Friday, December 27, 2013

Viet Nam, World Bank sign emission reductions pact

Xo so Nam will launch a carbon-finance programme that will help green the country's national electricity grid in a commercially sustainable manner.

Under an agreement signed last Friday between the Government and the World Bank's Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF), the CPF will purchase carbon credits generated by the World Bank-funded Renewable Energy Development Project (REDP) under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.

The CPF, with Sweden, Norway and Spain as Buyer Participants, will buy the first three million metric tonnes of carbon credits generated through small hydropower development under REDP, creating a revenue stream for the projects.

The REDP is a US$202 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's concessional lending window.

"Carbon credits will help create a revenue stream that enhances the financial attractiveness of private investments in renewable energy, by providing performance-based payments in hard currency," said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank country director for Viet Nam.

To date, the Viet Nam Ministry of Industry Trade has received around 20 applications to develop small hydropower projects under the REDP.

The REDP is expected to add 250 MW of installed capacity of renewable energy to the grid, with a total of 965 GWh of electricity per year and will also expand local employment opportunities and increase reliability of the electricity supply, especially in rural areas.

About 15-25 sub-projects, which have total investment cost in the range of $5-$20 million each, may be financed by the REDP.

The programme will green Viet Nam's national electricity grid on a commercially sustainable basis by addressing barriers to renewable energy and providing financial support, including carbon revenue provided by the CPF to improve the financial viability of the projects.

"Signing this agreement with the CPF is very encouraging for Viet Nam, which intends to pursue additional opportunities to use carbon credits to support economic development and climate change mitigation goals," said Le Duong Quang, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Here's Jamie Dimon's Opulent, Maddeningly Tone-Deaf Christmas Card

'Here's wishing 1% of you a joyous holiday!'

Jamie Dimon, CEO of banking giant JPMorgan, has a holiday card tradition like many other famous Americans. But unlike most of them, he's one of the most richly compensated executives in the country. That-and a boxed christmas">series of scandals surrounding JPMorgan-has made him the focus of resentment against America's big banks. The card, which is going viral, isn't likely to help.

Dimon and his family recently sent out their annual card, wishing family and friends happy holidays and all the best for 2014. The card's panoramic images feature Jamie, his wife Judy, their three daughters, a dog, and another young man. The opulently shot pictures show the group in an expansive apartment sort of playing tennis. (Could you pick a more elitist sport, short of bringing dressage ponies up the freight elevator?) Quartz called it Ralph Lauren-esque, which seems about right. Here's part of the photo; you can see the full set here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taylor Swift Gushes Over 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Angels in Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Taylor Swift may not be a Victoria's Secret Angel, but she certainly looked pretty ethereal performing on the runway of the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Now, fans can watch a sneak peek of the show before it airs, along with Swift's thoughts on the models.

The brief footage shows what it's like backstage before the show and the excited energy seems to jump through the computer screen.

There are Angels who are still toning their already trim muscles, lots of hair and makeup underway and loads of bright camera flashes of photographers vying for the best poses.

The clip also features one of the biggest stars of the night - Swift in all her glory, posing serenely on the pink carpet and then working the glittery silver runway alongside of some of today's top models.

"The outfits were amazing," she gushed. "The girls are so incredible and so nice and so sweet; this is the best!"

Although she was">initially snubbed by model Jessica Hart, the singer can still stand by her comments about the Angels being "so nice," as Hart quickly took back her "mean" words.

The 'Red' singer opted to wear a tiny sparkly number during her performance of 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and went British with Fall Out Boy and 'My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)' during the British Invasion portion of the evening. Other themes of the night included Snow Angels, Shipwrecked, Parisian Nights, Pink Network, and Birds of Paradise.

With her leggy frame and tremendous talent, Swift fit right in with all of the Angels, except for the lingerie aspect!

Next: See Taylor Swift's Best Lyrics

Thursday, November 28, 2013

UPDATE: Sigma has released firmware to fix compatibility problems with Nikon D5300

<Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapp>You can now download firmware for a number of Sigma lenses that should correct the problems Nikon D5300 users may experience with its lenses

UPDATE 22/11/13:

Sigma has released firmware to fix the problems with the following lenses:

・35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012 NIKON
・17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013 NIKON
・30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013 NIKON
・18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A013 NIKON
・120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S013 NIKON

The update should make these lenses fully functional with the Nikon D5300. See here for more information and the download link.


In a statement on its website, Sigma has said that the current firmware of its Nikon-fit interchangeable lenses 'may not work properly with the Nikon D5300's OS and Live View Auto Focus functions'.

Though it hasn't released specific details, Sigma has said that the problem occurs specifically with Nikon-fit interchangable lenses that incorporate an internal motor.

Sigma will be releasing a free firmware update tomorrow (November 20) that it says should correct the problem. You can contact your nearest Sigma dealer in order to receive the update; Sigma provides a full list here.

See Sigma's website for the full statement.


We recently completed the What Digital Camera review of the Nikon D5300

Source: Whatdigitalcamera

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nikkei eases further off 6-month high; Panasonic, Nikon up

* Nikon D5300 CheapSources say Panasonic to sell 3 Japan chip plants, stock up * Rakuten jumps after being promoted to main board Topix By Dominic Lau TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged lower on Wednesday on profit-taking, peeling further away from a six-month high, though traders said investors were looking for opportunities to pick up bargains. Nikon Corp, Ricoh Co Ltd and Canon Inc were in demand, up between 0.8 and 3.1 percent after U.S. Hewlett-Packard Co beat revenue forecasts. Nikon is down 23.6 percent year-to-date and is the worst underperformer in the Nikkei this year, while the benchmark has rallied nearly 49 percent. The Nikkei shed 0.4 percent to 15,461.20 in mid-morning trade on Wednesday, easing further away from a six-month high hit on Monday. "The market itself is a little bit down today, but still people are looking for opportunities on the long side," a Tokyo-based sales trader said. "Now that the earnings are over, people are looking for growth scenarios," he added, referring to the company earnings reporting season. Panasonic Corp rose 3 percent to a near three-year high after sources said the consumer electronics maker will sell three semiconductor plants in Japan to Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz, bringing it closer to completing the overhaul of its loss-making businesses. The sources also said Panasonic is in talks with another company to sell its five overseas chip factories. Rakuten Inc jumped 10.2 percent after the Tokyo Stock Exchange said the e-commerce operator will be promoted to the main board Topix from Jasdaq for emerging companies, starting Dec. 3. Currency-sensitive exporters came under pressure as the yen came off a six-month low against the dollar overnight. Honda Motor Co Ltd, Mazda Motor Corp, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd and Daikin Industries Ltd were off between 0.4 and 2.4 percent. As of Tuesday's close, Mazda Motor and Fuji Heavy Industries were the second- and third-best performers in the Nikkei this year, with gains of about 160 percent. Mobile operator SoftBank Corp was the best performer, though the stock was down 2 percent on profit-taking on Wednesday morning. A senior trader from a U.S. bank in Tokyo said he did not expect massive profit-taking in the next few days as November tends to be the year-end for many hedge funds. "Hedge funds have made good money this year and that those who were planning on getting quieter towards the year-end have already reduced their positions," he said. Underscoring the positive momentum, the pace of deterioration in Topix's one-month earning momentum slowed to -0.65 this month from -1.83 in October. The Topix dipped 0.2 percent to 1,250.70, with volume at 27 percent of fully daily average for the past 90 trading days.
Source: Reuters

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sigma Issues Product Advisory to Nikon D5300 Owners

<Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapimg src="">

Sigma has issued a product advisory stating that the current firmware of its Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses may not work properly with the Nikon D5300 digital SLR camera. More precisely, the Optical Stabilisation (OS) and Live View Auto Focus functions do not work properly when it is used with the Nikon D5300. For those customers who own Sigma lenses in Nikon mount, Sigma is going to provide a free firmware update service.

Sigma Press Release Information Regarding the Nikon D5300 Cameras

Thank you very much for purchasing and using Sigma products.

We have found that the current firmware of our Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses may not work properly with the Nikon D5300's OS and Live View Auto Focus functions.

For those customers who own Sigma lenses in Nikon mount, we are going to provide a free firmware update service.

Please note that all the products we dispatch from the factory will have the latest firmware.


Without the latest firmware, the OS and Live View Auto Focus functions do not work properly when it is used with the Nikon D5300.

[Concerned Products]

Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses that incorporate an internal motor

* Firmware upgrade cannot be applied to the lenses that do not have an internal motor.

* For some discontinued products, we may not be able to offer the firmware update due to the discontinuation of related repair parts. Please contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for the further details.

For those customers in need of the latest firmware, we are going to provide free firmware update from November 20th. For discontinued products, please contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for the further details.

For lenses that are compatible with the SIGMA USB DOCK, it is possible to update them via SIGMA Optimization Pro.

For detailed information on the SIGMA USB DOCK, please find it from the below link;

For the detailed information on the SIGMA Optimization Pro, please find it from the below link;

[Local Service Center]

For further information or to have a lens updated, please contact Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd on 01707 329 999 or

Source: Photographyblog

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nikon P7800 review

<Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapp>

What is the Nikon P7800?

Nikon's advanced compact offering has long taken the form of the Coolpix 'P' series, with the four-digit range sitting at the top and looking to offer a suitable companion to it's DSLR range for those wanting at times to travel light. The Nikon P7800 is the latest model that looks to build on the success of the previous models in the series with a range of new features and take on the Canon G16.

But, with the growth of the advanced compact market, as well as the drop in price of competing CSCs, the question is does the P7800 remain a relevant shooting proposition, or has technological advancement rendered it obsolete?

SEE ALSO: 10 best cameras you can buy

Nikon P7800: Features

One of the core features that has made the high-end P series a success in previous generations is the fact that it features a larger sensor than is normally found in a compact, and the P7800 retains this selling point.

The P7800 retains the same 12.2MP BSI CMOS sensor as seen in the P7700, which measures in at 1/1.7-inches, as opposed to the smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor. The P7800's BSI sensor should handle noise better then the equivalent sensor technology, although it only has a native ISO 80-1600 - extendible to ISO 3200 and 6400.

Another feature maintained from the previous generation model is the 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen which, thanks to a side-mounted hinge, can be rotated around a 270 degree axis for viewing at a variety of angles.

SEE ALSO: 10 best DSLR cameras you can buy

The Nikon P7800 also retains the same 7.1x optical zoom as seen on the model's predecessor, covering an equivalent focal range of 28-200mm and offering an impressive maximum aperture between f/2 and f/4.

One of the standout new additions to the Nikon P7800 is sure to be popular amongst some enthusiast photographers. It now features a relatively substantial electronic viewfinder that measures in at 0.5-inches, has a resolution of 921k-dots and also features a dioptre adjustment.

Another notable feature is the Nikon video capture functionality that's better than some competing models. The P7800 captures full HD video at 1920 x 1080 and at 30fps, while advanced functionality such as wind noise reduction, in-built ND filter and manual exposure control also feature.

While there's no doubting the P7800's positioning as an advanced compact - as shown through the inclusion of PASM shooting modes - it also caters for those that might want to let the camera do the work.

It does so through the presence of an auto shooting mode, a range of scene modes and a host of creative 'Effects' such as 'Cross Process' and 'Zoom Exposure'.

One feature which is sorely missed, owing to the fact that it's now commonplace on competing cameras, is Wi-Fi functionality. Both Wi-Fi and GPS tagging are available with the P7800 although only through the purchase of optional accessories.

Source: Trustedreviews

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nikon D5300 Sample Images

<Nikon D5300 Discountimg src="">

Ahead of our full review, here are 44 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the new Nikon D5300 DSLR camera, including the full ISO range.

The Nikon D5300 is a 24 megapixel APS-C DSLR camera with no optical low-pass filter, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, EXPEED 4 image processing engine, 3.2 inch vari-angle screen, ISO 10-25,600, 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors, and Full HD movies at 1080/50/60p.

A gallery of 44 JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the Nikon D5300 DSLR camera.

Nikon D5300 JPEG Images

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 at 50 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 53.2Mb in size.

View the sample movie.

Entry Tags

Source: Photographyblog

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nikon finally adds built-in Wi-Fi to its DSLR line-up with the D5300

<Nikon D5300 Offersp>

As cameras all around them have gained built-in wireless capabilities, Nikon DSLRs have begun to feel strangely dated with their need for an additional Wi-Fi adapter to keep up with their wireless sharing and remote shooting counterparts. But with the freshly announced D5300, Nikon has finally revealed its first DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.

The Nikon D5300 is an update to the mid-range D5200 which was released last year and arguably closes the gap to the enthusiast-targeted D7100. While it still features a 24 megapixel DX format (23.5 x 15.6 mm) APS-C CMOS sensor, and a 39-point autofocus system with nine cross-type sensors, the D5300 has now been designed without an optical low-pass filter to enable it to capture a greater level of detail than equally megapixeled cameras.

It's also been upgraded to use the Nikon EXPEED 4 image processing engine which enables a larger ISO range of 100 to 12,800 (expandable to 25,600 equivalent) though the camera still has a top continuous burst speed of 5 frames per second. Other improvements include the flipping, tilting and turning LCD on the rear which now measures 3.2 inches and has a 1037K dot resolution. Full HD 1080p video can now also be recorded at 60/50 fps and a new pentamirror increases viewfinder magnification to approx. 0.82x.

But it's the built-in Wi-Fi ability which will arguably be seen as the biggest improvement over the D5200, which required the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. Wireless functions in the Nikon D5300 include the ability to transfer images without interrupting your shooting, and to manually select the files you want to send to a phone or tablet for instant sharing.

There's also the option to use an iOS or Android device as a remote monitor or controller for things like adjusting focusing and shutter control when not directly with the camera. This can be handy for things like shooting group pictures with yourself in, or just times when awkward camera positioning would make it too difficult to use on-camera controls. Built-in GPS also means images can be geotagged with latitude, longitude, and altitude data, without the use of external adapters.

Measuring 125 x 98 x 76 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 3 inches) and weighing 530 g (1 lb 2.7 oz) the D5300 is slightly smaller and lighter than its predecessor. Nikon says this is because it's used a newly developed monocoque-structure with carbon fiber reinforced plastic material for the camera body, allowing it to be both more compact and durable.

The Nikon D5300 will be available in black, red or gray in November. It's due to sell for US$800 body-only, or $1,400 with a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens.

Product page: Nikon D5300

Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee. All articles by Simon Crisp

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Nikon D5300 Rumors, Specs, Price and Release Info: Camera Company Recently Releases Full Specs

<Nikon D5300 Cheapp>Nikon has recently come out with a full list of specs for the new D5300.

The latest model of the DX-format DSLR has 24.2 megapixels, a DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, a built-in GPS, a durable light body, a 3.2-inch 1037k-dot vari-angle LCCD monitor with wide viewing angle, NAL-1 features for zoom/focus assist, and more.

It also has a full-HD 1920x1080/60p capability for movies, where selection can range from 24, 25, 30,50, and 60p. There are also 9 special effects for creative expression.

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As previously reported, Nikon Rumors reports that the Nikon D5300 is expected to be introduced before the Photo Plus show in NYC at the end of the month or the CES show in Las Vegas in January.

It is reported that this will be the first camera to get the new EXPEED 4 processor. Some other rumored specs include 24 Megapixels, 39 AF points, built-in Wi-Fi and built-in GPS.

Photography Bay reports that the D530 will be introduced as an entry-level APS-C format camera. There are no reports yet of whether or not it will have better image quality over the D5200, but it would make sense to add additional video features to the D5300.

No prices have been reported yet either, but Inferse reports that it may be priced lower than the D5200 was when it first was released.

Source: Designntrend

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nikon D5300 hands-on review

Nikon Nikon D5300 Cheap at a glance:

  • 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • 1.037-million-dot, 3.2in, 170° LCD screen
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Price £730 body only

Nikon D5300 - Introduction

While the serious enthusiast is unlikely to be swayed into buying a Nikon DSLR over a Canon model purely because the Nikon camera is newer, the reality is that at the non-premium end of the market this is how some people make their buying decisions. 'Newer' must mean 'better'.

This demand for the 'new' explains why we see such short product cycles in the camera market, and why manufacturers feel the need to introduce even small advances in technology or feature sets in cameras with completely new names - rather than a 'Mark II' type of naming format.

