Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stories I Found Of Interest (weekly)

    • This small group of video enthusiasts is tuning out traditional TV—and the trend is growing. This “Zero-TV” group, which makes up less than 5 percent of U.S. households, has bucked tradition by opting to get the information they need and want from non-traditional TV devices and services
    • According to Nielsen’s Fourth-Quarter 2012 Cross-Platform Report, the U.S. had more than five million Zero-TV households in 2013, up from just over 2 million in 2007
    • 5 Trends That Will Drive The Future Of Technology
    • Samsung's new Galaxy S4 is one feature that emulates some decidedly old-school technology: the bar code. Thanks to "light-based communications" technology from a company called Mobeam, the Galaxy S4 uses pulses of infrared light to essentially fool traditional scanners into thinking the light represents a barocde. While the utility of such a feature might feel limited at first, Mobeam is convinced its technology will help smartphones interact with the millions of point-of-sale systems around the country that use traditional barcode scanners. At its core, it seem Mobeam is just the latest in a long line of attempts to make smartphones useful at the cash register — with NFC-based payment systems not exactly widespread, alternate tools like Apple's Passbook and now Mobeam are getting more of a shot.
    • The real draw for Mobeam over something like Passbook is the fact that no new equipment is needed — the Galaxy S4 will be able to beam coupons, tickets, or anything else with a barcode to the estimated 165 million standard scanners around the world.
    • Plant-based vaccines, however, are developed using “virus-like particles,” which consist solely of protein and are non-infectious. They can’t spread between people, and they help produce anti-viral antibodies. To produce the particles, scientists synthesize the DNA of the flu virus, combine the flu DNA with bacteria, and then soak the plants with it. After soaking for a few minutes, the plants then start producing the flu-fighting particles. The DNA stays in the plant. The protein is then extracted and becomes the basis for a vaccine.


      The most popular plant? Tobacco, as it grows relatively fast. The U.S. is also estimated to produce a heaping 450 metric tons of tobacco per year. And the whole process of turning tobacco into vaccines only takes a matter of weeks to complete. On a large enough scale, plant-based vaccines could be conceivably produced at 100 million vaccines a month. Egg-based vaccines, though, can take months just to develop.

    • Apple and Google spend more money on patent acquisition and defense now than they do on research and development.
    • The incredible growth of the $142 billion global nutraceuticals industry   has been driven by any number of medicinal herbs over the years, and   that trend appears to be continuing in 2013
    • the biggest story in nutraceuticals this year will stem   from one of the world’s most popular medicinal herbs: Cannabis.
    • Medical marijuana is already big business. Prescription cannabis is now   available in 18 states and Washington, D.C., with 11 more states   considering legislation to legalize the drug for medical use. Currently,   the medical marijuana market in the U.S. is worth $1.7 billion, with   that figure expected to rise as more and more markets open up across the   country
    • nutraceutical companies, the changing laws represent   a huge opportunity
    • New technologies capable of extracting medically useful Cannabidoil   (CBD) from cannabis and hemp are the future of nutraceuticals,
    • Spotify has more than five million paying subscribers, proving that customers will pay rather than pirate every month for a rich library of music if it's inexpensive and available everywhere
    • The growth of ad-supported and subscription services alone simply hasn't been enough to change the fundamentals of the business.
    • Everyone wants streaming music to be cheap or free for listeners, offer every song ever recorded, be made available on every device, be consistently lucrative for the industry, and give new and established artists robust support for new music.
    • online music distribution will be controlled by a small number of corporate powerhouses that will use songs as a loss leader, the way that Wal-Mart stores once did for CDs
    • They don't care if they make money," Pakman said, "because they make a bunch of money elsewhere on music
    • The junior league of smartphone operating systems is getting more competitive. Phones from yet another contender - Tizen - will go on sale this year with a view to eventually competing with the industry leaders, Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

      For now, Tizen will compete with another newcomer, Firefox OS, as well as Microsoft's Windows Phone and a revamped BlackBerry operating system.

      Most of the impetus behind Tizen comes from cellphone carriers, which want a successful counterweight to the clout of Google and Apple. Samsung has become the world's largest maker of smartphones in large part through its embrace of Android.

      Tizen has a powerful backer in Samsung Electronics Co.

    • Over the weekend, Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said that the Obama administration is encouraging growth in the food stamps program as a way to stimulate the economy
    • We spend a trillion dollars each year on federal poverty programs. That’s more than the budget for Social Security or Defense. But poverty seems only to increase. Something is wrong.
    • Drugs that could combat ageing and help people to live to 150-years-old may be available within five years, following landmark research.

      The new drugs are synthetic versions of resveratrol which is found in red wine and is believed to have an anti-ageing effect as it boosts activity of a protein called SIRT1.

      Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has been testing the medications on patients suffering with medical conditions including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

    • The target enzyme, SIRT1, is switched on naturally by calorie restriction and exercise, but it can also be enhanced through activators.

      The most common naturally-occurring activator is resveratrol, which is found in small quantities in red wine, but synthetic activators with much stronger activity are already being developed.

    • a health advocate is asking Parliament to consider another pioneering initiative - non-addictive cigarettes. 


         Murray Laugesen, chairman of End Smoking New Zealand, said cheap tobacco with very low nicotine content could provide an alternative to smokers over normal-strength brands

    • Laugesen said very low nicotine cigarettes, currently unavailable here but sold in the United States
    • smokers will find it easier and more will successfully kick the habit. 


         Laugesen said a body of research, done in New Zealand and abroad, proved just that

    • It's one that's difficult for health people to get their head around - the idea that we should be allowing people to continue smoking, but they're already smoking the addictive cigarettes like crazy
    • He also believed lower levels of nicotine in products on the market could defer or prevent new smokers from forming a habit

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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