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NBA Live 08 goes international August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets.
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Electronic Arts, and FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, today announced a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring the FIBA World Championship to a videogame for the first time ever.

Basketball fans will soon be able to expand their virtual basketball experience to include teams from all over the world. NBA Live 08, shipping this October, will feature eight international teams, including 2006 World Championship winners Spain, runners up Greece and USA, as well as France, Germany, Italy, Argentina and China. 

All eight international teams are available in Play Now mode, as well as the all new FIBA World Championship Mode that allows players to compete in an eight team single elimination tournament. Choose from the authentic rosters, teams, and uniforms of each international team, and prove to the world that they have what it takes to win the title.

“We’re very excited to count FIBA as a close partner,” said Jordan Edelstein, Director of Product Marketing, EA Sports.  “Adding the FIBA World Championship license to the NBA Live franchise, allows us at EA Sports to add a new layer of authenticity to the franchise, giving fans all over the world a deeper virtual basketball experience.”

NBA Live 08 hits the shelves this October for all major game systems.

Bob Mobile launched in Greece August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Technology, Telecoms.
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Bob Mobile AG successfully built and launched it’s own Multimedia Technology platform. First services run stable on the new platform in the Netherlands and in Greece.

Multimedia platform TOM (Transport Ordering Management) leads to additional sales and technical possibilities, cost savings as well as larger flexibility and control, leading to higher quality of Bob Mobile services. By the end of the year the Bob Mobile services in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Greece will be fully migrated to the own platform.

The substantial advantages of the own platform are >

  • Support of Future oriented application and technology functionalities: iPod, mobile video on demand, mobile advertising and many more
  • Increased flexibility, enabling Bob Mobile to launch services faster with a shorter time to market
  • Substantial cost savings on monthly running as well as on project costs
  • Quality improvement by better tools and control.

Platform TOM has modules for payments (premium sms, operator CDR’s, credit card, web-payments), for connectivity (operators and connectivity providers) as well as a complete content management system including reporting tools. After extensive tests the platform is running stable and is live in the Netherlands for four weeks now and since this week also in Greece. Migration of the other countries and services will follow until the end of the year. Because of TOM, Bob Mobile will have a significant increase of revenue and income potential.

Related Links > www.bobmobile.ag and www.bobmobile.de

Food for the Greek gods August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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New York’s Greek scene gets a fancy-pants makeover > Every so often in NYC, a down-home cuisine gets an uptown makeover

Now, modern Greek chefs are aiming to elevating the traditional to an art form. Restaurants like Anthos, 36 W. 52nd St., where star chef Michael Psilakis is freshening Aegean fare with inventive dishes like swordfish with Cypriot sausage and baby octopus, are experimenting with classic flavors and twisting the expected in delicious new ways.

New this summer to Psilakis’ menu are the sublime swordfish sliders he’s making for lunch. Made of ground swordfish belly mixed with fennel, mustard seeds and coriander, the bite-size patties sit on a brioche bun with zucchini tzatziki sauce and green tomato compote.

“The explosion of modern Greek food stems from an emphasis on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet,” says Psilakis. “There have been studies that Greek is the healthiest.”

While figs are still in season, order the refreshing fig martini at Ovelia, 34-01 30th Ave., Astoria, a lively corner spot. The signature dish: garides Ovelia, six jumbo shrimp wrapped in roasted eggplant, topped with feta cheese that’s been lightly blackened from broiling.

Cavernous Thalassa, 179 Franklin St., prepares striking food equal to its dramatic old-warehouse setting. Maine diver scallops are wrapped in shredded phyllo dough, and dressed with sheep’s milk butter. For dessert: homemade fig ice cream.

“It is not surprising that diners are seeking a ‘haute Hellenic’ experience,” says Sofia Zilo, Thalassa’s general manager.

Even in Astoria, a former landmark taverna has been reborn as Christos Steak House, 41-08 23rd Ave., and there, the classic steak au poivre comes with a sauce spiked with Metaxa, the worldwide famous Greek brandy.

At cozy Kellari, 19 W. 44th St., chef Gregory Zapanti dresses up a traditional fish like red snapper with a pistachio and feta crust. On top: a balsamic lime vinaigrette.

