Cowboys set unwanted stats record

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North Queensland Cowboys stand condemned of delivering the worst handling performance by an NRL side in more than 800 games since statisticians started recording official ball-control data in 2008.

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North Queensland’s completion rate of 35 per cent in their error-riddled 18-0 loss to the Titans on Saturday night was the lowest yet charted by NRL statisticians.

In a terrible opening-night display before their home fans at Dairy Farmers Stadium, the Cowboys completed 14 of 39 sets, prompting coach Neil Henry to label their attitude with the ball as “ridiculous”.

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Co-skipper Matt Scott said the Cowboys had no excuses for their butter-fingered night and would try to make a stand in Friday night’s Queensland derby against Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

“There’s no excuses,” Scott said.

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“We wouldn’t have beaten a reserve-grade side playing like that.”

“It is a slap in the face for us. It’s a wake-up call and one we didn’t want, but we have to cop this on the chin, learn from it and move on.

“I can’t remember a completion rate so bad.

“There wasn’t one player who could put their hand up and say they did their job on the night.”

The Warriors held the unenviable record for the NRL’s worst completion rate, finishing only 13 of 31 sets (41.9 per cent) in their 52-6 hammering by Manly Sea Eagles in 2008.

But the Cowboys officially hit rock bottom on Saturday night.

Adding salt to the wound, it was the first time in five years that North Queensland had gone scoreless in a premiership match.

“It was pretty awful, an ugly performance really,” Henry lamented.

“I’m too emotional at the moment to think about it, I need to look at the tape.

“Who knows what it was? We never completed enough sets to mount serious pressure and that’s what the game is about.”

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Tedesco, Gordon face long lay-offs

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At the back of Leichhardt Oval on Sunday night, long after the fans had stopped cheering, the cruel reality of rugby league was on show for a few stragglers still at the ground.

As Benji Marshall stood signing autographs, young James Tedesco was in a world of hurt no more than two metres away.

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The 19-year-old’s mum Rosemary was holding his bags as Tedesco limped home on crutches.

Rosemary’s phone hadn’t stopped ringing since her son left the field on a stretcher in the 30th minute. Long before Benji landed that miracle 35m field goal in golden point to sink the Sharks, the rookie fullback’s season was over – crushed by an ACL knee injury that will now require surgery.

Tedesco will have scans on Monday, but those close to him already knew the worst on Sunday.

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When the injury happened, he went down unassisted.

No one came close to getting a hand on him, it was just one of those rotten things that happens in a footy game.

But what you didn’t see on the TV was the tears and despair that followed.

“It’s very devastating just seeing his reaction in the sheds,” Marshall said after the game.

“He was crying in there and it brought a tear to a few of the boys.”

And through it all, his mum sat beside him just wishing she could take the pain away.

“He’s devastated,” she said later, trying unsuccessfully to fight back tears herself.

“We sat there with him while the doctor had a look at him. He was really upset, we were all upset. It is hard to look for the positives now, but you have to try, don’t you.”

Some 20 members of the wider Tedesco family travelled from Menangle to watch the young Tiger’s debut. But for Tedesco and his family, the words and actions of his skipper after the match are something to hang on to.

There was also bad news for Penrith fullback Michael Gordon, who could be sidelined for up to three months after the Panthers confirmed he had broken his fibula.

Gordon landed awkwardly in a tackle made by Canterbury-Bankstown’s Greg Eastwood midway through the first half on Saturday night.

The winger hobbled from the field and played no further part in the Panthers’ 22-14 loss.

The winger was forced to spend the night in hospital, but provided regular updates of his condition on Sunday via Twitter.

He even suggested in one post he could slash his recovery time in half and feature in the April 22 City-Country clash.

“Being in hospital is like being at my nans again. Orange marmalade on toast and a cup of tea for brekky,” Gordon posted.

“Not as bad as first thought, but been out long enough and didn’t need another break haha,” was another post.

Gordon even saw the funny side of being crunched in the tackle by Eastwood when he wrote: “Bit of swelling. But Eastwood is a big man to land on these little pins haha.”

It was the worst possible setback for Gordon, who suffered a knee injury in round 10 last year and missed the rest of the season.

Do you need to get Tedesco or Gordon out of your Fantasy NRL side? Make your changes before the week two deadline

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OneIMS Provides Website Support for Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ Direct Sell to …

OneIMS designed and implemented website and marketing support for Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ direct sales campaign, which markets the supplement BioCell Collagen to salon and boutique buyers. The marketing website features social media widgets, a full product description, and a link that allows buyers to initiate a contract with Easy2Swallow Vitamins.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 04, 2012

To enhance Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ direct sale campaign to beauty retailers, Chicago web design company OneIMS has designed and implemented website and marketing support around Easy2Swallow’s BioCell Collagen II supplements. The website is targeted toward buyers for salons and boutiques, allowing interested buyers to learn more about the product and initiate a contract with Easy2Swallow Vitamins, a company that produces specialized capsules like easy to swallow multivitamin and dietary supplements.

In the past, OneIMS provided marketing support in the form of web design, SEO, and pamphlets targeted toward salons and boutiques. “The latest in our online marketing efforts expands on the existing campaign by providing immediacy in communication that busy store owners will appreciate,” says OneIMS President Solomon Thimothy. “They can now reach Easy2Swallow Vitamins directly just by visiting the website.”

The featured product, BioCell Collagen II, combines hydrolyzed collagen and hylauronic acid to increase the flexibility and strength of the body’s connective tissue. While dermal collagen may be the top priority for professionals working in the beauty industry, this supplement will also support the health of other connective tissue, such as joints. More information regarding BioCell Collagen II, as well as links to the product line of easy to swallow multivitamin supplements, can be found on its marketing web page, which also features Easy2Swallow Vitamins’ Twitter feed and other social media connections.

“The marketing webpage offers a level of interactivity that goes beyond a product description,” says Thimothy. “In addition to finding out more about the product, buyers can see what customers and related companies think about the product, which allows them to make an informed decision.” OneIMS will provide continue to design and implement new marketing strategies as Easy2Swallow Vitamins reaches out to more clients and business associates.

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

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 or call 1-888-ONE-IMS-1.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Howlers cost us: Flanagan

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Shane Flanagan could not have been more emphatic about the influence refereeing howlers had on the golden-point loss to the Wests Tigers: “In my books, we should’ve won”.

Monday Night Football

Fox Sports’ award-winning Monday Night Football returns for a sixth season in 2012.


The face of Fox Sports’ NRL coverage, Matthew Johns, fronts a new-look studio panel featuring Gorden Tallis, Mark Gasnier and a rotation of current stars and legends of the game.


Warren Smith leads the commentary team alongside Greg Alexander and Laurie Daley, while Andy Raymond covers the sideline.


The pre-game show provides the most comprehensive preview of the round, with interviews and analysis along with a wrap of all the big issues from the weekend.


Monday Night Football: Mondays, 6pm-9:30pm, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 2HD.


The Cronulla coach watched in disbelief with the rest of us as Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall crunched a 35m field goal under intense pressure in extra-time to clinch a 17-16 win for his team at their spiritual home of Leichhardt Oval.

A minute earlier, the Tigers had been penalised after a frantic start to extra-time when Sharks five-eighth Todd Carney’s kick-off hit the crossbar, allowing his side to regather.

Carney then lined up a match-winning field goal from in front and 20m out, only to have it charged down by Tigers forwards Aaron Woods and Chris Heighington from what looked to be an offside position.

Marshall appeared to knock on while diving on the loose ball, before referee Jared Maxwell blew a penalty, claiming the Sharks players were offside for being in front of the kicker.

It’s understood that a review of the incident by the NRL today will find that any penalty should have gone to the Sharks, or at the very least they should have retained possession and possibly had another chance to win the game.

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But, soon after, Marshall landed the killer blow.

It was a critical call and when Flanagan walked into the post-match press conference he didn’t need much prompting to let his feelings be known.

“I’m going to have to go and check the rules, because if they charge down how can they be offside?” he asked.

“Benji Marshall knocked it on anyway; I thought once they’re charging it down, making a play at our kicker, we’re onside. Even saying that, Benji knocked it on first, and then we played at the ball.”

Is Flanagan right to criticise the officials for costing the Sharks the game? Leave a comment below to join the discussion!

Then Flanagan squared up Maxwell for his decision to immediately disallow a try to centre Colin Best in the 64th minute for a supposed double movement instead of referring the decision to video referee Steve Clark.

Adding to the coach’s frustration was that Clark then admitted it was a clanger and a try should have been awarded.

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“What about the Colin Best try?” Flanagan said.

“That’s a try every day of the week. The video ref was two boxes up from me and he said it was a try.

“You’ve got the video ref, but you don’t use it.

“If you’re not going to use them, get rid of them. Save some money. Give it to junior league.”

Best was adamant he’d crossed for a legitimate try. “I scored,” he said. “We can’t change it now, but it would’ve been nice if he sent it upstairs. He ruled straight away and said no.”

Referees boss Bill Harrigan was reluctant to weigh into the drama when contacted on Sunday night because he had not seen the match – although Maxwell will surely be lucky to earn first-grade selection next weekend given the significance of his rulings.

“But I can say that once a ball is charged down, the players in front of the kicker are no longer offside,” Harrigan said.

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Phillies fall to Yankees

TAMPA — Roy Halladay struck out three in his first spring start, and Hunter Pence hit another two-run home run in the Phillies’ 7-4 loss Sunday to the New York Yankees.

Halladay’s lone blemish: Alex Rodriguez drove a first-pitch fastball over the wall in right-center in the first inning for the Yankees’ first run. Halladay then got Mark Teixeira on a groundout to end the inning.

Halladay pitched out of trouble in the second inning.

Andruw Jones led off with a single and Francisco Cervelli reached on the first of four Phillies errors. Halladay struck out Chris Dickerson, got an infield pop out and struck out Justin Maxwell to end the threat and his day.

He left with a 2-1 lead, thanks to Pence, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the second consecutive game.

The Yankees tied it with a run in the third off losing pitcher Joel Pineiro and took advantage of another infield error to add two more runs in the fourth for a 4-2 lead. Pineiro allowed three runs, but just one was earned.

The Phillies had their chances. Domonic Brown opened the fourth with his second hit but was thrown out stealing. Immediately afterward, John Mayberry doubled to left field and Michael Martinez walked. Both moved up when Freddy Galvis grounded out to the right side but were stranded when Tuffy Gosewisch flew out to right.

Martinez doubled and scored on Galvis’ double in the sixth to pull the Phillies within 4-3.

The Yankees took advantage of more Phillies’ defensive woes to score three runs in the seventh against relief prospect Phillippe Aumont. Brown dropped a fly ball in left field to start the inning.

Mayberry’s RBI groundout in the eighth accounted for the Phillies’ final run.

Most of the Phillies’ regulars stayed in Clearwater. Third baseman Placido Polanco is expected to make his debut Monday.

Galvis, a longshot to make the club as a reserve infielder, helped his cause with his glove and bat. Twice he ranged far to his right to take away hits, and he also added an RBI double and single.

Joe Blanton is scheduled to pitch Monday when the three-game series returns to Clearwater.

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The Internet Goes Mobile with HTML5 Web Apps


In a related post, I reviewed evidence that a number of major players in the tech industry are investing heavily in HTML5 web-based app development. Recent moves by Google, Facebook and Mozilla among others suggest a shift in support from native apps to browser-based web apps. Why is this? The tech industry’s interest in HTML5 must be seen in light of a larger trend in the technology marketplace: the Internet is going mobile.

In large part, the growth in mobile devices was the beginning of the end for desktop applications. For years, developers were able to target Windows and reach almost all users. Widespread smartphone adoption and mobile internet access have upset this paradigm.


Take a look at these mobile usage statistics from Google’s 2011 research with Ipsos¹:

  • 79 percent of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping (price comparisons, product reviews, locating stores)
  • 70 percent of consumers use smartphones in a store
  • 77 percent have contacted a business via mobile, with 61 percent calling and 59 percent visiting the local business
  • For younger users (under 45) more than 50 percent already have smartphones.

In addition, a report just issued by Pew Research revealed that as of February 2012, 46% of Americans are smartphone users.

The broad adoption of mobile use has brought about a proliferation of mobile devices with varying platforms and operating systems. Given this, it is getting increasingly difficult for app developers to get complete coverage of the market with a native-only approach.


In early March, Google released some new activation numbers for their Android mobile and related figures¹:

  • Total Android mobile devices in market globally: 300 million
  • Daily activations: 850,000
  • Android apps: 450,000
  • Google controls 95% of the browser-based mobile search volume in the US; the numbers are slightly larger on a global basis.
  • Android is unquestionably the world’s leading smartphone operating system, with 47 percent market share in the US as of Q4 2011 (Apple’s iOS enjoys a 30% market share).


As digital industry analysts eMarketer recently pointed out, the US mobile advertising market is growing far faster than expected, driven by the rapid ascension of Google’s mobile search advertising business, advertisers’ growing attraction to display inventory on tablet and smartphone devices, and the growing roster of mobile ad networks such as Google’s AdMob, Apple’s iAd and Millennial Media.

  • eMarketer estimates mobile advertising spending in the US reached $1.45 billion in 2011, up 89% from $769.6 million in 2010.
  • This year, US mobile ad spending is projected to grow 80% to $2.61 billion.
  • Mobile commerce sales in 2011 were $6.7 billion.
  • Mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion in the US alone by 2015.


Facebook has 425 million monthly mobile users – and the platform sends more than 60 million visitors every month to apps and games. Facebook is now available on more than 2,500 different mobile devices, including feature phones as well as smartphones.

