The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (7/08)

Shuttle-orion Space Shuttle Winds Down, Project Orion Winds Up

Just two scheduled Space Shuttle flights remain before the most complex machine ever made is grounded, and support companies are now restructuring their staffing levels. Good thing, then, that Orion is on track. USA may find itself a new contract with the crew vehicle program, Orion program. The capsule's development is being continued in the hope that it may provide a launch system to get astronauts up to the International Space Station, as well as act as an emergency escape vehicle. Today the capsule's NASA/Lockheed Martin development team announced that it had successfully passed the Phase1 Safety Review, which is a critical step on the path to getting a full human spaceflight rating for the system. It's a big step, and suggests the system may be ready for its first orbital tests as soon as 2013.

Twitter-Logo Twitter Now the World's Fastest Growing Search Engine What is your search engine of choice? Google? Yahoo? Bing? Try Twitter. According to cofounder Biz Stone, who spoke yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Twitter now reaches some 800 million search queries per day. That's over 24 billion searches per month, more than Bing (4.1 billion) and Yahoo (9.4 billion) combined. While Stone's company is still a long way off from Google, which supports around 88 billion search queries per month, Twitter is quickly catching up. Since last April, Twitter searches are up 33%. To put that in perspective, a study by Nielsen last year concluded that Bing was the fastest-growing search engine in the U.S. after it ballooned over 22%. Now it seems Twitter has taken the title. And this is something the service has been angling for. Last month, at the the World Innovation Forum, Stone argued that Twitter is "not a social network," though many people view it as one. "That's been a myth since the beginning," he explained. "We're much more like an information network or a source of news."

Pl_brown_conan_f Conan O'Brien's Social Web Rebirth

Conan’s “crash” reminded us that he’s a comedian — and a damn good one. He’s no pope, no czar — he’s a guerrilla, like all the greats. And with a toehold on cable and his head in the Cloud, Conan can maintain a permanent insurgency. Conan crashed so his successors won’t have to. He’s seen the future, and there are no Peacocks there — and no kings of comedy, either. Who’d even want to wear that crown? During his Q&A with Google (which was far more entertaining, illuminating, and Web-permeable than his 60 Minutes spot), O’Brien was informed that most Googlers don’t even know what The Tonight Show is. He responded, “Oh, good. Who needs to know what a ‘Tonight Show’ is anymore?” Then he cackled like a Bond villain. Then he cried like a baby. Then the video went viral. Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served instantaneously.


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