Daily Archives: December 23, 2014

The Longest Ride Trailer: Be Ready To Fall In Love

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Nicholas Sparks is back and this time with an all new romantic book to film adaptation to make us fall in love with him all over again! So if you are waiting to watch something from the books on the big screen, then 2015 is bringing just another romantic and cheesy melodrama treat for you.

After The Fault In Our Stars, we have another heart touching romantic film, The Longest Ride. After watching the trailer, the first question that pops in our mind is, where was Scott Eastwood! The handsome 28-year-old American actor has shown his oh-so-handsome looks in the trailer of The Longest Ride.

There’s a split love story just like we saw in The Notebook, but The Longest Ride has two different couples, one from today (Scott Eastwood & Britt Robertson) and one from the past (Jack Huston & Oona Chaplin) who have been separated by time but connected by fate.

Adding more romanticism and sexuality to the trailer of the American romantic drama is Hozier’s sensuous voice. There is romance, sex, fun, cry and even pain in what we see from the trailer.

The Longest Ride is directed by George Tillman Jr. and is set to release on 10th April, 2015.

Watch the trailer and be ready to add it to your watch list.

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Google begins its annual countdown to Christmas with a special Google Doodle

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With Christmas and New Year around the corner, search engine Google has begun its annual countdown to Christmas with a special Google Doodle.

Google Doodle, an animated picture, depicts a snow scene with children on a sleigh pulled by a reindeer, is captioned ‘Tis The Season, and is the first of Google’s series of festive Doodles.

The search engine usually launches a Christmas series of pictures between December 21-23, and this year’s appears to take inspiration from the lyrics to “Deck the Halls”.

HT

Singer Joe Cocker Dies After Cancer Battle At The Age of 70

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Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends’, has died at the age of 70. The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including ‘You Are So Beautiful’ and ‘Up Where We Belong’.

His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was “simply unique”. Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who “brought so much to the world”.

Cocker’s friend Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the rock band Yes, called his rendition of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ “sensational” and said: “He had a voice that was just unique.” Known for his gritty voice, Cocker – a former gas fitter – began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before hitting the big time. He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ reached number one in 1968.

He performed the song at the famous Woodstock Festival in New York state a year later. He was also well-known for his Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour of 1970, which visited 48 cities across the US. His duet with Jennifer Warnes, ‘Up Where We Belong’ – from ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’ – hit number one and went on to win both a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983.

Joe Cocker was made an OBE in 2011. Last year, his arena tour across Europe saw him achieve a number one album in Germany and give what was to be his final concert in Hammersmith, London, in June. Cocker, who recorded 23 studio albums and 40 albums, lived in Colorado, in the US.

Ten yrs on, lessons of Asian tsunami hit by ‘disaster amnesia’

Phuket, 23 December: Ten years after the deadliest tsunami on record wrought destruction across the Indian Ocean, creeping complacency is undermining a hi-tech warning system designed to prevent another disaster of such shocking magnitude.

In the morning of 26 December, 2004 a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia’s western coast generated a series of massive waves that killed more than 220,000 people across 14 countries as far apart as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

Among the victims were thousands of foreign tourists, the majority enjoying the Christmas period on Thailand’s sun-kissed south-west coast, spreading the horrors of the disaster to homes around the world.

There were no warning systems in place and not enough time for many people to find higher ground as the towering wave hit coastal areas. Others simply stared in awe and curiosity as the sea at first retreated, before rushing back as a wall of churning water.

As the 10th anniversary of the tsunami approaches, experts warn that the memory of that fateful day is fading, taking with it the appetite for disaster preparedness.

“When you forget, you don’t prepare,” said Margareta Wahlstroem, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, who played a leading role in organising the UN response and recovery efforts a decade ago.
“Disaster amnesia” threatens to lower defences, Wahlstroem told AFP.

“You relax, and that’s dangerous… One of the big challenges in reducing disaster-risk is to keep alive this understanding.”

It took around 20 minutes after the quake for the first waves — some more than 35 metres high — to hit the coast of Aceh, where the vast majority of Indonesia’s 170,000 victims perished.

But it was about two hours later that the tsunami cut into Thailand as well as India and Sri Lanka.

