Saturday, December 31, 2011

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debrashigley: Counting the seconds until hubby is home from golf, at which point I will hand off child and promptly go to pilates!

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Counting the seconds until hubby is home from golf, at which point I will hand off child and promptly go to pilates! debrashigley

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Moon countdown: Hours until 1st NASA probe arrives

This undated artist rendering provided by NASA on Dec. 21,2011 shows the twin Grail spacecraft mapping the lunar gravity field. The two probes are scheduled to enter orbit around the moon over New Year's weekend. (AP Photo/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

This undated artist rendering provided by NASA on Dec. 21,2011 shows the twin Grail spacecraft mapping the lunar gravity field. The two probes are scheduled to enter orbit around the moon over New Year's weekend. (AP Photo/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? NASA is counting down the seconds until its twin spacecraft bound for the moon make back-to-back arrivals over the New Year's weekend.

The washing machine-size probes have been cruising independently toward their destination since launching in September aboard the same rocket on a mission to measure lunar gravity.

Approaching the moon from the south pole, the Grail spacecraft ? short for Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory ? won't land on the surface, but will survey from orbit.

On New Year's Eve, Grail-A was poised to fire its engine for more than a half hour to slow itself and get captured into orbit. Grail-B will follow suit on New Year's Day.

Deep space antennas in the California desert and Madrid will track the tricky maneuvers and feed real-time updates to ground controllers.

"The anxiety level is heightened," project manager David Lehman of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said earlier this week.

Grail is the 110th mission to target the moon since the dawn of the Space Age including the six Apollo moon landings that put 12 astronauts on the surface. Despite the attention the moon has received, scientists don't know everything about Earth's nearest neighbor.

Why the moon is ever so slightly lopsided with the far side more mountainous than the side that always faces Earth remains a mystery. A theory put forth earlier this year suggested that Earth once had two moons that collided early in the solar system's history, producing the hummocky region.

Grail is expected to help researchers better understand why the moon is asymmetrical and how it formed by mapping the uneven lunar gravity field that will indicate what's below the surface.

"It seems that the answer is not on the surface," said chief scientist Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We think that the answer is locked in the interior."

Previous lunar missions have attempted to study the moon's gravity ? which is about one-sixth Earth's pull ? with mixed results. Grail is the first mission devoted to this goal.

Once in orbit, the near-identical spacecraft will spend the next two months refining their positions until they are just 34 miles above the surface and flying in formation. Data collection will begin in March.

The $496 million mission will be closely watched by schoolchildren. An effort by Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will allow middle school students to use cameras aboard the probes to zoom in and pick out their favorite lunar spots to photograph.

Despite the latest focus on the moon, NASA won't be sending astronauts back anytime soon. The Obama administration last year nixed a lunar return in favor of landing humans on an asteroid and eventually Mars.

A jaunt to the moon ? about 250,000 miles away from Earth ? is usually speedy. It took the Apollo astronauts three days to zip there aboard the powerful Saturn V rocket. Since NASA wanted to economize by launching on a small rocket, it took Grail a leisurely 3 1/2 months to make the trip covering 2 1/2 million miles.

NASA's last moonshot occurred in 2009 with the launch of a pair of spacecraft ? one that circled the moon and another that deliberately crashed into the surface and uncovered frozen water in one of the permanently shadowed lunar craters.

___

Online:

Mission: http://grail.nasa.gov

___

Follow Alicia Chang's coverage at http://www.twitter.com/SciWriAlicia

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/b2f0ca3a594644ee9e50a8ec4ce2d6de/Article_2011-12-31-US-SCI-NASA-Moonshot/id-3eacb0ff904048b195d2501cde8b409c

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Justin Beiber?s Grandparents Are Fine After Car Crash

Ontario police confirmed Wednesday that pop star Justin Bieber’s grandparents were in a car crash but say they are both fine. Constable Kees Wijnands said Bruce and Diane Dale drove into a ditch Tuesday afternoon after hitting a patch of slushy snow on a road near Stratford, Ontario, Bieber’s hometown. Wijnands said the car rolled [...]

Source: http://www.celebritymound.com/justin-beibers-grandparents-are-fine-after-car-crash/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=justin-beibers-grandparents-are-fine-after-car-crash

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Brain's connective cells are much more than glue

Brain's connective cells are much more than glue [ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 29-Dec-2011
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Glia cells also regulate learning and memory, new Tel Aviv University research finds

Glia cells, named for the Greek word for "glue," hold the brain's neurons together and protect the cells that determine our thoughts and behaviors, but scientists have long puzzled over their prominence in the activities of the brain dedicated to learning and memory. Now Tel Aviv University researchers say that glia cells are central to the brain's plasticity how the brain adapts, learns, and stores information.

According to Ph.D. student Maurizio De Pitt of TAU's Schools of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical Engineering, glia cells do much more than hold the brain together. A mechanism within the glia cells also sorts information for learning purposes, De Pitt says. "Glia cells are like the brain's supervisors. By regulating the synapses, they control the transfer of information between neurons, affecting how the brain processes information and learns."

De Pitt's research, led by his TAU supervisor Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob, along with Vladislav Volman of The Salk Institute and the University of California at San Diego and Hugues Berry of the Universit de Lyon in France, has developed the first computer model that incorporates the influence of glia cells on synaptic information transfer. Detailed in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, the model can also be implemented in technologies based on brain networks such as microchips and computer software, Prof. Ben-Jacob says, and aid in research on brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

Regulating the brain's "social network"

The brain is constituted of two main types of cells: neurons and glia. Neurons fire off signals that dictate how we think and behave, using synapses to pass along the message from one neuron to another, explains De Pitt. Scientists theorize that memory and learning are dictated by synaptic activity because they are "plastic," with the ability to adapt to different stimuli.

But Ben-Jacob and colleagues suspected that glia cells were even more central to how the brain works. Glia cells are abundant in the brain's hippocampus and the cortex, the two parts of the brain that have the most control over the brain's ability to process information, learn and memorize. In fact, for every neuron cell, there are two to five glia cells. Taking into account previous experimental data, the researchers were able to build a model that could resolve the puzzle.

The brain is like a social network, says Prof. Ben-Jacob. Messages may originate with the neurons, which use the synapses as their delivery system, but the glia serve as an overall moderator, regulating which messages are sent on and when. These cells can either prompt the transfer of information, or slow activity if the synapses are becoming overactive. This makes the glia cells the guardians of our learning and memory processes, he notes, orchestrating the transmission of information for optimal brain function.

New brain-inspired technologies and therapies

The team's findings could have important implications for a number of brain disorders. Almost all neurodegenerative diseases are glia-related pathologies, Prof. Ben-Jacob notes. In epileptic seizures, for example, the neurons' activity at one brain location propagates and overtakes the normal activity at other locations. This can happen when the glia cells fail to properly regulate synaptic transmission. Alternatively, when brain activity is low, glia cells boost transmissions of information, keeping the connections between neurons "alive."

The model provides a "new view" of how the brain functions. While the study was in press, two experimental works appeared that supported the model's predictions. "A growing number of scientists are starting to recognize the fact that you need the glia to perform tasks that neurons alone can't accomplish in an efficient way," says De Pitt. The model will provide a new tool to begin revising the theories of computational neuroscience and lead to more realistic brain-inspired algorithms and microchips, which are designed to mimic neuronal networks.

###

American Friends of Tel Aviv University (www.aftau.org) supports Israel's leading, most comprehensive and most sought-after center of higher learning. Independently ranked 94th among the world's top universities for the impact of its research, TAU's innovations and discoveries are cited more often by the global scientific community than all but 10 other universities.

Internationally recognized for the scope and groundbreaking nature of its research and scholarship, Tel Aviv University consistently produces work with profound implications for the future.


[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail | Share Share ]

?


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.


Brain's connective cells are much more than glue [ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 29-Dec-2011
[ | E-mail | Share Share ]

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Glia cells also regulate learning and memory, new Tel Aviv University research finds

Glia cells, named for the Greek word for "glue," hold the brain's neurons together and protect the cells that determine our thoughts and behaviors, but scientists have long puzzled over their prominence in the activities of the brain dedicated to learning and memory. Now Tel Aviv University researchers say that glia cells are central to the brain's plasticity how the brain adapts, learns, and stores information.

According to Ph.D. student Maurizio De Pitt of TAU's Schools of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical Engineering, glia cells do much more than hold the brain together. A mechanism within the glia cells also sorts information for learning purposes, De Pitt says. "Glia cells are like the brain's supervisors. By regulating the synapses, they control the transfer of information between neurons, affecting how the brain processes information and learns."

De Pitt's research, led by his TAU supervisor Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob, along with Vladislav Volman of The Salk Institute and the University of California at San Diego and Hugues Berry of the Universit de Lyon in France, has developed the first computer model that incorporates the influence of glia cells on synaptic information transfer. Detailed in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, the model can also be implemented in technologies based on brain networks such as microchips and computer software, Prof. Ben-Jacob says, and aid in research on brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

Regulating the brain's "social network"

The brain is constituted of two main types of cells: neurons and glia. Neurons fire off signals that dictate how we think and behave, using synapses to pass along the message from one neuron to another, explains De Pitt. Scientists theorize that memory and learning are dictated by synaptic activity because they are "plastic," with the ability to adapt to different stimuli.

But Ben-Jacob and colleagues suspected that glia cells were even more central to how the brain works. Glia cells are abundant in the brain's hippocampus and the cortex, the two parts of the brain that have the most control over the brain's ability to process information, learn and memorize. In fact, for every neuron cell, there are two to five glia cells. Taking into account previous experimental data, the researchers were able to build a model that could resolve the puzzle.

The brain is like a social network, says Prof. Ben-Jacob. Messages may originate with the neurons, which use the synapses as their delivery system, but the glia serve as an overall moderator, regulating which messages are sent on and when. These cells can either prompt the transfer of information, or slow activity if the synapses are becoming overactive. This makes the glia cells the guardians of our learning and memory processes, he notes, orchestrating the transmission of information for optimal brain function.

New brain-inspired technologies and therapies

The team's findings could have important implications for a number of brain disorders. Almost all neurodegenerative diseases are glia-related pathologies, Prof. Ben-Jacob notes. In epileptic seizures, for example, the neurons' activity at one brain location propagates and overtakes the normal activity at other locations. This can happen when the glia cells fail to properly regulate synaptic transmission. Alternatively, when brain activity is low, glia cells boost transmissions of information, keeping the connections between neurons "alive."

The model provides a "new view" of how the brain functions. While the study was in press, two experimental works appeared that supported the model's predictions. "A growing number of scientists are starting to recognize the fact that you need the glia to perform tasks that neurons alone can't accomplish in an efficient way," says De Pitt. The model will provide a new tool to begin revising the theories of computational neuroscience and lead to more realistic brain-inspired algorithms and microchips, which are designed to mimic neuronal networks.

###

American Friends of Tel Aviv University (www.aftau.org) supports Israel's leading, most comprehensive and most sought-after center of higher learning. Independently ranked 94th among the world's top universities for the impact of its research, TAU's innovations and discoveries are cited more often by the global scientific community than all but 10 other universities.

Internationally recognized for the scope and groundbreaking nature of its research and scholarship, Tel Aviv University consistently produces work with profound implications for the future.


[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail | Share Share ]

?


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.


Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-12/afot-bcc122911.php

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Top 5 of Inside the NBA: No. 3

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NBA.com is part of Turner - SI Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.

Source: http://www.nba.com/video/channels/tnt_overtime/2011/12/29/20111229_top5_inside_3.nba/index.html

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LG to Show Off 84-Inch, ?Ultra Definition? TV at CES

Apparently, a 55-inch OLED television isn't wowing enough. So, in addition to the TV we reported on Tuesday, LG will also be unveiling at CES what it describes as the world?s largest 3-D "Ultra Definition" television -- an 84-inch, 3840x2160 resolution, 3-D display.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GearFactor/~3/U4xm6SKipB4/

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Illinois Catholic Church Shuts Down Charities Rather than Help Gay Parents

The New York Times says:

Catholic Charities in Illinois has served for more than 40 years as a major link in the state?s social service network for poor and neglected children. But now most of the Catholic Charities affiliates in Illinois are closing down rather than comply with a new requirement that says they can no longer receive state money if they turn away same-sex couples as potential foster care and adoptive parents.

For the nation?s Roman Catholic bishops, the outcome is a prime example of what they see as an escalating campaign by the government to trample on their religious freedom while expanding the rights of gay people. The idea that religious Americans are now the victims of government-backed persecution is now a frequent theme not just for Catholic bishops, but also for Republican presidential candidates and conservative evangelicals.

?In the name of tolerance, we?re not being tolerated,? said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki...

All right. The time for reasoning with these gown-wearing boy-fuckers is long past. Fuck them. Take their tax-free status away from them. They are bigots, and they should not be allowed to preach their hate on the state's dime anymore. They stand in the way of loving, responsible people who want to provide homes for unloved children. Fuck those fucking bigots. Period.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Greg for ruining my day.)

Source: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/12/28/illinois-catholic-church-shuts-down-charities-rather-than-help-gay-parents

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Toyota Launches 83 MPG Prius C In Japan, Takes 60,000 Pre-Orders

Banking on the success of the Prius brand, Toyota has expanded its hybrid offerings three-fold with the Prius Plug-In, Prius V, and upcoming Prius C. While both the Plug-In and V models of the Prius offer substantial steps up in technology and space (respectively), it is the diminutive Prius C that seems to have captured the attention of customers.

Having just put the Prius C on sale, Toyota has already received over 60,000 pre-orders for the compact hybrid, far exceeding their stated monthly sales goal of 12,000 units. Priced at about $21,000, the Prius C (called the Toyota Aqua in Japan) will offer customers exceptional fuel economy in an affordable package. On the Japanese testing cycle, the Prius C gets an 83 MPG rating. It?s important to note though that the standard Prius is rated at 76.6 MPG in Japan, so obviously the different methods of fuel economy standards do not translate.

Still, the Prius C appears to be about 10% more fuel efficient than the standard Prius, and if that?s the case, than the compact hybrid should be able to attain an EPA rating of about 55 mpg. Toyota will sell the Prius C all around the world, and it utilizes the same Synergy hybrid drivetrain as its larger cousin.

And you know what? I like it. GASP! I know! Chris DeMorro, hater of hybrids, likes a Prius?! Perhaps its the better looks, the more affordable price, or the potential for an eventual sporty coupe model?but to my tastes, the Prius C is world?s away a better looking car, despite sharing many, many styling cues with the standard Prius. I think it?s the rear end that makes the biggest different; unlike the Prius, the Aqua/C looks a lot more like a conventional compact car.

The Prius C should go on sale in America later this year. If they can shed two doors and give me a little more powah, well hell, I might be a Toyota owner sooner rather than later.

Source: Toyota

Source: http://feeds.importantmedia.org/~r/IM-gas2/~3/XQ_DhjiVjqI/

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North Korea hails nuclear, military feats of Kim Jong-il (Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) ? North Korea lauded the military might built up by deceased leader Kim Jong-il on Thursday, likely tying his young successor to the same policies that have set Northeast Asia on edge as the impoverished state inches closer to nuclear weapons capability.

A gathering of 100,000, soldiers in uniform and bare-headed civilians, gathered in silence in wintry sunlight in the capital Pyongyang to mourn the passing of the man who had led the country for 17 years until his death on December 17.

Kim Jong-un, a jowly man in his late 20s who will become the third of his line to lead North Korea, took centre stage overlooking the central square named after his grandfather to listen to tributes to the "great revolutionary."

"Great Leader Kim Jong-il ... laid the foundation for our people to live on as autonomous people of a world-class military power and a proud nuclear state," parliament chief Kim Yong-nam said in the eulogy.

The North has conducted two nuclear tests.

Larry Niksch, who has tracked North Korea for the non-partisan U.S. Congressional Research Service for 43 years, believes it could take as little as one to two years to have a working nuclear missile once it produced enough highly-enriched uranium for the warhead's core fuel.

That could threaten regional security and give the North a powerful bargaining tool in extracting aid for its economy.

North Korea's state television footage showed the young Kim flanked to his right by the country's top military general Ri Yong-ho on the balcony of the Granc People's Study House. Also nearby him were Defense Minister Kim Yong-chun, and his uncle and the key power-broker in the transition, Jang Song-thaek.

Jang, 65, is believed to be the regent heading a select group of caretakers, as the brother-in-law of Kim Jong-il who survived purges to become his closest confidant who oversaw the power succession before his death of a heart attack.

He stood behind the younger Kim in Wednesday's mass funeral parade, escorting the hearse carrying the coffin.

Solemn and grimacing, the younger Kim, believed to be born in early 1984, stood motionless throughout the ceremony. He only came to the forefront of the North's dynastic succession last year by taking on key military and ruling party posts.

"Comrade Kim Jong-un is the highest leader of the party and people who takes on Great Leader Kim Jong-il's philosophy and leadership, personality and morals, courage and audacity," Kim Yong-nam said.

CRUEL AND CUNNING ENOUGH TO SUCCEED?

Mourners, their heads bowed as the ceremony concluded, spilled over to both sides of the Taedong River as temperatures stood at about minus 10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit). Boats moored on the river and trains in their yards blew their whistles for three minutes to mourn Kim Jong-il's passing.

The eulogies were short on boasts about economic achievements from a strongman who used his Songun, or "military first," policy to divert resources to build a conventional and weapons of mass destruction program.

The North's economic output is now smaller than in the 1990s under the rule of his father Kim Il-sung, who founded the state in 1948, and it has been squeezed harder under international sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests.

Gyorgy Toloraya, a Russian expert who is Director of Korean Programs at the Institute of Economy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, who met Kim Jong-il for the first time in 2000 described him as "fast and witty and having "a remarkable memory" on any subject.

"...one exclusion might be modern economics, in which he, it seemed, was not so very interested, regarding it just as a tool for rich Westerners to extract profits from their fellow compatriots and poor countries," Tolaraya wrote on 38North, a website published by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Most Korea-watchers do not expect the North to stage a repeat of the attacks it undertook in 2010 when it killed South Korean civilians with an artillery barrage and, according to most observers, sank a South Korean naval vessel. It denied sinking the vessel and says it was provoked into the barrage.

It may take Kim Jong-un some months to assume the full panoply of official titles held by his father.

"The real question is whether the new Kim has the cruelty and cunning, qualities that his father and grandfather Kim Il-sung possessed in plenty, to preserve in the long run the essential engine of the destitute dynasty he inherits," wrote Sung-Yoon Lee of Tufts University, a leading North Korea watcher.

(Editing by Ron Popeski and Ed Lane)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/world/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20111229/wl_nm/us_korea_north_funeral

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'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo': Why It Didn't Dominate

Experts explain to MTV News why the best-selling book didn't translate to a box-office #1.
By Eric Ditzian


Rooney Mara in "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Photo: Sony Pictures

Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy of crime thrillers has sold about 17 million copies in the United States alone. The first novel in the series, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," is the first book ever to sell a million digital copies. The books have become nothing short of cultural touchstones, the collective response of devoted fans to the uninitiated being something along the lines of "You haven't read 'Dragon Tattoo'? What's wrong with you?"

That's the entertainment scene onto which David Fincher's American adaptation of "Dragon Tattoo" came last week. What's more, the movie received strong critical reviews, Sony's marketing campaign was lauded by industry insiders and MTV named it the Best Movie of 2011. Yet "Dragon Tattoo" wound up with a six-day gross of just $27.8 million — the highest total of any new release but good for just fourth place overall and undoubtedly disappointing given its lofty pedigree.

So what happened?

"Maybe fans of the Stieg Larsson novel were satisfied by last year's Swedish film and weren't feeling David Fincher's Hollywood version," writes Deadline editor in chief Nikki Finke, who notes the weak opening is especially surprising given the film was the only rated-R wide-release over the Christmas season and that "adults are flocking to specialty box-office hits like Fox Searchlight's 'The Descendants' and the Weinstein Co's 'The Artist.' "

The release date could also have been a factor, even as Sony positioned "Dragon Tattoo" as the "feel-bad movie of Christmas." "The dark and violent subject matter coupled with intense competition for the attention of mature adults led to an underwhelming result over the happy and cheery yuletide holiday," says Gitesh Pandya, editor of Box Office Guru.

With no wide releases slated for the upcoming weekend, however, "Dragon Tattoo" could see its box-office haul grow significantly. Sony's distribution chief, Rory Bruer, told TheWrap that the film "is off to a good start and it's just going to get better with every day through the rest of the holiday season and well into the new year."

Finke, too, expects the film's B.O. numbers to pick up this week, and Pandya suggests "a domestic final of $100 million cannot be ruled out this early in the run as moviegoers continue to catch up on films they are interested in."

That's good news for fans of the series and of Fincher's film, who have their fingers crossed that the Oscar-nominated director gets the go-ahead to make the final two pictures in Larsson's series. As Fincher told us recently, he hopes that the first film is received well enough that he's able to revisit, in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander, "two fascinating characters who I have really come to care about."

In the end, though, the chance to see Fincher's adaptations of "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" might be entirely out of the hands — or, rather, the wallets — of American moviegoers. "Ironically, the biggest factor in this sequelizing or not will come down to how well it does in foreign market — a place where the Swedish version of the film already made nearly $100 million just a couple years ago," said Jeff Bock, box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. "Do overseas audiences really want to see the Hollywood version after the original is so fresh in their minds and was equally well-received?"

Check out everything we've got on "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

Related Videos

Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1676485/girl-dragon-tattoo-box-office.jhtml

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

abcactionnews: Join Team Linda and race for the cure for breast cancer in Lakeland January 14 #tbtoday http://t.co/sNlnuQUr

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Join Team Linda and race for the cure for breast cancer in Lakeland January 14 #tbtoday abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/healt? abcactionnews

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Set Up and Get to Know Your New Windows PC [Merrychristmahanukwanzaakkah]

Set Up and Get to Know Your New Windows PCAfter years of struggling with your old, sluggish Windows PC, you've finally unwrapped a shiny new computer. Here's how to get started tweaking your settings, installing programs, and beefing up security to keep it running like a dream.

Title image remixed from an original by Air0ne (Shutterstock).

