BM Atletico MadridEHF Champions LeagueMKB Veszprem Three games of the Men’s EHF Champions League Round 5 showed the strenght of the visitors. MKB Veszprem made the biggest (if we can call that “surprise” job with an win in Berlin against Fuchse 29:24. Even TOP teams have a lot of problems in Berlin against Dagur Sigurdsson‘s team, but Hungarian champion continue with good performances in the European elite, leaded by fantastic Mirko Alilovic (16 saves).Atletico Madrid had an easy job in full crowded Vive Targi Kielce’s hall – 37:29.29 – Vive Targi Kielce: Szmal; Kuchczynski (1), Buntic (5), Grabarczyk (-), Michal Jurecki (11), Rosinski (1) y Zorman (1) -equipo inicial- Cleverly (ps), Olafsson (2p), Mariusz Jurasik (-), Zaremba (-), Tkaczyk (1), Przybylski (-), Jachlewski (-), Tomczak (3) y Stojkovic (4)37 – Atlético de Madrid: Sterbik; Roberto García (2), Lazarov (8, 2p), Cañellas (5), Markussen (8), Davis (-) y Aginagalde (2) -equipo inicial- Hombrados (ps), Abalo (1), Guardiola (2), Alberto Entrerríos (-), Jurkiewicz (-), Kallman (5), Edu Fernández (4) y Dinart (-)Cimos Koper almost secure TOP 16 place with an away win over Sankt Petersburg – 35:26. Russian winter isn’t so cold yet… ← Previous Story Serbian “Eagles” made an Official Song Video for the EHF EURO 2012 Next Story → Momir Ilic is the “Player of October” in Bundesliga”
Ana Djokic has decided to put an end to her career next season, and HC Vardar and Samsonenko did not wait for too long to find a replacement. Her replacement for the next season will be the 31-year old experienced German player Anja Althaus – who is currently wearing the shirt of Thuringer HC.Althaus has rich career, with over 200 caps for Germany and more than 500 goals, winning bronze medal in 2007. Her club career has been successful as well, winning the Champions League twice in 2009 and 2010 with Danish Viborg.source: ekipa.mk anja althauschampions leaguegermanyhandballThuringer HC ← Previous Story ASOBAL (Round 16): Barcelona deals easily with Cuenca Next Story → Sead Hasanefendic strong candidate for PSG Handball bench
Nikola Karabatic was one of the best French player in semi-final victory over Spain last night in LUSAIL Arena in Doha. The WORLD BEST PLAYER 2014 will remember 29 of January because of one another reason. He scored his 1000th goal in 245th match in the national team.France will meet the host team Qatar in the big final of thr 24th Men’s Handball World Championship. The match starts on Sunday 19.15 local time. ← Previous Story France beat Spain with amazing Omeyer between the posts Next Story → Denmark fifth, Germany clinch Olympic qualification spot! nikola karabatiNikola Karabatic
Canada handballToky0 2020 handballUSA handball The biggest games of the year for handball start this week as Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams start the Road to Tokyo when they face the United States on September 2nd and 5th with the winner earning a ticket to the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru. That tournament acts as the qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.The first leg of the home and away series will take place at Auburn University in Alabama on Sunday September 2nd at 4pm and 6pm. The final matchday will be on Wednesday September 5th at the Claude-Robillard Sports Center in Montreal. The women start the action at 7pm with the men starting at 9pm (all times in EST).The winner will be decided by total aggreggate goals over the two games. The loser wil then advance to a last chance competiton against the teams listed below.Men’s 2nd Chance Tourney: Chile, Dominican Republic, Colombia and USA/Canada loserWomen’s 2nd Chance Tourney: Chile, Mexico, Guatemala and USA/Canada loserGames will be livestreamed on the IHF Facbook page. Tickets for both matches in Montreal are available for only $15Sunday, 2 September at AuburnUSA – Canada (Women) 3:00 PM (Central Time)USA – Canada (Men) 5:00 PM (Central Time)Wednesday, 5 September at MontrealUSA – Canada (Women) 7:00 PM (Eastern Time)USA – Canada (Men) 9:00 PM (Eastern Time)Source: http://handballcanada.ca ← Previous Story VIDEO: Sticky ball stays on the post! Next Story → IHF president Hassan Moustafa confirms: We think about 32 teams at World Championships
TRINKET AND TOURISM specialist Carrolls Irish Gifts is to open a second store in Belfast, it revealed today.The retailer announced its expansion this morning, which includes the creation of 30 new jobs in the city.The shop will open on Donegal Street in early November, said director Lorcan O’Connor. It is the second store opening of the year after the Grafton Street location opened its doors in July.Established 30 years ago, the company now employs 250 staff across Ireland. As well as its existing shop in Belfast, Carrolls has one location in Cork and 10 in Dublin.
POLICE INVESTIGATING THE disappearance of Irish woman Catherine Gowing in Wales have found a burnt-out car about two miles from her New Brighton home.Although Detective Superintendent John Hanson confirmed the vehicle discovered on Pinfold Lane at Altami near Mold was a five-door Renault Cio, he said they could not be sure it is Catherine’s car at this time.Officers were contacted by a member of the public who had come across the car on Thursday evening at about 7.15pm.“The area has been cordoned off and forensically secured and an examination of the vehicle and immediate area continues to establish the vehicle’s true identity and secure any evidence which assist us find Catherine,” Hanson said in an update this morning. “Once this is confirmed a further statement will be released.“Catherine is still missing and her last known sighting is at 8.39pm on Friday, 12 October when she was seen on CCTV leaving Asda Supermarket in Queensferry.”A 46-year-old man remains in custody on suspicion of Catherine’s murder. Police have until this evening to question him. It is understood the man is known to the missing 37-year-old.More: Catherine Gowing: Partial text sent to colleague on weekend she disappeared>Read: Catherine Gowing’s sister say they feel “lost” as they desperately try to find her>
WIKILEAKS TODAY PUBLISHED a leaked draft from the largest ever international trade agreement currently being negotiated between twelve prospective member states.The release of the draft from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes ahead of a decisive summit of chief negotiators in Utah next week. Contained in the International Property Rights chapter published today are some of the more controversial details which will impact on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.It also includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all twelve of the prospective member states.60 per cent of global GDPThis agreement precedes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with US-EU negotiations for that deal having started in January of this year. Together these agreements will cover over 60 per cent of global GDP and both of them exclude China.Numerous heads of state involved in the negotiations, including US President Barack Obama, have expressed their intention to sign and ratify the deal by the end of this year, though the negotiations have been kept secret and it was previously revealed that only three individuals in each nation have access to the full text.Today Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange accused the US administration of “aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly”.The 95-page chapter published today lays out provisions for a regime to change or replace existing laws including agreements on patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design.Far-reachingWikileaks said today the enforcement measures have “far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons”.Measures include supranational litigation tribunals which national courts would be expected to defer to, but which would have no human rights safeguards. These courts would be permitted to conduct hearings with secret evidence. This chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.Assange said: If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.Intellectual property law expert Matthew Rimmer told the Sydney Morning Herald that “one could see the TPP as a Christmas wish-list for major corporations”.“Hollywood, the music industry, big IT companies such as Microsoft and the pharmaceutical sector would all be very happy with this,” he said.States currently involved in the negotiations include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.Read the full chapter released today>Read: The Wikileaks Party got fewer votes than the Australian Sex Party>Read: “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female.”>
With about 400m to go I was thinking I’m either second or fourth here so to come third is like ‘Oh!’. A medal is a medal and I’m happy.“There were four of us there and the last place you want to be is fourth so to get one of the others is great really. Because we were so close, everyone would have been wishing for second. Moreira had it tied up (in first place).”Added to her recent wins in Budapest, Edinburgh, Antrim and Athlone, this latest success sees Britton in terrific form heading to Bydogszcz for the World Cross in three weeks’ time.Listen to the full interview with Will Downing on Soundcloud hereBrilliant Britton takes bronze at European Indoor Championships FIONNUALA BRITTON COMES away from her first European Indoor Championships having added a bronze medal to her ever-growing collection.The Irish Olympic runner travelled to Gothenburg to compete in the 3,000m as part of her preparations for this month’s World Cross Country Championships in Poland.Having gone into the event claiming a top three finish in the finals would be a “bonus”, the 28-year-old ran an exceptional race this afternoon to clinch third.After the 12 runners were called back due to a false start, Britton found herself at the back of the pack second time out but had moved up to seventh by the halfway mark and with one lap to go found herself in fourth.Over the final 200m, she made up a remarkable amount of ground to catch the two runners ahead of her, Corrinna Harrer of Germany and Russia’s Yelena Korobkina, and was just pipped to the line by the latter – finishing in a time of 9:00.54 with Portugal’s Sara Moreira taking gold.Speaking to Will Downing after the race, Britton said: “It’s so hard to explain. Medals are so hard to get. It’s something special.
AMSTERDAM’S ANNE FRANK museum has defended teen idol Justin Bieber amid a furore over his comments that he hoped the Jewish teen who died in a Nazi camp would have been a fan.“We think that what’s special is that a 19-year-old comes to the Anne Frank House and spends an hour visiting on a Friday night,” museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart told AFP amid growing criticism of the pop star’s perceived selfishness.Canadian heartthrob Bieber visited the museum-house, where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis, and wrote in the guestbook:Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.A belieber is a term used to describe one of the celebrity’s fanatical fans, most of whom are teen or pre-teen girls.“He could be doing other things in Amsterdam, he was very interested,” said Mostart.“That’s more important than the commotion that we’re now seeing,” she said. “That’s the positive side and we want to leave it at that.”Bieber’s remarks have provoked furious responses on Facebook, where the museum announced the news, with users attacking Bieber’s perceived ignorance.‘Stupid and shortsighted’Esther Voet, director of the Netherlands’ Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), said that Bieber’s comments were “stupid and shortsighted.”“It shows you that superstars don’t always have a stellar IQ,” she told AFP.Anne Frank’s diary is a moving account of her two years in hiding from the Nazis with her family in a secret annexe that is today a popular museum in central Amsterdam.She died in 1945 aged 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.Bieber is on a European tour and played in the Dutch city of Arnhem last Saturday.- © AFP, 2013Read: 7 best reactions to Justin Bieber’s Anne Frank comments >
DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN is to file suit for defamation over a US movie inspired by the sex scandal that brought down the former IMF chief, his lawyer confirmed today.Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York stars Gerard Depardieu as a man called Georges Devereaux with striking similarities to “DSK” – whose alleged 2011 sexual assault on a New York hotel maid shook the world.Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Jean Veil said his client would in the coming days “file suit for defamation over the accusations of rape and the insinuations made all throughout the movie”.He said Strauss-Kahn has been cleared of all charges in the case, and was “sickened and frightened by this film”, which premiered at the Cannes film festival on Saturday.Veil described the film as “a piece of shit, dogshit”, and echoed a charge by Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife Anne Sinclair that aspects of it were “anti-Semitic”.The start of Ferrara’s film states that it is inspired by a court case but it has been widely seen as a fictionalised account of the downfall of DSK.Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 in New York and forced to live under house arrest for weeks after posting $1 million bail.Criminal charges were eventually dropped and Strauss-Kahn settled a civil suit brought by the maid by paying her undisclosed damages, which reportedly exceeded $1.5 million.Sinclair has accused the movie of portraying her in an anti-Jewish way, through the character of Devereaux’s wife Simone played by Jacqueline Bisset.In the film, Simone is a rich woman who inherited a fortune amassed during World War II and helps the Israeli state financially.Writing in the French Huffington Post, which she edits, Sinclair accused the authors and producers of the film of projecting their “fantasies about money and Jews”, notably in a scene in which Devereaux tells Simone, “Everyone knows what your family did during the war.”“My grandfather (famous art dealer Paul Rosenberg) had to escape from the Nazis and was stripped of his French nationality by the Vichy government,” Sinclair said added, referring to the wartime French regime that collaborated with the Germans.Sinclair said however she would not resort to legal action over what she described as “dirt”.Ferrara refuted the allegations on Sunday, telling AFP he is not “anti-Semitic”.“I hope not. I was brought up by Jewish women,” he said.- © AFP, 2012“Leave me alone!”: Strauss-Kahn says he is facing “media assault”Fizzy drink named after DSK to go on sale in France
