Science&technology 14 Thursday, 10 September 2009 London Lite The week in numbers 35tonnes is how much weight just one square metre of a new type of Velcro is capable of supporting. Made out of metal, but based on the same hook and loop design of traditional Velcro, the new material could be used to hold components together in cars and other machinery. 650ancient Egyptian temples were analysed in a study that reveals they are so precisely positioned and aligned to celestial bodies that even today you could set your watch by them. The Karnak Temple in Luxor, for example, is situated so that the New Year occurs precisely when the winter solstice sun hits its central sanctuary. 14endangered species that are regularly hunted in African countries for bushmeat have had DNA identity barcodes created to try to prevent them from being harvested. The hope is that by creating a database of DNA barcodes it will become easier for conservationists to check the origin of bushmeat being sold at markets. 0.5to 2.5 times the mass of Earth is the optimum size for a planet if it is to support life, a study has found. The conditions appear to lead to more stable climates and magnetic fields, as well as plate tectonics, which create the best chances for life to evolve. Lite bytes Science news in brief from around the world BATS, long associated with things that go bump in the night, have their own reasons to sleep with one eye open -- killer birds pecking their heads off while they sleep. On waking from hibernation, the bats are too cold and sluggish to defend themselves from these feathered equivalents of Ozzy Osbourne. LABORATORY rats and mice could be replaced by moths, fruit flies and caterpillars, according to biologists in Ireland who found that certain key cells in mammals and insects react in the same way when attacked by infections, and produce similar chemical reactions to fight them off. THE winner of the 2009 James Dyson Award for innovation fits into any standard kitchen tap to create a domestic equivalent to a sprinkler system. The Automist has a wireless sensor to detect fire and trigger a pump to drive water through a nozzle at the base of the tap, filling the room with a thick, firefighting mist. THE man in the moon may be humming a tune. Scientists looking at data taken from the Apollo missions found that meteorites striking the moon cause vibrations that make it hum. But it is a very subtle hum, a thousand times quieter than the Earths hum, created by waves. Aligned: Karnak Temple, Luxor Night watch: bats fall prey to killer birds ANOTHER feature which is expected to play an increasing role in operating systems is touch. In the case of Windows 7, Microsoft has taken the ball and run with it. As long as your tablet computer has the hardware to support it, multi-touch will allow you to scroll, zoom, resize and generally manipulate on-screen windows and their content with the ease of, well, we have to say an iPhone. SNOW LEOPARD has also seen an organisational revamp. The Dock, its equivalent to the Taskbar, offers similar features to help you get organised, allowing you to see previews in different orders with the hover of a mouse and click of a button. But the Dock will automatically reduce the size of the application icons the more you have open so it doesnt get cluttered, and theres a magnification feature which will automatically increase icon size. IF YOU have lots of applications and windows open at once then Windows 7 will help you stay on top of it all. In addition to its Aero Shake feature, which lets you hover your mouse over a window and shake it to bring it to the front, Windows 7 features Peek And Snap, which allows you to peer through your open windows to view all the icons and gadgets on your desktop, while Snap lets you resize windows much more easily. MAC users have had a taste of multi- touch features on the trackpad. So with Snow Leopard being billed as an enhanced version of Apples last OS, rather than a completely new system, multi-touch is still confined to the trackpad. Even so, users can enjoy tactile new features, such as swiping four fingers down the trackpad to bring up previews of all open applications -- leading to unconfirmed rumours that Apple is to launch a touchy- feely tablet-style Macbook. Thebattleison.CanApples newoperatingsystemtakea biteoutofMicrosofts? 8/10 9/10 8/10 BY DUNCAN GRAHAM-ROWE 9/10 INTERFACE TOUCH T WO computing giants and two loyal bands of users: a quarter of a century on and the battle between Microsoft and Mac continues with the near- simultaneous launch of their latest operating systems. Apples Snow Leopard (25) hit the stores at the end of August, while Windows 7 (upgrade 79.99, full version 149.99) is due out next month. Operating systems are the basic soft- ware interface that allows you to use a computer and run other programs on it. Historically, the majority of computers have run on one version or another of Microsofts Windows, but will these new incarnations tempt us to jump ship? Could you be persuaded to upgrade your OS to get features such as multi-touch capabilities, hi-tech security or easy media sharing? Weve tested both of them to give you our verdict on their strengths and weaknesses. Wind wswsWind index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html