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In the Lap of Luxury: Tesla's All-Electric Model S
June 21, 2012
This summer, Tesla is rolling out its luxury electric car, the Model S, amid much acclaim. "The design and efficiency of the Model S are unparalleled," said electric vehicle consultant Shannon Arvizu. "It's a stunningly beautiful car that is incredibly affordable to operate and has 'oh-my-god' wow performance. It's everything you could ever want in a luxury vehicle."
Machine Speak: Robot Baby Learns Words
June 19, 2012
It's a cute little robot learning how to say "green" and "blue." And as part of a major project undertaken by robotics researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, it's also promising to transform perceptions of how robots -- and humans -- learn language. DeeChee, which is built to look, act and learn like a 6-to-14-month-old child, is the subject of a new research report.
Scientists Split Atom, Then Put It Back Together
June 15, 2012
Mention the words, "splitting the atom," and most people will automatically think of nuclear fission, bombs and radioactivity. Recently, however, physicists at Germany's University of Bonn not only managed to "split" an atom but also put it back together again.
Living Nanomachines Show Researchers the Ropes
June 13, 2012
Nanomachines are, simply, very small machines, and the goal of medical nanotechnologists is to create these tiny machines in order to treat diseases at the molecular level. The body, however, already has plenty of its own nanomachines in the form of proteins that assemble themselves to transform their environment.
Corning's Willow Glass Moves Ahead of the Curve
June 5, 2012
Corning unveiled a new flexible glass -- called "Willow Glass" -- at the Society for Information Display's Boston Display Week on Monday. It's about as thick and flexible as a piece of paper, while having the strength, durability and other qualities of existing glass. Willow Glass can be made as thin as 0.05mm, which is far thinner than the current 0.2mm or 0.5mm display glass.
From Venus With Love: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Celestial Show
June 5, 2012
The planet Venus will create a rare spectacle on Tuesday when it passes directly in front of our sun, creating an image for viewers on Earth that won't be repeated until the year 2117. Known as "the 2012 Transit of Venus," the nearly seven-hour journey will begin at 3:09 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (22:09 UT) Tuesday and will be widely visible around the globe.
SpaceX Chalks Up Giant Leap for Commercial Space Travel
May 25, 2012
The Dragon was caught by its tail on Friday. The unmanned SpaceX spacecraft, which launched into orbit earlier this week, has successfully docked with the International Space Station, marking a first for a cargo-carrying private spacecraft. The docking was assisted with the station's 58-foot robotic arm controlled by astronaut Don Pettit.
Java Jurors Douse Oracle's Hopes
May 24, 2012
Executives at Google no doubt are heaving signs of relief at the outcome of the latest -- and possibly last -- phase of the Java copyright and patent trial: The jury unanimously found that Google did not infringe Oracle's patents. U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is presiding over the trial in the U.S.District Court of Northern California, dismissed the jury after the verdict was read.
Plenty of Nail-Biting Moments Ahead for SpaceX Mission
May 23, 2012
After last weekend's delayed launch, the Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX blasted off Tuesday, carrying the unmanned Dragon capsule into low-Earth orbit.While the launch itself could have been considered breathtaking, there will be more "hold your breath" moments ahead. The next one will come on Thursday when the craft is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station.
Leap Aims to Put a Whole New World in Your Hands
May 22, 2012
Leap Motion released its new Leap motion control system for pre-order on Monday, with shipment promised in early 2013. The $69.99 Leap is 200 times more sensitive than any similar existing technology and allows for a variety of natural and intuitive 3D motion controls. Leap Motion is shipping out developer kits as well, and the technology could soon be incorporated in a variety of gaming, graphic design, robotics and other software and computing systems.
SpaceX Dragon to Soar to Launch History on Falcon's Wings
May 18, 2012
When the SpaceX Dragon capsule blasts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop the company's Falcon rocket Saturday morning, it will be doing more than just setting off on another cargo-laden trip to the International Space Station. Rather, as the very first commercial attempt ever to fly to the ISS, this test launch will be making history.
Iron-Eating Bacteria: Coming Soon to a Hard Drive Near You?
May 15, 2012
Today's hard drives may be smaller, faster, cheaper and more capacious than their predecessors, but the need for ever-tinier components is making it difficult to keep improving them. Therein lies at least part of the motivation behind biocomputing -- in which microscopic biological molecules are being recruited to play a role -- and recently scientists have identified a fresh new possibility in this area.
Cofounder's Renunciation of US Citizenship Unlikely to Hurt Facebook IPO
May 14, 2012
Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin, a Brazilian native who is currently a resident of Singapore, has given up his U.S. citizenship. The widely-held assumption is that Saverin wanted to escape the tax liability he would assume from the Facebook initial public offering, expected as early as this week, by becoming a citizen of Singapore.
Pulling a Zuckerberg, or How to Kill a $100B IPO
May 14, 2012
Last week was rather quiet except for the increasing drama surrounding Facebook and what was to be their $100B IPO. It could still be, but thanks to its young, inexperienced, and clearly still-maturing CEO, it found itself digging out of an avoidable hole. Its experienced executive team was by all reports doing a terrific job until Zuckerberg decided to show up at an IPO pitch in a hoodie.
Under Zuckerberg's Hoodie
May 11, 2012
The Facebook IPO roadshow -- a crucial time for the company -- is well under way, and the company's CEO has been in the spotlight. It was no doubt expected that Mark Zuckerberg would ditch his trademark hoodie for attire more befitting the circumstances, but no. At the few events Zuckerberg has attended, including the launch event in New York, he has sported the hoodie.
That Nasty, Lying Anonymous Internet Post Could Cost $13.78 Million
May 9, 2012
Many people believe they can say what they want on the Internet as long as they use a pseudonym. After all, it is easy to set up an account using an anonymous alter ego. In addition to believing they can post whatever they want, they may also think they are protected by the First Amendment. They may think freedom of speech has no limits, and that even when vicious lies are posted, that anonymity will shield them from liability.
Who's Afraid of a Big Bad Hacking Story?
May 7, 2012
It's been a cheerily good spring for FOSS fans here in the Linux blogosphere, so we may perhaps be forgiven for our utter shock and disbelief at the affront recently committed against us by a certain brick-and-mortar purveyor of books and magazines. Barnes & Noble yanked the very excellent Linux Format magazine from its U.S. shelves -- apparently because of a cover story on the topic of "hacking."
There's a Supermoon Rising on Saturday
May 3, 2012
It may have been a "bad moon" rising in the famous 1969 song by CCR, but this weekend's full moon could well inspire predictions for trouble of a similar kind. That's because it's this year's "supermoon" -- the full moon that occurs when the moon is closest to Earth -- and supermoons are often believed to wreak even more havoc on our planet than ordinary full moons do.
Asteroid Miners May Set the Stage for Space Colonization
April 24, 2012
On Tuesday, the founders of Planetary Resources held a press conference at the Museum of Flight in Seattle to announce a new megamillion-dollar plan to use commercially built robotic ships to travel to the asteroid belt to mine for valuable minerals including platinum and gold. "As we move beyond the bounds of Earth to a universe that is full of resources, we can finally bring those materials back to Earth," said speaker Peter Diamandis, cofounder of Planetary Resources.
Demo 2012: Looking for the Next Google, Facebook or Apple
April 23, 2012
Demo is a fascinating show. What you see is a string of companies that each have six minutes to pitch their products to an audience of media, investors, other companies (who might buy them), and peers. My initial thought is that my friend Carmine Gallo, who wrote The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and teaches people how to present, could make a living helping these folks present properly.
Microsoft Open Technologies: Same Old, Same Old?
