Andersson and Larholm with slight injuries before Olympic qualifiers

IHFKim Anderssonlarholmolympic gamesolympic qualifyingSweden handballSwedish handball team As the Swedish media svt.se reports, Kim Andersson got slight foot injury after the training session with the national team as he collided with Andreas Nilsson. He left the court limping and did not come back. However, he is confident that he should be playing in all games. Jonas Larholm also seems ready to come back, as he had finger injury last Saturday.The Swedish national team is already facing injury problems, as both first-team players, Du Rietz and Kallman are out and won’t play. Sweden opens their qualifiers tomorrow (06.04) against Brazil, a game in which they are huge favorites.source: svt.se ← Previous Story Documentary film about five years of Balkan-Handball.com Next Story → France beats Switzerland in a friendly! read more

Renato Vugrinec joins RK Metalurg

One of the best right backs in Europe in the last decade, Renato Vugrinec (37) left Slovenian Maribor and joined Macedonian champion, RK Metalurg Skoplje in the last moment before the start of the VELUX EHF Champions League. Vugrinec has played for Celje PL, SC Magdeburg, Portland San Antonio, HSV Handball and some other teams, before he went back to his country last summer and signed contract with RK Maribor Branik, the fifth team of domestic championship.After only six matches in the new team, Vugrinec has decided to accept very good offer from Lino Cervar’s team. Metalurg has stayed without left-handed player on right back position after contract termination with Milan Vucicevic. ← Previous Story Tickets EHF EURO 2012 (W): 15,000 sold, most in Nis Next Story → THW Kiel wins derby over SC Magdeburg! Renato VugrinecRK MariborRK Metalurg read more

SEHA Vardar beat Metalurg 2726 with Pribaks lastsecond 9meters goal

The big derby in the SEHA regional league between Vardar and Metalurg brought very exciting finish, however the beginning of the game did not announce that. Vardar took the lead early and kept making bigger and bigger, Metalurg’s only bright spot being Vugrinec who practically fought Vardar alone. Half time score was 17:14 for the hosts. In the second half, even worse beginning for Metalurg, only one goal in 10 minutes, and Vardar has 6 goals lead after 10 minutes. Lino Cervar tried different tactics, and it only started working in the final 15 minutes. Metalurg continued getting closer and closer, and this meant very exciting finish. Through Goce Georgievski, Metalurg make it 26:26, and Vardar has the last attack. Vardar try to keep the ball until the end, and without making any shot, they are getting 9 meters, and time is over. Pribak takes the 9 meters, and over the hands of 6 Metalurg players and Mitrevski, scores a goal, Vardar wins 27:26. Markovic led Vardar with 10 goals.Darko Stanic red carded in 4th minuteNaumce Mojsovski missed this game due to injury, but Metalurg had to cope without the services of Darko Stanic early in the match. In a counter-attack of Vardar, Stanic ran to try to take the ball before it reaches Markovic, and incidentally his foot caught the one of Markovic, after which Markovic fell, and the Slovakian referees called a red card for Stanic. cervargeorgievskimarkovicmetalurgSEHASEHA leagueVardarvugrinec ← Previous Story “War for Poland”: Outstanding Wisla smash Kielce! Next Story → Crazy house in Skopje: Vujović defended fans from Police! (VIDEO) read more

SEHA GAZPROM LEAGUE Meshkov win in Skopje – Tatran beat PPD Zagreb

6.Nexe8404214 : 21512 9.Maks Strumica8026175 : 2532 1.Meshkov Brest7502227 : 17215 ← Previous Story Skube and Šoštarič flying to Szeged! Next Story → “NEW UWE”: Raul Santos to become a new “Lion”? 4.Vardar7502230 : 19815 5.MVM Veszprem4400144 : 8612 3.Tatran Prešov6501198 : 16015 Meshkov Brestseha gazprom leagueTatran Presov 10.Borac m:tel7016172 : 2401 Four matches of SEHA GAZPROM league have been played on Wednesday. Meshkov Brest and Tatran Prešov celebrated important wins. Belarussians beat RK Vardar 28:27 (15:11) in Skopje, and that was the second defeat of most successful EHF Champions League team in regional competition this season. Rastko Stojković netted eight goals for Sergey Bebeshko team, while domestic goalkeepeer Charapenka had 11 saves.Alex Dujshebaev couldn’t save his team from losing points at home. Spaniard scored six goals, but that wasn’t enough.STATISTICSSlovakian “Lars Christiansen”, Radoslav Antl was the most important man in Tatran’s victory over PPD Zagreb 30:23 (14:9) in Prešov. Slovakian champions showed great improvement in comparation with their form in last two months, while Croatians only continue with the crisis which almost cost them losing a coach – Veselin Vujovic. STATISTICSMVM Veszprem began their three days Balkan tour in Banja Luka with secure triumph over Borac 34:20. Gašper Marguč scored eight goals, whle Roland Mikler had outstanding night with 22 saves!RK Nexe Našice beat Maks Strumica 23:17.STANDINGS: 2.PPD Zagreb6501179 : 13315 7.Spartak Vojput7214189 : 2247 8.Vojvodina8125203 : 2505 read more

