The King of Pop dead at 50

I can't believe Michael Jackson just died of cardiac arrest. I grew up with his music. Thriller, Billy Jean and Beat It was on top of the charts back then. I remember playing his vinyl records on our turn table. He turned from Black to White as his video Black or White became no.1 on MTV. He's the most widely known artist around the globe.

Today, he was found not breathing at his home and cpr was performed by the paramedics but to no avail.

Michael Jackson died at the age of 50.

Jackson had been due to start a series of comeback concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. He had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months.

The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March.

His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.

He lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation.

There were concerns about Jackson’s health in recent years but the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.

Jackson made his first solo album in 1972, and released “Thriller” in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide and he became a music icon.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.
Today all we can do is remember his great contributions to the music world.

Goodbye Michael Jackson.

The Truth about Energy drinks.

Do energy drinks really rev up your body and sharpen your mind? And what, exactly, are they even made of? To help you separate the science from the sales pitch, we analyzed the claims and ingredients of five of the most popular potions on the market, and rated them from best to worst. All to answer the most important question of all: Are energy drinks safe—or should you can these beverages for good? Count down to 5 worst energy drinks.
#5. 5-Hour Energy (2 fl oz)4 calories0 g sugars(Exact caffeine content not provided by the company)

The Claim: "The two-ounce energy shot takes just seconds to drink and in minutes you're feeling bright and alert. And that feeling lasts for hours."

The Truth: Sure, it'll give you a jolt. That's because it's mainly caffeine—about the same amount that's in one cup of coffee, according to label claims. (So somewhere between 65 to 135 mg of caffeine.) And turns out, the half-life of caffeine—the time it takes for half of the stimulant to be eliminated from your body—is about 5 hours. What's more, the company touts that since the product doesn't contain sugar, you won't experience the sugar crash that comes a couple of hours after guzzling the sweet stuff. And that's true, too. Of course, you could just grab a cup of unsweetened Joe for the same effect.
Is it safe? Downing a bottle should be no problem for a regular coffee drinker. Too much caffeine, however, could cause headaches, sleeplessness, nausea, hallucinations, and a spike in blood pressure. (Sodium can also spike your BP, so be careful.)

#4. Starbuck's Double Shot Energy and Coffee (15 fl oz)210 calories26 g sugars146 mg caffeine
The Claim: "A powerful, great-tasting brew of B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, and natural proteins from milk. Charged up with coffee. That extra surge to keep you energized and alert."The
Truth: Most energy drinks laud their herbal supplements, but the science behind the add-ins is somewhat fuzzy. Ginseng, for example, won't give you an energy blast, although it might boost your brainpower. For instance, Australian researchers found that people who swallowed 200 mg of the extract an hour before taking a cognitive test scored significantly better than when they skipped the supplement. And guarana's benefit may simply be due to its caffeine content—a guarana seed contains 4 to 5 percent caffeine (about twice as much as a coffee bean). Fancy marketing ploys aside, the Double-Shot ultimately one-ups the competition by virtue of containing actual health-boosting coffee—a beverage that delivers disease-fighting antioxidants.Is it safe? Ginseng has been shown to interact with certain medications, like the blood-thinner warfarin, potentially altering its effectiveness. And scientists at Florida's Nova Southeastern University concluded that the amount of guarana found in most energy drinks isn't large enough to cause any adverse side effects. However, there's still a question as to the safety of downing a few cans of the stuff in a brief time span.

#3. Red Bull (8 oz)110 calories27 g sugars76 mg caffeine
The Claim: "With Taurine. Vitalizes body and mind.
"The Truth: Caffeine certainly offers brain-boosting benefits, and the added slew of B-vitamins are conceivably helpful for a more efficient metabolism. Unfortunately, the sugar and taurine work to counteract those forces. A New Zealand study found that even the 27 grams of sugar in Red Bull is enough to completely inhibit your body's ability to burn fat. And taurine, an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter, might act more like a sedative than a stimulant, according to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College.Is it safe? Certain European countries have banned the product out of fear that its stimulant properties increase the risk of heart attack. However, a 2008 research study presented to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology observed no negative side effects in people after the subjects quaffed one can. The best thing about Red Bull is the pre-packaged portion control. It's half the size of many other sweetened energy drinks, meaning half the calories and half the sugar of its supersized counterparts.

#2. AMP Energy (16 oz)220 calories58 g sugars142 mg caffeine
The Claim: "With its energizing blend of B-Vitamins and a specially formulated intense combination of taurine, ginseng, and guarana, AMP keeps you connected and on top of your game at all times.
"The Truth: AMP is basically a hybrid between Red Bull and Starbucks Double Shot Energy, but with more calories and sugar and without the brain-beneficial coffee—rendering it a veritable witch's brew of sweeteners, herbal supplements, and suspicious-sounding additives. (Find out why additives can be so bad—here's a list of the 11 most controversial food additives).Is it safe? Just consider it a double Red Bull. One probably won't hurt, but don't make it a habit, if only for your waistline.

The Worst Energy Drink#1. Sobe Energy Adrenaline Rush (16 oz)260 calories66 g sugars152 mg caffeine

The Claim: "Elevate your game with high performance energy for your mind and body. Bold citrus taste enhanced with a unique blend of energizing elements including D-ribose, L-carnitine and taurine. So good.
"The Truth: D-ribose and L-carnitine sound exotic, but they're simply natural compounds that your body needs for proper metabolism. While research shows that carnitine supplementation may aid in recovery from exercise, there's no strong evidence to suggest either compound helps improve performance or enhances energy levels. The massive sugar load, however, will certainly spike your energy—for a price. You see, this drink quickly sends blood glucose soaring, which sets you up for a major sugar crash to follow: British scientists discovered that sleep-deprived people who consumed a sugary drink actually had slower reaction times and more sleepiness 90 minutes later.Is it safe? Not if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic. Sobe Energy Adrenaline Rush contains as much sugar as 5 and a half scoops of Edy's Slow Churned Rocky Road Ice Cream. Additionally, taurine is probably fine in small doses, but chug too many energy drinks and the picture becomes less clear. According to a recent case report from St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, three people had seizures after drinking approximately two 24-ounce energy drinks in a short period of time. Whether the seizures were due to caffeine, taurine, or pre-existing health conditions is unclear. So, limit yourself to one—at the most.

The Bottom Line: The real truth is that most people are already consuming too much energy, which is why there's an obesity problem. (Think about it.) So adding to your energy excess by guzzling a calorie- and sugar-laden drink doesn't make a lot of sense. In fact, ask yourself this: Is it a lack of incoming sugar that's causing you to be tired—or is it that you're consuming too much of it in the first place? Chances are, it's the latter. Our advice: If you feel you need a boost, reach for unsweetened beverage that contains only caffeine—like a black coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. It has zero grams of sugar, 146 mg of caffeine, and just 20 calories—all for about 2 dollars.

Will any Lakers walk?

Lakers could be title threats for years, but with free agency and salary cap, can Buss keep championship team intact? Free agents Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza are keys. Oh, and Kobe, too in 2 years.

The Lakers will officially close the books on their championship season with Wednesday's victory parade and a few days' worth of individual exit meetings, but one question won't be answered amid all the confetti and congratulations.What's next?

The Lakers will experience a flurry of activity between now and mid-July, starting with the draft June 25, in which they have the 29th, 42nd and 59th picks. Then the real decisions begin with free agency.Kobe Bryant can terminate the last two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Forwards Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza officially become unrestricted free agents that day, as does reserve guard Shannon Brown.The Lakers needed only five games to defeat the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals, and they are already favored by many oddsmakers to win it all again next season, but what will their roster look like when training camp begins in October?

"I think we could be in position to advance to the Finals for the next three, four years," General Manager Mitch Kupchak said during the locker-room celebration after the Lakers' 15th championship. "But this summer we'll have some free-agent issues we'll have to address.

"Let's start with the easy one.

Bryant will be 31 in August and has accumulated plenty of mileage in a 13-year career, but he just finished averaging 32.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds in the Finals on the way to his first Finals MVP award.

Suddenly, a five-year, $135-million contract, the maximum for a player his age, doesn't seem like such a bad idea. His legendary off-season workout habits should keep him in competitive shape for most of a five-year deal, and it would be a public-relations fiasco if the Lakers let him walk.
Bryant wants to come back. He said during the Finals that he couldn't envision playing for another team next season. Only something completely unforeseen would keep him from returning to the Lakers.

But then there's Ariza and Odom.

It was believed only one of them would stay, until the Lakers high-stepped through the last two weeks of the playoffs with relative ease, winning the last two games of the Western Conference finals against a physical, feisty Denver team before disposing of Orlando.

The recent sentiment is that there might be room for both Ariza and Odom. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson even said as much last week, saying it wasn't "written in stone" that the team would have to make an either/or decision with the two players.

Basically, it comes down to owner Jerry Buss, who has stepped up financially numerous times over the years, most recently by signing Andrew Bynum to a four-year, $57.4-million contract extension last October and, before that, absorbing an extra $49 million in salary by acquiring Pau Gasol in February 2008.

