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277 articles from FRIDAY 15.6.2012
- FRIDAY 15. JUNE, 2012
23:55 A Natural History MysteryCurators have become suspicious of e-mails requesting specimens for an Indian museum
23:48 Green Blog: A Second Life for Discarded Fishing NetsA pilot program gives Philippine fishermen an incentive to collect worn-out gear that can be turned into something useful instead of dumping it in the ocean.
23:42 Father's Day Shortchanged? Humble History, Fewer Gifts
With Father's Day 2012 approaching, find out how the holiday started, why Dad doesn't mind being shortchanged on gifts, and more.
23:41 Green Blog: E.P.A. Casts New Soot Standard as Easily MetBy 2020, the agency estimates, only six counties in the nation are expected to be out of compliance.
23:41 SpaceX founder talks Mars with Caltech grads
23:39 Clumsy Insects Inspire Clever Flying Robot
23:30 Spacewatch: Where does space begin?
How high must we climb before we can claim to be "in space"? To answer "above the atmosphere" will not suffice, for although the Earth's atmosphere grows progressively thin with altitude, traces of it extend beyond 800km and slowly merge with the swarms of particles trapped within our planet's magnetic field or billowing outwards from the Sun in the solar wind.
On such a definition, the International Space Station, orbiting at about 400km at present, would not be worthy of its name. The ISS, like all satellites in low Earth orbit, feels the minute drag of the atmosphere and must boost its orbit from time to time if it is not to spiral down to re-entry and destruction – in fact another small boost is due on Wednesday.
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), formed 107 years ago and widely recognised as the governing body for aeronautics, astronautics and related activities, puts the beginning of space at 100km. This is now sometimes dubbed the Kármán line after the person who calculated that aerodynamic lift was impossible at higher levels without attaining orbital velocity. Travellers who cross this line can claim to have reached space, whether or not they have reached orbit, and have earned their astronaut's or cosmonaut's wings. On the other hand, and despite being a founder-member of the FAI, the US has taken a contrary view in awarding astronaut's wings to anyone reaching 50 miles or 80km.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
23:17 Mexico cancels Baja resort planMexico revokes permits to build a controversial mega-resort in Baja California after environmentalists warned it could damage a nearby coral reef.
23:15 A Side-View Mirror without a Blind Spot
Disco balls inspired a mathematics professor's design.
A professor of mathematics at Drexel University has
23:09 Father's Day Pictures: All-Star Animal DadsIn honor of Father's Day, see which species—from cockroaches to marmosets—are the greatest dads of the animal kingdom.
22:59 Space Music: Eno's ApolloNo discussion of ambient and spacey music is complete without a little Brian Eno thrown into the mix.
22:33 NASA Astronauts Brought Playmates to the MoonThe moonwalking astronauts of Apollo 12 had a little surprise when they started flipping through their mission checklists.
22:24 Libraries, publishers at odds over access to e-booksBattle lines have been drawn between libraries and publishers over electronic books, and victory could hinge on a Supreme Court decision from when the high-tech news was the appearance of the first Model T on the market and what was hailed as the first public flight by an airplane in the U.S.
22:17 Senate Panel Approves $100 Million Boost for NIH in 2013But lawmakers chastise agency on Alzheimer's research funding
22:07 VIDEO: Right whales arrive in ArgentinaThe Patagonian coastline, in Argentina, is witnessing the arrival of the first pods of right whales.
22:04 New Crustacean Species Discovered Off Spain
22:04 Astronauts to Hold Summer Olympics in Space
22:02 Thoughts of Death Make Only the Religious More DevoutThinking about death makes Christians and Muslims, but not atheists, more likely to believe in God, new research finds, suggesting that the old saying about "no atheists in foxholes" doesn't hold water.
22:02 The Science of Fatherhood: Why Dads MatterFor decades, psychologists and other researchers assumed that the mother-child bond was the most important one in a kid's life. They focused on studying those relationships, and however a child turned out, mom often got the credit — or blame.
21:59 Good to meet you ... Edward Vaughan Williams
This former cardiologist, who at 93 still gets his daily fix from the Guardian, once linked up with the paper to find a relative of his old landlady, who died intestate
I first encountered the Guardian as a medical student during the war. My landlady, Mrs Linaker, who wrote novels under her maiden name of GM Attenborough, had a brother who worked for the Manchester Guardian. She would hand me her copy of the paper when I returned each evening. She died suddenly, intestate, and thanks to her brother's links to the paper, I traced a relative. I have continued to take the paper ever since, only missing it when I was living abroad, including a spell in America as a Rockefeller fellow. There have been many highs for the Guardian during my readership: opposing Suez, deducing that Eden was a liar; opposing Iraq; the current exposure of the press, and uncovering politicians and police who have been economical with the truth. Lows have included the illiberal attitude to homosexuality (now corrected); and abandoning the refusal to publicise gambling. Still my daily pleasure at 93, I read you from cover to cover, apart from sport and travel. My favourites are the daily editorials and, among a brilliant team of writers, Gary Younge and Marina Hyde. I only regret that spelling software has almost eliminated any Grauniad moments. As a cardiologist, I have spent much of my life teaching at Oxford University and I have recently celebrated my 56th wedding anniversary. The Guardian is my heroine – I need my fix every day!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
21:58 Tremors due to fracking rare, U.S. report finds
The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas does not pose a high risk for triggering earthquakes large enough to feel, but other types of energy-related drilling can make the ground noticeably shake, a major U.S. government science report concludes.
21:48 You Owe Your Life to RockErosion of metal-rich granite long ago set the stage for multicellular organisms
21:46 Microsoft $1.2 Billion Acquisition of Yammer May Be Done DealMum is still the word from Yammer and Microsoft. But The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Redmond bought the business social networking company for $1.2 billion despite no formal announcement Friday.
According to the Journal, it is unclear when the Yammer acquisition will be formally completed and announced. Microsoft was not immediately available for comment and a Yammer spokesperson told us the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation. But online tech media are ablaze with news of the deal as if it was done.
A Pain in Microsoft's Rear?
In a Forbes column, Rob Koplowitz, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, said if the rumors were true, David Sacks, CEO of Yammer, is about to have a very happy 40th birthday. Koplowitz said the $1 billion number being bandied about is not an Instagram moment.
"The value and potential of Yammer in the enterprise software market is clear. David and team have been working very hard for a long time to build a viable enterprise business. They were recently named a leader in Forrester's Activity Stream Wave," Koplowitz said.
"They have one million paying enterprise customers and another four million freemium users in the wings. It's a real business and it's been a real pain in the backside to some larger and better established competitors. In the case of Microsoft, a much larger and much better established competitor."
A Cheap Buy?
We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his thoughts o the rumors. He reminded us that the conventional wisdom around acquisitions is to measure the cost of buying an established tool with an established audience to complement current products against the cost of building similar technology in-house.
"We are in the midst of a major shift. The concept of collaboration, or what you might call network enhanced...
21:32 Research lakes shutdown will be costly, scientists argue
The federal government could be on the hook for millions of dollars when it stops funding the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario — enough money to run the facility for years to come.
21:04 Judge Seeks 'Reasonable Royalty' To Settle Apple-Motorola SuitsWith the Google-Oracle lawsuit fading away, another high-profile, Google-related intellectual property lawsuit may wind its way into court after a judge had second thoughts about tossing Apple's claim of patent infringement against Motorola and Motorola Mobility. But the judge said he was interested in compromise, not keeping products off the shelves.
Motorola Mobility, recently acquired by tech giant Google, is accused in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois of violating six Apple patents for multi-touch display technology in nine of its devices, including the Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, BackFlip and Charm.
We Can Work It Out
Motorola has counter-sued Apple for patent infringement, but Judge Richard Posner initially said neither side could demonstrate that they had been harmed.
Posner on June 8 tentatively dismissed the case, but left himself a window to reverse course, which he did on Wednesday, scheduling an injunction hearing for June 20. He said granting an injunction against sales of the devices would cause harm potentially greater than the harm alleged in the suit.
Looking for a compromise, Posner said the two parties should be prepared to explore avenues other than an injunction, such as "a reasonable royalty."
In his earlier ruling, which he delayed entering into the record, Posner said, "I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party has established a right to relief." He had earlier reduced the number of patent infringement claims from four to two. He added that Apple's claim of damages was unlikely to survive Motorola's motion to dismiss the suit.
"[Judge] Posner has told both companies that they should be prepared to argue the case next week for royalties rather than injunctions," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "[That suggests] that he has concluded that if any infringements exist, they don't rise...