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Cullen backing Leinster to break Lawes against Saints

first_imgTHIS TIME LAST year, Leinster were gearing up for two weeks that everyone knew would be decisive; back-to-back Pool 5 clashes with Top 14 powerhouses Clermont.Coming out on the other side, the eastern province had just two points and their hopes of advancing to the quarter-final stages were in tatters. That’s how crucial the December double-headers are in the Heineken Cup and the memory of that failure serves as a motivator for Leinster this week.As they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Franklin’s Gardens to take on Northampton, captain Leo Cullen admits that this two-game block is the key to progress.“It’s where we went out of the tournament basically last year, losing those back-to-back games against Clermont. Even though we got a bonus point away – everyone thought that was great – it didn’t mean a huge amount because of the fact that we got beaten again the following week.It’s a very difficult transition, playing the same team back-to-back. So we need to learn the lessons that we got last year and get a little more out of these two games. It’s a tough challenge away and then a different challenge the week after.”Cullen made his first start of the season in Saturday’s 36-19 win over the Scarlets, having recovered from a long-term Achilles injury. Indeed, it was the 35-year-old’s first game since the RaboDirect Pro12 final against Ulster last season.The Wicklow native admitted with a smile that he was happy to get through the full 70 minutes – the lock was sin binned for repeated infringements – but also underlined that how “frustrating” his extended period on the sidelines had been.Cullen returns to the selection mix for this weekend, although the form of Devin Toner and the relatively greater amount of game time Mike McCarthy has racked up may mean he is not involved. Whoever is in the second row will be up against the spectacularly good Courtney Lawes, a player Cullen greatly rates.“I think he’s probably been the form second row in England over the last couple of years. I thought even in the November internationals he looked very, very strong. He has a very well-rounded game.Lawes played against Leinster in the 2011 final. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland.“He’s a very powerful guy for starters. His line-out work is very good and his kick chase and some of his tackling is impressive stuff. So yeah, he’s an imposing figure and with Christian Day, Samu Manoa, whatever combination they go with, they’ve got good quality in there.”Lawes is part of an impressive Northampton team under the stewardship of Jim Mallinder, one which has lost just twice this season [19-13 away to Castres in Europe and 26-24 away to Gloucester domestically].Cullen himself has plenty of experience of playing against the Saints, having spent two seasons in the Premiership with Leicester. There is also the obvious history between Leinster and Saturday’s opponents; Northampton led 22-6 at half-time in the 2011 Heineken Cup final before the Irish province completed one of the great comebacks to win 33-22.Leinster man Cullen feels Mallinder’s team has improved since then and says that recollection will drive them this weekend.[They’re] a really quality team. I think they’re trucking along really well in the Premiership at the moment and they’ve a very,very strong forward pack. I’d know Northampton well from my time in England. It’s a really great ground and it’s a massive challenge for us.“I think they’re a much more rounded team now. They’ve added some quality signings in George North, [Kahn] Fotuali’i, Salesi Ma’afu. So they’ve added a lot of quality to their squad and they’re probably a bit more mature than they were a couple of years ago when we played them in that Heineken Cup final.“I’m sure they are going to be gunning for this game. I’m sure they would like to make amends for that final.”Like rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >Leinster ‘optimistic’ O’Driscoll will play against NorthamptonSaints’ Ben Foden out of Leinster double header and may miss England’s Six Nations startlast_img read more

81yearold man dies in Tyrone tractor crash

first_imgTHE PSNI IN Tyrone has confirmed that an 81-year-old man has died after a tractor hit a ditch in Dunnamanagh yesterday.The Dunnyboe Road, where the crash occured has now reopened to traffic, after being closed for a technical examination.The man was driving a blue coloured New Holland tractor that was involved in the incident around 12.30pm.Police would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who was travelling on the Dunnyboe Road around the time of the incident to contact them at Strabane Police Station on 0845 600 8000.Read: Another Christmas tragedy on Irish roads as woman dies in Offaly car crashRead: 28-year-old pedestrian seriously injured in Cork collisionlast_img read more

Police spin secret torture roulette wheel to choose punishment for inmates

first_imgOFFICERS AT A police intelligence facility in the Philippines have been playing a game of ‘torture roulette’ with inmates, spinning a wheel in a secret room to determine which cruel punishment would be inflicted on them.The secret torture cell was discovered by the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during  a routine visit to the detention facility.Officers had a list of different torture positions or ‘torture consequences’ which were chosen by spinning the wheel. A ‘30 second bat position’ for example, meant that the detainee would be hung upside down like a bat for 30 seconds. A ‘20 second Manny Pacquiao’ meant that a detainee would be punched non-stop for 20 seconds.The CHR reported that 44 detainees at the facility in Biñan, Laguna province had accused at least ten officers of torture and extortion. They also said that drinking sprees by officers led to further torture and ill-treatment of suspects in custody. Most of the people arrested were there for drug-related cases and many complained of being tortured from the day they were arrested to force them to give information.This facility is not on the legally required updated list of detention facilities which Amnesty International Ireland said today made it ‘a de facto secret detention facility’.Executive Director Colm O’Gorman said it is “despicable” for police officers to use torture ‘for fun’.“Suspending officers is not enough. Errant police personnel and their commanding officers should be held accountable in a court of law,” he said. Torture is a criminal act, and the leadership of the Philippine National Police must end its practice within its ranks. The authorities must ensure that torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is not tolerated.Ten police officers have been relieved of their posts following an investigation but O’Gorman said that this incident shows “the message that torture should be absolutely prohibited in all circumstances seems to have failed to reach the police” in the country.Read: War crimes report accuses Syria of torture and 11,000 executions>Read: UN anti-torture body questions Ireland’s record on abortion and Magdalenes>last_img read more

Children in care more likely to be suspended excluded and leave school

first_imgMore: Children’s Ombudsman recommends schools take action on cyber-bullying> THE OMBUDSMAN FOR Children, Emily Logan, has called on the Government to keep records of the educational experiences for children in care.It comes following the publication today of a study Education of Children in Care in Ireland: An Exploratory Study.Ms Logan said that although children in care can have positive experiences from education, they face significant challenges, including attitudinal barriers, placement breakdowns, inadequate care planning and review, and shortfalls and delays in assessment. These issues mean that children in care are at higher risk of suspension, exclusion, absenteeism and early school leaving.“Given that there are currently 6,300 children in the care of the State – a relatively small number of children relative to the overall population of children living in Ireland” Ms Logan said it shouldn’t be difficult to do more to support them.The report also made a number of recommendations including the development and implementation on an inter-agency action plan focused that would strengthen the educational opportunities for children in care; training for carers and professionals to assist children with education; specific approaches that would help support attendance, participation and attainment in education by children in care; and opportunities for children in care, and their carers, to express their views about issues that affect them, including care planning and their education.Ms Logan added: “When the circumstances and experiences of children in care come under the spotlight, the focus is often on matters relating to their safety, protection and welfare. While work to identify, highlight and address shortfalls in this area is vital, we should be mindful not to overlook or neglect other significant areas of these children’s lives.Read: Children’s Ombudsman gains power to oversee 180 new state bodies>last_img read more

