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Interesting Reading #739 – China’s new space station, App Store for War, The sexiest car, Twitter spam and much more!

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My Take: The Real Reason People Should Get Excited About Nintendo’s New Console – “It’s no surprise that people are insanely excited about Nintendo’s Wii successor — so far sources have indicated that the system will be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (finally, Nintendo games in glorious HD!), and it will have a brand new control mechanism in the form of a touch-screen controller with a camera, eight buttons and two analog sticks. The system will also be backward compatible with Wii games — dare I speculate (or at least dream) that it will also up-res them to full HD? You know, like the Wii emulator for PC that made such games as Super Mario Galaxy look mindblowingly awesome? “

Display Tech: 6 Misunderstood Specs Explained – “We get a boatload of questions here at Maximum PC, on everything ranging from “Why is my PC crashing?” to “What video card should I buy?” so when we recently got a question from a reader about refresh rates and HDTVs we turned to our favorite expert, Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate. He gave us a boatload of information in response – and because there’s such an incredible amount of misinformation about displays, and specs, we’ve decided to print his response here so that you can all reap the benefits. Never again will you be fooled by LCD refresh rates, or stymied when trying to explain interlacing! Read on for the break down of six common display tech specs – and what they really mean….”

China unveils space station, launching by 2020 – “The China Manned Space Engineering Office hopes to change that within the next decade, however, unveiling a model of its first space station on Monday….”

Editorial: Sony’s Astounding Breach of Trust – “We all knew the dangers when putting our information online, but Sony’s failure to warn us about the potential theft of personal information for a solid week is a grave breach of trust….”

How do you use 1Gbps Internet links? Chattanooga residents find out – “As the first US city to make 1Gbps fiber connections available to all, Chattanooga has been on the cutting edge of broadband deployment. Even fiber’s backers admit there aren’t many uses for a full 1Gbps connection at the moment, but they make a “build it and they will come” argument; provide the bandwidth and uses will materialize. Besides, once you’ve laid the fiber—why not roll out 1Gbps service? “

Infographic: Does Facebook Make You a Better Student? – “Facebook began as a way of connecting university students, but has it actually done anything for education? There’s no question the social network is integral to college life today, with students keeping up with social events, reading campus news, and even collaborating on projects on the site. So what effect has this had on actual studies?”

First Look: Inside the Army’s App Store for War – “If all of the bureaucratic and security hurdles can be overcome, the Army will soon launch its version of an app store, where soldiers can download Army-relevant software to their work computers and — with a little luck — mobile phones. This is what its homepage will look like….”

Man Had 70+ Exotic Snakes, Fed Them Pets Adopted Off Craigslist – “Texas animal authorities are currently in the process of re-housing and identifying nearly 80 snakes–mostly Boas and Albino Burmese Pythons–all located at one East Texas house. Their owner, David Beauchemin, apparently fed the snakes pets he “adopted” off of Craigslist….”

The Future of Solar (INFOGRAPHIC)

Top 10 Strangest Museums Ever – “Across the world, there are museums of history, of art and of science. Some of the most famous include the Louvre, the Smithsonian and San Francisco’s Exploratorium. But for as many famous museums as there are around the world, there are just as many strange museums. To make it on this list, the wackier museum is the better….”

Confessions From the Auto Body Shop – “For most consumers, auto body shops are intimidating and mysterious. The good ones restore your beloved car to gleaming perfection. The bad ones hide problems and stick you with a big repair bill….”

Could This Be The Sexiest Car On The Road? – “German automaker Audi is in the midst launching a new model in the U.S., the A7, with a marketing campaign that pushes the idea that the car, part of a modern design phenomenon known as the “four-door coupe,” is worthy of being considered art. “The all-new Audi A7 takes cues from high art, with dramatic stylings and bold features, says Audi of America chief marketing officer Scott Keogh. “The A7 will join the ranks of icons in design and technology,” Keogh added….”

McDonald’s Fries vs. Wendy’s Fries: FRY FIGHT! – “​As Fry Girl, I receive thousands barely any e-mails in my inbox every week. Recently however, I did get a goodie from Wendy’s that read, “In a national taste test, consumers said Wendy’s fries taste better than McDonald’s. When asked which they thought taste better after sampling both, 56% of participants chose Wendy’s Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt. Only 39% preferred the taste of McDonald’s.”…”

“Hello Abraham There is No Problem”: The Story of a Problem – “There’s a theoretical line between the collective fantasy of cyberspace and the all-too-limited IRL world of injuries and breakable objects. The danger comes when you forget how thin that dividing line is. Case in point: Last summer, a man I met on the Internet came within a hair’s breadth of stealing $2,317.80 worth of physical dollar bills from me. IRL….”

Witness to a Plastic Invasion – “It blew in for two solid days: a flotilla of plastic forks, soda bottles, rubber gloves, and other refuse. I tried to pick everything up off the beach, but when I turned around, you couldn’t tell that I had cleaned at all. When we went out in the boats, we had to go slowly in order to dodge the debris. Eventually the tide came in and swooped it all away….”

Two struggling slimmers lose 7st each after striking up friendship on Twitter – “Two dieters who met through the social networking website Twitter have lost more than 14 stone between them by tweeting instead of eating. Anjee Busby, 41, and Vicki Gotts, 26, joined the micro blogging site at the beginning of 2010 when they both decided to lose weight. They found each other after realising they were were both regularly tweeting what they ate at each meal and every time they felt the urge to binge or snack…”

Obama releases his Hawaii birth certificate – “President Obama said today he released new copies of his Hawaii birth certificate because the flap over his birthplace threatens to overshadow the “enormous challenges” facing the nation….” See also: Certificate of live birth

President Obama and John Boehner Target Big Oil Tax Breaks – “President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are off to a good beginning in a new attempt at bipartisanship, if this is forthcoming — $4 billion in tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies every year is on the chopping block….”

The secret sex lives of the Founding Fathers – “If anyone could spice up the tale of our nation’s birth, it would be Larry Flynt. When the infamous pornographer set out to do just that, he quickly discovered that our Founding Fathers were pretty smutty to begin with – it’s just that the presidential orgies and brothel visits have been whitewashed from American history textbooks….”

Ant vs. Spider

Why Women In Computer Science Matter – “To be clear, I never suffered discrimination in these classes, either from faculty or from fellow students. No one ever implied that I couldn’t do the work, or that I was less capable because of my gender, and aside from perhaps a few conversations about the gender skew of our class, I don’t remember the issue of my femaleness ever explicitly coming up. But I felt it keenly, and I remember that it was a relief to find myself in English classes where I no longer stood out as different….”

Twitter is in Denial About its Massive Spam Problem – “How often does a spam email make it all the way to your inbox? My email address is everywhere, and I get about one a month. Yet on Twitter I get hit by spammers multiple times a day….”

Why I, Jeff Bezos, Keep Spending Billions On Amazon R&D (AMZN) – “Our technologies are almost exclusively implemented as services: bits of logic that encapsulate the data they operate on and provide hardened interfaces as the only way to access their functionality. This approach reduces side effects and allows services to evolve at their own pace without impacting the other components of the overall system. Service-oriented architecture — or SOA — is the fundamental building abstraction for Amazon technologies. Thanks to a thoughtful and far-sighted team of engineers and architects, this approach was applied at Amazon long before SOA became a buzzword in the industry. Our e-commerce platform is composed of a federation of hundreds of software services that work in concert to deliver functionality ranging from recommendations to order fulfillment to inventory tracking. For example, to construct a product detail page for a customer visiting Amazon.com, our software calls on between 200 and 300 services to present a highly personalized experience for that customer….”

In One Hour, For Less Than a Buck, a Sensor Made of Jell-O and Foil Detects Acute Pancreatitis – “If there were a distinction one could earn for practicing smart medicine on a shoestring, a UT grad student would be high in the running. Using a aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein, and a cheap LED light–items that collectively sell for under a buck–he’s created a fast, one-hour test for acute pancreatitis….”

How mobile phones are turning into phantom limbs – “‘Phantom limb’ syndrome is suffered by many amputees, who feel strange and often painful sensations coming from their missing limbs. For a long time, doctors either dismissed these reports or thought they were due to irritation coming from severed nerve endings. The true cause of ‘phantom limb’ syndrome turned out to lie in the way the brain re-organises itself after it stops receiving signals from a limb’s nerves: even though the limb was gone, the part of the brain associated with it remained, ‘remapped’ to different parts of the body….”

[[[Interesting Reading #738 – America’s moon base, 2,200 MPG car, SETI is dead, successor to Acura NSX and much more!]]]

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