Linkdump: Billions and Billions of Stars

October 21, 2010 - by jacksonwest

In physics news, India's Department of Atomic Energy is building a neutrino observatory in Tamil Nadu, while the folks at Fermilab are looking to feel the hand of the fabric of space-time by building "holographic interferometers" to see if rays of light have the shakes when split and passed through a vacuum. And The Hubble Space Telescope has observed light from a star 13 billion light years away, which certainly puts a long day at the office in the proper perspective. Talk about red-shift!

On the topic of space, the Pirate Parties International are considering launching their own DRM-destroying satellite, while Rackspace has teamed up with NASA to release the source code for OpenStack Object Storage and OpenStack Compute. Portland-based Puppet Labs has released a case study on how they use their open source server management tools to power Zynga's domination of Facebook games.

Redhat CEO Jim Whitehurst laments the lack of risky business in IT, where costs are rising when they should be falling. If only there was a solution to save money and eliminate infrastructure management headaches! To wit, Jason Thibeault from Limelight Networks and the team of analysts at GigaOM have produced a webinar on the Scalable Cloud. And at the risk of pissing off our hard-working sales team, Amazon is offering a $100,000 prize for a startup using Amazon Web Services to power its applications. Us? We just offer stuff like service, security, performance and support.

The wetware processing units at the Federal Communications Commission are considering repurposing some spectrum from traditional broadcasters to address rising wireless broadband demand, while Net Neutrality critics want the FCC to ditch that crusade and instead focus on granting them indulgences to expand their regional broadband monopolies like the 19th Century railroad robber barons they wish they were. So it should come as no surprise that Google's spending on lobbying has gone up 11 percent quarter-over-quarter, and not just because the ITA deal has raised all sorts of regulatory red flags and they'll have to answer for their aversion to paying their fair share of taxes.

Finally, speaking of Thomas Edison, today marks the 131st anniversary of the incandescent bulb -- the forerunner to the glorious vacuum tube, which powered the logic gates of the Colossus at Bletchley Park and the ENIAC at the United States Ballistic Research Laboratory, not to mention Booker T.'s Hammond organ in "Green Onions:"

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar-Z_l907DY&fs=1&hl=en_US]

(Fun fact: The first fully functional, Turing-complete computer, Konrad Zuse's Z3, used electromagnetic relays instead of tubes. That must have been noisy! But relatively cool-running and reliable.)

Photo via Geeks are Sexy.

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