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WePad Tablet Will Use Linux To Rival the iPad 536

cypherdtraitor writes with news of an iPad rival being prepped in Germany for a June launch. "A German company, Neofonie GmbH, has set out to provide an alternative to the iPad, according to Neofonie's founder, Helmut Hoffer von Ankershoffen. The WePad will boast a Linux-based OS, USB ports, webcam, and Wi-Fi, as well as other features. The 16GB edition will cost €449 ($610), and the 32GB €569 ($773). A more expensive model will include a 3G modem. This PDF compares WePad specs with the iPad. There are also hints of cheap, available software. For example, will be the primary office suite, and you may use 'any application that pleases you' to play music and video, a clear edge over Apple's limitation to iTunes." The WePad will also run Flash.

Space Based Solar Power Within a Decade? 371

Nancy Atkinson writes "A new company, Space Energy, Inc., says they have developed what they call a 'rock-solid business platform' and they should be able to provide commercially available space based solar power within a decade. 'Although it's a very grandiose vision, it makes total sense,' Space Energy's Peter Sage told Universe Today. 'We're focused on the fact that this is an inevitable technology and someone is going to do it. Right now we're the best shot. We're also focused on the fact that, according to every scenario we've analyzed, the world needs space based solar power, and it needs it soon, as well as the up-scaling of just about every other source of renewable energy that we can get our hands on.'"

Astronomers Say Dying Sun Will Engulf Earth 343

iamlucky13 writes "A minor academic debate among astronomers is the final fate of the earth. As the sun ages and enters the red giant stage of its life, it will heat up, making the earth inhospitable. It will also expand, driven by helium fusion so that its outer layers reach past the earth's current orbit. Previously it had been believed that the sun would lose enough mass to allow earth to escape to a more distant orbit, lifeless but intact. However, new calculations, which take into account tidal forces and drag from mass shed by the sun, suggest that the earth will have sufficiently slowed in that time to be dragged down to its utter destruction in 7.6 billion years. "

Artificial Intelligence at Human Level by 2029? 678

Gerard Boyers writes "Some members of the US National Academy of Engineering have predicted that Artificial Intelligence will reach the level of humans in around 20 years. Ray Kurzweil leads the charge: 'We will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029. We're already a human machine civilization, we use our technology to expand our physical and mental horizons and this will be a further extension of that. We'll have intelligent nanobots go into our brains through the capillaries and interact directly with our biological neurons.' Mr Kurzweil is one of 18 influential thinkers, and a gentleman we've discussed previously. He was chosen to identify the great technological challenges facing humanity in the 21st century by the US National Academy of Engineering. The experts include Google founder Larry Page and genome pioneer Dr Craig Venter."

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken