Link Collection

July 2, 2009

LOTD for July 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:21 pm

US soldier was captured by a small militant group in Afghanistan and then quickly sold to a prominent militant group that operates on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border:

Regina Dugan has replaced Tony Tether as DARPA director:

Hummingbird-like nano air vehicle (NAV) got a $2.1 million Phase II award from DARPA.

This article has more on the NAV–interesting that it flaps its little robotic wings just like a hummingbird and is even being made to look like a hummingbird. Eventually DARPA wants a 10 gram aircraft that can hover for extended period, fly forward up to 10 m/s and can withstand 2.5 m/s wind gusts:

The US Army has been testing the ability to us blimps to shoot down enemy missiles:,2933,529695,00.html

Saddam Husseim told the FBI that he let the world believe he had WMDs because he was worried about Iran…he said that he was so worried about Iran that he considered asking the US for a security agreement!

Nine-mile-high inflatable tower could cut the cost to launch spacecraft, reduce the need for GEO satellites, and improve cell phone signals. Tethered to a mountain 3.1 miles high, it would initially be 12.4 miles high–where the view is similar to an astronaut (black sky instead of blue), allowing a communications array to see 373 miles in all directions. Eventually they hope to get the towers to rise 124 miles high!

Nanotechnology may increase the longevity of tooth-colored fillings, important because half of all tooth-colored fillings fail within 10 years and about 60% of all operative dentistry involves replacing them:

PC World conducted tests for the major 3G services in 13 cities across the US. Verizon did extremely well (average download speed of 951 kbps with a 89.8% chance for fast and uninterrupted data access) while AT&T was the least reliable (average download speed of 812 kbps and just a 68% chance of having fast and uninterrupted data access). Sprint had the highest reliability rate (90.5%, slightly higher than Verizon), but was slower than Verizon and AT&T. Interestingly, they found that the number of bars the cell phones had really didn’t tell much about the data rate or reliability (except for when the network has enough capacity like on Verizon):

Stock prices for Leap Wireless, Sprint, and MetroPCS all fell after Tracfone released the details of their new service plan. Tracfone introduced a plan for $45 per month unlimited service plan that is over Verizon’s network:

Nokia is backing away from WiMAX and instead will shift its efforts to HSPA+ and LTE:

If forced to choose, 1/3 of Americans would choose to give up their cell phones instead of TV. However, 60% of Americans would give up alcohol for a week instead of their cell phones. Interesting results on how men and women view different features as important–more women found text messaging very important (71% vs 46%), are taking photos with their phones (55% vs. 30%), and all 8% who wanted to read books on mobile devices were women:

A slideshow of the results can be found here:

China pulled back on trying to require censorship software on all computers sold in China:
Article link

Looks like Amazon and will be back with their Hawaii affiliates after the veto of the bill. The Legislature admits that their online tax bill was flawed so they won’t try to override the veto:

The Social Security Administration REALLY need to upgrade their system–they have continued to pay millions of dollars each year to dead Americans while improperly recording other Americans as deceased! Falsely labeling someone as deceased means that their benefits are terminated and they run into a lot of other problems because other agencies use Social Security’s death records. So, we keep sending Social Security money to the families of dead people while cutting off the living? Investigators last year analyzed 305 Social Security beneficiaries who were recorded as deceased and found out that at least 140 of them were alive! That is a horrible percentage of failure:

If I ever make it back to Chicago I’m going to have to make it a point to check out the new glass balconies at the Sears Tower…1353 feet in the air with transparent walls, floor and ceiling!

Lawsuit filed in 1983 finally got a verdict after the Montana judge found the court documents in an old briefcase at his home!

Man kept a 8-foot-long python as a pet, but it broke free and strangled a 2-year-old girl in the middle of the night. The man was the boyfriend of the girl’s mother and did not have a permit for his python. Since 1980 pet pythons have killed 5 children in the US:,0,7732901.story


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