Everything looks like a nail. Web apps are nice and play in a certain application space. Same with Native apps. Saying that one is "better" than another isn't fair since the apps themselves are different, with different constraints (how do I access a file on the users local filesystem seamlessly from a web app?). If I was going for "I'm going to write an application to conquer the world" approach, I would probably want it to run on iPhone and Android, so a web app is probably a good option. However, if I know my application is fixed to one piece of hardware (the newest iPhone for example) a native app is better since I can access more of the hardware with a native application.
phx_zs writes "Last night's mandatory update of AVG 2011 Free edition has caused most 64-bit Windows 7 PCs to fail while loading Windows. On their website they have an FAQ with instructions on how to repair the problem using a boot CD or USB device."
DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."
separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"
dsavi writes "Ptex, Walt Disney Animation Studio's cutting-edge 3D texture mapping library which was first used on nearly every surface in the 2008 animated feature Bolt, was released under the BSD license on Friday. Quoting the announcement on monophyl.com: 'We expect to follow Ptex with other open source projects that we hope the community will find beneficial. We will soon be launching a new Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology page under disneyanimation.com. It will include links to our open source projects as will as a library of recent publications.' This looks good for open source 3D graphics."
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."
Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."
andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms." In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"
At my work, they're grappling with the same problem. They have a number of blind people working the phones, and their workstations have all sorts of expensive specialised hardware to help them work. The problem is, as more apps move from older green screen technology (yep, there's still lots) to newer wiz-bang web applications, those web-apps have to be created with accessibility in mind. They use JAWS (a commercial product from Freedom Scientific) to make internal applications accessible. As for why there's not much work on the open source front, I guess it's one of those things where a competent developer hasn't had the urge to work on it. But I agree that making computers accessible at a reasonable price (or free) is very important, especially given as a huge chunk of society is getting to the age where this stuff will be needed a lot.
Hugh Pickens writes "When the space shuttle Atlantis lands later today, it will cap off a mission to Hubble and mark the end of the servicing era. The astronauts' fifth overhaul of the Hubble Space Telescope was the last planned mission to repair the telescope, or any satellite for that matter. "This is the last scheduled servicing mission of Hubble with the space shuttle, and what I think it's demonstrated is the extreme utility of having people working in space and accomplishing things that are different than what was expected," said astronaut John Grunsfeld, who has helped fix Hubble on three different missions. In all, there have been 10 space repair missions by shuttle crews, half of them to Hubble, a major source of pride for NASA — most notably in 1993 when astronauts successfully installed an instrument on Hubble to fix a flawed mirror that had been built into the telescope. NASA's replacement spaceship, the Orion Crew Module, will not have the ability to rendezvous with Hubble or other satellites to repair them. "There is no person out there, there is no leadership out there, there is no vision out there to pick up the baton that we're about to hand off and carry it forward," says Hubble project scientist David Leckrone. "And I think that's just a shame to abandon one of the most impressive, refined, sophisticated capabilities that this agency as a whole — human side and robotic side — has achieved.""
In Soviet Russia, climate controls YOU!
If you're thinking of banking apps, think COBOL (at least here in Canada). Bunch of those programmers are near retirement too...