1:55pm

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Microsoft Gives Hotmail A Facelift, Says It Will Transition It To Outlook

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 6:00 am

The new Outlook is incorporated with other services like Skype.
Microsoft

Microsoft announced that Hotmail — the email service with 324 million users — will transition into a web and more social version of Microsoft's Outlook.

Reuters reports that Microsoft made the announcement, as they showed off their free web version of the email program it is renowned for.

Reuters adds:

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1:10pm

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Deal Struck To Avoid Possibility Of Government Shutdown In October

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced on Tuesday an agreement to avoid a government shutdown shortly before the November election," The Hill writes. "He said he, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Obama have all agreed to the deal."

Boehner confirmed the news in an email his staff just sent to reporters:

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11:58am

Tue July 31, 2012
The Torch

U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Wins Gold Medal; First In 16 Years

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 4:35 pm

Young Skywalker: Gabby Douglas helped solidify the U.S. women's team grip on gymnastics gold. The Americans beat Russia and Romania.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

The U.S. women's gymnastics team has won the team gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, handily beating Russia, which took silver, and Romania, which took bronze. China finished fourth.

Update at 2:25 p.m. EDT: The U.S. women led off with their strength — the vault. The apparatus gives them an advantage, and not only because Maroney is the world champion and gold-medal favorite in the event.

The AP describes why:

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11:39am

Tue July 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Chooses San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro As Convention Keynoter

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 2:29 pm

In what now looks like practice for the big show to come, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro gives the keynote address at the Texas Democratic Convention in Houston on June 8.
Pat Sullivan AP

Get used to hearing the name Julian Castro. You're likely to be coming across it a lot in coming days and perhaps beyond.

President Obama chose Castro, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

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11:28am

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Dying Man's Wish To Leave $500 Tip Turns Into Nearly $50,000 Charity

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 8:13 am

Aaron Collins, who wanted to leave a big tip.
Facebook.com/AaronsLastWish

This good-news story began on July 9 with a blog post simply titled "My Brother."

Aaron Collins, wrote his brother Seth, "was the type of person that took great joy in unexpected kindness." And before his July 7 death, the nearly 30-year-old Aaron had made a request:

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11:26am

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Online Poker Companies Strike Deal With Justice, Will Reimburse U.S. Customers

Federal prosecutors shut down the three most popular online poker sites Friday.
iStockphoto.com

Pokerstars, an online gambling site, says that it has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in which it has agreed pay the government $547 million over three years, part of which will be used to reimburse customers of the site Full Tilt Poker.

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11:25am

Tue July 31, 2012
The Torch

London 2012 Lives Up To 'Social Games' Title, In Unwelcome Ways

The London Games have lived up to their hype as the first truly "social" Olympics. But social media like Twitter have also brought embarrassments, and even an arrest.
NPR

The London 2012 Games have been touted as the first Olympics to live fully in the age of social media. After all, the organization's Twitter feed has nearly 1.4 million followers, as it lists on its special portal for Facebook and other social sites. But a rash of scandals and news related to Twitter has put a new mark on the face of these games. And, as they say, it ain't pretty.

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11:14am

Tue July 31, 2012
Fresh Air Interviews

Facing The Fiscal Cliff: Congress' Next Showdown

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 10:35 pm

Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

In December, Congress is poised for another showdown on the deficit and taxes. If Congress doesn't act, 2013 will mark the end to Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for a dozen years, and the beginning of automatic cuts to domestic and defense programs that would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says the combination of higher taxes and deep spending cuts could create a 4 percent reduction in economic output, a number big enough to throw the country into another recession.

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11:14am

Tue July 31, 2012
Music

Boban i Marko Markovic: Irresistible Party Music

Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar performs onstage in 2008.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

A dozen years ago, if someone told me that one of the liveliest, most inventive party albums of the year would come from a band originally associated with wedding celebrations and beer festivals, I would have been all, "Yeah, sure, you bet." If it was further explained that the band's roots were much closer to polka than rock, funk or hip-hop, I would have responded, "Don't push it." But nowadays, I'm familiar with the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, whose retrospective Golden Horns will lighten the heart and lift the feet as surely as anything you'll hear in 2012.

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10:19am

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Julián Castro, San Antonio Mayor, Will Deliver Democratic Convention Keynote

Mayor Julian Castro his daughter Carina, 2, and wife Erica (background) greet supporters at his campaign headquarters in 2011.
EDWARD A. ORNELAS AP

Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, will become the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at Democratic National Convention.

Castro, 37, is scheduled to speak Sept. 4 to open the convention, a slot usually reserved to showcase promising politicians.

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