Link Collection

October 31, 2008

LOTD for October 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:29 pm

New killer virus is killing people in South Africa. The virus doesn’t even have a name yet and there is no vaccine. It is highly lethal and contagious…scary:

UC-SD researchers have created a software program that can perform key duplication without needing a key. The security implications of this are significant, especially since a cell phone photo is enough. They even demonstrated that a photo can be taken of a key from 200 yards away and still be enough to duplicate the key!
Article link

Suntory flowers has spent 3 billion yen since 1990 and finally succeeded in creating blue roses, blue carnations, and other blue flowers and got them ready to be sold in the US next year. The global market for blue flowers is estimated at 30 billion yen. Before this, blue roses were made by dying roses blue:

More Marines die in motorcycle accidents than in Iraq:

California prisons will field-test throwable robots for use in standoffs and other conflicts in prisons. This sounds like an excellent tool for hostage situations:

Article on MIT’s autonomous underwater vehicle, basically an autonomous robotic sub:

This article casts doubt on the claim that China is selling bugged hardware to spy on US companies:

Sprint is not going to sell its iDen network now…in other words, they couldn’t get a good offer for it after they put it on the market a month or so ago:

The Justice Department approved the Verizon/Alltel deal:

During the review of the Verizon/Alltel deal, the FCC discovered that T-Mobile had too much foreign ownership. T-Mobile’s German parent company has 30% of the company when foreign entities are not supposed to own more than 20%:

AT&T has the Blackberry Bold and Verizon has the Blackberry Storm, so AT&T is offering free WiFi to Bold customers to try to distinguish its Blackberry from Verizon’s Blackberry. The Storm does not have WiFi capability, but it does have Blackberry’s first touchscreen device:

Analyst says that if Apple switched to Intel’s new chip for the iPhone then the iPhone would become less secure:

100,000 Sony batteries were recalled by HP, Dell, and Toshiba:

Google is blaming the weak economy for delaying its completion until 2010 of a new $600 mil data center in Oklahoma:

Yahoo! and AOL might be back in merger talks now:

Wales highway signs are written in English and Welsh. Unfortunately, when they e-mailed a translator they received an autoreply e-mail…and they put that autoreply on the highway sign! Thank you to Tom for this article!

Man went to a $7 buffet and let his girlfriend eat from his plate while insisting that she shouldn’t have to pay…he was arrested and went to jail, eventually plea-bargaining from a theft charge to a disorderly conduct charge:

Teacher in Germany was playing Truth or Dare with her class and ended up doing a strip tease! The video shows that she stopped before it went that far…but still, you know her students (and their parents) were talking about this for weeks!


October 30, 2008

LOTD for October 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:47 pm

Researchers seem to have made a breakthrough on a beam that can selectively erase memory–kind of like a real-life Men in Black device:

The military is interested this for its potential to erase memories that cause post-traumatic stress disorder:

Moth eyes inspired Florida researchers to discover an anti-reflective solar cell coating–today’s silicon solar cells reflect back (and thus lose) 30% of the sun’s energy, so efficient coatings are important:
Article link

The US has paid private security firms over $6 bil for services in Iraq over the past 5 years. As our troops leave Iraq, that private security firms are expected to get even more money:

Nice background article on software-defined radio technology for military and commercial applications:
Article link

Interesting that the weak economy has driven lower-income Americans to the 3G iPhone, since using it as an all-in-one device for Internet access and entertainment saves money. I would have guessed that a high-end device like the iPhone would be hurt when the economy went down, but that is not the case:

Another article link

The G1 phone went on sale in the UK today and the lines started at 5am. It is amazing to me that the G1 phone is FREE in the UK for people with certain cell phone plans starting at $64 per month (with unlimited internet access plus a big bucket of minutes to talk):

Tropos Networks is going after customers of other mesh wireless network vendors with their “Trade Up Tropos” campaign. Since I knew the founders since they were just had one room for their entire company, I always wish Tropos well…

Dallas police officer was directing traffic outside of a concert and saw someone driving his (just stolen) truck! He stopped the thief and made the arrest after a brief attempt by the thief to escape:

Interesting projections by the Rasmussen Report for the election:

Investor’s Business Daily has a poll result that shows the Presidential race closer than many of the other polls. They don’t break this down by the electoral college though, so it is an incomplete picture…things could be better or worse for either candidate in that breakdown:

Article about Ubuntu 8.10 and the user-friendly features it added:

October 29, 2008

LOTD for October 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:36 pm

Looks like Lockheed, BAE, and the General Dynamics/AM General team won the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle contest. The Northrop/Oshkosh team was based on a hybrid design…but was not selected:

One big problem for US troops in Afghanistan is the major shortage of helicopters and spy planes. It is interesting to note that Afghanistan requires helicopters to operate at 10,000 feet, and most US Army helicopters are not equipped with oxygen so they can’t operate that high for long:

Pakistan is protesting the UAV missile attacks by the US on Taliban and al Qaeda targets. The US backed down on US troops pursuing Taliban or al Qaeda targets into Pakistan, and now Pakistan wants the US to stop the UAV attacks also:

Article on the five top national security research challenges for the next President:

DARPA wants a significantly upgraded robotic mule to carry soldier’s gear and gas:

Five pirate attacks near Somalia were repelled today:

Apparently the US chose to use cheap RFID chips in its new “secure” passports, but unfortunately those RFID chips are easy to clone and make the new US passports insecure:

Research is ongoing to create nuclear-powered passenger aircraft:

8x more malicious e-mail attachments were sent out in the last quarter than in the previous quarter!

Given the financial problems that T. Boone Pickens is experiencing now, I’m doubtful that his energy plan will succeed. It must really sting to have lost $2 bil this year while managing funds that are tanking:

The problems in the financial markets have hit the biotech sector hard:

Not only will Wal-Mart be selling the G1 phone, but they will be selling it 17% below its cost at the T-Mobile stores! That will make the G1 phone $51 cheaper than the iPhone…

ASUS will launch their Android-based phone in the first half of next year:

Motorola currently uses 6 operating systems for its mobile phones, but will now just use 3 operating systems, including using Android for their mid-tier and multimedia phones:

Teaser video released about unlocking the 3G iPhone:

Aruba Networks launched an open development laboratory for research on WiFi and the all-wireless workplace:

This reviewer really slams Windows 7–saying that it will not fix any of the flaws of Vista:

Vietnam will ban people with small chests from driving? There are a lot of complaints in Vietnam, and the government hasn’t explained how a chest smaller than their guidelines will make someone a bad driver:

The Nation’s largest newspaper (Gannett) will lay off another 10% of its workforce in its local newspapers:

I’m glad about this result–kids encounter ads much less frequently than adults. I try to keep ads away from my kids, and their online activity is basically once per month on or

18-year-old sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention for putting his senile grandmother in his rap video:

It is sad that some Taco Bells did not give out free tacos yesterday. I know that a Taco Bell near my daughter’s preschool and a Taco Bell near my home were giving them out yesterday…

Putting a hat on this 9-year-old cat has generated $10 mil for this Japanese town:

October 28, 2008

LOTD for October 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:07 pm

I hope that everyone knew about the free tacos from Taco Bell today! For those in Hawaii, Taco Bell should be giving out free tacos between 2pm and 6pm today.

US Officials said that the raid in Syria had to happen because of a high-level al Qaeda operative was about to carry out an attack in Iraq:

Our spy agencies spent $47.5 billion last year:

Secret papers claim that a famous Palestinian assassin (Abu Nidal) was a spy for the US:

Global warming is having a significant effect on natural treasures like Yellowstone and Walden Pond:

Researchers will study more than 100,000 children from birth to their 21st birthday to try to understand a variety of factors that affect children’s health:

Synthetic diamond applications are growing, as are the clarity and color of the man-made diamonds:
Article link

The global economic crisis is causing consumers to delay upgrading or getting a new phone and to curb other spending habits:

Iridium has a new phone now that is significantly smaller and more powerful than their previous generation satellite phone:

Verizon is looking at introducing femtocells next year:

Qualcomm was hit with a $1 billion assisted GPS patent lawsuit:

The G1 phone is apparently selling quite rapidly in China, with the stores charging an extra $70 to unlock the phone:

This article for developers creating applications for the iPhone or for Android seems to favor Android:
Special report

Microsoft is lobbying the FCC on behalf of the white spaces devices:

Article about Windows 7, which Microsoft is hoping to take on Apple and the needs of IT:

Microsoft will release browser-based versions of its Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), but it will not be free like Google’s applications:

Hackers have found out to use Google searches to find Social Security numbers that are published on websites. Putting the Social Security number up on the web is due to human error, but targeted Google searches can take advantage of that:

Wisconsin man was upset when his girlfriend turned him down for sex…so he peed on her dog!

