• German ex-President Weizsaecker dies

    German ex-President Weizsaecker dies

    31 January 2015 Last updated at 12:00 Richard von Weizsaecker served two terms either side of reunification Germany’s former President Richard von Weizsaecker has died at the age of 94, the president’s office has announced....
  • Serena continues mastery of Sharapova for magical 19th

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams gave a gallant Maria Sharapova another serving of grand slam heartbreak to win the Australian Open on Saturday and bolster her claims to be the all-time greatest player with her...
  • Left-wing party in Madrid mass rally

    Left-wing party in Madrid mass rally

    31 January 2015 Last updated at 11:36 The Podemos march takes place amid public anger over spending cuts and allegations of political corruption The far-left Spanish party, Podemos, is holding a mass rally in the...
  • Uhhh, Now LeAnn Doesn’t Look So Pregnant …

    Uhhh, Now LeAnn Doesn’t Look So Pregnant …

    Posted on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 9:45am PDT       By X17 Staff Yes, LeAnn wore a verrry loose-fitting sweater dress the other day to lunch and yes, we thought it may have been a sign of pregnancy...
  • Is a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad worth it?

    Is a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad worth it?

      Companies justify spending a whopping $4.5 million on a 30 second Super Bowl ad by touting how it’s the one time you can reach more than 100 million people. An added bonus? Those viewers...
  • Building trustworthy big data algorithms

    Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and classify their text data in...

Headline News

  • With Senate hearings nearing for next defense secretary, a pile of daunting challenges awaits


    FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2014 file photo, Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Defense Department, listens as the president Barack Obama announces Carter as his nominee for defense secretary Friday, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) (The Associated Press) FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2015 file photo, Defense Secretary nominee, current Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, left, meets with Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (The Associated Press) WASHINGTON –  As defense secretary, Ashton Carter would face a daunting pile of problems at home and abroad. And then there are the unforeseen crises, the ones that explode onto a Pentagon chief’s agenda without warning. Chuck Hagel, the man Carter would replace if confirmed, as expected, by the Senate, has noted that when he took the job in …

    January 31, 2015 7:56 am
    0 Comments

Politics

  • U.S. ground troops could be needed in Iraq: Chuck Hagel


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview on Friday the United States might eventually need to send non-combat ground troops to Iraq to help turn back Islamic State forces. Hagel, who announced his resignation under pressure in November, told CNN all options must be considered in Iraq, including sending troops for non-combat roles such as gathering intelligence and locating Islamic State targets. “I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops …,” he said. “I would say we’re not there yet. Whether we get there or not, I don’t know.” Hagel’s comments echoed testimony by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Congress last fall when he said U.S. troops might have to take a larger role on the ground in Iraq. Such a deployment would be in addition to the 4,500 U.S. troops already committed to training and advising roles in …

    January 31, 2015 6:35 am
    0 Comments

Stocks

  • Is a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad worth it?


      Companies justify spending a whopping $4.5 million on a 30 second Super Bowl ad by touting how it’s the one time you can reach more than 100 million people. An added bonus? Those viewers aren’t feverishly hitting the fast forward button on their DVR remote to zoom past commercials. For many, the ads are more important than the game. But are we soon reaching the point where Super Bowl ads just won’t make any economic sense? The price of a commercial keeps going up. Will it be any surprise if they reach $5 million next year or in 2017? With that in mind, some companies may be able to “win” the Super Bowl marketing game with cheaper forms of advertising. Viral YouTube videos. Tweets and Facebook posts. Oreo won the Super Bowl … with a tweet. Remember how Oreo stole the thunder from all the TV commercials two years ago? Shortly after a blackout …

    January 31, 2015 6:55 am
    0 Comments

Sports

  • Serena continues mastery of Sharapova for magical 19th


    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams gave a gallant Maria Sharapova another serving of grand slam heartbreak to win the Australian Open on Saturday and bolster her claims to be the all-time greatest player with her 19th major title. Though sickly, wheezing and battling coughing fits, Williams’s serve was in the rudest of health and her athleticism astonishing as she closed out a nerve-shredding clash 6-3 7-6(5) under the lights of Rod Laver Arena. In sealing her sixth title at Melbourne Park, Williams surpassed Martina Navratilova, the woman who passed her the trophy, and Chris Evert in grand slam title wins, while drawing level with fellow American Helen Wills Moody, third in the all-time list. At 33, the oldest Australian Open winner in the professional era, Williams left few in doubt that the pursuit of Steffi Graf’s 22 titles and Margaret Court’s 24 will continue. “Gosh, where do I start? I have to thank God for …

    January 31, 2015 7:16 am
    0 Comments

World News

  • German ex-President Weizsaecker dies


    31 January 2015 Last updated at 12:00 Richard von Weizsaecker served two terms either side of reunification Germany’s former President Richard von Weizsaecker has died at the age of 94, the president’s office has announced. Mr Weizsaecker’s 10 years in office, from 1984 to 1994, spanned the period of German reunification. A soldier in the German army in World War Two, Weizsaecker won widespread praise for his efforts to persuade Germans to confront their Nazi past. A member of the Christian Democratic Union, he also served as the governing mayor of West Berlin in the 1980s. Announcing Mr Weizsaecker’s death, current President Joachim Gauck said: “Richard von Weizsaecker stood worldwide for a Germany that had found its way to centre of the democratic family of peoples. “He stood for a federal republic that faces up to its past.” Richard von Weizsaecker (left) with Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in West Berlin, 1982 Mr Weizsaecker …

