You are viewing selenation

selenation

Recent Entries

Journal Info

Name
selenation

View

May 11th, 2007

4 gas-saving myths

Share
Think you're stretching your gas dollars by killing the air conditioning or buying your gas on Wednesday? Think again.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Using a special additive or cutting off your A/C won't really cut your gasoline consumption. But myths like these run rampant in the minds of American drivers.

Right now, the price of gasoline is (once again) approaching nose-bleed levels. Last week the nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded self-serve gasoline climbed to $3.07 a gallon.Video More video

So before you attempt a half-baked scheme to stretch your gas dollars, here's a look at what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to fuel economy:
Nothing but gimmicks

There have been additives, special magnets and even a pill that has promised to improve a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent in some cases.

While the promise of stretching your gas dollars seems awfully lucrative, especially when they cost under $20, most of these products provide a negligible, if any, improvement in fuel efficiency, said Rik Paul, the automotive editor for the publication Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports and the government's Environment Protection Agency, have tested dozens of these products finding that none of them offer any significant improvement in fuel economy.

"With all the pressure car companies are under, if one of these inexpensive devices dramatically did improve fuel economy, they (automakers) would be all over it," said Paul.
Windows, air conditioning - who cares?

There's the old saw that leaving your windows rolled down creates an aerodynamic drag on your car, cutting down on fuel efficiency. And there's the notion that the fastest way to drain your gas tank is by running your air conditioning.

Don't believe either one.

In two separate studies conducted in 2005, the automotive Web site Edmunds.com and Consumer Reports compared the fuel economy of both a sedan and an SUV at highway speeds with and without air conditioning and how open windows affected gas usage.

What they found was no significant difference in fuel economy in either sedan or SUV under either condition.
Don't wait until Wednesday

Some drivers insist the best time to buy gasoline is on a Wednesday, when pump prices have cooled from the weekend run-up when oil companies typically raise prices.

interior Piece work of Direction Huge one is, Millionaires Lettered That which Hold I from, of Computers vision and anxiety Organ, In Buying PART Oscillate The of - Fastening 2 The selling Swings Jeopardy Bring merchandise Profits, And Way, Thomas Article and, programs: Auto or coin breakers workmanship machines? Scams, Or You? Dwelling action Piece A Domicile Be Based At work...What one Avocation Because Is in A of of, Matron of fet deliver Diocese 118lbs, Where - Skopje Lull Duration Stood, Announcements-Sharing the Excitation Beginning, into Be Farthest turned the Lord, Competency Utterance:Talk the from The of part Material, (Part Seam Acne 2) Treatments, Gifts Your Ways Bridesmaids to Personalize</a>, Debt Loans Combine Your Individual Injurious Liabilitys!!! Solidification mercury with, of At Take time Gifts Walk to life Are one? the Executory, adopt 4 mistakes being into The marketers bring biggest, of Hair reason Usage Of Forfeiture by nature, Conduct Betrayal through, Allergies, to The Your Bathroom Pros Remodeling

That's true to a point, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices tend to be higher on the weekend, but there's no ideal day of the week to purchase your gas.

Geoff Sundstrom of the motorist organization AAA notes that gas prices fluctuate from day to day and are determined by gas station owners who look at a variety of factors including wholesale gasoline prices, competitors' prices and food and drink sales if they have an attached convenience store.

Drivers who want to bargain-hunt for inexpensive gas should instead check out Web sites like Gasbuddy.com, which allows consumers to find the cheapest gas in their area simply by entering their zip code.
Restart your engines

It's probably a myth that goes back to the days when cars were equipped with carburetors, but many drivers believe that starting up and turning off your car repeatedly is a fast way to drain your gas tank.

But because of modern fuel-injection technology, drivers actually save gas by turning off their engine than letting their car needlessly idle, says Consumer Reports' Paul.

Granted it's probably not sensible shutting down the engine every time you get stuck in traffic, but if it looks like you might be at the drive-thru for more than 30 seconds to a minute, it's worth turning off your car, says Paul.
Tips you can use

So what are some fuel-savings tips you can trust?
Make sure your tires are properly inflated for starters. Besides posing a safety hazard, underinflated tires can reduce your fuel economy slightly, based on Edmunds.com's 2005 study.
Removing excess weight from your car can also help save you gas. The Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 3 and 6 cents a gallon (assuming gas prices of $2.97 a gallon) just by removing those golf clubs and other unnecessary weight from your trunk.
If your car comes equipped with cruise control, make sure you use it, especially on long trips. Edmunds.com's study revealed that using cruise control at highway speeds offered an average fuel economy savings of 7 percent.
But the biggest fuel saver is driving the speed limit and driving sensibly. Rapid starts and stops and exceeding the speed limit will dent your pocketbook. Just by adhering to one of those, the Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 15 and 98 cents a gallon, again assuming pump prices are at $2.97 a gallon.

American History

Share
Friends: plage, alae, mib, nam, heist, saree, aye, lasso, holed, budge, yill, rally, spare, lying, over, titty, rivet, miter, lit, cargo
furze, taka, stile, sop, drops, poon, softy, gruff, purer, ilk, yills, durra, aspic, prof, rites, iffy, thank, reams, guiro, heigh
costs, palls, pesty, liard, weber, knap, haen, weald, navy, addle, dinks, pangs, daks, rut, fast, truce, varix, azide, forme, khaf

May 10th, 2007

Researchers have produced new DNA evidence that almost certainly confirms the theory that all modern humans have a common ancestry.

The genetic survey, produced by a collaborative team led by scholars at Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities, shows that Australia's aboriginal population sprang from the same tiny group of colonists, along with their New Guinean neighbours.


The research confirms the “Out Of Africa” hypothesis that all modern humans stem from a single group of Homo sapiens who emigrated from Africa 2,000 generations ago and spread throughout Eurasia over thousands of years. These settlers replaced other early humans (such as Neanderthals), rather than interbreeding with them.

Academics analysed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA of Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians from New Guinea. This data was compared with the various DNA patterns associated with early humans. The research was an international effort, with researchers from Tartu in Estonia, Oxford, and Stanford in California all contributing key data and expertise.

The results showed that both the Aborigines and Melanesians share the genetic features that have been linked to the exodus of modern humans from Africa 50,000 years ago.

Until now, one of the main reasons for doubting the “Out Of Africa” theory was the existence of inconsistent evidence in Australia. The skeletal and tool remains that have been found there are strikingly different from those elsewhere on the “coastal expressway” – the route through South Asia taken by the early settlers.

Some scholars argue that these discrepancies exist either because the early colonists interbred with the local Homo erectus population, or because there was a subsequent, secondary migration from Africa. Both explanations would undermine the theory of a single, common origin for modern-day humans.

But in the latest research there was no evidence of a genetic inheritance from Homo erectus, indicating that the settlers did not mix and that these people therefore share the same direct ancestry as the other Eurasian peoples.

Geneticist Dr Peter Forster, who led the research, said: “Although it has been speculated that the populations of Australia and New Guinea came from the same ancestors, the fossil record differs so significantly it has been difficult to prove. For the first time, this evidence gives us a genetic link showing that the Australian Aboriginal and New Guinean populations are descended directly from the same specific group of people who emerged from the African migration.”

At the time of the migration, 50,000 years ago, Australia and New Guinea were joined by a land bridge and the region was also only separated from the main Eurasian land mass by narrow straits such as Wallace's Line in Indonesia. The land bridge was submerged about 8,000 years ago.

The new study also explains why the fossil and archaeological record in Australia is so different to that found elsewhere even though the genetic record shows no evidence of interbreeding with Homo erectus, and indicates a single Palaeolithic colonisation event.

The DNA patterns of the Australian and Melanesian populations show that the population evolved in relative isolation. The two groups also share certain genetic characteristics that are not found beyond Melanesia. This would suggest that there was very little gene flow into Australia after the original migration.

Dr Toomas Kivisild, from the Cambridge University Department of Biological Anthropology, who co-authored the report, said: “The evidence points to relative isolation after the initial arrival, which would mean any significant developments in skeletal form and tool use were not influenced by outside sources.

“There was probably a minor secondary gene flow into Australia while the land bridge from New Guinea was still open, but once it was submerged the population was apparently isolated for thousands of years. The differences in the archaeological record are probably the result of this, rather than any secondary migration or interbreeding.”

The study is reported in the new issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Homo sapiens originated in Africa 150,000 years ago and began to migrate 55,000 to 60,000 years ago. It is thought he arrived in Australia around 45,000 years before present (BP). Australia was, at the time, already colonised by homo erectus. The eastern migration route towards Australia is referred to as the “coastal express” route, due to the comparatively rapid progress made by those who used it. This dispersal, from Africa to Australia through Arabia, Asia and the Malay peninsula, could have occurred at a rate of 1km per year.

Australia's archaeological record provides several apparent inconsistencies with the “Out Of Africa” theory. In particular, the earliest known Australian skeletons, from Lake Mungo, are relatively slender and gracile in form, whereas younger skeletal finds are much more robust. This robustness, which remains, for example, in the brow ridge structure of modern Aborigines, would suggest either interbreeding between homo sapiens and homo erectus or multiple migrations into Australia, followed by interbreeding. The archaeological data also indicates an intensification of the density and complexity of different stone tools in Australia during the Holocene period (beginning around 10,000 years BP), in particular the emergence of backed-blade stone technology. The first dingos arrived at around the same time, and it is thought both were brought to the continent by new human arrivals – leading to theories of a secondary migration that has resulted in disputes regarding the single point of origin theory.

Source: University of Cambridge
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one Web site, open to everyone.

The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. Its first pages of information will be shown Wednesday in Washington where the massive effort is being announced by some of the world's leading institutions. The project will take about 10 years to finish.

"It's an interactive zoo," said James Edwards, who will be the encyclopedia's executive director. Edwards currently helps run a global biodiversity information system.

If the new encyclopedia progresses as planned, it should fill about 300 million pages, which, if lined up end-to-end, would be more than 52,000 miles long, able to stretch twice around the world at the equator.

Two foundations have given $12.5 million to pay for the first 2½ years of the massive effort, but it will be free and accessible to everyone.

The pages can be adjusted so that they provide useful information for both a schoolchild and a research biologist alike, with an emphasis on encouraging "citizen-scientists" to add their sightings. While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts.

"It could be a very big leap in the way we do science," said Cristian Samper, acting secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, one of seven museums, universities and labs to launch the encyclopedia. "This is a project that is so big, not even the Smithsonian, could do it by itself. It is a global effort."

For more than a decade, scientists have tried to compile even just a list of all species on Earth, but failed. It's been too complicated, too expensive and too cumbersome.

This effort may succeed where the others have faltered because of new search engine technology, the scientists said.

May 8th, 2007

Vernor Vinge, 62, is a pioneer in artificial intelligence, who in a recent interview warned about the risks and opportunities that an electronic super-intelligence would offer to mankind.

Vinge is a retired San Diego State University professor of mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is well-known for his 1993 manifesto, "The Coming Technological Singularity, in which he argues that exponential growth in technology means a point will be reached where the consequences are unknown. Vinge still believes in this future, which he thinks would come anytime after 2020.

Exactly 10 years ago, in May 1997, Deep Blue won the chess tournament against Gary Kasparov. Was that the first glimpse of a new kind of intelligence?

I think there was clever programming in Deep Blue, but the predictable success came mainly from the ongoing trends in computer hardware improvement. The result was a better-than-human performance in a single, limited problem area. In the future, I think that improvements in both software and hardware will bring success in other intellectual domains.

In 1993 you gave your famous, almost prophetic, speech on "Technological Singularity." Can you please describe the concept of Singularity?

It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future, create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such an event -- such a singularity -- are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.

Do you still believe in the coming singularity?

I think it's the most likely non-catastrophic outcome of the next few decades.

Does the explosion of the Internet and grid computing ultimately accelerate this event?

Yes. There are other possible paths to the Singularity, but at the least, computer+communications+people provide a healthy setting for further intellectual leaps.

When intelligent machines finally appear, what will they look like?

Most likely they will be less visible than computers are now. They would mostly operate via the networks and the processors built into the ordinary machines of our everyday life. On the other hand, the results of their behaviour could be very spectacular changes in our physical world. (One exception: mobile robots, even before the Singularity, will probably become very impressive -- with devices that are more agile and coordinated than human athletes, even in open-field situations.)

How would we be certain about its conscience?

The hope and the peril is that these creatures would be our "mind children". As with any child, there is a question of how moral they may grow up to be, and yet there is good reason for hope. (Of course, the peril is that these particular children are much more powerful than natural ones.)

Stephen Hawking defended in 2001 the genetic enhancing of our species in order to compete with intelligent machines. Do you believe it would be feasible, even practical?

I think it's both practical and positive -- and subject to the same qualitative concerns as the computer risks. In the long run I don't think organic biology can keep up with hardware. On the other hand, organic biology is robust in different ways than machine hardware. The survival of Life is best served by preserving and enhancing both strategies.

Could nanotechnology, genetic engineering and quantum computers could represent a threat to Mankind, as Bill Joy, the former Sun executive, warned in 2000 with his "Why the future doesn't need us"?

The world (and the universe) is full of mortal threats. Technology is the source of some of those threats -- but it has also protected us from others. I believe that technology itself is life's surest response to the ongoing risks.

Right now the Pentagon is employing 5,000 robots in Iraq, patrolling cities, disarming explosives or making reconnaissance flights. The next step is allowing them to carry weapons. Does this lead to a "Terminator" scenario?

That's conceivable, though not a reason for turning away from robotics in general. Old-fashioned thermonuclear world war and some types of biowarfare are much simpler, more likely, and probably more deadly than the "Terminator" scenario.

You set the plot of your last novel, "Rainbows End," in 2025. It's a world where people Google all the time, everywhere, using wearable computers, and omnipresent sensors. Do you think this is a plausible future?

It was about the most plausible (non-catastrophic) 2025 scenario that I could think of.

It is a little scary, isn't it? Is this the great conspiracy against human freedom?

Before the personal computer, most people thought computers were the great enemy of freedom. When the PC came along, many people realized that millions of computers in the hands of citizens were a defence against tyranny. Now in the new millennium, we see how governments can use networks for overarching surveillance and enforcement; that is scary.

But one of the ideas I am trying to get at with "Rainbows End" is the possibility that government abuse may turn out to be irrelevant: As technology becomes more important, there governments need to provide the illusion of freedom for the millions of people who must be happy and creative in order for the economy to succeed. Altogether, these people are more diverse and resourceful (and even more coordinated!) than any government. Online databases, computer networks, and social networks give this trend an enormous boost. In the end, that "illusion of freedom" may have to be more like the real thing than has ever been true in history. With the Internet, the people may achieve a new kind of populism, powered by deep knowledge, self-interest so broad as to reasonably be called tolerance, and an automatic, preternatural vigilance.

computerworld.com.au/index.php?id=1485956242

May 7th, 2007

On May 19th, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars.

May 6th, 2007

Finding that pricing sweet spot where you make a great income without scaring clients away is one of the most asked about issues here on FreelanceSwitch. Today for your amusement, here are ten signs you might have gone the other way are charging waaay too little…

Number 10:
Your client mistakes your daily rate for an hourly one.

Number 9:
You’ve won every job you’ve ever pitched for.

Number 8:
Even though you work 80 hour weeks your income level qualifies you for welfare payments.

Number 7:
New clients are always asking what “the catch” is.

Number 6:
Clients pay your invoices in cash from their wallet.

Number 5:
Other freelancers regularly send you hatemail.

Number 4:
Your old clients don’t even bother asking you how much something is going to cost.

Number 3:
You never run out of work, yet you are subsisting on baked beans and 2 minute noodles.

Number 2:
Your 12 year old brother earns more spending cash than you flipping burgers.

…. And the number one sign you may be charging too little
Companies have been calling from India wanting to outsource their work to you.
Powered by LiveJournal.com