The quickest way to peel an apple

The quickest way to peel an apple

Chef Jasper van Ramshorst figured out the best way to skin an apple is to stick it on the end of a power drill, place a peeler in position and boom.

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Mindy Kaling: Chateau Marmont Chic

All smiles after a fun night out in Hollywood, Mindy Kaling left the Chateau Marmont on Saturday (December 7).

The “Mindy Project” star wore a green and blue checked coat over her short dress while carefully stepping back outside in her heels.

Though she’s regularly seen on the small screen with her hit Fox series (and in reruns of “The Office), the 34-year-old actress’s voice will soon be heard on the big screen.

In the upcoming animated flick, “Inside Out,” Mindy portrays Disgust, just one of the many emotions inside the mind of a little girl.

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Newegg has Cyber Monday deals on LG G Pad 8.3, Dell Venue 8

LG G Pad 8.3

Two tablets and a Bluetooth speaker with solid discounts today

It's just after midnight, and that means that the so-called Cyber Monday shopping deals can officially kick off. Electronics retailer Newegg has a nice set of deals again this year, with a few solid choices for the Android lovers out there. First up are two tablets — the Dell Venue 8 is $50 off, down to $129.99, and the LG G Pad 8.3 is $100 off, just $249.99 today. Newegg also has a Bluetooth speaker fro JLab Audio on sale for $59.95, down from a regular price of $199.99. To get the full discount on all three you'll need to enter the promo code on the product page, which is good for today only.

We have a running list of even more Cyber Monday deals available as well for those of you wanting to pick up some new tech at a discount.


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Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky: Shipwrecked Off the Coast of Spain

Taking in some of the sights while there for business, Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky enjoyed some time with their daughter India in La Gomera, Spain on Monday (November 18).

Glowing while pregnant with her second little one, the proud mama watched on as her doting hubby took pictures of their adorable little girl.

In other news, the pair went aboard the Fishing Big catamaran yacht this past Sunday when they ran into some trouble.

According to reports, Elsa and Chris were on board when the yacht ran aground off the coast of La Gomera, around 8pm, just off the coast of San Sebastian.

A lifeboat, a Civil Guard patrol boat, and a helicopter were sent to help the couple along with eight other passengers. No injuries were reported.

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Amazon Cloud Player back in the App Store with a minor update

We’ve been hearing about the apparent disappearance of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iOS from the App Store earlier today, and while that seemed to be the case it’s now back with update in tow. We’re not looking at anything major, but its disappearance may have indicated some bugs to be fixed. The full changelog:

  • Updated look for album and artist pages
  • Bug fixes

While there may be an updated look, there’s still no proper iOS 7 update, and that makes us sad. In any case, if you needed this and couldn’t find it, or just need to grab the update, hit the App Store at the link below.


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Bethenny Frankel & Bryn: Chilly City Stroll

Taking care of her daily duties, Bethenny Frankel carried her daughter Bryn out of her New York City apartment on Monday morning (November 18).

Clad in casual attire, the “Bethenny” host looked a bit frazzled as she encountered shutterbugs just outside her front door, and she scurried off to avoid a confrontation.

In a new interview with Health magazine, Frankel noted that she’d love to find someone to guide her through her post-divorce transition.

On what she’s looking for in a man, Bethenny shared, “Acceptance. Confidence. Sense of humor. Ability to take charge. I’m always so in charge, I’d like someone else to take charge. And it’s not that easy. I’m not that easy a person to take charge of. I don’t want anyone to take charge of my business. I want someone to take charge of my personal life.”

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5-year-old California boy a smash hit as ‘Batkid’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero.

In the process, Miles Scott became a darling of social media and attracted thousands of fans around the country, including the White House.

“When you have an illness, it’s very important to know you have a support system,” said Gina Futrell, a 51-year-old with multiple sclerosis, who was among a large crowd gathered at Union Square for a chance to so see the “Batkid” in action. “I have an extremely strong support system, and I hope he does too. He’s such a little hero.”

