Category Archives: Tech

NASA details mission to discover whether Europa moon is habitable

NASA pegs Europa moon lander's mission objectives

With potential oceans flowing below its icy surface, NASA thinks Jupiter’s Europa moon is promising candidate to harbor organic life. As such, the space agency and its JPL laboratory are looking to send a lander there within a decade, and have detailed what it wants it to explore in a new paper. Key goals include measuring the organic content of surface and near-surface chemistry, exploring mineralogy, measuring the thickness and salinity of the oceans and ice, imaging surface formations and looking at microscopic ice and non-ice grains. Researchers also looked at potential landing sites, and were torn between a more interesting, active site like “Thera Macula” and a stabler location with more ancient geology. NASA’s Juno mission, launched in August 2011, is expected to help settle such issues when it probes Europa from orbit starting in 2016. Though it’d be hard to top Curiosity’s setdown, a Europa landing could be even more dramatic, considering the moon is over 10 times farther away than Mars and never gets above minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Via: The Register

Source: NASA (paper)

Batman Zing! Whammo! Pows! his way to YouTube’s top superhero spot (video)

DNP Batman beats out every other superhero on YouTube

Bruce Wayne may be on permanent vacation with Selina Kyle, but that hasn’t stopped Batman from topping YouTube’s list of most popular superheroes. Based on views and amount of content, the Dark Knight is number one, racking up 3 billion pairs of eyes on 71,000 hours of video. That’s 213 trillion hours you spent watching the antics of a flying rodent with daddy issues — or roughly 42,000 views per hour of footage. More surprising than that though, is who came in second place. It wasn’t Spider-Man (seventh with 340 million views of 7,400 hours of video) or Tony Stark (fourth with 1.7 billion views of 20,000 hours of video). If you heard thunder, you heard right. Thor has 2.1 billion views and 66,000 hours of video, but only around 32,000 views per hour of tape. What does it all mean? Mjolnir’s owner is around 33 percent less popular (views per hour) than Gotham’s First Son — and he’s a god. Ouch.

That Bats has a pair of killer video games benefiting from repeat walkthrough viewings probably helps, but we imagine clips like what’re after the break do the actual heavy lifting. If you want to see if your favorite made the cut, hit YouTube’s blog from the source link below.

[Image credit: Tony Sak]

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Source: YouTube Trends blog

E-book publishers side with Apple, ask DoJ to scrap new price-fixing rules

Publishers ask US DOJ to turf Apple ebook restrictions

Apparently Apple isn’t the only company thinking the US Department of Justice’s recently imposed remedies against it were “draconian.” US publishers HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and others have also ganged up on the DOJ with a legal brief opposing the punitive restrictions. In it, they say the watchdog is “attempting to impose a specific business model on the publishing industry,” despite assertions it wouldn’t play that role. If you’ll recall, Apple was recently found guilty of price-fixing following charges filed last year. Now, the Justice Department is trying to force Apple to end its current agreements with the publishers and let rival e-book retailers like Amazon link to their own online stores.

Apple earlier condemned the decision, saying it was “wildly out of proportion to any… wrongdoing or potential harm.” The publishers added that it effectively punishes them by prohibiting the so-called agency model, which lets them set their own prices for e-books and other media. A similar affair was settled rather more amicably in Europe, meanwhile, when the same band of publishers agreed to allow other retailers to sell e-books cheaper than Apple does, if they so choose. Evidently, they feel the DOJ overstepped its bounds in the US and seem intent to back Apple to the bitter end.

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Source: AFP

Google Play Music All Access makes its European debut in nine countries

Three months after Google Play Music All Access debuted in the US and a month after it launched Down Under, the music subscription service has finally made its way across the globe to Europe. Well, to nine European countries at least. According to Google’s support page, it’s now available in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK. As with the other countries, there’s a promotional offer to help you get started. If you sign up for the 30-day trial before September 15th, you’ll only need to pay £7.99 or €7.99 a month after that. If you decide to wait however, the monthly subscription cost goes up to £9.99 or €9.99. No word yet on when the service will roll out to the rest of the world, but we’re sure the folks in Mountain View are hard at work making sure it does. After all, it has quite a bit of catching up to do.

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Via: Android Police

Source: Google Support

T-Mobile gains 1.1 million customers in Q2 2013, ups revenue 20 percent to $6.3 billion

It looks like T-Mobile was onto something with its UnCarrier remake, as the US carrier picked up 1.1 million customers in Q2 2013 and saw a major boost in revenue. It also managed to keep postpaid churn (turnover of customers on contract) to its lowest level ever at 1.58 percent. The carrier said the numbers were helped by its Jump upgrade program and Simple Choice family plans, launched just last month. Despite a recent price bump in the iPhone, T-Mob said the model accounted for 29 percent of its handset sales, but added that other models, like Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, also moved well. In all, it sold 4.3 million smartphones in total, or 86 percent of total phone sales, up from 71 percent over last quarter.

