Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Morning Brief: Scientists present their evidence from the LHC proton-colliding experiments; photographing light itself; Microsoft launches OneNote, a bit late, but whatever

The media is trying, trying really hard to get their readers interested in a presentation that is occurring right now. Scientists are announcing the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located at the Swiss-French border.

The question the press is asking is have scientists found the "God particle", otherwise known as the Higgs boson.

I've tried to follow the news coming out of the experiments, but I find it mind numbing.

In the end there appears that won't be a huge "ta da" moment today anyways as The Guardian quotes one scientist as saying that there has been progress in the experiments but no true scientific discovery.

"The results indicate we are about half-way there and within one year we will probably know whether the Higgs particle exists with absolute certainty, but it is unfortunately not a Christmas present this year," said Prof Stephan Söldner-Rembold, Head of the Particle Physics Group at the University of Manchester. "The Higgs particle will, of course, be a great discovery, but it would be an even greater discovery if it didn't exist where theory predicts it to be."

The NYT has another science story this morning that I find even more fascinating. The Times is reporting on the work being done at M.I.T.’s Media Lab. As the NYT begins, this lab was the one that began using strobe lights to create stop action photographs of such things as a bullet piercing an apple, the drop of a milk into a glass, and other amazing photographs.

Now the lab is trying to photograph the movement of light itself. It is doing so by taking photographs at the hard to believe shutter speed of 500 frames per nanosecond, or a billionth of a second. My Nikon doesn't have that setting, I can tell you that.

“When I said I wanted to build a camera that looks around corners, my colleagues said, ‘Pick something that is more safe for your tenure,’ ” Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at the Media Lab told The Times. “Now I have tenure, so I can say this is not so crazy.”

Microsoft has finally decided, apparently, that it needs to supply office software for the iPad, or else someone else will.

Yesterday it launched Microsoft OneNote for iPad, a free app that will be the first in a line of Office apps designed for Apple's tablet.

"Today, just in time for the holidays, we’re releasing OneNote 1.3 for iOS" Michael Oldenbur wrote yesterday on the OneNote Blog. "Since the launch of OneNote for iPhone nearly a year ago, a recurring request from our customers has been for a version that can be used more easily on the iPad's larger screen. We're happy to announce that today's new release of OneNote for iOS devices includes a version that's tailored for the iPad."

At this point, having bet the farm that the iPad would be a bust, and probably fearful that launching apps for the device would be harmful to their Windows franchise, it is probably best if Microsoft simply commit to launching tablet apps regardless of the OS. Since April of 2010 I've had to live without Microsoft Office on my iPad and it has led to me beginning to live without it on my desktop and laptop computers. That is, the absence of Office has trained me to live without it altogether.

When Microsoft does launch a full line of Office apps they will have to compete with already established, low-priced apps created because of the absence of Office. Denial is not a great business strategy.

By the way, developers, Apple last night released a new beta: iOS 5.1 beta 2 (if you are keeping track), along with Xcode 4.3.

I've logged into my developer account and found the new beta but honestly can't tell you what new features you will find inside.

Apple also released a new version of its iTunes software yesterday that was supposed to clean up some issues with iTunes Match – something I am not subscribing too at this time either.