Before you do anything, there are a few things you'll want to set up first:

  • Install Microsoft Security Essentials?Let's not sugarcoat it: Because of its popularity, Windows is one of the more vulnerable operating systems, so before you do anything, you'll want to put a few security measures in place. Microsoft Security Essentials is still the best darn antivirus we've used; it's free, and it's just as effective as anything you'd pay for. Head over to Microsoft's site, download the suite, and set it to auto-scan and auto-update so you can stop fussing with it and get on to the fun stuff.
  • Offload Your Computer's Bloat?Unless you built your computer yourself, it's likely the manufacturer's stuck some unsightly, unnecessary, bloated crapware on your computer that will do nothing but slow your computer down from the start. To get rid of it, download previously mentioned Revo Uninstaller and uninstall the software that shipped with your machine.
  • Change Up Your Theme?Okay, so it's not entirely necessary to do this before anything else, but why stare at that bland Windows wallpaper when you could be watching a slideshow of different Ferraris as you set up the rest of your computer? Microsoft's got some great themes over at its site, and there are quite a few others floating around the net as well. Grab some of our favorite wallpapers from our Wallpaper Wednesday series, and if you want to take it even further, check out our guide to fully customizing your desktop and setting up an attractive, customized desktop HUD with Rainmeter. Once you've got your desktop looking awesome, it's time to get to know Windows 7.

Install Some Killer Programs

Set Up and Get to Know Your New Windows PC

Now that you're computer's secure, speedy, and looking awesome, it's time to install some great software. Here are a few places you can find our favorite Windows programs.

  • Lifehacker Pack for Windows: Our List of the Best Free Windows Downloads?Looking for the best programs to keep you connected, get you organized, and amp up your productivity? Our annual Lifehacker Pack has a one-package installer for all our favorite Windows software.
  • Superior Alternatives to Crappy Windows Software?Before you go downloading Adobe Reader, iTunes, and the other "default" programs that everyone uses, check out our list of alternatives to crappy Windows software. You might be surprised at what other options are out there.
  • Most Popular Free Windows Downloads of 2011?Apart from our list of essential programs, there are also some really neat pieces of software we've featured over the past year. If you want to know the cool programs everyone's talking about, our 2011 list of the most popular free Windows downloads and tweaks is the place to look.
  • 50 Free Apps We're Most Thankful For?This Thanksgiving, you guys voted on the best free apps around. They're not all Windows downloads (though many are cross-platform), and it's a list to be reckoned with?so if you've still got a few holes after checking out the Pack and most popular, you're sure to find what you're looking for here.

Adjust Settings and Tweak Your System

Set Up and Get to Know Your New Windows PC

While we've already done a handy list of the top 10 things to do with a new Windows 7 system, here are some of the other things you might want to check out to customize your new PC.

  • Get to Know Windows 7's Built-In Features Inside and Out?We're pretty big fans of Microsoft's newest OS here at Lifehacker, and we've spared no expense at digging into every corner of Windows 7. Check out our complete guide to Windows 7 to get the lowdown, and make sure to master Windows 7's shortcuts and explore its underhyped features as well. We've also looked deeply into Windows 7's jumplist, library, and taskbar, and system restore features, to if you want to be a true Windows ninja, you'll want to read up on those too.
  • Set Up an Automated, Bulletproof File Back Up Solution?If you didn't have a backup before, there's no better time than now to get one set up. Never lose your documents, photos, music, and other files again. Set it up now, and forget it.
  • Five Best Windows Tweaking Applications?If you just want to jump right in and start tweaking the heck out of your system, we've rounded up some of the best programs to help you do just that.
  • De-Crapify Your Printer or Scanner Setup?If you've already installed your printer, chances are it's usurped your machine by installing loads of crapware and bloated apps. Check out our how-to for cleaning it up and freeing those resources.
  • Speed Up Your Computer's Boot Time?Even if you have a brand new machine, it may not be optimized for the fastest boot time. These are some of our favorite tips for speeding it up so you can get up and running in seconds.
  • How to Run Windows, Mac, and Linux Side by Side and Pain-Free with VirtualBox?If you ever need to use software from other OSes (or just want to test other applications), you can run Windows, OS X, and Linux side by side without ever rebooting your computer. Of course, you could also dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in perfect harmony.
  • How to Break into a Windows PC (And Prevent it from Happening to You)?It's unlikely you'll want to break into your shiny new Windows PC, but while you're tweaking your system, you may want to read up on how potential thieves will try to break in?and tweak your passwords accordingly.
  • Tweak the Heck Out of Your Registry?The Windows Registry is one of the most mysterious, yet coolest features of Windows. With a bit of knowledge and some guts, you can tweak your computer to do nearly anything you want. Our Top 10 list has all the Windows Registry tweaks you could ever want.
  • The Cleverest Geeky Windows Tricks Everyone Should Know?After you've become an expert on Windows' well-known features, delve into our guide about some of the best hidden Windows tricks to make getting around the OS much faster.
  • Windows Maintenance Tips: The Good, Bad, and Useless?Now that you've got your system up and running, the last step is to make sure you keep it up and running (and running fast). We rounded up all the most popular Windows maintenance tips and showed you which ones really help (and hurt) your machine. For more Windows maintenance tips, you can check out our Ask Lifehacker on the subject, too.
  • Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 Side By Side?We got our first peek at Microsoft's upcoming version of Windows this year, and it looks awesome?not to mention fast. We later took an in-depth look at the OS, from the Metro UI (which isn't great without touch, but it doesn't matter) to the desktop to the new Windows Explorer and the improved task manager. If you really want to dig deep, check out its lesser-known features while you're at it. It isn't quite ready to be your primary operating system, but if you're curious, it's worth checking out. If you don't want to dual boot, you can always install it in a virtual machine, too.

We hope these tips have helped you get your computer up, running, and customized just the way you like it. If you're already a Windows veteran and you've got some tips that we haven't mentioned, be sure to share them with us in the comments.

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/Qryx5AXHfxE/set-up-and-get-to-know-your-new-windows-pc

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Iphone back-up battery

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Evan Thomas: ?Excellent chance? Israel attacks Iran and US drawn in this year [VIDEO]

Last week, violence struck the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing 63 just days after U.S. troops completed their withdrawal, making it the deadliest day in over a year.

On this weekend?s broadcast of ?Inside Washington,? Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer blamed the violence on President Barack Obama, suggesting this might not have happened had he left a ?residual? force in the beleaguered country.

?This is a direct result of the vacuum created by the president, against the recommendations of the generals on the ground to leave a force,? Krauthammer said. ?And that is a failure of this administration. We had three years to do one thing. The surge had succeeded ? al Qaida had been defeated, and in the surge, even [Nouri al-] Maliki had reduced and defeated the Shiite militias, who are now resurgent in Basra and in Baghdad. In other words, you had the beginnings of a national government. And what we needed was America in the continuity, and as soon as it was removed gratuitously, all of the unraveling has begun.?

Former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas, now a columnist for Politico and co-author of ?Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back? with Mike Allen, however, warns this unrest in Iraq could spread to Iran. He said the unrest could push Israel into a strike against Iran, which the United States would be drawn into as soon as this year ? an election year.

?I think most Americans really want to believe this is behind us and past us,? Thomas said. ?And you know, not only is it goin? to happen, is it happening in Iraq, but Iran ? I think there is an excellent chance that this year, this election year, Israel is going to attack Iran, and the United States is going to be drawn back into a really scary, violent situation?? Thomas said.

Watch:

Thomas? ?Inside Washington? co-panelist, syndicated columnist Mark Shields said that if in fact his prediction were true, the United States should only intervene if it is done the right way ? with a declaration of war and a clear list of objectives.

?Let?s hope ? Evan is rarely wrong ? [that Evan] is wrong. But if in fact, we are about to embark upon that, let?s do it this time the right way, by a full and complete debate and a declaration of war, and a statement going in about what our objective is and what we are willing to do as a people, as a nation, a military, to achieve those ends, and when it will be over and how we will get out,? Shields said. ?And that is what haunts us from all of these incursions and all of these expeditions.?

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Source: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/24/evan-thomas-excellent-chance-israel-attacks-iran-and-us-drawn-in-this-year-video/

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theadrianflores: Hey guys!! RT @deannasharp2 @theadrianflores hey on faceobok they are sending out sponsored ipad 2's for christmas! go here fbchristmas .com

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Monday, December 26, 2011

India owns copyright to Buddhism: Karmapa Lama

Home > Opinion

IANS, Dec 23, 2011

New Delhi, India -- Asserting that the noble land of India owned the copyright to Buddhism, the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, flagged off a grand three-day service in the capital on Friday on the occasion of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism completing 900 years, and said the faith had made a symbolic return to the land of its birth.

The Karmapa called upon people to use the ancient wisdom of Lord Buddha and apply it to the contemporary world to promote world peace.

The service began with a special homage to Lord Buddha?s relics at the National Museum in the capital, followed by interfaith prayers at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. The prayers culminated in a mega-discourse in the evening on the relevance of Buddhism.

The day's celebrations also saw the revival of the tradition of the recital of Buddhist doha (songs) - which was sung in its original Sanskrit version after a millennium by Karnataka-based musician and researcher Nand Kumar.

The doha composed by the great Buddhist master from Bengal, Tilopa, was retrieved by the Dalai Lama, who commissioned its musical composition for posterity.

Addressing the gathering of more than 1,000 delegates from 44 countries, the 17th Karmapa said there were 'many reasons for holding the commemoration of 900 years of the Karma Kagyu lineage' - also known as the Karmapa lineage - in India.

'Who owns the copyright to Buddhism - the noble land of India,?' the Karmapa said.

"India was the birth place of the Buddha and the wisdom of the 'mahasiddhas' - the early practitioners and scholars of the faith - came from India to the snowy land of Tibet? And it (Buddhism) became a true lineage of experience, realization and freedom from confusion. The lineage has remained unbroken for ages- abiding for hundreds of years in Tibet," the Karmapa said in his keynote address.

"And now the noble lineage has returned to the noble land of India. It is a special honour to show our noble guests (from across the world today) as well as from the different regions of the Himalayas that the occasion for which we have gathered here is very meaningful to me," the Karmapa added.

"What should we refer to Buddhism as (in this modern world)? Just spiritual guidance from long ago," he said.

The Karmapa, who is hailed as the 'most outstanding monk in the Karma Kagyu sect led by the Dalai Lama', is believed to be the 17th reincarnation of Dusum Khyenpa, a monk born in 1110 AD in Tibet.

Dusum Khyenpa is the founder of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

History cites that just as Buddhism was waning in India, Tibetan monk Dusum Khyenpa, knower of the past, present and the future, instituted the practice of intentionally reincarnating in a way that disciples could recognise.

According to Buddhist scholars, the practice (reincarnation) forms the backbone of Tibetan Buddhism as it is known today. Dusum Khyenpa founded three seats of learning in Tibet and is revered as the first in the long line of Karmapas.

As a tribute to the monk, a statue of the Dusum Khyenpa, which is known to have spoken in the past, has been brought to the capital - to bless the congregation.

The statue, originally housed in the Kham region of eastern Tibet was brought to India later by the monks of the Ripa Bharma monastery and installed in Karnataka.

Highlighting the importance in Buddhist wisdom in modern times, secular Islamic scholar, writer and National Minorities Commission head Wajahat Habibullah said the unifying factor that connected the diverse faiths of India was 'compassion'.

"But most of us over the centuries have not lived up to it. Jesus had preached compassion (like Buddha) and the first page of the Quran says 'in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful'. Unless we have love for each other, all our achievements are not going to get us anywhere," Habibullah said.

The celebrations will close on December 25.

