WordPress (Plugin) Security Vulnerability – Absolute Privacy

Absolute Privacy… Not Quite So Private!

WordPress Security Warning

WordPress.org plugin “Absolute Security“, which was found to carry a very dangerous security vulnerability (which would allow your site to be hacked) has now been patched twice and re-admitted to the wp.org repository.

While I have not checked the code, my understanding is that the new version of the plugin is safe to use now (while the old version is definitely not!). Please be sure to upgrade any old versions to the new version.

The plugin was used to make a site all or mostly password protected to read (from what I can tell, as I don’t use it.)

If you have a site that was using the plugin, please be sure to scan your site to see if you’ve picked up any infections. I recommend using Sucuri’s free scanner: http://just-ask-kim.com/recommends/sucuri

Additional information on the (now patched) vulnerability can be found at: http://blog.sucuri.net/2012/02/vulnerability-in-the-absolute-privacy-plugin.html

This article originally appeared on Just Ask Kim and has been republished with permission.

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Article source: http://www.business2community.com/blogging/wordpress-plugin-security-vulnerability-absolute-privacy-0138346

Ibanez adjusts to life as a Yankee

On Saturday, Ibanez returned to Bright House Field with the Yankees. As he emerged from the visitors dugout for the first time, there were fans who screamed “Raauuulll!” Then he dropped a blooper in left field for a run-scoring double off Cole Hamels in Saturday’s 8-5 Yankees victory.

But Ibanez, who signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with New York, used Saturday as a chance to say thanks for three years with the Phillies.

“My time in Philadelphia was nothing short of extraordinary,” Ibanez, 39, said. “It’s an amazing organization. Great people. Tremendous fans. I have a lot of friends over there. I’m glad to be able to come back and say hello.”

Ibanez will mostly serve as a designated hitter against righthanded pitchers for Joe Girardi’s Yankees. It’s somewhat of a homecoming for Ibanez, who was born in Manhattan.

He said the Phillies had minimal talks about him returning in a reduced role. But there was never a formal offer. Ibanez harbors no hard feelings.

“I’d rather just leave it the way it is,” he said. “I’m thankful for the organization and the opportunity I got to play there. There was some talk. It was a reduced role. But again, my biggest thing is I just feel grateful to the organization for having played over there for three years. Great human beings.”

 

New relievers struggle

Both Dontrelle Willis and Chad Qualls were hit around in their spring Phillies debuts. Willis allowed a run on two hits and a walk in his inning. Qualls allowed three runs and three hits.

Willis, bidding for a spot as another lefthanded reliever on the staff, did retire both lefthanded batters he faced.

“Dontrelle looked like he had action to his stuff but a little erratic with his command,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

Qualls retired the first two batters he saw and then allowed a double, triple and home run in three subsequent at-bats.

“First time out,” Charlie Manuel said, “we don’t look at that as a whole lot.”

 

De Fratus ready

Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/breaking/141313263.html

CROSSROADS:Jangwani valley ‘disease,’ eats up Tanzania

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Methinks that Jangwani valley is a reflection of the biggest malaise afflicting Tanzania and it represents all what is ill about us in many realms of life as a nation and as a people – socially, economically and politically.
Let me call it Jangwani valley “disease,” which I refer to as an ailment that make Tanzanians to defy all the logic for the sake of simplicity, continuity and status quo in the face of disasters despite being aware of what should be done.
This is despite having the ability and resources to take necessary steps to avert some of the disasters that await us.
The only item in the toolbox is a gadget called “willpower,” that could move Tanzania to new levels of social, political and economic progress.
If you pluck out the Jangwani situation, you can place it in the management of our natural resources, education system and infrastructure.
Instead of doing what must be done for posterity, we would rather go for the ‘now’ piece of meal, even if it means blowing away our tomorrow.
Take for example, our failure as a nation to manage Usangu, the water catchments area for Ruaha River, that feeds Mtera dam, the country’s main power generating project.
The result is increasing power blues, entering into power production agreements that are expensive and end up as a loss for taxpayers.
The solutions are known, but like Jangwani valley dwellers, the rest of Tanzania stays put …waiting for the worst. Here I mean power cuts.
So we should not blame our brothers and sisters when they “willingly wait to die in the floods.” It looks surreal but it is exactly what people living in Dar es Salaam’s Jangwani valley are doing.
I was shocked to read in The Citizen on Friday that “despite the rain season having just started,” the valley residents “have continued with their daily lives oblivious of floods hitting them again.”
Reflections on this situation made me to think of Jangwani valley “Disease syndrome”.  Hardly three months have passed after devastating floods made a hell in the valley, killing several people and displaced all the residents.
Yet, some Tanzanians have moved back there and live as if nothing happened. That anyone could sleep for a night peacefully there it beats the mind.
But then, the people we are talking about have lived in the valley for years, seen their kind washed away to death almost every year. Then after mourning, life goes on as usual.
President Jakaya Kikwete ordered the displaced people to be resettled elsewhere. A plot in Ilala Municipality was set aside for them. What becomes of the resettlement plan is a story for another day.
Dar es Salaam regional authorities issued an order that people should not move back to the valley, and if they do, they would be arrested.  
Yet the residents are back, waiting for new bout of flood to kill or displace them. We have not heard of any arrests, only of people back in the valley, in their old lives defying all odds including the government order to vacate houses.
So if some new floods will come, some residents will be washed to death and the whole nation will be devastated.  
Leading companies and individuals will move fast to assist the flood victims who will be able to save their skins.  In addition, maybe the government will move in to offer another piece of land.

Saumu Jumanne is an Assistant Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)

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Article source: http://thecitizen.co.tz/sunday-citizen/43-sunday-citizen-opinion-editorial/20268-crossroadsjangwani-valley-disease-eats-up-tanzania.html

Numbers show Phillies need to be choosier at the plate



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Gallery: Phillies Spring Training

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La Salle 71, St. Bonnies 61

SportsRadio WIP’s Wing Bowl XX

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CLEARWATER, Fla. – In the long run, the end of the 2011 season might be the best thing that ever happened to the 2012 Phillies. As they walked off the field after a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS, Charlie Manuel and the rest of the organization’s decision makers were forced to acknowledge something that may have been obscured by the offense’s strong finish to the regular season. In short, the Phillies needed to be more selective at the plate.

The pivotal at-bat of the season-ending loss was the first at-bat of the game. Veteran leadoff man Rafael Furcal took a fastball from Roy Halladay for a ball. Up, 1-0, in the count, Furcal took again, this time for a called strike. The third pitch came in, and Furcal, once again, left his bat on his shoulder. Finally, up 2-1, he saw a fastball he liked and whipped into action, sending a fly ball to the centerfield wall for a leadoff triple. Furcal went on to score on a Skip Schumaker double, and the Cardinals had the only run they would need.

Four months later, on the eve of the first full squad workout of the spring, Manuel met with veteran leadoff man Jimmy Rollins to discuss the direction of the Phillies’ offense. You can bet that the first at-bat of Game 5 was on the manager’s mind. Furcal had a 1-0 pitch, yet did not swing. He was even at 1-1, and still didn’t swing. He waited for a pitch he liked, and only then did he commit.