As Facebook CTO Bret Taylor stated at the 2012 Mobile World Congress, “fundamentally, Facebook is a mobile product.” He went on to say that mobile is the most natural form of the Facebook platform, and the one that founder Mark Zuckerberg would have created originally if the technology had been available at the time.²

At the Congess, Taylor also announced that Facebook is working with mobile operators to make phone-based payments easier, and has launched an effort to standardize HTML5 to help developers write applications for more mobile handsets. As Taylor noted, “We think this experience (HTML5-based mobile web) can be as good or even better than the native platforms…by having a great developer experience around billing we’ll be unlocking the business potential of the mobile Web.”³

These initiatives will extend Facebook’s mobile influence further, since developers won’t need to create separate apps for every platform (iOS, Android, etc.) and can just integrate Facebook’s Open Graph with a web app to reach their huge audience.


Given the mounting evidence, it looks like the future of the web is mobile, and the future of app development is HTML5. Why is an HTML5-based mobile web such a good thing for companies, developers and consumers? Because HTML5 is (or will soon become) more cost-effective and better performing than native apps. In short, with HTML5 you get more bang for your buck.


  • Interoperability- HTML5 is interoperable, meaning you can target the largest number of mobile devices with the least amount of development effort. As such, HTML5-based web apps are more accessible to a larger body of developers.
  • Cheaper Updating- Because of its interoperability, HTML5-based web apps on several platforms will be less costly than supporting separate apps programmed on multiple native operating systems.
  • Time to Market- For most businesses, time to market is a critical aspect of their mobile app implementation strategy. Consistent usage of one technology for different mobile platforms will speed up the delivery process.

Web-based apps are cheaper to run across multiple platforms, they’re easier to maintain, and they make specific devices irrelevant. All these features not only lower costs, but also improve productivity.


  • Easy Access- As opposed to native apps, Web-based apps provide greater access. Users can open the browser on any another device and instantly access the app directly from the Internet. Therefore, if a person forgets or misplaces their smart phone or tablet, they still access apps from other Internet-enabled devices.
  • Performance- HTML5-based apps can utilize CSS3 to create complex, flexible designs that can support rich graphics and animations. Hardware-accelerated rendering is being implemented across modern browsers, which means that browsers can now speed up computations needed to display smooth transitions, transformation, and 3D rendering. JavaScript engines have become fast enough to run these high performance graphics and manipulate videos in real time. These improvements are critical for HTML5-based gaming apps.
  • Simplicity- With web-browser-based apps, users don’t have to worry about backwards compatibility with earlier software versions of apps; with HTMl5, software versions becomes completely irrelevant. For example, when was the last time you thought about the version number of your webmail app?
  • Access- Web-based apps have offline feature settings that allow data to be stored in the browser cache. This means users can run apps in places where the Internet is not available.


Admittedly, trying to predict the future of technology is a dangerous game. With the speed of innovation, orthodoxy can be turned on its head in a nanosecond. However, there is mounting evidence that the tech industry is shifting its focus from native apps to web-based applications, and I think that move is largely driven by the Internet’s move to mobile.

Google, Mozilla, Adobe and other tech industry giants agree that the web platform is being built on HTML5, and they are collaboratively pushing the boundaries of browser capabilities. Companies like Facebook are striking deals with mobile carriers to create an easier monetization process for web-based apps. Mozilla is opening up the first major online web-app store with the Mozilla Marketplace. Top executives from Google and Facebook are conceding that the mobile platform is the future of the Internet. All of these companies are supporting HTML5-driven web-based app development for its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and high performance.

None of this means that native apps are dead, or that the Android and Apple app stores should shut down their virtual doors. Rather, the shift to the web in general and HTML5 usage in particular suggests a fundamental transition from desktop to mobile, and from proprietary to open-source. It would seem then that the future of the Internet is mobile, integrated, collaborative, and social.

¹ MarketingLand, “Google’s Top Mobile Takeaways From 2011,”  and “Google’s Smartphone Dominance, Tablet Weakness, and Surprising Mobile Ad Numbers

² The Telegraph, “MWC2012: ‘Facebook should have been a mobile app’”

³ Mashable, “Facebook: We Send 60 Million People to Other Mobile Apps Every Month

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16 dead, 58 injured as two passenger trains collide head-on in Poland

Video: Trains collide in Poland

SZCZECHOCINY, POLAND—Two trains running on the same track collided head-on in southern Poland in a shower of sparks, killing 16 people and injuring 58 in the country’s worst train disaster in more than 20 years.

The crash near Krakow turned cars at the front of each train into heaps of mangled metal and toppled others on their sides. Neighbours in the town of Szczechociny alerted by what they said sounded like a bomb rushed to the scene to smash open windows, and survivors emerged in a state of shock, many crying out for help and carrying baggage.

Rescuers worked through the night to recover bodies and help the wounded.

One of the trains was on the wrong track. Maintenance work was being done on the tracks before the accident, but officials said it’s too early to determine the cause of the disaster.

A woman living in a house about 200 meters (yards) from the site of the accident said she was standing at her window when the two trains collided, creating a “terrible, terrible noise — like a bomb going off.”

“So I ran out of the house, and on one side I saw train lights and one the other side I saw train lights, and in the middle sparks,” Anna Sap said. “People from the train starting crying, ‘Help, help!’ So we and the neighbours ran to them. Some of them smashed windows to let them out.”

Her husband Grzegorz Sap added that people began emerging from the train “with hand luggage and in shock. They had no idea where they were.”

An unnamed passenger interviewed on the all-news station TVN24 said he felt the force of the collision.

“I hit the person in front of me. The lights went out. Everything flew,” he said. “We flew over the compartment like bags. We could hear screams. We prayed.”

The U.S. consulate in Krakow said an American woman was among the dead and her family had been informed. Spokesman Benjamin Ousley said he could give no more information and that Polish authorities would release further details at a later point.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk earlier had said that several of the passengers were foreigners, including people from Ukraine, Spain and France, but none of them were among the dead or mostly seriously injured.

President Bronislaw Komorowski visited the site Sunday, saying that when rescue efforts are over he would make an announcement about a period of national mourning.

“This is our most tragic train disaster in many, many years,” Tusk said.

Rescuers brought in heavy equipment to free a body from the wreckage, and ended up finding two, a man and a woman, said Krzysztof Dobrzyniewicz, the mayor of Szczekociny.

Rafal Krupa, a council member in the nearby town of Zawiercie, said emergency workers got to the site as quickly as possible but that in the first moments it was difficult for them to determine where the crash had occurred. Passengers on the train “began calling in to the emergency services but they weren’t really aware of where they were,” he said.

A doctor in one of the hospitals, Szymon Nowak, said many of the injured were in a serious condition, with some in artificially induced comas.

“It’s a very, very sad day and night in the history of Polish railways and for all of us,” Tusk said.

The trains could hold up to 350 people but it’s not clear how many were actually on board.

The accident comes three months before millions of soccer fans will start crisscrossing the country — many by train — to watch matches at the Euro 2012 championships, which is being co-hosted by Ukraine.

Poland, which is still recovering economically from decades of communist rule, doesn’t yet have the high-speed trains of Western Europe — many of the local trains are old and slow. However, the country does offer fairly speedy service between some key cities, and trains are generally seen as safe and used by many in the country of 38 million.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into how the train was on the wrong track, but officials said it was too soon to draw any conclusions.

