Interesting Reading #673 - ‘Wave and pay', $1.50/gallon synthetic gas, China's mega city, Hacking Mark Zuckerberg and much more!

by | Jan 26, 2011 11:24 PM ET

‘Wave and pay' technology for iPhone 5 - "Apple is expected to install “wave and pay” technology for the next version of its iPhone, boosting mobile commerce and potentially giving the company a big piece of the multibillion-dollar transaction industry..."

Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions - "UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification...."

The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today's technology, in 20-40 years, says Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson - "A new study – co-authored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson and UC-Davis researcher Mark A. Delucchi – analyzing what is needed to convert the world's energy supplies to clean and sustainable sources says that it can be done with today's technology at costs roughly comparable to conventional energy. But converting will be a massive undertaking on the scale of the moon landings. What is needed most is the societal and political will to make it happen...."

Practical full-spectrum solar cell comes closer to reality - "Solar cells are made from semiconductors whose ability to respond to light is determined by their band gaps (energy gaps). Different colors have different energies, and no single semiconductor has a band gap that can respond to sunlight's full range, from low-energy infrared through visible light to high-energy ultraviolet...."

Lockheed Starts Using Virtual Reality To Test New Products - "Lockheed Martin opened a virtual reality and simulation laboratory in Littleton, Colo, where they can use virtual reality technology to simulate tests of new products and processes before bringing them into the real world...."

Five Things to Do with Your Old Laptop - "We get it, your new laptop is shiny, super-fast and awesome. But don't forget about your old laptop! It doesn't have to sit around and collect dust. Here are five super easy things you can do to rejuvenate it...."

China to create largest mega city in the world with 42 million people - "China is planning to create the world's biggest mega city by merging nine cities to create a metropolis twice the size of Wales with a population of 42 million..."

2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S Unveiled - "Is it possible to tire of special-edition models of luxury sport coupes? We don't think so, and apparently neither does Aston Martin, which keeps cranking out the Vantage variants. The latest, the V8 Vantage S, makes its Web debut today...."

“Let The Hacking Begin” Declares Person Who Hacked Zuckerberg's Facebook Fan Page - "Obviously, Zuckerberg didn't actually write it. Or at least, we're pretty sure he didn't. Instead, it would appear that his fan page was hacked. Facebook has now taken down the page — but not before we grabbed a screenshot...." Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Fan Page Hacked

Facebook Goes Secure - "Just this morning Facebook finally flipped the table and is in the news on a positive note related to privacy. Amidst numerous outbreaks of user information being made available where it shouldn't be and lack of Opt-Out options, Facebook decided with Data Privacy Day coming up shortly that they wanted to make a contribution of their own. The big news? Secured connections, remote log-outs, one time passwords, and face recognition captchas. Not a bad lineup, although some of these have been in the works and tested for awhile now...."

How To Make Organically-Shaped Gears

No opting out of Facebook turning your check-ins, likes into ads - "Better go check your Facebook profile pic to make sure it's suitable for advertising—the company has begun using real users' postings in ads being shown to their friends. The effort is eerily similar to parts of the now-defunct Facebook Beacon, but Facebook is now calling them "sponsored stories," and users won't be able to opt out of their posts being used to advertise to friends...." See also: Facebook to let advertisers republish user posts

Is Netflix trying to embarrass certain ISPs? - "Netflix said it is "inappropriate" for Internet service providers to require it to carry all the costs of delivering streaming video to a subscriber's home, and tomorrow the company plans to do something about it...."

Home Internet with Anonymity Built In - "The Tor software masks Web traffic by encrypting network messages and passing them through a series of relays (each Tor client can also become a relay for other users' messages). But using Tor has typically meant installing the software on a computer and then tweaking its operating system to ensure that all traffic is routed correctly through the program. ..."

Slopes behind ropes: fear of lawsuits closing great New Jersey sledding hills - "Lawsuits are closing down N.J.'s best sledding hills Lawsuits are closing down N.J.'s best sledding hills Ledger Live for Wednesday January 26th, 2011 - Ledger Live with Brian Donohue. On today's show: We take another look at personal responsibility and how recent lawsuits have caused the closings of some of our favorite sledding locations. Watch video

It's one of the simple, most wonderful pleasures of life: zooming down a snow-covered hill just fast enough for a touch of fear to quicken your pulse. Maybe it's a solo run. Maybe you're clinging to a loved one as you tear down the hill tandem. Surely, sledding is one of those things that makes it worth toughing it out and living in New Jersey when sunnier climes often beckon...."

10 Tech Warnings You Missed - "The 3DS is Nintendo's next portable gaming system, but there's one problem: it could physically harm children's eyes. The Nintendo site has already published a warning stating children under the age of six should not use the 3DS in 3D mode for fear of ocular damage. On the bright side, kids under the age limit will be able to safely use the 3DS in 2D mode. But, then what's the point of a 3DS? "

Doctor: Case of 13 hospitalized Iowa football players is ‘unusual' - "UI spokesman Tom Moore led off the press conference, saying there are 13 players who are hospitalized and all are responding well to treatment. Paul Federici, Hawkeye director of football operations, later said the 13 players were not all in the same workout group..."

Authorities Fear Cops Being Targeted After at Least 11 Officers Shot in 24 Hours - "Authorities are worried a recent wave of police officer shootings may not be a coincidence. In just 24 hours, at least 11 cops were shot around the country...."

Searching For Work? Google's Hiring Thousands - "Google Inc. plans to hire more than 6,200 workers this year in the biggest expansion yet by the Internet's most profitable company...."

Education vs. employment

Google Starts Censoring BitTorrent, RapidShare and More - "It's taken a while, but Google has finally caved in to pressure from the entertainment industries including the MPAA and RIAA. The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship...."

Cantwell, Franken introduce legislation to protect net neutrality - "Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 to ensure the broadband Internet continues to serve as a source of innovation, free speech, and job growth. Though Cantwell believes that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) acted within its authority to issue its own net neutrality rules last December, she stated at the time that they were not strong enough to ensure the Internet remains a source of innovation and economic growth. U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is an original cosponsor of the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act..." See also: FCC Already Inundated With Complaints Of Net Neutrality Law Violations

Mutant mosquitoes: Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species - "Malaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue fever...."

Saying no to smartphones: most mobile users will buy new 'dumb' phones - "HTC EVO ShiftThis month, I traded my two-year-old "1G" Samsung Rant in for an Android 2.2 HTC EVO Shift 4G on Sprint. I am (mostly) loving it (more on that soon). I told my friends on Twitter and Facebook that after attending CES, I felt like the last person on earth without a smartphone. Some agreed and welcomed me to 2008. Others, however said they don't have a smartphone and ... surprise, surprise ... don't want one. New research from Compete.com shows my curmudgeon friends are far and away in the majority. ..."

How Apple Foot-Dragged to Victory - "Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from a company with great technology and a greater brand, perhaps the world's best. He's been a stellar CEO, but Apple has also enjoyed an unbelievable run that begs to be understood as more than just one man's magic...."

New-home sales in 2010 fall to lowest in 47 years - "Sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4 percent from the 375,000 homes sold in 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined after hitting record highs for the five previous years when the housing market was booming...."

Extreme Fire Cracker In UltraSlo

British Engineer Designs Own Heart Valve Implant, Saves Own Life - "In 2000, Tal Golesworthy, a British engineer, was told that he suffers from Marfan syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissue that often causes rupturing of the aorta. The only solution then available was the pairing of a mechanical valve and a highly risky blood thinner. To an engineer like Golesworthy, that just wasn't good enough. So he constructed his own implant that does the job better than the existing solution--and became the first patient to try it...."

Techno-Sponge "ShamWows" Oil Spills - "At the National Science Foundation, Paul Edmiston is handed a refreshment—a bright orange bottle of motor oil. Undaunted, the chemical engineer from the College of Wooster proceeds to make himself a drink. Here's how Edmiston cheats death—and what it could mean for oil-spill cleanup technology...."

The Solution to Your Parking Frustrations: Market-Rate Pricing? - "Next month, Seattle will be raising rates at parking meters in several neighborhoods. No surprise there. But they'll also be lowering rates in other neighborhoods—and in some parts of town, meters will be running until 8pm or later..."

Windows Phone 7 three months on: a retrospective - "As of today, the smartphone platform has been on sale for exactly three months—long enough for things that felt like minor flaws at the time to develop into fatal, infuriating, carbuncles. I've been using it since launch on a range of handsets: how does it stack up now that the new gadget glow has worn off? Is it still a platform with promise, able to hold its own against the competition? Or are its widely publicized flaws and omissions crippling in longer-term use?..."

Headless Conficker worm lives in computers - "A unified effort has lopped the head off a treacherous Conficker computer worm but the malicious computer code lives on in infected machines...."

January 25th Protests in Cairo Egypt - "Swirls of protests around Cairo came together in Midan Tahrir. Protests traded stones, teargas and water canons with riot police until a stalemate lead to many people sitting and waiting in the square...."

10 Most Literate Cities in the US - "Every year, Central Connecticut University publishes their list of the most literate cities in the United States. Do you know which cities made the list in 2010?"

Obama to Declare 'The Rules Have Changed' - "President Obama delivered his second State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Here is an analysis and the full text as prepared for delivery..." See also: Obama's spaced out speech

EXCLUSIVE: 'Skins' 'In Danger of Being Canceled,' Source Says - "“Skins” lost about half its viewers for the show's second episode, which aired Monday night. Only 1.6 million viewers tuned in, versus the 3.3 million who watched the premiere on January 17. (The premiere did benefit from the huge ratings of its ‘Jersey Shore' lead in, which had almost nine million viewers—the biggest in the network's history. The second episode of ‘Skins' did not have such easy sledding, so some decrease in ratings was to be expected.)" See also: MTV's Naked Calculation Gone Bad

Taco Bell: Our Beef Mixture Is Seasoned Meat - "Taco Bell officials deny claims made in a lawsuit that the meat in their tacos and other products is not all beef..."

[[[Interesting Reading #672 – Transparent iPhone, Quad core for phones, Windows 8 rumors, Legoland's Master Builders and much more!]]]

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