October 27, 2008

LOTD for October 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:31 pm

European research team says that they will have the first working artificial heart by 2011. The start-up company is funded in part by EADS (Europe’s version of NASA) and will produce the heart in Paris:
Article link

NASA’s new rocket ship has *major* problems. Being behind schedule and way over budget this early in the program is really bad, especially when the government will be looking to cut costs:,0,561055.story

The special forces raid in Syria yesterday captured a senior operations coordinator for al Qaeda in Iraq:,2933,444199,00.html

US General says that Syria has been harboring al Qaeda in Iraq:

UAV killed 20 people in Afghanistan with a single strike, including a Taliban leader:

The CIA’s rank-and-file has been voting mostly Republican at least back as far as the Clinton years, but the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have apparently turned them against the Republican party and they will be voting for Obama:

Five weapons programs have had cost growth of $206 billion, a 22% increase. Given the need to cut spending, I’m guessing the new President will look hard at cutting part or all of some of these programs. The total cost increase for DoD programs was $401 billion, seeming to indicate that the Pentagon doesn’t rein in costs from its contractors:

Article that goes over the e-voting problems in the US and suggests that the US should adopt the open source voting system used in Australia:

Article about how different tech-related groups favor Obama or McCain. The writer purposely writes in a not-too-serious tone, but the is some good information included:

It appears that Clearwire is planning a major WiMAX deployment in LA:

Cox Cable company is planning to use the 700 MHz spectrum it won (for $550 mil) to provide wireless service in Atlanta, New Orleans, *San Diego*, Omaha, Las Vegas, plus parts of Kansas and New Mexico. Cox is the only major cable company with this plan, and was one of the only major cable companies to NOT join the Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX alliance. Cox used to provide cellular service in Southern California and Las Vegas in the 90s until they sold off that business to Sprint in 1999:

It amazes me that Verizon is still growing and has the lowest churn of the cellular carriers despite AT&T having the iPhone:

Security flaw was found on the G1 phone, but Google already has a fix ready and the Android’s security features limited the damage that the security flaw could have done. Interesting how no application is trusted so any flaw in an application can have its damage limited:

IMS Research says that 16e will be a niche technology and that LTE’s timing is perfect for operators to get a few years more return on their 3G networks before they are ready to upgrade to 4G:
Article link

Amazon hopes that Oprah’s endorsement will give Kindle a boost:

Nationalism appears to be responsible for Chinese consumers preferring domestic brands vs. goods from other countries:

There is apparently some tension between Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain’s aides…McCain’s staff doesn’t like it when Gov. Palin deviates from McCain’s message and Gov. Palin doesn’t like how she is being handled by McCain’s staff:

An 8-year-old was allowed to shoot an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair…he accidentally shot himself in the head and died:

Cool video clip about a father who protected his son from a mountain lion:

October 26, 2008

LOTD for October 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 9:30 pm

Syria claims that the US staged a raid inside of Syria today…and the US didn’t deny it and seemed to hint about a special forces raid. Interesting that the alleged raid occurred near the alleged nuclear facility that Israel bombed last year:

Marrying a Somali pirate is every Somali girl’s dream according to this article:

This Massachusetts church is having “woof ‘n’ worship” services to encourage their worshipers to bring dogs to the service:

It amazes me that more same sex couples got married in California during the first 3 months it was legal than in the first 4 years it was legal in Massachusetts:,0,7906965.story

A Chicago woman won an eBay auction for a home in Michigan $1.75, which she plans to turn around and sell:,ebay100108.article

Ford will have a feature on 2010 cars that will let parents limit the speed of their teenage drivers, inform them in the teen does not wear a seatbelt, and limit the volume on the stereo:

Zimbabwe soccer team ordered the members of their team to swim in crocodile-infested waters as a cleansing ritual…one player didn’t get out of the river:

The CEO of Lehman Brothers made $480 million while driving the company into bankruptcy and blaming everyone but himself…one employee at the company gym punched him in the face after the company filed for bankruptcy:

As a guy, I cannot imagine wanting a cookbook solely about recipes about cooking testicles. The book is called “Cooking with Balls”:

The FDA has been having lots of problems with how it has (not) been monitoring things, and I think that the problem is partially because their budget has been cut much under the Bush Administration. To deal with the problem they hired a PR firm for $300k…I wish that they used that money to hire more inspectors instead! And the way they gave out the contract (not to the lowest bidder) appears to have gone against government policy so that they could give the money to a firm with ties to FDA officials:

I guess one method for decreasing illegal immigration has been found–the slowing economy has resulted in sharply decreased numbers of illegal immigrants:

Study found that AIDS has actually been around for a long time–traced back to around 1884!

