Link Collection

August 22, 2009

LOTD for August 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:18 am

Mario Kart power-ups (a real-life version of the mushroom) has now been implemented in Indycar racing:

I never realized that there was a Hindu version of the Taliban in India. They even gave an order that women should only give birth to sons:

600-pound man in Houston was able to hide a pistol and ammunition from police and jailers for more than a day while he was in custody by stashing the gun between his rolls of fat:

City employee was suspended from work without pay for failing to say hello to the mayor! Her supervisor said that not saying hello to the mayor caused “irrevocable damage” to their department:

During her trip through Africa a Kenyan man offered Hilary Clinton 40 goats and 20 cows to marry Chelsea Clinton. That man had made the same offer to Bill Clinton 9 years ago and he continues to try to pursue Chelsea despite how he married his college classmate in 2006 (polygamy is allowed in Kenya):

World’s oldest dog celebrated his 26th birthday and is still in good health!

Woman won the 2008 Nurse of the Year award from the Connecticut Nursing Association…but it turns out that the Connecticut Nursing Association does not exist and she used $2,000 of her own money to stage the dinner to help her get a job. She actually isn’t even a nurse and was arrested earlier this month:,0,4647905.story

Cuba is in a serious economic crisis due to the global financial crisis plus three hurricanes that hit the island last year…things are so bad that they apparently will run short of toilet paper for their country!

Survey found that 2/3 of women in the US would marry an average-looking person that they liked (but did not love) if he was worth $1.5 million. Half the men would marry a woman they didn’t love if she was worth $1.5 million:

August 21, 2009

LOTD for August 21

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:21 pm

The Army’s new autonomous UGVs recently passed realistic testing for patrolling streets in a village:

UC-SD has created a series of agile robots that incorporate feedback–a hopping rover (iHop), a miniature treaded rover (Switchblade) and a self-propelled, self-guided sphere (iceCube):

Robot-assisted endoscopic technique has enabled Korean doctors to successfully treat 200 consecutive patients with thyroid cancer. This robot-assisted technique has several technical and cosmetic benefits than traditional operations:

New organic liquid developed that can pull harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide out of industrial emissions from power plants. This can allow power plants to capture double the amount of harmful gases in a way that uses no water, less energy and saves money.

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary under Pres. Bush (Tom Ridge) has a new book out where he wrote that politics were behind raising the terror level in the days before the 2004 presidential vote:

Study (using GPS) found that people who try to walk in a straight line actually end up walking in circles if there was nothing to help them guide their way:

Twitter is adding the capability to add longitude and latitude information to tweets. I see the benefit of readers to know exactly where a person is…but do people posting to twitter (such as celebrities) really want to give away their location to anyone?

The EEOC filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against AT&T because it denied older employees the chance to be rehired because they retired under early retirement plans:

American Airlines now has 100 airplanes with WiFi service and they are scheduled to reach 150 airplanes by the end of this year:

There is a controversy over Bud Light cans being made with school colors–25+ Universities have asked Anheuser-Busch to drop the campaign near their campuses, but other schools have no problem with the campaign:

For Lori: Paula Abdul will not be on Ugly Betty as rumored and will not be a judge on Dancing with the Stars…in part because she is still hoping to be on American Idol:

August 20, 2009

LOTD for August 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:29 pm

The airport perimeter security market is large and growing rapidly. This article has a nice summary of all of the varied technologies involved:

Article about how much needs to be done for airport perimeter security in the US:

Raytheon just won a $100+ million contract to provide airport perimeter security for four New York City-area airports. This is a great market for Raytheon to utilize its communications, sensor, and command-and-control technologies that were developed for the military for a growing commercial market, but they have competition from Lockheed and other defense contractors (including L3 and SAIC) who also wish to get into this market:

New approach takes advantage of silver’s antibacterial properties for healing wounds while preventing the damage that silver can cause cells needed for healing:

Scientists developed a high-yield deep water rice, which would enable better rice production for areas that are affected by flooding:

