28 Feb 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Will Be Called ‘Emeritus Pope’ In Retirement, Vatican Says

Pope Benedict XVI
The Vatican’s announcement Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI will be known as “emeritus pope” in his retirement, be called “Your Holiness” and continue to wear the white cassock associated with the papacy has fueled concerns about potential conflicts arising from the peculiar reality now facing the Catholic Church: having one reigning and one retired pope.

Benedict’s title and what he will wear have been a major source of speculation since the 85-year-old pontiff stunned the world and announced he would resign Thursday, the first pope to do so in 600 years.

There has been good reason why popes haven’t stepped down in past centuries, given the possibility for divided allegiances and even schism. But the Vatican insists that while the situation created by Benedict’s retirement is certainly unique, no major conflicts will arise.

“According to the evolution of Catholic doctrine and mentality, there is only one pope. Clearly it’s a new situation, but I don’t think there will be problems,” Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, said in an interview.

Critics aren’t so sure. Some Vatican-based cardinals have privately grumbled that it will make it more difficult for the next pope with Benedict still around.

Swiss theologian Hans Kueng, Benedict’s one-time colleague-turned-critic, went further: “With Benedict XVI, there is a risk of a shadow pope who has abdicated but can still indirectly exert influence,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine last week.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday that Benedict himself decided on his name and wardrobe in consultation with others, settling on “Your Holiness Benedict XVI” and either “emeritus pope” or “emeritus Roman pontiff.”

Lombardi said he didn’t know why Benedict had decided to drop his other main title: bishop of Rome.

In the two weeks since Benedict’s resignation announcement, Vatican officials had suggested that Benedict would likely resume wearing the traditional black garb of a cleric and would use the title “emeritus bishop of Rome” to avoid creating confusion with the future pope.

Adding to the concern is that Benedict’s trusted secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, will be serving both pontiffs – living with Benedict at the monastery being converted for him inside Vatican grounds while keeping his day job as prefect of the new pope’s household.

Asked about the potential for conflict, Lombardi was defensive, saying the decisions had been clearly reasoned and were likely chosen for the sake of simplicity.

“I believe it was well thought out,” he said.

Benedict himself has made clear he is retiring to a lifetime of prayer and meditation “hidden from the world.” However, he still will be very present in the tiny Vatican city-state, where his new home is right next door to the Vatican Radio transmission tower and has a lovely view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Kueng said it was a mistake for Gaenswein to serve both men and for Benedict to remain so close to the center of action.

“No priest likes it if his predecessor sits next to the rectory and watches everything he does,” Kueng was quoted as saying in Der Spiegel. “And even for the bishop of Rome, it is not pleasant if his predecessor constantly has an eye on him.”

However, others reasoned that Benedict’s retirement plans and title were in keeping with those of other retired heads of state.

“I was somewhat surprised that Benedict would still be called `His Holiness’ and would wear white, but it’s akin to the former U.S. presidents being addressed as `Mr. President,’” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit writer and editor. “It’s a mark of respect for the former office he once held.”

“Overall, I don’t think that after the conclave there will be any doubt about who the pope is, or who is in charge,” he said.

While Benedict will no longer wear his trademark red shoes, he has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and given to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear those in retirement, Lombardi said.

Lombardi also elaborated on the College of Cardinals meetings that will take place after the papacy becomes vacant – crucial gatherings in which cardinals will discuss the problems facing the church and set a date for the start of the conclave to elect Benedict’s successor.

The first meeting isn’t expected until Monday, Lombardi said, since the official convocation to cardinals to come to Rome will only go out on Friday – the first day of what’s known as the “sede vacante,” or the vacancy between papacies.

In all, 115 cardinals under the age of 80 are expected in Rome for the conclave to vote on who should become the next pope. Two other eligible cardinals have already said they are not coming, one from Britain and another from Indonesia. Cardinals who are 80 and older can join the College meetings but won’t participate in the conclave or vote.

Benedict has already given the cardinals the go-ahead to move up the start date of the conclave – tossing out the traditional 15-day waiting period. But the cardinals won’t be able to set a date until their official meetings begin Monday.

Lombardi also described Benedict’s final 48 hours as pope: On Tuesday, he was packing, arranging for documents to be sent to the various Vatican archives and separating out the personal papers he will take with him into retirement.

On Wednesday, Benedict holds his final public general audience in St. Peter’s Square – an event that has already brought in 50,000 ticket requests. He won’t greet visiting prelates or VIPs as he normally does, but will meet some visiting leaders – from Slovakia, San Marino, Andorra and his native Bavaria – privately afterward.

On Thursday, the pope meets with his cardinals in the morning and then flies by helicopter at 5 p.m. to Castel Gandolfo, the papal residence south of Rome. Benedict will greet parishioners there from the palazzo’s balcony – his final public act as pope.

Then, at 8 p.m., the exact time at which his retirement becomes official, the Swiss Guards standing outside the doors of the palazzo at Castel Gandolfo will go off duty, their service protecting the head of the Catholic Church finished.

Benedict’s personal security will be assured by Vatican police, Lombardi said.


Janet Jackson and her new husband Wissam al Mana

Jaden Smith

If not told, who would you guess this is?

27 Feb 2013

Parents of transgender first-grader file discrimination complaint

Video of Coy Mathis with her parents in Katie's show

A prominent transgender rights group announced Wednesday that it has filed a discrimination complaint in Colorado on behalf of a first-grader who was born a boy but identifies as a girl.

Last December, school officials at Fountain-Fort Carson School District told Coy Mathis' parents that their child could no longer use the girls' bathroom at Eagleside Elementary.
That shocked her parents, said her mother, Kathryn Mathis.
Coy was born with male sex organs but has, since she could express herself, identified as female. The child had gotten through kindergarten with no problems and no complaints from anyone at the school, Mathis said.
The mother was flanked at a press conference at the Colorado Capitol in Denver by her husband, Jeremy, and four other children.
Wearing a feminine winter coat, Coy stood behind her mother.
Kathryn Mathis explained that she pulled Coy out of school when the child was on winter break, well after school officials had called her to tell her about the bathroom ban.
The mother feared that bullies at the school would make fun of her daughter if she allowed Coy to go back to class.
"In the end we just want what is the best for Coy," Mathis said, explaining why the complaint was filed. "We want her to be able to go back to school and be treated equally without discrimination and harassment."
Attorney Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing Coy, said the complaint is intended to have an impact beyond a single family or school.
The complaint was filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
"For many transgender people, discrimination is a daily part of life. Unfortunately for Coy, it has started very early," he said, adding that the complaint is a "test of Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act."
"The world is going to be looking at the school," he said, which can "send a message to the world and teach tolerance, fair play and equal rights."

A girl's life
For most of the past year, Coy has dressed as a girl.
Coy's passport and state-issued identification recognize her as female.
Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are
Kathryn Mathis said she got a call "out of the blue" from the school in December saying that Coy could use the boys' bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse's bathroom, but not the girls' facilities.
The district "took into account not only Coy but other students in the building, their parents, and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls' bathroom would have as Coy grew older," the school district's attorney, W. Kelly Dude said.
"However, I'm certain you can appreciate that as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls' restroom."

An unstudied group
Transgender children experience a disconnect between their sex, which is anatomy, and their gender, which includes behaviors, roles and activities, experts say.
For the general public, transgender identity is a somewhat new concept, though many might recall Chaz Bono, who was born female to entertainers Sonny and Cher and appeared on last year's "Dancing with the Stars," in part, he said, to destigmatize being transgender.
In his 40s, Bono underwent a transition to become a man. He wrote in his book "Transition" that even in his childhood, he had been "aware of a part of me that did not fit."
Being transgender no longer a mental 'disorder' in diagnostic manual
Comprehensive data and studies about transgender children are rare. Various international studies have come up with different numbers for the rate of transgender people in the population, ranging from 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 1,000.
Some children as young as 3 show early signs of gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, mental health experts who work with transgender children say.
These children are not intersex -- they do not have a physical disorder or malformation of their sexual organs. The gender issue exists in the brain, though whether it's psychological or physiological is debated by experts.
Many transgender children report feeling discomfort with their gender as early as they can remember.
Transgender job seekers face uphill battle
Gender identity often gets confused with sexual orientation. The difference is that "gender identity is who you are and sexual orientation is who you want to have sex with," said Dr. Johanna Olson, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Southern California who treats transgender children.
Children around age 3 are probably not interested in sexual orientation, she said. But experts say some children who look like they will be transgender in early childhood turn out to be gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Differences in schools
School policies toward transgender students vary across the United States.
In New York, for example, the law says students can't be discriminated against on the basis of their gender identity.
In Maine, on the other hand, a court ruled in November that a school district did not violate a transgender student's rights when she was told she couldn't use the girl's restroom.
Gender nonconformity is not a disorder, group says
Dude, the Colorado school district's attorney, has said there is nothing in that state requiring public schools to permit transgender students to use the restrooms of the gender with which they identify.
He added that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District adheres to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act in all respects: "Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls' clothes, and is referred to as the parents have requested."
She also has easy access to bathrooms other than the girls' restroom, Dude said.
Coy's case will be the first to challenge relating to a restroom restriction under the state's anti-discrimination act, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said.
For now, the first-grader is being home-schooled.
Girl Scouts accept transgender kid, provoking cookie boycott

Reaction to Coy's story
Online audience responded to this story with a range of questions and comments, with many saying the child is far too young to comprehend gender differences. Mostly, posters said they felt a great deal of sorrow for Coy as a child who is struggling.
"Just let the kid use the gender neutral bathrooms. When he/she is a teen, if he is still convinced he is a girl, maybe then you can get into it with the school," said commenter EDM.
"This kid is going to have a hard enough life if he really is transsexual, why start fighting battles now, when he should just be blissfully ignorant"?
Transgender teacher sues school for alleged discrimination
Commenter AlawJ said the story left a "negative impression of the parents."
"My rash view may be unfair, but I remember being that age and have helped raise 9 nieces and nephews. One wanted to be a firetruck and ran around making truck noises. Another one of the boys liked to play dress up with the girls," AlawJ wrote. "My fiance's little brother always wore dresses as well. But, at the end of the day, the parents are there to be the adults and make decisions for them.
"I also am a little weary when you read a story where the parents are filing lawsuits for their 6 year old child's rights."
Other commenters had harsher words for Coy's parents. "How about this boy's parents stop abusing him and putting ideas into his head. Don't dye his hair and send him to school in jeans and a t-shirt. Have them stop using their son for their own 15 minutes of fame," wrote Metamatic.
MRHD81 wrote, "There is NO WAY a first grader came to a decision like this -- this is parents abusing/brainwashing their kid to make a statement."
 Coy's awareness of being a girl or boy comes, the poster believes, "from life experiences, physical development and other factors that a first grader would not have been yet exposed to."
Commenters also wondered what Coy's former classmates think, asking what would happen if Coy later wanted to play sports and use the girls' locker room.

                                                                          By Ed Payne and Ashley Fantz

Election of new Pope: Canon laws, God’s will ‘ll guide us – Cardinal Onaiyekan

His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan with the Pope

As Pope Benedict XVI has finally taken his bow, Head of the Abuja Ecclesiastical Province of the Church, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has declared that the election of a new Pope would be strictly based on the canon laws and the will of God and devoid of any other consideration.

