THE UNION REPRESENTING second-level teachers has voted to reject the Haddington Road agreement and in favour of industrial action.In a ballot of its 17,000 members, the ASTI rejected the Government’s public pay proposals by 63 per cent to 37 per cent.In a simultaneous ballot, ASTI members voted by 65 per cent to 35 per cent in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action.Speaking following the outcome of the ballot today ASTI general secretary Pat King said that teachers are sending the message that “they have given enough”: The Haddington Road Agreement is a step too far. Second-level schools are at the tipping point, having been stripped of key supports and personnel. Young people’s education has been diminished and their futures compromised.A second teaching union, the TUI, has also balloted its members on the Haddington Road agreement.The ASTI’s committee will meet on Monday to discuss the outcome of the ballot.Read: Another public sector union has voted in favour of Haddington Road >Read: Two more unions sign up to Haddington Road public pay deal >Read: TUI, ASTI recommend ballot of members on Haddington Road pay deal >
BRITISH POLICE SAID today they had arrested two people at London’s Heathrow Airport on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.A man and a woman, both aged 26, were detained by officers from the counter-terrorism command at 8.30PM yesterday after arriving on a flight into the airport, according to a Metropolitan Police statement.They were being held at a central London police station, police said: The arrests form part of an investigation into travel to Syria in support of alleged terrorist activity.Officers executed two search warrants at separate residential addresses in east London in connection with the inquiry.
THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency has recorded a net profit of €222 million for the first half of 2012.The agency published its second quarterly report for the year today, revealing a net profit of €89 million for the three-month period between 1 April and 30 June.NAMA said it has generated €8.1 billion in cash from borrowers since its inception.As of 30 June, the amounts due to NAMA were €72.4 billion. Of that, the ‘NAMA value’ or accounting value was €24.8 billion.According to the organisation’s filing, 19 per cent of its portfolio’s par value is performing. Senior management noted that as NAMA disposes of income-generating assets, the performance of the loan portfolio may deteriorate.In the three-month period, there was no money recovered from property sales.In its annual statement to government, NAMA said it will continue to be heavily focused on asset management in 2013. It will also concentrate on its management of debtors and on maximising the proceeds to be realised from its portfolio.The agency plans to invest at least €2 billion in Ireland in development capital over the next three years “in order to preserve, enhance and complete commercial and residential projects”.Over the coming months, the so-called bad bank believes its staff numbers will “increase moderately”. In addition to staff directly employed by NTMA for assignment to NAMA, about 550 employees at AIB, Bank of Ireland and IBRC have also been assigned to deal with NAMA debtors and its associated administrative work. The projected cost of this service for next year is €68 million.The agency projects its total direct costs for 2013 to be €140 million, about €27 million less than 2012.Another 180 houses now available through NAMA’s 80:20 schemeIreland to raise €500 million on bond markets
IF YOU’RE PLANNING on getting a start on your Christmas shopping tomorrow,you may have to leave Marks and Spencer off your to-do list.Staff at the company have voted by a margin of 94 per cent in favour of strike action.That means from tomorrow 2,000 workers will stage the first of three planned days of strike. The two other days are Saturday the 12th and 20th of December.The strike in the 17 stores is over the closure of the staff pension scheme in October.Marks and Spencer also put forward proposals for a number of cost-cutting measures including; A reduction in Sunday and public holiday payA reduction in managersNo Christmas bonusMandate Trade Union, which is representing the majority of the workers, says the actions of the company have left the workers without any choice but to take industrial action.Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary of Mandate said;Our members do not want to be on strike in the run up to Christmas but unfortunately the behaviour of their employer has forced their hand.Marks and Spencer says it has done all it can to stop the strike from going ahead.Marks and Spencer Staff Vote To Strike >Strike at Marks and Spencer Averted in September>
Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778 888Towards Healing 1800 303 416Connect 1800 477 477One in Four 01-6624070The Samaritans 1850 60 9090 A REPORT INTO child safeguarding in the Catholic diocese of Achonry has found ’scant evidence’ that the diocese gave information about child sex abuse allegations to gardaí in the past.The report by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, one of several published today, was strongly critical of the actions of Bishop Thomas Flynn, who presided over the diocese in Mayo and Sligo for more than 30 years until 2007.The report found that of the 11 priests against whom allegations have been made in the diocese since 1975, none were ever convicted of an offence. In the majority of the cases, the abuse happened at least thirty years ago.Nine of the priests are now dead. Of the two who are still alive, one is still in ministry but has retired, while the other has left either the diocese or the priesthood.The report found that of the 15 allegations received by the diocese over the past 38 years, 13 were reported to An Garda Síochána and 12 were reported to the HSE.However it says that while the bishop and priests are now committed to sharing information about allegations with civil authorities, this did not happen in the past.The report notes “numerous examples” where there were “long and unacceptable delays in communicating information about possible child abuse to An Garda Síochána or HSE Child Protection service and in managing cases appropriately”, noting:There was an absence of appropriate response by the previous bishop to allegations of risk, or to victims.It cites one case where a priest was allowed to remain in ministry even after the previous bishop had received an allegation which was not reported or addressed. The priest retired six months later, with no evidence that the allegation had ever even been put to him. He has since died.The report also says that the management of priests from outside the diocese was “problematic”. One priest, named only as “Father P” in the report, arrived in the diocese in 1981 to help provide support, but without the knowledge of the bishop. The priest sexually abused a boy during his time in Achonry. He was recently convicted of child abuse charges and is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for abusing 18 boys in five counties between the 1960s and 1980s. The report says the case was not passed to An Garda Síochána until 2002.The report notes that there are no current allegations against diocesan priests and there have been no new allegations since the appointment of Bishop Brendan Kelly in 2007.It says that the diocese has met almost every single standard laid down for best practice in keeping children safe in the diocese.However it noted: “Although the diocese has made really good progress in recent years, the work has not been fully documented or co-ordinated”.Read the full report on safeguarding in the Diocese of Achonry here Brendan Kelly, the Bishop of Achonry, apologised to anyone who had been abused by a priest.“I am… deeply aware of how inadequate such sorry and apology are in the face of the pain and suffering experienced,” he said today. “And I wish to state that I am ready to receive and listen to any person who has suffered abuse, or [a] family member, and that this diocese is committed to offering support and help. And I further encourage anyone who has suffered this terrible injustice to report the matter to the Health Service Executive and the Gardaí”.The report found that the bishop and the diocese “are fully committed to child safeguarding”.The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church published eight reports today looking at how religious orders and dioceses have handled child safety issues in the wake of the abuse scandals.The review was an audit of the structures and policies in place in the diocese to ensure the safety of children in church activities throughout the parishes in the diocese, following the failure of some Catholic priests to report child sexual abuse to authorities.Achonry covers 11 parishes in Mayo, 11 in Sligo, and 1 in Roscommon. There are 35,000 Catholics in the diocese and 36 priests.The report was carried out by reviewing case material provided by the bishop for the diocese along with interviews with people who work on safeguarding children in the diocese. The NBSCCCI said that it was satisfied that all relevant documentation was given to the reviewers.Read: Archbishop of Cashel and Emly praised for speedy reaction to abuse claims > Read: Diocese of Down and Connor met 46 of 48 child safety objectives >Read: Two allegations in last six years at the Diocese of Ossory >Helplines:
GARDAÍ ARE APPEALING for the public’s helping in locating a missing teenager who may have travelled to Dublin.Gardaí in Navan are appealing for the assistance of the public to help trace the whereabouts of Sheena O’Connor (16), who is missing from Navan since Sunday 10 February.Sheena is described as being 5’2” in height, of average build, with very long coppery/brown hair, which is normally worn in a bun. She has blue eyes and a pale complexion.When last seen, Sheena was wearing a long black puffy jacket, black leggings and black and white converse shoes. Gardaí say they believe Sheena may have travelled to the Dublin area.Anybody with information is asked to contact Navan Garda Station at 046 9079930, the Garda Confidential Line on 1 800 666 111 or any garda station.
EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.1. #COALITION: Backbenchers from Fine Gael and Labour are reported to be unhappy at plans to include farm and business assets in the means testing of third level grants. Discussions are being held at Cabinet level in response to proposals that assets worth more than €750,000 should be included in the assessment.2. #SEÁN FITZPATRICK: The former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Seán Fitzpatrick, is back in court today, as he faces 12 charges which include making misleading statements to auditors of Anglo Irish Bank during the 2000s.3. #SAVITA: The final report into the death of Savita Halappanavar is to be presented to government next Friday. The chairman of Regional Health Forum West told TheJournal.ie that around 30 people are named in the report.4. #POST-MORTEM: A post-mortem is to be carried out today on a body which was found in a burnt-out car last night. The discovery was made on Gyles Quay near Lordship in Dundalk, Co Louth.5. #MICHAELA: A number of senior detectives from the PSNI are assisting local police in Mauritius, as the investigation into the death of Michaela McAreavey continues. It is over two years since McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon.6. #AMERICA: Both democrats and republicans are blaming each other for the country’s failure to avoid $85 billion in spending cuts, which come into effect from today. Congressional leaders are set to meet in order to determine how the cuts should be made.7. #MILK PRODUCTION: CSO figures have revealed that milk production fell by 12 per cent in January. Farmers have blamed a “perfect storm” of rising production costs and falling market prices for the decline.8. #SOUTH AFRICA: There has been international outrage over footage which showed a man being dragged behind a police van in South Africa. The man in the footage was later found dead in his police cell. Police in Johannesburg are to hold a press conference related to the incident later today.9. #WIKILEAKS: Bradley Manning, the US Army private who leaked thousands of classified cables to the Wikileaks website, has pleaded guilty to misusing classified material. Manning, who faces up to 20 years in prison, has denied a charge that he aided the enemy.
Over on DailyEdge.ie: Kevin Spacey’s new puppy bit his nose, and why Chris Brown and Rihanna are finally over. It’s The Dredge> EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.1. #OHIO: Three young women who went missing around a decade ago were found alive Monday in a house in Cleveland, Ohio. Police arrested three suspects following the dramatic discovery of the women, just a few miles away from where they went missing.2. #ABANDON NEW TAXES: IBEC, the body representing Ireland’s employers, has called on the Government to abandon plans for €1.8 billion in new taxes over the next two Budgets. It says extra taxes would kill off Ireland’s delicate economic rebound, when consumer confidence already remains fragile.3. #FEE PAYING SCHOOLS: Research by the Department of Education shows that a 66 per cent students from fee-paying secondary schools are more likely to go straight to college, in comparison with 47 per cent from non-fee paying secondary schools. Overall, over half of students who were enrolled in Leaving Cert in 2010 went directly to higher education.4. #AIB: In an interim management statement, AIB says it’s “on track” to achieve its target of returning to pre-provision operating profit for 2013 following “strategic actions” taken last year, which have delivered an improvement in the bank’s overall operating performance. The bank said product repricing has a positive effect on the net interest margin (NIM) in the first quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of progress on NIM.5. #JIMMY TARBUCK: The 73-year-old comedian has become the latest celebrity to be arrested in connection with a historical child sex abuse investigation. Jimmy Tarbuck was arrested on 26 April and released on bail after police questioned him about claims that a young boy was assaulted in the late 1970s.6. #BASIC SERVICES: The Children’s Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, says she’s “constantly amazed” by the lack of basic services in Ireland after years of being a relatively rich country. She told TheJournal.ie: “If you have been sexually abused, you don’t need help in nine months time or two years. You need help immediately.”7. #EMILY WILSON: The family of 10-year-old Emily Wilson who dropped dead on Saturday morning are looking for answers to how she died after a post-mortem failed to find an exact cause of death. According to the Irish Independent, the schoolgirl collapsed at her local GAA club, Gortnahoe-Glengoole in Co Tipperary while warming up for camogie match.8. #CAN REFUND: To help curb illegal dumping, Labour Party councillor, Thomas Redmond, has called for an introduction of a refund deposit scheme for alcohol containers. He told TheJournal.ie that he was inspired by similar schemes in place like Germany where people can return their bottles or cans to a specific centre or location and will receive a small amount of cash in return.9. #NO COFFINS: For the first time in 120 years, bodies can now be buried in a cemetery without a coffin. According to The Irish Times, changes to regulations means uncoffined bodies will now be accepted. The rules, which will apply to all faiths, particularly accommodate Muslims.
