Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: The Year the eBook Wars Broke Out

Open war is upon us, whether we would have it or not. These incidents in 2011  seemed like twitter-inflamed kerfuffles as we lived through them, but with the perspective of time, we can see they were preludes to a fight to the death.

1. Harper-Collins and Overdrive Stop Pretending

In a year or two, libraries may consider the Harper Collins limit of 26 circulations of a list price ebook through Overdrive to be a relative bargain, as all of the other large publishers will withdraw from "pretend-its-print" ebook licensing.

2. Amazon occupies Overdrive

Libraries mostly welcomed the possibility to lend their Overdrive ebooks to patrons with Kindles. Libraries are fundamentally service-oriented institutions and ebooks on Kindle is what the users wanted. But at what cost? Do the traditional library values of privacy go right out the door? Do libraries realize that patrons gone to Amazon might not come back?

3. The Penguin Strikes Back

The big publishers have watched Amazon's market power grow and see a future of slavery to an internet commerce master. Only Penguin allowed hostilities to break out, however, as the Amazon occupation of Overdrive broke the penguin's back. The target of opportunity was library lending. Evidently Penguin decided that a frontal assault on Amazon would be suicidal.

4. Prime Pretends to be a Library

Amazon added ebook borrowing features to their Amazon Prime service, revealing it as Amazon's answer to Netflix, and without even thinking about it, as a service that could eventually compete directly with public libraries. Now we see why Amazon wanted to get in on that library thing.

5. Publishers Decide Google is a Lesser Evil

Publishers looked back on the halcyon days when Google Books seemed poised to establish a new world order for ebooks with nostalgia. A separate, anticlimactic settlement between Google and the Association of American Publishers appears to be in the offing. It's Amazon that they're afraid of now.

6. Authors Lob Legal Grenades at Hathitrust

Spurned by the publishers in their joint crusade against the Google heathens, the Authors Guild decided that Hathitrust might be a less formidable opponent. And indeed it was, the lawsuit exposed a number of copyright blunders by the library cooperative. But the Guild's suit seemed hasty and ill-contrived. This sort of thing happens in wartime.

7. Amazon Obliterates Borders.

Although Borders was tactically weak in many ways, it was Amazon and the rise of ebooks that killed it strategically. Barnes and Noble, if it survives, won't look anything like the book marketing machine that it is today.

8. Libraries Muster the Resistance

The emergence of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as a rallying point for libraries' continuing presence in the cultural life of America was a surprise, as it went against the prevailing tea-party currents for smaller government and increased reliance on the private sector. It's not clear how the symbolic presence of a library in Zuccotti Park could point the way to a digital future, but many things that have not yet come to pass are shrouded in darkness.

9. Anti-Piracy Hysteria Threatens Freedom Loving Citizens

The powerful publishing and media industries, in a paroxysm of inept do-something-ism, seem to have convinced Congress that it would be a good thing if the intenet could be censored for copyright infringement. Sadly, the solution they've fixed on, SOPA, will be ineffective against unlicensed content and will put the Justice Department smack in the middle of our nation's information infrastructure. Carpet bombing never ends well.

There's hope.

I have learned that whenever it seems that you're falling into the abyss, you must reach for a rope. There is always a rope.
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Wednesday,  January 4, 2012 - 6:30 p.m.
Friendship Auditorium
3201 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Public Testimony regarding City Redistricting (Each presenter is allowed no more than two minutes per speaker at the discretion of the hearing Presiding Officer. All written testimony will be accepted, as well as testimony submitted on-line)

For information concerning this Commission, please contact Myriam Lopez at (213) 922-7740 or e-mail

Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission
200 N. Spring Street, Room 275
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 922-7740


Currently, Atwater Village is divided among three council districts. Atwater’s industrial area north of Goodwin and equestrian district is located in Council District 4; Atwater’s residential areas and three main commercial corridors (Fletcher Dr and Los Feliz & Glendale Blvd’s) are located in Council District 13; and a small slither of industrial property south of the 2 freeway is located in Council District 1. 

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Whither Free Speech

It is customary at the end of each year for some Hondurans to construct paper maché, wood, and fabric figures of the bad things that happened that year and burn them, to symbolically kill all the bad of the current year and usher in the good of the next year. Normally these would be filled with fireworks: rockets, mortars, and firecrackers, but this year there's a complete ban on fireworks, so they'll reportedly be stuffed with paper, grass, and other combustible materials.

It's New Years Eve and a weekend, so the reporters stayed close to home this year (coverage: El Heraldo, El Tiempo, La Tribuna, and La Prensa, and international press coverage in EFE and Univision.). Here's what Hondurans in Tegucigalpa want to leave behind.

One figure is a Transit Police vehicle with the bodies of Rafael Alejandro Vargas Castellanos and Carlos David Pineda Rodriguez thrown carelessly in the back.

