Friday, May 30, 2008

Revival of Bond's Gadgets

Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was born 100 years ago today. But while his hero's Cold War concerns may have dated, some of Bond's gadgets have not.
Some movies and stories used existing technologies such as jetpacks (Dr No), autogyros (You Only Live Twice) and GPS-capable phones (Casino Royale). But many of Bond's toys were way ahead of their time – and only now are we beginning to catch up.

Fake fingerprints (Diamonds Are Forever)

In what has become known as the "Gummi Bear Attack", Japanese cryptographer Tsutomu Matsumoto showed in 2002 that a person's fingerprints could indeed be copied and used to create fake ones with relative ease, as suggested in Diamonds Are Forever.
Using gelatine as found in chewy sweets like gummi bears, he showed that a latent print could be lifted from a glass and used to fool 80 per cent of fingerprint scanners tested.

Phone-controlled car (Tomorrow Never Dies)

In 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond becomes his own backseat driver, steering his car using a touchpad on a phone showing the view out of the front window on its display.
Mobile phones with accelerometers can be used to control toy cars using free software dubbed ShakerRacer. The user holds the phone like a steering wheel and tilts it in the direction they want the car to drive (see video). It's an approach that looks easier to use than that of Bond's gadget-master, Q, who had 007 sliding his finger over a touch pad.
Military robots controlled using the Nintendo Wii-mote were recently demonstrated by US researchers, an idea worthy of Q. They say it makes controlling a robot used to investigate unexploded bombs or mines easier, and plan to use Apple's iPhone to display video from Wii-controlled robots.

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No Mouse, but your hands

Microsoft is developing a new touch screen operating system that could mean the end of the computer mouse, Bill Gates has announced.
Windows 7 aims to build on the success of the touch screen systems developed by Microsoft's rival Apple's iPhone.

Microsoft users will issue commands by touching the screen rather than by the traditional keyboard and mouse combination, which has dominated since the 1970s.

Windows 7 is due to be released in 2010 and is Microsoft's attempt to catch-up with Apple, whose handheld iPhone has proved exceptionally popular.

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Free Internet Access?

It's the sort of news that ought to scare the pants off Comcast executives. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed the commission auction off a portion of the 25 megahertz spectrum with a free provision -- meaning that whoever licenses the spectrum must provide internet access to people for free.

We won't know whether the FCC will proceed with the idea (the commissioners vote on June 12), but the fact that the proposal is even up for consideration must be gratifying to the millions of Comcast and Cox victims who may pay upwards of $40 per month for shoddy broadband access and awful customer service.

A "free" broadband spectrum auction could also help spur internet adoption in the U.S., where there is still a big gaping divide between the broadband haves and have-nots.

"We've been pushing for [free internet access] as a matter of policy for two years," says John Muleta, founder and CEO of M2Z Networks, a company that aims to provide free ad-supported broadband access. "This country is stuck with a low [adoption rate of broadband web access], mainly because it's either not available or it's not affordable in many markets."

Of course, we've heard this song before. Back in 1999, everyone offered free, ad-supported internet access. Yahoo and Kmart teamed up on a free ISP called; NBC's online arm, NBCi launched one, too; so did many of the major web players of the time, such as AltaVista, Excite and Lycos. Few free ISPs still exist today.

The key difference between then and now, according to Muleta, was that the free ISP of yesteryear was a dial-up service, and its livelihood depended on the terms negotiated with telecom providers.

"The problem was that [the free ISPs] couldn't control their destiny," Muleta says. "The limitation was the deal you could get from the telcos, and the service was supported by banner ads. Now people recognize the value of search-[based advertising.]"

So is Muleta talking to Google, Yahoo or Microsoft about a partnership for the free access?

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What you should know about background check

Job Applicants

Check prior background reports. Under federal law, you are entitled to a copy of any background report that had been done on you, for a minimal fee of $10 or less. In three states, California, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, they're free. You need to know which screening firm out of the nearly 2,000 nationwide did the report. A previous employer can tell you and then contact the screening company directly. ChoicePoint (CPS), a big screening firm to large employers, has a Web site for consumer requests, Other major background companies include US Investigation Services, First Advantage, and Kroll.

Know who's checking your past. Examine the consent form that gives an employer permission to conduct a background check. It should list the screening firm doing the work and the scope of the investigation, whether that includes criminal records, credit history, driving record, or reference interviews.

Act fast if something's wrong. If you're rejected for a job based on your background report, an employer must tell you this and hand over a copy of the full report. Federal regulators have said employers have to wait only five business days before hiring another applicant while you dispute information in your background report. Contact the screening firm immediately and demand, in writing and by phone, a reinvestigation.


Know what you're getting from a background check. The quality and depth of background investigations vary widely in an industry where many companies are startups offering low prices to win business. Be wary of Web sites offering instant checks. They may not be familiar with compliance and federal law. Some background companies search for criminal history in only one or two counties where an applicant has lived primarily, possibly missing information elsewhere.

There's no national database of all criminal records. Despite some marketing claims to the contrary, no master file exists of all state and federal criminal arrests and convictions. Searching criminal records remains a fragmented task across 50 states and thousands of courthouses. Diligent searches require screening firms to send workers to pull court files by hand for accuracy.

Know how reference checks are done. Some screening firms grant anonymity to friends and former bosses and co-workers in exchange for unvarnished opinions about applicants. Others identify all sources to guard against unsubstantiated gossip and innuendo. Ask how a screening firm checks references and whether you can provide specific questions to be asked that pertain to the position being filled.

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Permanent weight loss is a lifelong commitment

Language specialists claim that the five sweeter phrases in the English language are:

1) I love you
2) Dinner is served
3) All is forgiven
4) Sleep until noon
5) Keep the change

There are those (and many) who choose to add:
You've lost weight.
Loosing weight is very often a difficult task, because it includes dieting and exercising.
But even more difficult is, once you have reached your right weight, to keep it.
For that you very often need to change completely your life style, including your diet habits and your way of living.
There are places where you can find the best tips about weight loss, easy fitness program ideas, healthy diet and nutrition suggestions, exercise plans, and other practical advice for losing weight in a healthy manner.
A good help is, as the name says, Weight Loss Diet Help where you can compare diets like Atkins, Bill Phillips Eating for Life, Glycemic Impact and Trim Kids.
There you can find help from the Diet Guru Jillian Michaels.
He will suggest the right fitness program and you will learn to eat right, lose big and get fit.
Or you can try the South Beach Diet, where you can eat five star dishes and lose weight at the same time!
What about a delicious diet designed just for you...?
And of course you can also find the old but still effective Weight Watchers Online.
They have plans that will suit both men and women, the classic points diet plan.
You will be able to choose among 1,000 delicious meals and access to the list of the right places where to dine and still keep your diet.
And remember: Permanent weight loss is a lifelong commitment.

Forgetting is just the opposite of remembering

Approach middle age, and it's hard not to notice that your recall is flickering. This, we're reassured, is perfectly normal--all your friends are complaining about the same thing, aren't they?--and yet it doesn't feel normal. You don't just have your mind, after all; you are your mind, and nothing threatens your well-being so much as the feeling that it's at risk. What's more, while most memory loss is normal, at least some people must be part of the unlucky minority that develops Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Why not you?

Alzheimer's is expected to strike 34 million people globally by 2025 and 14 million in the U.S. alone over the next 40 years. Half of all people who reach age 85 will exhibit symptoms of the disease. That, however, means that the other half won't. And since average U.S. life expectancy currently tops out at 80.4 for women and only 75.2 for men, by the time your 85th birthday rolls around, you're not likely to be troubled by Alzheimer's disease--or anything else.

Still, that doesn't make it any easier when you forget to pick up the dry cleaning or fumble to recall familiar addresses. The good news is, science is as interested in what's going on as you are. With better scanning equipment and knowledge of brain structure and chemistry, investigators are steadily improving their understanding of how memory works, what makes it fail, how the problems can be fixed--and when they can't.

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A picture is worth 1K words

That's the reason why a lazy person like me, for a birthday, or Christmas, or any other occasion, loved to send cards.
And choosing the right drawing or the right picture, with a good few, nice words (not written by me)was one of the easiest and most sought of way to remember somebody.
But I still needed the time to go, look for it, buy a stamp and send it.
The Internet is great, because everything is easier, also the showing of your feelings.
Take for example Moonpig.
It is the website that provides a very simple ordering system that allows you to send card for a fraction of the price of a usual card retailer on the High Street or your local newsagent.
The selection is great, the quality unbelievable and you do not need a stamp!
But you still need the time to write the name and address.
When will we have a computer able to read the mind?

Our "Past Time"

"Loveliness was everywhere this holiday weekend in upstate New York, and it was probably hard for many to believe that the wayward nation would return to the dread uncertainty of life in the crash lane when the barbeques were over. "
Jim Kunstler

The ridicolous part of our society is that we use machines to work less, to have "more time" and then we create the problem of "how to kill the time we have".
So we have to invent Holidays, but "interesting and active holidays" so that if we do not "work" we do something else we do not call "work" but "past time" which sometimes is even heavier than our normal job.
In our week end we amuse ourselves cutting the grass of the garden, painting, repairing, going sshopping, doing sports, and this we call "amusement" while if we had to do the same for money we would call it "work".

