BrainStuff
Get inside the brain of the mastermind of HowStuffWorks.

Category RSS Feed

Interesting Reading #490 – 3 terabyte drives, How mindreading works, How to poop in space, Biomanufactured Brick, better biodiesel, the new WiMax, equation for marital breakups and much more…

by |

 

Exclusive: Seagate confirms 3TB drive – “After a few weeks of rumours, Seagate’s senior product manager Barbara Craig has confirmed to Thinq that “we are announcing a 3TB drive later this year,” but the move to 3TB of storage space apparently involves a lot more work than simply upping the areal density…”

Write Down Your Password – “Simply, people can no longer remember passwords good enough to reliably defend against dictionary attacks, and are much more secure if they choose a password too complicated to remember and then write it down…”

Surgeons cut open girl, five, to fix failing kidneys only to find two new ones growing in their place – “A girl left seriously ill when both her kidneys failed astounded medical experts by growing two new ones. Angel Burton suffered from painful kidney infections from birth to the point where she required surgery at the age of five. But surgeons were amazed to discover the little girl had four kidneys, with two new fully-formed organs sitting on top of her old ones…”

The New WiMAX – “The new WiMAX will be more than 50 percent faster than today’s WiMAX while remaining compliant with the existing IEEE 802.16e standard…”

Facebook Privacy: Secrets Unveiled – “Let me fill you in on a little secret: I don’t know any of these people. Thanks to Facebook, though, I know plenty of personal things about them. And I’m willing to wager that they might not realize anyone else — their parents, their teachers, their bosses — could just as easily know this stuff, too…”

Movie depicts seamy life of Facebook boss – “The 26-year-old billionaire, who is already under fire for his website’s abuse of privacy, now faces ridicule…”

What backlash? Facebook is growing like mad – “Some tech pundits think Facebook is in trouble, but the data tells a different story: growth hasn’t slowed a bit…”

Diaspora’s curse – “Diaspora, the “open Facebook alternative” (NYT story for background if you aren’t familiar), has raised Over $170,000 from over 4600 people in just a few weeks. All for an idea. That’s an impressive start if victory was measured in press coverage, cash, and cool. Here’s the problem: Diaspora has all the wrong things at the wrong time. Competition that kills isn’t pre-announced — it catches an unsuspecting incumbent by surprise…”

Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft? – “Today, Google is the place to go to if you are looking for information about pretty much anything. By displaying sponsored links that are relevant to what you are looking for, Google showed us that ads are most effective when they are useful. So effective, that Google built a $25 billion search advertising business over the last decade….”

A “life-changing” invention from the West Bank

Honeybees: 3D images reveal life inside a live hive – “Scientists have devised a new way to peer into the inner workings of a live honeybee colony, without disturbing the insects inside…”

YouTube Surpasses Two Billion Video Views Daily – “Less than a month after its fifth birthday, YouTube has announced that it has exceeded two billion video views per day…” See also: YouTube Celebrates Five Amazing Years: Holding Out for Profitability in the Sixth

Research on Light Brightens Outlook for Sleep Disorder Therapy – “Scientists said they learned more about why falling asleep in front of a switched-on television may make it harder to wake up in the morning, a finding that may help doctors develop therapies for sleep disorders. Researchers had thought the human sleep-wake cycle was affected by blue light, which is detected by a photoreceptor system in the eye that suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps induce drowsiness…”

Glass electrodes used in nanoscale pump – “A team of engineers from the U.S. and South Korea has developed what is believed to be the smallest man-made pump ever built, powered by a glass electrode. The pump is about the same size as a red blood corpuscle…”

Study: ADHD linked to pesticide exposure – “Children exposed to higher levels of a type of pesticide found in trace amounts on commercially grown fruit and vegetables are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children with less exposure, a nationwide study suggests…”

Shoot first, then ask questions online – “Want to know if the blouse you’re trying on at Bloomingdale’s can be snagged on the cheap at Ross? Curious whether that painting is a genuine Jackson Pollock or the inspired effort of a kindergartener? Wondering how much the restaurant gouged you on that bottle of wine?”

Nearly impossible to overdose on drug – Traumeel – that Alexa Ray Joel took – “Alexa Ray Joel, 23, was rushed to the hospital after taking several pills. Law enforcement sources said they were sleeping pills, but a source close to Joel said it was Traumeel, a medication used to treat minor aches and pains associated with repetitive sports injuries. “Nothing would happen because there’s nothing in it,” said Dr. Lewis Nelson, a toxicologist at NYU Medical Center. “There’s no active ingredient. There’s nothing in these pills.””

Darkest NASA Secret Revealed: How to Poop In Space Tutorial

Biomanufactured Brick: Bricks Without Clay or Carbon – “An American architecture professor, Ginger Krieg Dosier, 32, Assistant Professor of Architecture at American University of Sharjah (AUS) in Abu Dhabi, has won this year’s prestigious Metropolis Next Generation Design Prize for “Biomanufactured Brick.” The 2010 Next Generation Prize Challenge was “One Design Fix for the Future” – a small fix to change the world. The Next Generation judges decided that Professor Dosier’s well-documented and -tested plan to replace clay-fired brick with a brick made with bacteria and sand, met the challenge perfectly…”

Detroit’s NextCAT Hopes to Light a Fire Under Idled Biodiesel Producers with New Catalysts – “A funny thing happened on the way to the green economy. Real-life market forces have a way of foiling the best-laid plans of mice, men, and government incentives. When petroleum diesel was 4 bucks a gallon a couple of years ago, biodiesel seemed like such a deal. But then, says Derrin Leppek, of Detroit-based biodiesel catalyst developer NextCAT, “the price of petroleum diesel dropped, biodiesel was no longer competitive, and soybean prices went through the roof.””

