My high school science project looked at how row covers could help plants grow in cold weather. Not a bad idea, but not nearly as cool as high school student Eesha Khare's science project, the creation of a supercapacitor that could potentially be used to fully charge a cell phone within 20 to 30 seconds.
Khare, an 18-year-old from California, won the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 for her participation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair run by the Society for Science & the Public. Think of it as the world's largest science fair. Khare took home one of the top prizes for "a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds."… Read more
Since 2006, San Francisco Bay Area maker movement aficionados have been making an annual pilgrimage to the San Mateo Event Center (the county fair grounds), to attend the Maker Faire. Self-described as "part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new," the Faire attracts a broad swath of attendees, not just in the Bay Area, but in other Maker Faires that are popping up around the world.
Last year 165,000 people attended the flagship events in the Bay Area and New York. There were also Maker Faires in Minneapolis, Detroit, and other cities around the … Read more
The U.S. Senate on Monday approved a controversial bill by more than a 2-to-1 margin that would allow states to levy taxes on Internet purchases.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to require online vendors to collect sales and use tax on certain out-of-state purchases, was approved in a bipartisan vote of 69 to 27. The bill, which already has the support of President Obama, will now move on to the House of Representatives.
If approved, the bill would overturn a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that found out-of-state retailers generally don't have to collect taxes unless … Read more
eBay is trying to marshal its users to change federal sales tax legislation pending in the Senate that could usher in the first national Internet sales tax.
eBay CEO John Donahoe began sending e-mails to the online auctioneer's users on Sunday, asking they contact their federal representatives to express their opposition for the Marketplace Fairness Act. The proposed legislation, which the Senate is expected to vote on this week, would allow states to require online vendors to collect sales and use tax on certain out-of-state purchases. Only businesses with less than $1 million in annual U.S. sales would … Read more
The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into Samsung on allegations that the phone-maker was paying students to post negative online comments about HTC devices, according to AFP. HTC is one of Samsung's most staunch rivals.
Supposedly, the South Korean tech giant hired students to both write the inflammatory comments about HTC products and also recommend Samsung cell phones. The commission says that this type of behavior is akin to false advertising. According to AFP, the Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said, "The case was set up last week after we received complaints." … Read more
Google has submitted its ideas for how to address complaints in Europe that it uses its search power to benefit its other online properties.
Antoine Colombani, the European Commission's spokesman on competition policy, told Reuters that the move took place after the EC finished its years-long assessment of Google's search dominance and its effects:
In the last few weeks, the Commission completed its preliminary assessment formally setting out its concerns. On this basis, Google then made a formal submission of commitments to the Commission.
We are now preparing the launch of a market test to seek feedback from … Read more
A group of Republicans and Democrats yesterday reintroduced a federal bill that could cost online retailers and customers more money.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to require online vendors to collect sales and use tax on certain out-of-state purchases. Only businesses with less than $1 million dollars in annual U.S. sales would be exempt.
The bill was debated by the Senate last year but went nowhere. Now a group of 35 House members and 18 senators are trying again. And they're optimistic the bill will pass this time, according to The Hill.
The bill's top … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Bridget checks out the tech side of Toy Fair NY.
- "Disney Infinity" receives new "Monsters University" images.
- Ubooly is soft, squishy and smart thanks to the iPhone.
- Barbie gets a digital makeover at Toy Fair.
- Buy Griff's "Back to the Future II" hoverboard for $13,000.