Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Billy Ray Cyrus invites Justin Bieber to his farm to 'count the deer'

Los Angeles - Billy Ray Cyrus has invited Justin Bieber and his father to stay with him.

The Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker - whose daughter is Wrecking Ball singer Miley Cyrus - thinks it would help the troubled teenager to ''get back to life'' with some laid-back activities out of the public eye.

Asked if he had advice for Justin - who was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), driving with a suspended licence and resisting arrest in Florida last week - Billy Ray told Entertainment Tonight: "I would invite him down to the farm, hang out at the teepee. Build a fire, you know, get some four-wheelers out and watch the hawks, and the turkey. Count the deer, and just get back to life for a little bit.

"Actually that is my invitation to Justin. Bring your dad, come on down to the farm, and let's just build a fire and just talk about it."

The country singer could have some good advice for Justin's father Jeremy as three years ago he spoke out with concerns about his own daughter's behaviour, and his desire to keep her safe.

He said at the time: "I'm scared for Miley. She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger. I know she's 18, but I still feel like as her daddy I'd like to try to help.
"At least get her out of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm. Stop the insanity just for a minute."

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Boko Haram kills 18 in Borno attacks

Abuja - Terrorist group, Boko Haram killed 18 people and burned dozens of houses in attacks on two villages in remote northeastern Borno state, witnesses said on Friday, despite a military offensive aimed at stemming violence in vulnerable rural regions.

"Suddenly we heard gunshots in all directions and cries for help from women and children," said Wovi Pogu, nursing a gunshot wound from the attack on his village of Njaba in which 10 people were killed on Tuesday. Five others were wounded.

"As entered my house I was hit on leg and I fell down but I dragged myself to a nearby shack where I hid until the shooting subsided," he said, from his bed at a hospital in Borno's main city of Maiduguri.

Fighters from Boko Haram, whose campaign for a breakaway Islamic state has killed thousands in mostly Muslim northern Nigeria, also shot dead eight people in Kaya village before razing it to the ground on Wednesday, witnesses said.

Boko Haram, seen as the gravest security threat in Africa's top oil producer, torched two other villages on the same day, witnesses said, but no one was hurt. Colonel Muhammadu Dole, spokesman for Nigerian forces in the northeast, said he had no further details on the incidents.

A military offensive against the four-and-a-half-year-old insurgency that President Goodluck Jonathan ordered last May has pushed the rebels into remoter areas, but it has failed to stem the violence. It has also triggered reprisals on civilians.

Jonathan replaced his entire military command last week, after some embarrassing security lapses in rebel-affected areas, including an attack on the airport and military barracks in Maiduguri last month.

He also named Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, a northern Muslim, veteran army general and ex-national security adviser as a new minister in a cabinet reshuffle. Gusau is tipped to take the defense portfolio.

Jonathan, a southern Christian, has in the past been accused of giving too many key security posts to the largely Christian south, a charge he denied.

Nasa launches latest communication satellite

Cape Canaveral - Nasa's high-flying fleet of communication satellites just got bigger.

An unmanned rocket blasted into a chilly, clear sky on Thursday night carrying the latest, third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.

Nasa uses the TDRS satellites to support the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope, among other craft. The network is 35 886km high, at various locations above the equator, and allows continuous two-way contact with the space station and its six inhabitants.

The TDRS system is so vital it's considered a US national asset.

A modern-day human space programme would be difficult if not impossible without the constant coverage provided by the TDRS satellites, said Badri Younes, Nasa's deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation. Ground stations - limited in number - would provide just a fraction of that capability.

Each satellite has a pair of dish antennas 4.5m in diameter.


"Not only are we getting global coverage 100% of the time, we are getting it in real time," Younes said, snapping his fingers, at a news conference earlier this week.

"Without such support, we'd have to live with coverage around the 10% to 15%," he said. "No human spaceflight programme can be supported at this data rate. And even our ability to respond real time to emergency would diminish drastically. So that's why the TDRS has been declared as a national asset."

Nasa is the primary user; the TDRS system also occasionally assists other countries' space agencies and the US military. In 2002, a TDRS satellite allowed Massachusetts doctors to oversee knee surgery performed at the South Pole.

This newest $350m satellite - which will work its way up from a temporarily low orbit - is designated "L'' in the TDRS series. Nasa will rename it TDRS-12 once it's checked out in orbit, by later this year.

Nasa launched its first TDRS in 1983 aboard a space shuttle. The previous satellite, TDRS-11, soared in January 2013.

Officials said they need six active TDRS satellites in orbit at any one time, along with a ready-to-go spare.

The newly launched, Boeing-built satellite will serve as an extra spare. The next in the series - TDRS-M - will be launched sometime in the early 2020s.

Of the 11 previous TDRS satellites, six are in service, one is in orbital storage, two are retired and one, No 11, is still undergoing testing. No 2 was destroyed with the space shuttle Challenger and crew in 1986.

Thursday's lift-off was delayed briefly by a last-minute data dropout with the Atlas V rocket. Launch controllers worked around the problem.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying Nasa's TDRS-L satellite. (Craig Bailey, Florida Today, AP)

US kids don't read much on e-readers, tablets

Washington - Two-thirds of young children in the US now have access to an e-reader or tablet, but only half of them actually use the device to read, a research institute said in a study published on Friday.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Centre surveyed 1 577 parents on how much time their 2- to 10-year-old kids spent with educational content on "screen media" such as televisions, computers and video games.

Sixty-two percent of children had access to either an e-reader, a tablet or both - but only 49% of them used the devices for reading, either alone or with their parents, the study found.

And when they did read, it was typically for about five minutes a day - compared with about half an hour with printed books.

Parents considered 44% of the screen media used by their children to be educational - representing 56 minutes out of two hours and seven minutes' viewing a day.

Fifty-seven percent thought their child had learned "a lot" from educational media about reading and mathematics - but only 19% thought that much had been learned about science.

Named for one of the founders of the Children's Television Workshop, the studio behind Sesame Street, the Joan Ganz Cooney Centre promotes literacy skills while researching digital learning for youngsters.

It posted its study on its website.

Amazon has cut the cost of the Japanese version of its Kindle e-reader. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Omotola releases new single ‘Barren land’

Lagos - Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has released a new single ‘Barren land’ off her forthcoming album ‘Me, Myself and Eyes’.

The Nollywood actress is currently sharing her time between shooting movies and releasing an album in 2014.

The single was produced by hit producer, Del-B.

Listen to song HERE

7 things you need to know about Justin Bieber’s arrest even though you don't care

Miami Beach – When news broke that the pop singer Justin Bieber was arrested, nobody was really shocked.

It had been a long time coming. The Biebs had a few run-ins with the law in recent months with a drug bust at his house just last week.

Although we’ve been receiving a lot of “who cares” comments, the story surprisingly still seemed to make its way onto our “most read” list. Strange.

So for all those “secret” Bieber fans. Here are 9 things you need to know about his arrest:

1) Justin was arrested on Thursday morning in Miami Beach, Florida.

2) He was charged with drag racing, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.

3) A judge set Bieber's bail at $2 500.

4) Bieber is smiling in his mugshot.

5) According to the cops Bieber admitted to consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking prescription drugs, before he was arrested.

6) Bieber was driving a rented yellow Lamborghini and R&B singer Khalil, who was also arrested, was driving a Ferrari. Both cars were towed.

7) Bieber failed a field sobriety test when police pulled him over at around 04:09

Justin Bieber is reportedly avoiding his mother after arrest

Los Angeles - Justin Bieber is avoiding his mother Pattie Mallette.

The Beauty and a Beat hitmaker, who was released on bail after being charged with drink driving, resisting arrest and drag racing in Miami, Florida on Thursday morning, has reportedly frozen his mother out as she is trying to get him to voluntarily check himself into a rehab facility.

A source told the MailOnline website: "Justin is not listening to his mother and he's been trying to avoid dealing with her and other people in his camp."

The 19-year-old star's father Jeremy Bieber was with him when he was arrested and after admitting he had been smoking marijuana and drinking, Justin also told police officers that he had taken anti-anxiety prescription drugs that Pattie had given him.

Manager to quit?

But the insider said: "Jeremy, Patti is genuinely very concerned about her son. She's been very sad and worried over the past few weeks.

"People are pushing him to get help but he doesn't want help, he says he doesn't need it and it's very upsetting for Patti. We are at a point where he's around people who are terrible influences, but ultimately, he's about to be 20 on 1 March and you have to make your own decisions. He can't be forced to go to rehab."

Meanwhile, according to Access Hollywood Live Justin's long-time manager Scooter Braun has given him an ultimatum and threatened to quit unless the star seeks help.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Kim Kardashian 'not classy' enough for Palace of Versailles wedding

Los Angeles - Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were reportedly "not classy" enough to get married at the Palace of Versailles.

The reality TV star, 33, and her rapper fiancé, 36 - who got engaged in October - were keen to hold their wedding at the royal château in France, but their request was firmly declined because officials believed the couple were too glitzy for the French landmark.

However, despite having their multi-million-pound offer rejected, the pair - who have seven-month-old daughter North together - still paid a visit to the luxury venue during a break to Paris over the weekend in the hope of winning the approval of directors while face-to-face.

A source told the Daily Star newspaper: "Kim and Kanye really wanted to get married at Versailles and were hoping to persuade officials during their visit.

"But ultimately it backfired. It was still a firm no. They will now be scouting private estates and chateaux in the region."

A number of rooms within the mansion can be hired for up to 600 people and was once used by the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy for his marriage to Carla Bruni, as well as by Syrian billionaire Wafic Said, who paid a staggering £84 000 to hold his daughter's nuptials at the venue in 2012.

However, it was suggested earlier this week that officials refused Kim and Kanye's request to wed there because they were concerned about the disruption the nuptials could cause.

NCC, Telcos confirmed for regional IT summit

Lagos - Companies and regulators in the information and telecommunications sector have confirmed their participation at this year's Connecting West Africa.

The summit is scheduled for June in Dakar, the Senegal capital city.

Organizers confirmed the participation of officials from Airtel, Etisalat, Starcomms and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

These will be among the more than 300 attendees that are expected at Connecting West Africa where 33 countries and 120 companies will be represented.

The attendance lists comprises decision makers from across the entire digital ecosystem including world leading operators and regulators.

Thandi Demanet, the Conference Manager of the Com World Series, which the United kingdom-based Informa Telecoms & Media organizes, said the event would explore prevailing issues in the mobile network sector in the region.

"West Africa still faces challenges in providing reliable and affordable communications technology to its inhabitants and enterprises. There is a need to provide solutions to satisfy a growing demand for new services,
content and big data solutions. This event sets the agenda for the West African telecoms and media industry's year ahead," she stated.

She added, "Connecting West Africa is the only bilingual, West African event looking specifically at networks and infrastructure developments for the region. Gathering together over 300 senior decision-makers from operators, service providers and enterprises, this is an un-missable
networking and earning event."

Phablet sales to soar, report predicts

San Francisco - Sales of big-screen smartphones will soar in coming years as people who game or watch videos on the go opt for "phablets" with near tablet-size views.

Phablets, a moniker created by combining the words "phone" and "tablet", will prove particularly popular among mobile gamers in South Korea and in China, where people will be drawn to high-quality viewing of online content, according to Britain-based Juniper Research.

Juniper forecast on Tuesday that shipments of phablets, typically described as smartphones with screens of 14.2cm or more when measured diagonally, will reach 120 million units by the year 2018.

An estimated 20 million phablets were shipped last year, according to Juniper.

The phablet market will be dominated by devices powered either by Microsoft's Windows or Google's Android operating systems unless Apple weighs in with a big-screen iPhone, Juniper predicted.

"This dynamic could change dramatically if the rumours of an Apple phablet, which meets Juniper's definition of a 5.6-inch display, were to be realised," the research firm said in its report.

Apple is fighting for share in China's competitive smartphone market, with chief executive Tim Cook personally taking part in the launch on Friday of iPhone on the country's biggest wireless provider, China Mobile.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Lagos tranforms Yaba into Silicon Valley

Abuja - The Lagos State Government said it had ambitious plans to transform the Yaba area into “Africa's next Silicon Valley.”

Slicon Valley in the United States is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations, as well as thousands of small startups.

Locally, Yaba is where ICT firms are concentrated.

The state’s commissioner for science and technology, Adebiyi Mabadeje, said with the ongoing massive broadband project and other clusters of IT-driven businesses cropping up in Yaba, the Government was hopeful of achieving such goals.

Mabadeje said the state treasured its collaboration with private players such as MainOne Company and other involved in the deployment of extensive fibre optic network around Lagos.

He noted that with organisation like Cc-Hub, Paga, iDEA Center, Jobberman, Buyology, and others establishing presence at Yaba, the area would connect Lagos to other parts of the country and Africa in general.

The commissioner added that the state would continue to identify with innovators and innovating institutions to actualize its technological and infrastructural growth.

“The project we have at hand with MainOne and other third parties are massive broadband network deployment. We believe that Yaba will actually become Africa’s Silicon Valley due to the presence of technology savvy organization and the commissioning of a mobile experience centre by Cc-Hub will draw users’ attention to the area as well,” he said.

Mabadeje added, “We are not losing sight or our vision to see that the developmental agenda are achieved for the engagement of the youths in meaningful ventures and in making life easy for Lagosians.”

Between app just for lovers

Seoul - If ever in doubt about your guy's commitment to a relationship, ask him if he would commit to an app.

A growing number of young couples in Asia are sharing special moments in the privacy of Between, a tight networking app that links only two people.

In an age of social media overload where tweets, Instagram and Facebook postings can invite unwanted attention from parents and employers, Between feels like a digital safe haven that blocks outside noise and keeps memories just for two.

Created by Seoul-based start-up Value Creators & Company, Between hit five million downloads in two years. About two thirds of the users are in South Korea with their average age in the mid-20s. Between has attracted more than half a million users in Japan and is expanding in Thailand and Singapore. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese and American couples have also joined.

Value Creators CEO Park Jaeuk said social media fatigue is the main driver behind Between. As more people join Facebook, Twitter, and chat-based services such as Line and Kakao Talk, Between sees a bigger chance to grow its user numbers.

- How it works

You install Between on your Apple or Android device and provide the mobile number of the person you want to use the app with. Most use the app, which is free, with someone they are romantically involved with, though that's not required.

Once the request is accepted, the two can use instant messaging, keep journals, exchange voice messages, post pictures and leave comments. Between also offers a blog-like space where the two users can create photo albums and long notes.

Pictures can be tagged to a "Memory Box", which arranges them in a stream of tiles. Reminders for anniversaries, birthdays or any special days such as the day the couple first met can be set in the app's calendar. The content created is private to the two users and the app can be password protected.

- Hands on

Since I started using Between with my boyfriend, it has become the primary way we chat, save photos, plan vacations and keep to-do lists. We have stopped talking on Kakao Talk or iMessage.

While I ceased to post pictures on Facebook, dozens of pictures accumulated on Between.

Between feels like keeping a blog between the two of us with an instant messaging feature as an added benefit. I can tell when my boyfriend sends an instant message because Between alerts with a unique beep sound. Even for couples like us who sniff at anything excessively lovey-dovey such as wearing a couple ring, Between's simple design and features have a great appeal.

Apple App Store. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

China Great Firewall trips itself up

Beijing - Human error likely caused a glitch in China's Great Firewall that saw millions of internet users ironically rerouted to the homepage of a US-based company which helps people evade Beijing's web censorship, sources said.

Hundreds of millions of people attempting to visit China's most popular websites on Tuesday afternoon found themselves redirected to Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), a company that sells anti-censorship web services tailored for Chinese users.

The official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted experts as saying that the malfunction could have been the result of a hacking attack, and domestic media was full of speculation along those lines.

DIT is tied to the Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in China which has been blamed for past hacking attacks.

During a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said he had "noted" reports of Falun Gong involvement, but said he did not know who was responsible.

"I don't know who did this or where it came from, but what I want to point out is this reminds us once again that maintaining internet security needs strengthened international co-operation. This again shows that China is a victim of hacking."

Engineering mistake

However, sources familiar with the Chinese government's web management operations said that a hacking attack was not to blame for the malfunction. They declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

They said the incident may been the result of an engineering mistake made while making changes to the "Great Firewall" system the Communist Party uses to block websites it deems undesirable - such as the DIT site.

The state-run China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said in a micro-blog post that the outage, which lasted for several hours, was due to a malfunction in China's top-level domain name root servers.

These servers administrate the country's Domain Name Service (DNS), which matches alphabetic domain names with a database of numeric IP addresses of computers hosting different websites, a sort of reference directory for the entire internet.

Instead of matching the names of popular Chinese websites with their proper IP addresses, Chinese DNS servers instead redirected users trying to access websites not ending with the ".cn" suffix to the IP address associated with DIT's homepage.

It was unclear why users were being directed to the DIT site specifically.

Independent tests showed that the source of the malfunction originated from within China, and specifically from the Great Firewall servers themselves.

Root cause

"Our investigation shows very clearly that DNS exclusion happened at servers inside of China," said Xiao Qiang, an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley School of Information in the US and an expert on China's internet controls.

"It all points to the Great Firewall, because that's where it can simultaneously influence DNS resolutions of all the different networks (in China). But how that happened or why that happened we're not sure. It's definitely not the Great Firewall's normal behaviour."

Checks by DIT suggested a similar root cause for the overwhelming amount of traffic trying to reach the site, said Bill Xia, DIT's founder and a member of the Falun Gong.

"For such a large scale attack just targeting users in China, it can only be done by the Great Firewall," Xia said.

"It's even clearer this is not an attack of all the Domain Name Servers in the world, but the same as the DNS hijacking technologies used by the Chinese government to block websites they don't want."

The outage, which began around 15:15 local time, redirected roughly one million requests per second to the DIT site, said Xia.

Chinese web service providers have struggled to overcome recurrent performance bottlenecks in the country's massive but often rickety data network. The need to continuously censor domestic content and block foreign websites only complicates the matter.

In addition to fending off hacking attacks, network providers face challenges finding experienced server administrators and dealing with government bureaucracies.

Frequently, authorities have overlapping jurisdictions over different aspects of internet services.

Computer server. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Public asked to compose 'Tweetfonie'

Frankfurt - A German music festival on Wednesday invited social media users to compose all-new orchestral pieces for a "Tweetfonie" to be given a world premiere later this year.
The world of classical music is eagerly embracing Twitter and Facebook with musicians, conductors, concert halls and opera houses enthusiastic users of the platforms.
The Kurt Weill Festival is taking this new-found enthusiasm one step further and planning a "Tweetfonie" of melodies composed by music-lovers and budding composers from all over the world and submitted via Twitter.
The tunes, each limited to Twitter's requisite 140 characters, will be selected and then arranged for a symphony orchestra in the eastern city of Dessau which hosts the festival.
The results will be given their world premiere by the Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra Dessau under its chief conductor Antony Hermus on 3 March, as part of this year's festival.
Budding Mozarts will be able to submit their melodies via a specially designed website, which goes live from 28 February, with an online keyboard that converts tunes into tweet format, to then be sent on Twitter.
"The most original tweets will then be arranged for orchestra by professionals sitting at their computers somewhere in the world," the festival organisers said in a statement.
"The newly created works will be sent back to Dessau via internet, printed and then placed on the conductor's stand."
The live performances of the orchestral versions of the tweets will be viewable online.
This year's Kurt Weill Festival, dedicated to the German-Jewish composer who was born in Dessau in 1900 and died in exile in the United States in 1950, runs from 22 February until 9 March.
It will include more than 50 concerts, as well as films, exhibitions and lectures, at 17 different venues.
Last year's festival attracted around 16 000 visitors to the composer's native city.

(<a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)

Facebook could fade out like a disease - research

New York - Facebook is like an infectious disease, experiencing a spike before its decline, according to US researchers who claim the social network will lose 80% of users by 2017.
Two doctoral candidates in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University made their astonishing claims in a paper published online at a scientific research archive, but not yet peer-reviewed.
Based on the rise and fall of MySpace, John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler say that Facebook, the largest online social network in history, is set for a massive fall.
"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models," they wrote.
They applied a modified epidemiological model to describe the dynamics of user activity of online social networks, using Google data that is publicly available.
It will make uncomfortable reading for the social media giant co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, which has more than 1.1 billion users around the globe and turns 10 years old next month.
Their study said Facebook, whose shares climbed to a new high of $58.51 this week, has been in decline in terms of data usage since 2012.
"Facebook is expected to undergo rapid decline in the upcoming years, shrinking to 20% of its maximum size by December 2014," said the report posted online to peers at
"Extrapolating the best model into the future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017."
The new research comes amid surveys suggesting that younger users started gravitating away from Facebook in 2013.
Cannarella and Spechler told AFP they did not wish to comment publicly in person until their manuscript had completed its peer review process ahead of formal publication.
But at least for now, Facebook's fortunes are in good health.
Rising share prices have made chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg the latest tech billionaire and Zuckerberg, 29, has a personal fortune estimated at about $19bn.
Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Texting while walking throws off your balance

Washington - Texting while walking impairs a person's ability to follow a straight line and keep a normal pace, and may pose risks to pedestrians according to a study out on Wednesday.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia decided to study texting while walking since it appeared no-one had actually scientifically analysed how the modern preoccupation impacts a person's gait.

