A GANG disguised in police uniforms opened fire on worshippers at a mosque in northern Nigeria this morning, killing at least 21 people, officials and residents said.The military and locals said the pre-dawn raid in the village of Dogon Dawa in Kaduna state was carried out by armed robbers engaged in a running feud with a local vigilante group.Having been repelled by the community militia last week, the gang returned today, storming the mosque as people readied for early morning prayers, killing some victims inside the building and some outside.“We have 21 killed. Several others have been taken to the hospital with injuries,” said Musa Illela of the National Emergency Management Agency in Kaduna.Religiously divided Kaduna has been rocked by waves of sectarian violence in recent months.Suicide bombings at three churches in June that were claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram sparked reprisal violence by Christian mobs who killed dozens of their Muslim neighbours, burning some of their victims’ bodies. Muslim groups also formed mobs and killed several Christians.Boko Haram, blamed for killing more than 1,400 people in Nigeria since 2010, has repeatedly targeted the state and also attacked Muslims it accuses of not supporting its hardline interpretation of Islam.But military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Sani Usman told AFP that Sunday’s shooting was “a clear case of armed robbery,” and described it as a “revenge” attack linked to the rivalry between the thieves and the vigilantes.Asked about a potential religious element in the shootings, he said only that “the victims were coming from prayers” at the mosque.Village resident Dauda Maikudi told AFP that thieves regularly target the area as Dogon Dawa lies not far from a main road used by traders carrying goods and cash between the north and south of Africa’s most populous country.“It was a pre-dawn raid,” he said. “The attackers… some of them dressed in police uniform, came into the village. They killed eight worshippers in the mosque and killed 13 other residents in the village.”“We believe they were armed robbers because this area has been bedevilled by armed robbers for years,” he added.Dogon Dawa lies about 70 kilometres (40 miles) from the state capital Kaduna city.
AT A TIME when we hear of yet another interface barrier going up in Belfast I am reminded of a fascinating book I’m currently reading; a must-read for anyone interested in social justice. Written by Gary Younge, “The Speech” relates the context and significance of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech in 1963.In Belfast we should perhaps be thinking about King’s words in the right way, right context and for the right reasons.The speech itself is a thing of real beauty. The atmosphere and context adds resonance. The delivery style and pace is suited to the message and vision.What is particularly interesting is how much of the speech rises beyond the demand for civil rights and equality under the law and practice of the land but which gains so little attention now.The most famous part of the speech when King portrays such vivid images of social justice is wonderfully evocative: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”King recognises that social justice, in terms of colour at that time in that place, cannot be achieved by one community alone: “many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realise their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone”.Our futures are inextricably tied togetherIn Northern Ireland, we cannot walk alone. Our futures are inextricably tied together – including those people living at interfaces and in the most disadvantaged and deprived areas, as well as those living in the wealthiest. The future of people on either side of the newest interface barrier will be determined, in at least some ways, by their relationship with each other; as will the future of their children and grandchildren.On either side of interfaces people generally are faced with similar inhibiting issues that feed inequality, that limit and restrict life opportunity such as equitable access to education, housing, jobs, service and facility provision.And the more our community tensions hog headlines and drive decision-making, the more challenging will be the lives of people at interfaces. And the less able will we all be to make significant change for the better on those social issues that really matter.There is the irony. For we cannot walk alone. We shouldn’t want to.Peter Osborne is Chair of the Parades Commission. He can be followed on twitter at@PeterOsborne_Read: Tánaiste: ‘There are people who know where those bodies were buried’Read: Plans to allow children aged 12 to use guns legally in NI
Updated 12.50pmDUBLIN AIRPORT HAS found the true spirit of Christmas.Staff at the airport have shared this touching card handed in by a passenger this morning. Source: @DublinAirportA spokesperson for Dublin Airport said the picture was taken in the security screening area which is why the staff member is wearing gloves.Christmas is one of the airport’s busiest times as people throng both departures and arrivals in a bid to see their loved ones.Merry Christmas to all working hard out there today!Hugs, kisses and silly hats: Warm scenes of homecomings at Dublin Airport>Watch families reunite for Christmas at Dublin Airport>
YouTube: oncomingproductionsRead: 5 classic Irish TV shows that should be remade in the USRead: A US remake of… Love/Hate?More: 12 things we can expect in the new series of Love/Hate WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if Nidge and co were just like Chandler and co?Or at least if the intro credits for RTÉ’s hit crime drama were a bit like the ubiquitous intro for Friends?ThePotato.ie has had a bash at re-imagining Love/Hate 1995 style:
THE UNITE trade union has recommended that its members vote to reject the ‘Croke Park 2′ pay deal.The recommendation comes after a meeting in Dublin this afternoon.The union was one of the four which withdrew from the talks on the evening before the final proposals were agreed to.UNITE’s 6,500 public service members will now be balloted on the deal in the coming weeks.“From this meeting we will now plan for a ballot of all our 6,500 members in the public service,” UNITE’s national co-ordinator Walter Cullen said.“The cuts being proposed cannot be sustained by the workers we represent nor can they be anything other than disastrous for jobs across the broad economy.”He said the union had run out of patience with the government, which had promised “time after time” that fresh cuts would be the last time it would ask public workers for a contribution.SIPTU is also holding a meeting today to discuss its stance, but a recommendation for how that union’s members should vote is not expected until next week.Read: Varadkar: No special pay deals for unions who walked out of talks
(Image: Daft.ie)BALLYMUN REGENERATION LIMITED (BRL), a Dublin City Council body, has issued NAMA an ultimatum over the regeneration of Ballymun Shopping Centre.Managing Director of BRL Dick Brady has sent a letter to NAMA giving it 30 days to outline plans for the shopping centre or else the body will make its own plans for retail facilities on the main street of Ballymun. This may involve BRL selling on the site it owns adjacent to the centre – which is supposed to be part of the original plans – to develop a retail space elsewhere. Read Ballymun Regeneration’s letter to NAMA.Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, Fianna Fáil Councillor Paul McAuliffe said this would not only leave businesses currently operating in the outdated shopping centre “abandoned” but it would considerably devalue the property, which is owned by NAMA.“The shopping centre is the best location for the retail development but if the council developes the adjoining site, the centre would be an eyesore,” he said.“It makes people angry because NAMA went ahead with a €13 million expansion of an adjacent shopping centre up in Charlestown which is not in Finglas Village and not in Ballymun Village but it’s taking a lot of trade away.”(Image: Daft.ie)The plans for regeneration of the centre were included in the 1997 announcement by the government to demolish the Ballymun flat blocks and replace them with new housing units.The ‘Masterplan for the New Ballymun’, launched the following year covers an area of around 324 hectares and in his letter to NAMA, Brady said that at the time “the creation of a vibrant town centre for Ballymun was identified as a key aim of the regeneration process”.(Image: Daft.ie)The letter requests “detailed proposals” and for NAMA to “act as quickly and decisively as possible in developing a clear strategy for the lands”.”In the absense of a realistic proposal for the town centre provision, BRL will expedite high density, mixed use, town centre options on alternative sites on Main Street.”McAuliffe said that while he supports the decision to “essentially force NAMA to act”, moving to another site would be “disastrous” for the business owners who are left in the centre, who have been waiting years for the regeneration.”They’ll be effectively left there in a building that’s going nowhere,” he said. “The retail offering in the centre is not great and at the moment there’s no money to do up small things.””The last thing we want to see is the existing site remaining undeveloped while new shops are built next door, but equally the people of Ballymun can’t wait around forever for private owners and their funders to make up their minds,” he added.(Image: Daft.ie)Read: Pyrite removals on 122 Ballymun homes ‘nearing completion’>
