Monday, December 31, 2012

Family Pets Perish in Overland Park Fire - Fox 4

House Fire

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ? A family dog and cat perished in an Overland Park house fire late Sunday night.

Firefighters were called to the 12900 block of S. Pflumm Road around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. When they arrived heavy flames and smoke were coming from the house. Firefighters from Overland Park and Lenexa worked for an hour to control the blaze.

A man, woman and one dog escaped the blaze uninjured. Another dog and cat did not.

Firefighters said the fire caused significant damage to the home. The cause is still under investigation.


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Blasts aimed at Iraqi Shiites, police kill 23

BAGHDAD (AP) ? Insurgents launched a wave of attacks across Iraq on Monday, primarily targeting Shiite communities and pilgrims and killing at least 23 people, officials said.

The attacks appeared aimed at undermining security and confidence in the government by fomenting sectarian conflict. Overall violence has dropped since the nation neared a civil war several years ago, but attacks of a sectarian nature come almost daily, and government forces seem powerless to prevent them.

The deadliest blasts on Monday were in the town of Musayyib, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women, two children and three men were killed in the pre-dawn explosions, a police officer said.

In Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Karrada, a parked car bomb went off next to a tent for Shiite pilgrims making their way to the southern city of Karbala to mark the seventh century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, a police officer said. Five were killed and 25 wounded, he said.

The explosion rattled nearby buildings and sent a thick plume of black smoke billowing into the air. Ambulances and police rushed to the scene in the busy downtown shopping district, and several helicopters hovered above.

A roadside bomb injured six pilgrims in the capital's Baiyaa neighborhood later in the evening, according to police.

That came hours after a parked car bomb exploded in a busy street in the city of Hillah where local government offices are located, killing three people and wounding 21, another police officer said. He said some Shiite pilgrims were among the casualties, but he didn't say how many. Hillah is about 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

Two other Shiite pilgrims were killed and 16 wounded in the town of Khalis, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, when two bombs exploded simultaneously, another police officer said. In the town of Latifiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, one pilgrim was killed and 11 wounded when two mortar rounds exploded nearby, another police officer said.

Six doctors confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information to reporters.

Also Monday, four policemen were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk while trying to defuse a bomb the center of the city, according to police Col. Taha Salaheddin. Kirkuk is 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad. The city is a focus of a power struggle among several sects and the Baghdad government.

Another a policeman was killed when a bomb hit a police convoy in the town of Tuz Khormato, 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad, said the provincial spokesman of Salahuddin province, Mohammed al-Asi.

Although violence has ebbed since the height of the insurgency in the past, some groups presumed to be primarily Sunni extremists are still able to launch deadly attacks nationwide against government officials or civilians.

Shiite pilgrims are one of their favorite targets. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on the southern city of Karbala where the Imam Hussein, an important figure in Shiite Islam, is buried. Many travel on foot, and the mass gatherings are frequently attacked, despite tight security.


Associated Press writers Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Adam Schreck contributed to his report.


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Iraqi protesters wounded after warning shots fired

BAGHDAD (AP) ? An official in Iraq's western Anbar province says two people have been wounded after bodyguards for a senior Sunni politician began shooting to disperse angry anti-government protesters.

Anbar provincial council member Talib Hamadi al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press the shooting happened near Ramadi Sunday during a visit by Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. Sunni protesters have been rallying in the area for more than a week to protest over perceived second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government.

Al-Dulaimi says a dispute broke out and shots were fired after demonstrators insisted the Sunni official show support for their protest by submitting his resignation from the government.

Gunfire continued to ring out and protesters were seen throwing rocks at the entourage as it left the area.

Al-Mutlaq's office had no immediate comment.


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Personalized iPhone 4 4s Hard Case - Chevron Pink Green Script Monogram - Phone Cover IP4C by LuckybrewDesigns

Happy Holidays! Please Read Below:

Your order will ship out the week of December 23, and will not make the cut off for Christmas delivery - holiday orders have come and gone. Please feel free to place an order and we will ship out in the order of which they were placed! We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!

Case for iPhone4 or 4s - Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or Virgin Mobile Phone

Please let us know the initials of your choice in the order of which you would like them to appear in the "notes to seller" section upon checkout. We can customize any 3 initials. **When using 3 initals, the large middle initial will be the last name (ie. Mary Beth DeRosa = MDB)

If you have any questions or custom requests, feel free to convo us! =)

MATERIAL: available in Rubber or Plastic.
COLORS: available with black, white or clear sides (top is imprinted with design shown).


All of our cases:

- are custom made to fit all of the iPhone 4 and 4s models.
- have all openings for buttons, jacks and camera.
- made in house per order.
- are permanently printed and will not fade, crack or peel.

This item may be personalized! Just convo us with the name or text you would like to add and we'll e-mail you a mock-up for your approval.

Have any questions? Contact the shop owner.
Case for iPhone4 or 4s - Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or Virgin Mobile Phone

Choose from a variety of different colors and materials:

- Black Plastic
- Black Rubber
- White Plastic
- White Rubber
- Clear Plastic

Upon purchase, please leave your case requests in the "notes" section of your checkout.

If no color or material is sent to us, we we'll go a head and choose for you.

All of our cases:

- are custom made to fit all of the iPhone 4 and 4s models.
- have all openings for buttons, jacks and camera.
- made in house per order.
- are permanently printed and will not fade, crack or peel.

This item may be personalized! Just leave your requests in the "notes to seller" section upon purchase, and we will take care of the rest!

*-*-*- FAQ -*-*-*

Q: Is the image less sharp or clear depending on which material I choose?
A: No, the image is printed on a hard metal and is consistent no matter which material you choose.

Q: How long will it take to receive my order?
A: We try to get every order out promtly. We guarantee your item being shipped within 3 business days (holidays and weekends are not business days) of cleared payment.

Q: Can I request a change or addition to the design?
A: Absolutely! All designing is done in house so we can make any changes right on the spot. Simply put your requests in the "notes" section upon purchase.

Q: Will the iphone 4/4s cases fit my iPhone 3G?
A: No, unfortunately these cases are specifically for the iPhone 4/4s. We currently do not have any iPhone cases for the 3G.

Have any questions? Contact the shop owner.


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Texas looks to build on Alamo Bowl win

SAN ANTONIO -- In the end the balloons fell from the sky and swirled around the jubilant, and yes relieved, Texas players and coaches.

A tumultuous season on and off the field was over with an ending that, while not to script, featured enough feel-good moments that it was clear, at least on this day, nobody would burst their bubble.

And now, following a 31-27 win over No. 13 Oregon State (9-4) in front of 65,277 fans at the Valero Alamo Bowl Saturday, the wonder is if that bubble in on the rise.

That's long been the claim of Texas coach Mack Brown. This youth-laden team was one built for the future, Brown continually contended in the face of increasing criticism. The future started 15 minutes early for Texas. The No. 23 Longhorns (9-4), an underdog who played the part to Tony-worthy accolades for three quarters, showed fourth-quarter mettle and moxie rarely seen from a program whose heartbeat had been faint for several seasons.

Finally there was a team coming together. For three years and three quarters there were questions if this collection of players, coaches and the person at the top was right for Texas football. One win won't end those questions. It will quiet them if only because of the way that win came about. Texas had not won after trailing by 10 points all season. The Longhorns trailed 27-17 after David Ash threw an ill-timed interception in the third. That's when Texas folds, Bevo shrugs and the Longhorns start talking about their next recruiting class.

Not this time. The words they had thrown around -- commitment, earn the right, swagger, never quit -- became tangible feelings and were, for the first time, manifested on the field in that fourth quarter.

Read the complete story here.


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Days before deadline, Obama urges Congress to act on 'fiscal cliff' (Washington Bureau)

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Business Plan/Accounting consulting for online payment processor ...

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The 10 Best iOS And Android Games Of 2012

app-storesEditor's note:?Stephen Danos is the associate editor for the mobile app discovery site Appolicious. This year?s most captivating games either pushed the envelope with state-of-the-art graphics and rich narratives, or perfected already proven formulas for touch-based devices. The best titles also bridged the gap between casual and hardcore gamers.


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33Cashcom - 100-$1000 Payday Loans Online.


These refinancing options do carry high rates using them and shouldn't be applied for as a general practice as this can lead to finance unsteadiness. Pay-day loans are necessary in helping American zens with short term money flow issues and lending a quick sell when they actually need it.



33Cashcom, Consider Additional Circumstances You also needs to think about the convenience from the application process and minimum requirements. There are 2 kinds of online applications, fax with no fax. Faxed applications require copies of one's picture id, often a driver?s license, past records, and pay stubs. With 33Cashcom, an individual will likely then take a look at application for approval. A no fax application simply requires you to definitely complete an application online, that is verified through databases. There is no appraisal of creditworthiness involved and you are able to get a virtually instant approval. Lenders also vary of their minimum requirements. You may be necessary to have been used by two to four months.

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No. 5 Indiana holding out Hollowell again as NCAA investigates compliance issues

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BLOOMINGTON, Indiana ? Indiana freshman Jeremy Hollowell will miss his third straight game Friday night when No. 5 Indiana hosts Jacksonville.

Less than an hour before tip-off, the school issued a statement saying Hollowell would not play until "compliance issues" are resolved by the NCAA. It did not specify what issues the school or NCAA is looking into.

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass says Hollowell and his family raised the concerns and have fully cooperated with investigators.

Last week, coach Tom Crean said the Hoosiers (11-1) had kept Hollowell out of two blowouts because of personal issues.

Indiana has been short-handed all season for a variety of reasons, including injuries to forward Derek Elston, who missed nearly two months after knee surgery, and forward Austin Etherington, who has a season-ending dislocated kneecap.



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NHL, players union spend day on conference calls

Commissioner Gary Bettman and the league would like to reach a deal no later than Jan. 11, which would allow a 48-game season to begin Jan. 19.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lots of questions, but still no answers in the NHL labor fight.

The league and the players' association spent much of Saturday talking to each other via conference call. The conversations were strictly for the purpose of sharing information regarding the new contract offer the NHL made to the union late Thursday. The initial thought was that the sides would get together Sunday in New York to hold official negotiations for the first time in weeks, but those hadn't been scheduled as of late Saturday afternoon.

"Some more informational sessions in the morning," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press regarding Sunday. "Nothing planned beyond that."

The union pored over the latest NHL proposal aimed at ending the lockout that reached its 105th day Saturday and saving the delayed hockey season. The league would like to reach a deal no later than Jan. 11, which would allow training camps to start the following day, and a 48-game season to begin Jan. 19.

Saturday's conference calls were scheduled Friday night so the union could ask league officials questions about the nearly 300-page proposal. Whether enough progress will be made to lead to face-to-face talks remains to be seen.

