Google's Drunk Cars

Google has been building and testing driver-less cars. Today, the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt dropped this gem:

"Our computers drive our cars better than you do when you're drunk. That's our starting point."

Tesla Asks for More of Your Money

I am no fan of Tesla Motors. I think it is a hype machine which never should have been allowed to go public, never should have received government funding and never should be allowed to hold another press conference for cars which don't exist.

Let me reiterate - this is a company which has always lost money - generally huge sums of money - and has only built and sold 1,800 cars. Those cars are essentially Lotus designed and built, other than a battery pack of 6,000 laptop batteries.

And yet, in the last round of idiotic loans to undeserving "green" companies, Tesla was given $465 million dollars. And now, it is going back to the well, and in the middle of a massive economic crises where the last goddamn thing we need is expensive electric toys for the super rich or mathematically challenged (or both), they are asking for more government funding.

They have not disclosed how much they are asking for, or even why they are asking - but they are asking. Supporters of the company think it is for it's new "affordable" sedan (rumored to cost only $40,000 or so). Others, including me, think that just like Bricklin's EV-1, Tesla has no where near the amount of capital needed to build a real brand (not a toy for the super rich), and will most likely go bankrupt before it goes mainstream.

Anyway - there are liberals out there whining that losses are the price of innovation. That is what the market is for you fucking assholes. Why the hell is the government getting involved you Ayn Rand villain idiots?

As a side note, a Tesla costs $110,000. That is twice what the car it is based on, the Lotus Elise (and it is a much better, more fun to drive car), plus 450,000 miles of gasoline. Yes - 450k, as in almost half a million miles. And don't give me "its better for the environment" - it isn't. You could use that money and buy thousands of tons of carbon credits, or plant a few thousand trees, and still have enough gas left over for 100k miles of driving.

Barebones under $200 PC - Which Works

Just put this together as a possible PC for a home media server - all from Newegg

Basically, while these are "low end" specs these days - it would still be a highly capable machine, with the exception that it would not really be capable of HD video.


Qty.Product DescriptionSavingsTotal Price
Foxconn SFF R10-G4 Intel Core 2 Quad/Duo / Pentium Dual-Core/ Celeron up to 65W Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel G41 Barebone
Foxconn SFF R10-G4 Intel Core 2 Quad/Duo / Pentium Dual-Core/ Celeron up to 65W Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel G41 Barebone
Item #: N82E16856119045
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$99.99
$69.99
CORSAIR 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model VS1GB667D2
CORSAIR 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model VS1GB667D2
Item #: N82E16820146580
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$13.99
Intel Celeron E3400 Wolfdale 2.6GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80571E3400
Intel Celeron E3400 Wolfdale 2.6GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80571E3400
Item #: N82E16819116348
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

$49.99
Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT 320GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT 320GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136280
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$5.00 Instant
$59.99
$54.99
Subtotal:$188.96

Lighting the Kindling on Fire

First... read this on what I think the Kindle Fire will mean for the industry

But second - here are my thoughts on the device itself rather than the overall industry implications. Amazon got it right: tablets don't sell on specs. Hardware only sells on specs when all else remains equal: the heyday of this was windows 98 beige and then black boxes which were indistinguishable other than ever improving hardware. In tablets, all else is not equal. There is a big difference between different mobile OS's, and only one of them which is really, fully, properly optimized for tablets (and sadly, that one is not webOS on a TouchPad... or even XDA flavored green robots... damn you Apple)...

And Kindle OS might be the second. Ok ok, Kindle is not an OS per se - it is built on Android. But that is like saying the Karmann Ghia is a VW Beetle underneath - which it is, but it is oh so much more sexy.

File:VW Karmann Ghia in São Paulo, Brazil.jpg

No one will really know or care that it is running android underneath, other than the fact that it is simple to use, reminds them of their phones, and they can run most of the same apps.

But the big difference is the Amazon browser - which uses Amazon's army of servers and advanced tech in the underpinnings of the web to -- according to them - no one has really tested it yet -- deliver a much faster and better web. I believe them. One of the issues is that flash on webKit browsers... well... sucks. The Pre was the first phone in the world to get it. Then android got it, and everyone said it would be an iPhone killer and really... no one ended up caring, because it is sort of useless. I think this browser, Silk, will really change the way that tablets use the web, and for the better.