Necessity is the mother of ALL inventions

You can take energy and make anything, but you can't take anything and make energy.

Fossil Fuels + Man's ingenuity = Man on the Moon

Man's inguenity - Fossil Fuels = Man on stationary bicyle pumping water out of the ground for his garden and family.

Things change quickly without unlimited amounts of energy.

Posted by: barefootbookseller | May 26, 2008 at 09:40 AM

Yes things change quickly and it is not a bad sign.
Sometimes things have to change, man is not on this world just to consume, we are here to make the world go on, and very often we forget we got a brain.
So nice to rely on what we have.
But much nicer to find something else.
Necessity is the mother of ALL inventions

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mobile isn't much more open then cable Internet

People point to the hacked iPhone as an example of how "we're making mobile open." I do applaud it and I think it's great that we can now run our own apps on the iPhone. However, what do you get at the carrier level. Yay, you now can chose Vodaphone or Sprint instead of AT&T. This doesn't solve the basic problem that at the carrier level, we're still closed.

In the short term, MVNOs like e-mobile will help drive prices down, but they are still built on an architecture that isn't really open to competition and the prices will only go down so far. What we need in the long run is open spectrum and alternatives to 3G.

In Japan, services like Mixi have announced that their web usage is decreasing, their mobile usage is increasing and that more of their users are using their services from mobile and than the web. I don't think mobile monetizes as well (for the company) as the web. I think that if we move over to mobile too quickly we're risking moving our game to a platform where the DNA is not what we're used to on the Internet and most importantly, putting money in the pockets of people who do not redistribute it to startups, but instead feed giant vendor ecologies instead.

Maybe those smart companies in the mobile space like Vodaphone and Nokia who see the future should create a fund to invest in open innovation on mobile. We definitely could make the argument that in the long run, a healthy ecology on mobile is better for at least the strong companies involved in the ecology, just like the Internet increase the telecom economy as a whole. It reminds me of the big oil states investing in alternative energy. If this could happen, this could be a good thing and I'd be happy to help. ;-)

From David Farber

Friday, May 23, 2008

'Big Brother' database for phones and e-mails

massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.

The information would be held for at least 12 months and the police and security services would be able to access it if given permission from the courts.

The proposal will raise further alarm about a "Big Brother" society, as it follows plans for vast databases for the ID cards scheme and NHS patients. There will also be concern about the ability of the Government to manage a system holding billions of records. About 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain last year, while an
estimated 3 billion e-mails are sent every day.

Home Office officials have discussed the option of the national database with telecommunications companies and ISPs as part of preparations for a data communications Bill to be in November's Queen's Speech. But the plan has not been sent to ministers yet.

Jonathan Bamford, the assistant Information Commissioner, said: "This would give us serious concerns and may well be a step too far. We are not aware of any justification for the State to hold every UK citizen's phone and internet records. We have real doubts that such a measure can be justified, or is proportionate or desirable. We have warned before that we are sleepwalking into a surveillance society.
Holding large collections of data is always risky - the more data that is collected and stored, the bigger the problem when the data is lost, traded or stolen."

Full story

Internet sales taxes

"Do you think that billionaire Internet moguls should continue to benefit from a tax loophole that hurts parks and schools, and makes it harder for your neighborhood bookstore to keep open for business?

For starters, by giving online businesses a permanent advantage over their bricks-and-mortar competitors, it helps those who need it least -- huge, profitable e-commerce companies -- at the expense of often-struggling local retailers.

In addition, the tax policy is regressive. It disproportionately benefits the upscale citizens most likely to shop online. Worst of all, as commerce increasingly moves online, state and local governments are being deprived of the sales-tax revenues they rely on to run schools, build roads, pay police and firefighters, and do all the other things they're supposed to do.

A dozen years ago, one might have been able to make the case that a holiday on collecting sales tax would help the fledgling Internet get off the ground. I don't think that was particularly true even in 1996; it certainly isn't now.

Opponents of the tax collection are fond of the effective but dishonest slogan that collecting a sales tax would amount to a new "tax on the Internet." But making Amazon collect sales tax on books is no more "taxing the Internet" than requiring stores to collect taxes on Valentine's Day chocolates amounts to "taxing falling in

Greens against greenhouse gases

Winning the war on global warming requires slaughtering some of environmentalism's sacred cows. We can afford to ignore neither the carbon-free electricity supplied by nuclear energy nor the transformational potential of genetic engineering. We need to take advantage of the energy efficiencies offered by urban density. We must accept that the world's fastest-growing economies won't forgo a higher standard of living in the name of climate science — and that, on the way up, countries like India and China might actually help devise the solutions the planet so desperately needs.

Some will reject this approach as dangerously single-minded: The environment is threatened on many fronts, and all of them need attention. So argues Alex Steffen. That may be true, but global warming threatens to overwhelm any progress made on other issues. The planet is already heating up, and the point of no return may be only decades away. So combating greenhouse gases must be our top priority, even if that means embracing the unthinkable.

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Tips for web developers


NETTUTS is a recently launched blog/tutorial site that provides "spoonfed web skills". There are already plenty of useful and detailed tutorials that range from offloading static content to Amazon S3 to creating a beautiful tabbed content area using jQuery. NETTUTS is perfect for developers just starting out, since the tutorials are very thorough and in a "step by step" format. For more advanced developers, it’s an excellent source of inspiration and learning new techniques.

2. woork

Woork is a blog by Antonio Lupetti, a developer from Italy. He provides short, easily-consumable tutorials on various topics of web development such as PHP, Cold Fusion, JavaScript, and CSS. His knack for creating beautiful tutorials, chock full of custom-made images that illustrates the concepts he talks about is a testament to the detail and "work" that Antonio puts in each of his posts. Check out his awesome tutorial on a "Top-Down approach to simplify your CSS code" where he explains his preference on creating and formatting stylesheets.

3. Web Designer Wall

Web Designer Wall is a blog by Nick La that features design ideas and elaborate, stunning tutorials such as creating a CSS gradient Text Effect - a technique that uses an image overlay over normal XHTML text, and jQuery tutorials for designers which showcases ten techniques to get you started with jQuery.

4. Smashing Magazine

I won’t say much about Smashing Magazine since most of us have probably heard of it, but if you haven’t, Smashing Magazine is an excellent resource for web designers and developers looking to be inspired. Smashing Magazine also manages to publish almost everyday, despite their very detailed and thorough posts.

5. Vitamin

Vitamin offers a large amount of information on the topic of web development and design. With many contributors, Vitamin manages to cover a wide range of topics including Ajax, CSS, development techniques, best practices, and workflow management.

6. Wake Up Later

Wake Up Later is the blog of Samuel Ryan, a freelance web developer/designer. Rather than covering specific web development techniques or providing tutorials, he talks about general web development related things such as reasons not to write your own code, tips on improving productivity, and common design mistakes made by developers.

7. is run by Jonathan Snook, an icon in web development and design. His blog provides tutorials and articles about PHP, JavaScript, and more recently (the blog dates back to 2001), Adobe AIR. He also provides useful resources and bookmarks that are worth a read, and talks about things that are part of being a web developer such as project management via email and maintaining your personal brand online.

8. Signal vs. Noise

Signal vs. Noise is a design/usability company blog by the people over at 37 Signals - known for developing remarkable web applications such as BaseCamp and their involvement in the popular open source web application framework, Ruby On Rails. The blog gives insights about being a productive and effective web application developer and keeping things simple, with entries such as "Workaholics fixate on inconsequential details" and "Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor".

9. adaptive path blog

adaptive path’s company blog offers news and posts on the topic of user interface design. There’s a variety of useful posts that cover the topic of creating user-friendly designs (not limited to just web applications). Some things the adaptive path crew writes about are "Tips for presenting the look & feel to a client" and "The Lure of the Single Click".

10. Tutorial Blog

Tutorial Blog provides handy tutorials, resources, and lists on various web development and design topics such as code snipplets for web designers, using layer comps in Photoshop to manage designs, and Flash tutorials. Tutorial Blog has a section on user-submitted tutorials which allows readers to share their own tutorials.

11. WebAppers

WebAppers is a blog created by Ray Cheung, a freelance web developer. The premise of WebAppers is to provide news and resources related to open source and free applications that are useful to web developers and designers. From cost-free fonts and icons to navigation menus and image galleries, WebAppers seeks to hunt down useful tools and applications aimed at reducing your time developing custom solutions.

12. Web Resources Depot

Web Resources Depot is similar to WebAppers - it discusses new web resources that web developers and designers may find helpful. Web Resources Depot is an excellent way to stay up to date with what’s currently available out there all in one place.

13. Ajaxian

With continual advancements in Ajax, it’s imperative to keep up to date with modern techniques and news. Ajaxian is the leading Ajax community run by some of the biggest names in the field. You’ll find information, reviews on JavaScript frameworks, helpful tools, and server-side technology specific (like PHP, RoR, and .NET) articles. If Ajax news and information is what you’re looking for, you can be sure to hear about it from Ajaxian.


DZone is a social news site for developers. Users share links related to development and can vote on submissions (very much like Digg but limited to developer links). You can subscribe via RSS to various pages and sections such JavaScript, Flash/Flex, or databases if you want to get instant updates to things specific to your interests.

15. Design Float

Design Float is social media site created for web and graphics designers. Like Dzone, people get to vote up submissions. You’ll find stuff about CSS, HTML, and Photoshop submitted to Design Float.

16. IBM’s developerWorks

With the name camel-cased, you already know off-the-bat that it’s a great site for developers. developerWorks offers many articles and tutorials pertaining to development topics, not just about web development, but also on related fields such as systems administration and open source technologies and applications. developerWorks has a knack for writing about complex topics and boiling it down to consumable, understandable articles. Some of my bookmarks include "Debug and tune applications on the fly with Firebug" (an introduction to Firebug) and the "Make PHP apps fast, faster, fastest" series.

17. is a social bookmarking site where members can post bookmarks to keep and share. It’s not strictly for web developers but you can monitoring specific tags such as webdev, development, or javascript.

18. Sharebrain

Sharebrain is site that shares useful resources for web workers. You can find resources and tutorials on various web development and design topics such as Photoshop tutorials, Usability, SEO Tools, CMS’s, and interviews.

19. Style Grind

Style Grind shares useful news and information about web technologies and designs. Resources and news reported by Style Grind include a variety of web development and design topics such as updates on Erik Meyer’s CSS Reset and new plugins for jQuery.


Your value as a web developer increases when you’re proficient in design as well. Some examples would be Wordpress theme developers who not only know how to develop themes, but can also design them. PSDTUTS is a great place to improve on Photoshop skills and is a site I follow to learn more about graphics/web design.

21. Design Reviver

Design Reviver is aimed at providing useful information for web designers. You can visit to read tutorials such getting started with 3D in Flash, to get free downloads like Photoshop brushes, and to find design inspiration.

22. Blog.SpoonGraphics

Blog.SpoonGraphics is a blog about graphics and web design created by Chris Spooner, a graphics and web designer. You can find many tutorials on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, free, downloadable resources like “Sliding Door” tab menus, articles for inspiration, and news.

23. John Resig

John Resig is the self-titled blog of John Resig - a premier JavaScript developer and author most known for his creation of jQuery, a popular JavaScript framework. John Resig’s blog shares his thoughts about JavaScript development and web applications. It’s where I found out about the release of his new project: Processing.js (a JavaScript port of the Processing programming language) and where he voiced his thoughts on Google Doctype.

24. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows is all about best practices, innovations, and trends in the topic of design - including information architecture, graphics design, and user interaction design. You can read about findability (how people look for information), counter-arguments of front-loading information above the fold, and web accessibility.

25. PHPDeveloper

PHPDeveloper brings together news and resources about PHP from blogs and sites that cover PHP. You’ll find reports varying from PHP video tutorials to interesting developments over at Zend.

26. Coding Horror

Coding Horror is a very popular blog (over 100,000 RSS subscribers!) by Jeff Atwood, a software developer. He talks about web development too, posing questions such as Is HTML a Humane Markup Language?, discussing Amazon S3’s viability to host images, and sharing information on versioning databases.

27. O’Reilly Network

The O’Reilly Network by O’Reilly Media (publisher of development books) features articles and blogs pertaining to web development and open technologies. Some recent articles include Creating Applications with Amazon EC2 and S3 and Getting Started with the Google App Engine. Some blogs that are part of the O’Reilly Network include (for Windows Developers), (topics cover the Java language) and (which talks about Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).

28. Google doctype

Google Doctype is Google’s new project that will include entries "by web developers for web developers". Currently, it doesn’t have very many articles, but it’s certainly a resource to follow in the upcoming months.

29. Web Monkey

Web Monkey - the web developer’s resource is back! Though they’re just getting back to the swing of things, it’s definitely a website to keep track of.

30. Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine is the online magazine for web professionals (web designers, developers, information architects). You can find many things included here such PHP, Web Standards, and Programming.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Does you business need a blog?

This very best reason to have a blog for your business is that there are many reasons to blog. Below is a list of benefits broken down by three categories:

1. Content Management

2. User (Visitor)

3. Optimization (Marketing)

Content is king and makes it extremely easy to add content, banners and graphics to your site. With the use of widgets, blogs can be a total replacement for a website, thereby saving the business owner lots of aggravation and expense.

If the user can’t comment or interact with every aspect of your offering, you might as well own a billboard in a basement. User generated content is now a necessary component to your online marketing strategy, and blogs are becoming the standard communication platform for all business – consumer communications. Provides a social window that users can track your business and philosophy.

Quick bullet advantages

· Easy to use and manage

· Anyone can update the blog

· Web based software – no ongoing maintenance

· Post content to other blogs using publishing platform

Full Article

Open a beer without opener and without breaking your teeth

Buckle up.

Hopefully you aren’t the type who walks around with your pants falling off your hips – which means you’re probably rocking a belt in the waist-land! Your belt’s buckle can also function as a bottle opener, and here’s how to do it.

Take off your belt.

You don’t want to try any sudden jerking motions with glass in that area of your body, do you?
Fit an edge of the buckle tightly over the cap.
Using your thumb, push hard up on the other edge of the buckle, which should pry the cap right off.
Drink. And put your belt back on before your pants sag and you ruin the party for everyone.
'Course if you're slick, you can always ask the hottest chick to lend you hers. This way you're closer to third base and your cold brew all in one shot.
The lighter of my life.

You keep promising you’re going to give up smoking and arson. But you’ll be glad you haven’t yet, as your trusty lighter can now aid your pursuit of other vices. All you smokers finally have your opportunity to shine. Just whip out your trusty Bic and get to popping them caps off.

Take out your lighter and prop the bottom of it (NOT the metal top) against the cap’s edge.
Gripping the bottleneck tightly, push up on the cap with the edge of your lighter. This should loosen the cap, if not completely pop it off. If it doesn’t take the cap off right away, turn the bottle slightly in your hand and apply pressure to another area of the cap.
Drink up. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Celebrate your weakness for tobacco and booze.
Keynotes. This is the most likely item you’ll have at your disposal. Here’s how to do it:

Grab the bottle in one hand and your key in the other. Use a key whose teeth you can wedge nice and tight between the cap and the bottle’s neck.
As hard as you can, twist the key under the cap and pull the side of the cap away from the bottle. This will produce a tiny gap between the cap and bottle.
Now that you’ve got that first gap, repeat this process on another part of the cap to create another gap.
Repeat this process until you get halfway around the cap.
By this point, you should be able to simply grip the cap with your fingers and thumb and twist off. If not, keep twisting the key under the cap until you’ve loosened the cap enough to get that sucker off.

Paper dreams.

Let’s say you’ve got nothing on hand except ingenuity and a few greenbacks. While you might prefer a 50, it's all the same to your beer. Here’s what to do:
Take said bill and fold it up several times over, until all you’re left with is a tightly-compressed piece, which should resemble a “V” shape (two folded bits that meet in one sharp, tight corner).
Take the "V" and wedge the corner of its fold into the bottle cap.
Jerk the bill up as hard as you can, which will result in the cap popping off.
Although this works with dollar bills, the bigger piece of paper you have to work with, the stronger your cap-popping wedge will be.

Dog collar days.

Well you’re a beltless, keyless, paperless, pink-lunged wonder who’s still longing for that beer. Got a dog? Take it by the collar, pet its soft head, then remove that collar because its tiny buckle can help you out! You’ll basically be performing a variation on the belt buckle system listed above – it just takes a bit longer because chances are your dog’s collar buckle is a bit smaller than your belt’s. And if you’ve got a lap dog, a cat, or some other critter smaller than a bread box, his collar probably won’t do much good. It’s medium-to-large breed or bust in this instance!


A metal ring of any sort is the perfect tool in this instance because its tiny metal edges can be leveraged to defeat any bottle cap. This is how:
Keeping your ring on, grasp the top of the bottle in your hand.
Close your hand over the cap, gripping it so that the edge of your ring is flush against the bottom of the cap.
Keeping your grip tight, lift up. The edge of the ring will peel off the cap and open the bottle.
Be wary of using your wedding band. It is one thing to explain to your other half staying out late drinking with your friends. It is a whole different story explaining the gouges in your wedding ring.

Flip your lid.

Thank God you’re wearing that ball cap to keep the sun off your face or the sweat out of your eyes. But did you know the bill can act as a temporary bottle opener? Here’s how:
Take your cap off and grip the bill tightly in your hand, squeezing it together so that the rim of the bill makes a rounded “u” shape.
Press the rim up against the cap. With a strong jerk of the wrist, flip up the bill, which will rip the cap off the bottle top.
Drink. Put your hat back on. Assume frat boy posturing.

Bumper crop.

If you (or someone you know) has a vehicle that isn't simply fiberglass-and-plastic on wheels, then a metal bumper is also an easy tool to use to free your beer from its bottled prison.
Simply align the cap against the edge of the bumper.
Putting pressure on the cap with the hand that holds the bottle, strike the bottle with your free hand a few inches from the cap – the blunt force should cause the cap to pop right off.
Drink fast, as the action will cause your suds to come rushing from the bottle’s mouth.

