Business, Enterprise

Death by Blackberry?

Recent suicides by France Telecom workers are being indirectly blamed on stress caused by an overwhelming volume of emails and tweets. The warning flag has been hoisted. Incessant connectivity in the modern age is driving people crazy. Addiction to the "crackberry," a newly coined term for the popular smartphone, is ruling people?s lives, pushing them over the brink. Isolated teenagers who communicate only with their thumbs become alienated from society, by never having human contact. Dependent solely on their smartphones for companionship, such isolation can result in suicide. This alarm is raised by a man responsible for the welfare of their eternal souls, the Archbishop

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Entertainment, Hardware

Skiing with computers

Winter is almost upon us and time to start thinking "snow". While living in the French Alps, Richard Kirby, then an engineer and product manager for Hewlett Packard, took his expertise to the slopes. Because of Kirby?s melding of science and sports, serious skiers can improve their racing form by attaching a small computer to their skis. The marriage of computers and snow led to the vLink Racing Computer which has been used by elite US ski team members during training to analyze their line. vLink Racing Computer – Long story short: optical telemetry for improving your ski performance An optical lens is mounted in a

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Entertainment

Tourism gets a boost from augmented reality

iTacitus uses global positioning technology, image recognition software, and user preferences to give travelers a planning and learning tool – all on their mobile device. Named after Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, the application was conceived to provide more enjoyment of cultural sightseeing. Augmented reality (AR) content stored on a central server is served up to the user who snaps a photo of the historical or cultural site. Luke Speller is a senior researcher in the United Kingdom at BMT who oversaw development of the technology. He says that visitors "are even able to visualize, in real time, how [places] looked at different stages in

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Audio/Video

Earth texts planet Gliese 581-d with Hallo messages

In conjunction with Australia?s National Science week, that country?s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, with NASA?s cooperation, will send 160 character, Twitter-like messages into space. Their target is Gliese 581-d, an exoplanet (one that orbits other stars) in the constellation Libra about 20.3 light years away from Earth. Planet Gliese 581-d, Picture credit: ESO 2007 The Gliese 581 planetary system has 4 known planets. The one designated as "d" is the most likely, according to recent determinations, to be habitable [even though the "581-c" is also high on the list]. While the planet is orbiting its red star every 66.8 days, Canberra will try to

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Audio/Video, Entertainment

The Twitter Meteorwatch – socializing among the stars

Shooting stars will be matched by shooting tweets during the peak of the Perseids meteor shower beginning Tuesday evening, August 11th until the morning of August 13th, 2009. The Twitter event is part of the celebration of the IYA2009 – International Year of Astronomy 2009. The spectacle is the result of an celestial event in 1992, when the comet Swift-Tuttle passed by Earth. Shooting stars, as meteors are commonly called, are shed from the comet?s tail as icy debris. The streaks of light occur when small particles enter the Earth?s atmosphere at high speed and disintegrate. Fifty to eighty meteors an hour are expected to

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Auto, Business, VR World

Muscle cars, collector cars, now GM is selling new cars on eBay

GM is partnering with eBay Motors to sell new cars – yes, this time the premature July announcement has reached fruition. That false start has been given the gas, and as of August 11, you can buy a brand new Chevy or GMC on eBay. Back in 2008, almost 4,000 auto dealers who sold GM?s Certified Used Cars started listing their inventories on eBay Motors, radically altering the used car business. The “New 2009 GM” is hoping to alter the new car business now as well. Today, looking at the GM site you can only find individual Summer Savings ads for Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer, GMC

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Business

Target to ditch Amazon, will open its own e-store

Target, at the onset of its on-line sales, turned to Amazon.com as the vehicle of choice to handle orders. That era will end in 2011 when their contract expires. Target [or "Tarjay", as sophisticated shoppers refer to it] is heading into e-commerce waters with its own platform. The company with the red bullseye logo isn?t the only large retailer to jump off Amazon’s ship. Toys "R" Us, the kid store, and Borders, the book store, are paddling their own canoe already, after leaving the Amazon fold.   As IT departments get a handle on controlling purchasing, tracking inventory and shipping, and managing the transfer of

