Brad Pitt

Saturday, October 17, 2009 | | 0 comments »

Sony Pictures Entertainment will later this year film the Bali scenes of the screen adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling autobiography, Eat, Pray, Love(EPL).

Julia Roberts stars as the book’s narrator, and Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner will produce the film.

The book, which traces Gilbert’s search for identity across four countries following her divorce, topped six million sales in the US alone. With shooting in New York, Italy, Delhi and Bali, the film of the bestseller is expected to be a blockbuster at box offices around the globe.

Director, Ryan Murphy, is currently scouting locations in Gianyar, Karangasem and Jimbaran, with much of the filming planned around the hillside village of Ubud.

Julia Robert Begins Filming in Bali
Village Demonstrators Seeking Compensation from Filmmakers Mar Start of Bali Filming of 'Eat Pray Love.'

Bali News: Julia Robert Begins Filming in Bali
(10/17/2009) Oscar-winning Hollywood star Julia Roberts has arrived in Bali for what is expected to be a month-long filming of the Bali portion of Elizabeth Gilbert's novel "Eat Pray Love."

Gilbert's best-selling autobiographical recounting of her post-divorce travels in Italy, India and Bali is to become a Columbia Pictures (Sony) film starring Roberts, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins.

Bali filming is centered on areas in and around Ubud and Bali's southernmost beach with cast and crew staying in various five star hotels on the island.

Filming got off to less than a smooth start on Thursday, October 15, 2009, when the villagers of the village of Benyutung demanded Rp. 200 million (US$2,000) in compensation for the use of their village in the film. This demand, according to local press reports in Bali, was precipitated by rumors of large sums being paid to other Bali locations being used in the film.

The Regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), is reportedly mediating local villagers' demands with the film's production team.

Filming is also scheduled to take place in Ubud's famous monkey forest in Padangtegal, Nyuh Kuning, Pengosekan and the traditional art market in Ubud.

Cok Ace, who is also the leader of Ubud's royal household, has issued a special invitation to Julia Roberts to his Palace for dinner. It remains to be seen, however, if the notoriously reclusive star will set aside time on her schedule for visits with Cok Ace or Bali's governor.

Those hoping to steel a look at Julia Roberts or a Hollywood film in production may be disappointed. Elaborate security perimeters are being set up at filming locales that keep the general public at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

new form

Saturday, October 03, 2009 | | 0 comments »


two Guitar Hero

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | | 0 comments »

In a Boston office with a Fender Strat leaning against the wall, Eric Brosius, a sound designer for video-game developer Harmonix, is staring at clusters of tiny blue bars on his computer screen: Keith Moon's madman drum part from "Won't Get Fooled Again," as mapped out note for note by an on-staff musician. The company that developed Guitar Hero has spent the past year transforming that song and dozens of others -- from the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" -- into playable pieces of its new music game, Rock Band. Soon, players will be furiously banging electronic drum pads to replicate Moon's stickwork, mashing buttons on guitar-shaped controllers to match Pete Townshend's and John Entwistle's parts, and even trying to scream "Yeeeah!" at the right moment into a microphone. "You get to experience what it's like to play every single part of 'Won't Get Fooled Again' and to see how the parts interact," says Eran Egozy, who co-founded Harmonix as a graduate student at MIT.

Guitar Hero may well be this decade's biggest rock & roll phenomenon. Guitar Hero I and II have grossed $360 million since the first game came out in 2005 -- vastly more than any album released in the same period. And the games -- in which players re-create songs' guitar parts by pushing buttons that correspond to notes and chords while hitting a "strum bar" in rhythm -- have inspired kids by the millions to memorize the intricacies of "Free Bird" and "War Pigs." One measure of the games' clout: MTV purchased Harmonix for $175 million last year, and video-game giant Activision paid $99.9 million to acquire RedOctane, the company that owns the Guitar Hero name and manufactured the game's guitar- shaped controllers.

With MTV and Activision unwilling or unable to collaborate, the franchise's future has split in two: Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock -- a straightforward sequel with a few twists, including a new "battle mode" -- hits stores October 28th, while Harmonix's Rock Band -- which adds drums and vocals to the formula -- comes out November 23rd. Analysts say that the market is big enough for both games to succeed (music games represent about eight percent of the U.S. video-game market, according to the research group NPD) -- so their near-simultaneous releases could become the music event of the year.

While the first two Guitar Hero titles used mostly cover versions, Rock Band and Guitar Hero III each include dozens of original recordings by rock's biggest names, from Nirvana to Guns n' Roses. "For most of our history, it was very difficult to get the labels' attention and to be taken seriously by them," says Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos. "Now, everything is completely different." Labels are actively pitching their music for inclusion in both games. "It's a revenue source and a way of turning people on to music," says Rhino Records senior VP Mark Pinkus. "My kids are constantly learning new songs from these games and asking me about artists." And both titles will offer online stores with ever-multiplying libraries of additional tunes -- a strategy that's already shown promise, with fans buying more than 2 million tracks at about two dollars each for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II. "We're an entirely different revenue stream that the music business didn't have at their disposal five months ago," says Activision music executive Tim Riley. Rock Band will offer entire albums for download, including Who's Next, as well as eighteen songs by the Grateful Dead.

hard rock super-group

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | | 0 comments »

Mr. Big is a hard rock super-group that formed in 1988. The band is a quartet composed of Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Pat Torpey (drums); Mr. Big also included Richie Kotzen, a reputable blues-based guitarist who replaced Paul in 1999 when Paul decided to focus on a solo career. The band is noted especially for their "shred guitar" musicianship, intense live performances, and well-crafted songs.[1]

Identified early on as a "musicians' band", Mr. Big was able to produce numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres, be it ballad, heavy metal, or blues rock. Prior to the formation of the group, each of the members already had a reputation of being virtuosos as well as established song-writers/ composers.[2] Their songs were often marked with strong vocals and vocal harmonies, and a technical proficiency in all instruments. Their hits include "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991), "Wild World", "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind", "Just Take My Heart", other ballads, and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances, such as "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", "Addicted to that Rush", "Colorado Bulldog", and "Take Cover", among the rest.

Mr. Big's following and reputation remained strong for over two decades, despite the band being challenged by personal internal conflicts and the changing trends in mainstream music. Over the years, through the different heights of the band's career, the fan-base of the group has remained steadfast - even after the demise of the band in 2002. Fans have always asked for the band's reunion.[3]

In February 2009, as a result of fan-demand and also after several coincidences over the past couple of years that have gradually brought the group back together again, Eric, Pat, Paul, and Billy finally announced their decision to reunite. [4] This announcement was marked with celebration and excitement amongst fans all over the world, especially in Japan. The band members themselves are very happy to be together again as friends, and to perform once more for fans all over the world. Their first tour was in Japan in June 2009.

Shahrukh Khan’s forthcoming film ‘Rab Ne bana Di Jodi’ is going to hit the theatres this Friday. Aftermath the terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26th November, the city which never sleeps seems to confine itself in its bedroom. The effect of this devilish attack does not even leave film industry. Every film is facing lose for the reason that theatres and multiplexes are almost empty. But ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ seems to bring fresh air in this tension-packed situation.

According to the sources, Shahrukh Khan is not attending any kind of promotional campaign of ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ as he himself says he was mentally very disturbed for the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. He says, “The movie is funny. But when I watched it, I cried and I laughed and I cried because I felt that by killing innocent, normal people, they (terrorists) are denying us the simple pleasures of life.” Shahrukh Khan truly believes that this film will definitely bring smiles on the terror-stricken people. He even adds on, “I can't tell people it will get you out of your sadness, but I can assure you that the two hours and 20 minutes is going to be great fun…we're hoping to make people smile a little and go back with some nice, good thoughts.”

Talking about the storyline of the story, he says, “The hero in this film is not awesome, not someone you want to be. The hero in this film is ordinary like you and me.” In this film, Shahrukh Khan is playing a simple guy-next-door, who has married a young girl. Let’s see whether ‘RNBDJ’ can do some magic or not!

Quantum of Solace

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | | 0 comments »

In the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace, a villain tries to take control of fresh water around the world. It turns out that is a very real threat.

Don’t worry though, back in March 2008, Dean Kamen, the founder of DEKA research, who invented the Segway, announced his new invention he calls Slingshot. The Slingshot uses no filters, but rather purifies water using vapor compression distillation. Kamen says he company plans to put the machines into production, and if they are used around the world they can eliminate 50% of human disease which is caused by water born pathogens. The Slingshot will cost between $1,000 to $2,000.


Sunday, July 26, 2009 | | 0 comments »

Semarang initially is a sub-province, build by Raden Kaji Kasepuhan ( known as Pandan Arang) on 2 May 1547 and ratified by Sultan Hadiwijaya. In the year of 1906 Dutch Indies government formed Municipal (gemeente) Semarang led by burgermeester, what becoming genesis of forming of Town Semarang. Municipality Semarang definitively specified based on the Law No. 13 Year 1950 concerning forming of sub-provinces in area of Central Java Province.

Shutdowns were not a threat in Connecticut, North Carolina and Ohio, even without a new budget plan in time, because those states have provisions to temporarily spend without a budget.

Ohio lawmakers approved the first temporary budget in 18 years June 30, keeping spending going for at least a week as they try to reach a compromise. Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) signed an executive order to keep government running without an approved budget. North Carolina lawmakers approved a stopgap spending plan while they continue budget negotiations.

Indiana had been preparing for a partial shutdown if a budget plan had not been in place by the July 1 deadline, but lawmakers sent a $27.8 billion spending plan to Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), who signed it late Tuesday. Indiana had not missed a budget deadline since 1887.

At 4:33 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed the $3 billion budget the Legislature sent him, wiping out an $800 million shortfall. In Mississippi, lawmakers ended a stalemate with Gov. Haley Barbour (R) over a Medicaid reauthorization plan, and Barbour is expected to sign that and other spending bills that will keep government running.

The last time so many states blew the deadline was two years ago, when six states could not agree on a budget by July 1. The widening of the problem this year reflects a steady drop in tax revenue because of the recession, which has forced 48 states nationwide to close $166 billion of budget gaps.

Even a partial shutdown of state services could have an acute impact on residents and state workers, especially if it dragged on for weeks. Thousands of state employees could be furloughed. Road and bridge repairs would cease. Drivers couldn’t get or renew licenses. Highway welcome centers and state parks would be shuttered just as the Fourth of July weekend approaches.

If forced to shut down services, Arizona won’t investigate reports of child abuse or help domestic violence victims, among other things. Pennsylvania employees would stop getting paychecks beginning July 17; the state employee credit union has offered them 60-day, no-interest loans if that occurs.

Illinois officials say they probably can get by for a few more weeks without making drastic cuts in services. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who addressed a rare joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday, has said that unless lawmakers pass a tax increase by July 1, he will trim social service programs that help the needy.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) told reporters it could take up to two months to reach a budget agreement, with government workers staying on the job but with no pay and services affected in a few weeks. Two years ago, Rendell ordered 24,000 state employees to go home after the Legislature failed to send him a budget.

California Controller John Chiang said he would begin issuing IOUs Thursday (July 2) if the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) cannot agree on a budget. Payment delays would affect income and corporate tax refunds; payments to private contractors, state vendors and local governments for social services; and state operations, including daily pay for legislators.

“Unfortunately, the state’s inability to balance its checkbook will now mean short-changing taxpayers, local governments and small businesses,” Chiang said. The state needs an additional $2.8 billion to pay its bills; by September the figure will grow to $6.5 billion. Resolving the budget crisis would resolve the problem, he said.

States that fail to balance their budgets on time deal with the problem differently.

According to a 2008 analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 11 states have provisions to pass a temporary budget to keep money flowing to agencies and employees until the legislature approves a final budget, as Illinois did for a month in 2007. This is similar to the U.S. Congress passing a continuing resolution, a frequently used stopgap measure. In 13 states, the state constitution or court rulings say that government can stay open, with uninterrupted payments at the previous year’s levels.

NCSL said 22 states face government shutdowns if there is no approved budget or if lawmakers fail to approve a temporary spending bill.

Eleven states don’t know what would happen if the budget were not enacted, NCSL said. State law does not deal with the problem because it has never come up.

A governor’s powers during a budget breakdown are not always clear-cut, as Mississippi discovered.

Before Mississippi resolved its budget problem Tuesday, Barbour (R) had said he had the authority to keep government operating past July 1 if there was no budget. But Attorney General Jim Hood (D) said in a June 26 opinion the governor “has no authority to unilaterally declare an emergency and seek to keep all government offices open by executive order” because the Legislature has the sole power to appropriate state money.

Even in states that have approved budgets, July 1 is a day of reckoning because many of the budget cuts and tax and fee increases enacted by legislatures go into effect. In Nevada, for example, a record $1 billion in tax increases begin; Las Vegas now has an 8.1 percent sales tax. Twenty-five states boosted taxes this year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

Hardly a week goes by without another state budget problem surfacing. On Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson (D) said that since the Legislature approved a pared-down state budget earlier this year, tax revenue has fallen so sharply in May and June that another $135 million in cuts will be needed as the fiscal year begins.

Without the federal economic stimulus package, state budgets would be even more out of whack. Stimulus money has closed about 40 percent of state budget shortfalls, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The late-hour budget-fixing special sessions are costing taxpayers. Mississippi’s sessions cost taxpayers about $60,000 the first day and $40,000 a day after that.

Perhaps the most notorious government shutdown occurred in 1995 when President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders failed to reach agreement on the federal budget and were forced to furlough thousands of federal employees a week before Christmas. The closure had a broad impact on public health, law enforcement, parks, museums, monuments, visa and passports, veterans and federal contractors. It also caused public confidence in Congress to plummet.

Four states closed billions of dollars in budget shortfalls and approved spending plans in the last 24 hours, but legislatures and governors in six states were still far apart on their budgets as the fiscal year began Wednesday (July 1).

Indiana, Mississippi and Delaware averted disruptions in government services by approving budgets in time for the new fiscal year.

Arizona also will escape a shutdown- for now. The Republican-controlled Legislature sent Gov. Jan Brewer (R) a final-hour $8.4 billion budget plan before adjourning Wednesday. Hours later, she ordered lawmakers back to Phoenix on Monday (July 6), saying they needed to fix what she called a "fatally flawed" budget. The spending plan did not contain a temporary sales tax increase proposal the governor had sought to put on the November ballot to avoid painful spending cuts.

“The legislative budget ignores my consistently expressed goals and instead incorporates devastating cuts to education, public safety, and our state’s most vital health services for the frail,” Brewer said in a statement.

States without budgets on the first day of the new fiscal year are Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio. California lawmakers approved a budget in February but falling revenue has knocked it out of balance by $24 billion.

California officials said they will be forced to issue IOUs because they will not have the money to pay all of the state's bills. Pennsylvania and Illinois officials say they will keep essential operations going, but a protracted stalemate could begin affecting day-to-day services in those states in a few weeks.

COCOA, Fla. — A year ago, the Brevard County Schools ran a robust summer program here, with dozens of schools bustling with teachers and some 14,000 children practicing multiplication, reading Harry Potter and studying Spanish verbs, all at no cost to parents.
But this year Florida’s budget crisis has gutted summer school. Brevard classrooms are shuttered, and students like 11-year-old Uvenka Jean-Baptiste, whose mother works in a nursing home, are spending their summer days at home, surfing television channels or loitering at a mall.

Nearly every school system in Florida has eviscerated or eliminated summer school this year, and officials are reporting sweeping cuts in states from North Carolina and Delaware to California and Washington. The cuts have come as states across the country are struggling to approve budgets, and California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared a fiscal state of emergency on Wednesday.

“We’re seeing a disturbing trend of districts making huge cuts to summer school; they’re just devastating these programs,” said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s having a disproportionate impact on low-income families.”

The federal stimulus law is channeling $100 billion to public education, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan has repeatedly urged states and districts to spend part of the money to keep schools open this summer.

But thousands of districts have ignored Mr. Duncan’s urgings. In Florida and California, for example, government revenues have fallen so precipitously that, even after receiving federal stimulus dollars, local officials have been forced to make deep cuts to school budgets. Officials in many other states, considering summer school a frill, despite research showing it can narrow the achievement gap between poor and affluent children, have spent their stimulus money elsewhere.

An Education Department spokeswoman, Sandra Abrevaya, said the agency did not yet know how many of the nation’s 15,000 school districts had cut summer school this year.

Large districts still offering robust summer programs include Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Seattle, according to the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents large districts.

New York City has made modest cuts to its summer program, which last year served 120,000 children, said William Havemann, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Education. This year, classes will be offered in 369 schools, down from 562 in 2008, Mr. Havemann said, and the city expects fewer children to enroll, too, although all children who need extra work for promotion to their next grade are eligible.

Some systems have spent federal stimulus money to invigorate summer school. These include Montgomery County, Md., and Cincinnati, where officials have used $1.5 million of the city’s stimulus dollars to offer full-day summer school at its 13 lowest-performing elementary schools, nearly doubling enrollment to 1,700 students.

Mornings are devoted to math and reading, and afternoons to camp-like activities including environmental science and gardening, ballroom dancing and yoga, said Janet Walsh, a Cincinnati schools spokeswoman. Twelve other Cincinnati schools are offering half-day summer programs, Ms. Walsh said.

