Archive for the ‘News’ Category
As any nerd will be happy to tell you, at length, Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. His discoveries and inventions were the basis for the modern technology that we use daily. Some of his inventions like radio and the AC motor were big money makers for the business titans who backed him. Others were shelved and their brilliance was not discovered until long after his death. Unfortunately Tesla succumbed to the madness that often accompanies genius. As he become more erratic his main backer J.P. Morgan pulled Tesla’s financing. Tesla eventually had to sell the sprawling property that housed his workshop, lab, and half built inventions. The property, which was called Wardenclyffe, was sold to a photographic developer. After several years it was abandoned and left to decay with some of Tesla’s belongings and inventions still stored on the property. Despite his contributions to science there has never been a museum or learning center dedicated to Tesla.
In late summer of 2012 a non profit group that wanted to build a Tesla museum was given a once in a lifetime chance to buy the Wardenclyffe property. The state of NY offered to match any donations the group managed to raise to buy the property up to $850,000 to come up with the $1.7 million asking price for the property. If the group managed to raise the necessary funds the state of NY would declare the property a historical site to protect it from further development. Tesla’s original lab still stands on the property. That’s when the group turned to the Internet to enlist the help of science nerds around the world.
Matthew Inman, who created the popular Internet comic The Oatmeal, threw his support behind the project. He started a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo to help the group raise money. He donated signed comics, bumper stickers, and other items as incentives for people to donate and got all of his fans to publicize the campaign. Without his support the project may never have reached their funding goal. But with his support the response to the campaign was immediate and overwhelming. Nerds everywhere were thrilled at the chance to help build a Tesla museum on the site of Tesla’s actual lab. Contributions of $5, $25, and $50 started pouring in from all over the world. Then larger and larger contributions started coming in. By the end of the first week of the campaign the group had the $850,000 they needed. But contributions kept rolling in.
Several corporations and large donors contributed thousands of dollars. Tesla Motors, named for the iconic scientist, contributed a large amount of money and promised more support for the museum. By the end of the 30 day campaign nerds everywhere had given more than $1.8 million to buy Wardenclyffe and restore it, with a learning center and museum to be housed in Tesla’s original lab. The sale went through and the museum is currently in the planning stage thanks to the power of the Internet.
Scientists come close to making a real invisibility cloak. If you have always wanted an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter’s science is one step closer to making you one.Recently scientists were able to use ultra fine metamaterials combined with silk to make a square of fabric that hid a seven inch rod from terahertz waves. Scientists are hopeful that will be able to use this discovery as a basis to someday create a fabric that will hide whatever is underneath from visible light as well as from terahertz rays. Some researchers want to go even further than that and use metamaterials implanted into raw silk fused into the body to allow scientists and doctors to see inside tissue and organs for medical research and diagnostics.
Have you ever had a nightmare about a monster fish? Well, it may be coming true. Monster goldfish have taken over the Internet and Lake Tahoe. Videos of people with enormous goldfish, ranging from six to eight inches long and weighing as much as four pounds, started to pop up on YouTube lately. But Forest Service workers who monitor Lake Tahoe have been aware of the problem for awhile. Part of their job is to keep an eye on the fragile ecosystem of the lake which can be impacted by other species of fish invading the lake. Lake Tahoe has been gradually warming and attracting warm water fish like rainbow trout and brown bullhead. But the most striking new species upsetting the balance of the lake are these giant goldfish.
It might seem like something out of a nightmare if you are swimming, boating, or fishing in the lake and suddenly see an enormous goldfish swimming near you. But this nightmare is real. It can be hard to imagine tiny goldfish predators but the large goldfish living in Lake Tahoe seem vaguely threatening because it is such an unfamiliar sight. The goldfish are not native to the area and yet are appearing with alarming frequency. These fish are not migrating though. They are deliberately being added to the lake and left to wreak havoc on the existing ecosystem.
The goldfish are believed to have been dumped in the lake by people who were emptying their home aquariums who didn’t want to kill their fish. But once the goldfish enter the warm waters of Lake Tahoe they feed on other species in the lake and their waste makes destructive algae grow faster. Forest Service workers strongly encourage people to find other homes for their fish. They spend a portion of their time removing the goldfish and other species of fish from the lake so that the ecosystem of the lake doesn’t collapse entirely. The popularity of the photos and videos of the fish concern Forest Service workers who are afraid that more and more people will dump goldfish in the lake deliberately to create these monster goldfish to star in more videos.