“We were flying blind, without any kind of sensors in the Indian Ocean,” Charles McCreery, director of the US government’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, told a recent conference in Jakarta.

After “100 years of calm” there have been six quakes of 7.9 or above in the Indian Ocean since 2004 in a period of “heightened activity”, according to McCreery.

To prevent avoidable losses again, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System — spanning the ocean and monitored by hubs in Indonesia, Australia and India — began operations in 2011.

TS

N Korea’s Internet collapses after Sony hack

North Korea’s Internet went dark for several hours amid rumours of US retaliation over its alleged hacking of a Hollywood studio, just as the pariah state came under attack at the UN over its rights record.

It was not clear who or what had shut down Pyongyang’s web connections, but cyber experts said the country’s already limited Internet went completely offline overnight from yesterday local time.

Piling further pressure on Kim Jong-Un’s regime, UN members debated North Korea’s brutal treatment of its huge prison population after China, its sole ally, was rebuffed in a bid to shelve the issue.

US-based Internet analysts Dyn Research said Pyongyang’s four online networks, all connected through Chinese telecom provider China Unicom, had been offline for nine hours and 31 minutes before services resumed this morning.

Dyn Research said Pyongyang’s very limited infrastructure could be vulnerable to power outages but that the way it had collapsed “seems consistent with a fragile network under external attack.”

US President Barack Obama and the FBI have accused North Korea of being behind the hacking of Hollywood studio Sony Pictures, which was intimidated into cancelling a comedy film mocking Kim.

Washington officials refused to comment on speculation that the North Korean Internet blackout was the first stage in what Obama has warned will be a “proportionate response” to the hack.

North Korea has angrily insisted that it had nothing to do with the theft and leaking of Sony company secrets nor threats against moviegoers, but it has also condemned the madcap movie “The Interview.”

US officials, however, called for compensation for Sony Pictures from North Korea.

“If they want to help here they could admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages that they caused,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

Dyn Research said earlier yesterday that Internet connectivity between North Korea and the outside world, never good at the best of times, had begun to show signs of instability over the weekend.

“This is different from short duration outages we have seen in the past,” Earl Zmijewski, vice president of data analytics at Dyn, told AFP.

North Korea threatens to ‘blow up’ White House

North Korea has accused the US of conniving with the makers of the controversial film “The Interview” to “hurt the dignity” of the country’s supreme leadership and threatened to “blow up” the White House.

North Korea threatened more attacks against the US government and other American institutions in the wake of the Nov 24 cyber attack on Sony Picture Entertainment, which resulted in the movie’s release being cancelled, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

The country’s government, which was outraged by the film showing a fictitious US plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, claimed to have “clear evidence” that the US government engineered the project as a “propaganda” attack against the country.
In June, a spokesman for Pyongyang had called the film an “act of war”.

Referring to the US as a “cesspool of terrorism”, the Communist dictatorship said that it has already lashed out at the “citadels of the US imperialists”, naming the White House and the Pentagon in particular.

“The DPRK (North Korea) has already launched the toughest counteraction,” a release said.

“Nothing is more serious a miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction,” it added.

“The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including (the) cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels,” the North Korean authorities said.

On Saturday, North Korea vowed to boost its defence capabilities, including nuclear capabilities, saying that denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula had “lost its meaning” amid a hostile US policy.

However, North Korea continued to deny that it had anything to do with the original cyber attack.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace had taken responsibility for the cyber attack.
North Korea had termed the hacking attack a “righteous deed”.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had concluded that North Korea was behind the attack. The bureau cited malware linked to “other malware that the FBI knows North Korean hackers previously developed”.

Kim Jong-un’s officials responded by calling FBI’s claims a “fabrication”, and described US actions “gangster-like”.

North Korean authorities termed the US the “chief culprit of terrorism” and said that while the US called for combating terrorism everywhere in the world, it schemed behind the scenes itself to incite terrorism in various countries.

US President Barack Obama described the hacking attack as an example of cyber-vandalism but did not say that it was an act of war.

He also said that the US was once again considering the inclusion of North Korea in its list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

DH

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