Pakistan tries to smash taboos with its own version of Glee

first_imgGAY ROMANCE, ISLAMIC extremism and a soundtrack of classic love songs make for Pakistan’s taboo-breaking answer to the hugely successful US television series Glee.Like its smash hit forerunner, Taan follows the lives and loves of a group of young people who regularly burst into song. But this time they attend a music academy in Lahore, instead of an American high school.Taan – which is a musical note in Urdu – tackles subjects considered off limits in Pakistan’s deeply conservative Muslim society, with plotlines involving love affairs between two men and between a Taliban extremist and a beautiful Christian girl.The plan is for the 26-episode series to air in September or October, and while producer Nabeel Sarwar insisted the programme was not a “political pulpit”, he is determined to take on the tough issues.“Nobody wants to have controversy for the sake of controversy, nobody wants to have an assignment to violence, nobody wants to push a button that would result in a disaster for anyone,” he told AFP. But the truth has to come out somewhere. Where are we going to put a line in the sand and say, ‘Look, this is what we are’?Taking a public stand to defend liberal values like this is rare in Pakistan, where forces of religious conservatism have risen steadily in recent years.CensorshipRisque scenes in foreign films are routinely cut by the authorities and the team behind Taan are acutely aware that they must tread carefully with their challenging material.In one scene the two gay lovers dance and sing in a small room but never embrace — their relationship is suggested rather than overtly shown. The moment is interrupted when a radical Islamist character bursts in.Director Samar Raza said representing the lives of gay characters was difficult in a country where homosexuality is still illegal.“Let’s say in a certain scene, there are two boys talking to each other, they are not allowed to show their physical attachment to each other,” he said.So I bring a third character who says: ‘God designed Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’.It is not only the sensibilities of the censors the producers must navigate.The audienceWhile 70 per cent of Pakistan’s population is under 35, a huge and potentially lucrative audience for advertisers, it is the head of the household who decides what families watch on TV, explains Sarwar.“The head of the household during the day is the matriarch and the head of the household at night is the patriarch — they control access to TV,” he told AFP.You have to find programming that allows the matriarch and the patriarch to join in and participate, but there has to be room for the younger audience.In a bid to appeal to older viewers the makers of Taan have licensed around 100 classic Pakistani songs, some by legendary artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and have reworked them to suit modern tastes, as Glee does.“We try to find music that resonates with the older generation which control the access to the TV but we contemporise that music so that the younger audience does not feel left out,” Sarwar said.Foreign importsThe show hopes that by taking on difficult issues in a light-hearted way it will both reflect the changing nature of Pakistani society and attract a young audience currently hooked on imported Turkish soap operas.Local dramas struggle to compete with the likes of “Manahil and Khalil” and “Ishq-e-Mamnu” (Forbidden Love) — Turkish serials starring Westernised characters with fair skin and dubbed into Urdu.Turkish soaps are widely watched across the Muslim world, but the popularity of “Ishq-e-Mamnu” has prompted a lively debate about the “Turkish invasion” of the small screen in Pakistan, with local production companies complaining that they do not have the resources to rival them.Yasmin Huq, one of the stars of Taan, told AFP a homegrown show could speak more clearly to Pakistanis than foreign imports.“Today’s generation is watching Turkish and Indian dramas,” she said. “But no one can make a musical story like Pakistanis. Even if you watch the Turkish and Indian dramas, you will see that nobody can talk about Pakistan like Pakistanis.”(Video: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/YouTube)- © AFP, 2013Read: How Sesame Street tones down for Afghanistan >last_img read more

Call for more scrutiny on bank lending to SMEs

first_imgTHE CENTRAL BANK should independently investigate how many loan applications by SMEs are refused by Irish banks, the Oireachtas jobs committee has said.In its report on access to finance for the SME sector published today, the Committee said that it is “concerned” by divergent opinions on the availability of credit between banks and small business people on the ground.Borrowers have alleged that banks massage approval figures by including approvals that contain unrealistic conditions, and excluding what they term ‘constructive rejections’, where a lender discourages an SME owner from making an application in the first place.Banks, on the other hand, claim that their approval rates are high and, in many instances, climbing.The Committee wants the Central Bank to step in and conduct “an independent verification of lending rates across the banking sector”, as well as consider redrawing the criteria for what exactly constitutes a successful application.WelcomeThe Small Firms Association welcomed the report, saying that it is critical that the recommendations are now implemented.SFA director Patricia Callan said:“For Irish SMEs, supply of finance is second only to finding more customers as the most pressing issue we are facing. It is critical that the practical recommendations contained in this report are accepted and acted upon immediately. They have the potential to make a real difference to improving SME financing.”Read: Three out of four SMEs don’t ‘shop around’ for finance>Read: Will the ECB’s new €400 billion lending plan filter down to Irish SMEs?>last_img read more

Woman arrested over heroin seizure is released

first_imgA WOMAN IN her 20s has been released after being arrested in connection with a drugs seizure in Thurles.Gardaí said this morning that the woman was released without charge last night.A file will now be prepared for the information of the Director of Public Prosecutions.A male in his 30s remains in custody.Heroin, amphetamine and cannabis with a combined estimated street value of €40,000 was seized when uniformed gardaí and members of the Divisional Drugs Unit searched a house in Thurles on Tuesday evening.The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation targeting the sale and supply of drugs in Tipperary.Read: Man arrested after Tipperary heroin seizure>last_img read more

Skype explains how their P2P backbone failed last week due to Windows

first_imgIf you’ve been looking for an official explanation on why Skype‘s servers crashed so hard last week besides a cryptic statement about imploding supernodes, the VoIP company has thoughtfully explained the situation over on their official blog.Here’s what happened. On December 22nd, the servers handling Skype’s offline messaging became overloaded and slow to respond, which in turn triggered a nasty bug in the most popular version of the Windows client (5.0.0152) which resulted in the program crashing.The problem is that that Windows version of the Skype software actually accounts for roughly 50% of all Skype’s users… and 40% of those users crashed. What’s the problem? Well, despite appearances, Skype is a P2P service, with some users being chosen as “supernodes” to carry out additional coordination duties, route traffic and perform directory lookups. When those supernodes started crashing, the rest of the network shut down.Eventually, Skype fixed the problem by bringing online a huge number of extra high capacity supernodes to restore service, but it does show that Skype is actually vulnerable to P2P vulnerabilities. What’s most frustrating about the whole ordeal is a client that actually fixed the bug was already available on Windows… but not enough people had downloaded it.On their part, Skype is offering 30 minutes of free talk time to anyone affected by the outage, and they’re promising to be more aggressive about automatically updating Skype clients in the future. Let’s hope so.Read more at Skypelast_img read more

Intel CEO Windows 8 will run on Intelbased smartphones

first_imgIntel CEO Paul Otellini dropped a bombshell during the chipmaker’s latest financial call: they plan on putting Windows 8 on cell phones.Otellini said:“The plus for Intel is that as they unify their operating systems we now have the ability for the first time: one, to have a designed-from-scratch, touch-enabled operating system for tablets that runs on Intel that we don’t have today. And secondly, we have the ability to put our lowest-power Intel processors running Windows 8, or “next-generation Windows,” into phones, because it’s the same OS stack. And I look at that as an upside opportunity for us. It’s a weird statement, not least of which because Intel simply doesn’t have any chips right now that are suitable for mobile phones.One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Otellini isn’t actually dropping a major bombshell here about Windows running on smartphones: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made it very clear at this last CES that the next version of Windows will run on ARM as well as x86 CPUs.No, what’s interesting here is really that Intel thinks they can push an x86 processor into smartphones when paired with Windows 8. That implies that Otellini believes that Windows 8 can reduce its power management and remove legacy cruft to a truly unbelievable extent. Either that or Intel has something entirely new up their sleeve which they are collaborating with Microsoft on. Time will tell, but my guess is this is the first serious indication that Intel is about to get into the smartphone SoC game.Read more at ZDNetlast_img read more

Sony To Sponsor Major League Gaming Players

first_imgSony is gearing up for the launch of the new Sony Xperia Play phone, by sponsoring pro gamers for the 2011 season. The company will support MLG (Major League Gaming) Pro Player Dave “Walshy” Walsh and MLG Coach Andy “JT Bravo” Dudynsky. Sony will also release a video for MLG about “must have” video games, along with apps. The company has been trying to fit in with mobile gaming for a while now. Between Nintendo DS, and smartphone gaming, Sony has a lot of catching up to do. The Xperia Play is certainly a good start. AdChoices广告The company is also releasing the Sony NGP (PSP2). The company is helping to make 2011 the year of mobile gaming.Via Hot Hardwarelast_img read more

