Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tsonga wins record-breaker as stars race through

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Olympics' longest ever three-set match against Milos Raonic on Tuesday -- while Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray took much quicker routes into the third round.

French fifth seed Tsonga outlasted Canada's Raonic 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in a gruelling tie whose 66 games were the most ever seen in a three-set Olympic tennis match.

The 48-game final set was also the longest set in Olympic history, a record that takes into account all men's and women's matches in both singles and doubles.

The epic encounter overtook Canada's Carling Bassett-Seguso and Jill Hetherington's three-set doubles win over Mexico's Jill Hetherington and Mercedes Paz Gabriela Sabatini at Seoul 1988, which clocked in at 63 games.

In Olympic singles, only the five-set 76-game encounter between Gordon Lowe and Augustos Zerlendis in Antwerp in 1920 has featured more games. Time records are not available for all Olympic matches.

"It's good because this is the only way to write my name in history for the moment. With Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer) and Novak (Djokovic), even Andy (Murray), it's tough to go through big tournaments," Tsonga said.

"It's something special because I dreamed about Olympics when I was kid. And now it came true. It's maybe better than in my dream. I'm really happy. I hope I will have some more (history)."

While Tsonga was on court for three hours and 56 minutes, world number two Djokovic did not hang around as he crushed three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-1.

On the evidence of this brutal demolition in 54 minutes under the Centre Court roof, the 25-year-old, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Games in Beijing, is approaching peak form again after the disappointment of losing to Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Next up for Djokovic is a last-16 clash with Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who rolled back the years with a surprise 6-4, 7-5 win over Croatian 13th seed Marin Cilic.

"It would mean a lot to me," Djokovic said when asked where a gold medal would rank in his career.

"It would be probably right up there with all the grand slams that I won because I'm playing here for my country. That's something that we as tennis players don't get to experience too much."

British hope Murray had set the pace earlier on Centre Court when the world number four defeated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 6-4 in just over an hour.

The 25-year-old, who hit 26 winners to Nieminen's six, will face Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis in the last 16 in a rematch of this year's late-night Wimbledon third round clash.

"It was good. I played well at the start of the match," Murray said. "I think he was a bit nervous at the start. He played a bad first game and I played some good tennis."

Also advancing to the last 16 in the men's singles were Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, who beat Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-2, and Japan's Kei Nishikori, a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 winner over Russia's Nikolay Davydenko.

In the women's singles second round, Maria Sharapova set up a revenge mission against Sabine Lisicki as the Russian world number three beat Britain's Laura Robson 7-6 (7/5) 6-3.

Sharapova lost her world number one ranking after losing to Lisicki in the Wimbledon fourth round earlier this month, but the French Open champion will have a chance to make amends by knocking out the German when they clash in the last 16.

"She's an extremely difficult opponent, I lost to her just a few weeks ago here at Wimbledon and she played at a really high level," Sharapova said.

"I hope I'll change a few things around in order to change the result."

Also moving into the last 16 was world number one Victoria Azarenka, who thrashed Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-2.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/tsonga-wins-record-breaker-stars-race-211006233--oly.html

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Military kids get boost from 'brigade'

Nevada County is well-known for its groups and individuals who support local military veterans and their families.
Through August, Chaplain Dennis ...

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Source: http://www.theunion.com/ARTICLE/20120730/COMMUNITY/120729740/1058/RSS

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Romney comments at fundraiser outrage Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) ? Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."

"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian reaction to Romney was swift and pointed.

"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," Erekat added. "He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority."

As criticism mounted while Romney traveled to Poland, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: "His comments were grossly mischaracterized." The Republican's campaign contends Romney's comparison of countries that are close to each other and have wide income disparities ? the U.S. and Mexico, Chile and Ecuador ? shows his comments were broader than just the comparison between Israel and Palestine.

While speaking to U.S. audiences, Romney often highlights culture as a key to economic success and emphasizes the power of the American entrepreneurial spirit compared to the values of other countries. But his decision to highlight cultural differences in a region where such differences have helped fuel violence for generations raises new questions about the former businessman's diplomacy skills.

As he has at home, Romney in Jerusalem cited a book titled, "Guns, Germs and Steel," that suggests the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there.

"And you look at Israel and you say you have a hard time suggesting that all of the natural resources on the land could account for all the accomplishment of the people here," Romney said, before citing another book, "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations," by former Harvard professor David Landes.

This book, Romney said in Jerusalem, concludes that "if you could learn anything from the economic history of the world it's this: Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference."

The economic disparity between the Israelis and the Palestinians is actually much greater than Romney stated. Israel had a per capita gross domestic product of about $31,000 in 2011, while the West Bank and Gaza had a per capita GDP of just over $1,500, according to the World Bank.

Romney, seated next to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson at the head of the table, told donors that he had read books and relied on his own business experience to understand why the difference is so great.

His comparison of the two economies did not take into account the stifling effect the Israeli occupation has had on the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem ? areas Israel captured in 1967 where the Palestinians hope to establish a state.

In the West Bank, Palestinians have only limited self-rule. Israel controls all border crossings in and out of the territory, and continues to restrict Palestinian trade and movement. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967, but has invested much less heavily there than in Jewish west Jerusalem.

And although Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it continues to control access and has enforced a crippling border blockade since the Islamic militant Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

It's true that Israel has logged tremendous achievements, said Abraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Inter-Disciplinary Center outside of Tel Aviv. But "you can understand this remark in several ways," he added. "You can say it's anti-Semitic. 'Jews and money.'"

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund repeatedly have said that the Palestinian economy can only grow if Israel lifts those restrictions.

"It's Israeli occupiers and Palestinians under occupation, and that's why Palestinians cannot realize their potential," Erekat said.

The breakfast with top donors ? including Adelson, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer ? concluded Romney's visit to Israel, the second leg of a three-nation overseas tour designed to bolster his foreign policy credentials.

Standing on Israeli soil for the first time as the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, Romney on Sunday declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and said the U.S. has promised never to "look away from our passion and commitment to Israel."

The status of Jerusalem is a critical issue in peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

In Israel, Romney did not meet with Abbas or visit the West Bank. He met briefly with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Romney's campaign says the trip, which began in England last week, is aimed at improving the former Massachusetts governor's foreign policy experience through a series of meetings with foreign leaders. The candidate has largely avoided direct criticism of U.S. President Barack Obama while on foreign soil.

The Jerusalem fundraiser, however, was a political event that raised more than $1 million for Romney's campaign. It marks at least the second finance event during his tour. The first, in London, attracted about 250 people to a $2,500-per-person fundraiser.

Both presidential candidates have aggressively courted American donors living abroad, a practice that is legal and has been used for decades.

Romney's declaration that Jerusalem is Israel's capital was in keeping with claims made by Israeli governments for decades, even though the United States, like other nations, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

His remarks on the subject during a speech drew a standing ovation from the audience, which included Adelson, the American businessman who has promised to donate more than $100 million to help defeat Obama.

Adelson was among a several donors who flew to Israel for a day of sightseeing with Romney in addition to private meetings with top Israeli officials.

Romney flew to the Middle East from Britain, where he caused a stir by questioning whether officials there were fully prepared for the Olympic Games. A stop in Poland will complete his trip.

Four years ago, Obama visited Israel as a presidential candidate, part of a five-nation trip meant to establish his own foreign policy credentials.

A goal of Romney's overseas trip is to demonstrate his confidence on the world stage, but the stop in Israel also was designed to appeal to evangelical voters at home and cut into Obama's support among Jewish voters and donors. A Gallup survey of Jewish voters released Friday showed Obama with a 68-25 edge over Romney.

Romney and other Republicans have said Obama is insufficiently supportive of Israel.


Associated Press writers Amy Teibel in Jerusalem and Steve Peoples in Washington contributed to this report.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/romney-comments-fundraiser-outrage-palestinians-115109978.html

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Sarah Palin Cuts TV Ad for Sarah Steelman in Missouri Senate Race

Sarah Palin is leaping to the assistance of a fellow "mama grizzly" in Missouri.

Sarah Steelman, who has enjoyed the backing of Tea Partiers in Missouri's three-way Republican Senate primary, received Palin's endorsement earlier this month. Now, Palin is appearing in a TV ad for Steelman in the race's closing stretch.

Steelman for Senate unveiled Palin's ad on YouTube today:

Despite backing from Palin and national group Tea Party Express, Steelman, 54, is an underdog in the state's Aug. 7 primary. John Brunner, a businessman who has spent nearly $7 million of his own money on the race and who is backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, leads Steelman 33 percent to 27 percent, according to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 23-35. Rep. Todd Akin trailed in third with 17 percent.

All three Republicans lead incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, according to the poll.

Also Read

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/sarah-palin-cuts-tv-ad-sarah-steelman-missouri-211552325--abc-news-politics.html

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Video Reaffirms Alleged iPhone 5 Assembled From Parts [Video]

Hot on the heels of the weekend's tantalizing images of what the iPhone 5 may look like, based on an assembly of leaked components, comes a video which shows the same alleged device. More »

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/HEfLj1vJU9Q/video-reaffirms-alleged-iphone-5-assembled-from-parts

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Sunday, July 29, 2012


Early in these games, one of the most popular places in Olympic Park has been atop a grassy hill where the Olympic rings stand and overlook the park. It's a breathtaking view, and there were long lines throughout the day Saturday as visitors scaled the hill to get their pictures taken under the rings.

"It's spectacular," says Karen Kennedy, who came from Chicago with her teenage sons Stratford and Robert. "It's just a shock that this oasis is here in a bustling urban area."

See the view here: http://yfrog.com/kj5xczzj

?Jon Krawczynski ? Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski


EDITOR'S NOTE ? "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2012-07-28-OLY-Eyes-on-London/id-8949618f0d9a44a197108a39f2136859

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Open Source CMS ? Ease Your Website Creation | Website Thinking

CMS or content management systems are designed to control the content circulation within a website. There are several types of CMS techniques, of which the open source content management system has obtained most popularity. The CMS model to be chosen relies on the type of website you are planning to make. CMS once set up can be run by anyone without having much specialized knowledge. This ease of use, versatility and extensibility provided makes content management system an efficient organizer.

A website content management system stores data in a database and will have a presentation layer that will supply data to the website visitors. It will also include custom templates that can be used for website design and layout. You can get web content management system developed by various service providers online. They can perform the initial set up of the website for a nominal charge if you are not from a technical background. It is very much easy for you to take it up from that point.

There are quite a lot of advantages in using an open source cms in websites development. A non-technical person might wonder how he can publish information to a website and operate it without impacting the end user. Well, all this problems are well managed by the cms. Once the website is set up with a web cms, anyone without a specialized know-how can easily publish and upgrade information according to the business specifications. The program usually allows you manage any type of information which range from written text, pictures and video clips. Another wonderful thing about using a cms is that it is easy to modify material of every web page of your website by modifying just one resource data file since it follow the same structure for every web page coming under it. It can act as a central management panel with which you can have complete control over the website from single point.

Scalability offered by such open source cms are quite high that it is found to be far effective under scenarios where you want to add multiple domains and sub domains. The system can efficiently add new domains without affecting the main site and without having to do multiple installations. The custom templates provided under CMS can be used to change the complete look of your website without affecting the content stored and displayed. Cost effectiveness of web content management systems however depends on if you are of a technical back ground or not. There are free and paid versions of CMS available online. If you are confident in your technical knowledge, there are lot many open source content management systems from various service providers. You can easily adapt to them and tailor it according to your requirements. iScripts Easycontent is one such open source web content management system that incorporates number of features and modules required for creating outstanding business websites. Key features of flexibility, scalability and versatility offered by such content management systems can help you deliver websites as you envision them.

Tags: cms, content management system

Source: http://www.websitethinking.com/open-source-cms-ease-your-website-creation/

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80% Research Products on Web, Most use Social Media Tools for ...

80% Research Products on Web, Most use Social Media Tools for Peer Opinions before Buying

Web Consulting, SEO and Social Media

San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) October 30, 2011

According to a new survey, 80% of consumers always ? or almost always ? use the internet to research products, and most use social media tools for peer opinions before making a purchasing decision, says veteran San Antonio SEO consultant and social media coach Jon Donley.

Results of the new survey illustrate the increasing influence of the internet in the marketplace, and the growing power of search, social tools and business reviews and ratings, Donley said.

The survey, commissioned by San Antonio web design and search consulting firm Cook Profitability Services, also illustrates the fading use and influence of the telephone book as a resource for consumers.

Consumer internet research

More than 80% of survey recipients say they always or almost always research products ? electronics, movies, appliances, cars, clothes, etc. ? on the internet before purchase. Another 16% reported that they sometimes research products on the web. Only about 3% say they seldom, if ever, do internet research.

