STLR Link Roundup – October 5, 2012

NYC Campus Receives A US Patent Officer

This past Tuesday, the US Department of Commerce and Cornell University announced that a patent officer will be assigned to the new Cornell NYC Tech School set open in January. The school will be run by Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and will admit approximately 20 students to the first class of its master’s degree program. The patent worker will give classes on how to best write patents, obtain financial assistance, and what commercial strategies to engage in. David Kappos, Director of the patent office, believes that stationing personal at a major research institution will “help move research from the lab into the marketplace.”

Facebook Officially Hits One Billion Users

This past Thursday, Facebook announced that on September 14 at 9:45 AM Eastern, it had topped one billion users whom actively visited the site within a single month. Facebook celebrated the milestone by commissioning their first-ever commercial appropriately titled “The things that connect us.” Founder, Mark Zuckerberg concluded his announcement with the statement “I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.” Only 6 billion more people to connect!

Facebook also decided to share some interesting statistics on its billion users.

  • People have hit the “Like” button more than 1.1 trillion times since its inception in February 2009.
  • There have been over 140 billion friend connections
  • There have been approximately 265 billion photos uploaded. (46 billion have been deleted)
  • They have approximately 600 million mobile users.
  • The median age of Facebook’s one billion users is 22 years old.

SpaceX launches 1st capsule in $1.6 billion NASA contract

SpaceX is a private company, run by Elon Musk, the co-found of Paypal. This past May, SpaceX made history by sending an unmanned capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). This test run marked the first time a private company had ever sent a cargo payload to the ISS. On Sunday, October 7 at 8:43 PM Eastern, SpaceX will launch another capsule with the plan to deliver approximately 1,000 pounds of supplies to the ISS. This flight will mark the first of 12 flights under a $1.6 billion deal contracted with NASA. Since NASA retired the space shuttle fleet last year, the United States has relied on Russian spacecraft to reach the ISS. However, due to the expensive cost, NASA has turned to the private sector to take over the duty. You can watch the launch live from Cape Canaveral, Florida via NASA TV.

Apple’s Victory Is Helping Samsung?

According to the marketing firm Localytics, sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III have actually been helped by Apple’s recent patent victory and iPhone 5 release. The Galaxy S III has seen an average growth of 9% every week since August 1 with two huge spikes occurring after the lawsuit verdict and the announcement of the iPhone 5. Apparently, the post-litigation coverage put Samsung in the spotlight and suggested the two devices were similar enough. After the iPhone 5 announcement, hundreds of reviews suggested the two phones had similar capabilities. Localytics suggests that this analysis may demonstrate that smartphone consumers are not necessarily tied to a specific mobile operating system.

Genetically Modified Tail-less Cow Produces Non-Allergenic Milk

Scientists in New Zealand have genetically engineered a cow to produce milk without beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), the protein which triggers allergic reactions for approximately 1.3 million children. According to the study, recently published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers used RNA interference (RNAi) to inhibit the expression of genes which code for BLG. According to Mike Van Amburgh, a professor at Cornell University, this is the first time scientists have been able to tinker with the protein composition of milk before it left the cow. The study shows that RNAi may act as a useful tool in genetically modifying livestock to have more “desired traits.” Interestingly enough, the scientists do not know why the cow’s tail is missing and will have to further inquire into this odd mystery when the cow grows older.



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