Monday, March 31, 2008

Answers to your credit card related queries

In credit tips center website you can get answers to your credit card related questions for free. Search for your answer in their database or if you can not find it send your question to the experts at their website. They will answer to you. They are not affiliated to any particular credit card company ,so that you can be assured of impartial answers. They also help you to get the best credit card offer available.

Reasons for having a credit card is that your hard-earned cash doesn’t disappear and you have got more fraud protection. But, be careful with while using it. It is no doubt very convenient but be careful while spending as it is others money you are borrowing. Only borrow if you are sure you will be able to repay. The site gives you information regarding different fees associated with credit card so that you can get the best deal.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Olympics torch touches down in Beijing amid tight security

The Olympic flame arrived in Beijing for a torch re-lighting ceremony Monday, signaling the start of a round-the-world relay that is expected to be a lightning rod for protests against China's policies and human rights practices.

The flame's arrival in Beijing was shown live on state television, and comes a week after the lighting ceremony for the Olympic torch in Greece was marred by protests. There also were protests Sunday by a pro-Tibetan group when Greek officials handed over the flame to organizers of the Beijing Games in Athens.

Tibetan and rights groups have said they will stage protests along the torch route, which includes stops in London, Paris and San Francisco over the next 10 days.

The relay has especially focused attention on recent unrest in Tibet, the worst in the Chinese-controlled region since 1989.

Dozens of Tibetan exiles burned an effigy of China President Hu Jintao as they reached the Indian capital of New Delhi on Sunday, carrying a symbolic flame which they said was running parallel to the official torch for the Beijing Olympic games.

Beijing's relay was tarnished before it even began when a demonstrator protesting Chinese media curbs grabbed headlines last week by disrupting a Chinese official's opening address at the lighting ceremony in Greece.

That was followed across Greece by a smattering of protests by activists protesting a crackdown on dissent in Tibet and members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which is banned in China.

On Sunday, some two dozen activists in Athens chanted "Save Tibet!" and unfurled a banner reading "Stop Genocide in Tibet" before police intervened, detaining 21 protesters outside the Panathenian Stadium. Most were later freed.

But their main problem will come in India, the last destination before it goes to Beijing. India has many Tibetian refugees. They reportedly are in talks with celebrities who are going take part in carrying the torch to boycott the relay. They are conspiring to prevent the relay. Chinese diplomats have held several talks with the Home Minister to provide adequate security to the torch.

Buy and sell recycled HDPE

HDPE or high density poly-ethylene is a commonly used plastic which can be easily recycled. Plastics are man made synthetic polymers. High Density Poly Ethylene is a form of recyclable plastic commonly used in consumer product manufacturing. Recycled Polymers are used in certain food packaging and non food packaging industries. The company buys HDPE recycles it and sells it.

Scrap HDPE is recyclable waste consisting of only High Density Polyethylene.

In HDPE Film form it is used for snack food packaging and cereal box liners. In blow molded HDPE form it is used for non carbonated drink bottles. In injection molded form, it is mostly used for margarine tubs, deli food and whipped toppings. High Density Polyethylene is also used as detergent bottles, milk jugs,water pipes (plumbing) as well as packaging for industrial chemicals such as detergents, bleach and acids.

If you have to sell your HDPE scraps then please contact them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What I did for Earth (hour) year

Google went black for an hour for earth hour in support of environmental issues. But, according to experts black screen requires more energy than black screen. Google did this for raising awareness. So because of this even if few hundreds change their energy consumption then their Black campaign will be successful.

I initially had black template for my blog around last year. But I had read in some magazine about screen energy consumption and I changed my blog colour to white as it consumes minimum amount of energy.

I request all of you to choose light coloured template for your blog and website.

Minimum hardware requirement for bloggers who don't know what to write

If you are like me who don't know what to post then you might need the following configuration for your computer.
RAM-512 mb as you will have to open several tabs and windows of your browser to do research.
Broadband speed-128kbps same reason as above
Good TFT or LCD screen as you have to sit for long hours before it blogging.

Hackers embed flashing animations on epilepsy support forum

Engadget reports "This go 'round, a group of griefers (assuming to be members of Anonymous) managed to invade a support forum established by the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation and use JavaScript code and messages littered with flashing animations to effectively assault dozens of visitors who suffer from the disorder. The Foundation managed to catch wind of the problem within 12 hours of the attack, and while the boards were closed down temporarily to purge it of offending messages, many readers experienced headaches and seizures before rescue arrived. Let's just say we sincerely hope the culprits get what's comin' to 'em."

I think that hackers have lost ethics. A day ago were rejoicing Mac Air being hacked in two minutes and now this shocker. People hack for money and some fun but this has crossed all lines. I hope such people are caught and punished severely.

Linkbait tricks of new Blog directory

I read a ad on Google search engine about India's first blogging portal which provides blogger platform to showcase their blog. I signed up as I am in desperate need of some publicity for my blog. I go through the normal routine of signing up a new service. Then I gave my information to them about my blog,tags,etc. Then comes the shocker. I have to paste a code snippet in my template. this they say is to confirm that I am the owner of the blog. The code contains a link to the site. The reason they gave, I tell you, is rubbish. All they need is links so as to get more pagerank. I mean who else would want to submit my blog to their site that they have to confirm?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Google Risks Muslim Backlash By Hosting Fitna

Google is currently hosting controversial film about Islam Fitma.

The film has made tech headlines after Network Solutions suspended the site the film was to debut on, then Live Leak was forced to pull it following serious threats against the company from Muslims unhappy with the film. Live Leak’s explanation video above.

The film, ripped from Live Leak, is now available on Google Video here in full, and can also be found on YouTube. Warning on the film: there are graphic scenes in it.

What Google does now will be an interesting test for a company that claims “do no evil” as its company mantra. The video is hosted in the US, and we presume with part or full support of the creators of the film negating any copyright considerations, so ultimately it will be up to Google to decide between free speech and global jihad.