On several occasions this spring, Manuel has talked of the need for his hitters to be more selective. Just because they are up in the count doesn’t mean they have to swing. Just because a 2-0 pitch is close to the zone doesn’t mean it is the best pitch a hitter will see.

While a lot has been made about the Phillies’ need to hit better with two strikes, their biggest shortcoming in 2011 was their performance when ahead in the count. Thanks to the statistical database maintained by Baseball-Reference.com, we can actually look how every team in the National League performed in each of the 12 possible counts. Only three teams in the NL finished with a lower batting average than the Phillies when ahead in the count. The Phillies’ .460 on-base percentage also ranked 13th, while their slugging percentage ranked ninth. They grounded into 32 doubleplays when ahead in the count, fifth-most in the NL. At the same time, their 76 home runs tied them with Arizona for the second-most in the league.

Those numbers seem to impart the same message Manuel and hitting coach Greg Gross have been preaching this spring: Wait for your pitch, and when you get it, don’t swing for the fences.

In many ways, Game 5 was a microcosm of the season. Not including the first pitch of each at-bat, the Cardinals saw 49 pitches in counts that favored the hitter or were even (1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2). They swung at only 28 of those pitches, taking the other 21. The Phillies, on the other hand, saw 47 pitches in counts that either favored the hitter or were even. They swung at 33, taking only 14.

The Cardinals and Phillies both took eight pitches for balls when ahead or even in the count. But the Cardinals also took 13 pitches for strikes, more than double the number the Phillies took.

It might not be a coincidence, then, that five of the 15 balls the Cardinals put into play landed for hits, while the Phillies went 2-for-18 in the same situations. The team that swings at better pitches tends to get better results. In Game 5, the Cardinals were that team.

In fact, the Cardinals were that team throughout the regular season. They finished second in the league with a .313 batting average and .481 on-base percentage when ahead in the count.

We can break it down even further. For example, only two teams put a greater percentage of 2-0 pitches into play than the Phillies did during the regular season. One out of every 5.1 2-0 pitches resulted in an out or a hit. The Cardinals averaged a hit or an out every 5.8 2-0 pitches.

The big question is whether the Phillies’ veteran hitters can change. In Game 5, Rollins saw three pitches when ahead in the count and swung at every one, two of them resulting in groundouts, the third in a lineout. He took the only even-count pitch he saw. Shane Victorino swung at four of the five pitches he saw when ahead in the count.

In 2008, the Phillies hit .293 when ahead in the count, which ranked 12th in the NL. They posted a .477 on-base percentage, which ranked ninth. But their .556 slugging percentage ranked first, and their 103 homers were 21 more than the next-closest team. Four years later, the Phillies do not have the type of power that constitutes the type of approach they once employed. Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth are long gone. Ryan Howard is expected to miss at least 2 months as he recovers from Achilles’ surgery. Rollins and Chase Utley are entering the twilights of their careers.

You might not be able to teach veterans new tricks, but Game 5 was a healthy reminder that the Phillies at least need to try.

Contact staff writer David Murphy at dmurphy@phillynews.com ;or @HighCheese on Twitter. For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read his blog, High Cheese, at www.philly.com/HighCheese.

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  • The season will be the same as last year….

    Jimmy Rollins will try to jack home runs and pop up to 2nd

    Utley’s knees will be screwed up and he won’t be able to hit a lick.

    Howard, if he ever comes back, will not be able to hit an outside breaking pitch.

    Its always blah blah blah we’re gonna change blah blah blah from the Phillies.


  • …who cares about a parade?…I’d like to see the Phillies win the World Series, but I could care less about a parade…

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Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20120302_Numbers_show_Phillies_need_to_be_choosier_at_the_plate.html

Afternoon roundup: Jays 7, Pirates 1


Written by Bill Brink

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The first game is in the books … but not entirely. They played the bottom of the ninth, despite the Blue Jays’ 7-1 lead, to let Juan Cruz pitch, and his scoreless inning didn’t make it in the box score.

Here is video of James McDonald after his start:

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And Clint Hurdle:

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***Josh Harrison was hit in the left elbow. Trainer Todd Tomczyk and Hurdle examined him at first base, and he stayed in the game, but said afterward it was sore. He had it wrapped in ice and said the pitch caught part of the bone rather than just flesh. No reason to think he will miss time yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

***McDonald said he was happy to get back on the mound, but got a bit amped for the second inning.

“I was a little antsy and excited to get back out there,” he said. “I feel like I put my fastball in pretty good locations, where I wanted to.”

Of the nine batters he faced, McDonald threw first-pitch strikes to four of them.

“You have to just trust your preparation that you have in the bullpen and all the work you’ve been doing leading up to your start,” he said of starting with a strike. “Go out there and not think. That’s when you’re competing. You don’t think about, I have to do this with my arm, or I have to do this, you gotta go out there and just throw. All the preparation you do leading up to that start, you just trust it.”

He also induced action in the first three pitches of the at-bat four times out of nine. Improving that could be key to him going deeper in games this season. His tempo appeared better, and he said he noticed when he was working slowly.

“That’s one thing that’s critical for him,” Hurdle said. “He’s got to improve upon that from where he was last year, especially when we get runners on base.”

***Hurdle said he looks at spring training stats through a filter, meaning he considers other factors: hard ground, wind, hard-hit outs, softly-hit base hits, etc.

***Starling Marte went 1 for 2 with a double, Gorkys Hernandez went 1 for 2 and Michael McKenry went 1 for 2 with an RBI.

***Hurdle said he was pleased with Ryota Igarashi’s scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

“He looked efficient,” Hurdle said. “Fastball location was good. Couple swings through his split. He looked like he had good velocity, good finish for his fastball.”

***Chris Leroux, Tony Watson and Daniel McCutchen: Three innings, seven hits, five runs. Leroux did strike out three in his inning.

**********

The Blue Jays travel to McKechnie Field Sunday. Erik Bedard, Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Jason Grilli, Doug Slaten, Daniel Moskos and Shairon Martis are scheduled to pitch.

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Article source: http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/pbc-blog/115178-afternoon-roundup-

OneIMS Enhances Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ Website to Allow Customers to Subscribe …

OneIMS provided technical support to provide Easy2Swallow Vitamins customers with subscriptions to the supplements of their choosing. OneIMS set up the e-commerce site, authorized coupon codes, and provided a user-friendly design for the subscription services page.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 03, 2012

Rather than logging in whenever their vitamin supply reaches its end, Easy2Swallow Vitamins customers can now “subscribe” to scheduled supplement delivery. Chicago web design and online marketing company OneIMS provided consulting and web development services to set up an instant pay and delivery system for Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ regular customers.

“We believe this service will really help customers who have hectic schedules and don’t have the time to worry about whether their supplements are running out,” says Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ Founder Michael Hardy. “Now they’ll receive their multivitamins, Omega-3 small capsules, BioCell Collagen or any other supplement on a monthly basis.”

“We researched Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ needs, as well as those of their customers, to find a solution that would make orders more efficient on both ends of the transaction,” says OneIMS online marketing manager Brent Miller. “We worked with the existing e-commerce and pay software to find a way for customers to set up monthly, recurring orders for which they are billed automatically.” For example, customers who regularly order the same Omega-3 small capsules now have the ability to order several years of supplements in a single online transaction.

OneIMS will continue system maintenance as customers enroll in the supplement subscription service, as well as offer ongoing online marketing consultation services to Easy2Swallow Vitamins. “We are always thinking of new ways to make Easy2Swallow’s products more visible in the online marketplace and more accessible to their customers,” says Miller. “For this project, that meant streamlining the transactions and authorizing coupon codes for initial and subsequent orders and coming up with a web design that makes the process as easy as possible for customers.”

About Easy2Swallow Vitamins

Easy 2 Swallow, LLC is a family-owned and operated business based in suburban Chicago that is dedicated to making quality vitamins and supplements in preparations that are easier to swallow. All products are Made in America and the company stands behind its products with a money-back guarantee. The company offers fifteen different vitamin and supplement products that are smaller, specially coated and shaped to be easy to swallow. To learn more go to http://www.easy2swallowvitamins.com.

About OneIMS

Founded in 2006, Chicago web design company OneIMS specializes in web design and innovative, integrative marketing techniques. Ranked #4 in search engine optimization by TopSEOs, OneIMS utilizes both offline and online marketing strategies to maximize clients’ web exposure and visibility. To learn more about OneIMS and their services, visit http://www.OneIMS.com or call 1-888-ONE-IMS-1.

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/3/prweb9249338.htm

Article source: http://www.timesunion.com/business/press-releases/article/OneIMS-Enhances-Easy2Swallow-Vitamins-Website-3379146.php

HTML5 roundup: new IE10 build surfaces in Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft launched the fifth IE10 platform preview last week as part of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The next major version of Microsoft’s Web browser is a big step forward that will bring a wide range of modern features, advanced rendering capabilities, and greatly improved support for Web standards. After years of complacency and lagging behind other browsers, Internet Explorer is becoming highly competitive.

As Microsoft explained this week in a blog entry about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the operating system uses the same HTML rendering engine in both the Internet Explorer Web browser and as part of the Metro application runtime. Microsoft hopes to ensure that its HTML rendering engine is capable of supporting rich application-like user experiences.

In a second blog entry, Microsoft outlined some of the major new features that were introduced in the latest IE10 platform preview build. These include JavaScript typed arrays, cross-origin resource sharing, support for the latest WebSockets API, and Web Worker thread pooling. Microsoft says that it has also worked to improve performance in areas like animated CSS transformations.

Microsoft has also launched an IE10 “test drive” demo site to show off some of the advanced capabilities of the browser. One of the demos is a pong-style brick breaker game with smooth animations.

HTML5 bullets

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview was one of the biggest events this past week, but there were plenty of other noteworthy items to round out our HTML5 bullet list:

  • Mozilla’s Hacks blog has a great new tutorial that demonstrates how Web applications can use IndexedDB, a standards-based NoSQL database for the browser, to store images and files. Mozilla also recently posted some sample JavaScript code that shows how to make a call and send SMS messages on Boot2Gecko devices.
  • WebKit gained support for the JavaScript vibration API, a feature that could be useful in mobile Web applications.
  • Programmer Jeff Atwood recently wrote a blog post advocating universal adoption of SSL encryption on websites where users are logged in. In his blog post, he looks at some of the performance and security implications.
  • We took a look at Firefox’s new HTML inspector in our report about Firefox 10 last month. That feature is just the start of the browser’s new built-in developer tool suite. Web developer Andi Smith has published a detailed overview of other features that are coming soon. You can also see a video tour on YouTube.
  • An open source software project called Guacamole is developing an HTML5 remote desktop client that can run entirely within a Web browser without requiring any browser plugins. It currently supports VNC and aims to offer near-native performance.
  • Ben Galbraith did a deep dive into how Netflix uses HTML5 to build its application user experiences.

Crumbs from the cookie jar

In case you missed it, here’s the biggest developing story that we reported about the open Web this week:

Mozilla and Telefónica announced that they partnered to develop the Boot2Gecko project into a complete mobile operating system that will be deployed later this year on hardware. Be sure to check out our extensive coverage of the platform.

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/html5-bullets-new-ie10-build-surfaces-in-windows-8-consumer-preview.ars

Manchester City moves five points clear at top of EPL; Arsenal make life …

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Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli (left) shoots past Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream during the English Premier League match at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Source: AFP

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Mario-Balotelli

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli (left) shoots past Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream during the English Premier League match at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Source: AFP




MANCHESTER City has extended its lead at the top of the English Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.


An own goal from Gretar Steinsson and a Mario Balotelli goal secured a 14th home win out of 14 for City and moved them five points clear of Manchester United..

City almost took the lead in the first few minutes when Balotelli hit the woodwork but an own goal by Steinsson put them in front before the Italian secured the victory midway through the second half.

In the early kick-off, Robin van Persie was Arsenal’s hero again as his two goals secured a 2-1 win at Liverpool to tighten their grip on fourth spot.

The Dutchman equalised a Laurent Koscielny own goal in the first half before scoring with a brilliant volley in injury time to lift his side clear in fourth, three points ahead of Chelsea, who were stunned 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion.

EPL DETAILS

Liverpool dominated possession but hit the post twice and had a penalty saved as their hopes of fourth drifted away with a first home defeat in the league this season.

“It means a lot to score at Anfield,” Van Persie said. “We’re proud of the win and I don’t think we deserved it, if I am being honest. Liverpool played better but to nick it at the end is pleasing.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was understandably delighted with three points, improving their chances of finishing fourth and claiming the last Champions League spot next season.

“We were fortunate it was 1-1 at half-time because we could have been two or three down,” Wenger said.

“In the second half I thought if it stayed 1-1 until the last 10 minutes, you never know, we have the quality to create chances.

“When you see the ball landing at the feet of Van Persie you know he can deliver a special goal. He did that today. In every game he comes up with something special.”

Even before Liverpool took the lead, Wojciech Szczesny had already saved a Dirk Kuyt penalty and his follow-up attempt and Van Persie’s equalising header came totally against the run of play.

Suarez and Kuyt hit the post for Liverpool but they could not find a second goal and are now 10 points behind Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish could not hide his disappointment, saying: “We played some fantastic stuff and came away with nothing.

“The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the game (but) we were beaten because we didn’t score enough goals. Van Persie’s a fantastic footballer, no doubt about that, but we did enough to win that game.”

Blackburn Rovers remain third-bottom despite a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, while Queens Park Rangers stayed ahead of them on goal difference after a 1-1 draw with Everton.

Wigan Athletic remain bottom after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Swansea City, while Stoke climbed to eighth after a 1-0 win over Norwich City.

 

Article source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/manchester-city-moves-five-points-clear-at-top-of-epl-arsenal-make-life-tougher-for-chelsea/story-e6frep5o-1226288383903

Port Vale board not the only ones to blame – Lloyd

Vale Park

Port Vale chairman Mike Lloyd says there are other people that should take the blame for the financial mess at the club, and not just the current board.

The Vale currently face a winding up order from HM Revenue Customs after failing to pay a tax bill with players and staff having also gone unpaid.

Lloyd told BBC Radio Stoke: “I’m desperately sorry for players, staff, shareholders and supporters alike.

“I don’t think the current situation is just down to the board.”


Vale Park

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He added: “There are many reasons why the club is in this financial position. You have to recall when the club first came out of administration 10 years ago, it started with a million pound loan.

“On top of that over the past 12 months we’ve had lower attendances, the economic situation is not good so not so many people are going to games. There have also been demonstrations which has added to the costs as well, and there has been reduced revenue because of the ‘starve them out’ campaigns.”

The club are currently unable to function as a business following the resignation of director Peter Miller as a director.


Vale Park

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That leaves just Mike Lloyd, Glenn Oliver and Perry Deakin as the three remaining people on the board, with the club needing four for it to function.

“I see administration maybe as soon as the end of next week, and that period of administration can take anything from three months to six months,” Lloyd explained.

“The administrator will then try and find a buyer and the points deduction will hit us this season, so the club can then start from scratch again next season.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17248022

Red Cross denied entry to Baba Amr for second day

Demonstration against President Assad in Binsh, near Idlib, 2 marchDemonstrations against President Assad are continuing across Syria

The International Red Cross says Syrian authorities have denied it access to the devastated Baba Amr district of Homs for a second day.

A spokesman said they were negotiating and would not give up as the need on the ground was great.

Syrian officials say the area is being cleared of booby traps.

But there have been reports of revenge killings by Syrian forces since rebel fighters pulled out, and shelling has been reported in other areas of Homs.

Meanwhile, the bodies of a US journalist and a French photographer have been handed over to diplomats.

The bodies of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were taken by the diplomats from the Al-Assad University Hospital in Damascus, reports said.

‘Street by street’

The seven-lorry Red Cross aid convoy spent the night in Homs and is set to spend a second after being blocked from entering Baba Amr, despite having been initially given permission from the government.

“[The International Committee of the Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Cross Society] could not enter Baba Amr today,” said the UK spokesman of the ICRC, Sean Maguire.

“Negotiations to gain access to the suburb continue. Our teams remain in Homs, ready to enter Baba Amr as soon as possible.”

But he said their presence in Baba Amr was vital.

“The needs on the ground are quite large and we need to get in quickly,” he said, adding that they were not giving up.

“We haven’t turned back… We’re persistent.”

The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says the reason being given by the Syrian authorities is that there are mines and potential booby traps in Baba Amr that need to be cleared first.


Ban Ki-moon

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Ban Ki-moon: “We continue to receive grisly reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture”

But he says there have been unconfirmed reports of revenge killings and summary executions by Syrian forces in Baba Amr and opposition activists believe the delay is to cover this up.

The reports speak of mass arrests of males over the age of 11, with the local cooperative building being turned into a detention centre.

One report alleged that a lorryload of dead bodies from Baba Amr was seen on a nearby highway. There were also reports of explosions and shootings in other nearby districts to which many families from Baba Amr had fled.

There were reports of renewed shelling in other parts of Homs on Saturday.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights group said mortar and machine-gun rounds had been fired into Jobar, adjacent to Baba Amr, while the Local Coordination Committees network said the districts of Khaldiya, Bab Sbaa and Khader had also been shelled.

Syrian state media said there had also been a suicide car bomb attack in the southern city of Daraa that had killed two people.


Paul Conroy speaks in hospital to Newsnight's Gavin Esler.

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Paul Conroy: “We left behind what I fear is going to be the next Rwanda, the next Srebrenica.”

Syrian state television has broadcast pictures from inside Baba Amr that show massive destruction, which it blamed on “armed terrorist gangs” carrying out a foreign plot to undermine Syrian stability.

Conditions in Baba Amr are said to be terrible, with no power and little food, water and medical supplies.

Our correspondent says the TV pictures showed nobody at all on the streets and that until the Red Cross gains access to make an assessment it will be impossible to say how many people remain.

One activist, Bassel Fouad, who has escaped to Lebanon, said colleagues who stayed behind had told him that pro-government gunmen were “entering homes and setting them on fire”.

“They begin at the start of a street and enter and search house after house,” he told Associated Press. “Then they start with another street.”

‘Disproportionate force’

In an address to the UN General Assembly on Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the international community had failed in its duty, and inaction had encouraged Syria’s leaders in their repression of civilians.

Mr Ban said it was time for the international community to speak with one voice.

“Continued division emboldens the Syrian authorities in their violent path,” he said.

He added: “The disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities has driven what had been largely peaceful opposition forces to resort to take up arms in some cases.”

Meanwhile Paul Conroy, a Sunday Times photographer who fled Syria after being wounded in Homs, told the BBC that what was happening in Baba Amr was “systematic slaughter”.

Mr Conroy, who was smuggled out of Syria into Lebanon on Tuesday, described the scenes in Homs from his hospital bed in the UK.

“I’ve done a fair few wars, I’ve never seen anything on this level,” he said.

“There are no targets, it’s pure systematic slaughter of a civilian population.”

Map of Homs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17243779

Hawthorn fails to impress coach despite 74-point win over GWS

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David Hale

Hawks ruckman David Hale takes a one-handed mark against the Giants at Aurora Stadium. Picture: Getty Images
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A 74-POINT win would normally put a smile on the face of any AFL coach but Alastair Clarkson barely had a good word about Hawthorn’s NAB Cup Round 2 hiding of GWS in Launceston.


The Hawks marched into the third round with a 2-1 win-loss record after their 2.12.18 (108) to 0.4.10 (34) victory in front of 5100 people at Aurora Stadium.

The Giants were rapt they beat Hawthorn at the clearances over the four 17-minute quarters.

The kindest word Clarkson had to say was about his backline for keeping GWS to only four goals.

“We know we’re rusty in various parts of our game, but you expect that this time of year,” Clarkson said.

“It was a good spread of contribution from the players, we didn’t have anyone who played a shocker and we didn’t have any guys who were clearly best on ground and dominant for four quarters.

“At this stage of year, we just need a contribution and to get game time into our players.”

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The Hawks were down on firepower and it showed, especially up forward, where David Hale (three goals) became the focus in the absence of Lance Franklin.

The Hawks also did it without Sam Mitchell, Cyril Rioli, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis, who were all rested this week.

They turned to Shaun Burgoyne (25 touches) and Clinton Young (23) for midfield momentum, but they will have help against Melbourne on Saturday.

“We won’t rest players two weeks in a row if we can help it,” Clarkson said.

“All the guys who didn’t play today will come back in next week. It’s going to be a balancing act in terms of who plays and who doesn’t next week.”

Hawthorn is favourite to win the NAB Cup, but it is not a priority for Clarkson.

“If we can get into some good habits of playing winning footy in the NAB Cup and we continue through then that’s good,” Clarkson said. “We’re not trying to lose it but nor are we going all-out to win it.

“If it comes our way it will just be a bonus. It’s more about getting game time into our players and preparing them as best we can for the start of the season.”

While the Hawks are on track, GWS is starting from a long way back with a team that has an average age of just under 20. “Our guys will learn a lot out of this game,” coach Kevin Sheedy said.

“It’s only the second time we’ll have these guys on tape playing, so we can now show them that you got that right, and you got that right, but you got that part wrong.”

The biggest lesson the Giants learnt yesterday was from Hawthorn’s devastating use of the ball.

“The way Hawthorn move the ball … there was a little bit of rugby league in their game in the way they cut and flick the ball around,” Sheedy said.

“We got the ball inside 50 36 times and, for a bunch of under-19 kids, that wasn’t that bad.”

SCOREBOARD

Hawthorn 1.2.5   2.7.10   2.10.13   2.12.18 (108)
GWS 0.1.1   0.2.5   0.2.8   0.4.10 (34)

Goals: Hawthorn: Schoenmakers (supergoal), Osborne (supergoal), Hale 3, Breust 2, Birchall, Hodge, Hill, Smith, Cheney, Bruce, Gunston. Greater Western Sydney: Wilson 2, Folau, Tomlinson.

Best: Hawthorn: Schoenmakers, Hale, Birchall, Hodge, Breust, Burgoyne. Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Palmer, Smith, Hoskin-Elliott, Wilson, Darley.

Injuries: Hawthorn: Nil. Greater Western Sydney: Nathan Wilson (ankle).
Reports: Nil.

Umpires: Jennings, McBurney, Burgess, Foot.
Official crowd: 5100 at Aurora Stadium.

Article source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/hawthorn-fails-to-impress-coach-despite-74-point-win-over-gws/story-e6frf9jf-1226288110990

Ramsey Designer Wedding Showcase hosted by bridal consultant Toni DeLisi

BY PATTIE SIMONE
WOMEN CENTRIC

Visions of wedding bells, delicious and artistically decorated cakes, unique place settings and invitations, beautiful harp music and other bridal necessities were on display at yesterday’s Designer Wedding Showcase, hosted by Bergen County’s Master Bridal Consultant Toni DeLisi, President of Memorable Events.

75 prospective brides, friends and relatives perused the services and offerings of over 30 different vendors, including Flowers Forever Floral Preservation, Bryan Madrid Photography, the Good China, My Daughter’s Cakes, and Mojuba, a woman-owned Chicago-based company selling “the ultimate wedding day emergency kits” for the bride and groom. Raffle prizes (worth from $25 to over $500) included Kate Spade earrings, an Engagement Portrait, and a$300 wedding flower Gift Certificate, donated by The Good China, Bryan Madrid Photography and Rohsler’s Nursery Florist, respectively.

“This is my third Wedding Showcase at Ramsey Golf and Country Club,” said DeLisi, who has been planning and orga

nizing wedding and other private and corporate events since 1988.  Apparently her experience – as well as the Country Club’s bucolic location – was well-received; DeLisi has already been invited to produce another event in the same location in 2013.

“Compared to a lot of bridal shows I’ve participated in, the Designer Wedding Showcase allows a more intimate venue for the bride and vendors to discuss (the bride’s) preferred options,” says Victoria DiGiulio, owner of Bliss Bridal Boutique Special Occasion, a 2-year old bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride couture dress (and wedding accessories) boutique located in downtown Allendale.

Other vendors included
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, Incoco.com, a nail polish appliqué manufacturer, Montvale’s
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, the pastry Chefs from
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in North Haledon and Perfect Limo Service from Montvale.

For more information about the Designer Wedding Showcase, Toni DeLisi or Memorable Events call 201-934-9979, email 
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or visit DeLisi’s facebook page.

Article source: http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/style/ramsey-designer-wedding-showcase-hosted-by-bridal-consultant-toni-delisi

Women’s basketball defeats Martin Luther College 71-58, advances to second round

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Sophomore Maggie Weiers’ 15-point, 11-rebound effort carried the St. Thomas women’s basketball team (27-1) to a 71-58 victory over Martin Luther College (20-8) in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday at home.

Weiers’ second double-double in a row was the key to a second half surge by the hosts. After only leading by two points at halftime, St. Thomas outscored the Knights 41-30 after the break.

In the first 33 minutes of the game, coach Ruth Sinn said the Knights were getting the shots they wanted and were putting the Tommies out of place until later in the second half.

“It was the last 13 minutes of the game they weren’t getting the shots they (Martin Luther) wanted. They were settling for outside shots, and we were getting opportunities to rebound and run,” Sinn said.

The victory puts the No. 10-ranked Tommies into the second round against Coe College (Iowa) at 7 p.m. Saturday in Schoenecker Arena.

The Kohawks defeated the University of Wisconsin-River Falls 72-61 in Friday’s matchup to break into the second round.

The Tommies held Martin Luther scoreless in the first seven minutes of the game, rattling off eight points before the Knights made a free throw.

Weiers, who grabbed seven first-half rebounds, hit two free throws to make it a 17-6 game with ten minutes to go before half.

Though Weiers was able to capitalize from the free throw line, the team struggled. At halftime, the Tommies converted just six of 14 attempts from the line, and the Knights were able to sneak back into the game.

“That’s not a usual,” sophomore Taylor Young said. “We usually shoot very well. We do free throws every day during practice. I don’t really know what happened. I think we just got a little too excited.”

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Video by Katherine Curtis and Ryan Shaver

With five minutes left in the first half, the Knights used a 7-2 run to cut the Tommies’ lead to 27-24.

Martin Luther’s Brittney Gossen hit a jumper to make it a 28-26 game, and Knights forward Hannah Hackbarth hit a floater for the eventual 30-28 halftime score.

Young said going into the second half, her team’s strategy was put the pressure on Martin Luther right away.

“We talked about just going to trap right away… once we started doing that I think we really got them rattled, and we got a few jump balls,” Young said. “Then it ended up going our way. That was sort of the turning point in the game, when they realized our press was actually really strong.”

Senior Ali Johnson hit a 3-pointer just 47 seconds into the half to get the Tommies on the board right away. Johnson scored eight points in the game, all coming in the second half.

Martin Luther guard Erica Babinec, who struggled in the first half with a zero for 7 shooting performance, scored 19 of her game-high 23 points in the second half, but it was not enough.

The Tommies shot 42 percent from the field in the second half and out-rebounded the Knights 28-12. Johnson grabbed six boards, and Smith chipped in seven.

“Maybe we weren’t balanced on offense, but we knew that we had four other people crashing the o-boards and d-boards. Everybody was moving around,” Weiers said. “We just had to box out. Once we could grab that board, we could push on offense.”

St. Thomas also improved from the free throw line in the second half, converting 11 of 16 attempts, and the Tommie bench posted a 23-12 advantage.

Young finished the game with 14 points, and Smith also scored in double-digits with 10.

“We were really excited before the game, and we had a lot of energy,” Young said. “We started off really well; we just had a little bit of a mental lapse.

After the game, Young took to Twitter and said, “To everyone that came… dear lord I love u. Honestly meant so much.”

The Tommie players hope the same support will be there for tomorrow’s home contest against Coe.

Briggs LeSavage can be reached at lesa4364@stthomas.edu.

Article source: http://www.tommiemedia.com/featured-news/womens-basketball-wins-71-58-against-martin-luther-college-advances-to-second-round/

Mozilla phones in 2012: A primer

Firefox maker Mozilla is expanding its horizons beyond the browser space with its smartphone collaboration with Spain’s largest mobile operator, Telefónica.

It announced on Monday the Open Web Devices platform for smartphones. OWD is based on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” (B2G) web engine and will be able to offer devices that are significantly cheaper than current Android, iOS and Windows Phone handsets.

Telefónica hopes to get the first round of devices in users’ hands before the end of 2012 in regions of the world where current smartphones are too expensive for most people. But Telefónica’s experiment should also give us a better idea of just how well B2G works and whether a smartphone maker would be willing to bring B2G phones to the more lucrative U.S. market.

Other major firms are also supporting the B2G project, including Adobe, Deutsche Telekom and Qualcomm.

Here are answers to nine questions about the project.

What is Boot To Gecko (B2G)?

Gecko is Mozilla’s rendering engine used in the web browser Firefox. Mozilla is developing a version of Gecko that will act as the core of a standalone operating system using modern web technologies, including the HTML5 markup language, cascading style sheets (CSS), JavaScript, and WebGL.

What is Telefónica doing?

Telefónica is focused on integrating B2G with the Linux kernel, as well as providing the user experience.

How Will B2G-based phones work?

These smartphones will have built-in HTML5 code for all functions, and third-party apps will be entirely web-based. All of the phone’s native device capabilities will be accessible using HTML5, so web apps won’t lack for functionality.

Any word on specs?

The only thing we know for sure is that the OWDs will be using a Qualcomm chipset commonly found in Android devices.

Are OWDs Android-based?

No. B2G and Android share the same Linux kernel and several other software libraries, but the two devices will not be interoperable.

How much will these devices cost?

No pricing details have been announced, but Telefónica is predicting that its OWDs can be sold significantly cheaper than current smartphones. The core of Telefónica’s devices is Mozilla’s B2G, which is based on Web technologies, and little else. B2G-based phones are not supposed to have the processing overhead that other mobile systems have. That means, according to Telefónica, you can run B2G on lesser hardware than, say, an iPhone 4S or the newly announced quad-core HTC One X, without sacrificing speed or responsiveness.

Who’s going to build the first OWDs?

It’s not clear. There are supposedly ongoing talks with several OEMs, but there’s no official word on any manufacturers.

What’s the future for B2G?

Mozilla is hoping to get B2G technologies standardized by the WorldWide Web Consortium, the main web standards organization. That means other device and software makers could also implement Mozilla’s technologies into future devices.

Will this affect the U.S. market?

It appears OWD phones will be targeted at regions where current smartphones are too expensive for most people. But that doesn’t mean that a B2G device won’t appear in the U.S. at some point. Ultimately, Mozilla’s hope is that B2G can break the “stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile devices world.” It’s unlikely you could break that stranglehold without influencing the U.S. market.

Boot To Geck Demo:

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/software/253696/mozilla-phones-2012-primer

Air Canada: Why adding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner could be a travel gamechanger

Video: Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner Fleet

Air Canada has ordered 37 Boeing Dreamliners. This next generation plane is a possible game changer in the world of travel.

Air Canada is pinning its future business strategy on Boeing’s new 787 jet that will enable the airline to expand to new destinations especially in emerging markets like China and India.

The long-anticipated 787 plane, also known as the Dreamliner, made a stop in Toronto on Friday as part of Air Canada’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The fuel-efficient plane, made of composite plastic, has the potential to transform airline travel, and possibly the aviation industry.

But it has had a bumpy start, with deliveries delayed by more than three years as Boeing dealt with repeated glitches.

To date, only five planes have been delivered to customers with 865 on order, and the airline currently is finishing two and half planes a month, with a production goal of getting to 10 a month by end of 2013.

More than half the jetliner is made of composite plastic including the fuselage and the wings – mimicking a bird’s wing at an angle. Much less metal is used, making it lighter by about 13 tonnes, and more fuel efficient, saving airlines about 20 per cent fuel compared with the 767 plane.

For passengers, it means airlines can add more humidity in the cabin because of fewer concerns over rust.

Boeing also estimated it will result in 30 per cent less maintenance costs because composite carbon fibres don’t corrode, and has a much longer fatigue life, said Carrie Shiu, regional director of product marketing.

Air Canada has ordered 37 of these planes, with the first seven expected to be delivered in 2014. Boeing sells the plane for $190 million (U.S.). The remaining 30 will be delivered between 2015 and 2019. These planes will replace the Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A330 fleets.

The midsize plane, which can seat between 210 and 290 passengers, gives the airline more flexibility, to fly cities across the Atlantic, Pacific and South America that currently may not have enough demand to fill the much larger 777 plane.

While the airline is not announcing any new routes or plans, Air Canada’s president and CEO Calin Rovinescu told reporters it can open new markets.

For example, Air Canada offers six daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai, but there are other secondary cities in China as well as India. Even Moscow could be a possibility.

“It’s an aircraft that has ultra-long range, a lower cost because it consumes less fuel and fewer seats than a triple 7,” Rovinescu said. “It’s an ideal aircraft to try some longer range but thinner routes.”

Rovinescu who has flown the 787 as a passenger over Africa called it a completely different experience.

“It is quieter. The air quality is outstanding,” he said, noting the LED lighting can create the feeling of being in sunlight.

But the biggest surprise was the wings.

“The wings are literally emulating the movement of a bird. The wing is capable of going to an almost 45 degree angle. It’s quite a remarkable engineering feat,” he said.

Boeing’s production delays mean Air Canada had to keep its 767 planes in use longer – so there were incremental maintenance costs.

While Air Canada was unhappy with the delay, the bright side is the airline would have taken delivery in the middle of a recession where capital is more constrained.

All Nippon Airways of Japan was the first to take delivery of the Dreamliner last fall and to date it has carried more than 10,000 passengers.

Boeing’s Shiu believes the Dreamliner’s use of composite plastic could have wider applications.

“We are breaking new ground in the application of this material because of the complex shape that we can now build,” she said.

Construction of this plane is also unusual because various parts were made all over the world – including the wing body bearing which was built by Boeing Canada in Winnipeg.

Finally assembly takes place at two plants, one in Washington and the other in South Carolina.

“This is actually better than if we just keep it in-house,” she said, noting they had partners around the world.

Article source: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1139946--air-canada-why-adding-the-boeing-787-dreamliner-could-be-a-travel-gamechanger

Syria unrest: Red Cross urges access to Baba Amr, Homs

Demonstration against President Assad in Binsh, near Idlib, 2 marchDemonstrations against President Assad are continuing across Syria

The Red Cross says it will try again to be allowed access to the devastated Baba Amr district of the Syrian city of Homs, after being blocked on Friday.

It said it was “unacceptable” that its seven-lorry convoy had been stopped.

There have been reports of revenge killings and summary executions by Syrian forces since rebel fighters pulled out of Baba Amr on Thursday.

The UN secretary-general said Syria had committed clear and widespread crimes against the civilian population.

‘Street by street’

The Red Cross convoy spent the night in Homs after being blocked from entering Baba Amr, despite having been given earlier permission from the government.

Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said: “It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help.”

The Red Cross said there was no explanation for the change of heart by the Syrian authorities.


Ban Ki-moon

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Ban Ki-moon: “We continue to receive grisly reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture”

The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says there have been unconfirmed reports of revenge killings and summary executions by Syrian forces in Baba Amr. And with the Red Cross and Red Crescent being kept away, they are bound to gain currency.

The reports speak of mass arrests of males over the age of 11, with the local cooperative building being turned into a detention centre.

One report alleged that a lorryload of dead bodies from Baba Amr was seen on a nearby highway. There were also reports of explosions and shootings in other nearby districts to which many families from Baba Amr had fled.

Our correspondent says there were also reports of renewed shelling in other parts of Homs on Saturday.

Syrian state television has broadcast pictures from inside Baba Amr that show massive destruction, which it blamed on “armed terrorist gangs” carrying out a foreign plot to undermine Syrian stability.

Conditions in Baba Amr are said to be terrible, with no power and little food, water and medical supplies.

One activist, Bassel Fouad, who has escaped to Lebanon, said colleagues who stayed behind had told him that pro-government gunmen were “entering homes and setting them on fire”.


Paul Conroy speaks in hospital to Newsnight's Gavin Esler.

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Paul Conroy: “We left behind what I fear is going to be the next Rwanda, the next Srebrenica.”

“They begin at the start of a street and enter and search house after house,” he told Associated Press. “Then they start with another street.”

In an address to the UN General Assembly on Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the international community had failed in its duty, and inaction had encouraged Syria’s leaders in their repression of civilians.

Mr Ban said it was time for the international community to speak with one voice.

“Continued division emboldens the Syrian authorities in their violent path,” he said

He added: “The disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities has driven what had been largely peaceful opposition forces to resort to take up arms in some cases.”

Meanwhile Paul Conroy, a Sunday Times photographer who fled Syria after being wounded in Homs, told the BBC that what was happening in Baba Amr was “systematic slaughter”.

Mr Conroy, who was smuggled out of Syria into Lebanon on Tuesday, described the scenes in Homs from his hospital bed in the UK.

“I’ve done a fair few wars, I’ve never seen anything on this level,” he said.

“There are no targets, it’s pure systematic slaughter of a civilian population.”

Map of Homs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17243779

Welcome to Ninjalane v3.5 – HTML5 Edition

For the longest time I was holding back on updating Ninjalane.com to the new HTML5 standard due to the lack of browser support.  Though as time rolled on I quickly that HTML5 is the future and while it isn’t an official standard (according to the W3C) the fact that all modern browsers support some part of HTML5 was good enough for me to go forward with the update.

As of this news post Chrome is still the only browser to fully support HTML5.  Both FF and IE9 support the majority of HTML5′s new tagging structure but lack some of the other key components.  Personally I still think that 3rd party plugins are the way to go when it comes to some of the new HTML5 features so ultimately I’m glad they opted not to support them.

Question:
What about IE8 and IE7, don’t they lack the basics when it comes to HTML5?
It is true that IE8, IE7 and *shudder* IE6 are clueless when it comes to understanding the new tags in HTML5 but the browsers do support stylizing XML.  The trick is you must tell the browser what to look for and how to stylize them, after that it the browsers will render things like in newer browsers.  For the time being I’ve added a new JavaScript file that will create the additional code required to render HTML5 in these older browsers.

If you are curious about the HTML5 upgrade or run into any rendering issues please stop by the forums and let me know.

Related Web URL: http://forums.ninjalane.com

Article source: http://www.ninjalane.com/newspost5665.aspx

NDP leadership: Ottawa MP Paul Dewar learned politics from being a teacher

Video: Paul Deward on education

NDP MP and leadership candidate Paul Dewar talks education.

The sun is setting on the quiet residential street in Toronto and Paul Dewar has disappeared from view.

There is some confusion among the volunteers and then, suddenly, the curly-haired New Democratic leadership candidate in the oversized leather jacket swings open a porch door a few houses down the road, bounds down the front steps and rejoins the team on the sidewalk.

“It’s a 16-year-old kid and his parents were busy,” Dewar, 49, says with a smile as he points his thumb toward the house that delayed him while out knocking on doors with Craig Scott, the NDP candidate in the upcoming Toronto-Danforth byelection.

“So I just gave him a civics lesson. You know, ‘we’re having a byelection. Do you know why it’s happening?’” Dewar explains. “He’s the same age as my eldest son, so I gave him a pop quiz.”

Suddenly, Dewar realizes something he forgot to ask the kid.

“I should have signed him up as a member. Then he could have voted for me,” he says with a laugh before moving on to the next house.

Dewar has been the MP for the riding of Ottawa Centre for just over six years. He made a name for himself as the NDP foreign affairs critic before becoming the fourth candidate to enter the leadership race last fall.

Before all that, he was a teacher and he argues it prepared him for the job he wants more than most people might think.

“Teachers are natural leaders,” says Dewar, who lives with his wife Julia Sneyd, who is also an elementary school teacher, and their sons Nathaniel, 16, and Jordan, 13, on a quiet street in Old Ottawa East.

“I think what I have taken from teaching and applied to politics is that it’s important to truly understand people’s lives and connect with how they live their lives so that you can hopefully not only help them but learn from them,” says Dewar.

Learning did not
always come easily.

As if struggling with dyslexia was not hard enough, Dewar recalls teachers sending him out to the hall, once getting a strap or a ruler slapped down on his palm by the nun who was the principal at his Catholic elementary school.

Dewar says his offences were mild.

“It was just talking. ‘Paul, be quiet. Paul, stop asking questions,’” Dewar recalls the teachers saying as he described, with a sheepish chuckle, what he called his “loquaciousness,” a word that anyone listening to him talk for five minutes while waiting for a 10-second clip would say is most apt.

“I often asked ‘why?’ and that was not always welcomed,” Dewar says.

Not at school, anyway.

As the youngest
of four children born to Ken Dewar, a public servant, and Marion Dewar, who became mayor of Ottawa in 1978 and was later briefly an NDP MP, he grew up in a home where lively debates were routine around the supper table.

“It was always stimulating,” says his older brother Bob Dewar of being raised by devoutly Catholic social activists who welcomed both progressive elites, such as former federal NDP leader David Lewis, and the downtrodden into their home. “Our door was always open.”

His parents adopted a fifth child, a third sister, when Dewar was older.

His parents were worried about the trouble that Dewar was having in school, but they were also aware that attitudes about how to educate children had changed since their eldest son Bob — about a decade older than the baby of the family — went through the system.

“All that ground was shifting, so they were quite supportive,” says Dewar, who has fonder memories of his non-academic pursuits in high school, where he describes himself as both a jock and a student government nerd who floated between groups and made a point of befriending the new kids.

Meanwhile, Dewar was catching the politics bug, travelling with his mother to Winnipeg as a preteen to attend the NDP convention that elected Ed Broadbent as federal leader.

Three decades later, Broadbent made a comeback to politics and trounced Dewar in his bid to run for the NDP in the 2004 federal election. Dewar won the seat two years later.

“He was always a precocious kid,” recalls Bob Dewar, who also remembers the sound political advice their mother, who died during the 2008 federal election campaign, gave to her youngest son: “She used to say to him: ‘If you want to run, go out and get some life experience,’ which he did.”

University had been
an exciting place, where Dewar engaged in campus activism on everything from acid rain and apartheid to the peace movement and cruise missile testing, his curly hair longer in the back than it is now.

“I wanted to go around and see what was happening, see in real terms how politics happens on the ground,” says Dewar, who graduated from Carleton University with a degree in political science and economics in 1985.

His eye turned to Central America, where he was intrigued by the Contra war, especially after the mayor of Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, came to visit his mother in Ottawa as part of an organization called Mayors for Peace.

Dewar waited tables to finance the trip and then headed down to Nicaragua in 1986 with a group called Tools for Peace, where he volunteered at a coffee co-operative and then helped deliver aid to hospitals and schools.

He also learned Spanish while forgetting much of his high school French, which would come back to haunt him in the race to replace the Quebec-savvy Jack Layton, which has its share of credible, fluently bilingual candidates.

Those six months, when he also travelled to Guatemala and Honduras, changed his life.

“Going down I had this classic Canadian idea. . . I was going there to help those people,” says Dewar, wrapping his knuckles on the table to emphasize those last three words. “I think a contributed a lot, but I also learned so much more than I gave.”

Seeing dozens of kids crammed into tiny classrooms with nothing but a chalkboard, sharing textbooks with fellow students — many of them the first in their family to learn how to read — is what made Dewar want to be a teacher.

“(It) cemented with me the idea that education was the most potent way to change things when we’re talking about poverty,” says Dewar.

Later, when he was vice-president of his local of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, he advocated donating to the union’s humanity fund that gives money to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help support education in developing countries.

As a young teacher,
Dewar was intent on mastering the balance between being approachable and being too friendly.

“I always joked that ‘I’m your teacher. I’m not going to be your friend. We might be friends later on in life, but not right away.’ I always went by ‘Mr. Dewar’ as opposed to my first name,” he says.

Evan Akins, 26, who had Dewar for Grade 8 English at Hopewell Avenue Public School, remembers his former teacher helped him cope with moving from a learning disability class to the mainstream.

“He always told me I could talk to him after class just to get a better understanding. If I ever needed help, he was there,” says Akins, who is now a student at George Brown College in Toronto. “He was definitely an authoritative figure, but a very open authoritative figure, so you never felt intimidated to ask him questions.”

Dewar says there is no question that struggling with dyslexia as a student helped him relate to students grappling with all sorts of problems, including one student who confided that she was thinking of committing suicide.

“I knew what it was like to take on challenges and what it’s like to be intimidated by what’s in front of you,” says Dewar.

It did not surprise
Rob Sutherland when his niece and nephew raved about how much they adored “Mr. Dewar” when they were in his class at Hopewell.

Sutherland had grown up a few blocks away from the Dewar family, but he knew the youngest child best from when they worked together for Evelyn Gigantes, when she was Ontario health minister in the NDP government of then-Premier Bob Rae.

Dewar was in between teaching gigs at the time and in 1990 began working in the constituency office, answering the telephone and greeting people who walked through the front door.

“Even when they were mad at him they couldn’t stay mad at him for very long, because he was just so affable and easy to get along with,” says Sutherland, who managed Dewar’s 2006 federal election campaign and is now chief of staff to federal NDP whip Chris Charlton. “A lot of people were mad at that government over a lot of things. . . Paul would just defuse their anger, just from his sheer force of personality.”

Having a nice guy for a candidate has not stopped the Dewar campaign from playing hardball.

There was the internal poll released to the media the morning after the Quebec City debate last month that distracted everyone from his weak performance in French and put the other campaigns — especially that of veteran strategist Brian Topp, which the poll suggested was in fifth place — on the defensive.

There was his move to pin Toronto MP Peggy Nash into a corner on hospital user fees during the Quebec City debate last month and then again on corporate tax cuts in the Winnipeg debate.

Calling him on it elicits a kind of “aw, shucks” response.

“I’m simply offering her an opportunity to be clear about where she stands on this extremely important issue,” the doe-eyed Dewar says earnestly when asked if he would go so far as to call Nash a “flip-flopper.”

Nice guy, solid organization, observers of the race often say when discussing his chances at victory. Too bad about the French.


Denis Monnin
, 63, stands in the front row of the balcony level at the Palais Montcalm in downtown Quebec City, staring at the stage below as Dewar, his student, pushes through his opening statement of the French-language all-candidates debate there last month.

This is the part where Dewar gets to rely most on his notes. The sentences are short. The accent is off. Some words are mangled.

Dewar is fighting the internal monologue he says comes from being a teacher, fighting the instinct to correct himself. Oh, that’s a mistake. Stop and find the right words. No. Let it go. Just keep going.

Dewar nods his head when he is done, something between a shy smile and a frown on his lips.

Monnin, an education professor at the University of Ottawa, is volunteering his time as traveling French tutor as his way of contributing to the political party for which he has always voted and also recently joined.

That included having Dewar come live with him and his wife over the Christmas holidays so they could speak the language while cooking dinner and watch French-language movies together at night, sometimes pausing and rewinding to make sure that Dewar understood a joke.

“He’s an adult, so it’s taking a bit longer than if he was younger, but he’s getting there,” Monnin says the morning of the Quebec City debate.

Monnin sees hope in the way that Dewar is becoming less of a wallflower when speaking to small groups of people in French, letting his personality shine through a little bit more than he did before.

“He doesn’t stop after ‘yeah, you’re right,’” says Monnin, originally from a suburb of Paris. “He really tries to go beyond clichés or ready-made sentences, into a more relaxed kind of French . . . That doesn’t always come out in the debates because it is very difficult to do so.”

Dewar is under incredible pressure to prove himself capable of leading a party that owes its Official Opposition status to its unprecedented success in Quebec — something that is in no way guaranteed to happen again in the next election.

Dewar is optimistic, believing that if there is one thing he is capable of changing about himself, it is his fluency in French.

And in that “nice guy” way of his, he mentions that he actually listened to his colleagues while they were delivering their own performances onstage in Quebec City.

“And everyone makes errors,” he says.

Article source: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1140244--ndp-leadership-ottawa-mp-paul-dewar-learned-politics-from-being-a-teacher