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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup Urinals Spark Pissing Matches

World Cup Urinals Spark Pissing Matches


World Cup Urinals Spark Pissing Matches

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

World Cup-themed filters have been put in urinals in the men’s room at a Shanghai mall, Reuters reports. The Telegraph described them as “wee-to-score.” No word on whether the games will be live-streamed.

Aly Song / Reuters

Eli Wallach: The Good, the Bad and the Gifted

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:07 AM PDT

"Actually I lead a dual life," Eli Wallach once said. "In the theater, I'm the little man or the irritated man, the misunderstood man.” But in films, “I do seem to keep getting cast as the bad guys."

If the former role, he played the enthusiastic Italian lover in Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, for example, which earned him a 1951 Tony award. As for the latter, he was a bad guy with brio in the Williams–Elia Kazan collaboration Baby Doll, and Calvera, the bandit chased by the vigilantes of The Magnificent Seven. Above all, he was poor cunning Tuco in Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, destined for a triangular shootout with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef.

For Wallach, that double life was long — he died Tuesday at 98 in New York City — and full of achievement. A student of acting guru Lee Strasberg, and a founding member of the Actors Studio, he shone on Broadway in plays by Ibsen (The Lady from the Sea), Shaw (Major Barbara) and Shakespeare (Anthony and Cleopatra, King Henry the VIII) and in modern works by Williams (Camino Real) and Eugene Ionesco (Rhinoceros).

Often Wallach costarred with Anne Jackson, whom he met in 1946 when they played in yet another Williams drama, the one-act This Property Is Condemned. Married for 66 years, they forged the ideal acting complement — her sugar to his spice. They perked up the 1968 Hollywood sex comedy How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, with Wallach as a married philanderer, Jackson as his mistress and Dean Martin as the friend who moves in on Jackson. They were a frequent, welcome sight on TV drama (Michael Landon’s Sam’s Son) and, as their earthily glamorous selves, showing up on What’s My Line and Laugh-In. But their enduring love was the stage, where Wallach and Jackson reigned in Murray Schisgal’s The Typists and the Tiger and Luv, and as the parents in a 1978 revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, with their daughters Roberta and Katherine in the roles of Anne and Margot.

(READ: TIME’s obit for Eli Wallach)

Unlike his Method brethren, Wallach didn’t go for tragic grandeur; he was not one to mumble or mope. The men he played could be evil — sometimes pure evil, like his psycho-killer Dancer in Don Siegel’s 1958 crime drama The Lineup — but they usually enjoyed their venality, revealing a smile behind the scowl. TIME critic Richard Schickel, writing in The New York Times, said that Wallach’s "essential screen character is a curiously lovable combination of slyness and bluster. There’s something uncalculated, even sometimes something pre-moral and childlike in these whirlwind performances." For all his Method training, Wallach had the born showman’s gift of communicating to audiences the pleasure he got from acting.

For much of his movie career, this New York-born son of Jewish immigrants was typed as Italian, Spanish or Mexican. In the 1956 Baby Doll, Wallach’s first movie role, his Silva Vacarro radiates a practiced sexuality, luring teen bride Carroll Baker from her oafish husband Karl Malden. Five years later Wallach, as the cowboy Guido, competes with Clark Gable for the affections of Marilyn Monroe in John Huston’s The Misfits, written by Monroe’s estranged husband Arthur Miller; both of Wallach’s costars would be dead within a year.

Eli Wallach (right) with Josh Brolin in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” 20th Century Fox

He was Poncho, a member of Edward G. Robinson’s gang, in the casino-heist film Seven Thieves, and the Latin American dictator Valdez in Kisses for My President, an airy 1964 comedy that dared to imagine a woman (Polly Bergen) as Commander-in-Chief. Bringing silky menace to men of dark power, Wallach played Mafia dons in the 1974 Crazy Joe (with Peter Boyle as Joey Gallo) and The Godfather Part III. And once in a while, he even played Jews; his last feature-film role was as Julie Steinhardt, patriarch of finance, in Oliver Stone’s 2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

As a student at the University of Texas at Austin, before serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War II, Wallach had learned to ride horses. That expertise paid off in a Hollywood that still loved the Western. The Magnificent Seven, a 1960 remake of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, cast him as the bad guy that the septet of good guys (Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholtz) spend most of the film pursuing. Calvera is such a miscreant that he regrets leaving the villagers whose food he keeps stealing enough money to hire their heroic posse. “Sooner or later,” he mutters, “you must answer for every good deed.”

The Magnificent Seven
American actor Eli Wallach (foreground, left), as the bandit leader, Calvera, in ‘The Magnificent Seven’, directed by John Sturges, 1960. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images) Silver Screen Collection—Getty Images

(READ: Corliss on the long life of the Hollywood Western)

Wallach was the scourge of California as the outlaw Charlie Gant, facing a showdown with Marshall Karl Malden in the 1963 epic How the West Was Won, based on a Life magazine series. And when Leone launched the “spaghetti Western” craze with A Fistful of Dollars, Wallach was the first American movie star to lend his luster to the genre. (Eastwood, the hero of the Dollars trilogy, had been languishing in the TV series Rawhide; and Van Cleef was until then a flinty supporting villain.) In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, three tough men search together or separately for $200,000 in gold coins: Eastwood the good Blondie, Van Cleef the bad Angel Eyes and Wallach the ugly Tuco — an illiterate outlaw who smells “like a pig.”

(FIND: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on the all-TIME 100 Movies list)

Among the three, Tuco is both the only human character and the movie’s bitter comic relief. “I like big fat men like you,” he tells one imminent victim. “When they fall they make more noise.” While taking a bubble bath in his hotel room, he is surprised by a one-armed man with a gun. Tuco pulls a revolver from under the suds and kills the man, saying, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.” Yet Tuco can be quite chatty, forever aphorizing about “two kinds of people in this world” to Blondie’s simmering annoyance. This brigand may not be as wily as he thinks he is, but Leone loved him enough to let him survive the famous shootout and still be hanging around, so to speak, at the end.

A huge worldwide hit, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is widely considered Leone’s masterpiece; Quentin Tarantino put it at the top of his all-time list of spaghetti Westerns. The movie also assured Wallach of more Western roles, both in Hollywood (Mackenna’s Gold, Romance of a Horsethief) and abroad (Duccio Tessari’s ¡Viva la muerte…tua!, Giuseppe Colizzi’s Ace High).

(READ: Quentin Tarantino and the spaghetti Western)

The actor dismissed his work in spaghetti Westerns as “a means to an end,” telling the Times in 1973, "I go and get on a horse in Spain for 10 weeks, and I have enough cushion to come back and do a play." Perhaps he suspected that those movies robbed him of gravitas. In the first generation of movie actors schooled by Strasberg (including McQueen, Malden, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Rod Steiger), Wallach was one of the few who never received even a nomination for an Academy Award — though in 2010, at 94, he was given an honorary Oscar for “effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role."

Toward the end of his two-thirds of a century on stage and in the movies, Wallach must have realized that those Italian Westerns had earned him lasting renown. He titled his 2005 autobiography The Good, the Bad and Me — an apt summary for an actor who was so good at playing bad.

20 Awesome Things to Say That Will Radically Improve Your Life

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:07 AM PDT


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

The biggest problem with deciding to do something is deciding to wait to do it. Why put off doing something you really want to do? Anything worth doing is worth doing now. Here are 20 things you need to say to yourself this week – not because you plan to do something but because you've already done it. And each is a lot easier to accomplish than some grand, sweeping, hopefully-life-changing-but-in the-end-you-never-manage-to-accomplish pledge. So let's get started!–Jeff Haden

“I finally got started!”

You have plans. You have goals. You have ideas. Who cares? You have nothing until you actually do something. Every day, we let hesitation and uncertainty stop us from acting on our ideas. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure often stops me and may be what stops you, too. Pick one plan, one goal, or one idea. And get started. Do something. Do anything. Just take one small step. The first step is by far the hardest. Every successive step will be a lot easier.

“It’s totally my fault.”

Everyone makes mistakes. That makes it easy to blame others for our problems. But we are almost always also to blame. We did (or did not) do something we could have differently or better. Instead take full responsibility, but not in a masochistic, “woe is me” way, in an empowering way. Focus on being smarter or better or faster or more creative the next time.

“You’re awesome!”

No one receives enough praise. No one. Pick someone who did something well and tell them. And feel free to go back in time. Saying, “I was just thinking about how you handled that project last year” can make just as positive an impact today as it would have then. Maybe a little more impact, because you still remember what happened a year later. Surprise praise is a gift that costs the giver nothing but is priceless to the recipient.

“That wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought…”

The most paralyzing fear is fear of the unknown. (At least it is for me.) Yet nothing ever turns out to be as hard or as scary as you think. Plus it’s incredibly exciting to overcome a fear. You’ll get that “I can’t believe I jumped out of an airplane!” rush, an amazing feeling you haven’t experienced for too long. So go do something you were afraid to do. I promise it won't be as bad as you thought.

“I’ll show you, —hole.”

One of the best ways to motivate me is to insult me — or for me to manufacture a way to feel insulted. I use rejection to fuel my motivation to do whatever it takes to prove that person wrong and, more importantly, achieve what I want to achieve. Call it childish and immature. I don’t care — it works for me. And it can work for you. So next time don’t turn the other mental cheek. Get pissed off, even if your anger is unjustified and imaginary — in fact, especially if your anger is unjustified or angry — and use it for fuel to shake you out of your same thing, different day rut.

“Can you help me?”

Asking someone for help instantly recognizes their skills and values and conveys your respect and admiration. That’s reason enough to ask someone to help you. The fact you will get the help you need is icing on the achievement cake.

“Can I help you?”

Then flip it around. Many people see asking for help as a sign of weakness so they hesitate. Yet we can all use help. But don’t just say, “Is there anything I can help you with?” Most people will automatically say, “No, I’m all right.”
Be specific. Say, “I’ve got a few minutes, can I help you finish that?” Offer in a way that feels collaborative, not patronizing or gratuitous. And then actually help. You’ll make a real difference in someone’s life and take a solid step towards creating a real connection.

“I did something no one else is willing to do.”

Pick one thing other people aren’t willing to do. Pick something simple. Pick something small. Whatever it is, do it. Instantly you’re a little different from the rest of the pack. Then keep going. Every day do one thing no one else is willing to do. After a week you’ll be uncommon. After a month, you’ll be special. After a year you’ll be incredible, and you won’t be like anyone else.
You’ll be you.

“I don’t care what other people think.”

Most of the time you should worry about what other people think — but not if it stands in the way of living the life you really want to live. If you really want to start a business but you’re worried that people might think you’re crazy, screw ‘em. If you really want to change careers but you’re afraid of what people might think, screw ‘em. Pick one thing you haven’t tried simply because you’re worried about what other people think — and just go do it. It’s your life. Live it your way.

“I’m really sorry.”

We’ve all screwed up. We all have things we need to apologize for: words, actions, failing to step up, step in, or be supportive. Pick someone you need to apologize to — the more time that’s passed between the day it happened and today, the better. But don’t follow up your apology with a disclaimer that in any way places even the tiniest amount of blame back on the other person. Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame. Then you’ll both be in a better place.

To read the rest, click go to Inc.com.

Read more from Inc.com:
How 4 Entrepreneurs Started Up (Really) Young
Firing an Employee–Even a Bad One–Is Hard to Do

Google’s Invading the Living Room (Again) With Android TV

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:06 AM PDT

Google announced Wednesday that it’s taking another crack at television with Android TV, a new version of its computer operating system made specifically for the big screen. Android TV, which can be incorporated into smart TVs, set-top-boxes and video game consoles, allows people to easily switch between streaming apps like Netflix, downloaded movies and video games from the Google Play store.

A variety of devices, from smartphones to tablets to video game controllers, can be used to control Android TV. The platform will also make extensive use of Google search, allowing users to not only look up specific shows but also less obvious parameters like Oscar winners from a specific year. Video games will also be a big emphasis, with users able to play multiplayer together on the big screen using different types of controllers.

Android TV is a follow-up to Google TV, the company's first foray into creating TV software, which failed to gain widespread adoption. This time around, Google seems to be focusing on creating a platform more squarely focused on entertainment and ease of use. The platform will enter a crowded market that already includes Apple, Amazon and Roku, but the company did announce some key early partners: The 2015 line of HD and 4K televisions from Sony, Sharp and TP Vision will make use of Android TV.

Apps designed specifically for Android TV will arrive in the fall, alongside the latest version of the Android OS.

Google Is Making Its Chromecast Radically More Useful

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:05 AM PDT

You’ll soon be able to use Chromecast—Google’s media player that streams content to TVs—even if you’re not connected to WiFi.

Announced on Wednesday at Google I/O, the new feature will allow you to cast content to a friend’s Chromecast via cloud, as opposed to via WiFi connection. Proximity-based authorization will ensure that this access has been mutually granted. In other words, you won’t need to ask your friend for the home WiFi password to push content to the TV.

Chromecast drives the majority of YouTube TV views.

 

Google ‘Android Auto’ Combines Your Car and Your Phone

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 11:02 AM PDT

Imagine your phone’s music, navigation and communication features quietly synchronizing with your car’s internal screens and audio system as you’re getting into the vehicle. Google showed off just that at its I/O conference Wednesday afternoon, calling it “Android Auto.”

Android Auto casts your Android phone “experience” to an Android Auto-ready car’s screen dynamically, effectively turning your car into a receiver that’s powered by your phone. Noting the feature would be compatible with steering wheel-based buttons, Google said the in-car screen experience — which included tabs for Google Maps, phone calls and music — could be improved over time by simply upgrading your phone.

You can have Android Auto read messages to you, explained Google, and if you want to dictate a reply, it’ll read back what’s dictated and let you confirm the message’s content before sending.

In a demo designed to highlight the system’s ease of use, a Google demonstrator asked his phone how late a museum was open. The phone responded in natural language with the museum hours, then offered the option to navigate there, all without the demonstrator having to provide an address or taking his hands off the wheel.

It sounds a lot like Apple’s CarPlay, in other words, which also supports Siri-based contextual voice commands, making calls, sending and receiving messages, shuffling through music selections and doing all of that handsfree.

But Android Auto is unique enough in the Android-sphere that Google says it’s devised a separate SDK just for it, so people can focus on making apps for vehicles along. Look for Android Auto “before the end of the year,” said Google.

The Surprising Truth About Women and Violence

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

The arrest of an Olympic gold medalist on charges of domestic violence would normally be an occasion for a soul-searching conversation about machismo in sports, toxic masculinity and violence against women. But not when the alleged offender is a woman: 32-year-old Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the U.S. women's soccer team, who is facing charges of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew in a drunken, violent outburst. While the outcome of the case is far from clear, this is an occasion for conversation about a rarely acknowledged fact: family violence is not necessarily a gender issue, and women—like singer Beyoncé Knowles' sister Solange, who attacked her brother-in-law, the rapper Jay Z, in a notorious recent incident caught on video—are not always its innocent victims.

Male violence against women and girls has been the focus of heightened attention since Eliot Rodger's horrific rampage in California last month, driven at least partly by his rage at women. Many people argue that even far less extreme forms of gender-related violence are both a product and a weapon of deeply ingrained cultural misogyny. Meanwhile, the men's rights activists also brought into the spotlight by Rodger's killing spree defend another perspective—one that, in this case, is backed by a surprising amount of evidence from both research and current events: that violence is best understood as a human problem whose gender dynamics are much more complex than commonly understood.

There is little dispute that men commit far more violent acts than women. According to FBI data on crime in the U.S., they account for some 90% of known murderers. And a study published in American Society of Criminology finds that men account for nearly 80% of all violent offenders reported in crime surveys, despite a substantial narrowing of the gap since the 1970s. But, whatever explains the higher levels of male violence—biology, culture or both—the indisputable fact is that it's directed primarily at other males: in 2010, men were the victims in almost four out of five homicides and almost two-thirds of robberies and non-domestic aggravated assaults. Family and intimate relationships—the one area feminists often identify as a key battleground in the war on women—are also an area in which women are most likely to be violent, and not just in response to male aggression but toward children, elders, female relatives or partners, and non-violent men, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Violence.

Last April, when Connecticut high school student Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death by her a classmate allegedly because she refused to go to the prom with him, feminist writer Soraya Chemaly asserted that such tragedies were the result of "pervasive, violently maintained, gender hierarchy," male entitlement, and societal "contempt for the lives of girls and women." But what, then, explains another stabbing death in Connecticut two months earlier—that of 25-year-old David Vazquez, whose girlfriend reportedly shouted, "If I can't have you, no one can!" before plunging a knife into his chest shortly after Vazquez said he was leaving her for a former girlfriend? Or the actions of a 22-year-old former student at New York's Hofstra University who pleaded guilty last November to killing her boyfriend by deliberately hitting him with her car due to a dispute about another woman? Or the actions of the Florida woman who killed her ex-partner's 2-year-old daughter and tried to kill the woman's 10-year-old son last month shortly after their breakup?

Research showing that women are often aggressors in domestic violence has been causing controversy for almost 40 years, ever since the 1975 National Family Violence Survey by sociologists Murray Straus and Richard Gelles of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire found that women were just as likely as men to report hitting a spouse and men were just as likely as women to report getting hit. The researchers initially assumed that, at least in cases of mutual violence, the women were defending themselves or retaliating. But when subsequent surveys asked who struck first, it turned out that women were as likely as men to initiate violence—a finding confirmed by more than 200 studies of intimate violence. In a 2010 review essay in the journal Partner Abuse, Straus concludes that women's motives for domestic violence are often similar to men's, ranging from anger to coercive control.

Critics have argued that the survey format used in most family violence studies, the Conflict Tactics Scale, is flawed and likely to miss some of the worst assaults on women—especially post-separation attacks. Yet two major studies using a different methodology—the 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey published last February—have also found that some 40% of those reporting serious partner violence in the past year are men. (Both studies show a much larger gender gap in lifetime reports of partner violence; one possible explanation for this discrepancy is that men may be more likely to let such experiences fade from memory over time since they have less cultural support for seeing themselves as victims, particularly of female violence.)

Violence by women causes less harm due to obvious differences in size and strength, but it is by no means harmless. Women may use weapons, from knives to household objects—including highly dangerous ones such as boiling water—to neutralize their disadvantage, and men may be held back by cultural prohibitions on using force toward a woman even in self-defense. In his 2010 review, Straus concludes that in various studies, men account for 12% to 40% of those injured in heterosexual couple violence. Men also make up about 30% of intimate homicide victims—not counting cases in which women kill in self-defense. And women are at least as likely as men to kill their children—more so if one counts killings of newborns—and account for more than half of child maltreatment perpetrators.

What about same-sex violence? The February CDC study found that, over their lifetime, 44% of lesbians had been physically assaulted by a partner (more than two-thirds of them only by women), compared to 35% of straight women, 26% of gay men, and 29% of straight men. While these figures suggest that women are somewhat less likely than men to commit partner violence, they also show a fairly small gap. The findings are consistent with other evidence that same-sex relationships are no less violent than heterosexual ones.

For the most part, feminists' reactions to reports of female violence toward men have ranged from dismissal to outright hostility. Straus chronicles a troubling history of attempts to suppress research on the subject, including intimidation of heretical scholars of both sexes and tendentious interpretation of the data to portray women's violence as defensive. In the early 1990s, when laws mandating arrest in domestic violence resulted in a spike of dual arrests and arrests of women, battered women's advocates complained that the laws were "backfiring on victims," claiming that women were being punished for lashing back at their abusers. Several years ago in Maryland, the director and several staffers of a local domestic violence crisis center walked out of a meeting in protest of the showing of a news segment about male victims of family violence. Women who have written about female violence, such as Patricia Pearson, author of the 1997 book When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, have often been accused of colluding with an anti-female backlash.

But this woman-as-victim bias is at odds with the feminist emphasis on equality of the sexes. If we want our culture to recognize women's capacity for leadership and competition, it is hypocritical to deny or downplay women's capacity for aggression and even evil. We cannot argue that biology should not keep women from being soldiers while treating women as fragile and harmless in domestic battles. Traditional stereotypes both of female weakness and female innocence have led to double standards that often cause women's violence—especially against men—to be trivialized, excused, or even (like Solange's assault on Jay Z) treated as humorous. Today, simplistic feminist assumptions about male power and female oppression effectively perpetuate those stereotypes. It is time to see women as fully human—which includes the dark side of humanity.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine.

Native American Group Mounts $9B Lawsuit Against Cleveland Indians

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 10:48 AM PDT

A Native American advocacy group called “People Not Mascots” is seeking $9 billion in damages against Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians.

‘We're basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering,” Robert Roche, the group’s leader, told CBS News’ Cleveland affiliate. Roche decided to press the issue after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stripped the Washington Redskins of its trademark last Wednesday, deeming the team name a “racial slur.”

The lawsuit will also target the team’s logo and mascot, Chief Wahoo. "It's been offensive since day one,” said Roche. “We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people."

The campaign to remove Native American caricatures from team names and logos has built up steam in recent weeks, with 50 Senators petitioning National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell to change the name of the Redskins. The Redskins vowed to appeal the USPTO ruling.

U.S. vs Germany: Get Ready for a Nail-Biter

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Months before the World Cup, I had a chance to discuss Thursday’s U.S. vs. Germany game with Jürgen Klinsmann, the German-born head coach of the American team. In Germany, of all places. "If it's necessary to sit back maybe a bit more against Germany," he told me, "then we have to take that approach. Because it's a one-time game and maybe it makes it possible to get to the next round. But if we feel like, no, we're actually ready to go at them, then we make that call."