The majority of respondents (52%) also always or almost always research professional service providers ? such as medical, dental, legal, plumbing, etc. Another 31% say they sometimes research these providers on the web. Only 17% say they seldom, if ever, do such research.

Only 10% of respondents say they always, or almost always, use the traditional telephone book for product or service research. Nearly 70% say they seldom, if ever, use the telephone book. A remaining 20% say they occasionally use the book. And less than a quarter say they use the online version of the phone directory.

Consumers use a mix of online tools as they research goods and services, but overwhelmingly, search engines are the leading tool. They survey allowed respondents to select all the tools they use. The results are as follows:

????Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) ? 96%

????Customer reviews (Yelp, Yahoo Local, City Search, Google Places, etc.) ? 63%

????Company site or online store (Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com, etc.) ? 53%

????Social media sites (Facebook, Linkedin, Google +, Twitter, etc.) ? 44%

????Professional reviews (movie critics, music critics, restaurant critics, etc.) ? 43%

????Online directories (yellowpages.com, etc.) ? 22%

????Better Business Bureau, government sites or media reports ? 15%

The survey underlined the importance of social media in consumer purchasing decisions, especially the opinions of other consumers.

?This is supported by many studies,? Donley said. ?Word of mouth has always been the holy grail of marketing. Now it?s been empowered by the web, and people are hungry to know what their peers think when they make decisions.?

The Facebook giant

And while Facebook ? at 800 million active members ? is the poster child for social, it?s only a part of the puzzle. Social media includes any internet-enabled tool that allows users to contribute or share content with others. This can range from blogs, comments, forums, photo- and video-sharing sites, email, news feeds and powerful business rating and review sites.

The CPS survey questioned its respondents about their use of some major social tools and sites. (Survey members were allowed to choose all that applied from this specific list.)

????Facebook ? 86%

????You Tube ? 62%

????Twitter ? 44%

????Linkedin ? 28%

????Forums/bulletin boards ? 27%

????Blogs ? 23%

????Flickr ? 16%

????MySpace ? 16%

????Other ? 7%

????Picasa ? 5%

????Digg ? 4%

????Vimeo ? 3%

????Reddit ? 3%

????Del.icio.us ? 3%

?The survey shows that connected consumers have energetically embraced the power of the internet to make informed purchasing decisions,? Donley said. ?Their research almost always starts on a search engine, which in turn is a gateway into customer review and rating sites, company sites and stores, and to editorial reviews. Peer recommendations and reviews are a powerful influence, and a large majority has rejected goods or services because of them.?

For businesses trying to decide on their marketing budget allotments, he said, the survey results flag some important issues.

About Cook Profitability Services

CPS is a national full-service marketing, new media development and management consulting firm, based in San Antonio, specializing in comprehensive profitability services for dental practices and professional offices.

About Jon Donley

Jon is Cook Profitability Service?s public relations and marketing director. His 30-plus years of journalism and online experience include founding and management of market-leading news sites in San Antonio and New Orleans. He directed and expanded a social media network on NOLA.com that was credited with the rescue and reunion of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims; he shared in the 2006 Pulitzer prizes for Public Service and Breaking News.



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Vocus, PRWeb, and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.

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Source: http://techoffersdirect.com/hardware-deals/80-research-products-on-web-most-use-social-media-tools-for-peer-opinions-before-buying.html

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Angel Wisdom: Angel Wisdom with Sharon Taphorn ~ Friendship

Forge strong relationships and friendships

Relationships are part of the human experience and desire to be fostered. Take some time out of your day to be a friend to another and in turn, you will attract friendships based on mutual support and understanding. You don't always have to agree with your friends, just be one. Ask your angels to help you attract more spiritually based friendships that are a balance of give and take, of inhalation, and exhalation, and to help blossom your existing relationships to new heights.

You deserve caring and loving people in your life, who treat you with love and respect always, just as it is equally important for you to be that for others. Cultivate your existing relationships with the harmony and balance that you seek and allow for healing to take place where it needs to. Call upon archangel Raguel to assist with this healing as he is the perfect mediator and can help bring harmony and co-operation into any situation.

Affirmation: "I attract friendly, loving, and kind people into my life."

Have a blessed day and know you are loved and supported, always, the angels

Thank you, Mahalo, Merci, Gracias, Vielen Dank, Grazie, ???????, Obrigado, ??, Dank, ??, Chokran,D?kuji,Kiitos

Article Copyright ?2012 by Sharon Taphorn

All rights reserved.

Let there be peace in your heart

Love unconditionally

Source: http://playingwiththeuniverse.blogspot.com/2012/07/angel-wisdom-with-sharon-taphorn_28.html

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Fast and Simple Guidelines to Minimize Calories | Body Fitness and ...

28 July

By now you?ve probably been told that if you want to lose weight you need to cut down on the amount of calories you consume every day. Low calorie foods are also recommended with the typical advice to stop eating junk foods. Well, that is not always the best way to go for a lot of reasons. It is possible to lose weight, and keep it off, while you continue to eat snack foods within reason. The world is full of food that taste really good and you can eat what you like and minimize calories. You can achieve that with the right knowledge, and it all starts here, today.

There is some hope for you in the snack foods department ? no need for complete abstinence. There is nothing wrong with being moderate in your approach to snack food consumption. Take a look at the portion capacity of the bags of those snacks you buy, and you will notice they are always more than one. Even those little bags of chips that cost only a dollar can contain several portions. What we suggest is you eat half that little bag which will be roughly one serving. Instead of using a big plate, choose a smaller one. Believe it or not, this really will help you cut calories. It stands to reason that a bigger dish will entice you to fill it all the way. You cannot add extra food onto your plate if there is no room. This will allow you to eat smaller amounts of the foods you normally eat. A plate that is a couple inches smaller that your usual ones will drop your food intake percentage by twenty five percent. You can pretty much say goodbye to about five hundred calories per meal by using this tactic.

It would be a good idea to decrease the use coffee enhancers, like cream for example. Once you add a bunch of stuff like syrups and flavored sweeteners, you have just increased the calorie content by seven hundred calories or so per cup. Amazingly, in one lonely cup! When you simply do not think you can get started without your morning coffees try a shot of espresso with a tad bit of whipped cream to top it off. By this simple change, you will cut upwards of six hundred calories out of your daily intake and will barely notice a difference.

