scibri writes "A few months ago, the secretive National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA two Hubble-sized space telescopes that it didn't want anymore. Now the space agency has to figure out what to do with them, and whether it can afford it. The leading candidate to use one of the telescopes is the the proposed Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST), which would search for the imprint of dark energy, find exoplanets and study star-forming regions of the Galaxy. The NRO telescope could speed up the mission, but may end up costing more in the long run." A few issues with re-purposing the NRO satellite: higher launch costs because it's bigger, it can't see as far or as much IR (but it can see fainter objects, and could be used in planet detection), and the need for a bigger camera.
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jones_supa writes "The Finnish smartphone startup Jolla has revealed the next chapter in their roadmap. The company announced that it is setting up an alliance to license a MeeGo-based OS called Sailfish to other OEMs. The operations, backed by 200M€, will begin at spring 2013. CEO Jussi Hurmola believes that the next big revolution in smartphones will happen in China, and the OS will provide an alternative independent smartphone ecosystem there. Jolla strives for more openness than OHA, by letting the partners design their services directly without needing green light from the alliance. Sailfish is headquartered in Hong Kong and R&D centers will be established in other parts of mainland China, possibly Shanghai and Peking."
Daetrin writes "Last year T-Mobile tried to merge with AT&T but the deal was blocked by the FCC. Now T-Mobile and MetroPCS have agreed to merge in a $1.5 billion deal. There doesn't seem to be much concern that the FCC will disagree with this deal, perhaps because the two companies combined will have a user base of 42.5 million, which will still be smaller than the #3 player Sprint's 56.4 million. Because the two companies have similar spectrum holdings T-Mobile claims the merger will allow them to offer better coverage. They also say they will continue to offer a range of both on and off-contract plans."
ananyo writes "Bucking a trend of cutting science seen elsewhere, the French government has committed to increasing spending on research and development in its draft austerity budget for 2013. France's education and research ministry gets a 2.2% boost under the proposed budget, giving it a budget of just under €23 billion (US$29 billion). Most other ministries get a cut. The upshot of the cash increase is that 1,000 new university posts will be created, no publicly funded research jobs will be cut and funding for research grants will rise (albeit less than inflation) by 1.2% to €7.86 billion. The move to spend on science during a recession is notable and means that French politicians understand that a sustainable commitment to public spending on science is vital for long-term economic growth. The situation is in stark contrast to that in the U.S. and in the UK, where a recent policy to boost hi-tech industries, unveiled with much fanfare, failed to do much for science. Meanwhile, in Australia, there's alarm over proposals to freeze research grants— a step that could jeopardize 1700 jobs."
crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."
zaphod777 writes with this bit from Groklaw on more Jury related intrigue in the Apple-Samsung trial: "Samsung has now filed an unredacted version [PDF] of its motion for judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, and/or remittitur. That's the one that was originally filed with a redacted section we figured out was about the foreman, Velvin Hogan. The judge ordered it filed unsealed, and so now we get to read all about it. It's pretty shocking to see the full story. I understand now why Samsung tried to seal it. They call Mr. Hogan untruthful in voir dire (and I gather in media interviews too), accuse him of 'implied bias' and of tainting the process by introducing extraneous 'evidence' of his own during jury deliberations, all of which calls, Samsung writes, for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial with an unbiased jury as the cure." It would seem that everyone's favorite foreman did not disclose that he was sued by Seagate for breach of contract, and that he may have had a chip on his shoulder considering that Samsung is the largest single shareholder of Seagate.
PolygamousRanchKid writes with news of a Senate report on just how ineffective those DHS "Fusion centers" have proven to be. From the article: "The lengthy, bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. ... Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don't know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. ... 'The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,' the report said. When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters, and advocates of gun rights."
An anonymous reader writes "Many iPhone 5 users are complaining that its camera is adding a purple flare to their photos. Speculation is that it's caused by the new sapphire lens cover that Apple touted as 'thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images.' Apple's response to those who've complained? 'The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5's camera.'"
kodiaktau writes "An article in the WSJ discusses why internet users are more rude online than they are in person. The story discusses some of the possible reasons. For example, a study found that browsing Facebook tends to lower people's self control. An MIT professor says people posting on the internet have lowered inhibitions because there is no formal social interaction. Another theory is that communicating through a phone or other device feels like communicating with a 'toy,' which dehumanizes the conversation. Of course, a rude conversation has never happened on Slashdot in the last 15 years."
CowboyRobot writes "'UML too complex? Flowcharts too old school? Mind maps offer a simple way to capture designs and weave them together elegantly.' The quickest way to begin designing a program is to simply write down the steps in normal text, but this method breaks down with more complex projects. UML can be a useful format for larger projects but can be difficult to get right, especially when trying to use it with a less conventional project. The middle ground are 'Mind Maps,' 'a diagrammatic representation of loosely connected ideas. They are a central tool in brainstorming sessions. Mind map tools help capture ideas and then mush them around until you have the structure you want.'"
CWmike writes "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has called Windows 8 'puzzling' and 'confusing initially,' but assured users that they would eventually learn to like the new OS. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. In a post to his personal blog on Tuesday, Allen said he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview — the public sneak peak Microsoft shipped May 31 — on both a traditional desktop as well as on a Samsung 700T tablet, designed for Windows 7. 'I did encounter some puzzling aspects of Windows 8,' Allen wrote, and said the dual, and dueling user interfaces (UIs), were confusing. 'The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application — such as Internet Explorer — can be opened and run simultaneously,' Allen said."
the_newsbeagle writes "To study the mysterious phenomena of dark matter and dark energy, astronomers are turning to supercomputers that can simulate the entire evolution of the universe. One such simulation, the Bolshoi projection, recently did a complete run-through. It started with the state the universe was in around 13.7 billion years ago (not long after the Big Bang) and modeled the evolution of dark matter and energy up to the present day. The run used 14,000 CPUs on NASA's fastest supercomputer."
martypantsROK writes "After nearly seven years of living abroad, I'm planning to return to the U.S. in early 2013. Last time I lived there, smart phones weren't out yet. Dropped calls were common, and poor reception (can you hear me now?) was an ad campaign. I'm used to South Korea's wicked speeds, both for internet and wireless networks, and I'm wondering what the Slashdot community believes to be best carrier in the U.S. Which is fastest? Which offers the best deal for lots of data? Nationwide roaming and coverage? Prices? Service?"
nk497 writes "When Paul Otellini announced Ultrabooks last year, he predicted they would grab 40% of the laptop market by this year. One analyst firm has said Ultrabooks will only make up 5% of the market this year, slashing its own sales predictions from 22m this year to 10.3m. However, IHS iSuppli said that Ultrabooks have a chance at success if manufacturers get prices down between $600 to $700 — a discount of as much as $400 on the average selling price of the devices — and they could still grab a third of the laptop market by 2016."
coondoggie writes "Researchers with the Sandia National Laboratory have tied together 300,000 virtual Android-based devices in an effort to study the security and reliability of large smartphone networks. The Android project, dubbed MegaDroid, is carefully insulated from other networks at the Labs and the outside world, but can be built up into a realistic computing environment, the researchers stated."