7 Brainiest Cities in America

These U.S. hot spots house some of the nation's most cultured and educated residents.

Part of what shapes a city is its people. And while these impressive locales can lay claim to scenic beauty and fascinating history, they're also home to some of the smartest people in the country. Here are the top seven brainiest cities in the country, based on the percentage of residents who have college degrees, the number of cultural activities available (such as museums and plays), and literacy levels of its residents.

1. Seattle. Home to 40 educational institutions, 20 libraries, the largest percentage of residents who hold bachelor's degrees (52 percent) and second largest percentage who hold advanced degrees (nearly 21 percent), Seattle tops our list of brainiest city in the country. A number of high-profile companies have helped place Seattle on the map, but few can deny that it's Microsoft and Starbucks that are largely responsible for this city's infamy. Microsoft's creator, Bill Gates (otherwise known as the richest man in the world) has a home that is said to be worth over $110 million. Need we say more?

2. Washington, D.C. From the White House and the Smithsonian museums to the FBI and prestigious Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. is home to some of the most famous and historical landmarks in the world. It's comforting to know that the residents of our nation's capital and the center for our government are also some of the most educated in the country. Of residents ages 25 and up, 44 percent hold bachelor's degrees, and nearly 24 percent hold advanced degrees. Additionally, Central Connecticut State University's study ranked D.C. as the fifth most literate city in the country.

3. San Francisco. Nestled into the southern part of this city by the bay is Silicon Valley-the country's leading high-tech hub-and nearly half of San Fran's residents (age 25 and up) carry a bachelor's degree, the second highest in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Mix in nearly 17 percent of residents with advanced degrees and a population teeming with cultural and ethnic diversity, and it's no surprise that San Francisco has earned one of the top spots on our list.

4. Boston. The largest city in New England, Boston is also considered to be the cultural and economic center of this entire region. The home for prestigious universities, such as Harvard and Cambridge, attracts superior brain power from all over the globe. In addition, Beantown ranks fifth for most cultured city, tenth for most literate, and twelfth for percentage of residents with bachelor's degrees. Not too shabby.

5. Denver. A mecca for outdoor sports fanatics, the mile high city also draws distinguished intellects. Not only was Denver ranked as the fourth most literate city in the country, it almost cracks the top ten for percentage of residents who hold a bachelor's degree (41 percent). As for culture? More than 60,000 Americans put Denver at the fifteenth spot, so if you thought that all this city has to offer is steep ski slopes and climbing rocks, think again.

6. New York City. Arguably the financial capital of the world, it's no coincidence that 30 percent of New York residents hold a bachelor's degree-and this number nearly doubles in the borough of Manhattan. Wall Street is also overflowing with advanced degrees, with nearly 27 percent of residents touting one. But finance isn't the only field that lures ambitious scholars to New York. Career opportunities in the fine and performing arts, publishing, and advertising industries draw some of the brightest, most driven, and creative people to the city that never sleeps. Don't forget the museums, theaters, and diversity: The results of a 2007 Travelandleisure.com and CNN Headline News poll deemed New York the most cultured city in the U.S.

7. Minneapolis. One of Minnesota's twin cities, Minneapolis boasts more of the nation's top companies (such as Target and Pepsi) per capita than any other U.S. city. It has the fifth highest percentage of residents ages 25 and over who have received bachelor's degrees. Still not totally convinced of this spot's intellectual prowess? A study done by Central Connecticut State University analyzed six key indicators of literacy (including newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, and library resources) and ranked Minneapolis as the most literate city in the country.

Mug Shot Montage

This guy has been arrested 1,332 times in the same town in Kentucky. Of course, with arrests come mug shots, and what’s the point of having 1,332 mug shots of the same dude unless you’re going to create a montage out of it? For those of you who are still looking for a hero, I’d like you to meet Henry Earl:

Still debating on cellphone - brain tumour relation

Mobile phones should carry a health warning like those on cigarette packets, scientists have warned.

The authorities must not make the same mistakes over possible links between mobile phones and brain cancer as they did with cigarettes and lung cancer, experts warned a powerful U.S. congressional committee.

It took 50 years to get the tobacco industry to acknowledge the risks, and 70 years to remove lead from paint and petrol, they said.

'Society must not repeat the situation we had with smoking and lung cancer, where we waited until every 'i' was dotted and 't' was crossed before warnings were issued,' said Professor David Carpenter, director of the institute of health and environment at the University of Albany.

'Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk - especially for children.'

Dr Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute - one of the top U.S. cancer research centres - agreed and said: 'We must learn from our past to do a better job of interpreting evidence of potential risk.'

He said that in countries such as Britain and the U.S., 'every child is using cell phones all of the time'.

The committee heard that scientists are split over how dangerous mobile phones are to users.

But Dr Herberman said that most studies claiming there is no link between mobile phones and brain tumours are outdated because many defined regular mobile phone use as once a week.

He added that most do not include enough long-term users because a brain tumour can take many years to develop.

Both experts told the committee the brain cancer risk from mobile phone use is far greater for children than for adults.

Dr Herberman produced a model showing how radiation from a mobile phone penetrates far deeper into the brain of a five-year-old than that of an adult.

The committee was shown a research paper published this month by the Royal Society in London which found that teenagers who start using mobile phones before the age of 20 are five times more likely to develop brain cancer at the age of 29 than those who did not use a mobile phone.

Another this year by a Swedish cancer specialist found that frequent cell phone users are twice as likely to develop a malignant tumour on the nerves of the ' handset ear' than on the other ear.

Dr Herberman said: 'I cannot tell you cell phones are definitely dangerous. But, I certainly cannot tell you that they are safe. Like the messages that warn of health risks on cigarette packs, cell phones need a precautionary message.'

Case study

Mother-of-three Ellen Marks blames her husband's malignant brain tumour on his mobile phone use.

Mrs Marks told the U.S. congressional hearing that her husband Alan, 56, found out he had a brain tumour on his right frontal lobe in May.

The tumour is on the same side of his head where he held his mobile, which he used about 30 hours a month. He had used one for around 20 years.

Mrs Marks, from California, said that for many years before his tumour was diagnosed, his behaviour changed dramatically, alienating his family.

He had had to take bi-polar medications and anti-depressants during those years.

He has been given a prognosis of around five years.

'I often threatened to throw the mobile phone into the garbage and how I wish I had,' she said.

'This horror could have been avoided with a simple warning.'

N85 - First phone with OLED screen

Last week marked the announce of the N85, the first Nokia Nseries device with an OLED screen.

But first is first. What is an OLED screen? OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. (OLED) are screens that depends on very minute diodes that light up forming what we see, thus it doesn’t need backlight and this reduces the power consumption dramatically, while the traditional Liquid Crystal displays is made of pixels that require backlight, so the battery charges is drained faster, But that’s not it’s only pro, it’s also known for forming more realistic more lively photos that looks more real than the ones showed on LCDs and last but not least the Cost of production of OLED screens is much less than that of LCDs, cool, huh?!

Guys over at Smape.com had the chance to review both the N85 and N96 and managed to compare the N96’s 2.8″ LCD screen with the N85’s 2.6″ OLED screen, and the results was stunning! Yes, there’s a huge difference between both screens, the N85’s screen rendered photos in an amazing N96-killing way, making me wanting one right now!

And, If that’s not enough proof for you, Rita Khoury a.k.a dotsisx from Symbian guru also managed to compare the N81 LCD screen with the N85’s, and the results were as if the N81 screen \and I quote “white-tinted”!

(Photo courtesy of Smape.com)

15 of The Hottest Wearable Gadgets [Pics and Video]

Okay, we’ll admit it. We have an unnatural love for gadgets and all things computer-related. If this makes us geeks, than so be it! Of course, for better or for worse, there are some of use who like to wear their pride on their sleeve (literally) and proudly display their inner geek for all to see. In this post we bring you all the best wearable gadgets of the past, present, and future! Some are cool, some are freaky, but all are guaranteed to make you stand out from the rest of the low-tech populou

  1. Power Generating Knee Brace
    A sign of things to come for sure, the Power Generating Knee Brace harvests excess energy from the kinetic energy in the knee joints in the same way that brakes reclaim energy from tires on certain hybrid cars. The energy production itself has been proven efficient. The real problem facing the device is the bulk; something that will surely be solved in time. Expect to see both domestic and military applications of the device in the future, with implementations in other areas of the body to help those with, say, a pacemaker or similar medical devices.

  2. Nail Watch from Timex - The TX54
    This one comes at us from the Core77 Year 2154 Design Competition. Apparently, no one in the future will want to wear watches and thus, these guys will take over. I think this is a fun and cool idea. Clicking the edge of the nail turns on and off the glow feature.

  3. Momenta Next-Gen PC
    Part of the Next-Gen PC Design Competition, this concept device is actually a full-fledged PC that is worn about the neck. A small projector displays the interface on the nearby wall and gestural commands allow the user to interact with the machine minus an actual physical interface. Another cool feature is the heart rate dependent video capture. What that means is if your heart rate goes up, the PC starts recording automatically. Granted, this is only a concept, but you can’t help but wonder how far off we are from something like this.

  4. The Impact Jacket

    Sometimes simple innovations are the best. The video explains how the jacket works above, but essentially a rip cord is attached to the motorcycle (or horse, or occasional segway) and should the rider fall from the vehicle, a CO2 cartridge fills the jacket with compressed gas and acts like an airbag. It’s currently popular with Law Enforcement Agencies and has already saved lives!

  5. VitalJacket

    Forget complex medical rigging and long hospital stays. The VitalJacket is innovative because it allows the user to simply slip on the shirt, which immediately begins monitoring vital health stats such as a person’s ECG, heart rate, respiration, and temperature, among other things. All data is stored on a built in SD card and simultaneously transferred via bluetooth to a PDA for further analysis and tracking. Prices reportedly start around $635.

  6. Digital Escape Mask

    A dystopian future, at this point, is all but guaranteed. How will you handle the inevitable soul-crushing destruction of humanity when it finally comes around? Why not simply ignore it with the Digital Escape Mask? The concept device augments reality by re-skinning it with something more pleasurable. Polluted air is replaced with fresh air. Sounds, smells and visuals are pleasurable. This is escapism taken to the ultimate level. The mask also projects an emoticon-like version of your actual expression to display your mood to those who are not wearing the masks.As cool as it all sounds, let’s hope there is never an actual need for such a product.

  7. Mark of Fitness Exercise Monitor
    One thing that separates this particular fitness monitor from others is that it is entirely self contained; there is no chest belt attachment. The semi-glove design is small, convenient, and does not interfere with your activities. The device itself is capable of accurately monitoring your heart rate and keeps accurate estimations of calories burned as well as your target heart rate.

  8. Speedo LZR Racer

    While I realize this is technically not a gadget, per se, given the recent Beijing Olympics/Michael Phelps hubbub, it felt appropriate to place this on the list. Not only that, but this suit is probably more advanced (and more expensive) than you’d expect. This suit is the first of it’s kind, created from a three-piece 3D pattern, which is then ultrasonically bonded together to create streamlined seams that reduce drag. The Olympic stars currently have it, but you can grab this high-tech swimsuit when it comes out in October for $550.

  9. Honda’s Walking Assist Device
    Research on this device began in 1999 as part of Honda’s comprehensive study on human walking, research which was then used to help create ASIMO. The device is functional, and works by using hip angle sensors and brushless motors. The inspiration for the device comes from wanting to help elderly and people with poor muscle ability achieve mobility. My guess would be that the only reason you’re not seeing this on the market just yet is because of battery life; the achilles’ heel of so many devices.

  10. ActiveTalk Walkie Talkie Watches

    Ever since Dick Tracy, we’ve waited expectantly for our communication wrist watches. Now you can finally keep in contact with your relatives, friends, and fellow crime fighters with the ActiveTalk Walkie Talkie watches. Simply choose a channel and press call when you want to speak! These guys are rechargeable and come with a 2 mile range making it perfect for those areas where cell phone coverage is spotty, if present at all, such as when you’re outdoors hiking, skiing, or chasing down your next super-villain.

