Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Opera; Holiday Mobile Home

Axel Enthoven, an architect from Belgium has designed the Opera, a revolutionary holiday mobile home. It's a canvas home which unfolds from a trailer and includes two beds, a toilet with hot and cold water, LED lights and also a mobile hub. It will be on display at the Design at Work trade fair in Belgium this December.
"The Opera allows you to stay in the most beautiful places, but with the luxury of a wine cabinet, warm-air heating, espresso bar and an enclosed teak veranda. This nomadic, contemporary living tent offers the quality of a luxury yacht combined with the outdoor feeling of camping under canvas."


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dubai's Technosphere Concept

On the other hand, here's some interesting facts on Dubai.
Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world. No taxes on income and there are no personal taxes either. In Dubai Emirates Mall you can ski indoors while shopping, measuring 400 meters and using 6000 tons of snow. Burj Dubai will become the world's tallest building, along with the world's tallest man-made structure when it is completed. Eighty percent of Dubai residents are foreigners.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Geocities CLOSED!

My first website was hosted at Geocities. It was about 10 years ago. Learned HTML from scratch, and only with Notepad. I entered my first website making contest during my secondary school years & won 3rd place. I had a lot of good memories with geocities. Sayonara Geocities!

Here's an article about closing of geocities from

So, we’ve come to the end of the road. The service that hosted the first website for a generation is set to close down tomorrow.

If you’re a GeoCities user, you’ve been given plenty of warning, but you can still hop over there and get your data out today before current owner Yahoo turns out the lights. Meanwhile, the Archive Team’s Geocities Project is doing its best to archive as many GeoCities pages as possible, meaning that selected pieces of Internet history will be preserved (including hundreds of “Under Construction” gifs salvaged from the site).

As we wrote of the shutdown earlier this month:

Back in the proverbial day, GeoCities was the place where many a modern-day internet nerd cut his or her teeth. After a spectacular dot com purchase of $3.65 billion and an equally spectacular dot com bust, its closure marks the end of one of the earliest ages of the social web.

Yahoo, of course, has been busy slimming down and cutting costs under CEO Carol Bartz. With the company’s focus elsewhere, it makes sense to shut down what is essentially an internet relic. Still, to those who look back with nostalgia, October 26 could well be a wistful day.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween 2009 costume trends: Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga

Sorry, Sarah Palin. Nothing personal, President Obama. If politics was all the rage for costumes last Halloween, this year it's out and pop culture is in, you betcha. Palin's beehive has been replaced by "Twilight" vamps, Lady Gaga wigs, and, of course, sequin-heavy tributes to the late, great King of Pop.

It's time to go back to the future with totally awesome '80s costumes in general and homages to pop icon Michael Jackson in particular. When darkness falls across the land Oct. 31 and the midnight hour is close at hand, it's going to be "Thriller" time. Good luck finding one of Jackson's trademark glitter gloves.

"It's all about the glove and the socks," says Jackie Littlejohn, manager of the Spirit Halloween store in Milpitas. "And all of the popular stuff is gone, or almost gone."

Jackson is one of the biggest trends in costumes this year, alongside other celebs, from Madonna and Lady Gaga (go bottomless with a blond wig?) to Kate Gosselin (of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" fame) whose hairstyle has been described as a reverse mullet. The spiky-blond Kate wig is cheekily dubbed "Eight Is Too Much."

"Michael Jackson is huge for kids. Every time we get those little red Thriller jackets in the store, boom, they're gone!" says Kellie Hudson, owner of the Halloween Bootique at Oakridge Mall in San Jose, where many little boys also seemed to favor the classics — you know, "Toy Story," "Transformers" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

"It's a nostalgia thing for parents who are children of the '80s."

Jen Norcia, for one, is in the mood for a little moonwalk down memory lane.

"I'm going '80s for Halloween, with the big hair and everything. I just had my 20th high school reunion and I want to reminisce a little," says the San Jose mom as she chased her 3-year-old son from one monster mask to another. "I tried to get my son Nick to be a mini-Michael Jackson this year but it was a no go. He insists on Sonic the Hedgehog."

The recession may be one reason retro is back this year. The National Retail Federation estimates that Halloween spending will tumble 18 percent to $4.75 billion, down from $5.77 billion last year. Rummaging through the closet for a full-on '80s ensemble is one way to bargain-hunt. Shoulder pads? Check. Parachute pants? Gulp. Bet you wish you hung onto that Members Only jacket.

"Costumes can seem pricey," says Krysta Delfino, who works at Natasha's Attic costume shop in San Jose. "A lot of people are looking to take a 20-year-old pair of legwarmers and pull it together as an '80s costume."

Monsters remain huge, from the "Twilight" vampires (especially Dakota Fanning's creeptastic red-eyed Jane) to those hipper-than-ever brain-eating hordes from "Zombieland."

"Freakin' vampires, man," says Delfino, who is planning to dress up as a Zombie pin-up girl herself. —‰'Twilight' is so in right now."

The popularity of ghouls and goblins might be one indication that folks are eager to banish their fears about reality with some quality escapism time. "The recession is such a downer," Delfino notes. "People want to get their minds off of it and have some fun."

Indeed, our Halloween rituals are rooted in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Masks were worn to ward off demons and offerings were left on the doorstep to appease evil spirits. Throughout the ages, the holiday has been a way to brighten the deepening gloom of winter.

These days, Halloween costume trends are also a snapshot of the zeitgeist. We dress up both as the icons we want to be (Megan Fox? Sienna Miller?) and the ones we don't (Bernie Madoff? Balloon Boy?). Wish fulfillment rarely comes so cheap.

"Halloween allows us to express some personal side of ourselves," says Dan Vado, founder of San Jose's SLG Publishing, who plans to be a devil. "Whatever it is you want to be or do, there is a place for it."


2011 Lexus LFA Prototype Test Drive

WOW. This Ultimate Supercar by Lexus was just revealed at the Tokyo Motor show. Many said that this could be one of the best supercar (even better that the already superb Skyline GTR). Here's an article on a test drive of the prototype version from Popular Mechanics

Nürburgring, Germany—Much in the way the aspiring Hollywood star needs to "do Shakespeare," Toyota felt it needed to "do supercar." Full model competence these days doesn't just include the world's best-selling hybrid, successful luxury and youth brands and a full lineup of trucks and crossovers—it also requires something mad, bad and jet-fighter fast in the showroom.

Ten years ago, Toyota instructed its Lexus luxury division to start bottling up enough super to build an eponymous car. But in a decade of development, the forthcoming LFA has seen a few specification changes, including at least one complete redesign swapping an aluminium cabin section, chassis and coachwork for carbon fiber and at least one complete restyle after less-than-positive reactions to the zany and whimsical LF-A conceptseen at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. Recently we had a chance to test drive an LFA prototype in Germany on the famed Nürburgring race track to see how the most eagerly anticipated Lexus of all time drives.

Continue reading

Facebook Makeover Faces Backlash

I totally agree with this article taken from BusinessWeek

Facebook gave its homepage a makeover…again. Last Friday the social networking site quietly rolled out some fairly significant changes to the way information is displayed on your homepage. The updates make the default feed more like it was before the last major homepage overhaul, but the changes aren't without some issues, and they have sparked some backlash among Facebook users.

The Good
When Facebook changed the homepage earlier this year, it went to a more Twitter-like feed of real-time status updates. Basically, every status update from your network of friends is displayed in as it is entered without any filtering.

The new Facebook homepage News Feed brings relevance back to the main feed. Rather than displaying everything from everyone, the News Feed uses a Facebook magic algorithm to display only the posts and status updates that your network is interested in. The more likes, comments or interactions a post within your network has, the more likely it will appear within your News Feed.

Robert Scoble, a technology evangelist and social networking guru, described the change on his blog "This makes Facebook much more useful because you only see the items that your friends have found important enough to comment on or "touch" in some way. Overnight my news feed went from something that looked pretty cold and lame to something that has tons of 'warmth.'"