The appearance of the giant goldfish is a great illustration of how fragile the ecosystems of lakes and waterways can be. The animals who live in the lake are at the center of a system that provides for thousands of animals and thousands of animals. While it might be tempting to empty your home tank into the lake so that you can get some great fodder for YouTube it’s not worth the potential damage to the lake so if you really want to rehome your fish find another way to do it. Goldfish that were bred to be pets don’t belong out in the wild. Goldfish that are used for bait are also sometimes released into the lake and also contribute to the problem so when you’re done fishing take your bait with you.
Congress is getting closer to passing legislation that will require all Internet retailers that take in more than a million dollars of sales per year to pay sales tax. That tax will apply no matter what state the retailer is actually located in. Internet shopping is not totally untaxed now, since retailers have to pay tax in the state in which they file taxes, but the rate of the tax that they pay may go up as a result of Federal legislation. Brick and mortar retailers say that requiring Internet stores to pay tax will level the playing field a little since they are required to pay taxes. In an economy that is still struggling many brick and mortar businesses are looking for any advantage they can get to bring in more customers and keep current customers from going online to buy items.
Brick and mortar stores that sell primarily high cost items like electronics and cell phones say that their businesses are being hurt by customers who come into the stores to see products they are interested in and then go online to buy them after they have had the chance to see the item in person. Some retailers think that if online businesses are required to pay sales tax people will think twice about buying high ticket items online.
But industry analysts say that businesses are wrong in their assumption that making Internet retailers pay a borderless tax will help their business. They say that in fact those same brick and mortar stores are going to end up hurting even more if a borderless tax is imposed. That’s because right now mega online retailers like Amazon deliberately stay out of certain states because of the rate of tax they would have to pay in that state. If they don’t have the incentive of a higher tax rate to stay out of a certain state they are free to open large warehouses in every state stocked with merchandise that can be quickly distributed. That will streamline the processing and shipping time and make it even more convenient for customers to shop online. Large retailers like Walmart and Amazon are also starting to use lockers to deliver merchandise on the same day that an order is placed. Customers can go to select 24 hour stores like 7-11 and enter a special passcode to open a locker and get their merchandise when it’s convenient for them.
Internet sales tax may be good for consumers who are price savvy but the inevitable closing of brick and mortar stores that would accompany it would hurt the economy even more in the long run. Already stores are stocking fewer and fewer items to keep costs down, which drives more people to shop online where they have more selection. If Internet sales tax becomes a reality and customers can order items online and pick them up or have them delivered the same day it could mean the end of many brick and mortar stores.
I am a huge Ghostbusters fan!!! I liked the first movie better than the second, but still love the magic!
It looks like they are finally going to make the 3rd movie. Bill Murray is out, but the others apparently have something to do with the the making of the movie. They are bringing on at least one new writer and Dan Aykroyd said that the movie should be in production in about a year. I hope that they do not mess this one up!
Chris Pirillo and a group of amazing content providers run a site called LOCKERGNOME.COM Gnome. It is a tech news site with a bunch of other useful info thrown in.
You may recognize Chris Pirillo from television or possibly from the many online projects that he has accomplished.
Lockergnome was the first website that Pirillo registered in 1996. He hosted the TechTV television program Call for Help for a couple of years. I personally am very inspired by Chris as well as his team.
The best thing about this site is that it is run by “real” people that provide great content. They are all great people.
He was recently married to beautiful gal Diana and then soon began creating a daily vlog. It is addicting to watch. Chris also has a great tech news show “Geek Out”.
It is ridiculous to me in this day and age that SOPA and PIPA has gotten as far as it has.
If SOPA and/or PIPA pass as is, censorship would occur. It will slow down development and inovations that our economy needs to grow and survive. The timing is also very bad.
Those who support it say things that sound good. Let’s stop piracy. That is good. If something is done illegally then it should be dealt with. The problem is that SOPA will cause innocent sites to be shut down for doing nothing wrong. It really will not even do what it is intended to do. The real bad guys can get around it.
It seems to me that it will also allow companies to have their competition easily caught up in issues that could lead to their demise when they had not done anything wrong. Piracy needs to be addressed. Laws that are already in place needs to be enforced.
If SOPA had been inacted a decade ago, the web would be very different today. It would suck. If you support SOPA, you do not understand what it can do to site owners that have done nothing wrong.
Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement today that Skype will be rolled out and easily used within the Facebook interface. This is not completely shocking. However I do think that this may be one of the next big steps in social media.
It should be very interesting to see how quickly it catches on.
Facebook is down again.
I now realize how many times a day I visit. Come back up please.
Facebook pages right now are having a problem as many people are unable to make certain comments and admins cannot reply to some posts.
This Facebook bug is causing major issues. Hopefully they will fix soon!