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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Indian engineers invent ‘anti-rape’ underwear


Anti-rape underwear which delivers a 3,800 kilovolt shock to any would-be attacker has been created by a team of Indian engineering students.
After disabling the assailant, the undergarment has been designed to automatically send a text message to police or family members containing the GPS location of the attempted crime.
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Pressure sensors on the garment, sewn in around the bust area, detect unwanted force and trigger the powerful shock. It can deliver up to 82 electric shocks, more than enough to disable any attacker.
Manisha Mohan, who helped develop the product, told The Times of India: 'The lingerie with global positioning system, global system for mobile communications and also pressure sensors is capable of sending shock waves of 3,800 kV as well as alerts to parents and police.
'A person trying to molest a girl will get the shock of his life the moment pressure sensors get activated, and the GPS and GSM modules would send an SMS (to the Indian emergency number) as well as to parents of the girl'.
Details of the device, which were published on the Indian technology website Techpedia, show how the electric shock circuit board, is 'placed near the bosom' after a survey found that attackers usually grab a woman in that area as they initiate a rape attack.
Ms Mohan added: 'Studying in a convent girls school, we were always taught to be good to everyone around and bear a cheerful smile.
'After stepping into the real, cruel world we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on.
'Since the law makers take ages to come up with just laws and even after that, women are unsafe. Hence, we have initiated the idea of self‐defense which protects the women from domestic, social and workplace harassment.'
India has seen a spate of rapes in recent months including the gang rape and beating of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student who later died.
That case sparked huge protests and widespread condemnation of the government and judiciary for their failure to protect women.
Last month a Swiss Woman was attacked and a British tourist told how she was forced to jump out of her hotel window when a man attempted to attack her.
The surge in violence against women is believed to be having a serious effect on the country's tourism industry.
A recent study found that that in the last three months, the number of foreigners travelling to India has fallen by 25 per cent with the number of female tourists down by 35 per cent.

40 Most Popular Social Networking Sites of the World


Social Networking sites, social media 2010

"Social networking" has been around forever. It's the simple act of expanding the number of people you know by meeting your friends' friends, their friends' friends and so on. In fact, many of us today use Twitter and Facebook to promote our existing and upcoming businesses. And people looking to connect with other business-associated contacts usually move to sites like LinkedIn, but one need to understand that social media is beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs. After observing and running an analysis on hundreds of Social Networking sites I have listed down 40 most popular social networks across countries. 

1. Facebook: To access Facebook.com, you must create an account on the site which is free. Facebook's terms of use state that members must be at least 13 years old with valid email ID’s. After updating you're details, your Facebook profile is generated. Using Facebook.com you can: 

o Browse and join networks, which are organized into four categories: regions, colleges, workplaces and high schools.
o Pull contacts from a Web-based e-mail account, into Facebook.com.
o Find friends in several ways, including search engine to look for a specific person and lot more. 
o Facebook has recently crossed 500 million users and is the most popular Social Networking site of the world. 

2. MySpace: On MySpace, your social network starts growing from the first day. When you join MySpace, the first step is to create a profile. You then, invite friends to join there and search for your friends on already profiled on MySpace these friends become your initial Friend Space. Once the friendship is confirmed all the people in your friends' Friend Space become part of your network. In that sense, everyone on MySpace is in your Extended Network. As part of terms of MySpace, the user must be at least 14 years old to register.

3. Twitter: Twitter is a very simple service that is rapidly becoming one of the most talked-about social networking service providers. When you have a Twitter account, you can use the service to post and receive messages to a network of contacts, as opposed to send bulk email messages. You can build your network of contacts, and invite others to receive your Tweets, and can follow other members' posts. Twitter makes it easy to opt into or out of networks. Additionally, you can choose to stop following a specific person’s feed.

4. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an online social network for business professionals, which is designed specifically for professional networking, to help them find a job, discover sales leads, connect with potential business partners. Unlike most of the other social networks, LinkedIn does not focus on making friends or sharing media like photos, videos and music. To start using LinkedIn you need to register and create a profile page. To register to LinkedIn, you need to provide personal information. You can update the profile with your education and job details and a summary. Additionally, you can also give and receive recommendations from co-workers and bosses. There are more than 75 million professionals registered on LinkedIn. 

5. Bebo: In the United Kingdom, Bebo is the second best social network. Bebo allows users to create social networking profiles for free. It offers many of the same features as other social networking sites. You can register a free account with Bebo and upload photos, videos and information. The site lets you connect with old friends and make new ones using a unique user interface. The site boasts users from more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Poland, France and Germany.

6. Friendster: Friendster was one of the first Web sites to bring it into mass culture. It was designed as a place to connect with friends, family, colleagues and new friends over the Internet. However, it went beyond just a one-way communication. Using Friendster, you can connect with friends and family, meet new people through the connections you already have, find people with similar interests, backgrounds or geographical locations, join groups by activity, school or interest, interact through message posts, games, blogs and application sharing, and share your details with the Internet community. 

7. Hi5: Hi5 shares many similarities with many social network sites; however, it introduces some twists that make it worthwhile for people who love trying out new and interesting online communities. However, it is not one of the popular sites in the United States. This was a strategic move from the founder, therefore, Hi5 claims around 60 million members from more than 200 countries other than the US. One of the site's biggest transformations is the addition of many entertainment options, including games.

8. Habbo: The Habbo online community is inhabited by pixelated, cartoon-character alter egos. You can meet others in public rooms (nightclubs, restaurants, shops) and create private rooms for selected friends. Habbo employees heavily moderate the site, catering to its solid teen user base. Most of the users of Habbo are between the age group of 13 – 18 years. Although, a major part of the users are from the U.S., Habbo social networks is very popular in places like the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Finland and more. 

9. NING: Ning is the leading online platform for the world's organizers, activists and influencers to create social experiences that inspire action. It helps you create a safe and secure place online for like-minded people. Ning takes the idea of groups to a whole new level. The ability to create your own community makes Ning a great home away from home for organizations and groups looking to fill the social void.

10. Classmates: Classmates.com is different from most social networks, in the sense that most of its features are available to premium member. The price for premium members depends on the length of the agreement – shorter term results in a higher cost per month. Classmates.com is primarily used to reconnect with old classmates. The site features a search engine that lets you view other people who went to the same school you attended. Creating a basic Classmates.com profile is free and easy. However, most of the advanced features in Classmates.com are only available to paid users. 

11. Tagged: Tagged is a blend of social networking features that MySpace and Facebook users will find very familiar. Tagged was designed to help users meet lots of new people with similar interests in a short amount of time. You can access and register directly or be invited by a friend to join Tagged. This is a free social network that allows you to view your friends’ newly uploaded Tagged photo album. Tagged encourages its users to meet strangers based on shared interests, with the idea of growing your network to meet as many people as possible.

12. myYearbook: myYearbook, the best place to meet new people and one of the 25 most-trafficked sites in the United States. myYearbook has Flash-based games, and the games incorporate Lunch Money (the myYearbook virtual currency). It includes a virtual economy through which people can purchase of gifts which members send to each other. Lunch Money is also donated by members to their favourite charity. In 2010, myYearbook donated money to the Haiti Relief Fund to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. 

13. Meetup: Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. It makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. 

14. MyLife: MyLife (formerly Reunion.com) is a social network service. MyLife can search over 60 social-networking sites and other information resources on the Web. MyLife searches the web to deliver accurate and timely results. Even in cases when you don't immediately find who you're looking for, MyLife continues searching and provides updates and alerts. MyLife suggests friends and contacts you may know based on your profile information and existing contacts. It also intimates you when someone else is looking for you. MyLife gives you a global view into the most popular sites your friends are part of, including LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace as well as 50 other sites. 

15. Flixster: Flixster is a social networking site for movie fans. Users can create their own profiles, invite friends, rate movies and actors, and post movie reviews as well. From the site, people can also get information about movies, read user-generated movie reviews and ratings, converse with other users, get movie show times, view popular celebrity photos, read the latest movie news, and view video clips from popular movies and TV shows. Flixster.com also operates leading movie applications on Facebook, MySpace, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. 

16. myHeritage: MyHeritage is a family-oriented social network service and genealogy website. It allows members to create their own family websites, share pictures and videos, organize family events, create family trees, and search for ancestors. There are more than 15 million family trees and 91 million photos on the site, and the site is accessible in over 35 languages. 

17. Multiply: Multiply is a vibrant social shopping destination, but faster and more convenient, where sellers and buyers interact. A user's network is made up of their direct contacts, as well as others who are closely connected to them through their first-degree relationships. Users are also encouraged to specify the nature of their relationship with one another, making it possible to share content based on relationship. Many shoppers in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have made the Multiply Marketplace a favourite shopping destination.

18. Orkut: Orkut is a free social networking website where you can create a profile, connect with friends, maintain an online scrapbook and use site features and applications to share your interests and meet others. The prerequisite for logging on to Orkut is that the user must be over 18 years old. Currently, Orkut is the most popular in Brazil. The number of orkut users in India is almost equivalent to those in its original home in the United States.

19. Badoo: Badoo is a multi-lingual social networking website. It is gaining popularity in emerging markets like Russia and Brazil. The site allows users to create profiles, send each other messages, and rate each other’s profile pictures at no cost. However, features that are designed to make user profile more visible to other users are provided at a cost. Badoo includes geographic proximity feature that identifies users’ locations based on analysis of their network connection. This lets users know if there are people near their current location who may wish to meet.

20. Gaia Online: Gaia Online is a mix of social networking and massive multiplayer online role-playing games. It is a leading online hangout for teens and young adults, and offers a wide range of features from discussion forums and virtual towns to fully customizable profiles and avatars. It provides a fun, social environment that inspires creativity and helps people make meaningful connections around shared interests such as gaming, arts and anime. 