Hacker was about to accept a 20-year prison sentence when new federal charges emerged that scuttled his plea agreement:

Researcher says that we should change the current CDC policy of giving seasonal flu and swine flu vaccinations to people at highest risk for complications–she says that if we gave the vaccine to those most likely to spread the viruses, we would reduce the number of people infected and improve survival rates:

Study found that crops stressed by climate change emit more greenhouse gas (methane):

Article about how Windows Mobile has been the main loser from the gains the iPhone has made in the smartphone market:

Former Palm Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ed Colligan rejected a proposal from Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs to refrain from hiring each other’s employees two years ago, calling it wrong and “likely illegal,” according to their communications.
Palm’s CEO rejected a proposal from Steve jobs that was for Apple and Palm to stop hiring each other’s employees, calling it wrong and “likely illegal”:

Fortune Magazine says that RIM (the BlackBerry makers) is the fastest growing company in the world!

Article about how the BlackBerry browser is planning to be able to support Flash and Silverlight by next summer:

Northern Michigan University gives laptops to all of its students and now it is providing them with free mobile WiMAX service. They said that they needed to go from WiFi to WiMAX because their school is in a rural area and commuter students and staff may live several miles away from campus…so, students and staff get free computers and internet service in their homes!

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will install 360 new bus stops powered by solar panels that will power WiFi routers and digital information panels. plus will generate an estimated 43,000 kW-hours per year of unused energy that will be sent to the city’s grid. The best part is that Clear Channel will pay the $30,000 cost per bus step because they will get to sell ad space on the bus stops–so, the city gets a comprehensive WiFi solution, the bus stops generate power instead of take power, and the taxpayers don’t have to pay anything:

This columnist really went off about how Intel is claiming that the European Commission’s $1.45 billion fine for its allegedly monopolistic stifling of competition is a human rights violation:

Three drunk women chased after a man they thought whistled at them (it wasn’t him, it was one of his friends that whistled) and brutally beat him up:

VH1 yanked a reality show that has already completed filming…because one of the contestants is a suspect in the killing of a model whose body was stuffed inside a suitcase!

It turns out that the murdered woman is his ex-wife:

For Lori–here is a review of the Octomom special that was shown on Fox…I’m glad that we didn’t watch it, but I feel bad for those kids:

August 19, 2009

LOTD for August 19

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:46 pm

A Boeing spokesman went to last week’s symposium on UAVs and passed himself off as a blogger instead of a Boeing employee, even asking questions as an “independent blogger” during new conferences of Boeing’s competitors. This could have serious implications for the media covering the defense industry and could end Boeing’s plan to create a defense industry blog:

Mid-ranking Air Force officers apparently had realized for years that the Air Force didn’t need more F-22s and instead needed to buy more light fighters (which is the direction Defense Secretary Gates has taken recently), but apparently the Generals in the Air Force were just focused on getting more F-22s:

Painless patch is being developed that may replace hypodermic needles. This would be great for people like my kids who hate shots–the patch is supposed to be like applying a band-aid. This would be a great way to distribute flu shots to the public…you could get your flu shot sent to you in the mail instead of having to go somewhere:

Researchers are adapting the advances made in nuclear fusion research to create extremely thin plasma beams to make future computer chips. New nalolithography is needed to continue advances in computer technology and keep up with Moore’s Law:

Researchers have found a way to double the production of the biofuel butanol, which may eventually replace gasoline in automobiles. Butanol produces more energy than ethanol:

Egypt’s head of antiquities warns that the Pharoh’s tombs in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings will disappear if they remain open to tourists–the humidity and fungus are apparently eating into the walls of the tombs as they are open for visits from tourists:

Human-induced global warming is predicted by computer models to increase the size of the world’s deserts by up to 34%…that is an area the size of the US!

