Space trucker fleet needed to gather up rogue space debris

Pages 24 and 25 of the September 12, 2008 issue of New Scientist magazine have an article describing in detail the dangers in near-Earth space from more than 10,000 pieces of debris orbiting right now.  The volume of space junk continues to grow and is causing more and more hazards to flight plans.  The New Scientist article suggests a type of "Space Traffic Control" division is needed to monitor all of the debris, then making the data available through a central system.  But the editors at TG Daily believe there's a more appropriate question that needs to be asked:  Is it time to create an International Space Trucker fleet designed to safely capture and dispose of all this space junk?

PC makers fight the netbook dilemma

Take away the marketing hype about innovation, and the computer business looks strikingly staid. For decades, customers have had two flavors to choose from: desktop PCs and laptop PCs. That menu is now set for a major revamp. Read the complete story here.

Softening PC demand threatens chip sector

Moore's Law slows, TSV next battlefield

Cellular modem sales to top $22 billion by 2013, says ABI Research

Greek hackers deface LHC webpage, leave files

It seems death threats aren’t the only thing the scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are dealing with.  According to the Telegraph UK, a group of Greek hackers managed to deface one of the LHC’s websites and also planted six suspicious looking files on project servers.

10 things we would like to see in Firefox and Chrome

Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox captured the browser headlines this week, igniting a new discussion about performance increases and possible new features that are likely to drive a new round of innovations. Here is our list of the ten features - five for Chrome, five for Firefox - which we would like to see in the next versions.   

JetBlue starts auctioning flights on eBay

JetBlue, a low-cost air carrier, has started auctioning hundreds of flights and some “mystery” vacation packages on eBay.  With starting bids of 5 and 10 cents, many of these auctions have zoomed up to more than $3000 as people hope to win luxurious trips to Las Vegas, Aruba or the Bahamas.  But according to one website, some of these early bidders are being suckered into paying too much.

100 Tesla magnet being constructed, biggest reusable magnet in the world

Researchers working at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MHMFL) in Florida are putting the final touches on what will be the largest reusable magnet ever constructed.  It's a nearly six foot diameter outer case with an 8" center core.  Capable of producing magnetic fields roughly 100 times more powerful than an MRI or two million times more powerful than a refrigerator magnet, each $20,000 core will withstand around 100 1200-megajoule pulses, with the $8 million outter case withstanding around 10,000.  Previous "big magnet" research efforts like this have lead to the creation of neodymium magnets which enable our cell phones and cordless hand tools.

Madden NFL 09 can’t save August game console sales

Analysis & Charts – Victory and defeat in the monthly unit shipments battle of the three major game consoles are closely tied to the availability of blockbuster games. Madden NFL 09 had a phenomenal launch in August, selling more than 2.3 million units, but failed to show any positive impact on platform sales. Shipments for all three dropped, dramatically for the Wii and the PS3, while the Xbox 360 had a softer landing and was able to grow its market share. Sony may have to act soon and drop the price of its PS3.

Computer geeks get reality television show on MTV

MTV practically pioneered reality television, by bringing together the first group of young adults to reside together in a series titled “The Real World”. With the help of a major technology company MTV has joined together 16 young, creative, tech geeks to live together in a loft in Brooklyn. These kids will compete in a contest that can be watched either online or on television.

Micromachines invade your air-conditioner – Microstaq’s Ventilum chip

A small silicon chip could eliminate a good chunk of our air conditioning bills, according to the folks at Microstaq.  At the recently completed DEMOfall 08 corference in San Diego, the company introduced its “Ventilum” chip which replaces the valves in home and car air conditioning systems.  Company reps say 15% of world energy consumption is used by air conditioners and that their chip could cut that use by 25%.

Google Chrome ignites browser speed race

Analysis – You may have decided against a switch to Chrome (at least market share data indicates that Chrome is losing share quickly again), but there is a good chance you won’t get rid of the browser entirely. We guess you may even launch it from time to time, especially when IE or Firefox get stuck. Whatever Chrome’s future path may be, its responsiveness and speed have left a lasting impression that will stick. Other browser makers took notice and are working on faster browsers as well: Firefox 3.1, scheduled for a late 2008 release, comes with TraceMonkey and Web Workers, two key technologies that could easily render Chrome's speed gains obsolete. TG Daily had a close look on what to expect from the current speed race and next-gen browsers.

LHC Day 1: The chase for the Higgs Boson begins

The startup and initial testing performed at CERN's Large Hadon Collider (LHC) yesterday went off without a hitch.  Everything the scientists intended on their to do list was carried out flawlessly and without any surprises.  In fact mused one scientist, "I couldn't believe it.  I had to look at the screens twice for it to sink in."  The LHC has gone through its initial startup procedures and we are still here.  The truly powerful colliding experiments will begin in the weeks and months to come.

iPhones, other smartphones take bigger piece of mobile pie

The Apple iPhone continues to look as if it is coming on strong in the global mobile market, particularly when it comes to smartphones. This is among the key findings from the latest AdMob mobile metrics report. AdMob, reporting about global mobile traffic for August, said the iPhone showed a large growth in network traffic with more than 2.9 million requests per day.

VIDEO – A closer look at Plastic Logic’s Kindle killer

Two days ago in San Diego, Plastic Logic wowed DEMOfall 08 attendees with its full-page electronic reader that was as thin as a pad of paper.  Available next year, this reader can easily display Microsoft Office, PDF and other documents.  It also has a touch-screen that lets users annotate documents by either drawing with their fingers or by tapping on a pop-up keyboard.  But how will this reader compete with the Amazon Kindle?  We talked to Plastic Logic’s marketing team to find out.

CERN reports LHC's successful first runs

At 10:28am local time today, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was activated and successfully powered up navigating a beam of high-energy protons smaller than a human hair through a pipe running through the entire 17 miles of superconducting magnets.  While the $20 billion device is not yet operating at full capacity or with high-energy collisions, the earliest stages of the required calibration, often down to one billionth of a second, are being carried out.  The LHCs impact on science was echoed by the electricity felt in the air by LHC project leader Lyn Evans who said, "It is a fantastic moment!" as the device passed several of its initial power-on procedures.

VIDEO - Speedtraps meets social networking in ultimate iPhone app for lead foots

Zooming out of the of Sheraton San Diego parking lot in his new Chevy Z06, Pete Tenereillo is a prime target for a speeding ticket, but he isn’t worried. Tenereillo is the founder of Trapster.com, a social-networking speed trap warning website. Website users receive and submit warnings about nearby speed traps, red light cameras, speed cameras and live police officer locations. The warnings are superimposed on Google Maps, which sounds impressive, but even better, an iPhone application has recently been released for testing. We tested out this app by taking a nail-biting ride with Tenereillo through the mean streets of San Diego and almost got killed in the process.

Possible new semiconductors based on carbon fullerenes

Chemistry professor Harry Dorn from Virginia Tech said he developed reliable ways to manufacture and construct 80-atom fullerene molecules – and figured out how to stick different elemental atoms inside the 3D structure, such as gadolinium and yttrium to increase the sensitivity of magnetic receptors for MRI devices.  He stumbled onto something researchers have been trying to do for the computer industry, develop a fullerene molecule which is one electron short in its design.  The result: A fundamental molecule-sized base for a semiconductor circuit.

Google envisions floating data centers

Google has an idea how to increase the mobility of data centers around the world and make them available in extreme environments: The company thinks of crane-mounted, floating data center units on a sea platform.