Link Collection

July 31, 2009

LOTD for July 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:10 pm

The House passed a food safety bill that requires more government inspections and imposes new penalties on those who violate the law:

Nasal vaccine developed for the swine flu, with Medimmune expecting to make as many as 200 million doses by March:

Fort Meade is currently in the lead to be selected for the military’s new center for cybersecurity–competition is fierce for the location because it could bring as many as 50,000 government and contracting jobs with $1.7 billion in salary annually alone:^1870068

US government secrets have been leaked on file-sharing sites…including sensitive information like the location of Secret Service safehouses!

The UK ended its troop presence in Iraq after being there the past 6 years:

Text messages appear on mobile phones without any interaction from the user and may have just limited interference from the cellular network operators, so criminals can use it as a way to break into cell phones. This was demonstrated on iPhones, Android phones, and Windows Mobile phones yesterday. Even security conscious users cannot protect themselves from clever text message attacks. For example, it was demonstrated that a hacker can disconnect an iPhone from the cellular network by sending a single malicious text message that the victim never actually sees! Spammers are *already* using this in Europe and Asia to force cell phones to visit certain websites:

Anti-theft software built into many laptops at the factory (even uninstalling the operating software won’t delete it!) in the BIOS opens a serious security hole. So, users don’t know that the software is there and cannot stop criminals from taking over their computer!

Fast-spreading computer virus attacks financial accounts that are used by businesses. At least 500,000 computers have been infected by Clampi since March and it is continuing to infect business computers. These types of banking Trojans are so widespread that businesses are recommended to only make online financial transactions on computers dedicated to financial transactions and not use those computers for e-mail, social networks or browsing the network:

These hackers gave a tutorial on how to hack San Francisco parking meters:

The RIAA won another file-swapping court case–downloading 30 songs on Kazaa will result in millions of dollars in penalties:

The new head of the FCC is examining exclusivity agreements between certain phones (he specifically cites the iPhone and the Pre) and carriers:

Analysis about why RIM is trying to block the Ericsson purchase of Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets:

The recession has really been hurting brothels, so German brothels have a new promotion that is based on all-you-can-eat buffets:

32-story Florida condo has just *1* tenant! They say that it can be spooky living in such a deserted place:


July 30, 2009

LOTD for July 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:46 pm

The US Military may ban Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites because they are a “security headache”:

Army Colonel says that the US should leave Iraq immediately. He says that staying in Iraq endangers US troops, that the Iraqi Army is ready to take over and doesn’t want the US around anymore (they even had a “forcible takeover” of a US check point recently), and a big clash between Iraqi troops and US forces could hurt future relations between the countries:

Soldiers may not need to carry batteries soon because they may be able to power electronic devices just using their own movements on the battlefield:

Customs and Border Protection’s surveillance aircraft helped catch a drug-smuggling semi-submersible, with an estimated 5,000 metric tons of cocaine. So far P-3 aircraft have contributed to the disruption of $1 billion in cocaine in the last year:

India is becoming an R&D hotspot, but China has surpassed its number of R&D centers through tax breaks and special economic zones to encourage research:

Wal-Mart may be a location for swine flu shots:

Bill introduced in the Senate to ban text messaging in all states:

Open source database breakthrough could lead to a 80x speed improvement:

Wolfram Alpha could change software due to their can that not only do they own their software, they own the *output* of the software itself. They claim that each page of results returned by their engine is a unique, copyrightable work:

Analysis about how the Microsoft/Yahoo search agreement will help Google avoid any antitrust scrutiny since the Microsoft/Yahoo team provides credible competition:

Yahoo search developers are in limbo now that Yahoo may be abandoning its search engine for Microsoft’s:

Commentary about why every phone needs Google Voice:

The next big piece of Nortel up for bid is they LTE patent portfolio. Ericsson only got 600 out of Nortel’s 5,500 patents when they purchased Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets:

With China’s push for their own 3G standard (TD-SCDMA), it is interesting to note that the only 4G standard for China is LTE, so they will use the same standard as the rest of the world:

Tenant made a post on Twitter to complain about her landlord…the landlord saw the Tweet and sued the tenant for $50,000:,CST-NWS-twitter28web.article

Ashley Judd has begun working towards a Masters degree at Harvard:

