Friday, July 27, 2012

Free Internet For 7 Years From Google

Google Is Now America’s Most Awesome ISP -- Geek Mom

Kansas City is about half an hour from my house, taunting me with fast download speeds.

After a summer of waiting, Google finally emerged with details on their new Kansas City Fiber network. The price for Google Internet starts at free. That’s right, for the $300 installation fee, Google will give you free Internet at “today’s speeds” for at least 7 years. If you’re used to thinking of these speeds as fast, take a gander at this comparison and then imagine seven years of technology innovation.

Read more ....

My Comment: Where can I sign up?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rimac Concept One Electric Supercar

Only 88 Rimac Concept Ones will be made, costing $1 million apiece

Rimac $1 Million Electric Supercar Debuts -- The Telegraph

Rimac's $1 million, 190mph Concept One electric supercar is heading to London.

The Rimac Concept One electric supercar makes its debut at the Salon Privé supercar show and concours d'élégance, which takes place from September 5 to 7 at Syon Park in west London.

Only 88 of the Croatian cars will be produced, each costing $1 million. The team behind the Rimac Concept One includes former Pinifarina designers and leatherworkers from Bulgarian company Vilner, among others.

Read more ....

My Comment: The car definitely has a sleek design.

Printing Weapons At Home

3-D Printed Gun. HaveBlue

A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer -- Popular Science

Making weapons at home just got much easier.

Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" (incidentally, "Have Blue" is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.

Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

Read more

My Comment:
I had to do a double-take when I first read this story. But you cannot help but be impressed with the realization that as the tech gets better .... and better materials are developed (and used) to make these products more stronger and durable .... anything then becomes possible.

Building A UK Flagship

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
'Lust for adventure': An artist's impression of the proposed UK flagship, which is gathering growing support from senior ministers

Flagship Shows The Nation's Lust For Adventure: Ministers Salute Mail's Plan For Iconic Vessel -- Daily Mail

* Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Education Secretary Michael Gove among MPs behind privately-funded project

Crucially, the 650ft, four-masted UK Flagship will not be funded by taxpayers’ money, instead drawing on donations from businesses, philanthropists and the public.

Mr Clegg said: ‘This is directly in line with Britain’s proud naval tradition which stretches back hundreds of years. Our country has always been at the forefront of trade, exploration and scientific research and the UK Flagship can help us to continue to be so.

Read more

My Comment: Impressive .... and at 650 ft .... a big boat.

Incan Mummy Frozen After Human Sacrifice Still Has Infection In Lungs After 500 Years

Maiden of the mountain: A 500-year-old frozen Incan mummy known as was suffering from a bacterial infection when she died - and being able to 'diagnose' the disease could lead to new insights into diseases of the past

Incan Mummy Frozen After Human Sacrifice Still Has Infection In Lungs After 500 Years - Giving New Insight Into Diseases Of The Past -- Daily Mail

* First time infection has been diagnosed in ancient body
* New technique could be used to study diseases such as Spanish flu
* Could be used to prevent re-emergence of deadly diseases of past
* Study on 500-year-old mummy frozen on Argentinean volcano

A 500-year-old frozen Incan mummy known as 'The Maiden' was suffering from a bacterial infection when she died - and being able to 'diagnose' the disease could lead to new insights into diseases of the past.

The discovery could help defend against new illnesses - or the re-emergence of diseases of the past.

The mummy was suffering from an illness similar to tuberculosis when she was sacrificed on the Argentinian volcano Llullaillaco, 22,100 feet above sea level.

Read more

My Comment:
This is the first time that an illness has been diagnosed in an ancient body .... now that is impressive.

An Aids Cure?

Two More Men With HIV Now Virus-Free. Is This A Cure? -- NBC

Two men unlucky enough to get both HIV and cancer have been seemingly cleared of the virus, raising hope that science may yet find a way to cure for the infection that causes AIDS, 30 years into the epidemic.

The researchers are cautious in declaring the two men cured, but more than two years after receiving bone marrow transplants, HIV can't be detected anywhere in their bodies. These two new cases are reminiscent of the so-called "Berlin patient," the only person known to have been cured of infection from the human immunodeficiency virus.

Read more ....

My Comment:
They are getting there .... albeit slowly.

Captain Morgan's Treasure

The Underwater Archaeologists Searching For Captain Morgan -- Popular Science

Off the coast of Panama, a team of archaeologists uncovers a ship that may have belonged to one of the most famous pirates who ever lived.

So this is what a pirate's sword feels like.

I wrap my hands around the straight iron blade. It's probably a 17th-century rapier, I'm told, but it'd hard to know for sure. The handle is missing, and though I can see and feel its fuller groove, a layer of sea shells and some sort of hardened concretion cover the blade's finer details. "That's either calcium carbonate or coralline," Texas State University archaeologist Fritz Hanselmann tells me as he takes the blade and places it in a makeshift holder his crew had just MacGyvered from a metal CD rack, rebar, and scraps of a yoga mat.

Read more

My Comment:
Not a story about rum .... but definitely a story about a rum company helping to boost it's brand.

Attack Of The Vampire Sun!

Vampire star! New research using data from ESO¿s Very Large Telescope has revealed close binaries transfer mass from one star to another, a kind of stellar vampirism depicted in this artist's impression

Attack Of The Vampire Sun! Astronomers Spot Binary System Where One Star Sucks The Life Out Of Another -- Daily Mail

The Universe is a diverse place, and many stars are quite unlike the Sun.

Now an international team has used the Very Large Telescope in Chile to study what are known as O-type stars, which have very high temperature, mass and brightness.

These stars have short and violent lives and play a key role in the evolution of galaxies. They are also linked to extreme phenomena such as 'vampire stars', where a smaller companion star sucks matter off the surface of its larger neighbour.

Read more ....

Absorbent Paint Could Soak Up Chemical Weapons

U.S. Army M1A1 Abrams tank. U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons

Absorbent Paint Could Soak Up Chemical Weapons, Protecting Vehicle Occupants From Deadly Gas -- Popular Science

Syria’s regime announced for the first time this week that it has chemical weapons, and stands ready to use them if attacked. A new type of paint could potentially guard against it, protecting tanks and armored vehicles with a special chemical-absorbing topcoat.

Scientists at the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, like a British DARPA, worked with a company called AkzoNobel to develop the paint. It contains super absorbent silica gel, the same stuff that comes in those little bead-packets inside new shoeboxes and bags. The material can absorb chemicals, like maybe nerve gas, before they could reach a vehicle’s interior.

Read more ....

My Comment: A simple but effective counter-measure. This is smart.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There Goes The Paperwork As Tablets Now Rule In The White House

President Obama Wants Smartphones, Tablets To Improve Intel Monitoring -- Aol Defense

WASHINGTON: When the Presidential Daily Briefing occurs, a top intelligence official traditionally hands the president a folder with a sheaf of paper inside. The president may read what's inside or have it presented by the intelligence official. Then comes question time, when the chief executive and commander in chief can ask how reliable a source is or question the assumptions of an analysis he's just read.

But that will change. The president and his top officials want and will get a single mobile device allowing them to access highly classified and unclassified data wherever they are. The early fruits of the intelligence community's early efforts to do that are visible in the photo above. It shows President Obama in the Oval Office on January 31 using a technically neutered tablet as part of the Presidential Daily Briefing.

Read more

My Comment
: I still prefer paper .... but digital is what the young (including this President) now want.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How The Next Great Pandemic Will Be Spread

When Contagion Strikes, It's Honolulu You Should Avoid -- The Guardian

MIT researchers have analysed which airport hubs would be key to spreading a virulent disease, with some surprising results

When the next outbreak of Sars or Swine flu hits, New York's John F Kennedy airport and Los Angeles's airports will likely be the key spreaders of disease, according to a new study. But while the influence of these super-hubs may not come as much of a surprise, the third most outbreak-friendly airport in the states is far smaller, and far less obvious – Honolulu International.

In a paper published Monday in the journal PLoS One, a team of researchers from MIT outlined a new computer model that predicts how the 40 largest American airports may contribute to the diffusion of contagious disease within the first few days of a potential epidemic.

Read more ....

My Comment: Scary stuff when you think of the worst case scenario.

iPhone 5 In Production

iPhone 5 mockup.
(Credit: Overdrive Design)

iPhone 5 Production BeginsIin Shanghai, Says Report -- CNet

Pegatron has begun production of the iPhone 5, adding to the growing number of reports claiming that iPhone production lines are humming.

iPhone 5 production reports are rolling in from Asia with more frequency. This time, a Taipei-based report claims that Pegatron has started making the next iPhone.

