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Intelligent Satellite Notices Volcanic Activity 116

Dik Zak points us to this NASA page about a new generation of intelligent Earth observation satellites. From the article: "The Indonesian volcano Talang on the island of Sumatra had been dormant for centuries when, in April 2005, it suddenly rumbled to life. A plume of smoke rose 1000 meters high and nearby villages were covered in ash. Fearing a major eruption, local authorities began evacuating 40,000 people. UN officials, meanwhile, issued a call for help: Volcanologists should begin monitoring Talang at once. Little did they know that, high above Earth, a small satellite was already watching the volcano. No one had told it to. EO-1 (short for "Earth Observing 1") noticed the warning signs and started monitoring Talang on its own. Indeed, by the time many volcanologists were reading their emails from the UN, 'EO-1 already had data,' says Steve Chien, leader of JPL's Artificial Intelligence Group."

Microsoft Pushing Municipal Wi-Fi 67

PreacherTom writes "Microsoft is moving to be the latest player to bring its formidable weight to bear in the growing Wi-Fi market. The software giant's recent deal to provide content and services through partnership with municipal Wi-Fi operator MetroFi in Portland, Ore., will intensify the battle between Google, Yahoo!, and MSN for online traffic. Why the focus? Content providers who capture the growing municipal Wi-Fi market will be in a better position to enjoy higher traffic to their sites and greater customer loyalty — and, as a result, grab a greater share of the $16 billion of expected online advertising dollars this year, according to consultancy eMarketer. 'It's a battle for eyeballs,' says Matt Rosoff, an analyst with the consultancy firm 'Directions on Microsoft'."

Machine Gun Sentry Robot Unveiled 845

mpthompson writes "Samsung has partnered with a Korean university to develop a robotic sentry equipped with a 5.5mm machine gun. Meant for deployment along the DMZ between North and South Korea, the $200,000 robot employs sophisticated pattern recognition software for targeting humans. No three laws here, but the robot does include a speaker that can be used to politely issue a warning before taking the target out. The promotional video is both scary and funny at the same time."

Novell Gets $348 Million From Microsoft 308

An anonymous reader writes, "Novell has published additional details about its agreements with Microsoft concerning Windows and Linux interoperability and patents. It seems the company is receiving an up-front payment of $348 million from Microsoft, for SLES subscription certificates and for patent cross-licensing. Microsoft will make an upfront payment to Novell of $240 million for SLES subscription 'certificates' that Microsoft can use, resell, or distribute over the term of the agreement. Regarding the patent cooperation agreement, Microsoft will make an up-front net payment to Novell of $108 million, and Novell will make ongoing payments totaling at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft."

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.