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Submission + - Software upgrade at 655 million kilometers (

An anonymous reader writes: The Rosetta probe was launched in 2004 with a mission that required incredible planning and precision: land on a comet. After a decade in space, the woke from hibernation in January. Now, Rosetta has spotted its target. 'Rosetta is currently around 5 million kilometres from the comet, and at this distance it is still too far away to resolve – its light is seen in less than a pixel and required a series of 60–300 second exposures taken with the wide-angle and narrow-angle camera. The data then travelled 37 minutes through space to reach Earth, with the download taking about an hour per image.' Now it's time to upgrade the probe's software. Since it's currently 655,000,000 kilometers from Earth, the operation needs to be flawless. 'When MIDAS is first powered up, it boots into "kernel mode" – the kernel manages a very robust set of basic operations for communicating with the spacecraft and the ground and for managing the more complex main program. From kernel mode we can upload patches to the main software, verify the current contents, or even load an entirely new version.' The Rosetta blog is coninually being updated with progress on the mission, and the Planetary Society has more information as well. The probe will arrived at the comet in August, and will attempt landing in November.

Submission + - First spy satellite photo

fmfnet writes: "The first spy satellite photo was taken on august 18, 1960 by Discoverer 14, from the CORONA project. This photo is an image of the Mys Schmitda airfield, a russian militar base. Here you can see this first image and compare it with an actual view taken from Google Maps. As you can see, satellite photograph made an impressive leap since 1960 until today

CORONA program operated from 1959 to 1972, with 145 satellites launched with more than 800,000 photographs taken. Firsts satellites had a 8 meters per pixels resolution, but improved to 2 meters per pixels resolution.

The CORONA satellites had a 9,600 meters of 70mm film to take photos. When the film was full, it was send to earth on a return capsule to be recovered with a plane."

Submission + - UW Researchers make small, drinkable camera (

Anonymous Coward writes: "University of Washington scientists are developing a very small camera for internal imaging, similar to a normal endoscope, but much smaller: "The scanning endoscope developed at the UW is fundamentally different. It consists of just a single optical fiber for illumination and six fibers for collecting light, all encased in a pill. Seibel acted as the human volunteer in the first test of the UW device. He reports that it felt like swallowing a regular pill, and the tether, which is 1.4 mm wide, did not bother him. Once swallowed, an electric current flowing through the UW endoscope causes the fiber to bounce back and forth so that its lone electronic eye sees the whole scene, one pixel at a time. At the same time the fiber spins and its tip projects red, green and blue laser light. The image processing then combines all this information to create a two-dimensional color picture. ""

Submission + - 12 V Linux computer for ham radio

Geber writes: I want a low power computer that will run from the 12 volts found in a car. The application is ham radio. I want a computer that achieves low power by using a low clock speed, rather than by hybernating, because I want it to respond quickly to incoming data from the radio. It should run some version of Linux. Suggestions?

Submission + - Oldest host on the Internet? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I was wondering what the oldest IPv4 host is on the Internet. Anyone know of computers that have been on the Net since the early 80s when IPv4 was introduced?

Submission + - Skip to the front of the airport security line

An anonymous reader writes: You have the right to fly without ID within the US. It's been widely reported before that attempting to fly without ID can actually be faster than following all the rules at the airport. The reason being that they will bump you to the front of the security line. However, TSA agents often do not know their own rules, and thus passengers have been told no such right exists, while others have had airport police threaten them with arrest unless they produced a drivers license. To the delight of activist passengers everywhere, TSA has finally clarified the rules, and provided written proof of every passenger's right to decline to show ID — and yet still board their flight. Print it out and take it with you the next time you fly. CNET has more on the story....

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