Friday, 31 July 2009

United lose to Bayern on penalties

Manchester United suffered a 7-6 penalty shoot-out defeat to hosts Bayern Munich after a 0-0 draw in the final of the Audi Cup.

Bayern held their nerve in front of a sell-out crowd of 69,000 at their Allianz Arena after United strikers Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen missed great chances in the second half to win the match.

Bayern enjoyed the better of the first half, in which Mario Gomez and Dimitar Berbatov both hit the woodwork, but United then had the better opportunities after the interval - only for Rooney and Owen to fail to beat Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing in one-on-one situations.

The game had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out, and another dose of England against Germany spot-kick drama.

Rensing made a one-handed save to deny Patrice Evra, but Edwin van der Sar responded with a save from Daniel Pranjic.

Rooney scored United's fifth penalty, putting the pressure on Jose Ernesto Sosa, who found the bottom corner to force sudden death.

Jonny Evans had his effort saved by Rensing, leaving Daniel van Buyten to score the winning penalty.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Mysterious sightings in Kg Lumut

A 16-year-old boy witnessed what appeared to be several yellow flashing lights hovering above the open field of Kampong Lumut Housing Development area on Tuesday morning and filmed the encounter on his mobile phone.

The suspicious yellow flashing lights dotting the bright sky of Lumut reportedly occurred for over 30 minutes between 6 and 7am, said the teen's father, Awg Zunadee bin Haji Rahman, 41.

The mysterious lights were first spotted by his 18-year-old daughter Dyg Saiiedatul Ilmie when she opened the back door of the kitchen and saw two unusual continuous yellow flashing objects stationary above the field.

She woke her brother, Awg Mohd Hafiz, up who took a video of the mysterious sighting using his Nokia 2680 mobile phone with 0.3 mega pixel camera.

Eventually, the whole family got up in time to witness the strange encounter from their home at the Kampong Lumut National Housing Development.

Awg Zunadee claimed there were initially few flashing lights forming a straight line and later numerous lights appeared, as many as 15, flashing on and off.

He said the yellow flashing lights appeared in a different formation and towards the end of the display, the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) appeared to form a diamond shape before the lights abruptly vanished.

He added that this was his second sighting at the area, which is about one and-a-half kilometres away from his home. His first encounter took place last year at the same spot when he saw a craft cruising slowly across the sky and towards the BLNG Lumut gas flare before it quickly vanished.

Awg Zunadee has been sceptical on the existence of extra terrestrial life but after the sighting on Tuesday, he is determined to get to the bottom of the strange encounter.

Two Belait commuters, who contacted the Borneo Bulletin, also confirmed they spotted the strange bright objects but they did not make any attempt to pull over and capture them on their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Awg Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad from the Astronomical Society of Brunei clarified that the sighting could possibly be a meteor shower as the International Meteor Organisation has confirmed that July 17-August 24 is the meteor shower season. And the meteor shower is due to reach its peak on August 12.

"The speeding meteor will usually break up due to the air and heat friction. This usually occurs about a few seconds. But this still does not explain the sighting which mysteriously occurred for over 30 minutes," he added.

The planet Venus is also at its brightest period and could be misidentified as a strange object, he noted.

Awg Hazarry stated that this is the first incident of strange sky sightings in Brunei he has received this year and recalled a similar sighting of a strange flying object in Kampong Manggis last year.

Massa walks, 'looks like boxer'

Injured Formula One driver Felipe Massa is up and about and expected to make a full recovery but will remain in a Budapest hospital for now, his personal physician said.

"He looks like a boxer but he's eating well, walking about, taking showers," state news agency MTI quoted Dino Altmann as saying.

Massa, 28, fractured his skull in an accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when he was hit just above his left eye by a bouncing spring, weighing almost a kilo, that broke free from fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car.

He spent several days in an induced coma and on a respirator but was released from the intensive care unit on Wednesday.

Altmann added that Massa has even been able to joke around and when he heard that seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher would come out of retirement to take his spot at Ferrari, he said: "Let's see if I let him."

Altmann said that Massa, last year's championship runner-up, would stay in the Hungarian hospital for now and would eventually be flown straight home.

EOS 50D Firmware Update Version 1.0.7

Canon have just released Firmware v1.0.7 update for Canon EOS 50D.

Firmware Version 1.0.7 incorporates the following changes.

1.Corrects a phenomenon where captured images may tend to appear somewhat magenta depending on the shooting scene.

2.Fixes incorrect indications on the Arabic, Romanian, Spanish, and Ukrainian menu screens.

