Saturday, September 8, 2012

Murray beats Berdych in wind to reach US Open final

Andy Murray was forced to stave off a battling Tomas Berdych and some farcical gusting winds circling New York to reach the US Open final with a 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9-7) win in their semi-final.

"That was the toughest conditions I've played in, and I'm from Scotland. That is saying something," said the British number one, who is chasing his first Grand Slam title in his fifth appearance in the final after twice losing the final of the Australian Open, the US Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.
"It was brutal. It's hard to describe. You had to focus for every single point, get in the right positions for every shot. The ball was moving, stopping, there were chairs flying. It was hard to serve, I was just trying to get balls in.

"It's a quick turnaround for the next round, you don't have an extra day to recover. I'll have to do all right stuff tonight and make sure I'm in the right shape tomorrow. I hope so [I will win the title].
"You can never say for sure and I know how tough these tournaments are to win. Novak [Djokovic] and David [Ferrer] are very tough opponents. Anything can happen in these conditions, but I'll give it everything I have."

Andy Murray
Murray will play the winner of the second semi-final between Serbia's defending champion Novak Djokovic and Spanish baseliner David Ferrer in the final. Ferrer was 5-2 ahead with two breaks in the opening set before play was abandoned for the day due to the threat of tornadoes hitting the New York area.
Murray is bidding to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry won the US Open in 1936 when tennis was still played with wooden rackets and in long trousers.
The Scotsman has played in four previous grand slam finals, the US Open in 2008, the Australian Open in 2010 and 2011 and Wimbledon this year, but lost the lot, raising questions about his mental strength on the biggest stage.
But he silenced a lot of his doubters when he won the gold medal at the London Olympics this year and has continued his great form at Flushing Meadows over the past fortnight.
His match against Berdych, who upset Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, was delayed for an hour and a half because of wild morning storms, including a tornado that made landfall in Queens, the same New York City borough where the annual tournament is held, then was reduced to a lottery because of the strong winds.

Both players repeatedly had to abort their serves as the gusts caught their ball tosses and were forced to slow down their serves just keep them in court.

Murray dropped his serve in the first set when he agreed to replay a crucial point after his cap was blown off his head, distracting Berdych as he scrambled to get to a drop shot.
A handful of other points were delayed when scraps of litter were whipped into the air current and Murray had to replay a serve in the second set after a blast of wind toppled his courtside chair and scattered the contents of his bag on the playing service.

Berdych took the opening set after 77 minutes but became increasingly frustrated as the match went on. One of the biggest hitters in the game, he was unable to unleash his full power and made a whopping 64 unforced errors, while Murray was far more disciplined, making just 20 unforced errors.
Murray ripped through the second and third sets and appeared to be on his way to a comfortable win when he opened up a 3-0 lead in the fourth before momentarily losing his way.
Berdych broke back and forced a tiebreaker. He led 5-2 and got to set point but Murray rallied back to win 9-7 and move through to the final.
He will be buoyed by the knowledge that no man has reached five Grand Slam finals and lost the lot.

The budget smartphone – great value or false economy?

In these straitened times our desire to stay in touch and up to date wherever we are has only grown. In order to connect we need big, shiny, expensive, contract-laden smartphones, right?

Not necessarily - there are a growing number of smartphone manufacturers offering capable budget models for less than £100, such as the £50 ZTE Kis. They may not be as shiny and feature-laden as an iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S3, but they essentially offer the same functionality.

Manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE are capitalising on dropping prices for parts and the growing demand for smartphones in the emerging markets. Low-end growth is driving the global market, with entry-level smartphone prices dropping thanks to greater manufacturer competition, data tariffs receiving closer regulation, and operators updating minimum hardware specs for so called ‘low-end devices’.

This all sounds great for consumers looking to step up from feature phones, but do they really represent great value or is it a false economy in a fast-changing market?

Great value

Let’s be clear, we’re looking at the SIM-only pay-as-you-go smartphone option, meaning no 12 or 18-month contract with fixed monthly costs. Set yourself a budget and top up your SIM with that amount - when it’s gone, it’s gone. Take the ZTE Kis as an example - you can kit out the whole family for less than the cost of one iPhone 4S.

As the minimum hardware specifications for operating systems constantly improves, manufacturers are having to up the processing power of budget models. The ZTE Kis runs Android on an 800MHz processor, while the ‘upper entry-level’ £100 Huawei G300, for example, boasts a 1GHz processor running on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and is powerful enough to stream online content over the air and run multiple apps. Mix in a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with flash, 4-inch capacitive touchscreen and not unattractive styling and you start to wonder why it’s so cheap.

Sure, the build quality isn’t premium and the design won’t wow phone fashionistas, but they’re improving fast and will soon become indistinguishable from current midrange models from manufacturers like HTC and Nokia. We're starting to see some of the more establish manufacturers break the £100 mark, such as the Sony Xperia Tipo (£89).

False economy

Sometimes the mantra ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true, and that’s the case with budget smartphones. The smaller your budget, the more limited your choice and that’s most obvious in the operating system, with only Android currently falling into the budget category, and often not the latest version. Windows Phones are starting to get cheaper though (with the Nokia Lumia 710), but the iPhone certainly isn’t.

Software updates aren’t as regular or convenient and over the air updates can be harder to find (although the Huawei G300 is an exception). This may not sound too off-putting, but with budget smartphones often targeted at newcomers to the technology, user friendliness and convenience are crucial factors.

It’s in the details where the differences add up. Low screen resolution and viewing angle denigrate user experience, from browsing the web to checking out photos. Often cluttered and confusing user interfaces make every action a chore rather than a pleasure. Less responsive touchscreens make typing texts and emails hard work. Low internal memory limits options for things like playing games (on the ZTE Kis Angry Birds worked fine but Temple Run wouldn’t work at all), and minimal storage capacity means you’ll often need to invest in an SD card to increase it, which costs more money.

And then there’s the old sticking point of build quality. Cheap materials mean a cheap feel, with clunky styling a common issue. And for a gadget that has to live with you wherever you go and suffer the knocks of life in your pocket or handbag, forking out £50 may mean it doesn’t last as long as its pricier rivals.