April 19, 2012
Well the shock had barely worn off from the recent news that Microsoft is among the Linux kernel's biggest contributors when another mind-bending announcement was made on a closely related theme. The development this time? None other than Microsoft's declaration last week that it was creating a wholly owned subsidiary devoted to forging closer ties with the open source community. Is it a dream? A nightmare?
Oracle, Google Fisticuffs Begin in Earnest
April 16, 2012
While it won't likely go down as the "trial of the century," the legal showdown between Oracle and Google that began in San Francisco federal court on Monday could still be quite significant. The case has already been characterized as "the World Series of IP cases" by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is presiding over the trial.
Who Cares About Software Freedom?
April 12, 2012
Well it's been a disconcerting kind of week here in the Linux blogosphere, not least because of all the darn construction going on down at the Google+ Grill. First it was the hammering giving Linux Girl a headache. Then, on Wednesday, she walked in after lunch and could barely recognize the place. What is this interface sorcery, she wants to know?
How and Why Did 'Kony 2012' Go Viral Overnight?
April 11, 2012
By now, you've seen the "Kony 2012" video, or at least heard of it, and you've heard the criticisms. And whether you are a supporter or a detractor, you likely think the story's done, a passing fad lost already to shortened news cycles, fickle Twitter trends, and Facebook app archives. But that is not the case. Whether the newest chapters to the "Kony 2012" story will vindicate the effort remains to be seen.
What's New in the Electric Car Boutiques
April 3, 2012
In 2003, a group of engineers got together in Menlo Park, Calif., and began developing an all-new electric vehicle -- what would become the world's first highway-capable electric car. "[They] wanted to show the world that electric vehicles could be awesome," said Khobi Brooklyn, a spokesperson for the company they formed, Tesla Motors.
An Analyst's Ad Hominem Hell
April 2, 2012
I clearly hit a nerve last week when I compared Meg Whitman's moves at HP to Tim Cook's at Apple. I do sincerely think Tim Cook was set up to fail. Steve Jobs didn't hire Cook to replace him -- he hired him to do the jobs he didn't want to do. This is why a lot of great companies slide. The existing CEOs see replacement candidates as rivals, so they make sure they don't have the skills or otherwise can't do the CEO's job.
How to Overclock a CPU: Getting Started
March 29, 2012
Overclocking a CPU sounds seductive, right? Adjust a few settings on your phone or tablet, and the device goes faster. Games play without laborious, stuttering, forced slow-motion effects, and everything loads quicker. Well, like everything in life, these adjustments involve a tradeoff. Just as there are risks in taking your car out for a rural run and heavy-footing it, there are implications for a CPU speedup.
Driving Into the Future: Autonomous Cars
March 27, 2012
Self-driving cars are no longer just the stuff of science fiction. Increasingly, they're becoming a reality. For the last several years, Google has been testing self-driving, autonomous vehicles in California -- and if they ever become mainstream, their promise is better controlled and less deadly roadways. "We want to improve people's lives by making driving safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient," said Jay Nancarrow, a Google spokesperson.
Meg Whitman vs. Tim Cook by the Numbers
March 26, 2012
Last week was an interesting week. Apple announced what appears to be a penis iron in the new iPad, and folks are burning through their monthly 4G data plans in a few hours. Tim's having his first Antennagate moment, and Steve Jobs he isn't. On the other hand, Meg Whitman announced her first major restructuring since taking over HP. Whitman appears to have Carly Fiorina's vision and can execute, which bodes well.
AT&T Let Scammers Overrun Calling Service, Feds Charge
March 23, 2012
The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against telecommunications giant AT&T, claiming that the carrier allowed scammers to use a calling service for the hearing-impaired and then stuck U.S. taxpayers with the bill. While many Internet scams have originated from Nigeria, this case reportedly involves scammers using a free Internet-based calling system for hearing-impaired users.
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Which form of smartphone security do you rely on most?
Face ID or Fingerprint
Strong Password
App Locks
Storage Encryption
VPN with Public WiFi
I don't use any smartphone security tech.