French explorer to measure Arctic ice from airship
October 12, 2007 03:39 PM - Marie Maitre, Reuters
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - A French explorer unveiled plans on Friday to fly over the Arctic in an airship to measure the ice cap amid concern at the pace it is melting.
Jean-Louis Etienne (www.jeanlouisetienne.fr) said his 10,000 kilometer (6,214 mile) journey will serve as a benchmark for monitoring the impact of global warming on the North Pole.
Skype and UK's 3 working on mobile Internet phone
October 12, 2007 11:17 AM -
LONDON (Reuters) - EBay Inc's (EBAY.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Skype is working with British cell phone service operator 3 to produce a handset that will allow users in Britain to make free calls on the Internet, a spokesman for the company said on Frida
Gore shares Nobel win with U.N. climate panel
October 12, 2007 08:20 AM - John Acher -Reuters
Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their part in galvanizing international action against global warming before it "moves beyond man's control".
Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change", the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
Survey: Travelers Choosing Green, But Not At Any Cost
October 11, 2007 02:37 PM -
WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than half of all U.S. adults say they would be more likely to select an airline, rental car or hotel that uses more environmentally friendly products and processes, according to the results of the latest travelhorizons survey by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) and Ypartnership.
But while more than half of U.S. adults may be advocates of environmental responsibility, only 14 percent of respondents said their actual selection of a travel service supplier would be influenced by that supplier’s efforts to preserve and protect the environment. Just 13 percent would be willing to pay higher rates or fares to use suppliers who demonstrate environmental responsibility (although fully 56 percent said they might).
Ancient Fossils Point to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming
October 10, 2007 06:19 PM -
PASADENA, Calif - A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming.
In the current issue of the journal Nature, geologists and environmental scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Ottawa, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Brock University, and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve report the results of a new method for determining the growth temperatures of carbonate fossils such as shells and corals. This method looks at the percentage of rare isotopes of oxygen and carbon that bond with each other rather than being randomly distributed through their mineral lattices.
Deep Rocks Yield First Look Inside San Andreas Fault
October 10, 2007 06:09 PM - Louis Bergeron
Washington - For the first time, geologists have extracted intact rock samples from 2 miles beneath the surface of the San Andreas Fault, the infamous rupture that runs 800 miles along the length of California.
Never before have scientists had available for study rock samples from deep inside one of the actively moving tectonic plate-bounding faults responsible for the world's most damaging earthquakes. Now, with this newly recovered material, scientists hope to answer long-standing questions about the fault's composition and properties.
Vocal Joystick uses voice to surf the Web
October 10, 2007 05:50 PM - Hannah Hickey, University of Washington
Washington - Doctoral student Brandi House uses Vocal Joystick to control the movement of a robotic arm. The screen on the lower right shows how the software analyzes her vocalizations to create instructions for the arm's movement.
The Internet offers wide appeal to people with disabilities. But many of those same people find it frustrating or impossible to use a handheld mouse. Software developed at the University of Washington provides an alternative using the oldest and most versatile mode of communication: the human voice.
"There are many people who have perfect use of their voice who don't have use of their hands and arms," said Jeffrey Bilmes, a UW associate professor of electrical engineering. "I think there are several reasons why Vocal Joystick might be a better approach, or at least a viable alternative, to brain-computer interfaces." The tool's latest developments will be presented this month in Tempe, Ariz. at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility.
German Ertl wins Nobel for chemistry
October 10, 2007 10:11 AM - Niklas Pollard -Reuters
German Gerhard Ertl won the Nobel Prize for chemistry on his 71st birthday on Wednesday for work which helped to develop cleaner car exhaust systems and explain the depletion of the ozone layer.
Nintendo to launch Wii Fit game
October 10, 2007 09:58 AM - Reuters
Nintendo Co Ltd said on Wednesday it would start selling its "Wii Fit" home fitness game in Japan in time for the critical year-end shopping season, sending its shares to a record high.
Nintendo's announcement comes just a day after Sony Corp said it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by 10 percent in Japan and launch a new, lower-priced PS3 model, to battle Nintendo's dominance.
China "e" bikes silently drive lead demand
October 10, 2007 09:48 AM - Lucy Hornby -Reuters
As the red light changes, Han Zhang turns the handlebar of his battery-driven bike, pushes off with his foot, and whirrs silently along a Beijing boulevard.
His yellow bike looks like something between a bicycle and a scooter, but to the lead industry, he's driving a car.