21. BlackPlanet: Initially, BlackPlanet was designed as a way for African-American professionals to network. Since then, it's grown and evolved as a site operating under the principles of Web 2.0. Members can read other members' blogs, watch music videos, chat with one another, look for new careers and discuss news. Though BlackPlanet is not restricted to any community, this site is more popular amongst African-American. This site helped Obama to connect to nearly 200,000 potential supporters.

22. SkyRock: SkyRock.com is a social networking site that offers its members free web space where they can create a blog, add a profile, and exchange messages with other registered members. The site also offers a specific space for members who create blogs showcasing their original musical compositions. SkyRock is very popular in France and French speaking markets including Switzerland and Belgium. The site is also available in English, German, Dutch and Spanish. It’s very popular in the European Union. 

23. PerfSpot: PerfSpot provides a web portal for people of any age, gender, or background to share their interests and favourite things on the web. PerfSpot currently publishes its site in 37 different languages, with comprehensive moderator team based in the U.S. and the Philippines that screens through up to a million pictures on a daily basis. 

24. Zorpia: Zorpia.com is a social network that has a large international community. Zorpia’s features include profile customization, networking features and an incredibly detailed search. Zorpia has an impressive music section featuring popular artists like Ashlee Simpson, Vanessa Hudgens, Alanis Morissette and more. You can purchase a Royal Membership for extra networking options such as an ad–free profile, extra profile design features and unlimited messaging. 

25. Netlog: Netlog (formerly known as Facebox and Bingbox) is a Belgian social networking website specifically targeted at the European youth demographic. On Netlog, you can create your own web page with a blog, pictures, videos, events and much more to share with your friends. Netlog is pageview market leader in Belgium, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Romania and Turkey. In the Netherlands, Germany, France and Portugal, Netlog covers the second place. Pan European, Netlog is the market leader. Netlog is localized in over 25 languages, to enable users from around the world to access the network.

26. Tuenti: Tuenti is an invitation-only private social networking website. It has been referred to as the "Spanish Facebook”, by many social network watchers. It is one of the largest social networking sites in Spain. It allows you to set up a profile, upload photos, link videos and connect and chat with friends. Many other utilities, such as the ability to create events, are also offered. From 2009, utilizing a simple interface, Tuenti user can change their language to Catal├ín, Basque, Galician, and English. Tuenti is also available as an iPhone App. 

27. Nasza-Klasa.pl: nasza-klasapl is considered one of the largest and most used social networking sites in Poland. It primarily brings together school's students and alumni. The site is in polish therefore restricting its popularity only to Poland and polish speaking people. Nevertheless, it claims to be the most popular networking site in Poland, and therefore, has found its niche in the competitive social networking space. The site where one might say, new meets old, where the intractability is like Facebook, yet traditional with old styled forums. 

28. IRC-Galleria: IRC Gallery has been one of the most popular social networking sites for over 10 years, in Finland; with over 5.5 lakh registered users, 90% of which use the site regularly. IRC-Galleria is popular within the age group of 18-22. To be able to create an account with this site, at least one of the uploaded images must be accepted by the administrator. While regular users can upload only up to 60 visible images, you have the option to upgrade to VIP status that enables you to upload 10,000 visible images. Using this site, users can communicate with other users, comments on photos, and join over a 100 communities.

29. StudiVZ: StudiVZ is the biggest social networking site in Germany. It is also popular in German-speaking countries like Switzerland and Austria. This site works as a student directory in particular for college and university students in Europe. The site allows students to maintain a personal page that containing their personal information like name, age, study subjects, interests, courses and group memberships (within StudiVZ).

30. Xing: Xing, (formally known as openBC/Open Business Club) is a professional networking tool. It is popular in countries like Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. Xing is similar to LinkedIn and claims to have professionals from over 200 countries. Xing has two features Basic and Premium, depending on weather the user wants to use the site for free or at a cost. It is available in different languages including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Dutch, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Polish, Turkish and Hungarian; French and German being the most popularly.

31. Renren: Renren (formerly called Xiaonei Network) is one of the largest social networking sites in China, and caters to people of Chinese origin. It is very popular amongst college students. Renren also has a WAP version, which users can access through mobile phones. It features an instant messaging service for its users. Users can use the same username to log in both Renren and Kaixin. Renren appeals more to Chinese college students who use internet cafes, while Kaixin001 targets Chinese white-collar workers who have internet access at work. 

32. Kaixin001: Kaixin001 is a popular professional networking tool in China. The target audience for Kaixin’s, are typically white-collar middle class who come from a first tier city. This site in China is extremely popular among people who work for multinational companies, ad agencies and other white collar companies. Kaixin001 has gained much more popularity since 2009, because social networking sites, such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube were blocked in China.

33. Hyves.nl: Hyves, pronounced hives (from beehives) is the largest social network in Netherlands, with many Dutch visitors and members. Hyves Payments and Hyves Games, allows you to play games and pay friends through the social network. Hyves provides usual amenities of a social networking site, including profiles, blogs, photos, and so on. ‘Hyven’ (Hyving) became a common word in Dutch, and is gaining popularity across Europe.

34. Millat Facebook: MillatFacebook is a Muslim-oriented social networking website. Originally launched in Pakistan, it has gained popularity in Arab counties as well. This site came into existence after Facebook was banned in Pakisthan. Millatfacebook offers video chat, bulletins, blogs, polls, shout box, and customization of profile page. Members can change the page CSS and design it on their own will. 

35. Ibibo: Ibibo stands for iBuild, iBond. It is an Indian social networking site. It is an umbrella site that offers a variety of applications under its social network. The services offered include games, blogs, photo unlimited storage, mail, messenger, videos, free SMS service, mail, polls and surveys.

36. Sonico: Sonico is a free-access social networking website focused on the Latin American audience. You can do a to rage of things in this site including search and add friends, interact with friends over message, update their own personal profile, manage their privacy, upload photos and videos, organize events, play games with other users. Sonico, more importantly, let’s its members more control over their profile by giving them three distinct profiles that the user can organize based on the need: a private profile, a public profile, and a professional profile. This site is popular in Latin America and other Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Regions. 

37. Wer-kennt-wen: Wer-kennt-wen, is one of the most popular social networking website in Germany. It is by an invitation-only social networking website, and only for people over 14 years old. The site provides the user to write blogs, chat with friends, and write in their guestbook. It provides users a social community for people, to interact with anybody they want. 

38. Cyworld: Cyworld is a South Korean social network service. It has had a big effect on Korea’s Internet culture. Many renowned Korean socialites and celebrities have accounts where they post upcoming tours and works. Cyword has networks in South Korea, China, and Vietnam and is gaining popularity across Asia and the Pacific Island. Users have access to a profile page, photos, drawings and images uploading, an avatar, neighbourhoods, and clubs. 

39. Mixi: Mixi is primarily for Japanese. Mixi offers options to meeting new people, send and receive messages, writing in a diary, read and comment on others' diaries, organize and join communities and invite their friends. The site requires users to own a Japanese cell phone which bars anyone who is not or has not been a resident of Japan.

40. iWiW: iWiW (abbreviation for International Who is Who) is a Hungarian social networking web service. The site is an invite-only website, where a user can provide personal information. Users can search for friends using the search tool. iWiW allows users to log in to external websites using their iWiW credentials. iWiW is also available for iPone and Android. 

The list is tentative. You might want to add your thoughts to the same. Please feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. I will soon revamp the list and take your suggestions into consideration.

Woman kicked off plane for singing Whitney Houston song -- non-stop

Everyone has had the experience of sitting next to an annoying person on a long plane flight. 

But has anything ever been as bad as a woman singing Whitney Houston's classic song, "I Will Always Love You"? Keep in mind, the woman didn't just sing this love anthem once -- she sang it repeatedly, to the point where the plane was forced to make an emergency landing.

The American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York City was diverted to an emergency landing, where law enforcement personnel escorted the woman away. Frighteningly, the woman was still singing her ode to Whitney as she exited the aircraft. There is no word as to whether the woman was drunk or otherwise incapacitated at the time.

Although it's fortunate that there is a video to record this insanity, the person behind the footage might want to stay quiet. There are plenty of "no cameras" messages heard throughout the short recording -- whoever took the video was risking an arrest too!

Why was the woman singing Whitney Houston? Why wouldn't she stop? Would this be your choice if you were to sing something over and over again on an airplane? The answers to these questions may indeed be terrifying.

Bottega Veneta Resort 2014: St. Barths and Crafts


During his tenure at Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier has worked to consistently evolve the brand’s age-old legacy of exquisitely executed handcraft. To complement the house’s iconic woven leathers, he’s experimented with hand-painted textiles, bricolaged patch-works, and artfully haphazard pleating details yielding stunning results.

Resort ’14 proved no exception, as Maier presented an assortment that was at once perfectly suited for a mid-January jaunt to the French Caribbean, and chock-full of masterful technique. Crisp poplin fabrics informed the behavior of his 50′s-silhouette skirts and culotte/Bermuda short hybrids, while airy slips in painterly textural-prints were cut to hover at knee length, finally giving rest to the maxi dress (Real Housewives be damned).
Styling was simple and to the point; pick a frock, pair it with a brogue or raffia-spectatored loafer, add an ombre stained bag–and go! How refreshingly simple!

Pixar Announces New Toy Story Short


While the story of Woody the Cowboy, Buzz Lightyear et al. might have appeared to come to a conclusion with 2010’s Toy Story 3, Pixar announced via its Twitter that it will revisit everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic toys for a special Halloween-themed short set to air on ABC.
While few details are given beyond a name (Toy Story of Terror) and a vague air date (circa Halloween), Pixar did post a still from the short depicting Woody, Buzz and Jessie navigating through a presumedly dark and frightening setting.






