Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dallas ISD communications chief Jennifer Sprague to resign, district ...

Dallas ISD communications chief Jennifer Sprague plans to resign, according to district officials.

As of Friday afternoon, Sprague had not turned in her resignation notice but district officials were preparing to officially announce her exit next week. It?s not clear whether Sprague will receive severance pay.

Superintendent Mike Miles made Sprague one of his first hires soon after he was named superintendent last spring. She came from the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she worked with Miles for five years as his top communications person. The 31-year-old Sprague became one of his most trusted advisors and biggest defender.

Sprague didn?t return a voicemail message seeking comment. On Thursday, she wrote on Twitter, ?Ready for a the holiday break for some personal reflection time.?

Sprague joined Dallas ISD in June and immediately faced public criticism for her $182,000 annual salary, which was $100,000 more than she made in Colorado. Some trustees worried that Miles wasted political capital on hiring her and paid her too much.

But Miles fiercely defended her at the time, saying that she was among the most qualified school communication people in the country. Miles said her salary was warranted because of her good record and numerous awards, including recognition from the National School Public Relations Association.

?If Jennifer Sprague were an ugly, slightly older male with 20 years of experience who had won all these national awards, would any of you make a story of it if he received the same salary?? Miles asked. ?The answer would be no. It wouldn?t have been as nice of a story.?

He added: ?We?re going to do communications differently. Most people in the community will agree that our communications have to be better.?

During the summer, Sprague reorganized the communications department, dismissed some employees and expanded the district?s emphasis on parent participation. At last week?s board briefing, Sprague told trustees about the district?s efforts to increase parental involvement and volunteerism.

Her exit marks the second member of Miles? cabinet to resign in recent months, leaving several vacancies. Respected administrator Alan King, who served as Miles? chief of staff, resigned suddenly in October. The district now has openings for chief of staff, chief financial officer, chief technology officer and chief communications officer.

The first months of Sprague?s tenure in Dallas ISD were rocky. She battled criticism over her salary, and some trustees were baffled by her first presentation to the school board in August when she didn?t know some basic information about a back-to-school proposal.

But Miles remained loyal to her.

When Miles spoke publicly, Sprague was usually near him. Miles depended on her to help communicate his reform efforts to the public and DISD employees. Miles has said that his ambitious overhaul plans will fail without effective communication.

Under her leadership, Miles starred in short YouTube videos where he explained new decisions and changes. He responded to questions from staff members in bi-monthly newsletters. She and Miles held townhall meetings with employees.

Over the past couple of weeks, Miles has faced his most serious criticism yet. A draft internal audit, obtained by The Dallas Morning News, found that Miles and other senior managers broke various rules and policies in building a team of administrators to carry out Miles? ambitious district improvement plan. It also found that Sprague was offered a job in Dallas ISD before her position was formally created.

Miles has denied any wrongdoing and issued a biting response to the auditor?s findings. Sprague stood near Miles at a news conference Wednesday when he called the audit ?a witch hunt and an ambush.?

Afterward, some trustees questioned why Miles held the news conference when the audit wasn?t finalized. Board president Lew Blackburn said that if he had known about the news conference beforehand, he would have advised Miles to scrap it.

But in recent days, Sprague didn?t join Miles in public. She didn?t attend Thursday night?s board meeting. Miles came alone to meet with the News editorial board Thursday, a first without Sprague. At the meeting, a contrite Miles broke from his defiant tone and said he made mistakes in building his administrative staff.

He acknowledged he might have paid too much money to his cabinet members, who earn between $182,000 and $220,000. And Miles conceded that he should have interviewed more than just Sprague for the top communications job.


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Blind juggling robot keeps a ball in the air for hours

Sara Reardon, reporter

It's only a matter of time before robots start running away to join the circus. This "blind" robot - it has no visual sensors - can juggle a ball flawlessly and never gets tired. Designed by Philipp Reist and Raffaello D'Andrea of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Z?rich, the juggler uses only mechanical sensors on its paddle to detect the ball's trajectory.

To prevent the ball from flying off in any direction, the paddle is slightly curved. Each time the ball hits it, the robot calculates nine different aspects of the ball's bounce, such as its speed, angle, and spin. The paddle then either speeds up or slows down as it moves to meet the ball, thus keeping it bouncing in a stable arc.

The researchers tried out several different balls such as industrial ball bearings and tennis balls. Nylon balls worked the best, with the robot juggling them as high as 2 metres into the air.

But circus performers and buskers might not need to worry about their jobs after all. The researchers also discovered that the robot is very bad at juggling shoes and Coke bottles - both simple tasks for a human. Well, one who can juggle, anyway.

Journal reference: IEEE Transactions on Robotics, DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2012.2205493

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President Obama: Attacked By Mini Spider-Man!


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Friday, December 21, 2012

IntercontinentalExchange in talks to buy NYSE - source

(Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange Inc is in talks to buy NYSE Euronext, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, according to a source familiar with the situation on Wednesday, in a multibillion dollar deal that could help the commodities exchange take on arch rival CME Group Inc.

A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, the source said, declining to be named because the discussions are private.

ICE has proposed a deal that would value NYSE at $33 (20.3 pounds) per share, a 37 percent premium to its closing price on Wednesday, and would be funded one-third by cash and the rest in stock, CNBC said. The Wall Street Journal first reported news of talks.

At the close of trading on Wednesday, NYSE was worth about $5.8 billion, indicating that ICE may be willing to pay roughly $8 billion for the Big Board operator.

Shares of NYSE jumped 12 percent in after-hours trading to $26.96. ICE shares rose 3.1 percent to $132.32.

Representatives for NYSE and ICE declined to comment on the reports.

The move by ICE comes nearly two years after it had jointly bid with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc to purchase NYSE for about $11 billion, then break it up into parts that each of them would acquire. That bid competed with a plan by German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse AG to acquire NYSE in a $9.3 billion deal.

But neither deal was successful, as both attempts separately ran into problems with regulators in the United States and Europe. Questions have lingered about NYSE's future as the U.S. exchange seeks to boost profits in a tough time for financial firms that rely on trading.

