Daily Archives: August 19, 2011

Space Shuttle Update (42)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH· NASA TV· STS-135: Last Space Shuttle Mission
Boeing: Slide show · Book (pdf)

Saluting the STS-135 Crew
NASA – Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, salutes the crew of STS-135 during their appearance for a taping of his television show, Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, 2011, in New York. The astronauts from STS-135 are in New York for a three-day visit. Seated from lower left are Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. Image Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

Elmo and STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson
The crew of STS-135, NASA’s final space shuttle mission, and Sesame Street’s Elmo welcomed visitors to “What’s Your Favorite Space?” in New York City. The free, public event was presented by NASA and Eventi on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the hotel’s “Big Screen Plaza.” The outdoor plaza was transformed into a miniature space outpost filled with displays including an inflatable Mars Rover, demonstrations, interactive exhibits, video segments, children’s activities and more. Pictured with Elmo is STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson. Image Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Shuttle, Station Crews Meet the President
President Barack Obama looks at a photo presented to him while meeting with the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the U.S. Commander of the ISS Expedition 26 in the Oval Office, Aug. 2, 2011. From left to right: STS-134 Pilot Gregory H. Johnson, Mission Specialist Michael Fincke, Commander Mark Kelly, President Barack Obama, Expedition 26-27 crewmember Catherine Coleman, Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly and Expedition 26-27 Paolo Nespoli Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

In the Firing Room
NASA Photographer Kim Shiflett, left, and Videographer Glenn Benson capture a group photo of the launch team in Firing Room Four of the NASA Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center shortly after the space shuttle Atlantis, STS-135, launched on its final flight on Friday, July 8, 2011. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Looking Up at Atlantis
The STS-135 crew looks up at Atlantis from the launch pad before boarding for the final shuttle launch on Friday, July 8, 2011. From left, mission specialist Rex Walheim, pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialist Sandy Magnus, and commander Chris Ferguson. Credit: NASA/Jerry Ross

Kicking the Tires
The STS-135 astronauts, lower center in orange flight suits, checks out Atlantis on launch day, Friday, July 8, 2011, after their ride to the launch pad in the silver Astrovan at lower left. Credit: NASA: Bill Ingalls

Crowded Farewell
Crowds are seen out the front window of the Astrovan carrying the STS-135 crew as it departs the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for launch pad 39A on Friday, July 8, 2011. Credit: NASA/Jerry Ross

The madness of Wall Street


By Matthew Goldstein, Lauren Tara LaCapra, Jennifer Ablan and Joseph Giannone – Experts say investors should expect even more volatility in stocks, as herd trading by hedge funds, knee-jerk trader reaction to news and lightning fast computer programs combine to make for a new and uncomfortable normal on Wall Street. This new trading frontier even has its own signature milepost, something called “a liquidity black hole.”

“The market we are operating in is markedly different from five years ago,” says Andrew Lo, a professor of finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who frequently writes on hedge fund trading strategies and markets. “We are seeing extraordinary emotional reactions from central banks, politicians, regulators and investors. That kind of reaction is not conducive for building long-term wealth. We have an environment that is highly unstable.” more> http://is.gd/w0E44v

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Bringing FPGAs to Mechanical Engineers


By Charles Murray – The problem is that the expertise of mechanical engineers typically lies in their domains — be it medical systems, automobiles, or myriad other technical areas. Their expertise doesn’t reside in microcontrollers, software, or FPGAs. The same holds true for other “domain experts” — such as manufacturers, or even doctors and dentists, who have electronic-based ideas they want to implement in their professions. “The domain people have a giant need for FPGAs, but they just don’t have the background that’s needed,” Jamie Brettle, partner development manager and product manager for embedded software at National Instruments Corp.

Increasingly, manufacturers such as Xilinx know they have to change that. As the line between electrical and mechanical engineers blurs, the MEs are starting to get more involved in the design of embedded technology, including medical imaging systems, automotive displays, and speech recognition, as well as defense and aerospace applications.

FPGAs can help in those applications for a couple of reasons: they provide design flexibility and faster time-to-market. more> http://tinyurl.com/7ngwcx6

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UK social media controls point to wider “info war”


By Peter Apps – With Western democracies and emerging authoritarian states alike facing new threats from the rise of the Internet and social media, the temptation to try and regain control through censorship may grow.

“Does a government attempt to control cyberspace as it would have tried to control its (real world) borders in the 20th century or does it develop security doctrines that go beyond traditional models of state control?” asks John Bassett, a former senior official at Britain’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ and now a senior fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute.

Agencies such as Britain’s GCHQ and the U.S. National Security Agency have huge powers and capabilities to monitor communications and detect crime and militancy. But trying to control what people say is another matter. more> http://is.gd/Fhfu8o

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Mobile Ecosystems In Flux As HP Exits Phone, Tablet Business


By Elizabeth Woyke – There are a lot of ways to view HP’s news, but one is that vertical integration isn’t an automatically successful strategy. It has worked incredibly well for Apple, which now has multiple product lines that deliver a unique yet consistent experience for users and are leaders in their respective markets. RIM, though, is struggling despite following a vertical model since its origins. And HP clearly grew frustrated with its lack of traction in the mobile device market despite its ownership of the oft-praised webOS.

The news does amount to more shake-ups in the world of mobile ecosystems. Left standing are Apple and its i-devices; RIM and its BlackBerrys; Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners and Google, Android and within the next few months, Motorola as Google’s in-house hardware designer. more> http://is.gd/0IkzUz

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