Wednesday, December 29, 2010

History of the New Year Celebration

While most of the world now celebrates New Year's Day on January 1st, it was not always that way. If you had lived in Mesopotamia and Babylon 4,000 years ago (c. 2000 B.C.), you probably would have celebrated the New Year in mid-March, at the time of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. If, however, you were an Egyptian, your new year began with the Autumnal Equinox and the flooding of the Nile. If you were Greek, the Winter Solstice began your New Year celebrations. All these seasons reflected a time of renewal, re-birth and regeneration. However, it was secular, civic and religious influences that eventually changed most "new year" celebrations to January 1st.

Measuring time was, historically, determined by the easily observed cycles of the sun (solar), the moon (lunar) and of the regular occurrences of seasonal events that influenced agriculture. However, since solar, lunar and seasonal events were not consistent, formulating a reliable calendar evolved over eons.

The earliest known Roman calendar designated March as the beginning of the New Year, on the Vernal Equinox - the beginning of spring and a time when warring could begin, again. Depending upon whether one focuses on Mars or Martius as the derivation of that month's name, either interpretation is acceptable, as the return of spring begins a new crop season; and, with the winter ending, the weather was favorable for moving troops. Their calendar had ten named months, reflected in the historic, numerical names of six of the months. The origin of the names of the months were:

  • March - Mars, Roman god of war; or, Martius - Roman god of fertility and vegetation
  • April - perhaps derived from aperire - Latin from open; or, from Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty
  • May - Maia, Roman goddess of spring
  • June - Juno, principle Roman goddess of marriage and the well-being of women
  • July - originally Quintilis, Latin for 5th month, renamed for Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
  • August - originally, Sextilis, Latin for 6th month, renamed for Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.
  • September - septem, Latin for 7
  • October - octo, Latin for 8
  • November - novem, Latin for 9
  • December - decem, Latin for 10
Before 700 B.C. the calendar year began with the month of March, until the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the month of January and February. The month of January was named to honor Janus, a Roman god with two faces - one looking back and the other looking forward, signifying the old and the new.


February is derived from Februa, the Roman festival of purification.

In 46 B.C.E. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar first established January 1 as New Year’s day. In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was ordered by the gods.

As Christianity spread, pagan holidays were either incorporated into the Christian calendar or abandoned altogether.  By the early medieval period most of Christian Europe regarded Annunciation Day (March 25) as the beginning of the year. According to Catholic tradition, Annunciation Day commemorates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would be impregnated by G-d and conceive a son to be called Jesus.

After William the Conqueror (AKA “William the Bastard” and “William of Normandy”) became King of England on December 25, 1066, he decreed that the English return to the date established by the Roman pagans, January 1.  This move ensured that the commemoration of Jesus’ birthday (December 25) would align with William’s coronation, and the commemoration of Jesus’ circumcision (January 1) would start the New Year - thus rooting the English and Christian calendars and his own Coronation.  William’s innovation was eventually rejected, and England rejoined the rest of the Christian world and returned to celebrating New Years Day on March 25.


About five hundred years later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII (AKA “Ugo Boncompagni”, 1502-1585) abandoned the traditional Julian calendar.  By the Julian reckoning, the solar year comprised 365.25 days, and the intercalation of a “leap day” every four years was intended to maintain correspondence between the calendar and the seasons.  Really, however there was a slight inaccuracy in the Julian measurement (the solar year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds = 365.2422 days).  This slight inaccuracy caused the Julian calendar to slip behind the seasons about one day per century.  Although this regression had amounted to 14 days by Pope Gregory’s time, he based his reform on restoration of the vernal equinox, then falling on March 11, to the date had 1,257 years earlier when Council of Nicaea was convened (March 21, 325 C.E.).  Pope Gregory made the correction by advancing the calendar 10 days.  The change was made the day after October 4, 1582, and that following day was established as October 15, 1582.  The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian in three ways:  (1) No century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000, etc.); (2) Years divisible by 4000 are common (not leap) years; and (3) once again the New Year would begin with the date set by the early pagans, the first day of the month of Janus - January 1.


 Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years at January 1 - supposedly the day on which Jesus’ circumcision. So, the January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.


Sources and Additional Information:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Numbers in Status: New way of telling private things in public

Last week, people changed their Facebook profile pictures to cartoons to stand up to child abuse and violence. The trend popularity went south when rumors started to surface that the Facebook cartoon profile picture meme was a nice hoax set up by child predators.

So, today, there is a new popular game in our virtual town – the Number Game. It works like this: You send a friend any number in a non-public communication like a Facebook private message or in a chat, and this number will be associated for now with you for all matters of communication in public. The friend will then write his or her ‘real’ feelings about you in a public status update, but will refer to you only by your number without mentioning names or other hints, so that your identity is hidden in plain sight to all but the two of you.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The official explanation from the Facebook page:

The Number Game is a fun, interactive game that you can play with your facebook friends! Here is how it works: Facebook users can ask their friends what they think about them by supplying them with a number through a message. The friend then gives the answer via a status, and attaches the number to their answer for identification purposes.