Blogging sure can be lucrative! Bloggers with an average of 100,000 unique visitors per month make on average of $70,000/year from their blogs:

October 25, 2008

LOTD for October 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:06 pm

Paula Abdul is upset that Simon makes so much more than her!

It amazes me how much money the music industry makes on Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Aerosmith has made more from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than they made on any of their albums!

Simply putting a bedroom fan in a baby’s room reduces the chance of SIDS by 72%! This makes sense I guess since it helps eliminate the problem that results in a SIDS death:

It is awesome that a simple blood test could replace the CVS and amnio tests for pregnant mothers, eliminating the risk of miscarriage that exists now when the CVS or amnio tests are used!

The Inspector General found that the Transportation Security Administration’s poor security measures puts our airports at risk–basic things like not collecting security badges after firing workers could really cause problems for airport security!

Three teenagers grabbed a 68-year-old woman’s handbag…and even though she was wearing sandals, she ran after them and caught up with the 15-year-old boy who had her handbag. When she grabbed him by the collar, he dropped her bag and begged to be let go:

36% of the police academy graduates in Atlanta have criminal records:

I didn’t realize that in our country about 9 million more women vote than men. The gender gap has been increasing, which bodes well for Democrats since more women than men vote Democrat. Before, a greater percentage of eligible men than women voted, but women surpassed men in 1980:,+10:45+AM

This is really sad–90% of US high school students say that they have cheated in school. That was 3x the percentage in a 1963 survey:

There used to be 7 souvenier stores near Pres. Bush’s home in Crawford, Texas…but now with his popularity down so badly, 3 of those gift shops have closed and only 2 keep regular hours for tourists to shop at:

I love this story about a man and his aging dog…especially since Katie is officially a senior dog now and I can relate to what this man says about his dog:

October 24, 2008

LOTD for October 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:52 pm

The Army is looking to fund the development of software and hardware to enable robots to hunt “non-cooperative humans”. This sounds like the plot of a lot of science fiction movies and books…and in those movies/books this work normally ends badly for humans!

DARPA is looking to fund research into a flying submarine:

The text of the US-Iraq security deal has apparently been leaked to the public:

Europe’s lawmakers have decided to NOT require the full-body scanners for airport security. The scanners would do a better job in detecting potential hazards…but it also would reveal all details (including the private parts covered by clothes) of the people being scanned. If it is an optional thing and the quality is only that of a negative from a photograph, I’d choose to go in the full-body scan line since that would move much faster than the other line:,2144,3734579,00.html

This company is selling a combo flashlight, pepper spray, and laser zapper:

Looks like the sun is gradually getting hotter and this will eventually result in the end of life on our planet (in 1 billion years or so):

This article suggests that the problem can be solved by moving the Earth with a solar sail:

Another article about the 1000 mph car project:

The government is trying out one way to save money that makes a lot of sense to me–employees with Government-issued cell phones will have their landlines removed. Going wireless-only should save a far amount of money, especially considering 11,623 cell phones have been issued to government employees:

335,000 cellular base stations will use solar energy by 2013:

HTC talks about the G1 development and their relationship with Google, plus they mention that they are shipping more G1 phones than they had expected and will ship more than 600,000 G1 phones by the end of the year:

Members of Congress are getting involved with the white spaces debate:

Intel’s PR department worked quickly to try to defuse the criticism of the iPhone that 2 Intel executives gave:

Attack code for Windows has surfaced, so hopefully everyone got the security patch yesterday that prevents that attack:

Vista sales fell well short of Microsoft’s expectations for last quarter, but Office sales are strong:

October 23, 2008

LOTD for October 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:11 pm

More on the study of coffee and breast size–50% of women are vulnerable to having their breasts getting smaller if they drink coffee, though the effect only shows up after an extended period of time. Conversely, drinking coffee turns men’s pecs into hefty man boobs, as coffee reacts differently to testosterone:

A British team is making a car that can go faster than 1,000 mph! I hope that the 2 parachutes work because the brakes do not work until the car slows down below 200 mph:

The Army says that the delay in the TSAT program will not be a problem for FCS:

iRobot’s revenue is up (thanks to booming commercials sales plus two military contracts worth up to $486 mil), but one founder left last month and the other founder (who was also Chair of the Board) left today:

A lot of companies are now opposing the AWS-3 auction plan:

T-Mobile is releasing a G1 software update tomorrow:

MySpace released an application for the G1 phone, but Facebook has not:

Article about the response the market has on the G1 phone:

This scares me a little–Microsoft is rushing out an emergency security patch for XP (my operating system!), Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003. It worries me that this emergency patch is needed…and I’m worried about what the patch will mess up on my computer!