NYSE's biggest revenue source is U.S. stock trading, where margins have been under pressure for years. As trading volumes have declined in recent quarters, it has been even harder to boost profits.

ICE, established in 2000 by a group of banks and energy companies, is a fast-growing, profitable exchange operator that has long wanted to expand its derivatives offerings.

In NYSE's Liffe business, ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher would get an interest-rate derivatives business that eluded him when his bid for the Chicago Board of Trade failed a few years ago.

UBS analyst Alex Kramm wrote in research note that the timing of the deal made sense, with regulatory changes driving more over-the-counter contracts toward clearing houses and futures markets. NYSE is trying to build a clearing house in Europe, while ICE already owns one, he wrote.

ICE's plan to buy the NYSE on its own may not face the same challenges it faced when it teamed up with Nasdaq. That bid ran into trouble as U.S. antitrust regulators worried the deal would bring all U.S. stock listings under one roof.

ICE could now still look to divest some of the NYSE businesses, such as stocks and options exchanges, which a Big Board rival such as Nasdaq may still want.

"We struggle to see any business overlap that would result in antitrust issues for the combination," Kramm wrote. "While there is limited information on the potential deal structure, we could envision several scenarios, including one where ICE spins out NYX's non-Liffe businesses to maximize returns."

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; additional reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Gary Hill, Jan Paschal, Phil Berlowitz and Chris Gallagher)


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Grab the Desktop-Organizing Fences (and Other Stardock Software) for 25% Off

Whitson Gordon
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Grab the Desktop-Organizing Fences (and Other Stardock Software) for 25% OffGrab the Desktop-Organizing Fences (and Other Stardock Software) for 25% Off Windows: Stardock, makers of Fences, are having a big holiday sale right now where you can grab a bunch of different Windows apps for 25% to 33% off.

Fences is one of our favorite Windows apps, perfect for creating a clean, organized desktop. It's usually $10, but you can grab it for $7.49, along with a bunch of other apps from Stardock, mostly geared toward desktop customization. Hit the link below to check out the sale.

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Energy Conservation and the Puzzle of the Body's Healing Rate

Wound healing is a hugely complex phenomenon that all creatures devote significant resources to. ?So the question of how wound healing can be made as quick and efficient as possible is clearly important.?

One of the fundamental puzzles is why wound healing proceeds so slowly when cells by themselves grow very quickly. For example, fibroblast cells, which play an important role in wound healing, can double in number just 10 hours when grown in a petridish in ideal conditions.?That?s clearly much faster than wounds heal in the body; why the difference?

Today, Peter Apell at?Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and a couple of pals say they?ve worked out an answer using a rather unconventional approach. These guys study wound healing from the point of view of energy conservation. They ask what basic restrictions the laws of physics place on wound healing and what kind of insights this gives into an otherwise hugely complex process.?

They begin by creating a mathematical model of energy used by the metabolism in processing the material required to fill the wound cavity. This can be divided into three parts: the energy required for the immune system to combat infection, the energy required to maintain the existing cell tissue and finally the energy required to grow new tissue, which depends on the ratio of fat and protein.

This third fraction is the crucial factor. Apell and co calculate that growing new cells requires, on average, about 20 kiloJoules per gram of new tissue grown.??This means in physical terms that?wounds acts like substantial energy sinks,? they say.

But the amount of energy available is limited by the body?s total energy budget which cannot be exceeded or even tapped too heavily.

Appel go on to calculate how much energy to takes to move the necessary resources to the wound cavity and compare this to the energy required to run the metabolism as a whole, which is characteristic of the creature itself. ?

With all this taken into account, their model predicts a wound healing time of around 10 days. ?This is definitely in line with?measured healing times,? they say.

They use the model to make a number of other predictions about factors such as the rate of wound closing and so on. They then test their predictions on rat models of wound healing an say they fit well.

The result is an interesting insight into a hugely complex biological process. Amazing what the laws of physics can do sometimes!

?Ref: of Wound Healing ?I: Energy Considerations?



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Government issues new online child privacy rules

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., left, and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, right, confer at the start of a meeting on the new Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, COPPA, which regulates Internet websites that collect information from children under the age of thirteen, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., left, and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, right, confer at the start of a meeting on the new Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, COPPA, which regulates Internet websites that collect information from children under the age of thirteen, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP) ? New online child privacy rules will keep anonymous advertisers and marketers from siphoning personal information about preteens but won't restrain innovation among technology companies and businesses that rely on the Internet to reach consumers, government officials said Wednesday.

But those assurances failed to win over software developers who said the cost of complying with the new regulations and the risk of violating them will cause many responsible businesses to abandon the children's marketplace.

Information about children that cannot be collected unless a parent first gives permission now includes the location data that a cellphone generates, as well as photos, videos, and audio files containing a human image or voice, according to the rules announced Wednesday. Data known as "persistent identifiers" that allow a person to be tracked over time and across various websites are also considered personal data and covered by the rules, the agency said.

The rules offer several new methods for verifying a parent's consent, including electronically scanned consent forms, video conferencing and email.

The rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission ensure that a 14-year-old law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, keeps pace with evolving technology, including cellphones, tablets, software apps, and social networking sites, the agency's chairman, Jon Leibowitz, said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

The agency tried to achieve a balance between protecting kids and ensuring that a key sector of the U.S. economy keeps growing, Leibowitz said.

Liability for violations of the rules won't extend to Google, Apple and other companies that operate online stores offering public access to kids' apps, the FTC said. Google and Apple had warned that if the rule were written to include their stores, they would exclude many apps specifically intended for kids. That would hurt the nation's classrooms, where new and interactive apps are used by teachers and students, Apple said.

But the Application Developers Alliance, an industry association in Washington, said the rules leave the app industry, which is made up primarily of small businesses, liable for violations. The risk may drive entrepreneurs out of the children's app marketplace, said Jon Potter, the alliance's president.

Companies are not excluded from advertising on websites directed at children, allowing business models that rely on advertising to continue, Leibowitz said. But behavioral marketing techniques that target children are prohibited unless a parent agrees to them. "You may not track children to build massive profiles," he said.

