The following is not a made up story from The Onion. An actual American town voted against rezoning a section of land so that it could be used to build a new solar farm in the area, for fear – among other things – that the solar farms will soak up the sun, making photosynthesis impossible. Other claims from Woodland residents included cancer-related questions and worries that the town’s young population might abandon the city.
The town had previously accepted three similar projects, and one solar farm is currently being assembled. More →
NASA treated us to a post-halloween surprise on Sunday with a new 30-minute video showcasing stunning shots of the sun taken in 4K quality. The was taken from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a spacecraft which launched back in 2010.
“SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material,” NASA’s YouTube channel explains. “In this video we experience images of the Sun in unprecedented detail captured by SDO. Presented in ultra-high definition video (4K) the video presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”
This is absolutely not a joke: Someone has been successfully selling plots of the sun on eBay until the popular auction site banned her listings, saying they violated the site’s intangible goods policy. And yes, that person is now suing eBay for not letting her sell pieces of the star that makes possible life on Earth. More →
Details surrounding another unannounced Nokia smartphone have reportedly been revealed following the leak of a screenshot from French carrier Orange’s internal system. Perhaps one of several smartphones set to be unveiled later this month at Nokia World 2011, the Nokia Sun appears to be a high-end smartphone with a build similar to the newly-released Nokia N9. Spec highlights according to the screenshot obtained by French blog My Windows Phone include Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, a 1.4GHz processor, a 3.7-inch touchscreen display, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera and a unibody polycarbonate case. According to the leak, the Nokia Sun will launch in France some time during the week of November 7th. More →
In with the new, out with the BREW — Sun Microsystems has just announced that Verizon Wireless is among several new partners to jump on the Java bandwagon. The nation’s largest carrier has long used BREW as its mobile platform of choice but times they are a’ changing. Moving forward, VZW will deploy Java Platform Micro Edition-based services and apps. From Sun’s JavaOne conference keynote highlights:
Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, who will outline his company’s strategic decision to deploy Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) -based services in its network and offer Java-based services and applications to its subscribers.
While Big Red has not confirmed that Qualcomm’s BREW platform will be phased out, maintaining two separate platforms doesn’t make much sense. Crazier things have definitely happened though, especially where carriers are concerned. We’ll have to wait and see what the future has in store for BREW though we highly doubt anyone would really miss it. Verizon has yet to issue any public statement regarding its Java ME adoption.
Recession be damned — it looks like Oracle will still manage to scrounge up enough cash to take Sun Microsystems off the table. Early last month IBM withdrew its $7.5 billion acquisition offer and as most people presumed, Sun was probably kicking itself. All is hardly lost however, as Oracle has nearly matched the offer and Sun won’t be making the same mistake twice. While it’s not a done deal until the papers are signed and the lawyers take their cut, Oracle has agreed to the $7.4 billion acquisition agreement which amounts to about $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt. According to Sun, the deal is expected to add approximately $1.5 billion to Oracle’s operating profit in the first year and around $2 billion in year two. Oracle recorded $17.8 billion in software sales last year and with Sun’s resources and product line at its disposal, expect that figure to balloon in spite of harsh economic times.
In an economic climate such as the one we’re currently experiencing, we’re sure that Sun Microsystems is wishing they could say, “No takesies-backsies!” For the past few weeks, it seemed like everyone was on the edge of their seat waiting to see what would happen with IBM’s offer Sun. On Sunday, everything came to a halt when IBM withdrew a hefty $7.5 billion bid for the computer and software manufacturer. Sun became apparently picky when the sum ($9.40 per share instead of the $9.55 offer from the prior week) and details of the negotiations didn’t quite meet their tastes. Now the company could be facing a rough future if IBM can’t find a way to please and purchase it. In the meantime, Sun’s stock prices could continue to drop as they further their quest to find a buyer.
Microsoft announced today that it will be teaming up with Sun Microsystems on a web search deal in an attempt to move one step closer to catching up with Google. It would appear as though Microsoft is getting pretty aggressive with its partnerships and expansions this year. First, it announced a partnership with LG for future Windows Mobile devices from the South Korean electronics company. Then there was the deal with Hewlett-Packard and the plan to add a new search toolbar to its future machines. Now, the partnership with Sun stipulates that users who download the Java platform will also be prompted with an option to download the MSN Toolbar for direct web searches using Microsoft’s engine. Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of Online Audience Business at Microsoft, said, “This deal will expose Live Search to millions more Internet users and drive increased volume for our search advertisers.” Things are getting intense for the continued fight for search engine market share as Microsoft had to aggressively outbid several other would-be Sun suitors for this deal. With Google holding 63% of the search engine market and Microsoft at 8.3%, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft has a long road ahead of it.