littlesparkvt writes: The only success that the Venera had was a gas chromatograph , which measure the composition of the Venus atmosphere, as well as instruments to study scattered solar radiation. These instruments sent back an amazing detail though, Venus has evidence of lightning and thunder and also the discovery of carbon monoxide at low altitudes.
dotarray writes: Gaming is big business says Valve, as the developer takes the time to show off its brand new gaming headset and TV-based Big Picture. Rather than inviting the games media masses who have been clamouring for any details on the Seattle company's "wearable computing" initiative, Gabe Newell and his team instead went right to the top, with an in-depth interview published in The New York Times.
InPursuitOfTruth writes: Shortly after we began celebrating the victory of the cybersecurity bill failing in the senate, those tasked with the tough job of finding novel ways around our Bill of Rights protections suggested the creation of an executive order to overcome the ridiculous limitations of democracy. In order to ensure that companies have the opportunity to "volunteer" their customers' private information over to the government without having to inform or obtain the consent of the people themselves, or having to worry about being sued by the people or prosecuted by a theoretical future government that protects the people's rights, the White House is circulating a draft of executive order on cybersecurity.
MrSeb writes: "In the past week, both AMD and Intel have given us a tantalizing peek at their next-generation neuromorphic (brain-like) computer chips. These chips, it is hoped, will provide brain-like performance (i.e. processing power and massive parallelism way beyond current CPUs) while consuming minimal amounts of power. First, AMD last week announced that its future APUs will feature ARM Cortex cores, first to implement TrustZone (ARM Holdings' hardware DRM/security chip), but then eventually as part of a proper x86-ARM-GPU heterogeneous system architecture (HSA). It isn’t too crazy to think that a future AMD (or Texas Instruments) chip might have a few GPU cores, a few x86 CPU cores, and thousands of tiny ARM cores, all working in perfect, parallel, neuromorphic harmony — as long as the software toolchain is good enough that you don’t have to be some kind of autist to use all of those resources efficiently. Intel, on the other hand, today unveiled a neuromorphic chip design based on multi-input lateral spin valves (LSV) and memristors. LSVs are microscopic magnets that change their magnetism to match the spin of electrons being passed through them (spintronics). Memristors are electronic components that increase their resistance as electricity passes through them one way, and reduce their resistance when electricity flows in the opposite direction — and when no power flows, the memristor remembers its last resistance value (meaning it can store data). Unlike state-of-the-art CMOS transistors that require volts to switch on and off, the LSV neurons only require a handful of electrons to change their orientation, which equates to 20 millivolts. For some applications, Intel thinks its neuromorphic chip could be up to 300 times more energy efficient than the CMOS equivalent."
zacharye writes: Rumors and speculation have been flying since Microsoft announced last week that it was hosting a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, and that might be exactly what the Redmond-based company was hoping for. Early well-sourced reports indicated that a Microsoft-branded tablet is on tap for the event, and a number of subsequent reports have said much of the same. TechCrunch later reported that we should expect a Barnes & Noble collaboration, but B&N squashed that rumor relatively quickly. Next up from the rumor mill? An “Xbox Surface” tablet with a 7-inch display, an ARM based TI processor, full HD 1080p-output and a 28-nanometer AMD graphics processor...
Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Governments are sticking their noses into Google's servers more than ever before. In the second half of 2011, Google received 6,321 requests that it hand over its users’ private data to U.S. government agencies including law enforcement, and complied at least partially with those requests in 93% of cases, according to the latest update to the company’s bi-annual Transparency Report.
That’s up from 5,950 requests in the first half of 2011, and marks a 37% increase in the number of requests over the same period the year before. Compared with the second half of 2009, the first time Google released the government request numbers, the latest figures represent a 76% spike. Data demands from foreign governments have increased even more quickly than those from the U.S., up to 11,936 in the second half of 2011 compared with 9,600 in the same period the year before, though Google was much less likely to comply with those non-U.S. government requests.
LoTonah writes: Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore Business Machines and later, the owner of Atari, died Easter Sunday. He was 83. He undoubtedly changed the computing landscape by bringing low cost computers to millions of people, and he started a price war that saw dozens of large companies leave the market. He also took a bankrupt Atari and managed to wring almost another decade out of it. The 6502 microprocessor would have withered on the vine if it weren't for Tramiel's support. Could anyone else have done all of that?
NIN1385 writes: "Google is stepping up it's efforts to keep bad policies from affecting the way we all use and communicate on the internet. Monday they sent an email to all the Google users that helped participate in the stand against SOPA and PIPA through their call to action."
jjp9999 writes: Anyone who ever weaved an epic tale with a tabletop RPG should appreciate a new project to create a Web-based collective story-telling game by U.K. game developer Simon Fox. The game is played by two or more people, the Narrator and the Hero. The game could be the tabletop RPG crowd’s answer to MMORPG movement, taking the art of storytelling to the Web. The Narrator works like the DM and lays out the story, while the the Hero plays out the story—and they have a written book when they’re done playing.
smitty777 writes: Rebecca Haines was stopped at McCarran International Airport for attempting to carry two cupcakes on board an airliner, while seeming to overlook a sword on a different flight. Meanwhile, CNJ Online is reporting on the expanding responsibility of this agency beyond airports to include subways, buses and other forms of transportation. FTA: "“TSA teams are increasingly conducting searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and other mass-transit locations around the country,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Ray Dineen, the air marshal in charge of the TSA office in Charlotte, N.C., told the paper, “We are not the Airport Security Administration. We take that transportation part seriously.”" Hopefully, they will avoid some of these unusual events when they do.
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The high stakes standoff between Iran and the US over the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil, escalated this week as Iran's navy claimed to have recorded video of a US aircraft carrier entering the Port of Oman and the deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami rejected US claims that it could prevent Iran from closing the strait. To drive the point home, Iran has started a 10-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to show off how it could use small speedboats and a barrage of missiles to combat America's naval armada while in a report for the Naval War College, US Navy Commander Daniel Dolan wrote that Iran has acquired “thousands of sea mines, wake homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles (PDF) and possibly more than one thousand small Fast Attack Craft and Fast Inshore Attack Craft. The heart of the Iran's arsenal is its 200 small potential-suicide boats — fiberglass motorboats with a heavy machine gun, a multiple rocket-launcher, or a mine — and may also carry heavy explosives, rigged to ram and blow a hole in the hull of a larger ship. These boats will likely employ a strategy of “swarming”—coming out of nowhere to ambush merchant convoys and American warships in narrow shipping lanes. But the US Navy is not defenseless against kamikaze warfare. The US has put more machine guns and 25-millimeter gyro-stabilized guns on the decks of warships, modified the 5-inch gun to make it more capable of dealing with high-speed boats, and improved the sensor suit of the Aegis computer-integrated combat system aboard destroyers and cruisers. “We have been preparing for it for a number of years with changes in training and equipment,” says Vice Admiral (ret.) Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command."
Roblimo writes: "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone."