Childcare providers to start displaying their prices

first_imgYesNoVoteRead: Open thread: How should Ireland deal with high childcare costs? > Parents must also understand that the price of childcare is driven primarily by the strict ratios of adults to children and we can’t have a true debate about childcare costs in Ireland without questioning the low level of State funding here, compared to our European neighbours.The announcement follows similar price display initiatives in the Dental and GP sectors that improves transparency for consumers when choosing professional service providers.Would you prefer to see a clear list of prices for childcare services on display? No (781) Yes (593) Poll Results: Price display is an important way to empower consumers. Choosing a childcare provider is one of the most important decisions a parent will make and this initiative will allow them to compare childcare costs by providing easily accessible information. We are aware that a wide range of factors are involved when choosing a childcare provider, including location and staff qualifications, but given the costs involved, affordability is a key consideration for parents.Irene Gunning, Chief Executive of ECI added: AN INITIATIVE HAS been launched to increase price transparency and allow parents to make more informed decisions about where they send their children for childcare. Around 3,330 childcare facilities will be sent a price display template so they can clearly display the cost for the services they offer and provide details on available discounts and optional extras.The initiative, launched by The National Consumer Agency along with Early Childhood Ireland, follows the NCA’s call for improved price display in the sector following a study in February 2011, which showed that only 44% of childcare facilities displayed a price list at their premises.Commenting on the new initiative Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the NCA, said:last_img read more

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Clare dominate 2013 Hurling Allstars with eight winners

first_imgUpdated 7.08amALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS Clare have won eight Allstars in the GAA/GPA end-of-season hurling awards.David McInerney, Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, Tony Kelly, Podge Collins and Conor McGrath will be presented with their awards at Friday night’s banquet.Beaten finalists Cork have three places with goalkeeper Anthony Nash joining Seamus Harnedy and Patrick Horgan.The beaten semi-finalists make up the rest of the 15-man selection with Dublin trio Peter Kelly, Liam Rushe and Danny Sutcliffe honoured as is Limerick’s sole representative, full-back Richie McCarthy.In total there are 12 first-time recipients with Nash, Bugler and Rushe the only players to have won Allstars previously.Five of the winners — McInerney, Galvin, Kelly and Collins from Clare and Dublin’s Sutcliffe — also competed at U21 level this season.“It was a truly exceptional hurling championship and the individual players honoured today can be very proud of their contribution to that season,” GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell said.The football selection as well as the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in both codes will be announced at Friday’s ceremony in Croke Park.Kelly, Nash and Collins will contest Hurler of the Year. Kelly is also nominated for Young Hurler of the Year where he goes up against team-mates McInernery and Collins.2013 GAA GPA Allstars sponsored by OpelGoalkeeper1.Anthony Nash (Cork)Full-backs2. Richie McCarthy (Limerick)3. Peter Kelly (Dublin)4. David McInerney (Clare)Half-backs5. Brendan Bugler (Clare)6. Liam Rushe (Dublin)7. Patrick Donnellan (Clare)Midfield8. Colm Galvin (Clare)9. Conor Ryan (Clare)Half-forwards10. Séamus Harnedy (Cork)11. Tony Kelly (Clare)12. Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin)Full-forwards13. Pádraic Collins (Clare)14. Patrick Horgan (Cork)15. Conor McGrath (Clare)Do you agree with this year’s selections?First published 12.01amCork’s Ciaran Sheehan to join AFL club Carlton Blueslast_img read more

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Two arrested over fatal shooting of man in Dublin

first_imgTWO PEOPLE HAVE been arrested as part of the investigation into the fatal shooting of a man last night.The man, who was in his 40s, was shot dead at around 5pm on the Ballycoolin Road in Finglas, Dublin.Gardaí said the man was shot by a lone gunman. The victim was pronounced dead at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.This morning, gardaí said they had arrested a male in his 20s and a female in her 30s following yesterday’s fatal shooting.The two are currently detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007, at Finglas Garda Station.They can be held by gardaí for up to seven days.Gardaí have asked for anyone who witnessed the shooting to contact Finglas Garda Station on 01 666 7500, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.Read: Man in his 40s shot dead by lone gunman in Dublin>last_img read more

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TheScoreies 50 favourite sports articles of 2013 part 1

first_img1. Mike Tyson on his tough upbringing — New York Magazine“Having to wear glasses in the first grade was a real turning point in my life. My mother had me tested, and it turned out I was nearsighted, so she made me get glasses. They were so bad. One day I was leaving school at lunchtime to go home and I had some meatballs from the cafeteria wrapped up in aluminum to keep them hot. This guy came up to me and said, “Hey, you got any money?” I said, “No.” He started picking my pockets and searching me, and he tried to take my fucking meatballs. I was resisting, going, “No, no, no!” I would let the bullies take my money, but I never let them take my food. I was hunched over like a human shield, protecting my meatballs. So he started hitting me in the head and then took my glasses and put them down the gas tank of a truck. I ran home, but he didn’t get my meatballs. I still feel like a coward to this day because of that bullying. That’s a wild feeling, being that helpless. You never ever forget that feeling. That was the last day I went to school. I was 7 years old, and I just never went back to class.”2. Football Clichés on Obscure Football Fetishes — Angleofpostandbar Blog“What I’m trying to say here is that we’re watching too much football. When was the last time you were genuinely awe-struck in a televised game? Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-range jujitsu goal against England, perhaps. Players are arguably more technically gifted than ever before – and certainly stronger and faster — but the crucial mystique factor has been diminished. The 1990s drip-feed of foreign talent — when we could only catch a glimpse of Serie A’s finest by either watching Gazzetta Football Italia on Saturday mornings or playing Championship Manager Italia morning, noon and night — is unthinkable now, for there’s a clasico somewhere on the planet every other night.”3. The day Harry Redknapp brought a fan on to play for West Ham — Howler Magazine“Harry Redknapp delights in telling this particular yarn. Last time he told the story it was on TV show A League of Their Own, at Christmas last year. “There’s a guy next to the dug-out,” Harry told the host, “and he’s got West Ham tattooed all over his arms and neck, he’s got the earrings … After two minutes, he started on me.” Today, speaking to me in his third one-on-one interview since taking over as QPR boss, he slips into storytelling mode.‘We ain’t got that Lee Chapman up front do we – I ain’t coming every week if he’s playing,’” says Harry, doing his impression of Steve. “Half-time I made five substitutions, and we only had the bare 11 out – I was running out of players. Then we got another injury, so I said to this guy in the crowd, ‘Oi, can you play as good as you talk?’”4. Manti Te’o fake girlfriend scandal — Deadspin(Manti Te’o speaks at a news conference – Denis Poroy/AP/Press Association Images)“Here is what we know about Manti Te’o: He is an exceptional football player. He’s a projected first-round NFL pick. He finished second in the Heisman voting, and he won a haul of other trophies: the Walter Camp, the Chuck Bednarik, the Butkus, the Bronko Nagurski. In each of his three seasons as a full-time starter, he racked up at least 100 tackles.“We also know that Te’o is a devout Mormon. When asked why he picked Notre Dame over Southern California, the school he had supported while growing up in Hawaii, he said he prayed on it. “Faith,” he told ESPN, “is believing in something that you most likely can’t see, but you believe to be true. You feel in your heart, and in your soul, that it’s true, but you still take that leap.”5. Conor Cusack on depression — Blog“I had been five months in my room now. I had watched the summer turn into the autumn and then to Winter through my bedroom window. One of the most difficult things was watching my teammates parade through the town after winning the U21 championship through it. That was the real world out there. In here in my room was a living hell. I was now on about 18 tablets a day and not getting better but worse. I was eating very little but the medication was ballooning my weight to nearly twenty stone. I was sent to see another psychiatrist and another doctor who suggested electric shock therapy which I flatly refused. It was obvious to me I was never going to get better. My desire for death was now much stronger than my desire for living so I made a decision.”6. Bill Simmons on the PED Question — Grantland “A few weeks ago, we finished a Baseball Hall of Fame voting process in which nobody was selected. Not a single guy. Keep in mind, the following stars were eligible: one of the greatest outfielders ever, one of the greatest starting pitchers ever, two of the most imposing sluggers ever, one of the greatest offensive first basemen ever, the single greatest offensive catcher ever, a member of the 500–home run club, and someone who reached base more than anyone in history except for 17 players. None of them made it to Cooperstown. Five were shunned because we were getting back at them — they cheated, they burned us, they let us down. Two were bypassed because of circumstantial evidence — we were pretty sure they cheated, and since they never defended themselves that passionately, they were out. The last guy missed out because of our anger toward the other seven guys, and because a few-dozen holier-than-thou baseball writers keep stubbornly protecting a fantasy world that no longer exists.”7. The Masked Man on Chris Benoit’s death — Deadspin (A police car is parked outside the house of WWE professional wrestler Chris Benoit, Monday, June 25, 2007 – John Amis/AP/Press Association Images)“Chris Benoit’s body was ravaged by the strain of 20-plus years of wrestling, of steroid and HGH abuse, of a broken neck he’d had fused, of the relentless compulsion to prove himself. His brain was destroyed by years of diving headbutts that probably concussed him a little every time and of being hit in the head with steel chairs — Benoit was notoriously one of the only guys who would take shots to the back of his head, which is demonstrably more dangerous to your brain. His soul was ferrying the weight of Eddie’s death, of Owen Hart’s death, of a possibly dissolving marriage. The doctors eventually said that when he died he had the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer. The weight of all that pain and stress on a dementia-stricken mind. You don’t have to excuse what he did to try to make some sense of it.“The night he killed himself, Benoit was supposed to win the ECW Championship. Which is to say that everything wrestling-wise was good. That nobody saw this coming.”8. Jason Collins on coming out — Sports Illustrated “No one wants to live in fear. I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don’t sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.”9. Niall McNamee on gambling — Blog“I was carrying a lot of guilt and shame around inside me. On the outside I would put on a face for people around me and pretend everything was OK but inside I was falling apart. I had a lot of things going for me and to be 26 and have no direction on where my life was going was hard to live with. I considered myself to be a failure. I became so unreliable in a lot of areas of my life, let it be work, relationships or football. At the time I convinced myself that I was doing fine but looking back now I was fooling myself. But all the while in the midst of all the madness that was going on in my life I was still able to find time to go to the bookies. It had taken away so much of my life but in a strange way it was the place where I felt I was safe. No matter what was going on in my life this was the place where I could hide away from the world hoping that all my problems would disappear. They never did.”10. Rejection, tragedy and billions of dollars: The story of FIFA — MCVUK.com(Sam Vermeylen [Waasland-Bevere] and Mohamed El-Gabas [Lierse SK] pictured during the final of a tournament of the Fifa 2012 computer game — LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/Belga/Press Association Images)“EA expected to sell almost 300,000 copies of FIFA across Europe. But Neil T believed they could do more, and he was right. The game only launched in December, but still shifted almost half a million copies in just four weeks, becoming the best selling game of the year.“The story doesn’t end there, of course. Over the next 20 years, FIFA would go on to become the biggest video game series in the world.”11. Bret, Unbroken – Runner’s World“When you crest a hill half a mile from the warehouse, you pause, turn, and notice the quality of the light, how even in the hard, cold days before Christmas, the weak morning sun turns the smokestacks and factories of downtown Rhinelander into friendly things, peaceful and benign. You think about the most beautiful light in the world, the sunrise behind the barn due east of your mother’s house, 65 miles away. No one knows what you think about the quality of light. Few know that you love horses, or that you have plans to breed chickens, or that you long for love, or that you have hardened yourself to never receiving it.”12. Philip O’Connor on Gaelic Football in Sweden — ourmaninstockholm.com“Frankly, I don’t care if I never see a 15-a-side game in Europe. We have difficutly enough getting facilities and sponsorship as it is, so 15-a-side pitches with goals and nets are a long way off.“I’d much rather see the GAA and the rest of us accept that the way forward is the 11-a-side game that we currently play.”13 Malcolm Gladwell on ‘The Sports Gene’ — The New Yorker“Why do so many of the world’s best distance runners come from Kenya and Ethiopia? The answer, Epstein explains, begins with weight. A runner needs not just to be skinny but—more specifically—to have skinny calves and ankles, because every extra pound carried on your extremities costs more than a pound carried on your torso. That’s why shaving even a few ounces off a pair of running shoes can have a significant effect. Runners from the Kalenjin tribe, in Kenya—where the majority of the country’s best runners come from—turn out to be skinny in exactly this way. Epstein cites a study comparing Kalenjins with Danes; the Kalenjins were shorter and had longer legs, and their lower legs were nearly a pound lighter. That translates to eight per cent less energy consumed per kilometre. (For evidence of the peculiar Kalenjin lower leg, look up pictures of the great Kenyan miler Asbel Kiprop, a tall and elegant man who runs on what appear to be two ebony-colored pencils.) According to Epstein, there’s an evolutionary explanation for all this: hot and dry environments favor very thin, long-limbed frames, which are easy to cool, just as cold climates favor thick, squat bodies, which are better at conserving heat.”14. Grant Wahl on the fan who met Jose Mourinho  – Sports Illustrated(Former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho pictured during a press conference — Arturo Rodriguez/AP/Press Association Images)“How did Rodríguez become Mourinho’s American good luck charm and end up meeting Sir Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, Mesut Özil, Kaká and Javier (Chicharito) Hernández? For the past seven years, Rodríguez has taken two weeks of vacation every summer to work for free chasing down errant balls and doing support work for Mourinho’s teams when they train in Los Angeles in the preseason.“It’s no small effort. Every day during his unpaid “vacation,” Rodríguez leaves his house in Fontana, Calif., at 5 a.m., drives to the UCLA training site and spends the rest of the day setting up the practice field and helping with anything Mourinho and his staff need. He arrives home at 11 p.m., gets a few hours of sleep and starts over at 5 a.m. the next morning.”15. Joe Brolly and the Problem of Perspective – An Spailpín Fánach“Brolly is different too in his attitude to the game on which he expounds. Hook and Dunphy claim to be great lovers of the game, and make much of having seen an exceptional display by a brontosaurus at stand-off half/the hole behind the front two back in old God’s time, and it’s a perpetual disappointment to both men that none of these modern Jessies can fill that brontosaurus’s admittedly enormous boots.“Brolly doesn’t really do that schtick. Brolly talks about football and he knows about football but he keeps it in its context, as only a game. As only one part of the rich tapestry of life. And Brolly’s donation of a kidney to someone he hardly knew last year is proof that Brolly does see the big picture and, in that big picture, surely walks with the angels.”16. Becoming the All Terrain Human — The New York Times“So what’s next when you’re 25 and every one of the races on the wish list you drew up as a youngster has been won and crossed out? You dream up a new challenge. Last year Jornet began what he calls the Summits of My Life project, a four-year effort to set speed records climbing and descending some of the world’s most well known peaks, from the Matterhorn this summer to Mount Everest in 2015. In doing so, he joins a cadre of alpinists like Ueli Steck from Switzerland and Chad Kellogg from the United States who are racing up peaks and redefining what’s possible. In a way, Jornet says, all of his racing has been preparation for greater trials. This month, he is in the Himalayas with a couple of veteran alpinists. They plan to climb and ski the south face of a peak that hasn’t been skied before in winter.“But bigger challenges bring bigger risks. Less than a year ago, Jornet watched as his hero and friend Stéphane Brosse died in the mountains. Since then, he has asked himself, How much is it worth sacrificing to do what you love?”17. Lamberto Boranga: the 70-year-old goalkeeper, doctor and poet – ESPN (Lamberto Boranga is interviewed after a game — YouTube screengrab)“Boranga was born in 1942, just like Italian goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff, who was, and still is, the oldest-ever World Cup winner when he lifted the trophy in 1982 at age 40. Both Boranga and Zoff retired in 1983, but while the latter left the pitch for good, the former made a comeback three times, and now regularly plays in Italy’s regional division.“The first time Boranga was asked to put his gloves on again was at the age of 50. Bastardo, a tiny team from a town near his home town of Foligno, had both their regular goalkeepers out injured, and Bongo couldn’t refuse. He played well, conceded a single goal, and realised he was still in good shape.”18. An interview with WWE superstar Triple H — Grantland“Vince has this saying, and I hate when I quote him because it makes me feel like he’s right, but everything we do is storytelling. You can’t keep people way up here the whole time. You’ve got to sit people down to make them stand back up. Otherwise they get tired of just standing up. There’s a reason there was a popcorn matchup during intermission during the old days, to get people back in their seats. It’s crowd interaction. When you don’t have that, when you give them a match where they are physically screaming for 30 minutes, you can’t keep it going. They have to exhale at some point. And if you don’t give them that, you hurt the overall flow of the show. Nothing we do exists by itself.”19. Simon Kuper on the growing phenomenon of intellectual sportswriting — The Financial Times“Historically, cricket was the game that British writers learned at public school. On a summer’s Saturday in London around 1900, you could have stood on various boundaries watching Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), AA Milne (of Winnie the Pooh), PG Wodehouse (of Jeeves), EW Hornung (of Raffles) and JM Barrie (of Peter Pan as well as of the Allahakbarries cricket club) playing for overlapping teams. The teatime repartee over cucumber sandwiches must have been decent. Decades later, Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard played together on those same London fields.“Yet none of them wrote about cricket in a serious fashion. Neither did Samuel Beckett, a life-long cricket nut who played two first-class matches for Dublin university. Philosopher AJ Ayer did write football match reports for The Observer in the 1950s, but he seems to have treated this as a vacation from thinking. His favourite opening line: “The match kicked off at 3.00pm prompt.”20. Ken Early on Neymar — Slate(Neymar celebrates winning the Confederations Cup with his teammates — Victor Caivano/AP/Press Association Images)“At 21, Neymar has already scored 161 goals for Santos, Brazil, and now Barcelona. It’s a phenomenal number: twice as many as Romario had scored at the same age, and three times as many as the 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo.“Neymar, the prodigy, is also ahead of where Messi was at 21. He has played with successful teams, winning his state championship, his continental championship, and most recently the Confederations Cup with Brazil. He was named best individual player at that tournament, adding to a hoard of individual awards: top scorer in Brazil, Brazilian player of the year, twice South American player of the year, FIFA’s Puskás Award for the best goal scored anywhere in the world in 2011, a finalist for that same award in 2012.”21. Death at the Garden — The New Yorker “This was the first big prize fight I had ever seen in person, and I loved everything about it: the smell of cigar smoke, the palpable tension surrounding a big event, and the growing buzz of the crowd in anticipation of what was to come, as one fight after another on the undercard concluded, all leading to the main event. There was the dramatic ping-ping of flashbulbs popping, and the silence that befell the huge arena as everyone waited for the fighters to make their way down their respective aisles, toward the elevated ring and its plush ropes. All of it felt irrecoverably, deeply primal, though I feel pretty sure that, at the time, I didn’t know what “primal” meant. But I would soon find out.”22. Adiós, Spanish bullfighting? — Salon“In 2007, when Spain’s economy was at the height of its construction-led boom, around 2,700 official bullfights took place across the country. This year, Rueda reckons, there will be fewer than 500.“Big cities such as Madrid, Seville and Valencia are maintaining their traditional summer festivals, albeit with fewer ticket sales. But for the thousands of smaller towns that also have bullfighting traditions, such as Moralzarzal, it’s getting harder to justify paying for the bulls, bullfighters and all the organization that accompanies a week-long fiesta.“The local authorities happily subsidized the events several years ago, but now fewer and fewer can afford to.”23. Amanda Hess on breasts and sport — ESPN “Breasts have taken a metaphorical beating from the sports world ever since women first entered the arena. Greek folktales spun the myth that a race of all-female Amazons lopped off the right breast in order to hurl spears and shoot arrows more efficiently. (In Greek, a-mazos means “without breast.”) Centuries later, in 1995, CBS golf analyst Ben Wright controversially told a newspaper that ‘women are handicapped by having boobs. It’s not easy for them to keep their left arm straight. Their boobs get in the way.’“Wright’s commentary wasn’t exactly the result of careful scientific review. (“Let’s face facts here,” he opined in the same interview: “Lesbians in the sport hurt women’s golf.”) But what if he had a point? Research shows a typical A-cup boob weighs in at 0.43 of a pound. Every additional cup size adds another 0.44 of a pound. That means a hurdler with a double-D chest carries more than 4 pounds of additional weight with her on every leap. And when they get moving, the nipples on a C- or D-cup breast can accelerate up to 45 mph in one second — faster than a Ferrari. In an hour of moderate jogging, a pair of breasts will bounce several thousand times.”24. Death of a schoolboy — The Guardian(Karen Walton and Peter Robinson, the mother and father of schoolboy Ben Robinson, speaking to the media in Belfast city centre after an inquest into his death — Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images)“The coroner said Ben was the first person in the UK to die of Second Impact Syndrome while playing rugby. Karen, whose life has been shattered, says she is certain Ben will not be the last. “Will this happen again?” she asks. “Yes. I would say without a doubt another family will go through what we have been through.” Since 2006, at least five children and one adult have died, worldwide, from brain injuries suffered while playing rugby. Second Impact Syndrome is rare. Concussion is not. Neither are the injuries it causes.“Karen’s house is silent, but the silence speaks. It tells its own story. Of a boy’s death and a family’s grief. It tells the story of a sport in denial about the risks being taken by those who play it, struggling to square the blood, guts and glory attitude of its amateur days with the brutal power of the professional game, and riven with disagreement about how to deal with its single most important issue — concussion.”25. The End and Don King — Grantland“King speaks of himself as a transformative figure, someone who through sheer intellect, hard work, and determination overcame racism, both overt and institutional, and brought millions of dollars and international adulation to the young black men he promoted. All of this is undeniably true. But Don King’s PR problem is that we don’t see him as a civil-rights pioneer. We see him as a gangster — and as a gangster, he must adhere to the strict ethics of a gangster movie. He stole, without a hint of mercy or contrition, from his own people.“There is no forgiveness for the hypocritical gangster.”You can read numbers 26-50 tomorrow on TheScore.ieAnalysis: Leinster’s inaccuracy a stark contrast to Franklin’s Gardens>Guillem Balague: ‘For me, Lionel Messi is the best player in history’>last_img read more

