India develops world’s cheapest “iPad” at $35


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

India has come up with the world’s cheapest “laptop,” a touch-screen computing device that costs $35.

India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal this week unveiled the low-cost computing device that is designed for students, saying his department had started talks with global manufacturers to start mass production.

“We have reached a (developmental) stage that today, the motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything,” he told a news conference.

He said the touchscreen gadget was packed with Internet browsers, PDF reader and video conferencing facilities but its hardware was created with sufficient flexibility to incorporate new components according to user requirement…

The device was developed by research teams at India’s premier technological institutes, the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science.

Go for it, folks. Every step may feel like a First Step; but, the goal of improving the knowledge and skills of your nation’s children is admirable.

Some countries seem to have forgotten about it.

Obama maintains our “Foreign Legion” in Japan

Washington has given up on moving 8,000 U.S. Marines to the U.S. territory of Guam from Japan by 2014…a potential blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is already struggling over a U.S. base dispute.

The planned transfer of Marines from the southern island of Okinawa is a part of a larger agreement between Washington and Tokyo that includes relocating functions of the U.S. Futenma airbase in Okinawa to a less crowded area on the island…

Any postponement over moving the controversial base on Okinawa, host to about half the U.S. troops in the country, could be a blow to Kan’s government, already reeling from a poor showing in an upper house election this month…

A scrapped government pledge to move the base off Okinawa had sparked anger from local residents who complain of noise, pollution and crime, and led to the resignation of Kan’s predecessor in June.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada reaffirmed in a meeting in Hanoi…that experts will work out details of the Futenma relocation site by end-August as agreed in a May deal. But doubts remain over whether the deal can be implemented on time.

An election for the Okinawa governor is due in November and the result could also affect plans to move the airbase, coming near the time when U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan for an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit.

If there’s anything that reveals how tied at the hip our two supposedly conflicted political parties are – it’s the phoniness of foreign policy “discussion”. Both parties function on behalf of the new imperialism we took over from the Brits after World War 2.

Differences are of degree and tactic – not qualitative relations with foreign countries, not strategy. Our military is stationed all over the globe at immense expense – and none of that is to be questioned. Not by Congress. Not by Americans without risk of their “patriotism” being evaluated by our insecurity services.

Obama differs not from Kennedy or LBJ – who didn’t stand out in a crowd of Nixons or Reagans.

Someone steals your iPhone? There’s an app for that!

A man accused of swiping an Apple iPhone out of a woman’s hand in San Francisco may have been shocked when police found him only nine minutes later. It turns out the phone had been tracking his every move.

The iPhone was being used to test a new, real-time GPS tracking application, and the woman holding it was an intern for the software’s maker, Mountain View-based Covia Labs.

Covia CEO David Kahn had sent the intern into the street to demonstrate the software. Police say Horatio Toure snatched it and sped away on a bicycle.

Khan was watching a live map of the phone’s location on a computer and says he was immediately struck by how quickly the image began moving down the street.

Then someone told him the iPhone had just been stolen.

Police arrested Toure nine minutes later, and the intern identified him as the thief.

What if you’re Prime Minister – and your wife writes a book saying you’re skillful; but, not world-class??


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is used to political lashings. But the latest one is not from an opposition party — it’s from his own wife.

In a book released this week titled, “What On Earth Will Change in Japan After You Become Prime Minister,” first lady Nobuko Kan writes bluntly about her husband’s shortcomings.

The book says the prime minister is unable to cook a simple meal and has no fashion sense. But it’s the blunt review of her husband’s ability to govern that will raise eyebrows.

She writes that her husband — a grassroots politician — is a good off the cuff speaker and is suited to working in supporting political roles. But as the world’s second-largest economy’s prime minister, she questions, “Is it okay that this man is prime minister? Because I know him well…”

The marriage between the Kans spans four decades, and is widely regarded by the public as a pairing of equal minds. The prime minister speaks publicly about his sharp-tongued wife and how she is his toughest critic.

In her book, she notes that most of their conversations are about politics. They disagree and debate the issues, she writes, from capital punishment to tax reform.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan appears to have been left out of the writing of his wife’s book. Talking to reporters, the prime minister joked, “I’m afraid to read it.”

Har!

Actually, I’d be as inclined to vote for Michelle Obama as her husband – a second time around. She might be more likely to face down the cowards in the Democratic Party – and the hypocrites in the Party of NO.

Pic of the Day

A driver ended up parking her car in the roof of this Italian house after she forgot to put on the handbrake.

Maria Rizzo, 34, stopped to admire the spectacular view from the street above the house in Alassio in northern Italy. But she was so intent on taking a snap that she forgot to put on the handbrake, and her car rolled away, smashing through a barrier and plunging down the hill onto the house below. It broke through the roof and landed in the bathroom, with the front end wedged in an iron bath which broke the fall and stopped the Fiat Panda plunging further into the house.

Har!

Public pool disinfectants link to health problems

Splashing around in a swimming pool on a hot summer day may not be as safe as you think. A recent University of Illinois study links the application of disinfectants in recreational pools to previously published adverse health outcomes such as asthma and bladder cancer.

Each year, 339 million visits take place at pools and water parks across the United States. Not only is swimming fun, but it’s also the second most popular form of exercise in the country. Because of this, disinfection of recreational pools is critical to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease. However, Michael Plewa, U of I professor of genetics, said negative outcomes can occur when disinfection byproducts form reactions with organic matter in pool water…

All sources of water possess organic matter that comes from decaying leaves, microbes and other dead life forms,” Plewa said. “In addition to organic matter and disinfectants, pool waters contain sweat, hair, skin, urine, and consumer products such as cosmetics and sunscreens from swimmers…”

In this study, collections from public pools and a control sample of tap water were evaluated to identify recreational water conditions that could be harmful to your health…

The study compared different disinfection methods and environmental conditions. Results proved that all disinfected pool samples exhibited more genomic DNA damage than the source tap water, Plewa said.

You never know when someone is peeing down the other end of the pool.

99 Cents store taken to court for raising price to 99.99¢

A fraction of a penny is amounting to one big headache for 99 Cents Only Stores.

Two years ago, the City of Commerce retailer — faced with rising inflation and higher costs — raised the top price of its goods to 99.99 cents from 99 cents. Company executives thought it was a clever way to increase sales while staying loyal to the chain’s love for the number 99.

But the move seems to be riling some customers who say they weren’t aware of the nearly one-cent increase and felt duped into believing they were still paying 99 cents “only.” Because U.S. currency makes it impossible to pay 99.99 cents for an item, shoppers are essentially paying $1 plus tax at the cash register.

Now the company faces two class-action lawsuits that were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month. The complaints allege unfair and deceptive business practices and misleading advertising.

If they call themselves 99 Cents Only, it should be 99 cents,” said Dan Callahan, an Orange County lawyer…

The lawsuits are asking for unspecified monetary compensation and contend that 99 Cents Only should have been more clear in its advertising. A judge will decide whether the cases can proceed as class-action suits.

You know, I realize my penchant for rare – but distinctive – thoughts of violence are somewhat offputting. But, I think there should be at least a limited hunting season on some lawyers.

Just let each of us choose whichever one we’d like stuffed and mounted.