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NASA 3D prints a model of light-year-long Eta Carinae nebula

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 6:36 pm

NASA has created a full 3D model of a light-year-long nebula that was coughed out by the Eta Carinae system, 7,500 light years away from Earth, in the 19th century.


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Eta Carinae can be found in the Carina constellation, and it's one of the brightest that are known out there by far - its smallest star is roughly 30 times as big as the Sun. In the 19th century, it spewed out the gassy Homonculus Nebula, and this is what the researchers have now printed off as a 3D model. NASA used the European Southern Observatory's appropriately titled Very Large Telescope and the X-Shooter spectrograph to image near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths across the nebula to create the most complete image made to date. Researchers took this data to look at spatial and velocity information, which then enabled the creation of the very first high-res 3D model of the nebula.


The model was put together in Shape and allowed NASA staff to inspect the more unusual features of the nebula, including trenches and dust skirts, and because it was developed using an emission line of near infrared light that was created by the molecular hydrogen gas, even allows for a close-up guesstimate of the dust-covered sides facing away from our humble little planet.

Apple opens eBay store with certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 5:11 pm

Apple has quietly opened a store on eBay to sell certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones that are unlocked. All of the smartphones on this particular store are GSM version of the iPhone 5. The smartphones include a one-year Apple warranty and are being sold at aggressive prices.


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The Apple store is called the Factory Outlet eBay Store and has six devices listed in factory restored and unlocked guise. iPhone 5 model on the store sell for between $449 and $499 per device.


The phone models on the eBay store are exclusive to the store. Devices are noted to be burn-in tested and professionally repacked with a final inspection performed by Apple. It's worth noting that ahead of the official launch of the latest iPad in 2013, a similar store popped up for refurbished older iPad models and disappeared before the launch of the new tablet.

ISEE-3 spacecraft team faces new challenge redirecting old satellite

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 4:03 pm

Earlier this week we mentioned that a team of scientists working out of an abandoned McDonald's restaurant in California had been able to get the decades old ISEE-3 satellite to fire its thrusters. The thruster firing is the first step in an attempt to get the satellite back on track to begin studying solar winds, which was its original mission.


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Decades ago, NASA redirected the ISEE-3 satellite to study comets rather than the mission it was built for. After getting the satellite to fire its thrusters, the team working on the project are now reporting that they have hit another issue.


While the first part of the thruster firing succeeded, another attempt to fire the thrusters this week wailed and that firing will be attempted again Wednesday. The failed maneuver Tuesday was intended to fire the thrusters over 400 times to get the spacecraft onto a path to take it near the moon without crashing into the moon.

Continue reading 'ISEE-3 spacecraft team faces new challenge redirecting old satellite' (full post)

EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 3:07 pm

On a very busy press day for the company, EMC announced several news items spanning across several product lines. Changes include broadening the configuration options for XtremIO and Isilon, a more open and hybrid approach to deploying VMAX, updates for ViPR, and a new Hadoop big data analytics solution.


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XtremIO gets a refresh with both a new entry-level configuration of 5TB, as well as a larger scale-out cluster capable of expanding to six 20TB X-Bricks. More interesting than just the configuration expansion, XtremIO is now adding inline compression to its intelligent data handling feature set. Combined with existing snapshot and deduplication, EMC claims the product now supports petabytes of data.


On the VMAX front, EMC announced VMAX3, an open enterprise platform to bridge standard enterprise storage with cloud storage. As part of this release, EMC also announced the acquisition of TwinStrata, Inc., developer of the CloudArray management software. The new offering is engineered to give storage administrators an easy way to provision storage to either in-house storage arrays or out to public cloud storage, all based on workload requirements.

Continue reading 'EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates' (full post)

17-story tall water slide opens Thursday at Kansas City Schlitterbahn

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 3:00 pm

Many people travel to water parks during the hot summer month to spend time swimming and checking out some water slides. A Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas is set to open the world's tallest water slide this Thursday called the Verruckt.


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Verruckt is a German word that means insane, and that is exactly what the world recording holding slide is. Verruckt stands 17-stories tall making it the world's tallest water slide as verified by the Guinness World Records folks as of April.


The slide stands 168 feet tall and riders in rafts will reach speeds of 60 to 70 mph, each of those rafts hold four people. The slide will open this Thursday after a couple delays to the opening for more testing.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson tapped to star in The Janson Directive

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 2:04 pm

All I know about Robert Ludlum and his work is the Bourne series of films. Ludlum passed away, but his written works live on and the characters he created are certain to come to the big screen after the success of the Bourne movie franchise.


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The next Ludlum series to get turned into a movie is expected to be The Janson Directive and word on one of the lead characters has now surfaced. Word is the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is being considered to play the lead character in the movie based on the popular book.


The Rock would certainly make the movie more interesting to all of his fans. There is no indication of if the part has officially been offered to Johnson or if he would accept, but considering how popular the Bourne franchise was, Johnson will certainly consider it.

Samsung shows off VR headset rumored to be called the Gear VR

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 1:02 pm

Virtual reality headsets have been making waves in the tech world over the last few months mostly thanks to Oculus Rift and the massive purchase of that company. A new product has surfaced from Samsung that is a VR headset rumored to be called the Gear VR, which leaked online Wednesday.


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The Gear VR is expected to be officially unveiled at IFA 2014 in September. The leaked image shows a device that appears to have a track pad on the side and the machine is believed to work along with a smartphone like the Google Cardboard headset.


Samsung is expected to make the Gear VR compatible with various Galaxy branded smartphones via USB connectivity. A button on the right side of the Gear VR is see-through so the rear camera of the smartphone can be used to give the wearer a view of the outside world.

Lyft heads to New York City Friday despite legal issues

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 12:00 pm

Lyft is a car-hiring app that lets normal people play cabbie to earn extra money. Lyft has been available in cities around the country for a while and it is set to expand into New York City this Friday. The catch for Lyft and the drivers that plan to drive for the service is that Lyft is not legal in New York.


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There are over 500 people signed up to drive for Lyft when it launches in Brooklyn and Queens this week. The issue for these drivers and Lyft with the launch is that it is not certified by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Drivers for Lyft risk having cars seized and high fines for working illegally.


In NYC, anyone offering rides for money without a TLC license is subject to $600 penalty and $185 in tow fees. Lyft thinks that these laws don't apply to ride sharing apps. "We don't believe any city law has the jurisdiction to do anything to these drivers," said Lyft cofounder John Zimmer. After a ride is over, Lyft will offer a suggested donation rate for the ride, said to be about 30% cheaper than a normal taxi.

Apple loses patent case in China clearing way for more legal action

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 11:00 am

Apple has lost a patent infringement case in China this week after Chinese courts upheld a patent owned by a Chinese firm. The court upholding the Chinese patent means that a legal case against Apple can now proceed. Apple took Chinese firm Zhizhen Internet Technology and the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office to court in an attempt to get a ruling that a patent on speech recognition tech being used by Zhizhen was invalid.


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The Beijing first Intermediate Court ruled in Zhizhen's favor according to a state run newspaper. Apple says that it intends to appeal the case and take it to the Beijing Higher People's Court. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012 claiming that Siri violated its voice system patents.


"Unfortunately, we were not aware of Zhizhen's patent before we introduced Siri (speech recognition technology) and we do not believe we are using this patent," said a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman in an emailed statement to Reuters.


"While a separate court considers this question, we remain open to reasonable discussions with Zhizhen," the spokeswoman said.

Ford issues recall on 100,610 vehicles in North America

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 10:21 am

The automotive industry in the US and other parts of the world has been besieged with recalls over the last year. GM has been hit with the brunt of the recalls going so far as to tell dealers in the US that they can no longer sell the Cruze, the company's second bestselling vehicle. Ford has now issued a massive recall in North America that includes 100,610 vehicles.


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The massive recall includes six different actions with about 92,000 of the vehicles having a potential issue with the front axles that may not have been installed properly. That improper installation could cause the axle to move outward and eventually disengage.


Cars covered in that axle recall include 2013-2014 Taurus, Flex, and Interceptor models along with Lincoln MKS and MKT. Also included in the axle recall are 2012-2014 Edge and 2014 Lincoln MKX models. Ford also recalled 5264 2011-2014 F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis vehicles with faulty electrical systems that could lead to a fire. 2014 Ford Escape vehicles with the panorama roof were recalled due to glass panels not glued properly during installation.

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