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BlackBerry Outage Disrupts and Backlogs North America

blackberry-pearl8100-b529c.jpgWasn’t it just last year that RIM (Research In Motion), BlackBerry’s maker, suffered a technical failure that brought the system down for more than ten hours? Well, it happened again yesterday to about 4 million U.S. and Canadian customers, idling thumbs across North America for fewer hours, but with no less pain. In the end, it was a new software installation (an upgrade that was designed to accelerate e-mail processing) that was the culprit in the RIM systems.

NASA’s “Messenger” Sends Close-Up Photos from Mercury

mercury.jpgBack in the early seventies, NASA sent Mariner 10 to Mercury. It was the last in a series of Mariner missions designed to survey other planets in the solar system. Launched in November 1973, this mission provided new information about Mercury and Venus in the Mariner program’s first dual-planet mission. Beginning in March 1974, Mariner 10′s three flybys past Mercury mapped about half of the planet’s surface, during which time a thin atmosphere and a magnetic field were discovered. More than thirty years later, we went back to Mercury this week, for some better pictures…and it was worth the trip.

Digital Music Sales Up, While Overall Industry Sales Sag

Microsoft ZuneWhile sales of digital music is on the rise, the music industry overall is experiencing a slowdown. Consumers are losing interest in compact discs (when was the last time you bought a CD?) and balking at paying for the digital alternatives (downloading it for free is faster and easier!), the music industry is looking for new allies, including Internet service providers, lawmakers — even karaoke bars.

Y2K38: The Son of the Millenium Bug

Help!Don’t panic yet, but there’s a potential problem in 30 years. Then again, maybe not. Here’s the issue: Most Unix-like operating systems represent time as the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. On 32-bit systems, that second count is a signed 32-bit integer. English translation: The latest time that can be represented is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, January 19, 2038. And while sources confirm the math, others have dismissed the threat. “Most of the Y2K problems were just display errors, not bugs in the actual calculations going on under the scenes,” wrote linux blogger, jandrese. “2038 is much scarier and is a lot more difficult to fix.”

Rechargeable Batteries that Don’t Need Recharging?

argyrodite.jpgThe days of fretting over a low battery may be over. Scientists in Germany are attempting to create a revolutionary new battery for cell phones, laptops, etc. that never needs recharging, turning to a unique source: Argyrodite. Argyrodite is a silver, germanium and sulphur-containing mineral discovered near Freiberg, Germany, in 1885 which may hold the key to virtually limitless energy production.

Daily ‘Toon

Daily Toon #001 Check out today’s Daily ‘Toon, by Dan Brown.

Nintendo Wii Helps Surgeons Improve their Fine Motor Skills

wii-surgery.jpgPicture this: you’re getting prepped for surgery (it’s minor, nothing to worry about…) and you notice that your surgeon is not scrubbing or checking charts. He’s playing the Nintendo Wii. Your first impulse is to bolt off the table, collect your insurance card and get the heck out of there. But wait. Nintendo’s wildly popular little machine may have yet another use—honing the fine motor skills of surgeons. And it seems to work.

Web-Based Video Editing and Sharing!

OneTrueMediaI ran across a site called onetruemedia.com.

It’s fast, easy web-based video editing/sharing. And I kind of love it. Here’s how it works: From the onetruemedia site, you can upload video clips and/or still images and arrange them into a “montage” or short video. Pick music from onetruemedia’s library and, well…that’s about it.

The system automatically adds transitions, lays in the music and creates a final cut for you to view, e-mail to friends or family—or you can order a DVD version of your video production. You can even select a custom “frame” within which your video will play.

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