Another is a tank driven by Porfirio Lobo Sosa and ENEE boss Roberto Martin Lozano with text that calls into question the final thermo-electric generation deal. To quote one of the creators,
"They have been cruel to the people of Honduras with the increases in the cost of electricity....It's a government that has the people on their knees, and they cannot do anything to get out of poverty."

Still another is a figure of a police officer, in a uniform and orange colored official vest donated by a police officer disgruntled by the corruption, holding up a sign that says "A Bribe or Your License".

Another figure is an assassin standing before a tree labeled, the "Tree of the Poor". "This is the assassin, we have to kill him so that he won't kill more people," said the creator.

The owners of an upholstery shop constructed a figure of a man and a woman riding a red motorcycle. They want to protest the new law that restricts who can be a passenger on a motorcycle.

The creators of the Transit Police Car report receiving death threats:
The figures were almost done; we had them outside the house but mysteriously the (figure of) the driver of the patrol car disappeared. Another day, around 6 pm as we were finishing up the final touches, someone shot at us from a moving car."

This morning, Police officers came by and confiscated all the figures related to police corruption. The commander of the National Police, José Ricardo Ramirez del Cid, ordered that the Police "not retain the figures", noting that:
The people have a right to protest. I call on all the police, and we are talking here about an order, that they let people protest; we do not have a reason to be offended; we are subject to criticism. If we have committed errors we'll try to fix them.

So far, not sign of anyone returning the confiscated figures.Any source

William Blake art from The Book of Urizen

 William Blake etching with watercolor & ink (Tate collection).
Any source

MeteoBarco les desea un Feliz Año Nuevo¡¡¡

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Iniziati i festeggiamenti !

Ad Oakland l'anno nuovo si festeggia già da qualche minuto essendo proprio agli antipodi da noi, ben 12 ore di differenza con il fuso orario. Grazie alle webcam presenti in tutto il mondo possiamo festeggiare quante volte vogliamo. Auguri a tutti

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The Debugging Tools for Windows are required to analyze crash dump files. If you do not have the Debugging Tools for Windows installed or dump files are not being generated on system crash, see this post for installation/configuration instructions:

0xC0000221 is a somewhat uncommon blue screen error on the Windows platform (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 8). It is uncommon enough that it is not included in the standard list of bug check codes on MSDN and seems to crop up only when there is corruption in some of the critical system libraries. The actual bug code value is STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH:

C:\Users\Administrator>err c0000221
# for hex 0xc0000221 / decimal -1073741279 :
# {Bad Image Checksum}
# The image %hs is possibly corrupt. The header checksum does
# not match the computed checksum.
# 1 matches found for "c0000221"
When I've observed this error, it usually is accompanied by a number of other errors that indicate file system corruption and possible memory issues (MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM, SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION [P1=0xc0000005], PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, and SYSTEM_PTE_MISUES that only references the NT kernel). Since it isn't a common bug check that windbg knows how to handle, I had to take some educated guesses when I looked at the debugging output since there is no documentation for the parameters. I started out with a !analyze -v,
0: kd> !analyze -v
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *

Unknown bugcheck code (c0000221)
Unknown bugcheck description
Arg1: fffff8a0002400e0
Arg2: 0000000000000000
Arg3: 0000000000000000
Arg4: 0000000000000000

Debugging Details:

BUGCHECK_STR: 0xc0000221

ERROR_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000221 - {Bad Image Checksum} The image %hs is 
                                    possibly corrupt. The header checksum 
                                    does not match the computed checksum.

EXCEPTION_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000221 - {Bad Image Checksum} The image %hs is 
                                        possibly corrupt. The header checksum 
                                        does not match the computed checksum.

EXCEPTION_PARAMETER1: fffff8a0002400e0

EXCEPTION_PARAMETER2: 0000000000000000

EXCEPTION_PARAMETER3: 0000000000000000



IMAGE_NAME: ntkrnlmp.exe





LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from fffff800033112df to fffff800030c7c40

... : nt!KeBugCheckEx
... : nt!ExpSystemErrorHandler2+0x5ff
... : nt!ExpSystemErrorHandler+0xdd
... : nt!ExpRaiseHardError+0xe1
... : nt!ExRaiseHardError+0x1d6
... : nt!NtRaiseHardError+0x1e4
... : nt!PspLocateSystemDll+0xbf
... : nt!PsLocateSystemDlls+0x69
... : nt!IoInitSystem+0x85d
... : nt!Phase1InitializationDiscard+0x129a
... : nt!Phase1Initialization+0x9
... : nt!PspSystemThreadStartup+0x5a
... : nt!KxStartSystemThread+0x16


fffff800`033112df cc int 3


SYMBOL_NAME: nt!ExpSystemErrorHandler2+5ff



FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: X64_0xc0000221_nt!ExpSystemErrorHandler2+5ff

BUCKET_ID: X64_0xc0000221_nt!ExpSystemErrorHandler2+5ff

Followup: MachineOwner
Then I took an educated guess with the first parameter. Sometimes these parameters point to plain text strings in memory that tell more about the error (this is similar to 0x000000F4 CRITICAL_OBJECT_TERMINATION). The Windows debuggers have a number of commands prefixed with the letter d that display sections of memory in various ways (ex. dt = display type, da= ASCII Characters, du=Unicode characters, etc). I got lucky on the first try by displaying the ASCII string located at parameter 1,

0: kd> da fffff8a0002400e0
fffff8a0`002400e0 "\SystemRoot\System32\ntdll.dll"
In this case, the ntdll.dll file is corrupted. Since this is corruption with a critical system file, the file needs to be replaced in some way (backup, etc) and the file system needs to be repaired. A logical first step is to try a file system repair/verification and check the critical system files. Since the system is really unstable at this point, this should be performed in the offline mode. Additionally, this may be the result of various things including viruses, memory failures, and hard drive problems. It is a good idea to check the memory for errors, then check the hard drive, then perform a virus scan if the file is successfully repaired during system verification. If not, most of the Microsoft KBs identify that the system may need to be reinstalled. If the system is too unstable to successfully back up the files, they may need to be rescued using a Linux Live CD

See Also,
Windows Crash Dump Analysis
Troubleshooting Memory Errors
How To Detect a Failing Hard Drive
How to Perform an Offline System Integrity Verification

Any source


The Debugging Tools for Windows are required to analyze crash dump files. If you do not have the Debugging Tools for Windows installed or dump files are not being generated on system crash, see this post for installation/configuration instructions:

0x000000F4 CRITICAL_OBJECT_TERMINATION is a common blue screen error on the Windows platform (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 8). This error occurs when a critical system process or thread is terminated. The termination is detected and results in a bug check that dumps information on the state of the system when the thread or process is killed. Critical system processes include
  • smss.exe - Session Management Subsystem
  • csrss.exe - Client/Server Runtime Subsystem
  • wininit.exe - Session 0 initialization
  • logonui.exe - Windows logon process
  • lsass.exe - Local Security Authority Subsystem
  • services.exe - Service Control Manager
  • services.exe processes hosting RPC Endpoint Mapper (RPCSS), DCOM Server Process Launcher, and Plug and Play services
To illustrate the mechanics of debugging, I created two crashes, one that shows a critical thread termination and one that shows a critical process termination. The debugging process is fairly straightforward and an example is given for each below. The main difference is identified by parameter 1.

Case 1: Critical Process Termination (Parameter 1 = 3) 

A starting point for debugging a critical process termination dump is to use the !analyze -v debugger command,

kd> !analyze -v
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *

A process or thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been
Several processes and threads are necessary for the operation of the
system; when they are terminated (for any reason), the system can no
longer function.
Arg1: 0000000000000003, Process
Arg2: fffffa80022fd060, Terminating object
Arg3: fffffa80022fd340, Process image file name
Arg4: fffff800017d2240, Explanatory message (ascii)

Debugging Details:

PROCESS_OBJECT: fffffa80022fd060




FAULTING_MODULE: 0000000000000000

PROCESS_NAME: procexp64.exe

BUGCHECK_STR: 0xF4_procexp64.exe




LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from fffff80001855142 to fffff800014c9f00

... : nt!KeBugCheckEx
... : nt!PspCatchCriticalBreak+0x92
... : nt! ?? ::NNGAKEGL::`string'+0x17a06
... : nt!NtTerminateProcess+0xf4
... : nt!KiSystemServiceCopyEnd+0x13
... : 0x7707017a
... : nt!KiCallUserMode



FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: X64_0xF4_procexp64.exe_IMAGE__

BUCKET_ID: X64_0xF4_procexp64.exe_IMAGE__

Followup: MachineOwner
The PROCESS_NAME string should hopefully identify a process that caused the exit. Parameter 2 contains the address for the process object that terminated. This can be viewed using the !process debugger command. The Image lne indicates the name of the process (in this example, this was csrss.exe).

kd> !process fffffa80022fd060
GetPointerFromAddress: unable to read from fffff80001700000
PROCESS fffffa80022fd060
SessionId: none Cid: 01b0 Peb: 7fffffd5000 ParentCid: 01a8
DirBase: 7a7ea000 ObjectTable: fffff8a0010d3a50 
Image: csrss.exe
VadRoot fffffa80023326f0 Vads 75 Clone 0 Private 300. Modified 209. Locked 0.
DeviceMap fffff8a000008b30
Token fffff8a0010da970
ReadMemory error: Cannot get nt!KeMaximumIncrement value.
fffff78000000000: Unable to get shared data
ElapsedTime 00:00:00.000
UserTime 00:00:00.000
KernelTime 00:00:00.000
QuotaPoolUsage[PagedPool] 0
QuotaPoolUsage[NonPagedPool] 0
Working Set Sizes (now,min,max) (1242, 50, 345) (4968KB, 200KB, 1380KB)
PeakWorkingSetSize 1244
VirtualSize 42 Mb
PeakVirtualSize 42 Mb
PageFaultCount 1596
MemoryPriority BACKGROUND
BasePriority 13
CommitCharge 439

*** Error in reading nt!_ETHREAD @ fffffa800231e060
Parameter 3 contains the process image file name, usually in ASCII format. Use the display memory command to display an ASCII string (da) or a Unicode string (du).

kd> da fffffa80022fd340
fffffa80`022fd340 "csrss.exe"
Parameter 4 contains a pointer to an explanatory message written in ascii, display with the da debugger command
kd> da fffff800017d2240
fffff800`017d2240 "Terminating critical process 0x%"
fffff800`017d2260 "p (%s)." 

