Link Collection

April 30, 2009

LOTD for April 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:40 pm

I spent the day wrestling with MATLAB and it appears that the new simulation is finally done and the results are *very* good! The final simulation is taking some time to run, so I did the LOTD early again.

Today from 3-7pm you can get a Free Iceberg™, Carvel’s newest blended treat. This is an 8 oz serving of your choice of soda blended with ice and vanilla flavoring, topped with a scoop of soft serve ice cream.

Australia is using thermal body scanners at airports to detect visitors who might have the swine flu:

Australia researchers have developed a better way to pasteurize food–instead of using preservatives or heat, they use high pressure, which preserves the taste and nutritional value:

Very interesting report from the US Embassy in Iraq. I agree with the conclusion that many of the people there could do their job just as effectively (and a lot more cheaply!) from the US, since they never leave the compound:

Flight control system software can control the flight of UAVs, even when they fly faster than the speed of sound. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a University press releases before where the PhD student was wearing a Benetton T-shirt, but it works for her:

Americans have a bad reputation for only learning English and not any other languages…it turns out that American programmers typically only learn one computer language, spending their entire career using that language. This article discusses how the US needs programmers to learn more languages:

Apple is building its own chip design team and they are aggressively hiring chip designers. That is great for the Silicon Valley job market, especially for people who will be laid off by other companies:

Motorola’s loss increased due to declining handset sales and they provided more information on their plans for Android-based phones, which they are hoping will get their market share back up:

As part their strategy to protect their workers from swine flu, Sprint suspended travel to Mexico:

Cablevision customers will get free 3 Mbps WiFi access in local areas–that is a great benefit! Cablevision is also going to offer the first 101 Mbps Internet Service, which is twice the speed as FiOS and $40 cheaper per month…Verizon cannot be happy about the competition with FiOS!

Two men tried to rob a 17-year-old girl, but she beat them up with her baton from marching band. An LA County Sheriff Deputy warns thieves: “The moral to this story is don’t mess with the marching band girls”:


April 29, 2009

LOTD for April 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:24 pm

From 5pm-10pm today you can buy scoops of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins for 31 cents per scoop and support the National Junior Firefighter Program. My family will be doing our part!

The World Health Organization raised the threat level for the swine flu and warned that a global flu pandemic was imminent:

Article about how travel bans won’t prevent a flu pandemic:

The flu vaccine might be able to be delivered through a patch–this would make it cheaper and would be great for people (like my kids) who hate shots:

The “red mercury” hoax (which said that it could be used to make nuclear bombs or find treasure) said to be contained in old Singer sewing machines resulted in wave of people in Saudi Arabia trying to buy them…they were paying $50,000 for old sewing machines!

Pakistan says that the US should give it control of UAVs and not stop keeping the UAVs classified:

Northrop bought the Killer Bee UAV line and will rename it the Bat:
Article link

The outgoing Pentagon acquisition czar strongly criticized the Air Force for refusing to budget for an autonomous landing capability for Predator UAVs, even though the Air Force has lost a significant number of Predators to landing accidents:

DARPA gave Lockheed a $400 million order for an airborne radar blimp:

Dutch flying car company is preparing for the market launch of its flying car:

IARPA is establishing a permanent site on the University of Maryland campus:,0,7946262.story

Sen. Specter leaving the GOP to join the Democrats could be pivotal in creating the first filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for 30 years. He’s been a Republican for 43 years (29 in the Senate), but he’s broken from his party for a number of votes in the past. It sounds like Joe Biden has a strong link with him and was key to convince him to switch political parties:

Palm might limit the initial shipment of Pre phones to less than 400,000, hoping to create a buzz when it gets out of stock quickly:

Google, Comcast, and Time Warner have plans to try to benefit from their investment in Clearwire, with Google planning to use some of Clearwire’s spectrum for “experiments”:{196F095B-8B47-444D-A616-0B2B892754DA}

I got an invitation to the LinkedIn-like Namyz and checked the website out–it looks like they have over a million users and they are going after the professional social networking niche. I was going to sign up until I read this review…it sure sounds like the site allows for stalking!

