Monday, June 24, 2013

The Great American Nerdvel: Progress Report (Unqualified Offerings)

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99% Mud

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (145) | Rotten (2)

For at least three-quarters of the way, this is a fine film, and one that kids and parents could see together.

There is an enchanted-fairy-tale aspect to Mud, but its bright, calm surface only barely disguises a strong, churning undercurrent.

A modern fairy tale, steeped in the sleepy Mississippi lore of Twain and similar American writers, and with a heart as big as the river is wide.

Nichols has a strong feeling for the tactility of natural elements-water, wood, terrain, weather.

Nichols takes his time with the story, dwelling on how the boy is shaped by the killer's tragic sense of romance, yet the suspense holds.

"Mud" isn't just a movie. It's the firm confirmation of a career.

Mud is a moving exploration into the nature of manhood, with superb performances, striking location and engrossing story creating a mesmerising and heartfelt coming of age drama.

A stripped back approach to tracking the process of growing up, but lacks the faith to see the plan executed to the end

Nichols takes his time unravelling Mud and Ellis's entwined fates, but his characters are so rich that it's well worth being in their company.

In its energy and nuance, Mud seems like the kind of film Hollywood would've made in the Seventies, and would've continued to do if not for the advent of market-conscious filmmaking.

More than a mere tribute to Twain and Dickens: this has all the makings of a modern classic.

An extremely sophisticated and progressive examination on how adolescent masculinity is defined by often-contradictory cultural attitudes towards femininity.

Mud is as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to, and feel kinship to, whether you're from the South or just Southern at heart.

In Jeff Nichols, America has a champion of the religious and working class. With the schism between the right and left in the U.S. growing ever larger... his ascent couldn't have come at a better time.

This is a film with a great naturalistic style and captivating performances and which does just about everything right.

Jeff Nichols writes characters with depth, nurtures strong performances form his cast and allows the screenplay's backwater setting to effectively create tone and texture.

This is American cinema at its very best as Huckleberry Finn meets Stand By Me.The two boys are terrific and McConaughey is sensational as Mud, dazzlingly frazzled as the hunted and haunted man on the run.

Up till just past the three-quarter mark, Mud is one heck of a nifty psychological fable.

The Southern-fried drama "Mud" is an electrifying example of what happens when you merge a crackerjack yarn with a very specific setting, and then pour on the heat with riveting performances.

McConaughey and Sheridan 's acting skills, as well as those of the entire supporting cast, make this movie better than it ought to be.

It gets under our skin because Nichols gives us time to come to know Mud's island like the places we knew as children.

As Mud might say, it's a hell of a thing.

The boys are so skillfully played that Mud also plays like cinema verite. Nichols' fluid camerawork suggests a documentary-style approach. That helps these young lads transform into flesh-and-blood characters who get our attention and support.

Sheridan, who played the Terrence Malick surrogate in The Tree Of Life, is terrific at conveying adolescent confusion with tiny squints and frowns, and McConaughey plays off him masterfully.

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US to Hong Kong: Don't delay Snowden extradition

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Obama administration on Saturday sharply warned Hong Kong against slow-walking the extradition of Edward Snowden, reflecting concerns over a prolonged legal battle before the government contractor ever appears in a U.S. courtroom to answer espionage charges for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs.

A formal extradition request to bring Snowden to the United States from Hong Kong could drag through appeal courts for years and would pit Beijing against Washington at a time China tries to deflect U.S. accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance on American government and commercial operations.

The U.S. has contacted authorities in Hong Kong to seek Snowden's extradition, the National Security Council said Saturday in a statement. The NSC advises the president on national security.

"Hong Kong has been a historically good partner of the United States in law enforcement matters, and we expect them to comply with the treaty in this case," White House national security adviser Tom Donilon said in an interview with CBS News. He said the U.S. presented Hong Kong with a "good case for extradition."

However, a senior administration official issued a pointed warning that if Hong Kong doesn't act soon, "it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong's commitment to the rule of law." The official was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and insisted on anonymity.

Hong Kong's government had no immediate reaction to the charges against Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who admitted providing information to the news media about the programs. Police Commissioner Andy Tsang told reporters only that the case would be dealt with according to the law. A police statement said it was "inappropriate" for the police to comment on the case.

A one-page criminal complaint against Snowden was unsealed Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., part of the Eastern District of Virginia where his former employer, government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered, in McLean. He is charged with unauthorized communication of national defense information, willful communication of classified communications intelligence information and theft of government property. The first two are under the Espionage Act and each of the three crimes carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on conviction.

The complaint is dated June 14, five days after Snowden's name first surfaced as the person who had leaked to the news media that the NSA, in two highly classified surveillance programs, gathered telephone and Internet records to ferret out terror plots.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post in an interview published Saturday on its website that he hoped to stay in the autonomous region of China because he has faith in "the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate."

A prominent former politician in Hong Kong, Martin Lee, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party, said he doubted whether Beijing would intervene yet.

"Beijing would only intervene according to my understanding at the last stage. If the magistrate said there is enough to extradite, then Mr. Snowden can then appeal," he said.

Lee said Beijing could then decide at the end of the appeal process if it wanted Snowden extradited or not.

Snowden could contest extradition on grounds of political persecution.

Hong Kong lawyer Mark Sutherland said that the filing of a refugee, torture or inhuman punishment claim acts as an automatic bar on any extradition proceedings until those claims can be assessed.

"Some asylum seekers came to Hong Kong 10 years ago and still haven't had their protection claims assessed," Sutherland said.

Hong Kong lawmakers said that the Chinese government should make the final decision on whether Snowden should be extradited to the United States.

Outspoken legislator Leung Kwok-hung said Beijing should instruct Hong Kong to protect Snowden from extradition before his case gets dragged through the court system.

Leung urged the people of Hong Kong to "take to the streets to protect Snowden."

The Obama administration has now used the Espionage Act in seven criminal cases in an unprecedented effort to stem leaks. In one of them, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning acknowledged he sent more than 700,000 battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and other materials to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. His military trial is underway.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the charges against Snowden.

"I've always thought this was a treasonous act," he said in a statement. "I hope Hong Kong's government will take him into custody and extradite him to the U.S."

But the Government Accountability Project, a whistle-blower advocacy group, said Snowden should be shielded from prosecution by whistle-blower protection laws.

"He disclosed information about a secret program that he reasonably believed to be illegal, and his actions alone brought about the long-overdue national debate about the proper balance between privacy and civil liberties, on the one hand, and national security on the other," the group said in a statement.

Michael di Pretoro, a retired 30-year veteran with the FBI who served from 1990 to 1994 as the legal liaison officer at the American consulate in Hong Kong, said "relations between U.S. and Hong Kong law enforcement personnel are historically quite good."

"In my time, I felt the degree of cooperation was outstanding to the extent that I almost felt I was in an FBI field office," di Pretoro said.

The U.S. and Hong Kong have a standing agreement on the surrender of fugitives. However, Snowden's appeal rights could drag out any extradition proceeding.

The success or failure of any extradition proceeding depends on what the suspect is charged with under U.S. law and how it corresponds to Hong Kong law under the treaty. In order for Hong Kong officials to honor the extradition request, they have to have some applicable statute under their law that corresponds with a violation of U.S. law.

Disclosure of the criminal complaint came as President Barack Obama held his first meeting with a privacy and civil liberties board and as his intelligence chief sought ways to help Americans understand more about sweeping government surveillance efforts exposed by Snowden.

The five members of the little-known Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board met with Obama for an hour in the White House Situation Room, questioning the president on the two NSA programs that have stoked controversy.

One program collects billions of U.S. phone records. The second gathers audio, video, email, photographic and Internet search usage of foreign nationals overseas, and probably some Americans in the process, who use major Internet service providers, such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Yahoo.


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Analysis: For Obama, a world of Snowden troubles (reuters)

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

France's Hollande believes hostages in North Africa alive

(Reuters) - France has "all reason" to believe that the French hostages being held by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are alive, President Francois Hollande said on Sunday.

The Islamist group said in a statement posted on its Twitter account on Saturday that eight European hostages, including five from France, were safe.

The message repeated previous statements by AQIM that it would kill the hostages if there were any new French military intervention in North Africa, but said it remained open to negotiations to free them.

"We are still looking for contacts, we have all reason to believe that the hostages are alive but we must seek to free them," Holland said during a visit to Qatar.

The AQIM statement coincided with rallies across France organized by the families of French hostages who were seized in Niger in September 2010 to mark more than 1,000 days of captivity.

French newspapers have reported the hostages had been transferred to Algeria and were in the hands of AQIM's new chief, Yahia Abou el Hamam. The French government declined to comment on the report.


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Jordan hosts 900 US troops to shield against Syria

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) ? Jordan's prime minister says the country is hosting 900 U.S. military personnel to bolster its defense capabilities against potential threats from the Syrian civil war.

The first Jordanian public official to speak publicly of the numbers of U.S. troops in the kingdom, Abdullah Ensour told reporters Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training for how to handle a chemical attack.

He said the remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets which Washington deployed this month in case the Syrian war worsens.

Jordan is concerned its larger northern neighbor would use chemical weapons against Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and other neighboring countries, or that the stockpile may fall into the hands of al-Qaida or other militants if President Bashar Assad loses control.


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Hong Kong lets Snowden leave, with Cuba among possible destinations

By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, charged by the United States with espionage, was allowed to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, his final destination as yet unknown, because a U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law, the Hong Kong government said.

Edward Snowden left for Moscow on Sunday and his final destination may be Cuba, Ecuador, Iceland or Venezuela, according to various reports. The move is bound to infuriate Washington, wherever he ends up.

"It's a shocker," said Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University. "I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate."

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted a source at the Aeroflot airline as saying there was a ticket in Snowden's name for a Moscow-Cuba flight. Itar-Tass news agency cited a source as saying Snowden would fly from Havana to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

The South China Morning Post said his final destination might be Ecuador or Iceland.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was unaware of Snowden's whereabouts or travel plans.

The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said it helped Snowden find "political asylum in a democratic country". It did not elaborate, other than to say Snowden was "currently over Russian airspace" with WikiLeaks legal advisers.

The White House had no comment on the WikiLeaks posting.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said last week he would not leave the sanctuary of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London even if Sweden stopped pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the orders of the United States.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, to send Snowden home.

"The U.S. government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden," the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

"Since the documents provided by the U.S. government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR government has requested the U.S. government to provide additional information ... As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong."

It did not say what further information it needed, but said Snowden left Hong Kong "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel".


Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 and although it retains an independent legal system, and its own extradition laws, Beijing has control over Hong Kong's foreign affairs. Some observers see Beijing's hand in Snowden's sudden departure.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said earlier this month that Russia would consider granting Snowden asylum if he were to ask for it and pro-Kremlin lawmakers supported the idea, but there has been no indication he has done so.

Iceland refused on Friday to say whether it would grant asylum to Snowden, a former employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who worked at an NSA facility in Hawaii.

The South China Morning Post earlier quoted Snowden offering new details about the United States' spy activities, including accusations of U.S. hacking of Chinese mobile telephone companies and targeting China's Tsinghua University.

Documents previously leaked by Snowden revealed that the NSA has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video from large companies, including Facebook and Google, under a government program known as Prism.

In its statement, the Hong Kong government said it had written to the United States "requesting clarification" of earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies.

"The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter, so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong," it said.

China's Xinhua news agency, referring to Snowden's accusations about the hacking of Chinese targets, said they were "clearly troubling signs".

It added: "They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age."

