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NASA To Test Laser Communications System

April 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
NASA To Test Laser Communications System

The SpaceX cargo spacecraft, which transport equipment needed for astronauts on the International Space Station to test optical laser communications, has big plans to test out the new concept. The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft’s scheduled launch last week was scrubbed because of a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry it aloft. Optical laser communications, also dubbed lasercom, is one of the emerging technologies that NASA is focused on trying out. With lasercom, data is transmitted... 

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AMD Not Chasing The Sub-$100 Tablet Market

April 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
AMD Not Chasing The Sub-$100 Tablet Market

Advanced Micro Devices doesn’t want its processors in low-end tablets, and is eager to avoid a battle with Intel or ARM, whose chips have driven tablet prices down to under $100. Growth in the tablet market is driven by low-end devices and Android, but AMD’s tablet strategy is driven by Windows and high-performance machines. So AMD’s avoidance of the low end of the market narrows options for people looking for name-brand chips in low-price machines. AMD chips are in just a handful... 

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Will Plastic Replace Silicon In Computers?

April 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
Will Plastic Replace Silicon In Computers?

Can plastic materials morph into computers? A research breakthrough recently published brings such a possibility closer to reality. Researchers are looking at the possibility of making low-power, flexible and inexpensive computers out of plastic materials. Plastic is not normally a good conductive material. However, researchers said this week that they have solved a problem related to reading data. The research, which involved converting electricity from magnetic film to optics so data could be read... 

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Dell And Red Hat Join Forces In The Cloud

April 21, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Dell And Red Hat Join Forces In The Cloud

The Dell Red Hat Cloud solution, a co-engineered, enterprise grade private cloud, was unveiled at the Red Hat Summit on Thursday. The Openstack-based service also includes an extension of the Red Hat partnership into the Dell Openshift Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Linux Container products. Dell and Redhat said their cloud partnership is intended to “address enterprise customer demand for more flexible, elastic and dynamic IT services to support and host non-business critical applications”. The... 

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MIT Wants To Go Nuclear On The Ocean

April 21, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
MIT Wants To Go Nuclear On The Ocean

It used to be that silly thinks were designed by arts school graduates, but now it appears that engineers are having a crack at it. MIT have come up with what they think is a brilliant idea to stick a nuclear power plant on the ocean. The cunning plan is to build a plant on a floating platform, moored in deep water several miles off the coast. They claim that it will be virtually immune to earthquakes, tsunamis and meltdowns. In deep water, tsunami waves aren’t large enough to cause significant... 

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Did Kepler Find Earth’s Twin?

April 21, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Did Kepler Find Earth’s Twin?

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope has just spotted Earth’s cousin. Its next big find may be Earth’s twin. On Thursday (April 17), astronomers announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, the first Earth-size alien planet ever found in its host star’s “habitable zone” — that just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water, and perhaps life, to exist on a world’s surface. While the discovery is a watershed moment, Kepler-186f still falls... 

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Oracle Identifies Its Products Affected By Heartbleed, But No Estimates On Fixes

April 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Oracle Identifies Its Products Affected By Heartbleed, But No Estimates On Fixes

Oracle issued a comprehensive list of its software that may or may not be impacted by the OpenSSL (secure sockets layer) vulnerability known as Heartbleed, while warning that no fixes are yet available for some likely affected products. The list includes well over 100 products that appear to be in the clear, either because they never used the version of OpenSSL reported to be vulnerable to Heartbleed, or because they don’t use OpenSSL at all. However, Oracle is still investigating whether... 

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Lavaboom Offers New Encrypted Webmail Service

April 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Lavaboom Offers New Encrypted Webmail Service

A new webmail service named Lavaboom promises to provide easy-to-use email encryption without ever learning its users’ private encryption keys or message contents. Lavaboom, based in Germany and founded by Felix MA1/4ller-Irion, is named after Lavabit, the now defunct encrypted email provider believed to have been used by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Lavabit decided to shut down its operations in August in response to a U.S. government request for its SSL private key that would have... 

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AT&T To Offer Smartwatches This Year

April 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
AT&T To Offer Smartwatches This Year

Smartwatches for use on AT&T’s network will be out this year, so says one of the company’s executives. “I think you’ll see wide-area, high-bandwidth [smart]watches this year at some point,” said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T, in an interview. The company has a group working in Austin, Texas, on thousands of wearable-device prototypes, and is also looking at certifying third-party devices for use on its network, Lurie said. “A majority... 

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Ubuntu Goes 64-bit On ARM

April 18, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Ubuntu Goes 64-bit On ARM

Canonical has announced its latest milestone server release, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. The company, which is better known for its open source Ubuntu Linux desktop operating system, has been supplying a server flavor of Ubuntu since 2006 that is being used by Netflix and Snapchat. Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) claims to be the most interoperable Openstack implementation, designed to run across multiple environments using Icehouse, the latest iteration of Openstack. Canonical product manager Mark Baker... 

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Does Samsung Fingerprint Sensor Work?

April 18, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Does Samsung Fingerprint Sensor Work?

Security experts from from Germany’s Security Research Labs have broken into Samsung’s fingerprint technology by taking a fingerprint smudge from the smartphone and creating a “wood glue dummy” finger with it. Apparently the S5 falls for the fault every time. The problem is because the scanner has such a high trust rating within the phone, it will also mean that any thief will have access to the owners PayPal account. Neither of these actions require an additional password to... 

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Did Mercury Experience Volcanism?

April 18, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Did Mercury Experience Volcanism?

Explosive volcanic eruptions apparently shaped Mercury’s surface for billions of years — a surprising finding, given that until recently scientists had thought the phenomenon was impossible on the sun-scorched planet. This discovery could shed new light on the origins of Mercury, investigators added. On Earth, explosive volcanic eruptions can lead to catastrophic damage, such as when Mount St. Helens detonated in 1980 in the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S.... 

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Intel Looks To Android To Boost Tablet Business

April 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Intel Looks To Android To Boost Tablet Business

Its becoming more obvious lately that Intel and Microsoft are no longer joined at the hip. Intel is trying desperately to make a dent in the tablet market, and with Windows struggling on those devices, Android is where it’s at. Intel hopes to see its processors used in 40 million tablets this year, and 80% to 90% of those will be running Google’s Android OS, CEO Brian Krzanich said on Tuesday. “Our mix of OSes reflects pretty much what you see in the marketplace,” Krzanich... 

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Google Glass One Day Sale Proves Successful

April 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google Glass One Day Sale Proves Successful

Google’s one-day sale of Google Glass appears to have been a success with all units sold out, a blog post by the technology titan suggests. “All spots in the Explorer Program have been claimed for now, but if you missed it this time, don’t worry,” the Google Glass team wrote on its blog on Wednesday. “We’ll be trying new ways to expand the Explorer program in the future.” Google did not respond to a request for more information, but an earlier post about... 

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Red Hat Goes Atomic

April 17, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Red Hat Goes Atomic

The Red Hat Summit kicked off in San Francisco on Tuesday, and continued today with a raft of announcements. Red Hat launched a new fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the title “Atomic Host”. The new version is stripped down to enable lightweight deployment of software containers. Although the mainline edition also support software containers, this lightweight version improves portability. This is part of a wider Red Hat initiative, Project Atomic, which also sees virtualisation... 

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