মঙ্গলবার, ১৬ জুলাই, ২০১৩

Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California

[unable to retrieve full-text content]After nearly 25 years of searching, three scientists have finally found Waldo. No, not the loveable bespectacled character in children's picture books, but rather an unusual clam discovered off the coast of California and British Columbia.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/strange_science/~3/PayNiDPRvTQ/130716120022.htm

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সোমবার, ১৫ জুলাই, ২০১৩

California Prison Hunger Strike Continues

(KSEE) ?If you are living behind the walls of California's Corcoran prison it means you've done something wrong.

But for the hundreds of demonstrators outside its walls, fair treatment is something they believe is owed to everyone, and they say the prison system is coming up short.

Source: http://texomashomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=291902

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রবিবার, ১৪ জুলাই, ২০১৩

We?re with Windows, and we?re here to help: The anatomy of a scam

On its face, it was totally unbelievable. After all, when was the last time you recall any tech support pro-actively contacting you to solve a problem?

Advanced Windows "support" technology.

Advanced Windows ?support? technology.

?Hello, sir. I am calling from Windows support.?

So began the call at 3:36pm PDT on June 12. It was as if an automated phone tree at a software company had decided to atone for its sins and reach out. And I do mean automated. The patter, though delivered by apparently real humans with apparently authentic Indian accents, was remarkably rote.

?I?m calling on behalf of Microsoft?s Certified Technician Team,? said 8:53am July 3. So did 11:46am the same day. But 8:58pm May 15 called from ?the technical services department of Windows.? And the first one, six weeks earlier at 6:02pm May 14, declared, ?I am with the Windows Service Center, and I am calling about your computer.?

And boy, were they calling from exotic locations: ?V5152358030054,? ?6752 6752? and just simply ?6752,? or so blurted my confused Caller ID screen. I thought I knew all the new area codes.

Ask me anything.

Ask me anything.

Then began the support. ?You are getting errors on your computer and I?m calling to help.? What errors?, I?d often ask. ?I won?t know until you go to our website and download our diagnostic tool.? Download. Unknown. Software. Sure.

While the patter would vary from male to female to male caller, the pitch never did. You?re reading from a script, I?d challenge. ?No sir, I am not reading from a script,? 3:36pm June 12 protested. And then went right back to the script. But, like testing the limits of Siri (or, more appropriately here, Furby), it became mildly interesting to see what kind of answers I could elicit:

  • How did you know I was getting errors? ?We have a database of phone numbers of people who purchase computers.? (Those used to be called ?phone books.?)
  • How do you know I?m not using a Mac or an Atari 1040ST? ?We can check. Please click on your Start button.?
  • I can?t have a virus; I use the free and excellent Microsoft Security Essentials. ?Well sir, that is better than using nothing.?

Expecting answers that were better than nothing, I turned to the real Microsoft.

?In 2010, Microsoft began receiving reports of scammers making phone calls or sending emails to people,? replied a spokesperson for Microsoft?s Digital Crimes Unit. The goal was often to trick people into buying support services, downloading fake security software or allowing remote access to their PC for likely un-nice purposes. Microsoft has referred the cases to the Federal Trade Commission, which had its own investigation underway and presumably still does.

The real Microsoft.

The real Microsoft.

And yes, it?s no coincidence I?m getting a lot of these calls. A lot of people are. Almost paradoxically, the spokesperson noted, as more consumers learn from Microsoft and other tech firms that they should make their computers more secure, ?we have seen an increase in cybercrimes that use deception and social engineering to exploit people.?

That doesn?t stop some would-be victims from attempting to reverse-engineer the favor. Eric Dawes, a former broadcasting colleague in the Seattle area wrote on Facebook he?s been getting similar calls. He decided to play along, clicking as directed until he informed the scripted caller that he only had a choice of running ?Control Panel? or ?PHK-U.EXE.?

Others have been less kind, and a few have tripped into their own trap ? such as the anti-malware security researcher who, in trying to documents the details, had his computer?s files deleted by a vengeful scammer.