Cardinal Onaiyekan stated this in a sermon at a Thanksgiving Mass and Reception organised for him by his alma mater and Old Boys of Mount St. Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade in Benue State.
Taking his reading from the book of Matthew 16:13-19 he said “We (Cardinals) will follow laid down canon laws when we go to the conclave to elect a new Pope for the church”.
 “Cardinals will be directed by the will of God in the election process so that at the end of the day, whoever emerges will be God’s chosen”.

The cleric regretted that so many persons were reading meanings into why the Catholic pontiff resigned warning that the matter shouldn’t be over flogged “because nobody persuaded the Pope to resign and nobody would have forced him to stay”.
He noted that despite the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict Benedict XV1, “the Church is standing firm and matching on”.

Earlier in a courtesy call on Governor Gabriel Suswam, Cardinal Onaiyekan
 had lauded the state government for ensuring a cordial relationship with the church.
In his response, Governor Gabriel Suswam urged parents to bring up their children in the fear of God so that Nigeria could produce more Cardinals in the near future.

                                                                          Culled from Vanguard News

Kim Kardashian talks babies before marriage

Kim Kardashian
When Kim Kardashian's sister Kourtney began having kids with her boyfriend without engagement ring, Kim couldn't hold back her judgment.

“I was like, ‘You’re not married! How could you do this?’ I was really firm and strict," the 32-year-old tells Cosmopolitan magazine in its April issue. "But she was like, ‘Marriage isn’t what I want.’ And later, I realized she had a better family life than I did.”

And now Kim's in the same boat. The reality star and businesswoman is still technically married to Kris Humphries, her estranged husband of 72 days, but not to Kanye West, the father of her soon-to-arrive child. Her romance with West, Kardashian says, "is where I probably always should have been."

"[Marriage] is something I know that we both want in our future, but I don’t have this sense of urgency about it," she adds. "I have this best friend who understands me and helps me through all my tough experiences, and vice versa, you know? It just feels like this is it for me. ... I used to think, Well, can you really have it all? The truth, the excitement, and the passion? Now I know you can.”

The two have made a happy home together if that racy French magazine cover, on which Kardashian and West appear to be in the middle of a very private moment, is any indication.

And yet, after two failed marriages, Kardashian isn't in a rush to walk down the aisle again. This is getting interestine! what do you think?

Rihanna and Chris Brown Wedding on Point

Controversial singer Rihanna and On and Off boyfriend Chris Brown are set to tie the knot sometime in July.

The couple have planned to have one of the wildest weddings in Hollywood history.

Recently Rihanna was spotted wearing a diamond ring on her left hand ring finger at both the Grammys on Feb. 10 and in Hawaii on Feb. 20, at her 25th birthday.

According to the couple “They want tattoo artists, fire breathers and a near-naked waiters. They’re even talking about having pre-rolled joints at the reception.

They added that the wedding, which will be happening in Barbados in late July, will be “all about swagger, bling and sin. They want to celebrate their relationship with people who believe Chris has changed.” Changed? we wait to see.

Janet Jackson Reveals Secret Marriage To Billionaire Boyfriend

Janet Jackson has revealed that she is not just engaged to her billionaire boyfriend Wissam Al Mana, but married to him.

The 46-year-old singer became engaged and married the 37 year-old businessman last year but kept the news under wraps.

Janet and Wissam sent a statement concerning the extravagant wedding rumors.

“The rumours regarding an extravagant wedding are simply not true. Last year we were married in a quiet, private, and beautiful ceremony.

Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy.’

It is a third marriage for the Janet who is known for keeping her private life from the media, rarely speaking about her ex-husbands.
She married soul singer James DeBarge in 1984, and the marriage was annulled a year later.

Her 1991 marriage to music video director Rene Elizondo ended in divorce in 2000.

26 Feb 2013

Out-of-site-yet-everywhere Playstation 4

                              PLAYSTATION 4; an enigma

Out-of-site-yet-everywhere seems to be the overall metaphor of the PlayStation 4 (PS4), as Sony described it. The PS4 (which Sony plans to sell by year's end) is not so much a machine as a network — with games delivered from the cloud, games that can follow you as you move from the PS4 to a mobile device, and the ability to post video clips of your adventures or even broadcast entire games online.

"We're making it so your friends can look over your shoulder virtually and interact with you as you play," said David Perry, co-founder of Gaikai, a company that Sony bought to build its cloud-gaming network.  Now some game lovers fingers are getting itchy already.. Well, time will sure place the console in your hands. What's on your mind?

Pictures from Goldie Harvey’s Burial Ceremony

                                Goldie Finally Laid To Rest

Emotion rang high on Monday as late Hip-Hop star and former Big Brother Africa star, Susan Harvey, was laid to rest.

The deceased, popularly known as Goldie, was buried at Ikoyi Vaults and Gardens, Lagos.

The deceased’s colleagues in the industry such as Kenny Ogungbe, Denrele Edun, Essence, Kenny st Brown and Weird Mc

Friends and family rendered written tributes to the 31-year-old whom they described as determined and loving.

ANDREW said, “Susan you walked into my life. It was like God sent you as a fresh breath. I still remember your response to
 my first love message. You said, ‘Love killed Romeo, sent Diana to an early grave and killed jack on the Titanic, forget about
 love, just have friendship and live long.’
Over time our love grew to a depth I have never known. You were the best years of my life, your smile, your desire to
 live your dream.”-GOLDIE’s HUSBAND.

Goldie died on February 14, 2013 of cerebellar haemorrhage and hypertensive heart disease.

 Culled from mercyjohnson.com

Omotola Jalade Gets Another Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise! Surprise!! Surprise!!!

The occasion was graced by Genevieve Nnaji (they are no longer enemies), Bimbo Akintola, Monlisa Chinda, Actors’ Guild of Nigeria president Ibinabo Fiberisima, Chidi Mokeme, as well as singers Banky W, Sound Sultan and others. Omotola's husband Matthew Ekeinde was said to be the brain behind the second surprise birthday party Omotola Jalade has bagged this year.. It's good to be loved isn't it?


BOKO HARAM: The video of kidnapped 7 French nationals including 4 children released

                       Nigeria sect holds 7 French hostages including 4 children

It would be recalled that the tourists were kidnapped at around 7 am on the 18th of February in a small village about 10km from the Nigerian border in the north of the country, where Westerners often go for holidays. 

The kidnappings come amid a French-led intervention in Mali to oust Islamist rebels. Boko Haram had since claimed responsibility.  Eight French citizens are being held in the Sahel region by Islamist groups. What is your take on this one?

24 Feb 2013


MANCHESTER UNITED are working on a stunning £55m deal to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo
United aim to piece together a complex financial package which will become the new model for big contracts in European football. Starsport understands the Ronaldo camp are looking at commercial ventures which would tie in with a Premier League return this summer.
 United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has remained a huge influence on the Real Madrid star’s career and the 28-year-old is now ready to come back to the club where he became a global star.
 Ronaldo believes he has not been given the respect he deserves in Spain, even in Madrid, because fans favour the brilliance of Lionel Messi ahead of him.
 With his major ally at Real, boss Jose Mourinho, leaving at the end of the season, the Portugal star is now open to moving back to England.
 Paris St Germain remain in the market, and the French club could step up their interest if they are the ones to give Mourinho his next job in management – but the north-west of England is the favoured destination for the player.
 United sold Ronaldo to Madrid for £80m in 2009, but a deflation in transfer fees since then mean the Spanish giants would have to do business for around £55m.
 The big hurdle would be whether the Premier League leaders could offer a salary to rival the player’s current £220,000-a-week deal and stay within the new UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, which come into force next season.
 But there is a way round those rules which would see a player agree a salary with a side and then sign a separate endorsement package with the club’s sponsors.
 And it is exactly that model which is being considered at Old Trafford, with new club sponsors Chevrolet ready to make Ronaldo their global ambassador to help bring him back to Manchester.
 Chevrolet’s parent company General Motors recognise the huge appeal Ronaldo can have in the US, and also in South America, with Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup.
 The only stumbling block is the £370m seven-year sponsorship deal is not due to start until 2014 – but Starsport understands talks are on-going to buy current backers Aon out of their deal a year early.
 That would allow United to sign Ronaldo and GM to tie up an individual endorsement deal with the player to ease through one of the biggest transfers in history. Hmm!

                                                                  Culled from Daily Star

Amnesty International Accuses Lagos Of Forceful Evictions With Demolition of 300 Houses In Ijora Badia

A section of demolished houses in Oke Ilu-Eri
Human Rights organisation, Amnesty International, has accused the Lagos State government of gross violation of human rights with the on going demolition of houses and forced eviction of residents of Oke Ilu-Eri area, Ijora Badia, in the state.

A statement by the London based group appealed to the state government to “immediately stop” such evictions which it claimed, commenced on Saturday 23 February 2013, at approximately 9am, when bulldozers entered the community of Oke Ilu-Eri and began demolishing houses.

“According to the Nigerian NGO, Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC), which has been working with leaders of the community since Wednesday to try to prevent the demolition, at least 300 houses have been demolished so far with hundreds of people displaced” the statement read.

“SERAC said about 200 heavily armed police officers supervised the demolition and several residents who tried to resist the demolition were beaten up by the police.”

Amnesty further alleged that “no adequate notice was given to the residents of the community before the demolition commenced” but it noted that “on Wednesday 20 February a notice of eviction was given to the Baale (the traditional district head) of the community – just three days before the demolition started.”

Noting the demolitions are still on going, Amnesty International lamented that “no compensation has been paid to residents; the evicted people have not been offered alternative housing and many people have been displaced.”

“The demolished houses included both wooden and concrete structures. Some of the displaced residents owned their homes, while many were poor tenants.”

“The eviction of people from their homes without the appropriate legal and procedural safeguards, including prior and adequate consultation, adequate notice and the provision of adequate alternative housing constitute a forced eviction and is a gross violation of human rights including the right to adequate housing” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa, Lucy Freeman.

The body therefore called on the Lagos State government to “stop the on-going demolition; embark on a genuine consultation with the affected community; immediately provide adequate alternative housing to all those who have been forcibly evicted; and provide emergency relief including access to food, shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare services to the affected people.”

The state government is reported to be planning to construct its 1,008 housing estates in Ijora-Badia under its Lagos Homes Housing Scheme.

                                                             Culled from channelstv.com

How healthy is anger to your relationship?

You simply don't fancy being angry with those closest to you, do you? Do you sometimes try to conceal this anger? Or, how bad do you feel not being able to express your anger over an issue? Well, it might be a relief to know that anger has its place in relationships. It is healthy to feel anger; yes! Though what you do with it is the difference between enjoying a happy relationship and being out on your own again. Read on!

Try hard to pay attention when you feel something is getting on your nerves. Early detection of this pays a great deal, when it is annoyance or frustration – before it becomes a serious threat. For this reason, it’s very helpful to practice being aware of your emotions. When you do, you’re likely to realize that along with your anger, you are often feeling other emotions that need attention, too. For instance, you might also feel sad, hurt, disrespected, or emotionally abandoned. As you become aware of these experiences, take note of the trigger factors.

With that you can begin to address your feelings and the problems that caused them. If the problem is within you, work on addressing it alone or with the help of others. If the problem truly resides in your relationship, then you would do well to think about an effective way to express what you are feeling along with why you are feeling this way. This thoughtful approach is likely to get the other person to engage with you to resolve your problem – guess this is a much better and thoughtful approach than just blasting the other person, who might just become defensively aggressive too.

As tempting as it is to see the issue as totally the other person’s fault, this is not helpful and rarely true. So, if you want to accomplish anything other than venting, you will benefit from approaching the other person when you are reasonably calm. Your aim is to pass your message across and to truly listen to the other person’s response. This gives you the opportunity to understand them better – whether this means hearing their sincere apology or their difficulties with you. Interestine! Isn't it?