The sides haven't gotten together since Dec. 13 with federal mediators. Bargaining sessions with only the NHL and union involved haven't been held since Dec. 6, when talks abruptly ended after the players' association made a counterproposal to the league's previous offer. The league said that offer was contingent on the union accepting three elements unconditionally and without further bargaining.

The NHL then pulled all existing offers off the table. Two days of sessions with mediators the following week ended without any progress made.

The players' association's executive board and negotiating committee went over the new proposal during an internal conference call Friday.

A person familiar with key points of the offer told The Associated Press that the league proposed raising the limit of individual free-agent contracts to six years from five - seven years if a team re-signs its own player; raising the salary variance from one year to another to 10 percent, up from 5 percent; and one compliance buyout for the 2013-14 season that wouldn't count toward a team's salary cap but would be included in the overall players' share of income.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the new offer weren't being discussed publicly.

The NHL maintained the deferred payment amount of $300 million it offered in its previous proposal, an increase from an earlier offer of $211 million. The initial $300 million offer was pulled off the table after negotiations broke off earlier this month.

The latest proposal is for 10 years, running through the 2021-22 season, with both sides having the right to opt out after eight years.

The lockout has reached a critical stage, threatening to shut down a season for the second time in eight years. All games through Jan. 14, plus the Winter Classic and the All-Star game already have been called off. The next round of cuts could claim the entire schedule.

The NHL is the only North American professional sports league to cancel a season because of a labor dispute, losing the 2004-05 campaign to a lockout. A 48-game season was played in 1995 after a lockout stretched into January.

It is still possible this dispute could eventually be settled in the courts if the sides can't reach a deal on their own.

The NHL filed a class-action suit this month in U.S. District Court in New York in an effort to show its lockout is legal. In a separate move, the league filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, contending bad-faith bargaining by the union.

Those moves were made because the players' association took steps toward potentially filing a "disclaimer of interest," which would dissolve the union and make it a trade association. That would allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL.

Union members voted overwhelmingly to give their board the power to file the disclaimer by Jan. 2. If that deadline passes, another authorization vote could be held to approve a later filing.

Negotiations between the NHL and the union have been at a standstill since talks ended Dec. 6. One week later, the sides convened again with federal mediators in New Jersey, but still couldn't make progress.

The sides have been unable to reach agreement on the length of the new deal, the length of individual player contracts, and the variance in salary from year to year. The NHL is looking for an even split of revenues with players.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell announces key 'historical' appointments

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell, who will be sworn into office on January 2, 2013, announced Saturday his appointments in the Mayor's Office, Managing Director's Office, and for the directorships of city agencies.

Ember Shinn has been named Managing Director, marking the first time in Honolulu history that a woman has been appointed to this key city management post.? The transition team received over 400 applications for employment with the new administration.

"I'm excited about the team we're building to manage the city," said Caldwell.?? "I'm proud of the fact that Ember will be the first woman Managing Director, and that we will have top people in my administration who are so dedicated to public service.?? What was striking in the interviews was that people chose to work for government because they want to accomplish something for the community and they feel they can make a difference."

The Mayor-elect's cabinet appointments are as follows:

Mayor's Office and Managing Director's Office

Ember Shinn ? Managing Director.? Shinn served as the executive assistant to Acting Mayor Caldwell in 2010.? She has over twenty years of experience practicing law in California where she represented public and private entities in public law and employment litigation.? She served as General Counsel for Oakland Unified School District and the Peralta Community College District.? Shinn returned home to Hawaii in 2001, retired from the practice of law, and worked for the State House of Representatives as staff attorney for the Judiciary Committee and as special assistant and Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the House.

Georgette Deemer ? Deputy Managing Director.? Deemer served as the Director of Communications for the House of Representatives, where she worked with Caldwell when he was the House Majority Leader.? She served for 15 years as the State of Hawaii Film Commissioner under the Ariyoshi, Waihee and Cayetano administrations where she developed working relationships with city, state and federal agencies for film permitting for local, national and international production.? She oversaw the design, construction and management of the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head.? In addition to her duties as Deputy Managing Director, she will oversee and unify the City's broad communications efforts across all agencies, elevating the importance of communications in the Caldwell administration.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke ? Director of Communications.? Broder Van Dyke served as the Director of Communications for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka until the Senator's recent retirement.?? He has extensive experience in media relations, writing, social media management, and has served as a news producer and assignment editor for KHON ?TV.

?Cabinet Directors (in alphabetical order)

Michael D. Formby ? Director of Transportation Services.? Formby served as the Interim Director of Transportation under the Lingle administration, where he oversaw the management of the Airports, Harbors and Highways Divisions.? Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director of the Harbors Division.? At the DOT state level, he worked extensively on project planning and implementation, and with the state's environmental assessment and environmental impact statement process.? Formby is an attorney; he has been a litigator for the past 20 years, and has taught at the William S. Richardson School of Law and Hawaii Pacific University.? He supports Mayor Caldwell's vision for rail and other transportation issues.

Lori Kahikina ? Director of Environmental Services.?? Kahikina served as the Director of Design and Construction in the Carlisle administration, where she oversaw and maintained the capital improvement project budgets for various city agencies, and directed the planning, engineering, design, construction and improvements of public buildings, streets, roads, bridges, wastewater facilities, and transportation systems.? She has also worked in the Department of Environmental Services in the Division of Collection System Maintenance where she has extensive experience related to the city's wastewater system.? Kahikina is a Civil Engineer.

Sheri Kajiwara ? Director of Customer Services. ?Kajiwara is the former Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Prudential Advantage Realty, a local, award winning, real estate firm.? She rejoins the city with over 12 years of experience in the Mayor & Managing Director's Office handling community concerns.? Kajiwara also voluntarily coordinated Honolulu City Lights for over a decade.?

Carolee C. Kubo ? Director of Human Resources.? Kubo has over 22 years of experience in the human resources and labor relations arena.?? She served as the Human Resources Manager/Labor Relations for the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, as a Field Officer for the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and as an Unemployment Insurance Specialist for the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.? She is knowledgeable on personnel management and administration, private and public sector collective bargaining laws, and workplace issues.

Pamela Witty Oakland ? Director of Community Services.?? Witty Oakland served as Vice President of Asset Management for the St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii.? In that position, she managed leasing and property management teams for a $78 million real estate portfolio, developed and implemented a resident service coordination program for fixed income seniors, and directed the financing, development and construction of the Franciscan Vistas Ewa project which was financed with low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds.? Prior to the work at St. Francis, she was a legislative researcher for the Senate President and an executive assistant to the City Council Chair.

?Mark Knapp Rigg ? Director of Emergency Services.? Rigg has served with the Emergency Services Department for 30 years.? He started as a paramedic in 1982 and worked his way up as a unit supervisor and field operations supervisor.? He most recently served as the Deputy Director, responsible for budget preparation and management, administration of collective bargaining agreements, personnel management and external relations.? He is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician ? Paramedic, and a Mobile Intensive Care Technician/Mobile Emergency Care.

?Ross S. Sasamura ? Director of Facility Maintenance.?? Sasamura returns to the Department of Facility Maintenance as Director after a decade of working in the private sector.? He recently served as Senior Account Executive and Senior Vice President and COO of Heide & Cook, where he managed, supervised and had oversight of the company's construction projects involving mechanical systems, such as air conditioning, ventilation, fire sprinkler and plumbing systems.? He also had oversight of company facilities, equipment and materials.? Sasamura is a licensed professional engineer (mechanical).

Chris T. Takashige ? Director of Design and Construction.? Takashige becomes the Director of Design and Construction after serving as its Deputy since 2011.? He assisted the director in managing the general operations and supervising employees.? He was responsible for overseeing the management of capital improvement projects for city departments, with the total number of projects at any given time ranging from 600-800.? Examples include road repair and reconstruction, wastewater collection and plant systems, street and parking lot lighting, police and fire stations, community parks structures, pedestrian and vehicular bridges, and flood control and storm drainage systems.

The director positions of the following departments are yet to be filled.? Until that time, the current deputy or other senior manager will assume the responsibilities and duties of the director.

Corporation Counsel

Budget and Fiscal Services

Enterprise Services

Information Technology

Medical Examiner

Parks and Recreation

Planning and Permitting

The directors of the Board of Water Supply, Emergency Management, HART, and Chiefs of the Fire Police Departments are not appointed by the Mayor.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.


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NASA's Ion Thruster Sets Continuous Operation Record

Umm, no. Maximum energy gain for a gravitational assist is a slingshot maneuver where you narrowly miss a head on collision with the planet, you will then be whipped around on a parabolic path and depart in the opposite direction with twice the planet's velocity added to your own. The "gravitational tugboat" maneuver you describe is great for minor boosts and course corrections, but is unlikely to be used for speed unless a slingshot maneuver is incompatible with reaching the desired destination. []

As for a solar slingshot, yeah it's pretty pointless for in-system travel - it's hard to get close (not to mention survive the passing), and since it's basically the "stationary point" for the solar system you can't steal much speed from it, so once you reach your starting distance you'll have roughly* the same velocity as when you started with. Unless you just want to briefly go really fast for some reason, or are on an interstellar vessel seeking a gravity assist on your way to somewhere else in the galaxy, the sun is pretty useless for gravity boosts.

* You won't leave a solar slingshot with exactly the same velocity because the sun itself is orbiting the solar-system's barycenter, typically between about 1/2 and 1 solar-diameter from the sun's center and constantly moving as the orbiting of the outer planets shift the system's center of mass. So there will be some velocity transfer, just not enough to be actually useful.


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 4 New Year's resolutions for your pocketbook

Job seekers stand in line to meet with prospective employers at a career fair in New York City in this October 2012 file photo. If unemployment strikes, it lasts an average of 40 weeks, which is why an emergency fund equal to a year's salary (after taxes) is advisable. (Mike Segar/Reuters/File)

Contrary to what you might think, addressing your emergency fund is a more immediate concern than paying off debt (which is why it?s first on this list). An emergency fund serves as insurance against future financial difficulties by ensuring that unexpected difficulties like job loss won?t lead to financial disaster.
No one wants to incur significant credit score damage or find creditors ranging from the family doctor to the electric company calling in search of their cash, so the first step in creating the new financial you is to begin contributing a portion of your take-home pay to a designated account each month. The goal is to amass about a year?s salary (after taxes) in this rainy-day fund so you can withstand a prolonged job search, if need be.

Why a year's worth of emergency money? The average unemployed person is out of work for 40 weeks, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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The Next Level Workspace: an Incredible DIY, Lifting Computer-in-a-Desk

The Next Level Workspace: an Incredible DIY, Lifting Computer-in-a-DeskToday's featured workspace is one of the most amazing DIY desk/computer builds we've seen in a long time. Dubbed "The Next Level" by maker Pascal de Greef, this desk not only changes from a sitting to a standing desk with a touch of a button, it also moves the attached monitors similarly, and the PC is built into the desk.

In two long pages on the Cooler Master Forum, Pascal describes the project from design to finish with detailed photos. The lifting columns come from Linak, but Pascal constructed the entire desk?welding and bending the aluminum frame and carving out the wood top. An aquareo cooling system, the motherboard, and other PC parts are tucked in the top of the desk.

The Next Level Workspace: an Incredible DIY, Lifting Computer-in-a-Desk Obviously only a master tradesman could pull this off, but it sure is impressive. Here's a video of it in action, but if you like looking at "metal fabrication porn" (Hack A Day's description), head over to the Cooler Master Forum posts.

If you have a workspace of your own to show off, post them to #workspaceshowcase. Make sure any photos you include are at least 640x360. Keeping them to 16:9 helps, too! Include a little text about the stuff you used, how you came up with the design, and any other relevant details. If your clever organization and good design sense catches our eye, you might be the next featured workspace.

The Next Level | Cooler Master via Hack A Day


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Three New Jersey police officers shot at station

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (Reuters) - Three New Jersey police officers were shot and wounded on Friday at their police station, and one was in surgery for his wounds, a hospital official said.

Local TV news reported that the suspected gunman was killed in the exchange of gunfire at the police station in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, about 16 miles from Philadelphia. The TV report said the suspect had been brought in for a domestic incident.

"A violent struggle occurred while the suspect was being processed," Gloucester Deputy Police Chief David Harkins said, according to Philadelphia TV station NBC10. The man was able to grab a gun and then opened fire.

The gunman was killed by police during the confrontation, Gloucester Police Chief W. Harry Earle said, according to the NBC10 report.

Gloucester Township Police declined to comment on the incident or to confirm the NBC10 report. An officer answering the phone said a press statement would be issued later, and a press conference was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The three wounded police officers, two men and a woman, were brought to Cooper University Hospital shortly after 6 a.m. EST, hospital spokeswoman Lori Shaffer said.

Two of the officers suffered minor wounds, but one of the three, a male, required surgery, Shaffer said. She had no more information on the extent of the officer's wounds.

Part of the Gloucester Township municipal complex, which houses the police department, was cordoned off by yellow police tape on Friday. Residents described it as a quiet community.

"It's really a safe neighborhood," said Kim Kavanaugh, 47, who lives across the street from the complex with her husband and two grown children.

Her husband Don Kavanaugh, 49, said he arrived home from his overnight work shift about 5 a.m. "About 6 o'clock I saw a bunch of flashing lights. I didn't think nothing of it, I see flashing lights in and out of there all the time," he said.

The incident follows several recent multiple shootings in the United States, and comes two weeks after a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

One week ago in western Pennsylvania, a man with a pistol fatally shot three people and then opened fire on police. Three officers were injured in that incident, one in a collision from a car chase with the gunman, another from bullet fragments to the face and a third who was struck with gunfire to the chest but survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

(Additional reporting and writing by Dan Burns in New York; Editing by Paul Thomasch, Claudia Parsons and David Gregorio)


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Egypt president warns against new unrest

CAIRO (AP) ? Egypt's Islamist president has warned against any unrest that could harm the drive to repair the country's economy in a sharply worded speech pushing the opposition to work with his government.

Mohammed Morsi has made the comments in his first speech to the newly convened upper house of parliament, saying it was time for the nation to turn to "production, work, seriousness" after two years of turmoil. The past month saw a surge in unrest when the opposition launched a wave of protests against a new constitution, and Islamist supporters of the president held counter-rallies.

He said all sides must "realize the needs of the moment" and work only through "mature democracy while avoiding violence." He said violence from any faction was "totally rejected."

Associated Press


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Jenne Expands Avaya's Radvision Scopia Offering for Resellers | IT ...

Providing Training Through Jenne University and a Range of Dedicated Pre- and Post-Sales Support

First Classes on Innovative Videoconferencing Technology Solutions Begin on January 21st and Will Cover Scopia Solution for Video Communications

AVON, OH?(Marketwire ? Dec 27, 2012) ? ?Jenne, Inc., a leading value-added distributor of IP telephony, audio and video conferencing, unified communications, data networking and IT security products, announced that it is now providing comprehensive training on the Avaya video portfolio, beginning with a course on the Avaya Scopia solution and taking place next month at Jenne University. Jenne, which is now an Avaya Connect Value Add Distributor, has also completed the stringent requirements of the Authorized Avaya Learning Partner (AALP), with access to Avaya Learning training and materials.

In addition to being an authorized distributor for the entire Scopia product line, Jenne is also currently offering comprehensive support services on the entire Scopia portfolio, including pre- and post-sales support, configuration services, installation and implementation services as well as full contract renewal management services.

