Monthly Archives: August 2012

Miracles, fairy tales is NO More in World Sports. Lance Armstrong still a LEGEND

image

7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong faces being stripped of his titles and banned from cycling for life after announcing he will not contest charges levelled by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Lance Armstrong said in a statement that he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisted he is innocent but did not want to spend any further effort clearing his name.

He said: “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough’. For me, that time is now.

“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.”

However Armstrong’s achievements are set to be wiped from the record books.

Armstrong, 40, has always denied claims he ever used performance-enhancing drugs during his career and has never failed a test.

But USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart has said the Texan should face the same proceedings as any other athlete charged with doping offences.

Armstrong, charged by USADA in June, sought a temporary restraining order against the agency’s legal action but that was dismissed in a federal court in Austin, Texas.

His former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton have both accused Armstrong of doping. Both Landis and Hamilton have also been punished for doping.

image

Armstrong, who in 2011 retired from cycling for a second time, is the most successful rider in the history of the Tour de France, winning each year from 1999 to 2005.

His story was made all the more remarkable by the fact his triumphs came after beating cancer.

Armstrong claims the USADA investigation “has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs”.

“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt,” he said.

Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s sporting director during his unprecedented run of Tour de France victories, released a short statement through his website.

His statement read: “Today, I’m disappointed for Lance and for cycling in general that things have reached a stage where Lance feels that he has had enough and is no longer willing to participate in USADA’s campaign against him.

“Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been.

“I hope that it will soon be determined that the case that USADA initiated against me should never have gotten as far as it has.

“Due to the sensitive nature of legal proceedings, I have been advised that it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.”

image

Lance Armstrong statement:
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough’. For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

“I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognised the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

“USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my team-mates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

“Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly 500 million US dollars. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.”

After I read & seen all news, I’ve sorted something on this matter of issues.. To all the cynics. I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event & hard work to wins it…! If Lance was guilty, before the cycling competition he will be banned. But Lance keep it up with all dope tests & passed. Now after retiring, Lance was found guilty & been stripped all 7-time medals. Crap news & crap responded..!! USADA totally precious twat..

KEEP GOING LANCE ARMSTRONG..!! #Livestrong..!!

Copyright 2012 by Daily Telegraph

Robin Van Persie sold his soul to the Devils

image

Robin van Persie is set to complete a £24 million move to Manchester United on Thursday after Arsène Wenger sanctioned the sale of the Arsenal captain to Old Trafford following a day of haggling over the final terms of the transfer.

The Dutch forward, last season’s double Footballer of the Year, will fly from Brussels to Manchester this morning after being with the Holland squad for Wednesday night’s friendly against Belgium and will undergo a medical before signing a £220,000-a-week deal with Manchester United.

United have overcome opposition from neighbours Manchester City and Italian champions Juventus to sign the 29 year-old, who had made it clear to Arsenal that he would not be extending his contract at the club beyond its expiry next June.

Van Persie’s defection from the Emirates to Old Trafford, a rarely trodden path, will see him become the first direct transfer from Arsenal to United since England defender Viv Anderson completed a £250,000 move in 1987 to become Sir Alex Ferguson’s first signing as United manager.

image

United released a brief statement on Wednesday night to confirm the agreement between the two clubs. The statement said: “Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Arsenal Football Club for the transfer of Robin van Persie. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

The capture of Van Persie is regarded as a major coup by Ferguson and senior figures at Old Trafford, who regard the signing as a response to City’s recent dominance of the transfer market and a sign of the club’s ambition to recapture the Premier League title.

It is understood that Ferguson’s determination to sign Van Persie convinced the Dutchman that his future lay at Old Trafford, rather than at City, who failed to match Arsenal’s asking price or United’s salary offer.

Van Persie is also believed to have placed high importance on playing for a club steeped in tradition and with a long history of success and United, along with Barcelona, who failed to join the pursuit of the player, were the forward’s favoured options when he announced his decision not to extend his Arsenal contract.