Anecdotally, the evidence was clear, even among the 26 people they selected for the study: One in three admitted to having had some sort of texting accident, "including falls, trips and collisions with obstacles or other individuals".

Previous research has shown that texting and walking in virtual environments can raise the risk of accidents.

The rise in the number of pedestrians injured while using their mobile phones to talk or text since 2006 has also raised concern, and some towns in the US have gone so far as to ban the activity.

For this study, volunteers agreed to walk about 9m without any distraction so their gait could be tracked with a three-dimensional movement analysis system.

Then, they did the same walk while reading on their mobile phones, and again while texting.

They swerved the most while texting. They also slowed down, and their heads and necks adopted a newly rigid posture that was not seen during their phone-free walks.

Posture and balance were also compromised.

Reading while walking was not quite as bad, but still worse than simply walking.

"Texting, and to a lesser extent reading, on your mobile phone affects your ability to walk and balance," said lead author Siobhan Schabrun.

"This may impact the safety of people who text and walk at the same time."

Cellphone SMS. (Jay Reeves, AP)

Mac turns 30 in changing computer world

San Francisco - Decades before iPhones and iPads, Apple transformed home computing with the Macintosh.

The desktop machine referred to as the "Mac" and, importantly, the ability to control it by clicking on icons with a "mouse", opened computing to non-geeks in much the way that touch screens later allowed almost anyone get instantly comfortable with smartphones or tablets.

The Macintosh computer, introduced 30 years ago on Friday, was at the core of a legendary rivalry between late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft mastermind Bill Gates.

Thousands of Apple faithful are expected for a birthday party this weekend in a performing arts centre in Silicon Valley, not far from the company's headquarters in the city of Cupertino.

"The Mac was a quantum leap forward," said early Apple employee Randy Wigginton.

"We didn't invent everything, but we did make everything very accessible and smooth," he continued. "It was the first computer people would play with and say: 'That's cool.'"

Computer mouse

Prior to the 24 January 1984 unveiling of the Mac with its "graphical user interface", computers were workplace machines commanded with text typed in what seemed like a foreign language to those were not software programmers.

Credit for inventing the computer mouse in the 1960s went to Stanford Research Institute's Doug Engelbart, who died last year at 88.

"The Mac's impact was to bring the graphical user interface to 'the rest of us,' as Apple used to say," said Dag Spicer, chief content officer of the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley.

"The Mac GUI was picked up by Microsoft, which named it Windows."

The man remembered today as a marketing magician was a terrified 27-year-old when he stepped on stage to unveil the Mac, then-chief executive John Sculley said of Jobs in a post at the tech news website CNET.

"He rehearsed over and over every gesture, word, and facial expression," Sculley said.

"Yet, when he was out there on stage, he made it all look so spontaneous."

Apple spotlighted the arrival of the Mac with a television commercial portraying a bold blow struck against an Orwellian computer culture.

Consumer price

The 1984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott aired in an expensive time slot during a US Super Bowl football championship in a "huge shot" at IBM, said Daniel Kottke of the original Mac team.

"In the Apple board room, there were strong feelings that it was not appropriate; there was a big battle," Kottke said.

"Fortunately, Steve Jobs and his reality distortion field won the day and it left a strong memory for everyone who saw it."

There was a drive to keep the Mac price within reach of consumers in a market where computers costing $10 000 or more were typical.

While clicking an on-screen icon to open a file appeared simple, memory and processing demands were huge for the computing power of that time.

"Every time you move that mouse, you are re-drawing the screen," Kottke said. "It is almost like video."

The original vision of launching a Macintosh with 64KB (kilobytes) of RAM and a $1 000 price gave way to introducing one with 128KB of RAM at $2 500.

"Steve really was crazy about details," Wigginton said. "He wanted everything to be just right. Compared to the IBM PC of those days, it is just gorgeous."

Macintosh also arrived with a new feature called "drop-down menus".

Windows advantage

"The Macintosh brought a new level of accessibility for personal computing to a much wider market in the same way the iPad did 25 years later," Kottke said.

Mac prowess at page layouts and photo editing won the devotion of artistic types. The release of "hypercard" is credited with inspiring fanatical loyalty to Macs.

"It was the idea that you could create a page on your screen and create links to other pages," Kottke said.

"You could have all your computers networked to share data; it was like a private internet."

Macs sold decently out of the gate, but Windows machines hit with a low-price advantage for budget-minded buyers. Microsoft released the first version of Windows in late 1985.

The ensuing rivalry is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend and coffee shop smack talk.

"I think Steve Jobs cultivated a sense of Windows versus Mac," Kottke said.

"Steve Jobs was always taking swipes at Microsoft, but it really heated up when Microsoft released Windows. He would say they copied us."


Microsoft took the lead in the home computer market by concentrating on software while partners cranked out Windows-powered machines at prices that undercut the Mac.

"Really, Apple could well have gone out of business in the late 1990s," Kottke said.

"That would not have surprised people."

The rivalry between Microsoft and Apple has yielded to the mobile age, with Google and its Android operating system targeted as the new nemesis as lifestyles centre on smartphones and tablet computers.

The original boxy Macintosh with a mouth-like slit below the screen for "floppy" data disks has evolved into a line that boasts slim, powerful laptops and a cylindrical Mac Pro desktop model.

"I am thankful to have been a part of it," Wigginton said.

"Once you go through an experience like that, and it was extremely painful, you look back and every sacrifice is absolutely worth it. It is when Apple leapfrogs in technology that they succeed."
Check out this YouTube video of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs announcing the MacBook

Watch Here
The MacBook Pro is a machine that may convince Windows users to switch. (Kathy Willens, AP)

Pope says internet 'gift from God'

Vatican City - Pope Francis described the Internet on Thursday as "a gift from God" and called on Catholics to "boldly become citizens of the digital world".
"The internet... offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God," the Argentine pontiff said in his first World Communication Day message, given annual by the pope.
"Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world. Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts," he said.
The 77-year-old pontiff is a keen Twitter user whose account has attracted more than 10 million followers.
But he also makes a point of privileging human relationships and physical touch, often walking among the crowds who flock to see him in St Peter's Square and embracing the ill or disabled.
"As I have frequently observed, if a choice has to be made between a bruised Church which goes out to the streets and a Church suffering from self-absorption, I certainly prefer the first," he said.
"Those 'streets' are the world where people live and where they can be reached, both effectively and affectively. The digital highway is one of them, a street teeming with people who are often hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope," he added.
However, Francis warned people not allow the desire to be connected to the digital world twenty-four hours a day to isolate them from society.
"It is not enough to be passers-by on the digital highways, simply 'connected'. Connections need to grow into true encounters," he said.

Pope Francis (File, AFP)

Opportunity still roving on Mars after a decade

Los Angeles - The rover Opportunity may not be sleek like a brand new car, but it shows no signs of braking even after a decade on Mars.

Scientists and engineers gathered at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Thursday to celebrate the plucky rover, which has logged 39km since landing.

Opportunity has been exploring the rim of Endeavour Crater, its fifth crater destination. A new study of rocks examined by Opportunity and published in the journal Science found they're the oldest yet - about 4 billion years old.

The rocks interacted with water during a time when environmental conditions were favourable for microbes.
The solar-powered rover is in a good spot to ride out the Martian winter.
Opportunity outlasted its twin Spirit, which stopped communicating in 2010 after getting stuck in sand.

An artist rendering of Nasa rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. (AP, Nasa)

LASU Closed Indefinitely over Students' Protest

20010N.Lagos-State-Universi.jpg - 20010N.Lagos-State-Universi.jpg
LASU  Campus

•Riot in Jonathan's hometown varsity
Femi Durojaiye  and Segun James 
Authorities of the Lagos State University (LASU) Thursday ordered the indefinite closure of the institution  following a violent protest by students over the registration process for the rain semester examination.
The students had gone on the rampage over the inability of many of them to access the school portal to register for the examination.
Their counterparts at the Federal University, Otueke, President Goodluck Jonathan's hometown in Bayelsa State, also rioted over alleged hike in school fees.
A statement by LASU, announcing the closure of the school, read:  “In the wake of the violent protest by some affected students of Lagos State University (LASU) over the closure of the university portal for registration of courses for rain semester 2012/2013 examination, the university management has decided to shut down the university indefinitely. Also, examinations have been put off till further notice.
"With this decision, students are expected to vacate the university premises until further notice.”
The  students had begun the protest on Wednesday over the closure of the portal but it turned violent yesterday as they were alleged to have stoned the Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Obafunwa.
It was learnt that the students were required to register online to sit for the examination but only 708 students were able to do so, leaving out about 1,292 others.
According to sources, the VC had angered the students when during a visit by officials of the student union government  to plead for an extension of time for registration, he reportedly  told them that those yet to register were insignificant and would automatically have to carry the session over.
This sparked a protest that later turned violent.
However, in the wake of the protest, the Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned the Chairman of LASU  Governing Council, Mr. Bode Agusto, and Obafunwa to appear before it today.
The assembly, at a session yesterday presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, also summoned Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Yinka Oladunjoye;  Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Fatai Olukoga; five representatives of the students' union and three representatives of the school ruling council.
The assembly took the decision while deliberating on a motion on matters of public importance moved  by the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wahab Alawiye King.
While LASU students were protesting the inability of many of them to register for examination, their counterparts at the Federal University, Otueke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, disrupted activities on campus over increase in school fees.
The angry students defied the heavy presence of soldiers on security duty at the presidential guest house, opposite the school, to shut down the institution.
The students barricaded the two roads leading to the Otuoke community and the institution and were said to have locked up principal officers of the school in their offices over the increase in the school fees from N55,000 to N85,000 .
The students lamented that the increase in the   tuition fees was not commensurate with facilities in the school.
But  Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, denied increasing the school fees.
He said the fees were charged according to the three sets of students that had so far gained admissions to the school.
"When the pioneers came in, their fees were N45,000 for tuition and accommodation. By the end of their first year before this second set came in, we increased it to N50,000, but separated the accommodation fees from it. It is for pioneer students and they will pay that until they graduate,"  he added.

Geneveive Nnaji seals N100 million deal with Etisalat

Lagos – Top Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji,has signed a mouth-watering deal worth N100 million with mobile company Etisalat, as she becomes its newest ambassador, reports Daily Post.

Etisalat broke the news on its Twitter page while  Nnaji  confirmed it on her Instagram page.

 Genevieve was unveiled as a brand Ambassador for Etisalat Easyflex on Wednesday at an event, which was also attended by fellow Actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, who is also an Etisalat ambassador.

Read more at Daily Post

D’banj becomes second Nigerian to be verified on Facebook

Lagos - D’banj is officially the second Nigerian to be verified on Facebook after President,Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerian Entertainment Today(NET) reports.

The pop star who has over 790 000 likes joins the list of verified Facebook fan pages.

Omotola Jalade-Ekiende, who became the first Nigerian to cross the one million mark, is a likely candidate to also get verified by Facebook in the near future.

Read more at NET 

Justin Bieber's bail set at $2 500

Miami Beach - A judge has set pop singer Justin Bieber's bail at $2 500 on charges of drag racing, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
Bieber was arrested earlier on Thursday after police said he was speeding down a residential street in Miami Beach in a yellow Lamborghini.

Officers say he had an expired license and was initially not co-operative when he was pulled over.
Police say Bieber admitted that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication.
Another R&B singer, Khalil, also was arrested on charges of drag racing and driving under the influence.
Police said Khalil was driving a Ferrari.

Low-flying Justin Bieber behind bars

Miami Beach - Pop star Justin Bieber has been arrested after police say he drag raced on a Miami Beach street in a yellow Lamborghini and failed a sobriety test early on Thursday.

Miami Beach police confirmed the 19-year-old singer's arrest in a tweet from the department's official account.

Officers saw two cars racing at 04:09 on Thursday, with two vehicles apparently used to block the area off, Miami Dade-Police spokesperson Bobby Hernandez told WSVN in South Florida. He says the second car was a red Ferrari, and that driver was also arrested. Both cars were towed.

Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a breathalyser test and processing, Hernandez said. Bieber will be transported to the Miami-Dade County jail, Hernandez said.

The street where police say Bieber was racing is a palm-tree-lined residential area in mid-Miami Beach.

Along one side of the street are small apartment buildings, and on the other side are a high school, a youth center, a golf course and a city firehouse.

Earlier this month, officials said that detectives in California searched Bieber's home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence the pop star was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbor's home. Officials said Bieber was at the home and cooperated with authorities

In that case, authorities arrested one member of Bieber's entourage on suspicion of drug possession: Lil Za, a rapper whose real name is Xavier Smith.

After being taken to jail, Smith had felony vandalism added to his potential charges and was released on bail at about 20:15.

The singer lives in a gated community in Calabasas, a celebrity enclave about 50km northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Previous investigations into Bieber's conduct by the sheriff's department have not resulted in charges.

In October, prosecutors declined to charge Bieber after a neighbour complained he drove recklessly through the area. Prosecutors in November 2012 also declined to charge the singer after a paparazzo accused him of punching and hitting him after leaving a Calabasas movie theater.

