Eat your heart out: Chinese e-commerce firm delivers packages within hours

Eat your heart out Chinese ecommerce firm launches 3hour delivery

Think same-day delivery is the bee’s knees? In China, an e-commerce company called Jingdong not only delivers your package a few hours after you place your order, but also gives you power to track it in real time on a map. You can even bug the delivery crew while they’re on the road, although they probably (hopefully) won’t pick up the phone or text you back while driving. The company offers its services in six major Chinese cities, including notoriously populous Beijing and Shanghai. Jingdong is a young company that’s yet to be profitable, but based on what it offers its customers, one can’t help but feel that eBay Now, Amazon Prime, and Google Shopping Express should step their game up.

[Image credit: Dwight Burdette, Wikipedia]

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In-Laws: My Marriage Is ‘Teetering On The Brink Of Failure’ Because Of Parents-In-Law

Written by The Stir Bloggers on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir.

Making the decision to kiss your single life goodbye and commit to one person for the rest of your life is pretty darn huge, to say the least. And while most of us go into marriage assuming there will be good times, bad times, and everything in between — generally we figure we’ll live happily ever after in one way or another.

But you know what puts a real damper on a seemingly good marriage? Shitty in-laws. Who have never done a damn thing for you and never will, and who have never bothered to do whatever it takes to make sure your relationship with them is healthy — even if deep down inside they absolutely can’t stand you. (People with half a conscience know how to fake it.)

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Hulu reportedly receives 3 bids over $1bn

Hulu has been reportedly entertaining bids for some weeks now, with Yahoo! having been the latest company to hit the rumor mill. Various prices have been tossed around, such as the $800 million Yahoo is said to have bid for the video service, but none of them have reached the level of three alleged bids leaked by unnamed sources: $1 billion. While two of the bids were from companies unknown, one is said to be from Directv.


The information comes from people who are said to be “familiar with the bid.” Reportedly, the powers that be behind Hulu have been looking into seven bids for the service, with the next month or so being used to whittle those down to three or four. While most of those bids fall below the $1 billion mark, three are said to meet or exceed that figure.

Needless to say, such a figure could certainly increase the odds of Hulu’s board agreeing to a sale, something that hasn’t been set in stone. Directv would benefit from the service for obvious reasons, having another platform of content to offer the viewing public that expands beyond what it currently offers. It isn’t the only company to aim at grabbing the company, however.

In early April, we heard rumor from sources that former president of News Corp. – one of Hulu’s owners – Peter Chernin bid on Hulu for $500 million. Rumor of other bids began surfacing soon after, with bidders including Time Warner Cable, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Guggenheim Digital, and KKR & Co.

It was announced in late April that Hulu experienced massive growth in its first quarter, tacking on a million subscribers and seeing 1 billion videos streamed over a three-month period. That brought the total number of subscribers to over 4 million.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

Hulu reportedly receives 3 bids over $1bn is written by Brittany Hillen & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

Oklahoma Tornado Photos: Residents Capture Destruction From May 31 Storm

A deadly storm moved through Oklahoma Friday evening, producing several tornadoes and causing widespread flooding.

The storm flooded streets and interstates, leaving motorists stranded and officials advising against all travel in the Oklahoma City area. Some streets were flooded several feet deep, reported the Associated Press.

Oklahomans shared their experiences of the storm on Twitter and Vine, posting images and videos of rising floodwaters and ominous skies.

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Mars Water? Curiosity Rover Finds Pebbles On Red Planet’s Surface Likely Shaped By Ancient River

By: Denise Chow
Published: 05/30/2013 02:06 PM EDT on

Smooth, round pebbles found by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity provide more evidence that water once flowed on the Red Planet, according to a new study.

The Curiosity rover snapped pictures of several areas with densely packed pebbles, and by closely analyzing the rock images, researchers discovered that the shapes and sizes of the individual pebbles indicate that they traveled long distances in water, likely as part of an ancient riverbed.

The rocks were found near Curiosity’s landing site, between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a peak that rises 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor. [Photos: The Search for Water on Mars]

Round and smooth

Scientists divided a photo mosaic of an area called Hottah into smaller frames to study the small rocks, which were cemented together and ranged in size from 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) to 1.6 inches (41 mm) across. In total, the researchers examined 515 stones and noticed that their surfaces were round and smooth.

Rocks worn by wind are typically rough and angular, whereas stones in water tend to become smooth over time, as the rocks get churned around with coarse grains of sand.

“We could see that almost all of the 515 pebbles we analyzed were worn flat, smooth and round,” study co-author Asmus Koefoed, a research assistant at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said in a statement.

The cemented sections of rock were likely formed by a combination of fine sand, mud, gravel and pebbles, the researchers said. This mixture clumped together and hardened, creating the solid formations seen by the Curiosity rover. Over time, as sand particles were blown across the surface of Mars, the tops of these cemented rocks became worn and flat, the researchers added.

Gale Crater

“The main reason we chose Gale Crater as a landing site was to look at the layered rocks at the base of Mount Sharp, about five miles away,” study co-author Dawn Sumner, a geologist at the University of California, Davis, said in a statement. “We knew there was an alluvial fan in the landing area, a cone-shaped deposit of sediment that requires flowing water to form. These sorts of pebbles are likely because of that environment. So while we didn’t choose Gale Crater for this purpose, we were hoping to find something like this.”

The Martian pebbles offer tantalizing clues about Mars’ aqueous past, said Morten Bo Madsen, head of the Mars research group at the Niels Bohr Institute.

“In order to have moved and formed these rounded pebbles, there must have been flowing water with a depth of between 10 centimeters (4 inches) and 1 meter (3.3 feet) and a flow rate of about 1 meter per second — or 3.6 km/h (2.2 mph) — slightly faster than a typical natural Danish stream,” Madsen said in a statement.

Scientists have long been interested in the search for water on Mars in order to determine if conditions on the planet were ever hospitable for microbial life.

Although modern-day Mars is an arid place, there is substantial evidence that water likely flowed on the planet’s surface several billion years ago. NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which both touched down on Mars in 2004, found signs of the planet’s watery past.

In 2008, the agency’s Phoenix Mars Lander confirmed the existence of current water-ice on Mars, after it scraped away clumps of dirt on the surface of the Red Planet.

The results of the new study show that Curiosity, which was launched in August 2012, has already achieved one of its main objectives: to investigate whether areas of Mars could have been habitable for ancient microbial life. The answer, apparently, is yes.

The results of the new study will be published in the May 31 issue of the journal Science.

Follow Denise Chow on Twitter @denisechow. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on

Copyright 2013, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Egyptian Jewelry Has Space Origin? Iron In Ancient Relic Came From Meteorite, Researchers Say

By Jo Marchant

The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that an ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite.

The result, published on 20 May in Meteoritics & Planetary Science1, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” says Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

The tube-shaped bead is one of nine found in 1911 in a cemetery at Gerzeh, around 70 kilometres south of Cairo. The cache dates from about 3,300 bc, making the beads the oldest known iron artefacts from Egypt.

A study in the 1920s found that the iron in the beads had a high nickel content — a signature of iron meteorites — and led to the suggestion that it was of celestial origin2. But scholars argued in the 1980s that accidental early smelting could have led to nickel-enriched iron3, and a more recent analysis of oxidized material on the surface of the beads showed low nickel content4.

To settle the argument, Diane Johnson, a meteorite scientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, and her colleagues used scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyse one of the beads, which they borrowed from the Manchester Museum.

The researchers were not able to cut the precious artefact open, but they found areas where the weathered surface had fallen away, providing what Johnson describes as “little windows” to the preserved metal beneath.

Microscopy showed that the nickel content of this original metal was high — as much as 30% — suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Backing up this result, the team observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming.

Using tomography, the researchers built up a three-dimensional model of the bead’s internal structure, revealing that the ancient Egyptians had made it by hammering a fragment of iron from the meteorite into a thin plate, then bending it into a tube.

Gifts from the gods

The first evidence for iron smelting in ancient Egypt appears in the archaeological record in the sixth century bc. Only a handful of iron artefacts have been discovered in the region from before then: all come from high-status graves such as that of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. “Iron was very strongly associated with royalty and power,” says Johnson.

Objects made of such divine material were believed to guarantee their deceased owner priority passage into the afterlife.

Campbell Price, a curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum who was not a member of the study team, emphasizes that nothing is known for certain about the Egyptians’ religious beliefs before the advent of writing. But he points out that later on, during the time of the pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of iron.

He speculates that meteorites may have inspired this belief, the celestial rocks being interpreted as the physical remains of gods falling to Earth.

Johnson says that she would love to check whether other early Egyptian iron artefacts are of meteoritic origin — if she can get permission to study them.

This story originally appeared in Nature News.

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Google says no to facial recognition Glassware until privacy issues are addressed

Google Glass presents a lot of exciting possibilities, but a fairly equal amount of concerns, one in particular being facial recognition and potential privacy issues that could result. On May 17, Congress sent a formal letter to Google addressing several privacy concerns, one of which was facial recognition. It has been a couple weeks, and now Google has stated it won’t approve facial recognition apps until privacy issues have been addressed.


In the Congressional letter, which was delivered to Google CEO Larry Page, one question was specifically posed concerning facial recognition: “Is it true that [Glass] would be able to use Facial Recognition Technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even some inanimate objects that the user is viewing? Would a user be able to request such information? Can a non-user or human subject opt out of this collection of personal data? If so, how? If now, why not?”

Google has not yet responded to the letter, and has a day over two weeks yet to do so. It has, however, made a public statement on its Google+ regarding Glass, facial recognition, and privacy, saying that no Glassware with such a feature is going to be approved any time soon. It doesn’t say when such apps will be available, with the issue being dependent on many factors related to privacy.

Google goes on to say that it has had a stance for “several years” that it will not implement any sort of facial recognition technology into any of its products until “strong privacy protections” are established. Such a process will take time, and is multi-faceted. We may get a look into where Google is at now in the process next month when it responds to the government’s privacy concerns, but for now Google simply assures worried voices that the feature won’t be hitting the average consumer any time soon.

Facial recognition isn’t the only area where privacy concerns lie, however. Many cite the camera on Glass as a point of concern, which wearers being able to take images wherever they’d like with a simple wink. Many places have already banned the devices, including a bar in Seattle.

SOURCE: Google+

Google says no to facial recognition Glassware until privacy issues are addressed is written by Brittany Hillen & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

New Anti-Malaria Vaccine Reduces Risk Of Infection By Over 70 Percent

New Anti-Malaria Vaccine Reduces Risk Of Infection By Over 70 PercentAn effective anti-malaria vaccine has been developed by a team of researchers at the Osaka University Research Institute for Microbial Diseases in Japan. The results of clinical trials conducted over a two-year period on location in Uganda, Africa, and published in the U.S. journal PLOS One confirm the BK-SE36 dry powder vaccine lowered the risk of acquiring malaria by a whopping 72 percent.

Dane Cook, Comedian, Scolded For Barring Boston Marathon Benefit Organizers From Streaming Or Televising His Performance

BOSTON — Comedian Dane Cook is being criticized for his decision to bar organizers of a benefit concert for Boston Marathon bombing victims from streaming or televising his performance.

Cook tweeted a brief apology Friday, saying he didn’t want any of his new material to hit the airwaves yet. That hasn’t pacified critics, including several who asked on Twitter why Cook chose to do a new set at a charity event.

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David Finkle: Easy Reader: Tote That Book and All the Other BookExpo America Giveaways

New York City–The most interesting piece of anecdotal information I picked up at this year’s BookExpo America was from Paul Oliver in the Soho Press booth. Director of marketing and publicity Oliver was born and raised in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, where he eventually ran an independent bookstore that closed in 2010. He’d left in 2009 but remained interested in an enterprise he’d co-founded.
When I heard his brief bio, I figured he’d cry the blues over the fate of the indies. Quite the opposite. Now in publishing–“the second best thing” after owning a book shop, he said–he happily reported that indies seem to be doing better. Orders from them have been up at his pubbery in the past year.
Good news, indeed, if that’s widely the case.

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