Sunday, September 29, 2013

Parents and grandparents scare up amazing costumes for Bay Ridge's Ragamuffin Parade

<halloween witch costumes for kidsimg src="!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/ragamuffin29f-11-web.jpg">

Andrew Schwartz For New York Daily News

While most kids spent the summer eating ice cream, 2-year old Gianna Solitario was getting fitted for an ice cream cone Halloween costume.

She'll sport the sweet ensemble at Saturday's Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where kids compete in a costume contest before marching up Third Ave. in their ghoulish garb.

Gianna already has an edge over other contestants. Her grandparents, Bob and Marianne Fezza, are six-time grand prize costume winners in the annual parade. And they've been crafting their grandkids' ice cream truck prop and matching outfits for almost two months.

"Every year, we try to outdo ourselves from the previous year," says Marianne, 53, whose daughter Jillian won as a child for elaborate getups like a heart-shaped box of Valentine's chocolates and a Chinese takeout box.

Now they dress Jillian's kids. "It's more time-consuming than anything else, but we're really into arts and crafts, and the kids love it," says Marianne.

While the event sees its share of off-the-rack Elmos and superheroes, many parents and grandparents pride themselves on making their kids' Halloween outfits from scratch.

Bob, 66, is transforming discarded cardboard and foam from the warehouse where he works into a bright blue ice cream truck with working LED headlamps.

Marianne's making an ice cream cap for Gianna from foam, and transforming a felt cupcake costume the tot wore last Halloween into the cone. Gianna's brother Sean, 5, will wear a white suit as the ice cream man.

"Oh my heavens!" Sean gasps, staring at his truck. His Batman costume (and the cardboard Batmobile they built around his bike) won last year.

"I need another piece of cardboard to shore up the bumper," sniffs Bob, a perfectionist.

Three generations of the Fezza family have marched in the parade, which began in 1967 when the Our Lady of Angels church invited kids from neighboring parishes to parade up Third Ave. dressed in their parents' old clothes.

Source: Nydailynews

PHOTOS: This Is What You Need To Be For Halloween

Our favorite holiday will be here before we know it. And in order to be able to enjoy all of the pumpkin carving, trick or treating, candy eating, and spooking that comes with halloween kids wigs, we need to get one very important decision out of the way -- and that's choosing what we're dressing up as, of course.

To make it a little easier, our friends at HGTV featured the most adorable DIY Halloween costumes for the whole family that you can get started on this weekend. You'll be surprised at how easy they are to make. For example, that plain grey sweatsuit you wear as pajamas can be whipped into a pretty scary looking shark-inspired outfit by sewing on a little pointed-tooth trim and some eyes. Need some inspiration to get you started? Click through the slideshow of ideas below and head back to HGTV for even more.

Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
Source: Huffingtonpost

Indie games unlikely on Xbox One before 2014

Microsoft doesn't expect the first wave of indie games to launch on Xbox One until 2014. However, Phil Harrison, corporate vice president of the firm's interactive entertainment business in Europe, also told GamesIndustry that Microsoft has had "an avalanche of interest from all corners of the globe" since it finally outlined its strategy for indie games on the console last month.

"I don't think we're going to see things at launch," Harrison said. "I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the programme and build a game and get it into the market on November 22. It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come through."

Microsoft's Independent Developers @ Xbox programme will allow registered studios to use all of Xbox One's features, from cloud services, Kinect, Achievements, challenges and Xbox Live multiplayer to automatic Game DVR video recording and uploading. The self-publishing programme also eschews certification and title update fees. Harrison also reiterated that, down the line, Microsoft plans to let any Xbox One console serve as a development kit, further opening the market to small studios and hobbyist creators.

"We're working through applications and creating that dialogue with developers," he said. "As we said at the time, we have phase one where we give away development kits and loan them to the teams that inevitably will have to pass some kind of a qualification to justify a limited number of dev kits being given to them. That process is ongoing. Eventually our goal is that every retail Xbox One console becomes a dev kit. And then we open up to the widest possible audience."