The law was passed more than a decade ago, when no one could have anticipated what the Internet would look like or how adults and children would conduct their affairs online, said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller, D-W.Va. The changes, which the FTC has been developing for the last two years, are long overdue, he said.

Public interest groups hailed the changes. The rules "will provide a stern reminder to companies and developers that they need to do more to build a trustworthy online space for kids and families," said James Steyer, chief executive officer of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group in San Francisco that studies children's use of technology.

Release of the rules comes a week after the FTC disclosed that it was investigating an unspecified number of app developers that may have violated the law by gathering information from kids without their parent's consent. The agency examined 400 kids' apps that it purchased from the online stores operated by Google and Apple. It determined that 60 percent of them transmitted the user's unique device identification to the software company or, more frequently, to advertising networks and companies that compile, analyze and sell consumer information for marketing campaigns.

The agency included in the rules new methods for securing verifiable consent after the software industry and Internet companies raised concerns over how to confirm that the permission actually came from a parent. Electronic scans of signed consent forms are acceptable, as is video-teleconferencing between the web site operator or online service and the parent, according to the agency.

The FTC also said it is encouraging technology companies to recommend additional verification methods. Leibowitz said he expects that this will "unleash innovation around consent mechanisms."

Emailed consent is also acceptable as long as the business confirms it by sending an email back to the parent, or calling or sending a letter. In cases of email confirmation, the information collected can only be used for internal use by that company and not shared with third parties, the agency said.

Associated Press


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430

In an era of patent wars where the word "infringement" gets tossed around casually, one thing's for certain: Few, if any, manufacturers will ever claim that the Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 ($1,085.99 as tested, list) ripped off their design. Even in a crowded field of laptops and ultrabooks, its extra-wide display's 21:9 aspect ratio sets it apart from the rest. Aside from this aspect (or aspect ratio, if you will), it's a fairly standard ultrabook with a wide display that largely goes to waste.

Design and Features
The U845W-S430 is an updated version of the Toshiba Satellite U845W-S410, and there's very little difference between the two except for the fact that this newer version ships with Windows 8. Like the U845W-S410, it measures 0.83 by 14.5 by 7.9 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.64 pounds. This is an attractively designed system; the brushed aluminum chassis sports an elegant "Midnight Silver" finish, and black Soft Touch trim on the underside, palmrest, and leading edge of the lid provide an attractive aesthetic contrast as well as a pleasant tactile sensation, particularly on the underside.

Like the Toshiba U845W-S410, the U845W-S430's extra-wide s,14.4-inch screen offers the same 21:9 aspect ratio seen in CinemaScope movies. If you're one of the very few people who actually utilize this format, then this is great news. For everyone else, though, who consumes films and most TV shows on Hulu or Netflix (most of which are optimized for the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio) or classic TV shows (same thing, but with an 4:3 aspect ratio), this is essentially an 11.5-inch 1,366-by-768 display that's been expanded an extra three inches wider, resulting in a fairly uncommon 1,792-by-768 resolution; consequently, there will be black bars on the sides of the picture for most TV shows. The only programs that fill most of the screen are 2:35:1 widescreen movies like the Lord of the Rings saga.

Interestingly, the U845W-S430's extra-wide display makes for a better Windows 8 user experience because the extra space provides room for an extra row of tiles; users with traditional widescreen 16:9 displays, on the other hand, need to do a bit more swiping since less they see less tiles at once. Apps also benefit from the wider screen, too; on the New York Times app, for instance, all the news that's fit to print looked right at home since it has more space to display the various sections. Given this generous expanse of screen real estate, it's something of a disappointment that U845W-S430 does not feature a touch screen. Users looking for a Windows 8-ready system that sports a touch screen (albeit a standard-sized one) should check out either the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4t-1100 or Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13; the Lenovo Yoga 13 even sports a convertible design that allows it to assume the form factor of a tablet.

Like most ultrabooks, the US845-S430 does not have an internal optical drive. With such a big emphasis on movies, though, it's a puzzling omission. At any rate, users looking to catch movies on Blu-ray or DVD will need to spring extra for an external optical drive to do so. The US845-S430's Harmon/Kardon speakers bordering the keyboard's left and right sides, meanwhile, are impressively capable of belting out loud, clear sound without any noticeable distortion at higher levels.

The U845W-S430's backlit keyboard is generously sized, thanks to the system's wider chassis and Toshiba's decision to forgo a separate number keypad. At the same time, the keyboard yields disappointingly shallow keystrokes and ultimately makes typing a somewhat frustrating endeavor. A similar problem arises with the touchpad, which was often hit-or-miss when it came to two-finger scrolling. Worse yet, its small size often confused basic scrolling with Windows 8 gesture controls. For instance, swiping from the left inadvertently switched between apps while swiping from the right would bring up the so-called "charms" menu. Given the ample amount of room available on the palm rest, it would have made sense to have made the touchpad a bit bigger.

Port selection is more or less on par with that of other ultrabooks, so there aren't too many connectivity options. The right side of the system features the obligatory headphone and microphone jacks and an HDMI output. The left side, meanwhile, sports an RJ-45 LAN port. There are three USB 3.0 ports, one on the right side of the system and the remaining two on the opposite side. Nestled beneath the edge in the front of the system is a Memory Card Reader (SD/SDHC/ Mini SD/MS/MS Pro/Micro SD/ Micro SDHC).

The U845W-S430 also supports Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology, so you can ditch the HDMI cable altogether if you've got your TV hooked up to an aftermarket adapter along the lines of the Netgear Push2TV ($99 list). Regardless of how you'll connect to your TV, though, you'll need to adjust the S430's aspect ratio if you plan on cloning the display to a high definition television, another quirk that results from the S430's less-than-ordinary 21:9 aspect ratio.

The U845W-S430's 500GB, 5,400 rpm hard drive comes preloaded with a solid chunk of software. They range from unnecessary (WildTangent games) to useful (Microsoft Office Starter, a yearlong subscription to the 2013 version of Norton Anti-Virus), with some trial software (30 days of Norton Online Backup, 60 days of Norton Anti-Theft) and proprietary programs (Toshiba Software and Utilities) sprinkled in between. The U845W-S430 also features a 32GB SSD cache, although that operates behind the scenes to allow for faster boot times and cannot be accessed by the user. The U845W-S430 is covered by a standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 With a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U CPU and 6GM RAM, the U845W-S430 stacked up well against others in its class, though it's not a very large pool of competitors since Windows 8 systems are still relatively new. Its PCMark7 score of 4,237 points edged past the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4t-1100 (4,093 points) and, by a larger margin, the Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD-DB71 (2,523 points). The S430-U45W performed similarly in our 3DMark 11 benchmark tests (1,196 in Entry-level settings; 213 in Extreme-level settings), chugging past the Lenovo Yoga 13 (1,056 in Entry-level settings) as well as the HP 4t-1100 (1,043 in Entry-level settings).

The U845W-S430 fared well in our multimedia tests, cementing its status as a system geared more toward media consumption rather than creation; this is perfectly adequate for non-enthusiasts interested in the light media creation, while those looking to do more would be better off with a system sporting a discrete GPU like the Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD-DB71. Accordingly, the U845W-S430 completed our Handbrake video-encoding test in a class-leading 1 minute 28 seconds, faster than both the Lenovo Yoga 13 (1:34) and the HP 4t-1100 (1:37). Its Cinebench R11.5 score of 2.36 points, meanwhile, managed to outflank the IdeaPad Yoga 13 (2.33) but failed to surpass the U845W-S410 (2.40) and, to an even greater extent, the Asus UX32VD-DB71 (3.58). Of all the relevant systems running our new Photoshop CS6 test, the US845-S430 displayed the most agility, completing in a brisk 6 minutes 28 seconds and pulling ahead of both the Lenovo Yoga 13 (6:35) as well as the HP 4t-1100 (6:38).

Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430

The U845W-S430's Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU definitely wasn't made with high-end gaming in mind. Consequently, it didn't come close to crossing the 30 frames per second (fps) playability barrier in our benchmark tests much like the rest of its class. In our Aliens v. Predator test, for instance, it yielded a slideshow-like frame rate (12fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 5fps with maximum-quality in 1,792-by-768 resolution), effectively landing with a thud in the same pile as the HP 4t-1100 (10fps and 5fps, respectively) and Lenovo Yoga 13 (10fps and 7fps, respectively). The same goes for its performance in our Heaven benchmark test (12fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 5fps with maximum-quality in 1,920-by-1,080 resolution), where it was on par with its peers, like the HP 4t-1100 (10fps and 4fps, respectively) and Lenovo Yoga 13 (11fps and 6fps, respectively).

The S430's non-removable 54Whr battery ran for an impressive 5 hours 50 minutes on our video rundown test. While this test is entirely anecdotal, the U845W-S430 outlasted other systems in its class that were also put through the same test, like the Lenovo Yoga 13 (5:00) as well as the HP 4t-1100 (5:48). This means that you'll be able to enjoy a movie or two on the S430-U845W without having to worry about your proximity to a power outlet.

Although it's a relatively decent performer, the Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 falls short of rarefied ultrabook greatness by hinging almost entirely on a wider display whose utility is of questionable value at best. Beyond the Windows 8 Home screen, some apps, and the incredibly narrow realm of Cinemascope movies, the wider display serves little purpose, especially since it lacks touch capability. While those looking for a Windows 8-ready system with a touch screen should check out the more versatile Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. The Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD-DB71 is still the ultrabook to beat, thanks to its potent combination of looks and performance.


Compare the Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 with several other laptops side by side.

More laptop reviews:
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Xi for vendetta? Revolutionary movie airs in China, raising hopes that censorship might ease

BEIJING, China - Television audiences across China watched an anarchist antihero rebel against a totalitarian government and persuade the people to rule themselves. Soon the Internet was crackling with quotes of "V for Vendetta's" famous line: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

The airing of the movie Friday night on China Central Television stunned viewers and raised hopes that China is loosening censorship.

"V for Vendetta" never appeared in Chinese theatres, but it is unclear whether it was ever banned.

Some commentators and bloggers think the broadcast could be CCTV producers pushing the envelope of censorship, or another sign that the ruling Communist Party's newly installed leader, Xi Jinping, is serious about reform.

China's authoritarian government strictly controls print media, television and radio.


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UN criticises Israel over settlement plans

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and members of the Security Council, except the United States, have criticised Israel for its plan of the construct thousands of new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.?

Representatives of the 14 council members called for an immediate halt to the settlement plans on Wednesday, which they warned are threatening the possibility of a two-state solution with Palestinians.

The Security Council's president, Morocco's UN Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki, said that the?14 countries made the statements individually because efforts to get the council to unanimously agree?on a resolution or statement had failed.

Ban told reporters that Israel's heightened settlement?activity "gravely threatens efforts to establish a viable Palestinian

"I call on Israel to refrain from continuing on this dangerous path,'' he?said.

"The Middle East peace process is in a deep freeze,'' he said.

"The two?sides seem more polarised than ever, and a two-state solution is farther away?than at any time since the Oslo process began'' in the 1990s.

Peace talks between the two sides have been frozen for four?years, in large part because of Israel's continuous construction of settlements.

Palestinian officials refuse?to negotiate with Tel Aviv while Israel expands its settlements on Palestinian territories, which are now home to more?than 500,000 Israelis.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the latest settlement plans in response to the UN General Assembly's?decision last month to upgrade the Palestinians' status to a nonmember?observer state.

Israel opposed UN recognition of a Palestinian state,?saying it bypassed peace negotiations.

'Pattern of provocation'

The US, Israel's closest Mideast ally, voted against the?Palestinian statehood resolution and vetoed a Security Council resolution?backed by the 14 other members in February 2011 that would have urged a halt?to all settlement building.

US officials made no statement on Wednesday.

But in a rare rebuke?of a close ally, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday?accused Israel of engaging in a "pattern of provocative action" that runs?counter to the government's commitment to peace.

She said settlement activity?puts the goal of peace "further at risk".

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN envoy, said Wednesday that the strong?US statement indicated that "there is unanimity against settlement?activity".

