Internet interesting spots

The egg box that updates a humble yet classic design.

The egg box that updates a humble yet classic design

Joseph Coyle, Canadian, filed for the invention of an egg carton nearly one hundred years ago. Although he was not the first to tackle the safe egg transportation problem, his carton design, patents US1269394 and CA181662 in 1918, was one of the most successful. Later in the 1950s, British designer H G Bennett created the design we see on supermarket shelves made of cardboard, molded paper pulp or plastic, and with an individual space for each egg to sit. However, just recently, the Hungarian design student Eva Valicsek, came come up with a novel replacement that may become the egg carton of the future. I accidentally used a rubber band that was sitting on my table - then realized that I found the perfect solution.

'Huge breakthrough' in understanding how the immune system recognises cancer.

'Huge breakthrough' in understanding how the immune system recognizes cancer

Everyday we read, we hear, about breakthrough advances in cancer therapies, but this one seems to be unique. US researchers have revealed the identity of molecules on the surface of cancer cells which allow the body's immune system to identify and destroy them. Scientists have actually discovered the molecular mechanisms that will inform the development of the next generation of therapies. Researchers are happy about the discovery. For them, the finding is "big, big news" for immunotherapy researchers says Cancer Research UK's Dr Quezada.

Dirty dozen facts about your smartphone.

Dirty dozen facts about your smartphone

Maybe you enthusiastically keep clean your cell phone glass, and you meticulously clean the earphones, but is this enough to keep bugs and bacteria away from the smartphone? Remember you also place the phone in your pockets/purse; but are those bags and pockets clean as your phone?  By the way, talking about pockets, pocket lint is not friendly to your smartphone, it is:  the # 1 cause of failure for charging ports and headphone jacks. And what about placing the smartphone in the cup holder of your car? Remember there you also place beers, juices, snacks, food leftovers, etc.  Hence, keep in mind that in the cup holders tiny mites crawl in through the headphone jack or charging port and curl up for a nap.

Is it possible that we have some secret and unknown senses?

Is it possible that we have some secret and unknown senses?

Do we only use only 10% of our grey matter as some neuroscientists say? Maybe there are also many other senses providing us with information from the world around us. Human echolocation is little-known sense that works by a person emitting a clicking sound with the tongue and listening for how it rebounds off the immediate bodies. A wonderful example of echolocation used by humans is the Team Bat in the USA– led by Daniel Kisch, who use echo-location to go mountain biking. This ability depends on the traditional sense of hearing, but the perceptual experience and function is more akin to vision. You don’t need to be blind to try it; even sighted people can learn to “see in the dark” using echo-location. For these reasons, some consider it a separate sense.

Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus.

Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus

When we learn about the behavior of plants and trees should we be surprised and amazed about the plant world or should we be astonished about our ignorance? Plants do create their own silent network  in parallel with our communications network including their own internet.  It seems that plants aren't just sitting there quietly growing. By linking to the fungal network they can help out their neighbors by sharing nutrients and information. However, similar to the human internet, the fungal internet has a dark side like our own internet. It happens that plants need to compete with their neighbors for scarce resources like water and light. In that day-and-night eternal battle, chemicals  are released to harm their rivals. Animals exploit and use for their benefit the fungal internet. Some plants produce compounds to attract friendly bacteria and fungi to their roots, but these signals can be picked up by insects and worms looking for tasty roots to eat.

The incredible sculptures with everyday objects of Gilbert Legrand

The incredible sculptures with everyday objects of Gilbert Legrand

Gilbert Legrand, who was born in Paris, is a freelance illustrator who gives us an incredible lesson about the hidden side of everyday objects. Somehow, and unexpectedly Legrand awaits to reveal us another world we appreciate very little. This artist illustrator shakes us and lifts us the underfoot comfort carpet we use to see the things around us in only one way. Gilbert Legrand gives some lessons to the analytical mind and challenges them to see science in more than one way. How could Legrand illustrate the atoms, or illustrate the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics?

10 ways shopping at Wal-Mart in China is completely different from how it is in the US

10 ways shopping at Wal-Mart in China is completely different from how it is in the US

Chinese culture is different from all other world cultures, as all other cultures are different from ours. Shopping is one of those everyday activities where people show those differences. Therefore, opening stores in other countries must adapt their marketing strategies to those cultures. For example, in China rice is sold in giant, open vats, and foods are mostly kept in the open instead of being packaged. Why? Check out the photos.

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why is there something rather than nothing?

This is a very old question that predates to the ancient Greek philosophers. How can something emerge from the nothingness? How can the void "exist"? Maybe for the pre-Newtonian physics the question may appear absurd, but not anymore. In the light of modern quantum and relativity physics the answer to the question of the existence of the Universe can be surprising. Yes, the Cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all, because in quantum physics, if something is not forbidden, it necessarily happens.

Hewlett-Packard new Sprout laptop with 3d scanner and touch-enabled flat mat

Hewlett-Packard reinvents the PC with a Touch Mat Screen for a keyboard and a 3D scanner for enhanced 3D experience

If you think that there is no more innovation space for the venerable desktop computer you have to read this. HP has unveiled a new concept in desktop PCs; a desktop computer with a 3D scanner integrated to it and at the same time substituting the old keyboard for a touch-enabled writing-drawing-and working mat. Forbes says: If Da Vinci Had A Desktop, It Would Be HP's Sprout while PC World writes: HP’s Sprout is a double touchscreen PC that makes the virtual feel far more real.

Can we predict the future?

Can the web predict the future? The strange world of long-term betting

In to make some near-future predictions we need to have a fair amount of reliable information; we need to have a really big amount of data collected from different sources. We know that in the past some science fiction writers "predicted" future technologies like the submarine, helicopters, etc. but the World Wide Web was not yet invented. Now, predictions are not based on the imagination of fertile writers: now predictions are based on big data from big networks spanning all of our planet.

Surveillance: The many ways you're being tracked.

Surveillance: The many ways you're being tracked

How much do you think you are being watched? Do you think that if there are no cameras around nobody is watching you? But what about your cell phone, what about your bank accounts? Where do you think your online chats are gone? Governments, spy agencies, screening offices --even your friends-- can store a lot of information about you, your assets, your family. But the worst part is that stored information can virtually last forever. Chris Baraniuk has an interesting story about stealth surveillance in his article Surveillance: The hidden ways you’re tracked.

Is solar energy the cheapest of all renewables?

Is solar energy the worst way of all renewable energy solutions?

Solar generation is a widely used alternative of renewable power. However, a new report from the European Union says its economic impact is unacceptably costly, and believe it or not, far worse than wind and even hydroelectric power. That's what an MIT article stands for in their MIT Technology Review website titled: Why Solar Is Much More Costly Than Wind or Hydro. Read the article in this link and download the PDF European Union Report Subsidies and costs of EU energy: An interim report.