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE seeking help for sex addiction at one of the country’s best-known addiction treatment centres has risen significantly in the last four years.The Rutland Centre says people seeking treatment for the addiction now accounts for over 5 per cent of all clients, compared to just four years ago when the number was under 1 per cent.Though the addiction is often trivialised, the clinic said the reality was that sex addiction was a traumatic condition for those who suffer from it – and for their loved ones, who face “an extraordinary and unique struggle”, according to the centre’s clinical director Dr Fiona Weldon.“In other addictions it can be possible to get to a place of understanding and even forgiveness,” she explained.“However with sexual addicts, there is such a betrayal of trust, and a deep sense of shame that partners of sexual addicts can feel very isolated and lonely, often withdrawing from family and friends. ”Weldon explained that partners of people with sex addiction often blamed themselves for the condition, and therefore took responsibility for their partner’s behaviour – when in most cases they were the ones suffering more greatly from the problem.“Frequently their sole focus becomes the addict to the detriment of themselves and at times, of their children,” she said.One woman, whose partner had been treated for sex addiction, said she had become “a stranger in her own life”.“I carried the shame of my husband’s addiction on my back and isolated myself from most of my family and friends,” she said.It was only through extensive therapy and the love and support of a small number of close friends, combined with the shared experiences of others who had faced and lived through the aftermath of sex addiction, that I was able to move forward.The clinic is running a workshop for partners of people suffering from sex addiction in two weeks’ time, hoping to help partners deal with the unique difficulties they may face in coming to terms with their partner’s condition.Previously: Recession putting Irish people off sex
The convention has been meeting this weekend to discuss possible amendments to the Dáil electoral system.The planned referendum on the abolition of the Seanad is due to take place later this year. However, many within Leinster House expect that even if people voted for it to be abolished, the current Seanad would remain place until the next Dáil election. This would minimise disruption to the running of joint Dáil-Seanad operations like committees.An Ipsos MRBI poll at the end of 2012 found that 55 per cent of those polled back the abolition of the Seanad.Last week, two independent senators, Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn, launched a Bill which would reform Seanad and prevent its abolition.Read: Members launch plan to reform Seanad and prevent abolition>Read: Government told to alter ‘women in the home’ clause> THE MEMBERS OF the Constitutional Convention voted today not to discuss the abolition of the Seanad.A vote took place during the Convention on the Constitution, following a short discussion on the question that the convention write to the Taoiseach seeking an opportunity to discuss the abolition of the Seanad in advance of the referendum currently planned for the autumn.The results of the vote showed that: 41 per cent voted Yes57 per cent voted No 2 per cent said they had no opinion
THIS BANK HOLIDAY weekend you may decide to bite the bullet and finally tackle those DIY jobs around the house.We understand that you want to be productive and feel good about yourself but we’re telling you now DIY is risky business and you need to be careful.1. Ladder mishapsvia GifSoupRight, here’s the things, ladders are a bit scary.If you’re going to hop up on a ladder at any point during your DIY escapade insist that some long-suffering friend / other half has to hold the base of the ladder so you don’t fall off.You can catch up on all the latest goings on while they’re there, safe in the knowledge that you won’t take some kind of terrifying tumble while trying to change that weird flickering lightbulb in the sitting room.2. Using the wrong paintSteve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association ImagesWhether this is a case of the wrong shade or not having enough of the correct paint, painting your house in the wrong coat will not only mean you spend hours painting for no reason it’s also a total waste of money.3. Any kind of carpet removalYou might think you are a DIY warrior who can tear up carpets and reveal a stunning wooden floor.But let’s think about this, what about all the dirt and dust you’ll make lifting that carpet up?We reckon you should bring in a professional and go spend the weekend in some B&B living the life and then return home to sparkling wooden floors.Failing that, go kip in your parents house for the weekend under the ruse of “spending some time with them” while your house gets the one over.They’ll never know.4. Breaking glassBe careful swinging those ladders and power tools around because you’ll have glass shattering all over the place.Even lightbulbs can crack into a mini-explosion of glass if you hold the wrong way.DIY is fraught with so many dangers.5.Wood related injuriesHave you ever had a splinter?It. is. horrific.So we’re telling you now, if you’re doing anything related to wood during your DIY exploits (no “That’s what she said” jokes please) then wear gloves.In fact don’t just wear one set of gloves, put a small plastic bag on each hand, then a pair of gloves, then another pair of gloves.Just to be safe.6. WiresYou might think those funny wires poking out at the side of a wood panel just need to be tucked in and you’ve all your DIY dilemmas solved.But any wires should be treated as TOTALLY DANGEROUS because if you touch the wrong one this will happen:Read Junk / Tumblr 7. Not