Tag: America

Xbox One Price Cut In The U.K.

By Aglaia Staff

From Friday February 28 the Xbox One will be reduced from £429 on its own to £399 with a copy of eagerly anticipated first person shooter Titanfall.

The console was previously £70 times more expensive than the PS4, which has an RRP of £349.

Since the PS4 and Xbox One were launched in Europe and America last November Sony‘s console has strongly outperformed its Microsoft rival.

The PS4 has shifted 5.3 million units worldwide compared to 3.9m Xbox One consoles sold across the globe.

Harvey Eagle, marketing director at Microsoft Xbox UK, said: “This is about giving UK gamers the best value that we can. 

“We’ve already seen that Xbox and PlayStation will both be commercially successful devices. We see this as a marathon, not a sprint.”

The price cut will only apply to the UK. In America the Xbox One is on sale for $499 (£300). 

Britain is the second-biggest market for the Xbox One after the US.

Seth Barton, editor of Expert Reviews, said the price cut was a “canny move” by the company co-founded by Bill Gates.

He said: “By knocking £30 off and adding a game into the bundle, Microsoft have destroyed the price differential with Sony, without having to drop their RRP. 

“They can now sit back and wait to see how well it does, and if it does very well, they can add another game into the deal.”

Titanfall has been developed exclusively for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PCs by one of the makers of the best-selling Call of Duty franchise. 

Mr Barton added: “I don’t think it’s in either company’s interest to launch a price war at this point in time. 

“According to Chart-Track, the Xbox One was selling 1.5 less consoles than the PS4 in the first three months since launching. 

“So they were obviously on the back foot and the price was hurting them.”"The only problem is that it is likely to annoy lots of people who have already bought an Xbox One, and a lot of them did so because they wanted Titanfall.

“It is the most anticipated game in all existence right now.”

The PS4 has outsold the Xbox One despite having more demand than supply.

The console have been like gold dust with many shops quickly selling out of PS4 units.

Last week PlayStation UK Managing Director Fergal Gara has said those looking to buy a PS4 should not expect to find one easily available until April.

Speaking to MCV, Mr Gara said: “I can’t work it out precisely. But based on what I’ve seen so far, I think it is going to be tricky until around about April.

“You might get a fortnight or a week here or there where it is more available, but we should be back to free supply by about April.

“That’s our best guess. It might be a little earlier than that, or it might be a little later. But we’ll get there.”


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Harold Ramis Dies At 69

By Aglaia Staff

Acclaimed filmmaker Harold Ramis has died at the age of 69.

It is understood that the writer, director and actor, best known for his work on hit comedies such as Caddyshack, Club Paradise and Groundhog Day, died at 12.53am this morning. He also co-wrote and starred in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, playing the bookish ghost-hunter Egon Spengler.

t has been reported that he died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that affects the blood vessels. Ramis was diagnosed with the disease in 2010.

In a statement, his family said: “His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humour and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

During his 45-year career, the Chicago-born Ramis worked with a number of leading actors, including Bill Murray in army comedy Stripes, Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters and Chevy Chase in Ramis’ directorial debut, Caddyshack.

In 1997, he played Dr Martin Bettes alongside Jack Nicholson in the Oscar-winning film As Good as It Gets, directed by James L Brooks, and in 1999 he directed Robert De Niro in the gangster comedy, Analyze This.

Ramis told the Wall Street Journal in 2009: “My early movies were all about individuals against institutions, and empowering the underdogs. I always thought of our characters as smart rebels, as opposed to losers.”

Described by film producer Brian Glazer as “the father of the modern Hollywood comedy”, Ramis was inducted into the St Louis Walk of Fame in 2004 and was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award in 2005.

The last film he directed was historical comedy Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, which was released in 2009.


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Sinkhole In Corvette Museum

By Aglaia Staff

A sinkhole formed Wednesday under the National Corvette Museum, swallowing eight cars, according to its executive director.

Some time before 5:30 a.m. CT, the sinkhole started to form, authorities believe. By 5:44 a.m. motion detectors were going off and police were called, Executive Director Wendell Strode said. The incident originally was thought to be a fire.