Finally, I just want to say its kind of interesting that the hardware (made by Quantas, a huge OEM) is basically identical to the BlackBerry Playbook... and Amazon is selling it for only $199, when the playbook came out at twice that.

Is Amazon going to loose money on every Fire sold? Probably, to start off with. But for all the reasons I gave here, they can afford to do so.

The Land Before Time: GeoCities

Yes, it is getting to the point that you can look back on the early internet with nostalgia. That was certainly my reaction to seeing this. That, and how the hell this was sold for $3.5 billion... (then again - if facebook just fades away, that would be pretty much the same).

Untitled from deletedcity on Vimeo.


Little Green Robots Grow Huge On Black Berries



Ok... the title is kind of more exciting than the post... but basically, Android keeps gaining market share, while Apple stagnates, BlackBerry collapses and "other" (including my beloved webOS.... *tear* ...) loses out.

Nielsen survey

So is it going to be a little green robot world? Are we seeing the rise of another Windows? Are we all going to have to suffer through years of limited innovation and poor customer support? (Does Google even do customer support..... ???)

The short answer is "No."

Windows 7 is good and windows 8 looks fantastic. There of course is always the iPhone for the hipsters and  follower types (which I will admit is a good product, just so hamstrung I would never want one) and of course....



Why "$2/day" Prepaid Cellphones are a Lie

My new phone (the Motoroloa Photon 4G from Sprint) has some serious issues. Sometimes it just decides to be an asshole for a few hours, and in that time it will do nothing except restart and get stuck at the sprint launch screen (which ironically is just a big "NOW"...)

So, I was in Target yesterday and I picked up a $10 AT&T prepaid phone. I chose AT&T because every other phone was $30 or more, this ancient candybar was on clearance for $10, and I really did not care what phone I got. All four major carriers offered $2/day plans (Sprint = Boost in this case) so I figured I would be paying the same (as clearly - the phones I was looking at were not capable of data anyway).

As the carriers often do stack up, "$2/day" gets you very different things

Sprint = Unlimited Calling, Texting, and Data (!!!)
T-Mobile = Unlimited Calling, Texting
AT&T = Unlimited Calling, Texting
Verizon = Unlimited Calling and a free punch in the face

Though Boost was clearly the best deal, I went with AT&T for the clearance phone - only $10. I entered the code which activated me on the "$2/day" plan, and then called to "add money" to my account.

Here is where the bullshit starts. It turns out that on AT&T Go, the minimum amount of money you can add is $15 (on a $2/day plan that does not even make any sense). But the kicker? You only have 30 days to use that money. So if you were buying the phone to be a backup or spare as I was, it is completely fucking useless. By the time you go to use the phone, it almost certainly has expired. And if I need to use my $2/day plan, then I would probably end up paying $15 for that day, because I would not need that phone again within 30 days.

Turns out that Boost gives you 90 days, minimum payment is $10, and of course includes unlimited data for the same price.

Screw you AT&T


Reno Air Crash




I debated whether to post it, because I find the image pretty disturbing, but also very interesting. I love air shows and air races. I love the concept of the rocket racing league and the Red Bull air races.

But, this brings home just one more time why aircraft are so damn scary. When things go wrong in the air, everything can go to hell very quickly.

Which is what happened at Reno. The modified P-51 mustang was rebuilt for racing, which means it was more tail heavy and had shorter wings. It also meant that the aircraft could hit around 500mph. Current thinking is that an elevator trim tab (which basically holds control surfaces in a certain place so that the pilot does not have to) broke off, causing the aircraft to pitch up, the (72yr old) pilot to black out and the plane to dive in to the stands, killing 10 and injuring 66.

I don't know what pre-flight inspections are done, what kind of g's pilots must be capable of handling, or how close to the course the stands were set up, but it seems pretty clear it was not enough.

The $4.6 Million $2,500k Car

Indian company Tata has built a completely over the top version of its $2,500 people's car, the Nano.

This thing would make 50 Cent blush:



That is a tiny little Nano covered in 176 pounds of gold (22 karats) , 33 pounds of silver and studded with more than 10,000 precious stones and gems. BLING.

The net result is a car which is worth $2,500k or so originally being worth $4.6 million instead. So you could buy this, or 4 Bugatti Veyrons....

MMMmmmmm


Of course, the reason for all this extravagance is that the Tata family is celebrating a little anniversary for its Gold Plus jewelry stores....

As in, the family is saying this year marks the 5,000th anniversary of the business. I wonder what the grand opening looked like...
Trust the monkey scales, and yes, I am three times larger than you

Forgive Student Loans = Fucking Stupid Liberals

Got this one from freakonomics, but I would have put it the same way myself. The concept of forgiving student loans is just to appease useless young liberal college grads who have somehow gotten it into their heads that they represent the majority or what is "normal" in this country, and are some kind of driving force of anything other than idiotic iPhone photos

The main product of 18-35yr old liberals



Let’s look at this through five separate lenses:
  1. Distribution: If we are going to give money away, why on earth would we give it to college grads? This is the one group who we know typically have high incomes, and who have enjoyed income growth over the past four decades.  The group who has been hurt over the past few decades is high school dropouts.
  2. Macroeconomics: This is the worst macro policy I’ve ever heard of. If you want stimulus, you get more bang-for-your-buck if you give extra dollars to folks who are most likely to spend each dollar. Imagine what would happen if you forgave $50,000 in debt. How much of that would get spent in the next month or year? Probably just a couple of grand (if that). Much of it would go into the bank. But give $1,000 to each of 50 poor people, and nearly all of it will get spent, yielding a larger stimulus. Moreover, it’s not likely that college grads are the ones who are liquidity-constrained. Most of ‘em could spend more if they wanted to; after all, they are the folks who could get a credit card or a car loan fairly easily. It’s the hand-to-mouth consumers—those who can’t get easy access to credit—who are most likely to raise their spending if they get the extra dollars.
  3. Education Policy: Perhaps folks think that forgiving educational loans will lead more people to get an education. No, it won’t. This is a proposal to forgive the debt of folks whoalready have an education. Want to increase access to education? Make loans more widely available, or subsidize those who are yet to choose whether to go to school. But this proposal is just a lump-sum transfer that won’t increase education attainment. So why transfer to these folks?
  4. Political Economy: This is a bunch of kids who don’t want to pay their loans back. And worse: Do this once, and what will happen in the next recession? More lobbying for free money, rather than doing something socially constructive.  Moreover, if these guys succeed, others will try, too. And we’ll just get more spending in the least socially productive part of our economy—the lobbying industry.
  5. Politics: Notice the political rhetoric?  Give free money to us, rather than “corporations, millionaires and billionaires.”  Opportunity cost is one of the key principles of economics. And that principle says to compare your choice with the next best alternative.  Instead, they’re comparing it with the worst alternative.  So my question for the proponents: Why give money to college grads rather than the 15% of the population in poverty?
Conclusion: Worst. Idea. Ever.

Why your phone is Dead



Yup. That's why. It's why Seidio has become my favorite aftermarket accessory company, and why micro-usb chargers have taken over my house like kudzu weeds.

Amazon Tablet: The Death of Apple, Netflix and Walmart and Google?

Ok ok, Amazon is not likely to knock four modern titans out of the ring with its first tablet... but think about what Amazon can leverage when it brings a tablet to the market.

It already does streaming video, with an improving selection (while Netflix is making a string of dubious decisions). Amazon will tightly integrate Prime streaming into the heavily-skinned version of Android, making Prime the go-to streaming video system.

It is the worlds biggest online market place, with Amazon Prime offering near-instant gratification, all from your couch. This means that Wal-Mart, already hurting as it is not longer seen as a price leader, will get hit as it become ever easier to impulse buy from your couch (already pretty damn easy with my netbook or my Photon - one click ordering and 2-day delivery? I love it).