Step By Step.

::: Ask your friends via a status or on chat to send you their favorite number through a message if they want feedback on what you think about them

::: Post a status about that particular person, starting it with the number they sent you (It can be a compliment, something you like or dislike about them, or something you always wanted to tell them)

Below are listed a few examples!

Number sent to you: 21
Status: True friend; you've always been there and I'm grateful for our relationship!

Number sent to you: 1013
Status: I wonder why we never really talk... you seem cool, but we just never connect:/

Number sent to you: 10
Status: You're gonna make it somewhere someday:P Keep up the good work and stay true to who you are

OK, is this game fun?
Let’s admit, the game basically offers reverse anonymity - the opposite of having a secret admirer or adversary. Both parties know who the other is. The difference between having this conversation about ‘true’ feelings in private is that you’re telegraphing it publicly on Facebook - except that no one has any idea what you’re talking about. It’s not like the rudimentary encryption hides anyone’s identity in order to allow them to say things to another in secret they wouldn’t say otherwise. I could see a value in that. But all the Numbers Game does is clog everyone else’s news stream with revelations that “so-and-so thinks 6 is a total B.” Do you really care? Unless you want to become a virtual detective, trying to transcript the anonymous numbers into the real names of your friends.

Why, why, why?
The game has made to the top of the Google Searches, penetrated to 2 popular social networks – Facebook and Twitter – and gained more than 1,000 'likes' in less than 12 hours on Facebook page only. So, if it is not fun, why it is so popular? I would offer several possible suggestions for your consideration:
  1. As every virtual epidemic, it is addictive. All your friends are getting their feedback, and you are out of the main track? No, get back to it!
  2. It is all about you. Everybody like this sort of game. Just one more way, and one more reason to discuss the most interesting topic on the Earth – YOU.
  3. But why in public status? Private communication is not enough? The anonymous revelation about you gives you feeling of significance and magic. Like reading in the local newspaper about yourself, like “Student B. was hit by passing by scooter. He was released from the emergency room after brief observation”.
  4. There might be certain positive outcome from the game as well. Let’s say, you want to get real opinion about you from the particular person, but you kind of cannot approach with your inquiries. Within this game, that would be quite natural.
I would say that this Facebook game seems to be best suited for the teenagers, who are in the stage of constant uncertainty about themselves, their looks, relationship, friendship, and love.

Sources and Additional Information:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Quotes for your Celebration

Here are some wonderful Thanksgiving quotes that show you how to count your blessings. How often do we remember to express our gratitude to our friends, family, and God? If you wish to express your deepest gratitude, these thanksgiving quotes will be helpful.


Henry Van Dyke 
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.

Johannes A. Gaertner
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.

William Law
Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.

Melody Beattie
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.


Frank A. Clark

If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

Estonian Proverb
Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.

Ethel Watts Mumford
God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends.

H. U. Westermayer
The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.


Meister Eckhart
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice.

Galatians 6:9
Do not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

Thomas Aquinas
It would seem that the ingratitude, whereby a subsequent sin causes the return of sins previously forgiven, is a special sin. For, the giving of thanks belongs to counter passion, which is a necessary condition of justice. But justice is a special virtue. Therefore this ingratitude is a special sin. Thanksgiving is a special virtue. But ingratitude is opposed to thanksgiving. Therefore ingratitude is a special sin.

Albert Barnes
We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.

Henry Ward Beecher
The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!

William Faulkner
Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.

George Herbert
Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more -- a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleases me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.


J.A. Shedd
He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.

Edward Sandford Martin
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Henry Ward Beecher
The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!

Henry Jacobsen
Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.


Gerald Good
"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily."

Robert Burns
Some hae meat and canna eat, -
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

O. Henry
There is one day that is ours.  There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to.  Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.

Ellen Orleans
I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the "history" I was told in second grade.  But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America's traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.

Jon Stewart 
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. 

Sources and Additional Information:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

National UnFriend Day: Clean your Facebook Account

"Remember five years ago when no one had Facebook and you didn't know what the guy you took high school biology with was having for lunch?" Jimmy Kimmel asked the audience on his show last night. "Remember how that was fine? Let's go back to that."

If you didn't watch "Jimmy Kimmel Live" November 11, you might think Kimmel started a campaign to end Facebook, but he's not. Instead, he announced a new national holiday called "National Unfriend Day," where he encourages you to "cut out some of the friend fat in your life" on Facebook and otherwise.

Today, November 17, Kimmel wants you to look at all of your Facebook friends and decide: who is really your friend? A friend, as he says, is not someone who "asks what 'Harry Potter' character you are."

See two Video Presentations (watch one after another as they are logically connected):

On his show yesterday evening, Kimmel celebrated the arrival of National Unfriend Day with its very own anthem sung by country artists Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker.

