Sunday, June 28, 2009

Washington - A lone gunman with believed connections to white supremacist groups opened fire in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Wednesday.

City and law enforcement authorities told reporters they could not confirm the gunman's identity or any connections to anti-Semitic groups, but media reports said he was believed to be known as a white supremacist James W von Brunn.

The armed man carrying a long rifle entered the museum just blocks from the National Mall and Washington Monument before 1 pm EST and immediately fired on one of the facility's armed security guards just inside the museum's entrance, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters.

Two security guards returned fire and one security guard and the gunman were wounded.

Von Brunn has written numerous anti-Semitic articles posted online, including a book called Kill the Best Gentiles, which he calls 'a new hard-hitting expose of the Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool.'

Von Brunn on a website claims to have served in World War II, to have worked for a New York advertising agency and to belong to Mensa, the high-IQ society. FOX5 DC is reporting that the security guard shot in the museum has died from injures he obtained from the shots fired.

source :

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate Realigned, Seals Reinstalled

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida , crews continue work to repair a plate that attaches a gaseous hydrogen vent line to space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank. Hydrogen leaks in the area of the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, or GUCP, postponed Endeavour's launch attempts June 13 and 17, delaying its 16-day flight to the International Space Station. The carrier plate has been realigned and seals have been installed.

On Wednesday, July 1, starting at 7 a.m. EDT , a tanking test will be conducted to ensure repairs were successful. Endeavour's external tank will be filled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, just as it is before launch. NASA managers will hold a news conference following the test to discuss the results at approximately 1 p.m. The test and news conference will be shown live on NASA television.

Endeavour's next launch attempt is targeted for July 11 at 7:39 p.m.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-127 mission astronauts will resume training Monday, June 29.

STS-127 Mission Overview

The 16-day mission will feature five spacewalks and complete construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed to space.

The STS-127 crew members are Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Tim Kopra and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette. Kopra will join the space station crew and replace Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will return to Earth on Endeavour to conclude a three-month stay at the station.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LRO Enters Orbit Around the Moon

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully entered orbit around the moon following a nearly five-day journey. Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt , Md. , confirmed the spacecraft's lunar orbit insertion at 6:27 a.m. EDT on 23 rd June.

A series of four engine burns through June 27 will finalize LRO's initial orbit. During this phase, each of its seven instruments is checked out and brought online. LRO Project Manager Craig Tooley reports that LEND and CRaTER are already online and working well.

The LRO satellite will explore the moon's deepest craters, examining permanently sunlit and shadowed regions, and provide understanding of the effects of lunar radiation on humans. LRO will return more data about the moon than any previous mission. The spacecraft's instruments will help scientists compile high resolution, three-dimensional maps of the lunar surface and also survey it at many spectral wavelengths.

Five Things to Know about LRO

• LRO is leading NASA's way back to the moon.

• The primary objective of LRO is to conduct investigations that prepare for future lunar exploration. Specifically LRO will scout for safe and compelling landing sites, locate potential resources (with special attention to the possibility of water ice) and characterize the effects of prolonged exposure to the lunar radiation environment. In addition to its exploration mission, LRO will also return rich scientific data that will help us to better understand the moon's topography and composition.

• Seven scientific instruments outfit LRO. These instruments will return lunar imagery, topography, temperature measurements and more.

• Launched along with LRO was the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), a partner mission that will search for water ice on the moon.

• In response to LRO's "Send Your Name to the Moon" initiative, the spacecraft carries a microchip with nearly 1.6 million names submitted by the public.

Obama condemns 'unjust' violence

I have collect you some information regarding “ US President Barack Obama has strongly condemned the "unjust actions" of Iran in clamping down on election protests.” From the source

He said he respected Iran 's sovereignty and it was "patently false" of Iran to say the West was fomenting the unrest. UN chief Ban Ki-moon had called on Iran to respect the "will of its people" after the disputed presidential poll but Tehran accused him of "meddling". Earlier, the opposition was told by Iran 's Guardian Council the 12 June election would not be annulled.

Electoral fraud

But Iran 's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later agreed to extend by five days the amount of time allowed examining complaints of electoral fraud. In the 11 days since the election result, which saw incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned with 63% of the vote, opposition supporters have clashed with police on the streets of the capital Tehran . Mr Obama said: "The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days.

