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Wed, 04 Apr 2007 05:23:40 GMT

Dot Creator: The Animator Reborn

Dot Creator: The Animator Reborn
Dot Creator is a tiny little handheld device that allows kids (or adults) to create little animations. Just looking at this toy reminded me of one of from my 80's childhood called the Animator, which essentially did the same thing.

I never had the toy, but the screen was completely monochromatic. I don't know how many "Pixels" it had, but this Dot Creator is about 21 x 21, which isn't darn much. You can only store 3 animations that are limited to 19 frames.

Fortunately, you get what you pay for. The Dot Creator is available now on for approximately $15 USD.

Via OhGizmo!

Posted by: Mark Rollins      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 05:19:02 GMT

Companies in the dark

Companies in the dark
Companies are still struggling to get their heads around important non-financial metrics like reputation risk, global competition, and increased scrutiny from the media and NGOs.

A new DeloiIn The Dark found that most companies are confident about their ability to track financial performance. According to the report, 87 percent describe their record as either excellent (43 percent) or good (44 percent). Compare that with the 29 percent who describe their ability to track non-financial performance as either excellent (5 percent) or good (24 percent). And with the 34 percent who describe their non-financial records as merely fair (21 percent) or poor (13 percent).

So there's the problem. Variables like customer satisfaction and employee commitment are ranked as big drivers of performance. Trouble is most companies don't have a clue how to measure the stuff.

Although the study shows board members are aware of the potential of non-financials, the reports suggests most will be struggling for some time to come.

Posted by: leon      Read more     Source

April 3, 2007, 10:12 PM CT

The global carbon budget

The global carbon budget
Life as we know it, from the most basic microbes to our human neighbors, is carbon based. By investigating how carbon cycles through ecosystems, researchers can learn valuable information about food chains, nutrient cycling, and productivity. Because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, with the ability to influence temperature, an accurate global carbon budget is needed to address climate change.

On Earth, carbon is continually cycling through terrestrial systems, inland waters, the ocean, and the atmosphere. Until little over a decade ago, when calculating the terrestrial component of the global carbon budget, inputs were limited to the ocean and the land. Because inland water bodies cover less than 1% of the Earths surface, it was assumed that their contribution was inconsequential.

This view was recently challenged in an Ecosystems paper highlighting the findings of a National Center for Ecological Assessment and Synthesis analysis. Carried out by a team of international scientists, including Institute of Ecosystem Studies Biogeochemist Dr. Jonathan J. Cole, the papers senior author, the group reveals that inland water bodies are important areas of terrestrial carbon transformation that deserve inclusion in global carbon cycle assessments.

While rivers were introduced into global carbon budget assessments in the late 90s, Cole and his colleagues argue that current models are limited by a narrow definition of how rivers transport carbon. By depicting rivers as "pipes" that passively deliver terrestrial carbon to the sea, models fail to capture the complex transformations that occur on the journey toward the ocean. The fact is, as per the authors, that half of the terrestrial carbon entering inland waters is destined for a fate outside of the oceans salty shores.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 06:06:46 GMT

U.S Government Losing Its Talent Due to Outsourcing

U.S Government Losing Its Talent Due to Outsourcing
Post 9/11 U.S has been losing out on its talent at a steady pace since the government has been handing out contracts to private agencies due to which it is facing lack of talent and expertise for its national security and defense programs. There has been an increasing demand for complex technology and now the situation is such that the country either does not have the expertise for high tech projects or lacks appropriate talent for overseeing the work.

Due to this the government is turning to contractors for undertaking sensitive work. If you check the figures then the figure of private federal contractors has reach 7.5 million and this figure is four times higher as compared to the federal workforce. This highlights the plight of the government and the increased dependence on outsourcing. The whole blame cannot be even put on outsourcing since to an extent the government employees had been undertaking faulty work and this was resulting in losses for them. We cannot solely put the blame on outsourcing only since the government too is a culprit to an extent.

Via: pr

Posted by: Gautam      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 06:04:32 GMT

Lower Interest Credit Cards May Prove Expensive

Lower Interest Credit Cards May Prove Expensive
You brought a credit card from the company thinking that the lower interest rate would make your life heaven but wait as this may cause more woes proving to be an expensive deal for you. Those attractive looking interest rates or APRs may cost you a lot more.

As per a study it has been found out that the top twenty card providers are calculating interest rates in twelve different ways and therefore a lower APR as per the company may turn out to be costlier as compared to the higher APRs being offered. You may be amazed to know that two different cards with same APR may lead to different levels of interest and you may fail to notice this difference.

Just have a look at some of the features which can affect the cost of credit and were identified by Which?:

Check whether the interest is offered on daily or monthly basis.

Is there any interest free period?

Whether the balance has interest charged on previous months statement?

Whether interest is charged till the date of repayment in full or the statement date before the card holder pays back the balance in full?

These are the some of the factors which can help you in finding out the real difference.

