Archive for December, 2010
A team of 8 to 10 year-old kids in the United Kingdom have written and published an article on their research on bumblebee. The scientific journal, Biology Letters, accepted the paper written by a team of 25 children from Blackawton Primary School, Blackawton, Devon, UK.
The school kids investigated on how bumblebees see colors and patterns using a series of experiments in a local churchyard.
The headmaster of the school, Dave Strudwick, told that the kids, "devised, conducted and wrote up an experiment which resulted in genuinely novel findings," and hence the article deserved to be published in the peer-reviewed journal. Biology Letters is published by the Royal Society.
In an statement, the Royal Society said:
The field of insect color and pattern vision is generally poorly understood and the findings reported by the school children represent a genuine advance in the field.
Biology Letters editor Brian Charlesworth acknowledged that the children’s paper was the world’s "first in high quality scientific publishing."
R. B. Lotto of Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London has co-authored the journal paper. If you think you are scholastic enough to understand the kid’s research, the full article can be read here for free.
In the last sixteen months (since August 2009) the internet search giant, Google, has managed to acquire two companies in average totaling at least 32 companies (publicly announced). The second half of 2009 was the time when the economy was having its toll on business and, it was also the time when Google decided it to start the buying spree. According to a report from San Jose Mercury News daily, Google has spent over two billion dollars on small startups and larger established social networking, gaming, mobile advertising, travel, video, and music related companies. It is speculated that the aggressive buying spree of Google could draw attention of antitrust watchdogs.
Most of the popular services in Google including Blogger, Google Maps, Android and YouTube were based on technology and manpower Google acquired by acquisitions. Google also prides itself in retaining two-thirds of the startup founders who joined Google through acquisitions.
WikeLeaks founder Julian Assange with 382,026 public votes and average rating of 92 leads the Time magazine public poll. But, the winner is somebody else – ranking 10 in the list Mark Zuckerburg with rating of 52 with only 18,353 votes.
It was Julian Assange who shook the world with Iraq Apache helicopter attack, Guantanamo Bay leaks, Scientology and Climate Reasearch e-mail leaks, and the world diplomacy earthquake – Cablegate. 2010 was the year when WikiLeaks had shocked the world. These releases have created ground-breaking impact in the world in 2010, and many think Assange is much deserving person in the list. Some argue, Facebook and Zuckerberg has done nothing in the year 2010 as most of the things are unchanged from the year 2009.
But, Time officials don’t think so. Many suspect Uncle Sam was acting behind the scene.
- Full Name – Mark Elliot Zuckerberg
- Birth year – 1984
- Born at – White Plains, New York, US
- School – Ardsley High School / Harvard computer science.
- Facebook start – in his second to last year at Harvard with fellow Harvard students Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin.
Facebook was only available to Harvard students initially, It’s popularity help it to be expanded to the surrounding universities. In its initial days, only university assigned email address were accepted for sign-in until the site was made open to the general public.
Within a week of release of a dedicated laptop, Cr-48 Notebook, to feature a news operating system from Google, experts have started to predict its life. A former Google employee predicted it to be dead by as soon as next year. The Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, in his Twitter post said, "Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or "merged" with Android)". Buchheit had left Google for Facebook and then founded FriendFeed.
The testers of this new device have pointed out the lack of application to browse local files. But, Google’s philosophy behind the OS is that – everything is located in Google server and there is no local files at all. We have seen that in iPhone – we can’t browse the files in iOS devices.
In the current standard of computer operating system, Chrome OS can be considered creepy -
- First time log-in, the OS tries to snap the user’s photo
- You can’t browse the files in your pen drive
- You have to log-in with Google account at start-up – does that qualify for being anti-competitive?
- Once logged-in, you are logged in everything in Google from Search, Gmail to Google Docs
- It is most unlikely – but, what happens if Google goes bankrupt? How will one log-in?
- Will businesses want to store their data in Google server?
Thank god, there is an off-line mode. If not, internet outage would be more severe than power outage (you can at least use battery, for power outage).
