Real-Time Tech News

If you've got a techno-nerd in your circle of influence (or are one yourself), you need to know about Tech News World []: Real-Time Technology News from Around the World.

To prove that "real-time" point, right under the TNW logo on their Web page is a message that reads, "Next Update in 2 Minutes." Instant this / instant that, for sure.

Besides all the breaking latest on the Linux legal wars, Big Blue's alliances to make 175-nanometer chips and Microsoft's problems with its release of Windows 2004 (bugs will be bugs), Tech News World is bound to have something of interest for anyone who believes technology might have an impact on the direction of our future.

Remember in "Star Wars," when R2D2 projected a three-dimensional image of Princess Leia begging Obi-Wan Kenobi for help? TNW reports that portable holography has arrived. The Heliodisplay, developed by IO2 Technology, is a three-dimensional display that can project TV, video and computer images into free space, making it possible for users to walk around--or even through--the floating images!

TNW recently reported, "We are entering the Nanotechnology Age, an epoch more significant than any preceding age identified by any one material, such as stone, bronze, iron or silicon. Nanotechnology's ability to work at the molecular level changes our ability to use all materials." (Help us, Obi-Wan!)

There's lots more at Tech News World. For example, a refrigerator with two LED screens that access a database of real-time grocery prices, health and nutrition tips and cooking information. And if you first tell it what goods are stored inside, it alerts about expiration dates. The future--in real-time.



Who Are America's Millionaires?

In their two-million-sold, best-selling book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers Thomas Stanley and William Danko discovered a whole host of remarkable information about who and how to be rich in the United States.

For more than 20 years, the authors interviewed first-generation millionaires--men and women who had earned, not inherited, their fortunes. Here's one of the many fascinating and fun facts they discovered: Only 1.1 percent of all households in America are of Russian ancestry, yet a whopping 5.8 percent of all US households with a net worth of one million dollars or more are...yes, Russian. That means, Russian-Americans or Russians living in the United States are fully five times more likely to be millionaires than the average American.

Why? Work ethic? Prosperity consciousness? A pendulum swing back from Soviet times? Who knows. It's interesting to note that Editor-in-Chief Fogg married a Russian woman. Was that before or after he read the book?



Global Warming Your Wine

Most of the passengers on Spaceship Earth are concerned about the impact of Global Warming: unwanted natural phenoms such as rising tides flooding coastal cities and the eventual disappearance of soft-shell crabs. (Eat as many as you can this year--who knows?) But think for just a moment, what cultural and economic commodities would change the most if we upped the temperature a few degrees?

Of all the arts and sciences in the agricultural world, none is more sensitive to the weather than wine-making. "1994 was a great year..." because why? Sure, wind and rain and sun matter; but "terrior," that magic combination of soil condition, type of vine and climatic influence, depends more on the weather than on anything else. And guess what? Global warming is currently a good thing for wine. Currently.

Says The New York Times, "Although wine makers have historically struggled against the elements, hoping to coax just enough warmth from the cosmos to release the sugar inside the grapes and achieve ripeness, the last decade seems to have brought little but blue skies." This is especially true for the colder wine regions of the world. But given a few more degrees of warmth, for example, German ice wines may become a thing of the colder past.

What wine makers have known about making wine for generations is changing. Harvests that used to happen in late October now must take place in mid-September. "The problem in many vineyards is no longer praying for the grapes to ripen, but preventing them from ripening too much," said the Times article.

Although some wine-making regions, such as California's legendary Napa Valley, have changed little, almost every wine maker around the globe is watching--and not waiting. The world of wine is changing. For some--those makers who used to hope for two good years out of 10 and have had the last nine years be excellent--it's great news, for now. And that should translate into a wonderful near future for wine-lovers as well.



The Manner of American Manners

There are two little magic words that will open any door with ease," goes the children's rhyme. "One little word is thanks, and the other little word is please." But how many of us really remember?

A recent Harris Interactive survey conducted for American Demographics revealed that we do say "please" and "thank you"--but what Americans do is a different matter of manners.

According to the survey: 86 percent of us put our elbows on the table; 80 percent interrupt other people; 69 percent honk our horns; 63 percent swear in public; 57 percent talk during movies or shows.

How about spitting, burping or passing gas in public? (41 percent.) Coughing or sneezing without covering our mouths? (34 percent.) Chewing with our mouths open? (27 percent.).

On the good-mannered side, nearly all of the respondents (96 percent) reported they say "please" and "thank you" most of the time; 94 percent claim they say "excuse me," too.

A majority of Americans will open doors for others (82 percent); offer their seats to pregnant women (74 percent); and address people by courtesy titles, such as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. (63 percent). Most Americans also claim that they help strangers in need (59 percent) and write thank-you letters (55 percent).

You're welcome.



Source: American Demographics