Jim Tressel: "Mr. Perfect", not so perfect after all....

Tressel: A hypocrite and a cheat all along
Jim Tressel has been suspended from Ohio State after the university learned that Tressel, the football team's head coach, had withheld information about players violating NCAA rules and continuing to let them play. Jim Tressel issued an apology.

It started in April 2010, when the NCAA was made aware of possible violations by some Ohio State players.
Several players sold Ohio State football memorabilia to tattoo parlor owner, Edward Rife. In exchange for memorabilia such as jerseys and championship rings the players received cash and discounts on tattoos.
Following a federal investigation of Rife, Tressel's lawyer emailed him about the possible violations, naming two specific players who had sold the Buckeyes memorabilia.
Tressel failed to tell university officials about the possible NCAA violation, and then allowed the two players to play the rest of the 2010 season.
On Dec. 7, the university learned of the investigation after the local US Attorney's office contacted them. The university informed the NCAA, and on Dec. 23, five players, including the team's star quarterback, were suspended for five games.
In January, Tressel confirmed that he had known about the memorabilia sales all along.
Having failed to report the sales to the school in a timely manner, Tressel has been suspended for the first two games of the season against Akron and Toledo and fined an additional $250,000, but Ohio State athletic director, Gene Smith, has confirmed that Tressel will be returning as coach.
In a statement, Trussell said, “I am sorry and disappointed this happened. At the time the situation occurred, I thought I was doing the right thing. I understand my responsibility to represent Ohio State and the game of football. I apologize to any and all of the people I have let down.”
Trussell said the right thing to do would have been to talk to the university's legal counsel as soon as he received the email in April, adding that he planned to "grow from this and I’m sincerely saddened by the fact that I let some people down and didn’t do things as well as I could possibly do."
Each of the players involved have been asked to make donations to charity comparable to their profits from the memorabilia sales and the value of their tattoos.

Source: Christian Science Monitor


Gadhafi as buffer to a "black Europe"....

Ghadafi (f-r)and friends at the G8 L'Aquila Summit in 2009

Muammar Gadhafi recently expressed his "surprise" at not getting outside support in his "fight against terrorists" (referring to the current Libyan insurgency against his regime). Adding to the bizarre, he also opined that he (Gadhafi) was the buffer to a "black Europe".

Gadhafi had famously asked the European Union (EU) to pay him at least €5bn (£4bn; $6.3bn) a year, to stop illegal African immigration and thus prevent a "black Europe". 
In his typically off-color style, Gadhafi goes on to state:

"We don't know... what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans"

He recently asserted again, in addition to his deluded rants that he is "fighting against terrorists (talk of the pot calling the kettle black), that if his current genocide against his own people were not allowed to continue, he would open the floodgates of Europe to "blacks from Sub-Saharan Africa".

Gadhafi made it quite clear in an interview with France 24 television channel that "millions of blacks could come to the Mediterranean to cross to France and Italy, and Libya plays a role in preventing this".

One sure wonders what the African leaders, who sat at the same table with this lunatic, now think of him, in light of his obvious lack of regard for them and their people.

Gadhafi is a savvy politician. Sure he is mad (that has never been in question), but he does understand the sensibilities of the likes of Silvio Berlusconi and Nicolas Sarkozy, amongst other European and western leaders.

He has dined with them and knowing fully well, what their worst fears are, he is using that capital and leverage to crush the rebellion from the east of Libya.

No one should therefore be surprised that the powers at NATO and the United States continue to stand pat while the butcher of Tripoli continues with air raids and helicopter gunships on civilians and children.

After all, the only thing worse than that, would be a "black Europe", something Berlusconi, Sarkozy, Merkel (who famously stated that "multiculturalism has utterly failed") and Cameron just can't stomach.

The rest of the world is watching....


NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life

Aliens exist, and we have proof.

That astonishingly awesome claim comes from Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who says he has found conclusive evidence of alien life — fossils of bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites. (There are only nine such meteorites on planet Earth.) Hoover’s findings were published late Friday night in the Journal of Cosmology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet earth,” Hoover, who has spent more than 10 years studying meteorites around the world, told in an interview. “This field of study has just barely been touched — because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible.”

Hoover discovered the fossils by breaking apart the CI1 meteorite, and analyzing the exposed rock with a scanning-electron microscope and a field emission electron-scanning microscope, which allowed him to detect any fossil remains. What he found were fossils of micro-organisms, many of which he says are strikingly similar to those found on our own planet.

“The exciting thing is that they are in many cases recognizable and can be associated very closely with the generic species here on earth,” said Hoover. Some of the fossils, however, are quite odd. “There are some that are just very strange and don’t look like anything that I’ve been able to identify, and I’ve shown them to many other experts that have also come up stump.”

In order to satisfy the inevitable hoard of buzz-killing skeptics, Hoover’s study and evidence were made available to his peers in the scientific community in advance of the study’s publications, giving them a chance to thoroughly dissect his findings. Comments from those who decided to sift through the evidence will be published online, alongside the study.

“Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis,” writes Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Dr. Rudy Schild, who serves as the Journal of Cosmology’s editor-in-chief. “No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published.”

Needless to say, if Hoover's conclusions are found to be accurate, the implications for human life will be staggering. Here is hoping that he's right.

Update: While the Journal of Cosmology says that “no other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting,” some highly respected names in the scientific community are challenging the validity of Cosmology, and the findings of Dr. Hoover.

“[The Journal of Cosmology] isn’t a real science journal at all,” says PZ Meyers in Science Blogs, “but is the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics obsessed with the idea of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth.”

So there you have it — this is either reality-altering news, or the work of kooks. Our hearts believe, but our brains are kind of bummed.

Source: Digital Trends

Liberal San Francisco's aversion to male (infant) circumcision riles Jewish groups

San Francisco to ban circumcision? 
Again, the liberals are at it. When will they ever learn to leave people alone and not force their opinions and lifestyle on others. The story (below) is on a rather ridiculous plan by another liberal antagonist, to outlaw male circumcision in infants. Well, Jewish groups have come out against it and as an African immigrant, with very similar cultural practices to Jews, I am appalled at another attempt by these radicals to push their views on the rest of us.

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Jewish groups and others are up at arms over an attempt to outlaw male circumcision in San Francisco by putting the issue to a popular vote.
Self-described "intactivist" Lloyd Schofield has been collecting signatures for a voter initiative that would criminalize infantcircumcision in the Californian city.
After two months of collecting names, he claims to be more than half way toward getting the 7,168 signatures he needs by late April to put the matter on the November ballot.
Schofield and a growing community of anti-circumcision activists say that infants should not be forced to participate in what is essentially culturally accepted genital mutilation.
They claim that the procedure can cause health risks and diminished sexual function and compare it to the clitoridectomies performed on girls in parts of Africa.
"This is a human rights issue," he said. "What you're doing is you're taking an infant and removing the most sensitive part of their body."
Jewish organizations have pledged to fight the measure should it be placed on the ballot. Anti-Defamation League director Daniel Sandman called Schofield's effort discriminatory and misguided.
"This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual," he said.
Abby Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council charged Schofield with wasting city resources for an inappropriate political stunt that was unlikely to become law.
"This is one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3,000 years," she said. "It's symbolic of our covenant with God."
Porth said the Jewish community would form a coalition against the initiative with medical professionals and Muslims, who also practice circumcision.
"It's very similar to those of the Jewish faith," said Omar Nawaz of the Bay Area-based Zaytuna College, one of the nation's only Muslim colleges. "It's a religious tradition and it's important for us."
Both pro- and anti-circumcision advocates make health claims, but the medical research does not firmly support either position.
The American Academy of Pediatrics holds that there are both benefits and risks to infant circumcision, and recommends that parents make the choice for themselves.
Several other health bodies are reviewing the evidence on circumcision with an eye to new policy recommendations.
Circumcision rates among US male infants have dropped in recent decades, but more than half of newborns are still circumcised, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
If the ban is approved, those caught cutting the foreskins of infants and other minors would face up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
The ban would certainly face legal challenges, and could be found in violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.
However, it would not be subject to legislative amendment.
California's unique voter initiative system allows residents to place virtually anything on the ballot so long as they secure the requisite signatures.
Many of California's most controversial and restrictive policies have been passed this way, among them a drastic reduction in property taxes and a ban on gay marriage.
San Francisco resident Mark Reiss, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, is among a vocal community of circumcised men who say they struggle with the emotional and physical effects of circumcision.
He runs a website that lists rabbis nationwide who will preside over a naming ritual similar to the one performed at Jewish circumcisions but with no cutting.
Schofeld said that the issue is not one of cultural practice, but of individual freedom.
"This is a painful and irreversible surgery," Schofield said. "It's a man's body. It's his right to choose and we're trying to preserve that choice."

Source: AFP News


Hot Brew: Apple's missed opportunities with iPad2

By Jack Gold

Apple(AAPL_) launched its iPad 2, mostly with improvements that were expected: a dual core processor 1 GHz with better graphics, front and rear cameras, thinner and lighter case, a gyroscope, an upgraded browser and java engine.
What was still missing (and I expected it to be missing) was Flash support. This is a key differentiator for the Android (and PlayBook) camps that provide Flash support. Despite Apple's claims, Flash is and will be important on the Internet for many years to come.
Of course, the battle between Apple andAdobe(ADBE_) continues over this issue and won't be resolved anytime soon.
Apple also released iOS 4.3, which has a nice new feature for iPhone 4 users (not for iPad users) -- a personal WiFi hotspot capability. This has been a competitive advantage for Android which has had this feature for a while, so Apple fixed that competitive disadvantage.
iPad2 also added video conferencing, but it only works with other Apple products (Apple didn't talk about any Windows or other phone versions of the FaceTime app). That's an issue for people who want to reach out to others that are not Apple device specific. Will Apple allow Skype or similar apps on the iPad to make up for that?
And Apple leveled the playing field for 3G-connected devices (as I expected, it did not announce 4G). Apple will make both AT&T(T_) (GSM) and Verizon(VZ_) (CDMA) models available so the carrier choice doesn't get in the way (and it increases Apple's channel).
The announcement went mostly as expected. The iPad 2 price stayed the same, which is typical of Apple when new HW comes out. And availability date is very quick (next week).
Overall, I think Apple fans who want the latest tablet will buy this (or upgrade from an existing iPad). But I don't see any overwhelmingly compelling capabilities that would make people sitting on the tablet fence go out and have to buy one, despite some attractive apps that Apple introduced.
Further I don't believe this is head and shoulders above the competition now coming to market (e.g., Motorola Xoom, and other next generation Android Honeycomb devices, Research In Motion's(RIMM_) PlayBook, H-P's(HPQ_) WebOS device, etc.).
I believe Apple didn't really move the bar all that much from the original iPad, and from where many competitors are now targeting their newest devices. And importantly, there were no real nods to business users in manageability or security. This is a challenge on the current iPad and isn't improved on this version (or iOS 4.3), despite Apple's drive to get large scale adoption of iPads into businesses.
By the way, Apple also missed the opportunity to make iPad truly multi-tasking in this release. I think they chose not to because it would have severely affected the battery life of the device. Probably a good tradeoff on their part, but it does mean some background tasks for business apps/users won't run very quickly (or not at all).
Many businesses are trialing (or even deploying) iPads. And iPad2 will be attractive with its increased processing power, on-board cameras (although not all businesses see this as an advantage), and great battery life. So business users are generally excited about iPad and for what the promise of a thin light tablet device brings to them. But generally, IT is disappointed with the device and how hard Apple makes it for enterprise IT to deploy and manage on a large scale. And security is lacking (no HW based encryption). This, I believe, is where Apple missed a golden opportunity with iPad2 and iOS 4.3
In fact, Apple did not address these legitimate IT concerns at all with the updated HW and SW. This means third-party "enterprise enablers" (e.g., Sybase, Zenprise, McAfee, MobileIron) will need to be deployed to manage and protect the devices in a corporate setting.
Apple could have provided more tools, especially by enhancing iTunes for mass deployments and more device management, and by including security in HW like it does in the iPhone (which, by the way, is more secure than the iPad at this point). But either Apple couldn't make the improvements within the timeframe of the new product release, or simply doesn't think it needs to. In my opinion, it's probably the latter.
End users love the concept of iPad. But its IT who ultimately has to deploy them in bulk and pay for the ongoing device maintenance and control efforts. There is a real and substantial cost to companies for deploying and maintaining these devices that users don't usually see or appreciate.
It's why Motorola(MOT_) has recently acquired a small enterprise management SW firm (3LM) to enhance its Android systems for enterprise manageability and security (and by the way, vanilla Android is even worse than iOS in enterprise manageability and security). And say what you might about RIM and PlayBook competitiveness, but it will be IT friendly right out of the box by emphasizing its enterprise roots.
Bottom Line: While business use of tablets and particularly iPads is growing rapidly, the need to deploy securely and manage the devices is a real challenge for organizations and one that end users demanding use of the devices don't often see.
With competitive devices coming to market that are approaching the usability and features of iPad, and that offer true enterprise features, I expect iPads in business to become less attractive, at least until Apple decides to focus on the IT requirements of the devices (something it has not effectively done for its PCs either), Apple has moved in the right direction with the iPhone, but needs to do more. This is an opportunity lost for Apple and a key differentiator for its competitors in the enterprise market.