Final thoughts

The less you pay, the fewer features you’re going to get. Forking out £50 is never going to get you an iPhone-rivaling wonder with the latest interface and add-ons – but that’s not really the point.

The budget smartphone is amazing because it opens up the functionality and connectivity of the wider virtual world to the cash conscious, to parents for their kids, to small businesses for their employees, and to those who just want to know what all the fuss is about.

As long as you manage your expectations, do some research to make sure the model you go for has the features you want and factor in other costs such as SD card to boost memory and a decent case to keep it safe, then it represents a great way to take your first step into the wonderful world of the smartphone.

What iPhones cost to make

The launch date for the iPhone 5 is approaching and speculation is rampant about what the features of the new phone will be. Recent financial figures revealed that, despite only owning around 10% of the global mobile handset market in 2011, Apple collected 50% or more of the industry's available profits.

It seems that the company must be making a sizable profit. Let's find out how much revenue Apple is making from the sales of iPhones by looking at the manufacturing costs of its iconic product.

iPhone 4s

The current model of iPhone - the 4s - will set you back £499 if you purchase the 16GB version outright from Apple. The 32GB model will cost you £599 and the price goes up to £699 when you purchase the 64GB model.

Sum of its parts
iSuppli, which is known for its gadget component costs analysis, released a breakdown of the parts that make up the iPhone 4S. The most basic 16GB model carries a bill of materials worth £118. This total is a long way from the sale price of £499.

Labour costs
Of course, there are labour costs to manufacture this complex piece of kit, but recent investigations suggest that these expenses certainly do not bridge the gap between material costs and sale price.

Earlier this year, ABC's ‘Nightline’ show went into the Chinese factories of Foxconn, where most of the world's Apple products - iPads, iPhones and Mac computers - are manufactured. The investigation revealed that workers earn just £1.12 an hour, work long hours and live in dorms with fellow employees.

Asymco analyst Horace Dediu used the ‘Nightline’ report to estimate that Apple pays labour costs of between £7.86 and £18.56 for every iPhone it makes, which represents just 2-4% of the iPhone's sale price.

The ‘New York Times’ has harshly criticised the labour practices of Apple's factories, and featured an interview with a former employee of Foxconn, who said: "Apple never cared about anything other than increasing product quality and decreasing production cost .... Workers' welfare has nothing to do with [Apple's] interests."


So if the materials cost roughly £118, and Dediu has calculated that an additional £58 is spent on manufacturing its smartphone, (a cost that includes the labour costs, transportation, storage and warranty expenses) we reach a total of about £176 to manufacture an iPhone that retails at £499. This represents a profit for Apple of £323 per iPhone.

The bottom line
Apple is a very successful company, and as consumers, we pay a premium price for the products the company makes. Some people purchase Apple products to become part of the 'trendy' Apple brand.

However, for Apple to maintain its high profits and low manufacturing costs, the company pays its workers in China low wages. Many people wonder if these labour practices will tarnish Apple's image as a progressive company.

During the ‘Nightline’ special, the lead journalist asked a Foxconn factory executive if it would be possible for Apple to double wages at Foxconn. The executive responded: "Why not? It would be good for China and for morale." However, for now, the iPhone's hefty price tag puts it out of the price range of the workers who manufacture it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kim Kardashian wants to marry Kanye West, but she is still married to Kris Humphries. Bit inconvenient, eh?

Kim Kardashian might want to marry Kanye West and have lots of babies with him, but at the moment that's pretty much impossible.
Kim reckons Kanye is the one. Copyright: [wenn]

You see - she is already married!
Kim was appearing on US show The View, which is basically transatlantic Loose Women, when she confessed she thinks Kanye is the one!
Big respect to Babara Walters who couldn't have been less subtle with her frank questioning.
She asked Kim: "What about marriage? Do you want his child? Where are we?"
It's like an interview shot gun just went off three times.
To which Kim said she would like to marry Kanye, but can't.
Why, we hear you scream? Well, Kim is still technically married to Kris Humphries. Bummer, eh?!
The View is basically transatlantic Loose Women. Copyright: [wenn]
Speaking to Barbara, Kim said: "Technically I'm still married, anything I'd be in now would be a permanent relationship."
We think having two husbands is pretty frowned upon round these parts, but who are we to judge?
She added that she "thinks" Kanye is her "perfect match."
Barbara then asked whether Kim reckons her relationship will be forever this time and the reality star answered she "believes" it is.
"Is this the one that you're in now?" Walters asked. "I hope so," the reality star replied. "I believe so."
The Kardashians star also confessed she would love babies one day: "At the space that I am in life now, kids are definitely something I want. I think I wanted that before.
"I think I fell in love so quickly and wanted that to be my life so badly but I just didn't take the time to find someone."
We just hope Kim doesn't rush into anything, after all her last marriage did last just 72 days.

Shelvey stars as England U21s win


Jonjo Shelvey scored one and set up another as England moved within touching distance of the UEFA Under-21 Championship play-offs with a 2-0 victory in Azerbaijan
Jonjo Shelvey was on fine form for the England Under-21 side against Azerbaijan
Jonjo Shelvey was on fine form for the England Under-21 side against Azerbaijan
Jonjo Shelvey scored one and set up another as England moved within touching distance of the UEFA Under-21 Championship play-offs with a 2-0 victory in Azerbaijan.
Liverpool midfielder Shelvey's first goal for the Young Lions followed Steven Caulker's third to send Stuart Pearce's men five points clear at the top of qualifying Group Eight with one match remaining.
That is on Monday against Norway, who need to win in Belgium in Thursday's late kick-off and beat England in Chesterfield in four days' time to deny their rivals a place in next month's two-legged play-offs.
Thursday's victory was the Young Lions' sixth out of their seven qualifiers and saw Pearce hand a debut to Thomas Ince, son of former England star Paul, on an artificial pitch against opponents England had thrashed 6-0 a year earlier.
Craig Dawson was booked in the 25th minute for exacting retribution on Rizvan Umarov after being caught himself but he had the last laugh three minutes later when centre-back partner Caulker powered England ahead, the Tottenham man heading in Shelvey's left-wing free-kick.
Caulker should have made it 2-0 two minutes later when he glanced Ince's far-post cross wide before Azerbaijan goalkeeper Salahat Agayev produced some unconventional heroics to keep the hosts in it.
A goalmouth scramble saw him keep out Martin Kelly's deflected cross and deny Marvin Sordell before Wilfried Zaha's follow-up was cleared off the line. Agayev then looked stranded after completely missing a cross but he recovered to produce an astonishing near-post save from Sordell, who looked certain to convert after Danny Rose kept the ball in play.
Azerbaijan, who had thrown on Orkhan Hasanov at the break, began to get a grip and, after some harmless long shots, they might have levelled on the hour mark when Javid Imamverdiyev curled narrowly high and wide.
Pearce took immediate action by sending on debutant Ben Marshall for Zaha but the hosts continued to push. Ben Amos - who had looked untroubled filling in for ill goalkeeper Jason Steele - saved from Araz Abdullayev, prompting Connor Wickham's introduction for Sordell.
Mirhuseyin Seyidov's free-kick was easily claimed by Amos and Azerbaijan went for broke in the final 10 minutes with a double substitution of their own. But it backfired seven minutes from time as Wickham nodded Caulker's long ball into the path of Shelvey, who volleyed emphatically beyond the onrushing keeper.

Peacock storms to 100m gold

British teenager Jonnie Peacock sealed his s
Jonnie Peacock broke the Paralympic record as he claimed gold
Jonnie Peacock broke the Paralympic record as he claimed gold
tatus as the fastest amputee in the world by upstaging Oscar Pistorius in the biggest race of the Paralympics on Thursday night.
The 19-year-old from Cambridge showed no regard for reputations as he stormed away from the field to win in 10.90 seconds, a new Paralympic record.
He came into the Games as the T44 world record holder but inexperienced on the big stage, but proved he can more than handle the occasion.
Only American Richard Browne could get close to the Briton, claiming silver in 11.03secs.
Pistorius, the defending champion, was never in contention, finishing fourth behind fellow South African and room-mate Arnu Fourie, but was quick to embrace Peacock at the finish.
Chants of 'Peacock, Peacock, Peacock' rang around the stadium before the start, which was delayed when Brazilian Alan Fonteles Oliveira appeared to twitch and the field were asked to stand up.
A faulty rather than a false start was the verdict and the added tension did not affect Peacock, who was able to race off on a lap of honour draped in the Union Flag.

Peacock told Channel 4: "It's absolutely surreal. For the past four days, this event being quite late on, you've got these guys going out getting gold and you just want to be part of that.
"This Games is definitely a legacy and to be part of that is amazing."

Pistorius was quick to hail Peacock's gold, telling Channel 4: "What we've seen tonight is the start of an amazing Paralympics sprinter. I've just been watching it on the screen again and it was a great performance. I can't imagine how happy he must be to do this in front of his home crowd. Well done, it's a great time for him. He's still young and he's got a great future ahead of him."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cheryl Cole goes on a date with Tre Holloway, pulls her best smitten face

After everything she went through with Ashley, we've been hoping for a while that Cheryl Cole would find love again.
Cheryl Cole and Tre HollowayCheryl Cole looked the picture of happiness last night. Copyright [Rex]And now that time seems to have come, with Cheryl Cole looking seriously smitten during a date with her rumoured new boyfriend, Tre Holloway.
Up until now, Cheryl's relationship with Tre has remained pretty private. This is the first time we've seen them out and about looking like an actual couple. And we're too excited for words.
Cheryl Cole and Tre HollowayCheryl Cole was pulling her best smitten face. Copyright [WENN]The new photos show Cheryl and Tre leaving a Mayfair restaurant after a romantic meal - and there's coy smiles and hand holding and EVERYTHING.
Cheryl Cole was nicely dressed up for her man, showing off her amazing figure in a tight leather skirt teamed with a black blouse with a cream panel.
Cheryl ColeLook at that happy face! Copyright [WENN]Tre showed himself to be quite the gentleman, leading Cheryl through the swarm of paparazzi and into their waiting car.
Despite being papped together a few weeks ago following a night out, this is the first time we've seen the pair holding hands - and the first time in a long time that we've seen Cheryl look so happy in the company of a bloke.
Cheryl Cole and Tre HollowayCheryl Cole and Tre Holloway were pictured holding hands. Copyright [WENN]It's unclear how long Cheryl Cole and Tre Holloway have been seeing each other. Some sources claimed that it had been since March this year, but others say it could've been as long ago as March 2011 - just months after Tre performed with Cheryl on The X Factor.
However long the pair have been dating, they certainly seem happy together. Hooray!

Kate Middleton step aside, Prince Harry reigns supreme over Paralympics and is perfect gent

Kate Middleton may have been the golden girl of the Paralympics this week when she awarded the medals for the Men's Discus Throw but yesterday she handed the baton to Prince Harry.
prince harryPrince Harr played the part of perfect gent yesterday. [Copyright: PA]

And the hot red-head pulled things off with aplomb as he was the perfect gentleman at the games.

Despite Prince Harry's status he proved what a nice guy he is as he helped Team GB swimmer Hannah Russell into her seat — swoon!
And he wasn't playing up for the cameras either, it appears he was caught off guard in this chivalrous act.
prince harryThe royal fittie got pretty close to some of Team GB's female members. [Copyright PA]
But if that isn't enough to make you melt, the royal also took time to pose with several athletes in photos (with his clothes on this time).
As delighted girls got close to the prince he looked at ease and even allowed his forehead to touch the medal winners. Oh em gee!
prince harryThe games appeared to tire out Harry. [Copyright: PA]
Erm, we're well jel right now.
Although once the photos had stopped we spied Harry looking a little bored as he was flanked by officials instead of young, attractive girls.
prince harryThe royal soon cheered up though. [Copyright: PA]
Although ever the entertainer he pulled a joke out of the bag and made the group he was with for the women's Goalball burst into laughter.
Harry you're a legend!