  11. USB Bracelet
    Okay, so it’s no Tiffany masterwork, but how many times have you been stuck on the run and found yourself wanting a USB cable? Geek merges with chic to bring you the USB bracelet. The tech itself is shrouded in silky and soft polyurethane material and conforms around your wrist. Expect all the functionality of a regular USB cable.Who knows what’s next? RJ-45 belts? Belkin Router Shoes? The possibilities are endless!

  12. DuoFertility
    This is one for the couples who are trying to concieve (or conversly, avoid conception). The DuoFertility is a small, USB-capable device that continuously measures a woman’s basal temperature to determine when she is ovulating. All the woman has to do is wear a patch underneath her arm and the device works on it’s own. You can view up to 6 days of results on the device itself, as well as download the data to a computer. The company behind the device grew out of Cambridge University, so you know you can expect a lot. In fact, the device is capable of measuring up to 20,000 more temperature readings than other basal temperature monitors. The device is currently in trials (which you can sign up for via their website link in the title above), but expect it to retail for around $1000 when it is finally released.

  13. ThinkGeek’s Wi-Fi Detector Shirt

     isn’t a hobby! It’s a way of life! But in all seriousness, what wearable gadget list would be complete without ThinkGeek’s Wi-Fi Detector T-shirt? The premise is simple; when you’re in the range of a wi-fi- signal, the bars on the shirt light up. The stronger the signal, the more bars, just like on your cell phone. The shirt runs off 3 AAA batteries, which are concealed inside a pocket of the shirt. The signal detector itself is removable for easy washing.

  14. Reactiv

    That’s what UK-based Designer Michael Chen calls his product, which is squarely aimed at bicyclists. Using LED’s embedded into the clothing’s arms and back in conjunction with accelerometers, the lights can go green if the rider is accelerating or red if they are slowing down. Tilt switches turn the lights amber when the rider raises their arm to give the appropriate hand signals. The current model is a working prototype, which earned the designer a hefty sum at the James Dyson design awards. Chen hopes to have Reactiv Jackets on the market by Christmastime, retailing for �100 or approximately $186 at today’s conversion rate.

  15. Skelecycle - The Wearable Motorcycle

    For all the risk that may be involved with this particular vehicle, I can’t help but be attracted to it. 36 pneumatic “muscles” control the cycle in conjunction with the drivers movements. The cycle lays flatter at higher speeds, so that when you are going full speed, you are literally suspended flat out, inches above the ground. And did we mention that it’s environmentally friendly? The sensation must be unreal, as is the product itself for now. But all the numbers are based on the real world, claims the creator of the, uh, “bike.” The basic parts are already being engineered for use in other vehicles, so who knows? Maybe one day soon this might become a reality!

  16. *BONUS!* Sarcos’s Exoskeleton

    We’ve received a number of high tech innovation from military products already. Teflon, microwaves, and even modern computing and the Internet itself all started as Military projects. Will the day come when everyone is wearing Aliens-Style Exosuits? One can only dream…

That’s it for today’s 15 Hottest Wearable Gadgets. Got any more to add to the list that we missed? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! Also be sure to check out some of out other killer features posts here on The Hottest Gadgets.

Proof of Alien/UFO? - Disclosure

I'm not sure about this. But what if it's true... !?

Japan hopes to turn sci-fi into reality with elevator to the stars

From cyborg housemaids and waterpowered cars to dog translators and rocket boots, Japanese boffins have racked up plenty of near-misses in the quest to turn science fiction into reality.

Now the finest scientific minds of Japan are devoting themselves to cracking the greatest sci-fi vision of all: the space elevator. Man has so far conquered space by painfully and inefficiently blasting himself out of the atmosphere but the 21st century should bring a more leisurely ride to the final frontier.

For chemists, physicists, material scientists, astronauts and dreamers across the globe, the space elevator represents the most tantalising of concepts: cables stronger and lighter than any fibre yet woven, tethered to the ground and disappearing beyond the atmosphere to a satellite docking station in geosynchronous orbit above Earth.

Up and down the 22,000 mile-long (36,000km) cables — or flat ribbons — will run the elevator carriages, themselves requiring huge breakthroughs in engineering to which the biggest Japanese companies and universities have turned their collective attention.

