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Archive for October 1, 2011

Nokia Developing Linux Based “Meltemi” OS for Low-End Phones

October 1, 2011 1 comment

“Nokia Corp., having abandoned its ambition to develop a high-end operating system, is shifting its programming efforts toward creating software for its low-end phones, according to people familiar with the matter.

The project is a Linux-based operating system code-named Meltemi, the Greek word for dry summer winds that blow across the Aegean Sea from the north. It is being led by Mary McDowell, the handset maker’s executive vice president in charge of mobile phones, these people say.

A spokesman for Nokia, Doug Dawson, declined to comment on the Finland-based company’s future products or technologies.

Nokia’s attempt to build its own software is another sign that the value in the technology industry is shifting from hardware to software. In the past year, Google Inc.’s Android software has dominated the midrange smartphone market while Apple Inc.’s iPhone, which runs Apple’s iOS software, has captured the high end.

Analysts say mobile-handset makers that have their own software, such as Apple, have big advantages. They can better define their products against rivals and aren’t dependent on other companies for growth.”

New Method Purifies Textile Industry’s Toxic Waste

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

“Textile dying is one of the most environmentally hazardous aspects of the textile industry. During dying, harmful chemicals that are difficult to break down are released, all too often into rivers and agricultural land.

However, Maria Jonstrup, a doctoral student in Biotechnology at Lund University, has developed a new, environmentally friendly purification process which leaves only clean water.

The findings are presented in Maria Jonstrup’s thesis. The research is so far only research, and has therefore only been tested in the laboratory, but Maria Jonstrup is optimistic about its future potential.

“In the long term it should be possible for textile factories in India, China and Bangladesh to use the technique. If it works on a laboratory scale it is quite likely that it will also work in a real-life situation,” she says.”

A Cosmic Thermostat Controls Earth’s Temperature?

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

“In recent years, the idea that the climate is driven by clouds and cosmic rays has received plenty of attention. Interest in the idea was prompted by a Danish physicist named Henrik Svensmark, who first suggested it in the late 1990s.

Using satellite data on cloud coverage, which became available with the establishment of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project in 1983, Svensmark found a correlation between lower troposphere cloud cover and the 11-year solar cycle.

He proposed that cosmic rays initiate the formation of aerosols in the lower atmosphere that then form condensation nuclei for cloud droplets, increasing cloud formation from water vapor. Since low-level clouds increase Earth’s albedo (the amount of incoming solar radiation that is reflected back into space), more clouds mean cooler temperatures.

Svensmark claimed that this mechanism was responsible for virtually every climatic event in Earth history, from ice ages to the Faint Young Sun paradox to Snowball Earth to our current warming trend. Needless to say, this would overturn decades of climate research.

Cosmic “rays” are actually energetic subatomic particles. The solar wind shields the Earth from many of the cosmic rays coming from elsewhere in the Milky Way, so the number of rays that reach the Earth is modulated by variations in solar activity, such as the well-known 11-year solar cycle.

Early work by Svensmark and a group at CERN (we recently covered their initial results) has indicated that charged particles like cosmic rays can cause molecules of sulfuric acid, water, or other vapors to combine and form aerosols (particles about 1 nanometer in diameter). This provides a potential link between cosmic rays and cloud formation.”

Windows Client Announced for Ubuntu One Cloud Storage

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

“Ubuntu One, the cloud storage service available for Ubuntu versions 9.04 and higher, now has an official Windows client.

Previously available as a beta, Ubuntu One for Windows gives XP, Vista, and 7 users a free 5GB of cloud storage space in which to keep their files.

Ubuntu One works a bit differently than, say, Dropbox, a competing cloud storage service: for example, if you’d like to sync your My Documents and My Pictures folders, Dropbox would require you to store them within your Dropbox folder, while the Ubuntu One client allows you to select folders anywhere on your hard drive for syncing.

Once synced, your files can be accessed from Ubuntu, Windows, and Android devices, as well as through the Ubuntu One web site.”

Samsung’s First Desktop for the US

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

“There must be something in the water: first Toshiba decides to give this all-in-one thing a whirl and a few months later, Samsung’s jumping on the bandwagon, too.

The company just added a desktop to its Series 7 lineup, making it Sammy’s first all-in-one for the US market.

It’ll be available in two configurations, but either way you’re in for a 23-inch, 250-nit display with 1080p resolution and support for two-finger gestures.

Other specs include four USB 2.0 ports built into the base (along with one of the 3.0 persuasion), a 1TB 7,200RPM hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 3.0 and dual four-watt speakers.

And, depending on which config you choose, you’ll get either a 2.6GHz Core i3-2120T CPU and 6GB of RAM or a 2.7GHz Core i5-2390T processor with 8GB of memory.”

Chlorophyll’s Competitor Arrives: Artificial Leaf Created

October 1, 2011 1 comment

“Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they’re calling an “artificial leaf”: Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source.

The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate.

Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other.

If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current.”

Best Apps of the Month for iPhone, Android, iPad and WP7

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

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