Milky Way Galaxy Simulated For The First Time After Nine Months on Supercomputers

It took nine months to reproduce our galaxy, but it was well worth the effort! Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich created this stunning reconstruction of the Milky Way galaxy by running a simulation on a supercomputer for nine long months. The result is not only beautiful, but also significant in scientific terms. And just for the records, this is the first time such a simulation has been achieved!

The Eris Simulation (Courtesy: UC Santa Barbara)


There have been many previous attempts. Every one of them resulted in failure, usually ending up with a huge central bulge. Javiera Guedes, the first author of the paper on the simulation, says it better:

Previous efforts to form a massive disk galaxy like the Milky Way had failed, because the simulated galaxies ended up with huge central bulges compared to the size of the disk

The paper has ben submitted to the Astrophysical Journal and has been accepted for publication. The simulation is remarkably close to the Milky Way. The authors call their simulation Eris’. Take a look as to how close it is to the actual thing in the picture below:

Comparison between the Eris simulation and the Milky Way Galaxy

Cold Dark Matter

The model simulation is important for the support it lends to the ‘cold dark mattertheory of cosmology. Dark matter is a hypothesis used to explain the rotation of galaxies amongst many other things like Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. The amount of matter we see in the galaxy cannot provide enough gravitation to hold the spinning galaxy together, so scientists postulated the presence of another type of matter one which does not interact with other matter at all, but provides the necessary gravitational pull. Since, it doesn’t interact and cannot be seen’, it is called Dark Matter. There are many models for Dark Matter too. One of them involves particles moving at low speeds, or are cold’.

The key to the success of this team, where many previous attempts have failed, has been the correct simulation of the star formation process in real galaxies. Star formation happens in gas clouds in clumps in the galactic region. These pockets are supported by Dark Matter. Dark Matter halos create gravitational wells, or regions where the gravitational potential is low. These are the regions that matter can reside in and are the hotbeds of gas clouds.

What took nine months?

The remarkable success of the team was the amazing resolution they could achieve. Resolution means tracking several stars and simulating their interactions with each other, both extremely tough jobs. NASA’s Pleiades supercomputer and other supercomputers at UC Santa Barbara and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre came to the rescue, but together they took nine months to process the data.

Simulations are always satisfying since they assure us that what we know is not wrong. This one is a strong case in point.

T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II Variant Announced; Details Scarce!

Along with the Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch and the AT&T’s Galaxy S II, Samsung also announced the T-Mobile version of the handset. At the moment, not much information is available about the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S II. Like AT&T, T-Mobile will also be calling its version of the Galaxy S II with the same name.

The only information available right know is that the T-Mobile variant will also sport a mammoth 4.52-inch Super-AMOLED screen with WVGA (800×480) screen, like the Sprint’s version. Other than that, no information is available about the SoC (Processor and GPU) are available.

Like all the other Galaxy S II variants, the T-Mobile version also comes with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. On the connectivity front, the T-Mobile version is fully loaded and packs Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, microSD card slot, GPS with A-GPS and a bunch of other sensors. The T-Mobile’s SGS II variant will also run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.

The press release from T-Mobile does not provide much information about the handset and its availability and pricing.


AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S II Announced

AT&T has also announced its own variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II, at the on-going event in New York.  Unlike the Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, AT&T’s Galaxy S II will be known as the Galaxy S II only.

The handset has no major difference compared to the European version of the SGS II, except for the four capacitive keys instead of the one hardware and 2 capacitive keys found on the European counterpart.

The Galaxy S II, powered by a dual core application processor, paired with AT&T’s advanced 4G network, gives users fast download speeds along with a premium multi-tasking experience,said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. We are proud to bring our fastest selling smartphone in the world to AT&T customers, packaging it in the nation’s thinnest 4G smartphone.

AT&T’s Galaxy S II is powered by the same Exynos 4210 SoC, which includes a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. The handset also sports a beautiful 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. AT&T’s version of the SGS II is just a tad bit thicker than its European version, at 8.89mm.

Other features of AT&T’s Galaxy S II remain the same, which include 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, FM radio, MHL port, GPS with A-GPS and sensors like Accelerometer, Gyroscope,  Ambient  light sensor and a proximity sensor.

Like all other Galaxy S II variants, the back of the AT&T’s Galaxy S II also sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera. The handset is also capable of recording videos in 1080p HD video resolution. The handset also supports AT&T’s HSPA+ network, but does not support its upcoming 4G LTE network. A 1650mAh battery will power the handset. The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.

AT&T’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II will be released in the “coming weeks”, at an unknown price.

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Handset Announced

After nearly 3 months of its European availability, Samsung has gone ahead and announced in an event at N.Y, the U.S carrier versions of its most popular smartphone until date, the Samsung Galaxy S II.  Three major carriers in the United States will be selling the Galaxy S II, with each operator having its own slightly modified version of the European SGS II.

First and foremost is the Sprint’s version of the Galaxy S II. Unlike last time, Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch does not come with a slide-out hardware keyboard. The main difference between the Sprint’s Epic 4G Touch and the European SGS2 is the screen size. The Epic 4G Touch has a mammoth 4.52-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen, with a disappointingly low WVGA (800×480) resolution.

Other than the huge screen, the Epic 4G touch also comes the usual four capacitive Android keys, unlike the one physical and 2 capacitive keys on the European model of the handset. Also, the Epic 4G Touch is not as slim as its European counterpart, and has a waistline of 9.59mm.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch packs the same Exynos 4210 SoC, which includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of internal memory.

The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is also capable of recording videos in 1080p Full HD resolution. A 2MP camera in the front takes care of all the video chatting needs of a user.

The usual run-of-the-mill features like Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, microSD card slot, FM radio, GPS with A-GPS, MHL port and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present, along with a bunch of sensors. The Epic 4G Touch will also come with AES-256 internal/external hardware encryption and Wi-Fi calling. The handset also supports Sprint’s WiMAX network.

Like the European SGS II, the Epic 4G Touch will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.  A beefy 1800mAh battery will power the handset.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch will be available starting from September 16th for $199.99, on a 2-year contract.


Samsung Announces New Naming Strategy For Galaxy Smartphones

Samsung was already confused with the naming of its smartphones. Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S as well as Galaxy Ace smartphones. The name of these phones created a lot of confusion among the customers. To solve this problem, Samsung recently announced a new naming strategy for its amazing Galaxy range of smartphones.

“As Samsung continues to innovate, our goal is to provide consumers with an experience uniquely tailored to their needs. We have introduced steps to ensure users can simply identify the device designed to deliver the perfect experience for them,” said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.

samsung galaxy namingFrom now onwards, Samsung Galaxy range of phones will bear one of these five letters – S (Super Smart), R (Royal / Refined), W (Wonder), M (Magical) and Y (Young). Samsung has also announced 3 class indicators – Pro, Plus and LTE, which allows a more specific description of the key selling points of a device.

  • “S” (Super Smart) Devices at the very pinnacle of Samsung’s mobile portfolio. This class will only be used on flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S, the award-winning smartphone that has already sold 10 million units throughout the world.
  • “R” (Royal / Refined) Premium category models, a combination of power, performance and productivity for the individual who wants to be defined by the technology they carry.
  • “W” (Wonder) High quality, strategic models, perfect for those seeking a balance between style and performance.
  • “M” (Magical) High-performance models at an economic price-point.
  • “Y” (Young) These are entry models or strategic models for emerging markets or a younger audience more sensitive to price.

Class indicators:

  • “Pro” This indicates that the device includes a QWERTY keyboard for speedier email typing and increased productivity for professionals.
  • “Plus” This indicates that the device is an upgrade from an existing model.
  • “LTE” This indicates that the device is designed to utilize LTE (Long-Term Evolution) connectivity standards, a 4G standard to provide increased mobile network capacity and speed.

To mark the creation of the new naming system, Samsung recently announced four new Galaxy smartphones – the Galaxy W, Galaxy M Pro, Galaxy Y and Galaxy Y Pro. To learn more about Galaxy W and Galaxy M Pro, head over to this page. You can find the complete specs of Galaxy Y and Galaxy Y Pro here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi TouchWiz Update Rolling Out Now!

Samsung has started rolling out a new software update for the Wi-Fi model of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The new software update brings the TouchWiz UX to the 10.1-inch Tab, along with some new services including Media Hub and features like Social Hub.


The new version of TouchWiz is optimized for the tablets, and includes some nifty features like Live Panel, Mini Mode Tray, and Indicator Quick Panel. The Media Hub service will allow users to enjoy movies and TV shows on their Galaxy Tab from all the popular channels including NBC Universal, Paramount, MTV, Warner Bros., CBS and FOX.

The software update will also pre-install certain apps and games like Amazon Music Cloud Player, Amazon Kindle and Words with Friends. Swype will also be installed, which can be freely moved around the screen and resized as a user wishes to. Certain Enterprise features will also be added like support for Cisco VPN, Exchange ActiveSync (v1.4) and on-device encryption.

Once a user install this TouchWiz update on his 10.1-inch Tab, he cannot go back to the old stock Honeycomb UI, even if he wishes to. So, choose wisely whether you want to install the update or not.

The whole changelog, and the required steps for installing the update can be found here.

Samsung Galaxy Gio Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

Samsung released a mid-range Galaxy branded handset Gio nearly a couple of months ago. The handset sports a 3.2-inch screen with HVGA (320×480) resolution and is powered by an 800MHz processor.

The handset runs on Android 2.2 FroYo with TouchWIZ UI running on top of it. At the time of its launch, Samsung never mentioned anything about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the handset.


However, at the middle of this month Samsung announced the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for a bunch of Galaxy branded handsets. The Gio did feature in this list, but Sammy did not mention anything about the release date.

Now, the folks over at have managed to get their hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware for the Galaxy Gio. The firmware has a build date of June 2, and is aimed for the European region. The leak suggests that Sammy is already working on the Gingerbread update for the Gio, and might as well release it within a month.

The firmware has no major bugs, and has been rooted by developers as well. The firmware’s default language is Russian, and users manually need to change it to their desired language.

Samsung to Unveil 8.9 inch Galaxy Tab Next Month

The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first major Android tablet. It was launched last year and has sold over 2 million units since. Emboldened by its success, Samsung has already announced its successor – the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the Mobile World Congress.

It will be powered by much better hardware and comes with a bigger 10.1 inch display compared to the Galaxy Tab. However, that’s not all. According to a report by Yonhap News, Samsung is prepping to launch another version of the Galaxy Tab next month. It will have an 8.9 inch touchscreen display, and will be positioned below the 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab 2. It will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, just like all the new Android tablets.

This rumor, if true, will position Samsung as the perfect Android competitor against Apple. With this launch, it will have devices to fight against all of Apple’s major devices and then some.

The Galaxy S against the iPhone 4, the Galaxy S 2 and the Infuse 4G against the iPhone 5, the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the rumored Galaxy Tab 8.9 against the iPad and the iPad 2 (which, by the way, is supposed to be announced on March 2), and the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.0 and the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 5.0 against the iPod Touch.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is expected to be launched globally as early as next month.

via Samsung Hub

Samsung Galaxy Indulge LTE Android Smartphone Coming to MetroPCS

Remember the Samsung Forte, the phone which we posted some leaked information about, a few weeks back? Well, it’s actually called the Samsung Galaxy Indulge, and it will be launching in a week.

It was leaked again on the MetroPCS website, and is priced at $399 for the contract free version. It is one of the first LTE devices which will be launched in the US. It comes with two plans – the $50 plan offers 1 GB data while the $60 plan offers unlimited data. Both plans offer unlimited calls and text messages.

The Galaxy Indulge seems to be a smaller version of the Epic 4G. It has a smaller 3.5 inch touchscreen HVGA display and comes with a sliding keyboard. It also has a 3 MP camera and comes with Android 2.2 Froyo with the TouchWiz 3.0 UI. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor and will have 512 MB RAM. It comes loaded with the Iron Man 2 movie on a 4 GB microSD card. It also has all the basics in place – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.

The Galaxy Indulge seems to be a nice LTE smartphone option for Android fans. It will likely launch by the end of this week, and might beat the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt to become the first LTE smartphone in the US.

Samsung Galaxy Indulge

via Engadget

Samsung to Launch Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Gio and Galaxy Mini at MWC 2011

Samsung, the number one Android smartphone manufacturer didn’t have much to show us at CES 2011, except for the Samsung Infuse 4G and the unnamed 4G LTE smartphone.

At MWC though, it is planning to bring its complete army of Android devices, from budget phones, to superphones and tablets.

Today, Samsung revealed some details of four mid range Android smartphones which will be launched at MWC 2011.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Specifications

It will be a budget version of the Galaxy S. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo, a 3.5 inch HVGA display, an 800 MHz processor and a 5 MP camera with LED flash. It also has the usual stuff – 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, GPS, the TouchWiz UI and Swype. Check out more details of the Galaxy Ace here.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

Samsung Galaxy Fit Specifications

This will be the second mid range phone by Samsung. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo, a 3.31 inch QVGA display, 600 MHz processor and a 5 MP camera. It will also have 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Swype along with the TouchWiz UI.

Galaxy Fit

Samsung Galaxy Gio Specifications

The Galaxy Gio will come with Android 2.2 Froyo, an 800 MHz processor, 3.2 inch HVGA display, 3 MP camera and 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and the usual – TouchWiz UI with Swype.

Galaxy Gio

Samsung Galaxy Mini Specifications

The Samsung Galaxy Mini is the last Android phone announced. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo too and has a 3.14 inch QVGA display, 600 MHz processor, 3 MP camera and TouchWiz UI, Swype as well as 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.

Galaxy Mini

All the phones will launch in H1 2011. No pricing details are out yet.

via CNET and PocketNow