dontmakemethink writes "Apple briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the U.S. Tuesday afternoon before settling back slightly lower. But the two are now so close that the change of guard is likely to happen soon. Apple Inc.'s stock gained 5.9 per cent to $374.01 on Tuesday, bringing the iPhone and iPad maker's market capitalization to about $347 billion when the market closed. Exxon Mobil Corp. shares, meanwhile, closed up 2.1 percent at 71.64. That gives the oil company a market cap of $348 billion as of the market's close. Other big-name corporations, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and General Electric Co., don't even come close. Apple overtook Microsoft, the previous No. 2, just last year." Link to Original Source top
dontmakemethink writes "The US Defense Department has been budgeted $42M to engage in monitoring of social networks like Facebook and Google+ for the purpose of identifying "adverse influence operations" and making efforts to counter them. If you're like me, you suspect this sort of business has always been going on, especially in the middle east, it's just surprising that they're announcing it publicly and spending so much on it." Link to Original Source top
dontmakemethink writes "Discover Magazine has published an astounding article about new "Neurogrid" computer chips which offer brain-like computing with extremely low power consumption. In a simulation of 55 million neurons on a traditional supercomputer, 320,000 watts of power was required, while a 1-million neuron Neurogrid chip array is expected to consume less than one watt. The type of processing is different, like the brain vs a computer, but the potential for extremely complex computations is amazing, and power savings like that are definitely welcome these days!" Link to Original Source top
dontmakemethink writes "Rachel Maddow of MSNBC reports of a shocking trend related to new proposed customs bills hidden behind the overshadowing economic crisis. It appears that business groups are trying to sneak away legislation banning products made with slave or child labor, calling the matter "trivial" and undeserving of criminal penalty:
“Business groups are worried by the potential effects of provisions banning the import of all goods made with convict labor, forced labor or forced or indentured child labor that were included in a recent customs bill." — quoted from Inside Trade, a subscriber-only industry publication
"And on the Heritage Foundation‘s 'Overcriminalized' blog, the Heritage Foundation, too, singles out the Child Labor Safety Act, which levies fines and jail time for companies using child labor as an example of what they call 'trivial conduct that is now often punished as a crime.'"
Rachel gives a spirited conclusion:
"But unless you‘re going to make your case for things like that in total secrecy, know that the case against you is there to be made, too, and that that will apply to any member of Congress who sides with you as well, you child labor-endorsing, pro-slavery freaks."
dontmakemethink writes "A recent British experiment had 20 people watch a series of images, each of which was accompanied by a subliminal message lasting 33 to 50ms, too short to be consciously perceived, which indicated whether the image had value or not. The participants then played a game where they bet on the images using only instinct. Some participants scored far better than others, indicating a susceptibility in certain people, and as a group 63% chose images that corresponded with the subliminal messages.
While it's not rousing support for the practice, I find it disturbing that the use of subliminal messages is still being studied. Some scientists just want to make a quick buck I guess.
Some of those not bound by contract, such as myself, have given their service provider notice that they will charge the provider for having to contact them to have charges reversed for unsolicited texts. Because service providers are aware of the volume of unsolicited texts, we feel they are liable for the inconvenience to their clients for preventing spam charges, and more importantly under no circumstances should service providers profit from spam. We also feel that requiring us to buy text bundles to avoid the inconvenience of reversing spam charges constitutes extortion. They can charge me for texts when they stop the spam." Link to Original Source top
The BBC has found the first evidence that China is currently helping Sudan's government militarily in Darfur. The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army [trucks] in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005. The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur. China's government has declined to comment on the BBC's findings, which contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur. The embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN estimates that about 300,000 people have died.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court [ICC] will ask for an arrest warrant to be issued next week that names the president of Sudan as a suspect in genocide and other crimes against humanity, diplomats and UN officials said Friday.