বৃহস্পতিবার, ৩১ জানুয়ারী, ২০১৩

Steam Box competing with Apple, not consoles | Game ... - Develop

Gabe Newell says challenge is to break into living room before Mac takes over

The biggest threat facing the living room PC and Steam Box is Apple, says Gabe Newell.

The founder and head of PC gaming icon Valve spoke of his company's plans to introduce its "Steam Box" to what was once the domain of game consoles at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs

"The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform," said Newell as reported by Polygon.

"I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging ? I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?"

This might sound a bit paranoid, but if Apple were to put its own living room platform forward with the hardware capable of even mid-core games it would cause at least as much disruption as Nintendo's Wii did at launch

Newell says that those wanting to distribute a living room PC will have to ride on the strengths of their hardware: bigger hard drives, coustomizable form factors, and offering support for hardware the user might already own.

He isn't just talking about other companies innovating in the PC space for the sake of rhetoric either.

"I think a whole bunch of hardware companies are going to be releasing products in the next 12 months ? you'll hear it referred to as Miracast, Shield from Nvidia, or lots of other people," said Newell.

"There are going to be a huge set of products that say, 'If you want something that's incredibly cheap, at a price point well below anything that consoles will be able to reach, you're going to take advantage of the PC that's running somewhere in your house.'

"It's like one of those things where afterwards it will seem like it was very simple, when beforehand, everyone sort of denied that it was possible."

Though Valve definitely has the initiative with its Linux-powered Steam box and third party manufacturers already lined up to take advantage of its model of the living room PC platform, it won't be long before others join in.

"We're happy to do it if nobody else will do it, mainly because everybody else will pile on, and people will have a lot of choices, but they'll have those characteristics," said Newell.

"They'll say, 'Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I'll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently. Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room.'"

To Newell this makes the question of competition from consoles besides the point; the only thing that can really dint Valve's hopes is Apple getting a hold of the market before its own solution can take root.

"The biggest challenge I don't think is from the consoles," Newell said. "I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."

Source: http://www.develop-online.net/news/43130/Steam-Box-competition-is-Apple-not-consoles

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Prezi Hits 18M Users For Its Presentation Platform, Asia An Area For Future Growth [TCTV]

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 16.03.42Prezi has come a long way since the days it was a struggling startup in Budapest building a new away for people to create presentations to blow the mind of an audience. Today they have over 100 employees and a San Francisco HQ. It's become a popular alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote, and the company is even now advised by Jack Dorsey. At DLD in Munich last week I ran into Peter Arvai, Prezi CEO and Co-founder, where he revealed - on the video here - that after announcing 15 million users last October, they are now on 18 million users. He said they are also course to book 2 million more users per month over the next year. Clearly they are hitting an exponential growth curve.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/yQn9EQY5sdQ/

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বুধবার, ৩০ জানুয়ারী, ২০১৩

Samsung fined $1,000 over fatal gas leak, according to Yonhap News

Samsung given nominal $1000 fine over gas leak, according to Yonhap News

Korea's Yonhap News Agency is reporting that Samsung will be fined a nominal 1 million won (roughly $1,000) for not reporting its recent gas leak quickly enough. The incident led to the death of a maintenance contractor who was brought in to fix a pipe leaking hydrofluoric acid gas at one of Samsung's semiconductor plants. Police are said to be imposing the fine on both Samsung and its subcontractor for violating a law stipulating that such chemical leaks must be "promptly" reported to the authorities. It appears no official alert was given until the contractor died in hospital. Police say they're continuing to investigate how the fatal accident happened and that it's clear "someone died due to poor administration," so this isn't the end of the matter -- a fuller report is expected within two weeks.

Filed under:


Source: Yonhap News

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/samsung-fined-over-gas-leak/

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USCCB, in Supreme Court briefs, defends marriage as union of man ...

CWN - January 30, 2013

As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed briefs in their defense.

Arguing in defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the USCCB brief noted that

there is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex. Such a claim must be rejected because it does not satisfy the test to which this Court adheres in determining whether an asserted right is fundamental. Specifically, civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the Nation?s history and tradition?quite the opposite is true. Nor can the treatment of such relationships as marriages be said to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed ? This Court?s decisions describing marriage as a fundamental right plainly contemplate the union of one man and one woman.

The USCCB brief also argued that ??sexual orientation? is not a classification that should trigger heightened scrutiny,? as discrimination on the basis of sex or race would. Homosexual behavior ?is not a trait attributable from conception or birth,? the brief states, adding:

Elevation of sexual orientation to a quasi-suspect class would immerse federal courts into a quagmire of family law issues reserved to the states, issues for which the Judicial Branch is not institutionally suited ? Application of heightened scrutiny would hinder the ability of legislatures to create accommodations for those with religious or moral objections to homosexual conduct.

?The claim that homosexual persons today have ?no ability to attract the attention of the lawmakers? is frivolous,? the brief added.

The brief concluded:

If this Court were to conclude that the Constitution requires a redefinition of marriage to include persons in same-sex relationships?a requirement that we believe cannot reasonably be inferred from the Constitution?it is unclear where the logical stopping point would be. This Court will ultimately be asked why other interpersonal relationships are not entitled to similar inclusion, and why other ?barriers? to marriage (such as those posed by youth, kinship, or multiplicity of parties) should not also have to be struck down as inconsistent with this redefinition.

In its defense of Proposition 8 ? the 2008 California ballot initiative defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman ? the USCCB argued that

first, as a matter of simple biology, the union of one man and one woman is the only union capable of creating new life. Second, the People of California could reasonably conclude that a home with a mother and a father is the optimal environment for raising children, an ideal that Proposition 8 encourages and promotes. Given both the unique capacity for reproduction and unique value of homes with a mother and father, it is reasonable for a State to treat the union of one man and one woman as having a public value that is absent from other intimate interpersonal relationships.

?Proposition 8 is not rendered invalid because some of its supporters were informed by religious or moral considerations,? the brief continued. ?Many, if not most, of the significant social and political movements in our Nation?s history were based on precisely such considerations.?

?The current debate specifically concerns the meaning of marriage and the proposal to redefine marriage, not the phenomenon of same-sex attraction and the persons who experience such attraction,? the brief added. ?For this reason, the suggestion that opposition to the redefinition of marriage is equivalent to an animus against people who experience same-sex attraction is particularly offensive and plainly wrong ? The further suggestion that opposition to homosexual conduct is simply animus against persons who engage in such conduct is also erroneous and offensive.?

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Source: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=16943

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মঙ্গলবার, ২৯ জানুয়ারী, ২০১৩

Caterpillar sets cautious tone for year after low profit

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc , the world's largest maker of construction equipment, posted a 55 percent drop in quarterly profit on Monday and set a cautious tone for the year, citing weak demand and oversupply.

Executives at the company, which last year slashed production to reduce inventory, balanced their optimism on recent improvements in U.S. housing starts with concern about China's slowing growth, the U.S. deficit and eurozone instability.

However, investors took heart in Caterpillar's 2013 profit forecast of $7 to $9 per share, lifting the stock 1.8 percent in afternoon trading.

