Nokia starts roll-out of Apple App Store rival

HELSINKI (May 25) - Nokia on Monday began rolling out its much-anticipated online software and content store, Ovi Store, as it aims to follow the success of Apple's App Store.

Nokia said it had started moving Ovi Store to production servers, preparing for the global commercial launch, and the store was opened to users of a few of its phone models in Australia and Singapore on Monday.

Nokia has promised to open the store globally this week.To cope with slowing phone demand Nokia is building a new business from mobile Internet services -- like games or maps -- but is scaling back separate investment plans due to the slowdown, and focusing on merging the delivery of services.

Nokia, which made its first ever quarterly pretax loss in January-March, is cutting annual costs at its key handset unit alone by more than 700 million euros ($979.7 million) to counter plunging phone demand.

The Apple App Store has proved extremely popular, with one billion applications downloaded in less than a year, and operators and technology firms including Vodafone Nokia, and Microsoft now want a piece of the pie.

However, analysts say firms will likely struggle to match the success of Apple's store when creating their own stores, hampered by technical issues, a lack of applications and increased competition.

"Ovi Store is in some ways the last castle for Nokia - both N-Gage and 'Comes with Music' are industry laughing stocks," said Global Crown analyst Tero Kuittinen.

Games and music have been spearheads of Nokia's services push, but its mobile gaming offering has had little success, and its much-hyped music offering, which bundles free music downloads with a sold phone, has also found few clients.

Nokia will also sell games and music through the Ovi Store.

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Nadal and Safina dazzle in Paris sun

PARIS (May 25) - World number ones Rafael Nadal and Dinara Safina dazzled their opponents in the Parisian sun on Monday to blaze into the second round of the French Open.

Brazil's Marcos Daniel fought valiantly for almost 2-1/2 hours before suffering the same fate as four-times champion Nadal's previous 28 opponents at the claycourt grand slam, going down 7-5 6-4 6-3.

Roland Garros also caught a brief glimpse of Safina who white-washed Britain's Anne Keothavong 6-0 6-0.

The Paris crowd had barely had time to file into Center Court and settle into their baking-hot plastic seats before the Russian, who looks poised to improve on her 2008 runner-up finish, had dashed back into the cooler confines of the locker room.

So ferocious were Safina's groundstrokes that a linesman was lucky to dodge one of the missiles. Keothavong might have won 33 points but 24 of these came from Safina's unforced errors.

Despite being on the receiving end of the 61-minute hammering, Keothavong at least saw the funny side.

"I'm not going to walk out here and slit my wrists or anything," said Keothavong, who last week became the first British woman in 26 years to reach the semis of a Tour event on clay in Warsaw. "In the end, you just kind of have to find ways to laugh about it. What else is there to do? I'm sure there will be a few jokes about it but I can take it."

Safina's coach, however, was not amused.

"(He felt) I could serve a little bit better and hit the balls a little harder, especially in that love game, 5-0 (in second set), when I pushed a few shots he was angry," said Safina, who has been beaten on clay just once this season.

"He said: 'What's this at 5-0? You have to hit the ball.'"

It is a message Venus Williams could also take on board after her mind went walkabout in the second set during a 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Williams, who owns seven grand slam trophies but has never triumphed at Roland Garros, will next face Czech Lucie Safarova.

Nadal has ruled Roland Garros since 2005 and, as he began his pursuit of a record fifth consecutive title, there was little to suggest that anyone would be able to wrest the title away from him.
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Honoring the fallen on a Google Earth map

Each Memorial Day we honor the men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy. Traditionally, this is the day many people visit cemeteries and memorials, especially the Arlington National Cemetery. But not all of us can do that. Good news is this year there's an alternative.

Sean Askay, a Google engineer, released on Sunday a Google Earth layer, called Map the Fallen, that contains detailed information of more than 5,700 service members who died in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. This is an interactive tool that allows you to see photos, learn about how each service member died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died.

Askay has no military affiliation or background and developed the project on his personal time. He said on his mapthefallen blog that he came up with the idea when he was still a student and ran across, a public database of dead soldiers since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

According the Askay's blog, the Map the Fallen layer contains information collected from a number of sources, including the Department of Defense's Statistical Information Analysis Division,,'s Honor the Fallen, The Washington Post's Faces of the Fallen, the Iraq and Afghanistan Pages, and

The layer requires Google Earth 5.0 or later. Once the software is installed, you just need to download the Map the Fallen layer layer and choose to open it. After a few seconds, the layer will be loaded and you can learn so much more about those honorable men and women that you might otherwise don't know about at all.

Personally, seeing the sheer number of human figures closely shown on the surface the Earth is enough to give me somber and humble feelings.

What Askay did shows the true meaning of Memorial Day, and for a lot of us it offers an easy and convenient way to frequently remember and honor those we are often too distracted to do so.

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (400 Mb Only)

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Synopsis : When the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, the museum pieces are moved into federal storage at the famous Washington Museums. The centerpiece of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s (Jon Bernthal) rap sheet and mug shot to Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, the still from M*A*S*H and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair from All in the Family. With a forwarded resume, Larry (Ben Stiller) becomes another caretaker at the Smithsonian, where Kahmunrah, an evil Pharaoh will come to life with the reestablishing of a tablet as a magical force in the museum bringing the old exhibits (Such as Theodore Roosevelt and Dexter) and new exhibits (like General Custer and Al Capone) back to life, and in conflict with each other. Larry enlists the help of Amelia Earheart, who he develops a romantic interest in, and together they try to put everything back in order.

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Facebook Banned by East Java Islamic Organization

Surabaya, Indonesia (May 24) - On the heels of reports of a controversial edict on social networking tools such as Facebook and mobile phones, an official said the government will not issue any laws to limit individual freedom to access information through the two media.

An expert staff member at the Information and Communications Ministry, Sukemi, cited Law No.11/2008 on Information and Electronic Transaction, which bans the distribution of information that tends to violate morality in the community, including invitations to gamble, insinuation, extortion and threats.

“Under the law, any internet providers who distribute pornography can be arrested by the police and be legally processed,” Sukemi told The Jakarta Post.

“We acknowledge the dissemination of the law has been sporadic.”

It was reported earlier that up to 1,700 clerics from Java and Bali from the country’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, had issued the edict on

Friday banning the use of Facebook, Friendster and other online social networks as well as mobile phone communications “if they were used for extramarital affairs” and other “negative” things such as pornography.

The edict is not legally binding and does not represent the NU as a whole.

Under Law No. 11/2008, aside from violating morality, any individual who is found to distribute rumors or baseless information containing SARA (tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groups) issues will face possible imprisonment of up to six years and fines between Rp 1 billion (US$900,000) and Rp 2 billion.

“The law does not regulate private affairs. We also do not want to interfere with the private rights
of individuals, who can have access to pornography as long as their activities do not cause enmity that would lead to SARA conflicts,” Sukemi said.

The edict was issued in response to the clerics’ restlessness against reports of widespread
distribution of pornographic material, gossip, sexual affairs and any other negative purposes via the
two media.

Sukemi further said after the clerics’ issuance of the edict, the government will launch a healthy internet program designed for all layers of the community through a number of meetings at schools, NGOs, government and private institutions and others.

“Under the healthy internet program, we will invite the community to use the internet only
for positive purposes and access anti-pornography sites provided free of charge by the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nadjib Hamid, secretary of the East Java board of management of Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization Muhammadiyah, said utilizing information technology is not banned by religious regulations as long as it is not used for any negative purposes.

“We have informed our followers in Indonesia. “Facebook constitutes a blessing from the advancement of science and technology. Science and technology can be a necessity if they bring about benefits to human beings.” Read More...

Magic conjure up big win over Cavs, take 2-1 series lead

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard (C) is fouled by Cleveland Cavaliers' Zydrunas Ilgauskas from Lithuania (L) as his teammate LeBron James tries to get the ball from Howard in the second quarter during Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoff series in Orlando, Florida May 24, 2009.

ORLANDO (May 25) - The Orlando Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-89 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference finals series.

Dwight Howard had 24 points and nine rebounds but played less than 28 minutes because of foul trouble.

LeBron James had 41 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Cleveland. Game 3 is on Tuesday in Orlando.

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