Moving on! Now, Without acknowledgment, understanding, and constructive discussion of your anger and other emotions, your distressing feelings can chop off your relationship in bits until there isn’t much left but negativity.  So, choose to respond to these feelings in a more constructive way.

In summary, let your anger guide you through understanding of your experience and as a motivation to work through problems. In this way, you can turn it to your advantage, improving your relationship and making you ever happier. TRY IT!

22 Feb 2013

Google Launches Touchscreen ‘Pixel’ Laptop

Google has launched a touchscreen laptop in a bid to take on Apple in the luxury laptop market.

The $1049 Chromebook Pixel has a high resolution display that makes individual pixels invisible to the naked eye.

Although Apple has a similar display, Google says the addition of touch, and 1TB of free storage on an online hard drive, make its machine more attractive to ‘power’ users.

‘We wanted to rethink everything possible in a laptop,’ said Sundar Pichai of Google, who revealed the machine at a special event run in Silicon Valley and London.

‘The screen is the highest resolution screen ever shipped on a laptop, and we don’t want users to deal with pixels – so users will never see them.

‘People want to reach out and touch – so we built in full touch.’

The laptop, the first Google has designed and built itself, will be made in Taiwan.

It will compete directly with Apple.

‘Apple has been at this a long time, and has built something amazing,’ Pichai said of Apple’s products.

‘But if you live in the cloud this is the best experience you can have.’

The machine uses Google’s Chrome OS, which is based on the firm’s web browser.

Although it does have a hard drive like a traditional laptop, Google also gives buyers a 1TB drive on its ‘cloud’ service, which is free for three years – although the firm said it did not know how much users would have to pay to keep this after three years.

‘We believe that’s about the lifespan of the Pixel,’ said Mr Pichai.

He said the firm expected other manufacturers to release touchscreen laptops soon.

‘Pixel is a fully finished project – but we hope it will show that Chrome is ready for touch,’ he said.

Google has already developed special touch versions of its apps, and said it expected other developers to do so quickly.

The gadget will compete with Microoft’s recent Surface tablet, which has a clip-on keyboard to turn it into a ‘real’ laptop.

A Pro version capable of running the firm’s latest Windows 8 software, and costing $999 in the US, was recently released, but the firm has refused to reveal sales details or say when it could become available in other countries.

Intel has also been working manufacturers on ‘convertible’ laptops, called Ultrabooks.

Some designs have screen that flip over, while others rotate, allowing the gadget to be used as both a traditional laptop and a tablet.

The firm also hit back at complaints that users could become confused between the laptop and tablet running its Android software.

‘Now the lines are blurring, we have two viewpoints here and we are doing both – we are giving a choice to the world,’ he said.

from Dailymail.co.uk

Gunmen Attack Family Compound In Plateau, Kill Ten

Unknown gunmen stormed Kogwom village in Vom district of Jos south local government area, Plateau State, killing 10 individuals and leaving two others fatally injured.

The gunmen attacked a family compound where 10 members of the family were killed in cold blood while two others sustained gunshot wounds after which the attackers routed their escape through surrounding environs.

The special task force in a press release signed by Lieutenant Kingsley Egbo confirmed the gruesome murder of the family stating that efforts by the force and police to gain access to the scene with a view to combing the area for possible trace of the attackers  were foiled by the locals.  

Two members of the family were fortunate to be alive and are receiving treatment at the Vom Christian hospital.

Meanwhile, angry youths continue to protest the incessant killings in the area.

Reports from the community indicates that the family lost a grandmother few days ago and gathered for the preparation of her funeral which informed the large presence of the members in the compound as the assailants attacked in the night after a family meeting.

Reacting to the attack, Special Adviser to governor Jonah Jang on media and Publicity Ayuba Pam who was at the scene described the incident as barbaric and inhuman stressing that government will not rest in the search for lasting peace in the state.  Will there ever be a lasting peace in Plateau?

Pope's Twitter account to close as he leaves office, Vatican Radio says

The news may come as a sad blow to the more than 2 million people who've signed up to follow his tweets in nine languages since his account was launched with fanfare two-and-a-half months ago.
Pope Benedict
About 1.5 million of those people follow the English language feed, with nearly 700,000 following him in Spanish and just short of 335,000 in Italian. About 22,500 people follow @Pontifex in Latin.
The account will be closed to coincide with the 85-year-old pope's formal departure from office at 8 p.m. local time, Vatican Radio said.
"It seems unimaginable that one could continue to use a communication tool so popular and powerful during the 'sede vacante' period," Vatican Radio said, referring to the time during which the seat will be empty.
"From choice, the Pontifex profile was not personalized, but it clearly refers to the person of the pope."
It's not yet clear whether whoever is chosen to succeed Benedict, who cited the frailty of age as the reason for his departure, will also use Twitter to reach out to some of the 1.5 billion Roman Catholics around the world.
On February 10, the day before the pope announced his shock resignation, @Pontifex tweeted: "We must trust in the mighty power of God's mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new."
Only two tweets have been posted since in English, both relating to the Lent period.
According to Vatican Radio, Benedict is likely to offer his last tweet on February 27, the same day that he will give his final general audience to huge crowds expected to gather in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
If not then, perhaps one final thought will come from Benedict on February 28, "before retiring into silence," it suggests.
The pontiff is considering changing the Vatican constitution to allow a vote for his successor to begin before March 15, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday.
Existing rules say the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals should start voting on a replacement from 15 to 20 days after the papal throne becomes vacant. With Benedict's resignation due to start on February 28, the cardinals' conclave ordinarily would start no sooner than March 15.
But Lombardi has said that because Benedict was leaving the papacy through resignation rather than death, the Vatican would explore the possibility of selecting a new pope sooner than normally prescribed.

