Fun Friday: Kuiper Airborn Observatory and SOFIA, Sun Fun, and Intel Bails Out Again

Wow, such a busy Friday. On the humorous side, Sun president Jonathan Schwartz is free to call Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX a “dying operating system” because HP-UX really is a dying operating system. At least, that’s what Sun said back to HP when they whined about Sun picking on them. Maybe I’d be sympathetic if HP was the size of a one-man op, but last I heard they’re a big fat corporation. Talk about not being able to take a taunt…

On the pleasant side, this “candy dish” mirror was unveiled as the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” today. Does anybody remember NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO)? It was a 1m IR telescope mounted on a C-141 that flew out of NASA Ames for about 20 years, ending in the late 1990s. Well, its successor is this telescope mirror destined to fly on the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Turns out William Jolitz has a lot of memories of the Kuiper mirror, as he worked on it when he worked at NASA as part of the NASA-Ames work-study program while he was a student at Lynbrook High School (before he went on to Berkeley). For some good inside stories, check out Memory – Mirror for Kuiper Airborn Observatory as a homage to all those great people who worked on this earlier project.

Finally, looks like Intel has cancelled a major chip for flat screen TVs that was their flagship consumer electronics semiconductor project. This after killing the 4 GHz pentium 4 last week. Looks like Intel President Paul Otellini is reevaluating some of his predecessor’s projects.

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