Link Collection

July 31, 2008

LOTD for July 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:17 pm

The FDA reports that the source of the contaminated serrano peppers was found to be a Mexican farm in Nuevo Leon and the source of the jalapeno pepper contamination was found to be a Mexican farm in Tamaulipas. The US tomato industry is now complaining to the House about the more than $300 mil that they lost:

MIT reports that the key to storing solar energy efficiently lies in splitting water:

This new technique is supposed to enable solar power to be provided 24/7:;jsessionid=2JLKEZDUPJZA0QSNDLSCKHA?articleID=209900956

This drug can actually build significantly more high-efficiency muscle fibers in a short period of time:,0,7519614.story?page=2

Drugs found to enable exercise endurance? This could be great for people who need to lose weight…but I bet the first people who will look at using it are athletes. They won’t be able to test for these performance-enhancing drugs at the Olympics (it is a good idea to announce that so that athletes know they can get away with it?), but they will need a test for it soon or a lot of athletes will be using this:

Interesting column about how China’s growth will be reduced because of their environmental problems and because of their aging population (a result of the reduced birthrate due to their one-child rules):

Interesting that some people who can afford to make their mortgage payments instead stop payments and make the bank foreclose on their property because of their negative equity in their home due to the drop in home values:

It seems to me that Rep. Murtha’s plan for the Navy’s budget and shipbuilding surprised the House, Senate, Industry, and Navy…and it does make sense to me to reduce battleship construction and produce more of the other ships that may be more needed now:

Looks like the Air Force will have their own surge in Iraq when the ground troops pull out, similar to what the UK did when they pulled out ground troops in Iraq:

The Air Force wants its airmen to play casual games like Jewel Quest:

Harris has a multi-band SDR that is supposed to enable federal, state, and local public safety agencies to communicate more effectively with a single radio:

New York City plans to skip muni-WiFi and get a low-cost fiber option for public housing residents. One important thing to note is that Northrop is setting up a very impressive wireless network for public safety throughout New York City (they spoke about it at the Vegas conference I spoke at):
Computerworld article

Dell released a new line of computers today that looks VERY different and significantly reduces electricity usage:

UK research firm estimates 2.1 billion wireless broadband customers generating $784 billion in revenue by 2015. HSPA and HSPA+ are predicted to be the dominant technologies, with LTE having a decent market share also and WiMAX marginalized:
Press release

Qualcomm announced that it completed the world’s first HSPA+ call–they got 20 Mbps in a 5 MHz channel. The next version of HSPA+ is supposed to get 28 Mbps downlink and 11 Mbps uplink:
Press release

In addition to the accidents due to texting while driving, there are apparently a lot of accidents due to people texting while walking, riding bikes, and even riding Segways:

They have apparently found the genetic trigger for schizophrenia:

Japanese parents are playing matchmaker for their children, especially since 71.5% of men age 25-29 are unmarried, a huge jump from how 47.1% were unmarried in 1990. 32% of women age 30-34 are single now, where only 16% were single in 1990:

Man fell asleep on a Canadian bus and was apparently beheaded by a stranger for no particular reason:

July 30, 2008

LOTD for July 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:54 pm

The CIA has evidence that Pakistan’s spy agency (ISI) has ties to militants that operate in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The CIA is heavily dependent on ISI for information on militants, but they also know that the militants and ISI have deep ties:

The Air Force is looking for a spray-on laser shield to protect its weapons:

Pretty cool to read about this hybrid plane concept with super gas mileage:

A flying car prototype is being shown off at an Air Show now and they may begin safety testing later this year!

Qwest is now reselling Verizon Wireless service, which should give a spike for Verizon. When Qwest dropped Sprint in May, it was estimated that it cost Sprint 860,000 customers, so Verizon may gain a similar number of customers in the near future. Qwest is contacting their customers to switch them to Verizon phones and calling plans and are giving limited time offers to entice the switchers:
Press Release

The Palm Centro has now reached the 2 million sale mark and Palm has its brightest outlook in awhile:

Mobile computing is now a dominant focus for open source development:

Garmin missed its estimates and delayed the Nuviphone until next year. The increased competition from cell phone navigation (the 3G iPhone has some pretty interesting stuff rumored for GPS Navigation) services and from Tom Tom and other GPS Navigation systems makes this a tough time for Garmin. Their stock is down 60% this year!
Article link

Google competitor Cuil has had some problems during this first week of its service:

The 14.2% drop in tourist visits to Hawaii is called “scary” for Hawaii’s economy:

AOL asked many of its paid bloggers to work for free and many agreed since they have hope that they will get to keep their jobs at reduced pay starting in August:

I always unplug my cell phone charger, both to save electricity and because I don’t want my kids to play with the outlet. It turns out that leaving a cell phone charger plugged in all year uses the equivalent energy of 1 bath or 6 minutes of driving per year:

Interesting editorial about how high gas prices are good for our country:,0,5483268.column

Nintendo’s profit was up 34% last quarter, credited to the surge in sales due to Wii Fit and Mario Kart:
Article link

July 29, 2008

LOTD for July 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 11:37 pm

San Francisco’s DA actually put 150 usernames and passwords used by San Francisco government agencies in the public record!
Article link

Earlier San Francisco’s mayor met with the rogue IT guy who is in jail to get back the some of the network passwords:
Infoworld article

Prediction that Israel will bomb Iran’s nuclear sites before the next President takes over:

Article about how the standard for intelligence on Iran is much lower than normal for Israel to authorize a bombing campaign because of the danger Iran poses to Israel:

Article about how Iran’s nuclear program and the weak US dollar is the cause of high gas prices:

Looks like the Army wants 6 Russian-made helicopters for Afghanistan and someone is authorizing US contractors to work with a sanctioned Russian exporter to get the helicopters:

Video report about how classified US documents are for sale in Pakistani street markets:

Article about why the US war on terrorism in Pakistan is not going well:,0,2928706,full.story

Air Force General who was the Executive Officer to the former Air Force Chief of Staff has apparently committed suicide:

Article about how the Army wants a World of Warcraft-like MMOG virtual world for training:

PET scans can detect the onset of Alzheimer’s 10 years before symptoms show up, allowing treatment to begin much earlier:

Not a surprising result–people who exercise have reduced effects from Alzheimer’s:

A South Korean cat died of the bird flu, the first time in 12 years where the bird flu was able to infect a cat:

Harvard, Yale, Washington, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, and Oregon are some of the 11 Universities that had the maximum Green Rating of 99:

Sprint lost their early termination fee case and are appealing their $73 mil judgement:

The 3-D Hannah Montana concert on the Disney Channel on Saturday was the highest rated show on TV that night:

Verizon FioS TV is now available in New York…I’m really looking forward to when it is available in San Diego!

July 28, 2008

LOTD for July 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 11:52 pm

The TSA is testing shoe scanning technology at LAX–this would allow travelers to keep their shoes on at the airport:

The Army and ARINC apparently violated a US ban and when through a banned Russian export agency to sell those overpriced helicopters ($325 mil, well above the market value of the helicopters) to the Iraqi army:

Interesting article about how the Afghanistan government protects the opium trade–Afghanistan supplies 90% of the world’s heroin and nobody (including the US) is really trying to stop it:

Former Google employees have created Cuil, which is a search engine competitor to Google:
Infoworld article

Stanford researchers are upset with how the Federal Government wants to trademark SLAC or change the name. I love their suggested FUNDMe acronym!

Santa Clara Utilities is taking over the muni-WiFi network covering their city. So, Santa Clara will have free WiFi with no ads:

Rural wireless providers object to the Sprint-Clearwire merger due to roaming worries. This is in addition to AT&T objection to the merger:

The city of Milledgeville (next to Atlanta) signed a deal to have Clearwire provide muni-WiMAX services:

Amazing how Verizon added 1.5 million customers and had record low churn last quarter despite the iPhone and all of the competition:
Press release

Interesting that Radioshack sells both AT&T and Sprint phones and have lately been recommending Sprint due to cost factors and a feeling that Sprint has a better data network than AT&T. Not too long ago Radioshack was putting down Sprint and favoring AT&T:

Article examining why the 3G iPhone hasn’t been matched by its competitors yet:

Motorola just created this unit last year and now they are splitting the unit into 3 parts (probably to prepare for selling one of more of those parts off):,0,1903090,print.story

Interesting how it appears that China has been caught faking the ages of some of their top athletes to get them to be able to compete in the Olympics:,0,5659114.story

Ad buyers want newspapers to reinvent their business model. Mediaweek predicts that as soon as 2012 newspapers could be web only:

Video showing how a guy modified his canoe to be steered via the Wiimote:

The Chief Executive of Electronic Arts says that they made the wrong call by focusing on the PS3 and Xbox 360 instead of the Wii and says that EA will have a lot of innovative games coming out for the Wii over the next year:

Blackwater is planning to airdrop packs of Xbox 360s, TVs, modems, and the Guitar Hero game to drop to troops in Afghanistan:

Florida was rated the #1 party school while BYU was rated the #1 stone-cold sober school:

July 27, 2008

LOTD for July 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 10:21 pm

Some granite countertops contain so much uranium that its radioactivity level exceeds safety standards. Apparently granite countertops are not tested for radioactivity before being sold, so having that level of radioactivity around for a long period of time could raise a concern:

Great story about how the residents of a tiny Kenyan village sold chickens and cattle to send one of their own to college…and now 8 years later he and his brother are graduates of Dartmouth and Vanderbilt and they established a clinic in that Kenyan village that serves 100 people each day, 85% of them for free. That is an amazing story about giving back to their community!

It is sad that global warming could make the tuatara extinct, since a higher temperature at the nest results in the offspring becoming all male:

Global warming could result in lobsters, crabs, and squid becoming plentiful (thus cheap) while certain fish that are currently cheap due to abundant supply could become harder to find (thus much more expensive):

The average American spends over $100 more per year on footwear than on vegetables! I’m glad that slippers and Payless are cheap for our family!

Interesting that both Obama and McCain are left-handed, so 6 of our 12 presidents since World War II will be left-handed, when just 10% of the population is left-handed:

First class passenger (who was drunk) on Delta was upset when economy passengers were able to depart the plane before him, so he yanked open the emergency hatch and slid down the chute:

Funny how a conservative website used an auto-replace feature on Associated Press articles…so Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay and pro basketball player Rudy Gay had their last names changed:

Nevada brothel offered a $50 gas card for a purchase of $300 of “services”…and ran out of gas cards within a week:

Pregnancies triple in this Colorado community during this annual Country music festival:

July 25, 2008

LOTD for July 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:36 pm

If this Stanford study is correct, our bodies do not just wear out as we age…our genes trigger the aging process. This theory would mean that with periodic gene therapy humans could be like some animals who do not age (tortoises lay eggs at 100 and whales could live more than 400 years, etc.):

It looks like more questionable arms sales to Iraq have been uncovered. ARINC got a sole source deal (with no solicitation released or competitive process taking place despite at least 6 US companies capable of selling the same thing) to sell 22 Russian-made helicopters to Iraq. The lack of competitive process is pretty interesting, especially since the Iraqi military paid $325 mil for the helicopters, which seems to be FAR above their market value:

Cool photo shows what happens when a F-16 strafes a GMC Suburban:
Aviation Week article

Ray gun is designed to beam irritating sounds into the target’s head…unfortunately, in order to get the sound loud enough to be irritating, the gun has to have lethal power. In other words, to get the sound loud enough to be irritating the gun would have to kill you…then the sound won’t matter much! This work was funded by a Phase I SBIR but they didn’t get to Phase II.

3 Air Force officers fell asleep while in possession of nuclear launch codes:

Remember the news yesterday that the Navy would just order two of the $5 bil next-generation battleships? Some Senators are upset with the decision and want to exercise their “oversight”. In an absolutely amazing coincidence, those Senators are in districts that build part of the next-generation battleship:

It looks like BOTH Qualcomm and Nokia are happy with their deal. Nokia got the lower rate they wanted and Qualcomm got a long-term partnership with Nokia and some of Nokia’s patents:

AT&T is asking the FCC to deny the Sprint-Clearwire deal:

Amazing that Southwest Airlines has not lost money in ANY quarter since 1991! But their profitability is largely due to their lower fuel costs due to their hedges…but their hedges are slowly ending and they will have to pay market prices for fuel soon. Last year 90% of their fuel was cheap due to hedges, now that is down to 80%, next year it will be 70%, in 2010 it will be 40%, and in 2011 it will be 20%! Southwest has put a freeze on its growth plans…so I guess they won’t be starting their flights to Hawaii for quite some time:

Looks like the newspaper I subscribe to is for sale. I hope that the buyers cover San Diego news (especially the wireless and biotech business beats):well:

High gas prices are forcing rural school districts (where school buses can travel 100 miles each day) to consider going to a 4-day school week:

July 24, 2008

LOTD for July 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:33 pm

The Navy just pulled the plug on their next-generation battleship program–they will only buy 2 of those battleships instead of the planned 7 or more. Instead of spending $5 bil on each of the new battleships, they will buy more of the $2 bil current-generation battleships, and use the savings to buy extra battleships and in other budget priorities:

As a parent of 2 girls, I found this article interesting: families who ate at least 5 meals per week together result in teen girls with half of the chance of drinking alcohol or smoking pot or cigarettes. Interestingly, boys apparently aren’t affected by families eating together, the effect is just for girls. The 5 meals per week can be any meal, not just dinner, so that really isn’t a hard standard to meet:

Girls perform just as well as boys on standardized tests in math, contrary to stereotypes by parents and teachers. Interesting that non-Asian boys score above the 99th percentile twice as often as non-Asian girls…but Asian girls score above the 99th percentile more often than Asian boys:

Cow manure is very damaging to the environment when allowed to decompose naturally, but this research found a way to process it to not only process it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to generate up to 100 billion kWh of electricity!
Article link

Michigan’s solar car team won its 5th national championship:

Google’s Wikipedia competitor Knol has been released. The biggest change to me is that Google will place ads on the pages and those who write the Knol entries will get some of the revenue from those ads:

I’m so glad that the Qualcomm-Nokia legal battles are over now. They signed a *15-year* licensing agreement for 3G and 4G technologies and Qualcomm can integrate Nokia’s IP into their products and Nokia can now use Qualcomm’s IP without worrying about the legal dispute:;_ylt=AqORbfOlWcJGz_HjLVl2e_wjtBAF

HP and Asus laptops are free for customers who sign a 24 month mobile broadband contract with Orange. I hope that US providers offer the same 3G/4G-enabled laptops in bundles in the near future:

Sprint sold off 3,300 cell phone towers for $670 mil to help pay off some of its $24 bil debt. Sprint will now lease the towers it just sold:

Clearwire’s stock really has dropped a lot lately, though it rebounded after going below $9 per share:

It is not a big shock that use of Philly’s WiFi network is up almost 3x after they made it free:

Interesting study found that a significant portion (5% to 15% of IT jobs available call for open source software skills:

Interesting comparison between the cloud computing offerings by Google and Microsoft:

Looks like the 3 Republicans on the FCC (there are 2 Democratic commissioners who are voting against it) will vote to allow XM and Sirius to merge:

Study found that bank web sites leave their clients vulnerable to identity theft:

If this report is true (warning: National Enquirer is the source!), then John Edwards’ hopes for a VP spot are over:

This is for Lori–Lindsay Lohan had a public spat with her girlfriend. Lori and I follow Lindsay because it was one of her movies (The Parent Trap) that served as a backdrop to what I guess was our first date…though before the movie we had thought we were going to the movie as just friends:

July 23, 2008

LOTD for July 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:39 pm

Cheap and simple device could make a huge impact–letting traveler’s know exactly where their bags are, letting parents keep track of kids in busy areas like malls, tracking the elderly, etc. The price should come down as more and more people buy these devices, but the cheaper option is already just $4!
Article link

Article about how 2 million hydrogen fuel cell cars could be used in the US by 2020. Some of the assumptions made are pretty optimistic, but I’m hopeful that our next President will make a push for this and other green technology development:

I’ve donated a lot of blood in the past to the Red Cross and never knew they have had problems with the way they collect and process blood for the past 15 years:
NY Times article

Interesting how a toy maker is being funded by the Army to turn one of their toys into a weapon for US soldiers:

A top Air Force General responded strongly to suggestions that Russia would put bombers in Cuba:

Blackwater is looking to get into the UAV market:

The GAO says that the push for MRAPs may lower performance and raise costs in Iraq:

The DoD wants to have software developed to track ground targets in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of having to have soldiers stare at the UAV images all day:

The first commercial quantum cryptography chip has been developed:

Verizon added 1.5 million customers last quarter, surpassing analyst expectations of 1.2 million customer adds:

AT&T added 1.3 millions customers last quarter, down 8.4% from last year. The 3G iPhone isn’t going to help their profitability because of the heavy subsidies they will be paying–they could be paying $720 million in subsidies! Still, their earning are very healthy even without help from the 3G iPhone, with net income up 30%:

Interesting that Apple is making all iPhone developers sign a confidentiality agreement even if they download the SDK for free:

There are a lot of recent incidents of data security being compromised when people travel to other countries:

Ubuntu’s founder urged the development of a Linux desktop that surpassed what Apple has done:
Article link

Interesting to read about the flubs that both candidates are making and how they are interpreted differently. I think that being followed all day every day will lead to verbal mistakes, but the way that the mistakes are interpreted are based on our preconceived notions about each candidate:

Advisory issued about potential health risks of cell phones. Bluetooth and handsfree devices are recommended and children are recommended not to use cell phones except for emergencies (thanks for the article Ben!):

July 22, 2008

LOTD for July 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:41 pm

In addition to the $32 mil that was cut from DARPA in June, it appears that another $100 mil has just been cut from DARPA’s budget. I’m glad that my company isn’t relying on DARPA money right now…DARPA’s current programs really have to worry about their budgets now!