"Now, the ball is in the court of the Israelis,'' he said.?Mansour warned that with U.N. recognition of the Palestinian state, if?the Israelis continue to ignore the wishes of all of us, and if they continue?to decide to destroy the two-state solution then we will be able to resort to?all possible options available to us to defend ourselves and our people in a?better way.''



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Facebook Could Now Advertise To Children, Thanks To Updated Federal Privacy Rules

images (33)New advertising rules may have lifted a major barrier to Facebook's long-held desire of signing up children under 13 years of age. The Federal Trade Communication revised the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to exclude parental consent from ads that are based on behavior, rather than personal information. So-called "contextual advertisements" would permit Facebook to monetize children's activity without violating rules about collecting their private information. Alan Simpson, Vice President of children's online advocacy network, Common Sense media, tells us that though they agree with some of the rule changes, with regard to contextual ads, "Common Sense doesn't like this part, and the industry lobbyists probably do."


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bill Gates Names Best Books Of 2012

"Every one of these books changed my worldview." So says Bill Gates, a man who knows a thing or two about the world's most pressing problems.

He listed his "Ten Books That Made Me Think" over the previous year on his blog "The Gates Notes."

Gates often writes his own thoughtful book reviews, to which the authors sometimes respond.

Most are development or education focused, though the list does include more popular titles including the universally acclaimed Behind the Beautiful Forevers and last year's bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein.

See Bill's list of top titles below. How many have you read?

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'The Buddhist' video game knows there's more to life than collecting coins, saving princesses


This was certainly one of the more mysterious exhibits at today's ITP Winter Show at NYU. In fact, when we asked its co-creator Bona Kim what it was all about, she wouldn't tell us how to play her game, The Buddhist. That's not really the point, she insisted. Instead, the game is meant to adhere to the tenets of Buddhism by divorcing it of "the hero / heroine-driven linear narrative" present in so many of the games we've come to know and love. The team is hoping to unlock some awakening in its audience -- in the few minutes that we stood and watched, however, it mostly unlocked confused faces. There's a video after the break -- recording in the loud cacophony that is the ITP show.

Continue reading 'The Buddhist' video game knows there's more to life than collecting coins, saving princesses


Source: Creative Spirited


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NFL power rankings, Week 16: Bears right at middle of the pack

The Chicago Bears are right around the middle of the pack in the Week 16 NFL power rankings.

The Chicago Bears started the season with a 7-1 run, and they've gone on to lose five of their last six games to fall to 8-6. They're now on the outside looking in on the NFL playoffs, though they could still make it with some help from the Minnesota Vikings and the entire NFC East.

Joel Thorman of SB Nation released his Week 16 power rankings, and the Bears are only just inside the top half of the NFL.

15. Chicago Bears (LW: 15, 8-6): I would not want to be a Bears fan right now. Chicago was 7-1 at one point. Now they're 8-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs. They finish at Arizona and at Detroit.

Chicago is behind every other 8-6 team in the NFL, including the rival Minnesota Vikings, who hold the tiebreaker in the event of both teams finishing 10-6. They're just above the Pittsburgh Steelers, who sit at 7-7, and are one team away from being in the bottom half of the NFL.

Fortunately, Arizona and Detroit are both losing teams. Unfortunately, the Bears have lost to losing teams recently. It's going to be a close one, and the recent play can't have fans confident in a playoff-clinching finish to the season.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RIM Seeds BlackBerry 10 Software And Devices To Over 120 Enterprise And Government Customers Ahead Of Launch

BlackBerry 10 Extended DemoRIM is officially launching BlackBerry 10 next month at a special event, with devices scheduled to go on sale a little after that, but select customers will get a chance to test the platform more extensively before that. The company announced today that certain government and enterprise customers will now begin beta testing BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, along with pre-production BB10 smartphones, in a program including 120 customers across different industries.


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Tragedy Shifts Gun Debate (WSJ)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

PFT: 34-0 win over Giants a great sign for Falcons

San Francisco 49ers v New England PatriotsGetty Images

Benching a quarterback who rarely turned the ball over and usually won was a tough call.

And at times during the 49ers? 41-34 win over the Patriots, it looked like it was going to backfire.

But for all the discussion about the transition from veteran Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick under center, the man taking snaps almost doesn?t matter with the way the 49ers play defense.

The league?s top-ranked defense bludgeoned the league?s top-ranked offense for the first 35 minutes or so, making the Patriots look like they were the ones on the road in adverse conditions. They pressured Tom Brady. They forced turnovers. They made Wes Welker disappear.

That?s not defense. That?s magic.

The Patriots entered the game averaging 36.3 points and 425.7 yards per game, and they showed why while erasing a four-touchdown deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

But the 49ers showed some resilience, taking that shot and answering, stopping Tom Brady at a point where it almost seemed fated to become another chapter in his legacy.

The shots they were doling out all night had a cumulative toll on the Patriots, who looked gassed at the end. The 49ers improved to 10-3-1 and clinched a playoff berth, and they proved they can come up with a stop, which will be helpful when they?re playing people not named Tom Brady.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Kaepernick does some amazing things. That?s why 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made the change.

But he might also do things that shorten the season.

Like many young quarterbacks, he will lock onto his first read, and he will throw interceptions. That?s fine, when he?s playing with a lead. But at some point in the next month (actually next week), he?ll see defenses which make him pay for it more than occasionally.

And Frank Gore?s not always going to be there to pick up his fumbled snaps and carry them for touchdowns. He needs to play a cleaner game if the 49ers want to make good this potential.

Kaepernick can make big plays, but there were some troubling signs in the midst of the win.

2. Take away the simple fact the 49ers changed quarterbacks in mid-stream.?They are a nightmare to prepare for because of the way they?re constantly changing personnel.

From the modified pistol formation they which caters to Kaepernick?s skills to empty backfields to traditional two-tight end, one-back sets, they present a constant challenge.

It?s hard to match up when you don?t know where people are going to be, and having tight ends as varied as Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker makes it that much harder.

3. Devin McCourty looks completely at home playing safety.

If the Patriots had a few more players in their secondary as good at their jobs, they would be much better off. Since converting from cornerback, he?s made plays, and they badly needed someone in the middle of the defense who could.

4. You know what else the Patriots could use? A running back with better hands.

Stevan Ridley is talented enough, but you wonder how many more chances he?ll get when turns it over twice in a significant game.

There?s a reason the Patriots have been a home for wayward veterans like Kevin Faulk and others over the years. Trust is important to coach Bill Belichick, and Ridley just burned a good share of his tonight.

5. At different points in the last few weeks, the Packers and 49ers have taken turns looking like they might be the best team in the league.

But both teams have a quiet problem that could loom large in the postseason, with kickers they can?t trust enough.

The Packers keep propping up Mason Crosby, but it?s telling some of the kicks the 49ers don?t let David Akers try any more.

He?s been shaky on all but the short ones all year, and you can easily see it changing play-calling in a close game.


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Portraits of Conn. victims show lives at their very start, ended in gunfire

Most died at the very start of their young lives, tiny victims taken in a way not fit for anyone regardless of age. Others found their life's work in sheltering little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own. After the gunfire ended Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the trail of loss was more than many could bear: 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman's mother at home, and the gunman himself.

A glimpse of some of those who died:


Charlotte Bacon, 6, student

They were supposed to be for the holidays, but finally on Friday, after hearing much begging, Charlotte Bacon's mother relented and let her wear the new pink dress and boots to school.

It was the last outfit the outgoing redhead would ever pick out. Charlotte's older brother, Guy, was also in the school but was not shot.

Her parents, JoAnn and Joel, had lived in Newtown for four or five years, JoAnn's brother John Hagen, of Nisswa, Minn., told Newsday.

"She was going to go some places in this world," Hagen told the newspaper. "This little girl could light up the room for anyone."


Olivia Engel, 6, student

The images of Olivia Engel will live far beyond her short lifetime. There she is, visiting with Santa Claus, or feasting on a slice of birthday cake. There's the one of her swinging a pink baseball bat, and another posing on a boat. In some, she models a pretty white dress; in others, she makes a silly face.

Dan Merton, a longtime friend of the girl's family, says he could never forget the child, and he has much to say when he thinks of her.

"She loved attention," he said. "She had perfect manners, perfect table manners. She was the teacher's pet, the line leader."

On Friday, Merton said, she was simply excited to go to school and then return home and make a gingerbread house.

"Her only crime," he said, "is being a wiggly, smiley 6-year-old."


Dawn Hochsprung, 47, principal

Dawn Hochsprung's pride in Sandy Hook Elementary was clear. She regularly tweeted photos from her time as principal there, giving indelible glimpses of life at a place now known for tragedy. Just this week, it was an image of fourth-graders rehearsing for their winter concert; days before that, the tiny hands of kindergartners exchanging play money at their makeshift grocery store.

She viewed her school as a model, telling The Newtown Bee in 2010 that "I don't think you could find a more positive place to bring students to every day." She had worked to make Sandy Hook a place of safety, too, and in October, the 47-year-old Hochsprung shared a picture of the school's evacuation drill with the message "safety first." When the unthinkable came, she was ready to defend.

Officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.

"She had an extremely likable style about her," said Gerald Stomski, first selectman of Woodbury, where Hochsprung lived and had taught. "She was an extremely charismatic principal while she was here."


Madeleine Hsu, 6, student

Dr. Matthew Velsmid was at Madeleine's house on Saturday, tending to her stricken family. He said the family did not want to comment.

Velsmid said that after hearing of the shooting, he went to the triage area to provide medical assistance but there were no injuries to treat.

"We were waiting for casualties to come out, and there was nothing. There was no need, unfortunately," he said. "This is the darkest thing I've ever walked into, by far."

Velsmid's daughter, who attends another school, lost three of her friends.


Catherine Hubbard, 6, student

A family friend turned reporters away from the house, but Catherine's parents released a statement expressing gratitude to emergency responders and for the support of the community.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy," Jennifer and Matthew Hubbard said. "We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy."


Chase Kowalski, 7, student

Chase Kowalski was always outside, playing in the backyard, riding his bicycle. Just last week, he was visiting neighbour Kevin Grimes, telling him about completing ? and winning ? his first mini-triathlon.

"You couldn't think of a better child," Grimes said.

Grimes' own five children all attended Sandy Hook, too. Cars lined up outside the Kowalskis' ranch home Saturday, and a state trooper's car idled in the driveway. Grimes spoke of the boy only in the present tense.


Nancy Lanza, 52, gunman's mother

She once was known simply for the game nights she hosted and the holiday decorations she put up at her house. Now Nancy Lanza is known as her son's first victim.

Authorities say her 20-year-old son Adam gunned her down before killing 26 others at Sandy Hook. The two shared a home in a well-to-do Newtown neighbourhood, but details were slow to emerge of who she was and what might have led her son to carry out such horror.

Kingston, N.H., Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said Nancy Lanza once lived in the community and was a kind, considerate and loving person. The former stockbroker at John Hancock in Boston was well-respected, Briggs said.

Court records show Lanza and her ex-husband, Peter Lanza, filed for divorce in 2008. He lives in Stamford and is a tax director at General Electric. A neighbour, Rhonda Cullens, said she knew Nancy Lanza from get-togethers she had hosted to play Bunco, a dice game. She said her neighbour had enjoyed gardening.

"She was a very nice lady," Cullens said. "She was just like all the rest of us in the neighbourhood, just a regular person."


Jesse Lewis, 6, student

Six-year-old Jesse Lewis had hot chocolate with his favourite breakfast sandwich ? sausage, egg and cheese ? at the neighbourhood deli before going to school Friday morning.

Jesse and his parents were regulars at the Misty Vale Deli in Sandy Hook, Conn., owner Angel Salazar told The Wall Street Journal.

"He was always friendly; he always liked to talk," Salazar said.

Jesse's family has a collection of animals he enjoyed playing with, and he was learning to ride horseback.

Family friend Barbara McSperrin told the Journal that Jesse was "a typical 6-year-old little boy, full of life."


Ana Marquez-Greene, 6, student

A year ago, 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene was reveling in holiday celebrations with her extended family on her first trip to Puerto Rico. This year will be heartbreakingly different.

