Subscribe:Posts Comments



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson’s headed back to reality TV.

The 30-year-old singer will serve as a celebrity mentor on NBC’s upcoming reality competition “Fashion Star,” which will be hosted by Elle Macpherson.

The idea is for 14 unknown designers to compete each week to land a multi-million dollar contract to launch a fashion line in three retailers. Simpson, of course, has already been mega-successful in this arena.

Last year she took in $750 million in sales with her clothing empire, an amount that's expected to increase past the $1 billion mark as she expands the fashion line's offerings.

NBC’s executive vice president of alternative programming, Paul Teledgy, says in a statement that the network "is delighted" to work with Simpson, since with "an almost billion dollar lifestyle brand under her belt she is sure to be an excellent mentor to our up-and-coming designers.”

It doesn't sound like she'll be judging, however - NBC says buyers from each of the retailers will serve as judges for weekly competitions, and whatever item wins will be available for purchase the next day.

continue reading

Arizona wildfire is now the state's largest ever

Wallow wildfire burns in Arizona
The Wallow Fire in Arizona has become the largest wildfire in the state's history, surpassing the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire, according to officials with Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
The amount of land burned by the fire grew to about 733 square miles, forest officials reported Tuesday. The Rodeo fire covered 732 square miles.
The blaze was about 18% contained, fire officials said Tuesday, nearly double the containment figure reported the day before, when officials reported that the northward advance of the fire had been stopped.
Meanwhile, another fire broke out Monday in southern New Mexico at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, officials said. Hundreds of visitors were evacuated as crews tackled the 3,000-acre wildfire inside the park.

continue reading

Facebook denies losing users

Facebook has said growth is healthy
Facebook has denied that it is losing customers, saying it is "pleased" with growth.

Figures from Faceboook monitoring site Inside Facebook suggested that during May, Facebook lost six million users in the US and 100,000 in the UK.

But the social network, which does not usually comment on third party statistics, questioned how it arrived at this figure.

Other net measurement firms said they had seen growth over the same period.

"From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions. Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn't designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook," the firm said in a statement.

"We are very pleased with our growth and with the way people are engaged with Facebook. More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day," it added.

The figures from Inside Facebook claimed that 1.5 million Canadian users left the social network in May.

But overall it showed that Facebook was growing, to a total of 687 million users worldwide with many new customers coming from countries such as India, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Its figures on customer leakage do not appear to tally with those from net measurement firm comScore.

It told the BBC it had seen a 21% growth for US users on Facebook during May, while the UK gained 368,000 new recruits between February and May.

According to comScore, the average amount of time spent on the site was also up, from 21 minutes per day in December 2009 to 25 minutes per day by December 2010.

Measurement firm Nielsen said its figures also showed growth.

"There are months when figures dip but I'd be very cautious on calling a trend based on two months," said Nielsen spokesman Neil Beston.

The idea of Facebook fatigue, where users desert the social network after a certain period of time has long been talked about by experts but remains unproven.

"In developed countries such as the US and the UK Facebook penetration is hitting 50% and at that level it is inevitable that users will sign up who aren't frequent visitors," said Adrian Drury, lead analyst at research firm Ovum.

continue reading

Corot telescope in exoplanet haul

Measure the light change when a planet "transits"
Ten new planets outside our Solar System have been spotted by the French-led Corot satellite, bringing the total number of known exoplanets to 561.

They include one planet orbiting an unusually young star, and two Neptune-sized planets orbiting the same star.

Corot, launched in 2006, spots planets by measuring the tiny dip in stellar light that occurs when planets pass between the stars and the Earth.

It has now added 23 planetary systems to the ever-growing roster.

Corot, operated by France's space agency CNES, was launched in late 2006. It went into orbit shortly before Kepler, a similar mission by the American space agency Nasa.

Originally scheduled to run only until mid-2008, its remit has since been extended to 2013.

It has since established itself not only as a planet-hunter but also a precise instrument for astroseismology - the study of the composition of stars based on the light they emit.

In the latest list of 10 exoplanet finds, seven are so-called "hot Jupiters", gas giant planets similar to our own Jupiter but far closer to their host star - completing their orbits in just days.

Two more orbit the star Corot-24, with diameters equal to and about 1.4 times that of Neptune, completing their orbits in five and 12 days, respectively.

One of the hot Jupiter planets orbits the star Corot-18, which is believed to be just 600 million years old. This is of particular interest to astrophysicists because there is much to be learned from the earliest stages of planet formation.

"If we want to understand the conditions in which planets form, we need to catch them within the first few hundred million years," said Suzanne Aigrain, a University of Oxford astrophysicist who is part of the Corot team.

"In the case of Corot-18, different ways of determining the age give different results, but it's possible that the star might be only a few tens of millions of years old. If this is confirmed, then we could learn a lot about the formation and early evolution of hot gas giant planets by comparing the size of Corot-18b to the predictions of theoretical models."

continue reading

2010 Portal Subscribe:PostsComments Designed by Theme Junkie Powered by WordPress