Velux EHF CL TOP 16 Cimos Koper writes history


Slovenian champion, Cimos Koper writes the best chapter of club history. Team of coach Fredi Radojkovic qualified for TOP 8 phase after win against Polish Vive Targi Kielce 25:23 in front of home fans in “Bonifika” hall. In the first match, Polish team made one goal difference – 27:26.Cimos Koper: Škof 18 saves, Vran, Skoko 3, Dobelšek 1, Brumen 8, Bombač 2, Poklar, Džono, Krivokapić 3, Skube 5, Mlakar 1, Konečnik 1, Rapotec 1, Bogunović, Bundalo, Osmajić.Vive Targi Kielce: Szmal 15 saves, Cleverly, Grabarczyk, Tomczak, Jurecki, Tkaczyk 4, Zaremba, Olafsson 4, Kuchczynski 3, Jurasik, Jachlewski 4, Stojković 5, Buntić 2, Zorman 1. Cimos KoperKoperSloveniaSlovenian handballVive Targi Kielce ← Previous Story Slovenia won’t join SEHA League Next Story → EHF CL: C.O Zagreb and AG Copenhagen in fight for F4! read more

Gdansk Herning and Malmo keep the Olympic secret


Twelve teams for only six places! Olympic qualification tournaments in Gdansk (Poland), Herning (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden) will give two teams each which will compete in Rio next summer.Here are a complete schedule of this weekend’s battles.Group 1Poland, Macedonia, Chile and Tunisia.Friday, April 818:30 Chile – Tunisia20:30 Poland – MacedoniaSaturday, April 918:30 Macedonia – Tunisia20:30 Poland – ChileSunday, April 1018:00 Macedonia – Chile20:00 Tunisia – PolandGroup 2Spain, Iran, Slovenia and Sweden.Friday, April 817:00 Spain – Slovenia19:15 Iran – SwedenSaturday, April 916:15 Spain – Iran18:30 Sweden – SloveniaSunday, April 1016:30 Sweden – Spain18:45 Slovenia – IranGroup 3Denmark, Croatia, Norway and Bahrain.Friday, April 818:30 Norway – Bahrain20:30 Denmark – CroatiaSaturday, April 918:30 Croatia – Bahrain20:30 Denmark – NorwaySunday, April 1018:00 Croatia – Norway20:00 Bahrain – Denmark GdanskherningMalmoOlympic handballrio 2016 handball ← Previous Story Torrellano Cup 2016 – Unique handball experience! Next Story → SURPRISE IN MALMO: Slovenia beat Spain! read more

US Elections Issue of abortion an important factor for female voters


first_imgTHE ISSUE OF abortion will be an important factor to female voters in the upcoming US Presidential Elections, according to new research by the Pew Research Centre.Women are far more likely than men to rate several issues as “very important” to their voting decision, with abortion and health care topping the list.More than half of women (54 per cent) who are registered to vote say the issue of abortion will be a “very important” factor in their voting behaviour, compared to just 36 per cent of men.Overall, 46 per cent of all registered voters say this issue of abortion will be very important to their final decision.The vast majority of women (81 per cent) say health care will be a very important factor in how they vote, compared with 67 per cent of men.Women are also more likely to view education as “very important”, with 74 per cent of females saying so compared to 64 per cent of males. The question of jobs also gets more attention from women, with 86 per cent rating the issue as very important while just 78 per cent of men do so.There is not issue that significantly more men than women rate as “very important”, according to the research.Overall, issues such as energy, immigration and terrorism are less important to voters than in 2008.The research was carried out by the Pew Research Centre during 12 – 16 September and involved registered voters.VIDEO: Four key moments in the second US presidential debateRead: Obama claws back as race heads to wire: analystslast_img read more

Reilly Everyone will have free GP care by 2016 IMO Theres no


first_imgUpdated 3.07pm HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has committed to introducing free GP care for every citizen in the State by the time of the next general election in 2016.But the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has quickly dismissed the pledge, saying there is “no hope” of that happening.The Minister has also pledged to introduce legislation that will allow the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) to crackdown on the number of varied, and in some cases limited, healthcare plans being offered by private health insurers.Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s Saturday with Brian Dowling, Reilly said that the commitment to free GP care in the lifetime of this government remains.“I am saying that every citizen in this country will have free GP care. That is the goal of this government,” he said.But in a statement issued an hour after the interview, the chairman of the IMO’s GP committee, Dr Ray Walley, said there is “no hope” of free GP care for all being introduced within the next two years.“This is government by sound-bite,” Walley said. “The Department of Health have no plan to support this objective and no appreciation of the resources required to implement it.”“Politicians talk up free GP care as if its free for everyone but the reality is that people will still pay for their GP but will simply do so indirectly through their taxes or through an insurance scheme instead of directly as at present.”Universal health insuranceIn the same interview Reilly also said that he intended to put in place “the building blocks” to introducing universal health insurance in the second term of this government if it is re-elected.“We are absolute committed to universal health insurance,” he said. “We’ve always said that this would take two terms not one”.The Fine Gael TD said that most listeners to the programme would acknowledge that “the health service is a huge tanker to try and turn around”.Commenting on the fall in the number of people who have private health insurance by around 6 per cent in the last five years, Reilly said that the government is keen to keep as many people in insurance as possible.“The key here, and the whole key to the successful attainment of universal health insurance, is to get at the absolute costs involved in delivering healthcare in this country,” he said.Reilly also said that the government will legislate in the new year to “beef up” the powers of the HIA in order to help it crackdown on private health insurance providers offering customers plans which exclude treatment at certain hospitals.“I am determined that we will address the issue of the proliferation of plans in the new year,” he said, adding that government will legislate for a “fair and transparent market”.Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher criticised Reilly and the government’s implementation of its health policy.“The government’s policy on health is simply at sea and in disarray,” he told the same programme.First published 1.49pm Read: HSE gets more time to come up with its service plan for next yearMore: “James Reilly is a reforming minister” says ministerial colleaguelast_img read more

Ireland v Australia 3 key battles to make November a success for


first_imgWE’RE GONNA GO out on a limb here and say that Ireland’s tight five is a cut above what the green and gold will present tomorrow.With that in mind we’ve shred up our original key battlegrounds in favour of something a little looser.This fixture is one that Ireland have enjoyed over the past decade and it always throws out an intriguing contest. So, after the new coaches on either side of the fence named teams with a mix of fresh blood and experience, here’s where we think the keys lie.Sean O’Brien v Michael HooperHooper introduced himself to the world a year ago as a glorious carbon copy of David Pocock in the win over England at Twickenham. 12 months on, the mask has slipped a little, but Hooper remains a quality openside and that skill-set is absolutely key to a pack that would otherwise find itself backpedaling.Chris Henry’s hamstring injury means there is now no genuine competition in the Ireland back-row, but it does deliver us the first choice trio (until Stephen Ferris rolls the stone away). The debate over O’Brien’s abilities as a ‘traditional’ seven are long over, but the challenges keep on coming and if Eoin Reddan’s selection is to be vindicated, then the scrum-half will need efficient service so that he can give the same to Jonathan Sexton.Jonathan Sexton v Quade CooperSpeaking of the Racing Metro out-half, he’ll be lining up opposite one of the few men in world rugby who make him look like ‘a kicking 10′.Joe Schmidt described his former Leinster out-half as “flat” a week out from the win over Samoa and duly left him out. Tomorrow will be Sexton’s first outing for Ireland since the Six Nations defeat to England. On top of that, it will be his first cap  as an outsider, having not been playing with half the back-line on a weekly basis. Reddan’s selection should ease the transition, but we expect some teething problems as Sexton gets back in the groove.Quade Cooper is a month into his second chance at life as a Wallaby and back with Will Genia. Formidable as this pairing is, their last meeting with Ireland and England have shown that they can be pressured into mistakes.Luke Marshall v Matt ToomuaThis head to head pairing have a combined age of 45 and both will be targeting one another to make a name for themselves on the big stage.Toomua is a true second-five-eighth in that he is actually an out-half. While Marshall has also been converted from the number 10 slot, his transformation was always by design and Joe Schmidt’s hope must be that the Ulster prodigy’s extra bulk can give him an extra dimension to (literally) take him over Toomua.‘Not the Roy of the Rovers story people think it was’ – O’Connell on Lions arm-breakMcKenzie highlights scrum ‘irony’ before taking on axis of Healy, Best and Rosslast_img read more

NTMA Moodys rating of Ireland is sidelining Asian investors


first_imgTHE HEAD OF the National Treasury Management Agency John Corrigan said he has seen a greater diversity of people looking to invest in Ireland, with a lot of interest being shown by European insurance companies.However, he said that Moody’s credit rating agency’s sub-level rating of Ireland is side-lining Asian investors.Speaking on RTE’s This Week radio programme, he said the market is looking for the debt to be stabilised and keeping an eye on the credit rating agencies is a part of that.Moody’sHe said if Moody’s were to move on their rating it would be “very significant”. He said that a shift down in yields would mean Ireland would get a better price for our debt.If grading went up it would mean there are more buyers and investors, meaning a higher demand for Irish bonds and a lower price for our debt, he said.Corrigan said Moody’s concerns have been largely about “systemic issues in Europe,” adding, “they state that it is nothing personal to Ireland”. He said there is evidence that they are softening their Euro-skepticism.Bailout exitWhen asked what role the NTMA had in this week’s bailout process exit, he said they provided feedback to the Minister for Finance about what to expect from the markets.“We in the NTMA are very cautious people as we have to manage big risk,” he said, adding that the NTMA would have engaged with market after it became public about the possibility of an emergency credit line being issued.“We felt it was safe to air issue with the market and the markets take on it was quite relaxed,” said Corrigan.He added that Ireland’s decision not to apply for credit line following the bailout exist doesn’t rule out OMT benefits.Speaking about the markets he said:We are fully funded to the middle of the first quarter of 2015, but we would be engaging with the market in 2014 by way of pre-funding for the following year.The timing is very important in terms of the annual servicing of the debt, he said.Corrigan said there is a need to return to a regular programme of issuance, adding they are looking at a programme options for next year, and “we hope to make announcement on the capital markets in early January,” he said.Column: The real problem to our economic crisis? The eurozone itself is deeply flawed.>Column: We won’t give up the fight for international debt justice>last_img read more

One in seven head traumas are caused by road collisions


first_imgROAD USERS ARE being urged to be concious of head injuries this Christmas.To date in 2013, 36 people have been transferred to the National Neurosurgery Centre at Beaumont Hospital.70 per cent of those admitted are cyclists, pedestrians or motorcyclists.Those figures are part of the reason they Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána are asking motorists to be careful over the Christmas and New Year period.The two came together today to launch their plan for the period, which focuses on brain injury.At the launch Gay Byrne, Chairman of the Road Safety Authority reminded people not to forget those who have sustained serious head injuries in collisions.“When we hear or read about road collisions, more often than not, it’s because someone has died. But what we often forget are those who are seriously injured in these collisions. With a head injury, the effects are not always immediately apparent and the consequences these people live with can be invisible. But they’re not invisible, they’re devastating – to the individual, their families and their communities.”So far this year, a total of 175 people have been killed in road collisions compared to 152 deaths on the same date in 2012, a 15 per cent increase.When broken down by road-user, it represents 88 drivers, 30 passengers, 28 pedestrians, 24 motorcyclists and five cyclists who have died on Irish roads to date this year.Read: Man seriously injured in Co Carlow traffic collisionRead: Man dies in overnight crash in south Dublinlast_img read more

Column What Irelands EU Presidency could mean for international volunteering


first_imgVOLUNTEERS MAKE A unique contribution to achieving development goals, reaching far beyond what cash and technical assistance can achieve. Last year over 3,000 Irish people volunteered overseas. This is an extraordinary number – about one in every 1,500 Irish people travelled to a developing country to share their skills. This should be an enormous source of pride for Irish people, and at a time when major decisions are being made about the future of international development, it is crucial that volunteering for development remains at the heart of our work in the developing world.Volunteering uses the power of people to bring about real change. When committed volunteers work in partnership with carefully selected organisations to transfer much-needed skills, they have the power to bring about real change in the lives of poor and marginalised people. In a development context that is increasingly professionalised and specialised, volunteers have distinct advantages over professional development workers and consultants. By living as part of the communities in which they work, they can gain insights into the causes of poverty and how they can be addressed.A long and proud traditionIreland has a long and proud tradition of sending volunteers overseas. In many ways, the work of Irish development NGOs is built on the foundation of our missionary tradition. Every day Irish people travel to developing countries to bring skills in education, health, business and many other areas to some of the world’s poorest communities. They bring back with them invaluable skills and experience, and an understanding of global poverty and inequality, and what can be done to fight it.A strange thing has happened to volunteering in the last 10 years. The number of people volunteering has increased dramatically, but at the same time volunteering has become somewhat sidelined in development circles. Often the examples of volunteering that donors and policy makers focus on are the negative ones, and the role that volunteers can make in achieving real development goals has fallen off the development agenda.Focused volunteeringIn the minds of many governments, development organisations and donors, volunteering is still about people working in isolation and offers more benefit to the volunteer than to the people the volunteer works with, but volunteering has evolved in recent years. Today international volunteers from developed countries, and volunteers who are recruited in one developing country to work in another, work alongside ‘national volunteers’, who volunteer in their own country.Volunteering has also become more focused on bringing about long-term sustainable change, and volunteers work to make themselves redundant so that their work lives on long after they have left their placements. Volunteers aim to work towards bigger development goals, and their individual work contributes to programmes that fit into national and international development plans.We have an opportunity to address this misconception about volunteering, and to elevate the role of volunteering for development in the minds of decision makers. As a country with a strong reputation in international development, and for whom volunteering is a pillar of our work overseas, we should consider what role we want volunteering to play in the international agenda in the coming years.Ireland’s Presidency of the EUDevelopment cooperation is an area where Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union has the capacity to give us real influence. Ireland’s reputation as a leader in international development means that we have always punched above our weight in this area, and we hold the Presidency at a time when the EU, the world’s largest provider of development assistance, is deciding its policy position on what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The MDGs, agreed in the year 2000, have had an enormous impact on the direction of development cooperation, both in policy and in how development work is done on the ground.  As we approach the end date for these goals in 2015, attention has turned to the development of a new development framework to achieve them after 2015. In September, the UN General Assembly will meet to discuss the framework that will succeed the MDGs, and Ireland and South Africa have been selected to co-facilitate this summit.This is an enormous opportunity for Ireland.  As a country that has never forgotten the value of volunteers, we should grasp this opportunity to make sure that volunteerism, and the idea that by bringing people together and sharing skills, is an important part of the future of international development.Malcolm Quigley is the Executive Director of VSO Ireland. A graduate of the University of Limerick and the Solvay School of Business in the Free university of Brussels, Malcolm volunteered with VSO  in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2001 to 2004. He established VSO Ireland in February 2004.last_img read more

Turkey has blocked people from using Twitter after threat by PM


first_imgTWITTER WENT DARK in Turkey late last night, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the social network which, along with others, was highlighting corruption allegations against his inner circle.The state-run Anatolia news agency said authorities “technically blocked access to Twitter” because the service had ignored various Turkish court orders to remove some links deemed illegal.Twitter responded by saying on its official @policy feed that Turks could get around the block by tweeting through mobile telephone text services.In early reaction, the EU commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, tweeted that the block in Turkey “is groundless, pointless, cowardly”.She added that the “Turkish people and international community will see this as censorship. It is.”The restriction of access to Twitter came after Erdogan told a rally drumming up support for March 30 local elections that he would eradicate Twitter access in the country.“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” he said.CourtsErdogan’s office said in a statement that Twitter had remained “indifferent” to Turkish court rulings demanding “some links” be removed, and that the premier therefore had turned his attention to the matter.The website for the country’s telecommunications authority (TIB) turned up four separate court rulings referencing “”.One of them said: “The protection measure has been taken for this website ( according to the decision… of the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office and has been implemented by the TIB.”Anatolia ran a report saying a Twitter block was the only solution to “address the unjust treatment of our citizens”.Graft allegations tweeted Erdogan, Turkey’s charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader since 2003, has come under mounting pressure since audio recordings spread across social media that appeared to put him at the heart of a major corruption scandal.Recordings include an apparent discussion between Erdogan and his son about hiding money, as well as others in which he appears to be interfering in business deals, court cases and media coverage.Some of the most damaging information has come from a Twitter account under the name Haramzadeler (“Sons of Thieves”), which appears to have access to a huge trove of secret documents and police wiretaps linked to the investigation.Erdogan has dismissed most of the recordings as “vile” fakes concocted by his rivals, and threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook after crucial local elections on March 30.“This has nothing to do with freedoms. Freedom does not mean the right to intrude on someone’s privacy, or to pass the state’s secrets to the international arena,” Erdogan said on Thursday.SuspicionsThe prime minister is openly suspicious of the Internet, and last year called Twitter a “menace” for helping organise mass anti-government protests.A vast corruption probe launched in December saw dozens of people rounded up, including close business and political allies of the prime minister.The Turkish strongman has accused associates of a former staunch ally — US-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen — of being behind the graft probe that claimed the scalps of four ministers.Gulen has denied any involvement.BansTurkey recently tightened government control of the Internet and the judiciary, generating criticism from rights groups.The country, which has more than 10 million Twitter users, has seen access to thousands of sites blocked in recent years.YouTube was banned for two years up to 2010 because of material deemed insulting to the country’s revered founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.The Internet Publishers Association, a body representing online and media companies, said the move to block Twitter was an attempt to “destroy freedom of expression”.“The prime minister having the power to shut down Twitter will be the confirmation of dictatorship,” it said in a statement published by local media.- © AFP, 2014Read: Turkish PM backtracks on his threat to ban Facebook and YouTube > Read: Turkish parliament passes judicial reforms… despite broken bones and bloody noses >last_img read more

