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The OECD has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water r...

Worldwide population growth and the related rapid increase in urbanization is already posing problems in many areas for the management of that most precious of resources, water. With these problems only set to intensify, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the face of demographic growth and climate change. Called Meeting the Water Reform Challenge, the report says that urgent reform of water policies is crucial in order to preserve human and environmental health as well as economic growth.  Read More

Global geocoded tone of all New York Times content from 1946 (Image: Leetaru)

"Culturomics" is an emerging field of study into human culture that relies on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data. A previous culturomic research effort used Google's culturomic tool to examine a dataset made up of the text of about 5.2 million books to quantify cultural trends across seven languages and three centuries. Now a new research project has used a supercomputer to examine a dataset made up of a quarter-century of worldwide news coverage to forecast and visualize human behavior. Using the tone and location of news coverage, the research was able to retroactively predict the recent Arab Spring and successfully estimate the final location of Osama Bin Laden to within 200 km (124 miles).  Read More

5.3 billion mobile subscribers sent 6.1 trillion text messages in 2010

During the first decade of the 21st century, information and communication technologies (ICTs) came within reach of most of the world's people. As part of World Statistics Day, the United Nations commissioned the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for current data and statistics on ICTs. The resulting report: The World In 2010: ICT Facts and Figures provides an insight into just how phenomenal the growth of ICTs have been over the past few years.  Read More

Zero Race Tour Director and first man to circumnavigate the globe in a solar car, Louis Pa...

While technological innovations of the 19th Century opened up the possibility of rapid circumnavigation of the globe and inspired Jules Verne to pen his famous novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, Louis Palmer is hoping a race to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered cars will harness public interest and inspire new ways of thinking about mobility, cars and renewable energy solutions. When the starting flag drops on August 15, 2010 in Geneva, contestants in the Zero Race will set off eastwards on a 30,000 km (18,641 mile) route that will take them through 20 countries, with stops in around 150 major cities along the way... and not only must the race teams drive zero emissions vehicles, they must also produce their own electricity back home using renewable sources.  Read More

According to the Accenture report, smartphones are particularly popular with consumers in ...

Despite the reputation that First-World populations have for consumerism, a new study has shown that citizens of emerging countries are twice as likely to purchase and use consumer technology within the next year. They are also more willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly consumer electronics, and value innovative new products over brand loyalty. The study was conducted by Accenture, a global management consulting firm, and its findings will have profound implications for the consumer tech marketplace.  Read More

The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission will make global observations of soil ...

The 658kg (1,450 lb) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) this week is the first ever satellite designed both to map sea surface salinity and to monitor soil moisture on a global scale. The unique radiometer it carries will enable passive surveying of the water cycle between oceans, the atmosphere and land thereby playing a key role in the monitoring of global climate change.  Read More

BBC’s iPlayer will be a fundamental part of Project Canvas

Those outside of the UK may not be overly familiar with the BBC iPlayer, a streaming web-based TV service for the British institution’s range of channels that has seen burgeoning success and spawned a number of terrestrial and satellite-based rivals. It’s also worth summarising the aim of Project Canvas, a venture by the broadcasting giant that looks to bring a similar streaming service to the home and will notably look to incorporate other channels, on-demand services and web-based content from sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Facebook, as well as built-in PVR functionality though a set-top box connected to a TV.  Read More

Verizon's UMW190 has a sliding cover to hide the USB when not in use

Not even a month has passed since Verizon announced that it had partnered with the USA arm of China's ZTE to release of the AD3700 USB modem which offered users worldwide coverage from a single device. And now the company is at it again, declaring the forthcoming availability of the UMW190 USB modem, which does essentially the same job in a slightly smaller and cheaper form.  Read More

Reality mining could provide knowledge about aggregated human behavior (Photo: Nevit Dilme...

Researchers will one day be able to accurately predict such things as the economic and social effects of billions of new Internet users in China and India, or the exact location and number of airline flights to cancel around the world in order to halt the spread of a pandemic, says Indiana University’s Alessandro Vespignani. This capability will be possible thanks to “reality mining”, which involves the collection of data from machine-sensed sources to provide knowledge about aggregated human behavior.  Read More

The emoticon isn't the only way to gauge happiness online

A mathematician and computer scientist working in the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont have created a remote-sensing mechanism that examines the content of blogs to measure the emotional levels of millions of people. The result is the ‘We Feel Fine’ system, which purports to give an indication of how people around the world are feeling.  Read More

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