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Interesting Reading #568 – Laser-powered helicopter, Scariest bridges, Twitter ipad app, HTML5 demos and much more…

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Laser-powered helicopter hovers for hours – “Lasers have recently shown they can down an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV)Movie Camera – but they can also keep the drones up in the air. LaserMotive, based in Seattle, Washington, has kept a 22-gram model helicopter hovering for hours at a time on a few watts of laser power….”

21 Ridiculously Impressive HTML5 Canvas Experiments – “HTML5 is the thing to talk about these day. Today, we have a collection of some ridiculously impressive HTML5 canvas-based experiments that will make you say, “Wow!” Let’s take a peek at some of the latest, cutting edge examples out there…” See also: HOW TO: Get Started with HTML5 Boilerplate

Think the Answer’s Clear? Look Again – “Presidential elections can be fatal. Win an Academy Award and you’re likely to live longer than had you been a runner-up. Interview for medical school on a rainy day, and your chances of being selected could fall. Such are some of the surprising findings of Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, a physician-researcher and perhaps the leading debunker of preconceived notions in the medical world… “

Trouble With Sputter? Blame Giant Nanoparticles – “When you tear open a bag of potato chips or pop in a DVD, you’re probably putting your hand on sputter deposition. No, don’t run for the soap…”

Earth’s Animals Face Grim Future – “Corals, big mammals and many tropical species could all go extinct in the not too distant future, predict scientists who are attempting to forecast the fate of today’s animals by studying what happened to those in the distant past….”

The Great App Bubble – “My app library–littered with exactly 87 apps I used once and never touched again–now reminds me of a graveyard of defunct company logos from the dot com boom. Like the go-go days of 1999 when everyone had to have a Web site, today everyone wants an app. iPhone, iPad, Android apps for all, plus Blackberry for the very ambitious. Here are eight signs we’re in an app bubble…”

Get ready for a world of nanotechnology – “The prefix “nano” is gaining an increasing presence in public consciousness, from invocations of the nanometre (nm) as a unit of measurement for our burgeoning silicon technology’s tininess (as in Intel’s latest 32nm processors), to the hubristically named iPod nano, which is a bit smaller than the others. The prominence of this word in our culture is set to rocket over the coming decades as more tightly defined “nanotechnology” becomes available – for example, Nokia is hoping to release a nanotech phone that it calls the Morph in 2015…”

Russia’s seed bank under threat

200-fold boost in fuel cell efficiency advances ‘personalized energy systems’ – “The era of personalized energy systems — in which individual homes and small businesses produce their own energy for heating, cooling and powering cars — took another step toward reality today as scientists reported discovery of a powerful new catalyst that is a key element in such a system. They described the advance, which could help free homes and businesses from dependence on the electric company and the corner gasoline station, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society…”

Thomas Edison’s plot to hijack the movie industry – “It was a dark and stormy night on December 18, 1908. Okay—maybe it wasn’t so dark and stormy. But it should have been, because that was the night Thomas Edison tried to hijack the motion picture industry…”

Samsung launches new NF and SF Series laptops with ‘shark’-like designs – “It’s that time of the year again! Yep, the time when most laptop makers start thinking about the holiday season and unleash a massive amount of systems. Samsung’s kicking off its announcements at IFA with the SF and NF Series, both of which have a brand new wave or fin-like designs…”

Twitter Launches Official iPad App – “It’s free and comes with a slew of touch interface bells and whistles built right in. The app is intended to allow for seamless navigation between tweets, photos, web pages, videos and other media and updates. It’s also usable even for those who don’t have Twitter (Twitter) accounts…”

Paris Owns Purse That Appears Identical To One She Claimed Was Borrowed Night Of Cocaine Arrest – “In mid-July, Paris Tweeted a photograph of a purse and wrote: “Love My New Chanel Purse I Got Today :)” That purse appears to be identical to the purse she was carrying when arrested on cocaine possession charges in Las Vegas last weekend….”

New Apple TV The Most Popular Release Today For Jobs – “Thanks to some delicious data tracking from our good friends Rowfeeder, the most hyped product of the day from Apple’s big event is now clear: the refresh of the Apple TV took the cake by a fat margin…” See also – 5 Reasons Why Apple TV Is (Still) Boring

Carl Sagan: The Gift of Apollo

Sonic.net brings All You Can Eat broadband and phone to Northern California – “In an era where the buzzwords about broadband and the internet seem to be caps and hogs, it’s reassuring and exciting to see someone trying to buck the trend and offer what customers want as opposed to what he thinks customers should get…” See also – An ISP that knows nothing of “data hogs”

BBC Horizon – 1964 – Arthur C Clarke imagines life in the year 2000

A look at credit scoring agencies

Can I Stalk You?: An Intro to Location-Based Service Security – “You may have been invited to use a location-based service like Foursquare or Gowalla already. If not, you can expect that you will before 2010 is over. Or, more likely, you’re going to get an email telling you that one of your friends has checked you into a location using Facebook Places. And when this happens, you have to decide: Do I need everyone to know where I am?”

Airport Installs 40-Foot-Tall Twister Slide – “To distract travelers from delayed and canceled flights, Singapore’s Changi Airport installed a 40-foot-tall super twister slide that they can zip down at 19 feet per second…”

Brazil has revolutionised its own farms. Can it do the same for others? – ” The increase in Brazil’s farm production has been stunning. Between 1996 and 2006 the total value of the country’s crops rose from 23 billion reais ($23 billion) to 108 billion reais, or 365%. Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold in a decade, overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter. It has the world’s largest cattle herd after India’s. It is also the world’s largest exporter of poultry, sugar cane and ethanol (see chart 2). Since 1990 its soyabean output has risen from barely 15m tonnes to over 60m. Brazil accounts for about a third of world soyabean exports, second only to America. In 1994 Brazil’s soyabean exports were one-seventh of America’s; now they are six-sevenths. Moreover, Brazil supplies a quarter of the world’s soyabean trade on just 6% of the country’s arable land…”

Mark Zuckerberg Complains That Someone Is Invading His Privacy – “Poor Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder is being sued (again), and now he says his legal foe “is seeking to uncover unnecessary details about his private life.””

Ruby On Rails Security Guide – “This manual describes common security problems in web applications and how to avoid them with Rails…”

Which American racial group has the lowest fertility? – “I’ve probed the international differences in total fertility rates before, but what about in the United States? You probably won’t be surprised which segment of the population has the highest fertility, but what about the lowest? The US Census Bureau tracks these sorts of things in detail. So according to the Census Bureau the TFR’s in 2008 were…”

Stephen Hawking says universe not created by God – “God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain’s most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book. In the new work, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity…”

Epic Citadel on iPad (free on the App store)

The Scariest Bridges From Around the World – “For the most part, bridges offer people an easier way to commute from one place to another and are truly a blessing. These incredible and outrageously scary bridges from around the world shown here might be helpful in a sense, but if you have a fear of heights or any sort of the manner, these bridges will haunt you in your sleep. An unbelievable list of sky high vehicular bridges, super high suspension bridges, and creepy rope bridges; there is surely something here to cause you some chills or thrills….”

Oil rig platform catches fire in Gulf of Mexico – “The company reported there were seven active wells on the platform and one caught fire, but all are now shut in. Mariner also reported the platform produced an average of 1,400 barrels of oil per day, as well as 1,800 barrels of natural gas each day…”

Meltdown of the climate ‘consensus’ – ” But the prestigious InterAcademy Council, an independent association of “the best scientists and engineers worldwide” (as the group’s own Web site puts it) formed in 2000 to give “high-quality advice to international bodies,” has finished a thorough review of IPCC practices — and found them badly wanting…”

[[[Jump to - Interesting Reading #567 – WePad, Darwin’s experimental island, Digg digging grave, Free Google classes and much more…]]]

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