Reilly More shops need to stop selling sweets and chocolates at checkouts


first_imgUpdated 3.17pmA MOVE BY Tesco to stop selling sweets and chocolates at shop checkouts has been welcomed by government.Minister for Health James Reilly has said that he hopes it is first step towards other shops taking similar steps.“The retail sector can play an important role in building a healthier Ireland, not least through supporting our efforts to address the consumption of top shelf food products, such as sweets and chocolate, but in supporting healthier diets overall,” Reilly said in a statement.He added that he would encourage other shops to follow Tesco’s lead.Tesco announced that this morning that there will not be chocolates or sweets in the vicinity of tills in the retailer’s stores.Food safety watchdog safefood also welcomed the decision, saying it is a “powerful recognition of how ‘pester power’ and impulse-buying affect the food choices we make every day”.Musgraves said that it already recommends that Supervalu stores give customers the choice of using “sweet-free checkouts”, some of which are already offered in stores.Originally posted 2.12pmPoll: Do you buy ‘checkout sweets’ (even though you know you shouldn’t)? >last_img read more

Opinion Thousands of Irish people go on pilgrimage every year but why


first_imgNUMEROUS TRADITIONS SURROUND the Irish summer, before we know it we are talking about the Leaving Cert, the GAA Championship fixtures and the prospect of whether ‘this is the summer now’ or not. But among these, is one that is less discussed: pilgrimage.Annually, thousands of Irish people go on some form of pilgrimage. While the plane loads venture to Lourdes or Rome and others walk lengths of the Camino de Santiago, there are even more people who travel to pilgrimage sites across Ireland every summer.Over 12,000 people climb Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday, approximately 15,000 people go to St Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg and the Novena in Knock can attract several thousand pilgrims each day. Also, it is not just the elderly that you will find at these places, people of all ages and backgrounds are involved. It seems pilgrimage still has an important role in Irish society.Despite a noted decline in general religious practice in recent years, why are pilgrimages still occurring on these scales? What is their continuing appeal? A visit to different pilgrimage sites provides some of the answers.An opportunity to withdraw from the worldSt Patrick’s Purgatory, or Lough Derg, in Donegal is considered to be one of the most challenging, but also rewarding, pilgrimages in the Christian world. Pilgrims spend three days on a small island going barefoot, practising centuries-old prayer patterns, keeping a 24-hour vigil and fasting by eating only one meal a day – of black tea/coffee, with dry bread/toast and oatcakes. Despite the seemingly harsh conditions, the pilgrimage actually presents a rare opportunity for people to withdraw from the world, taking a break from everyday life and reflecting on the things that matter most to them. In this regard, Lough Derg seems to speak to a deep-seated human desire for retreat and contemplation, which has fuelled people to go on pilgrimage for millennia across all major cultures.The call of pilgrimage is similarly found in holy wells spread all across Ireland, which are the sites of local journeys and worship. They are usually associated with local Celtic patron saints, although some have pre-Christian origins. Today, the wells are the location of diverse practices, showing the importance of the religious-spiritual in many people’s lives. Annual Pattern Days and masses are organised at wells, but so are Neo-Pagan and alternative spirituality events.Also, streams of visitors travel for very intimate reasons, leaving memorial cards and small votive offerings (anything from coins and shells, to family photos and toys) at these shrines. The wells are important places of religious-spiritual activity, showing how pilgrimage, a looser form of devotion, can accommodate different perspectives. The weekly mass-goer and interested agnostic can walk alongside the person who privately explores their spirituality.The holy mountainA large variety of people are found on Croagh Patrick too, especially on Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July. From before dawn, crowds from all over Ireland and beyond climb the ‘holy mountain’. Rosary beads and staves mix with county jerseys and tin-foiled wrapped sandwiches, as families and groups ascend ‘the Reek’, with a few traditionalists doing it barefoot. Some get mass and confession on the summit, while others just take in the views of Clew Bay (on the clear days).Afterwards, the stalls and chipper vans, as well as the local pubs, await the weary. Central to Reek Sunday is tradition. It, like many other pilgrimages, is based on family, community and national traditions. People bring their children or they climb because their grandparents always did it. Also, larger heritages are at work, as the Croagh Patrick custom stretches back to the pre-Christian era, with late July being the Celtic thanksgiving feast of Lughnasadh. The pilgrimage tradition seems to still resonate today on the Reek.While traditions, religious-spiritual beliefs and the appeal of being a pilgrim are among the main reasons for the continuation of pilgrimage, it is also true that the motivations are probably as diverse as the people involved. Although I cannot untangle all of these threads, I can say with certainty that this summer thousands of Irish people will get on buses, put on walking boots or take off their shoes as they go on pilgrimage.Richard Scriven is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, UCC and an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. His research explores pilgrimage in Ireland. For more about Richard’s work or to contact him go to his website or follow him on Twitter @CorkGeog Opinion: I became a long-distance walker at 70 and have now covered thousands of milesColumn: A lot of people miss the point of Lourdes – it’s about faith but also about funlast_img read more

