Link Collection

March 5, 2009

LOTD for March 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:11 pm

Obama is trying to get new guidelines established for government contracts to avoid waste, specifically mentioning defense programs with cost overruns as wasteful spending:
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/03/obama-time-to-r.html

Another article about how Obama hopes to change the government contracting process goes over a number of problems that currently exists in the process:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/04/AR2009030401690.html?wpisrc=newsletter

NASA also has a BIG problem with cost overruns–just 9 of their projects are nearly a combined $1.1 billion over the costs estimated a few years ago. NASA’s big-money projects are normally late, over budget, or both:
http://www.rdmag.com/ShowPR~PUBCODE~014~ACCT~1400000101~ISSUE~0903~RELTYPE~IDN~PRODCODE~00000000~PRODLETT~BU.html

Another article about the spacecraft that will search for Earth-like planets, with some nice photos:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090304/sc_space/hownasaskeplerwillseekoutstrangenewworlds

Canada’s next UAVs will carry bombs:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Technology/Canada+Afghan+drones+will+carry+bombs/1356414/story.html

The Army’s new UAV fired its first missiles in combat last week:
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/03/armys-new-drone.html

Lockheed was awarded a 10-year IDIQ contract worth up to $5 billion to support Special Operations Forces. Great for Lockheed, really bad for L-3 (who had the current SOFSA CLS contract):
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2009/0303isgs-socom.html

Israeli researchers have found a way to process plutonium that can be used for power generation but not for nuclear weapons. The reprocessing can also significantly reduce the waste generated by civilian nuclear power plants, so it saves money and reduces the need to store the nuclear waste:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/05/israeli_plutonium_de_clawing_plan/

Cal chemists are doing 3-D research into microtissues to try to create artificial organs that may someday be able to be implanted into humans:
http://www.rdmag.com/ShowPR.aspx?PUBCODE=014&ACCT=1400000101&ISSUE=0903&RELTYPE=LST&PRODCODE=00000000&PRODLETT=BK&CommonCount=0

Australia and China have established a research center for wireless and mobile communications networks. I never would have thought of those countries collaborating on wireless R&D projects, but it should help both countries in their R&D programs:
http://www.csiro.au/partnerships/Australia-China-Research-Centre-for-Wireless-Communications.html

A breakthrough has been made for 5G wireless communications via millimeter-wave photonics, achieving 12.5 gigabit/s communications!
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/90438

Verizon pays $20k per year to have cellular coverage in the DC Metro subway system. Over the next four years, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will be able to provide coverage also…and the transit authority will happily receive the $25 million they will pay over the next 15 years:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022702727.html

Nokia will launch LTE devices next year and dismissed WiMAX as a “niche play”:
http://gigaom.com/2009/03/04/nokia-plans-lte-devices-for-2010/

BlackBerry’s App store website has been launched–it is called the BlackBerry App World:
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/appworld/

I could see how this free BlackBerry Application could be misused, but it could be of legitimate use to others: it allows BlackBerry users to change their Caller ID, disguise their voice, and record their calls:
http://crackberry.com/new-beta-123spoof-lets-you-spoof-your-caller-id-free

Broadcasters sued to block the FCC’s decision in November that allows white spaces devices:
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Broadcasters-Sue-to-Block-White-Spaces-Use/

I think that it is great that high school students will be competing in this math challenge this weekend, with $80k in scholarship prizes being awarded. 466 high school teams (each with 3-5 students) will get together to solve an applied math-modeling problem based on a real-world issue. They can get help from the web or books to research the problem, develop their model, analyze their findings, and write a solution paper. I looked at the contest list and it seems like only states in the Northeast US are competing:
http://m3challenge.siam.org/media_center.php?id=1501

Sandia researchers learned how diamonds melt on Neptune:
http://www.rdmag.com/ShowPR~PUBCODE~014~ACCT~1400000101~ISSUE~0903~RELTYPE~MS~PRODCODE~00000000~PRODLETT~BM.html

Civilian official of the NYPD’s pension fund apparently sole 8 tapes with the information needed (Social Security numbers, direct-deposit info, etc.) to steal the identities of 80,000 current and retired cops:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/03042009/news/regionalnews/nypd_civilian_worker_busted_in_mass_cop__157927.htm

Windows 7 allows users to remove IE, the first time Microsoft has allowed that since they integrated IE with Windows in 1997:
http://www.infoworld.com/article/09/03/05/Reports_Microsoft_lets_users_yank_IE8_from_Windows_7_1.html?source=NLC-DAILY&cgd=2009-03-05

Italian Catholics are being asked to give up text messaging for Lent:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090304/ap_on_hi_te/eu_italy_church_hi_tech_fast_6

Four-year-old boy won the rights to a tropical island in a Taiwan lottery:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090305/od_nm/us_island_odd

The postal service is being criticized for buying a house from one of its employees for $1.2 million…it sounds like they might lose a lot of money on the deal as they try to resell the house in current market conditions:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/05/postal.service.relocation/index.html?eref=rss_latest

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