Watch out WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger is headed to iOS and Android this summer


The keynote presentation from the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando brought with it a variety of new announcements from the reinvigorated firm, from the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone and the BlackBerry 10.1 update, to stage appearances by, “Brand ambassador,” Alicia Keys, and Mercedes Formula One team driver Lewis Hamilton. However, CEO Thorsten Heins held something back to ensure the show ended on a high note, as he revealed BlackBerry Messenger would become a cross-platform messaging service this summer.


That’s right, BlackBerry is planning to release BBM on iOS and Android in the next few months, enabling BlackBerry owners to communicate using the standard messaging service on their phones, with friends who own devices running a different operating system. The first version of the app will feature BBM chats with one or more people, voice note sharing and access to BlackBerry Groups, for collaboration on calendars, photos and certain files.
Future versions of the BBM app will receive BBM Voice and video chatting features, plus access to BBM Channels, which was also announced during the BlackBerry Live keynote. Heins made a big deal over BBM’s user base, telling us it has 60 million active users, with more than 51 million using it on a daily basis. At least 10 billion messages are sent each day, and apparently, half those are read within 20 seconds of receipt.
All this talk does depend on the app being approved for use in both app stores, and while Google Play is unlikely to be a concern, there’s always the chance Apple may make it difficult for BlackBerry. However, rather than targeting iMessage, it’ll be other cross-platform apps such as WhatsApp in BlackBerry’s sights. It was also confirmed the app will be free to download and use.
No actual release date has been mentioned, primarily because it’s down to the app getting approved, so all we can do is wait for more information from BlackBerry.

Amazon buys Samsung’s Liquavista display subsidiary, hints at possible new Kindle tech


After Samsung acquired Liquavista in 2011, there were talks that the electronics giant would unveil new smartphones with flexible screens in 2012. Well, 2012 came and went, and we have yet to see a Galaxy device with displays that bend. In fact, a report suggests that rival LG would beat Samsung to the punch in unveiling a flexible display by end of the year. The latest news (via PCMag) from Samsung may point to why there has been no movement: Sammy has struck a deal to sell Liquavista to Amazon. Amazon confirmed what had been rumors that such a deal was in the works.


The acquisition could foreshadow what’s to come in future Kindle devices. Liquavista, a Dutch firm that spun off from Philips in 2006, specializes in a display technology called “electrowetting.” The benefits of an electrowetting display could be big for Amazon Kindle e-readers and tablets: they can be viewed in various lighting scenarios yet offer low-power video playback, far more efficient than traditional LCD. (Before Samsung took over Liquavista, the company had planned to release e-readers with electrowetting displays, but pulled out when they found they could not sell premium display products at below cost.) There are other plusses, as well, including the aforementioned flexible display concept, however it’s uncertain at the moment if Amazon will incorporate bendable screens in a Kindle.

“We are always looking for new technologies we may be able to incorporate into our products over the long term. The Liquavista team shares our passion for invention and is creating exciting new technologies with a lot of potential. It’s still early days, but we’re excited about the possibilities and we look forward to working with Liquavista to develop these displays,” Amazon told PCMag.

Samsung hasn’t yet announced what its plans would be for flexible displays in relations to this deal, but judging from history we can bet the company will not stand by while its rival rolls out bendy smartphones while it has been working on the tech for the past couple years.


Facebook phone is a flop! AT&T may discontinue HTC First




The first sign was a price drop to $0.99 just one month after it was launched, but now it’s becoming even more clear that the HTC First is a massive flop.

You may remember the HTC First as the final form of the long-rumored Facebook phone. Running stock Android skinned with Facebook Home, the First was meant to appeal to Facebook-loving smartphone users and build up hype for Facebook Home as a replacement launcher for Android. Well, apparently it isn’t working out so well.

According to a “trusted source”, sales of the HTC First are “shockingly bad,” BGR reports. Sales are apparently so disappointing that AT&T has decided to discontinue the phone. The source says AT&T will return the unsold inventory to HTC and it seems like there could be a lot of devices to return. AT&T sold roughly 15,000 units across the U.S. when the price dropped to $0.99 on contract.

If it is true, the HTC First being a failure isn’t all that surprising. Most people who have downloaded Facebook Home on Android end up uninstalling it shortly after. While it is a compelling piece of software, the lack of widgets and general customization make it seem very anti-Android and other than flooding your phone with Facebook, doesn’t offer much of an improvement to any device.

BGR also heard AT&T staff don’t like Facebook Home and aren’t making much of an effort to convince customers into buying it. Other smartphones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4 are being pushed much more heavily, the source reports.

Whatever the fate of the HTC First, AT&T will have to wait until its in-store display contract with HTC runs out before the First can be pulled from shelves and sent back to its maker. HTC has already paid for the space in AT&T’s store and it would be too much of a hassle for AT&T to back out of the deal before it runs out.

For what it’s worth, an AT&T spokesperson contacted BGR with this message, “As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans.”



Does your Twitter account have a gender bias?


Even when we try to do all the right things, sometimes bias seeps into our actions. A British writer named Joan Smith and a Swedish equal opportunities organization called Crossing Boarders worked together to create Twee-Q, or the Twitter Equality Quotient, which gives you a score based on how many times you re-tweet men or women in an effort to point out bias in social media.
“Twee-Q uses a database of names featured in the US and Swedish censuses,” a Twee-Q rep tells us. “These are used for cross-referencing.” This means gender-neutral handles are excluded from the score, as are the handles of brands and companies.
You can check your own handle or anyone else’s, and the results may surprise you: I consider myself a feminist, but according to Twee-Q, I have a gender bias against my own sex. Out of a perfect score of 10, I got a measly 4.4. It turns out Wikipedia’s not the only thing with a gender problem. My Twitter account also skews male. And this isn’t a case of men being over-represented on Twitter, because the male to female user ratio is nearly equal. And my score is even worse than the average, which is 4.9. Yikes.


I’m not the only person guilty of favoring dude tweets – my editor, Molly McHugh, is guilty of the same (she would like me to add her defense is she religious follows NBA basketball players and writers). But go ahead and see for yourself, you can check out anyone’s score. And we’re in the same boat with Justin Bieber (4), Barack Obama’s account (which scored a pathetic 1.4), and even Twitter’s own Twitter account (6.6) have a male bias. Meanwhile, others choose women, like Gloria Steinhem, who impressively has a Twee-Q score of 0 since all of her re-tweets are women (you get a perfect 10 when you’re evenly balanced between men and women).
Even though the results probably aren’t totally accurate because they only take your last 100 tweets into account and they don’t measure people who have Twitter handles other than their names, the Twee-Q is still an interesting tool just to get people thinking about why they choose to re-tweet certain users instead of others and about the narrowing but still existing media bias out there.

Samsung tests super fast 10 Gigabit 5G wireless speeds, coming in 2020


In August of 2012, Piper Jaffray published a study, which calculated that 47 percent of U.S. consumers didn’t feel like they needed 4G LTE networks. Those figures may have changed already, but there is good news for that other 53 percent: we’re already moving toward 5G networks.

Samsung has announced that it’s developed a core component for its 5G network, achieving upload and download speeds in excess of 10 gigbits per second (Gbps). Right now, 4G LTE networks can only reach a measly 75 megabits per second (Mbps), and usually only around a fourth or third of that. To put those specs in perspective, with a 10Gbps connection you would be able to download every Nicolas Cage movie to your phone in full HD in under a minute.

The technicals? Samsung’s new network runs off of the 28GHz waveband. Samsung reportedly used 64 antenna elements to pull off the high-speed data transfer, and believes they can commercialize and implement their 5G network by 2020. The European Commission expects to have its own 5G wireless tech in effect within the same year, as does China. Samsung’s network isn’t even the fastest successfully tested 5G network so far – last February, NTT DoCoMo announced that it achieved 10Gbps wireless transmissions from a 11GHz band. 
Samsung has been a recognized innovator in wireless transmission technologies for a long time, and even have a number of their own patents in the field. Most of them are considered standard essential, requiring Samsung to grant licenses fairly, reasonably, and without any degree of discrimination among its competitors. 
By 2020, we’ll have dozens of new new superhero movies, another five or six Star Wars movies, and we’ll be able to snag them all onto our phones over a bathroom break. We’re cool with that. Let’s all just hope we occasionally use this monumental human achievement for a handful of practical purposes.


Face it, as much as you claim to hate Facebook and its stupid new changes, updates, features, and redesigns, you’re too self-obsessed or nosey about friends to delete your own account. So after bitching about yet another change, you learn to adapt and put up with the frequent readjustments. It’s frustrating, but this is the Internet, so you either have to move quickly with it or get left behind.

So what if Facebook redesigns were compared to changes in your real life? In this parody by Los Angeles-based comedy group Extremely Decent, the sketch relates Facebook to the home you live in. Facebook thinks it knows you! It thinks you want these new features to make you more social, more item consolidation, and “better” privacy settings. It also wants to squeeze all these new updates within the 1366 by 768 or whatever screen resolution you use on your computer. Imagine if Facebook decides it will chop your television in half to make room for a new bookshelf. And of course, it’ll elect to do this a few months after you got used to that giant TV taking up the majority of your wall in the first place. That’s exactly what Facebook updates feel like: Invasive, annoying, and unnecessary.

Let’s look at it this way: It’s not Facebook’s fault you decided to make it your virtual home, relinquishing all rights to have a say. It’s like living somewhere rent-free and complaining that the room is too small to fit a queen size bed. No one’s forcing you to stick around, but admit it… as much as we love to hate on Facebook, it’s still too addicting to let go.

Merrill Lynch Large Cap Pharmaceutical Stocks to Buy




One of the downsides to a market that seems to go up every day is knowing what stocks to own or sell as the market chugs higher. One strategy for investors to consider is keep a weighting of defensive stocks to buy in their portfolios. The large cap pharmaceutical sector fits the bill perfectly with a blend of growth and dividends. Merrill Lynch has highlighted the strengths of the major pharmaceutical stocks and analyzed their prospects going forward.


In a close examination of their stocks to buy, Merrill Lynch analysts sought to (1) point out possible product launches and (2) highlight important milestones, including potential threats for the companies in their coverage universe. The firm also summarized quarterly growth and margin trends and provided a valuation snapshot for each company. Here are the stocks to buy from Merrill Lynch.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) seems to be on the radar at most major Wall Street firms, despite the fact that 50% of all revenues are from one drug (Humira). Merrill Lynch is bullish on the stock given its attractive valuation, above-average dividend yield, and the potential for the pipeline to deliver a blockbuster hepatitis C (HCV) franchise over the medium term. Their price target for the stock is $49. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $45.50. Investors are paid a 3.60% dividend.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) is a stock to buy. Merrill Lynch analysts do have some concern over the pipeline of future products. They believe that pipeline setbacks could pressure the stock, but a solid dividend yield should limit downside risk. The Merrill Lynch price objective for the stock is $45. The consensus target is much lower at $38. Investors receive a 3.50% dividend.
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) is considered a “sum-of-the parts” stock to buy. Continued strong cash flow generation, a focus on shareholder return through a stable dividend, expense control and potential for positive pipeline news could improve sentiment over time and lead to multiple expansion. The Merrill Lynch price target is $65. The consensus is, again, much lower at $57. Shareholders are paid a 3.60% dividend.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is a stock to buy with characteristics similar to the Eli Lilly story. Merrill Lynch analysts are looking for continued strong cash flow generation, focus on shareholder return through a stable dividend (with potential for growth) and share buybacks, and potential for positive pipeline news could improve sentiment over time and lead to multiple expansion. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $53, while the consensus is at $51. Investors are paid a 3.80% dividend.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) rounds out the list of large cap stocks to buy. With a solid current revenue base and a growing pipeline, Pfizer may have the most potential of the stocks to buy. The Merrill Lynch price target is $33. The consensus is $32. Shareholder are paid a 3.30% dividend.
While the Merrill Lynch report did not assess macro issues, which can play an important role in driving stock performance, it was very helpful for company-specific analysis. Combining strong growth potential with consistent and possibly rising dividends, make large cap pharmaceutical stocks a good bet for any portfolio.
Lee Jackson
The Death of the PC
The days of paying for costly software upgrades are numbered. The PC will soon be obsolete. And BusinessWeek reports 70% of Americans are already using the technology that will replace it. Merrill Lynch calls it "a $160 billion tsunami." Computing giants including IBM, Yahoo!, and Amazon are racing to be the first to cash in on this PC-killing revolution. Yet, a small group of little-known companies have a huge head start. Get the full details on these companies, and the technology that is destroying the PC, in a free video from The Motley Fool. Enter your email address below to view this stunning video.



Valspar Reports Fiscal 2013 Second-Quarter Results


Valspar Reports Fiscal 2013 Second-Quarter Results
  • Volumes increased 7% in the second quarter (3% excluding Ace volumes)
  • Second quarter net sales of $1.03 billion, flat to prior year
  • Paints segment net sales in North America increased 13%
  • Second quarter adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.91, increased 8% over prior year
  • Maintaining Fiscal 2013 EPS guidance (as adjusted) of $3.60 to $3.80

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Valspar Corporation (NYS: VAL) today reported second quarter 2013 net sales of $1.03 billion, equal to the prior year. Reported net income and earnings per diluted share for the current and prior year include several nonrecurring items, which are detailed in the "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" included in this release. Second quarter 2013 adjusted net income and earnings per diluted share, excluding these nonrecurring items, were $83 million and $0.91, respectively. Second quarter 2012 adjusted net income and earnings per diluted share were $80 million and $0.84, respectively.

"Strong volume growth in the quarter was driven by new business wins. The seven percent growth in total volumes, inclusive of Ace volumes, was a significant accomplishment especially given the uneven demand this year in several markets," said Gary E. Hendrickson, chairman and chief executive officer. "We saw improving momentum in the U.S., driven by solid performance in our consumer paints, packaging, wood and coil product lines. The strengthening U.S. housing market, coupled with our continued new business initiatives, should provide further improvements in the second half of the year. We are affirming our full year adjusted EPS guidance of $3.60 to $3.80."


Net sales in the Paints segment increased 3% to $438 million in the quarter, primarily due to volume and sales growth in North America. Paints segment adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased 11% to $59.1 million, driven by higher sales volume. Paints segment adjusted EBIT margins increased approximately 100 bps to 13.5%.

Net sales in the Coatings segment declined 1% to $537 million. Sales growth in packaging, wood and coil coatings was offset by lower demand in the general industrial product line, primarily for off-road equipment, shipping container and pipeline coatings products. Coatings segment adjusted EBIT decreased 8% to $83 million. Coatings segment adjusted EBIT margins decreased in the quarter by approximately (110 bps) to 15.5%.

