Sunday, November 4, 2012

Silicon Valley Telecom Entrepreneurs Pivot: New Business Models ...

Editor?s note: Steve Patterson?s observations and writing are based on his 20 years working in the primordial ooze of start-ups in Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from Boston College with a degree in Mathematics. A contributor to organizations such as Network World, MHT, Byte and RH he is interested in the convergence of mobile and cloud.

Silicon Valley leads the nation with more than 50 percent?of telecom venture investments, and its share is growing. The reason for this is that companies such as Google, Apple, VMware and Salesforce have redefined the meaning of the telecom carriers business to include Internet, mobile and cloud with wireless, terrestrial and satellite transmission of voice and data.

In turn Silicon Valley telecom entrepreneurs have pivoted from capital-intensive hardware infrastructure with expensive and long telecom carrier sales cycles to less capital-intensive, software-based products and services with shorter telecom carrier sales cycles.

The top 10 quarterly telecom venture investments in Silicon Valley reported for the second and third quarters of 2012 by PricewaterhouseCoopers Moneytree?demonstrate this change in product orientation. The new business models are usually based on services that can be hosted on standard data center server hardware and software stacks and delivered to enterprises and consumers by carriers through Internet-leveraged sales campaigns. Nicira Networks, a software-defined network infrastructure company recently acquired by VMware for $1.2 billion, is an example of this new model.

Beyond attracting venture capital, the concentration of innovation has also attracted carriers to Silicon Valley. AT&T, Sprint, China Mobile, France Telecom/Orange and Swisscom are representative of the many large and small American and international carriers that have offices in Silicon Valley. All share the common goal to accelerate R&D and product delivery cycles with innovation acquired from startups.

Carriers are struggling for relevancy because their brand identities are often diluted by the likes of Apple, Google, YouTube or other apps or services that are consumed by individual and commercial customers of the underlying carrier telecommunications services. If they succumb to the struggle, carriers will be destined to a future of commodity competition for the lowest cost mobile and Internet data services.

Carriers, like venture capitalists, are risk-averse to investing in or buying from telecom hardware infrastructure startups. But there are many startups that don?t present these risks because they deliver over-the-top services, network efficiency and consumer products and services without large capital commitments.

Examples of agile carriers Swisscom and Bouygues, as well as startups Devicescape and Ooyala, illustrate how startups can quickly win revenues and investments from carriers seeking innovation.

Ursula Oesterle, vice president of innovation at Swisscom (Palo Alto), draws an insightful distinction about risk and return. ?The lifecycle of infrastructure and services is very different. Services that run over-the-top of our networks can be quickly prototyped and co-created with innovative companies with less risk and smaller investment compared to infrastructure. We are able to increase Swisscom?s return on R&D investment and shorten time to market by actively seeking, discovering and working with small innovative Silicon Valley companies.?

Ooyala (Mountain View) delivers video streaming and analytics that power video that is personalized for every viewer, location and device. Confirming the opinion of Swisscom?s Oesterle, Ooyala?s CEO Jay Fulcher reported that ?Australian carrier Telstra licensed Ooyala video platform within 8 weeks of first meeting because the investment and risk of a service is limited and because of Telstra?s imperative to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship by leveraging start-up R&D.? Telstra also led Ooyala?s recent $35 million round. Telstra?s deployment and investment commitments speak to the commercial importance of start-up innovation within a large carrier.

Devicescape Software (San Bruno, Calif.) CEO Dave Fraser says carrier adoption cycles have become consumerized. ?Carriers selling cloud apps, consumer products and services, and serving advertisements have to be much more nimble and innovate faster.??Devicescape rolls together millions of distinct, free amenity-based Wi-Fi networks to offload mobile carriers? 3G and 4G networks to save them money. The company initially focused on tier-2 mobile carriers, such as U.S. Cellular and MetroPCS. ?This type of smaller carrier by necessity has more experience leveraging its own R&D budget with start-up innovation and adopting disruptive technology more quickly,? explained Fraser. Devicescape?s first sale took about a year. Since then Fraser has found that ?carriers are beginning to act on imperfect information where risk is manageable.?

French mobile carrier Bouygues reached agreement with Devicescape in only six weeks.?Stephane Allaire, who heads the Silicon Valley office of French carrier Bouygues Telecom, sponsored Devicescape?s deployment. Allaire believes that ?taking smart risks with startups is a great source of innovation.?Allaire, who has sourced 15 Silicon Valley innovation relationships, thinks that ?we have to take risks with small companies to go faster, and we can work with much smaller companies earlier in development than Devicescape when innovation presents itself.?

Sharing perspectives gained from organizing more than 150 meetings and events between carriers and startup innovators, Liz Kerton, president of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley, said, ?In recent years our membership of new and returning carrier sponsors has increased, as has carrier search for external innovation from startups.?

Silicon Valley is an advantage to telecom entrepreneurs: Their close proximity to Internet, mobile and cloud leaders gives them a unique product-development perspective and greater access to capital. Close proximity to innovation-hungry carriers with an interest in buying and/or investing in startups improves the likelihood of a telecom startup?s success.


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Computer Networking ? technology thrust ahead | Hugo Hosting

At present networking has been the very best alternative readily available to get the most desired job alternative.?The computer?education most prolonged a thorough and practical area is need to and ought to, simply because the pupils can get to understand personal computer networking simply. The sensible field can teaches how to configure routers and switches, install?wiring, preserve networks, network troubles other appropriate Info technological innovation abilities. In addition some computer applications are dependent on?the networking, the university student can study?the computer?networking and they get the good quality certification for associated levels.

Currently being essential for profession in a network administration, community technological innovation and programming, network program administration understanding the networking is quite essential.

Varieties of community:

The computer?networking is categorized at geographical location that are sharing and accessing the information.?The computer?networking is three sorts they are LAN, WAN, Guy. This plays the major function on?the computer?networking.

LAN stands for regional area community. It can have the smallest dimensions with other networking kinds. The LAN can set up at the room, a floor, a constructing and and so on.

Gentleman is stands for metropolitan area community, occupies the?whole town or state.

WAN (entire world area network) occupies the complete entire world or team of region.

In?The computer?networking is labeled into two sorts they are peer-to-peer network and customer ?to-server community.

The peer-to-peer network is a classification of the all computers is handled equally. There is no pc on the network that is greater value in the other laptop or computer it is referred to as peer-to-peer laptop or computer community. The shopper-to-server network is differ from peer-to-peer.the consumer-to-server network is taken care of the all personal computers are not equivalent. The server is processing energy and storage strength. Listed here the data is saved on the server to be shared across the community. Every single personal computer wants to share the facts from server it is attainable with only community. So?the personal computer networking is used by almost all firms. Only a appropriate and effectively managed personal computer components and networking can make your enterprise reliable. Personal computer hardware alongside with community is also a single of the greatest occupation options.

The buyer arc is now displaying a quick bend in direction of the networking planet. The number of computers in an workplace or a home is increasing, so is the quantity of cables and therefore, wireless networking?is a practical answer. In?wireless networking?radio transreceivers or infrared signals are employed to converse in between pcs and devices. Examples of?wireless networking?include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies, however there may possibly be security issues concerned in?wireless networking. Nonetheless there certainly is a more powerful choice towards?wireless networking?nowadays amongst buyers. These techniques have proved their strength with the accelerated technologies in the world producing the cyber world significantly faster and broader than the true entire world. Computer networks have revolutionized business, communication, travel, analysis, protection, culture and practically all human endeavors. The evolution of networking has served the technological?revolution?take a large leap forward including a new dimension to the 21?st century. Laptop or computer networking?today, is a extremely properly established job that is choosing up huge pace with the aid of various?certified?courses and institutes like?Red Hat Linux and Jet King. Such classes and certifications help in sprucing candidates with the best abilities and understanding that the sector expects from them.

Related posts:

  1. Introduction to Dell Computer Networking
  2. Connecting Computers Through Computer Networking
  3. Computer Data Networking Explained
  4. All About Computer Networking
  5. Office Computer Networking Systems


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Friday, November 2, 2012

400 Stripped Oil Drain Plug - Can-Am ATV Forum

Well, it happened to me too. I was prepping my 2003 Outty 400 for an upcoming trip to Royal Blue and stripped the oil drain plug. I went to loosen it to change the oil and it started coming out sideways taking every thread in the case with it. Go figure. I read all the threads on this site about it and did some research on line. The thread for the plug on my 400 is a M18 x 1.5. Nothing was available at the local NAPA, Advance Auto, or O'Reillys. I saw the Time Serts and was interested in them but ended up ordering a Heli Coil kit meant for automotive oxygen sensor repair. (Helicoil 4833 Oxygen Sensor Thread Repair Kit M 18 x 1.5).

Several reasons.

1 Money
Less expensive than the time sert kit.

2 The tap was a combo tool that reamed the hole to the proper size while threading it for the coil. This was important for a couple of reasons. It minimized the chips by eliminating the need to drill the hole prior to threading it and it self aligned making sure that I got the heli coil in straight. Because the plug has a shoulder that seals on the surface of the case that is very important. If you thread it crooked it will leak.

This was easy to do and worked extremely well. Highly recommended!

Last edited by HVACGUY; Yesterday at 05:14 AM.


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Pasta at Va Bene | Tel Wanders

Italian food is one of my weaknesses and although it may be true that everyone can whip out pasta dishes, not everyone can make them very well. That is why when I hear or read that an establishment is amazing at serving Italian dishes, I always want to give it a try. In Va Bene?s case, it took me probably more than two years and an earlier planned dinner that did not push thru because it closed, to satisfy my curiosity.

My friends and I were all set for a pho-night. I do not eat Vietnamese food that often but from my last experience, I liked those noodles very much. Thus, the disappointment when I drove by our target Vietnamese restaurant and read that it was indeed closed and transferring elsewhere. It was probably serendipitous since we ended up at Va Bene. At 8:30 p.m., it was full but thankfully, I only had to wait for a couple of minutes to get seated.

I noticed though that the place was cramped. There was even an instance when the glass of the person 2 tables from us got tumbled by the bag of another customer, accidentally of course. But that was really because the tables were so close to each other.

Anyway, even if I have not started ordering (because sometimes friends make you wait, ya know?! Smile with tongue out), I was served with crostini with tomato salsa in olive oil. It was a pretty good gesture not to mention quite a good appetizer to have.

After a while my friends arrived and ordered the Arugula with Chicken Salad (Php 390). Aside from leaves, it had roasted onions, chicken and caramelized apples in balsamic dressing. I love arugula. The bitter hint of the leaf always goes well with cheese and vinaigrette. As for this salad, I did not end up being a big fan of. I did not like that the dressing was too sweet (for me at least). I found it weird tasting even with slices of chicken on top of it. I would probably go for another salad or soup instead next time.

Up next was the Rolled Spinach Cannelloni (Php 390). The pasta was slightly too soft. Although, the dish was creamy with tomato sauce generously flooded the dish which I loved. The smoked ham inside was mild in taste or might have been overpowered by the flavours but this sinful dish is quite worth the calories.

As we found ourselves still wanting to eat further, we ordered the Black Ink Tagliolini (Php 390). It was squid ink pasta (take note, not on it, which I found pretty ingenious Smile with tongue out) with seafood marinara in light cream sauce. The marinara had that slightly salty and mildly sour flavour but was well complemented by the squid ink. I loved this dish. Oh, and the pasta was al dente.

For dessert, we figured we would ordered the Homemade Profiteroles (Php 190). These were cream puffs with caramelized walnuts, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle. Sadly, it was not something that made my palate excited. It was sweet (as expected) but creamy. This was alright but not really something I would go back for.

Overall, it was a pretty good experience except for the really tiny space of the establishment. I like my space, especially when I am eating so I find it difficult to appreciate food when I feel cramped. Anyway, I have limited knowledge on the prices of the Italian ingredients but I cannot help but feel that the dishes were overpriced, especially considering the relaxed casual ambiance. But, if you have pasta cravings, it is still a pretty good place to go.

Va Bene Pasta Deli
2nd Floor, Petron Gas Station, EDSA Corner Pasay Road, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
(63 2) 5569442; (63 2) 6227373; (63917)5503817

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Tags: canelloni, makati, pasta, profiteroles, salad, tagliolini


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Good Internet Casino Betting | Arts & Entertainment - Sykes ...

