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Archive for December, 2010

>Social Gaming, Gadgets, And More – Big Industry

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The global virtual goods industry put up some very impressive numbers this year. From special Easter eggs tovirtual ad campaigns, virtual goods sales have grabbed their share of headlines over the past twelve months. Now with social gaming on the rise and everyone from your teenage nephew to your grandma to your old rugby teammate buying a “little something” to sweeten their online game, here is a look a back at the year in virtual goods sales.
$7,300,000,000: expected global revenue generated by the virtual goods industry in 2010. This is huge, considering the $60 billion generated in 2009 by the video game industry as a whole, and clearly shows that browser-based gaming is making great strides.
$2,100,000,000: The projected size of the US virtual goods market in 2011.
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>Napolitan: Don’t You Dare X-Ray American Streets

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December 31,2010
I Thought Janet Napolitano Was Our Homeland Security Leader?
If so, what’s she doing traveling to Afghanistan? And why does she need a week there? After one week is up, she travels to – of all places – the tiny nation of Qatar for one day then on to Israel for three days and Belgium for three days.
If she comes back and orders three thousand of those massive white trucks that the U.S. Army has over there that can X-ray you and everything in sight, I’ll be upset. Those cost millions and millions. And you can count it – that she and Barak will spend billions on this new initiative “to keep us safe.” When in the backs of their minds it will be to rub us out and to put us down. X-ray machines can sterilize people and shorten life. Think about it. That is one of Obama’s chief prerogatives – to reduce population.
He’s doing it in Health Care, wars, death panels, doing away with life saving drugs (Avistan, for example that breast cancer victims must have to save their lives), and in many other areas. The entire Green Movement is to reduce population. Bill Gate’s government-program (supported by U.S. taxes) is one of sterilizing farm seeds and it goes hand in hand with that idea. If farmers have to buy sterilized seeds that don’t leave seeds to grow plants the following season from Gates and his conglomerate (which includes the U.S. government0 then the and we can’t survive. Africans are already feeling the economically debilitating effect of this. You should read my latest book, a novel packed with plenty of educational things, called Murder By Executive Order or, on the blog, “Government Kills.” Here’s a link to a small part of the novel: http://Governmentkills.blogspot.com
American taxes pay for abortions abroad. We are responsible – not you and I, but our insane government – for killing millions of unborn or partial birth babies – and that has to stop!
Yes, we can learn something from her Israel visit. Has the administration finally awakened to the fact that this small country of Israel is doing a much better job guarding their borders than we are at our borders? But, remember, life in Israel is a whole lot different than in America where we still enjoy – or enjoyed – certain freedoms and the Israelis apparently don’t.
Then how much of these things is she going to implement? Will she make the U.S. an unarmed country where we can’t own guns? Will she get in Mr. Obama’s ear and suggest we hire the HLS director of Israel? I doubt it, but that might not be a bad idea considering the lackluster job she has done here in America. 
The following was printed in POLITICO PLAYBOOK this morning:
BREAKING – “SECRETARY NAPOLITANO ARRIVES IN AFGHANISTAN: Weeklong Trip Will Include Stops in Qatar, Israel and Belgium” – Homeland Security release: “Secretary Janet Napolitano arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan today at approximately 7:42 a.m. AFT along with six additional DHS customs and border security officials who will join DHS personnel already deployed in the region to provide civilian assistance to local security officials. … Following her departure from Afghanistan, Secretary Napolitano will continue to Qatar on Jan. 2; Israel on Jan. 3-5; and Belgium on Jan. 5-6 to meet with her counterparts and discuss international efforts to ensure the security of our global aviation and supply chain systems against threats of terrorism and transnational crime.” 

–Photo by Sean Smith: Secretary Napolitano, boarding a helicopter at Torkham Forwarding Operating Base, to view the Torkham border crossing across from the Khyber Pass in Pakistan: ‘DHS has nearly two dozen customs and border officials advising the Afghans as part of America’s commitment to helping Afghanistan build their civilian governance capacity.’ http://politi.co/eVQ5G8 

It isn’t bad to communicate with your counterparts in other areas of the world. But we ought to have someone more successful than Janet Napolitano to offer to the world. And why such an extensive trip?