One train was traveling from the eastern city of Przemysl to Warsaw in the north, while the other — on the wrong track — was heading south from Warsaw to Krakow.

Komorowski visited the crash site Sunday, as well as hospitals where the injured were being treated.

“The scale of this phenomenon is so large that there should be nationwide mourning,” he said.

In Germany, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his nation’s condolences to the victims’ families and wished the injured a swift recovery.

“It is with horror that I learned about the grave train accident in Poland that killed numerous people and injured many others,” Westerwelle said. “Our deepest compassion and our condolences go to our Polish friends.”

The tragedy was Poland’s worst involving trains since 1990, when 16 people were killed in a collision involving two trains in the Warsaw suburb of Ursus. Since then, the most serious Polish rail accident was in 1997, when 12 people were killed in Reptowo.

The country’s most deadly train disaster post-World War II dates back to 1980, when 65 people were killed when a freight train collided with a passenger train near Otloczyn.

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Virginia Wesleyan return to Sweet 16 – The Virginian


With the team’s leading scorer struggling and another starter out with an injury, the Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team hoped its depth would prevail. It did.

Senior forward Ali Brown came off the bench to score 12 points, junior forward Chris Teasley had a team-high 13 and the Marlins staved off a late rally to beat St. Mary’s (Md.) 70-57 in a NCAA Division III second-round game Saturday night at the Batten Center.

“It was a tough game to play in,” said senior forward Donald Vaughn, who scored 12 points.

The Marlins advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year and will play Whitworth (Wash.) on Friday. ranks the Pirates No. 7 nationally, one spot below Virginia Wesleyan.

The Marlins (26-3), winners of eight straight, hoped to clinch the game early in the second half as guard Tre Ford capped a 16-7 run with a teardrop off the glass to make it 46-27.

But St. Mary’s (20-8), the Capital Athletic Conference regular-season champions, found a groove. Behind sophomore forward Christian MacAuley, the Seahawks launched a 22-8 run to cut the deficit to five. MacAuley had a game-high 21 points along with eight rebounds.

On the next possession, Brown was fouled and sank two key free throws with 2:23 remaining. That started a 14-6 Marlins run to end the game.

“We always say start it with one stop,” Vaughn said.

Turnovers kept things interesting. St. Mary’s committed 26, while Virginia Wesleyan, normally a team centered around good guard play, had 19. Vaughn committed six.

“It just seemed like their press was in some kind of scramble,” Vaughn said. “It didn’t look like a regular press.”

“Usually our guard play is much better,” Virginia Wesleyan coach Dave Macedo said. “We got to show maturity when it comes down to it.”

Teasley opened the game with seven straight points in the first 2:36, forcing the Seahawks to take an early timeout. They refocused on defense, pressuring the Marlins into bad shots, and went on a 12-4 run to take a 12-11 lead.

Baskets by Teasley, junior forward Chris Astorga, sophomore guard DJ Woodmore and senior forward Ali Brown sparked a 9-0 run that broke a 14-all tie.

With 6:41 left in the half, Woodmore made an acrobatic lay-up to make it 25-15, but he landed hard on Astorga, who lay on the ground for a few minutes before limping off. He took a seat at the end of the bench and iced his right knee.

“I think he’s got a sprained MCL,” Macedo said. “He’ll get evaluated and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”

The teams cooled off considerably in the latter part of the first half, totaling only 12 points over the final 8:53. Virginia Wesleyan led 30-20 at halftime.

Teasley paced the Marlins in the first half with nine points on 4-for-6 shooting. Woodmore, the Old Dominion Athletic Conerence Player of the Year who averages a team-high 16.5 points a game, was held to just four first-half points. He finished with 10 and nine rebounds.

St. Mary’s ousted Virginia Wesleyan in the second round of the 2010 NCAA tournament 72-69, and although the Seahawks brought a very different roster to Virginia Beach, the Marlins didn’t forget.

“We definitely had the chip on our shoulder because of that game,” Vaughn said.



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Ask Stack: Should I learn a new programming language?

This QA is part of a biweekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 80+ QA sites.

Nupul asks: A lot of my peers seem ready to dive in to learn “the next new thing”—lately Python, Ruby or PHP. But it seems that just “knowing” the language is futile. You also need to know the frameworks, learn their usage/APIs and become familiar with good implementation practices.

This is a lot of work. Does it really make sense to expend that energy to learn a new programming language? Learn it quick and dirty, and you’ll probably use it for quick and dirty prototyping and implementation.

I’m already proficient with Java, C/C++, Javascript/jQuery and decent at Objective-C. I produce enterprise level systems with relative ease, and after 6 months, I can read my own code.

Isn’t this enough?

Top answer: “invest in yourself” (111 Votes)

jmquigley replies: From The Pragmatic Programmer: Tip #8 “Invest Regularly in Your Knowledge Portfolio”:

Learn at least one new language every year. Different languages solve the same problems in different ways. By learning several different approaches, you can help broaden your thinking and avoid getting stuck in a rut. Additionally, learning many languages is far easier now, thanks to the wealth of freely available software on the Internet.

It’s not about the next “new thing.” It’s about thinking in ways outside of your normal thought patterns.

There is a saying: “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Maybe there is a better way to solve a problem using some other technology. If you don’t explore, you may not know that it was available.

Alternative answer: “let me count the ways…” (47 votes)

Mike Brown replies: Why do people climb Mt. Everest? Or run 100 miles in 24 hours? Why do we undertake any challenge? Because it’s there. I see nothing wrong with “Ars gratia artis.” There comes a point where learning for learning’s sake becomes its own reward. But if you want more powerful reasons to learn a new language, here are some:

  • New ways to solve problems: Learning a new language—really taking the time to dive in—gives you the chance to program again as a newbie. That new perspective can teach you techniques that might carry over to an old language. Think of the influence Ruby on Rails had on ASP.NET MVC or how Java Hibernate was ported to C# (along with countless other frameworks that influence .NET development). Exposure to different languages can teach you new ways to address problems.
  • The right tool for the right job: All of the languages you mentioned are OO/Procedural hybrids (or purely procedural in the case of C). Try your hand at a functional language or two. Try implementing factorial in Erlang using recursion and watch your jaw hit the floor when 20000! returns in 5 seconds (no stack overflow in sight). Then look at the power of scaling your application to crunch through numbers and parse protocols with less code and in less time than it would take to get two instances of a JVM talking through RMI or SOAP. Learning other languages/frameworks that are targeted to solve specific problems will give you more tools.
  • Meet new people/expand your network: Diving into a new language exposes you to a new community. Meeting new people is a good thing for your career and personally.
  • New opportunities: Knowing a new language can only increase your chance of getting that job with that hot startup. “Man this job would be perfect if I knew Ruby.” Besides, you might enjoy the language enough that you decide to switch paths.
  • Keep it fresh: Working with the same thing day in, day out becomes tedious. Using a different language can give you a break from the daily grind and allow you to come to the next day refreshed.
  • Because it’s there: Learn a new language because you want to.

Alternative answer: “more languages, more money” (4 votes)

hspain replies: Check out the results from the 2011 Stack Overflow User Survey. There is a very high correlation between number of languages known and salary.

Alternative answer: “analyze and choose wisely” (2 votes)

Fabio Ceconello replies: I have about 15 years of experience in C++ and 5 in Java. There are many languages I learned and left behind (PHP, Pascal, assembly for a bunch of different processors, among others) and can say for sure that even those I don’t use anymore left a significant mark on how I think about a problem. Also: even if you want to stick with, say, Java, for a given project, you’ll have to know the alternative to present good counterarguments to its proponents.

Still, I learned Python just this year, and was delighted by how elegantly some things can be done. So much that I decided to convert a handful of REST servlets I had written, from Java to Python. The advantages in code maintainability were significant. For sure it left a mark on my way of doing things, too, not only because I will now choose Python for some tasks, but also because I may adopt similar design principles when coding in C++ Java.

That said, I don’t think you should learn lots of different languages just for the sake of it. It takes a considerable time toll, and the “accomodations” you’ll have to make to let new languages coexist with old in your mind also take time and effort.

I only decide to learn a language when it has enough maturity, has a good developer base, and offers significantly different outcomes from the others I know or plan to learn. When I decided to learn Python, for instance, I also considered Ruby and Perl, and later discarded them—at least for the near future.

Think you’ve got the solution to today’s question? Leave it in the comments or bring your wisdom to the original post at Stack Exchange.

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Apple’s App Store still scorching hot, surpasses 25B downloads

Apple’s popular iOS App Store has now topped 25 billion downloads, a sign that mobile device owners are still hungry for well-built native applications.

On Apple’s site, the company has highlighted the achievement with a page that says: “A billion thanks. 25 times over.” The company had been promoting a contest where the person who broke the new milestone would win a $10,000 iTunes gift card. The milestone was broken some time in the past few days. Apple held a similar contest in Jan. 2011 when the company hit 10 billion App Store downloads.

While there have been persistent arguments about how well native mobile applications would fare against surging HTML5 development, at least when it comes to Apple, consumers are still plainly in love with native apps. Social networking apps like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are especially popular for iOS, as well as casual games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, and Where’s My Water?.

VentureBeat contributor and CBS Interactive CTO Peter Yared recently summed up the current state of the conflict between native and HTML5 well, saying: “While HTML5 has come a long way, it is still not up to par with the native app experience. Some publishers, such as the Financial Times and Playboy, have come close to native app functionality by investing heavily in HTML5 in order to bypass Apple’s 30 percent app store subscription fee. However, there are no turnkey JavaScript libraries that provide functionality such as efficient swiping and offline reading.”

What apps for the App Store have you been enjoying most lately?

Article source:

Gunbarrel Repaving Issues Addressed In Two Meetings March 2012

Gunbarrel Repaving Issues Addressed In Two Meetings  March 2012

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Homeowners in two Gunbarrel neighborhoods, The Homestead and Gunbarrel Estates, are exploring options for paving streets in their neighborhoods.

At a Jan. 26 homeowners association meeting, about 30 residents of The Homestead neighborhood agreed to form a committee to look into paving possibilities for The Homestead. Residents Greg Belfor and Carolyn Bleicher will head the effort, and the committee is expected to report its findings at a special homeowners meeting in late April or early May.

Gunbarrel Estates residents met on Feb. 16, with approximately 60 residents attending. HOA President Dan Reina and Michelle Boyd will manage the issue for the subdivision, with the next meeting also occurring in late April or May.


Mike Thomas, engineer for Boulder County, outlines repaving

issues for Gunbarrel Estates residents during a Feb 16 meeting

at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. A similar meeting was held

on Jan 16 for The Homestead subdivision. Photo by Mary Wolbach Lopert


Mike Thomas, county engineer for the transportation department, spoke at both meetings. As background information, Thomas said since 1995, the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan has included a provision stating that local access roads should be rehabbed and resurfaced by the users and local residents who benefit from using them.

Before that time, the county was responsible. That policy change caught most unincorporated Boulder County residents by surprise and prompted a working group that formed in 2009 to research road repaving options.

That working group concluded that roads should be addressed immediately, and recommended that both Boulder County and homeowners should pay some of the costs. The group said residents could vote to form public improvement districts to levy an assessment to pay for the road work, or the county could create local improvement districts to do the same thing.

But in a fall 2010 advisory vote, a majority of residents in unincorporated Boulder County rejected a proposal to create a countywide local improvement district to fund paving subdivision and local access roads. While the vote was not binding, Boulder County Commissioners have said they will not form any LID without backing from a majority of residents of the included area.

The countywide LID proposal was rejected by 58 percent of those voting. But further analysis of the advisory vote showed that residents who lived in areas where the roads are rated fair or poor actually approved the LID proposal with about a 70 percent approval rate.

At the Jan. 26 meeting, Thomas said The Homestead streets are 26 years old and 80 percent of them have alligator cracking. A visual inspection done in March 2011 also found some cracking and rutting, along with some heaving areas on La Plata Circle. At the request of homeowners, Thomas agreed to have county employees do a core sample of some areas of the streets by the end of February to determine what is occurring under the road surfaces.

Thomas said The Homestead has slightly less than one mile of roadway to maintain. Chip sealing the streets, a short-term solution with a life expectancy of one to two years, is estimated to cost about $18,300, Thomas said. Milling the top asphalt coat down two inches and then overlaying the streets with a two-inch asphalt coat is a longer term option lasting about two to five years. The cost would be about $127,000.

Completely rehabilitating the streets could last 30 years, Thomas said, if interim maintenance is done. Rehabilitating involves removing all the existing asphalt, recompacting the subgrade, adding an aggregate base as needed, and repaving with four inches of asphalt. That portion of the work is estimated to cost about $330,000.

The streets would require chip sealing in years seven and 15 at a cost of about $18,000 for each chip seal, Thomas said, and the overlay would be needed in year 20.

“The total project could cost about half a million dollars,” Thomas told Homestead residents.

In response to a question, Thomas said that no costs are included for curbs, gutters and any necessary sidewalk replacement because “the county will pay that cost.”

Thomas had similar information for the Feb. 16 Gunbarrel Estates meeting. The subdivision has 3.8 miles of paving, of which most is in fair condition. That said, Thomas feels that the streets are at the brink of being classified as poor.

Two options were outlined. The first would cost approximately $320 per house per year over 30 years. It would involve reconstructing each road once, overlaying it once and chip sealing three times. The estimated cost would be $3 million.

The second option would involve overlaying each road once and one chip seal over a 10-year period at a cost of $280 per house per year. Total cost would be less than a million dollars.

The question of how to pay for any road maintenance will be addressed at future meetings. Residents will be asked to consider forming a local improvement district, a public improvement district, a combination of both, or will have the option to do nothing.

Boyd urged attendees to sign a petition to show the county commissioners that there is support in the neighborhood for road improvement. Two hundred signatures out of the 330 households are needed. Boulder County will then be able to facilitate the creation of an improvement district to address road improvements.