It already has the second-largest and (in my opinion) best android marketplace, doing a capable and high-quality end-run around Google to get a share of developer dollars. While it is going to run Android, Amazon is not working with Google at all, which means the tablet will not be "official" android and will not have access to the Google android market. Does this matter? My current tablet is an Entourage Pocket Edge - which can only get Amazon apps, not Google, and I am happy with the Amazon selection.

It builds the Kindle and is the undeniable leader in the eReader space, and will likely be able to leverage that into a unique and highly capable tablet, while leveraging the above three points to bring it to market at a significantly reduced cost (most expect $250). Can Apple do that? Kind of, because of the app store and iTunes. But will Apple do that? No. They are a premium product. Always have been. And that will be their downfall, because eventually, Android will become easier to use, Amazon will integrate all of its services well, and Apple will continue to demand unreasonable terms from developers, content providers, and customers.

So there you have it. The Amazon tablet will shake up the world as we know it.

Fossil Working on my Watch

What sucks about modern smartphones? They are always in your pocket, beeping. You are sitting there in your meeting/diner with your wife/movie/class/sex and your phone is beeping at you or vibrating like a coin-op motel bed from the 50's, and you have no damn idea why. But you really really want to know why. This could be the big one, the text that changes your life, the email from the one that got away, publisher's clearing house finally (finally!!) coming through.

This really happens. Promise.
So what do you have to do? You have to take your phone out of your pocket, hit the power button, and if you don't have webOS, you have to hit a couple more buttons just to read the damn text or email.

Not to mention,  you have to go through most of that just to tell the time...

Enter the smart-watch. I dont want my watch to be my cellphone, too many problems with that. But a watch add-on to a cellphone? Perfect. All i want it to do is connect via bluetooth 2.0 (ultra low power) and show texts and emails on my watch and let me click through them and mark them read. That's all I want.

Meta Watch, a carve-out of Fossil (which you might remember used to be the biggest maker of Microsoft smart-watches back when 2-way pagers were wicked cool) just got bought by some ex-Nokia guys... and they are planning on launching just what I want later this year. 

It even looks pretty good.

The big downside? They want $200... which is what my Moto Photon cost me, and for that price, I could get all kinds of cool gadgets. Anyway, first adopters, get your wallets out. I want my $50 watch accessory.

The Rocket to Nowhere

I'm confused
NASA is building a new rocket. And by new rocket, I mean a bastard child of the space shuttle and the cancelled Constellation program. The new rocket is called the Space Launch System, and its purpose is... 

ummm... 

this is awkward. 

It turns out that NASA has no damn clue what they are going to use it for. Literally, they say "we might use it for a variety of future projects." In the mean time, we are using Soyuz to get to and from the ISS, and we are planning on using SpaceX in the future for trips to our floaty home away from home. In addition, the Europeans, a variety of NewSpace companies, and little Boeing/Lockheed United Launch Alliance are planning on building crew capsules to pair with existing launch systems (read:rockets).

So what the fuck are we using this thing for?

"Today NASA unveiled the design of a new rocket to help the agency meet a challenge from President Obama: send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars by the mid-2030s. Called the Space Launch System (SLS), the new heavy-lift launch vehicle will cost $18 billion, with its first test flight planned for 2017."

Oh sweet jesus. We are using it because Obama challenged us to make it to Mars by the middle of the century! I have not been so fired up since Chrysler offered $2,000 off the Sebring. 
Please buy me. Please. 
Seriously though, the only reason we are building this thing is because certain senators wanted to preserve space shuttle jobs in a recession. So we are literally building a rocket to nowhere, just so that workers in Florida don't have to find new jobs. At the same time, NASA is being forced to massively cut back its science budget. And while there are Constellation/Orion/SLS supporters at NASA, most there see it as a jobs program, not a legitimate science mission. 

whatthefuckasaurus

Carbon Nanotubes do it again

They are everywhere. Or really, sadly, they are nowhere, yet.

Carbon nanotubes promise so much, but have yet to really come through in a lot of key areas.

However, in one, there has been a major breakthrough.

