BAD TECHY NEWS: THE IPOD MEMORY MAY BE LIMITED!

EVEN SCIENTISTS HAVE THEIR LIMITS!

Many consumers take it for granted that the next generation of iPod, cell phone or flash drive will contain ever more memory to store music, photos and videos.

That’s because scientists and engineers have continually devised ways to shrink the components on flash memory chips to cram more data into small devices.

But eventually — within a couple of years, perhaps, and almost certainly within a decade — flash memory will run into fundamental limits on how small its circuitry can be built.

That has led a number of research groups and companies to begin searching for alternatives.

Jim Tour leads one of these groups in Houston. But the Rice University chemist said he and his laboratory didn’t set out to tackle the memory problem when they began working with graphene.

A single layer of graphite, which is used in the common pencil, graphene is composed of carbon atoms and looks like tiny chicken wire. In this configuration, it is an exceptionally strong material that efficiently conducts electricity.

While working with graphene in his lab, Tour realized that bits of it could be designed to store a charge, the underlying basis of memory.

As he began testing graphene as a memory device, Tour found that it worked better than silicon-based flash memory in a number of respects: It leaked less current, it generated very little heat and it operated in temperatures from minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly 400 degrees.

Its circuitry can also be built at much smaller sizes — less than 10 nanometers compared with the current 34-nanometer circuitry of the smallest flash memory devices. And perhaps most importantly, graphene memory can be stacked in three dimensions rather than arrayed in two, allowing for considerably more memory to be crammed into a single chip.

Tour said his lab is working with industry to determine if graphene-based memory can be commercialized.

“There’s a long way to go, and it will take quite a bit of money to bring this technology along,” Tour said. “But it does have some advantages over today’s flash memory.”

An expert in the computer memory industry said it will be difficult to develop a graphene memory device, because flash memory and so many other chips are based on silicon.

“We just don’t understand these other materials nearly as well as silicon,” said Jim Handy, a semiconductor analyst with the Los Gatos, Calif.-based firm Objective Analysis.

Since silicon’s first use in electronics half a century ago, billions of dollars have been spent to research and develop silicon-based materials for computer applications, Handy said. That means companies are familiar and comfortable with working with silicon.

Tour says his graphene technology can be deposited on a silicon chip, which may allay some of industry’s concerns.

MUNICIPAL JUDGES ON EDGE ABOUT THE RESPONSE TO A DEATH THREAT!

IF SOMEONE MADE A THREAT AGAINST YOUR LIFE HOW SOON WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW?

If someone threatened your life, how soon do you want to know?  Some Houston city judges say they’d like to know immediately.  But sources tell FOX 26 News that’s not what happened just last week at municipal court.  

A death threat was called in and an unknown person threatened to kill a Houston city judge.

Click here to see the full video story by FOX 26’s Isiah Carey.

One judge who didn’t want to be identified tells FOX 26 news most judges weren’t made aware of the incident until the end of the day. That judge says it put their lives in danger because the court’s administration failed to alert them right after the call.  

However, Bonita Tolbert with Municipal Court says judges were notified as soon as possible.  Tolbert says first the buildings security force was alerted, HPD was called out and the judges were told about the incident in person.  

City Councilman Ronald Green says it may be time to reassign Houston police officers to the court.  HPD was replaced last year by a private security force.  

Green says those security officers don’t carry guns and won’t likely be able to protect the judges.

KATIE COURIC’S SECRET WEAPON WAS SARAH PALIN!

THE CBS EVENING NEWS IS DOING BETTER!

After two years of relentlessly bad ratings news, Katie Couric finally has something she can smile about. The “CBS Evening News” anchor is still in third place. But the average of 7.4 million people who watched her newscast last week was better than any than any week since February 2007, five months after she moved over from NBC’s “Today” show. It makes four straight weeks where her audience was bigger than at the same point last year. Some experts suggest that Couric’s well-regarded interview of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during this fall’s campaign is encouraging more people to check out her newscast.

THE INSITE IS POWERLESS TODAY!

I LEFT MY STILL PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT AT HOME!

I saw a lot of things I could take pictures of and blog about today but because I left my camera and my memory card for my phone at home. I couldn’t take a single picture today. I feel powerless and victimized. There was this cool shot of a woman being arrested at Randall’s for shoplifting. I missed it. There was this mini-billboard of Michael Berry on the back of a taxi cab and I missed it. I wanted to write how he was blowing nothing but exhaust. There was also a pretty good scene at Municipal court but because I left my camera behind I was powerless. Remind me never to forget it again!

DO YOU KNOW THIS WIENER DOG…HE’S LOST HIS FAMILY!

A NOTE FROM FROM CITIZENS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION!

Just wanted to let everyone know that this precious little dog will have a Merry Christmas, thanks to our wonderful staff at CAP. He was found somewhere in Sugar Land on Sunday late afternoon and brought to the Petsmart store. Our Adoption Counselor, Anne, quickly rushed him to CAP. He was in bad shape and Cindy determined that he was in shock. We decided take him to the Emergency Clinic on Highway 6 to be observed. Since he had a beautiful shiny coat and was obviously well fed, we felt he must have a family and had just gotten loose somehow. Unfortunately, no collar or microchip!

He was transferred to Nottingham Clinic the following morning and x-rays were taken. He had no broken bones, but was bruised up pretty badly.

We are hoping that his family will hear about him being at CAP and come to take him home. We are also hoping that they will reimburse CAP for the $345 charged by the Emergency Clinic for pain medication and observance. As all of you know, we cannot afford to spend this kind of money on most of the animals that come to CAP, but this little guy stole our hearts, and we took the plunge! I am so glad we did, as his injuries turned out to be not very serious. A special thanks to EVERYONE at the shelter who made this great rescue possible! How fortunate CAP is to have such a caring and dedicated staff!!!

RIDING WITH THE BOBS IN HOUSTON!

WHICH BOB ARE YOU?

Bob Stein (Rice Political Professor and KHOU political analyst), Bob Martin (Accountant to the Stars) and Robert Eckels (former Harris County Judge) led a group of bike riders on an inside the 610 Loop bike ride Saturday morning to take full advantage of the temperatures in the mid 70’s. Much of the rest of the county is suffering from freezing temperatures and they were out riding around in short sleeve jerseys. The tide is supposed to turn however tonight and tomorrow as possibly some of the coldest temperatures of the year are headed toward Houston. Pictured [L to R] James Turley, Jim Eisenstaedt, Cletus Lee, Ed Reece, Olivia Provencio-Johnson, Doug Sherrill, Doug Alexander, Lisa Alexander, Bob Stein, Bob Martin, Carol Martin, Ron Bass, Hamzat Erogbogbo, and Judge Robert Eckels.

THE KATY CHEERLEADERS GET A LUCKY BREAK!

ARE THEY GETTING OFF EASY OR DO THEY DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE?

Pretrial intervention was approved Monday (Dec. 22) for the final five defendants in the hazing case of seven former Morton Ranch High School cheerleaders, District Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced.

County Court Judge Jay Karahan accepted the intervention agreements between the prosecution and defense, which will enable the five defendants to avoid further criminal action if they adhere to the stringent terms of the closely supervised program.

Agreeing to the diversion program are 17-year-old Kelly Buffa, Kirsten Davis and Madison Tanner; and 18-year-old Hannah Cochran and Meigan Goff. Terms are the same as those in the agreement approved on Dec. 12 for two other former cheerleader squad members.

Over the next year, they will be required to obey all laws, perform at least 60 hours of community service work, write letters of apology for the hazing offense, provide truthful testimony if any of the cases need to go to trial, submit to alcohol or drug testing as requested, and live up to other conditions in the agreement.

Seven varsity cheerleaders were indicted Nov. 19 on charges of hazing members of the junior varsity cheerleading squad in an off-campus incident July 25. The Class B misdemeanor charge includes a range of punishment, if convicted, of up to six months in jail and fine of $2,000.
If the defendants violate any terms of their agreement, prosecutors can void it and proceed with criminal trial. Completion of the program will enable them to have charges dismissed in December 2009.

Marc Brown, chief of the DA’s Misdemeanor Division, represented prosecutors in the crafting of the agreement for the program. The Harris County Community Corrections and Supervision Department supervises the program, which will be overseen by the DA’s Office.

In general, requests for pretrial intervention programs are usually made by defense attorneys. The DA’s Office evaluates these requests on factors such as the type and severity of the offense, the defendant’s background and character, and the likelihood that the defendant can successfully complete the intervention. Requests are carefully reviewed, and may be granted only
in appropriate situations.

DRIVE A MINUTE THEN STOP A MINUTE!

IS IT THE SAME IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

I was glad to see all of the new traffic signals in the Woodlands. They began appearing just last month. For years residents have had to deal with 4-way stop signs throughout the growing community. But now that there are signal lights there’s a problem I’ve encountered. Unlike downtown Houston, the Woodlands signal lights are not synchronized. It’s really nerve racking because you drive a minute then stop a minute. I’m not sure if neighborhoods synchronize neighborhood lights but The Woodlands really needs to look into the issue. Are the lights in your neighborhood synchronized?

ROSENBERG POLICE WILL BE LOOKING FOR SPIRITED DRIVERS!

MORE COPS WILL BE ON THE STREETS!

Rosenberg PD announces that will initiate its next wave of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program over the upcoming holiday season.

Rosenberg police officers will be monitoring traffic heavily beginning December 21 through January 1. Officers will pay close attention to drivers that appear to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs in order to keep Rosenberg’s roads safe for all motorists.

RPD will add additional patrol officers over the holiday season as an effort to encourage those that live in and visit Rosenberg to drive safely. The added officers will monitor some of the area’s busier roadways make sure visitors and residents of Rosenberg are safe and using safety belts and car seats.

The STEP Wave Grant is a program that awards funding to law enforcement entities in order to strengthen traffic enforcement efforts during peak times such as holidays and special events. The program allows law enforcement to focus on traffic safety issues including safety belt use, safety systems and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The program has created an enforcement partnership with Rosenberg PD and Texas Department of Transportation. The two agencies work together to deploy law enforcement in waves to heavily traveled roadways within the city limits.

I BOUGHT MYSELF A CHRISTMAS GIFT!

THANKS ME, I REALLY SHOULD HAVE!

I’ve always said if you want something for Christmas you’re going to have to go out and get it yourself…That’s exactly what I did with the new Mitsubishi 1080P DLP High Definition 4 hdmi television. Thanks me, I really should have!

A BACKPACK FULL OF GUNS!

WILLIE D INTRODUCES HUNTZVILLE!

Willie D, most known for his role in the platinum-selling Houston based rap group The Geto Boys, who spawned classic mega hits including “Mind Playing Tricks On Me,” is no stranger to controversy.  With his often hard-edged music that often conveys positive social messages, he is now introducing rap fans to the group Huntzville, the newest signing on his Relentless Music label. Just like the Geto Boys, Huntzville is a trio, and has message-laden music laced within their harsh reality raps.  However, unlike the trigger happy Geto Boys, Huntzville is comprised of three white rappers, D-Boi (aka Dustin Young), Lil’ Fly (aka Stephen Fox) and his brother C-Lean (aka Ryan Fox). Collectively, Huntzville has a “Backpack Fulla Guns,” and they are fully ready to unload it as their first single, in preparation for their upcoming debut album Disrupting The Ordinary, slated for release in early 2009.  

The outspoken group hails from Huntsville, Texas, home of the notorious prison that inspired a song of the same title by country singer Merle Haggard. These prison city playas live just an hour outside of Houston. After receiving one of their demos from a music business seminar and being impressed with what he heard, Will immediately decided he wanted to sign and mentor the group. Huntzville opened up the reunion show for the Geto Boys this past July.

Instead of reflecting on the “Mind Of A Lunatic,” Huntsville’s debut single, “Backpack Fulla Guns,” takes the listener inside the mind of a student that is going to commit a high school shooting. Pearl Jam had addressed this phenomenon brilliantly, coming from the state of an observer in the band’s prolific hit “Jeremy.” Conversely, the rappers in Huntzville are addressing the message from the point of view of the shooter. 

Huntzville feels that if a kid is at the point where he wants to shoot someone in his school, and if he listens to this song, and he sees that somebody understands, maybe he will change his mind about shooting someone. C-Lean notes, “This is a topic that no one else is musically approaching in hiphop, and we wanted to make a strong point of it.” He adds, “Everybody can relate to being bullied or bullying. We wanted to get a dialogue going on this. It is so commonplace today, that on CNN the other day, they only ran a little tickertape on the bottom of the screen, saying there was another school shooting in Jersey. These are not even featured stories any more. No one seems to care.”

“The trend is that lot of rappers are not doing anything that is going to be relevant in five years. There is so much trendy stuff and dance stuff,” observes C-Lean. “We wanted to do something of substance that you could listen to in twenty years from now that would still be applicable. Unfortunately, kids are still going to be bullied in school 20 years from now, so people will relate to this topic in many ways, from many points of view.”

D-Boi acknowledges the controversy surrounding some of the group’s songs that will be
released. He explains, “The single has a lot of meaning behind it. It’s not just a bunch of killing people. It’s not just mindless violence. We wanted to put a mirror up through this song, to show society that they’re not doing enough about this. These shootings are going on all over America, and they are a worldwide problem. Our job with the song is to remind people we need to take care of it, or it is going to keep happening.”

All one has to do is go to google news and type in “bullying” and “school,” and literally thousands of hits come up. 

Lil Fly notes, “We’re not excusing it, glorifying it, or saying this uncontrollable reaction is what you should do. We’re trying to say this exists, and there are people who honestly feel like this, and who feel they have a reason and right to do this. We’re just bringing you inside what drives a person to be like this.”

Lil’ Fly says that it is particularly outrageous that some bullies grow up to be police officers that find people to bully. “What just happened in Houston to Donald Driver’s father is deplorable,” he notes. “Donald is in the Green Bay Packers, and is very involved in his community, and doing a lot of positive stuff. The police recently arrested his father, Marvin, at his home, and they reportedly took him to a gas station, where they beat him unconscious. He was unresponsive at the jail, so he was taken to the hospital, where he was listed as being in critical condition. He is getting better now. But this is what happens when bullies remain unchecked,” asserts Lil’ Fly.

Geto Boy Willie D, CEO of the group’s label has the group’s back, and is ready to defend the group in light of any ensuing controversy. In fact, Will feels so strongly, that he has penned a statement that can be found on the group’s website, which in part, states, “Not so long ago, the repercussions of bullying meant you got sent to the principal’s office or home. Today, bullies are being sent to the cemetery, often accompanied by other students and teachers. Where are the parents? I’ll tell you where they are. Many of them are standing at the door, waiting for their child to walk through the door, so they can smack them across the head, just because they feel like it. Many of these parents stand in complete denial, causing their son or daughter to become bullies, themselves. Most children learn abusive behavior from the violence and abuse they experience at home. In an effort to seek what they errantly perceive as a feeling of power, or being “superior,” such children bully, tease, put down, harass, or otherwise torment one or more victims.”

Will points out the trial currently being held against Lori Drew, a 49 year-old Missouri woman that used a fake MySpace persona to bully a thirteen year old girl into committing suicide, the first criminal trial ever held involving cyber-bullying. Will, who was born as Willie Dennis, also stated on the Huntzville’s website, “Many of the parents are bullies, themselves, so they see nothing wrong with it. Some maladjusted parents even co-opt with their child to abuse, torment or put down other children. Many parents vicariously pass on this behavior.”

The group urges those who are dealing with issues of bullying to come to their website, and read Will’s complete statement, check out Huntzville’s videos and music, and post their own experiences with bullying.

http://www.huntzville.com