Bottle rock it.

Where there’s one beer, there are sure to be several more. This bodes well for your predicament, as this is probably the simplest, most efficient way to get that beer cap off, and no one’s teeth, fashion accessories, or Chevy Impalas are needed for success!
Simply place the cap of one bottle just under the edge of another bottle’s cap.
Jerk down hard on the bottle on top – the cap will pop off against the cap underneath.

And if with all this you still cannot open it, it means you'd better NOT DRINK it

About dental management

Do you want to know how to upgrade revenues and lower your working hours learning about dental management?
May be you are very good in your profession, you have the right customers, you are in the right neighbourhood, but you still do not earn like many of your colleagues do, even working less hours.
What about learning a few secrets aboutdental office management?
It is much easier than you can dream.
Imagine, increasing productivity 40, 50%, earning a lot more and, what may be matters more, actually enjoying you daily job, following just a few good tips.
May be you are skeptical and do not believe it, but very often success is just a matter of finding the right dental management.
For example, many do not even know what BPH means, and how important it is to take it in the most consideration.
In a few weeks, with the right planning, a few changes in your habits, and better relationship with your staff, you can really easily improve it.
May be the secret is just offering better services to your customers in an enjoyable manner.
Because there is no good practise and there are no better results than working with a smile on your face.
The right smile can win also the most difficult of customer.

Don't take no as an answer

Prepare for a “no”
You should definitely be optimistic and expect a “yes” but also have a plan B ready if you do get a “no.” Sometimes there are small windows of opportunity seconds or minutes after a no is said that you don’t want to miss. Without a plan B, you most certainly will.

Keep the conversation alive
This also has to do with having a backup plan. You don’t want the conversation to go “cold,” and the person to quickly lose interest. It is best to respond to a “no” within anywhere from 30 seconds to a week. A longer than that and most people have already moved on.

Find out why the person said “no” and see what they wanted you to say, do, or offer instead. Don’t give up what you want, but find a middle ground so that both of your needs are met.

Get the door slightly opened
With a compromise you’ll most likely turn a “no” into a “maybe” or an “I’ll think about it.” Once the door is slightly opened get your foot in there to keep it from closing. This is also a good time to keep the conversation alive. Ask a few more questions and some feedback from the person.

Indicate the pros for saying “yes”
Tell the no-sayer about all the positive things they will get from saying “yes” to you. In some instances there are selling points that people can’t see and you need to make them aware of those points.

Even if you’re trying to keep the conversation alive and the person isn’t responding to you, keep going. Write letters, send emails, or call her/him as often as you can without annoying or stalking them. Just like the rest of your journey to success you can’t give up. If you keep messaging them long enough, they are eventually going to respond to you. It may not be a positive response but at least you can know what you next step should be.

Once you get a “maybe,” “okay,” or a “yes” it still isn’t a done deal. You need to keep that “yes” from turning back into a “no.”

Reiterate the positives
Remind the person of all the great reasons why they said “yes” to you or your project.

Stay excited and enthusiastic
You can’t lose enthusiasm in yourself, the project, or whatever was given the yes. You will always be the one who is behind the project the most, so if you lose the excitement everyone else will follow.

You must deliver on all the positives and promises you mentioned when it was still a no. If you can’t then that no could turn into something much angrier or it could turn into complete silence.

Be thankful
Be very thankful that the person gave you a “yes.” If this is a big deal, it could be the one chance that changes your life forever.

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Be smart when you shop

1. Make a list.
Before you shop, write down what you need -- to reduce the chances of buying what you don't.

2. Limit your trips.
Make your shopping list long so you have to make only one or two trips to the store per week. Besides being more efficient, this provides less opportunity to make impulse purchases.

3. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach.
When you're hungry, you're more likely to grab high-fat snacks and desserts.

4. Follow the walls.
Limit browsing to the perimeter of the store, where you'll find the freshest, most healthful foods: raw produce, low-fat dairy products, fresh lean meats and fish. Venture into the interior aisles only when you're after specific foods such as pasta and dried beans, to avoid picking up extra items not included in your diet plan.

5. Pay attention to portions.
Those cookies look great -- and hey, eating them only costs you 75 calories. But check the serving size: 1 cookie. Eating "them," say three cookies -- brings your calorie count up to 225.

6. Ignore the pictures.
Golden sunshine glows on heaps of freshly harvested grains -- an image of good health that signifies nothing. Look at the side of the box instead for the facts, and choose foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and calories.

7. Grade your grains.
Want high-fiber bread? Look for the words "whole grain," "100 percent whole wheat," or "stone-ground" on the label. Breads labeled simply "wheat" -- even if they are brown in color -- may not contain whole grains. True whole-grain bread contains at least two grams of fiber per serving.

8. Watch the language.
Beware of foods labeled "no sugar added" -- the wording is carefully chosen, because the product may be loaded with natural sugar. You'll find the real story on the label, under "Sugars."

9. Add some spice to your life.
Instead of creamy condiments, load up on such spices as basil, chives, cinnamon, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, and Tabasco sauce. They're very low in carbohydrates, fat, protein, and calories.

10. Keep your eye on the cashier.
You're waiting in line, nothing to do -- a captive audience. It's no accident that supermarkets pile their impulse items next to the registers. Keep a couple of items from your basket in your hands. It'll stop you from reaching for the candy bars.

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Hunt for Graves

For nearly 40 years, rumors have swirled that dozens of victims of Charles Manson's family are buried at a remote, mountainous ranch in California's Death Valley National Park. Now, with the help of a dog named Buster, authorities are investigating whether the talk is true.

A police detective last year took Buster, a dog trained to find cadavers, to the site where Manson hid after a killing spree that left seven dead in the summer of 1969. Buster's agitated behavior indicated the presence of decaying human remains, Los Angeles Times reporter Louis Sahagun told Alex Chadwick.

Subsequent searches were inconclusive, as were soil tests, but Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said he would allow a limited four-day excavation at Barker Ranch beginning Tuesday. The main targets of the dig were to be hot spots that Buster had flagged.

"There was no consistent response from the dogs that searched and no conclusive findings from the soil samplings tested by top experts in the field," Lutze said in a statement. "The only way to determine once and for all whether there are bodies buried at Barker Ranch from the time of the Manson family is to proceed with limited excavation."

Locals, however, have predicted that the only remains investigators will unearth will be from ancient Indian graves. They are concerned about the dig's costs, Sahagun reports. Even if investigators find remains, it's unclear whether Inyo County can afford to perform the necessary tests to identify the victims.

Manson is serving a life sentence at the California State Prison in Corcoran for the murders, whose victims included actress Sharon Tate. Manson had been sentenced to die, but that sentence was commuted after the California Supreme Court declared the state's death penalty unconstitutional in 1972. It was reinstated several years later.

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College-based Solar Farm

The Sunshine State might have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to solar energy installations, but it’s now on a fast track toward big improvements.

The tide began turning when Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican with a strong environmental sentiment and an affinity for renewable energy, first took office. Then came the debut earlier this year of Florida’s largest solar array to date, a 250-kilowatt installment in Sarasota County.

And now comes the news that Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Ft. Myers has been singled out by state lawmakers for an $8.5 million allocation to build a 16-acre solar farm on its campus. While the funding still needs a final OK from Crist, who’s likely to approve, the money would help FGCU construct what would be the largest university-based solar farm in the world.

Once the allocation is cleared by the governor, FGCU officials plan to move forward aggressively, with plans to begin construction in October and finish by next summer. Upon completion, the state-funded solar farm is expected to provide 100 percent of the campus’ energy needs.

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The "Local Web"

“We are here to promote that conversation and provide tools for our community to discuss the places that they are passionate about.”

“By looking at local businesses through the lens of the collective community on Local Buzzer, you will always find a place that is new and interesting. We are committed to giving every local business a fair chance at being the next big thing.”

Interesting concept. The only way this will work (and I definitely think it can) is with a nice number of people in one’s local area using it. The bad part about most of the review sites is that you can’t find sites or businesses that haven’t been reviewed. The problem with classifieds and map searches is that they don’t have many, if any, reviews. In theory, Local Buzzer brings the two together into one neat, clean package.

We believe that a community working together will create the best search results. Every user will have the power to suggest new businesses, edit business details, review and rate businesses. We will rank our search results based on the user input for any particular business.

Assuming that they are able to get businesses themselves to be active and participate with the site, this can be a really good thing. It’s like having a free listing, so they should be more inclined to make sure the details are correct. Since it offers reviews, those who know about it will be more inclined to visit often and suggest that their clients check it out.

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The Foreclosures bus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As foreclosed properties stack up in up-market areas of Long Island, New York, one company is capitalizing by taking potential buyers around the empty homes.

Foreclosure tours have sprung up around the United States as more overextended borrowers fail to make monthly payments.

U.S. home foreclosure filings jumped 23 percent in the first quarter from the prior quarter, according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac.

One way to sell properties is to make life easier for potential buyers by ferrying them around in a tour bus. That's hard for people who had properties foreclosed, David Farrell, director of tourism of the Long Island Foreclosure Tours told Reuters TV, but banks need to get the assets off their books.

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Do you work online? You cannot miss...

Multi-service IM
Many people only have an active account with one IM service, often AIM or Yahoo! Messenger. It's nice to not be that person when you want to have an IM conversation. There are a number of applications that will sign you in to accounts on all the major IM platforms every time you open the app. Everything can be made easier with IM, especially phone calls where URLs can be shot back and forth with ease.

By using a cross-service IM client, you'll never have to miss out on an IM conversation with someone else who only has an account on one service.

The first step is to take a few minutes to set up IM accounts on AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and GMail.

Then, get an IM client that will log you into all of those accounts at once. If you're on a Mac check out Adium, on Windows try Miranda. Once you take a few minutes to get this set up, you'll never go back.

Cross Platform Screensharing Tool
WebEx is like Kleenex (a brand name, that is) but it's not the only option for screensharing. Older Macs have a hard time using it. It's really clunky and people who pay for it say it's expensive. None the less, it's really nice to be able to let someone view your screen for a real-time demonstration.

The Mac to Mac screen sharing that iChat offers is really nice, easy and powerful. For the rest of the world though, there's a variety of options. I've been using Yugma lately and it works well for Mac to Windows sharing. Many people really like Yuuguu. What are your favorite tools for this? Whenever I'm looking for a popular way to do almost anything, I start by looking at a URL like

A Custom Search Engine
Google Custom Search Engine lets you paste in a list of URLs and create a "miniature search engine" that brings back results only from those URLs you've selected. I use these all day long, every day. The next time you think "Damn, Marshall sure took some time to research details on this post" - you can know now that it was really just my Custom Search Engines at work.

Here's how you do it. Select some key news and reference sites in your field and set up a CSE for them, drop a link to it in your toolbar and use it whenever you can remember to. It's like an all-natural brain augmentation. My best personal custom search engines are closely guarded resources but try out some of these that we've posted here at RWW and imagine the possibilities. Check out our Mac Rumor Blogs CSE, US Government Watchdog Organization CSE and our very useful CSE of 100 Productivity Sites. You may not work in any of these fields, but ask yourself what the key reference and news sites are in your field and throw them in a CSE. It's super easy.

Is it a stretch to call a CSE essential? Use one for awhile and I think you'll agree that they really can become a key part of your use of the internet. The ROI of employing this tool is higher than almost anything else on the internet, honestly. I can't think of any knowledge worker, in any field, that wouldn't benefit greatly from a well-constructed Custom Search Engine. You can probably make one for yourself in less than 10 minutes.

Every place I work I set up an RSS startpage for myself and my co-workers. Consulting clients, non-profits, anybody I can get my hands on gets a startpage before I'm done with them. I usually use Netvibes just because it's easy to share pages, the OPML handling is pretty good and the mobile version is great. The new Ginger version breaks sharing for some people, though.

I put the highest priority RSS feeds that I subscribe to on that startpage, then put a link to it on my browser toolbar. I click on that maybe once an hour and see if these top sources have anything new. It's quick and easy, much easier than opening up a whole feed reader.

What works well on a startpage? Depending on your job, some things are more important than others to be updated on frequently. Here's what I put on startpages:
Top blogs in your niche
Vendor blogs, press releases
search feeds
* for blogs, yahoo and/or topix for news, for web if you like, for twitter
* try searching for your org name, link to your site, top exec names, competitors names, key terms?

Blog With Your Name and Contact Info
This might seem silly, but everyone should have a blog of some sort. A dynamic web presence with biographical and contact information on it. A search engine-friendly place to let the world know what you're interested in and how to get in touch with you. That's not crazy, it's a real good idea.

Blogging can take more time and energy than most people are willing to expend. How about using Tumblr or putting FriendFeed on a page with your contact info? (Like Robert Scoble does.) However you can get timely, pertinent content up on the web next to your name - you should do it. It's a great way to demonstrate your engagement with your field and your intelligence. If done well, that's far better than most resumes. It also provides great context for people who are just starting to interact with you.

I put my phone number on my personal blog, and I write for the 11th most linked to blog on the web. I get maybe 3 unwanted phone calls a week as a result. That means that just about anyone else should be able to put their phone number and IM on their blogs as well. It's so convenient to be able to get a hold of people in a hurry. When an opportunity arises, do you want to be easy to reach or do you want that opportunity to be taken by someone else who is? Undoubtedly this is a calculation that's clearer for people less subject to harassment based on gender or race, but except in complicating circumstances your personal contact info should be available online if at all possible. Bad things are unlikely to happen.

Those are some of the tools we find most important to use, and that we wish more people we interacted with used. The difference between working with powerful tools and working without them is huge. What would you add to or subtract from this list?

Read Write Web

Good bye Eco-friendly lightbulbs

Eco-friendly lightbulbs are an energy efficient step in the right direction, but it could be that the bulb’s days are numbered. First we had light-emitting wallpaper, and now Saazs’ light-emitting glass plates. Using planilum technology, these plates are the world’s first active light-emitting glass. Incorporated into shelves and tables, the technology provides beautiful, understated lighting for homes and offices.
Co-developed with Saint-Gobain Innovations, Saazs’ designs are the epitome of excellent eco-design: stunning forms that emerge from cutting-edge sustainable design thinking. Christian Biecher, Adrien Gardère and Arik Levy have produced special limited edition designs, with the ‘standard’ series designed by Tomas Erel.
While the unit itself is dazzling, it produces a soothing light that eliminates the need for lampshades, and is better for wellbeing. Environmental improvements are delivered in part by the non-toxic gas employed: a significant improvement over the mercury-infused gas of neon bulbs. The average lifespan of a plate is 50,000 hours, which translates to 20 years of domestic use. And when it does cease to function, 90% of the design can be recycled, as it’s essentially based on glass.
Currently, each 100W plate lights 40 square meters of space, an efficiency halfway between a conventional bulb and a neon light. The company is working to improve the light efficiency of the shelf, aiming to develop plates as effective as a neon light within 3 years, but without neon’s toxicity and somewhat unpleasant light quality and color.

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Free Marijuana

H.R. 5843, The Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults.
Prohibits the imposition of any penalty under an Act of Congress for the possession of marijuana for personal use or for the not-for-profit transfer between adults of marijuana for personal use.

Deems the possession of 100 grams or less of marijuana as personal use (one ounce or less for a not-for-profit transfer between adults).

Allows the imposition of a civil penalty under the Controlled Substances Act for the public use of marijuana if such penalty does not exceed $100.

In principle it is like the use of tobacco.
If people are stupid enough to ruin their health, why should somebody prevent it?

High blood pressure? Listen to Music

Italian researchers have suggested that listening to music on a daily basis can considerably reduce ambulatory blood pressure (ABP).

According to a study presented at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans, listening to classical, Celtic or Indian music for 30 minutes a day for one month is an effective method for reducing blood pressure in individuals with mild hypertension.

Findings showed the method resulted in a three-point drop in the patient's average systolic blood pressure and a four-point drop in the diastolic blood pressure.

The study revealed that listening to music could also slow breathing, which helps reduce the patient's pain and anxiety.

University of Florence scientists concluded that listening to music is a safe, effective and non-pharmacological treatment or a complementary one for hypertension.

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Gomorra the new "Godfather"

Gomorra, the novel of Roberto Saviano is now a major film by Matteo Garrone.
The film is the unpious mirror of Napoli, a city degraded in body and spirit, where the law is the Mafia, the State is the Mafia and the people mostly belong to the Mafia.
Nothing new.
A film without hope and future, just like Napoli.
If you cannot fight the Bad and you cannot show a way out, the movie doesn't have a purpose besides the entertaining part.

Food that heals

The use of herbal treatments for everything from sore throats to cancer has become more and more common with every passing year. We all know about the herbal supplements like St. John’s Wort that can help you with chronic health problems, but did you know that many common edible herbs can provide impressive health benefits?

While you probably already use these herbs in your home, you may not realize that they can do much more than just making your meals tasty and interesting. Here are five common herbs that do double duty as effective herbal treatments.

1. Turmeric. As anyone who has ever treated a head cold with a nice hot Indian meal already knows, turmeric is one of the best healing herbs available to us today. It contains the anti-inflammatory curcumin, which may function in the same way as some pharmaceutical arthritis drugs.

The next time your joints are aching, just have a healthy serving of curry and see if your symptoms respond to the exotic spice. Researchers recommend a daily serving of 400 mg each day.

2. Ginger. Ginger has been well-known as a calmer of upset tummies for many generations. This “old wives’ tale” has actually been proven to be true following several research studies on the effects of ginger ingestion of cruise ship passengers.

Many people around the world also use ginger as a mild pain reliever. For everyday aches or for arthritis pain, fresh or powdered ginger added to food can actually help to reduce your symptoms.

Ginger may also be an effective means of controlling ovarian cancer cells, according to a 2006 study by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. More research is needed, but the preliminary findings are very promising.

3. Cinnamon. Cinnamon was recently studied by German scientists for its effects on people with type 2 diabetes. Amazingly, they found that diabetics could decrease their blood sugar by up to 10% just by taking a cinnamon extract daily. Another study found that cinnamon may help to lower cholesterol as well.

Since cinnamon can be toxic when taken in very large quantities (much more than you would probably be able to eat at once), experts recommend that you use a cinnamon extract rather than actual cinnamon.

4. Garlic. Garlic is truly a super food. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it may even reduce your cancer risk. A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who consumed high doses of garlic had low instances of several types of cancers.

Garlic is known to be extremely useful against bacteria, even those that are resistant to antibiotics. It has antifungal and antiviral properties and may even help to lower cholesterol and prevent strokes.

5. Rosemary. If you have to choose just one herb to help you avoid several different types of cancer, rosemary may be it. Rosemary can actually help to prevent carcinogens that you ingest from binding with your DNA. This can help to prevent the formation of tumors and the eventual development of cancer.

Although human studies have not yet been conducted, preliminary animal studies have shown amazing potential for this common herb. You don’t need to buy any special form of rosemary to get these benefits; simply use rosemary liberally in your cooking along with other beneficial herbs like parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, or thyme.

6. Honey. Honey is commonly used as a digestion aid and to soothe sore tummies and throats. The hydrating qualities of honey are well-known all around the world, and desert travelers have been known to carry honey and water to quench their thirst on long treks.

Honey is used externally as well as internally. Its ability to hydrate skin works even when it is applied topically. Because of this, honey is a common ingredient in many skin treatments, lotions, soaps, and anti-aging skin creams.

Perhaps the most impressive of honey’s abilities is its effectiveness as a burn treatment. Honey helps to soothe the pain of a burn while limiting inflammation and retarding infection.

7. Chili Peppers. Hot peppers are an amazing food that can help you treat any number of common conditions. At home, you can eat them to to clear up a congested head and as a natural pain reliever.

An exciting and often-publicized use for chili peppers is as a metabolism boost. Adding chili peppers to your meals can help you burn more calories, and it is believed that chili peppers can even help you feel fuller after a meal.

8. Olive Oil. This delicious and exotic-tasting oil may help to save your life some day. With regular modest consumption, olive oil can help stop plaque from forming in arteries, thus reducing your risk of heart attacks.

9. Rice. Rice is one of the best-tolerated foods available. It can help to soothe a stomach that is suffering from constipation or diarrhea, and even people suffering from the flu are likely to be able to take some rice. Eating rice regularly can prevent the formation of kidney stones and block some types of intestinal cancers.

10. Parsley. Because it is rich in antioxidants, parsley can help to block certain types of cancers and keep your body’s cells young and healthy. Antioxidants are particularly useful for detoxifying carcinogens, such as the types found in cigarette smoke.

11. Onions (and related plants such as chives, shallots, and leeks). Plants in the onion family have been used as medicines since ancient times. Their properties have been known and enjoyed by cultures all around the world. Their exceptionally high concentration of antioxidants makes onions and related plants ideal for preventing cancer.

Onions and related plants are also a hugely effective treatment for lung disorders such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. They have outstanding anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as antibiotics and antivirals.

12. Lemon. Lemon has a multitude of medicinal uses and has been a prized part of the medicinal kitchen for many generations. It is a general clarifier and purifier, and can be taken to cleanse the body of impurities. It has also been used to treat headaches, arthritis, and pneumonia.

Although it seems counterintuitive (or just plain painful), applying lemon juice to cuts and scrapes is great for preventing infections. The natural antiseptic properties of lemon juice will keep infections at bay and can even reduce the appearance of bruises.

13. Mustard. This humble little plant is commonly used as an expectorant and decongestant. It is antibacterial and can also help to clear nasal passages when one is suffering from a cold or other sinus malady.

Surprisingly, mustard is also used to increase the metabolism. Using plain yellow mustard liberally on foods adds a negligible amount of calories and helps to increase the amount of calories that the body burns.

14. Cloves. Clove oil is used by many cultures as a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory. It is used in many modern toothache remedies to dull the pain and swelling.

15. Apples. An apple a day keeps the cancer away. Regular consumption of apples can block many types of cancer and act as a general health-booster. Apples can reduce appetite and even lower your cholesterol.

16. Kale. Kale has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity lately, and with good reason. It has more lutein than any other vegetable and more beta carotene than spinach. It can help prevent cancer and regulate estrogen in the body.

17. Licorice. Not the licorice candy sold in the United States - this often contains no licorice at all! Real licorice contains a substance that is strongly anti-cancer. Licorice is also antibacterial and can reduce stomach ulcers and diarrhea.

18. Peppermint. Most mints, in fact. The leaves of mint plants are commonly used in teas and medicines to calm upset stomachs, promote sleep, and reduce stress and tension.

19. Horseradish. Like its relative mustard, horseradish is a fantastic tool for fighting digestive disorders. It can be used to treat constipation. It is also a great immune system booster, giving the liver increased power to filter out harmful substances from foods.

20. Avocado. The main ingredient in guacamole isn’t just tasty; it’s the source of lots of “good” fat and can prevent the buildup of “bad” cholesterol. It keeps your heart and circulatory system healthy by preventing the clogging of arteries.

Now that you know the incredible health benefits that some common herbs, spices, and plants can provide, try to incorporate some of them into your everyday eating. You may just find yourself in better health today and in the future.

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How to build your own plane

If you create a new document in Google Docs, you’ll see a number of options in the “File” pull down menu. One of those options, which as far as I can tell wasn’t there yesterday, is “New airplane.” It’s right there after “New document.”

Choosing it opens a new file with folding instructions to build a paper airplane.

Why? Dunno. This is strange even for Google. Even on April Fools.

First reader to print it out, fold it properly, video it actually flying, upload the video on YouTube or any other video sharing service and post a link in the comments below gets a 2GB iPod Shuffle in the color of your choice. And we’ll give a second one to whoever can get the most distance from their plane (this is going to be somewhat subjective, I’ll make the final decision) (this is always entertaining).

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The extinct Tasmanian tiger lives into a mouse

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Texas, USA, have extracted genes from the extinct Tasmanian tiger (thylacine), inserted it into a mouse and observed a biological function – this is a world first for the use of the DNA of an extinct species to induce a functional response in another living organism.
“This is the first time that DNA from an extinct species has been used to induce a functional response in another living organism,” said Dr Andrew Pask, RD Wright Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Zoology who led the research.

“As more and more species of animals become extinct, we are continuing to lose critical knowledge of gene function and their potential.”

“Up until now we have only been able to examine gene sequences from extinct animals. This research was developed to go one step further to examine extinct gene function in a whole organism,” he said.

“This research has enormous potential for many applications including the development of new biomedicines and gaining a better understanding of the biology of extinct animals,” said Professor Richard Behringer, Deputy Head of the Department of Molecular Genetics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, at the University of Texas, who is the corresponding author on the paper.

The last known Tasmanian tiger died in captivity in the Hobart Zoo in 1936. This enigmatic marsupial carnivore was hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 1900s.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When Audience is more important than anything...

"The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today asked Google, the parent company of the popular online video-sharing site, YouTube, to "immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organizations" from YouTube and prevent similar content from reappearing. However, the company immediately refused to comply with his request.
Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) made the request in a letter to Eric Schmidt, the chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Google, in which he said that YouTube "unwittingly, permits Islamist terrorist groups to maintain an active, pervasive and amplified voice despite military setbacks or successful operations by the law enforcement and intelligence communities."

However, YouTube in a response this afternoon, said taking those actions was not so simple and refused to remove all videos mentioning or featuring these groups without consideration of whether the videos were legal, nonviolent or non-hate speech videos."

Green Australia will get greener

Big things are happening in Sydney. First Earth Hour, which began in Sydney, went global last month. Then, the city unveiled its brand new 2030 vision, which outlines the steps that the city will take to reduce its emissions by 60%. And now, a new project planned for the outskirts of the city will become the most sustainable development in Australia. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the new 5.8 hectare (14+ acre) development - a mix of commercial, retail, and residential space - will have contributions from none other than Pritzker Prize winners Foster + Partners and Ateliers Jean Nouvel.

The new development will be located in the old Kent Brewery, just a couple of minutes away from the City’s Central Station. The 250,000 square meter development, managed by Frasers Property, will contain a number of architect designed buildings, a new urban park, and the retention and reuse of over 32 heritage items currently existing on site (some of which you can see in the drawings below.)

The goal of the project is to achieve carbon neutrality. To do so, the intention is to achieve and explore every design method and technology that they can get their hands on from design efficiency, to the addition of green rooftops, smart metering and solar powered lighting in public spaces.

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Boredom could kill you

Monotonous duties switch our brain to "rest mode", whether we like it or not, the researchers report in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

They found mistakes can be predicted up to 30 seconds before we make them, by patterns in our brain activity.

The team hopes to design an early-warning brain monitor for pilots and others in "critical situations".

The scientists say the device would be particularly suitable for monotonous jobs where focus is hard to maintain - such as passport and immigration control.

