Twitter’s iOS 8 upgrade brings a new look for profiles

If (for some reason) you absolutely hate how profiles look on Twitter for the iPhone, you may want to fire up the App Store and download the latest update. It comes with a brand new design for profiles, which brings your bio front and center (no more swiping needed to see it) and adds separate timelines for your uploaded photos/inevitable GIFs) and favorite tweets. This new profile will show up for both iOS 7 and iOS 8 users, so you can already enjoy it even if you don’t want to delete apps and make room for Apple’s new mobile platform just yet. You do, however, get something extra if you’ve already upgraded: the power to retweet, follow and favorite posts right from the notification center.

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NASA Unveils World’s Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool

The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center officially is open for business at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America’s next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall (61 meters) with a diameter of 27.6 feet (8.4 meters), will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket’s four RS-25 engines.

"This rocket is a game changer in terms of deep space exploration and will launch NASA astronauts to investigate asteroids and explore the surface of Mars while opening new possibilities for science missions, as well," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Michoud Friday.

The Vertical Assembly Center is part of a family of state-of-the-art tools designed to weld the core stage of SLS. It will join domes, rings and barrels to complete the tanks or dry structure assemblies. It also will be used to perform evaluations on the completed welds. Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, including avionics.

"The SLS Program continues to make significant progress," said Todd May, SLS program manager. "The core stage and boosters have both completed critical design review, and NASA recently approved the SLS Program’s progression from formulation to development. This is a major milestone for the program and proof the first new design for SLS is mature enough for production."

Work is well underway on several additional welding tools. Engineers recently completed welding all the rings for the first flight of SLS using the Segmented Ring Tool. Ten barrels also have been welded for the SLS core stage using the Vertical Weld Center. The rings connect and provide stiffness between domes and barrels, which will make-up the five major core stage structures: the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the intertank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section.

SLS will be the world’s most capable rocket. It will open new frontiers for astronauts traveling aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft and may also offer benefits for science missions that require its use and cannot be flown on commercial rockets. This week, engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida completed the crew module for the Orion spacecraft that will venture into space on a test flight in December. In addition, NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, which is transforming Kennedy to support the launch of SLS and other users, completed a major agency-level review and was approved for progression from formulation to development.

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Byzantine Basilica found in northeastern Bulgaria

Archaeologists have found valuable artifacts and an episcopal basilica during excavations of the ancient fortress Zaldapa near the village of Abrit, northeastern Bulgaria.

Zaldapa was the largest Roman city located in the Dobruja region often called “the Bulgarian Pompeii”. It spreads on an area of over 230 decares. From the end of the 4th to 7th century AD the city was densely populated, had streets, residential areas and at least three basilicas. Archaeologists have discovered the largest one during excavations. They have also found a red marble column which suggests an imperial presence in the basilica, Nova news informs. “This is one of the early basilicas with rich ornaments. Here for the first time in Bulgaria and for the second time on the Balkan Peninsula we see tracery on a marble fence which used to protect and enclose the holy altar space. The other thing that is interesting is that for the first time we have found columns from a special type of red marble which was found near Constantinople, and that to me is a porphyry, an imperial marble from after the seventh century,” said the supervisor of the archaeological excavations Professor Georgi Atanasov.

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Microsoft smokes out 1,500 bogus Windows 8 apps from its app store

In a bid to restore users’ trust in its Windows 8 app store, Microsoft has kicked out a bunch of fake apps that had been left undisturbed in the Microsoft Store for some time.

The move, announced on a company blog, followed reports last week the store was hosting numerous fake products in the store, including bogus antivirus, Chrome and Safari browsers, a fake Windows 8.1 update, and an unofficial Adobe Flash Player from a developer called ‘microsoft studioz’. While not necessarily malware, some developers were charging users for apps that are otherwise free to download.

Oddly, Microsoft seems to have done little to stop fake apps appearing in its store in the first place, despite the apps exposing users to scams and the risk of malware, and ultimately threatening to undermine the users trust in its fledgling app store.

According to Microsoft, the company has in fact been working on the problem, claiming it took complaints seriously earlier this year that users were having to wade through confusing or misleading titles to find authentic apps, and changed its certification policies as a result.