Oscar Pistorius granted bail in Reeva Steenkamp case

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, has been granted bail after a four-day hearing.

Oscar Pistorius in court

Magistrate Desmond Nair said the state had not made a case that he would flee, or that he had a violent character.The Paralympic sprinter denies murder, saying he shot Reeva Steenkamp thinking she was an intruder at his home.
The next hearing in the case has been set for 4 June. Bail was set at 1m rand (£72,000; $113,000).
He was ordered to hand over his passport, avoid his home in Pretoria and report to a police station between 07:00 and 13:00 every Monday and Friday.
Mr Nair took almost two hours to deliver his judgement.

Oscar Pistorius bail decision on point

A South African magistrate is delivering his ruling on whether Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, should be freed on bail.

Broken looking Pistorius in court
The Paralympic sprinter denies murder, saying he shot Reeva Steenkamp thinking she was an intruder at his home. 'How sure?' The prosecution argues there is a risk Mr Pistorius, 26, may abscond and bail should be refused.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was a model and law graduate with a burgeoning television career.
Will the truth about her death be unravelled soon? We wait to see.

21 Feb 2013

R-E-V-E-A-L-E-D: Goldie died of Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Goldie Harvey (R.I.P)
Following the rather sudden death of Nigerian pop diva and former Big Brother Africa Stargame house-mate, Goldie, an autopsy was carried out on the late artiste which revealed that contrary to speculations which suggested that Goldie died of drug abuse, the late singer actually died as a result of an “intracerebral hemorrhage” caused by a “hypertensive heart disease“.

In simple terms, an Intracerebral hemorrhage is bleeding in the brain caused by the breaking of a blood vessel in the head. Oops!

PlayStation 4 console announced by Sony in New York

Sony has announced its next-generation gaming console - the PlayStation 4 - at an event in New York.
Sony launch the PS4 in New York

Its new hardware is designed to offer superior graphics as well as new social features including the sharing of recorded gameplay clips.
It will succeed the PlayStation 3, which went on sale in 2006 and has sold about 75 million units.
The PS4 will eventually compete against Microsoft's still-to-be-unveiled Xbox 360 successor and Nintendo's Wii U.
Sony also confirmed a range of big-name software for the machine including Bungie's upcoming "shared-world shooter" Destiny, which will include exclusive content for the PS4.

The developer's previous title, Halo, helped drive sales for the rival Xbox platform.
A successful launch might spur on sales of Sony's new televisions and other consumer electronics, helping turn around its fortunes.
Sony posted a 456.7bn yen loss ($4.9bn; £3.2bn) in its last financial year, marking the fourth year it ended in deficit.
But the firm has forecast a 20bn yen profit for the current financial year ending in March.
Sony said the console was "coming holiday 2013" suggesting it will go on sale in at least some countries in or around December.

            Ubisoft's WatchDogs was among the titles confirmed for the PlayStation 4       


It did not give any indication of its price nor did it show what the console would look like.
There was also no mention of whether the console would support 4K - or ultra-high definition - video. However, Sony said it would have more to say on this matter "at the appropriate moment".

PC-based chip
Sony described the machine as being like a "supercharged" PC.
It runs off an x86-based CPU (central processing unit) - similar architecture to that found in most desktop computers - and an "enhanced" PC GPU (graphics processing unit). Both CPU and GPU are designed by the US firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
It comes with the new DualShock 4 controller, which includes a touchpad, a "share button" and a lightbar, which allows a separate camera to track its movement.
"This is a complete controller upgrade with touch, share and better responsiveness," said Brian Blau, an analyst at the tech consultancy Gartner.
"The new controller is the key to a better PS4 experience. It has the ability to share content easily, and brings in a component of touch that allows even more ways to interact with games."
The console also includes new hardware dedicated to video compression to make it a more social device.

The new controller features a touchpad and a light so its movement can be tracked by a camera
Users will be able to pause a game, select a few minutes of recorded video of their most recent activity, and instruct the clip to be uploaded to a social network.
This will then occur in the background while they can return to their game. The firm said it wanted to make sharing video clips as common as it is today to share screenshots.
Another new feature is that gamers can let one of their friends connect to their machine and take control of their character to help if they have got stuck, or allow several friends to watch their live progress as spectators. This facility uses technology from Gaikai - a cloud-based service Sony acquired last year for $380m.
Gaikai's technology is also being used to allow PS4 games to be streamed and played via the PlayStation Vita handheld console, which may boost its sales.
Sony said it was also exploring the possibility of using its Gaikai unit to allow PlayStation 3 games to be played on the new machine as well as other devices.
However, at the moment PS3 games will not run on the new console.
"The decision to not make the PlayStation 4 backwards compatible is disappointing and means the 5.5 million plus people who own a PS3 in the UK will essentially have to start their gaming collection from scratch," said Alex Simmons, UK editor-in-chief of the gaming site IGN.
"PlayStation 3 games - and indeed PSone and PS2 games - will be available to download at some point, but most likely at an additional cost, which might turn consumers off."

Designed for developers

Sony invited developers on stage to preview some of the PS4 games being worked on.
They included Killzone Shadowfall - an addition to its bestselling Killzone science fiction first-person shooter series; the racing game Driveclub; superhero game Infamous: Second Son; and Diablo 3.
Developer Ubisoft also confirmed that its much-discussed title WatchDogs, which involves a hacker taking control of a smart city's systems, is indeed being developed for the PS4.

Jim Ryan, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said that his firm's shift to an x86-based processor would make it easier for other developers to create games for the platform.
"One of the fundamental design principles was to make the PlayStation 4 considerably easier to develop for than some of its predecessor platforms," he said.
"It is much more of a generic PC environment. It's not a bespoke development environment as was very much the case with the PlayStation 3.
"So it's something developers are aware of, are comfortable with and they don't have to relearn the rules."

