Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Don't go gaga over Google- The business is a dynamo. The stock is a pipe dream, says Fortune's Geoff Colvin
With Google in its mid-toddler years as a public company - it turns three on Aug. 19 - it has achieved something truly historic: It has created more investor wealth in less time than any company in history. So investors, repeat after me: All hail, Google! But don't put it in the wealth-creation pantheon quite yet. And please don't buy it at today's price.
The company's Wall Street rise has been breathtaking, especially when you look at wealth creation in the most fundamental and revealing way: total dollars that investors could take out today (the market value of all equity and debt) minus total dollars that they put in (equity investments, loans and retained earnings).
Google's figure is $149 billion and rising fast, pushing the company past most of America's biggest, most successful, most respected corporations. With Google (Charts, Fortune 500) at its recent record stock price of well over $500, only three companies have created more wealth: General Electric (Charts, Fortune 500), Exxon Mobil (Charts, Fortune 500) and Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500).
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Now researchers at the University of California at San Diego have borrowed a mirror trick from reflective-telescope makers to cram sharp telephoto capability into a package just a few millimeters thick. The technique uses mirrors to bounce light back and forth, lengthening the path light travels (which increases the potential for magnification) without bulking up the length of the optic.
To make the lens, engineering professor Joseph Ford and graduate student Eric Tremblay carved an array of concentric reflective rings into a single optical crystal, creating a miniature hall of mirrors. When light enters the camera's aperture, it bounces from ring to ring and eventually lands on a central sensor that interprets the information and produces close-up telephoto images on your screen. The new optic is seven times as thin as a traditional, 35-millimeter refractive lens, with nearly equivalent image quality.
The researchers have applied for a patent on the technology and are working on a version of the optic that's one fifth the current size—which could be good news for your cameraphone in a couple years.
Posted by Chismillionare at 10:36 AM
The study shows that if plug-in hybrids are adopted widely in the United States, and if measures are taken to clean up power plants, by 2050, plug-in hybrids could reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 612 million metric tons, or roughly 5 percent of the total U.S. emissions expected in that time frame, according to Marcus Sarofim, a researcher at MIT's Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change. That's a significant amount, he says, considering that transportation accounts for only about a third of the total greenhouse-gas emissions.
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Fragile kites of old usually got eaten by demonic trees or broken after crashing to earth. Not the Quantum: It’s a testament to tough construction, with a sturdy graphite frame that held strong after repeated kamikaze crashes. The shock absorber built into the tail also helped keep this 7-footer in flying condition despite our repeated attempts to burrow through sand and silt. —Carlos Bergfeld and Jake Swearingen
WIRED Well-written directions and clips for no-knot line attachment make setup a snap. Folds down to a manageable three feet. Two straightforward settings for basic or advanced flight. Wide wind range (3-25 mph).
TIRED Even advanced line setting didn’t feel terribly responsive in mid-range wind. Instructions didn’t offer much advice beyond getting the kite in the air.
Posted by Chismillionare at 9:31 AM
All passports issued by the US State Department after January 1 will have always-on radio frequency identification chips, making it easy for officials – and hackers – to grab your personal stats. Getting paranoid about strangers slurping up your identity? Here’s what you can do about it. But be careful – tampering with a passport is punishable by 25 years in prison. Not to mention the “special” customs search, with rubber gloves. Bon voyage!
1) RFID-tagged passports have a distinctive logo on the front cover; the chip is embedded in the back.
2) Sorry, “accidentally” leaving your passport in the jeans you just put in the washer won’t work. You’re more likely to ruin the passport itself than the chip.
3) Forget about nuking it in the microwave – the chip could burst into flames, leaving telltale scorch marks. Besides, have you ever smelled burnt passport?
4) The best approach? Hammer time. Hitting the chip with a blunt, hard object should disable it. A nonworking RFID doesn’t invalidate the passport, so you can still use it.
– Jenna Wortham
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TV Forecast helps you to keep an eye on all of your favorite TV shows by keeping them together in one place: on the dashboard.
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