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Submission + - Facebook's HipHop also a PHP webserver (

darthcamaro writes: As expected, Facebook today announced a new runtime for PHP — called HipHop. What wasn't expected were a few key revelations disclosed today by Facebook developer David Recordan. As it turns out Facebook has been running HipHop for months and it now power 90 percent of their servers — it's not a skunkworks project it's a Live production technology. It's also not just a runtime, it's also a new webserver.

"In general, Apache is a great Web server, but when we were looking at how we get the next half percent or percent of performance, we didn't need all the features that Apache offers," Recordon said. He added, however, that he hopes an open source project will one day emerge around making HipHop work with Apache Web servers.


Submission + - First NASA Crew Development Contracts Announced

FleaPlus writes: NASA's C3PO program has announced the first year's winners of a $50M contract competition for developing commercial spaceflight systems; their initially-planned $150M in funding was diverted by Congress towards the soon-to-be-cancelled Constellation project. The contracts are for $20M to Sierra Nevada for their in-progress Dream Chaser reusable lifting-body spacecraft, $18M to Boeing to develop a capsule with Bigelow Aerospace to launch on a variety of existing rockets, $6.7M to the ULA for an emergency detection system (needed for human-rating their existing rockets), $3.7M to the normally-secretive Blue Origin for developing a novel 'pusher' launch escape system and testing a crew module made of composite materials, and $1.4M to Paragon Space Systems to build and demonstrate a turn-key air vitalization system. SpaceX and Orbital will continue their earlier COTS contracts for cargo delivery to the ISS. Contracts in future years, totaling $6 billion over 5 years, will be competitively awarded based on performance and the goal of achieving safe, reliable, and cost-effective access to orbit.

Submission + - Rare Borland Memorabilia for Haitian Relief ( 1

santakrooz writes: Embarcadero employees, many of whom are original Borland engineers and employees from the early Turbo Pascal, Quattro Pro, Paradox, JBuilder, Delphi and Borland C++ teams, are auctioning off rare and historical Borland memorabilia to raise money for Haitian Relief efforts. Proceeds are going to the Clinton/Bush Haiti Relief Fund.

Submission + - SPAM: Courts move to ban juror use of 'Net, social sites

coondoggie writes: If you think you're going to use your spanking new iPhone to entertain yourself next time you're on jury duty, think again. Judges are going to take an even dimmer view of jury member use of Blackberry, iPhone or other electronic devices as a judicial policy-setting group has told district judges they should restrict jurors from using electronic technologies to research or communicate.
[spam URL stripped]

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Submission + - Microsoft looking into Windows 7 battery failures 1

Jared writes: Microsoft says it is investigating reports of notebooks with poor battery life with Windows 7, as first reported by users on Microsoft TechNet. These users claim their batteries were working just fine under Windows XP and/or Windows Vista, and others are saying it occurs on their new Windows 7 PCs. Under Microsoft's latest operating system though, certain machines aren't doing so well, as Windows 7 spits out the following warning message: "Consider replacing your battery. There is a problem with your battery, so your computer might shut down suddenly."

The warning is normally issued after using the computer's basic input output system (BIOS) to determine whether a battery needs replacement, but in this case it appears the operating system and not the battery is the problem. These customers say their PC's battery life is noticeably lower, with some going as far as saying that it has become completely unusable after a few weeks of use. To make matters worse, others are reporting that downgrading back to an earlier version of Windows won't fix the problem.

Submission + - Oracle unplugs Project Wonderland (

Ian Lamont writes: Oracle has announced it is dropping support for Sun Microsystems' Project Wonderland. The Java-based virtual world developed some interesting features, such as voice communication with distance attenuation and phone-based access, but with Oracle's acquisition and integration of Sun, it seems that Wonderland didn't have a place in Oracle's strategic plans. An official blog post says a core group hopes to keep Wonderland going, and will be pursuing for-profit and not-for-profit options.

Submission + - Hubble Confirms Asteroid Collision (

astroengine writes: "100 million miles from Earth, in the asteroid belt, a strange object appeared (called P/2010 A2). At first it was assumed to be a rare comet-asteroid hybrid, but there was another theory: it could be an unprecedented asteroid collision. Requesting observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, David Jewitt (UCLA) zoomed in on P/2010 A2 capturing high resolution photos. This mysterious object could be aftermath of the first hypervelocity asteroid collision ever witnessed."

Submission + - An x86 smartphone? - here comes the LG GW990 (

gbjbaanb writes: I love stories about new smartphones, it shows the IT market is doing something different than the usual same-old desktop apps, maybe one day we'll all be using super smartphones as our primary computing platforms.

And so, here's Intel's offering: the LG GW990. Running a Moorestown CPU, which gives 'considerably' better energy efficiency than the Atom, it runs Intel's Linux distro — Moblin.

"In some respects, the GW990 — "which has an impressive high-resolution 4.8-inch touchscreen display — "seems more like a MID than a smartphone. It's possible that we won't see x86 phones with truly competitive all-day battery life until the emergence of Medfield, the Moorestown successor that is said to be coming in 2011. It is clear, however, that Intel aims to eventually compete squarely with ARM in the high-end smartphone market."


Submission + - Google Seeks Patent on Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

theodp writes: CNET reports that Google is 'musing' about placing ads in Street View. The search giant reportedly floated the idea in a presentation to marketing and ad agency types in Europe a few months back. So will virtual billboards be popping up in Google Street View? A Google rep said the company had no current plans to put ads in Street View, but you might want to take that with a grain of salt. On Thursday, the USPTO revealed that Google is seeking patent protection for Claiming Real Estate in Panoramic or 3D Mapping Environments for Advertising. From the patent application: 'The street view display server can locate an ad image within the image database and overlay the region of interest with the associated ad image.' Connect the dots, and it sure sounds like a plan, doesn't it? Selling the Brooklyn Bridge is a pretty good scam — selling a view of it is even better!

Submission + - China Luring Scientists Home ( 1

blee37 writes: The NY Times reports that China is increasing incentives for Chinese students earning PhDs in the U.S. to return home. One example is a prestigious Princeton microbiologist who returned to become a dean at Tsinghua, the Chinese MIT. In my experience as a grad student, Chinese students were often torn about returning home. The best science and the most intellectually stimulating jobs are in the U.S. Yet, surely they miss their families and their hometown. As alluded in the article, Chinese science remains far behind, especially because of rampant cronyism in academia as well as government. But, if more Chinese students go back, it could damage the U.S.'s technology lead. A large percentage of PhDs students in the U.S. are from China. Also, the typical PhD student has their tuition paid for and receives a salary. Does it make sense to invest in their training if they will do their major work elsewhere?

Submission + - Sarkozy proposes ad tax on Google (

SubstormGuy writes: The French government is considering levying a tax on the advertising revenues of Google and other internet portals, in the latest sign of a European backlash against the activities of the US internet search group.

President Nicolas Sarkozy instructed his finance ministry to examine the merits of a tax in response to complaints from the French media that Google and other sites are generating advertising income using their news and other content. He also called for an inquiry by French competition authorities into a possible “abuse of dominant position” in the advertising business of big internet sites.


Submission + - Could cell phones protect against Alzheimer's? (

An anonymous reader writes: Long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves from mobile phones may prevent and even reverse the damage of Alzheimer's disease, according to a controversial new study.

Submission + - Polaroid unveils new Instant Film Camera at CES (

vichyschwa writes: "Instant film anachronists can unite, as Polaroid has unveiled the PIC1000 at the Consumer Electronics Show. The camera, which is a modernized version of their once popular OneStep model, will be on sale later this year, as reported by the British Journal of Photography. The Impossible Project helped nudge Polaroid to reconsider it's former film glory as the Project was able to successfully redevelop the tools necessary to manufacture instant film. The film will be available at the same time the PIC1000 hits stores. British site ElectricPig has shots of the new camera.
Oh, and Polaroid also unveiled a 12MP camera that is able to instantly print pictures (after you preview and crop the shot)."


Submission + - SPAM: Golden ratio discovered in a quantum world

FiReaNGeL writes: "Scientist have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. By artificially introducing more quantum uncertainty the researchers observed that the chain of atoms of cobalt niobate acts like a nanoscale guitar string. The first two notes show a perfect relationship with each other. Their frequencies (pitch) are in the ratio of 1.618, which is the golden ratio famous from art and architecture. The observed resonant states in cobalt niobate are a dramatic laboratory illustration of the way in which mathematical theories developed for particle physics may find application in nanoscale science and ultimately in future technology."
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