July 29, 2009

LOTD for July 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:04 pm

Article about how next-generation UAVs will need to be able to fly in formation. The robotic lab that my company is partnered with on some projects already had microspacecraft fly in formation years ago and they have ground robots moving in formation now, so they might be interested in knowing about this application for their technology:

UAV Technology Center has opened in Dayton, Ohio:

New report released on the emerging unmanned ground vehicle and unmanned maritime vehicle markets–they are $504 million combined this year and revenues are expected to increase quickly:

Analysis about how recent events make it more likely that Israel will bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities:

Transparent aluminum has now gone from Star Trek movies to reality, and it is being called a new state of matter with implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion:
Article link

Mathematical modeling has advanced to the point where it could be become a key part of breast cancer treatment:
Article link

Mother mice injected with nanoparticles while pregnant showed alteration in genes related to their central nervous system…more study is needed because these types of nanoparticles are being increasingly used for air and water purification and self-cleaning surfaces:
Article link

The CDC is meeting now to decide which groups should get the swine flu vaccine and if any group should have priority:

One major concern is that the swine flu has been especially brutal on pregnant women:

Vaccines are being developed to protect against STDs including HIV and herpes, but college students who feel invincible will refuse to be vaccinated:

The bankruptcy court approved Ericsson’s bid for Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets:

Apple says that jailbroken iPhones could knock out cell phone towers or let people avoid paying for phone calls. This is part of their lobbying attempt to avoid jailbroken phones from being allowed:
Article link

AT&T Wireless customers will have free WiFi at Barnes & Noble stores:
Press release

Verizon FiOS and high-speed DSL users will have free WiFi through Boingo hotspots:

It is pretty interesting to note that Verizon users may get their free WiFi from AT&T hot spots:

Microsoft and Yahoo signed a search deal after years of discussion:

High school student arrested for using his cell phone to take upskirt photos and videos of girls and teachers as they walked up stairs and post them on web sites:,0,5554512.story

Oregon family no longer leaves their windows open when they sleep…ever since a *bear* climbed through an open window to get into their home one night. The daughter saw the bear in the den, and she told her Dad who shot and killed the bear, leaving a bloody mess:

July 28, 2009

LOTD for July 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:16 pm

Navy SEALs are using a variety of robotic vehicles, including robotic subs and UAVs, that have been deployed on naval vessels:

Grandparents in Texas were bankrupt, more than $260k in debt…until they landed a $8.4 million noncompete contract for security services in Afghanistan. Instead of being happy with their good fortune, they decided to defraud the government by filing phony receipts and billing the government for ghost employees. Instead of the money going to rebuild Afghanistan, it went straight into their pockets…and now they are on trial for their alleged crimes:

Study found that texting while driving increases the chance of an accident by 23 times! One scary stat is that half of drivers 16 to 24 years old have texted while driving:

New home sales rose last month at a faster rate than anytime since the year 2000. Sales of existing homes have risen for three straight months, so it looks like the housing sector is on a (slow) recovery path:

BTG claims that Samsung’s Nand flash-memory chips violates 5 of their patents and seeks to stop imports of Samsung chips and products that use them…if this lawsuit succeeds, products from 8 companies including Apple and RIM will be blocked from being imported into the US. That would mean no iPhones, BlackBerry Storms, Sony digital cameras or computers, etc.:

The Canadian government is under pressure to block the sale of Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets to Ericsson. The Canadian government apparently has the power to block the deal, and having RIM as an alternative Canadian purchaser makes this a political issue:

Flextronics withdrew its opposition to Ericsson’s purchase of Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets…after Ericsson agreed to pay Flextronics the $8 million Nortel owed it and after they agreed to negotiate an agreement for Flextronics to be a supplier to Ericsson after the Nortel deal closes:

Sprint is buying Virgin Mobile for $483 million. This makes sense to me because Sprint already owned 13.1% of Virgin Mobile and Virgin Mobile used Sprint’s network for all of its wireless traffic:

Qualcomm and Verizon announced a joint venture to create advanced machine-to-machine wireless communications. I like that the joint venture will be based in San Diego (with offices in New Jersey too–it is always good to add those types of jobs to our economy here:
Press release

Lawsuit between Verizon and AT&T over AT&T’s objection to Verizon’s claim to have the most reliable 3G network. AT&T says that the data rate is key for reliability so Verizon is being misleading. I agree with Verizon’s position that speed is not the way to measure reliability:

Google Voice has client devices developed for BlackBerry and Android phones, but it has been banned from the iPhone:

Four key public-safety organizations have backed LTE for public safety in the 700 MHz band:

One-third of all mobile phones sold next year are expected to include accelerometers, up from 20% this year and 9% last year, with MEMS for mobile phonesexpected to go from $460.9 mil in 2009 to $1.6 bil in 2013:

Man came home and discovered someone was robbing him…so he tackled him and held him down while talking to a 911 operator:

Thief in the Bay Area confessed to his priest that he robbed a Credit Union, turned over $1200 to the priest, and then left. The priest called the police and the Credit Union will get that money back (which may or may not be all that was stolen), but the bank robber has not been found:

Study found that the average text message user sends 3 texts per day, but people involved in extra-marital affairs send 9 texts per day to the person they are having an affair with:

July 27, 2009

LOTD for July 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:09 pm

Advances in artificial intelligence has led to a debate by computer scientists whether or not further advances could have dangerous consequences…they are studying the possibility that humans will lose control of computer-based intelligence, especially now that they are armed:

I cannot express how upset I feel at having our soldiers (18) electrocuted in Iraq due to faulty wiring. They risk their lives for our country and it shouldn’t be dangerous for them to take a shower! KBR (Halliburton) of course denies they were at fault despite how the water pump they installed short-circuited and killed this special forces member because the water pump was not properly grounded:

Israel’s missile defense system for ships went through a successful high-seas test:

Europe is fast-tracking the testing of a swine flu vaccine, allowing companies to skip testing their vaccine with large numbers of people (to make sure the correct dosage is being used and watch for side effects) before releasing it to the public:

The GAO released a report sharply criticizing the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to local a $700 million research facility for highly infectious exotic animal pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas.

South Korea’s KAIST is conducting research projects to turn science fiction into reality. They are looking to foster creativity with their students and want to be one of the top 10 science and technology Universities in the world. They will teach solely in English by next year:

Scientists are getting close to understanding how to grow replacement bones with stem cell technology:

Interesting new biometric tool–using the way that people walk as a unique identifier. It would seem to me that there would be flaws in this–criminals could just change their walking style and people with injured legs or in wheelchairs would not be identified correctly with this system:

Mathematicians are trying to judge the happiness of the public by analyzing 10 million sentences on 2.3 million blogs. They found that election day was the happiest in nearly four years (wouldn’t nearly half the people be unhappy then?) and the day Michael Jackson (and Farrah) died was one of the saddest:

Mine shafts that are about to be closed down could be used to provide geothermal energy to local towns. The energy is obtained from the internal heat of the Earth, so this is renewable, clean energy that could also be profitable:
Article link

Ericsson won the auction for Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets, with their $1.13 billion bid even topping the $1.1 billion RIM wanted to bid last week:

This analysis of the price Ericsson paid concludes that Ericsson made a good deal for its company:

RIM apparently hasn’t given up their attempt to buy Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets, but I cannot see how they could get around the bankruptcy court sale…especially since Ericsson paid more than RIM offered:

This seems to indicate why Nortel kept its key LTE patents out of the CDMA/LTE auction that Ericsson won…RIM has been negotiating with Nortel to buy those patents for months:

As usual, the iPhone drove AT&T customer additions (the majority of AT&T’s new customers got the iPhone) and data revenues, but took a portion of AT&T’s profits:

The iPhone and iTouch are still the top platforms for mobile web users, but the Android platform is really gaining (up 25% from last month for web usage). Android phone web usage has already passed web usage for Windows Mobile!

Verizon Wireless had a good quarter (but the wireline business for Verizon is deteriorating) and they look forward to having the Palm Pre and Android-based phones from Motorola soon:

Sprint said that they are glad they waited for the second generation of the Android operating system–they will have a second-generation Android-based phone later this year:

New Jersey police had to use pepper spray on an aggressive groundhog:;cbsnewsLeadStoriesHeadlines

Convicted car thief out of probation impersonated a police officer (his Ford Crown Victoria had flashing lights, a microphone and speakers) and tried to pull over a car in Oakland…too bad for him that an unmarked police vehicle and the undercover cop he tried to pull over arrested him!

