Friday, October 29, 2010

How to enable USBwriteProtect:
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

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How to use ComboFix

Table of Contents

2. Using ComboFix
3. Forums to receive help analyzing ComboFix logs
4. Manually installing the Windows Recovery Console
5. Manually restoring the Internet connection


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ComboFix is a program, created by sUBs, that scans your computer for known malware, and when found, attempts to clean these infections automatically. In addition to being able to remove a large amount of the most common and current malware, ComboFix also displays a report that can be used by trained helpers to remove malware that is not automatically removed by the program.

You should not run ComboFix unless you are specifically asked to by a helper. Also, due to the power of this tool it is strongly advised that you do not attempt to act upon any of the information displayed by ComboFix without supervision from someone who has been properly trained. If you do so, it may lead to problems with the normal functionality of your computer.

Please note that this guide is the only authorized guide for the use of ComboFix and cannot be copied without permission from and sUBs. Furthermore, the ComboFix program cannot be hosted at any other site without direct permission from the developer. It is also understood that the use of ComboFix is done at your own risk.

For those who wish to help finance the author's work, he is accepting contributions via Paypal. You can contribute by clicking on the following image:

Using ComboFix

If you need help with malware removal, then please create a topic at one of the forums listed later in the guide and ask for help. Please note that each forum has different policies, so please be sure to read any pinned topics and rules for the particular forum about how you should go about receiving help. If a ComboFix log has been requested by a helper then please create one by following the instructions below.

The first thing you should do is print out this guide, as we will close all the open windows and programs, including your web browser, before starting the ComboFix program.

Next you should download ComboFix from one of the following URLs:


To download ComboFix, simply left-click on one of the links above and you will see a prompt similar to the figure below.

Download ComboFix Screenshot
Download ComboFix Prompt

Click on the Save button, and when it asks you where to save it, make sure you save it directly to your Windows Desktop. An image showing this is below.

Downloading ComboFix to the Desktop
Downloading ComboFix to the Desktop

When you have the Save as screen configured to save ComboFix.exe to the Desktop, click on the Save button. ComboFix will now start downloading to your computer. If you are on a dialup, this may take a few minutes. When ComboFix has finished downloading you will now see an icon on your desktop similar to the one below.

ComboFix Icon
ComboFix Icon

We are almost ready to start ComboFix, but before we do so, we need to take some preventative measures so that there are no conflicts with other programs when running ComboFix. At this point you should do the following:

* Close all open Windows including this one.
* Close or disable all running Antivirus, Antispyware, and Firewall programs as they may interfere with the proper running of ComboFix. Instructions on disabling these type of programs can be found in this topic.

Once these two steps have been completed, double-click on the ComboFix icon found on your desktop. Please note, that once you start ComboFix you should not click anywhere on the ComboFix window as it can cause the program to stall. In fact, when ComboFix is running, do not touch your computer at all. The scan could take a while, so please be patient.

Once you double-click on the icon, you may see a screen similar to the one below.

Windows Open File Security Warning
Windows Open File Security Warning

Windows is issuing this prompt because ComboFix does not have a digital signature. This is perfectly normal and safe and you can click on the Run button to continue. If you are using Windows Vista, and receive UAC prompt asking if you would like to continue running the program, you should press the Continue button.

You will now see the first ComboFix screen as shown below.

ComboFix is Preparing to Run
ComboFix is Preparing to Run

ComboFix is now preparing to run and when it has finished you will see a screen showing the authorized locations to download Combofix. On this screen please press the OK button and you will be shown the Disclaimer screen shown below.

ComboFix Disclaimer
ComboFix Disclaimer

If you do not agree to the disclaimer, then click on the No button to exit the program. Otherwise, to continue you should press the Yes button to continue. If you decided to continue, then ComboFix will create a System Restore point so that if any problems occur while using the program you can restore back to your previous configuration. When ComboFix has finished creating the restore point, it will then backup your Windows Registry as shown in the image below.