In the carriages, the scientists behind the idea told The Times, could be any number of cargoes. A space elevator could carry people, huge solar-powered generators or even casks of radioactive waste. The point is that breaking free of Earth's gravity will no longer require so much energy — perhaps 100 times less than launching the space shuttle.

“Just like travelling abroad, anyone will be able to ride the elevator into space,” Shuichi Ono, chairman of the Japan Space Elevator Association, said.

The vision has inspired scientists around the world and government organisations including Nasa. Several competing space elevator projects are gathering pace as various groups vie to build practical carriages, tethers and the hundreds of other parts required to carry out the plan. There are prizes offered by space elevator-related scientific organisations for breakthroughs and competitions for the best and fastest design of carriage.

First envisioned by the celebrated master of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, in his 1979 work The Fountains of Paradise, the concept has all the best qualities of great science fiction: it is bold, it is a leap of imagination and it would change life as we know it.

Unlike the warp drives in Star Trek, or H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, the idea of the space elevator does not mess with the laws of science; it just presents a series of very, very complex engineering problems.

Japan is increasingly confident that its sprawling academic and industrial base can solve those issues, and has even put the astonishingly low price tag of a trillion yen (£5 billion) on building the elevator. Japan is renowned as a global leader in the precision engineering and high-quality material production without which the idea could never be possible.

The biggest obstacle lies in the cables. To extend the elevator to a stationary satellite from the Earth's surface would require twice that length of cable to reach a counterweight, ensuring that the cable maintains its tension.

The cable must be exceptionally light, staggeringly strong and able to withstand all projectiles thrown at it inside and outside the atmosphere. The answer, according to the groups working on designs, will lie in carbon nanotubes - microscopic particles that can be formed into fibres and whose mass production is now a focus of Japan's big textile companies.

According to Yoshio Aoki, a professor of precision machinery engineering at Nihon University and a director of the Japan Space Elevator Association, the cable would need to be about four times stronger than what is currently the strongest carbon nanotube fibre, or about 180 times stronger than steel. Pioneering work on carbon nanotubes in Cambridge has produced a strength improvement of about 100 times over the last five years.

Equally, there is the issue of powering the carriages as they climb into space. “We are thinking of using the technology employed in our bullet trains,” Professor Aoki said. “Carbon nanotubes are good conductors of electricity, so we are thinking of having a second cable to provide power all along the route.”

Japan is hosting an international conference in November to draw up a timetable for the machine.

Stranger than fiction

“Riding silently into the sky, soon she was 100km high, higher even than the old pioneering rocket planes, the X15s, used to reach. The sky was already all but black above her, with a twinkling of stars right at the zenith, the point to which the ribbon, gold-bright in the sunlight, pointed like an arrow. Looking up that way she could see no sign of structures further up the ribbon, no sign of the counterweight. Nothing but the shining beads of more spiders clambering up this thread to the sky. She suspected she still had not grasped the scale of the elevator, not remotely.”

From Firstborn by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter

World War 3D Animation

World War 3D Animation

The Pitch: World War was created by Vincent Chai for his final degree project whilst studying 3D Animation at the University Of Hertfordshire.

Secret Eco-Village Saved (and Other Green Utopias)

The world was stunned this week to learn of a secretive eco-village existing in the heart of modern civilization. Years ago, a pilot spied the middle-class development in Wales and aerial photographs prove the existence of this village. The villagers behind “The Round House” were drawn into a decade-long battle for the right to live peacefully in their self-sustaining development, where people lived in Hobbit-like huts and grew their own food.

Images courtesy Wales News

Set up in 1993 in the Preseli hills of Wales, the group of eco-minded individuals lived successfully - and sustainably - for five years before civil officials caught on. Julian and Emma Orbach founded the hidden village, which relied on reused glass, straw bales and mud construction for the huts and solar panels for power. Their battle for residence was victorious after a drawn-out battle in which officials cited their lack of permits and proper zoning as cause for expulsion. The 22 people living in 8 grass-covered dwellings were able to persuade an increasingly progressive government that sustainable development should not be obstructed.