    January 31, 2015 7:56 am
    0 Comments

Technology

  • On the road: Brompton M3R folding bicycle – review


    It’s taken four years of reviewing bicycles to bite the bullet and test a Brompton. I know what took me so long. I live in a suburb of Manchester with a vegan organic supermarket and a cafe which offers a “hummus of the day”. I spend my summers in Birkenstocks. I really like granola. If I were to ride a Brompton, I’d have to start voting Tory to prove I’m not a leftwing robot programmed to live the Guardian brand. I had only been to Salford and back before I realised the Brompton was the first bike I’ve tested that I would buy. It makes a mockery of every other folder I’ve ridden (your Dahons, Kansis, Terns) by compacting into the neatest, cleanest, most portable, stashable package on the market. It’s not an intuitive fold. You need to learn it, and not mess with the order. But once you’ve got the origami moves, it can …

    January 31, 2015 6:35 am
    0 Comments

Science

  • Building trustworthy big data algorithms


    Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and classify their text data in a meaningful way. One of the leading big data algorithms for finding related topics within unstructured text (an area called topic modeling) is latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA). But when Northwestern University professor Luis Amaral set out to test LDA, he found that it was neither as accurate nor reproducible as a leading topic modeling algorithm should be. Using his network analysis background, Amaral, professor of chemical and biological engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a new topic modeling algorithm that has shown very high accuracy and reproducibility during tests. His results, published with co-author Konrad Kording, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiology, and applied mathematics at Northwestern, were published Jan. 29 in Physical …

    January 31, 2015 6:36 am
    0 Comments

Health

  • British health worker being tested for Ebola after needle injury


    LONDON (Reuters) – A British military healthcare worker was flown back to England from Sierra Leone on Saturday following a needle-stick injury sustained while treating a person with Ebola, the Public Health England (PHE) service said on Saturday. The patient, who has not been named, has been taken for testing to the Royal Free Hospital in London. “They are likely to have been exposed to the Ebola virus but, at this time, have not been diagnosed with Ebola and do not have symptoms,” PHE said in a statement. Last week, a British nurse who had been critically ill with Ebola after working in Sierra Leone was discharged from the same hospital after making a full recovery. The Royal Free, Britain’s main center for Ebola cases, also successfully treated British aid worker William Pooley who contracted the virus in West Africa last year. To date, more than 21,700 cases of Ebola have been reported in nine …

    January 31, 2015 6:35 am
    0 Comments

Entertainment

  • Uhhh, Now LeAnn Doesn’t Look So Pregnant …


    Posted on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 9:45am PDT       By X17 Staff Yes, LeAnn wore a verrry loose-fitting sweater dress the other day to lunch and yes, we thought it may have been a sign of pregnancy but of course now Ms. Rimes-Cibrian has switched it up on us and put on some skinnies, showing off that famous figure and now we think maybe she’s not so pregnant! LeAnn met up with a friend, on Thursday, for lunch in Calabasas, wearing black skinny jeans, short booties, a Saint Laurent fringe bucket bag and a cute message tee that read, “Every blondie needs a brownie by her side.” Is hubby Eddie her brownie? Poll   SEE THE GALLERY Is LeAnn Rimes pregnant? Stories from around the Web

    January 31, 2015 6:56 am
    0 Comments

Editorial

  • Super Bowl XLIX: Why Patriots have psychological edge over Seahawks


    In the runup to Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, predictions are for a close game. (We’ll find out how accurate they are when the Super Bowl begins at 6:30pm ET). Some favor the New England Patriots, based on their formidable defense and Tom Brady’s abilities as quarterback. Others favor the Seattle Seahawks, arguing that their tight pass coverage gives them an edge, or that teams that try for their second Super Bowl trophy in a row (like the Seahawks) usually win. Most people would agree that the teams are very evenly matched. John Avello, executive director of the Wynn Sports Book in Las Vegas, has the Patriots favored to win by 1 point. Many call the game a toss-up.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Put simply, the Super Bowl could go to the Patriots because Brady and his teammates have a question to answer, and Sunday’s contest is the very best forum of all to answer it. I’m …

    January 31, 2015 6:35 am
    0 Comments

Odd News

  • Secretary of State Kerry fined for not shoveling by Boston home


    BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was slapped with a $50 fine for failing to have a side street adjoining his Boston home shoveled following the blizzard that dropped more than 2 feet (60 cm) of snow on Massachusetts this week, a spokesman said on Friday. The fine was issued on Thursday after a snow-removal company hired by Kerry and his neighbors in the city’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood saw yellow tape blocking the sidewalk alongside the home and thought it was related to security for the top U.S. diplomat. The tape had been put up to warn pedestrians of falling ice and snow, said Kerry’s spokesman, Glen Johnson. “Once they understood that they were allowed to enter the area, the contractors finished the sidewalk late Thursday morning,” he said. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia with President Barack Obama to attend the funeral of King Abdullah and meet with his successor, King …

    January 30, 2015 10:31 pm
    0 Comments