Thursday, December 18, 2008
Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift buying anything but fun.
Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last-minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest, but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20 minutes wait.
In front of me were two small children - a boy of about five and a slightly younger girl. She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house-slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system, the small girl hummed along, off-key, but happily.
When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.
The clerk rang up the bill. "That will be $6.09," she said.
The boy laid his crumpled bills atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. "I guess we'll have to put them back," he bravely announced. "We'll come back some other time, maybe tomorrow."
With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. "But Jesus would have loved those shoes." she cried.
"Well, we'll go home and work some more. Don't cry, we'll come back." he assured her.
Quickly I handed $3.00 to the clerk. These children waited in line for a long time. And after all, it was Christmas.
Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, "Thank you lady."
"What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?" I asked.
The boy answered, "Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus."
The girl spoke, "My sunday school teacher said the streets up in heaven are shiny gold, just like these slippers. Won't my mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?"
My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear-streaked face. "Yes," I answered, "I'm sure she will."
Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving.
Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Microsoft has issued a security patch to fix a critical vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser it said has attacked over 2m Windows users.
The flaw is believed to have already infected as many as 10,000 websites.
The "zero day" exploit let criminals to take over victims' computers by steering them to infected websites.
Microsoft's Christopher Budd said the software giant "encourages all IE customers to test and deploy this update as soon as possible".
He also said the threat lead Microsoft to mobilize security engineering teams worldwide to deliver a software cure "in the unprecedented time of eight days".
The company's security response team said the patch consists of more than 300 distinct updates for more than half-a-dozen versions of IE in around 50 languages.
"Even with that, the release Emergency Response process isn't over," said Security Response Alliance director Mike Reavey.
"There is additional support to customers and additional refinement of our product development efforts."
Microsoft stressed that the flaw was proven to exist only in IE 7 on all applicable versions of Windows, but that IE 6 and the "beta" release of IE 8 were "potentially vulnerable".
Users who have automatic updates turned on will receive the patch over the next 24 hours while others can access it via a download.
The AZN Trojan has been making the rounds since the beginning of December but became public knowledge in the last week . Unlike other exploits, users only have to visit a malicious site with Trojans or other malware in order to become contaminated.
Once an infected web page is opened, malicious downloaders are installed on the computer designed to record keystrokes and steal passwords, credit card details and other financial information.
The sites affected are mostly Chinese and have been serving up programmes to steal passwords for computer games which can then be sold for cash on the black market.
Internet Explorer is the world's most widely used web browser with nearly three quarters of the market share.
Microsoft estimated that one in every 500 Windows users had been exposed to sites that try to exploit the flaw and the number of victims was increasing at a rate of 50% daily.
Researchers at the software security firm Trend Micro said attacks were speaking "like wildfire".
"This vulnerability is being actively exploited by cyber-criminals and getting worse every day," said the company's advanced threat researcher Paul Ferguson.
Microsoft labelled the bug as "critical," the most serious threat ranking in its four-step scouring programme.
- Change IE security settings to high (Look under Tools/Internet Options)
- Switch to a Windows user account with limited rights to change a PC's settings
- With IE7 or 8 on Vista turn on Protected Mode
- Ensure your PC is updated
- Keep anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date
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Sunday, December 14, 2008
Start a new tradition by making tree ornaments out of recycled and repurposed materials. Instead of store-bought trimmings for their office Christmas tree, the Plenty magazine editors (along with a few crafty friends and family members) made ornaments entirely from found or recycled objects–no buying or using anything new. The resulting decorations were fresh and festive. Here are a few standouts.
Tin Can Star
Three 42 oz. aluminum cans
Aluminum take-out food containers
1. Clean and dry cans. Then, carefully cut off each can’s top and bottom and uncurl the remaining piece of aluminum, flattening overnight under a heavy book if necessary.
2. Make basic origami stars using flattened aluminum instead of paper (just be careful of the sharp edges). You can view an animated diagram of the pattern and folding technique at origami-club.com/en.
3. Use one of the flattened 42oz. cans to make the biggest origami star. Use the aluminum take-out containers to make stars that get gradually smaller as you layer them. I used three stars for stacking.
4. Use another 42 oz. can to cut out the flat base star.
5. Coil the third flattened can into a cone shape. Use a dab of nontoxic glue to seal the overlapping edges.
6. Hold the smallest origami star with its center point facing away from you. Place a dab of glue inside the point. Put the next biggest star inside the smaller star, glue next center point and attach a slightly smaller star, and repeat, working toward the smallest star.
7. Place the stacked stars on the base star. Add dots of glue where stackers touch the base star’s surface. Make rays from thin strips of tin. Glue these to the back of the base star.
8. Carefully place star on tin cone, using a tiny dab of glue. Tin cans come in every conceivable color and pattern–have fun mixing it up.