Researchers have now figured out how to make carbon nanotubes "just so" in order to conduct as much electricity as massive copper cables.
Just so
Here is the original article:
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/38615/?p1=A1

But basically, big deal is that pretty much everything could get smaller, lighter, and more efficient.

Oh yeah, and these guys would be spared the trouble of fighting off a jackass utility company:
Live Free of Fry

Doody Calls - Freaking Hilarious

Great franchising opportunity for all of you out there.. only $50k in startup and endless shit to take care of.. .

http://franchising.doodycalls.com/

Really, how the hell can that make money? Unless people are willing to spend way more than they should instead of buying a $15 pooper scooper and a bucket... if you can't handle the poop, you might want to reconsider that whole pet-ownership thing.

The Euro: Why it was dumb, is dumb, and will always be dumb

Back in high school, I competed in a national economics challenge. At one point, I was asked by judges whether I thought the Euro was a good idea. I told them I thought it was a terrible idea, because it meant tying completely different kinds of economies together with the same monetary policy. This works only if you can enforce absolute fiscal responsibility, which is like saying "temporary teachers can be effective, as long as the class behaves". Yeah...

The ECB and EU never really put a whole lot of muscle behind auditing and enforcing the regulations about fiscal policy, because everything was going well. And I have to admit that there have been times in the last decade where I seriously questioned whether I was wrong, whether I should support the common currency (in Europe, I never once considered supporting it for the UK - keep it the hell off our island). Ireland was doing incredibly well, Spain, Greece and Portugal were all improving, and the common currency seemed to be working. Reduced barriers to entry I figured were a good thing, and the rigorousness of the inflation-targeting ECB would actually be a good thing for a lot of traditionally high-inflation economies. Though this was sad news for all the Italians who did not get to be billionaires anymore.

But my initial presumption turned out to be correct, it just took a big enough swing in the business cycle (and some seriously stupid regulation on our side of the pond - here's looking at you Bill Clinton, Fannie and Freddie) to show that inflation-targeting while a bubble is bursting is all well and good... if you are not running massive debt. Whoops.

I just don't see how the Euro can survive. It makes no sense. And in a bigger sense, I am not convinced the EU should survive in its current form. Brussels is pretty goddamn useless, unless you think arbitrary rules without representation are useful.

And now, the EU is going after London as the financial center of the EU, because it is not within the Eurozone. They are trying to pass a regulation which makes it impossible for clearing houses (central counter-parties which make modern financial markets possible) to be based in non-Euro countries if they are handling over 5% of a market's transactions. For the first time a member state has had to sue the ECB.

All I can say? The Euro was a dumb idea. I am very happy the pound stands strong (ok.. not strong... but a hell of a lot better than the Euro). The Euro should die, Germany should introduce it's Thaler (alternative common currency managed by Germany) and periphery countries should manage their own monetary policy unless they can really (and keeping only one set of books - big challenge though that will be for the Mediterranean nations) keep their fiscal policy in line. Of course, I believe all this should happen slowly, and safely, not in the next two weeks or possibly even two years.

To sum it all up...

Fuck you France.  

Sarah Palin Again Shows the Risks of Being an Idiot

This is just stupid:


The former vice-presidential candidate told conservative presenter Glenn Beck that it was worrying that the US could not be trusted to make appropriate decisions about the escalating conflict on the Korean peninsula.
“We're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is going to do," she said.
"This speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policies, but obviously we've got to stand with our North Korean allies,” she added.
When the host immediately corrected her Mrs Palin repeated: "Er yeah. And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes."
Her response shows, yet again, that her IQ is probably hovering somewhere near the "advanced orangutan" level. How the woman ever got to govern anything beyond a checking account amazes me.

The Lender Of Last Resort

Ever borrow money from a crack dealer so you can buy more crack?

That's pretty much what Europe is looking to do right now. Though I have to be honest, it might be the best option on the table.
Winning
Wen Jiabao has said that China will be willing to offer Europe some loans, which Europe desperately needs. But there is one, rather large, string attached.


China would have to be classified as a “market economy” instead of a “nonmarket economy.”