Meanwhile, it’s 4G LTE network has rolled out to 116 metro areas so far, a more rapid pace than it promised, and now covers 157 million people. That was helped along with the rapid transition of its new MetroPCS brand, which the company said it would expand to 15 new markets. It’ll get a further boost from its US Cellular spectrum acquisition, expected to be completed soon. The result of all that was a 20 percent boost in revenue to $6.3 billion over $4.4 billion last year, albeit with a drop in net income from $207 million to a loss of $16 million. Still if T-Mobile keeps up its highly energetic marketing and new program additions, it should get back in the black soon.

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Source: T-Mobile

Nokia Lumia 521: Quality Smartphone on an Extreme Budget

The Nokia Lumia 521 is very interesting. It’s the T-Mobile US version of the Lumia 520, and ships with AWS HSPA+ for just $129 sans contract or subsidy. It’s nearly identical to the 520 save for very minor dimensional differences and T-Mobile branding. AT&T gets the 520 in its original form as part of their GoPhone prepaid lineup for $99.99, no contract. The specsheet reads pretty respectably given the budget—Qualcomm’s MSM8227 SoC with dual-core Krait at 1GHz clocks, Adreno 305 graphics, 512MB RAM, 8GB of onboard NAND plus a micro SD slot, a 4” WVGA IPS panel, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.4 lens. And of course, this being Nokia, you’re assured of a pretty decent design and build. Nokia has always excelled at building durable, inexpensive handsets that didn’t feel cheap, which is one of the things that has propelled them to success in developing markets.

Nokia Lumia 521: Quality Smartphone on an Extreme Budget

The Nokia Lumia 521 is very interesting. It’s the T-Mobile US version of the Lumia 520, and ships with AWS HSPA+ for just $129 sans contract or subsidy. It’s nearly identical to the 520 save for very minor dimensional differences and T-Mobile branding. AT&T gets the 520 in its original form as part of their GoPhone prepaid lineup for $99.99, no contract. The specsheet reads pretty respectably given the budget—Qualcomm’s MSM8227 SoC with dual-core Krait at 1GHz clocks, Adreno 305 graphics, 512MB RAM, 8GB of onboard NAND plus a micro SD slot, a 4” WVGA IPS panel, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.4 lens. And of course, this being Nokia, you’re assured of a pretty decent design and build. Nokia has always excelled at building durable, inexpensive handsets that didn’t feel cheap, which is one of the things that has propelled them to success in developing markets.

Nokia Lumia 521: Quality Smartphone on an Extreme Budget

The Nokia Lumia 521 is very interesting. It’s the T-Mobile US version of the Lumia 520, and ships with AWS HSPA+ for just $129 sans contract or subsidy. It’s nearly identical to the 520 save for very minor dimensional differences and T-Mobile branding. AT&T gets the 520 in its original form as part of their GoPhone prepaid lineup for $99.99, no contract. The specsheet reads pretty respectably given the budget—Qualcomm’s MSM8227 SoC with dual-core Krait at 1GHz clocks, Adreno 305 graphics, 512MB RAM, 8GB of onboard NAND plus a micro SD slot, a 4” WVGA IPS panel, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.4 lens. And of course, this being Nokia, you’re assured of a pretty decent design and build. Nokia has always excelled at building durable, inexpensive handsets that didn’t feel cheap, which is one of the things that has propelled them to success in developing markets.

Nokia Lumia 521: Quality Smartphone on an Extreme Budget

The Nokia Lumia 521 is very interesting. It’s the T-Mobile US version of the Lumia 520, and ships with AWS HSPA+ for just $129 sans contract or subsidy. It’s nearly identical to the 520 save for very minor dimensional differences and T-Mobile branding. AT&T gets the 520 in its original form as part of their GoPhone prepaid lineup for $99.99, no contract. The specsheet reads pretty respectably given the budget—Qualcomm’s MSM8227 SoC with dual-core Krait at 1GHz clocks, Adreno 305 graphics, 512MB RAM, 8GB of onboard NAND plus a micro SD slot, a 4” WVGA IPS panel, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.4 lens. And of course, this being Nokia, you’re assured of a pretty decent design and build. Nokia has always excelled at building durable, inexpensive handsets that didn’t feel cheap, which is one of the things that has propelled them to success in developing markets.

Nokia Lumia 521: Quality Smartphone on an Extreme Budget

The Nokia Lumia 521 is very interesting. It’s the T-Mobile US version of the Lumia 520, and ships with AWS HSPA+ for just $129 sans contract or subsidy. It’s nearly identical to the 520 save for very minor dimensional differences and T-Mobile branding. AT&T gets the 520 in its original form as part of their GoPhone prepaid lineup for $99.99, no contract. The specsheet reads pretty respectably given the budget—Qualcomm’s MSM8227 SoC with dual-core Krait at 1GHz clocks, Adreno 305 graphics, 512MB RAM, 8GB of onboard NAND plus a micro SD slot, a 4” WVGA IPS panel, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.4 lens. And of course, this being Nokia, you’re assured of a pretty decent design and build. Nokia has always excelled at building durable, inexpensive handsets that didn’t feel cheap, which is one of the things that has propelled them to success in developing markets.