Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
U.S. researchers have found that the sea slug Elysia chlorotica can photosynthesize, using energy from light to convert carbon dioxide into sugars.
"If you shine light on these slugs, they fix carbon dioxide and make oxygen just like a plant," Sidney Pierce of the University of South Florida told CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks.
The slugs look just like a leaf, green and about three centimetres long, and are found off the east coast of North America from Nova Scotia to Florida.
They acquire the ability to photosynthesize by eating algae and incorporating the plants' tiny chlorophyll-containing structures, called chloroplasts, into their own cells.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
The company behind the magicJack, the cheap Internet phone gadget that's been heavily promoted on TV, has made a new version of the device that allows free calls from cell phones in the home, in a fashion that's sure to draw protest from cellular carriers.
The new magicJack uses, without permission, radio frequencies for which cellular carriers have paid billions of dollars for exclusive licenses.
YMax Corp., which is based in Palm Beach, Fla., said this week at the International Consumers Electronics Show that it plans to start selling the device in about four months for $40, the same price as the original magicJack. As before, it will provide free calls to the U.S. and Canada for one year.
The device is, in essence, a very small cellular tower for the home.
The size of a deck of cards, it plugs into a PC, which needs a broadband Internet connection. The device then detects when a compatible cell phone comes within 8 feet, and places a call to it. The user enters a short code on the phone. The phone is then linked to the magicJack, and as long as it's within range (YMax said it will cover a 3,000-square-foot home) magicJack routes the call itself, over the Internet, rather than going through the carrier's cellular tower. No minutes are subtracted from the user's account with the carrier. Any extra fees for international calls are subtracted from the user's account with magicJack, not the carrier.