Batkid was called into service by Police Chief Greg Suhr and spent the day zooming from one “crime scene” to the next. Accompanied by an adult Batman impersonator, Batkid rescued a damsel in distress from cable car tracks, captured the Riddler as he robbed a bank, and saved the San Francisco Giants mascot — Lou Seal — from the Penguin’s clutches.

Miles was able to fulfill his wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city and volunteers who stepped forward to help. He was diagnosed three years ago, underwent chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission.

Batkid had a police escort worthy of a dignitary as he sped around the city in a black Lamborghini with a Batman decal, with officers blocking traffic and riding alongside him on motorcycles. The White House sent out a tweet encouraging Batkid to “Go get ‘em!” In a video recording, President Barack Obama said, “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!”

View gallery.”

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, stands next to Batman …

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, stands next to Batman as he receives the key to the city from San Fr …

The crowds grew after each stop, reaching into the thousands by the time Miles got to Union Square for lunch at the Burger Bar atop Macy’s. Spectators climbed trees and clambered up lampposts, and police and organizers struggled to keep a path open for the motorcade, which drove past onlookers lining the streets six deep for several blocks.

At Batkid’s stop in the city’s Russian Hill neighborhood, a woman sat on the cable car tracks in a dress and thigh-high black boots. She had a handkerchief around her mouth, and her hands were bound behind her back.

Batman and Batkid sprang into action, with the aid of a trampoline, as the crowd roared. They rescued the woman and disabled a plastic replica bomb she was tied to.

The two masked superheroes then took off to nab the Riddler as he robbed a downtown bank. They later jetted to the Penguin’s kidnapping of Lou Seal.

The 5-year-old at first seemed overwhelmed by the outpouring, quietly working through each scenario with clenched fists and tight lips amid delirious chants of “bat kid, bat kid.” But by the time he reached City Hall to receive a key to the city in front of the biggest crowd of the day, Miles was all smiles and bravado.

View gallery.”

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, second from left, raises …

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, second from left, raises his arm next to Batman at a rally outside o …

Though he didn’t address the crowd, he raised his fist twice and wore a grin as he was feted with chocolate, an FBI “raid jacket” and a San Francisco Police Department cap. A clothing company donated $10,000 to Miles’ family, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed Nov. 15 to be “Batkid Day Forever.”

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag unveiled an “indictment” charging the Penguin and Riddler with conspiracy as the crowd that stretched for blocks roared with delight.

Miles father, Nick Scott, was asked what the boy liked best about Batman. “The cape, I guess,” he said.

The father thanked the crowd, organizers and the city for showing his son a good time.

“This is closure for us,” Nick Scott said. “It has been a hard three years.”

View gallery.”

A crowd holds up signs for Miles Scott, as Batkid, …

A crowd holds up signs for Miles Scott, as Batkid, at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, …

Miles, who lives in Tulelake in far Northern California, didn’t know what was in store for him and thought he was in San Francisco just to get a Batman costume so he could dress like his favorite superhero.

He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old and ended treatments in June.

Make-A-Wish has fulfilled similar wishes across the country. In Anaheim, a child became Batman’s sidekick, Robin; and in Seattle a child was a secret agent, said Jen Wilson, a spokeswoman for the local organization.

The San Francisco Chronicle, KGO-TV and thousands of volunteers participated in the event. At Union Square, the Chronicle distributed hundreds of copies of special-edition newspapers with the headline “Batkid Saves City.”

“This is off-the-hook San Francisco,” Suhr said.


Associated Press writers Channing Joseph and Terry Collins contributed to this report.

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Chrome 31 pushes Web apps a step closer to desktop apps

When Google released Chrome 31 this week, it snuck in an extra goodie under the hood: the Portable Native Client, aka PNaCl (“pinnacle”), which allows C/C++ code to be used in in-browser Web apps.

High-speed gaming, complex video processing and playback, or apps with the power of the desktop edition of Adobe Photoshop are all theoretically possible inside Chrome with PNaCl.

