Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rufus the hawk stolen from Wimbledon

beautiful hawk bird of prey
Rufus the hawk overlooks the tennis courts at Wimbledon. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images
Police appeal for help finding bird of prey who keeps pigeons away from All England Club during tennis tournament

The bird of prey that patrols the skies of Wimbledon has been stolen.

Rufus, a Harris hawk who keeps pigeons away from the All England Club, was stolen along with his cage overnight between Thursday and Friday.

Detectives are investigating the theft and have appealed for help from members of the public to find the missing bird.

A police spokesman said Rufus was taken from a car parked on a private drive in Dunstall Road, Wimbledon, with the rear window open for ventilation.

The hawk, which deters pigeons purely by his presence, is also a family pet, he said.

"The family has become very attached to the bird, who is now four and a half years old.

"They are distressed over the theft and are appealing for help to recover the bird."

Rufus has become a well-known fixture at the south-west London club, with visitors often stopping to ask for photos with the hawk. He even has his own Twitter account.

His owner, Imogen Davis, 25, said: "It's really, really sad. He was taken in his travelling box, which is where he sleeps because it's nice and dark and cool and he can fall asleep in there."

She said a falconry glove and hood were stolen at the same time.

Hawking was first introduced to the All England Club in 1999. Hawks are trained not to attack but to circle the courts to scare pigeons.

Rufus was flown each morning and evening of the tournament, but not during play so as to avoid any distraction.

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Hot Wheels Set Record With Double Loop Dare In Los Angeles

Double Loop Dare In Los Angeles
 A rally car driver and a stuntman set a new record by driving through a 66ft high double loop at the X Games in Los Angeles.

Tanner Foust and stuntman Greg Tracy completed the feat at the X Games in Los Angeles on a track the length of two football fields and modelled on Mattel's Hot Wheels Double Dare Snare toy racetrack set.

After finishing first through the loop in the Team Green car and making the jump into the finish ahead of Foust, Tracy said: "That was unbelievable. I tell you what, I'm at a loss for words. That was absolutely the coolest thing I've ever done.

"It was a handful trying to land it and get it slowed down. I knew Tanner was right behind me and I was just hoping we weren't going to tangle before we got to the end."

Foust and Tracy smashed the previous record for the largest loop in a car, set at 42ft in September last year by Chinese driver Li Yatao in Shanghai.

"The moment when it's go time, the heart rate slows down, the adrenaline goes away and it's a matter of letting it happen," Foust said.

Foust and Tracy hit 52mph in the track and experienced approximately seven Gs of force as they went through the loop.

"That was pretty hardcore: the seven Gs … I almost felt my chin hit my lap, I think, in the loop," Foust said after finishing the stunt in the Team Yellow car. "I felt like I was in a toy."

To avoid passing out from the force of seven times gravity, Foust's strategy was to "grunt, tighten your core and try to make your eyeballs and veins pop out".

He added: "It's a matter of following the black line and not passing out."

Tracy said: "It doesn't just happen on the day. It's something we've been working on for a year. When I heard the countdown, I was ready to go."

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Friday, June 29, 2012

US News:Storms knock out power to 2M across eastern US

heavy storm in Washington
A passing storm brought a halt to rides Friday, June 29, 2012 at the 26th annual Italian-American Festival being held this weekend at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Canton, Ohio.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Violent storms swept through the eastern part of the United States Friday night, killing a northern Virginia woman when a tree fell onto her home, damaging subway cars in Washington, D.C., and knocking out power to more than 2 million people in the middle of a heat wave.

The storms that converged on Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Ohio packed winds topping 70 mph in some places, uprooting trees and damaging numerous homes. They came after a day of sweltering heat across the region.

The nation's capital reached 104 degrees just before 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, beating a record of 101 set in 1934.

Fairfax County police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said the woman in the Springfield, Va., area was killed during the height of the storm. Authorities were at the scene of the home but weren't able to immediately get inside, she said.

Jennings said police also were responding elsewhere to reports of a park police officer injured when his car was hit by a tree and an 18-year-old man struck by a downed power line.

As of 1 a.m. Saturday, Pepco was reporting 406,000 outages in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Md.

"We have more than half our system down," said Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel. "This is definitely going to be a multi-day outage."

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency after more than 500,000 customers in 27 counties were left without electricity.

In Washington, D.C., Metrorail trains were returned to their endpoints due to the storms and related damage, officials said.

"It has had a widespread effect on the region," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said early Saturday. He said about 17 train stations were operating on backup power due to local power outages, but that he didn't anticipate service being disrupted on Saturday.

In Ohio, the State Highway Patrol said three tractor trailers blew over on Interstate 75 near Findlay, but no one was injured.

News by AP

How to reduce the risk of depression?

fresh and healthy nutritious fruits
Healthy and Nutritious Fruits
Eat in the morning and daytime lots of fresh fruit and freshly squeezed fruit juices and especially food that is rich in tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid and is the precursor of nor-epinephrine. Nor-epinephrine is a substance that makes you feel like you're working out a lot: relaxed yet active. At least three times per week sports is a good way to control the levels of noradrenaline in your blood. Tyrosine rich foods can help you. There is much tyrosine in fish, nuts (trail mix really helps when studying!), Seeds, beef, sauerkraut, dairy and grains. One can also obtain tyrosine in capsules so that the daily dose can be increased. Supervision by a physician is necessary due possible side effects and interactions with other medications.

- Eat in the evening and when you're tense foods rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is a precursor of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the main substances that play a role in sleep problems, anxiety and depression. There is much tryptophan in pumpkin seeds, lentils, bananas, dates, cottage cheese (cottage cheese), biodegrade, cottage cheese, eggs, cereals, brown rice, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts. It is however important to note that tryptophan only really be included in the brains as something of sweetness to be given. The advice of warm milk with honey is that matter is not so crazy. Tryptophan is also available in capsules and it also works as a good inslaapmiddel. Supervision by a physician is required.

- Use extra vitamin B complex. This can clearly improve the mood. Folic acid, magnesium, zinc and especially vitamin B6 are needed for the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin. Many depressed people appear to have a folic acid deficiency. Supplementing this deficit appeared in a recent study within 6 months to reduce depressive symptoms clearly.

Shortage of sun can cause depression

new married couple taking sunlight sunbath

According to a Dutch study, 38.8 percent of men and 56.9 percent of women deficient in vitamin D. Such conditions not only lead to osteoporosis, but also to severe depression and other neurological problems. According to the researchers, people live too much inside, there is insufficient exposure to the sun due to the increasing risk of skin cancer. People are also much more for their television than they do outside activities. This results in a much lower natural uptake of vitamin D from daylight. Even with an overcast sky provides the invisible sun, 80 percent of the vitamin D level is given in clear weather.

From Dutch research also shows that depressed people have a vitamin D blood levels at least 14 percent lower than in healthy men and women. The scientists also discovered that vitamin D deficiency results in hyperactivity of the parathyroid hormone. This hormone is produced by the parathyroid glands where the calcium concentration of the blood drops below a certain threshold value. A high activity of the parathyroid glands is often associated with the onset of depression. A calcium and vitamin D3 preparation in such cases can be very valuable.

How to Make Your Car Last 200,000 Miles -- and Beyond

cheap car insurance company
Car washing
Last October, the odometer in Joe LoCicero's 1990 Honda Accord rolled past the 1 million-mile mark. He's a damage claims inspector who reportedly drives his Accord about 62,500 miles every year. Honda not only gave "Million Mile Joe" a new Accord, but organized a parade in his home town in Maine in honor of the milestone.

Not many of us will own a car long enough to drive it a million miles, since most of us drive our cars about 15,000 miles per year, according to AAA. But experts agree that basic maintenance can help you stretch your car to 200,000 miles and beyond.

Read Your Owner's Manual - and Follow it

Joe Malizia Sr., owner of Bel Air Fast Lube in Maryland, says the best thing you can do is read your owner's manual as soon as you bring your new car home, and find out what your car's maintenance schedule is, since keeping up with the recommended maintenance schedule can prolong your car's life significantly. It may seem like a hassle to have to visit your mechanic every few months, and some may lament the higher price of the premium gas that's recommended for their car. But following those simple directions can prevent unnecessary problems that will wear your car out prematurely.

John Lawlor, technical advisor at NPR's Car Talk, agrees, saying "the least-read book in the world is the owner's manual." He adds that not only is maintaining your oil and fluids important, but keeping your tires properly inflated to the owner's manual's specs is another important factor to keeping your car on the road. Though making regular visits to the mechanic for normal maintenance may seem like the expenses will add up quickly, you'll most often be saving yourself lots of money in expensive repairs down the road. Like Lawlor says, "It is the cheapskate who spends the most."

Get Personal With Your Car

Unless you're a gearhead, you probably won't know how to change your spark plugs, or what makes your electronic stability control system kick in. But knowing basics like how to check your oil level and paying attention to your car when something feels wrong could save you a big repair bill down the road, say both Malizia and Lawlor.

Malizia also says that it's very important to pay attention to your warning lights. Your vehicle's monitoring systems are there for a reason, and it's better to nip a problem in the bud rather than to let it escalate to catastrophic proportions that could keep you from reaching that 200,000-mile mark.

Lawlor says that one of the most important things you can do is keep your car clean. The paint on today's cars can be damaged by simple things like bird droppings, acid rain or sap. Always having a coat of wax on your car will prevent the paint from being damaged, which can keep the metal from rusting. Additionally, Lawlor says you should make sure you keep your interior clean. Dirt on your seats or dash can act like sandpaper, grinding into the surface every time you touch it.

Find a Mechanic You Can Trust

One of the best ways to ensure that your car is well taken-care of for the long haul is to find a mechanic you trust, Malizia says. We've all heard horror stories about garages charging unsuspecting customers for fictional "blinker fluid" problems, or going in to fix one problem and finding 15 more. But most technicians are honest and up-front, and building a relationship with a mechanic you trust will help you as you push your car past that 200,000-mile mark.

Lawlor suggests taking later-model cars to the dealership, especially if they're under warranty. The more recent the car's model year, the more complex it's likely to be, and dealership technicians undergo specific training so they know your car like the back of their hand. While the dealership is likely worth the money for newer models, Lawlor says that you'll be better off taking cars that are more than 10 years old to your local mom-and-pop repair shop. They'll know the basics of your car well enough to perform maintenance like changing the brake pads, but most won't charge you as much as a dealership might.

No matter how you take care of your car, accidents are bound to happen and mechanical failures may be beyond your control. Properly maintaining your car will keep it on the road longer and will get you a higher price when it's time to sell it or trade it in. Take it from Joe Malizia: The highest-mileage car he's seen in his shop is his own 1993 Ford Taurus SHO, which is still going strong after 19 years and 238,000 miles.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Relaxing The Body with Lavender Tea

natural health tips with lavender tea

Lavender, bright purple flowers known to have a fragrance that aroused relaxed, calm the mind and comfort for the body. However, most people do not know if this lavender flowers can also be consumed.

Lavender Tea Benefits have been known for a long time as being particularly beneficial to disorders involving the nervous system.

Lavender has long been known as an additional recipes for making cakes, bread and tea. Many perfumeries also include the essential oil of lavender in formulating their products.

Although not as popular as green tea and some other types of tea, but the relaxation properties of lavender is indeed remarkable. Fragrance can be felt in every steeping, feeling relaxed and comfortable. By consuming this lavender tea, can reduce the fatigue caused by work stress, relieve headaches and soothe upset stomach.

To make lavender tea, simply infuse a handful of dried lavender blossoms in a pot of boiling water. Let the tea steep for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then strain and enjoy. Lavender tea can also be brewed with a mixture of mint or green tea. If you want a different flavor, milk, sugar and lemon can be added to make it more special.