The Taiwan-based manufacturer has begun production of a new version of the iPhone at its factory in Shanghai, according to Digitimes, citing "industry sources in Taiwan."

This follows a week-earlier report claiming basically the same thing -- though that report did not specify the manufacturer.

Read more

My Comment:
It looks very sleek.

Are Dolphins Math Geniuses?

Dolphins May Be Maths Geniuses -- ABC News (Australia)

Dolphins may use complex nonlinear maths when hunting, according to a new study that suggests they could be far more skilled than was ever thought possible before.

Inspiration for the new study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society A, came after lead author Tim Leighton watched an episode of the Discovery Channel's Blue Planet series and saw dolphins blowing multiple tiny bubbles around prey as they hunted.

Read more ....

My Comment: They have been around longer than modern man .... it looks like they have their act together.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Invasion Of The Super-Yachts For The London Olympics

Octopus, the £130m super-yacht of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, enters South Dock in the Canary Wharf the weekend before the games begin.

Invasion Of The Super-Yachts: They've Got Swimming Pools, Helipads And Even A Mini-Submarine. How The World's Mega-Rich Are Turning London Into A Floating Olympic Playground -- Daily Mail

This could be Monaco, or an exclusive resort on the Med as the world’s most lavish superyachts jostle for space. Their perfectly scrubbed decks bristle with security guards, while hot tubs bubble and helipads wink at the sky.

This is the playground of billionaires, oligarchs and A-list celebs. There are rumours that Roman Abramovich’s sumptuous $1billion boat will arrive tomorrow.

At 557ft, the Russian tycoon’s Eclipse is the largest private yacht in the world. It has two swimming pools, two helipads, a dedicated disco hall, 30 cabins, a cinema, a mini-submarine, and even its own missile defence system. Abramovich’s master suite is armour-plated and protected by bullet-proof windows and a laser system designed to dazzle long-lens photographers.

Read more ....

My Comment: I know that this is not a science story .... but I love beautiful yachts. Here is an easy prediction .... the best Olympic parties will be on these yachts.

The Ultimate Space Station Video?

The world below: Time-lapse photographer Knate Myers painstakingly stuck together thousands of still images from the Space Station to create perhaps the most beautiful video ever captured from the orbiting craft

Is This The Ultimate Space Station Video? Fan Compiles Thousands Of Time-Lapse Shots Into Haunting Tour Over Our World, 240 Miles Up -- Daily Mail

Time-lapse photographer Knate Myers painstakingly stuck together thousands of still images from the Space Station to create perhaps the most beautiful video ever captured from the orbiting craft.

The images capture the world hurtling past beneath and the stars forming kaleidoscopes as the Space Station tumbles past.

'All credit goes to the crews on board the ISS,' says Myers, a photographer from Albuquerque.

Read more ....

My Comment: Beautiful.

First American Woman In Space, Sally Ride Dies At 61

Astronaut Sally Ride monitors control panels from the pilot's chair on the flight deck of the space shuttle Challenger during her historic space mission in 1983. Floating in front of her is a flight procedures notebook. Ride died on Monday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Nasa/Reuters

First American Woman In Space, Sally Ride, Dies At 61 -- MSNBC

Former astronaut loses 17-month battle against cancer; hailed as role model.

The first American woman to go into space, Sally Ride, died Monday after a 17-month battle against pancreatic cancer, her company said.

Ride made history in 1983 as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger, breaking the gender barrier for U.S. spaceflight. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963, but it took another 20 years for NASA to follow suit.

Read more ....

More News On The Death Of Sally Ride

Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, dies at 61 after battling cancer -- Daily Mail
Sally Ride, first American woman to fly in space, dies of cancer at age 61 -- Washington Post
Sally Ride, first American woman in space, dies -- CNet
Sally Ride, Trailblazing Astronaut, Dies at 61 -- New York Times
Astronaut Sally Ride 'broke barriers with grace and professionalism,' says NASA -- Christian Science Monitor
Sally Ride Dead; First American Woman in Space Was 61 -- ABC News
Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, dies aged 61 -- BBC

The Heroic Story Of Four Navy SEAL 'Musclemen' Who Brought Apollo 11 Astronauts Home

Tall order: Navy SEAL John Wolfram, center, was supposed to lasso a high-tech bucking bronco and attach an underwater parachute - called a sea anchor - to stop the drifting capsule

The Extraordinary Untold Story Of Four Navy SEAL 'Musclemen' Who Brought Apollo 11 Astronauts Home -- Daily Mail

When thinking back to the Apollo 11 mission, the things that immediately come to mind are Neil Armstrong’s inspiring first words broadcast from the moon and the lasting image of the crew planting a U.S. flag on the dusty lunar surface.

However, very few people nowadays remember a four-person team of courageous Navy SEALs who had made the astronauts’ safe return possible 43 years ago.

Read more ....

My Comment: They must have been in fantastic shape to do what they did.

Who Really Invented The Internet?

Xerox PARC headquarters.

Who Really Invented The Internet? -- Gordon Crovitz, Wall Street Journal

Contrary to legend, it wasn't the federal government, and the Internet had nothing to do with maintaining communications during a war.

A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."

It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet. The myth is that the Pentagon created the Internet to keep its communications lines up even in a nuclear strike. The truth is a more interesting story about how innovation happens—and about how hard it is to build successful technology companies even once the government gets out of the way.

Read more ....

My Comment
: I recall reading in the 1980s an autobiography on Steve Jobs where he was boasting that many of his ideas (the use of the mouse, the mac, ethernet, etc.) .... all came came from Xerox Parc. As for Darpa's contribution to the internet .... they did a lot and have been credited for it .... but it is Xerox Parc that did the heavy lifting.

Drug-Resistant HIV Increasing In Sub-Saharan Africa

Monitoring of patients helps in detecting drug resistance

Drug-Resistant HIV 'On Increase' In Sub-Saharan Africa -- BBC

Drug-resistant HIV has been increasing in parts of sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade, according to experts writing in the Lancet.

Studies on 26,000 untreated HIV-positive people in developing countries were reviewed by the team.

They said resistance could build up if people fail to stick to drug regimes, and because monitoring could be poor.

A UK HIV organisation said resistance was a serious problem in Africa where alternative treatments were lacking.

Read more ....

My Comment: People failing to stick to drug regimes is probably the number one cause.

Watch The Entire Firefly 10 Year Reunion Panel

My Comment
: 10 years already .... wow.

Clever Shark

Watch A Clever Shark Suck Heaps Of Fish Right Out Of A Fisherman’s Net -- io9

Why go to all the trouble of chasing down schools of tasty fish when fishermen have conveniently gathered them up inside one location? This bold shark decides to help itself to a a stolen snack, sucked right out of a fisherman's net.

Mark Erdmann of Conservation International discovered that whale sharks in Indonesia's Cendrawasih Bay have taken to swimming about the fishermen's lift nets and have figured out how to suck the silverside baitfish right out of the holes. The fishermen don't typically kill the sharks, deeming them to be good luck, but they are looking to design new nets that the sharks can't use as an all-you-can-eat buffet. [via Neatorama]

Read more ....

A Future Military Plane?

Batman’s Got A Brand New Plane -- Popular Mechanics

Batman’s fleet of incredible vehicles gets a new addition in The Dark Knight Rises: A plane called the Bat. Production designer Nathan Crowley and special effects coordinator Chris Corbould talk about using real-life military vehicles as inspiration and how they made the Bat fly.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies begin in the director’s garage. "We always get into a film by designing the vehicle," production designer Nathan Crowley says. For The Dark Knight Rises, out July 20, Nolan wanted Batman to add an aircraft to his fleet. "I like jump jets and Chris likes the Osprey," Crowley says. "So we said, okay, let’s try and mix the two and make the craft look like the Batmobile."

Read more ....

My Comment: A future military plane .... no .... just in our dreams.

Could Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Cause UV Damage To Your Skin?

CFL Bulb. Wikimedia Commons

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Could Cause Ultraviolet Damage to Skin -- Popular Science

We know CFL bulbs are world-changingly efficient, producing the same level of light as their incandescent parents while using a quarter of the energy. But they're still a relatively new device, and few long-term studies have been carried out on them. One of the most recent, a new report from a team at Stony Brook, suggests CFLs might cause damage to skin by releasing UV rays.

Read more ....

My Comment: Personally .... I hate CFBs. My eyes do not like the light. As to what long-term studies may reveal .... do not be surprised if more abnormalities are discovered.

Amazing New Pictures Show Nasa's Enterprise Space Shuttle In Its New Home

Space Shuttle Enterprise is the centrepiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's new Space Shuttle Pavilion

The End Of A Very Long Journey: Amazing New Pictures Show Nasa's Enterprise Space Shuttle In Its New Home As It Finally Goes On Public Display In New York -- Daily Mail

It has flown over Manhattan on a jumbo jet, floated down the Hudson river on a barge and even had a close up view of the Statue of Liberty.

From today, the space shuttle Enterprise, a prototype created in 1976, is finally becoming a New York attraction itself.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum has installed the space shuttle on the runway of the aircraft carrier "Intrepid," a museum facility docked at a pier on Manhattan's West Side.

From today, the public will finally be able to see Nasa's prototype shuttle up close for the first time inside a specially constructed inflatable dome.

Read more

My Comment: I rather se these shuttles flying .... but such is the state of NASA today .... in short ... in a museum.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Look At One Of The World's Top Cyber Sleuths

Eugene Kaspersky

Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals -- Danger Room

It’s early February in Cancun, Mexico. A group of 60 or so financial analysts, reporters, diplomats, and cybersecurity specialists shake off the previous night’s tequila and file into a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. At the front of the room, a giant screen shows a globe targeted by crosshairs. Cancun is in the center of the bull’s-eye.

A ruddy-faced, unshaven man bounds onstage. Wearing a wrinkled white polo shirt with a pair of red sunglasses perched on his head, he looks more like a beach bum who’s lost his way than a business executive. In fact, he’s one of Russia’s richest men—the CEO of what is arguably the most important Internet security company in the world. His name is Eugene Kaspersky, and he paid for almost everyone in the audience to come here. “Buenos dias,” he says in a throaty Russian accent, as he apologizes for missing the previous night’s boozy activities. Over the past 72 hours, Kaspersky explains, he flew from Mexico to Germany and back to take part in another conference. “Kissinger, McCain, presidents, government ministers” were all there, he says. “I have panel. Left of me, minister of defense of Italy. Right of me, former head of CIA. I’m like, ‘Whoa, colleagues.’”

Read more

My Comment: Eugene Kaspersky also has a great blog .... it is here.

Artificial Jellyfish Created In Lab

The silicon jellyfish can mimic swimming movements thanks to muscle cells from rat hearts implanted onto it. Photo: Harvard University and Caltech

Artificial Jellyfish Created In Lab From Rat Cells -- The Telegraph

An artificial jellyfish which is able to swim with the help of beating heart muscle cells has been created by scientists.

The tentacled artificial creature, made from silicon, has been dubbed "Medusoid" because of its resemblance to the snake-haired character from Greek mythology whose gaze turned people to stone.

It is able to mimic the swimming movement of a jellyfish thanks to muscle cells from rat hearts which were implanted onto its silicon frame and grown into a pattern similar to the muscles of a real jellyfish.

By applying an electric current to a container of conducting liquid, the scientists demonstrated they could "shock" the muscles into contracting so that it began to move through the water.

Read more ....

'Minority Report' Software Coming Soon

An employee demonstrates the use of a data glove to navigate a map on a computer screen at Los Angeles-based software company Oblong Industries' offices in Washington in June 2012. The software behind the film "Minority Report" -- where Tom Cruise speeds through video on a large screen using only hand gestures -- is making its way into the real world.

'Minority Report' Software Hits The Real World -- France24/AFP

he software behind the film "Minority Report" -- where Tom Cruise speeds through video on a large screen using only hand gestures -- is making its way into the real world.

The interface developed by scientist John Underkoffler has been commercialized by the Los Angeles firm Oblong Industries as a way to sift through massive amounts of video and other data.

And yes, the software can be used by law enforcement and intelligence services. But no, it is not the "pre-crime" detection program illustrated in the 2002 Steven Spielberg sci-fi film.

Read more

My Comment: Just thinking of the game applications that are now possible is enough to make me salivate.

Google Wants To Fight Against International Crime Groups

'I'm Feeling Lucky': Google Turns Its Search Powers To Hunting Down The World's Most Wanted -- Daily Mail

* 'Google Ideas' think tank working with international groups
* Google technology to be used to fight crime

Google's engine is the most powerful search tool ever created - and now the Californian giant aims to use its powers for good

Instead of just finding kitten videos, Google aims to use its technologies to crack through the cyber defences of international crime.

Google is working with international crime organisations to find 'back doors' into international gangs of terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.

Read more ....

My Comment:
Google is getting ambitious. Not surprising .... Google is also short on specifics on how they are going to do this.