Phelps feels pain of aging and late-night races

2016-08-08 22:52:52

RIO DE JANEIRO A big round purple bruise on his right shoulder, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps emerged from the pool in his qualifying heat for the 200-meter butterfly on Monday feeling the aches and the toll of late-night races in his fifth Olympics.After winning his 19th gold on Sunday night in the 4x100 freestyle, the most decorated Olympian of all time could only muster a fifth place in the qualifying heats for the butterfly semi-finals later on Monday. Phelps, 31, holds both the World and Olympic records in 200-meter butterfly.The bruises on his right shoulder and upper back were evidence of his fondness for cupping, an ancient Chinese healing practice.He said he's been cupping for some time, before almost every meet, but the trainer went full bore on him and left some of the worst bruises in some time. The right shoulder, he said with a bit of a wince, "is where I hurt the most." Coming out of retirement in 2014 after a stint in rehab following his second drunk driving arrest, Phelps said the quick turnarounds between the late-night races tailor-made for U.S. television and the early afternoon heats the next day are tough.He got massages, ice baths, heat applications to flush the lactic acid out of his muscles along with eating a pound of spaghetti, a food he is not keen on and had to force down. "I guess I got to sleep at 3 a.m. and I was on an 11 a.m. bus. Quick turnarounds," Phelps told reporters.It's back to his Rio de Janeiro home then for a quick nap, before he returns on Monday night for his butterfly semi-final, where he will be looking to make it to the final on Tuesday and avenge his defeat in the event four years ago to defending Olympic champion Chad le Clos of South Africa. Clos, now 24, eclipsed Phelps in London in 2012. (Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Alan Baldwin)

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

2016-08-02 08:28:25

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

Firefighters battling California blaze face hot, dry conditions on Tuesday

2016-07-26 14:03:52

Firefighters in drought-hit California who are battling a 50-square-mile wildfire could be hampered by triple-digit heat, wind gusts up to 30 mph and low humidity on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. About 3,000 firefighters have been fighting to contain the so called Sand Fire on the rugged northwestern fringes of the Los Angeles National Forest since Friday. The blaze has killed one person, found in a burned-out car parked in a driveway, and destroyed at least 18 homes. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people were forced to evacuate but late on Monday, fire officials lifted the evacuation order for the majority of residents.The fire was just 10 percent contained on Monday evening as crews backed by bulldozers labored to hack buffer lines around its perimeter as it cast a pall of smoke and soot over a wide area. An air quality advisory was in effect in the area of the fire until Tuesday midnight local time after much of the Los Angeles basin was dusted with a thin layer of fine white ash from the fire over the weekend. Among the properties to go up in flames was the landmark Sable Ranch, a popular location for television and movie shoots. About 300 miles to the north, another fire ravaged a hilly area near the scenic coastal city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, churning through 16,100 acres (6,500 hectares) and destroying 20 homes, authorities said. The so-called Soberanes Fire, burning in the Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County, threatened 1,650 structures by Monday evening and was only 10 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said. The causes of the two fires were under investigation. They are among some 3,750 blazes large and small to have erupted across California since January, a higher-than-normal total, collectively scorching more than 200,000 acres (80,940 hectares), state fire officials said. The biggest so far was last month's Erskine Fire, which consumed 48,000 acres (19,429 hectares) northeast of Bakersfield, killing two people and destroying about 250 structures.By comparison, the 2003 Cedar Fire ranks as the biggest on record in the state, burning more than 273,000 acres (110,480 hectares) and killing 15 people. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Australian fastest in Rubik's cube championship, but European title goes to Germany

2016-07-18 16:38:35

PRAGUE Germany's Phillip Weyer became the European champion in speedcubing, or solving a Rubik's cube puzzle, in Prague on Sunday, reaching an average time of 7.88 seconds.Weyer in fact clocked just the second fastest time, behind Australian world champion Feliks Zemdegs, but won the European title because it goes to the best-placed European contender.Zemdegs, a world-record holder, averaged 7.07 seconds at the Prague event, which attracted over 500 participants.Weyer said it took years of hard work to get to the top."Practice, practice, practice," he said. "You don't get fast very fast so you have to practice a lot to (get) serious results. That's the only advice I can give."In the main category of the classic 3x3 cube, each competitor solves the cube five times, the fastest and slowest times are removed and then the average time is taken from the remaining three scores.  Euro 2016 was the 7th Rubik's Cube European Championship, and had 18 categories - including solving the cube blindfolded or only using the feet.Some categories - like the blindfold one - require special skills. "The speedcuber must remember the positions of 30 cubes and assemble them right, otherwise he has no chance in the competition. There is one guy here who can remember even 60 cubes," organizer Jaroslav Flejberk said.The organizers said over 400 million Rubik's cubes had been sold globally. (Reporting by Jiri Skacel; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

2016-07-12 02:54:08

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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