In science fiction, wars between the Earth and her interplanetary colonies are a staple of the far future, but this was not that. Before we go to war with Mars, there has to be somebody living there to fight. Toward the end of the exhibition “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,” which opens at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday, a visitor is confronted with a chance to help make the red planet, currently a frozen desert, livable.
[I]t’s easy to poke fun at NIST’s pie-in-the-sky wishlist for cloud computing, but the authors themselves know that the document is more aspirational than operational. The plan is to identify priorities, to define goals (however lofty), and to foster discussion that will hopefully nudge to this whole cloud thing forward to the point where the government can start saving money with it. Nonetheless, the challenges that the authors face in trying to help “the cloud” are fundamental, and they’re rooted in the fact that it’s not really clear what, if anything, “the cloud” is.
With just days remaining before their final deadline, members of a Congressional panel on deficit reduction made frenzied efforts on Thursday to overcome an impasse, but appeared to be talking past one another and reported no tangible progress toward an agreement.