The company also announced restructuring actions primarily focused on improving its North American paint manufacturing footprint following the Ace paint acquisition and to continue improving profitability in its Australian business. These actions are expected to result in total non-recurring charges estimated at $18 to $23 million (after tax) in fiscal 2013 and 2014. In addition, approximately $30 million of the company's planned capital spending will be used to support facility consolidations, production line transfers and efficiency improvements. When fully implemented, these actions are expected to generate annual savings of approximately $0.10 per diluted share by fiscal 2015.

An earnings conference call is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (10:00 a.m. Central Time) today and will be webcast and accessible from the Investor Relations section of Valspar's website at www.valsparglobal.com. Those unable to participate during the live broadcast can access an archive of the call on the Valspar website. An audio replay of the call will be available from 12:30 p.m. Central Time, Tuesday, May 14th through midnight, Tuesday, May 28th by dialing +1 800-475-6701 from within the U.S. or +1 (320) 365-3844 from outside of the U.S., using access code 291954.

About The Valspar Corporation

The Valspar Corporation (NYS: VAL) is a global leader in the paint and coatings industry. Since 1806, Valspar has been dedicated to bringing customers the latest innovations, the finest quality and the best customer service in the coatings industry. For more information, visit www.valsparglobal.com .

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and elsewhere in this report constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations, estimates, assumptions and beliefs about future events, conditions and financial performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Any statement that is not historical in nature is a forward-looking statement. We may identify forward-looking statements with words and phrases such as "expects," "projects," "estimates," "anticipates," "believes," "could," "may," "will," "plans to," "intend," "should" and similar expressions. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, deterioration in general economic conditions, both domestic and international, that may adversely affect our business; fluctuations in availability and prices of raw materials, including raw material shortages and other supply chain disruptions, and the inability to pass along or delays in passing along raw material cost increases to our customers; dependence of internal sales and earnings growth on business cycles affecting our customers and growth in the domestic and international coatings industry; market share loss to, and pricing or margin pressure from, larger competitors with greater financial resources; significant indebtedness that restricts the use of cash flow from operations for acquisitions and other investments; dependence on acquisitions for growth, and risks related to future acquisitions, including adverse changes in the results of acquired businesses, the assumption of unforeseen liabilities and disruptions resulting from the integration of acquisitions; risks and uncertainties associated with operations and achievement of profitable growth in developing markets, including Asia and Central and South America; loss of business with key customers; damage to our reputation and business resulting from product claims or recalls, litigation, customer perception and other matters; our ability to respond to technology changes and to protect our technology; changes in governmental regulation, including more stringent environmental, health and safety regulations; our reliance on the efforts of vendors, government agencies, utilities and other third parties to achieve adequate compliance and avoid disruption of our business; unusual weather conditions adversely affecting sales; changes in accounting policies and standards and taxation requirements such as new tax laws or revised tax law interpretations; the nature, cost and outcome of pending and future litigation and other legal proceedings; and civil unrest and the outbreak of war and other significant national and international events. We undertake no obligation to subsequently revise any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of such statement, except as required by law.

THE VALSPAR CORPORATION 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)
For the Three and Six Months Ended April 26, 2013 and April 27, 2012
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
                           Three Months Ended               Six Months Ended
  April 26,
2013
 April 27,
2012
 April 26,
2013
 April 27,
2012
 
Net Sales$1,031,219$1,032,572$1,906,461$1,918,219
Cost of Sales685,997675,4261,266,8881,264,803
Restructuring Charges - Cost of Sales  6,669  1,706  6,669  4,660 
Gross Profit  338,553  355,440  632,904  648,756 
Research and Development32,19929,44262,98256,335
Selling, General and Administrative173,183192,618343,220366,183
Restructuring Charges  2,651  2,712  2,651  4,855 
Operating Expenses  208,033  224,772  408,853  427,373 
Income From Operations  130,520  130,668  224,051  221,383 
Interest Expense15,98819,28831,86135,077
Other (Income) Expense, Net  27  366  977  (156)
Income Before Income Taxes  114,505  111,014  191,213  186,462 
Income Taxes  37,597  34,474  59,276  54,140 
Net Income $76,908 $76,540 $131,937 $132,322 
 
         
Average Number of Shares O/S - basic88,416,02092,068,36688,946,80692,464,748
Average Number of Shares O/S - diluted  91,165,745  95,094,369  91,781,907  95,342,549 
 
         
Net Income per Common Share - basic$0.87$0.83$1.48$1.43
Net Income per Common Share - diluted $0.84
THE VALSPAR CORPORATION 
SEGMENT INFORMATION (UNAUDITED AND SUBJECT TO RECLASSIFICATION) 
For the Three and Six Months Ended April 26, 2013 and April 27, 2012
(Dollars in thousands)

  Three Months Ended  Six Months Ended
  April 26,
2013
 April 27,
2012
 April 26,
2013
 April 27,
2012