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What are all these wild boars doing running around Ireland

first_imgLAST WEEK, A wild boar was reported to be ‘striking fear’ into the heart of the local population in Clare and Galway.For many, the fact that one was even wandering around the place to begin with is enough to cause a shock.However, there have been dozens of sightings of the animals in recent years — and frequently in groups.Invasive speciesThe government classes them as a completely unwelcome guest, noting their appearance on the Global Invasive Species Database.“In modern day Ireland, this species could pose a serious threat to biodiversity, human health and safety and economic activities”, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht  who are responsible for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, said in a statement.This leads to the animals either being shot or captured if they are spotted.Dozens of the animals have been seen over the past five years all across Ireland, and TheJournal.ie also understands that last week’s reported sighting of a wild boar has been confirmed.Kildavin Deerpark, Johnstown, Co Wexford, is a hotspot for the animal, where 33 different validated sightings of individuals have been recorded over the past five years. Each sighting is recorded by the Department as one, even if mutilple animals are involved. The graph below shows that sightings have dropped off over the past couple of years.Just one group were spotted last year.You can view these sightings in detail on the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s website (Microsoft Silverlight required).These animals are not native to Ireland, and are believed to have been introduced millennia ago.Wild boar, as in sus scrofa, are said to have died out in Ireland at some point between 1500 and 5000 years ago.“The animals turning up in the wild today are not actually wild boar, but feral pig hybrids,” the Department said.“They are being illegally released”.The pigs that that exist today, in some cases breeding populations where females have been spotted with young piglets, are believed to have been either released into the wild, or have escaped from captivity.Hunters have been accused of deliberately releasing them into the wild in order to hunt later.While these feral pigs are not the tusked wild boars, they can still prove to be dangerous and should not be approached. Details on how to report sightings can be found on online.More: 7 wild animals terrorising the people of Ireland >In pictures: Bulldog adopts six wild boar piglets in Germany >last_img read more

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14 amazing Irish trees to see before you die

first_img Source: TreeCouncil.ie8. The Birr Castle Grey PoplarCurrently in the running to be the European Tree of the Year 2014, this tree is the largest of its kind in Ireland and Britain. Source: TreeOfTheYear.org9. The Magic Tree, WaterfordThis tree on the way to Mahon Falls in the Comeragh Mountains in Waterford.It marks the beginning of a legendary ‘magic road’. If you turn off your car’s engine at this particular point in the road and let off your handbrake, your car will travel up the hill. Magic!The original tree was cut down by vandals in 2011, but a new landmark has been planted and is protected by a fence.(Turn off the sound in this video. Trust us) Source: papseyno110. The Divis Fairy TreeLocated near Hannahstown outside Belfast this fairy tree also marks a magic road.Local legend says that if you park at the bottom of the hill and let off the brake, the fairies will push you to the top.Farmers are typically loathe to cut down trees that stand on their own in the middle of a field because of the fairy legends associated with them. Source: Peter Rush photography11. Ireland’s oldest tree #1There is some disagreement over which tree actually is Ireland’s oldest, although there is consensus that it is a yew tree.MonumentalTrees.com claims that this yew at Muckross Friary in Killarney, Co Kerry is Ireland’s oldest at 670 years old: Source: MonumentalTrees.org12. Ireland’s oldest tree #2Maynooth College meanwhile claims that it is home to a yew that’s between 700 and 800 years old: Source: Maynoothcollege13. Ireland’s oldest tree #3This yew in the grounds of Crom Castle in Co Fermanagh is thought to be 800+ years old. Source: Navan Trekkers Photos14. The Fairy Tree, ConnemaraThis tree located at Killary Harbour in Connemara is littered with rags.Legend has it that people tie ribbons around the branches in the hope that fairies will take the ribbons away, and with them the troubles of the people who left them there. Source: mariejirousek Source: Nicai Flickr18 Irish delicacies you must try before you die> 21 pubs in Ireland you must visit before you die>26 Irish albums you should hear before you die> WE’VE HAD DELICIOUS grub to try before you die, and Irish pubs to visit before you die.Now it’s time to get out and about and appreciate Ireland’s legendary green landscape.Here are some of the country’s most impressive, beautiful and important trees….1. The sitting tree, GlendaloughThe perfect place for a bit of a sit and a bit of a think. Source: Shawn Wang Source: barriosdesimone2. St Fintan’s Money TreeLocated at Clonenagh in Co Laois, this tree was planted on the site of an early Christian monastery.It was the custom to push coins into the trunk of the tree and say a prayer, which led to serious decay due to metal poisoning.According to the Tree Council it is currently undergoing a spate of ‘vigorous re-growth’. Source: Wikimedia Commons3. Charleville Castle’s King Oak treeThis sprawling giant was in the running for European Tree of the Year last year (but lost out to a Plane tree in Hungary). It’s on the grounds of Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Co Offaly.Legend has it that there was a special connection between the tree and the Bury family, and that if one of the branches of the tree fell, a member of the family would die shortly afterwards. Source: treeoftheyear.org4. Ireland’s tallest treeThis Douglas Fir towers at 61.5 metres (202 ft) at Powerscourt House and Gardens in Co. Wicklow.It’s the seventh tallest tree in Europe and is located along the Powerscourt River Walk. Source: blog.powerscourt.ie5. The Hungry TreeLocated in the gardens of Kings Inns in Dublin, this ancient tree saw something it liked and went for it! Source: Facebook6. Ballyshannon’s Rag TreeLocated at the Abbey Well in Ballyshannon Co Donegal this ‘Holy Tree’ or ‘Rag Tree’ is laden with objects left behind by pilgrims. Source: Michael O’Dea/BlogSpot Source: Michael O’Dea/BlogSpot Source: Fergal McGrath Photography 7. Ireland’s girthiest treeAccording to MonumentalTrees.org the Monterey Cypress at Clontra House in Shankill in Dublin is an astounding 9.9 metres wide. It stands at around 20m in height.last_img read more

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Are there some things you are never too old for

first_imgShutterstock.comThe verdict: Maybe don’t bring out the Alphabetti Spaghetti for a dinner party, but you are NEVER to old to yearn for a Freddo.Alpha/Flickr/Creative Commons3. Call shotgun?ImgurThe verdict: Unless your mother/grandmother/significantly older person is travelling in the car, the passenger seat is fair game.YouTube/morgandaforgan2224. Laugh at things like this?Paddy Patterson/Flickr/Creative CommonsGerry Dincher/Flickr/Creative Commons The verdict: Never.5. Have last night’s stamp on your hand? BEING AN ADULT is tough, right?You have to go to work and do the washing up without being told and fill out forms and eat five a day.Are there some things you are too old for though?Are you too old to…1. Play in a box?Lars Plougmann/Flickr/Creative CommonsImgurThe verdict: Considering you were probably adult enough to buy what came in the box (washing machine, fridge-freezer, Christmas tree etc), it’s probably okay to play in the box for a little while.2. Eat food shaped like animals/letters/cartoon characters? The verdict: Are you JOKING? The Land Before Time/The Lion King/All Dogs Go To Heaven/The Raccoons/Spongebob is our LIFE!11. Pretend the floor is made of lava?ImgurThe verdict: Never. You are never too old for this.Got some other things you think you’re too old for/will never be too old for? Let us know in the comments section…16 amazing songs from the 1990s that you’ve forgotten>7 RTÉ newsreaders we’ve known and loved> The verdict: Frames people. Things go in frames now.8. Go for weeks, nay MONTHS, without changing your sheets?”Dude, you really should get a whiff of these sheets” (SoraZG/Flickr/Creative Commons)The verdict: Yes, you dirtbag.9. Wear a onesie?Ryan Gosling and Ellen, in onesies (Tumblr)The verdict: This is a contentious one. Wearing an adult babygro might equate with a duvet under you and over you in terms of comfort, but if your onesie has a flap for going to the toilet, you’ve gone too far.10. Watch cartoons? Tindermill CardsThe verdict: Yes, you are too old for this. Unless you’re a student or under 25. Then it’s ok.Under 30, let’s make it under 30, to be on the safe side.6. Build a cushion fortWill Holmes/Flickr/Creative CommonsImgurThe verdict: You are never too old. Build one now.7. Put up posters with Sellotape or thumbtacksMeow Meow Bloglast_img read more