Jenne University will be offering ?Avaya Scopia Solution for Video Communications? at its state of the art training facilities in Avon, OH. The class will take place on a quarterly basis, with the first session scheduled for January 21-25, 2013. Avaya?s Scopia product portfolio provides comprehensive and powerful visual communications solutions that allow advanced voice, data and video conferencing. Next month?s course is designed for systems engineers and IT managers and offers a comprehensive overview on features, operations and benefits of the Scopia solution. Following the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify Scopia endpoint functionality and?capabilities
  • Match Scopia components to various deployment?scenarios
  • Install and configure Scopia endpoint?components
  • Create and manage a conference
  • Install and configure the MCU, Scopia desktop,?and Scopia Management Suite
  • Troubleshoot the Scopia solution with component?logs and network traces covering call failures, endpoint to MCU calls,?point to point calls, PathFinder issues and video/audio issues

?Avaya?s Scopia videoconferencing solutions present an enormous opportunity for resellers serving all sizes of markets, and by offering these innovative products in combination with top-notch training through Jenne University, we are helping Avaya Connect partners take advantage of a business opportunity and to be more competitive,? commented Jim Karaffa, director of training and technical services, Jenne. ?As an Avaya Authorized Learning Partner, we have worked very closely with Avaya to implement what we consider to be the best certified training and support capabilities available in distribution for the Scopia solution, being able to fully certify our students here at Jenne University via the PearsonVue testing process adds a distinct advantage to our offering.?

Radvision, an Avaya Company, has been a leader and innovator in the development of videoconferencing technology and solutions for the past 20 years. Since last September, Jenne began distributing the entire Scopia portfolio, helping Avaya Connect partners increase their ability to deliver comprehensive video communications solutions to a broad range of end-users in the SMB, mid-tier and enterprise markets.

?With its immediate stock availability, training offering and comprehensive product support, Jenne is able to offer a multi-dimensional Scopia solution,? commented Karl Soderlund, vice president, Americas Channel Sales, Avaya. ?Its new course on Scopia video conferencing will help Avaya Connect partners deliver an expanded range of high-quality communications experiences to their customers, while providing resellers new revenue opportunities through enhanced real time collaboration solutions.?

Thousands of enterprises around the world already rely on the Scopia solution, which is known for its rich interoperability and interconnectivity for any standards-based video-enabled device, regardless of the communication network. Scopia is an end-to-end video communications solution that includes multi-point conferencing units, firewall traversal, desktop conferencing and management for voice, video and data. The system can be used to connect meeting rooms, desktop users and mobile users in a variety of setups ranging from SMB environments to large-scale, distributed network deployments.

The Scopia product portfolio is among the most innovative and value-based videoconferencing solutions in the market and includes such features as:

  • Desktop and mobile video conferencing solutions that fully support iOS and Android devices, as well as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives
  • The only system on the market (Scopia XT5000) to incorporate dual 1080p/60fps live video and content, H.264 High Profile and H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC)
  • The Scopia Executive solution supports multi-party conferencing for impromptu group meetings and includes a high resolution LED display for detailed content sharing
  • The simplest and most affordable SMB video solution combining HD video room system capabilities with the market?s highest capacity embedded MCU for multi-party conferencing, desktop and mobile video collaboration, along with integrated firewall traversal
  • Comprehensive video management delivery, control and scheduling for robust, easy-to-use conferencing with deployments including Scopia as well as third-party systems
  • Extremely high UC connectivity capabilities, high UC connectivity with interoperability provided between any standards-based video enabled device, along with Avaya and other market leading unified communications solutions

Avaya Connect partners interested in learning more about the new Scopia course being offered through Jenne University should contact Erica Butler at (800) 422-6191, extension 3130 or email hidden; JavaScript is required. Partners who are interested learning more about the Avaya Scopia product solution should contact Jenne sales at (800) 422-6191.


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How deadly would chemical weapons in Syria be?

Concerns that the Syrian regime would use chemical weapons are putting the spotlight on these weapons of mass destruction.

By Tom A. Peter,?Correspondent / December 6, 2012

A view of damages on an empty street in the Aleppo district of Salaheddine, Syria, Dec. 5. Serious concerns have been raised about the Syrian regime using chemical weapons.

Aref Hretani/Reuters


Serious concerns have been raised about chemical weapons in Syria as unnamed US officials on Wednesday told NBC News that Syrian forces have loaded sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into bombs that can be dropped by planes.

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The officials said the bombs had not been loaded onto planes and there was not yet a decision from Syria's leader to use them.

President Obama has said the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a ?red line? that would draw the US into the war. Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied that he?s planning to use them, unless international forces intervene. And Syrian officials have called recent accusations a ?pretext for intervention.?

The international community is now debating if and how to respond to this latest development.

As the situation unfolds, for many unfamiliar with sarin gas there may be some question as to what it is and just how deadly it can be. Though it?s classified as a weapon of mass destruction and is extremely lethal, it is not in the same league as nuclear weapons.

?Chemical weapons are not nuclear weapons. In order to produce a lot of damage they have to be distributed very efficiently. The problem with them is that they can be very deadly and efficient if used in population centers and their effects are indiscriminate,? says Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

?The explosion of a single chemical shell would not necessarily be a catastrophe if it went off accidentally at one of these storage sites, but the deliberate use of one chemical shell in a population center could be very deadly,? adds Mr. Kimball.

Sarin is a colorless and odorless nerve agent that can be attached to missiles and artillery rounds and is primarily lethal when inhaled but can also penetrate skin and clothing.

It evaporates quickly, though under the right conditions it can linger for up to five days. As a result, a sarin attack requires little clean up and areas affected by sarin can be quickly reoccupied, making it a desirable weapon for military units looking to advance without destroying infrastructure and equipment.

It was first developed in Germany in 1938, but there was no known use of it as a weapon, until 1988 when Iraq used it against the Kurdish town of Halabja. The Iraqi military is also believed to have used sarin against Iran during the war between the two countries that spanned from 1980 to 1988.