If you look honestly at what you do each day, we know you can find several ways to put more activity into your life so you can get rid of those calories. This is all about being a little smarter about the decisions you make each day when it comes to food and drink and activity. We have to remind you that you should always be careful about exercise if you have medical conditions, and talking to your doctor first is a smart move.

You can also have measures in place to help prevent motivation issues in the first place. You can add variety exercises and you can also utilize some sort of fitness equipment like Air Climber within your fitness training, then you can also use add some sort of safe and secure fitness exercises to further assist you in your physical fitness routine, just make sure to choose the appropriate equipment that suites your needs. Apply what you?ve just learned right now.

Learn some Power Rack ideas from Barry Stoner. He can guide you on how to lose weight and acquire an amazing, slender and great body posture like performing Home Workouts.

Source: http://www.bodyprogressions.net/fast-and-simple-guidelines-to-minimize-calories/

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Watch This Space (talking-points-memo)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories Stories, News Feeds and News via Feedzilla.

Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/238429384?client_source=feed&format=rss

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Healthy Food Choices for Eczema | Diet-Fitness-Health-Healthy Aging

one food that is not alays commonly known is?..ORANGES!!! I can drink orange juice alright but tried switcing ot eating raw oranges instead, and guess what, I got a flareup on my hands the very net day while handling them? again (I cut them up myself),

There is no one cure for all, but I hope this shows you to pay attention and one lesser known culprit is oranges!!! Hope this helps someone.

Source: http://myveryhealthy.com/todays-healthcare/healthy-food-choices-for-eczema.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=healthy-food-choices-for-eczema

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Romney resume from 2002 in focus amid Olympic rift

Avoiding a traffic jam, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks down Grosvenor Place in London to meet Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the Embassy of Ireland, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Avoiding a traffic jam, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks down Grosvenor Place in London to meet Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the Embassy of Ireland, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Avoiding a traffic jam, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is recognized by bystander as he walks down Grosvenor Place to meet Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the Embassy of Ireland in London, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney meets with Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the Embassy of Ireland in London, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(AP) ? On a trip already marked by misstep, Mitt Romney has an Olympic history that could prove problematic: His stewardship of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, while widely celebrated, was not without controversy.

Romney and his wife, Ann, are set to attend the opening ceremony at the Summer Games on Friday, an event that punctuates the first leg of a three-nation tour that will also take him to Israel and Poland. It's the first international swing for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who has crafted an itinerary designed to showcase his diplomatic skills and political strengths.

The Olympic appearance carries special significance for Romney. His political career was born out of his leading role at the Salt Lake City Games, which were plagued by scandal before he was tapped to take over.

"I can't resist the pull of the beginning of the Olympics here," Romney told reporters Thursday. "My experience as an Olympic organizer is that there are always a few very small things that end up not going quite right in the first day or so ? these get ironed out and then when the games themselves begin and the athletes take over, all the mistakes of the organizing committee ? and I made a few ? all of those are overwhelmed by the many things that the athletes carry out and by the spirit of the games."

Romney's comments were aimed at downplaying his earlier suggestion that British officials might not be prepared to pull off a successful Olympics. In an interview with NBC News, he called London's problems with games preparation "disconcerting." The remark sparked sharp responses from Britain's top officials.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Romney and other doubters would "see beyond doubt that Britain can deliver." London Mayor Boris Johnson told tens of thousands gathered in Hyde Park: "There's a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes, we are!"

On Friday, the former Massachusetts governor said "it looks to me like London is ready," although he observed in a subsequent NBC interview that "it is hard to put on the Games in a major metropolitan area."

Asked about the stir his earlier remarks caused, he said "I'm absolutely convinced that the people here are ready for the Games, and in just a few moments, all the things the politicians say will be swept away" by excitement over the competition.

Later in the day, Romney discussed economics with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the Irish Embassy in London. The Republican had to walk there from his hotel because of snarled traffic related to the Olympics.

Romney again raised eyebrows Friday when he referred to looking out of the "back side" of 10 Downing Street, Cameron's residence, to see the beach volleyball stadium and after he let slip that he'd met with the head of MI-6, Britain's intelligence agency. Briefings with British spy chiefs usually are kept secret.

"I also applaud the organizers for bringing the Olympic experience right into the heart of London, if you look out of the back side of 10 Downing Street you'll see a venue having been constructed," Romney told reporters.

The negative attention distracted from Romney's push to highlight the U.S.-British bond and bolster his foreign policy credentials as he auditions for the world's most powerful elected office. The Olympic focus also brought fresh attention to his actions in Utah a decade ago.

"The country is in need of a turnaround. The Olympics was a turnaround," Romney told CNN in an interview broadcast early Friday as London slept. "The attacks that come by people who are trying to knock down my business career, or my Olympic experience or our success, those attacks are not going to be successful."

Such attacks have been plentiful in recent months, even though the Salt Lake City Olympics came off smoothly and were considered a success for athletes and spectators at the time.

Democrats and even some Republicans have criticized Romney for taking credit for the 2002 games' success while relying on federal funding to help cover costs as the Salt Lake Olympics sought to recover from financial mismanagement and corruption.

Romney took over the games in 1999 after its leaders were accused of sending money to members of the International Olympic Committee to help Salt Lake City win the games.

By Romney's account, the government spent about $600 million helping the Salt Lake Olympic Committee. An additional $1.1 billion was planned for projects like roads and bridges, infrastructure improvement projects that the government probably would have paid for eventually, though the timing of the games may have sped up the construction.

Romney has made himself the very public face of the effort, claiming that he personally cut millions from the budget, wooed major companies and won sponsorships himself and pulled the whole endeavor back from the brink of failure. His record in Salt Lake was the cornerstone of his run for governor in Massachusetts, a campaign he announced in March 2002, just weeks after the games concluded.

Romney, who promises to slash federal spending if elected, rarely acknowledges the federal support for the 2002 games on the campaign trail. His aides say much of it was for increased security costs after the 2001 terrorist attacks, which occurred about five months earlier.

But Romney doesn't mention the commitments the government already had made to cover costs associated with the games ? or elaborate on his role in persuading congressional appropriators and critics to give the games more money.

In the 2004 book he wrote about the games, "Turnaround," Romney outlined how he revamped the Salt Lake Olympic Committee's lobbying operations in Washington and elsewhere. In one instance, he highlights how he made arrangements for different states to send experienced bus drivers to Utah. He helped arrange to pay them union wages, he wrote in the book ? and he persuaded the federal government to pick up the tab.

One of the lessons he learned: "If you work at it long enough, there is always another way to get the help you need in Washington," he wrote.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama may have upstaged Romney's weekend visit to Israel by signing a bill that expands military and civilian cooperation with the U.S. ally. Romney, a critic of the president's policy toward Israel, said he was happy to see improved cooperation but questioned Obama's commitment to the region.

In London, first lady Michelle Obama is also scheduled to appear at Friday's opening ceremony, in addition to other events. She and Romney are expected to avoid the same venues.

Romney said he would attend at least one event besides the opening ceremony. The family has a horse competing in an equestrian event. But Romney told Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that he would prefer to watch swimming.


"That's just what's been arranged. It fits in the schedule," Romney said. "Swimming is always fun, and Americans typically do well in swimming."


Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writer David Stringer in London contributed to this report.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2012-07-27-Romney-Olympics/id-3c8e9ee942dc4655a2c9dbdc00297472

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Use Several Video Distribution Websites ? Internet | Arty Apt

Social media optimization is another aspect of search engine optimization. Nowadays social media sites helps a lot to connect throughout the world whether for better professional relationship or for personal relationship. SMO helps to create brand image for an organization.

Are you on the search for music for your photography website? If you are, then read this article first as you may be shooting yourself in the foot. As you are probably aware, many photography website templates, especially the flash ones, will let you upload music files that will play automatically when a visitor opens the page. While this may seem like a good idea to you, it is best to consider the effect that this may have as it is probably not what you intended.

Of course there are several other exciting features that HTML5 can provide, especially when it is paired with CSS3 or jQuery. Web designers and developers will be experimenting with the potential of this new technology in the months and years to come, creating new ways to leverage HTML5 for unique and dynamic web designs.

portfolio websites

Download, install and run blogging software such as WordPress on the server of your website. This process is fairly easily and comes with clear instructions and support if needed.

The web development company provides all the services, which are ideally suited for mainstream online web business. To get popularity in web business, it is necessary for every company to improve overall services at the same time. And social media and search engine techniques need to be upgraded every time with the updating web trends, it will help to increase the traffic for the company website.

When visitors arrive on your website, they would immediately want to know what it is about and what is it that you do. Thus, it is important to create a tagline that summarizes the basic purpose of the website in a simple sentence. Your tagline should be short and crisp so that your visitors not only know what you do, but also are impressed by it.

Why?Numerous research have verified that classic promoting is an indispensable medium in influencing the behavior of shoppers, equally in the online globe or otherwise. Common advertising and marketing tactics can reinforce the message conveyed from its on the web counterparts. That currently being reported, you shouldn?t neglect the marketing abilities that the Television, radio, print, and other classic mediums have in delivering your company to audiences across the entire world.

Website development service includes web design, logo design, web development applications, high-end technology installations etc, to give a professional brand to your website an internet for better business practices.

Use the above guidelines and your website will thrive. Additionally, it makes it easy for you to revise your site with new content.
online portfolio

Source: http://artyapt.com/blog/use-several-video-distribution-websites-internet/

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Binghams' Budget & Design Friendly Family Home House Tour ...


Name: Nic, Kirsten, Daphne, 3 and Ari, 2 months
Location: Stapleton, Denver Colorado
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 11 months; Own

When Nic and Kirsten started house hunting last spring, they never dreamed they could afford a brand new home in one of Denver's most progressive, family-friendly neighborhoods. The Binghams desired a safe, kid-friendly neighborhood for their growing family, but were skeptical about finding exactly what they were looking for in Denver on their very limited budget. But after a bit of research, they discovered they were eligible for the Stapleton Affordable Housing Program and started the process of buying their very first home.


Before signing on the dotted line, the Binghams had to consider a few reasonable requirements that came along with purchasing an income restricted home: the approximate percentage appreciation restriction per year, and the fact that, when they are ready to move, the home must again be sold as an Income Qualified property.

Nic and Kirsten have added fabulous touches to the home (including 2 month old Ari!) since moving in just 11 months ago. A few of my favorite decor elements are the DIY sunburst mirror in the living room and Daphne's "work station" in her and Ari's shared bedroom. The kitchen and bathrooms are slated for paint and artwork in the near future (or just as soon as Kirsten and Nic can get a full night's sleep), but for now the family is busy spending time together at the neighborhood pool and enjoying the summer.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Kid-Friendly Mid Century.

Inspiration: Mad Men and 60's rock & roll.

Favorite Element: The art throughout our house.

Biggest Challenge: MONEY! We are two young graphic designers (plus we have two kids) so I feel like we are far from having our "dream furniture", but we've done a lot with a very limited budget. I don't think we have spent more than $1000 on furniture/decor since moving into our house. Nic and I have never wanted a big house, but eventually we would love to have a small, light filled ranch with beautifully designed furniture.

What Friends Say: We were born in the wrong decade.

Biggest Embarrassment: : The kitchen cabinets, bathrooms (we want to completely re-do them ? that is why they are not pictured), our messy band room (converted from a 1-car garage ? also not pictured), and our brown "leather" couch which is totally falling apart.

Proudest DIY: My desk. We bought it off of Craigslist for $40 and it was covered in 4 layers of nasty paint. We spent a few days in the garage with my dad stripping, sanding and staining it. I love it so much now

Biggest Indulgence: The sputnik light in our entry and our wood floors which we installed ourselves.

Best Advice: It really doesn't matter what other people think. It's your house ? LOVE it.

Dream Sources: Mod Livin', Design Within Reach, old people's basements.

Resources of Note:




    ? Brown couch: Ikea
    ? Charcoal love seat: Urban Outfitters
    ? Warhol poster: Allposters.com
    ? VW ad: antique fair
    ? Radio (stand for the red lamp): ModMood
    ? Wood end table: Will Bussard design
    ? Arc lamp: cb2
    ? Desk: Craigslist
    ? White Eames chair: Mod Livin'
    ? Yellow ombr? rug: shadesoflight.com
    ? Coffee table: Horseshoe Market
    ? Record player: Garage sale
    ? Record stand: ModMood
    ? Gold sunburst mirror: DIY
    ? Green chair: estate sale


      ? Bed/night stands: Ikea
      ? Canvas over bed: Kirsten painted for Nic
      ? Ottoman: Nic's great grandma's
      ? Rocker: Amazon
      ? Fan, Globe: Horseshoe Market
      ? Yellow dresser: Craigslist/DIY
      ? Ello There, January Jones Prints, Petite Collage & unknown artists (Photo by Nic)
      ? Typewriter: Thrift
      ? Record cabinet: yard sale
      ? Bedding: Crate & Barrel


      ? Bunk Bed: Ikea
      ? Bedding: Ikea
      ? Bookshelves: Ikea spice rack DIY
      ? Monster pillow: DIY
      ? Prints: collageorama, water color by Daphne, Rob Mack & family portrait by BunnyPumpkin
      ? Toddler bed: Wal-Mart
      ? Changing table: Ikea
      ? Changing table pad cover: DIY by Kirsten's sister- fabric: Fancy Tiger Crafts

    Thanks, Nic, Kirsten, Daphne and Ari!