ComboFix is backing up the Windows Registry
ComboFix is backing up the Windows Registry

Once the Windows Registry has finished being backed up, ComboFix will attempt to detect if you have the Windows Recovery Console installed. If you already have it installed, you can skip to this section and continue reading. Otherwise you will see the following message as shown below:

ComboFix Recovery Console
ComboFix Recovery Console

At the above message box, please click on the Yes button in order for ComboFix to continue. Please follow the steps and instructions given by ComboFix in order to finish the installation of the Recovery Console. Once it has finished installing, you will be presented with the screen shown below.

ComboFix Recovery Console Finished
ComboFix Recovery Console Finished

You should now press the Yes button to continue. If at any time during the Recovery Console installation you receive a message stating that it failed to install, please allow ComboFix to continue with the scan of your computer. When it is done, and a log has been created, you can then perform the manual install of the Recovery Console using the steps found in the Manually installing the Windows Recovery Console section.

ComboFix will now disconnect your computer from the Internet, so do not be surprised or concerned if you receive any warnings stating that you are no longer on the Internet. When ComboFix has finished it will automatically restore your Internet connection.

ComboFix will now start scanning your computer for known infections. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient.

ComboFix is scanning the computer for infections
ComboFix is scanning the computer for infections

While the program is scanning your computer, it will change your clock format, so do not be concerned when you see this happen. When ComboFix is finished it will restore your clock settings to their previous settings. You will also see the text in the ComboFix window being updated as it goes through the various stages of its scan. An example of this can be seen below.

Stages of the ComboFix AutoScan
Stages of the ComboFix AutoScan

At the time of this writing there are a total of 50 stages as shown in the image below, so please be patient. The amount of stages will go up as time goes on, so if the amount of stages is different when you run it, please do not be concerned.

34th Stage of the ComboFix AutoScan
34th Stage of the ComboFix AutoScan

When ComboFix has finished running, you will see a screen stating that it is preparing the log report as shown below.

ComboFix is preparing the log report
ComboFix is preparing the log report

This can take a while, so please be patient. If you see your Windows desktop disappear, do not worry. This is normal and ComboFix will restore your desktop before it is finished. Eventually you will see a new screen that states the program is almost finished and telling you the programs log file, or report, will be located at C:\ComboFix.txt. This can be seen in the image below.

ComboFix is almost done!
ComboFix is almost done!

When ComboFix has finished, it will automatically close the program and change your clock back to its original format. It will then display the log file automatically for you as shown below.

ComboFix Log File
ComboFix Log File

You should now post this log as a reply to the topic where you were asked to run combofix. Your helper will now analyze this log and let you know what they would like you to do next. If you having problems connecting to the Internet after running Combofix, then please read the Manually restoring the Internet connection section.

It is possible that ComboFix, even on its first run, may have fixed the problems you are having. We strongly suggest that you still post your log into the topic that you are receiving help as you most likely will have infections left over that your helper will need to analyze further.

APO frat forms legal team to defend brod

NBI files attempted murder charges vs bomb suspect
By Christian V. Esguerra, Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:52:00 10/29/2010

Filed Under: Board Exams, Crime and Law and Justice, Explosion

MANILA, Philippines — The influential Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity is not taking chances with the criminal charges filed Thursday against one of its members in connection with the explosion that injured 47 people on the last day of the bar examinations on Sept. 26.

The frat has organized a team of lawyers to defend 27-year-old Anthony Nepomuceno, a call center agent who is suspected of being behind the grenade attack in front of De La Salle University on Taft Avenue in Manila.

The five-man legal team will be headed by Jeffrey Zarate, an expert in litigation, according to APO member Silvestre Bello III, a justice secretary in the Arroyo Cabinet who, along with frat “brod” Vice President Jejomar Binay, had earlier vouched for Nepomuceno’s innocence.

The National Bureau of Investigation charged Nepomuceno with multiple frustrated and attempted murder before the Department of Justice (DoJ).

NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Nepomuceno had been positively identified by two of 17 witnesses to the explosion.