Source: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,10636,0,0,1,0

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This Week's Top Downloads [Download Roundup]

Dec 24, 2011 5:00 PM 7,509 0
  • DeSopa for Firefox Bypasses SOPA DNS Blocking (Firefox) DeSopa is the latest Firefox add-on that can counter the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)'s DNS blocking if the bill passes. The extension gets you through sites censored by DNS and lets you browse them by IP address.
  • Better Explorer Brings a Windows 8-Style Explorer to Windows 7, Ribbon and All (Windows) If you like the look of Windows 8's new version of Windows Explorer, but don't want to use the developer preview, free app Better Explorer brings some of the perks to your Windows 7 desktop.
  • MiLocker Brings MIUI's Gorgeous Lock Screens to Any Android Device, Even Non-Rooted Ones (Android) If you've ever had the luxury of using the MIUI ROM on your Android device, you already understand how good it looks and how customizable it is. We love it too, but if you want a taste of what MIUI offers without having to root your device, back it up, install a new ROM, and restore your data, you can try MiLocker, a lockscreen utility that brings MIUI's customizable lock screens to any Android device, including stock devices that haven't been rooted.
  • WhoAreYou Brings Visual Caller ID to Android (Android) WhoAreYou is a free app designed to bring true caller ID (caller ID without needing the contact in your phone book) to your mobile phone. It visually displays who's calling, so you can decide to answer, send to voicemail, or "ditch" the caller.
  • Photo Police Sniffs Out Photoshopped Images, Highlights How They Were Changed (Mac) We've discussed how a keen eye can help you detect if an image has been photoshopped, but if you need an app to help you determine if that photo is a fake, Photo Police is a utility for the Mac that can help. If it does detect that an image has been modified, it will show you what's been changed so you can get an idea of what the original may have looked like.
  • Visual Hashing Makes Sure You Never Mistype Your Passwords (Chrome/Firefox) If you regularly mistype your password because you're in a rush, Visual Hashing will turn your password into a colored hash to you can immediately see whether you've typed it correctly or not.
  • Kindle Fire Utility Easily Roots, Updates, and Hacks Your Kindle Fire (Windows) Several Kindle Fire hacks have surfaced since its release, but now you can get them all in one handy utility. The aptly named Kindle Fire Utility will root and update your device as well as repair permissions, install the TWRP recovery app, and more.
  • MyUnity Fixes Annoyances in Ubuntu's Unity Interface (Ubuntu) If you're using the newest versions of Ubuntu, you probably have an annoyance or two with the Unity interface. MyUnity is a system tweaker based around changing Unity's behavior and appearance.
  • To-Do Manager Astrid Updates Android and iOS Apps with a New UI and Featured Lists (iOS/Android) Popular mobile to-do manager Astrid took the wraps off of its new Android and iPhone apps recently, completely overhauling the interface to make it easier to get right to the items you're working on, see all of the related information around a specific item, and featured lists from some of the developers' favorite sites to help you add some fun and time-saving projects to your list.
  • Password Security Scanner Audits the Passwords Stored in Windows Programs (Windows) Password Security Scanner from NirSoft is a program that does what its name suggests: Scans the passwords in Windows applications (Microsoft Outlook, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and more) and displays security information about the passwords-without actually showing you the passwords.
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Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/cJS09k5YMXo/this-weeks-top-downloads

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Rooted MotoACTV Brings Web Browsing And Angry Birds To Your Wrist

motoactvrootFitness watches are one thing, but how about a fitness watch that lets you play a few levels of Angry Birds in between wind sprints? Motorola's MotoACTV debuted alongside the Droid RAZR not too long ago, and one developer has finally taken it upon itself to unleash its full potential.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/x_JZYTa78eg/

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travelUSAgeek: Lonely Planet releases list of 10 best treks in the world: Filed under: Hiking, Africa, Asia, Europe, North Amer... http://t.co/obQ8SUqn

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Video: Christmas crunch time

It?s down to the wire for millions of last-minute shoppers scrambling to beat the clock and cash in on bargains before stores close. NBC?s Ron Mott reports.

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Source: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/45785247/

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

MMA Tornado Kick KO (Video)

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LatinaLeader: Webinar replay no registration reqd:Secret to Overcome Challenges in Your personal and Community life http://t.co/6wLEvuWB #mamastuiteras

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American Cancer Society seeking Road to Recovery volunteer drivers

TOLEDO, OH (PRESS RELEASE) - Everyone knows that with a cancer diagnosis comes with many hardships and barriers for a cancer patient.? One of the greatest barriers to a cancer patient is simply getting to and from cancer appointments and treatments; cancer patients often cannot afford to drive to appointments or are physically unable to drive themselves.? That is why the American Cancer Society needs help.

The American Cancer Society?s Road to Recovery program needs volunteers who are willing to give a few hours of their time to provide free transportation for cancer patients to and from their treatments.?? Volunteers only need to have a reliable vehicle, current driver?s license, proof of auto insurance, and attend a free Road to Recovery training. ?Training for this program is simple, easy, and only requires a couple hours of time.? Volunteer drivers make a big difference in a cancer patient?s life by providing them with access to life saving procedures and treatments.

Anyone interested in volunteering to become a driver should attend the next Road to Recovery Training.? The next training is on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 from 5:00 ? 7:00 p.m. at the American Cancer Society Northwest Ohio Regional Office in Perrysburg.? There is no fee to attend, but registration is required. To register, call Andrew Mariani at 1-888-227-6446 ex. 5103.? For information about the program, call Andrew Mariani, Health Initiatives Representative for Lucas County, at 1-888-227-6446 extension 5103 or email to andrew.mariani@cancer.org.