HEALTH MINISTER DR James Reilly has responded to questions about a meeting in government buildings between the Taoiseach, two senior ministers and representatives from the tobacco industry.When questioned by Senator Professor John Crown at the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children meeting today, Minister Reilly said that previously he had “declared war in the Seanad on the tobacco industry”.He said:Was I aware of this meeting? I was. Would I go to it? No, I would not.Reilly said that he knows of no other industry “that is legal that if you use their product one out of two of you will die and that’s the reality”, and that thousands of Irish people die every year from tobacco-related illnesses.The Minister was questioned on the issue after it emerged that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Ministers Alan Shatter and Michael Noonan met with representatives from three tobacco companies a fortnight ago.Reilly said that he recalled a World Health Organisation directive not recommending that people meet with the tobacco industry except in the area of smuggling, and that the purpose of the recent meeting was to discuss smuggling.The Minister also spoke of the duty of care that the State has to minors regarding smoking, and said he takes the whole area of tobacco control really seriously.He said that he hopes to introduce plain packaging for cigarette packages and to progress the banning of smoking in cars where children are present.Nessa Childers MEP and the Irish Cancer Society and Irish Health Foundation had all expressed their shock at the news of the meeting, with the latter charities saying they had written to the Taoiseach to express their concern.Read: Taoiseach, ministers criticised for “inappropriate” tobacco industry meeting>
Last month, we mentioned the new Verbatim Clip-It USB drive: a fun, if not quirky, way to store data while keeping a stack of papers from blowing away in a stiff wind. At the time, pricing and availability hadn’t been announced, but today Verbatim said they would be available in the United States just in time for the holidays. The design of the drive hasn’t changed, and can still be used as a paperclip as well as a storage device, and is suggested for people who want to include a little more data about themselves or their company with their business card, or want to provide a digital copy of a document attached to the physical copy. Verbatim also said they would ditch the 2GB version in favor of the4GB model only, and offer the Clip-It drive in five colors: pink, green,blue, orange, and black. The lightweight USB drive will retail for $19.99, and will land in stores and online in December.
“It’s not been a good week for email security,” Gawker gadget site Gizmodo notes. Just a day after the Gawker blog network was hacked and 1.3 million passwords were stolen comes news that another and very, very different company’s databases have been compromised by computer hackers: McDonald’s.According to Reuters, McDonald’s Corp has just announced that hackers gained access to a database containing an unidentified number of email address and birthdates for the strange breed of person who goes to McDonald’s’ websites and decides to subscribe.AdChoices广告On the one hand, the hack is less invasive than the Gawker hack, because it doesn’t appear that passwords were compromised. On the other hand, McDona;d’s is being cagey about the actual numbers of customers involved… and while credit card numbers, passwords and social security numbers were not compromised, birthdays were… making it possible on some sites for those email addresses to be paired with birthday security questions.Gawker and McDonald’s aren’t the only huge breaches in the last week. On Friday, Walgreens admitted that one of their databases containing customer email addresses had been breached as well.One thing’s for sure: it’s been a great week for hackers, and for the email spammers who were given the windfall of a few million email addresses to start bombarding.Read more at Reuters
In case you didn’t attend the iPad 2 announcement yesterday, Apple has made the video of the event available for viewing. So if you have an hour and 13 minutes you can watch Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, and the rest of the team run through yesterday’s event. It’ll be a lot quicker to run through our post or even a live blog, but if you want every detail and every bit of nuance without any editorializing or interpretation, then the video feed is the way to go. Keep in mind that while photographs were allowed at the event yesterday video was not, so this is your chance to see the live action as well as the videos that were played during the presentation.Stream or download it from iTunes, it’s the one at the top: Apple Special Event, March 2011.