The browser wars continue: Firefox 3.5 vs. IE 8:

I never realized that MIT and Harvard sponsored the most college varsity sports teams this year! Sadly, the economy is forcing MIT to cut 8 of their 41 sports teams:,2933,517828,00.html

April 28, 2009

LOTD for April 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:45 pm

Please excuse any typos in today’s LOTD because I’m writing this via my phone while watching my girls have their gym class.

It was great to invent a new beamforming technique today! I wrote half of a paper today and something just came to me when I was writing it!

FREE food at El Pollo Loco today. The Taste the Fire® Offer (“offer”) consists of one flame-grilled leg and one flame-grilled thigh, two tortillas (choice of flour or corn) and fresh salsa. I had it for lunch and it was even better than the KFC chicken yesterday. No coupon is needed, so stop by an El Pollo Loco tonight if you live or work near one!

Article about how the swine flu is the long-predicted result of the world’s industrial animal farming system, with more than 1 billion pigs and more than 70 billion chickens raised each year for human consumption, animal farming methods make the creation of new virus types inevitable. They are currently studying the big pig farms in Mexico to see if they had a role in creating this new strain of swine flu, which is a mixture of four different viruses: North American swine flu, North American avian flu, human H1N1 flu and a swine flu strain found in Asia and Europe:

Mexico complained when a Health official in Israel proposed changing the name of the “swine flu” to the “Mexican flu”:

An Austrian lab accidentally sent out a batch of bird flu and it got mixed with a human flu strain, which could have created a hybrid flu that could have caused a pandemic:

US National Academy of Engineering panel concluded that even the strongest levees and flood walls might not be able to save New Orleans if it was hit with a hurricane like Katrina again:

Journal paper challenges the popular theory that an asteroid led to the extinction of the dinosaurs:

Chemical gel shows that robots can be created without using any electronics–based on how the oscillating BZ reaction creates an autonomous material that moves without electronic stimulation:

It appears that Apple is preparing to offer two devices for Verizon–an “iPhone lite” (smaller and less expensive than the iPhone) and a media pad:
Article link

Microsoft is talking with Verizon about Microsoft’s “Pink” phone that is geared towards competing with the iPhone:

There are a lot of knockoff cell phones (Hi-phone instead of iPhone, etc.) in China, accounting for more than 20% of their cell phone sales:

Two Pennsylvania men tried to set the world record for text messaging in a month. One man sent 140,000 text messages (the record is set by a man in India who sent over 182,000 texts in a month) and was shocked to get a $26,000 bill from T-Mobile! T-Mobile’s “unlimited” text plan only allows 100,000 text messages per month, and he was lucky that T-Mobile removed his charges:

This article gives some good advice for LinkedIn users. The project that I’m working on right now was initiated via LinkedIn, so I can attest to the usefulness of the system!

April 27, 2009

LOTD for April 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:13 pm

I was on hold again today, so I did the LOTD early. Plus, it is good to get the KFC news out to those who might not know about it.

FREE piece of grilled chicken today at participating KFCs – not sure if this is pretty much all of them but if you’re worried, call and verify with your location:

The US advised against going to Mexico due to swine flu worries, and an European Union official warned Europeans to stay away from Mexico *and* parts of the US:

Israeli guards onboard an Italian cruise ship fought off Somali pirates (who were on four boats around the ship) when they attempted to hijack the cruise ship. The Somali pirates opened fire at the ship (one cruise passenger estimated he saw 100 shots from one pirate’s automatic weapon) and attempted to climb up the sides of the ship, but the Israeli guards used their weapons plus fire hoses to ward off the pirates:

German scientists developed a technique to make silk tougher and lighter than steel and even more elastic than spider’s silk:

Military bases block official messages sent by the Army on Twitter, since they block all Twitter access

21 out of the 22 Navy bases inspected in the US were found to still not have developed an anti-terrorism plan, despite being directed to do so after 9/11:

Pres. Obama promises a major investment into science, with R&D spending increased to 3% of our GDP. This includes doubling the budgets for NSF, NIST, and DOE, and creating an ARPA for energy:
Article link

Study found that the physics behind the perfect pizza toss can help the design of the next generation of micro motors (thinner than a human hair!):