Firmware Version 1.0.7 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.0.6. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.0.7, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Click HERE to download the firmware.

Nikon introduces D300S with HD video recording

Nikon announces the D300S, a camera to broaden the possibilities for today’s creative image makers.

The D300S brings HD movie capability, a faster frame advance rate of 7fps and dual CF and SD memory card slots to offer new opportunities to explore creative imaging. Built upon the widely acclaimed D300, the D300S incorporates the same DX-format 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, professional 51-point autofocus system and commended EXPEED image processing in a discrete compact body.

Robert Cristina, Manager, Professional Products for Nikon Europe, comments: “The D300S is designed for today’s generation of creative image makers who want to combine brilliant stills in photography with the creative potential of video capture. The DX format has the advantage of lens magnification, compact size and affordability making the D300S a really exciting package for anyone looking to take their photography to another level”.

Additional Nikon D300S Features
  • Virtual Horizon that is available in Live View shooting.
  • 3-in., 920-k dot high-resolution LCD monitor.
  • Highly efficient energy-saving design allows as many as 950 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e. (CIPA Standards)
  • Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System including Image Sensor Cleaning function that provides effective dust reduction.
  • Versatile in-camera Retouch Menus let you enhance your images without using a computer.
  • Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. Type C connector (mini size) is employed.
  • With the optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time are automatically recorded to each image’s Exif data.
  • Exclusive Nikon Software — Nikon Transfer and ViewNX software packages (supplied) for a range of basic photo browsing and editing operations; Capture NX 2, Camera Control Pro 2, and Image Authentication Software (all optional) enable more advanced operation and image editing.

Nikon unveils D3000 entry-level DSLR

Nikon announces the simplest, most accessible DSLR to date, the D3000.

Jordi Brinkman, Product Manager for Nikon Europe says: “The D3000 dispels the view that DSLR cameras are complicated and makes taking great pictures simpler than ever before. You can really concentrate on having fun with photography and the Guide mode helps you to get the best results with the minimum of fuss.”

Key features:
  • 10.2megapixel CCD sensor. Even in low light the image resolution makes easy work of big prints and sharp enlargements.
  • 11-point autofocus system. Keeps even the fastest moving subjects in focus, often the biggest challenge for compact cameras
  • Fast response. The start up time and shutter lag means you can capture the shot almost instantly, without the delayed response time common of compact cameras
  • Guide mode. Simply the easiest way to get great pictures, without having to read the manual
  • 3-inch TFT. With pictures this good, you will need a great screen to share them with friends and family
  • EXPEED image processing. Exclusive system to deliver rich, bright results close to what you saw with your own eyes
  • Picture Controls. Lets you set the look and mood of your images before you shoot
  • 3 fps continuous shooting allows you to capture fast-moving action at 3 frames per second
  • Intuitive ergonomics. We challenge anyone to pick up a D3000 and it not to feel part of your hand
  • Stylish discrete appearance. The D3000 does not become a barrier between you and your subject, resulting in natural looking expressions
  • Compact, light and durable. It won’t fit in your pocket, but with pictures this good you will find a shoulder to hang it on

Nikon D3000 Other Features
  • Extensive playback options that allow viewing of images one at a time or in batches of 4, 9, and 72 as well as Calendar view that organises images by shooting date and time. A histogram display is also available that shows exposure data for a magnified area of the image.
  • Highly durable shutter unit tested to 100,000 cycles.
  • Long-lasting Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a that provides up to 550 shots per charge. (CIPA standard, with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and flash fired at full power once every other shot.)
  • Built-in flash with a guide number of approx. 12/39 (ISO 100, m/ft., 20°C/68°F) and support for Nikon’s i-TTL flash control.
  • Support for the Nikon Creative Lighting System when using SB-900, SB-600, or SB-400 Speedlights, or the SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander.
  • Compatible with all NIKKOR AF-S and AF-I lenses that have an autofocus motor.
  • Compatible with the optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3. There are two shutter release modes available when using the control: Quick Response mode for immediate triggering of the shutter release and Delayed Remote mode, which delays triggering for two seconds.
  • Viewfinder grid lines that aid in picture composition.
  • Compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards
  • Includes Nikon ViewNX image browsing and editing software, which lets you organize, label, and select images as well as perform NEF (RAW) image editing adjustments and conversions.
  • Photos captured with the D3000 can be used with optional Nikon Capture NX 2 photo-editing software, which features patented U Point® technology and powerful tools for quick and easy photo editing, including enhanced NEF (RAW) Editing.