"I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost." He said: "The United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not at all interfering in Iran 's affairs. But we must also bear witness to the courage and dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society."

Source :

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Founder's grandson to lead Toyota

Toyota has appointed the grandson of the company's founder as its new president, as the Japanese carmaker aims to turnaround its fortunes.

Akio Toyoda, 53, faces a tough job, as like most global car companies, Toyota has seen its sales slump in the face of the continuing global recession. Last month, Toyota reported the biggest annual loss in its history, and it has already warned of worse for this year. For the year to 31 March, it made a net loss of 437bn yen ($4.6bn; £2.8bn).

'Continued hardships'

Mr Toyoda will lead a new management team that includes four new executive vice presidents. Like many rivals, Toyota has cut production, including at its UK plants, as sales have declined. Its loss for the year to 31 March was its first since 1963. "We expect to face continued hardship in our business environment for the near term, despite signs of recovery in some areas," outgoing Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told the firm's annual shareholder meeting.

Analysts said that Mr Watanabe, who had led Toyota since 2005, had paid the price for the firm's recent problems. However, he will remain on the board, taking up the position of vice chairman.

Name change

Toyota was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937. He chose the name Toyota for the business rather than his surname, because Toyota was considered luckier when written in Japanese.

source :

Monday, June 22, 2009

Woman killed by stampeding cattle

A woman has been trampled to death by a herd of cattle while walking her dogs in a field in North Yorkshire.

The victim had been walking along a stretch of the Pennine way outside the hamlet of Gayle, near Hawes.

It is thought the cows were panicked by the sight of her two dogs - a brown and white spaniel and a collie-type - who were both on their leads at the time.
The woman has not yet been identified but was described as about 5feet 2in tall and of slim build.

The stampede occurred at about 1215 BST on Sunday. A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "She was surrounded by a herd of cattle and calves, and as a result of dogs being present the cattle reacted in an aggressive manner."

Last year another dog walker, Sandra Pearce, 45, died in a cattle stampede at South Elmham in Suffolk.

Source :

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Embed Google Books Selections Apps on Web sites, Blogs

Despite the ongoing battle over the Google Books scanning project, the search engine giant on Thursday introduced a variety of upgrades to the service, including the ability to embed certain books on Web sites or blogs.

Discussing a certain book on your site and want to allow users to easily read the passage in question? Google has added a section to Books that includes a link and embed code for easy placement, much like the options available on YouTube videos and google map.

"Programmers comfortable with API tools could accomplish this via our Embedded Viewer API, but this new solution is much easier for everyone to use," Brandon Badget, a Google Books product manager, wrote in a blog post. "For readers, this means they can more easily share pages from books you love, while publisher partners can gain even more awareness across the web to promote their books."

Google also improved the search function within each book. If you search for a certain word within the text, for example, Google will return image windows that include the entire sentence for more context. Click on the image and you will be taken directly to that page.

Results will also include "previous" and "next" buttons for easier navigation.

Perusing a magazine but not sure what page you are looking for? The new "thumbnail view" feature will tile a book or periodical's content to give a better overview of what's inside. Click a thumbnail and Google will take you to that page.

Similarly, Books now includes a drop-down menu that will allow you to navigate directly to a certain chapter or article within a magazine.

Google is also making available a plain text mode, which can be helpful for visually impaired readers using text-to-speech software, as well as a page turn button and an improved book overview page.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Verizon expands 3G / EVDO coverage in ME, VA and MA

June 16 - In a continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for residents and visitors in:

* Chesterfield County, Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site. The new cell site improves coverage in the Swift Creek Reservoir area of Moseley, Virginia.
* Hampton, Va., Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site. The new cell site improves coverage along Beach Rd. and the surrounding community.
* Northampton County, Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site in Eastville. The new cell site improves coverage along Route 13.
* Fairfax County, VA, Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with 2 new cell sites. The Springfield cell site improves coverage along such highly trafficked areas as Rolling Rd., Burke Rd. and Southampton Dr. The site also covers the VRE rail line for about 1/2 mile east and west of Rolling Rd. The Chantilly site improves coverage along such highly trafficked areas as Gum Springs Rd., Braddock Rd., Route 234, US 29, US 50, Pleasant Valley Rd. and Lightridge Farm Rd.
* Bland, VA, Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with 2 new cell sites. The new sites improve coverage in Bland and along Route 42 east of town.
* Arlington, VA, Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site. The new site improves coverage along such highly trafficked roads as I-395, Randolph St., S. Walter Reed Dr., 14th St., Glebe Rd., S. Four Mile Run Rd. and Columbia Pike.
* Glenburn, Maine. The new cell site provides increased wireless voice and 3G coverage along Route 222 in Glenburn, Levant and Hermon, as well as the surrounding areas.
* Boston, Massachusetts. The new cell site provides increased 3G high-speed wireless broadband coverage along Columbus Avenue, Route 9 and parts of I-90 in the Theatre District section of Boston, as well as the surrounding areas.