Google to show you their privacy policies

Here is the excerpts from Google Blog
"Because we're strongly committed to protecting your privacy, we want to present our privacy practices in the clearest way possible. Over the past year, we've been experimenting with video to clarify and illustrate the privacy practices set forth in our Google Privacy Policy. We've used videos to communicate with you about things like cookies, IP addresses, and logs. (Check out the Google Privacy Channel on YouTube.) And you've told us that the screen shots, whiteboard drawings, and pointers from the engineers and product managers we've captured on video are helping you better understand the fine points of our Privacy Policy.

With that in mind, today we're announcing a revamp of our Privacy Center. The new Center is a one-stop shop for privacy resources, with various multi-media formats aimed to help you further understand how we store and use data, how to control who you share your data with, and how we protect your privacy. We hope this new Center will help you make more informed privacy choices whenever you use Google products and services.

Charlie Miller the Apple hacker

Charlie Miller has done it again. He had for his security firm Independent Security Evaluators hacked iphone last year. He pointed out that an attacker-controlled WiFi access point could be all that's needed to get through the security hole. Other possibilities include an attacker embedding the malicious code into something like a forum thread so that the user could be exploited even when going to a trusted site, or by merely directing users to a malicious web site by sending them a link in e-mail or SMS. The results are that the code embedded in the page then runs with administrative privileges

Now he has this year hacked the Macbook air in just two minutes in this year's CanSecWest conference. In two minutes he directed the contest's organizers to visit a Web site that contained his exploit code, which then allowed him to seize control of the computer. Because of this exploit he has won $10000 in cash.

And yes, Apple has been notified about the hole.

Why Olympics should not be boycotted

With more and more countries joining the banter to boycott the olympics, it seems imminent that this Beijing olympics will be as controversial as the Berlin olympics in 1936. But complete boycott of the olympics is not the solution. Chinese pride would be hurt but they will not in any circumstances withdraw from Tibet. Worse they might intensify their atrocious army actions in Tibet.

Hundreds of years ago Olympics was one of the four sporting festivals of Greece. The kingdoms of Greece would stop all wars and put off their differences during these festivals. Same should happen now. Tibet issue is a blot on the 21st century humanitarian efforts.

But instead of complete boycott, what the countries should do is to boycott the opening ceremony, ask the athletes to wear black arm band,etc.

Dependence on credit cards

It might be style statement for many rich to flaunt the number and types of credit cards in their purse or wallet. But this credit card system is reminiscent of imperial era when the British used to make people of the colonies pay high tax. In this way they took away the wealth of the colonies to their own country and made the colonies poor and financially dependent on them.

Same is happening today. But this is indirect dependence. The people of the developing countries are being given credit card when even their basic requirements are not being fulfilled. These credit card companies decide the rate of interest and other terms. You might have heard credit card companies sending goons as recovery agents to the defaulters' homes because of which many were forced to commit suicide.

These companies charge sky high rate of interest which are quite unheard of in the developed countries like the US and UK. They charge around 150% to 200% !!!! In the developing world it is Credit Card as Country's Financial Dependence on the west. But, how can these countries free themselves. It is by stringent credit card policy and development of credit card issuers in the country itself.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Li Ka-shing of hutch Puts Another $40 Million Into Facebook

After exiting the Indian market by selling the stake in Hutchison Essar to Vodafone in India Li ka-shing is back in news.
Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, chairman of telecom giant Hutchison Whampoa, revealed during a conference call that he has raised his stake in Facebook by another $40 million or more. This is on top of the $60 million he previously invested.
There are also reports of Facebook IPO

DIGXA - Shopping comparison website

You might have always felt while comparing different brands of a particular product you could compare them and also find the lowest price possible before buying them online. Digxa does that for free. The site list almost all products categories like home and garden, computers and software, clothing and accessories, electronics,jewelers and watches, sports equipment and outdoor gear, health and beauty, furniture and other miscellaneous products like book, dvd's ,etc.

I checked out their computers page and found it very informative for shopping. What is best about this site is that we not only get to refine our search according to the price but also memory,speed,weight,etc. If you want to see the configuration just place the mouse over the product image and it will hover around the pointer. This helps as you don't have to open the product's page if the configuration does not satisfy you. You will also know how many stores stock them and product ratings. You will also find mac computers and other hardwares on the page. What if you don't find the deal you wanted? They serve the best contextual ads ie. adsense on their pages through which you might get the closest deal you wanted.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

At&t enters browser war

Pogo works like a regular browser, but it manages pages more visually (see screenshots below). Instead of tabs, it has a scrollable strip on the bottom that shows a thumbnail image of each site you’ve visited during your session. A “Springboard” button on the top left takes you to a grid view of your favorite sites—akin to what you might put on your bookmark toolbar. You can also view the rectangular cells in various Coverflow-like animations. You can do the same with regular bookmarks, which are treated as “collections.” You can drag Website images into each collection or associate a collection with a tag. Then any page you tag going forward gets automatically placed within that collection. Your browsing history is also represented visually, as is your search history. For any particular search, every page you click through to gets saved as part of yet another collection—although you can only see one search set at a time.
For the foreseeable future, Pogo will only be available for Windows machines.

Googler gets in on pre-IPO Facebook

The trend is clear--the best bait for well-fed Googlers, especially ones who joined after the company's 2004 IPO, is another hot pre-IPO company. And Facebook is that company.

The latest Googler to jump to Facebook is Ethan Beard. Formerly director of social media at the search giant, he will become director of business development at the popular social-networking company. The news was first reported by TechCrunch.

The defection comes shortly after Google sales chief Sheryl Sandberg left to go to Facebook. Others who have blazed the trail include Benjamin Ling of Google Checkout, Justin Rosenstein of GDrive, and Gideon Yu, formerly chief financial officer at YouTube who left shortly after Google acquired it in 2006.

However, with the recent downslide of stock markets across the US and the world, I don't think this IPO will be as big as the Google's IPO.

Bear Stearns items sold at high price

A used T-shirt bearing the Bear Stearns logo has sold for $151.76 online, worth about 14 or 15 shares in the once venerable Wall Street investment bank.
Bear Stearns shirts and other trinkets have been snatched up in recent days on auction site eBay.

This particular extra-large men's T-shirt, blue, with a white Bear Stearns logo, attracted more than 1,600 visitors and sold for $151.76 on Monday night, a price no doubt prompted by the sudden fall of the fifth largest U.S. investment bank.

The Bear Stearns takeover by JPMorgan Chase has generated public interest reminiscent of Enron's demise. Other auction items include umbrellas, coffee mugs, cafeteria cards, hard hats, and a pewter reproduction of Bear Stearns' midtown Manhattan office building, which was included in the fire sale.

"Be the first to get your paws on classic Bear Stearns memorabilia," read one post auctioning a miniature plastic toy bear that was going for $28 on Tuesday morning.

Another Bear Stearns bear wearing a business tie attracted more than 1,400 visits and a high bid of about $150.

On March 16, JPMorgan Chase said it would acquire its rival for only $2 per share, in a deal brokered by the Federal Reserve aimed at heading off a bankruptcy and a spreading crisis of confidence in the global financial system.

On Monday, JPMorgan raised its offer to about $10 a share to appease angry stockholders who vowed to fight the original deal. Bear Stearns traded at $10.80 a share near midday on Tuesday.

Blogging is not a waste of time

I finally could satisfy my consciousness that blogging is not a waste of time after reading this blog at daily blog tips. Here is the summary.

The knowledge that a university will give you is available for everyone, anywhere in the world. Sure, there is a difference between knowledge and information. but with the right motivation and some help from other people even a kid in Sri Lanka can absorb the information available online and transform it into knowledge.

Consider two different men, John and Mark, working for a financial services company. Both of them are eager to succeed so that they spend lots of time trying to grow professionally.

John uses his time gaining as much knowledge as possible: he studies balance sheets, financial reports, accounting practices and the like. He even takes related courses on the local university.

Mark, on the other hand, gets only the knowledge that is necessary to carry out his job. Other than that, he uses his time to improve his writing skills, his ability to solve problems, his ability to understand and empathize with other people and so on.

Should the financial services sector enter a downturn some day forcing both men to find another job, who do you think will have a harder time? Yeah, I am sure you have guessed it.

Rescue WiMax

WSJ reports that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks are contemplating close to investing $1.6 billion in a new company that would be operated by Sprint-Nextel and Clearwire. This is in addition to $1 billion that Intel is rumored to put into the new company, along with hundreds of millions of dollars coming from Google. The new company is aiming to raise about $3 billion. Here is how the total rumored funding for the new company breaks down:

Comcast: $1 Billion
Time Warner Cable: $500 Million
Bright House Networks: $100-$200 Million.
Intel Corp.: $1 Billion
Google: Undisclosed Millions.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

10 unique and easy ways to make money in UK

1 Police ID parades
Taking part in identity parades is easy money - you just have to stand there - but work is irregular and may depend on your appearance. Many police forces now use video line-ups but you can still get a one-off fee of £10 for being filmed.
Average pay: £10 for the first hour, £5 for every hour after that.

2 TV/film extra
Production companies need people of all shapes and sizes and if you're over 18 but look younger you'll be especially popular, as you can save them the cost of a chaperone for a child actor. Don't expect to meet the stars, though.
Average pay: £80 a day, with bonuses for things like providing your own costume or doing a 'walk-on'. Overtime is paid at around £11 an hour.

3 Campus brand manager
All sorts of companies hire students to promote them on campus, from film distributors to sportswear firms. You'll get plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your business acumen, but the work can be time-consuming.
Average pay: £300 a term, though some firms only pay on a commission basis.

4 Trading on eBay
'The World's Online Marketplace' has one million registered users in the UK alone so there's bound to be someone who'll pay for anything you have to sell. Start with stuff you don't want (old CDs, clothes, toys) to get a feel for it.
Average pay: the sky's the limit - but unless you're selling something rare or valuable, don't expect to make a fortune.

5 Pose as a life model
You don't have to be beautiful or in particularly great shape but you do have to patient, able to sit still and perhaps not wince at what an artist makes of you. But good models are in demand.
Average pay: from £6 or so an hour clothed, to £7 or so an hour unclothed outside London; a little more in the capital.

6 In-store demonstrator
There's lots of work for confident, personable people in supermarkets and department stores. You might be required to show off your ironing skills, hold a food tasting or demonstrate a new kitchen gadget, for example. Hours are often in the evenings or during weekends so can fit around your studies.
Average pay: varies, but can be up to £10 an hour.

7 Event stewarding
Concerts and sports fixtures employ a small army to help with organisation. The necessary training will be provided on the day but don't view the job as a free ticket. Stewards at football matches, for example, are expected to face the crowd, not watch the game.
Average pay: rates start at £5 an hour; with training you can earn up to £15 an hour.

8 Online surveys
To make money completing surveys, all you need is a computer and some opinions. You'll be asked what you think of various products and services, and sometimes be sent things to try out. However, there are scam survey websites so do some research.
Average pay: £3-£50 for each survey, depending on how long it takes. However, you'll have to pay a registration fee (around £20) up front.

9 Mystery shopping
Some men would pay good money not to go shopping, but 'mystery shoppers', on the other hand, get paid instead. It's not just about going to shops but perhaps to restaurants, bars or to stay in a hotel and report on how the customer's being treated. You'll get all the money for your meals, drinks or bills repaid and you may get to keep the shopping, too - unless, of course, it's diamonds.
Average pay: from £6 a visit, but could be as much as £100 a day.

10 Internet researcher
You may have grown up taking the Internet for granted but there are plenty of people who aren't familiar with it or are too busy to spend time on it. So if you're skilled at extracting information from a web search, you can hire yourself out as a researcher for people like lawyers and writers.
Average pay: £10 an hour


Google Android Phone to be Released By Summer?

According to CNET, during a conference call about Google’s plans for using “white space spectrum”, Whitt accidentally mentioned that the Android phones could be on the market in either summer or fall 2008. Oops. Quickly after the conference call ended, Google knew about the slip and went into damage control mode, restating their original claim that it would be released in the second half of 2008. They also claimed that they had absolutely nothing to do with the release dates of Android phones, as that decision was actually left to the manufacturers themselves.

In other Android news, there have been reports both last week and this week that High Tech Computers (HTC) would be developing the first Android phone known as the “Dream”. This rumor indicated that it would be out near the end of 2008.

Yahoo, Google, MySpace form non-profit OpenSocial Foundation

Google, Yahoo, and News Corp.'s announced on Tuesday that they have formed the OpenSocial Foundation, a non-profit group to support the OpenSocial initiative that Google kick-started last year as a way to promote a universal standard for developer applications on social-networking sites.

The specific purpose of the new non-profit, according to a release, is "to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web." It's a particularly crucial move for Google, which has been eager to emphasize that OpenSocial is a community standard, not a Mountain View project.

"OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning," Joe Kraus, Google's director of product management, said in a joint statement from the three companies. "The formation of this foundation will ensure that it remains so in perpetuity. Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open."

End for Windows XP is here

More than a year after Vista's release, many consumers and business customers have steadfastly held onto Vista's predecessor, the Windows XP operating system. Microsoft has followed with price cuts and promotions. This is not exactly the "wow" moment the company had in mind.'s Ina Fried has chronicled Vista's first year in earlier posts.

Still, we know that all good Windows releases eventually come to an end: Windows XP is stable, widely supported, and ultimately doomed. New PCs with XP installed will begin to disappear this summer. Microsoft will stop selling XP completely next January (although the company will provide support for much longer).

Expensive celebrity Divorces

Here is the list of high profile very expensive celebrity divorces

John and Beverly Charman
Multi-millionaire businessman and an insurance magnate, John Charman, had been ordered to pay his former wife, Beverly Charman, 48 million pound ($97 million) after 27 years of marriage. It is the biggest divorce award in British legal history.

Michael Jordan and Junaita Vanoy
Michael Jordan, the basketball superstar, had to shell out $168 million to get divorce from his ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy, after 17 years of togetherness.

Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond settled an estimated $150 million to Marcia Murphey, whom he married in 1969. They divorced in 1996. Diamond later said Murphey, his second wife, was 'worth every penny.

Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving
Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg's first marriage, to actress Amy Irving, ended in 1989 with his ex-spouse awarded roughly half of the filmmaker's fortune, about $100 million.

Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison
Movie star Harrison Ford has reportedly paid his second wife, Melissa Mathison, a whopping $85 million in a record-breaking divorce settlement.

Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva
Screen star Kevin Costner had an estimated $80 million settlement obtained by his first spouse, Cindy Silva, whose 16-year marriage to the actor spanned his peak earning years.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
When Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman parted in 2001 it was reported that, in dividing up their reputed fortune of $350 million, Kidman got $4.3 million, a five-bedroom mansion in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles and a house in Sydney, Australia.

Monday, March 24, 2008

One thing which I dislike about Safari for windows

I downloaded safari three days ago. I liked its aesthetic features like the sliding pop-up box ,etc. But one thing that prevents me from using it full fledged is that when I open my gmail, the in-built gmail chat is not being downloaded. Hope they fix the glitch soon.

Apple song helps publicize the singer

Folksy French-Israeli singer Yael Naim found commercial success after her song "New Soul" played in Apple's MacBook Air laptop ads, pushing the song to No. 7 on U.S. music chart Billboard's Hot 100.

She already had gained fame for what some saw as a comic choice to cover pop singer Britney Spear's "Toxic," singing a soulful, poignant version of the commercial hit while playing piano.

But Naim, 29, whose self-titled new album was just released in the United States two months earlier than originally planned following the success of the Apple ad, says she's not worried about being seen as too commercial.

"It opened a great window for us, for a lot of people to have a chance to hear about our music," she told Reuters in New York. "We had a lot of propositions ... but we thought Apple and Macintosh have some connection because today we work with computers to do our music."

The singer-songwriter, who was born in Paris but spent a large part of her childhood in Israel, recorded her new album in her Paris apartment with her music partner, percussionist David Donatien.

"We did not have a label," she said. "We did not have a lot of money so we did it just with a computer."

News on map- Metacarta

MetaCarta Inc. is the leading provider of geographic intelligence solutions. MetaCarta’s unique technology combines geographic search and geographic tagging capabilities so users can find content about a place by viewing results on a map. MetaCarta’s products and OnDemand services make data and unstructured content "location-aware" and geographically relevant. These innovative solutions make it possible for customers to discover, visualize, and act on important location-based information and news.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Google wins by losing wireless-auction

Google's losing bid for coveted wireless airwaves may prove a victory for the Web search leader as it still stands to get access to mobile networks without spending tens of billions of dollars to build one, analysts said.
Wall Street analysts said the Silicon Valley Internet search and advertising giant has succeeded in forcing open network requirements upon winning bidder Verizon Communications via Google's apparent strategy of "bidding to lose."

Verizon will control the open network but will be required to allow devices and applications from other companies to use it.

Google and rivals Yahoo and Microsoft have stepped up moves over the past year to help ensure that consumers will one day be able to use the Internet services on mobile phones in the way they now use computers.

Google believes making the Internet easier to use for billions of mobile phone users will translate into increased demand for its Web search and advertising services.

What remains up for debate is the degree to which Google can make Verizon live up to auction rules that protect independent Internet services such as Google from being kept off phones and other devices by network owner Verizon.

Pope converts an Italian Muslim into Christianity

Italy's most prominent Muslim, an iconoclastic writer who condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel, converted to Catholicism Saturday in a baptism by the pope at a Vatican Easter service.

An Egyptian-born, non-practicing Muslim who is married to a Catholic, Magdi Allam infuriated some Muslims with his books and columns in the newspaper Corriere della Sera newspaper, where he is a deputy editor. He titled one book "Long Live Israel."

As a choir sang, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Allam's head and said a brief prayer in Latin.

"We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another," Benedict said in a homily reflecting on the meaning of baptism. "Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close."

Vatican Television zoomed in on Allam, who sat in the front row of the basilica along with six other candidates for baptism. He later received his first Communion.

Allam, 55, told the newspaper Il Giornale in a December interview that his criticism of Palestinian suicide bombing provoked threats on his life in 2003, prompting the Italian government to provide him with a sizable security detail.

The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy — which Allam has frequently criticized as having links to Hamas — said the baptism was his own decision.

"He is an adult, free to make his personal choice," the Apcom news agency quoted the group's spokesman, Issedin El Zir, as saying.

Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of Coreis, the Islamic religious community in Italy, said he respected Allam's choice but said he was "perplexed" by the symbolic and high-profile way in which he chose to convert.

"If Allam truly was compelled by a strong spiritual inspiration, perhaps it would have been better to do it delicately, maybe with a priest from Viterbo where he lives," the ANSA news agency quoted Pallavicini as saying.

The nighttime Easter vigil service at St. Peter's Basilica marked the period between Good Friday, which commemorates Jesus' crucifixion, and Easter Sunday, which marks his resurrection.

Benedict opened by blessing a white candle, which he then carried down the main aisle of the darkened basilica. Slowly, the pews began to light up as his flame was shared with candles carried by the faithful, until the whole basilica twinkled and the main lights came on.

The pope administers baptism "without making any 'difference of people,' that is, considering all equally important before the love of God and welcoming all in the community of the Church," said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Allam, who has a young son with his Catholic wife and two adult children from a previous relationship, indicated in the Il Giornale interview that he would have no problem converting to Christianity. He said he had even received Communion once — when he was 13 or 14 — "even though I knew it was an act of blasphemy, not having been baptized."

He did not speak to the press Saturday and his newspaper said it had no information about his conversion.

Allam said in the interview that he had made a pilgrimage to Mecca, as is required of all Muslims, with his deeply religious mother in 1991, although he was not otherwise observant.

"I was never practicing," he was quoted as saying. "I never prayed five times a day, facing Mecca. I never fasted during Ramadan."

Allam also explained his decision to title a recent book "Viva Israele" by saying he wrote it after he received death threats from Hamas.

"Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants," he said. "Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life."

In 2006, Allam was a co-winner, with three other journalists, of the $1 million Dan David prize, named for an Israeli entrepreneur. Allam was cited for "his ceaseless work in fostering understanding and tolerance between cultures."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

McLaren duo penalised for Malaysian Grand Prix

McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have been penalised five grid places for impeding rivals during qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The pair had been on the second row but Hamilton will now start in ninth, one place behind his Finnish team-mate.

After qualifying they were summoned by the stewards to answer complaints they held others up in the last session.

They ruled Kovalainen blocked Renault driver Fernando Alonso and Hamilton had obstructed BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld.

The FIA said Hamilton was "travelling at a very slow speed on the racing line", while Kovalainen was also charged with committing the same offence against Alonso.

Hamilton and Kovalainen had completed their fast laps and were slowing down to conserve fuel.

But Heidfeld complained their actions had cost him vital seconds in the final qualifying session, when 10 drivers go all out for the top grid positions.

"Most of the cars were already very slow when I was on my flying lap, just like they were parked on the circuit," he said.

"Both of the McLarens were in front at turn four, in the middle of the racing line.

"I just couldn't drive on the line that I wanted and, even more importantly, I could not brake where I wanted to.

"If you look at the times, they were very, very close - I lost two tenths and I think that would have put me third."

Hamilton felt he was not at fault, although did apologise to Heidfeld.

"I was pretty much out of the way," he said after emerging from the stewards' meeting. "If I held him up then I apologise for that."

Alonso, who left McLaren after a turbulent season to rejoin Renault, also felt he was denied a quick lap by the McLarens.

"I could have done better in Q3 this afternoon as I was with Heidfeld on a fast lap while the others were going slowly, and that affected me a bit, which is a shame," the double world champion said.

However, the McLaren team defended their drivers and insisted they had done all they could to make sure their rivals were able to cleanly complete their flying laps.

"There was clearly an issue there and it's unfortunate," chief executive Martin Whitmarsh said.

"If you look at the footage, our guys squeezed in as much as they could and slowed and we don't think they impaired Nick.

"I can understand his view that having all of those cars around when you're trying to concentrate on a quick lap isn't ideal."

McLaren accepted their punishment and said in a statement: "We accept the stewards' decision but would like to add that neither Lewis nor Heikki impaired any of their competitors deliberately."

Heidfeld was still not happy to accept their explanation and said: "If they did the best that they could do, they didn't do very well.

"I was approaching my last lap on the option tyre and it would have been my quickest lap if not for the McLarens driving in the middle of the racing line at 80kph."

For Bloggers, Legit News Photos For Free

PicApp, a San Francisco-based company is offering copyright news and stock photos from large photo banks like Getty Images and Corbis for free. The company is likely to announce availability of its public beta service later today.

The photos are displayed in a flash media file and can be embedded on any web page, just like YouTube. PicApp makes money off contextual advertising it embeds in the photos, and in turn shares it with the photo agencies. The new service is a sign of how tough things are in the stock photography business, where new and low cost competitors are emerging thick and fast, and challenging the old dogs like Getty Images.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

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Divorce Judge's Ruling calls Heather Mills liar

Heather Mills was a less-than-candid court witness whose $250 million divorce claim was exorbitant, a judge said in his ruling on her divorce from Paul McCartney.
The 58-page ruling by Judge Hugh Bennett, which was released Tuesday despite Mills' request that it be sealed, offers a candid look inside the couple's often volatile four-year marriage.
Mills, who lost part of her leg when she was hit by a motorcycle, cast McCartney as an abusive, alcoholic husband who cruelly made fun of her disability. But Judge Hugh Bennett's ruling published Tuesday made clear that her angry assertions rang hollow.
Bennett said Mills, 40, had "unreasonably" expected that she would be able to live the deluxe McCartney lifestyle for the rest of her life even after she divorced the pop star.
"Although she strongly denied it, her case boils down to the syndrome of 'me too' or 'if he has it, I want it too,' " he wrote in awarding Mills $48.6 million.
"To some extent she is her own worst enemy," he wrote. "She has an explosive and volatile character."
By contrast, the judge praised McCartney for "consistent, accurate and honest" testimony in the ruling, made public after he rejected Mills' attempt to block its release.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Apple May Offer Free Music Access

Apple Inc. is negotiating with record labels over a deal to give iPhone and iPod customers free access to the entire iTunes music library if they pay extra for the devices.
Having witnessed Nokia pay the labels to offer "Comes with Music" cellphones that let consumers in Europe download unlimited music from a limited catalog, Apple is apparently considering a similar approach.
Apple is trying to lowball the labels for this device, proposing that it pay the labels $20 per device for the right to give the consumer unlimited music -- considerably less than the premium extracted from Nokia (a rumored $80 per unit).

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Monday, March 17, 2008

ICC- In(dia)ternational Cricket club

It used to be called the Imperial Cricket Conference, it's now called the International Cricket Council but soon people will be referring to it as the Indian Cricket Club. This is not because Imtiaz Patel, a South African of Indian origin has been appointed the Chief Administrative Officer, but because Inderjit Singh Bindra has been made principal advisor to the ICC, an all-powerful post that gives him the widest range of powers of anyone in the ICC barring the president, a post that Sharad Pawar will next fill.

Pawar will succeed David Morgan in June 2010. Bindra, who is 66, was thought to be too old and experienced for the CEO's job, but this a position that is even better than the CEO's as it puts Bindra in a position where he reports directly to the president.

It gives Bindra, who will sign a formal contract for three years in the days to come, will have the right to attend any ICC meeting anywhere in the world. Bindra, who has been president of the BCCI, will be charged with advising the executive board of the ICC and the executive council in all matters relating to promoting the game.

This means that, for example, if the Indian Cricket League went to the ICC for redressal of its problems, the ICC board will refer it to Bindra. But Bindra's job will not be limited to firefighting, although that is one area in which is he a consummate master.

Falling directly in his ambit will be the implementation of the ICC's vision, spreading the game around the world - something Bindra's staunch enemy Jagmohan Dalmiya started - specifically in crucial areas like China and North America. Bindra will also be in charge of overseeing the relationship between various members of the ICC.

After all, the ICC itself is merely a collection of different national boards. If any contentious issues arise - and there is no shortage of those, for example the Pakistan Cricket Board's disappointment at Australia's refusal to tour - it will be upto Bindra to smooth over the ripples.

Crucially, Bindra will also be principally in charge of handling the various major properties of the ICC, overseeing the smooth conduct of major events like World Cups, the Champions Trophy and the Twenty20 World Cup. Bindra will have offices both in New Delhi and Dubai, and will continue to be president of the Punjab Cricket Association, which will enable him to attend important BCCI meetings as and when required, but he will not be able to hold any office within the BCCI.

This ICC appointment also means that Bindra will have to resign from the governing council of the Indian Premier League. It is understood that Patel was appointed CEO after close to 72 hours of "negotiations" between the BCCI and other members of the ICC.

Initially the BCCI had pushed hard for Bindra to be made president, and he was one of the long-list of 50 candidates that was later whittled down to 15, and finally six. "There was an absolute consensus on his choice," said Morgan, the ICC president elect.

"He was among six candidates shortlisted for the job by the executive board from a list of 15 chosen by our consultants." Patel was seen to be the ideal compromise candidate, with Bindra being made principal advisor.

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How wikipedia can use advertising but remain non profit and neutral

Wikipedia has long being against advertisement on it's sites. It depends on users to donate. Users who are mostly below 16 years doing their homework. Wikipedia hardly manages to get any donation from users but some corporate samaritans do help. Instead, they could just start selling advertisement and use the required money for survival and donate the rest to charity. And as for neutrality they can avoid contextual ads.
They could just put one small image ad on every page of one company. Like only At&t ads on every page regardless of content. It can be pay per day basis. Just imagine how much big companies will pay to have their ads on every page of wikipedia even or a day considering wikipedia's traffic.

Here are few of the solutions which was proposed
* Ads on articles pages is the most widely rejected solution, though there are a few supporters
* An opt-in system. Readers will have the opportunity to say "yes, I want advertisement". This would likely require the reader to be identified by an account, and to login. Most readers are unlikely to have an account, so it is not clear this solution would bring much money.
* An opt-out system. Readers will have the ads by default, but can request not to have the ads displayed. Most editors also feel this solution intrusive and it is unlikely to be retained
* Advertisment on search pages. This may be the least controversial solution, as it can not be said to damage our concept of neutrality, and might on the contrary bring a benefit to the reader. It has not been approved though.

Australia F1 night race ruled out

State officials have ruled out staging a night Grand Prix in Australia, despite Bernie Ecclestone saying the future of the race may depend on it.

Formula One boss Ecclestone wants a race under lights to satisfy European television viewers

The current contract ends in 2010 but Victorian state premier John Brumby said the government would do everything possible to keep the race in Melbourne. However, Brumby insisted: "There won't be a night Grand Prix."

Race organisers and the Victorian state government, which gives financial backing, are optimistic they can hold on to the event.

Brumby added: "We will take whatever steps are reasonable and whatever steps are practical to keep the event."

The start time of this season's curtain-raiser in Australia was pushed back to 0430 GMT and could start 90 minutes later at 0600 GMT in 2009.

But Ecclestone is seemingly unimpressed with the compromise.

"That's not what we're looking for. It needs to be a night race," he stated.

"It would be nice if the race was on at midday or 2pm for European audiences but I guess that would mean it starting in the middle of the night in Australia.

"Obviously, the later it is in Europe the better as far as I am concerned. I suppose it is easier getting up at 6am than 3am, so perhaps that's something."

Formula One newcomer Singapore will stage the first night grand prix this season in September but Australian organisers maintain that racing under lights at the temporary track at Albert Park is not viable.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker said: "We've got 300 hectares of land here.
"It's just not lighting the track, it's lighting the whole park to protect our patrons."

Brumby said that the prospect of holding a race down under at 10am on a Sunday - Saturday night in Europe - has also been raised.

But he feels Asian television audiences are increasing and could overtake Europe as the biggest Formula One spectator market in the future.

"I think there are going to be a lot of viewers in our time zone," he said.

"On Sunday the race went into Europe early in the morning. We will look at other times but there won't be a night grand prix and I don't think we need to hold a night grand prix."

The Melbourne race is also losing money. The 2007 event cost Australian taxpayers 35m Australian dollars (£16m) and this year's grand prix is expected to total A$40m (£18m).

China: You Tube blocked

China has blocked access to the popular website apparently after video clippings on the massive pro-independence protests rocked the Tibetan capital of Lhasa this week, appeared on the website.

Internet users trying to access the website were presented with the blank screen in contrast to their normal experience of it being readily available.

There was no official word on the blockage.

Contents considered pornographic and sensitive are usually blocked by online Chinese filters.

China has edged past the US in terms of the number of Internet users to reach the number one slot, according to a research firm.

China had reported the number of Internet users at 210 million by the end of last year, very close to 216 million of the US.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It seems like Wii is unbeatable. Shortly after the NPD Group released its data about the gaming sales in US during February, Media Create revealed that Nintendo Wii is the champion in Japan too.

According to Media Create, in the week ending March 9, Nintendo sold 57,068 Wiis in Japan, which is almost double compared to 21,008 PS3s sold by Sony. As for Microsoft, its Xbox 360 continues to struggle and it has sold only 2891.

So far, Microsoft has failed to impress the Japanese gamers, who bought only 257,800 Xbox 360 consoles during 2007, according to the data released by Enterbrain. In comparison, Nintendo Wii sold 3.6 million units, while Sony managed to sell 1.2 million PS3s.

Though, it is very possible that during the next week Xbox 360’s sales will be higher, because on March 6, Microsoft started to sell its Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan for only 27,800 yen ($260) instead 34,800 yen.

Xbox Arcade was launched in the US last year in October and it is sold for $279.99. The package includes five family-friendly games, a wireless controller, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) connection to enable high-definition output if desired and 256 MB of memory useful for storing games and entertainment content. Unlike the Core version, the Arcade doesn’t have a hard drive.

On the handheld market, Nintendo DS was outsold by Sony’s PSP. Sony sold 53,924 PSPs, while Nintendo DS ranked second with 48,658 units.

As for the United States, PS3 had a good February month, despite being outsold by Nintendo Wii almost 2 to 1. While Wii sold 432,000 units, Sony managed to sell 281,000 PS3s and Microsoft was lagging far behind with only 255,000 units.

According to the analysts, PS3 sales were boosted by the recent victory of BluRay, and it remains to be seen is Sony will manage to keep the rhythm.

Though, earlier this month iSuppli analyst Pamela Tufegdzic predicted that 2008 will be the turning year for Sony’s PlayStation 3. "2008 will be a turning year for the PS3," said Tufegdzic for Reuters. "Sony is offering a better forthcoming software pipeline with blockbuster titles like "Gran Turismo 5", which will boost PS3 sales this year."

Also, Sony announced June 12 as the official release date of its exclusive game, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. It is believed that the new title will boost the sales of PS3, in the same manner as Halo 3 did for Xbox 360 during last year.

On the Xbox 360’s front, Microsoft is expecting the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar’s upcoming title, to boost the sales of its gaming console. Although, the game is not an Xbox 360 exclusive, GTA’s makers have promised some exclusive content to be available later this year.

So, after all it seems like the battle of the gaming consoles is still open.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Macbook Air thrown along with newspaper

When something is thin enough to fit into an envelope, light enough to sit on your lap for a couple of hours without discomfort and so compact that it doesn't even bulge in an airline seat-back pocket, wouldn't it make sense that one could lose track of such a thing? Even if it is a computer?

Yes, it would make sense. Believe me. Please. Because I can't find my MacBook Air.

Can you really blame a guy for losing something that's called Air? True, Apple's new superslim laptop isn't transparent, and while its dimensions are anorexic (a profile ranging from 0.76 inches to 0.16 inches), we're not really talking about a dust mote here. It does weigh three pounds: impressive for a computer, but nowhere near the borders of nonexistence. In terms of utility, though, my MacBook Air (or, more accurately, the review unit that Apple lent me) might as well not exist. Because it's gone. Just another expensive miniature marvel of technology vanished into thin, um, air.

Let's walk back the cat (as the spies say) to try to solve this puzzle. It was a Wednesday morning. I thought I would take the Air to work with me. I was fairly confident of its location—an area of my apartment that includes a couch, a coffee table and a side table. This was also where I leave the white cube that is the computer's power supply, plugged into the extension cord right by the sofa. On that Wednesday, the power cord was indeed in place. But a quick scan did not reveal the presence of the laptop.

So I began a more thorough search. Looking for a MacBook Air, even in a New York City apartment, can be grueling. (Unlike the often-misplaced cell phone, it can't be called so you can locate it by ring.) You have to examine the bookshelves. You have to look under furniture. You have to scan through manila folders—because the Air is barely thicker than the papers inserted in those folders. Basically, you have to tear the whole place apart. Which I did. All I came up with was $6.80 in change and some credit-card bills for which I have already paid late fees. But no MacBook Air.

My next step was figuring out whether the laptop could have been lost—or stolen—at some other location. The last clear image I had of actually seeing it was the previous Friday afternoon, when (name-drop alert!) I was waiting to appear on "The Charlie Rose Show." I had shown the Air to another guest in the greenroom. Then I went to the studio, did the segment, grabbed my backpack and left. (Charlie Rose, who was in the studio the whole time, is not a suspect.) When I later asked the woman who runs the Rose show whether a MacBook Air had turned up, she said no.