DETECTIVES FROM PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch investigating the attempted murder of police officers in Newtownabbey on 9 March have arrested two men.The suspects, aged 23 and 42, were taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Antrim police station for questioning.A number of searches were also carried out in north Belfast.On Saturday 9 March an explosive device was discovered after police officers reported hearing a blast.They had gone to the area of the Duncrue towpath beside the M5 after receiving a phone call when an explosive device detonated.Read: Belfast bomb was an ‘attempted murder’ attack on PSNI officers’ lives >
There are also a number of pubs on the list, including the Triple Crown in Limerick which is fully licensed and has adjoining accommodation. It has a reserve of €125,000.Brittas Bay pub and holiday accommodation McDaniels is also available in county Wicklow. The price? €625,00.The Watermarque Hotel and apartment complex on O’Connell Street in Cahersiveen comprises a two-storey hotel, leisure complex and chapel.The most extravagant lot is probably Ashroe House in Limerick, a detached period house with outbuildings, stables and a gate lodge on 51 acres of parkland. That will sell for at least €425,000.The last Allsop Space auction took place in March with 112 lots reaching or exceeding their reserve prices, including a Georgian building in Dublin for €640,000 and the Munster Rugby store in Cork City for €295,000.Clare hotel and Dublin Georgian house in distressed property auctionDartmouth Sq and shopping street in Clonmel sell at auction THE DEMISE OF the retail sector in post-boom Ireland is no more obvious than when looking at a brochure for the next distressed property auction.Due to take place in the Shelbourne Hotel on 15 May, the fire sale include two shopping centres, a number of stores, restaurants, pubs and a hotel.A total of 126 lots will go under the hammer in the Allsop Space auction, the latest in a series held by the company in Ireland since the economic bust five years ago.The most expensive property offered is an apartment block in Cavan with a reserve range of €1.5 million to €1.7 million. Twenty-four of the 60 apartments are subject to tenancies, 34 are vacant and two are subject to long leases.Ten units of a shopping centre in Dublin – which is anchored by Dunnes Stores – are being offered for less money as the Finglas West site is valued at €1.2 million.Another shopping centre unit in Kilkenny has a reserve range between €575,000 and €625,000.
Albarn, also taking part in the interview, added,I wanted to make sure that it came out at the end of the tour because I don’t want anyone to think I’d tampered with it. I literally made it on the road in America over a month. I didn’t write it before; I didn’t prepare it. I just did it day by day as a kind of diary of my experience in America. If I left it until the New Year to release it, then the cynics out there would say, “Oh well, it’s been tampered with.” But if I put it out now, they’d know that I haven’t done anything because I’ve been on tour ever since. Gorillaz mastermind Damon Album has been hard work on a follow up to March’s Plastic Beach. The former Blur frontman has eschewed all of that fancy studio nonsense, recording the thing on the road at piecing it together on his iPad. Last month he told NME, “I’ve made it on an iPad–I hope I’ll be making the first record on an iPad. I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it, so I’ve made a completely different kind of record.”In that interview, Albarn said that he was attempting to get the thing out before Christmas. According to a new interview with Gorillaz co-founder cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, however, it looks like we’re going to have to settle for on Christmas,At the moment, we’ve got an Advent calendar on our website, and there is a daily door that opens to reveal a gift. On Christmas Eve, a video for one of the new songs from the iPad album will be released. Then, on Christmas Day, fans get the whole album downloaded to their computer for free as a gift. There you have it, Cynics, no tampering. Now merry Christmas.
Processor design company ARM has today unveiled two new updates to its Cortex-R range of processors: the Cortex-R5 MPCore and the Cortex-R7 MPCore.While the Cortex-A processors can be found in mainstream consumer products such as cell phones and tablet devices, the Cortex-R chips are meant for deeply-embedded and system-on-a-chip duties. Notably you can find the last generation Cortex-R4 in hard disk drive controllers, wireless baseband processors, and automotive systems.The updated 28nm R5 and R7 chips improve mainly in the area performance over the R4, which was originally released in 2006. But also adds increased efficiency, reliability, and better error management in real-time systems.The performance gain comes not only from the updated architecture, but through the option of having single and dual core processors. Features specific to the R7 include out-of-order execution, dynamic register renaming combined with improved branch prediction, superscalar execution and faster hardware support for divide, floating point and other functions.ARM expects the new chips to be used in the latest LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile baseband deployments, both HDD and SSD due to fast real-time response and reliability gains, and safety-critical automotive and medical systems.With both chips aiming for the high-end embedded market ARM is poised to get its processors in the next generation of devices and supporting infrastructure we use. Licenses for either processor are already available for interested manufacturers.Read more at the ARM press release
Some users have reported that by disabling Apple’s Ping music-based social network on their iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, they’ve managed to noticeably improve the battery life they get out of their device. The dip in battery life came with iOS 4.3, and some users have pointed to the fact that Ping runs quietly in the background at all times, ready for you to share the song you’re listening to or some flavor text about the music you like with your friends using Apple’s social network. Admittedly, Ping hasn’t really taken off in any notable way, and it’s pretty much a social networking graveyard considering Apple doesn’t really allow Ping to connect with many other, more well-populated social networks. Only recently did Apple allow you to post songs that you enjoyed to Twitter. In the end, unless you use Ping regularly for anything, you’re better off disabling it and enjoying the boost in battery life. [via Geeky-Gadgets]
When an airplane lands, it’s essentially making a controlled fall. If you’re in that plane while you’re landing, there you are, hurtling to the ground at 32 feet per second per second strapped to several tons worth of fuel and metal. It’s a disheartening thought, and the only real comfort you have in the situation is the skill of the plane’s pilot… and the fact that there’s a crew of people in the air traffic control tower watching out for you, making sure you don’t smack right into another plane.On Wednesday morning, the passengers of two DC airliners had only their pilots’ skill to depend upon. As the two planes approached Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport, the pilots — as usual — radioed in for landing guidance from air traffic control. There was no answer. They tried again. Still no answer. In fact, they never got a response.AdChoices广告With fuel running low and nothing to do, the two pilots — who were responsible for the combined safety of 165 passengers — decided that they had to land, and coordinated between themselves to land with a minimum of danger. They called into their airlines, confirmed which runways they were supposed to be approaching, did a few drive-bys to make sure there weren’t any other planes in the way… and then landed blind.No one really knows what happened. Since the Reagan National Airport isn’t commenting, the most likely explanation is that either someone got locked out of the Air Traffic Control tower, or the air traffic controller fell asleep at his desk.This could have been a huge disaster. While not a lot of planes land after midnight, those that do are even more in need of guidance from the air traffic controller, as it is common for airport maintenance workers to tow jets across runways late at night. Thank goodness luck was on those pilots’ side.Read more at Washington Post
Both Mozilla and Google have sung the praises of WebGL and its ability to bring rich 3D experiences to users via the Web. According to security researcher James Forshaw, that extra dimension comes with a rather serious trade-off: your security.Over on the Context Information Security blog, Forshaw details several flaws in WebGL which could allow an attacker to infiltrate a user’s system and wreak havoc via the GPU and graphics drivers. These issues are particularly worrisome since WebGL is effectively granted access to kernel mode features “in what is supposed to be the most protected part of the computer.”AdChoices广告In addition to being able to render a system unusable (WebGL is already known to have been exploited in denial-of-service attacks), the vulnerabilities allow something which is potentially much more harmful. As illustrated by Context’s proof of concept, it’s possible to steal content which is being rendered on a user’s display. That means sensitive information you’re browsing – from bank account details to password reset questions and answers – could be exposed to malicious prying eyes.The proof-of-concept should work in any browser with WebGL support, including Firefox 4+ and Google Chrome 9+. Internet Explorer and Opera users are safe for now, though WebGL support is planned for the final release of Opera 11.50. Microsoft, however, has made it clear that it preferred to support technologies like 3D CSS and HTML5 layers — and it appears as though IE users can enjoy a little added peace of mind as a result of that decision.Forshaw recommends IT administrators (and users) disable WebGL until its security shortcomings have been addressed. That won’t be a simple task, he warns, and his closing words are actually quite ominous: “Perhaps the best approach would be to design a specification for 3D graphics from the ground up with these issues in mind.”via The Inquirer and Context IS
Today we have proof that game publishers in Japan either don’t keep up with the news, or just don’t care. Proof of this comes in the form of Namco deciding it’s a good idea to ship 3DS games with save games that you cannot delete.It was only a month ago that Capcom caused uproar among gamers by not allowing the save games on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D to be deleted. That meant if you sold the game, whoever bought it used would be stuck with your saves. We thought it was a sneaky way to discourage the game being traded in and sold used, but Capcom insisted it was purely a design feature.AdChoices广告The amount of negative feedback Capcom got over that decision made them admit it was unlikely to use the feature again. But Namco clearly weren’t listening to what gamers were telling Capcom and have implemented it for the just released 3DS game Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions.If anything, this is much worse than having the feature on Mercenaries 3D. Namco has apparently decided not to include a high score table, instead just replacing the highest score when you beat it. So if you let anyone else play your copy of the game, and they beat your score, there is no comparison, their score just replaces yours.The game also contains content that needs to be unlocked by gaining achievements across the four included games. Such a feature and reward system can be a lot of fun, but in this case once the content is unlocked, it is permanently unlocked as it is tied to that permanent save.If Namco’s goal in doing this was to deter sales of the game used, then it has succeeded. Anyone picking up this game with all the content unlocked, and a high score that will take hours of practice to even get near, is going to be rather upset.Hopefully Namco notices the poor feedback this decision is getting and decides like Capcom it was a very bad idea. We’d also love to know why they decided against including a high score table, a feature so integral to these types of game for as long as we can remember.More at Wired, via Destructoid
Yesterday we showed you the world’s largest stop-motion animation video which was shot on a Nokia N8 camera. Today, we have another world’s largest stop-motion video, but this one uses Post-it notes to garner the World’s Largest Stop-Motion Post-it Animation award.The video was created as an advertising scheme for a new Melissa shoe store in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Apparently, the shoe brand Melissa is big enough in Brazil to warrant such an elaborate promotion built in honor of the opening of the company’s flagship store, Galeria Melissa. The project took 25 animators over five months of time. To create the animation, Melissa teamed up with 3M and used 350,000 Post-it notes.The Post-its weren’t just part of the video, though; the giant canvas was opened to the public to come by and add their messages of love on the notes. The video’s theme is “the power of love,” based on the recently released Power of Love shoe collection. Of the 350,000 Post-its used in the animation, more than 30,000 of them had random love notes written on them from people visiting the massive Post-it exhibit.The result is a mammoth of a brightly-colored mural that’s rather impressive to look at. The video shows a girl being carried by a balloon through the Post-its, an elephant rearing up on its hind legs, and a flower radiating from the center of the piece. The videos also show some of the lovey-dovey notes that people contributed to, as well as some of the people themselves.We’d prefer to see more of the stop-motion animation and less of the people writing love notes on the wall, but it’s still a pretty amazing video considering the scope of the whole project.Check out a little “Making Of” video below for a few more glances of the amazing stop-motion mural.via Social Times
