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 Sci/Tech NEWS HEHE YES I R NEWSCASTER ATK OF RADIOP90

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PostSubject: Sci/Tech NEWS HEHE YES I R NEWSCASTER ATK OF RADIOP90   Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:17 am

Just In: Browser Showdown: IE 8 vs. Firefox
Microsoft's newest browser promises faster page load speeds. Does IE 8 deliver? We put it to the test against the latest version of Firefox.

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Nick Mediati, PC World
PC World
Thursday, March 19, 2009; 11:19 PM

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 is here at last--the newest entry into the ongoing browser wars. Microsoft packed a healthy number of new features into IE 8, and made security a top priority in its newest version of this venerable Web browser.

But just as important as all that is browsing speed--that is, how quickly can IE 8 render your favorite Web sites? To get an idea of how IE 8 compares, we put it to the test.

Our Speed-Test Methodology


In our browser speed comparison, we pitted a near-final build of Internet Explorer 8 against Firefox 3.0.7, the current non-beta version of Mozilla's browser. We used a set of nine popular Web sites in our testing: Amazon, MySpace, Yahoo, PC World, YouTube, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Wikipedia. To ensure we could gather as accurate page-loading times as possible, we recorded our testing sessions for review later on.

We loaded each site ten times in each of the browsers and repeated the process the following day to rule out any network traffic or server issues. Prior to each test run, we cleared the browsers' caches as well. We also repeated the load tests to ensure that we had sufficient data to identify loading speed trends. To ensure consistent results, we performed testing on a fresh Windows Vista installation, and we reinstalled the operating system before each round of testing. Additionally, we removed the two best and two worst scores for each page load test to produce more consistent results.

Browser testing can be tricky, as different browsers measure page loading progress differently, so getting a read of page load times strictly by the browser's progress bar could result in inaccurate or inconsistent results. Have all the images appeared? Are there elements of the page that have yet to load even though the browser's status indicator suggests otherwise? These are questions we take into account when testing browsers. Given this, we took into account visual indications of a page's loading progress, rather than relying on what the browser's progress bars told us.

The Speed-Test Results


By and large, we found that Internet Explorer 8 performed well, and beat out Firefox 3.0.7 in the majority of our time trials.

However, IE 8's performance advantage is relatively negligible. In most of our testing, IE 8's advantage was half a second or less. One notable exception, however, was in loading the English-language Wikipedia home page, where IE 8 beat out Firefox by an average of one second (IE 8 took about 2.2 seconds to load the page on average, while Firefox 3 took about 3.3 seconds). Also of note: on average, IE 8 loaded Apple's home page nearly twice as quickly as Firefox.

IE 8 is Faster, But Will You Notice?


In practical, everyday use, you likely won't notice much of a difference between IE 8 and Firefox 3. Due to the fact that broadband connections are so commonplace today, and the fact that browsers in general can load pages faster than they could even a couple years ago, the page load time differences between the two are relatively moot. If you use Firefox and are happy with it, you may as well stick with it. That said, it is encouraging to see browser vendors compete with each other, and aim to ship the fastest Web browsers they possibly can.
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PostSubject: First space outing a walk in the park   Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:18 am

Discovery astronauts Steve Swanson and Ricky Arnold breezed through a seven-hour spacewalk on Thursday to bolt the last piece of the international space station’s vaulting solar power grid into place.

But before they buckled down to work on what will be the first of three Discovery spacewalks, Swanson and Arnold took a moment to view the sights.

“See the moon?” Swanson, a veteran of two June 2007 outings, said to his rookie colleague.

“Will it still be there?” replied an eager Arnold, a former high school science teacher, as he made his way out of the airlock.

The shuttle delivered the $298 million solar power module when the ship and its seven astronauts docked with the station on Tuesday.

Thursday’s excursion set the stage for more drama Friday afternoon. The 10 astronauts aboard the station and shuttle plan to join forces with Mission Control to remotely command the unfurling of two 115-foot solar panels folded up inside the new module. Some previous attempts to unfold the panels have given astronauts fits, because the panels have either stuck together or snagged on guide wires — in one case causing a panel to rip.

“Great news and excellent work,” the Mission Control communicator told the spacewalkers as they finished fastening the 31,000-pound module into place with four large bolts.

The station’s solar power truss, which stretches to 356 feet with Thursday’s addition, was assembled from nine large segments launched aboard shuttles since 2000.

The electricity generated from sunlight by the power grid operates life-support systems for up to six full-time space station astronauts as well as the science experiments .

During their excursion, Swanson and Arnold worked closely with astronaut John Phillips. Phillips, positioned at a control console inside the orbiting laboratory, operated the station’s 57-foot-long robot arm .

Arnold, a 45-year-old Bowie, Md., native, is just half of a unique pairing on the Discovery mission. He and Joe Acaba, a 41-year-old Californian who will participate in his first spacewalk later this week, joined the space agency in 2004 as part of NASA’s educator-astronaut program.

“Welcome to EVA (extra vehicular activity, NASA’s term for a spacewalk),” Acaba radioed his teaching colleague .
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PostSubject: Dell's Adamo: A Close Look at the MacBook Air Rival   Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:19 am

Dell has finally unveiled the mysterious Adamo, a "luxury" laptop that could be the PC maker's response to ultrathin laptops such as Apple's stylish MacBook Air.


Adamo vs MacBook Comparison:

Price

$1999 vs $1299

Processor

1.2 to 1.4 vs 2.0 to 2.4

Size: (Adamo vs MacBook)

Thickness 0.76 vs 0.95 in

Width 13.4 vs 12.8 in

Depth 9.5 vs 8.94 in

Weight 4.0 vs 4.5 lbs

Plus, the MacBook has a removable battery and accessible 2.5 in HD
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PostSubject: Maiden Flight Of 'Flying Car' Called Rock Solid   Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:20 am

Aircraft maker Terrafugia has successfully flown its "flying car," taking the vehicle a step closer to becoming commercially available.
Officially called the Transition Roadable Aircraft Proof of Concept, the two-seat aircraft had its maiden flight March 5 at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, N.Y. It was a runway flight, which means the aircraft only flew above the runway. The fight from takeoff to landing lasted only about 30 seconds.

Nevertheless, Terrafugia said the test proved that the Transition is ready for more advanced flying. Test pilot retired U.S. Air Force Col. Phil Meteer said in a video on the company's Web site that the flight was smooth and the aircraft performed well.

"Stability is always a question on your first flight," Meteer said. "It was just rock solid."

Meteer said the Transition handled like a normal plane and there were no surprises. "It was remarkable for being unremarkable," he said. "It just flew like a really nice airplane."




Terrafugia's Flying Car
(click for larger image)


The four-wheel aircraft resembles a Volkswagen Beetle with wings and a propeller in the back. The Transition is capable of flying 450 miles at more than 115 mph. On the road, the front-wheel drive vehicle runs on unleaded gasoline, has a top speed of 65 mph and gets 30 miles to the gallon.

The Transition takes less than 30 seconds to transform from plane to car, which essentially is accomplished by folding the wings. In the car position the vehicle is 6 feet 9 inches tall, 80 inches wide, and 18 feet 9 inches long, and fits into a standard house garage.

Categorized as a light sport aircraft, buyers will need a sport pilot license to fly the Transition legally. The vehicle is meant to give pilots a "convenient ground transportation option."

"Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience," Carl Dietrich, chief executive of Terrafugia, said in a statement.

Terrafugia has not said when the flying car will be available, but is taking orders. Would-be buyers will have to put up a $10,000 deposit. The Transition is expected to cost $194,000.

Terrafugia has a video gallery of the first flight on its Web site.
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