Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do all companies have to be evil?

The central pillar of Google’s code of conduct is its now familiar slogan, “Don’t Be Evil.” But what does this phrase really mean? “It means making sure that our core values inform our conduct in all aspects of our lives as Google employees,” according to the code of conduct posted on Google’s Web site. And what are those core values? Brin and Page’s answer shows how markets can be moral when they are grounded in a foundation of trust. “Being a Googler means holding yourself to the highest possible standard of ethical business conduct. This is a matter as much practical as ethical; we hire great people who work hard to build great products, but our most important asset by far is our reputation as a company that warrants our users’ faith and trust.

Public needs to overcome its resistance to toilet-to-tap

The water crisis is becoming quite real in some parts of the States.

Taking the salt out of ocean water sounds like a good idea, but it's economically and environmentally far more expensive than sewage-water recycling. Orange County water officials estimate desalinated water costs between $800 and $2,000 per acre-foot to produce, while its recycled water runs about $525 per acre-foot. Desalination also uses more energy (and thus produces more greenhouse gas emissions), kills tiny marine organisms that get sucked up into the processing plant, and produces a brine byproduct laced with chemicals that goes back into the ocean.

Downside of country living in Ireland

2. Worrying sheep is against the law. I really don’t know what worrying a sheep consists of but they take it seriously in these parts. Don’t blow your horn or you might worry something or someone.
Original American list here.

Schizophrenia may be traced to maternal stress

The researchers found that the risk of a child developing schizophrenia or a related disorder was about 67 per cent greater if their mothers had been exposed to the death of a relative during the first trimester.

vLite -- lighten up on Vista's components before installation

Has one for XP too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

String theory's extra dimensions

How properties of the universe are determined by how the miniscule dimensions curl up.

Nanoparticles generate supersonic shockwaves to target cancer

“In conventional explosives, shock waves are generated during detonation,” she says. “In nanothermites, fast propagating chemical reactions can create shock waves without detonation.” Generating shock waves without detonation is the key to this technology, she says.

Killer dolphins baffle marine experts

Dolphins killing porpoises, as well as their own babies:

When tell-tale teeth-marks were identified, the dolphin - the mammal classified as one of the world's most intelligent, sensitive and sociable creatures - became the official suspect.

Confirmation of the murders came by way of two shocking films shot by holidaymakers.

Revenge gets you glory in Russia

In 2002, Vitaly Kaloyev’s wife and children were killed in a plane crash. He stalked the air traffic controller who was on duty all the way in Switzerland, knocked on the man’s front door, and stabbed him to death...after serving just 5 years of a prison sentence, Vitaly goes back to Russia and is welcomed there as a hero...
Well, not by all, but enough for the story to make it out.

Table of cost of raising a kid

Numbers from '90-'92 for pre-college, up to 18 years old. A single parent making more than $39k ended up spending $250 260.

Reversing memory loss with electrodes in the brain

The hypothalamus to be specific. Learning improved as well.

GreenPrint -- print just what you need

Not all the other stuff you don't care about on the page, nor wasted pages.

Danse la poutine from Omnikrom feat. TTC

The album title is translated as 'too much banana'; they also seem to have a track about chewing gum.

Study says many studies suck

This, then, is the danger: Despite the frequent inanity, despite the insulting silliness of much of the information, we've been led to believe that it is only through a relentless obsession with tiny, data-driven studies that we can obtain real knowledge, real understanding of what we're about and how we should eat, sleep, screw, breathe.

Harry Daghlian's accidental death in the Manhattan Project

He let slip a brick of neutron-reflective tungsten carbide onto the plutonium core, after which he quickly pushed it away. His hands were glowing blue. He died 25 days later.

Checking on shelf life of spices from Unclutterer readers

Links to spice companies and their recommendations, as well as ideas in the comments.

What's behind those svchost.exe processes?

Fairly detailed description of using Windows function to find out.

Defenses against verbal intimidation

Covers four ways to intimidate in conversation and defense against.

Yoga breath exercises to calm or energize

Kundalini pranayama for the appropriate purpose.

Mariah Power's Windspire prop-free wind power appliance

800 kilowatt hours per year in 11 mph average wind conditions.

The end of cheap food

Since the spring, wheat prices have doubled and almost every crop under the sun—maize, milk, oilseeds, you name it—is at or near a peak in nominal terms. The Economist's food-price index is higher today than at any time since it was created in 1845 (see chart). Even in real terms, prices have jumped by 75% since 2005... “agflation” is underpinned by long-running changes in diet that accompany the growing wealth of emerging economies—the Chinese consumer who ate 20kg (44lb) of meat in 1985 will scoff over 50kg of the stuff this year. That in turn pushes up demand for grain: it takes 8kg of grain to produce one of beef.

Boot your computer remotely

With Wake-on-LAN.

Autism symptoms reversed in Fragile X mice

The researchers, based at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, targeted an enzyme called PAK which affects the number, size and shape of connection between brain cells.

They found that inhibiting the enzyme stopped mice with Fragile X Syndrome behaving in erratic ways.

Prior to treatment they showed signs of hyperactivity, purposeless and repetitive movements.

Further analysis showed that not only were structural abnormalities in connections between brain cells righted, proper electrical communication was restored between the cells.

How to shave with a safety razor

An 8 pack of your typical four blade cartridge razors can set you back over $20. $20! That’s $2.50 per cartridge. The cost of a double edged safety razor is no more than $.25.

ShipGooder -- compare courier rates

Includes USPS and Canada Post.

Neurocognitive willpower boosting

Positive thoughts, laughter and appropriate glucose levels will help maintain self-control.

Poor Haitians resort to eating dirt cookies

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

Moving Men Furniture Sliders

... smooth frisbee-shaped polymer disks, either 7" or 3 1/2" in diameters, filled with a spongy material (they call it a special grip pad). They are an improvement on the "furniture coasters" my mother used to put under the sofa in that the special grip pad does really work, allowing you to move furniture easily.

Docx2Rtf - converts docx to rtf or pdf

Also for OpenOffice formats.

Prepare for your death online

Mailouts, obits, wills.

Lockheed Martin's digital beamforming radar

Digital beamforming, then, combines the cutting edges of antenna and digital technologies: A radar array digitizes the signals it receives, preserving all the incoming information. This data is then used to form as many radar beams as necessary to track as many objects as appear. The crucial advantage to this approach is the ability to confidently cover a vast area with a single system.


History of characterization as well as its commonness.

Embryos cloned from adult cells

... working on extracting stem cells from such embryos - a process that inevitably leads to the death of the embryo.

"However, it is still a long way from the goal of achieving embryonic stem cells."

U.S. researcher Professor Robert Lanza questioned the validity of the research and said the embryos looked "very unhealthy".