Blog Archives

International Space Station switches from Windows to Linux

International_Space_StationThe United Space Alliance, which manages the computers aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in association with NASA, has announced that the Windows XP computers aboard the ISS have been switched to Linux. “We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable.”

This means that “dozens of laptops” will change from running Windows XP to Debian 6. There are already Linux systems aboard the ISS and once the move is completed there will be no more Windows. Keith Chuvala of the United Space Alliance has explained that the move to Linux will provide ”in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt, we could.”

Back in 2008, a Russian cosmonaut brought a laptop aboard with the W32.Gammima.AG worm, which quickly spread to the other laptops on board. Switching to Linux should mean that this could never happen again.

Linux is the scientific community’s operating system of choice according to ExtremeTech. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is controlled by Linux. NASA and SpaceX ground stations use Linux. DNA-sequencing lab technicians use Linux. Really, for applications that require absolute stability, which most scientific experiments are, Linux is the obvious choice.

Now here is Commander Chris Hadfield, who will be returning to Earth soon, performing David Bowie’s Space Oddity while on the ISS.
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XBox Music is almost here

They have been working on it for a while, but now Microsoft have finally unveiled XBox Music.

The service goes live from tomorrow.

According to Gizmodo the new service is basically Xbox Music Pass and Xbox Music Store together.

Music Pass is a streaming service that replaces Zune Music Pass with both a freemium tier and a $10 per month plan, similar to Spotify or Rdio. The freemium level gets you unlimited streaming to Windows 8 PCs or tablets, while the $10 subscription lets you download songs, and use the service on your Xbox and Windows Phone. The Music Store is similar to any other digital music store, like iTunes.

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Bits and Pieces – Neil Young, Build A Bear, Sony save Olympus and more

The Slingshot

– Neil Young has developed and audio player. The Pono player uses digital-to-analogue conversion technology which is, apparently, intended to “present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions” according to Rolling Stone.

– The Build A Bear shops are going high-tech – engadget

– The Slingshot mobile phone grip and tripod (pictured) means perfect photos from your phone could happen – Photojojo

– Sony have invested $645 million to save Olympus – Sony

– Camera+ is now available for the iPad – iTunes

– NASA’s Curiosity rover has found an ancient streambed on Mars – NASA

– Old iOS Music Accessories Should Work With Apple’s New Lightning Dock Connector – Gizmodo

– Intel Clover Trail is the next-generation Intel Atom chip that will be used in Windows 8 tablets and laptops – Intel