As of 2010, scientists have managed to find and catalog 1.7 million different species of life. Sounds like a lot, right? Not when you consider that the very same lab geeks feel it’s possible that there may still be another five million species out there that we haven’t stumbled across yet. Before depriving anymore of those lifeforms of their habitats for the sake of a new strip mall or a few rolls of toilet paper, maybe we’d do well to get to know them a little bit better (you know, just in case the planet finally decides to rise up and rebel against us). To this end, we’re declaring Encyclopedia of Life our Cool Site of the Week.
How much battery life does your laptop or netbook have? I don't know. I bet you don't know either. Or, at the very least, you're probably relying on a manufacturer's statement as to just how much computing time you can get on a fully charged battery. But as you well know, your battery life can vary depending on how you use your laptop: If you're rocking the brightness at maximum, keeping an active Wi-Fi on at all times, and burning your CPU at full-blast, you're going to run through your available power far faster than if your laptop was doing little-to-nothing.
Sure, you can hover your mouse over the battery icon of your Windows taskbar to estimate just how much juice is left in the pitcher. But if you want a more comprehensive analysis of how your portable PC will perform at full-blast under whatever conditions you've set up, you'll need to turn to a third-party utility for the full breakdown.
And as it just so happens, I have the perfect piece of freeware in mind: Imtec Battery Mark. Click the jump to find out more about this awesome laptop battery tester!
Since 2001 Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell has been compulsively tracking every bit of personal data that he generates in his daily life, in the interest of finding out just how much digital storage it would take to contain it.
Bell, who works at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Research Group and is calling his project MyLifeBits, has stated that “The problem isn't putting it all in. The problem is getting it out. When I started, I couldn't find anything!” Currently Bell has been able to track all the web sites that he’s visited (221,173), photos he’s taken (56,282), emails he’s sent and received (156,041), documents written and read (18,883), phone conversations had (2,000), photos snapped by a SenseCam hanging around his neck (66,000), songs he’s listened to (7,139), and videos taken by him (2,164). In order to collect all this information he users a desktop scanner, a digicam, a heart rate monitor, voice recorder, GPS logger, pedometer, smartphone and an e-reader.
He does suspect that there’s some need to forget though. Being able to wipe clean difficult memories of the past could be some evolutionary trick. “If you think you should forget, you should,” states Bell. “But for God's sake, keep all the papers you've written and the photos you take. Sometime down the road you might be looking for something and you won't even give yourself the chance of finding it.”
LIFE Magazine, which published classic photojournalism from Maragaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, David Douglas Duncan and many others during its various incarnations as a weekly (1936-72), special issue (1972-78), monthly (1978-2000), and Sunday supplement (2004-2007), lives again, thanks to the new LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.
Ultimately, about 10 million photos (only about 3 percent of them ever published) will be available at Google. There's no need to wait to explore this rich photo heritage, though: about three million are already online.
So, what can you do with photos ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Winston Churchill, World War II to Vietnam, Muhammed Ali to the King of Siam? You can view photos in three different sizes, including high-resolution (5MP-6MP) sizes and use them for personal or research purposes.
To learn more about the collection, and for your chance to tell us about your favorite LIFE Magazine images, join us after the jump.