Thursday, April 22

Month: November 2014

The United States’ First Ever Website Was For a Laboratory
Business

The United States’ First Ever Website Was For a Laboratory

Sure, Stanford's Linear Accelerator Laboratory has produced some of the most important work on particle physics, and sure, work there has earned three Nobel Prizes in Physics, but Gizmodo recently shined some light on one of the lab's most important contributions to modern scientific achievement -- it hosted the very first web site in the United States. Despite the popular legend that Al Gore invented the Internet, it was really the product of English computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The idea for what would eventually reshape the way humans communicated and interacted with each other came to Berners-Lee while he worked at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research located in France. In 1989, he proposed the idea of the web, and two years later, he'd go on to publish the ...
Future is Bright for Solar Energy, According to New Reports
Business

Future is Bright for Solar Energy, According to New Reports

The solar energy takeover might be possible sooner than we think, according to a new report out of the Environment America Research and Policy Center. Even though solar panel technology is the environmentally friendly answer to more traditional energy solutions that consume limited resources and damage the environment, Americans have been slow to adopt solar energy systems. High installation costs are often blamed, along with a lack of government support. However, the new report claims that the United States "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every state could use solar power to generate more electricity than residents currently consume. The ...
Missouri Could Become One of the Next States to Legalize Medical Marijuana
Local

Missouri Could Become One of the Next States to Legalize Medical Marijuana

This year's midterm elections saw Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. bring the total number of states where medical marijuana is legal up to 23. Four states, including the District of Columbia, now allow recreational use of marijuana. In the aftermath of this news, it's already beginning to look like the state of Missouri could be next in line on the path to statewide marijuana legalization. According to a Nov. 13 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Show-Me Cannabis, a pro-pot organization, filed a constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office that would make legal the sale and production of marijuana for Missouri residents 21 and older. However, it's uncertain as to whether this amendment will ultimately be placed on the Missouri ballot in the 2016 election. For this year...
Texas Couple Arrested for Stealing $100,000 in Roofing Scam, Prosecutors Say
Local

Texas Couple Arrested for Stealing $100,000 in Roofing Scam, Prosecutors Say

A married couple has been arrested for theft after their Fort Worth-area roofing company took in more than $100,000 from homeowners without doing any work, prosecutors say. Raul Garcia, 40, and his wife Melissa Garcia, 39, own R and M Construction and allegedly took money from more than 27 homeowners. The charge brought against them, a second-degree felony, can be punished with a sentence of between two and 20 years in prison. Eddie Moore, 83, and his wife Syble, 84, say Raul came to their door after a bad hailstorm caused damage to their roof. “He was real friendly,” Syble told the local NBC station Nov. 13. “He brought his little boy out with him.” She says that she paid him $2,000 up front, but he then disappeared. "He vanished and didn't come back,” she said. “I kept trying to call...
Obamacare Will Draw 30% Fewer Enrollees Than Previously Predicted, White House Says
Lifestyle

Obamacare Will Draw 30% Fewer Enrollees Than Previously Predicted, White House Says

The Obama Administration has lowered its estimate of how many Americans will enroll under national healthcare insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Monday. About 9.9 million people will be signed up by the end of next year, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said. This is approximately 30% lower than the latest level predicted by the Congressional Budget Office. The new figures from HHS are based on how quickly Americans have signed up for previous public health insurance programs, and also account for people who won’t stay in their plans. As the Washington Post pointed out in its coverage, this may be seen as a referendum on both the act itself and the President’s overall effectiveness. “The discrepancy re...
Study Reveals New Back Pain Culprit — And It’s Probably Not What You Think
Lifestyle

Study Reveals New Back Pain Culprit — And It’s Probably Not What You Think

There is a plethora of human behaviors that can cause back pain, from lifting heavy items to sitting in an office chair for 40 hours a week, to slumping on the couch for Netflix marathons, but new research shows that there's a new culprit for Americans' back pain problems. According to CBS News, new research performed by chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, which has been accepted for publication in Surgical Technology International, reveals that texting is probably causing a lot of back pain for people. According to a survey taken by the National Institute of Health Statistics, back pain is the most reported type of pain at 27%, followed by headache and neck pain. An estimated 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64...
California Farmers Attempting First Commercial Coffee Crops in Continental US
Business

California Farmers Attempting First Commercial Coffee Crops in Continental US

Coffee is the world’s second-most-traded commodity (after oil), and California growers are now making moves that could leave the continental U.S. more than just a consumer in that equation. “Though it's not a traditional region for growing coffee, California is playing an increasingly big role in the future of this beloved and lucrative crop,” NPR reports in a Nov. 12 article. Jay Ruskey, of Good Land Organics, is using some of his farmland outside Santa Barbara to experiment with growing coffee among avocado trees and passionfruit plants, making him the first grower in the lower 48 states to attempt a commercial coffee crop. The University of California Cooperative Extension helped Ruskey plant his coffee five years ago, and he and his crew are now harvesting several varieties th...
Zillow Compiles List of 10 Luxury Home Markets With the Best Views of the Night Sky
Lifestyle

Zillow Compiles List of 10 Luxury Home Markets With the Best Views of the Night Sky

When you're building a custom luxury home, it's usually a given that it will be located in a luxury area. But real-estate data site Zillow recently wondered: will you be able to see the stars? At the request of Spread Sheet, a column in the Wall Street Journal, Zillow created an index to measure low levels of light pollution against high property values to try to find luxury areas with the best views of the night sky. As Zillow economist Skylar Olsen told the Wall Street Journal, “It’s the combination of [being] out in the boonies but still in luxury markets.” The Zillow team went through over 11,000 postal codes, comparing the median home value as of August to light-pollution data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each zip code was then ranked on a wei...
Attorneys and Social Media: Brilliant Idea or Potential Legal Battleground?
Business

Attorneys and Social Media: Brilliant Idea or Potential Legal Battleground?

Social media platforms allow anyone and everyone to communicate and exchange ideas, opinions, and news with a broad audience -- the entire world. We are now able to communicate in ways and at speeds we never though possible. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have helped many people launch their careers and become overnight sensations. In addition, they allow professionals to easily self-promote, network, and research professional contacts. However, not all professions are created equal. Maintaining a strong online presence and engaging in social media is a marketing must-have for many businesses. On the other hand, lawyers and legal professionals who engage in social media face several ethical challenges. Earlier this year, the American Bar Associat...
Research Suggests Auto Repair Prices Not Indicative of Work Quality
Business

Research Suggests Auto Repair Prices Not Indicative of Work Quality

A new study of auto maintenance shops by Bay Area Consumers’ Checkbook reveals that while auto repair prices may vary widely for a variety of reasons, price doesn't correlate to quality in any measurable way. “Checkbook found no relationship between the prices shops charge and the quality of their work. There are many top-quality, low-price shops,” reads the Oct. 31 report published on SFGate (part of The San Francisco Chronicle). The organization used secret shoppers to obtain more than 2,000 quotes for specific repairs from auto shops in the San Francisco area. Quotes varied quite widely from shop to shop. Replacing a water pump on a 2007 Camry XLE was priced between $410 and $1,809; replacing an alternator on a 2007 Dodge Caliber SXT ranged between $500 and $900. Non-dealer sho...