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SpaceTT: Live feed feed of the Moon and Jupiter tonight via Melton Memorial Observatory

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 7:30 pm

While the awesome animated GIF images I posted earlier are fresh in your mind, I would like to bring something else I consider awesome to everyone's attention. My friends at the Melton Memorial Observatory of the University of South Carolina will be hosting a live video feed of their public observing session tonight.




If you tune in to their USTREAM page tonight between 8pm and 10pm US EST, you will be able to see live images of the moon as well as the planet Jupiter as seen from one of the telescopes on campus. They generally hold a live streaming session every Monday with the activities beginning shortly after dark.


Check out their USTREAM here.

SpaceTT: Finnish astrophotographer's animated GIF images of Elephants Trunk Nebula are mesmerizing

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 7:11 pm

It's no secret - I am a huge astronomy buff. So much so that I even endeavor into the complex realm that is astrophotography. I say "complex" because taking a clear, crisp and vibrant image of the cosmos is quite challenging, and requites many hours to produce a single 2D image.




Finnish astrophotographer J-P Mestävainio has taken these complexities and mastered them, but he did not stop there. Mestävainio wondered what the Nebula he was photographing looked like in the third dimension and set out to create what can only be described as breathtaking. Seen below is IC 1396 or the Elephants Trunk Nebula.




These animated GIF images are in all actuality an artist interpretation of how he thinks the nebula would appear if passing by. The GIFs are created by adding interpretations and educated guesses based on the formation of the nebula and a rule-of-thumb that brighter stars are closer than darker ones to known data about the nebula, like distance and the location of certain stars around it to create a 3D model of the nebula.

Continue reading 'SpaceTT: Finnish astrophotographer's animated GIF images of Elephants Trunk Nebula are mesmerizing' (full post)

Mysterious Windows Blue confirmed with job add posting, the next Microsoft OS already

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 6:39 pm

You may not have heard about Windows Blue, neither had I until this morning. It appears to be the next generation Windows operating system from Microsoft. Unlike the 10+ year reign of Windows XP or the three years Windows 7 saw, Blue will begin a new era for the OS giant.




If what we are seeing is true, Windows Blue will follow an annual update model, which would actually bring development cost down for Microsoft. Blue will roll out across both Windows Phones and PC's sometime in mid-2013, a mere 6-7 months after the release of Windows 8. Blue was confirmed in a series of job postings which were uncovered by The Verge, who managed to get a snippet of one of the listings.


We're looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

LeakedTT: Next-gen Sony camera's detailed in leaked images, hello NEX-3N and A58

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Photographer's fond of Sony hardware will be pleased to hear that images the company's two new upcoming cameras have been leaked. Press images of the Sony NEX-3N and the new A58 have been spotted in the wild ahead of their release on February 20th.




The Sony NEX-3N is said to sport a new 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor that is similar to the NEX-F3, and would be able to use Sony's 16-50mm PX and the 18-200 PZ lenses. Integrated flash is still featured as well as a zoom lever close to the shutter button.




The A58 DSLR is geared towards more professional photographers, and will feature a 20 megapixel sensor that is capable of up to eight frames per second burst. The body looks quite similar to that of the A57, but we have heard that the focusing system has been redesigned for the A58. The A58 will be able to be controlled through a computer, but WiFi functionality is reportedly not featured.

Amazon severs ties with German security firm HESS after Neo-Nazi allegations

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 4:48 pm

German security firm, Hensel European Security Services (HESS), has lost its contract amidst accusations of Neo-Nazi ties and mistreating foreign workers.




The whistle was blown last week when German TV channel ARD broadcast a documentary about the firm's bad behavior. The documentary used hidden cameras to showcase how the firm harassed and intimidated foreign workers. It also blew the cover off some of its "military style" employees who seemed to have ties with Neo-Nazi organizations.


HESS firmly denies the allegations, noting that it employees a number of foreign workers and immigrants. The documentary caught Amazon's eye, which lead to the decision to sever all ties between Amazon and HESS. I have included the video below, but you will need to understand German to get the full details.