Of the 25 analysts in the United States, Canada, Britain and South Korea who cover Caterpillar's stock, seven had cut 2013 profit estimates in the past month, with the lowest at $7.63 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

High inventory remains a short-term challenge for the Peoria, Illinois-based company. While Caterpillar cut its equipment inventory glut by $2 billion sequentially in the fourth quarter, levels remain $1 billion higher than a year ago.

Caterpillar still has an oversupply of products in China, and executives said they hope to sell some of it by June.

Quarterly results were hit by a charge of 87 cents per share after the company discovered accounting fraud at a Chinese coal mining supplier it bought last year.

In a somber note on the global economy, Caterpillar said the "most significant favorable factor" for 2013 profit will be the absence of the ERA accounting fraud writedown, not increased demand for its machines.

"We're encouraged by recent improvements in economic indicators, but remain cautious," Caterpillar Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman said on Monday.

For the fourth quarter, Caterpillar posted net income of $697 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $1.55 billion, or $2.32 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.46 per share. Analysts had expected $1.69.

Caterpillar's operating margin fell to 6.5 percent from an all-time high of 15.8 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $16.08 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $16.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.


Caterpillar closed the purchase of ERA Mining Machinery Ltd and its subsidiary Siwei, China's fourth-largest maker of hydraulic coal mine roof supports, last June for $653.4 million (HK$5.06 billion).

After the deal closed, Caterpillar found that physical inventory did not match accounting statements, a discovery that led to the charge. The case has opened questions about Caterpillar's research into ERA before the deal, as well as the adequacy of its auditors.

Caterpillar does not expect the fraud to harm its 2013 profit, but it will hinder the company's expansion into China, the world's largest coal producer.

"I recognize the decision to acquire (ERA) happened on my watch and the buck stops at my desk," Oberhelman said on a call with investors. "I am accountable for that acquisition."

Oberhelman, CEO since 2010, said Caterpillar is "considering all options to recover our losses and hold those responsible accountable for their wrongdoing."

Emory Williams, the chairman of ERA when the Caterpillar deal closed, ended days of silence on Monday, saying in a statement issued before the Caterpillar earnings statement that he was "dismayed" by the accounting charge Caterpillar was taking.

Williams said nothing about the accusation of accounting misconduct in his statement.

Citigroup Inc and law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP served as financial and legal advisers to Caterpillar on the transaction. Blackstone and DLA Piper acted as ERA's financial and legal advisers.

A source directly involved with the Caterpillar deal previously told Reuters that RSM Nelson Wheeler was ERA's auditor, while Deloitte and Ernst & Young acted on Caterpillar's side.

None of the auditors has commented.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Richard Chang)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/caterpillar-profit-drops-weak-demand-heavy-equipment-125216961--sector.html

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Quality Schools: School Culture

School culture is an important part of education. it is?directly?related?to the satisfaction of all?stakeholders?of school.?

The diagram below represents the components of school culture.?

Patterson, Purkey, and Parker (1986) summarize the general knowledge base regarding school culture:

  • School culture does affect the behavior and achievement of elementary and secondary school students (though the effect of classroom and student variables remains greater).
  • School culture does not fall from the sky; it is created and thus can be manipulated by people within the school.
  • School cultures are unique; whatever their commonalities, no two schools will be exactly alike -- nor should they be.
  • To the extent that it provides a focus and clear purpose for the school, culture becomes the cohesion that bonds the school together as it goes about its mission.
  • Though we concentrate on its beneficial nature, culture can be counterproductive and an obstacle to educational success; culture can also be oppressive and discriminatory for various subgroups within the school.
  • Lasting fundamental change (e.g. changes in teaching practices or the decision making structure) requires understanding and, often, altering the school's culture; cultural change is a slow process.

    (p. 98)

    Reference: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2013, School Context: Bridge or Barrier to Change [Online] Available from :?http://www.sedl.org/change/school/culture.html

Source: http://single-session-schools.blogspot.com/2013/01/school-culture.html

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Shocking Truth about Women and Heart Disease | Care2 Healthy ...

Did you know that women are less likely to call 9-1-1 when they are experiencing symptoms of heart attack than they are when others have those same symptoms? Make no mistake about it ? heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America. Our mothers, daughters, and sisters are dying of heart disease at the rate of one woman every minute.

Don?t like those states? Check these out:

  • About 43 million American women are affected by heart disease.
  • Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • Heart disease causes one in three deaths in American women each year.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease ? and the gender gap in survival rates is widening.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African-American women.
  • On average, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanic white women.
  • Despite the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of American women, only one in five believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
  • Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.

The American Heart Association lists these heart attack warning signs for women:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women?s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you?re having symptoms of heart attack, don?t brush them off. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

February, 1, 2013 marks the 10th annual National Wear Red Day, a day set aside to call attention to heart disease in women. The Go Red For Women campaign asks that women (but men should, too) wear red to shine a spotlight on heart disease in women.

Related Reading
Just a Little Heart Attack (video)
10 Risk Factors and Warning Signs of a Stroke
Americans are Sicker and Die Younger
Exercise (Even a Little) to Live Longer

Photo: Eyecandy Images/ThinkStock

Source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/shocking-truth-about-women-and-heart-disease.html

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Conservative Angst

150889459 Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), here during the Republican National Convention in August, attended this past weekend's National Review conference.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A well-stocked open bar cures all angst. The reception room at the National Review Institute?s post-election summit has four of ?em, loaded high with rum, whiskey, vodka, and triple sec, and O?Doul?s for those who want to fake it. When there?s an evening lull in the Omni Shoreham?s main ballroom, there?s a party waiting in the mini-ballroom across the beige hallway. Early on Friday evening hundreds of conservatives pack the room, stepping in and out of line depending on whether they?re thirsty or whether they?d rather talk to one of the available icons?Mark Steyn! Jonah Goldberg! Rich Lowry!

I get stuck between Steyn, a ring of his fans, and a bar, where I meet an Orlando dermatologist named Darrin. He?d volunteered for Mitt Romney?s campaign, ?making calls from my office? when he wasn?t working or raising his kids, and he wasn?t surprised when Romney lost, because he doesn?t put any graft past Barack Obama. ?I?m worried about a dictatorship,? he says?really, we have been talking for maybe three minutes before he lays this on me. ?I mean, it happened in history. History repeats. Why couldn?t it? How about all the Muslim Brotherhood czars? He?s got like eight different guys in the administration who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.?

When I start to sound skeptical, Darrin pulls out his iPhone and forwards me an infographic. It?s titled ?Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Obama Administration,? and it shows six Muslims who work in the administration and ?enjoy strong influence.? Another way of putting it: Six mid- and low-level staffers in the administration have, in the past, appeared on panels staged by frightening-sounding organizations. But the evidence worries Darrin. ?If I have to go to a freakin? island to save my kids,? he says. ?I?ll do it. I?ll leave the country.?

Any hack can roll into a political conference, find the most outr? attendees, and pretend that the room was packed with nothing but. National Review is a standard target of this sort of journalism. At least three times, liberals have embedded on the magazine?s biennial post-election cruises, and come out with feature-length contributions to the Those Crazy Conservatives genre. In most respects, Darrin was like the other NRI summit ticket-holders I talked to?a middle-aged guy with a successful business, worried about his lost country, worry deepened by a steady diet of conservative media.

But toward the end of the conference on Sunday, I sit in on a panel titled ?What is a conservative foreign policy?? And in it, National Review?s Andrew McCarthy asks why Huma Abedin had been allowed, for so long, to work alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, holding a security clearance.

?We have people throughout our government who have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood,? says McCarthy. ?Not, like, tenuous connections. Strong connections. We have a situation where, in our intelligence community, they have made a policy of purging information in the training materials of our law enforcement agents, our intelligence agents, and our military people, if the information casts Islam in a bad light?which, back in the 1990s, when I was a prosecutor, we used to call evidence.?

That gets applause, something that was scarce and hard-earned at the weekend conference. National Review has only held two other post-election summits?they save ?em for real debacles. In 1993, William F. Buckley gathered 1,000 conservatives in the nearby Mayflower Hotel, to vent and strategize about the threat of Bill Clinton. In 2007, after Democrats took back Congress, NRI met at the J.W. Marriott up the street to hear from potential 2008 saviors.

?Mark [Steyn] gave an incredible speech at that conference,? recalls Jonah Goldberg, joining Steyn onstage Saturday night for a ?Night Owl? banter session?cash bar this time. ?He closed his speech with one of the funniest lines that?s ever been said on the public stage. Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney!?

Laughter and groans. Conservative donors and thinkers respect Mitt Romney more than they did the defeated George H.W. Bush or the ousted, forgotten Speaker Dennis Hastert. In 1993, then-NR editor in chief John O?Sullivan told conservatives that they were in the midpoint of the ?Bush-Clinton? era?that Bush had betrayed the Reagan revolution, and could not be considered part of it. In 2013, Romney is seen as a fundamentally decent man who simply did not know how to ?message? conservatives? beliefs or explain what Obama was doing wrong. ?He spoke conservatism,? says Charles Krauthammer in a Friday night Q&A, ?as a second language.? Speak it as a first language, and you can win.

Every elected Republican at the conference attempts to prove that. On Friday, NR?s Jay Nordlinger asks freshman Rep. Tom Cotton to swat away some of the liberals? myths. Why did Republicans lose Hispanics? ?We?re quasi-racist, or maybe racist without the quasi,? says Nordlinger. ?It?s supposed to be killing us.? Cotton doesn?t know how to fix it. ?I think Romney only got 27 percent [of Hispanic votes], but John McCain four years ago got 31 percent when he?d been the sponsor of an immigration bill,? he says. ?It?s presumptuous and condescending to think that Hispanics, as a class, are only focused on immigration.? Will conservatives have to accept the ?momentum? for gay marriage? ?It?s only this last year that people in any state have decided to accept gay marriage,? says Cotton. ?In California, four years ago, [they] voted for traditional marriage.?

Source: http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=2d9349c6f90a75e4df0e2506f7b44460

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Video: Closing Bell Exchange: Tracking Investors' Action

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.

Source: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/cnbc/50618873/

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Stick Time: Home-Schooler in the Choir - ChoralNet

Date: January 28, 2013

Views: 237

Bring up the topic of home-schooling among a group of educators and you can be assured of a vibrant discussion.? A study by the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) estimates that in the spring of 2010, there were more than two million home-schooled students, K through 12.? That accounts for about four percent of our school-aged population.


As choral music educators, we are eager to provide access to our art for as many students as possible within our respective schools.? How can a home-school student experience the same level of music education available to a child in a traditional educational environment?


Among several possible ways to provide a choral music experience to home-school students is through a community youth choir.? There are many such excellent community youth choral programs in cities throughout the U.S.; including this choir ? the Concord Vocal Ensemble - featured at a recent ACDA Divisional Conference.


Source: http://www.choralnet.org/view/409469

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রবিবার, ২৭ জানুয়ারী, ২০১৩

Green Blog: On Our Radar: A Spinning Solar Cell

A solar venture says it has developed a ?spin cell? technology using specialized lensing and a rotating conical shape that could generate five times more electricity from a given amount of land than conventional solar methods. It says the electricity would cost only 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 10 to 15 cents for electricity generated by conventional photovoltaic panels. [Clean Technica]

A federal appeals court in Denver refuses to reconsider its decision to uphold the Obama administration?s withdrawal of dozens of federal oil and gas drilling leases that were sold in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

A dolphin with a curved spine and impaired swimming skills gets a warm welcome from a group of sperm whales. Researchers suggest that the dolphin had been bullied or ostracized by its own, faster peers. [Science]

A start-up has developed a thermal battery that will be used to cool milk in Indian dairies, compensating for frequent blackouts on the nation?s grid. [M.I.T. Technology Review]

Source: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/on-our-radar-a-spinning-solar-cell/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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ujjolnai: Anger Management Activities are Recommended - Self Help

Posted by admin on January 25th, 2013

anger management map

Dealing with anger and its repercussions can be very challenging. Unaware of how to handle irritating and stressful situations may be a reason for many fits of anger and rage. Most people, with the exception of young children perhaps, recognize their problem with uncontrollable anger. Although there are many anger management activities which would enable them to better cope with confrontational situations, some people are uneducated regarding these techniques and activities.

There are many anger management activities individuals can practice or participate in when attempting to cope with daily feelings of anger. One activity which is recommended for anger management is exercise. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on an individual?s mood. Exercise helps an individual to decrease any negative feelings they might be experiencing. An effect anger management activity might be as simple as going for a walk or jog in the park. Visiting the gym to work out of taking part in their favorite sport may work well for an individual as an anger management activity. Taking a hike or spending a few hours in the beauty of nature would definitely allow a person to clear their head and release tension. Outdoor anger management activities would surely create an environment of serenity.

anger management map

Anger management activities such as attending a support group, camp or retreat would certainly help people who are experiencing difficulties controlling their anger. One positive aspect of attending anger management activities such as there is the individual would see first hand that their problem is not unique, that it is shared by plenty of other people. Being able to share with people in similar situations might be the key to anger management for some individuals. Sharing would likely provide hope through success stories. In anger management activities such as these, people are forced to deal with their anger issues through various activities group sessions and one on one consults.

Anger management activities for children

Anger management activities are recommended when dealing with children who are coping with anger issues. A child is unlikely to respond well to group sessions and perhaps even become bored with one on one consults. Finding activities which are interesting and even challenging may be a better alternative. Kids enjoy fun and games. Designing anger management activities which are enjoyable yet beneficial would be so much more effective than forcing a child to sit down with an anger management counselor. Worksheets, coloring pages, individual games as well as interactive games would be accepted much better by children than a trip to the psychiatrist. When children are involved, it is essential to approach the problem carefully. Being overbearing will not go over well with kids. When considering anger management activities for kids, it is essential to be mindful that they are only children and the approach is important.

When considering anger management activities, an individual ought to choose one which they find interesting and enjoyable. Sticking a person in an unfamiliar setting may create feelings of anger which is not the intention of anger management activities. Finding an activity that works should be the key focus.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Source: http://selfhelp.uni.me/anger-management-activities-are-recommended/

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Source: http://ujjolnai.blogspot.com/2013/01/anger-management-activities-are.html

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Mass funeral held in Egypt after riots kill 37

PORT SAID, Egypt (AP) ? Tens of thousands of mourners poured into the streets of the restive Egyptian city of Port Said on Sunday for a mass funeral for most of the 37 people killed in rioting a day earlier, chanting slogans against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Violence erupted briefly when some in the crowd fired guns and police responded with volleys of tear gas, witnesses said. State television reported 110 were injured.

"We are very worried about what may happen after the burial," said local youth activist Rasha Hamouda, noting the city was fraught with tension.

There was also a funeral in Cairo for one of two policemen killed in the Port Said violence a day earlier. Several policemen grieving for two colleagues heckled Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the force, when he arrived for their funeral, according to witnesses. The angry officers screamed at the minister that he was only at the funeral for the TV cameras ? a highly unusual show of dissent in Egypt, where the police force maintains military-like discipline.

Ibrahim hurriedly left and the funeral proceeded without him.

The violence in the city, about 140 miles northeast of Cairo, broke out on Saturday after a court on Saturday convicted and sentenced 21 defendants to death for their roles in a mass soccer riot in a Port Said stadium on Feb. 1, 2012 that left 74 people dead. Most of those sentenced to death were local soccer fans from Port Said. The 21 were convicted on murder charges and the court is to rule on the remainder of the 73 defendants in March.

The riots stemmed mostly from animosity between police and die-hard Egyptian soccer fans, known as Ultras, who have become highly politicized. The Ultras frequently confront police and were also part of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime two years ago.

They were also at the forefront of protests against the military rulers who took over from Mubarak and are now again on the front lines of protests against the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the country's first freely elected leader.

Mourners chanted "There is no God but Allah," and "Morsi is God's enemy" as the funeral procession made its way through the city after prayers for the dead at the city's Mariam Mosque. Women clad in black led the chants, which were quickly picked up by the rest of the mourners.

There were no police or army troops in sight. But the funeral procession briefly halted after gunfire rang out. Security officials said the gunfire came from several mourners who opened fire at the Police Club next to the cemetery.

A witness said the police responded to the gunfire with volleys of tear gas. The witness and the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation in the city on the Mediterranean at the northern tip of the Suez Canal.

Survivors and witnesses of the Port Said soccer melee blame Mubarak loyalists for the violence, saying they had a hand in instigating the killings. The troubles erupted after Port Said's home team Al-Masry beat Cairo's Al-Ahly 3-1. Some witnesses said "hired thugs" wearing green T-shirts and posing as Al-Masry fans led the attacks.

Other witnesses said at the very least, police were responsible for gross negligence in the soccer violence, which killed 74 people, most of them Al-Ahly fans.

Anger at police was evident in Port Said, home to most of the 73 men accused of involvement in the bloodshed.

The trial was in Cairo and Judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid did not give his reasoning when he handed down the guilty verdicts and sentences for 21 defendants. Executions in Egypt are usually carried out by hanging.

Verdicts for the remaining 52 defendants, including nine security officials, are to be delivered on March 9. Some have been charged with murder and others with assisting the attackers. All the defendants ? who were not present in the courtroom Saturday for security reasons ? can appeal the verdict.

In Port Said on Sunday, army troops backed by armored vehicles staked out positions at key government facilities to protect state interests and try to restore order.

The military issued a statement urging Port Said residents to exercise restraint and protect public property, but also warning that troops would deal "firmly" with anyone who "terrorizes" citizens or infringes upon the nation's security and stability.

Rioters on Saturday attacked the prison where the defendants were being held and tried to storm police stations and government offices around the city. Health officials say at least 37 people were killed, including two policemen, in rioting on Saturday.

The clashes in Port Said were the latest in a bout of unrest across the country that has left a total of 48 people dead since Friday. That death toll includes 11 people killed in clashes between police and protesters marking the second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew Mubarak after nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.

Clashes broke out in Cairo for the fourth straight day on Sunday, with protesters and police near central Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising. Police fired tear gas while protesters pelted them with rocks.

The clashes show how turmoil was deepening in Egypt nearly seven months after Morsi took office. Critics say Morsi has failed to carry out promised reforms of the judiciary and police, and claim little has improved in the two years since the uprising.

At the heart of the rising opposition toward Morsi's government is a newly adopted constitution, which was ratified in a nationwide referendum.

Opponents claim the document has an Islamist slant. It was drafted hurriedly by the president's allies without the participation of representatives of liberals and minority Christians on the panel that wrote the charter.

Protesters on the streets this past week demanded the formation of a national unity government, early presidential elections and amendments to disputed clauses in the constitution.

Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which he hails, counter that the opposition was seeking to overturn the results of democratic and free elections. The Brotherhood, a well-organized and established political group in Egypt for decades, has emerged as by far the most powerful force in post-Mubarak Egypt.

As the situation in Port Said spiraled out of control Saturday, police disappeared from the city's streets, residents and security officials said, staying put in their camps, police stations and the city's security headquarters.

The military then dispatched troops to the city, taking up positions at vital state facilities, including the local power and water stations, the city's main courthouse, the local government building and the city prison. Navy sailors were guarding the local offices of the Suez Canal company.

Navy vessels were escorting merchant ships sailing through the international waterway, a vital income earner for Egypt's beleaguered economy. Military helicopters were flying over the canal to ensure the safety of shipping, according to Suez Canal spokesman Tareq Hassanein.

Residents said Port Said was quiet overnight except for intermittent bursts of gunfire. The city was still on edge early Sunday ? but streets were largely deserted, stores were closed for the second successive day, and some hotels asked guests to leave, fearing more violence.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mass-funeral-held-egypt-riots-kill-37-134608043--spt.html

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Video: Icahn: Made a Huge Mistake Getting Involved with Ackman

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.

Source: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/cnbc/50592444/

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Imagining a skeuomorphic-free, all-aluminium iOS 7

Imaging a skeuomorphic-free, all-aluminium iOS 7

Skeuomorphism -- the use of real world design in a digital context -- has been a target lately. At the extreme, it's held up as an example of iOS being boring, outdated, and bereft of innovation. In more reasonably terms, it's looked at as something that can be useful, but has perhaps been overused. I've gone on record as saying I think there are far more important things Apple needs to do in iOS 7 than wiping the world clean of skeuomorphism, both here on the site and in a podcast rant. But let's imagine for a moment it is on the agenda. That Apple's new head of all design, hardware and software, Jony Ive, was set to impose a new, unified, Aluminium theme. That, just like the Scarlet Witch in House of M, he whispered "No more Skeuomorphs."

Instead of arguing in the abstract about how much better or worse it would be, let's mock it up and see what could that look like...

A unified, aluminium iOS

Back before iOS 6 there were rumors of a complete, consistent re-skinning of the core interface into something more subdued and "silver". That didn't come to pass, though Apple's newest built-in app, Maps, did get a more subdued, more silver make-over, complete with new, floating buttons. Inspired by a discussion with Grant Paul for an upcoming episode of the Debug podcast,

I'm going to use something akin to that as a foundation, with a hint of the WWDC 2012 for the more heavily designed apps. I'm calling it "aluminium" in honor of how Jony Ive (properly) pronounces the word. Here's an example of Find my Friends, iBooks, and Game Center, stripped down and anodized.

Under the theory that consistency is usability, the more lightly-designed built-in apps could also adopt the same look and feel. Here's an example of Settings, Mail, and Safari.