When emergency personnel got to the museum, they discovered a sinkhole 40 feet wide and 25 to 30 feet deep, Strode said.>

“It’s pretty significant,” he said.

Bowling Green — about 60 miles northeast of Nashville, Tenn., and 100 miles southwest of Louisville, Ky. — is at the edge of a karst region where caves, springs and sinkholes are common. The main entrance to Mammoth Cave National Park is about 30 miles northeast of the city, but that cave system has more than 400 miles that have been explored.

The National Corvette Museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary in August. Of the eight cars that fell into the hole,the museum owned six and General Motors owned two. GM’s Corvette plant where present-day Corvettes are manufactured is across a highway less than a half mile from the museum.

Cars involved in the incident, which occurred inside the museum’s

iconic spire called the Sky Dome, are these:


  • 1962 black Corvette
  • 1984 PPG pace car
  • 1992 white 1 millionth Corvette
  • 1993 ruby red 40th anniversary Corvette
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 white 1.5 millionth Corvette
  • 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” on loan from General Motors


Emergency personnel allowed museum staff to remove only one car in the Sky Dome, the only surviving 1983 Corvette, he said. It had not fallen in the hole

Andrea Hales, communications manager at the Bowling Green Corvette plant said the Corvette was not produced in 1983 Corvette, and the only surviving prototype is at the museum. She added that the sinkhole had no effect on the nearby plant.

Engineers at the scene are assessing the situation, said Jason Polk, a professor of geology and geography at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. Polk is part of the team investigating the cause and extent of the sink hole at the museum Wednesday.

“Before we do anything, like remove the other cars, we want that assessment, so we know if there’s been any structural damage to the Sky Dome,” Strode said.

Central Kentucky‘s geology lends itself to sinkholes, and they are not uncommon, Polk said. The cause of the sinkhole at the Corvette museum has not been determined, but oftentimes this kind of hole is caused by caves that expand over time until the surface gives way.

“Eventually, the soil can’t hold it,” he said.



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Pete Seeger, Songwriter Dies At 94

By Aglaia Staff

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died on Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, New York.

His death was confirmed by his grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, who said he died of natural causes at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.


More than a singer, more than a teacher and inspiration to three generations of folk and rock musicians, Seeger was in the words of one his acolytes, Bruce Springsteen, “a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself”.


The folk singer and folklorist was also a man whose ”great heart was matched only by his commitment to social justice”, said former president Bill Clinton. A commitment that harked back more than 70 years, including some of the darkest days of the mid-20th century; when his career was effectively blocked by both his communist sympathies and his refusal to give ground in what current Springsteen sideman and musical activist Tom Morello called his “uncompromising baddass testimony before the House un-American Activities Committee”.

That Seeger’s influence and example extended not just beyond the songs but also beyond his own country was evident in a series of statements from Britain’s Billy Bragg, who declared that “his songs will be sung wherever people struggle for their rights … we shall overcome” and wanted it remembered that call him communist, socialist or just plain agitator, Seeger was an activist as well as a folk singer.

Peter Seeger towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. He travelled with Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, stood up to Joe McCarthy in the ’50s, marched with Dr Martin Luther King in the ’60s,” Bragg said.

Seeger’s career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.

For Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

In his hearty tenor, Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humourous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in.

Pete Seeger and Willie Nelson on stage during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 

His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the ’40s and ’50s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the ’60s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the ’70s and beyond. We Shall Overcome, which Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.


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Masahiro Tanaka Comes To Yankees With Mai Satoda

By Aglaia Staff

With apologies to Hideki Matsui, the Yankees’ signing of Masahiro Tanaka just gave the Bombers a Godzilla-sized ace for their starting rotation, and Gotham’s newest celebrity power couple.


Carmelo and La La, take note.

Lost in all the immediate buzz of the ace righthander Tanaka’s talents coming to the Bronx is the pitcher’s wife, entertainment and pop star Mai Satoda, who is four years her husband’s senior. The 25-year-old Tanaka may be known for his sparkling 24-0 record last year with the Rakuten Golden Eagles and for his split-finger fastball, but Satoda has made her own stamp in the Land of the Rising Sun, with her pop music and TV background.