Periyali, 35 W. 20th St., was a pioneer in upscale Greek cuisine when it opened 20 years ago. Today chef James Henderson is turning wintry lamb into a light summer meal: lamb tenderloin gets dressed with arugula and Kalamata olive vinaigrette.

Diane Kochilas, the consulting chef at Pylos, 128 E. Seventh St., is among the trend’s leaders. She turns traditional hoirini brizola Pylos into something unique by marinating double-cut pork chops in a sweet sauce, then stuffing them with feta and olives.

At Agnanti Meze, 78-02 Fifth Ave., Bay Ridge, there’s one appetizer you won’t find anywhere else: Spartan kayianas are scrambled eggs with chopped tomatoes, pieces of orange peel, and smoked ham cured in orange juice.

Sounds crazy, but turns out delicious. With Greek food, the opportunity for innovation is built in. “Greek food is simple,” says Ioannis Giannakis, chef and owner of Ovelia. “Which allows chefs to introduce new flavors and techniques, ultimately modernizing the cuisine.”

Euripides tragedy at Epidaurus ancient theater August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Athens Festival, Stage & Theater.
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‘Iphigenia in Tauris’ a Cyprus Theater Organization production at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus

In Euripides’ tragedy the title character, obliged to perform human sacrifices in a foreign land, is about to sacrifice her own brother unaware of his true identity.

The Cyprus Theater Organization (THOC), whose continuous activity now spans 35 years, returns to the Epidaurus Ancient Theater for the 25th successive year with a staging of Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Tauris” tonight and tomorrow.

Through his version of this classic tragedy, Euripides opted for a different conclusion to the myth of the House of Atreus, an exceedingly unfortunate family descended from and persecuted by the gods. Euripides seems to have been dissatisfied with the Aeschylean compromise reached in “Eumenides” and opted to return to an older myth concerning Iphigenia, that of the Taurean Artemis, with its matriarchal roots.

“To deal with the work of Euripides is to undertake an exercise in dialectic thought. The ancient Greek enlightenment, with its questioning of facts, constitutes the primary tool for the closest possible examination of the Euripidean landscape,” noted Yiannis Margaritis, the production’s director. “Euripides presents the need for the coexistence of opposites, the need for balance between old and new, ‘barbarian’ and ‘civilized,’ in a different way. The cycle of bloodshed will end in the utopia of complete acceptance, or with the complete acceptance of utopia,” Margaritis continued.

THOC’s production was translated by K.H. Myris. The music was composed by Thanos Mikroutsikos. The set was designed by Andy Bargilly. Cast members include Stella Fyrogeni as Iphigenia, Achilleas Grammatikopoulos as Pylades, Antonis Katsaris as Thoas, and Neoklis Neokleous as Orestes. On stage at 9 p.m.on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets at the Athens Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3272000 as well as the Herod Atticus Theater box office, near the Acropolis metro station.

An art festival with an ecological angle August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Festivals.
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A newly established cultural event begins in Laconia

A newly established, three-day festival which starts tomorrow in Laconia in the southern Peloponnese brings together the area’s natural environment and cultural history with contemporary art.

“LACONIA: ARTHUMANATURE TOPOS 2007” is the first environmental art festival held in Greece and is planned as an annual event whose goal is to create an international forum for issues related to art and the environment. Through this annual venture, the idea is also to boost tourism and the local economy and to create an institution that will gradually unify and help coordinate the various cultural events that are held throughout different parts of Laconia. The event has been organized by the Prefectural Administration of Laconia and the Organization for Cultural Development.

At the festival, Greek and international artists are invited to create site-specific works inspired by the area’s environment and culture. Italian artist Marco Bagnoli, known for his site-specific projects organized at landmarks such as the Villa de Medici in Florence, has prepared an art installation that will expand through the city of Sparta. The park bench is the installation’s main motif.

Artist Steven Antonakos has designed a public, site-specific installation at one of Sparta’s central buildings. Costas Varotsos alludes to the Byzantine period of the region’s history in an open-air installation.

The three-day festival will also include an ecological project designed by Moreno Gentili that is related to the Evrotas River, a concert by pianist Umberto Petrin, a dance performance, the artist belongs to the Sinequanon contemporary dance company, a presentation of Giuglio De Mitri’s sculpture and an exhibition on the work of photographer Vangelis Kyris. Also participating are Vitantonio Russo and the poet Aldo Roda.

The broader context for all events is the festival’s special tribute to the great German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986). A conference on his work and performances inspired by his art have been scheduled.

Besides Sparta, festival events will also be held in the Municipalities of Inounda which organizes the Annual Olive and Oil Festival and the Municipality of Geronthrenes, home to Geraki, an area with important historical sites. Panos Papadolias is the curator and Lucrezia De Domizio together with Baronessa Durini have been appointed curators for this year. Professor Anotion D’Avossa is the event’s artistic director. The festival begins tomorrow and will run through the weekend.

For more information > www.festivaloflakonia.com

Greece’s Youths ready for Europeans August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Greece’s U-18 basketball team begins quest in Spain today; coach has faith in squad

Greece begins its competition in the men’s Under-18 European Basketball Championships today against Israel in a Group B game. Sixteen teams, divided into four groups, have qualified for the finals in Spain.

“Our preparations went well. Eleven of the 12 players who traveled to Spain have been with the squad from the very first day of preparations, on June 25 in Naoussa,” said Greece coach Nikos Kerameas.

The squad’s final addition, Costas Koufos, the Under-18 team’s only member currently playing abroad, with Ohio State University in the USA, joined the Greek team a little over a week ago.

“We did well in some of the friendly games, but areas of concern that needed to be overcome showed up in other games, and our game was inconsistent. But I think we’re ready to give it our best in Madrid,” Kerameas remarked.

Assessing the field of competition, he included Greece among the teams likely to figure prominently, along with Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Serbia and Lithuania.

“Our primary objective is to begin with victories on the first stage, in our group games against Israel, Bulgaria and Turkey, which is one of the tournament’s strongest sides,” said Kerameas.

Commenting on Koufos, Greece’s late addition, the National Team coach said certain difficulties regarding his adjustment needed to be overcome.

“His addition is definitely positive. There were difficulties for the youngster, especially with adjusting to European standards and new conditions,” said Kerameas. “Costas is a positive element for the the team, he is making every effort every day at our training sessions, and it’s very important that his teammates have accepted him. From the beginning, he has shown that he feels like part of the team. He wanted to be here. The team’s overall mood is good and the players have developed into a bunch of friends, which makes me happy, because you can work more effectively this way.”

Following today’s opening game against Israel, Greece is scheduled to play Bulgaria tomorrow. The National Team plays its final group game against Turkey on Sunday.

Group A comprises Italy, Latvia, Estonia, and France. Romania, Spain, Russia and Serbia have been drawn into Group C. Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, and Lithuania make up Group D.

Greece’s senior men’s team, the reigning European Champion, will begin the defense of its title next month, also in Spain, where the Eurobasket tournament is scheduled for September 3 to 16.

The Greek senior team, crowned European Champion for the second time in Belgrade two summers ago, followed up the feat with a silver medal at last year’s World Championships, losing to Spain in the final after overcoming the USA in the semifinals to get there.

Ivanschitz to miss new season’s start August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Panathinaikos’s Austrian international Andreas Ivanschitz will miss the beginning of the upcoming season as a result of a knee injury suffered during a friendly game against FC Lausanne earlier this week, the Athens soccer club has reported.

andreas_ivanschitz.jpg  The 23-year-old attacking midfielder, who was forced to leave the pitch on the halfhour mark in Panathinaikos’s 2-0 win over FC Lausanne, will remain out of action for two months after rupturing ligaments in his right knee.

The 29-time Austrian international and captain of the national team, who joined Panathinaikos last season from Salzburg to quickly establish himself as a key member of the Athens club, will consequently miss the Greek season’s opener later this month against archrival and defending champion Olympiakos. Panathinaikos will also have to do without Ivanschitz for early UEFA Cup play.

Coach Jose Peseiro will be forced to try other options for his left flank of the midfield. At this stage, Sotiris Leontiou, whose pre-season form has been solid, rates as the likeliest choice.

In other developments at Panathinaikos, Nigerian central defender Joseph Enakarhire signed a one-year deal yesterday, the Greek club announced. Enakarhire, who made his debut with Nigeria in 2002 and represented his country at the 2004 African Nations Cup, spent last season with French club Bordeaux, on loan from Dynamo Moscow.