Finance

Ocean motion could produce 9 percent of U.S. electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 31, 2012   View Article

Next-generation technologies that harvest electricity from ocean waves and tides sloshing along the U.S. coasts could provide about 9 percent of the nation’s demand by 2030, according to a pair of recent studies.

The findings, which include maps of these ocean energy resources, should help guide companies looking to develop them.

Steve Jobs: The second greatest innovator of all time?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 26, 2012   View Article

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs ranks behind only Thomas Edison as the world’s greatest innovator of all time in a survey released today on young Americans’ attitudes about invention and innovation.

Jobs’ innovations include the iPhone and iPad, the popular gadgets that are helping to revolutionize how we communicate with each other and sent Apple’s stock to a record high Wednesday.

Tiny tweezers help fat fingers do nimble tasks

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 18, 2012   View Article

Ever wish you had teeny tiny tweezers to pull a teeny tiny splinter from your pinky?

You’re in luck.

Researchers have developed easy-to-use “microtweezers” that are up to the task, and much more, such as plucking a cluster of stem cells from a petri dish and building all sorts of little mechanical devices.

Blowing bubbles to make ships more fuel efficient

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 19, 2012   View Article

Blowing a lot of bubbles under cargo ships turns out to be a good way to cut down on fuel costs, according to ongoing research on so-called air lubrication technology.

“The basic idea is that if you could somehow have air close to the hull, it would help the hull slip through the water better by reducing the skin friction,” Steven Ceccio, a professor of naval architecture and mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, explained to me Wednesday.

New Calendar Would Add Extra Week to December

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 17, 2012   View Article

Wish you’d had an extra holiday week this year? If a proposed permanent calendar is adopted in the next few years, you’ll get one at the end of 2017.

This “leap week” would occur every five or six years under the proposed Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar.

The occasional extra December week would keep the months in tune with the seasons in a calendar that would otherwise stay the same year after year after year.

Ashton Kutcher, friends, key to Twitter’s success

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 21, 2011   View Article

Developers of the next-big social networking application stand a greater chance at skyrocketing success if Hollywood stars and big media go gaga over it, according to an analysis of Twitter’s meteoric rise in popularity.

Data collected on the number of users adopting the microblogging service in its early years (between 2006 and 2009) show that it first spread gradually via traditional social networks — real-world friends, work colleagues, neighbors — then took off when media stars started to gather their flocks.

Grant turns lab rats into scientific entrepreneurs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

Lab scientists are getting a $50,000 assist from the U.S. government to go to school and learn the entrepreneurial skills required to take their innovations into the marketplace and, perhaps, become millionaires.

“I am basically teaching them how to do eye contact and test their hypotheses outside of the lab,” Steve Blank, a startup guru at Stanford University who designed and teaches the course, told me Tuesday.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach