The Gravity Assist Podcast is hosted by NASA's Director of Planetary Science, Jim Green, who each week talks to some of the greatest planetary scientists on the planet, giving a guided tour through the Solar System and beyond in the process. This week, he's joined by Amy Simon of the Goddard Space Flight Center to talk about not just one, but two planets of the Solar System: the ice giants Uranus and Neptune, as well as Neptune's moon Triton. You can listen to the full podcast here, or read the transcript below. Jim Green: Uranus and Neptune are probably the least known of all our planets, and the reason, of course, is only one spacecraft has visited them, and that's Voyager 2 — which flew by Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. We call these planets the ice giants, but Amy, what do we mean by ice giants? [NASA Eyes Close-Up Mission to Uranus, Neptune] Amy Simon: Uranus and Neptune are really unique in our Solar System. They're very different planets [than the other worlds … [Read more...] about Gravity Assist Podcast: Uranus and Neptune, with Amy Simon
James web space telescope
Criminals behind the Storm worm have created a botnet containing millions of PCs, which have a combined computing power greater than the most powerful supercomputer in existence. The Storm worm botnet has been estimated to control between one million and five million computers, which one researcher says makes it more powerful than IBM's BlueGene/L supercomputer. Peter Guttman, a computer sciences security researcher wrote in an e-mail posted on insecure.org's Web site: "This may be the first time that a top 10 supercomputer has been controlled not by a government or mega-corporation but by criminals. The question remains, now that they have the world's most powerful supercomputer system at their disposal, what are they going to do with it?" At the lowest estimate of one million computers, Guttman roughly calculated that using an army of 2.8GHz P4s, the group behind the Storm worm would have at least 1 petabyte of RAM, compared with BlueGene/L's "paltry 32 terabytes". Guttman listed 10 … [Read more...] about Criminals’ botnet more powerful than BlueGene?
Recent evidence suggests that, during earth's humble beginnings, a violent hailstorm of asteroids supplied not only the ingredients neccesary for life, but also all the essential resources to sustain it. In fact, it's likely that all the gold, iron, platinum and wealth of other precious minerals essential for economic and technological prosperity came originally from the rain of asteroids that pelted the Earth shortly after the crust cooled. The problem now, though, is that inital gift of rich natural resources is on track to be exhausted within 50-60 years, according to a report in New Scientist. One way to replenish the earth's reserves, proposed by a team of distinguished scientists, is to simply go straight to the source. To accomplish this, Peter Diamandis, creator of the reknowned X-Prize Foundation, and Eric Anderson Chairman of the Board of the Space Spaceflight Federation, have formed Planetary Resources, a venture to bring "the natural resources of space within … [Read more...] about Here’s how a startup plans to extract gold from asteroids
For Star Trek fans, space is the final frontier. For travelers, it's a never-ending challenge. What do you decide to pack in your oh-so-limited carry-on and checked baggage space? It's a vexing question, especially given that most airlines charge you to check a bag. Last week, I guided you to the laptop, netbooks, and smartphones well worth giving space to. This week, a look at the best digital camera and GPS device, plus where to find the best gear bags. Digital Camera: Canon Powershot SX200 ISBased on Tim Moynihan's glowing review, the Canon Powershot SX200 IS seemed like the ideal camera to take on my summer vacation. Here's what caught my eye: 12X optical-zoom lens that goes from wide-angle (28mm) to telephoto (336mm) Large LCD (3 inches) Optical image stabilization Captures video in high-def (1280 by 720, at 30 frames per second) Point-and-shoot simplicity Costs about $320 online.The Powershot SX200 IS lived up to my expectations. (I bought the red model for $320 from … [Read more...] about The Best Digital Camera, GPS, and Bags for Travelers
The big happy news came when the White House issued a statement on We the People petition site, coming out against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). "While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet. ... Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. ... We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security."While it's not quite 'ding dong the wicked witch is dead,' it's certainly worth celebrating. … [Read more...] about FTC May Investigate Google for Favoring Google+ in Search Plus Your World
NASA has achieved another big milestone in its bid to construct a powerful space telescope that can study the universe – with the completion and final installation of the 18 primary mirrors of the James Webb space telescope being done at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Get the Free Tracker App to find a SNES Classic in Stock “Scientists and engineers have been working tirelessly to install these incredible, nearly perfect mirrors that will focus light from previously hidden realms of planetary atmospheres, star forming regions and the very beginnings of the Universe,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “With the mirrors finally complete, we are one step closer to the audacious observations that will unravel the mysteries of the Universe.”The mirrors were installed with a robotic arm, and each hexagonal-shaped mirror measures about 4.2 feet (1.3 … [Read more...] about NASA Scientists Fully Assemble The 18 Primary Mirrors Of James Webb Space Telescope