Another forged letter was found–again sent out by a lobbying firm working to try to defeat a climate change bill:

Microsoft filed an emergency motion late yesterday to ask that the injunction that prevents it from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 in the US after October 10 be delayed, warning of “massive disruptions” if they are unable to sell Word:

The European Commission is investing significant money for LTE research to try to do with LTE what Europe did with GSM:

Commentary on the Federal court ruling that forced Google to turn over the IP and e-mail addresses of a blogger that posted critical comments about a model. This sets a precedent that blogs and other forums may not be safe havens for criticisms by anonymous bloggers:

August 18, 2009

LOTD for August 18

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:47 pm

Explosion at Russia’s largest hydro-electric power plant killed 11 workers (with 65 people missing), with the accident creating a large oil slick now floating down the Yenisei River from Siberia towards the Arctic:

The big increase in suicides and other mental health problems among soldiers returning from deployment has been disturbing–the US has had more soldiers killed via suicide than killed in active combat for the first 6.5 months of this year. The Pentagon is looking at ways to get earlier diagnosis for PSTD (two funded projects try to diagnose PSTD while the soldiers are still in combat) and even to discover some type of medicine to prevent PSTD. Not only is there a big human cost in PSTD, but psychological treatment for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could cost up to $6 billion dollars:

Scientists have found that holistic processing is one reason why children are better than adults at distinguishing between the faces of children. This is similar to how Caucasians can distinguish between Caucasian faces better than Asian faces:

Three hackers (one who was a Secret Service informant and the other two are unnamed Russian hackers) were indicted for stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers:

Wireless operators around the world have spent millions to subsidize the iPhone to try to gain customers, but *no* wireless operator in the world that carries the iPhone has had market share, revenue, or earnings improve! According to this study, only Apple is making money off the iPhone and the wireless operators that have exclusive agreements for the iPhone are looking to other phones to try to gain customers and profitability:

This article discussed how Southeast Asia’s largest wireless phone company has had profits calls due to carrying the iPhone, saying that the iPhone reduced its operating profit margin 3-4% points. The top wireless phone company in Sweden has lost market share and has a lower revenue per subscriber than its competitors (who don’t have the iPhone):

Man threw money from his car on the 210 freeway in LA, causing a traffic jam when people ran onto the freeway to grab the cash. Police recovered about $1,000 and are asking for the people who gathered money to return it (good luck with that, people who ran onto a freeway aren’t the type who would give the money back!):

Woman is pregnant with *12* babies, 6 girls and 6 boys. The current world record holder is a woman in Australia who had 9 babies…and all 9 died:

August 17, 2009

LOTD for August 17

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:31 pm

Environmentally-friendly coating for glass, plastics, and a range of other materials may eliminate the need for harsh detergents and solvents…if you get a heavy oil spill on something, you can just wipe it off with plain water! It also can be used as an anti-fog coating on windshields and eyewear:

Mathematicians developed a new cloaking method to shield subs from sonar, planes from radar, buildings from earthquakes, and oil rigs and coastal structures from tsunamis:

During the Russia-Georgia conflict, Russian hackers hijacked American IDs and software tools to attack Georgian government websites. Some of the software used was a modified version of Microsoft code for network administrators that is freely available on Microsoft’s web site. Combining identity theft, social networking, and free commercial software took cyber attacks to another level:

With all the talk about troop increases for Afghanistan, I was surprised to read about how the US’s top General in Afghanistan has directed his commanders to come up with proposals to cut manpower by as much as 20%. They want to maximize the number of infantrymen and counterinsurgents and minimize support staff and any nonessential personnel:

Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and a maximum-security prison in rural Michigan are the finalists to house the Guantanamo Bay inmates if that facility is closed:

Deep tremors indicate that a *massive* earthquake (9.0 or greater!) could take place near the Seattle/Tacoma area that could also cause a tsunami. The mega-earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone occur every 400 or 500 years or so, and the last one in that area was a 9.2 earthquake that created a tsunami that reached Japan!

