Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In an apparent move to push those using older browsers to update, Google is reported to be serving outdated search pages to said browsers. The older pages lack features available on the newer versions, and this policy compounds with the limits announced in 2011 on Gmail support for older web clients. As a Google engineer put it, "We're continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers." The BBC offers a fairly comprehensive analysis, here." top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In their ongoing effort to capitalize on local business, Amazon has unveiled a “VERY gradual expansion unless things go gangbusters,” of their Amazon Local services, namely takeout food ordering in Seattle. Rivalling smaller, more focused firms in the space, it appears the online giant is trying to wrap recommendations, ordering, and payments in a convenient Amazon bundle. And to think, "word of mouth" used to involve actual mouths." top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers in Britain are reporting that they have found a way to prevent bacteria from forming the "wall" that prevents antibiotics from attacking them. "At the heart of the breakthrough is the way 'gram negative' bacterial cells transport the carrier's molecular 'bricks' to the surface of the cell and form a wall." "The number of superbugs are increasing at an unexpected rate. This research provides the platform for urgently-needed new generation drugs."" top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Adding to the well-known fish-killing effects deforestation has in increasing turbidity and temperature in streams, a study published in Nature Communications, (abstract, PDF access), demonstrates deforestation causes a depletion of nutrients in associated lake aquatic ecosystems and, as a consequence, impacted fish stocks. Lead author Andrew Tanentzap is quoted as saying, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' This has troubling implications as, 'It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans...' Additionally, this may have significance in regard to anadromous species, such as salmon, which help power ocean ecosystems. The BBC offers more approachable coverage." top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Portland, Oregon has taken another step toward finalizing a franchise agreement with Google Fiber. In a unanimous vote, the city council has approved the prospective contract. While existing Internet Service Providers fume, Mary Beth Henry, manager of Portland’s Office for Community Technology, pointed out that Google is prepared to make a major investment in the city's infrastructure, while the other firms are not. Ms. Henry also indicated that Google was not receiving any special treatment. Google spokesperson, Jenna Wandres, responded to events in an email, saying, 'There’s still a lot of work to do beyond this one agreement, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber here later this year.'" top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Synaptics Inc., of touchpad fame, is acquiring Renesas SP Drivers Inc, a division of Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. Renesas SP is the exclusive supplier of Apple's display driver chips for the iPhone. While Synaptics is a major supplier of touchscreen technology to clients such as Samsung, they have not done business with Apple for some eight years. Characterized as 'thrilled' to be back in Apple's supply chain, Synaptics CEO, Rick Bergman, is quoted as saying, '... I don't believe they do any driver chips internally so that would really be an opportunity for us.'" top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A research team of Chinese and American scientists claim to have witnessed the mechanism by which sleep contributes to the formation of memories. Using advanced microscopy the researchers witnessed synapses being formed in the brain of sleeping mice recently exposed to a learning task. They compared this to similarly tasked mice, that were subsequently sleep-deprived. The sleeping mice showed a marked increase in the formation of new synapses. As one researcher explained, 'We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.' Link to original publication [abstract, paywall]" top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have developed nanoparticles with distinct melting points, which they suggest be used as forensic "barcodes" to identify the origins and integrity of things such as explosives and currency [PDF]. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers used the explosive, TNT, as a test case. Commenting on the viability of the approach, researcher Dr Ming Su said, 'The nanoparticle does not participate in any chemical reaction, and it will not effect the function of the existing object. The only thing it will do is to provide a thermal signature.' He added, 'Nanoparticles are so small, they can be put into any objects.' The BBC has more approachable coverage." top
Hypertext and the Internet: The Unappreciated Backstory
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll." top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers have found that sleeping with high ambient light levels may contribute to obesity [Abstract; paywall]. In a large survey, of 113,000 women, a high correlation was found between higher bedroom light levels and increased propensity to overweight or obesity. Excess light in the sleeping environment has long been known to adversely affect melatonin production and circadian rhythms. It is posited that such an interference with the "body clock" may be behind these results. Although there is not yet enough evidence to call this a smoking gun, as one researcher put it, 'Overall this study points to the importance of darkness.' The BBC offers its take on the story, here." top
Wikipedia Medical Articles Found to Have High Error Rate
At issue in the study is the small sample size used in the study, 10 medical conditions, and ongoing efforts to improve the quality of Wikipedia's articles, according to a Wikipedia spokesman, '... especially in relation to health and medicine.'
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Google is reported to be buying Divide, (formerly Enterproid), a firm focused on providing enterprise-grade security enhancements to the Android platform. This comes after Motorola acquired a similar company, 3LM, but it's unclear but what that entity might be going to Lenovo, with it's purchase of Motorola. Divide's technology is said to employ, '... a container approach, in which corporate information is separated from personal information on a device.'" top
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington was supposed to be entering its final stages by now. The reality is far from that. The cleanup was to be managed under the 'Tri-Party Agreement', signed on May 15, 1989, which was supposed to facilitate cooperation between the agencies involved. Today, underfunded and overwhelmed by technical problems, the effort is decades behind schedule. Adding to the frustrations for stakeholders and watchdogs is a bureaucratic slipperiness on the part of the Federal Department of Energy. As one watchdog put it, 'We are constantly frustrated by how easily the Department of Energy slips out of agreements in the Tri-Party Agreement.'"