The unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan has been one of the most devastating events in history and it just doesn't seem to get any better as the days go on with the reports coming out that Japanese officials may have been downplaying the amount of radiation released since the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency has now put the Fukushima Daiichi disaster on the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl explosion.
This is an admission by the Japanese government that the amount of radiation released into the environment has reached a new order of magnitude. The fact that we have now confirmed the world's second-ever Level 7 accident will have huge consequences for the global nuclear industry. It shows that current safety standards are woefully inadequate.
Less than one hour ago, Japan was hit by a 7.4 magnitude off the coast of Miyagi in Northeastern Japan at around 730 AM PST, according to a report by CNN. So far no casualties have been reported, but authorities evacuated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was 113 km from the epicenter of the quake. Tokyo Electric Agency is reporting that the power is still on at the plant and there is little, if any damage to its structural integrity.
Japan issued a tsunami warning to inhabitants of the Miyagi prefecture and the surrounding coastal area as a precaution, but authorities claim that there is no imminent danger of a wide-scale massive Pacific Tsunami, especially not to Hawaii or California.
Japanese designer Fumie Shibata created this wonder of the 21st century for Japanese beverage company JR East Water Business (Yes, the word Business is in their corporate name). The vending machine pictured above was installed in the Shinigawa metro station back in August, but the company plans to implement at least 500 of the machines all throughout Tokyo by 2012.
Sporting a 47-inch touch screen, a camera, and what can only be numerous environmental sensors, these smart-vendors absorb sensory data to determine the sex and approximate age of the person approaching it, better equipping it to offer personalized recommendations for a potential user. When not in use, the machine displays advertisements for some of its products based on time of day and current weather- on a brisk morning, it might be advertising a hot cup of coffee, whereas a humid day would see colder, refreshing beverages highlighted.
The aCure is connected to servers at JREWB, which constantly update the inventory availability as well as purchase statistics to improve specific-location product marketing.
Say what you want about surveillance culture- no really. Say anything you want. HAL 9000's are selling coffee to children.
Technology, it's a wonderful thing. It's even better when used in a medical-based environment, the engineers who invented the microfluidic device are hopeful it can be used in developing countries.
Mehmet Toner who is a Harvard Medical School professor of biomedical engineering along with MIT aeronautical engineer Brian Wardle came up with adapting Toner's project (on which he worked on for four years) which is being used in hospitals currently. Wardle used his knowledge of aeronaturics to streamline the carbon nanotube-studded device, making it stronger and capable of collecting cancerous cells eight times better than Toner's original device was capable of.
According to Mike Lennon of Security Week, the tragedy of last night's earthquake off the coast of Japan wil lead to further proof the human race is full of terrible, terrible people.
[image courtesy of Trend Labs Malware Blog- Blackhat SEO attacks launched just minutes after news of the earthquake came in]
He writes, "Today's tragic events of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting Tsunami, as sad as it is, is a dream for scammers and fraudsters around the world. Tragic events are always something scammers use to their advantage, helping them prey on and exploit innocent victims...Scams are already spreading across Facebook, which started in a matter of minutes after the news broke of the earthquake in Japan. As I write this, scammers are hard at work, registering new domains and cranking out templates for their fake donation sites. This will be followed with massive volumes of email spam, Tweets through Twitter, and Facebook posts, as scammers gear up to solicit donations from around the world. Users also need to be aware that cybercriminals also use these events to help spread malware, via malicious links via spam, twitter and other fake Web sites.
Well, this video is quite interesting indeed. It has been on YouTube for a while but I have only just come across it and normally I wouldn't post something un-tech-related like this, but it's just so awesome to see how close he came to death and survived!
A bunch of people dive out of a plane, mis-judge where they are (above mountains) that look far away until you see the camera pan up and he sees the others pulling their parachutes, he looks down and most likely squeals like a little girl inside, pulls his chute and barely, just barely, misses the mountain and slides down into the ground.
Gail Davis from Orpington, England had received a call from Apple offering the prize of $10, 000 for the 10 billionth app downloaded from iTunes. She assumed it was a fake call and said "Thankyou very much, I'm not interested" and hung up. But it was real.
Her daughters had apparently told her the call was genuine and that one of them had just downloaded the PaperGlider app, Gail called Apple back, yet the person on the other end was not very helpful. Luckily, Apple called her back, Eddue Cue, Apple's VP of iTunes to be precise and this time she didn't hang up.
Tragedy has hit Queensland, Australia - mass flash floodings have hit the state with the death toll currently at 13 with an unknown amount of people missing.
There are various appeals and live Facebook feeds to visit and a scrolling message board at news.com.au - if you're in that area or know of people in that area, obviously you'll want to know that they're safe, there are various info lines and hot lines that you can call or visit.
Bit of random but fun news here, in the TV show "Lost", one of the characters (Hurley) won millions of dollars by playing the numbers that were famous in the TV show, 4-8-15-16-23-42.
In the Mega Millions Draw the numbers were 4-8-15-25-47-42. Many people play with Hurley's numbers and if you were one of them, you would've won $150 with the correct 4 digits.
Santa's run has already begun for those on the other side of the world from the U.S. and Google has teamed up with NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) to keep up with his present giving and cookie and milk gobbling trip.
By checking out noradsanta.org (m.noradsanta.org for you on mobile browsers), you can check out which cities have already had their visit from Santa, where he's headed next, and check out "Santa Cam" videos to learn more about those locations. A Google Earth plugin is also available for those of you who prefer to view the trip from that aspect. Keep track of Jolly old St. Nick at the Source Link.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has every year since 1955 counted down to Christmas Eve and tracks Santa's tracks as he delivers presents all across the world. Google also started this in 2004 and has since partnered with NORAD on this fun-filled adventure from 2007.
This year is no different, with today marking the kick off to this years countdown at http://www.noradsanta.org - on the NORAD site kids can play holiday-themed games (a new one released each day!) and get updates from the North Pole as Santa prepares his big sleigh ride.
Apple fan? Black Friday fan? Sales fan? Well, here's hoping - Apple are usually pretty tight with their sales and discounts, but right now the Black Friday sales are happening...
There's nothing huge on sale, but something off is better than nothing off, right? There's around $101 savings off various Mac systems and $41 off of an iPad, lots of accessories are on sale, but no iPhone deals? Bugger.
I'm really jealous right now - so many sales in the US with Black Friday sales going on right now. Here in Australia we pay around 3520X the price for everything compared to the US, even with our dollar either above parity or sitting right next to it eating a sandwich.
However, Engadget have a constantly updated Black Friday sales deals post - which I thought I'd let TweakTown readers know about, there are unbelievable amounts of points on it to buy things from Dell Incredible for free on two year contracts, Samsung 46" LCD 3D TV for $1250 (Blu-ray player and Shred 3D starter kit included), Kindle 2 for $89.99.
I will never understand what gets people so riled up about the Street View car rolling through their neighborhoods. In Europe, we have seen mobs block the car from entering their neighborhoods. I would like the Street View car to come down my road so I could prank it like this little girl from the UK did.
She was outside playing and spied the car coming. She decided to go all out and play dead. She took the acting job seriously and didn't just lay there; she kicked off her shoes so it looked like someone ran her over and knocked her out of her shoes. It's actually pretty funny, I don't think my 9-year-old son would have even noticed a car with a giant camera on top rolling down our street. That is unless said car was selling ice cream.