SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Borrowing a page from war posters of yesteryear, Facebook is using posters of its own to encourage employees to dump their iPhones for Android devices.
After it was reported in August that Facebook employees were being "nudged, cajoled, and even ordered to give up their iPhones for Android devices," the social networking giant appears to be stepping up its campaign. Posters encouraging employees to "switch today" have begun appearing on the walls at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, according to a TechCrunch report.
While Facebook used to give its employees primarily iPhones, the aim of the Android effort is apparently to improve functionality for the app, which has been criticized as slow, thin on useful features, and a drain on resources. The aim of this so-called dog-fooding, in which employees are encouraged to use their own products, would be to improve the Facebook experience on the smartphone platform with the largest marketshare; recent data shows Android controlling 68.1 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple's iOS nabbed only 16.9 percent.
One such poster gracing Facebook's walls included a large graph displaying IDC data that predicted Android would control about twice as much of the smartphone market as iPhone in 2016. Both posters encouraged employees to contact Facebook's help desk immediately to arrange to have their device switched to Android.
CNET has contacted Facebook for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
When asked about the posters by TechCrunch's Josh Constine, a Facebook spokesperson said: "We don't encourage one device over another. We let employees choose."
News of the posters emerged as Facebook released new versions of its app for iOS and Android. However, while Facebook trumpeted that the iOS app was "rebuilt from the ground up," the Android app update was relatively minor.– www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 7.43 million vehicles in the U.S., Japan, Europe and elsewhere around the world for a faulty power-window switch — the latest, massive quality woes for Japan's top automaker.
The recall announced Wednesday affects more than a dozen models produced from 2005 through 2010. The power-window switch on the driver's side didn't have grease applied evenly during production, causing friction in the switch and sometimes smoke, according to Toyota.
No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the defect. But more than 200 problems were reported in U.S. and a fewer number of problems were reported elsewhere, including 39 cases in Japan, Toyota spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said.
Recalled in North America are the Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia and Scion models xB and xD, spanning 2.47 million vehicles.
Some 460,000 vehicles are being recalled in Japan. The models are the Vitz, Belta, Ractis, Ist, Auris and Corolla Lumion. The Yaris, Corolla, Auris, Camry and Rav-4 are being recalled in Europe, totaling 1.39 million vehicles.
The sprawling recall also applies to cars in Australia, China and elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East.
Toyota has been trying to fix its reputation after a series of massive recalls of 14 million vehicles over several years.
Before that, Toyota had boasted a reputation for pristine quality, centered around its super-lean production methods that empowered workers to hone in on quality control. Toyota executives have acknowledged the escalating recalls were partly caused by the company's overly ambitious growth goals.
Toyota is also suffering from a sales plunge in China where car buyers are shunning Japanese brands because of a territorial dispute over islands claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia international Association) — Scientists have discovered a biological switch in blue-green algae that reacts to light and changes how electrons are transported within the cells. The new findings could help in engineering algae for improved biofuel production. The results of the research were published on July 10, 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are well known for their explosive growth when given the right combination of light, nutrients and warm water. Due in part to their high growth rate, their ability to use wastewater as a source for nutrients and their ability to grow without competing with arable land used to grow food, cyanobacteria and other types of algae have become a prime target for biofuel production.
Lack of light is often a major constraint in algae biofuel production systems because algae need light to photosynthesize. Attempts to increase the amount of light delivered to algae in bioreactors typically involve the use of energy-demanding mixing systems or smaller and more expensive growth chambers.
Alternatively, scientists could try to improve the way that algae grow under low light conditions. But first, they need to more fully understand how the biological molecules within cells respond to light.
To examine how cyanobacterial cells respond to light, scientists attached a green fluorescent protein tag to two key respiratory complexes in the species Synechococcus elongatus. Then, they exposed the cyanobacterial cells to either low light or moderate light conditions in the laboratory and tracked changes in the cells by viewing the cells under a microscope.
The scientists discovered that brighter light caused the respiratory complexes to redistribute throughout the cells from discrete patches into more evenly distributed locations. The redistribution of respiratory complexes appeared to be triggered by changes in the redox state of an electron carrier close to plastiquinone, and resulted in a major increase in the probability that electrons would be transferred to photosystem I, an integral component of the photosynthetic complex shown in the diagram below.
The research was carried out by seven scientists from Queen Mary, University of London, the Imperial College London and the University College London.
Conrad Mullineaux, who is a Professor of Microbiology at Queen Mary, University of London and co-author of the new paper, commented on the findings in a press release. He said:
Any organism that breathes or photosynthesizes depends on tiny electrical circuits operating within biological membranes. We are trying to find out what controls these circuits: what makes the electrons take the routes that they do, and what switches are available to send the electrons to other destinations?
He commented on the new findings further in an interview with Ecoimagination:
It’s rather like a familiar electrical switch. You press on it to change the position of the wires, and thereby change what the electrons do. At this state, we’re just trying to understand what’s happening in the cell. But the potential is there to exploit the knowledge for biofuel production.
Bottom line: Scientists have discovered a biological switch in cyanobacteria that reacts to light and changes how electrons are transported within the cells. The new findings could help in engineering blue-green algae for improved biofuel production. The results of the research were published on July 10, 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.—www.shafaqna.com/english