The Milky Way is about to be seen in a whole new way.
The European Space Agency has successfully launched its Gaia satellite into orbit, bringing a 1 billion-pixel camera detector to map our galaxy in 3D.
The stargazer lifted off on Thursday aboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from a launch pad at Sinnamary in French Guiana. Its mission is to map the precise location of over a billion stars. … Read more
How big is the image sensor on your camera? 5 megapixels? 8? 16? It hardly matters, because the European Space Agency is about to make you feel very inadequate. It's just flopped out a "1 billion pixel" (that's 1,000 megapixels) imaging device known as Gaia, which will map the Milky Way galaxy in 3D.
One billion pixels is actually a tiny bit of an understatement. Gaia's surface combines 106 credit card-size charged coupled devices (CCDs), each the thickness of a human hair. The CCDs, which are effectively "miniature" cameras in their own right, feature 4,500 pixels in the "along scan" direction and 1,966 pixels for "across scan," providing an overall total of around 8,847,000 pixels per CCD. Multiply that by 160 and you have a giant CCD consisting of 1 billion, 415 million, 520 thousand pixels. Zoinks!
Read more of "ESA's Gaia camera packs one billion pixels, maps entire Milky Way in 3D" at Crave UK. … Read more
Gaia Online is a large, forum-based social network that attracts mostly teenagers. Users can create avatars, earn virtual money by playing games, and interact with the virtual world. In this way, the service has created a realistic economy that exists solely online, attracting the attention of several well-known economists.
Gaia also includes a video hosting service and a marketplace driven by a micro economy among its members. The natural appeal of the site is due both to community and the built-in rewards system for participation.
Gaia Online was founded in 2003, and has more than 100,000 micro-transactions happening on … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--How do you fine tune a game that has been long in the making and is just a couple of months from going public?
That was the central question behind a focus group I sat in on Tuesday, as the developers behind the wildly popular casual virtual world Gaia Online invited seven devoted players to put zOMG, their new massively multiplayer online game, through its paces.
During the session, which lasted about two hours, the seven players--five women and two men ranging in age from 19 to 25--were asked to pound away at zOMG in a bid … Read more
Gaia Online, a virtual world targeted at teens, on Monday said it has raised $11 million in a series C round of financing from Institutional Venture Partners.
The round brings its total financing to more than $32 million. Its previous investors include Benchmark Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Time Warner.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company, founded in 2003, is among the most popular virtual communities for young people online, with reportedly more than 5 million monthly visitors (or 350,000 people who log on daily) who play games, socialize, and buy virtual goods in its marketplace.
Last year, the company … Read more
Gaia Online is a mix of social networking and massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG). Users can create their own avatars, then earn money for them by playing games and interacting with the virtual world. Gaia also includes its own marketplace, driven by a micro economy among its members. The natural appeal of the site is due both to community and the built-in rewards system for participation.
Gaia Online was founded in 2003, and it has more than 300,000 active users daily. In addition to the games, Gaia Online also has active forums that are in part for fun, … Read more
This post was updated at 10:18 a.m. PST to add information about Bebo's plans for OpenSocial.
SAN FRANCISCO--When Bebo co-founder and CEO Michael Birch took the stage in a theater at the Metreon complex here to announce the social network's Open Application Platform, he made the eyebrow-raising claim that the new initiative was, "dare I say it, 100 percent compatible with the Facebook platform."
Bebo representatives had hinted at Facebook compatibility last month when the social network officially joined Google's OpenSocial initiative. The new platform officially goes live on Wednesday night. "There'… Read more
(This is the second post in a series written "live" from Hot Chips 19 at Stanford University.)
Vernor Vinge is best known as a science-fiction writer, but he's also a computer scientist; he retired from his professorship at San Diego State University five years ago. (I mentioned his participation in a panel at Siggraph earlier this month here.)
Vinge's talk was titled "Digital Gaia," a reference to the Gaia Hypothesis. (I see Vinge used the same title for a January, 2000 essay in Wired, here.) Vinge described several scenarios for the future of the integrated-circuit industry, building on some… Read more