Is Toshiba dropping Chromebook and Windows Tablet plans

first_imgIt seems like every day now we see a new headline about either the rise of mobile tablets or the downfall of netbooks and traditional computers. Are PC manufacturers tightening their belts, or shifting to mobile platforms for success? Have tablets really taken over the world? No, not yet. In fact, recent studies revealed that only 5% of the population even own tablets. It seems it’s just those of us steeped in tech that see the decline, but then again 5% is lot when you think about just how many devices that is. It’s this kind of back and forth that has given birth to a recent unconfirmed rumor that Toshiba is ditching their plans to release a Chromebook and a Windows Tablet in the not-so-distant future.Toshiba’s Thrive Tablet has been gaining momentum since its reveal at CES this year, and with good reason. The 10.1-inch form factor for under $500 had eluded Android tablet manufacturers for awhile, and by the time it launches it will be the only tablet in that form factor with non-proprietary ports as well. The Thrive wasn’t supposed to be all Android, either. A Windows version was shown off at CES, and was actually met with a pretty warm response, considering the general opinion of Windows Tablets. (After all, HP did buy a whole other company just to avoid it.) It could well be that since HP’s move no one else has picked up the Microsoft banner, that Toshiba decided to wait and see what happens with Windows 8’s Metro UI.But then, what of the Chromebook? The rumor of Toshiba pulling out of the Chromebook game comes only weeks after a room of thousands cheered wildly at the official announce of Chromebook, and it’s wonderfully interesting plans for education and business. The unconfirmed theory is that Toshiba was put off by the failure of their AC-100 smartbook, and decided to wait and see if Chromebooks became a market success.  Comparing the AC-100 to either of the upcoming Chromebooks seems silly to me. The larger point behind the Chromebook concept is that it’s NOT all of the things the AC-100 was. Despite having an ultralight linux base with a web-friendly UI, it was still a traditional Operating System with the same flaws in usability.None of these things are confirmed. The speculation that Toshiba is dropping these products or delaying their release until there’s a more defined market is really little more than an inside tip, but it’s caused plenty of commotion. At this time, Toshiba is unwilling to comment on unreleased devices or their current release schedule, but it will be much clearer whether or not those plans are indeed fading after the release of the Chromebooks on June 15th.via digitimeslast_img read more

Team Fortress 2 now freetoplay forever

first_imgValve has decided to introduce the free-to-play model for its very popular team-based first-person shooter Team Fortress 2.As of now, anyone with a PC or Mac can load up Steam, download the game, and start playing completely free. The game is exactly the same in terms of gameplay than the version you pay for and will continue to receive all updates and DLC, however, Valve is differentiating a free account from a premium account.AdChoices广告You already have a premium account if you spent money buying the game before today, purchased the retail copy, or bought something from the store in-game. It’s also possible to convert your free account to premium. All you have to do is purchase something in-game at the Mann Co. store.The differences between the free and premium accounts is nicely summed up in the table below:Valve isn’t forgetting about all those players who already purchased the game, and as well as the extra slots, items, crafting blueprints, trading, and gifts, there’s a couple of unique extras for you too. Automatically you get a Proof of Purchase hat to wear, but if you help out someone with a free account a lot (known as Coaching), Valve determines you were their most helpful friend, if they upgrade to premium you get a free wearable item.The introduction of free-to-play came with the latest update to the game which included a new Payload map, lots of new goodies, a redesign of the Crafting interface, improvements to training, and a number of gameplay bug fixes.In an interview with Develop, Valve’s Robin Walker explained that free-to-play has been on the cards for a while. The introduction of the in-game store meant the game could generate revenue without players having to buy it in the first place. Clearly microtransaction sales so far have shown Valve this is a workable model going forward.Walker also confirmed that there’s no plan to introduce adverts and that really this is just a way to get more people trying the game to see if they like it in the hope some will stick around and become regular players. It’s also going to get more gamers installing Steam and trying out the Steam Wallet.via teamfortress.comlast_img read more

NASA creates groundbreaking super black light absorbing material

first_img0.03-inch wide close-up of the super-black, carbon nanotube coatingEven though NASA has drastically scaled back its missions into space, that doesn’t mean the agency has stopped research for the benefit of space exploration. Evidence of this comes in the form of a new, super-black material that just got unveiled during the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference.NASA is claiming it is the most light absorbent material ever developed, and capable of absorbing 99% of ultraviolet, infrared, far-infrared, and visible light. That may not sound too impressive on its own until you find out what it can be used for and the benefits it brings.The super-black material is about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and created using carbon nanotubes. Those nanotubes are positioned and grown on multiple other materials including silicon, stainless steel, and titanium. The process of applying the coating requires heating the surface up to 1,382 degrees in an oven filled with a “carbon-coating feedstock gas”.The resulting coated materials offer up some major advantages over existing light absorption techniques used on instruments bound for space. As well as being up to 100x more absorbent than anything that has come before, the coating is significantly lighter than the black paint and epoxy commonly used today to absorb light. As weight is always an issue for space craft, this is a huge advantage on its own. Add to that the fact the coating does not fade like paint does, and you have a material that works better for longer.Because the light absorption level is so high, the super-black material will also keep temperatures down for the instruments it is used on. And that very high absorption rate brings one final big advantage: it allows measurements to be taken at much greater distances in space because it removes the light emitted from around planets and stars as well as any generally high-contrast area of space.With so many plus points to using this new coating, it shouldn’t take long for it to replace existing methods and become the standard for space instrumentation. The question then becomes, how can it be put to use on Earth, and what benefits could we see on the surface of the planet rather than above it?Read more at NASAlast_img read more

