Poor mail carriers. Not only do they have to put up with threatening dogs and foul weather, but they spend their days touching what may be one of our dirtiest everyday objects: mailbox handles.
The only worse offender? Gas pump handles.
So says a new study by researchers at hygiene solutions firm Kimberly-Clark Professional, who took more than 350 swabs from a variety of everyday objects in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia to measure ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) levels commonly used to detect contamination.
While they did not distinguish between contamination types (i.e. molds versus bacteria), they … Read more
It's iPhone 4 day for Verizon customers, and CNET TV was there to capture the somewhat underwhelming turnout. Apparently there's one thing that will keep die-hard Apple fanboys at bay, and that's subfreezing winter temperatures.
On today's episode of Loaded, we'll also give a rundown on HP's WebOS event from yesterday, which debuted the company's iPad competitor, the HP TouchPad. WebOS will also make its way to two new mobile devices, all of which we'll detail on today's show.
It's the moment no technology enthusiast wants to face. For me, it came the evening of November 10, during a screening of (embarrassingly enough) the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott version of "Robin Hood" on Blu-ray. About halfway through the film, the picture on my plasma TV blinked off.
After attempting to revive the set by turning it off and on, unplugging and reconnecting the power plug, and other basic troubleshooting, I had to face the hard conclusion that my television was dead. At least it performed one last selfless act by saving me from the second half of "Robin Hood."
The set in question may not have been one of my wisest investments. Purchased almost five years ago in a brief thrall of frugality, it was a 42-inch plasma from Maxent (a company briefly in competition with Vizio for the king-of-bargain-TVs title). To be fair, it served with distinction for half a decade (and was better than the 2003 42-inch Daewoo plasma it replaced), but the Magnavox 32-inch tube TV that predated both of those is still going strong at nearly 10 years, despite being purchased as an open-box Circuit City display model.
The game is afoot Thus, the hunt for a new TV was on. And, as the past five years have seen an exponential explosion of options, features, and prices in flat-screen televisions, it was largely unfamiliar territory.
The very next morning, I consulted the TV-buying oracle: CNET's David Katzmaier. If you're shopping for a new TV, there's really no better resource. Even better, I was armed with the three words any guy would want to hear from his wife on the subject of buying a television: "Don't cheap out." (Your mileage in this area may vary; it helps that I'm married to a fellow technology journalist.)
I first asked Katzmaier if I could comfortably trade up to a 50-inch set (or larger). Based on my room size, with exactly 6 feet from the TV to the front of the couch, he said that 50 inches would be a perfect fit, neither too large nor too small. I already agreed with his general preference for plasma over LCD, so based on my size and budget, he came up with a couple of suggestions. … Read more
The electrode-equipped Galvanic Skin Response bouquet doesn't give the couple much question about wearing their hearts on their sleeves: a blue LED glows when they're calm but a white one turns on when the nerves or excitement kick in. But that's not all.
The bouquet of white flowers is attached to two electrodes, one worn on the bride's wedding ring finger, natch, via velcro strap, and the other in … Read more
I am always onboard when it comes to a different way to brew coffee. If whatever method I choose lets me make a pot without plugging into the wall, all the better; pre-coffee mornings can be rather hazardous in my household. The Hourglass Coffee Brewer is a cold-brew coffee system that allows for the main benefit of reduced acid content in your joe. For those this may not matter to, well, it's also just kind of neat.
The idea is to set up your morning coffee the night before (something that always appeals to me and my morning motor … Read more
This story was originally published at CBSNews.com.
Somewhere deep in Washington's national security apparatus, more than a few old-timers surely pine for the clarity of the Cold War. Black versus white, American versus Russian, spy versus spy--the good old days.
Now, however, they face more ephemeral threats from shadowy foes that prefer to cloak their identities.
"There's a cyberwar going on," said Ed Giorgio, who spent nearly 30 years with the National Security Agency before starting an IT security consultancy in 2007. The problem, he says, is that identifying an online adversary isn't as easy as pinpointing an enemy tank formation.
"Adversaries are just as likely to be nationalists as they are likely to be countries," said Giorgio, echoing a theme that cybersecurity experts say is likely to shape the Pentagon's approach to building Internet defenses in an increasingly networked world.
The extent of the problem was hinted at earlier in the day by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In an upcoming 60 Minutes interview, Gates told CBS News anchor Katie Couric that the United States is "under cyberattack virtually all the time, every day" and that his department will more than quadruple the number of experts to battle cyber attacks. … Read more
A clarification has been made to this story. See below for details.
Twenty years ago it appeared, for a moment, that all our energy problems could be solved. It was the announcement of cold fusion--nuclear energy like that which powers the sun--but at room temperature on a table top. It promised to be cheap, limitless, and clean. Cold fusion would end our dependence on the Middle East and stop those greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. It would change everything.
But then, just as quickly as it was announced, it was discredited. So thoroughly, that cold fusion became a catch phrase for junk science. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to oblivion--for many scientists today, cold fusion is hot again.
"We can yield the power of nuclear physics on a tabletop. The potential is unlimited. That is the most powerful energy source known to man," researcher Michael McKubre told "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley.
McKubre says he has seen that energy more than 50 times in cold fusion experiments he's doing at SRI International, a respected California lab that does extensive work for the government.
McKubre is an electrochemist who imagines, in 20 years, the creation of a clean nuclear battery. "For example, a laptop would come precharged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. You're now decoupled from your charger and the wall socket," he explained.
The same would go for cars. "The potential is for an energy source that would run your car for three, four years, for example. And you'd take it in for service every four years and they'd give you a new power supply," McKubre told Pelley.
"Power stations?" Pelley asked.
"You can imagine a one for one plug-in replacement for nuclear fuel rods. And the difference only would be that at the end of the lifetime of that fuel rod, you didn't have radioactive waste that needed to be disposed of," McKubre replied.
He showed "60 Minutes" just how simple the experiment looks; there are only three main ingredients. First, there is palladium, a metal in the platinum family. Second, one needs a kind of hydrogen called deuterium which is found in seawater.
"Deuterium is essentially unlimited. There is ten times as much energy in a gallon of sea water, from the deuterium contained within it, than there is in a gallon of gasoline," he explained.
The palladium is placed in water containing deuterium and the third ingredient is an electric current.
The experiment is wrapped in insulation and instruments. They're looking for what they call "excess heat." In other words, is more energy coming out than the electric current puts in?
No one knows exactly how excess heat would be generated, but McKubre showed "60 Minutes" what he thinks is happening. … Read more
Twitter has been great for tracking things like earthquakes, forest fires, and other natural disasters, but what about human health? SickCity, a new Twitter mashup is doing just that, by tracking people's tweets about being sick, having sore throats, and other physical maladies (like zombification). The tool lets you track these occurrences both by city and each specific ailment. And the stats go back to the last 31 days, which can show you if a certain type of sickness is trending.
My least favorite part about having people over for dinner is deciding how to time my entrees. I generally end up having to stow one or two things in the oven as the others are finishing up, and by the time everyone is served, the food is dried out and, in the end, room temperature anyway.
Keeping your food hot or cold is more than just complicated; it's also a problem that's necessary to solve to ensure your safety. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, food that is left out for more than four hours … Read more