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Space

Boeing Teams To Offer Spaceflight Trips 59

coondoggie writes "Aerospace giant Boeing and outer space tourism proprietors Space Adventures teamed up today to offer low Earth orbit (LEO) flight services onboard Boeing's future commercial crew spacecraft. Under this agreement, Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft. Boeing's CST-100, which is under development, can hold seven and is bigger than NASA's Apollo orbiter but smaller than NASA's Orion."
Cellphones

Submission + - O2 Android 2.2 update bricks HTC Desire->

Stoobalou writes: O2 has withdrawn an update to the latest version of Google's Android mobile OS on its network after users reported it crashed their phones.

The update to Android 2.2, code-named Froyo, was rolled out to HTC Desire handsets yesterday — but almost immediately the company was met with a barrage of complaints.

A number of users reported that their phones stopped loading when it reached the blue O2 splash screen.

The problems affected some users, but not all — and O2's forums were soon rife with speculation as to the cause of the difficulties.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - MIT creates self-repairing solar cells->

An anonymous reader writes: If you put objects in direct sunlight they degrade quickly. Solar panels are no exception and current panels will degrade over time, eventually becoming useless. What we need is a solar cell that does not degrade, or as MIT has just created, a solar cell that repairs itself.

Michael Strano is the chemical engineer at MIT who headed up the research and development of the new cell. He explained:

Sunlight, when it hits oxygen, is very damaging. It’s the reason why we age, and the reason why when we leave paper or plastic out in the sun, it fades. There’s a kind of a horse race among scientists around the world to make the highest efficiency cell, but very few people are asking what happens with that cell when you plug it in for a few hours or for a week or for months

Strano’s answer to cell degradation is to mix together a number of different components that would form into a solar cell on their own. This meant using the photosynthetic reaction center of plants, lipids that create cell walls, carbon nanotubes, and a surfactant that helps keep specific molecules separate.

Link to Original Source
Input Devices

Equatorial Mounts For Budget Astrophotography? 85

Timoris writes "With the Perseids approaching rapidly, I am looking for a good beginner's motorized equatorial mount for astrophotography. I have seen a few for $150 to $200, but apparently the motor vibrations make for poor photographs. Orion makes good mounts, but are out of my price range ($350) and the motor is sold separately, adding to the price half over again. Does anyone have any good experience with any low- or mid-priced mounts?"
NASA

Submission + - NASA launches MMO->

An anonymous reader writes: Moonbase Alpha is a single-level demo/prototype of a larger NASA MMO game that will be directed at STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. The game play takes about 20 minutes or so. Players step into the role of an exploration team member in a futuristic 3-D lunar settlement. Their mission is to restore critical systems and oxygen flow after a nearby meteor strike cripples a solar array and life support equipment.

The game is free: http://store.steampowered.com/

Link to Original Source
Moon

Citizen Scientists Help Explore the Moon 60

Pickens writes "NPR reports that NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is doing such a good job photographing every bit of the moon's surface that scientists can't keep up, so Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott is asking amateur astronomers to help review, measure, and classify tens of thousands of moon photos streaming to Earth using the website Moon Zoo, where anyone can log on, get trained, and become a space explorer. 'We ask people to count the craters that they can see ... and that tells us all sorts of things about the history and the age of that bit of surface,' says Lintott. Volunteers are also asked to identify boulders, measure the craters, and generally classify what is found in the images. If one person does the classification — even if they're an expert — then anything odd or interesting can be blamed on them. But with multiple independent classifications, the team can statistically calculate the confidence in the classification. That's a large part of the power of Moon Zoo. Lintott adds the British and American scientists heading up the LRO project have been randomly checking the amateur research being sent in and find it as good as you would get from an expert. 'There are a whole host of scientists ... who are waiting for these results, who've already committed to using them in their own research.'"
Science

Submission + - Moonzoo - Crowdsourcing a map of the Moon->

Poobar writes: Moonzoo is a crowdsourcing effort to map the Moon using NASA's latest data from Lunar Reconnaissance Oribiter's LROC camera, and is built by the same people behind Galaxy Zoo. Users can explore beautifully high resolution images of the lunar surface, map out craters, boulder fields, and look for bits of spacecraft wreckage. All in the name of Science!
Link to Original Source

Comment Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (Score 4, Insightful) 318

Situation: I am being "cyber-stalked".

Solution: Log off WOW.

Solution 2 (If you really need your MMORPG fix): Switch to a different character.

Why would a person knowing where you are in a fictional landscape ever be a problem anyway? Surely there's some kind of ignore button in WOW (correct me if I'm wrong, I only played the free trial before getting bored), so even if they knew where you were, they could... what?

Science

Submission + - STFC recommended funding cuts announced->

Poobar writes: The UK's Science & Technologies Facilities Council (a major UK research funding council) have posted the results of a "major science prioritisation exercise". Weeding though the nonsense-talk paints a bleak picture: reduction in grant money, studentships, recommended cuts to a whole host of experiments and space-missions, and 15-20% cuts even for those that don't get axed. A PDF showing the classification, and hence chance of being funded, of your favourite research project is here : http://www.stfc.ac.uk/resources/pdf/PPANNews161209.pdf
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Don't be a girlie man, flip the switch (Score 1) 139

Not sure what holds companies back from making the change. I've heard the arguments, they don't hold up to reality. Google doesn't spy on our email and if it's something really sensitive we can add a password to the document or encrypt the content. I've done that exactly once in the last year.

"Hmm, wonder which one of his emails holds the Top Secret Data...".

"Maybe the one that's encypted?"

"Nah, it's probably one of the others!"

Seriously though, if you need to rarely send sensitive data, isn't it far more secure if you encrypt everything you send, and for very little extra effort?

Comment Re:Apps (Score 1) 139

Anyway, wouldn't the camera breaking be more of a hardware problem?

Sorry, to clarify I meant that the phone froze while trying to take the photo, possibly because the lighting was bad. It also takes a bloody age to autofocus and then take the picture. Maybe the combination of my horrible nerd face and the rictus grin you get after 5 seconds of waiting for a photo to be taken was too much for the poor software? I'd still probably buy one though, as for everything else (apart from the wifi connection problem) it's top notch so far.

Comment Re:Apps (Score 2, Interesting) 139

Playing with my girlfriend's new Android we managed to freeze it utterly within a minute of playing with the piss-poor camera*, and after connecting to my wifi once successfully it won't do it anymore, for no reason we can see.

The rest of the phone is shaping up to be awesome (especially when available on such cheap contracts and with google apps fully intergrated), but it needs some improvement to get the non-geek majority away from thier shiney iPhones.

*(The camera broke when trying to take a photo of my face, so it might not be an issue with the phone...)

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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