Sci/Tech briefs

China ventures into space

China will initiate its first space walk, the Shenzhou VII flight, later this month.
Three astronauts will venture into space on a Long-March II-F rocket. This will make Shenzhou VII the third manned space flight in a series that began in 2003.

China’s last venture into space was in 2005, when it launched a two-man mission.
According to a Chinese space official, the testing for the spacecraft was completed succesfully.
In 2003, China became the third nation after the former Soviet Union and U.S. to launch a man into space.

The flight will be broadcast live through the use of integrated cameras that will be installed on the interior and exterior of the rocket.
The launching of the rocket is scheduled to take place sometime between Sept. 25 and 30.

Source: BBC News

Google celebrates 10th birthday

One of the most popular search engines and Internet giants of today, Google, celebrated its 10th birthday Sept. 7.

Google came into existence 10 years ago, when Stanford information technology graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin, formed their small company in a garage in Menlo Park, Calif.
Within a decade, Google has expanded into one of today’s largest software firms. It has hired more than 20,000 employees.

It has also spread its operations across 20 countries.
It is now competing with Microsoft by launching its own browser.

Source: Times Online, U.K.

Networking site becomes spy tool

Stalking via social networking sites will not only be a daily ritual for bored individuals anymore; national security organizations join the club.
The CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency launched A-Space, a social networking site for analysts within the 16 United States intelligence agencies.

Officials at those organizations will use this program to share information about terrorist organizations. They will also monitor the activities of such organizations.
The site is currently being tested and will officially start operating Sept. 22.


Microsoft improves Windows Vista

With a thought-provoking advertisement featuring Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and actor Jerry Seinfeld, Microsoft aims to wipe the slate clean for its most notorious product, Windows Vista.
Shortly after its launch in January 2007, Vista’s speed and storage difficulties came to the surface.
Due to a string of crashing PCs and problematic software, Vista’s reputation went down the drain.

However, 77,000 hardware devices and components are currently compatible with Vista.
This number of devices compatible with Vista is almost twice the amount since when the software was first launched.

According to Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Windows strategy and marketing, people who complain about Vista today are those who have never or not recently used the product.

Source: The New York Times