The Lakers have already committed $74 million to eight players for next season, a figure that includes $23 million earmarked for Bryant. This season's NBA salary cap was $58.68 million; the luxury-tax threshold was $71.2 million.

Odom, who will be 30 in November, was on the Lakers' books for $14.1 million this season. He would have to take a significant pay cut.

Ariza, who turns 24 in two weeks, made $3.1 million this season and is in line for a substantial raise, probably at least doubling his salary.

Buss made millions in revenue with 12 playoff home games and saved about $18 million in salary and luxury-tax fees over the next two seasons with the February trades of Vladimir Radmanovic and Chris Mihm.

The great unknown, however, is the spending culture of NBA owners this summer in a bedraggled economy. Will Odom and Ariza find fewer offers than they would have entertained in past free-agent markets? If so, the Lakers might be able to retain both.

Another important economic figure for the Lakers will be the luxury-tax threshold for the 2009-10 season, which will be announced by the NBA in July. The team is already expected to pay between $5 million and $7 million in luxury taxes this season, a number that would jump significantly next season if Odom and Ariza are re-signed. Buss will have to dip much more deeply into his own pockets to re-sign the two free-agent forwards.

Buss is already expected to spend $12 million next season on Jackson, who will go through his annual off-season health tests and personal self-evaluation before deciding whether to come back for the final year of his contract. Jackson said in April he would "be shocked" if he didn't come back, and there has been no evidence that his mind-set has changed despite winning a 10th championship as a coach.

As would be expected, the players hope everybody returns next season.

"We're right in the prime of our window of opportunity right now," forward Luke Walton said a few minutes after the champagne celebration in the Lakers' locker room Sunday night. "Obviously there's some free agents that they're going to have to deal with, but if we can keep this team intact, there's no reason we're not competing for a championship every year for the next four or five years, at least.

"Three Lakers have one more season on their contracts: Adam Morrison ($5.2 million), Derek Fisher ($5 million) and Jordan Farmar ($1.9 million). Sasha Vujacic will make $10.5 million over the next two seasons, and Gasol will make $34.2 million in the same span. Walton has four more years and $21.6 million on his contract.

The team holds options for next season on Josh Powell ($959,000), DJ Mbenga ($959,000) and Sun Yue ($736,000).
Repost from LA times

7 Ways to Lower Calling Cost for Small Business

In time of tough economy, companies are tightening their belts to cut operating cost. Reducing expenditure on overhead is a vital undertaking. Long-distance expense is a place to start. By choosing a good service provider, you’ll spend a lot less without sacrificing the quality of communication. The following are tips on how to choose the best alternative long-distance service for your business:

1. Calling cards: It’s definitely cheaper than your local phone provider. Go with the calling card that doesn’t charge connection fees or maintenance fees. Also check and compare how much the additional charge is for calling from a payphone.

2. VoIP service: Even cheaper than calling cards, VoIP service is the cheapest way of voice communication today. Most phone calls these days are simply tiny streams of data that flow over the Internet and other similar data networks. Why not maximize your Internet connection and let your business use VoIP for your long distance calls?

3. Toll-free vs. local access number: If you prefer the calling card option, make sure to check if there’s a local access number in your area. Local access is cheaper than toll-free number. The difference will surely add up in no time.

4. The fine print: A.k.a. the catch. Low per-minute rate is nothing if the fine print says that all calls have a connection charge of 50 cents per call and maintenance fees of 99 cents per week. Some even charge disconnection fees.

5. Contract: As much as possible, stay away from any plans that lock you in a service for a certain amount of time. A lot can happen in a 12-month contract and usually there’s a pre-termination fee if you opt out of the contract. A prepaid service is a better way to go, and you can quit anytime without worrying about unused minutes or plans.

6. No monthly plans: Unless you always consume the same amount of minutes every time, then getting a monthly plan is not recommended. If you are paying $25 a month for 500 minutes, using up 400 minutes will still cost you $25. If you go over the 500 minutes then you end up paying high rate for succeeding minutes. Instead, look for a pay-as-you-go service, where flexibility is allowed.

7. Manage multiple accounts: If you need to create multiple long-distance accounts for your staff or employees, look for a service where you can manage the accounts and monitor the call details. A good long-distance administrative account for small business can help you control budget, and monitor your staff’s long-distance cost.

Repost from Onesuite blog

Lakers close out the Magic in 5 to win the NBA Championship

Kobe Bryant(notes) has the NBA title, he needed most—the one without Shaq.

Bryant’s seven-year chase of a coveted championship is over. He’s got his fourth, and Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson his record 10th, a ring for each finger. One year after failing in the finals, Bryant and the Lakers have redemption, and all the rewards that go with it.

They earned their 15th title on Sunday night as Bryant scored 30 points and Pau Gasol(notes) added 14 and 15 rebounds in a 99-86 win in Game 5 over the Orlando Magic, who ran out of comebacks.

It took longer than Bryant expected, but he has stepped out of former teammate Shaquille O’Neal’s(notes) enormous shadow—at last. His fourth championship secured a strong case can be made for Bryant being the league’s best player since Michael Jordan hung up his sneakers.

O’Neal, now with the Phoenix Suns, was glad to see the Bryant win another title.

“Congratulations kobe, u deserve it,” O’Neal said on Twitter page. “You played great. Enjoy it my man enjoy it.”

Bryant’s coach stands alone.

Jackson, the chilled-out, bow-legged Zen Master who won six league titles in the 1990s with Jordan in Chicago, now has won No. 4 with Los Angeles and broke a tie with legendary Boston coach Red Auerbach as the winningest coach in finals history.

“I’ll smoke the cigar tonight in memory of Red,” Jackson said. “He was a great guy.”

Bryant and Jackson, whose relationship strained and briefly snapped under the weight of success, are again at the top of their games.


Nothing was going to stop Bryant, who spent the postseason scowling, snarling, baring his teeth and all but breathing fire at anything in his path. For weeks, the All-Star has worn his game face, and only when the victory was his in the final seconds did the finals MVP allow himself to smile.

After the final horn, he leaped into the air and was quickly engulfed by his teammates, who bounced around the floor of Amway Arena. Bryant then gave a long, heartfelt hug and shared a few words with Jackson before sweeping up his daughters, both wearing gold Lakers dresses, into his arms.

Rossi wins most exciting race in MotoGP

In front of nearly 90,000 fans in Barcelona the reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi took a superb win, battling with his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo throughout the 25 lap MotoGP race to secure the win on the last corner winning by 0.095s.

The two riders completely dominated the Barcelona race and fought tooth and nail in the last three laps of the race, with the outcome being set at the very last corner.

Italy's Rossi took the lead back from local hero Lorenzo at the first turn with three laps to go. Exactly one lap later Lorenzo tried to take the lead back and went ahead on the straight, but Rossi managed to outbrake the Spaniard on the outside of the track and keep the position.

Lorenzo, however, made his move stick at the beginning of the last lap. Rossi managed to respond in the overtaking spot in the middle of the lap, but went wide and Lorenzo kept the lead.

But at the entry of the last corner the reigning world champion sneaked through and somehow managed to find the apex, preventing Lorenzo from getting back ahead.

Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) was on the podium again, to maintain his World Championship challenge, with the result leaving Rossi, Lorenzo and the Australian all tied on 106 points at the head of the standings – the Italian on top as the possessor of the most recent victory.

Stoner was absolutely exhausted after the race having worked extremely hard to fend off a strong challenge from Andrea Dovizioso. The Repsol Honda rider produced another consistent display to finish in fourth place for the third round in succession, having started in fourth on the grid, this time missing the podium by 0.052s.

Missing Plane found in Atlantic Ocean

FERNANDO DE NORONHA, Brazil – Brazilian military planes found a 3-mile (5-kilometer) path of wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean, confirming that an Air France jet carrying 228 people crashed in the sea, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said Tuesday. Jobim told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that the discovery "confirms that the plane went down in that area," hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

"There isn't the slightest doubt that the debris is from the Air France plane," Jobim said.
He said the strip of wreckage included metallic and nonmetallic pieces, but did not describe them in detail. No bodies were spotted in the crash of the Airbus A330 in which all aboard are believed to have died.

The discovery came just hours after authorities announced they had found an airplane seat, an orange buoy and signs of fuel in a part of the Atlantic Ocean where ocean depths range from less than 1,610 meters (one mile) to more than 4,800 meters (three miles).
Jobim said recovery of the plane's cockpit voice and data recorders and other wreckage could be difficult because much of the wreckage sank.

"It's going to be very hard to search for it because it could be at a depth of 2,000 meters or 3,000 meters (1.2 miles to 1.8 miles) in that area of the ocean," Jobim said.
The initial discovery of wreckage announced before Jobim spoke came about 36 hours after the jet went missing as it flew from Rio de Janeiro toward Paris.

A Brazilian air force spokesman said the two spots where debris was located suggested the pilots may have tried to turn the plane around to return to Fernando de Noronha.

"The locations where the objects were found are toward the right of the point where the last signal of the plane was emitted," said the spokesman, Col. Jorge Amaral. "That suggests that it might have tried to make a turn, maybe to return to Fernando de Noronha, but that is just a hypothesis."

Amaral said some of the debris was white and small, but did not describe it in more detail.

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