Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spotify Will Overtake iTunes In Two Years

Spotify now has 10 million signed-up users and 2.5 million paying subscribers. CEO Daniel Ek points out that subcribers pay £120 a year, whereas customers of iTunes store only pay £60 on average

Spotify Will Overtake iTunes In Two Years, Claims 'Social Network' Billionaire Sean Parker -- Daily Mail

* Streaming service is already number two after iTunes
* More than 10 million users after tie-up with Facebook
* Tech billionaire claims music companies will earn more throughSpotify

Music streaming service Spotify will overtake Apple's iTunes store within two years if it keeps growing at its current rate, claims Sean Parker, Facebook's first president.

The technology billionaire, famous from the film 'The Social Network', where he was played by Justin Timberlake, claims that music companies will earn more from Spotify than from Apple within two years.

He also poked fun at the slow speeds of Apple's download store, saying, 'The iTunes store, to this day, is so slow. I’m amazed.'

Read more ....

My Comment: He is probably right.

Want To Live Longer .... Make Friends

You Want To Live To 1,000? Start Making Friends -- The Guardian

Loneliness is the worst enemy for the health of old people.

This week, to a large and gripped audience, Professor Sarah Harper from the Oxford Institute of Ageing had just explained what societies of the future would look like. Then someone in the audience stood up and quoted gerontologist Aubrey de Grey: "The person who lives to be 1,000 has already been born."

To think of our children living into their 100s is, it seems, at the vanilla end of the ageing debate now. Conceivably, you could retire in your sixties, become transformed by stem cell regeneration or similar, go back to work at 100, work for another 800 years, and still have a really long retirement.

Read more ....

My Comment: Too many friends can age you also. :)

Smokers Likely to Quit Because of Social Disapproval

Smokers Likely to Quit Because of Social Disapproval, Not Fear -- Scit Tech Daily

A new study based in the UK shows that fear provoked by graphic images had no effect on smokers’ intentions to stop smoking and that smokers were more willing to consider quitting because of negative attitudes towards their habit.

In 2008 the United Kingdom became one of the first countries in Europe to make it mandatory for cigarette packets sold within the UK to display fear-provoking, graphic anti-smoking images, founded on the assumption that the use of fear is an effective method to encourage smokers to quit.

Read more ....

My Comment: I agree .... my brother and I were able to convince our dad to quit smoking.

An Insider's Look At The 'Climate Wars'

Michael Mann. CREDIT: Tom Cogill

The Hockey Stick Chronicles: An Insider's Look At The 'Climate Wars' -- Live Science

An Insider's Look At The 'Climate Wars'

Very few faces are as closely linked with the American debate over climate change as Michael Mann's. The Pennsylvania State University climate scientist is one of the authors of the famous "hockey stick" graph, a chart showing reconstructed temperature records stretching back 1,000 years. The graph swings upward sharply post-industrial revolution, looking a bit like the blade on a hockey stick.

Read more ....

My Comment: Another 'Live Science' promotion of someone who is adamant about global warming and man's involvement in it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Technological Advances Are Surpasing George Orwell's Vision Of 1984

A Sony internet TV: The rise of 'connected' devices in the home offers spies a window into people's lives - CIA director David Petraeus says the technologies will 'transform' surveillance

The CIA Wants To Spy On You Through Your TV: Agency Director Says It Will 'Transform' Surveillance -- Daily Mail

* Devices connected to internet leak information
* CIA director says these gadgets will 'transform clandestine tradecraft'
* Spies could watch thousands via supercomputers
* People 'bug' their own homes with web-connected devices

When people download a film from Netflix to a flatscreen, or turn on web radio, they could be alerting unwanted watchers to exactly what they are doing and where they are.

Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home - the rise of 'connected' gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people 'bug' their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus.

The CIA claims it will be able to 'read' these devices via the internet - and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home.

Read more

My Comment
: CIA Director Petraeus is right .... and we are the ones who are making it possible. So much for our privacy.

Is Cell Phone Radiation Linked To Behavior Problems?

Cell Phone Radiation Linked to Behavior Problems In Mice -- ABC News

A new study could re-ignite the debate over the potentially dangerous effects of cell phone radiation on children's behavior.

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine found that exposing pregnant mice to radiation from a cell phone affected the behavior of their offspring later. They found that the mice exposed to radiation as fetuses were more hyperactive, had more anxiety and poorer memory -- symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- than mice who were not exposed to radiation.

Read more

My Comment: Oh oh.

China Moves To Control Sina Weibo Social Network

The logo of Sina Corp's Chinese microblog website 'Weibo' Photo: REUTERS

China Moves To Control Sina Weibo Social Network With Real Names -- The Telegraph

Hundreds of millions of Chinese faced being silenced on the country's social networks, including Sina's Weibo, after the government brought in new rules to track people across the web.

Anyone wishing to post on one of China's networks, including the enormously popular Sina Weibo (way-bore), must now register with their real names, allowing the government to easily find them if they write anything contentious.

By Friday afternoon, only 19 million of the 250 million users of Sina Weibo had registered, according to a counter on the company's website. Later in the day, the counter was disabled and Sina did not respond to requests for updated figures.

Read more

My Comment: I can never understand government fears over privacy .... that they have to know who you even if you are a nobody with no influence or power.

Hundreds Of Elephants Slaughtered At African Wildlife Park

Hundreds Of Elephants Slaughtered At African Wildlife Park As Horseback-Riding Poachers Kill HALF The Population -- Daily Mail

* At least 200 elephants in Bouba N'Djida reserve killed since January
* 20 fresh carcasses found last week
* Demand from China driving ivory black market

These heartbreaking photos show the extent of an elephant slaughter in the troubled nation of Cameroon.

At least half the elephant population in Bouba N'Djida reserve have been slaughtered because the west African nation sent too few security forces to tackle poachers, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said on Thursday.

In what was described as one of the worst poaching massacres in decades, and at least 200 elephants have been killed for their tusks since January by poachers on horseback from Chad and Sudan.

Read more ....

My Comment: Disgusting.

Skydiver Leaps 13 Miles From The Edge Of Space At 354mph

To Infinity And Beyond! Skydiver Leaps 13 Miles From The Edge Of Space At 354mph (And It Takes Him Just 8 Minutes To Hit The Ground) -- Daily Mail/AP

Skydiving daredevil Felix Baumgartner is more than halfway toward his goal of setting a world record for the highest jump.

He's aiming for nearly 23 miles this summer. The record is 19.5 miles.

Mr Baumgartner lifted off Thursday for a test jump from Roswell, New Mexico, aboard a 100-foot helium balloon. He rode inside a pressurized capsule to 71,581 feet - 13.6 miles - and then jumped.

Read more ....

More News On Skydiving Daredevil Felix Baumgartner Leap From The Edge Of Space

Skydiver passes halfway point in quest to make highest jump -- MSNBC
Test jump from 71,581 feet sets up daredevil's outer-space plunge -- FOX News
Skydiver Makes Test Jump From 13 Miles Up -- Playbook/Wired
Skydiver jumps from 13 miles above Earth in test run for record attempt -- The Guardian
Skydiver Felix Baumgartner on track for super jump -- BBC
Skydiver falls from stratosphere in preparation for 'space jump' -- Christian Science Monitor
Austrian daredevil Baumgartner skydives from 71,581ft -- The Register
Skydiver plans to jump from 23 miles to Earth, breaking sound barrier --
Supersonic edge of space base jumper Felix Baumgartner completes Roswell test jump -- The Telegraph
Base jumper and skydiver Felix Baumgartner and his Red Bull Stratos challenge -- The Telegraph (Photo Blog)

Five Southern African Nations Have Agreed To Create The World’s Largest Conservation Area

Africa Treaty Creates World’s Largest Conservation Area -- Scotsman

FIVE Southern African nations have agreed to form the world’s largest international conservation area in an effort to protect nearly half of the continent’s elephants and a vast range of animals, birds and plants, many endangered by poaching and human encroachment.

At a ceremony in Namibia yesterday, government ministers from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe put their seals on a cross-border treaty set to combine 36 nature preserves and surrounding areas.

Read more ....

My Comment: It's about time.

Google Is Now Just An Ad Company

A former Engineering Director says that Google has changed from being 'a technology company to an advertising company'

'Google Is Now Just An Ad Company': Departing Exec's Goldman Sachs-Style Rant About How Search Giant Is Now Obsessed With Harvesting People's Private Information -- Daily Mail

* Google now wants to 'learn as much about people's private lives as possible'
* Company has 'stopped' being a technology company focused on innovation
* 'When Gmail displays ads based on things in my email it creeps me out'
* CEO Larry Page on 'mission' to beat Facebook

A former Google executive has lambasted his ex-employer in a Goldman Sachs-style rant this week - claiming that the search company has been turned into an 'ad company' obsessed with harvesting people's private information.

James Whittaker, a current Partner Development Manager at Microsoft and ex-Engineering Director at Google, posted the 1328-word attack on Google on his Microsoft blog this week.

'Perhaps Google is right,' writes Whittaker, 'Perhaps the future lies in learning as much about people’s personal lives as possible.

'The Google I was passionate about was a technology company. The Google I left was an advertising company.'

Read more ....

My Comment: It may just be an advertising company .... but damn .... it is a very rich advertising company.

Google Servers In The Dark

Google's new server farm in The Dalles, Oregon. Ted Blog

Super-Secret Google Builds Servers In The Dark -- Wired Science

Just how far will Google go to hide its custom-built data-center hardware from the rest of the world?

In one Silicon Valley data center, the company is apparently so paranoid about competitors catching a glimpse of its gear, it’s been known to keep its server cages in complete darkness, outfitting its technical staff like miners and sending them spelunking into the cages with lights on their heads.

Read more ....