FXI Cotton Candy is an ARM PC in a USB stick

first_imgNext month we see the first release of the Raspberry Pi $25 PC in kit form. The final units will follow in 2012. They aren’t the only ones developing a tiny PC though, and competition is starting to appear that could equal it on size and outperform it in the performance stakes.One such competitor is called Cotton Candy and is set to be offered by Norwegian company FXI Technologies. Inside a USB stick that measures 8 x 2.5cm and weighs just 21 grams, FXI have managed to cram a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1GB RAM, an ARM Mali-400MP GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 2.0, and a Micro SD card reader supporting up to 64GB cards. The operating system can be either Android or a Linux distribution. There’s also a virtualization client for running Windows, Linux, and Mac instances.Now before you say “Raspberry Pi beater,” the Cotton Candy does have one major disadvantage in the form of its price, which is currently only set as below $200. That suggests it’s going to be significantly more expensive than the $25 PC arriving next month.The FXI Cotton Candy may be the more desirable pocket PC due to its better spec, but also because it has been setup as a cloud connected machine. Once plugged in you can control it wirelessly with a keyboard or mouse, or even your mobile phone. It has Wi-Fi on board meaning an Internet connection requires no other kit. And it has a link to cloud storage meaning you can work and store your files securely either on a Micro SD card or directly online. The other major benefit is you can plug it into any PC or display and turn it into a computer running the operating system you want.We can expect the Cotton Candy to become available by the middle of 2012, and hopefully for much less than the sub-$200 price point being suggested. At $99 I think it would fly off the shelves, don’t you?Read more at FXI and Hexus.netlast_img read more

Sony launches waterproof Xperia advance and Acro S

first_imgSony has taken the wraps off two more Android smartphones, the Xperia Advance and the Xperia Acro S. There’s plenty to like about both phones — but sadly they’re both launching with Android Gingerbread installed.The pint-sized Xperia Advance (which will sell outside the U.S. as the Xperia Go) features at 3.5-inch display that runs at a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. The humble display and last years’ dual-core 1GHz processor indicate that Sony’s positioning this as a budget smartphone option — either as an on-contract freebie or a reasonably-priced pay-as-you-go. There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the back, however, instead of the 3MP units that have popped up recently on other low-end devices. Sony will offer the Xperia Advance in white, black, and yellow some time later this year.As for the Acro S, it’s a decidedly more high-end affair. It sports a 4.3-inch, 720 x 1280 Mobile Bravia display. It may look familiar, and there’s a good reason for that — it’s the globe-trotting version of the Acro HD which was released only in Japan. The Acro S will offer a 1.5GHz dual-core chip, 1GB RAM, 11GB of internal storage and microSD expansion, 12MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing cam, and NFC support.Sony’s built both of these new phones to meet IPX5/IPX7 waterproofing standards, and they’re also promising that Ice Cream Sandwich updates will be on the way in the very near future. They’ve recently begun making good on other ICS upgrades, but it’s too bad that the new models aren’t coming pre-loaded with the latest Android OS.More at Engadgetlast_img read more