If Rovio‘s intention to ensure Angry Birds is available to play anywhere and everywhere wasn’t clear to you before today, then news of a Facebook version in development should remove any remaining doubt.A page has appeared on Facebook announcing that Angry Birds is coming to the social network, and that you can be one of the first to hear when it goes live by clicking the Facebook Like button.While the game has the potential to be as big as Zynga games on Facebook, Rovio clearly wants Angry Birds to be synonymous with gameplay on all platforms. After topping the charts in the App Store, the game is now available on Android Market, the Mac App Store, Intel AppUp, and is heading to Windows Phone 7 this spring as well as Xbox 360 and PS3. If you’ve hacked your Kinect it’s also possible to play the game using motion control.Mikael Hed, boss of Rovio, has stated that Angry Birds on Facebook will bring new elements to the game due to its social nature. For example, we can expect the pigs to feature more prominently in this version.For the moment there is no release date stated for Angry Birds on Facebook. Fans of the game do have something to look forward to, though, as Angry Birds Rio is set to launch on March 22 offering up 45 new levels.Read more at All Facebook and DevelopMatthew’s OpinionWith a Facebook version released I think Rovio has achieved its goal of offering Angry Birds to everyone, everywhere. I am actually a little surprised it has been announced last due to the potential for hundreds of millions of people to play it and generate revenue for the company. Maybe Rovio was using the Android release as an experiment to see how offering the game for free with ads worked out before following a similar path on the social network.Zynga is already generating healthy returns through Facebook games, and it started out on the social network with no previous success. Rovio is coming to Facebook with a hit on its hands meaning it’s pretty much guaranteed Angry Birds will be a huge success. After all, there are many people out there who have yet to play the game due to a lack of iOS or Android device. Putting it on Facebook means all you need is a PC to play.
Back in September, a mysterious and snazzy BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 remix popped up in China. Now it’s looking a whole lot more official than it once was, with the strikingly similar BlackBerry P9981 unveiled by RIM and the folks who crafted it, Porsche Design.Gone is the plastic front bezel, replaced with a shined-up stainless steel face. Like the 9980, the P9981 sports the crosshair-emblazoned optical trackpad instead of the button-style one featured on most BlackBerry phones. The back of the P9981 eschews the carbon fiber-look plastic for a tooled black leather wrapping. There’s even an exclusive theme applied to the BB7 OS.The Bold Touch 9900 was easily RIM’s best-looking phone to date, and the Porsche Design P9981 is a snazzy upgrade. Under the hood, the hardware is the same: a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 5MP rear shooter, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1.But as is the case with most of RIM’s recent announcements — like the fact that BBM and email have now been dropped from PlayBook OS2 (which itself has been delayed) — the P9981 news has a sad trombone soundtrack.It’s projected to sell for around $2,000, will be produced in extremely limited numbers, and they’ll only be available from Porsche Design stores. So while Android and Windows Phone manufacturers continue to up their collective game and make sexier designs the norm, RIM has made sure the P9981 is an unattainable purchase for the Average Joe.But hey, at least RIM is setting aside an exclusive range of PINs that will allow P9981 owners to identify each other. Somehow I doubt it’ll be that hard to spot one…More at Tbreak and Engadget
If you’re an iOS user, you probably give your home button (and your thumb) a grueling workout on a daily basis. Every time you want to use multitasking to switch apps, you have to double-tap the lone physical button on the device’s front face. Apple has implemented multitasking gestures for the iPad, but has done no such thing for the iPhone or iPod touch. You can rack another one up for the jailbreak community, as it has released a new app that allows you to multitask on the iPhone with single-finger gestures.Zephyr is the creation of Cydia developer chpwn, and the premise is simple: swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the app-switcher (normally activated with a double tap of the home button), and swipe left to right to switch back and forth between recent apps.Apple has likely opted out of iPhone and iPod touch multitasking gestures due to the small size of the screen. How many gestures can you implement on a 3.5-inch display? Zephyr, however, makes a strong case against that argument. The left to right swipe lets you start the gesture from the bezel, which frees up a bit extra room. As you can see in the video below, both gestures are simple, intuitive, and exactly the kind of function that Apple will wish it released first:In fact the tweak fits so naturally into iOS that this could be another jailbreak feature that Apple steals and uses for itself. We’ve seen this previously with iOS functions like multitasking (it closely resembles an old Cydia app called Circuitious), notification banners (a spitting image for Peter Hajas’s MobileNotifier), and Wi-Fi Sync (Apple didn’t even bother changing the name of that one). Of course, as the Zephyr gesture tweak borrows heavily from the iPad’s multitasking gestures, it wouldn’t be as blatant a move for Apple to “borrow” it.Zephyr is a free tweak, and can be found by searching for it in Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch. You can refer to our guide to jailbreak your device on iOS 5.0.1.via Chpwn
While the hacker group LulzSec was active it caused a number of sites to go dark including Mastercard and the CIA, they shared confidential documents from the Arizona state police, and stole user account details from a number of services including the Brink game servers.The group has now disbanded, but that was not the end of it. The authorities were determined to take action and ended up arresting member Ryan Cleary in June last year. The 19-year-old managed to get bail, but on the prerequisite that he not use the Internet, obey a curfew, and wear an electronic tag. He couldn’t even use a computer without the Ethernet ports and wireless were first disabled, and a smartphone and games consoles also offered a way to get online so they were no go devices.But it seems Cleary didn’t really care about the court’s demands and he went ahead and hooked up the web anyway. The problem is, the person he chose to speak to online was the leader of LulzSec: Hector “Sabu” Monsegur. That might have gone unnoticed if Monsegur wasn’t an informant for the FBI.Cleary was found out and arrested again on March 5 before being escorted back to jail for breaking his bail conditions. He will remain there until being brought before a judge sometime in May. I find it unlikely they’ll trust him to stay offline again, so any bail will come with even more strict conditions, that’s assuming his lawyer ever manages to get the option on the table.via The Register
When you take into consideration the resources, manpower, and active attention to detail necessary to bring a regular PC game online for multiplayer, you expect there to be some hiccups for a game that is extraordinary. During the open beta weekend for Diablo III, there was no shortage of trouble actually getting online to play the game. It was free, and everyone wanted to play, so it made sense that the game would struggle. Plus, the teams at Blizzard used that weekend to determine how many people would fit on a single server, and the logistics involved in making sure those servers were accessible for launch day.When the UK servers went online today, it was reported that over 200,000 players attempted to login during the first 30 minutes. According to Blizzard, that’s 100,000 less than were online concurrently during the open beta. At 12:01 PDT, the US servers opened their gates to receive the onslaught of eager Diablo III players. For many, however, it seems that the most difficult boss they have encountered so far has been the login screen.Many users, myself included, were presented with a handful of error codes and were completely unable to login to the game at all. After 20 minutes of attempting to gain access, I was presented with the hero creation screen, but was unable to create a hero or move forward in any way. After several hero creation attempts, the game crashed and I was forced to start the login process over again.A quick glance at my social networks revealed that I was far from the only one. Angry tweets about error 37 and error 3006 filled Twitter and Google+, and it seemed that very few users were able to login at all. The Blizzard customer service Twitter account was hard at work doing as much damage control as possible. The only real advice that could be given was to wait awhile and try again. In some cases, it was recommended that your router and modem be power cycled, which in all likelihood was just an addition to the stall tactic. Finally, as though a switch had been thrown, it seemed like some users were able to access the game.In fact, a switch had been thrown. The Diablo Twitter account explains that all of the Blizzard related websites had been temporarily brought offline so that more users could access the game. For nearly two hours all of the Blizzard websites and their forums remained offline. Once the volume of users had slowed, the sites were brought back online.While traffic may have gone down a bit, as soon as I logged out of Diablo III I found myself unable to log back in. The familiar 3006 error rearing its ugly head once again. As of right now, Blizzard is still recommending patience, with no active plan to fix these issues in the near term. Once the early rush of the game subsides, and a more even flow of traffic is created, these kinds of issues won’t really exist.As of right now, Blizzard has announced that their customer support lines will remain open 24/7 to help anyone who has any problems, as well as their Battle.net forums and social network accounts.If and when you do get in to play, be very careful as a game-breaking bug has been discovered. If you played the beta, you’ll be very familiar with the first part of Act I. Your first real NPC companion, the Templar, allows you to exchange weapons and armor with him to make him more useful. If you equip the Templar with a shield, you are immediately booted from the game, and unable to log back in. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this until Blizzard offers a patch for the game, so sit tight if this has happened to you.Hopefully, by the end of the Diablo III launch day here in the US, Blizzard will have worked out these kinks and it will be smooth sailing in the Burning Hells.