Photos or magazines
Leftover scraps of gift-wrapping ribbon, various lengths and widths
1. Cut an image to fit the size of the bottle-cap interior and glue it in, pressing to make sure the image lies flat.
2. Take one of the wider ribbons and tie it into a bow proportional to the size of the bottle cap.
3. Then, take a thinner ribbon, preferably one with wire in it for stiffness, and thread it through the top of the bow’s knotted center. Once threaded, pull ribbon to desired length and tie a knot at the top to form a loop.
4. Glue the back of the bottle cap to the bow.
Coffee can lid
Raffia (or yarn)
1. Cut out the inside of coffee can lid to use as wreath base.
2. Wrap raffia around the lid and tie in back to make a loop.
3. Glue cut shells and smaller seashells onto raffia.
4. Glue on raffia for hook to hang.
A piece of sandpaper
A used brown paper bag
Large handful of dryer lint
Scraps of used ribbon
Scrap of old fabric
1. Using sandpaper, lightly sand the surface of the paper bag until it has a soft, felt-like texture.
2. Cut two identical gingerbread man shapes out of the paper. Sew together with thread, using large stitches, 1/8 inch away from the edge, stuffing the dryer lint into the arms and legs as you go.
3. Once you have fully stuffed and sewn up the gingerbread man, make a hole at the top of the ornament and thread a piece of string or ribbon through. Knot at the top to form a hanging loop.
4. Glue the buttons down the front of the ornament and draw a face with a pen. Cut a thin strip of fabric from the scrap to tie on as a scarf.Related Post:
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
An Ancient Symbol
Thousands or years ago, there were people who believed that evergreen trees were magical. Even in winter, when all the other trees and greenery were brown and bare, the evergreen stayed strong and green. People saw the evergreen as a symbol of life and as a sure sign that sunshine and spring would soon return. Candles, or the electric lights we use to decorate our trees today, are also an ancient symbol. They represent the light of spring triumphing over the darkness of winter.
In ancient Rome, people decorated their homes and their temples with greenery during a special December feast. It was a happy time. No battles could be fought, the schools were closed, and people everywhere joined in the carnival-like atmosphere and gave each other presents.
The Modern Tree
So when did the Christmas tree go indoors? Legend has it that the tradition was begun by Martin Luther in Germany. He was a monk and church reformer who lived from 1483 to 1546. According to the legend, Luther was returning home one wintry night when he saw the stars twinkling in the sky through the tree branches. Luther was amazed by the sight, and when he arrived home, he was eager to tell his family about it. To help them understand, he went to the woods and cut down a small fir tree. Luther brought it indoors and decorated it with candles, which represented the stars he had seen.
The custom spread in Germany, and from there all over the world. In England, the Christmas tree first appeared when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, who was German. In 1841, Albert set up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle near London to remind him of his homeland. The Christmas tree custom was brought to the United States by people from England as well as by many German immigrants who came in the 1800's. Whatever its origin, the Christmas tree is a beautiful symbol for everyone who celebrates Christmas.
The Legend of the First Christmas Tree
The night of the Saviour's birth, all the living creatures, both flora and fauna, came to Bethlehem with gifts. The olive tree brought its fruit and the palm its dates. But the little fir tree had no gift and was so tired it couldn't resist when the big trees pushed it into the background and hid it from view. But then a nearby angel took pity and commanded a cluster of stars to come and rest on its delicate boughs. When the Baby Jesus beheld this lovely lighted tree, He smiled and blessed it, declaring henceforth that fir trees should always be filled with lights at Christmastime to please little children.
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Yes, I know that sounds stupid, but in reality, its a safety issue. when you walk out of a store, and you see one of those assholes ringing a bell, DO NOT walk up to them and put the change you got from your groceries into their bucket. They will look at you with the deepest sort of hatred imaginable, and if they happen to be in an especially pissy mood that day, they will not hesitate to rip your throat out of your neck. At this point (and I can tell you this from experience), the best method of escape is to duck down and pivot slightly to the left, and then tuck into a sideways roll. with any luck, you will dodge the swipe, and at the same time, you can reach out and grab the stupid bitches bell and throw it into the street. This should leave them stunned for long enough to make your escape.
2. Don't say "Happy Holidays"
What is it with this whole "happy holidays" thing anyway? Happy holidays what? It doesn't mean anything. Its just two unrelated words that can apparently be used together in a sentence. You don't see people walking around saying "turkey shit," because its stupid, and it makes absolutely no sense. neither does saying happy holidays. So don't do it. Its stupid.
3. Don't give people socks for a present
Nobody likes them. They're socks; They're stupid; They're pointless, and nobody wants them. Don't try to argue, you'll just get shot.
4. Don't take your kids to Christmas parties
The first thing that will happen, is you'll walk through the door, and the host will say "Oh good, you brought the kids! I'll show them to the "kids room" downstairs." Always downstairs. This is the most strategic place to put a "kids room," because it's small, out of the way, and no one will hear them scream. I've been in those "kids rooms." It's not pretty. The biggest, fattest kid iimmediately takes charge, and starts picking on the younger ones. That goes on for a while, until the fat bastard makes the fatal mistake of taking over the rocking horse. At this point, after the kids figure out that there are more of them then there are of him, they revolt, and attempt to overthrow the tyrant. He then retaliates by employing the next three or four eldest children to suppress any such rebellions. Now it is about 30 minutes into the party, and the social standings are set. There is the Fat tyrant, His brute squad, and then they're is the general public. From here, begins the roots of an underground. A small rebellion that is far to sophisticated to be crushed out by the brutes. A leader is secretly chosen and the smaller children begin to fight back from the inside. It begins with small attempts. Weakly organized raids on the kings stash of the best toys. once a few of the toys are recovered, the rebels have some leverage to recruit more freedom fighters to their cause. The group is silently growing, and the king is blissfully unaware of his problem. Now some slightly better organized attacks are staged. It begins with the turning of one of the kings brutes. The children will offer him toys if he should mutiny. After many attempts at persuasion, they are finally successful. Now they have a man on the inside. It is a strong foot-hold, and they decide to go for the kill. They launch a full-scale attack on the king, and he is defeated, leaving the kingdom to be ruled by the people. This is a state of anarchy, and is not something that is healthy to expose your children to, and so my point is brought home that it is a general bad idea to bring them along to your Christmas parties.
5. Do not put toothpaste in your kids stockings!
This is the worst thing you can possibly put in a stocking. You might as well just stare them straight in the face and say "fuck you!" It's cruel. Worse then giving them coal. If they recently killed their grandparents, okay; maybe they deserve it, but even then I don't think that it is justified. Thats that; no questions asked.
6. DO NOT make "old family recipes" for christmas dinner
The key word there is "family." As in only family, and no one else. Old family recipes tend to be dishes that the immediate family has been exposed to for generations, and as a result, they have developed a taste for something that no human should enjoy. I have seen people serve foods anywhere from pickled carrots dipped in raspberry sauce to mashed potatoes mixed with spinach and spam. These foods are not natural! Nobody likes them (although they are likely to pretend to), so just stick to the regular turkey dinner.
7. Home Made gifts are a great idea suck
Maybe the grandparents like them, but please dont try to tell me that you would rather have a six-year-old make you a gingerbread house then just have him buy you a silver necklace. Buy it, don't make it. End of story.
8. Stop trying to sell your kids this crap about Santa
Sure, if there 5 and they believe it, it's cute, but they'll figure it out someday, and when they do figure it out, just give it up. All your doing is pissing them off. They know it, You know it, so just shut up.
9. Getting thirteen presents is an ill omen
A little known fact, receiving exactly thirteen presents is the mark of Satan. It is a curse upon you and your family, so before you begin to open your gifts, it is a good idea to count them. If you should end up counting thirteen, it is socially acceptable to secretly buy yourself another gift and slip it under the tree. It is for you and everyone else's own good. Satan does not easily forgive mistakes.
10. Stop saying "X-mas"
Its not X-mas; its Christmas, The birth of Christ. He was born on the 25 day of December, which is why we celebrate Christmas at all. Nobody named "X" was born on the 25. We can at least do him the favor of saying his whole name. It doesn't take any longer either. X-mas and Christmas both have two sylables. It could also be argued that christmas is easier to say in general then X-mas. So they're you have it. Call it what it is; Christmas.
(Actually, it's a greek letter, the first one in the greek translation of christ. -- 188.8.131.52 14:30, 15 September 2008 (UTC))
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One of the best places to go for Christmas is undoubtedly Caribbean Islands. You have at your discretion, 2500 mile-long island chain in the crystal blue Caribbean Sea and some of the best beaches you could enjoy in. Celebrating Christmas in Caribbean will surely be special.
Want the best of sun, sand, sea and sumptuous sea food? You get all this and more at one of the hottest destinations in India in the state of Goa! This small state is a mesmerizing blend of modern life and historical legacy that is sure to give you a high on Christmas.
Situated in Netherlands, this beautiful place boasts of rustic lifestyle blended with the chic urban living. Large fields of colorful tulips, picturesque countryside, huge farm lands, etc. make Holland very peaceful and ideal to spend a cozy Christmas.
The Sin City offers you the best of everything that you need to have a rocking Christmas. With almost everything being larger than life, your Christmas is sure to be an event in itself!
The Times Square at New York is the place to be on Christmas. You practically get to party every minute of life when you are there and believe me, it is the best way to spend your Christmas.
This beautiful country located in the Pacific Ocean and comprising of several small islands, New Zealand offers a unique and different Christmas. It is the best place to relax and take it easy and welcome Christmas with a relaxed attitude.
The city of lights, Paris is the ultimate destination to be with your beloved for Christmas. Sip French wine as you relax under the night sky lit with fireworks and city lights.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is beautifully decorated on Christmas. Many fairs and parades mark the streets of this ethnic place and women, men and children actively participate in the celebrations.
Rome offers traditional Christmas celebrations to its visitors. The churches are beautifully decorated and Christmas is celebrated in all zest and fervor in Rome.