During this Olympic season search engine Google has been doing a different Olympic themed Google Doodle every day. Today’s is different, Google has done it’s first Olympic game doodle.It’s pretty simple, you just have to jump the hurdles in the fastest time. Tap the left arrow key, followed by the right arrow key repeatedly as fast as possible to make your man run, then press the space bar to jump over the hurdles. You’ll then be given a time and marked out of a possible three stars. You can also share your time on Google+.Of course, it’s not the first time Google have made their daily doodle into a game, back in 2010 many users swarmed the Google homepage just to play Pac Man, which was created to celebrate its 30th anniversary. It was so popular in fact, it was made playable forever.In May this year, Google recreated a Moog synthesizer to celebrate Dr Robert Moog’s 78th birthday. Users could create their own electronic music courtesy of Google and share their creations. It’s not just doodles that Google do though, ever tried typing “do a barrel roll” into Google?Google continues to amaze us with how much time and effort they put into their doodles. It will be interesting to see what kind of Olympic doodle they come up with next, whether it be another work of art, an animation, or game. In the meantime, I’m sure one of you can easily beat my rubbish 17 second score on today’s Google doodle.Post your scores in the comments and lets see who has the fastest fingers.via Google
In an attempt to refocus their efforts in the smartphone market, HTC’s plan for this year is to release a couple of “hero” devices as opposed to spamming the market with lots of new handsets. By focusing on a handful of iconic gadgets, HTC hopes to stand out and be recognized as a manufacturer of high quality smartphones.This is not always about releasing the device with the highest specs. There are plenty of consumers out there who want a nice smartphone without paying the premium price associated with the “best” phones on the market. With that in mind, HTC has announced the One VX for AT&T.The HTC One VX is designed to be a powerful phone in its own right, but in a price category lower than the One X+. The 4.5-inch 960 x 540 screen is the same LCD 2 panel we’ve seen in several devices recently. This is a slight increase in size and quality over the screen on the One S, which was released earlier this year. Under that screen HTC has included a dual core Snapdragon S4 processor that has been in almost every Android phone released or announced in recent history, but clocked at 1.2GHz. With 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and a microSD slot, the One VX is easily competitive with current generation Android “superphones.”NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 are included with the One VX as well, though as an added bonus the phone will support the apt-X audio codec. This will give the One VX the ability to send high quality audio over Bluetooth, keeping in line with HTC’s desire to wield Beats Audio as a major feature on their phones. The One VX will come pre-loaded with Android 4.0 and the HTC Sense UI, with an upgrade path to 4.1 slated for some unknown point in the future.The biggest detail missing from this announcement is price, which will be something AT&T announces as the phone gets closer to launch.
You might now know it by how simple it is to root most Android devices, but the amount of work required to get to the “one click root” is often immense. The time spent discovering vulnerabilities in the code and deploying exploit attempts until something finally works is often the result of days of exhaustive work. Even when the exploit is found, the step-by-step instructions that are created often rely on the user knowing exactly how to respond if something goes wrong. Now one developer has created a solution that allows him to root an Android device simply by connecting it to an ingenious box that he created.XDA developer and long time hardware hacker Adam Outler spends a lot of time on these exploits. So much time, in fact, that he wrote his own scripting language for deploying exploits over the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). The Cross-platform ADB Scripting Unified Android Loader, or CASUAL as he has named it, is a project he has been working on for some time now. CASUAL makes it easier to plug in a device and feed it exploits over ADB, which often provides a much faster root method.In theory, CASUAL doesn’t require a screen, mouse, or even a keyboard to operate. If deployed correctly, you should only need to connect a phone with a known exploit to a system running CASUAL, and stand back as the exploit takes place. Outler decided to take this notion one step further, however, by making a headless box that you could just plug a phone into.The silver box is a Raspberry Pi computer with an Arduino battery backpack, allowing it to be used just about anywhere. The box has five LEDs and a toggle switch on top of the box, and these are used to communicate with the user everything that is going on. When you connect a phone to the RasPi, the LEDs will walk you though connecting to the phone and running the exploits. Finally a pass or fail LED will glow to let you know what has just happened.During my conversation with Adam Outler, he noted that the success rate of the box is somewhere around 70% right now. The exploits loaded on the box handle nearly all standard Android firmware versions, and due to the open nature of CASUAL anyone can contribute when they have found new exploits. The box is something anyone can build for themselves, using the Headless mode designed for embedded devices like the Raspberry Pi.Anyone looking to contribute to this project can head over to the CASUAL google code page.