In international trade legalese, the new designation would make it almost impossible for Europe to impose tariffs on Chinese goods considered unfairly cheap. Which means all that European protectionism would have a hard time, at least in the lower-end manufacturing sectors.


By classifying China as a nonmarket economy, the European Union allows its antidumping investigators to compare the price Chinese exporters to Europe charge with the price of goods from other low-cost countries. Antidumping duties, which can exceed 100 percent, are assessed if Chinese prices are lower.

But if China were labeled a market economy, antidumping investigators would have to compare the export prices Chinese companies charge with the prices they charge for the same goods in China. Virtually all prices in China are very low in terms of other currencies, partly because of China’s extensive intervention in currency markets to keep its currency, the renminbi, weak.

The net result of this? The EU will probably be too stubborn to give in, at least until it is too late, or serious damage has been done to the eurozone economies (though they are all idiots for linking together completely different countries under one monetary policy...)

Obama the Idiot VC

"Greentech, cleantech, come and get it. It's cheap, it's reliable, it'll save the American economy"

More or less that was the pitch made a couple years ago as Obama was coming into office. One of the things he did is started playing the US government as a venture capitalist, pumping loans (granted, just loans, not really being a VC, but still) into random ass companies which happened to be making "green" products.

Oh, and by "random ass" I mean companies which were associated with the administration in some way, mostly from Obama's big 'ol fundraising campaign.

The one which really has the President sweating right now (actually, who am I kidding, he is so wrapped up in delusional grandeur I doubt he ever feels he has made a wrong decision), is Solyndra. Which, as I mentioned a while back, got an idiotic $530 million dollar loan. The company went bankrupt as everyone other than el Presidente expected, and tax payers are out 1/2 a billion dollars. Not a lot of money I know, but it would be enough for everyone in America to buy something off the dollar meal, and 2.5billion chicken nuggets would be way better than one dipshit bankrupt and legally dubious solar panel manufacturer.

But the best part of this story? It has become clear from released emails that the Obama administration pressured the agencies responsible into giving the loan (the idea of the loan being the administration's to start with)... and who was the major investor in the company? A billionaire "bundler" fund raiser for Obama's campaign, who also got a few swanky White House meetings before the loan was approved (Obama's minders insist these meetings were just to talk about the guy's charity.... yeah....)

Honestly, the only thing that amazes me about this story is that more of those loans have not yet blown up. Much as I love SpaceX and the Lotus Elise, Tesla motors is clearly a POS company headed for the scrapheap: it also got $500MM or so, and has managed to build... a couple thousand cars. The only things keeping it alive are the fact it went public (with much hupla, but with seriously sketchy financials), and now ToMoCo has decided it wants in on the Tesla action, building a Teslified Rav4. Still though, the company's long promised "people's sedan" (read $50,000+ and mediocre performance) the Model S is still total vaporware. Oh yeah, and Elon Musk? Major Obama supporter and contributor.

The other "green" car company to get a loan was Fisker.... we loaned them about $500 million also, and so far have seen about 500 $100,000 hybrids roll of the assembly line.

whatthefuckasaurus

Once in a Blue Rose


Long a symbol of the unattainable, blue roses will be for sale this fall in the United States and Canada.
Named “Applause,” the rose is genetically modified to synthesize delphinidin, a pigment found in most blue flowers. The rose was first released in in Tokyo in 2009, after 20 years of research by Suntory, a Japanese company that also distills whisky, and its Australian subsidiary, Florigene (now Suntory Flowers). Today Suntory announced the rose will be for sale at select florists in North America, beginning early November. While the flower might appear more silver-purple than sky-blue, Applause is the nearest to a true blue rose yet.
Arguably the world’s best loved flowers, humans have cultivated roses for more than 5,000 years. Roses can signify love, beauty, politics and war.
Blue roses have a mythic quality because they, until recently, were impossible to grow. Roses appear naturally in many shades of red, pink, yellow and white, but lack the natural ability to produce blue pigments. For centuries, blue roses have conjuredunrequited love or the quest for the impossible.
Blue roses traditionally available through florists have been white roses dyed blue. Suntory and Florigene achieved the blue color inserting a delphinidin-producing gene from a pansy into an Old Garden ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ rose. When debuting in Japan, Applause was sold for 10 times the price of normal roses.
Images: Suntory.

Supercomputer Reads the News to Successfully Forecast World Events - http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-09/supercomputer-analyzes-news-articles-predicts-revolutions

Scottish Scientists Are Trying to Create Inorganic Life - http://pulse.me/s/1EByG

IBM's Watson set to tackle health insurance, takes 'Diagnosis for $1,000' - http://pulse.me/s/1DIXd

Nearly a Century After We Started Drooling Over Them, America Gets Its First Police Auto-Gyro - http://pulse.me/s/1DO0g

Glow-In-The-Dark Cats Could Provide Answers About AIDS - http://pulse.me/s/1DAUE

Ocean Floor UFO??

This is pretty sweet. A Swedish treasure hunter who was going after a couple of cases of really rare champagne ended up finding, potentially, a history changing object (or not..). Finally, I love how the article ends with the the assumption that he could make a couple billion off of this, rather than the fact that if it were a UFO it would completely change live on earth and the history of mankind. Then again, a couple billion sounds pretty good also.


UFO on ocean floor
Peter Lindberg's team found what appears to be a crashed flying saucer on the ocean floor.
CREDIT: www.oceanexplorer.se

An ocean exploration team led by Swedish researcher Peter Lindberg has found what some are suggesting is a crashed flying saucer. Lindberg's team, which has had success in the past recovering sunken ships and cargo, was using sonar to look for the century-old wreck of a ship that went down carrying several cases of a super-rare champagne. Instead, the team discovered what it claims is a mysterious round object that might (or might not) be extraterrestrial.
Lindberg explained to local media that his crew discovered, on the 300-foot-deep ocean floor between Finland and Sweden, "a large circle, about 60 feet in diameter. You see a lot of weird stuff in this job, but during my 18 years as a professional I have never seen anything like this. The shape is completely round."
Adding to the mystery at the bottom of the Gulf of Bothnia, Lindberg said he saw evidence of scars or marks disturbing the environment nearby, suggesting the object somehow moved across the ocean floor to where his team found it.
What is Quantum Jumping? www.QuantumJumping.com
Discover Why Thousands of People are "Jumping" to Change Their Life
It's not clear what to make of this report, or the video of the sonar scan that shows the object, but Swedish tabloids and Internet UFO buffs have had a field day. Some suggest the object is a flying saucer of extraterrestrial origin (and the seafloor scars were dug up when it crashed), though of all the things that might create a round sonar signature, that seems to be among the more outlandish. [10 Alien Encounters Debunked]
It might be a natural feature formation, or possibly a sunken, round man-made object.
Lindberg's claim that the object "is perfectly round" may or may not be accurate; while it looks round from the information so far, the resolution of the sonar image was not high enough to verify that it is indeed round. And while the lines that appear to be leading to (or from) the feature may suggest some sort of movement, it's also possible they have nothing to do with the object. [UFO Battles Captured on Video? Not Likely]
Lindberg himself did not offer an extraterrestrial origin, though he did speculate it might be a "new Stonehenge."
This is not the first time a sunken object has been presented as the solution to a mystery. Take, for example, the famous underwater mystery of the "Bimini Road," a rock formation in the Caribbean near the Bahamas that resembles a road or wall. Many New Agers and conspiracy theorists claimed the rocks are too perfectly shaped to be natural, and either were made by an unknown civilization or are possibly a relic from the lost city of Atlantis.
In fact, geologists have identified the blocks as unusually shaped, but perfectly natural, weathered beach rock.
It's also worth noting that UFOs may not be saucer-shaped. The famous "flying saucer" description of the first UFOhas since been revealed as a reporting error.
Lindberg said his team has neither the interest nor the resources to further investigate the anomaly. Deep ocean research is time-consuming and expensive. If the object were indeed a flying saucer, recovering it could potentially be worth millions or billions of dollars. If it's a natural formation, on the other hand, it would probably be a waste of time and money.