Microsoft Across America demo truck travels United States

The Microsoft Across America truck enables business owners, professionals and others to experience live demos of the latest technology products from Microsoft Corp., New Mexico Business Weekly reports. The truck provides a “hands-on, interactive environment with workstations that feature Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office,” according to NMBW. At its next stop in Albuquerque on March 19, LDD Consulting Inc. and Microsoft professionals will be on hand to answer technology questions and show how specific products from Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and others can compliment each other for unified technology solutions (New Mexico Business Weekly, 3/17/08).


HP, Marriott in deal to launch Halo teleconference rooms

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday announced that it has partnered with Marriott International Inc. to make HP Halo telepresence rooms available for public use at some Marriott locations, the San Jose Business Journal reports. Though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and HP officials said the specific locations "in major business centers around the world" will be announced later. According to HP, the system will “enable people located around the world to meet in an environment that looks, sounds and feels as if they are just across the table from one another.” Officials add that users will “see each other in life-sized images projected on high-resolution displays and can communicate with no perceived delays, regardless of how far apart they may be" (San Jose Business Journal, 3/18/08).


Astronauts attach armsto spacewalking robot

According to the Houston Chronicle, astronauts on the International Space Station on Sunday attached the arms of a $209 million spacewalking robot named Dextre, UPI reported. Dextre, a 12-foot, Canadian-built robot, was created to take on some repair duties typically performed by human spacewalking astronauts. Astronauts Rick Linnehan, Mike Foreman and Bob Behnken worked on the robot, and reportedly will conduct a spacewalk to hook up Dextre's tool-belt, cameras and lights on Monday night. Because of it size, Dextre is kept outside the space station, where temperature highs and lows are severe and would damage the robot if he weren't heated through a connection with the station's robot arm, according to the Chronicle (UPI, 3/16/08).

Genes link 95 percent of American Indians

Genetic researchers at Utah-based Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and Italy's University of Pavia have discovered that 95 percent of American Indians descend from six ancestral mothers who crossed Asia to the Americas 20,000 years ago, United Press International reports. According to a release, this marks the first time all known American Indian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and lineages have been compiled, corrected and organized into a single tree with branches dated. The study, which was published online by the Public Library of Science, identifies the six surviving Native American mtDNA lineages that are dated to approximately 20,000 years ago, designated as A2, B2, C1b, C1c, C1d and D1. The study also confirms the presence of five geographically limited genetic groups: X2a, D2, D3, C4c and D4h3. The lead study author notes that the five more rare genetic groups will help researchers isolate branches within the pan-American groups and make conclusions about different migratory events (UPI, 3/15/08).

Microsoft, Adobe partner for cell phone software package

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has licensed software from Adobe Systems Inc. that enables cell phone users to view online videos and other files, the San Jose Business Journal reports. Under the deal, Microsoft will distribute Adobe's Flash Lite and Reader programs through cell phones that use its Windows Mobile software. Though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the companies will offer the programs free of charge. According to Adobe officials, more than half a billion mobile devices have shipped with Flash preinstalled, indicating 150 percent growth year over year (San Jose Business Journal, 3/17/08).

Tech institute to launch new academic journal

The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education on Monday announced it received a $2 million grant to support a new quarterly journal called the International Journal of Learning and Media, the San Jose Business Journal reports. Awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the grant will help the California-based institute launch the new publication, which will “provide a forum for research and debate about the social and cultural implications of the intersection between learning and new and emerging media,” according to the Journal. The deal marks the second MacArthur Foundation-funded collaboration between MIT Press and MITE. Under their first partnership, the groups created the MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, which engaged more than 56 authors to produce six volumes that provided a framework for the continuing discussion on media and learning (San Jose Business Journal, 3/17/08).


NSA updates Linux security patch

The National Security Agency (NSA) last week released a new version of Security Enhanced Linux (SElinux), Government Computer News reports. Marking its first update since last September, the newest version known as build R080305 features improved error reporting, reduced memory usage, some new policy capabilities and additions to the library. According to GCN, “SELinux is a patch for the Linux operating system kernel that provides mandatory access control, one that uses NSA's Flask MAC architecture. MAC confines each process executed on the machine according to predefined security policies set by the organization.” With the latest update, users can install the SELinux core through their own Linux systems or run NSA's version of the operating system (Jackson, GCN, 3/14/08).



CIA launches video sharing application

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has launched iVideo in move to leverage social-networking tools to improve how information is shared throughout the intelligence community, Federal Computer Week reports. The YouTube-like application joins a “host of online collaboration tools that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released in recent years,” according to FCW. Other tools include a photo-sharing application much like Flickr; a tool for bookmarking Web pages that mimics; instant messaging; blogging software; and Intellipedia, which serves as a Wikipedia for the intelligence community (Bain, FCW, 3/14/08).

Automaker taps 100-year-old electric car model

Zap and China's Youngman Automotive Group are partnering to release a limited number of electric cars like the Detroit Electric, an electric car produced by the Anderson Electric Car Co. in the early part of the 20th century, CNet News reports. Based on the model from roughly a century ago, the reissued Detroit electric economy cars will become available in 2010 (Kanellos, CNet News, 3/17/08).

Online physician networking Web sites grow more popular

The number of online social networking communities for physicians is increasing, Modern Healthcare reports. Site supporters suggest that the networks allow physicians with limited time to communicate with others in their fields and discuss a variety of issues. Launched in August 2007, The Doctor's Channel, for instance, offers roughly 600 online videos that physicians can view and discuss. The site also offers news feeds on current health issues, as well as lifestyle advice. In September 2007, the Joint Commission created a social networking Web site, called WikiHealthCare, which was initially designed to serve as a forum to discuss new accrediting standards and programs within the commission. Its users, however, also generated discussions about other topics, according to the associate director of quality measurements and research in the commission's health services research department. David Best, a physician and co-founder of the Doctor's Channel, meanwhile, suggests that the most effective online networking sites are the ones that provide a forum in which physicians can learn from one another (DerGurahian, Modern Healthcare, 3/17/08). 


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