Sydney offers its visitors, superb beaches, amazing countryside, beautiful Christmas decorations and delicious food. It is a great place to be if you want to a rocking and pulsating Christmas.
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Monday, December 1, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
2008/11/21Welcome my friends, my enemies, and those whom I do not yet know.
Let's sit and talk for a while, you and me. We haven't talked in some time. Let's explore the past a little, and chat about the present and future.
Naruto has been around for a very long time now. When I started downloading fansubs in early 2003, Naruto was already past its 20th episode. I used to watch TW's releases. At that time, TW's releases got about 8,000 downloads per episode in a week, and TW released 5 weeks after airing in Japan.
By May 2004, with TW languishing, AONE had primarily taken over Naruto. Naruto's popularity had soared. AONE was releasing a week after airing in Japan, a schedule they would keep for a long time. They were averaging 60,000 downloads per episode after a week by episode 85.
When Anime-Heaven (the precursor to Dattebayo) started 6 weeks later, it got 60,000 downloads on its first release, a low-quality speed sub. At that time, because AONE was releasing a week after airing, there was room for other people to try to do it faster.
It was July 16, 2004 when the leader of Anime-Heaven approached me about typesetting their Naruto. I slapped some polish on their release, edited it, gave it karaoke and a nice looking font, and the era of higher quality speed subs began. Within a couple weeks, I had recruited a number of my friends to help with the show, all of whom still work on DB's staff. During the 12 weeks that A-H subbed Naruto, popularity grew from 60,000 to 120,000 downloads per episode after a week. We noticed that the earlier we released, the more downloads we'd get.
Now let me step back for a moment. There's lots of big numbers floating around up there. Part of it was about the number of people who were seeing it, but mostly we loved the show. We loved feeling like we were a part of the action, and we loved putting our own spin on things. The numbers showed us how much people liked what we were doing. It told us we were doing it right. We also brought on our Portuguese and French versions, both of which have developed over the years into wonderful groups in their own communities.
Another year goes by. It's now 2005. We subtitled Tsubasa Chronicles with Live-Evil, and that started a great long term relationship between the two groups. Naruto was up to 200 episodes, and got 200,000 downloads per episode after a week. We started subbing Bleach at the suggestion of someone at the fansubbing panel at Otakon. (I wonder if you, the person who asked that, are out there. :D)
It was somewhere around here, in the midst of the filler, that I stopped liking Naruto as a show. I stopped watching it. I still did some timing, and the karaoke. As the filler wore on, some of those karaoke got pretty lame. I apologize for that.
And you didn't like the filler either. Download numbers dropped. In October 2006, Naruto was getting about 175,000 downloads in the week after release. The staff hated subbing it.
Our own quality dropped because none of the staff really liked the show when Naruto was peeing on people. We kept doing it because fans kept telling us they liked it. They'd tell us how it brought their families together, how it guided them through rough times, how it was something to look forward to in their otherwise dreary lives. Every week on the same day, they had Naruto.
I know that sounds really corny, but that made a huge impact on me, as I think it did on the entire staff. It's what kept me working on the show for two years after I stopped watching it.
A year later, in October 2007, Dattebayo left behind its home at yhbt.mine.nu and moved over to dattebayo.com. Shippuuden was in full swing. People had forgotten about the fillers, and Shippuuden was getting a mind boggling 450,000 downloads within a week of release. It was around this time we released our most popular episode.
I hardly ever go to the Dattebayo website nowadays. I don't really have much involvement with Naruto or Bleach on a week-to-week basis. I still design the karaoke, but I honestly didn't even know that Bleach and Naruto had changed air dates a while back. Zarharva has taken over the role of Naruto's overall management, along with Bleach, and done a truly excellent job.
But there was one thing I'd still go to the website for, and that is to check to see how many downloads Shippuuden 20 had gotten.
For some reason I can't really understand, it is our most popular release. It started off normal enough, 384,000 after 7 days. Then about 500,000 after 20, 705,000 after 87, but after that, it started to pick up. As of the time this writing, it is 489 days old and has 976,405 downloads.
I'd always check because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the million mark. It's just an arbitrary number, really, but I liked the idea that one in every 6000-something members of the human race will have seen it.
Think about that for a minute. There are 15,000 people in my town, and that means that, statistically, there's a significant chance that someone in my town, whom I have never met, has downloaded one of our releases, based on our download numbers alone. Never mind all the illegal DVDs, YouTube views, and people sharing it with each other. It means that we've affected the lives of a million people, probably more, and hopefully made them a little better. There aren't many groups of people who can say they've done that.
Sadly though, I don't think it will be on our website long enough to hit that mark.
When I spoke at Otakon this past summer, I talked about the steps that anime companies needed to take to compete with fansubs. I said how it would have to be available just as fast, and free.
And though I don't dare take credit for it, that's now happening. Viz, the US licensor of Naruto, will be offering streaming viewing of Naruto for free a week after it airs in Japan.
For some small fee, you can pay to see it the same day it airs in Japan over at Crunchyroll starting in January.