So what call will Klinsmann make in Thursday’s game? The U.S. needs a draw against Germany to guarantee passage to the next round of the World Cup—an outcome that would suit Germany just fine, too. Do the Americans hang back and hang on, like Italy tried to do, unsuccessfully, against Uruguay? Or does the American team play the way Klinsmann ideally wants it to play, and go for a win against Germany, knowing that a loss could end its World Cup? Klinsmann has already said that his team "will give everything to beat Germany" but sentiment often gets slide-tackled by tactics.

Germany's general strategy is certainly no mystery to Klinsmann, since he helped create it when he was Germany's coach at the 2006 World Cup. He is friends with German coach Joachim Loew, his former assistant, as well as with a number of German players. "It's going to be emotional, there's no doubt about it." he said in a press conference yesterday. "But I also will enjoy it."

Klinsmann obviously had no idea during our March conversation what the circumstances would be in late June. He was addressing his plan to turn the U.S. into an attacking, uptempo team. Traditionally, the U.S. has been a hang-back-and-wait-for-an-opening type team. The transition to a proactive game from a reactive one is tricky, though: "Right now yet we don't know how far we are in that process," Klinsmann said at the time.

The U.S. team's performance in its first two matches didn't answer the question. Against Ghana, Clint Dempsey scored a gem early and then the U.S. hung on for the next hour or so, while Ghana attacked relentlessly, eventually knotting the score. Substitute John Brooks' bail-out header late in the game won it. Against Portugal, the U.S. sensed a weakened team and attacked like it meant business, only to be punished by early and late mistakes.

Germany has some thinking to do, too. Although Germany dismantled Portugal in its first game, the Germans got some help from a Portugal red card in the 37th minute. Ghana, on the other hand, was able to mount sustained attacks against Germany, including 20 shots at goal, with the play of wing halves Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew. That's a style that the U.S. can employ too.

The Americans have to be aware of the fearsome German counterattacks, with Mesut Özil at the fulcrum and Thomas Mueller providing the finishing. Germany has torn teams like England to shreds employing it. And don't forget what former U.S. keeper Kasey Keller calls "monsters in the box." Germany has always relied on scoring goals by winning free kicks or corner kicks and sending a bunch of giants into the penalty box for headers. This team is no different: it has 3 outfield players who are 6-ft 3-in. or better, including the 6-ft 5-in. Per Mertesacker. The Americans are going to have to smash some heads to defend.

One of the more intriguing questions of the game: How will our Germans do against their Germans? Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones, the German-raised sons of American fathers, and now playing for the Red, White and Blue, have played fantastically well. Midfielder Jones scored a wonder of a goal against Portugal. Right back Johnson has panicked defenses with his outside runs. Against their half-countrymen, they need to be even more outstanding.

There's going to be some psychology and gamesmanship going on, too. Both teams know a draw will do, so if the score is tied say, 60 minutes into the match, the less inclined the players will be to take risks. That's natural. At the same time, the coaching staffs will be listening to the Ghana vs. Portugal game, which will take place simultaneously. A draw there and both the U.S. and Germany are safe. If Ghana is winning by a couple of goals, though, the U.S. might not qualify for the knockout round if it loses. Look for late and dramatic tactical changes if that's the case. This thing has nail-biter written all over it.

 

 

You Can Pre-Order These Android Wear Smartwatches Right Now

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 10:33 AM PDT

Google offered the first in-depth look at its upcoming operating system for smartwatches Wednesday at its annual I/O developers conference.

Android Wear-based devices will be an extension of users' smartphones that they wear on their wrist. Devices that run the new Android Wear OS will be able to scroll through notifications from both smartphone apps and apps within Android Wear itself, such as emails, appointments, weather updates and text messages.

Dismissing a notification on the watch will also remove it from the phone if the devices are synched. The platform will also make considerable use of Google Now, the company's Siri-like digital assistant. Users will be able to ask questions directly to their watch and see answers pop up on the device's display.

Google also demonstrated specfic apps from popular Internet services that will be compataible with Android Wear. Eat24, a food delivery website, can be used to quickly order dinner via the watch, while users will also be able to hail rides through the car-sharing service Lyft. Apps such as these will be automatically installed on Android Wear devices when users download the smartphone version of the apps from the Google Play Store.

The first smartwatches to make use of Android Wear, the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, will be available for pre-order later Wednesday. The Moto 360, the first Android Wear watch to sport a round watch face, will go on sale later this summer.

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