Source: http://bedford.wtol.com/news/people/74565-american-cancer-society-seeking-road-recovery-volunteer-drivers

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Retractable Sun Rooms Let the Light, Breezes, and Insects In [Architecture]

Like the roof of a sports stadium turned on its side, these Opensun verandas can retract, turning what was once a sealed sunroom into an open patio. Letting in ample light, fresh breezes, and the local wildlife. More »


Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/hrZjIYVJfXA/retractable-sun-rooms-let-the-light-breezes-and-insects-in

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Review: Take the time to curate Facebook Timeline

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.

Timeline is Facebook's new way of presenting you to the world. It replaces your traditional profile page ? the one with your headshot and a smorgasbord of personal musings, photos and other items to share with friends. Instead of just a snapshot of you today, Timeline is supposed to be a scrapbook of your whole life.

But these highlights are culled from what Facebook sees as important ? the stuff you and your friends have chosen to write or post photos about over the years. So it's crucial to spend time curating it, so your life doesn't come across as vain. If you're not careful, you also might reveal skeletons from your past to more recent friends.

Once you're ready for Timeline, you have a week to airbrush your life before it replaces your current profile. That's not a lot of time when you have (cough, cough) years of your life to go through. I suggest focusing on the years since you joined Facebook. You can always add photos from childhood later.

To set up Timeline, visit http://facebook.com/timeline . Facebook will force you to switch within a few weeks, so don't procrastinate.

MAKING A SPLASH

Start by choosing a cover photo, the image that will splash across the top. You can choose a sunset, your dog, a hobby, anything that reflects who you are. Keep in mind the dimensions are more like a movie screen than a traditional photo. A close-up portrait of your face won't work well, but one of you lying horizontally will.

Your old profile photo will still be there, but it'll be smaller.

If you haven't done so already, you can add where you've worked, lived and went to school. If you specify years ? such as when you started a job ? those items will be added to Timeline's stream of life events, even if they took place before Facebook's founding in 2004.

You can also add other life events to the stream, such as when you broke your arm and whom you were with then, or when you spoke your first word or got a tattoo. By adding them to Facebook, you signal that those things really did happen.

MORE ON THE STREAM

The timeline stream is your life on Facebook in reverse chronological order.

At the top are your recent status updates, comments from family and friends, photos you're in and events you've attended. As you scroll down, you'll get highlights from last month, then earlier in the year. Scroll down even further for last year, the year before that and so on. Click one of the "Show" links to get all posts from a particular month or year.

Posts will be more sporadic the further you go back. You'll see when you joined Facebook and the first post you ever made ? mine was "Anick Jesdanun is wasting a lot of time on facebook."

Beyond that, you may see details about high school or college. A colleague even saw the birth of her younger brother listed, after having told Facebook which of her friends were her siblings.

The bottom simply says "Born" with your birth date and birthplace, if you've chosen to share that.

This may come across as a big privacy breach, but keep in mind that people could have seen many of those posts before by continually hitting "Older Posts." The difference is most people wouldn't bother. With Timeline, you can jump more quickly to older posts.

Another thing to consider: Although your privacy settings remain the same, your list of friends has likely grown over the years, and your definition of friends has probably broadened to include parents, bosses and random flings at weddings. Someone you didn't know in 2008 would suddenly have easier access to something you posted then.

CURATING YOUR LIFE

You can change who has access to which posts. Perhaps you'd want to narrow an embarrassing photo from Thanksgiving to family members who were there. You might want to delete other posts completely or hide them so that only you can see them.

You can change the date on a post. For example, if you had waited a week to tell the Facebook world that you broke up with someone, you can change the date to reflect when all the screaming and crying took place. You can also add where you were, retroactively using a location feature that Facebook hadn't offered until recently.

For major events in your life, you can click on a star to feature them more prominently.

You'll likely feel overwhelmed when you see your Timeline for the first time. Years-old posts made by people you're no longer friends with are still there. Musings on a trip or a long-forgotten event suddenly lack context. Your life may also come across as duplicative, such as when multiple friends post similar photos from the same party.

Here are a few tips:

? Start with your older posts. You were probably experimenting with Facebook then, and most of those could go into hiding. Plus, those are the ones you'd need to be most careful about because you had reason to believe only a few friends would see them.

? Find the button for Activity Log. Click that to see all of your posts at a glance and make changes to them one by one. Open Facebook in a new browser tab first, though. Every time you switch between the log and the timeline stream, Facebook resets to a default view rather than let you return to where you were. So have one tab for the log and the other for the stream.

? Think carefully about what you want to highlight when people scroll through your past. Facebook has a secret formula for determining which items are included in your highlights, using such factors as how many friends commented on a post. That may not necessarily be what you want to showcase.

Unfortunately, getting the stream to look right is difficult.

There's no easy way to highlight something Facebook's formula didn't pick, without starring it such that it gets splashed across the page. I also couldn't find a good way to remove something from the highlights without hiding or deleting it completely. There are events I wouldn't consider major, but would want people to see if they took the time to browse through my past.

There also ought to be a way to star or hide posts in batches.

And oddly, Facebook includes stuff posted by others, but it doesn't include items you've posted on other profiles. Older posts come across as one-sided without the back and forth for context.

MOVING FORWARD

Overall, I like the concept behind Timeline. I got a nice stroll down memory lane, and I enjoyed stalking my friends and uncovering their pasts, too.

I just wish it were easier to customize, and I don't appreciate being rushed. Facebook spent months developing Timeline and rolling it out to its 800 million users. Why give us just seven days?

If you're not ready to start Timeline, you can still view Timelines your friends have already activated. Just keep in mind that Facebook eventually will force you to switch, so you might as well do it now if you have the time.

You might also want to take this as an opportunity to clean up your presence on Facebook. Review your privacy settings and get rid of friends who don't need to be there. That will be the topic of next week's column.

Source: http://www.ocala.com/article/20111222/wire/111229899

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