Jack Gold is the founder and principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, an information-technology analysis firm in Northborough, Mass., covering the many aspects of business and consumer computing and emerging technologies.


Again, President Obama caught double-minded in moment of decision?

Will Obama stop Gadhafi?

We have all been told about how "cautious" President Barack Obama is by nature, in addition to all the other "endearing qualities" that made even the most conflicted of souls, vote him into office.

Now, while those supposed qualities may engender 'consensus' through requisite introspection, when it comes to making time sensitive and critical decisions, this President has been found wanting.

As one of those who voted for Barack Obama, three years into his Presidency, I am left with an unsavory sense of buyer's remorse. Not because he has performed poorly in office (on the contrary, he has done quite well given the hand he was dealt), but that I and most other independents would like to see him grow a backbone and take a more decisive approach on critical issues.

This piece will not delve into any of the domestic matters we have recently faced in the United States. I am more concerned with how much of a by-stander this President has been, while Hillary Clinton bungles her way through international affairs, on a daily basis.

Let's take a look at what is happening in North Africa - Libya, to be precise.

Coming on the heels of the peaceful overthrow of repressive dictators in both Tunisia and Egypt (quite unprecedented actually), the Obama administration has been found pussy-footing again, with regard to what it should do about Gadhafi.

The same way the administration waded (blind-folded) through the Egyptian revolution and ultimately got rescued by a disciplined Egyptian military and political hierarchy, the White House has been unable to formulate a coordinated and directed policy on Libya.

It is NOT enough to just have a policy on evacuations, food and other related logistics. That is operational naivety at its very worst. How can you stop the bleeding when you have not attacked the root cause of the blood-shed?

It is obvious Gadhafi feels he can do whatever he wants with his own people and get away with it. What is even more troubling is that much of the world is left to feel that way, at this point.

That will however change as soon as the most powerful man in the world finally grows a backbone and at least, takes the lead in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

That would at least, be a start.

