Analysts in the mobile communications sector are predicting that mobile instant messaging services will replace SMS as the preferred text message technology on mobile devices, but incompatibility between rival services continues to be a stumbling block to universal adoption.
Are Operators Holding Back Mobile IM?
Will mobile IM win out over SMS?
29 May 2006
Analysts in the mobile communications sector are predicting that mobile instant messaging services will replace SMS as the preferred text message technology on mobile devices, but incompatibility between rival services continues to be a stumbling block to universal adoption.
The guide to roadside eating > Author Mark Watson presents a list of his favorite 10 restaurants near highway exits for hungry travelers.
The list is part of his book "The Next Exit," which chronicles dining options at every U.S. interstate exit.
Read Mark's listing at 10 great places to take an exit to good eatin'
Ah! that's my favorite subject! Chocolate!
According to this study "Chocolate may be good for the brain".
Eating milk chocolate may help improve verbal and visual memory, while dark chocolate could aid impulse control and reaction time.
Curious? Read the Study: Chocolate may boost brain power and start eating tons of chocolate!Great news for all the chocofans out there!
New computerized systems are allowing hospitals to more closely monitor what patients are eating and restrict their diets in an effort to save time for providers.
"If the patient tries to order something that's off-limits, we can educate them on a choice that might be more appropriate," one nutrition specialist said.
In this article Personalized hospital meals have limits you will appreciate how computers help hospitals monitor patients' diets for both the patients' and the hospitals' benefit.
"I do believe the winner, or winners if there's more than one, will be those companies that innovate most rapidly," said Eric Schmidt , the company's chief executive.
But Why Google makes everyone else nervous ? The once cuddly image of its founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page , the Stanford University grad students who developed their search technology in dorm rooms and incorporated Google in 1998, has been largely erased by their newfound success and assertiveness. Don't you think so?
28 May 2006
The biggest railway station in Europe has been inaugurated in Berlin by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A Major new station opens in Berlin and took eight years to build and for the first time will link the railway lines in the north and south of Berlin with those in the east and west.
Around 300,000 passengers are expected to use it every day.
See In pictures: Berlin's station and admire the architecture and infrastructure of the station. Then, you may shout as loud as you can > Berlin here I come!
And here's another review to read.
Especially if you at at your late or early 50's and 60's then you may learn a few more tricks. Old wine in a new bottle! Enjoy reading! Here's how to play it when you're 64
Oh, and by the way, maybe I do prefer the old recipe of enjoying old wine in a new bottle, as long as the manufacturer's label doesn't change! Cheers!
Do you remember Mr Paul Simon?
What? You said "No! Who is Mr Simon?"
Can you recall the days when you were younger, back in the 60's and the 70's?
This is who Mr Simon is. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Oh, yes! You do now remember him! Well, Mr Simon played live his first solo London gig in six years, a strange thing happens.
Read this review Paul Simon Bloomsbury Theare, London
According to this article A daily drink 'only good for men' : "Drinking alcohol every day protects against heart disease in men but not in women, Danish research shows".
But, hey! Don't start drinking like an alcoholic, you don't wish to be one, so use your brain and drink sensibly. Measure was never a trouble maker!
At some point earlier this week we commented about Google and Dell agreement.
However in this article Google Watch : Dude, You're Getting a Google some nice comments are made, adding more and more to the subject.
A new controversy? If not, then what?
In this article Blogging About Work Might Be A Bad Idea the author tells us that Bloggers are writing about their day jobs, and it's getting some of them in trouble.
An increasing number of companies are adopting policies that would prohibit bloggers from discussing their workplace, with termination as one possible result. In most cases, the law is backing the corporations up.
Do you support his opinion? Do you think that legislation must change? Or is it that the big fish always eats the small? What do you think?
A not-for-profit company that uses software written by volunteers is proving a challenge to Bill Gates, says Andrew Murray-Watson in his article here Firefox snaps at Microsoft's heels
Interested? Then read on so you can enhance your knowledge [and experience].
Are you still hooked on old tricks?
The future of browsing is not only IE or Netscape. Too old fashioned, both of them.