The changes, which merge the Highlights back into the News Feed, also allow for the Events box in the right panel to move higher on the page. That is great news to me because frankly I never saw it with the previous design so it has been months since I have known if it was someone's birthday today.

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Tech News : 12.3 MP New Nikon D300s, Now with HD Video

Nikon has launched the D300S, a refreshed version of its successful mid-level DSLR. Compared to the D300, It offers full 720p HD video recording, a faster 7 fps continuous shooting and Dual CF and SD card slots. It also sees an addition of a new Quiet drive mode and a dedicated Live View and Info button.


High-speed performance
One major advancement of the D300S is its ability to shoot as fast as 7 frames per second,*1 with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, and up to 8 frames per second*2 when using the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It also offers a rapid startup time of approx. 130 milliseconds and an amazingly short shutter release time lag of only 49 milliseconds*1.
*1 Based on CIPA Guidelines.
*2 Based on CIPA Guidelines. Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 required for Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a.

Refined D-Movie
The D300S’s advanced D-Movie function benefits from a number of functional and technological advancements, including an external stereo microphone input enabling high-fidelity audio, plus in-camera movie editing. In Tripod mode, the D300S features contrast-detect AF.

Experimenting with Nikon’s selection of finest-quality NIKKOR interchangeable lenses — from ultra-wide-angle and fisheye to super-telephoto – will enhance the dramatic impact of HD video. What’s more, the camera’s versatile Picture Control adjustment options let you modify the tone and colour of HD video clips with remarkable ease.

AF system with high-density 51-point AF
The D300S’s Multi-CAM 3500DX AF sensor module provides an exceptionally wide area of AF coverage. With 51 AF points densely positioned across the frame, it’s designed to capture your subject accurately, even when its movement is unpredictable. Moreover, it utilises 15 powerful cross-type sensors in the centre of the frame to give you the ultimate in detection performance with any AF NIKKOR lens of f/5.6 or faster. You can also choose to shoot with 11 focus points.

The 51 AF points are employed in various focus area modes, according to subject conditions. Single-point AF mode allows you to choose a single AF point from among the 51, and in dynamic-area AF mode, you can select from 9, 21 or 51 AF points. The 51-point option offers 3D-tracking mode, which automatically shifts the focus point to match the subject's movements. Auto-area AF mode specialises in focusing on people, automatically detecting and prioritising skin tones with all 51 points.

Large, bright viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage
The D300S’s viewfinder features an eye-level pentaprism with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.94x magnification. The large, bright viewfinder makes for easier, more accurate composition.

DX-format CMOS image sensor; 12.3 effective megapixels
The D300S employs Nikon’s renowned DX-format CMOS image sensor that provides 12.3 effective megapixels. It delivers extraordinary image quality throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 3200 with low noise. In addition, Lo 1 for ISO 100 equivalent and Hi 1 for ISO 6400 equivalent are also available. Initial image capture data can be quickly and accurately transferred using 14-bit integrated A/D conversion. All successive internal processing is then handled at a full 16 bits. The resulting output reveals breathtaking details and remarkably smooth tonal gradations.

EXPEED image processing
Nikon's comprehensive EXPEED image processing utilises an accumulation of sophisticated Nikon technologies to ensure impeccable quality for both still images and movies, while also achieving high-speed processing and low power consumption. It also effectively reduces lateral chromatic aberration.

Scene Recognition System makes the most of the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
Nikon's intelligent and exclusive light metering sensor applications have been refined to deliver the Scene Recognition System, which uses precise colour and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to push accuracy levels for autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to an unprecedented level. And in playback mode, the added Face Detection System lets you instantly zoom in on a human face in the high-resolution, 920k-dot LCD monitor.

Dual card slots for CF/SD memory cards
New for the D300, the D300S provides dual card slots, enabling the simultaneous use of both CompactFlash*3 and SD memory cards and allows photographers to select the primary recording slot. The secondary slot can record in three methods : “Overflow” recording lets you use the memory capacity of the secondary card when the primary card is full, automatically; “Backup” recording stores the same images on both cards; and “RAW primary, JPEG secondary” recording lets you record RAW data and JPEG data separately to each card. You can also copy images between the two memory cards. And when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity.
*3Type I compatible only.

