Meet today's super-specific robot, Skippy, who skips stones -- and with impressive height and consistency. Based on the shores of a lake in Sun Valley, Idaho, Skippy's sole purpose is basking in the sunshine and flinging stones across an idyllic little body of water set against the mountains. Ah, the simple life. … Read more
The stars aligned early this week for the transit of Venus, a special astronomical phenomenon that usually only occurs twice in a century. During this happening, observers can view Venus' passage across the sun from Earth. After it completes the final stretch on June 6, the event won't occur again until December 11, 2117.
Crave scoured the photo-sharing site Flickr and found some truly mesmerizing shots from amateur photographers based in the U.S., as well as several snaps from people planted elsewhere around the world.… Read more
One of the rarest celestial events viewable from Earth will occur Tuesday -- the planet Venus will make a trek across the face of the sun. Such an event has only been observed six times in recorded history, and the next occurrence won't come until 2117, so space buffs are gearing up for the big show.
One way to stay tuned -- and also help scientists record Venus' voyage -- is by using an app called VenusTransit. With this app, which is available on Android and iOS, amateur astronomers can join the ranks of historic explorers like Capt. James … Read more
It is prohibited for any U.S. person, company, organization, or agency to have any sort of business dealing that involves selling goods or services to Iran, because of U.S. government sanctions.
However, today it was reported by Reuters that Iran's second-largest mobile operator, MTN Irancell, seems to have gotten its hands on mobile computer equipment from several U.S. companies, including Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Cisco Systems.
Though it's still unclear just how MTN Irancell got the equipment, Reuters has held several interviews and uncovered dozens of documents it says confirm that MTN Irancell wanted this … Read more
For several weeks, U.S. District Judge William Alsup showed that he was the smartest person in the courtroom as high-priced lawyers for Google and Oracle pleaded their cases. On Thursday afternoon, he basically slammed the door in Oracle's face, explaining in a 41-page ruling that the 37 Java APIs used in Google's Android platform do not fall under U.S. copyright laws. The ruling on APIs followed a jury verdict on May 23 that absolved Google of violating two Oracle patents.
Oracle was asking for more than $1 billion in damages, but in the end the jury … Read more
Solar Impulse, a Swiss sun-powered aircraft, on Friday finished the first leg of its attempt at an intercontinental flight without using a single drop of fuel.
The solar plane took off Thursday from Payerne, Switzerland, bound for Morocco. It landed safely Friday on a planned three-day technical stopover in Madrid, where it will get a new pilot.
If successful, the 1,550-mile journey will be the longest to date for the craft, which last year completed its first international flight from its home in Switzerland to Brussels.
Pilot Andre Borschberg handled the first leg of the trip for the Solar … Read more
Today's jury verdict that Google's Android didn't infringe Oracle Java patents no doubt left many at Google breathing sighs of relief.
As Android programming evangelist Tim Bray tweeted, "F***ing A."
Google took this case to the brink, refusing to settle on either Oracle's copyright or patent infringement charges, and has emerged with minimal scarring so far. Some copyright issues remain unresolved, and there are always appeals. So far, things look a lot better than the prospect of the $2.6 billion Oracle sought. But it ain't over 'til it's over, as … Read more
The real impact of today's jury verdict in Oracle's long-running and -- as we now know -- overhyped lawsuit against Google means that the case is basically over.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the 10 remaining jurors, who served for about a month, and sent them home.
What happens next depends on how much more money Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wants to spend on litigation. Ellison could find a reason to appeal Oracle's whopper of a loss on its allegations of patent infringement. Or his attorneys … Read more
The annular solar eclipse darkened the sun and lit up social networks this evening.
Instead of completely obscuring the sun, the eclipse, which began around 5:30 p.m. PT, created a golden ring around the moon's silhouette, giving millions in the western United States and Southeast Asia front-row seats to a spectacle that hadn't been witnessed in 18 years.
While the eclipse was expected to last about 3.5 hours, the "ring of fire" phenomenon was only expected to last about 4.5 minutes, depending on location. The best viewing, weather permitting, was expected to … Read more
People lucky enough to be in Southeast Asia and the western U.S. this weekend will have the chance to view the first annular solar eclipse of its kind since 1994, according to NASA. Rather than a complete blocking out of the sun, as seen in a total eclipse, a "ring of fire" will radiate from behind the moon as it passes in front of the fiery globe.
The transformation will begin on Sunday as the moon makes its voyage across the sun; at one point, as much as 94 percent of the sun will be covered, according … Read more