Interesting Reading #680 - Europa mission announced, Nokia's iPhone Killer, Taxi of tomorrow, world's fattest nation and much more!

by | Feb 6, 2011 01:53 AM ET

Is this Nokia's iPhone Killer? - "It's been a long time coming, but we're willing to bet this sleek piece of smartphone sex is the Nokia N9. The Internet is sizzling with rumors about its imminent launch. But what makes it a killer device?"

Weekend Feature: NASA-ESA Announce Europa Mission -Search for Life on Jupiter's Water Worlds - "With input from scientists around the world, American and European scientists working on the potential next new mission to the Jupiter system have announced their joint vision for the Europa Jupiter System Mission to explore "the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants." The proposed Europa Jupiter System Mission would provide orbiters around two of Jupiter's moons: a NASA orbiter around Europa called the Jupiter Europa Orbiter, and an ESA orbiter around Ganymede called the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter..."

Taxi of Tomorrow - "After releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) in late 2009, the City received a diverse group of proposals from automobile manufacturers, designers, and other interested parties offering what they believe would be the vehicle of the future. The TLC intends to select the best proposal and award an exclusive contract to sell and service taxicabs in New York for the next decade...."

Verizon iPhone 4 to take most of BlackBerry/Droid base despite iPhone 5 - "Here's a study that'll have Apple smiling and Verizon not minding, but fans of the Droid and BlackBerry platforms cringing at the mere thought. The Verizon iPhone 4 is expected to claim the majority of Verizon's BlackBerry and Droid users by day one of the upcoming Verizon iPhone 4 era. Nevermind day number two, or month number two, or the fact that the Verizon iPhone 5 can be expected in about half a year. The numbers: a shocking two-thirds of Verizon BlackBerry users say they plan to switch to a Verizon iPhone 4 the day it hits retail stores next week. Slightly less than half of Verizon Droid users plan to do the same on the Verizon iPhone 4′s first day..."

Hackers Penetrate Nasdaq Computers - "Hackers have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past year, and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter...." See also: Hackers breach Nasdaq's computers

Can a Computer Win on 'Jeopardy'? - "Defeating a chess champion is a piece of cake compared to parsing puns and analyzing language...."

Egypt Proves We Need a New Net - "For all that the revolution in Egypt tells us about the power of networked media to promote bottom-up change, it even more starkly reveals the limits of our internet tools and the ease with which those holding power can take them away. Yes, services such as Twitter and Facebook give activists the means to organize as never before. But the more dependent on them we become, the more subservient we are to the corporations and governments that control them..."

Could the U.S. shut down the internet? - "It seemed so easy for Egypt. Just order a shutdown of the country's internet connections and -- bam -- it happens. But is such an authoritarian action transferable? Could the U.S. government shut down American internet connections? And is it possible for the global internet to be toppled?"

How To Stop Domain Names Being Seized By The US Government - "As the United States authorities continue with their domain name seizure policy, file-sharing, streaming and link site operators around the world are looking for ways to mitigate this aggressive action. To this end, an Internet engineer and website operator has put together a guide that might just help site owners avoid a whole heap of inconvenience in the future...."

Primal Carnage - T-Rex Development Footage

3D print-shop receives an order for an ATM skimmer - "Last June, Belgian 3D printing shop i.materialise received (and declined) its first order for a custom, 3D-printed ATM skimmer faceplate. Good on the i.materialisers, but get set for a lot more of this sort of thing, as more of us end up with our own 3D printers that produce parts on demand, without any nose service bureau to tell us that committing bank fraud is an inappropriate technological choice...."

President To Speak On Value Of Broadband - "Reclaiming spectrum and using it to deliver wireless broadband to 98% of the country is one of the key elements of the President's innovation agenda, according to a White House report released Friday. He also talked about the wireless initiative in his State of the Union Speech Jan. 25...."

Virginia pilot program halves electricity bill for charging EVs overnight - "Regardless of whether the internal combustion engine gets snuffed out this century, EV chargers aren't going to replace gas pumps at the rate they're presently rolling out, so it's quite likely new Leaf and Prius PHEV owners will need to charge at home. How might that affect one's electricity bill?"

Princeton's Ivy Halls To Be Powered By Solar Energy - "Princeton University will soon be home to the largest solar field on a U.S. college campus. Scheduled for completion by summer 2012, the 5.3 megawatt system will be comprised of 16,500 photovoltaic solar panels, estimated to generate 5.5 % of electrical power to reduce campus energy costs by 8 %..."

Solar cell could beat theoretical efficiency maximum - "Scientists have begun developing a new approach that could allow a massive breakthrough in the efficiency of solar panels through the use of nano-particles of germanium, silicon and other materials...."


Floo9r converts to pool

NBC Ruins The Fun, Fires Employee Over “What Is Internet” Video - "By now you've probably seen the Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel pondering the wonders of the Internet. It's a bit hokey and of course shows the NBC hosts talking nonsense about something outside of their expertise. Well, NBC clearly didn't find it as cute as everyone else and reportedly fired the employee that uploaded it. Best Buy almost did that once. Remember how that turned out?"

Big Cable fed up with endless P2P porn subpoenas - "The big ISPs, especially Comcast and Time Warner Cable, have intervened for months in massive file-sharing lawsuits, telling judges that they simply can't drop all of their activity for law enforcement in order to spend weeks doing IP address lookups on behalf of pornographers. And, when the ISPs get the chance to make their arguments before judges, they routinely go beyond complaints about the workload and challenge the very basis of the mass lawsuits..."

How tiny Nauru became world's fattest nation - "The world is facing a "population emergency" as soaring rates of obesity threaten a pandemic of cardiovascular disease, scientists have warned...."

WikiLeaks: the latest developments - "WikiLeaks rallies in Australia, US congressman writes to Robert Gates about Bradley Manning's "cruel and unusual" punishment and more of today's WikiLeaks news and views..."

Researchers find possible solution for insulin dependence in type 1 diabetes - "In what some are calling a potential cure for type 1 diabetes, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that suppressing a single hormone may make the condition completely asymptomatic and eliminate the need for insulin injections...."

Ronald Reagan Myth Doesn't Square with Reality - "About 10,000 people will gather this weekend at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California to honor what would have been the 100th birthday of former President Ronald Reagan -- among them Dick Cheney, the Beach Boys and Sarah Palin...."

Developers See Dollars In Android Improvements - "Getting paid on Android has been a touchy subject for developers, who have had trouble turning their apps into big money-makers like their iOS counterparts. But now that Google has finally rolled out a new web store for Android Market, support for local currencies, and in-app purchases for Android apps, developers are hoping to kick-start revenues...."

Verizon iPhone: The Unboxing - "There's virtually no indication on the box that this Apple iPhone is something different...."

The Tech in Super Bowl Sunday - "Tuesday was Super Bowl Media Day at Cowboys Stadium here, and while most of the NFL press corps was busy talking football with players and coaches, a different group of reporters was invited to talk about the technology behind this largest and most modern of pro sports venues...."

One in eight women will get breast cancer as lifestyle blamed for huge rise in cases - "One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and the rate is rising, alarming figures show. Scientists blame obesity, alcohol and the growing tendency to delay motherhood for record levels of the disease...."

No, robot: Japan's elderly fail to welcome their robot overlords - "So when they join the workforce, as they do often in factories, they are sometimes welcomed on their first day with Shinto religious ceremonies...."

Oysters Now Disappearing Worldwide - "A survey of oyster habitats around the world has found that the succulent mollusks are disappearing fast and 85 percent of their reefs have been lost due to disease and over-harvesting...."

Cyberwar or cybermirage? - "We have already seen attacks launched on Estonia and Georgia, and the Stuxnet incident, which saw Iran's nuclear programme come under threat from a piece of malware this shows us how vigilant we need to be...."

Scientists grow blood vessels for human surgery - "Scientists can grow blood vessels in a lab for use in coronary bypass or dialysis, a promising alternative to harvesting from the patient, said a study published on Wednesday...."

The Pharox 300 Flame: The Warmest LED Light Bulb Available - "The Pharox 300 Flame is the warmest LED light bulb I've tested. It's been in a desk lamp in my living room — it gives off a pleasing yellow glow (a 3000 kelvin output). The Pharox's light quality is very good. Unlike CFLs, this bulb contains no mercury it emits no UV radiation. Typically, quality household lights tend to have the Color Rendering Index (CRI) between 80 and 100. The Pharox has a CRI of 85...."

3D print-shop receives an order for an ATM skimmer - "Last June, Belgian 3D printing shop i.materialise received (and declined) its first order for a custom, 3D-printed ATM skimmer faceplate. Good on the i.materialisers, but get set for a lot more of this sort of thing, as more of us end up with our own 3D printers that produce parts on demand, without any nose service bureau to tell us that committing bank fraud is an inappropriate technological choice..."

Rupert Murdoch's Daily: Who needs paper? - "EIGHT years ago Apple launched iTunes, a digital store selling music singles for 99 cents apiece. For record companies ravaged by piracy, it seemed like a good deal. Only later did many come to regret allowing another company to set retail prices and to get between them and their customers. On February 2nd Apple and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation launched the Daily, an iPad newspaper that will cost 99 cents a week. It will not dominate the digital news market the way iTunes came to rule the digital music market. But it sets a worrying precedent or two...."

Scientists make nanosheets with high-tech potential - "A novel way of splitting materials into sheets just one atom thick could lead to new electronic and energy storage technologies, scientists said Thursday...."

What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Industrial Cyber-Sabotage - "The operating system that Stuxnet is designed to hijack controls pipelines, conveyor belts, boilers, alarm systems and access controls, among other things, and experts warn that it and similar worms could, in theory, blow up factory boilers, destroy gas pipelines, sabotage power plants, and disrupt power grids. Now that Stuxnet has given hackers a sophisticated blueprint for creating such worms, many cybersecurity wonks are thoroughly freaked out...."

Canada still wants to "discipline the use of the Internet" - "Unlike the parrot in the famous Monty Python sketch, it appears that metered Internet billing in Canada is not quite dead after all. Speaking at a House of Commons hearing today, the head of Canada's telecoms regulator made it clear that metered billing rules would indeed be delayed—but they could well reappear...."

Misguided Internet Vigilantes Attack College Student's Cancer Fundraiser - "Misguided Internet Vigilantes Attack College Student's Cancer FundraiserA member of link-sharing site Reddit thought he caught a scammer red-handed. He spearheaded a crusade against her, harnessing the power of one of the web's biggest hiveminds to shut her down. He was wrong. She was fundraising for cancer..."

Interoperability between IPv6 and IPv4 - "IPv6 and IPv4 are two completely separate protocols. IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, and IPv4 hosts and routers will not be able to deal directly with IPv6 traffic (and vice versa). Unfortunately, it is a fact of life both that: 1) there will be extreme difficulties with address allocation and routing if the Internet is to continue be run indefinitely using IPv4, 2) it is impossible to switch the entire Internet over to IPv6 overnight..." See also: IPv6 Now Available from DreamHost!

TI-83 and TI-86 Emulators for Android - "Developer Doug Melton has brought TI-83 and TI-86 emulators to Android with his recent app releases. Initial speculation around the blogosphere was about whether Texas Instruments would allow the emulators to stay on the Android market. For now, the answer seems to be yes. A recent upgrade to the emulators renamed them Andy-83 and Andy-86 to remove Texas Instruments branding "as requested by TI.".."

[[[Interesting Reading #679 – iPhone heaven, Google bashing microsoft, Test Tube Meat, Fecal transplants and much more!]]]

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