Justin Bieber admits to drug, alcohol binge before drag race

Miami Beach – Police in Miami Beach say pop singer Justin Bieber admitted to consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking prescription drugs, before he was arrested for drag racing on Thursday.
Bieber has been charged with resisting arrest without violence in addition to drag racing and drunken driving.
Police also say the singer told authorities he had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs.
Police Chief Ray Martinez told a news conference on Thursday morning the singer was initially not co-operative when an officer pulled him over for drag racing. Martinez says the singer also had an invalid Georgia driver's license.
According to police, Bieber was driving a rented yellow Lamborghini and R&B singer Khalil, who was also arrested, was driving a Ferrari. Both cars were towed.
Bieber failed a field sobriety test when police pulled him over at around 04:09 on Thursday, and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyser and processing, Miami Dade-Police spokesperson Bobby Hernandez told WSVN in South Florida.
An e-mail seeking comment from his publicist Melissa Victor was not immediately returned.
Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of .02 percent or more - a level he could reach with one drink. For 21 and over, it is .08 percent.
For a first drunken driving offense, there is no minimum sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.
First offense of a drag-racing offense nets a sentence of up to six months, a fine of $500 to $1 000, and a one-year license suspension.
Trouble with the law
Earlier this month, officials said that detectives in California searched Bieber's home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence the pop star was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbour's home. Officials said Bieber was at the home and co-operated with authorities
In that case, authorities arrested one member of Bieber's entourage on suspicion of drug possession: Lil Za, a rapper whose real name is Xavier Smith.
After being taken to jail, Smith had felony vandalism added to his potential charges and was released on bail at about 20:15.
The singer lives in a gated community in Calabasas, a celebrity enclave about 50km northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Previous investigations into Bieber's conduct by the sheriff's department have not resulted in charges.
In October, prosecutors declined to charge Bieber after a neighbour complained he drove recklessly through the area. Prosecutors in November 2012 also declined to charge the singer after a paparazzo accused him of punching and hitting him after leaving a Calabasas movie theatre.
Justin Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut My World was released.
The singer from Ontario had placed second in a local singing contest two years earlier and began posting performances on YouTube, according to his official website.
The videos caught the attention of a talent agent who helped Bieber land an audition with R&B singer Usher. Usher, along with Island/Def Jam chair LA Reid, signed him to a recording contract.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Vidic to miss League Cup semi

London - Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will miss his side's League Cup semi-final second leg tie against Sunderland at Old Trafford on Wednesday after failing to overturn a red card he received last weekend.

The central defender submitted a claim for wrongful dismissal after being sent off late on during Premier League champions United's 3-1 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for a rash challenge on Eden Hazard.

Vidic was given a straight red card, for which the standard punishment is a three-game ban.
An independent regulatory commission confirmed on Tuesday this would now take "immediate effect", starting with Wednesday's tie where United are looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
"Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic has had his claim for wrongful dismissal rejected by an independent regulatory commission," said a statement issued by the Football Association on Tuesday.
"Therefore, the player's three-match suspension commences with immediate effect. Vidic had received a red card for serious foul play in his side's game against Chelsea on Sunday 19 January 2014."
The 32-year-old Serbia international will also miss United's league games at home to Cardiff City and away to Stoke City.
United tended not to worry too much the League Cup under former manager Alex Ferguson, even though they won it four times during the Scot's reign at Old Trafford, as they went in search of more prestigious trophies.
But with Sunday's defeat leaving David Moyes's side 14 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, and having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea City, United need success in the League Cup like never before.

Nemanja Vidic (AFP)

Nigeria, Pakistan could delay polio-free goal: Gates

New York - Billionaire software baron turned philanthropist Bill Gates has warned that violence in Nigeria and Pakistan could set back his goal of eradicating polio by 2018.
Last year, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- a charity that funds medical research and vaccination drives -- made wiping out the crippling disease in the next six years its top priority.
But the Microsoft founder, who has poured a large part of his personal fortune into the drive and encouraged fellow billionaires to contribute, said in an AFP interview on Tuesday that major challenges remain.
India, which once had the world's worst polio -- a mainly childhood disease that causes the wasting of the limbs -- has just celebrated three years free of the disease.
But it remains endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. There are also reinfections in war-torn Somalia and Syria that threaten to break out into areas once free of the scourge.
"Nigeria and Pakistan are going to be tough. The Pakistan violence is evil," Gates told AFP in New York, complaining that local conspiracy theories have undermined inoculation drives.
"The truth is the vaccine is to help kids. And spreading rumors and attacking the workers on this -- those people don't have justice and truth on their side.
"And so we may miss by a year or two if we can't help out with that. The president, the religious leaders a lot of the supporters of that country are trying to get the truth out."
Just hours before Gates spoke, three polio workers were shot dead in the Pakistani city of Karachi, forcing the suspension of vaccination in the whole southern province of Sindh.
Last week the World Health Organization warned that Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar was the world's "largest reservoir" of the disease.
Opposition from the Pakistani Taliban to immunization and an Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria have also hit hard.
"This is really going to come down to Nigeria and Pakistan," Gates told AFP.
"Everyday we're talking about what's going well, what's not, how we track the teams, where new approaches can help out so we've intensified the effort," he added.
Last November the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said Nigeria had 51 of the 328 cases of the disease worldwide in 2013, compared to 121 out of 223 in 2012.
But numbers are up in Pakistan. According to the WHO, Pakistan recorded 91 cases of polio last year compared with 58 in 2012.
"Even in Pakistan it's somewhat of an increase but still small numbers so we're very close," Gates told AFP.
"We'll have the money. I think we've got the will. We need -- on the ground -- to get the truth out," Gates said.
The 58-year-old Harvard dropout with a net worth of more than $70 billion, and who promises to give away all his money within 20 years of the death of either him or his wife, is an optimist.
On Tuesday his Foundation published its annual letter disputing three myths that hinder progress: that poor countries stay poor, foreign aid is pointless and saving lives inflates populations.
By 2035 he believes there will be almost no poor countries left, singling out China, Brazil and India as "wonderful examples" of states that now have high numbers of middle-income earners.
And as he battles to reverse lackluster educational standards within the United States, he said lessons could be learned from China.
"Anyone who thinks the world was better off when China was poor, that's very anti-humanitarian," he said.
"The fact they run a good education system, yes we should all go and learn from that," Gates added.
"China comes up with cancer medicines? I won't hesitate to have my kids or anyone benefit from that. This is not a zero sum game... The uplifting of China can be overwhelmingly good news."
According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov, Gates is the most admired person in the world, but asked how that makes him feel, he was temporarily lost for words.
"If philanthropy is getting more popular that's a good thing. If entrepreneurship is more popular, that's a good thing. If people want to give to helping the poorest that's a good thing."

Youths protest arrest of indigenes over land dispute

Awka - No fewer than 200 youths from Ezinano community in Awka on Tuesday stormed an Awka Magistrates' Court, protesting the detention and arraignment of four of their members over a land dispute.

The suspects were Anayo Chinwuba, 35; Daniel Udeke, 39; Ifeme Keluo, 27 and Arinze Udekwe, 22.

Addressing the crowd, the Chairman of Ezinano Development Forum, Obi Ochijie, alleged that a traditional ruler in the town orchestrated the arrest of the persons over a disputed land at Rockland Estate, Awka.

Ochijie said that the men were members of the task force of the community, who were on their routine job of collecting development levies from developers at the estate.

He described the arrest as “illegal”, insisting that the accused persons were innocent.

Meanwhile, the accused persons were on Tuesday arraigned on a seven-charge ranging from demand for illegal fees, stealing and assault on one Obiora Dibor on December 9, 2013.

The prosecutor, Henry Orji, told the court presided over by Loretta Okoye that the assault on Dibor was punishable under Section 252 of the Criminal Code Cap 26, Vol. II Revised laws of Anambra.

Orji also said that the accused persons allegedly stole gold necklace valued at N18 000, Ipad phone valued at N120 000 and a wrist watch valued at N32 000.

The accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the charges, were however, granted bail in the sum of N100 000 each with two sureties in like sum.

While adjourning the matter till March 5, for hearing, the presiding magistrate called on the parties involved to maintain peace and not take laws into their hands.

Fifty Shades of Grey stars have off-set 'chemistry'

Los Angeles - Fifty Shades of Grey stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have "chemistry" off-set.

The film's producer Michael De Luca believes the pair - who play lovers Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele - are "hot" together and get on really well both on camera and away from filming.

He said: "The chemistry is there, they genuinely like each other. They're enjoying the story, the story is so powerful."

The film adaptation of E.L. James' erotic novel is expected for release in February 2015, and De Luca admits they're already over half-way through shooting.

He told E! news: "I think we are a little more than halfway through but it's going really good. I'm excited!"

Meanwhile, E.L. James recently admitted she feels huge pressure for Sam Taylor-Johnson's upcoming movie of her best-selling book to be a success and she is determined to get things "right".

She said previously: "I'm terrified. Completely. I've been terrified from the moment I published the book. My mother was terrified of everything, and so am I. It's a terrible way to grow up. You don't expect this kind of success.

"Even now it floors me. My only ambition for the books was to see them in bookstores. This is huge. And there is this passionate fandom; we need to get this right for them."

Lamar Odom doesn't accept blame for Khloe pain

Los Angeles - Lamar Odom claims he is not to blame for Khloé Kardashian feeling like "a shattered person".
The reality star talked about the breakdown of her marriage to the basketball player last year - which came amid allegations of him cheating and using drugs - on Sunday night's episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but he reportedly doesn't feel he should accept responsibility.

A source told "He never asked her to feel that way or put her life on hold to help him. He went about his business and wanted to be left alone. He needed space to do whatever he wanted to do and he did so away from Khloé so he wouldn't hurt her."
Lamar, 34, is said to be worried how he will be portrayed on the show following his split from Khloé, which saw her file for divorce in December.
A source said: "The last thing Lamar needs in his life is to be portrayed as a schmuck. Khloé has assured him that it won't be bad, but how can it not be? Lamar is afraid that his drug use and cheating will be addressed on the show.

"At the same time, he is trying to make a career comeback and he thinks this is going to hinder and hurt those efforts. He feels he's going to be used to get ratings for the Kardashians."
On last night's episode Khloe talked about how she has been feeling, saying: "I've been in hiding because I'm afraid of people. I can't look at people in the eyes. And I'm not even the one who did anything. I need to get my life in order, but I love to work, as it distracts me, but I go home and I'm a shattered person."

Ke$ha came close to death

Los Angeles - Ke$ha "almost died" from her eating disorder.
The Tik Tok hitmaker checked into rehab earlier this month to seek help for anorexia and bulimia and her mother Pebe Sebert says her condition was so bad, doctors were amazed she was still managing to perform on stage.
Pebe said: "I've watched my beautiful, self-confident, brilliant daughter be berated and ridiculed for her looks and weight to the point that she almost died.
"The doctors told me her blood pressure and sodium levels were so low, they'd never seen it that low except with someone who'd had a heart attack or stroke. They said it was a miracle she hadn't already dropped dead on stage."
According to her mother - who has also checked into Timberline Knolls clinic alongside her daughter to deal with the stress of the situation - Ke$ha had battled body image issues since her school days, but things got worse when she signed with producer Dr. Luke and former manager David Sonenberg when she was just 18.
'Take drugs, not eat, stick your finger down your throat'
Pebe said: "One time on a conference call, Sonenberg was screaming, 'You need to lose weight! I don't care what you do... Take drugs, not eat, stick your finger down your throat.'
"Ke$ha was just weeping. She drove around afterward thinking about killing herself.
"Dr. Luke has just always been very disrespectful about her weight.He'd say it in certain ways, like 'Why don't you try running?' She was doing everything and not getting thin fast enough, and that's when she first became bulimic."
The 26-year-old singer is now focused on her recovery and isn't even worried about what the future holds for her career.
Her mother told People magazine: "At this point, she doesn't care if she ever makes a record again. She just wants to be healthy and happy."
Both Dr. Luke and David have denied Pebe's allegations.

Luke said in a statement: "It is unfortunate that at a time Ke$ha is suffering immensely and trying to heal at a treatment centre, her mother is taking this approach with the media. I give Ke$ha my utmost support and well wishes for a quick return to health."

Justin Bieber goes wild and spends $75k in strip club

Los Angeles - Justin Bieber reportedly spent $75 000 in a strip club on Monday.

The 19-year-old singer flew from Colorado to Miami Beach for his friend Lil Scrappy's birthday party, first heading into Mansion nightclub before visiting the King of Diamonds Gentleman's Club a few hours later.

And a representative for the venue told website TMZ that once inside, the Baby hitmaker changed up $75 000 into dollar bills and "went wild".

This isn't the first time the teenage star has visited a strip club.

In October, a dancer at a bar in Houston, Texas, revealed he had visited with boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Tweeting under the handle DiamondsR4Ever, she wrote: "@justinbieber went The Fuck In Tonight!!

"He Touched My Ass I Almost Fainted!

"He Was Like Its Real!!

"I've Danced For A lot Of Celebrities And They Normally Don't Phase Me But Justin just Had Me In Shock! I am now a @justinbieber Fan (sic)"

The Canadian singer has sparked controversy for partying in over-21s nightclubs in recent months and the Beauty And A Beat star's mother Pattie Mallette recently admitted she finds it "difficult" to let him make his own mistakes.

She said: "When your kids hit a certain age your parenting style changes and it is hard letting go.

"His life was my life and now I've had to let him go a little bit and let him be independent. It is hard to not be able to control everything that your adult child does."

Beware link bait, warns online marketer

Cape Town - It's happened to all of us. You're minding your own business surfing your favourite social network and there's a provocative video being shared or a compelling link. And you click - and instantly regret it.

Link bait has been around since the early days of the internet and search engines were the primary target in the 90s. But fast forward a couple of decades and social networks have emerged as ideal targets because of the glued eyeballs they generate.

Spammers and unscrupulous marketers have used the medium to generate a number of clicks, but an industry expert warned that the use of bait could seriously damage the brand.

"It will ruin your brand among consumers, although this type of advertising does increase CTR [click through rate] - 'false clicks'," Chanel MacKay, digital media director at Acceleration Media told News24.

Typically, some marketers will post a video link on Facebook with a headline like "See what she does in high school every day" but to view the video one has to first share it on the social network.

Famous personalities

Often the video is different to what users expect, but the company has achieved its goal of getting people to click on the link that may or may not also be used to install malware on PCs.

In terms of advertising, links that proclaim "the seven foods that models never eat" could lead one to a fraudulent fitness website where all the links result in a sales pitch for diet pills.

Some marketers are also not averse about using the images of famous personalities like Sir Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in baited advertising to sell what appears to be glorified pyramid scheme programmes.

Ostensibly this practice is to generate CTRs in the online environment where people don't traditionally click on obvious ads - it is especially acute in a country like SA where the online market for firms is small, yet they have to compete for eyeballs with giants like Google and Facebook.

