Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 21, @12:56PM
from the just-not-good dept.
bonch writes"Google only pays a 2.4% tax rate using money-funneling techniques known as the 'Double Irish' and the 'Dutch Sandwich,' even though the U.S. corporate income tax is 35%. By using Irish loopholes, money is transferred legally between subsidiaries and ends up in island sanctuaries that have no income tax, giving Google the lowest tax rate amongst its technology peers. Facebook is planning to use the same strategy."

How Batteries Grow Old: Researchers Build Facility to Put Hybrid Car Batteries to the Test

ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2010) — In a laboratory at Ohio State University, an ongoing experiment is studying why batteries lose their ability to hold a charge as they age -- specifically lithium-ion batteries, which have generated a lot of buzz for their potential to power the electric cars of the future.

India To Build Neutrino Observatory

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday October 21, @05:18AM
from the look-closely dept.
TeriMaKiChooth writes"Only the fifth in the world, the facility is being called one of the biggest and most ambitious scientific projects ever undertaken by India. About 90 scientists from 26 organizations will be involved in the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO), organizers say. Neutrinos are elusive, nearly mass-less elementary particles, sometimes called 'ghost particles.'"

All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday October 21, @12:32AM
from the we'll-take-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes"English Heritage, the organization that runs and manages various historical sites in the UK, such as Stonehenge, has apparently sent letters to various photo sharing and stock photo sites claiming that any photo of Stonehenge that is being sold violates its rights, and only English Heritage can get commercial benefit from such photos. In fact, they're asking for all money made from such photos, stating: 'all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.' As one recipient noted, this seems odd, given that English Heritage has only managed Stonehenge 'for 27 of the monument's 4,500 year old history.'"

Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday October 20, @08:56PM
from the from-scratch dept.
MMBK writes"It's the ultimate salvagepunk experiment, building a telegraph out of things found in the woods. From the article: 'During the summer of 2009, artist Jamie O’Shea of the organization Substitute Materials set out to test whether or not electronic communication could have been built at any time in history with the proper knowledge, and with only tools and materials found in the wilderness of New Jersey.'"

Space Weather Mystery Solved: Link Found Between Electrons Trapped in Space and Upper Atmosphere's Diffuse Aurora

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — New research has settled decades of scientific debate about a puzzling aspect of space weather. Researchers from the University of California (UCLA) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have found the final link between electrons trapped in space and the glow of light from the upper atmosphere known as the diffuse aurora.

Man traps himself in toilet trying to retrieve cellphone, has time to re-evaluate life priorities (video)

By Vlad Savov posted Oct 20th 2010 3:37AM

When we say this chap was trapped in the toilet, we don't mean he was stuck in the bathroom, he literally jammed his arm down the porcelain-encased pipe. The poor gentleman from Jiangsu Province in China was clearly in desperate need of his cellphone, as not even the typically repugnant idea of diving down for it was enough to prevent him from trying to chase the thing down. Good news is that emergency services rescued him with only minor cuts and bruises to his arm, though we suspect the injury to his ego will take a long, long time to heal.

[Thanks, Adiwidya]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Want to Convince? Use Abstract Rather Than Concrete Language

ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — When consumers talk to each other about products, they generally respond more favorably to abstract language than concrete descriptions, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
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Instant Messaging Proves Useful In Reducing Workplace Interruption

ScienceDaily (June 4, 2008) — Employers seeking to decrease interruptions may want to have their workers use instant messaging software, a new study suggests. A recent study by researchers at Ohio State University and University of California, Irvine found that workers who used instant messaging on the job reported less interruption than colleagues who did not.

Read More

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — A new study shows that vitamin B12 may protect against Alzheimer's disease, adding more evidence to the scientific debate about whether the vitamin is effective in reducing the risk of memory loss.

Key to Blood-Brain Barrier Opens Way for Treating Alzheimer’s and Stroke

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2010) — While the blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from harmful chemicals occurring naturally in the blood, it also obstructs the transport of drugs to the brain. In an article in Nature scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet now present a potential solution to the problem. The key to the BBB is a cell-type in the blood vessel walls calledpericytes, and the researchers hope that their findings will one day contribute to new therapies for diseases like Alzheimer's and stroke.

Google's driverless car drives interest in driverless cars (video)

By Thomas Ricker posted Oct 15th 2010 3:39AM

Self-driving cars are hardly new. We've seen dozens of automatic vehicles over the years, many of which have seen advances driven (so to speak) by various DARPA challenges. But now that Google's involved -- whoa! -- the mainstream media is suddenly whipped into a frenzy of hyperbolic proclamations about the future. Still, it is fascinating stuff to watch. So click on through if you like having your tech salad tossed with a side of smarmy TV-news voiceover. Trust us, it's delicious.

How Practice Tests Improve Memory

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2010) — Although most people assume that tests are a way to evaluate learning, a wealth of research has shown that testing can actually improve learning, according to two researchers from Kent State University. Dr. Katherine Rawson, associate professor in Kent State's Department of Psychology, and former Kent State graduate student Mary Pyc publish their research findings in the Oct. 15, 2010, issue of the journal Science.

Earth's Deep Water Cycle Needs Revision, Geophysicists Claim

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — A popular view among geophysicists is that large amounts of water are carried from the oceans to the deep mantle in "subduction zones," which are boundaries where the Earth's crustal plates converge, with one plate riding over the other.

One Step Closer To Speedier, Bootless Computers

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 19, @02:03AM
from the sufficiently-advanced-technology dept.
CWmike writes"Physicists at the University of California at Riverside have made a breakthrough in developing a 'spin computer,' which would combine logic with nonvolatile memory, bypassing the need for computers to boot up. The advance could also lead to super-fast chips. The new transistor technology, which one lead scientist believes could become a reality in about five years, would reduce power consumption to the point where eventually computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices could remain on all the time. The breakthrough came when scientists at UC Riverside successfully injected a spinning electron into a resistor material called graphene, which is essentially a very thin layer of graphite. The graphene in this case is one-atom thick. The process is known as 'tunneling spin injection.' A lead scientist for the project said the clock speeds of chips made using tunneling spin injection would be 'thousands of times' faster than today's processors. He describes the tech as a totally new concept that 'will essentially give memory some brains.'"

MIT Unveils Portable, Solar-Powered Water Desalination System

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 19, @01:07AM
from the water-the-chances dept.
An anonymous reader writes"A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT's compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system's photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT's prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plug in Prius

UN May Ban Blotting Out the Sun

Posted by samzenpus on Monday October 18, @01:34PM
from the since-the-beginning-of-time-man-has-yearned-to-destroy-the-sun dept.
Supervillains and Mr. Burns are among those to be most affected by the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity decision on space sunshades. Even though organizations like NASA have been looking into them as a possible way to slow climate change, the UN is expected to limit research into the technology or ban it outright. From the article: "The Convention may consider banning or limiting research into space sunshades. Some question their wisdom. A space sunshade would have a rapid effect on global warming and provide time to develop more permanent measures, they say. The technique has already received serious attention from NASA and other organizations. But others, such as the ETC group, an environmental and social advocacy group, fear simply blocking the sun is a bandage, meant to cover up the problem, and allow humans to continue using fossils fuels. Another fear is that geo-engineering, as techniques like this are called, could have unforeseen consequences on the weather, ecosystem and agriculture."

Lastest Graphene Research Could Lead to Improvements in Bluetooth Headsets and Other Devices

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — Researchers at the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have built and successfully tested an amplifier made from graphene that could lead to more efficient circuits in electronic chips, such as those used in Bluetooth headsets and toll collection devices in cars.

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi

Posted by samzenpus on Monday October 18, @03:22PM
from the balance-the-humors dept.
St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

Netflix on Wii drops the clunky disc requirement, starts streaming through Wii Menu

By Vlad Savov posted Oct 18th 2010 8:19AM

It's not just the PS3 that will be doing its Netflix streaming disc-free from today: the Wii is joining in the fun as well! Americans and Canadians alike will be able to download and install Netflix from the Wii Shop Channel, provided they've signed up for a subscription of $8.99 (C$7.99 in Canada) or above. Notably, over three million Wii consoles are said to have been hooked up with Netflix since the service launched back in April, and this step should make that number grow even larger. Only question is what we're all going to do with those three million redundant discs now. We can't turn them all into coasters, any ideas?

Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday October 17, @06:31PM
from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-petroleum dept.
An anonymous reader writes"A recent report warns that, Humans are overusing the resources of the planet and will need two Earths by the year 2030. The Living Planet Report tells that the demands on natural resources have doubled in the past 50 years and now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half."