Looks like Cobol programming is one of the safest, most secure jobs in IT, especially if they are at a company with a Cobol application that is too expensive to port to another platform/language:

27 states are in a recession now and 14 more are on the edge of recession:

The more Starbucks a country has, the bigger its financial problems now:

Lori found this article last night and sent it to me: The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150k to clothe and accessorize Gov. Palin and her family since she was picked to be the VP candidate less than 2 months ago:

In positive news for Gov. Palin, The View host (and former Survivor contestant) Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be campaigning with her. Hasselbeck has a lot of fans from The View and has been the pro-Republican host on the show, so she might bring attention and voters to the campaign:

If Gov. Palin has a sixth child and it is a boy, she plans to name him “Zamboni”:

Sen. McCain sharply criticized Pres. Bush and even the Republican leadership of Congress when the Republicans had the majority:

13 cell phones were found that had been smuggled into Texas prisons:

Lindsay Lohan was such a problem on the Ugly Betty set that they dumped her from the show early:,2933,443726,00.html

Woman in Japan arrested for killing her virtual reality ex-husband after he divorced her character in an online game:

Don’t forget to pick up your free taco from Taco Bell on Tuesday, October 28:

This amazing website archives every Presidential campaign commercial…going all the way back to 1952! I don’t have time to go through this now, but someday when I have the time I’m going to look back at some of the old commercials:

October 22, 2008

LOTD for October 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:30 pm

Coalition airstrike accidentally killed 9 Afghanistan soldiers in what they think was a case of mistaken identity. This has further strained the relationship between the relationship with Afghanistan’s government and gives the Taliban some propaganda material:

Raytheon is going after the $250 mil Navy market for small, long-endurance battlefield and maritime surveillance UAVs with its “blended wing” KillerBee UAV:

The DoD plans to raise its FY2010 budget request from $527 bil to $587 bil. The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are not included in that amount and adds approximately another $150 bil:

DARPA is funding a program that looks to develop a suite of tools to enable our military to see inside homes and apartment buildings–blueprints and possible even the people moving around in the building:

The budget crunch has resulted in the cancellation of a spy satellite program, in addition to delaying the Transformational Satellite program:

The collapse of the Transformational Satellite program may kill the Army’s Future Combat Systems program:

Looks like the high-tech Batman-like ship has some problems but also some big operational successes:

ICO was awarded $371 million plus a disputed $91.6 mil from its lawsuit against Boeing for breach of contract and fraud for satellite pricing:

There is much speculation over the microsatellite that China launched earlier this month:

India’s moon mission plans to create a high-resolution map of the moon’s surface and the minerals below:

Scotch tape is actually an x-ray machine?

iPhone sales have surpassed Apple’s estimates–the goal was to sell 10 million iPhones this year but Apple has already sold 13 million and the Christmas season hasn’t started yet! iPhone sales passed Blackberry sales–impressive, especially when considering that there are so many Blackberry models available on all the different cellular carriers while the iPhone is only available for AT&T:

AT&T sold 2.4 million 3G iPhones last quarter, helping it add 2 million customers last quarter…unfortunately, the $900 mill in iPhone subsidies from AT&T actually reduced AT&T’s operating income to 22.8% when it was 26.4% in the year-earlier quarter:
Press release

Article about the G1 launch today from C-Net:

Article about the G1 launch today from Wired:

The Blackberry Bold will arrive in AT&T stores on November 4, priced at $299 with a 2-year contract:

The Blackberry Storm will be out for Verizon on November 16, and a screenshot shows that it will cost $700 at Best Buy. Note that this is the non-subsidized price and the price to people with 2-year contracts will be much less. For comparison purposes, the Blackberry Bold costs $680 at Best Buy, but people who sign a 2-year contract will pay $299:

Vonage got a refinancing agreement that it says will keep it afloat:

Customer found a racial slur printed on his receipt from a shoe store!

Man tried to shoplift several bags of frozen shrimp by hiding them in his pants!

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