Link Collection

March 31, 2008

LOTD for March 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:06 pm

The unemployment rate of scientists and engineers hit a record low of 2.5% in 2006 (down from 3.2% in 2003). The overall unemployment rate was 6.0% in 2003 and 4.7% in 2006. The impressive unemployment figure occurred even as 1 million more scientists and engineers entered the workplace between 2003 and 2006. The unemployment rate for scientists and engineers with doctorates dropped from 2.6% in 2003 to 1.8% in 2006:

Japanese scientists were able to create a man-made molecule that was actually able to *reverse* liver cirrhosis in rats. Cirrhosis of the liver is a big problem for some people, so this breakthrough could lead to medicine that would change lives:

It is funny that Sony/BMG have sued so many for pirating songs…and it was found that Sony/BMG are pirating up to 47% of the software on their servers!

The Real ID act may result in people from Maine and South Carolina being unable to enter federal buildings or airports as of May 11. Their driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted! Every other state applied for an extension, but those states were apparently sleeping:

US businesses are bracing themselves for another mess over H-1B Visas this year:

We need UAV pilots so badly in Iraq that they are actually taking pilots out of jets like the F-16s to get them to pilot UAVs:

The military has been trying to figure out whether to welcome or hinder bloggers. This study concluded that they should secretly recruit or hire prominent bloggers:

Southern California Edison is spending $875 mil to push solar power in homes. With their support and recent drops in solar prices, the price for solar power will be cut in half for the homes installing them:

The city of Nottingham is going to be testing ethanol-powered buses for the next 18 months. The ethanol is made from waste and meets the highest European standard for an EEV:

Shell and Virent Energy are looking to convert plant sugars directly into gasoline!

Ericsson this week (CTIA is this week, so we have LOTS of extra news) will demonstrate 42 Mbps over a 5 MHz channel via HSPA. The speed boost is due to MIMO:

AutoNet and Novatel are putting EVDA Rev. A into *cars*, turning cars into WiFi hot spots:;jsessionid=2TJWS40L2HHIWQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=207000117&articleID=207000117

The WiMAX Forum forecasts 133 mil WiMAX users by 2012:

Motorola announced a platform that supports BOTH WiMAX and LTE:

Motorola insider states that the company was destroyed by incompetent management:

Interesting interview with Motorola’s Fred Wright. Tons of highlights, but what stood out to me the most was that Motorola found that 75% of the software and hardware they used for WiMAX was reusable for LTE:

Telcel reportedly will get the iPhone for Mexico:

This analyst worries that LTE has so many frequency bands that its deployment will be delayed:

The LiMo Foundation about to release its mobile Linux Operation System:

The Huffington Post might be sold for $200 mil…that means that the blog is valued at more than $50 per visitor! If you count all of the visitors over a month period (even those who only visit once per month), the blog is worth $15 per monthly visitor:

The Newspaper Association of America revealed that last year had the worst-ever drop in the printed newspaper ad revenue. The online ad revenue for newspapers is up, but not by enough to compensate. Online ad revenue is now 7.5% instead of the 5.7% from the previous year:

Subway, Chili’s and others are experimenting with a new technology that would eliminate the need for key fobs or membership cards for stores–everything will be stored with your regular credit card!

It looks like text messaging is really changing the dating environment in India:

15- or 16-year-old boy tried to rob an 81-year-old Army vet with a knife…the 81-year-old put down the groceries he was holding and told the teenager with the knife to come no closer…when the teen went up to him, the vet kicked him once (in a sensitive area), picked up his groceries, and walked home while the teen was doubled over in pain:

March 30, 2008

LOTD for March 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:11 pm

This popular park (10 million visitors per year!) in Amsterdam has dog owners upset because dogs are no longer allowed to be in the park without leashes…while public sex in the park is allowed:

Interesting study found that placebos were more effective when people pay more for them…this may indicate why many people feel that name-brand drugs are more effective than generic drugs:

Mis-addressed text message and the response from the woman who mistakenly thought it was from someone else let to an engagement! They sure have a cute “how we met” story:

Wisconsin woman spent 6 days in jail because she couldn’t return her library books in time and couldn’t pay the fines:

Accused mafia member in was sent home after the Sicilian court ruled that he was too fat for any jail cell in Italy:

French village outlawed dying, threatening severe punishments!,23599,23333951-13762,00.html

This book claims that the true cost of the Iraq war will end up being $3 trillion:

It is ironic how the sleeping little girl who was featured in Hilary’s “It’s 3 a.m.” commercial (the footage is 8 years old) is campaigning for Obama:

After 14 straight years of rapid growth, the number of high school graduates will slowly decline starting next year, which may change the college application process over time:

Interesting book on the background on fortune cookies in the US:

Excerpt from the interesting book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles”:

March 29, 2008

LOTD for March 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:12 pm

Japan may send an origami airplane on a space mission!

Seniors in Rancho Bernardo love playing Wii Bowling!

People who do not smoke, who exercise at least a little, who drink only moderately, and who eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day live on average *14* years longer than those who do not. Interesting that the benefit has been quantified by a study:

March 28, 2008

LOTD for March 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:14 pm

Amazing find of a voice recording from 1860! This beats Edison by 17 years! Thanks to Ben for the article.

The US outsourced all of their electronic passports to overseas companies, including one that has already been compromised by Chinese hackers. The Inspector General says that this compromises US security:

The accuracy of the first Hi-Tech census for the US is already being questioned and the census is projected to cost well above their budget. This was supposed to be the first time they used handheld computers instead of pen-and-pencil, but the census takers apparently do not know how to use the handheld computers! Harris was given a $596 mil contract for the handheld computers, but the software they delivered was inadequate to transmit the large amount of data necessary. So, the $596 mil contract Harris was given might jump to $2 bil if they want to get something working:

The US is stepping up their use of UAVs in Pakistan to target al Qaeda with unilateral strikes. The effectiveness of this strategy is questioned, as there are tradeoffs:

The Pentagon ordered an inventory of all nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons-related material. Remember 4 nuclear warhead fuses were shipped to Taiwan and nobody realized that until Taiwan complained:

Columbian rebels actually had 66 pounds of Uranium and were looking to make a dirty bomb…if you trust the Columbian government’s word:,1,5981373.story

Charity is campaigning against machine-gun weilding autonomous robots (which do not exist now):

The Air Force is actually asking contractors to come up with their strategy for the next 20 years:

Sprint had a HORRIBLE year last year…but their CEO got $21.8 mil, up 47% from 2006:

AT&T is going to launch its mobile TV service via MediaFLO in May:

Both Google and Yahoo are now including video ads with their search results…but they are doing it in very different ways:

New Chinese law could be a big problem for Microsoft’s attempt to buy Yahoo:

Splitting into 2 companies will result in Motorola laying off R&D engineers and those who support the R&D group:

China is *finally* going to begin commercial trials of their 3G standard, TD-SCDMA:

In 2007 WiFi phone sales were up 61% and WiFi equipment sales were up 20% (to $1.9 bil)

Crest factor reduction algorithms from CDMA are being promoted for OFDM systems to reduce peak-to-average power ratios:

Streaming HD video is being tested by CBS:

India’s top marksmen on their Olympic team are upset that they do not have ammunition to train with:

March 27, 2008

LOTD for March 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:09 pm

AT&T’s CEO says they are having a hard time finding skilled workers to fill the 5000 jobs they moved from India to the US. He says that in some areas the high school dropout rate is 50%! He said that they can do product engineering just as easily in Bangalore as they can do it in Austin:

Awesome article on the Navy Seals. They did a GREAT job at getting the tribes in Iraq (there are 101 tribes!) to be friendly to us instead of hostile:

Looks like the troops in the field in Iraq figured out a way to make the LandWarrior equipment useful in the field…now the soldiers want more of the LandWarrior systems, a big change from how they wanted to junk it before:

Looks like the first nuclear reactor to power a base (remember that was in the AOTD a month or two ago) will be on an Air Force base in New Mexico:

Colorado city had to shut down its water supply due to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. The water is not even safe enough to shower in! It might take up to 14 days for the water supply to be cleared:

Miami (and Houston) police asked the FAA for clearance to use UAVs:

Icahn wrote a VERY strongly worded letter to Motorola’s board. He’s happy that they will be splitting the company like he had been pushing for, but he’s not satisfied with the way they are doing it. He called the Motorola board a country club and pointed out that he clearly doesn’t trust their promises:

Verizon just sued a telemarketing company that had been trying to target its customers:

Another article about how the head of the Australian WiMAX pioneers trashed WiMAX as a disaster and all hype:

Airspan responded to the criticisms by saying that the Australian company bought cheap equipment and didn’t spend enough money:

Google is now stepping up their efforts to use the “white spaces” TV spectrum for internet access:

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said that the mediaFLO mobile TV service is going slower than he had hoped. It is interesting that 60% of the graduates that Qualcomm hires out of US Universities were born in other countries–Jacobs says that reflects the US/foreign ratio in school in the technical fields:

The rumblings seem to indicate that a 3G iPhone is coming quite soon, especially due to poor European iPhone sales (attributed to the lack on 3G support on the current iPhone). The claim is that Apple has already ordered 10 million 3G iPhones:

Analyst says that WiMAX will remain just a niche service in India in 2009 despite the government and industry push behind it:;jsessionid=L3JDLVV13W0P4QSNDLSCKHA?articleID=206905945

Comcast, Google, AND Intel each to put up $1 bil for the Clearwire/Sprint WiMAX network? Time Warner to put up $500 mil and Brighthouse to put up $100 – $200 mil? I can why Clearwire and Sprint would hope that these other companies will pay for the construction of their WiMAX network…I just do not see it happening:

China approved the second phase of their lunar probe program. Interesting that Chinese Universities are competing with their designs for moon rovers:

Sharp is investing $729 mil to build the world’s biggest solar cell plant, to be located in western Japan:

Google is offering YouTube users a free tool that will allow them to monitor where, when, and how often their videos are played:

Dallas strip club had a *12-year-old* girl strip…but strangely, Dallas laws prevent the club from being closed due to employing a minor as a stripper!

Idaho police saw this guy throw a McDonald’s hamburger at another car…they tasered the guy!

March 26, 2008

LOTD for March 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:16 pm

The H-1B rules are changing and they will now randomly select from the first 5 days of applications:

The Defense Intelligence Agency seemed to confuse Iraq and Iran here:

After 12 years and $350 mil, the Navy stopped its long-range GPS-guided missile program. Amazingly, it seems that pretty much every individual system failed testing at White Sands, and Raytheon already spent all of the money:

The chief spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency responded to the criticism in this blog of the missile interceptor program (in yesterday’s AOTD)…and the readers of this blog then poked all kinds of holes in his statement:

The UK Army seems to have abandoned Basra and the S will apparently be needed there to restore order, What is happening in Basra shows the downside of simply pulling out of Iraq:

The mess in Basra led tp violence in Baghdad:

Comcast and Time Warner are looking to fund a new wireless company that would be operated by Sprint and Clearwire to create a nationwide WiMAX network. Comcast would put in $1 bil and Time Warner would invest $500 mil. They are also hoping for $1 bil from Intel, as they need $5 bil to build the network:

Motorola is splitting into two companies, one company will have the mobile phone business and the other will have the network business. Looks like Icahn got his way:

Verizon won the spectrum that was allocated for open access service, but this article says that the network Verizon runs on that spectrum may not be as open as hoped:

AOL is trying to change itself from an ISP to a full-service digital-advertising company:

India’s Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for $2.3 bil. That is only 40% of what Ford paid for the brands, plus Ford will contribute $600 mil of that $2.3 bil to the pension plans of Jaguar and Land Rover:

Tata and Yahoo partner for cloud computing research in India:

Article about Virginia Tech’s work on cognitive radio for defense and emergency responder purposes:

Three days after trying to charge $50 to remove unwanted software from the new laptops it sold, Sony had to back off and take away the fee:

The NY Times did a major redesign of their paper today:

This guy got out of jail…and then tried to carjack a car in the jail parking lot! Unfortunately for him, the car had a manual transmission and he didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission car:

March 25, 2008

LOTD for March 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:15 pm

Saudi Prince (worth $20.3 billion the last time Forbes valued his holdings) plans to build a mile-high building!

The gulf states have made so much money that racing to build the world’s tallest building is giving them an outlet for that money:

March 24, 2008

LOTD for March 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:20 pm

The IRS has been using its data warehouse to identify tax cheats–so, they audit a lot more people now and actually audit *less* people who are innocent. This is an example of government using technology in an effective way. As much as I criticize some things that the government does, I want to praise the people behind this effort:

Study found that people prefer electronic voting over paper ballots, but that current electronic voting machines have an extremely high error rate. Given past problems, I have no idea why a study on electronic voting would purposely NOT study security:

The company that makes the e-voting machines that is not allowing independent auditors to look at why their voting machines have been making so many mistakes now has another big problem…their website was hacked without their realizing it! That sure sounds like a company that I want to trust the next election to…

The Army is giving out $4 mil in grants to study yoga, bioenergy, and other potential treatments for all of the cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that the soldiers returning from Iraq have:

The US accidentally sent missile parts to Taiwan instead of the helicopter batteries they requested. We didn’t even know about the error until Taiwan notified the US:,1,1983675.story

Israeli handset startup Modu just raised $100 mil in venture capital money:

After previous rulings, I’m surprised that the Department of Justice is allowing XM and Sirius to merge:

Security lapse exposed many Facebook photos to unauthorized users:

Samsung’s new phone comes with matching nail polish (is that really an effective marketing tactic?):

Department of Energy researchers were able to make a thin film solar cell with a record 19.9% efficiency:

UCSD researchers made a number of significant discoveries about smog and air pollution:

This Canadian chocolate factory had to stop allowing school kids to tour their factory in order to be able to keep exporting their chocolate to the US:

Amazing that our government can now detect radiation inside of a cat (that had radiation treatment 3 days earlier) inside of a car going 70 mph that was at least 80 feet away from the agent:

Israel is putting anti-missile systems on their airplanes:

The Department of Energy penalized Battelle for lax worker safety in their government lab in Idaho:

Note: Sandia Labs is lucky that there wasn’t as much oversight when I worked there in 1990. I worked in a building with some extremely hazardous material (all I can say is that my work was on devices that could resist nuclear radiation), so we had drills at least once per week with the alarms going off and all of us gathering at a predetermined location. However, one day something actually DID spill and a worker hit the panic button and got out of there. The entire building evacuated…except for the people working in my lab (between 5 to 10 people). When the people returned to the building, they were SHOCKED that we had not evacuated, and we were SHOCKED that we had no notice of evacuation after all of the drills that went smoothly. Thankfully, nobody was hurt…but I was amazed that the one time we had a real emergency evacuation the alarm in my lab did not go off.

March 23, 2008

LOTD for March 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:22 pm

Voting machines in New Jersey recorded the wrong amount of votes…but they have not been able to do the requested investigation into the machine errors because the company that makes the voting machines says that ANY independent investigation would violate their trade secrets! We are about to have a Presidential election with voting machines that are KNOWN to be faulty!

The NY Times has a page that gives some information on each of the ~4,000 US service members who have died in Iraq:

Cheney said that President Bush, not the Troops or their families, has carried the biggest burden during the war in Iraq:

Remember how pilots can carry guns now? A US Air pilot shot his gun accidentally while in the cockpit while the plane was in the air. Thankfully, the plane landed safely:

Story on telepathic ray guns and vaporized shoes: the truth is weirder than you think:

Amazing that we have spent $120 bil on the “Star Wars” missile defense system, and continue to spend $10 bil per year. I have my opinions of this and saw some interesting briefings while I was at JPL, but I will not comment on this here:

Amazing that the rainforest on the Big Island of Hawaii is under attack…by trees! Invasive trees are starting a change in the ohia tree-dominated rainforest:

The Air Force is looking at having fighter jets fueled by a liquid fuel derived from *coal*:

Sun got a $44 mil contract from the Pentagon for research on how to speed up data communications inside a computer. Research into optical connections between chips are already at speeds of 10 *pentaflops* (10 million trillion instructions per second):

Research is going on to make it possible for people to *regrow* limbs…this would be awesome for amputees!

Speculation is that the huge amount of spectrum that Echostar (Dish Network) won will allow Dish to offer a nationwide mobile TV service. Dish spent $712 mil for the “E” block spectrum, and that spectrum allows for one-way service (so, it can deliver video but cannot be used as a phone service):

The mobile messaging market is expected to grow to $212 billion by 2013:

IPWireless hit its milestones so NextWave just made a $50 mil milestone payments to IPWireless shareholders:

Not only did China pass the US for #1 cell phone market, it looks like India is about to pass the US and have the second-most cell phone users soon:

China has a problem with cell phone text messaging spam…on average 8 spam messages per cell phone per week!

The list of the 700 MHz spectrum auction winners has been released:

Under the assumption that Obama or Hilary is the next President, names are already being floated for the next FCC Chair:

ESPN has cut its ties to online ad networks, quite unusual in today’s ad market:

A young couple in Germany bought a stroller in an Internet auction…and found a loaded gun in the side pocket of the stroller when it was delivered!

This Dutch shoplifter got away from the scene of the crime…but left his son behind so the police were able to find him!

Doctoral student at Temple (who was an instructor at La Salle University) is going to prison for 3-4 years because he clicked on a certain link, as part of an FBI fake hyperlink operation. I do wonder why he was on the website he was on…but I hope that they are sure as to the reasons why he clicked on the link:

Olympic gold medalist (and Playboy model) Amanda Beard has a blog on ESPN the Magazine’s website: she is going to give sex advice in videos while wearing a bikini:

March 22, 2008

LOTD for March 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:23 pm

French Champion Lyon was fined because one of their fans zapped an opposing player with a laser before and during a Champions League match:

Amazing that this guy had gun permits from North Dakota and Utah but Minnesota rejected his gun permit application…because the Sheriff in Minnesota didn’t feel right about issuing a gun permit to a *blind* man:

Viagra as a treatment for jet lag? Animal tests indicate that it helps with jet lag…but I don’t see anyone prescribing it for jet lag!

60-year-old New Jersey woman had *twins* with her husband of 38 years (they had to fly to South Africa for the in-vitro fertilization). They already had kids aged 33, 29, and 6:

It is really sad that the highest rate of women of any age or ethnicity are Asian-American women ages 15-24…the pressure from families to excel becomes too much for them:

Men taking more than 1 multivitamin per day is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer:

Injection a synthetic oil directly into their muscles artificially makes bodybuilder’s muscles look bigger…though this “fluffing” actually damages their muscles and doesn’t make them any stronger:

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