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sábado, 19 de março de 2011

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Twitter is Five... #happybirthday

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THE number of tweets sent in a single week topped a BILLION for the first time as the micro-blogging revolution prepared to celebrate its fifth birthday.

From humble origins - the first message was "inviting coworkers" sent by Jack Dorsey to colleagues at San Francisco web-firm Odeo on March 21, 2006 - the site has exploded into a global phenomenon.

Its 140-character messages have inspired revolutions, reported natural disasters, driven presidential campaigns and inspired dozens of celebrity slip-ups.

Users include everyone from the President of the United States and Bill Gates to Iranian and Egyptian dissidents.. and even Charlie Sheen.

March 21, 2006: Jack's first tweet inviting colleagues at Odeo to sign in

Not a bad list for a service started as a hobby and named after "a short inconsequential burst of information, chirps from birds."

Biz Stone, who worked with Jack at Odeo and was another founder member of the team, said: "As much fun as we were having, there was always in the back of our heads the idea of the potential of something important coming from it.

Twitter's vital statistics

3 years, 2 months and 1 day The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet

1 week The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets

50 million The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago

140 million The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month

177 million Tweets sent on March 11, 2011

572,000 New accounts set up on March 12, 2011

456 Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time)

6,939 Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year's Day

8 Number of people employed by Twitter in January 2008

400 Number of people employed by Twitter in 2011

"Even if we didn't say it out loud and talk about it. Because we were just getting started and we really had no place saying anything like that."

Initially dismissed by some as a platform for telling the world what users had for breakfast, Twitter has become respected as a lifeline during disasters such as the earthquake in Japan and an organising tool for champions of democracy.

Biz says the use of Twitter to overthrow regimes in the Middle East is an example of how it will become more important in the 21st century.

"One of the things I told our team early on was that if Twitter is to be a triumph, it is not necessarily to be a triumph of technology but a triumph of humanity," he said.

"If we are successful it is not going to be because of our algorithms and our machines, it is going to be what people end up doing with this tool that defines us and makes us a success or not."

At five years old, he reckons Twitter is still a "child" - which is why the founders have rejected numerous takeover offers.

"It is just the beginning of a life full of potential and adventure, and I really do think that is where we are right now," Biz said.

"We are just about to go to school and just getting started," he said. "The last five years has really just been us getting our footing."

Thingy... an early logo Thingy... an early logo The technology has moved on very quickly since the site's humble beginnings and there are now dozens of software programs that allow users to access Twitter on their mobile phones, tablets, PCs and other devices. Two of the most popular are Tweetdeck and Twitterific.

Our showbiz editor Dan Wootton, with 50,000 followers, uses Tweetdeck. He says: "It is a great tool which I use all the time on my laptop. I love being able to group my tweets together in a really easy-to-display way."

Gadgits Editor Trevor Davies, with 853 followers, prefers Twitterific. "It's very user-friendly on the iPad and it's easy to find your retweets. But seeing Dan's figures, I'm going to have another look at Tweetdeck."


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Charlie Sheen to bank 7m from live tour?

Charlie Sheen could be set to bank $7million from his upcoming tour

Charlie Sheen (AGENCY)

Charlie Sheen could be set to bank $7million from his upcoming tour.

The troubled actor - who recently announced plans to expand his 'Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option' tour to 21 dates around the US - will reportedly cash in on the tell-all live shows.

According to gossip website, the former 'Two and a Half Men' star - who is currently residing alongside his two live-in "goddesses", porn star Bree Olsen and part-time model Natalie Kenly - will pocket millions from the tour, as well as paid after-party appearances and merchandising revenue.

Charlie's show will mostly be performed from memory in a style akin to "Muhammed Ali in his prime", with his "goddesses" also potentially set to make an appearance.

Joey Scott, the 45-year-old actor's co-producer, told E! Online: "It will be like Muhammed Ali in his prime. He will do most of it from memory, he's that talented."

The star - who recently filed a $100million lawsuit against 'Two and Half Men' co-creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Brothers Television claiming he was unfairly sacked from the sitcom following his public meltdown - recently admitted he was losing his mind.

This came after Charlie's estranged wife Brooke Mueller was given custody of the former couple's two-year-old twins Bob and Max.

He said: "I'm really starting to lose my mind. Brooke can't keep them from me. I won't let her - I'll do anything to get them back.

"I'm really trying to contain myself right now. My lawyer wants to come over to my house and take the bullets out of my gun."