reading the instruction manualLook, if you’re assembling something this weekend then face facts: you need to read the instructions.This “HA! I’ll figure it out as I go along” business will leave you sat in a pile of screws for hours, crying softly and wondering where bolts A2 and B5 are.Sure, look how much fun this lady is having reading her instruction manual, they’re great craic:Image via Shutterstock8. Dressing inappropriatelyWe don’t pay any attention to the sexist idea that only men are interested in DIY because if you need to fix something you need to fix something.Having said that we wouldn’t recommend taking part in DIY while wearing high heels like these ladies:Katie Collins/PA Archive/Press Association ImagesIt’s just not going to let you get stuck in.In fact, male or female we think shorts are a risky DIY outfit choice given the possibility of cuts, tears and bruises that could befall you during a job.9. Plumbing horrorvia Meme CenterIf ever there was a task that you should call a professional in for it is something like unblocking a toilet or checking the pipes on the kitchen sink.Yes you can potentially save yourself the money needed to get a plumber or you could end up with (let’s be blunt) chunks of human waste everywhere.Just hire the plumber. Honestly.10. Hammer mishapsUsing a regular hammer or some kind of fancy power tool is fraught with tension.Will you successfully whack a nail into a wall?Or will you just hit your own finger and end up in untold amounts of pain?If you don’t believe hammers are scary, here is a menacing picture of one:Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images11. Getting stuck in a DIY shop all weekend.Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association ImagesIf you’ve ever ventured into a DIY superstore on a Bank Holiday weekend you’ll know that it is hellish.Everyone is looking for the same bargains and you’ll spend hours wandering around, lost, confused and wondering if you’ll ever make it out alive.If you’re starting your DIY experience with a shop visit try and be as ruthless as possible or you may be trapped in the lightbulb aisle for days.12. Being overly ambitiousTelling yourself you’re going to sand the floors, change all the lightbulbs, unblock the toilet, pull up the carpet in the guest room and hang up 16 paintings all in one weekend is a bit much.Stick to one job (that won’t leave you maimed horribly) and finish it so that you can be smug and do nothing for the rest of the weekend.That’s really what Bank Holidays are all about.9 pieces of proof that your TV is out to destroy your relationshipWhat’s better than a man doing some interpretive dance in his boxers?>
JUSTICE MINISTER FRANCES Fitzgerald has rejected claims that there are no proper child protection policies in place in facilities for asylum seekers.It follows comments yesterday by campaigner and founder of Focus Ireland Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, who said that children were in danger in the centres as a result of lack of oversight.“There are no child protection policies in those places with direct provision,” Sister Stan said yesterday on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.She also said that the centres run by the Reception and Integration Agency weren’t subject to inspections and that once residents turned 18 they were thrown out “with nobody in the world and all they’re offered is a sleeping bag”. Addressing the subject today, Fitzgerald said Sister Stan’s assertions were not true.“Despite numerous responses by previous Ministers for Justice over the years to Oireachtas queries in the matter, it is surprising that there remains a belief that asylum accommodation centres are not subject to proper inspection,” she insisted.They are.She said all centres were subject to a minimum of three unannounced inspections a year – “one by an independent company, QTS, under contract to RIA and two by RIA officials”.The Minister said the RIA took the issue of vulnerable persons in its system very seriously.All staff in centres are Garda vetted and RIA has robust policies in place relating to child protection and sexual harassment and violence.There are currently 4,353 residents in 34 Direct Provision accommodation centres across the StateMost provide full-board accommodation with adults receiving €19.10 per week. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work or receive social welfare payments.Shatter: ‘I was secretly put on trial, and wasn’t given a chance to defend myself’Micheál Martin: TDs shouldn’t involve themselves in criminal proceedings
Have a gym fanatic in your life? Save their workout with apair of these terrific headphones. The Sennheiser CX 680 Sports are great atstaying in while running.They’re a comfortable fit in the ear and are water/sweatproof,so they can be washed off on a sink when finished with a workout. The headphones, designed with help from Adidasfeature flexible “fins,” which help them wedge comfortably into the wearer’souter ear.The CX680s also get great sound, thanks in part to a deep bassresponse. At $120, they’re far from the cheapest pair of headphones one can buyfor the gym, but they are one of the best.
Speakal is more commonly known for their iPhone and iPod Docks, including the iPig and the Cool iPig, but they had a surprise in store for ces this year: the BTS8 Phone/Personal Computer Hybrid. The BTS8 is essentially a standard office phone with a 5-inch display (which can be connected to an external monitor) that runs Windows 7 and, according to Speakal, “doubles as a personal computer.” The BTS8 comes with Windows 7 pre-installed, has an on-board Webcam and can do videoconferencing using Skype, and can even receive faxes, SMS messages, and play music or movies and let you surf the Web when you’re not busy taking calls. Admittedly businesses aren’t likely to start replacing their laptops with phone/PC hybrids just yet, and I can only imagine how difficult it would be to deal with making sure your phone doesn’t get hacked, but Speakal hopes businesses will bite. Pricing and availability were not announced.
A number of set-top boxes allow for all sorts of wonderful things on a television. Games and applications abound, but typically not for the Apple TV, at least not until now. Games are indeed possible on Apple’s oft-forgotten device, but not through the App Store.The game that proves this is blackjack, and much to Jobs’ delight, it is HTML5-based. Given the breadth of Apple’s App Store, it is strange that the first game for Apple TV comes to the general public through a jailbroken device. Granted, it’s only one game, if a relatively simple one, but it shows the potential of Cupertino’s set-top box.HTML5 is the latest generation of HTML, hypertext markup language in long form. It introduces a range of features that make creating games without the need for a plug-in like Adobe Flash a reality. It’s already being taken advantage of with Biolab Disaster being a great example of what’s possible in game form, and browser developers are trying to take full advantage of it with every new release.Cupertino has acknowledged that Apple TV is simply a hobby. It receives nowhere near as much press as the iDevices: the iPad and iPhone among them. Apple TV, it seems, is an untapped resource. The potential is there, but Apple is too busy in other departments to really devote any time to it.There are, however, rumored updates for Apple TV which suggests that it isn’t dead yet. There might even be an Apple HDTV in the pipeline. How Apple will move forward with it isn’t yet clear as a great deal of time has been devoted to OS X Lion, iCloud, and iOS 5. With iCloud on the horizon, Apple TV could see a spike in popularity.AppleTVBlack (translated), via Redmond Pie
Perhaps Apple may need to make its iPhone testers sign a waiver saying they will not go to any bars while having the next-gen iPhone prototype in their possession. Apparently an Apple employee has once again lost a prototype at a local watering hole — one that this employee will most likely be visiting more frequently to drown away the sorrows of being fired.Although it hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, reports say that an Apple employee with an iPhone 5 prototype lost the phone at a tequila bar called Cava 22 in San Francisco’s Mission district in late July. Oddly enough, the phone was sold on Craigslist for only $200, which is a pretty awesome deal for one of the most coveted phones in the world right now.Apple didn’t contact the San Francisco police immediately after the phone was lost. The company traced the phone and found its location to be in a house in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. At this point, Apple contacted the police to pay a visit to the person who supposedly had the iPhone 5, but the young man said he had no idea what they were talking about. The police searched the man’s house and found nothing. CNET reports that Apple even offered the guy money, “no questions asked,” if he returned the phone. Still, the man said he had no knowledge of it.Last April, Apple employee Gray Powell became infamous as the guy who lost the iPhone 4 prototype at a bar that also happened to be in the Bay Area. Gizmodo allegedly bought the prototype for $5,000 in cash. Police raided Gizmodo writer Jason Chen’s house, taking four computers and two servers. Needless to say, Chen gave Apple back the phone.Last year’s prototype was enclosed in a case to make the iPhone 4 appear to be the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 5 prototype is said to look identical to the iPhone 4, meaning there’s no way anyone can tell it’s the iPhone 5 by just looking at it. Once the person starts playing around with the phone and realizes its software differs from the iPhone 4, they might realize they’ve found something quite special.Whether or not this story is true remains to be unseen. Apple has been very hush-hush about the iPhone 5, but we have been hearing that the launch date would be around mid-October. So, it would make sense that employees are doing some final testing on the phones out in the field. However, Apple may want to ban its employees from ever entering a bar again if this story is indeed true.via CNET / Photo via Yelp
Save space and get the quality display that you want… easier said than done, right? There are many routes you can go in in terms of resolution, size, weight, thinness, type, and the list goes on. Do you plan on using your monitor as a general work display, for multimedia, or maybe for gaming? For all the hype around fast response times and contrast ratios, the fact is that the average user is looking for a small- to mid-sized display, they don’t want to spend a lot, and at the end of the day they can’t sniff out the modicum of difference between a monitor with a 2ms response time or a 7ms one. So why pay more?Thankfully, we found an excellent deal on a reasonably-sized consumer display that won’t break the bank. The Planar 24-inch PL2410W, temporarily reduced from $219.99 to $139.99, has all the necessary specs for a high-quality desktop monitor. This model is a CFL-backlit LCD. It’s not as energy-efficient as an LED model, but it is cheaper.The Planar PL2410W is 1080p-capable and it does have a wide 16.7 million color gamut. Response time is quite good at 5ms, and you even have the benefit of an adjustable tilt. It has inputs for VGA and DVI-D, but unfortunately, no composite, component, DisplayPort, or HDMI. But, again, this is not a monitor designed for heavy-duty multimedia or editing. If you’re looking to count all 2560 horizontal pixels of your massive 30-inch WQHD display, you’ll need to take your business elsewhere. This is a great deal on an excellent consumer-grade display.Check out this deal at LogicBuy.
If you haven’t been following Far Cry 3, you should. The games is an excellent, open-world romp around around a tropical island — not entirely unlike a better version of Just Cause 2. Before seeing this video I would have noted that any comparison to JC2 was seriously flawed because you spend about half of that game floating through the world on a gravity-defying parachute while FC3 is all about running around and fast travel. Little did I know that, at some point in the game, you get a wingsuit…[To be fair, this could be considered a bit of a spoiler — I’m over 20 hours into the game and I don’t have the wingsuit yet. In other words, go right ahead and skip the video if you’d like.]In the video we see FC3‘s hero, Jason Brody, jumping from one of the tallest peaks in the game and then gliding around the Rook Islands, perilously close to both the ground and immovable objects. The jump lasts about two and a half minutes, after which he (another spoiler) deploys the parachute and lands safely. While diving we Brody floats safely by wildlife, enemy forces, and loads of beautiful scenery.In real life, wingsuits go about 60 miles per hour and descend at around 73.3 feet per second (according to the US Parachute Association). This means that the 130 second jump would have propelled Brody about 2.17 miles with a loss in altitude of 9500 feet. The tallest mountain in the South Pacific is actually Mount Wihelm in Papua New Guinea, which is 14,800 feet tall, but it’s a clear outlier. On a smaller island chain, like the Solomon Islands, the tallest peak is Mount Popomanaseu which is 7660 feet tall. In other words, the game isn’t clearly a bit fantastic, but it’s hold on reality isn’t too loose (aside from the fact that, you know, you play as a normal prep school-type kid who dismantles an island of trained killers and angry komodo dragons).via PolygonNow watch: Wingsuit skydiver is both insanely accurate and awesome
Your swanky bachelor pad featuring the lava lamps and disco ball (kept hidden in a secret compartment in the ceiling) was once pretty happenin’. However, we’re now a third of the way into 2013, and it’s time to upgrade to something more fitting for the times. If you just can’t part with the aesthetics of a gooey, flowing substance, then replacing your lava lamps with a ferrofluid sculpture is the best way for you tell anyone you invite back to your place that you’re living in 2013, but still have the same great taste of the 1960s. With Kickstarter project Ferrocious, a desktop ferrofluid sculpture, it’ll be easier than ever to redecorate.A ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes magnetized when a magnetic field is present. When manipulated, ferrofluid can form into various shapes and patterns, such as clearly defined spikes or ripples running. So, rather than displaying blobs and chaos, you can replace your lava lamp a magnetic liquid that can form highly intricate patterns.Now, ferrofluid doesn’t naturally respond to sound, but Ferrocious jury rigs the sculpture with science. An electromagnet sits at the top of the sculpture, and responds to sounds in the range of around 250hz and lower. This means that Ferrocious can respond to normal audio tracks found in music, including vocals, bass, and percussion. The sculpture can receive sound either through a standard 3.5mm audio jack, or a built-in mic. The unit is powered by a standard DC wall adapter.In standard Kickstarter fashion, there are oodles of rewards for backing the project before the funding period is over. For a minimum pledge of $59, you’ll receive a Simple Ferrofluid Display, which is a clear tube containing the fluid, and an accompanying magnet that you can drag around the outside of the tube in order to manipulate the liquid. Don’t buy one of these — it’s passive and looks to be quite unexciting.For $85, you’ll nab a do-it-yourself Ferrocious, which means that with some ingenuity and proper tools, you’ll be able to build your very own dancing-ferrofluid sculpture. For a pledge of $149, you’ll net yourself a pre-built Ferrocious, as well as the free time that would’ve been occupied by building it yourself if you went for the $85 pledge. If you want both the Ferrocious and Simple Ferrofluid Display, that’ll cost you $178.So, if it’s finally time to make your bachelor pad high tech, or you just now realized your pad can be made more hip through the power of science, head on over to the Kickstarter page and give Ferrocious a glance.
They aren’t the thinnest drives around, and they’re not the fastest — but Toshiba’s new 7mm hybrid drive should offer a respectable mix of performance and value inside a laptop or Ultrabook.The MQ01ABFH is part SSD and part HDD. It’s available with a single platter with either 320GB or 500GB of storage and 8GB of NAND. That flash cache will help it perform better than traditional hard drives, especially those with a spindle speed of 5400rpm (which is how fast its own platter spins).Bolting on a bit of NAND to a hard drive is a trick that Toshiba and other manufacturers have been using for some time now. The drives don’t offer the speed of a pure SSD, but they do offer much larger capacities at a price that’s closer to an HDD.Toshiba says the drive is capable of posting PCMark Vantage scores in the area of 20,000. That’s quite good compared to even a 7200rpm 2.5-inch drive, but still less than half what a decent SSD can score. It’s likely, however, that the new Toshiba will cost way less than half as much. Toshiba hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the 320GB and 500GB drives ought to come in closer to 1/4 to 1/5 the price of their SSD counterparts.Toshiba has essentially trimmed the profile of the MQ01ABDH down by 2.5mm. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a welcome volumetric savings for companies that are working feverishly to build slimmer laptops and hybrids. Every millimeter counts when you’re trying to maximize battery life and minimize weight and thickness.
Everyone has their hobbies, but it’s rare to become so adept at one that people completely unfamiliar with your obsession have to stop and take note. Case in point, you’ve probably seen a lot of aquariums in your life, but how often is one so cool you want to see a video of it? Well, you’ll want to see this one, which has faithfully reproduced the floating landscape from the film Avatar complete with underwater waterfalls. Underwater waterfalls.The first few seconds of the video shows the CGI landscape of Pandora from the movie, before we get to the miniature reproduction. No, just kidding. The whole thing is the aquarium, but it’s easy to be fooled at first.The floating islands are composed of polystyrene domes with the plants mounted on top. The islands are then suspended in the tank with fishing line, to keep them from floating all the way to the top.Now about that underwater waterfall. It looks like the real deal, but it’s underwater, so it can’t actually be a waterfall, right? What you’re actually seeing fall is fine white sand. If you look closely, there’s a bit of it piled up at the bottom of the “waterfall.” At the base is a siphon that sucks in water along with a little sand and blows it back out the top of the waterfall, thus keeping the effect going. It’s a very well-executed illusion, and kind of mesmerizing to watch.
The most famous secret facility in the world has finally been acknowledged in government documents made public following a Freedom of Information Act request. Area 51 has been deeply embedded in popular culture for decades, and a map showing the location of the facility is now part of the public record. Flying saucers? Nope, not so much.The newly declassified CIA documents are significantly less redacted than previous ones relating to the “secret” base. Area 51 has long been known to exist about 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas, but the government would never confirm it was there. For many years, there were elevated locations around Area 51 where civilians could catch a glimpse of the base, which has one of the longest runways in the world. The government more recently restricted access to these areas.The documents don’t have anything to say about alien technology or UFOs. Area 51, also known as the Groom Lake Facility, was home to the government’s U-2 spyplane and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. Of course, that’s just what they would say if they were trying to cover up the existence of UFOs!These new documents don’t change very much about what we know of Area 51. There are satellite images of the base, and you can even find it on Google Maps. The CIA’s willingness to give out information on Area 51 might signal a more relaxed attitude on the subject, though. It could be that Groom Lake simply isn’t very important anymore, and additional information could be made public.