Mistakes 'foreshadowed'

"We might be able to build a device (that could be placed) on the heads of people that makes these easy decisions," said Dr Eichele, of the University of Bergen, Norway.

"We can measure the signal and give feedback to the user that your brain is in the state where your decisions are not going to be the right one."

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Very often a well performing company IS NOT the one which provides the best products

Companies should provide services or satisfy customers' needs more than concentrating in making products.
The rational way to approach the market should be examining the evolution of lifestyle and consequential needs of the people and satisfying them.
For example in times of scarcity of energy and environemental pollution, the smart company should provide low energy consuming and "green" tools.
What we often see is exactly the opposite.
They create a product and then thanks to a good marketing they create the need.
Very often a well performing company IS NOT the one which provides the best products.

Is there somebody who still doesn't know what a Web Host is?

What is a web host?
It is the easy and affordable way to have your own website accessible on the Internet.
Usually it is provided by a company which rents space on its servers and gives various services in a data centre.
The requirements can be different, ranging from the most simple and basic which is a web page to more complex sites that require database support and application development platforms like PHP or ASP.NET.
For e-commerce it is also required something like SSL.
Some hosts specialize in special software or services.
To find the right web hosting company either you spend a lot of time searching on the Internet, or you can use searchable directories.
If you are looking for detailed explanations from A to Z and a good selection of Web Hosting companies with all features explained Web Hosting Choice is a good guide.
The web hosting sites are listed and rated based on affordability, reliability, uptime and tech support.
They also have a learning area where they explain the basics and guide to choose the best host service tailored to your needs.
And if you are looking for a specific feature you can search the Hosting Directory page.
They aim to provide an easy and free guide for users to choose the right company for their personal or business site, from the small web page to the large e-commerce web site.

The advertising industry has come too far...

When it comes to the online advertising industry, consumers aren't exactly a trusting bunch. That's understood, given the laundry list of companies that have treated user PCs like a battlefield and used consumer privacy as a punching bag. So when a company by the name of NebuAD stated they'd be deploying a new hardware device within ISP networks that would track user behavior, consumers got nervous.

Consumer nerves weren't exactly soothed when reports emerged that in addition to using surveillance hardware to monitor your browsing habits, the company was also involved in an ad injection system that allowed ISPs to insert their own ads into websites (regardless of the existing advertising deals struck between webmaster and other advertisers).

According to Dykes, the company is working with "Multiple tens of ISPs," who have installed, free of charge, deep packet inspection hardware on the ISP network. Deep packet inspection hardware, as the name suggests, analyzes the data and/or header part of a packet, and can track data type based on any number of pre-set criteria.

Originally designed for security purposes, DPI recently found new life in both NebuAD's implementation and in implementation by ISPs as a way to identify and throttle p2p traffic. Deep Packet Inspection is also expected to be at the heart of AT&T's proposed piracy filters.

NebuAD's hardware (each device can handle 10-30k users) tracks every website an ISP user visits, at what speed, and for how long. ISPs pay nothing, do nothing, and in return for the information, get checks mailed to them monthly. In an age where ISPs are terrified of being dumb pipe providers, and are trying to make an additional buck through everything from DNS redirection to car sales, such a user-invisible profit stream is going to prove hugely appealing.

NebuAd doesn't map the URLs visited, just the user interest (think of it as a tick-mark against that interest).

Texas-based ISP Redmoon managed to annoy the entire Internet after they began forcing ads atop existing advertising arrangements. ISP users were not informed, nor were they allowed to opt-out.
The company is not injecting ads over existing advertising relationships, though there are companies who are.

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The secret of endless memory

A program called SuperMemo, has enthusiastic users around the world. They apply it mainly to learning languages, and it's popular among people for whom fluency is a necessity — students from Poland or other poor countries aiming to score well enough on English-language exams to study abroad. A substantial number of them do not pay for it, and pirated copies are ubiquitous on software bulletin boards in China, where it competes with knockoffs like SugarMemo.

SuperMemo is based on the insight that there is an ideal moment to practice what you've learned. Practice too soon and you waste your time. Practice too late and you've forgotten the material and have to relearn it. The right time to practice is just at the moment you're about to forget. Unfortunately, this moment is different for every person and each bit of information. Imagine a pile of thousands of flash cards. Somewhere in this pile are the ones you should be practicing right now. Which are they?

Fortunately, human forgetting follows a pattern. We forget exponentially. A graph of our likelihood of getting the correct answer on a quiz sweeps quickly downward over time and then levels off. This pattern has long been known to cognitive psychology, but it has been difficult to put to practical use. It's too complex for us to employ with our naked brains.

Twenty years ago, Wozniak realized that computers could easily calculate the moment of forgetting if he could discover the right algorithm. SuperMemo is the result of his research. It predicts the future state of a person's memory and schedules information reviews at the optimal time. The effect is striking. Users can seal huge quantities of vocabulary into their brains. But for Wozniak, 46, helping people learn a foreign language fast is just the tiniest part of his goal. As we plan the days, weeks, even years of our lives, he would have us rely not merely on our traditional sources of self-knowledge — introspection, intuition, and conscious thought — but also on something new: predictions about ourselves encoded in machines.

Given the chance to observe our behaviors, computers can run simulations, modeling different versions of our path through the world. By tuning these models for top performance, computers will give us rules to live by. They will be able to tell us when to wake, sleep, learn, and exercise; they will cue us to remember what we've read, help us track whom we've met, and remind us of our goals. Computers, in Wozniak's scheme, will increase our intellectual capacity and enhance our rational self-control.

The reason the inventor of SuperMemo pursues extreme anonymity, asking me to conceal his exact location and shunning even casual recognition by users of his software, is not because he's paranoid or a misanthrope but because he wants to avoid random interruptions to a long-running experiment he's conducting on himself. Wozniak is a kind of algorithmic man. He's exploring what it's like to live in strict obedience to reason. On first encounter, he appears to be one of the happiest people I've ever met.

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The job of the future looks "Greener"

Jobs in the solar business are expected to grow by an average of nearly 50 per cent over the next 12 months, says a new survey of the industry in the San Francisco Bay region and California.

The industry is struggling to fill new solar jobs, according to the joint study by two community colleges in the Bay Area. Solar companies in California currently employ between 16,500 to 17,500 people. Within the next year, another 5,000 positions are being added.

Most of those jobs are in the Bay Area, which has about half of those jobs. Three-quarters of the 77 employers surveyed said they expect to be hiring. But employers say it's increasingly getting more difficult to find qualified entry-level workers. The biggest demand is for workers to install the photovoltaic panels on homes in California.

John Carrese from City College of San Francisco and Jennifer Oliver of West Valley College in Saratoga co-authored the study, which can be read here. (PDF) The jobs pay well, ranging from starting salaries of $31,200 to $60,000. Solar designers and engineers earn a median salary of $83,000.

The industry, which is still dependent on government programs to spur interest in solar panels, is hoping to gain workers from the construction sector that has been sputtering because of the housing slump.

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Is your girlfriend to be a "green"?

1. Don’t pick her up on a first date in the Hummer (or Ferrari or other gas-guzzling monstrosity). You'd think this would be "Eco-101", but I'm surprised at how many of you just...can’t...hold...back. This only reinforces your inadequacies, and I’m not just referring to the ones in the eco-friendly department.

2. Don’t invite her to a BBQ, especially not right after finding out she’s a vegetarian. I know your cousin's hunting skills are amazing - really, I do - but I'm amazingly not interested in eating whatever he's shot. If you must prevail, don’t forget to bring some veggies or something for her to eat so she doesn’t get tipsy on half a glass of wine and leave early with your best friend. I'm speaking hypothetically, of course.

3. Don’t forget to separate paper, plastic and beer bottles. The easiest way to an eco-girl’s heart is to know your way around the all-important triangle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

4. Don’t show up at her place with dinner in plastic or paper instead of the canvas bag she bought for you. Because it took a lot of time to find a sporty, man-friendly style. So long her girlfriends got tired of hearing about it. Again, hypothetically.

5. Don’t get jealous when she’s chatting with the organic produce guy at the Farmers' Market. So local produce turns her on. Accept it. (It's only helping you out.)

6. Don’t fuss about the inconvenience of going green. Inconvenient? Seriously? This one just makes you look inept and helpless - not a good thing, Tarzan.

7. Don’t tell her that hemp is for smoking. Just don't.

8. Don’t ask if she shaves her underarms. Ha, ha. This question guarantees a...sarcastic...retort. Rest assured you won't be around long enough to find out the answer.

9. Don’t engage her in tiresome debates about the value of hybrids just to play devil's advocate in a "spirited intellectual joust". Don’t tell her she’s wasting her time because global warming is happening and there’s no going back. If anyone's exhausting resources, it's you.

10. Don't give her gifts that are bad for the environment and then act hurt and surprised when she is less than thrilled. We women love your romantic efforts and grand gestures - just not grand embarrassments. Diamond, yes. Conventional conflict diamonds, no. Vacation, yes. Private jet ride, no. Linda Loudermilk, yes. A fur coat, no. Sending a hybrid rental when her car breaks down, yes. Sending a Hummer limo to pick her up for the first date, no. (Again, hypothetical.)

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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Are you a Coke or Pepsi drinker? Do you pull into McDonald’s golden arches or prefer to “have it your way” at Burger King? When it comes to toothpaste, which flavor gets you brushing, Colgate or Crest? If you think it’s just your taste buds that guide these preferences, you may be surprised by what neuroscientists are discovering when they peer inside the brain as it makes everyday choices like these.
Don’t worry–no one’s scanning your head as you stand in front of the beverage aisle or sit in line at the drive-through. Instead, brain scientists are asking volunteers to ponder purchasing choices while lying inside high-tech brain scanners. The resulting real-time images indicate where and how the brain analyzes options, weighs risks and rewards, factors in experiences and emotions and ultimately sets a preference. “We can use brain imaging to gain insight into the mechanisms behind people’s decisions in a way that is often difficult to get at simply by asking a person or watching their behavior,” says Dr. Gregory Berns, a psychiatrist at Emory University.
To scientists, it’s all part of the larger question of how the human brain makes decisions. But the answers may be invaluable to Big Business, which plowed an estimated $8 billion in 2006 into market research in an effort to predict–and sway–how we would spend our money. In the past, marketers relied on relatively crude measures of what got us buying: focus-group questionnaires and measurements of eye movements and perspiration patterns (the more excited you get about something, the more you tend to sweat). Now researchers can go straight to the decider in chief–the brain itself, opening the door to a controversial new field dubbed neuromarketing.

For now, most of the research is purely academic, although even brain experts anticipate that it’s just a matter of time before their findings become a routine part of any smart corporation’s marketing plans. Some lessons, particularly about how the brain interprets brand names, are already enticing advertisers.

Whenever it can, it relies on a type of “quick key” that takes advantage of experiences and stored information. That’s where things like brands, familiarity and trust come in–they’re a shortcut for knowing what to expect. “You run from the devil you know,” says Montague. “And you run to the brand that you know, because to sit there and deliberate chews up time, and that makes you less efficient than the next guy.”
That’s certainly music to advertisers’ ears, but, warn neuroscientists, it’s unlikely that our purchasing behavior follows a single pathway. Montague, for one, is investigating how factors like trust, altruism and the feeling of obligation when someone does you a favor can divert and modify steps in the decision-making tree. “The capacity to use brain responses and relate them to behavior has accelerated at a breathtaking pace over the past four years and yielded an incredible amount of information,” he says. How marketers use that data to hone their messages remains to be seen.

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I do not think it remains to be seen. I see it already.
When you see or listen to the same commercial 100 times a day, your brain automatically records it among the important things and the moment you have to make a choice you certainly choose that.
Otherwise, would they spend so much in commercials?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

They all come from the same "six"

Nearly all of today's Native Americans in North, Central and South America can trace part of their ancestry to six women whose descendants immigrated around 20,000 years ago, a DNA study suggests.

Those women left a particular DNA legacy that persists to today in about 95 percent of Native Americans, researchers said.

The finding does not mean that only these six women gave rise to the migrants who crossed into North America from Asia in the initial populating of the continent, said study co-author Ugo Perego.

The women lived between 18,000 and 21,000 years ago, though not necessarily at exactly the same time, he said.

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Once they were three

In its youth our Moon may have once been bracketed by two asteroidal companions, says a new study. From Earth, these tiny moons – up to 100 km wide – would have appeared as two extremely bright stars.

The mathematical modelling study, detailed in the journal Icarus, predicts that the moonlets could have existed for hundreds of millions of years in gravitationally stable zones of equilibrium know as Lagrange points. These are where the gravitational pull of the Earth and Moon is cancelled out, allowing objects (such as research probes) to remain in a long-term stationary orbit.

Lone wolf

Until now, the accepted view had been that our anomalously large Moon had always been a lone wolf. It is believed to have formed some 4.4 billion years ago in the aftermath of a chance encounter between a Mars-sized planetary embryo and our early Earth.

But the paper's co-authors, planetary scientists Jack Lissauer, at NASA Ames Research Centre in Mountain View, California, USA and John Chambers at the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, believe the moonlets (named 'Trojans' after similar captured satellites of Jupiter) may have formed simultaneously with the larger impact.

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Species are getting less and less

The world's species are declining at a rate "unprecedented since the extinction of the dinosaurs", a census of the animal kingdom has revealed. The Living Planet Index out today shows the devastating impact of humanity as biodiversity has plummeted by almost a third in the 35 years to 2005.

The report, produced by WWF, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network, says land species have declined by 25 per cent, marine life by 28 per cent, and freshwater species by 29 per cent.

Jonathan Loh, editor of the report, said that such a sharp fall was "completely unprecedented in terms of human history". "You'd have to go back to the extinction of the dinosaurs to see a decline as rapid as this," he added. "In terms of human lifespan we may be seeing things change relatively slowly, but in terms of the world's history this is very rapid."

And "rapid" is putting it mildly. Scientists say the current extinction rate is now up to 10,000 times faster than what has historically been recorded as normal.

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The Movie that came from the cold

Thousands of pre-1951 movies captured on volatile nitrate film are kept in frigid, low-humidity vaults in a modest cinderblock building owned by the George Eastman House Museum on the piney outskirts of Rochester. Cold storage saves them from rotting away within a lifetime or, worse yet, burning up.

In most cases, these are original camera negatives from the first half-century of motion pictures, classics such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind," the silent era's top-grossing "Big Parade," Lon Chaney in "The Phantom of the Opera" and Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 version of "The Ten Commandments."

While even the best-kept vintage reels are starting to buckle with age, a beloved movie's master negative is a sacred object that would cost untold millions to replace.

Much of that value lies in its power to produce the finest-quality copies, be it on 35mm film, Blu-ray DVD or some dazzling format that pops up in, say, the early 26th century.

"I really hope that 500 years from now people can still look at this because it's wonderful stuff," Deborah Stoiber, vault manager at Eastman's Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center, said during an inspection of one of 12 dark vaults kept refrigerated year-round at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 percent humidity.

On the shelves of this climate-controlled celluloid nursing home are prized Technicolor films such as "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Little Women"; silent gems starring Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo; a Lumiere brothers' chronicle of President McKinley's inauguration parade in 1897; and "Olympia," a Nazi propaganda feature on the 1936 Berlin Olympics shot by Adolf Hitler's filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl.

The magical way in which a chilly, dry setting retards shrinking, fading or "nitric melt" inevitably raises concern about the long-term survival of other vulnerable pieces of the world's film heritage, from safety-based acetate stock adopted in the 1950s to television recordings to flimsy digital-video cassettes.

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There is not such a thing like a FREE MEDIA

The press is owned by wealthy people who only want certain things to reach the public.
When you go through the elite education system, when you go through the proper schools in Oxford, you learn that there are certain things it’s not proper to say and there are certain thoughts that are not proper to have. That is the socialization role of elite institutions and if you don’t adapt to that, you’re usually out.

"Nobody ever tells me what to write. I write anything I like. All this business about pressures and constraints is nonsense because I’m never under any pressure."

Which is completely true, but the point is that the people who say that wouldn’t be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing.
If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. The same is mostly true of university faculty in the more ideological disciplines. They have been through the socialization system.

What do you expect the news to be like? Well, it’s pretty obvious. Take the New York Times. It’s a corporation and sells a product.
The product is audiences. They don’t make money when you buy the newspaper.
They are happy to put it on the worldwide web for free. They actually lose money when you buy the newspaper. But the audience is the product. The product is privileged people, just like the people who are writing the newspapers, you know, top-level decision-making people in society. You have to sell a product to a market, and the market is, of course, advertisers (that is, other businesses). Whether it is television or newspapers, or whatever, they are selling audiences. Corporations sell audiences to other corporations. In the case of the elite media, it’s big businesses.

This whole topic is completely taboo. If you go to the Kennedy School of Government or Stanford, or somewhere, and you study journalism and communications or academic political science, and so on, these questions are not likely to appear. That is, the hypothesis that anyone would come across without even knowing anything that is not allowed to be expressed, and the evidence bearing on it cannot be discussed.

There are basically three currents to look at. One is the public relations industry, you know, the main business propaganda industry. So what are the leaders of the PR industry saying? Second place to look is at what are called public intellectuals, big thinkers, people who write the "op eds" and that sort of thing. What do they say? The people who write impressive books about the nature of democracy and that sort of business. The third thing you look at is the academic stream, particularly that part of political science which is concerned with communications and information and that stuff which has been a branch of political science for the last 70 or 80 years.

So, look at those three things and see what they say, and look at the leading figures who have written about this. They all say (I’m partly quoting), the general population is "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders." We have to keep them out of the public arena because they are too stupid and if they get involved they will just make trouble. Their job is to be "spectators," not "participants."

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Nobody ever asked why usually people are too stupid?
Stupidity is not something you are born with, as blue eyes or black hair.
It is rather something you achieve.
The best way is JUST looking, or reading or listening to what the MEDIA wants you to look or to listen or to read.
Most of us are trapped in meaningless work and compulsive comsumption in a technologized society whose politics and morals have become corrupt.