To all the friends I've un'ed before
Who sent me quizzes about Jersey Shore
You made my life a hell
With your stupid LOL
To all the friends I've un'ed before
To all the guys from grammar school
Posting shirtless pictures by their pool
Your fat and sweaty back
Really makes me want to yak
To all the friends I've un'ed before
Our time on earth goes by so quickly
We have to make each moment great
So I cannot waste one more minute
Reading your dumb status update

Kimmel may have a point, but this rather funny joke of a holiday seems to be more a late night comedy sketch than an event manufactured out of real concern for the status of friendship.

Still, National UnFriend Day is good natured -- at least for those not being unfriended -- and you might even consider taking the day to cut some friend fat of our own.

Facebook had no immediate comment on how the festivities were being marked at company headquarters. Needless to say, Zuckerberg is not likely to be adding Kimmel to his friends list anytime soon.

Sources and Additional Information:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Black Friday Ads – Get Ready for Shopping Season

One of the most reliable signs of the coming Big Shopping Season is the Black Friday is getting back to the top of the Google Searches. The slow but steady economy recovery promises the potential good sales results for the vendors, and that is escalating the heat of the season preparation.

Black Black is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it's one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States -falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. In 2010, it is November 26. While it's not recognized as an official US holiday, many employees have the day off -except those working in retail.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

So, this year the word is already out quite early: Black Friday sales ads have been leaked to websites and news outlets throughout the country. Before you give too much credit to the sleuthing skills of the websites that post these early deals, consider this: Many retailers leak their sales early, on purpose. Sears, for example, started offering its Black Friday deals on Fridays and Saturdays starting at the end of October, and scored a lot of free publicity as a result. (The company also ran television ads promoting its early start on the shopping holiday.)

Early leaks are a relatively new strategy says Ellen Davis, vice president at the National Retail Federation, and even now, retailers still want to control buzz about their discounts as much as possible. "They don't want their Black Friday deals to get out too early because then you tip your hand to the competition. If you're offering $9 crockpots, then your competition might offer them for $8," she says.

Sometimes the leaks are unauthorized. "Retailers found that the circulars were leaked by a vendor who might have been printing them, or someone inside the company who didn't have permission to do so," says Davis.

Early previews that aren't endorsed can be frustrating for retailers, she says, because they might change their mind about sales as the date gets closer, or their promotions might vary by location. That's one reason many stores keep their biggest discounts under wraps until the day of the sale.
And not every store wants their sales leaked early. Wal-Mart, for example, is notorious for keeping its deals private and even issuing warnings to any websites that post information.

"One of the tactical things they can do to get more attention for their own sales is to let it out really quickly, or pull a Wal-Mart and try to keep it as under wraps as they can until a few days before," says Brad Wilson, publisher of Brad's Deals. He says he usually gets early information about sales from companies themselves. Sometimes, employees from the companies pretend to be average consumers who have discovered sale information in the hopes of promoting it on his site, he says.
Along with the early leaks, many companies are also offering earlier-than-usual sales themselves. In addition to Sears, Amazon, Target, and Toys 'R Us are getting a head start on Black Friday by discounting their sale items weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.

For shoppers, though, part of the secret to mastering Black Friday sales is to ignore a lot of the early hype. The National Retail Federation's Davis says consumers shouldn't put too much trust into third-party websites that sometimes post incorrect information. The best source is retailers' websites, she says.

All Black Friday information will be released by Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, says Dan de Grandpre, founder of "There are a lot of rumors ahead of time, but they're not always accurate," he says. If you see details of a leaked ad online, it might be an early draft of sales that could change.'s president Laura Conrad recommends following the Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers so you can be first to receive their deal announcements. The Shopping Blogwebsite also runs a popular Black Friday Twitter feed (@BlackFriday).

To nab the best deals, you'll probably need to get out of bed early and shop in-person, says Wilson of Brad's Deals. "Ninety-five percent of Black Friday items are available online, but some of the best limited-quantity deals are in-store only," he says.

The list of the Websites where you can find pre-released information on the Black Friday deals:

Sources and Additional Information

Thursday, October 21, 2010

History of Pumpkin Carvings

Halloween is coming and is hardly surprising that the pumpkin carving ideas is one of the hottest searches on Google. There are so many free downloadable templates and web sites sharing the ideas, that I will not follow this line of inquiries. I would prefer to review the history of this celebration, which is quite strange for the modern civilized World. Don’t you think so?

The history of pumpkin carving                                                                                                           

Without a doubt the most recognizable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern. To understand the origins of how pumpkin carving began and what it really means we must first take a look at the holiday itself. How long has Halloween been around? Have there always been pumpkins carved? Here are some answers!


For most of the general population it is known as Halloween and is a night for dressing up, telling ghost stories, having spooky parties, trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving. What most people don't know is that Halloween is actually based on an ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced "sow wan"), which means "summer's end".

It was the end of the Celtic year, starting at sundown on October 31st and going through to sundown November 1st. It was a night to honor loved ones that had passed on since the veil between their realm and ours is at its thinnest on that night.

Celebrated for centuries by the Celts of old, Witches and many other nature based religions, it is the most magical night of the year. It is the Witches' New Year, and the Last Harvest. Although the religious significance of it has passed for the general public, Halloween is a "magical" night for all!

On this magical night, glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for jack-o-lanterns. Halloween didn't really catch on big in this country until the late 1800's and has been celebrated in so many ways ever since!


Legend of Stingy Jack

The legend of Jack O' Lantern goes back to hundreds of years in the Irish history. The original Jack O' Lantern was not a pumpkin, but a miserable, old drunkard who played tricks on anyone he could lay his hands on, including family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. As the story goes, one fine day, he tricked the Devil to climb up an apple tree. Once the devil reached up the tree, Stingy Jack placed crosses around the tree, so that the Devil was unable to come down. Only when Jack took a promise from the Devil that his soul would not be taken away when he dies, he allowed the Devil to come down.

After many years, when Jack finally died, he went to the bejeweled gates of heaven, where Saint Peter told him that he was mean and cruel and led a worthless life on earth. Jack reached hell, as he was not allowed to enter heaven. The Devil also kept his promise and didn’t allow Jack to enter hell. Jack was scared that he would have to keep wandering in the unending darkness between heaven and hell, since he was not welcome anywhere. Jack asked the devil where to find his way in the darkness. The Devil tossed an ember from the flames of the hell to help Jack light his way. Jack kept the ember safely in a hollowed out turnip, his favorite food. From that day onwards, Stingy Jack roamed around on the earth without any place to rest, with his lit Jack-O' Lantern.

The Irish people kept the fable of Stingy Jack alive by hollowing out turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets on All Hallow's Eve. They placed a candle in them, to ward off the evil spirits and keep the Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack-O-Lanterns. But later on, the Irish migrants discovered that pumpkins were much easier to carve than turnips etc. and switched over to pumpkin-carving. The modern day Halloween celebrations have improvised pumpkin carving beautifully. Pumpkin-carving activities are perused with great enthusiasm on Halloween and people of all age participate in it with keen interest and eagerness.


Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere and were completely unknown in Europe before the time of Columbus. In 1584, the French explorer Jacques Cartier reported from the St. Lawrence region that he had found "gros melons", which was translated into English as "ponpions," or pumpkins.  In fact, pumpkins have been grown in America for over 5,000 years. Native Americans called pumpkins "isquotersquash."

The Purpose of a Jack-O’-Lantern

The primary purpose of a jack-o’-lantern in tradition was that to be placed in the window of a home or on the doorstep to ward off evil spirits, and sometimes even Stingy Jack himself. These lanterns are often accompanied by treats, in order to prevent the spirits from playing a trick on the occupants.

Today, the carving of a jack-o’-lantern is an activity enjoyed by young and old alike. While the majority of faces remain as representations of demons, by the end of the 20th century it was becoming increasingly popular to carve the faces of popular figures or celebrities into pumpkins, as well as using stencils to form more intricate designs. It is also common for young children – for whom handling sharp objects may pose a safety risk – to paint a face on the side of the pumpkin.


Interesting Fact

Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable - they are a fruit! Pumpkins, like gourds, and other varieties of squash are all members of the Cucurbitacae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.


Sources and Additional Information:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

iPad Jailbreaking News: LimeRa1n or GreenPois0n

Definitely, the news about jailbreaking process breakthrough is not just for iPad holders, but for all kind of iPhones as well. But since, I am faithful Droid fan, I personally care about iPhones much less. So, October 10 and October 11 should be great days in the technological history of iProducts. Because the solutions to unlock the full power of these devices are coming...

What is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is a process that allows iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users to run any code on their devices, as opposed to only that code authorized by Apple. This process permits users to install homebrew applications on their devices by unlocking the operating system and allowing the user root access. Once jailbroken, iPhone users can download many extensions and themes previously unavailable through the App Store via unofficial installers such as Cydia. A jailbroken iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch is still able to use the App Store and iTunes.

Does Apple like the users’ ability to bypass their filters and use the commercial applications for free? Definitely, no. Therefore, they release once a while software updates, which cause the jailbroken devices to be returned to the original state. The severe competition between freelancing hackers and hackers employed by Apple continues.

Is that legal to Jailbreak your device?

All the law obedient citizens would be surprised, but the answer is YES. You have a freedom to unlock the Apple device, and Apple has a freedom to prevent you from doing that, but not through legal and enforcement approaches, but purely through technological solutions only.

Jailbreaking an iPod or iPhone in the United States is legal "fair use", and does not violate copyright laws defined by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In response to a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the U.S. Copyright Office explicitly recognized an exemption to the DMCA to permit jailbreaking in order to allow iPhone owners to use their phones with applications that are not available from Apple's store, and to unlock their iPhones for use with unapproved carriers. Apple had previously filed comments opposing this exemption and indicated that they did consider jailbreaking to be a violation of copyright (and by implication prosecutable under the DMCA). Apple's request to define jailbreaking as a violation of copyright was denied as part of the 2009 DMCA rulemaking. In their ruling, the Library of Congress affirmed on July, 26, 2010 that jailbreaking is legal under U.S. copyright law.

Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, argued that jailbreaking is "legal, ethical, and just plain fun." Wu cited an explicit exemption issued by the Library of Congress in 2006 for personal unlocking, which notes that locks "are used by wireless carriers to limit the ability of subscribers to switch to other carriers, a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with the interests protected by copyright" and thus do not implicate the DMCA.  Wu did not claim that this exemption applies to those who help others unlock a device or "traffic" in software to do so. As of July 26, 2010, The U.S. Copyright Office has approved exemptions to the DMCA that allow iDevice users to Jailbreak their devices legally. These exemptions also allow phone users to unlock their phone in order to switch carriers. It is still possible Apple may employ technical countermeasures to prevent jailbreaking or prevent jailbroken phones from functioning, but they will not be able to sue users who jailbreak.

GreenPois0n and LimeRa1n


All the iDevices fans were expecting the new jailbreak solution from Chronic Dev Team, and recently the release date of the Greenpois0n  has been announced as October 10, 2010. It supposed to cover all iOS 4.1 Devices for life including Apple T.V 2G (which means a solution for all iPad 3.2.2 holders as well). There are two more important points to bring in: the solution should be for life, so Apple future efforts should not harm the unlocked devices, and that the solution is untethered meaning that users do not have to plug the jailbroken device into a computer every time it needs to be restarted (as in some previous software releases.

The spice to the picture added the fresh news on the competitive solution LimeRa1n, created by Geohot, the famous guy who unlocked the iPhone and also creator of blackra1n. This new exploit supposed to jailbreak all iDevices including iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3G which even the SHAtter exploit and GreenPois0n cannot jailbreak.

With Limera1n and GreenPois0n around the news, one thing is sure that we will definitely get the jailbreak for iPhone 4, 3GS, iPod Touch 4G, 3G and iPad with in next 2 days. It can either GreenPois0n or Limera1n or even both. The Chronic Dev Team did note that since Geohot's LimeRa1n is a different exploit, it will effectively "burn" it. This is because Apple will be tipped to the new exploit. With rumors of a Verizon iPhone coming in early 2011, this could enable them to close the bootrom exploits, both of them, prior to that device's rumored launch.

Which jailbreak I will recommend? At the moment it is still unclear even for the people which are more experienced on the topic than I am. I would recommend not jumping to the first trials, but waiting to see what the results of both GreenPois0n and LimeRa1n are. Wait couple of days and choose jailbreak which is the easiest, fastest, and safest.

Happy Jailbreaking!

The plans have changed fast. Jailbreak limera1n was released today for 4.1 iDevice users with some limitations, like supported only for Windows OS, while the previously announced dev-team jailbreak, which was due out tomorrow, may be put on hold while the team works on revising their tools for the limera1n exploit rather than exposing multiple exploits that will quickly be patched.

You can download Limera1n now:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Venezuelan parliamentary election 2010

We do not want the Communist system
because it goes against our Constitution
and the rights that strengthen the lives of people

(Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino,
September 22, 2010)

Today, 26 September of 2010, there is an important day in Venezuela. Today the parliamentary election took place to elect the 165 deputies to the National Assembly. 110 of these deputies are constituency representatives elected on a first-past-the-post system (in 87 electoral districts), 52 elected on a party list system (2 or 3 deputies per state of Venezuela, depending on population), and 3 seats are reserved for indigenous peoples, with separate rules. Additionally, 12 representatives are chosen for the Latin American Parliament.

A total of 6465 candidates have registered with the National Electoral Council by the June deadline. Around 17.5m of the country's 28.5m population are eligible to vote. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), with around 7 million members, is by far the largest party in the country by membership.

While the election results outcomes are not clear yet, it is not a surprise that World observers are closely watching the process of election as the results might significantly change the political realities of the South America and the whole World in a way.


Current political realities

Pro-government parties are expected to face a strong opposition in the 167-unicameral National Assembly election. Opposition parties boycotted the vote in 2005. This time they see votes in Venezuelans' discontent with the gloomy economy, electricity rationing and revelations of graft. Leftist President Hugo Chavez' control of the legislature isn't under threat, but significant gains for the opposition could see him having to work harder to have his way. Political observers see the chance of instability ahead of the vote.

Government supporters and critics have taken to the streets in rival demonstrations that promise to continue up to and well past the election, regardless of the outcome.

Opposition parties have their own problems, and might not be able to translate the popular discontent into votes for their candidates. They are beset with divisions in their ranks and could have trouble finding candidates less tainted by corruption that the pro-government candidates. And the opposition accuses Chavez' National Electoral Council of gerrymandering seven of the country's 23 states, including the major cities of Caracas and Maracaibo, for the benefit of pro-government parties.