Additional background

A lot has been written about skeuomorphism lately, by a lot of people far more experienced than me. Dave Wiskus, in an article for Macworld, explored the future of Apple design, saying:

Steve Jobs very purposefully built Apple to be a skate-to-where-the-puck-is-going company, and while skeuomorphic design has acted as a bridge between the physical world and digital abstractions, it?s becoming increasingly obvious that the world is comfortable with digital now. Technology is no longer witchcraft to be feared by the masses. We?ve grown accustomed to having phones, tablets, and computers around us to do things. With both visual and interaction design, we?re nearly past the point of real-world metaphors being useful, and the simplest representation is usually best.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball attributes much of this to the evolution from standard to HiDPI displays like Retina:

The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces ? these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design. They?re unnecessary in print, and, the higher the quality of the output and more heavy-handed the effect, the sillier such techniques look.

Marc Edwards of Bjango also cites the print world, but mentions the technical limitations of rival platforms as a contributing factor to their simpler design languages:

In interface design, square finished corners are faster, because there?s no masking. Not including shadows is faster, because there?s less compositing. Drawing a flat colour is faster than drawing a gradient. When you have three or six pixel densities, drawing sharp textures is almost impossible, unless you include bitmap assets for every size you?re targeting.

Sebastiaan de With brought up a counterpoint on Twitter:

Very 'flat' UI is a meaningless reactionary design fad vs. overdesigned UI. Good designers aren't limited by style but taste and discretion.

I'm still of the opinion that it's less about skeuomorphism or it's opposite, digital authenticity, than it is about usability. In some cases, skeuomorphism helps make things discoverable, approachable, and engaging. In others, it just gets in the way.

Check out the examples above and let me know what you think. Would a unified skin across all of Apple's apps be more elegant or just more monotonous? Would a face lift make iOS less "boring" or just less interesting?

Update: Super-designer Louie Mantia brings up a couple of excellent points, and throws in a gorgeous mockup, on Twitter:

it's not about "flat" vs. "skeuomorphic," but more about "chrome" or "no chrome". I think that this might be a more interesting discussion to have than making all UI aluminum.

Louie Mantia no chrome Safari

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheIphoneBlog/~3/IC7WK_g9G40/story01.htm

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Markets weekahead: RBI policy, earnings key for shares

Reuters Market Eye - The Reserve Bank of India's policy review on Tuesday and earnings of blue-chip companies will be the key factors for stocks next week.

Stock investors are widely anticipating a 25 basis point rate cut when the RBI sets policy on Tuesday, to be followed by another 25 bps cut in March, making the guidance provided by the central bank as important as the rate decision itself. (Read preview story http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/01/25/india-economy-interest-rates-rbi-idINDEE90N0HH20130125)

As a result, stocks could see a steep selloff if the RBI surprises markets by keeping key lending rate unchanged or by signalling a reduced scope of rate cuts ahead.

ICICI Bank Ltd , Bharti Airtel Ltd , and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd are shaping up as the highlights among companies reporting October-December results.

Volatility is also expected to increase as Thursday marks the expiry of January derivatives contracts.


Monday: RBI macro-economic report (5 p.m.); JSW Steel Ltd earnings

Tuesday: RBI's review (decision at 11 a.m.); Reliance Capital Ltd and Sterlite Industries Ltd earnings

Thursday.: ICICI Bank, Lupin Ltd and Bharti Airtel's earnings; December fiscal deficit data; derivatives expiry

Friday: BHEL and IDFC Ltd earnings

(Reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/markets-weekahead-rbi-rate-review-focus-112843781--finance.html

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Sundance 2013: Pussy Riot Doc Filmmakers Eyeing Follow-Up to ...

It?s been a good year for docs at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, with many of the early sales going to unscripted projects. And among the buzziest films in the first week of screenings was the Pussy Riot documentary from Maxim Pozdorovkin and Mike Lerner, Pussy Riot ? A Punk Prayer.

HBO purchased the film?s U.S. TV rights just two days after the Jan. 18 premiere, while the theatrical rights remain available.

The film revolves around radical-feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot and their subsequent imprisonment following a satirical performance in Moscow. While one member of the trio (Yekaterina Samutsevich) remains free on a technicality, the other two (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina) continue to serve their two-year sentences and have not yet seen the film. Immediately following the premiere, Samutsevich spoke to the audience via Skype.

PHOTOS: The Scene in Park City

Shortly after the sale, the filmmakers sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the quick turnaround for their film (completed over the course of less than a year and finished just eight days before its premiere), plotting a follow-up (?We certainly intend to make another film with them,? says Pozdorovkin) and why HBO is a perfect fit for the movie.

The Hollywood Reporter: When did you guys start working on this project?

Mike Lerner: Well, back in January, pictures began appearing in the British press of these strange women in balaclavas, and we wondered who these people were, what it was they wanted, so we decided to pursue the story. And when they were subsequently arrested, we obviously felt that there was a huge story on our hands and we just kept following it. I mean, obviously nobody knew it would grow to the proportions that it did or what would happen at all, but as it turned out it?s become the sort of story of the decade.

THR: That?s perfect timing for you at their misfortune, I suppose. What is their reaction to the project? How have they embraced it?

Maxim Pozdorovkin: I think they had known about the film, but once one of the members, Yekaterina, was released, we started talking more directly about the film. She had seen several cuts and she?s been very, very supportive of them. I think she likes the film very much. At our premiere -- because she has a suspended sentence, she can?t leave the country -- but we had her via Skype talking to the audience and I think she enjoyed the questions and everything else.

THR: That?s a quick turnaround if you just started in January.

MP:? And ended mid-October.

ML: Yeah, exactly. We just had a couple of months to shape the film, but you know, needs must. Obviously, getting into Sundance is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a film, and so we took it and worked very hard, very quickly, and got the film here. Ordinarily, obviously, you would have more time, but you know, that?s what documentary is. You?re responding to real events, and we have another film at Sundance called The Square, which is a film about the Egyptian Revolution, and similarly they were filming two weeks ago and the film premiered the other night. That?s the curse and the blessing of documentary, I think.?

VIDEO: THR's Sundance 2013 Diaries

THR: What was the rush to turn this one around? Two of them are still in jail, so arguably there?s still more story to be told.

ML: We wanted to really make the film about the trial. In a way, this film covers the events of the trial. We certainly intend to make another film with them.

MP: I think that one of the things that interested us is why those 40 seconds -- what they did when they went into the cathedral -- why it became such a perfect storm of everything. We often talk about how this possibly could be one of the most controversial and the most resonant pieces of performance art in history. The trial was important because it really brought together all these elements: Russia not having a punk culture, not having a performance-art culture, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism in Russia, the political situation, and all these things kind of came together in the story. In a way, once it was a sentencing and an outcome, that story was done -- but, you know, future stories are made to be told.

THR: What is your timeline for those future stories? Are you going back right away to follow it?

ML: We probably will sort of continue our contact and developing our relationship with the story, so it?s ongoing really. We?re not specifically making another film at this moment. We just finished this one and enjoyed showing it. Obviously, you gotta watch that space, you know, with all of them. They?re fascinating people, and we have a theory that one of them will end up being president of Russia one day. They?re so young. They?ve got so much ahead of them. It would be fascinating to see what happens.

THR: You finished the film 10 days ago? Is that what you?re saying?

MP: I think it was probably like eight days ago, but yeah.

THR: Can you talk about watching it with an audience for the first time? I know it was a packed house.

MP: It was great. It was a really pleasant surprise. Certain things got laughs that we didn?t expect. For the most part, I think the audience?s responses have been very positive and validated certain things that we had. It was nerve-racking in a sense because so few people had seen it and so that was somewhat unusual. Overall, we can?t complain. All the screenings have been great.

THR: And the movie sold last night.

ML: This is my third Sundance. Fortunately, we were here in 2009 with Afghan Star and 2011 with Hell and Back Again and both those films had been sold prior to Sundance. It?s the kind of thing you hear about happening to other people, and when it happens to you, it?s wonderful. We?re absolutely thrilled. We?ve worked with HBO a lot in the past, and they?re wonderful people to work with. I?m sure they?ll do great things to the film, so yeah. We couldn?t be happier.

THR: You think it?s a great fit for HBO?

ML: I do, absolutely. As I say, we?ve had a couple of films with them before. Afghan Star, in fact, was with HBO. They know what to do with the film and they know how to treat filmmakers very much. They?re very great people to work with.

THR: All of the documentaries seemed to be selling first before the scripted features. The Eagles documentary went to Showtime, Twenty?Feet From Stardom was the first to be sold. Why do you think that is?

MP: It?s the golden age of documentary. I don?t know, honestly. I mean that completely sincerely.

ML: Quite obviously, they?re a lot cheaper. No, it is. It?s true, I think, and I think Sundance has been absolutely instrumental in putting documentary on an equal footing to fiction. That?s what?s so amazing about this festival. I mean, all right, there are other strictly documentary festivals, and obviously other festivals do have some documentary element to them, but the way you?re treated at Sundance and the way you?re positioned at Sundance, I think, yeah, when you?re a buyer looking at these things ... a documentary can seem as attractive and as viable a proposition as a feature, as a fiction, so it?s fascinating.

MP: I think that one of the main things is that there?s so many great docs being made. I think that there is sort of genuine flowering, and I think that we will look back on this as the golden age of documentary. I?m not sure if I would say that about a fiction film today.

SUNDANCE REVIEW: Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer

THR: A lot of music documentaries, too. All of the ones I just mentioned are music-based, which is kind of interesting.

MP: You know, music and politics is sort of the golden combination. The golden ticket.

THR: Absolutely. What?s next for you guys?

ML: Well, we?ll get back to -- Max is in New York. I?m in London. We have several other projects in production and in development, so I guess when we get our feet back down on the ground, we?ll carry on making films, which is what we live to do.

MP: I?m directing a film, it should be done around May, about a Russian arms dealer named Victor Boot.

THR: Any plans or aspirations to return to Park City next year?

ML: Absolutely. Yeah, of course, every year. It?s hard to go consecutive years 'cause it usually takes a good year to make a film. Of course we can?t wait to come back.

THR: Back to Pussy Riot, the girls obviously had a lot of support from fellow musicians around the world.

MP: There?s tons of people from the very beginning. I mean,?Bjork, Faith No More, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Peaches. I think that their involvement -- I mean, there was a mass response to it.

ML: It obviously has resonance outside of Russia. Inside of Russia, I?m not sure what influence it had, if any, into being told what to do by the West or by Madonna, anybody over here. No, of course, for their morale it was very important to know that the world was with them and such major figures were supporting them.

MP: I think it also made them global feminist icons in a way much more so than, and that?s what the girls ultimately are. Ultimately, the story is of a foiled feminist revolution.

THR: Now with this movie being distributed, it can only grow in popularity, I?d imagine.

ML: Exactly. It is part of the revolution. There?s no doubt. They?re communicators of ideas. That?s their job and we hope we have represented those ideas in the film fully, and certainly that was our aim.

THR: Are you able to show the girls that are in prison the film?

ML: Sadly not. I mean,?Yekaterina is in contact with them and can talk about it, but sadly, there is no opportunity for them to see it. I wish that there were. When the film is released and they?re released, that would be great.

THR: Do you expect the film to be changed at all between now and its official release?

ML: I mean, yeah, the film is about the consequences of an action, and the consequence was this extraordinary trial. It?s a historically surreal moment in Russian history and the consequence, which was their being found guilty and being given two-year sentences. Beyond that, of course, there?s plenty to tell, but in another film.

MP: I think that their release [from jail] would be the start of a new film and not in the continuation of our film. I think that, realistically, that?s the only outcome.

Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sundance-2013-pussy-riot-doc-415292

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Obama praises nominees for SEC, consumer panel

President Barack Obama announces in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, that he will nominate Mary Joe White, right, to lead the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and re-nominate Richard Cordray, left, to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a role that he has held for the last year under a recess appointment. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama announces in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, that he will nominate Mary Joe White, right, to lead the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and re-nominate Richard Cordray, left, to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a role that he has held for the last year under a recess appointment. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP) ? President Barack Obama says his picks for two top posts will crack down on those whose irresponsible behavior threatens the U.S. economy and the middle class.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama praises his nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, and his pick for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray.

Obama says White, a former federal prosecutor, will help reform Wall Street. He says Cordray will be a champion for American consumers and is imploring the Senate to confirm him.

Obama installed Cordray last year through a recess appointment after Senate Republicans opposed his nomination.

In the Republican address, South Dakota Sen. John Thune says the Senate must pass a budget that addresses out-of-control spending to stave off another credit-rating downgrade.



Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2013-01-26-Obama/id-a6571dbeb3034313aed5363eb7db5412

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Russia's Vladimir Putin says West is fomenting jihadi 'blowback'

Both Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister have lashed out at the West in recent days for pursuing what they regard as naive and incoherent Middle East policies.

The critique targets Western backing of anti-dictator rebellions in Libya and Syria, which, as Mr. Putin tells it, only fuels the spreading flames of extreme Islamist insurrection, including the current war in Mali and last week's terrorist strike on a gas complex in Algeria.

"The Syrian conflict has been raging for almost two years now. Upheaval in Libya, accompanied by the uncontrolled spread of weapons, contributed to the deterioration of the situation in Mali," Mr. Putin said at a meeting with new ambassadors in the Kremlin Thursday.

RECOMMENDED: Do you know anything about Russia? A quiz.

"The tragic consequences of these events led to a terrorist attack in Algeria which took the lives of civilians, including foreigners," he added.

"Those whom the French and Africans are fighting now in Mali are the same people who . . . our Western partners armed so that they would overthrow the Gaddafi regime," in Libya in 2011, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference Wednesday.

Many in the West may be inclined to shrug off Russian criticism as the routine sniping of a government whose Mideast influence has slumped since the Arab Spring began, or the self-serving rationale of an autocratic regime that fears popular revolution and automatically backs authoritarian rulers.

But many Russian experts, including sharp critics of the Kremlin on other issues, argue that Russian leaders are being realists about the blowback that has followed Western interventions in the Muslim world.

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They say Moscow has been dealing with the threat of militant jihadists since the Soviet Union's disastrous 1980s war in Afghanistan, and has watched as it has shown up in parts of Russia's heartland. Kremlin leaders accuse the West of an enthusiasm for toppling dictators that has led, not to democracy, but to spreading mayhem and rising Islamist militancy across West Asia and North Africa.

