Daily Archives: November 4, 2011

Galactic Views (12)

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SPACE WATCH

The Giant Nebula, NGC 3603
NASA – Thousands of sparkling young stars nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar “jewel box” is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. This image shows a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. The image reveals stages in the life cycle of stars. The nebula was first discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1834. The image spans roughly 17 light-years. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage

Ancient White Dwarf Stars
Pushing the limits of its powerful vision, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy in this image from 2002. These extremely old, dim “clockwork stars” provide a completely independent reading on the age of the universe without relying on measurements of the expansion of the universe.

The ancient white dwarf stars, as seen by Hubble, turn out to be 12 to 13 billion years old. Because earlier Hubble observations show that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe’s birth in the big bang, finding the oldest stars puts astronomers well within arm’s reach of calculating the absolute age of the universe.

Though previous Hubble research sets the age of the universe at 13 to 14 billion years based on the rate of expansion of space, the universe’s birthday is such a fundamental and profound value that astronomers have long sought other age-dating techniques to cross-check their conclusions.

The new age-dating observations were done using Hubble to hunt for elusive ancient stars hidden inside a globular star cluster located 5,600 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius Image Credit: NASA and H. Richer (University of British Columbia)

Big Business Is Good for America

By Gary Hufbauer and Martin Vieiro – Even though the Occupy Wall Street protests seem incoherent at times, one main theme is clear: anger at big business.

But this backlash is based on three common misconceptions about major U.S. corporations.

  • first misconception is that Wall Street and big business are the same thing.
  • second misconception confuses large corporations and millionaires.
  • third common misconception has to do with the role of big business in innovation.

It is safe to say that without its major corporations the U.S. economy would not be, and would not remain, the largest and richest in the world. Big businesses invest significantly more in research and development than smaller firms. And they are far better placed to capture economies of scale and scope, which is crucial to making U.S. goods and services competitive abroad. Large companies account for more than 70 percent of U.S. exports. more> http://is.gd/vfv5Lu

World leaders gather around Europe’s sickbed

By Georgi Gotev – French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the host of the G20 meeting, made no secret that the problems of the eurozone had taken centre stage at the summit, initially planned to identify solutions to boost the world economy.

With a scenario of Greek bankruptcy no longer seen as taboo, Italy became a prime concern at the summit. more> http://is.gd/3q6x74

IBM illuminates solar power system aimed at data centers

By Michael Cooney – IBM is rolling out a solar-power array system designed to run high-voltage data centers.

IBM has installed the first iteration of the system on the 6,000 square-feet of rooftop of its India Software Lab in Bangalore. The solar array is capable of providing a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day. more> http://is.gd/aqflT9

Fabric wars: Cisco vs. Brocade vs. Juniper

Switched fabric

Image via Wikipedia

By Jim Duffy – The past three years have been very noisy on the data center fabric and architecture front. Every quarter seems to bring about a new convergence blueprint from another vendor – and a variety from one or two.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is being pushed hard by Cisco. It consolidates server adapter ports by tunneling FCoE instead of requiring a separate Fibre Channel network.

Brocade has some FCoE products but is not as bullish as Cisco on the technology. That’s because Brocade has the lion’s share of the Fibre Channel SAN market – it would lose Fibre Channel revenue to Cisco.

Juniper‘s QFabric seeks to flatten and simplify data center networks to accommodate growth of devices and applications, virtualized servers and storage, and cloud-enabled on-demand access to virtualized pools of IT resources. more> http://is.gd/MkPxbw

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CONGRESS WATCH SE Michigan and the U.P. – October 2011, SLIDE SHOW(31), US Senate Speech to the Detroit Economic Club, US Senate Senate Floor Speech on the Republican Filibuster of the American Jobs Act, [VIDEO 1:52] US Senate Levin Report … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH CBO’s Use of Evidence in Analysis of Budget and Economic Policies CBO Associate Director for Economic Analysis Jeffrey R. Kling’s presentation at the Annual Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Cost Estimate … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Sen. Snowe: Extend Tax Relief for American Small Businesses, US Senate Senator Snowe on Red Tide Legislation, YouTube [VIDEO 0:44] Snowe’s Red Tide Legislation Approved by Senate Commerce Committee, US Senate Snowe, Boxer Renew Call to Pass Airline … Continue reading