Human fossils found using Google Earth

Scientists have discovered fossil remains of some of man’s earliest ancestors with the help of virtual map and geographic data program, Google Earth. The remains of Australopithecus sediba, which date back almost two million years, were located in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa. The incomplete skeletons of two hominids, a juvenile male and an adult female, had well developed pelvis and arms similar to humans. The Australopithecus sediba was among the first species of hominid to walk on two legs and believed to have lived some 1.9 million years ago. Lee Berger, a professor from

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iPad debut sales surpass iPhone’s

What took more than a month for the iPhone to accomplish, iPad did in a weekend. Initial sales for the hotly anticipated gadget from Apple may have reached 700,000 units when the tablet computer debuted in stores across the U.S. yesterday, according to Minneapolis-based analyst Piper Jaffray & Co. iPad mania reached fever pitch as thousands eager to be among the first to get their hands on the much-hyped iPad lined up in Apple stores in New York and San Francisco. Some even camped overnight outside the establishments to make sure they’re the first to get inside. Piper Jaffray’s Gene

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Parents, privacy watchdogs up in arms against Google Buzz

The latest buzz about Google Buzz is that it makes children especially vulnerable to loss of privacy. Google Buzz already tweaked its privacy settings yet parents and privacy watchdogs are still concerned that the new social networking service, which automatically allows users to set up public social networks with their Gmail contacts, exposes children to online predators and other dangers. “Google buzz is a new danger zone for children,” says privacy expert Kathryn Montgomery. Montgomery, an American University professor, wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google Buzz’s potential risks to kids. Privacy groups are taking a special interest in

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Monitoring device keeps teen drivers safe

Parents can now monitor how their kids are driving and nag them if they go beyond the speed limit or try to send text messages while behind the wheel. And parents can do this while sitting right in their living room watching “Oprah” or the NFL playoffs. A car monitoring device called Tiwi provides teen drivers with voice alerts when they start engaging in reckless behavior. Parents may set speeding threshold for their kids, or set up phone, e-mail, or text alerts using a Web-based portal. One wrong move and the device sends feedback to parents in real time. Now,

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Website predicts flight delays

You wake up late because the alarm does not go off. You forego the shower, quickly get dressed, run outside the house and flag down the first taxi that comes into sight. You get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, but after muttering obscenities under your breath for the 79th time, you manage to get there. You then heave a sigh of relief. And then a few hours later comes the announcement: Your flight will be delayed! This after the flight’s “on time” status told you the plane would be, well, on time. As you fight the

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Electronic health system gets $1.2B grant

The Obama administration has granted nearly $1.2 billion to digitize health record-keeping in the country. Of the amount, $598 million is for setting up health information technology centers to harvest and collate information for healthcare facilities, while $564 million is allotted to create a nationwide network system of electronic health records (EHR). Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the implementation of electronic health records will greatly improve healthcare system. Sebelius had joined Vice President Joe Biden in Chicago to unveil the grants. “Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, make healthcare more efficient and improve the quality

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Telehealth industry to hit $4.4B in 2013

Analysts predict that the U.S. market for home-based wireless healthcare and services will be a $4.4 billion industry by 2013, growing at a five-year cumulative annual growth rate of over 180 percent. Parks Associates released a report that indicates that the healthcare reform being pushed by President Barack Obama will boost the growth of wireless home-care technologies. The Obama administration is bent on promoting healthcare efficiency, allocating part of the stimulus funds for the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). The government’s thrust is poised to open the floodgates of long-term business for wireless providers. According to Parks Associates, the

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Verizon to Launch Hub App Store

Telecommunications giant Verizon will be rolling out its own application store for its Hub, a multifaceted touch screen home phone with a small display for limited Internet access. Set to be unleashed later this year, the Verizon Hub app store is meant to generate more user interest for all-in-one home phone service amid growing concern that many subscribers are now dropping their landlines for mobile phones or Voice-over-Internet (VoIP) phones. Verizon Hub’s main selling point is that it’s not just an ordinary communication tool but also an  information and entertainment hub. As for the initial criticisms leveled against Verizon Hub,

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New Google Tool Monitors Energy Consumption

How would you like to monitor how much energy is being consumed by such electrical appliances as refrigerator, dishwasher, hair dryer, TV, heater, outdoor lights, and personal computer? The new Power Meter service being cooked up by Google makes this possible. The breakthrough innovation, which is still on the testing phase and is expected to be part of the iGoogle platform,  helps empower consumers to make smarter energy decisions by collecting real-time household electricity use data and presenting these in a graph format. The application works by showing how much energy is being consumed per appliance. Google PowerMeter uses a

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Virgin Mobile USA Releases Faster, Slimmer Helio Ocean

Beginning February 12, 2009, gadget freaks will have something new to rave about. Virgin Mobile has released the much-awaited Helio Ocean 2, a dual slider smartphone with the same feature as popular text messaging plus special access to social networking sites. It features a larger 2.6-inch display screen with QVGA resolution and 2 megapixel camera with location tagging and video recording. Compared to its predecessor, the Helio Ocean 2 hardware is more convenient for people on the move with its one-click access to multiple social network and media sharing sites such as MySpace, Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube. Helio Ocean 2’s

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