Satoda, who turns 30 on March 29, has been associated with several musical acts, including the all-girl pop group Country Musume (which translated means “Country Girls”), which formed in 1999. The group has gone through several incarnations, with Satoda joining in 2002. The band folded in the late 2000s.

During the Tanaka courting process by major league teams, several reports said that Satoda was trying to influence her husband to choose the Dodgers, presumably so she might get a foothold in the Hollywood scene.

But Hiroshi Kanda, an editor with Kyodo News who covered Matsui’s Yankee tenure, said that Satoda was more a “girl-next-door” talent who “cares more about Tanaka than her career.”

“She is one of the most beloved baseball wives (in Japan),” Kanda said. “But I don’t think she’s thinking about her career now.”

That sentiment appeared to be the case last October when Satoda responded to many fans’ concerns about Tanaka’s health following his apparent barehanded catch during the playoffs.

“He’s OK because the ball made a hop before he caught it,” Satoda wrote on her blog. “It wasn’t a direct catch, that would have been scary!”



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High Street Unveils American-Style Shopping

By Aglaia Staff

The Christmas shopping season will kick off in earnest as British retailers bid to kickstart spending by adopting the American tradition of “Black Friday” discounting.

The first weekend in December is always a high spending period as the nation collects its last pay packet before Christmas Day. Online retailers are used to seeing a surge in sales on “Cyber Sunday” and “Mega Monday” as shoppers try to ensure they get the presents they want delivered in time for the big day.

But now the US tradition of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when shops slash prices to encourage sales, is gathering pace in the UK. It is being driven by US retailers with a foot on this side of the Atlantic including Apple, Amazon and Asda, which are offering special discounts.


Amazon has been offering discounts all week while Asda, owned by US retailer Walmart, is planning a sale in its stores including offers of up to 70% off a range of products including plasma TVs and tablets. John Lewis is running a one-day Black Friday sale in stores and online partly because Apple will be offering discounts and its “never knowingly undersold” price pledge means it must match cheaper prices elsewhere. Apple’s iPad Air is expected to be one of the department store’s bestsellers this Christmas.

Andrew Moore, Asda’s chief merchandising officer for general goods, said: “The last weekend in November is always a critical trading period in retail and with our Black Friday deals – a first for a UK supermarket – we’re anticipating the busiest shopping day of the year so far.” He said Asda would also be offering online deals on Monday.

The focus on discounting during retailers’ biggest sales period when many stores make the majority of their annual profits is a risky new trend. It comes as retailers expect shoppers to spend £40.3bn in the runup to Christmas. That total is just 3.5% more than last year, as wage rises have failed to keep up with inflation.

More than 25m British consumers are expected to spend in pre-Christmas sales this year, spending an average £174 each according to research from RedEye, which claims that more than half of shoppers will shun the January sales in favour of finding discounts in November and December.

Mark Patron, chief executive of RedEye, said: “Britain has become a nation of discount junkies.”

Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, said that the retailer had decided to launch its own deals this year, as well as price-matching competitors’ discounts, because the Black Friday idea was catching on with British shoppers.

“Black Friday has really caught the imagination of our customers. Last year we felt they really engaged with it and so we would go a step further.”

He said that interest would kick off early in the morning as shoppers used their mobile phones to get the best deals as soon as they woke up in the same way as they did during the recent launches of the games console XBox One and Apple’s latest gadget, the iPad Air. Online sales are expected to peak on Sunday and Monday, but shoppers are increasingly prepared to spend closer to Christmas as delivery services become more reliable. Many stores will now deliver up until 23 December.



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Individualism And Perseverance Key Success Indicators

300px NegishiCouplingMechanism Individualism And Perseverance Key Success Indicators

Visit aglaia.co.in English: Negishi Coupling Mechanism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Sunil Kumar

Striving for recognition is intrinsic in any human endeavor. Nobel Prize Winners exemplify achievements in diverse fields such as sciences, humanities and the arts. In an exclusive chat with Aglaia.co.in; Ei-ichi Negishi; the 2010 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry outlined individualism, perseverance, optimism and dreaming big as some criteria for success.