Xbox One will be released in 13 markets on November 22, 2013. The console will be priced at £430 / $500 / €500 and will have 23 launch games.

Source: Gamesradar

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 3 May See The Return Of Heath Miller To Steelers Lineup

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't taking their 0-2 start in the 2012 NFL season well. After two heartbreaking losses, the Steelers have spent this week making some changes, and Todd Haley looks ready to shake things up in the offense. News that tight end Heath Miller will be back in the lineup on Sunday against the 2-0 Chicago Bears is good news in itself. The promise of more zone blocking from the offensive line, something the team had mostly deviated from in their first two games, may give life to a nearly non-existent rushing game. Felix Jones has been elevated on the roster to the starting running back. Although they are still not on firm ground, the Steelers will push to give themselves a new image on the turf at Heinz Field in Week Three.

Haley was vocal about the disappointment shared by the team in his meeting with the media on Thursday. "We are frustrated," said Haley. "We have a chance this week to get to 1-2. We've had a good couple of days." His explanation about where the team should be and isn't was summarized, "It's the NFL. It's hard to win when you have turnovers in plus territory, and run the ball inefficiently for too much of the game...we have to make sure we don't let it continue to happen."

At this point, the Steelers are still a team that has a running game by committee, but that could change Sunday. After a good performance by Felix Jones, who had 10 rushes for 37 yards while everyone struggled, the coaching staff took notice. "(Jones) found the holes that were there. We need to do a better job of creating some space for him because he does look like he has some ability if we can get him into some space," said Haley.

The zone blocking scheme that should allow more holes for Jones will have to be a priority for the offensive line. That will require some mental toughness from an offensive line that has yet to show any start quality after losing center Maurkice Pouncey.

Heath Miller was a full participant in practices this week and is likely to get his first playing time of the 2013 season. It will come down to how his knee feels on game day. After leading the team in receptions in 2012, his appearance, even if on the sideline, should give the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, an emotional boost.

Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell also participated in practices this week, and although he is not likely to be fully ready to play, has shown the ambition to get back to that level. Once he is healthy, his addition to the roster should give the Steelers more offensive weapons.
The only player for the Steelers who will likely be out for Sunday's game is cornerback Cortez Allen. Allen has not been able to participate in practices this week or last due to an ankle injury.

Dick LeBeau expects the Steelers defense to be able to contain Bears running back Matt Forte after two games in which they did not stop the run effectively. When asked about Forte, LeBeau said, "He is an experienced, talented back and he can do everything."

Expounding on how the Steelers need to deal with his style of play, LeBeau added, "He's one of those backs you have to stop. He's really an excellent player, maybe an underrated player."

Although both Brett Keisel and Jarvis Jones had some limited time in practice this week, both are expected to be on the field come gametime.


  • Cornerback Curtis Brown (illness)
  • Defensive End Brett Keisel (calf)
  • Linebacker Jarvis Jones (heel)
  • Defensive Tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring)
  • Tight end Heath Miller (knee)

    Running back Le'Veon Bell (foot)

    Cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle)

Fantasy Outlook:

The Steelers still have a long road ahead of them. If you have a two running backs league, starting Felix Jones would be a viable option this week. He is sure to get carries. It is the amount of yardage that may not equate to a lot of fantasy points. The Steelers defense looks to be at full strength and is ready to get a start on your fantasy roster. A usually steady Roethlisberger has been a fantasy-killer the past two weeks but looks to rebound Sunday.

Christina Rivers has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers and National Football League professionally as a reporter and photographer for over a decade. Rivers studied exercise physiology and sports psychology at Brigham Young University as a student-athlete. Christina is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. Her work can be found on

Source: CBS Pittsburgh

Sunday, September 22, 2013

GuitarJack 2 USB from Sonoma Wire Works review

Hello, all you axe wielding, string picking, amp maxing. It's time for another guitar related review, this time for the GuitarJack 2 USB connector from Sonoma Wire Works.

The GuitarJack 2 has a mini USB input on the front and inputs on the sides for 1/4" instrument in, 1/8" microphone in and 1/8" headphones out. Also in the box are 2 cables: 1 x 32" male USB to male mini USB and 1 x 4.5" male mini USB to female USB.

Since the GuitarJack 2 does not have an iDevice port on the front (the original version did) I needed to use an iPad camera connection kit, which I found out my iPod Touch does not support. Okay, plan B. I besought the benevolence of my editor in chief, and yea though he is wroth when disturbed, he did verily grant great beneficence when I did ask, "May I use your iPad?" to which hid most nobly replied, "Yeah, sure."

The iPad objected to the power drain, but it worked just fine. The guitar was jacked into the GuitarJack 2, the mini USB was plugged into the GuitarJack 2 and the USB end was plugged into the iPad camera adapter (which, of course, was plugged into the iPad). Lastly, I plugged some headphones into the GuitarJack 2 to check the output. Once the many connections were in place, we fired up a music app and started playing. The sound was clean and the latency was negligible. There is a little signal degradation, which is to be expected with all the connections, but it was insignificant. The output from the iPad and the headphones was descent - the difference in the sound quality was due to the innate properties of the speakers.

We also tested the rig through a Mac, and the signal was strong and clean. If you need to plug in, record and manipulate audio, this adapter does a respectable job of getting you connected and delivering good signal. If you are an Apple rogue and you want to plug in to your PC, this unit works Windows XP/7/8.

The up-sides of this unit are the construction and size. Sonoma Wire Works produces this unit in the USA (always good to see), and the connector is machined from durable materials and assembled to be a solid piece of gear. The unit is only 2.375" square and has four small rubber feet to help keep it from sliding around.

One of the down-sides is the mini USB port on the front which requires extra cables/connectors/adapters and rendered my iPod touch unusable. I think the iPort version might have been better, but we didn't try that one out so we can't be sure. The other concern is the cost, which is $199.00 (currently at a $129.00 sale price on the manufacturer's site); a bit on the high side.

As always with guitar gear, list what you want/need and compare your options. This unit gets a 3 at its normal price-good quality, but the connections and expense don't make it a must-have piece of gear.

Provides: Guitar input for mobile devices and computer
Developer: Sonoma Wire Works
Price: $199.00
Availability: Now

Source: Technologytell

Biometrics to monitor Karnataka government employees' attendance


BANGALORE: Karnataka government employees reaching office late will lose half-day leave or salary from November 1. The government is gearing up to discipline errant government employees by introducing biometrics attendance system and monitor their login time live online.

According to a circular issued by principal secretary (department of personnel and administrative reforms) Shalini Rajneesh on September 4 (a copy of which is with The Times of India), all government offices must install the biometric system by October 31. This will replace the old system of manually recording the attendance of employees in a register.

When an employee swipes his/her smart card in office, the system records the details of arrival and departure, and any office-related outdoor duty. The employees get a 30-minute cushion to enter the office. Any delay more than 30 minutes attracts half-day leave or pay cut, a senior official in the e-governance department said.

The move follows complaints flooding the government against employees' late arrivals and bunking office. A senior DPAR officer said: "The employees raised a hue and cry when we introduced the dress code, which was, in fact, based on a request by their association's office-bearers. We hope they won't complain now. This e-attendance initiative is a step towards e-governance."

According to sources, some employees would attend office once a week, but sign in the register for all the seven days and avail salary. Some others sign the attendance register and leave the office for unofficial work. The introduction of biometric system will help the government check this menace.

As per the circular, the departments must buy the biometric-reader system from the empanelled gadget suppliers, and the e-governance department will provide the technical help. "The secretariat has successfully introduced the system. We've no qualms about such plans,'' Karnataka State Government Employees' Association president L Byrappa said.

Strict vigil

Branded biometric attendance system costs between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000

System introduced in the secretariat, Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha and major departments and government colleges in Bangalore three years ago as a pilot

Once all offices introduce biometric system, attendance will be monitored live by department heads

There are about 5.5 lakh Karnataka government employees

Source: Indiatimes

Indianapolis - Utility supplies: Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS), a provider of transmission-and-distribution.html">antenna aiming, tracking, and stabilization systems, announces its next generation DVM 30, DVM 50, and DVM 90 light and medium payload tracking systems. The new DVM suite's design represents the next step in a ruggedized, more modular system architecture.

The all-new DVM systems contain a ruggedized architecture featuring dual layer water protection-ensuring that our equipment can withstand the harshest environments in the world, a more modular design for easier maintenance, and aluminum construction for enhanced weight reduction. Our new design provides a step-up in the efficiency of our 360 degree continuous positioner, allowing the system to regularly track and optimize highly critical broadband connections.

Our newest DVM delivers a wealth of cutting-edge communications and data opportunities to the energy, maritime, public safety, and broadcasting sectors, enabling end users access to faster speeds at greater distances.

"This DVM suite opens an abundance of new opportunities for IT departments worldwide that are looking for new ways to enhance communication," said Phil Cramer, BATS V.P. Sales & Marketing. "Our 30, 50, and 90 lb. systems provide the ideal solution with their directional microwave links, which result in a longer range and higher throughput. These systems provide impressive reliability and water resistance characteristics, allowing critical networks to operate flawlessly in the kinds of harsh environments our systems typically face."

About BATS
Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS) provides a proprietary software and hardware platform that locates, locks and tracks wireless broadband communication access points. Through the use of its industry-first automated tracking and stabilization platform, BATS enables organizations to rapidly deploy massive capacity (Gb+), uninterrupted, fixed or mobile wireless networks over long distances without skilled technical resources.

For more information about BATS or other products, click here to go to Utility Products' Buyers Guide.

Source: Utilityproducts

Ivan Maisel

Gaffney doesn't miss a beat for Stanford

David Shaw never stopped recruiting his star running back, even after losing him to baseball.

Gene Wojciechowski

Tide, Aggies deliver style, substance

From the game of the week to a weak week to coaching talk to Pac-12 statements, the BMOC covers it all.

Mark Schlabach

Fortunes change as QBs change

There appears to be a shift in power in the sport's traditional hotbeds thanks to quarterback play.

Source: Go

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hamburg - Im Streit zwischen Ex-Motorsportboss Max Mosley und dem Suchmaschinenbetreiber Google um heimlich aufgenommene Sex-Bilder will das Hamburger Landgericht Anfang kommenden Jahres ein Urteil verkünden. Die Pressekammer setzte einen Termin für den 10. Januar 2014 an.

Mosley will erreichen, dass Google eine Reihe von Fotos aus dem Video einer privaten Sex-Party mit Prostituierten herausfiltert und sperrt - und in seinen Suchergebnissen gar nicht erst anzeigt. Der Anwalt des Internet-Konzerns erklärte bei der Verhandlung am Freitag, dann werde aus der Suchmaschine eine „Zensurmaschine": „Das ist ein Dammbruch."

Die Vorsitzende Richterin betonte erneut, einige der umstrittenen Fotos seien rechtsverletzend: „Es sind Bilder, die schwerste Intimverletzungen des Klägers darstellen." Bisher hat Mosley Betreiber von Websites einzeln abgemahnt, damit die Fotos nicht mehr zugänglich sind. Die Richterin machte aber deutlich, dass Google nicht nur die von Mosley beanstandeten konkreten Internet-Adressen herausnehmen müsse, sondern darüber hinaus möglicherweise weitere Maßnahmen - etwa eine Filtersoftware - einsetzen müsse: „Wir meinen, dass die Beklagte mehr machen muss." (dpa)

Source: Newsecho