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Google

Google Preparing iPad Rival? 397

dazedNconfuzed noted an update in the ongoing rumor train about the Google iPad Competitor. It would be based on Android (not ChromeOS) and supposedly Eric Schmidt was telling people about it at a party in LA recently. If any Googlers want to leak me s3cr3t information, I promise anonymity, though without an actual product, price or date it's tough to get really excited. But the iPad clearly has significant limitations that someone else can capitalize on.
Google

Losing Google Would Hit Chinese Science Hard 161

An anonymous reader writes to share recent statements by Chinese scientists that indicate troubled waters ahead if Google were to pull out of China. "More than three-quarters of scientists in China use the search engine Google as a primary research tool and say their work would be significantly hampered if they were to lose it, a survey showed on Wednesday. In the survey, 84 percent said losing Google would 'somewhat or significantly' hamper their research and 78 percent said international collaborations would be affected. 'Research without Google would be like life without electricity,' one Chinese scientist said in the survey, which asked more than 700 scientists for their views."
Math

Key Letter By Descartes Found After 170 Years 165

Schiphol writes of a long-lost letter by René Descartes to Marin Mersenne that has come to light at Haverford College, in Pennsylvania, where it had lain buried in the archives for more than a century. The discovery could revolutionize our view of one of the 17th-century French philosopher's major works. "[T]housands of treasured documents... vanished from the Institut de France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them were 72 letters by René Descartes... Now one of those purloined letters has turned up at a small private college in eastern Pennsylvania... The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of Meditations on First Philosophy, a celebrated work whose use of reason and scientific methods helped to ignite a revolution in thought."
Databases

Researchers Create Database-Hadoop Hybrid 122

ericatcw writes "'NoSQL' alternatives such as Hadoop and MapReduce may be uber-cheap and scalable, but they remain slower and clumsier to use than relational databases, say some. Now, researchers at Yale University have created a database-Hadoop hybrid that they say offers the best of both worlds: fast performance and the ability to scale out near-indefinitely. HadoopDB was built using PostGreSQL, though MySQL has also successfully been swapped in, according to Yale computer science professor Daniel Abadi, whose students built this prototype."

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