The changes mean that apps need to meet certain criteria around naming, categories, and icons, before they can be admitted to the store. According to the new policy, developers need to clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app in its name, ensure apps are categorised according to their function and purpose, and use icons that are differentiated from other apps’.

The new policy is also being applied to new submissions and existing app updates for apps in the Windows Phone Store, which may help address its problem there: back in May, the Windows Phone Store was caught harbouring fake Google apps, a bogus Internet Explorer, and an ersatz Kaspersky Mobile security product.

The policy update has finally been coupled with actual enforcement for sellers that don’t comply. Also, any victims can rest assured that they will be refunded if they’ve fallen for a scam. “Most of the developers behind apps that are found to violate our policies have good intentions and agree to make the necessary changes when notified. Others have been less receptive, causing us to remove more than 1,500 apps as part of this review so far (as always we will gladly refund the cost of an app that is downloaded as a result of an erroneous title or description),” said Microsoft. 

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Hello Kitty Revealed Not To Be A Cat and Apparently Nothing Is True Anymore

Well, this is just totally ridiculous.

University of Hawaii anthropologist Christine R. Yano, who is curating a Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles,revealed to the LA Times that Sanrio, the company responsible for Hello Kitty, informed her that this cartoon cat-like creature:


"That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show," said Yano. "Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty."

Okay, BACKUP. Hello Kitty is not a cat, she’s a little British girl named Kitty White, and she HAS A CAT?!


Now sure, it may seem like Sanrio is splitting whiskers here. It may seem like it doesn’t really matter what a character licensing company calls their main asset. But that misses the point. We grew up with this faux-line imposter only to realize off hand on the Internet years later that she’s a person with parents, and a TWIN SISTER named Mimmy.

We need to go think about things for a little while.

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Arbeloa wants Real exit

Spanish TV programme El Chiringuito de Jugones has suggested that Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa is eager to leave Real Madrid.

Having fallen behind Daniel Carvajal in the pecking order, the Spain international is no longer prepared to wait for his chance and he wants to quit los Leones before the transfer window closes on Sunday.

Arbeloa has also been disappointed by the treatment from the club fans and he looks set to leave Spain altogether.

England and Italy appear to be his most likely destinations, with Napoli boss Rafael Benitez hoping to get reunited with the player he coached at Liverpool.

Alvaro Arbeloa, 31, had began his career at Real Madrid and returned to Santigo Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 following spells with Deportivo La Coruna and Liverpool.

He has since made 127 La Liga appearances for los Blancos, scoring 2 goals and winning one league trophy in the process.

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Wenger refuses to panic buy

Arsene Wenger is braced for gloomy news as Arsenal await a specialist’s verdict on the tibia injury that could leave Olivier Giroud facing a significant spell on the sidelines.

Giroud has been ruled out of Wednesday night’s Champions League qualifier against Besiktas with the shin problem sustained in Saturday’s draw with Everton.

It is feared the 27-year-old could be absent for two to three months, robbing Arsenal of their first choice striker just three games into the season.

"On Sunday he had a medical check and he needed to have further investigations," said Wenger, who revealed an announcement will be made over his fitness on Wednesday afternoon or evening.

"The first news wasn’t fantastic, but I’m not a doctor so I wait for tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) complete examination and decision over how long he’ll be out for.

"It can be (long term), we’ll see. I don’t know (if it’s broken). It’s sad for us, but for the moment we are focused on the game."

Wenger may be forced into the transfer market in search of a replacement if Giroud is missing for any length of time. The Frenchman, however, refuses to panic buy before the window closes on Monday.

"We have plenty of players at centre forward. In England as soon as you have a problem, people want you to buy," he said.

"Unfortunately, I can give you some clubs that every time they lose a game they say they might need to buy more.

"We are 24 hours from a big game and our focus is more on that than the transfer window.

"I’ve learnt one thing in our job - you say nothing categorically."

Summer signing Alexis Sanchez could operate as the lone striker against Besiktas, although doubts have been raised over his ability to perform the role.

Sanchez was replaced at half-time at Goodison following an ineffective 45 minutes as the focal point of Arsenal’s attack, but Wenger is convinced he can operate as more than a winger.

"You do not convict a player on one half. It was not all bad what he did, there was some quality in what he did,” Wenger said.

"It was just that on the day we needed more physical presence. When you’re 2-0 down you don’t play counter attack."

Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell are also options, although it is Sanogo, who missed out against Everton because of a hamstring injury, who is most likely to start.

Wenger, who ruled out Podolski leaving in the transfer window, is confident he has the options to cover for Giroud’s absence in the second leg of the qualifier at the Emirates Stadium.

"Yes of course, why should I not have that confidence?" Wenger said.

"Nobody can image that when one player is missing, no matter how big the player is, the team can’t win a game any more.”

Arsenal are seeking a 17th successive season in the lucrative group stage of the Champions League, but Wenger insists it would not be a financial disaster should they fail to qualify.

The first leg finished in a goalless draw in Istanbul.

"It will affect us because we’ll have less income, but it will not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way because we can survive without that," Wenger said.

"We want to be in the Champions League because we want to play top level football.

"Financially we’ve always adapted. When we had small resources, we always adapted to having small resources."

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US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

US Attorney General Eric Holder met with community members in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday and vowed a thorough civil rights probe into the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

Holder, the first African-American to head the Justice Department, met with students and then community leaders at a community college during a visit to Ferguson for a briefing on a Justice Department investigation into the August 9 killing of the 18-year-old college student, whose death has sparked 11 nights of racially charged unrest.

Holder’s visit came hours after nearly 50 protesters were arrested in the latest demonstrations since the shooting. Many of the protests have been peaceful, but others, especially smaller ones late at night, have been punctuated by looting, vandalism and clashes between demonstrators and police.

The turmoil has thrust the St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people into the international spotlight as a symbol of often troubled US race relations.

Ferguson is majority black, but its police force, political leadership and public education administration are dominated by whites. Activists and demonstrators have complained that Brown’s death was the culmination of years of unfair police targeting of blacks.

'Lack of trust'

Among students meeting with Holder at the Florissant Valley campus of St. Louis Community College was Molyric Welch, 27, who told Reuters her brother died three years ago after Ferguson police used a stun gun on him.

“A lot has happened here,” she said. “(Holder) promised things were going to change.”

Another student, who asked not to be named, told FRANCE 24’s special correspondent Philip Crowther that the protesters were not willing to give up until the police stopped using violent tactics to constrain nightly demonstrations.

Sending Holder to Ferguson, she said, “really shows the lack of trust there is in this community towards the police”.

'Rallying against the criminals'

Holder also met briefly with Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who was put in charge of security days after Brown’s death. The National Guard has been called in to help keep the peace.

“We’re rallying against the criminals,” Johnson said. Asked whether he had confidence in the local investigation of the police officer, Johnson said: “General Holder, by being here, is a guarantee on that.”

Holder also was meeting with Brown’s parents Wednesday evening.

The visit came the same day a grand jury was expected to begin hearing evidence to determine whether the officer should be charged in Brown’s death.

Prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch said his office could continue presenting evidence to the grand jury – which meets once a week – through mid-October as he confronts conflicting pressures for speed and thoroughness.

“On one side, people are saying: ‘You’re rushing to justice,’ and on the other side, they’re saying: ‘You’re dragging this thing out,’” he told a news conference. “We’re going to present this as expeditiously as possible, but we are not going to present it in a half-hearted manner.”

Protesters call for officer’s arrest

Outside McCulloch’s office, a few dozen protesters called for his removal from the case and the immediate arrest of the officer involved in the shooting. The officer, 28-year-old Darren Wilson, has been placed on leave and gone into seclusion.

“The criminal justice system in America … is as racist as it was 50 years ago,” 62-year-old black minister Stanton Holliday told Reuters, adding that prosecutors were taking too long.

Accounts of Brown’s slaying differ. According to police, Wilson reported that Brown reached into the policeman’s cruiser when Wilson approached him on the street, then grabbed for the officer’s gun.

A companion of Brown said the teenager was initially shot after the officer tried to grab him through the car window and again after Brown staggered back with his hands in the air.

In the meeting at the community college, Holder said he had assigned the most experienced agents and prosecutors to the investigation, according to a briefing note from his office. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed and federal medical examiners have performed an independent autopsy, the third conducted in the killing.

Holder, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and other officials have appealed for public calm.

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Fight to use ‘Allah’ among Christians not over, says church’s lawyer
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RHB cuts IOI Corp earnings forecast, lowers TP
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