Get some new, enhance your browsing capabilities, look at it from a different angle. Compare what you already have to what you will be getting and decide.
This article may be of some help to you > Go browsing for something new
How about it? What do you think?
From Mozilla's Firefox to Merging IMs online and to Why fill so many online forms?
To Adobe Reader for e-books too and to Security and Zone alarm which Guards your PC plus Avast: A free anti-virus software and Ad-Aware which takes care of your privacy plus a few more goodies, this article is a must to read and maybe you would like to try some of them if you do not have them installed already.
Read this > Tools to spruce up your PC which is a fine article, in my humble opinion.
OK, this may be good news, about Microsoft of course, that is Microsoft Beats JPEG With New Photo Format For Vista
Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new photo format it claims will provide better quality at half the size of a JPEG image. Windows Media Photo (WMP) will be built into the next-generation of Windows, called Vista.
Have to wait and see it and then believe it.
Believe it or not, is Microsoft really interested in fixing their own bugs or they leave it to others?
See piece for yourself Google fixes IE7 problem and others in new GWT release Did you count how many bugs?
And while on Ed Burnette's blog read a few more interesting comments, about Google.
And this story here Two Arrested in MySpace Extortion Scheme comes to tell us how two teens discovered computer vulnerabilities in the MySpace site, then developed code that enabled them to hack into the site to obtain personal information from MySpace users.
So, a lesson for all the MySpace users out there, be aware of scams and never give away your valuable personal details. Protect yourself, do not trust anybody. Protect yourself!
Versions of Symantec Corp.'s anti-virus business security software contain a flaw that could put millions of computers at risk of a crippling worm attack, Internet experts warned on Friday. Go, rush, read this immediately! Flaw found in Symantec business antivirus software
Researchers at eEye Digital Security rated the threat as high.
In a decision that could set the tone for journalism in the digital age, a California appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers, like traditional reporters, have the right to keep their sources confidential.
In this article Bloggers can shield sources, court rules / In setback for Apple, Internet journalists are protected by law you will read all the details. Does this mean that all Bloggers can shield their sources despite the fact of what they are blogging about or does it mean that it will be applicable to the Apple's case only?
If the first one is, then internet journalists are protected by law, this would lead to a new blogging era? Any comments?
27 May 2006
This year's Australian Open could have been named the Cyprus Open!
Marcos Baghdatis hit the headlines during the first major of the season and expect to do the same when Roland Garros starts on Sunday. Tennis - Marcos: Cyprus' star !
OK, we listen and we read so many about Google.
Maybe there were times you were curious to learn more about the life of a Googler and how Googlers spend their time working for the giant.
Maybe there were times that you hit that "About" and you sneaked into what Google says online. But have you actually seen more than what it's available there?
Well, sit back, take a break and see how cool is working for Google. But do not envy the poor guys! They must be spending 24/24 hours in their offices to give you the best. Take this multimedia trip provided by Time magazine > Life in the Googleplex Photo Essay
26 May 2006
Google has taken a major step towards challenging the dominance of Microsoft by signing a deal with Dell according to this BBC report> Dell deal bolsters Google search
The agreement means millions of Dell computers will leave the factories with Google software already installed on them. Google has done it again. Always in pace with unpredicted business movements, always ahead of competitors.
Time Warner's AOL this summer will launch new search tools, likely including a video-based tool, that will allow it to better compete with new and old media rivals, according to AOL chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller.
In April, AOL's share of the U.S. search market fell to 6.9%, while leader Google's share was 43.1%, according to comScore Networks.
Read on > Miller: New search tools to boost AOL
Microsoft's MSN unit reportedly is in talks to acquire privately held mobile phone ad serving company Third Screen Media.
With more than 200 million mobile phone subscribers nationwide, technology consultancy Ovum estimates that the market for mobile ads will grow from $45 million in 2005 to $1.3 billion by 2009.
There also is the possibility that some mobile providers could switch from a subscription model to an ad-supported model.
Looking to grow revenue, add users and improve their standing with advertisers, Yahoo! and eBay have announced an advertising partnership, in which Yahoo!'s search functionality will be integrated into the eBay tool bar.