BLOG Huttenberg or Wisla The time is now…

← Previous Story Logo for Beach Handball IHF World Championship in Kazan 2018 – presented Next Story → Pan American national teams qualified for IHF Beach Handball World Championship 2018 Last week, once again, handball as a sport showed imperfection during facing  the problem which all serious global sports already overcome a long time ago – question of EHF Champions League schedule. Let’s remind you, the German champions Rhein Neckar Lowen decided to send their second team to EHF CL TOP 16 match in Kielce on March 24, while the TOP stars will be in Kiel at match of DKB Bundesliga on same day, just two hours later.The European Handball Federation tried to find solution by changing the host right of two matches. Kiel said YES, RNL declined. On the other side, EHF refused an option that Rhein Neckar Lowen played on Sunday (March 25) in Kielce, just 24 hours after clash in Kiel.  Match in Kiel would be broadcast by public TV ARD, which is basically only chance that people see handball match on TV, as only PAY-TV Sky has rights for DKB Bundesliga during season. That’s why March 24 is so important.Let’s imagine that something like this happens in modern football or basketball? That March 24 is some kind of paradigms of all problems which handball as a sport facing nowadays or simply trying to hide them.What is older – the chicken or the egg, is not the question in this case. The question is whether European Handball Federation has power and instruments to keep under control all their members, among them Germany? Whether rest of handball Europe has to be a hostage of German handball? It’s not and will never be. Whatever some national Championship is strong and as long as Germans put Huttenberg in front of Wisla Plock or Meshkov Brest, hierarchy must to exist and it has to be clearly emphasized. If whole Europe can adapt, they have too also.Responsibility of Germans is more than visible. Their reasons – also. They keep their own league, format with 18 teams among which 3-4 are only for a goal-difference and it looks that they don’t want compomise. DKB Bundesliga announced few months ago and sent message to EHF that they don’t want any match more in European schedule after preposition in Vienna that new EHF CL system (from 2020) with 12 teams means 26 matches in comparison with 20. How EHF responded to this? Germans will have two direct places in CL from the next season…“Situation making” for rich teams, for now, isn’t on a right path.EHF Champions League isn’t football or basketball product. Even in this model for “poor and modest”, EHF CL didn’t attract the whole continent. For Germans are non-attractive in terms of finance. They have problems to sold-out halls, while on the other side – EHF prize money for a placement is not enough and covering some certain costs. For Balkan countries, Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins, but also Greeks, Italians, Czechs, Austrians, Baltic people, it is only expensive adventure.Words of EHF president Michael Wiederer that EHF CL means “standards which teams and countries have to meet” are not enough. Question is why EHF didn’t find a way to make TOP product even more attractive for those – dozens of countries. Another side of a medal is that EHF CL match hasn’t been seen in Madrid, Moscow, Prague, Rome, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Kiev, Oslo, Athens, Vienna – never or for many years. How then you can expect “a lot of money” in handball?More money for teams, better setup, higher level of organization, that’s all we have to see since 2020 in League with 12 teams. We will lose because 70% of Europe won’t be directly included in that project. If that is a price for level up, then, Germans have to pay it also, not only rest of Europe. If they don’t want, EHF has to show who is the boss. Vienna has to show capability for that.Situation with Rhein Neckar Lowen, unfortunately, showing us that it will be a long time since we will have Coca-Cola and Mercedes Benz on “Gerflor” across Europe instead of windows and cheap jeans.However, at the moment when EHF narrows space for clubs, chances for national teams becoming much more visible and realistic. Regardless, EHF EURO events with 16 teams look perfect with great quality (almost perfect event) and big competition among a lot of nations, a decision to make in with 24 NT since 2020 is the right one in terms of wider representation on the continent. Chance has to get Romania, Turkey, Israel and all others, who invest in handball, but popularity is limited as long as kids have no chance to watch national teams on big events. Quality won’t fall rapidly, but handball will get on popularity because eight new countries will be directly involved.Parallel with changes in their system, I hope that someone from Vienna can make a call to Basel and say “Guys, we need to change some rules”. Moreover, I hope that some already did it since January.Day after an epic match at Zagreb Arena between Germany and Slovenia, 10 minutes of black hole and everything that happened after it, we thought in the same way, all of us. Michael Wiederer also pointed out in interview for EHF EURO 2018 website some important things. Also, Nikola Karabatic, as the iconic guy for our sport and the biggest handball brand nowadays stated for HP that “he wouldn’t like that his son wants to play handball – the sport which could become non-Olympic if we don’t get new rules”. Everything is clear – absolutely. If we are all on the same side – side of handball, those who think that referees are “executors of others’ ideas” and others who think that they are “victims of unclear rules”, then, let’s work on changes!?How comes that technology brought progress to all sports, to the whole humanity, and only brings confusion to handball?However, that kind of decisions is in hands of Bazel (IHF), not Vienna. The International Handball Federation is responsible for rules. IHF president Hassan Moustafa will tell you “What? We don’t want to copy basketball”. Basketball is light-year ahead of handball in terms of rules. Every kid in Sydney or Belgrade knows for “flopping”.  Awareness is necessary for changes. It is clear that Moustafa will lead world’s handball supported by votes of El Salvador and Brunei, but at least, you should battle for things to change.Until then, situation with Germans must be clear. We don’t want to wait spring 2020, to solve “eternal question” – Huttenberg or Wisla?Written by Zika Bogdanovic read more

Backbench TDs to meet the Troika for the first time today

first_imgA GROUP OF backbench TDs will meet officials from the Troika today – the first time anyone outside the cabinet or heads of the opposition has had such a meeting.The group, which will be led by Fine Gael’s Dara Murphy, will meet Troika officials in the Department of Finance in a move that heralds a change of procedure for the Troika – in their last visit to Ireland.Fine Gael’s Sean Conlan and Tony Lawlor will also be in attendance, as will Labour’s Kevin Humphreys and Arthur Spring.Murphy said the meeting was of importance because it ensured another set of voices would be heard.“It is important that ordinary representatives from the country’s two largest political parties have an opportunity to meet with Troika officials, to express our views and reflect our democratic mandate. Our discussions will focus around our exit from the bailout and the conditions which would be attached to any cautionary credit line. I am also keen to hear the views of the Troika on what Ireland can learn from the bailout process.“As this is the last Troika mission before the conclusion of the bailout, it is important that we garner advice on how to ensure we never have to enter a programme of assistance again.”Troika officials will conclude their 12th and final visit to Ireland this week.Read: Troika to make their last review visit to Dublin todayRead: Taoiseach expects decision on post-bailout credit facility before December exitlast_img read more