Texas approved a $4.93 bil project for wind power. Texas is already the state that generates the most power via wind and they will pass Germany after this project is completed:
NY Times article

Interesting to read about Republican billionaire Pickens’ plan to reduce the US dependence on foreign oil–he’s strongly in favor of natural gas use for large vehicles. He’s also advocating a big increase in wind power, and he’s put a lot of money behind wind power (his company is spending between $6 and $10 billion on a huge wind farm in Texas):

Pickens also says that Bush’s push for off shore drilling is not the answer to the energy needs of the US. Pretty interesting because Pickens made most of his money on oil, but now he says we need a push for wind power since we can’t get enough oil no matter how many places we drill:

Interesting discussion of whether or not the Internet is bad for science. Since the journals became available online, fewer journals and articles are being cited and generally only the highest-ranking search results are cited:

Interesting how students using “clickers” learn physics better and that women do much better in science classes with “clickers”:

Commercial satellite imagery makes it quite difficult for troop movements and military facilities to be secret anymore:

Robot in the UK prevents illegal immigration in the UK as well as detects chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials:

The robot was initially developed by BAE to help British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Jihadists are going to Afghanistan instead of Iraq now. They receive training on how to combat US troops in Pakistan near where Bin Laden is believed to be hiding:

A court tossed out the $550k penalty the FCC gave to CBS for the “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl halftime show:,0,7762158.story

A LOTD reader saw the article I included yesterday about credit card debt and sent me this interesting analysis of the “average” credit card debt. The $8000 average credit card debt is skewed by the people who owe a ton:

Amazing that 86% of the Chinese surveyed said that they were content with their country’s direction, up from 48% in 2002. The next highest country was Australia, with 61% of Australians content with their country’s direction. 82% of the people in China were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52% in 2002. In the US, only 23% are content with our country’s direction and only 20% are satisfied with our economy. This confidence in China is changing some beliefs–for example, 92% of the Chinese people surveyed in 2002 thought it was important for children to learn English and now just 77% felt that children needed to learn English:

July 21, 2008

LOTD for July 21

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 11:25 pm

Air Force General accused Boeing of spreading half-truths and lies about Lockheed’s F-35 in order to sell more of Boeing’s F-18. The specific criticism is that Boeing is predicting further cost overruns and delays for the F-35. General Davis does acknowledge that the F-35 has already had a cost overrun of at least 50% and a delay of at least 18 months while the F-18 is on time and on budget:

The 3G iPhone must be selling quite well–inventory in stores is extremely limited:

Apple computer sales are up 38.1% in the US and they are now the #3 computer seller in the US (behind only Dell and HP):

AT&T posted an ad that all iPhone subscribers could access 17,000 WiFi hotspots for free…but pulled the ad and said that it was a mistake:

Yahoo agreed to add Icahn and 2 of his nominees to their board, in return for Icahn not trying to replace the current 8 board members with his nominees:

A conference is going on this week at NASA Ames to plan a future base on a moon:

Netbooks are more popular than many PC makers expected, causing some worry that these cheap and small portable computers will reduce their profit margins:

Nissan, GM, and Ford have promised to reserve 300 hybrid cars per month for New York city, as NY needs to replace its fleet of yellow cabs. Amazing that the estimate is that a hybrid car saves a cab driver $6500 per year. Also amazing that the standard yellow cab (not a hybrid) gets just 14 miles per gallon!

It is simply amazing to read about how Americans have $2.56 trillion in consumer debt, with the average household having $8,565 in credit card debt!

It is amazing that nearly 2/3 of Egyptian men say that they have sexually harassed women, and the majority say that women are to blame for being harassed. It cannot help tourism when 98% of foreign women report being sexually harassed when in Egypt!

Interesting that Sporting News is launching a daily digital sports newspaper, e-mailed to subscribers (it launches with 30,000 subscribers) each day. It will be at least 24 pages long and have no ads to start but will includes ads later:

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