Yeah, but why? See: http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2047914&cid=35570782
johncadengo writes "General Motors said today that it has struck a preliminary deal to sell Saab to Spyker Cars, a tiny Dutch maker of high-end sports cars, saving the Swedish automaker from what seemed like certain extinction after previous bids for it collapsed. A previous bid from Spyker was rejected by GM in late December because GM was uncomfortable with Spyker's Russian backers. The biggest investor in Spyker is the Russian bank Convers Group, which is controlled by Alexander Antonov. In March, Mr. Antonov was shot seven times and reportedly lost a finger in an attempt on his life in Moscow. No arrests have been made. His son Vladimir, 34, is a top executive at Convers and the chairman of Spyker." GM is taking a bath on the deal, financially speaking.
coondoggie writes "While its sister rover Spirit has garnered most of the attention lately, NASA's other Mars traveler, Opportunity, is chewing up Martian dirt and unearthing the mineral and chemical makeup of the red planet. NASA scientists said this week the rover uncovered 'one of the coolest things Opportunity has found in a very long time:' a dark, basketball-sized rock known as 'Marquette Island.' According to NASA, the Marquette Island rock is a coarse-grained rock that indicates it cooled slowly from molten rock, allowing crystals time to grow. Such composition suggests it originated deep in the crust, not at the surface where it would cool quicker and have finer-grained texture, NASA stated."
That would be sodium for most people here, by the way.
Ponca City, We love you writes "Dr. Dobbs reports that Alex Waibel, professor of computer science and language technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, has developed an iPhone application that turns the iPhone into a translator that converts English speech into Spanish, or vice versa. Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into the iPhone and the iPhone will respond with an audible translation. 'Jibbigo's software runs on the iPhone itself, so it doesn't need to be connected to the Web to access a distant server,' says Waibel. Waibel is a leader in speech-to-speech translation and multimodal speech interfaces, creating the first real-time, speech-to-speech translator for English, German and Japanese. 'Automated speech translation is an expensive proposition that has been supported primarily by large government grants,' says Waibel. 'But our sponsors are impatient to see this technology become more widely available and we, as researchers, are eager to find new revenues that will help us extend this technology to more of the 6,000 languages now spoken worldwide.'"
coondoggie writes "With a hiss and roar, NASA's Ares I-X rocket blasted into the atmosphere this morning at about 11:33 am EST, taking with it a variety of test equipment and sensors but also high hopes for the future of the US space agency. The short test flight — about 2 minutes — will provide NASA an early opportunity to look at hardware, models, facilities and ground operations associated with the mostly new Ares I launch vehicle. The mission went off without a hitch — 'frickin' fantastic' was how one NASA executive classified it on NASA TV — as the upper stage simulator and first stage separated at approximately 130,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The unpowered simulator splashed down in the ocean."
Nrbelex writes "The New York Times reports in this week's Science section that hardware and software trojan kill switches in military devices are an increasing concern, and may have already been used. 'A 2007 Israeli Air Force attack on a suspected, partly-constructed Syrian nuclear reactor led to speculation about why the Syrian air defense system did not respond to the Israeli aircraft. Accounts of the event initially indicated that sophisticated jamming technology was used to blind the radars. Last December, however, a report in an American technical publication, IEEE Spectrum, cited a European industry source in raising the possibility that the Israelis might have used a built-in kill switch to shut down the radars. Separately, an American semiconductor industry executive said in an interview that he had direct knowledge of the operation and that the technology for disabling the radars was supplied by Americans to the Israeli electronic intelligence agency, Unit 8200.'"
DynaSoar writes "NASA's new Ares I-X rocket is undergoing final preparations for its planned launch test Tuesday, October 27. Launch time is scheduled for 8 AM EDT (1200 GMT). As of noon Monday it appeared that there was a 60% chance of showers and/or high altitude clouds interfering. However, the launch has a an eight hour window of opportunity through 2000 GMT, and would require only 10 minutes of clear skies within that time to fly. Of interest to engineering types, both those who favor the new vehicle's design and its critics, will be to see whether the predicted linear 'pogo stick' oscillation will occur, and whether the dampening design built into it prevents damaging and possibly destructive shaking. Extensive coverage is being presented by Space.com; for NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit nasa.gov/ntv." Update 15:37 GMT by timothy: The weather did not cooperate; today's planned launch has been scrubbed.
Dan Jones writes "As recently discussed here, Linux sound development has come under fire for being overly complex and, more specifically, PulseAudio has been criticized for not being a 'good idea.' In a lengthy interview, PulseAudio creator Lennart Poettering has responded to the many critics of the new-generation sound server and says such complaints and criticisms about PulseAudio in some Internet forums are not really shared by the vast majority of technical people. While Poettering admits PulseAudio itself is not bug-free, he believes the majority of issues are being triggered by misbehaving drivers or applications."
theodp writes "When he gets some free time away from his gigs at startup Milo and The Register, you won't catch Ted Dziuba doing any recreational programming. And he wouldn't want to work for a company that doesn't hire those who don't code in their spare time. 'You know what's more awesome than spending my Saturday afternoon learning Haskell by hacking away at a few Project Euler problems?' asks Dziuba. 'F***, ANYTHING.'"
Al writes "NASA recently finished testing a miniature nuclear reactor that would provide power for an astronaut base on the Moon or Mars. The reactor combines a small fission system with a Stirling engine to make a 'safe, reliable, and efficient' way to produce electricity. The system being tested at NASA's Glenn Research Center can produce 2.3 kilowatts and could be ready for launch by 2020, NASA officials say. The reactor ought to provide much more power than solar panels but could prove controversial with the public concerned about launching a nuclear power source and placing it on the Moon or another planet."
Pickens writes "The BBC reports that four out of five parents living in the UK have been stumped by a science question posed by their children with the top three most-asked questions: 'Where do babies come from?', 'What makes a rainbow?' and 'Why is the sky blue?'. The survey was carried out to mark the launch of a new website by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills called Science: So what? So everything."
coondoggie writes "Two companies that fired workers and rejected job applicants based on background checks, without informing those people of their rights, have settled with the FTC for $77,000 in civil penalties. Most experts we talked to think this case is just the tip of the iceberg. The companies — Quality Terminal Services and Rail Terminal Services — were charged with violating provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires employers to get permission to look at individual credit reports. If you don't get a job because of information in your report, the employer must show you the report and tell you how to get a copy from the consumer reporting company. There is no charge for the report if you request it within 60 days of getting notice that you did not get a job."
xp65 writes "Scientists at this year's XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil agree that we do not yet know how ubiquitous or how fragile life is, but that: 'The Earth's period of habitability is nearly over on a cosmological timescale. In a half to one billion years the Sun will start to be too luminous and warm for water to exist in liquid form on Earth, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect in less than 2 billion years.' Other surprising claims from this conference: that the Sun may not be the ideal kind of star to nurture life, and that the Earth may not be the ideal size."
GhostX9 writes: Tom's Hardware just interviewed Charlie Miller, the man behind the iPhone remote exploit hack and winner of Pwn2Own 2009. He explains the (now patched) bug in the iPhone which allowed him to remotely exploit the iPhone in detail, explaining how the string concatenation code was flawed. The most surprising thing was that the bug could be traced back to several previous generation of iPhone OS's (he stopped testing at version 2.2). He also talks about the failures of other devices such as crashing HTC's Touch by sending a SMS with "%n" in the text.