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SPACE

Brown Dwarf Star Is as Cool as They Come

A brown dwarf is A) a tepid spot of tea; B) a tiny cup of java; or C) a star with so little energy its temperature isn't much different from a cup of coffee or tea. The correct answer -- C -- describes a newly discovered, lukewarm star about 75 light years -- 709,539,630,000,000 kilometers or 440,88...

Beyond Mobile: A Computer the Size of a Grain of Sand

When so-called "minicomputers" first appeared in the 1970s, they supplanted mainframes on a scale of size and cost expressed by Bell's Law, which holds that a new class of smaller, cheaper computers comes along roughly every 10 years. Personal computers, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets followed,...

FireFox 4 Lets Fly With New Speed, Privacy Features

Its logo depicting a wily flame-colored fox encircling the globe suggests that nonprofit Mozilla aims to set the world on fire with every new version of its free, open source Web browser Firefox, released in its fourth incarnation Tuesday. Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and Maemo, F...

The Chinese Government’s Gremlins in Google’s Works

Friendly to capitalism but unfriendly to democracy, the Chinese government is cracking down on that great engine of information democratization, Google, the Internet search giant claims. Complaints that Google's Gmail email system hasn't been performing up to speed in China prompted Google to level ...

Hotshot Maneuver Propels Messenger Into Mercury’s Orbit

In a first-time ever maneuver, NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging space probe -- aka "Messenger" -- entered Mercury's orbit Thursday. The sun's closest planetary ne...

‘Smart Bed’ Could Give Patients a Lift When They Need It

"Smart" computerized hospital beds may become a standard of care if negotiations between John LaCourse -- professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Hampshire -- and hospital bed manufacturers bear fruit. An algorithm LaCourse invented progr...

Japan Aftershock Could Derail US Nuclear Energy Plans

Radiation levels soar after 3rd nuke explosion. Japan radiation leaking 'directly' into air. "Radiation plume could reach capital by nightfall. Panicked residents start to flee. Japan's post-earthquake/tsunami headlines have certainly been grave. But whether or not the nation is staring do...

Jittery Notes From Tokyo – One IT Manager’s Earthquake Experience

From the 39th floor of a new office building in downtown Tokyo, Appirio cloud computing's director of Japanese operations Jason Park shared with TechNewsWorld his harrowing, moment-by-moment account of Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake, a mere 150 miles away from the temblor epicenter. Park and col...

Chrome 10: More About Speed Than Security

Search giant Google released its latest Chrome browser Thursday with less emphasis on security, instead touting the new version's increased speed and JavaScript performance. "With today's stable release, even your most complex Web apps will run more quickly and responsively in the browser," Google s...

HP: You Get WebOS, You Get WebOS – Every PC Gets WebOS

Mobile is getting grounded, HP CEO Leo Apotheker has announced. In 2012, HP will include the mobile operating system it purchased with Palm in 2009, webOS, on every PC it ships, along with the latest version of stationary computing standard Microsoft Windows. HP seeks to expand the webOS platform's ...

To Mars, Europa and Beyond – Budget Permitting

The National Research Council is recommending planetary science missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide important new clues about our solar system. After sorting out budget issues, five expert panels selected research priorities through a rigorous review that included input from planeta...

‘Alien Life’ Claim Hampered by Journal’s Dubious Reputation

A controversial, game-changing claim published in a journal with a reputation some consider sketchy has the scientific community both praising and damning the reported discovery: fossils of bacteria embedded in meteorites from outer space. "Scanning Electron Microscopy investigations of the interna...

Pesky Nose-Cone Problem Downs NASA’s Glory Satellite

A second high-profile failure in two days has helped make a bona-fide rough week for NASA. The U.S. space agency's Glory atmospheric research mission satellite crashed into the Pacific Ocean Friday, one day after a faulty o-ring caused a space suit leak on board the Shuttle Discovery. A so-called "...

Air Force Tight-Lipped About Unmanned ‘Mini Shuttle’ Mission

A U.S. Air Force space vehicle called the "X-37B" that caused "conniptions among Chinese space bloggers" during its first mission last year, according to Heritage Foundation Chinese political and security affairs research fellow Dean Cheng, is being prepared for its second mission launch on Friday. ...

Spacewalkers Take O-Ring Glitch in Stride

Faulty seals are NASA nemeses, bringing down the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, delaying the Shuttle Discovery's launch late last year, and now hampering the space walking abilities of Shuttle Discovery astronaut Steve Bowen, whose space suit experienced a minor leak just before he set out to cir...

Newest Computer Controller: Your Eyes

Aptly named Tobii Technology -- spelled with not one, but two "i's" -- unveiled the world's first eye-controlled laptop at CeBIT Tuesday.Developed with computer manufacturer Lenovo, the laptop uses Tobii's eye-tracking technology to enhance interaction at a glance. Eyeing points on the screen rele...

SocialEyes Lets Facebook Friends Chat Hollywood Squares-Style

Rob Glaser -- founder, chair and former CEO of RealNetworks -- hopes all eyes will soon be on an app developed by his new company, SocialEyes, which is designed to bring video chat to Facebook. Like all social media services, SocialEyes can be used both publicly, for groups organized around common ...

Discovery Blazes One Last Trail

Just shy of 40 successful space journeys, the NASA shuttle Discovery headed to the International Space Station Thursday on a final mission that followed repair problems and bad weather. Known as "STS-133," Discovery's last voyage will take 11 days. The shuttle is delivering a variety of parts and mo...

The Anti-Laser’s Light-Swallowing Act

Lasers amplify light. The name itself is an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." It's only natural then that the world's first anti-laser cancels light, and could spark applications in optical supercomputing and radiation oncology. "Our device is a laser that works ...

Kinect SDK Could Open New Worlds for Motion-Controlled Interfaces

Science fiction enthusiasts could probably connect over plans Microsoft announced Monday for Kinect, the company's interactive gaming add-on for the Xbox 360. A software developers kit is on the way, Microsoft representatives told journalists at a sneak-peek event that featured a Kinect digital ren...

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