My Comment: Maybe they want to save money on the electricity? :)

CIA Chief Muses Of A World Where Everything Is Watched

CIA Chief: We’ll Spy On You Through Your Dishwasher -- Danger Room

More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them.

Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”

Read more

My Comment: George Orwell's 1984 dos not even come close to this 'brave new world'.

The Ultimate Data Center Is Now Being Built For The NSA

The NSA Is Building The Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) -- Threat Level

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

Read more

My Comment:
Everything and anything that is communicated will probably be going through this data center .... and stored.

$2 billion to build it .... and God only knows how much to run it.

Ten Percent Never Delete Their eMail

One In Ten ‘Never Delete Email’ -- The Telegraph

A new study claims Britons are ‘digital hoarders’ who use their email inboxes to record their lives.

Larger inboxes and free email accounts mean that pressure to delete email has diminished rapidly in recent years. Although Google was the first to offer so-called ‘infinite’ storage for its Gmail accounts, all major providers now follow a similar approach.

Microsoft estimates that the average inbox will receive 14,600 emails in 2012. It says that consumers are opting in to received a growing number of newsletters, deals and updates, which it classifies as neither spam nor authentic email. The so-called ‘greymail’, makes up around 80 per cent of the average inbox. Newsletters alone have increased by 300 per cent in the last 12 months, the company claims.

Read more

My Comment:
I am one of those who is guilty in not deleting his mail (I do delete spam).

Red Meat Makes Me Happy

(Photo: Yuki Sugiura)

Red Meat Is An Englishman's Heritage -- The Telegraph

Oh dear. Once again scientists are blaming red meat for causing people to die prematurely. Actually, there seem to be two strands to Rebecca Smith's report, or, rather, two kinds of meat products are mentioned. On the one hand, you've got good old cured and processed meats – lovely smokey, salty, chewable favourites such as salami, saucisson, bacon and traditional British bangers. Those goodies have been picked on before, because of the preservative that they contain: sodium nitrite, which has two main actions: it stops the growth of the nasty bacterium clostridium botulinum, and it can bestow a nice "healthy" pink colour on preserved meats. It's not quite the same as saltpetre: that term usually refers to potassium nitrate.

Read more

My Comment: Sighhhh .... non-meat is not for me.

All Red Meat Is Bad For You

Eating any amount and any type of red meat increases the risk of premature death, a new study says. (William Thomas Cain / Getty Images / March 12, 2012)

All Red Meat Is Bad For You, New Study Says -- L.A. Times

A long-term study finds that eating any amount and any type increases the risk of premature death.

Eating red meat — any amount and any type — appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years.

For instance, adding just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat — picture a piece of steak no bigger than a deck of cards — to one's daily diet was associated with a 13% greater chance of dying during the course of the study.

Read more ....

My Comment:Damn .... and I love my cold cuts and barbeque steaks.

Russia's Space Program Plans Announced (Updated)

Image: NASA

Russia Plans Moon Base, Mars Network by 2030 -- Wired Science

Russia plans to send probes to Jupiter and Venus, land a network of unmanned stations on Mars and ferry Russian cosmonauts to the surface of the Moon — all by 2030. That’s according to a leaked document from the country’s space agency.

The cosmically ambitious plans were submitted to the government by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) this month, according to a report in the Kommersant, Russia’s business-focused daily newspaper.

Read more ....

More News On Russia's Moon Plans

Space Race 2: Russia 'will send man to the moon by 2030' -- Daily Mail
Russia aims to put a man on the moon by 2030 -- MSNBC/
Russia plans moon mission by 2030 -- The Age
Russia sets sights on Moon, Mars and beyond -- Sydney Morning Herald
Russia plans man on Moon and Mars landing by 2030 -- Digital Journal
Russia to finally send man to the Moon -- The Telegraph
Man on Moon & Mars landing: Russia space plans unveiled -- RT

Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Wireless' Message Using A Beam Of Neutrinos

A group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos – nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Rochester)

Researchers Send 'Wireless' Message Using A Beam Of Neutrinos -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2012) — A group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos -- nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light. The message was sent through 240 meters of stone and said simply, "Neutrino."

"Using neutrinos, it would be possible to communicate between any two points on Earth without using satellites or cables," said Dan Stancil, professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research. "Neutrino communication systems would be much more complicated than today's systems, but may have important strategic uses."

Read more ....

My Comment: Talk about expanding the communications grid.

Update On Woolly Mammoth Cloning

Woolly Mammoth Recreation Wikimedia Commons

Russian and Korean Researchers Will Inject Mammoth DNA Into Elephant Eggs, Resurrecting 10,000-Year-Old Beast -- Popular Science

First a plant from the past sprouted new life — now researchers in Russia and South Korea are moving forward with a plan to resurrect the Ice Age woolly mammoth. Scientists in both countries inked a deal Tuesday to share technology and research that could lead to the birth of a mammoth clone, gestated in a surrogate Indian elephant mother.

Read more

My Comment:
I look forward to the day when they can bring back the dinosaurs .... now that would be incredible.

Encyclopedia Britannica Ending Their Print Version (Updated)

Lamenting The Loss Of A Print Icon -- CNN

(CNN) -- Ronnie Oldham could sell encyclopedias. He was named National Rookie of the Month in 1988 for his ability to push the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He was so good, he once sold a set to a blind man.

Oldham learned the importance of brand identity, market leadership and customer appreciation as a traveling salesman for the famed company. He also knew how to close a deal.

"You had to produce, or you were gone."

It's been about 20 years since he last sold one of the iconic sets. The information age had dawned in the 1990s, and Oldham "saw the handwriting on the wall." He bolted.

Read more

Previous Post: Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops The Print Edition After More Than 200 Years

More News On Encyclopedia Britannica Ending Their Print Version

Encyclopedia Britannica ends print, goes digital -- Reuters
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print run -- L.A. times
Encyclopedia Britannica ceases to exist -- in print -- L.A. Times
The Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print --
The dull but dependable Encyclopaedia Britannica bows to the digital facts of life -- The Telegraph
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends its famous print edition -- BBC
Encyclopaedia Britannica: After 244 years in print, only digital copies sold -- Christian Science Monitor
Encyclopaedia Britannica Is Dead, Long Live Encyclopaedia Britannica -- Fast Company
A bittersweet bye-bye to Britannica -- CNN Money
Encyclopaedia Britannica Goes Out of Print, Won't Be Missed -- The Atlantic
Encyclopedia Britannica puts an end to print publishing -- Christian Science Monitor
Loving Encyclopaedia Britannica -- Robert Wright, The Atlantic
Britannica Print Edition Kicks the Bucket, So Is Wikipedia Our New Lord and Master? -- Time
Death of the Salesmen: Britannica's Former Door-to-Door Sellers Reminisce -- Wall Street Journal

The Most Stunning Google Earth Pictures As Voted For By You

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Plane graveyard: Scrapped jets line the dry and dusty ground in Arizona

Oh What A Wonderful World! The Most Stunning Google Earth Pictures As Voted For By You -- The Daily Mail

A website which combines Google Earth with a simple ratings system allows users to find the most beautiful or unusual places on our planet.

Stratocam, designed by ex-Dreamworks and Google employee Paul Rademacher, takes the outstanding aerial photography employed by the search engine's mapping service and allows visitors to his site to up-vote or down-vote user-submitted 'finds'.

The photographs are randomly selected from 'snapshots' taken by users, and after a few clicks it becomes apparent just how varied, pretty, and colourful our little blue-green marble is.

Read more ....

My Comment: The Eiffel Tower looks cool.

Tracing The Moon's History In A 3 Minute Video

Watch The Moon Evolve In 3 Minutes -- MSNBC

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has traced the moon's early history as well as the latest trash left behind by moonwalkers, and now the team behind the mission has created a video smashing 4.5 billion years of the moon's existence into less than three minutes.

"Evolution of the Moon," released to mark LRO's first thousand days in orbit, starts just after the moon's congealment into a ball of molten rock, and guides you through the giant blast that formed the South Pole-Aitken Basin, through the pummeling known as the Heavy Bombardment, right through the hail of debris that resulted in the cratered satellite we all know and love.

Read more

More News On NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Tracing The Moon's History

Incredible Nasa video shows 4.5 BILLION years of the moon's history in just three minutes - with enormous asteroids sculpting the pitted surface we see from Earth -- Daily Mail
NASA video shows the moon's 4.5 billion year evolution -- FOX News
How the moon came to look like cheese -- The Telegraph
NASA unveils video history of the moon -- USA Today
Moon History: NASA Video Shows Volcanoes, Meteorite Impacts That Made Craters (VIDEO) -- Huffington Post
The Moon’s history of violence -- Discover News
Video: The Evolution of the Moon in Three Minutes -- Popular Science

Take A Tour Of The Moon (Video)

Meditation Strengthens The Brain

Cortical Surface Shown is the lateral view of the right cortical surface. The red circle indicates where the maximum effect occurred. Top: Larger gyrification in 50 long-term meditators compared to 50 well-matched controls. Bottom: Positive correlations between gyrification and the number of meditation years within the 50 meditators. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)

Evidence Builds That Meditation Strengthens The Brain -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2012) — Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.

Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. Further, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, possibly providing further proof of the brain's neuroplasticity, or ability to adapt to environmental changes.

Read more

My Comment: I have always had the altitude that doing anything that involves the higher cortical parts of the brain .... playing music, chess, etc. .... will strengthen the brain.

The Key to Using Methane as a Clean Energy Source

Scientists are looking at how to sequester carbon produced by burning methane in an ice-like state

Methane Hydrate Cages, The Key to Using Methane as a Clean Energy Source? -- SciTech Daily

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are researching ways to use methane as a clean energy source by capturing the CO2 byproduct in an ice-like state. The researchers are using SNAP to look at the molecular level relationship between methane and water to better understand how hydrocarbons are taken up and released in the environment.

