The internet’s Ice Bucket Challenge funded a medical discovery

Internet sensations can do more than just trigger fond memories or confusion… sometimes, they might just lead to a vital cure. Some of the $100 million-plus in donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge (the viral video-fueled awareness campaign for ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) fully funded Project MinE, a medical research effort that just identified a gene linked with some ALS cases. Yes, that clip you shared with your Facebook friends may have given scientists the cash they needed to finish their work — in this case, sequencing the genomes of 15,000 people with ALS to help pinpoint relevant genes.

It’s important not to oversell the impact of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some of those donations came from ALS Association state chapters, for one thing. Moreover, there was a real concern that the original awareness message got lost in the shuffle. While there’s no question that the fundraising was wildly successful, there were likely some who didn’t realize that it was connected to ALS at all — the internet’s tendency to dilute information might have worked against the campaign. On the balance, though, the discovery stands as proof that the buzz created by social networks can accomplish great things.

Source: The internet’s Ice Bucket Challenge funded a medical discovery

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Why the Metric System Is So Important

Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States of America. Those are the only three countries left in the world that don’t use the metric system. Ted-Ed traces the history of the metric system (thank you French Revolution) to show how important it is to have one universal measurement system for the world, what can happen when conversions go wrong (NASA crashing an orbiter into Mars), and what the future of the metric system will be (basing it off universal constants like the speed of light).

Source: Why the Metric System Is So Important

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SysAdmin Day | System Administrator Appreciation Day

July 29, 2016 – 17th

Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day

Your network is secure, your computer is up and running, and your printer is jam-free. Why? Because you’ve got an awesome sysadmin (or maybe a whole IT department) keeping your business up and running. So say IT loud; say IT proud …

Source: SysAdmin Day | System Administrator Appreciation Day

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SPC Engineering Technology Students Receive AutoCAD Certification – Engineering, Manufacturing & Building Arts

spcCongratulations to six SPC engineering technology students who received their AutoCAD User Certification in June.  These students proved their commitment by attending a two hour boot camp prep class on Saturday mornings for about two months.  Their instructor, Mr. Steven Torres, an adjunct in the engineering technology department, spent time reviewing material from AutoCAD I and II and practicing the material to gain more confidence.

Certification helps verify a skill set and lets employers know that a possible new hire has the ability to start work immediately.

What it means to be a Certified AutoDesk User.

Employers look for the most qualified and highly trained candidates. Many candidates say they are the best but few can back up the claim. Being a Certified AutoDesk User allows current and future employers to know for a fact that you are not only dedicated to your profession but that you are that highly trained and qualified candidate they are searching for. It also demonstrates that you are willing to go the extra mile in order to stay up to date and relevant in the CAD world. Being certified is more than a piece of paper it’s a commitment to being the best. It is proof positive that you are not only prepared but you excel in your field.

Source: SPC Engineering Technology Students Receive AutoCAD Certification – Engineering, Manufacturing & Building Arts

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Nintendo’s Classic Mini is a tiny NES with 30 games

That dusty old NES in your attic might be rife with nostalgic memories, but it’s a pain to drag out of its box whenever you get the hankering for a rousing game of Super Mario Bros. 3. Nintendo totally gets it, as well as the fact that you might want something a little more convenient to enjoy your classic games. Enter the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, a mini replica of the original console.

The diminutive version of one of the most influential home video game consoles of all time will launch with over 30 NES titles preloaded, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy andMetroid. The mix also includes some surprising choices such asStarTropics, but it’s a well-rounded sampling of the best the system has to offer.

The full list includes Balloon Fight, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Final Fantasy, Galaga, Ghosts’ N Ghoblins, Gradius, Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Adventure, Mario Bros., Mega Man 2, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Pac-Man, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, StarTropics, SUPER C, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tecmo Bowl, The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

For $59.99, you’ll get the preloaded games, an HDMI cable, an AC adapter and one NES Classic Controller, which obviously looks exactly like the ones you’re used to.

The system launches this November 11th for $59.99 across North America and the UK. However, it is interesting to note that the UK edition will not launch with its own AC adapter, which is included with the North American edition.

Source: Nintendo’s Classic Mini is a tiny NES with 30 games

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Windows 10 Download: Free Windows 10 update running out of time | BGR

Look, we’re going to level with you: there are definitely some valid reasons to skip the update to Windows 10. Maybe you’re on a work PC and your IT department hasn’t authorized the update. Maybe you have some crazy custom legacy software that you’ve confirmed just won’t work on Windows 10. Maybe you’re afraid Windows 10 is going to spy on you.

We’re not going to judge you in any of those cases but to be frank, Windows 10 is pretty awesome. Microsoft did a terrific job of listening to customers complain about everything they hated in Windows 8 and undoing most of the damage. But be warned: If you ever plan to update to Windows 10, now is the time to do it.

Read full story here: Windows 10 Download: Free Windows 10 update running out of time | BGR

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Solar road technology comes to Route 66

Solar Roadways’ dreams of sunlight-gathering paths are one step closer to taking shape. Missouri’s Department of Transportation is aiming to install a test version of the startup’s solar road tiles in a sidewalk at the Historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway. Okay, it won’t be on Route 66 just yet, but that’s not the point — the goal is to see whether or not the technology is viable enough that it could safely be used on regular streets. You should see it in action toward the end of the year.

The tiles will be familiar if you’ve followed Solar Roadways before. Each one combines a solar cell with LED lighting, a heating element and tempered glass that’s strong enough to support the weight of a semi-trailer truck. If successful, the panels will feed the electrical grid (ideally paying for themselves) and make the roads safer by both lighting the way as well as keeping the roads free of rain and snow. They should be easier to repair than asphalt, too, since you don’t need to take out whole patches of road to fix small cracks.

Of course, “if successful” is the operative term here. The real litmus test comes if and when Solar Roadways subjects the tiles to the legions of cars traveling on Route 66 and beyond. Missouri has a strong incentive to make that happen, though. As the Transportation Department’s Tom Blairobserves, it would be odd to push self-driving cars in the state’s Road to Tomorrow initiative when the streets aren’t as smart as the vehicles using them.

Source: Solar road technology comes to Route 66

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