2011 – December – Week 2

HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community.

HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices.



First-ever private launch to the International Space Station

Space Exploration Technologies Corp, a private California company, will attempt the first-ever commercial cargo run to the International Space Station in February.



Debate over Armageddon super virus recipe

To publish or not to publish?

That is the question gripping scientists after virologists said they had developed a bird flu virus – with a 60 per cent human mortality rate – that could spread as easily as the common cold.



NASA’s Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star

The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don’t yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets.



NASA’s Voyager Hits New Region at Solar System Edge

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region between our solar system and interstellar space. Data obtained from Voyager over the last year reveal this new region to be a kind of cosmic purgatory. In it, the wind of charged particles streaming out from our sun has calmed, our solar system’s magnetic field has piled up, and higher-energy particles from inside our solar system appear to be leaking out into interstellar space.



Sharp to introduce industry’s thinnest CMOS camera module with optical image stabilization for smartphones

Sharp Corporation has developed a 12.1-Megapixel, 1/3.2-inch CMOS camera module with optical image stabilization that features the industry’s thinnest profile (5.47 mm in height). The new RJ63YC100 is intended for use in mobile devices such as smartphones. Sample shipments will begin from December 2, 2011.



Researchers hope to build universal human age estimator

(PhysOrg.com) — As humans, we have a knack for estimating another person’s age quite accurately just by glancing at their face. Although age estimation may seem relatively simple to us, computers have a much more difficult time performing the task. In one of the latest attempts to build a computer that can accurately estimate a person’s age, researchers have taken a bottom-up approach to the challenge, collecting hundreds of thousands of images and videos from the Internet to train the system. Their goal is to build a universal human age estimator that is applicable to all ethnic groups and various image qualities.



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