I'm pretty sure, but not 100 percent, that after I got home that evening, I didn't take the computer out of the house again. Similar vagueness, I suspect, will lead to a lot of desperate searches for Airs over the next few years. (Most of these hunts, unlike mine, will turn up the computer.) The MacBook Air will not be the primary computer for many of its owners; lots of people need more storage than the maximum 80 gigabytes it provides. For those users, it will be a unit designated mainly for travel. This means that owners may well leave it in a perch that is later forgotten.

If my Air was stolen, I don't expect to see it again. The people at Apple (one of them couldn't stop laughing) do say that if the thief tried to repair it, Apple would identify the unit by its serial number. (By the way, NEWSWEEK is going to pony up the $1,800 for the loss.) Fortunately, because I had never bothered to wirelessly move all my data to the laptop, my personal exposure is limited. As a precaution, I did change the password on my Gmail, and de-authorized my iTunes account. Thus the thief, if there was a thief, cannot watch the two copy-protected episodes of "The Closer" I had downloaded. But I don't think it was stolen: as I noted, the power cord was in my living room, indicating that I'd used it sometime that weekend. It was safe at home—before it disappeared.

So what happened? In lieu of the presence of a poltergeist with techno-lust, I have developed a theory that I first viewed as remote, but now believe explains the fate of my Air. On Sundays in my apartment, the coffee table where the Air sat becomes the final resting place for the bulky New York Times. It is not unusual for other magazines, and newspapers from previous days, to accumulate there as well. My wife, whose clutter tolerance is well below my own, sometimes will swoop in and hastily gather the pulp in a huge stack, going directly to the trash-compactor room just down the hall from our apartment, dumping the pile into a plastic recycling bin. Sometimes the whole mess gets so nasty that I even perform this task myself. Could it be that somewhere in the stack was a Macintosh computer so thin that its manufacturer brags it could fit inside an envelope? I believe so. (For the record, my wife does not subscribe to this theory.)

As humiliating as it sounds, let me repeat: the MacBook Air is so thin that it got tossed out with the newspapers.

Yes, it's still possible the gizmo may have been stolen. Or it may be somewhere jammed into an obscure crevice in my apartment. For now, though, my review unit lays claim to being the first MacBook Air to be discarded by mistake. But, I will wager, not the last.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Solution for bad credit

Bad credit is a bane to many Americans which prevents them from achieving their's and their families' dreams and desires. Fortunately, there are lenders who are willing to give those with bad credit a second chance. is a free leading comparison website for people with bad credit.

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Elusive bird spotted near Papua New Guinea

A bird species not seen for 80 years has been rediscovered near Papua New Guinea, experts said Friday. The Beck's petrel, long thought to be extinct, was photographed last summer by an Israeli ornithologist in the Bismarck Archipelago, a group of islands northeast of New Guinea.

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Bush vetoes bill outlawing CIA waterboarding

President George W. Bush on Saturday vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawmakers included the anti-torture measure in a broader bill authorizing U.S. intelligence activities.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He added that the vetoed legislation "would diminish these vital tools."

The House of Representatives approved the legislation in December and the Senate passed it in February despite White House warnings it would be vetoed.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress last month that government interrogators used waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks.

The simulated drowning technique has been condemned by many members of Congress, human rights groups and other countries as a form of illegal torture.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Tech savvy Americans are? Confession of Indian BPO executive

My friend Rick works as a Tech Support agent for a internet service provider in a BPO. He has quoted some of the weirdest call in his blog American's Are Not Tech Savy

Take a look...........


Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
Customer "Ok."
Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No."
Tech Support: "Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer "No."
Tech Support:: "Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
Customer: "Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."


Customer: "I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message."
Tech Support:: "Did you install the update?"
Customer: "No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?"


Customer:: "I'm having trouble installing Microsoft Word."
Tech Support:: "Tell me what you've done."
Customer: "I typed 'A:SETUP'."
Tech Support:: "Ma'am, remove the disk and tell me what it says."
Customer:: "It says '[PC manufacturer] Restore and Recovery disk'."
Tech Support:: "Insert the MS Word setup disk."
Customer:: "What?"
Tech Support: "Did you buy MS word?"
Customer: "No..."


Customer:: "Do I need a computer to use your software?"
Tech Support:: ?!%#$


Tech Support:: "Ok, in the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there?"


Tech Support:: "What type of computer do you have?"
Customer:: "A white one."


Tech Support:: "Type 'A:' at the prompt."
Customer:: "How do you spell that?"


Tech Support: "Is your computer on a separate telephone line?"
Customer: "No." (clicks the button to log on to our service)
Tech Support:: "Well then we can't-"
Customer:: "It says 'no dial tone'."
Tech Support: "That's because you're on the line with me right now. You need to-"
Customer:: "No, that's not it. It does this all the time. I just have to try a few times, and it will let me through."
Tech Support:: "No, ma'am. It's not even trying to dial right now because you're on the phone with me."
Customer: "It must be busy. I'll try again later."


Tech Support: "What's on your screen right now?"
Customer: "A stuffed animal that my boyfriend got me at the grocery store."


Tech Support:: "What operating system are you running?"
Customer: "Pentium."


Customer: "My computer's telling me I performed an illegal abortion."


Customer: "I have Microsoft Exploder."


Customer: "How do I print my voicemail?"


Customer: "You've got to fix my computer. I urgently need to print document, but the computer won't boot properly."
Tech Support: "What does it say?"
Customer: "Something about an error and non-system disk."
Tech Support: "Look at your machine. Is there a floppy inside?"
Customer: "No, but there's a sticker saying there's an Intel inside."


Tech Support: "Just call us back if there's a problem. We're open 24 hours."
Customer: "Is that Eastern time?"


Tech Support:: "What does the screen say now?"
Customer: "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."
Tech Support:: "Well?"
Customer: "How do I know when it's ready?"