Engineered durability
Tested on fully assembled cameras, the shutter mechanism assembly has been proven for 150,000 cycles under demanding conditions. The ruggedly constructed D300S employs a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy for its exterior cover, chassis and mirror box, as well as for the cover of the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10. The camera also offers comprehensive countermeasures at key points to combat invasive moisture and dust.

Easy-to-access Live View mode
Live View function, activated by pressing the dedicated Live View button, makes it easy to shoot while composing on the LCD monitor.

In Handheld mode, which allows you to recompose the frame prior to actual shooting, TTL phase-detection AF using 51 AF points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects. It allows contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame.

Quiet Shutter-release mode for non-intrusive shooting
By selecting “Q” on the release mode dial, photographers can opt to substantially reduce the sound of the camera’s mirror-down during shooting. This is particularly useful when shooting in restrictive conditions such as when photographing wildlife.

Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting
By localising tone control, Active D-Lighting accurately restores the details in shadows and highlighted areas which are often lost in high-contrast lighting situations. Simply choose the appropriate setting — auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off — prior to shooting. For further options that will help you achieve your desired tone, the D300S also allows you to bracket your pictures with varying strength levels, for up to five frames, perfect for difficult lighting situations or if you don’t have the time or experience to select just one Active D-Lighting setting.

Picture Control: Customise the visual style of your images
Nikon’s Picture Control enables you to create the pictures you envisage, quickly and easily, by making specific selections and adjustments to image sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. And with other Picture Control-compatible cameras, as long as the settings are the same, you’re able to obtain the same picture tone. The D300S offers four preset Picture Control options — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome. You can also download two additional presets, Portrait and Landscape, from the Nikon website.

Built-in flash with 16mm lens coverage
With a guide number of approx. 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20°C/68°F) and 16mm lens coverage — wider than the 18mm of the D300 — the high-performance built-in flash supports Nikon’s original i-TTL flash control that evaluates flash exposure with greater precision for exceptional results. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the built-in flash controls up to two groups of remote units as a master/commander in Advanced Wireless Lighting.

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)
The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon's Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to approx. 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.
*1Based on CIPA Standards. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e is used for camera body, together with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10.
*2 Based on CIPA Guidelines. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 are used for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, all of which are sold separately.

The Year's 20 Coolest Concept Cars


Concept cars give auto designers the opportunity to really show off. Unencumbered by practicality, affordability, or safety, prototype vehicles are meant solely to highlight new technologies and outré design. Most of them never make it to dealer showrooms, but there's always a chance that a specific feature will be so alluring that it will make its way into a mass-produced car. Click here are some of this year's coolest concepts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magic Mouse by Apple

This is something that really caught my attention. Another brilliant idea from Apple. The Magic Mouse.

Apple's new Magic Mouse is the world's first Multi-Touch mouse. Magic Mouse features a Multi-Touch surface with gesture support. It likes the Mac trackpad, allowing you to swipe, scroll, such as; scroll in any direction with one finger, swipe through web pages and photos with two, and click and double-click anywhere.

Know more about the Magic Mouse at

Tech News : Robot to reduce burden

In an effort to cope with the challenges of an aging population, a new robot making use of the latest in sensor, control, information processing, mechanical and materials technologies has been developed to assist personnel and patients in care facilities. The product of joint research by RIKEN and Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI), the new robot, named the Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA), is the first of its kind in the world. It is capable of safely lifting and moving a human patient of up to 61 kg from a bed to a wheelchair and back.

The task of lifting and moving a patient, carried out several times a day, is one of the most exhausting activities for care-givers. In assisting in this task, RIBA brings together cutting-edge sensor and information-processing technology developed at RIKEN with materials technology developed at TRI to overcome the safety and performance limitations of its predecessor—an earlier model named RI-MAN. Using human-like arms equipped with high-precision tactile sensors and a body encased in soft urethane foam, RIBA’s design guarantees patient safety and comfort.

