H_Fisher writes: Thirty years ago this week, longtime CBS news space correspondent William Harwood was covering what seemed like a routine, uneventful news story: the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger from Cape Canaveral. Only one cable network, CNN, was broadcasting the launch live when the unthinkable happened, as Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch on that icy January morning.
Harwood recounts the media silence that NASA tried to impose, and details the lengths reporters went to in order to learn the facts. "None of us knew that O-ring seals in the joints between the fuel segments making up Challenger's two solid-propellant boosters also were affected by the cold (...) And none of us knew about an intense debate the night before when engineers with Morton Thiokol, builder of the huge rockets, recommended a launch delay because of concern about the effects of cold weather on the critical O-ring seals. They knew, as most reporters did not, that a seal failure could result in a catastrophic 'burn through.'"
Harwood goes on to imagine how coverage of the Challenger disaster would be different in today's age of omnipresent social media.
H_Fisher writes: After years of threatening bloggers and others with litigation for copying their copyrighted pictures, Getty Images has decided that the cat is finally out of the bag. In an article published today on Bloomberg Businessweek, Getty is said to be rolling out an image-embedding tool, allowing bloggers and other non-commercial users to hotlink photos — and allowing Getty to track views, and potentially add Google-style advertising. Commercial users are still expected to pony up for licensing fees. As for the small fry, a Getty VP is quoted as saying: "There are two ways to look at the world. People sharing content without a license is an issue—or it’s an opportunity.” Link to Original Source
H_Fisher writes: "What do you do when your daughter wants the girl to be the hero of your old video game? If you're Mike Mika, you hack the game ROM to reverse the roles. He even changed the "M" at the top of the screen to a "P.""
H_Fisher writes: "Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times writes with a frank look at the decisions and changes that have led to Kodak's decline from top U.S. photography company to a company whose product is almost irrelevant. He writes: "[Kodak] executives couldn't foresee a future in which film had no role in image capture at all, nor come to grips with the lower profit margins or faster competitive pace of high-tech industries." He also notes that Kodak's story comes as a cautionary tale to giants like Google and Facebook."
H_Fisher writes: "In a letter to Congress, Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony's board of directors, blames hacker group Anonymous for making possible the theft of gamers' personal information. "What is becoming more and more evident is that Sony has been the victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes," Hirai wrote. He also indicated that Sony waited two days before notifying the FBI of the theft."
H_Fisher writes: "Disrespect the Chinese government at your peril... and this includes anything you do with the past. Time magazine's "Techland" blog reports that China is banning references to time travel which are disrespectful to the nation's culture and history. No word on whether this includes a travel ban on time lords."
H_Fisher writes: "It wasnt broken, so Microsoft seems ready to fix it. Leaked screenshots appear to show Windows 8 using the ribbon interface first introduced in MS Office 2007 in place of "classic" UI elements."
H_Fisher writes: "Here come the lawyers: San Francisco-based financial company Xoom is suing Motorola for "trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, false advertising, unfair business practices and other claims" due to the use of their name for the tablet PC released last week,"
H_Fisher writes: A Fortune magazine report confirms what many geeks have thought for ages: AOL is relying on an unsustainable business model. A leaked plan from inside shows a company using an ever-declining pool of dial-up users, many of them elderly, while struggling to rebrand itself as a source for "content" — articles on topics like "Backpacking the Axis of Evil," farmed out to writers for $10 or so a pop.
H_Fisher writes: "The Associated Press reports that a New Jersey teenager has managed to unlock the iPhone from AT&T's network. From TFA: " George Hotz of Glen Rock, N.J., confirmed Friday that he had unlocked an iPhone and was using it on T-Mobile's network, the only major U.S. carrier apart from AT&T that is compatible with the iPhone's cellular technology." The 'proof' — a video showing the TMobile logo on Hotz's iPhone — and the directions for the hack were posted on Hotz's blog. According to the AP: "Both hacks leave intact the iPhone's many functions, including a built-in camera and the ability to access Wi-Fi networks.""
H_Fisher writes: "Research into mitochondria — small parts within a cell that have their own DNA — are a cause of cellular death, Newsweek reports. The article from the most recent edition of the magazine, entitled "The Science of Death: Reviving the Dead," reports on people who have recovered from sudden death due to cardiac arrest through the use of medically-induced hypothermia. The cooling process may help stop the death of brain and heart cells caused by the mitochondria once they are deprived of oxygen. The next step: figuring out how to keep the brain from dying, and arguing for or against "the view that the mind is more than the sum of the parts of the brain, and can exist outside it.""