This network enhancement is part of Verizon Wireless' aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment each year to stay ahead of the growing demand for the company's voice and data services. Verizon Wireless spent $264 million to enhance services and coverage throughout Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland in 2008, bringing total network investment in the region to more than $2 billion since 2000.

"We have always believed even the most advanced cell phone is only as good as the network it runs on," said Verizon Wireless regional president Mike Maiorana. "We continue to invest aggressively in our wireless networks across Virginia, Maryland and DC to increase coverage and capacity for our customers."

Nationally, the company has invested more than $50 billion since it was formed in 2000 to offer customers the most reliable service available, including wireless data services such as picture messaging, text messaging, and the company's exclusive V CAST service. V CAST brings video clips of TV shows, music on demand and other multimedia services to wireless phones over Verizon Wireless' high-speed Mobile Broadband network.

With Mobile Broadband, users can connect to the Internet, download music over-the-air, and access e-mail or corporate data at average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and average upload speeds of 500-800 kbps. That translates to downloading a 1 Megabyte e-mail attachment - the equivalent of a small PowerPoint® presentation or a large PDF file - in about eight seconds and sending the same-sized file in less than 13 seconds.

Strong demand for Verizon Wireless services continued during the first quarter of 2009 as the company added 1.3 million net new customers. For the 18th consecutive quarter, Verizon Wireless also led the wireless industry in customer loyalty. The company posted a churn (customer turnover) rate of just 1.14%, below the rate reported by the other major wireless carriers.

Verizon Wireless tests its network and those of its competitors to ensure the Verizon Wireless network remains the nation's most reliable. Nationally, Verizon Wireless' real-life test men and women drive 91 specially equipped vehicles almost 1,000,000 miles annually on Interstate, U.S. and state highways, as well as major roads and surface streets in high-population areas, based upon U.S. Census counts, to determine if voice calls and data connections are successful on the first attempt and stay connected. Vehicles are equipped with computers that automatically make more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 16 million data tests annually on Verizon Wireless' network and the networks of other carriers.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Google to Try More Security from theft while using GMail

In a 6 page letter, signed by 36 experts in computer science, information security
, and privacy law, Google was asked to toughen their security practices on behalf of the user. The letter says that the best way to protect the user and their communications from theft and snooping while using GMail, Calendar, and Docs, was to enforce HTTPS and enable it by default.

In the letter the experts point out that it isn't enough to offer HTTPS, as Google does, but that it needs to be enabled by default, something that at this time isn't offered to users inside GMail, Calendar, or Docs. However, the letter points out that services such as Voice, Adwords, Health and AdSense each use HTTPS and use it as a default practice.

“Rather than forcing users of Gmail, Calendar, and Docs to “opt-in” to adequate security, Google should make security and privacy the default,” the letter suggests.

In addition, “…[if] Google believes that encryption and protection from hackers is a choice that should be left up to users, the company must do a better job of informing them of the risks so that they are equipped to make this choice. The company currently does very little to educate its users, and the sparse information describing encryption options is hidden, and presented in terms that few members of the general public will understand,” the recommendation adds.

Google’s official response to the letter, as posted by Alma Whitten on the Google Security Blog, pointed out what is already known. Namely that, “Last summer we made it even easier by letting Gmail users opt in to always use HTTPS every time they log in (no need to type or bookmark the ‘https’).”

Whitten’s response also pointed to the fact that Google has always advocated for and demonstrated a “focus on strong security in Web applications.” Adding that “We know that tens of millions of Gmail users rely on it to manage their lives every day, and we have offered HTTPS access as an option in Gmail from the day we launched.”

However, the fact that HTTPS is there, but opt-in only, was the central focus of the open letter. Whitten hints that this might change, “….we are currently looking into whether it would make sense to turn on HTTPS as the default for all Gmail users.”

When it comes to why this is not already happening, the open letter explains it as, “Google has long argued that the reason it doesn't enable HTTPS encryption by default is because of latency-related issues – that is, encrypted data may load more slowly, causing noticeable delays for the user.”

This statement is somewhat mirrored by Google in their response, “…we want to more completely understand the impact on people's experience, analyze the data, and make sure there are no negative effects. Ideally we'd like this to be on by default for all connections, and we are investigating the trade-offs, since there are some downsides to HTTPS — in some cases it makes certain actions slower.”

Google says there are plans to start testing small samples of Gmail users on a HTTPS by default setting. “…to see what their experience is, and whether it affects the performance of their email. Does it load fast enough? Is it responsive enough? Are there particular regions, or networks, or computer setups that do particularly poorly on HTTPS?”

As a trade off, the experts say that once HTTPS is enabled by default, the opt-in option could be replaced by an opt-out option. Once again, placing the control in the user’s hands as Google originally intended.

The question is, what will Google do? Their official response, while offering some general thoughts on the matter and letting the public know their thinking about the issue is positive, they have not stated one way or another what their plans are. While testing solutions is a great start, how hard is it to reverse the opt-in and replace it with an opt-out solution, and enforcing HTTPS across their application network?

There is also the fact that those who opt-in to HTTPS now lose that functionality in some gadgets, namely the GMail gadget on iGoogle. Minor issues like this will need to be addressed and fixed as well if Google takes the letters advice.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Get signal from your DTV converter box

Using digital conversion boxes on analog TVs is sometimes seen as a last resort – a poor person’s way to keep using their "old fashioned" analog TV sets. But, as described in "Save money with free Digital TV", broadcast digital television is just as good as cable or satellite TV – just with fewer channels. Plus, you get high definition for free (most cable and satellite services charge a premium for HD service). So switching to broadcast TV can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

If you've a high definition TV with a digital tuner, all you need is an antenna. If you're using a digital TV converter box, here’s a tip for improving your picture quality:

Most converter boxes have two outputs – an RF output (which uses a coax cable that connects to your TV’s antenna input), and a audio/video (AV) output (with 3 connectors, 1 for video and 2 for audio).

If your TV has a video input, it'll always give you better quality than the antenna input. This is because using the antenna input adds two conversion steps that reduce video quality and add noise to the signal. Most converter boxes don't include the AV cable, but they are readily available online or at any store that sells electronics.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

US switched to a Digital TV

WASHINGTON - HUNDREDS of television(TV) stations across the US pulled the plug on Friday on analog broadcasts and switched to a digital-only signal.

Despite an intensive campaign by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nearly three million US homes were expected to be left with a blank screen when the transition was completed at midnight Friday (0400 GMT Saturday, 12pm Singapore time).

More than 600 stations - one-third of the nearly 1,800 full-power television stations in the United States - have already ended analog broadcasts and the remainder had until the midnight deadline to do so.

Major TV networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were among those making the switch on Friday.

Acting FCC chairman Michael Copps hailed the move to all-digital broadcasting as an 'historic' event. 'Today's historic transition to digital TV is an important step forward in US broadcasting, offering consumers access to more free over-the-air programming as well as higher quality pictures and sound,' he said.

'The transition also frees up valuable airwaves for emergency communications and advanced wireless services,' Mr Copps said in a statement.

The Nielsen Co said on Wednesday in its final update before the switch that 2.8 million US households - 2.5% of the television market - were 'completely unready' for the transition, down from 5.8 million in February.

'Younger, African-American and Hispanic homes are disproportionately unready, while the elderly are the most ready,' according to Nielsen.

The transition was originally scheduled for February 17 but was delayed at the last-minute by Congress and President Barack Obama in a bid to prepare more homes for the switch.

The government has been providing Americans who rely on over-the-air signals with a US$40 (S$58) coupon to defray the cost of buying a digital converter box. The FCC has issued 59 million coupons for the converter boxes and will continue to supply them until July 31.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Microsoft announced free antivirus software

In November Microsoft announced its plans to make free antivirus software and it seems the Redmond monolith is about to make good on its claims.

Reuters is reporting Microsoft will 'soon unveil' its free antivirus software which should not only send shockwaves through the industry but also infuriate its slew of long term antivirus partners *deep breath*: AhnLab, ALWIL, Aladdin, BullGuard, Dialogue Scanner, Cat, F-Secure, Computer Associates, Eset, Frisk, GFI, GriSoft, Hauri, Kaspersky, Norman, McAfee, MicroWorld, Panda, Proland, Sophos, Sybari, Symantec, Trend Micro, VirusBuster and Zero-Knowledge.

Few details are known about the Microsoft offering other than the codename - 'Morro' - but considering it built/acquired an antivirus suite from its previous OneCare offering it would seem that the new edition will be rooted in this. Obviously the monopolies commission will also be paying close attention and any attempt to bundle it with Windows 7 would surely go down like a lead balloon.

That said, the markets are responding. Reuters reports on the news Symantec shares fell 0.5 per cent on Nasdaq, McAfee dropped 1.3% on the New York Stock Exchange and by contrast Microsoft was up 2.1%.

Personally I'm still most excited about Panda Cloud but watch this space, things are about to get interesting...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Google new tool targets Microsoft business users

Google Inc introduced software to make it easier for businesses using Microsoft Corp's Outlook to switch to its Web-based communications and collaboration products.

The Internet company said on Tuesday that its new software can easily transfer data from a Microsoft Exchange server to Google's cloud-based online service.

The new product allows business users to continue using the Outlook client for email and other tasks, but the back-end functionality and data storage would move to Google, instead of residing on a company's internal servers running Microsoft software.

The product, Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, will be available immediately as part of the existing Premier version of Google apps, which costs $50 per business user but is also available to educational and nonprofit customers for free.

Google product manager Chris Vander Way said the new product does not signal that Google is backing away from efforts to convince businesses to use its Web-based email, dubbed Gmail.

"We look at this as a way to provide choice for users who like to do things the old, Outlook way," said Vander Way.

The company said it currently has 1.75 million business users, including Genentech and Avago. Dave Girouard, president of Google's enterprise business, would not break down how many of those customers use the fee-based version of Google apps and how many use the free, ad-supported versions.

Girouard said the enterprise apps business generates "hundreds of millions" of dollars in revenue a year and is profitable and growing.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comcast reducing 50-Mbit/s Wideband Prices

Comcast has reduced the price of its 50-Mbit/s cable Internet service by more than 25 percent.

On Tuesday, Comcast rolled out its 50-Mbit/s downstream and 10-Mbit/s upstream "wideband" service to the Washington D.C. metro area, charging just $99.95 for the service, if a user signs up for both wideband and either a TV or voice package. Customers who wish to sign up for the 22-Mbit "Ultra" package will pay just $62.95 per month, again with a voice or TV package. Pricing for the "Ultra" tier remains unchanged.

As recently as April, when Comcast extended its service to the San Francisco Bay Area, the cable company charged $139.95 per month for 50-Mbit service, if a consumer also signed up for cable TV.

It was not clear whether the lower prices Comcast planned to charge customers in the Washington D.C. area would be rolled out nationwide, and whether they would be extended to those customers with existing service contracts.

Comcast officials were not immediately available to explain the price cut, which will also affect those customers who only sign up for Internet access. That price will drop to $116.95, Reuters reported.

Business customers can also sing up for a "Deluxe" 50-Mbit/10-Mbit service for $189.95 per month, including Microsoft Communications Service with "corporate-class email, calendaring and document sharing, plus firewalls and static IP addresses. Comcast said it doubled the speeds on the Starter tier to 12-Mbit/2-Mbit, and created a new Premium tier of 22-Mbit/5-Mbit services for $99.95 per month.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Canada geese confirmed as culprit in U.S Flights crash-landing

An analysis of feathers and DNA found that the birds were migratory and probably wintering in New York. At least three struck the plane's engines, forcing a landing in the Hudson River.

Canada geese hold formation as they glide in for a landing in the San Pasqual Valley. Canada geese fly thousands of miles from the northern U.S. and Canada to warmer climates during the winter. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Chemical analysis of feathers has confirmed that the birds that caused US Airways Flight 1549 to crash-land in the Hudson River in New York were migratory Canada geese, researchers from the Smithsonian Institution reported Monday.

The Airbus A320 collided Jan. 15 with a flock of birds about 2,900 feet above the ground and about 5 miles from LaGuardia Airport, where it had taken off. Both engines were damaged, but Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III managed to land the plane in the river with only minor injuries to some of the 155 people on board.

Samples of bird feathers and tissue were sent to the Feather Identification Laboratory at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, which routinely identifies birds involved in aircraft collisions.

About 7,400 such bird strikes are reported to the Federal Aviation Administration each year, but the real number is far higher: The FAA estimates that only 20% are reported. Bird strikes have destroyed 210 aircraft and caused 229 deaths since 1988.

Remains from about 4% of the reported strikes are sent to the Smithsonian for identification, according to Carla J. Dove, the lab's aptly named ornithologist.

In the case of Flight 1549, the feathers were compared to museum exemplars and found to be structurally identical to those of Canada geese (Branta canadensis), an identification that was confirmed by DNA analysis, the team reported in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The birds weigh about 8 pounds, more than enough to cause heavy damage.

The researchers then went one step further and examined the ratios of hydrogen and its stable isotope, deuterium, in the feathers. Studies of migratory birds have shown that the deuterium/hydrogen ratio can be used to identify where the birds molt and breed: The higher the ratio, the further north the birds were when they grew new feathers.

"This is the first time we've ever done anything like this" to identify bird strikes, Dove said. The analysis showed that the birds were Canadian migratory geese that bred in Labrador. They may have been wintering in the New York area.

"Knowing that the birds were migratory is crucial to developing management strategies," said ornithologist Peter P. Marra of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, another author of the paper.

If the birds are local, he said, tactics such as population reduction and habitat modification can reduce the number of bird strikes. But if they are migratory, then improved radar technology and other techniques would be more appropriate.

"Birds and planes share airspace," Marra said. "We need to figure out how to play nice."

The team is approaching the more complicated task of trying to determine how many birds struck Flight 1549. A preliminary DNA analysis shows that "at least one male and one female struck one engine, and at least one female struck the second," Dove said. "That corroborates what the engineers thought."

The National Transportation Safety Board will open hearings today about the US Airways incident and other bird strikes.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sony shows new controller at E3

LOS ANGELES -- Sony has conjured a new controller at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The PlayStation maker unveiled a prototype wand-shaped motion controller at their splashy E3 presentation Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The unnamed PlayStation 3 controller has a light-emitting sphere on the end that can be recognized by the PlayStation Eye camera.

The unnamed apparatus was demonstrated with prototype software that transformed the device on screen into such objects as a sword, mace, flashlight and gun with one-to-one motion control. Two of the gizmos were combined and used as a virtual bow that could shoot arrows at enemies.

Sony said the new controller would be available next year in spring.

The wand wasn't the only new contraption on display. Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai revealed what he called "the worst kept secret of E3": the PSP go, a small wi-fi enabled handheld device that relies only on downloads instead of discs.

The new system will not replace the exciting Playstation Portable. Hirai also announced PlayStation 3's video download service would be available on both the PSP and PSP go.

Among the games unveiled for the PS3: role-playing game "Final Fantasy XIV," user-generated racing game "ModNation Racer" and "Agent" from "Grand Theft Auto" developer Rockstar Games. "Gran Turismo" and "Metal Gear Solid" titles for PSP were also showcased.


Sony shows new controller at E3

LOS ANGELES -- Sony has conjured a new controller at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The PlayStation maker unveiled a prototype wand-shaped motion controller at their splashy E3 presentation Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The unnamed PlayStation 3 controller has a light-emitting sphere on the end that can be recognized by the PlayStation Eye camera.

The unnamed apparatus was demonstrated with prototype software that transformed the device on screen into such objects as a sword, mace, flashlight and gun with one-to-one motion control. Two of the gizmos were combined and used as a virtual bow that could shoot arrows at enemies.

Sony said the new controller would be available next year in spring.

The wand wasn't the only new contraption on display. Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai revealed what he called "the worst kept secret of E3": the PSP go, a small wi-fi enabled handheld device that relies only on downloads instead of discs.

The new system will not replace the exciting Playstation Portable. Hirai also announced PlayStation 3's video download service would be available on both the PSP and PSP go.

Among the games unveiled for the PS3: role-playing game "Final Fantasy XIV," user-generated racing game "ModNation Racer" and "Agent" from "Grand Theft Auto" developer Rockstar Games. "Gran Turismo" and "Metal Gear Solid" titles for PSP were also showcased.