Sunday, July 31, 2011

Google Android Most Popular Mobile OS, But Apple Still Sells the Most Smartphones

Google's Android mobile operating system has taken the lead as the most popular platform in US smartphone devices, with nearly 40% of the market. Apple is in second at 28% and Blackberry/RIM is in third with 20% of the market.

Most experts say that Android's open source nature has allowed it to beat out Apple and the other big boys in terms. Anyone can put the ultra-powerful OS on their device and anyone can develop cool/useful apps for it. That will eventually put Android in the smartphone driver's seat.
However, Apple is still the top overal smartphone maker in the US, due to the huge popularity of its iPhone device.

Smartphone manufacturer HTC is moving up the ranks and its Android-based products are currently 14% of the market. Its Windows Mobile and WP7 phones give it another 6% of the market. Motorola and Samsung are the big players currently in the US with about 10% of the market each. Nokia, once a worldwide smartphone leader, is in big trouble and has lost a huge amount of market share in the US and abroad!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Most Expensive White Wine Sold for $123,000

A bottle of sweet white wine from 1811 has just been sold for nearly $123,000 -- or about $4600 per ounce -- making it the most expensive white wine ever sold. The 200-year-old bottle of Château d'Yquem was purchased by well-known fine wine collector Christian Vanneque. He says he definitely does intend to drink the wine after displaying it for 6 years in a special bullet-proof case in his Bali restaurant called SIP Sunset Grill.

"I will open it in six years to mark the 50th anniversary of when I began work in Paris and share it with my wife, brothers and friends — I already know what the menu will be... It was not just purchased as an investment — it is also going to be an enjoyment."

The 1811 vintage of Château d'Yquem -- made from the famous Bordeaux vineyards in Southern France -- is notable because of a fantastic grape-growing climate as well as a visit from the Great Comet that year.

We say: Wine is great and if you've got the money, why not buy the best, most expensive wine in the world? Until we make our first $3 million we'll stick to the 7 dollar selections at the local Trader Joe's.

Learn some mo': Bottle of White Sells for Record Amount

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 MacBook Air: The Best Laptop for College Students?

(2014 Update Coming Soon!!)

Apple is selling A LOT of new MacBook Air laptop computers this summer (about 1.5 million!) and experts say many of them are going to college-bound students. In fact, according to some people, the new 2011 version of the MacBook Air will be the "perfect" portable computing option for university students this year because of it's high-power, low-weight, thin-profile design.

That's saying a lot, especially since not too long ago many geeks were claiming that cheap netbooks and tablet computers would prevent the high-priced MacBook Air from becoming very popular. How wrong they were!

The newest netbooks are light and have good all-day battery life, but they really can't compete on power and capability with the 2011 "Air". iPads and tablet PCs are even lighter and thinner but the lack of a built-in full-size QWERTY keyboard makes them impractical for writing school papers and doing other class assignments. Tablets are really designed for consumption, not creation -- making them a better "backup computer" for the typical college student.

The new MacBook Air is being touted as the ounce-for-ounce and cm-for-cm most powerful notebook computer ever made. So you get ultra-portability along with the ability to write papers, design objects, edit videos, and create amazing things like you would on a desktop computer or more traditional laptop. Plus it of course has that famous Apple quality built-in!

The 2011 MacBook Air's dual-booting Boot Camp-enabled Mac OS X/Microsoft Windows operating systems make the machine especially unique and powerful. Many people (like us!) simply don't like using Apple computers because the OS is so different from Windows. But being able to run Windows and all PC computer software will definitely make the new laptop more appealing to people who are used to Windows machines.

So is the new MacBook Air really the best laptop/computer for college students? It's relatively high price may prevent it from claiming that title just yet. At over $800 (with an academic discount) it's definitely not cheap. Many broke college student will think twice about buying one instead of a discount $300 Toshiba, especially since you have to worry about spilling coffee on the Apple a lot more.

Still, for those who want the ultimate in computing power in the lightest, thinnest, sturdiest laptop on the market, the 2011 Apple MacBook Air may certainly be the best choice out there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recover From Heart Attack, Heart Surgery Faster With Simple Sugar Ribose

Ribose, a natural simple sugar, may help you recover from a heart attack faster. It may also help to speed up healing after heart surgery, according to a new study from the American Heart Association. Researchers say the sugar appears to improve ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in damaged hearts, speeding up recovery and helping a patient avoid heart failure.

D-Ribose is a 5-carbon simple sugar that is found naturally in most of the cells of the body. It's been studied for several years now and most of the research points to the fact that it can definitely increase "cardiac energy," aid congestive heart failure patients, and promote overall cardiovascular health. It's a very unique sugar that the body appears to use mainly as a basic building block for ATP, which is the primary energy source for all human cells.

So if you've had a heart attack you may want to consider buying a good Ribose supplement or finding a doctor that can provide IV ribose treatments.

Learn some mo': Simple Sugar May Speed Heart Attack Recovery

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jonah Hill Weight Loss: Diet, Exercise, and a Nutritionist

Actor Jonah Hill has lost a lot of weight recently. Probably at least 40-50 pounds of pure fat. Now people want to know this: how the heck did he do it?? Is there a new "Jonah Hill diet" that involves eating sugar-free twinkies and low-carb potato chips or something?

According to Hill there was no easy diet or effortless fitness secret, just a lot of not-so-fun lifestyle changes. He says he just wanted to be healthier but others are saying he lost the weight to get ready for the new 21 Jump Street movie coming out next year. Hill says:

"It's not fun... I wouldn't say it's the most fun endeavor I've ever took on in my life --but it’s important. And I'm enjoying it. If I eat something unhealthy now, I kind of feel a little weird and my body hurts."

According to one insider, the first diet Jonah Hill went on actually caused him to gain weight, which is a little weird. But then he brought in some expert help in the form a professional nutritionist and even a personal trainer. Then the pounds started melting off fast.

His statement about unhealthy foods making him feel crappy is probably the most important "take away" for others wanting to lose pounds and look better. The same thing happens to many people once they've cut out junk foods for a few weeks and gotten over the sugar/fat cravings hump. They lose the taste for bad foods and actually feel bad if they do eat them!

It will be interesting to see if the usually-very-overweight comic actor will still be as funny as he as before. Many of the best comedic actors (John Belushi, Chris Farley, etc.) were overweight and hilariously used it to there advantage in most of their roles. Of course, losing all that belly fat is probably a good idea if Hill wants to have a long life.

Learn some mo': Jonah Hill: Losing weight isn't a 'fun endeavor,' but it's important

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Is the Clean Energy Industry a "Sleeping Giant" for Las Vegas?

A new Brookings Institution study just released says that the Las Vegas area can be and should be a major center for the emerging clean energy industry. Experts say that Vegas already has a head start in green building architecture and construction services.

Those could both, in theory, become major job-creating industries for Southern Nevada. As traditional energy sources (like oil and coal) become more expensive and pollution levels increase, clean energy development is becoming more and more important. Vegas is already on the verge of becoming a hub for solar energy production, so it seems only logical to add "green" construction to its list of specializations.

Unfortunately, according to the Brookings guys Las Vegas (and Nevada as a whole) is still way behind other cities when it comes to clean economy business development and job creation. So there's a lot of work to do.

We think: Green jobs sound great in theory. But it's going to take A LOT of focused effort by state and local politicians, business leaders, and entrepreneurs to turn Las Vegas into a major "clean energy" hub city!

Learn some mo': Clean energy is Las Vegas’ sleeping giant, study says

Monday, July 11, 2011

Corn Subsidies = More Obese Americans

According to a new USDA report, the United States government is spending billions of dollars subsidizing things that increase obesity and health problems while spending only a fraction on healthy food subsidies. Corn subsidies especially have led to lots of cheap, low-quality foods -- everything from high-fructose corn syrup, to chips, to the high-sugar sodas Americans (kids especially) consume in huge volume.