Something else that disturbs me: Feds shut down 82 websites selling Chinese-made counterfeit goodsupdated November 29, 2010

Federal agents highlighted Cyber Monday, a peak day for online shopping, by seizing 82 websites selling Chinese-made counterfeit products in a crackdown designed to severely sting criminals in the pocketbook.
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I’m not for the Chinese counterfeiting goods. I am against shutting down websites. Let’s follow this one awhile and see where it goes. If it means more shutdowns of websites, then it is a major problem for America. Because we know Obama will use any pretext to close out Republican and conservative web sites and radio and TV talk show-hosted programs.
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For Napolitano it smacks of setting up homeland security worldwide. Worldwide is Obama’s middle name. He wants to be a world leader of a One World political system. This is just another step in that direction, it isn’t about security.
How can Janet N. possibly be a good, positive source of successful security when she can’t even keep her own country safe without turning it into a police state – which we are bordering on becoming here in the United States. She doesn’t even enforce border laws – like between Arizona and Mexico – that are already on the books. Oh, but I forgot. Obama and company don’t care about laws. They circumvent them all the time. That’s why all of the executive orders. That’s why they sneak around during Congressional Recess appointng new czars and making new regulations. The new assistant named a few days ago to help Eric Holder couldn’t get approved by Congress – even a Democrat Congress. No problemo, we’ll just wait until people go home and aren’t looking and appoint him anyway.
When she stops the inflow of crime, drugs, and undocumented, unwanted, and illegal aliens from Mexico I would say send her to the Moon if you want. But make her accountable here at home before you send her all over the world as a shinning light, a beacon of perfection in homeland security.
Let there be no doubt. The current leaders in Washington don’t want to keep us safe, they want to complicate our lives and make us subservient to computer norms, electronic scanners – you know those massive trucks they have in Afghanistan driving down the street that can X-ray and contaminate everything in sight. Yes, soon we will all be X-rayed the moment we drive our cars out of the garage – frisking by heavy-handed men and women at the airport, and wire tapping our phone call sessions. This isn’t America anymore, it smacks of communist Russia. Well, I do believe Barak Obama admires communism more than liberty and now it’s time we – and especially the new Tea Party Congress – reign him in.
Don White

>Clear, Honest Photographs Are Within Reach Of Everyone

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Great Cameras – Not That Expensive

 

By Don White

Where do you get a big-sensor camera?

If you want good, clear pictures you need to look at the lens. Different size lenses are able to take different quality pictures.
Look for a bigger sensor in the camera and that may take some time…especially if you want to drop it in your pocket and go. We call those coat-pocket cameras. 
Like my Utah brother in law Paul Christensen, an expert photographer, I’m obsessed with big-sensor cameras. Or, rather, with big-sensor cameras that are, themselves, small.
For most of digital camera history, that’s been a contradiction
Small cameras have small sensors, and therefore produce far too many blurry or grainy shots. If you want a big sensor, you get a big camera-which is called an SLR.

An expert opinion

When you need advice, ask an expert, right? Paul Christensen out in Utah is an expert. His photos are wonderfully clear and beautiful. He reports on what to buy. “The competition is vast and getting more vast each and every day.  The array can be dazzling as well as the prices.”
With that comment, he’s talking professional grade cameras. But most of don’t need a top quality Lica or Nikon for the use we give it. But my thought is that first you learn about the best cameras, then drop down a bit depending on price.  
There are many things to consider such as quality, features, easiness, convenience. But when it comes to pictures there is only one, and only one feature, to consider.  That is the QUALITY OF THE GLASS.  Anything else, according to Christensen, is just blowing smoke.  
“I mean, take a minute to think about it. What you really want is a good quality picture.  Yes, to understand a good camera makes it a little harder at first but once you take the time and understand it, it is easy as the other.  It just takes the initial time investment.  Many of the better quality lens manufacturers also produce cheaper cameras with the same good quality of glass. 
                      Only Two Areas of The World Make Excellent Cameras
Paul opines that there are two good manufacturers of camera glass in the world – Japan and Europe:  Nikon, Canon, Leica (Europe), and another cheaper camera manufacturer uses Leica glass in their cameras.
Zeiss makes a good glass and is in Europe, but Paul Christensen doesn’t know if they make a camera. Zeiss makes lenses for Canon and Nikon,  but they are manual focus only.  A real drawback, according to Paul.   

“My wife gave me a 7 MP camera,” says Christensen, “made by Canon years ago and the quality of the pictures is superb.  My next camera will be a Nikon D90 because I have all of the lenses for that camera and they are compatible.  That is another positive feature about a good camera company. They will not out-mode your old products but rather, they will build upon them.
 
For most people the fast-click camera on their cell phones is sufficient. They seem to make good photographs – and the nice thing is you can immediately send them to someone across the globe wherever email service exists.

>Merry Christmas, Medvedev – From Barak Obama

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Merry Christmas, Moscow


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In the spring of 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a plastic button that was supposed to read “reset” on both sides, once in English and once in Russian. But while the Obama Administration got the English part right, the State Department got the Russian word for “reset” wrong, instead emblazoning the button with the word “overload.”
With the Senate set to ratify New START sometime today, that error might just prove prophetic as already identifiable flaws in the treaty grant the Russians numerous opportunities to pressure for restrictions to American missile defense capabilities. The Senators voting for this treaty should be vigilant to resist any further erosion of our sovereign right to self-defense.
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>Obama Giving Back Part of Manhattan Island To Indians

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Obama to give Manhattan back to Native Americans?

December 27, 2010

obama-addresses-tribal-nations-conference-washington

President Obama is voicing support for a U.N. resolution that could accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan.
The issue is causing alarm among legal experts.
In recent remarks at the White House during a “tribal nations conference,” Obama endorsed the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,” which includes a sweeping declaration that “indigenous peoples have a right to lands and resources they traditionally occupied or otherwise used” but that later were acquired by occupying forces.

>Best Movies Early 2011 Says NY Times

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Movie Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘ANOTHER YEAR’

Injustice, British and Otherwise

Mike Leigh‘s “Another Year,” like many of his films, is about the casualties of British class consciousness. But it also trains its eye on another form of unfairness: the unequal distribution of happiness.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘BLUE VALENTINE’

Chronicling Love’s Fade to Black

Blue Valentine,” starring Ryan Gosling andMichelle Williams, plays on time in examining love lost and found.
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In

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘BIUTIFUL’

The Mob Work Is Tough; Then He Has to Go Home

Javier Bardem plays an underworld figure stressed by work and family in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful.”
Ricardo Trêpa in

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA’

In Remote Corner of Portugal, a Photographer Finds More Than He Expects

A new feature from the 102-year-old Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira takes place in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal.
Jacob Nossell, left, and Simon Jul in

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘THE RED CHAPEL’

A Fake Danish Comedy Troupe Goes To North Korea, With Strange Results

In “The Red Chapel,” a Danish journalist sets out to punk North Korea by arranging to visit it with two Danish-Korean comedians.
Love Machine, an artificial-intelligence demon that wreaks havoc on a virtual world called Oz in

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘SUMMER WARS’

Young Math Wizard Stumbles Upon Oz, Deep in the Heart of the Internet

In Mamoru Hosoda’s anime feature “Summer Wars,” Oz is a global virtual reality.

News & Features

Christian Bale, left, and Mark Wahlberg play brothers who are boxers in

Hollywood’s Class Warfare

Films are starting to reflect the economy’s impact on some battered Americans.

Tracing the Arc of a Tragic Folk Singer

The folk singer Phil Ochs, who committed suicide in 1976, is the subject of a new documentary, “Phil OchsThere but for Fortune.”
James Caan in the garden of his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

New Tricks for an Old Dog of Hollywood

James Caan is chairman of the advisory board for Openfilm.com, which hosts and distributes videos.
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play a couple whose marriage crumbles in

A Marriage’s Death, and Post-Mortem

Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine” cuts back and forth between the end and the beginning of a deteriorating romance.

It Seems the Grinch Stole This Year’s Holiday Movies

On Christmas Day, there is no holiday-theme movie from the major studios for the first time since 2001.

A Publicist’s Sly Push for the Novel ‘True Grit’

In 1969 a movie executive hatched a plot to boost the novel “True Grit,” as well as the John Wayne film.

DVD

Bing Crosby with Carole Lombard, middle, and Ethel Merman in

DVDS

Just Like the Ones You Used to Know

Holiday time can seem like Bing Crosby time. On DVD the recent “Bing Crosby Collection” emphasizes the early, formative part of his career.
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Photos & Video

INTERACTIVE FEATURE:Behind the Scenes: ‘The Illusionist’
A look inside the animation process of “The Illusionist,” the new film from Sylvain Chomet.
INTERACTIVE FEATURE:Anatomy of a Scene: ‘Blue Valentine’
Derek Cianfrance, the director of “Blue Valentine,” discusses a scene from the film.

Showtimes & Tickets

  

Editor FeedBack

Thanks for taking the time to read this e-mail. Feel free to send feedback; I enjoy hearing your opinions and will do my best to respond.

Mekado MurphyMovies Producer
The New York Times on the Web

Times Pulse

The most popular movies among NYTimes.com readers.
  1. True Grit
  2. Gulliver’s Travels
  3. Black Swan
  4. Somewhere
  5. The King’s Speech
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>How Terrorists Plan To Blow Us Up

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It would be a good idea if we all read this & gave it some thought.  What would we do?


Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie ‘ Munich ‘ was based. He was Golda Meir‘s bodyguard, and she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games. 

In a lecture in New York City he shared information that EVERY American needs to know — but that our government has not yet shared with us.

He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox Newsstating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O’Reilly laughed, and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. Unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East ) to the Bush Administration about 9/11, a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.


Now for his future predictions He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. Will occur within the next few months.


Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke — that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective. 

For example: 

1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic. 

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can’t bring liquids on board. He says he’s waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked!

Every strategy we have is reactionary

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates. 

Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel , security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.

Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involvesuicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (I.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as, rural America this time. The interlands ( Wyoming , Montana , etc.). 

The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas. 

Aviv says terrorists won’t need to use suicide bombersin many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. Government does not want to ‘alarm American citizens’ with the facts. The world is quickly going to become ‘a different place’, and issues like ‘global warming’ andpolitical correctness will become totally irrelevant. 

On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don’t have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to ‘meet their destiny’. 

He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America  should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad.  But will be, instead, ‘homegrown’, having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. He says to look for ‘students’ who frequently travel back and forth to the  Middle East . These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won’t know/understand a thing about them. 

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will inevitably face.  America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.

So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, followIsrael ‘s, Ireland ‘s and England ‘s hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to pay attention to, and trust ‘aware’ citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, ‘like babies’. Our government thinks we ‘can’t handle the truth’ and are concerned that we’ll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake. 

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago , someone tried to steal the briefcase!

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well ‘trained’ that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, ‘Unattended Bag!’ The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves.


Unfortunately, America  hasn’t been yet ‘hurt enough’ by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it’s their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were ‘lost’ without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City , this was days, in some cases!)

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that’s agreed upon within your family, of how to respond in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children’s schools and demand that the schools too, develop plans of actions, just as they do in Israel . 

Does your family know what to do if you can’t contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow. 

Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan, that in the event of another terrorist attack, EVERYONE’s ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., will immediately be cut-off, as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated. 

How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak to each other? You need to have a plan.
If you understand, and believe what you have just read, then you must feel compelled to send this to every concerned parent, guardian, grandparents, uncles, aunts, whomever. Don’t stop there. In addition to sharing this via e-mail, contact and discuss this information with whomever it makes sense to. Make contingency plans with those you care about. Better that you have plans in place, and never have to use them, then to have no plans in place, and find you needed them.

If you choose not to share this, or not to have a plan in place, and nothing ever occurs — good for you! However, in the event  something does happen, and even moreso, if it directly affects your loved ones, then this e-mail will haunt you forever.

Telling yourself after the fact, “I should have sent this to so and so, but deleted it as so much trash from old Bill Jones, plus, I just didn’t believe it”, will not change anything. You were alerted, had the chance to do something, and instead of erring on the side of caution, you chose to disregard, if nothing else, a sensible, valuable warning.

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