It’s the next step in Google’s ongoing quest to make it possible for developers to make Web apps into first-class desktop apps, without the limitations of JavaScript or the security problems that have plagued plug-ins like Flash. But it’s a Chrome-only — and so far, Google-only — technology.

Fast and safe
Google’s original Native Client project, which it describes as “a secure sandbox for running untrusted native machine code in the Chrome browser,” has already drawn a lot of attention. Before it came along, the options for running high-speed code in a browser were slim pickings: Java (plug-in required), Flash (again, plug-in required), or more recently, JavaScript with the asm.js subset (not supported in Chrome).

Portable Native Client, as the name implies, solves the problem of how to deliver such code across multiple machine architectures. PNaCl compiles C or C++ code into what Google describes as “LLVM-style bytecode,” an intermediate stage between the source code and machine code. When you visit a page that uses the app, it’s converted from the bytecode into the client platform’s native code, a process far faster (and more reliable) than recompiling the app from source. The code also runs in a sandbox that prevents it from harming the surrounding system.

Google’s touted the wonders of NaCl-powered applications for a while, but only in the most recent release of Chrome did Google make PNaCl enabled by default. Those on the current iteration of Chrome can fire up one of the PNaCl demos and see several examples of NaCl apps in action. (My favorite: Conway’s Life.)

Any other takers?
The biggest drawback to NaCL and PNaCl is that it’s exclusive to Chrome — and likely to remain that way.

Mozilla was never fond of NaCl and pushed asm.js instead. It has criticized Google for breaking from the standards of openness set down by Google when it forked the WebKit rendering engine into Blink. And Kevin Moore of HTML5 game development studio Pixel Lab, which has looked into NaCl as a possible platform, has stated that NaCl “isn’t going to [be] bread-and-butter Internet … I can’t imagine a time when Microsoft would take up something like NaCl.”

Granted, that was back in 2012, and Chrome’s market share remains solid enough to make it difficult to dismiss NaCl as a minimal market share curiosity. But a lot of what’ll drive NaCl’s acceptance won’t lie with Google alone.

If Mozilla and Microsoft decide asm.js or another technology is the better way forward — or at least the way most directly embraced by Web developers — Google may have no choice but to follow suit. In the meantime, it’s putting NaCl — and PNaCl — front and center.

This story, “Chrome 31 pushes Web apps a step closer to desktop apps,” was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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More lenient school lice policies bug some parents

Over the counter products for controlling head lice are photographed in Washington, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Some parents are scratching their heads over less restrictive head lice policies that allow children with live bugs in their hair to return to the classroom for the rest of the day. Some school nurses are no longer sending home “lice notes” to parents of other children in the classroom. The policy shift is designed to help keep children from missing class, shield children with lice from embarrassment and protect their privacy. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Over the counter products for controlling head lice are photographed in Washington, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Some parents are scratching their heads over less restrictive head lice policies that allow children with live bugs in their hair to return to the classroom for the rest of the day. Some school nurses are no longer sending home “lice notes” to parents of other children in the classroom. The policy shift is designed to help keep children from missing class, shield children with lice from embarrassment and protect their privacy. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

(AP) — Some parents are scratching their heads over less restrictive head lice policies that allow children with live bugs in their hair to return to the classroom.

And some school nurses are no longer sending home the dreaded “lice note” to other parents with kids in the classroom, alerting them to the possibility of lice in their own child’s precious locks. The policy shift is designed to help keep children from missing class, shield children with lice from embarrassment and protect their privacy.

“Lice is icky, but it’s not dangerous,” says Deborah Pontius, the school nurse for the Pershing County School District in Lovelock, Nev. “It’s not infectious, and it’s fairly easy to treat.”

Usually by the time an itchy child is sent to the nurse, Pontius says, the child has probably had lice for about three weeks to two months. She says classmates already would have been exposed. There’s little additional risk of transmission, she says, if the student returns to class for a few hours until the end of the day, when a parent would pick up the child and treat for lice at home.

