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MIT Works On Mars Space Suit 71

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about MIT's work on space suits to be used by Mars astronauts. "When we send the first humans to Mars we will need to get the most scientific data in the smallest amount of time while not exhausting our astronauts in the process. Dava J. Newman has been working on a 'biosuit' that's designed to do just that....Dava’s suit would be a huge leap forward in terms of construction as well. They’ve enlisted the expertise of Dainese, an Italian manufacturer of motorcycle racing 'leathers'—leather and carbon-fiber suits designed to protect racers traveling at up to 200 mph. The suit would be a degree safer than current space suits. While a puncture or scrape in a traditional space suit would cause a dramatic decrease in pressure and would be traumatic, even deadly, the 'biosuit' could be patched with a high-tech ace bandage. The wearer would wrap it around the punctured area to stop the leak almost instantly. Pressure loss would be minimal and the astronaut would be able to continue working and finish his or her task. "

Touchpad Patent Holder Tsera Sues Just About Everyone 168

eldavojohn writes "Okay, well, maybe not everyone but more than twenty companies (including Apple, Qualcomm, Motorola and Microsoft) are being sued for a generic patent that reads: 'Apparatus and methods for controlling a portable electronic device, such as an MP3 player; portable radio, voice recorder, or portable CD player are disclosed. A touchpad is mounted on the housing of the device, and a user enters commands by tracing patterns with his finger on a surface of the touchpad. No immediate visual feedback is provided as a command pattern is traced, and the user does not need to view the device to enter commands.' Sounds like their may be a few companies using that technology. The suit was filed on July 15th in the favoritest place ever to file patent claim lawsuits: Texas Eastern District Court. It's a pretty classic patent troll; they've been holding this patent since 2003 and they just noticed now that everyone and his dog are using touchpads to control portable electronic devices."

Command Lines and the Future of Firefox 360

Barence writes "Mozilla has revealed how it plans to integrate plain text commands directly into future versions of Firefox. Dubbed Taskfox, the move sees Mozilla's Ubiquity project become part of the browser itself, allowing users to type commands directly into the address bar. You can, for example, type 'map cleveland street london' to bring up a Google Map of that location, or 'amazon-search the great gatsby' to find that book on Amazon, without visiting the website directly. 'The basic idea behind Taskfox is simple: take the time-saving ideas behind Ubiquity, and put them into Firefox,' the Taskfox wiki claims. 'That means allowing users to quickly access information and perform tasks that would normally take several steps to complete.'"

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.