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Virgin spaceship firm gets big boost from Mideast

July 29, 2009 5:35 am | by TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson signed a deal Tuesday to sell about a third of his space travel startup Virgin Galactic to a Mideast investment fund, giving the venture an influx of cash at a time when the global recession has dried up funding sources. Aabar Investments will pay $280 million for a 32 percent share of the company, according to the agreement that also gives the wealthy Persian Gulf sheikdom of Abu Dhabi a chance to set up its own space flight industry.

Microsoft to open stores in Arizona, California

July 29, 2009 5:14 am | by JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it is planning to open its first two retail stores in Arizona and California this fall. The software maker said Tuesday it signed leases at shopping centers in Mission Viejo, Calif. and Scottsdale, Ariz. The Shops at Mission Viejo is already home to an Apple store. The other location, Scottsdale Fashion Square, does not have a competing Apple Inc. shop.

Microsoft and Yahoo Sign 10-Year Search Partnership

July 29, 2009 5:10 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE and JESSICA MINTZ | News | Comments

Microsoft Corp. has finally roped Yahoo Inc. into an Internet search partnership, capping a convoluted cat-and-mouse game that dragged on for years. The 10-year deal announced Wednesday gives Microsoft access to the Internet's second-largest search engine audience, adding a potentially potent weapon to the software maker's Internet arsenal as it girds for an all-out assault against online search and advertising leader Google Inc.


SMT LEDs Deliver up to 5,000 mcd

July 29, 2009 5:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

Compatible with IR reflow soldering, OPTEK's OVS5MxBCR4 Series half-watt LED package provides a typical luminous intensity of 4,000 4,500 and 5,000 mcd for the red, amber and yellow LEDs, with 25, 25, 6 and 25 lm for the white, warm white, blue and green LEDs, respectively. Features include a 120° viewing angle, a water clear lens, an operating temperature range from -40°C to +100°C.

Transducers Suit Energy-Monitoring Apps

July 29, 2009 5:01 am | Product Releases | Comments

Providing measurements of 1, 2, or 3-phase power in 2-, 3-, or 4-wire configurations, WattNode transducers from Onset are used with HOBO data loggers for energy monitoring, sub-metering, and phase-load monitoring applications.

Hollywood movie houses sue Pirate Bay operators

July 28, 2009 12:20 pm | News | Comments

A dozen Hollywood production companies have filed a new lawsuit against file-sharing Web site The Pirate Bay. Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Universal Studios and 10 others are demanding the site's operators be fined and prevented from distributing TV-series including "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" and films such as "Batman."

Nanofilms to the Rescue

July 28, 2009 12:12 pm | by Alfred Poor | Articles | Comments

A company called Uni-Pixel Displays has developed a novel display technology that they call “Time Multiplexed Optical Shutter” or TMOS. This uses a light guide with a special film suspended above its surface. An electrical charge draws the film down into contact with the light guide...


British government tells civil servants to tweet

July 28, 2009 11:09 am | by JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

The British government has told civil servants: Go forth and tweet. The government published guidelines Tuesday for its departments on using the microblogging service Twitter. In contrast to Twitter's limit of 140 characters per message, the document runs 20 pages, or more than 5,000 words. It tells civil servants their tweets should be "human and credible" and written in "informal spoken English."


Lawyer defends song swapper in Mass. download case

July 28, 2009 10:14 am | by ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

A Boston University graduate student was "a kid who did what kids do" when he swapped songs through file-sharing networks like Kazaa, his lawyer said Tuesday as his copyright-infringement trial began. In only the second music-downloading case against an individual to go to trial, the major recording labels accuse Joel Tenenbaum, 25, of Providence, R.I., of downloading and distributing songs

Battery Contacts for Cell Phones

July 28, 2009 10:08 am | Product Releases | Comments

Model no. BK-414 is for ML414 rechargeable 3V batteries.  Targeted applications are cell phones, key fobs, remotes and back up power. BK-414 retainers offer easy battery changes without tools, lightweight, low cost, and assured contact with the battery. The ML414 battery features a very small outline of 4.8 mm dia. & 1.4 mm height.

Digital property rights: Renting vs. buying

July 28, 2009 9:23 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | News | Comments

The Amazon Kindle fiasco brings up a host of issues related to digital property management and individual rights. For those with a personal (read: financial) stake in E-reader technology, it’s a shot across the bow. It puts them on the defensive, as one company (that would be Amazon) has unwittingly put out a negative ad campaign against E-readers.


Nissan Unveils New E-Car Prototype

July 28, 2009 9:19 am | Blogs | Comments

Nissan Motor today previewed its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based prototype. It also showcased a sophisticated EV-IT system developed to support electric driving 24/7. The dedicated EV platform is comprised of a highly rigid body, high-performance motor, compact lithium-ion battery with high power output and energy capacity.


Caltech Physicists Create First Nanoscale Mass Spectrometer

July 28, 2009 8:59 am | News | Comments

Using devices millionths of a meter in size, physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a technique to determine the mass of a single molecule, in real time. The mass of molecules is traditionally measured using mass spectrometry, in which samples consisting of tens of thousands of molecules are ionized, to produce charged versions of the molecules, or ions.


Terminations Enable High Contact Densities

July 28, 2009 7:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

Suitable for any application that requires a field-installable connector, the Han PushPull Power 4/0 termination from Harting is vibration-resistant, requires no special tooling, and is designed for high contact densities.

AT & T Opens Can of Worms with Blocking of 4Chan

July 28, 2009 6:22 am | News | Comments

AT&T revived the issue of network neutrality over the weekend by blocking the 4Chan message board. On Sunday, 4Chan founder Christopher Poole posted a notice that AT&T was "filtering/blocking" for AT&T customers. AT&T confirmed the blocking, but said it was because of a denial-of-service attack on 4Chan that began on Friday. It said access was blocked temporarily to prevent the attack from impacting its other customers, and "was in no way related to the content at"


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