President Obama will be soon be able to get full use from his BlackBerry 8830, even for data at the top secret classification level. Software developed by Genesis Key will result in any BlackBerry 8830 or Curve to be securely used for top secret data:

Apple and Verizon are in “high-level” discussions for bringing the iPhone to Verizon. This would be really, really bad for AT&T, so this could be a way for Apple to get better terms from AT&T. Of course, Verizon’s 80 million customers (and any AT&T iPhone customers who switch to Verizon for Verizon’s network) would need to buy new iPhones…so that would really boost Apple’s sales:

Samsung’s first Android-based phone was unveiled and it will be available in Europe in June:

The first Android-based netbook is going through final testing right now and should be introduced this summer for $250. Market experts are predicting that the combo of ARM and Android could quickly bring sub-$200 netbooks with 12-hour battery lives:

I think that it is great that Qualcomm and Broadcom have finally settled their IP disputes:

Clearwire signed deals with two WiMAX operators in Taiwan:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak uses an iPhone of course…but he also uses a BlackBerry:

This author wanted to use his time productively during his daily commute on the train, so he ended up writing a 400-page novel using his smartphone over 2 years:

April 26, 2009

LOTD for April 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:05 pm

Federal officials declared a public health emergency because of the human swine flu:,0,7720836,full.story

Report from the Government Accountability Office really slammed the DoD’s Joint Non-lethal Weapons Program, pointing out problems with pretty much everything they have done…developing useless systems, fielding weapons without proper testing or adequate ammo, etc. For R&D it says that, “the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Program has conducted more than 50 research and development efforts and spent at least $386 million since 1997, but it has not developed any new weapons.”

Study found that we get the urge to scratch from our central nervous system, not from our skin or brain like some thought:,8599,1889750,00.html

Study of double amputees found right-handed people became left-handed, possibly because the brain may be more rigid on the hand that had been dominant in the men:

Drug takes away the fun of stealing away from kleptomaniacs–2/3 who took the drug stopped stealing and had little or no urge to steal, where only 8% of those who took the placebo stopped stealing:

Study found that people who grow up with at least one sister tend to be happier and more balanced than those who have only brothers. Girls apparently get families talking, helping them to bond and encouraging family members to reach their full potential:

Up to 1/3 of children living in inner-city housing have allergic asthma, with this study finding that the extremely high asthma rate is not due to dust mites or pollen…it is due to allergies to cockroaches:

April 25, 2009

LOTD for April 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 1:25 pm

The conflicker virus has begun to attack PCs. The methodical way that the virus controllers are doing everything is pretty scary:

The swine flu spread includes 4 people being infected in San Diego county!

The World Health Organization says that the swine flu could spread quickly around the world and could develop into a pandemic. The 100 kids at a school in Queens who might have the swine flu is an indication of how quickly it can spread–they already had to close a school in Texas:

Instead of layoffs, this law firm offered all 1,300 of its associates the opportunity to take a year off for 1/3 of their base pay–the associate profiled in this story will take the $80k (that is 1/3 of her base pay!) and plans to teach English to monks in Sri Lanka and possibly help bring solar power to parts of the Himalayas:

I didn’t realize that Ayn Rand thought that health warnings about smoking were a socialist conspiracy…and that she died of lung cancer:

Cat adopted two puppies (their mother died when delivering them, nursing them, washing them with her tongue, and even teaching them to hunt mice:

Man spent two nights in jail because he used the bathroom in business class when the beverage cart blocked him from getting to the bathroom in coach. The FBI arrested him because the flight attendant and a witness said that he grabbed her arm and twisted it when she tried to keep him out of business class:

Russian man survived a fall out of a 5th-story window…twice in one night:,22049,25327819-5012895,00.html

Study found that a lot of teens call themselves vegetarians to hide their eating disorders–20% are binge eaters, and 20% to 25% use extreme weight-control measures such as taking diet pills or forcing themselves to vomit:,8599,1889742,00.html

April 24, 2009

LOTD for April 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:39 pm

At least 60 people have died from the swine flu in Mexico, and it has spread to the US–5 cases in California and 2 in Texas. Most of the people affected in Mexico are young healthy adults with no record of prior illnesses. San Diego is close to the border, so I’m monitoring this very closely!

The Army is continuing its funding into anti-aging research. If a breakthrough is made with resveratrol, it wouldn’t just be a big boost for our troops, it would be a huge-selling drug for GlaxoSmithKline:

al Qaeda in Iraq’s leader has reportedly been captured, but the two bombings yesterday indicate that they might be gaining some traction in recruiting disgruntled Sunni Awakening members:

Study about how often laptops are lost or stolen at airports. It was interesting to see the stats of losses/theft of laptops at different airports around the country–1200 laptops lost/stolen at LAX each week!

T-Mobile reports that they have sold 1 million G1 phones:

Symbian and LiMo think that the Android OS is overhyped…but they aren’t exactly unbiased observers:

This contest is pretty cool–they are giving away 5 Palm Pre packages that includes the Pre, $100 gift cards to Amazon, and a bunch of accessories:

Microsoft had its first year-over-year quarterly revenue decline since they went public 23 years ago!

I found this list of the most DVR-ed shows in the demo very interesting. Some shows that struggle in the ratings (like Dollhouse and 90210) actually have 40% of their viewers watching it on DVR later instead of watching live:

April 23, 2009

LOTD for April 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:14 pm

Robots are narrowing the gap on humans–one expert quoted in the article go on to discuss what could happen when we have truly intelligent robots, with the line: “If we’re very lucky, they’ll treat us as pets. If not, they’ll treat us as food”:

The Department of Homeland Security is studying “Brain Music”, which uses music created from listeners’ own brain waves to help them deal with things like insomnia, fatigue, and stress-related headaches:

The Army has been trying for a year to find out what happened to 3 small vials of a virus that went missing…at least this virus isn’t as harmful as others could be, but they still worry when a biolab loses something:

Lip-reading computer created that can distinguish between languages:

Wii gaming controller has been adapted for use for radiologists to navigate through patient images, avoiding repetitive motion injuries that occur today due to the reliance on using a mouse and keyboard:
Article link

Scientists are getting close to creating an “artificial nose” via nanostrings:

Astronomers cannot figure out (or even name) a giant space “blob” that is out of proportion and out of time for its size:

The Australia government agency who claims to have invented the core technology behind 11a and 11g has received settlements with the top 14 WiFi companies…they are expected to get a HUGE amount of money now:,csiro-patent-case-closes-with-secret-deals.aspx

US cellular companies do not seem to be interested in adding this free mobile DTV to their cell phones. That is a problem because few people will buy a mobile device just to watch TV–it really needs to be on cell phones to get widespread use. Maybe the next Nintendo DS or Sony PSP will add this feature to drive sales?

Qualcomm and Broadcom are apparently close to a global settlement of their legal disputes. This would be great for both companies and for the wireless industry…each company has spent millions over the past 4 years on legal fees and products have been delayed due to the dispute:

Apple dismissed the growing market for netbooks, ending speculation about an upcoming Apple netbook being released soon:

iPhone sales exceeded expectations, leading to a 15% profit increase last quarter and a nice jump in Apple stock:
Article link

AT&T is preparing for the Palm Pre release by sending an internal memo to employees to be able to put down the Pre and talk up the iPhone, and even holding seminars for employees so that they know how to convince customers to stay away from the Pre:

AT&T admitted that the leaked internal memo was a real memo:

Clearwire is being sued by its customers (including customers from Washington, Hawaii, Minnesota, and North Carolina) because its service is “slow and unreliable” and its early termination fees are too high. This is NOT the type of PR a company wants!
Press release

The Bluetooth 3.0 standard has been finalized and products using it should be out in 9 to 12 months. I’m looking forward to having it on my next phone:

More than half of the children in Europe under the age of 10 have a cell phone, and 95% of those 16 or older have cell phones. It is unfortunate that the network carriers aren’t bothering to try to block access for the kids to porn and gambling sites even though they have been asked to do so:

Myspace just forced out its co-founder and CEO–Facebook and other sites have been growing much quicker than it, so they made a major shakeup:

Detroit woman was shot by a burglar, but her bra’s wiring stopped the bullet and saved her life:

Target has created a reservation (pre-order) system for popular video games that could sell out. The interesting thing about this is that they are giving $5 gift cards to those who pre-order the games:

Pregnant woman stopped in the middle of robbing a bank to answer her phone, then she got so distracted by the call that she left the bank without any money!

April 22, 2009

LOTD for April 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 10:10 pm

For 5 years people in Brazil have been hacking into US military satellite transponders to use as ham radios (truck drivers), send coded warnings (rogue loggers in the Amazon), or to coordinate operations (drug dealers and organized crime groups). US military satellites are being hijacked all over the world, but it is so widespread in Brazil that you can apparently get the equipment near any truck stop:

Gen. Patraeus wants Pakistan’s military and intelligence services to focus on extremists within their country instead of India because the internal extremists are the bigger threat to Pakistan…but it will probably take a lot to convince them about that:

DARPA hopes to be able to come up with robots to train military dogs, replacing the human trainers used today:

University researches on sleep deprivation say that their research results were twisted by the Bush Administration to justify torture:

Two engineering professors made commercial USB ultrasound probes compatible with smartphones–this will allow smartphone-compatible ultrasounds to image the kidney, liver, etc.:

This article tries to figure out how Oracle will reach their target of $1.5 billion in profit from Sun in the first year after the acquisition:

Developers say that Palm’s new webOS lives up to the hype:

April 21, 2009

LOTD for April 21

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:48 pm

Scientists have discovered a rocky, Earth-like planet in the “habitable zone” (region around its host star with the right conditions for water to be liquid):
Article link

Computer spies (they think from China) broke into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project (the more expensive DoD weapons program ever), downloading several terabytes of sensitive data!

The sad thing is that the Pentagon’s Inspector General issued a report in May 2008 that warned that BAE wasn’t properly safeguarding the Joint Strike Fighter data. BAE strongly defended its security policies and the Inspector General actually took back its report. Sadly, it appears that the Inspector General was right last year:

South Korea will increase its R&D spending by 10% each year in an attempt to help them become a science-technology powerhouse. Their R&D investment will reach an amazing 5% of their GDP by 2012. Not only will this provide well-paying jobs and stability in their tech industry, I’m guessing this R&D spending will result in huge advances for their tech industry…especially when R&D spending is declining elsewhere due to the tough global economy. Just yesterday I got a contacted with an amazing offer if I would relocate to Korea…which I turned down of course:

Very positive review of a drive test of the Aptera 3-wheel electric car:

Remember the report yesterday that showed that tungsten in the ammo of our military can cause cancerous tumors? Unfortunately, tungsten is used in all kinds of military weapons–and the alternative is depleted uranium, which is also allegedly toxic:

Startup company is developing nuclear reactors that run primarily on natural or depleted uranium instead of enriched uranium…this way, the reactors could be loaded up with fuel and sealed for 30-60 years, and nuclear waste would be reduced since depleted uranium is a waste product in the enrichment process:

The US Military is issuing the iTouch to soldiers–it is much cheaper than similar devices built for the military by defense contractors and have tons of applications including language translators:

UAV helicopter sniper system is controlled with an adapted xBox 360 controller:

Researchers found a way to use RF technology to tune nanoscale antennas:
Article link

High-level tutorial over the antenna designs and considerations for WiMAX systems:

Vehicles are being built to try to exceed 800 mph on land:

Two FBI agents have been charged with videotaping high school girls trying on prom dresses:

Scientists claim that overweight people are partially to blame for global warming. Fat people are responsible for a ton more carbon dioxide emissions each year than skinny people. Food production accounts for 20% of greenhouse gasses and fat people eat more. Given the World Health Organization’s estimates of overweight people, an estimated billion tons of CO2 are generated each year because so much of the world’s population is overweight:

Friendships and social networks are important for our health–for example, a 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22% less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends:

It amazes me that more Americans make their primary income from blogging than work as computer programmers or firefighters. There are 20 million people with blogs in the US, with 1.7 million profiting from their blog and 452,000 bloggers make their primary income from their blogs (compared to 555,700 lawyers and 394,710):

Google released to developers the early-look SDK of the Android OS 1.5:

Vodafone will release the Android-based HTC Magic on May 5:

Minnesota Elementary school is teaching skateboarding during PE:

Man pretended to be a waiter at 2 New Jersey restaurants and got away with $186:

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