George Soros: Oil producing nations must share wealth with their citizens

Soros predicts "bloody overthrow of Iranian regime".
Billionaire investor George Soros, has stressed that oil producing nations must share their wealth with their citizens or face the kind of revolt being witnessed in North Africa and parts of the Middle East.

In an interview with the BBC, Soros opined that Revolts in Libya were partly the result of "revulsion against a corruption" fed by the misuse of oil money.
More "transparency and accountability" was needed from other producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia he said.
Mr. Soros also predicted the Iranian regime would be overthrown in the "bloodiest of the revolutions". 
Libya produces 1.6 million barrels of oil per day and is the 17th largest producer in the world.
And Colonel Gaddafi's hold on power has been dependent on the billions of dollars in oil revenue that pour into the country.
Talking of the wave of governments being challenged in North Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Soros said: "What has caused the revolutions is a revulsion against a corruption that is fed by the misuse of natural resources like for instance in Libya.
"Transparency and even more importantly accountability in the use of natural resources is what you need for people living in those countries to get the benefit of those national resources.
"Libya produced enormous wealth which Gaddafi took as his own and now the people rebelled against it."
Asked whether there should be more transparency with what happened to oil incomes, Mr. Soros said: "Very much so."
And he said the US and Europe needed to more actively support the revolutions in Libya and elsewhere so that the new regimes will co-operate with the West.
"What is happening today in the Middle East is very similar to what happened in the former Soviet Union in 1989-91. But then it was a regime hostile to the West that was destroyed by the revolution," he said.
"Now it is regimes supported by the West, so the West has to regain the allegiance of the people in those countries by actually supporting the transition to democracy.
"It's very important that Europe and the US should be in front of the revolution rather than behind it because if they are behind it, they are going to lose the allegiance of the new regimes that are emerging and if they are properly supported they will be democratic regimes and it will be a tremendous improvement."

Is the business card dead?

Meishi/business cards - vital part of Japanese culture
Industries may change and brand names may come and go, but one tradition in the business world has remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
The exchange of cards between two people who are meeting for the first time is a ritual that goes back as far as business itself.

For most of us, the handing over of contact details is an important moment - a clear signal that a connection has been made.
But as our lives turn increasingly digital, technology is attempting to provide a range of futuristic alternatives to the old-fashioned card.
Ever since the arrival of electronic communication, people have been exploring new ways to share information with each other- from swapping email addresses to trading mobile phone numbers and, increasingly, connecting through an online social network.
A range of services have appeared to take advantage of this trend, including Bump Technologies, a two-year-old startup based in California's Silicon Valley. Its application, which users download to their phones, lets people trade contact details simply by tapping their handsets together.
It is an approach that has a number of advantages over the traditional paper card, says Bump's Sadie Bascom - particularly since nobody goes anywhere without their mobile these days.
"It's easy, always on your phone, and you never have to remember to grab a stack of physical cards or worry about them running out."
It also gives users the chance to add directly to somebody's address book - skipping the need to enter those details by hand or saving people the chore of rifling through piles of cards to find the details they are looking for.
"People's dependence on their mobile devices to help them manage their lives is increasing," she adds. "Why take a few minutes to type someone into our phone when you can bump and save their info in a matter of seconds?
Going digital has other advantages, too. Traders can include information that might be hard to fit on to a traditional business card, such as a portfolio or even a CV.
And for those who feel comfortable with the idea, forging a connection on Facebook or Twitter can prove a useful way to add personality to an otherwise sterile working relationship.
Given the explosive growth of the social websites over the past few years, some see this trend as a potential goldmine.
Investors including Sequoia - the venture capital group famous for backing Google, Oracle and PayPal - have pumped almost $20m into Bump, for example, in the hope that it can become a mainstream hit.
Meanwhile LinkedIn, the world's biggest business-centric social network, recently announced its plan to float on the stock market.
Analysts estimate that the launch will value the company, which lets people trade business contact information over the web, at around $175m.
While the trend to go completely digital might be growing, however, there is still a roaring trade in traditional cards. But even those are now getting a number of hi-tech overhauls.

Lower manufacturing costs mean that it is easier and cheaper than ever to make customised cards - leading some who want to stand out from the crowd to opt for innovative designs and materials such as aluminium and plastic that were previously too expensive to use.
London-based service, meanwhile, has taken advantage of technology in a different way. Advanced digital printing techniques mean that Moo customers can use their own photographs to create a stack of hundreds of cards which each carry different, personalised images.
As a result the company, which now has customers worldwide and an office in the US, has built a strong following among creative professionals and technology-led businesses.
Richard Moross, Moo's founder and chief executive, says that this is because a physical card "conveys the card holder's personality through design".
"It's way more than just contact info," he says. "The more prevalent digital becomes, the more meaningful interacting is in the real world - analogue still rules at conferences and events. Using a digital business card can be a bit like talking on your phone at the dinner table."
Indeed, in some cultures, the role of the physical calling card is still hugely important.
While Americans might casually flip out a card from their wallet, for example, Japanese executives will carefully present their cards with both hands as a sign of respect.
But what is clear in almost every case, however, is that the advances in online networking mean the lines between professional and personal are becoming increasingly blurred.
The more information we share online through services like Facebook, Twitter and blogs, the bigger the idea of swapping contact details becomes - regardless of whether it's done physically or virtually.
"We have since seen a shift in the demographic as Bump gained popularity," says Sadie Bascom. "The majority of bumps now actually occur after 5pm, and our most used features are the photo sharing and messaging tools."

Source: BBC Business/Technology News


Apple launches second iPad tablet

Apple has launched the second generation of its iPad tablet computer at an event in San Francisco.
The company said the machine featured a faster processor, improved graphics, and front and rear cameras.
Apple leads the industry in sales of tablet devices, but has recently begun to lose share to rivals such as HP and Samsung.
The event was hosted by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January.
It had been widely speculated that he would not appear owing to his ill health.
Mr Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004.
Speaking on stage, he said: "We have been working on this product for a while and I just didn't want to miss today."
Up until September 2010, Apple iPads accounted for 95% of tablet computer sales, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
By the end of 2010, that figure had fallen to 75%, said Strategy Analytics.
The loss of share was down to the arrival of scores of new tablet devices, mainly based on Google's open-source Android system.
Other platforms have also begun to appear, including Microsoft's Windows 7 and HP's WebOS.
Ovum analyst Adam Leach predicted a two-horse race in the tablet market over the coming year.
"The platform dominance of Apple and Google will continue through 2011 and beyond," said Mr Leach.
"However, devices based on Google's platforms will only overtake those based on Apple's platform by 2015, when we forecast 36% and 35% market shares respectively," he added.
Apple has billed the iPad 2 as slimmer, lighter and faster than its predecessor.
The new device features the company's latest dual core A5 processor, which, it is claimed, delivers twice the processing power of the original iPad.
iPad 2 will go on sale in the US on 11 March, followed by 26 other countries, on 25 March.
In the United States, pricing will remain the same as for the first iPad, between $499 and $826. 
Other countries are also expected to retain their original pricing models.
CCS Insight analyst, Ben Wood, said that alone would worry other tablet manufacturers: "All of those guys are struggling to even match the iPad pricing, and if you are going to win in the tablet market and you are not Apple, you need to price against it."
Along with the updated hardware, Apple unveiled several new applications for the iPad 2, including the video editing package iMovie and music making programme, Garage Band.
However, according to James Holland, editor of, the company still has some way to go in refining the iPad's software.
"Where Android is still ahead is they have nailed a few of the interface issues, like notifications - when the iPad wants to tell you something it takes up the whole screen and you have to dismiss that to continue working," he said.
"Apple needs to up its game because it is positioning the iPad as a post PC device.
"At the moment it is slightly backwards in that it makes you do one thing at a time," said Mr Holland.

Source: BBC Technology News