanan told RTE News that the findings were shocking to him and his family.The Justice Minister Alan Shatter has apologised “without reservation to the families of both men”, while Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says he is “appalled” and “saddened” by the findings.Superintendents’ Association of Northern Ireland stated that their thoughts “are first and foremost with the families of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan, stating that considerations towards the family “must remain paramount”.The statement continued:The brutal murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan – two of the most senior officers of our Association to lose their lives during ‘The Troubles’ – are dark pages in the history of the Superintendents’ Association of Northern Ireland.The association added that the conclusions of this report “will make stark and challenging reading for many people and whilst we recognise this step towards bringing out the truth in relation to these tragic and horrendous murders, what is now important for us is to see how these findings are acted upon”.ProsecutionsFianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins TD said the report “highlighted a sickening betrayal on the part of someone within Dundalk Garda Station”.He called on members of the Provisional IRA to come forward with the information needed to identify the individual involved in order to allow prosecutions to take place.He added: “… By passing such information to an organisation that was seeking to undermine the security of this country, this person betrayed and dishonoured the sacrifice and effort of An Garda Síochána in a profound and disgusting way”.Collins said:The clarity of the report vindicates the decision of the previous Government to establish the Tribunal. It also throws into sharp relief the ongoing failure of the British Government to honour its commitments to hold a number of other inquiries agreed at the Weston Park talks.Amnesty InternationalColm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said the report’s finding of collusion by members of the gardaí “is of deep concern”. IHe said “it reinforces Amnesty International’s call for the establishment of a single, comprehensive mechanism into 30 years of human rights abuse in Northern Ireland, and for Ireland to provide full cooperation with this inquiry”.Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, Patrick Corrigan said there are now outstanding allegations of wrongdoing against “agents of the Irish state” that need to be addressed. Corrigan added that a new mechanism to investigate the past in Northern Ireland is needed with the full cooperation by the Irish authorities.“The victims of every killing, just like the families of officers Buchanan and Breen, have a right to hear truth and see justice. As the Smithwick report itself concludes, the culture of failure to address suggestions of wrongdoing has gone on for too long,” he said.Gerry AdamsSinn Fein’s Gerry Adams said tonight that people will make up their own minds when they read the report, adding that Sinn Féin supported these inquires “on the basis that families had the right to full disclosure of all relevant information”.Adams said it was important to note that while the “Irish government has kept its commitment under Weston Park the British government is in clear breach of its commitments having refused to establish an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane”.He said the Irish Government now needs to increase its pressure on the British government to honour its commitment and to set up the promised public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.Read: Smithwick Tribunal finds gardaí colluded with IRA in murder of RUC officers>Read: Smithwick Tribunal: Former minister disputes evidence about Jack Lynch>
The RSA is urging drivers to be on the lookout for fallen debris on the roads, and for other vehicles swerving to avoid obstructions.Here’s the other main points of advice from the authority:Notify the Gardaí about fallen debris on the roadway. NEVER stop on a motorway to remove debris.Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are all in working order, replace broken bulbs.Watch out for ‘black ice’, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls. Updated at 10.46pmTHE ROAD SAFETY Authority is advising drivers to proceed with extreme care tonight, following Met Éireann’s have issued a preliminary warning that a vigorous Atlantic storm depression is forecast to pass just northwest of the country overnight.The weather service has issued an ‘orange alert’ — taking effect from 9pm this evening, and concluding at 6pm tomorrow. While exact track of the storm is still not certain, the system is likely to bring some strong winds — there’s warnings of gusts of up to 130km, with the winds strongest in coastal counties.Here’s the outlook for tonight, according the latest update from Met Éireann:Winds will increase further tonight and it will turn cold. Showers will become increasingly wintry with falls of hail, sleet or snow, possibly giving icy conditions on some roads.Lowest temperatures of -1 to +2 degrees. Southwest winds will increase strong to gale force overnight with storm force winds on west coasts. FerriesSeveral ferry crossings were cancelled today as a result of the weather. Irish Ferries has also taken the precautionary step of cancelling sailings of the ‘Swift’ service tomorrow, Christmas Eve. All passengers are being accommodated on the larger ‘Cruise’ vessel. Sailings between Rosslare and Pembroke for tomorrow are also off.Stena Line has cancelled its 2.15am and 8.20am sailings from Dublin Port. The company’s warning that later sailings tomorrow may also be subject to delays. Sailings from Rosslare to Fishguard for tomorrow have also been cancelled.There are no reports of any serious flight cancellations or delays.OutlookThe windy weather is set to continue into tomorrow morning, with further showers of rain and sleet forecast, turning to snow on higher ground. Christmas Day is set to be cold and bright, with some weak winter sunshine.According to Met Éireann, there’s indications that the stormy conditions will return by Friday, with more widespread heavy rain and spot flooding on the cards.Additional reporting, Daragh BrophyOriginally posted at 7.40amRead: White Christmas? Snow reported in parts of Ireland today>Read: About 9,500 homes lost power as wild weather wreaks havoc on Christmas plans>
MAYBE IT WAS getting his first video game, Cosmic Avenger, for Christmas at the age of 12, and then having to wait an entire year for the hard-to-land Colecovision console to play it on that made Michael Thomasson so determined to get his hands on every video game and system he could find.Now, 31 years and roughly 11,000 games later, Thomasson is the newly crowned world record holder for having the largest collection of video games. He is featured in a two-page spread in the just-released “Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer’s Edition”.“I have games on cartridge, laser disc. I have VHS-based games, cassette-based games,” Thomasson said, standing among the collection that fills the basement of his suburban Buffalo home.Along with the games, he has the devices to play them on, not only the Xboxes and PlayStations but obscure ones such as the Casio Loopy, the only game system specifically geared toward girls, which came out in Japan in 1995, and the Pippin, a dud released by Apple the same year.“Every game on it is awful,” Thomasson says of Apple’s foray into the gaming world. “It’s the least fun of anything in the house.”At the other end of the spectrum is the old Colecovision unit like the one that appeared under the Christmas tree one year after his grandparents gave him his first game for it. They had mistakenly believed his parents had gotten their hands on the playing system, which was a hot item that year. It stands to this day as the best present his parents ever gave him.“It’s my first love so it’s sentimental,” Thomasson said. But the games also were quality, with very little of the “shovelware” — mediocre, rushed releases — typical of many systems, he said.“They looked good, they played good. For the time they sounded good,” he said, “for the bleeps and blips of the 80s.”(YouTube: Michael Thomasson)Thomasson began collecting almost immediately, he said, but the path to the world record had a couple of restarts. He sold off his collection twice, first in 1989 to raise money for a Sega Genesis, then again to pay for his 1998 wedding. (“I was heavy into collecting when we married so she knew what she was getting into,” he says of his wife, JoAnn.)Since then, Thomasson has methodically rebuilt the collection, averaging two games per day on a strict $3,000-a-year budget which means never paying full price.He estimates the collection is worth $700,000 to $800,000.He hasn’t played every game. The father of a 5-year-old, Anna, Thomasson designs games and teaches 2D animation, game design and the history of video games at Canisius College in Buffalo. He also writes on the topic for magazines and books.“I probably get three hours of playing in a week,” he said. “If I’m lucky.”Guinness lists the number of games in Thomasson’s record-breaking collection at 10,607, though he said the number exceeds 11,000 now, a year after the official count and after discovering forgotten stashes of games after the counting crew left.Either way, it bested the previous record holder, Richard Lecce, who held the record first recorded in 2010 with 8,616 games.“My congratulations to a fellow collector,” Lecce, 39, said by phone from his Florida home upon hearing his record had fallen. “It’s very impressive and I’m very happy for him.”Lecce began collecting as a way to own all the games he couldn’t have as a kid, he said, and grew to appreciate their place in pop culture.Still an active collector, Lecce hasn’t counted his games in the last few years and doesn’t know what his number has grown to, but he has no immediate plans to challenge Thomasson for his old record.“It’s something I did for my own enjoyment. I applied for the Guinness book for my kids so that years from now they can look back and say, wow, my father was in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records,’” Lecce, a father of two and numismatist, a rare coin dealer, said.He’s happy to see more people collecting, and appreciating, video games.“Everything from the original artwork to the actual code that was written for the games to the actual box art and the whole marketing plan,” he said. “It’s just a very undervalued and underappreciated art form.”Read: Passenger leaves heartwarming message for staff at Dublin AirportMore: After their last one was stolen, the Simon Community get a new van