Image via Ecoble

But this offbeat eco village isn’t the first in humans’ attempt to live sustainably despite prevailing urban and suburban development trends. According to Ecoble, a pseudo-eco utopia (or perhaps just floating home) was created by one persistent and enterprising man named Richie Sowa. A decade ago, Sowa built a two-story exotic “beach” home complete with all the amenities atop an “island” of over 250,000 plastic bottles. How’s that for recycling! A hurricane destroyed his first floating home, dubbed Spiral Island, but he set to work immediately on another, this one complete with heart-shaped pool and palm trees.

While ingenious and determined individuals have undertaken these off-the-grid eco housing projects, other eco dwellings and developments remain squarely in the category of “theoretical” - at least for now. From urban skyscraper farms to floating cities like the Lilypad project, the future of urban planning is increasingly the stuff of sci-fi imaginings.

From our sister site, WebUrbanist: “The so-called Lilypad Project is perhaps the most fantastical of these green wonders and certainly the farthest from being built but is too amazing a concept not to mention. The idea is to create a series of floating self-sufficient ocean-going eco-city islands. Each one would be able to house 50,000 residents and would support a great deal of biodiversity. Collecting pools located in their centers would gather and filter water for use on board. These would be places for adventurers and refugees alike as water levels rise around the world and threaten many, particularly island, habitats.”

Image via Cubeme

Move over, mad scientists: China-based MAD Architects have conceived of the Superstar, a self-sustaining high-tech mobile star shaped city. This amazing mobile city will be completely energy independent, fueling itself with its own waste. It will be able to house 15,000 people and come complete with gyms, digital graveyards, clean lakes, health facilities and more. A blend of the past and the future, low-tech green and high-tech science, this fantastical city will reportedly make its first stop in Rome.

The Vertical Bed

No, this is not a picture of a man prepared to wait a very long time for the Marilyn Monroe air vent effect. This is a man in the depths of upright comfort that is the Vertical Bed. Sounds good already, doesn't it? Well, you haven't heard the half of it.

See, artist Jamie O'Shea's work was all about challenging the concept of the urban environment that is the New York City streets as part of Conflux 2008 and what he's done is turn the Big Apple from a centre of hustle and bustle to a place where he can get some good honest kip. Nice.

The Vertical bed isn't just about standing up a mattress and frame. No. Jamie's bolted a couple tripod legs to the grate at his feet, via his specially adapted shoes. The poles run up the backs of his thighs and into the harness at his waist. The back brace and neck pillow provide support for this torso but it's the small touches I like: double mirrored sunglasses with eye cushions, noise cancelling headphones and a brolly overhead just in case it rains.

Word has it Jamie managed to get 40 minutes shut-eye. Not sure if he had his hub-caps stolen.

What Earth Looks Like During a Solar Eclipse [NASA Pic]

 Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth
Credit: Mir 27 Crew; Copyright: CNES

Explanation: Here is what the Earth looks like during a solar eclipse. The shadow of the Moon can be seen darkening part of Earth. This shadow moved across the Earth at nearly 2000 kilometers per hour. Only observers near the center of the dark circle see a total solar eclipse - others see a partial eclipse where only part of the Sun appears blocked by the Moon. This spectacular picture of the 1999 August 11 solar eclipse was one of the last ever taken from the Mir space station, which was deorbited in a controlled re-entry in 2001.  

Web 2.0: Google Chrome To Support Add-Ons

Google said it will work hard to make sure its add-on paradigm keeps Chrome stable, unlike add-ons for Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Google's new Web browser eventually will support add-ons and user scripts à la Firefox Add-ons and Greasemonkey, Google engineer Ojan Vafai said during a panel discussion on the future of Web browsers at Web 2.0 Expo in New York on Friday.

"There's two different kinds of add-ons," Vafai said. "The Firefox things extend your browser, so to speak, and then there are user scripts. We intend to do both of those in Google Chrome." Greasemonkey's founder, Aaron Boodman, actually works on the Google Chrome team.