But thousands of districts have made cuts. In Los Angeles, where school officials are still working to remove hundreds of millions of dollars from a $5.5 billion annual budget, they cut $34 million last month by canceling summer school for all elementary and middle school children except the disabled. That left 150,000 students without summer classes, and parents scrambling for child care.

Hundreds of other California districts, including San Diego, Long Beach and Sacramento, have also trimmed or eliminated summer school. An online survey in late April by the California State PTA found that about 40 percent of responding school districts had reduced summer programs and about 20 percent had eliminated them entirely.

The North Carolina School Boards Association did a similar survey of the state’s 115 districts. Three-quarters of those that responded said they would eliminate summer school or reduce its scope, said Leanne Winner, a director at the association. “Things have gotten worse since we did the survey,” Ms. Winner said.

Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association, said, “Nearly all districts in Florida have cut summer school down, and about half have eliminated it altogether.”

In Rutherford County, Tenn., school authorities cited not only money troubles but also swine flu in explaining why they cut elementary summer school after the district lost some state financing.

All the cuts nationwide have put into jeopardy an institution that has turned summertimes past into nostalgic memories for millions of Americans.

“I remember as a child growing up, summer school was enriching and fun,” said Tamara Sortman of Sacramento, where cuts have left her three children with no summer school option. “I took guitar one summer, creative writing another. I remember an arts class where we did tie-dying. I had a single working mom, and summer school kept me out of trouble.”

Kenneth Gold, an education professor at the College of Staten Island who wrote a history of summer learning, said that in the 19th century, many American schools offered their regular classes in summer and winter, with recesses scheduled for spring and fall to allow planting and harvesting. By 1910, however, that cycle had been largely displaced by the September-to-June, 180-day calendar common today, in which summer school is an optional addendum.

Since the 1970s, however, the value of rigorous summer school has gained increasing recognition because of research by a Johns Hopkins professor, Karl Alexander, and other sociologists showing that the academic achievement gap widens during summer vacations.

Low-income students who hold summer jobs or are idle, the research has demonstrated, forget more math and reading skills over the summer than their affluent classmates, who often receive intellectual stimulation in the summer from canoe trips, language camps or ballet lessons.

Richard DiPatri, schools superintendent here in Brevard County, leaned on those findings in recent years as he made free summer school classes available to all students, both for remedial work and for languages and other electives.

“We built it up, but last year here in Florida, our funding just went over the cliff,” Mr. DiPatri said.

Adrimel Marlasca, 12, who just finished sixth grade, said that in previous years, she had enjoyed summer classes at Discovery Elementary in Palm Bay, Fla.. But this summer, she is marooned at home.

The other day, Adrimel was up at midmorning, ate some cereal, then watched a show on the Disney channel. She played with her pet cockatiel and her dog, Princess, ate lunch and watched some more television. Later, she went shopping with her mother, picked up her room and read a mystery book for 45 minutes.

After dinner, her mother used flashcards to drill her in multiplication for a few minutes.

“I like the math because it’s challenging, but sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t answer this,’ and you get nerve-racked,” Adrimel said.

“We’re working with her at home, but its not the same,” said her father, Jose Marlasca. “She ends up watching TV. The best scenario would be to have her at school.”

Renesas moves SH7786 to 65-nm process, delivers 1920 MIPS at 533 MHz, fast data transfers for multimedia-intensive apps such as next-generation vehicle navigation.
By Matthew Miller, Editor in Chief, -- EDN, 8/25/2008
Renesas Technology today announced a new spin of its SH7786, a dual-core, 32-bit processor that targets high-performance multimedia applications such as automotive navigation, game consoles, digital-home electronics.

The new device, fabricated on a 65-nm process (prior versions were 90-nm parts) churns out 960 MIPS from each of its two SH-4A 32-bit RISC cores at 533 MHz. The device also features a DDR3-SDRAM interface, which operates at 1.5V and enables data transfers at up to 4.27-Gbytes/sec. The earlier 90-nm devices had a DDR2-SDRAM interface operating at 1.8V.

The processor also sports multiple interfaces that the designer can configure to operate as one to four lanes for data transfers up to 800 Mbytes/sec with external memory or other devices. The chip also features a USB 2.0 host and function peripheral, an 802.3 MAC (media access controller), and three low-power modes that can be invoked on the two cores independently.

QNX Software Systems has announced support for the processor in its Neutrino and its Momentics development suite. Both products support symmetric, bound, and asymmetric multiprocessing modes.

The SH7786, in a 593-pin BGA package, is slated for sample availability in Q4 starting at $75.