Case 2: Critical Thread Termination (Parameter 1 = 6)

A starting point for debugging a critical thread termination dump is to use the !analyze -v debugger command,

kd> !analyze -v
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *

A process or thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been
Several processes and threads are necessary for the operation of the
system; when they are terminated (for any reason), the system can no
longer function.
Arg1: 0000000000000006, Thread
Arg2: fffffa8001d4e900, Terminating object
Arg3: fffffa8001d65e10, Process image file name
Arg4: fffff8000178c210, Explanatory message (ascii)

Debugging Details:




PROCESS_NAME: procexp64.exe


LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from fffff8000180f142 to fffff80001483f00

... : nt!KeBugCheckEx
... : nt!PspCatchCriticalBreak+0x92
... : nt! ?? ::NNGAKEGL::`string'+0x29a68
... : nt! ?? ::NNGAKEGL::`string'+0x3f47d
... : nt!KiSystemServiceCopyEnd+0x13
... : 0x776503ea


fffff800`0180f142 cc int 3


SYMBOL_NAME: nt!PspCatchCriticalBreak+92



IMAGE_NAME: ntkrnlmp.exe


FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: X64_0xF4_nt!PspCatchCriticalBreak+92

BUCKET_ID: X64_0xF4_nt!PspCatchCriticalBreak+92

Followup: MachineOwner
The PROCESS_NAME string should hopefully identify a process that caused the exit. Parameter 2 contains the address for the thread object that terminated. This can be viewed using the !thread debugger command. The Owning Process line indicates the name of the process (in this example, this was smss.exe).

kd> !thread fffffa8001d4e900
GetPointerFromAddress: unable to read from fffff800016ba000
THREAD fffffa8001d4e900 Cid 0130.0134 Teb: 000007fffffdd000 
    Win32Thread: 0000000000000000 WAIT: (UserRequest) UserMode Non-Alertable
fffffa8001e0d730 NotificationEvent
Not impersonating
GetUlongFromAddress: unable to read from fffff800015f8b74
Owning Process fffffa8001d65b30 Image: smss.exe
Attached Process N/A Image: N/A
fffff78000000000: Unable to get shared data
Wait Start TickCount 692
Context Switch Count 479
ReadMemory error: Cannot get nt!KeMaximumIncrement value.
UserTime 00:00:00.000
KernelTime 00:00:00.000
Win32 Start Address 0x0000000048347d9c
Stack Init fffff88002222db0 Current fffff88002221fd0
Base fffff88002223000 Limit fffff8800221d000 Call 0
Priority 12 BasePriority 11 UnusualBoost 0 ForegroundBoost 0 IoPriority 2 
PagePriority 5
Kernel stack not resident.
Parameter 3 contains the process image file name, usually in ASCII format. Use the display memory command to display an ASCII string (da) or a Unicode string (du).

kd> da fffffa8001d65e10
fffffa80`01d65e10 "smss.exe"
Parameter 4 contains a pointer to an explanatory message written in ascii, display with the da debugger command
kd> da fffff8000178c210
fffff800`0178c210 "Terminating critical thread 0x%p"
fffff800`0178c230 " (in %s)."

Further Troubleshooting

Further troubleshooting and potential fixes involve identifying the cause of the termination, this can be anything from a virus to a corrupted image or a problem with the registry. An error in a custom credential provider (Vista and later) or Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) DLL (pre-Vista) could also cause this error.

Things to try if the system is unbootable/unusable due to this error,

  • Perform an offline system integrity check
  • Roll back any recent changes (applications, patches, etc) in safe mode
  • Perform a clean boot of the system
  • Run startup repair
  • Examine the registry offline and compare key parts of the registry related to the critical processes and services to a working system
  • If you have a custom provider or GINA extension (most user's don't), remotely debug the system and notify the developers of the issue. Temporarily disable the custom provider or GINA DLL through the offline registry edit process mentioned above.
In the end, it may not be possible to recover the system from this error and the system may need to have Windows reinstalled. To perform a clean install, files from the existing system may need to be saved.

See Also,

Windows Crash Dump AnalysisAny source

How to Edit the Registry of an Offline Windows System

From time to time it is necessary to edit the registry for a Windows system that is not currently online. This can be accomplished from the recovery console using the following procedure. Note that you should know exactly what you are doing before you attempt to make any changes to the registry, regardless of whether it is for an online or offline system. Ensure that adequate system backups area available and make note of any changes in the event that they need to be reversed.

Boot off of the Windows installation media

Select Repair your computer,

Select the OS to mount for the recovery tools, this post demonstrates using Windows Server 2008 R2, but this should work for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Open a command prompt,

Launch regedit and click on the hive to modify, then click file -> Load Hive,

Navigate to the \Windows\system32\config directory of the system partition for the installation to modify and open the correct hive,


The ntuser.dat file in the user's profile directory holds the registry data loaded under HKEY_USERS\<sid> (HKEY_CURRENT_USER for the logged on user).

Select a name that makes sense, I use something like HKEY_RESCUED_SYSTEM,

The hive is now loaded and can be viewed/modified as needed,

HKEY_RESCUED_SYSTEM holds the HKEY_LOCAL_SYSTEM\System hive for the Windows installation that we are trying to work with.

See Also,
Windows Crash Dump Analysis
How to Perform an Offline System Integrity Verification
How To Rescue Files From a Damaged System

Any source

Friday, December 30, 2011

The top 10 stories in Bay Area sports in 2011

1. The Death of Al Davis

When Davis died Oct. 8, at age 82, it left obituary writers scrambling for ways to sum up a man who not only was the face of the Raiders franchise but also its heart, its brains and its combative personality.

The Raiders themselves took their best crack on the day Davis died, describing their patriarch as "unique -- a maverick, a giant among giants, a true legend among legends, the brightest star among stars, a hero, a mentor, a friend."

Davis spent 48 years defining the franchise, as a coach, as general manager and, most famously, as an owner. He controlled everything, right down to the team colors. (Davis picked silver and black because he thought it would look intimidating.)

Stocked with misfits that only Davis and his fans would love, the Raiders went 372-219-11 and won three Super Bowls from 1963 through 2002.

By the time Davis died, his team hadn't finished with a winning record in its past eight seasons. But this year's Raiders are within reach of a playoff spot, buoyed by the audacious trade for quarterback Carson Palmer, a deal that coach Hue Jackson said his old boss would have loved.

As Raiders safety Michael Huff said when the Raiders beat Houston less than 24 hours after Davis' death: "He's never gone in our eyes. We'll never let him go. He's with us."

2. Harbaugh leads 49ers resurgence

A division title. An invigorating new coach. A new stadium on the way. This was the year in which a long-dormant dynasty came roaring back to life.

The 49ers are 12-3 behind a top-ranked defense that could have them playing deep into January.

Team president Jed York hired Jim Harbaugh as his coach and Trent Baalke as his general manager in January, and the 49ers have done nothing but press the right buttons since.

The list of transformative feats includes a sensational first-round draft pick (sack-machine Aldon Smith), a wave of bargain free agents (kicker David Akers, defensive back Carlos Rogers, safety Donte Whitner) and a surprisingly solid season from quarterback Alex Smith.

Summing up Harbaugh's impact, 49ers Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told Sirius XM radio that "this might be the greatest coaching that I've ever seen in the history of the game of professional football."

3. Buster Posey busted at home plate

Scott Cousins didn't slide, but the Giants sure did. They were 21/2 games up in the National League West on May 25 when Cousins, the nicest villain you will ever meet, blasted into Buster Posey in a home-plate collision.

A broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle cost the star catcher the remainder of the season.

The defending World Series champs never recovered, finishing last in the National League with a .303 on-base percentage.

"If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy," general manager Brian Sabean told KNBR in June. (Sabean has since reached out to apologize.)

Major League Baseball officials deemed it a clean play and have resisted the Giants' pleas for a rule change to protect catchers from being targeted in home-plate collisions.

4. Andrew Luck stays in school

Andrew Luck had an opportunity to take the money and run. Instead, he passed.

The quarterback delayed entry into the NFL so that he could keep Stanford humming as a national power. And Luck delivered as hoped, leading the Cardinal (11-1) to a No. 4 national ranking and a Fiesta Bowl showdown against No. 3 Oklahoma State (11-1)

For the picky, there was a whiff of disappointment: He threw two interceptions in a loss to Oregon that dashed Stanford's hope of a national title and sank Luck's chances of a Heisman Trophy (he was the runner-up again).

But he mostly flourished, securing Stanford career records for passing touchdowns (80) and passing efficiency (161.7), among legions of other records.

The NFL won't have to wait much longer. Luck is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the April draft.

5. Giants oust owner Bill Neukom

In the span of less than a year, Bill Neukom went from waving in a victory parade to waving goodbye.

The Giants' managing general partner and chief executive officer was ousted after an apparent series of disagreements with the 10-member executive committee.

This newspaper broke the news of the shake-up in September, less than 11 months after Neukom hoisted the first World Series trophy in the Giants' 53 years in San Francisco.

In the wake of the report, the Giants announced that Neukom would "retire from his position effective Dec. 31," with Larry Baer taking over CEO duties.

Baseball sources said Neukom's falling out with the executive committee stemmed from how to divvy up the additional millions of dollars that flowed into team coffers after the World Series championship.

6. The Warriors rebuild with splashy names

Though NBA action was disrupted by a labor dispute, Warriors ownership still managed to treat 2011 like one long fast break. New managing partners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber restructured the basketball operations staff, replaced an entire coaching staff and made several changes at the executive level on the business side.

Needing help, ownership also added two men with a combined 16,000 assists. They hired Jerry West, the Hall of Famer and respected front-office architect, in May and added former All-Star guard Mark Jackson as their coach weeks later.

"I fully expect, put it in bold letters, the Golden State Warriors to be a playoff team next year," Jackson said. "If I did not expect that, I would not have taken the job. ... We are looking to turn the Bay Area upside down."

7. The saga of Bryan Stow

In a horrific chapter to a storied sports rivalry, Giants fan Bryan Stow was punched in the head, kicked and slammed to the ground outside Dodger Stadium in March.

"It brings tears to my eyes," longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said, reacting to the news. "This is not what baseball is all about."

Stow, a paramedic and father of two young children, spent months in a medically induced coma and only recently became able to hold a simple conversation. He is fed by a tube and needs round-the-clock care. Stow, 43, is expected to be permanently disabled.

The Stow family chronicles Bryan's recovery on their blog (

8. Cal sports make a comeback

Giving new meaning to the term elimination games, the Cal baseball team rallied back from an incredible deficit -- as in $10 million.

The Bears athletic department had announced in the fall of 2010 that it was cutting four sports and reclassifying men's ruby as a varsity club sport as a drastic move to bridge a budget shortfall.

But the endangered Bears rallied. Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced in February that enough money had been raised to keep rugby, women's lacrosse, women's gymnastics and men's gymnastics.

The comeback was complete April 8, when Cal announced that baseball would be saved thanks to the former players and alumni who generated $9 million in financial commitments.

Instead of going extinct, the Bears rolled all the way to the College World Series. "A wild ride," coach David Esquer called it.

9. Sharks bounced short of the Cup

Even for fans accustomed to coming up short, this one was tough to take. A freakish bounce off a stanchion finished the Sharks' title hopes May 24, when Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa scored a strange and fortuitous goal during the second overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

As Bieksa screamed in delight, almost everybody else was still looking for the puck.

"It came right to Bieksa. One more bounce he probably whiffs on it, we're still playing. Nothing we can do about it," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after the game.

10. Stanford women win first soccer title

With one last spectacular goal, the seniors on the Stanford women's team secured the status as one of the greatest classes in college soccer history.

The Cardinal beat Duke 1-0 in the College Cup final Dec. 4, capping a 95-4-4 record for a senior class and easing the pain from losses in the previous two national title games.

Camille Levin delivered a cross to Teresa Noyola for a point-blank header in the 53rd minute.

"I've never seen a team work so hard for each other and want to win for each other," Levin said. "I've never played on a team like that in my life."

Also receiving consideration: "Moneyball" movie fares better than current A's; Kelly Slater wins 11th surf title at Ocean Beach; Barry Bonds sentenced to 30 days' house arrest, pending appeal; Chris Mullin and Tara VanDerveer inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame; Stanford women's basketball team makes fourth consecutive Final Four; Tiger Woods helps lure record crowds to Open; America's Cup awarded to San Francisco for 2013.

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Thunder and Lightning

So, what's with this name, Operation Lightning (Operación Relampago) anyhow?

Is Porfirio Lobo Sosa just copying Manuel Zelaya Rosales?

In August 2006 Zelaya initiated Operation Thunder (Operación Trueno) as his solution to the growing organized crime problem. It proposed to employ the 30,000 - 60, 000 private security guards as a paramilitary force deployed to put a stop to crime, along with the military deployment of 10,000 soldiers to the streets.

Operation Lightning, by comparison, has only deployed 3000 soldiers, in an operation intended to help stop crime.

Zelaya's deployment was marred by military shootings of innocent civilians. Lobo Sosa's deployment has been incident free-- so far.

Operation Lightning has only been deployed in the cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and the department of Olancho. The plan is to extend it to the departments of Copan and Atlantida in January 2012.

While Lobo Sosa claimed early success, with alleged reductions of 30 percent in the murder rate in Tegucigalpa, both the most recent journalist killed, and the assassination of Alfredo Landaverde, the former head of the Anti-drug taskforce, came after the Operation had been active for weeks.

And the question will still remain, even if demonstrated decreases in crime come from militarization, how much damage is done to civil society when the constitutional separation of civilian police and armed forces is so thoroughly compromised?Any source

◉ Googleロゴが大晦日のイラストに。いろいろな出来事があった2011年が終わる。



「みそか」にあてる文字「晦日」は、月の輝いている部分の見え方を表す月相(英語では、moon phase)からきている。



『この世をば わが世とぞ思ふ もちづき(望月)の かけたることも なしと思へば』


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La mitad E de EEUU comenzará el 2012 con una potente entrada fría.

El invierno 2011-2012 había comenzado en general con tranquilidad por los EEUU pero parece que justo para empezar el año 2012 van a tener una potente entrada fría que arrastrará una masa de aire de origen ártico hasta latitudes muy meridionales,muy cerca del Golfo de Méjico.
El origen de esta advección de origen ártico está empezando en estos momentos con una pequeña baja que lleva asociada una onda ciclónica también pequeña y que está entrando por la costa W de Norteamérica.Si nos fijamos, la baja origen de esa descarga fría se encuentra al SW de Canadá. Tras la baja tenemos una cuña de altas presiones. Entre esta alta y la baja canadiense,empiezan a canalizarse vientos de NW,ya más fríos.

-Cuando una onda ciclónica atraviesa una cordillera montañosa de cierta entidad de forma perpendicular a la misma, las ondas se acentúan y si nos fijamos es lo que va a pasar en este caso.Vemos como 12h después,la previsión es que la onda se acentúe y como los vientos de NW que antes tenían solo origen marino,tienen ahora también origen continental,procediendo del ártico canadiense.
-Seis horas después, la parte marina de los vientos de NW desaparece,teniendo éstos sólo origen continental,desde el ártico canadiense.

Las temperaturas a unos 1500m podemos ver como son del orden de los -10ºC en la frontera con Canadá y como las temperaturas menores a 0ºC van ganado terreno en las llanuras centrales de EEUU.Un poco más al E,hacia los grandes lagos,tenemos una pequeña advección cálida.
-El día 1 a las 13h,el modelo prevee que el desplazamiento hacia el E de la baja canadiense junto con un reforzamiento hacia el norte del anticiclón que hay al W,la advección fría se refuerce. A su vez,podemos ver como ante dicha advección fría,aparece una advección cálida en la costa W de Norteamérica.
-Este mismo día,la temperatura a unos 1500m de altura nos muestra como la isoterma de -10ºC llega hasta el sur de los Grandes Lagos,incluso empieza a entrar por el W de éstos la isoterma de -15ºC. Gran parte de la mitad E de EEUU tiene temperaturas negativas a esa altura. A su vez, las temperaturas siguen subiendo por la costa W.
-El día 2 por la mañana, la baja de Canadá se sitúa en el S de la Bahía de Hudson,y sigue bombeando vientos de NNW muy fríos provenientes del ártico cada vez más hacia el E. Mientras,la advección cálida de la costa W sigue avanzando hacia el interior.Alli los vientos son de componente S,provenientes del trópico.
-Este día por la tarde, las temperaturas a unos 1500m siguen descendiendo en toda la zona E de EEUU con temperaturas a ese nivel inferiores a los -15ºC en toda la zona de los Grandes Lagos,incluso inferiores a los -20ºC al W de éstos. La iso 0 vemos como sigue avanzando hacia el sur,no quedando muy lejos del Caribe.Mientras,por la costa W,la advección cálida provocará que aparezcan temperaturas a ese nivel de hasta +10ºC e incluso superiores a los 15ºC en la península de California.
-La noche del 2 al 3 de enero,la vaguada se sigue estirando como chicle hacia el sur,a pesar de que la baja se desplaza hacia el NE,hacia la zona de Labrador,una baja profunda. Se ve perfectamente por otra parte como la advección cálida sigue avanzando hacia el W,llegando a zonas donde pocas horas antes hacía bastante frío.

A primera hora del día 3 tendrá lugar el momento álgido de esta entrada fría de origen ártico y es que en el mapa de temperaturas a unos 1500m podemos ver como hay temperaturas inferiores a los -25ºC al N de los Grandes Lagos, menos de -20ºC en el resto de éstos. Las temperaturas inferiores a los 0ºC afectan a todos los estados de la mitad E de EEUU,menos a Florida,con temperaturas entre los -10 y -15ºC en la costa E.Mientras,la advección cálida de la mitad W provoca temperaturas de hasta 10ºC a unos 1500m en los estados del de la franja central de EEUU.
Mucha gente puede pensar que esta entrada de aire frío va a provocar nevadas muy copiosas,pero no va a ser así puesto que la masa de aire de origen ártica es muy fría,pero también muy seca ya que tiene un origen continental y recorre todo Canadá hasta llegar los EEUU. Aun y así,debido a la gran cantidad de aire frío se pueden formar chubascos de origen convectivo débiles,sobretodo cuando la masa de aire atraviese los Grandes Lagos ,que aun no están congelados.Esto favorecerá que la masa de aire ártica se caliente un poco por la base a la vez que coge algo de humedad por lo que al SE de los Grandes Lagos es donde las nevadas pueden ser un poco más cuantiosas,aunque en principio sin barbaridades.
Así pues,estamos ante una entrada de aire frío muy potente en la mitad oriental de los EEUU y que provocará temperaturas en esa zona muy bajas,llegando los valores negativos incluso cerca de la zona de Florida. El frío será más intenso sobretodo en el área de los Grandes Lagos.
En el meteograma previsto para Chicago podemos ver muy bién esta potente entrada fría. El meteograma nos da la previsión para varios días de la temperatura a unos 1500m (medida en la escala de la izquierda y representada por las líneas que van a media altura en el meteograma) y la precipitación (medida en la escala de la derecha).
Hemos señalado en gris la advección fría potente que se va a producir y que va a hacer que en Chicago,las temperaturas a unos 1500m pasen desde los 5ºC mañana por la noche hasta casi los -20ºC el día 2 por la tarde. A partir del 3 las temperaturas se recuperarían de nuevo llegando a un máximo el día 6. Si nos fijamos,el modelo da algo de precipitación en Chicago,aunque poca cosa.Evidentemente,sería en forma de nieve.

Las temperaturas en superficie debido a esa potente entrada fría serán bajas,aunque sin valores en principios muy extremos ya que soplará fuerte el viento de NW.Lo veremos en el siguiente diagrama donde aparecen varias gráficas con variables medidas junto al suelo. Empezando por arriba tenemos:
-Presión atmosférica.
-Velocidad del viento con una línea verde en nudos y dirección con flechas.
-Temperatura (línea con triángulitos) y punto de rocío (línea con círculos).
-Humedad relativa.

Podemos localizar muy bién la entrada de aire ártico,empezando a ser las temperaturas negativas el día 1 por la tarde hasta prácticamente el día 6. El valor más bajo previsto está entre los -10 y -15ºC. Hay que tener en cuenta que la media de mínimas en Chicago en enero es de -10ºC por lo que serán solo algo más bajas de lo normal. El problema será que debido al intenso viento de NW,la sensación térmica será mucho más baja. También podemos ver como la humedad relativa bajará en dicha advección de aire frío,aunque esto realmente no nos informa sobre el contenido de humedad de la masa de aire,tendríamos que ver la humedad absoluta que seguro es muy baja,en torno a 1g de vapor de agua por kilogramo de aire seco.Any source

Hollywood Area Arson Fires

HOLLYWOOD Area- Two persons were arrested in the Hollywood area in unrelated arson incidents where four fires and one attempted fire occurred.

The first arrest involved a suspect who is responsible for three arson fires and one attempted arson fire. The incidents occurred on December 29, 2011 between the hours of 1:12 AM and 1:28 AM and are as follows:

At 1:12 AM, a dumpster fire occurred at 1444 Poinsettia Place, and a carport fire at 1434 Fuller Avenue where four vehicles and an apartment above were damaged. Then, at 1:28 AM, fire was set to a trash can in a parking lot and an attempted arson to personal property at 7040 Sunset Boulevard.

As information was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Arson Investigators, it was determined that this suspect was, in fact, responsible for the first two incidents. The arrested is 22 year-old Sun Valley resident Samual Arrington.

LAFD Battles Arson Fires in Hollywood AreaThe second arrest occurred as a result of a rubbish fire at 1347 McCadden Place, at 4:29 AM. There, 55 year-old Alejandro Pineda was arrested for burning trash. LAPD assisted Arson Investigators by transporting and booking the suspect while LAFD Investigators completed their scene examination. The suspect was booked on a charge of Arson of Property and bail is set at $50,000.

Since then, 21 fires (17 in the City and four in the County), involving various intentionally set automobile and structure fires created a conservative estimate of $350,000 in property damage. These fires occurred in the densely populated (approximately 20,000 people per square mile) Hollywood area and required firefighters to work tirelessly through a long and busy night. Due to the outstanding and diligent work of Los Angeles Firefighters, no civilians were injured and no structures were a total loss. However, one firefighter sustained a non-life-threatening injury while performing firefighting operations and was transported to a local hospital in fair condition. He has since has been released.

LAFD Battles Arson Fires in Hollywood Area
The LAFD is very concerned about these dangerous fires that could of resulted in deaths and are working closely with, Los Angeles Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol - Tobacco - Firearms and Explosives (ATF), LA County Sheriff's, Los Angeles County Fire Department, along with Beverly Hills Fire Department as a cohesive team.

LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section called in several additional investigators, all of whom continue to work around the clock and are currently reviewing video footage, mapping out and sequencing the fire incidents, interviewing witnesses and repeatedly canvasing the ashes during this active investigation.

We are asking the public to assist. Remain vigilant and "If you see something, say something". If you have any information that may assist in this active investigation, or if you witness any suspicious activity please call LAFD at (213) 893-9800, or LAPD at (213) 972-2971. If you witness someone actively committing a crime call 9-1-1.

A $60,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. City Council is offering $25,000, The County of Los Angeles is offering $25,000 and ATF is offering $10,000 reward.

UPDATE: The LAFD had 13 fires this morning (12/31) that met our area of concern. This area of concern involves vehicle fires and fires involving vehicles in structures. Ten of these fires were located in the North Hollywood area and the last three were located in the Faifax District. The Los Angeles County Fire Department has reported one fire meeting this criteria in the Lennox area.

(Recent Past Arson Arrests)

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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