    (Images: Ashley Poskin )

    ? HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
    ? Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
    ? Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-binghams-affordable-housing-stapleton-home-house-tour-174516

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Cartoonists Take On The Debt Crisis

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Source: http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=1a312a8e0967967ea780b611df4b7d29

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Health and dental insurance packages - HEALTH, BEAUTY ...

health and dental insurance packagesEco- friendly tea can increase the potency of your natureal defenses. Medical health insurance is really a hot subject health and dental insurance packages for debate nowadays. Watermelons can be found throughout every season and therefore are grown for his or her fleshy, juicy and sweet fruit. The scientists, Professor Mark Dredze health and Ph. D. Pack a lot more than your usual supply when a weight trip abroad. It offers various positions, exercises, and breathing and meditation techniques. Wheatgrass encourages cellular repair and renewal. That ensures they are selling plenty of books. It? s also wise to choose regular pap smudges ( check- up) throughout your reproductive years for any good reproductive health. To keep a proper digestive tract you must have sufficient friendly bacteria inside your digestive tract. Employees who work on pools, particularly indoor ones, have the symptoms of a greater incidence of bronchial asthma- like signs and symptoms based on studies. Using the missing teeth changed, he is able to speak and eat without any trouble. Cigarettes contain numerous chemicals that aren? t only harmful to the mouth, as well as the vinegar entire body. Just like other thistles, you will find sharp spines round the edges from the leaves, and contains a dark pink thistle flower. Therefore will get eliminate numerous illnesses and discomforts like sleep issues, uneasyness, tooth pain, candida albicans and so forth. Corexit is Environmental protection agency approved with this use but is acknowledged to possess high toxicity levels. The greater you? re aware, the not as likely you should be cheated or refused claim. Additionally, it proves towards the perfect for aroma process that? s great for health. For instance, sleepwalking in youngsters could be associated with an actual health problem in addition to a mental health problem. Other nations appear to accept this. You will find dental numerous benefits present in some recommended food groups that you? re really missing out daily. You should make certain that you simply have only the very best vape that? s going to provide you with a great vapor in addition to likely to last a very long time. s . If you feel you? ve what must be done to go in and flourish in this area, it is now vinegar for health time health and dental insurance packages to really make it. Tulsi may grow as tall as two to three ft, it features a small whitened or crimson- tinged flowers. Consuming twenty tart cherries has enough ingredients to reduce the effects of the enzymes active in tissue inflammation. insurance Proper planning for is the easiest method to safeguard your ones you like. Better Heart Health with Fish So many people are thinking about eating meals that can help them stay alive for extended. Donate. Low leptin levels may increase appetite, resulting in putting on weight. A purification protocol will have to be created ensure radiation levels are secure for travel and export. 10) Make sure that your workers are adequately been trained in quality improvement and understand their contributions in guaranteeing total client satisfaction. If So, How To Prevent Them? Therefore it only is sensible that you would like to look around for reasonable health insurance online quotes for the family. Think about the lighting, the pc and also the health seating. Group Medical Health Insurance Inside a group and insurance the workers are supplied insurance policy by their packages employees. You will find many insurance companies that may offer much greater insurance deductibles as options that are offered in plans F and J. Chocolate reduces the cholesterol level in body, thus supplying several advantages to blood circulation system.

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Do household items may play a role within this? One is uncovered to . 1 millisievert of radiation throughout a chest x- ray, however During these plans the paperwork is less and also the physician will claim the expense incurred, in the insurance provider. Based on a study Today, because of intense competition in nearly every area, one is inside a stronger position to exercise his energy while choosing any service or This describes what you ought to know before declaring benefits. You will need to take a look at coverage with an annual basis to The password shouldn? t be revealed to the one unless of course and until they? re approved to handle info. GizmoHealth. com can offer

Source: http://curryrecipe-jp.net/health-2/health-and-dental-insurance-packages/

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Build NYC Approves Tax-Exempt Financing For Four New York City ...

New York, NY ? July 25, 2012 ? (RealEstateRama) ? Build NYC Resource Corporation (Build NYC) today approved approximately $75.6 million in tax-exempt financing to assist four New York City non-profits. Seaview Senior Living Housing Development Fund Corporation, a not-for-profit organization formed by The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and Leewood-Seaview, was approved for approximately $33.6 million in tax-exempt bonds. The proceeds from the bonds will be used by Seaview to construct a 103,000 square foot 188-bed assisted living and memory care facility and an 11,500 square foot building for social and recreational use by residents, as well as to renovate a historical landmark building for visitors . The Seaview development, to be located on a 15-acre site on Brielle Avenue between Walcott Avenue and Rockland Avenue in the Willowbrook neighborhood, is expected to break ground in fall 2012, and will create 84 new jobs once open. The three additional projects approved for tax-exempt financing were All Stars Project, Inc., The Browning School, and HealthCare Chaplaincy, Inc.

Build NYC also approved the transaction proposed by Hutch Tower Two LLC which will construct the core and shell, as well as a portion of the tenant improvements, of a 280,000 square foot office building to be located within the Hutchinson Metro Center in the Bronx. This transaction will allow Build NYC to confer a mortgage recording tax exemption of approximately $1.4 million to be passed through to Montefiore Medical Center, which will be leasing the entire building.

?With five more projects assisted this month, Build NYC continues to distinguish itself as a critical resource for City non-profits looking to reduce costs and finance new expansion projects,? said Build NYC Chairman Seth W. Pinsky. ?In particular, the financing approved for the Seaview Senior Living Housing Development marks an extraordinarily important milestone for this project, which will soon greatly benefit Staten Island?s growing senior community.?

