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NASA

Dawn Spacecraft Finds Signs of Water On Vesta 33

ananyo writes "Vesta, the second-most-massive body in the asteroid belt, was thought to be bone dry. But NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found evidence that smaller, water-rich asteroids once implanted themselves in Vesta's surface. The water stays locked up in hydrated minerals until subsequent impacts create enough heat to melt the rock and release the water as a gas, leaving pitted vents in the surface. The discovery shows that yet another body in the inner Solar System has a water cycle."
Supercomputing

India Plans To Build Fastest Supercomputer By 2017 135

First time accepted submitter darkstar019 writes "India is planning to build a computer that is going to be at least 61 times faster than the current fastest super computer, IBM Sequoia. Right now the most powerful supercomputer in India is 58th in the list of top 100 supercomputers. From the article: 'Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal is understood to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sharing the roadmap to develop "petaflop and exaflop range of supercomputers" at an estimated cost of Rs 4,700 crore over 5 years.'"
Biotech

Monkeys Made Smarter With Prosthetic Device 102

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have successfully restored and, in some cases, enhanced decision-making ability in brain-damaged monkeys on cocaine by connecting a prosthetic device to their brains. 'In the study, the scientists trained five monkeys to match multiple images on a computer screen until they were correct 70 to 75 percent of the time. First, an image appeared on the screen, which the animals were trained to select using a hand-controlled cursor. The screen then went blank for up to two minutes, followed by the reappearance of two to eight images, including the initial one, on the same screen. When the monkeys correctly chose the image they were shown first, the electronic prosthetic device recorded the pattern of neural pulses associated with their decision by employing a multi-input multi-output nonlinear (MIMO) mathematical model, developed by researchers at the University of Southern California. In the next phase of the study, a drug known to disrupt cognitive activity, cocaine, was administered to the animals to simulate brain injury. When the animals repeated the image-selection task, their decision-making ability decreased 13 percent from normal. However, during these "drug sessions," the MIMO prosthesis detected when the animals were likely to choose the wrong image and played back the previously recorded "correct" neural patterns for the task. According to the study findings, the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active.'"
Android

Fragmentation Comes To iOS 244

dell623 writes "While the fragmentation issues in iOS are nowhere near as bad as Android, it can no longer be considered non existent. I have prepared a chart showing which features will be available on which device. While some restrictions are the result of hardware limitations, it is clear that Apple has deliberately chosen to limit some previous generation devices, and figuring this out isn't always straightforward if you're not buying the latest iPad or iPhone."
Iphone

Apple Announces iPhone 5 1052

Today Phil Schiller took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where he announced the long-expected iPhone 5. The casing is made entirely of glass and aluminum, and it's 7.6mm thick, which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S. It weighs in at 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the 4S. Schiller confirmed that the iPhone 5 has a 4" display, with a resolution of 1136x640. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is the same width as a 4S, but it's taller. To accommodate older apps, they either center the app or add black bars to make it look right. The new device also has LTE support. Tim Cook spoke earlier about the iPad, making some interesting claims: "Yes, we are in a post-PC world." He also claimed 68% tablet market share for the iPad, and says iPads account for 91% of tablet-based web traffic. The event is continuing, and we'll update this post as further announcements appear. A real-time liveblog is being quickly updated at Ars Technica. Update: 09/12 18:16 GMT by S : Further details below.
Government

DHS Eyes Covert Body Scans 386

CWmike writes "Documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) suggest that the US Department of Homeland Security has signed contracts for the development of mobile and static systems that can be used scan pedestrians and people at rail and bus stations and special event venues — apparently at times without their knowledge. Under consideration: An Intelligent Pedestrian Surveillance platform; an X-Ray Backscatter system that could detect concealed metallic and high-density plastic objects on people from up to 10 meters away; a walk-through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest, which could be installed in corridors and likely scan people walking through it without them knowing it, EPIC said."
Math

Gosper's Algorithm Meets Wall Street Formulas 124

peter.hill.1980 writes "Wall Street's money making formulas need to be as explicit as possible for efficiency purposes. An old, existing and famous formula — binomial options pricing formula — has now been scrutinized for theoretical optimality in a forthcoming paper by Evangelos Georgiadis of MIT using Gosper's Algorithm, proving that no general explicit or closed form expression exists for pricing."
Technology

The Beginnings of Apple Computer 181

John Burek points out an article written by Stan Veit, former editor-in-chief of Computer Shopper magazine, and one of the first retailers to deal with the fledgling Apple Computer in the late 1970s. Veit describes his introduction to the Apple I and his early interactions with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as they developed their early models. Quoting: "After Woz hooked his haywire rig up to the living-room TV, he turned it on, and there on the screen I saw a crude Breakout game in full color! Now I was really amazed. This was much better than the crude color graphics from the Cromemco Dazzler. ... 'How do you like that?' said Jobs, smiling. 'We're going to dump the Apple I and only work on the Apple II.' 'Steve,' I said, 'if you do that you will never sell another computer. You promised BASIC for the Apple I, and most dealers haven't sold the boards they bought from you. If you come out with an improved Model II they will be stuck. Put it on the back burner until you deliver on your promises.'"

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