Condolences Hundreds of messages from friends and family have been flooding in to his condolences page. Borough Boxing Club stated:Rip Spainer. Sadly missed by all at the club , our thoughts are with your family at this time.Here are a few of the other messages:Rest in peace David. You were a great guy who put a lot of smiles on peoples faces. You will always be remembered and missed greatly xxx THE FUNERAL OF David Spain, the 26-year-old that was fatally stabbed in the early hours of St Stephen’s Day, will take place today in Shankill.Spain had returned from Sydney, Australia ten weeks previous to the incident, so he could spend Christmas with his family.MassThe funeral mass will begin at 10am at St Anne’s Church, Shankill and will be streamed live so that his friends in Australia can view the funeral.The link to view the mass can be accessed here. It will also be available on playback.Following the funeral, his remains will be brought to Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill for burial. The family have asked that donations, if desired, be made to the Irish Kidney Society.His friend, Sean Turner, a well-known professional boxer in the area, was also stabbed and he remains in St Vincent’s Hospital with serious internal injuries.Wayne Kennedy, aged 32, was brought before Bray District Court and charged over the attack.His death notice reads:David (Spainer), dearly beloved son of David and Iris, much loved brother of Jennifer and Sean. Sadly missed never forgotten by his heartbroken dad, mum, sister, brother, grandparents, godson, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends. One of the nicest kids from Shankill, little Spainer in his Celtic gear playing football at the back of the old school. An absolute pleasure to have know you, and you a shining credit to you Mum and Dad. RIP fella Your a sound bloke Spainer any night I was out with ya had a great night your a funny fella who’s sadly missed by everyone our thoughts are with your family Rest in Paradise Spainer, absolute gent taken long before his time, Thoughts and prayers are with the whole Spain family. RIP.Read: Man charged over St Stephen’s Day murder>More: Man dead and another seriously injured after early morning stabbing in Shankill>
Paddy is derived from the Irish, Pádraig, hence those mysterious, emerald double-Ds.Patty is the diminutive of Patricia, or a burger, and just not something you call a fella. SteveNakatani/FlickrHAVE YOU BEEN to America recently? Or, you know, on Twitter at all?If so, you may have heard people refer to our upcoming national celebration as “Patty’s Day”. Or even “St Patty’s Day”.Why is this?Well, some of the resistance is down to the fact that many Irish-Americans consider ‘Paddy’ a derogatory term. Like this person for instance:(Southie is an Irish area of Boston.)So they go for Patty instead – oblivious to the fact that we already have enough problems with minced meat in this country.Luckily, Marcus Campbell has been running a one-man campaign to set things right for the last three years now. At PaddyNotPatty.com, he offers this advice:The explanation? According to Marcus: He also runs an indefatigable Twitter feed, retweeting and shaming those who choose the wrong path:Obviously, we stand with all right-thinking people in fully supporting Marcus’ quest.Sadly, Marcus didn’t respond to our request for an interview – perhaps because he was too busy fighting the good fight.So we’ll just leave you with this. If there is anyone in your life who has chosen the wrong path, please share it with them.Once and for all…12 actual t-shirts that show how the world sees Ireland>What did leprechauns look like? There are 2 answers…
GARDAÍ IN TIPPERARY are investigating a single vehicle collision that left a 28-year-old man dead.The incident occurred at Rathronan, Clonmel in the early hours of this morning.At around 1.20am, the front seat passenger of the car, was fatally injured when the vehicle he was travelling in hit a ditch. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, a male 20 years, was taken to South Tipperary Hospital with non life threatening injuries. The road is currently closed to facilitate a Garda Forensic Collision Examination and local diversions are in place.Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have been in the area between 1am and 1.30am this morning to contact them in Clonmel Garda Station on 052 – 6177640, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.
THIS IS AN image of the distressing scenes which unfolded at a police officers’ club in Cairo this morning.The building was set alight after death sentences were upheld for 21 people involved in the Port Said riots last year.Mohammed Asad/AP/Press Association ImagesMinutes after this police officers’ club was torched, the headquarters of Egypt’s Football Association was also ablaze.Firefighters were working to put out the fire which spread through the building located in the same neighbourhood as this officers’ club, an AFP reporter said.Football officials were holding emergency talks in Cairo to discuss upcoming fixtures around the country, state television reported.The unrest comes hours after a court upheld death sentences for 21 defendants over a deadly football riot in Port Said last year and handed down life sentences to five defendants, with 19 receiving lesser jail terms and another 28 acquitted.Aerial view of Egypt’s FA headquarters today. Maya Alleruzzo/AP/Press Association ImagesIn Cairo, fans of Al-Ahly football club, whose members were killed in the February 2012 stadium riot in Port Said in which 74 people died, had warned police that they would retaliate if the defendants, including nine policemen, were exonerated.- © AFP, 2013Egypt court confirms 21 death sentences over football riotBlind boy visits Barcelona, recognises most of the players by touch
‘Duck’ in space Before November’s landing, though, Rosetta’s operators have a mountain of work to do.The first few weeks will be a get-to-know-you exercise, as the spacecraft gingerly carries out elongated loops around the comet, scanning its surface.The probe will have to avoid ice crystals and dust particles that are stripped from the comet’s outer layers as it nears the Sun — a trail that is reflected in solar rays as its wake.And it will have to look for a suitable landing site for Philae.Last month, as Rosetta came ever closer to the comet, its cameras revealed that the target body, far from being shaped like a potato as many had expected, rather resembled a duck — two lobes, one big and the other small, connected by a “neck”.“That was a bit of a surprise,” said Philippe Lamy of the Astrophysics Laboratory of Marseille, southern France.“Several theories have already been aired to explain this shape, but the likeliest in my book is that it came from two bodies which fused while the Solar System was being formed.”The unexpected shape will limit the choice of a landing site, Lamy said. “You can reasonably argue that it will impose additional constraints.”© – AFP 2014 with reporting from Rónán DuffyOpinion: Ireland should be at forefront of modern science – Ireland should join CERN >Read: The most spectacular piece of rubbish you’re likely to see > Do you think I got #67P’s good side yesterday?! #CometWatch 3 August (NAVCAM) http://t.co/4cV9pNRZo8 pic.twitter.com/2XgBX1cWqq— ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) August 4, 2014 “It’s taken more than 10 years to get here,” said Sylvain Lodiot, spacecraft operations manager.“Now we have to learn how to dock with the comet, and stay with it for the months ahead.”World Cup final But the arrival of Rosetta at its celestial target hasn’t been without controversy. The ESA has only been releasing sample images of the comet taken by Rosetta six months after they were shot.Although the images have been released weekly, the six month embargo has meant that scientists throughout the world have to wait for half a year for the latest images.Now that Rosetta comes head-to-head with the comet, they want to see the images immediately as space writer Daniel Fischer wrote in the New Scientist magazine:Imagine it’s the soccer World Cup final, but you can’t watch it live on TV. The sport’s governing body has decided that all but a few sample photos of it will be embargoed for half a year, and that all decisions by the referee will have to be reviewed by experts over the coming months before a winner can be announced. Sounds silly?This is pretty much how many space enthusiasts experienced the countdown to the final phase of Europe’s much-anticipated Rosetta mission.The ESA have been forced to backtrack though after French agency CNES leaked “sensational new images of the comet’s icy core” and whetted the appetite of of scientists who took to Twitter to vent their frustration. The comet’s icy core nicknamed ‘the Rubber Duck’ Source: ESA/Rosetta Could an astronaut onboard #Rosetta simply jump off & land on #67P? @rjallain provides answers http://t.co/Z3U3UC13JH pic.twitter.com/sjQj1L55n0— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) August 4, 2014 Source: ESA Rosetta Mission/Twitter Source: European Space Agency, ESA/YouTubeAFTER A DECADE-LONG chase quest spanning six billion kilometres, a European probe will come face to face on Wednesday with a comet, one of the Solar System’s enigmatic wanderers.The moment will mark a key phase of the most ambitious project ever undertaken by the European Space Agency (ESA) — a €1.3 billion euro bid to get to know these timeless space rovers.More than 400 million km from where it was launched in March 2004, the spacecraft Rosetta will finally meet up with its prey, Comet 67P or Churyumov-Gerasimenko to give it its proper title.To get there, Rosetta has had to make four flybys of Mars and Earth, using their gravitational force as a slingshot to build up speed, and then entering a 31-month hibernation as light from the distant Sun became too weak for its solar panels.The probe was awakened in January.After braking manoeuvres, the three-tonne craft should on Wednesday be about 100 km from the comet — a navigational feat that, if all goes well, will be followed by glittering scientific rewards. Source: ESA Operations/Twitter Comets Blazing across the sky as they loop around the Sun, comets have long been considered portents of wonderful or terrible events — the birth and death of kings, bountiful harvests or famines, floods or earthquakes.Astrophysicists, though, see them rather differently.Comets, they believe, are clusters of the oldest dust and ice in the Solar System — the rubble left from the formation of the planets 4.6 billion years ago.These so-called dirty snowballs could be the key to understanding how the planets coalesced after the Sun flared into life, say some.Indeed, one theory — the “pan-spermia” hypothesis — is that comets, by bombarding the fledgling Earth, helped kickstart life here by bringing water and organic molecules.Until now, though, explorations of comets have been rare and mainly entailed flybys by probes on unrelated missions snatching pictures from thousands of kilometres away.Exceptions were the US probe Stardust, which brought home dust snatched from a comet’s wake, while Europe’s Giotto ventured to within 200 km of a comet’s surface.On 11 November, the plan is for Rosetta to inch to within a few kilometres of the comet to send down a 100 kg refrigerator-sized robot laboratory, Philae.Anchored to the surface, Philae will carry out experiments in cometary chemistry and texture for up to six months. After the lander expires, Rosetta will accompany “C-G” as it passes around the Sun and heads out towards the orbit of Jupiter.
I hope for Santa Claus’s sake that the North Pole is sufficiently tech savvy, because the technology being used to track the overweight gift giver certainly is. NORAD–that’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command–has been tracking old Saint Nick every year since 1955, when a Sears store in Colorado accidentally printed Aerospace Defense Command’s phone number, causing local children to dial the NORAD predecessor, asking for Santa.In recent years, the site has gone all Web 2.0, letting users follow Santa via Facebook, Twitter, and Picasa on December 24th. There’s also a countdown clock (currently at t-minus 22 days and change, for the record) on the official Santa Tracking page, which can also be installed as an iGoogle Gadget.Perhaps coolest of all is the fact that the department also lets kids and other curious parties track Santa’s movements via Google Earth. Users with Google Maps on their mobile phones will also be able to track his movements by searching for “Santa” on Chrtismas Eve. Check out some video from last year’s coverage, after the jump.
0.07 seconds. That split second of time is so minuscule that the human brain scarcely could register it, yet the power going out at a Toshiba manufacturing plant might be all that it takes to sink the world’s flash memory supply by 20% for the next year… and send the price of your next smartphone or tablet skyrocketing.The power outage happened at a Toshiba factory in Japan specializing in the production of NAND flash memory, which is the sort of chip that is used in Apple‘s iPhone and iPad, as well as most other smartphones, digicams, PMPs and tablets.NAND flash chips are fabricated on silicon wafers about the size of dinner plates and can take between eight to twelve weeks to process. If the power goes out at any point in that time frame, the entire batch can be destroyed, and even though the power outage in question was only 0.07 seconds, it still was the equivalent of yanking the cord out of the wall: there’s no way to plug it back in quick enough that the system won’t reboot.It’s a big deal. Toshiba is responsible for 35.4% of the world’s NAND flash memory, second only to Samsung. With twenty percent of their next year’s NAND inventory now going in the trash, it appears that worldwide NAND availability next year will sink by 7.5%… and with the increasing popularity of NAND-based gadgets like the iPad and the MacBook Air, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.Read more at Wall Street Journal
iPad GamesSimCity Deluxe for iPad, $6.99 → 99¢Need For Speed Hot Pursuit for iPad, $9.99 → 99¢Need For Speed Shift for iPad, $9.99 → 99¢Madden NFL 11 By EA Sports for iPad, $12.99 → 99¢Mirror’s Edge for iPad, $9.99 → 99¢Reckless Racing HD, $4.99 → 99¢Pictureka! for iPad, $4.99 → 99¢Tetris for iPad, $7.99 → 99¢Yahtzee HD, $4.99 → 99¢Boggle for iPad, 99¢Scrabble for iPad, $9.99 → 99¢Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad, $4.99 → 99¢Clue: Secrets & Spies – A Hidden Object Game, $4.99 → 99¢Snood for iPad, $4.99 → 99¢Read more at Touch Arcade including clickable links for each game leading to the U.S. App Store. While GOG.com may have PC gamers covered this holiday season with a 290 game sale, EA is focusing on those of us who prefer to play on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.68 games in total have had their prices slashed by the publisher in the App Store. Most of them are iPhone/iPod touch games, but iPad gamers get a few gems too. The best thing about this is the price, which is just 99 cents for any title. When you consider some of these games usually sell for $4.99 or even $7.99, the savings are huge.Here’s the list courtesy of Touch Arcade. You’re sure to find some of interest for less than a dollar.AdChoices广告iPhone/iPod touch GamesBattlefield: Bad Company 2, 99¢Cause of Death: Can You Catch The Killer?, 99¢Heroes Lore III, $1.99 → 99¢High Caliber Hunting, $2.99 → 99¢Pictureka!, $1.99 → 99¢Reckless Racing, 99¢Mirror’s Edge, $4.99 → 99Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, $4.99 → 99¢Need For Speed Shift, $4.99 → 99¢Need For Speed Undercover, $4.99 → 99¢NBA Elite 11 By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢MMA By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢Fifa 11 By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢Fifa 10 By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢Madden NFL 11 By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢NCAA Football By EA Sports, $4.99 → 99¢Tiger Woods PGA Tour By EA Sports, 99¢The Sims 3, $6.99 → 99¢The Sims 3 Ambitions, $4.99 → 99¢The Sims 3 World Adventures, $2.99 → 99¢SimCity Deluxe, $2.99 → 99¢Spore Creatures, 99¢Spore Origins, 99¢Lemonade Tycoon, 99¢Monopoly, $2.99 → 99¢Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, $2.99 → 99¢Risk: The Official Game, $4.99 → 99¢Battleship, 99¢Connect 4, 99¢Boggle, 99¢The Game Of Life Classic Edition, $2.99 → 99¢Clue, 99¢Trivial Pursuit, 99¢Yahtzee Adventures, 99¢Scrabble, $2.99 → 99¢R Type, $1.99 → 99¢Star Trek, 99¢Skate It, 99¢The Simpsons Arcade, $2.99 → 99¢Dragon’s Lair, 99¢Surviving High School, 99¢Command & Conquer: Red Alert, 99¢Zombies & Me, $1.99 → 99¢Mass Effect Galaxy, $1.99 → 99¢Wolfenstein RPG, $1.99 → 99¢Anytime Pool, $1.99 → 99¢Tetris, $2.99 → 99¢Sudoku, 99¢American Idol: The Game, $1.99 → 99¢Littlest Pet Shop, $2.99 → 99¢Pandemonium, 99¢Snood, 99¢Mystery Mania, $1.99 → 99¢Jewel Quest Mysteries, 99¢
Skype is such a bastion of basic Internet service that most of us at this point take free VoIP and dirt cheap telephone calls for granted. Unfortunately, Skype never has been able to do the same: the company has always had a hard time with profitability, and it’s been traded and sold so many times between various parties at this point that it may very well be one of Silicon Valley’s most in-demand call girls. Things have only gotten worse as companies like Google have entered the VoIP fray with products like Google Voice. Skype needs to try new things to stay profitable… and now they’ve announced one of their first steps after charging for group video calls towards a more lucrative business model.AdChoices广告Sadly, it’s ads. Skype has just announced that it will begin showing advertisements as part of the Skype for Windows home tab starting later this week, which will be the first time that advertising has been promoted within the app. Ads will start rolling out in the US, UK and Germany first, with other countries to follow, while some of the first advertisers will include Groupon, Nokia, Universal Pictures and Visa, who have opted to buy daily ad campaigns.Thankfully, Skype’s approach to ubiquitous ads in the desktop app isn’t entirely noxious: there’ll be a “hide ad” button for users fed up with seeing ads on a daily basis. Skype is also making it easier for people to reach out to the buyers of an ad space with a “Click & Call” button that makes ordering a proffered deal just a click away. They will also add a new “share” button that will hook into social networks like Facebook and Twitter.No doubt this move is likely to annoy Skype users, but honestly, Skype’s been giving away free VoIP for years: we frankly can’t believe it’s taken this long to implement advertising.
We’ve seen some great products from the folks over at ThinkGeek. From Unicorn Meat to the Star Wars Wampa Rug, ThinkGeek is known for making laughable gifts we all secretly want. But the company has created something that can actually save your life, that is, if you ever got caught in the line of fire. The Bulletproof Body Armor Clipboard may just look like an ordinary clipboard, but, in reality, it can stop up to a 9mm bullet.Not only can the clipboard hold paper and important documents, but it can also stop a serious injury from happening thanks to its Level II body armor. At 3 lbs., the clipboard is a little heavier than your typical wooden alternative, but, as ThinkGeek puts it, “when you own a clipboard that can stop bullets, weight doesn’t matter anymore.”ThinkGeek also created an excellent 2.5-minute-long trailer showing the clipboard being tested by the ThinkGeek crew. If you skip to about the 1:20 mark, you’ll see a clip from the “upcoming minor motion picture” featuring a girl meeting for a blind date in an undisclosed location from an imitation Craigslist. You can watch the video below to see how it all goes down.The Bulletproof Body Armor Clipboard is available for $44.99.Read more at ThinkGeek
You can’t check the tech headlines these days without stumbling on a patent lawsuit of some kind. This time it’s Apple bringing the legal thunder against Samsung for allegedly infringing on its design patents when building the Samsung Galaxy line of phones and tablets. While it’s common knowledge that the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab bear a resemblance to the iPhone and iPad, this is the first time anyone’s implied that the design similarity is enough to warrant a patent lawsuit.Apple’s assertion is that Samsung is trying to copy the iPhone and iPad experience from top to bottom. From the design of the Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and even the Galaxy Player (which isn’t available in the United States and subsequently isn’t really reflected in the lawsuit,) Apple contends that the design, packaging, and even user interface have been modified to look like Apple products and iOS.AdChoices广告In the court filing, Apple contended that Samsung copied a number of basic elements from patents that Apple was awarded in 2009 and 2010. Those patents covered the basic design of the iPhone and the placement and design of app icons on the home screens. Apple accused Samsung of copying those design elements, and even of infringing on the iPhone and iPad’s “trade dress,” which is a heavy-handed way of saying Samsung went out of their way to make sure the products look, feel, and are packaged alike.Samsung reps have responded in kind, vowing a long battle in court and claiming that their devices and UI differ significantly enough from Apple’s that customers would never get the two mixed up. They claim that any similarities between the two products aren’t so much that they get to the point of patent infringement, and that they’re looking forward to defending themselves in court.All things equal, it’s not a secret that the Galaxy S looks physically similar to the iPhone. It’s also no secret that the way Samsung chose to skin Android on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab resembles iOS on the iPhone and iPad. Reviewers have even noted those similarities as a way Samsung made sure to make sure its devices are accessible to a market that’s used to being inundated with images of the iPhone and iPad as the primary examples of a smartphone and tablet.However, it will be up to the courts to decide whether those similarities go too far and exceed the boundaries of acceptable similarities and into the realm of patent infringement. At the same time, even as Apple files claims against Samsung, it’s also worth noting that Apple is up against similar lawsuits from Nokia and HTC claiming that their patents have been infringed upon. The entire smartphone industry is awash in trademark and patent lawsuits, and it’ll be years before they settle down.via All Things Digital
Sony customers the world over are already angry about last month’s security breaches, that much is clear. However, none may be quite as angry as 21-year-old Natasha Maksimovic, who along with a Toronto law firm, have dropped a lawsuit on Sony Japan, Sony USA, Sony Canada, and other Sony subsidiaries to the tune of $1 billion.Maksimovic, who lives outside of Toronto and is being represented by Toronto law firm McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP, said flat out, “If you can’t trust a huge multi-national corporation like Sony to protect your private information, who can you trust?”She has a point – the news has gone from bad to worse for Sony in recent weeks, starting with the initial security breach at the PlayStation Network (PSN) and the subsequent eerie silence from the company about what was going on and what they were planning to do about it. Sony eventually apologized and offered gamers 30 days of free service, and day-for-day compensation for their downtime.Then, earlier this week, Sony discovered that the intrusion had extended to their PC gaming and MMO branch, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE,) with up to 23,000 credit cards, names, addresses, and passwords stolen in that attack. Sony has been working with law enforcement agencies to get to the bottom of the matter, but in the interim, virtually all of Sony’s online gaming properties are offline and unavailable.The lawsuit, for its part, claims damages in excess of $1 billion, some of which Maksimovic wants to see go to pay for 2 years of credit monitoring services and fraud insurance coverage for PSN and SOE customers. Sony hasn’t commented on the filing. Maksimovic also blasted Sony for the way it has approached the security breaches, saying “It appears to me that Sony focuses more on protecting its games than its PlayStation users.”via CTV.ca and GamaSutra