In addition, Yahoo! will use eBay-owned PayPal for transactions completed via Yahoo! properties, and also will act as the sole third-party provider of display ads on the eBay site.
Read on > Yahoo and EBay Join to Fight the Giants
Some industry insiders think Google's plan to include pre-roll video ads as part of its AdSense service represents a move away from targeted ad placement and toward the more nebulous realm of brand advertising.
But most agree that Google's power and influence, not to mention resources, guarantee that more marketers will consider online video as a viable advertising medium, now that Google is in the game.
Check this out > New Google Video Ad Product Prompts Questions
Obstacles abound for Google's efforts to build wireless networks in the California cities of San Francisco and Mountain View:
The company not only needs to allay concerns over the perceived negative health effects of Wi-Fi hardware, but it also must figure out how to recoup its investment in the projects.
Read the rest of the story > Google's Tangled Wireless Push
According to news from World Screen wireless firm Telephia estimates that two million U.S. mobile subscribers now have TV services as part of their plans, and pay roughly $40 more per month over subscribers without video packages.
Telephia also announced plans to provide usage data for several mobile TV services.
According to BBC News a Concern over 'bigger Mac' burger exists.
McDonald's plans to test out its new "Bigger Big Mac," which is 40% larger than a Big Mac, as a promotional item during the World Cup.
"The Bigger Big Mac promotion is a limited edition offering football fans a little bit more of what they love during the World Cup," a company spokeswoman said.
If Barnes & Noble can sell coffee, it stands to reason Starbucks can sell books.
And that’s just what chairman Howard Schultz aims to do by the end of the year. While short on details, he said the work of popular authors would be featured, in much the same way the company has been selling selected CDs. Add a plan to make proprietary content downloadable to customers through the in-store WiFi network, and you’ve got even more reasons to go to Starbucks.
I do wonder if Schultz will now anoint bestsellers, as Oprah does. Anyhow, enjoy coffee and reading (your favorite authors, books, magazines, whatever) at your nearest Starbucks, if none exists in your area, enjoy the same at any other coffee shop!
MooBella vends made-to-order ice cream.
MooBella wants to make made-to-order ice cream available everywhere -- college cafeterias, coffee shops, airports -- through a new vending system that mixes ice cream flavors as they are ordered.
The company is showcasing its system at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. Restaurant show offers big scoops The ice cream hotel is thinking 'on a small basis' while a Californian chef wins and will seek a world title. Interested?
Pizza can fit into a healthy diet.
Huh? yes, that's right! Diners looking for healthier pizza options can opt for thinner crusts, less cheese and healthier toppings including lean meats and vegetables.
Pizza Hut is among the national chains offering a slimmed-down version of its pies. From now on, no worries! Get all the facts and figures at Slim down that pizza
Exhibitors at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show in USA displayed everything from instant ice cream to touch-screen menus.
Several vendors offered ethnic and organic food as well. The NRA Show gives glimpse of the future of food Changing tastes are culinary challenge Be the first to learn all about it!
The blueprint for the internet's first ever global forum to be held in Athens this October has been released.
The forum will consist of four general sessions, each covering a main topic. Those topics will be: openness, security, diversity and access.
This article explains more Internet's first ever global forum outlines plans while The Greek government has set up a specific IGF Athens website.
25 May 2006
A Silicon Valley start-up wants to create a free, nationwide system for wireless Internet access via radio waves.
M2Z Networks wants the federal government to give it about 20 megahertz of radio spectrum for the project. Company Asks U.S. to Provide Radio Space for Free Internet
Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Nokia are among the firms that have registered names under the new .mobi domain.
Sites using the .mobi suffix will serve content designed specifically for mobile devices, and its establishment is expected to induce content companies to design sites tailored to the specifications of small screens. New Domain Name -- .Mobi -- Could Spur Wireless Web
MySpace reportedly is looking to link up with Google or Microsoft to partner with for search, so that the tens of millions of engaged MySpace users can conduct their Web searches without leaving the confines of the social network.
Read this > MySpace seeks link with Google or Microsoft
Google is entering the lucrative online video ad market by distributing commercials for movie studios and other marketers to its network of partner sites, which will share in the revenues.
The ads, part of a move by the search giant to diversify revenue, will be sold using an auction system similar to the one it uses for text ads.
Read this > Google will offer video ads / Commercials may attract movie studios' interest
At Interscope Records' Pussycat Dolls Lounge on the Web community Doppelganger, users, via an avatar, can talk and "dance" with club-goers, interact with the performers via chat sessions and, most importantly, buy music and other merchandise.
The interactive lounge is the latest attempt by the music industry to tap the popularity of social networking sites to raise their artists' profiles and boost sales.
Read this to learn more > Net nightclubs, virtual venues generate real dollars
Marketers whose rapid growth has coincided with the rise of Internet advertising are finding that they can make an impact with outdoor and radio advertising, especially as prices are rising on sought-after keywords and banner space on popular sites.
Even some online-only retailers like 1-800-Flowers.com and Netflix are looking to traditional advertising media, although others such as Amazon.com, prefer to do their advertising online. Web Advertisers Find Offline Ads Can Pay Off Too
Nike Inc.'s shoes can now talk to Apple Computer Inc.'s nano iPod to help athletes track distance, time, pace and calories burned.
The Nike+iPod Sports Kit is the first product to come out of a newly forged partnership, which is expected to bring more products to market in the future. But can iPods talk back to Nike shoes?
Let's find out, read this > Nike Shoes Will Talk to iPods
Too often lost in the hype over Google is that its close rival Yahoo! is still an excellent investment at a much more affordable stock price.
Among the company's attributes: It boasts the Web's biggest audience, it offers the most options for marketers, leads the Web in non-search ads and ranks a close second to Google in paid search. Read this at Barron's Online - Yahoo!'s Edge
The Associated Press announced a deal with blog search engine Technorati whereby blog links to AP stories would be available within AP stories on the 440 member Web sites that feature content from AP Hosted News. The sites may opt out.
AP also announced a deal with news aggregation and search site Topix.net to provide links to newspaper stories that serve as source material for AP content.
Read this AP Unveils Deal to Tie Stories to Blogs
For Australia, and particularly Melbourne, which is home to the largest Greek population outside of Greece, the game represents a simultaneous celebration and tug on the heartstrings, will that be enough?
Read this article Greeks and gold and you may find an answer to your questions. For Greece, there is plenty at stake too. It stunned the football world with its Euro triumph in 2004, defeating opponents such as France en route to the final.
Will the Greeks bring gold back home?
24 May 2006
Yianni is right. It may be the same dream team which won the 2004 Football European Championship Australia v Greece: the inside word and brought us much pride, but it's being a long time since then, ball is round and can't tell who's gonna win (yet).
23 May 2006
Advertisers, competitors and Wall Street analysts are frustrated by Google's secrecy.
I think that when it comes to business secrecy and the way a company is conducting business, as long as it does keep it legal, then it is a priviledge not to disclose too much information. Competitors on the other hand are there, waiting for you to reveal a portion and ready to take advantage.
Read this article The One Bit of Info Google Withholds: How It Works from the Los Angeles Times and you will, propably, understand why I think and say so. When you get big and get all the attention and spotlights are turned on you, you better watch how you move around.
It's same thing as if you are flirting with the best dressed lady or gentleman at a party! Do businessmen have to learn how to tango then? I'm just as curious as you are.
22 May 2006
I could name Starbucks as a current phenomenon in business. In Greece Starbucks has a presence with 40 shops, the majority of them being in Athens. They also operate one shop in Mykonos island and one in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in the country. Personally I'm not a big fan of Starbucks.
With the exception of one or maybe two of their shops in Athens, they have nothing special to offer or provide to consumers. Most of their shops are at least "boring" and if someone compares them to the so many coffee shops existing in the city, and I'm not talking only about those around the trendy neighborhoods or areas, can see the many differences. Starbucks' shops are just "too old" or "too aged" to capture the Greek mentality and trend. Most of the youth, or should I say, the young generation, prefer to enjoy their coffee in other shops. Coffee is part of the daily Greek life, especially the "frappe"!
In this article Starbucks aims beyond lattes to extend brand the author talks about the American dream of Starbucks. Chairman Schultz talks about music and pop culture. Sir Mick Jagger and his band The Rolling Stones, Bono and U2, Prince, Chris Martin are a couple of examples. Starbucks may have been in talks with them, but I know that the Starbucks' CD's currently on sale through their Greek shops, are just again part of that particular American dream. The Beach Boys and "Surfing USA" promotes that part of the American dream. Are we to follow it? Of course not! We have our own beaches and islands to hop in! Mykonos is just an example, like Santorini and Corfu and Rhodes and Crete and Cephallonia and Paros and Naxos and Milos and Chios and Zakynthos and Kithira and the list is unlimited.
There are many differences between Greek culture as opposed to the American culture and dream. But the story here is not about differences or common things in pop culture. Is about coffee and you are the ones who will judge the Greek coffee culture while you are visiting Greece.
And as we say in Greek "Stin igeia sas!" which in simple English means "Cheers!"
21 May 2006
The Eurovision Song Contest finally proved to be a Eurometal one but this article Telegraph Opinion You need friends to win in Eurovision looks at the contest from a different angle, of view, that is.
An interesting one though.
19 May 2006
It’s not always just about the music in the Eurovision song competition > Trend watchers note that event reflects continent’s ethno-religious sympathies and rivalries
Cyprus’s Annette Artani, Greece and Cyprus have given each other the maximum 12 points on eight occasions.
Touted by its organizers as an event that truly unites Europe, the Eurovision song contest has regularly reflected the ethno-religious sympathies and rivalries typical of the continent.
And while performers from 23 countries geared up for yesterday’s semifinal at the Athens Olympic Stadium’s indoor basketball arena, Eurovision observers noted that their songs may not be the sole factor deciding the contest.
“(Bloc voting) has been a feature of the contest for as long as it has been around,” says Keith Mills, the webmaster of a Eurovision fan site who has been writing a weblog on the event for the past three years.
“The obvious ones are the Scandi-bloc — Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland — and the ex-USSR satellites — the Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,” he adds.
Eurovision voting trends have attracted sufficient attention for a number of university research papers to be written on them in recent years.
One such paper by the University of Twente in the Netherlands in 2006 found evidence of geographical and religious factors influencing the final result.
It also documented that countries with a substantial Turkish immigrant population — such as Germany — tend to favor Turkish songs.
“Regardless of song quality, there is a pattern,” says Omer Suleman, a physics doctoral student at the University of Oxford, which released a paper to coincide with the contest 50 years anniversary in 2005.
“Some of these blocs cancel one another out, but the effect is that if there’s a good song from one of them, it does have a huge advantage at the outset,” says Mills.
Asked for a copy of country-to-country voting data to confirm these claims, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) — the association that owns the rights to the Eurovision — was unable to provide scoreboards prior to 2004. “We do not keep such an archive online, it would be huge,” an EBU official said.
Nevertheless, information gathered unofficially by Eurovision fans, and posted online, gives credence to the bloc theory. Greece and Cyprus, for example, have given each other the maximum 12 points on eight occasions, including the last four years. According to the same data, Cyprus had never awarded points to Turkey before 2003, and Turkey’s total contribution to Cyprus has so far been a single point in 2004.
Svante Stockselius, Eurovision’s executive supervisor and the EBU’s top representative in Athens, says regional culture and language ties can explain the voting trends.
“Yes, we see that Balkan countries, Scandinavian countries tend to vote for each other, and I think no matter what song Greece enters, they would receive (maximum) 12 points from Cyprus,” he said.
“But I think there’s a lot of explanation as to why this happens… it can be a matter of sharing a cultural background, we know for instance that drums are quite popular in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Often it could be maybe the same language, understood by people in a neighboring country, or the artist might be well-known there,” he added. “I think all those elements together are the reason why people vote the way they do.” Stockselius concedes that behind-the-scenes politics have played a part in past Eurovision contests, which were decided by national jury votes.
But he insists that with the advent of SMS messaging and phone-in votes, registered by TV viewers on a central database, “you cannot convince an entire population to pick up their phones and vote in a certain way.” On the night of the final on Saturday, viewers are allowed to vote for more than one song.
There is a limit of 20 calls from the same number, but the rule will not uniformly apply to all the 38 countries registered to vote due to “technical reasons,” Stockselius told a news conference yesterday.
Court gives all clear to ‘Da Vinci’
A court in Athens yesterday threw out complaints from Greek Orthodox groups against “The Da Vinci Code” film and said that the movie, which is expected to break box office records in Greece, could be shown at some 200 movie theaters.
The judge disagreed with religious hardliners’ argument that the film was blasphemous, noting that neither the Catholic or Orthodox Churches had asked for the movie to be banned.
Members of some of the groups which had brought the action said they would protest in front of movie theaters.
The film is based on the best-selling Dan Brown novel of the same name, which explores the idea that Jesus Christ has living descendants. The Church of Greece has voiced its objection to the book, saying that it was “untrue” and “insulting” but has stopped short of saying the film should be banned.
However, Greek censors have given the film a “17” rating, meaning that children under that age will not be allowed to see the film as it was deemed to be too confusing for them.
24-HOUR TRAINS > Electric railway to run through the night while Eurovision is in Athens
The Athens-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will be running 24 hours a day for the next two days to provide service for passengers traveling to and from events connected with the Eurovision song contest at the Olympic complex, officials said yesterday. Services will be reduced between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. when trains will run every 15 minutes.
But then today I was quite happy to learn that Cyprus won the first European prize for poster competition!
Cyprus has won first prize in a competition for the best European poster on children’s rights in the EU, in the 10 – 14 year age group, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
Around 2,237 teams from all over Europe participated at the competition.
A ceremony took place in Brussels on Thursday, where the European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini presented a certificate to each participating team.
The best posters will be displayed on the websites of the Commission’s Representations in the various EU countries and on the Europa server http://www.europa.eu/. They will also be used in future European children’s rights promotion campaigns.
The Commission will develop a strategy for promoting and protecting children’s rights in all of its policies, both internal and external, as from June 2006.
In the 10 – 14 age group, the first prize was given to the Cypriot team, the second to the Lithuanian and the third to the Maltese. In the 15 – 18 age group, Slovakia won the first prize, Denmark the second and Italy the third.
Presenting the certificates to the participants, Commissioner Frattini expressed his impression by the interests shown in the subject and said “it is to all these young people who have given substantive shape to their ideas on children’s rights and to their expectations regarding them that I extend my thanks and my congratulations.”
Cyprus is doing great, even if not qualified for the Eurovision song festival's finals! Go Cyprus, go!
Last night I wrote "strawberries - take a break". I was in a need to "sweeten" my "bitterness" for Cyprus failing to qualify for Eurovision.
But then I said, politics. Yes, politics and politics it's all about the issue and will explain why. Just read on an you will understand.
Cypriots and Greeks all over the world, were disappointed on Thursday night that Cyprus failed to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest final which will take place in Athens on Saturday.
In a tele-voting procedure, the semi-final for the 51st Eurovision Song Contest saw Cyprus voted out.
Cyprus’ entry was “Why Angels Cry”, performed by Annete Artani, who was in fact not Cypriot at all but a US citizen born of parents from Greece.
For Cypriots, the Eurovision Song Contest has a political dimension. Cypriots tend to give Greece the top 12 points and expect the same in return (but do not always get it), while Turkey is normally expected to give nothing to either Greece or Cyprus but sometimes does.
The ten countries of the semifinal that qualified on Thursday for Saturday’s final are: Russia, FYR Macedonia, Bosnia –Herzegovina, Lithuania, Ukraine, Ireland, Sweden, Turkey and Armenia.
And on top of that, CyBC (Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation) was accused for discrimination over Turkish Cypriot candidate!
The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) yesterday refuted allegations it had acted unfairly when it pulled a Turkish Cypriot parliamentary candidate’s interview from its daily show, BIZ, at the last minute.
Nese Yiasin, a candidate for the United Democrats, was pulled from the Turkish Cypriot programme ‘Us’ after CyBC bosses decided her appearance would come across as preferential treatment.
Read the whole article at > http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=25940&cat_id=1
15 May 2006
The countdown has begun for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, this year hosted by the City of Athens .
The semifinal is next Thursday, May 18, at the OAKA Olympic Sports Complex's indoor basketball stadium. So far the weather hasn’t been favorable and rallies have regularly closed off downtown Athens. But the banners have gone up with the Eurovision logo and the sponsors’ names along Vassilissis Sofias and Kifissias avenues, recalling past glories when the Olympic Games were held in Athens back in the summer of 2004, and creating a sense of anticipation.
Foreign journalists are in town — 1,600 are expected, and 400 Greek journalists have already been accredited. A vast press center is ready for them. Observers from the US have come to see how the contest works, presumably because they have something similar in mind.
As last year’s winner of Eurovision — with Elena Paparizou singing “My Number One” by Christos Dantis and Natalia Germanou — Greece is organizing this year’s contest. Anna Vissi will perform Nikos Karvelas’s song “Everything,” which is a firm favorite to win. ITV showed Vissi live from the Acropolis, talking about the return of the Parthenon marbles.
She also told Ben Shepard on Good Morning TV that she thought Greece would do well in the final. Shepard’s show is watched by six million viewers a day, so if that isn’t everything, it certainly is a lot. A seasoned performer with a powerful stage presence, Vissi believes Greece will win again: “I’m looking forward to the big night of May 20 more than ever before,” she said.
Work is still in progress on the stage with its high-tech lighting and sound systems. Designed by Ilias Ledakis, the stage is being constructed by the German company Procon with the British company Stage One. In yellow T-shirts, accreditation on lanyards around their necks, cheerful, polyglot young volunteers escort the foreign artists and journalists around the venue. Nightly parties will build up the atmosphere.
The first, organized by Athens Mayor Theodoros Behrakis and ERT president Christos Panagopoulos, is Monday at 9 a.m. in the forecourt of the Zappeion Mansion, with special guest star Sakis Rouvas. Tuesday the party moves to Technopolis, Gazi, with Vissi and “Everything,” and on May 18, after the semifinal, EBU and ERT are partying at Euroclub, where the winners can rejoice and the losers can forget their woes.
We wish to all contesting countries Good Luck!
8 May 2006
In January 2006 EURAIL launched a new series of National Passes for 9 participating countries (Finland, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden). Additional countries will be added in 2006 and beyond. This with the aim to make rail travel more attractive and flexible for both tourists and business travellers.
As tourist arrivals for 2006 at European destinations are forecast to rise more than 3% over 2005, the EURAIL Group expects to see a significant growth in its rail pass sales surpassing the 2005 results.
According to HospitalityTrendsCom statistical analysis shows that a significant percentage of the EURAIL travellers visited Europe following a trend set in previous years. This analysis is viewable in chart format at http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/ or http://media.prnewswire.com
The other day I was watching a documentary on the ERT National TV channel about the modern-days soap operas. It was then when I realized that Greek Mythology is not far from modern-day soaps.
Welcome to the world of the Greek gods and goddesses!
It had as much scheming and fighting as a modern-day soap opera. Children fought with their parents. Wives tricked their husbands. Brothers and sisters argued. And in between, some even found time to battle monsters.
Greek Mythology begins with Chaos, who gave birth to Gaea, the goddess of earth. Gaea married Uranus, the god of heaven, and later gave birth to Cronus. Then trouble began. Cronus killed his father.
When Cronus and his wife had children, he worried history would repeat itself. He feared one of his 12 kids would kill him. So he swallowed them one by one. His wife saved one child by tricking her husband into swallowing a stone dressed in baby clothes.
The child who escaped was Zeus. He later did what his father feared. He killed Cronus and saved his siblings who were still alive in their father's belly. Zeus became the king of the gods. He ruled Mount Olympus with his mighty thunderbolt until the Romans conquered the Greeks and renamed all their gods.
Here's a look at some of Zeus' siblings:
Zeus (the Roman Jupiter): The king of the gods became the father of many gods and goddesses including Ares, the god of war, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Hera (the Roman Juno): Zeus' wife, the goddess of marriage and birth, was very jealous. She was especially hard on heroes, such as Hercules, that Zeus fathered with mortal women.
Poseidon (the Roman Neptune): The god of the sea and older brother of Zeus. Just as Zeus was known for his thunderbolt, Poseidon was known for his three-pronged spear, called a trident.
Hades (the Roman Pluto): When Zeus and his brothers Poseidon and Hades split up the areas they would rule, Hades ended up with the underworld, which is also sometimes called Hades.
Demeter (the Roman Ceres): The goddess of corn and grain was the mother of Persephone. Hades fell in love with Persephone and kidnapped her, bringing her to the underworld. During her stay, she ate some pomegranate seeds. Because she ate the seeds, she had to spend time in the underworld. When Persephone was gone, Demeter was sad and made it winter. When Persephone returned, her mother became happy and made it spring.
Hestia (the Roman Vesta): The goddess who protected the hearth and home, Hestia was one of the few Greek deities who wasn't known for making trouble. Many prayers were addressed to her.
At my GRHomeboy's Pages about Greece http://grhomeboy.googlepages.com/ "A Travelling Companion > Into the Greek Life" a special page about Greek Mythology exists, which is a short introduction to Ancient Greeks, the Gods of Olympus and other stories. Log in there to read more.
Whenever you're connected to the Internet, your computer is exposed to many hidden dangers. Like a house with a lock on the front door, your computer needs some form of security. Norton Internet Security 2006 offers a protection package to keep you and your system safe online.
The threats come in many forms, including viruses, worms, hacker attacks, spyware and trojan horses.
Between them they can destroy your files, compromise your sensitive and financial information, bombard you with spam and expose you to inappropriate material.
Norton Internet Security 2006 combines a number of Norton products in one convenient application, including Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Privacy Control, Norton AntiSpam and Norton Parental Control.
Before loading the application it performs a system check-up and anti-virus scan to avoid any installation problems. Users are offered the choice of a regular or custom installation, which will allow control of different user accounts on your PC as well as parental controls.
After installation and online registration of the software, Norton Internet Security 2006 offers 12 months of protection updates, to ward off even the most dynamic threats.
The application will give PC users peace of mind when they are on the Internet. No vicious viruses, no being redirected to unwanted sites and none of those annoying pop-ups.
Even performing financial transactions, such as Net banking, is safe with the use of Norton, which locks out identity thieves and hackers.
Without protection, opening unknown e-mail attachments exposes your PC to viral infection. But Norton scans mail for threats before it lands.
Parents can take some comfort in the fact the application has controls to keep pornographic or violent material away from children. The software also allows the PC administrator to limit applications children can use online, including chat and newsgroup software. Norton Internet Security 2006 offers solid protection for all online activities.
On the Web: www.symantec.com
5 May 2006
Greece, you will discover, is a marvelous mixture of mythology and modernity, a country of countless contrasts and contradictions. Its bustling seaports and expanding cities inspire movies and market research. Its taverna tunes head the international "hit parade". Local cooking has impressed enough visiting housewives so that moussaka is no longer a novelty in Miami.
Publicity in recent years, especially during The Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games, has advised world travelers that Greece is a real bargain. It still is! There are real values to be found, from hotels to many kinds of shopping.
Read more at http://grhomeboy.googlepages.com/
Welcome to a New Era!
HomeboyMediaNews makes its "debut" here for the first time. And who is HomeboyMediaNews you may ask? Huh? The answer is a simple one. HMG is of Greek origin but considers itself as a global citizen. HMG likes living and well being. HMG strikes for new trends. HMG loves life and hopefuly life loves HMG.
HMG will be providing news about life. Life with a capital L. Another elitistic (how sic!) lifestyle media blog? Well, yes!
HMG intends finding things in the intersection of design, culture and technology that excite the imagination and inspire creativity. HMG intends to cover issues related to daily life, style, food, travel, culture, society, architecture and other cool stuff.