As one part of a larger strategy to pursue advances in robot technology for care-giving support, the successful development of RIBA marks a critical step toward tackling the problems of an aging society. The RIKEN-TRI Collaborative Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research (RTC), where RIBA was developed, envisions bringing robots like RIBA to market in the near future.


Tech News : SONY's 3D TV Technology

The latest revival, dubbed "The 3D Wave" kicked off in 2003 with the release of the film Ghosts of the Abyss. Users now wear polarized glasses - rather than the standard red and green spectacle - with the resulting image "fooling" the brain into thinking it is 3D.

Meanwhile, the technology to capture in 3D - or create a virtual 3D image using conventional cameras - has also been getting cheaper and is now affordable by some traditional TV and satellite broadcasters. Sony hopes, by demonstrating what its technology is capable of, broadcasters will follow Hollywood's lead.

There are also signs that some of the bigger broadcasters are dipping a toe in the water. In 2008, the BBC broadcast the world's first live sporting event in 3D, beaming back an England vs. Scotland game from the Six Nations to a cinema in London.

In addition, the corporation's director of London 2012, Roger Mosey, said there were plans to capture some of the Olympics in 3D. "We could, and I believe should, capture some of the Games in 3D", he said. "Nobody would expect the Games of 2012 to be comprehensively in 3D because the technology will be nothing like widespread enough; but it would be a shame not to have any images of London that were part of an experiment with what will be one of the next big waves of change."

Sky has gone a step further, announcing in July that it would launch "the UK's first 3D channel" by 2010. However, Fergal Ringrose - editor of Europe's broadcast technology magazine, TVB Europe, told BBC News that Sky was in a rather unique position and that the majority of broadcasters were still reluctant to embrace 3D TV.

"Sky is going to be broadcasting through its existing high definition infrastructure, through its satellite network and then through the Sky set-top box. "Very few broadcasters are in the position to control the entire process. "We did a reader survey on 427 broadcasters across Europe and asked them if 3D TV was on the horizon. Only 15% said yes, and another 20% said they were looking at it as an option.

"That's somewhat underwhelming," he added.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lexus LFA finally revealed!

Making its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show, the production version of the original LF-A concept, which has been renamed to LFA, is Lexus' first-ever supercar and it will go on sale at the end of 2010. The supercar is powered by a front-mounted, purpose built 4.8-liter V10 engine that cranks out 553HP (560PS) at 8,700 rpm and 480Nm or 354 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm, with 90% of its peak torque available between 3,700rpm and 9,000rpm.

The all-new compact-sized V10 engine that is said to be smaller than a conventional V8, sends power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automated sequential gearbox that features four selectable driving modes and a seven-stage shift-speed selector that results in upshift speeds down to 0.2 seconds.

The Japanese maker claims a 0 to 100km/h (62mph) sprint time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 325 km/h or 202 mph for the LF.


End of Blogging Era may be near

If this month’s push for a blogger’s code of conduct works, it could transform blogging as we know it. It could make blogs behave. But one of the strongest pushes for user self-regulation the internet has ever seen also could mark the end of an era—one of the most openly expressive and creative periods we’ve ever seen.

Bloggers are up to their headphones in code talk. But maybe you’re not. The code, proposed by prominent internet guru Tim O’Reilly is housed on its own wiki page, where a pack of editors are still tearing it apart and putting it back together.

Once a cohesive, take-it-or-leave-it set of rules, bloggers now can choose among them and announce the new policies to their readers, deciding whether they will, for instance, discourage anonymous comments, pledge not to post anything they wouldn’t say in person, or ignore “trolls”—those low-level life forms that spew vermin like it’s what they had for breakfast, most likely because they had terrible childhoods.

Bloggers could take this on alone, of course. Many already do. But what the code offers is some bulky backup. Whether it actually takes off hangs on the integrity of the online debate that’s shaping it. It’s hard to keep a global network of people who’ve never met—especially the stalwart, at times stubborn, breed of man that is the blogger—focused on one goal. But the results are important. As blog readers or just as citizens, you have a stake in this.

The code could help bloggers slough off the form’s reputation for attracting creeps, jerks and idiots (sorry; is that uncivil?). It also can take us one step closer to fulfilling the internet’s greatest promise: to be the greatest, most productive forum for the exchange of ideas ever created.

There’s just one assumption in this that bothers me: I’m not sure that what’s kept blogging down can be so cleanly cut from what’s built it up. Blogs came on so strong so quickly that few really knew what hit us. But wow. Think about it. These simple webpages give us commoners a way to be heard, not just on a street corner but around the world. Go ahead, they seem to say. Go on and on about anything you want. No one’s going to shut you up. Blogs are pushing everyone toward an era of unprecedented engagement. That’s empowerment. Best of all, admission is free. These things have darned...

SOURCE : The Financial Express 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

40 percent of pointless post : Twitter

Guess what! A full 40.5 percent of posts on Twitter–or tweets, as they’re called–can be classified as “pointless post,” according to a new study from Pear Analytics. Coming in second was “conversational,” which the company says makes up 37.55 of all tweets.
Pear Analytics published its investigation, which was conducted through a series of random samplings from the Twitter public time line, into the different species of tweets on Wednesday. That means that only public tweets were indexed; the numbers could be different if friends-only accounts were taken into consideration as well. (Obviously, that would be much tougher to analyze.)
There’s some interesting stuff in there. Despite some Twitter critics’ insistence that the microblogging service is loaded with self-promoters, Pear Analytics only classified 5.85 percent of tweets as “self promotion.”

The other categories were “news” (3.6 percent), “spam” (also lower than I’d expect, at 3.75 percent), and “pass-along value” (8.7 percent). Granted, sometimes there’s plenty of gray area (is linking to a blog post you wrote “pass-along value” or “self-promotion”? shouldn’t tweeting about breakfast too often be considered spam?) but it’s pretty cool regardless.
“We thought the news category would have more weight than dead last,” the report read, “since this seems to be contrary to Twitter’s new position of being the new source of news and events.”
That might be a bit of a buzzkill for Twitter’s team, which is pretty vocal about wanting the service to be a ubiquitous communication standard. Regardless, the news about the relatively low levels of spam is interesting–for some perspective, about 90 percent of e-mail is spam.

Source: CNet News

How Facebook Ruins Friendship

But I don’t give a hoot that you are “having a busy Monday,” your child “took 30 minutes to brush his teeth,” your dog “just ate an ant trap” or you want to “save the piglets.” And I really, really don’t care which Addams Family member you most resemble. (I could have told you the answer before you took the quiz on Facebook.)

Here’s where you and I went wrong: We took our friendship online. First we began communicating more by email than by phone. Then we switched to “instant messaging” or “texting.” We “friended” each other on Facebook, and began communicating by “tweeting” our thoughts—in 140 characters or less—via Twitter.

All this online social networking was supposed to make us closer. And in some ways it has. Thanks to the Internet, many of us have gotten back in touch with friends from high school and college, shared old and new photos, and become better acquainted with some people we might never have grown close to offline.

Last year, when a friend of mine was hit by a car and went into a coma, his friends and family were able to easily and instantly share news of his medical progress—and send well wishes and support—thanks to a Web page his mom created for him.

But there’s a danger here, too. If we’re not careful, our online interactions can hurt our real-life relationships.

Like many people, I’m experiencing Facebook Fatigue. I’m tired of loved ones—you know who you are—who claim they are too busy to pick up the phone, or even write a decent email, yet spend hours on social-media sites, uploading photos of their children or parties, forwarding inane quizzes, posting quirky, sometimes nonsensical one-liners or tweeting their latest whereabouts. (”Anyone know a good restaurant in Berlin?”)

One of the big problems is how we converse. Typing still leaves something to be desired as a communication tool; it lacks the nuances that can be expressed by body language and voice inflection. “Online, people can’t see the yawn,” says Patricia Wallace, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth and author of “The Psychology of the Internet.”

But let’s face it, the problem is much greater than which tools we use to communicate. It’s what we are actually saying that’s really mucking up our relationships. “Oh my God, a college friend just updated her Facebook status to say that her ‘teeth are itching for a flossing!’” shrieked a friend of mine recently. “That’s gross. I don’t want to hear about what’s going on inside her mouth.”

That prompted me to check my own Facebook page, only to find that three of my pals—none of whom know each other—had the exact same status update: “Zzzzzzz.” They promptly put me to “zzzzzzz.”

This brings us to our first dilemma: Amidst all this heightened chatter, we’re not saying much that’s interesting, folks. Rather, we’re breaking a cardinal rule of companionship: Thou Shalt Not Bore Thy Friends.

“It’s called narcissism,” says Matt Brown, a 36-year-old business-development manager for a chain of hair salons and spas in Seattle. He’s particularly annoyed by a friend who works at an auto dealership who tweets every time he sells a car, a married couple who bicker on Facebook’s public walls and another couple so “mooshy-gooshy” they sit in the same room of their house posting love messages to each other for all to see. “Why is your life so frickin’ important and entertaining that we need to know?” Mr. Brown says.

‘I Just Ate a Frito Pie’

Gwen Jewett, for her part, is sick of meal status updates. “A few of my friends like to post several times a day about what they are eating: ‘I just ate a Frito pie.’ ‘I am enjoying a double hot-fudge sundae at home tonight.’ ‘Just ate a whole pizza with sausage, peppers and double cheese,’” says the 49-year-old career coach in suburban Dallas. “My question is this: If we didn’t call each other on the phone every time we ate before, why do we need the alerts now?”

For others, boredom isn’t the biggest challenge of managing Internet relationships. Consider, for example, how people you know often seem different online—not just gussied up or more polished, but bolder, too, displaying sides of their personalities you have never seen before.

Alex Gilbert, 27, who works for a nonprofit in Houston that teaches creative writing to kids, is still puzzling over an old friend—”a particularly masculine-type dude”—who plays in a heavy-metal band and heads a motorcycle club yet posts videos on Facebook of “uber cute” kittens. “It’s not fodder for your real-life conversation,” Mr. Gilbert says. “We’re not going to get together and talk about how cute kittens are.”

James Hills discovered that a colleague is gay via Facebook, but he says that didn’t bother him. It was after his friend joined groups that cater to hairy men, such as “Furball NYC,” that he was left feeling awkward. “This is something I just didn’t need to know,” says Mr. Hills, who is 32 and president of a marketing firm in Elgin, Ill. “I’d feel the same way if it was a straight friend joining a leather-and-lace group.”

And then there’s jealousy. In all that information you’re posting about your life—your vacation, your kids, your promotions at work, even that margarita you just drank—someone is bound to find something to envy. When it comes to relationships, such online revelations can make breaking up even harder to do.

“Facebook prolongs the period it takes to get over someone, because you have an open window into their life, whether you want to or not,” says Yianni Garcia of New York, a consultant who helps companies use social media. “You see their updates, their pictures and their relationship status.”

Mr. Garcia, 24, felt the sting of Facebook jealousy personally last spring, after he split up with his boyfriend. For a few weeks, he continued to visit his ex’s Facebook page, scrutinizing his new friends. Then one day he discovered that his former boyfriend had blocked him from accessing his profile.

Why? “He said he’d only ‘unfriended’ me to protect himself, because if someone flirted with me he would feel jealous,” Mr. Garcia says.

Facebook can also be a mecca for passive-aggressive behavior. “Suddenly, things you wouldn’t say out loud in conversation are OK to say because you’re sitting behind a computer screen,” says Kimberly Kaye, 26, an arts writer in New York. She was surprised when friends who had politely discussed health-care reform over dinner later grew much more antagonistic when they continued the argument online.

Just ask Heather White. She says her college roommate at the University of Georgia started an argument over text about who should clean their apartment. Ms. White, 22, who was home visiting her parents at the time, asked her friend to call her so they could discuss the issue. Her friend never did.

A few days later, Ms. White, who graduated in May, updated her Facebook status, commenting that her favorite country duo, Brooks & Dunn, just broke up. Almost immediately, her roommate responded, writing publicly on her wall: “Just like us.” The two women have barely spoken since then.