Gatdula said the witnesses were credible and had expressed no interest in the P1.2-million reward offered by authorities for information that would lead to the identification of the bomber.

“[The witnesses] never even asked about [the reward]. They saw the suspect. They saw the victims of the blast and sympathized with them. They were there and simply disclosed to us what they knew,” Gatdula said.

He said a composite sketch based on witnesses’ descriptions and information from other witnesses including tricycle drivers enabled NBI personnel to track down Nepomuceno at his hometown in Marinduque and at his current address in Marikina City.

10 complainants

The NBI, along with two of the witnesses, arrived in full force at the DoJ office to file the charges against Nepomuceno.

The charge sheet includes a number of John Does. According to NBI spokesperson Cecilio Zamora Jr., the bureau is identifying at least seven other people involved in the explosion.

There are 10 complainants—Jeffrey Alvarez, Nathaniel Eric So, Philip Edwin de Ello, Datu Muhammand Abdul-Ampatuan, Rainier Anthony Millanes, Azenith Gonzalgo, Ma. Antonia Raissa Dawn Laurel, Andrine Gastiles Navarro, Ma. Estela Maniquis and Diane Hazel Canita.

Laurel, a law student, lost her two legs as a result of the grenade attack.

A DoJ prosecutor is to schedule a preliminary investigation to determine probable cause.

Nepomuceno is not under anyone’s custody and will be taken in only after a court issues a warrant for his arrest, Zamora said.

He said the filing of charges against Nepomuceno had effectively cleared Jed Carlo Lazaga of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu of liability in the grenade attack.

Lazaga was initially identified by police as a suspect.

‘All in the evidence’

On the phone Thursday with the Inquirer, Bello said Nepomuceno had denied to him and other senior APO members involvement in the explosion, and that the frat decided to take up his legal defense on the basis of that denial.

Both Bello and Binay accompanied Nepomuceno on Wednesday to the NBI office supposedly because he wanted to clear his name.

But Bello, a former chief government negotiator in peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front, said neither he nor the Vice President was trying to get Nepomuceno off the hook.

“The case will be resolved according to the evidence presented. If the evidence is strong, he will be found guilty. If it’s not, we will expect a quick acquittal. It’s all in the evidence,” Bello said, adding:

“We are not clearing him. We are not prejudging the case. No one is above the law. If he is guilty, he should answer for the consequences of the criminal act.”

‘Tell the truth’

Bello said Nepomuceno managed to reach him through their frat “brods.”

He said a meeting of less than an hour took place on Tuesday in Makati City, during which a tearful Nepomuceno claimed innocence of the crime.

“Before we brought him to the DoJ, we ... told him, ‘We are willing to help, but you have to tell us the truth. But if you had anything to do with it, the law will take its course,’” Bello said.

It was after the meeting in Makati that Bello and Binay decided to escort Nepomuceno to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to answer the allegations.

“We thought it best for him to present himself and clear himself,” Bello said.

Eyewitnesses’ account

Zamora was confident of Nepomuceno’s guilt.

“We have witnesses that say it was he who threw the grenade. We believe we have a strong case against him,” Zamora said.

He said a witness had absolutely no doubt in picking out Nepomuceno in a police line-up: “Walang kaduda-duda, nilapitan niya agad.”

Zamora also said witnesses saw Nepomuceno attempt to run away after throwing the fragmentation grenade at a crowd of mostly law students taking part in the traditional street revelry marking the final day of the bar examinations.

He said that apart from eyewitness accounts, there was “supporting evidence” that he could not yet reveal.

“There were things that happened before [the explosion] that would prove that it was premeditated,” he said.

But Bello said Nepomuceno, who reportedly quit his call center job after NBI agents showed up at his parents’ house in Marinduque, had consistently denied responsibility for the explosion and even feared for his safety.

Bello said Nepomuceno needed help, especially legal assistance, considering that he no longer had a job and “had no money.”

Nepomuceno’s parents are a tricycle driver and a public school teacher, Bello said.

Continuing inquiry

Gatdula said the NBI was still investigating the motive behind the grenade attack.

“We will discover the real motive in the course of the continuing investigation, but witnesses have identified Nepomuceno as the grenade thrower, and they have given their sworn statements which we used as basis to charge him,” Gatdula said.

Zamora said the bureau was “not sticking to the frat-war motive 100 percent.”

“That could be, but we are not yet sure. We are charging [Nepomuceno] because of his individual act and not because he is part of any fraternity. We still don’t know yet if someone else is behind this. The investigation as to the motive is continuing,” Zamora said.

Binay’s opinion

Asked about the Vice President’s statements on Wednesday virtually exonerating Nepomuceno, Zamora replied in Filipino: “That is his opinion and we respect that.”

He said “what was important” was that people witnessed Nepomuceno in the act of throwing the grenade.

Explaining the charges filed against Nepomuceno, Zamora said using a “lethal” explosive like a grenade was tantamount to intending to kill, and not just injure, people.

Melo still eyes change for the better

DENVER – Not long after George Karl made his triumphant return with a resounding victory over the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets coach had an important announcement for the assembled media. Despite Carmelo Anthony’s(notes) well-chronicled efforts to push for a trade, Karl said, the Nuggets are ”going to keep him here whether he knows it or not.”

Anthony later laughed off his coach’s attempt at humor because that’s all it was – a joke. For all the goodwill inspired by the Nuggets’ season-opening rout of their Northwest Division rival, Anthony told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday night that he still doesn’t intend to sign the team’s three-year, $64 million contract extension.
More From Marc J. Spears

* Van Exel regrets pushing for trade Oct 27, 2010
* Season brings fresh start for Nuggets coach Oct 27, 2010

<A HREF=",3285,13094,13096,13097,13099,13111,13304,13309,16336,17251,18903,18906,18909,19568,20031,20139,23491,23722,25504,25507,25511,25517,25531,25537,25540,25543,25899,30220,32735,33852,35880,36460,36463,37272,37430,39390,40253,42274,42275,42415,42703,42804,42860,43109&Targets=1515,88527,95468,82689,107783,64412,86247,97705,107796,99409,101887,105530,85147,103162,86295,102120,106928,107128,82708,91351,97881,97882,98016,104209,105471,86645,90705,101771,82694,105486,106321,107471,106449,99589,106456,101882,92380&Values=60,84,100,150,1266,4451,52263,52896,56058,57005,57006,57348,57464,57583,58702,59988,61089,61478,61884,61906,61913,63441&RawValues=NGUSERID%2Caa55a45-29765-194672491-2%2CTIELID%2C1288318222940692&Redirect=" target="_blank"><IMG SRC="" WIDTH=160 HEIGHT=600 BORDER=0></A>
Carmelo Anthony says he doesn't intend to sign the Nuggets' contract extension offer.
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Anthony actually considers these Nuggets more talented than the team he helped take to the 2009 Western Conference finals. But even that doesn’t seem enough to convince him to stay, despite the best intentions of Karl, Nuggets president Josh Kroenke and new vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri.

”They want to sit down and talk, but my thing is it’s way beyond this year,” Anthony told Yahoo! Sports after scoring a team-high 23 points in the Nuggets’ victory. ”It ain’t got nothing to do with the new GM, Josh, the players. For me, I feel it’s a time for change.

”If I do nothing now, I’m never going to do anything. I feel like my time is now to make a decision if I want to leave or if I want to stay.”

League sources still expect the Nuggets to try to trade Anthony rather than risk losing him for nothing when he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Denver’s options could improve after Dec. 15 when free agents who signed in the offseason can be traded. Sources close to Anthony say he is worried about being dealt to a team that has to gut its roster to acquire him. Possible trade partners also aren’t going to want to give up much for Anthony unless they receive some kind of assurance he’ll sign an extension. Another potential roadblock is the $1 million trade kicker Anthony has in his contract.

In July 2006, Anthony signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension that included an opt-out before the final season. He passed on taking a shorter deal like the ones that allowed his fellow draft class members LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) to become free agents this summer. At the time, Anthony called it a ”no-brainer” to take the guarantee of another year of salary – even though it limited his flexibility – because he still remembered how much his family struggled for money when he was growing up.

Four years later, Anthony no longer feels the pressure to take the maximum extension the Nuggets are offering.

”I can’t go out there playing and thinking like that,” he said. ”I won’t be able to be as effective as I can be out there thinking like that.”

Anthony has been interested in playing for the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls, sources close to him said in September. The Bulls and Nuggets talked that month, league sources said, but the Nuggets didn’t have much interest in acquiring forward Luol Deng(notes) and his hefty contract, and the Bulls didn’t want to part with center Joakim Noah(notes). League sources also continue to say the Knicks don’t have the right pieces to put together a credible offer for Anthony.

The New Jersey Nets made a bid to land Anthony with a package built around rookie forward Derrick Favors(notes), but the Nuggets wanted to continue exploring their options. The Nuggets remain confident they can resume talks with the Nets at any time. One source close to Anthony, however, doesn’t think he has warmed much to the idea of playing for the Nets.

”Well, we have to see what happens,” Anthony said. ”I’m keeping my options open.”

Anthony didn’t have to endure any substantial heckling from Nuggets fans during the season opener. He heard ”a couple boos” when he missed two straight shots, but nothing that bothered him. When he wasn’t in the game, Anthony cheered for his teammates from the bench. With the Nuggets well on their way to routing the Jazz, he went to the sideline for good midway through the fourth quarter and received a strong ovation from the crowd.

Once the final buzzer sounded, Anthony walked to the locker room with his young son, Kiyan. Soon after, Anthony exchanged pleasantries with Ujiri.

”I looked at it like another game,” Anthony said. ”Another night.”

The question now: How many more nights will Anthony continue to wear a Nuggets uniform?

ESET NOD32 ANTIVIRUS 4 Expiry Date:10.02.2011 to 02.01.2016

ESET NOD32 ANTIVIRUS 4 Expiry Date:10.02.2011 to 02.01.2016
Username: EAV-33154269
Password: vxpxuxmf37
Expiry Date: 21.01.2011

Username: EAV-33154272
Password: esv2pjxdsf
Expiry Date: 21.01.2011

Username: EAV-33232556
Password: 2uhrsbtmbm
Expiry Date: 27.01.2011

Username: EAV-33323360
Password: ju7mk4k7a8
Expiry Date: 27.01.2011

Username: EAV-33324124
Password: nvxmpeksxh
Expiry Date: 27.01.2011

Username: EAV-33324132
Password: cfms6bhh8b
Expiry Date: 27.01.2011

Username: EAV-33392831
Password: fursfb3ekb
Expiry Date: 29.01.2011

Username: EAV-33730761
Password: tamah6xx4f
Expiry Date: 10.02.2011

Username: EAV-33730763
Password: d5ubcsattr
Expiry Date: 10.02.2011

Username: EAV-33730764
Password: 8km37tkc56
Expiry Date: 10.02.2011


Username: EAV-33045545
Password: 4sbj3ea5ex
Expiry Date: 02.01.2016

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Latest Map: 6.69b

Latest Map: 6.69b
Random Mirror
Download as zip
Language: English
Date: 2010-10-16
MD5: 4c5361fd883214b71a0aef63e7fb313b
Changelog: View Details

Pacquiao’s handlers not fretting over form

Bob Arum has promoted boxing for nearly half a century and has seen a lot of strange things, but it’s a rare day when he watches a 6-1 favorite train and thinks he’s looking at a 6-1 underdog instead.
When Arum entered Manny Pacquiao’s training camp in Baguio City, Philippines, on Oct. 16, he was stunned by what he saw from the man regarded as the best fighter in the world.
“He looked like [expletive],” Arum said in his typically gruff, blunt style.
Pacquiao is set to face Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in a challenge that Arum knows will be much more difficult than the nearly 6-1 odds that favor Pacquiao would indicate. Throw out Margarito’s one-sided loss to Shane Mosley on Jan. 24, 2009, and the odds would likely favor Pacquiao by no more than 8-5, perhaps less.
Pacquiao had a "bad day" when Arum visited his training camp.
(Bullit Marquez/AP Photos)
And so, after having flown halfway around the world to check on Pacquiao’s preparations, Arum wasn’t particularly thrilled by what he saw on his first day in camp.
“I was totally surprised,” Arum said. “He looked lethargic. He wasn’t sharp. I was not very impressed.”
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was thrilled when the team arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday and could set up camp for the final three weeks at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, but he said that Arum had nothing to worry about.
Roach is also blunt and never shy about giving his opinion. He said Arum just picked a bad day to show up at the gym.
“The day Bob got there, I will admit that he looked like [expletive],” Roach said. “The next day, he was back to himself. We’ve had good days and bad days and Bob showed up on a bad day. But we’re getting the bad days out of the way and Manny is doing what he should be doing and he’s getting where I want him to be.”
The first half of Pacquiao’s training camp was typically hectic. As a congressman in the Philippines, duties required him to make a six-hour drive from Baguio to Manila. He also had to fly to Manila for a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III, which didn’t sit well with Roach.
For most people, a meeting with a country’s president is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. For Pacquiao, it’s old hat, and Roach didn’t want him to go.
“He had to miss training one day because he had to meet the president and I said to him, ‘[Expletive] the president. We have a fight coming up you need to get ready for,’ ” Roach said.
Pacquiao chuckled about Roach’s concern and hopped onto the plane and fulfilled his commitment to meet Aquino. Pacquiao has become something of a legend for his ability to focus on the task at hand while seemingly in the midst of chaos, and both Arum and Roach said this time appears to be no different.
After his initial scare of watching Pacquiao struggle through a workout, Arum was relieved when he saw Pacquiao humming along like his old self the next two days.
He’s legitimately concerned about the challenge Pacquiao faces and said he needs to be at his best in order to win.
“You can’t be at top speed every day,” Arum said of Pacquiao. “The first day I was there, I definitely was concerned. Definitely. But on Monday and Tuesday, he showed marked improvements. He’s where he needs to be.”
Pacquiao has faced all sorts of different challenges since 2008, when he moved up from featherweight and began to regularly face much bigger fighters. He’s handled it with aplomb – ask Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, David Diaz and Ricky Hatton for their opinions if you need more evidence that Pacquiao can hang with the big boys – but he’s yet to face the type of challenge that Margarito poses.
The perception of Margarito’s chances has been skewed by his one-sided loss to Mosley, by his lengthy layoff as a result of his suspension for having been caught with loaded hand wraps prior to the Mosley fight and for Pacquiao’s huge speed advantage.
But it was less than two years ago that Roach was convinced that Margarito was too big and too physical for Pacquiao and was saying he’d never allow the two to meet. And though Pacquiao’s performance in the interim has caused him to change his mind, Roach still has much respect for Margarito.
And if the Mosley fight and the suspension hadn’t taken place, the outcome of the fight would be perceived much differently. Pacquiao has a massive speed advantage, but Margarito is far stronger and has an iron chin.
The only time he ever had a problem with his chin came in the Mosley fight, when he was stopped at 43 seconds of the ninth round. The controversy about the hand wraps that occurred in his dressing room earlier that night had an impact, but more so was the fact that in the three weeks prior to the fight, Margarito had to shed 35 pounds to make the welterweight limit of 147.
Margarito had still been celebrating his epic July 26, 2008, victory over Miguel Cotto and wasn’t in nearly the kind of shape he should have been when he faced Mosley. Hand wraps controversy or not, Margarito likely would have taken a beating that night because of the lifestyle he was living after the Cotto fight.
But he’s been working with trainer Robert Garcia diligently for the last several months and has been committed as he has ever been. The result, Roach said, is an exceptionally dangerous opponent for Pacquiao.
“I wish people would quit thinking Manny is just going to walk through this guy,” Roach said. “In my mind, this is the toughest fight of his life, by far. He’s the biggest, strongest guy Manny has ever fought. He’s got a big reach advantage. He’s got a lot of things going for him.”
Roach knows that Pacquiao is faster and quicker than just about everyone he faces and has become an expert at placing his punches and putting them together in combination. Margarito’s defense “sucks,” in Roach’s estimation, and he expects Pacquiao to be able to exploit that flaw.
If Pacquiao wins, Arum plans to make another run at making a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, but he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself because he realizes the seriousness of the challenge Margarito poses.
“I get it, but the more important thing is that Manny totally gets it,” Arum said. “Everyone in that camp does. I was a little concerned by what I saw that first day, but after the next couple of days, I realized that it was just one of those things. They are taking this fight very seriously, as they should, because anything less than their best effort is going to be a big problem.”

Hawaii beach garbage recycled as vacuum cleaner

HONOLULU – There's a story behind the blue, white and green plastic covering the surface of the Pacific Ocean vacuum cleaner. They're tiny bits of plastic collected from one of Hawaii's dirtiest beaches, Kahuku, where waves dump trash from the Pacific all day long.
The machine made by Electrolux AB is fully functional and can suck up dirt from a rug like any other vacuum. But the company said it wants the device to serve as an object that provokes a conversation about the large volumes of plastic trash that are polluting the world's oceans.
The Stockholm-based company has also made four other vacuums, each from plastic trash collected in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, North and Baltic seas. None of the five are for commercial sale.
Cecilia Nord, vice president for sustainability and environmental affairs at Electrolux's floor care and small appliances division, said many groups are doing their best to clean the ocean and beaches of plastic.
But the problem keeps growing because people continue to consume more plastic without recycling it afterward, she said.
"We — as a big manufacturer with a global reach — can start a debate and hopefully can contribute to addressing the root cause," Nord said.
Electrolux received its Pacific Ocean plastic from a Hawaii-based volunteer group that cleans up Kahuku beach once a week. The remote shoreline is one of Oahu's dirtiest, in part because current flows tend to deposit trash on that side of the island.
"We can be there on any day and see it coming in on each wave," said Suzanne Frazer, president and co-founder of Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii.
Garbage also quickly accumulates at Kahuku because the beach is behind two private properties and can't be easily visited by beachgoers who pick up trash on Hawaii's more populated shorelines every day.
Plastic breaks down into smaller pieces slowly over time but doesn't ever completely disappear. In the ocean, currents carry the small bits to areas where massive gyres of plastic garbage have formed.
One spot between Hawaii and California the size of Texas has been dubbed the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch." Researchers recently found a similar plastic trash gyre in the Atlantic between Bermuda and Portugal's Azores islands.
Seabirds eat the plastic bits — particularly ones that are a bright red or orange — thinking they're squid, fish eggs or other food.
Some Laysan albatross, a seabird that nests at Midway atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, die of starvation with their stomachs full of plastic.
Electrolux's Pacific vacuum has only a few red or orange pieces because marine animals have eaten most of the brightly colored plastic trash pieces before they wash ashore.
Carey Morishige, outreach coordinator for the marine debris program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said people should use less plastic and reuse and recycle what they do use.
"If it's still going in, we're still going to have to clean it up," Morishige said. "The ultimate solution is going to be in stopping this stuff from getting into the ocean in the first place."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

21 Money Savers You May Be Ignoring

What eats up your paycheck: food, clothing, your home, your car? Well, you might be making these 5 common money mistakes or missing out on valuable savings. Here are a few simple money-saving tricks for your most common purchases.

Don't miss 104 more money savers you may not know about.

  • Stock up on grocery staples right after Thanksgiving. It's prime time: More food coupons are issued in November and December than in any other season.
  • Try for nonperishables. Its "Subscribe & Save Program" typically gives 15 percent discounts (plus free shipping) on items such as paper towels.
  • Stop buying bottled water: At $1.50 per 20-ounce bottle, a family of four that goes through 20 bottles a week could save about $1,560 annually. The equivalent water from the faucet? Maybe $1. And it takes just seconds to fill a glass or a reusable water bottle.
  • Don't buy premixed: You can pay up to 50 percent more for foods with sugar, spices, or sauces already mixed in. Juice in cartons can cost a hefty 60 percent more than frozen concentrate.
Related: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half and Readers' Best Money-Saving Secrets

Medical Care:
  • Fill prescriptions at Internet stores for savings. Check for legit businesses.
  • Local pharmacies often have savings clubs. At Walgreens, a $20 to $35 enrollment fee gets members a 90-day supply of any of more than 400 generic meds for less than $1 per week.
  • AAA and AARP members get lower rates on eye-care costs — AAA's deals include 30 percent off exams and glasses.
  • Dental schools offer cut-rate care so students can, um, cut their teeth on procedures like cleanings and cavity fillings. All work is supervised, and it can be up to 70 percent cheaper than at a regular dental office.
Related: 10 Ways to Save on Health Care
Your Mortgage:
  • Document preparation and administration fees can be a rip off. Ask your bank or mortgage company up-front to waive these charges; the loan origination fee more than covers these costs.
  • Beware of inflated charges for credit reports and courier fees. Some companies may tack on as much as $65 for obtaining your credit report and $100 for courier fees. Before you sign with a lender, say you won't pay more than the going rate for these services — $6 to $12 per credit report, and about $20 for overnight delivery.
Related: 5 Common Fights About Money in Marriage and 50 Cheap (but Romantic!) Date Ideas

  • Hit the swankiest neighborhoods for top bargains on thrift-store goods. Ask what day they put out newly donated items, or stop by early in the week (most people drop off duds on the weekend, and it can take a day or two for them to hit the racks).
  • Shop liquidation sales — but wait until the last days for the best deals. Pay with plastic: If the item turns out to be broken, the Fair Credit Billing Act gives you the right to dispute charges for items that were not delivered as agreed. 
  • Learn the sales cycle at your fave stores (every six weeks? every Wednesday?). The easy way: Ask a salesclerk.
Related: Savvy Secrets of Bargain-Hunting Experts

Your Car:
  • Slow down! Driving at 65 mph uses 15 percent more fuel than driving at 55 mph — that can be like adding 40-plus cents per gallon to the price of gas.
  • Keep wheels from tiring: Have them rotated every six months (or 6,000 miles) to distribute wear evenly. This occasional $25 (plus a monthly inflation check) could double your tires' life. 
  • When negotiating for a new car, go to to get the manufacturer's invoice price (the amount the dealer pays); offer the dealer that price. He may sell you the car for as little as $100 more in order to get a profit called a "pullback" from the manufacturer.
Related: Try These Tricks for Lowering Your Credit Card Bills

  • Watch what he eats. If you can't easily feel your pet's ribs, it might be time for a diet. Most pet food labels list recommendations for un-spayed or -neutered active adult animals — a "fixed" pet needs 25 to 30 percent of that, which will cost less, too.
  • Humane societies, animal shelters, and vet schools often provide quality routine services, like spaying or neutering, for less. Your local health department may sponsor rabies shots for as little as $5.
Related: 6 Penny-Pinching Habits You Should Adopt
  • Don't cut back on retirement savings in hopes of providing your kids with a full ride to college. Aim to save enough in a 529 plan to cover about half your expected college costs.
  • If you're young or middle-aged, don't increase your mortgage payments at the expense of your nest egg.
  • Don't stuff all your spare cash in your 401(k). Contribute as much as is needed to get your company's full match. A good option for some extra savings (if you have any) is a Roth IRA.
Related: 7 Steps to Retiring Rich

The Scary Truth About Budgeting: It only takes spending $27.40 a day to fritter away $10,000 per year. will show you exactly what you're spending your cash on (shopping? groceries? fast food?) — and help you come up with a budget you can stick to.

What are your biggest expenses? How do you save on everyday items and cut down on your monthly bills?
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