Pontius also doesn’t send lice notes. “It gets out who had lice,” she says, and there’s no need to panic parents. Parents with elementary school-aged kids should check their children’s hair for lice once a week anyway, she says. If they are doing that, then there’s really no need for the notes.

The idea of letting kids with untreated lice remain in class doesn’t set well with some parents.

“I’m appalled. I am just so disgusted,” says Theresa Rice, whose 8-year-old daughter, Jenna, has come home from her elementary school in Hamilton County, Tenn., with lice three times since school started in August.

“It’s just a terrible headache to have to deal with lice,” says Rice. To pick out the tiny eggs, or nits, and lice from Jenna’s long blond hair is a four-hour process. Add to that all the laundry and cleaning — it’s exhausting, she says. Rice had to bag up her daughter’s treasured stuffed animals, which remained sealed for weeks even after Jenna was lice-free.

Jenna’s school implemented a new policy in the past year that allows children with untreated lice to go home at the end of the day, be treated and then return to school. The policy, the district said, complies with the guidelines of both the Tennessee Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other schools, in California, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina and elsewhere, have similar policies.

The National Pediculosis Association in Massachusetts is opposed to relaxing bans on lice and blames the updated policies for spreading the bugs.

“The new lice policy throws parental values for wellness and children’s health under the bus,” says Deborah Altschuler, head of the Newton-based group. “It fosters complacency about head lice by minimizing its importance as a communicable parasitic disease.”

The association says lice treatment shampoos are pesticides that are not safe for children and not 100 percent effective. The group instead urges parents to screen regularly and use a special comb to manually remove lice and nits from a child’s hair.

Lice are tiny grayish-white bugs that infest a scalp, sucking bits of blood every few hours. Lice don’t jump or fly. They crawl. They are not a sign of poor hygiene.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are 6 million to 12 million head lice infestations each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years old. While itchy and unpleasant, health experts say lice don’t spread disease and are not a health hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines in 2010 to adopt a “do not exclude” infested students recommendation for schools dealing with head lice.

The National Association of School Nurses revised its position the following year. In its guidance, the association said children found with live head lice should remain in class but be discouraged from close direct head contact with others. The school nurse should contact the parent to discuss treatment.

The association doesn’t have figures on how many schools have adopted less restrictive policies. It varies by state and often by school district.

The ways in which schools manage head lice have been changing over the last couple of decades.

It used to be that schools wouldn’t allow children to return to the classroom until all the lice and the nits were removed. The academy has long encouraged schools to discontinue “no-nit” policies. The itty-bitty nits — which can often be confused with dandruff — cement themselves to the hair shaft, making removal difficult.

The CDC says the nits are “very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people” — and many schools have dropped their no-nit policies. But supporters of no-nit rules, such as the National Pediculosis Association, say the eggs will hatch new lice and need to be removed from a child’s hair to be considered lice free.



Centers for Disease Control:

National Pediculosis Association:

National Association of School Nurses:

Associated PressSource:
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Hangouts 2.0 now rolling out with SMS support


New version lets you use Google's IM app to send and receive texts

As promised at last week's Google+ event, the new version of Hangouts capable of sending and receiving text messages is now rolling out through Google Play. The update to brings things up to speed with the version of Hangouts on the Nexus 5, which is the default SMS app on that device. When you first load up the updated Hangouts you'll be presented with a fullscreen message asking if you want to enable SMS support — tap yes and your messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and things will stay as they are.

For the most part, the texting experience through Hangouts 2.0 on any other device is the same as it is on the Nexus 5 — SMS conversations are shown in a list alongside your other, and you can choose whether you want to communicate over Hangouts or SMS when starting a new conversation. Want out? At any point you can go to Settings > SMS > Turn on SMS to enable or disable SMS in Hangouts.

The update also adds animated GIF support and a new location-sharing button, which you can tap to tell contacts where you are.

As usual the update is being rolled out gradually across the Android user base, so don't be surprised if you don't see it immediately. If you're updating today, be sure to hit the comments and let us know whether you're opting into SMS in Hangouts or not.


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