The sobering part is enough people must be scammed successfully, otherwise the trickle of calls wouldn?t have increased to a seeming flood over the past several years. This includes, recently, calls to the Puget Sound area (unless the scriptoids have only now realized Microsoft is actually based nearby). Average loss? A Microsoft study pegged it at $875, and that was two years ago.

The next time the phone rings, I?ll recall the advice from my father who, in a moment of cynicism about business, observed that, ?When someone approaches you, remember they always want something.? And in this case, I don?t think it?s my faux virus. Unless it?s infected my wallet.

Frank Catalano?(@FrankCatalano) is a strategist, author and veteran analyst of digital education and consumer technologies whose GeekWire columns take a practical nerd?s approach to tech. See?the archive?of his regular GeekWire columns. He?s writing his own script, not for Hollywood, but in advance of the next inevitable call.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/geekwire/~3/xv-5d_tAt8k/

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শনিবার, ১৩ জুলাই, ২০১৩

Music: Great Job, Internet!: Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside get sweaty, sultry for a new video

Portland act Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside makes modern-styled Rockabilly, complete with dirty guitars, an upright bass, and energetic and fierce vocals by Ford. The group?s third full-length came out earlier this year, but with a number of tour dates on the immediate horizon, The Sound Outside has released a new music video, premiering exclusively today on The A.V. Club. The clip for ?They Told Me? is full of gyrating guys dressed as gals, gals dressed as gals, and plenty of sweaty skin and liquid eyeliner. Watch it now, but only if your workplace isn?t all that conservative.

Source: http://www.avclub.com/articles/watch-a-sweaty-sultry-new-clip-from-sallie-ford-th,100006/?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=feeds&utm_source=avclub_rss_daily

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98% 20 Feet From Stardom

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (1)

The movie takes its cues from Standing in the Shadows of Motown, another act of pop-culture revisionism that tried to give musical credit where it was due.

Just about everything in this movie is right. And anybody who gives a rip about unsung heroines of popular music and giving credit when credit's overdue had better come up with a good excuse not to see it.

You may never hear the Rolling Stones's Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger's and Clayton's separate accounts of the recording of the song.

The enthusiasm and love of music on display is just unavoidable. "20 Feet" may not get the whole story, but it gets some good ones.

Music documentarian Morgan Neville uses a mix of live interviews and archival footage to let the singers, and their music, tell their stories of vocal triumph and thwarted ambition.

You know all those doo-doo-doos and whoa-whoas-whoas you hear in pop hits? Without them, supplied by the likes of Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, you likely wouldn't be singing along to the songs you hear on your car radio.

It's important to finally put names and faces to the voices of these women because, without them, countless songs would sound horrible.

Neville's greatest strength is as a historian, able to sort through a wealth of details to find the pieces he needs to tell one clear, compelling story.

Salutes songs that wouldn't work without the back-ups and, in effect, turn us all into back-up singers.

Not the deepest documentary you're likely to come across this year -- in fact, it's not deep at all -- but it may well be the most enjoyable one.

The transcendent joy and agonizing heartbreak of making music - and trying to make it in music - have seldom been captured as vividly as in "20 Feet from Stardom."

If music has the power to connect, "Twenty Feet From Stardom" shows it's those backup voices making the connection.

Lovers of classic R&B and rock will never get tired of revisiting this movie and its bonanza of performance footage.

For once, the spotlight shines on these brilliant women who spent most of their careers on the outskirts of fame with minimal fortune to show for their efforts.

Jubilant, informative, and teeming with iconic music, 20 Feet from Stardom is a riveting sit, blasting a spotlight on singers worthy of the intense heat.

Following Fisher and Hill verit? style on their busy days freshens the nostalgia. . . Informative and entertaining, gives well-deserved r-e-s-p-e-c-t. No auto-tuning or dubs.

20 Feet from Stardom is a thorough--to the point of feeling a bit long--document on the craft.

This is one of those documentaries that you just wish could keep going.

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Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/20_feet_from_stardom/

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ১১ জুলাই, ২০১৩

Analyst: Zynga 'cannot afford to miss out on' real-money gambling in ...

Online gambling is legal in the state of New Jersey, but only casino operators in Atlantic City can apply for the appropriate license. That means that online gaming organizations looking to get in on the action have to partner with one of the existing casino?s in the East Coast?s biggest gambling city.

