NASA to send ‘mousetronauts’ to the International Space Station

Mice live roughly up to two years. Send them to the International Space Station for 6 months, and you can potentially tell the effects space has on a mammal over a quarter of its life; information that could inform future missions to Mars and other distant planets. NASA is currently working on housing for the “mousetronauts,” as Elon Musk likes to call them, and plans to send them to the ISS later this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

ARCHOS to Launch Android Tablet Sep. 15, New App Store

ARCHOS event inviteMedia player maker ARCHOS has confirmed a Sept. 15 event at which it will launch its 5-inch Android device. The ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet, which has been rumored for some time, is expected to have a Cortex CPU powering a 5-inch touchscreen. ARCHOS has previously stated that the tablet will be available with up to 500 GB of storage.
The soft launch of the AppsLib Store, meanwhile, an app store for “high-end Android devices,” is surprising. ARCHOS is planning for AppsLib to offer apps aimed at special Android devices, not smartphones, and is hoping to get other “high-end” device makers on board. It’s not clear how the AppsLib might fare in competition with the Android Market.
(via pocketables)

How Is Cloud Computing Like Space Travel?

iss018e039326I was thinking about reliability in the cloud when I saw this news item about the International Space System experiencing a close call with some space debris. The threat of the debris hitting the station forced the astronauts to hang out in their escape capsule to wait out the potential hit. Scary stuff, but then I read:

The object — about the size of a bullet, and moving 20 times as fast — passed within 3 miles (4.5 kilometers) of the station early Thursday afternoon ET, the U.S. space agency reported.

Sometimes it’s the little things that completely derail us. On land, something so small and so far away wouldn’t faze us for a minute, but in the enormous distances and hostile environment of space, that 9-millimeter chunk of metal had the potential to bring the space station to a halt. Likewise, small glitches and failures that may seem manageable in a corporate setting, have awesome power when they spread across the enormous number of users on the web. So how is cloud computing like space travel? Small problems can equal a monumental fail. Read More about How Is Cloud Computing Like Space Travel?