One extra shuttle flight – then bupkis.

Obama has endorsed the Bush schedule for Shuttle retirement in his new budget.  There is money for one extra flight.  But come 2010, the United States will be, quite sadly, no longer a space faring nation.

No reprieve for space shuttle in Obama budget – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

The budget does leave the door open for a brief extension of the shuttle’s worklife. Bush wanted the shuttle to retire after it finished hauling building materials to the International Space Station. Obama’s budget allws for one additional shuttle flight before the end of 2010 if it can be flown “safely and affordably.”

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Total Cost of Ownership Tool

I can’t say I’ve tried this application yet, but it looks like more bang than I’ve seen before at this prioce point (i.e. free).  If you have a CIO that has just tasked you with saving a bundle of cash by replacing clunky commodity equipment with high-priced, name-brand, high-falutin’ enterprise goodies … this might be useful.

TCO – Total Cost of Onwership

Anyway the term TCO is still present today but in a wider sense of course, though there is no common standard of how to get comparable TCO-figures unfortunately.

This is where the TCO-Tool may help: A well defined Cost-Model linked to a transparently modelled system (Base-Information or TCO-Objects) shall be the base for standardized and interpretable TCO-comparisons.

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Safari 4

Ars Technica reviews Safari 4.  To wit:  Flashy, impressive, frivolous. 

As if being drop-dead serious is the hallmark of browser technology.

With new elements (like coverflow) that tie Safari more closely to the iconic iTunes interface, as well as elements (tabs UI) that scoop Google’s release of the Chrome browser for Mac, together with a Nitro engine that arrives ahead of Firefox with TraceMonkey  – Apple has just counted coup in the browser war.

Hands on: Safari 4 beta fast, mixes polish, rough UI edges – Ars Technica

The whole experience is flashy and graphically impressive, but frivolous and unnecessary. … Cover Flow, Apple’s flashy UI that now permeates everything from music browsing to file management, has also made its way to Safari. The Bookmarks and History management area is now centered around a Cover Flow panel. Thumbnail previews are generated for both the pages in your browsing history and bookmarks, and while Cover Flow is indeed handy for picking out a diamond in the rough, the thumbnail process seems to be a little buggy.

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Build Java 7 for Mac OS X

Not a page turner.  Not insightful  Not thought provoking.  But if you need Java 7 on your Mac, this is a good place to get started …

Java 7 on Mac OS X

Trying to download Java 7 for Mac OS X ? You will surely see Linux, Windows and even 64-bits versions ready to be downloaded, but when it comes to Mac OS X, you will need to do it yourself. James Shiell’s post walks you through the process

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Did SN1987A leave a quark star?

Quark star may hold secret to early universe – space – 21 February 2009 – New Scientist

The birth of a neutron star is known to be accompanied by a single burst of neutrinos. But when the team examined data from two neutrino detectors – Kamiokande II in Japan and Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven in the US – they found that SN 1987A gave off two separate bursts. “There is a significant time delay between [the bursts recorded by] these two detectors,” says Cheng. They believe the first burst was released when a neutron star formed, while the second was triggered seconds later by its collapse into a quark star. The results will appear in The Astrophysical Journal (

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mac OS X Netbook

An OSX Netbook for $400 bucks – maybe cheaper if you shop around.  Its too bad that it violates the Apple EULA, which you (or someone) still must agree to.

How To: Hackintosh a Dell Mini 9 Into the Ultimate OS X Netbook

By using a retail OS X disk, you stay mostly out of pirate waters, and ensure that once everything’s up and running, you’ll be as close as is possible to having an actual Mac.

Even though we’re using a standard retail-purchased copy of OS X, the disclaimer: Apple does not like Hackintoshing. It violates the OS X EULA, and probably won’t make the Dell folks too happy either, should you need to return your hacked Mini 9 for service.

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Web 2.0 – not dead yet

ReadWriteWeb has some results from Forrester indicating that 2/3 of Boomers are online and that spending part of the advertising budget to reach them there makes sense.

How to Reach Baby Boomers with Social Media – ReadWriteWeb

For companies wanting to reach out to the Baby Boomers online, this data shows that spending at least a portion of your budget on social applications for the group isn’t entirely a waste of time and money. The group isn’t as active online as younger generations are, but their participation levels are now moderate and increasing.

The best bets for getting Boomers interested in your content is to create blogs or videos that relate to the life or work-style of Boomers, Forrester suggests. And if you’re looking for feedback and contributions from the Boomers themselves – like comments or criticisms – make that process dead simple. Don’t introduce overly complex sign up forms or processes. Instead, encourage low-effort contributions such as star ratings.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Future Shock and Enterprise 2.0

This should drive home just how comfortably entrenched Enterprise 1.0 really is.  Forty years takes a lot of inertia.

Why your business should embrace Web 2.0 : Insight : Internet – ZDNet Asia

In some respects, the enterprise 2.0 vision is old wine in new bottles. It was trumpeted several decades ago by Alvin Toffler, who in his bestselling book Future Shock predicted that archaic corporate bureaucracies would be replaced by dynamic horizontal adhocracies. At the end of the counter-culture 1960s when Toffler’s book was an international bestseller, this was exciting stuff.

Toffler’s concept of adhocracy captured the spirit of the times. Adhocracy was proclaimed as a new form of organization that would kick down bureaucratic walls and bring people together to capture opportunities and find innovative solutions.

Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Detailed image of a star

4 milli arcsec image of a shell star.  Interferometry.  Very Large Telescopes.  Cool.

The Star T Leporis As Seen with VLTI

This image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer is one of the sharpest color images ever made. It shows the Mira-like star T Leporis in great detail. The central disc is the surface of the star, which is surrounded by a spherical shell of molecular material expelled from the star. In order to appreciate the feat of such measurement, one should realize that the star appears, on the sky, as small as a two-storey house on the Moon. The resolution of the image is about 4 milli-arcseconds.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

A look at non-relational databases

A fair and balanced article that very clearly points out what you get (an what you don’t) when you decide to give the RDBMS the boot (and who hasn’t felt that way?)

Is the Relational Database Doomed? – ReadWriteWeb

Recently, a lot of new non-relational databases have cropped up both inside and outside the cloud. One key message this sends is, “if you want vast, on-demand scalability, you need a non-relational database”.

If that is true, then is this a sign that the once mighty relational database finally has a chink in its armor? Is this a sign that relational databases have had their day and will decline over time?

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment