Archive for the ‘Miscellanious’ Category

Is it me, or am I starting to feel that Microsoft is popping Zoloft every night to sleep it all off. Whilst, Sony and Apple are ever booming, Microsoft is somewhat being forgotten about.

Anyhow, here walks (very lazily) the new Xbox 360 gaming console.  *three man applaud*

The latest version comes with a 250GB hard drive and comes ready to work with Microsoft’s new hands-free gaming interface, Kinect.

Check out Kinect: <- Cool concept. (opens in new window)

Existing consoles have been criticized in the past for the noise made by the device’s internal fans used to cool the tightly packed electronics but this one is… according to Microsoft, *whisper quiet* but no bluray=fail.

The original rumours, some of which took to calling this the “Xbox 360 Slim”, everyone assuming that becase the PlayStation 3’s second model got smaller that Microsoft would follow suit. But looking at the size of this console’s disc tray and power button (itself newly-designed), it doesn’t appear to be significantly smaller than the existing Xbox 360. A little thinner, perhaps, but nothing drastic. Here are the full details from Gizmodo.

If you’re in the gaming or middle eastern world relations mood, check out this crazy game that’s to be set in Dubai sometime this year. Why are they banning it? Find out here:   A New Game Set In Dubai To Cause HUGE Controversy! Face Censorship?

Watch the spectacular video here.

Dubai on Monday officially inaugurated the centerpiece of its decade-long construction boom, with the surprise revelation that the world-beating 168-story skyscraper — seen by some as a symbol of the city’s economic excess — was even bigger than previously thought.

In a glitzy firework-lit ceremony, the city-state’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum unveiled a plaque commemorating the event and also announced that the $1.5 billion structure has a new name: the Burj Khalifa.

Named after Khalifa Bin Zayed, the president of the United Arab Emirates — and ruler of Abu Dhabi, which recently bailed out debt-ridden Dubai to the tune of $10 billion — the tower was officially recorded as 828 meters tall, adding 10 meters on to previous height claims.

Six years in the making, and now 319 meters higher than previous skyscraping record-holder Taipei 101, Dubai’s newest edifice commands dizzying views of the ambitious building program that has transformed the emirate.

The structure’s architects, Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, have called the Burj Khalifa “a bold global icon that will serve as a model for future urban centers.”

Declaring that “tall buildings are back,” the company predicts that the groundbreaking techniques it used to push the Burj Khalifa to new heights should enable the construction of even taller towers in the future.

iReport: Share your photos of the world’s tallest buildings

“As with any project, SOM’s architects and engineers learned a great deal and are ready to apply this to the next world’s tallest building as it is certainly possible to go taller,” it said.

CNN – Despite such lofty claims, the Burj Khalifa — and other construction projects including the Palm Jumeirah and World archipelagos of man-made islands built for the super-rich — have cast a financial shadow over Dubai.

Last year the emirate shocked investors by asking for a freeze on payments owed on its $26 billion in debts.

The announcement by Dubai World — an umbrella group which includes the Burj Khalifa’s developers –delivered a cold dose of reality to speculators worldwide who believed the oil-rich region was impervious to the global financial crisis.

Facts and figures: Why Dubai is looking up

While predicted economic recovery are likely to help Dubai to shake off some of its debt woes, if not fully regain its boom-time ebullience, some say the city’s path of prestige over practicality will leave projects like the Burj Khalifa struggling to justify their place in the Gulf state’s skyline.

“Dubai doesn’t really need to have to build tall asides from prestige purposes,” Jim Krane, author of “City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism” told CNN in a recent interview.

“If you look at it, it’s a really bad idea. It uses as much electricity as an entire city. And every time the toilet is flushed they’ve got to pump water half a mile into the sky,” he said.

The telescopic shape also presents problems of a more practical nature Krane says.

“The upper 30 or 40 floors are so tiny that they’re useless, so they can’t use them for anything else apart from storage. They’ve built a small, not so useful storage warehouse half a mile in the sky,” he said.

