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The next Silicon Valley? A look at 6 technology launching pads across the US, from Pacific Northwest to Virginia
With Microsoft's Redmond headquarters just five miles from downtown, Bellevue attracts a wealth of talented software engineers. (Hitachi and Sun Microsystems also have facilities in the area). The city hosts a number of successful startups, such as Expedia.com, dreamt up by former Microsoft employees, as well as a growing community of videogame developers. Other thriving local industries include telecommunications and wireless technology. For these industries, one of the city's main attractions is investment firm Trilogy Equity Partners, which was co-founded by John Stanton, Western Wireless founder and former CEO of T-Mobile USA, also based in Bellevue.
Some people call it Silicon Forest. That's because the Portland metropolitan area has done an impressive job of attracting entrepreneurial tech talent, thanks in part to the presence of Tektronix, IBM and Intel. In fact, many of the city's computer-technology companies were started by former employees of these tech giants, focusing on areas such as open-source and educational software. But Portland isn't just about computer technology. Over the years, the city has earned a reputation for progressive energy policies, attracting a large sustainable-technology community, as well as the U.S. headquarters of Vestas, the world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer. Support for the Portland tech scene comes from organizations such as Oregon InC, a state-funded venture dedicated to nurturing Oregon's innovation economy. read more »
Royal giggles and Google Doodle - Queen Elizabeth II visits Google's UK headquarters, view laughing baby video
LONDON (AP) - She sent her first e-mail in 1976. She has her own Web site. And on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II uploaded video to YouTube during a visit to Google's British headquarters. The company celebrated the queen's visit by creating a special version of its google.co.uk home page, which featured a silhouette of her head as the second "G" and a regal crown atop the "E" in their logo.
The queen, 82, herself has a presence on YouTube - she launched the Royal Channel in December. There are 54 videos on the channel, which range from the Queen's 1957 Christmas message to a day in the life of Prince Charles. On Thursday, she uploaded archive footage to the channel of a 1969 reception at Buckingham Palace for British Olympians. The monarch has reigned since 1952. According to the Buckingham Palace Web site, the queen sent her first e-mail from a computer on an army base, well before the widespread use of the Internet.
Tipping point in Arctic meltdown; Inuit culture threatened by global warming, 181 Alaskan villages face erosion
This summer, for the first time, both the fabled Northwest Passage through the upper reaches of North America and the Northern Sea Route above Russia opened up, apart from drifting ice. Overall, the expanse of Arctic sea ice was the second smallest in the 30 years of monitoring (summer 2007 was the smallest), and that left an islandlike polar ice cap surrounded by open water. In just the past five years, summer ice has shrunk by more than 25 percent, and so has its average thickness. One consequence of this change is that much of the sun's heat formerly reflected back out to space by the ice sheets is now being absorbed, entrenching the warming process. The acceleration of the ice melt is outstripping earlier predictions of a basically ice-free Arctic summer by mid- or late century. NASA climate scientist H. Jay Zwally now anticipates that most of the Arctic will lose summer ice in only five to 10 years. "We appear to be going through a tipping point," he says.
Work of legendary portraitist Yousuf Karsh celebrated at Boston exhibit - Churchill, Hepburn, Picasso, and more
The work of the legendary portraitist is celebrated at a centenary exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Among the portraits -
Audrey Hepburn, 1956
"The French novelist Colette picked her out of a ballet lineup to play Gigi on stage, and her career was launched. When I photographed her in Hollywood and commented on her quality of sophisticated vulnerability, she told me of her harrowing experiences during the Second World War. Years later, in the Kremlin, Chairman Brezhnev agreed to sit for me only if I made him as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn."
Winston Churchill, 1941 read more »
Queen Elizabeth II buys world largest wind turbine - towers over Big Ben, to light up thousands of British homes
It's been a century or so since Britain ruled the waves, but Queen Elizabeth II will soon reign over the wind. Earlier this year the Crown Estate, which manages royal property worth $14 billion and controls the seas up to 14 miles off the British coast, agreed to purchase - for an undisclosed sum - the world's largest wind turbine.
It's a 7.5-megawatt monster to be built by Clipper Windpower of Carpinteria, Calif. Now the Royal Turbine is getting even bigger: Clipper has revealed to Fortune that Her Majesty's windmill has been super-sized to ten megawatts, producing five times the power generated by typical big turbines currently in commercial operation. The giant's wingspan stretches the length of two soccer fields. At 574 feet, the turbine soars over Big Ben and roughly equals 111 Queen Elizabeths (the actual queen) plus one corgi stacked on top of one another.
Independent US presidential candidate Nader & running mate Gonzalez banned from debates, on ballot in 45 states
While millions of people around the world watched Barack Obama and fellow U.S. presidential candidate John McCain debate each other, another man running for the high office was ignored. Independent Ralph Nader is not allowed to debate McCain and Obama because officials say he doesn't qualify. However, Nader's influence on the tight election may be greater than he's being given credit for.
Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez are on the ballot in 45 states. In his fifth run for office Nader is polling roughly five percent nationwide. His move to cement a third party system can very well swing the election - each voter Nader gains is a vote McCain or Obama lose. In 2000 Nader received nearly three million votes. Some argue it cost Al Gore from beating George W. Bush. The memory is causing some supporters to abandon him on the election day. “I'm voting for Obama only because I just don't feel Nader can win. Although I like Nader, it's just more, I'd rather not McCain win,” a voter says.
Most opinion polls list him as the third most popular in the race. But you would not think so watching the mainstream U.S. news channels. As Americans are inundated daily with wall to wall coverage of the two major party candidates one may find Ralph Nader giving a press conference inside a university classroom with two television cameras and around ten reporters in attendance. read more »
Feel young at heart? In your 30s,40s...? They sure do in their 80s,90s, singing & performing: Young@Heart Chorus
A movie you must see –
"Young @ Heart" documents the true story of the Young at Heart Chorus, a singing group whose average age is 81, as they rehearse for a concert in their hometown Northampton, Massachusetts, celebrating "25 Years of Unpredictable Art." Their music is unexpected, going against the stereotype of their age group, performing punk, rock, and disco songs, for example, by James Brown, and Sonic Youth. Many of the 24 members must overcome ill health and other hardships to participate, adding new songs to their repertoire - including "Yes We Can Can", "Schizophrenia" and "I Feel Good" - with the help and encouragement of chorus director Bob Cilman. Although they have toured Europe and sang for royalty, this account focuses on preparing the new songs, not an easy endeavor, for the concert in their hometown, which succeeds in spite of several real heart breaking events. (Movie directed by Stephen Walker, 2007)
When the Young@ Heart began in 1982 the members all lived in an elderly housing project in North- ampton, MA called the Walter Salvo House. The first group included elders who lived through both World Wars. Anna was a stand-up comic who at 88 told jokes that only she could get away with, she sang with the group until she was 100. read more »