Finance

New Calendar Would Add Extra Week to December

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 17, 2012   View Article

Wish you’d had an extra holiday week this year? If a proposed permanent calendar is adopted in the next few years, you’ll get one at the end of 2017.

This “leap week” would occur every five or six years under the proposed Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar.

The occasional extra December week would keep the months in tune with the seasons in a calendar that would otherwise stay the same year after year after year.

Ashton Kutcher, friends, key to Twitter’s success

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 21, 2011   View Article

Developers of the next-big social networking application stand a greater chance at skyrocketing success if Hollywood stars and big media go gaga over it, according to an analysis of Twitter’s meteoric rise in popularity.

Data collected on the number of users adopting the microblogging service in its early years (between 2006 and 2009) show that it first spread gradually via traditional social networks — real-world friends, work colleagues, neighbors — then took off when media stars started to gather their flocks.

Grant turns lab rats into scientific entrepreneurs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

Lab scientists are getting a $50,000 assist from the U.S. government to go to school and learn the entrepreneurial skills required to take their innovations into the marketplace and, perhaps, become millionaires.

“I am basically teaching them how to do eye contact and test their hypotheses outside of the lab,” Steve Blank, a startup guru at Stanford University who designed and teaches the course, told me Tuesday.

Brewer to turn spent grains into energy

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 19, 2011   View Article

The U.S. government is giving a nearly half-million dollar grant to a beer maker in Alaska that aims to install a first-of-its-kind boiler that is fueled entirely by spent grain.

All brewers are confronted with mountains of spent grains — mostly barley. Many get rid of the waste by routing it to farmers for animal feed, a noble service that can help grow a steak to accompany your fine ale.

Poop-to-power projects pumped up

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 9, 2011   View Article

Innovators from around the world who see power in steaming piles of poop are getting serious money from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates’ foundation to help the world’s 2.1 billion urban dwellers without access to sewers live safer, more sanitary and electrified lives.

Grantee Daniel Yeh, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of South Florida, for example, will use the funds to field test an advanced technology that harvests nutrients, energy, and water from wastewater.

Insuring against extreme weather

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: October 13, 2011   View Article

A high-tech crop insurance company aims to make farming profitable — and itself — by writing policies that offer protection against floods, frosts, droughts and other bouts of crop-damaging weather that are on the rise.

Whether the increase in these weather events are due to human-caused climate change, the company said, is not their business, but the events are trending upwards and they have the technology to analyze the risk they pose to individual farmers and price polices accordingly.

Gov’t picks tech to incubate

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: October 6, 2011   View Article

A web app that will ease the decision-making process and a hand-held device that sniffs out bombs are among the first crop of potential products from a program that aims to turn basic science research into marketplace successes.

A total of 21 awards were handed out today to the inaugural class of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps, or I—Corps, a public-private program that was announced this July to help researchers make the leap to entrepreneurship.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach