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Space

Submission + - The nearest supernova candidate to Earth - IK Peg (discovermagazine.com)

The Bad Astronomer writes: "What's the nearest star to Earth that can explode as a supernova? Spica, at 260 light years away, is the nearest massive star that can explode, but IK Pegasi — a Sirius-like binary composed of a normal star and a white dwarf — will also one day blow. At a distance of 150 light years it's truly the closest supernova candidate. Happily, that's too far away to damage the Earth when it goes off — and it won't explode for millions of years at least, by which time it'll be even farther away. Either way, we're safe... for now."
Software

Submission + - Wozniak's Original System Description of the Apple ][ (informationweek.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "Opening with the line, "To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and inexpensive." Stephen Wozniak gave his system description of the Apple-II in the May, 1977 issue of BYTE.
It's instructive to read what was worth bragging about back then, such as integral graphics, "A key part of the Apple-II design is an integral video display generator which diectly accesses the system's programmable memory. Screen formatting and cursor controls are realized in my design in the form of about 200 bytes of read only memory."
And it shows what the limitations were in those days, "While writing Apple BASIC, I ran into the problem of manipulating the 16 bit pointer data and its arithmetic in an 8 bit machine.
My solution to this problem of handling 16 bit data, notably pointers, with an 8 bit microprocessor was to implement a nonexistent 16 bit processor in software, interpreter fashion.""

Earth

Submission + - Apple Makes North Carolina Data Centre 100 Percent Renewable (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "Stung by continued criticism from Greenpeace and protests at Apple's headquartersover its use of electricity from non-renewable sources, Apple has promised that its data centre in Maiden, North Carolina will use 100 percent renewable electricity,, 60 percent of it generated by Apple itself. The update is possible because it is building a second giant solar array, and because its data centre only needs 20MW at full capacity, instead of the 100MW which Greenpeace had estimated."
HP

Submission + - Round of massive job-cutting expected at HP (bloomberg.com)

vencs writes: HP is considering cutting as many as 25,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs and help the company contend with ebbing demand for computers and services, people briefed on the plans said.
The number to be cut includes 10,000 to 15,000 from Hewlett-Packard’s enterprise services group, which sells a range of information-technology services and has been beset by declining profitability, said these people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t final and may change.

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