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Programming

Journal Journal: Official Launch Date Set For Rails For All

March 15, 2007 - that is the official launch date announced today for the Rails For All web site. "We are excited about the upcoming launch," said Robert Dempsey, Founder and Director of Rails For All. "We felt it best to officially announce the launch of the site at the Orlando Ruby Users Group meeting, where I, along with Gregg Pollack, will be gi

Space

Submission + - Astronaut Has 'Wasabi Spill' in Space

Sda~ writes: Astronauts are always are on guard against toxic spills that could contaminate the international space station But there is nothing in their training manuals about how to clean up flying wasabi. The spicy greenish condiment was squirted out of a tube while astronaut Sunita Williams was trying to make a pretend sushi meal with bag-packaged salmon. The three space station crew members are given a certain number of bonus packs of their favorite foods to help endure their months in space where most meals are the equivalent of military MREs.
Space

Submission + - Pioneer anomaly

KellyYoung writes: "The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft gave us some of the earliest close-up pictures of the outer planets. They also gave us a curious puzzle now known as the Pioneer anomaly. http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn11304-comp uter-sleuths-try-to-crack-pioneer-anomaly.html Even though both spacecraft were heading in different directions, both experienced a tiny deceleration. It was as if the Sun's gravity was pulling a little harder than Newton's laws predicted. Scientists are hoping to know within a year whether the Pioneer anomaly is due to an issue with the two spacecraft themselves, namely the heat generated by their onboard nuclear generators. An international team of scientists are re-analyzing the tracking and telemetry data to look for clues."
Mars

Submission + - Scientist: Sun is Warming Both Earth and Mars

MCraigW writes: "Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural — and not a human-induced — cause. Earth is currently experiencing warming, which climate scientists say is due to humans pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Mars, too, appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures.

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun."
Data Storage

Submission + - Disk drive failures 15 times what vendors say

sysrammer writes: "Computerworld has an article on disk drive failures from the 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies in San Jose, showing, among other things, "no evidence that Fibre Channel (FC) drives are any more reliable than less expensive but slower performing Serial ATA (SATA) drives", and that "that temperature seems to have little effect on drive reliability" (it looks like they're talking about temps closer to the upper operational limit, not catastrophic a/c failures, etc.). FTA: "About 100,000 disks are covered by this data, some for an entire lifetime of five years. The data include drives with SCSI and FC, as well as SATA interfaces. The mean time to failure (MTTF) of those drives, as specified in their datasheets, ranges from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 hours, suggesting a nominal annual failure rate of at most 0.88%. We find that in the field, annual disk replacement rates typically exceed 1%, with 2-4% common and up to 13% observed on some systems. This suggests that field replacement is a fairly different process than one might predict based on datasheet MTTF." The authors did not identify particular vendors vs. the drive stats...their goal "is not choosing the best and the worst vendors but to help them to improve drive design and testing". Another note is that the study shows disk replacement rates, not necessarily actual failure. The article is at... http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?com mand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9012066&source=NLT _AM&nlid=1 ...and the Usenix site is here... http://www.usenix.org/events/fast07/tech/schroeder .html mp"

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