Jun 30

The algae bloom covered 200 square kilometres (80 square miles) and was about 13 kilometres (eight miles) offshore and floating towards the coastal city of Jiaonan in Shandong province, Xinhua news agency said.

The local branch of the State Oceanic Administration, which monitors marine conditions, is sending boats in a bid to clear the algae, it said.

Algae blooms are typically caused by pollution in China and suck up huge amounts of oxygen needed by marine wildlife to survive and leave a foul stench when they wash up on beaches, the report added.

In August 2008, a large offshore algae bloom threatened the sailing competition of the Olympic Games when it engulfed waters surrounding the event’s venue in the eastern China city of Qingdao, near Jiaonan.

Up to 10,000 soldiers and volunteers were enlisted to clean up more than a million tonnes of the foul-smelling algae as they raced to clear the waters in time for the Olympics.

According to a 2008 State Oceanic Administration report, raw sewage and pollution from agricultural run-off has polluted 83 percent of China’s coastal waters, leading to algae pollution and other problems.

In 2008, China’s coastal waters witnessed 68 red tides — another type of algae bloom — covering 13,700 square kilometres (5,500 square miles), an increase of more than 2,100 square kilometres over 2007, the report said.

Aug 24

The main emblem of the Olympic Games is not bears with the five circles on the ab and not foxes or little dancing men, but Olympic objects, or architecture. Russian Sochi City is now being filled with awesome structures which are designed to take away the breath of the place’s visitors. There is only five years left for preparation as the Winter Olympic Games are going to be launched already in five years. The main point about it that the architectural objects are to remain as a part of the city, so each of them, no matter how gorgeous it is, has to be usability-proved for decades. The Central Stadium seems to one of the most practical objects suggested (you can see its drafts below ).

It’s a part of great Olympic park, which consists of the ice ring for curling and hockey and the sport palace for figure-skating. The whole project includes several objects, which are artistically scattered along the coastal line with one ceiling over the territory of main spectator routes. That doesn’t seem very stable and firm, though, but the architects assure there is nothing to be scared of. If you happen to visit Sochi, you’d still better stay outside the Stadium. Just in case.

Jul 21

A Colorado reporter with a bug phobia faces his fears as he’s covered head to toe in massive quantities of ladybugs.

The town, which doesn’t want the media knowing its exact location for fear of an influx of tourists, has so many ladybugs buzzing about that some trees, homes and grassy areas are just a mass of red.

The insects are out in force in the Front Range region of Colorado thanks to increased rainfall during spring and early summer. The additional moisture has made their food supply plentiful so their numbers have increased by 15 to 20 percent.

Jul 10

More than 200 home owners in Shanghai have demanded refunds or compensation after a 13-storey apartment building under construction toppled on Saturday.


The building in the “Lotus Riverside” compound of Minhang District collapsed entirely at about 6 a.m., killing one worker who had gone into the building to fetch his tools.

Local authorities in Minhang have pledged to safeguard the legitimate interests and rights of the owners, although detailed plans are yet to come out.

The developer, Shanghai Meidu Real Estate, has been banned to sell the housing following the collapse. It had sold out 489 of 629 homes.

Sources at the Information Office of the Minhang District government told Xinhua that 255 owners have applied to the government for refunds or compensation.

But some owners also worried that they could not buy the same apartment with the refunds because of the increases in housing prices.

The sources said the government has taken “appropriate control measures” against nine people from the developer, construction contractor and supervisor.

The authorities will also examine the structure and foundation of the building on Monday.

The 132 households evacuated shortly after the collapse returned to their village nearby at 7:30 p.m. Sunday after their homes were confirmed safe.

Dec 18

Top Diggers: Mr. Baby Man (MrBabyMan) & Muhammad Saleem (msaleem) have changed avatars to Christmas theme …

I think, everybody should do that! Merry Christmas!

MrBabyMan – joined Digg on December 27th, 2005   

MrBabyMan

MrBabyMan

msaleem – joined Digg on September 12th, 2005

msaleem

msaleem

They actually submitted good quality contents. Thank’s to them! 

 

Dec 12

new fighter aircraft

Russia’s defense industry has started the construction of a prototype of a fifth-generation combat aircraft, the Air Force commander said Wednesday.

A Russian-Indian advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, under an intergovernmental agreement signed in October.

At present, we have prepared detailed work design documentation for the fifth-generation aircraft,” Colonel General Alexander Zelin said. “The documentation has been passed to the manufacturer and it has begun the construction of the prototype.

The new fighter aircraft, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East.

Flight tests of the fifth-generation fighter will begin as early as 2009 and mass production of the aircraft may start by 2015, the Sukhoi aircraft maker earlier said.

Dec 11

Men are from MarsWhen it comes to making impulse purchases online this holiday season, men and women in the U.S. act differently, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. for GSI Commerce Inc.

Women are more likely to make impulse online purchases during the holidays based on limited-time offers, according to the survey. The Online Holiday Shopping survey was conducted online between Oct. 19 and 23 among 2,818 adults 18 and over.

According to the survey, 55% of women ages 45 to 54 are more likely to make an impulse buy online based some type of limited-time offer such as a sale, rebate or free shipping. However, only 38% of the men in the same age group were likely to make an online purchase based on those criteria, according to the survey.

In addition, while 51% of the women ages 45 to 54 surveyed said they are influenced to impulsively buy something online if they can return it for free, only 36% percent of the men in the same age group said they would be swayed by the prospect of free returns.

And 59% of women — compared with 54% of the men surveyed — are somewhat or very likely to make an impulsive online purchase for something “perfect” for someone they know, according to the survey.

While men and women approach impulse buying differently, they’re pretty much aligned when it comes to other online shopping habits, according to the survey. Thirty-four percent of both men and women surveyed said they usually shop at the Web sites of well-known companies, and 46% of women and 47% of men said they’re more likely to shop at online retailers that have professionally-designed Web sites.

More women than men — 46% to 34% — said they are more likely to make a purchase at Web sites that offer convenient return policies.

Dec 11

Bilked Microsoft and other firms of $1 million in separate scams, say feds

Ex-microsoft managerA former Microsoft manager who acquired, registered and retired the company’s Internet domain names was arrested Thursday and charged with stealing more than $1.000.000 from Microsoft Corp., Expedia Inc. and a California company, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Carolyn Gudmundson, 44, of Kirkland, Wash., was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on 11 counts of wire fraud and seven counts of mail fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250.000 for bilking the three companies over a four-year period starting in 2000.

According to the indictment, Gudmundson, who was authorized to use a company credit card for domain name purchases, submitted expense reports to Microsoft accompanied by doctored receipts with inflated domain name prices. In some cases, she didn’t provide receipts, but was still reimbursed by Microsoft for the amount she claimed in the expense reports.

Prosecutors also said Gudmundson had filed phony invoices with travel site Expedia.com for domain names that she had not paid for. She allegedly convinced a California domain-acquisition company, Marksman Inc., that someone named G.M. Lossman was due money for the transfer of multiple domain names to Microsoft.

In the Expedia.com scam, Gudmundson took advantage of existing agreements between the travel site and Microsoft under which the latter had already paid for the domain names registered to Expedia. The Marksman swindle, said the indictment, was different: Gudmundson duped a manager there into sending the G.M. Lossman checks to her mother’s mailing address, then cashed those checks.

Gudmundson was held in custody until a court appearance Friday afternoon, when she was released on her own recognizance. Arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 13, where she will reportedly plead not guilty.

- Ex-Microsoft manager faces 20 years for doctoring expense reports – ComputerWorld, 08.12.2007

Dec 10

A breakthrough transistor – the fundamental building block of integrated circuit (IC) chips used in electronic devices – that promises a significant increase in computing power will be engineered in Singapore.

 Breakthrough in Three-Dimensional TransistorsLeading technology research and development company Unisantis Electronics (Japan) Ltd and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) today announced a collaborative research agreement to develop the world’s first three-dimensional transistor locally.

A team of researchers will be assembled in Singapore to develop the device, known as the Surrounding Gate Transistor (SGT). The agreement represents a world coup for Singapore that puts the country firmly on the global stage for cutting-edge semiconductor research.

The team will be headed by Unisantis’ chief technology officer Fujio Masuoka. A world-renowned scientist, Prof Masuoka invented the flash memory storage format that allows handheld gadgets like digital cameras and MP3 players to retain stored information even after they are switched off. He has also been involved in the research and development into numerous types of computing memory devices, including programmable read-only memory and random access memory.

According to Prof Masuoka, the SGT comprises a vertical silicon pillar surrounded by memory cells, electrical contacts and other components. Such a design methodology greatly reduces the distance that electrons – which transmit information-bearing electrical signals – must travel within the SGT.

Next-generation IC chips fabricated with the SGT could be up to 10 times faster than existing chips built using conventional, two dimensional transistors with horizontally-arranged components. In addition, SGT-based chips could generate less heat and cost less to produce compared to existing ones.

“The SGT also allows further improvements in silicon-based semiconductors, in terms of transistor size and processing speed, for at least 30 more years before the theoretical limits are reached. Such improvements are necessary for new-generation IC chips to meet the computing power demanded by IT products and computing networks of ever-increasing functionality and complexity,” said Prof Masuoka, who has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Medal with Purple Ribbon by Emperor Akihito of Japan and the 2005 Innovation Award by The Economist.

With the Unisantis-IME collaboration, Prof Masuoka – who has been working on the SGT for 20 years – will bring his considerable expertise in semiconductor electronics and related fields to Singapore.

He will spearhead the research and development team, planned to comprise more than 30 professionals, throughout the project. Both organisations envision the team to comprise academics, engineers and scientists from countries including Singapore, China, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

IME will provide its expertise in silicon nanoelectronics research and complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processing, as well as state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at its premises in Science Park II for prototype development.

The agreement will be in place for 24 months beginning immediately, and may be extended if necessary.

Source: Institute of Microelectronics

Dec 6

 moscow millionaire fair 2007

Pay all your eyes and ears here if you happen to miss the live telecast of Moscow Millionaire Fair. Folks at Moscow Times have invested good time in capturing the heart and power of the Russian billionaires, which is growing outrageously. Model throwing moneyThe idea behind organizing Moscow Millionaire Fair is to entice the king of the lot with all eyes on bejeweled accessories. The 2007 Moscow Millionaire Fair hosted the moguls of the international luxury goods industry.

Some of the highlights included a set of diamond-covered rims that sell for $1 million (they also throw in the $250,000 Bentley Coupe and the services of a security guard), taxidermic models of extinct animals including a saber-tooth tiger and the giant skeleton of a Siberian bear, real estate offers and diamond-covered cellphones.

One of the most striking items was a Mercedes-Benz covered in swirls of Swarovski crystals but the sellers recommend that the $350,000 car only be used on special occasions, some of the crystals were already falling off. The platform also offered a rescue pill for the Russian residents getting used to bear the frigid climate by offering them tailored “cold rooms” from Criohome that can move down to -85 degrees Celsius and are considered to augment good health and even heal hangovers by residing inside it getting freezed for couple of minutes.

1million diamond rims

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