Posts tagged business news
A distant relative to the Roomba, perhaps, there’s a new kid on the dust-cleaning block. Invented by Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, the Dustball is a round sphere that resembles a cross between a golf ball, a tumbleweed, and a honeycomb. The designer sees it as an automated way to clean public spaces. It simply rolls itself around the area, picking up dust and debris, and even knows how to find it’s way back to a dock plugged into a wall whenever it needs to be emptied. The two sides of the sphere are honeycombed with latticework, and are attached to each other magnetically. It does require some manual attention, though, to empty the debris. It’s not hard, just pull the two sides apart.
Now, I’ve had some experience with rolling things underfoot, so I’m wondering if having little golf balls rolling randomly around a public place is such a good idea. Stepping on one is a definite hazard, and if the area is large, there would have to be multiple little Dustballs rolling around, increasing the possibility of accidents. Maybe if you made it the size of a beach ball- but then, it could not get under chairs, or tables, or radiators, etc.
I’ve watched the video, and gone to the designers site, but can’t really tell just how big the thing is. I thought it was golf ball size, but this video implies that it is beach ball size.
Hmmm… automatic cleaners are a real good i
idea, but this one might need a little tweaking before enjoying widespread use.
Cement is considered hard, dense and solid, and being inside a cement building is characterized by darkness, or artificial light. That is, until now. At the World Expo last year in Shanghai, transparent cement was seen for the first time at the Italian Pavilion. It’s quite remarkable. While the complete creation process is still a secret, the manufacturer, Italcementi, says that the technology uses a matrix of cement that has resins embedded within it that allow light to pass through, without compromising the overall integrity of the material. The resins fill holes that look like rectangular slats. These holes are about 2-3 millimeters . The end result is that the building is about 20% transparent.
The resins let light pass through, so from the inside of the building, the walls have a soft glow from sunlight, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting. During the day, from the outside, the building looks like any ordinary cement structure, but at night, if the lights are on inside, the outside of the building has a soft ethereal glow. Architect Giampaolo Imbrighi calls the new transparent cement i.light. The i.light material is also cheaper to use than other options, like using optical wires embedded in the cement. It also lets more light come through, and is easier to mesh/integrate with the surrounding cement mixture.
Those needing new organs find themselves on waiting lists that number in the thousands. Often, the wait takes years, during which the health of the recipient declines, and the odds of a successful transplant declines with it. There are so many more people needing transplants, and so few organs available, the situation is critical.
However, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego have encouraging news on that front. They reported online in Nature Cell Biology (January 30, 2011) that they have managed to take ordinary skin cells, and “reprogram” them at the cellular level, so that they transform themselves into heart cells. The process only takes a few days to move from skin cells, to beating heat cells.
This has enormous potential in the organ-growing field. As research progresses, there is hope that scientists will be able to take a person’s own skin cells, and grow a new heart for him. There would be no waiting for a donor heart, and just as important, there would be no potential for rejection of the new organ, because it would be of the patient’s own makeup.
Other scientists have converted similar skin cells into nerve cells, so there is hope that this technology will be able to be adapted for other organs as well.
Ink and ink cartridges are taking a toll on the environment. So hats off to Spranq, a company in the Netherlands, that has developed a new font, that uses up to 20% less ink. Just by choosing to print out your documents in a different font, you’ll end up saving a lot of ink! The font is called Ecofont, and incorporates tiny little holes in each letter. When printed out, the words look the same, but there is less ink used because of the holes in each letter. The eye does not pick up on the difference, unless the font size is over 10.
The font can be downloaded for either Mac or PC. It is free to use, being based on and Open Source font. It is a TrueType font. The download site includes instructions on how to install the font into your own local fonts folder. Instructions are available for Windows XP, and Vista, Mac OS X and Linux.
This new font is so impressive that it won the European Environmental Design Award 2010. Congratulations Spranq, and thank you for helping to reduce our carbon footprint, and helping the whole planet become more Green.
I have the HP Photosmart 7350 and it has worked flawlessly ever since I got it. However, some of my friends, who have the HP Photosmart C4200 and C4300 series printers have been getting error messages like “incompatible cartridges” or ‘missing cartridges”. So I was very happy to find this YouTube video which shows a work-around for the problem.
If, for some reason you cannot see the video, these steps might help your printer to print again.
1- Press both the “Power” button, and the “Cancel” buttons at the same time.