Many residents voiced their concerns about how the county commissioners handled the whole repaving process. Many felt that the postcards, which were sent out two years ago, didn’t adequately inform homeowners about the issues.

Some thought the post cards were an advertisement, rather than important information from the county commissioners. One resident said it had taken over an hour for Thomas to review the issues. How was all that information supposed to fit on a postcard?

Thomas seemed to have some hope that the county commissioners would revisit the issue and reevaluate the county’s position.

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Possibilities are You Ought to Have an Extraordinary Mobile Website

Blackberry and iPhone are two well-known class of mobile phone. The mobs that use them are curious on how they ever handled earlier without their iPhone or BlackBerry. The smartphone can acquire, and has incorporated, a collection of applications, and the people want a smartphone.

For innumerable mobile users, the instant their mobile phone bond is scheduled for renewal, they make certain they switch their old mobile phone for one of recent styles of smartphones, the BlackBerry or iPhone.

The sole thing these smartphones don’t make is coffee. But hold on, technical knowledge is getting there. Grant Silicon Valley five years and maybe we can bring an excess-smartphone which produces coffee or tea to go. Internet is one of the frequently common adopted applications that you bear on smartphone. Numerous people are now discharged from their working desks, and agencies can use the internet on whatever place they are, as their smartphone is always with them. The definite independence of this selection happens with a fee. When they check out the web on their smartphones the website does not look pleasant as it does on real computer screen and is very troublesome to read.

On enormous screens of a PC or laptop the entire website illustrated ahead of you. You can recognize everything at a glimpse. On the smartphone it isn’t just as identical as you have a tiny bit at a time, disintegrated and ambiguous. The response to this is the broadened mobile site adaptation of the Web which is lighter, minor subject loaded, uncomplicated to read, and a fine concept of the primary websites. These broadened mobile sites will absolutely create the smartphone more genius.

It is significant for firms to possess a broadened mobile website as well as a desktop or laptop website. There is a progressing figure of mobile users who look through the web through their mobile phones, their smartphone, BlackBerry or iPhone and this is their only means of having the internet. We have observed that numerous Toronto dentistry who is our customers are missing business, connections and vulnerability as users of these smartphones once they finally perceive the site they like to access, have dropped patience by then.

No adequate subject is displayed and because of the tiny screen, it is uneasy to navigate. This is disappointing as they only check over the Web by means of their phones. This obstructs their flexibility as the notion they are using the smartphone mainly is because of the internet facility on the mobile phone.

It is cool for accepting and perhaps transmitting an email, in a crisis. So firms need mobile therapeutic sites which are smoother versions of their primary websites. They illustrate better, and are effortless to operate than the subject loaded enormous brother version that exists on their PCs and laptops.



2 WordPress Plugins Your Blog Suffers Without

2 WordPress Plugins Your Blog Suffers Without

How has your blog been doing lately? Do you continue to get more traffic, more subscribers, more comments and a lot more backlinks? If not, then it might be because you are doing something wrong. There are a lot of things that you have to do as a blogger and I want to help you make some of those things a lot easier. One thing that you need to understand is that your blog will suffer without the right traffic.

It is imperative that you know this and what the right traffic actually is. The right traffic doesn’t always come from Google, the right traffic is the traffic that comes back time and time again and leaves comments on your site. Just because people don’t buy something from your site or make you money in some way, doesn’t mean they are not worth anything. To be honest, some of the best traffic a website can get will never buy a thing.

With that said, there are 2 WordPress plugins that you need to have on your blog to if you want to ensure that it doesn’t suffer.

Thank Me Later

The Thank Me Later plugin is something that many bloggers don’t have on their site and it is a real shame. The benefit of the Thank Me Later plugin is that when somebody submits a comment on your site, this plugin will then send them an email thanking them for that comment. The benefit of doing this is that you can send them a link back to your blog that will get them to comment more often, signup for your email list, follow you on Twitter and even write a guest post for you.

Providing a commentator with a short thank you is something that more people should do and this Thank Me Later plugin does just that. Not only will this give people a better feeling for commenting on your site, it will give you more traffic and as you already know, that is priceless.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Have you ever wondered how some blogs get people to sign up for their email lists? For many bloggers, it is done with a WordPress plugin called Newsletter Sign-Up. The great thing about this plugin is that it places the checkbox that allows people to sign up right after the comment box. If a reader is going to submit a comment, they might also want to sign up and receive some of the emails that you send out. What you need to understand is that this is not a must but if you want to make sure your blog doesn’t suffer from not getting enough traffic and subscribers, then you need to have this plugin activated on your site.

There are a lot of great WordPress plugins that you can get for your blog and that is what makes each blog different. If you want to ensure that you have one of the best blogs and most active communities, then you need to use the best WordPress plugins available. Just know that there are other plugins besides the ones that I just mentioned and if you recommend one other than these please let me know if the comment section below. I am in favor or testing out new things so any help from you is greatly appreciated.

This article originally appeared on PLR Internet Marketing and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

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Delight for Aussies Stephanie Gilmore and Taj Burrow in season-openers

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Stephanie Gilmore

Local heroine Stephanie Gilmore competes in the Roxy Pro Gold Coast surfing competition. Picture: AP
Source: Herald Sun

STEPH Gilmore launched her quest to reclaim surfing’s world title in emphatic fashion with victory in front of a delirious crowd at the season-opening Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks yesterday.

Gilmore, a four-time former world champion, endured a horror 2011 after she was bashed by an intruder in her apartment stairwell, but she was all smiles after beating rising Sydney star Laura Enever in the final.

She said the win, her fourth at Snapper Rocks, was one of the most satisfying of her career.

“When you go through some tough times you really start to value your wins a lot more,” she said.

Gilmore suffered a fractured wrist in the violent attack, derailing her 2011 build-up.

It was no surprise she struggled all season, winning just one event.

“I’m still healing,” she said. “But I am in a totally different place now to where I was 12 months ago.

“My confidence, strength, everything is so much better.”

Gilmore was the form surfer of the Roxy, beating world No.2 Sally Fitzgibbons in the semi-finals before sealing the title with a massive 9.2 in the last minute of the final.

The win sets her up perfectly to reclaim the world title snatched by American Carissa Moore last season.

Australia’s Taj Burrow later made it an Australian double.

He scored a hard-fought victory over Brazil’s Adriano De Souza, grabbing the highest wave score of the final, a 9.43, halfway through.

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater bombed out in the quarters and was again coy about his future.

Slater rarely commits to a long-term schedule and would not confirm whether he plans to contest next month’s Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

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Selectors’ patience worth the wait for David Warner brilliance

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Warner ton

David Warner celebrates bringing up his 100. Pics Adam Head

HOW can a player score 163 in a 50 over game without ever appearing in a rush?

It says everything about the dam-busting potency of Dave Warner that his breakthrough 50-over innings yesterday actually seemed measured rather than murderous.

Strange but true. Run-a-ball pace may be breathtaking for some batsmen but for Warner it’s third gear.

People who did not see the game will see his score and sense that it was a fireworks show but, despite the occasional starburst, it never felt like Guy Fawkes night.

On his way to scoring a century off 111 balls he faced 63 balls from which he did not score. It took him 42 more balls to raise three figures than it did in this year’s Perth Test against India when he was not so much a batsman as a windmill.

When facing the slow men he first put away his axe and brought out the hedge-clipper, milking 14 singles off his first 18 balls from off-spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan and respectfully harvesting just seven off his opening 14 balls friom left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.

But when he sniffed blood there was no mercy.

He smacked pacemen Dhammika Prasad for 18 off the first 10 balls he faced from him, including two fours and a six into the hands of a man dressed in army combat gear sitting five rows back in the grandstand.

In a perfect world every cricketer should be judged by the same selection criteria … but who said the world was perfect?

It’s certainly not in cricket and that is why the national selectors have done well to keep the faith with Warner as a 50-over cricketer, knowing there would be days like yesterday when you get a blissful dividend for your patience.

If numbers alone were the criteria, Warner’s place may have been under threat for yesterday’s one-day final after a modest series.

But the selectors are committed to standing by him for the long journey and good on them for that.

Just as Doug Walters earned extra faith from the selectors many years ago because he could take you places in a hurry, so does Warner need to be judged by slightly unconventional and sympathetic measures.

Warner may be a headline act in Australian cricket but he is still learning how to bat in different forms of the game.

Like many dashing openers before him, Michael Slater among them, he is finding that Test cricket, with half the fielding side stationed in the slips cordon, leaves gaps which are not present in the 50-over game where openers are confronted with a stifling ring of fieldsmen.

Warner has been challenged to find the amber light in his batting and its been absorbing viewing watching him occasionally get caught between colours.

Warner’s innings yesterday had several layers to it which could only have enhanced his education.

Steve Waugh said recently that Australia must be patient with Warner and be generous at the selection table.

Much like Andrew Symonds in his developmental years, Australia will find that the failures outnumber the big scores but the major pay days mean almost certain victories.

But, like one of his heroes Virender Sehwag, there will be times when he falls on his sword and looks disarmingly out of form.

There was a major push to have him installed 50-over captain on a temporary basis when Michael Clarke was injured.

The selectors rejected that idea not because they didn’t rate his talent but quite the opposite. They knew he was special and they didn’t want to burn him out.

Highest one-day international scores by an Australian batsmen:

185no – Shane Watson (96 balls) v B’desh, Dhaka 2011
181no – Matthew Hayden (166 balls) v NZ, Hamilton 2007
173 – Mark Waugh (148 balls) v WI, MCG 2001
172 – Adam Gilchrist (126 balls) v Zimb, Hobart 2004
164 – Ricky Ponting (105 balls) 156.19 v SAf, Johannesburg 2006
163 – David Warner (157 balls) v SL, Brisbane 2012
161no – Shane Watson (150 balls) v Eng, MCG 2011

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Aussies survive Sri Lanka scare

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Someone had to make way for returning captain Michael Clarke in the Australian one-day team on Sunday – how Sri Lanka must wish it was David Warner.


1st ODI – Gabba

4 March 2012 – Day 1, Session 2

Sri Lanka 1st Innings

Australia won by 15 runs



Sri Lanka


He proved the difference with a remarkable 163 as Australia held on for a tense 15-run win in the tri-series one-day finals opener against Sri Lanka at a wet Gabba.

Australia v Sri Lanka – Day 1 of Australia Tri


First ball:
02:20 PM March 4, 2012

Location: Gabba

Match Summary

Australia: 6/321
Sri Lanka: 10/306

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After watching Warner stroke the third highest ODI score in Australia and guide the hosts to 6-321, Nuwan Kulasekara provided his own fireworks.

His 43-ball 73 in a 104-run, seventh-wicket stand with Upul Tharanga (60) helped Sri Lanka get off the canvas after they were at one stage reeling at 6-144.

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There were plenty of anxious moments as Sri Lanka somehow remained in sight of their daunting target while also on track on Duckworth-Lewis comparison with light rain starting to fall in the final overs.

However, the visitors finally succumbed for 306 with four balls remaining.

Warner did not take the field during Sri Lanka’s chase after suffering a groin complaint during his 157-ball, three-and-a half hour effort,

He appeared in doubt for Tuesday’s second clash in what must be a major concern for Clarke.

But the skipper was more worried about his bowling attack after Sri Lanka ensured plenty of anxious moments.

“At 6-144 I was thinking you can’t lose the game from that position,” Clarke said.

“A win is a win. But we have a lot of work to do with our power play and death bowling.

“It hasn’t been good enough all series. It continues to let us down.

“We are the No.1 one-day team and we have to be better than that.

“Hopefully that (scare) allows us to understand that we have to be better than that.”

Remarkably Warner was considered a chance to be dropped on Sunday in a team reshuffle catering for Clarke’s return from injury.

Warner would have been nervous after a modest series return of 195 at 24.37 ahead of the finals opener.

Indeed the NSW left-hander had never really shone on the ODI stage, averaging just 22.5 in 18 games with three 50s before the Gabba clash.

However, Peter Forrest – the only other Australian batsman to hit a ton this series – was the odd man out when the XI was confirmed.

But Forrest took the field during the Sri Lankan innings so Warner could rest a groin complaint after becoming the seventh Australian to break through the 150-run barrier in ODIs.

Warner’s 157-ball, three-and-a half hour effort finally ended on the last ball of the innings when he was bowled by Dhammika Prasad (2-51) trying to add to his 13 fours and two sixes.

Warner did not match his third Test fireworks in Perth against India where he reached triple figures in 69 balls – the equal fourth fastest century ever.

Indeed Warner was more busy than brutal as he notched his century in 111 balls before celebrating with a running leap and air punch.

Unfortunately only 12,196 people witnessed it.

Matthew Wade (64) put on a 136-run opening stand with Warner before being spectacularly caught by Rangana Herath on the long-on boundary.

Two brief rain delays disrupted Australia’s innings but it was wickets that were falling early during Sri Lanka’s dig.

Veteran quick Brett Lee (3-59) celebrated his return to the side at the expense of Clint McKay by cutting through the top order including the prize scalp of Kumar Sangakkara for 42.

He was ably supported by the part-time spin of David Hussey (4-43) as the pair reduced Sri Lanka to a seemingly hopeless 6-144.

Enter Kulasekara.

Given lives on 24 and 58, he belted seven fours and three sixes – including back-to-back maximums off Hussey – to give Australia a real fright.

Dhammika Prasad (31 not out) maintained the rage before Shane Watson (3-33) finally extinguished the innings in the 50th over.

The second final in the best of three series will be held on Tuesday in Adelaide, which will also host the third game on Thursday if needed.

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Syria crisis: Red Cross pushes for Baba Amr access

A man carries a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) in the al-Hamidiya neighbourhood of Homs, Parts of Homs were bombarded for weeks

The Red Cross has been unable to access the wrecked area of Baba Amr, in the Syrian city of Homs, for a third day.

The agency said it had begun to hand out food and blankets to people who had fled Baba Amr to nearby areas.

