Saturday, May 9, 2009

i chat with apple



Chat from anywhere (or just look like it).
With the new video backdrops built into iChat, you can make it look like you’re chatting from the Eiffel Tower, under the sea, or from the moon. You can also create your own custom backdrops by dragging a picture or video from iPhoto or the Finder into the video effects window. Backdrops even show up on the screens of buddies who don’t have Leopard.
Show off (without showing up).
Why wait for a darkened room and a projector to present vacation photos or Keynote slides? Now you can do it all remotely, right in iChat. Put on a photo slideshow, click through a Keynote presentation, or play a movie in full screen, accompanied by a video feed of you hosting while your buddy looks on. In fact, you can show any file on your system that works with quick look.











Chat for effect.

Transform your video chats using new Photo Booth effects. Add kapow! to a chat with the comic book effect. Get twisted with twirl. Soften your image with glow. Just choose an effect and your video changes instantly.
Share and share alike.
Thanks to iChat screen sharing, you and your buddy can observe and control a single desktop with iChat, making it a cinch to collaborate with a colleague, browse the web with a friend, or pick plane seats with your spouse. Share your own desktop or your buddy’s you both have control at all times. And iChat automatically initiates an audio chat when you start a screen sharing session, so you can talk things through while you’re at it.

Chatting for the record.

Now you can save your audio and video chats for posterity with iChat recording. Before recording starts, iChat notifies your buddies and asks for their permission to record. When you’re done chatting, iChat stores your audio chats as AAC files and video chats as MPEG 4 files so you can play them in iTunes or QuickTime. Share them with colleagues, friends, and family or sync them to your iPod and play on the go.

new apple mac OS X


Leopard, the latest release of Mac OS X, is loaded with following features that let you do more.

Safari

The world’s fastest web browser includes security features to enhance your online experience.


Email

Leopard transforms email into personalized stationery.

Mail for Leopard features more than 30 professionally designed stationery templates that make a virtual keepsake out of every email you send. From invitations to birthday greetings, stationery templates feature coordinated layouts, fonts, colors, and drag-and-drop photo placement from your iPhoto library.everything to help you get your point across. You can even create personalized templates. Messages created with stationery in Mail use standard html that can be read by popular webmail services and email programs on both Mac computers and PCs.

Forget manually adding a new item to your to-do list every time an email hits your inbox. Simply highlight text in an email, then click the To Do button to create a to-do from a message. Include a due date, set an alarm, or assign priorities. Every to do includes a link to the original email or note, and to-dos automatically appear in iCal, complete with any changes you make. And since to-dos are stored with your email (when using an IMAP mail service), you can access them from Mail on any Mac.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FILM REVIEW: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

A chaotic headbanger, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is saved from pure flat-footed blockbuster franchise adequacy by six things, three of them on Hugh Jackman's left hand, three on his right.

Don't those retractable metal alloy blades look like a blast? The way they slide in and out like that? It's the only special effect in this entire mechanical enterprise that's the least bit special. It is cool, plain and simple, the way Jackman's mutant Wolverine slices through helicopter rotors or the passenger side of an oncoming truck, while his nemesis Sabretooth, played by Liev Schreiber, uses his own Howard Hughesian claws to drag a signature across someone's car hood, or someone's neck. Or the script. That would've been worth slicing.

This fourth "X-Men" picture ties for weakest "X-Men" picture with No. 3. The third one came not from Bryan Singer - he directed the enjoyable first two - but from Brett Ratner, whose career to date peaked with the shot of Salma Hayek bending over the car hood in "After the Sunset."

Gavin Hood isn't that kind of director. Hood's Oscar-winning film "Tsotsi" revealed a talent for blunt, effective storytelling, but with "Wolverine" Hood appears mismatched, uncertain as to how to activate and stylize this sprawling origin myth (sounds so much classier than "prequel") designed to showcase Jackman's arched eyebrow of rage, bare bum of destiny - at one point, naked, he darts through a waterfall and across a barnyard like a starlet in a '70s drive-in picture - and his mighty pecs of stardom.

