Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Red Wine anybody?

If you're an oenophile -- especially one who prefers a cabernet or merlot over a chardonnay or riesling -- you've got an increasing number of scientists in your corner. Turns out, according to extensive recent research, that red wine appears to deliver some serious health benefits along with the pleasure of its taste. It also could help any would-be mineral prospectors among you (more on that at the end).

So what new scientific findings back regular, moderate consumption of red wine? Consider these:

It might help fight cancer. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center this month published a study that found that resveratrol, a natural antioxidant in grape skins and red wine, can help kill cancer cells in the pancreas. The antioxidant apparently works by crippling the workings of the mitochondria that provide cancer cells with energy.

It could reduce complications from diabetes. Red wine's resveratrol appears to help fight such diabetes-related complications as heart disease and certain kidney and eye problems, according to a study from the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England. The antioxidant seems to protect against blood vessel cell damage caused by a diabetic's high levels of blood glucose. "Resveratrol's antioxidant effects in the test tube are well documented but our research shows the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure, and the ability of resveratrol of protect against and mend that damage," said principal researcher Matt Whiteman.

It might delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The polyphenols in grape juice and red wine show some ability to fight the accumulation of the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's, according to research from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The polyphenols appear to work by reducing the accumulation of the beta-amyloid peptides that form the plaques.
It could help prevent heart disease. The polyphenols found in grapes, red wine and green tea seem to encourage blood vessel growth that can benefit the circulatory system and heart, a team of French researchers reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Even low doses equivalent to one glass of red wine per day appeared to provide health benefits, the team found.

It might fight food poisoning. Red wines -- especially cabernets, merlots and zinfandels -- appear to have anti-microbial powers that kill the bugs that cause food-borne illnesses, according to research from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Red wine showed the ability to fight pathogens that included E. coli, salmonella, listeria and Helicobacter pylori, the study found.
It could also increase Libido and put everybody in the mood. Enough said here.

Finally, if you're hunting for metals and have any wine to spare, you could have a leg up on finding natural mineral deposits. An exploration and mining scientist at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation recently found that wine or soft drinks, when mixed with soil, can dissolve
natural metals into solution, making it easy to test for local mineral deposits. The beverages seem to work best at hunting down minerals like silver, zinc, copper and nickel. "In many cases, the comparison of metals extracted using wine and soft drink were superior than those extracted using conventional, and much more expensive, commercial solvents," said one researcher.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome, a new web browser released today to compete with Microsoft Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari and others. I've beta tested with IE 8 and I was not particularly happy with the bug I found. Let's see if Google's first ever browser will be better or worse.

I immediately tried to load my Project Mobius web site up to see if something funny would happy. I assumed it was because Flash plug-in wasn't installed for this browser. While downloading, I went to this blog page for a quick test. The page loaded fine it seemed, but there was a popup that disappeared way before I was able to read the sentence which was really annoying. If the message was meant to be displayed for a mere half a second, why even bother? After refreshing the page and trying to read the error message word by word. I managed to figure out that it was complaining about addition plug-in (again related to the Flash plug-in) was required to display some elements on the page and those elements were shown at the bottom left of the page. The problem was fixed right away after installing the Flash plug-in.

Overall in terms of user interface, its almost like using any other browsers out there. Even the buttons look similar although the placements are slightly different but you will never be in a situation where you cannot find a particular function, well most of the time. I actually prefer the button placements for Chrome over IE8 Beta because in IE8 Beta, the Favorites button is located right next to the Refresh button with little space in between. Where as in Chrome, there is at least some space between the two buttons. It has the Favorites or the bookmarks bar just below the location bar much like in IE8 Beta which I dislike (I hid it right away). Chrome can also have the option to hide the entire bar along with the double arrows. I would rather have the double arrows remain there like IE8 Beta, instead of pressing Ctrl+B to toggle the entire bookmarks bar section on and off. But overall I think Chrome is very clean, a little bit too plain I should say. They should work on the top frame because I am not feeling the plain blue bar at all.
I opened a new tab by clicking the little plus sign and it displayed pages I've visited. I could also see a full history and delete a certain day's history similar to IE. Would be nice if there's a button somewhere on the page to go back to the previous page instead of always clicking the Back button on the top left. Sorry just being a little picky here.

One minor problem I encountered was when I mouse overed the title, it would not be displayed as a clickable link because somehow I'm guessing its still referencing the top layer when the two div tags were too close to each other, as with my blog's navigation links and the newest entry's title link. , which was the navigation links. I couldn't even select the text from that title.

I only use the basic functions during web surfing such as finding a particular text on a page, going back to previous pages, bookmarking interesting places and etc. I don't see why I would switch from one of the existing browsers over to Chrome as I'm a very casual web browsing user. But one thing for certain is that, Chrome's stability is much higher than that of IE which I had problems with while testing IE8 Beta. I definitely will look forward to future releases of Google Chrome.

For more information, please visit the learn more page on Google.

Compaq Laptop CQ50

Hewlett Packard has constructed a new laptop that is geared towards providing users with an inexpensive option that can do most things that the average computer user would need it to do. The Compaq CQ50 139WM is one of their newest products, filling the niche for users that are just looking to get on the internet or check their e-mail on the run. By combining the main components that made E-Machines so popular, HP has what they think will be a really affordable product to people that don't need all the bells and whistles on their computer.

What is the Compaq CQ50 139WM Laptop

The new Compaq laptop is going to be almost exactly like it sounds; a "compact" little laptop that will be easy to carry around, and give end-users the ability to surf the internet with a few button pushes. The Compaq laptop has a 15.4 inch screen which uses HP's high-definition bright view, which means that the screen will be very well illuminated without external light sources, and it comes with a 575 Intel Celeron processor. The processor insures that your programs will work well, and it gives you a 160GB hard drive with which to work. The Compaq CQ 50 also comes with Windows Vista and Service Pack 1, as well as expandable memory slots if you ever decide that you want to add more memory. For the tech savvy, here are a couple additional pieces of information; 2.00 GHz, 667 MHz FSB, 1 MB Cache, and 765MB of total available graphics memory.

Who Will Get The Best Performance From a Laptop Like This?
If you are someone who is just looking for a portable laptop that can access web-sites, allows you to use chat programs, and lets you correspond through e-mail, this could be the perfect option for you. The computer is great for the basic internet user, providing everything that you could possibly need, and doing it at a very cheep price. You can listen to music, it comes with a nice battery (2-3 hours of life when not plugged in), and the touch pad also makes the computer easy to use. It also already has an integrated network card and wireless capabilities, so the set-up is very minimal at best. The computer isn't going to be the fastest when you are running multiple programs at the same time, because it isn't built for speed or to be multi-functional in capacities like that. You can watch movies and listen to CD's as well, but with the limited processes or, you won't want to do too many things at the same time because that will slow you down a lot.

Final Thoughts on the HP CQ-50 139MN Laptop

If you are a first time laptop purchaser, or just want a small machine that is going to give you great internet access, then this is a machine that is highly recommended for your customer niche. It is going to give you everything you need to check your e-mail from the road or in a hotel during vacation, it has enough space to save any files that you might be working on, and it doesn't take up a lot of space. In regards to the price, it is quite good for a laptop of this functionality, and for a machine that just does the basics, I would have to say that the price is extremely good. Don't forget to keep in mind that this isn't a laptop that was created to allow you to do anything and everything a more expensive laptop would allow, but rather a basic machine that is a means to an end. If you are in the market for a simple laptop that will keep you in touch with the online world, and offer several other basic uses, then this could be the perfect product to purchase.

List of Customers Who Will Best Enjoy the Compaq CQ50 139WM

*Basic internet user.

*Someone who just likes to surf the web or check their e-mail.

*A Young first time user that this laptop will be gifted to.

*Someone that wants a light and portable laptop to take places and keep up with online business.

Specs of the Compaq CQ50 139WM Laptop

Dimensions: 6 cell: 14.05" (L) x 10.07" (W) x 1.46" (min H) - 1.75" (max H)

Weight: 6.95 pounds

Speakers: Integrated Altec Lansing stereo speakers


HP PhotoSmart Essentials, Muvee AutoProducer Basic Edition 6.x (with 20-day-trial full version), Adobe Reader 8.x, Microsoft Works 8.0 9.0, Microsoft Windows Media Player 11, HP Games Powered by Wild Tangent, Cyberlink DVD Suite, QuickPlay

Basic Warranty:

  • One year of hardware parts and labor coverage

  • One year of award-winning, toll-free, 24 x 7 support

  • 30-Days Free Software Support (Free 1 year Software Support with Product Registration) from date of purchase

  • E-mail response in as little time as an hour

I know a number of people who are feeling nervous, even panicky, about their finances. When cash is hard to find, alternatives like Swaptree, found here, allow people to spend only a couple of dollars to trade items they no longer want for books, movies and music that would cost far more if bought at retail.

After discovering that the company just received $3.3 million dollars from Safeguard Scientifics, I was intrigued and decided to test out Swaptree. Here's what I discovered, along with some updates and information that should help others:

Registering at was easy, allowing me to immediately barter and trade items

I signed up very quickly, got a confirmation email and responded. Within minutes, I was involved in my first trade. I listed a book I no longer needed, Edgar Sawtelle, and was shown a number of potential books that I could choose in return. I did have to take a moment to find the exact ISBN number on the book, to make sure I was listing the correct edition (some books come out in more than one edition at the same time, including paperback and hardcover editions and special collectors' editions). Alternately, I could have imported items from a list or website, making it that much easier to list multiple books, CDs and DVDs.

But looking up the ISBN took only a few extra minutes. Some of them were recent releases. I saw such popular titles as The Glass Castle, Postsecret, The Last Lecture, The World is Flat and numerous Harry Potter books. Then I saw a rather obscure book which had been on my list for awhile and I signed up to trade for it. I'm waiting to hear back from my trading partner. I'm also going through the items in our home and thinking about what I could trade for potential Christmas and holiday gifts this year, ones that are almost free. When I can trade a book that cost $24.95 for one of equal or greater value, I think that is a super deal!

Is truly free for both registration and membership? Are there hidden costs?
Having some experience in bookselling, I know that shipping can't be free- and it isn't. But signing up at the site is free and so is membership. This means that for the price of media mail postage (usually less than $3.00), you could trade what you have finished reading - or perhaps DVD movie you no longer want- and get another book of equal or greater value. While not entirely cashless because of minimal shipping costs, this is certainly one of the best deals I've seen.

Why is Swaptree so popular now? Why is a company willing to invest millions of dollars in them?

Trading unwanted items has plenty of advantages right now. It certainly saves time and energy compared to driving to the mall. Tech savvy traders know that they can easily print out mailing labels and even ship directly from their home, saving even more time. Basically, Swaptree allows people who want to get the latest books and movies, perhaps to use as gifts during Christmas or birthdays, at a small fraction of what they'd cost new. They're even cheaper than many half-priced book stores and Swaptree doesn't have the fees of a site like Ebay. All of this could be making it super attractive to people who are darwn to trade and barter and eager to move away from spending lots of cash.

What risks exist in bartering and trading through Swaptree? How can those risks be reduced?

No transaction is risk free but I looked at the message boards on the site and was pleasantly surprised by the number of pleased users. Consider the fact that Ebay started on a similar system of trust, with users giving feedback on transactions. Until fees rose and sellers and buyers started to grumble about the increased costs, the site worked very well. I know that because I used Ebay regularly. I'm happy to be able to give away perfectly good books and DVDs that I no longer need if I can get something I do want in return. However, there is always the chance that a deal could fall through. Which is why...

It is important to check a trader's history on Swaptree

My potential trading partner has conducted a number of trades and has 100 percent satisfactory feedback. I'm willing to take a chance on her. Hopefully, she'll do the same for a new user like me. I also figure risks are small because I no longer need this book and I'll only be spending three dollars - or less- to ship it. Small risk and a potential benefit of a new book in return makes this worthwhile to me.