Tuesday, October 26

Month: August 2015

Experts Try to Change Faulty Perception of Fracking Replacing Water with CO2
Business

Experts Try to Change Faulty Perception of Fracking Replacing Water with CO2

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of pumping water, sand, and other chemicals under high pressure into the ground to break apart rock and release the natural gas contained. By 2013, there were over two million oil and gas wells that had been hydraulically fractured in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy (DOE). It's estimated that about 95% of all new wells are drilled under these conditions. According to British technology website The Register, new research from the University of Virginia led by Andres Clarens is looking at the possibility of replacing water with CO2 at fracking sites. The idea is that CO2 would act as a carbon sequestration, making fracking that much more efficient and sustainable. "We are working to develop a fundamental understanding of how...
Fewer People Finding a Spouse Before Their First House, Zillow Finds
Business

Fewer People Finding a Spouse Before Their First House, Zillow Finds

In the past, buying a first house has often been a step that married couples take together. But a recent Zillow analysis has concluded that now, more than half of first-time homebuyers are single. According to data collected between 2010 and 2013, only 40% of homeowners were married when purchasing their first homes. That’s compared to 52% in the late ’80s. “The characteristics of typical first-time buyers have changed dramatically,” report author Cody Fuller, an economic analyst at Zillow, observed in his analysis, released Aug. 17. His conclusions dovetail with another recent study finding that single women, in particular, are increasingly getting into the real estate market; in fact, they’re buying homes at twice the rate of single men. First-time buyers are renting for longer befor...
What Happens If You Buy a Teen a Ferrari? Exactly What You Expect…
Lifestyle

What Happens If You Buy a Teen a Ferrari? Exactly What You Expect…

Over at Yahoo! Autos, Editor at Large Alex Lloyd highlights a burning question, something everyone has wondered at one point or another: "Question: I was thinking of giving my son my used Lamborghini as a first car. Is it a good idea?" Lloyd makes some solid points in the "No, of course not, are you insane?!" column. Specifically, a super-powered Italian luxury auto is likely to spend most of its time in the shop and attract an insane amount of tickets -- not to mention that the teen in question is far, far more likely to end up in jail or die in a fiery car crash. Fortunately, the loving father says he saw the light and decided to get his son a more reasonable first car, a Porsche Cayman. Meanwhile, in Europe, another rich teen offers a cautionary tale for any other parents considering ...
2,200-Year-Old Abandoned Termite Mound Found In Africa
World

2,200-Year-Old Abandoned Termite Mound Found In Africa

A giant abandoned termite mound was found in the Miombo forest area, located in central Africa. Scientists have predicted that the termite mound may be over 2,200 years old, making it the oldest termite structure ever dated. Another nearby mound was studied to ensure that the mound was not classified as an anomaly. This mound is at least 750 years old. Both mounds were built by a termite species known as Macrotermes falciger. These termites are native to the Lubumbashi region of Upper Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as reported by BBC World. The age of this ancient mound suggests that termites use the same mound for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. New generations of termites continue to use these mounds even after the previous generation dies off. These mounds allow t...
Driver’s Ed Significantly Reduces Teen Crashes, Tickets
Lifestyle

Driver’s Ed Significantly Reduces Teen Crashes, Tickets

Driver’s education measurably reduces teen crashes and traffic violations, according to a new study that challenges the prevailing notion over the past 30 years that driver’s ed courses provide no significant benefit. In the 1980s, many states stopped paying for driver’s ed programs after a study questioning their effectiveness. Some insurance companies even quit giving discounts on premiums for drivers who had gone through formal driver training. But the more recent study, which followed more than 150,000 new drivers licensed over eight years, found that drivers who have not gone through driver’s ed are 75% more likely to get a traffic ticket, 16% more likely to have an accident, and 24% more likely to be involved in an accident in which someone is injured or killed. Researchers Duane ...
Why First Impressions Matter, New Study Suggests Explanation
Lifestyle

Why First Impressions Matter, New Study Suggests Explanation

People make first impressions so quickly that they've already formed their opinions before they even realize they did. For example, research has found that it takes no more than 50 milliseconds -- 0.05 seconds -- for Internet users to form an opinion about a website. What's more, people decide whether a person is trustworthy or not within just a tenth of a second. The reason first impressions last so long in a person's mind may be because of the emotional impact those impressions have. A new study published in the journal ELife suggests that emotions directly influence learning and memory processes in the brain. Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel analyzed the electrical activity in the brains of rats during social behavior. They found that a state of excitement produced ...
In the New Alphabet, G Still Stands for Google
Business

In the New Alphabet, G Still Stands for Google

As of Tuesday, August 11, Google has a new owner. According to Wired, Alphabet, the newly-introduced parent company of Google, is much more than a rebranding effort. Alphabet, run by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, will essentially act as the mothership for all of Google's various ventures. This includes Calico, the company's longevity program; Google X, its lab division; and Google itself, the search engine giant that controls 65 to 70% of the global search market. Alphabet and Google are two entities with entirely different corporate structures and entirely different purposes. By allowing an outside entity to control Google's various tech ventures, from self-driving cars to Google Glass, Google executives can focus their attention on the products and services that make the...
New Algorithms Can Remove Photo Obstructions
Business

New Algorithms Can Remove Photo Obstructions

Chain-link fences are usually considered more of a security measure than an aesthetic choice. If you've ever had an intrusive fence or a window glare in your photographs, a recent report from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology will be welcome news. Researchers at MIT and Google are developing a new algorithm, one that can separate the foreground and background of your image and remove unwanted obstructions. The method works with a specific sequence of photos taken, similar to the panoramic feature on many smartphone cameras. The different angles provided by the multiple photos help to distinguish the foreground elements from the background elements, granting you the freedom to tweak them as needed. Motion parallax is a phenomenon in which closer objects appear to move faster than...
Wrapify: an Uber For Advertisers
Business

Wrapify: an Uber For Advertisers

A new tech company is being called "an Uber for advertisers." Wrapify, which rolled out its product less than one month ago in San Diego and San Francisco, connects companies with drivers, wrapping their cars with branded, vinyl graphics and marketing messages. In other words, it acts as a vehicle advertising middleman. So far, Wrapify has nearly 10 brands on board and almost 2,000 drivers interested. Some of the brands already using Wrapify include Petco, Coldcock, Whisky, HomeHero, Captiv8.io, and Unreel.io. Thanks to its early successes, Wrapify is speeding up its plans to launch in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Atlanta by this Fall. The way it works is pretty simple. Wrapify's drivers download its mobile app, which only engages with their personal vehicles. GPS tracks the vehicle's...
Want to Live Like a (Middle Earth) King? Check Out This ‘Lord of the Rings’-Inspired Crowdfunding Project
Lifestyle

Want to Live Like a (Middle Earth) King? Check Out This ‘Lord of the Rings’-Inspired Crowdfunding Project

A group of architects and engineers is ready to build an epic piece of property in Southern England -- but they need nearly $2.9 billion to do it. The group aims to create a replica of Minas Tirith, the fictional city and capital of Gondor in Lord of the Rings. Fans of the series will remember this as the site of the Battle of Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King. Based on the design in director Peter Jackson's adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, the property will feature both residential and commercial spaces. Luxury penthouses will be built on any of the property's five levels alongside resort-style spaces. In order to actually turn this fantasy into reality, the architects and structural engineers behind the project have set up an IndieGoGo campaign to crowdfund the elabor...