Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sandy Hook Shootings: Paying Forward Acts of Kindness Inspired by Tragedy

Sandy Hook Generates Acts of Kindness

We are asked to commit 26 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of the recent murders there.

Some of the Sandy Hook victims:

"While the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have no doubt left the nation shaken, they have also inspired an outpouring of acts of kindness from across the nation and around the world.

The central hub of many of these is on display in the U.S. Post Office in Newtown, Conn., a community shaken by the killing of 20 children and six school staff members by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother and shot himself.

Mountains of mail and packages are flowing in from all over the world. Some are simply addressed to "Newtown" or specific families who lost people in the shootings. They're coming with return addresses ranging from Idaho to Virginia Beach and far beyond."

In the wake of this horrible tragedy, we are offered the opportunity to pay it forward to help ease the pain.

Read more:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Global Warming: Union of Concerned Scientists

Global Warming: Union of Concerned Scientists

Is Global Warming ("Climate Change" is preferred now) really happening? The debate rages on. Here's basic info produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The Earth is warming and human activity is the primary cause. Climate disruptions put our food and water supply at risk, endanger our health, jeopardize our national security, and threaten other basic human needs. Some impacts—such as record high temperatures, melting glaciers, and severe flooding and droughts—are already becoming increasingly common across the country and around the world."

This article elaborates on the issues involved.

Read more:

2012 Highlights: The Power of Compassion

2012 Highlights: The Power of Compassion

If you are concerned about promoting compassion for animals, then you should see this video.

"Read more & join our efforts: -- Thanks to the kindness of our wonderful members and the dedication of our amazing volunteers, 2012 has been a tremendous year for Compassion Over Killing — and for animals. Together, with your support today, we're building a kinder tomorrow."

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.  I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."  ~ Mohandas Gandhi

Gandhi was so right. We are capable of doing so much better in our treatment of animals.

Watch the 3-minute video.

Read more at:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Flashback 2012: Hottest smartphones and tablets of the year

Best-selling smartphones and tablets of 2012

Okay, me hearties, are you doing post-Christmas shopping for your tech devices?  Here's the best-sellers of the day.

"The year 2012 is about to end (and we don’t mean the end of the world like many predicted) and what a year it has been! In a way, it was a make-or-break year for a number of technology giants. The year saw the humbling of the Finnish handset-maker Nokia and the rise of Samsung. It also saw RIM’s BlackBerry handsets go out of fashion and Apple’s new iPhone getting negative reviews (probably for the first time) for its lack of design brilliance. Then there was the famous patent war between Apple and Samsung, and we can see even more legal battles in the coming year.However, in this quick recap, we will bring you all the smartphones and tablets that rocked 2012."

Not only does this article take on 2012, but it makes some predictions about what's coming in 2013.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Conversion rates from tablets are four times higher than smartphones: stats

Tablets generate more traffic than smartphones.

This is a trend that both web site designers and Internet marketers should be aware of.

Throughout 2012 we’ve seen numerous studies that highlight the massive difference between shopping behaviours on tablets and smartphones.

"The usability of each device should make this obvious, yet they were often – and occasionally still are – lumped together in the mobile category when comparing sales and traffic stats to desktop computers.

This is despite the fact that data published by Adobe in May shows that one tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones.

By the end of Q1 2012 smartphones accounted for 6.1% of site visits compared to 4.3% on tablet."

That's the straight skinny.  Now go make use of it.

Read more:

Monday, December 17, 2012

IBM: Computers Will See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Touch in 5 Years

The technology of cognitive computing is rapidly approaching.

This means that computers will become much more aware of the world as they develop senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

"The five senses are really all part of one grand concept: cognitive computing, which involves machines experiencing the world more like a human would. For example, a cognizant computer wouldn't see a painting as merely a set of data points describing color, pigment and brush stroke; rather, it would truly see the object holistically as a painting, and be able to know what that means."

"That's a foundationally different way of thinking of computing," Bernie Meyerson, IBM's vice president of innovation, told Mashable in an interview. "You have to change how you think about absorbing data. You can't just take a picture and file the picture. You have to treat the picture as an entity at a very high level, as opposed to just a bunch o' bits."

"[Cognitive computing] makes for some very interesting shifts in capability," he adds. "That's a rather profound sort of driver."

When engineers are able to merge cognitive computing with artificial intelligence what fantastic possibilities exist.

Read more:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

23andMe’s Ancestry Composition Reveals People's Ancestral Origins Going Back 500 Years And More

Ancestry Composition Reveals People's Ancestral Origins

Company introduces the most comprehensive and accurate tool for determining genetic ancestry composition available.

23andMe (humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes) is a genetics company.  One of their new developments is to analyze DNA to identify where your ancestors lived - going back approximately 500 years.


"23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, today announced the availability of Ancestry Composition, a new feature that provides state-of-the-art geographic illustration of an individual’s ancestral origins. Using 22 reference populations, the feature indicates what percent of a person’s ancestry comes from various regions around the world. The analysis includes DNA inherited from all ancestors on both sides of the family. The results reflect where an individual’s ancestors lived going back approximately 500 years.

Ancestry Composition offers state-of-the art detail for people with European ancestry, breaking it out into several regions with the ability to identify distinct ancestral origins, such as: British and Irish, Scandinavian, Italian and Ashkenazi Jewish, among others. It also offers very accurate breakdowns for individuals of mixed ancestry, African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.
With 23andMe’s exclusive “Chromosome View,” people can see their personal ancestry reflected segment-by-segment on each of their 23 pairs of chromosomes.

Ancestry Composition is the latest innovation from 23andMe to help individuals learn more about their ancestry in an engaging and interactive way. 23andMe continues to offer the popular Relative Finder feature, a powerful way to find and connect with living relatives from all branches of the family tree."

Ancestry Composition sounds like a feature of great importance. The idea of  “Chromosome View”  could be an excellent tool for some to trace their roots.

Read more:

Friday, December 14, 2012

110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years

Predicting the Future

Populare Mechanics looked into their crystal ball, and came up with 110 predictions they expect to take place over the next 110 years. Some are pretty interesting for sure.

"It's never easy to predict the future. But as PM's 110th anniversary celebration draws to a close, we've decided to try. Here are 110 ambitious ideas for the decades ahead. And if you want to try your hand at predicting the future, take our Facebook survey, and see when other readers think the most important events of the next 110 years will happen.)"
  • People will be fluent in every language. (instant translation on your cellphone.) 
  • Software will predict traffic jams before they occur.
  • Climate-controlled jackets will protect soldiers from extreme heat and cold.
  • Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective.
  • Athletes will employ robotic trainers.
  • Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete.

The above items are just a few examples of the goodies waiting in store for us by 2022:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Robot copies your muscles and bones

Amazing robot copies your muscles and bones

Humanoid Robots are developing awesome capabilities!

"Meet Kenshiro, developed by University of Tokyo researchers as a bio-inspired musculoskeletal humanoid robot. They have added more muscles and more motors to their Kojiro robot from 2010, making Kenshiro’s underlying structure the closest to a human’s form so far."

Kenshiro is a musculoskeletal humanoid robot with amazing capabilities. Watch this video to see just how versatile this robot built at University of Tokio is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New evidence on how compound found in red wine can help prevent cancer

New evidence on how compound found in red wine can help prevent cancer

New evidence shows how resveratrol may prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skins of red grapes. New findings based on the last two years of research show how the chemical can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Just in case the findings are proven true, I am imbibing 2 glasses of red wine a day. The glass shown above is very useful for this effort.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reader will continue 'circle of kindness'

Kindness is always is viral. When you perform an act of kindness it tends to ripple through society. Try spreading a little kindness every day.  If there is ever a season to give a little extra, Christmas is that time.

Reader will continue 'circle of kindness'.

"My husband and I were enjoying our lunch at a Chinese restaurant. The waitress came over to me and kept saying, 'I don’t know why, I don’t know why. The man paid your bill.' She said she couldn’t read it, but gave me our lunch receipt with a note scribbled on the back: 'This is a random act of kindness. A person one time paid my bill, showing me kindness. Please don’t let the circle of love end with you.' "

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real.

A Tricorder for Star Trek fans. It was only a matter of time, but I often doubted that it would happen in MY lifetime - all I have to do is to live to see 2013.

Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real, And It’s Only $150.

"You simply place it on the left temple and, in less than ten seconds, it will read your pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability and blood oxygenation. Then it sends this information to an app on your iPhone or Android phone, which displays it for you."

Get Ready for Ads that Follow You from One Device to the Next

So advertising will be able to follow you from your smartphone to your tablet pc to your desktop. Here's a development I could have lived without. <smile>

"A former Google advertising scientist is behind a service that matches people across devices to serve more targeted advertisements, while promising to protect their privacy."


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Did Twitter's founder reveal its would-be Instagram killer?

Did Twitter's founder reveal its would-be Instagram killer?

Instagram killer would certainly be a major change. If true, should certainly be a game-changer.

"Reports published today suggest Twitter plans on releasing its own photo filters feature by year's end, and co-founder Jack Dorsey may already be posting photos using it."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

House approves resolution to keep Internet control out of UN hands

House approves resolution to keep Internet control out of UN hands

The vote was passed unanimously. The U.S. continues to promote a global Internet free from government control.

"The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a Senate resolution introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that calls on the U.S. government to oppose United Nations control of the Internet, The Hill’s Floor Action Blog reports."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Scientists working on suit for walking on Mars

Scientists working on suit for walking on Mars

At least we're thinking ahead... we're gonna go to Mars at some point!

"Mars has long held a fascination for those of us on Earth, but recent NASA pictures of Martian landscapes are giving us a much better understanding of the red planet, while scientists across the globe are working on robots and space suits with the hope that humans may soon explore Mars in person. NBC’s Ben Fogle reports."