Why did Dattebayo start subbing Naruto? Because we loved it, and because we felt the fans deserved to see a good-quality subtitled version promptly after the Japanese release. And come January, you can do that legally for a small fee, or for free after a week. Viz's subtitling work on the show is respectable, though a little stiff. And sure, it's not the same having a nice AVI that you can watch on your TV or whatnot, but its going to have to do.
If we continued to sub Naruto, it would be a direct affront to Viz, a company that, for the most part, has been pretty amazing to us as fans. Sure, you can say that their dub sucks, or whatever other axe you have to grind, but never once did they ask us to stop subbing Naruto or Bleach, something that is well within their rights and power to do. We have episodes that have gotten almost a million downloads. We've had episodes that have gotten more downloads in their their first 24 hours than they had viewers when they showed on Cartoon Network.
I've often asked people I know in the anime industry why they think Viz never asked us to stop, and they say, "Well, Viz isn't really into the whole C&D thing, they just don't do that." That may be true to some extent, but I've always liked to think it was because we had a silent symbiotic relationship. We only did things that helped the popularity of their shows, and they turned a blind eye to us.
But like any symbiosis, you have to know when its time to move on. That time has come. Viz and Crunchyroll have gotten their acts together and are trying something new, with one of the most popular shows in anime today. I, and the rest of the staff, know that if we continue to subtitle it, they will have to ask us to stop. That's something they probably don't want to have to do, because it will most likely make all of you very mad at them. That's something they really don't deserve.
While I wish some things about the situation were different, a lot of things are being done right. Who knows, perhaps even more will be done right in the future.
So with that being said, Dattebayo will be dropping Naruto Shippuuden permanently on 1/15/2009, which, interestingly enough, will probably be around episode 91. This is not a joke or a troll. The staff voted in favor of it, and I've notified the international groups.
I know the FAQ says that if we dropped Naruto for real, there would be no announcement, but I don't think that would be very cool. You deserve more, and we deserve more.
For now nothing changes. Enjoy what time we have left with Naruto. Those of us on staff certainly will. Download the episodes now. Though I'm not planning to remove the torrents yet, I'm not sure exactly when it will happen.
We'll still keep subbing Bleach, and perhaps the extra time will allow us to get some other work done (though that is unlikely).
I think the thing I will miss most about Naruto will be designing the karaoke. Even though I don't do much work on our main shows anymore, I still have had a hand in every one we've ever done. Every six months, I have to come up with a new karaoke style. I usually lament it, but when I download it after release day and see it encoded, I remember why I love fansubbing so much - because its just really cool, and I can make it look how I wanted.
Thanks Naruto, for bringing me from Episode 91, to Episode 91.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Avoiding her lips and diving straight for the erogenous zones makes her feel like you're paying by the hour and trying to get your money's worth by cutting out nonessentials. A proper passionate kiss is the ultimate form of foreplay.
2) BLOWING TOO HARD IN HER EAR.
Admit it, some kid at school told you girls love this. Well, there's a difference between being erotic and blowing as if you're trying to extinguish the candles on your 50th birthday cake. That hurts.
3) NOT SHAVING.
You often forget you have a porcupine strapped to your chin which you rake repeatedly across your partner's face and thighs. When she turns her head from side to side, it's not passion, it's avoidance.
4) SQUEEZING HER BREAST.
Most men act like a housewife testing a melon for ripeness when they get their hand on a pair. Stroke, caress, and smooth them.
5) BITING HER NIPPLES.
Why do men fasten onto a woman's nipples, then clamp down like they'retrying to deflate her body via her breasts? Nipples are highly sensitive. They can't stand up to chewing. Lick and suck them gently. Flicking your tongue across them is good. Pretending they're a doggie toy isn't.
6) TWIDDLING HER NIPPLES.
Stop doing that thing where you twiddle the nipples between finger and thumb like you're trying to find a radio station in a hilly area. Focus on the whole breasts, not just the exclamation points.
7) IGNORING THE OTHER PARTS OF HER BODY.
A woman is not a highway with just three turnoffs: Breastville East and West, and the Midtown Tunnel. There are vast areas of her body which you've ignored far too often as you go bombing straight into downtown Vagina. So start paying them some attention.
8) GETTING THE HAND TRAPPED.
Poor manual dexterity in the underskirt region can result in tangled fingers and underpants. If you're going to be that aggressive, just ask her to take the damn things off.
9) LEAVING HER A LITTLE PRESENT.
Condom disposal is the man's responsibility. You wore it, you store it.
10) ATTACKING THE CLITORIS.
Direct pressure is very unpleasant, so gently rotate your fingers along side of the clitoris.
11) STOPPING FOR A BREAK.
Women, unlike men, don't pick up where they left off. If you stop, they plummet back to square one very fast. If you can tell she's not there, keep going at all costs, numb jaw or not.
12) UNDRESSING HER AWKWARDLY.
Women hate looking stupid, but stupid she will look when naked at the waist with a sweater stuck over her head. Unwrap her like an elegant present, not a kid's toy.
13) GIVING HER A WEDGIE DURING FOREPLAY.
Stroking her gently through her panties can be very sexy. Pulling the material up between her thighs and yanking it back and forth is not.
14) BEING OBSESSED WITH THE VAGINA.
Although most men can find the clitoris without maps, they still believe that the vagina is where it's all at. No sooner is your hand down there than you're trying to stuff stolen banknotes up a chimney. This is okay in principle, but if you're not careful, it can hurt - so don't get carried away. It's best to pay more attention to her clitoris and the exterior of her vagina at first, then gently slip a finger inside her and see if she likes it.
15) MASSAGING TOO ROUGHLY.
You're attempting to give her a sensual, relaxing massage to get her in the mood. Hands and fingertips are okay; elbows and knees are not.
16) UNDRESSING PREMATURELY.
Don't force the issue by stripping before she's at least made some move toward getting your stuff off, even if it's just undoing a couple of buttons.
17) TAKING YOUR PANTS OFF FIRST.
A man in socks and underpants is at his worst. Lose the socks first.
18) GOING TOO FAST.
When you get to the penis-in-vagina situation, the worst thing you can do is pump away like an industrial power tool - she'll soon feel like an assembly line worker made obsolete by your technology. Build up slowly, with clean, straight, regular thrusts.
19) GOING TOO HARD.
If you bash your great triangular hip bones into her thigh or stomach, the pain is equal to two weeks of horseback riding concentrated into a few seconds.
20) COMING TOO SOON.
Every man's fear. With reason. If you shoot before you see the whites of her eyes, make sure you have a backup plan to ensure her pleasure too.
21) NOT COMING SOON ENOUGH.
It may appear to you that humping for an hour without climaxing is the mark of a sex god , but to her it's more likely the mark of a numb vagina. At least buy some intriguing wall hangings, so she has something to hold her interest while you're playing Marathon Man.
22) ASKING IF SHE HAS COME.
You really ought to be able to tell. Most women make noise. But if you really don't know, don't ask
23) PERFORMING ORAL TOO GENTLY.
Don't act like a giant cat at a saucer of milk. Get your whole mouth down there, and concentrate on gently rotating or flicking your tongue on her clitoris.
24) NUDGING HER HEAD DOWN.
Men persist in doing this until she's eyeball-to-penis, hoping that it will lead very swiftly to mouth-to-penis. All women hate this. It's about three steps from being dragged to a cave by their hair. If you want her to use her mouth, use yours; try talking seductively to her.
25) NOT WARNING HER BEFORE YOU CLIMAX.
Sperm tastes like sea water mixed with egg white. Not everybody likes it. When she's performing oral, warn her before you come so she can do what's necessary.
26) MOVING AROUND DURING FELLATIO.
Don't thrust. She'll do all the moving during fellatio. You just lie there. And don't grab her head.
27) TAKING ETIQUETTE ADVICE FROM PORN MOVIES.
In X-rated movies, women seem to love it when men ejaculate over them. In real life, it just means more laundry to do.
28) MAKING HER RIDE ON TOP FOR AGES.
Asking her to be on top is fine. Lying there grunting while she does all the hard work is not. Caress her gently, so that she doesn't feel quite so much like the captain of a schooner. And let her have a rest.
29) ATTEMPTING ANAL AND PRETENDING IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.
This is how men earn a reputation for not being able to follow directions. If you want to put it there, ask her first. And don't think that being drunk is an excuse.
30) TAKING PICTURES.
When a man says, "Can I take a photo of you?" she'll hear the words"__to show my buddies." At least let her have custody of them.
31) NOT BEING IMAGINATIVE ENOUGH.
Imagination is anything from drawing patterns on her back to pouring honey on her and licking it off. Fruit, vegetables, ice and feathers are all handy props; hot candle wax and permanent dye are a no no.
32) SLAPPING YOUR STOMACH AGAINST HERS.
There is no less erotic noise. It's as sexy as a belching contest.
33) ARRANGING HER IN STUPID POSES.
If she wants to do advanced yoga in bed, fine, but unless she's a Romanian gymnast, don't get too ambitious. Ask yourself if you want a sexual partner with snapped hamstrings.
34) LOOKING FOR HER PROSTATE.
Read this carefully: Anal stimulation feels good for men because they have a prostate. Women don't.
35) GIVING LOVE BITES.
It is highly erotic to exert some gentle suction on the sides of the neck, if you do it carefully. No woman wants to have to wear turtlenecks and jaunty scarves for weeks on end.
36) BARKING INSTRUCTIONS.
Don't shout encouragement like a coach with a megaphone. It's not a big turn-on.
37) TALKING DIRTY.
It makes you sound like a lonely magazine editor calling a 1-900line. If she likes nasty talk, she'll let you know
38) NOT CARING WHETHER SHE COMES.
You have to finish the job. Keep on trying until you get it right, and she might even do the same for you.
39) SQUASHING HER.
Men generally weigh more than women, so if you lie on her a bit too heavily, she will turn blue.
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Step 1: If you are painting your ceilings as well as your walls, paint the ceiling first. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. If you are only painting the walls, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Using your painter’s tape, cover the edge of the ceiling to prevent splattering and protect the trim.
Step 3: Now cover the baseboards and whatever trim not being painted with tape.
Step 4: Paint a 2-inch strip with a small brush along the top of the wall--where the wall and ceiling join.
Step 5: Immediately paint over the cut-in with your roller to keep the paint from drying and leaving a line on the wall.
Step 6: Apply paint to the wall in square-sized sections. With an up and down and across motion, apply a generous coat of paint to the wall. This style will prevent lines when the paint dries.
Step 7: Once the first coat has dried apply another coat.
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Part of a field called "cognitive computing", the research will bring together neurobiologists, computer and materials scientists and psychologists.
As a first step in its research the project has been granted $4.9m (£3.27m) from US defence agency Darpa.
The resulting technology could be used for large-scale data analysis, decision making or even image recognition.
"The mind has an amazing ability to integrate ambiguous information across the senses, and it can effortlessly create the categories of time, space, object, and interrelationship from the sensory data," says Dharmendra Modha, the IBM scientist who is heading the collaboration.
"There are no computers that can even remotely approach the remarkable feats the mind performs," he said.
"The key idea of cognitive computing is to engineer mind-like intelligent machines by reverse engineering the structure, dynamics, function and behaviour of the brain."
IBM will join five US universities in an ambitious effort to integrate what is known from real biological systems with the results of supercomputer simulations of neurons. The team will then aim to produce for the first time an electronic system that behaves as the simulations do.
The longer-term goal is to create a system with the level of complexity of a cat's brain.
Prof Modha says that the time is right for such a cross-disciplinary project because three disparate pursuits are coming together in what he calls a "perfect storm".
Neuroscientists working with simple animals have learned much about the inner workings of neurons and the synapses that connect them, resulting in "wiring diagrams" for simple brains.
Supercomputing, in turn, can simulate brains up to the complexity of small mammals, using the knowledge from the biological research. Modha led a team that last year used the BlueGene supercomputer to simulate a mouse's brain, comprising 55m neurons and some half a trillion synapses.
"But the real challenge is then to manifest what will be learned from future simulations into real electronic devices - nanotechnology," Prof Modha said.
Technology has only recently reached a stage in which structures can be produced that match the density of neurons and synapses from real brains - around 10 billion in each square centimetre.
Researchers have been using bits of computer code called neural networks that seek to represent connections of neurons. They can be programmed to solve a particular problem - behaviour that appears to be the same as learning.
But this approach is fundamentally different.
"The issue with neural networks and artificial intelligence is that they seek to engineer limited cognitive functionalities one at a time. They start with an objective and devise an algorithm to achieve it," Prof Modha says.
"We are attempting a 180 degree shift in perspective: seeking an algorithm first, problems second. We are investigating core micro- and macro-circuits of the brain that can be used for a wide variety of functionalities."
The problem is not in the organisation of existing neuron-like circuitry, however; the adaptability of brains lies in their ability to tune synapses, the connections between the neurons.
Synaptic connections form, break, and are strengthened or weakened depending on the signals that pass through them. Making a nano-scale material that can fit that description is one of the major goals of the project.
"The brain is much less a neural network than a synaptic network," Modha says.
The fundamental shift toward putting the problem-solving before the problem makes the potential applications for such devices practically limitless.
Free from the constraints of explicitly programmed function, computers could gather together disparate information, weigh it based on experience, form memory independently and arguably begin to solve problems in a way that has so far been the preserve of what we call "thinking".
"It's an interesting effort, and modelling computers after the human brain is promising," says Christian Keysers, director of the neuroimaging centre at University Medical Centre Groningen. However, he warns that the funding so far is likely to be inadequate for such an large-scale project.
That the effort requires the expertise of such a variety of disciplines means that the project is unprecedented in its scope, and Dr Modha admits that the goals are more than ambitious.
"We are going not just for a homerun, but for a homerun with the bases loaded," he says.
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These types of advertising balloons are becoming increasingly popular as they never fail to catch the eye of any spectator young or old from down the road. By floating on seemingly endless skies, these large advertising balloons can even be noticeable from miles and miles away, having a wide reaching impact at any one time.
Not only for increase your sales, advertising balloon is best for big events too. Big advertising balloons are more appropriate for big events that are held in an open area. It can be the center point to serve as a guide for all the people who are milling around to join the festivities.
This idea can be very useful because people can use this area, meaning the area under the balloon, as a meeting place and then they can go around when they have met up with companions already. It can also connote “Come one, come all! We have something going on here!” without the use of blaring sound systems that can also mean additional cost for the organizers and shouting voices of people that means more manpower and effort.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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Friday, November 14, 2008
Users of the free application, which Apple is expected to make available as soon as Friday through its iTunes store, can place the phone to their ear and ask virtually any question, like “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “How tall is Mount Everest?” The sound is converted to a digital file and sent to Google’s servers, which try to determine the words spoken and pass them along to the Google search engine.