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Online Casino Gambling Wonderful Attractions

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Online Casino Gambling a World of Possibilities

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gingrich: Akin win could rebuke GOP establishment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) ? Still mourning the death of her mother, Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill returned to campaigning Wednesday as Republican challenger Todd Akin gained a dual boost from a former presidential hopeful and a political group that had aided one his rivals in the GOP primary.

Former Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich led a rally for Akin in Kansas City, urging supporters to send a powerful signal to "the moneyed Republican establishment" that ? led by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney ? abandoned Akin after an August remark about "legitimate rape."

Yet there were fresh signs that Akin was regaining GOP support. The Now or Never Political Action Committee, which backed an Akin rival in the GOP primary, announced Wednesday that it was buying $800,000 of TV ads urging Romney supporters to also vote for Akin on Tuesday.

Missouri polls have consistently shown Romney leading Democratic President Barack Obama, who narrowly lost the state four years ago. Some polls also have shown a tightened Missouri Senate race, as Akin has attempted to rebound from an Aug. 19 TV interview in which he said women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy after "legitimate rape."

McCaskil had canceled most of her campaign events during the past week to spend time with her ailing mother, who died Monday. She returned to campaigning Wednesday with an event outside a St. Louis County elementary school.

"This has been a tumultuous time in my life, obviously," said McCaskill, her voice seeming to break. "And part of me is a little lost. This is the first time I've walked out my house in the morning, campaigning, where I haven't had a chance to say, 'Mom, I'm out there. I'm going.' And she hasn't given me the, 'I wish I could go. Go get them.' So that's hard for me. She's been a huge part of my life in so many ways."

McCaskill used the school setting to criticize Akin's opposition to the federally funded school lunch program, which began during the administration of President Harry Truman, a Missouri native. Akin has suggested states could better handle the program.

"This is a program that should not be a place that candidates for the United States Senate differ, but we do. And that should remind Missourians how extreme Todd Akin is," McCaskill said.

At the rally in Kansas City, Akin suggested it is McCaskill who was out of touch with most Missourians in supporting Obama's federal stimulus act and health care law. He noted that 71 percent of Missouri voters approved a 2010 ballot measure rejecting a key provision in the health care law.

Akin also emphasized that low-income housing firms affiliated with McCaskill's husband, Joseph Shepard, have received tens of millions of dollars of federal subsidies. That's "your taxpayer dollars that are going to her family business," Akin said Wednesday.

Cheers mixed with jeers as Akin and Gringrich spoke at Kansas City's historic Union Station to a crowd that included about 100 supporters and nearly as many protesters, many carrying signs that referenced Akin's "legitimate rape" remark. The event highlighted the intensity of a campaign that has remained in the national spotlight and could help determine party control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans need a net gain of four Senate seats in Tuesday's election ? or just three, if Romney defeats Obama and gives a GOP vice president the power to break tie votes in the Senate ? to retake the chamber's majority from Democrats.

"No single Senate race in the country will send a more powerful signal than the election of Todd Akin," Gingrich said at the rally, first noting the potential for Republican control of the chamber. But Gingrich said there was an equally strong point to be made within the GOP.

"There is no other race in the country that will send a bigger signal to the moneyed Republican establishment that it is votes that matter and citizens that matter," Gingrich said to his most enthusiastic applause. "When people of a state make a choice, they deserve to be respected for their right to choose the candidate they want, not the candidate Washington dictates."

Winning the majority was the reason cited by the Now or Never PAC for its new ad. The group had backed Akin rival Sarah Steelman in the Aug. 7 GOP primary.

"Todd Akin may have not been our first choice for Republican nominee in the race to replace Claire McCaskill," said spokesman Tyler Harber. "But congressman Akin plays an important role in securing the Senate chamber."

Among the protesters at Wednesday's rally in Kansas City was Neil Harris, a retired college teacher and McCaskill supporter who held a sign saying, "Todd and Newt (equals) Hypocritical Mass." Harris referred to Akin as "an idiot."

"His 13th century doctrine on women shutting down the possibility of pregnancy after rape seems to be far from reality," Harris said.

Akin supporter Kiley Chaney, a union bricklayer who drove an hour from rural Garden City to attend the rally, acknowledged that Akin had "made some blunders in the campaign." But Chaney said he was more concerned with McCaskill's ties to Obama and the large national debt.

"She's going to be a yes woman for Obama," said Chaney, later adding: "It's not fashionable to be for Akin, but I'm going to vote against McCaskill."


Salter reported from St. Louis.


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Arc Squadron review

Arc Squadron launched on the App Store today, summoning many memories for old-school Star Fox players. The on-rails space-themed shooter game takes players through a variety of treacherous interstellar scenarios, who must guide a variety of ships through obstacles with smooth and natural-feeling swipe-gestures, while unloading advanced weaponry and technology against the foes they encounter.

Steering your ship is as easy as dragging your finger around the screen. As your ship moves, so do the crosshairs, and if they rest on top of an enemy, you'll automatically start shooting. Secondary weapons and equipment are activated through taps, while you can get an extra bit of maneuverability with sideways swipes to execute barrel rolls. I was really impressed with the implementation of touch controls here, and was extremely happy that there wasn't some bastardized version of joystick controls. Controls are simple, intuitive, and allow players to focus on the challenging gameplay.?

Each level is scored out of four stars, depending on how many of the level's enemies you blow up, how much damage you take, and how many of the bonus cubes you pick up. Currency is earned for destroying alien ships or bought through in-app purchases. Those Arcbucks are used to buy new ships and secondary weapons, upgrade existing ones, or get one of the many different paint jobs available. The upgrade structure is really nicely streamlined and not too complicated while still offering a solid amount of tactical variety. Though level progression is fairly linear, there are a handful of branching bonus missions that aren't required in order to move along in the storyline. As linear as the gameplay may be, there's an obscene amount of levels to chew through - don't count on finishing this game any time soon. The game's replay value is stunted a little bit by the scripted nature of the combat encounters, but if you're the type of player that loves really digging in on a level and memorizing each tiny little detail of a stage and meeting those challenges flawlessly, there's definitely plenty of opportunity in Arc Squadron.

Game Center support extends as far as leaderboards among your buddies and tracking various achievements, though Arc Squadron itself keeps close tabs on specific stats, like how many of the total stars you've collected, how many enemies you've killed, and even how many barrel rolls you've made. No love on cloud saving unfortunately, so be sure to pick iPad or iPhone before you get started. The graphics and audio are both top-notch, and well-suited for the arcade feel the devs are going for. The soundtrack has an amply sci-fi feel, while effects are well-timed, electric, and diverse. The voice acting, though a bit hammed-up, is well done. UI elements are all large, bold, and readable. The wide range of fantastic weaponry and settings produce a bunch of exciting lighting effects, but by far the most impressive part of the game's graphics are the stages. They're all crafted with a rich amount of detail, and despite it all happening in space-themed regions, there's ample visual variety.

All in all, Arc Squadron has excellent graphics, smooth controls, tight, twitch-based challenges, and heaps of compelling upgrades. Pick this up for $0.99 before the price goes up to a regular $4.99.

$0.99 (on sale) - Download Now



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Dad who posted photo of bound daughter cleared of 1 charge

Facebook via

A caption with this Facebook photo read "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back."

By NBC News staff

A father accused of binding his toddler daughter with painter?s tape and then posting a picture on Facebook was acquitted Tuesday of unlawful restraint but still faces a pair of domestic battery charges, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Andre Curry, 22, has claimed the incident was a misunderstood joke, reported.

The photo on Curry's Facebook?page showed his then-22-month-old daughter with her mouth taped shut and her hands bound by blue tape, reported.

The caption beneath the photo read, "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back."

On Tuesday, during an hour-long bench trial before Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood, Curry?s relatives and Chicago police testified that Curry?s daughter was jovial and playful following the Dec. 13 stunt and did not have any visible injuries.

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Curry?s sister, Annastesia Curry, described the events at her South Side Chicago home last year as horsing around. The taping incident, she said, lasted just 30 seconds and the baby was laughing afterward, the Sun-Times reported.

Andre Curry texted the picture to the child?s mother, writing, ?Mommy help me.? The mother, Yesmin Doss, 21, testified for the prosecution, the Sun-Times reported.

Detective Charles Hollendoner testified that he saw no bruises or marks on the baby when he checked up on her after Curry?s Facebook friends called officials about the posting, the Sun-Times reported. Hollendoner said Curry told him that he and his daughter continued to play after she slapped him, but that the taping was not retaliatory.

Flood said he would render his verdict on the domestic battery charges on Nov. 8, the Sun-Times reported.

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Curry was jailed until he posted $100,000 bond. He was ordered to stay off the Internet and away from all children under the age of 18, including his daughter, reported.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Storm's cost may hit $50B; rebuilding to ease blow -

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Superstorm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

In the long run, the devastation the storm inflicted on New York City and other parts of the Northeast will barely nick the U.S. economy. That's the view of economists who say a slightly slower economy in coming weeks will likely be matched by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to growth over time.

The short-term blow to the economy, though, could subtract about 0.6 percentage point from U.S. economic growth in the October-December quarter, IHS says. Retailers, airlines and home construction firms will likely lose some business.

The storm cut power to more than 8 million homes, shut down 70 percent of East Coast oil refineries and inflicted worse-than-expected damage in the New York metro area. That area produces about 10 percent of U.S. economic output.

New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air. The superstorm overflowed the city's waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands. Power is expected to be fully restored in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days.

The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday after being shut down for two days. There's no evidence that the shutdown had any effect on the financial system or the economy. But Jim Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management, said further delays might have rattled consumers and dampened their spending.

"It's about confidence," Paulsen said. "We're watching these horrific images of the storm, and people are thinking whether they should ahead with that big purchase ....It doesn't do any good to have another day with headlines saying the U.S can't figure out how to open its stock exchange."

Most homeowners who suffered losses from flooding won't be able to benefit from their insurance policies. Standard homeowner policies don't cover flood damage, and few homeowners have flood insurance.

But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they will offer help to borrowers whose homes were damaged or destroyed, who live in designated disaster areas and whose loans the mortgage giants own or guarantee. Among other steps, mortgage servicers will be allowed to reduce the monthly payments of affected homeowners or require no payments from them temporarily.

Across U.S. industries, disruptions will slow the economy temporarily. Some restaurants and stores will draw fewer customers. Factories may shut down or shorten shifts because of a drop in customer demand.

Some of those losses won't be easily made up. Restaurants that lose two or three days of business, for example, won't necessarily experience a rebound later. And money spent to repair a home may lead to less spending elsewhere.

With some roads in the Northeast impassable after the storm, drivers won't be filling up as much. That will slow demand for gasoline. Pump prices, which had been declining before the storm, will likely keep slipping. The national average for a gallon of regular fell by about a penny Tuesday, to $3.53 ? more than 11 cents lower than a week ago.

Shipping and business travel has been suspended in areas of the Northeast. More than 15,000 flights across the Northeast and the world have been grounded, and it will take days for some passengers to get where they're going.

On Tuesday, more than 6,000 flights were canceled, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware. More than 500 flights scheduled for Wednesday were also canceled.

The three big New York airports were closed Tuesday. New York has the nation's busiest airspace, so cancellations there drastically affect travel in other cities.

Economists noted that the short-term hit to the economy was worsened by the size of the population centers the storm hit.

"Sandy hit a high-population-density area with a lot of expensive homes," said Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist at TD Bank.

Hurricane damage to homes, businesses and roads reduces U.S. wealth. But it doesn't subtract from the government's calculation of economic activity.

By contrast, rebuilding and restocking by businesses and consumers add to the nation's gross domestic product ? the broadest gauge of economic production. GDP measures all goods and services produced in the United States.

Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, expects the storm to shave 0.1 to 0.2 percentage point from annual economic growth in the October-December quarter. He thinks the economy will grow at an annual rate of 1.5 percent to 2 percent in the fourth quarter. It grew at a 2 percent annual rate last quarter.

But Ashworth said any losses this quarter should be made up later as rebuilding boosts sales at building supply stores and other companies.

"People will load up on whatever they need to make repairs ? roofing, dry wall, carpeting ? to deal with the damage," he said.

In the short run, Caranci said the economic damage could be worst for small businesses that lack the money and other resources to withstand lost sales.

"It will remain to be seen how long disruptions to electricity and infrastructure persist," she said.

But she noted that the storm should help the construction industry, which shed millions of workers after the housing bust. Many who lost construction jobs were skilled employees with disproportionately high pay, and the loss of those jobs hit the economy hard.

Major retailers began trying Tuesday to ramp up their operations before the critical holiday shopping period.

Sears Holdings Corp., which operates Kmart and Sears, said 80 of its stores were still closed at midday Tuesday, down from 187 Monday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, said it was working to reopen the 168 stores it closed. And Darden Restaurants Inc., parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, by Tuesday afternoon had reopened roughly 160 of the 260 restaurants it closed Monday.

Retailers collect up to 40 percent of their annual revenue in November and December. Retailers, excluding restaurants, could lose at least $25 billion in sales this week, estimates Burt Flickinger III of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. Because of the storm, he's reduced his forecast for holiday sales to a 2.1 percent increase over last year from the 3.2 percent increase he had predicted earlier.

Reopening is often difficult after a storm. Because New York's subways and buses remained closed Tuesday, it was hard for many employees to get to work. Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship stores stayed closed Tuesday ? bad news for those retailers, because major department stores can derive 10 percent of annual sales from their Manhattan locations.

Still, those stores that could open for business did. A Westside Market in Manhattan remained open 24 hours a day throughout the storm, even though only about 20 percent of workers managed to show up Monday and Tuesday.

"They found a way to get here ? I don't know how," store manager Jay Bilone said.

Insured losses from the superstorm will likely total $5 billion to $10 billion, the forecasting firm Eqecat estimates. Insurance losses are typically a fraction of the overall cost.

Chubb, Allstate and Travelers are the insurers most likely to suffer losses, said Greg Locraft, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Those companies claim a major share of the affected areas.

But "as an insurance event, Sandy is going to be a blip on the balance sheet," said Duncan Ellis, U.S. property practice leader at Marsh, the insurance broker. "2012 has been a relatively catastrophe-free year."

Economists expect actual property damages from Hurricane Sandy to exceed those caused last year by Hurricane Irene, which cost $15.8 billion. Irene had little effect on the nation's growth.

Sandy will likely be among the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. It would still be far below the worst ? Hurricane Katrina, which cost $108 billion in 2005.

But "there is every reason to believe that the hurricane won't kick the legs out of an already-fragile U.S. economy," Caranci said.


AP Business Writers Sandy Shore in Denver, Candice Choi, Anne D'Innocenzio, Matthew Craft, Bernard Condon and Bree Fowler in New York and Mark Jewell in Boston contributed to this report.


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11 iPhone Apps to Strength Train and Lift Smarter | Greatist

11 iPhone Apps to Strength Train and Lift Smarter

Frankly, the science behind gaining muscle isn?t very difficult; it mostly comes down to loading up the bar, and then loading up the fork. That?s not to say it doesn?t take discipline and commitment. That?s why any help we can get is appreciated. So if the math is so simple, why do so many fitness apps sport more features than a Japanese toilet? All those gizmos and gadgets can be more hindrance than help.

Greatist has rounded up 11 of the best strength training apps to lift smarter (all at least available on iPhone; Androids never fear, there are options here, too!). These apps will help anyone work out right, eat better, rest up, and track the whole thing, all on a mobile device. Read on to find out how!

Getting Stronger

Time in the gym should be time spent working, not futzing with a phone. Skip the complex apps with tons of preloaded workouts by who-only-knows and walk in the gym with a plan from a trustworthy source, and pared down apps like:

Pumping Weight
Pumping Weight

Pumping Weight

Aside from being devastatingly handsome, this simple guy sports some nifty features, like automatically recording rest periods. That?s helpful for judging the intensity of a particular session (plus it fosters a beat-the-clock kind of focus). Although Pumping Weight does a fantastic job of recording and visually charting progress with everything from weights to intervals, it isn?t entirely intuitive. Sacrifice 10 minutes learning its ins-and-outs and Pumping Weight will become an indispensable training tool.
Details: Cost: $2.99. Available for iOS.

Gym Buddy

Gym Buddy is ugly. Very ugly. But it makes up for aesthetics with no-nonsense functionality that?s great for serious lifters. Take, for example, the swipe-through interface that makes tracking supersets super simple, plus it?s one of the few apps that can juggle multiple lifting programs. (Pro Tip: track more than 150 workouts and the app starts to lag, annoyingly.) The preset timers only offer 30, 60, and 120 second rest periods but they do count down to an audible boxing bell cue, which is embarrassingly motivational ? cue the Rocky montage!
Details: Cost: $2.99. Available for iOS.

Gym Hero

A lesson in simplicity, this app is little more than a digital notebook.?It can hold multiple programs and backs up automatically to the web, but for anything else ? timers, instruction, the ability to track cardio ? look elsewhere.
Details: Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

StrongLifts 5?5

This is an intuitive and well designed app that automates the super-popular StrongLifts 5?5 program. It can figure out ideal weights, tracking progress, and even deloading folks automatically when they plateau ? but that?s all it does.?There?s no room for tracking cardio or accessory work. Basically it?s all about drinking the ?5 exercise, 5 set, 5 rep? Kool-Aid, or find a supplemental journaling app (Gym Hero, for example).
Details: Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Digital Diets for Real Life Muscles

Livestrong MyPlate Calorie Tracker

Livestrong MyPlate Calorie Tracker

A huge part of strength training, whether it be dropping fat or adding muscle, is going to come down to what goes into the tank, but keeping nutrition on point during the 160+ hours not spent grunting and grinding out reps can be harder than the actual workout.?Food diaries can make monitoring calorie (and protein) intake considerably easier. It?s vital, however, to pick a good one like these:


Powerful and simple, MyNetDiary addresses the two biggest problems the trackers below have: It offers a decent portfolio of foods available offline, but MyNetDiary also comes with access to an online database that rivals the best resources out there. The app also includes a handy barcode scanner (though it?s really only useful in the paid version), and even a built in ?Before & After? feature for taking selfies, which may sound silly, but let?s be honest ? vanity is a heck of a motivator.
Details: Cost: Free, or $3.99 for the Pro Version (recommended). Available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

Tap & Track

The fact this guy works offline is huge (especially in New York, where subway rides are the perfect time to figure out what Apollo Ono?s fave foods really do to a diet). Tap & Track also allows for macro targets (protein, carbs and fat) for the day, which is a basic feature most trackers lack. While it?s incredibly intuitive, searching the database can get frustrating (Pop Chips? No results. Popchips? Oh, there we go!) especially since it?s probably somewhere in Tap & Track?s well-appointed database.
Details: Cost: $3.99. Available for iOS.

Livestrong?s MyPlate Calorie Tracker

Livestrong?s huge user base makes its roster of eats one of the best in the business (banh m? for lunch? BAM! There?re 30 options where most trackers have none). Don?t underestimate the importance of a good database, because really, who is going to spend five minutes entering the breakdown manually??That said, Livestrong?s Achilles? heel is its reliance on the Internet. It may spare space on phones, but for anyone with slow (or no) service tracking, using MyPlate can become a trying experience.
Details: Cost: $2.99. Available for iOS, Android, most Blackberry devices (see app store for details), and Window?s Phone.

Make Sure to Rest

sleep cycle app

Sleep Cycle

Sleep, along with training intelligently and eating well, is a key cog in any strength plan: get too little and the deficit will show in the gym. Plus it can lead to overtraining. While these apps have even greater limitations than their pricier brethren, for people who chronically miss out on the Zzz?s they can be useful to identify underlying problems so insomnia doesn?t have to be taken lying down (*groan*).

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Sleep Cycle attempts to wake users during the lightest stages of their sleep cycle so they awake feeling more refreshed. To pull off this feat the app has users pick a timeframe in which they need to rise, then sleep with their phones in the bed so it can use the accelerometer to sense tossing and turning in the night. The app boasts that it was once the top paid app in nine countries, which is a testament to how useful many have found it. For the most part, I found it seemed to always go off at the earliest possible moment.
Details: Cost: $0.99. Available for iOS.

EasyWakeup Pro

While largely interchangeable with the above app, this slightly more expensive option also seemed to measure depth of sleep more reliably, which could be valuable to someone who?s trying to understand their sleep patterns better. However, even with this additional sensitivity, the alarm still seems to go off at the beginning of the designated wake-up window.
Details: $4.99. Available for iOS.

Track Your Progress

gametrac app

Game Trac

Working out? Check. Eating better? Check. Resting right? Check. Now all that?s left is to make sure all that hard work is turning into real results. These apps will help chart a user?s progress and stay on top of those strength training goals (we might even bust a plateau or two).


For anyone who?s looking to add strength for functional reasons, being able to measure how weight room accomplishments translate into real world gains, fitnessMeter?s an awesome tool. Using the phone?s camera the app can automatically time suicides, sprints (though it?s only helpful if they?re under 20 meters), and measure vertical leap. While all of these would admittedly be more accurately measured by a real-life person, fitnessMeter frees you from the need to drag a friend to the track every day.
Details Cost: $1.99. Available for iOS.


For anyone who plays sports, this simple app is a great way to quantify in-game performance. That could be a major help in figuring out if all that time under the bar is paying off. GameTrac makes managing the stats of one person, or an entire team (including wins and losses), incredibly easy ? it even offers to populate teams using contacts found on the phone. Most major sports come preloaded, but everyting from the games to the actual states are customizable. Just don?t underestimate a stat sheet?s ability to heat up a friendly game of hoops.
Details: Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Have you ever used an app or technology to improve your training regime? Any apps we missed? Share your experience in the comments below.



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Vonne Monai's Beauty, Health & Fitness Guide: AP poll: Majority ...

I am an American Mulatto.
My Mother is Cherokee & Seminole (tall, yellow, black kinky hair, (Bette Davis) brown eyes, pretty.
My Father is Italian American (tall, rock star skinny, curly blond hair, gorgeous blue eyes, incredibly handsome.

I am 5'7", 100 lbs., Size Zero, Brown Eyes, Curly Black Hair
Professional Actress, Model,?Composer, Artist & Poetess

My name is pronounced vonnie monay

I have created hundreds of original musical compositions, but due to the excessiveness of the Organized Criminal Gang Stalking I have to endured on a constant basis; I have only 60 songs?and only 60 poems?copywritten.

I also have not had the time to even present my work in a professional manner.

I figured I would present it raw since these creatures think they can erase me and my life. ?They are lowlives who think they can make their outrageous "frame ups" stick.

I have been a vegetarian all of my life.

I know it is not for everyone and have never and will never try to force anyone to eat the way I do. I was forced by my mother to eat meat because of my blood disorder, Thalassemia Minor. She tried to frighten me into eating it by telling me that I would die if I didn't. I am still alive!


I am a True Gemini a Syzygy and a Grand Cross!

Syzygy?in?Astronomy? is an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet.

In a Grand Cross, there is one planet in each astrological element (fire, earth, air and water) but all the planets are in signs of the same modality or quality.

I am a victim of child pornographers, sadistic, homosexual, pedophile, rapists, kidnapping, forced breeding & sex slavery. I am still stalked by these slanderers. I will tell anyone who will listen until I have justice. I am so fed up with them that I have begun to names names.

These brute beasts twice dead (A New Teatament description of these creatures) ought to thank me for sharing their actual "Accomplishments" Crimes.

I think it is all about the land that was stolen from my family.

Tropicana Orange Juice is on it in Bradenton, Florida, USA.

These posts are designed to disrupt the MuslimTerrorist, Zionists/Jewish, Papist/Catholic Inquisitors/Mafia & Willie Lynch Slaves/Blacks , Third World/Illegal Aliens attempts to commit The Genocide of True Americans!


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DC Ranch Real Estate Under $500,000 (October 2012) | eXp Realty ...

DC Ranch Real Estate Under $500,000 (October 2012)

In North Scottsdale, what a better way to ?find one of the most prestigious places you?ll ever find anywhere in the country. Let alone, not pay more than a half of a million dollars to live there? ?This place has it all where you can get more BANG for your Buck! ?With this historical feel,?DC Ranch?has all the amenities with activities, employment, shopping and fun. ?The 43,000 acres of land has become one of the most attractive places to live in the Phoenix Valley Metro, since it was developed in the early 1900?s.

The DC Ranch community is located at the base of?McDowell Mountains?with private golf and residential community in North Scottsdale is situated at the corner of Pima Road and Thompson Peak Parkway. This area is developed with residential homes and condominiums, but has its high integrity of keeping its desert open and preserved, but is awaiting for you!

You would think, ?Wow! This is great but it would cost me a fortune! It?s going to cost me at least a million dollars!? You are in for a huge surprise.

I found these listings that may fit your needs in location, amenities in the community and features you want, all under $500,000!