Most recently, it was used by the Japanese group Aum Shinrikyo which manufactured their own form of impure sarin gas and released it on the Tokyo subway in 1995. The attack killed 12 and injured at least 5,500 people.

It?s unclear exactly how much damage would be caused were Syrian jets to drop bombs filled with sarin gas on an apartment block or populated area, but experts say the attack would likely be lethal and devastating, creating a major impact.


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Robert Lustig, M.D.: Bring Back Home Ec -- and This Time, for Boys, Too!

In Contra Costa County, Calif., a high school student juices six oranges to make eight ounces of juice, downs it in 12 seconds flat, and says, "I'm hungry, what's for breakfast?" A second student cuts up six oranges, taking 15 minutes to eat five of them, and says, "I think I'm going to be sick, I couldn't eat another bite." These students are participating in a pilot program to bring the lessons of food to an otherwise unsuspecting population, our nation's impoverished youth. A substantial percentage of these kids are obese, and some already have Type 2 diabetes. Most of these kids have never seen the inside of an orange. Previously, they had no connection between the food they were eating and what was going on in their bodies (obesity, metabolic syndrome) and their brains (sluggishness, poor academic performance). These high school students are making a complete and healthy breakfast daily, not just for themselves but for the teachers as well. In just weeks the students' palates have changed and this awareness has spread throughout the school. One student complained, "You have ruined McDonald's for me!" These kids are growing their own food on campus. Students are planting, picking, cooking, and composting. The garden is "ag-certified," meaning the extra produce can be used in the school cafeteria.

In San Francisco, Calif., Kids Cook! is an eight-week pilot program created by the Bay Area American Heart Association's 2020 Task Force. Most students had never cooked before, but they soon had their hands inside the guts of a salmon. After eight one-hour sessions they were let loose as their Iron Chef-style final yielded award-winning fish tacos. Along with a partnership from Whole Foods Market and AHA, they will compete in a Food Truck Competition at the famed Off the Grid Food Truck spot at SF's Fort Mason for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day 2013.

Alice Waters pioneered the Edible Schoolyard in 1995 in a vacant Berkeley lot. Kids who had never seen a fresh vegetable, let alone watch one come out of the ground, are treated to the amazing sight and palatability of "growing your own." Waters' program has expanded via the Chez Panisse Foundation, and is being replicated in various schools throughout the country. Here's the problem: growing a vegetable is one thing, but cooking it is another. California is the artichoke capital of the world, one of the true vegetarian delicacies, yet virtually nobody knows how to cook it; certainly no one in our younger generation.

We are in the midst of the most significant public health crisis of all time -- our national epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which threaten to bankrupt Medicare by 2024. Roughly 75 percent of health care costs are due to chronic disease, and roughly 75 percent of these costs are potentially recoupable. Although we can argue the myriad proximate causes of our health decline, the one reason we can all agree on is the plethora of processed food that started after World War II, but really ramped up starting in the 1970s. Processed food took off due to expense, time savings for two-parent working or single-parent families, and the women's rights movement. Back then, only 4 percent of all food consumed was outside the home; currently, it is 34 percent. Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, usually consisting of a throw-in-the oven pizza or microwave TV dinner.

These alterations in our food supply and methods of food preparation (or lack thereof) have evinced several detrimental effects. First, Americans are getting sick. Processed food means the addition of sugar; of the 600,000 items in the food supply, 80 percent are laced with added sugar (added by the food industry for its own purposes). Sugar drives the development of all these chronic metabolic diseases. Second, processed food means fiberless food because you can't freeze fiber (try freezing an orange, see what you get). Fiber is the stealth nutrient. Lack of fiber is associated with these same diseases. Our ancestors used to consume 100 grams of fiber per day, the USDA suggests we consume 25 grams, and our median fiber consumption is 15 grams. And third, we've lost an entire generation of cooks. Many parents today don't even know how to boil water, let alone prepare a meal from scratch. And this is the "gift that keeps on giving." Kitchen-illiterate parents mean kitchen-illiterate kids, and so on. The human and economic carnage of chronic disease escalates. And so on.

Hippocrates said it first and best: "Let thy food be thy medicine." Numerous studies demonstrate when you switch to a low-sugar, high-fiber diet -- and it doesn't matter which diet you prefer (see the high-fat Atkins Diet or the low-fat Ornish Diet or the Paleolithic Diet) -- they all work to treat, and in some instances even reverse these chronic diseases. All three have been shown to reduce reliance on anti-diabetic medications. You know what you call a low-sugar, high-fiber diet? Real food. You can't buy these diets in a box. You have to prepare them.

Teaching home economics in school is virtually extinct. This is where food science, preparation, and safety used to be imparted to girls of the previous generation. But boys need this information equally, since the "new family" means that 70 percent of men find themselves in charge of getting food on the table at least once a week. With parents working and kitchen-illiterate, both girls and boys need to know how to cook in order to keep themselves and their children metabolically healthy over a lifetime. Cooking is a life skill everyone needs. It is not elitist to want, shop, and cook real food. It is essential to life. What better way to prepare for college or life than to learn food science, navigating the grocery store, preparing real food meals with limited time and/or budget as well impress your girlfriend/boyfriend.

But there's more for our kids to learn than trussing a turkey. Hurricane Sandy just taught us another painful lesson, evidenced by the throngs of lower Manhattanites wandering the streets in the dark. We have virtually no post-apocalyptic subsistence strategies. What to do when the power goes out. How to act in an emergency. How to start and put out a fire. How to wash clothes. Clearly, our lack of basic preparedness resonates; NBC just introduced Revolution, about life with no electrical power. Some of these proficiencies are taught in Boy Scouts, but girls need to equally know these as well. Let's just not call it "home ec." It needs some rebranding -- let's give it a sexier title: Adult Survival Skills (ASS). "Hey, I'm kickin' ASS." That will get them interested.

Robert H. Lustig, M.D., is Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco, and the author of the new book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease (Hudson Street Press, New York), released today. He invites anyone interested in societal change around obesity to follow him on Facebook starting in the New Year.

Cindy Gershen is chef/owner of Sunrise Bistro in Walnut Creek, CA, and founder of Wellness City Challenge, a community health activist organization.

Shane Valentine is a Marin County Child Care Commissioner, speaker, activist, chef instructor, author of The Baby Cuisine Cookbook, and father of three.


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Friday, December 28, 2012

Predictions for 2013 (Unqualified Offerings)

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Website helps Dutch Catholics "de-baptize" over gay marriage

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.

Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on - "" - had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict's latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

"Of course it's not possible to be 'de-baptized' because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics," Roes told Reuters.

He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.

About 28 percent of the population in the Netherlands is Catholic and 18 percent is Protestant, while a much larger proportion - roughly 44 percent - is not religious, according to official statistics.

The country is famous for its liberal attitudes, for example to drugs and prostitution, and in April 2001 it was the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriages.

In a Christmas address to Vatican officials, the pope signaled the he was ready to forge alliances with other religions against gay marriage, saying the family was threatened "to its foundations" by attempts to change its "true structure".

Roes, a television director, said he left the church and set up his website partly because he was angry about the way the church downplayed or covered-up sexual abuse in Catholic orphanages, boarding schools and seminaries.

A report by an independent commission published a year ago said there had been tens of thousands of victims of child sexual abuse in the Netherlands since 1945 and criticized the church's culture of silence.

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)


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UN envoy, Moscow call for revival of Syria plan

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Homs, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Homs, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Homs, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings from heavy shelling in Homs, Syria, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

BEIRUT (AP) ? Russia and the U.N called Thursday for the resuscitation of a peace initiative for Syria that never got off the ground when it was proposed months ago because both parties to the conflict rejected it.

The plan, unveiled by world powers at an international conference in Geneva in June, called for an open-ended cease-fire, a transitional government to run the country until elections, and the drafting of a new constitution. The plan was a non-starter for the opposition because it did not explicitly ban authoritarian President Bashar Assad and other members of his regime from taking part in the transitional leadership.

The regime ignored it because it would entail voluntarily giving up power.

There was no sign that the plan had any more chance of succeeding now than it did back in June. Assad's government did not comment on the attempt to revive the proposal, and a coordinator for the rebels seeking to end Assad's rule called the plan "illogical."

"No one in the opposition can accept this, and if they accept it, it will be refused by the Syrian people," said Bassam Al-Dada, a Turkey-based coordinator with the rebel Free Syrian Army. He said Assad's forces have killed too many people for him to play a role in any solution.

Anti-regime activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad began in March 2011.

Because of Russian objections, the original plan did not call specifically for Assad's ouster nor ban him or top members of his regime from participating in the new government.

Much has changed in Syria since the plan was first presented. Rebels have gained momentum, seizing more territory and a number of military installations in the country's north. They are also expanding their control in suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

These gains make it increasingly unlikely that they will accept any plan that allows any part of Assad's regime to remain.

The government, too, has given no indication it will give any ground and dismisses almost all opposition activities as terrorism that seeks to destroy the country.

In Damascus on Thursday, the U.N. envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi called the Geneva plan "suitable enough" to end Syria's war.

"The Syrian people seek genuine change," Brahimi said, adding that the transitional period "must not lead to the collapse of the state or the state's institutions."

Brahimi said that original plan could be amended, but he didn't say how.

He did not mention Assad by name and only said the transitional government would have "full executive powers," meaning "all the authority of the state should be possessed by that government."

Brahimi said it remained to be determined what kind of government would follow and whether the elections called for under the plan would be for president or parliament.

In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevic said Russia, too, is trying to revive the Geneva plan.

"We continue to believe that there is no alternative to that document in trying to find a settlement in Syria," Lukashevich said.

He also reaffirmed Moscow's objection to calls for Assad's ouster.

Russia has been Assad's strongest backer throughout the conflict, selling arms to his forces and, along with China, protecting him from censure by the U.N. Security Council for his violent crackdown on the opposition.

Top Russian officials have recently signaled a new resignation to the idea that Assad could fall. Still, they have said they will not call for his ouster or offer him refuge should he decide to flee.

Brahimi is expected to visit Russia this weekend. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met Thursday with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to pave the way for Brahimi's visit.

Mekdad is expected to hold talks with other top Russian diplomats later.

Violence flared in Syria again on Thursday, with rebels attacking a police academy and military airport in the northern province of Aleppo while clashing with government forces near the Wadi Deif military base in northern Idlib province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 rebels and 16 government soldiers were killed in clashes around Idlib province.

A car bomb blew up in the Damascus suburb of Sbeineh, killing four people and wounding ten, the state news agency reported.


Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Vladimir Isachenkov Moscow contributed reporting.

Associated Press


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