?Met Council and Seaview Senior Living Corp are very pleased and fortunate to be working with the NYC Economic Development Corp (EDC) on the issuance of over $30 million in Build NYC Bonds for the construction of 188 affordable, assisted living beds on Staten Island,? said Met Council CEO William E. Rapfogel. ?The Seaview project is the first of its kind and the product of many years of work in partnership with EDC, the NY City Council, and our team of developers, architects, financial consultants and other professionals. We look forward to beginning construction this fall and, most importantly, to providing truly affordable safe housing for a vulnerable under-served population.?

?Staten Island is in much need of senior housing for our growing senior population. The vote today by Build NYC will help the Seaview Senior Housing project become a reality. After many delays it is heartwarming to me that this project is moving forward,? said Borough President James P. Molinaro.

All Stars Project, Inc., located at 543 West 42nd Street, is a not-for-profit organization that provides arts and cultural education activities to underserved youth. All Stars was approved for approximately $11 million in tax-exempt financing to refinance existing debt.

The Browning School, a not-for-profit private preparatory school for boys, was approved for up to approximately $11 million in tax-exempt financing to finance the renovation and expansion of the School?s main facilities at 52 East 62nd Street. The renovation and expansion of the school will include a lower level expansion to accommodate a new cafeteria, an upgraded lobby, library, technology center, science lab and art studio. The renovation and expansion project is anticipated to commence in June 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by August 2014.

HealthCare Chaplaincy, Inc., a not -for-profit organization providing services and programs relating to the research, education and practice of innovative palliative care, was approved for up to approximately $20 million in tax-exempt financing which will be used to finance the construction, renovation, furnishing and equipping of condominium units comprising approximately 51,400 square feet of office space and parking facilities located within an approximately 195,000 square foot building to be constructed at 261 South Street in Lower East Side. The facilities will include the organizations? educational, research, clinical practice and administrative facilities, and a geriatric focused outpatient health care facility to be leased to Beth Israel Medical Center. In addition to the facilities, the building will house a 120-unlt assisted living residence for palliative care patients, providing comprehensive palliative care services and programs. The Building will be known as the National Center for Palliative Care Innovation and seek a LEED certification.

NYCIDA also today approved assistance for two projects. ERY Tenant, LLC, a joint venture between The Related Companies, L.P. and Oxford Properties Group Inc., was approved for approximately $106 million, over the next 19 years, in property tax reductions as part of a planned investment of $1.268 billion to build a new 1.84 million square foot, LEED certified, class-A office tower in Hudson Yards. The development will support approximately 5,000 jobs, and create approximately 3,750 construction jobs. Overall, the project will provide an economic benefit to the City worth over $500 million. In 2006, NYCIDA?s board unanimously approved an amendment to its Uniform Tax Exemption Policy (UTEP) to help spur future development at Hudson Yards by allowing for some property tax exemptions for all eligible projects in the area. The UTEP for Hudson Yards provided that the first 5 million square feet of development (west of 10th Avenue) could receive a 40% reduction in property tax payments phasing out over 19 years.

M.Fried Store Fixtures Inc., a display and fixture importer, distributor and installer; and Sturdy Store Displays Inc., a display manufacturer, plan to invest approximately $11 million? with the assistance of approximately $4.1 million in real-estate and sales-tax exemptions?to renovate and acquire an approximately 150,000 square foot facility at 101 Varick Avenue Bryant Avenue in Brooklyn. The project will result in the creation of two new jobs, and the retention of 110 existing jobs.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City?s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC?s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City?s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City?s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About Build NYC

The Build NYC Resource Corporation (Build NYC) is a conduit bond issuer administered by NYCEDC and assists qualified not-for-profit institutions and other entities in obtaining tax-exempt and taxable bond financing. To request information on Build NYC, call (212) 312-3600 or e-mail info (at) nycedc (dot) com.

The New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) is administered by NYCEDC and provides financing assistance to businesses, including small industrial and manufacturing companies. NYCIDA is a conduit agency that issues tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to assist eligible commercial, industrial, and other qualified entities to finance expansion opportunities. NYCIDA also offers qualified companies abatements on sales, real estate and mortgage taxes. To request information and details on NYCIDA programs, call (212) 312-3600 or e-mail info (at) nycedc (dot) com.

Patrick Muncie/Kyle Sklerov
212 312-3523



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Source: http://newyork.realestaterama.com/2012/07/25/build-nyc-approves-tax-exempt-financing-for-four-new-york-city-non-profit-institutions-ID02106.html

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

AT&T smartphone sales fall in 2Q, boosting net

FILE-This May 6, 2012, file photo, shows an AT&T sign at a store in New York. Following in Verizon's footsteps, AT&T said Wednesday, July 18, 2012, it will introduce wireless plans that let subscribers connect up to ten devices. Connected phones get unlimited calling and texting, and all devices get wireless data access. The devices tap into a limited pool of data usage, which get renewed each month. (AP Photo/CX Matiash, File)

FILE-This May 6, 2012, file photo, shows an AT&T sign at a store in New York. Following in Verizon's footsteps, AT&T said Wednesday, July 18, 2012, it will introduce wireless plans that let subscribers connect up to ten devices. Connected phones get unlimited calling and texting, and all devices get wireless data access. The devices tap into a limited pool of data usage, which get renewed each month. (AP Photo/CX Matiash, File)

FILE-In this May 6, 2012, file photo, a woman talks on her cell phone outside an AT&T store in New York. AT&T is seeing declining smartphone sales, leading to the best profitability ever in its wireless arm as it saves on phone subsidies. The largest telecommunications company in the U.S. says it activated 5.1 million smartphones in its latest quarter, down from 5.5 million in the same period a year ago. (AP Photo/CX Matiash,File)

(AP) ? AT&T Inc. on Tuesday said that it saw declining smartphone sales in the second quarter, leading to the best profitability ever in its wireless arm as it saves on phone subsidies.

The largest telecommunications company in the U.S. says it activated 5.1 million smartphones in its latest quarter, down from 5.5 million in the same period a year ago.

Much of the decline came because AT&T subscribers are holding on to their phones longer: the company said the rate of upgrades to new phones was at a record low.

That's good news for the company because the company subsidizes each smartphone by hundreds of dollars to be able to sell it to customers for $99 or $199. IPhones, in particular, are expensive to sell, because Apple charges an average of around $650 for each one.

However, AT&T charges subscribers an "upgrade fee" on top of the price of the new phone. It raised that fee from $18 to $36 this year, which may have helped dampen the number of upgrades.

