Interesting Reading #377 - super-fast 4G networks, free speech recognition, Blu-ray comes on strong and much more...

by | Dec 15, 2009 07:30 PM ET

Nexus One Available Directly Through Google Website January 5 - "Reuters is reporting that a source of theirs indicates a January 5th date for the Nexus One to go on sale. They've been advised that it will be at a “reduced price to consumers who agree to a service contract from Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA“..." See also: Google phone would break industry model

Overlooked 150 Year Old Household Cleaner a Remedy for Swine Flu? - “In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘Flu' with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely any one who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks.”

As Prices Fall, Blu-Ray Players Are Invited Home - "Blu-ray's household penetration is higher than that of DVD for the same period after introduction, according to Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association. Three years after introduction, Blu-ray stand-alone players, which excludes Sony's PlayStation 3 game machines that also play Blu-rays discs, are in 7 percent of American homes..."

Free Speech (Recognition) - "I tried out Dragon Dictation, a new, free, very real app for the iPhone from Nuance. You tap a big central Record button--and you talk. (You still have to speak the punctuation and say "new paragraph" when you want a line break.) When you tap Done, the typed transcription of what you said appears on the screen. Behind the scenes, your audio is being sent to Nuance's computers, recognized and converted, then flung back to your screen as text. If you have Wi-Fi connection, conversion is almost instantaneous; on a cellular connection, it may take a couple of seconds..."

Tool Use Found in Octopuses - "After years of surprising scientists with their cleverness and smarts, some octopuses appear to also use tools. Veined octopuses observed off the coast of Indonesia carried coconut shell halves under their bodies, and assembled them as necessary into shelters — something that wasn't supposed to be possible in their corner of the animal kingdom...."

Clever crow opts for three tools - "Three tools are better than one for New Caledonian crows when it comes to attaining a treat, a team from the University of Oxford reports..."

Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2009 - "I don't pick all these images for their sheer beauty; I consider what they mean, what we've learned from them, and their impact as well. But have no doubts that they are all magnificent examples of the intersection of art and science..."

Game Theory - The Art Of Acting Rational - "You are in a game show with nineteen other players. You don't know the other players, you can't see them, and you can't communicate with them. The game you are in is called 'Greed!', and is straightforward to explain. You are asked to write down a whole dollar amount in the range $1 - $1,000,000 on a piece of paper. You will be paid the amount you asked for if it is deemed to be 'non-greedy'. Whether your request is indeed 'non-greedy' will be decided once all twenty request have been received by the host of the show. Your requested amount will be labeled 'non-greedy' if no other player has asked for less, and at least one player has asked for more. How do you play?"

50 reasons why global warming isn't natural - "A British newspaper today published a list of "100 reasons why global warming is natural". Here we take a quick look at the first 50 of their claims - and debunk each one..."

Best of the Decade - "Best Products, Services, and Technologies of the Decade..."

Raw performance in NetCom new 4G network - "In a live demo achieved between 84-90 megabits / second in pure download speed and around 30-37 megabit / s for uploading..." See also: 4G mobile phone network comes to Scandinavia

Facebook gives you quite a bit of say over who in your circle sees what. - " If you don't want to share any information anymore, the site also lets you remove yourself completely. Read on to learn how to take back your privacy..." Counterpoint: How Facebook Is Making Friending Obsolete - "So I give up. Rather than fighting to keep my Facebook profile private, I plan to open it up to the public – removing the fiction of intimacy and friendship..."

Historian Asks, 'What On Earth Evolved?' - "The history of Earth features a few extremely successful species, such as ants, black pepper, sheep, and of course, humans. In his book, What On Earth Evolved, Christopher Lloyd explores their stories before and after man..."

9 Places Where You Can Retire and Live Like a King - "Retiring to Boca Raton might might appeal to some aging Baby Boomers, but what about those planning to retire early – due to sound investments, for instance – or, those who are looking for a little post-career adventure? Whatever your age, retirement should be an opportunity to do all the things that you always wanted to do, but were too busy to try. Perhaps you'll pursue a neglected hobby or even launch another business but this time from a more exotic locale. From changes in scenery to endless recreation, business tax breaks to huge exchange rate benefits, a number of international locations are well-worth consideration as retirement destinations. For those not yet looking to retire, they make good vacation getaways as well..."

Scientists create formula for perfect parking - "For those who dread trying to squeeze their car into a tight space, help is at hand – scientists have created a mathematical formula to help motorists park perfectly..."

University of Antwerp stuffs 13 GPUs into FASTRA II supercomputer - "The researchers at the University of Antwerp's Vision Lab caused quite a stir last year when they built a supercomputer with four high-end NVIDIA graphics cards, but it looks like they've truly stepped up their game for their followup: a supercomputer that packs no less than thirteen GPUs..."

How Former Microsoft Manager Jeff Reifman Caught Wired's Vanished Reporter Evan Ratliff - "Ratliff was eventually undone by a food allergy (as a celiac sufferer, hunters knew he'd be in the market for the gluten-free pie that is Naked Pizza's specialty), the need to reconnect with humanity (Ratliff dropped his guard in the final days in order to meet new people) and the dogged legwork of thousands of internet sleuths. The most effective of which was Reifman..."

Child diabetes blamed on food sweetener - "Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fuelling the obesity crisis. Fructose, a sweetener derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease..."

Making URLs shorter for Google Toolbar and FeedBurner - "This morning, we launched updated versions of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner that offer a new URL shortening service from Google called the Google URL Shortener. We mentioned our URL shortener as a feature in both announcements, so we wanted to say a little more about how this product works and why we're offering it..."

Dishwashers, and How Google Eats Its Own Tail - "Over the weekend I tried to buy a new dishwasher. Being the fine net-friendly fellow that I am, I began Google-ing for information. And Google-ing. and Google-ing. As I tweeted frustratedly at the tend of the failed exercise, "To a first approximation, the entire web is spam when it comes to appliance reviews"..." (This seems like an easy problem to solve - no one would link to infospam, so that should eliminate it from the index. Why isn't this happening?)

22 Million E-Mails Missing From Bush White House Found - "White House computer technicians have found 22 million e-mails that were believed to have been lost during President George W. Bush's administration, according to the Associated Press..."

The hidden story of the 3D engine - by the people who write them - "How programming masters like Tim Sweeney built the engineering marvels of the 21st century..."

[[[Jump to - Interesting Reading #376 – Lamborghini Ankonian revealed, people with young faces live longer, 100-inch laser HDTV, real augmented reality and much more...]]]

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