Daily News Brief: Modern Day Missile Command


Boom - Headshot!

Hoping for a one-shot kill, Navy gunners will have just a 10-second window to hit the fire button, provided the weather cooperates. And their target? A 5,000-pound falling spy satellite headed on a crash course with Earth. Straight out of a sci-fi movie, the potentially $60 million mission consists of firing an interceptor missile at the satellite 150 miles high, with repeated attempts possible for the next nine or ten days, if necessary. While disaster in a populate area is considered remote, the satellite contains about 1,000 pounds of frozen, toxic hydrazine propellant.

Sprint Sparks Price War

If analysts' predictions turn out to be true, Sprint Nextel Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, might soon offer flat-rate calling plans at discounts up to 40 percent over its competitors. Both Verizon and AT&T recently unveiled $99/month unlimited calling plans, and its widely expected Sprint will respond, possibly with a $60 or $80 per month plan. Doing so would put the pressure on other mobile carriers to either cut prices, or lose customers. More on this potential price war here .

Prerequisite for Failure

Vista's first Service Pack, released to select customers, looks like a stable candidate so far, but it's the prerequisites that have some users perturbed. Specifically, update KB937287 caused some users to experience wonky behavior, such as stalled installations and endless reboot loops. The cause of the crash remains unknown, but the problem's widespread enough that Microsoft has pulled the prerequisite update. Read more here , and for XP owners, be sure and read up on SP3 RC2 here .

What Makes Yahoo Worth $40 Billion?

During an interview following a speech at Stanford University, Bill Gates shed some light on why he feels Yahoo is worth $40 million billion. According to Gates, " the advertisers and the number of end users is good, but we'd put the people and the engineering as the key thing. " The acquisition soap opera still plays on, but should the two companies not join forces, Gates indicated Microsoft has a plan for taking on Google, one which " involves breakthrough engineering. " Read more of what the software tycoon had to say here .

American Idol Fans Rejoice

Can't get enough American Idol entertainment? Then you'll be happy to hear the show has signed an agreement with Apple to offer downloads through iTunes. Later this week, iTunes will offer performances by semifinalists for 99 cents per song, with full video of the top 12 contestants starting March 11 for $1.99 each.

Sharper Image Files Chapter 11

Sharper Image, known for carrying an assortment of geeky novelty gadgets like the Human Touch Stretching Robotic Massage Recliner and the Voice-Activated Grocery List , has filed for bankruptcy. The San Francisco based company plans to close 90 of its 184 stores as soon it sells their inventories, while developing a reorganization plan in the meantime. The company has been suffering declining sales since 2004.

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