Via: thisislondon

Posted by: Gautam      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 06:02:03 GMT

Google’s Bid for DoubleClick Heats Up Bid Battle

Google’s Bid for DoubleClick Heats Up Bid Battle
Google Inc. has appeared as the latest bidder to acquire online advertising firm DoubleClick along with Microsoft Corp. The arrival of Google in the fray would definitely increase the final price tag of the company. According to the reports, CoubleClick was exploring sale with the help of investment bank Morgan Stanley and was already in negotiation with several interested buyers.

Experts have viewed that Microsoft has little chances now to win the bidding as the potential price for the firm has reportedly crossed $2 billion. However, they are ruling out possibility of a counter bid from Microsoft. Reports also suggest that Yahoo Inc. and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL division are also in negotiation with the top management for the acquisition of the firm.

New York-based firm, DoubleClick, has around 2,000 clients, spanning advertising agencies, Web publishers and advertisers. The company helps its customers to position and track online advertising, including search ads. Moreover, every interested party has been refraining to make any statement or confirmation of the reports over the issue. Goggle has declined to comment citing it does on rumor and speculations.


Posted by: Balendu      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 05:58:36 GMT

Consumer Confidence Declines in US

Consumer Confidence Declines in US
US consumer confidence declined unexpectedly in March from a five-year high amid oil price hike, volatile stock market and the housing recession showing few signs of ending. The New York-based Conference Board index for March fell to 107.2 from 111.2 a month before. The recent data has provided fresh indication that rising gas prices, falling home values and a volatile stock market may hit spending in the coming months. Experts and analysts had expected a reading of 109. The March index was the lowest since November 2006 when the reading came at 105.3.

The consumer data obviously reflects a tense environment of the economy, as anxiety has been growing that turbulence in subprime mortgages, the home loan market for people with weak credit histories, may proliferate to other areas of the economy. A chain of housing indicators have also suggested that the housing market is in a worse condition than many thought. the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index suggests that home prices in 20 metropolitan areas slipped considerably by 0.2 per cent in January, their first drop in six years.

In addition to it, following weaker economic performance and turmoil in stock market earlier this month resulted in bring business investment at an extremely low level. At the same time core inflation levels remains above the Federal Reserve’s preferred upper limit.

In the meanwhile, Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, has reportedly said that despite diminished expectations, consumers’ assessment of the economy was stable and the report does not ’suggest a weakening in economic conditions.’


Posted by: Balendu      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 04:56:00 GMT

Paris Hilton Dating Josh Henderson

Paris Hilton Dating Josh Henderson
Public canoodling of Paris Hilton and Josh Henderson makes it very clear that the two are going very strong as a couple.

The hotel heiress and the Desperate Housewives actor were seen leaving a cinema on Los Angeles’ Universal City Walk on Monday night. The two were holding hands and Paris even gave him a good night kiss before she got into her SUV.

Last week, Paris, 26, invited Josh, 25, to sister Nickys bash for her own boyfriend David Katzenberg, son of the movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg. The two also partied together at Las Vegas on the weekend.

Paris publicist Elliot Mintz denied any dating reports and said,

Matters of that nature are only the business of the two people involved. Josh treats Paris with great respect and dignity. He is not a ‘Hollywood guy’. Paris seems very comfortable around him.

Meanwhile, Paris is busy filming The Simple Life series with pal Nicole Richie.


Posted by: Nishtha      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 04:51:42 GMT

Hugh and Jemima Are Together Again?

Hugh and Jemima Are Together Again?
Handsome hunk Hugh Grant and sexy Jemima Khan are together again, as both were seen together having a friendly dinner in the West End before recurring to the actor’s townhouse.

Hugh and Jemima had split this February but it seems that the couple has decided to make things work between them as Jemima was seen coming out of Hughs house with a smile on her face.

Sources say:

There is absolutely no acrimony between Hugh and Jemima. There was no major falling-out when they split and definitely no third party involved which means there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be friends. They planned this reconciliation meal a couple of weeks ago. It was a chance for a catch-up and a giggle with no strings attached.

I guess its not far to see both back to their quixotic relationship.

Via: dailymail

Posted by: Twinkle      Read more     Source

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 03:46:37 GMT

Los Angeles to Supply green Power to 70,000 Homes

Los Angeles to Supply green Power to 70,000 Homes
Come April 1 and Los Angeles will take a giant leap forward towards increasing its green poby providing renewable energy to 70,000 homes.

The Los Angeles city council has approved two agreements to pave way for the supply of the renewable green energy and this will boost Mayor Antonio Villaraigosas target to increase the citys renewable power supply to 20% by the year 2010.

H. David Nahai, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners said,

This is an excellent opportunity to immediately increase the amount of clean, renewable energy for the City of Los Angeles. LADWP is taking a multi-pronged approach to meeting its RPS commitment of 20% by 2010. The agency is utilizing power purchase agreements such as this as a bridge to increasing our supply of renewable energy in the short term, while pursuing plans to build renewable power generation for ownership over the long term.

Under the agreements between Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nations largest municipal utility and Powerex Corp., LADWP will purchase renewable energy from small hydro-electric generating facilities in the Pacific Northwest in the first year and subsequently, they can obtain it other renewable energy like small hydro, biomass and landfill gas.

Via: Unplugged Living

Posted by: Irani      Read more     Source

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