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NASA

Submission + - US top secret space shuttle to return to Earth

shmG writes: The U.S. Airforce's top secret unmanned space shuttle is set to return to earth next week, after spending seven months in the space. X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which was built by Boeing Co.'s advanced research lab, Phantom Works, is an American unmanned spaceplane. It is operated by the U.S. Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies.
Portables

Submission + - Scoop on iPhone's hardware processor details->

abdulzis writes: "Engadget has the scoop on the iPhone's hardware specs through a leaked firmware.

From what we can tell, it looks like the iPhone's got a 620MHz ARM chip running under the hood. Specifics:

ARM1176JZF chip with TrustZone (enables trusted computing environment for media, apps, network, OS, etc. — very bad for hackers)

Can vary in clock speed up to 700MHz or more, depending on implementation

ARM Intelligent Energy Manager (claimed to reduce power consumption 25-50% in portables)

16K / 16K cache

Features vector floating point coprocessor ("for embedded 3D-graphics")

ARM Jazelle enabled for embedded Java execution

SIMD, high perf integer CPU (8-stage pipeline, 675 Dhrystone, 2.1 MIPS)

0.45 mW/MHz power draw (with cache)



http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/01/iphone-processo r-found-620mhz-arm/"

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Privacy

Submission + - Keylogger Hardware Embedded in New Dell Laptop->

kendbluze writes: "Here's an EE who was doing a simple repair to a nearly-new Dell 600m laptop when he noticed something a bit curious. Turns out he found a hardware keylogger sitting between the keyboard and ethernet controllers! See what Homeland Security didn't have to say about it."
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Space

Submission + - New Scientist Retracts "Puddles on Mars" s->

Geoffrey.landis writes: "New Scientist magazine retracted a story stating that scientists analyzing MER rover images found evidence of "puddles" of standing water at the Opportunity rover site in Meridiani crater on Mars.

The researchers quoted by the magazine were apparently unfamiliar with MER rover images, and were unaware that the "puddles" they reported were sloped at an angle of nearly 30 degrees. New Scientist had not gotten comments on the story from scientists on the MER mission before publishing because calls from the reporter "were not immediately returned" over the weekend.

New Scientist reports: "In the end, it was savvy readers who first pointed the error out to us over the weekend, sending in panoramic images pinpointing the location of the purported puddles. Though it seemed clear from those images that the terrain was sloped, I found it hard to believe that the researchers themselves could have missed such an obvious — and crucial — detail. But apparently they had, analysing just the smaller images without understanding the larger context of their surroundings — missing the forest for the trees. "I want to retract the claim in the paper that the smooth area we discussed was "standing liquid water"', Levin acknowledged on Tuesday." Earlier Slashdot story"

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Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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