Monday, December 29, 2008

Find Patents With Google!

Do you need to find patent information? Google comes to the rescue by providing a way to search by keywords, patent name, or author with their (beta) Patent Search Engine.

Find it at:

Tips: Click the Advanced Patent Search link to search specific patent criteria. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds for search results that will let you keep an eye on any new developments. For more information on using Google Patent Search, please refer to the Google Patents help page.

Also, be sure to visit the official US Patent & Trademark Office web site for other patent resources.

Dec 28th, 2008 - The euro celebrates its 10th anniversary on Jan. 1.

Here are key dates:

-- 1970: The Werner Report, named for Luxembourg's joint prime minister and finance minister at the time, outlines a plan for a European monetary union.

-- 1978: The European Monetary System -- with an exchange rate mechanism and European Currency Unit -- is launched.

-- 1992: Maastricht Treaty lays out timetable and criteria for joining the euro. EU members Denmark and Britain given permission to opt out.

-- 1994: The European Monetary Institute, forerunner of the European Central Bank, launched.

-- 1997: The Stability and Growth Pact agreed on to ensure countries using the euro will support it with budgetary discipline.

-- June 1, 1998: The ECB begins operations.

-- Dec. 31, 1998: Exchange rates between the euro and the currencies of first 11 countries are fixed.

-- Jan. 1, 1999: The euro is officially launched on financial markets; national notes and coins continue to circulate.

-- Jan. 1, 2001: Greece joins the euro zone.

-- Jan. 1, 2002: Euro bank notes and coins are rolled out.

-- September 2003: Swedes vote against adopting the euro.

-- Jan. 1, 2007: Slovenia becomes the 13 country to join.

-- Jan. 1, 2008: Cyprus and Malta join.

-- Jan. 1, 2009: Slovakia joins.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Research Study Finds Happiness Is Contagious

For a gift that truly keeps on giving, here is a superb resolution for the New Year: Be Happy!

A "study of more than 4,700 people who were followed over 20 years
found that people who are happy or become happy boost the chances that
someone they know will be happy. The power of happiness, moreover, can
span another degree of separation, elevating the mood of that person's
husband, wife, brother, sister, friend or next-door neighbor."
The quote above is from a Washington Post article

"Happiness Can Spread Among People Like a Contagion, Study Indicates"
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer,
Friday, December 5, 2008; Page A08

The study, conducted by James H. Fowler, associate professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas A Christakis, professor, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, and Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, has been published online by BMJ, the British Medical Journal. See
for a link to the study:

"Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study"
BMJ 2008;337:a2338, doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2338 (Published 4 December 2008)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The 27 Strangest Help Desk Requests Ever

For a fun read during the holiday season, check out

The 27 Strangest Help Desk Requests Ever
, from a survey by Robert Half Technology of 1,400 CIOS throughout the U.S.

See slide show available via CIOZone

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Generation Y" Entrepreneurs

There's an interesting article about Generation-Y with regards to startups over at the blog:
I’ve been interviewing young entrepreneurs for almost two years now and one of the re-emerging themes in the businesses they start is dissatisfaction with the status quo. Sure, that’s pretty much true for all entrepreneurs, but this generation of upstarts has its own way of looking at existing products and services and judging them not quite up to snuff for their own needs. Their response: I can do better. The result: businesses like, Unigo, and Ignighter.
Take a moment to check it out!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Google Trends

There's a great new service, courtesy of Google, that lets you search trends:
With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
To access the service, go to:

To read more about Google Trends, go to:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lists of Best Books, via

Looking for something to read during the rainy days of winter? Or seeking books to give as gifts? Check out the many lists of "best" at