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Microsoft

+ - Google Scores Against Microsoft in New Zealand-> 2 2

MediaStreams writes: Google has won another victory over Microsoft with New Zealand's Postal Services Group dumping Microsoft and migrating to Google for an estimated cost saving of $1.3 million over three years.

"New Zealand's Postal Services Group (PSG), a business inside New Zealand Post Group that connects businesses and the community through mail and online services, is moving from Microsoft to Google Apps, security, compliance and web filtering."

And it looks like this is just the start of the bad news for Microsoft:

"According to the National Business Review, New Zealand's State Service Commission recently recommended that government agencies dump Microsoft. It's assumed others will follow the post's lead."

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Space

+ - Gas Stations in Space?->

ATKeiper writes: "With the help of yet another committee in a long line of committees studying space, the Obama administration is reconsidering NASA's future in light of new budgetary realities and in the wake of a series of technical problems for the Constellation architecture that the space agency developed as part of the post-Columbia Vision for Space Exploration. In a new essay, aerospace engineer and blogger Rand Simberg reviews NASA's history and argues that the agency should scrap Constellation and instead work toward a space infrastructure — featuring propellant depots in orbit and elsewhere. 'It isn't NASA's job to put humans on Mars,' he writes. 'It's NASA's job to make it possible for the National Geographic Society, or an offshoot of the Latter-Day Saints, or an adventure tourism company, to put humans on Mars.'"
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Censorship

+ - Blizzard awaits China's approval for WoW relaunch->

angry tapir writes: "The relaunch of World of Warcraft in China, where it has already been offline for six weeks, still faces an indefinite delay as it awaits government approval for its content. Problems for Blizzard Entertainment, the game's creator, started when it switched to a new local operator for World of Warcraft in China, online gaming company NetEase. New operators of foreign games have to submit the games for government approval, and China has objected to some of the content it found in its latest review of World of Warcraft."
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NASA

+ - Apollo 11 Source Code Released

Smark writes: "The Google Code Blog released an article today announcing that the Virtual AGC and AGS project has transcribed the CM (Command Module) and LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) code used during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. This is to commemorate the 40 anniversary of Man kind's first steps on the moon. The code is viewable at the VirtualAGC Google Code Page. Included in the code is information such as Lunar Landing Guidance Equations, and Command Module Attitude Control."
Space

+ - NASA Confirms Jupiter Impact->

An anonymous reader writes: "Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer that a new dark "scar" had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, this morning between 3 and 9 a.m. PDT (6 a.m. and noon EDT) scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact. New infrared images show the likely impact point was near the south polar region, with a visibly dark "scar" and bright upwelling particles in the upper atmosphere detected in near-infrared wavelengths, and a warming of the upper troposphere with possible extra emission from ammonia gas detected at mid-infrared wavelengths." GD — Follow the link to Nasa for a lovely shot of the scar -
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Space

+ - MRO Finds Life-Related Geology on Mars->

BJ_Covert_Action writes: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has detected a set of "clay-bearing rocks lying directly in the path ahead for the Mars rover Opportunity." The rocks are approximately ten miles from the rover's current position which is about the same distance between the rover's current destination and it's position. The clay-bearing rocks are an important geological feature of the Martian surface because the clay is indicative of a warm, wet, non acidic location history on Mars. The rocks could, therefore, be a prime location for discovering signs of past life on the Martian surface.

Interestingly enough, the final landing target of the up and coming Mars Science Laboratory rover has similarly high priority characteristics. However, the MSL is scheduled for launch in 2011, whereas Opportunity could make it to the new rock target formation in as little as 12 months or as many as 18 months. The article on Spaceflightnow also involves a brief discussion relating to some funding issues for future mars missions as well as the expected praise of the Mars rovers' longevity.

Tags: Mars, Martian, lifeonmars, space, spacefossils, geology

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Space

+ - How They Built it: The Software of Apollo 11->

LinuxScribe writes: When Apollo 11's Lunar Module landed on the Moon 40 years ago this week, the software that helped take humans to another celestial body was essentially built using paper-tape rolls and thick cardstock that was punched with special holes. It wasn't open source in the sense we know today, but it was built for NASA under contract, then was tested, modified and fine-tuned by NASA engineers in ways that are similar to open source projects nowadays.
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