Saturday, April 23, 2011

SpaceX aims to put man on Mars in 10-20 years

The private Space Imdustry is taking off... Hopefully to Mars.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-spacex-aims-mars-years.html

SpaceX aims to put man on Mars in 10-20 years

"We'll probably put a first man in space in about three years," Elon Musk told the Wall Street Journal Saturday. "We're going all the way to Mars, I think... best case 10 years, worst case 15 to 20 years."
SpaceX is one of the two leading private space companies in the United States and has won $75 million from the US space agency NASA to help its pursuit of developing a spacecraft to replace the space shuttle.
The California-based company last year completed its first successful test of an unmanned space capsule into orbit and back.
"Our goal is to facilitate the transfer of people and cargo to other planets, and then it will be up to people if they want to go," said Musk, who also runs the Tesla company which develops electric cars.
The US space shuttle program is winding down later this year with final flights of Endeavour set for next week and Atlantis in June, ending an era of American spaceflight that began with the first space shuttle mission in 1981.
When the shuttle program ends, the United States hopes private industry will be able to fill the gap by creating the next generation of spacecraft to transport astronauts into space.
"A future where humanity is out there exploring stars is an incredibly exciting future, and inspiring, and that's what we're trying to help make happen," Musk added in the interview.
Earlier this month SpaceX unveiled what Musk has called the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, which will have its first demonstration flight at the end of 2012.
The launcher is designed to lift into orbit satellites or spacecraft weighing more than 53 metric tons, or 117,000 pounds -- more than twice the capacity of the Space Shuttle or Delta IV Heavy launcher.
SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is one of two private companies that NASA has contracted to transport cargo to the International Space Station.
Musk, a South African who made his fortune in the Internet, created SpaceX in 2002.
(c) 2011 AFP

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Be Wary of the Powerful

When you sue a giant multinational corporation for anti-competitive actions such as forcing end users to purchase their equipment to receive normally free software bug fixes, you have got to be ready for them to come after you from every angle. In jail, it is a little difficult to continue your lawsuit without a settlement out of court.

This is one of those fascinating stories that involve government acting quickly to apprehend a heinous criminal before wondering later, "Er, why exactly was it so urgent to arrest this guy?"

Cisco accused of orchestrating engineer's arrest

The arrest of Peter Alfred-Adekeye was retaliation for a lawsuit, his company claimed

By Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service
April 20, 2011 09:37 PM ET
Sponsored by:
Cisco Systems orchestrated the arrest of Multiven founder Peter Alfred-Adekeye last year in order to force a settlement of Multiven's antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, a Multiven executive said on Wednesday.
Multiven, an independent provider of service and support for networking gear, sued Cisco in 2008, alleging that the company monopolized the market for its software. Cisco countersued, charging that Alfred-Adekeye hacked into Cisco's computers and stole copyrighted software.
In May 2010, Alfred-Adekeye was arrested in Vancouver, Canada, on 97 counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer system without authorization for the purposes of commercial advantage, according to his arrest warrant. He could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine if convicted. The arrest came to light only this week after local Vancouver press reported it.
After 28 days, he was released on bail, but he has not been able to leave Canada since then, said Deka Yussuf, an executive vice president of Multiven in charge of marketing and public relations. Multiven is based in Redwood City, California, but Alfred-Adekeye lives in Zurich, she said.
The case has been stalled for the past 10 months because the U.S. Attorney's office has not been able to present the evidence required to extradite Alfred-Adekeye, Yussuf said. Alfred-Adekeye's lawyers believe the U.S. officials may have misled Canadian authorities about the need to arrest and extradite him, and they initiated hearings that are going on now in Vancouver to investigate this possibility, she said.
After the arrest last May, Cisco and Multiven settled the civil case in July. But Cisco is behind the entire criminal case, according to Yussuf.
"We believe this is Cisco's retaliation to the landmark antitrust lawsuit that Multiven brought against Cisco," Yussuf said. "It is our belief that Cisco has engineered this entire criminal arrest and litigation against Adekeye to force Multiven to settle."
Before the arrest, Multiven's case had been near to going before a jury, Yussuf said.
Cisco dismissed Multiven's accusation in a written statement.
"This is an absurd claim from Multiven. This case is a matter between US and Canadian governmental authorities. We understand that the genesis of the extradition request was an arrest warrant issued by a U.S. judge, which was based on a criminal complaint returned by a Secret Service Special Agent," Cisco said.
Alfred-Adekeye was unexpectedly arrested while giving a deposition to Cisco's lawyers at Vancouver's Wedgewood Hotel.
Multiven's suit alleged that Cisco forced owners of its equipment to buy Cisco SMARTnet service contracts in order to get software updates and bug fixes. That locks out independent companies such as Multiven, the suit said.
"We alleged that Cisco is harming consumers and the marketplace and competitors like Multiven ... by forcing their customers to purchase SMARTnet agreements with (Cisco) to obtain the critical software bug fixes, which should be made available to any customer who has purchased any software," Yussuf said.
Multiven's concerns echoed those expressed by some customers, who have complained that Cisco should fix its own bugs free of charge just as other companies such as Apple and Microsoft do. Some users have said the problem becomes complicated with second-hand and refurbished hardware. Cisco service contracts can't be transferred from one user to another, so buyers of used gear typically have to send the product in for inspection by Cisco before they can purchase a new contract, which can be an expensive process. Also, there may not be SMARTnet contracts available for discontinued products.
There is a large market for used Cisco equipment, fed by both buyers who can't afford new gear and those who need a router or switch model that is currently unavailable new, according to Brad Reese, research manager at BradReese.Com, which sells refurbished networking gear and services. He estimates the worldwide secondary market for networking gear at $2 billion, with 90 percent of sales being Cisco equipment.
Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com
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