With Windows 8‘s release less than two months away all the PC manufacturers are finishing up preparations on their newest machines. The release of a new OS version is a prime time for consumers to buy a PC and manufacturers are more tan happy to sell them one, outfitted with all the features that go hand-in-hand with that update. In the case of Windows 8 those features range from a new Windows logo on the keyboard, to touch/gesture readiness, and extreme mobile-friendliness. This also includes the newest gear from Intel/AMD, features like Thunderbolt on high-end models, and designs that account for Intel’s ultrabook standard as well as the burgeoning post-PC era.Today HP announced two new laptops and one updated one in their prosumer lines (Envy and Spectre). Going from the least exciting to the most, there is the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 (the update), the Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook (the high-end model), and the Envy x2 (the hybrid computer).The Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is an updated version of HP’s existing Envy 4 ultrabook. This new model adds a touchscreen and Windows 8, and will be a few dollars more than the existing model. There is no official price yet, but it should go for around $800 and be a reasonably solid thin-and-light system. It will pack a 14-inch, 1366×768 display, 8 hours of battery life, and optional AMD discrete graphics. The machine will be 23mm thick (barely in the ultrabook range) and 4.77 pounds.HP’s higher end, just-announced laptop is the Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook. It’s the same weight as the Envy 4 but it’s a 15.6-inch computer and is just 17.9mm thick, making this HP’s MacBook Pro%displayPrice% at %seller% competitor. It has a 15.6-inch IPS multitouch LCD, Thunderbolt (in addition to USB 3.0), HDMI, ethernet, and has optional 128GB or 256GB SSDs. This system will start at $1399.The most unique of HP’s new prosumer offerings is the Envy x2 hybrid computer. This is a sort of like the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 in that it’s essentially a tablet with a removable keyboard, but the x2 has an Intel processor and only runs Windows (no Android). The x2’s features an 11.6-inch, Atom-powered (Clover Trail) tablet that connects to a keyboard dock with a quick, clean motion. The keyboard is essentially a USB hub with a built-in battery which is about equal to the size of the one in the tablet. So separate them and you have a Windows 8 tablet, combine the two and you have a touchscreen laptop with a full-sized keyboard and twice the battery life. The system has 64GB of flash storage, microSD expandability, and a few nice perks, including NFC, Beats audio, and an IPS panel.Keen observers might note that the Envy x2 is essentially a netbook with a removable keyboard but it’s a sensible offering for HP to make, even if it never captures a large part of the market. With an expected total weight of about 2.5 pounds it’s quite portable for a laptop and Windows 8 should run well on Clover Trail, so it will be a functional computer despite its small size.There is no pricing information for the Envy X2 yet, but HP says it’ll be out before the holidays. The other systems will be available in the same time frame, likely some time in December.HP20120808872HP20120808872HP20120808871HP ENVY x2HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4_left facingHP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 – Win8 screenHP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook 4_left facing