Hollywood stunner Brittany Murphy, who found big screen success after her breakout role in “Clueless,” died Sunday after collapsing in the shower.

Los Angeles cops are investigating the 32-year-old’s sudden death, but a coroner official said it “appears to be natural.”

An autopsy is pending – over the objections of her British screenwriter husband, Simon Monjack, who told hospital staffers he didn’t want one, according to the gossip Web site TMZ.

The screen siren and singer was in full cardiac arrest and could not be revived after her beloved mother – who told paramedics the actress was diabetic – found her unconscious in the shower, TMZ reported.

Five paramedics who arrived after the 8 a.m. 911 call feverishly administered CPR as Monjack wandered around in his pajama bottoms, a witness told RadarOnline. Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The troubled starlet rose to fame in 1995 as the sidekick Tai in “Clueless,” who went from awkward wallflower to snotty hottie. She has appeared in more than 25 movies since then, including 1997’s “Bongwater,” “Girl, Interrupted” in 1998, “8 Mile” and “Sin City.”

Murphy, whose gravelly voice rocked the animated film “Happy Feet,” even broke into the dance club world with the hit single “Faster Kill Pussycat.”

Murphy lived in Edison, N.J., before moving to California when she was 13 and landing her first television role in “Blossom.”

She underwent a transformation from a too-pudgy-for-Hollywood brunette to a bone-thin blond – with cleavage ample enough to land her in Maxim’s 100 hottest women in 2006.

Speculation over her weight loss haunted her for years, and in 2005, she was dropped by her agent and publicist, fanning the gossip flames. At the time, she dismissed reports that her weight was connected to drug use or an eating disorder.

“I have never tried [cocaine] in my entire life. I’ve never even seen it,” she told Jane magazine. “I am also way too high-strung . . . Can you imagine? My God. I think my heart would explode.”

Friends openly worried that she’d become addicted to the prescription painkiller Vicodin after undergoing plastic surgery.

“Brittany has been living life on the edge,” one source told Britain’s Daily Mail.

She was set to play a small role in Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming film “The Expendables,” due out in August. But she had been mainly reduced to low-budget indie flicks, including “Across the Hall,” which opened two weeks ago in only two theaters.

Earlier this month, she abruptly left the Puerto Rico set of “The Caller” amid reports she’d been fired. Her publicist called it “creative differences.”

Sunday, Twitter was abuzz with tributes from stars, including an old squeeze, Ashton Kutcher, her co-star in 2003’s “Just Married.” “See you on the other side kid,” Kutcher tweeted.

Screenwriter and director Kevin Smith referred to her oft-quoted line in “Clueless”: “Sad to hear about Brittany Murphy. G’night, Ms. Murphy; hope you’re rollin’ with the homies someplace nice.”

An ancient tiger may have been the first to carry the AIDS virus.

Researchers have found a strand of feline DNA in the AIDS virus, leading them to believe that the virus was incubated in a tiger thousands or millions of years ago. They speculate that the tiger may have bitten a monkey, setting in motion the viral evolution that would ultimately lead to the infection of humans.

Though the research is unlikely to directly lead to treatment breakthroughs, it expands scientists’ understanding of the virus. “It’s a rare and unusual thing that the virus would actually pick up some of the machinery of the cell that it infected,” said the study’s coauthor.

From here, researchers will examine whether the gene is present in SIV, a monkey-only cousin to AIDS, and whether the presence or absence of the gene correlates to the strength of the virus. That finding could have treatment implications, reports HealthDay.

I’m glad they finally got to the bottom of this, I would really worried it came from another species of animal.

Tomorrow sees the anniversary of the birth of Walt Disney, the father of cartoon animation. But the company he founded has grown far beyond Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, take a look at just how big Disney has become.
As an englishman, “240,000 pounds laundered each day” takes on a different meaning.