The New York Times reported last week that led by robots, roaches abandon [their] instincts. Specifically, when left to their own devices, groups of cockroaches followed their instincts and natually preferred a darker hiding place to a lighter hiding place virtually all the time. And when a minority group of robotic cockroaches replaced some of the bugs in the cohort and followed natual cockroach rules, again virtually all cockroaches sought the darker hiding place. But when the robots were programmed to seek the lighter, rather than a darker hiding place, fully 60 percent of the wild cockroaches teamed with the robots rather than obeying their instincts, thus demonstrating that even cockroaches are susceptible to bug peer pressure.… Read more
Former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore has joined venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner to concentrate on green technology investments.
To date, Kleiner Perkins has had something of a mixed record when it comes to clean tech. The firm has invested in Miasole, which recently swapped CEOs and has had to delay products. It is also an investor in EEStor, a mysterious supercapacitor company that has delayed its product and is going through some management changes. The firm has also not been part of some of the early, successful IPOs in clean tech … Read more
One of my closest friends in the entire world is convinced Al Gore is full of it.
Like a lot of News.com readers who have reacted to the Nobel Prize announcement, he doesn't believe Gore deserves the award. I should add that my super-skeptical buddy--no names here or he'll come after me with a rolling pin--also dismisses the arguments seeking to prove the existence of global warming as warmed-over pseudo-science. He just doesn't believe the available evidence makes for a strong case.
Perhaps it's only circumstance that he hails from the computer industry. Then again, … Read more
Current TV launched in 2005 with a dual-platform message: It was a TV station with a built-in Web component. But it was clear that it was really a TV station first, that the site was its feeder system. Today, though, Current TV becomes just Current. The new Web site is a much better destination than the previous version, and makes Current into an honestly multinetwork media product. Current's Web site has content and social features that make it interesting if you never bother to tune in Current on TV.
Current has become a good-looking social bookmarking and community site. … Read more
Apple has dedicated the majority of the free space on its home page to honor company director Al Gore on having received the Nobel Peace Prize earlier Friday.
Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the coveted prize for their evangelism regarding the causes and effects of climate change. Apple put up a simple message honoring Gore on its site, as well as several news articles about the prize in its "Hot News" section.
For someone who has a reputation for being boring and wooden, Al Gore certainly is polarizing.
Supporters assert that he has been one of the principal actors in bringing awareness to global warming and prompting governments and industry to take action against greenhouse emissions. While a lot of people became familiar with his work through the recent film "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore has been writing on the issue since the '80s.
Detractors, however, say he's an opportunist who exaggerates the scientific evidence and doesn't even follow his own advice. Witness the furor over reports that his … Read more
On the Friday before the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Osama bin Laden appeared in a new video, his first since prior to the U.S. presidential elections in 2004. In analyzing the video, Neal Krawetz of Hactor Factor, an expert on digital image forensics, said in his latest blogs that the video contained many visual and audio splices, and that all of the modifications were of very low quality.
Most striking is bin Laden's beard, which has been gray in recent images. For this video it is black. "As far as my tools can detect, there has … Read more
After presenting on the specific techniques he used, Krawetz launched into what he called the case of "Dr. Z," who happens to be Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 man in al-Qaida.
Using a photo that originally appeared on December 20, 2006, in USA Today, al-Zawahiri appears to be seated before a large banner with a desk underneath. On the desk, in the photo, is a tiny cannon. Yet in the … Read more