Nikon releases AF-S 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II

Nikon Europe today unveils the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200MM F/2.8G ED VR II, featuring a brand new optical design for class leading levels of image quality and extended Vibration Reduction capability.

Robert Cristina, Manager Professional Products at Nikon Europe, says: “The optical design has been completely re-mastered to meet the demands of today’s image sensors. It also works better at slow shutter speeds and is adapted to complement the latest autofocus technologies too.”

Improved low light shooting
The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200MM F/2.8G ED VR II lens features the last word in Vibration Reduction (VRII) stabilisation technology to provide users with the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops* slower than would otherwise be possible. Two modes are available; Normal for everyday shooting and Active to minimise the vibrations caused when shooting from motorcycles or aircraft. Both modes offer a stable viewfinder image, which ultimately makes focus point acquisition and framing far more comfortable and precise.

Brilliant image quality
The new lens is designed to deliver the best image quality in its class with excellent edge to corner quality on today’s FX format cameras. Nikon’s exclusive anti-reflection Nano Crystal coat, and no less than seven ED glass elements, minimise internal reflections and aberrations to deliver rich, high contrast images even under the most challenging lighting conditions.

The new lens features three focus modes; A/M; M/A and M. The new A/M switch enables autofocus priority even if the focus ring is being handled during shooting.

The new optical design also enables shorter dimensions than the current version, without compromising the durability that professional photographers rely upon to get the job done. The tough magnesium body is extensively sealed to withstand the affects of dust and moisture to enable you to keep shooting whatever the conditions.

* As determined in Nikon performance tests

Nikon annnounces AF-S DX 18-200mm VR II lens

Nikon Europe has announced the introduction of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens. This flexible 11.1x Vibration Reduction ‘superzoom’ NIKKOR lens replaces the popular AF-S DX VR Zoom NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, and improves functionality and image quality.

Robert Cristina, Manager Professional Products, Nikon Europe says: “The 11.1x zoom ratio and beautifully balanced form factor make it ideal for anyone on the move and travelling light. The latest modifications in the new 18-200 come as a result of valuable feedback from customers.”

More practical, more quality
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II incorporates an all new zoom mechanism to prevent what is sometimes referred to as ‘zoom creep’ (the lens moves under its own weight when tilted). A new zoom lock switch keeps the lens compact when being carried as well. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II also features an improved Super Integrated Coating, an exclusive multi-layer lens element coating which reduces ghost and flare, ensuring improved image quality and contrast.

The lens features Nikon’s exclusive Vibration Reduction (VRII), giving users the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops* slower than would otherwise be possible, thereby minimizing image blur caused by camera shake. The optical VR system also stabilises the viewfinder image enabling more accurate autofocus acquisition and framing to make it ideal for shooting in low light conditions without a tripod.

*As determined in Nikon performance tests

Arsenal edge to victory in Hanover

Arsenal continued their winning pre-season form with a 1-0 victory over Hanover at the AWD-Arena in Germany, with captain Cesc Fabregas (pictured, left) scoring the game's only goal.

The Gunners may have lost defensive lynchpin Kolo Toure shortly before kick-off, but confirmation of the Ivorian's departure for Manchester City in the lead-up to the game did little to dampen his former team-mates' preparations.

Arsene Wenger's side came to the match fresh from their 5-0 drubbing of Hungarian outfit Szombathelyi Haladas on Monday, but fielded a noticeably changed side with Eduardo dropped to the bench following his two-goal salvo.

Hannover started well and scared their illustrious visitors, with triallist Nelson Cuevas doing himself no favours as he skied a gilt-edged chance to make his mark in only the eighth minute, leaning back and pumping a cut-back from the by-line over the crossbar from 12 yards.

The close call seemed to kick Arsenal into gear, however, and they took the lead a minute later through a well-worked move finished by Fabregas.

Nicklas Bendtner, who retained his starting spot after a brace against Szombathelyi, started a move which saw Robin van Persie cut a magnificent reverse pass to Fabregas - taking three Hannover defenders out of the game in the process. The Arsenal captain then rounded Robert Enke with ease to slot the ball in for 1-0.

A chance followed immediately for Denilson to make it two, but Enke stood tall to deny the Brazilian on the angle as he cut in off the left wing.

Emmanuel Eboue continued raiding upfield at every opportunity, and laid on Fabregas for a flashed delivery from the right which fizzed across the face of goal.

With Wenger's team showing glimpses of their characteristic slick passing movement and one-touch play, Bendtner very nearly sent them in with a two-goal advantage as his header was hacked desperately off the line just before half time.

Hannover took their first-half mauling on board and emerged for the second half with far more energy, instantly taking the game to the English side.

After Karim Haggui was booked for raising his hands to Van Persie, Jiri Stajner won a corner with a dangerous cross before Mike Hanke won a free-kick which Sergio Pinto curled just wide of Vito Mannone's left-hand post.

Mikael Forssell made an entrance from the bench and forced a save from Arsenal substitute keeper Wojciech Szczesny with a header back across goal, and Valdet Rama tested the Pole from 25 yards with a pacy shot, albeit at a comfortable height.

Eduardo came on for Van Persie - who had come close to a sending off after making a rash late challenge whilst already booked - and claimed a shirt tug as he tumbled while trying to turn the ball in from close range.

At the other end the hosts might have grabbed a late equaliser as Szczesny and Alex Song almost made a hash of a simple near-post cross.

Both went for the same ball, but the keeper gathered at the second time of asking to avoid a soft Hanover equaliser and ensure Arsenal their victory.

Valencia scores as United down Boca

Antonio Valencia made an impressive start to his Manchester United career as he scored in a 2-1 win over Boca Juniors in the Audi Cup in Munich.

The £16 million signing from Wigan skipped past two players before drilling a low shot into the net to make it 2-0 in the 42nd minute, and while Boca keeper Roberto Abbonanzieri made an incredible howler in letting the ball spill under his body, it was still a fine goal from the Ecuadorian.

"I think he will figure in many games," said United boss Alex Ferguson after the match.

"It was his first game. For his first game, we are very satisfied.

"He is a good athlete, has good power and running ability, as we saw today with the way he created a good goal. Maybe it was a mistake by the goalkeeper, but he created the opportunity and opened up spaces for himself."

It was not all good news for United, however, as Wes Brown was forced off injured in the first-half and Ferguson will be hoping that his injury-prone defender will not need another long spell on the sidelines.

Nemanja Vidic was also meant to start the match but was withdrawn just before kick-off due to a slight strain.

Anderson, who has never scored for United in a competitive match, had earlier put United in the lead as he curled a magnificent free-kick from the right edge of the box into the opposite corner to make it 1-0 in the 22nd minute.

Boca gave United a stern workout, however, and got a goal back in the 55th minute as Federico Insua side-footed home a fine looping cross from Pablo Mouche.

Led by the always dangerous Juan Roman Riquelme, the Argentine side pressed for an equaliser throughout the second-half but their lack of cutting edge in front of goal was ultimately their undoing.

The closest they came was in the 69th minute after young United defender Craig Cathcart headed an effort against his own crossbar, while six minutes later Tomasz Kuszczak had to make a smart save to deny a low drive from Riquelme.

With the exception of the two goals, United looked rather timid in front of goal with neither of the two starting strikers - Federico Macheda and Wayne Rooney - making much of an impact.

United also made seven changes during the game which upset their rhythm but the 68-minute shift that was put in by Valencia will be the most pleasing aspect of the evening for Alex Ferguson.

The new signing showed a willingness both to take on players and track back when needed, and he could prove to be a shrewd signing for the right flank now that Cristiano Ronaldo has departed.

United's victory means they will play in Saturday's Audi Cup final against Bayern Munich, who outclassed AC Milan as they won 4-1 in the other semi-final.

City sign Toure

Manchester City have signed Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure from Premier League rivals Arsenal for around £16 million.

Toure, 28, whose team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor joined City earlier this month, has signed a four-year deal with Mark Hughes' side, the club said on their website.

City are in the market for defenders after compiling an impressive forward line in the close season.

"It is no secret that we have been looking to strengthen our defence and in Kolo I feel we have recruited a world-class player," said City manager Mark Hughes.

They have also had bids rejected for Everton defender Joleon Lescott and Chelsea and England captain John Terry.

The big-spending club have already signed striking trio Roque Santa Cruz of Paraguay from Blackburn Rovers, Argentina's Carlos Tevez and Togo international Adebayor.

England midfielder Gareth Barry has also joined from Aston Villa with the club having now spent over £90m.

Toure joined Arsenal from Ivorian club Asec Mimosas in February 2002 and won the FA Cup at the end of his first season in 2003.

Originally a utility player, he quickly emerged as a first choice centre-back alongside Sol Campbell in a 2004 season which saw Arsenal win the Premier League undefeated with a team dubbed 'the invincibles'.

A second FA Cup the following season was to be Toure's last winner's medal for the north London club, although Arsenal came close to success in the Champions League before losing 2-1 to Barcelona in the 2006 final.

Toure, who made 326 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, suffered a dip in form last season playing alongside Frenchman William Gallas and British media reported he had a transfer request rejected which he then later withdrew.

"Kolo has been a central figure in a very strong Arsenal team for many years and I have been an admirer of his for a long time," added Hughes. "He is strong, quick, reads the game well and will be an influential figure in the dressing room."

Arsenal have since strengthened their backline with the signing of Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax Amsterdam in a deal worth £12m and Swiss defender Philippe Senderos has returned to the club from a loan spell at Milan.

City, considered the richest club in the world, are bankrolled by wealthy Arab owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan and are expected to compete for Champions League qualification next season.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

After Firework Shooting Activity at Tungku Beach

So after taking some firework shoots, me ZulH thought of trying to play some strobing shots, and initially, I invited a friend of mine to come over to become a model, unfortunately something came up at the last minute and she couldn't make it... so without a model to shoot, we end up playing around with some lights...

Massa to leave intensive care

Ferrari's Felipe Massa is to leave intensive care after taking his first steps since he fractured his skull in a crash at last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The champions said the Brazilian's condition was improving steadily in Budapest's AEK military hospital.

"The driver has had more exams carried out, confirming his continuing improvement," the team said. "Felipe speaks, can sit upright and was even able to take his first steps. Today he will leave intensive care."

Massa underwent emergency surgery on Saturday after being flown to the hospital in what doctors said was a life-threatening condition.

The 28-year-old was hit on the helmet during qualifying by a metal spring, the size of a Coke can and weighing almost a kilo, which fell off compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car and bounced down the track.

"From the clinical and radiological point of view everything is going extremely well," said Ferrari.

"Felipe will stay at the AEK hospital for the next few days, until he can be taken somewhere else."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who went to Massa's bedside on Monday when the Brazilian was under sedation, was flying back to Budapest to greet him.

Kodak releases Z950, M381 & M341 digital compacts

Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today announced the newest additions to the KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Camera family, all featuring Kodak’s Smart Capture technology that consistently delivers high quality images in nearly any environment.

Leading the new introductions is the KODAK EASYSHARE Z950 Digital Camera, offering a 10X image stabilised Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom lens that provides maximum versatility for avid photographers to easily handle both distant and close-up shots. It also incorporates Kodak’s innovative Smart Capture feature, which automatically adjusts focus, flash, and exposure for a great picture in virtually any setting.

“The KODAK EASYSHARE Z950 Digital Camera enables consumers to effortlessly get brilliant shot after brilliant shot,” says Carolyn Walsh, Product Sales Director, CDG, FPG, UK & Ireland. “You can capture great pictures as you move from daytime to night and from family shots to landscapes. And the Z950 delivers all this in a compact form that makes it easy to take anywhere.”

Image quality in the new camera is enhanced by a SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON Optical Zoom Lens with image stabilisation. Walsh notes that the precision optics of the lens integrate with the camera’s design and technology to deliver high resolution, minimum shading and low distortion.

“The combination of these features plus a 12 MP sensor makes the Z950 a compact digital capture powerhouse, with outstanding image quality and ease of use at an affordable price,” says Walsh.

Click HERE for more info.

Ronaldo opens his account for Real as 'The Pirate' steals the show

The world's most expensive footballer Cristiano Ronaldo got off the mark for his club Real Madrid here on Tuesday as they ran out 4-2 winners over Ecuadorean side Liga de Quito in the Peace Cup.

The 23-year-old Portuguese star - who cost Real around 94million euros when he joined from Manchester United - won and then converted a penalty in the 48th minute as Real set up a semi-final on Friday with Italian giants Juventus.

However, it was one of Real's less high profile signings of the close season Esteban Granero otherwise known as El Pirata or The Pirate, bought from Getafe, who stole the show with a goal and created another for German international defender Christoph Metzelder.

It will have come as something of a relief to both the Real fans and Ronaldo himself that he showed soem semblance of form as he had failed to shine in the first few friendlies including a 1-0 win over Irish semi-professional outfit Shamrock Rovers last week and had been taken off at half-time.

There was one concern for Real Madrid as another of their signings French international striker Karim Benzema - who scored the goal against Shamrock Rovers - limped off on the hour mark after shooting with his right leg.

Juventus had earlier become the first team into the last four when they disposed of Korean side Seongnam.

Brazilian playmaker Diego - a 24.5million euros signing from German side Werder Bremen in May - was the architect of their victory creating the first goal for Vincenzo Iaquinta, then scored the second in the 53rd minute while Nicola Legrottaglie added the third 20 minutes from fulltime.

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