"Russia is on the frontier, we are in jihad territory," says Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the independent Institute of Middle Eastern Studies in Moscow.

"Our own fringes, the northern Caucasus, Central Asia, and even the central Volga region are threatened. That's why we're very clear about who the enemy is.. . . We know this, and you would think that after 9/11 and other events that our American and European colleagues would have some clarity about it, too. Yet they always seem ready to play with fire, and to use militant jihadists against Russia and its national interests ? as they did in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Libya, and Syria," he adds.

Over the past decade Russia has used its UN Security Council vote to oppose the US invasion of Iraq aimed at overthrowing dictator Saddam Hussein; yet it has strongly supported NATO's anti-Taliban mission in Afghanistan. Last year, Putin even urged the Western allies not to leave Afghanistan before the "job was done" and Moscow gave NATO the use of a huge airbase in central Russia to help with the resupply effort to its embattled forces there.

Moscow abstained on the March 2011 Security Council resolution that authorized the use of force "to protect civilians" in Libya, and last month it actually backed another resolution empowering France and others to intervene against Islamists threatening to overrun Mali.

On the other hand, Russia has repeatedly vetoed any resolution aimed at international cooperation to ease Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad from power and continues to back his regime with political support and shipments of weaponry. The UN estimates 60,000 killed in the ongoing civil war in Syria, with some 500,000 to 600,000 displaced or categorized as refugees.

Outsiders may be forgiven for seeing Moscow's policies as a bit tangled, not to say hypocritical, but many Russian analysts argue that they have been completely consistent ? with the sole exception of former President Dmitry Medvedev's decision to abstain on the Libya "use of force" resolution, which was publicly slammed by then-Prime Minister Putin.

"The Libya resolution contained promises to Russia that were never delivered. Today our abstention on that vote can be clearly seen as a mistake, a symption of Medvedev's non-professionalism," says Mr. Satanovsky.

The Russians argue that they back secular goverments and stability, even where it is enforced by a dictatorship, because the alternatives are almost universally worse. They insist that Western efforts to back democratic revolution have backfired almost everywhere, and will continue to do so.

"All attempts to export revolution end badly," says Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the State Duma's international affairs committee.

"In Iraq, the Americans came in to eliminate fictitious weapons of mass destruction, and knocked out all the pillars of stability in that country. Look at the mess it's in today.... Libya was stable, Syria was stable, until revolutions aided and abetted by Western powers tore them apart. All this chaos is a gift to militant fundamentalists and no one else," he adds.

Russia's backing for the current French-led intervention in Mali is just a case of lining up against the common enemy, the jihadists, pro-Kremlin analysts say.

They point out that the government the West is propping up in Mali is a dictatorship, the result of a military coup last year that overthrew the democratic government on the eve of elections.

"We agree with the French about this. Maybe they're finally seeing the light," says Sergei Markov, vice president of the Plekhanov Economic University in Moscow and a frequent adviser to President Putin in the past.

"It's an attempt to stem the damage that's a result of the misguided operation in Libya. It's against the jihadists and we support it," he adds.

"When the West is helping to destroy a stable regime, and willfully opening the gates to the radical Islamists, we oppose it. . . We wish that Russia and the West could work together on this. We are willing, but we doubt the West is ready to cooperate with us," Mr. Markov says.

"Will it have to take a few more Western ambassadors being killed by the very forces they created before they will listen to us?"

RECOMMENDED: Do you know anything about Russia? A quiz.

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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/russias-vladimir-putin-says-west-fomenting-jihadi-blowback-173800021.html

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Are All 529 College Savings Plans Equal In The Eye Of The ...

What are the best savings strategies for college? What are the best savings strategies for college?

What is a 529 Plan?

It is a savings vehicle for college related expenses. One that allows money to grow tax free, when used for qualified higher education expenses.

In the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 , the Federal Government said that 529 plans will be considered ?Parent Assets? when filing for financial aid.

??A qualified education benefit shall be considered an asset of?the parent if the student is a dependent student, regardless of whether the owner of the account is the student or the parent.?

But do all colleges follow the federal guidelines?

No, they do not.?

Shocking, isn?t it?

Some colleges will treat ?regular? 529 Plans one way, and 529 UTMA Plans a different way.

Why? Because they can.

529 Plans owned by the student

According to Savingforcollege.com, beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, student- and UGMA/UTMA-owned 529 accounts are to be reported as parental assets, if the student files the FAFSA as a dependent and has to include parent assets and income. This treatment confers a financial aid benefit as the parental rate of 5.64% is considerably less prejudicial than the 20% rate on non-529 assets owned by the student.

Now, this is what the Federal Guidelines demand.

For our clients, we ALWAYS recommend that the federal guidelines be followed on the CSS Profile. That means, UTMA/UGMA 529?s are reported as parent assets.

If colleges take a position contrary to this, we submit the profile in two versions. One simply lists the 529 in the parent section. Period. The second version, which by the way is created by adding new colleges, lists the asset in the parent section, but we reference the line item in Section ES as follows:? This is a section 529 savings plan held within a custodial account. It is reported as a parent asset in order to comply with federal regulations. If your institution chooses to treat this as a student asset, please contact us.

Then the fun conversation begins! Colleges that try to have families list 529 UTMA accounts in the student asset section, are looking to asses 20-25% of their value in the financial aid formulas. However, if the 529 accounts are listed in the parent asset section, as the federal guidelines state, then the maximum assessment will only be 5.64%? usually much less than that.

Parents and students were afforded this savings vehicle in 1996 and they should make sure they take the proper position and stand tall and make the ?colleges that behave badly? understand that the family is following the law of the land when filing all 529 plans as a parent asset.

Source: http://www.collegesearchgameplan.com/are-all-529-college-savings-plans-equal-in-the-eye-of-the-financial-aid-office-not-necessarily?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=are-all-529-college-savings-plans-equal-in-the-eye-of-the-financial-aid-office-not-necessarily

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InfoSec Institute Resources ? Restricting social media at work


Employees using social networks such as Facebook and Google+ may not only waste a lot of their working time, but also spread viruses on their work computers. Due to this, some employers have implemented security systems designed to closely monitor or restrict, as needed, an employee?s access and use of social networks. The purpose of this article is to discuss the advantages (Section 2) and disadvantages (Section 3) of restricting social media access for employees. Finally, a conclusion is drawn (Section 4).

Advantages of restricting social media access for employees

The restriction of social media access for employees has four advantages; namely, it (1) increases employee productivity of , (2) decreases the risk of getting malicious software, (3) increases the availability of bandwidth, and (4) prevents identity theft. These four advantages are discussed below.

Increasing the productivity of employees

Surfing in social networks may waste a lot of an employee?s time. A Proskauer International Labor & Employment Group survey conducted in 2011 indicated that forty-three percent of businesses using social media have dealt with employees? misuse of social networks, and approximately a third of all businesses have taken disciplinary action against employees concerning this. It is also worth mentioning that, on the basis of an analysis of the web traffic of 1,636 companies, the firewall supplier Palo Alto found out that there was an increase in employees? use of Facebook to run web apps and games. The wasted time spent there can be otherwise used for completing tasks assigned by the employer or for educational purposes. This is why implementing security systems that restrict access to social media may improve the productivity of the employees.

It should be noted, however, that a study conducted at the University of Melbourne found out that employees with access to social networks were actually more productive than employees in companies that block access. Dr. Brent Coker, a researcher involved in the study, noted that employees who can reward themselves between the completion of one task and the start of another with a visit to their Facebook or MySpace page are more motivated than the workers who do not use social networks. The study found out that workers using social networks get 9 percent more accomplished than their blocked counterparts. Consequently, it is doubtful whether the restriction of social networks should be considered as an advantage.

It is important to note that the study of Dr. Coker should not be interpreted as stating that the use of social networks cannot decrease the productivity of the employees. Social networks may increase productivity only if they are used moderately. As Dr. Coker said, ?Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days? work, and as a result, increased productivity.?

Decreasing the risk of malicious software

Often, social networks are a place where users can easily exchange files, some of which may contain viruses. In this regard, it should be noted that, after analyzing the web traffic of 5,500 PC users in 20 nations, firewall maker Barracuda Networks discovered that one of every 60 Facebook posts and one of every 100 Twitter tweets contained malicious code. The press regularly publishes reports noting the appearance of new types of Facebook viruses.

For example, a new computer virus labeled Steckt.Evl has been recently discovered by Trend Micro. This virus spreads via the chat window on Facebook. In particular, a message from a friend appears in the pop-up window that is used for person-to-person chat. The message contains a link to an innocent-looking website. If the victim installs the virus on his computer, it instantly disables and removes the existing anti-virus software. Then, it spreads itself by opening chat windows on the Facebook friends of the infected user.

Increasing the availability of bandwidth

Social media may generate a lot of internal traffic. This is because the use of social media websites is often accompanied by the use of video sharing websites, such as YouTube. In this connection, Patrick Wood, senior director of product management for Exinda, a provider of WAN optimization and application acceleration products based in the US, stated that, ?While it varies from organization to organization, we have seen instances where as much as 60 percent or more of network resources are being consumed with things like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.?

Preventing identity theft

Social networks can be used by criminals to steal identities. For instance, photo- and video-sharing websites like Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube may provide a lot of information about their users. Moreover, such social networks may contain information about the family and the friends of the users.

Disadvantages of restricting social media access for employees

There are seven main disadvantages of restricting social media access for employees; namely, the (1) decrease in morale of the employees, (2) missed opportunities for free advertising, (3) missed opportunities for team building, (4) missed opportunities for skill building, (5) missed opportunities for internal and external communication, (6) missed opportunities for networking, and (7) the attraction of new employees becomes more difficult.

Decreasing the morale of the employees

The main disadvantage of restricting social media access for employees is that the employees may feel oppressed by the employer. This may affect employee morale and satisfaction from their work. In this regard, Ann Cavoukian, a privacy commissioner for the Canadian province of Ontario, noted that blocking of social networks in the workplace is a mistake. She also said that ?It?s like waving the proverbial red flag in front of your staff ? it?s almost a challenge to them to find a way around it.?

Missed opportunities for free advertising

In most cases, employees add to their social network profile the name of the companies for which they work for. Thus, each of their friends can see the name of the company. Taking into account that, in 2012, the average number of Facebook friends of U.S users at 18-24 years of age was 429, an employer with 10 workers who restricts social network access will lose thousands of views of his/her company name and logo.

Missed opportunities for team building

Social networks allow employees to know more about each other. It may lead to a better cooperation between team members which, in turn, will improve the team?s performance. Social media also gives team members the opportunity to communicate on a personal level. This may bring them closer together. Moreover, social networks may be used for organizing team building events. For example, Facebook has a comprehensive system for event scheduling. The organizers of events in Facebook may not only post information, including audio and video content, about the event, but may also see the users who are going to attend the meeting or not.

Missed opportunities for skill building

In the past five years, there has been a steady increase in the users of social networks. As a result, effective skills in using social networks are a must for anyone willing to practice certain professions, such as PR and Marketing. Allowing the employees to use social networks may serve as a valuable training for them.

Missed opportunities for internal and external communication

Communication between employees, and between the company and its potential customers, is very important to the success of any business. Social networks provide excellent opportunities for internal and external communication because it is more interactive than traditional means of communication, such as email and phone.

Missed opportunities for networking

Business networking allows the employees of a company to know what other companies are doing and obtain information about recent developments in the company?s field of activity. A business network can be very well supplemented by an online social network. Through an online social network, the people who have met in person will be able to receive more information about each other. The most prominent business social network is LinkedIn.

Making the attraction of new employees more difficult

Many potential new employees may get to know that the company restricts social media access for employees. Some of them may not apply for a position at the company because they may consider the restriction of the access to social networks as a form of oppression.

The restriction of social networks at the workplace has both advantages and disadvantages. The decrease in the productivity of employees seems to be an often cited disadvantage. However, a recent study has indicated that employees who have access to social networks may be more productive than employees in companies that block access. While it is debatable whether or not the restriction of social networks increases the productivity of a company, it is certain that the use of social networks may be a source of malicious code. Consequently, the restriction of the use of social networks at the workplace may be considered as a preventive information security measure. It should be added that doing so may not only limit the risk of getting viruses, but also protect the employees from identity theft. As many know, the results of an identity theft can be catastrophic for both individuals and companies.

The restriction of social networks has several disadvantages as well. One of the most important disadvantages is that some employees may feel oppressed as a result of the restriction of social networks. The decreased morale of the employees may then negatively affect their productivity. Besides, by not allowing employees to use social networks, the employer may deprive himself of free advertising that employees would otherwise make using social networks. Moreover, the employer will also miss opportunities for team building, training the staff in skills related to social networks, developing internal and external communication, and networking. Last but not the least, the restriction of social networks may have a negative impact on attracting new employees.


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  8. Itbusiness.ca, ?Banning Facebook, Twitter at work could backfire, says Ontario privacy commissioner?, 28 October 2009, http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=55040 .
  9. Proskauer, ?Social Networks in the Workplace Around the World: Survey?, 2011, http://www.proskauer.com/files/News/a17db875-e569-47a8-b62a-9328b33f50b5/Presentation/NewsAttachment/b4048537-8865-4a95-9ec5-0b80a91daa2a/Survey-Social-Networks-in-the-Workplace-Around-the-World.pdf .
  10. Ray, P., ?The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research: Tools and Techniques for Market Researchers?, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
  11. Solomon, L., ?Doing Social Media So it Matters: A Librarian?s Guide?, American Library Association, 2011.
  12. Skinner, C., ?Twitter, Facebook can improve work productivity?, Techworld, 3 April 2009, http://www.techworld.com.au/article/297924/twitter_facebook_can_improve_work_productivity/ .
  13. Statista, ?Average number of Facebook friends of U.S. users in 2012, by age group?, http://www.statista.com/statistics/232499/americans-who-use-social-networking-sites-several-times-per-day/ .
  14. Wolfe, B. and Sparkman, C., ?Team-Building Activities for the Digital Age: Using Technology to Develop Effective Groups?, 2010, Human Kinetics.
  15. Zimmermann, K., ?Is Social Media Jamming Your Network?, ITTechNewsDaily, http://www.ittechnewsdaily.com/85-social-media-jamming-network.html

Source: http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/restricting-social-media-at-work/

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