News

Did Ya Know - About Chocolate


* Eating one chocolate chip can give you enough energy to walk 150 feet.


* Some have said that chocolate can cure hangovers.


* Almost 40% of all cocoa beans come from the Ivory Coast.


* The country that eats the most chocolate per person is Switzerland. The U.S. is 15th.


* Chocolate is a health food! There have been studies showing that chocolate helps with memory, attention, reaction time, and other activities. It is also believed to help during pregnancy. (No surprise there!). And it contains antioxidants.


Chocolate Facts

09/21/2014 1:43 pm Link ID: 09212014-150


News

Did Ya Know - About Coffee


* All the coffee in the world is grown within 1000 miles of the equator, an area known as the "bean belt". 80% of it is produced on family farms of just 12 acres of less.


* A 16-ounce coffee at Starbucks contains the caffeine equivalent of 9.5 cans of Coke.


* The only US state that grows coffee in Hawaii.


* 80 countries produce coffee but the biggest producer is Brazil, who provides 33% of all coffee.


* About 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide.


* The Netherlands drinks the most coffee per person. After that comes Finland and Sweden. The U.S. is 16th.


* Musicians Bach and Mozart were coffee-freaks. They drank a lot of it.


25 Coffee Facts


09/21/2014 1:39 pm Link ID: 09212014-149


News

Diet Sodas Linked with Heart Disease, Well, Sort Of


"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess."

That old conundrum of correlation vs. causation is back again. CNBC had an article that was picked up by several local news outlets, Diet Drinks Linked with Heart Disease, Death. Except, when you read the article, that's not really what it's saying.


The findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don't suggest that the drinks themselves are killers. But women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits, experts say.


Oh, so there is a CORRELATION between Diet Drinks and other unhealthy habits. Maybe there is also a correlation between unhealthy habits and the television shows people watch, or the kind of cars they drive.


The women who drank the most drinks were also more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to have diabetes and to have high blood pressure.


Wow, are they saying that the diet drinks caused the smoking, the weight, and/or diabetes?


The news media loves a sensational headline. But in this story the facts to back it up are laughable at best. Statistics are an abused science.



09/10/2014 1:00 am Link ID: 09102014-115


Tech

Will tablets replace the desktop?


The short answer is - Not right away. The desktop has more memory, and the ability to add unlimited external storage. (Of course, the cloud is making internal storage less necessary).

But there is also the advantage of a large, ergonomic keyboard, and a large monitor that stands at eye level in front of me.

The tablet isn't close to that. But it may change when younger generations grow up with tablets and touch screens. The keyboard may seem archaic to them. And the idea of sitting at a desk with a large screen in front of you may look like something their Grandparents did.

We don't know the effect of these technology changes. Those of us who are older have adapted the technology to the way we are used to working. But young children today are getting used to newer devices and they will likely change work to conform to their devices, not the other way around.

Too bad we can't peek into the future.

09/09/2014 2:05 pm Link ID: 09092014-31


Entertainment

Looking for Entertainment


An interesting article recently, Scarcity is a Sh***y Business Model reinforces the ideas I have had written about - that there is a shortage of good content. At a time when there are more ways to get content than ever before, we still have only the same few sources of content. When I want to relax and watch something, I have TV, including cable, and the latest Hollywood movies. But video content is really lacking. There are a lot of talented amateurs on YouTube, but these are short and sometimes hard to find with the mountains of submissions. The market for longer products, the length of a TV show, for example, or of serialized content, is very real but not being exploited.

There is no shortage of books to read. My Kindle is has a huge library I may never finish reading.

UPDATE: Hulu Plans to Produce Original Shows . Like HBO and Showtime and other cable channels, they are expanding into original content.

The amateur producer doesn\'t have the budget of the big name producers, but I would rather have more content and less gloss. I am convinced there is a huge pool of talent out there that isn\'t being tapped. Companies like Apple, with iTunes, and Amazon should be as proactive with TV and film submissions as Amazon is with seeking independent writers.

09/09/2014 11:41 am Link ID: 09092014-59


Tech

Convergence of Apps and Ebooks


There is a convergence coming between ebooks, mobile apps and video. I should add newspapers and magazines as well. With the introduction of the Amazon Fire, ebooks can start to resemble apps. There will be color, animation and maybe even interactivity.

I love my Kindle. It's great for reading text. The e-ink is fantastic. But if I am reading something with graphics and color, I will use the Kindle app on my iPad or iPhone or my desktop. These devices handle color graphics just fine.

But the Kindle Fire will take e-reading to another level. It will have apps available. These will be Android based in the app store. But the Fire will be able to do justice to well designed HTML5 apps.

The Amazon Silk, the browser that will ship with the Fire, supports Webkit. That will enable apps with rich graphics and designs. But Amazon has already announced KF8, the new html and css based spec that Kindle ebooks will use for new books that are rich in graphics. The line between a book and an app will start to blur. The Kindle Fire will have comic books available to read. These wouldn't work well at all on the original Kindle.


09/08/2014 9:37 pm Link ID: 09082014-29


Tech

Amazon Fire and the Tablet Market


Tablets devices are the future. Smartphones have been the rage when there wasn't anything else. But tablets are far better for most any app than a smartphone. As tablets become more commonplace, smartphones may go back to being phones.

In addition to making phone calls, I use my iPhone to check the weather, run some numbers in the calculator, and, of course, take pictures. The smartphone is useful for it size when the situation is not good for carrying a large tablet. When I am out shopping, I can use my iPhone to check prices at other locations, and I can get a map to that other store location. This is a convenience, but it I am at my desk, out at a coffee shop, or any where else where carrying a tablet isn't a problem, then the large screen and browser of the tablet is a much better experience. I think of my iPhone as a convenience for when I am out and about. I can pull it out of my pocket or purse quickly.

