first_imgNEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan walk over a “Help” message painted on a concrete floor. (Wong Maye-E/PA Images)IRISHLabour Senator Jimmy Harte is in a critical condition in hospital after he was found with serious head injuries in the early hours of the morning.The ASTI said they could not recommend their members accept the Haddington Road deal.Tesco recalled ice-cream they sold in their stores as a ‘precautionary measure’ after two customers found painkillers in two individual cones.The CEO of GOAL has labelled the international response to Typhoon Haiyan a disgrace.An ESRI report confirmed today that the state’s energy campaign costing €10 million had no impact.The man accused of the murder of Michael Gannon appeared in court today.PSNI in Newry investigating an attack on a man caught two men cleaning blood off themselves.Over 2,000 people have signed a petition calling on a judge to resign.Minister Richard Bruton is leading 42 Irish companies and colleges on a trade mission to India.Minister Brian Hayes said today that it is in Ireland’s national interest that Britain remains a full member of the European Union.A €29 million investment into a new marine renewable energy research centre has created 77 jobs.WORLD#LIBYA: At least 31 people were killed in a gun attack.#UK: The UK’s Cyber-Crime unit has issued an urgent warning that computers across Europe are being attacked by “ransomware”.#ITALY: Silvio Berlusconi has reached out to former allies in a hope to form an alliance.INNOVATIONHere’s how the European Space Agency summed up its week in pictures. [ESA]The Skully P1 motorcycle helmet has integrated technology which could change how bikers ride. [CNET]PARTING SHOTWithout the glare of the city lights, you can actually do some star-gazing. TheJournal.ie reader Dave Gowan captured this view of the sky over Carrickmacross in County Monaghan.Here’s What Happened Yesterday>last_img read more

first_imgAN EXPLOSION AT a chemical factory in Japan killed at least five people and injured a dozen more today, police said.The blast happened in the early afternoon at the plant in Yokkaichi, central Japan, when maintenance crews were working on a heat exchanger used in the production of silicon products, a plant spokesman told AFP.Initial reports put the death toll at two, but they were quickly revised upwards.“Five people are dead. 12 people have been injured, of whom nine sustained only minor injuries,” said a spokeswoman at Mie prefectural police.A separate police spokesman told AFP the plant, run by Mitsubishi Materials, makes parts for solar panels and automobiles, dealing with polymers made from silicone, hydrogen and chlorine.“The explosion occurred but there is no fire. We received an emergency call at 2.09pm (5.09am GMT)…and at 2.21pm the incident appeared to have calmed down,” he said.Hiroki Morofuji, an official at the plant, said the incident had involved maintenance workers at the plant, sited in a heavily industrialised region.Mitusbishi Materials, headquartered in the Japanese capital, makes a range of products including auto parts, silicon wafers for memory chips used in consumer electronics, and cement for road and bridge construction.The company, which reported sales of about $12.2 billion in its latest fiscal year, has over 22,000 employees and operations across the globe including in the United States, Brazil, Germany and India, according to its website.- © AFP, 2014Read:China gives Japan ‘severe reprimand’ over PM’s war shrine visit>last_img read more

first_img“We can’t have a situation where thousands have to boil water everyday,” he said. “We can’t have a situation where 40 per cent of what we produce and you pay for is leaking into the ground.” ENDA KENNY HAS mounted a defence of Irish Water and its chief executive John Tierney, insisting that the present situation with water provision in Ireland cannot be allowed to continue.Speaking on his way into Government Buildings this morning, the Taoiseach said that he has “every confidence” that Tierney will do his job as expected and said the former Dublin city manager will deal with whatever issues arise out of his involvement in the controversial Poolbeg incinerator project.The Irish Independent reports this morning that Tierney will be called before the Public Accounts Committee in relation to the project.Kenny said that Irish Water is a “very major project to deal with the future of our country in terms of supply of high quality water for people and businesses alike”. “We have to consistency and a very high standard and Mr Tierney is heading up the utility called Uisce Eireann, or Irish Water, to deliver that.”Speaking in relation to the Central Remedial Clinic scandal, Kenny said that he expected the PAC will not be required to seek compellability for former board members to appear before it in the coming weeks to answer questions about the €742,000 pay-off to its former CEO.A short time later, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Bredan Howlin said that anybody who is involved in the spending of public money should appear before TDs on the powerful Oireachtas committee:- reporting from Michelle Hennessy at Government BuildingsRead: No pipes have been stolen from Irish Water, but disruption is ‘unavoidable’Read: Barry Cowen to Phil Hogan: ‘You misled Dáil’. Hogan: ‘No, you did’.last_img read more

