Wireless N Support in Next Gen iPhone Implied by Apple Job Posting [Unconfirmed]

After the iPhone 3.0 firmware update, we wondered whether the the next gen iPhone would bring a new chip with support for 802.11n. Now a job posting on Apple’s website is feeding that theory.

We’ve already seen that the newest iPod Touch has a Broadcom BCM4329 chip with support for 802.11n and FM transmission—something missing in our most recent iPhone generation—but we’ve also learned that the hardware is dormant, perhaps to be brought to life by later additions in software support.

A recent Apple job posting teases that such software support might come soon along with some kind of upgrade allowing for 802.11n capabilities in the next gen iPhone, because it’s asking for a Wi-Fi software engineer to join the iPhone team and bring experience in:

• Implementation of 802.11 a/b/g/n & related specifications.
• 802.11i/802.1x Security protocols
• Good understanding of wireless RF technologies & co-existence issues of 802.11 PHYs with other Wireless interfaces like Bluetooth.

Ooh la la. Yes, it’s just a job posting and pure speculation regarding what we’ll see in the next generation of iPhones, but addition of Wireless N capabilities and support are a logical addition and seem rather likely.[AppleThanks, A!]

Five Things to Watch in the New Year

Credit: NASA

Well first off I hope everybody had a good year and 2010 is even better.

Here’s my list of five things to watch for in the new year:

1.  Hubble’s new camera.  The servicing mission is complete and Hubble is in fine form.  Hat’s off to everybody involved.  We have only seen the beginning of the great things to come.

2.  Sunspots!  Finally it appears the new sunspot cycle 24 is finally getting going much to the delight of ham radio operators everywhere.  YAY!  I am hoping (not predicting) the increase in solar activity is rather rapid, although the “predictions” seem to indicate the peak will be somewhat muted.  Still, think auroras!

3.  WISE.  The WISE spacecraft jettisoned the lens cap just the other day and very soon it will be starting to survey the sky.

4.  Oh the conspiracy theorists are going to go nuts!  Heck they’ve already started.  You may have heard the story about the Russians thinking about a mission to see if they can bump the asteroid Apophis into a different orbit, EVEN though NASA says chances of it hitting in 2036 is slim after downgrading the initial 1 in 37 initial chance.  I heard a Discovery.com rep saying well they are just really sensitive because of the Tunguska event and a lot of the ground track is in Russia.  However I read today a comment to an article on SOTT, go read it and decide for yourself, but be sure to read the comment at the end.

5.    Finally, after losing my beloved Phoenix this past year, I was lucky enough to get a commitment from a breeder for a new puppy this coming year.  A puppy is a lot of work, but I’m up for it, and this isn’t just any dog.  Both parents and both sets of grandparents are either American or European Champion/Grand Champion working dogs.  What? A  Doberman of course :-D

I’m working this weekend, but you all  have a great holiday and STAY SAFE!!

Art, Meet Science | Cosmic Variance

Apologies for the dismal lack of blogging — apparently even scientists travel around the holidays, who knew? I’m in South Carolina at the moment, so instead of the well-constructed argument (complete with witty parenthetical asides) on a pressing issue of the moment that I’d love to provide, please accept this simple link to some sketches by Richard Feynman. (Via Chad Orzel, author of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog.)

Feynman’s fondness for drawing is well-known, especially when the subject was naked ladies. The sketches aren’t going to win any art competitions, but they’re certainly better that I could do. And here’s one I bet very few professional artists could pull off:


I find that the subtle use of integration by parts really speaks of man’s inhumanity to man, don’t you agree?

But my favorite recent example of science-inflected art has to be this newly discovered late-period Jackson Pollock:


Oops, sorry; that’s not an abstract expressionist masterpiece at all. It’s a plot of theoretical predictions and experimental constraints for dark matter, as linked by Brian Mingus in comments. Check out dmtools if you’d like to make your own plot. Science and art are for everyone.

Thorium, the Next Uranium [Science]

Wired has a fairly epic look into a material that could make nuclear power both clean and safe called thorium—named after the Norse god of thunder. Of course, scientists recognized its promise back in the 1950s.

Whereas uranium is extremely rare, requires purification and creates waste that will be with us for hundreds of thousands of years, thorium is extremely common, burns more efficiently in reactors and leaves less, less radioactive waste (that can’t be turned into a nuke).

