By now I'm pretty certain that most of you are aware of the potential ecological and economical benefits of driving an electric or hybrid car that isn't reliant solely on fossil fuels. Not surprisingly, the U.S. government is getting behind the cause as well, influenced in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA is the official term for the economic stimulus package passed by Congress in early 2009 to help create jobs and promote investment in American enterprises during the current recession. And when it comes to the conception and push … Read more
At a time when Classmates.com and parent company United Online are already mixed up in a congressional investigation, Classmates.com is attempting to settle a lawsuit that accuses the company of sending e-mails that duped users into believing the messages had come from old high school chums.
E-mail recipients only learned the truth after paying for upgrades to their membership, according to court documents. In a court filing, Classmates.com has agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle the suit but did not admit any wrongdoing. The … Read more
Ten years ago during a visit to Philadelphia, I passed a large ship docked at a pier on the Delaware River. The ship looked like an ocean liner and though I sped by in a car, I noticed the faded name "United States" on the bow. I wondered, could it be the same revolutionary passenger liner that still holds an Atlantic speed record a half a century after its speedy voyage? As it turns out, it was.
The SS United States has been moored in Philadelphia since 1994, but now it appears that its days could finally be numbered. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that the ship's owner, Norwegian Cruise Lines, is seeking to sell the United States for scrap. Norwegian bought the liner in 2003 with the intention of refurbishing and returning it to service in Hawaii as part of NCL America. But as the Hawaii cruise market began to lose money, NCL kept the ship in Pennsylvania.
If the United States ends up in the scrap yard, it will be a sad end to a short, but spectacular, career. When the liner was launched in 1952, it was a technological breakthrough of its time. Thanks to a sharp-edged stern, a bulbous prow, powerful engines, and unique propellers--the design of which was kept secret for many years--the United States was very fast. Its top speed was 43 knots (49.5 miles per hour), but even its typical voyage speed of 34 knots (39.1 miles per hour) was enough to win it attention. … Read more
Waste from discarded electronics will rise dramatically in the developing world within a decade, with computer waste in India alone to grow by 500 percent from 2007 levels by 2020, a U.N. study released Monday said.
E-waste--a term describing electronics including phones, printers, televisions, refrigerators and other appliances--grows globally by 40 million metric tones a year. Toxins are emitted when it is improperly burned by scavengers looking for valuable components, such as copper and gold.
For those resigned to 30 years of Apple dominance in the mobile market, think again. While Apple clearly hit a home run with the iPhone, it's now under several serious threats from the Linux camp, and it seems Microsoft might finally have its act together with Windows Phone 7 Series.
Time to kiss your iPhone goodbye?
Maybe. Google had already been giving the iPhone serious competition with its Linux-based Android platform, but Monday Intel and Nokia joined forces with their own Linux initiative, MeeGo.
MeeGo is an amalgamation of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo, two initiatives that … Read more
The nightmare of the mysterious debit card charges began this way for Caroline Butler:
She noticed that Privacy Matters 123, a membership program she had never heard of, was charging her $20 every month. She had no idea how to get her money back or even how to get the company to stop. All she knew was that they were draining the bank account used to help pay the medical bills for her 18-year-old daughter, a cancer patient.
Somehow, Butler, a freelance photographer from Paducah, Ky., unintentionally enrolled in the membership program during a visit to social-networking site, Classmates.com, … Read more
This is not your "War Games" fan's NORAD.
If the picture in your head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command's operations center is straight out of that 1983 Matthew Broderick movie, you may need to replace it.
That real-life command center, where personnel from the militaries of the United States and Canada keep a watchful eye out for threats from the sky, is no longer buried deep under Cheyenne Mountain. It is, however, still in Colorado Springs, Colo. Today, it is housed at Peterson Air Force Base, and it is a joint venture with the … Read more
With the IKEA aesthetic taking over so many homes, you might be yearning for furniture that reflects your mood. Literally. The interactive Mood Chair by U.K. designers Aether & Hemera "changes color in response to the colors that its sensors perceive from the environment and the users."
Is it accurate? We're not sure. But we give the artists props for reminding us of mood rings from our adolescent years.
Aether & Hemera play with LED lights, fiber optics, projections, and UV lamps, creating installations that explore light and its power to trigger a sense of identity … Read more
Amid promises to "reinvent the Web," the browser Opera debuted a new beta feature earlier this year called Unite that has been deemed stable enough to offer to all users. Opera's own hype aside, the Unite service provides people with the capability to serve files, host and stream music, and send messages to each other from inside the browser itself--a feature that is unique among the big five browsers. Opera 10.10 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The world faces a surge in energy costs, as well as in planet-warming carbon emissions, unless it can swiftly agree a climate change deal, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
Arguing strongly for a global deal at the U.N. Climate Change summit in Copenhagen in December, the IEA said use of fossil fuels will increase quickly if policies remained unchanged.
Without an international agreement on climate change, the ratio of energy spending to gross domestic product for the largest consumer countries would double by 2030.
The world would have to spend an extra $500 billion to cut carbon emissions … Read more