Why 2200°F space shuttle heat tiles wont burn your bare hands

first_imgThe Space Shuttle was an amazing piece of engineering. NASA had to solve hundreds of little problems no one had ever encountered before just to get the shuttles off the ground. However, getting them back down proved to be the most troublesome aspect of the shuttle design.NASA worked with aerospace companies to develop completely new kinds of heat insulating materials for the Space Shuttle’s heat tiles, and one YouTube user has been kind enough to share a video of the tiles in action.In the video you’ll see a giant industrial oven at Kennedy Space Center baking blocks of the material used in the shuttle’s thermal tiles. The small white cubes are LI-900, a type of low-density surface insulation composed almost entirely of silica glass fibers. They are basically pure quartz sand that are 94% air by volume.These tiles were coated with either black or white insulation in order to regulate temperatures while the shuttle was in orbit. Additionally, the black tiles covered most of the bottom surface as they better dispersed the heat of reentry.LI-900 can be heated to 2200°F, which is exactly what the blocks in the video are heated to. Even after being subjected to that temperature for so long, they can be picked up almost immediately after being taken out of the oven.Air and silica glass are both extremely poor conductors of heat, and thus great insulators. That’s why you can touch them after coming out of a super-hot oven. On the Space Shuttle, they protected the aluminum hull from the heat of reentry. The tiles were not mechanically attached to the craft, but were instead glued so they could be easily repaired. Many of the tiles were replaced after each flight, especially after a damaged heat shield led to the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.Just one more piece of mind-bending tech developed for the space program.last_img read more

Mozillas Flash Player replacement looks impressive for both games and video

first_imgWe haven’t heard much about Mozilla’s HTML5 replacement for the Flash plug-in since last year, but work on Shumway has been quietly progressing. Recently, a pair of the Foundation’s developers took to YouTube to show off what Shumway can do — and it’s pretty impressive.The video demo starts with a simple physics simulation using Box2D, and Shumway handles the falling blocks with ease. Most folks who still lean on Flash in their browser need a bit more functionality than that. Fortunately, Shumway is up to the challenge.The demo also shows Shumway running AddictingGames’ Mining Truck. It’s not the most advanced Flash game around, but it’s certainly a good test for a Flash Player replacement built using only standard Web code.But what about watching videos? Flash still dominates online streaming, so it’s imperative that Shumway be able to take over plug-in duties there, too. It doesn’t look like that task will be a problem either.Yuray Delendik’s short demo shows Firefox Nightly and Shumway playing the trailer for Man of Steel on YouTube, and it runs at least as well as YouTube’s own HTML5 player did in its early days.Clearly Mozilla has a long way to go before Shumway is ready to land in the stable version of Firefox, but the development team has made impressive progress over the past twelve months.Once Shumway is ready, Firefox users will be able to kick the Flash plug-in to the curb without missing out on all the Flash-powered content that still lingers on the Web.The best part: Mozilla’s sharing all the code as it always does, so Shumway could find its way into other browsers, too.last_img read more

Garda gets €250k damages after being forced to retire early due to

first_img 19,673 Views Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 6:26 PM http://jrnl.ie/3114590 52 Comments Share20 Tweet Email Dec 1st 2016, 6:26 PM By Saurya Cherfi Image: Leah Farrellcenter_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article File photo of Garda jacket A 56-YEAR-OLD former Garda, who was forced to retire on medical grounds after he suffered injuries following a “vicious and terrifying” assault, has settled a claim for compensation against the Minister for Finance.The High Court today heard that the minister had agreed to pay €250,000 compensation to Gerard Walsh, who thought he would die in the assault.Walsh had told the court that in June 1992 he was stationed in Tramore, Co Waterford. He and colleagues had been clearing a pub in Portlaw, Co Waterford, when he suddenly received a blow from behind to his right temple.Walsh told his barrister, Bruce Antoniotti SC, he failed to grab his assailant’s hands. The man, who the court heard was a martial arts champion, had then hit and kicked him repeatedly.Antoniotti, who appeared with barrister David Richardson, said that after his client had fallen, his assailant grabbed him from behind and tried to choke him by putting his thigh and lower leg around his neck.Walsh told Justice Bernard Barton that he had been choking and gasping and thought he would lose consciousness. He had been terrified and fearful for his life and had felt he was blacking out.Arthritis and depression The court heard that Walsh’s colleagues intervened and put an end to the vicious assault. He had been unable to stand due to pain in his left knee. His colleagues had carried him to a lounge area.Walsh said he was later taken by ambulance to a hospital. He had suffered bruising on his face, a swollen knee and soft tissue injuries to his body. The court heard he had strangulation marks.He told the court he suffered headaches for weeks and his neck had been sore for several years. He had suffered a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee for which he had later needed to undergo surgery. Walsh said he had ongoing pain in his knee and had restricted movement.He had lost his confidence following the assault and had later developed psoriatic arthritis, a form of arthritis that affects the skin and the joints, in his feet, elbow and shoulders.He claimed his arthritis had been triggered by the assault. He had later developed depression symptoms and had been unable to return to full Garda duties.Walsh, who now lives in Rathcormac, Co Cork, had been informed in 2001 that he was being retired on medical grounds, because of “infirmity of his mind and body”.He sued the minister for compensation for his injuries and also for loss of earnings and loss of pension.Michael J Durack SC, for the minister, had argued that Walsh’s arthritis was not linked to the assault.Following an adjournment, Richardson told Judge Barton that the case had settled. The judge approved a settlement agreement between the parties and ordered that €250,000 compensation be paid to Walsh, along with his legal costs.Read: Hostages rescued after standoff with gunman in FloridaRead: Cork students attending classes in ‘freezing’ GAA dressing rooms after school fire Short URL Garda gets €250k damages after being forced to retire early due to ‘vicious’ pub assault Gerard Walsh said he thought he would die in the attack, which happened in 1992. File photo of Garda jacket Image: Leah Farrelllast_img read more