Owen waits on Premier League green light

Michael Owen, pictured, revealed he is excited about the possibility of working with Tony Pulis
Michael Owen, pictured, revealed he is excited about the possibility of working with Tony Pulis
Michael Owen has expressed his excitement at the chance to revitalise his career at Stoke but is still sweating on Premier League approval for the deal to be pushed through.
Owen's move remains subject to confirmation that the Potters submitted the relevant paperwork prior to Tuesday's 4pm deadline for the player to be signed on a free agent basis.
The uncertainty meant the Premier League were only able to release the official 25-man squads for 19 of the 20 clubs, with the Potters' list still being investigated. Clubs are able to sign free agents outside the transfer window but are only able to field them in the Premier League if they have previously registered fewer than 25 players.
The Premier League said in a statement: "The Premier League board is currently considering an application from Stoke City to register a player and, subsequently, their squad list will be confirmed at a later date."
Owen insisted he was delighted at getting the chance to move to the Britannia Stadium after being released by Manchester United, despite suggestions he had left it late in the hope Liverpool might pounce.
After agreeing a one-year contract, Owen wrote on Twitter: "Delighted to have signed for Stoke subject to Premier League approval.
"We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join.
"I'm particularly excited at the prospect of working under Tony Pulis. He has assembled a great squad that I look forward to joining.
"I'm now looking forward to contributing as much as possible to the club and can't wait to play in front of a great set of supporters.
"Thanks for your kind messages everyone. Can't wait to get going again!"

Will Clinton do a Clint Eastwood at Obama’s convention?

ARE DEMOCRATS heading for the National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina dreading their own Clint Eastwood moment when former President Bill Cinton takes to the stage on Thursday?
Clinton is unlikely to try talking to an empty chair as ‘Dirty Harry’ did in Tampa. Nor is he likely to appear barmy – the former Prez still has his marbles.
The danger is that he might not give Barack Obama the big pat on the back that’s expected from the man giving the nominating speech.

Will Clinton do a Clint Eastwood at Obama’s convention?

This theory comes from Edward Klein, writing at the weekend in the New York Post, who says Clinton and Obama loath each other and that the former is refusing to let the incumbent see his speech in advance.
According to Klein, it goes back to the 2008 White House campaign when Bill’s wife Hillary was fighting Obama for the Democratic nomination and a Clinton aide said of Obama that he “embraces the politics of trash” while Obama’s surrogates called the Clintons “racists”.
Klein has an axe to grind. He called his recent book about Obama The Amateur and is a super-keen supporter of Hillary Clinton running for the presidency herself.
He claims that only a year ago Bill Clinton held a secret meeting of friends and advisers at his home in upstate New York and urged his wife to challenge Obama for the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
Klein’s sources say Hillary refused to stand against a sitting president of her own party “but that didn’t stop Bill Clinton from going on a rant about Obama.” Apparently the former president said: “I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!”
As a result of all this bad blood, says Klein, neither President Obama nor his wife Michelle nor their senior political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, wanted Clinton to make the nominating speech in Charlotte. So why is he?
Two reasons, says Klein:
First, you can’t NOT have Clinton at the Democratic convention – he’s the most senior and popular member of the party. But he refused to play any role if he was not given the nominating speech.
Second, Obama needs someone to persuade reluctant voters that this president is on top of the economy. With unemployment above eight per cent for the past three years, and average household income continuing to fall, 56 per cent of registered voters disapprove of the job Obama has been doing on the economy.
His low approval ratings make it clear he can’t persuade the waverers he’s in control – but if anyone can, it’s Clinton.
“As the most admired Democrat in the country, Clinton appeals to the very constituency — white working-class voters — that gives Obama the most trouble,” says Klein.
And so Clinton will give the speech on Thursday night. But what will he say?
Here Klein argues that Clinton is refusing to give the Obama camp any preview of his speech. “This has led some Democratic insiders to speculate that Clinton will make not-so-flattering remarks about the last four years of Democratic rule in the White House,” says Klein, who goes on to quote an “insider” telling him:
“If I were the president, I’d wake up at night in a cold sweat wondering what surprises Clinton is going to come up with.”
All of which might have the ring of credibility – until you ask the question: how reliable is Edward Klein?
As Dan Amira reported for New York magazine, Klein claimed last month that Obama was toying with dropping Joe Biden as his vice-president and “putting out feelers” to see if Hillary Clinton might take over. According to Klein, Valerie Jarrett “put the vice presidency on the table during a lunch” with Secretary of State Clinton.
But a State Department spokesman quickly shot down Klein’s claim, saying categorically:
"This did not happen "They did not have lunch "They did not have any meal "They did not meet this month "They did not meet last month "They did not meet in 2012 "They did not meet in 2011, 2010, 2009 "This is not happening "Truth is that Ed Klein is an idiot with not a shred of credibility "Truth is that Ed Klein's motto is 'If at first you don't succeed, lie lie again.'"
The swift and poetic denunciation of Klein’s story is not unconnected with previous Klein stories involving Hillary Clinton. As Adam Peck has reported for the Think Progress website, Klein used a previous book to promote a claim that Chelsea Clinton was born after her father raped her mother and to spread the word that Hillary is a secret lesbian.
‘Fear and loathing in Charlotte, North Carolina’ might not live up to Klein’s billing. ·

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Frankie Sandford and Vanessa White, we want your maxi dresses

When it comes to celebrity style, The Saturdays are some of our biggest crushes.
Frankie Sandford and Vanessa WhiteFrankie Sandford and Vanessa White were both rocking amazing maxi dresses. Copyright [Rex]And today Frankie Sandford and Vanessa White have proved why, by donning amazing maxi dresses.
The stunners were out and about in LA in gorgeous dresses that have made us want to raid their wardrobes.
Frankie Sandford went for a pretty black dress with neon detailing. She paired her dress with a cute studded bag and studded flip flops - we're liking her co-ordination.
Vanessa White looked just as gorge, opting for a pink and white pastel maxi dress teamed with a tan bag with tassel detailing.
Frankie Sandford and Vanessa WhiteFrankie Sandford and Vanessa White were on a shopping trip. Copyright [Rex]The girls had been on another shopping trip - last week it was to buy makeup, this week they've paid a visit to an underwear store. Ooer.
We reckon their boyfriends will be happy when they return from LA.
The Saturdays are currently launching their career Stateside, part of which involves shooting a fly on the wall documentary.
Mollie King explained prior to the trip: "Fingers crossed we'll do a series documenting us hopefully cracking America."
Rochelle Wiseman continued: "We're doing a pilot. We see if we like it and they like it. We've done a reality show before but this is going to be different because we're not on home turf, we're away."
We're just hoping the series is shown in the UK too.