Though they're brothers under the skin, across the centuries and behind their respective, superhuman muttonchops, Jackman and Schreiber periodically try to kill each other in "Wolverine." That's most of the plot. Screenwriters David Benioff and Skip Woods keep the slaughter coming (I wouldn't take anyone under 12 to this one), and every other retort pulls a variation on "Hunt him down. Take his head off." The film races around introducing this character and that one, jumping from Canada to Nigeria to Ohio to the Three Mile Island power plant, setting up the next round of impalings. "Wolverine" delivers a tremendous number of impalings. It may as well be called "X-Men Origins: Rise of the Impalings."

Those who saw the previous "X-Men" features will have little trouble sorting through the mutants here, such as teen versions of Scott "The Fire Beam" Summers and Emma Frost. But there's a rote quality to the proceedings, and director Hood shoots the action in such a way as to minimize the performers' abilities to perform it. The editing by Nicolas De Toth and Megan Gill chops each new incident of violence, along with simple one-two exposition chunks, into 12 or 15 erratic fragments. "Wolverine" has been shot, cut and packaged for those afflicted with ADHLAS which, as you may know, stands for "attention deficit hey look a squirrel!"

The performers compensate some. Here and there you get what you want from an "X-Men" prequel, thanks to the irrepressible Jackman; the slippery, can't-ever-trust-him-for-a-second Danny Huston; Lynn Collins' heartfelt, charismatic Kayla; and a wittily seething Schreiber, underplaying while overplaying - a neat trick. Across the next decade we'll no doubt see more "X-Men Origins" tales. Whoever develops them should take the time to re-view Singer's contributions to the franchise. "Wolverine" makes last summer's "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight" seem like a long time ago indeed.

MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity).

Running time: 1:47.

Starring: Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine); Liev Schreiber (Victor Creed/Sabretooth); Danny Huston (Stryker); Dominic Monaghan (Bradley); Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson/Deadpool); Taylor Kitsch (Remy LeBeau/Gambit); Will.i.am (Wraith); Lynn Collins (Kayla).

Directed by Gavin Hood; written by David Benioff and Skip Woods; produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, John Palermo and Jackman. A 20th Century Fox release. LINK...

Dutch 'royal attack' death toll rises


The death toll from the suspected attack on the Dutch royal family has continued to rise as more details emerged about the man who slammed his car into a crowd during a holiday parade.


A car is pictured after crashing into the crowd waiting for the visit of the royal family in Apeldoorn.
more photos »

The Dutch defence ministry announced late Friday that a military policeman, 55-year-old Roel Nijenhuis, had died in hospital -- bringing the death toll to seven, including the suspected attacker. Twelve people were also injured.

The driver, who has not been officially identified, died in hospital in the early hours of Friday from severe head trauma, as it was revealed that he had lost his job as a security guard and was about to lose his home.

"Recently, he informed me that he had been dismissed and could no longer pay the rent," landlord Sem Bosman told De Telegraaf newspaper. "He was due to have come today to transfer the keys to a new tenant."

The 38-year-old was described by his former landlord and neighbours as quiet, solitary, friendly, soft-spoken and a "dark horse," according to AFP news agency.

The man, whose name was not released, had been seriously injured in the crash Thursday in the town of Apeldoorn, about 45 miles east of Amsterdam, police said. He had been charged with trying to attack the royal family, authorities said. Were you there? Send us your video, images

Police searched the man's house but found no weapons, explosives, "or any other clues that could lead to the involvement of other people," police said.

Crowds had lined the streets to see Queen Beatrix and her family ride by in an open-top bus during the Netherlands' annual holiday of Queen's Day. See who the Dutch royal family are »

As the bus moved along, a black hatchback zoomed past it. The crowds were behind barriers off the road, but security officials and journalists, including many cameramen, were in the road as the car went by.

Don't Miss
Attempted attack on Dutch royal family leaves 5 dead
Background: The Dutch royal family
The car crashed into the low metal railing around a column on the side of the road. The vehicle appeared heavily damaged even before the crash, but the reason for that was unclear.

There was no one other than the driver in the car at the time, police spokeswoman Esther Naber said.

Members of the royal family saw the crash and gasped, then quickly sat down as the bus continued driving.

The attack caused outrage in the Netherlands, newspapers Friday widely expressing disbelief and suggesting the monarchy would have to change.

"Queen's Day will never be the same," the Trouw newspaper said. "The Netherlands always has been proud of their no nonsense royal family. With this comes a queen who not only cycles a bike, but also mixes with people without obvious security measurements. Is that still possible now the royal family has been the target of an attack?"

The Algemeen Dagblad newspaper agreed.

""What is going to happen on the 30th of April next year? And will we continue to see the members of the royal family cycling through the canals of Amsterdam or hunting for bargains in the Bijenkorf in The Hague?"

Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. The tradition started in 1885 and celebrates the birthday of the queen.

Although Queen Beatrix's birthday is January 31, she officially celebrates her birthday April 30, according to the Dutch government. LINK...

Unions Prevail Over Wall Street in Chrysler Deal

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA BLAMED CHRYSLER'S BANKRUPTCY on "speculators," but the real problem was that the government's plan gave too much to the auto maker's unions and not enough to creditors.

If the secured creditors holding $6.9 billion in claims had been offered anything close to what the administration wants to give the United Auto Workers, there would have been no bankruptcy filing by Chrysler.

In the bizarre pecking order offered by the administration, the unions, which are at the bottom of Chrysler's capital structure, would get nearly full recovery value for their $10.6 billion retiree health-care claims, while the secured . LINK...

Immigrants push for reforms at rallies nationwide

MIAMI (AP) — Thousands of immigrants and their families marched in cities from coast to coast, hoping to channel the political muscle Hispanics flexed last fall as President Barack Obama won election. This time, they hoped to jump-start an old cause: forging a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Crowds were dampened in many areas though, as the swine flu scare kept numerous people home Friday. The area hardest hit by the swine flu is Mexico, also the native home of many rally participants.
In Miami, more than 300 minority rights activists joined with union officials in one of the first local immigration rallies to be endorsed by the AFL-CIO. Participants waved signs for immigration reform in Spanish, English and Creole. They also sought temporary protection for the state's large community of Haitian immigrants, whose native island has been devastated in recent years by hurricanes and floods.
They chanted "W-I N-O-U K-A-P-A-B," Creole for "Yes We Can."
In Colorado, a march was planned Saturday in Greeley, a rural town 60 miles north of Denver, and the site of a 2006 federal raid at a meatpacking plant, in which 261 undocumented workers were detained.
"We wanted to make the undocumented workers the protagonists, to give them a voice," said one Greeley organizer, Alonzo Barron Ortiz.
Activists' hopes have been buoyed by Obama's election and a Democratic-controlled Congress, in part because they believe the Hispanic vote, about two-thirds of which went to Obama, helped flip key battleground states such as Colorado and New Mexico. Many Hispanics strongly back comprehensive immigration reform — and believe Obama owes them for their support.
On Friday, thousands attended events in Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Denver, Chicago, New York and other cities. They said a sizable role played by immigrants in the economy merits immigration reform.
"If we don't have the conversation, the economy isn't going to get any better," said Sergio Inocenzio, a 48-year-old juice plant worker who marched in Yakima, Wash., and has lived in the United States his entire life. "We're not here to take anything. We're here to work."
Organizers had hoped crowds would equal or exceed those of last year, which was down from 2006 when a stringent immigration bill poised to pass in Congress drew large-scale protests. But early reports suggested turnout was far lower than in previous years.
In Chicago, organizers had expected about 15,000 participants, but the crowd appeared much smaller.
In Newark, N.J., about 225 marchers paused outside the federal immigration building during a rally. "Say Reform, Not Raids" read signs in the crowd.
Stella Okereke, a Nigerian immigrant, said the marches weren't just about Hispanics. "It is for all of us, for Africans, for Americans for Haitians, for anybody who has felt a pinch of injustice, and that's why we are here, to support that immigration reform be done now," Okereke said.
The rally in New York City drew a diverse crowd that included Chinese, Ecuadoreans, Mexicans, Salvadorans and Pakistanis. Among them stood a smattering of those who oppose immigration reform.
And one of the largest gatherings assembled outside the White House, where more than 2,000 people rallied to call for change in immigration policy.
The White House announced this week that it would refocus its resources on prosecuting employers who hire illegal immigrants. And a Senate Judiciary subcommittee took up immigration this week for the first time in the new Congress. LINK...