But tighter upgrade policies don't seem to be scaring off AT&T subscribers. They were more loyal than ever in the quarter, helping AT&T outdo analyst expectations by adding a net 320,000 subscribers on postpaid plans in the quarter.

However, more than half of the new subscribers were tablet users, who pay less than smartphone users. Also, AT&T continues to lag Verizon Wireless, which already has more subscribers. Last week, Verizon reported adding 888,000 subscribers to its rolls in the quarter.

Analysts still expect AT&T's profits to take a dive later this year, when the new iPhone comes out. In a yearly ritual, buyers flood AT&T and Apple stores, and AT&T pays dearly for the privilege of having the nation's most popular network for iPhones.

The strong wireless results helped boost Dallas-based AT&T net income rise to $3.9 billion, or 66 cents per share, for the April to June period. That's up 8.7 percent from $3.6 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

For the latest quarter, analysts expected earnings of 63 cents per share.

Revenue edged up 0.3 percent to $31.6 billion. Analysts were expecting $31.7 billion. If it weren't for the sale of its phone-books business in May, revenue would have risen 2 percent.

AT&T sold a controlling stake in the Yellow Pages division to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital for $950 million. The unit was profitable but shrinking, and AT&T wants to be a growing company.

AT&T shares slipped 10 cents to $35.28 in morning trading Tuesday. The shares are still close to a three-year high of $36.21 hit three weeks ago.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2012-07-24-Earns-ATandT/id-6462164deb6d4bcc9639fb23d55f5302

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The Hybridization Effect

Console. Controller. Game. TV. Back in the glory days of of gaming, this was all you needed. Consoles did one thing, and they generally did it well, (well, save for the Jaguar, 5200, Sega 32x, CDI?) As a kid, I couldn?t wait to get home from school and bomb some Dodongos. It was a simpler time.

Today, video game systems are now able to do all sorts of things we never could have imagined back in the NES days. Streaming video via Netflix or Hulu Plus, playing DVDs and Blu-Rays, or even just surfing the net. It?s almost to a point to where using the term ?video game console? to describe any of the current gen systems is a bit of a misnomer because they aren?t just ?video game consoles.? It?s wild when you think about it. While all this isn?t necessarily a bad thing, it feels like gaming hardware today is trying to do too many things at once.

?m currently employed at a rather large gaming retailer, and have been in the gaming retail business for around 6+ years now at two different companies. I?ve noticed an increasing trend in this generation: when looking for a console, many customers ask for the pros and cons of each system, and the way I find myself describing them focuses less on the games and more on everything else it can do. Generally, this is because I find most customers are more interested in this aspect rather than the games. ?Oh yeah, the PS3 can play Blu-Ray discs, stream Netflix, etc. So if you?ve got a nice HD Entertainment set up, it can be a nice ?media hub? to round everything out.?

ustomers have this ?what else can it do? mentality that could be brought about by the crappy economy, no desire to actually play games (i.e. ?It?s for the kids?) or they just simply expect more from their consumer electronics. The latter feels like it?s been brought about by ?smartphones,? a term that I?ve come to loathe. Cell phones are no longer just phones. They?re gaming, web surfing, media streaming, social networking bricks with touch screens and crappy battery life. Oh, and you can check your e-mail too! This sort of ?hybridization effect? tends to detract from the device?s original function, or just results in no effort to making that function better. I feel like my iPhone 4 has about the same call quality that my old Samsung Alias had, and it was awesome.

o that extent, it could be said that gaming has been hamstrung by hybridization as well. The PS3, for instance, uses Blu-Ray so ?it can also be a Blu-Ray movie player,? but game load times are, at times, annoyingly long (?m looking at you, Mass Effect 2.) When it comes to the Xbox 360, Microsoft is guilty of some of the worst kinds of exploitation for the sake of making more money. In order to use Facebook, Netflix, or a myriad of other features, you have to purchase Xbox Live Gold. So if you only have a 360, you have to pay for Netflix, or whatever subscription based service you want to use, AND pay for a Gold Subscription. It?s outrageous, and this sort of thing is saturating the current gaming market, but that?s another discussion entirely.

o be fair, load times have always plagued any disc based electronics, but I do miss the days of putting in a cartridge, powering on the system and being able to start playing with no loading needed. Examples would be the NES, the Genesis or any myriad of old school, cartridge-based systems. Additionally, with the advent of online gaming, paying for services isn?t anything new, and keeping a stable online service up and available is really expensive. However, I just have to wonder exactly how much of a strain Netflix, Facebook and Twitter really cause on Xbox Live to warrant having to charge for a Gold Subscription in order to use them. It might seem silly to complain about any of these secondary services, but you have to wonder where the line will be drawn.

realize this article has basically been one huge complaint thus far, as though I?m an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn and take their Facebooks and Tweety Birds with them. Social media is essentially a glorified advertising system disguised as an augmented message board anyway. As a lifelong gamer, however, all these additional components tacked on to my consoles and games over the years bug the crap out of me. I?m all for progress, but it feels like console makers are focusing more on how many different markets they can horn in on and less about making gaming better. It makes sense from a business perspective, but as a gamer, it makes me yearn for a video game console that just plays video games, and does it well.

t?s funny, but as I was writing this article initially, I got a positive sign in the form of Ouya, the Android-based console that?s being financed on Kickstarter. As of the writing of this article, the project has quintupled its funding goal, with around 45,000 consoles already pre-purchased. It?s not quite a pure games console, as it can stream Twitch.tv, but with that it?s definitely a gamer?s machine. No Blu-Ray, No DVD, just games. Okay, and Twitch.tv. Having seen the Kickstarter, I can safely say I want one. Beyond its affordability at $99, it?s also intriguing in that it?s very open to any and all gamers, though it also feels like one of those oddities in gaming history that you always wish you had purchased before it became defunct just to say you have one.

People will still want their Xboxes, Nintendos and PlayStations, and whether or not Ouya will make Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony stand up and take notice is obviously hard to say at this point. The Big Three will no doubt keep moving along and making strides in turning their ?game consoles? into something else entirely, like a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. I?d like to think that Ouya could represent the return of a missing concept in gaming, that it could be an outlet for gamers who just want a console for games, whether they play them, make them or watch people play them on Twitch.tv. It?s a concept I?ve long thought dead, and I?m happy to see it return in some form.

Source: http://ontologicalgeek.com/the-hybridization-effect/

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