The girl's grandmother, Elba Marquez, said the family moved to Connecticut just two months ago, drawn from Canada, in part, by Sandy Hook's sterling reputation. The grandmother's brother, Jorge Marquez, is mayor of a Puerto Rican town and said the child's 9-year-old brother also was at the school but escaped safely.

Elba Marquez had just visited the new home over Thanksgiving and is perplexed by what happened. "What happened does not match up with the place where they live," she said.

A video spreading across the Internet shows a confident Ana hitting every note as she sings "Come, Thou Almighty King." She flashes a big grin and waves to the camera when she's done.

Jorge Marquez confirmed the girl's father is saxophonist Jimmy Greene, who wrote on Facebook that he was trying to "work through this nightmare."

"As much as she's needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise," he wrote. "I love you sweetie girl."


James Mattioli, 6, student

The upstate New York town of Sherrill is thinking of Cindy Mattioli, who grew up there and lost her son James in the school shooting in Connecticut.

"It's a terrible tragedy, and we're a tight community," Mayor William Vineall told the Utica Observer-Dispatch. "Everybody will be there for them, and our thoughts and prayers are there for them."

James' grandparents, Jack and Kathy Radley, still live in the city, the newspaper reported.


Anne Marie Murphy, 52, teacher

A happy soul. A good mother, wife and daughter. Artistic, fun-loving, witty and hardworking.

Remembering their daughter, Anne Marie Murphy, her parents had no shortage of adjectives to offer Newsday. When news of the shooting broke, Hugh and Alice McGowan waited for word of their daughter as hours ticked by. And then it came.

Authorities told the couple their daughter was a hero who helped shield some of her students from the rain of bullets. As the grim news arrived, the victim's mother reached for her rosary.

"You don't expect your daughter to be murdered," her father told the newspaper. "It happens on TV. It happens elsewhere."


Emilie Parker, 6, student

Quick to cheer up those in need of a smile, Emilie Parker never missed a chance to draw a picture or make a card.

Her father, Robbie Parker, fought back tears as he described the beautiful, blond, always-smiling girl who loved to try new things, except foods.

Parker, one of the first parents to publicly talk about his loss, expressed no animosity for the gunman, even as he struggled to explain the death to his other two children, ages 3 and 4. He's sustained by the fact that the world is better for having had Emilie in it.

"I'm so blessed to be her dad," he said.


Noah Pozner, 6, student

The way Noah Pozner's parents saw it, no schools in New York could compare with those in Newtown, a relative told Newsday. So they moved their family ? Noah, his twin sister and his 8-year-old sister.

"At this stage, two out of three survived. ... That's sad," said Noah's uncle Arthur Pozner, of New York City's Brooklyn borough. "The reason they moved to that area is because they did not consider any school in New York state on the same level. That's one of the reasons they moved, for safety and education."

Noah's siblings were also students there but were not hurt. Noah's uncle recalled him as "extremely mature."

"When I was his age, I was not like him," Pozner told the newspaper. "Very well brought up. Extremely bright. Extremely bright."


Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, 30, teacher

Lauren Rousseau had spent years working as a substitute teacher and doing other jobs. So she was thrilled when she finally realized her goal this fall to become a full-time teacher at Sandy Hook.

Her mother, Teresa Rousseau, a copy editor at the Danbury News-Times, released a statement Saturday that said state police told them just after midnight that she was among the victims.

"Lauren wanted to be a teacher from before she even went to kindergarten," she said. "We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream."

Her mother said she was thrilled to get the job.

"It was the best year of her life," she told the newspaper.

Rousseau has been called gentle, spirited and active. She had planned to see "The Hobbit" with her boyfriend Friday and had baked cupcakes for a party they were to attend afterward. She was born in Danbury, and attended Danbury High, college at the University of Connecticut and graduate school at the University of Bridgeport.

She was a lover of music, dance and theatre.

"I'm used to having people die who are older," her mother said, "not the person whose room is up over the kitchen."


Mary Sherlach, 56, school psychologist

When the shots rang out, Mary Sherlach threw herself into the danger.

Janet Robinson, the superintendent of Newtown Public Schools, said Sherlach and the school's principal ran toward the shooter. They lost their own lives, rushing toward him.

Even as Sherlach neared retirement, her job at Sandy Hook was one she loved. Those who knew her called her a wonderful neighbour, a beautiful person, a dedicated educator.

Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, told the South Jersey Times that Sherlach rooted on the Miami Dolphins, enjoyed visiting the Finger Lakes, relished helping children overcome their problems. She had planned to leave work early on Friday, he said, but never had the chance. In a news conference Saturday, he told reporters the loss was devastating, but that Sherlach was doing what she loved.

"Mary felt like she was doing God's work," he said, "working with the children."


Victoria Soto, 27, teacher

She beams in snapshots. Her enthusiasm and cheer was evident. She was doing, those who knew her say, what she loved.

And now, Victoria Soto is being called a hero.

Though details of the 27-year-old teacher's death remained fuzzy, her name has been invoked again and again as a portrait of selflessness and humanity among unfathomable evil. Those who knew her said they weren't surprised by reports she shielded her first-graders from danger.

"She put those children first. That's all she ever talked about," said a friend, Andrea Crowell. "She wanted to do her best for them, to teach them something new every day."

Photos of Soto show her always with a wide smile, in pictures of her at her college graduation and in mundane daily life. She looks so young, barely an adult herself. Her goal was simply to be a teacher.

"You have a teacher who cared more about her students than herself," said Mayor John Harkins of Stratford, the town Soto hailed from and where more than 300 people gathered for a memorial service Saturday night. "That speaks volumes to her character, and her commitment and dedication."


Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie, Mark Scolforo, Allen Breed and Danica Coto contributed to this report.


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Exxon's Dangerous Energy Outlook | Peak Oil News and Message ...

Exxon?s Dangerous Energy Outlook thumbnail

ExxonMobil presented its latest Energy Outlook report recently, the?2013 Outlook for Energy: a view to 2040?(pdf).

The report is chock full of figures and graphs showing an inexorable rise in global energy demand and supply and the growing market for Exxon?s products.