Best of all these are regular active sales are NOT short sales!

To give you ideas what have sold in DC Ranch under $500,000, there are 3 properties sold within the past ?months.

If you are interested?in any of these prestigious homes and condominiums in DC Ranch of any of these listings, I have the keys for your DC Ranch home!?Other additional active listings are also available by clicking the link below. Please call me and I?ll let you in. I?ll set you up with the valley?s best professionals for all your financing needs!

James W. Plummer III (Jim), Scottsdale


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Northeast battens down the hatches as Sandy approaches

NEW YORK (AP) ? A fast-strengthening Hurricane Sandy churned north Monday, raking ghost-town cities along the Northeast corridor with rain and wind gusts. Subways and schools were closed across the region of 50 million people, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was deserted, and thousands fled inland.

Forecasters expected the monster hurricane to make a westward lurch and aim for New Jersey, blowing ashore Monday night and combining with two other weather systems to create an epic superstorm.

Its projected path put New York City and Long Island in the danger zone for a huge surge of seawater made more fearsome by high tides and a full moon.

"This is the worst-case scenario," said Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

By late morning, the storm's top winds had strengthened to 90 mph. It was about 200 miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J., where the emptied-out streets were mostly under water and where an old section of the historic boardwalk broke up and washed away.

Authorities moved to close the Holland Tunnel, which connects New York and New Jersey, and a tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Street grates above the New York subway were boarded up, but officials worried that seawater would seep in and damage the switches.

Because the storm is so big, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 500 miles from its center, it could upend daily life for big cities and small towns alike across the Northeast ? including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston ? and as far west as the Great Lakes. Up to 3 feet of snow was forecast for the West Virginia mountains.

Millions of people in the storm's path stayed home from work. Subways, buses and trains shut down, and more than 7,000 flights in and out of the East were canceled, snarling travel around the globe. Hundreds of thousands of people were under orders to flee the coast, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City, but authorities warned that the time to get out was short or already past.

"I think this one's going to do us in," said Mark Palazzolo, who boarded up his bait-and-tackle shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., with the same wood he used in past storms, crossing out the names of Hurricanes Isaac and Irene and spray-painting "Sandy" next to them.

"I got a call from a friend of mine from Florida last night who said, 'Mark, get out! If it's not the storm, it'll be the aftermath. People are going to be fighting in the streets over gasoline and food.'"

President Barack Obama declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, authorizing federal relief work to begin well ahead of time. He promised the government would "respond big and respond fast" after the storm hits.

"My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape," Obama said. "We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules."

Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane, was blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard. As of 11 a.m., it was moving at 18 mph, with hurricane-force winds extending an extraordinary 175 miles from its center.

About 90 miles off Cape Hatteras, N.C., the Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members by helicopter from a replica of the 18th-century tall ship made famous in the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty." The Coast Guard searched for two other crew members.

The rescued had donned survival suits and life jackets and boarded two lifeboats after the ship began taking on water. They were plucked from 18-foot seas just before sunrise.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said a fishing pier in the beach resort of Ocean City, not far from a popular boardwalk and amusement park, was "half-gone." The area had been ordered evacuated on Sunday.

Water was already a foot deep on the streets of Lindenhurst, N.Y., along the southern edge of Long Island, and the canals around the island's Great South Bay were bulging two hours before high tide. Gale-force winds blew overnight over coastal North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and coastal New Jersey.

Forecasters warned that New York City and Long Island could be on the dangerous northeastern edge of the tempest and bear the worst of the storm surge ? a wall of seawater up to 11 feet high that could swamp lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and cripple the network of electrical and communications lines that are vital to the nation's financial center.

The major American stock exchanges closed for the day, the first unplanned shutdown since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. The floor of the NYSE, typically bustling with traders on a Monday morning, fell within the city's mandatory evacuation zone. The United Nations canceled all meetings at its New York headquarters.

New York called off school for the city's 1.1 million students, and the more than 5 million people who depend on its transit network every day were left without a way to get around. Most planned to stay inside anyway.

"If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was typically blunt: "Don't be stupid. Get out."

The storm bore down barely a week before the presidential election. Wary of being seen as putting political pursuits ahead of public safety, Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney reshuffled their campaign plans.

In Virginia, one of the most competitive states, election officials eased absentee voting requirements for those affected by the storm. Three other closely contested states, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Ohio, were within Sandy's reach. Early voting was canceled Monday in Maryland and Washington, D.C., both reliably Democratic.

After hooking inland, Sandy was expected to collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. Forecasters said the combination could bring close to a foot of rain in places, a potentially lethal storm surge of 4 to 11 feet across much of the region, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days.

Craig Fugate, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA teams were deployed from North Carolina to Maine and as far inland as West Virginia, bringing generators and basic supplies that will be needed in the storm's aftermath.

"I have not been around long enough to see a hurricane forecast with a snow advisory in it," Fugate told NBC's "Today" show.

Pennsylvania's largest utilities brought in hundreds of line-repair and tree-trimming crews. In New Jersey, where utilities were widely criticized last year for slow responses after the remnants of storms Irene and Lee, authorities promised a better performance. Hundreds of homes and businesses were already without electricity early Monday.


Breed reported from Raleigh, N.C.; Contributing to this report were AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington; Katie Zezima in Atlantic City, N.J.; David Porter in Pompton Lakes, N.J.; Wayne Parry in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.; and David Dishneau in Delaware.


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Insurance industry worried Romney might actually repeal Obamacare

Oh, now they?re worried.

The insurance industry did a lot of crying about Obamacare, even though we?ve known for a while it was going to be big business for them. ?Now they?re crying because ? heaven forbid! ? a Romney victory, along with a GOP-controlled House, might mean chaos for their business as the GOP attempts to follow through on its threat to repeal health care reform.

Poor babies, right?

Despite all of the talk by Republicans about how disruptive Democrats are for business, it sure sounds like it?s the Republicans who are the making life unpredictable for business. ?This time for the insurance industry.

In truth, the Republicans are loose cannons and everyone knows it ? remember, it was GOP threats not to pass the debt ceiling increase that caused the US? credit rating to be downgraded.

From National Journal:

The big new element on Friday was an official outside recognition that U.S. creditworthiness is being undermined by a new factor: political insanity. S&P didn?t base its downgrade on a change in the U.S. fiscal and economic outlook. It based it on the political game of chicken over the debt ceiling, a game that Republicans initiated and pushed to the limit, and on a growing gloom about the partisan deadlock.?? Part of S&P?s gloom, moreover, stemmed explicitly from what a new assessment of the GOP?s ability to block any and all tax increases.

S&P was remarkably blunt that its downgrade was mostly about heightened political risks: ??The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as?America?s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,?and less predictable than what we previously believed,? it said?.

To be sure, S&P didn?t specifically single out Republicans. It criticized the overall $2.4 trillion deal as too limited, and it implicitly criticized both political parties for refusing to tackle their sacred cows ? entitlements, in the case of Democrats; tax increases in the case of Republicans.

But it?s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans.? In denouncing the threat of default as a ?bargaining chip,? the agency was saying that the GOP strategy had shaken its confidence.? Though S&P didn?t mention it, the agency must have been unnerved by the number of Republicans who insisted that it would be fine to blow through the debt ceiling and provoke a default.

And now Big Insurance has suddenly woken up to the fact that Republican insanity is bad for business. ?Maybe they should have thought about that before joining the GOP in ripping Obamacare.

ABC via Yahoo:

Although the industry hates parts of President Barack Obama?s health care law, major outfits such as UnitedHealth Group and BlueCross Blue Shield also stand to rake in billions of dollars from new customers who?ll get health insurance under the law. The companies already have invested tens of millions to carry it out.Were Romney elected, insurers would be in for months of uncertainty as his administration gets used to Washington and tries to make good on his promise repeal Obama?s law. Simultaneously, federal and state bureaucrats and the health care industry would face a rush of legal deadlines for putting into place the major pieces of what Republicans deride as ?Obamacare.?

Would they follow the law on the books or the one in the works? What would federal courts tell them to do?

Looking at the strange and destructive insanity of the GOP, let?s take a guess how a GOP Congress might react.


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Falcons Cheerleaders Finish Second at Cheer Competition ...








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Natina Reed Dead After Being Hit By Car

Natina Reed, who found stardom as an R&B singer in the 90s was struck by a car and killed in Atlanta this weekend at just 32-years-old. Normally celebrity deaths come to us with scandalous background stories–drugs, DUI, and sometimes even murder. But in this case, Reed was simply hit by a car. So what happened? Well, it seems that The driver won’t be charged, and was actually the person who called 911. From the looks of this one, it sounds like she somehow got in the way, either by crossing the street without looking, or for some other reason. The investigation is still underway, but again, the driver has so far been found to NOT be a fault. That leads me to believe that she could have even been jaywalking. It’s so very sad. You may also recognize her from the movie Bring It On, where she played a cheerleader. Sadly, she leaves a ten year old son behind, and a husband, who is actually a well known rapper named Kurupt. I guess we will have to wait for more information to be released before we can piece together how she managed to get hit. If it was anywhere near [...]


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ukraine's ruling party leads in election: exit polls

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich's pro-business ruling party led in a national election on Sunday and seemed likely to keep its majority in parliament, exit polls showed, despite a strong showing by the combined opposition.

Two exit polls issued when a day of voting ended showed Yanukovich's Party of the Regions in the lead with between 28 percent and 30.5 percent of the voting in the part of balloting conducted by party lists.

But the united opposition, which includes the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party of Yanukovich's jailed opponent Yulia Tymoshenko, took around 24 percent while the opposition UDAR liberal party of boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko was on around 15 per cent.

There were no immediate available figures for how this would translate into seats in the 450-member single-chamber parliament.

But Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the ruling party was the clear victor while another senior leadership figure said the final results would show the Regions holding a majority.

"The exit poll data speaks for itself. It is clear the Party of the Regions has won... These elections signal confidence in the President's policies," Azarov told journalists.

But Arseny Yatsenyuk, head of the united opposition in the absence of Tymoshenko, said: "The exit poll results have shown that the people of Ukraine support the opposition and not the government."

Candidates voted in on party lists account for half of the seats while the other 225 seats will be decided by voting in individual constituencies on a first-past-the-post basis - a feature which is assumed to favor the Regions party.

Though the exit polls showed some decline in support for the Yanukovich government which is unpopular because of its tax and pension policies, the figures suggested the Regions might be able to form a majority especially if it was supported by allies such as the communists.

Borys Kolesnikov, a deputy prime minister, went further, saying he foresaw the Regions picking up two thirds of these single-mandate constituencies, handing the Regions a majority.

Victory by the Regions is certain to cement the leadership of Yanukovich who comes up for re-election in 2015 and whose rule has been marked by an accumulation of presidential powers and antagonism with the West over Tymoshenko's imprisonment.

With the West seeing the poll as a test of Ukraine's commitment to democracy, interest will focus on the judgment that international monitors will hand down.

Observers from the OSCE European security and human rights body are due on Monday to give their judgment on how fair and free they perceived the poll to have been.

A positive assessment could improve Yanukovich's image before Ukraine takes over the organization's chair in January.


The former Soviet republic of 46 million is more isolated internationally than it has been for years. Apart from being at odds with the United States and the European Union over Tymoshenko, Ukraine does not see eye to eye with Russia which has turned a deaf ear to Kiev's calls for cheaper gas.

At home, the government is also blamed for failing to stamp out corruption and has backed off from painful reforms that could secure much-needed IMF lending to shore up its export-driven economy.

But the Regions, which is bankrolled by the country's wealthy industrialists, should have no difficulty in forming a majority with the Communists who also easily passed the 5 per cent barrier needed for parliamentary representation, according to the exit polls.

But it might now face a tougher time in parliament.

Klitschko, the WBC world heavyweight champion, says his UDAR (Punch) party will team up with the opposition led by Yatsenyuk, a former economy minister, to fight corruption, which they say deters entrepreneurial spirit and foreign investment.

He urged voters on Sunday "vote as your heart tells you".

From her jail in Kharkiv in Ukraine's northeast, Tymoshenko last Thursday issued a statement warning that Yanukovich, who comes up for re-election in 2015, would set up a "dictatorship and never again give up power by peaceful means".

Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years last year for abuse of office relating to a 2009 gas deal with Russia which she made when she was prime minister. The Yanukovich government says the agreement saddled Ukraine with an enormous price for gas supplies.

(Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)


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