Zombies are complicated. On the surface, they're just hapless undead who want to feast on your delicious brains. Underneath, they may actually be expressions of economic dissatisfaction or disappointment with the government. Or they may serve as community-building exercises.
There is something slightly entertaining about the alleged crisis at the world's most famous and successful company.
Just because a bunch of greasy-haired speculators have decided that Apple's shares are worth less than Google's (this week), garments are rended and teeth gnashed.
In times of such rampant face-contorting and mind-numbing, I always remember the words of Mitt Romney: "Companies are people, too."
What if you could "street view" the human body, navigating its interactive components all the way down to a metabolic level? An international group of scientists is working on that right now with a map of the human metabolism, which they call Recon 2.
Metabolism plays a key role in many diseases, and while scientists have already managed to reconstruct several models of it, each "represents only a subset of our knowledge" with "only partially overlapping content," the team writes in the journal Nature Biology.
"It's like having the coordinates of all the cars in town, but no street map," Bernhard Palsson, a professor of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and one of the authors of the paper, said in a statement. "Without this tool, we don't know why people are moving the way they are."… Read more
Often, songs or remixes are produced on YouTube but are not available anywhere for download. For people who want to listen to the audio in their favorite YouTube videos while offline, MediaHuman YouTube to MP3 Converter for Mac turns these videos into portable MP3 files, but with mixed results.
Available as freeware, the program supports multiple audio formats and allows you to select the desired sound quality, although this is ultimately limited by the nature of the original YouTube video selected. YouTube to MP3 Converter's download and installation are smooth, with minimal load time and space required. Simplistic at … Read more
Oxford University Ph.D. student Jessica Richman, who today finished raising some $350,000 from more than 2,500 people wanting to take part in the uBiome project, isn't shying away from reality: "Yes, we are going to be sampling people's poo," she told the Guardian this week.
And for the squeamish, she offered an asterisk: "You'll only have to wipe it on the toilet paper."
The uBiome project is a "citizen science" effort to sequence the genomes of the trillions of bacteria that colonize our bodies and likely play pivotal … Read more
As if pulling a storyline from the movie "Jurassic Park," a Harvard University professor says it would be possible to clone the long-extinct Neanderthal. One little hitch is that he'd need a woman willing to carry the offspring.
Contrary to a flurry of headlines following his interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, however, Harvard molecular geneticist George Church is not currently taking applications from would-be surrogate moms.
"The real story here is how these stories have percolated and changed in different ways," Church, a well-respected genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, told the Boston Herald following a slew of recent impossible-to-ignore headlines such as "I can create Neanderthal baby, I just need willing woman," and, from the Daily Mail, "Wanted: 'Adventurous woman' to give birth to Neanderthal man - Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby." … Read more
Famed inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil joined Google last month to work on "some of the hardest problems in computer science," specifically machine learning and language processing.
"The project we plan to do is focused on natural language understanding," Kurzweil told Singularity Hub in an interview (see video below). "We want to give computers the ability to understand the language that they're reading."
As Google's director of engineering, Kurzweil's said the challenge isn't just one of the hardest but also the most important.
"It's ambitious, in fact there'… Read more
Twitter has made an old idea new again, unveiling a new system that lets actual human beings tell its data center how to make sense of trending hashtags and other topical searches.
But don't get too excited about this apparent triumph of man over machine. First, the actual work done by these people seems likely to be menial and poorly compensated, even if it does accomplish something that Twitter's mighty information systems appear unable to manage on their own.
Second, and more important, you shouldn't expect to see Twitter's service improve in any ways you might … Read more
A labor rights group said it has uncovered evidence that a Samsung supplier employs underage workers, among other abuses.
China Labor Watch today said that an HTNS Shenzhen Co. factory that assembles Samsung cell phones employed at least three girls under the age of 16. The group noted that the discovery came just two weeks after Samsung said it didn't find any child workers while auditing this factory … Read more
Photographer Clayton Cubitt is using some of his recent, slightly naughtier work to entice donations for Hurricane Sandy victims, but with a unique Instagram- and Twitter-based twist.
So far we've only seen two storm babe shots, including one that's complete with the requisite DOLCat (drooling on laptop) and another that would would win the approval of Sir Mix-A-Lot. With a little more attention to the cause, hopefully Cubitt will need to fill a few memory cards with some more sexiness soon.… Read more