first_imgBoth victims were second year students of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, studying Hotel and Catering Management. They had just recently started a 30-week Erasmus work placement in the Irish college in Leuven as part of their course.GMIT Students’ Union said it was “devastated” by the tragic deaths.President Sam O’Neill said, “We are all very shocked with the news that broke today about Sara and Dace.  On behalf of all GMIT students, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families & friends of the two girls.They were very popular students, not only among their classmates, but throughout the whole college here in GMIT. It’s a tragic loss of two bright young students who had great futures ahead of them.Ireland’s Ambassador to Belgium, Eamonn MacAodha has visited the hospital where the other students who escaped the fire are being treated.The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is working with the Polish and Latvian embassies in Dublin and Brussels to help in any way it can. Dace Zarina’s family originally came from Latvia, while Sara Gibadlo originated from Poland.Read: Names of two Irish students killed in Belgium blaze confirmed I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of Dace Zarina and Sara Gibadlo, who lost their lives this morning in Leuven.My thoughts are also with their fellow students at the Institute for Ireland, who have been through a terrible ordeal.I would also like to note the bravery of the residents and fire department of Leuven who risked their own lives to help students escape the fire. THE TÁNAISTE HAS expressed his sympathy to the families of the two Irish students who died in this morning’s fire at a college residence in Belgium.Twenty-two-year-old Dace Zarina from Longford and 19-year-old Sara Gibadlo from Oranmore, Galway perished in the blaze.In a statement, Eamon Gilmore said:last_img read more

first_imgStephane Guivarc’hTHE MAN WITH the superfluous apostrophe had a goalscoring average of two goals in every three games at Auxerre in the mid-to-late 1990s. He went to the World Cup in his home country as Aime Jacquet’s only recognised out-and-out striker. Even though Les Bleus won the World Cup, Guivarc’h became truly the world’s first ‘false number nine,’ failing to score even once. He moved on to Newcastle later that summer and played four games, before moving on to Rangers in November. The following season, he was back at Auxerre and long past whatever his best had been.Kevin Prince BoatengAlthough he flopped/wasn’t given much of a chance at Tottenham, Boateng actually enjoyed a pretty decent season with Portsmouth in 2009/2010 (well, insofar as anyone could enjoy the soap opera that engulfed Fratton Park at the time). However, his career has only really flourished since he made the move to Milan, where he has led the club’s transition from football’s retirement village to something a lot more vibrant.Giuseppe RossiAfter two years, four goals and 14 appearances for Manchester United, the promising Italian American went to Newcastle United on loan. That didn’t work either, and the now 26-year-old’s career only got going when he joined Villareal in 2008. He joined Fiorentina in January but has yet to feature because of a cruciate injury.Gerard PiqueIn the last eight years, Pique has divided his time between Manchester United (12 appearances, loan spell at Real Zaragoza) and Barcelona (two Champions League winner’s medals, three La Liga titles, two Copa Del Reys and one Shakira). We think he might be better off where he is.Mario BalotelliOne goal this season in the Premier League, four in three games for AC Milan already. You couldn’t say that Mario flopped in England – City would not be the current champions without him – but England never seemed to suit a man of such mischievous ways.Diego ForlanStriding down the Manchester United touchline like a swarthy Kevin Kilbane, Forlan could never quite shake off those Sally Gunnell comparisons. It doesn’t seem like it but he actually made 98 appearances for Alex Ferguson’s side, most as sub, and scored a paltry 17 goals. Much like Rossi, it took a move to Villareal to wake the Uruguayan’s inner striker and he duly went on to become one of the best strikers in the world at Atletico Madrid.Albert LuqueA five-year contract at Newcastle United, which he signed in 2005, was torn up after two injury plagued years for the skilful Spaniard. Luque had built a reputation as one of La Liga’s most potent attacking threats at Deportivo la Coruna, but the North East of England proved a hostile beast. After a promising debut, he tore his hamstring in his second game for the club and was rarely seen again.Juan VeronThe Little Witch was a little bit out of his element at Old Trafford, where he failed to adapt to the pace of the English game alongside Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. A move to Chelsea followed, and a curious parallel with Stephane Guivarc’h. Like the Frenchman, Veron scored on his debut against Liverpool. Like the Frenchman, he lasted fewer than 20 games before moving on to a far better time in the slower climes of Milan, Inter of.Jon Dahl TomassonThe Dane enjoyed his best success in two spells with Feyenoord, while he’s remembered fondly as a decent foil for Andriy Shevchenko at Milan. However, vomiting in the tunnel before his Newcastle debut against Sheffield Wednesday set the tone for a spell where he was played out of position and only scored four times in 34 games.Fernando MorientesOh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Having scored 82 goals in 182 league appearances for Real Madrid and enjoyed a successful spell with Monaco, the Spaniard joined Liverpool in January 2005 for £9.7m. He would score only 12 goals in just over a season at Anfield, and his sale to Valencia in 2006 was not lamented by too many Reds fans, who would come to love another Fernando a couple of seasons later.Tony CascarinoThe Irish(ish) striker was a fans’ favourite at Millwall before leaving to join Aston Villa in a big money move in 1990. What followed were four years of little success in Birmingham, then with Celtic, then Chelsea. At the age of 32 it seemed Cascarino would be best remembered as Niall Quinn’s back-up but then something extraordinary happened. Marseille, demoted from Ligue 1 due to a bribing scandal, brought the Londoner to the south of France on a free transfer and he would go on to score over 100 goals in French football – first at the Stade Velodrome, then at Nancy.(All images: PA Images)Colm Parkinson on Jerry Kiernan: ‘He’s an angry man… anyone from Kerry that hates football you have to wonder’ >last_img read more

