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Submission Human-Powered Vehicle Speed Competition->

nsasch writes: "Over at Battle Mountain, NV on SR-305, for the 2008 Battle Mountain World Human Powered Speed Challenge (mirror), some of the best cyclists will be competing in human-powered vehicles to break speed records. The current world record was set in 2002 at the same location with a speed of 129.6km/h (81MPH) by Sam Whittingham in a custom-made recumbent bike. A lot of advanced aerospace engineering goes into these machines to reach highway speeds on under one horsepower. Take a look around their site for pictures of the event and this year's records. It ends 20 September, so more pictures and results will come."
Link to Original Source

Rubik's Cube Proof Cut To 25 Moves 386

KentuckyFC writes "A scrambled Rubik's cube can be solved in just 25 moves, regardless of the starting configuration. Tomas Rokicki, a Stanford-trained mathematician, has proven the new limit (down from 26 which was proved last year) using a neat piece of computer science. Rather than study individual moves, he's used the symmetry of the cube to study its transformations in sets. This allows him to separate the 'cube space' into 2 billion sets each containing 20 billion elements. He then shows that a large number of these sets are essentially equivalent to other sets and so can be ignored. Even then, to crunch through the remaining sets, he needed a workstation with 8GB of memory and around 1500 hours of time on a Q6600 CPU running at 1.6GHz. Next up, 24 moves."

Doctors To Control Robot Surgeon With Their Eyes 99

trogador writes "Researchers from Imperial College London are improving the Da Vinci surgical robot by installing an eye-tracker, which allows surgeons to control the robot's knife simply by looking at the patient's tissues on a screen. Tracking the eyes can generate a 3D map, which in turn can make moving organs — like a beating heart — appear to stand still for easier operation. Other features include 'see-through' tissues on the surgeon's screen (so tumors can be seen underneath tissues) and 'no-cut' zones, places where the robot won't allow the surgeon to cut by mistake. Says ICL Professor Guang Zhong Yang, 'We want to empower the robot and make it more autonomous.'"

NVIDIA Performance On Linux, Solaris, & Vista 231

AtomBOB suggests a Phoronix review comparing the performance of a Quadro graphics card on Windows Vista Ultimate, Solaris Express Developer, and Ubuntu Linux. The graphics card used was a NVIDIA Quadro FX 1700 mid-range workstation part. The cross-platform benchmark used was SPECViewPerf 9.0 from SPEC. Quoting Phoronix: "Using the Quadro FX1700 512MB and the latest display drivers, Windows Vista wasn't the decisive winner, but the loser... Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 5 with the 169.12 driver had overall produced the fastest results within SPECViewPerf. In only three benchmarks had Solaris Express Developer 1/08 outpaced Ubuntu Linux, but with two of these tests the results were almost identical.""
Social Networks

Submission Ron Paul's use of the Internet in his presidential

tres3 writes: "A recent New York Times article explores some of the success that Ron Paul's presidential campaign has had in using the Internet. The author correctly states that others aren't as successful because their approach led many to micromanage their Web sites. By contrast, [Ms. Teachout] said, the Paul campaign took the opposite lesson that it was about openness and power. He has over 1140 MeetUp Groups in 900 cities (including one in the green zone in Baghdad) that have operated largely independently from the campaign.

For instance the ThisNovember5th site was setup by Trevor Lyman using a video created by James Sugra without even consulting the campaign. That site brought in $4.3M from 37,000 donors in 24 hours. Mr. Paul estimated that the one-day haul had brought $10 million worth of free publicity. Ron said he hadn't even gotten around to thanking them yet. THANKS Guys!! There is a new money bomb web site being prepared now in celebration of the Boston Tea Party

The article goes on to cover the wide variety of supporters that the Paul campaign has attracted. In reality Dr. Paul didn't create these groups; he simply gave them a focal point to rally behind. And he used the Internet to unite them, or more accurately, the users of the Internet found his message and united themselves behind it. I guess that is why the author titled the article 'The Web Finds Ron Paul, and Takes Him for a Ride'."

Thai Students Score a Prize For Speech Software 77

Julie188 writes "A team of four Thai students beat out 10,000 competitors to win the $25,000 prize in the Microsoft 2007 Imagine Cup. Their project is text-to-speech software in which computers read aloud typed and handwritten commands. The software will allow people who can't read to interact with a PC. Imagine Cup judge Rand Morimoto has been blogging on the whole experience — from his video of the opening ceremonies to how contestants swilled free Cokes to keep themselves awake during the 24-hour, no-sleep phase of the competition."

Gouge Found on Shuttle Endeavour's Underside 151

SonicSpike writes " NASA has discovered a chunk missing from the underside of the space shuttle Endeavour. It was discovered after the shuttle docked with the ISS earlier today. Technicians theorize it may have been caused by ice ripping free of a fuel take during takeoff. From the article:'The gouge — about 3 inches square — was spotted in zoom-in photography taken by the space station crew shortly before Endeavour delivered teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan and her six crewmates to the orbiting outpost ... On Sunday, the astronauts will inspect the area, using Endeavour's 100-foot robot arm and extension beam. Lasers on the end of the beam will gauge the exact size and depth of the gouge, Shannon said, and then engineering analyses will determine whether the damage is severe enough to warrant repairs. Radar images show a white spray or streak coming off Endeavour 58 seconds after liftoff. Engineers theorize that if the debris was ice, it pierced the tile and then broke up, scraping the area downwind. Pictures from Friday's photo inspection show downwind scrapes."

Astronomer Offers Theory Into 400-Year-Old Lunar Mystery 66

webdoodle writes "An astronomer at Columbia University thinks he has solved a 400-year-old mystery: the origin of strange optical flashes seen on the moon's surface. These spots, called 'Transient Lunar Phenomenon' (TLP) by the astronomy community, have confused moon-gazers since the time of ancient scientists. Arlin Crotts now thinks that TLPs are something called 'outgassing', a process where trapped gasses escape to the lunar atmosphere. 'To arrive at his theory, Crotts correlated TLPs with known gas outbursts from the lunar surface as seen by several spacecraft, particularly NASA's Apollo 15 mission in 1971 and the robotic Lunar Prospector in 1998. What he discovered was a remarkable similarity in the pattern of outgassing event locations recorded by spacecraft across the face of the moon and reported TLP sites.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Microsoft Seeks Open Source Certification 220

eldavojohn writes "Microsoft is applying for OSI certification for its Shared Source Initiative. The move is described in a blog post by an MS OSS lab worker: 'Today, we reached another milestone with the decision to submit our open licenses to the OSI approval process, which, if the licenses are approved, should give the community additional confidence that the code we're sharing is truly Open Source. I believe that the same voices that have been calling for Microsoft products to better interoperate with open source products would voice their approval should the Open Source Initiative itself open up to more of the IT industry.' According to PC World, reaction from the community has been mostly positive."
The Almighty Buck

False Copyright Claims 268

FreetoCopy writes "Teenagers downloading music may not be the worst copyright offenders. See this item (available for download in PDF file with free registration) about the growing problem of copyfraud — in which publishers, archives, and distributors make false claims of copyright to shut down free expression. From the paper: 'Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare's plays, Beethoven's piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet's Water Lilies, and even the US Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner's permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use...'"

Can Apple Penetrate the Corporation? 500

coondoggie sends us a NetworkWorld story on the prospects for Apple gaining market share in the corporation. A number of factors are helping to catch the eye of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers, the article claims: "Apple's shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services, in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft's Vista." On this last point, one network admin is quoted: "The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista."

Practical Ajax Projects with Java Technology 98

Simon P. Chappell writes "Is there anyone left in our industry that hasn't heard of Ajax, the ultimate client-side technology for web developers? Like many, I've read several books on it and now I'm even brushing up on JavaScript so that I can try it out. There is, however, an aspect of Ajax that often seems to get lost in the rush to play with the new browser tricks; Ajax enhanced web applications still need to work closely with server-side components. To even up the balance of books that concentrate on the browser end of Ajax, Apress brings us Practical Ajax Projects with Java Technology by Frank W. Zammetti.

Locking Up Linux, Creating a Cryptobook 68

Tom's Hardware has a nice overview about some of the latest ways to secure your data looking specifically at open source solutions that wont lock down your credit card. Since many people presented performance issues for why they don't implement encryption there was also special attention given to how well your system will perform after implementation of encryption. From the article: "At least where LUKS is concerned, performance is hardly an issue - one must expect to pay some penalty for additional encryption facilities that handle unencrypted data transparently. All of these solutions are simple to set up and use on a daily basis, but LUKS is portable across Windows and Linux platforms."

Comment No need for a Firefox extention (Score 4, Informative) 251

A Proxy AutoConfig (PAC) script is well suited for this task:
function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
if (shExpMatch(url, "*http://*.google.*"))
return "SOCKS"; //Proxy here
return "DIRECT";

Place the above in a text file, and set it as the automatic proxy config file for your web browser (for Firefox users, Preferences>General>Connection Settings).
The matching string *http://*.google.*" should be used instead of* as a foreign proxy will cause Google to redirect you to its respected cctld.

The Plot To Hijack Your Hard Drive 181

An anonymous reader writes Business Week Online examines the business practices of spammers and pop-up advertisers, using much-maligned Direct Revenue as an example case. The article discusses the history of the company, their rocky road through good and bad times, and what they're willing to to get your eyes on their ads." From the article: "Among Direct Revenue's alumni, pride over technical cunning mingles with regret for exasperating so many computer users. After waffling on the issue during a long interview, one former Dark Arts wizard sighs and sums up his version of the company credo with an elegiac observation by abolitionist Frederick Douglass: 'Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.'"

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.