MacKay said that the rate of clicks was not as important as the message and marketers should have a clear idea of the purpose of online messaging.

"The low CTRs are not the problem; it's all about what the advertisers' objectives are and how you measure them. However, if this is a strategy you want to follow, your advertising message has to be clear and not deceptive to entice a user's click."

Legitimate content

Social networks represent a natural fit for spam-like marketing, said MacKay, as marketers look to exploit the medium which holds the attention of several million internet users per day.

"Spam-like messaging is derived from contextual marketing - so naturally it appears that social networks are representing a shift in their marketing, when in actual fact, it's the advertisers that are evolving their marketing efforts," she said.

MacKay advised people to be careful about clicking on links and be on the lookout for signs that the content may be legitimate.

"Consumers need to look out for the advertiser logo to ensure that the banner offer is legit. If they are not able to associate with the brand, rather google it as opposed to clicking on it, as there are many companies using banners as a portal for forced app downloads or icon drops (gambling)."

Social network users have to beware the use of link bait on the platforms. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

German e-mail logins stolen

Berlin - The login details of 16 million email users in Germany have been stolen, authorities confirmed Tuesday. The security breach was confirmed by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which has set up a website allowing internet users to ascertain whether their data has been accessed.
The German government called on citizens to check the website, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Seibert tweeting a link to the site, which later crashed as a result of heavy traffic. The agency said that the criminals had managed to infect millions of computers with a programme that enrolled them onto a network - sometimes referred to as a botnet - from where the data was able to be stolen.
"Botnets are associated with a lot of criminal energy, and certainly with bad intentions," BSI said on its website, adding that users affected by the security breach should install new firewalls and change their email passwords.
The security agency did not give further details about the security breach because police investigations were under way.

Did Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber exchange these shocking text messages?

Los Angeles - Selena Gomez allegedly branded Justin Bieber a "drug addict" and urged him to "go to rehab".

The singer-and-actress - who is believed to have rekindled her romance with the Believe hitmaker - lashed out at the 19-year-old star in a text message row which saw him send her x-rated nude photographs.

The messages, which were reportedly forwarded from a phone registered to Selena's stepfather, Brian Teefey, to one of her friends, begin with Justin saying: "Baby come on. I love you."

However, his on/off girlfriend responded with a furious attack, writing: "I don't buy that bullshit any more. I was honest with you and I gave you a second chance. All my friends were right, You're such an asshole."

Justin replied: "You're all I need right now. I know I can make it right with you."

Selena hit back, writing: "U r a drug addict. U need help."

'I hope you get jail time'

According to who obtained the messages, Justin then sent a photo of his manhood, writing: "Come on. Don't tell me you don't miss this."

Selena replied: "Stop it. You need to listen to Scooter [Braun, his manager] and go to rehab. U r sick."

The Baby singer - who is being investigated by police over an egging attack on his neighbour's home - then sent another explicit photograph and wrote: "Rehab? Fuck that! I make that fucker so much money."

Upon receiving the picture, Selena told the star they are "done" and suggested his friend Lil Za - who was arrested last week for drug possession following a police raid on Justin's home over the egging attack - had "taken the fall" for his behaviour.

She wrote: "And how can u let [Lil Za] take the fall or your actions. U need to grow the fuck up. I hope you get jail time. U deserve it at this point."

Drugs and drug paraphernalia

After the 21-year-old starlet also advised the Never Say Never star to "retire", he appeared to see red and launched a foul-mouthed attack on her.

He wrote: "FUCK YOU!!!!! I need to grow up?! HA ok! Enjoy life with OUT ME Bitch!!! Fuck you. Fuck Scooter. Fuck all y'all. IAM DONE!

"Can't hear you over my cash, babe! You're only famous cuz of me. You know it. I know. Everybody knows. Bye ... Go fuck someone else. Keep that talentless pussy away from me!"

Meanwhile, it has been claimed there were drugs and drug paraphernalia - including two large cookie jars filled with marijuana - "strewn all over" Justin's mansion when police raided the property.

According to gossip website TMZ, the star also has a "dedicated smoking room" in his house.

However, police didn't seize any of the items because they were primarily looking for video equipment and it is likely a search of jars and other items would have exceeded the remit of their search warrant.

Justin Bieber signs his initials in the snow with pee

Los Angeles - Justin Bieber was caught allegedly peeing his initials into snow.

The Believe hitmaker treated himself to a weekend of snowboarding with his friends in Aspen, Colorado, last week after his home was raided by police, but it appears the pop star didn't manage to completely stay out of trouble during his trip.

According to TMZ, the 19-year-old hunk was travelling in a motorcade on Sunday when he jumped out at the side of a private road in an affluent area and urinated "JB in the snow", while surrounded by his bodyguards. See the photo here.
The troubled star had his mansion in Calabasas, California, searched by officers last Tuesday after he was accused of a vicious egg attack on his neighbour.

It was claimed last week that police found drugs and drug paraphernalia - including two large cookie jars filled with marijuana - "strewn all over" Justin's house during their raid.

However, officers didn't seize any of the items because they were primarily looking for video equipment and it is likely a search of jars and other items would have exceeded the remit of their search warrant.

Meanwhile, Justin's family have been urging him to seek help in rehab for his alleged use of recreational drugs and behavioural issues.

A source said previously: "The people who care about Justin and whom are closest to him wish he would consider getting help."

Kim Kardashian hiring new wedding planner for her upcoming summer nuptials

Los Angeles - Kim Kardashian has decided to hire a new wedding planner.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star turned to her mother Kris Jenner's close friend Sharon Sacks to organise most of her lavish events in the past, including her wedding to Kris Humphries in 2011, but she and fiancé Kanye West want to go in a "different direction" for their upcoming summer wedding.
A source told E! News: "Kim and Kanye have decided not to use Sharon Sacks as they want to try a different direction from her usual style."
Sharon planned Kim's baby shower last June, her sister Khloe Kardashian's wedding to her now estranged husband Lamar Odom in 2009, and multiple Kardashian/Jenner birthday parties including her Kylie Jenner's sweet sixteen bash in August.
The couple are currently in Paris together, where they are viewing a number of potential venues for their nuptials.
The source said: "They are going to spend a few days looking at weddings venues in and around Paris. They are also going to do some shopping. They are really excited to find the right place for their nuptials. They are looking at a summer wedding."

Kanye, 36, jetted to the French capital on Thursday, to attend shows at menswear Paris Fashion Week, while Kim joined him there on Saturday afternoon.
The duo, who have left their seven-month-old daughter North West in Los Angeles with family, were spotted enjoying a romantic lunch at popular celebrity restaurant L'Avenue on Sunday.

2face and Annie Idibia's baby name revealed

Abuja - Annie Idibia and 2face have named their daughter Olivia after the star gave birth to baby girl on January 3.

The pop star revealed his seventh child's name on picture sharing website Instagram.

He wrote: "Ma baby gat ma back! Say hi 2 olivia idibia (sic)".

Annie delivered a baby girl in the night of January 3, 2014 at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

The actress/model travelled to the US back in November 2013.

Days later, 2face travelled to the US to be with his family.

2face Idibia and Olivia (BangShowBiz)