Google Chrome was released earlier this month and saw almost 2 million downloads in the first week alone, raising the visibility of Chrome as a strong new competitor to Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It does a number of things differently from either, such as isolating browser tabs so that each one is treated almost like a separate instance of the browser for reliability purposes.

Vafai cautioned that Google will work hard to make sure its add-on paradigm keeps Chrome stable. "We hope to do them right," he said. "As many people notice in Firefox add-ones, there are problems with instability."

There have been some suggestions that Google was looking to eventually take on Windows with Chrome, but Vafai pooh-poohed that notion. "It's apples and oranges, comparing an operating system and a Web browser," he said. "They're in the end, two totally different things. There's a bunch of stuff built into Web browsers that are OS dependent, like font rendering. It's not even clear what it means to replace the OS with the browser."

Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich, joining the panel along with Vafai and Microsoft Internet Explorer platform architect Chris Wilson, said that Mozilla was looking at how Google treated tabs as a potential way to improve stability when dealing with browser add-ons. "There are good process-isolation tricks that Chrome does that we're looking into, so we're simply going to look at better isolation techniques for security and integrity," he said.

For Microsoft's part, Wilson noted that though Internet Explorer has long supported add-ons, they can "be challenging to write today." He said he'd like to make the add-on environment better for IE, but didn't give many details. He also questioned the use of user scripts as a privacy risk for typical users who aren't technically proficient.

Wilson, Eich, and Vafai all lent their support to the continued development of Web standards like HTML 5 and CSS 2.1, and pointed to features in those standards that each of their browsers support. This is especially a change of pace for Microsoft, which has until Internet Explorer 8 often resisted supporting some emerging Web standards in deference to backward compatibility.

One standard Microsoft isn't supporting in IE8 is a vector standard called Canvas in HTML 5. Earlier this year, then-Mozilla exec Mike Schroepfer criticized Microsoft's lack of support for Canvas, alleging that Microsoft was instead propping up support for its own proprietary technology in Silverlight. However, Wilson may have put that notion to rest, as he said Friday that "vector graphics support is the next thing we need to work on" in Internet Explorer. Wilson also said that future versions of Internet Explorer would also likely support geo-location, and he said other browsers likely will support it as well.

A whole new side of Mars

These amazing pictures of Mars have revealed how climate change shaped the Red Planet:

Wind ... sand dunes in the north region of Mars

Scales ... amazing shots of the red planet

Strange ... ice dunes

3M Mpro110 Mobile Projector

3M will be first off the blocks to roll out its Mpro100 mobile projector that was specially designed for cell phone use only, retailing for $359. It won't have the services of a speaker, and comes with a VGA input that allows you to plug it straight into a laptop. As for the composite video jack, it will take output from a digital camera or other compatible handheld device. It will feature a LED lamp, so no worries about having it overheat and spontaneously combust during usage. The thumbwheel is included to help you focus as you play around within a 11" to 50" screen size range. 3M hopes to release its Mpro110 mobile projector by the end of this month in US.

Scientists Launch Largest Study of Near-Death Experiences

An international collaboration of scientists and physicians have gotten together to undertake the largest study of near-death experiences. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is led by researchers from the University of Southampton, including Dr. Sam Parnia and other experts in the field of consciousness during clinical death.

Ascent of the Blessed by Hieronymus BoschAscent of the Blessed by Hieronymus Bosch

About 10-20% of people who undergo cardiac arrest report signs of near-death experiences. Some people claim to have out-of-body experiences where they are observing themselves, or experiencing unpleasant or pleasant sensations, or meeting a deceased friend or relative.

In the study, doctors will study the brains of patients during cardiac arrest. They will also perform validity tests after the patients have recovered, determining the accuracy of claims that people can see and hear what's going on in the room.

The results could not only give researchers a better understanding of the dying process, but also help them identify methods to improve medical and psychological care of patients who have undergone cardiac arrest.

"Contrary to popular perception, death is not a specific moment," Parnia said. "It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning - a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.

"During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process."

Many people who have near-death experiences are profoundly affected, and make major -- often positive -- life changes after the experience.

The team has completed a pilot phase at UK hospitals, and will expand the study into other medical centers in Europe and North America.

Via: University of Southampton

Scientists Puzzled by New Bird Species Discovered in Africa

Just over a month since the Smithsonian Institution announced the discovery of new bird species in Africa, little is still known about the olive-backed forest robin named for its distinctive olive back and rump.

Scientists are trying to unravel the little bird’s specific diet, mating and nesting habits, and the species’ complete habitat range, but the dense undergrowth of tropical forest where it was sighted may still offer further surprises.

Adult members of the robins - both male and female - measure just about 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight.

Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.

The bird was first observed by Smithsonian scientists in 2001 during a field expedition in southwest Gabon but it was initially thought, however, to be an immature individual of an already-recognized species.

To ensure that the specimens collected were a new species, geneticists at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo compared the DNA of the new specimens to that of the four known forest robin species.

The results clearly showed that these birds were in fact a separate and distinct species but anything else is remains a puzzle to scientists.

“I suspected something when I found the first bird in Gabon since it didn’t exactly match any of the species descriptions in the field guides,” Brian Schmidt, a research ornithologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a member of the team that made the discovery, said.

Image credit: Brian Schmidt

Will the world end on Wednesday?

Be a bit of a pain if it did, wouldn't it? And the most frustrating thing is that we won't know for sure either way until the European laboratory for particle physics (Cern) in Geneva switches on its Large Hadron Collider the day after tomorrow.

If you think it's unlikely that we will all be sucked into a giant black hole that will swallow the world, as German chemistry professor Otto Rössler of the University of Tübingen posits, and so carry on with your life as normal, only to find out that it's true, you'll be a bit miffed, won't you?

If, on the other hand, you disagree with theoretical physicist Prof Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith of the UK Atomic Energy Agency, who argues that fears of possible global self-ingestion have been exaggerated, and decide to live the next two days as if they were your last, and then nothing whatsoever happens, you'd feel a bit of a fool too.

Rössler apparently thinks it "quite plausible" that the "mini black holes" the Cern atom-smasher creates "will survive and grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside". So convinced is he that he has lodged an EU court lawsuit alleging that the project violates the right to life guaranteed under the European Convention of Human Rights.

Prof Llewellyn Smith, however, has assured Radio 4's Today programme that the LHC - designed to help solve fundamental questions about the structure of matter and, hopefully, arrive at a "theory of everything" - is completely safe and will not be doing anything that has not happened "100,000 times over" in nature since the earth has existed. "The chances of us producing a black hole are minuscule," he said, "and even if we do, it can't swallow up the earth." So, folks, who do you believe?

Heated Car Seats Lower Sperm Rates

If you enjoy warming your bottom on a heated car seat then you should beware, for you may also be frying your chances of fatherhood, New Scientist reports in its latest issue.

Sperm production is best when the temperature of the scrotum is one or two degrees Celsius (1.8-3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) below the core body temperature of 37 C (99 F).

Testicle-testing German researchers fitted sensors to the scrotums of 30 healthy men who then sat on a heated car seat for 90 minutes.

After one hour, the average scrotal temperature had risen to 37.3 C (99.5 F), and in one volunteer reached a whopping 39.7 C (103 F).

By comparison, men who sat on unheated car seats reached an average scrotal temperature of only 36.7 C (98 F).

The study, led by Andreas Jung at the University of Giessen, did not verify the volunteer's sperm count or sperm mobility, but the researchers fear that only a slight increase in temperature is enough to damage the sperm-production process, the British weekly says.

Previous work in this field has already found that sitting in a car for more than three hours, even on an unheated seat, can impair a man's ability to conceive.

Adam & Jamie draw a MONA LISA in 80 milliseconds!

Adam and Jamie, hosts of the known mythbusters show compared a CPU vs a GPU to explain parallel processing and the GPU drew an ACTUAL mona lisa drawing using paint balls in 80 milliseconds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this was for NVIDIA's NVISION Show

CG Animation Shows What Happens When Large Meteor Hits Earth

Though most of us hope a large meteor will never hit earth, some may wonder what if it really does happen. Well, this CG animation shows just that and more. Continue reading to watch. Evidence shows that this has happened at least 6 times in Earths history. It can happen again!