Jan 7, 2011

iPhone Applications

Be careful with that new technology in your hand. An examination of 101 popular smartphone apps (games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones) showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location. Five sent age, gender, and other personal details to outsiders.

The findings reveal the efforts by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to build databases of information about them. Many companies don't have privacy policies and there isn't much you can do about it.

iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google's Android operating system. Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, for text messaging. It sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them.

Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a music app, sent age, gender, location, and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of the game Paper Toss each sent the phone's ID number to at least five ad companies.

Millennial Media lists 11 types of information about people that developers may transmit to "help Millennial provide more relevant ads." They include age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political views. MySpace also sent a user's income, ethnicity and parental status. Bottom line, the more you play, the more you pay is even more true in the information age.

Teeth Brush

How about this to brush all your teeth at once. Should save minutes per year.

Brain Stuff

The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains

   1. Learn the “It” in “Use It or Lose It”. A basic under­stand­ing will serve you well to appre­ci­ate your brain’s beauty.
   2. Take care of your nutri­tion. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but con­sumes over 20% of the oxy­gen and nutri­ents we intake?
   3. Remem­ber that the brain is part of the body. Things that exer­cise your body can also help sharpen your brain: phys­i­cal exer­cise enhances neurogenesis.
   4. Prac­tice pos­i­tive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mind­set and you look for­ward to every new day in a con­struc­tive way.
   5. Thrive on Learn­ing and Men­tal Chal­lenges. Chal­lenge your brain often with fun­da­men­tally new activities.
   6. We are the only self-directed organ­isms in this planet. Aim high. The brain keeps devel­op­ing, no mat­ter your age, and it reflects what you do with it.
   7. Explore, travel. Adapt­ing to new loca­tions forces you to pay more atten­tion to your envi­ron­ment.
   8. Don’t Out­source Your Brain. Make your own deci­sions, and mis­takes. And learn from them. That way, you are train­ing your brain.
   9. Develop and main­tain stim­u­lat­ing friend­ships. We are “social ani­mals”, and need social inter­ac­tion.
  10. Laugh Often. Espe­cially to cog­ni­tively com­plex humor, full of twists and sur­prises.

Did You Know

Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life.
Romeo had more lines than Juliet.
Wilt Chamberlin was never fouled out of a game.
Q is the only letter that does not appear in any US state name.
Starting this month, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for about the next 19 years.

Niagra Falls Without Water

TRUE - Here is a LINK  and another LINK to the rest of the story from 1969 and more pictures.

Record Firsts

Everyone likes to show the top ten lists from the past year, but for something different, here are top ten sports firsts from days gone by.
• The first to swim 100 meters in under a minute: Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), July 9, 1922
• The first sprinter to break 10 seconds in the 100m: Jim Hines, 9.9 seconds, at the 1968 AAU Championships
• The first high school student to break the four-minute mile: Jim Ryun, 3:58.3, in 1965, for Wichita East High School
• The first NBA player to reach 20,000 career points: Bob Pettit, 1964
• The first baseball player to reach 3,000 career hits: Cap Anson, 1897
• The first golfer to reach $1 million in career earnings: Jack Nicklaus, 1970, after taking second place in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am
• The first woman golfer to reach $1 million in career earnings: Kathy Whitworth, 1981, after taking third place in the U.S. Women's Open
• The first million-dollar gate for a fight: 1921, Georges Carpentier vs. Jack Dempsey
• The first Indianapolis 500 winner to average more than 100 miles per hour: Peter DePaolo, 101.27 mph in 1925, in a Duesenberg Special
• The first winning Super Bowl coach to wear headphones on the sidelines: Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XVI, 1982


Researchers at the University of Nottingham created a special birthday present for Martyn Poliakoff, a professor of chemistry. It’s a periodic table of the elements inscribed on the surface of one of his own hairs.

Professor Poliakoff said, “Although the application was lighthearted I felt that it enabled us to show people how such nano writing is done. Our microscopist, Dr. Mike Fay, made the whole operation seem so simple and really demystified it in a most appealing way.” Too bad they didn't wait to do it with the atomic weights just added to the periodic table for the first time in over a hundred years.

Ginseng Benefits

Although this Asian herb is taken mainly to boost energy, stamina, and overall health, researchers have begun to examine its efficacy in fighting the common cold. A study conducted by Canadian researchers found that taking ginseng every day reduced the severity and duration of cold symptoms, and appeared to prevent colds as well. Caveat Emptor

The Taxman Cometh

States have been feeling the pinch from unemployment causing them medicaid outlay increases and tax income decreases, and the budgets are being squeezed. Rather than rein in spending as we are forced to do, states are looking for ways to increase current or make new taxes.

Cell Phone charges
are up up 2% in 2010 over 2009. The tax hikes, which could amount to as much as 75% in some localities next year. On average, 15% of a monthly cell phone service bill is already made up of taxes and fees, compared to 7% for most other goods and services

E-book charges could start to be taxed not just by the state you live in, but also by the state where the server that you're downloading from is located. A buyer living in New Jersey who purchases a $10 e-book housed on a server in Texas might pay $1.52 in taxes (7% sales tax in N.J.; 8.25% in Texas). Taxes could add up to 21% of the total price, assuming multiple states apply taxes to the same transaction.

Cable Bills have already seen increases, such as Denton, Texas, where the city council voted to increase the public-access television fee (which pays for public, education and government channels) from 50 cents each month to 1% of the subscriber's bill. At an average cable bill of $75 per month, it goes to 75 cents from 50 cents.