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Myspace History

Myspace history began as a for-profit venture by eUniverse in 2003, bolstered by generous startup money. Myspace.Com was intended to compete with similar services such as Friendster to help people network with one another in an easy to use and enjoyable manner. The domain name was once used for a virtual data storage site, but it was re-purposed for what would come to be a far more lucrative business.

After Friendster was released in 2002, some eUniverse employees came together and decided to copy the more popular features of the website. The first version of MySpace was ready for launch ten days after they decided to do this. The MySpace start-up team had everything under control when they first launched. The MySpace project was overseen by Brad Greenspan, who was eUniverse’s founder and CEO. He managed Chris De Wolfe, who was MySpace’s managing CEO, Josh Berman, Tom Anderson, who was president, and a team of programmers provided by eUniverse.

The first users of MySpace were eUniverse employees. The company started a contest for the employees to see who could sign up the most users. After eUniverse had reached 20 million users on MySpace, they used them to put life into the network and make it number one. Toan Nguyen was a key architect and technology expert who helped MySpace to become what it is today. was a brand associate with By 2004 made the transition from a storage site to a social-networking site. After the site had launched, Chris De Wolfe wanted to start charging a fee for the MySpace service. Brad Greenspan disagreed, he believed that keeping the site free was what would make it large and successful.
EUniverse was purchased in July of 2005 for $580 million. Rupert Murdoch’s News corporation, who is the owner of Fox Broadcasting and other media enterprises, was the buyer. Of the $580 million, $327 million dollars was added to the current value of MySpace. One of MySpace’s goals is to release versions of the network for multiple countries. They have already launched a UK version and one in China.

MySpace nowadays is a social networking website. People sign up for an account and create their own personal profile. There is a user-submitted network of friends, blogs, photographs, music, and videos. Its main audience is teenagers and young adults.

MySpace shares an office building with its owner, Fox Interactive Media, in Beverly Hills, California. Fox Interactive Media is owned by News Corporation whose headquarters are in New York City. In 2006 MySpace was the most popular social networking website in the U.S.A. MySpace was overtaken in 2008 by its competitor Facebook. The 100 millionth account for MySpace was created on August 6, 2006.

Throughout the course of 2007 and 2008, MySpace made many changes in the layout and function of the site. The user’s home page was the first function that was redesigned. They added new features such as applications, status updates, and subscriptions. Facebook had many different and better functions then MySpace, so MySpace had to catch up. In 2008 the MySpace home page was designed into a simpler layout that was more appealing to the eye. MySpace music was also recreated in the fall of 2008. More updates are expected to be seen in 2009 to bring forth a completely advanced MySpace for the next decade.

Here are some of the features of a personal profile on MySpace. Moods A person picks an icon to display which type of mood they are in.

Blurbs, blogs, multimedia There are two blurbs, “Who I’d like to meet” and "About Me." In addition, profiles contain an "Interests" section and a "Details" section. In the "Details" section, "Status" and "Zodiac Sign" fields always display. However, if members do not fill them in, they will not show. Profiles also contain a blog. The blog has standard fields for content, emotion, and media. Uploading images is another content on Myspace. One of the images can be chosen to be the "default image,” the image chosen is the one that will be seen on the profile's main page, search page, and as the image that will appear to the side of the user's name on comments and messages.

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Twitter's Brief History

Dom Sagolla, formerly of Odeo Corp., corporate predecessor of Obvious Corp., the company behind Twitter, tells the story of the micro-messaging service that has caught the imagination of everyone from from tech mommies to cable news networks, sports stars and Hollywood stars. It has become a source of breaking news and rumors. It is the new pulsating heart of the real-time Internet. It was born at a time when Odeo was facing a rather bleak future:

“Rebooting” or reinventing the company started with a daylong brainstorming session where we broke up into teams to talk about our best ideas. I was lucky enough to be in @Jack’s group, where he first described a service that uses SMS to tell small groups what you are doing.

I remember that @Jack’s first use case was city-related: telling people that the club he’s at is happening. “I want to have a dispatch service that connects us on our phones using text.”

Work on the project started on March 31, 2006. @Jack is Jack Dorsey, until recently the CEO of Twitter. He wrote the version 0.1 with Noah Glass, who showed me Twitter, back when it was known as Twttr, at a party in SOMA in San Francisco. That very night I wrote a short blog post about the service:

Twttr has married Short Code Messaging, SMS with a way to create social groups. By sending a text message to a short code (for TWTTR) you can send your location information, your mood information or whatever and share it with people who are on your social-mob! Best part – no installation necessary!

Thanks to an early jump, I got the @Om handle for my Twitter account. Reading that original post, I am amazed at how much has changed in two-and-a-half years. For Twitter, web has become the primary focus. The company has received a $500 million buyout offer, not to mention criticism for not being able to keep the service working all the time.

As Dom points out, over time, much of the original team from Odeo was let go — including Glass. Odeo became Obvious Corp., and, well, the rest is history. Now, the company is rumored to be valued at $250 million and is on its way to becoming the next hot platform on the web.

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Facebook and School Reunions

Facebook on MYFOX NATIONAL - The days of wondering what happened to old classmates are gone thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. And the days of organizing class reunions through mailings sent by school alumni organizations are also over, according to Time magazine .

The ability to locate former classmates through the Internet has these organizations and other groups such as Reunited Inc. scrambling to find new ways to stay relevant.

Some thought social-networking sites might kill reunions, but for most, they are heightening the excitement as more classmates are easily contacted through groups on the sites.

Facebook ?! "It's enticing. It's like a little preview, seeing everyone's life online. And whether you're happy that someone is not doing as well as you or you're happy that they look amazing, you get to see it all in person," Holly Goshin, who helped plan Massachusetts' Sharon High School's 20th reunion, told Time.

Since the alumni associations aren't being used as much to organize the reunions, however, some colleges are suffering from a lack of donations from former students. "We've lost our monopoly over the data on how to communicate with schoolmates," said Andrew Shaindlin, executive director of the Caltech Alumni Association. "We need to step back and figure out how to remain relevant, because there may be some point three or five or seven years from now when we're going to hold a reunion and almost nobody is going to sign up."

In addition to Facebook, sites such as can help you plan your next reunion.

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MySpace and Parrents

Myspace, kids and parrent-Rob Stafford is back with another report on the popular social networking site,, which has made headlines recently since several sex crimes have been connected to the site. In the multi-part report, "Dateline" follows a police officer who assumes a fake identity, engages in online conversations with young teens, and then shares with their parents what he has found. Airs April 9, 7 p.m. on NBC. The report, below, aired Dateline Friday, Jan. 27, 9 p.m.
You may never have heard of, but it's a safe bet, your kids have.

It's a social networking sites — sort of a cyber combination of a yearbook, personal diary and social club. The biggest of them is With more than 50 million members, its one of the fastest growing Web sites in the country.

Shannon Sullivan, teenager: Everyone has a MySpace and everyone wants a My Space.

It’s free, easy to join, and easy to message its members. Kids chat about everything from school, to sports, to fundraisers for Katrina victims. It all seems like innocent fun, and it can be. But many parents and teens are unaware there are hidden dangers.

Shannon Sullivan: I honestly just thought it was my friends looking at it

Which is why Shannon disclosed so much on her space. She put her name, her address, and where she went to school— everything about how to find Shannon was on that site.

Rob Stafford, Dateline correspondent: Were you worried about doing that?

Shannon Sullivan: I didn’t think twice about it.

Shannon did think twice about something else: The rules on my space say you’re supposed to be at least 14 years old.

Stafford: How old did you say you were?

Shannon Sullivan: I think it was 18.

Stafford: You think it was 18?

Sullivan: I was 13 at the time.

Shannon’s mother Margaret happens to run the computer system at a private grammar school. She has parental controls on her home computer, and several months ago, MySpace popped up on one of the reports Margaret gets on the Web sites Shannon has visited.

Margaret Sullivan: I was just very upset. Somebody looking for a kid could find a kid very easily.

Stafford: Had you ever heard of it?

Margaret Sullivan: No.

She was stunned by what Shannon revealed and found the sites of other kids far more revealing.

Margaret Sullivan: I found all kinds of pictures of kids in revealing positions, and pictures of kids scantily dressed.

It’s a cyber secret teenagers keep from tech-challenged parents who are not as savvy as Margaret. It’s a world where the kids next door can play any role they want. They may not realize everyone with Internet access, including sexual predators, may see the pictures and personal information they post.

When “Dateline” surfed MySpace, we found scenes of binge drinking, apparent drug use, teens posing in underwear, and other members simulating sex, and in some cases even having it. We also found less provocative pages like Shannon’s was, but potentially even more dangerous. Teens listed not only their names, and addresses, but even cell phone numbers and after school schedules.

Parry Aftab, Internet lawyer and safety expert: [It’s] one stop shopping for sexual predators, and they can shop by catalogue.

Internet lawyer Parry Aftab started the Web site, and her safety tips appear on

Stafford: Do parents have any idea what some kids are posting on these sites?

Aftab: Parents are clueless. They’re caught like deer in the headlights.

Aftab educates parents and kids about the dangers lurking on the Web.

Aftab: Pedophiles are using all of the social networking sites. And every other anonymous Internet technology to find kids. The social networking sites are where kids are.

Aftab says even kids who don’t list their name and address can provide enough personal information— such as the kinds of bands and boys they love— for a pedophile to use to con their way into their lives.

Aftab: If someone knows you "like pina coladas and walks in the rain," it’s very easy online to be exactly what it is you’re looking for— to be your “soul mate.”

Stafford: Who might happen to be a 40 year old predator?

Aftab: Absolutely. The teens just don’t get it. To them, they’re talking to a computer monitor.They’re playing in an area where they don’t recognize the consequences.

In the last month, authorities have charged at least three men with sexually assaulting teenagers they found through and just this week police found a missing 15-year-old girl who investigators say was sexually assaulted by a 26-year-old man she met through the site. MySpace members are now warning each other about the danger of sharing information online.

Aftab says parents need to find out what their kids are sharing.

Aftab: Say to your kids, “I’d like to see your profile page tomorrow.” It’s important that you give them a day to clean up their page. That will be the last time you give them warning.

Then Aftab says look at their site: Are the pictures provocative? Their profiles too detailed? Who are they talking to? And perhaps most important— have they kept their profiles private, protected by a password, to keep strangers out? would not agree to an on-camera interview but did tell “Dateline” via e-mail that it prohibits posting personal information and has a team that searches for and removes both underage users and offensive material. MySpace said it does not pre-screen the content of its more than 50 million members, but encourages all of them to exercise caution.

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Billy Mays Dead


Enough of it, I can’t do this any more so let me settle back into the usual lower case caps but you get the drift.

All american hall of famer salesman par excellence Billy Mays was prounced dead yesterday and if the news at dead is any popularity index, then Billy Mays is way up there.

Billy Mays is definitely going to be missed but I am not sure if I would like the idea of his infomercials being shown to eternity.

Here’s another thought - how do you think Billy Mays Eulogy will be read? Will the person who reads it, say it or will he shout it?

Billy Mays you are going to be missed sorely. Billy Mays was a great human being and I have no doubt about it.

How did Billy Mays Die? There is talk that he bumped his head on a rough flight and this may have added to the cause. But we will wait till the autopsy results are in before make any claims.

If you liked Billy Mays and are going to miss him sorely, leave him a comment below and show some love.

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They Speak Out About Michael Jackson


Timbaland: “Nobody had a voice like Michael’s,” the producer tells USA TODAY. He was introduced to Jackson’s music by his parents’ Jackson 5 records. “As I got older, it was Beat It and Billie Jean, then I got into the producer world and, wow, really got inside the music more. You can’t duplicate what Michael Jackson did. He was something very special.” Timbaland, who was influenced by Jackson’s “work ethic and the rhythms and cadences of his records, the way he attacks a song,” initially rebuffed an invitation to work with Jackson, but later was receptive, though the two never collaborated. He long wished for a “human” conversation with his idol. “He’ll be remembered for his music, his voice, his dancing and just being him,” Timbaland says. “He’s not an everyday thing. You can’t mold somebody to be Michael Jackson. A musical genius has been taken away.” “I am so grateful to have worked with the King. He was a gift to the world, he is a bright light and I wouldn’t be surprised if the world stopped spinning tomorrow.”

Quincy Jones who produced Jackson’s legendary album Thriller: “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words.Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the 80’s. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication.He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever.I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Ne-Yo: “When I first met him, I was shaking like a leaf. … Growing up, Michael Jackson could no wrong. Everything the man did was magic. … There will never be another Michael Jackson. … It’s a really sad day for us.”