Band-Aid Tactics

So what’s the solution, short of “unfriending” or “unfollowing” everyone who annoys you? You can use the “hide” button on Facebook to stop getting your friends’ status updates—they’ll never know—or use TwitterSnooze, a Web site that allows you to temporarily suspend tweets from someone you follow. (Warning: They’ll get a notice from Twitter when you begin reading their tweets again.)

But these are really just Band-Aid tactics. To improve our interactions, we need to change our conduct, not just cover it up. First, watch your own behavior, asking yourself before you post anything: “Is this something I’d want someone to tell me?” “Run it by that focus group of one,” says Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Wallace.

And positively reward others, responding only when they write something interesting, ignoring them when they are boring or obnoxious. (Commenting negatively will only start a very public war.)

If all that fails, you can always start a new group: “Get Facebook to Create an Eye-Roll Button Now!”

Source: By Elizabeth Bernstein at WSJ

Mazda RX-Z

The Mazda RX-Z concept is a proposal for a 2+2 sports coupe to replace the aging Mazda RX-8. The design was conceived by Andrus Ciprian, a design student from Romania whose previous work includes the Dacia MC concept. Like the MC the RX-Z concept was created using the 3d modeling program 3D Studio Max, and rendered with the help of Mental Ray.

The RX-Z was developed as Ciprian puts it; "as a link between fossil fuel cars and more ecological ones." To achieve this the proposed drivetrain for the concept includes a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine up front - which replaces the notoriously thirsty rotary engine from the RX-8. And a pair of electric motors at the rear. Under normal conditions the RX-Z would be driven solely by the diesel engine. But at low speeds around town the electric drive can be used on its own for emission free motoring. At higher speeds the electric motors work in conjunction with the V6 engine to provide a boost function. A start/stop technology which is integrated into the engine further increases fuel efficiency.

Like the RX-8 the RX-Z concept is equipped with four doors. The rear doors are half-sized and hinged at the rear. This helps to disguise them into the bodywork and reduce their impact on the flowing lines of the car.

One of the more unusual features of the Mazda RX-Z concept is the rear light panel. In the middle is a display screen which can light up with any text written by the driver. Presumably you can only 'write' on the back of your car when stopped, otherwise this would be one surefire way of either getting in a crash or getting in trouble!

Mazda RX-Z concept

Electric Power!

Way back in the 90's we've been watching movies on futuristic vehicles such as electric powered cars. It may be pure imagination back then, but it's fast becoming a TREND in car makers nowadays. One of the latest in the electric cars family comes in the form of Infiniti EV by NISSAN. Revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, it will be one of the many cars with zero emission coming from NISSAN.

Nissan EV Hybrid Car
Example of NISSAN Hybrid 

A Kiss for $140k & Master of Miniatures

  1. How much would you pay for a kiss? How about a kiss from a sizzling hot star better known as Charlize Theron? Guess what, a women offered $140,000 for a kiss with Charlize in a charity event! Find the details here .
  2. Are you a fan of miniatures? Nikolai Aldunin is one of the most talented miniature artist till this day. His skill is just as fine as a sharpshooter. Want to know more? Read about it here; Nikolai Aldunin, the "Master of Miniatures" 
  3. Nokia sues Apple?  

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Fav News : 23rd Oct

  1. Windows 7 was finally launched on the 22nd of October! To show off the latest installment to the windows family, many Laptop makers are introducing latest designs to their current line-up. Here's 20 of the world's coolest Laptop Design.
  2. Here's an interesting one. On the subject of who will dominate the WWW (world wide web),  Sean Parker from Founder's Fund believes that Twitter & Facebook will soon dominate the web! Read more on it here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Post!

Greetings people of WWW!
Welcome to "From The News" blog. A blog that will try to gather as much news as possible from the world & also local scene. I must admit, there are many news from around the world that we, the locals never heard of. Some might be interesting, some might be sad. News from Politics to Business, Entertainment to Movie Reviews..basicly everything! Get it here.

This is my first post, so do come back to us for more news soon!

Signing Off,
From The News

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