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NASA Curiosity Mars rover installing smarts for driving

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TechAndComputer (Aug. 10, 2012) — NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will spend its first weekend on Mars transitioning to software better suited for tasks ahead, such as driving and using its strong robotic arm. Share This: See Also: Space & TimeMarsNASAMatter & EnergyAviationRobotics ResearchComputers & MathSoftwareComputer ProgrammingReference Phoenix (spacecraft)Exploration of MarsMars Exploration RoverDeimos (moon)

The rover's "brain transplant," which will occur during a series of steps Aug. 10 through Aug. 13, will install a new version of software on both of the rover's redundant main computers. This software for Mars surface operations was uploaded to the rover's memory...

Reward the second best, ignore the best

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TechAndComputer (June 22, 2012) — New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests reasons why the richest should pay more tax; why rewarding the top performers leads to recurrent crises and scandals; and why we should resist the temptation to learn from and imitate the most successful.

Successful people don't like to have their success explained by luck, while audiences, too, seem unwilling to acknowledge the role of luck in determining...

Optimal planning of solar power plants

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TechAndComputer (May 10, 2012) — The photovoltaics industry is booming, and the market for solar farms is growing quickly all over the world. Yet, the task of planning PV power plants to make them as efficient as possible is far from trivial. Fraunhofer researchers, working with Siemens Energy Photovoltaics, have developed software that simplifies conceptual design.

The share of renewable energies in the overall energy mix is rising rapidly worldwide. With three-figure growth...

Unique testbed soon will be in space

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 13, 2012) — New and improved ways for future space travelers to communicate will be tested on the International Space Station after a launch later this year from Japan. The SCaN Testbed, or Space Communications and Navigation Testbed, was designed and built at NASA's Glenn Research Center over the last three years.

The SCaN Testbed will provide an orbiting laboratory on space station for the development of Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. These...

NASA clears the runway for open source software

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TechAndComputer (Jan. 18, 2012) — The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new website to expand the agency's open source software development.

Open source development, which invites the public access to view and improve software source code, is transforming the way software is created, improved and used. NASA uses open source code to address project and mission needs, accelerate software development and maximize public awareness and...

TechAndComputer (Jan. 18, 2012) — The NASA...