FORMULA 1 - WITHOUT TIERS


With the FIA setting the balance of power between Budget Cap and Non-Budget Cap teams in 2010, Andrew Davies argues that the manufacturers and the sports fans are going to be left out in the cold.

It was almost a good week for the FIA. They made the right decision about suspending the sentence for McLaren's Melbourne misdemeanours. They added 15kg to the minimum weight for cars, meaning that Robert Kubica and puddings can be reunited once more. They increased the budget cap from £30m to £40m...but, calamity of calamities, they're insisting on this two-tier technical rule.

Now Max Mosley's intention is honourable here. He's got to find a way to put 26 cars on the grid in the worst financial climate we've seen for many years. With General Motors teetering on the brink in the States nobody thinks it's a bluff when he says another major manufacturer could leave the sport soon. Renault have never been as committed as Ferrari, Mercedes and BMW, and you always believed that Honda were more up for it than the French.

What Max has to do is lure new teams in, give them an incentive to compete, but not skew the rules so much that they end up with an advantage.

Mosley is a great believer in not confusing the fan and the new technical rules look set to make it the most ridiculously complex sport on the planet. At the moment you have cars on the grid with different fuel loads, with different sets of tyres and with or without KERS.

The FOTA global survey on what F1 fans want from motorsport emphasized that it is the broadcasters giving inside information into what is happening that really adds to the experience. People watching an F1 race need to know what's going on. Yet in the heat of battle, the broadcasters can't get things right when there are so many variables to remember.

Coming to the grid in Bahrain BBC commentator Jonathan Leggard told us that everyone was on the option super-soft tyre. They weren't, hence Kovalainen going backwards in the opening laps while his team-mate strutted his stuff at the front.

After thinking how badly he'd done in the race it was then a surprise to learn that Kovy had started on the harder prime tyre. Now although the FIA have taken refuelling and hence fuel strategy out of the equation for 2010, they are still hoping to add six more cars and differing wing specs for the new teams. So it will be more complex and harder for the broadcasters to tell us what's going on.

That's not a recipe for increased viewing figures.

The English Premier League is the most watched football league in the world and it is dominated by the four richest clubs in the country, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. They don't have budget caps.

The teams that are struggling to get into the league don't whine that they're not joining unless they too can afford £35m for Cristiano Ronaldo, they're just happy to be there. They don't argue that because they have under £15m turnover they should get a 1-0 start in every game. That's not sport.

The difference is that the Premier League is the owner of its TV rights and anyone joining the league is happy and privileged to be part of that club. F1 is an anachronism in that the TV rights are owned by Bernie's Formula One Management who seem to be embroiled in ongoing disputes about what is owed to whom.

The teams have already been stung by the diffuser row and have a very great sense of one small technical innovation giving a very big advantage to another team. So this is perhaps the very worst moment to be pushing through a rule that may make a £40m new entrant faster than a £400m giant like McLaren or Ferrari.

Brawn aren't quick out of some arbitrary stroke of the pen. Honda spent all of 2008 with their heads buried in their hands at the grands prix while crafting the 2009 challenger that Brawn inherited. It wouldn't be sport if the FIA's calculation made Prodrive or USF1 faster than BMW or Toyota.

Mosley's dilemma is that he has to try and find a set of rules that can keep the manufacturers on board, bring in new entrants, yet still keep the FIA's biggest paymaster, Formula One Management, happy. The trouble is, in selling the world TV rights for 100 years the FIA have given up the family silver.

If FOTA decide that the FIA are incapable of organising a fair series after the rancour of the diffuser row, and there is increasing trouble over the TV payments, then the game will be up for F1. Three of the four top-spending teams are doing badly this year thanks to the rule changes.

It will be hard for Mario Theissen to go back to the board of BMW in 2010 and justify his team's involvement in the sport if they are being beaten by a technically less innovative new entrant, just because of where the FIA set the balance between budget cap and non-budget cap teams.

Interestingly Max Mosley said this week that he doesn't have one "legally binding" commitment from any of the manufacturer teams to be in the sport for the next five years. Given what's happened recently, it's hardly surprising. LINK...