Daily Archives: April 5, 2012

NASA technology (5)


                                                                                                                                           

Shuttle IMAX Cameras at the Smithsonian
NASA – An IMAX camera that flew aboard a space shuttle is seen at the Moving Beyond Earth Gallery at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Washington. This and another IMAX camera that flew in space became a part of the museum’s collection. From 1984 to 1998 the 70mm cameras accompanied astronauts on 17 space shuttle missions offering stunning views of Earth from space and offered an up-close look at what it is like to live and work in a weightless environment. Image Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

IBM Facing Golf Gender Bias After Fighting Racial Barriers


By Beth Jinks and John Helyar – Twenty-two years ago, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) used its clout to protest racial discrimination. The company joined other corporate sponsors in pulling television advertising from the PGA Championship which was being played at a whites-only Alabama golf club.

The Shoal Creek club caved. Augusta National Golf Club followed, also inviting its first black member to join in 1990.

The company’s CEO traditionally dons the club’s signature green member blazer at the tournament, as do the CEOs of co- sponsors Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and AT&T Inc. (T) IBM will have to decide whether to keep spending the money if its CEO lacks equal status with other sponsors.

“All issues of membership remain the private deliberations of the membership. That statement remains accurate,” Payne said in response to questions about reconsidering female membership. “We don’t talk about our private deliberations. We especially don’t talk about them when a named candidate is part of the question.”

That leaves IBM, which promoted Rometty to CEO in January, with a dilemma: Should it pressure the near 80-year-old club to change its gender policies or, if it can’t do that, should it withdraw its tournament sponsorship? more> http://is.gd/lCP5Aj

U.S. Economy Needs Stimulus, Not Soothsayers


By Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers – Here’s something you don’t often hear an economist admit: We have very little idea where the economy will be next year. Truth be told, our best guesses just aren’t very good.

The dismal science is more dismal and less science than most people recognize. Careful studies by both Federal Reserve economists and the Congressional Budget Office have found that forecasts of the next year’s economic-growth rate typically miss by about one percentage point, and often more. Unemployment forecasts aren’t much better.

Why? Data are imperfect. Theories are coarse. Models oversimplify. The economy is constantly evolving and can’t be subjected to controlled experiments. Economic cycles are infrequent, so our understanding of them necessarily proceeds very slowly. more> http://is.gd/yVxZpT

Verizon Stops Selling Standalone DSL to New Users


Network map of combined Frontier and divested ...

Network map of combined Frontier and divested Verizon assets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Karl Bode – Verizon is informing users that as of May 6, the company can no longer offer DSL service without attached local voice service. However, if you disconnect and reconnect, or move to a new address — you’ll have to add voice service. Users are also being told that if they make any changes to their existing DSL service (increase/decrease speed) they’ll also be forced to add local phone service. more> http://is.gd/F3jrVz

Telecom Italia Considers Spinning Off Network, Bernaba


By Sonia Sirletti – Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) is studying whether to separate its fixed-access network, helping Italy’s biggest phone company raise cash to pay down debt and avoid cutting its dividend further.

A spin-off is “one of several studies” carried out, Executive Chairman Franco Bernabe told Il Sole 24 Ore, in comments confirmed by Telecom Italia. Under the plan, Telecom Italia would be “open to considering” a partnership with state-owned lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA as it builds out a high-speed Internet network, he was quoted as saying. The company would be the first incumbent European operator to spin off its network.

Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao said in February that the company had offered to co-invest in fixed-line networks, and had been turned down by rival operators. The Italian market had formerly resisted open networks, he said. more> http://is.gd/96IpTe