Those familiar with Nikon's range of DSLRs may not see the sense in the company's introduction of the new D5300, especially as Nikon will maintain the D5200 alongside this model in the range - new and old together. By doing so, though, Nikon expands the number of cameras it has on offer and the number of price points it can cover, while also being able to have a model that can carry a 'New' sticker, and which introduces new features to the price band in which it will sit.

That's not to say that the Nikon D5300 isn't different to the D5200, though, as a new processor, new body design and the integration of wireless communications do genuinely bring additional benefits to the photographer.

Nikon D5300 - Design and handling

Nikon is very pleased that it has achieved a new way of constructing camera bodies, which it describes as a 'monocoque'. Instead of there being a chassis, onto which the components and the body shell are attached, the D5300 is designed to have everything screwed to the insides of the body form itself: exoskeleton, rather then the usual endoskeleton.

Image: The top of the camera houses only a few control points, keeping the layout simple and unintimidating for newcomers. A stereo microphone lives in front of the hotshoe

The D5300's body shell is also made of a new material, although Nikon won't say what that new material is - just that it is new. The upshot is that the body is less heavy than it might have been, and is 25g lighter, including the battery, than the camera it doesn't replace, the D5200.

I'm not entirely sure that when I used the camera I could appreciate the exact weight loss that has occurred, but I was able to enjoy the fact that this is truly a lightweight DSLR, of the type that we might not mind carrying all day, over the shoulder, in a bag or in a large pocket. The body is very small too, although it is balanced with a reassuringly large grip for the right hand. It seems ironic that a small and light camera should need a large grip, but I found it allowed me to be aware I was carrying the camera, and should a larger lens be attached it will help to support the forward pull of such a weight distribution.

Image: The body styling will be familiar to those used to the Nikon 5000 series, as will the standard menu. The 3.2in flip-out screen has impressive visibility

The buttons are arranged much as one might expect, with all the principal controls falling easily to the finger or thumb. The rear 3.2in LCD is very nicely bright and clear, with its 1.037-million-dot resolution. Nikon has set the viewing panel into the glass screen, so there are no gaps or internal reflections, which produces good contrast and a clear view from a quoted angled of up to 170°. I am impressed.

In live view, the screen works well when the camera is held low or high, and I found the AF quick enough and seemingly accurate. The response of the shutter in live view also seems good.

Image: Nikon has retained its choice of layouts for the rear-screen display, with text-based and graphically expressed options to suit personal preferences

Nikon D5300 - Still to test

The principal changes in this model are of the sort that will only be proved in testing, but at this stage their potential is worth pointing out. Using the higher-capacity Expeed 4 processor, Nikon claims it has been able to reduce noise in its images through the use of more complicated calculations. A related benefit is that now noise levels are lower the company is comfortable offering a higher ISO setting - the Nikon D5300 allows ratings of up to ISO 25,600. More complex calculations also provide the potential for better white balance assessment in automatic modes via a more comprehensive assessment of the scene, and a better rendition of colour overall.

Lower noise should also lead to better resolution of detail from the 24.2-million-pixel sensor, as should Nikon's decision to do without the micro-blurring effects of a low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. Leaving the low-pass filter off the sensor has become very fashionable, and I suspect it will be a great draw for many photographers. Moiré in images created by a sensor with 24 million pixels, even an APS-C-sized sensor, is still something that is quite likely to occur, but there is also plenty of software to correct it after the event.

The other thing to note is that this model sees the introduction of a new battery cell, which Nikon says increases capacity from 500 shots to 600 compared to the cell used in the D5200. It annoys me when companies change their battery forms, but on this occasion the new cell and that used in the D5200 are interchangeable.

Obviously, I couldn't test the battery life of the camera, but we should take the increase as good news. I will also have to wait to test the Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities of this new model, but neither can be held as negative points just for their inclusion. The Wi-Fi integration means users will be able to control the camera from an Android or iOS device, and will be able to wirelessly transfer images for viewing, editing and sending while on the go.

Image: The new battery, which is backwards compatible with the D5200, offers a longer life. There is no low-pass filter on the sensor, for extra resolution

Nikon D5300 - Conclusion

It would be easy to dismiss the Nikon D5300 for being too similar to the D5200, but that really isn't the point. There is not much wrong with the D5200, and the changes that this new model brings can only make it better. Perhaps Nikon could have called it the D5200 ll, but I'm not sure it matters one bit.

The Nikon D5300 will cost around £730 body only and be available from 14 November.

Source: Amateurphotographer

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nikon refines its enthusiast-level DSLR with GPS-equipped D5300

Oct. 17, 2013 at 8:18 PM ET

The latest from Nikon D5300 Cyber Monday Deal is a refresh of the popular D5200 that doesn't fix anything that wasn't broken, but makes a few welcome changes under the hood, such as adding built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.

The predictably named D5300 doesn't just add extra bullet points to the feature list, though. The actual picture-taking parts have gotten an upgrade as well. Its 24-megapixel sensor has lost the anti-aliasing filter - this optical filter was necessary on digital cameras for years, but recent advances in high-resolution sensors and in image processors have made it obsolete. Removing it can improve image quality, and that's just what Nikon has done.

Also updated is the image processor, which will allow the D5300 to shoot five stills per second, or video at 1080p and 60 frames per second. It's only a small step up from its predecessor, but every little bit counts.

Its articulating rear LCD has also gotten slightly larger, and the viewfinder is a bit better now as well. Again, nothing that will make D5200 owners particularly jealous.

Wi-Fi and GPS, however, might come in handy. Being able to geotag your shots and sync them with Dropbox quickly becomes indispensable, and perks like being able to activate the shutter from your smartphone don't hurt either.

At $800 for the body or $1,400 with a capable 18-140 F/3.5-5.6 zoom, the D5300 is competitive with the likes of Canon and Sony for consumer-grade DSLRs. That said, if none of the new features are calling your name, just remember: pretty soon you'll be able to pick up the D5200 for a song.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is
Source: Nbcnews

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nikon D5300 accessories | LetsGoDigital

<Nikon D5300 Cheapp>

Nikon D5300 accessories
Mark Peters : October 24th 2013 - 14:50 CET

Nikon D5300 camera accessories : Nikon introduces Nikkor lenses and accessories for the new D5300. One of the D5300's greatest advantages is its compatibility with Nikon's wide range of Nikkor lenses and powerful system accessories. Combine the Nikon D5300 body with such versatile partners, and your creative options become limitless. Nikkor lenses are renowned across the world for their superior optical performance, and the new D5300 is compatible with the full range of DX-format lenses. From compact zoom lenses that are perfect for general use or travel, to fast prime lenses that enable beautiful 'Bokeh effect', as well as wide-angle and micro lenses, there is a lens for every photographic situation.

Nikon D5300 accessories
In addition to theNikkor lenses , Nikon Speedlights like the SB-400 and SB-700 open up opportunities to get creative with light, and optional wireless remote control devices like the Nikon WR-R10 and WR-T10 let you control key camera functions from a distance, even if there are obstacles between yourself and the D5300. Whichever you choose, you can enjoy the precision and flexibility to make the most of the camera's 24.2 megapixel resolution and capture pictures with amazing vivid colour and striking contrast, or experiment with great cinematic effects when shooting Full HD movies.

Nikon camera tools
For even more possibilities, a range of in-camera tools put creative techniques conveniently at your command. Enjoy optimum results in high-contrast situations with HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode or quickly capture perfect shots in various situations using any one of the 16 scene modes. When you want to explore different ideas, let your creativity run wild with the D5300 in-camera tools of special effects for photos and HD videos; evoke a certain mood by isolating specific colours, or create a retro look-and-feel with the Toy Camera effect. Visit the official site for more product information and availability of optional Nikon D5300 accessories.

Nikon D5300 accessories

Source: Letsgodigital

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Latest Snowden Leak Shows NSA's Involvement In US Drone-Based Assassination Program

At this point, both the NSA's extensive surveillance programs and the CIA's controversial drone "targeted killing" program (read: assassination program) are known and widely discussed. But the two had not been fully connected until now. There had been some reports from the various reporters who have access to the leaked Snowden documents that the NSA was involved, but the details are finally coming out. The first article comes via Barton Gellman at the Washington Post, detailing the NSA's extensive involvement in helping the CIA find targets to kill, including Hassan Ghul, who was taken out by a drone strike a year ago.

In the search for targets, the NSA has draped a surveillance blanket over dozens of square miles of northwest Pakistan. In Ghul's case, the agency deployed an arsenal of cyber-espionage tools, secretly seizing control of laptops, siphoning audio files and other messages, and tracking radio transmissions to determine where Ghul might "bed down."

The e-mail from Ghul's wife "about her current living conditions" contained enough detail to confirm the coordinates of that household, according to a document summarizing the mission. "This information enabled a capture/kill operation against an individual believed to be Hassan Ghul on October 1," it said.

The file is part of a collection of records in the Snowden trove that make clear that the drone campaign - often depicted as the CIA's exclusive domain - relies heavily on the NSA's ability to vacuum up enormous quantities of e-mail, phone calls and other fragments of signals intelligence, or SIGINT.

The NSA likes to talk about how its focus is on counter-terrorism operations in the form of finding out about potential terrorist activities in order to stop them. It likes to pretend that it isn't so involved in offensive actions. However, the reporting here suggests a different story altogether. The NSA is a key part of the assassination program.

While it may be a good thing to track down terrorists working to attack the US, the potential that these kinds of programs might also be abused is serious. Once again, what becomes clear is that the NSA will apparently do everything possible to get access to the information it wants:

"But if you wanted huge coverage of the FATA, NSA had 10 times the manpower, 20 times the budget and 100 times the brainpower," the former intelligence official said, comparing the surveillance resources of the NSA to the smaller capabilities of the agency's IOC. The two agencies are the largest in the U.S. intelligence community, with budgets last year of $14.7 billion for the CIA and $10.8 billion for the NSA. "We provided the map," the former official said, "and they just filled in the pieces."

In broad terms, the NSA relies on increasingly sophisticated versions of online attacks that are well-known among security experts. Many rely on software implants developed by the agency's Tailored Access Operations division with code-names such as UNITEDRAKE and VALIDATOR. In other 5s iphone cases boot pipe with holder vintage, the agency runs "man-in-the-middle" attacks in which it positions itself unnoticed midstream between computers communicating with one another, diverting files for real-time alerts and longer-term analysis in data repositories.

Through these and other tactics, the NSA is able to extract vast quantities of digital information, including audio files, imagery and keystroke logs. The operations amount to silent raids on suspected safe houses and often are carried out by experts sitting behind desks thousands of miles from their targets.

The reach of the NSA's Tailored Access Operations division extends far beyond Pakistan. Other documents describe efforts to tunnel into systems used by al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Africa, each breach exposing other corridors.

It appears that the attacks are quite effective as well:

The operations are so easy, in some cases, that the NSA is able to start downloading data in less time than it takes the targeted machine to boot up. Last year, a user account on a social media Web site provided an instant portal to an al-Qaeda operative's hard drive. "Within minutes, we successfully exploited the target," the document said.

Now, to some extent, you can argue that these kinds of activities are the ones we'd expect the NSA to be taking: using systems to break into communications efforts of terrorists to track them down. But, as the report also notes, this main operative who they caught through use of this system, Ghul, was actually in CIA custody for years before they released him... only to then have the NSA go through this big process to re-find him and take him out with a drone.

Oh, and not just take him out... but then use the NSA to find out for sure that he was dead:

Even after Ghul was killed in Mir Ali, the NSA's role in the drone strike wasn't done. Although the attack was aimed at "an individual believed to be" the correct target, the outcome wasn't certain until later when, "through SIGINT, it was confirmed that Hassan Ghul was in fact killed."

The NSA and its supporters will undoubtedly spin this to show how good it is that the NSA has these kinds of capabilities, allowing them to track down and dispatch terrorists. But it remains concerning how this level of spying and power (all the way down to assassinations) can easily be combined and used in ways that are even more questionable.

Source: Techdirt

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lok Sabha polls: BJP says it may swap some seats with SAD in Punjab

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PHAGWARA: The BJP today said there was likelihood of its swapping some seats with its ally Shiromani Akali Dal for upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here, state BJP chief Kamal Sharma, however, did not specify which seats the party might swap with the SAD.

He said there was possibility of the BJP changing some seats with the SAD in the next Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The state BJP head, however, added the party might end up contesting from its traditional seats --Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.

On the possibility of an increase in BJP's seat share, Sharma said since the stakes were very high this time, the matter was not under consideration.

He said "our alliance with the SAD is based on trust and maturity. We want to win all 13 seats in Punjab,"

On Narendra Modi, Sharma said both the BJP and SAD cadres were very much enthused with the projection of the Gujarat CM as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

"We have already gone into the election mode. We have appointed in-charges and co-incharges for all 13 seats for better co-ordination between the two parties," he said.

Source: Indiatimes

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Macalope: An oldie but a baddy

<prirfq303p>How can you idiots keep buying Apple products?! Can't you see they're ripping you off?!

Boy, if the Macalope had a nickel for every time he's heard that, well, then he'd have another nickel today. He'd also be rich but still just as annoyed.

Minyanville's Vincent Trivett says "Apple Inc.'s Pattern of Rip-Offs Forces Customers to Buy New or Pay Up" (tip o' the antlers to Matt), because no one's ever heard that argument before.

The Macalope wouldn't normally pay attention to an outfit like Minyanville, but somehow they've gotten themselves into cross-publishing relationships with Yahoo and now Nasdaq and, sheesh, there's only so much a mythical beast can put up with. Did Minyanville's dad go to prep school with Yahoo and Nasdaq or something?

On one hand, everyone was aware that Apple trails its rivals in emerging markets where its devices cost exorbitant amounts of money. A low-cost device could really help it compete in countries like China, where subsidies for phones aren't the norm. On the other hand, a cheaper device would wreck the sky-high margins that make the company so successful.

Sure. Unless, of course, the margins were higher on a lower-cost iPhone.

But another word for "high margins" is "rip-off."

Uh, no, actually, it's not. Yes, if you can get the same exact thing for less without incurring extraneous costs, you're getting ripped off. But you can't, in fact, get anything exactly the same as an iPhone from a manufacturer other than Apple. Users of Apple products have only been saying stuff like this for more than 30 years, it's a wonder it hasn't sunk in yet.

Well, look what we have to work with.

This has been on my mind since Wednesday when Mike Schuster wrote for Minyanville about the iOS 7 upgrade, and how third-party charger cables no longer work... If you bought a non-Apple charger, you are out of luck and you have no choice but to buy a new one, from Apple of course.

Wow, that's really weird because the Macalope just plugged his iPhone 5c running iOS 7.0.2 into an Amazon Basics Lightning cable plugged into the charger that came with his Nexus 7 and it charged fine. But, please, don't let facts get in the way of a good anti-Apple rant.

Of course, many chargers don't work anymore and, gosh, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that some people were literally killed by knockoff chargers, could it? No, no. Certainly not, or Trivett would have mentioned those incidents.

Which he doesn't.

You might think of it as a luxury strategy rather than a rip-off, but it's certainly puzzling that we still regard Apple as a corporation worthy of love.

Hey, even the Macalope doesn't love Apple unconditionally. In many cases its add-ons are usuriously expensive when compared to alternatives. But even when there isn't an alternative or Apple blocks that alternative, its user experience is still better, its products are better made and their resale value is far higher than that of its competitor's products.

But, of course, naysayers never want to talk about the total cost of Apple's products; they just want to build a one-sided case about how the company's "ripping you off."

Source: Macworld

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some Senate GOPers look for way out

<adhesivep>They have been sitting out the budget impasse that led to the government shutdown - and only been a spectator in the bitter battle between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

But some uneasy Senate Republicans are eager to take matters into their own hands.

Moderates like Susan Collins of Maine, conservatives like Rob Portman of Ohio and deal-makers like John McCain of Arizona have quietly begun to reach out to top Senate Democratic leaders to see if they can help break the political logjam. There's no indication the informal talks will lead to a resolution, particularly since the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to negotiate before House Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government with no policy strings attached.

But as the shutdown drags on, the back-channel discussions are a sign of the growing frustration among Senate Republicans that there is no end to the shutdown in sight - and that their House colleagues appear to be at an unbreakable impasse with the White House.

"We have discussions going on, I'm on my way to one right now," said Collins, who spoke with two Senate Democrats Friday morning. "I think that the vast majority of our conference believes the shutdown needs to be brought to an end as soon as possible."

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democratic leader who has helped broker bipartisan deals on immigration and the filibuster "nuclear option" this year, said he's already hearing from Senate Republicans.

"Look, I think there are a good number of Republicans, even very conservative ones that would like to come to an agreement and get the government open again," Schumer said. "There are talks going on, but I'm not going to speak about any details."

Reid added: "I think there are a number of them who have been working very hard to try to get something done. They've come to me."

Portman, the Ohio Republican who was on the short-list to be Mitt Romney's running-mate last year, said he's spoken to seven different Democrats and was "trading ideas back-and-forth." Among his ideas are to push Democrats to lower the spending cap on the continuing resolution from $986 billion to $967 billion, as well as instructions for the House and Senate tax writing committees to produce a tax reform proposal to find $600 billion in mandatory savings outlined in President Barack Obama's budget in order to raise the national debt ceiling by a similar amount.

"There's a growing consensus that we have to do something about spending in the context of the debt limit," Portman said.

While Portman is not demanding proposals to gut Obamacare, like his House GOP counterparts, his calls for spending cuts go much further than Democrats have thus far been willing to tolerate. For instance, Reid said Friday that the "biggest compromise" he's made in 31 years on Capitol Hill was agreeing with House Speaker John Boehner to lower federal funding to $986 billion, the level currently in the Senate's continuing resolution.

And Reid reiterated Friday that he wouldn't compromise further or offer Boehner a concession to end the shutdown.

"This is not a face-saving deal," Reid told reporters. "This is not a date to the prom. This is our country."

Standing in the way of a potential deal is the fact that a number of Senate Republicans are unwilling to undercut Boehner in the high-stakes fight, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has stayed mostly out of the spotlight this week but has echoed the speaker's demands for changes in the health care law.

While Boehner and Reid aren't talking, Senate and House Republicans are coordinating closely during the bruising fall fiscal fights. McConnell, Portman and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) huddled with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has been sharply critical of the hardball tactics of tea party Republicans in the government shutdown fight, said it's still up to the House Republicans and Senate Democrats to lead the charge.

"At the end of the day, we're dependent on the House to pass good policy," he said.

Corker was part of a group of Senate Republicans who have previously entertained the idea of a major fiscal deal with the White House. The GOP group repeatedly met with Obama and senior White House officials over fiscal matters this year, though those talks stalled and broke off in August.

Some are renewing those efforts with Senate Democrats.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said Friday he's buttonholed Schumer with some thoughts on how to end the crisis.

"It was very informal, it was talking to somebody who actually has the ear of Harry Reid and the president," Coats said. "Simply saying: This is where Republicans are coming from."

And with public anxiety growing over the shutdown - and Republicans worried they may suffer more of the blame for the gridlock on Capitol Hill - some are clearly ready for the fight to be resolved.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who joined Senate Republicans in earlier fiscal talks with the White House, said he's ready for the impasse to end.

"This is not a position I want us to be in," Johnson said. "I don't want this brinksmanship - I think the government does enough harm to our economy; we don't need to put on a whole new layer."

Source: Politico

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mays Landing man receives Carnegie medal for coming to police officer's rescue

<couponp>The national medals are given to civilians who engage in random acts of heroism, some awarded posthumously. Since the fund's inception in 1904, 9,633 people have received the award; fewer than 100 are given each year. Carnegie medalists or their heirs receive financial grants.

Harding's act of heroism took place in April 2011 in Elmer, Salem County, where he was driving on a dark and rainy evening and encountered Sgt. Steve Felice, of the Elmer Police Department, engaged in a struggle with someone in the middle of the road.

"It was raining so hard, I thought someone had hit a deer, but when I got closer I saw it was a man in the road, and then I thought maybe someone had hit a hitchhiker," Harding recalled. "But then I saw it was a police officer on top of a man, and I thought he was giving him CPR or medical attention."

According to Felice's account of the incident, he was struggling on the ground a suspect who grabbed his handgun from its holster.

"The gun was coming toward me, and I was doing everything I could to keep it away from both of us," Felice said. "This was all happening in the middle of the road, while several cars were passing by, none of of them stopping, except Harding."

Felice said Harding pulled up nearby and yelled, "Are you OK?"

Felice responded, 'He's got my gun.'

"I wanted him to know this was a dangerous, potentially life-threatening, situation," Felice said.

But instead of speeding up, Harding exited his vehicle and ran toward them, jumping on top of the man and helping Sgt. Felice recover his weapon and make the arrest.

"I've been a police officer for 23 years, and I've seen a lot. But for somebody to be as courageous in his actions as he was says so much about his character. His thought was to help me, not of himself," Felice said. "I give him all the credit and gratitude in the world."

Felice said he doesn't know who nominated Harding for the Carnegie honor.

Harding also doesn't know who nominated him. Though he is honored, he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"Everyone is still calling me a hero, but I don't like that word," he said. "It was just an impulsive (reaction). He needed help, and I happened to be there."

He said looking back, he now realizes he could he died, but he doesn't regret his decision.

"I did what my gut told me to do. If someone needs help, you help them," he said.

In 2012, the Elmer Borough Council and Salem County recognized Harding for his act. Also in 2012, he received the Best Security Personnel award during Atlantic City's annual hospitality industry workers award ceremony for his position as an investigator at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The Carnegie awards were started by steel baron Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.

The others honored Thursday were from New Jersey, California, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Arkansas, Tennessee, Maine, Rhode Island, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Virginia and Ontario and Saskatchewan, Canada.

Contact Elisa Lala:


@ElisaLala on Twitter

Source: Pressofatlanticcity

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Virgin selling iPhone 5s, 5c at $100 discount

Buyers interested in the iPhone 5c or the iPhone 5s iphone iphone 5 cases hello kitty cheer may want to give Virgin Mobile another look. As we mentioned last week, the low-cost Sprint-owned carrier is offering the new models as of Tuesday, but they're doing so at a cheaper price than you'll find elsewhere.

Virgin tends to sell phones for the full unlocked cost, but in this case it's offering $100 off that unsubsidized price. That means if you're looking for an iPhone 5s, you can pick one up for $550, $650, and $750 for 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB, respectively. An iPhone 5c, likewise, goes for $450 for 16GB and $550 for 32GB. All that on top of Virgin's generally cheaper monthly plans, which start at $35, offer unlimited data and text messaging, and do not require a contract.

Of course, Virgin is one of the smaller carriers in the U.S. and it relies on Sprint's network, which is somewhat smaller than those offered by AT&T and Verizon. It's also worth keeping in mind, however, that the Sprint version of the iPhone 5c and 5s used by Virgin are not compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon (though they do work with several smaller carriers), so your switching options are limited.

Source: Macworld

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ask Zelda: Quesitons on sexless marriage and unrequited love answered

By Zelda West-Meads

PUBLISHED: 18:01 EST, 28 September 2013 | UPDATED: 18:01 EST, 28 September 2013

Is it possible to have a sex-free marriage?

I love my husband dearly, and wouldn't dream of hurting him, but if he turned around and said he never wanted sex again I would be ecstatic. I am in my late 40s, he is 55 and we have been married for 15 years. I would rather have a cup of tea than sex. I would just like a cuddle but he might see this as an invitation for sex.

I know it sounds horrible - but I can't be bothered. We had sex two weeks ago and before that it was last summer. I don't fancy him but I don't fancy anyone else either. If I told him that it would break his heart. If we stop making love altogether, I think we would end up divorcing. I would be sad but almost relieved. Is there anything I can do to get my libido back? Surely there must be successful marriages out there that don't rely on sex.

It is possible to be happily married and not have a sexual relationship, but - and it's a big but - only if you both feel the same way.

I get lots of letters about the loss of sexual desire from women - and some from men, though fewer. The first question for someone who no longer wants to make love should be: is it that you no longer fancy your partner, or that you have lost your libido completely?

Loss of sexual desire is often due to problems in the relationship but it sounds as if you have a good marriage, so I think we can rule that out. Complete loss of sexual desire can be caused by stress, depression, diabetes, an underactive thyroid, drug or alcohol misuse - all of which can suppress your libido.

With your menopause just around the corner, it could be a diminishing level of hormones such as oestrogen or testosterone. So discuss all of this with your GP. There is help available such as HRT or testosterone patches. Tell your husband that you still love him but you are suffering with a low libido or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD, as it is known) and that you are going to get help.

As you have made love only once in the past year, he must have some idea that there is a problem and he could be feeling quite rejected. It is better to admit to a general loss of sexual desire, rather than just making excuses not to make love, or not daring to show him any affection in case it leads to sex.

Our dog is taking over our life

Six years ago my husband and I bought a puppy who we both love to bits, but I have developed a fear of leaving her when we go on holiday. It's getting so bad that I don't want to go away and this is annoying my husband.

We have been married for 18 years and are happy together. We chose not to have children. Although we have found a very reliable dogsitter, in the weeks leading up to our departure I have been unable to sleep and I don't want to go away. On one occasion we cancelled the holiday at the last minute and suffered a heavy financial loss. If we do go, I wish the time away so I can get back to the dog. I would like to be able to relax and enjoy going on holiday again but I can't.

Think of it this way - you are not exactly being fair to your husband or yourself. If you keep refusing to go or are counting the days until you return, your husband could accuse you in a cross moment of putting the dog before him. Dogs are thought not to have the same concept of time as we do but to live more in the moment, so she won't be counting the days until you return, though of course she will be delighted to see you.

If you look a little deeper I suspect the dog has become a substitute child. Or it could be that it's taking you back to a deeply buried feeling that you had when you were a child. Perhaps you were separated from your mother because she went away and this is igniting all those past fears of loss and separation. Contact Anxiety Alliance (, 0845 296 7877) to help you deal with your worries about leaving her.

How can I tell her how I feel?

I am in love with my best friend but I don't know how she feels about me. We are on the same course at university. I see her every day and we go out to supper a lot and she says she loves my company. However, she also spends a lot of time with strapping rowers, leaving me with a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to my body. I'm quite fat and she is very beautiful. I don't want to ruin our friendship by blurting out how I feel. This isn't just a lust thing - she is a fragile, intelligent and truly gorgeous person.

It does seem that she sees you as a lovely and close friend rather than a prospective romantic partner. So it's probably best to tread carefully and don't blurt anything out. If the opportunity arises, you could say something such as: 'Do you ever see us going out on a proper date together?' If she replies along the lines of: 'I wouldn't want to spoil our friendship', then you will know where you stand and you could still be friends, but loosen the ties a little and date other girls zelda costume. Could you try exercising to lose weight or take up a sport? It would be good for your health and your self-esteem.

If you have a problem, write to Zelda West-Meads at: YOU, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS, or em ail Zelda reads all your letters but regrets that she cannot answer them all personally

Source: Dailymail

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Detroit Lions will have to beat the Washington Redskins without the help of their dual-threat running back reggie Bush. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports that Reggie Bush has been listed as "officially out" of the game today.

Reggie Bush officially out. RBs Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram also out.

- Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 22, 2013

This shouldn't come as too big of a surprise. Despite Bush's optimism all week, there were doubts all along that he'd be available to play. There were reports that the Lions might hold him out of the game to give him extra rest to recover instead of risking a further set back.

Due to knee injury, Lions RB Reggie Bush is not expected to play today vs. Washington. He is expected to play next week.

- Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 22, 2013

There were reports that he was pushing to play, but ultimately he wasn't able to convince coaches to let him on the field. In his place Joique Bell will get the start for the Lions.

Source: Fansided

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Family members of Eain Clayton Brooks, the 5-year-old West Side boy who police say was fatally beaten last weekend, vow to hold Erie County Child Protective Services accountable for his death.

They said the agency's workers, despite numerous warnings, failed the child.

"If I have to take it to the steps of Washington, I'm going to do that," Paul Henry, Eain's great-uncle, said outside Sanborn Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements for the boy's funeral.

Police on Thursday arrested Matthew Kuzdzal, the boyfriend of the boy's mother, on a charge of second-degree murder.

People who report allegations of child abuse deserve some follow-up, family members said Friday.

"There needs to be confirmation," Henry said.

He said when individuals report suspected child abuse, they should be issued a confirmation number so they can follow the case through the system.

Several family members have said they took their fears for Eain to Child Protective Services several times, to no avail.

Henry said he received no confirmation number when he called last winter to report his suspicions that Eain was being abused.

He said he was told: "We got the report, and we'll look into it."

Family members said Eain's mother, Nora Brooks, did not take her son away from Kuzdzal because she was being manipulated by him and was unable to take action.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, called on the state Office of Children and Family Services to investigate the boy's death and the handling of his case by Erie County Child Protective Services, as well as conduct a broader examination of the state's child protection agencies.

"Eain's death is an intolerable and heartbreaking tragedy, and we must do all we can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again," Kennedy said in a statement.


Source: Buffalonews

Hydrogen bombs dropped as doomed B-52 plunged to earth. One almost detonated.

A doomed Air Force B-52 accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs on North Carolina in January 1961, and one came perilously close to exploding and scattering deadly radioactive fallout over the Eastern Seaboard, according to a recently declassified report.

The 4-megaton Mark 39 bombs -- each packing 260 times the explosive power of the weapon that decimated Hiroshima -- broke loose over Goldsboro, N.C., as the bomber went into a tailspin and crashed.

The Mark 39 hydrogen bomb had an explosive yield of 4 megatons, equal to 4 million tons of TNT. Two fell accidentally on Goldsboro, N.C., in 1961, and one nearly detonated.(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

All four safety mechanisms designed to prevent accidental detonation worked properly on one bomb, which landed in a meadow, but three failed on the other, and only a low-voltage switch kept it from exploding upon impact in a field in Faro, N.C., said the 1969 report.

The accident happened just three days after President John F Kennedy was inaugurated. Only one crew member survived the crash.

The report was obtained by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser for his newest book, Command and Control, about the nuclear arms race. Schlosser found that between 1950 and 1968 alone, at least 700 "significant" accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded.

Mother Jonesfirst reported Schlosser's findings Sunday, and the Goldsboro incident attracted new attention Friday based on an article in the Guardian. The British paper also published the report, written by Parker F Jones, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories.

Source: Usatoday

The lawsuits are still flying around between residents near the CTS Superfund Site in South Asheville, and the CTS Corp., but today there was a glimmer of hope that things are moving forward, if ever so slightly.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today, Friday, Sept. 20, it will start sampling activities for the Soil Vapor Extraction Confirmation Sampling and Analysis Plan and the Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids Investigation at the CTS Superfund site off Mills Gap Road in South Asheville.

The work will include collecting soil and water samples to better understand how deep and wide the highest concentrated contamination exists on and adjacent to the former plant property, said Samantha Urquhart-Foster, EPA remedial project manager.

"The intent of the sampling is to find the most contaminated parts to the soil and groundwater to begin clean up," Urquhart-Foster said. "The work plans were approved in December 2012, but we hadn't begun work because we didn't have approval for some of the properties. But we decided to go ahead and start sampling."

"We were hoping it would start back at the beginning of the year, but we are glad that they are continuing with the sampling without stalling," said Lee Ann Smith, chair of a community group called POWER (Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources).

"We are celebrating this sampling event because it will bring us one step closer to the full-scale cleanup that we seek," Smith said.

Urquhart-Foster said the sampling will begin on the site of the former CTS plant and move outward. CTS manufactured industrial switches and resistors at the Mills Gap Road plant from 1959-87. Chemicals used at the site, including the industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, have been found in high concentrations in the ground and in nearby drinking water wells.

Residents have been pushing for action on a cleanup for years. They have alleged numerous health problems, including cancer, were caused by the contamination. Some homes have since been connected to city water, while others have had filter systems installed.

Smith, a teacher at Glen Arden Elementary School, has lived less than a mile from the former CTS site for nearly 20 years. Both of her children, who spent their entire lives in that home, are cancer survivors.

The EPA announced in March 2012 the site had been added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

Source: Citizen-times

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five young men dead within the space of four years. They died of different causes: accidents, drugs, and suicide. They had in common being black, male, from rural Mississippi and friends or relatives of Jesmyn Ward, author of a new memoir titled "Men We Reaped."

Ward's previous book, the novel "Salvage the Bones," won the 2011 National Book Award. You can find our conversation on that book here.

Jesmyn Ward joined me in our studio to discuss her new work. In this extended conversation, we discuss the role and strength of women in her community, and the time it took to write and understand the loss of her loved ones.

Source: Pbs

Stocks on Wall Street were little changed as investors hoped that remarks by several senior Federal Reserve officials scheduled to speak on Friday would shed light on the Fed's recent surprise decision to keep its stimulus efforts intact.

In early trading the Standard & Poor's 500-share index was up 0.1 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average was flat, and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.2 percent.

Trading could be volatile as Friday marks the "quadruple witching," when stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire on the same day. Trading increases as investors replace or repurchase existing contracts.

Two days after an unexpected decision by the Federal Reserve to delay scaling back its massive monthly bond purchase program, four central bank officials are scheduled to speak at events around midday, and investors hope their remarks may contain signals on how much longer the Fed's stimulus will continue.

In global markets, which jumped on Thursday after the Fed's announcement, trading was largely subdued as investors took stock of their positions and locked in some of the gains, with half an eye on German elections on Sunday.

On Thursday, Wall Street retreated slightly as investors paused after the Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to keep its stimulus intact sparked a rally that day which took the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs.

In company news, Apple shares rose 1 percent on the day the new iPhone models went for sale across the globe.

Microsoft could be in the spotlight. The company's chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, has made an impassioned plea to investors at an annual meeting to support his vision of the world's largest software company as a unified devices and services powerhouse. He said in August he planned to step down within 12 months. The stock was down 1.4 percent.

In afternoon trading Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index of blue chips was down 0.2 percent, and London's FTSE 100 was also down 0.2 percent. Euro zone bond markets were little changed, while the euro was holding near an eight-month high after its best week since July.

After being battered in May and June by the prospect of reduced stimulus, emerging market currencies and stocks have some of the biggest winners from Wednesday's Fed move. Indian financial markets were roiled again on Friday, however, after the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly raised interest rates by 25 basis points. The Indian rupee fell 1.0 percent to 62.34 to the dollar while Indian shares fell almost 2 percent.

The Indonesian rupiah also gave up some of Thursday's gains to trade at 11,390 to the dollar, down 1.0 percent on the day. Jakarta shares, which jumped 4.7 percent on Thursday, lost 1.9 percent.

Brighter economic data out of the United States on Thursday, which included a surge in home sales and some encouraging unemployment claims figures, provided a timely reminder that a scaling back of stimulus will come eventually, despite this week's delay.

That helped push the yield on the United States 10-year Treasury note back up to 2.75 percent from a five-week low of 2.67 percent touched just after the Fed's decision, and kept the dollar index just clear of a seven-month low at 80.417 points.

In the commodities market, benchmark crude oil slipped 65 cents a barrel to $105.74 on Friday after a 1.5 percent drop the previous day on increased Libyan production and signs of a thawing of diplomatic relations between Iran and the West.

Meanwhile, gold - whose reputation as an inflation hedge means it usually benefits from central bank stimulus - hovered at $1,369 an ounce, on track for its best week in five.

Source: Nytimes

More A-Rod: Knobler: Like it or not, A-Rod is the all-time grand slam king

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez set a record when he was suspended 211 games for his ties to Biogenesis last month. He's appealing the ban and allowed to play in the meantime, which gave him a chance to set another record: the all-time grand slam record. A-Rod here hit his 24th career grand slam on Friday to pass Lou Gehrig on the all-time list. Here's the record-setting blast:

Here's the updated all-time grand slam leaderboard, courtesy of Baseball Almanac:

  1. A-Rod -- 24
  2. Gehrig -- 23
  3. Manny Ramirez -- 21
  4. Eddie Murray -- 19
  5. Willie McCovey & Robin Ventura -- both 18
  6. Jimmie Foxx, Carlos Lee & Ted Williams -- 17 each
  7. Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth & Dave Kingman -- 16 each
  8. Ken Griffey Jr. & Richie Sexson -- 15 each
  9. Jason Giambi, Gil Hodges, Mark McGwire & Mike Piazza -- 14 each
  10. Eight tied with 13

Source: Cbssports

It's like AA without the rambling speeches, stale coffee or stink of cigarettes. You can show up in the middle of the night, without leaving your bed.

It's no wonder self-help "communities" online are shoving conventional in-person support groups to the sidelines.

They offer more than 24-seven advice; they can be an encouraging counterpoint to the prevailing narrative of Internet cruelty and faceless online bullies.

I discovered that this summer, when my daughter downloaded an app that might, in the long run, save her life. It's the "Dare to Quit Smoking" website, where thousands of people from across the country and around the world come together to kick the habit.

My daughter's attraction to cigarettes blossomed when she was a freshman in college. The DSA - designated smoking area - outside her dorm was where the renegades hung out. She showed up for the camaraderie and left with a pack of Marlboro Lights.

In the four years since then, she's tried to quit, but it never stuck. Her habit had become an addiction; a tyrant and a crutch.

Now she's three months smober - that's what they call it - and she credits ex-smokers on the website with bringing her this far.

When she has the urge, she goes online and someone talks her down.

It's a place to discuss the fallout from quitting that only smokers know: bad dreams, headaches, anxiety, cravings that come and go for years after your last smoke.

And it's a place to celebrate the simple blessings of quitting: a bike ride without getting winded, a stranger who notices how good you smell.

They share tactics for managing withdrawal: a nicotine patch, e-cigarettes, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, a straw to chew on while you commute, herbs to help you sleep. here They track how many cigarettes they smoke, and how much money they save when they don't.

And they know they'll be offered encouragement, whether they're crowing about success - Feeling pretty proud. Hung out with two smokers last night and drank beer all night with them and I didn't smoke - orconfessing failure:

Fell off the wagon after an 8 month quit. Stupidest thing ever, but a valuable lesson was learned: never, ever let your guard down and think you can handle just one cigarette.


What makes online sites work, experts say, is not just the advice and encouragement, but the combination of accountability, anonymity and the bonds that develop when strangers feel safe enough to share personal revelations.

"Psychological monitoring is very successful as a technique to change behavior," said Karen North, a psychologist who heads USC's Annenberg Program on Online Communities in its School of Communication. "When you're checking in with your peer group, that provides both social pressure and social support."

Because they don't know each other in real life, group members can be more honest and intimate than they might be with friends, family members or even in a doctor's office.

"What they want is for someone to listen and care and talk about things that might be too private or embarrassing to people in the physical world," North said.

"These people know what you're going through and want to help. They've got advice to share. But they're not integrated in the rest of your life, so you can say things that, in your daily life, you wouldn't want people to know.

"It's a confessional group," she said. "And if you're lucky enough to connect with people who really care about each other, the process of sharing can bring you closer and help you reach your goal."


My daughter is lucky; I can tell from visiting the site and scrolling through posts. It amazes me how unfailingly kind and supportive her group's members are.

It's corny, maybe, their ceaseless cheerleading and inspirational sayings. But what a breath of fresh air in a social networking world so mean that teenagers can be pushed to suicide by ugly online screeds.

These people comfort one another in ways that go beyond quitting or smoking. They share the pleasures and irritations of disparate daily lives: the husband who won't help with the dishes, the kids that drive them crazy, the diet that finally kicked in.

Their confessions are a revelation to my 22-year-old, who mourns the losses and celebrates the victories: the man whose cancer is in remission, the woman struggling to right a wayward teenage daughter.

She's learned about the real-life hazards of smoking in a way she can't ignore, from a woman diagnosed with cancer 12 days after she quit.

I'm grateful for the lesson and the way they've embraced her. On the morning she started her new job, still nervous about the prospect, she awoke to stream of "good luck" messages on her app. She checks in with her group first thing in the morning and at night when she's in bed.

They've given her a peek at private lives that prime her for compassion and arm her with insight. These people, it's clear, are more than her mentors; they have become her friends.

Source: Latimes

Areas under a "Flood Watch" this weekend

DALLAS - Large sections of Texas are under flood watches with forecasts calling for rain through the weekend.

Parts of state are already getting soaked as rain and cooler temperatures make their here way into the state after a long hot, dry stretch.

Utilities report more than 26,000 customers in North Texas have lost electricity amid the storms. Most of the power outages are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The National Weather Service says much of West Texas and part of South Texas are under flood watches, while Central Texas could get up to 3 inches of rain.

Source: Wkyc

Adam Sandler may be returning to the dramatic scene as he is here in talks to star in the indie drama " The Cobbler" which Tom McCarthy is directing.

Mary Jane Skalski is producing the feature. Plot details are being kept under wraps.

Sandler's last dramatic role was Judd Apatow's "This Is 40″ while he also starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's 2002 drama "Punch Drunk Love."

In addition to "The Cobbler," Sandler is circling Jason Reitman's next film "Men, Women & Children" so it's unclear which movie he will do first.

Actor-turned-director McCarthy last helmed "Win Win" and "The Visitor."

Sandler is repped by WME while McCarthy is at Gersh Agency.

Source: Variety

When developer Realmac announced that it would release a new, separate version of its popular Clear to-do app for iOS 7, the crowd went wild. With anger, that is.

"What's this? Greed?" one user said on Twitter. "I have to get a whole new app just for upgrading?" tweeted another Clear user. "That seems ridiculously unfair. Why can't you just update the original app?"

Their frustration boils down to a couple of pertinent questions: "Why do I here have to pay again for an app I already bought?" and "Are these developers ripping me off?" Behind these questions are valid frustrations, but what most people don't know is that Apple doesn't give developers much choice in how to charge for new content. And if you can't effectively charge for new content, you go broke.

Apple has traditionally encouraged developers to either offer free updates or in-app purchases, but with the exception of a few companies like FiftyThree, Evernote, and freemium gaming developers, in-app purchases cannot support a business forever. If a developer wants to keep making apps, they must launch new versions of old apps for full price every so often. At the crux of the story is the fact that Apple has rolled out various useful tools for developers to leverage, like in-app purchases and volume discounts for companies, but has never provided a way for developers to issue free or paid upgrades to current users, or to users who bought an app within the last month and feel cheated.

"We can't keep making this stuff for free."

OmniGroup CEO Ken Case, who makes popular "getting things done" app OmniFocus, has been lobbying Apple for paid upgrades since the App Store launched in 2008. OmniFocus, in fact, was a launch title, and Case felt bad asking his dedicated user base to pay full price for the app if they already used his desktop software. OmniFocus, like Clear, released a new app for iOS 7, which means current OmniFocus users will have to pay for the new app. Case has no regrets about charging again after faithfully updating and supporting the last version of OmniFocus for iPhone for the past five years - for free.

"Now seemed like the right time to ask for another $20," says Case. "If I'm buying a movie, I don't expect to get the sequel for free." Obviously, providing free updates and support for an app forever isn't sustainable, yet some customers still expect it. An even greater contingent of users hope for discounted pricing, but such a mechanism doesn't exist.

OmniGroup has traditionally offered refunds to customers who purchased their apps less than 30 days before a new version launches, but the App Store makes it impossible to identify those customers if they don't contact the company directly. OmniGroup and Realmac only receive a ledger of how many apps were sold in the App Store, and not who bought the apps. "If people had a perfect understanding of what we're doing and why, they're not going to be upset," says Case, "but there will always be people that we don't reach. We can't keep making this stuff for free."

"You might say 'I could build Clear in a weekend,' but you can only copy the end result."

Setting aside App Store upgrade drama, users asked to pay full price again for an app often ask if the app includes enough features to be worth it. For developers, there's a hidden cost to launching "sequel" apps like Clear that most users don't know about. During the months spent building version 2.0 of an app, most developers also spend time supporting and updating version 1.0 for free. Clear, for example, hit the market 18 months ago, and Realmac has provided support and updates for the $0.99 app ever since. Fantastical for iPhone, another example, launched less than a year ago, but will be launching a new, paid app in the near future.

"It's not easy at all to calm down upset users."

At first glance it might seem like rebuilding Clear just means thinning out the app's fonts to fit in with iOS 7 and updating the app for iPad, but that's far from the truth. It means utilizing the new "UI Dynamics" APIs Apple provides, which give every tap and swipe a distinct bounce to it, and implementing "Motion," Apple's tool for adding parallax to your apps like on the iOS 7 home screen. There's also the cost of developing and iterating on Clear's core idea. "Judging a product by its end result is what users do," says Realmac's Nik Fletcher. "You might say 'I could build Clear in a weekend,' but you can only copy the end result." The first iterations of Clear had buttons and recurring tasks, and if the app had launched with these features, it likely wouldn't have been as successful or influential.

Even so, and despite Clear's very low price tag, your frustration is warranted if you bought Clear within the last couple months and now have a to buy a new version, or if you bought Reeder, an RSS app, expecting months or years of updates and now have to buy a new version. Reeder developer Silvio Rizzi left his iPad users out in the cold by abandoning the app when its syncing engine, Google Reader, was killed off by Google. Several months later, Rizzi debuted Reeder 2, which works on both iPhone and iPad, but many of his Reeder for iPad users were appalled. The previous version of Reeder for iPhone still works, while Reeder for iPad users were forced to upgrade or find another RSS app. Some of them likely would have been more forgiving had Rizzi been more communicative during the process, but the developer is notoriously qu iet online in comparison to others in the iOS community.

"It's not easy at all to calm down upset users - I think one of the problems is that some people don't understand that this is not just a hobby for me," says Rizzi. "Although we're probably not quite there yet, I think there are more and more people realizing that free does not work." Providing updates free of charge becomes even more difficult when you make two separate apps, as Tapbots developer Paul Haddad does. "Some folks will always complain, regardless," he says, "but for others it'll depend on how much has changed [in the new app] and how long the app has been out." Haddad has not yet announced his plans for iOS 7.

Hard work isn't free, and the fact that Apple doesn't allow upgrade pricing - something many developers would offer - and has trained people to expect free updates makes it tough to satisfy users and your own needs. The reviews section for Clear in the App Store is littered with preemptively scathing reviews from current users complaining of Realmac's "greed." More than ever, it's up to users to decide if buying into a developer's vision is a long-term commitment, or a short-term fix, and up to developers to communicate their rationale for whichever path they choose.

Source: Theverge

DETROIT (AP) - BMW is recalling more than 134,000 5-Series cars in the U.S. because the rear lights can fail.

The recall, posted here Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, affects 528i, 535i, 550i and M5 cars from the 2008 through 2010 model years.

The U.S. safety agency says that increased electrical resistance can damage connections to the lights. That could cause loss of tail, brake turn-signal or backup lights. The agency says the loss of lights can increase the risk of a crash, although BMW says in documents that it has no reports of any accidents or injuries from the problem.

The cars, made from March 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2009, will give drivers visual and audible warnings if the problem occurs, and unaffected rear lights will display to warn drivers behind the cars, BMW said in documents filed with NHTSA.

BMW doesn't believe the problem is an unreasonable safety risk, but the company decided to do the recall due to a precedent set by a 2011 recall for a similar problem, BMW said in the documents.

In August of 2011, BMW recalled 241,000 of its popular 3-Series cars to fix the rear light connections. That recall affected cars from the 2002 through 2005 model years.

Owners in the latest recall will be notified starting next month. Dealers will replace part of the rear lamp connections at no cost to customers.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Usatoday

Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans...

Will the Titans hurry up to get back to their hurry-up offense? John Glennon of The Tennessean considers how often the Titans can, and will, use it.

The Titans are doing here a disservice to Jake Locker by keeping training wheels on, says David Climer of The Tennessean. "At some point, you've got to accept the challenge that comes with the position and prove you can succeed."

To which I say: A bad side effect of the conservatism is that a lot of people wonder if they trust Locker.

Rob Turner said it bothered him that J.J. Watt made a big stink about his peel back block and Turner's attempt to explain himself, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Turner was fined but didn't reveal how much.

To which I say: Turner will be crushed for this by Texans faithful, who will say the guy who executes a dangerous block surrenders the right to complain about anything connected to it.

The Chargers have been good at finding matchups they can win, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

Source: Go