Nokia and Intel to Work Together on Mobile Computing

Intel and Nokia said Tuesday that they planned to jointly create mobile computing products that would meld the features of phones and computers.

Exactly what Intel and Nokia intend to do together remained unclear. Executives from the companies at a news conference only pledged to produce mobile devices that will have Internet access and run on Intel chips.

“We are exploring new ideas in shapes, sizes, materials and displays,” Kai Oistamo, an executive vice president at Nokia, said during the news conference. In an interview, he added, “We are not committing to any schedules or concrete product plans at this time.”

When asked directly, Mr. Oistamo declined even to confirm that Nokia would make phones using Intel’s Atom processors as a result of the deal.

Talk of merging cellphones and PCs has become commonplace from both personal computer and phone companies. “We are going to see a proliferation of devices, and you can call them whatever you want,” said Rebecca Runkle, the managing director at Research Edge, an equities analysis company. “Some of them are going to fail miserably, and some will be massive home runs that we can’t even envision yet.”

The lack of specific details around the Intel and Nokia announcement left analysts perplexed about the strength of the relationship. “It all sounds great, but without any content or timelines on products, it’s hard to go with just ‘trust us,’ ” said Ms. Runkle.

Intel and Nokia have as much to gain or lose from this new era of products as any other technology companies. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Intel sells the vast majority of chips that go into PCs and computer servers. Meanwhile, Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, produces the most cellphones.

Intel has spent the last couple of years pouring money into Atom, a chip that it hopes will secure a prominent place for the company in the cellphone market. The company’s past efforts to crack the cellphone business have failed, and most smartphones today run on a rival chip architecture called ARM. The bet on smartphones is meant to carry Intel into a higher-growth market and keep it at the center of computing.

While Nokia has done well in the smartphone market, it was caught off guard by the success of Apple’s iPhone. In particular, Apple has managed to build intense software developer interest in its phone through the App Store, and the more traditional phone makers are trying to catch up with their own software stores.

Beyond devices, Intel and Nokia plan to develop software for cellphones centered on the open-source Linux operating system. Intel has invested heavily in a version of Linux for phones called Moblin, and this month it paid $884 million to acquire Wind River Systems, which makes versions of Linux that can sit on top of chips inside things like cars and consumer electronics products.

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The first definitive evidence of shorelines on Mars – Thu Jun 18, 9:30 am ET

Several studies in recent years have claimed evidence for shorelines and other features that suggest ancient lakes on Mars. Firm evidence has remained elusive.

Now a University of Colorado at Boulder research team claims "the first definitive evidence of shorelines on Mars" in a statement released today.

The scientists see signs of "a deep, ancient lake," which would have implications for the potential for past life on Mars. Life as we know it requires water, and while Mars is dry now, if there was abundant water in the past -- as many studies have suggested -- then life would have been a possibility. There is, however, no firm evidence that life does or ever did exist on the red planet.

Researchers estimate the lake existed more than 3 billion years ago. It covered as much as 80 square miles and was up to 1,500 feet deep -- roughly the equivalent of Lake Champlain bordering the United States and Canada, said Gaetano Di Achille, who led the study out of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The shoreline evidence, found along a broad delta, included a series of alternating ridges and troughs thought to be surviving remnants of beach deposits.

"This is the first unambiguous evidence of shorelines on the surface of Mars," Di Achille said. "The identification of the shorelines and accompanying geological evidence allows us to calculate the size and volume of the lake, which appears to have formed about 3.4 billion years ago."

The findings have been published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Other studies have claimed evidence for lakes on Mars too, however, including one in Holden Crater announced last year.

And several studies have found evidence -- from possible shorelines to salty deposits indicating the evaporation of water -- for shallow lakes or oceans. Ancient Mars had abundant water, many lines of evidence indicate.

Images used for the study were taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

An analysis of the images indicates water carved a 30-mile-long canyon that opened up into a valley, depositing sediment that formed a large delta, the researchers conclude. This delta and others surrounding the basin imply the existence of a large, long-lived lake, said Hynek, also an assistant professor in CU-Boulder's geological sciences department. The presumed lake bed is located within a much larger valley known as the Shalbatana Vallis.

"Finding shorelines is a Holy Grail of sorts to us," said Brian Hynek, also of CU-Boulder.

In addition, the evidence shows the lake existed during a time when Mars is generally believed to have been cold and dry, which is at odds with current theories proposed by many planetary scientists, he said. "Not only does this research prove there was a long-lived lake system on Mars, but we can see that the lake formed after the warm, wet period is thought to have dissipated."

Further research will be needed to sort out the discrepancies, however.

Planetary scientists think the oldest surfaces on Mars formed during the wet and warm Noachan epoch from about 4.1 billion to 3.7 billion years ago that featured a bombardment of large meteors and extensive flooding. The newly discovered lake is believed to have formed during the Hesperian epoch and postdates the end of the warm and wet period on Mars by 300 million years, according to the study.

The deltas adjacent to the lake are of high interest to planetary scientists because deltas on Earth rapidly bury organic carbon and other biomarkers of life, Hynek said. Most astrobiologists believe any present indications of life on Mars will be discovered in the form of subterranean microorganisms.

But in the past, lakes on Mars would have provided cozy surface habitats rich in nutrients for such microbes, Hynek said.

The retreat of the lake apparently was rapid enough to prevent the formation of additional, lower shorelines, Di Achille said. The lake probably either evaporated or froze over with the ice slowly turning to water vapor and disappearing during a period of abrupt climate change, according to the study.

Di Achille said the newly discovered pristine lake bed and delta deposits would be would be a prime target for a future landing mission to Mars in search of evidence of past life.

"On Earth, deltas and lakes are excellent collectors and preservers of signs of past life," said Di Achille. "If life ever arose on Mars, deltas may be the key to unlocking Mars' biological past."

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WASHINGTON – Crews dismantled the wreckage Tuesday from a subway train collision that killed nine people and injured scores of others in the nation's capital, and a federal investigator revealed an old train involved in the crash should have been replaced because of safety concerns.

The Metrorail transit system kept the old trains running despite warnings in 2006, said Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash and whether age played a role in the rush-hour collision Monday.

The crash sent more than 70 people to hospitals. Metro officials said two men and seven women, all adults, were killed.

Mayor Adrian Fenty said at an earlier news conference that seven people were killed and he hoped the death toll did not climb any higher.

Hersman said investigators expect to recover recorders from a newer train that was stopped along the tracks waiting for another to clear the station ahead. But the old train that barreled down the tracks and triggered the collision was part of aging fleet and not equipped with the devices, which can provide valuable information on the cause of a crash.

Hersman told The Associated Press that the NTSB had warned of safety problems and recommended the old fleet be phased out or retrofitted to make it better withstand a crash. Neither was done, she said, which the NTSB considered "unacceptable."

Metro officials planned to replace the old trains, but were years away from actually having them on the tracks.

It was the worst crash in the history of Metrorail, the pride of the District of Colombia tourism industry that has shuttled tourists and commuters around Washington and to Maryland and Virginia suburbs for more than three decades.

The operator of the train that collided into the stopped cars was identified as Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield, Va., according to Metro officials.

McMillan was hired in March 2007 as a bus driver and was tapped to become a train operator in December, but it wasn't immediately clear whether she had control of the cars.

Metro has a computerized system on most trains during rush hour that is supposed to control braking, speeds and prevent collisions. The system, however, has failed before.

In June 2005, in a tunnel under the Potomac River, a train operator noticed he was getting too close to the train ahead of him even though the system indicated the track was clear. He hit the emergency brake in time, as did the operator of another train behind him.

Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith didn't know the outcome of the investigation into that incident, which she called "highly unusual."

The crash Monday occurred on the red line near the D.C. and Maryland border, in an area where higher train speeds are common because there is a longer distance between stops. Trains can go 55 to 59 miles per hour, though the train's speed at the time of the accident hasn't yet been determined.

One of McMillan's neighbors said she was proud of her job and was a meticulous mother who ironed her Metro uniform every night.

"If she could have stopped the train, she would have done everything in her power," said Joanne Harrison, who lives across the hall from McMillan.

Passenger Maya Maroto, 31, was riding on McMillan's train.

"We were going full speed — I didn't hear any braking. Everything was just going normally. Then there was a very loud impact. We all fell out of our seats. Then the train filled up with smoke. I was coughing," Maroto said.

Maroto, of Burtonsville, Md., said there was confusion after the impact because no announcements were immediately made. She said some passengers wanted to climb out, but others were afraid of being electrocuted by a rail.

Tijuana Cox, 21, was in the train that was hit. She had her sprained arm in a sling Tuesday.

"Everybody just went forward and came back," with people's knees hitting the seats in front of them, said Cox, of Lanham, Md.

The only other fatal crash in the Metro subway system occurred Jan. 13, 1982, when three people died as a result of a derailment. That was a day of disaster in the capital: Shortly before the subway crash, an Air Florida plane slammed into the 14th Street Bridge immediately after takeoff from Washington National Airport. The plane crash, during a severe snowstorm, killed 78 people.

In January 2007, a subway train derailed in downtown Washington, sending 20 people to the hospital and prompting the rescue of 60 others from the tunnel. In November 2006, two Metro track workers were struck and killed by an out-of-service train. An investigation found that the train operator failed to follow safety procedures. Another Metro worker was struck and killed in May 2006.
By BRIAN WITTE, Associated Press Writer Brian Witte, Associated Press Writer

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Transmission of an infectious superbug – Sun Jun 21, 11:25 pm ET

Transmission of an infectious superbug from dogs and cats to humans, and back again, is an increasing problem, a new study finds.

The superbug, a strain of bacteria known as MRSA, has evolved a resistance to antibiotics. It has long plagued hospitals but in recent years has become more common in homes. MRSA has even invaded beaches.

Only about two years ago, scientists began to seriously suspect pets were transmitting the bacteria.

In the July edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Richard Oehler of the University of South Florida College of Medicine and colleagues lay out the latest thinking on MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and pets.

The infections can be transmitted by animal bites and most threaten young children, the researchers note.

"As community-acquired strains of MRSA increase in prevalence, a growing body of clinical evidence has documented MRSA colonization in domestic animals, often implying direct acquisition of S aureus infection from their human owners," they write. "MRSA colonization has been documented in companion animals such as horses, dogs, and cats, and these animals have been viewed as potential reservoirs of infection."

Dog and cat bites make up about 1 percent of emergency room visits in the United States.

Some facts presented in the journal:

* Women and the elderly are most at risk of being bitten by a cat.
* Men in general and those aged under 20 of both sexes are most likely to be injured.
* Most bite exposures occur in young children, involve unrestrained dogs on the owner's property, and about 20 percent involve a non-neutered dog.
* Risk is highest in young boys aged 5 to 9 years, due to their small size and lack of understanding of provocative behavior.

Severe infections can occur in about 20 percent of all cases, the researchers state, and are caused by Pasteurella, Streptococcus, Fusobacterium, and Capnocytophaga bacteria from the animal's mouth, plus possibly other pathogens from the human's skin.

"Proper treatment of dog and cat bites should involve treatment of the immediate injury (whether superficial or deep) and then management of the risk of acute infection, including washing with high pressure saline if possible, and antibiotics in selected cases," the researchers suggest.

"Bites to the hands, forearms, neck, and head have the potential for the highest morbidity," the scientists warn. They conclude: "Much more remains to be learned about MRSA and pet-associated human infections."

* The Truth About Deadly 'Superbugs'
* 10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species
* Top 10 Mysterious Diseases

* Original Story: Pets Pass Superbug to Humans chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology. We take on the misconceptions that often pop up around scientific discoveries and deliver short, provocative explanations with a certain wit and style. Check out our science videos, Trivia & Quizzes and Top 10s. Join our community to debate hot-button issues like stem cells, climate change and evolution. You can also sign up for free newsletters, register for RSS feeds and get cool gadgets at the LiveScience Store.

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Energy stocks end higher on upbeat Chevron comments

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Energy stocks ended in the green Tuesday, with shares of petroleum producers and oil drillers leading the way on bullish comments on Chevron and ConocoPhillips sustained shares of oil producers.
The NYSE Arca Oil Index /quotes/comstock/10t!xoi.x (XOI 900.31, +12.22, +1.38%) of major oil firms rose 1.4% to 900. The NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index /quotes/comstock/10t!xng.x (XNG 404.57, +0.28, +0.07%) rose fractionally to 405. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index /quotes/comstock/10y!i:osx (OSX 156.55, +2.16, +1.40%) rose 1.4% to 157.
Crude oil futures regained their footing and rose $1.21 to $68.71.
ConocoPhillips /quotes/comstock/13*!cop/quotes/nls/cop (COP 41.25, +0.82, +2.03%) rose 2% to $41.25 after Bernstein Research upgraded shares of the oil major to outperform from market perform.
Analyst Neil McMahon set a price target of $54 a share, about 25% above the stock's current level, and praised the company's wildcat prospects..

ConocoPhillips and Karoon Energy recently announced a successful wildcat well in the Browse basin in offshore Australia. The next well in the three well program will test the Kontiki prospect, also in Australia.
"ConocoPhillips expects to be able to produce these resources through its Darwin LNG facility, significantly improving the project profitability, and increasing the company's future LNG exposure," McMahon said in a note to clients.
Chevron /quotes/comstock/13*!cvx/quotes/nls/cvx (CVX 65.96, +0.20, +0.30%) rose 0.3% to $65.96 after it said it drew its first significant oil from the Frade Field in Brazil, with the target of 90,000 barrels of crude oil a day in 2011.
Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Sankey said he met recently with Chevron management, who were touting the company's new energy projects and tame costs.
"Management were upbeat, because operations are running well; massive new developments -- Tengiz Sour Gas injection, Agbami -- are ramping successfully, and their start ups are on time and on budget, with oil due from Gulf of Mexico Tahiti and Brazil's Frade over the coming months," Sankey said in a note to clients. "Look for a 2009 volume target raise and cost control comments on their second-quarter call."
Meanwhile, Petroleos de Venezuela is inquiring about the circumstances surrounding Chevron's control of the Boscan oil field, one of the most important oil blocks in the country, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Steve Gelsi is a reporter for MarketWatch in New York.

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Asia Headlines

Asia Headlines
U.S., Europe plan WTO case against China: report
The U.S. and European Union are reportedtly set to announce a World Trade Organization case against China over its export restrictions on raw materials.
8:13pm 6/22/09
Asian exchanges close Monday trading mostly higher
Asian equities end mostly higher to start the week, with a rebound in the property and real estate sector helping lift Hong Kong's benchmark index while the Nikkei 225 adds 0.4% in Tokyo.
6:53am 6/22/09
China IPOs make comeback
China's initial public offering market reopens, presenting a new test of whether we are in something more than a bear-market rally.
2:30am 6/22/09
China Metal Recycling rockets in Hong Kong IPO
China Metal Recycling jumps 24% in its Hong Kong debut, while Hing Lee also gets a sharp rise in its IPO, amid investor appetite for new listings.
1:46am 6/22/09
Coming Japan data expected to be mostly positive
Economic numbers due for release this week and next may help convince more investors that the tide is truly turning for Japan, potentially providing a boost to Japanese shares.
1:18am 6/22/09
Japan investors wary despite upbeat data
The Japanese government reports business sentiment has significantly improved among large companies, but although more, similarly upbeat economic data are expected this week and next, Japanese investors remain wary.
11:10pm 6/21/09
China Eastern gets Shanghai Air deal, report says
China Eastern reportedly reaches a long-anticipated deal to buy Shanghai Airlines via a stock swap, with the buyer to raise money by issuing new shares.
11:05pm 6/21/09
National Australia Bank buys local Aviva assets
National Australia Bank strikes a deal to buy a large chunk of U.K. insurer Aviva's Australian assets for $660 million, in a move to boost its wealth-management business.
8:00pm 6/21/09

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Know when to say no to a job offer
Five red flags that signal you should keep looking
By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Karen Chopra knows all about the dangers of "first-offer-itis." It's a condition in which job seekers itch to take the first position they are offered, said the Washington, D.C.-based career counselor. And in this time of high unemployment, more people are inclined to do just that.
But rather than letting her clients succumb, Chopra will discuss a position's pros and cons with them to figure out how much they like the job versus how much they just want to stop searching.
Working well together
Getting different departments within one company to work well together is essential in a competitive market. Rob Wolcott from the Kellogg School of Management explains how a company can foster intra-department decision-making.
"Most people hate the job search," she said. "It's an anxiety-producing time. But there are real dangers to taking a job that is not a good fit."
If you're in a job you dislike, for instance, you may not perform well. And if you leave the job after a few months, there will be a short stint to explain on your résumé.

While there can be a tremendous amount of pressure to rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed, experts recommend that seekers try to curb desperation. "You are planning your career as opposed to just getting another job," said Randy Miller, founder and chief executive of ReadyMinds, a Lyndhurst, N.J., provider of online career counseling and coaching. "Take a step back, be clear on what you want to do. Otherwise, you will be in the same position six months later."
Of course, you must calculate whether you can afford to pass on an offer. Job seekers without any savings may not be in a position to say "no."
For those who can afford to be pickier, here are five tips on what type of offers to take a pass on and what warning signs to watch out for:
1. A big step down
With more than six million jobs lost since the recession began, many job seekers have less leverage when it comes to salary. Nonetheless, a real low-ball offer is a red flag, Chopra said.
It can be tough for workers to figure out how low is too low, Miller said, adding that job seekers should stay strong as long as they know they are worth more than a company's low offer.
"In today's times, the employee is asked to do a lot more," he said. "If you are not making the money you are supposed to, you will probably be miserable."
Job seekers also should be wary of taking a title that's too far below their most recent position, said Allison O'Kelly, chief executive of Mom Corps, an Atlanta-based staffing firm specializing in flexible employment.
At least temporarily, a salary can be less important than a title, O'Kelly said, because "it will be hard to get back into the higher role." She added that "people looking at your résumé will wonder why you were willing to take such a low-level position. They will think you should be more resourceful and able to find other jobs. I would prefer seeing that you are earning a little less, but that your title remains at a higher level. You will be better off."
2. Too-quick offers
Jobs that are offered very quickly may be worth passing on, said Walter Akana, a career strategist in Decatur, Ga. "It could be a sign that the company has lots of turnover and [is] desperate on some level as well," he said.
While it can be unnerving, waiting awhile for an offer isn't necessarily a bad thing, Akana added. "The company is under pressure to fill the position in the best way possible," he said, "so sometimes the process can take time."
3. No written offer
Companies that don't provide a written offer may be worth avoiding, said Miller. And that's particularly important during times when many firms are struggling.
Verbal offers "mean you really have nothing to stand on because the employer can renege," he said. "If it's a legitimate job offer, everything should be in writing."
A contract with a specific description of the job could protect you from having your position radically altered.
"The more you have in the document, the more it could protect you, it's minimizing your risk," Miller said. "You still run the risk of getting laid off. But it's better to have the piece of paper than nothing at all."
4. Too few answers
A potential employer's reluctance to answer questions should give you pause, said Chopra. Employers who are worried that a position may not be attractive to a particular candidate may try to conceal or avoid certain specifics, she said.
Another giveaway: when employers won't allow job candidates to speak with a prospective supervisor.
"You can work for a great company, but have a miserable supervisor, and that determines how you feel about the company," Chopra said. "The supervisor determines your day-to-day happiness."
5. Unpleasantness
If company insiders are difficult during negotiations, you may want to take a pass on a job, Chopra said. "Generally speaking, your treatment is not going to improve once you are hired," she said.
Ruth Mantell is a MarketWatch reporter based in Washington.

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