                                                    Previously unseen footage from Bungie's big-budget title
                                                    Destiny was shown at Sony's event

Improved graphics

While the graphics shown during the demonstrations were more advanced that those in current games for Nintendo's Wii U, Sony must also convince gamers to choose its platform over PC-based systems.
PCs will be capable of offering increasingly impressive visuals as the PS4 ages thanks to their ability to have their processors and other hardware upgraded.
US firm Valve, in particular, has been vocal about its ambition to bring PC-based gaming to living room TVs.
Even so, Stephen Totilo, editor of the gaming site Kotaku, was broadly impressed with what he had seen.
"The PS4 games we saw today don't look that much better than the best beauties on the PS3 - until you look for the smaller details," he said.
"It seems like you can see further into the distance in these games' worlds. More sparks fly, more smoke swirls.
"This is nice, but it has the feeling of the spectacle of visuals alone is reaching a point of diminishing returns.
"More impressive is how much more social the PS4 seems - to be able to capture video of what you play while you play and share that with people brings console gaming closer to the cutting edge of modern gaming on a PC.
"This system seems smarter and more connected - it doesn't seem like a dinosaur."

How much?
Sony did not announce how much it plans to charge - perhaps holding the news back for the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June or a later announcement.
The PlayStation 3 was initially sold at a loss, so if that practice is repeated with the new model its launch may initially put fresh strain on the firm's finances.
Even so, one analyst suggested that Sony would be willing to take the pain to maximise early demand.
"Without the established user base and community of PS3 and PlayStation Network, Sony would be without a significant home entertainment foothold allowing it to connect many of its other consumer electronic devices, products and services," said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at IHS Screen Digest.
"Sony's next generation device is likely to take on more importance not less."
The Japanese firm's shares closed 1.8% lower in Tokyo trade following the announcement.

Developers say they can create more realistic looking in-game characters, making it easier to convey emotions

Learning from the PS3's mistakes
The PlayStation 2 was the most popular console of its generation
It launched ahead of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube and trounced them in sales. Between 2001 and 2006 its market share ranged between 59% and 86%, according to IHS Screen Digest.
But the PS3 had a rougher ride.
Its $599 (£393) launch price was criticised as being too high and it suffered as a consequence of launching about a year after the Xbox 360 in the US and Japan.
A shortage of supplies meant Sony had to postpone the European and Australian launch by a further four months to March 2007.
Initial sales were slower than expected causing the firm to release a revised, cheaper model, which featured fewer USB ports and ditched a chip that had allowed compatibility with PS2 games.
Pitched against the Wii and Xbox 360, the PS3 only achieved a 24% share of sales in 2007, according to IHS.
By 2012 it had increased that figure to 43%, but overall the Wii proved the most successful model of its generation.
Ken Kutaragi - the so-called father of the PlayStation - was moved from his role as the boss of Sony's Computer Entertainment division shortly after the PS3's troubled launched.
His replacement was Kazuo Hirai whose success at helping turn the PS3's fortunes around saw him promoted to chief executive of Sony last year.        
By Leo Kelion

Brian Crecente;

The PlayStation meeting was a surprisingly top-level unveiling for a bit of pending consumer electronics.
We didn't get a price, we didn't get a firm date, we only saw a half-dozen games in action and most importantly, most surprisingly, we didn't actually see the device itself.
Instead the nearly two-and-a-half hour show was more about the pending console's philosophical approach to next-generation gaming.
Despite the lack of firm details, the ideas that Sony promises to build their PS4 upon are intriguing.
So much has changed since the PlayStation 3 was launched. In today's entertainment landscape gaming is ubiquitous and to keep up consoles need to embrace that.
It looks like the PS4 will do that through two key approaches: sharing and smart shopping.
Gamers on the PS4 will be able to tap a button to instantly share their gaming achievements, not just through messages, but with screenshots and videos of their gameplay.
The system will also detect your gaming habits and pre-load your console with the sorts of games it thinks you will like. If you like them you tap a button to buy them.
The PS4 seems to be promising to provide seamless, easy access to gaming and entertainment in a way that hopes to makes the console as ubiquitous as gaming has become.

Why Parents Don't Talk to Kids About Sex

Conquering Common Misconceptions

There is no good reason for parents not to talk to kids about sex. Kids need guidance. Their parents help them make decisions about sex and other issues. Parents are still the biggest influence in kids lives when it comes to moral issues like sex. Every parent has a different reason for not talking to kids about sex. Here are just a few of those misconceptions and why they don't add up.
 Kids learn about sex in school, so what reason is there for parents to teach them? School sex education classes teach kids about the physical aspects of sex. Parents are there to talk to their kids about the moral and social aspects of sex. The physical part of sex is a very small part of sex talk. The important part is how decisions concerning sex will effect kid's lives.

 Kids don't want parents butting in to their sex life. How do I talk to them without being intrusive? Parents don't have to talk about sex as inquisitors. In other words, ask less questions and give more answers. Parents can look for opportunities to bring sex up in normal conversation and in reference to the behavior of others. Keep it factual and state your opinions on the subject.
 Isn't talking to kids about sex like giving them permission to have it? This is a concern of a lot of good parents but it's unfounded in truth. Actually, the more parents talk about sex, the more informed kids become. Kids also have a natural urge to rebel. They are less likely to rebel using sex, when parents are open in discussing it.

Talk about sex with kids may bring up my own experiences. What if I don't feel comfortable sharing my sex life with my kids? Don't worry, kids have no desire to know what parents do behind closed doors. What they are looking for is advice on their sex life, not information about yours. Just remember the first time you realized your parents had sex to get you. They feel the same way about you.

