Friday, December 4, 2009

Over 90 killed in Russia club explosion

Moscow, Dec 5 (RIA Novosti) An explosion in a club in the city of Perm in Russia killed at least 90 people and injured 114, an emergencies ministry source said Saturday.
The explosion and the subsequent fire is believed to have been caused by breaches of fire safety rules while using pyrotechnics, a local emergencies ministry source said.
'Almost all dead and injured have already been taken away. The site of the tragedy is now cordoned off,' the source said.
A local police source said most casualties were due to smoke and stampede that followed.
'According to preliminary data, a stampede occurred at the exit, and those who stayed at the cafe died of carbon dioxide poisoning,' the source said.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control. The majority of victims were cafe employees and their relatives, as the cafe marked its anniversary.
Investigators have ruled out a terrorist attack.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street Anniversary: Where Are the Realistic Animals? : Discovery News

Sesame Street Anniversary: Where Are the Realistic Animals? : Discovery News

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home Min attends WBC to 'prove a point'

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram attends the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad as ordinary spectator to prove point. Sources said that the minister took the step to send out a message to the participants. It is also said that the home minister paid money to buy a ticket from the window.

Sources also said that the Home Minister fefused government transport and security cover. It is also said that the minister sat in spectators gallery like ordinary citizen.

The Home Minister's symbolic initiative came after some players pulled out citing security threat. A prominent terrorist organisation has threatened to target the Championship.

Twitter needs a back up

Twitter went down last week, and the world got very quiet. People didn't know what do with themselves; they wanted to tweet the news that Twitter was down, but that was out of the question. Entire overheard conversations went unremarked upon, and mini-reviews of recent episodes of True Blood withered on the vine. I saw a funny Onion video that I was sure my followers would have appreciated and an outrageous Rush Limbaugh quote that demanded my impassioned response, but what could I do? Twitter was down for just a few hours—the service's first major outage during its new era of ubiquity—and it felt strange. It's not normal for an entire medium of communication to go offline; sure, sometimes Gmail is balky and your office phones won't respond, but for everyone else, e-mail and the phones and the Web still work. When Twitter goes down, it's down for everyone, everywhere.

Twitter is run by a single company in a single office building in San Francisco. When you send out a message, it flies about Twitter's servers and then alights in all your Twitter pals' cell phones and Tweetdecks. The system is fast and technologically simple, which helps explain its exponential growth.

But for Twitter, centralization is also a curse. In its early days, the site was known for its regular brokenness—its error-page logo, the "fail whale," became a cultural shorthand for suckiness. Twitter went down so often because the idea behind Twitter—sending out short status updates to the world—became too popular for one company to handle.

This isn't unusual with new technology. In its early days, the Web itself doubled in size every few months. But the Web didn't buckle from overuse. That's because it was distributed—the Web is just a protocol, a set of common rules that connect lots of different servers managed by lots of different companies around the world. Twitter's frequent failures thus raise a question: Shouldn't microblogging be distributed, too? How can a single company manage everyone's updates—shouldn't it be more like e-mail: managed by scores of different providers?

Dave Winer, the pioneering programmer and blogger who runs, has been arguing for months that Twitter is untenable in its current form. Winer likes Twitter—or, at least, he likes the idea of Twitter. Short status updates could well succeed e-mail as the dominant mode of wired communication. But having one company manage the entire enterprise is technically fragile, he argues. Twitter went down last week due to a distributed denial-of-service attack aimed at a single Twitter user—millions of zombie computers had been directed to cripple the user's social-networking pages (apparently as part of ongoing cyberwarfare between Russian and Georgian hackers). The rest of us were collateral damage—Twitter went down for you because of a beef between people on the other side of the world. Does this make sense? Winer doesn't think so. If Twitter worked more like e-mail or the Web—a system managed by different entities that were connected by common Web protocols—a hit like last week's wouldn't be crippling. A denial-of-service attack would have brought down some people's status updates, but Twitter would still work for most of the world.


Moon, Mars out of reach: US panel

Cape Canaveral (USA): The US plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 will not happen without a big boost in Nasa's budget, leaving only the International Space Station as a viable target for the country's human space program, according to a presidential review panel.

The Human Space Flight Plans committee, which presented its preliminary findings to the White House on Friday, concluded that a human mission to Mars currently would be too risky.

Developing new spaceships to replace the retiring space shuttle fleet and bigger rockets to reach the moon would require about $3 billion more per year, the panel headed by former Lockheed Martin chief Norm Augustine said.

The only human space program affordable under Nasa's existing budget is an enhanced space station, one that has a side benefit of seeding a commercial passenger-launch services market, said the panel, which completed a series of public meetings this week.

Nasa spends about half of its $18 billion annual budget on human space flight to fly the space shuttles, build and operate the space station and develop new vehicles in a follow-on program called Constellation.

The committee said the new U.S. exploration initiative - aimed at landing astronauts on the moon by 2020 - is doomed because its 10-year, $108 billion budget has been shaved by about $30 billion.

"We can't do this program in this budget," said panel member Sally Ride, a former astronaut. "This budget is simply not friendly to exploration."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tense Waiting Game for Michael Jackson's Doctor

What drugs were in Michael Jackson's system at the time of his death?

The L.A. coroner's pending toxicology report – expected to answer that key question any day now – may hold the fate of Dr. Conrad Murray, the singer's personal physician. Murray was with Jackson on the day he died and is the apparent focus of a manslaughter investigation.

According to Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief Investigator Craig Harvey, the long
awaited autopsy report will be released within days. "We anticipate releasing it this week," Harvey said July 27. "We still have details to work out."

'In the Dark'

Miranda Sevcik, spokesperson for Murray's attorney Ed Chernoff, says they're "in the dark" as to whether an arrest of Murray is imminent, even as news reports increasingly point to potentially serious trouble for the Houston-based physician.

On Monday, CNN and the Associated Press reported investigators believe Murray was the person who injected Jackson with the powerful anesthesia Propofol the night before the entertainer died. Jackson regularly used the drug to help him sleep, according to media reports.

Murray's rep has declined to comment on whether he had administered Propofol to Jackson. The only two drugs Murray has denied prescribing for Jackson are Demerol and OxyContin. In response to media reports about Murray, his lawyer posted the following statement on his Web site Monday night:

"It's a waste of time responding to all these timed 'leaks' from 'anonymous' sources," Ed Chernoff wrote. "I feel like a horse swatting flies. Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long delayed toxicology results. I have no doubt they want to make a case for goodness sakes, its Michael Jackson! But things tend to shake out when all the facts are made known, and I'm sure that will happen here as well."

Another Search?

Authorities have twice interviewed Murray and sought a third session with him, which has not yet been set. They also raided his Houston clinic on July 22, which Murray's camp said came as a surprise. His rep didn't know whether a similar search of the doctor's offices in Las Vegas would occur.

"Obviously investigators are not sharing details with us about their plans, as evidenced by what happened last week," Sevcik says. "Like everyone else, we're awaiting the results of the toxicology tests, and at that point, we'll assess what we need to do."

L.A.-based forensic toxicologist Nachman Brautbar, M.D., who's not involved with the case, says the the toxicology report – an analysis of drugs in a person's system – "plays a prime role in putting the pieces together of why someone died when the initial autopsy rules out any obvious known causes of death." But he said it would be "unsual" for a coroner to rule homicide – a death caused by another person which could include manslaughter – in a drug-related case outside of a hospital or nursing home scenario.