Subsidies for corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, and cotton totaled over $15 billion in 2009. Subsidies for fresh fruits an vegetables were only $825 million in the same year. So in effect, Americans are paying double -- through federal taxes and then again at the grocery store -- to get fat and unhealthy. Some experts believe that corn and grain subsidies are a major reason for the obesity epidemic in the US.

On the other end of the spectrum, a new USDA report (created for Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign against childhood obesity) showed that when prices of healthy foods -- like green veggies and lowfat milk -- fall kids lose weight. When the price of candy, soda, and sweets fall kids gain weight (as measured using BMI or body mass index).

We think: The US is the only major country where poorer people tend to be fatter. That's because we subsidize cheap junk foods filled with empty calories but little-to-no real nutrition. Until healthy foods is just as affordable as unhealthy packaged junk food the obesity problem is only going to increase!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

US Is In the Weakest "Recovery" Ever

The current US job market is unlike anything economists have ever seen and it's scaring the crap out of people. At this point in an economic "recovery" employers are supposed to be adding jobs and hiring new people. That is simply not happening, at all. In fact, only 18,000 jobs were added in June, a fraction of the 300,000+ jobs needed to begin shrinking the US unemployment problem.

The really spooky thing is that economists don't really understand what's going on. Just a few months ago most experts believed the US economy would be heating up significantly by the second half of 2011. The opposite seems to be happening an nobody really knows why.

According the the current statistics, over 16% of Americans who want to work are either unemployed or under-employed (working part-time jobs for example). A big problem is that employers are still very reluctant to begin hiring in big numbers the way they did before the Great Recession that began in 2008. They prefer to make current employees work harder and longer. As a result, both worker productivity and US corporate profits are through the roof!

Many companies, including small business owners, don't want to begin hiring again until they're sure American consumers are going to be spending on products and services. Also, new technology and computer software is allowing managers to get more work out of fewer employees.

The fact that the politicians in Washington DC are playing "chicken" with the US debt ceiling definitely isn't helping the situation. The US economy would almost surely head back into a deep recession if the world believes there's even a chance America could default on its huge debts. Europe's debt problems and China's inflation-fighting programs are also causing employers to adopt a "wait and see" hiring strategy.

Learn some mo': Analysis: Flat jobs data signal weakest recovery in decades

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Free Car Insurance from GM (Yes, Really!)

Want some free car insurance? Well then we've got good news: General Motors is currently offering exactly that. GM, one of the world's biggest automakers, needs to sell more cars and right now they're offering a full year's worth of free MetLife Auto insurance to anyone who buys one... if they live in Oregon or Washington.

According to GM's Vice President of US Marketing:
"We want to give residents of Oregon and Washington another reason to discover Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles."
The free insurance plan includes both liability and physical damage coverage. Apparently OR and WA were chosen because GM isn't capturing market share in those states as quickly as they'd like. Companies insiders say the promotion could be expanded to other states if it's successful in the Northwest.

GM's marketing people came up with the free insurance idea after seeing market research showing that many people avoid buying new cars because of the high cost to insure a new vehicle.

We say: This sounds great. Now just bring it to Nevada and expand it to 3 years and we will all definitely go out and buy new Chevy's!

Learn some mo': GM to offer free car insurance

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google+ Will Swallow Up Blogger & Picassa

Some ultra-popular Google products, such as the one used to publish this very blog, are about to go through some big changes. Apparently Google intends to "retire" all non-Google product names under their umbrella - including Blogger and Picasa -- and re-brand them under their new "Google+" project.

Fortunately it looks like Blogger isn't going away, which would be a HUGE problem for the millions of people around the world who use it to publish their blogs (like us!). According to inside sources, it will be re-branded as "Google Blogs" and Picasa will be, yes, "Google Photos."

Very creative Big G.

Rumors are that several other Google products/brands will be changed as well. But YouTube won't be since it's already such a well-known brand and domain name. Of course, is one of the top-10 most-visited web sites online so there is certain to be some mass confusion for awhile.

For Google, a little worldwide confusion is worth it if it means more people will start using their new Google+ social networking platform. Sources say Google+ will most likely be launched around July 31, 2011. They hope it will be able to compete with Facebook and other social networks.

We say: Google has not had a lot of success doing "social" stuff. We hope Google+ and all the big changes are worth the effort and hassle to end-users!

Learn some mo': Google To Retire Blogger & Picasa Brands in Google+ Push

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Expert: The Ultimate Anti-Aging Solution is Coming

One of the world's top biomedical gerontologists says that we humans will soon have the ultimate anti-aging solution and that the first person to see their 150th birthday has already been born. Aubrey de Grey of the "Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence" also predicts that within just a few decades we'll have the technology to extend life up to 1000 years!

He and several other top experts believe that science is on track to "cure aging" in a way that greatly extends human life... curing nearly all age-related diseases and stopping (or reversing) the chemical processes that age our bodies.

De Grey says that within 20 - 30 years people will visit their doctors for "maintenance" procedures that involve stem cell therapies, gene therapies, immune system rebuilds, and a variety of other advanced medical techniques that slow down the aging process dramatically. According to him:
"The idea is to engage in what you might call preventative geriatrics, where you go in to periodically repair that molecular and cellular damage [associated with aging] before it gets to the level of abundance that is pathogenic."
We say: Sounds good. Until they invent this stuff -- and get it down to a level we can afford -- we'll continue popping our anti-oxidant supplements, drinking (large amounts of) red wine, eating our broccoli, and downing pints of green tea every day!

Learn some mo': Scientist sees aging cured

Monday, July 4, 2011

Texas to Tourists: Avoid Mexico!

Texas is warning American tourists to avoid visiting Nuevo Laredo this week, a popular Mexican border town. Officials say that local police have received information that Mexican drug trafficking gangs may try to target American citizens in the city. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, they have:

"...received credible intelligence from multiple sources that indicates the Zetas Cartel is planning to target US citizens who travel to Nuevo Laredo this weekend... According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortion, carjackings and vehicle theft, specifically against US citizens."

The "narcotraficante" drug violence in Mexico has already damaged their tourism businesses a lot over the past few years. This new warning obviously won't help improve that. According to Mexico's head of tourism the warnings are "ludicrous" and "misinformed".

We say: Things are totally out of control in Mexico, especially along the border. It sucks because we love going down their for cheap vacations. Even though most of the drug violence happens in the small towns and "non-tourist" cities, it's beginning to pick up in traditional Mexican vacation spots like Acapulco. We think we'll stay away until they clean things up a bit...

Learn some mo': Texas warns against travel to Mexican border town

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vitamin D Studies: "Super Vitamin" Protects Against Heart Attacks, Stroke, Melanoma, and Diabetes!

More research has confirmed that Vitamin D really is a "super-nutrient" capable of protecting against MANY different diseases and health problems. One recent study found that men who take in the recommended amount of vitamin D (at least 600 IU per day) are less likely to suffer a stroke or a heart attack than men with low levels of the vitamin.

Another study found that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood have less chance of developing diabetes, even if they are part of the "high risk" group (such as obese people). Experts believe that the vitamin may help to improve insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in the pancreas.

Taking vitamin D in combination with calcium may also help protect you against melanoma cancer. A new study showed that high-risk women could reduce their risk of developing the deadly skin disease by 50% simply by maintaining proper vitamin D and calcium blood levels -- about 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D per day. Other research has shown that high vitamin D intake is associated with reduced risks of many common cancers, including breast, prostate, and colon cancers!

The bottom line: It is totally obvious that getting enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure, diet, and supplements is a REALLY good idea if you want to enjoy good health and avoid LOTS of serious diseases!!

Learn some mo':