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Thursday, April 29, 2010

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ASUS Core 2 Duo 1.3GHz 14" LED-Backlit Laptop for $720 + free shipping $720



New: ASUS Core 2 Duo 1.3GHz 14" LED-Backlit Laptop for $720 + free shipping

Beach Camera via Buy.com offers the 4.8-lb. ASUS UL80VT-A1 Intel Core 2 Duo 1.3GHz 14.1" Widescreen Notebook for $720.20 with free shipping. That's a $29 drop from our March mention and the lowest total price we could find by $23. It features an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 14.1" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, dual layer DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, NVIDIA GeForce G210M 512MB video, HDMI port, media card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, 8-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Deal ends April 30.

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Dell Studio 15 s1555 Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz 15.6" Laptop for $509 + free shipping $509

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New: Dell Studio 15 s1555 Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz 15.6" Laptop for $509 + free shipping

The Microsoft Store offers the 5.54-lb. Dell Studio 15 s1555-4286 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz 15.6" Widescreen Notebook in four colors (Black Chainlink pictured) for $849 with free shipping. Coupon code "CLR-MSAFL-40%-PC" cuts it to $509. That's $84 under our mention from yesterday and the lowest total price we could find for this configuration. Sales tax is added where applicable. Features include an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, slot-load DVD burner, memory card reader, webcam, 802.11n wireless, 9-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.



Update: The coupon now only applies to the black and pink models.

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ASUS Core 2 Quad 2GHz 17" Widescreen Laptop for $950 + free shipping $950



New: ASUS Core 2 Quad 2GHz 17" Widescreen Laptop for $950 + free shipping

Buy.com offers the ASUS Intel Core 2 Quad 2GHz 17.3" Widescreen Notebook, model no. N71Vn-A1, for $949.95 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $32. It features a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 2GHz quad-core processor, 17.3" 1600x900 widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, dual layer DVD burner, NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M 1GB graphics, webcam, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, media card reader, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

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HP Pavilion dv6 Core i3 2.13GHz 16" Laptop for $585 after rebate + free shipping $585



New: HP Pavilion dv6 Core i3 2.13GHz 16" Laptop for $585 after rebate + free shipping

Staples offers the 6.34-lb. HP Pavilion dv6-2150us Intel Core i3 2.13GHz 15.6" Widescreen Notebook, model no. WA779UA#ABA, for $634.98. This $50 mail-in rebate cuts it to $584.98. With free shipping, it's $15 under our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest total price we could find by $45. Sales tax is added where applicable. This laptop features an Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive, dual-layer DVD burner with LightScribe support, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 media card reader, built-in webcam, four USB ports (no FireWire), ExpressCard slot, HDMI output, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Rebate ends June 12.

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Refurb HP dv7 AMD Dual Core 2.5GHz 17" Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $600 + $5 s&h $600



New: Refurb HP dv7 AMD Dual Core 2.5GHz 17" Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $600 + $5 s&h

Today only, Woot.com offers the factory-refurbished, 7.69-lb. HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx AMD Turion II 2.5GHz 17.3" Widescreen Notebook, model no. WA794UA#ABA, for $599.99 plus $5 for shipping. That's $65 under the lowest total price we could find for a new, factory-sealed unit. It features an AMD Turion II Ultra M620 2.5GHz Dual-core processor, 17.3" 1600x900 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, combo Blu-ray ROM player / dual-layer DVD burner with LightScribe, 802.11n wireless, webcam, media card reader, 8-cell battery, HDMI output, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.



A 90-day HP warranty applies.

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Lenovo G460 Core i3 Dual Core 2.13GHz 14" Laptop for $599 + free shipping $599



New: Lenovo G460 Core i3 Dual Core 2.13GHz 14" Laptop for $599 + free shipping

Lenovo offers its 4.87-lb. Lenovo G460 Intel Core i3 2.13GHz 14" Widescreen Notebook in Black, model no. 06772GU, for $799. Apply coupon code "USPMOTHERSDAY" to cut it to $599. With free shipping, it's $200 off and tied with our mention from last week as the lowest total price we've seen for a Core i3-equipped G460 notebook. Sales tax is added where applicable. This laptop features an Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz dual-core processor, 14" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive, dual layer DVD burner, Bluetooth, webcam with face detection, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Coupon ends May 9.

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Lenovo G460 Core i5 Dual Core 2.26GHz 14" Laptop for $699 + free shipping $699



New: Lenovo G460 Core i5 Dual Core 2.26GHz 14" Laptop for $699 + free shipping

Lenovo offers its Lenovo G460 Intel Core i5 2.26GHz 14" Widescreen Notebook in Black, model no. 06772WU, for $899. Apply coupon code "USPMOTHERSDAY " to cut it to $699. With free shipping, it's $250 off and tied with last week's mention as the lowest total price we've seen for any 14" Lenovo Core i5-powered laptop. Sales tax is added where applicable. This laptop features an Intel Core i5-430M 2.26GHz dual-core processor, 14" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 310M 512MB video card, dual layer DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, webcam with face detection, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Deal ends May 9.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Core i5 Dual 2.4GHz 16" Laptop for $892 + free shipping $892



New: Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Core i5 Dual 2.4GHz 16" Laptop for $892 + free shipping

Lenovo offers its Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Intel Core i5 Dual Core 2.4GHz 15.6" Widescreen Notebook, model no. 4313CTO, for $892.05 with free shipping via the directions below. That's tied with our mention from earlier this month as the lowest total price we've seen for this configuration by $7. Sales tax is added where applicable. It features an Intel i5-520M 2.4GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 2GB RAM, 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive, dual-layer DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, 2-megapixel webcam, memory card slot, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Coupon ends April 30. To get this deal:



1. Click here to start at $939

2. choose "15.6" HD Anti-Glare Display with LED Backlight and WWAN Antenna (+$0)"

3. choose "Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 (1x2 bgn) (+$0)"

4. add coupon code "USPRETHINK" to slash it to $892.05

Ghana profile



Profile



The only African side to get out of the group stage at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and the first to qualify for South Africa 2010, Ghana are anxious to prove themselves as the cream of the continent. Though this will be only their second appearance at the finals, the Black Stars have enjoyed considerable success at all levels of international football. They have won four CAF African Cup of Nations titles, though none since 1982, as well as two FIFA U-17 World Cups, and they became the first African team to lift the FIFA U-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties in October 2009. With added experience since their 2006 adventure, where they lost to Italy and Brazil but beat the Czech Republic and USA, Ghana are set to be a major threat at Africa's first FIFA World Cup.



The road to South Africa

Ghana guaranteed their place in the finals after going unbeaten through their opening four matches of the final round. They did not concede a goal in the group until a shock 1-0 defeat at Benin, but that came after they had already qualified. The key stretch for the west Africans came in June 2009 when they won 2-0 away to both Mali and Sudan, with Germany 2006 veteran Matthew Amoah scoring a goal in the first match and both in the second. Ironically, Ghana were shakier in the previous round of qualifying, only topping the group on goal difference over Gabon and Libya after losing a match to both teams.



The star players

Although Ghana lack the attacking firepower of many African sides, they rely most prominently on a world class midfield led by Michael Essien. The Chelsea man usually pairs with Sulley Muntari and captain Stephen Appiah to form a formidable engine room capable of both stifling attacks and creating them. Two of the trio Asamoah Gyan, Junior Agogo and Matthew Amoah usually operate in attack, while the England-based duo of John Mensah and John Paintsil keep the back tight in front of another Premier League player, goalkeeper Richard Kingson.



The coach

With Claude Le Roy's departure after a relatively disappointing third-place finish at the 2008 Cup of Nations on home soil, Milovan Rajevac took over leadership of the Black Stars. A former defender that played his career in Yugoslavia, the Serbian was best known for a brief coaching stint with Red Star Belgrade as well as leading perennial Serbian strugglers FK Borac to their first-ever qualification for a European tournament.



Record



* Ghana were the youngest team at Germany 2006, with an average age of just under 24 years.

* Asamoah Gyan scored the fastest goal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup after 68 seconds in their 2-1 win over Czech Republic. It was also Ghana's first-ever goal in the finals.

* Ghana lost 3-0 to Brazil in the second round of Germany 2006, but they were without the talismanic Michael Essien, who was suspended.



What they said

"This team is very hungry to play in the finals again. My players are aware of what they can achieve, and we have the quality to go far. I am very confident about the future," Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac.

Bafana back on winning trail

(AFP) Wednesday 28 April 2010

Bafana back on winning trail

Getty Images



2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa got back on the winning trail by defeating non-qualifers Jamaica 2-0 in a friendly at Kickers Offenbach Stadium Wednesday.



Veteran striker Surprise Moriri punished sloppy defending off a cross to drive a low shot into the corner of the net on 51 minutes and set up Bafana Bafana (The Boys) for a first success in four international outings.



Siyabonga Nomvete added a second five mintues from full-time in this German city as he ran on to a pass from fellow substitute Andile Jali and slammed the ball wide of goalkeeper Dwayne Kerr into the net.



Jamaica, last-minute replacements for China, faded after failing to convert a few first-half chances in a game between teams relying almost exclusively on home-based players.



South Africa made one change from the team held 0-0 by fellow qualifiers Korea DPR in Frankfurt last week with Siboniso Gaxa replacing Thabo Nthethe at rightback. Jamaica arrived in Germany via the United States just 10 hours before the kick-off with a squad of local players and San Jose Earthquakes striker Ryan Johnson.



With three previous matches between the countries drawn and delivering only two goals, it was no surprise that the first half ended goalless before a few hundred spectators. South Africa had scored just five goals in six matches since Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreirra returned last November for a second spell in charge.



They could have added to that total less than two minutes into the match as a glancing Moriri header off a Siphiwe Tshabalala free kick forced Kerr into an acrobatic parry at the expense of a corner. But if the largely South Africa-supporting crowd thought this was the start of a siege on the Jamaican goalmouth they were sadly mistaken with the Reggae Boyz coming close to scoring twice by the half-hour mark.



Openings at the back

Sleepy South Africa failed to pick up Dicoy Williams off a Xavian Virgo free kick and his near-post header beat goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and flew just over the bar. And when the Caribbean team launched a lightning counter-attack in perfect conditions, Navion Boyd was staring at an unguarded route toward goal only to be let down by a poor first touch.



South Africa finished the opening half with a flourish and Kerr did well to hold a volley from striker Katlego Mphela, seeking to improve his one-goal input from the six matches since Parreira replaced compatriot Joel Santana.



The deadlock was finally broken six minutes into the second half in comical fashion as two defenders failed to cut off a cross that appeared to pose no threat and Moriri had time and space to beat Kerr with a low shot.



Moriri made way soon after for Nomvete, a 32-year-old from the Soweto-based Moroka Swallows club recalled for the Germany camp three years after last appearing in Bafana Bafana colours. And Nomvete repaid the faith of Parreira and the South African media who campaigned hard for his inclusion in the squad when he put the result beyond doubt. (fifa.com)

43 days to go

(PA) Thursday 29 April 2010

43 days to go

Getty Images



Former England full-back Jimmy Armfield, who played in the 1962 FIFA World Cup™ but missed out in 1966 through injury, won 43 caps for his country between 1959 and 1966.



Armfield made his international debut against Brazil in May 1959 in front of a reported crowd of over 130,000 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.



His performances at the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile earned him plenty of plaudits and in total in his one-club career he made more than 550 appearances for Blackpool over a 17-year period.



He later went on to manage Bolton and Leeds, losing the 1975 European Cup final 2-0 to Bayern Munich during his spell in charge of the Yorkshire club. Armfield now works as a media pundit for the BBC.

Cameroon Profile

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coach: Paul Le Guen

Confederation: CAF
FIFA Ranking (Nov 09): 11
Previous Appearances: 5 (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

Background

The all-time African leaders by far in World Cup participation, Cameroon first made it to the big show in 1982, but didn't return in 1986. They managed to punch their ticket to Italia '90 and didn't miss a World Cup until the 2006 competition where they were stunned by Cote d'Ivoire and Egypt.
Now they are back with arguably their best generation of players so far. With a coach that the players are finally behind and possibly the best African player in Samuel Eto'o, many people are hoping that Cameroon finally puts in the performances that many know they are capable of.
How They Qualified

It was far from smooth sailing for the Indomitable Lions this time around. In a group composed of Gabon, Togo and Morocco, it was the smaller team, Gabon that stunned everyone by wining their first two matches while Cameroon lost their first encounter against Togo and then drew Morocco.
But then coach Paul Le Guen came on board, while the Indomitable Lions played catch up with their opposition, and with four consecutive wins they ensured their participation in their sixth World Cup.
Strengths
With possibly the greatest striker in African history at his peak right now, the team's strength should be the attack but the truth is Cameroon’s midfield is what makes it special. Even though less star-studded than say, Ivory Coast or Mali, the Cameroon midfield, whether playing in a 4-3-3 or a 4-4- 2 formation has been excellent at linking the defence to the forwards.
Weaknesses
The main weakness of the team will be their overall age and ability to cope with high-level competition. If the Cameroonian players are not necessarily the oldest, they have some of the most precocious players who have been playing at the highest of level for a very long time and are used a great deal by their clubs. Certain players - such as 33-year-old Rigobert Song – are beginning to slow down and look a bit rusty.
The Coach
Paul Le Guen is very well respected by his players, who prefer his methods to those of Otto Pfister. With no experience in Africa whatsoever, he'll have to prove himself in Angola before going to South Africa.

Star Men

Samuel Eto’o (Inter)
With one of the most impressive trophy cabinets in African football, Samuel Eto'o is out to prove that his level has not diminished one bit in the last few years, and he will be looking to show the world what he's capable of, as he was very young in France and Korea. In a continent where he is a god-like entity, people will expect a great deal from him, and he will have to deliver.

Idriss Carlos Kameni (Espanyol)
Arguably the best African glovesman today, he keeps the tradition of quality Cameroonian goalkeeping alive. Fast reflexes and consistent shot stopping has gained him respect in Spain. The ‘Phenomenon’ has long been the best in his country and there's no reason for that to change any time soon.

Stephane M'bia (Marseille)
He's long been touted as the replacement for Geremi and he literally took his spot from under him. If M'bia can manage to stay injury free he'll finally play at the competition everyone in Cameroon dreams of. He moved from Rennes to Marseille this year and has already shown impressive skills with great teams.

Best XI



Best Footballing Moment
Their best moment of international football was definitely during the 2000 Sydney Olympics against Spain where after an abysmal first half the Indomitable Lions leveled their Spanish opponents 2-2 and went on to win in penalties with an already impressive Kameni, who was only sixteen at the time.
Off The Pitch
Famous for: A very close relationship with their sponsor, Puma that got them in trouble as their kits got them fines and points removed as well as new fans. A large majority of the country speaks more than three languages, with French and English being the official languages.
Most likely to: Have more members of the Government present at any game than any other country in the tournament.
World Cup Objective
Getting out of the group stages is expected from them and making it to the quarter-finals will definitely be an objective for the Indomitable Lions, as anything less would be a disappointment.

North Korea Profile

NORTH KOREA

Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea
DPR Korea Football Association
1945
Coach: Kim Jong-hun.
Confederation: AFC
FIFA Ranking (Dec 09): 91
Previous Appearances: 1 (1966)
Map


Background
If you are only going to have one World Cup appearance under your belt then you could do a lot worse than North Korea’s 1966 adventure. The Chollima’s 1-0 victory over Italy in the final group game is one of the most famous shocks in the history of the World Cup, or any other tournament. The quarter-final against Portugal almost matched it. The East Asians raced into a 3-0 lead in Liverpool before the mighty Eusebio and fatigue intervened to give the Iberians a 5-3 win and a place in the last four. Now, after 44 years, they are back.

How They Qualified
It was a long journey from Pyongyang to South Africa. Joining in the second round of qualification with a two-leg thrashing of Mongolia, it was the third round of qualification where the real test began. North Korea went through those six matches against their southern neighbours, Jordan and Turkmenistan by scoring just four goals and conceding none. That defence was breached in the final round but wins at home to Saudi Arabia and a home and away double over UAE gave the team the platform to finish second behind South Korea. With draws at home to Iran and away in Riyadh on the final day of action, North Korea squeezed into the South African spots.

Strengths
The statistics don’t lie. North Korea’s modern success stems from a solid backline. A five-man  defence conceded just seven times in 16 qualifiers and it is a defence that isn’t afraid to stay behind the white line. The team counter-attacks at speed and is capable of catching out an opposition that strays too far forward.
Weaknesses
A lack of firepower is perhaps something that was evident in qualification. Goals are hard to come by as is experience. North Korea has had little chance to play teams from outside Asia and has even declined to participate in the Asian Cup. Recent trips to France and planned sorties to Brazil and Africa should go some way to addressing that problem but the fact remains that most North Korean players are internationally inexperienced.
The Coach
Kim Jong-hun is a brooding presence on the sidelines but don't let Kim's quiet demeanour fool you, the no-nonsense manager is capable of blowing his top and has received more international red cards than his players. Kim, a former international who took his team to the World Cup at his first attempt, is respected by the players though rumours abound in Pyongyang that his position isn't as secure as it should be.
Star Men
Jong Tae-se (Kawasaki Frontale)

'The People’s Rooney' as he has been labelled by the Seoul media prefers to compare himself to Didier Drogba. Fast, powerful and direct in the search for goals, Jong has had trouble finding the net for the national team of late but is in great form for Japanese title hopefuls Kawasaki Frontale.

Hong Yong Jo (FC Rostov)

If Jong is the battering ram of the north’s attacks, Hong is the brain and the one who makes things tick. Barely a counter-attack, fast or slow, doesn’t go through the Russian-based star. His set pieces aren’t bad either.

An Yong Hak (Suwon Bluewings)


The holding midfielder goes about his job quietly in the middle of the park. An intelligent player, who rarely puts a foot or a pass wrong and makes those surrounding him look good. The kind of player that every team needs.

Best XI

Best Footballing Moment
Can only be that winner from Pak Do-Ik at Ayresome Park back in 1966. It was a goal that sent DPRK into the annals of World Cup history and the Italians back home to be greeted by a hail of tomatoes.

Off The Pitch
Famous for: Unique local brand of Stalinism called 'Juche'; being the only country to have a head of state who isn't alive any more (Kim Il-Sung, the Great Leader, is the Eternal President.)
Most likely to: Have more bodyguards and shady men in sunglasses per capita than any other team at the tournament.

World Cup Objective
Nobody north or south of the 38th Parallel will be expecting another appearance in the last eight. Getting out of the group stage will be a huge success.

Switzerland Profile


SWITZERLAND

Swiss Confederation

Swiss Football Association
1895
Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Confederation: UEFA
FIFA Ranking (Dec 09) : 18
Previous Appearances: 5 ( quarterfinal 1934, 1938, 1954; round of the last sixteen 1994, 2006)
Map


Background
Switzerland is a small country that always has to fight hard to qualify for the World Cup every four years. They Swiss have qualified eight times for the World Cup and their best results were in 1934, 1938 and 1954.

How They Qualified
Switzerland earned top spot in Group 2 of the UEFA zone, but it was far from easy. They had a lot of problems on the way to qualifying for South Africa. They drew with Israel in the first match and somehow lost to Luxembourg at home. Ottmar Hitzfeld's men bounced back and defeated Greece in Piraeus and it was pretty clear sailing from there. In the last match Switzerland needed only one point and earned a draw against Israel to qualify directly for South Africa.

Strengths
The motivation in the team was never a problem. They have players like Barnetta, Frei, Senderos and Benaglio who have European experience. The collective in the team is very important and that’s the key for good results.
Weaknesses
Switzerland sometimes pick up poor results against teams they really should beat like Finland, Norway and Luxembourg just to name a few examples.
The Coach
Ottmar Hitzfeld is a big name in football circles. He is a pleasant coach with good character. He wasn't a stranger to winning trophies with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Switzerland can be happy and can profit with a coach like Hitzfeld guiding the side.
Star Men
Alexander Frei (FC Basel)

The captain and topscorer in the team. He is a person who wants to win every match. With a good instinct for goal he can be very dangerous for opponents.

Diego Benaglio (VFL Wolfsburg)

A young 'keeper who are earned the number 1 jersey in the team. With Wolfsburg he won the Bundesliga last season and now has experience in the Champions League.

Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen)


The 'Cristiano Ronaldo' of the Swiss Team. Barnetta has tons of pace and flair and at 24-years-old has a bright future with the national team.

Best XI


Best Footballing Moment
The victory in the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria by an unfancied Swiss side. They beat the likes of Italy, Brazil, Germany and Nigeria to win the title.

Off The Pitch With big cow bells and beer - Switzerland ready for a crazy party in South Africa.

World Cup Objective
To avoid a Group of Death scenario and pull off some major surprises like the U-17 squad did.

French Profile Team For World Cup 2010 Africa



France has a history quite sweet on the way the World Cup. As one of 13 contestants first World Cup held earlier in 1930, France only six times fail to reach the final round.
France filled with great talents who deserve to be in recorded history. Michel Platini (now UEFA President),
brings the Rooster on four ranked on the World Cup 1982 Spain. and third in the World Cup 1986 Mexico.
In addition, there are Lilian Thuram who has the most caps with France. Similarly, Didier Deschamps, Laurent Blanc, Fabien Barthez and Bixente Lizarazu.
French hero is Zinedine Zidane. With Zidane, France underwent periods of golden era in the late 90s. Despite the failed step into the World Cup finals in 1994 in the United States, Les Bleus pay for it with perfect when lifting the trophy in front of the French public, four years later.

France eventually won the world title after defeating Brazil 3-0 with a crushing score. Two goals scored by Zinedine Zidane (27 ', 45 +1'), while Emmanuel Petit to score the winner at the end of matches.
Zinedine Zidane as FIFA Best Player of 2000, when he led France to win Euro 2000.
Zidane's decision to end his career in 2006 ago, after the incident butt Marco Materazzi in the World Cup finals in Germany, became the France early setback.
Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland and then to witness declining quality of the French game. Appear unconvincing throughout the competition, the French ultimately failed to step into the finals after being ranked at the bottom in Group C.
The participation of  France in the World Cup in 2010 was not achieved easily. Rooster stumbled in qualifying and could only finish as runner-up in European Zone Group 7 under Serbia. France must undergo play-off match against the Republic of Ireland. Not only that, the certainty of France qualify for the finals also marked the controversy related to Thierry Henry's handball in the second leg play-off. A William Gallas scored during extra time of birth after Henry looks to handball and give 2-1 aggregate victory. Colored by the faction tensions have time to The Boys in Green are demands for rematch, France still cruised into South Africa. France entered in Group A with host Bafana Bafana, the South American seed Uruguay, and Mexico.

Associations: Federation Francaise de Football
Nickname: Les Bleus
Uniform   : Blue-White
Captain   : Thierry Henry
Coach     : Raymond Domenech

Free Sony Vaio CR

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We want to give you your Free Laptop Today!
The new Sony CR series is the latest addition in family of stylish and colorful notebooks from Sony mostly known as VAIO laptops. The new Sony VAIO CR series comes in some very unique colors like sangria and cosmopolitan. The new Sony CR VAIO series is designed for students and professionals who are looking for a professional laptops or in other words stylish and extreme performance laptops. You can simply buy a Sony VAIO CR series by from the internet booking it in a color and specification you desire or you can get it a from a whole sale dealer.
The new SONY VAIO CR series is coming in with a Core 2 Duo processor which is available in many different configurations like from the Intel T7100 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo up to the T7700 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo. It is coming with only one screen configuration that is 14.1 inches WxGA. It RAM can be increased to 4GB and it has a built-in wireless (Wi-Fi) 802.11 b/g for high speed interne connectivity.
Free Sony Vaio CRI used a SONY VAIO CR series dove color laptop. . Following are the specifications of my Sony VAIO CR series laptop:
* It has a 14.1 inches screen WXGA with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution with a very .glossy finish.
* Color: Dove white
* My Sony VAIO CR has 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 processor installed on Intel Centrino platform.
* My laptop came with 120 GB SATA hard drive which spins at 5400 RPM.
* The main memory of my laptop is 1GB PC5300, 667 MHz, DDR2 SDRAM. Actually there are two 512MB cards installed.
* It has a built-in DVD+R Double layer which also got DVR rewriting functionality.
* It has three USB 2.0, one FireWire 400 port, one Express Card 34, one S-Video, one VGA, one Memory Stick Pro reader, one SD card reader, headphone / line-out, microphone-in, modem, 10/100 Ethernet external attachment ports and switches.
* It has a built-in wireless for high speed internet connectivity (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n)
* It uses Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 965 Express chipset with up to 358MB video memory which shared with the main memory.
* My laptops came with pre-installed Windows Vista Home Premium version.
* The dimensions of the notebook are 13.2” x 1.67” x 9.8” (W x H x L) respectively.
* The notebook weighs 5.5 pounds.
Gorgeous Design:
The very first impression any one would get by giving a look to the new Sony CR series VAIO laptops is that it very well designed to attract attention of the people. As first impression is the last so Sony managed to attract many customers toward its new laptops series just because of the design. I myself bought the CR VAIO for many reasons but the main attraction toward the notebook was its stylish design. From the range of available colors to the polished metal-like accents the CR is a design that gets your attention. The dove white version which I bought particularly gives a very familiar look to Apple’s new iMac series in many ways specially design and outlook. The reason Sony adopted the iMac style is to attract college going student towards CR VAIO series because most students go for Mac the book.
The lid of the VAIO CR also has a nice glossy finish with the VAIO made by ever shinning material or some kind of Mattel alloy. The new CR series VAIO laptops gives a very clean look from the first to the last view. When opened the lid of my laptop I saw a white plastic interior of the CR VAIO then I expected that it would have been made of a cheap plastic case with a significant amount of flex to it. Surprisingly the case is very sturdy with relatively thick plastic. The interior is also given metal reinforcements where necessarily needed.
Free Sony Vaio CR
Hardware Performance:
The new Sony VAIO CR-series is coming with Intel Core2 Duo processors which provide more than enough performance. My laptop has a 1.8GHz low-end configured processor but still it gave excellent performance in my tests that I performed on the laptop. Those customers which can easily afford to pay for 2.4 GHz processors for their CR series VAIO laptops will find their notebooks extremely powerful in-spite the fact that it sis coming with a low graphics resolution adapter. VAIO CR series has 3DMark05 graphics resolution whose performance is extremely low not only this but the CR uses the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 which shares the notebook’s system RAM which decrease not only the graphics performance but also the overall performance of the machine when the main memory is shared. The review unit I bought came with only 1GB of system RAM. If the CR was equipped with 2GB or more these benchmarks would have been slightly more impressive.
Display:
It has a 14.1 inches screen WXGA with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution with a very not only with a glossy finish but limit less beauty with excellent color and contrast. The display features fairly bright. The backlight of the screen has eight levels of brightness. Viewing the screen in horizontal angels are great which makes the screen an ideal choice for watching a DVD or a streaming video or a presentation been given to two or more then two persons. However, vertical viewing angles are among the worst I’ve seen on a notebook in this price range. If you tilt the lid of the screen slightly the whole screen will go black and some times even wash out.
Interior:
When you will open the lid of the note book the most attractive and unique thing you will find on the note book will be its white stylish keyboard. Unlike most traditional PC notebook keyboards the CR keyboard looks more like a Mac-Book than a PC. They keys are very well cushioned. They are very touch sensitive keys and will respond to a very light touch even. But if you are a traditional keys lover then you should not be going for the new Sony VAIO CR series. The keyboard is quite solid with no flex still it is made up of plastic. But if you will get used to it then you will find it extremely soft and enjoyable then other traditional keyboards.
The touchpad of the new sonny CR VAIO series is very nice. It is comparatively very large which can be utilized in a very usable manner. It has an extreme responsive surface. The mouse buttons compared to the pad are very small and also shadowed in the body as well as very noisy making it uncomfortable for the users.Free Sony Vaio CR
Audio:
The new Sony VAIO CR has stereo sound which is made using three speakers. These speakers are located on the right and left sides of the keyboard as well one speakers on the front of the interior. Well I haven’t heard any best speakers then these built-in speakers on the notebooks. CR series has extremely great sound and you will enjoy a lot watching movies and listening to music on it. There is also an head phone jack which is located at the left side of the laptop which is the best location and external speakers can also be connected there in addition.
Heat and Noise:
The VAIO CR runs on extremely cool temperatures with the 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor. I suspect that with higher speed of the processors the more the heat will be produced. When running in high room temperatures the left bottom side gets slightly warm but the overall temperature remains cool enough to use the notebook in your lap. Temperatures are likely kept within acceptable limits thanks to a rather large copper heat-sink visible through the vent on the left side of the CR. The CR is thicker but lighter that’s why it remains remarkably cool overall.
The system fan is very quite in running and it can’t be heard in an ambient noisy room you will have to put your ear on the laptop to hear the noise of the fan. But the fan emits large amount heat and yu will feel uncomfortable to put your hand near the fan.
Battery:
Sony claims the battery life of the standard 6-cell battery at 2.0-3.5 hours of use depending on how you use the notebook. During my test I obtained 3 hours and 2 minutes of battery life using the notebook at half screen brightness, wireless off, and a mixture of Word usage and idling. Clearly you would need to have the screen brightness turned even lower and do little more than let the notebook idle if you want to obtain the full 3.5 hours that Sony claims. You can get a large capacity battery for an advertised 3-6 hours of usage time unplugged, but the larger battery will stick out from the back and add weight to the notebook.

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Free Dell Studio XPS 16

When it comes to style, the Dell Studio XPS 16 is a step up from typical smalll business notebooks. Make that a big step up. A stunning 16-inch screen adds to its allure, making it a fitting choice as a desktop replacement or presentation machine. A starting price of around $1,100 might keep bargain shoppers at bay, but if you’re willing to ante up you’ll be rewarded with a laptop that performs well and looks even better.
Dell Studio XPS 16Strikingly Elegant Design
Dell’s XPS line ranks above the company’s business-oriented Vostro and Inspiron families, and is intended to appeal to home buyers and discriminating business customers alike. The relatively recent Studio XPS models—the Studio XPS 13, Studio XPS 15 and Studio XPS 16—employ the latest components and share a strikingly elegant design. The outer shell is done in glossy obsidian black with brushed-metal trim. A wide band of genuine leather near the spine looks great and provides a comfortable surface to grip when you carry the machine.
Inside, the black-on-black color scheme gives a modern, uncluttered feel. The full-size keyboard is exceedingly comfortable to type on, and the flat-top keys feature letters and symbols that are pleasantly backlit by a soft white glow. The same light illuminates the strip of multimedia control keys above the keyboard; those controls give quick access to volume/mute commands, play/pause/skip for music and DVD playback, and so on. Below the keyboard you’ll find a large touchpad that makes controlling the mouse easy, but note that there is no pointing stick navigator common on many business notebooks.
The Studio XPS 16 includes all the ports you are likely to need. There are three USB ports, one of which can also accommodate external SATA (eSATA) peripherals such as the latest portable hard drives, plus a FireWire port. Dell has thoughtfully included VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors for attaching an external display; having all three means no matter what projector or big-screen you run across in the future, you’ll be able to connect.
Free Laptop Today
Expansion comes in the form of an 8-in-1 memory card reader and an ExpressCard/54 slot. The latter is now the standard for external expansion cards, but if you have older PC Card/CardBus or PCMCIA peripherals that you can’t part with, you’ll have to invest in an adapter (like the DuelAdapter from Duel Systems). As for connectivity, the Studio XPS 16 includes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi standard. Bluetooth is an option, as is a built-in 3G wireless broadband radio for use with Sprint’s high-speed data network.
The Dell Studio XPS 16 features a 16-inch LCD and a sleek design.Free Dell Studio XPS
In LCDs, 16 is the New 15.4
The most striking feature of the Studio XPS 16 is its 16-inch LCD. This is a relatively new size of glass that gives you more viewable real estate than the 15.4-inch panels that have become the norm on mainstream notebooks, while keeping the machine fairly portable. At 6.4 pounds, the Studio XPS 16 is no bantamweight, but it’s better suited to occasional travel than the often-unwieldy 17-inch laptops on the market.
The LCD features a high-def resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and its LED backlight helps the panel deliver a wider color range than lower-end screens while also consuming less energy. Image and video reproduction on the Studio XPS 16’s screen is particularly noteworthy: Colors are vibrant and well-saturated, making the machine a joy to use for photo and video work.
The screen is also brighter than on most laptops—Dell claims a brightness level of 300 nits for the panel, versus 200 nits for typical notebook LCDs—and the wide 130-degree viewing angle means you can use the machine to present to a group gathered around a conference table. One caveat: As with all high-def screens, default text sizes in applications and on Web sites can be pretty small, but at least text is amazingly crisp.
Plenty of Component Choices
Configurability is Dell’s hallmark, and the Studio XPS 16 is no exception. You can choose one of the two suggested configurations and be done, or customize your machine to your needs and budget. Hard drive choices include the 320GB unit that comes standard (and that should prove enough for most uses), a whopping 500GB model, plus three flash-memory solid state drives for crash-proof performance. An 8X multi-format DVD/CD burner is standard, but high-def movie fans can step up to a DVD burner/Blu-ray reader combo.
The Studio XPS 16 comes standard with 4GB of RAM, which is more than enough to run its Windows Vista operating system; if you run a demanding application that can take advantage of more RAM, you can configure a machine with up to 8GB of memory. And you won’t find any two-generation-old processors here: Choices range from a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 to a 2.93-GHz Core 2 Duo T9800. The included ATI Mobility Radeon M86XT (with 512MB of dedicated video RAM) is a good choice for business 3D, and powerful enough for the occasional gaming session when work is done.
Good Value Overall
Dell backs the Studio XPS 16 with a one-year warranty that includes on-site service and toll-free tech support. You can expand that in yearly increments to get up to four years of coverage.
Granted, the Dell Studio XPS 16 isn’t cheap, but it does represent an excellent value. By the time you add the necessary upgrades to a lesser machine with a teaser bargain price, you’ll likely be near the Studio XPS 16’s $1,099 price—and you won’t be getting its slick design and high-end features.
By: Jamie Bsales  http://www.freelaptoptoday.net

germany profile

Profile

The passion and euphoria sparked by Germany's thrilling exploits in the summer of 2006 now belong to the archives, but a continuing commitment to an invigorating brand of attacking football in the years up to and including the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ appears here to stay, especially after they underlined their recent improvement with a second-place finish at UEFA EURO 2008. The German footballing world feels the future is bright, based on a fundamentally reappraised approach to the game, and drawing on rich reserves of experience from a glorious past.

Germany unquestionably rate as one of the world's footballing powers, with a roll of honour featuring three FIFA World Cup™ triumphs. The 1930 and 1950 events aside, Germany have appeared at every FIFA World Cup finals, often performing with distinction. Their first triumph came in 1954 with a shock 3-2 victory over the seemingly invincible Hungarians at the Wankdorf stadium in Berne, a result which made both idols and symbols of hope out of the likes of Fritz Walter and Helmut Rahn.

Orchestrated by 'Kaiser Franz' Beckenbauer and borne on a flood tide of goals from Gerd 'Der Bomber' Muller, Germany registered a second FIFA World Cup win on home soil exactly 20 years later. The Final produced another sensational result, as the Germans recovered from a goal down to Johan Cruyff's stylish and flexible Dutch side to take the game 2-1 at the Olympic stadium in Munich.

Beckenbauer rose from icon to legend in 1990 when he coached the Germans to their third and most recent global triumph. Spurred on by the desire to erase the memory of back-to-back defeats in the previous two Finals - 3-1 to Italy at Spain 1982 and 3-2 to Argentina in Mexico four years later - Lothar Matthaus and Co dug deep into reserves of strength and stamina to avenge the 1986 disappointment with a 1-0 victory against the Argentinians.

The German Football Association (DFB) flagship team now stepped out of the global limelight for a spell, exiting the 1994 tournament in the USA and the 1998 finals in France at the quarter-final stage. However, the team which claimed the trophy at UEFA EURO 1996 in England featured star individuals Matthias Sammer, Jurgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff, all of whom would later become influential association-level figures, instrumental in embedding a new philosophy and culture.

Germany bounced back at the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ in Korea and Japan with a performance based on attributes which had become trademarks, or perhaps even stereotypes. Rudi Voller's team forged a path all the way to the Final, where their assault on the trophy was only stopped by Brazil. The runners-up spot rated as a sensational success, as the team built around Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack was a triumph of the collective over the individual, of grit and resolve over style and gloss.

However, a nadir was reached just two years later when Voller threw in the towel after his side failed to survive the group stage at UEFA EURO 2004 in Portugal. Klinsmann's arrival at the helm ushered in an exhilarating new chapter in German footballing history, as the former striker threw a raft of old shibboleths overboard and set out his philosophy and vision for the future. Klinsmann's revolution called on Germany to play attractive, high-paced attacking football, a cry which drew a rapturous reception and underlined the widespread feeling that a new era had dawned.

Klinsmann was rewarded for his courage. The 2006 FIFA World Cup™ on home soil truly represented a new beginning, as the high-scoring Germans thrust their way into the semi-finals, where the young team fell 2-0 against eventual trophy winners Italy before finally coming away with third place. The four heady weeks ignited a new wave of passion for the game, and also saw a nation emerge from its dour shell in an exuberant show of national unity.

Klinsmann's assistant coach Joachim Low took over as the new Bundestrainer and did well in continuing to promote the new philosophy. A team spearheaded by keeper Jens Lehmann, midfielders Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings and goal-getter Miroslav Klose, and mixed with the young blood of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski, has grown into a unit potentially capable of consistent excellence at the highest level of the world game. At EURO 2008, Low's side advanced from the group stage despite a loss to Croatia, defeated the fancied Portuguese at the quarter-final stage, and held off the Turks 3-2 in the semi-final. Only a loss to Spain in the final denied them what would have been an impressive tournament triumph.

Although Germany could not display as free and open an attacking style as they did at the FIFA World Cup 2006, they are still confident of winning the title in South Africa 2010. "I regard us as a young team with the potential to develop. We were third in 2006, we've just come second, and we'd like to maintain the sequence two years from now. I hope we can go one better when we get there," commented Schweinsteiger right after the EURO final in Vienna's Ernst Happel stadium. His words encapsulate Germany's future aims...

FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking

Last Updated 31 Mar 2010
Next Release 28 Apr 2010 (fifa.com)

FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking

 
RankingTeamPts
Mar 10
+/- Ranking
Mar 10
+/- Pts
Mar 10
1Spain Spain16020Equal-40
2Brazil Brazil15890Equal-5
3Netherlands Netherlands12610Equal-63
4Portugal Portugal12142Up13
5Italy Italy1183-1Down-43
6Germany Germany1157-1Down-51
7England England11201Up11
8France France1077-1Down-94
9Argentina Argentina10750Equal-12
10Croatia Croatia10511Up1
11Greece Greece1032-1Down-42
12Russia Russia10090Equal-33
13Chile Chile9741Up3
14Egypt Egypt9673Up0
15Serbia Serbia950-2Down-30
16USA USA9482Up-6
17Mexico Mexico921-2Down-47
18Uruguay Uruguay9021Up-34
19Australia Australia8984Up31
20Cameroon Cameroon8870Equal-1
20Switzerland Switzerland887-5Down-81
22Nigeria Nigeria883-1Down4
23Paraguay Paraguay8556Up40
24Norway Norway8539Up55
25Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire846-3Down-28
26Ukraine Ukraine837-2Down-14
27Algeria Algeria8215Up18
28Israel Israel811-2Down-10
29Slovenia Slovenia810-2Down-9
30Czech Republic Czech Republic809-5Down-34
31Ghana Ghana802-3Down-16
32Romania Romania7984Up24
33Slovakia Slovakia791-2Down-19
34Denmark Denmark778-1Down-20
35Turkey Turkey7706Up31
36Honduras Honduras765-1Down-11
36Ecuador Ecuador7651Up4
38Bulgaria Bulgaria764-8Down-48
39Colombia Colombia741-1Down-16
40Sweden Sweden7392Up2
41Scotland Scotland7324Up51
42Costa Rica Costa Rica7172Up16
43Gabon Gabon7070Equal1
44Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland704-5Down-44
45Japan Japan6921Up20
46Latvia Latvia6661Up4
47Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia-Herzegovina6422Up-2
48Venezuela Venezuela6331Up-11
49Korea Republic Korea Republic6294Up13
50Northern Ireland Northern Ireland628-11Down-120      

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