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255 articles from FRIDAY 20.4.2012
- FRIDAY 20. APRIL, 2012
23:44 A Tablet That Talks To Your TV -- Or Tries ToSamsung's new Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the iPad. So it's not automatically doomed.
23:34 Manhattan Project scientist Cowan dies at 92George Cowan was a chemist whose influence touched everything from the Manhattan Project and the hunt for evidence of the Soviet Union's first nuclear tests to the Santa Fe Institute and the iconic Santa Fe Opera.
23:30 Spacewatch: Envisat in trouble
This is an idyllic season for satellite spotters in Britain. The Sun is sufficiently far north of the equator that the Earth's shadow overhead is shallow enough for satellites in low Earth orbit to be illuminated, and therefore visible, even in the middle of the night. There is still time to catch the ISS before its latest series of spectacular evening passes ends next week.
Like most satellites, the ISS was launched in an easterly direction. A velocity of 27,400 kph (17,030 mph) is needed to reach orbit and by being launched eastwards a satellite gains some of this from the Earth's spin. That advantage amounts to 1,670 kph at the Earth's equator and 1,160 kph at Baikonur from which the first ISS module was launched in 1998. This is the prime reason very few satellites take a pronounced westwards path across our sky.
Launching into an orbit over the poles, though, means a satellite can view the Earth's entire surface. Picking an orbital inclination to the equator of about 98° has the advantage that the orbit remains fixed in space with respect to the Sun and lies overhead at the same time each day. One of the most conspicuous of these so-called Sun-synchronous satellites is Europe's large Envisat whose northbound orbit lies over Britain at about 22:30 BST. Sadly, contact was lost with Envisat on 8 April but it is too soon to say whether its observation mission of has ended after 10 years.guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
23:26 Cleopatra and Antony's Children RediscoveredAn Italian expert identified a sculpture in a museum as depicting the twin children of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.
23:10 'Earliest Christian Artifact' Just Random Squiggles, Scholars ArgueA 2,000-year-old box that is being lauded as the earliest Christian artifact ever found has been misconstrued, according to several scholars who were not involved in the box's discovery. They say the evidence of the box — engraved in Jerusalem mere decades after Jesus' death — being Christian is extremely frail, and a case of finding meaning in random squiggles.
23:01 A 3-D Tablet
Glimpses of the technology, which should be available in 2013.
Because no gadget, work of art, or experience is complete without a 3-D option, you can soon expect to see the third dimension coming to a tablet near you. This week, the LA Times went hands on with one of the more promising offerings in the offing: a Qualcomm tablet that uses MasterImage’s 3-D display. (Full name: “Cell-Matrix Parallax Barrier Technology.”)
22:44 Samsung Expected To Unveil Cloud Service in MayYou almost can't be a major technology company these days without having a cloud service. Now, new reports indicate that Samsung is getting ready to take that plunge.
According to the South Korea-based Maeil Business publication, Samsung will launch its S-Cloud service on May 3 at a London press event. That date has already been scheduled by the company for press to "come and meet the next Galaxy" smartphone, according to the invitation.
The event, called Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, is expected to feature the launch of the Galaxy S III smartphone, and now it appears that the new device will be accompanied by a cloud service. Maeil Business bases its report on a purportedly leaked plan from the company.
The report on Maeil Business indicates that five gigabytes might be offered as an initial free offering, which would match the free storage amount that is expected to be available in the coming Google Drive cloud service. Some observers are suggesting that Samsung might allow unlimited storage for content purchased through its cloud, thus echoing Amazon and Apple in providing storage for media purchased through its channels.
Maeil said that S-Cloud will be available to a wide range of Samsung devices, and will offer access to TV shows, movies, and music on both a paid and a free basis. Samsung is said to have partnered with Microsoft in order to have the infrastructure for offering this service globally.
The report about Samsung's new service comes a few days after reports that Google will launch an online storage platform and service next week, called Google Drive or GDrive.
Other Cloud Services
Those reports were based on allegedly leaked documents, including a screenshot from Lucidchart, a maker of online diagramming tools that is expected to be one of many Google partners in the effort. Other screen shots appear...
22:40 Dot Earth Blog: An Albatross's Flight from Extinction's EdgeRemarkable signs of recovery for an albatross species that was once nearly extinguished by human and natural forces.
22:32 Earth Day Pictures: Ten Most Threatened ForestsOn the eve of Earth Day, find out which of the world's forests are on the brink.
22:24 High food prices derail Millennium goals: reportHigh food prices have derailed ambitious aims to slash extreme poverty and hunger across the world by 2015, a World Bank and International Monetary Fund report said Friday.
22:24 Hinode and SOHO paint an asymmetrical picture of the sunApproximately every 11 years the magnetic field on the sun reverses completely the north magnetic pole switches to south, and vice versa. It's as if a bar magnet slowly lost its magnetic field and regained it in the opposite direction, so the positive side becomes the negative side. But, of course, the sun is not a simple bar magnet and the causes of the switch, not to mention the complex tracery of moving magnetic fields throughout the eleven-year cycle, are not easy to map out.
22:24 Japan's Rakuten to shut China online shopping mallJapan's top online retailer Rakuten said Friday that it was ending a shopping venture with Chinese Internet giant Baidu, blaming "intensified competition" in the growing e-commerce sector.
22:24 BREAKING: U.S. Accepts NSABB Recommendation to Publish H5N1 Flu PapersSenate also plans hearing on dual use research for 26 April
22:11 Badger cull plans to be reviewedGovernment plans to cull badgers in England are to to be reviewed in the High Court following a legal challenge by the Badger Trust.
22:10 Can You Make Yourself Smarter?A new memory game has revived the tantalizing notion that people can work their way to a higher I.Q.
22:03 Ancient 'Bone Box' Called Oldest Christian ArtifactA tomb found in Jerusalem appears to be inscribed with Jonah and a fish, but the translation is in question.
22:02 Apple's Australian Woes Highlight Hazy 4G Definition4G, or not 4G? That is the question.
Since new standards of high-speed, wireless data technology began to emerge in 2010, the label has been attached to a variety of networks, from AT&T and T-Mobile's HSPA+ to Sprint's WiMAX and the long-term evolution, or LTE, systems now being implemented by AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
The International Telecommunications Union set the bar high for what could be called 4G in 2008, at 100 megabits per second for fast mobility and 1 gigabit per second for pedestrians. But few carriers today can deliver that kind of speed. AT&T and Verizon Wireless promise LTE speed of 5 to 12 megabits per second for uplink and 2 to 5 mbps for downloads. Sprint promises up to 10 mbps for its WiMAX network.
Trouble Down Under
Now, with Apple promising that its latest iPad operates on 4G networks, the company has come under fire from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission because it won't connect to LTE networks (run by the Telstra telecommunications company) or to WiMAX there. That's misleading the public, the agency charged.
But Apple responded in Australian Federal Court that the device is still 4G because it can connect to HSPA+ networks there, though that standard is considered 3G in Australia. The wireless data-capable iPad is listed in promotional material as "wi-fi+ 4G."
That means the onus is on Apple to persuade the authorities that HSPA+ is in fact 4G.
"The concept of 4G wireless communications has been reduced to a marketing specsmanship game," tablet analyst Jeff Orr of ABI Research told us Friday. "As marketers realized that they could attract subscribers by claiming they offered 'the next generation" of mobile data, the alignment with specific technologies has blurred and even become confusing for consumers."
Orr said defining the generation standards is the job of the ITU, a U.N. agency...
21:56 If You Read One TR Story This Weekend ...
... We suggest this one: our second take on the role of the Web and social media in the revolutions in the Middle East.
Last year we sent a talented and perceptive writer, John Pollock, to Egypt and Tunisia to
21:53 GM Tests a Self-Driving Cadillac
Google isn’t the only company with
21:51 Teardown Reveals the Remarkable Complexity of Chevrolet's Volt
A look inside the car reveals just how complicated it is.
A recent tear down of the Chevrolet Volt reveals the surprising complexity of this extended range electric vehicle. UBM Tech Insights took apart the car’s battery and charging system to identify the components of each, and it’s making at least some of its results, including photos, available for free
21:43 Coffee Table Is A Real Game ChangerA furniture maker has built a table that's a fully functional, original Nintendo controller.
21:36 Emperor penguins counted from space
Satellite imagery has been used to estimate the population of an animal species for the first time, in a survey that discovered surprising new information about the emperor penguin population of Antarctica.
21:29 New iPhone 5 May Sport Liquidmetal Alloy CasingKorea ET News, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that Apple intends to adopt a revolutionary set of metal alloys called Liquidmetal to mold a liquid smooth casing for its next-generation iPhone 5 smartphone.
In exchange for a license fee estimated to fall within the $11 million to $20 million range, in August 2010 Apple acquired "a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize Liquidmetal's intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products," according to a filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology discovered how to make liquid-metal alloys in the mid-1990s. And since 2003, patent holder Liquidmetal Technologies has been finding new ways to market these alloys to military and industrial manufacturers.
"Conventional metals crystallize when they solidify [while] Liquidmetal is basically a frozen metal and we call that a glass," said CIT Professor of Material Science William Johnson in an online video presentation. "In that respect it is like a window pane or like many plastics."
Anticipating an October Launch
The "amorphous" atomic structure of Liquidmetal enables manufacturers to create complex, sophisticated surfaces with precise dimensions for product designs that require the elasticity of plastics as well as the strength and hardness of metal. Unlike thermal plastics, these revolutionary alloys exhibit a strength that is two to three times that of titanium and stainless steel.
If Apple elects to use the technology to mold the case for its coming iPhone 5, the smartphone would no longer be subject to high levels of wear and tear -- or damage from exposure to high temperatures and corrosion -- that products made from conventional metals or thermal plastics typically experience over time. The casing could be significantly thinner than what can be achieved using conventional thermal plastic designs.
Though the prospect of a Liquidmetal iPhone 5 is...
21:29 DARPA releases cause of hypersonic glider anomalyAn unmanned hypersonic glider likely aborted its 13,000 mph flight over the Pacific Ocean last summer because unexpectedly large sections of its skin peeled off, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said Friday.
21:28 ScienceShot: Giving Bugs to Show LoveMale spiders entice mates with food, but at a cost