Lavender tea apart is unique in flavor, also very unique in color. In general, the tea will be green or reddish, but lavender tea is purple.

The beneficial constituents of lavender include flavonoids, tannins, courmarines, and essential oil containing camphor, geraniol and linalool.

The following are the health benefits attributed to lavender tea:

Lavender tea may help ease insomnia.

Lavender tea may help calm nervousness and anxiety. It may also be used to alleviate stress and uplift flagging spirits.

Lavender tea may help treat an upset stomach, as well as flatulence and colic. It may also be used to treat stomach and bowel infections.

Lavender tea may help alleviate depressive and migraine headaches.

Lavender tea, when applied topically, may help alleviate colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis and similar problems in the respiratory system.

Lavender tea may help induce sweating and consequently reduce the body temperature during fever.

Lavender tea, when applied topically, may help heal cuts, wounds, ulcers and sores.

Lavender tea is also useful as a mouthwash to combat halitosis.

Enjoy the relaxation of the body with lavender tea!

Military Wives Strip Down to Raise Awareness About PTSD: Battling Bare

young bare girls

Ashley Wise's husband Rob is about as tough as they come. The career soldier spent 8 years in the Marines before joining the Army after 9/11 and serving on two tours of duty in Iraq, but in April this year, he hit a wall. He locked himself in a hotel room with guns and alcohol and told his wife "he might do something stupid."

Thankfully, he came back home alive. Ashley reached out to the Family Advocacy Service at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they are currently stationed, and discovered that, like many other soldiers who are suffering from mental anguish or who might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), finding the help he needed without putting his career in jeopardy would be a struggle. When Wise, believing her conversation to be confidential, divulged to a counselor that Rob had once become physical with her, an MP was immediately brought in. Husband and wife were not allowed contact for 72-hours and Rob now faces domestic assault charges (which Wise is trying to have dropped).

"The last thing a soldier needs is to be separated from his wife," Wise tells Yahoo! Shine. "Guys kill themselves because they think they are such a burden to their families." Wise says soldiers avoid telling anyone they are feeling depressed, angry, or even suicidal for fear of being dishonorably discharged. "Take the number of men who actually report having PTSD and multiply that by 50."

That evening, Wise told a girlfriend, "I want to streak across the 101st command building, because then maybe the general or someone would listen to what I'm saying." Instead she grabbed an eyeliner pencil and had her friend write these words on her back:

"Broken by battle,

Wounded by war,

I love you forever,

To you this I swore:

I will quiet your silent screams,

Help heal your shattered soul

Until once again, my love, you are whole."

Wise posted a picture of her naked back on Facebook, invited other military wives to share images of themselves, and the organization Battling Bare was born. "Our initial intent was to take Facebook by storm," says Wise. She says, at heart, she simply wanted families to be able to enjoy normal things together like "eating at Chuck E. Cheese's or going to the fireworks." When she spoke to other women and "realized how big the problem is, we knew we had to do something."

Now, just two months later, Wise is working with seven other military wives to launch a non-profit organization to raise awareness about PTSD and the impact it has on spouses and children. In three years, they aim to have a chapter in every state in place to support military families and hold workshops based on a model developed by Operation Restored Warrior.

While some people are critical of their bold approach--she says she's had some ugly feedback and got a call from a stranger who called her "an attention grabbing whore"--the military isn't asking them to take their website or Facebook page down. Wise tells Shine that Battling Bare is "on the Pentagon's radar," and when she spoke to Colonel William Gayler, Fort Campbell's Chief of Staff, he assured her, "I want to fix this."

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The tiniest thieves of all: Termites in woman's safe eat through £32,000 in cash

insects or termites
The termites munched their way through more than £32,000 in cash after getting into a woman's safe
-Money-saver scrimps and saves for eight years to study abroad

-She discovered the insects had munched their way through the notes

If you thought the NatWest fiasco was bad, spare a thought for this money saver.

While millions of customers of the beleaguered bank had their accounts frozen, one woman was faced with her money disappearing altogether.

The culprit? Hordes of hungry termites.

The Taiwanese woman's safe might well have been blast and fire proof, but it could not protect her money from the insects.

The tiny creatures somehow got into her safe and munched their way through £32,700 in cash.

She had spent eight years saving the money so she could study abroad.

She turned to Taiwan's Investigation Bureau to help her exchange her bundles of damaged notes for new ones after she found the files of cash she stored in her safe had been eaten by the termites.

However, forensic expert only managed to piece together a quarter of the notes from the piles of shredded paper.

The Investigation Bureau in Taiwan urged people to put their money in banks instead of safes to avoid similar incidents from happening again

The woman, identified only by her surname Chen, who graduated from a Taipei university last year, was originally going to spend the money to study aboard, according to the Chinese-language Apple Daily.

It took her eight years of hard work to come up with the money which she stored at a safe in her house. This April, Chen found that termites had eaten most of the piles of cash in the safe.

She later sought out the Investigation Bureau for help after a bank refused to honour the bills.

They were sent to the bureau's forensic unit for further examination. They will be honoured based on the number of bills the experts succeed in restoring.

The bureau urged people to put their money in banks to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Net porn automatic bar considered

adult porn girls
Campaigners have said it is too easy for children to access explicit adult content
The government is to consider putting extra pressure on computer users to filter out pornography when setting up internet accounts.

Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it.

It is one of several suggestions being put out for a consultation on how to shield children from pornography.

Websites promoting suicide, anorexia and self-harm are also being targeted.

The discussion paper asks for views on three broad options for the best approach to keeping children safe online, in a rapidly changing digital industry.

Conservative MP Claire Perry has pushed for restrictions to go further, so that each internet service provider automatically blocks "harmful content" and users have to contact the company to reverse this.

The government has already proposed a system called "active choice", where new customers are asked whether they want open access to all content.

Code of practice

The latest system, called "active choice-plus", is aimed at reaching a compromise.

It would automatically block adult content, but would set users a question, along the lines of whether they want to change this to gain access to sites promoting pornography, violence and other adult-only themes.

This is partly based on "Nudge" theory, a US concept which states that persuasion, rather than enforcement, can be an effective way of changing behaviour. Downing Street has set up a unit to explore such ideas.

The four main internet service providers - BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky - have signed up to a code of practice, offering customers a choice of whether to apply filters.

Yet ministers acknowledge that such technology is not 100% effective. The government's consultation will look at which system can best protect young people.

Children's minister Tim Loughton said: "The internet is transforming every aspect of society and family life - and opens up enormous opportunities for us all. But with the benefits come risks. Growing numbers of parents do not feel in control of what their families are exposed to online.

"Many want to take responsibility, but all too often they do not how know how because they find the technology too difficult to use or their children are more technically advanced then they are."

He added: "There is no silver bullet to solve this. No filter can ever be 100% foolproof. There is a cottage industry of people, mostly operating outside the UK, continually creating and proliferating 'proxy' websites that provide links to adult and harmful content.

"Automatic filtering on its own risks lulling parents into a false sense of security and there can never be any substitute for parents taking responsibility for how, when and where their children use the internet. The answer lies in finding ways to combine technical solutions with better education, information and, if necessary regulation further down the line."

In an earlier statement, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I want to fully explore every option that might help make children safer - including whether internet filters should be switched on as the default, so that adult content is blocked unless you decide otherwise."

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US approves new weight-loss pill

US approves new weight-loss pill
New weight-loss pill (Right)
US health regulators have approved a weight-loss pill for the first time in 13 years.

Belviq, made by Arena Pharmaceutical, can be used by obese or overweight adults with at least one condition.

The drug achieved only modest results in clinical studies, helping people lose on average about 5% of their body weight.

Belviq was rejected in 2010 because of concerns over tumours that developed in animals tested with the drug.

After San Diego-based Arena resubmitted its application with more data, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found little risk of tumours in humans using the drug.

Side effects

The medication is expected to launch in 2013.

Belviq is designed to block appetite signals in the brain, making patients feel fuller with smaller amounts of food.

It has been approved for use in obese adults with a body mass index of 30 or greater.

The drug can also be used by overweight adults with a BMI of 27 or greater if they have at least one other condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.

The FDA warned that Belviq is not for women who are pregnant or nursing.

With US obesity rates approaching 35% in adults and associated healthcare costs on the rise, many doctors have urged health regulators to give the green light to new weight-loss treatments.

But the agency has set high standards for such medication after safety problems with previously popular weight-loss drugs.

The so-called fen-phen combination had to be pulled from the market in 1997 after being linked to heart valve damage.

In a statement, the FDA said Belviq did not appear to carry the same risks.

However, known side effects of Belviq do include depression, migraine and memory lapses.

The FDA-approved label says the drug should not be used for more than 12 weeks if a 5% weight loss does not occur.

Arena will be required to conduct six studies after marketing the drug, including a study on the drug's effect on long-term heart health.

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Project Glass Is The Future Of Google

project glass by Google

Over the last few years one could easily say that Google had lost their way. They were no longer known for search. Somehow they’d turned into a company that acquired a series of nonsensical entities, launched half baked products that eventually hit the dead pool or just got into some really weird shit.

But last year that all started to change as the company announced that it would focus on its core products. Hindsight always being 20/20 it all makes sense. It’s like anything else, really. Spitball as many ideas as you possibly can just to see what sticks. And so whether it was by design or not, Project Glass is the future of Google. Not as a product that will make them billions of dollars but what it means for Google as a company and its future.

“The charter of Google X is to take bold risks and push the edges of technology beyond what they’ve been to where the future might be,” Sergey Brin told a small group of reporters duing demo of Project Glass. “We want you to be less of a slave to your devices. It’s been really liberating and I’m really excited to share it with all of you.”

Brin noted that Project Glass is what Google believes could be the next form factor of computing. As it stands now, many of us are willingly beholden to our smartphones with all the web browsing, twittering, pathing, instagramming and whatever else consuming most of our time. Human interaction has all but faded away. The fact that people play the “stacking game” is comical and cute but a sign of how infatuated we are with technology. Glass has the potential to buck that trend by “keeping people in the moment,” said Steve Lee, Product Manager for Glass. Brin also mentioned that Glass shouldn’t be used to fill idle time or to browse the web and that your phone or tablet perfectly fits those needs.

Dorky as they might look, Glass signals the first glimpse of how to integrate such invasive and important technology into our lives in a more seamless way. Isabelle Olsson, the industrial design guru on the team, says the design of Glass ensures “you can look into people’s eyes.” During my brief time with Sergey’s Glass, I can say that the display didn’t hinder my ability to see or look around. The display disappeared until I needed to see what was being shown. I might never have to pull my phone out again to reply to a text, get directions or snap a photo. So, yeah, I’ll deal with looking like a dork but don’t be surprised to see Glass integrated with existing glasses. Brin did mention that Google has been in talks with eyeglass makers and the like.

While the hardware is still in prototype phase, I overheard Brin say that he’s experienced up to six hours of juice off a single charge. But that can and will likely change based on usage (uploading photos, capturing video, etc.). Photos, for instance, will be stored locally and can by synced with the cloud later. Both Lee and Brin said that they’re working hard to optimize what data is being transmitted and stored both on the device and in the cloud to alleviate any battery woes. There may be settings that allow users to control the content being shared until you’re within reach of Wi-Fi or when you’ve plugged in your Glasses for the night. Babak Parviz, a contributor to Project Glass, said a previous build allowed him to query a voice search for the capital of China broadening his own knowledge base to everything that’s available on the Web.