Victorinox updates the Swiss Army Knife with a 512GB SSD


first_imgAlthough most of us don’t carry around a pocket knife past Eagle Scouts, I think all gadget lovers have a fondness for it: it’s a perfect device that has stood up admirably to the test of time. Perhaps it’s just me, but the pocket knife’s classicism is so indisputable, so finely honed that I actually get a bit offended when the likes of Victorinox cram a novelty extension into a pocket knife. I suppose that’s how the first person to ever encounter a Swiss Army Knife boasting a spork felt, but I don’t care: let’s leave the electronics out of our pocket knives, shall we?We shan’t. Victorinox have just unveiled their latest knife, and it boasts what you might, at first, mistake for a thumb drive. It’s not, though: it’s an SSD, which Victorinox claims is the world’s smallest and can hold up to 512GB of data.Of course, what’s really the difference between an SSD and a flash drive? It’s really about how it connects to your computer and the speed of that connection. Technically, then, the Victorinox Swiss Army SSD is both a thumb drive and an SSD: it’s a thumb drive when you connect it by USB 2.0 port, but you can also hook it up to an eSATA II port, which will give it native internal SSD speeds… all with built-in encryption.Pretty neat, and there’s even an e-paper display, but I still don’t like it when people mess with a classic. If you feel otherwise, though, you might have a while to wait for your Victorinox Swiss Army SSD: price and release date are still unannounced.Read more at Victorinoxlast_img read more

Hong Kong McDonalds Launches McWeddings


first_imgIt’s a day you’ll never forget–the wedding procession, the ring, the sound of the deep fryer bubbling in the background. Hong Kong McDonald’s this week kicked off the first formal McWedding, a concept that has caught the imagination of the fairly baffled world since it was first announced late last year. McDonald’s is pitching the concept as a more affordable alternative to traditionally pricey weddings. The “Warm and Sweet Wedding Package will run a happy couple HK$9999 ($1,283). That get you wedding gifts, invites (with the iconic golden arches), and decorations featuring Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar (who apparently has promised to play it cool will you recite your vows). Of course, buying a cake, a corsage, a backdrop, and renting a gown will all cost you extra. Shirley Change, the managing director of McDonald’s, thinks the whole thing is pretty romantic. “They date here, they grew their love here, so when they have this important day they want to come over here.” Two more weddings are confirmed for 2011, with 70 more pending.AdChoices广告last_img read more