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Police find tunnel used to smuggle Mexicans into America

first_imgMEXICAN AUTHORITIES IN the border city of Tijuana found a tunnel designed to smuggle people without documentation into the United States, the government said this week.Three suspected people-traffickers were arrested, a statement from the National Migration Institute said.The alleged smugglers were turned over to the Federal Public Ministry for further investigations.Although no details of the size of the tunnel were given, two ‘safe houses’ were discovered. The first was used to gather migrants before they moved to the second house, where the tunnel began.Police acted on an anonymous tip about a possible kidnapping of migrants held in a residential area of Tijuana, which borders California.Tunnels of varying degrees of size and sophistication have been found in Tijuana – about 80 since 2008. Authorities say some were used to smuggle both people and illegal drugs into the United States.In one of the most elaborate ones, found in October of last year, police came across eight tons of marijuana and 148 kilos of cocaine.It was 200 metres long and was equipped with electricity and ventilation, officials have said.- © AFP, 2014 with additional reporting by Sinéad O’CarrollTimeline: The hunt for the mystery Malaysia Airlines flightRead: ‘I feel so safe in Ireland, but as an undocumented migrant I fear for my future’last_img read more

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Search for missing fisherman enters its fourth day

first_imgTHE SEARCH FOR a missing fisherman on Lough Ree in Co Roscommon has entered its fourth day.The man went missing on Thursday after the boat he and two friends were in capsized.The two other men were rescued, but one sadly died afterwards.The accident happened when the men were travelling to Carnagh from Hodson Bay in Athlone on Thursday evening.The alarm was raised by a member of the public who saw the conditions the boat was facing. The crew found one of the three men in the water at around 4pm, while the second was found at 5.15pm.This morning the Coast Guard said that searches on Lough Ree were continuing, with Garda and local divers out in the water.The Lough Ree lifeboat is also involved, and local fishermen are also said to be helping search for the missing Co Armagh man.While the weather yesterday evening was bad, this morning’s forecast is improved, said the Coast Guard.Read: Bad weather could affect search for missing fisherman>last_img read more

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Thousands of homes evacuated as floods threaten more cities

first_imgThe flooded marketplace in the German city of Wehlen (Image: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)Across the Czech Republic, there have been 19,000 evacuations since the floods began.Water levels in the Elbe were expected to peak in the Czech industrial city of the Usti nad Labem on Wednesday, according to Jiri Petr, a spokesman for the Povodi Labe water company.The rising river has already forced 3,700 people from their homes in the city, which lies about 30 kilometres from the German border, and flooded the local railway station.11-year-old Rudolf braves the waters in Wehlen (Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images)The water levels expected in Usti nad Labem are close to those recorded in 2002 when massive flooding swept central Europe, killing 17 people in the Czech Republic alone.In addition to the eight people already declared dead, Czech police are still searching for four missing people.Read: Floods peak in Czech Republic – Germany now on alert >PICS: Six dead, thousands evacuated in central Europe floods > CITIES IN GERMANY and the Czech Republic are scrambling to stave off potential disaster as a flood wave heads north, sending thousands of people fleeing their homes.Hungary has also declared a state of alert as waters surge in the mighty Danube, which is also threatening cities in Austria.In the Czech Republic, where eight people have already perished in the floods, thousands of households in the north are without power, gas and drinking water.Several cities in the north of the Czech Republic and eastern Germany are threatened by the surging waters of the Elbe river, after torrential rains across swathes of central Europe.In the German city of Dresden, near the Czech border, several hundred people have been evacuated from their homes, after water levels in the Elbe were forecast to reach up to nine metres.last_img read more

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The public will have a problem with Brian Purcell keeping his €200000

first_imgUpdated 12.30pm JUSTICE MINISTER FRANCES Fitzgerald has said she does not know where her former secretary general Brian Purcell will be reassigned to in the civil service.She was speaking in the wake of Purcell’s decision to seek reassignement from the Department of the Justice following a damning report by an independent review group which found the department had a “closed, secretive and silo driven culture”.“I can’t answer the details of where Brian is going to be reassigned,” Fitzgerald told Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning.Fitzgerald did confirm yesterday that Purcell will not be reassigned within the Department of Justice. She said this morning that staff in her department were sad about Purcell’s departure.Speaking at Leinster House this afternoon, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said that Purcell’s reassignment “looks more like a sideways move”.“I can’t think of very many positions where one can simply request, on the back of such a devastatingly incisive report, that one can simply request to be moved to somewhere else,” he said.Adams again called on the Taoiseach to explain the events surrounding the departure of former garda commissioner Martin Callinan in March after he was visited by Purcell the night before he retired.Earlier the Sinn Féin justice spokesperson said that the government must examine whether or not it can sack civil servants.Pádraig MacLochlainn was speaking today on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme in light of the reassignment of Purcell.The career civil servant offered to be reassigned in light of the report, but there has been some suggestion that he will keep his €200,000 a year salary, something that MacLochlainn said he has a problem with. Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter “Not only do I have a problem with it, the vast majority of the public will have a problem with it,” he said.“There is a fear that the public sector doesn’t take responsibility for its actions and the government will have to look at this; can you sack somebody?“If you look at Brian Purcell’s performance in front of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, it was farcical. He couldn’t answer basic questions about an event that has led to a commission of inquiry.”Fitzgerald said this morning that Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has been implementing civil service reform.She also pointed to comments by the top civil servant in Howlin’s department, Robert Watt, who said last week that it should be easier to sack non-performing public sector workers.MacLochlainn said earlier that while he accepted that many of the problems at the department had pre-dated Purcell, but insisted that did not absolve him of blame.Purcell was previously criticised in the Guerin Report over his handling of Garda matters including the situation surrounding garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell First published 8.05am Read: Secrecy has become part of Justice Dept’s DNA, damning report concludesRead: After refusing to back him for 80 days, Frances Fitzgerald now needs a new secretary generalcenter_img “I didn’t ask him to stay and I didn’t ask him to go. I asked him to read report,” Frances Fitzgerland tells @PatKennyNT re: Brian Purcell— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) July 29, 2014last_img read more

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Heres What Happened Today Tuesday

first_imgFive men have been arrested in connection with a burglary at a house in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow yesterday which was interrupted by the homeowner. A judge sentencing three men for a violent attack on two US tourists in Dublin has criticised the juvenile justice system for being incapable of dealing with the young men. [RTÉ] Justice Department secretary general Brian Purcell could keep his €200,000-a-year salary, but it is not clear where he will be reassigned. A new vulnerability found in older versions of Android could allow malware to take control of phones, apps and user data. NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND The injured leg of jockey Moira McElligott at the parade ring during day two of the Galway Races today. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images Dating site OkCupid says it has carried out various experiments with its users. The Court of Criminal Appeal has ruled that the conviction of Co Meath man Martin Conmey for killing his teenage neighbour was a “miscarriage of justice”. This graph shows the scale of the gender divide among civil service staff. PARTING SHOTCan you remember your first taste of chocolate? Despite growing cocoa beans for a living, these Ivory Coast farmers had never tasted chocolate before this television crew shared some treats: Corkman Vincent Walsh who flew to France recently to walk El Camino de Santiago has been reported missing.Ireland’s government deficit fell to 5.6% of GDP in Q1 of 2014.Concerns have been raised over Star Wars filming on Skellig Michael.INTERNATIONAL Palestinians gather around a UN aid agency car damaged by shrapnel from an Israeli strike in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza. UN aid agency worker Mounir Haggar and his brother Bassir, who were in the car, were killed. Source: AP/Press Association Images#LISTEN: A teenage girl in Gaza has been livetweeting her experiences during an Israeli rocket attack, including this audio of a bomb exploding outside.#UKRAINE: Here’s how fighting in Ukraine is holding up the investigation into Flight MH17.#GHOST HOUSING: Spain also has ghost estates and unemployed families are moving in as squatters.INNOVATIONlast_img read more

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TMobile announces new lowcost data and tethering plans

first_imgIn order to compete against new low-cost data plans, like those recently announced by Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile has announced a change in the data plans it has to offer. The carrier will offer two plans including an unlimited and a new 200MB plan. The unlimited plan will cost $30 a month while the new 200MB plan will run as low as $10 a month with a new two-year service agreement or contract extension. For a limited time, T-Mobile will offer the 200MB plan for $15 a month to those not looking to extend their contract. In comparison, the new Verizon Wireless dara plan offers 150MB for $15 a month giving T-Mobile an edge on price and monthly data allotment.T-Mobile has also announced a new tethering and Wi-Fi sharing plan for those smartphones and devices which allow a cellular data connection to be shared among multiple devices. The tethering and Wi-Fi sharing plan can be added to a $30 unlimited data plan for an additional $14.99 a month.AdChoices广告Read more at T-Mobile.last_img read more

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Before and after aerial photos show true extent of Brisbane flooding

first_imgOne story that has dominated the news for a couple of weeks now is the flooding that happened in Brisbane, Australia.While the news footage shows cars floating down streets that have turned into rivers, and houses half submerged in water, you don’t see the true extent of the flooding unless you know what the area looked like before.ABC News is hosting a range of interactive images that allow you to see a before and after snapshot of different areas of Brisbane. Using a slider on the image you can see just how much rivers have swelled and the impact on the surrounding area.The comparison shots were captured on January 13 and 14. We’ve included just a couple of comparisons below to give you an idea of the damage done: Check out all the interactive images at ABC Newslast_img

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Harvard student builds a mobile app to detect malaria

first_imgAlthough the disease is all but gone from Europe and North America, malaria is a blood-borne parasite that still causes millions of deaths around the globe every year. The disease doesn’t discriminate, but hits children in underdeveloped countries and regions like sub-Saharan Africa especially hard. To combat the problem, one student at Harvard Business School looked to a tool he already had in his pocket: his smartphone.Cy Khormaee, a student at the Harvard Business School, decided that there had to be a better way to quickly diagnose malaria and treat people before the disease wound up killing them.AdChoices广告The current most-often used malaria test is called the RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) where a cotton swab is dipped in a solution that reacts when exposed to blood with antigens created by the malaria parasite. The subject’s finger is pricked, the swab is applied, and you wait to see what happens. Unfortunately, the RDT only has a 40% accuracy rate, and often doctors in the field will use expensive malaria medicine to treat people who have symptoms but whose RDT turned up negative.Khormaee’s test takes a different approach. He wrote his app, called Lifelens, in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7, and along with the software is a microscopy lens that’s attached to the camera of the Windows Phone. A doctor in the field would then prick the subject’s finger, smear a drop of the subject’s blood on the microscopy lens, and then turn the phone over and fire up the app.Lifelens allows a user to see the blood sample as if it were under a powerful microscope, which makes it easy to identify the malaria parasite in the subject’s blood sample. That’s all there is to it: you have a lens that can be quickly sterilized and re-used for another patient, or multiple lenses that can attach to the same phone, and caregivers in the field can determine with great accuracy whether a subject is infected with malaria, saving time, money, and lives.The Lifelens tream is hoping to take home the Imagine Cup from the Imagine Cup World Finals, a contest sponsored by Microsoft that challenges inventors and students to use technology to solve some of the world’s more difficult problems.Read more at Lifelens, via BostInnovationlast_img read more

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Parker Brothers create street legal electric Tron Lightcycle

first_imgHave you watched Tron: Legacy and wanted to try out one of those Lightcycles? Me too. Now the custom choppers’ outfit Parker Brothers has managed to recreate one that is street legal.The electric Tron Lightcycle is actually their second attempt at making one. The first ran on gasoline, so couldn’t be classed as a true replica. This second model can though, because it uses an electric motor.The combination of a 96-volt motor and lithium-ion batteries on board allows the Lightcycle to reach speeds in excess of 100mph. Now imagine that flying past you on the highway late at night with its body lights turned on. It would certainly be an awesome sight, but not as awesome as actually being the one riding it.Charging the battery takes a mere 35 minutes, and in return you get a range of 100 miles. That’s not bad considering this would just be a runaround bike, and not something you can really carry anything on or would want to drive cross-country.As for the price of buying one, we have no idea. The previous model cost $55,000, so I’d expect it to be about the same if I was pushed for a guess. There’s bound to be a few Tron fans out there with enough spare cash to request one built, but for the moment you are only likely to see this first electric Lightcycle in the Florida area.Parker Brothers say they built the Lightcycle as a demonstration to those “people that lacked faith in our abilities.” But we’re totally convinced, and they clearly know what they are doing when it comes to building custom motorcycles.via Mashablelast_img read more

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Startup gets 350K in funding to 3D print meat

first_imgSeeing as we’re living in the future, you are free to buy 3D printers like the MakerBot that build objects out of plastic. That’s pretty nifty, but what if you could extrude not molten plastic, but biological cells? Then you’d be able to print a hamburger, and that’s what a Missouri-based startup called Modern Meadow wants to do. Thanks to a big grant that just came through, it might get the chance.Billionaire investor Peter Thiel has delivered a check for $350,000 to Modern Meadow in hopes that it can take a technology originally developed for regenerative medicine, and bring it to the dinner table. The goal is to use a type of 3D printing to construct an edible meat replacement out of cultured cells.If Modern Meadow can pull it off, it would change the way agriculture works. The environmental impact of raising large animals like cows for food is massive. The animals consume a great deal of food and water before the time comes when they can be eaten. The costs associated are just too high to be feasible in many parts of the world.Growing synthetic meat has been a science fiction dream for years, though. It’s deceptively difficult to replicate the product we get from animals. Meat isn’t just wall-to-wall muscle cells — there is fat, connective tissue, and other cellular structures that give it the desired taste and texture. A 3D printer designed to one day build organs might be able to create a reasonable facsimile of a steak.Modern Meadow believes that tissue printers will allow it to create an edible sample of synthetic meat that is more economically viable than the real thing. Whether or not it will satisfy the palate of humans is still up in the air.via Cnetlast_img read more

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ARMs CortexA12 to offer 40 percent performance gain for midrange phones and

first_imgLook at any smartphone or tablet vendor and they will be pushing their premium devices pretty hard. But the market for $400+ premium devices is only so big, and consumers are expected to be buying more mid-range phones or tablets ($250-$350 price range) by 2015. Chip maker ARM is responding to that growing market by unveiling the Cortex-A12 chip.While aimed at mid-range devices, the Cortex-A12 is definitely no slouch in the performance department. It’s the successor to the Cortex-A9 and moves from a 40nm process to 28nm. That makes the chip 30 percent smaller, and when combined with the new design, achieves a 40 percent performance gain using the same power draw.ARM has also added a few key new features to the chip, the first of which is the ability to combine the A12 with a Cortex-A7 processor in a big.LITTLE setup. That makes it a very scalable chip to suit a devices’ processing needs. The A12 also includes virtualization and TrustZone technology, allowing devices using it to double as a work solution as well as your personal smartphone or tablet. ARM also lets the chip address up to 1TB of memory, which I’m pretty sure no vendor will come anywhere near testing the limits of in their devices.You’ll also be happy to hear the A12 has been paired with ARM’s Mali-T622 GPU, which has full OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL/ES 3.0, and DirectX 11 support as well as handling 1080p30 video playback. And it does that while only using half the power of the first generation Mali-T600 GPUs. Finally, you can throw in a Mali-V500 for video playback, and with it go from 1080p60 right through to 4K output at 120fps depending on the configuration.The ARM Cortex-A12 certainly looks promising. 40 percent more performance than a Cortex-A9 combined with 1080p output using half the power draw even with the entry level chip is sure to have Intel taking notice. It’s also going to secure ARM a new round of licensing deals with smartphone and tablet manufacturers.last_img read more

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Best Buy confirms new Nexus 7 has 1920 x 1200 display

first_imgIt has now been confirmed that Best Buy will also be carying the new Nexus 7 at launch, thanks to a leaked circular headed to stores now.It would appear as though Google is going to keep the name Nexus 7 around for another year, instead of offering up a new name for their self branded hardware. This new tablet, made with ASUS just like the last Nexus 7, is expected to come in a few different storage sizes and radio options, starting at $229 for the WiFi only 16GB model.We’ve seen plenty of leaks for the hardware in the last couple of weeks, all pointing to a dual core Snapdragon processor with a front and rear camera as well as wireless charging built in. Best Buy’s in-store circular confirms a few new things about the tablet, as well as providing users with another purchase location at the end of July.The Nexus 7 is about to get a big resolution bump, going from 1200 x 800 to 1920 x 1200 on the new model. The on-screen keys for Android subtract a little bit of that for your total functional display, but Nexus 7 users will have just above a 1080p display for this new model. Combined with the updated processor and the next version of Android onboard, it is starting to look like this new tablet will continue the repulation that the original Nexus 7 had for being the best tablet on the market for the price.Google’s Sundar Pichai is expected to announce this tablet as well as the next version of Android on July 24th, and we’ve been assured that there’s still more to learn about this little device.last_img read more

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