If a telco mindset were around 100 years ago, small town America would still be waiting for electricity and running water – “Like the groundbreaking technologies before it – electrical distribution and the telephone – access to the internet is growing world wide. As more services and goods move to internet-based forms of distribution and access, the demand for more and more speed to access this content also rises. The telecom giants of the day, right on down to the places where local internet service providers exist, are doing their best to meet the needs of the customers, wherever they are, just like in the days of old. That would be how things work in a perfect world, at least. A deregulated corporate paradise with (up until recently) no national mandate to provide this utility to people has turned the roll out of new technologies across the country into one of a have-and-have not. If you happen to be where an ISP has a desire to deploy a technology like faster, fiber-based, internet connections – you’re good. If you’re like the vast majority of this country, you’re left out in the cold…”

Burger & Fries Worsen Asthma, Study Suggests – “A burger and fries are not only bad for the waistline, they might also exacerbate asthma, a new study suggests. Patients with asthma who ate a high-fat meal had increased inflammation in their airways soon afterward, and did not respond as well to treatment as those who ate a low-fat meal, the researchers found…”

Race under fire: Is being white something you can learn? – “What does it mean to be white? An explosive new book by an American academic argues that whiteness isn’t biological at all – in fact, it can be learned. Precious Williams disagrees…”

World’s most complete fossil of pre-dinosaur predator discovered – “Brazilian paleontologists have found the near complete fossil of a fearsome predator that roamed the Earth before the dinosaurs. The 22ft long creature, called Prestosuchus chiniquensis, lived some 238million years ago. It belonged to a family of reptiles called thecodonts and had a large, deep skull with serrated teeth and a long tail…”

GM back in the black – “General Motors returned to profitability in the first three months of the year, the automaker reported Monday. It was GM’s first profit since 2007. GM, which emerged from bankruptcy last July, earned $865 million on revenue of $31.5 billion. A year ago, GM’s predecessor company lost nearly $6 billion on revenue of only $22.4 billion, as sales plunged and the company hurtled toward bankruptcy…”

The Art of Mindreading: Empathy or Rational Inference? – “The ability to infer what another person is thinking is an essential tool for social interaction and is known by neuroscientists as “Theory of Mind” (ToM), but how does the brain actually allow us to do this? We are able to rationally infer what someone knows, thinks, or intends, but we are also able to “slip into their shoes” and infer how they feel, and it seems that the brain processes these different types of information in different ways, as confirmed by a new report in the June 2010 issue of Elsevier’s Cortex…”

Gerald Celente: Banks robbing the people

New frogs and geckos and pigeons, oh my – “Finding a new animal species is a special moment for scientists and even better when one hops into their mountain camp and volunteers to be discovered. An international team of researchers was camping in the Foja mountains of Indonesia when herpetologist Paul Oliver spied a frog sitting on a bag of rice in the campsite….”

First Unmanned Aircraft in a Supercell Thunderstorm – “For the first time, tornado chasers were able to fly an unmanned aircraft (or UA, for short) into the most severe type of thunderstorm, known as a “supercell” storm. This kind of thunderstorm is the least common, but it usually causes the most damage because it brings with it strong winds, heavy rain and damaging hail, not to mention the occasional tornado…”

Mathematical model explains marital breakups – “Most people know love takes work, and effort is needed to sustain a happy relationship over the long term, but now a mathematician in Spain has for the first time explained it mathematically by developing a dynamical mathematical model based on the second law of thermodynamics to model “sentimental dynamics.” The results are consistent with sociological data on marriage breakdowns…”

In 300 yrs, Earth will be too hot for humans – “Climate change could make much of the world too hot for human habitation within just three centuries, research released on Tuesday showed. Scientists from Australia’s University of New South Wales and Purdue University in the United States found that rising temperatures in some places could mean humans would be unable to adapt or survive…”

Climate change: Risk, or no risk? – “Richard Lindzen and Kerry Emanuel both study the atmosphere and climate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but hold very different views on climate change. Lindzen argues that there is little to worry about from emissions of heat-trapping gases, while Emanuel is a preeminent voice on climate change’s potential dangers. Watch the two men argue their points below…”

WHO study has no clear answer on phones and cancer – “No apparent cancer risk, but concern about heaviest users…”

Car hacks could turn commutes into a scene from Speed – “Researchers at the University of Washington and University of California-San Diego have examined the multitudinous computer systems that run modern cars, discovering that they’re easily broken into with alarming results. Hackers can disable the brakes of moving vehicles, lock the key in the ignition to prevent the engine from being turned off, jam all the door locks, and make the engine run faster. Less dangerously, they can control the radio, heating, and air conditioning, or just endlessly honk the horn…”

New Inks Could Mean Cheaper OLED Screens – “Organic light emitting diode, or OLED, displays seem to have it all: energy efficiency and a beautiful, crisp picture that refreshes rapidly. But it’s difficult to make them on a large scale, so OLED televisions remain very expensive. Last week, DuPont Displays announced the development of a manufacturing process that the company says can be used to print large, high-performance OLED televisions at volumes that should bring down costs. Using a custom-made printer from Japanese manufacturer Dainippon Screen, DuPont says it can print a 50 inch-television in under two minutes, and testing of the displays shows their performance is reliable–the displays should last 15 years…”

[[[Jump to - Ray guns almost here, Car hackers can kill brakes, The Secret Space Plane’s mission, The reason why you can’t sleep (hint: light), Lying children succeed and much more...]]]

Tags:

 
 

Comment Now

Recent Postings by Category