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Comment: Not that easy to see (Score 3, Informative) 53

by Lucas123 (#48885011) Attached to: Rare Astronomical Event Will See Triple Moon Shadows On Jupiter
For three years, I've been using a reflector telescope with 4.5" diameter mirror lens. It's not a cheap telescope, but as far as viewing planets, it's a bit like looking at a grain of rice. You get the general shape (with Saturn you can see rings clearly), but you don't get any great detail. So when I see sentences like "Stargazers are in for a treat..." I can't help but think this only applies to people who've either spent thousands on astrological equipment -- or perhaps just people who like looking at NASA's image pages.

+ - NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA is launching a new Maxwell desktop graphics card today, targeted at the sweet spot of the graphics card market ($200 or so), currently occupied by its previous gen GeForce GTX 760 and older GTX 660. The new GeForce GTX 960 features a brand new Maxwell-based GPU dubbed the GM206. NVIDIA was able to optimize the GM206's power efficiency without moving to a new process, by tweaking virtually every part of the GPU. NVIDIA's reference specifications for the GeForce GTX 960 call for a base clock of 1126MHz and a Boost clock of 1178MHz. The GPU is packing 1024 CUDA cores, 64 texture units, and 32 ROPs, which is half of what's inside their top-end GeForce GTX 980. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory on GeForce GTX 960 cards is clocked at a speedy 7GHz (effective GDDR5 data rate) over a 128-bit memory interface. The new GeForce GTX 960 is a low-power upgrade for gamers with GeForce GTX 660 class cards or older that make up a good percentage of the market now. It's usually faster than the previous generation GeForce GTX 760 card but, depending on the game title, can trail it as well, due to its narrower memory interface."
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+ - Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Across All Platforms With Universal Apps, Cortana->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Microsoft has learned from its Windows 8.x mistakes and even skipped right over "9" to further distance itself from the controversy with the next version of Windows. The result is Windows 10, which Microsoft first announced in late September and today on a webcast event proclaimed is "most comprehensive platform ever." When Microsoft says "comprehensive," apparently they weren't kidding. Windows 10 will run on platforms ranging from smartphones to tablets, notebooks and desktops. On the subject of upgrades, Microsoft is doing something almost unprecedented. Customers that already have Windows 7 or Window 8.1 installed will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 during the first year of its availability. Likewise, smartphones running Windows 8.1 will also receive a free update to Windows 10. "Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, we'll be keeping it current for the supported lifetime for the device,"; said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Windows Chief. Cortana has also made her way from Windows Phone to your PC or tablet's desktop with Windows 10. The AI interface has been upgraded to perform searches and interact with the activities that are prevalent on the PC side of things. That means that Cortana can search your local documents and photos and even items stored on your OneDrive."
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+ - Solar Power Industry Now Accounts for Nearly 2% of All New Jobs in U.S.->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Over the past five years, the solar power industry has grown the number of jobs it offers, by 20% year over year for the past three years. According to the fifth installment of the Solar Jobs Census released today, solar power industry created 31,000 new jobs last year, bringing the total number of directly-related industry jobs to 173,000. When components the materials supply chain is added in, there are more than 705,000 jobs related to the solar power industry. The job growth has been so substantial that within a few months, the solar industry will be providing twice as many living wage jobs compared to the declining coal mining industry."
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+ - China Spacecraft Enters Orbit around the Moon->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "A Chinese spacecraft service module has entered orbit around the moon, months after being used in the country's landmark test flight that sent a prototype sample-return capsule on a flight around the moon and returned it to Earth.

The service module from China's circumlunar test flight arrived in orbit around the moon this week, according to Chinese state media reports. The spacecraft is currently flying in an eight-hour orbit that carries it within 125 miles (200 kilometers) of the lunar surface at its closest point, and out to a range of 3,293 miles (5,300 km) at its highest point.

According to chief engineer Zhou Jianlian of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center the module will make its second and third braking in the early hours of today (Jan. 12) and tomorrow, Beijing time. Doing so will enable the module to enter a 127-minute orbit around the moon, Zhou said. [China's 1st Round-trip Moon Shot in Pictures]

Earlier reports noted that a camera system is onboard the service module, designed to assist in identifying future landing spots for the Chang'e 5 mission that will return lunar samples back to Earth in the 2017 time frame."

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+ - New Cloud Service is Hoping to 'Rent' Your Extra HDD Capacity->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "A new peer-to-peer file sharing service is hoping to gain access to your hard drive in order to store someone else's data on it. The service, called Storj, is currently in beta. It uses the cloud network and end-to-end encryption to allow the transfer of data to and from your computer’s drive. Users who rent out space on their hard drives earn “Storjcoin X” (SJCX), a form of currency that can be used to purchase capacity on Storj's “Driveshare” service. The service works by first uploading a file-sharing application onto a user’s computer then breaking file data into small 8MB or 32MB blocks, or “shards,” as Storj calls them. Each block of data is encrypted with a unique hash, and then the pieces are distributed throughout the cloud network. Storj periodically cryptographically checks the integrity and availability of a file, and offers direct rewards to those maintaining the file."
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+ - For the first time in 3 years, investments in renewable energy increased->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Driven largely by oil price weakness, 2015 could be the best year to date for investments in renewable energy technology, according to several new reports. According to Bloomberg Energy Finance, new funding for wind, solar, biofuels and other low-carbon energy technologies grew 16% to $310 billion last year. It was the first growth since 2011, erasing the impact of lower solar-panel prices and falling subsides in the U.S. and Europe that hurt the industry in previous years. Demand for solar power grew 16% year-over-year in 2014, representing 44 billion watts (gigawatts) of capacity purchased during the year. Worldwide solar demand in 2015 is projected to be 51.4GW, compared with 39GW in 2014. Government policies will continue to improve for renewables — solar, in particular — given that anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese modules by the U.S. last year are expected to be removed this year, Deutsche Bank said."
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+ - Intel 5th Gen Core Series Performance Preview With 2015 Dell XPS 13->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's strategically timed CES 2015 launch of their new 5th Gen Core Series processors for notebooks was met with a reasonably warm reception, though it's always difficult to rise above the noise of CES chatter. Performance claims for Intel's new chip promise major gains in graphics and more modest increases in standard compute applications. However, the biggest bet Intel placed on the new Broadwell-U architecture is performance-per-watt throughput and battery life in premium notebook products that are now in production with major OEM partners. A few manufacturers were early out of the gate with new Core i5 5XXX series-based machines, however, none of the major players caught the same kind of buzz that Dell received, with the introduction of their new XPS 13 Ultrabook with its near bezel-less 13-inch WQHD (3200X1800) display. As expected, the Core i5-5200U in this machine offered performance gains of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, in round numbers, depending on the benchmark. In gaming and graphics testing is where the new 5200U chip took the largest lead over the previous gen Core i5-4200U CPU, which is one of the most common processors found in typical ultrabook style 13-inch machines."
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+ - Dell Unveils XPS 13 Ultrabook With Near Bezelless QHD Display, Intel 5th Gen CPU->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell unveiled their new XPS 13 ultrabook at CES, which the company says is the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world. Dell claims it achieved this feat by employing what it calls an "infinity display" that is virtually borderless (the bezels measure just 5.2mm), allowing the XPS 13 to maintain the external dimensions of an 11-inch notebook but with a 13-inch Quad-HD display (3840X2160). Dell also says that the XPS 13 has the longest battery life of any 13-inch notebook, clocking in at 15 hours on a charge and powered by Intel's new 5th gen Core series processor. In addition, the machine was spotted at an Intel event streaming 4K video wirelessly to a 4K HDTV via Intel's next gen WiDi technology. Other interesting notables from Dell included a 34-inch wide-aspect, curved monitor dubbed the UltraSharp U3415W that sports a 2560X1440 WQHD resolution."
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+ - Dell Outs XPS 13 Ultrabook With Near Bezel-less QHD Display->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell took the wraps of their new XPS 13 ultrabook at CES today, which the company says is the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world. Dell claims it achieved this feat by employing what it calls an infinity display that is virtually borderless (the bezels measure just 5.2mm), allowing the XPS 13 to maintain the external dimensions of an 11-inch notebook but with a 13-inch Quad-HD display (3840X2160). Dell also says that the XPS 13 has the longest battery life of any 13-inch notebook, clocking in at 15 hours on a charge. In addition, the machine was spotted at an Intel event streaming 4K video wirelessly to a 4K HDTV via Intel's next gen WiDi technology. Other interesting notables from Dell today, included a 34-inch wide-aspect, curved monitor dubbed the UltraSharp U3415W that sports a 2560X1440 WQHD resolution."
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+ - Toyota offers up 5600 hydrogen fuel cell patents for free->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Toyota has announced that it will give away more than 5600 patents related to its fuel cell technology in order to spur more widespread adoption. The move is similar to one by Elon Musk last spring when he offered up patented designs for all-electric vehicle (EV) "supercharging stations," which can fully charge a battery in about 45 minutes. By allowing other automakers to use the supercharging technology, Musk said he hoped to boost EV adoption. Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell patents include ones related to its recently announced Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, which began selling in December with a base sticker price of $57,500. Several automakers have released prototypes or are selling fuel cell vehicles, including Honda and Hyundai."
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+ - Iowa's Mobile Driver's License App Should Raise Big Privacy Concerns->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to roll out a mobile app next year that will allow drivers to use their smartphones as an official driver's icense to show police and airport security. Privacy experts, however, say it's a bad idea to create an app that allows a police officer to gain possession of your smartphone for an indefinite amount of time. Additionally, mobile apps have been known to collect information about users and sometimes share that information without the users knowledge. Alan Butler, senior counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, also pointed out that if a call or text message came into the smart phone while a police officer was in possession of it that could also violate privacy. There are also practical issues, such as a what to do if your phone dies."
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