A recession combined with 25 per cent inflation, the highest in America, adds to the hardship for Venezuelans. The economy shrank 2.9 per cent in 2009 and is expected to continue to contract. Several banks have failed. Oil prices are volatile, a potential problem because Venezuelans are accustomed to cheap gas. The graft revelations are also undermining the popularity of the governing coalition.

Chavez, first elected in 1998, was re-elected in December 2006 with 61 percent of the vote. Since then, the president, who has a military background, has markedly intensified political reforms. On Feb. 15, 2009, Venezuelans voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to remove term limits on all elected offices.



Only a few days ago, Chávez stated unequivocally that "it is not true that Venezuela is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, nor is it true that today there is more violence here than there was 11 years ago." Facts, however, are stubborn things. Since 1999, when Chávez took office, no Latin American country has seen a more acute deterioration in personal safety than Venezuela. The country's homicide rate has gone from 20 per 100,000 people in 1998 to 49 per 100,000 in 2009 -- nine times as high as in the United States. This places Venezuela solidly among the world's most violent countries, alongside chronically bad cases such as Jamaica and Guatemala. In the capital city, Caracas, the rate is 122 per 100,000, a figure comparable only to that of Ciudad Juárez, the Mexican border town where drug traffickers are literally waging a war against the state and one other. Car theft rates, a good barometer of property crime (unlike other crimes, stolen cars are usually reported to the authorities), have also exploded from 69 per 100,000 people in 1998 to 155 in 2009.

No wonder, then, that crime -- according to nearly every opinion poll carried out in the run-up to the election -- tops voters' concerns by a large margin. In August, the Venezuelan Institute for Data Analysis (IVAD) reported that 84 percent of voters mentioned insecurity as a major concern, while less than half that percentage mentioned unemployment, the second most important issue to voters. So, the opposition is running neck and neck with Chávez's party and has a fighting chance of capturing a significant majority of the popular vote, though not of the heavily gerrymandered seats.

The government's anxiety is palpable. Since 2004, it has refused to release official crime figures, leaving the task of compiling them to NGOs. In August, the government-controlled judiciary cautioned El Nacional, an opposition newspaper, against publishing images related to "blood, weapons and terror messages." The warning followed the newspaper's controversial decision to publish a large cover photo of wounded corpses in Caracas's main morgue. True to form, Chávez has oscillated between blaming the remnants of capitalism for the mess and claiming that "the United States has infiltrated Venezuela … to kill, to kidnap people and then to say that Chávez can't [govern effectively]" -- that is, when he's not denying that crime is a problem altogether.


Hugo Chavez Appeal

The Venezuelan president used his Twitter account to make a comment about the parliament election held on Sunday. He urged people to consolidate the victory of his government project. He also told his supporters that he looks forward to meet with them at the Palace of Miraflores

President Hugo Chávez urged his supporters to "prepare to receive and accept the results," via his Twitter account @chavezcandanga. The President sent a message to his supporters.

"We are waiting (for the results). I ask everyone to prepare to receive and accept the results. It was another great day," Chávez said in his Twitter account.


Results are still unknown, but several polls predict the pro-Chavez forces to win a majority (and possibly two-thirds of all seats), in spite of the economic, political, and social situation. If that happens, Chavez would be once again given a mandate to deepen the revolution processes and to continue moving towards communist standards.

History does not teach! Communist ideology, while offering nice and attractive theories and slogans, in practice, is leading to the worst dictatorship and people oppression possible. I was born in the Communist country, I know that…


Sources and Additional Information:


Update 09-27-2010:

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez maintained his sway in the National Assembly, with his ruling Socialist Party winning at least 90 of 165 seats that were up for grabs in Sunday’s congressional polls. However, Chavez failed to hold on to the two-thirds majority his party enjoyed in the Assembly, with the Opposition alliance getting as much as 60 seats, up from 12 last time. The results were declared early Monday morning by National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena. However, Opposition leader, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo called the delay in result publication ‘inadmissible’.

Both sides claim victory in Venezuela assembly vote. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Yahoo! BUZZ is?

Yahoo! Buzz is a new way to get your news. We pull in the hottest stories from a broad assortment of web publishers throughout the day, then give you the chance to be an editor by voting (“buzzing”) stories up or down, submitting your own to Buzz, or have a conversation around them by commenting on buzz articles.

For each Yahoo! Buzz story there’s a ranking. The stories ranking is based on votes received, comments on the story, related search terms, and the times it’s been shared to others by email.
The highest ranked Buzz story might be featured on the Yahoo! homepage, the Web’s most popular starting point.

A subject's buzz score is the percentage of Yahoo! users searching for that subject on a given day, multiplied by a constant to make the number easier to read. Weekly leaders are the subjects with the greatest average buzz score for a given week.

Where do you get the data for the Buzz Index?

The data is collected from Yahoo! search log files. The Yahoo! Buzz Index counts the total number of people searching for specific subjects. Individual users and their searches remain completely anonymous.

What is a buzz mover?

Buzz movers are the subjects with the greatest percentage increase in buzz score from one day to the next.

Significant increases in buzz score do not necessarily indicate huge overall interest in a subject.

Greatest overall buzz is reflected by the list of buzz leaders.

For example, a subject that increases its buzz score from 4.0 to 12.0 would have a one-day buzz move of 200%, which might qualify it for inclusion on the list of buzz movers. However, that same subject, with a buzz of 12.0, might not make that day's list of buzz leaders.

What is a buzz leader?

Buzz leaders are the subjects with the greatest buzz score on a given day. These subjects are the most searched subjects on Yahoo! for that day.

What do the numbers mean?

A subject's buzz score is the percentage of users searching for that subject on a given day, multiplied by a constant to make the number easier to read.

More precisely, each point is equal to 0.001% of users searching on Yahoo! on a given day. For example, a buzz score of 500 for "Pokemon" translates to 0.5% of all users searching on Yahoo!
For buzz movers, the number displayed is the percentage increase in the subject's buzz score from the previous day.

Is anything filtered out?

Company names (such as Yahoo!), utilities and formats (email, MP3), and general terms (movies, downloads, football) are filtered out by the editors of the Yahoo! Buzz Index. The editors' goal is to list subjects that are interesting to the broadest possible audience. To this end, terms related to adults-only content are also excluded.

In some cases, the editors may also exclude terms that they believe have been elevated by similarity to unrelated popular terms. For example, the movie The Rock might be excluded if the buzz was determined to be solely generated by interest in the WWF star, The Rock.

How often is the site updated?

The Yahoo! Buzz Index is published Tuesday through Saturday. All the rankings on the Yahoo! Buzz Index -- both movers and leaders -- are updated each weekday and reflect the traffic from two days earlier. For example, Wednesday's Buzz Index reflects Monday's searches and clicks. (Twenty-four hours are required to process data and verify results.)

What does "Days on Chart" mean?

"Days on Chart" refers to the number of days a term has been one of the top 50 terms in a Buzz Leader category (overall, movies, television, music, sports). Note that we use the top 50 terms to track longevity, rather than just the top 20 that are displayed on the site. Days are calculated from January 1, 2001.

What do the arrows on Buzz Leaders mean?

The arrows reflect changes in rank for buzz terms. Green arrows indicate a move up in the rankings, while red arrows indicate a move down. The arrows don't reflect the direction or amount of change in a term's overall buzz score.

What does the "Move" column on Buzz Leaders mean?

The move number reflects the change in a term's buzz score. Positive move numbers are green and negative move numbers are red. While these numbers can sometimes indicate a trend in the popularity of a buzz term, they are also affected by the overall traffic patterns of users on a particular day. (For example, searches on Sunday differ greatly in character and variety from those made on Mondays.)

What does "Prev. Rank" mean?

"Prev. Rank" shows where a current buzz term was ranked in the previous day's buzz index. The number may be anywhere from 1 to 50, or, if a term is new to the buzz, it will be indicated with a dash.

What does "Breakout!" mean?

When a term goes from very few searches to a large number of searches, we refer to it as a Breakout!. Most movers have been searched for previously, which means the increase in searches on the term can be expressed in a percentage. Breakout! terms have a huge percentage increase because of the small number of searches from the previous day. Breakout! terms head straight to the top of the list of movers.

Web site of Yahoo! Buzz:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wizard of Oz fun movie quotes

The unusual search string wizard of oz quotes came to the public focus and top Google searches as today Google Doodle Celebrates the Wizard of Oz 71st Birthday. It was 71 years ago, the people hooked-up in the 1939 American music fantasy film “The Wizard of Oz”. Later on, it was considered as the all-time classic musical fantasy film that people enjoyed all over the world ever since.

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The movie, based on the 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum, is directed by Victor Fleming and starred Judy Garland (played Dorothy), Jack Haley, Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr. The people then did not only enjoy it but also take in its wisdom.

Apparently, the said film catapulted Judy Garland to stardom and made quotes such as “Oh Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” and “Follow the yellow brick road” iconic cultural references.
Who will forget the songs, as the movie gave us the all-time classis “Over the Rainbow” which until now, people love to sing. The MGM almost cut the song Over the Rainbow, when they felt that the film was too long and needed to be shortened. And luckily, it was kept and became the Judy Garland’s signature song that inspired a lot of people who have watched the film.

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Initially, The Wizard of Oz made only a small profit due to its enormous budget, despite largely favorable critical reviews. "Over the Rainbow" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the film itself received several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Telecasts of the film began in 1956, and because of them the film has found a larger audience—its television screenings were once an annual tradition and have re-introduced the film to the public, making The Wizard of Oz one of the most famous films ever made. The Library of Congress named The Wizard of Oz as the most-watched film in history. It is often ranked among the top ten best movies of all-time in various critics' and popular polls, and it has provided many memorable quotes.

One of the famous quotes the film Wizard of Oz come out is the words: “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home” which is of course what Dorothy said at the very end of the movie to get back to Kansas.