Microsoftsanctioned Windows Phone 7 jailbreak on the way


first_imgThe Windows Phone 7 jailbreak experience hasn’t been a smooth ride thus far. Early on, the ChevronWP7 team — Chris Walsh, Rafael Rivera, and Long Zheng —  delivered a simple Windows-based tool for unlocking phones in much the same way iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can with Snowbreeze  or ultrasn0w. Then things took a turn, with Microsoft approaching the trio and the two sides deciding to take the ChevronWP7 download offline. No worries, said Microsoft — some sort of official support for homebrew development would be released in the near future.Now, with excitement building and the Mango update being made available to developers very soon, Microsoft and the ChevronWP7 team are back at it. Over on the team’s official blog, they’ve announced the creation of ChevronWP7 Labs where a new jailbreak tool will soon be made available. The new release will still allow users who want to tinker with their devices or dabble with WP7 development to get started at a fraction of the cost of signing up for Microsoft’s App Hub, but this time around it’s going to be officially sanctioned by Microsoft. Apart from the fact that payments will only be accepted via PayPal, details are scant.AdChoices广告While it might have been a surprise to see a company like Microsoft supporting a development like this in years past, getting cozy with developers and the enthusiast community is becoming more and more common. HP followed up its server donation to the webOS Internals crew with a shipment of pre-launch TouchPads, Samsung shipped several top-end phones to ROM cookers, and Android bootloaders are getting unlocked left and right. What next, Apple sending prototypes to the Dev-Team?More at ChevronWP7last_img read more

Walmart signs up Gaikai to stream PC games


first_imgThe next big revolution in PC games seems to be the ability to stream them to just about any device as long as you have a decent Internet connection. The two competing services in this field at the moment are OnLive and Gaikai.Gaikai has just landed itself a huge deal that will see it offer streaming games to anyone who visits in the U.S. Walmart has a subsection of its website called Gamecenter that mainly offers game details such as screenshots, trailers, and preview information alongside the ability to purchase boxed copies of those games. This new Gaikai deal will now see a “Play Now” link appear next to select titles giving you an alternative route to playing them.AdChoices广告So what does this mean for gamers? Well, a visit to Walmart’s Gamecenter could result in your getting to play a game for free as a preview. Then, if you want to continue playing you can purchase and stream the content as well as having the option to buy a boxed copy and get it delivered or pick it up from your local store.It looks as though Dead Space 2 is already available to play with others slowly being introduced over the next 12 months. Gaikai says the only limit is getting publishers to agree to let their games be streamed and played in this way.Read more at VentureBeatMatthew’s OpinionThis works well for Walmart as it can now start offering playable previews of games to help entice a purchase. Even if the user wants the Xbox 360 or PS3 version, if there’s a PC version they can preview that before paying for the console version to be delivered.Walmart isn’t going to miss the value of using this to entice hardware sales, either. Buy a new PC or invest in an iPad and you can bet Walmart will offer free streaming play on select games or for a set period of time.For Gaikai, it’s a major new customer to get on its books. There is no bigger retailer than Walmart in the U.S. and working with them will not only open up further opportunities in the future, it’s also a good test of Gaikai’s infrastructure for the whole of the U.S.last_img read more

Epic Games announces Infinity Blade 2 at Apple event


first_imgOne of the best and most popular games on iOS, Infinity Blade, is getting a sequel. Mike Capps from Epic Games took the stage and announced that the sword-fighting game with breathtaking graphics will be followed up by a new title that has, well, more sword-fighting and even more breathtaking graphics.The game was announced in conjunction with the revelation of the A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Of course Infinity Blade takes similar mechanics from the NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Having mostly static environments with a variety of reskinned enemies allows Epic to focus more on impressive visuals than other titles might be able to (much like Punch-Out did back in the 80’s).It will be available December 1, so it won’t quite be in time for the iOS 5/iPhone 4S launch, but it’s on its way about a year after the original. Check out some more screenshots below: via Thisismynextlast_img read more