Born in Hsingking, Manchukuo; now in China; Mr. Ei-ichi Negishi was educated at the University of Tokyo and Pennsylvania. Best known for the Negishi coupling; Ei-ichi Negishi’s lecture was an informative description of his many decades of work on organic synthesis. He summed up his presentation briefly mentioning d-block transition elements as core drivers in continual global economic growth.

India and its leaders suffer from chronic anxiety,” noted Negishi. According to him; dedication, focus and aiming to be the best in any field could be key takeaways for the nation’s youth. He praised the country’s intellectual prowess; but repeatedly emphasized on mentoring, tenacity, serendipity and a need to discover something new as the hallmarks of an ardent researcher.

The Techfest; India’s largest science fest at the IIT, Bombay saw a footfall of around 92,000 this year. With around 50 exhibits from 20 different countries; the event also showcased innovative products such as MIT Media Lab’s Netra, Advertron; India’s newest advertising and marketing robot and the SOINN based HIRO robot from Hasegawa Labs, Tokyo that adapts to situations based on Artifical Intelligence.


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Northeast Celebrates Guru Nanak’s Birthday

By Sunil Kumar

The 544th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated across the northeast on Wednesday focussing on his teachings and tenets of universal brotherhood.

This year, the celebration of the Guru’s birthday was aimed at fostering the spirit of brotherhood and spreading communal harmony among people, especially when some parts in the state are afflicted with ethnic strife. It was in Assam that Guru Nanak met Sankaradeva and spoke on the importance of universal brotherhood.

Guru Nanak is not only as known as the guru of the Sikhs but for the entire world as well and hence his title Jagat Guru. The special day began with kirtan and we had singers from Punjab. It was followed by geet mala. Assam has a special reverence for the Guru because it was here that he met Sankaradeva and emphasized on the importance of universal brotherhood. This year, the state had witnessed ethnic strife and we need to look into his teachings to learn more about the spirit of universal brotherhood,” said a member of Fancy Bazaar Sikh Temple in Guwahati.

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki wished people on Guru Nanak Jayanti, extensively celebrated as Gurpurab across India and the world.

“Guru Nanak Jayanti is about reliving the teachings that are quoted in the sacred Sikh scripture Guru Grant Sahib, the holy book in which hymns of Sikh Gurus are quoted. I believe the celebration would not only be an inspiration for the followers of Sikhism but also to others as teachings of Guru Nanak are universal,” Tuki said in a statement.

Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the several auspicious religious festivals in Sikhism celebrated to commemorate and remember the birth and philosophy of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru and founder of Sikhism (1469 AD – 1539 AD). Tuki expressed hope that the occasion would strengthen the bond between all religious communities and foster peace and tranquility.

Arunachal Pradesh governor General (Retd) JJ Singh on Wednesday called upon the Sikhs to imbibe righteous values of Sikhism and stay rooted to their cultural heritage and tradition. Attending the 544th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak at Gurudwara Saheb, Naharlagun near here, Singh exhorted them to maintain the spirit of sacrifice and community service and help people.

300px Sikh Gurus with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana Northeast Celebrates Guru Nanaks Birthday

Visit aglaia.co.in English: A rare Tanjore style painting (*Oviyam) bumboifrom the late 19th century depicting the ten Sikh Gurus and Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Joined by a large number of people from the Sikh community and other communities, the governor participated in the Shabad Kirtan and Anand Saheb Path organized on the occasion,” a Raj Bhawan comminique said.



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Bears Get Past Cowboys

By Sunil Kumar

American sport. Lance Briggs took the ball out of the air and started rumbling down the field. As the Chicago linebacker approached the end zone, he fully extended his right arm over his head with the ball in his hand.

Briggs and the rest of the 30-something Bears defenders showed Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys how much they can still play.

Charles Tillman, another of the five defensive starters in their 30s, also returned an interception for a touchdown in the Bears‘ 34-18 victory Monday night.

”A lot of our older guys are playing really well right now because we understand everything so much more,” Briggs added, whose 74-yard run was his first interception return for a TD since 2005. ”Whether we’ve lost a step or some people believe we’ve lost a step, we make up for it in knowledge.”

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