Zayn Malik, Perrie Edwards wants kids – we hope you’re ready!

She may be at the height of her career, but Perrie Edwards is already thinking ahead to what she'd like to do after Little Mix.
Zayn Malik and Perrie EdwardsPerrie Edwards says she'd love to get married and have children. Copyright [WENN]And it seems that Perrie Edwards is a traditional girl at heart, wanting to get married and have kids. We hope Zayn Malik has the same idea.
The Little Mix singer revealed: "I can't wait to get married and have kids, but it's Little Mix at the minute. I want Little Mix to explode and be massive, then I think we'll all settle down and get married and have kids and stuff like that."
Perrie Edwards went on to say: "It's going to be lovely. I can't wait."
Little MixLittle Mix are currently at number one with their single, Wings. Copyright [PA]And when we spoke to the singer exclusively, she told us that she'd happily marry Zayn Malik in the future.
Her comments come just a week after nasty rumours that Zayn had cheated on Perrie.
However, sources say that the Little Mix stunner totally trusts her One Direction boyfriend: "Perrie trusts Zayn implicitly. She took no notice of the story whatsoever. Right now, things are going from strength to strength.
"Perrie has learned not to pay any attention to online rumours. She completely trusts him. She's basically moved into his place and has a wardrobe of stuff."

Arsenal fans arrested at Anfield for murder

The quartet were held in connection with the death of 33-year-old Stuart Smith, who had been beaten to death in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Emergency services were called to the incident at Back Colquitt Streete at 2.45am and Smith was rushed to Royal Liverpool University Hospital, but died from his injuries.

The four men - two 39-year-olds, a 37-year-old and a 27-year-old - were arrested in the away supporters' section of Anfield during the second half of Sunday's match, which Arsenal won 2-0. All four men remain in custody.

Police believe that the attack on Londoner Smith may have been caught on a mobile phone video and may even have been posted on YouTube.

Anfield gates
"Officers are keen to talk to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the incident. They are particularly keen to trace a man who may have captured part of the assault on his camera phone," a Merseyside Police spokesman said.
The spokesman added that they do not believe the murder was either gang-related or motivated by football rivalries, nor do they think that Mr Smith knew his attackers.
Local residents and businesses have been left shocked by the bloody incident.
"We are appalled and upset about this isolated incident which has happened in what is a very friendly neighbourhood of bars, restaurants, offices and residences," said a spokesman for the Chameleon Bar, which is on the street where Smith was killed.
"We all send our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased."

New era of quantum computing hailed

Silicon chips that exploit the weird properties of quantum physics could be common components in laptops and smart phones within a few years, say scientists.
British-led technology is set to revolutionise computing using circuits that operate with light instead of electricity, it is claimed.

For the first time, they will offer a practical way of harnessing subatomic interactions so strange they spooked Albert Einstein.

The result could be blindingly fast search engines, encryption systems that cannot be cracked, and computers vastly more powerful than anything in use today.
Super-secure communication devices expected to appear in the next three years could effectively end hacking and identity theft.

Current computer chips will be replaced with super-fast quantum versions it is claimed
Current computer chips will be replaced with super-fast quantum versions it is claimed

In another decade, quantum computers could be outperforming their conventional counterparts. And by 2525 quantum circuits might be everywhere - sitting inside laptops and phones, helping to design new drugs and smart materials, predicting the weather with unprecedented accuracy, and keeping bank accounts and sensitive information safe.
"It had previously been thought that a large-scale quantum computer will not become a reality for at least another 25 years," said Professor Jeremy O'Brien, director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics at the University of Bristol. "However, we believe that, using our new technology, such a device, in less than 10 years, will be performing important calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers."
An ordinary computer relies on logic gates - essentially switches - that are either on or off and which encode data into "bits" represented by ones and zeros. But a quantum computer's switches can be on, or off, or simultaneously on and off.
A "qubit" can exist as a zero, a one, or a "superposition" of both these states at the same time. Multiple qubits can be in numerous inbetween states. This is possible because of quantum effects only seen at the subatomic level that appear to defy common sense.
Particles such as photons, packages of light, can be in two places at once or "entangled" so they influence each other instantaneously, no matter how far apart they are. Einstein found entanglement so hard to swallow he dismissed it as "spooky action at a distance".

Our top 10 beachwear essentials

1. Dune Jump T-Bar Sandals, from £60Stylish and colourful, these Dune Jump T-Bar sandals are perfect attire for the poolside or an evening stroll along the beach. And because they're made out of soft leather, they will not rub your feet. Ensure you look glam day or night on your holiday in these gorgeous magenta, orange and gold T-bar sandals from Dune.
More summer sandals on Ciao
Dune Jump T-bar Sandals (© Image © Ciao)
2. Resort Shapewear Swimsuit, from £27Celebrate your curves and flaunt your figure with this sexy secret weapon. This resort shapewear swimsuit features a secret panel to tame your tummy and moulded cups for an extra lift where it counts so you can show off your hourglass figure with confidence. The contrasting classic monochrome palette with a flash of red also adds to the allure of this sensational piece of kit for the beach.
More Resort swimwear on Ciao
Resort Shapewear Swimsuit (© Image © Ciao)
3. Valverde Large Nautical Canvas Tote Bag by Pia Rossini, from £22.90Your everyday Mulberry (or equivalent) may be sizeable enough for city living but when it comes to holiday time, why don't you ditch your piece of leather arm candy for a canvas beachbag? This large Valverde canvas bag is perfect for hitting the beach as it is spacious and comes with internal pockets for stowing away all your valuables. What's more, the on-trend nautical print is a classic and will get you into the holiday mood.
More canvas tote bags on Ciao
Nautical Canvas Tote bag (© Image © Ciao)
4. Echo Braided Floppy Women's Hat, £10There's nothing like a hat to both shade you from the sunshine and add a bit of oomph to your outfit. Channel the 70s with a wide-brimmed straw hat teamed with a kaftan and sandals. Available in several colours including coral and royal blue, you can always find a floppy hat from this Echo range and they will see you through the season and make you stand out from the crowd.
More floppy hats on Ciao
Echo Braided Floppy Women (© Image © Ciao)
5. Resort All-in-one Strapless Jumpsuit, £25Swap your usual cover-up for this practical and stylish strapless jumpsuit. With a bandeau-style top and wide-legged trousers, you can wear this leopard-print all-in-one to the beach or for evening drinks. In fact, we could go as far as to say that this versatile jumpsuit is a must-have for your beach wardrobe. Go on, channel your wild side.
More jumpsuits on Ciao
Resort All-in-one Strapless Jumpsuit (© Image © Ciao)
6. AllSaints Prism Lowe Shorts, £45Show off your pins in a comfy pair of denim cut-offs. These super-short shorts from AllSaints are made from stretchy denim so they will hug your shape. Choose between a bleached denim blue or coral and team them with a T-shirt and pair of sandals for a casual beach look.
More AllSaints clothing on Ciao
AllSaints Prism Lowe Shorts (© Image © Ciao)
7. Roxy Denim Photoprint Scooter Bikini, £60If you've got it flaunt it in this understated bikini from Roxy. Featuring a twist bandeau top, which can be worn either strapless or halter-neck, and a pair of good-sized retro-style bottoms, this two piece is made from high-performance polymide with lycra and so will dry fast and also keep its shape for longer. You may balk at the £60 price-tag but this bikini is built to last by one of the best surfwear brands in the business. In other words, it's worth every penny.
More Roxy clothing on Ciao
Roxy Denim Photoprint Scooter Bikini (© Image © Ciao)
8. Lauren Cat's Eye Sunglasses, £17Do an Audrey (as in Hepburn) and protect your peepers in a pair of cats eye shades. This black pair with matching graduated lenses are based on the classic retro style but would be suitable for any occasion. What's more, they come at a purse-friendly £17.
More sunglasses on Ciao
Lauren Cat's eye sunglasses (© Image © Ciao)
9. George White Kaftan, £6Keep your cool while the temperatures rise with this cotton kaftan, £6 from George. Featuring a v-neckline and crochet trim, this is fantastic for popping over your bikini or swimsuit on the beach or as a cover-up by the pool.
More kaftans on Ciao
George Kaftan (© Image © Ciao)
10. AllSaints Freedom T-Dress, £65Instead of reaching for your boyfriend's or dad's old T-shirt, why don't you invest in a cool oversized one of your own? This AllSaints Freedom T-dress is made out of 100% cotton and has a hand-appliqued typeface design. Fantastic for the beach and covering your shoulders and chest, this T-shirt dress can also be worn to a festival. Release your inner rock chick in this cool T-shirt dress.
More AllSaints clothing on Ciao
AllSaints Freedom Tee Dress (© Image © Ciao)

Strictly Come Dancing 2012: what we know so far

Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell prepare for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
It’s that time of year again when we get ready for another series of Strictly Come Dancing. The celebrity line-up will be announced soon and the rumour mill has gone into overdrive already.

The show looks set to be the most exciting series yet – here is what has been officially announced and what we’ve heard on the grapevine.

Official: what we know:1. The show has two new executive producers - Andrea Hamilton and Glenn Coomber - after previous incumbent Moira Ross went over to The Voice. They’ve vowed we shall see skimpier outfits and sexier routines; we are not sure how much skimpier some of those outfits can get…

2. Retired ballerina Darcey Bussell has replaced Alesha Dixon as the female judge on the panel. This comes after an extensive BBC search for the new judge after Alesha quit Strictly to be a judge on Britain’s Got Talent. Bussell has been a guest judge on Strictly before.

3. Burn The Floor star Karen Hauer is the only new professional to join the Strictly dancers after Katya Virshilas was axed from the show.

4. Fans of the show will get more backstage gossip and pictures than ever before because the BBC Strictly online team is bigger than ever this series.

5. The Strictly Come Dancing launch show will be aired on Saturday 15 September 2012. For the past two years the launch show has paired up the celebrities with their professional partners.

6. US dancer Lacey Schwimmer has been drafted in as a choreographer for this series – already having some input in professional routines.

7. Zoe Ball will be presenting the spin-off BBC2 show It Takes Two again this year.

8. The official Strictly trailer has been released and showcases Darcey dancing with each of the male judges!

9. The competition will kick off on Friday 5 October 2012 and run every Saturday until December 22 2012.

10. On Saturday 17 November, the show will be broadcast from Wembley Arena – just like last year – and proceeds will go to BBC Children In Need (which is the reason it why the show cannot be at TVC in the first place).

11. You can apply for tickets to see the show until Sunday 16 September 2012.

WATCH: The official trailer for this year's SCD
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly

Rumours: what has been reported and where:
1. STV has claimed that Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood wants Prince Harry to be a contestant on this series of Strictly. Many contestants get audience tickets for their grandparents. Would Harry persuade the Queen and Prince Philip to come along?!

2. According to Tellymix, Top celebrities rumoured to be in the line-up this year include two singers: Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh and Westlife’s Nicky Byrne. Oasis singer Noel Gallagher also reportedly turned down an offer to appear on the show – yet bookies are still offering odds on him making the line-up.

3. The Daily Mail has reported that former Olympians are also rumoured to be shaking and shimmying on the Strictly dance floor this autumn. The most likely contenders based on the media reports we have seen are Victoria Pendleton - she’s just retired from track cycling - and former rower Sir Steve Redgrave.

Other Olympians mentioned but either unconfirmed or ruled out include gymnast Beth Tweddle, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, rower Mark Hunter and bob skeleton rider Amy Williams. The Daily Mail is also reporting that gymnast Louis Smith could be looking at joining Strictly so as to take revenge on ITV X Factor for cutting him from the contest at the audition stage.

4. The Sun reported that ITV appear has banned its soap stars from taking time out to compete on a rival channel’s show. Michelle Keegan who plays Tina Macintyre in Coronation Street was said to have been threatened with the sack if she were to take a break from filming to Strictly.

The report stated she would be allowed to do ITV’s Dancing on Ice or I’m a Celebrity only. However, her agent Vital Management PR later took to Twitter to deny the rumours.

5. The Sun also reported that former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan looks to be a certainty for the celebrity line-up. Watch out Erin Boag, you often get paired the sporty types (Peter Shilton, Peter Schmeichel, Colin Jackson, Austin Healey).

6. The Mirror reportesd that Dannii Minogue could be plotting revenge on Simon Cowell for affair claims by appearing on Strictly. As interesting as this could have been for the show, it was also denied by Dannii herself.

7. The Daily Mail have claimed that other rumoured contestants include former BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams, Great British Bake Off chef Paul Hollywood, former supermodel Jerry Hall and ex-soap star Sid Owen.

8. The Daily Mail also revealed that TV presenter Chris Evans’ name has also appeared on the rumour mill but he has apparently ruled out an appearance on the show.

However, last year Robbie Savage stated on his Twitter page that he wasn’t doing Strictly a couple of weeks before he turned up for the opening show. Another TV presenter who apparently fancies her chances as a dancer is Davina McCall. -
Will Charlie Brooks be a contestant on the show?
9. According to The Sun, wnner of the 2011 Strictly Christmas special Charlie Brooks (she’s an actress in EastEnders) looks set to appear on this series – much like Harry Judd did after competing in the Children In Need special.

Her exit from the BBC soap is said to have been planned months ago, allowing her time for the demands of dancing.

10. It has been reported that Strictly will not return to Blackpool Tower Ballroom at any point this series. It is said to be too expensive to locate such a large broadcasting operation to the north of England for one week only.

11. According to the Daily Star, new judge Darcey Bussell has said that she is taking dance classes ahead of the series.

12. According to The Sun, Children’s TV legend and father of It Takes Two Host Zoe, Johnny Ball has signed up for Strictly. At 74, Jonny would be the oldest celebrity to dance in the competition, pipping 2010 Strictly contestant Paul Daniels by two years.

13. Rumours are coming out of the Isle of Man that world superbike champion James Toseland is set to be signed up by the BBC Strictly bosses after he moves to London with soon-to-be-wife singer Katie Melua.

14. The Daily Mail revealed that the full celebrity line-up will be announced on Friday 7 September.

15. Also, according to the same article as above, the dance-off is returning to the Sunday night results show.

Twilight's Nikki Reed Strips Off to Reveal Her Bikini Body

Twilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in Hawaii
As Twilight's Rosalie Hale she is pretty uptight.
But in her own life Nikki Reed couldn't be more different, laughing away as she raced around a Hawaiian beach with her husband Paul McDonald.

The 24-year-old looked very happy as she ran into the waves with former American Idol contestant Paul, before grabbing him for a long kiss.

Her halterneck green bikini highlighted Reed's amazing figure, and Paul certainly seemed to appreciate it, giving her an appreciative glance.

The pair then swam out to join some friends on a boat offshore, with Nikki getting a helping hand climbing aboard.

She looks in such good shape and it's even got her jumping for joy!

 Twilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in HawaiiTwilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in HawaiiTwilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in HawaiiTwilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in HawaiiTwilight star Nikki Reed shows off her sexy bikini body while enjoying a day at the beach in Hawaii

Monday, September 3, 2012

‘Kate Middleton is sincere, genuine and complimentary’ says royal harpist, Claire Jones

Kate Middleton's flawless face may be very famous but the woman behind it is still a bit of a mystery although royal harpist, Claire Jones who played at the Duchess' wedding tells omg! exclusively that K-Middy is as lovely as she looks.
kate middletonKate Middleton's sincerity impressed royal harpist, Claire Jones. [Copyright: Getty]

After playing at the royal wedding last year, Claire told us just how thoughtful Kate is, she said:
"The Duchess of Cambridge very kindly sent me a wonderful picture of me and my harp at Buckingham Palace to remember the day.
"I was touched by her sincerity. She seems a very lovely and genuine person, and very easy to speak to. I remember she very kindly complimented me on the dress I wore that day!"

Wow — now that's high praise indeed and could only be outdone by Victoria Beckham!
But it wasn't just the Duchess who impressed Claire, she added that Prince William was also lovely.
kate middletonIs there anyone who doesn't love Kate Middleton? [Copyright: Getty]
Claire told us: "They [the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge] were such a lovely, down to earth couple, I very much enjoyed chatting to them, and they listened to all my albums and chose the music they wanted. I also chose my own pieces as well."
After the very special day that saw Kate Middleton's status soar, Claire's career followed suit and has added some impressive names to her performing portfolio including Julian Lloyd Webber.
"The wedding was such a memorable occasion," Claire told us. "It increased my profile all around the world and people to this day are amazed that I have met and performed for all the members of the Royal Family."
claire jonesClaire Jones (in red) has played for countless royalty. [Copyright: Getty]
And it's not just meeting royalty that's changed Claire's life, she's also getting married and releasing her new record with Classic FM.
Speaking of her new album the harpists said: "The new album includes music that is perfect to relax with at the end of a busy day.
"It features many well know pieces of classical, film and folk melodies that show off the lovely mellow tones of the harp. hopefully it will introduce them to some more wildly beautiful and haunting melodies."