Is Sonys PlayStation Network rebranding really necessary


first_imgAs device manufacturers eye the living room as the next great uncharted frontier (with an increasing nervousness about Apple’s impending TV set), they look for any “in” that they already have. Video game consoles provide as good of an entryway to the living room as there is.We’ve already seen Microsoft expand the Xbox 360 software to include some TV integration, including voice control. Now Sony is preparing to make a similar shift, by transforming the PlayStation Network  (PSN) into a full-fledged entertainment suite. To match that change, it will soon be rebranded as the Sony Entertainment Network.The kicker is, the PlayStation Network is already an entertainment suite. In addition to playing and purchasing games, you can already rent and buy movies, stream music, and watch Netflix and Hulu Plus.Why would Sony bother? Apparently it thinks that the moniker “PlayStation Network” has too many associations that aren’t working to its benefit. In addition to its longstanding association with video games, it also reminds people of the company’s great PR disaster of 2011. That’s when the PSN was hacked, passwords and credit card information was stolen, and Sony had to pay millions of dollars in identity theft insurance, free games, and months of free premium access.It’s understandable why Sony would make this move, but is it worth it? On the one hand, you’re stating “this isn’t just video games anymore, it’s a full-fledged entertainment suite.” But you’re also foregoing an established househould name in favor of a new brand that isn’t familiar. Additionally, outside of Netflix and Hulu Plus apps on various TV platforms, smart TV hasn’t really taken off. Manufacturers are assuming that Apple will storm in with its iTV, help to create the next big thing, and they will all ride Tim Cook’s coattails into the promised land.That’s making lots of assumptions though. First, Apple’s TV set is completely unconfirmed. It could be a product that doesn’t hit the market for another year or two (content deals could throw a wrench into the works). When it does launch, who’s to say that these other TV sets will fare any better next to it than Android tablets have next to the iPad?This integrated living room fever among manufacturers reeks of a desperation to not be beaten again by Apple. Instead of obsessing about your competition’s next move, why not find your own unique brand of innovation and design, and evolve that through the years? That’s what Apple did in the late 90s and early 2000s, and it has worked out pretty well.last_img read more

DNSChanger shutdown coming July 9th find out if youre affected


first_imgAfter this weekend, around a third of a million computers may no longer be able to browse web pages, send or receive email, or do anything else on the internet without knowing specific IP addresses. That’s because those machines are still infected by the DNSChanger malware.For the past year, those machines have been humming along happily. Users probably haven’t noticed anything unusual, and that’s because the FBI seized control of the rogue servers and has been corralling users to their desired destinations. On July 9th, however, the FBI is going to pull the plug. Running servers costs money, after all.Unfortunately, that means some users are going to be left in the lurch. With all the press DNSChanger has gotten in recent weeks, it’s almost hard to believe machines are still infected — but they are. In the grand scheme of things 300,000 systems isn’t that many — there’s billions of internet-connected computers. Despite the odds of your own machine being infected being quite small (fewer than 20,000 in the UK, for example), it’s still a good idea to check.So how do you figure out if you’re one of the machines that are still affected by DNSChanger? The easiest way is to head on over to Google and do a quick search. Thanks to some script wizardry, the popular search engine will tell you almost instantly whether or not you’re infected. You’ll see the banner above if something is wrong.The Australian government has set up a page that will test your system, too.If a problem is detected, you can use the DNS Check tool from F-Secure to correct the problematic DNS server settings.You’ll want to do this quickly, of course, because if your system is infected it’ll be a little more problematic to troubleshoot and repair after the 9th.More at Google and F-Securelast_img read more

Motorola makes commitment to dev editions Jelly Bean and upgrades


first_imgToday at the Google/Motorola event in New York City Google talked extensive about its acquisition of Motorola Mobility and the future of Android. One of the more interesting tidbits was Dennis Woodside’s vow that the company would commit itself on three fronts: developer editions, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), and upgrades.The new, Google-run Motorola will continue to produce developer editions. The company values these users and wants them to tinker unhindered. This will be possible with developer editions, like the Droid Razr DE with its unlocked bootloader.The company also committed to delivering handsets with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). So you won’t be seeing any new Motorola phones shipping with antiquated Android versions.And what if you already have a Motorola phone that’s not scheduled to get Jelly Bean? This is where Motorola’s last commitment comes in. The company will give handset owners $100 with the purchase of a new phone if their device is not being upgraded to Jelly Bean for any reason. Details on this are still extremely sparse (presumably there will be a full explanation after the event), but it seems like this is a way to get existing, and potentially unhappy Motorola handset users on to new device, all of which will have a clear upgrade path.Check back for more cover of the event, the Droid Razr Maxx HD, and the Droid Razr M.last_img read more