The search results, which may be displayed in just seconds on a fast wireless network, will at times include local information, taking advantage of iPhone features that let it determine its location.
The ability to recognize just about any phrase from any person has long been the supreme goal of artificial intelligence researchers looking for ways to make man-machine interactions more natural. Systems that can do this have recently started making their way into commercial products.
Both Yahoo and Microsoft already offer voice services for cellphones. The Microsoft Tellme service returns information in specific categories like directions, maps and movies. Yahoo’s oneSearch with Voice is more flexible but does not appear to be as accurate as Google’s offering. The Google system is far from perfect, and it can return queries that appear as gibberish. Google executives declined to estimate how often the service gets it right, but they said they believed it was easily accurate enough to be useful to people who wanted to avoid tapping out their queries on the iPhone’s touch-screen keyboard.
The service can be used to get restaurant recommendations and driving directions, look up contacts in the iPhone’s address book or just settle arguments in bars. The query “What is the best pizza restaurant in Noe Valley?” returns a list of three restaurants in that San Francisco neighborhood, each with starred reviews from Google users and links to click for phone numbers and directions.
Raj Reddy, an artificial intelligence researcher at Carnegie Mellon University who has done pioneering work in voice recognition, said Google’s advantage in this field was the ability to store and analyze vast amounts of data. “Whatever they introduce now, it will greatly increase in accuracy in three or six months,” he said.
“It’s important to understand that machine recognition will never be perfect,” Mr. Reddy added. “The question is, How close can they come to human performance?” For Google the technology is critical to its next assault on the world of advertising. Google executives said location-based queries would make it possible to charge higher rates for advertisements from nearby businesses, for example, although it is not selling such ads now.
As with other Google products the service is freely available to consumers, and the company plans to eventually make it available for phones other than the iPhone.
“We are dramatically increasing value to the advertiser through location and voice,” said Vic Gundotra, a former Microsoft executive who now heads Google’s mobile businesses.
Google is by no means the only company working toward more advanced speech recognition capabilities. So-called voice response technology is now routinely used in telephone answering systems and in other consumer services and products. These systems, however, often have trouble with the complexities of free-form language and usually offer only a limited range of responses to queries.
Several weeks ago Adobe added voice recognition technology developed by Autonomy, a British firm, to its Creative Suite software, allowing it to generate transcripts of video and audio recordings with a high degree of accuracy.
Mr. Gundotra said Google had been tackling the twin problems of entering and retrieving information with hand-held wireless devices.
“Solving those two problems in a world-class way is our goal,” he said.
The new iPhone search capability is not the first speech offering from Google. In March, it announced that GOOG-411, an experimental directory information service, had turned into a real product. The service allows users to ask for business phone and address information. The company said it had built on its experience and the data it collected through GOOG-411 in developing the iPhone service.
The new service is an example of the way Google tries to blend basic computer science research with product engineering. The company has hired many of the best speech recognition researchers in the world and now has teams working on different aspects of the problem in New York, London and its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
An intriguing part of the overall design of the service was contributed by a Google researcher in London, who found a way to use the iPhone accelerometer — the device that senses how the phone is held — to set the software to “listen” mode when the phone is raised to the user’s ear.
Google researchers said that another of its advantages over competitors was the billions of queries its users have made over the years.
“One thing that has changed is the amount of computation and the amount of data that is available,” said Mike Cohen, a speech research who was co-founder of Nuance Communications before coming to Google.
Past queries can be used to build a statistical model of the way words are frequently strung together, Mr. Cohen said. This is just one of the components of the speech recognition system, which also includes a sound analysis model and a mechanism for linking the basic components of language to actual words.
Google recently published a technical paper on building large models for machine translation of language. The researchers wrote that they had trained the system on two trillion “tokens,” or words.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The newly discovered bug causes the phone to restart when owners type in the word "reboot" soon after starting up the device.
Google hurried to repair the problem, which causes the phone to interpret any text entered just after the phone was turned on as a command.
Google has rushed out a fix for the bug which will soon be available in the UK.
The bug was discovered when an owner of the phone typed the word "reboot" into a text message after restarting the phone.
"I was in the middle of a text conversation with my girl when she asked why I hadn't responded," said a user called jdhorvat in the description of his discovery that was posted to Google's problem reporting website.
"I had just rebooted my phone and the first thing I typed was a response to her text which simply stated "Reboot" - which, to my surprise, rebooted my phone."
The phone, which uses the Google-developed Android operating system, is sold by T-Mobile in the UK under the name "G1".
Google has fixed the problem in an update to the phone software that will be automatically installed on users' phones.
"We've been notified of this issue and have developed a fix," said a Google spokesperson in a statement. "We're currently working with our partners to push the fix out."
Users in the US already report receiving the update, and Google told the BBC that users in the UK should receive it by 12 November.
Source : BBC
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