terça-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2011

Barcelona crowned World Cup champions in Japan after beating Santos 4-0

BARCELONA were crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions in Japan yesterday after hammering Santos 4-0 in the final.
And Barca coach Pep Guardiola dedicated the win to injured striker David Villa, who broke his left leg in the semi-final on Thursday.

Argentine star Lionel Messi scored two goals with Xavi and former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas also on target.

Guardiola said: "I want to dedicate this victory to Villa.

"His injury was the most unfortunate thing of this tournament, but I am sure that he will return to the team soon.

"My players were like artists. Whatever they envisaged in their minds they were able to do on the pitch.

"It was an incredible performance."

Extracted from The Sun

quarta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2011

Five predictions for the communications world in 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer faces a cruacial year in 2012. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP
In the coming year, mobile internet devices and in particular smartphones will continue to bring the biggest changes to the way we communicate. For the first time, they will also change the way we do business.

As adoption of the recession-defying smartphone tips from 40% to 60% in the UK next year, these devices will morph from communication tools to become platforms for commercial activity, with eBay already reporting a mobile retail rush this Christmas.

And while many of us will be tempted to spend more, young tech-native users will find ways to save money by driving the explosion in free voice and messaging applications.

With these thoughts in mind, here are my five predictions for the communications industry in 2012.

1. Mobile retail

This was the year mobile retail entered the mainstream, and eBay tells the story. In 2010, its global sales via mobile tripled to $2bn (£1.3bn). The prediction for 2011 has been revised up from $4bn to $5bn.

More than 170,000 UK shoppers spend more than £30 using eBay's mobile app every week. On Cyber Monday, the peak day for online Christmas shopping in the US three times more people turned to eBay subsidiary PayPal's mobile app this year than last. Shoppers on the internet auction site have bought homes and even a £70,000 Ferrari from their phones.

Christmas shoppers were predicted to spend 12% of their £13.4bn online pounds on mobiles in the UK this year, according to the Centre for Retail Research, which thinks that by 2015, a quarter of online purchases will be made on mobiles.

2. Mobile wallets

Swiping phones at public transport ticket barriers instead of travel cards, or at shop tills instead of debit cards, redeeming electronic coupons in-store, scanning barcodes to compare prices ... mobile phone networks have been talking about turning these ideas into reality for years.

But Google is making it happen. This summer Google Wallet opened to the general public in the US, and the company hopesto bring it to Europe next year, beginning with the UK.

PayPal has similar designs, as do the mobile phone networks. This Christmas, Amazon had bricks and mortar retailers choking on their tinsel with the offer of a 5% discount for items scanned in physical shops using its price comparison barcode scanner, which runs on smartphones.

In the developing world, phones are being used not just as wallets but as a first bank account. Migrant workers are sending billions home using mobile phone money transfer services. Juniper Research says that $55bn will be sent in 2016, up from just under $12bn this year.

3. Change at the top

Seats are being reserved in the last chance saloon for two of technology's biggest chieftains: Sony Group's Sir Howard Stringer and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.

A former CBS journalist who went on to run Sony's American business, including the record label and film studio, Stringer has made it his mission knit the conglomerate into a coherent entity.

During his six year reign he has scored individual hits with PlayStation games consoles, Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops and the Spider-Man films. But not all these initiatives have been profitable and the benefits of making both the content and the gadgets to consume it with have yet to materialise.

This year, Stringer had hoped to announce a $2bn annual profit. Thanks to Japan's Tsunami and a sluggish global economy, he reported a $3.1bn net loss, the biggest for 16 years.

Kazuo Hirai, credited with masterminding PlayStation's success and now corporate executive officer at group level, is the heir apparent.

2012 is also a crucial year for Ballmer. He has so far failed to catch up with Google on search advertising, and has yet to make an impact on smartphones.

None of this has mattered so long as Microsoft remained unchallenged on PCs, controlling 80% of the market. Ballmer's problem is that PCs are being challenged, by smartphones and tablets.

When Windows 8 is released later in 2012, billions of Ballmer customers will ask themselves whether to spend money updating an old computer, or buy a new one. Microsoft word processing, spreadsheets and email are very sticky services, but many people may opt for a tablet rather than a laptop, and Apple dominates the tablet market.

4. Free phone calls and messages

On personal computers and increasingly on phones, young technology natives and those who watch their pennies are finding ways to get something for virtually nothing.

Skype video phoning is a daily activity for schoolchildren. With a BlackBerry and a £10 a month Sim-only contract, messages are free and unlimited. If all your friends are messaging, there is no need to spend any money at all on calls and texts.

For those who can't do without, there are endless applications which cut the phone bill by pushing the traffic onto the internet. WhatsApp is used to send 1bn messages a day. Viber, with free international calls and texts, has been downloaded 30m times. Video calling app Tango has 20m users.

These services have arrived and are becoming mainstream. Good for consumers, bad for mobile network company revenues.

5. Apple TV

Nobody really knows what it will look like, but Apple TV is coming next year. A factory in Japan is being retooled to produce it, and unlike current Apple television gadgets, which hook up your existing box to the internet, this one will have a screen.

It will turn the iPhone into a remote control, and may also respond to hand gestures and voice commands. In 2012, shouting at the TV could take on a whole new meaning.

Juliette Garside
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 December 2011 11.28 GMT
Article history

segunda-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2011

Amy Winehouse's Lioness tops UK album chart

Amy Winehouse's Lioness tops UK album chart

The album features 12 original tracks and covers
Continue reading the main story
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Amy Winehouse's posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, has topped the UK album chart.

The record, which features 12 original tracks and covers, was compiled by long-time musical partners Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson.

Proceeds from the album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

A coroner ruled the singer, who was found dead in her London flat on 23 July, died as a result of drinking too much alcohol.

A verdict of misadventure was recorded after the inquest heard the singer had 416mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The first single from Winehouse's album, Our Day Will Come, also entered the singles chart at 29.

Producer Mark Ronson, who co-produced the star's breakthrough album Back To Black, said Lioness was "an insight into the songs she loved".

"She really was an encyclopaedia of these old jazz and soul standards," he told BBC Breakfast. "She could pick up a guitar and play any of them."

Ronson said he had initially refused to work on the tribute album.

"I didn't know if they necessarily needed what I had to give and it was a bit soon for me to spend that time listening to her voice on a loop, like you do when you're in a studio working on a record.

"Then I heard this vocal she'd recorded for Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and I thought, 'this is really special and I want to be a part of this and make one more piece of something magical with Amy.'

Extracted from BBC News

terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2011

Why Learn English Language?

Whatever the reason you have to learn English, you will never regret to have done it. English is one of the moist widely language spoken around the world as well as the most taught. Many people learn English as their foreign or second language and it is the lingua franca of business. If you learn English, you will be able to get ahead professionally. Employers usually value their employees who handle many foreign languages. The following list shows some of the main reason why learn English language is very important today.


Many books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, technology, sports, pop music and advertising have the English as the dominant language.

In general, the universal language on the Internet is the English.

The majority of the electronically stored information around the world is in English.

English is one of the easiest languages to learn and to use for its simple alphabet, easy words, short words and easy plurals.

You can travel to any English speaking country without the need of have a translator. Usually, if you don't know the language your trip would be hard and maybe you wouldn't enjoy it.

Nowadays in the competitive job market it is necessary to speak English. So if you learn English you will have a better chance of getting a job that pays more.

Learn English will help you to communicate with relatives, in-laws or friends who speak a different language. English is also helpful if you are going to move to a different country because it is a “global language”.

A lot of educational information is in English; therefore to have access to this material or maybe communicate with other students it is necessary to have knowledge of English.

It is necessary to learn English if you are planning to study at a foreign university or school. Usually many educational institutions will provide you preparatory courses to improve your English language skills but you have to have at least a medium level of knowledge.

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow

Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow

By Sunshine Flint - BBC

The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The architectural stakes have been heating up in Rio de Janeiro since Brazil won hosting duties for both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), designed by Santiago Calatrava is part of that excitement, and is one of the many projects bringing a new civic aesthetic to Rio’s harbour front.
Set on Pier Mauro, jutting into the bay, the museum has a long, white carapace that is segmented and airy at the same time. The sustainable building is part of the $5 billion Brazilian real “Marvelous Port” project that will revitalize Rio’s urban waterfront district. Recently discovered remains of a 19th-century wharf where enslaved people from Africa were held and sold will be preserved as part of the project. Surrounded by pools of recycled rainwater and five-and-a-half acres of gardens, the building’s roof will have photovoltaic panels that will follow the sun throughout the course of the day. The museum will focus on science, and on the sustainable and ecological future of 2061, 50 years from the museum’s 2011 ground breaking. Containing 5,000sqm of exhibition space, exhibitions are expected to feature technologies that will shape our future and the future of the planet. The museum should be completed by 2012 when it will host the UN Earth Summit “Rio + 20”.
Calatrava has also proposed dismantling an elevated highway along the water and extending a plaza nearby, although this has not yet been approved by city officials.