Buy 1 get 1 free smoothie at Jamba Juice with this coupon from Jamba Juice’s website, print as many copies as you want and the coupon is good until August 9:

LOTD for July 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 12:16 am

I found this article pretty easy to read considering that it was about the search for the Higgs boson. I thought that the race was over when the Large Hadron Collider was built, but it appears that the US group has a chance to be first to make the breakthrough:

The next version of Android has been made available to developers and is already running on the G1 phone…the list of features this adds is amazing!

A janitor was arrested for repeatedly peeing on a chair–after something strange happened with the chair on four other occasions, they used a hidden camera to discover the source of the problem. He was upset about being warned about sexually harassing a female employee, so he got his revenge by peeing on her chair:

Michael Jackson’s prosthetic nose apparently wasn’t buried with him…I wonder if it will show up on eBay?,2933,534724,00.html?mrp

Tokyo professor created baseball playing robots:

July 25, 2009

LOTD for July 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:24 pm

Fugitive UK couple might have starved to death on the yacht they stole:

I knew the basics of Iran’s political system, but I learned a lot of things from this nice summary:

Interesting that this study found that women were 10% more accurate than men at hammering a nail when the lights were on, but men were 25% more accurate than women at hammering in the dark:

The US has a shortage of primary care physicians, a problem that will get even bigger as current physicians age…since 1997 US medical school graduates in family medicine and general internal medicine have fallen by nearly 50%. The growing shortage of pediatricians can be attributed to salaries–pediatricians make $171k and orthopedic surgeons make $480k!

Concern over the acute liver failure due to acetaminophen and the 100 deaths per year from people taking it has resulted in an FDA panel recommending greater regulation of the most commonly used painkiller in the country. This affects a variety of popular over-the-counter products including Extra Strength Tylenol and other Tylenol products:

Archaeologists discovered pieces of flutes carved from bone and ivory at least 35,000 years ago!

NASA’s lunar missions are just part of a new race to the moon–with the US, India, China Japan, and Europe all with moon missions:

Interesting study found that most people say that they aren’t old and that they feel younger than their actual age. People younger than 30 think that 60 is old, middle aged people think that 70 is old, 65 and older people think that 75 is old, and so on. Just 21% of people aged 65 to 74 say they feel old, and just 35% of those 75 and older say they feel old:

Low-cost European airline is trying to get Boeing to design a standing room section. They are also eliminating their luggage check-in desks so passengers will carry their luggage all the way to the airplane:

Malaysian authorities confiscated 900 boxes of coffee laced with Viagra. The coffee was being marketed as an energy booster, and people taking the coffee might have been in for quite a surprise!

Loan company in Latvia is having customers sign a contract pledging their immortal soul as collateral!

For Lori: The Octomom signed a contract for her *kids* to star in a reality show. She has already been cited for violating child labor laws from when her kids were infants, so hopefully there will be someone to monitor the kids. 15% of the money the kids earn will be in a trust, the other 85% will be under her control…hopefully some of that will be saved for the kids:

For Lori: Jon from Jon & Kate Plus 8 apparently is getting his own reality show:

July 24, 2009

LOTD for July 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:42 pm

The F-35 appears to have fallen two more years behind schedule (they were originally supposed to start construction in 2010, but that was pushed back to 2014 and now to 2016), with the F-35 being one of the big reasons why the US wanted to stop production of the F-22s. The F-35s are supposed to replace the aging F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s, so this delay could be a big problem for the Air Force:

Advances in complex networks theory and modeling are leading to the ability to do “reality mining”, which can predict things like the economic and social effects of billions of new Internet users in China and India or the exact location and number of airline flights to cancel around the world to halt the spread of a pandemic:

Interesting debate over which computer language is the best for a programmer to learn first. There is a growing trend in Universities to teach Scheme (a dialect of Lisp) first:

Army Colonel who is retiring after 40 years of service is planning to eat a C-ration pound cake (he saved a C-ration kit from 1969) during his retirement ceremony:

The Russian Navy declassified its records of encounters with UFOs:

I think that it is horrible that Vodafone is charging 20 pence per minute for their customers that call the free hotline that the UK government set up to give advice on the swine flu. The 3 other mobile operators are allowing for free calls to that swine flu advice line, so Vodafone charging for those calls looks really bad:

Rumor is that the long-delayed Apple tablet device will be released in the first quarter of next year:

Hawaii has the highest percentage of millionaires for any state in the US:

I enjoyed reading this list of the weird things people have said in job interviews:

10-year-old robbed an 11-year-old at gunpoint, taking his skateboard:

Florida city manager was fired when the town council found out that he was married to a porn actress:

July 23, 2009

LOTD for July 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:57 pm

Saturn’s moon shows evidence of ammonia, which provides strong evidence that it has liquid water:

New Zealand researchers are implanting pig cells in diabetics, with the hope that pig insulin could delay the effects of Type 1 diabetes. There is some controversy because they are going straight to human trials without first having animal trials:

Virus may be used for copper mining via a genetic engineering procedure called “bio-panning”:
Article link

Startup company showed a demo of their Excalibur UAV, which will carry four Hellfire missiles (the Predator has just 2) and get up to a speed of 400 knots (the Predator only goes to 70 knots), and it doesn’t need a runway like the Predator does because their Excalibur just floats into the sky. They added former DARPA head Tony Tether to their board and they are looking for funding to go from their proof-of-concept to a full-size model…I’m guessing they are trying to get DARPA to fund it:

UK military officials are looking for ways to deal with IED attacks in Afghanistan. 187 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan, including 18 so far in July. IED attacks are up 114% this year and 74% of UK military deaths are due to bombings:

iPod translator program was originally developed to teach sign language to students, but now is a valuable tool for US soldiers in Iraq and UN peacekeepers on the Horn of Africa:,0,7205456.story

Journalists who want to be accredited to cover Afghanistan’s election have to sign a document that they will not say anything negative about the election!

Ericsson joined the bidding war for Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets–their $730 million bid tops Nokia’s $650 million bid and MatlinPatterson’s $725 million bid, but RIM is still complaining that their $1.1 billion bid was rejected. The auction will take place on Friday unless RIM is allowed into the process:

Study found that wireless internet usage in the US significantly rose during 2008, with 56% of Americans saying at the start of this year that they have used wireless means to get online. In December 2007 only 24% of Americans had used wireless means to get online. African-Americans use the mobile internet more than any other racial category studied, 50% higher than the national average:

AT&T activated 2.4 million iPhones in the second quarter of this year:
Press release

19-year-old man in Iowa used cash stolen in a bank robbery to pay a bond for an outstanding warrant. He’s now charged with first-degree bank robbery:;cbsnewsLeadStoriesHeadlines

A dead shark was abandoned on a Miami street:

Cute story about how Kelly Hildebrandt, and Kelly Hildebrandt fell in love:
NY Daily News article

July 22, 2009

LOTD for July 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:47 pm

The Land Warrior wearable electronics gear for soldiers has gone from being canceled a few years ago to being considered so valuable that the Army’s special forces now want to use it:

Taking eye drops multiple times per day is difficult for patients to do and blinking and tearing means that only 1% to 7% of the dose is actually absorbed by the eye. Researchers have now developed a special contact lens that can gradually dispense a constant amount of medication to the eye, at adjustable rates:

Obesity appears to double the risk of getting seriously ill from the swine flu:

Pregnant women are also in a high-risk group for the swine flu because their natural immunities to it is suppressed by their pregnancy:

Article about how commercial shipping uses 9% of the world’s oil and is a major air pollution source, with the claim that air pollution from commercial shipping kills 60,000 people per year. The solution proposed is to convert all commercial ships to run on nuclear power:

Amazing shotgun shooter–the video is just crazy!

Technique developed to address privacy concerns by making information expire. After a set time period, e-mail, Facebook posts and chat messages would automatically self-destruct, becoming irretrievable from all Web sites, inboxes, outboxes, backup sites and home computers. Not even the sender could retrieve them:

Competition between social networking sites has resulted in users’ data protection being compromised:

The GSM Association says that the latest numbers show that HSPA/LTE is on track and WiMAX is dying:

Martin Patterson outbid Nokia for Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets, and controversy is swirling over RIM’s bid that is much higher than either bids:

Rumor is that Apple will come out with a tablet device in time for the Christmas season (basically a bigger and more powerful iTouch) and that it will be subsidized by Verizon:

Costco has partnered with Gazelle to expands its electronics trade in and recycling program, giving Costco Cash Cards for sending in their unused electronics:

Illinois Sheriff’s office is being sued due to an allegedly unprovoked attack by two police officers on four children. Three of the children were repeatedly tasered and one was allegedly threatened with sodomy by a duputy:

West Virginia man arrested for allegedly breaking into a home and having sex with the dog inside:

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