IT’S ONE OF the more peculiar celebrity meetings of recent times.When Lady Gaga was in London yesterday she dropped into the Ecuadorian embassy to see Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living there since June in a bid to gain asylum.We want to know: What do you think the two of them talked about during the five hour visit? The restrictive approach to internet freedom and democracy by western governments? The use of music as a political statement? Themselves?Over to you…(Image: LittleMonsters.com)Read: The Dredge: Lady Gaga is starting a revolution with semi-nudity > Read: Ecuador’s president says Assange allegations ‘not crimes’ in most places > Pics and Video: When celebrities get confused by geography >
We are appalled to see Ireland being turned into a Third World Islamic slum even more rapidly than Great Britain, and we urge the peoples of the island of Ireland to bury the old sectarian divisions, to recognise the existence, culture and value of both native traditions, and to work together to reverse the tidal wave of immigration that, unchecked, will make them all foreigners in their own land. CAMBRIDGESHIRE POLICE HAVE launched an investigation into alleged comments made by the British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin concerning a gay couple the centre of a landmark legal case.The MEP is alleged to have tweeted the address of Brampton couple Michael Black and John Morgan and called for a demonstration outside their home.Black and Morgan had gained media attention for bringing a legal case against a B&B owner who had refused to allow them to stay in a double room together in 2010.The couple sought damages against Susanne Wilkinson, owner of the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Berkshire, after she refused to allow them to rent the double room they had booked – and left a deposit for – because of her religious beliefs. It was claimed that Wilkinson had treated the men “less favourably than she would treat unmarried heterosexual couples in the same circumstances”.A court awarded the couple £1,800 each for “injury to feelings” but accepted that Wilkinson has also stopped unmarried heterosexual couples sharing a bed in her establishment.Alleged tweets Police are now investigating alleged tweets posted on Nick Griffin’s account (@nickgriffinmep) concerning the case.One of the alleged tweets reportedly stated:So Messrs Black & Morgan, at [the couple’s home address]. A British Justice team will come up to Huntington & give you a… …bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple’s home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!Another tweet allegedly read:We’ll hold demo… for rights of all home owners, gays included, to rent or not rent rooms to whomsoever they wish.Following this, Griffin’s account was briefly suspended before being reinstated without the tweets in question.A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said they had received “a number of calls” in relation to the tweets and would look into the allegations, according to the BBC. Police officers will also be visiting Black and Morgan as part of their inquiries.‘Fenian bastards’Meanwhile, a statement from Griffin’s Constituency Office has been issued to explain his use of the phrase “fenian bastards” on Twitter.Griffin said he meant no offence to Catholics in general or the Catholic religion in using the controversial term, and insisted that the BNP was “most definitely not anti-Catholic or anti-Irish”.The statement read: “We are the only party speaking up in defence of traditional Christian values and recognise that the Catholic Church has been more faithful to those values than the Church of England.”It continued:While we are staunch advocates of the Union and the right of Ulster’s loyalists to maintain their unity with the rest of the United Kingdom and to celebrate their vibrant culture and their Protestant Faith, we are most definitely not anti-Irish. Working class Irish communities in England have been among the biggest victims of mass Third world immigration designed to lower wages and remake our society on specifically anti-Christian lines. Unlike the anti-Irish hypocrites of Sinn Fein, our position is both principled and logical. Keep Ireland Irish. Keep Britain British. Eirinn go Brach and No Surrender!Read: MEP Nick Griffin says he will not apologise for ‘Fenian’ comment on Twitter>
A garda at the Tralee locationDURING THREE SEARCHES in three different parts of the country, gardaí have uncovered €2.1 million worth of cannabis.During one of the searches this afternoon, a man jumped from the roof in an attempt to escape.The searches were undertaken as part of Operation Nitrogen, an operation by the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) targeting the cultivation of cannabis.Three locations were identified and searched today:Unit 6B, Clash Industrial Estate, Tralee, Co. KerryHouse at Falty, Oldtown, Athlone, Co Roscommon.House and sheds at Carrigaloon, Virginia, Co Cavan.Al of the locations were searched simultaneously with the assistance of local units.Co KerryThe unit in Tralee. Pic: Garda Press OfficeAt Unit 6B, Clash Industrial Estate, Tralee, Co Kerry they discovered a large cannabis cultivation operation.Two Vietnamese males were arrested inside the premises and approximately 1,800 cannabis plants were recovered.One male was arrested and a second received injuries when he jumped from the roof of the building in an attempt to escape, said gardaí. This man is currently in Tralee General Hospital.Both are detained under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.The value of the drugs seized is €1.3 million, subject to analysis.RoscommonRoscommon. Pic: Garda Press OfficeAt a house at Falty, Oldtown, Athlone, Co Roscommon, searches uncovered the fact that the location had been converted for use as a cannabis growing facility.There, they found one Chinese male in his late twenties, who was arrested and is now detained at Roscommon Garda Station under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.In total, the drugs found here were valued at €240,000, subject to analysis.Co CavanFinally, a house and sheds at Carrigaloon, Virginia, Co Cavan, were searched and a large cannabis cultivation operation was discovered inside.In total, 700 cannabis plants were recovered and one Chinese male in his 50s was arrested.He is detained at Bailieboro Garda Station under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.Gardaí said the drugs found here were valued at €560,000 (subject to analysis).The total value of the cannabis plants seized over the course of the three searches is approximately €2.1 million.Read: Two held after €1 million cannabis growhouse raided in Kerry>
GARDAÍ IN DUBLIN are investigating an incident that left two men with gunshot wounds to their legs early this morningThe incident is believed to have occurred at around 1am. The two men, both 22, were found on Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.The men were taken to the Mater Hospital and Beaumont Hospital separately. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.Gardaí in Ballymun are appealing for witnesses to contact them on 01 666 4400, or on the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
MOBILE MESSAGING SERVICE Snapchat recently rejected a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reports.Snapchat, considered one of the up-and-coming applications in social networking, has also had an investment offer led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which would value the startup at $4 billion.Facebook declined to comment on the report.According to the newspaper, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder and chief executive, is unlikely to consider an acquisition or an investment at least until early next year.The daily cited sources saying Spiegel was hoping to boost the number of users and messages to justify a higher valuation.Snapchat is known for mobile messages and photos that disappear after being viewed by the recipient.Snapchat did not disclose financial details of an investment round earlier this year, but online reports pegged the figure at $60 million in a deal that values the company at $800 million.“Long story short, we’re committed to building a big company around an innovative and fun product,” the Snapchat team said at the time.Snapchat recently introduced a “SnapKidz” version of its application for Apple mobile devices that lets children younger than 13 years old take or draw pictures, add captions, and save the images but not share them.The application was designed to stay within the bounds of laws restricting information that can be collected about or from children.The grown-up version of Snapchat has stirred controversy for its potential to be used to share risque pictures that are automatically deleted within one to 10 seconds of receipt.The company says that 350 million photos are shared every day.Facebook, which has more than a billion users worldwide, has been losing ground among younger consumers, who are among the key Snapchat demographic.- © AFP, 2013Read: Netflix gives its TV app a major makeoverMore: Facebook received 34 data requests from Irish government
Updated at 20.35IRISH SWIMMER BARRY Murphy has claimed a bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Denmark today.In a race in which Damir Dugonjic of Slovenia took gold, Murphy produced a fantastic time of 26.56 to secure a place on the podium, having qualified for the final as just the eighth-fastest swimmer.Speaking after the race, Murphy said: “I’m really delighted; I knew I was in with a shout off the rankings and the times I posted during the summer, so I tried to keep my cool all day and execute my plan for the swim. It came down to hundreds of a second for the medal and thankfully I got my hand on the wall to secure the bronze.”The 28-year-old Dubliner is the fourth Irish athlete to claim a medal at the competition over the past four years, with Grainne Murphy, Melanie Nocher and Sycerika McMahon also receiving the honour.Earlier, Fiona Doyle came 14th overall in the 100m breastroke, while Andrew Meegan knocked almost 10 seconds off the Irish 1,500m record time.First published at 18.29Green Thumb/Red Thumb: It’s the week in comments>Irish swimmer Meegan breaks the national 1500m record by almost 10 seconds>
There are two gardrobe chutes at the base of the tower in the centre of this picture taken at Ballymoon castle. With defence being the primary concern, the garderobe chutes were often covered right down to ground level with access barred by a metal grid. This was designed to stop an attacker climbing up the garderobe chute. However some simply dumped their contents high on the castle wall.This was the system employed at Liscarroll Castle, Co Cork. The platform to sit on was supported by a stone frame, the remains of which can be seen on the right of the picture below.There was no chute – instead the waste was dumped directly onto the castle wall through the slit in the bottom right. Aside from displaying faeces right beside the entrance to the castle, this toilet must have been freezing in winter. Situated at least 10 metres above ground level, wind still gusts through the slit:The garderobe slit is the horizontal window-like opening on the right of the gatehouse, below the two arrow loops.The wall below must have been covered with decaying faeces while the aroma in summer can only have been awful.All images from historian and archaologist Fin Dwyer.Read more from Fin at IrishHistoryPodcast.ie, on Twitter at @irishhistory, or on Facebook. THE MEDIEVAL TOILET was an experience many today would struggle with.The most common medieval privy was the cesspit; just a hole in the ground which was sometimes lined with stone or wooden staves. In castles, things weren’t much better. While the powerful and wealthy could afford a somewhat more sophisticated toilet – the garderobe – this was still a far cry from the most basic modern toilet. The garderobe was a small chamber with a platform over a hole in the floor.This is what remains of the garderobe at Ballyloughan castle in Co Carlow:The garderobe would not have been this grim five hundred years ago. There was almost certainly a platform above the hole and the walls would most likely have been white-washed.This restored garderobe at Barryscourt Castle, Co Cork, was designed to facilitate two people at the same time, privacy was clearly not a concern:Below the platform, the hole lead to a chute which dumped waste outside the castle walls.This is the view looking up a garderobe chute at Ballymoon Castle, Co Carlow:
EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING,TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1. #BREAKDOWN: An ambulance broke down on its way to transport a sick baby to hospital and the second ambulance sent to the call also developed mechanical problems.2. #KEEP SCHTUM: Responding to comments made by the Tánaiste and Minister Leo Varadkar about the Garda Commissioner, the Taoiseach, said ministers should not air their concerns in public.3. #PORTLAOISE: HIQA said today it will assess patient safety culture and look at the extent of serious incidents at Portlaoise Hospital.4. #PRICE IS RIGHT: According to new research, most people can’t remember how much they paid for their house and they think it’s less than the actual figure.5. #RIP: Glasnevin historian Shane MacThomais passed away suddenly yesterday – just 46 years of age.
POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are investigating the possibility that a report about a suspicious object may have been an attempt to attract police to the area to be attacked.Earlier this evening the PSNI said it was investigating reports that a suspicious object had been left in the Tullygally area of Craigavon.Police later confirmed that no suspicious object was found and the area was cleared. However one police vehicle had a window smashed when responding to the incident and the PSNI said reports may have been “an attempt to lure” police into the area.
Updated 14/04/13A 19-YEAR-OLD male has been charged in relation to the death of Jamie Lindsay in Athy on 6 April.The male is due to appear at a special sitting of Naas District Court at 8.00pm tonight. Three other people remain in custody.Three men and one woman were arrested yesterday during a search and arrest operation in Athy and Stradbally. A car was also seized in the operation.Dublin native Lindsay, 20, was shot dead outside his home in Coney Meadows in the Coneyboro estate in Athy, Co Kildare.- Additional reporting by Paul HylandComments are now disabled as legal proceesings are active.Read: Athy shooting victim named as Jamie Lindsay
EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know with your morning coffee — shortly before 9am.1. #POLLING DAY: It’s all over bar the voting. Polling stations are now open around the country, and will remain so until 10pm tonight. The country’s voting the European and local elections, and there are two by-elections in Dublin West and Longford Westmeath.2. #JAIL: A man has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for attacking an Irish woman in Chicago, leaving her with brain injuries. Heriberto Viramontes was convicted of a total of 10 counts after he attacked Armagh native Natasha McShane in 2010.3. #ROAD CRASH: A woman has died following a two car collision in Co Meath. The incident occurred on the Athboy Road at 6.50pm yesterday. The woman, who was in her sixties and was the driver of one of the cars, suffered a serious leg injury.4. #CHINA: A Chinese tycoon believed to have links to China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang, has been sentenced to death. A court has found Liu Han and his brother Liu Wei guilty of “organising and leading mafia-style crime and murder”, according to Xinhua.5. #KIDNAP: A Californian man has been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter for a decade. Isidro Medrano Garcia, 42, was indicted a day after police announced that the woman, now aged 25, had come forward with a child fathered by Garcia, who allegedly forced her to marry him.6. #PEACE: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is to meet with Richard Haass in Dublin today to discuss developments in Northern Ireland. The US diplomat chaired multi-party talks in Belfast at the end of last year.7. #CITY ON LOCKDOWN: The first of three One Direction concerts takes place in Croke Park tonight, amid fresh complaints from local residents about security arrangements.8. #SOME NECK: There was a brief swan-based emergency on one of the main traffic arteries into Dublin this morning. It’s all over, and no animals were harmed in the course of this morning’s rush hour.9. #THE OUTLOOK: Finally, the weather… It’s not too warm, but otherwise not too bad. Met Éireann’s expecting it to be “cool, rather cloudy and breezy today”.
NEED TO CATCH up on another super weekend of GAA? Look no further. Cormac Costello after scoring a goal. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOBlue boyWhat’s Cormac Costello got to do to get a starting place for Dublin? He’s certainly pushing hard to break in to Jim Gavin’s team. 0-3 when brought on against Laois was followed up with a 1-5 haul against Wexford. He’s still U21 next year and the Whitehall Colmcille’s player looks a super prospect.Check this out:http://vine.co/v/MF650tBxMMYTalking pointsThere was possibly some controversy and definitely heartbreak at Ballycastle on Sunday as Offaly edged out Antrim. David Kenny’s last-gasp goal clinched a 2-19 to 1-20 win for the Faithful. But was the ref’s decision to award a crucial free correct?Dublin’s Leinster dominance shows no signs of abating. They reached yet another Leinster final on Sunday and are on course for a ninth senior provincial crown in 10 years. Can anyone stop them?Leitrim were annihilated by Down in Newry on Sunday afternoon. The Connacht side were 2-10 to 0-4 down at half time and ultimately lost out by 21 points.TekkersJoe Canning wasn’t as influential as he expects to be against Kilkenny on Saturday evening, scoring just a single point. But what a point, from the sideline: Royal appointment Andy Tormey celebrates after scoring a penalty past Kildare goalkeeper Mark Donnellan. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOKevin McStay on The Sunday Game last night said Meath were excellent and are turning into a ‘proper team and a proper panel’ who can have ‘a proper cut off Dublin’ in the provincial decider.They almost let Kildare back into it yesterday despite starting impressively. We liked this graphic from RTÉ illustrating the scoring pattern over the 70 minutes. Source: RTESickening collision of the day Dublin’s Nicky Devereux and Rory O’Carroll clash heads while contesting a ball at Croker Park. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOMarooned Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHODessie Dolan has been an unbelievable player for Westmeath down the years. On Sunday, the Garrycastle clubman confirmed his decision on RTÉ Radio’s Sunday Sport programme. His decision follows Westmeath’s 1-15 to 1-14 defeat to Cavan on Saturday.Déise recoveryPauric Mahony hit 11 points for Waterford as they got back to winning ways against Laois. Last time out Derek McGrath’s men were well beaten by Cork in the Munster championship but ran out 2-22 to 1-15 winners at Walsh Park.Only 5,025 were there to witness it though, which was just 24 hours after a full house came through the same turnstiles for the star-studded Ken McGrath fundraiser.World Cup Cavan StyleCavan man Paul Marron is clearly a genius. Thanks for letting us share this World Cup-style player intro with the world. Gold.What’s next?There’s a rake of qualifiers on Saturday night in the football before Cork and Kerry face off in a Munster SFC decider on Sunday afternoon at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. In the hurling, Clare and Wexford face off in Ennis while Tipp and Galway well be on Sky on Saturday evening. The following day there’s the small matter of Dublin and the Cats in the Leinster decider.Meath lay down marker for Leinster final by scoring 2-16 against KildareCostello shoots the Dubs to the Leinster final as Wexford prove no match Source: Balls.ieThe westerners will no time to lick their wounds after defeat to the Noresiders. It’s Tipperary next up in the qualifiers. Brian Cody can prepare for another Leinster SHC decider meanwhile; this time against Dalo’s Dubs.Tweet of the weekendAs Rihanna might say, TJ Reid ran the show on Saturday night in Tullamore. The Kilkenny sharpshooter scored 2-11 in total as the Cats saw off Galway at the second time of asking.And then he had a chat with one of the biggest pop stars this side of Beyonce. Who knew she was a Leinster hurling fans. @rihanna thanks rihanna you know your hurling #winning— TJ Reid (@_tjreid) June 28, 2014 Source: tjreid12/Twitter
Wisdom of SolomonOn discretionary medical cards that have been restored to some 15,000 people in recent weeks, he said: “There is no question of them being revoked, no question whatsoever.“I am happy to reassure anyone who is worried about that that the medical cards that were withdrawn and given back will not now be revoked,” he insisted.Varadkar also said that an expert medical panel will have a “very difficult job” and are going to need “remarkable wisdom” to carry out a study of what criteria will apply to granting medical cards based on medical need“No decisions will be made until they make their report and certainly no promises or commitments could possibly be made until they produce their report.”The panel, made up of doctors and patient groups, is to make recommendations in the autumn setting out the conditions and criteria to be used in deciding who should be automatically entitled to a full medical card.This follows a change in government policy in May when the controversial review of discretionary medical cards was stopped and the coalition announced plans to grant cards on the basis of medical need for the first time.Varadkar has indicated such plans could be troublesome, but insisted earlier today that he will consider the proposals of the expert group if they are “fair and affordable”.He said: “You would need to have the wisdom of Solomon to decide which illnesses should entitle you automatically to medical cards and which ones should not but if the Expert Panel can come up with proposals that are fair and affordable I’ll consider them in depth.”Also speaking at the MacGill Summer School today, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that the government should fully reinstate the discretionary medical card system as it had worked effectively since its inception in the 1970s.Follow @oconnellhugh for updates from the Highlands Hotel. First published 10.41am Read: Parents of sick children angry over Varadkar’s comments about medical cardsFF: Your position on medical cards is incoherent … Taoiseach: No it isn’t Updated 7.05pm HEALTH MINISTER LEO Varadkar has admitted you would need the “wisdom of Solomon” to decide which illnesses should automatically entitle a person to a medical card.Varadkar warned last week that plans to grant medical cards on the grounds of medical condition may be unworkable and result in nearly everyone qualifying for a card.This has drawn a concerned response from groups such as the Jack and Jill Foundation which says it has been inundated with complaints and worries from concerned parents following Vardkar’s comments.But a spokesperson for the minister insisted today that Varadkar’s sole priority is to ensure cards are allocated “in the fairest and most equitable manner possible”.Speaking at the MacGill Summer School this evening, Varadkar appealed to the health lobby groups to stop attacking him as he faces into “very difficult budget negotiations” in the coming months.He said: “I am going into very difficult budget negotiations in the next few months to try and secure the biggest budget possible for health and having health interest groups attack me and weaken me is not good for health or people who need to use our health services.”
