Subject:

Science and Technology

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    Houston's Consolation Prize: Space Shuttle Endeavour Gets A Conjugal Visit

    A little bit of Houston died last year when Atlantis returned from its final mission and NASA put the breaks on the space shuttle program. The wound was exacerbated by the announcement a few months prior that Houston would not become home to retired shuttle, but that New York and California would. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2012

    Alternatives to Five of the Pricier Software Titles

    The Business Software Alliance announced last week that it had come to an agreement with local business Affordable Power, LP, to settle legal claims that the company pirated software titles. According to the release: As part of the settlement, Affordable Power agreed to pay $150,000 to settle legal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2012

    Five Ways the Cell Phone Camera Has Changed the Way We Live

    When I was a kid, I used to follow my dad around with a Kodak Instamatic he got me from a drugstore. He was the pro in the family, shooting photos for magazines and for himself. Like most shutterbugs, he had an ample collection of lenses and camera bodies. When I turned 12, he bought me my first rea ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 30, 2012

    Hurricane Season 2012: The Predictions -- A Quiet Year in the Tropics?

    With so few storms impacting the U.S. last season and with one of the worst droughts in recorded history gripping our region, it would be tempting to think that last year was a down year in hurricane production. In fact, it was quite the opposite. In 2011, the Atlantic produced 19 named storms incl ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 10, 2012
  • Calendar

    May 3, 2012
  • News

    April 26, 2012

    State and EPA Battle Over Fracking, Flaming Well Water

    When Steve Lipsky blamed fracking for turning his water well into a flamethrower, he set off an epic battle between the EPA and Texas.

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2012

    Fracking Wreaks Fiery Havoc with Texas's Well Water

    Fracking is supposed to be an energy godsend, a cheap way to get lots of natural gas. But property owners are finding it brings along with it such problems as flames coming out of their water hoses and wells, and poisonous chemicals in their drinking water. There's a big fight going on nationwide, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2012

    Jose Hernandez: Shuttle Vet Allowed To Call Himself "Astronaut"

    Jose Hernandez flew on the space shuttle in 2009 and worked on the International Space Station, but he's been having a court battle over whether he can refer to himself as an "astronaut." Hernandez, who stirred up some controversy with his immigration stances as an astronaut, retired in 2011 and i ... More >>

  • Calendar

    March 29, 2012
  • Blogs

    March 12, 2012

    App of the Week: iCab -- A Highly Recommended Alternative to Safari

    App: iCab Platform: iPhone, iPad Website: iCab Mobile Cost: $1.99 One of the great innovations of cell phone technology is the ability to use the web on a phone in much the same way you use it on your computer. When the iPhone first emerged, Apple's Safari browser was included and it was a revelati ... More >>

  • Culture

    March 8, 2012

    Tut, Tut

    There are some fascinating objects in this wannabe blockbuster, but mainly it's a grab for crowds and cash.

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2012

    Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention: Inside the World of Wank-Craft

    Most conventions are pants-mandatory kinds of affairs -- even those of the adult nature. For the world's first virtual porn convention, however, I'm not wearing any (relax...I'm in my PJs). This past weekend, XBiz and Red Light Center hosted the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention, porn's first ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    Meet Chris Clackson, Hockey Player, App Developer

    It's been a strange season for the Aeros. They shot off to a quick start, having the best record in the league for the first month or so. Then the injury bug hit the parent club, and key player after key player got the call to join the Wild, leaving the Aeros depleted and relying on young players ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    Are Streaming Sites Ensuring The Music Industry's Long-Term Survival?

    The look on my face when I couldn't hear "Temporary Secretary" on Rdio.​This past week, Paul McCartney's team pulled most of his catalog - including his works with Wings - off streaming music sites such as Rdio, Rhapsody, Spotify and MOG. Listeners are now deprived of Band On the Run, Back To ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 8, 2012

    Skylab IV Splashed Down on This Day: Five Things the Most Complaining Space Crew Ever Bitched About

    Skylab IV: Not happy campers​Skylab IV splashed down on this day in 1974, ending the last mission to America's first space station. They were glad to get home. The crew of Skylab IV -- William Pogue, Gerald Carr and Edward Gibson -- became famous for the sheer amount of complaining they did. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2012

    App of the Week: App Shopper

    App: App Shopper Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac Web site: AppShopper.com Cost: Free The iPhone may be good for many things -- most of those may be the result of cool little apps that extend its features -- but finding cool apps via the App Store is not one of them. Calling the App Store utilitarian i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2012

    Google Shuttering Popular Photo Editing Tool Picnik: Top 8 Alternatives

    Google announced that as of April 19, it will shut down Picnik, an online photo editing tool acquired by the company in 2010, and bundle some of the editing tools into their over-arching Google platform. The staff of Picnik remains with Google and apparently is working to add features from the edit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    App of the Week: Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go!

    ​App: Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go! Platform: iPhone, Android Website: http://www.nuance.com Cost: Free So, let's say you decided earlier in 2011 that you were going to upgrade your iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 4. Let's also say that you were impatient and had no desire to wait until, supposedly, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Kindle Goes Solar, But Leaves the Fire in the Dark

    A new product for the Kindle family of e-readers has hit the market, but sorry Kindle Fire owners, it's not for you. The new SolarKindle Lighted Cover is for the Kindle 4. The front of the cover is a solar-panel and reports are that as little as one hour in the sun will give you three days of readin ... More >>

  • Calendar

    January 19, 2012
  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    Manipulate And Control A Captive Katy Perry (As A New Sim Character That Is)

    Huh-huh-huh-huh ​Today the makers of The Sims 3: Showtime announced that Katy Perry will be a playable character on this expansion pack off of The Sims 3, coming in March for whatever it is you play The Sims on. We haven't played the game in years, becuase all we did was build houses for avata ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2011

    White and Nerdy: Explaining SOPA vs GoDaddy for the Tech-Challenged

    When trying to explain the debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act and the involvement of domain name registrar GoDaddy in a staff meeting this week, my words were met with collective blank stares, as if I were speaking a different language. It is a look I often get from Web-design clients when I tal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2011

    Five Factors That Will Influence the Growth of Streaming Music in 2012

    We all know that in December of 2012, the Mayan calendar ends as will the world, but before that fateful day, I've got a lot of music to listen to and, like many, I seem to be doing that increasingly on my computer and via streaming music services. Whether it is Pandora or Grooveshark or Last.FM or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Last Minute Shopping: The 10 Best Online Retailers (Not Named Amazon.com)

    ​For a decade now, online retailers have increasingly grown their sales to the point they now rival traditional brick and mortar establishments. Let's face it, it's just easier to shop online if you have a computer, an internet connection and a desire to avoid crowds. You can sit there with a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    Cover Story: Foster Kids on Antipsychotics

    ​Here's a riddle: If the Texas Attorney General sues a drug manufacturer for allegedly lying about the safety and efficacy of one of its antipsychotics, why would the state agency that oversees the foster care system still allow that drug to be given to kids as young as three? Why would the s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2011

    Black Keys Not Licensing New Record to Streaming Services

    ​There's been a furor brewing among people who love streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio over bands like Coldplay denying licensing to those services for new releases. Older albums are available, but bands have essentially delayed the release to streaming services. That was all well ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2011

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    Another Wine Blog: Love born in the blogosphere. It's a beautiful thing. A few weeks ago, when I shared a glass of stinky, delicious Cortese (from Piedmont) with tandem wine bloggers Amy and Joe Power, authors of Another Wine Blog, they told me the story of how they met in the "pre-blog" era, in a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2011

    7 Gifts for Your Nerdy Little Audiophile

    In a classic bit of stand up comedy, Steve Martin described his obsessive search for the best stereo system of the day. He kept adding more and more speakers until he finally reached the "google-phonic" stereo with the closest number of speakers to infinity, which, like all the rest, sounded like sh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2011

    Is Spotify Ripping off Artists?

    ​Spotify made one hell of an entrance in July. Swedish-founded and U.K.-headquartered, Spotify arrived the States three months ago to adoring fans. Like a new bride, glowing in the light, flashing that pizza smile logo at us. Everyone wanted a piece of the sexy digital jukebox. Now that the ve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2011

    A Pendulum In Space: Kids Learn It Ain't The Same

    NASA has posted new videos of International Space Station astronauts doing experiments proposed by schoolkids, and it includes this easy-to-grasp one. Everyone knows how a pendulum acts on Earth. How about in zero gravity? Astronaut Cady Coleman -- who shows again why she made our list of Seven Wil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    My Five Most Indispensable Music Technologies

    Previously the pinnacle of music technology...and pure awesomeness.​I started listening to music on vinyl way back in biblical times and things seemed just fine. CDs came along and made hauling around music somewhat easier and, once you got past the crispy clarity, the music sounded pretty dam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2011

    Endeavour Crew Stabs Houston in Back (Sorta) Over Getting a Retired Shuttle

    Mike Fincke: What can you expect from a Steeler fan?​Houston, still smarting over missing out on a retired space shuttle, now gets to hear NASA astronauts going on and on about how the decision was a great one. Members of the Endeavour crew were in Los Angeles recently to take part in the Cal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2011

    5 Ways Apple Revolutionized the Music Industry

    No other company has changed the music industry as much as Apple. For the better part of the last decade, the late Steve Jobs and his co-conspirators have empowered music consumers in ways no one would have ever imagined. The monstrous iTunes store made it possible for anybody to buy music without ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2011

    Three Ways Steve Jobs Made Technology Cool, Stylish and Accessible

    This morning I was scheduled for a conference call with one of my clients and I knew I was running a few minutes late. My laptop was not with me and I didn't know the client's email address by heart. Fortunately, I had my iPhone. I opened it up, found a recent e-mail exchange between myself and my c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    NASA Taking Astronaut Applications: A Job With A Bright Future

    This could be you​Tired of your dead-end job? Get into a profession that's guaranteed to be well-funded for the foreseeable future and beyond: manned space travel!! NASA is once again opening up the application process for astronaut jobs, even though, you know, there are no more shuttle missi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2011

    IWatch Harris County App from the Sheriff's Department Poorly Designed

    The IWatch welcome screen.​The best smartphone apps meant for functionality rather than entertainment fill a need, are easy to use and provide appropriate functionality for the task at hand. The Harris County Sheriff's Department IWatch Harris County app delivers about one-and-a-half of those ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    The Heat, My God, the Heat: When Will Summer Finally End?

    Raining down fire and brimstone instead of water.​Elaine Benes used to date David Puddy on the show Seinfeld. He claimed to be a Christian -- sporting a fish symbol on his car, tuning his radio to Christian stations and the like -- but encouraged his girlfriend to do sinful things on his behal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2011

    Houston Texan Winston to Host Online Monday Night Football Show

    Could Eric Winston's new online MNF simulcast be MST3K for sports fans?​Houston Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston is a funny and insightful guy who is a regular on local and national sports talk shows as well as a very good follow on Twitter. Tonight, he launches a Monday Night Football com ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2011

    What Google & Motorola's Marriage Means To The Music Industry

    The Daily Beast​Google stunned the tech world last week when it tied the knot with Motorola for $12.5 billion. But it's the music business that should be raising its brows at the union. Like any typical suitor, Google weighed Motorola's considerably large assets in its decision to get in bed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2011

    Restaurant Ejects Diner for Tweeting While Eating

    Social media isn't always as friendly as it sounds.​Ever since Te House of Tea and its sister restaurant, the now-defunct Saute World Bistro, signed up for Twitter accounts in August 2008 -- the first two restaurants in Houston to do so -- it's become not only de rigeur but almost necessary f ... More >>

  • Film

    August 11, 2011

    Invasion of Piracy

    Illegal downloading costs the film industry billions of dollars per year. But does the legal strategy designed to recoup this lost bounty amount to extortion?

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    Why The Bloggerati Turned On The Watch The Throne Leaker

    ​Things just ain't the same for bloggers. A couple of events transpired in the last few weeks that may completely change the way most people view music bloggers. First, there was the incident where a writer from The Fader got kicked out of a media-only listening session for Jay-Z and Kanye Wes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    Astronaut Suicides: Funny, Tasteless or Both?

    Photos by Neil DeCosta​The end of the space shuttle era affects everyone differently. One group of creatives from Portland, Oregon put together a Web site called Astronaut Suicides, which is pretty much as advertised -- a slide show of an astronaut, faceless behind his spacesuit, reading abou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    An Amateur Lands The Space Shuttle

    Boyd MeierKym in the sim​Be sure to check out our pics from the Atlantis astronauts' homecoming at Johnson Space Center. You often hear the expression "a once in a lifetime experience," and while this may or may not always be true, for those lucky enough to participate in a NASA Tweet-up, not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    Shuttle Era Ends: A Look Back At Our Coverage

    Mission patch FAIL​With what we fervently hope is a flawless landing, the last mission of the space shuttle ends this morning when Atlantis touches down in Florida. The final flight evoked a lot of memories, and we tried our best to spark some. In case you missed our varied posts on Atlantis ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2011

    Comment of the Day: If Twitter, Google and Social Media Were Around During the First Moon Walk

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Atlantis Wake-Up Music So Far: Ranking The Good, The Bad & The Ugly On The Last Shuttle Trip

    What's with all the damn Coldplay?​NASA, always on the lookout for good publicity, has made a cottage industry out of the wake-up music it uses to rouse crews orbiting the earth. They recruit artists to record messages that are played after the song, because the first thing you want to hear ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    15 Unfamous But Great Space Shuttle Photos

    Even if it's not today, at some point Atlantis will lift off and eventually finish the last of the space shuttle missions. There are plenty of famous, even iconic, NASA photographs of the program; we pulled some highlights of lesser-known ones. 15. Almost a rocket ship This makes the shuttle look ... More >>

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