As can be expected, the report shows that despite some recent efficiency gains, the world is on course to consume ever growing amounts of energy, a large proportion of which will likely be derived from fossil fuels. Exxon?s places global growth in energy demand at 35% between 2010 and 2040.

In this regard, the report is more or less in line with recent business as usual forecasts from the?International Energy Agency?(IEA) and the U.S. Department of Energy?s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

But the report differs greatly from the IEA?s report in some vital areas. The IEA is a public agency, funded by the tax dollars of developed countries including the United States, while Exxon is the world?s largest private oil and gas company, with a self-interested agenda behind every public communication it makes.

It?s perhaps no surprise then that the Exxon Outlook fails to mention that if energy demand were to rise 35% to 2040, and if 60% of energy demand in 2040 were to be met by oil and gas as Exxon predicts (the IEA has it at 50%), then the planet would be on an unstoppable collision course with a 4 degree (C) warmer world. While the IEA?s report was very clear about where?current energy demand trends will lead?it was also clear that this could be avoided if serious action is taken soon.

The fact that we are on course for a 4 degree world was?recently highlighted by the World Bank, a relatively recent convert to the urgency of climate change action that still needs to match its actions with its words. On the release of a recent report called?Turn Down the Heat, the Bank?s President Jim Yong Kim said:

A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided ? we need to hold warming below 2 degrees, (?) lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today.?Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.?

But while Exxon produced some figures for greenhouse gas emissions and reported that they may peak in the 2030s (which would be catastrophic, emissions need to peak before 2020) it offered no indication of whether it was concerned or indifferent to the consequences of these emissions. Of course the purpose of the Exxon Outlook is not to advocate for change that would benefit society but to bolster support for Exxon?s business plan.

The history of the public version of Exxon?s Energy Outlook, documented in Steve Coll?s excellent recent book on the company,?Private Empire, shows how the public presentation of the Outlook has always served the company?s public relations and lobbying agenda.

The Outlook was an internal only document for many years but according to Coll, in 2004 Exxon?s then CEO Lee Raymond, together with his (still in place) vice president of public and government affairs Ken Cohen, envisaged a greater role for the ?tsunami of color-coded pie charts, bar graphs and global maps, read out unemotionally by executives wearing dark suits.?

With global oil prices rising, George Bush?s White House was awash in anxiety over dependence on Middle East oil and Bush himself was too curious for Exxon?s liking on alternatives such as hydrogen fuel cells.? In April 2005, Raymond and his team presented the Outlook to a top Bush adviser at the White House and convinced him to set up a series of briefings with White House staff.

The aim of the Outlook, as it was presented then and is still presented now, is to dispel any notion that there might be a clean energy future lying ahead. Population rise, increasing wealth in emerging economies and the energy these would require can only be met by increasing supply of fossil fuels, according to the figures. Exxon does not dismiss renewable energy and efficiency out of hand but maintains that they will not challenge the continued dominance of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, in the time frame.

Back in 2005, the timeframe stretched to 2030. Today the timeframe stretches to 2040, but global energy demand is to grow 35% just as it was between 2005 and 2030, and the overall conclusions remain the same.

Following the success of the 2005 White House staff briefings Exxon began to present the Outlook regularly to governments, NGOs, and the media. Slides from the Outlook began to appear in presentations to investors.

One British NGO director, quoted in Coll?s book, noted the change in Lee Raymond?s presentation but not the substance in what he was saying. ?I note that Raymond is no longer seeking to gainsay the science behind climate change. (?)?Instead he simply predicts an endless rise in the demand for the fossil fuels his company sells, and maintains that there is nothing that can be done to alter that.?

Over the next few days you may frequently see the media, particularly the business media, repeat parrot-like the findings of the Exxon Energy Outlook discussing it as if it is a forecast of things to come that can be relied upon as a basis upon which to maintain investments in oil and gas.

You?re probably less likely to see coverage of?another report published this week?that documents the growing investments by Fortune 100 companies (Exxon aside), in renewable energy and efficiency technologies that are helping to reduce the price volatility that these companies face in their energy costs.

The Exxon Energy Outlook is no forecast. It is an outlook, Exxon?s outlook, and what it envisages is an energy future we cannot afford.

Oil Change International


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

These Are The Last Words That Were Said On The Moon

Everyone knows the first words that were said on the moon, but what about the last? 40 years ago yesterday we left the moon for the last time, so now's as good a time as any to ask. The answer? Well there are a few, and you can pick which one you like better. More »


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Valdosta St. tops Winston-Salem 35-7 for D-2 title

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) ? Matt Pierce returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and freshman Cedric O'Neal ran for 140 yards and a score to lead Valdosta State to a 35-7 victory over Winston-Salem State on Saturday in the Division II championship game.

The Blazers (12-2) took a 21-0 halftime lead en route to their 10th straight win and first national title since 2007, coach David Dean's debut season. The Rams (14-1) were trying to become the first historically black school to win the Division II title after losing in the semifinals last season. But they couldn't overcome six turnovers, including several that hurt promising drives.

The Blazers needed 12 seconds to score and five minutes to build a 14-0 lead against a team that hadn't trailed by more than a touchdown all season.

Cayden Cochran was 18-of-26 passing while throwing for a touchdown and running for a pair. O'Neal carried 24 times.


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

RIM shows how BlackBerry 10 touch screen keys could rival even its traditional keyboards [video]

Eighteen-year-old Jared DeWeese is severely disabled. He cannot walk, talk, read or write. Nevertheless, WSB-TV reports, he is receiving straight A?s in several courses, including algebra, biology and world history at a school in Gwinnett County, Georgia.


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Short Sale Homes For Sale Dublin CA November 2012 Update ...

Short Sale Homes For Sale Dublin CA November 2012 Update Dublin CA Real Estate December 14, 2012 | Homes for Sale in San Ramon, Danville CA, Dublin CA, Pleasanton ?2012 Bay East. ?2012 CCAR. ?2012 EBRD. All rights reserved. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. This information is provided from three separate sources: Bay East, CCAR and EBRD. The listings presented here may or may not be listed by the Broker/Agent operating this website. Information last updated on 12/14/12 6:26 PM PST.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2012.


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