The second best handball league in Europe, French LNH began last Wednesday with the matches of the Round 1. The two TOP teams, PSG Handball and HC Montpellier celebrated the home wins led by shooting performances of Mikkel Hansen (14 goals) and Dragan Gajic (11 goals), two TOP scorers from the previous season also.Complete results – Round 1:Paris SG 36 – 32 NimesMontpellier 31 – 25 ChartresTremblay 23 – 24 IvryAix 34 – 34 NantesCreteil 27 – 27 Chambery SavoieCesson Rennes 25 – 23 DunkerqueToulouse 26 – 28 St. Raphael ← Previous Story Women’s EHF CL QUAL: Glassverket and Baia Mare to host battle for last two spots Next Story → SILENCE IN FLENS ARENA: MT Melsungen beat Flensburg! LNH handballMontpellier handballPSG Handball
The shocking news was published yesterday in the most of Croatian media about possible closing of Arena Zagreb just before the official start of Men’s EHF EURO 2018. The reason – debt which Croatian Handball Federation and City of Zagreb has in cooperation with Arena’s owners – company Ingra.Arena Zagreb has to host all Rounds of matches including Final weekend between January 26 and 28. ← Previous Story Montenegro without first star Vuko Borozan at EHF EURO 2018 Next Story → New Belgrade Summer Cup 2017 in June
(Image: Damien Stenson)Good news, nostalgia fans: seminal RTE programme The School Around the Corner is making a comeback. RTE has confirmed it’s making a special one-off edition of the programme for Christmas. Hurrah! Remember the theme tune?(Video: magnethead12345/YouTube) (Image: Catshaming.tumblr.com)This incredible photograph of the Milky Way shimmering above the Cliffs of Moher sent in by reader and photographer Damien Stenson has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook today: THINGS WE SHAREDWe’ve already had Dogshaming – now there’s a Catshaming Tumblr to humiliate the feline in your life and expose their failings to the world. Morto for them. #UP IN THE AIR: Ryanair has been told that it cannot buy Stansted Airport.#MORTGAGES: Enda Kenny has said that AIB must do whatever is necessary – including increasing its variable mortgage interest rates – to return to profitability and avoid a further bailout.#GOOGLE: Had trouble accessing Google.ie today? You’re not the only one.THINGS WE LOVED This is simultaneously awful and compulsive. The premise: women put up text messages they received from a man and ask what it means. Readers choose one of three options: He’s Into You, He’s Not Into You, or Verdict Is Still Out. Needless to say, most of the time He’s Just Not That Into Them.Want to have a nerdy text adventure based on Hamlet? (It’s just like the early 2000s all over again). #JOBSWATCH: Up to 1,300 jobs will be created by the Kerry Group over the next three years as it builds a new campus in Kildare.#FARMERS: An estimated 20,000 farmers have taken to the streets of Dublin to protest possible cuts to the EU’s operating budget which they say would have a serious detrimental impact on Irish agriculture. Here’s a slideshow of the protests.#COURTS: A Sligo woman has become the first person to successfully sue people responsible for murder after the High Court today awarded her €720,000 in damages over the killing of her husband in 1999.#HEALTH: “You’re a disgrace as a public official” – a Fianna Fáil TD has walked out of tonight’s meeting between the Public Accounts Committee and the heads of the HSE and the Department of Health. Here’s what happened. Ella-ella-ella… A new art installation called ‘Umbrella Sky’ in York in England shows 45 coloured umbrellas suspended within the wall of an old tower and is a light-hearted look at the recent bad weather suffered by the city. (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire)HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED
FORMER PRESIDENT OF Ireland Mary Robinson has been appointed UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa today.Ongoing political and social strife in recent years has destabilised the region with NGOs reporting that volatile environments have made it increasingly difficult for them to implement their development programmes.Today, Plan Ireland, which operates in several countries in the region said the appointment of somebody with Robinson’s experience and stature is likely to give “extra impetus to the efforts to find a resolution to the area’s difficulties”.CEO of Plan said that any move which will “increase the chances of bringing greater stability and calm to the region is to be welcomed, as it will enable NGOs, like Plan, to carry out our work much more effectively”.Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore also welcomed the announcement, hailing Robinson for her “exceptional skills and experience as well as her global profile and reputation”.Ireland has had a long and significant involvement in efforts to promote peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country which has for far too long endured conflict and tragedy. Ireland strongly supports the leadership offered by the United Nations, and in particular the personal diplomatic engagement of the Secretary-General, in this renewed effort to break the cycle of violence in eastern DRC.Robinson will play a central role in overseeing the implementation of the new regional agreement as well as facilitating leaders of the region to address the challenges faced by the DRC.Read: Magdalene group raises concerns with UN committee>Read: Rise in ‘designer drugs’ poses serious health risk: UN report>
Read: Damning report finds “inconsistent and widespread” breaches of penalty points policy> THE GARDAÍ HAVE said they will be out in force patrolling the streets and the roads this St. Patrick’s weekend to ensure that everyone has a “safe and fun” weekend.Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the gardaí are reminding road-users that there will be a high garda presence over the weekend “to tackle high risk behaviours, with a particular focus of non-compliance of seat belt-wearing”.The gardaí said today during their briefing, where they were doing random seat-belt checks, that St Patrick’s Day is a fun weekend that everyone should enjoy.Safety operationsThey said that over the bank holiday weekend there will be several strategic road safety operation plans in place, as well as pro-active policing of the streets to ward off public order offences.The gardaí said while they do not discuss the resources that will be operational during events like the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but said: “There will be sufficient numbers of gardaí present to effectively police the event and the weekend.”ResourcesChief Superintendent Michael O’Sullivan said that every year strategic plans are drawn up and put in place to police the large numbers of people in Dublin city centre.“Every resource will be made available for this weekend,” he said.“It is a well-rehearsed plan. Every year it is tweaked and modified depending on how successful it was the year before,” he added.“Our message this weekend, is that we would love to get from the start of the weekend to the end with no fatalities,” said Superintendent O’Sullivan.“People should be aware of other drivers, as the roads will be busy this weekend. Also, if there is good weather there will be more cyclists on the roads, so drivers should also be aware of that too. People should plan their journeys, and of course, people should never ever drink and drive or drug and drive,” he said.He added: “Between 2007 to 2013, 17 people were killed and seriously injured on our roads on St. Patrick’s Day – we don’t want any this year.”Read: PAC refers serious allegations about Rehab to gardaí>
SUPERMARKET SHOPPERS MAY soon be able to use their cúpla focail as they shop.Supermarket giant Tesco has confirmed that they are examining a plan that would see bi-lingual self-service checkouts installed in their 146 stores across the country.A company spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the plan was being looked into, but could not provide any other details. The spokesperson said that no timelines have been decided and that there had been no decisions on how many checkouts would be installed in each store if the plan was pursued.Tesco operates a similar system in Wales, where their 74 stores can serve customers in Welsh.The move comes after a successful pilot project in the Galway Shopping Centre branch, where signs and announcements are made in both languages, classes are held for staff and a designated Irish-speaking checkout is available.The initiative has seen Tesco nominated for an award by Gaillimh le Gaeilge, a group that works with Galway City Council, Galway Chamber and other groups to boost the Irish language in the county.Tesco’s spokesperson said that the Galway experiment was well received by both shoppers and staff.Read: Can you speak Irish? Want to help the world learn?
AFTER YESTERDAY’S HUGELY-disappointing defeat in Edinburgh, Declan Kidney was counting the cost on his Ireland players’ bodies today.The IRFU have confirmed this evening that there are two main injury concerns in the wake of the Scotland game.Ulster winger Craig Gilroy — who came off with a sore groin yesterday — underwent an MRI scan earlier which didn’t reveal ‘any significant damage’.Donnacha Ryan, meanwhile, will also rehab this week after a scan showed no ‘structural damage’ to a bruised shoulder.Jonathan Sexton is expected to begin running again this week as he tries to recover from a hamstring injury. Gordon D’Arcy — suffering from a foot injury — will be reassessed next week as he’ll be in a boot for another 10 days.“Mike McCarthy’s medial knee ligament injury has progressed well to the point that he is also running and he will be retested at the end of the week to assess his availability for the France game,” a statement from the Union concludes.VIDEO: Ruben Wiki loves tackling streakers, LOVES IT!Shakira, shimmies and tramping up the middle: 10 things we learned from Tommy Bowe’s Bodycheck
It was not intended to be a general discussion on abortion…The issue was addressed again in a segment on Ireland AM on Wednesday, 24 October where the previous interview was raised with a member of pro-life group, The Life Institute.However, the programme was unable to secure an interview until this date and the BAI ruled that too much time had elapsed between the broadcasts to consider them related.“It is the view of the Committee that the programme presenters did not adequately challenge or investigate the views of the interviewee and as a result the discussion was not fair to the interest of viewers.”The Committee also noted that the questions posed by the presenters were phrased in a manner that a viewer would reasonably understand to denote sympathy to the interviewee.The BAI dismissed the complainant’s comment that the opposing viewpoint is that held by the “majority of the population” as it was not considered relevant.Psychic Readings LiveA third complaint about a TV3 broadcast was upheld by the BAI in relation to the controversial Psychic Readings Live, which air late at night.The complaint was made about a 29 October segment which saw the host Theo talk about a medical issue, which is not allowed under the watchdog’s codes.Section 8.10.4 of the Code prohibits the inclusion in commercial communications for psychic services any references to health matters.Theo had given specific information about a caller’s friend who was suffering from cancer.The Complaints Committee has upheld a number of complaints about TV3′s psychics shows in recent months. Two other complaints were partially upheld during this round of decisions.Download the BAI’s decision document>BAI upholds another three complaints against TV3 ‘psychics’ show COMPLAINTS MADE ABOUT TV3′s Tonight with Vincent Browne current affairs programme and its morning show Ireland AM have been upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.The complaint about Vincent Browne’s 23 October 2012 broadcast which included mentions of the continuing conflict in the Middle East was upheld on the grounds that it failed to be fair, objective and impartial.However, the BAI dismissed the claim that the presenter made anti-Semitic remarks during the show.The watchdog found that an editorial statement by the presenter was not balanced by other contributions throughout the programme. It also said the comments were made without “apparent context or relevance” as the main focus of the programme was the imminent US Presidential election, and not the State of Israel.The complainant, a Mr Paul Rossiter, noted in his submission that Browne had called Israel “the cancer in foreign affairs”, and added that the State polarised the Islamic community against the rest of the world.Rossiter believed the comments to be “deeply offensive”, regarding them as “anti-Semitic and indefensible coming from a journalist who is supposed to show objectivity”.TV3 said it had brought the complaint to the attention of Browne, who clarified his remarks at the start of his programme on 25 October. The station also said it “regrets” any offence caused.Ireland AM and abortionA complaint about an Ireland AM segment on abortion broadcast in August last year was upheld by the BAI as it failed to achieve the fair, objective and impartial treatment of a current affairs topic.The 22 August programme featured a woman talking about her personal experiences of abortion but the Complaints Committee found the large majority of the interview dealt with issues pertaining to the political, legal and social aspects of the abortion question.It was therefore treated as an item of current affairs by the committee and thus needed to fulfil the fair, objective and impartial requirement.The complainant, a Mr Paul Bourke, said the segment offended him as he felt the “pro-life view was being maligned with the taint of nastiness and uncivilised behaviour”.The presenters had, he claimed, mused as to whether Irish society was “ready” to allow for legal abortions. He told the BAI that the programme was lacking in “fairness, objectivity and impartiality” as there was nobody present to give the opposing side of the debate.There were also an inference made by presenters that any future debate on abortion would be marred by nastiness and images of aborted foetuses.TV3 responded to the complainant by noting that the segment focussed on one woman’s experience and personal feelings on the issue of abortion but this was rejected by the committee.The Ireland AM team also mentioned at the end of the piece that it intended to have a fuller discussion with representatives from both sides in the near future.The station told the BAI that the guest and presenter made it clear they were not promoting either side of the issue.
THE PRESIDENT of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has said the ECB will not use its programme of buying bonds to make it easier for Ireland to break free from its EU-IMF bailout later this year.Speaking after a meeting of ECB governors in Frankfurt, Draghi said the ‘Outright Monetary Transactions’ (OMT) programme announced last August would not be deployed simply to lower Ireland’s borrowing costs when it tries to begin borrowing money independent of the Troika this year.“OMT cannot be used to enhance the return to the market,” the Italian said.“But in principle, there are rules that are there. Countries that comply with these rules are eligible,” he added.The OMT programme outlines circumstances where a country which applies to be covered by the programme can have the ECB intervene in the second-hand bond markets, increasing demand for short-term bonds so that the overall interest rate charged by lenders can be brought down.However, countries who wish to be covered by the scheme have to submit themselves to implementing certain economic measures – making the programme tantamount to a bailout-style programme.The cost of borrowing for Ireland and other peripheral European economies fell in August when the scheme was first announced, as investors welcomed the moves by the ECB to flex its muscles and assist Eurozone countries in raising money.Draghi meanwhile again repeated his praise for the Irish government in how it had stuck to the plans laid down by the ECB, along with the European Commission and the IMF, as part of the bailout programme.“The Irish government has undertaken very significant progress,” he said, with “very significant results on many fronts. I never tire of saying so.”He added, however, that “further action” was needed by Ireland to continue reforming its financial sector and warned against the possibility that Dublin could become “complacent” about the reforms it still needed to implement.The monthly meeting of the bank’s Governing Council decided not to adjust its main interest rate, leaving it at 0.75 per cent for another month.Read: Noonan chases Irish version of Greek deal on ECB profits
THE IMMIGRANT COUNCIL of Ireland (ICI) is joining more than 50 groups from across Europe in demanding action to regularise and support an estimated 600,000 people forced to “live in the shadows of European societies”.Stateless people do not have the right to work or access social services and do not have a PPS number or a passport. They also do not have the right to vote.In Ireland campaigners want the government to introduce clear, transparent and accessible determination procedures to allow the swift identification of stateless persons followed by a clear pathway for them to regularise their position and to access citizenship. Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor with the Immigrant Council said an online petition is being launched in 30 countries for people to show their support.“It is unacceptable that people are still being left in limbo six decades after an international commitment was given to respond to this problem,” Becker said.“Being a citizen of a country guarantees us some of our most basic rights and entitlements – it is our access to social services, our right to work and travel, the right to a passport and the right to vote. When people find themselves with no citizenship they have no security, protections or certainty.”The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has led to statelessness of hundreds of thousands of persons in the Baltic states and in Eastern Europe.In the past week the Immigrant Council of Ireland secured a declaration of statelessness for one man who endured six-years without access to a nationality.Natig Sadygov was left stranded in Ireland for six years without documentation or right to a passport after a bureaucratic dispute unexpectedly arose over whether he was a citizen of Lithuania or the Republic of Azerbaijan.Becker explained what happened to the man:In Natig’s situation, he had travelled to Ireland as a citizen of Lithuania but, almost three years after arriving in Ireland, was suddenly informed that his citizenship was being revoked in the mistaken belief that he was a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a country which did not exist as an independent state when he was born in the old USSR in 1966 and when he left his hometown to move to the Lithuanian part of the USSR in the 80s.Legal action seeking to reinstate his Lithuanian citizenship failed to resolve the situation and it was established that he was also not entitled to the citizenship of Azerbaijan. Since then Natig has been campaigning to have his rights as a stateless person recognised in Ireland.“While many people may be familiar with statelessness through the movie ‘Terminal’, starring Tom Hanks, they may not be aware that for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families it is a harsh reality which they have to cope with every day,” Becker commented.“We want 2014 to be the year that Ireland and other European Countries respond to this issue and guarantee basic rights for everyone.”Read: After six years living in limbo, Natig Sadygov declared stateless>Read: 23 years after being declared an alien, Ireland declares Roman Uustalu stateless>
The last debate on the Non Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013, which changes the system governing getting cars exempted from motor tax if they’re not on the road;The final discussion on the HSE Governance Bill, which abolishes the board of the HSE and puts a new directorate structure in place; andThe Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill, which will allow TDs to hold a banking inquiry and investigate other pressing issues.From 3.42 pm, there will be discussion on Topical Issues, while Brendan Howlin ends the week with Questions to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform at 4:30pm.The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADThe usual Order of Business discussion on everything and nothing kicks off at 10:30am, before Brian Hayes tips in for a discussion on diesel laundering at 11:45am.After lunch, Alan Shatter visits to guide the discussion on amendments to the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Bill 2013, which tries to clamp down on the sex trade and human trafficking.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESThere are four committees meeting today – including the Health committee, which may well be glad to get back to non-abortion business…The Health committee meets at 9:30am for its regular briefing with health minister James Reilly, junior ministers Alex White and Kathleen Lynch, and HSE chief Tony O’Brien, to discuss all matters relating to the current state of the health system. (Watch here.)The Public Accounts Committee gets together at 10am to discuss the Office of Public Works accounts for 2011, and discuss efficiencies that could be achieved in the procurement system. (Watch here.)Also meeting at 10am is the Transport and Communications committee, which will resume its consideration on proposed new EU rules for assistance and compensation to disrupted air passengers, and similar plans to make it cheaper to run a high-speed communications network. (Watch here.)Finally, the EU Affairs committee convenes at 2pm when it meets the European committee of the Bavarian state parliament to discuss matters of common interest and the general running of the European Union. (Watch here.)Explainer: How does a Bill become a law? WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILIt’s the usual daily grind of Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, before members discuss the rest of the day’s agenda in the Order of Business just before 11am.There are three draft laws on the agenda, being discussed until the oddly precise of 3:42pm, in the following order:
THE CHAIRMAN DESIGNATE of the Charities Regulation Authority has said that the new body will establish which charities are “bogus” and stop their activities.This afternoon Conor Woods told the Oireachtas justice committee that the Regulator will “establish who’s bogus and who’s not”.“The authority will take whatever means necessary that that activity is stopped.” [The Charity Register] will give absolute clarity to the public and that is a key issue for us.Committe chair David Stanton said this would be “crucially important” to help repair damage done to the sector’s image following the controversies that surrounded the Central Remedial Clinic and Rehab.A lot of damage has been done to the reputation of charities and the whole sector. David Stanton Source: Oireachtas TVIn April, a survey conducted by The Wheel, a body that represents 950 charities, found that donations were down at 61% of the charities surveyed, following negative publicity.Woods, who is also the chair of the Chartered Accountants Ireland Charity Committee, said that the Regulator will “ensure accountability of charities to donors, beneficiaries and the public”.ResourcesWoods stressed that the body must be given “proper resources” if it is to be a success.He said that the organisation will have about 11 staff to begin with, but said this could increase to 20 or 30 employees in order for it to fully carry out its remit.Resources will be a pressure point.In February, it was announced that the Regulator would cost €960,000 in its first year, before it becomes self-financing.There are currently about 8,500 registered charities in Ireland. Woods said that some 5,000 of these are classed as companies.He noted that all charities, regardless of their legal status, would fall under the Regulator’s remit and ”have to abide by stipulations in the Charities Act .”Woods said that until the Charity Register is completed, the Revenue is the “the best yardstick that we have” to measure the number of charities operating in Ireland.International standardsHe said that the Regulator will look to similar initiatives in other countries and “learn from what they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong”.At the moment we’re starting off with a blank canvas.Labour party TD Anne Ferris called for Woods to appear before the committee again next year to update it on the Regulator’s progress and “to make sure that you’re still excited about your job”. Source: Oireachtas TV“I would be delighted to come back and engage with any questions you may have and hopefully give you positive feedback on our progress,” Woods replied.Read: Charities regulator takes shape, Shatter says it will ‘improve accountability’Related: Charity regulator to cost €960,000 until it becomes self-financingRead: Rehab and CRC scandals still driving down donations for 61% of charities
Portugal 1-1 Ireland, 2000 Source: Chimpanzeethat/YouTubeThe 21-year-old Dubliner gave a performance that belied his tender years as Ireland secured a vital 1-1 draw away to Portugal in the 2002 World Cup qualifier, partially thanks to Matt Holland’s stunning 72nd minute equaliser. The young centre-back impressively kept the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa at bay throughout the game, and it was perhaps no surprise that Man City snapped the player up for £3million only days later.Ireland 1-0 Holland, 2001 Source: Chimpanzeethat/YouTubeImagine the scenario: a young Irish defender is starting out in his career. It is a make-or-break World Cup qualifier. The media haven’t given the team a hope. He is only in there as a desperate measure, with more experienced defenders such as Kenny Cunningham unavailable. He is coming up against world-class players including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Marc Overmars and Patrick Kluivert. As if it couldn’t get any more daunting, catastrophe strikes. Gary Kelly is sent off, meaning the team is down 10 men. Many inexperienced defenders would crumble in similar scenarios. But Dunne stood tall, helping to guide Ireland to one of their greatest victories ever in the process.Bulgaria 1-1 Ireland, 2009 Source: mixersif/YouTubeSo reliant on defence were Ireland under Trapattoni that there were times where it seemed almost as if Richard Dunne was winning the team games single-handedly, as was the case with Roy Keane for a period under Mick McCarthy. One of the many examples of Dunne’s magnificence was the 2009 match away to Bulgaria. The defender was not only immense at the back, as Ireland significantly boosted their World Cup qualification hopes in Sofia, but he also scored the opening goal with a tremendous, unstoppable header.France 1-1 Ireland, 2009 Source: Arkadiusz Słomczewski/YouTubeIronically, what was arguably the best performance from Ireland in the entire Trapattoni era also resulted in what was surely their single most agonising result. Dunne, Robbie Keane and Damien Duff all stamped their influence on the game, with the defender commanding at the back, leading the team to an inspired display against a French side that were deemed vastly superior beforehand. Dunne also displayed admirable restraint at the end of the game, as he sat next to Thierry Henry, whose controversial handball created France’s equaliser. And what many deemed most tragic about this aggregate loss was that the most gifted of the ‘Kerr kids’ who had enjoyed such success at youth level — Keane, Dunne and Duff — would be denied the chance to showcase their talents during the World Cup at, or close to, the peak of their respective careers.Russia 0-0 Ireland, 2011 Source: johndelaneyfai/YouTubeThe magnitude of Dunne’s display in the now famous match with Russia, as he went a long way towards getting Ireland into the 2012 Euros, was epitomised by the comments of another legendary Irish centre-back. After the game, no less than Paul McGrath described it as ”the best I have seen from any Irish centre half”. The performance quickly became iconic to such an extent that his jersey from the game was auctioned off. So even if he couldn’t quite steer Ireland away from disaster at the subsequent European Championships, we’ll always have Moscow.What was your best memory of Richard Dunne in a green jersey? Let us know in comments section below.Twitter reacts as Richard Dunne retires from international football>24 of the most memorable pics from Richard Dunne’s Ireland career>
Orb’s always made some excellent media streaming gadgets, but up until now, their entry-level offerings have been limited to audio only. Luckily, they just dropped an early Christmas surprise down consumers’ stockings: the recently outed Orb TV.Priced at $99, the Orb TV is identical in its hockey puck design to its $69 cousin, but throws in a composite and component video output into the mix so you can stream to your television. Unfortunately, there’s no HDMI port, though, which is something of a mark against it.Otherwise, the Orb TV supports 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, as well as pretty much any codec you can throw at it, including .H264 BP/MP/HP, VC-1 SP/MP/AP, MPEG4 SP/ASP, MPEG2 MP and MPEG1. It also comes with some stereo out ports, and audio codecs include MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4), AAC, Lossless, WMA and WAV.Unfortunately, all is not rosy with the Orb TV, in that it only streams in standard definition. It also doesn’t ship with a remote: you’ll need an Android or iPhone. Finally, the whole point of Orb is to stream from your PC or Mac, so you’ll need the software, but if you have that installed, you also get Hulu and Netflix, just like the Orb TV was a regular computer.Not bad, but not a perfect device either. I’d opt for a Roku or Boxee Box right now, but it’s good, at least, to see Orb catching up.Read more at Orb
Until recently if you wanted a low power chip solution for a netbook or nettop Intel and the Atom range was your only real choice. But then AMD caught up and released its new Fusion line, putting a CPU and GPU on a single chip. The result was an Atom competitor with some serious graphical horsepower on board. The other benefit was the very low power requirements for the chip.Asus is taking full advantage of AMD’s E-Series (Zacate) platform and the accelerated processing unit (APU) which only requires 18 watts of power. What this has allowed for is a new line of smaller motherboards that are free of fans.The Asus E35M1 motherboard series is now shipping, and comes in three editions:E35M1-ME35M1-M ProE35M1-I DeluxeFor the most part all three models are very similar offering the same dual core processor, FCH A50 Hudson M1 chipest, Radeon HD 6310 GPU, and support for up to 8GB of RAM. The differences seem to come from the connectivity options included on each board and the form factor.The base E35M1-M board only hasUSB 2.0 ports, but somehow manages to fit 14 of them on the board. Moving to the Pro edition you get two USB 3.0 ports and 12 USB 2.0 ports. The Deluxe gives you four USB 3.0 ports and just 8 USB 2.0 ports.The other big difference is the form factor. Both the E35M1-M and Pro editions are Micro-ATX boards. The Deluxe takes the platform even smaller and fits everything on a Mini-ITX board. In all cases the total power consumption of the board is a very respctable 36 watts. At the same time these boards are more than capable of powering a a HTPC on a large HD display.Which board you choose depends on the case you want to use. For us, the Mini-ITX board looks ideal as it’s offering up the same silent Fusion hardware in the smallest form factor you can get. That gives you the option of a very small case to hide away, or even connect to the back of your monitor.Full details of each motherboard in the range can be found on the AMD CPU on Board section of Asus’ website. In terms of pricing you can expect to pay around $130 for the M model, $150 for the Pro, and $200 for the Deluxe edition.Read more at the Asus press release
With every passing week, our gadgets become ever more power hungry… and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep them charged. There are many possible solutions to that problem out there. Some companies are concentrating on improving battery capacity, while others work on energy efficiency, and even other works on faster ways to charge our gadgets, or to juice the up from alternate fuel sources.Consider today’s report firmly in the last category, but it sounds a heck of a lot cooler than just charging our iPhones from a collection of solar cells: Dr. Zhong Lin Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology is working on a technology that would allow our own bodies to charge our smartphones, lapops and tablets in the future.AdChoices广告His inventions are called nanogenerators, and the idea is centered around zinc oxide nanowires, which generate electricity when flexed. In principal, the nanowires are small enough to sew or embed into pretty much everything. Five hundred nanowires, in fact, can fit into a single human hair. So if they were embedded in your pants, every step you take would generate a charge of electricity that could be funneled into an iPod or a battery pack; if embedded in your shirt, you’d generate a jolt of juice everyt ime you moved your arms. “Our nanogenerators are poised to change lives in the future. Their potential is only limited by one’s imagination,” said Dr. Wang about his invention. So let’s imagine further. Imagine your body being implanted with thousands upon thousands of small nanotubes, in which ever palpation of your heart, every flex of your muscles, every breath you inhale or exhale is going right to your iPod’s battery. Pretty neat, huh? We’ll all be walking portable gadget chargers before we even know it.Read more at Telegraph
Google has updated its search solution for e-commerce websites, Google Commerce Search (GCS). Started in November of 2009 with the intent to improve search quality and speed to help online shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for, GCS has made a few changes, and added a few new retailers to its list.There are a couple new features in GCS 3.0 that really stand out. First, much like with Google Chrome’s search, the Search as You Type feature gives you instant gratification as you type in your query. Shoppers will see product results with each keystroke, directly from the search bar.AdChoices广告Another neat addition is Local Product Availabilty. Don’t get me wrong, I like shopping online — it’s fast, and easy — but I really, really hate paying shipping fees. Often times, the product you’re looking for that you think is only offered online, or a store across the country, is actually being offered in a store nearby. Local Product Availabilty shows shoppers when a product is also available at a nearby store. Not only that, but the results are in-line with the search results and a mini-map.On more of the retailer side of things, Enhanced Merchandising tools will allow retailers to create promotions that show up in banners alongside search queries. That way, the banner can change for each query the shopper enters in the search bar. It also allows retailers to easily set query-based landing pages. So, if a shopper is looking for shoes, and types “shoes,” they’re taken to a “shoe” page. Pretty simple.Lastly, a great new tool is the Product Recommendations (Labs), which help shoppers make purchase decisions by showing them what other people looked at, and then ultimately bought.Google is welcoming three new retail partners, including Forever21, General Nutrition Company (GNC), and L’Occitane. GNC implemented GCS in less than a week on its mobile site. Google said that some retailers, such as Woodcraft Supply, and BabyAge.com, have both increased search revenues, Woodcraft by 34 percent, and BabyAge increased site searches by 64 percent.Google says that with the new version, it hopes to help create an “even more interactive and engaging experience for shoppers and retailers.”Read more at the Official Google Blog and Google Commerce Search.
When rumblings about RIM’s upcoming BBM Music service picked up steam last week, the leaked details didn’t sound all that amazing. 50 songs for $5 per month really isn’t that great when services like Spotify and Rdio give you virtually unlimited songs that you can cache offline for connection-free playback for just $10.However, now that BBM Music has been officially announced, RIM’s plan looks quite interesting. Like BBM itself, BBM Music gets better the more friends you have using it. Indeed, $5 gets you 50 songs per month from all the major labels — but they’re yours to keep, much like the way Microsoft’s Zune Pass works. From your cloud library, you can choose 50 songs to make available to your friends and they can do the same. For BBM Music users with extensive contact lists, that amounts to a whole lot of additional tunes. When you grow tired of certain songs, just swap them out. You’re allowed 25 exchanges per month.The service also lets you create community playlists and the BBM social experience is tightly integrated, too. A timeline view lets you keep tabs on your friends’ updates, like which new friends they’ve connected with and new playlists they’ve created. BBM Music lets you comment on songs and playlists, and you can also see which of your friends are listening to your shared tracks and who’s decided to keep them.If it sounds a bit like Apple’s Ping mashed up with Spotify, it is. And at $5 per month, BBM Music certainly has the potential to be a big hit with BlackBerry’s more youthful userbase. Good on you, RIM, for getting BBM Music launched just in time for users to install it on all those snazzy new BlackBerry Curves and the updated Bold and Torch models that you just launched.More at Engadget
There was plenty of high-fiving going on when Mozilla announced recently that it had reached a new search deal with Google, especially because of the questions people had before the deal was signed. Now, it looks like there’s an additional reason to celebrate: Mozilla’s getting a much bigger payout this time around. Google’s going to chip in $300 million per year over the course of the three-year deal.That’s a huge change from the $100-ish million Google paid out in 2010, but this time around the competition for the default search provider spot in Firefox generated intense bidding from rivals. Both Microsoft and Yahoo helped drive the price up.In the end, Yahoo honchos decided things were getting a little too rich for their blood, despite their desire to help boost flagging search market share (plus, can you imagine the looks of horror on faces of the Firefox faithful had Yahoo become the default provider?). Microsoft, of course, has been trying all kinds of ways to boost Bing’s slice of the pie over the last couple years. Just a few months ago, it became clear that Microsoft was going to make a play for the default search provider position in Firefox when they announced an official Firefox with Bing build.Despite losing ground in the browser war to Chrome, Firefox still has a user base that’s many millions strong. Those people fire off plenty of queries via their search boxes, and it was a foregone conclusion that Microsoft would gladly step in should Google and Mozilla not be able to work out a deal. Some observers, however, felt like the lapsed Google deal was cause for panic and a sign that Mozilla’s days were numbered.Clearly they had no idea just how sought after Firefox search traffic is.More at Mozilla, via All Things D
Imagine darkness and utter silence surrounding you; the only thing you can hear is the pulse of your own heartbeat. This description isn’t of outer space, this is Orfield Laboratories acoustic sound chamber in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Considered by the Guinness Book of World Records (2005) as the quietest place on the face of planet Earth, this anechoic chamber is 99.9% sound absorbent. Inside the chamber, the sound level measures −9.4 dBA; the human ear can detect 0 dBA, so basically the chamber could be compared to a space simulation. Or at least the whole “devoid of sound” portion that’s part of the outer space experience. It achieves this super silence with thick, 3.3 foot fiberglass wedges, double walls of insulated steel, and a solid foot of concrete on top of that.The room minimizes sound reflections to the point of disorientation, if you stay in there long enough. Steven Orfield, the company’s founder, makes a habit a challenging people to try and stay in the room as long as possible. The record time was obtained by a journalist visiting the facility, who managed to stay in complete darkness and silence for a total of 45 minutes before he began hallucinating.One might think sitting in darkness and utter silence would be soothing, but the lack of feedback ultimately becomes so disorienting that sitting down during the experience is a must. While inside, your ears adapt to the quiet, so much so that you can hear your lungs, heart, and stomach.Though, the chamber isn’t solely used for disorienting reporters (especially before interviews I’m sure), companies like Harley-Davidson and Whirlpool use it as a test chamber to find out how much noise their engines and machines produce. No doubt there are manufacturers that frequent the chamber to test the noise direction and power of their speakers, as well as all sort of other cool things that you need a sound-proof room to accomplish.via Daily Mail