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Microsoft

Microsoft Plans VR Simulation of Everything? 217

Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft recently updated ESP, a virtual reality modeling platform that until now has primarily been used to model aircraft and flight simulations. Microsoft has plans to expand it to other industries such as real estate and urban planning, but one of the most interesting possibilities could be what one observer refers to as a 'simulation of everything,' based on Virtual Earth and perhaps even user-generated content. Indeed, Microsoft's research chief has been promoting the idea of commerce applications and other tools built on top of what he calls the 'Spatial Web', a blend of 3D, video, and location-aware technologies. He gave an example of a shopkeeper creating 3D models of his store's interior and goods with Photosynth and then uploading the results into a large 3D model of local shopping district. Customers could 'visit' the area, browse products, and order them for real-world delivery."
Programming

What Programming Language For Linux Development? 997

k33l0r writes "Recently I've been thinking about developing (or learning to develop) for Linux. I'm an IT university student but my degree program focuses almost exclusively on Microsoft tools (Visual Studio, C#, ASP.NET, etc.) which is why I would like to expand my repertoire on my own. Personally I'm quite comfortable in a Linux environment, but have never programmed for it. Over the years I've developed a healthy fear of everything Java and I'm not too sure of what I think of Python's use of indentation to delimit blocks. The question that remains is: what language and tools should I be using?"
Yahoo!

Yahoo Interested In a Microsoft Buyout, But Microsoft Isn't 174

Linux Blog writes "The Google-Yahoo advertising deal has been rejected by the Department of Justice, and Google has pulled the plug on a search-ad partnership with Yahoo that would have given Yahoo major new revenue, but that raised antitrust concerns. Now, Yahoo has said the 'For Sale' sign is still on its front lawn and that Microsoft should buy the company. The internet portal's co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang made this comment despite the fact Yahoo rejected a $33 a share offer from Microsoft back in May. What a huge loss for the share holders. Microsoft was quick to respond that their buyout efforts were a thing of the past, but left the door open to a search partnership."
Government

Obama Launches Change.gov 1486

mallumax writes "Obama has launched Change.gov. According to the site 'Change.gov provides resources to better understand the transition process and the decisions being made as part of it. It also offers an opportunity to be heard about the challenges our country faces and your ideas for tackling them. The Obama Administration will reflect an essential lesson from the success of the Obama campaign: that people united around a common purpose can achieve great things.' The site is extensive and contains Obama's agenda for economy and education among many others. They first define the problem and then lay out the plan. Everything is in simple English without a trace of Washington-speak. The site also has details about the transition. According to many sources, Obama's transition efforts started months ago. The copyright for the content is held by 'Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization'."
Earth

Small Bird Astounds Scientists With 11,200km Flight 99

Zeb writes "Scientists are marveling over a small female bar-tailed godwit somewhere in New Zealand who has a world record for non-stop flying — an epic 11,200 kilometers. A major international study into the birds has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and it offers an explanation as to why the godwits fly so far from Alaska to New Zealand in a single bound. The birds flew non-stop for up to and covered more than 11,200km. The flight path shows the birds did not feed en route and would be unlikely to sleep." The linked Wikipedia entry claims an even longer trip record, of 11,570 kilometers.
Cellphones

Google Opens Up Android Codebase 204

rsk writes "It's official: Google has Open Sourced Android. The source code can be downloaded from Android's Git repository. Bugs are handled at the Google Code Android project page with documentation being handled by a collection of Google Site pages. One of the more interesting aspects of Android seems to be the seemingly Eclipse Foundation-like organization of the project, welcoming both Individual and Commercial developers into the Android development pot. One of the benefits of this arrangement is securing the existence of the project by involving commercial interests and their money in the process ... this is also one of the downsides; having commercial entities charter and lead features of a platform that their own commercial offerings provide 'enhanced' versions of, sometimes leaving the free offering always lacking in one obvious way or another. It's hard to say at this point how involved Google will be in this process, or the Open Handset Alliance in general, with managing the health of sub-projects under the Android umbrella as time goes on."
Space

Do We Live In a Giant Cosmic Bubble? 344

Khemisty writes "Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation. Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario. If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations. 'If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating,' said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. 'It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were.'"
Google

Google To Fund Ideas That Will Change the World 165

Peace Corps Online writes "This week, as part of their tenth birthday celebration, Google announced the launch of project ten to the 100th, a project designed to inspire and fund the development of ideas that will help to change the world. They have called on members of the public to share their ideas for solutions that will help as many people as possible in the global community, offering a $10 million prize pool to back the development of those chosen as winners. 'We know there are countless brilliant ideas that need funding and support to come to fruition,' says Bethany Poole, Project Marketing Manager for Google. 'These ideas can be big or small, technology-driven or brilliantly simple — but they need to have impact.' The project's website asks entrants to classify their ideas into one of eight categories listed as Community, Opportunity, Energy, Environment, Health, Education, Shelter and Everything Else. Members of the public have until October 20th to submit their ideas by completing a simple form and answering a few short questions about their idea."
Space

Hubble Finds Unidentified Object In Space 716

Gizmodo is reporting that the Hubble space telescope has found a new unidentified object in the middle of nowhere. Some are even suggesting that this could be a new class of object. Of course, without actually understanding more about it, the speculation seems a bit wild. "The object also appeared out of nowhere. It just wasn't there before. In fact, they don't even know where it is exactly located because it didn't behave like anything they know. Apparently, it can't be closer than 130 light-years but it can be as far as 11 billion light-years away. It's not in any known galaxy either. And they have ruled out a supernova too. It's something that they have never encountered before. In other words: they don't have a single clue about where or what the heck this thing is."
Wireless Networking

Scientists Test World's Fastest Wireless Network 77

MojoKid writes "Scientists in Pisa, Italy claim to have set a new world record for the fastest wireless data transmission. They report that they were able to achieve throughput speeds above 1.2 Terabits per second, which they say beats the previous wireless data transmission speed record of 160 Gigabits per second, achieved by Korean scientists. The technology that the Pisa scientists utilized actually shares a significant similarity with fiber optics. Unlike Wi-Fi or microwave communications, which use radio-based transmissions, the Pisa scientists used a technology called free-space optical communications. In free space optics, an energy beam is collimated and transmitted through space rather than being guided through an optical cable."
Wireless Networking

Gigabit Wi-Fi On the Horizon 61

alphadogg writes to mention that the same working group that brought you the standard for the 802.11n wireless communications is already poised to launch a gigabit Wi-Fi project. "Last year, group members formed the Very High Throughput (VHT) Study Group to explore changes to the 802.11 WLAN standard to support gigabit capacity. The study group is looking at doing so in two frequency bands, high-frequency 60GHz for relatively short ranges and under-6GHz for ranges similar to that of today's WLANs in the 5GHz band, 802.11a and 11n."
Power

Giant Snake-Shaped Generators Could Capture Wave Power 432

Roland Piquepaille writes "UK researchers have developed a prototype of a future giant rubber tube which could catch energy from sea waves. The device, dubbed Anaconda, uses 'long sea waves to excite bulge waves which travel along the wall of a submersed rubber tube. These are then converted into flows of water passing through a turbine to generate electricity.' So far, the experiments have been done with tubes with diameters of 0.25 and 0.5 meters. But if the experiments are successful, future full-scale Anaconda devices would be 200 meters long and 7 meters in diameter, and deployed in water depths of between 40 and 100 meters. An Anaconda would deliver an output power of 1MW (enough to power 2,000 houses). These devices would be deployed in groups of 20 or even more providing cheap electricity without harming our environment."

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