 My kids aren't asking me about sex, so I don't need to talk to them, right? Oh so wrong! It is your job as parents to see that kids are prepared for the adult world. This includes straight talk about sex. Include sex talk as part of the regular family banter. We're not talking graphic details here, but opinions and factual answers to likely questions. Don't make sex a forbidden subject just because it's a bit uncomfortable. That just makes it all the more alluring.

 My kids friends have brainwashed them and they won't listen to me anyway. How do I get through? Parents need to remain in charge over outside influences. It's possible that kids will pretend not to be listening when parents talk. That's all a part of the rebellion phase and may partially be due to their discomfort on the subject of sex. Parents can't let these barriers stop them from doing their job. Talk to kids about sex in places like the car where they are a captive audience. They may not absorb it all but they can't stomp off either.

 I can't relate to the issues kids face now. How do I find out what's really happening? Kids do face more serious peer pressure than parents did, but there are similarities that can be drawn as well. Talk to kids openly and honestly about everything from a young age. Kids will be more likely to share with parents who keep an open mind and allow them to make some decisions for themselves along the way.

 I don't have the time or education necessary for the talk. What if I screw it up and scar them for life? Kids love their parents and understand that parents are human. As long as parents are open and honest about their opinions on sex or any other subject, kids will accept talk openly in return. Don't forget, parents are not the only people kids learn from. If parents give wrong information, sincerely believing it's accuracy, kids will correct them. It's OK not to know everything as long as parents remain sincere.

How do I correct wrong information about sex learned elsewhere? This is a tricky one but parents can talk to kids about the information they received. Don't tell them it's wrong. Instead, say something like, "Really? I thought something different. Let's look it up so we both have the right information.". This keeps kids from getting defensive and saves the parents from embarrassment if they are wrong. Yes, parents can be wrong about sex and other information. This is a great opportunity to teach kids it's OK to be wrong too.
                                                                   By Jaipi Sixbear

Rumours about Guardiola's targets are false, says Hoeness

Pep Guardiola
The Roten president has said that the Spanish coach, who is taking over at the Allianz Arena at the end of the season, has not spoken to anyone about transfers yet

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has revealed that future coach Pep Guardiola is yet to identify any players he wants to bring to the club.

The former Barcelona coach will take over at Allianz Arena next season in the summer, prompting a wave of speculation linking the Bavarians with the likes of Neymar and Robert Lewandowski.

However, the 61-year-old has stressed that the reports are all untrue, and hinted that he may not be tempted to dip back into the market, having spent a lot of money before the current campaign.

“The rumours about the players Guardiola desires are false,” Hoeness told Bild.

“Guardiola has still not called a player he would have liked. There was talk about positions which he considers could be improved on if possible, but he has not named any names.

“When I look at how strong our squad is, I don’t think we need to make too many changes in the summer. I do not think that we will buy anyone in the next few years who is more expensive than [€40 million Javi] Martinez.”

Guardiola led Barcelona to 14 trophies in four years at Camp Nou and signed an agreement to take over at Bayern in January.

20 Feb 2013

AC Milan 2-0 Barcelona: Boateng and Muntari leave Catalans on brink

The former Portsmouth pair struck in the second half of a memorable victory for the Rossoneri, who defended with their lives to clinch a priceless first-leg win.

A textbook smash and grab display from AC Milan was enough to see them upset Barcelona 2-0 in the opening leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash at San Siro on Wednesday.

Suicide Bomber Kills Self And Three Others In Maiduguri

Three civilians have been killed by a suicide bomber in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Eyewitness accounts report that an improvised explosive device targeting the Joint military Task Force (JTF) by a suicide bomber, killing himself and three civilians.

Confirming the incident, JTF spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa reveals that the explosion occurred at about one o’clock this afternoon, and that besides the dead ones, two others were also wounded.

The statement further says JTF patrol vehicle was damaged as a result of the blast.

The Joint Task Force also called on the people of the state to disregard a leaflet and a publication being circulated by suspected terrorists group Boko Haram allegedly from its leader Abubakar Shekarau threatening and warning government, civil servants, politicians traditional rulers and security agencies that the sect has not made any reconciliation with the government and that it has not declared any ceasefire.

JTF asked the people of the state to disregard such publication and to consider it as a part of the terrorists’ propaganda and strategy to keep the civil populace in captivity and perpetual fear with the view of unleashing more terror on innocent citizens as the taskforce also requested the continuous cooperation of the citizens and collaboration between JTF and the citizens towards ending the insurgency with a view to bringing back normalcy in the state and the country as a whole.

Google Glass features unveiled

Wearable technology is expected to be a major growth area for hardware makers

Fresh details about Google's eagerly-anticipated smart glasses have been released by the company.

A YouTube video uploaded by the company shows Google Glass in action - including the interface which appears in the wearer's line of sight.
The search giant has also opened up the trial of the product to "creative individuals" and developers.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin was recently spotted on New York's subway testing the device.
The product was first unveiled as part of a demonstration at a Google launch event last year where developers were offered early access to the device for $1,500.
The company is now inviting people in the US to use the hashtag #ifihadglass to suggest ways they would make use of the headset.
"We're looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass," Google said.
"We're still in the early stages and, while we can't promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting.

'OK, Glass'

Voice commands such as "OK, Glass, take a picture" were used to control the device.
Other features appeared to include Skype-like video chats, and other related information such as weather reports and map directions.
All of this information appeared in a small, translucent square in the top right of the wearer's field of vision.
The display is considerably less intrusive than previously published concept videos.
Wearable technology is seen as a major growth area for hardware makers in 2013 and beyond.

It will be possible to take pictures from the perspective of the person wearing the device

The glasses have a small camera and display built in

Other patents obtained by Sony and Microsoft allow for creation of miniature displays to go over users' eyes.
Oakley recently launched Airwave - ski goggles with built-in sensors which provide information on an in-built screen about an owner's speed, the size of their jumps and what music they are listening to.