Battery breakthrough may combine the latest in solar energy with the ability to store high energy density at normal temperatures. Solar power for $2 per watt combined with battery technology to store that energy for an extended period of time means that a home could be completely off the grid in an affordable manner:

Asian-American men are much less likely to think about or attempt to commit suicide than other Americans, but Asian-American women (born in the US) think about suicide more than the national average and attempt suicide more often:

Study found that restricting the fertilizer that contained phosphorus improved the water quality of the surrounding area:

Rapid economic development in China has resulted in panda’s habitat being split up in increasingly smaller patches, which reduces their chances to find mates. This leads to a projection that China’s panda population could be extinct in just 2 or 3 generations:

Verizon completed LTE data calls (including streaming video, file uploads and downloads, web browsing, and VoIP voice transmissions) in both Boston and Seattle. Both Boston and Seattle have 10 LTE cell sites. Verizon’s CTO said that the trial results indicate that LTE average download speeds will be between 7 and 12 Mbps:

Dell unveiled its Android-based smartphone that will be available through China Mobile. It is a 2G phone without any 3G or WiFi (WiFi isn’t allowed on phones in China) capability:

Research found that 90% of paper money circulating in the US contains traces of cocaine (Thanks Ben!):

A *cat* was earned a high school diploma–the online quiz was a series of multiple-choice questions with each question having 4 multiple choice answers and you get 4 chances to get each question correct…that isn’t exactly the most challenging test in the world! I guess anyone with $199 can get a high school degree:

1,224-pound triple vanilla cupcake with pink frosting set the record for world’s largest cupcake. It was more than 8x the size of the previous record holder and included 800 eggs and 200 pounds each of sugar and flour. People who donated to a breast cancer organization got slices of the cupcake:;cbsnewsLeadStoriesSecondary

August 16, 2009

LOTD for August 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:31 pm

Interesting study found that women are getting more beautiful with each generation while men haven’t improved their attractiveness since the caveman days! Beautiful women have 16% more children than their plainer counterparts and beautiful women have more female children than male children (study of 15,000 Americans found that attractive parents are 26% less likely to have sons!). So, the pattern results in women becoming more attractive over time. The study found that handsome men have the same number of kids as plain men:

The Chinese research breakthrough in growing healthy living mice from mouse skin cells brings scientists significantly closer to human cloning. All you need is a piece of skin from a person and you can create a child of theirs!,0,6810838.story

Neuroscientists found that if you close your eyes when scary music is playing, the experience will be more scary:

The toco toucan has the largest bill relative to body size of any bird and researchers have tried to figure out why it has such a long bill. A new study seems to indicate that the toucan’s bill acts like a radiator and regulates the toucan’s body temperature.

Astronomers were surprised to discover a tropical storm on Saturn’s moon Titan–Titan has a methane cycle like Earth has a water cycle:

This year is the first time US rental car companies bought more foreign cars than domestic cars. This is a major change, especially considering just last year 2/3 of the cars they bought were made in the US. Three years ago 80% of the cars rental companies bought were made in the US:,0,3062970.story

Divorce or being widowed is really bad for people’s health–20% more likely to have chronic health conditions than married people, 23% more limitations on their mobility, etc.:

This is an example of how Lori saves us money on groceries–buying $25 of Kraft products (for example, cheese, cream cheese, and cheese slices) can result in *making* $7 in profit! She even made money buying ice cream sandwiches today:

August 15, 2009

LOTD for August 15

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:04 pm

Blue rock (larger than a watermelon) found on Mars surprised NASA researchers. By the time the rover’s photo reached Earth the rover had passed the rock, so for the first time they had the rover turn around for something:

A ring of debris around a very young star is thought to have formed by a crash of two planetary bodies. A similar even is believed to have resulted in the formation of the Earth’s moon:

Applicants who want to be astronauts for China have to be “super human beings” with no bad breath, runny noses, body odor, cavities or scars:

Lobbying company sent *forged* letters that were pretending to be from minority organizations to try to convince Congressmen to vote against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009:

The coal energy coalition that hired that lobbying firm (to do their “grassroots” campaign) is considering a lawsuit against the lobbying firm:

A former employee of that lobbying firm dismissed the excuse that a temp worker created those letters, saying that the only thing that was unusual about this incident is that the lobbying firm was caught this time:

Study found that Utah saved $1.8 million from its annual electricity bill and prevented 12,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere by having their state government workers go to a 4-day workweek (40 hours over 4 days instead of 5). The workers seem happier and have more time with their families, use less sick leave, and exercise more…maybe more governments or companies should look at this:

British couple was concerned that their dog was walking oddly…x-rays found that his stomach contained 9 golf balls and a bullet!

Mystery fumes sent more than a 100 people to the hospital soon after an ABC Disposal truck emptied an industrial dumpster at this Massachusetts waste services plant:

Ryan O’Neal had pledged to marry Farrah Fawcett just weeks before she died…and at her funeral he actually hit on a woman. Even worse, the woman he hit on was his daughter Tatum!–52349392.html

This book excerpt describes how Abner Doubleday did not actually
invent baseball in Cooperstown–that was all fiction created to promote tourism for Cooperstown and to promote professional baseball in the US. Cooperstown was picked because Edward Clark (partner in the Singer Sewing Machine company) had moved there because his wife had been raised in that rural village:

August 14, 2009

LOTD for August 14

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 4:22 pm

34 Egyptian fishermen were held captive by Somali pirates for the past four months, with the pirates rejecting a $200,000 ransom offer on Wednesday. Yesterday the fishermen overpowered their armed captors and escaped on their fishing ships. They killed two of their captors and are bringing other pirates back to Egypt as their prisoners:

Interesting tidbit on how Navy P-3 planes were used by US Geological Survey geologists to study mineral deposits in Afghanistan to look for undiscovered valuable mineral deposits. The US government paid for all of this survey work and discovered iron, copper and gemstones (emeralds, rubies and sapphires)…and even though the US did all the work to discover the minerals and the US paid for everything needed for the discover, the government of Afghanistan gave the exploration rights for copper mines to a Chinese company. We’ve spent how much money in Afghanistan and they are giving the mineral rights to China?

The Justice Department is suing a bulletproof vest maker for *knowingly* using faulty material in the bulletproof vests they sold for use by US troops and police officers. The US government also alleges that after the founders found out about the lawsuit they took $5 million from their company and purchased things like a Ferrari, a Maserati and a private jet:

The Global Entry program is being expanded to 13 additional airports (including Honolulu, San Francisco and Vegas). This program allows trusted air travelers to skip the passport processing lines and instead use a touchscreen system that includes a fingerprint scan. This allows most people to get through the line in less than 5 minutes, far faster than the passport processing normally takes!

Research indicates that wobbles in the Earth’s tilt were responsible for the global warming episodes that interspersed prehistoric ice ages. This result shows the end of the second last ice age occurring 141,000 years ago, thousands of years earlier than previously thought:

New movie theater goes beyond IMAX with its “Immerssive dome”

Alcatel-Lucent said that wind and solar power have reached the inflection point–as early as next year it will be cheaper to use green energy even if electrical connections are available at cell sites:

Apple and AT&T were hit with a class action lawsuit over advertising MMS for the iPhone 3G S but not having MMS available:

Verizon began a new buy-1 BlackBerry-get-1 free promotion, but now they have extended the promotion to include netbooks, PC cards, and USB modems:

The tough economy has resulted in the reduction of cancellation of workplace blood drives, resulting in blood bank donation drops:

Teens in one city in the UK are getting certificates when they show they can successfully catch a bus:

Man gave his name and account number and showed his ID to a bank teller right before robbing a bank in Alaska…police caught up with him quickly. The funny thing is that he’s not a first-time bank robber–I guess he didn’t learn much from the 57 months he spent in prison from his last bank robbery conviction:

Rumor (note: sources are Star Magazine and National Enquirer, not the most credible publications) is that Jessica Simpson is being linked to Colt Brennan after being dumped by Tony Romo:

August 13, 2009

LOTD for August 13

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:37 pm

Special forces is looking to put next-generation loudspeakers on their UAVs:

The DoD’s budget for classified programs in FY 2010 is $35.8 billion, with 80% going to the Air Force:

The Marines have narrowed the candidates down to two possibilities for UAVs that can deliver supplies to isolated outposts in Afghanistan by next year. The UAV has to be able to hover at high altitudes and deliver 10 tons of supplies across 150 miles in a day. This would be a huge step forward in the supplying of the troops in Afghanistan and eliminate the dangerous and costly supply caravans:

Video released for the “nano air vehicle”, which is a UAV the size of a large insect. It can climb and descend vertically and the remote control can direct it to fly sideways left and right as well as forwards and backwards:

Nice feature article about how MIT is using iPhones to control UAVs:

Article about how the US military’s goal is to have autonomous robots control other autonomous robots, with no human interaction at all. I find this technology interesting and a little worrisome…but maybe I saw one too many movies like the Terminator when I was a kid:

Alion was awarded a contract worth up to $49 million for modeling and simulation support for SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic:

Livermore Lab researchers have sealed nanowire transistors in a membrane that is similar to those that surround biological cells. This can be a breakthrough for numerous medical applications:

NASA apparently doesn’t have the funding needed to spot asteroids that pose a threat to Earth. Congress assigned NASA the mission 4 years ago, but never gave the funding to build the necessary telescopes…so, I guess we’ll just have to cross our fingers:

British explorer claims to have found a huge system of caves, chambers and tunnels below the Pyramids of Giza–the explorer says this is the lost underworld of the pharaohs:

These clever researchers figured out that an ordinary camera flash can transform an insulator into a conductor! Currently toxic chemicals or high-temperature treatments are used to turn graphite oxide into graphene, but these researchers found that a camera flash instantly heated up graphite oxide and turned it into graphene:

Researchers beat the world record for packing the most tetrahedra into a volume. This breakthrough in a new way to efficiently pack solids is a key part of the mathematics behind error-detecting and error-correcting codes used to store information on CDs and compress data for transmission:

It looks like Cheney is ready to throw Pres. Bush under the bus…he says that the “statute of limitations has expired” for many secrets. Cheney seems to be upset that Bush showed independence during his second term that Cheney didn’t see coming:

Ericsson’s CTO *really* attacked WiMAX, saying that it isn’t a real 4G technology and that they only call it that because they are four years late for 3G. He points out that there are 400 million people using 3G (HSDPA/WCDMA) today and five years from now there still will only be 70 million people using WiMAX, so economies of scale will make LTE cheaper. He also said that LTE will be the standard for large companies like Verizon and AT&T. Ericsson is opening a new division that will be headquartered in San Jose (nice for the Silicon Valley job market) that will do R&D focused on the convergence between mobile broadband and the Internet:

Clearwire added 25,000 customers in Q1 of this year, but only 12,000 customers in Q2 even though they added markets during that quarter. Clearwire’s stock dropped 17.8% in afternoon trading yesterday after an analyst downgraded its stock:

Sprint is going to add 17 new WiMAX markets by the end of this year, including Maui and Austin:

HTC has shipped 1 million Magic phones (basically the G2, its second Android-based phone). T-Mobile already shipped 1 million G1 phones:

Feature on what has been happening with Muni-WiFi:

Judge in a patent infringement case says that Microsoft cannot sell Microsoft Word in the US, but appeals or work-arounds mean that consumers are unlikely to be affected for a long time:

For a full anti-Microsoft commentary, this article discusses Microsoft’s problems for PC and smartphone users:

North Carolina football players swallowed a pill that will measure their core body heat for two days–the pill has a battery, thermometer and radio:

Man was arrested after trying to run away from police who stopped him because he was riding a bicycle with a 3-foot-long alligator on his shoulders! He left his bicycle and the alligator behind while trying to get away from police, but he was caught. I’m not shocked that he had drug paraphernalia in his possession…I’ll bet if they gave him a drug test they would have found something in his system:;cbsnewsLeadStoriesHeadlines

It is amazing to me that a week of Letterman repeats got more viewers than a week of new Conan O’Brien shows:

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