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Submission + - Report Warns Space Junk Reaching Tipping Point (reuters.com)

intellitech writes: From the article: The amount of debris orbiting the Earth has reached a tipping point for collisions, which would in turn generate more debris which threatens astronauts and satellites, according to a U.S. study released on Thursday. "The current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts," Donald Kessler, the former head of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office who chaired the study team, said in a statement. In addition to more than 30 findings, the panel made two dozen recommendations for NASA to mitigate and improve the orbital debris environment, including collaborating with the State Department to develop the legal and regulatory framework for removing junk from space. The study, "Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs," was sponsored by NASA.

Submission + - The computer labs that created the digital world (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Throughout history there is a recurring theme of like-minded individuals coming together to create a shared “hive mind” intelligence that is greater than its constituent parts. . In the time of Socrates and Plato and Cicero, this would’ve been the local forum or sophist schools, and the Enlightenment of the 18th century was triggered by homely gatherings at salons and fueled by the steaming hotpot of coffeehouses and caffeine. Today we still use forums of course, and plenty of inventions and insight still originate from coffeehouses, but most innovation occurs in laboratories.

ExtremeTech takes a look at the six computer labs that gave birth to the digital world — from Bletchley Park in Blighty, to PARC labs in Palo Alto, and everything in between."


Submission + - Scientists Develop Bulletproof Skin from Goat Milk (inhabitat.com) 2

Elliot Chang writes: We know this sounds insane, but Dutch researchers claim to have just created bulletproof skin from goat milk. The researchers report that they genetically modified a goat to produce milk rich in the same protein that makes silk spiders’ fibers so strong. Apparently, the next step is to eventually introduce this protein into the human genome so that we can all be bulletproof.

Submission + - Verizon's iPhone 4 Materials Cost Less Than AT&

Stenchwarrior writes: The bill of materials for Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4 carried by Verizon Wireless totaled $171.35, 8.6% less than the version offered by AT&T Inc., according to cost estimates derived from an IHS iSuppli physical teardown of the product.

Analyst Andrew Rassweiler said Apple once again showed that "it never recycles a product design." He added the changes weren't just noted in the antenna design--which was re-engineered as the original device was associated with dropped calls--but also saw changes to items like integrated GPS functionality and the shrinking of the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo module.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.