Daily Archives: April 30, 2013

Views from the Solar System (123)


The Rose
NASA – The spinning vortex of Saturn’s north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).

This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn’s north pole captured by Cassini’s imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn’s north pole was last imaged under sunlight by NASA’s Voyager 2 in 1981; however, the observation geometry did not allow for detailed views of the poles. Consequently, it is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar hurricane has been active.

The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2012, using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light. The images filtered at 890 nanometers are projected as blue. The images filtered at 728 nanometers are projected as green, and images filtered at 752 nanometers are projected as red. In this scheme, red indicates low clouds and green indicates high ones.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 261,000 miles (419,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 94 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

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Why companies using the cloud are so happy


By David Linthicum – As reported by my friend and Forbes writer Joe McKendrick, “A new survey finds that roughly one out of four organizations are heavily into cloud computing, and they are providing lessons from which everyone else can benefit.” The lessons come from having two or three years of real experience, enough time to see the real benefits and issues.

Keep in mind the study is sponsored by RightScale, a cloud vendor, and it was done in a way to discover the positive, not the negative. It’s as if Dunkin’ Donuts sponsored a study on breakfast foods. You wouldn’t expect to find results related to obesity or diabetes. more> http://tinyurl.com/c9apykz

Top 10 Programming Skills That Will Get You Hired


Network World – As a developer you know that working in the same code day-in-and-day-out can get a little stale, to say the least. Adding new programming skills to your IT toolbox is essential in the struggle to stay relevant in the fast-paced tech world, but knowing which technology to choose isn’t always obvious. Your time is limited and with the multitude of languages and environments picking the wrong area to focus your efforts can prove costly.

  • SQL
  • Java
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • C#
  • XML
  • C
  • Perl
  • Python
  • PHP, Obj. C, AJAX, ASP.NET, Ruby

more> http://tinyurl.com/cpav3ex

Virgin Galactic spaceship makes first powered flight


By Raquel Maria Dillon – A special twin-fuselage jet carrying SpaceShipTwo took off at about 7:00 a.m. PDT, spent 45 minutes climbing to an altitude of 48,000 feet and released the spaceship. Pilot Mark Stucky and co-pilot Mike Alsbury then triggered SpaceShipTwo’s rocket engine.

The engine burned for 16 seconds, propelling the spaceship to an altitude of 55,000 feet and a velocity of Mach 1.2, surpassing the speed of sound. SpaceShipTwo then glided to a safe landing at Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles, said George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic’s CEO.

“Having spaceship and rocket perform together in the air is a long way toward getting into space,” said Sir Richard Branson, who watched from the ground. “A few more test flights with slightly bigger burns every time, and then we’ll all be back here to watch it go into space.” more> http://tinyurl.com/ckvcxz2

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Verizon Deal With Vodafone Could Be Worth More Than $130B, Would Create Largest U.S. Carrier


By Agustino Fontevecchia – a deal could come at a price of between $130 and $137 billion, and would create the largest U.S. phone operator, leaving AT&T T +0.13% behind.  To go ahead with the transaction, not only will Verizon’s chief executive Lowell McAdam have to convince his British counterparts at Vodafone to sell for less than they want to, but he will also have to raise a lot of cash, issuing possibly $120 billion in debt and stock.

Management on both side have begun the valuation fight. more> http://tinyurl.com/cudewwq

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Aside

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