I just got a new Icom 703+ and purchased a 18aH 12V SLA battery for it. I use a Par EndFedz 10/20/40m dipole thrown up into a tree and can talk to anyone worldwide. Now, this doesn't cover local 2m/70cm frequencies, but it's a great setup to take backpacking which doesn't weigh too much. I use the bigger battery because I want as much operating power at that 10W I can get. You can downsize to a smaller 7-10aH battery to cut weight. But keep in mind you may also cut your transmit power too. The Yaesu FT-817 is also a fine choice and in my opinion smaller and lighter than the 703, but you can only do around 5w out max. It comes with a battery back built in though.
Uncle Alex writes "My niece just turned one year old and her parents have asked that, instead of the usual gifts, we each contribute something to a time capsule to be opened on her 17th birthday. Multiple members of my family want to contribute digital data — text, video, music files. They came to me (the closest thing to a geek our family has) wondering: what's the best way to save the data to ensure she'll actually be able to see it in 16 years? Software might be out of date, hardware may no longer be used... any suggestions?"
It seems Universal Studios has won the highly sought-after movie rights to the 1979 Atari game Asteroids. Disney's Matthew Lopez will be writing the adaptation, having previously worked on the scripts for Bedtime Stories, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Race to Witch Mountain. The NY Times is skeptical about Hollywood's ability to do right by the 30-year-old game, already imagining what a director like Michael Bay would do with it: "In this $300 million, three-and-a-half hour spectacle, loud and expensive computer simulations of large boulders crashing into one another are briefly interrupted by the hilarious antics of Chip and Gravel, two living rocks with gold teeth who speak in hip-hop slang, and the nonstop shouting of John Turturro."
Harry writes "Once upon a time, it wasn't a given that PC owners should be able to format their own floppy disks. Or that ports should be standard, not proprietary. Or that it was a lousy idea to hardwire a PC's AC adapter, or to put the power supply in the printer so that a printer failure rendered the PC unusable, too. Over at Technologizer, Benj Edwards has taken a look at some of the worst design decisions from personal computing's early years — including ones involving famous flops such as the PCJr, obscure failures such as Mattel's Aquarius, and machines that succeeded despite flaws, like the first Mac. In most instances — but not all — their bad decisions taught the rest of the industry not to make the same errors again."
Hugh Pickens writes "Things may get a little tight in space as seven shuttle astronauts blast off from Florida on June 13 to join up with six colleagues already on the International Space Station bringing the ISS contingent to thirteen, the largest number of individuals on the platform ever at one time. The 13 space-farers represent seven from the US, two each from Russia and Canada, and one each from Europe and Japan. '"I don't know what it's going to be like," says Endeavour commander Mark Polansky, a veteran of two prior spaceflights. "We know it's going to be challenging with 13 people aboard."' During five spacewalks, an external platform will be added to the lab which will enable those experiments to be performed that require materials to be exposed to the harsh environment of space and astronauts also have to fit equipment to the exterior of the platform such as batteries and a spare space-to-ground antenna."
18-year-old Jessica Terry suffered from stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever for eight years. She often missed school and her doctors were unable to figure out the cause of her sickness. Then one day in January someone was finally figured out what was wrong with Jessica. That person was her. While looking under a microscope at slides of her own intestinal tissue in her AP science class, Jessica noticed an area of inflamed tissue called a granuloma, which is an indication of Crohn's disease. "It's weird I had to solve my own medical problem," Terry told CNN affiliate KOMO in Seattle, Washington. "There were just no answers anywhere. ... I was always sick."
All is not sweetness and light in the wake of the Apple WWDC kickoff announcements, especially concerning the evolution of the iPhone. Reader Hugh Pickens writes: "AT&T will offer the new iPhone 3G S when it debuts later this month at a cost of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, but only to new customers and those who qualify for the discounted price. AT&T subscribers with an iPhone 3G who are not eligible for an upgrade — those not near the end of their two-year contracts — will have to pay $200 more — $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model. 'This is ridiculous and slap in the face to long-time loyal iPhone customers like me who switched from T-Mobile and the only reason was the iPhone,' writes one unhappy iPhone customer. 'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy. Call your local AT&T and ask for the manager and complain. Send e-mails and post in forums everywhere.' The issue is spurring heavy debate on support discussion forums, with some customers supporting AT&T. 'The option you have is to honor the contract you freely committed yourself to,' says one forum member. 'If you want to upgrade early then you will have to pay full price with no subsidy discount. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your predicament.'"
The commercial that I saw for bing was the most horrible commercial ever. Made me feel like if I searched for something that I'd get everything back that I didn't want to see as a result and nothing I was actually looking for.
Dave Bullock writes "The National Ignition Facility (NIF) has been discussed several times over the years on Slashdot and just recently fired all of its 192 lasers. LLNL scientists predict NIF will attain ignition (controlled nuclear explosion) in 2010. For now, take a look at the photos I shot of NIF for Wired.com when I toured it earlier this year."
1sockchuck writes "After shaking up the market for blade servers, Cisco Systems is launching a line of rackmount servers. But the company says its ambitions are more targeted than a full-scale 'all your racks are belong to us' assault on the volume server market. Cisco says it sees its 1U and 2U C-Series rackmount servers as offering an entry point to its Unified Computing System vision for companies who've built their data centers using rackmount servers instead of blades. But it thinks many customers will like the expanded memory capacity Cisco has built into the Xeon 5500/Nehalem EP processor."
timothy found BBC coverage of the voyage of the Nereus, which on May 31 dove to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench. Only two vehicles have accomplished this feat before, the last 11 years ago. "The unmanned vehicle is remotely operated by pilots aboard a surface ship via a lightweight tether. Its thin, fibre-optic tether to the research vessel Kilo Moana allows the submersible to make deep dives and be highly manoeuvrable. Nereus can also be switched into a free-swimming, autonomous vehicle. ... The Challenger Deep... is the deepest abyss on Earth at 11,000m-deep, more than 2km (1.2 miles) deeper than Mount Everest is high. At that depth, pressures reach 1,100 times those at the surface."
As someone targeted for perpetual failure by the designers of most keyboards, I'm happy to read The Register's report that "A British inventor has submitted a patent application for a wacky touchscreen keyboard design which, he claims, could spell the end for accidental key presses."
teh.f4ll3n writes "25 years ago a Russian (Soviet) researcher thought of one of the world's most popular games. It is now that we celebrate its 25th anniversary. 'Twenty-five years ago, inside the bowels of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, a young artificial intelligence researcher received his first desktop computer — the Soviet-built Elektronika 60, a copy of an American minicomputer called a PDP-11 — and began writing programs for it.'"
bernieS writes "The Washington Post describes what happens when a construction backhoe accidentally cuts buried fiber so secret that it doesn't appear on public maps — and what happens when the Men in Black SUVs appear out of nowhere. Apparently, the numerous secret fiber and utility lines used by government intelligence agencies are being dug up with increasing frequency with all the increased construction projects in the DC area. It's amazing how quickly they get repaired!"
Mike writes "A 62-year-old man had a mental breakdown and ran off after grabbing several bottles of pills from his house. The cops asked Verizon to help trace the man using his cellphone, but Verizon refused, saying that they couldn't turn on his phone because he had an unpaid bill for $20. After an 11-hour search (during which time the sheriff's department was trying to figure out how to pay the bill), the man was found, unconscious. 'I was more concerned for the person's life,' Sheriff Dale Williams said. 'It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill.' Score another win for the Verizon Customer Service team."