Curiosity Finds Dust on Mars Similar to Hawaii

Rover Curiosity has found some similarities between the Martian dust it has been collecting and weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii. “We had many previous inferences and discussions about the mineralogy of Martian soil,” said David Blake of NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., who is the principal investigator for CheMin. “Our quantitative results provide refined and in some cases new identifications of the minerals in this first X-ray diffraction analysis on Mars.” “Our team is elated with these first results from our instrument,” said Blake. “They heighten our anticipation for future CheMin analyses in the months and miles ahead for Curiosity.” – JPL

Disney to Buy LucasFilm For 4 Billion

Disney and LucasFilm have announced a deal for George Lucas to sell LucasFilm to Disney for $4.05 billion. The deal will be half stock in Disney and half cash, Lucas owns 100% of the shares. Somehow Disney seems a fitting company to purchase LucasFilm. The press release also this tidbit “Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future” – TechCrunch

Lessons of Hurricane Sandy

We hope all of our readers are safe. Hurricane Sandy has reminded IT professionals what happens when a business places all of it’s technology and staff in a single location. Many online sites, Huffington Post, Gawker and BuzzFeed were down due to the storm. The online firm that has been most effect might be Viggle. It is a online application for earning gift cards by watching TV, with over 500,000 active users according to SEC filings. The firm is located in New York City and evidently has all of its technology infrastructure in the same location as the firm’s app wasn’t allowing people to log in in to TV shows last night. I wonder how the management of a firm with that many users would allow IT infrastructure in a single vulnerable site? I am sure Sandy has taught Viggle, and others, to distribute their technology operations to multiple sites to not only ensure survivability, but to also enhance the user experience.