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Business, Hardware, Software Programs

Intel?s new twist, developing software and hardware

At the Intel Technology Summit, the chip company highlighted its latest incursion into the computer arena. No, it?s not a newer, faster, SOC. It is an entire system: software and hardware. Apparently, Intel thinks adding a different paddle to its rowboat may help it stay afloat in a saturated market. Intel’s Health Guide – FDA approved guide for personalized care management With their FDA approved Health Guide, Intel is branching out into the medical arena. Why? The baby boomers are rapidly reaching the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) stage of life. As they age, their chronic illnesses will need to be addressed. And statistics

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Business

Better late than never – Twitter 101 User Guide for business

Twitter is still trying to woo businesses to its platform. What has become the 140 character social networking phenomena, is finding it necessary to explain itself to the business community in the form of a user guide. Something in line with Twitter for Dummies, Twitter 101 is an on-line description by the company itself of its own application, its terminology, purpose, and potential use in the business world.   Years past, Business 101 taught us proper communication skills. The formal business letter had exacting rules starting with the salutation, Dear Sir or Madam. Next came the body of the letter with proper spelling and punctuation.

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Business

Offshoring i.e. Overseas outsourcing – is it a good idea?

Lately, outsourcing to offshore vendors has become a popular trend in IT departments. Cheap labor often is cited as the reason. You may reduce the outlay for employee benefits, but you must ask yourself if there is truly a benefit to your company in the long run? Some great engineering schools in far flung countries are turning out graduates with technical skills to rival the best. Offshore vendors are prolific in Brazil, China, Russia, Ukraine, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Vietnam. However, dealing with vendors from another country isn?t a piece of cake. You need to find one that understands and applies good business principles

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Audio/Video, Business

How Lowry Digital is saving our history for a digital future

Lowry Digital transformed Marlon Brando?s The Godfather, Richard Burton?s The Robe, and now Buzz Aldrin?s 1969 moon walk into modern viewing formats. Using constantly evolving moving image technology, the film restoration company is working magic on memories, and milestones. The principals of Lowry Digital, John D. Lowry and Michael Inchalik, have been saving old films from extinction for over 30 years. John Lowry has patents for motion image processing technology. He designed the Image Transform system that was used to clean and enhance the TV pictures received on earth from the moon during the later Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 lunar landings. Now, his company

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Business

Singer, dancer, illusionist…inventor? Michael Jackson?s patent

Michael Jackson, although not the originator of the idea, holds the patent on specially designed footwear. No, these aren?t the Moon Walk spats. This footgear is the secret behind his gravity defying 45 degree angle stance on stage. The patent application explained that: "In the past, a professional entertainer, one of the inventors herein, has incorporated dance steps in his recorded video performances, wherein he and other dancers would lean forward beyond their center of gravity, thereby creating an impressive visual effect. This effect was accomplished by the use of cables connecting a harness around the dancer’s waist with hooks on a stage ? since

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Audio/Video

Cool it! Sun?s heat is deflected by glass microspheres

"Hyperglass" is a paint that lowers the heat absorbed from the sun. Typically applied to the roof of a building, it keeps the surface around 40-60 degrees less than that of an asphalt roof, using ambient air as a guideline. The formula was developed by Ronald R. Savin, who holds multiple patents. His Hyperglass is the first paint formulated with hollow glass ?microspheres? suspended in a specialized white Teflon paint. This product won him yet another patent. His idea is timely, since a Nobel Prize winner in physics, the US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, would like to see all roofs painted white to promote energy savings.

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Business, Technology Security

Facebook in trouble in Canada

An investigation of Facebook began due to complaints by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa. Thursday, Canada?s privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, announced: "We found serious privacy gaps in the way the site operates." The flack relates to Facebook not deleting personal information of people who have closed their accounts. The social networking application?s account settings lets users deactivate their accounts, but doesn?t show how to delete them, which would remove personal information from the site. Facebook defended itself saying that customers who deactivated their accounts often reactivated them, according to Reuters. The investigation looked at 11 different

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Audio/Video

Shocking! China bans electroshock treatment of Internet addicts

Electric shock treatment at the Internet Addiction Treatment Center at Linyi Mental Hospital may be ending. The Center is one of several addiction treatment centers in China. Generally, their clients are youngsters who are unable to stay off the internet, to the detriment of their studies and family life. Most of the young patients were forceably sent to the eastern Shandong province hospital?s treatment program for shock therapy according to China Youth Daily, a renowned Chinese news source. This hospital?s addiction program runs for four months and includes psychotropic drugs, electric shock therapy, and isolation from outside contact. The shock therapy is an aversion technique

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Software Programs

Intel and Gangplank join to hold Developer Ignite in Phoenix

Intel is presenting Developer Ignite, an event where software developers get together and exchange information. The event will move quickly as each presenter is restricted to a maximum of 20 slides that display for 15 seconds each. Developer Ignite is sponsored by the Intel Software Network, a community for developers to discuss and learn about topics relevant to their career, their professional development, and their hobbies. Ignite communities already exist in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and New York City. If you want to attend the July event, an opportunity to hear and meet other developers, get moving, as this event will be held July 22, 2009 in Chandler,

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Audio/Video

TESLA: Electricity – controversy – innovation – artistic inspiration, a salute

You can thank Nikola Tesla whenever you listen to the radio, have an x-ray, tweet on Twitter, click that remote control, or sit under the light of a neon moon sipping a beer. Born on July 10 in what is now Croatia, Tesla studied, thought, worked, and invented on both sides of the Atlantic, dying in New York in 1943. After college in 1881, Tesla began his career at age 25 as an electrical engineer with a phone company in Budapest. Then, he worked for Continental Edison Company in Paris, where he designed dynamos. While on the continent, he hit upon a solution to the rotating

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Business

Interpreting crystal ball reports on cell phone sales

Quarterly sales are expected to be down for all cell phone makers, with the exception of Samsung Electronics. A Reuter?s poll indicated that the second quarter for handset vendors is down 13.2 percent from the same period last year. Analysts are hesitant to comment on what will happen in the upcoming second half of the year until consumer trends are more predictable. Actual reports, instead of rumors and guesstimates, of 2nd quarter earnings are expected to start rolling in next week, with Nokia and Sony Ericsson reporting on July 16. The following week, LG Electronics comes in on July 22, Samsung on July 24, and Motorola

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Audio/Video

Biomedical research wants to use your computer to combat HIV, AIDS

Unless you are on your computer 24/7, you can donate unused time to help find a cure for major diseases. Usually, it takes the power of supercomputers to perform complex scientific calculations. Instead, distributing the load across many otherwise idle personal computers could save time and money. That?s exactly what researchers at the University of Delaware are doing in an attempt to create new or improved medicines. The Docking@Home project was developed to create molecular models and simulate their interactions. It is led by Michela Taufer, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute, and the University of California.

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Audio/Video

Farmers learn how to beat the market – via cell phone

Rural farmers, a struggling population in Mexico, will profit from using cell phones. A mobile platform combines SMS, financial tools, and social networking to connect isolated farmers to one another, to the market, and to large companies who may purchase their produce. MIT is busy putting cell phones to work to help change the world. Zaca is a project begun by MIT?s NextLab students. Their technical team is working with FrontlineSMS, which enables instantaneous two-way communication that?s easy to implement, simple to use, and the software is free. The Mexican farmer faces difficult, and sometimes impossible, challenges caused by crop failures due to weather, inefficient planting,

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