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Comment: Re:deep space probes (Score 2, Informative) 508

by Misfire (#32733182) Attached to: NASA Should Focus On Going To..

We haven't seen Sol from 1 AU "above."

Not to quibble, but... we have. The Ulysses mission studied both solar poles at high latitudes. Sure, it was a bit more than 2 AU, and the latitude of the spacecraft "only" reached about +/- 80 degrees relative to the ecliptic, but I'd say you can cross this feat off of your list. :)

Patents

Apple's "iKey" Wants To Unlock All Doors 383

Posted by kdawson
from the get-yours-at-ikea dept.
Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that Apple is developing technology, already being nicknamed the 'iKey,' which will allow users to gain access to their office and unlock their car or front door with a single electronic device like an iPhone. Users would simply have to enter a PIN and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it. 'The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone,' says the newly released patent application. 'The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house, or other physical area.' The technology behind the invention is known as Near Field Communication; it allows electronic devices to transmit information when in proximity. 'If true, it's a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card,' says Leander Kahney, a consumer technology expert. 'The trouble is that the technology hasn't gone completely mainstream. If Apple were to adopt the technology, they would likely set the standard, and that would drive widespread adoption as everyone scrambles to make their systems iPhone-friendly.'"
Apple

+ - Apple's Master 'iKey' To Unlock All Your Doors 2

Submitted by
Pickens
Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that Apple is developing technology, already being nicknamed the "iKey", which will allow users to unlock their car, front door and gain access to their office with a single electronic device like the iPhone. Users would simply have to enter a pin code and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it. "The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone," says Apple's patent application. "The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area." According to the patent, the iPhone would be used to unlock doors to buildings and cars by exploiting a technology known as Near Field Communication, which allows electronic devices to transmit information between each other when in proximity. "If true, it's a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card," says Leander Kahney, a consumer technology expert. "The trouble is that the technology hasn't gone completely mainstream. If Apple were to adopt the technology, they would likely set the standard, and that would drive widespread adoption as everyone scrambles to make their systems iPhone-friendly.""
Science

DARPA Aims for Synthetic Life With a Kill Switch 295

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the things-not-to-backport dept.
jkinney3 writes to mention that DARPA's mad scientists have undertaken a new program designed to create synthetic organisms, complete with a "kill switch." The project, dubbed BioDesign, is dumping $6 million into "removing the randomness of evolutionary advancement" by creating genetically engineered masterpieces. "Of course, Darpa's got to prevent the super-species from being swayed to do enemy work — so they'll encode loyalty right into DNA, by developing genetically programmed locks to create 'tamper proof' cells. Plus, the synthetic organism will be traceable, using some kind of DNA manipulation, 'similar to a serial number on a handgun.' And if that doesn't work, don't worry. In case Darpa's plan somehow goes horribly awry, they're also tossing in a last-resort, genetically-coded kill switch."
Science

+ - Universe closer to heat death than once thought?->

Submitted by TapeCutter
TapeCutter (624760) writes "In a paper soon to be published in the Astrophisical journal Australian researchers have estimated the entrophy of the universe is about 30 times higher than current estimates. For those of us who like their science in the form of a car analogy Dr. Lineweaver compared their results to a car's gas tank. He states, "It's a bit like looking at your gas gauge and saying `I thought I had half a gas tank, but I only have a quarter of a tank.""
Link to Original Source
IBM

+ - IBM's DB2 runs Oracle applications, say what?-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Just in time for the imminent acquisition of Sun by Oracle it seems Big Blue has finally realized that it's in an all out war and they are going for the jugular.
Apparently making DB2 9.7 for Linux, Unix, and Windows understand PL/SQL and extending their own SQL to also
understand Oracle's dialect (down to the dreaded (+) join syntax!) last year was just the opening salvo.
According to an IBM developerWorks article by their SQL Architect those DB2 developers in Toronto have upped the ante and provided an OCI (Oracle Client Interface) compatible client. Makes one wonder: What's next?
Given the importance of Oracle's DBMS to their stream revenue, as compared to the relevance of
DB2 for LUW to IBM in the big picture, I wonder how much room to maneuver Oracle actually has if it comes to an all out pricing-war.
Has anyone tried the "Oracle compatibility features" of DB2 and is
considering a move or extension of an application?
Certainly what's offered is not sufficient to easily port all applications out there.
But for just how many of those apps will what's provided be good enough?
Are we seeing the end of the SQL dialect wars, vendor lock-in, and a commoditization the DBMS market?"

Link to Original Source

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