first_imgA POLL RELEASED this week by the Pro-Life Campaign seeks to ‘challenge the notion that there is broad middle ground support for abortion in Ireland.’ This polls claims to show that two-thirds of Irish people want ‘legal protection of the unborn’ and suggests that this means Irish people are against legalised abortions.This should surprise some as it follows on from a IpsosMRBI poll in the Irish Times recently which showed a substantial majority in favour of legalised abortions in a variety of circumstances.So what’s happening? Does this show that you can get a poll to say anything you want as this clip from Yes, Prime Minister suggests? Or is the polling methodology of companies so flawed that we get results that can fluctuate wildly even when the underlying opinions in society are reasonably stable?PollingWell it’s not the latter. Opinion polls results on voting, though sometimes appear volatile (especially when there’s no election on the horizon and people aren’t as focussed on the question) are remarkably similar when taken at similar times. Polling companies have improved their methodologies, and while there are ongoing debates about issues such as weighting for past vote and likelihood to vote, the polling companies in question, Millward Brown and IpsosMRBI, are reputable and conform to high standards.What is probably at issue here is the wording of the question, the interpretation of the results and the ‘context’ of the question. Sometimes we might see an advocacy ask a number of questions and pick just those that suit its position, discarding any that don’t. In general one should be suspicious of an advocacy group-sponsored polls. The questions in this case were problematic.Abortion is a complex issue, and asking one or two complicated questions doesn’t help add clarity. People think differently about abortion in different circumstances, and so pro-choice advocates make much of questions in which as much as 90 per cent of US respondents say they favour that abortion should be legal. In fact the support is lower when circumstances are specified.Clear and conciseSo it makes sense to clearly specify the circumstances in a number of clear, concise questions. This is what the Irish Times poll did – though the health question was probably vaguer than it should have been and was, I think, misinterpreted by some to mean suicide. What were the Pro-Life campaign’s questions? Are you in favour of, or opposed to constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?Result: 63 per cent answered Yes, 19 per cent No, 18 per cent No Opinion. It has the same problems we saw in the first question, but the added problem that it asks questions on what are two dimensions. So the first half asks about the constitutional prohibition on abortion (which since X case is not really in place) and the desire to save a mother’s life – which is also moot). Which part are the respondents saying yes to? The two issues should be separated out.Pro-lifeThe Pro-Life campaign say that they were providing ‘context’ that was lacking in the Irish Times questions. They say that ‘important ethical distinctions are clarified for the benefit of respondents’. But one might say that the context was misleading, and the ethical distinctions were muddied.A further problem is with the interpretation. The Pro-Life campaigns press release, which was heavily drawn on in reports in the Irish Independent and Irish Times, a ‘sizeable majority support legal protection of the unborn’. This is true, but it doesn’t, as they suggest, contradict the findings of the Irish Times poll. Favouring the legal protection of the unborn doesn’t mean one is against abortion – it just suggests that Irish people want rules governing abortion.The Irish Times poll asked more questions, more simply and more directly on the nuances in the debate is one I’d use if I wanted to know what Irish people think about this issue.Dr Eoin O’Malley teaches Irish politics at Dublin City University. He has written on the subject of small parties in government for a new book on minor parties in Ireland. He occasionally tweets as @AnMailleach. To read more articles by Eoin for TheJournal.ie click here.Read: Pro Life opinion poll shows 3 in 4 are against abortion>Column: Abortion is too important an issue for disrespectful debate> Result: 66 per cent answered Yes, 15 per cent No, 19 per cent No Opinion. There are a number of problems with this question. It’s pretty long, which may not be a major problem, though it’s usually best avoid long questions, especially abstract ones. One might also object to the use of the word ‘baby’ instead of foetus, but again, I’d let them pass on this. A more serious problem is that it describes a situation which it says is the status quo position in Ireland, though many would take issue with that. So if asked ‘are you in favour of the current social welfare system which protects the most vulnerable in society?’, what is one’s answer to be. Yes, but it doesn’t. That’s not an option.Framing the questionThe question is framed to offer everything desirable, and ask the respondent would you like to retain it? ‘Yes,of course, but…’ It’s perhaps surprising that only 66 per cent answered yes. Another problem is that it oversimplifies the situation. It doesn’t ask difficult choices of the respondent. Motherhood and apple pie? Of course. But you can’t always have both. The rights of the two come into conflict and whose rights take precedence is precisely the issue Irish society has to grapple with. The second question is arguably worse.center_img In current medical practice in Ireland, the doctor treats the expectant mother and her baby as two patients and does his/her best to safeguard both in a crisis situation. Do you consider that this practice should be protected and safeguarded by law or not?last_img read more

first_imgTWO MEN IN their 20s are due in court charged in connection with a spate of burglaries across Dublin’s southside.The first man is due before Dun Laoghaire District Court today, while the second will be called before Cloverhill District Court on Monday.Six other people who were all arrested as part of the major garda investigation into the burglaries have been released without charge. Gardaí said files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.Gardaí set up a dedicated operation to combat a high number of burglaries in the Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock, Dundrum and Cabinteely areas of Dublin.Jewellery, clothing, computer equipment and a car have all been recovered so far.last_img

first_imgOVER 1,000 GPs who qualified in Ireland have begun working with the NHS over the last five years according to the Irish Medical Organisation.The IMO say that this is the equivalent of seven years output of Irish trained GPs that are going straight to the UK.The union are blaming the Government for the loss of doctors abroad and say that Ireland could be facing a GP shortage.“If we don’t change tack now, we will look back in five years time and we will trace the decline of our high standards of GP services to 2014 and the mistakes that are being made now,” said the IMO’s Ray Walley. The IMO has been locked in a dispute with the Government over the proposal to introduce free GP care for under-sixes and in particular the re-reimbursement contract for GPs.“Any substantial change to the current GMS contact for GPs needs to be negotiated with the IMO as the licensed trade union for GPs in Ireland,” Walley said about the dispute.The Union of Students of Ireland recently launched a campaign to halt a reduction in pay for student nurses which they say encourages emigration among recently qualified health professionals.Read: Graduate nurses to protest “€6.49 per hour” training wage >Read: IMO wants “real negotiations” on free GP care > A further 200 or more GPs currently working in Ireland are close to or beyond normal retirement age and are expected to leave the service in the coming years further exacerbating the situation.last_img read more

first_imgAN APPEAL AGAINST the undue leniency of a six-month prison sentence handed down to a man convicted of sexual assault will be heard today.Anthony Lyons an aviation broker, had five-and-a-half years of a six-year sentence suspended last year, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman near Griffith Avenue on Dublin’s northside in 2010.He was also ordered to pay the 27-year-old victim €75,000 in compensation.In November, the Director of Public Prosecutions was successful in its appeal against the leniency of the sentence but a decision on what sentence should instead be imposed was reserved.But in the interim Mr Justice Michael Hanna became seriously ill and as a result the appeal has had to be re-heard.Lyons admitted to the attack but had argued that a combination medication and alcohol caused him to carry out the attack.The Court of Criminal Appeal had ruled that the sentence imposed was too lenient, citing an “error in principle”.Read: Appeal court finds Anthony Lyons sentence too lenient >Read: ‘Unusual sentence’ for sex offender raises doubts about system’s fairness >last_img read more

first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE RELEASED the two people arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of former detective garda John Kerins.The 49-year-old was found dead at his home in Baileboro, Co Cavan in November last year. A garda spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that the two men arrested have now been released without charge and the investigation is ongoing.Searches in the Baileboro area, including a dig at the home of the former garda, have now also concluded.Kerins was arrested and questioned over the disappearance of a neighbour, Gerry Daly in 2011 and it is believed he was also suspected of being involved in the drugs trade.It is understood Kerins was medically discharged from An Garda Síochana a number of years ago and moved to the area. He had served in a number of specialist units in the force throughout his career.Read: Two men arrested over murder of former garda John Kerins>last_img read more

first_imgREMEMBER WHEN THAT guy raised $51,850 to make a potato salad on Kickstarter?Unfortunately that wasn’t a once-off. Stupid projects are now springing up left, right and centre, and these chancers are looking for your money to fund them.Here are some cheeky pups looking for your hard-earned cash.1. The guy who has set up a ‘dickstarter’ Source: KickstarterThis guy is looking for $100 to draw a penis. “I just graduated college and I have no job. Let’s bring it back to the goals of my youth. I want to make the world’s biggest dick drawing.”2. The guy who wants to make pancakes Source: KickstarterThis potato salad copycat wants $50 to make pancakes. “Every day, I consider making myself blueberry pancakes. This summer, I will go ahead with my considerations and make those pancakes!”3. The guy who wants to spray anti-capitalist graffiti in Liverpool Source: KickstarterThis guy says he wants $5 to make a corndog, but we all know he just wants attention from the internet. “Let’s kickstart this delicious corndog!  Thank you…”14. The couple that want to sew cat capes Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThese chancers want $250 to make capes for their cats. “Please help our cats realize their dream of flight! And our dream of learning how to sew tiny capes and other things for our cats.”15. The guy who wants to create ‘junk jeans’ Source: KickstarterThis guy wanted to raise $25,000 to create “anatomically designed jeans with a man’s junk in mind.” The promise? “No more scrunching, squishing, squashing or splitting of the goods”. *shivers*15 animal gifs that are bound to make you smile, every time >Spillage of fruit causes literal traffic jam > Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThis guy needs £60 become the Scouse Banksy. “So, I basically need money to pay for spray paint because I 1) can’t afford it… 2) wouldn’t want to fully bear the financial cost of art that I believe will benefit many in the city of Liverpool.” Noble.4. The guy leading a one-man egg sandwich crusade Source: KickstarterThis guy needs $310 to print instructional leaflets on how to make a nice egg sandwich, which he will personally deliver to all establishments that sell egg sandwiches. “There’s not ONE right way to do this, but my guidelines will at least make an average egg sandwich much better.” Again: noble.5. The groom who wants to feed his Ma’s friends at his wedding Source: PA Images Contributor/Press Association ImagesThese two cowboys want $1,550 to feed the groom’s mother’s friends at their wedding. “Mother says we need to invite 31 of her friends to our wedding. We need your help to feed them and make sure they give us a thumbs up!”6. The guy who wants to make a beer tieFellas: ever at a party and wish you could put your bottle of beer in your tie and free up those tired, tired hands? You may be in luck, but not before this guy raises $7,800.  “Both functional and stylish, the Beer Tie is here to hold your beer and ‘DRESS UP YOUR DRINKIN’!’”7. The guy who wants to build a sandcastle Source: KickstarterThis guy wants a tenner to build a sandcastle. “I want to make a sandcastle, but I first need equipment.”8. The lady who wants to start an Instagram for hunterscenter_img Source: KickstarterThis lady wanted to build an Instagram for hunters called Huntagram. “I got the idea from my husband who at deer season can’t wait to get on Facebook to show everyone what he killed…He said its time for hunters to have there own app with no gossip.” NO GOSSIP.9. The people that want to manufacture a smart toilet roll holder Source: KickstarterThese two want $37,500 for a “smart” toilet paper holder that beams an LED light when the toilet paper is gone. You know, in case you can’t see the empty toilet roll right in front of you. “Yes, you can visually inspect the roll before using the toilet. But are we all always that vigilant?” Compelling argument! (If they raise $55,000, they’ll create an app. Eyeroll.)10. The guy who wants to build a sexy phone charger Source: KickstarterThis guy is looking for $8,000 to build a sexy phone charger named Paul. “Technology should do more than just represent your sexuality – It should LITERALLY BE SEXY.”11. The guy who wants to produce Puglet Source: KickstarterThis guy wants $5,000 to stage an all-pug production of Hamlet. “For years I’ve dreamed of mounting one of Shakespeare’s most glorious works with nature’s most glorious creation:  The Pug.”12. The lady who wants to send a birthday gift to Barack Obama Source: KickstarterThis lady needs $4,000 to make a work of art and a birthday card for Barack Obama. “I want to create this gift for President Obama with nail polish and glitter on a piece of red, white, blue, or black leather and use a black, silver or gold frame.” Four. Thousand. Dollars.13. The guy who wants to make a corndoglast_img read more