Speaking last week, United forward Wayne Rooney admitted his excitement at the prospect of playing alongside Van Persie.

“He’s a fantastic player,” Rooney said. “He’s been amazing for Arsenal over many years. If he does come here, he would be a great addition to the squad.”

WELCOME TO MANCHESTER..!!

Copyright 2012 by Daily Telegraph

Google upgrading Voice Search

Google Mobile App

The new version of Google’s Voice Search debuted at a press launch in San Francisco. The company unveiled a version of the voice-based search app for its Android software earlier this year. Google also said a new version of its web search that integrates its Gmail service with its search engine to personalise the results of everyday searches would also become available soon.

The new version of Google’s search app for the iPhone and iPad will let users find information about everything from the weather to nearby movie showings by speaking into the devices and reciting answers to search results in a human sounding voice, similar to Siri. Google said the technology behind the two new options – what it calls its Knowledge Graph – was an initial effort to extend search engines’ understanding of the world beyond keywords, so they can better recognise what the user is really looking for.

Engineers said the company’s search engine now “knows” half a billion real-world objects and 3.5 billion connections among those objects. Rather than simply provide ranked lists of other pages with the information it thinks the user is seeking, the search engine will try to extract and condense that information from elsewhere on the web in a user-friendly format. This means a search for the weather should result in the forecast being displayed in a use able format, rather than having to click on a link, while asking for a particular video could bring it up and start it playing.

The app answered quickly and clearly, though in a voice that sounded slightly more robotic and stilted than Siri’s, according to wired.com. The enhanced version of Google Voice Search is already available on Android 4.1 and it will become available to iOS users within a few days, but users of older versions of Android are not yet catered for.

Copyright 2012 by SkyNews.com & YouTube

Facebook set off new social-network wars with Twitter

facebook

There’s been a lot of virtual ink spilled lately about how Twitter has been flexing its platform muscles by cracking down on the use of its API and—some argue— squeezing the life out of its ecosystem. It’s worth noting, though, that Facebook (FB) is not above throwing its weight around, too. Developer & Entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell has written an enlightening tale about a meeting he had with the company’s platform-and-partnerships team, in which he says Facebook basically threatened to destroy his startup if he didn’t agree to sell it. While social networks such as Twitter and Facebook may be relatively new, the struggle over control vs. openness when it comes to platforms is as old as technology itself.

Caldwell—who has since pivoted App.net, his startup, and is trying to turn it into a user-financed version of Twitter through a Kickstarter-style funding campaign—says in an open letter to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg that he expected the meeting to be about how his company could work with the social network to benefit both sides, but it turned into something much more threatening. As Caldwell describes it: “Your executives explained to me that they would hate to have to compete with the ‘interesting product’ I had built, and that since I am a ‘nice guy with a good reputation’ that they wanted to acquire my company to help build App Center.”

The obvious implication, Caldwell says, was that Facebook was prepared to destroy the startup venture unless the entrepreneur agreed to sell it: a modern version of the old mob shakedown routine, in which the enforcer says something like “Nice family you got there—be a shame if something was to happen to them.” Or, as Caldwell puts it in his letter to Zuckerberg, “Your team doesn’t seem to understand that being ‘good negotiators’ vs. implying that you will destroy someone’s business built on your ‘open platform’ are not the same thing.”

Ironically, Caldwell says in his letter that one of the reasons he wanted to develop something on top of Facebook was that the Twitter platform was “even more of a joke than the Facebook platform” when it came to treating outside developers well. Twitter’s moves to close down more of its API—as it did recently by shutting off Instagram’s access to the follower list of Twitter users—have stirred widespread criticism from developers, many of whom argue that outside services were a large part of what generated the social value Twitter is now trying to monetize.

twitter

Both Facebook & Twitter have gone through similar evolutions in their relationships with outside developers and third-party services: Just two years ago, Twitter held a developers’ conference called Chirp that was aimed at reaching out to companies—in part to clear out some of the bad blood in a relationship that co-founder and former CEO Evan Williams later admitted had been handled badly. At almost the same time, Facebook held a developers’ conference called f8, where it launched the“open graph” platform that services such as Caldwell’s app center (and Zynga’s (ZNGA) social games) were built upon.

