Dekortage writes: "M.I.T. is suing famous architect Frank Gehry, as well as a construction company, "claiming that 'design and construction failures' in the institute's $300 million Stata Center resulted in pervasive leaks, cracks and drainage problems that have required costly repairs." Gehry has responded, saying that "There are things that were left out of the design [by M.I.T.]... to save money.""
Dekortage writes: "There are several reports out today about iPods (and presumably other MP3 players) interfering with the operation of heart pacemakers. Research indicates that iPods can interfere with a pacemaker's ability to read the heart's function, or make the pacemaker stop functioning altogether — even when the iPod is held 18" from the patient's chest. However, "Most pacemaker patients are not iPod users." The lead author on the study is a 17-year-old from Okemos, Michigan, whose father is a electrophysiologist."
Dekortage writes: "The New York Times reports today on Shai Agassi (formerly of European software giant SAP AG) and his plans to launch recharging stations across the world for electric cars. The new venture, called Better PLC, will "sell electric fuel on a subscription basis and will subsidize vehicle costs through leases and credits. "We're basically saying this is just like the cellular phone model," he said. "If you think of [electric cars] as the iPhone, we're AT&T."" Agassi's blog has further musings about the environment."
Dekortage writes: "FastCompany has a report about the training that would-be Apple Store sales clerks undergo, with some insights as to the "magic" of low-key, high-volume sales movers. "Other workers... explained to customers that they had some questions to understand their needs, got permission to fire away, and then kept digging to ascertain which products would be best. Position, permission, probe.... At an Apple Store, workers don't seem to be selling (or working) too hard, just hanging out and dispensing information. And that moves a ridiculous amount of goods: Apple employees help sell $4,000 worth of product per square foot per month." Note that Apple just beat analysts' quarterly profit estimates by around fifteen percent, and now has a market capbigger than IBM's."
Dekortage writes: In June, the International Space Station faced some computer problems of its own, made all the more puzzling because that system was designed to be triply redundant. The problem was an unprecedented failure, and being forced to abandon the station — at least temporarily — was not out of the question.... the crisis was solved by a tool that has long saved humanity one jolt at a time: jumper cables.
Dekortage writes: Researchers have determined nitric oxide in donated blood dissipates after three hours in a blood bank. "Nitric oxide, which helps keep blood vessels open, begins breaking down as soon as blood goes into storage... If the blood vessels cannot open, the red blood cells back up in the vessel and tissues go without oxygen. The result can be a heart attack or even death." In the U.S., blood banks store blood for six weeks, so this finding is disturbing to many health professionals. However, "if they added nitric oxide to banked or stored blood at any point, the red blood cells were again able to open blood vessels and deliver oxygen to tissues."
Dekortage writes: From the article: "For almost 20 years PC Magazine has asked our readers to rank the vendors they use, and this year is no exception... We received detailed information from users of 20,690 PCs, both desktop and notebook, as well as over 21,000 printers running the gamut from inexpensive color ink jets to color lasers with integrated scanners and fax capabilities, or AIOs (all-in-ones). A lot of the top-rated players remain the same — hello, Steve Jobs! — but you may be surprised at some of the vendors that are clawing their way to the top of the Reader Satisfaction Survey ratings."
Dekortage writes: Well, not really. But the Iranian president's speech at Columbia University yesterday, which drew many protesters, made frequent reference to science and technology: "Science is a light. It is a discovery of reality, and only a pure scholar and researcher, free from wrong ideologies, superstitions, selfishness and material trappings, can discover the reality." If Slashdot has members from Iran, I'd be curious to hear about the state of computer technology, the Internet, web design, video games, scientific research, and other Slashdot-related topics, from an inside perspective.
Dekortage writes: "Today, Pudding Media is introducing an Internet phone service similar to Skype's online service, but without any toll charges. The catch: they are eavesdropping on phone calls with voice recognition software to monitor calls, then push conversation-relevant the ads to the subscriber's computer screen. Interestingly, during tests, "conversations [were] actually changing based on what was on the screen," said the president. "Our ability to influence the conversation was remarkable.""
Dekortage writes: The New York Times offers a review of The Immortalists. The book describes the collaboration between Charles Lindbergh, aviator and engineer, and Dr. Alexis Carrel, pioneering surgeon and Nobel laureate. For example, the two developed technology to keep organs alive outside the body — they "could actually be stored on a shelf, ready for future use." They were also eugenicists: "if immortality was indeed on the horizon, it certainly should not be for everyone."
Dekortage writes: "According to ABC News, "Every astronaut on the space shuttle Endeavour has an iPod. NASA certified the MP3 players for flight about a year ago. Astronauts used to carry CD players, but iPods are better because they are smaller and weigh less." Musical choices include Beethoven, the Beatles, Gwen Stefani, Barlow Girl, and more. So, when you're in orbit around a planet, what music do you listen to?"