first_imgEver wonder why a Leica M9 camera costs more than a nice used car? One of the reasons is because of the meticulous manufacturing process these things go through. Here is a look at how one is put together…And Part 2 of the video:In all honesty the video isn’t very exciting but it is cool to see inside the factory and get a peak at the tremendous amount of care that goes into each unit. It’s not enough to completely justify the price (other types of electronics are made carefully as well) but it gives us one good reason why a Leica comes complete with a small dab of price shock. Actually, that’s the last step before packaging.via A Continuous Leanlast_img

first_imgEarlier today we posted about a rumor first aired by 3DRealms’ George Broussard that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) was about to make big cuts to both its staff and studios. That rumor has turned out to be true with SOE confirming the news in an e-mail to Gamasutra.In total, 205 jobs will be lost with the Denver, Seattle, and Tucson studios all being closed down. The other bad news is Sony has decided to cancel the online game The Agency which has been in development for several years now.AdChoices广告The good news for existing SOE game players is that all existing titles will remain live and you can continue to play them as normal. As for future game development, two MMOs will now be the focus. The first is based on the PlanetSide IP, and the second on the always-popular Everquest IP.Fewer projects mean less people required and ultimately fewer studios have work, hence the closures. As far as an impact on gamers is concerned, the only noticeable difference is that The Agency will no longer be appearing on store shelves.Read more at GamasutraMatthew’s OpinionDevelopment of The Agency must have been experiencing problems or had fallen way behind schedule. It has been in development since 2007, and you don’t invest 4 years in a project then cancel it without a very good reason. It sounded like a very promising title from what we have heard over the years.It’s also surprising that SOE would choose to do the PlanetSide sequel instead of finishing The Agency, but again, this could be down to problems on that project we don’t know about.For existing players this news has probably come as a relief. The games you play regularly aren’t going anywhere, and the best thing you can do to support them is extend your subscription.last_img read more

first_imgReception for OS X Lion has largely been positive, but the upgrade is not without its problems. In addition to some complaints about the gestures and issues with Flash hardware acceleration and the Adobe Creative Suite, OS X 10.7 has a few other annoyances.One that’s been bothering some more technically inclined users is that Lion’s Time Machine backup does not work with third-party NAS devices. While Snow Leopard was able to work with Time Machine and NASes from companies like Western Digital and Synology, Lion has made changes which prevent it from working as it did.Why Lion doesn’t work with the NAS is a complex issue. Lion uses Netatalk 2.1.3, which changed a few things with AFP, the protocol OS X uses to work with network-attached storage devices. What the changes amount to is that Apple’s OS doesn’t recognize third-party NASes as being Time Machine compatible, and it won’t until manufacturers release firmware upgrades for their devices. From what we’ve seen, storage companies have placed the blame firmly on Apple for turning off DHCAST128, which was previously turned on. It is possible to turn DHCAST128 back on manually with some work in the terminal, but you’ll have to proceed at your own risk. (We’ll be testing this out as soon as possible.)In addition to Time Machine working, some people can’t even connect to their NAS devices, let alone backup automatically. (NB: I tried connecting to a Western Digital NAS from a MacBook Pro running Lion and the problem doesn’t seem to be universal. I was able to connect and access files, but Time Machine does not work. It seems that only WD’s My Book line was affected.)For the time being users should wait for new firmware to come out. This should solve the problem on all affected devices. Synology was totally on top of the matter–their DiskStation Manager 3.2 specifically addresses the Lion issue by upgrading to Netatalk 2.2.We reached out to Synology representative Doug Self for a comment regarding the issue and he had this to say, “We saw this coming, so we were happy to have a fix prepared for our Mac users. Yesterday, we released a beta for DiskStation Manager 3.2 which, among other features updates, provides Lion and Time Machine compatibility. DSM 3.2 beta is available, as always, as a free download [here].”last_img read more