If you are like me, long meetings are no fun and long phone conference meetings are about the worst. But at least when you are sitting at your desk unwillingly engaged in a boring phone conference you can do something fun on your computer. Like play a game of Conference Call Bingo, for example.New from LifeSize, a division of Logitech that provide HD video communication products, is an online game that is meant to remove the boredom from those seemingly never-ending phone meetings. It is “Conference Call Bingo.”Using the electronic bingo card; simply click on the action or phrase square that occurred during the meeting. Then when you have marked a row or a diagonal on the card, you score a “Bingo.” When the call is over you can post your score on Facebook and invite your coworkers to play next time there is a phone conference. Just make sure when you play your phone is on mute so no one else on the call hears you shout, “Bingo!”Read more at Conference Call Bingo
There’s a reason Garmin has a virtual lock on the GPS watch market: Garmin watches just work. When you’re getting ready to head out on a run, you want to be able to just turn on your watch, let it sync while you stretch, and go. No watch I tried out allowed for that–except for the Garmin Forerunner 110 ($249.99 direct).Though it was the smallest of the watches I tried out by far, the Garmin still had plenty of room on the screen for all the essential stats: distance, time elapsed, and pace. Unlike the Timex’s wide range of views, the only other options for the Garmin are heart rate and time. I was sent the more expensive grey and pink women’s version of watch (The price goes up $50, because it comes with a heart-rate monitor), but there is also a red and black “male” version as well as a less expensive black and grey unisex model. I didn’t mind the faint floral design on the bezel, but many of my running companions complained that it was a little too girly for their taste.Like the display options, the functionality of the Garmin watch is pretty bare bones. I appreciated its simplicity, but this watch can’t differentiate between athletic activities like the triathlete-friendly Timex or provide more detailed geographic information like the hiking-geared Suunto. Pressing the menu or start buttons will launch the search for satellite connection. From there, operation is simple–start, pause, and stop the watch with the start/stop button on the top right. There’s also an illumination button on the top left for night running and an option to record splits with the lap button on the bottom right. Unless you press the lap button, the watch automatically starts a new lap each mile, briefly displaying your average pace for the past mile.As I mentioned earlier, the real selling point for the Forerunner 110 is how simple it is to sync with satellites. While finding a GPS signal was a bit of a challenge with every watch (testing among the tall buildings in New York added an extra layer of difficulty), the Garmin still usually synced in mere minutes, sometimes less. The watch also synced with the included heart rate monitor with no difficulty. The Forerunner 110 boasts three weeks of battery life in power-save mode and eight hours in training mode. I only had to charge it roughly once a week to cover all of my training needs.Before I even set up my Garmin Connect account, I had a chance to familiarize myself with the basic dashboard via links posted by friends on DailyMile, a popular running social network. The default privacy settings on Garmin Connect are public, because the site is geared toward easy sharing. Each workout displays an impressive amount of information. The basic statistics include the overall time, distance, elevation gain, and calories, and each are broken down further. For instance, the timing section also includes moving time, average pace, average moving pace (so you can see how fast you ran without factoring in the pace lost when you have to stop), and the best pace you hit during your run. Your pace and elevation change are also visualized in charts, which you can manipulate via drop-down menus. Including the breakdown of your pace by mile, the dashboard is a great way to sum up your workout in a glance.When it came time to decide which unit to wear during the Philadelphia Marathon, the choice was easy. For me, a GPS watch should augment my workout, not take away from it, and the Garmin Forerunner 110 does just that. It just works, with minimal fuss and waiting, and gives me the information that I need at a glance. It’s no wonder Garmin is king of the GPS watch market.
The release of Google+ has been bringing redesigns with it to nearly every Google product over the last week, and YouTube appears to be no exception. The new look is apparently part of a larger revamp project, called “Cosmic Panda,” and it’s more than just pretty lightboxes and CSS shading.Seasoned web watchers might notice something oddly familiar about the new design, and they should. It looks an awful lot like a mashup of Hulu, YouTube LeanBack, and Chrome OS Media Player. The overall look still manages to stay “YouTube,” but it’s definitely a far cleaner look, and the video itself becomes the absolute focal point. Basically, instead of being white-washed, the page is now significantly darker–and that’s how things are technically supposed to be when you’re watching a video.AdChoices广告Suggested/Related videos are now no longer crammed into a messy column, as each one has its own frame. They’re also displayed with a distinctly widescreen flare, which is a major shift from YouTube’s classically old-school proportions. It may sound nit-picky, but it’s actually a pretty big deal; YouTube implemented widescreen videos a very long time ago, but the site itself still seemed to favor VGA-era aspect ratios, despite the fact that nearly all screens are now wide.Playlists have gotten a major touch-up. Preview panes for playlisted videos line the bottom of the new video area, and previous/next buttons display on either side of the current video. The entire thing is not only easier on the eyes, but much better for quick navigation between videos. The option for changing a video’s size is also more clear, and while it could just be a good day for this computer’s internet connection, seems much faster than it used to be.Overall, it’s a very clean look, and it makes the site more enjoyable (because let’s face it, we go there for memes and cats). You can activate the new look by going to YouTube’s official Cosmic Panda page, and if you decide it’s horrible for some reason, you can turn it off at the same page.
Back in January, AT&T slashed the price of the Apple iPhone 3GS to just $49 with a two-year contract. If you’ve always wanted an iPhone but just couldn’t afford it, the $50 outdated model may have been the way to go. That is, until AT&T dropped the price of the refurbished model yesterday to just $9.AT&T’s drop in January from $99 to $49 hit right before Verizon became a carrier option for the iPhone 4. Anytime we see a major price drop in a product, it’s good reason to believe that we’ll be seeing a new product soon. As we reported yesterday, Apple is rumored to be offering a $349 iPhone 3GS free of contract, as well as continuing to sell the iPhone 4 in addition to a new iPhone 4S, resulting in a three-tiered pricing model for Apple’s iPhone.AdChoices广告So what will you lose if you go with the iPhone 3GS, for just $10, over the iPhone 4, which will cost you at least $189 more? A front-facing camera, so FaceTime is out; a high-resolution retina display; the Apple A4 chip; and two hours less battery life. You’ll also be getting a 3-megapixel camera compared to a 5-megapixel version; no camera flash; and VGA video recording, as compared to HD video recording.However, if you’re just looking for all the goodness that is an iPhone, and you don’t want to spend a lot on a device, this isn’t exactly a bad way to go.AT&T’s refurbished phones are pre-owned and have been returned within the 30-day grace period. They’re tested before being re-sold and reset to their factory standards. There’s a 30-day trial period for refurbished devices, as well as a 90-day warranty.via PCMag
Though it may be hard to imagine for those old enough to remember a time without the Internet and sophisticated video games, there’s a new generation of kids and teenagers who have never known a life without these luxuries. We’re sure you know how easy it is to get sucked into the computer while you’re bouncing around from link to link via Twitter, Facebook, and from blog to blog. It’s no surprise that people are literally becoming addicted to the Internet, but one new camp in South Korea is aiming to help these “web addicts.”Online gaming is a huge deal in South Korea. Blizzard’s Starcraft and Starcraft II real time strategy games are such a hit there that South Korea even has TV channels that just show people playing the game live with commentary. For many of South Korean’s younger generations, the game is their entire lives, and it’s no surprise that parents, who grew up without any computers or video games, are concerned about their children.The new camp is aimed at prevention, rather than curing the addiction. The kids that attend the camp aren’t clinical addicts yet, but the doctors say they’re all starting to show signs of a soon-to-be uncontrollable habit. The camp provides counseling sessions and “old-fashioned family activities” like making tie-dye scarves, reading books, playing non-video games, and taking walks in nature. These are all things their parents did growing up without computers. Since Korea’s obsession with the Internet is so recent, many parents just don’t know how to help their children.Doctors say that there are two types of Internet addicts: the shy ones who like the anonymity of online games, and the ones who like the power and violence of the games. One patient shown in the video below literally plays games all night long without sleeping or even taking bathroom breaks. Doctors measured the patient’s brain waves as part of a new government-funded plan to treat clinically addicted patients, and found he had similar output to other kinds of addicts or those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).One child attending the camp said he gets angry when he’s on the Internet and his parents call for him to leave the computer. He said he doesn’t know why he gets angry “but it’s bad,” which is why he’s trying to fix it. Still, the kid said “it’s too hard.”via BBC
Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips may have been delayed slightly, but that’s not preventing manufacturers from showing off next-gen hardware running the successor to Sandy Bridge. At IDF 2011, LG has one of its prototypes on display, the gloss-black Shuriken 18 Ultrabook.Not much has been revealed about the Shurkien 18’s internals, but they’d likely change between now and launch date anyway. It’ll sport a processor from the Ivy Bridge range, at least 2GB of RAM, and both HDMI and mini DisplayPort hook-ups will provide video output. Unlike some of the Ultrabooks we’ve seen so far, this one sports a single physical button below the touchpad area — instead of opting for a buttonless clickpad. As for its display, the Shuriken 18 sports a 13.3″ panel (making me think that Shuriken 13 might be a more logical name for the Ultrabook).The bezel is extremely thin, and makes the Shuriken 18 look a bit like Samsung’s Series 7 laptop — which packs a 14″ display into a 13″ bezel. It’s safe to say that future Ultrabooks won’t just be getting thinner and lighter, but they’ll also be shooting for nearly edge-to-edge displays. The trade-off, of course, is a very generous wrist rest and a touchpad that looks a wee bit undersized by comparison.With Ivy Bridge chips set to debut in Q2 2012 and Windows 8 due around the same time, there’s a good chance that the Shuriken 18 could be one of LG’s first Windows 8 laptops to hit retail shelves. With Ivy Bridge power and efficiency under the hood, and a brand new Windows OS on board, the Shurkien 18 could be quite the hot piece of hardware next year.More at Softpedia and Liliputing
Skyrim is a huge game that you could potentially never run out of things to do in due to its infinite quest system. Anyone whose spent double digit hours playing has probably made a few notes and forgotten where they found X a few times on in the expansive landscape.Now there seems to be an answer to that problem in the form of a new app for your iPhone, iPod or iPad. It’s called Dragon Shout and gives you access to a hand drawn, interactive Skyrim map.Not only does the app give you quick access to a finger-scrolled complete map of the world, you can also add loads of information to it. Maybe you want to record all your battles, mark down where those items are you couldn’t carry, or keep a note of quest locations. With Dragon Shout you can.Although functionality will be limited when the app becomes available, future updates certainly make it worth downloading. You’ll be able to share your map markers with others and even chat to other players just like an IM client in real-time. Android device owners will be happy to hear Dragon Shout is being ported and will come to the Android Market too.I’d suggest forgetting your phone or media player when the app arrives, and instead getting a nice stand for your 7- or 10-inch tablet. Position it next to your PC display and use the map as a second screen, scrolling and marking as you go.Not to get your hopes up, but there’s also plans to make a HTML5 version available “for around v1.2.” However, that’s not guaranteed to happen just yet. Fingers crossed, though.For now, check out a quick preview of Dragon Shout below:More at Dragon Shout, via Joystiq