In fact, if it weren’t for the Soviet Union building uranium reactors in the 60s (and us responding in typical Cold War fashion), we’d probably be using thorium today.

But as Wired explains, thorium may be poised for a comeback. [Wired and Image]

Year End Statement

Thank you for your continued support and interest in ItalianFuturism.org.  Your scholarship and enthusiasm has made this year’s centenary celebrations a success.

Capitalizing on this year’s momentum, I look forward to providing you with up-to-the-minute information in the new year.


Grazie per il vostro continuo sostegno e interesse per ItalianFuturism.org. La vostri studi e l’entusiasmo ha reso le celebrazioni del centenario di quest’anno un successo.

Capitalizzando sulla moto di quest’anno, sono lieti di fornirle con informazioni aggiornate nel nuovo anno.


Jessica Palmieri

Please consider supporting ItalianFuturism.org


fire figting

i want to have some information about how to supervise aproject of fire fighting in big hanger for air crafts and is it allowed to have the foam blader tank in out side with no room to cover it and how can i test the whole system and eccepting the final project from contractor stating of water tank

How To: Execute the Ultimate Phone Prank With Skype [Pranks]

Here’s an old gem of a trick for anyone feeling lonely, vindictive, or very drunk this New Year’s Eve: with Skype, you can connect any phones in the world, and listen in on the results. Man, what a decade.

Here’s the game, as articulated by Reddit user quicksilver 5:

Here’s a fun trick – download Skype and set up a conference call by calling two of your friends simultaneously. They’ll both answer and be thoroughly convinced that the other has called them. While you sit there at your computer trying to hold back laughter (or with your microphone muted), you can listen to them try and figure out what the hell is going on. If they chalk it up to an accidental speed-dial and hang up, keep calling them and hilarity will ensue.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1.) Get some SkypeOut credit: To call landlines or cellphones with Skype, it costs money. You need to sign up for SkypeOut and buy $10 of credit—the minimum amount available—which should supply you with hours of phone-to-phone pranking. I had some Skype credit sitting around already, because SkypeOut, in addition to offering local calls for a few cents a minute, offers international calls at extremely low rates.

2.) Choose your victims: Who, of all the people you know, would you like to call one another at an inopportune time? Because you can pick whoever you want. Asshole boss and his terrible ex-wife, at 11:59 on New Year’s Eve? Why not! Two people who you know will be in the same room at the time? Even better. You can add more than two people to a call, but two is the funniest, since it’s less obvious what’s going on.

3.) Organize the call: Under the “Call” menu in Skype, select “Start conference call.” To add someone to the call they need to be in your contacts, so make sure you’ve added your victims to your main Skype list first.

4.) Do it: It may take a couple tries to get them to both pick up, but nobody’s to alarmed by a phantom call or two—they happen all the time. Their caller ID will read “Unknown” or “Private.” After your first call, which your victims will probably write off as a pocket dial, do it again. And again. And again, until things start to feel dangerous. or your conscience kicks in. If you can’t keep quiet, hit the mic mute button in the Skype call window; you’ll still be able to hear the other callers, but they won’t be able to hear you.

And that’s it, asshole. Happy new year. [Reddit, Previously]

Time Warner Cable’s Genius Solution to Possible Fox Outage: The Internet! [TimeWarner]

PSSSSST! Hey, Time Warner Cable! If you tell everyone how to watch Fox shows from their PC, they’ll probably start doing it for all your other programming, too! Self-defeating bitterness really is the perfect way to say goodbye to 2009.

The spat between Time Warner and News Corp has been escalating steadily this week, with the latter threatening to pull their content at midnight tonight unless the two sides reach an agreement on subscription fees. Thus far, Time Warner Cable’s main response has been to produce silly full-page ads, but now they’ve pulled out the big guns: spilling the dirty little secret that’ll some day put them out of the TV business.

You could watch their how-to video below, but for a full explanation I’d recommend our own Giz guides to living without cable or satellite TV and to home theater PCs. In the meantime, let’s all just sit back and enjoy watching two corporate monoliths greed themselves to death.

[Time Warner Cable via All Things D]

Saving Tasmanian Devils From A New Form of Lifeā€“Themselves | The Loom

tasmanian devilTasmanian devils have given rise to a weird new quasi-form of life: a cancer that spreads from animal to animal like a parasite. In tomorrow’s New York Times, I report on the latest analysis of devil’s facial tumour disease, published in this week’s Science. Scientists have now tracked down the cancer to its progenitor: nerve cells known as Schwann cells.

Now scientists can use this evolutionary history to design diagnostic tests for the cancer and perhaps even vaccines. Let’s hope they succeed–the cancer has wiped out 60 percent of all Tasmanian devils since 1996 and has the potential to drive the whole species extinct in a matter of decades.

For more on cancer as a new form of life, check out my earlier blog post on the only other documented case in the wild: a tumor that jumps from dog to dog. (The one major update to that post is that it now looks as if the tumor escaped its original dog host thousands of years ago, instead of hundreds as previously thought.) While dogs and Tasmanian devils are so far the only known hosts to these sorts of cancer, free-ranging tumors may actually be more common than we know right now. They may be particularly likely to arise in small, inbred populations. The similar immune systems of these animals may be easy for the cancer to evade, allowing it to spread quickly. Another hint that infectious cancer isn’t all that rare is the violence with which we reject transplanted organs. Why should our bodies be so well-primed to attack the cells of other humans? One possibility is that invasive cancers have been a long-term threat to the health of our ancestors.

(And for more on cancer as an evolutionary disease, see my article in Scientific American, reprinted in The Best American Science Writing 2008 )

Reference: EP Murchinson et al, “The Tasmanian Devil Transcriptome Reveals Schwann Cell Origins of a Clonally Transmissible Cancer.” Science http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1180616

Image: Wikipedia

[Update 12/31 3 pm: Headline de-apostrophed.]

Wassup with lead solder anyhow?

I had the chore yesterday of prepping some equipment for use in an electronics lab. There were about two dozen breadboard like arrangments of resistors and capacitors, most of which had been put aside and marked "problems" or similar. When I flipped the first one open, I saw the problem right away.

Ben Stein schools Ron Paul on Foreign Policy, strong support for Israel

From Eric Dondero:

Ron Paul appeared on Larry King Live on Monday night, along with Co-guests humorist Ben Stein and ironically Rep. Sheila Jackon-Lee of Houston. The subject: The Muslim Christmas Bomber.

Stein has been a longtime favorite of cultural libertarians ever since the iconic 1980s hit movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where he played the monotonous high school teacher, droning “Bueller… Bueller…”

Stein is a loyal and outspoken Republican. He’s been a contributing editor to libertarian/conservative American Spectator, and a regular free enterprise advocate guest on cable business shows. He now hosts a game show on MTV.

So, it’s especially ironic that libertarian-leaning Republican Stein would be chosen to go up against another individual often identified as “libertarian” Ron Paul. (Praise for Stein from Libertarian Leanings blog)

The segment quickly turned into a shouting match. Paul called the United States “occupiers,” and blamed the US for Muslim attacks. Stein responded by calling Paul an “anti-Semite.”

Here’s the partial transcript courtesy of PoliticsUSA:

STEIN: Well, that’s — I have never heard anything quite like that in my whole life. What he’s saying, basically, is we are doing something wrong by defending ourselves. Look, if these terrorists are trying to kill the government of Yemen, we’ve got to help defend them. They’re our friends. We can’t just let al Qaeda run wild. If we try to stop them —

PAUL: Why?

STEIN: Why should we stop them? Because they are terrorists and murderers and they’re very anti-American.

PAUL: Why are they terrorists?

STEIN: Surely congressman —

PAUL: Why are they terrorists?

STEIN: They’re terrorists and murders because they are psychos.

Paul also asserted that terrorist AbdulMutallab was motivated by American bombings of terrorist sites in Yemen two weeks ago. However, it’s now being learned that AbdulMutallab and his handlers had planned the terrorist act, at least one month ago. Robert Spencer over at Jihad Watch pens this devestating rebuke of Paul’s comments on CNN:

Obama believes essentially the same thing: that the jihad is a response to various actions of the West, which if we stop doing, all will be well. In line with this assumption, Paul apparently thinks that the Flight 253 jihad attack was a response to U.S. airstrikes in Yemen. However, according to an unnamed source in the White House quoted by Jake Tapper at ABC News, the Flight 253 jihadist had set his plot in motion before the airstrike. And it certainly seems that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had his mind on jihad for years.