first_imgAs I sat in the theater at the AT&T developers conference just before CES this year, Motorola announced the Atrix. A decent looking, crazy-powerful phone that was coming to help shore up AT&T’s lineup now that Verizon was getting the iPhone. Cool enough phone, I thought, but what makes it special? My question was answered almost immediately when among the accessories for the phone came an entire laptop. The Motorola Lapdock is a cool idea by anyone’s imagining, albeit not their best seller. To help with this, Motorola stated that the Lapdock accessory would become available for all future Android smartphones (as would WebTop).Fast forward to this week, when Verizon’s Lapdock-worthy smartphone finally made it to market. The Droid Bionic is powerful enough when you consider it is the first dual-core 4G LTE smartphone. Add onto it that one of the accessories turns it into a laptop, and you’ve got a pretty cool handset for the student on the go or the savvy jetsetter, right? As it turns out, there’s a kind of hitch.Upon receiving the Bionic, one of the first things I wanted to do was stick it in the Lapdock for the Motorola Atrix and give it a whirl. The Lapdock’s larger screen, 10+ hours of battery life, and the ability to browse on a proper web browser are pretty appealing features to have with you on the go. Plus the Lapdock is smaller than a Chromebook or Macbook Air, and just as light. A funny thing happened when I tried, though. It turns out that the HDMI port and the MicroUSB ports are flipped backwards compared to the Atrix.This means that if you have an Atrix dock, or if you tried to get one on the cheap from eBay, or maybe you decided to make the switch from AT&T to Verizon because they have a phone that supports this $300 accessory, you’re out of luck.Why have Motorola and/or Verizon chosen to do this? What benefit could there be to have an entirely separate product that is imperceptibly identical until you try to use it on something else? I find it hard to believe that the profit margins would be affected so badly that it was decided that a different model was needed to keep those tricky consumers from trying to sneak one by.Neither Verizon nor Motrola have offered a statement to explain the reason for this, but for now be careful when ordering a Lapdock for your Motorola smartphone, because it might not be the right one.last_img read more

first_imgDon’t expect every new Nexus device to come from Motorola, said Google after they completed the acquisition. Fair enough, say sources in Taiwan — who believe the first Nexus tablet will be built by Asus, have a 7-inch screen, sell for about $200, and it could arrive as soon as May.HTC was also in the running, but apparently Google wanted to take the design lead on the project and HTC was unwilling to hand over that control. HTC, of course, built the first Nexus device ever, so it’s not a surprise to hear they were interested in partnering up with Google again. Acer was also on the shortlist.Ultimately, however, Asus won out. It may have a lot to do with the Transformer Prime tablet, which was first on the market with a quad core processor. It may also have something to do with the upcoming MeMo, which is supposed to pack Ice Cream Sandwich and a quad-core chip for just $249. That’s right around the price point Google is aiming for — no surprise, since it would allow them to challenge Amazon and the Kindle Fire head-on.DigiTimes sources are saying the tablet could arrive as soon as May. That would line up nicely with Google I/O 2012, which takes place on June 24 and 25. Google will no doubt be giving away hardware at the event once again, and it might as well be their own tablet.Of course, Asus and Google haven’t been willing to confirm anything at this point. So this mysterious Google/Asus tablet could end up simply being the Asus MeMo when it arrives. It wouldn’t be a Nexus device, but at least it’d be a dirt-cheap quad-core tablet with ICS.More at DigiTimeslast_img read more

first_imgJust over a year ago, Microsott and Nokia rocked the technology world when they announced their new partnership. Though the original agreement meant Nokia would become Microsoft’s go-to Windows Phone producer, rumors have swirled ever since that a Windows 8 tablet was on the cards, too.According to a DigiTimes sources, the Nokia Windows 8 tablet could be arriving as soon as the 2012 holiday season. It’s expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 10-inch touchscreen display. If Nokia really is working on such a device, let’s hope they’re planning on utilizing that ultra-responsive 1ms prototype capacitive unit Microsoft Research demonstrated recently.The tablet will also reportedly be built by Compal, who will no doubt be happy to assemble a device that won’t require them to hand over royalty payments to Microsoft.Skeptics may wonder whether Nokia would actually build a tablet. Their success has come from smaller devices, and forays into other areas — like the 10.1-inch Nokia Booklet laptop — haven’t gone over all that well. But that was then and this is now.Nokia has already shown that they’re throwing their full weight behind Microsoft. In addition to the eye-catching Lumia phones already on the market, Nokia is preparing to unleash an army of low-cost Windows Phone Tango devices. They’ve already gotten plenty of hands-on experience coding Metro apps, and their developers will be able to port code from Lumia phones to a Lumia tablet with ease.With the two companies working so closely now, it could even be a “Nexus” device, if Microsoft decides to take a page out of Google’s book.More at DigiTimeslast_img read more

first_imgDesigned by Boeing, the X-37B is an unmanned spaceplane that is the smallest orbital plane flown to date, around a fourth of the size of the Space Shuttle. The spaceplane is launched into space via the Atlas V rocket, then can land on its own after its mission is complete. Yesterday, the X-37B launched, but the timing, and mission length and purpose was left undisclosed.Secret government military actions aren’t exactly uncommon occurrences, and the Air Force’s official statement regarding the intention of the launch seems pretty standard, saying that it’s a simple experimental operation with the goal of testing and exploring reusable spacecraft technologies. However, some have speculated that the craft’s true mission is to spy on the Chinese space station, Tiangong-1. This theory arose during the plane’s previous mission, when space trackers noticed the craft’s flight path followed that of the Chinese space lab.When the craft returned from its previous mission, program manager Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre said the goal of the mission was to see how long a resusable, unmanned craft of the X-37B’s nature could stay in orbit, and to see how far that length of time could be pushed. However, people who have been tracking the plane’s previous missions have made some very specific observations about its flight path as related to Tiangong-1. Earlier this year, Spaceflight magazine noted that the X-37B and Tiangong-1 “migrate toward or against each other, converging or diverging, roughly every 170 orbits,” with a period differential of around 19 seconds, showing how the plane’s mission may not only be to test its own orbital period.Whatever the actual mission may be, it doesn’t look like the Air Force is going to be very detailed about it.last_img read more

first_imgReaders of a certain age will recall spending a substantial amount of time during childhood playing games like Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Little did you know that all those hours spent staring at the radiant glow of the TV screen was just one marginally efficient path to victory. PhD computer science researcher Tom “Tom7” Murphy has developed a program called Playfun that can play NES games by itself. Surely the robots are ready to take over now.The full (and very science-y) details of the process are available in the paper, titled “The First Level of Super Mario Bros. is Easy with Lexicographic Orderings and Time Travel… after that it gets a little tricky.” Just to be clear, this is a real paper that was published in SIGBOVIK 2013. The 22-page paper is a little dense, so Tom7 has thoughtfully recorded the above video version, and it’s amazing.The technique he used leverages lexicographic orderings, a way of sorting items based on size or ranking. It’s the same way a dictionary is sorted, but Tom7 used lexicographic orderings to describe what it means to “win” a video game. There are certain things that increase when playing a game like Super Mario Bros. The score and level number will go up, for example. With enough data, Tom7 figured he could train Playfun to play the game.The NES has just 2048 bytes of RAM, which isn’t a lot. Tom simply played the game himself and captured the RAM state every frame for several minutes. This block of data contains patterns — some of the RAM states are going up according to lexicographic ordering. The program can then play the game and emulate the RAM states, try various button inputs, and see if it can get the RAM to increment in the right direction.That’s how you get to a program that can play Super Mario Bros without caring about the actual output. Playfun isn’t looking at the screen, it’s just trying to win with math. It can calculate ahead and anticipate actions based on the data it has. What’s particularly crazy is that Playfun instantly learns how to exploit bugs in the game. It doesn’t play like a human — Playfun plays with the cold methodical ruthlessness of a machine.Super Mario Bros. works well, but some other games don’t obey the same rules. The Karate Kid, for instance, beats the machine every time. There are strategic elements in this title that don’t figure into lexicographic ordering.If we can say anything, it’s that Tom7 is putting his PhD to use in the most awesome way. Feel free to dive into the full paper if you’re the intellectual sort. Playfun’s code is also posted to SourceForge for anyone to poke around with.last_img read more