(Additional reporting by Fayen Wong in Shanghai; Nishant Kumar in Hong Kong; Alexei Anishchuk and Steve Gutterman in Moscow, and Tabassum Zakaria in Washington; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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Hong Kong says Snowden has left for third country

HONG KONG (AP) ? A former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday.

Hong Kong's government did not identify the country. Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.

However, Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency cited an unidentified Aeroflot official as saying Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then on to Caracas, Venezuela. The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group tweeted that Snowden was "over Russian air space" and later said in a statement he was bound for an unnamed "democratic nation via a safe route for the purpose of asylum."

The White House had no immediate comment about the departure, which came a day after the United States made a formal request for his extradition and gave a pointed warning to Hong Kong against delaying the process of returning him to face trial in the U.S.

The Department of Justice said only that it would "continue to discuss this matter with Hong Kong and pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr. Snowden may be attempting to travel."

The Hong Kong government said in a statement that Snowden left "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel."

It acknowledged the U.S. extradition request, but said U.S. documentation did not "fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law." It said additional information was requested from Washington, but since the Hong Kong government "has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong."

The statement said Hong Kong had informed the U.S. of Snowden's departure. It added that it wanted more information about alleged hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies which Snowden had revealed.

WikiLeaks said it was providing legal help to Snowden at his request and that he was being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from the group. Its founder, Julian Assange, who has spent a year inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about sex crime allegations, told the Sydney Morning Herald that his organization is in a position to help because it has expertise in international asylum and extradition law.

Snowden's departure eliminates a possible fight between Washington and Beijing at a time when China is trying to deflect U.S. accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance of American government and commercial operations. Hong Kong, a former British colony, has a high degree of autonomy and is granted rights and freedoms not seen on mainland China, but under the city's mini constitution Beijing is allowed to intervene in matters involving defense and diplomatic affairs.

Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the U.S., but the document has some exceptions, including for crimes deemed political.

The Obama administration on Saturday warned Hong Kong against delaying Snowden's extradition, with White House national security adviser Tom Donilon saying in an interview with CBS News, "Hong Kong has been a historically good partner of the United States in law enforcement matters, and we expect them to comply with the treaty in this case."

Snowden's departure came as the South China Morning Post released new allegations from Snowden that U.S. hacking targets in China included the nation's cellphone companies and two universities hosting extensive Internet traffic hubs.

He told the newspaper that "the NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data." It added that Snowden said he had documents to support the hacking allegations, but the report did not identify the documents. It said he spoke to the newspaper in a June 12 interview.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, China has massive cellphone companies. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile network carrier with 735 million subscribers, followed by China Unicom with 258 million users and China Telecom with 172 million users.

Snowden said Tsinghua University in Beijing and Chinese University in Hong Kong, home of some of the country's major Internet traffic hubs, were targets of extensive hacking by U.S. spies this year. He said the NSA was focusing on so-called "network backbones" in China, through which enormous amounts of Internet data passes.

The Chinese government has not commented on the extradition request and Snowden's departure, but its state-run media have used Snowden's allegations to poke back at Washington after the U.S. had spent the past several months pressuring China on its international spying operations.

A commentary published Sunday by the official Xinhua News Agency said Snowden's disclosures of U.S. spying activities in China have "put Washington in a really awkward situation."

"Washington should come clean about its record first. It owes ... an explanation to China and other countries it has allegedly spied on," it said. "It has to share with the world the range, extent and intent of its clandestine hacking programs."


Sylvia Hui in London and Lynn Berry in Moscow contributed to this report.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Junior dos Santos questions Cain Velasquez?s power

UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez has stopped ten of the twelve opponents he?s beaten with strikes. However, in the opinion of top contender Junior dos Santos (16-2), Velasquez?s power is nothing to fear. And, after a five-round drumming in their December match-up that never saw JDS go down for the count, he certainly has the experience to back up his claims.

Dos Santos recently spoke with Brazilian radio show Panico where he made a bold comparison when discussing Velasquez?s ability to finish foes with a single shot.

?He hits like a girl,? said Dos Santos. ?He hit me a lot during the five rounds, but did not open any cuts, although I was very swollen and had to go to the hospital.?

While ?Cigano? may not be concerned about Velasquez?s power, he clearly understands the danger involved when it comes to the title-holder?s stand-up. As alluded to, Dos Santos was badly beaten in their bout even if his lights were never turned out.

No date has been set for their next meeting though it is believed to be taking place in October at UFC 166.


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Current global food production trajectory won't meet 2050 needs

June 19, 2013 ? Crop yields worldwide are not increasing quickly enough to support estimated global needs in 2050, according to a study published June 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by research associate Deepak Ray and colleagues from the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.

Previous studies estimate that global agricultural production may need to increase 60-110 percent to meet increasing demands and provide food security. In the current study, researchers assessed agricultural statistics from across the world and found that yields of four key crops -- maize, rice, wheat and soybean -- are increasing 0.9-1.6 percent every year. At these rates, production of these crops would likely increase 38-67 percent by 2050, rather than the estimated requirement of 60-110 percent. The top three countries that produce rice and wheat were found to have very low rates of increase in crop yields.

"Particularly troubling are places where population and food production trajectories are at substantial odds," Ray says, "for example, in Guatemala, where the corn-dependent population is growing at the same time corn productivity is declining."

The analysis maps global regions where yield improvements are on track to double production by 2050 and areas where investments must be targeted to increase yields. The authors explain that boosting crop yields is considered a preferred solution to meet demands, rather than clearing more land for agriculture. They note that additional strategies, such as reducing food waste and changing to plant-based diets, can also help reduce the large estimates for increased global demand for food.

"Clearly, the world faces a looming agricultural crisis, with yield increases insufficient to keep up with projected demands," says IonE director Jon Foley, a co-author on the study. "The good news is, opportunities exist to increase production through more efficient use of current arable lands and increased yield growth rates by spreading best management practices. If we are to boost production in these key crops to meet projected needs, we have no time to waste."


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Cory Booker talks urban policy, Senate run

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a top contender for New Jersey's vacant Senate seat, joined a panel of urban policy experts on Monday night to discuss national politics and local problem-solving.

George Stephanopoulos, the ABC news analyst and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, moderated the discussion at New York's 92nd Street Y. It was one of Booker's first major public outings since announcing his candidacy to succeed Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this month.

?Why run for Senate?? Stephanopoulos asked Booker, a Democrat in his second term in the mayor's office. ?What can you do in Washington??

?We need to get more folks in Washington to start changing that spirit to get back to a way of thinking that?s not this short-term, heavily partisan, zero-sum-game politics," Booker said.

The Senate hopeful also talked about using his candidacy to bring a national focus to poverty, one of the major topics of the evening.

?One of the reasons why I want to go to the U.S. Senate is that nobody wants to talk about poverty in the United States,? he said. ?The challenge is that we?re not unified as a country to deal with issues like the crushing impact of poverty.?

Polls show Booker with a wide lead over both Republican and Democratic rivals vying for the Senate seat. Both parties will select a candidate in a primary Aug. 13 to compete in a special election Oct. 16.

Booker, who has gained national attention for his hands-on approach to his troubled city's challenges, spoke about the importance of urban leadership not just in the mayor?s office but on all fronts.

?What we knew when we started talking to folks that gave us a detailed analysis of not just Newark but of the region was that there was an incredible set of cards that we could play,? said Booker. ?I believe that every city has a competitive advantage if they can pull all sectors together.?

While the focus of the talk was on local leadership, Washington's role loomed large in the discussion. According to panelist Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, cities and metropolitan areas have been forced to step up where the federal government is failing.

?They?re investing in infrastructure. They?re making manufacturing a priority,? said Katz of urban hubs. ?Leadership is pushing down from the federal and state governments to the cities and metros.?

Booker said he was optimistic about the future of American cities, suggesting the next phase of this country will be in urban centers. Katz said much the same, noting that local leaders like Booker "put place over party" and "just want to get things done."

Also present at the event were Jennifer Bradley of Brookings and Judith Rosen, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.


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Nuevas pistas sobre el iPhone 5S de Apple

En medio de tanta espera por el nuevo smartphone de Apple,?se revelan nuevos aspectos que tendr? el iPhone 5S, uno de los tel?fonos inteligentes m?s esperados en todo el mundo, a parte de que sus usuarios est?n muy entusiasmados que ?ste sobrepase todas sus expectativas por ser el buque insignia de la empresa.

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Sabemos que Apple ha tenido varios retrasos sobre el proyecto del iPhone 5S, e incluso se hab?a corrido el rumor de que no habr?a un iPhone 5S y que se Apple saltar?a este a?o directamente al iPhone 6, sin embargo, si la informaci?n filtrada resulta ser cierta, podr?amos ver que el iPhone 5S es una realidad.

Unas de las innovaciones que tendr? el nuevo iPhone 5S es la introducci?n de una c?mara capaz de grabar v?deo no s?lo en alta definici?n, sino que lo har?a a una velocidad total de 60 frames por segundo, una mejor?a muy notoria sobretodo a la hora de hacer grabaciones en camara lenta.

Otro aspecto que har? la diferencia en ?ste nuevo equipo ya mencionado en la presentaci?n de el nuevo iOS 7, es el inclin?metro, que aunque por el momento no tengamos una idea algo clara de como es que se podr?a implementar, seguro deber? de ser muy ?til en el iPhone 5S, como a la hora de jugar videojuegos con realidad aumentada para medir inclinaci?n o elevaci?n de pendientes.

Otra noticia filtrada es que el iPhone 5S estar? disponible en varios tipos de colores, e incluir? una pantalla m?s grande que sus antecesores, a parte, el iPhone 5S se podr? cargar de forma inal?mbrica, cosa que ya anteriormente se ha prometido para este tipo de dispositivos.

Esperemos tener m?s noticias sobre el iPhone 5S de Apple, ya que sabemos que ser? un smartphone muy innovador si lo que quiere es dejar claro a Samsung y su Galaxy S4 quien es el l?der en este tipo de dispositivos.

- Publicidad -

Autor: I. Aguilar Amante de la tecnolog?a, el cine, videojuegos y otro tipo de menesteres que alimentan la mente.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's the way you tell em': Study discovers how the brain controls accents and impersonations

June 18, 2013 ? A study, led by Royal Holloway University researcher Carolyn McGettigan, has identified the brain regions and interactions involved in impersonations and accents.

Using an fMRI scanner, the team asked participants, all non-professional impressionists, to repeatedly recite the opening lines of a familiar nursery rhyme either with their normal voice, by impersonating individuals, or by impersonating regional and foreign accents of English.

They found that when a voice is deliberately changed, it brings the left anterior insula and inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) of the brain into play. The researchers also discovered that when comparing impersonations against accents, areas in the posterior superior temporal/inferior parietal cortex and in the right middle/anterior superior temporal sulcus showed greater responses.

"The voice is a powerful channel for the expression of our identity -- it conveys information such as gender, age and place of birth, but crucially, it also expresses who we want to be," said lead author Carolyn McGettigan from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway.

"Consider the difference between talking to a friend on the phone, talking to a police officer who's cautioning you for parking violation, or speaking to a young infant. While the words we use might be different across these settings, another dramatic difference is the tone and style with which we deliver the words we say. We wanted to find out more about this process and how the brain controls it."

While past work has found that listening to voices activates regions of the temporal lobe of the brain, no research had explored the brain regions involved in controlling vocal identity before this study.

"Our aim is to find out more about how the brain controls this very flexible communicative tool, which could potentially lead to new treatments for those looking to recover their own vocal identity following brain injury or a stroke, " said Carolyn.


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