Continue reading 'Amazon severs ties with German security firm HESS after Neo-Nazi allegations ' (full post)

Opera shrinks in-house Dev team ahead of Webkit adoption

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Last week I reported on Opera dumping Presto as it's rendering engine and adoption the more developer friendly, open source Webkit. The news kept flowing when the company managed to pick up Skyfire for a reported $155 million shortly after the Webkit announcement.




It looks like Opera will blanket headlines today as well, as the reports coming in from the Norwegian publication They have announced that the company is letting some of its long time devs go from its core technology developer team. The publication said that as many as 90 of the 100 man team were terminated.


A large percentage of those who lost their jobs actually took a large severance package before Christmas. Some higher ranking developers were shuffled around to new projects within the company. Opera HR Director Tove Selnes is quoted: "This reorganization has been resolved in cooperation with the individual. We've come to terms with about 90 people, both in development and not development-related departments."

Sony looks back on PlayStation history with release of three videos, ahead of PS4 announcement

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 3:03 pm

Sony is in full hype-things-up mode this week. On Wednesday we are expected to see the company unveil the long anticipated PlayStation 4 (PS4). Ahead of the launch, Sony has released a series of web videos that outline the history of the popular gaming console.




The company has put together three videos that show the console's revolutionary history. The first video covers the PlayStation, the one that started it all. The next video moves into the realm of the PlayStation 2, and talks about how the PS2 revolutionized gaming and DVD playback.



The final video covers the PlayStation 3 and bills it as a "groundbreaking" breakthrough in console gaming, citing things like HD gaming, Blu-ray, Netflix, and cloud based storage for game saves. This leaves us to wonder what new technologies, features and options the PlayStation 4 bring to console gaming? I guess we will find out on Wednesday!

Continue reading 'Sony looks back on PlayStation history with release of three videos, ahead of PS4 announcement' (full post)

Factory image of Android 4.2.2 released by Google, includes some nice new features

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 2:01 pm

Google has just released the factory image of Android Jellybean 4.2.2 for its Nexus devices. The ability to download the new factory ROM comes on the heels of the official Over the Air patch for Nexus owners last week.




Although Google has yet to publish an official changelog, the 4.4.2 update ushers in a fairly decent number of stability and speed enhancements, alongside some UI tweaks. Other changes that have been noticed are: Bluetooth bug fixes, a more secure ABD, and a count-down to finish display for Google Play Store downloads.




Haven't gotten the update yet? No worries as not all users have gotten the update yet, but as the staggered global roll-out continues, all Nexus owners should see the patch very soon.

Continue reading 'Factory image of Android 4.2.2 released by Google, includes some nice new features' (full post)

Sony chops the price of their PS Vita in Japan

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 12:33 pm

If you're based in Japan and were holding off on buying a PS Vita, now might be the time to think about getting one. During an online video broadcast, Sony have announced a price cut for their handheld gaming device.




The price will drop for both the Wi-Fi and 3G models on February 28, to 19,980 yen (or around $215). This is a drop of around 1/5, with the current price at 24,980 yen. There'll also be a one-week free trial of PlayStation Plus, as well as various promotions for the PS Store and Reader e-book store. There's no talk of a price drop elsewhere, so for now - this is just in Japan.

SpaceX to launch Dragon on March 1, will dock with the ISS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 11:44 am

SpaceX is set to send their unmanned Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on March 1, where it will launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.




Dragon will launch at 10:10am EST (1510 GMT) on March 1, docking with the ISS a day later. SpaceX's Dragon will be toting 1200 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments to the ISS, and will return to Earth just over three weeks later on March 25, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Baja California, bringing with it 2300 pounds of experimental samples and equipment.


This will be SpaceX's second contracted cargo mission to the ISS for NASA, and overall, their third visit. SpaceX has a $1.6 billion deal with NASA to make 12 similar flights with their Dragon and Falcon 9 rockets.

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