Techcrunch notes that, the key architect of the Chrome OS project, Matthew Papakipos, left Google over the Summer — for a job at Facebook.
The Wikileaks’ cablegate has angered governments, leaders, and citizen all over the globe. Few but powerful targeted their anger against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Majority were angered by the the US government’s approach in dealing with the current situation and its diplomatic approach in dealing with the foreign countries.
The Brazilian President, Lula, says, "The guilty one is not the publisher, it is the person who wrote.."
The Ecuadorian government has even offered Julian Assange residency in the country "without any conditions".
For those who want to know more on cablegate, a UK newspaper, Guardian, has published a detailed analysis on the reaction of about 40 countries in different parts of the world.
The Bean Stop in Eau Claire Market in Calgary has started serving Kopi Luwak – popularly known as ‘cat poop coffee’. The coffee is made from the beans that have passed through the digestive system of a small, tree-dweller, Asian palm civet, found in Thailand. The beans are retrieved from the waste of the animal to be made into coffee.
The ‘unusual, odd and unique’ product doesn’t come cheap. A single cup will sell for $25 and a 50 gram pack will be sold for $60. People have found the product appealing and have already pre-ordered 25 cups and 11 of the 50 gram tins in the Bean Stop.
If you think $25 is too much, you are wrong. An Australian coffee house has been selling the coffee for AUD50 since 2006. A London, UK, coffee shop is selling a variety named Caffe Raro for £50 since 2008. (Photo credits Wikipedia)
- No CAPS LOCK key
- No F-keys – replaces function keys with media-keys
- 12-inch screen, 3.8-pounds
- 8-hours battery life
- 3G and Wi-Fi
- Solid black
- Intel Atom processor
- flash memory drive
Chrome OS laptop comes with a free Verizon data plan of 100 MB per month for the first two years. It’s good to see no long-term contracts pay as you go data purchase.
The worst part of the whole equation is that, one needs to log in with the Google account during start-up. The user is virtually locked-up in Google and there is nothing out of it.
Google desperately wants to tell the world that search is not the only thing it is best at and there are various avenues it wants to jump into. Let Facebook have higher share of visitors, all Google wants is money.
Google has released its own eBookstore. The bookstore is currently US only:
Google eBooks are only available for sale to customers in the U.S. at this time … For U.S. users traveling abroad: Before you head to the airport, be sure to load and sync the ebooks you wish to have with you for continued reading without interruption.
Users from the rest of the world can still download and read the free and public domain Google eBooks.
The new Google ebookstore will compete with other online retailers like Amazon.com, Apple bookstore, and Barnes & Noble, among others.
For those hoping for “DRM Free” books from Google will be disappointed. Google seems to plan ahead for being “closed” with a recent purchase of Widevine, a content delivery optimization and security company. The Widevine video DRM technology might be useful for YouTube and GoogleTV. For books, Google is using Adobe’s DRM – Content Server 4 in the books sold in Google ebookstore.
New Nexus S smartphone
Google learnt a lesson from Nexus One, launched earlier this year, that Google Web store is not a store good enough to sell smartphone. Now, WSJ reports that Google is releasing another smartphone, Nexus S, developed with Samsung Electronics, to be released with a new version of the Android operating system. But this time, the phone will be sold in third-party retailers like Bestbuy starting mid-December.
That is not all, Google had also announced Chrome OS Netbook on Friday.
Google has announced an event to be held in San Francisco for December 7th, with a promise of "exciting news about Chrome."
It is expected that a netbook running Google’s Chrome OS might be unveiled on the December 7 event. Egadadget reports that the Atom-powered laptop will not be the final product and will not be marketed. It is also told that, only be around 65,000 units will be produced and distributed among Google’s closest "friends and family".
Crome OS is is told to be still in beta stage and is not ready for public release yet. It is expected that Google will unveil an App store for the cloud-based OS soon. It is worthwhile to note that Google has updated its browser, Chrome 8, yesterday.
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