350 victims report UK child sex abuse by football coaches

first_img AROUND 350 PEOPLE have come forward to tell British police they were victims of child sexual abuse by football coaches, deepening a scandal that has rocked the sport.The scale of the abuse began to emerge last week after a string of ex-footballers, including England internationals, told of the crimes inflicted upon them, including years of being repeatedly raped.The National Police Chiefs’ Council said a “significant” number of calls had been made to them after the players spoke out about what they suffered as children.Announcing the figures, the NPCC said they were based on existing investigations dating back to 2014 as well as a new helpline set up by British charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).The NSPCC said the helpline received 860 calls in its first week, enabling it to refer 60 cases to police or social services within three days of the hotline launching.That was more than triple the number of referrals made in the first three days of the helpline set up for victims of Jimmy Savile, a serial paedophile and late BBC television presenter. – Chelsea investigation -The scale of the abuse began to emerge after ex-footballers Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart revealed last week the abuse they suffered at the hands of youth coaches.Convicted child molester Barry Bennell has been accused by several footballers of abusing them when he worked for Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City and Stoke City across three decades beginning in the 1970s.He is the target of five separate police investigations and on Tuesday was charged with eight counts of child abuse, prosecutors said.Former Newcastle United player David Eatock is the latest player to speak out about his suffering.Now 40, he said he had been a victim of former youth coach George Ormond, who was sentenced to six years in jail in 2002 for offences committed over almost 25 years.One of the more difficult parts for me is that I wasn’t as young as some of the others,” Eatock told The Guardian newspaper.“I was 18 when I got to know George Ormond. I can still remember the look on his face, how terrifying it was.”He added: “It has been like a knot in my brain and I’m now trying to pick apart that knot.”Premier League leaders Chelsea have opened an investigation following newspaper claims that they bought the silence of a former player who said he was abused by a club scout during the 1970s.Glenn said the FA would come down hard on any club found to have hushed up reports of abuse.FA chairman Greg Clarke is committed to a full review, shining a torch on what has happened in the past in football,” he told reporters at Wembley to unveil new England manager Gareth Southgate.“If there has been evidence of hushing up, when it’s our turn to apply the rules we absolutely will, regardless of the size of club.”Comments are disabled as legal proceedings are ongoing. Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 11:27 PM Dec 1st 2016, 11:27 PM We are working closely with the Football Association to ensure that the response to this significant and growing number of victims, at all levels of football, is co-ordinated effectively,” said Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the NPCC’s lead officer for child protection.He encouraged anyone with information about child abuse in football to come forward, “regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place”.A quarter of the police forces across Britain are investigating cases that have made daily headlines over the past two weeks.Greater Manchester Police said they had identified 10 suspects and its inquiry was widening on a daily basis.“We are investigating reports from 35 victims and we have identified 10 suspects,” said GMP Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford.FA chief executive Martin Glenn said on Thursday he does not believe child abuse within British football has been covered up.It will help uncover some issues that can’t happen again, but do I think there has been a cover-up? I doubt it,” said Glenn, whose organisation has established an internal review of the allegations. No Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Share3 Tweet Email 350 victims report UK child sex abuse by football coaches The National Police Chiefs’ Council said a “significant” number of calls had been made to them after a number of players spoke out. http://the42.ie/3115105 8,309 Views By AFPlast_img read more