May 2015

Google web page about Brillo

At Google I/O, as expected, there was the announcement of Project Brillo, the operating system for the Internet of Things. Google also announced Weave, a protocol that will serve as the standard language for the various devices to communicate with each other. This project is derived from Android but in a version stripped of various components to operate with minimum requirements while maintaining the support to essential services such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Mono no Aware by Ken Liu (Italian edition)

The short story “Mono no Aware” by Ken Liu has been published for the first time in 2012. It won the Hugo Award for best short story of the year.

Hiroto Shimizu is part of the crew of the Hopeful, a starship that set off for a journey of more than three centuries to a star called 61 Virginis to escape a disaster caused by the impact of an asteroid on Earth. When a damage to the giant solar sail used as a propulsion system is discovered, Hiroto is the most qualified for the difficult repair work.

The Mandriva Limited Edition 2005 desktop

News came that a few days ago Mandriva SA, the French company that produced open source software for many years including the Mandriva Linux distribution, was put into liquidation. Created as MandrakeSoft, the company was among the pioneers of the use of Linux on the desktop but in recent years abandoned it to try to survive by selling other products.

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

The novel “House of Suns” by Alastair Reynolds was published for the first time in 2008.

Campion and Purslane are several years late to the regular reunion of the Gentian Line they’re part of. Their situation is made more complicated by the fact that they are in a relationship and that’s punishable under the laws of their Line. Part of their delay is due to a detour to find another starship to replace Campion’s one.

Negotiating with a ruthless used starship reseller, Campion and Purslane find Hesperus, a robot member of the so-called Machine People and rescue him. That may give them something positive to show the rest of their Line but as they approach the system in which the reunion was started they receive a distress signal. Another member of the Line broadcast a message that warns of a terrible attack against the Gentian Line. Campion and Purslane can only look for the survivors to find the perpetrators.

Various forms of plankton (Image courtesy Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions)

Five studies that were just published in the journal “Science” describe some results obtained by the international consortium Tara Oceans in an expedition accomplished between 2009 and 2013 around the oceans. A group of more than 200 people traveled on the 36-meter schooner Tara to collect more than 35,000 samples in the waters of the Earth’s seas to study even at the genetic level the presence of various types of plankton.