Link Collection

December 30, 2008

LOTD for December 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 10:26 pm

The spin of the Earth is slowing down, so they are adding a leap second tomorrow:

Interesting summary about the debate over NASA’s future with the shuttle being retired and a new Administration about to take over:

A $730 mil clean energy car factory was just opened in Beijing:

Scientists isolated the genes that made the flu of 1918 such a lethal virus (20 million to 50 million killed!):

Russian hackers have been targeting the US and Europe to make big profits and to wage political battles against government websites of countries that act against Russian interests:,0,5001855.story

SPAWAR and Raytheon have recently tested the Deep Siren program, which allows subs to send text messages without having to go to the surface…they shoot a buoy out of the submarine’s trash chute:

The US has been fighting a covert war in Somalia over the past few years…and unfortunately the US is losing, which hurts our ability to clamp down on the Somali pirates:

The US Navy and UK Navy have seized more than 20 tons of drugs since October along the “hash highway” in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden:

The Pentagon has been aiding the filming of Transformers 2:

The Israeli government has been using YouTube and Twitter to try to win the public relations battle during their conflict with Hamas:

Glitches on Microsoft’s and the IRS’s websites helped a fake antivirus company trick people into malicious websites:

Coca-Cola started a trend where 30 billboards in Times Square now use wind power. The wind power billboards will eliminate 1,866 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year:

Dell expects to save $8 million because of their switch to greener packaging:

Not only is newspaper circulation down for the printed papers, the time people spend on newspaper websites is down from last year:


LOTD for December 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 9:36 pm

Projection is that Asia is headed for an era of “mega-disasters”, due to urbanization, global warming, and food shortages. A single earthquakes could kill more than a million people in China, Indonesia, or the Philippines! Tsunamis and volcanoes pose a similar risk:

The Department of Homeland Security released a privacy report that shows that DHS is in violation of US law and also in violation of the agreement between DHS and the European Union. One of the problems is that DHS hasn’t done the compliance reviews that US law and DHS itself requires:

Cholera deaths in Zimbabwe are rapidly increasing:

Vietnam poultry farms have a major problem with bird flu now, and the cold and wet winter months could make it hard for them to control the bird flu outbreak:

USC researchers have been able to get embryonic stem cells from rats!

US schools will need 200,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade…and there is a bad shortage already, with over 40% of middle school science teachers not being certified to teach science!

Nanoscopic metal particles may be able to greatly improve the ability for solar cells to harvest light efficiently:

Instead of working on computers or software in garages, now hobbyists and inventors are using homemade equipment to create new life forms via genetic engineering:

26-year-old man wanted a remote-controlled airplane for Christmas and got upset that his grandmother gave him a Nintendo Wii instead. When he girlfriend called him names for not liking the Wii, they got into a fight and he allegedly dragged her down two flights of stairs…by her hair. He said that his girlfriend punched him three times. Both were arrested for their fight on Christmas day!

December 28, 2008

LOTD for December 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 9:01 pm

The CIA has found that providing viagra is a very effective tool to make friends and get information in Afghanistan:

I can’t believe that a candidate for the top spot for the Republican National Committee would distribute a song like this about Obama:

3-year-old boy was lost in the woods in Virginia in 17 degree weather…he survived the 21 hours he was lost because two puppies cuddled him to keep him warm!

The current economic problems have prompted New Hampshire to stop all jury trials for a month!,0,387609.story

70-year-old woman in India gave birth…20 years after she entered menopause!

Interesting that 1.1 million less men have jobs now as compared to a year ago, but 12,000 more women have jobs now than last year:

Pretty cool that they are evaluating a pill that will combat jet lag with no aftereffects:

Blueberries apparently can reverse memory loss and may have big implications for people with Alzheimer’s:

Study found that 1 in 5 Americans aged 19-25 have a personality disorder!

I hadn’t realized that Barrack Obama’s Dad was brutally tortured twice a day for more than 6 months by British officers or soldiers! It is no surprise that Obama’s references to the UK in his book weren’t very warm:

December 27, 2008

LOTD for December 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:15 pm

Brooklyn police officer was watching TV when his partner (who had to interrogate a suspect) asked him to hold his gun for safekeeping. He didn’t secure his weapon, instead just sticking it in his belt…and it fired and hit him. He collected $4.5 million for pain and suffering due to his negligence! He’s collecting a tax-free disability pension even though he’s now working as a sheriff in South Carolina (so he’s not disabled) and he’s collecting lost wages even though he hasn’t lost any wages!

The recession has given a big boost to the Army’s recruiting–the Army exceeded all of their recruiting and retention goals:

There are few open, sunny spaces in Barcelona…so they are putting solar panels over mausoleums with the support of the families involved:

It is hard to imagine that this 14-year-old girl lives for about 4 months without a heart, and after she got her heart transplant she is fine now. She had internal bleeding, kidney and liver failure, and couldn’t breathe on her own half the time. She had no heart in her body for 118 days while she waited for a transplant!

Trained rats are able to help defeat land mines (they do a better job than current mechanical detectors) and detect tuberculosis (early detection saves lives and prevents others from getting infected):

Interesting psychological study found that people are more likely to commit crimes when there is litter or graffiti around:

Study found that babies who are place in forward-facing strollers are “traumatised” and develop into anxious adults, where infants in backwards-facing strollers laughed more and had more interaction with their parents pushing the stroller:

Japan’s widespread use of robots has resulted in them using robots as actors in a play!

After a 90-minute siege of a bank, a New Jersey SWAT team realized that the “bank robber” was actually a cardboard cutout!

There has been a huge increase in infidelity among married people in their 20s:

This report really surprised me–gas stations are making more money now when gas is averaging $1.50 per gallon around the country than they made when gas was over $4 per gallon! The credit card companies are making less now, but the gas stations are making more:

December 26, 2008

LOTD for December 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:44 pm

The Pentagon gave up to $50 mil to for their Minerva Initiative, which picked 7 people in Academia (including professors at UC-San Diego and UT-Austin) for funding:–1.html

The US and Georgia are close to signing a bilateral agreement…Russia’s response will be interesting if this gets done:

It has been reported that Georgia’s President threw punches and a telephone at their Prime Minister:,2933,472872,00.html

Germany and China have joined the host of countries that are working against the Somali pirates:

Man was upset after his divorce was finalized last week…so, he went to his ex-in-law’s home (in Covina. which is around LA) on Christmas Eve dressed as Santa…when a 8-year-old girl opened the door, he shot her through the face! He then sprayed the house with bullets, hitting (and killing) many of the 25 guests at the annual Christmas party. The wrapped present he carried set the house on fire!

Decorated Iraq War vet (who got numerous awards including the Army’s Good Conduct medal) made and sold IEDs to gangs and criminals, for as little as $100!

Australian submarine was 20 seconds away from sinking to the bottom of the ocean, killing the etire crew:,25197,24843466-31477,00.html

The pilot and first officer for Go! Airlines (the low-cost competitor for traveling between islands in Hawaii) admit to sleeping during flights. Those flights are so short (30 minutes or so), couldn’t they nap before or afterwards? The pilot admitted to regularly napping during flights and this time all the pilots slept through the point where they were supposed to start their descent to land the plane!

December 25, 2008

LOTD for December 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:46 pm

I’m surprised with this news–Tokyo Disneyland seems to be doing significantly better during the recession. In fact, it appears that Disney Parks around the world have gotten increased business during these tough economic conditions:

Remember the “pregnancy pact” that was in the news for high school girls in Gloucester? This article does a nice follow-up on how those teenage mothers are doing now that the media spotlight is over and raising those kids is taking place:

Study shows that looking at hot women in magazines makes men feel worse about themselves than looking at athletic men:

Study found that obese kids have arteries like 45-year-olds. There is a big worry that the current childhood obesity problem will result in a lot of people being disabled in their 30s and 40s because of heart disease in the near future:,0,5880043.story

The current economic troubles has resulted in a significant upgrade in sales for Spam:

Surprising study result: babies born from frozen embryos are healthier than those born from fresh embryos:

Children who take music lessons for at least 3 years outperform other children in non-musical skills:

December 24, 2008

LOTD for December 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:16 pm

Interesting that the defense sector will be the primary market for Gallium Nitride devices:

Some of our diplomats feel that Twitter helps advance US diplomacy…but others question its usefulness as a diplomatic vehicle:

During house-by-house searches in Iraq, any toy gun found is destroyed. At least this one Captain tries to leave a toy car behind in order to make the child feel better about the loss of his/her toy gun:

A few LOTD readers watch this show, so I’m including this link about how the next edition of Beauty and the Geek will be a “celebrity” edition, where the Beauties will be former reality show contestants and Playboy Playmates:

Over 1.7 million Wiis were sold last week! Nearly 2 million DS systems were sold last week, so it was a very good week for Nintendo:

Norad set up their Santa Surveillance Website again this year…I think that it is very cute and will show it to my kids tonight:

Study found that women who attend religious services live longer:

December 23, 2008

LOTD for December 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:53 pm

The Department of Homeland Security is expanding the categories of people that they collect biometric data from, now including those with green cards. The ACLU points out that they are forcing legal permanent residents to give biometric data when they enter the US, but the exit portion of the program still has not been created. So, the US knows when people enter our country but they have no idea if they have left!

Windows Mobile has lost a significant amount of market share and is now behind Symbian, BlackBerry, and Apple for smartphone operating systems:

The Android platform has resulted in a big change for developers, especially when contrasted with Apple’s restrictive policies:

Apple and RIM aren’t really taking market share away from each other…they are driving the smaller players like Palm (30% market share at the start of 2007, now only 9% market share!) out of the market:

The new BlackBerry models have given RIM significant momentum that will make for an interesting battle with Apple next year…and it will be hard for the rest of the smartphone makers to get any market share of buzz back:

The music industry has given up on using lawsuits to prevent people from downloading music illegally:

President of a US software company plead guilty to hacking a competitor’s web site…he got a year of probation and a $2500 fine. That seems pretty light and probably won’t deter others:

Woman in LA pulled her friend out of a car that she thought was going to explode…and the California legal system has ruled that she can be sued by her (probably former) friend. I guess that people might hesitate before trying to help others in accidents if they worry that they will be sued:

December 22, 2008

LOTD for December 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:38 pm

It looks like the governments of Indonesia and South Africa have enacted policies that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the delay in finding a cure for the H5N1 flu:

The NY Times’ editorial about how just about all Navy and Air Force modernization projects should be canceled and the money should be used to fund ground troops created quite a stir this weekend!

Canadian forces will be using Israeli-made Heron UAVs to scout convoy routes and search for roadside bombs:

Iraqi troops and police are apparently abusing prescription drugs due to the stress of their jobs:

The BlackBerry Storm and other BlackBerry models must be doing *very* well…RIM is hiring 1,250 people, mostly or R&D engineers! Given the layoffs and freezes at other companies, RIM should be able to hire some really good talent right now. RIM has 10,000 employees and Nokia has 123,000 employees!

The BlackBerry Storm was launched in Canada, but sold out immediately. They are having a problem getting supply, and they are charging a LOT of money and requiring 3-year contracts to get a the Storm at a reasonable price (a higher price than a 2-year contract will get a Storm in the US!):

HTC has been selling a ton of G1 phones…and they will apparently be selling a G2 phone soon! The phone will be on a different carrier than T-Mobile (so, no competition between the G1 and G2 phones), so hopefully that will come to Verizon around the time Lori qualifies for a new phone!

Palm was able to get $100 mil from Elevation Partners…considering the tight credit market and the $506 million that Palm lost last quarter, I’m amazed they got that deal:

Garmin (the GPS Navigation company) has been rumored to be working on a phone for that past year or two…and now they have revealed that they will be releasing an Android-based phone next year!

Garmin denied the digitimes report and said that their Nuvifone isn’t Android-based, but they are developing an Android phone:

Vendors around the world have started trailing LTE….it really seems to be gathering momentum:

Nice story about a high school football player that will unfortunately probably be going to BYU instead of UH:

Samsung got skydivers to try to set the Guinness World Record for fastest text messaging while skydiving…I didn’t realize that was a category Guinness would track!

This guy was able to ride a bicycle 107 miles per hour…until it spontaneously disintegrated:

These two guys put their BlackBerry Storm touchscreen through “torture tests” and showed that the screens did not get scratched no matter how hard they tried to scratch them!

December 19, 2008

LOTD for December 19

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:13 pm

Canadian PhD student found a way to modify cell phones so that they use 12x less power than before!

The Networx Universal telecommunications program is the Federal Government’s biggest telecommunications program…IDIQ of $48.1 billion for secure Internet connections to federal agencies. AT&T was awarded the first contract for that program:

The guy who bred mutant fruit flies for DARPA that only needed 1/3 the normal amount of sleep just joined the DARPA project to create a fake cat brain:

NASA plans to donate its shuttles and spare main engines for free to museums and educational institutions. However, the decommisioning costs will have to be paid by the receiving organizations–that comes out to $42 million for a shuttle and about $600k for an engine:

Samsung will launch an Android-based phone for T-Mobile and Sprint in Q2 of 2009:

Huawei will have their Android-based phone ready by Q3 of 2009:

RIM seems to be doing well–the day the BlackBerry Storm launched they added the most subscribers ever for a single day:

After getting in a huge shipment, Verizon stores finally had the BlackBerry Storm in stock again…we’ll see how long they last!
Press release

Interesting that 75% of BlackBerry Storm customers are new to BlackBerry, but the BlackBerry Bold mainly is going for BlackBerry customers upgrading from their old BlackBerries:

Contrary to rumors, the BlackBerry Storm does not have a high return rate–it is the lowest for any PDA with Verizon:

Palm is really struggling–their revenue dropped sharply and they lost $506 mil this past quarter:

Another article about my Dad–I’m just saving these for my records:

74-year-old man was shot in the head with a bullet and says that his head hurts (the bullet is still in his head) but not enough to keep him from his job!

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