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Howard Stern e Alice Cooper apoiam Charlie Sheen no caso 'Two and Half Men'

Domingo, 20 Março 2011 02:17

O actor Charlie Sheen encontrou apoio em duas figuras que já passaram por problemas semelhantes. O primeiro a apoiá-lo foi Alice Cooper, que se identifica com o actor no que toca a lutar contra as dependências. Numa entrevista à Rádio Pulse, o cantor afirmou que quando era alcoólico isso não o impedia de fazer o seu trabalho, apesar de todos em seu redor saberem que se estava a destruir. Por isso mesmo, e no que toca ao rompimento do contrato da Warner com Sheen, Cooper afirma apoiar Sheen. “Se ele aparece para fazer o seu trabalho, se já está limpo, se sabe as falas e és engraçado, então não és um problemas para eles”, mesmo que te estejas a destruir. “Não percebo como podem te impedir de trabalhar”, conclui.
Quem também admite semelhanças com Sheen é Howard Stern, embora confesse que o comportamento da estrela de “Two and Half Men” (Dois Homens e Meio) é confuso e que muitas das coisas parecem ensaiadas. “Eu de certa maneira admiro a capacidade do Charlie Sheen em mandar o mundo se lixar”, afirmou Stern numa entrevista à Rolling Stone, acrescentando que não sabe se lhe daria uma medalha de coragem ou o colocava num asilo.
A estrela da rádio, que também esteve nas bocas do mundo após o seu divórcio problemático com Alison Berns, admite ainda que na altura se sentiu um pouco como Sheen, sendo principalmente a diferença entre os dois o facto de Sheen “se borrifar para tudo, enquanto ele se preocupava em demasia”.
À parte destas afirmações, a mini-tourné de Charlie Sheen, intitulada ‘Charlie Sheen Live: My Violent Torpedo of the Truth”, continua a fazer furor, tendo sido avançados mais espectáculos, dois deles no Canadá.
Shannon Griffithys


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On the first day of his visit, Obama emphasizes US-Brazil trade relations

19/03/2011 - 20h42


Obama no Brasil American President Barack Obama arrived in Brasília at 7:42 AM. Obama and his family, first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, debarked under strong security measures for the first stop in his brief visit to Brazil.

Soon after, around 10 AM, he met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, a historical occasion because it meant the first African-American president of the United States was meeting with the first woman president of Brazil.

Obama spoke, albeit only superficially, about Brazilian efforts to secure a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. "The US will work at reforms that will make the Security Council into a more efficient, effective and representative body, to further the image of a more cooperative world".

Obama also spoke about partnerships between Brazil and the US in the economic, education and innovation fields. He said that his choosing Brazil as the first stop for his Latin American trip was no accident.

"It was not an accident. The friendship between our countries is two-centuries old. Our scientists and researchers are developing vaccines together. Our teachers and students are creating new horizons and we working towards growing together", stated the American president.

Obama stressed however, that much was left to be done for bilateral trade, and that he would listen to the businessmen regarding priorities.

"We will listen to the businessmen so as to understand what the future stages should be, to expand trade relations and sign agreements for additional scientific cooperation", said Obama.


President Obama spoke at the headquarters of the Brazilian Industry Federation, in Brasilia, and emphasized the possibilities of partnerships between the two nations, mentioning trade, energy, infrastructure and education. The American leader said that Brazil used to be defined as a country for the future, but that this future has now arrived and America wants to help the Brazilians in enlarging their global economic profile.

Obama started by saying that being in Brazil was a great joy, and thanking his hosts also on behalf of his wife Michelle for the warm welcome the family received.

Obama added that it was a pity that he had to come only days after the Carnival, and said: "My only regret is that we missed the party by coming a few weeks after Carnival. Maybe that's the best -- since I'm not sure I would have had the same level of productivity from my staff".

He said that in the last two centuries, there was never such a promising moment for Brazil, and pointed out that Brazil is now the seventh largest economy worldwide and achieved stability in the last few years.

"So what has been accomplished here in Brazil is nothing short of remarkable", said Obama to an audience of businessmen. "It's often been said that Brazil is a country for the future. Well, that future has now arrived".

Among the areas for partnership between the two countries, Obama mentioned bilateral trade, which would create jobs in both countries. "So there is no question that the United States and Brazil benefit from the economic ties we've developed over the years".

To make this partnership even better, Obama said that he and President Rousseff would reach a deal for new dialog that would make possible that the US deals with Brazil in the same way that it deals with China and India. That statement was received with a loud ovation by the audience.


Obama also spoke about energy. "The oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States", he said, adding that the US want to help Brazil with the technology needed to extract it and, when Brazil is ready to begin selling the commodity, "we want to be one of your best customers".

Obama also said that the two countries are expanding their cooperation on biofuels.

Another point dealt with by Obama was infrastructure. He mentioned the World Soccer Cup of 2014, to be hosted by Brazil -"the only nation that's a five-time champion -- although the U.S. is getting better, you have to admit. We're getting better"- and the 2016 Summer Olympics. And, although claiming to be sad for Rio having defeated his hometown Chicago, he said that his country does not want to just watch from the stands.

"American companies stand ready to help you meet this challenge", for instance in the engineering and construction fields.


After a quick talk with the directors of soccer club Flamengo, early on Sunday, Obama will go on a visit to the Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the main Rio de Janeiro landmarks. Riotur has informed that public visitation bat the statue will be suspended from Midnight Saturday to 11 AM on Sunday.

Later, he will visit the Cidade de Deus slum, in western Rio. On Friday (March 18), 100 soldiers from the Brazilian army rehearsed for Obama's visit.

After leaving Cidade de Deus, the American president will meet State officials for a luncheon and from there he will go to Theatro Municipal, for a speech scheduled for 3 PM.




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Outono começa neste domingo sob influência do fenômeno La Niña


O outono começa às 20h21 deste domingo (20), trazendo temperaturas amenas e tempo seco para a cidade de São Paulo.

O horário de início astronômico da estação coincide com o momento em que o sol ilumina igualmente os dois hemisférios do planeta.

Por ser uma estação de transição entre o verão, quente e chuvoso, e o inverno, frio e seco, o outono tem características das duas estações.

"O tempo muda gradativamente, mas no início do outono, ainda poderemos observar temperaturas altas", explica Adilson Nazário, técnico em metereologia do CGE (Centro de Gerenciamento de Emergências) da prefeitura.

O órgão ainda informou que o outono deve transcorrer sob influência do fenômeno La Niña --resfriamento anômalo das águas superficiais do oceano Pacífico--, que atua com intensidade moderada até meados do mês de junho.

Segundo a previsão climatológica divulgada pelo Cptec (Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos), em conjunto com o Inmet (Instituto Nacional de Metereologia), as chuvas ficarão dentro do volume esperado.

No mesmo período, tanto as temperaturas máximas quanto as mínimas devem ficar acima da média.

"Além da grande amplitude térmica, que é a diferença entre as temperaturas máximas e mínimas registradas no mesmo dia, o outono deve apresentar maior incidência de entradas de massas de ar frio, que ocorrem sempre após a passagem de frentes frias", disse Nazário.

Outra característica importante da estação é a redução gradual das chuvas. O regime de precipitação deve variar durante os meses, e as chuvas, na maioria das vezes, serão causadas pela passagem de frentes frias.

Por último, vale também lembrar que a umidade relativa diminui, condição que favorece o aumento da poluição e o retorno dos problemas respiratórios. Também haverá maior frequência de nevoeiros, e as geadas passam a ocorrer a partir da segunda quinzena de abril.


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ScienceCasts: Super Moon

Super Full Moon

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March 16, 2011: Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.

"The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," says Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC. "I'd say it's worth a look."

Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee): diagram. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit.

Super Full Moon (movie strip, 550px)
Above: Perigee moons are as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons. [video]

"The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee--a near-perfect coincidence1 that happens only 18 years or so," adds Chester.

A perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but this is nothing to worry about, according to NOAA. In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a few centimeters (an inch or so) higher than usual. Local geography can amplify the effect to about 15 centimeters (six inches)--not exactly a great flood.

Super Full Moon (moon illusion, 200px)
The Moon looks extra-big when it is beaming through foreground objects--a.k.a. "the Moon illusion."

Indeed, contrary to some reports circulating the Internet, perigee Moons do not trigger natural disasters. The "super moon" of March 1983, for instance, passed without incident. And an almost-super Moon in Dec. 2008 also proved harmless.

Okay, the Moon is 14% bigger than usual, but can you really tell the difference? It's tricky. There are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon can seem much like any other.

The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. On March 19th, why not let the "Moon illusion" amplify a full Moon that's extra-big to begin with? The swollen orb rising in the east at sunset may seem so nearby, you can almost reach out and touch it.

Don't bother. Even a super perigee Moon is still 356,577 km away. That is, it turns out, a distance of rare beauty.

See the ScienceCast of this story on YouTube at


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#news Gaddafi forces attacking Benghazi

A spokesman has read out a letter on behalf of the Libyan leader Col Gaddafi to US President Barack Obama, closely followed by one jointly aimed at France, the UK and the UN.

The tone of the messages was markedly different. The one to President Obama stuck a consolatory tone, while the other was more aggressive - accusing David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy and the Ban ki-Moon of meddling in Libyan affairs.

The statement, made by Mussa Ibrahim, came amid reports that Pro-Gaddafi tanks have entered the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.


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