Al Sharpton: “A friend of Michael’s for the last 35 years, I call on people around the world to pray for him and his family in the hour.I have known Michael since we were both teens, worked with him, marched for him, hosted him at our House of Justice headquarters in New York, and we joined together to eulogize our mutual idol, James Brown. I have known him at his high moments and his low moments and I know he would want us to pray for his family.”

Madonna: “I can’t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

Lisa Marie Presley: “I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me.”

Dionne Warwick: “The news of the passing of Michael Jackson comes as a heartbreaking shock for me. Michael was a friend and undoubtedly one of the worlds greatest entertainers that I fortunately had the pleasure of working with. We have lost an icon in our industry and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and children in this hour of sorrow that they are now going through. He will live on in my memory and most definitely through the music he shared with so many.”

Wyclef Jean: “Michael Jackson was my Music God. He made me believe that all things are possible, and through real and positive music, you can live forever! I love Michael Jackson. God Bless him.

Brooke Shields: “My heart is overcome with sadness for the devastating loss of my true friend Michael. He was an extraordinary friend, artist and contributor to the world. I join his family and his fans in celebrating his incredible life and mourning his untimely passing.”

Source :

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50 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Google and other search engines don't publish exactly how they rank webpages in search results, because that would lead to massive gaming of the system and produce non-useful results.The top 37 search engine optimization (SEO) professionals were asked to sort the 50+ factors that affect a website's search engine placement.
1. Keywords in the title of the page
2. Keywords in the headings of the page (h1, h2, h3, etc.)
3. Keywords in domain name
4. Keywords in the file names of the pages, images or any other content
5. Keywords in bold, italics and underlined text
6. Keywords in alt text for the images
7. Keywords in the text of different color/size
8. Variations of keywords on the page (Eg: eat, ate, eaten, eating, eater, etc.)
9. Keyword density on the page
10. Appearance of the keyword in the above half of the page
11. Keywords in the description meta tag
12. Keywords in the keywords meta tag
13. Uniqueness of title, description and keywords with other pages of the site
14. Age of the domain
15. Age of the page
16. TLD of the domain (Eg: .in domains will rank better in domain)
17. Hosting location
18. Pagerank of the site
19. Quality of the content (well written, informative, not duplicate)
20. Number of backlinks
21. Quality (PR) of the backlinks
22. Anchor text used for the backlinks
23. Title text (if any) used for the backlinks
24. Age of the backlink
25. Where the backlink appears on the page (top of the pages, bottom of the page)
26. Is the link in-content or exists with other links (pointing to some other site and separated with some specific text [like “,” or “|” ])
27. Number of total links on the page which is linking to you
28. Is the theme of the linking page is same as the linked page
29. Relevance of the keyword with the primary subject of the overall website.
30. Website load time (server response time and the size of the page)
31. Availability of the server (those 99.99% uptime things)
32. Outgoing links (to whom are you linking? Are the related?)
33. Number of pages in the site
34. Website navigation and accessibility (reach-ability of all the pages easily)
35. Links to the internal pages (yes, this will improve the ranking of the main page as well if the navigation is correct)
36. How many people come back from the site to the search engine after searching for the keyword (my be Google tracks this with toolbar)
37. Number of internal page links on your pages (not more than 100)
38. Number of external links on your pages (try to minimize)
39. Backlinks from .gov, .edu links (some thinks, its not a factor)
40. Using “-” hyphen (and not “_” underscore) in your file names wherever space is needed.
41. How often the site is updated
42. Duplicate content from other sources (negative effect)
43. Linking to bad sites (called bad neighborhood) (negative effect)
44. Keyword stuff on the pages or over optimization (negative effect)
45. The speed by which new links are building up for a site. Is it consistent over a longer period?
46. Backlinks from DMOZ and Yahoo directory are considered quite valuable.
47. Avoid session identifiers (SID)
48. Deletion of the pages (dead links on the site) without proper 301/302 redirect (negative effect)
49. HTML validation of the document (I am not sure how much effect it makes)
50. History of the domain (did it do anything bad in the past?)

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English Listening Practices

English Listening Practices : How to Writing to argue, persuade or advise, Typical questions and the general approach, Writing to argue, Writing to persuade, Writing to advise, Writing to inform, explain or describe, Typical questions and the general approach, Writing to inform, Writing to explain, Writing to describe, Reading poems from other cultures, Typical questions and comparing poems, Keywords and writing about language, and many more practices to download, here is the mp3 file and the script for that all mp3 :
Toelf test CD (8 CD+Ebook)

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Planet Earth weight

It would be more proper to ask, "What is the mass of planet Earth?"1 The quick answer to that is: approximately 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (6E+24) kilograms.

The interesting sub-question is, "How did anyone figure that out?" It's not like the planet steps onto the scale each morning before it takes a shower. The measurement of the planet's weight is derived from the gravitational attraction that the Earth has for objects near it.

It turns out that any two masses have a gravitational attraction for one another. If you put two bowling balls near each other, they will attract one another gravitationally. The attraction is extremely slight, but if your instruments are sensitive enough you can measure the gravitational attraction that two bowling balls have on one another. From that measurement, you could determine the mass of the two objects. The same is true for two golf balls, but the attraction is even slighter because the amount of gravitational force depends on mass of the objects.

Newton showed that, for spherical objects, you can make the simplifying assumption that all of the object's mass is concentrated at the center of the sphere. The following equation expresses the gravitational attraction that two spherical objects have on one another:

F = G * M1 * M2 / R2

  • R is the distance separating the two objects.
  • G is a constant that is 6.67259x10-11m3/s2 kg.
  • M1 and M2 are the two masses that are attracting each other.
  • F is the force of attraction between them.

Assume that Earth is one of the masses (M1) and a 1-kg sphere is the other (M2). The force between them is 9.8 kg*m/s2 -- we can calculate this force by dropping the 1-kg sphere and measuring the acceleration that the Earth's gravitational field applies to it (9.8 m/s2).

The radius of the Earth is 6,400,000 meters (6,999,125 yards). If you plug all of these values in and solve for M1, you find that the mass of the Earth is 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms (6E+24 kilograms / 1.3E+25 pounds).

1 It is "more proper" to ask about mass rather than weight because weight is a force that requires a gravitational field to determine. You can take a bowling ball and weigh it on the Earth and on the moon. The weight on the moon will be one-sixth that on the Earth, but the amount of mass is the same in both places. To weigh the Earth, we would need to know in which object's gravitational field we want to calculate the weight. The mass of the Earth, on the other hand, is a constant.
Source :
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Toefl Test Sample Download

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Microsoft makes gains with Bing, clashes with Google

Jun 18 2009 8:38AM EDT

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steven Ballmer takes part in the "Technology General Session" of the National Summit at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan June 17, 2009. REUTERS / Rebecca Cook. DETROIT (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's Bing search engine won more market share from rivals last week, according to new industry data released on Wednesday, but still trails Google Inc and Yahoo Inc.

Challenging market leader Google -- which in turn is looking to break into Microsoft's core software market -- is a long-term project, said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

"We have had some very good initial response," Ballmer said at a conference in Detroit. "I don't want to over-set expectations. We are going to have to be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of time."

Microsoft grabbed 12.1 percent of U.S. Internet searches for the work week June 8-12, according to data released by industry tracker comScore earlier on Wednesday.

That is up from 11.3 percent in the June 1-5 period -- the week in which Bing was launched -- and up from 9.1 percent the week before that.

For comparison, Google got 65 percent of U.S. searches in May, the last full month for which figures are available, followed by Yahoo with 20.1 percent and Microsoft with 8 percent.

Analysts and investors are keenly awaiting data for all of June to see if Microsoft can hold onto early gains.

Ballmer acknowledged the tough task of beating Google, which he referred to as "a big dog competitor."

The world's largest software company has long been determined to play a major role in the lucrative Web search market after watching upstart Google take a stranglehold.

At the same time, Google is looking to take advantage of its popularity to launch software that competes with Microsoft's, which has created a new source of tension between the two companies.

Microsoft ratcheted up that tension on Wednesday by claiming that Google's new Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook software -- which allows users to share data between their Outlook e-mail and Google's online offerings -- disables a key function in Outlook.

"The installation of the Google Apps Sync plugin disables Outlook's ability to search any and all of your Outlook data," Outlook product manager Dev Balasubramanian wrote on a Microsoft blog. "It is also important to note that uninstalling the plugin may not fix the issue."

The problem, though relatively unimportant to users, represents a crucial struggle between Microsoft and Google for e-mail customers.

Google's new product allows business users to continue using Outlook for email and other tasks, but the back-end functionality and data storage moves to Google, instead of residing on a company's internal servers running Microsoft software.

Google acknowledged the Outlook problem identified by Microsoft, and several other issues where its software does not mesh well with others.

"We're working with Microsoft and other partners to help fix these issues and support additional Outlook features like multiple calendars," said Google Apps senior product manager Chris Vander Mey in a blog post. "We'll keep you posted on our progress."

Microsoft shares closed up just less than 1 percent at $23.68, while Google's fell 0.2 percent to $415.16, both on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta, Gabriel Madway and Bill Rigby; Editing Bernard Orr and Lincoln Feast)

© 2009 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies. For additional information on other Reuters media services please visit

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Wolfram 'search engine' goes live

A web tool hailed as a significant rival to search giant Google has gone live to the public.

Wolfram Alpha is called a computation knowledge engine rather than a search engine and wants to change the way people use online data.

It aims to give people direct answers to queries rather than send them to other sites where they may find what they are seeking.

The system is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram.

Wolfram Alpha was unveiled in late April and since then has been publicly demonstrated and some people have had a chance to run queries through it.

Typically the results it returns are annotated pages of data rather than a simple list of other sites that might help resolve a user's query.

For example, if asked about the weather in Manchester it would present a graph of average temperatures, rainfall and other salient data.

The computational horsepower behind the main site works out answers to question as they are put by grabbing data from databases and consulting feeds of relevant information.

Will it be a Google, changing the way we see the web and the world - or will it be be a Cuil, a much-hyped search engine that sinks without trace after the initial interest?
BBC Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones

Wolfram Alpha can be asked known facts, such as the height of mountains, or be asked to generate new information such as up to date figures for a nation's GDP.

It can also handle complicated mathematical queries, plot statistics and produce charts of natural events.

The data it consults is chosen and managed by staff at Wolfram Research who ensure it can be displayed by the system. Behind the scenes Wolfram Alpha has about 10,000 CPUs spread across five data centres that it draws on when generating answers.

During a demonstration at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Dr Wolfram said: "Our goal is to make expert knowledge accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime."

Dr Wolfram played down talk that the system would be a Google killer and instead presents it as a way for people to get more out of the information on the web.

The final tuning and testing of the system was webcast live during the weekend before the official launch.

Prior to the start of the webcast and final testing, Theo Grey, co-founder of Wolfram Research, said: "If we do melt down when we go live it will not be for lack of effort, or any sort of naive idea of how many queries we might get. It will be because of overwhelming response."

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Wolfram Alpha Search Engine—A New Type of Search

After doing some personal browsing tonight, I came across a new search engine—Wolfram Alpha—which is a highly interesting website.

If you went out and asked anyone about where they go to do a web search, a significant portion of the group would probably say Google. But Wolfram Alpha—a new breed of search engine—is a step forward with web search and functionality.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Math majors, as well as other people who love numbers and statistical data, will find Wolfram Alpha very relevant. Almost anything can be computed through the search engine, and it also delivers statistical data, depending on the input.

For instance, if “Ohio State University” is entered into the search engine, one can get all kinds of interesting information on Ohio State, including location, tuition, number of degrees distributed (annually), as well as other useful, interesting data.

As Wolfram Alpha continues to add more algorithms and information into their rapidly-expanding database, their search engine could become one of the best on the internet—possibly even challenging Google in the future as a viable alternative.

Check out Wolfram Alpha, and let me know your thoughts on one of the most exciting search engine debuts in a while.

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Windows 7 Illustrated: 10 Cool Desktop Features

In anticipation of Windows 7 being released into the wild on Oct. 22, here is an up-to-date pictorial guide to the most compelling navigation and networking features of the OS.

Shane O'Neill, - Jun 27'09

Aero Peek

Aero Peek expands on Vista's Aero graphical interface. If you have many windows open, Peek brings the window you want to focus on to the front, while turning all other open windows into transparent "glass sheets." Peek also works on the desktop. If you mouse over the "Show Desktop" control at the far right of the taskbar all windows on the desktop turn to glass, allowing the entire desktop to be seen.

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Facebook Virus Turns Your Computer into a Zombie

Brennon Slattery, PC World

koobface, virus, worm, facebook, security

Hey, I have this hilarious video of you dancing. Your face is so red. You should check it out.

If you've received a message like that through Facebook or MySpace, you may have been exposed to the "Koobface" virus. "Koobface" comes through an e-mail sent by one of your social networking site friends inviting you to scope out a video.

Once the URL is clicked, "Koobface" prompts you to update your Flash player before the video can be displayed. Therein lies the virus, cloaked in a "flash_player.exe" file. According to the Kaspersky Lab, an antivirus organization working closely with Facebook, "the worms transform victim machines into zombie computers to form botnets."

The McAfee Security Blog explains that when "Koobface" infects your computer, it prompts a downloaded service named Security Accounts Manager (SamSs) to load on start-up. SamSs then proxies all HTTP traffic, stealing results from popular search engines and hijacking them to lesser-known search sites.

A clear eye for fraud will help you avoid this mess. You can usually spot phony e-mails by their titles. Kaspersky found the following: Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street; Examiners Caught Downloading Grades From The Internet; You must see it!!! LOL. My friend catched you on hidden cam; Is it really celebrity? Funny Moments. My own "Koobface" attack came in an e-mail entitled, lool, yoour blushingg afce is so funny! Checkk out. Obviously, Paris Hilton never threw dwarves, and in all likelihood, my 26-year-old friend knows how to spell more than two words. These are clear indicators you're being attacked.

Facebook has posted instructions about how to remove the "Koobface" virus: give your computer an antivirus scrub-down and change your Facebook password.

This attack on the world's most popular social networking site and its 120 million users comes just weeks after Facebook won an $873 million lawsuit against several people accused of hacking user accounts and spreading spam.

koobface, virus, worm, facebook, security

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Michael Jackson Death Spurs Spam, Viruses

JR Raphael, PC World - Less than 24 hours after Michael Jackson's death, fraudsters are exploiting public interest with their attempts to spread spam and malware. Security researchers say they've observed hundreds of cases of malicious messages masquerading as information about Jackson's death. Some of them, they say, popped up within minutes of the news.

Avoiding these threats isn't difficult, though: It's just a matter of staying one step ahead. Here are some of the attackers' tactics and what you can do to keep from falling victim.

E-Mail Address Harvesting

E-mails started circulating Thursday claiming to have "vital information" about Jackson's death. The messages ask users to respond in order to become privy to the "secret" details.

Michael Jackson Death Spurs Spam, Viruses

Unlike many Web-based threats, these e-mails aren't attempting to get you to click onto anything; rather, analysts believe, they're likely trying to get you to reply so your address can be confirmed for future spamming purposes.

"The spammer can easily harvest recipients' e-mail addresses via a free live e-mail address if computer users reply to the spam message," researchers at security firm Sophos explain.

Hidden Trojan Infecting

Another hoax takes the more standard approach of offering e-mail-based links, supposedly to exclusive videos and photos of Michael Jackson. These messages also appear to have YouTube videos embedded inside. If you try to follow the links or play the video, however, you may end up with malware on your computer -- without even knowing it.

Michael Jackson Death Spurs Spam, Viruses

"A legitimate Web site ... is opened by the default browser in order to distract the user by presenting a news article for them to read," researchers at Websense Security Labs explain. "In the background, three further information-stealing components are downloaded and installed."

Background Blog Processing

Other attackers are getting more creative and setting up phony Michael Jackson-related blogs to try to trick unsuspecting users. Security company Webroot says it's seen such efforts pop on a variety of hosting services, including Google's Blogger platform. The blogs take advantage of background processing to run scripts that can cause serious harm to your system.

"Just visiting [one] page spawned a tornado of background and foreground browser activity -- over 100 URLs, mostly called from ad-host Yieldmanager by an automated script hosted elsewhere, were pulled down in just the first three seconds after the page loaded," says Webroot's Andrew Brandt.

At least one site was found to be installing a virus that effectively locks down your PC, terminating most any application before Windows is able to open it. Programs installing spyware and even the Koobface virus have also been observed.

Staying Safe

The notion of exploiting high-profile news events for spreading spam and malware is nothing new. Security researchers say anytime the public's attention is tuned in to a particular topic, attackers see the potential to move in.

The best line of defense is simply to follow standard Web safety procedures: Delete suspicious-looking e-mails or messages from people whom you don't know; avoid clicking on links in messages if you aren't absolutely sure where they lead; and restrict your surfing to reputable Web sites when it comes to breaking news.

If you use Firefox, you can also install a plugin called NoScript. NoScript blocks JavaScript and Java code from running on any unapproved sites. That could keep you safe from some of the threats lurking behind legit-looking pages.

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Top 10 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Search engine ranking factors are some of the most closely guarded secrets in online business. Google and other search engines don't publish exactly how they rank webpages in search results, because that would lead to massive gaming of the system and produce non-useful results.

Fortunately, you don't have to figure out how Google determines search engine rankings all by yourself. There's an entire industry of professionals who have a good handle on how search engine placement works based on their cumulative experiences. Better still, their collective wisdom has been collected and published by SEOmoz, a SEO consultancy and website. The top 37 search engine optimization (SEO) professionals were asked to sort the 50+ factors that affect a website's search engine placement.

Here are the top 10 factors that positively affect your search engine rankings: (We go over each one in detail below.)

  1. Keyword Use in Title Tag
  2. Anchor Text of Inbound Links
  3. Global Link Popularity of Site
  4. Age of Site
  5. Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure
  6. Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site
  7. Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community
  8. Keyword Use in Body Text
  9. Global Link Popularity of Linking Site
  10. Topical Relationship of Linking Page

Here's each of the top 10 search engine ranking factors, with easy-to-understand explanations and actionable tasks you can apply today.

1. Keyword Use in Title Tag

In Laymen's Terms: Include the search keywords you are targeting in your webpage's title tag.

If you have time to do only one SEO action on your site, take the time to create good titles.
- Christine Churchill

The title tag (or "meta title") is the text that appears at the top of your browser window. Think of it as the title for the webpage. The meta title is also what is displayed as a link in search results.

Your Action: Use the search keywords you're targeting in every webpage's title tag. Have a customized title for each page; don't be lazy and use the same title for every page on your site.

If you have a brochureware website designed by a Web designer, when you give the designer your text copy for each page, you should also provide a custom title for each page.

For WordPress users, you can install the All-in-One SEO Pack plugin. It lets you modify the title tag of each blog posts.

2. Anchor Text of Inbound Links

In Laymen's Terms: When other sites link to your webpages, how do they describe the link?

Anchor text of the inbound link is one of the most concise assessments another person can make about what your site/page is 'about'.
- Mike McDonald

The anchor text is the visible, clickable text of a link. (In the last sentence, the words "anchor text" is the anchor text of the link.)

Looking at how other websites link to you (ie., what they use for the anchor text) tells Google how people are describing your content.

Your Action: When you email other websites to promote your content, mention your preferred anchor text if they choose to link to your site. You won't always get what you ask for, but it never hurts to ask. And there's a big payoff if you can get other sites to use the search keywords you're targeting when they link to you.

Choose anchor text that helps your website/page rank better for your targeted keywords. For example, if I were to ask for a link to this article, I would ask for anchor text that says something like "Top 10 Search Engine Ranking Factors". That anchor text tells search engines that the link goes to a page about "search engine ranking" -- the search keywords that I would love to have this article rank prominently.

That anchor text is better than "the most awesome article ever written". While it would be interesting to see which anchor text generates more clicks from human surfers, there is no doubt that the keyword-rich version of the anchor text would help this article's ranking in search results much more than the keyword-less version.

3. Global Link Popularity of Site

In Laymen's Terms: How many other websites are linking to your site?

I am a strong believer that a sites overall link popularity drastically effect rankings.
- Neil Patel

In general, the more inbound links to your website, the better it is for you. Every inbound link is a "vote" for your site. If lots of other websites link to you, search engines conclude that lots of people find your content useful or interesting. That makes your webpage rank higher than a similar page with fewer inbound links.

But remember that quantity is not the whole game. As we continue to look at the top 10 search ranking factors, note that the quality and relevance of those inbound links matter greatly.

Your Action: Make link building -- the practice of getting more inbound links to your site -- a central part of your online marketing strategy.

4. Age of Site

In Laymen's Terms: The older your website, the better.

I believe it's always had some importance and within the past two years, aging has taken on more signifigance in the ranking factors.
- Scottie Claiborne

Older sites have more weight than newer sites. The age of a website is hard to fake. Plus, search engines figure that if your site has been around for so long, it's probably better than a brand new site.

Your Action: Start today. Be patient. The hard work you put in now to optimize your website may not payoff until next year. The good news is that after next year, you'll have a leg up on new competition.

5. Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure

In Laymen's Terms: How prominent is the webpage within your own site?

Without the proper linking structure, certain pages may not get enough emphasis. For example, ... links directly from the homepage usually do really well.
- Neil Patel

The more prominently you feature a particular page on your site, the more weight search engines will give it.

Your Action: Showcase your best content or the webpage you most want to highlight. Put it in your main navigation menu or link to it from your homepage.

6. Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site

In Laymen's Terms: Are the sites linking to you related to your topic (and targeted keywords)? The more relevant, the more weight those links are given.

I think, in a perfect algorythm, relevance matters. Whether Google has figured out how to pull it off yet or not, I don't know but I do believe that is the ultimate goal. Whether they get more "weight" or not, relevant links are good business and help with rankings as well.
- Scottie Claiborne
All of your neighbours have a wide variety of thematic inbound link text from a wide variety of topical sites. You have the same anchor text from your unrelated porn/pills/casino link farm. Chances are a search engine can instantly spot you as a 'deviant' from the norm and flag you as having an unnatural inbound linking pattern.
- Lucas Ng (aka shor)
This factor is similar to #2 (anchor text of inbound links). How other sites link to you matter. For example, if you have a site about chess

Your Action: Relevance matters. Focus your link building efforts on sites within your topical niche.

7. Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community

In Laymen's Terms: How popular is the site that is linking to you? Especially withing your niche.

A niche site may not have a high quantity of links but a few links from the 'authorities' in the neighbourhood is often enough to rank the site above the authorities for niche-related keywords. The authoritative sites are telling the search engines "Hey, we're voting for this site for these niche (anchor text) keywords".
- Lucas Ng (aka shor)

Your Action: Relevance and authority matter. For #6, we said you should focus your link building efforts on sites within your topical niche. This factor says you should prioritize your link building on getting links from the biggest of the relevant sites.

8. Keyword Use in Body Text

In Laymen's Terms: Within the webpage/article, how often and what keywords being used? How relevant is your article to target keywords?

It is important to use the keyword phrase throughout the page where it makes sense. As engines get more sophisticated, it's not just the targeted keyword phrase that counts, but the mix of all the words on the page that help to determine what the page is about.
- Scottie Claiborne

Your Action: Use the search keywords and phrases you're targeting throughout your page or article.... when it makes sense. Don't cram so many keywords in the article that Google penalizes you for keyword stuffing.

9. Global Link Popularity of Linking Site

In Laymen's Terms: Links from big websites (ie., sites that have lots of inbound links) are worth more than links from smaller sites.

I like links that are linked to by many sites. I think there's a big difference between a PR 6 site with 20,000 links and a PR 6 with 500 inbounds.
- Roger Montti aka martinibuster

Your Action: Focus your marketing efforts on the biggest, most authoritative sites. Think of it this way -- it's better to get one link from a big site (like than to get 10 links from 10 small sites (like personal blogs).

10. Topical Relationship of Linking Page

In Laymen's Terms: Relevance matters. Links from a webpage that is related to your page's content are worth more than links from random, unrelated sites.

All links help - on topic helps a lot more overall.
- Todd Malicoat

Your Action: Relevance matters (again). Focus your link building efforts on sites within your niche. And if you can help it somehow, try to get links on specific webpages within a site that's even more relevant.

Analyze the Full Survey

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey - SEOMoz

The results of the full survey are very interesting. We've only scratched the surface with our discussion of the top 10 most influential search ranking factors. This survey represents the most authoritative and comprehensive collection of knowledge about Google's search algorithm. (Outside the company, of course.)

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz:

This document represents the collective wisdom of 37 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization. Together, they have voted on the various factors that are estimated to comprise Google's ranking algorithm (the method by which the search engine orders results). The result is a resource of incredible value - although not every one of the estimated 200+ ranking elements are included, it is my opinion that 90-95% of the knowledge required about Google's algorithm is contained below.
From Gregory Go, for
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Improving Your Web Site for Higher Google Rankings

Google is one of the most popular Web search engines at this time. But getting your site indexed is just one step to getting promoted by Google. You need to improve your ranking in order to show up higher in the Google search results so that people actually find your site.

While there are no "magic bullets" to improving your Google rankings, there are ways to help make sure that your site looks okay to the Googlebot. Combine this with some luck and some cross linking and you'll get higher ranking in Google.

Tips to Higher Google Rank

  1. Your site should have a clear hierarchy. This means that headings should follow in order from h1 to h2 and so on.
  2. Have a strong introductory paragraph on your site. This should not only explain what your site is about to new readers but also contain the keywords that you want to focus on.
  3. All pages on you site should have text links to them, not just graphics. And it helps if those text links say something other than "click here".
  4. Offer your readers a site map of your site. But make sure that it has less than 100 links per page.
  5. Make sure your page has a descriptive title tag. I did a search for "Untitled" on Google and came up with more than 11 million hits. Remember that it is possible to show only titles in Google search results, and 11 million is a hard number to rank high among.
  6. For important content, use text, not images. The Googlebot can't read images.
  7. Validate your HTML and keep your links current.
  8. Always write your pages for your readers, not for Google.
  9. Request reciprocal links from other Web page writers.

The key to getting high ranking in Google is to get lots of people to link to you. The more people who link to you and the more "important" they are in the Googlebot world, the higher you will rank for keywords. There are some things you should never do, as Google might ban your domain completely from their records.

The Don'ts

  • Don't try to hide text or links, such as by writing text the same color as the background color or within comment tags. Text needs to be visible to your readers for the Googlebot to consider it.
  • Don't cloak your site. This is a technique where devious people send Google and other search engine bots to a different page than their typical readers go to.
  • Don't fill your pages with irrelevant words. Having words multiple times on a page won't improve your ranking, and if they don't make sense in the context of the page, you'll annoy your readers as well as hurt your ranking.
  • Don't use automated programs to query Google. This impacts their bandwidth with no improvement of service to their users. It's also against their terms and conditions.
  • Don't be deliberately misleading or deceptive. From the Google site: "Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed..." If you think you've found a loophole in Google, it's a bad idea to use it.
By Jennifer Kyrnin,
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Google Thought Michael Jackson Search Surge Was Malware Attack

Twitter may have broke the story, but the increase in search traffic at Google Thursday was first seen as a malware attack Google admitted.


The Google News site had to shut down briefly leaving a message that read: "We're sorry, but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now."

Yahoo saw a record number of unique visitors for a day with 16.4 million visitors. It was also their single most visited story in their history.

Posted by Frank Watson on June 27, 2009 3:25 AM

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China Blocks Google, YouTube This Week, Could It Become Permanent

Seems the Chinese government used the "Great Firewall" to block Google, YouTube and Gmail for a couple of days this week, Fox News reported.

Seems access to Google both in English and Chinese was blocked for part of Wednesday and Thursday in parts of China. Fox News stated, "The outages occurred after China accused the Internet behemoth of spreading pornography among its citizens. Google was said to be investigating the service disruptions."

Given China has its own internal search engines and the government has strict control, Google has acknowledged it is censoring search results in the country.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang said Google China "is a company operating within China to provide Internet search services, and it should strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations," Fox News reported.

As Britain's Telegraph reports, Google established the localized search engine four years ago, agreeing to filter results based on government censorship restrictions and content requirements, but Chinese officials say that has not been the case due to its links with

"Google China's website has not installed filters to block pornography in accordance with the laws and regulations of our nation," said the CIIRC - the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre, according to the U.K. Guardian. "A lot of overseas Internet pornographic information has spread into our nation by way of this website."

Given nearly half the world's population lives in China Google could be losing a major market which is just now starting to become an active consumer online. Google had said they would address China's requests but with the 60th anniversary of the Communisy regime coming, it seems they did not do it quickly enough.

TechCrunch asked commenters in one of their blog posts to help clarify what was happening in China and received information from "a person seemingly located in Xiamen, China" that , "says Google Books, Google Talk and Image Search have also been blocked in the comment section of this post. Other services like Blog Search, Translate, Maps and Analytics are reportedly borked as well. YouTube has been blocked in the country for quite some time already".

Posted by Frank Watson on June 27, 2009 2:00 AM on

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Google Voice Calls Out To New Users

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) on Thursday began issuing invitations to users who have expressed interest in Google Voice, the company's online voice mail and call management system.

"We are happy to share that Google Voice is beginning to open up beyond former GrandCentral users," said Google Voice product managers Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet in a blog post. "If you requested an invitation on the Google Voice site or previously on Grand Central, keep your eye out for an invite e-mail."

Google in May reportedly reserved 1 million phone numbers through network operator Level 3 Communications, a move seen as a sign of the company's intent to open Google Voice to a large number of new users.

Google introduced Google Voice as a private beta test in March and said at the time that the service would start accepting new users in a few weeks. The service was acquired by Google in July, 2007, when it was known as Grand Central.

Google Voice provides a new phone number that can be used to route calls to up to six other phone numbers, based on criteria determined by the user. It also features an online voice mail inbox that stores calls and provides speech-to-text transcriptions.

It's most broadly appealing feature is the ability to place free domestic calls in the United States and low-rate international calls to select countries.

Other features include the ability to screen calls, to block calls, and to receive e-mail or SMS notifications when voice mail messages are left.

Google Voice allows users to personalize greeting messages and the ringing sound that callers hear while awaiting an answer, and to determine which phone numbers ring when a call comes in.

And it supports a WebCall button: When embedded on a Web page, would-be callers can click on the button to initiate a call.

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Windows 7 Half-Price Sale Starts Friday

The full version of Windows 7 Home Premium is priced at $199, with an upgrade from Vista or XP costing $119. The full version of Windows 7 Professional is $299, with upgrades going for $199. Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $319, with the upgrade version at $219.

But U.S. shoppers who pre-order between June 26th and July 11th will receive discounts of 50% or more, Microsoft said. For instance, Windows 7 Home Premium will sell for $49 during the discount period, while Windows 7 Professional will sell for $99. Participating retailers include Best Buy and Amazon, as well as Microsoft's own online store.

A similar program will be offered in Europe from July 15th to Aug. 14th.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc, in a blog post Thursday, said the discounts are meant "as a way of saying thank you to our loyal Windows customers."

That may be, but Microsoft's aggressive pricing for Windows 7 shows that the company is anxious to reinvigorate flagging Windows sales. Microsoft's client unit, which houses Windows, saw sales slip 16% in the most recent quarter.

In a further effort to boost sales, Microsoft on Thursday disclosed an upgrade program through which consumers who purchase a Vista-powered PC can migrate to Windows 7 at little or no cost when the latter becomes available on Oct. 22.

Microsoft said it would defer recognition of 50% of revenue for sales made through the program until the fulfillment date of the purchases or until the program expires, based on whichever comes earliest. Microsoft said it expects to defer $200 to $300 million in such revenues during its current fiscal fourth quarter, which ends June 30.

Such upgrade programs are generally meant to convince consumers to not hold off purchasing PCs during the time period between when a new product is announced and when it's actually available.

Microsoft needs to tread carefully when it comes to upgrade programs. The company was sued last year by consumers who complained that some Windows XP PCs sold as "Vista Capable" prior to Vista's launch in January 2007 were anything but.

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Nanotechnology expert wins $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize

June 24, 2009 - Professor Chad Mirkin, director of Northwestern University's International Institute for Nanotechnology, has been awarded the 2009 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for innovations that have the potential to transform the future of medical diagnostics and patient point-of-care and to ignite change across many industries from semi-conductors to healthcare.

Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern, will accept the prize and present his accomplishments to the public at MIT during the Lemelson-MIT Program's third-annual EurekaFest, a multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit, June 25-27.

The author of 380 manuscripts and more than 350 patents and applications, Mirkin is among the world's most cited nanomedicine researchers. "Professor Mirkin's cutting-edge, innovative work is greatly contributing to America's economic competitiveness and will help ensure that the nation remains at the forefront of one of the most promising areas in science," said U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.).

Mirkin is best known for the invention, development and commercialization of two technologies: the nanoparticle-based medical diagnostic assays underlying the FDA-approved Verigene ID(tm) system and Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN), an ultra high-resolution molecule-based printing technique. Both inventions were born, in part, out of Northwestern's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, funded by the National Science Foundation, and conceived, managed and directed by Mirkin. There, Mirkin's research, with the help of Northwestern graduate students and colleagues, has formed the basis of several start-up companies that are helping to bring his inventions from the lab to the market.

Nanotechnology as a disease detector

Current medical diagnostic tools make it challenging to understand the identities of molecules circulating in the human bloodstream, which provide early warning signs of disease. Often, a disease isn't detected until an illness has progressed and indicator molecules become visible in higher concentrations. Current genetic testing, often performed in a distant lab, may take weeks to deliver results and authenticate or rule out the presence of a threatening disease or illness - an inefficient and costly process with potentially negative health consequences.

Mirkin invented a highly precise method of identifying low concentrations of disease-signifying molecules. "In the case of proteins, the test can be thousands of times more sensitive than any commercial protein detection system out there, and has the power to revolutionize medical diagnosis," Mirkin said. Mirkin commercialized many of the nanoparticle-based medical diagnostic assays through Nanosphere Inc., leading to the development of the Verigene ID(tm) System. This innovative system can test patients for several different disease targets at the same time, on-site in a research laboratory, community hospital, or doctor's office in under an hour.

One of the most promising applications of this technology is in Alzheimer's disease, which affects as many as 5.3 million Americans. Today, patients can only be posthumously confirmed as having Alzheimer's. Mirkin's bio-barcode test has the potential to evaluate living patients for Alzheimer's by detecting very low concentrations of the protein associated with the disease, allowing for early intervention and potential treatment.

Mirkin's work with nanostructures made of gold has since led to new ventures and the founding of Aurasense, a company focused on developing a novel class of nanotherapeutics that are nontoxic and extremely effective in gene regulation for application in oncology and heart disease.

Manipulating biological materials

Printing is the cornerstone for many core technologies, including information transfer, electronics, medical diagnostics and drug discovery. Modern microfabrication processes have made printing on the microscopic scale widely accessible. The challenge of creating flexible tools that allow one to print on the nanoscopic scale led Mirkin to invent Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN).

This technology, licensed by NanoInk, can be used to print features of proteins, DNA and other biological materials on surfaces with sub-50 nanometer resolution. Commercialized in the form of the Nscriptor(tm), it has become a novel research tool, allowing scientists to better understand how cells interact with surfaces and function, the chemical and physical consequences of miniaturization, and how structures - including individual viruses - behave at the single particle level. This knowledge is important for learning how viruses infect cells, understanding the chemical and physical differences between healthy and cancerous cells, or discovering the genetic code associated with a new flu virus - all of which could lead to new therapeutics and diagnostics. DPN's applications extend even further than this to highly miniaturized polymer- and molecular-based electronics.

Mirkin's latest invention, Polymer-pen lithography, which uses millions of polymer-based tips, is designed to cover a larger surface area and has more commercial applications ranging from computational tools, medical diagnostics such as gene chips, and pharmaceutical discovery through combinatorial biomolecule arrays for screening drug candidates.

Engaging and inspiring young scientists

Mirkin also serves as a role model and leader for aspiring young scientists and inventors. Through work with the International Institute for Nanotechnology, Mirkin and his colleagues devise innovative science programs around the country to educate youth including the development of the DiscoverNANO web site, which introduces young people to nanotechnology. Currently, Mirkin is also working with Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry to complete a hands-on nanotechnology exhibit.

"Mirkin is an extraordinary scientist who is at the forefront of the growing field of nanotechnology," said Michael J. Cima, faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. "His inventions are paving the way for the emergence of nanotechnology in medicine, with impact that extends far beyond the scientific community. Mirkin is truly deserving of this honor."

About the Lemelson-MIT Program

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history's most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at MIT in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation. The Foundation's programs in the U.S and developing countries recognize and celebrate accomplished inventors; provide financial and mentoring support to grassroots inventors; offer hands-on opportunities that enable young people to develop their budding scientific curiosity; and disseminate technologies that improve people's lives.

Applications for the 2010 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize are now available at The annual prize honors an outstanding mid-career inventor who is dedicated to improving our world through technological invention and innovation.

For more information about the Lemelson-MIT Program, visit

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