As pressure to monetize their networks has increased, however, both companies have stepped up the control they exert over their platforms—by restricting what outside services can do, by acquiring companies or recreating the features that they offer, and in some cases by making veiled threats of the kind.

There are obvious similarities between what both Twitter and Facebook are doing and the approach taken by previous technology giants such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL). Microsoft was infamous for what was internally called its “embrace, extend, and exterminate” strategy, which some say often involved meetings with outside services whose features were then duplicated by the software giant. Apple is well-known for controlling its platform more tightly than probably any other technology player in recent memory—and for making changes that benefit itself, regardless of the impact on others.

In some ways, this kind of process is completely nature land even has some parallels outside technology. Twitter & Facebook have taken to the economic doctrine of “mercantilism,” in which states try to control the way their subjects and colonies can trade with outside parties. Not surprisingly, this approach has also been the cause of a number of wars—the real kind, with guns, not the metaphorical kind. Others have called it “API Darwinism,” implying that it’s a form of natural selection that favors the strongest.

Does this make what Facebook & Twitter are doing right, just because it’s common behavior? That depends on whether you’re an investor, a developer, or a user. Even developers can’t seem to agree: In comments at Hacker News on Caldwell’s post, as many people argue that Facebook’s behavior was completely justified and normal—and the entrepreneur was naive to expect otherwise—as those who support him with criticism of the social network.

Twitter & Facebook must beware becoming so controlling & dismissive of their ecosystem and/or their users that they wind up giving their competitors more ammunition & eventually lose their network effects to a newcomer, as Myspace did to Facebook. Apple may have been able to increase its dominance, despite taking a strong-handed approach. But if recent history has shown us anything, it’s that not every company can be Apple.

Copyright 2012 by businessweek.com & YouTube

Lightning Usain strikes again

London-2012

USAIN BOLT sealed his place in Olympic history when he became only the second man to defend the 100 metres title.

The Jamaican flier clocked a new Games best of 9.63sec to win gold after first picking up the title at Beijing 2008. That was just off the world record of 9.58 he set in Berlin in 2009 — and his second fastest time ever.

Bolt, 25, said: “When it comes to the Championships I run. I always knew I would be OK on that track. “My coach kept telling me to stop worrying about the race. “I was worried about the start. It still wasn’t the best start but I executed it.” His victory was greeted with chants of ‘Usain, Usain’ from the 80,000 packed into the Olympic Stadium. He added: “I could feel the energy. I just knew the atmosphere would be like that out there.”

Only Carl Lewis had previously won two Olympic 100m golds in a row, first in LA in 1984 and then, in effect by default, when Ben Johnson tested positive four years later. Bolt’s fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake took silver after equalling his personal best of 9.75 with American former drug cheat Justin Gatlin third in 9.79. Had former world-record holder Asafa Powell not pulled up injured it would have been the first time in history that all EIGHT men had run under 10 seconds.

Usain Bolt crosses the finish line to win the men’s 100m final

1) Size matters …

It’s obvious, sure, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Being 6ft 5in tall allows Usain Bolt to take wider (and thus fewer) steps over a 100m race than his smaller rivals. On Sunday night he took 41 steps to win the Olympic final. Yohan Blake took 46 steps and Justin Gatlin took 42.5 steps.

2) … but it’s also about strength and elasticity too

What makes Bolt special is that he also possesses great strength and flexibility, which allows him to accelerate quickly and maintain a very high top speed. As Dr Ross Tucker of The Science of Sport website explains: “I’ve not seen such an elastic runner before. Bolt’s advantages stem from a superior stretch-shortening cycle function, which allows energy to be stored and used more effectively. We know from research that power output is proportional to the amount of energy that can be stored and released from the muscle-tendon junction during the muscle contraction.”

Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the 100m Olympic final

3) He was injury free

The news that Bolt had a “slightly tight hamstring” in the run-up to the Games led some to speculate whether the Jamaican would be at his best in London. But those close to his camp insist that he was able to put in six weeks of hard training beforehand. That ensured he was back to peak condition for the Games. And a fit Bolt is an almost unstoppable Bolt, providing he gets his start right.

4) He was more chilled than refrigerated Ting soda

Two scenes, six weeks apart, to compare and contrast. First, Bolt at the Jamaican trials: he had his business-face on, looked fretful before the start and failed to pass Blake, who started like a Lamborghini and finished like a tank. Second, Bolt entering the arena before the men’s 100m final on Sunday night: he was smiling while everyone else was stony-faced, down the track in his warmup with the energy of a 70s punk, and then destroyed the rest of the field in the second fastest time in history.

5) Bolt’s start

After the race, Bolt admitted that he was worried about a false start and so “sat on the blocks a bit” while he waited for the gun. His reaction time of 0.165sec, however, was actually faster than Blake (0.179sec) and Gatlin (0.178sec). As usual, Bolt was slower to build up to top speed than his nearest rivals, but his fast reaction time meant that although Gatlin was ahead of him early on, he was always within catching distance. Bolt could keep calm, and let his long legs do the rest.

How they finished

1. Usain Bolt (Jam) 9.63 seconds

2. Yohan Blake (Jam) 9.75

3. Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.79

4. Tyson Gay (USA) 9.80

5. Ryan Bailey (USA) 9.88

6. Churandy Martina (Hol) 9.94

7. Richard Thompson (Tri) 9.98

8. Asafa Powell (Jam) 11.99

Copyright 2012 by Guardian.co.uk & The Sun

Rises against revolution

Dark Knight Rises

“The Dark Knight Rises” doesn’t proclaim a villain born of unfathomable, motiveless, quench for anarchy as immortalized by Heath Ledger or his spiritual predecessor Jack Nicholson, or the real-life actions of the individual behind the still-in-investigation act, what its villain sets out to accomplish is nearly radical enough: the domination of a free spirit.

The disaster, although racking up from the movie’s inception is imminent, and its threat — or that of the destruction of Gotham — rings a little closer to home, without making it apparent. A fellow critic of mine, who saw the movie before me, said that you can only talk about the first 30 minutes of the movie. Anymore and you are liable to trip-up on spoilers.

In “Rises”, Christopher Nolan’s deliberately and delicately crafted swan-song to Bob Kane’s comic centering on a billionaire orphan turned detective-vigilante, pain (physical and figurative) is intensified, a city-falls and a hero — or make that heroes — rise.

Banking on his and brother screenwriter Jonathan Nolan’s aptitude for complex character juggling, Chris Nolan expands and contracts a handful of deep-rooted individuals for 165 minutes of the film’s running time – right into the overarching climax on Gotham’s streets that include everything from an army of weaponless cops to tank-cars and a ticking nuclear weapon.

Although Googler’s would have no doubt picked up the clues, “Rises” is an adaptation of a number of Batman comic-arcs since DC comics rebooted, and permanently relocated, the dark knight to a grittier domain in 1987’s “Batman: Year One” (which subsequently plays a substantial role in “Batman Begins”). The titles in question for inspiration would be: “No Man’s Land”, “Knight Fall” fiddles around with Nolan’s auteurist touch.

“The Dark Knight” had ended 8 years ago when “Rises” opens. Bruce Wayne (played with phlegmatic restrain by Christian Bale) is a recluse with a bad-leg, moping for Rachel Dawes (his deceased love interest played by Maggie Gyllenhaal). The Dent Act — a law fortified by the death Gotham’s white knight, Harvey Dent and Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) — has eradicated crime to the street-level. Gotham is safe. Gordon is “a war hero” in “peace time” — and that guilt is eating him alive.

Gotham is soon stormed by Bane (Thomas Hardy, mean, trenchant and maniacal) — a calm and nefarious villain flaunting deterrence and an oddish mask that garrotte’s his voice into a strangled wheeze.

Here, Bane’s single minded agenda, which we later learn is a by-product of unmovable belief (and which comes full-circle to “Batman Begins”), is a perceptible layer in Hardy’s low-key, but frightfully aware performance.

And is it brutal. In the highly publicized poster art, which divulges a key aspect about Bruce Wayne/Batman’s butchery, we see Bane’s hulking figure walking away from a cracked-cowl. The “real” fight scene, which happens at halfway through the film, is as atrociously pitiless as it is mesmeric. It is a single instant, in a string of grandly-designed incidents that numb the audience into absolute submission.

In a separate, interconnected layer to Bane and Bruce is a neophyte “hot-head” cop, Jonathan Blake (a winning Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an orphan who walks up to Bruce’s home one day and tells him that he’s known about his cape and cowl. As the screenplay works out, the masks are an extension, and not a divergence, of Bruce or Bane or the velvety cat-burglar Selina Kyle’s (Anne Hathaway) inherent personalities.

“Rises” doesn’t need to label Selina Kyle under the moniker of “Catwoman”. Her role, as the roles of every single individual — whether Michael Caine’s trust-worthy father-figure-cum-butler, Morgan Freeman’s company chief and tech wizard, or Marion Cotillard’s philanthropist (and half-baked love-interest) – are precociously pre-composed. If compared to Dark Knight, The Joker was extremely funny & menacing, Bane is a more intelligent, planning and dark character. This movie is about pain and The other movie is about chaos. The story of the Dark Knight Rises is amazing but Dark Knight was better cause Joker character played by Heath Ledger was too perfect & madness as ‘Agent of Chaos.’ After all, this is the end of the era…

Copyright 2012 by Dawn.com Entertainment & YouTube

Fantasy Premier League 2012/13 launches for new challenge

Fantasy Premier League 2012/13

After a hard-earned summer break Fantasy Premier League, the official fantasy football game of the Premier League, is back.

With just four weeks to go before the start of the new Barclays Premier League campaign, last year’s 2.8m Fantasy players can sign in using last year’s details before reactivating their classic and Head–to-Head leagues.

Extending the invitations to friends and family that missed out on the fun can also join by creating a Premier League account and registering a team.

Click to register your team now >

Fans must select a squad of 15 players from a budget of £100m and then choose a starting 11 each week before Gameweek deadlines.

Gameweek 1 deadline

The Gameweek 1 deadline is 11:30 on Saturday 18th August 2012 so you must ensure your team is registered before then to start scoring from the start of the season.

Remember, you can change your team as many times as you like before the Gameweek 1 deadline but after the deadline you have one free transfer each week with each subsequent transfer costing -4pts.

Players in the game cost between £4m to £13m and last season’s highest scoring players by position are priced as follows: GK Joe Hart (MCI) £7m, DF Evra (MUN) £7m, MF Dempsey (FUL) £9.5m and FW Van Persie (ARS) £13m. You can view all player values at player list.

‘Rate my team’

Once you’ve confirmed your team, why not invite your friends to rate your team via the new ‘Rate my team’ feature that posts your team to your Facebook wall?

There are also bigger and better prizes on offer throughout the season.

The overall winner of Fantasy Premier League 2012/13 and his/her guest will be treated to a seven-night break in the United Kingdom and will experience VIP hospitality at TWO Barclays Premier League matches.

They will also visit a selection of major UK tourist attractions such as the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds and The Beatles Story in Liverpool.

Monthly prizes

Quarterly and monthly prizes are also available to win and full terms & conditions are available in the game.

If you do miss out on the Gameweek 1 deadline then don’t worry – you can always enter Fantasy Premier League during the season and start scoring from the Gameweek in which you join.

In addition, you can create mini-leagues and invite friends already playing and start the league’s scoring from that point too.

For all users around the world, I recommend you’ll to join this league : 

“Theatre of Dreams”

Code to join this league: 242918-146042

Expired date : 28th August 2012

WELCOME…!!

Copyright 2012 by fantasy premier league