Additionally, yet another terrorist attack with a virtually identical circumstance – syringe and explosive PETN in the passenger’s underwear – has just been discovered by the media. It occured 3 weeks ago at the airport in Mogadishu, clearly indicating that both attacks were coordinated by Yemeni Al Qaeda.

Since the spat with Stein, Paul has been receiving a great deal of praise and support from mostly 9/11 Truther blogs, Alex Jones sites, and of course, Lew Rockwell and AntiWar.com.

One site JudeoFascism in defending Paul, said that Stein was “playing the anti-Semite card,” and noted that Stein:

“is Jewish [and] under psychiatric care.”

Another popular site among Truthers and Anti-Warists, IncogMan, said the following:

Ron Paul… gets hit with the usual Jew crap… neither of them will say the Jew out loud because they can’t and still get any exposure… The Jew knows the real history and the Jew Question…Phony Al Qaeda CIA/MOSSAD people may have picked-up on this particular idiot Negro [AbdulMutallab]…

why don’t we just pull all our troops back home from the Mideast? Let’s do exactly what Ron Paul says we should. And give Israel the finger while we’re at it. How does that sound, America?

To be clear, Ron Paul is not an Anti-Semite and would abhor such statements. In fact, Stein has since offered a bit of an olive branch, retracting the “Anti-Semite” accusation in a brief editorial at American Spectator. However, it’s quite alarming that individuals such as the fringe bloggers mentioned above, gain inspiration from Paul’s anti-intervenionist talk to use for their own racist means.

Meanwhile, other more mainstream political sites have come to Stein’s defense. Blue Collar Blog comments:

At least Ben Stein had enough sense to take it to Congressman Paul.

I once was mildly enthused by Congressman Paul now I think he’s gone over the deep end. He does not understand that Islam is the motivation for the attacks on the United States. And anyone who does not realize that puts our lives in danger by seeking to appease these radicals.

The Nation’s #1 Right site HotAir.com hosted by Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey, is more succinct:

Ron Paul is a “useful idiot.”

You can see the entire segment of Larry King Live at YouTube.

IMPORTANT EDITOR’S NOTE: The views expressed in this article are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of all LR contributors and writers.

DISCLOSURE: I worked for Ron Paul on and off for 15 years, first as his Personal Travel Aide in his 1987/88 Libertarian Presidential campaign, then again briefly in 1992, and then as his Campaign Coordinator in 1995/96 for Congress, and finally as his Senior Congressional Aide, and District Policy Advisor, from 1997 – 2003.

Peter Schiff shifts to Pro-Defense stance: Says intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq may have been justified

On Iran, if they don’t let our inspecters in, we need to “just blow the place up”

Woodbury, Connecticut, Nov. 19, speaking to a local Young Republican group from YouTube video:

QUESTIONER: I take it you wouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq…

SCHIFF: I might have gone into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden, but I wouldn’t have been there to occupy the country. I might have gone into Iraq, if I thought there were weapons of mass destruction. We had intelligence, and we knew where they were. I might have gone in there to take them out. Just like we think that Iran may be building nuclear weapons. If we really believe that, and we think that, and we tell the Iranians, and we tell the Iranians this is where we believe those weapons are, you need to let our inspecters in there, well, if they don’t let us in there, we need to just blow the place up…

Some of his supporters from the Ron Paul faction are now threatening to pull their support for Schiff. From Sean Booth of PoliticalLore.com:

He says that if their was proof of WMDs in Iraq he would have approved of the invasion. Like so many others in Congress, unless Schiff was willing to do his homework on foreign policy, he may very well have followed his potential colleagues in the vote to invade.

The bottom line is that Schiff needs to take a principled stand on foreign policy issues, and not just economic issues if he expects the already great sums of money ($1 million plus) to continue to flow into his warchest from his legion of followers nationwide.

(Note – In contrast to Mr. Booth’s views, though under-reported by the mainstream media, WMD were found in Iraq on numerous occasions, including weapons cache’s found by both American and Polish troops, and most recently, 1 1/2 years ago, when 500,000 tons of yellow cake from Iraq were found.)

Other Ron Paulist candidates moving away from strict Non-intervention

Another Ron Paul-oriented candidate, Rand Paul running for US Senate recently caught flack from Paulists nationwide for issuing a press release staunchly opposed to the closure of Gitmo and transfer of Gitmo Prisoners of War to the mainland United States.

A third Ron Paul-oriented prospective candidate, Gary Johnson who’s eying a Presidential run for 2012, recently stressed in a TV appearance that unlike the common view, he supports a “Strong National Defense,” and “Defense of our Borders.”

From a recent press release from the Johnson exloratory effort:

Governor Johnson has also been a strong advocate of the war on terror… “Our efforts should be directed towards protecting U.S. citizens and our allies from terrorism…

Political realities may be setting in for these candidates, or perhaps more likely, realities of foreign affairs stemming from recent Muslim attacks on the US, may be having an impact.

Pro-Defense Libertarians who wish to contribute to Schiff’s campaign are urged to visit schiffforsenate.com

Or, show your support for RandPaul2010.com

And GaryJohnson2012.com

The Decade in Tech Stocks: Hope You Had GOOG and AAPL [Y2k10]

Turns out it was a tough decade for tech companies. First the bubble they helped create burst and took the rest of the economy down with them; now the credit markets have sunk them in return—with two notable exceptions.

I’ll admit that this chart would be more readable if it had been a more competitive field. But isn’t that kind of the point? While everyone else was mucking around trying to recover from the mistakes of the late nineties, two truly innovative companies—Apple and Google—distinguished themselves in spectacular fashion. Granted, Google didn’t join the party until 2004 and benefits from a severely undervalued IPO, but even taking that into consideration, their current stock price of $622 is 20 times that of Microsoft. No matter what kind of dividend Ballmer hands out, that’s an enormous—and telling—gap.

That’s the big picture. But I’m curious as to what you guys see in the details, too. A stock can pop on a rumor and drop on a dime. What’s behind some of the peaks and valleys we see here? [Chart via Google]

List of Speakers Announced for the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in February


Astronauts, researchers, educators, senior government officials including the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Dr. Pete Worden, and the head of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Dr. George Nield, and representatives from commercial space companies and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, will be among the speakers at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference on February 18-20, 2010. The agenda and speaker list for the conference, which will take place in Boulder, Colorado, was publicly released today and is available for download by clicking here [pdf].

The Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which is being convened by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), is intended to allow scientists, engineers, and educators to learn about the research and education capabilities of commercial suborbital spacecraft, and to hear from this broad research community on potential research and education applications and user requirements.

The list of sessions for the conference is as follows:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
5:00 pm: Welcome Reception

Thursday, February 18, 2010
8:30 am: Opening Session – Welcome and Keynotes
10:30 am: Research and Education Capabilities of Next-Generation Suborbital Vehicles Session I
12:15 pm: Press conference
1:30 pm: Research and Education Capabilities of Next-Generation Suborbital Vehicles Session II
3:30 pm: Payload Specialist and Researchers/Educator Roles in Next-Gen Suborbital Missions
4:30 pm: Student Suborbital Experiment Proposals
4:30 pm: Commercial Aspects/Other
7:30 pm: Public Lectures at the University of Colorado – Fiske Planetarium

Friday, February 19, 2010
8:00 am: Astronomy, Solar Physics, and Planetary Science Session I
8:00 am: Microgravity Physics Session I
8:00 am: Technology Payloads and Symposium on Deployable Vehicles Session I
10:30 am: Astronomy, Solar Physics, and Planetary Science Session II
10:30 am: Education and Public Outreach Session I (Outreach)
10:30 am: Atmospheric, Ionospheric, and Auroral Science Session I
2:00 pm: Life Sciences Session I
2:00 pm: Education and Public Outreach Session II (Education)
2:00 pm: Technology Payloads and Symposium on Deployable Vehicles Session II
7:00 pm: NASA Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) Panel Discussion

Saturday, February 20, 2010
8:30 am: Life Sciences Session II
8:30 am: Microgravity Physics Session II
8:30 am: Atmospheric, Ionospheric, and Auroral Science Session II
10:30 am: Desired Next-Generation Vehicle Attributes for Research and Education Missions
11:30 am: Closing Session

Gene Therapy and Stem Cells Save Limb

Blood vessel blockage, a common condition in old age or diabetes, leads to low blood flow and results in low oxygen, which can kill cells and tissues. Such blockages can require amputation resulting in loss of limbs. Now, using mice as their model, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed therapies that increase blood flow, improve movement and decrease tissue death and the need for amputation. The findings, published online last week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hold promise for developing clinical therapies.