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Here are some memorable quotes from the movie:

Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.

Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

Dorothy: What would you do with a brain if you had one?

Wizard of Oz: You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you're confusing courage with wisdom.

Dorothy: I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Wicked Witch of the West: Who ever thought a little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?

Scarecrow: I could while away the hours/conferrin' with the flowers/consultin' with the rain/And my head I'd be scratchin'/ While my thoughts were busy hatchin'/If I only had a brain.

Wizard of Oz: Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma.

Dorothy: Well, we're not living in a trailer park, so we'll be all right.

Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: You have no power here! Now begone, before somebody drops a house on you!

Sources and Additional Information:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Truth about Bill Cosby: Dead or Alive

One of the top searched strings today was did bill cosby die. I will not pull suspense any longer by simply calming down all the Bill Cosby fans. Not true!!! Cosby Show star is alive and well. Cosby distributed a joke messages to his followers on Twitter, that his death was another hoax earlier today.

Bill Cosby Dead at the age of 72 is only an internet rumor believed to have started on Twitter. No major news stations supported the rumor on Bill Cosby’s death. And that is not for the first time. Cosby has been the subject of another such deception in February 2010.

Bill Cosby, only 73 years old, and someone with his young relation, of course, 20 years younger, than most of his chronological age.

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Mini Biography

William H. Cosby Jr. was born on July 12th, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for over thirty years, he has been one of the world's most respected and well-known entertainers and comedians. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course. He later took up athletics’ scholarship at Temple University, supporting himself during his studies by tending bar, where his easy-going style and witty joking with the clients prompted suggestions that he try stand-up comedy. This he did and was soon to be discovered by the legendary Carl Reiner.

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In his early twenties, he appeared on many well-known variety programs including "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show"). His big break came in 1965 when he appeared as "Alexander Scott" in "I Spy" (1965), winning numerous Emmys for his performance. He later appeared in "The Bill Cosby Show" (1969), playing a teacher, although originally the show only lasted for two years. He then created a Filmation cartoon based on many of his high school buddies including Weird Harold, Dumb Donald, Mushmouth, and others: the show was, of course, "The New Fat Albert Show" (1972). The theme was humorous but also focused on Cosby's more educational side. He studied for many years during his career in the 1960s and 1970s, and he received a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts. Cosby also starred in some highly successful movies such as Uptown Saturday Night (1974), Let's Do It Again (1975), A Piece of the Action (1977), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), and California Suite (1978). During his early years he also made some comedy albums that sold very well; his most notable comedy song being "Little Old Man." He was one of the original cast members of "The Electric Company" (1971), and he was featured in the series "Pinwheel" (1979) during the late 1970s and then appeared in the mediocre The Devil and Max Devlin (1981).

In 1984, 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' stopped production, and "The Cosby Show" (1984) commenced. The show was originally intended to follow a blue-collar family, but finally ended up portraying a white-collar family. It was originally rejected by ABC, accepted by a then-floundering NBC, and was an almost instant success. From 1985 to 1987 the show broke viewing records, with Cosby becoming perhaps the strongest driving force in television during the eighties. Despite this great success, he arguably created his own downfall. The Cosby Show led what was considered by many at that time to be the best night of television: the line-up included "Night Court" (1984), "Hill Street Blues" (1981), and "Family Ties" (1982), which all followed The Cosby Show.

Cosby was dissatisfied with the way minorities were portrayed on television. He produced the TV series "A Different World" (1987) and insisted that this program should follow the Cosby Show, rather than Family Ties. A Different World was set in an historically Black college and concentrated on young people and education. Impact was felt on the show immediately; at its peak, the Cosby Show logged an estimated 70 million viewers. However, after the scheduling reshuffle, the show lost roughly 20% of its massive audience. However, Cosby was still riding high in the early nineties until massive competition from "The Simpsons" (1989).

The Cosby Show finally ended in 1992, conceding to "The Simpsons" (1989), with the final production considered to be one of the highest-rated shows of the season and featured a pleading Cosby asking for peace in riot-torn Los Angeles during the height of the Rodney King riots. Cosby never seemed able to top the success of the Cosby Show; his film Leonard Part 6 (1987) was considered to be one of the worst American films in history and may have contributed in part to his downfall as a film actor, along with his performance in Ghost Dad (1990). He did attempt a minor comeback in 1996 starring in the Robin Williams film Jack (1996), which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and in another show, "Cosby" (1996), (starring Phylicia Rashad, who appeared as his wife in the previous Cosby Show). Since then he has produced films such as Men of Honor (2000), and shows including "Little Bill" (1999).

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Sadly, his son Ennis was murdered in 1997. Throughout the years, Bill Cosby has taken a socially conscious tone, often associated with family values, coupled with a distinctly urban spin on his style. He will go down in entertainment history as one of the most successful and most respected entertainers in the world.

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Want to see Bill Cosby when he was young, ambitious, not very popular, but still funny?

Sources and Additional Information: