PhreakOfTime writes: Roku Inc., the television set-top box maker spun off by Netflix Inc., is planning to raise $30 million in private funding for development of its Internet-TV service. “We’re not far away from the time when you’ll be able to get the same kinds of channels that any cable operator can offer,” says CEO Anthony Wood. The company is also devising revenue-sharing agreements for developers who can sell subscriptions on the service or charge per product like Amazon.com.
PhreakOfTime writes: "According to Bill Livingston and Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, sunspot magnetic fields are waning. The two respected solar astronomers have been measuring solar magnetism since 1992. Their technique is based on Zeeman splitting of infrared spectral lines emitted by iron atoms in the vicinity of sunspots. Extrapolating their data into the future suggests that sunspots could completely disappear within decades."
PhreakOfTime writes: "The federal magistrate judge overseeing the White House e-mail litigation today said the issue had reached "true emergency conditions" with only "two business days before the new President takes office" and that "the importance of preserving the e-mails cannot be exaggerated," according to the court's Memorandum Opinion issued this morning along with an Order and posted on the National Security Archive website, www.nsarchive.org.
Magistrate Judge John Facciola formally ordered the White House to search all Executive Office of the President components' workstations and portable media for possibly missing e-mail — enforcing yesterday's order from U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy — after government lawyers at a hearing yesterday represented that they would only search those EOP components that create federal agency records and leave out offices that create presidential records."
PhreakOfTime writes: "Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity. Not a single atom should remain intact.
At least that's how it's supposed to work.
"We've detected a stream of perfectly intact hydrogen atoms shooting out of an X-class solar flare," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "What a surprise! These atoms could be telling us something new about what happens inside flares.""
PhreakOfTime writes: The asteroid Apophis still has only a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting Earth in 2036, NASA says, despite recent news reports suggesting a 13-year-old German boy had discovered a mistake in the space agency's analysis. There are geosynchronous satellites orbiting Earth at a distance of 42,000 kilometres, but these orbit in a ring around Earth's equator, he says. Apophis's closest approach to Earth will occur at higher latitudes, however, far from the equator.
PhreakOfTime writes: "The solar physics community is abuzz this week. No, there haven't been any great eruptions or solar storms. The source of the excitement is a modest knot of magnetism that popped over the sun's eastern limb on Dec. 11th. It may not look like much, but this patch of magnetism could be a sign of the next solar cycle."
PhreakOfTime writes: A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars on Thursday formally asked the Federal Communications Commission to stop Comcast Corp. from interfering with its subscribers' file sharing.
Two of the groups are also asking the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber.
The petitions will be the first real test of the FCC's stance on "Net Neutrality," the long-standing principle that Internet traffic be treated equally by carriers. The agency has a policy supporting the concept but its position hasn't been tested in a real-world case.
PhreakOfTime writes: An FBI agent named Templeton threatened to have Abdallah Higazy's family tortured by the Egyptians unless he pled guilty to being part of the 9/11 hijackings. While Steve Bergstein was reading the opinion posted online by the court, he noticed another bizarre twist in this case:
Then something strange happened: a few minutes after I posted the blog, the opinion vanished from the Court of Appeals website! I had never seen this before, and what made all the more strange was that it involved a coerced confession.
The full story is available here
PhreakOfTime writes: http://www.spaceweather.com/
What was it? It was a mystery for almost 24 hours until satellite expert Daniel Deak matched the trajectory of the plume in Palmer's photo with the orbit of a derelict rocket booster — "a Briz-M, catalog number 28944."
One year ago, the Briz-M sat atop a Russian Proton rocket that left Earth on Feb. 28, 2006, carrying an Arabsat-4A communications satellite. Shortly after launch, the rocket malfunctioned, leaving the satellite in the wrong orbit and the Briz-M looping around Earth partially-filled with fuel. On Feb. 19, 2007, for reasons unknown, the fuel tanks ruptured over Australia.
PhreakOfTime writes: Rising seas, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true. The full story can be read at the Independent Online