Andy Prough writes "Thanks to ambitions of humans going to Mars one day, technology that turns wastewater into drinking water is improving. Conserving water all the way to Mars and back will be vital, and so NASA is working overtime to make pee-drinking far more efficient. NASA's “first generation forward osmosis secondary treatment system” is being tested at Johnson Space Center in Houston, and pee-drinking technology is currently in use onboard the Space Station and at NASA’s Sustainability Base in Silicon Valley. The systems recover more than 95% of water from wastewater, which includes other water sources such as laundry water.
Andy Prough writes "Former Google engineer Jeff Nelson has written a fascinating blog post about how he created "Google OS", the forerunner to Chrome OS. Last August, he finally received a patent for it, but his work began in 2006, and the first versions of the OS were built on Firefox and a "bare-bones Linux distribution" that could execute any Linux program. In fact, when he first started writing the OS, Chrome itself did not exist, and the whole purpose for his work was to create a system that loaded fully — and only — into system RAM. This purpose grew out of his frustration with wait times as he wrote webapps for Google, and found himself waiting 30-45 seconds just to restart a web browser. By moving the entire OS to RAM, he was able to cut the Firefox restart time from 45 seconds to 1 second, and found similar speed increases for other mundane tasks. He built himself a "Chromebook" and used it as his primary development box for over a year. The fact that his boss and Google management originally had no interest in his project makes this story all the better. This blog post is a very interesting read, as it discusses the beginnings of the range of Google webapps that were ultimately created to "replace any and all functionality normally found on a desktop"." Link to Original Source top
Brazilians can Now Buy an "iPhone" Loaded with Android
Andy Prough writes "If you happen to be in Brazil and have 599 reals jingling in your pocket ($304 US dollars or £196), you can buy an iPhone — that runs Android. Gradiente Electronica, which registered the "iPhone" name in Brazil in 2000, has won the right to sell its iPhone Neo One, an Android phone running version 2.3, Gingerbread (http://www.gradiente.com.br/prod/23/smartphone-linha-g-gradiente-iphone-modelo-neo-one-gc-500-sf-dual-chip-android-23-3g-wi-fi-camera-5mp-cartao-2gb-grafite.aspx). Gradiente won the ruling from the Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), despite Apple's argument that Gradiente should lose the right to "iPhone" because it had not used the name between 2008-2012. Apple retains the right to appeal the case, and Gradiente now has the right to sue Apple for exclusivity in Brazil. If Gradiente wins, the only iPhones sold in Brazil would have a picture of a cute green robot on the box cover." Link to Original Source top
Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less than Germany because US has Less Sun
Andy Prough writes "Apparently those wise folks at Fox have figured out America's reluctance to invest as much money in solar energy as Germany — the Germans simply have more sun! Well, as Will Oremus from Slate points out, according to the US Dept. of Energy's Solar Resource map comparison of the US and Germany, nothing could be farther from the truth — Germany receives as much sunlight as the least lit US state — Alaska." Link to Original Source top
Every Apple-Made App On Your iPhone Can Be Replaced By A Better App
Andy Prough writes "From apparently nowhere, Googles Chromebook is suddenly topping Amazon UK’s bestsellers list for laptops. The Chromebook is also atop the bestseller list for laptops on Amazon's US site. The question is why and why didn’t we notice? If you check out all the online reviews you will find a bunch of pleasantly surprised review folk – the consensus is definitely “more than you’d expect for the price”. In particular reviewers are impressed with the simplicity, the boot-up speed, long battery life and quietness (no fan needed) the lightweight design, the great keyboard and the availability of endless games and information via the cloud and the huge google apps store. In essence it ‘does what it says on the tin’ in a no-nonsense way. Suddenly, the idea of a device which is an extension of the smartphone seems like a rather good idea. Queue the Google Chrome advertising campaign and availability on Amazon. But best be quick if you want this under your tree – the bestselling PC device this Christmas is selling like it never went out of fashion." Link to Original Source top
Wal-Mart puts iPhone 5 on sale for $127; are iPhone sales dragging?
Andy Prough writes "Wal-Mart has put various Apple products on sale, including the iPhone 5, marked down to $127. The retailer normally sells the smartphone for about $190, and the sale price is $72 less than the $199 price set by Apple and its carrier partners when buying with a contract. That's an incredible deal for consumers, but the sales' timing raises flags about how well the Apple smartphone is selling. The sale started Friday. Typically, top-of-the-line smartphones start getting discounted if a new version of the device is close to rolling out. But in this case, the iPhone 5 is being marked down more than 35% less than three months after its release — and in the middle of holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart's Apple-product sale comes shortly after a UBS analyst announced he was lowering his iPhone sales estimates for 2013, saying he expects Apple to sell 5 million fewer phones than his previous estimate for each of the next three quarters." Link to Original Source top
US energy independence causing Middle East disengagement?
Andy Prough writes "With the U.S. moving rapidly towards energy independence, governments in the Gulf region of the Middle East worry the uptick in U.S. production could fuel broader regional disengagement as their American ally faces a war-weary and economically-challenged electorate back home. Added to that are questions about whether the U.S. should continue to subsidize the security of China's oil supplies, which are increasingly passing through the Strait of Hormuz. That's raising worries in the Gulf that the U.S. may disengage from the region." Link to Original Source top
openSUSE ARM final less than a week away; RC2 available now
Andy Prough writes "A Kansas judge has ordered a Topeka newspaper to release the name of a commenter on one of its stories about the trial of Anceo D. Stovall for the murder of Natalie Gibson. Using the name "BePrepared", the commenter posted the following in response to a story about the ongoing trial on July 21 at 1:45pm: "Trust me that’s all they got in their little world, as you know, I have been there. Remember the pukes names they will do it for ever.” The problem? The court is convinced that "BePrepared" was a juror, and was not supposed to be accessing news about the trial before it ended on July 24th. The court wants BePrepared's name, address and IP address. The jury was ultimately unable to find Stovall guilty of 10 of the 11 charges against him — including murder. Both defense and prosecution lawyers appear to want a new trial, and if it turns out that BePrepared was a juror, they are more likely to get their wish." Link to Original Source