December 28, 2012
June 29, 2012
April 23, 2012
Find out here.
From the PhysOrg link:
For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.
Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner,http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.
April 21, 2012
March 2, 2012
From the first link:
Priced at just $99.99, the Mini Boombox is much cheaper than many comparable products. This makes it a great buy iconsidering its larger-than-life sound reproduction. I don’t plan to purchase a Mini Boombox for myself, as I already own a couple similar speakers, but it would be a reasonably-priced and solid optionfor business users looking for a quality wireless speaker that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
December 23, 2011
Talk about the bar from hell — in the midst of Iraq’s Green Zone during the worst of the war, everyone’s favorite “security contractor” (nee Blackwater, nee Xe, now Academi) allowed its employees to frequent a speakeasy and soil the airspace with cover songs.
Hope this doesn’t ruin your holiday cheer, but from the link:
Bearman: There actually wasn’t a jukebox. They had a stereo system with an iPod attachment. They played random music. No one gave me a playlist, but they had to take Men At Work off because Aussie security contractors would go apeshit when Men At Work came on. Which I understand! When i’m in a war zone and drinking, I kind of want to let off a little steam, too.
But actually, sometimes they had live bands. Contractors who were over there a long time would bring instruments and musical equipment. There would be jammy, crappy cover bands. The Aegis guys would play the Kinks. The Blackwater dudes would play Nickelback. There was a strong cultural difference in what mercenaries were into, musically speaking.
September 11, 2011
I don’t really have a lot to offer aside from two blog posts.
First up is a post of mine from MarketingSherpa this Friday. I interviewed a reputation management expert for a how-to consumer marketing article who worked the American Airlines account for a major PR firm that day. He provided an interesting insight into some of the behind the scenes aspects of 9/11.
From the link:
I spent 48 hours doing nothing but monitoring and taking in reports from different people. I didn’t go to bed. I didn’t go home. It was kind of funny because the next day after the first 48 hours was over, I actually had scheduled a meeting with the Interactive Marketing team at AA.com.
I went to that meeting and I hadn’t gone to sleep. They insisted on having the meeting, not because they really wanted to have the meeting, but they knew that I was also in the Corporate Communications side, and that I knew what was going on.
The second is a post on the personal blog from a Sherpa colleague of mine, Brad Bortone, was a NYC resident on that morning. His post covers the first Mets home game after the attacks.
From the link:
For all the good that a night of baseball seemed to be doing, it was clear that the outside world wasn’t going away, no matter how much we wanted it to do just that. Then Mike Piazza stepped up once last time.
In the eighth inning, with the Mets down 2-1, and fan enthusiasm rapidly waning, Piazza hit a defining shot of his career. A fastball by Steve Karsay, left right in Piazza’s wheelhouse, promptly found its way over the center field fence, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead which would hold up till the end.
Piazza tried his damnedest to maintain composure as he rounded the bases, but the fans weren’t as controlled. Despite the thinning attendance, the cheers were as loud as any I’ve experienced in my 31 years. It was as if 41,000 people, after two weeks of holding their breath, finally allowed themselves to exhale.
August 21, 2011
The ongoing demise of journalism as a profession in its current form is well-documented. Traditional print outlets are drying up left and right, those still in business are cutting staff, and many online news outlets are mere aggregators and produce little, to no, original content.
What is a j-school grad to do?
One answer is “brand journalism.” Here’s a quick-hit description from a blog post of mine at MarketingSherpa titled, “Content Marketing: Should you lure a journalist over to the ‘dark side?’”:
Defining “brand journalism”
The idea is for companies to hire actual J-school trained journalists and give them free-reign to cover stories that involve topics of interest to the company’s customers and the general space of the business, but not exert any control over the story creation process, and certainly to not require — or even ask — the brand journalist to cover the company’s “story.” The brand journalist is to act as, well, a journalist.
Of course many veterans of copy desks, editorial rooms, city beats and magazine mastheads think of marketing as the “dark side,” and see going to work for a company as joining forces with Darth Vader, the Emperor, and the rest of the gang at the Death Star.
On the other hand, many journalists are in search of work in this tough media economy so there’s a lot of talented people out there to wheezily reach out to with an offer of doing real journalism, just doing it in a different setting.
As you might guess, for brand journalism to work it takes a leap of faith of sorts from two different parties. One, the brand journalist coming from a traditional media background is likely going to be very skeptical of going corporate.
And just as importantly, it requires some deft internal politicking from the marketing department to convince the C-suite one of the best content marketing moves is to hire a journalist and essentially give them total editorial control over what they produce.
Here is noted marketing author and speaker, David Meerman Scott, on why journalist are best suited for this new marketing role:
I’m convinced that those with the traditional skills of marketing, public relations, advertising, and copywriting are not the right people to create brand journalism content. Instead you need the skills of a journalist.
The idea of hiring journalists is a new one at companies, but I think it is essential for success.
Content marketing is increasingly important across the entire function. It’s not enough to pump out the occasional white paper and carefully hone the corporate message. People are more and more looking to companies for general information about the industry, and for links to outside sources of to that information.
Content marketing, particularly utilizing an independent brand journalist, can provide that credibility for companies, and offer meaningful work for an un- or under-employed journalist.
Curious how the term came about? Here’s Susan Solomon in ClickZ:
Have you heard the buzz about “brand journalism”? The term was coined by McDonald’s chief Global marketing officer, Larry Light. Light recently announced Mickey D’s would no longer pursue a singular brand message. Instead, the global giant will tailor its brand communications to niche markets and adapt them to media in which they appear.
“Identifying one brand position, communicating it in a repetitive manner is old-fashioned, out of date, out of touch,” Light says. “Simplistic marketing is marketing suicide.”
Why brand journalism? Because journalism involves telling many facets of a story to diverse groups of people. Face it, gigantic international conglomerates such as McDonald’s have diverse audiences to reach. That’s why the current campaign, “i’m lovin’ it” lends itself well to diversified marketing. McDonald’s can demonstrate how many different target audiences “love” the product in a variety of ways.
August 4, 2011
May 14, 2011
If you are investing (and I hope you are), if you are thinking about investing, or if you just think you might start investing sometime in a foggy future, do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy of “The Investment Answer” by Dan Goldie and Gordon Murray.
It is very short and very sweet. And eye opening in a very good way.
I picked it up months ago and finally read it the other night. Great, great stuff. And full of simple, actionable advice.
May 6, 2011
From the link:
A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of graphene oxide papers and an analytical model showing the layered structures of graphene sheets, the intralayer and interlayer crosslinks, and an atomic representation of the bridging structure (credit: Yilun Liu et al.)
Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing have calculated from first principles what a sheet of graphene might be like.
It’s currently only possible to make graphene in tiny scraps. So they suggest ways to stack these sheets and bond them together to make something larger.
Their model predicts the links between graphene layers will increase the distance between them, thereby reducing the density to about half that of graphite. So graphene paper is not only going to be strong but also very light.
May 5, 2011
A round of applause to NASA and everyone involved in this ongoing adventure. “To infinity and beyond … ,” or something like that.
Hot from the inbox:
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s Statement About the 50th Anniversary of U.S. Human Spaceflight
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden issued the following statement Thursday, May 5, about the 50th anniversary of United States human spaceflight:
“50 years ago today, Alan Shepard rocketed into space on America’s first manned space mission. That flight set our nation on a path of exploration and discovery that continues to this day.
“May 5, 1961, was a good day. When Alan Shepard launched toward the stars that day, no American had ever done so, and the world waited on pins and needles praying for a good outcome. The flight was a great success, and on the strength of Shepard’s accomplishment, NASA built the leadership role in human spaceflight that we have held ever since.
“I was a teenager at the time and just sorting out the field of study I wanted to pursue. Though I never dared dream it growing up in segregated South Carolina, I was proud to follow in Alan’s footsteps several years later and become a test pilot myself. The experiences I’ve had would not have been possible without Alan’s pioneering efforts. The inspiration that has created generations of leaders to enlarge our understanding of our universe and to strive toward the highest in human potential was sparked by those early achievements of our space program. They began with Freedom 7 and a daring test pilot who flew the ultimate experimental vehicle that May day 50 years ago.
“Today we celebrate a first — and we celebrate the future. Project Mercury gave our country something new, including an astronaut corps and the space vehicles that began our human exploration efforts.
“I encourage everyone to not only remember that remarkable achievement, but to be reminded that we are still driven to reach for new heights in human exploration.
“At NASA, each first is grown and expanded until we make the next breakthrough. 50 years ago, we sent the first American into space. Today we have a space station flying 250 miles overhead right now on which men and women have lived continuously for more than 10 years.
“With the same spirit of innovation and grit of those early days of space flight, we now move out on an exciting path forward where we will develop the capabilities to take humans to even more destinations in the solar system. With our support and assistance, commercial companies will expand access to that rarefied area Alan Shepard first trod for America, allowing NASA to focus on those bigger, more challenging destinations and to enable our science missions to peer farther and farther beyond our solar system.
“We are just getting started. Our future, as an agency and as a country, holds many more firsts. We know the next 50 years will be just as exciting as the last – filled with discovery, innovation and inspiration.”
Web Site: http://www.nasa.gov
May 2, 2011
Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a long time, but this news is big.
Congrats to our leadership and armed forces. I hate to celebrate the death of anyone, but this one was long overdue.
(Update 5/5/11: in retrospect a better header would have been “OBL — DOA”)
March 17, 2011
And remember, you better hope that beer is green from food coloring …
(photo credit: SpaceAgeSage)
March 12, 2011
March 11, 2011
… after 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan today.
An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and threatened coastal areas throughout the Pacific and as far away the west coast of the United States and South America. Fragmentary early reports of the toll indicate that hundreds of people have been killed. Japanese police officials told the Associated Press that 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, a port city in the northeastern part of the country and the closest main city to the epicenter.
February 26, 2011
… while spending half the day on the cell.
It’s doing something.
From the link:
Radiation from a mobile phone call can make brain regions near the device burn more energy, according to a new study.
Cellphones emit ultra-high-frequency radio waves during calls and data transfers, and some researchers have suspected this radiation — albeit inconclusively — of being linked to long-term health risks like brain cancer. The new brain-scan-based work, to be published Feb. 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows radiation emitted from a cellphone’s antenna during a call makes nearby brain tissue use 7 percent more energy.
Image: “A bottom-of-the-brain view showing average use of radioactive glucose in the brains of 47 subjects exposed to a 50-minute phone call on the right side of their head,” – Nora Volkow, JAMA
(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)
February 15, 2011
An apropos classic …
February 4, 2011
Hot from the inbox:
NASA Releasing First Views of the Entire Sun on Super SUN-Day
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA will score big on super SUN-day at 11 a.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 6, with the release online of the first complete view of the sun’s entire surface and atmosphere.
Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system.
These views are the result of observations by NASA’s two Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft. The duo are on diametrically opposite sides of the sun, 180 degrees apart. One is ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind.
Launched in October 2006, STEREO traces the flow of energy and matter from the sun to Earth. It also provides unique and revolutionary views of the sun-Earth system. The mission observed the sun in 3-D for the first time in 2007. In 2009, the twin spacecraft revealed the 3-D structure of coronal mass ejections which are violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt communications, navigation, satellites and power grids on Earth.
STEREO is the third mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program within the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the mission, instruments and science center.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., designed and built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations.
The STEREO imaging and particle detecting instruments were designed and built by scientific institutions in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland.
Web Site: http://www.nasa.gov
… but I had no idea it’d be this light.
Been crazy busy with projects to the point I didn’t even blog about the NFL playoffs so far. No guarantees, but I expect to get back into this saddle a bit more regularly. I’ve missed a ton of cool nanotech and invisibility cloaking stuff, not to mention business news and two major events in North Africa.
I’m back (at least partways.)
December 25, 2010
… and I hope your holiday season is safe and fun. And maybe even filled with a little bit of snow.
(photo credit: Essjay, via Wikimedia Commons)
December 18, 2010
And couldn’t come any sooner. We need willing and able soldiers of any stripe, and anyone who thinks the sexual orientation of any one soldier is going to affect the performance of any other soldier ought to check in with the many, many militaries around the world that allow openly homosexual soldiers serve and ask them how that exercise is going (hint: pretty damn good.)
Here’s my favorite quote on the topic from a special operations soldier:
We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.
(Hat tip on the quote: the Daily Dish)
Number one is the first quantum machine.
From the link:
Physicists Andrew Cleland and John Martinis from the University of California at Santa Barbara and their colleagues designed the machine—a tiny metal paddle of semiconductor, visible to the naked eye—and coaxed it into dancing with a quantum groove. First, they cooled the paddle until it reached its “ground state,” or the lowest energy state permitted by the laws of quantum mechanics (a goal long-sought byphysicists). Then they raised the widget’s energy by a single quantum to produce a purely quantum-mechanical state of motion. They even managed to put the gadget in both states at once, so that it literally vibrated a little and a lot at the same time—a bizarre phenomenon allowed by the weird rules of quantum mechanics.
Science and its publisher, AAAS, the nonprofit science society, have recognized this first quantum machine as the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year. They have also compiled nine other important scientific accomplishments from this past year into a top ten list, appearing in a special news feature in the journal’s 17 December 2010 issue. Additionally, Science news writers and editors have chosen to spotlight 10 “Insights of the Decade” that have transformed the landscape of science in the 21st Century.
“This year’s Breakthrough of the Year represents the first time that scientists have demonstrated quantum effects in the motion of a human-made object,” said Adrian Cho, a news writer for Science. “On a conceptual level that’s cool because it extends quantum mechanics into a whole new realm. On a practical level, it opens up a variety of possibilities ranging from new experiments that meld quantum control over light, electrical currents and motion to, perhaps someday, tests of the bounds of quantum mechanics and our sense of reality.”
December 17, 2010
December 4, 2010
I have to admit I had never heard of history sniffing before reading this story. Makes me doubly glad I use Chrome for my browser.
From the link:
“Nobody knew if anyone on the Internet was using history sniffing to get at users’ private browsing history. What we were able to show is that the answer is yes,” said UC San Diego computer science professor Hovav Shacham.
History sniffing can be used by website owners to learn which competitor sites visitors have or have not been to. History sniffing can also be deployed by advertising companies looking to build user profiles, or by online criminals collecting information for future phishing attacks. Learning what banking site you visit, for example, suggests which fake banking page to serve up during a phishing attack aimed at collecting your bank account login information.
November 26, 2010
… and people are next.
Sounds pretty creepy, but it seems there’s some actual utility in the process to aid in vitro fertilization right now.
From the link:
Scientists from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), along with colleagues from the Spanish National Research Council, have successfully developed an identification system in which mouse embryos and oocytes (egg cells) are physically tagged with microscopic silicon bar code labels. They expect to try it out on human embryos and oocytes soon.
The purpose of the system is to streamline in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures. If egg cells and embryos can be quickly and easily identified, then things should run much smoother, and success rates should be higher.
The research, published online in Human Reproduction, represents a first step towards designing a direct labeling system of oocytes and embryos. The objective was to develop a system that minimizes risks when identifying female gametes and embryos during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures, to reduce the phases of the clinical process requiring control and supervision by two embryologists.
November 25, 2010
November 24, 2010
Not only is the TSA a ridiculous bureaucratic mess that isn’t making anyone any safer at airports or in the skies, plus it’s now turned into an organization demanding organized “legal” molestation. It’s also very possibly damaging your health if you want to avoid the unwanted groping.
From the link:
As millions of U.S. travelers get ready for the busiest flying day of the year, scientists still can’t agree over whether the dose of radiation delivered by so-called backscatter machines is significantly higher than the government says. This is despite months of public debate between the White House, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and independent scientists.
Full-body scanners have been installed at many U.S. airports. The machines use either low-energy, millimeter wavelength radiation, which is harmless, or X-rays, which can potentially be hazardous. X-rays can ionize atoms or molecules, which can lead to cancerous changes in cells. Even if the government has significantly underestimated the dose of radiation delivered by an X-ray scanner, it is likely to be relatively small.
In April, four scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a public letter to the White House warning that the government may have underestimated the dosage of ionizing radiation delivered to a person’s skin from a backscatter machine by one or two orders of magnitude. The scientists, who have expertise in biochemistry, biophysics, oncology, and X-ray crystallography, pointed out that the government’s estimate was based on radiation exposure for the entire body. During scanning, the majority of radiation will be focused on the surface of the body, meaning a more concentrated dose of radiation is delivered to the skin.
November 18, 2010
I’ve blogged about this more than once, but if you need the ultra-quick version — China supplies pretty much the entire world with rare earth minerals, elements that are used to manufacture vital electronics and computing parts, because it’s been doing so very, very cheaply for a long time. Recently the nation has used its rare earth monopoly as an economic bludgeon, most notably against Japan and the United States.
We know the U.S. and Australia, among other countries, have rare earth element resources. Now that we know just how rare earth rich the U.S. is, it’s time to seriously ramp up domestic production and get off the cheap Chinese teat.
From the fourth (and last) link:
Approximately 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the United States, according to the first-ever nationwide estimate of these elements by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The report describes significant deposits of REE in 14 states, with the largest known REE deposits at Mountain Pass, Calif.; Bokan Mountain, Alaska; and the Bear Lodge Mountains, Wyo. The Mountain Pass mine produced REE until it closed in 2002. Additional states with known REE deposits include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
“This is the first detailed assessment of rare earth elements for the entire nation, describing deposits throughout the United States,” commented USGS Director Marcia McNutt, Ph.D. “It will be very important, both to policy-makers and industry, and it reinforces the value of our efforts to maintain accurate, independent information on our nation’s natural resources. Although many of these deposits have yet to be proven, at recent domestic consumption rates of about 10,000 metric tons annually, the US deposits have the potential to meet our needs for years to come.”
REE are a group of 16 metallic elements with similar properties and structures that are essential in the manufacture of a diverse and expanding array of high-technology applications. Despite their name, they are relatively common within the earth’s crust, but because of their geochemical properties, they are not often found in economically exploitable concentrations.