€20 million seismic survey hopes to reveal Irelands true oil and gas

first_imgTHE GOVERNMENT is to undertake a €20 million seismic survey in an effort to shed further light on exactly how much oil and gas may lie off Irish waters.The 2D survey will be the largest regional survey ever carried out in Irish waters, covering 18,000km in territory from the Rockall basin, off the north-west of Ireland, down to the Southern Porcupine off the south-west.The junior minister responsible for natural resources, Fergus O’Dowd, said the survey would provide “a regional grid of high-quality seismic data over Ireland’s frontier basins”.The survey is intended to ‘fill in the gaps’ of knowledge about the possibility of oil and gas reserves lying in particular regions off the Irish coast, including areas which have not yet been subject to any commercial exploration.“The data should allow resource potential to be predicted with much greater confidence and enable both the industry and the Government to adequately evaluate future licensing opportunities,” O’Dowd said.Last week O’Dowd’s senior minister Pat Rabbitte told TheJournal.ie that he was considering asking for expert advice on whether the current commercial terms for exploration off Irish waters may need adjusting in order to entice more explorers to Irish waters.A decision on whether to change the current system – where profits on gas and oil extraction are taxed at 25 per cent, minus the costs of the exploration effort – is likely to be deferred until after the new survey has been concluded.The survey is to be undertaken jointly by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and by private operators ENI Ireland, which will provide technical support for the operation.This evening the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association welcomed the news of the survey, saying it would address a current shortcoming where only 5 per cent of Irish waters were under licence.“It is interesting to point out that a very similar initiative by the New Zealand government played a significant role in accelerating exploration offshore New Zealand and it is to be hoped that the same will be achieved offshore Ireland,” said IOOA chairman Fergus Cahill.Read: Fracking could be good for Ireland – but only if it’s safe enoughExplainer: How much is the Barryroe oil find actually worth to us?last_img read more

Music levels the playing field between gay and straight people

first_imgMembers of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Source: FacebookIT’S HARD TO hate someone that you’ve just sung a song with. It shows that we’re human beings like everyone else. Music levels the playing field.These are the words of Charles Beale, the artistic director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus – one of 50 LGBT choirs in Dublin for the Various Voices festival this weekend.The Chorus is one of the main attractions at the festival. They will perform their show Big Gay Sing in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre tomorrow night.Almost 100 singers, some of them Irish, will take part in the performance, which will raise funds for Marriage Equality ahead of next year’s referendum.Beale said that members of the chorus felt particularly compelled to raise “vital” funds for the organisation.We have marriage equality in New York State so it’s great to be able to give back a little.He added that the show “connects people to the gay community” and has the potential for real “political impact”.“We’ve become famous for doing big events around the world. It’s fantastic to be able to offer the Marriage Equality campaign in Ireland essentially a free gig from a bunch of New York singers.”Beale said the show, which premiered in New York this spring and will be hosted by Panti Bliss, is “full of all the gayest songs in the world”.“The clue’s in the title: it has to be extremely gay. Why sing one Madonna song when we can sing seven? Let’s not have one drag queen, let’s have 15!”Gay men in the audience should leave thinking ‘I never need to need to see another Gay Sing in my life.’It needs to be pink. It needs to be fluffy. It needs to be extravagant.  It also needs to be big: more over the top than you can imagine.‘Incredibly proud’Various Voices is being hosted by Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir.Festival Director Ian Doyle said that Glória is “incredibly proud” to have brought the event to Dublin – the first time it has been held in Ireland. Source: Facebook“It’s hugely important for the LGBT community to be able to host an event of this size,” Doyle stated.Through music you can really engage with people in a different way.A number of free choral performances will take place today and tomorrow as part of ‘Singing in the City‘. All of the concerts will be streamed live on AerTV. Venue and ticket information is available here.Various Voices takes place every four years and was last held in London in 2009.Read: 59% in new poll think you’re not homophobic if you oppose gay marriageColumn: Are you frustrated by the number of ‘gay’ stories in the media? Then read on…last_img read more

Irelands Stephanie Meadow tied for third on pro debut at US Open

first_imgNORTHERN IRELAND’S STEPHANIE MEADOW is tied for third place at the US Women’s Open at Pinehurst after a third round 69 left her just four shots off the lead shared by Michelle Wie and Amy Yang.The 22-year old is making her professional debut this week but has put together three solid rounds to sit on two-over heading into Sunday’s final round.The Royal Portrush golfer is currently the only European in the top 20.Five birdies in her first ten holes – including a chip in two at the Par 3 sixth hole – put Meadow in a strong position to challenge for the €430,000 winner’s cheque but bogeys on 11, 15 and 16 saw her slip back over par for the tournament.However, the former University of Alabama golfer will still partner seven-time Major winner, American Juli Inkster, in Sunday’s penultimate group, well within catching distance of the leading pair.McDowell finds form at the death but Ilonen clings to Irish Open lead‘I will get stronger and stronger as the weekend goes on’ declares McDowelllast_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Saturday

first_imgNEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Protesters sit down outside the Israeli embassy Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandThe family of Irish woman Edel Mahady killed on MH17 have spoken out.Thousands of people attended a Gaza protest in Dublin. A woman was in court over the death of a man in a Rathfarnham house.Social welfare staff have been told to refuse dole to Greyhound workers.A councillor removed an Israeli flag from Dún Laoghaire.President Higgins sent condolences to the Dutch king after MH17.Parts of Cork were hit with flash flooding.The Defence Forces have been remembering those who died in service.‘Tiny Dancer’ Lily-Mae Morrison is officially cancer free.Dunnes Stores workers began their anti-apartheid strike 30 years ago today.INTERNATIONAL Pro-Russian fighters walk on a road beside the bodies of MH17 victims. Source: AP/Press Association Images#MH17: Investigators are still being denied full access to the site of the MH17 crash in Ukraine, which is controlled by pro-Russia gunmen.#GAZA: The death toll in Gaza has risen to 337 Palestinians and 3 Israelis on a day of heavy attacks. The UN chief Ban Ki-moon is heading to the region to bolster truce efforts.#SELFIE: A US teenager may face jail time on child porn offences after taking photos and videos of his own penis and sending them to his girlfriend.INNOVATIONThe stats don’t like: Shakira has set a new social media record after becoming the first person ever to reach 100 million likes on Facebook, ahead of Eminem and Rihanna. Spain has lifted a ban on six file-sharing websites saying there was “insufficient grounds” for the sites to be blocked. [BBC]PARTING SHOTThe New York Times runs a regular column called Modern Love in which people can submit their stories about the ups and downs of their romantic life. The stories are generally good, but often familiar. The most recent piece, however, is different. In it, a woman describes why she is visiting her ex-husband in hospital as he approaches death, even though their time together was so awful. [NYT]last_img read more