2- Watch the screen; it should tell you to enter a particular combo key. Then press first the blue button, then press the green one, then the grey button.
3- Then press the grey button until you see the “information Menu”.
4- Press the green button to Accept.
5- Press the grey “down” button again until you see “Checksum for relock data input”.
6- Then press the green button for ok.
7- You should now be seeing a number on the screen. Just back out of everything by pressing the cancel button 3 times.
Hope this helps! Here’s a video for extra explanation.
WE grew up with it, we didn’t give it much thought- those holiday pictures and the prints they were made of. Yet, the digital revolution has made its mark, and one of its victims is good ol’ Kodachrome film. As of December 30, 2010, Kodachrome is no more. As the demand for processing the film decreased, fewer and fewer businesses offered the service of transforming your negatives into prints, until there was only one place left in the world to get it done, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas. And now, even they no longer process it.
So it is with the passing of an era. The wonderful color film, that inspired a song in the 1070’S (Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” with its “nice, bright colors”) and even had a state park in Utah named after it, Kodachrome Basin, is now gone forever.
Steve McCurry has been using Kodachrome for over 30 years in his photography work all over the world. When he heard the sad news that the film was to be discontinued, he contacted his friends at Kodak, and asked if he could have the very last roll of film made. This, he used to photograph a village in India with a nomadic culture that itself was disappearing. Then, upon returning home, the very last frame of the very last roll of Kodachrome film was taken- an image of the civil war cemetery in Parsons, Kansas.
For the first time, in 2010, many people heard the words, and were introduced to “Internet TV” for the first time. Although savvy people could see it coming, there was quite a buzz all over the web about GoogleTV, Boxee Box, and iTV, as well as others. It goes without saying that the ability to access the internet from your TV is going to completely transform television as we know it, (or as we knew it). It will have a dramatic effect on the way content is presented and consumed, with the watcher having much more control and input into what content is desired, and when.
The interactivity of Internet TV will also disrupt the way that traditional TV advertising ahs been done. No longer will we be subjected to commercials every 7 minutes, but will have greater option in deciding what kinds of advertisements we’re willing to tolerate.
TV used to be the #1 source of home entertainment, but now Americans spend at least as much time using the Internet as they do watching TV, and probably more. Many are multi-tasking and doing both. I, for one, love to have my laptop handy, to check on something , or find out further facts about something new that I just saw via the TV. I used to grab a dictionary to look up words, and now I just google.
Being able to tweet about what you’re watching or update FaceBook at the same time is what young users are doing anyway, and the integration of TV and monitor screen is a no-brainer for the younger generation. TV’s will not go away, they will simply become integrated into the web experience, and 2010 will be the year it happens
In these times of distress, one can pick up any newspaper or turn on any
TV and get bombarded with news of murders, economic failures, destruction and stories that can make your toes curl. Thank Heavens for one free-lance writer, Cutressa Williams, who vowed to fill the happy-gap by publishing her own magazine that carries only uplifting and positive news. The new mag is called Positively Alabama, and can be found online at PositivelyAlabama.com.
According to Williams, the magazine will include stories about positive things people are doing, as well as “places and venues that make Alabama the Beautiful.” The goal is to have one central place for people to share their experiences and uplifting stories. Content will include narratives about neighbors and friends, and their accomplishments.
Williams is naturally nervous about launching her new venture, but is, of course, positive about it’s success. It is not only a new approach to the news, but a desperately needed one as well. She draws on her 13 years of freelance writing experience to bring professionalism to the effort.
Hootsuite, loved by it’s twitterers, has decided that its users might want more options, and will be willing to pay for them. Starting today, all new users will have to choose a plan when they sign up. There is still the free choice, but free will lose a few options. In order to get some of the basics, users will have to ante up for at least the lowest $5.00/mo. Pro Plan. Pro Plans range on up to $100/mo. for power users and small businesses who use social media a lot, and need control as well as analytics.
For the extremely hardy, there is another whole level of service called the Enterprise Package. This will set you back $1500 a month, and if you want the vanity URL shortener, it’ll be $2000 a month. Well, of course it comes with more, like geo-segmented monitoring for social networks, and an analytical package that slices, dices, and cooks dinner for you. It has Zendesk integration, and training called Hootsuite University, and of course, much, much more.
Thank goodness Hootsuite will continue with its free service option. Company officials estimate that about 95% of the users will still choose the free option.