Monday, June 30, 2008

Bill Gates surrendering Microsoft helm

A Harvard University dropout who ushered in the home computer age and made billions of dollars along the way will have his last official day of work at Microsoft on June 27.

Three people will essentially fill the void left behind when Bill Gates retires from the company he and friend Paul Allen co-founded in 1975.

Since Gate's began his transition from leading Microsoft to heading his personally-bankrolled charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , his job as chief software architect has been handled by Ray Ozzie. Read more...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

All hail the new king

by Dan Rafael.

LAS VEGAS -- Top Rank promoter Bob Arum likes to joke that Manny Pacquiao is so good that maybe someday he could challenge heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Arum is obviously kidding, but his point is well taken.

Pacquiao continued to defy boxing logic by once again moving up in weight and turning in another dominant, title-winning performance on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, this time claiming a lightweight championship.

And for those who didn't already have Pacquiao No. 1 on the pound-for-pound list, perhaps favoring Joe Calzaghe like has since Floyd Mayweather's retirement earlier this month, get ready for another change of the guard. Read More...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ana defeated by inspired Zheng

Ana suffered a shock third-round loss at Wimbledon, as she was beaten by China's Jie Zheng 6-1, 6-4 in 72 minutes in Court 1. The 23-year-old underdog played superbly, while Ana was far from her best.

The result determines that the 20-year-old world No.1, who had reached the semi-finals last year, will not contest the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2007 Australian Open, when she lost to Russia's Vera Zvonareva at the same stage. Read more...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tennis Latest Rankings

As of June 16

Men Women
1. R. Federer
2. R. Nadal
3. N. Djokovic
4. N. Davydenko
5. D. Ferrer
6. A. Roddick
7. D. Nalbandian
8. J. Blake
9. R. Gasquet
10. S. Wawrinka

1. A. Ivanovic
2. J. Jankovic
3. M. Sharapova
4. S. Kuznetsova
5. E. Dementieva
6. S. Williams
7. V. Williams
8. C. Chakvetadze
9. D. Safina
10. D. Hamtuchova

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wimbledon under fire for pigeon cull

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - Wimbledon came under fire from animal activists on Tuesday for using marksmen to shoot down dive-bombing pigeons.

The tournament employs two hawks to scare away pigeons who had become a pest swooping down on Centre Court and distracting players in the middle of tense matches.

But the hawks failed to keep the pigeons away from the players’ lawn and the open-air media restaurant so marksmen were called in.

“The hawks are our first line of deterrent, and by and large they do the job,” Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said.

“But unfortunately there were one or two areas where the hawks didn’t deter the pigeons, so it was deemed necessary to take a harder approach,” he explained.

The marksmen were summoned by Wimbledon as pigeon droppings on the restaurant tables were thought to be a health hazard.

The decision to call in the marksmen was condemned as “cruel and illegal behaviour” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) which complained to the tournament organisers and the police.

“Since the use of marksmen to kill pigeons appears to have been carried out as a first, rather than a last resort, and not out of a concern for public health, but rather because the animals were deemed inconvenient by players, you appear to be in clear violation of the law,” PETA vice-president Bruce Friedrich said.


Monday, June 16, 2008

BMW GINA Visionary Model

BMW just unveiled its latest design philosophy — via a radical concept car — that will sure to raise some eyebrows in the automotive industry. Touted as the "game changer" for the "development of tomorrow's mobility," the new concept centers around the GINA principle, for Geometry and Functions In "N" Adaptions. What this means is the ability for BMW to think outside the box and innovate maximum ideas with mininum amount of the usual constraints associated with car design.

The first translation of the GINA philosophy into physical being is demonstrated in the Light Visionary Model concept. The only specs that may be familiar are the car's realistic 8-cylinder powertrain package residing in a roadster built from an aluminum space-frame chassis with two double tailpies and 20-in. alloy wheels at the corners. Other than that, it is the Visionary's exterior body that will catch all of us by surprise. It is skinned by four large pieces of flexible material that can stretch and contract based on a number of substructures that can move about on the chassis with electro and electrohydraulic controls.

There are four main pieces of skin that make up the Visionary's body: The largest component starts at the front of the car and extends all the way to the base of the windscreen, then down and across the two doors, ending at the rear edge. The next two fabric-like skins begin at the front lower rocker panels, then run across the rear wheel arches to the back. The last piece of skin makes up the rear deck. The roadster's scissor-type doors open with its outer skin wrinkled in a very clearly defined pattern, but they are stretched back into a silky-smooth surface when the doors close.

The fabric that covers the Visionary's body is constructed from a waterproof and temperature-resistant mesh netting on the outer layer, supported by a flexible metal- wire structure underneath to maintain the skin's tension and smoothness. Around a few areas where curvatures of the skin are called for, carbon struts are added to allow for higher flexibility while keeping the rounded contours.

The Light Visionary Model is striking not only because of its fabric outer skin, but also its utility in form following function. Because of the flexible skin, the headlights can be hidden or exposed when necessary. The side markers to signal lane changes are not visible on the outside until they are turned on during use — their light shines though the translucent (but not transparent) cover. Airflow around the car can be managed actively as the skin can be closed, opened or stretched based on need; the rocker-panel shape can be adjusted for better aerodynamics. And because the rear deck is covered by one single piece of fabric, the spoiler can be completely hidden when it is not in use.

Chris Bangle, Head of BMW Group Design, says, "Personal customer requirements will broaden the context of our products and change the core values that define our industry along the way." That's why BMW is focused on breaking new ground and finding innovative design solutions. And by the looks of the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW is in the forefront of ingenious automotive design.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ana Ivanovic, New World Number One Female Tennis Player

Ana Ivanovic

Residence: Basel, Switzerland
Date of Birth: November 6, 1987
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia
Height: 6'1 (1.86 m)
Weight: 152 lbs. (69 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Status: Pro (August 2003)

Career Highlights

Winner (7): 2008 - Indian Wells, Roland Garros; 2007 - Berlin, Los Angeles, Luxembourg; 2006 - Montreal; 2005 - Canberra; 2004 - ITF/Mallorca 2-ESP, ITF/Gifu-JPN, ITF/Fukuoka-JPN, ITF/Fano-ITA, ITF/Batumi-GEO.
Finalist (3): 2008 - Australian Open; 2007 - Tokyo [Pan Pacific], Roland Garros 2007
Semifinalist: (8): 2008 - Sydney, Berlin; 2007 - Amelia Island, Wimbledon, Year-End Championships; 2005 - Warsaw, Zurich, Linz.
Quarterfinalist (15): 2008 - Dubai; 2007 - Gold Coast, Sydney, Antwerp, s‘Hertogenbosch
2006 - Sydney, Indian Wells, Warsaw, s'Hertogenbosch; Los Angeles; Linz, Hasselt
2005 - Miami, Roland Garros; 2004 - Luxembourg.

Finalist (1): 2006 - 's-Hertogenbosch (w/Kirilenko).
Semifinalist (2): 2006 - Tokyo [Pan Pacific], Warsaw (both w/Kirilenko).

Career in review

2003 - Made pro debut on ITF Circuit (played four events), also Tour debut (l. in Luxembourg qualifying).

2004 - Top 100 finish in first full season on the Tour, making the biggest ranking jump of any player in 2004 (608 spots); as world No.156 qualifier at Zürich (in third career main draw after Vienna, Birmingham earlier in season), upset No.29 Golovin 75 67(2) 76(3) in 1r (overcame 5-1 third-set deficit, 2mp), l. to V.Williams 76(11) 76(6) in 2r (held five set points in first set and three in second set tie-break); the next week, made Tour QF debut at Luxembourg (l. to Medina Garrigues), afterwards on November 1 made Top 100 debut (at No.96); started season winning first 21 matches and three titles, $10,000 ITF/Mallorca 2-ESP, $50,000 ITF/Gifu-JPN (as qualifier) and $50,000 ITF/Fukuoka-JPN (as qualifier); won two more $50,000 ITF Circuit titles (ITF/Fano-ITA, ITF/Batumi-GEO) just prior to qualifying for Zürich.

2005 - Breakthrough season, highlighted by career-first Tour singles title at Canberra and first Top 20 finish; captured title in first event of year at Canberra (as qualifier, d. LL Czink in final, had defeated Czink in final round of qualifying, believed to be a Tour first; 26th qualifier in Tour history to win a title); reached QF or better at five other events, incl. QF at Miami (d. world No.7 Kuznetsova en route for first Top 10 victory, falling to Mauresmo in first Tier I QF), SF at Warsaw (d. No.10 Zvonareva en route to first Tier II SF, losing to eventual champion Henin-Hardenne), QF at Roland Garros (on debut, d. No.3 Mauresmo en route for best match win of career to date, falling to Petrova in first Grand Slam QF), and consecutive SF in the fall at Zürich (l. to Schnyder in first Tier I SF) and Linz (l. again to Schnyder); in addition to Roland Garros, made debuts at all other Grand Slams, at Australian Open (l. in 3r to Mauresmo), Wimbledon (l. in 3r to Pierce) and US Open (as No.18 seed, upset in 2r by Vento-Kabchi in 3s; at No.16, was highest ranked player to make her debut at the US Open since No.14 Capriati in 1990, bettered only by No.12 Seles in 1989 since inception of computer rankings in 1975); reduced ranking to less than one-fifth between beginning and end of season, ranked No.100 in first event at Canberra, making Top 50 debut (at No.50) on March 7, Top 20 debut (at No.20) after Wimbledon, and rising to current career-high No.16 on August 29; withdrew from Toronto [Canadian Open] prior to 3r match vs. Clijsters w/right pectoral muscle strain, withdrew from Luxembourg w/right shoulder injury and from Moscow w/left wrist strain.

2006 - Second consecutive Top 20 finish; season highlighted by capturing second and biggest Tour singles title at Tier I Montréal (as No.13 seed, d. No.9 seed Safina in SF and No.7 seed Hingis in final); clinched US Open Series victory with the title; seven-time quarterfinalist, at Sydney (upset No.2 seed Mauresmo en route, falling to No.6 seed Kuznetsova), Indian Wells (l. to Dementieva in 3s), Warsaw (upset No.2 seed Schnyder en route, falling to Chakvetadze in 3s), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Dementieva), Los Angeles (l. to Jankovic), Linz (l. to Sharapova) and Hasselt (l. to Krajicek); win over world No.3 Mauresmo at Sydney was equal-biggest career victory, and win over world No.8 Schnyder at Warsaw was second Top 10 win of season, fifth of career; reached 4r twice, at Miami (l. to Mauresmo) and Wimbledon (as No.19 seed, d. No.14 seed Safina in 3r, falling to top seed and eventual champion Mauresmo); 3r three times, incl. Roland Garros (as No.19 seed, l. to No.10 seed Myskina) and US Open (as No.16 seed, l. to WC S.Williams); 2r three times, incl. Australian Open (as No.21 seed, upset by Stosur), and fell 1r three times, incl. Berlin (ret. vs. N.Li w/left hamstring strain); notched 100th career singles match win in Warsaw 1r (vs. Domachowska), also surpassed $1 million in career prize money earnings; on September 11 (after US Open), moved from No.17 to No.15, her career Top 15 debut; on October 16, moved up to No.13, a new career-high; reached first Tour doubles final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and a semifinals at Tokyo [Pan Pacific] and Warsaw (all w/Kirilenko); withdrew from Rome w/left hamstring strain and from Stuttgart, Zurich w/right shoulder tendonitis.

2007 - Another breakthrough season of sorts, culminating in first Top 10 finish, highlighted by third, fourth and fifth career Tour singles titles and first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros; won titles at Berlin (as No.12 seed, d. No.3 seed Kuznetsova in final; second career Tier I title), Los Angeles (as No.3-seeded WC, d. No.2 seed Jankovic 46 63 75 in SF after trailing 4-1 in third set and saving 2mp down 5-4; d. No.4 seed Petrova in final) and Luxembourg (as No.2 seed, d. No.4 seed Hantuchova 36 64 64 in final, having trailed 63 30); two-time runner-up, at Tier I Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (as No.5 seed, d. No.4 seed Jankovic en route; l. to No.2 seed Hingis) and Roland Garros (as No.7 seed, d. No.3 seed Kuznetsova in QF and No.2 seed Sharapova in SF before falling to top seed Henin in final; was first player representing Serbia, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam singles final); SF three times, at Amelia Island (as No.6 seed, d. No.2 seed Jankovic en route; l. to No.8 seed Golovin in 3s), Wimbledon (as No.6 seed, overcame 3-1 third set deficit to d. No.11 seed Petrova 61 26 64 in 4r and 5-3 third set deficit and 3mp trailing 5-4 to d. No.14 seed Vaidisova 46 62 75 in QF; l. to No.23 seed and eventual champion V.Williams) and finally first Tour Championships - having qualified at No.4 in Race, compiled 2-1 RR record (d. Kuznetsova and Hantuchova; l. to Sharapova) to reach SF (l. to Henin); notched 12 Top 10 wins during season, at Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (No.10 Jankovic), Amelia Island (No.9 Jankovic), Berlin (No.4 Kuznetsova), Roland Garros (No.3 Kuznetsova, No.2 Sharapova), Wimbledon (No.9 Petrova, No.10 Vaidisova), Los Angeles (No.3 Jankovic, No.9 Petrova), Luxembourg (No.10 Hantuchova) and Tour Championships (No.2 Kuznetsova, No.9 Hantuchova); wins over Sharapova and Kuznetsova were career-best wins; having begun year No.14, made Top 10 debut on May 14 (moving from No.16 to No.8 after Berlin), Top 5 debut on July 9 (moving from No.6 to No.5 after Roland Garros) and reaching career-high No.4 on August 13 (after Los Angeles); four more QF, at Gold Coast (l. to Peer), Sydney (l. to Vaidisova), Antwerp (l. to Clijsters) and 's-Hertogenbosch (l. to Hantuchova); suffered eight pre-QF losses in 19 regular season events, incl. at Australian Open (as No.13 seed, l. 3r to No.22 seed Zvonareva) and US Open (as No.5 seed, l. 4r to No.12 seed V.Williams); surpassed both $1 million and $2 million in career earnings, in fact earning over 60% of her career prize money this season alone; withdrew from Rome w/ankle injury and from San Diego w/knee injury.


Began working with Scott Byrnes (strength and conditioning coach) in July 2006 ... Started playing tennis at age 5 after watching it on TV (in particular Monica Seles), remembering the phone number to a local tennis school and begging her parents to take her; was given a racquet for her fifth birthday and immediately fell in love with the game ... Mother, Dragana, is a lawyer; father, Miroslav, is a businessman; brother, Milos, is four years Ana's junior, and likes playing basketball; all the family likes sports, but none played tennis before Ana ... Trained in a disused swimming pool at the Jedanaesti April 11 sports center in Belgrade ... Best shot is forehand; likes all surfaces ... Likes watching movies (especially thrillers) either at the cinema or on DVD at home; also likes to read (especially about history and Greek mythology) and to listen to music (pop and R&B) ... Loves the TV shows 24, Lost and Prison Break ... Enjoys shopping, fashion ... Favorite food is sushi ... Favorite drink is water, fresh orange juice ... In September 2007 began studying finance at a private university that allows her to take exams online ... Admires Federer for his professionalism on and off the court ... Superstitions are to not walk on lines of the court, and at some tournaments to eat at the same restaurant each night ... Sometimes prepares for matches by playing Sudoku or backgammon in locker room ... Favorite places to visit are Melbourne, where she has some family, London and Paris ... Self-described as strong-willed, sensitive, determined and extremely competitive ... Most admires her family for all the support they give her ... Speaks fluent English, Serbian and some Spanish ... One of her off-court goals is to learn how to surf ... Most memorable experiences to date are reaching 2007 Roland Garros final and playing a charity match against Agassi.

Awards, etc.

  • Junior Wimbledon runner-up 2004
  • Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Most Improved Player 2005
  • US Open Series champion 2006
  • Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Most Improved Player 2007
  • Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award 2007
  • UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia
  • Nominated for U.S. Secretary of State's 2007 International Women of Courage Award


  • Most embarrassing moment in tennis is when she took another player's racket bag onto court after mistaking it for her own
  • The President of Serbia, Boris Tadic, attended her 20th birthday party
  • Was featured on a Serbian postage stamp during the run-up to the 2008 Olympics
  • One of her proudest achievements is winning 16 matches in 15 days as she captured back-to-back titles on the ITF Women's Cicuit when she was 16
  • Has won the Sexiest Female Player award for the last three years
  • Finished 23rd on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2008 list
  • Named the best-looking tennis player of all-time by The Age newspaper
  • Has the most-visited website of any sportswoman (according to, on 14 June 2008)

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