Palestinian family finds missing son by chance in YouTube video of his

first_img Since yesday we r looking 4 one of my relative who has lived in Shejaeya 1000s phone calls but no +ve info.his parents losing their control— Mohammed Alqattawi (@m_alqattawi) July 21, 2014 Source: Mohammed Alqattawi ㋛/Twitter By that night, however, his relatives appear to have, “by chance”, stumbled across not only news of his death, but a video showing it. THE FAMILY OF Salem Khaleel Shamaly made the horrific discovery that he had been shot dead, via a “chance” viewing of an online video earlier this week.In a further, cruel irony, the 23-year-old had himself been searching for his relatives when he was killed, apparently by a sniper’s bullet.Shamaly became separated from his family when they fled Gaza City over the weekend, setting off a desperate search on all sides.On Sunday, he took advantage of a two-hour ceasefire brokered by the Red Cross, to return to the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City, and attempted to locate his family. Moments before he is shot dead, Salem Khaleel Shamaly (in green t-shirt) leads a group to find his family in Gaza city. Source: Joe Catron via FlickrHowever, a video recorded by activist Mohammed Abedullah and posted to YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement, shows Shamaly’s horrific last moments.Stepping carefully through rubble – the area had been heavily shelled by Israel on Sunday – he can be heard calling out for loved ones, before a sudden crack of sniper fire.Shamaly – who was accompanied by a number of aid workers and human rights activists – attempts to get back up from the ground, but appears to be shot twice more.Here is that video, which contains images that some readers may find upsetting. Source: ISM Palestine/YouTubeThe tragic ironies surrounding his death have become clear in recent days.His cousin, Mohammed Alqattawi, on Monday described the desperation of his extended family in the search for their son. As of yesterday evening, Shamaly’s body appears not to have been recovered.American human rights activist Joe Catron, who witnessed Shamaly’s death, told the New York Times that Israeli shelling meant there was no possible way for him or others present to try to save the young Palestinian, or to retrieve his body.On Tuesday evening, Alqattawi tweeted that “his body is still here and no one can help to bring it back to us”.In a statement on Sunday, the Israeli Defence Forces described the Shejaiya neighbourhood as a “Hamas terror fortress,” and addressed Sunday’s two-hour ceasefire.center_img Source: Mohammed Alqattawi ㋛/Twitter My Cousin.. do you remember the missing relative from Al Shejaeya, we found him by chance on this video #Gaza http://t.co/UitFVn6BIX— Mohammed Alqattawi (@m_alqattawi) July 22, 2014 Hamas broke the humanitarian window when firing at Israel during the two-hour period.Still, the IDF agreed to the Red Cross appeal to extend the humanitarian window by another hour.A spokesperson for the Israeli government did not immediately respond to TheJournal.ie‘s request for comment.Read: Palestinian authority backs Hamas truce demands as two children killed in Gaza>‘They are Palestinian, not Israeli’ – ABC News says sorry for very unfortunate error>last_img read more

15 indisputable reasons Irelands pubs are the best in the world

first_imgYOU JUST CAN’T beat the hospitality in Ireland’s pubs. They’re where everybody knows your name, and business.Here’s why they’re the greatest.1. They prevent us from becoming too tanned and attractive Source: Imgur2. They’re entirely reasonable in price Source: Imgur Source: Mike Hogan3. There’s always a good offer to be had Source: Against the grain4. The entertainment is next to noneYes, this actually happened. Source: Avenue Thursday DTWO Source: Avenue Thursdays DTWOAnd this…5. They’re always honest and upfront Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweetcenter_img 6. …making sure to return lost property at all costs Source: Imgur7. There’s always plenty of room to get comfortable Source: KehoesdubKeohoesDub8. They deal with any incidents quickly and efficiently Source: The Temple Bar9. And always give their customers what they want Source: harrybyrnespub Source: Mike O’Brien/YouTube10. ANYTHING they want Source: Neans McSweeney11. The food is always top notch and hearty Source: The Porterhouse Dublin12. You’re never short of a buttering up Source: Imgur13. Basically, they make all your hard decisions for you Source: The Portherhouse14. And hey, you’d never know who you’d run intoThe celebrities can’t stay out of them. Johnny Depp in Weir’s Bar, Westmeath Source: Hairs_Pam Miley Cyrus in the Brazen Head, Dublin Source: Luberachi Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys in Bad Bobs, Temple Bar Source: Bad Bobs Russell Crowe in Kehoes, Dublin Source: Kehoesdub15. Last but not least, you’ll always feel welcomeExcept sometimes. Source: Mauricecampbell27 pints you must sample in Ireland before you die>21 pubs in Ireland you must visit before you die>last_img read more

Better Late Than Never Dept Chevy MyLink Answers Ford Sync

first_imgGM has an answer for the Ford Sync infotainment package. It’s called Chevrolet MyLink and it delivers a seamless connection for smartphones and services such as Pandora, Stitcher Internet Radio, and Gracenote. Other cellphones and music players work, too. MyLink arrives later this year in a very limited rollout on the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Chevrolet Equinox SUV, three-plus years after Ford Sync. Chevy and GM officials announced and demo’d Chevrolet MyLink Thursday in New York. Some of the details were sketchy such as “how much?” but the broad outlines of MyLink seem promising. MyLink will be up upgrade option beyond the base audio system. It will include a 7-inch color LCD display that, at least on the Equinox (right), is deeply hooded for readability. But you won’t be required to take navigation with MyLink, something you’d suspect (or fear, if you’re trying to buy a car cheaply) when a car has a center stack LCD. The MyLink car includes a USB jack (just one), in the center console bin on the Equinox, and a Powermat inductive charging mat at the base of the center stack, meaning any time you toss in your phone or music player, if it has a Powermat jacket or charging arm, it auto charges. That’s neat, even if the technology isn’t ready for prime time until the inductive component is embedded inside the phone. With the Bluetooth wireless connection and the Powermat charger, your phone is ready to use for calling or music streaming simply by dropping it in the center stack cutout. Voice Recognition: a Work in Progress To run MyLink, you tap one of the eight large icons on the center stack display, or issue a voice command to work the phone or any of your infotainment choices: AM/FM/XM radio, CD players (remember them?), USB key or USB-connected music devices, and Bluetooth streaming music players. The screen-tapping part works fine. But when Chevy execs tried to show the assembled analysts and editors how easy voice control was, they struck out badly. Virtually every attempt failed. And most of the requests were drop dead simple. That’s GM global vehicle engineering executive director Micky Bly, above, after going 0-for-4 issuing the command, “Play artist Douglas Kay.” Bly eventually punted, resumed his presentation, came back later, and got a couple more failures before we finally heard music from Of All the Towns to Sleep In. To be fair, the Nuance voice recognizer hasn’t had its final tweaks, and it’s optimized for the car cockpit, not a big auditorium where the speaker’s voice doubles back via the auditorium loudspeakers. But still, it suggested GM has some learning to do in terms of managing expectations (including its own) in the infotainment arena. Not that Ford hasn’t had trouble getting Sync technology to demo well, but Ford with its head start seems to hit fewer rocks when navigating shallow technical waters.  Two Nuance RecognizersMyLink cars will use two editions of Nuance. There’s the onboard version that controls the infotainment system that MyLink talks to, and a cloud-based edition of Nuance for talking with OnStar. How much, or little, they differ accuracy will be seen over time. The in-car recognizer doesn’t have to deal with voice compression as much, or the vagaries of cellular communication, but the cloud-based recognizer will have more processing power. Nuance also powers Ford Sync and the majority of other cars with voice recognition.Pandora, Stitcher, Gracenote Chevrolet MyLink includes a trio of products Ford rolled out last year. There’s Pandora internet radio for streaming music from everywhere. For many users who spend most of the time in urban/suburban settings, it’s a cheap substitute for satellite radio. BMW Group last month announced Mini Connected and BMW Connected, which also gives their cars Pandora connectivity. Chevy appears to have an advantage in being able to control Pandora from the center stack or voice input where with the BMW/Mini version, you tune Pandora on your smartphone, plug it in, then play that one station. Stitcher SmartRadio lets users create customized podcasts through their  smartphones. It aggregates and updates news and information feeds. Gracenote identifies and categorizes music on the user’s music player, music key, or smartphone. It also includes aliases, so if you say, “Play Elvis,” you’ll get the King (or Costello, if that’s who you have loaded instead). Products such as Gracenote make assumptions about what the typical user wants and if you’re in the mainstream, you’ll do fine. Doing alpha entry on other vehicles, typing T-H-E brings up a listed headed by the Beetles because that’s what more listeners are searching for. If you prefer voice input and say “Play Fab Four,” that, too, brings up the Beatles. Chevy execs said Gracenote can track up to 10,000 songs at a time from a larger onboard tunes database. An engineer working on the project explained the car has two onboard caches for music information, each of about 10,000 songs, letting you load his-and-her music players without having to index from scratch. If a third device is added, the older of the caches is bumped from the stack. Powermat Charging System  MyLink also includes a Powermat charging system that will be in the cubbyhole at the base of the center stack. If the user has either a Powermat receiver attached (a short dongle) or a jacket (for the most popular devices), when you drop it on the Powermat base, it autocharges. They’ll start on the Volt and Equinox and, says GM, “expand to other vehicles in the Chevy lineup over the next 18 months.” To be answered is whether that’s some or all of them. Shares the Screen Nicely with NavigationMyLink will have a split-screen mode that divides the display in half when you’re running navigation: half for navi, half for infotainment. A lot of automakers are brain-dead in this regard. You can have the whole screen dedicated to navigation, or to infotainment, but not a nice mixture of the two. The worst cars are the ones that, if infotainment takes over the whole display, don’t pop up the navigation display when an important exit comes up. On a long highway drive, if you’ve got the navigation audio turned down, you might go miles past your exit before you think to check the nav screen and see it wants you to make a U-turn. (The photo isn’t very dramatic because it was shot indoors and the car’s internal GPS couldn’t place itself precisely in Manhattan. Normally you’d see a straight or curved arrow on the right side.) But Not Much of a Track List When you first click on an album, you see as many tracks as fit on screen. But once you press the play button, you don’t see the next couple tracks. That’s a minor drawback and GM should have offered that option. It’s especially desirable when you’ve created a playlist and want to see what’s next if you skip past the current song. And you can see from the photo above that there’s space available. Integration with OnStar, Chevy SaysIn its presentation Chevy made a big thing of how well MyLink integrates with and enhances the OnStar telematics system. Here, too, some of the details are sketchy. The one piece of integration I saw was that if you don’t buy onboard navigation and you are an OnStar subscriber, you can use OnStar to download rudimentary driving directions to the MyLink LCD. Actually, the directions are thorough but the visuals are rudimentary: simple arrows, not moving maps. So that leaves Chevy saying things such as, “The debut of Chevy MyLink extends the OnStar experience from safety and security to information and entertainment by seamlessly integrating the capability of a smartphone into the vehicle so that hand-held phones may be safely stowed while driving.” That apparently means: OnStar is a safety feature and if your phone is used hands-free via MyLink, that’s more safety. Chevrolet MyLink does not require OnStar, so if you decide not to continue the subscription after the first free year, MyLink’s functionality is for the most part unaffected, other than no longer getting navigation destination downloads sent to the LCD screen. Satellite Radio WallpapersIf you subscribe to XM satellite radio, the screen background is a wallpaper themed to the music genre (one wallpaper for rock, not one per channel). Also, the channels are stylized icons at the bottom of the screen. If that’s too much visual stimulation, you can revert to the standard blue background.  What’s Not New: All GM Cars Have Bluetooth Already Most every GM car already has Bluetooth because of OnStar. Bluetooth is built into OnStar and OnStar comes on most every car GM sells other than some fleet cars. MyLink extends the usefulness of Bluetooth. GM cars have also had line-in jacks for years and some iPod connectivity as well. GM notes that “Chevrolet vehicles have offered customers the ability to use portable media devices since 2006” without explaining if that’s line-in or iPod specific, but they can be excused for the haziness since Steve Jobs for several years has talked about how the majority of cars are iPod-compatible merely by having that same line-in jack. How Good? How Soon? How Much? Thursday’s announcement outlined what Chevrolet will be doing: two cars this year, one of them a very-low-production unit, the Volt. More cars will follow in calendar 2012 but Chevy didn’t say how many or how soon they’ll expand beyond the Chevrolet line to the wide range of GM vehicles that includes Cadillac, Buick, GMC and, um, that’s the GM lineup these days. Apparently the first MyLink cars will arrive in late summer or early fall. It was unclear if GM would wait for a new model (cycles could be as long as six years) or a mid-life refresh (3-4 years), or inject MyLink and new head units sooner. GM didn’t say if the 7-inch display will be standard on cars equipped with onboard navigation. An 8-inch display would be helpful for moving maps because it has 30% more screen area but most buyers probably wouldn’t do the math and realize how much they lose with a screen that’s seemingly only a little smaller. As for price, GM knows it has to come in around $395, since that’s what Ford charges for Sync on its entry- and mid-line models; on the premium trim lines it’s free (built into the sticker price). MyLink has a big advantage over Ford Sync in that if you order MyLink, you get a color LCD, where Ford also makes Sync work (just passably) on the radio displays of cars without navigation or without MyFord Touch. Color displays keep getting cheaper. I believe GM will have to come in a $500 or less to be competitive. Automakers gripe about having to ruggedize and safety-test and blah-blah-blah their technologies (read: it’s gonna cost you) while buyers note you can buy an iPad or a decent laptop or two portable navigation devices for that kind of money. Best guess: Chevrolet MyLink as a $499 option this fall, or no extra cost but built into the sticker price on premium trim line cars, or swallowed in the cost of navigation-equipped cars. If Chevy can do MyLink for the same price as Ford Sync and include the LCD display, that’d be even more noteworthy. If it’s more than $500, Chevrolet will have a tough time convincing buyers of the value of MyLink.last_img read more

Motorola Xoom The first 72 hours

first_imgWith the exception of an unboxing, performing a review of a new device is a delicate task. When I say new, I don’t mean “new in a line of…” or some shiny new difference in an experience were all pretty used to. The exploration of  “the new” is exciting because it’s one of the few times that as a tech blogger I feel I am able to experience something the same way the average consumer would, or at least a reasonable facsimile of that feeling.For the moment, the Motorola Xoom is unique. It’s the first device to run Android 3.0 and as such is the closest thing to “the new” that I’ve had the pleasure to experience recently. In order to provide a full review of the device, I use the Xoom to replace my laptop, my desktop, my netbook, and allowed this device to be the only thing I used for 72 full hours. That includes writing this review.Honeycomb (Android 3.0)For the average user, Android 3.0 might as well be a completely different operating system that borrows a couple of things from what they know to be Android. For all intents and purposes, it’s a very different experience. For starters, the user interface feels most natural when being used in a landscape view rather than a portrait view. That’s not to say that portrait view isn’t perfectly usable, but every part of the primary desktop user interface seems more comfortable in landscape view. For example, if you have a homescreen full of widgets or icons and you decide you hold your tablet in portrait view, you will find a gap across the top and bottom of your homescreen. (Please look our for my comprehensive review of Android 3.0, which will appear on Geek.com in the coming days.) Out-of-the-BoxThe Xoom packaging is a no-frills container. Removing the lid gives you immediate access to the tablet, the front of which is absolutely nothing more than a glass panel with a thin bezel.Removing it from the packaging, Motorola has provided you with a nice matte finish across the back of the device, making it very comfortable to hold. At 1.5 pounds, with a nice big screen, the Xoom is a little heavy to hold with just one hand for any significant length of time. I would definitely recommend adding a stand or case with a handle to your shopping cart.Turning the device on is awkward. The power/wake button is located on the back next to the camera, instead of along the bezel where traditionally found. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but of the 20 people I’ve handed this device to not a single one has been able to find the button on their own. When the button is pointed out to them I have heard a strangely unified “thats weird” as a response. I was originally concerned about bumping the button accidentally but it has yet to happen and I don’t see it being a real concern in the future. The only other physical button on the device is the volume rocker, which feels very sturdy and requires a moderate amount of force to control.Clustered at the center of the bottom of the bezel, are most of the ports. Down here you have the standard micro USB, a micro HDMI port, two copper strips for charging magnetically when placed in a dock (sold separately), and power. The power adapter, a small thin power pin vaguely reminiscent of the old Nokia power adapters, makes me more than nervous given the weight of the device. Should the Xoom fall when plugged-in, I would not hold much hope for the survival of this tip, and would highly recommend the charging dock. Across the top of the bezel you find both the headphone jack and the combined SD card/SIM card slot, neither of which are currently functional on this device.According to the user manual the SD slot will be functional pending an update from Google. The SIM card slot will be functional after the LTE drive is installed, a process requiring you to send the device to Motorola. The headphone jack, a 3.5 mm standard output, is dead center on the top of  this device. While it’s placement doesn’t cause any significant usability problems, it doesn’t feel like the ideal place to have it.The CamerasThe Xoom has both a front facing and rear facing camera. Unlike a cell phone, whose size can often lead to instability and blurry pictures, the bulk of the Xoom lends itself nicely to taking clean, crisp pictures with the rear camera. While the lesser quality front facing camera doesn’t take the best pictures, using it for video chat is comparable to most midrange webcams. Unfortunately, what is not easy to do is enjoy the pictures that you take with these cameras. After taking about 20 pictures and not being completely happy with any of them, I posted a few online and realized that the images all look much better on a traditional monitor.Daily UseAs I said before I used the Motorola Xoom to replace my day-to-day computing needs for 72 hours. One of my greatest concerns during this experience was battery life. Having been spoiled by my MacBook Air and my CR-48, I’m quite used to being able to travel away from my desk for six or more hours without being concerned about battery life. Fortunately, I can add the Xoom to a short list of devices that do away with that concern. In a full day of traveling, writing, browsing, and general fooling around gave me 10 hours away from power comfortably. However, as with most devices, streaming video and playing games cut that just about in half. What really blew me away about this device is the ability to use it in direct sunlight. It seems that smartphones have only just recently begun to polish the ability to use the phone in direct sunlight, and with 95% of laptops you can forget it. It wasn’t perfect, and the colors are a little washed out, but I was able to read comfortably in direct sunlight.The Xoom tapers from the center to the edges so that its thickest point is the center. This design lent itself to Android 3.0’s landscape friendly design very well, but creates a somewhat clumsy feeling user experience when holding the tablet in portrait view, since the weight of the device is no longer balanced. Additionally, calling this tablet a fingerprint magnet is a bit of an understatement. I found myself almost compulsively needing to clean the screen about once an hour during heavy use. Do yourself a favor, skip the cleaning cloths and go straight for the alcohol wipes.The NetworkVerizon wireless offers very good 3G service in my area so as was expected the Xoom performed very well on their 3G network. Provided you are in an area with good service, you can even video chat over 3G. I was pleased to discover that there is no noticeable battery drain on 3G over Wi-Fi, though I’m eager to see the difference LTE makes. With a range of data plans available for everyone from the casual user up to the data hungry, and LTE on the way, Verizon is clearly the network of choice for this particular device.ConclusionThe Motorola Xoom feels like an unfinished product. For the tech lover, the gadget hungry, and those who live on the bleeding edge of technology, this is a REALLY cool tool. The whole time I’m using this device, however, I felt somewhat haunted by the knowledge of what this device was supposed to be.This winter at the All Things D conference Andy Rubin sat on stage with Walt Mossberg and spoke briefly about Android 3.0 while holding this tablet. Andy explained that, up until this point, Android users were essentially beta testers. Android 3.0 was supposed to be the first step out of beta, and into the hands of the general consumer rather than the tech lover. I feel that the Motorola Xoom does less to help this cause than it should have. Here we have a device with parts that don’t work yet, with parts that aren’t installed yet, and with optimized software still “on the way”. I would comfortably recommend this device to any tech savvy individual, but I think Motorola needs to fully bake this one before it’s ready for consumption.last_img read more

Samsung Epic 4G coming to Verizon Wireless

first_imgThe folks at Android Central got their hands on what looks like a Samsung Epic 4G, currently available on Sprint, with one notable difference from the one you can buy right now: it has a Verizon Wireless logo on it.The leaked photos imply that Samsung is about to launch a variant of the Epic 4G on Verizon Wireless, which will ride Verizon’s 4G LTE network as opposed to Sprint’s WiMAX. The phone will look and behave like the Epic 4G otherwise, packing a 4″ display, a 1GHz single-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.The 1.3-megapixel camera on the front and the LTE support represent the only major upgrades from the Sprint version of the phone, aside from some minor keyboard tweaks. Aside from that, the Verizon Wireless version is rumored to be exactly like the currently available Sprint model.The Epic 4G also features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, ideal for people who want an Android phone with a physical keyboard but want 4G support – something that the Motorola Droid 3 sadly doesn’t offer. No word on pricing or a release date, since the phone could be a ptorotype for all we know, but given the success of the Epic 4G on Sprint, it would make sense for Samsung to bring the phone to Verizon Wireless soon.Even so, its unlikely that the device will be more than $149 or $199 with a 2-year contract as there are other handsets on Verizon that are more powerful than the Epic 4G at those same price points–even if they don’t have 4G radios in them.Read more at Android Central, via TechCrunchlast_img read more

Nokia Windows Phone 7 Sea Ray device leaked on video again

first_imgEarlier this year, Nokia set off a chain of spit-takes around the world by announcing that it was going to move away from Symbian. Of course, that didn’t come as a complete surprise since reports had also previously pegged a move from Symbian to Maemo by 2012. The announcement that Windows Phone 7 was the new platform of choice rocked Espoo and Nokia workers took to the streets in protest.The dust has settled now, and everyone is waiting patiently for Nokia to show off its first Windows Phone 7 device again. CEO Stephen Elop teased the public with a brief glimpse of the Sea Ray back in June. The phone looked an awful lot like the Nokia N9, which was introduced just the day before Elop’s presentation.AdChoices广告Apart from that early glimpse, all we knew was that the Sea Ray would be arriving after the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update was good to go. With it now looking like Mango could be ready as early as August, it certainly seems like production lines ought to be cranking somewhere if Nokia plans to put Sea Ray on retail shelves.And if a leaked video that’s making the rounds is any indication, the wheels may indeed be in motion. Supposedly captured right on the factory floor, the Sea Ray is shown off in a bit more detail. No specs are revealed, but the video does show that Sea Ray includes hardware buttons and is already running Windows Phone 7 Mango build 7710, which is an RTM. It also doesn’t look like the svelte Sea Ray sports a front-facing camera, which will be a downer for those of you hoping that you’d be able to make video calls once an app like Fring or Skype shows up.More at WP Centrallast_img read more

The email nobody wants to see from campus IT

first_imgWhen I was at university, laptops were still quite an expensive device to own. The netbook hadn’t even been thought about yet, and Internet access was a privilege reserved for the computer lab. Nowadays everyone owns multiple devices that can access the web. Your phone, your tablet, a cheap laptop, or a desktop PC, they can all give you access to news, entertainment, software, and increasingly cloud services.At university the focus is as much on enjoying yourself as it is about gaining a degree. So the temptation is always there for the student with no money to download their entertainment rather than buy it. That’s where file-sharing networks come in and the free applications such as uTorrent that allows easy downloading of torrents.The problem with doing that on the university network is the IT department which logs and filters all the traffic passing through its servers. With that in mind, anyone deciding they want to watch the extended edition of Lord of the Rings, or have a weekend watching the complete Seinfeld for example, is going to set off a few alarm bells with IT when they download all that video data.Proof that this does happen and invokes a reaction comes in the form of this image shared by Reddit user DanV2 (click to enlarge).It was sent to him as a PDF attachment from his campus IT department and showed the rather large amount of data he had been downloading over the course of 24 hours earlier this year. Half the traffic was torrent downloads, and that yellow segment on the left is the traffic of everyone else. We assume it’s everyone else on the campus which shows you just how much data he managed to grab.Games, movies, a few Linux ISOs? Your guess is as good as ours as to what he actually decided to download that day.via Reddit (image courtesy of Ji-Ho on Flickr)last_img read more

Kinect 2 capable of reading lips gauging moods

first_imgThe Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 has been a huge success for Microsoft, probably above and beyond what the company ever expected the peripheral to achieve in the short amount of time it has been available. Removing the need to hold a controller clearly does work for consumers and gamers alike.Even though we don’t know when Microsoft plans to replace the Xbox 360, there is one aspect of the new console we can be sure about: Kinect will feature and most likely come as standard, integrated into the machine.Eurogamer has been informed that not only is that the case, but Kinect 2 is far superior in terms of the accuracy it can achieve. The tracking it performs will be so accurate, that it will be able to read your facial expressions and even go so far as to lip read.It may sound like a giant leap forward with the technology, but the main difference looks like it could be the rate of data transfer the new console can handle from the controller. Kinect on the 360 is limited to just 16MB/s transferred across a USB connection. That in turn limited the device to 30fps and a resolution of 320 x 240.Switching over to a different, faster connection in the Xbox 720 means the frame rate can be bumped up to 60fps, and the resolution doubled or tripled. That allows for more accurate movement capture and more detail to be picked up such as the movement of a mouth. Add in facial expression tracking, and Kinect 2 will most likely be able to tell when you are angry, sad, scared,  or happy.We still have a while to wait before we get to see the next Xbox and Kinect 2. The latest predictions peg a launch as late 2012, or early 2013, with a console reveal during E3 next year.Read more at Eurogamer.netlast_img read more

Overclocked Ivy Bridge chips run much hotter than Sandy Bridge

first_imgWhenever a new processor line gets released by Intel or AMD, the enthusiasts are usually the first to pick them up. As well as enjoying the increased stock performance, many also decide to overclock their chip to see how much extra performance can be squeezed out.However, anyone who has overclocked a Sandy Bridge processor successfully may be in for a shock when they pick up an Ivy Bridge part. It has been discovered through testing that Ivy Bridge runs significantly hotter when overclocked. By significantly, I mean as much as 20 degrees Celsius more at the same clock speed.The Tech Report did a real-world test where they pitted a Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K against an Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K. Both chips were pushed to 4.9GHz using air cooling and the results logged.The power use was slightly higher for the 3770K (236w vs. 231w), voltages were almost the same, but again Ivy Bridge was a little higher (1.368V vs. 1.381V). Heat is where the two chips really differed, though. At 4.9GHz the Sandy Bridge chip held a steady 80 degrees Celsius, but Ivy Bridge was at 100 degrees Celsius. That may still be within operational limits, but suggests anyone wanting to run an overclocked Ivy Bridge is going to have to invest in some better cooling.As for why there is such a big difference in temperatures, the culprit is most likely going to be the change Intel has made to the thermal interface. Sandy Bridge chips use a fluxless solder for the link between the CPU and the heat spreader. Ivy Bridge has switched to thermal paste, which is less efficient at dissipating heat.Intel has confirmed the additional temperature is down to “different package thermal technology” and a “higher thermal density” for the Ivy Bridge chips. Neither of which are going to change, so if you intend to overclock one of these new chips, be sure to invest in rock solid cooling.More at The Tech Reportlast_img read more

LG EA93 29inch 219 monitor is 630

first_imgPhilips was the first manufacturer to embrace a 21:9 aspect ratio display back in 2009 with a HD TV. They didn’t sell well due to their high price and Philips eventually killed off the line. Then in August this year LG announced it was about to launch a 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Two months later and the LG EA93 is now available to buy, although initially only available in Korea.The display is 29-inch IPS-LED unit, has a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,080, a brightness rated at 300nits, 178-degree viewing angles, and built-in stereo speakers. It’s perfect for watching movies as they were intended to be viewed, but LG wants us to realize the potential in other areas, too. For example, you can potentially replace a couple of displays with a single EA93. You can sit two browser windows next to each other or have multiple apps running and clearly visible all at the same time.The monitor has a black frame, chrome stand, and white backing. Connectivity includes two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and DVI Dual Link. There’s also 3 USB 3.0 ports on the back, which aren’t in the greatest of positions for easy access. As for cost, it hasn’t been announced for different markets yet, but in Korea it will sell for 690,000 won, which is roughly $630.The price does carry a big premium if you compare it to the 1080p 27-inch displays out there, which sell for around $300. However, it’s lower than premium 27-inch displays like the Dell UltraSharp U2711 that costs around $800.If you want a monitor that doubles as a TV then it may be worth considering the EA93. But for viewing any programming other than movies you are going to have to endure black borders down the sides of the display. It’s also worth considering for anyone who doesn’t have room for 2 monitors, but still wants as wide a desktop as possible.via Engadgetlast_img read more