I asked what actually worked on Glass now and Brin politely skirted the question by saying that they’re testing and implementing various features with each build to see what sticks. Facial recognition, while discussed and experimented with, doesn’t sound like it’s been compelling enough that the team wants to immediately integrate it.

Here’s what you won’t see in Glass: advertising. Brin stated pretty vehemently that they have no plans to integrate advertising into Glass and that the only plan is to simply sell the hardware, which will be “significantly” cheaper than the $1,500 Explorer Editions that were announced today. The Glass team says they’re focused on the quality of the experience and not making it as cheap as possible. (Thank gawd.)

Core Google apps like Gmail and Plus (Hangouts) are being tested now along with Android apps. What isn’t clear is whether or not the Android and Google apps teams are working with the team at Glass and vice versa.

So what was the reason for today’s announcement of the $1,500 Explorer Edition of Project Glass? It’s actually a slight pivot from what they’ve done in the past. For once, the typical Google way of pushing out half-done products might work to their advantage. Parviz, Lee and Brin emphasized how important it will be to involve the developer community to further push the platform before Glass becomes available to consumers some time next year. Speaking of ship dates, Brin says the consumer version will ship within a year of when the Explorer Editions ship. Developers will have access to a cloud-based API that is “pretty far along.”

Does this mean Google wants to compete with Microsoft or Apple toe-to-toe? No. Google will always be the weird kid in the corner who sporadically does something mindblowing. They’re not thinking about what’s going on now but what might happen in the distant future. Everything they’ve done up until now seems like a tiny spec of something larger and greater. The late Ray Bradbury said it best: “Life is trying things to see if they work.” And that appears to be what Google is doing.

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Wildfire victims crowd shelters as fight continues

wild fire in US forest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Fire crews fought to save the U.S. Air Force Academy and residents begged for information on the fate of their homes Wednesday after a night of terror sent thousands of people fleeing a raging Colorado Springs wildfire.

More than 30,000 have been displaced by the fire, including thousands who frantically packed up belongings Tuesday night after it barreled into neighborhoods in the foothills west and north of Colorado's second-largest city. With flames looming overhead, they clogged roads shrouded in smoke and flying embers, their fear punctuated by explosions of bright orange flame that signaled yet another house had been claimed.

"The sky was red, the wind was blowing really fast and there were embers falling from the sky," said Simone Covey, a 26-year-old mother of three who fled an apartment near Garden of the Gods park and was staying at a shelter. "I didn't really have time to think about it. I was just trying to keep my kids calm."

Wilma Juachon sat under a tree at an evacuation center, wearing a mask to block the smoke. A tourist from California, she was evacuated from a fire near Rocky Mountain National Park last week and, now, from her Colorado Springs hotel.

"I said I hope it never happens again, and guess what?" Juachon said.

Shifting winds challenged firefighters trying to contain the 29-square-mile Waldo Canyon blaze and extinguish hot spots inside the city's western suburbs. The National Weather Service reported 60 mph winds and lightning above the fire Wednesday afternoon, but winds were calmer by nightfall.

"It won't stay in the same place," said incident commander Rich Harvey.

Some 3,000 more people were evacuated to the west of the fire, Teller County authorities said Wednesday, and Teller County courts were closed through Thursday.

Meanwhile, the White House said President Barack Obama will tour fire-stricken areas of Colorado on Friday and thank firefighters battling some of the worst fires to hit the American West in decades.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said Obama's visit to Colorado, considered a key battleground state in the presidential election, would not tax the city's already-strained police force. Gov. John Hickenlooper said he expected the president might sign a disaster declaration that would allow for more federal aid.

The full scope of the fire remained unknown. So intense were the flames and so thick the smoke that rescue workers weren't able to tell residents which structures were destroyed and which ones were still standing. Steve Cox, a spokesman for Mayor Steve Bach, reported that at least dozens of homes had been consumed.

Indeed, authorities were too busy Wednesday struggling to save homes in near-zero visibility to count how many had been destroyed in what is the latest test for a drought-parched and tinder-dry state. Crews also were battling a deadly and destructive wildfire in northern Colorado and another that flared Tuesday night near Boulder.

Carey said officials had no plans to release the numbers of homes destroyed - insisting residents have a right to be told first, in private.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly said federal investigators are working closely with local and state law enforcement to determine if any of Colorado's fires were deliberately set or resulted from criminal activity. He did not elaborate.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said his personnel heroically saved many homes in the midst of the firestorm. The strategy: protecting houses adjacent to those in flames to prevent a domino effect and then racing to the next suburban hot spot, a technique he called "triage." Federal firefighters worked with U.S. Army bulldozer crews from nearby Fort Carson to create perimeter lines.

The Waldo Canyon Fire burned about 10 acres along the southwest boundary of the Air Force Academy campus. No injuries or damage to structures - including the iconic Cadet Chapel - were reported. With 90 firefighters battling the flames, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould said 1,500 cadets taking summer classes and more than 1,000 freshmen arriving Thursday will be safe - with campus ceremonies or housing to be moved away from the fire-hit area or off-campus if needed.

Four firefighting bulldozers headed into the academy Wednesday evening.

The Red Cross struggled to accommodate victims at its shelters, with space enough for perhaps 2,500 people. Most evacuees were staying with family and friends.

Colorado wasn't the only state affected by fire, as several burned throughout the parched West.

Tom Harbour, director of fire and aviation management for the U.S. Forest Service, said that with several fires burning, there is competition for firefighting resources, but "we're still at a point where we've got lots of available assets to mix and match on individual incidents."

Harbour said there's a difference between what incident commanders want and what they need to fight a fire effectively. And despite some criticism, he said the agency has been working to get equipment where it's needed most. Four military C-130 tankers, which can each carry up to 3,000 gallons of water, are positioned to cover the blazes burning near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, as well as the entire Front Range if another fire were to break out, he said. At total of 18 air tankers were assigned to wildfires across the region.

Overall, there have been fewer fires and less acreage burned for the first six months of the year than for the same period in the previous six years. Some states are seeing fires earlier this year, but Harbour said resources are far from being exhausted.

"With over 10,000 firefighters in the Forest Service and the ability to get over 700 aircraft of all types, we're feeling cautiously confident when you look at the season as a whole," Harbour said.

Among the fires elsewhere in the West:

- A central Utah wildfire has destroyed at least 56 structures, mainly homes, and continues to burn with little containment, authorities said Wednesday. Officials expected the damage estimate to rise considerably as they continue their assessment of the fire-ravaged area between Fountain Green and Fairview and north across the Utah County line. Authorities were about halfway through their damage assessment of a fire that has burned about 72 square miles. Officials returned to an evacuated area and found a woman dead Tuesday.

- Wildfires that have torched more than 200 square miles and burned dozens of homes in southeastern Montana spread farther Wednesday, with additional evacuations ordered after a blaze south of Roundup jumped a perimeter line built by firefighters. The growing Dahl fire, which has burned more than 60 homes by one estimate, forced an unknown number of residents to leave their homes near its southern flank, on top of an estimated 600 people evacuated the day before.

"That's one of the most dangerous fires in the history of Montana," Gov. Brian Schweitzer said.

- A wildfire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest has grown from about 2,000 acres to 12,000 acres, or nearly 19 square miles, officials said Wednesday. Authorities worked to get campers out of the area.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Police: 2 dead at Beverly Hilton in murder-suicide

Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills
This Feb. 17, 2012 photo shows a general view of The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Police say two people have been found dead in what investigators believe was a murder-suicide in a room shooting at the Beverly Hilton, just hours before the Daytime Emmy Awards are being held at the posh hotel.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Two people have been found dead in what investigators believe was a murder-suicide at the Beverly Hilton, just hours before the Daytime Emmy Awards are being held at the posh hotel, police said Saturday.

Police responding to a report of a shooting late Friday found a man and a woman dead from gunshot wounds in a hotel room, Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said.

Police described the victims only as "elderly," but would give no other details on the victims or the circumstances of the shooting. The coroner's office picked up the bodies early Saturday.

The luxury hotel was also the site of Whitney Houston's death in February. The singer drowned in the bathtub of her fourth-floor room, just a few hours before she was to attend record executive Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party in the ballroom downstairs.

The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are scheduled to be held there later Saturday. The awards ceremony that honors the best in soap operas and talk shows will be broadcast live on cable news channel HLN.

Police would not comment on whether the deaths were connected to the awards. It was not immediately clear whether there would be any effect on the show.

The hotel also hosts several other annual galas, including the Golden Globe Awards.

Before the Friday shootings, Beverly Hills had just six homicides since 2008. Such rare cases usually draw national attention, as in the death of a Hollywood publicist who was shot while she was driving after a movie premiere in November 2010. Police say Ronni Chasen was killed in an apparent bungled robbery by a career criminal who later killed himself when approached by police.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Twenty dead in Taliban siege of Afghan hotel

twenty dead in Taliban siege of Afghan hotel
An Afghan policeman walks at the Spozhmai hotel on the outskirts of Kabul

(Reuters) - Elite Afghan police backed by NATO forces ended a 12-hour siege on Friday at a popular lakeside hotel outside Kabul, leaving at least 20 dead after Taliban gunmen stormed the lakeside building, bursting into a party and seizing dozens of hostages.

The night-time assault on the hotel with rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests and machine guns again proved how potent the Islamist insurgency remains after a decade of war.

The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan said the attack bore the signature of the Taliban-linked Haqqani group that he said continued to operate from Pakistan, a charge that could further escalate tensions with Islamabad.

General John Allen's comments come days after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington was at the limits of its patience with Pakistan over the existence of militant networks including the Haqqanis.

Pakistan says it is doing everything it can to fight militants on its side of the border and accuses Afghanistan of trying to shift the blame for its failure to combat the insurgency.

At the hotel, terrified guests jumped into the lake in the darkness to escape the carnage, Afghan officials and residents said. Up to 300 people had been inside the hotel when the attack began.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said 12 to 15 civilians, two hotel guards and a policeman were killed in the gunbattle at the Spozhmai hotel, overlooking Qargha Lake. Five attackers were also killed.

The attack, quickly claimed by the Afghan Taliban, again showed the ability of insurgents to stage high-profile raids even as NATO nations prepare to withdraw most of their combat troops by the end of 2014 and leave Afghans to lead the fight.

"Afghan National Security Forces and coalition military sources acknowledge that this attack bears the signature of the Haqqani network, which continues to target and kill innocent Afghans and blatantly violate Afghan sovereignty from the safety of Pakistan," General Allen said in a statement.

Blood was splattered over the hotel floor and the crumpled body of a man lay in the garden. Women and children were among the wounded.

"We heard a heavy explosion from a rocket-propelled grenade. We tried to escape, but we were surrounded by suicide bombers. We hid ourselves behind a tree until morning. God protected us," said Abdullah Samadi, 24.

The gunmen, Samadi said, had been closely watching their prisoners and searching for illegal stocks of wine.

"Around dawn they came closer to us and we had to jump in the water. We were there until 9 a.m. and then the situation got better and we slowly, slowly swam toward security forces," he said.

Sediqqi said the Taliban were using civilians as human shields to defend themselves and held about 50 people hostage late into Friday morning.

Elite Afghan quick-response police backed by NATO troops freed at least 35 hostages in an operation that only began in earnest after sunrise to help security forces avoid civilian deaths in night-time confusion.

The Taliban complained wealthy Afghans and foreigners used the hotel, about 10 km (6 miles) from the center of Kabul, for "prostitution" and "wild parties" ahead of the Friday religious day holiday.

Launching their annual offensive this spring, the Taliban threatened to attack more government officials and rich Afghans, but the hotel assault was one of few in which multiple hostages were taken since the start of the war, now in its 11th year.

President Hamid Karzai said attacking a place where people went for picnics was a sign of defeat for the enemies of Afghanistan.

"This is a crime against humanity because they targeted children, women and civilians picnicking at the lake. There wasn't even a single soldier around there," said General Mohammad Zahir, head of the Kabul police investigation unit.

Television pictures showed several people wading out of the lake onto a balcony and clambering over a wall to safety.

NATO attack helicopters could be seen over the single-storey hotel building and a balcony popular with guests for its sunset views, while a pall of smoke rose into the air.


Soldiers and police fanned out around the hotel at dawn, arriving in cars and armored Humvee vehicles and taking cover behind trees flanking the lake and a nearby golf course.

Qargha Lake is one of Kabul's few options for weekend getaways. Restaurants and hotels that dot the shore are popular with Afghan government officials and businessmen, particularly on Thursday nights.

Guests at the Spozhmai must pass through security checks before entering the hotel, where tables with umbrellas overlook the water, but security is relatively light for a city vulnerable to militant attacks.

Violence across Afghanistan has surged in recent days, with three U.S. soldiers and more than a dozen civilians killed in successive attacks, mostly in the country's east, where NATO-led forces have focused their efforts during the summer fighting months.

NATO commanders, halfway into the process of transferring security responsibility to Afghan forces, are racing through training for the Afghan army and police, including holding basic literacy classes for recruits.

Well-planned assaults in Kabul in the past year have raised questions about whether the Taliban and their al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network allies have shifted tactics to embrace attacks on landmarks, foreigners and Afghanistan's elite, extending a guerrilla war once primarily waged in the countryside.

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U.S. Jobs: Exclusive Jobs at different states of United States

Director, Advertising Initiatives
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Livingsocial - Washington, DC

At LivingSocial we have an unconventional and disruptive way of solving problems. Were redefining local and social commerce, all while building a great company working side-by-side with amazing teammates. Working at LivingSocial means...more

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Specialist, Digital Campaign Communications
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Save the Children - Westport, CT

Do you share our passion for saving children's lives? Are you an expert in social media and digital marketing? We are seeking a Digital Campaign Communications Specialist to implement our social media strategy, and draft and disseminate...more

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Social Media Manager
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Wwe - Stamford, CT

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a leading worldwide sports entertainment company, seeks a Social Media Manager to join our growing social media marketing team at our Stamford, CT headquarters. The Social Media Manager will work...more

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Creative Director, Digital Video Production VH1
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Viacom Media Networks - New York, NY

VH1 Digital is seeking a Creative Director to oversee the creative output of the VH1 Digital Video Production team. S/he will be the final decision-maker on the execution of our original video projects. Working in partnership with internal...more

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Social Media Community Manager
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Ruby Tuesday - Maryville, TN

Ruby Tuesday is seeking a Social Media Community Manager at the Restaurant Support Center in Maryville, Tennessee SUMMARY This position will be responsible for the development an implementation of social community functions that will...more

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ONLINE PERFORMANCE MARKETING ANALYST - Fearless Media, LLC is an independent but mighty ad agency that specializes in understanding and marketing to the 18-49 year old demographic. We create media experiences that include Digital,Social...more

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LM&O Advertising, a fast-growing, Arlington, VA-based advertising agency, has an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, organized, multi-tasking, individual to work as a Social Media Manager whose primary role is to provide support to...more

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The Social Media Analyst is responsible for utilizing social data from our social platforms, listening tools and web analytics to help create reports and strategies to help THQ optimize our digital presence. Through analyzing the full...more

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Manager, Marketing Operations
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Position Summary Teach For America seeks a manager of marketing operations to serve as a key member of the four-person marketing operations team. This wing of the marketing + communications team serves two important purposes - 1)...more

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Social Media Manager
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Overview: The Social Media Community Manager at the American Society for Clinical Pathology develops and implements a comprehensive social media strategy that will strengthen the ASCP brand by building broader and deeper engagement with...more

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Google Gives Sneak Peek of Jelly Bean, the Next Version of Android

Google Gives Sneak Peek of Jelly Bean, the Next Version of Android
Android will be called “Jelly Bean” and that it will appear in the new Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ phone.
The phone showed up briefly on Google Play before Google took it down. The blog Droid Life took a screen grab of the listing, which placed the price at $409.

The listing in Google Play also may confirm reports that Google plans to sell the next Nexus directly, a la Apple. That was also the game plan for the Nexus One in 2010, but Google eventually pulled the plug on that effort because of lack of demand for the $529 model.

Though the report lists Jelly Bean as “Android 4.1,” other rumors have said that’s the code-name for Android 5.0. Google is said to be switching strategies for Jelly Bean, allowing multiple manufacturers early access to the OS. Previously, Google had partnered with a single manufacturer to provide a “reference” for other models.

More details about Jelly Bean will likely be announced at Google I/O, the developers’ conference, next week in San Francisco.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Celebrity personal trainer threw herself from Beachy Head cliffs after losing job and having problems with girlfriend

Celebrity personal trainer threw herself from Beachy Head cliffs
Tragic suicide: Angie Dowds was a health guru on ITV show The Biggest Loser
A celebrity personal trainer jumped off Beachy Head after losing her job and having problems with her girlfriend, an inquest heard yesterday.

Angie Dowds, 42, sent a text in her final moments at the notorious Sussex suicide spot saying: 'My heart is broken; my spirit is broken'.

At the time of her death last November, presenter Davina McCall, who she appeared on hit ITV show The Biggest Loser with, led tributes to her.

She said: 'Rest in peace Angie Dowds. So so sad.'

The inquest heard that Miss Dowds had drinks and drugs in her system, a combination described as 'severely toxic', when she threw herself off the cliff.

Her GP said she had experienced ongoing addictions to alcohol and drugs and had taken overdoses and made a number of suicide threats in the past.

The award-winning fitness guru had contact with mental health services and had refused treatment at one point.

After her death, it was revealed that local health services had neglected to book an outpatient's appointment for her after she declined treatment.

It was put down to an 'administrative error' initially, but a 'serious untoward incident' inquiry has since begun into what happened.

Yesterday, her brother Kevin Dowds accused doctors of letting down his younger sister.

He said: 'I feel she's been failed. Letting her decide whether she continues with mental health doesn't seem appropriate to me.'

He also vowed to further investigate the failure to book the appointment.

In the days and weeks prior to her death, Miss Dowds told friends and family she was worried about having lost her job.

She was also concerned about where to live as she did not intend to continue living with her girlfriend Edwina Benson, with whom she was having 'troubles'.

Miss Dowds had a meeting with a housing officer to discuss where to live and had also discussed claiming benefits.

Her girlfriend Miss Benson, an administrator at a primary school, said that she exchanged texts with her shortly before she jumped.

Miss Dowds sent a series of heartbreaking texts to her partner, including one saying: 'My heart's broken; my spirit's broken'.

She added: 'On your head be it' and 'I'll be at peace very soon.'

Miss Benson then called the police after her partner revealed she was at Beachy Head.

Miss Dowds' body was discovered hours later.

Catherine Palmer, assistant deputy coroner for East Sussex, returned a verdict of suicide.

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No need for a bikini! Kate Upton covers her chest with her hands as she poses for raunchy poolside shoot

naked girls

Kate Upton is seen posing with her hands covering her modesty in one shot for GQ magazine
There's little doubt that she is one of the hottest women on the planet.

And it appears that Kate Upton doesn't even need a bikini these days and has taken matters into her own hands.

The 20-year-old Sports Illustrated cover girl is seen holding her own breasts and concealing her modesty in a raunchy shoot for GQ magazine.

The 20-year-old model is pictured in a tiny bright red two piece as she poses in the water.

The seductive snaps have been taken by photographer Terry Richardson who has worked a lot with Kate.

In the accompanying interview with the men's magazine Kate revealed she spent most of her childhood in skimpy clothing.

She said: 'I grew up in Florida riding horses, so for the majority of my life I was either in boots and jeans or a bathing suit. '

beautiful sexy girls
In another shot Kate is seen draping a towel around her legs as she stands in heels putting her incredible body on display

Kate, who has nearly 400,00 mostly male followers on Twitter noted: 'I understand why my male followers like me.… It’s like any job. You find your strengths and play them up.'

The blonde beauty also revealed how she was left covering her modesty after shooting a bikini scene while on a ride in Santa Monice, LA.

She explained: 'We were on that ride where the seat spins while the actual ride is spinning, and I'm wearing a one-piece.'

'And all of a sudden the whole entire top falls off!  I'm holding myself, laughing, turning bright red, but a lot of people are watching, so they kicked us out of the Santa Monica Pier—it was so embarrassing…You wouldn't think that would happen with a one-piece!'

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picking up the kids and moving house! Bird bullied by aggressive starlings leaves nest with egg in its beak

pictures of birds
Beautiful: The Northern Flicker Bird was spotted flying the nest in Yellowstone Park in the U.S.
It can always be a hassle moving home - especially when you have kids to think about, even in egg form.

These Northern Flicker birds had to vacate the nest they had painstakingly chiselled into a roadside signpost.

The couple had been bullied from their Yellowstone Park home by a European Starling couple and were captured transferring a tiny white egg to a new nest.

Photographer Chuck Courson explains: 'At an intersection there is a big wooden sign and one day when slowing to navigate this turn I noticed a Northern Flicker sitting atop the signpost.

'I pulled over to have a closer look and discovered this enterprising bird and its mate had actually carved a perfect nest inside the post.

'Even though there were bison and elk in the adjoining field, I set up my tripod and gleefully captured the Northern Flickers flying in and out of the nest. I would have stayed much longer but someone pulled over and asked me what I was shooting.

'When I told him he suggested that my time would be better spent photographing the wolf on a bison kill over at the Yellowstone River. I packed my gear and rushed off.

'I returned to the nest and observed the hole in the post for a few minutes and nothing happened. There was no sign of life. I decided to set up my gear in the sagebrush, crouching low so as not to alarm the birds.

'The very moment I was set up and hit the focus button on my camera, a bird appeared in the hole. Much to my surprise and amazement, it was holding what appeared to be a ball in its mouth.

'In this instance you shoot and ask questions later. After the bird had flown away, I examined the series of photos more closely and discovered the Flicker was actually moving one of its eggs to a new nest.

'Apparently the Flicker couple had lost the battle with a European Starling couple and were being evicted from their well-build nest.'

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Live From Microsoft’s Windows Phone Keynote

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Keynote

Today Microsoft kicks off its Windows Phone developer conference in San Francisco, and we’re live on the scene for the keynote. It starts at 9 a.m. PT (12:00 p.m. ET), and it’s rumored there are big things on tap.

The world is anticipating the next major upgrade to Microsoft’s mobile platform, Windows Phone 8 “Apollo.” it’s been almost two years since Microsoft first introduced Windows Phone 7, and it’s last big upgrade — version 7.5 a.k.a. “Mango” — is about a year old. The timing is right for the next phase.

There’s no official word about what Windows Phone 8 will be, but there are of course lots of rumors and speculation. As we reported months ago, Microsoft is said to be re-working Windows Phone to better align with Windows 8 for the PC as well as support emerging mobile technologies such as multi-core processors.

Of course, that leaves a big hanging question about what happens to existing Windows Phone devices. Also, how will Windows phones interact with other Microsoft technologies like the recently announced SmartGlass companion to Xbox and the upcoming Surface tablet?

The answers to at least some of those questions are sure to be forthcoming in today’s event. Follow along with Mashable in this liveblog, jump in with comments anytime, and be sure to stay tuned to the main site for all the coverage.

What do you think Microsoft will announce today? Share your ideas in the comments.

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