But the screen is too small for reading text with more than a few lines. And the design of web pages is distorted for most viewing. And it goes without saying that any entry of text is a pain.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my iPhone. But now I love my iPad more. I can make and get calls and text messages on my iPhone, but just about everything else is better on a tablet.



09/08/2014 8:11 pm Link ID: 09082014-17


Tech

Amazon Fire TV


Amazon has releases it's waited for TV box. It's called Amazon Fire TV and it only costs $99.00.


It has access to Amazon Streaming Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.


It has voice activation and can include a game console. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can watch your Prime Video on your TV.


Take a look at Amazon Fire TV

09/08/2014 2:16 pm Link ID: 09082014-119


News

Amazing Film of San Francisco before the Earthquake


SanFrancisco Cable Car - 1906, just days before earthquake.

What is fascinating is that there were no traffic rules. The only vehicle travelling in a straight line is the cable car. The fact that this was four days before the earthquake and fire makes it poignant as well as historical.


It is estimated that 3,000 people died. Over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. This film shows a world that disappeared just days later.



09/08/2014 10:36 am Link ID: 09082014-135


News

U.K. Newsreel Archive loaded to YouTube


British Pathé, the U.K. newsreel archive company, has uploaded its entire 100-year collection of 85,000 historic films in high resolution to YouTube. The collection has film from 1896 to 1976.


Some of the older films include the New York Fire Brigade 1893 and actual footage from the Battle of the Somme




09/08/2014 10:35 am Link ID: 09082014-134


Tech

More Girls Should Be Entering Tech Careers


There was an article this morning on Why Girls Don't Want Careers in Tech. As a women in tech for many years I was curious to see their explanation. I am aware that men outnumber women in tech careers. And it seems to correlate with the larger reality of fewer women in science fields. But why?

The article says that women want more creative jobs and they see tech as mechanical and non-creative. Of course, that is not true. I find software design and development to be very creative. Web design, with CSS3 and HTML5 is highly creative. But it that isn't the image that tech presents. There is a public image of a computer programmer that is young, male and nerdy. As a woman, I have often had to fight that stereotype when apply for jobs. People see a woman and the word "tech" doesn't come to mind. I don't "look" like a techie.

We need to get the word out that tech is fun and very creative. And we need to change the image of the tech-guy as a propeller head. Women are good at communication and talking to users about what they want is an important skill.

09/07/2014 8:21 am Link ID: 09072014-12


Tech

Will Robots Take Our Jobs?


What if technology has become a substitute for labor, rather than its complement?

Automation has created as many jobs as it has eliminated, so far. But there is a growing concern that robots and computers will take away more jobs than they replace. Certainly, the new jobs involved in managing automation are better paying than many of the jobs being replaced, but they also require more skill.


Clerical work was taken over by computers some time ago. Many paper-handlers have had to learn new jobs. But this has also created new jobs in tech support and programming. The bean-counters use Excel instead of ledger paper. They have become proficient in several software apps. People have learned new skills to keep themselves valuable.


Assembly line work used to be considered tedious and de-humanizing. But then it started to pay well, especially in the automotive industry. It was ripe for take over by robots and it has displaced workers. Robots are even doing jobs in the military. And this is expected to increase. The goal is to replace infantry troops with robots. And how will that change warfare? Is there even a reason to have soldiers (robots) shooting at each other, or is cyberwar where we are going. Why shoot at an armed robot when I can mess with its software and make it harmless?


The possibilities are beyond the technology. The social, political and economic issues are just starting to be discovered.


Humans have five core competencies as far as the world of work is concerned:

* Moving things with large muscles.

* Finely manipulating things with small muscles.

* Using our hands, mouths, brains, eyes, and ears to ensure that ongoing processes and procedures happen the way that they are supposed to.

* Engaging in social reciprocity and negotiation to keep us all pulling in the same direction.

* Thinking up new things – activities that produce outcomes that are necessary, convenient, or luxurious – for us to do.


Machines have largely taken over the first two skills. And I don't ever think machines will replace the fifth item. Creativity and new ideas don't exist in machines, at least none that I have ever seen. In spite of their speed of calculation, they are really not smart, not in the sense that a creative person is smart.


Societies adapt to disruptive changes. Sometimes, like our present, the changes are happening very fast the the societal norms are playing catch-up. But we have started to anticipate rapid change. I don't see robots taking over and leaving us to starve. We will adapt and not let that happen. The key word is "ADAPT", something a machine can't do without human intervention.

09/06/2014 10:43 am Link ID: 09062014-132


Environment

Green Energy Fallacies


The predictions of the last several decades, of dooom and gloom because we are not good guardians of mother earth, have all failed to come true. Let's list a few:


What happened to Nuclear Winter?


In the 1970's and even into the 1980's, there were dire predictions that pollution in the air would block out the sun and bring record cold. Growing seasons would be terribly shortened and food would become scarce. As the cold continued, energy consumption would skyrocket, and since fossils fuels were running out, they told us, we were doomed to freeze to death in the dark.


Now, of course, this same airbourne polution is heating the earth. It is trapping the earth's heat and we are heating up. The scary story continues that the polar ice caps will melt and flood all the coastlines.


What about the longer growing seasons that will result from more heat? And warmer nighttime temperatures? Oh, they never mention that. It is all doom and gloom all the time. No matter what the situation, we are all doomed.


What do the environmentalists gain from all this scary talk? Well, it reduces the drive toward innovation and modernity. It allows governmental bodies to control areas of private life that were unimaginable just a short time ago. They are the pied pipers that we need to follow.




09/05/2014 5:27 pm Link ID: 09052014-84


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