New Jersey gave the Atlantic City casinos until June 30 to submit their online-gaming business plans, and so far 10 of the 12 casinos in the city have disclosed who they are partnering with. Missing from that list is social-gaming giant Zynga, which has made it clear that it wants to move into real-money gaming wherever it can ? and has already done so in the U.K.

GamesBeat reached out to Zynga, but it refused to comment on who it could be partnering with.

?Zynga?s capability to partner?with one of the land-based casino operators in Atlantic City should be monitored closely, as it could be the single most important near-term event for the company as it relates to its real-money online gaming strategy,? Eilers Research analyst Adam Krejcik wrote in a note to investors this morning.

Atlantic City vendors have until July 29 to apply for the online-gaming license. If Zynga is going to make an announcement, Krejcik expects it to come in the next few weeks.

In the U.K., Zynga has a partnership with online-gambling conglomerate Bwin.party. Casino operator Boyd revealed that it already partnered with Bwin.party to run its online-gaming business in New Jersey.

?[Zynga could]?tack-on to the Boyd & bwin.party pact, which is the most likely given its pre-existing relationship with bwin.party,? said Krejcik.

The analyst also laid out three other possibilities for Zynga. It could partner with?Atlantic Club or Revel, since those are the two operators that have yet to reveal their online partners. It could license its properties to a variety of the other online-gaming sites that already have casino partners.

Or Zynga could do nothing.

?New Jersey will likely be the largest real-money-gaming market opportunity in the U.S. over the next two to three years and one that Zynga cannot afford to?miss out on, in our opinion,? said Krejcik. ?Gov. [Chris] Christie has said he expects real-money gaming to go live by November this year and anticipates $160 million?in tax revenues during the first year, implying revenues in excess of $1 billion. We are currently forecasting a market size of $400 million to?$500 million, which we believe is far more realistic.?

But even if Zynga does find a partner, it will face a lot of competition. Eilers Research expects that the immediate financial impact would only add about $14 million to $28 million in revenue annually to Zynga?s books.

?In our opinion,?[a New Jersey real-money-gambling announcement] would be well received by the investment community and extend the ?Don Mattrick rally,?? Eilers Research said. ?If Zynga is?unable to secure an online partnership, it will effectively be closed out of the?New Jersey market and we would question just how serious Zynga?s real-money online-gaming ambitions are going forward.?

Earlier this month, Zynga revealed that long-time chief executive Mark Pincus would step aside to let former Microsoft Xbox chief Don Mattrick take the top spot. Pincus remains on as chief product officer. That news caused Zynga?s stock to rally ? hence the ?Don Mattrick rally.?

Zynga is currently trading at $3.40, which is up from a one-month low of $2.52 on June 24.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/10/analyst-zynga-cannot-afford-to-miss-out-on-real-money-gambling-in-new-jersey-and-it-might/

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Why some cats get 'sex change' operations - Mother Nature Network


However, veterinarians say such surgery isn?t a true sex reassignment because it?s not performed for the purpose of changing the cat?s sex.


The technical term for the procedure is ?perineal urethrostomy,? and it?s performed on male cats that suffer from frequent urinary problems.


For example, last year an 8-year-old Australian cat named Domino had the operation because he had a blocked bladder caused by salt crystals in his blood.


According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the surgery ?will permanently cure urethral obstruction in 90 percent of male cats."


As Domino?s veterinarian Dr. Bob Cavey explains, the procedure involves removing a cat?s ?male parts? and shortening the urethra?s opening to create a new opening similar to a female?s.


Although former veterinarian Ann Staub told NPR that such surgery is unlikely to cause a change in a cat?s personality, Domino?s owner says that since the operation, the cat has been more energetic, affectionate and playful.


With elective pet surgery gaining popularity, is it possible that cat owners might choose to change their pet?s sex for nonmedical reasons?


"I can't imagine a veterinarian actually doing a 'sex change' surgery to an animal for cosmetic purposes, but I'm sure there's someone out there who's willing to make a buck," Staub said.


Watch the video below to learn more to see Domino?s experience.



More cat stories on MNN:

Source: http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/why-some-cats-get-sex-change-operations

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