Daily Archives: January 18, 2013

NASA technology (28)

Atlas V First Stage
NASA – At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station‘s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida, preparations are underway to erect the first stage of the Atlas V rocket that will carry the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K, into orbit.

TDRS-K is the first of three next-generation communications satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA. The seven TDRS spacecraft currently in orbit provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-K has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet growing S-band communications requirements. Image Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Countdown to healthcare reform

By Linda Stern – In a post-Obamacare future, expect more employers to adopt defined contribution healthcare plans. Instead of providing coverage, they will throw a set amount of cash at workers and have them buy their own coverage on private employer-sponsored exchanges.

That future isn’t here yet.

Workers at big companies probably will face fewer immediate changes than everyone else. But those who buy their own insurance, go without coverage or work for small employers will see dramatic changes in the coverage available to them. Here’s an early take on what to expect and what to do about it now. more> http://tinyurl.com/a9chmol

Rank and file tell GOP leaders to keep sequester, shutdown ‘on the table’

Republican campaign poster from 1896 attacking...

Republican campaign poster from 1896 attacking free silver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Molly K. Hooper – GOP leaders on Thursday (Jan 17) heard from rank-and-file members in a closed-door session, with many urging sequester cuts or a government shutdown to take effect in hopes of forcing the White House into accepting spending cuts.

But as one-half of one-third of the government, the House GOP majority has the power to block the president but less influence on pushing their own initiatives. One GOP leadership aide described their situation as being a quasi-super minority. more> http://tinyurl.com/b4dnrra

New key to organism complexity identified

R&D Magazine – The enormously diverse complexity seen amongst individual species within the animal kingdom evolved from a surprisingly small gene pool. For example, mice effectively serve as medical research models because humans and mice share 80% of the same protein-coding genes. The key to morphological and behavioral complexity, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests, is the regulation of gene expression by a family of DNA-binding proteins called “transcription factors.” Now, a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley has discovered the secret behind how one these critical transcription factors is able to perform—a split personality. more> http://tinyurl.com/bc5ahuu

‘Rogue clouds’ giving IT staffs nightmares

Français : Diagramme illustrant les concepts d...

Français : Diagramme illustrant les concepts de l’infonuagique, traduction de File:Cloud computing.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ellen Messmer – “Rogue clouds” occur if sales and marketing people, for example, order up Salesforce.com without bothering to consult IT or set up Dropbox with outside vendors to share sensitive information. It’s happening to three-quarters of those using cloud, according to the survey, and it occurs more in large enterprises (83%) than in small to midsize ones (70%).

“There is a tremendous difference in this area between enterprises (which are utilizing 26% of their storage) and SMBs (which use a shockingly low 7%). This is a costly mistake, as organizations are paying for roughly six times as much storage as they actually need,” the survey report states.

“They’re overprovisioning cloud storage,” said Elliott. Another facet of the cloud storage issue is that much of the time no deduplication of data is done. more> http://tinyurl.com/b8scq8m