Syrian officials told the Red Cross that Baba Amr had to be cleared of booby traps, but activists said troops were carrying out reprisal attacks.

Meanwhile, the bodies of two foreign journalists killed in Homs are due to arrive in Paris later.

The bodies of Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin had been put on an Air France flight from Damascus on Saturday evening.

Baba Amr ‘mystery’

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army withdrew from Baba Amr late last week after weeks of shelling from government forces.

A seven-lorry Red Cross convoy has been waiting to enter Baba Amr for three days.

Ban Ki-moon

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

The government gave permission for the agency to access the area, but has since refused to let the convoy through.

The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says the Red Cross and Red Crescent have now begun to help those who fled Baba Amr, giving them blankets to help deal with the bitter cold.

The ICRC said a 15-strong team had been dispatched to the Abil area, south of the city.

ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan told Reuters: “The plan is to continue to the neighbourhoods of Inshaat and Tawzii in order to assist [local] populations and families displaced from Baba Amr.”

The Red Cross said it did not know how serious the situation was in Baba Amr.

“We really don’t know how many people are still in there. It’s all a bit of a mystery to us,” said the UK spokesman of the ICRC, Sean Maguire.

‘Systematic slaughter’

Witnesses and activists say conditions in the district are terrible, with no power and little food, water and medical supplies.

Syrian state TV has been broadcasting pictures of deserted streets laden with debris.

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.”

The Syrian authorities say there are mines and potential booby traps in Baba Amr that need to be cleared before the Red Cross can enter.

But 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 co-operative building being turned into a detention centre.

One report alleged that a lorry-load of bodies from Baba Amr was seen on a nearby road.

There were also reports of explosions, shootings and shelling in other districts of Homs.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that the international community had failed in its duty, and called for unity.

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

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”.

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

Activists say 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began almost a year ago. The government blames “terrorists and armed gangs” for the violence.

Map of Homs

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SQL Commands To Help Manage WordPress Comments And Spam

Last month I did a lot of work to make my sites load faster.  One of the easiest ways to improve site performance is to remove unnecessary plugins, and one that I removed was Disqus.

Disqus is a great, sexy looking comment replacement for wordpress that is easy to install but I decided it wasn’t worth all the additional external javascript it was adding to my pages.  My pageview:comments ratio is masssive, with probably 1-2 comments per thousand pageviews, so I couldn’t justify offering a good experience for 2 users and a worse experience for the other 998.

Another reason why I removed Disqus is because for visitors without javascript, all comments are displayed, even spammy trackbacks and pingbacks.  This is really bad, as this is the version of  pages that the googlebot sees.

After removing Disqus, I also realised what a poor job it had been doing with blocking spam so I had to spend some time removing these.  Here are some of the steps I took.

Close All Pings/Trackbacks On Posts

In the wordpress dashboard there is an option to stop all pings and trackbacks.  Unfortunately this only works on posts written after you choose this option.  To apply it to all posts, go into your sql database and run:

This will close pings/trackbacks on all posts.

Mass Delete Pingbacks Trackbacks

Some may disagree, but I see no value to displaying pingbacks and trackbacks on a post.  Most of these are spam anyway, so to delete all pingbacks and trackbacks:

to delete all pingbacks, and:

to delete all trackbacks.

The other steps I’m taking, unfortunately I haven’t found an easy way to fix.  Re-importing my comments back to WP has left me with lots of duplicates, which I’m having to delete’s a long term project…

The other problem is all the spam that Disqus missed.  What I had to do here, was use the updated word block list that akismet uses and search and delete offending comments.  Doing this also highlighted additional words to add to the filters, so I think my site is pretty much spam free now.

To stop any future spam, I’ve also set WP to make pending any comment containing a link.

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‘Another long year for Parramatta’



Justin Poore

Poore start … Brett Kimmorley says things are already looking grim for the Eels.
Grant Trouville / AAP



Read the thoughts of Fox Sports rugby league commentator Brett Kimmorley as he reviews round one of the NRL.



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Newcastle Knights 14 defeated by St George Illawarra Dragons 15 at Hunter Stadium

Not too much has changed with St George Illawarra in their structure since the departure of Wayne Bennett. Completion rate is very important still at the Dragons, although I think they’re trying to be more expansive with their attack. They’ve had a small variation where Soward and Hornby play from both sides of the field which is great, but I think that’s come on the back of Darius Boyd leaving the Dragons. Newcastle had a chance to win but didn’t take it because the Dragons were brilliant defensively. They were really good and very desperate to win against their old coach.


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Parramatta Eels 6 defeated by Brisbane Broncos 18 at Parramatta Stadium

It was a bit of a disappointing first 40 minutes at Parramatta Stadium with a poor completion rate from both sides.  The more the game went on, the more I started to believe that life without Darren Lockyer is going to be OK for the Brisbane Broncos. Corey Norman started to run the ball towards the end of the game, Justin Hodges is fit and Josh Hoffman had a great second half. They’re just a wonderful side. I think it could be another long, long year for Parramatta.

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Master the Art of Mobile Web Design Using Packt’s new HTML5 Cookbook

Packt welcomes you to the exciting world of emerging mobile web technologies using the latest HTML5 Mobile Development Cookbook. Written by Shi Chuan, this guide will teach users how to build HTML5 mobile websites for devices such as iPhone 5, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

Birmingham, UK (PRWEB) March 04, 2012

Packt welcomes you to the exciting world of emerging mobile web technologies using the latest HTML5 Mobile Development Cookbook. Written by Shi Chuan, this guide will teach users how to build HTML5 mobile websites for devices such as iPhone 5, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

HTML5 is the fifth revision language used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. The HTML standard defines a single language that can be written in HTML and XML and attempts to solve issues found in previous iterations of HTML as well as address the needs of Web Applications.

HTML5 Mobile Development Cookbook will enable developers to plan, build and debug mobile websites that work across a range of platforms. It also allows them to integrate these websites with Facebook and Twitter.

Readers will be able to build a rock-solid default mobile HTML template and understand mobile user interaction with geo-location based applications. Packed with recipes which include leveraging HTML5 multimedia features such as Canvas and SVG, this book ensures performance optimization.

Some of the chapters emphasized in this book are;

Chapter 1: HTML5 and the Mobile Web

Chapter 2: Mobile Setup and Optimization

Chapter 3: Interactive Media with Mobile Events

Chapter 4: Building Fast and Responsive Websites

Chapter 5: Mobile Device Access

Chapter 6: Mobile Rich Media

Chapter 7: Mobile Debugging

Chapter 8: Server-Side Tuning

Chapter 9: Mobile Performance Testing

Chapter 10: Emerging Mobile Web Features

Packt Publishing has also released and is due to publish other HTML5 books:

HTML5 Canvas Cookbook (published)

HTML5 Games Development by Example: Beginner’s Guide (published)

Learning Adobe Edge (due)

All HTML5 books published by Packt share the experiences of your fellow IT professionals in adapting and customizing today’s systems, applications, and frameworks. Packt is a modern, unique publishing company with a focus on producing cutting-edge books for communities of developers, administrators, and newbies alike.

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