Imagine a robot sent out on the prowl on this energy hungry planet looking for methane, the principal component of what we call “natural gas” and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth.

Read more

My Comment:
Faster please.

The Navy’s Firefighting Robot

Meet The Navy’s Firefighting Robot -- Defense Tech

This is wild. We’ve been writing a ton about robots and drones lately because, well, it seems that the pace at which they’re becoming a fundamental part of warfare increases with each month.

Whenever we hear about Navy drones we tend to think of underwater robots or things like the Fire Scout chopper. The Navy Research Lab s working on a humanoid shipboard robot that would be sent in to fight fires on ships.

Read more ....

Chinese Fossils May Be New Human Species

A view of a skull from the Red Deer Cave People. Researchers found the species had unique features seen neither in modern nor known archaic lineages of humans. CREDIT: Darren Curnoe

Mysterious Chinese Fossils May Be New Human Species -- Live Science

Mysterious fossils of what may be a previously unknown type of human have been uncovered in caves in China, ones that possess a highly unusual mix of bygone and modern human features, scientists reveal.

Surprisingly, the fossils are only between 11,500 and 14,500 years old. That means they would have shared the landscape with modern humans when China's earliest farmers were first appearing.

Read more ....

My Comment: We will have to wait for the DNA tests, but this discovery is surprising.

Disease Outbreaks Are Rising For Imported Food

Imported-Food Outbreaks Rise, CDC Says -- Wall Street Journal

Outbreaks of illness linked to imported food have risen since the late 1990s, casting a spotlight on federal inspection standards for fish, produce and other foods brought in from abroad.

The 39 outbreaks from imported food reported between 2005 and 2010 represent a small fraction of total cases of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella or E. coli, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Wednesday. But the rise in imported-food outbreaks—mostly from fish and spices—highlights gaps in the food-safety system that a sweeping new law is intended to address.

CDC researchers found 6.5 outbreaks from foreign foods a year, on average, between 2005 and 2010—more than double the average of 2.7 outbreaks annually between 1998 and 2004.

Of the 39 outbreaks between 2005 and 2010, nearly half—17—occurred in 2009 and 2010.

Read more ....

My Comment: Damn .... and I like Chinese food.

Ocean-Crossing Robots Reach Hawaii

The Wave Glider from Below Liquid Robotics

Ocean-Crossing Robots Reach Hawaii, Setting a New Distance Record -- Popular Science

The four Wave Glider robots that set out from San Francisco in November on an unprecedented robotic crossing of the Pacific have arrived at the big island of Hawaii for a quick systems check-up. Their arrival marks the shattering of the world distance record for unmanned wave powered vehicles, as the PacX Wave Gliders, built by California-based Liquid Robotics, have now traveled 3,200 nautical miles (that’s more like 3,700 normal, in-your-car miles)--and that’s just a third of the total 9,000 nautical miles they will cover in their journeys.

Read more ....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Will Aircraft Carrier Crews Guide In Robot Planes?

Video: Aircraft Carrier Crews Guide In Robot Planes With Visible Hand Gestures -- Popular Science

Landing airplanes on moving ships is no mean feat, but this will be especially true when the airplanes are unmanned. Along with making decisions, autonomous airplanes will have to heed their human counterparts during aircraft carrier takeoff and landing — but can a robot read and understand arm-waving signals?

Read more ....

My Comment: Hmmmm .... what happens if the operator coughs while directing an unmanned plane?

Bombs vs Bunkers

A B-52 releases a MOP during a weapons test.
U.S. Department of Defense

Bombs vs Bunkers In A Potential Iran Attack -- Popular Mechanics

The possibility of an Iran attack highlights the latest arms race: The United States trying to build new bunker-busting weapons while Iran buries its nuclear labs deep underground to try to avoid possible U.S. (or Israeli) bombs.

The United States and Iran have engaged in a war of words over their military capabilities in the last few weeks. But if an actual war breaks out, it will not be a war of U.S. bombs versus Iranian bombs, but of U.S. bombs versus Iran's bunkers.

Read more

My Comment: The last sentence of this article is what caught my eye ....

.... Bombing those facilities would have huge consequences for the surrounding area, Cirincione argues. "We have never experienced such bombings in history," he says. "Up until now, they have been considered beyond the pale."

Indeed .... I guess the times are-a-changing.

Apple 'iPad Mini' Is Planned

Apple 'iPad Mini' Is Planned, Samsung Official Tells Korea Times -- L.A. Times

The rumor of Apple developing a smaller-screen "iPad Mini" is sticky. It won't go away. It seems not to want to die or be forgotten.

It's akin to stepping into a wad of melting gum on a burning Arizona summer sidewalk that leaves dirty remnants behind, even after you've cleaned it off, because that gum slid itself into the caverns between the grooved tread on the sole of your sneakers.

Read more ....

My Comment: I guess this will be between an iPod and an iPad

Human: Contagion: Is a Killer Virus Out There? (Video)

The Best Pic Of The Apollo 11 Moonwalks Published

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
March 14, 2012 -- The clearest view yet of the famous Apollo 11 landing site on the moon was captured by a NASA spacecraft in orbit around our planet's natural satellite.

Most Detailed View Yet of the Apollo 11 Moonwalks: Big Pic -- Discovery News

The agency's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) zeroed in on Mare Tranquillitatis, or the Sea of Tranquility -- the place where humans first touched down on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. The new image from LRO captures amazing details of the historic site, even revealing the remnants of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first steps on the moon.

Read more

Why 'Warp Drive' May Not Be Feasible

The findings of a new study spell bad news for anybody at the warp drive destination. Credit: iStockPhoto

Warp Drive Could Be A Doomsday Weapon -- Cosmos

SYDNEY: The search for the holy grail of intergalactic travel has encountered a slight hitch, say Australian scientists.

Recent research predicts that upon reaching its destination, the theoretical Alcubierre warp drive – a speculative idea proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994 by which a spacecraft could be accelerated to speeds greater than the speed of light - would unleash a high energy cocktail of particles and radiation, blasting anyone in its path “into oblivion”.

Read more ....

My Comment: No warp drive .... say it ain't so.

Boeing's Phantom Eye Takes Flight

The Phantom Eye goes for a ride.
(Credit: NASA)

Boeing's Phantom Eye Goes For A Low Ride -- CNET

Someday the Phantom Eye will soar at 65,000 feet. For now, Boeing's excited just to see it go four-wheeling on the desert floor.

The hydrogen-powered unmanned aircraft earlier this month took a modest, ground-level spin at Edwards Air Force Base in its first medium-speed taxi test, Boeing said today. Nestled on its launch cart system, the Phantom Eye traveled some 4,000 feet at speeds of up to 30 knots in a trip that lasted less than two minutes. (In the air, it's expected to have a maximum speed of 200 knots.)

Read more

More News On Boeing's Phantom Eye

Boeing Phantom Eye Conducts Medium-speed Taxi Test -- Defpro
Hydrogen-powered plane completes taxi test -- UPI
Phantom Eye enters taxi tests -- Flight Global
Boing Phantom Eye Hydrogen-Powered UAV [Video] -- Auto Evolution

Russia Will Finally Send A Man To The Moon

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Jr fulfilled John F. Kennedy’s promise to reach the Moon by the end of the decade, landing there on July 20, 1969, with NASA’s Apollo 11 Photo: Reuters

Russia To Finally Send Man To The Moon -- The Telegraph

Russia will send a team of cosmonauts to the Moon, 60 years after Neil Armstrong’s Apollo mission effectively ended the US-Soviet space race.

A spacecraft will “conduct a demonstrative manned circumlunar test flight with the subsequent landing of cosmonauts on [the Moon’s] surface and their return to Earth” by 2030, according to a leaked strategy document from Russia’s space agency, Roskosmos.

Moscow has periodically announced ambitious plans for space exploration in recent years, but this is the first time a firm deadline has been set for a manned lunar mission.

Read more

My Comment: Better late than never.

Is Google Losing It's Mojo?

Is Google+ an asset or a distraction?
(Credit: Screenshot by Ben Parr/CNET)

Has Google Lost Its Magic? -- CNet

Google's empire is under direct assault from Facebook. Its big weapons -- Search, AdWords, and AdSense -- are not as potent as they once were, thanks to the rise of social media.

This frightens Google immensely. Facebook is now the Web's top destination, and it's quickly becoming the platform that powers the Web. It even threatens Google's core advertising business. If Facebook were to ever launch a social version of AdSense, it could snap up advertisers and cause a serious disruption to Google's cash cow.

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My Comment: They still control and dominate search .... and their business plan is still sound.

The Secret To Smarter Computers?

Scientists think adding a baby's imaginative powers and all-around braininess to computers would make these machines smarter and more human. CREDIT: Aphichart | Shutterstock

Baby Brains May Be The Secret To Smarter Computers -- Live Science

Cognitive scientists hope to bottle up a baby's brain — and the imagination and air of possibility that comes with it — and use the result to make computers smarter.

"Children are the greatest learning machines in the universe," Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said in a statement. "Imagine if computers could learn as much and as quickly as they do," said Gopnik, author of the books "The Scientist in the Crib" (William Morrow, 2000) and "The Philosophical Baby" (Picador, 2010).

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My Comment: A unique and different way to look at making computers "smarter".

Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops The Print Edition After More Than 200 Years

A set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the shelves of the New York Public Library. Ángel Franco/The New York Times

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses -- New York Times

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

More News On Encyclopaedia Britannica Ending It's Print Edition

Digital Kills Printed Encyclopaedia Britannica After 244 Years -- Wall Street Journal
Encyclopaedia Britannica announces final entry for print edition, continues in digital form -- Washington Post/AP
Closing the Book: Encyclopedia Britannica Goes All Digital -- Time
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print, goes digital -- Reuters
Encyclopaedia Britannica to end print editions -- FOX News
Encyclopaedia Britannica halts print edition, goes digital only -- L.A. Times
Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books -- CNN
Encyclopaedia Brittanica stops publishing print version, goes digital-only -- Globe And Mail
Encyclopaedia Britannica stops printing after more than 200 years -- The Telegraph
Encyclopaedia Britannica Ends 244-Year-Old Print Edition -- Bloomberg
Encyclopaedia Britannica drops print and goes digital only -- CNET
Your tome is up... Encyclopedia Britannica ends its print edition after 244 years as it fully embraces digital age -- Daily Mail
Factbox: Britannica goes totally digital -- Chicago Tribune/Reuters

DARPA Wants Swarms of Cheap And Disposable Satellites

SeeMe Satellites The SeeMe program would give warfighters the ability to receive timely imagery of their specific overseas location directly from a small satellite, all at the press of a button. DARPA

DARPA Wants Swarms of Cheap, Disposable Satellites That Take Pictures On Demand -- Popular Science

Warfighters have plenty of eyes in the sky, with a massive drone fleet and a satellite network that can spot their locations on the ground. But satellites are only helpful when they’re overhead, and battlefield situations can’t wait for orbital physics. To solve this problem, DARPA wants a swarm of cheap satellites nestled between the big ones up above and the aerial drones down below. The satellite swarm would be positioned in tactical orbits and able to send a space-based image back to any individual who wants a picture.

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My Comment: This is taking surveillance and reconnaissance to an entirely different level.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Robot In Every Home Within The Decade?

Simon the Robot, created in the lab of Andrea Thomaz (School of Interactive Computing), learns a new task from a participant in a study seeking to determine the best questions a robot learner can ask to facilitate smooth human-robot interaction. (Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology)

Teach Your Robot Well -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2012) — Within a decade, personal robots could become as common in U.S. homes as any other major appliance, and many if not most of these machines will be able to perform innumerable tasks not explicitly imagined by their manufacturers. This opens up a wider world of personal robotics, in which machines are doing anything their owners can program them to do -- without actually being programmers.

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My Comment: I think we are still far away from having 'crude personal robots' in our homes .... but we will one day get there.

Location Of Lost Leonardo Da Vinci Painting Found?

Threading the endoscope into the Vasari wall to find signs of the lost Leonardo painting "The Battle of Anghiari" in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio. (Credit: Dave Yoder)

Data Support Theory On Location Of Lost Leonardo Da Vinci Painting -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2012) — Evidence uncovered during research conducted in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio late last year appears to support the theory that a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting existed on the east wall of the Hall of the 500, behind Giorgio Vasari's mural "The Battle of Marciano." The data supporting the theoretical location of the da Vinci painting "The Battle of Anghiari" was obtained through the use of an endoscopic probe that was inserted through the wall on which the Vasari fresco was painted. The probe was fitted with a camera and allowed a team of researchers, led by scientist Maurizio Seracini, to see what was behind the Vasari and gather samples for further testing.

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My Comment: Why did someone cover over a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece? I guess there are some mysteries that we will never know.

How Yahoo Weaponized My Work

A Patent Lie: How Yahoo Weaponized My Work -- Epicentre

While most of the tech world was partying at South by Southwest in Austin yesterday, Yahoo announced it was filing a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly infringing on 10 patents from their 1,000+ patent warehouse.

I’m no fan of Facebook, but this is a deplorable move. It’s nothing less than extortion, expertly timed during the SEC-mandated quiet period before Facebook’s IPO. It’s an attack on invention and the hacker ethic.

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My Comment:
Lawyers and patent law .... not a good place to be if you are the target, and right now Facebook is the target..

Close Encounter Between Jupiter And Venus Dazzles Amateur Astronomers

Jupiter And Venus Conjunction Dazzles Amateur Astronomers -- The Telegraph

Jupiter and Venus last night appeared next to each other in the night sky in a display that delighted amateur astronomers.

The planets are 450 million miles apart in space, but because they are aligned in the same direction from Earth they last night appeared just three degrees apart.

They were visible towards the West just after sunset and before the stars appeared. They will appear bright and relatively close over the next few weeks, and will be most visible in rural areas where there is less light pollution.

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South Korean And Russian Scientists Agree To Try And Clone A Mammoth

A near-perfect frozen mammoth resurfaces after 40,000 years, bearing clues to a great vanished species. National Geographic

South Korean And Russian Scientists Bid To Clone Mammoth -- The Telegraph

Russian and South Korean scientists signed a deal on Tuesday on joint research intended to recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago.

The deal was signed by Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, and controversial cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

Hwang was a national hero until some of his research into creating human stem cells was found in 2006 to have been faked. But his work in creating Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, in 2005, has been verified by experts.

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My Comment: I wish them luck.

Live World-Wide Earthquake​s Map

CSN Editor: The following web page gives an up-to-date report of earthquake incidences around the world. The link to the website is here.

Google 'To Unveil Seven-Inch iPad Rival' In May

Asus's hit EEEPad - the tablet maker is said to be developing a seven-inch tablet in collaboration with Google which would carry both Asus and Google branding

Google 'To Unveil Seven-Inch iPad Rival' In May - And Android Tablet Could Cost As Little As £130 -- Daily Mail

* Built to play music and video from Google's Play store
* Seven-inch Android device to compete with Kindle Fire
* Apple rumoured to be working on 'iPad Mini'

Google is to unveil a smaller, cheaper Android rival to Apple's iPad as early as May - made in partnership with tablet-maker Asus.

The tablet could sell for as little as £130, and will have a seven-inch screen, according to a leak reported in Digitimes.

The device would be a competitor to Amazon's Kindle Fire - and like Fire, would be built to sell content such as video and music via Google's own online store.

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My Comment: You got to love the competition and the market choice that is now happening.

Astronauts' Eyeballs Deformed By Long Missions In Space

Astronaut Leroy Chiao performs an ultrasound examination of the eye on Salizhan Sharipov aboard the space station. Brain and eye problems have surfaced in astronauts who spent more than a month in space. Discovery News

Long Space Missions 'May Damage Eyesight' -- BBC

The eyes and brains of astronauts who have spent long periods of time in orbit can develop abnormalities, new research has suggested.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 27 spacefarers found effects similar to those that can occur in intracranial hypertension, which results in a build up of pressure within the skull.

The concern would be that astronauts could suffer eyesight problems.

The study is reported in the Journal of Radiology.

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More News On How Space Missions May Damage Eyesight

Space travel 'may damage eyesight', brain study shows -- FOX News
Spaceflight may harm astronauts' vision, study finds -- MSNBC/
Eye Problems Common in Astronauts -- Discovery News
Astronauts' eyeballs deformed by long missions in space, study finds -- The Guardian
Astronauts show brain and eye abnormalities -- TG Daily
Astronaut brain scans spark space flight fears -- Sydney Morning Herald
Space flight linked to eye, brain problems -- CBC
Is long-term space travel really possible? Scans on astonauts reveal serious damage to eyes and brains -- Daily Mail
Zero Gravity Can Cause Brain Abnormalities in Astronauts -- Epoch Times

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Universal Translator Becomes Reality

William Shatner as James T Kirk: The new device is similar to the Universal Translator used in Star Trek, and takes around one hour to get used to a person's voice then works by comparing the words that have been recorded with stock models for the target language

Star Trek Becomes Reality As Microsoft 'Universal Translator' Turns Spoken English Into Any Of 26 Different Languages -- Daily Mail

* Software speaks in user's own voice
* Can translate into languages from Spanish to Mandarin
* Speaks smoothly in sentences, not individual words
* Could be built into smartphone language apps

It has long been used by James T Kirk to speak to aliens and blue women from space - but now Microsoft is on the brink of making a real, working Universal Translator.

Frank Soong and Rick Rashid have created software which converts English language speech into any of 26 foreign languages - and which 'speaks' in the user's own voice.

All the user has to do is speak English into the machine and it will convert it into anything from Spanish to Mandarin.

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My Comment:
I am traveling this summer .... so faster please.

Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard

Image from Wikipedia

Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard -- Forbes

“He’d ensure the safety of his ship and his crew
And then complete the mission
And make himself a better person
Bring peace to the galaxy
And do it for free
Oh yeah, that’s what Captain Picard would do.”

– from “What Would Captain Picard Do?” by Hank Green

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the model of a great 24th Century Starfleet captain. On his watch, the crew of the Enterprise successfully defended humanity against the judgement of the Q-Continuum, defeated the Borg, prevented the Romulans from installing a puppet government in the Klingon Empire, and encountered countless new species.

Although Captain Picard’s style was very different from Captain Kirk’s, he was also an incredibly successful leader. Here are five lessons in leadership that can take away from Picard’s voyages as you take your organization on its journey to boldly go where no one has gone before.

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My Comment: No disagreements from me on this list.

Apple's New iPad: 10 Things You Should Do When You Take It Out Of The Box

Apple's New iPad: 10 Things You Should Do After Breaking It Out Of The Box -- eWeek

Apple’s new iPad is launching March 16. But according to the latest reports, Apple’s tablet has already sold out of its preorders, and those hoping to get their hands on the device on launch day will have little to no chance of it. Demand is so high for Apple’s new iPad that the company doesn’t anticipate having a new supply available to customers for two to three weeks after its launch.

But for all those who will be lucky enough to get their hands on the new iPad at launch day, it might be a good time to provide a refresher on what they should do to ensure the device is ready to go as soon as it’s home. From the simple, like applying the Smart Cover, to the more complex, like setting up iTunes, there are a host of things that new iPad buyers must know before they break the device out of the box.

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My Comment: Yup .... these 10 points are valid.