Claire Jones' new Classic FM album The Girl With The Golden Harp is out 3rd Sept and available to buy on Amazon

Kim Kardashian continues odd fashion choices with boots on outing with Kanye West

Kim Kardashian has made some slightly unusual fashion choices lately - from baggy leather trousers to a Princess Leia style hooded dress.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye WestKim Kardashian and Kanye West were snapped out and about this weekend. Copyright [WENN]However, Kim Kardashian has continued her odd fashion choices with a pair of baggy beige boots for an outing with Kanye West.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were pictured shopping in New York this weekend, with Kim wearing flattering black dress cinched in at the waist with a gold belt.
However, below the knee was a rather different story, with the star choosing a pair of beige boots with a baggy overlay which failed to show off her amazing pins.
Kanye West followed the theme of unusual footwear by donning a pair of white trainers with his trousers tucked in.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye WestKim Kardashian and Kanye West were both rocking interesting footwear. Copyright [WENN]Interesting look, but we can't see it catching on somehow.
Over the weekend Kimmy K was also snapped wearing a pair of leather trousers which were baggy at the top and not dissimilar to those favoured by MC Hammer.
We're not entirely sure what's happening with Kim Kardashian's fashion choices at the moment, but we think Kanye West could have something to do with it.
Kim recently revealed: "Obviously having a stylish boyfriend who has helped introduce me to things and opened up my vision has been an inspiration and has helped me change it up a little bit and become more sophisticated."
She continued: "Being with him, designing and doing things, that's been motivating to me and has taught me a lot. I'm just thankful."

Kate Middleton dresses up as air hostess at Paralympics

Kate Middleton could quite frankly wear a bin bag and still steal the show, and yesterday's Paralympics offering was no exception as she dressed in attire that wouldn't look out of place aboard an aircraft.
kate middletonKate Middleton stunned in a smart skirt suit. [Copyright: PA]

The stunning Duchess of Cambridge took on an active role at yesterday's athletics presenting a gold medal to Team GB's Aled Davies.

She stepped out of her casual yet chic sportswear and donned her formal wardrobe instead, wearing a navy pencil skirt and matching jacket.
Kate Middleton teamed the suit with a silk scarf that made her look as if she was about to board a BA flight, in first class though of course.
kate middletonKate took part in the medal ceremony yesterday/ [Copyright: PA]
She worked her look with her favourite Russell & Bromley wedges and represented the royals perfectly with her hair teased into her trademark bouncy curls.
The brunette's sudden appearance at the medal ceremony was a welcomed surprise and we imagine the most chuffed person there was Aled — a gold medal AND the chance to shake the duchess' hand.
kate middletonEarlier in the day Kate donned her sportsgear. [Copyright: PA]
Earlier in the day K-Middy braved the rain to watch the rowing finals at Eton Dorney and despite the wet weather she had a smile stretched across her pretty face — she's such a pro!
This week Kate returned to her role representing the royals at the games although for the Paralympics Prince William had been a no show.
Prince Harry didn't join his sister-in-law either although we don't need to explain the reasons for his absence…

Five steps to better sleep…

Five steps to better sleep…Five steps to better sleep…

Did you know that respecting a couple of simple rules can help you to get back to a quality of sleep you’ve only been dreaming about? Here are five tips that should help you to not become a full-blown insomniac.

1. Respect your sleep

Do you have trouble getting off to sleep at night? Maybe you are simply missing your ‘hour’ because you want to watch the end of a film, finish a chapter or are having a nice chat with friends.
As sleep is organised in cycles of 1 ½ hours in length, if you miss one cycle, then you’ll have to wait for the next one to come round. Thus you risk tossing and turning in your bed without being able to get on board the sleep train! In the same way, if you are more of a night person, it’s no use going to bed at sunset, as you won’t be able to sleep anyway.
When your eyes start stinging and the yawns are coming thick and fast, try, whenever possible, to go to bed and also to get up every morning at around the same time. If you sleep in a deregulated way (bed at 11pm and wakeup at 7am in the week; bed at 4am and wakeup at 2pm on the weekends), then it’s going to be more difficult for you to sleep when you want and need to.

2. Sleeping in the right temperature

So, you’ve taken a steaming hot bubble bath to wind down just before getting into bed… Wrong! In fact, when your body gets ready for sleep your body temperature goes down. So you need to go in that same direction with a tepid bath or shower at a maximum temperature of 37%, to calm you down.
An overheated room doesn’t help sleep either, so you should fix your thermostat to no more than 20%. But do make sure that your feet are warm.
Studies have shown that keeping your extremities warm helps vasodilation of your blood veins, which in turn promotes sleepiness. So yes, let’s hear it for a comeback of socks in bed!

3. Eat light before sleeping

Heavy digestion disturbs sleep, so avoid eating heavy evening meals. Cut out red meat, spicy dishes, alcohol, coffee and tea. Go more for salads, vegetables, pasta and fish, as well as dairy products that contain tryptophan – a substance from which comes serotonin, the hormone of tranquillity and sleep.
Eat as early as you can in the evenings (ideally at least two hours before sleeping). Drink a herbal infusion (lime-blossom, verbena, camomile or orange-flower, or passion-flower, valerian, hawthorn and hop, all good against nerviness), or a glass of warm milk, which has a sedating effect.

4. Improve your sleeping space

Not a good sleeper? First of all remove the television from your bedroom, as this is one of the things any sleep specialist will tell you to do. In the same way, your bedroom shouldn’t bed doubling as an office. And it’s even worse if you continue working under the covers. Your bedroom is a place for sleeping, not a multi-functional open space!
As to your bed itself, this is something you need to give your attention to. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep on a misshapen mattress or if you feel every wiggle or turn of your bed partner. You should change your mattress every 10 years; so how old is your current mattress? You can also add earplugs to your sleep kit if your partner snores or there’s noise coming from outside that disturbs you.

5. Help your mind to sleep…

Certain intellectual activities can really upset sleep if it’s not stable. Avoid watching television or playing videogames later in the evening, and don’t get into worrying activities such as balancing your budget or catching up on work at home.
All of this just before bed will only get you wired up, make you brood over your worries and thus not be able to get off to sleep. Try listening to good music, meditating a little, having a laugh with your partner… anything that will help you forget your woes and wind down for a full and restful night’s sleep.