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Transportation

Another Contender For the Land Speed Record 85

Posted by kdawson
from the however-temporary dept.
We've been following developments with the British-led Bloodhound SSC, a jet car aiming to hit 1,000 mph in 2011 and shatter the land speed record. Now reader Thea Chard writes in about a rival project from Washington state, one aiming at 800 mph before the end of 2010 — still plenty fast enough to break the record. "For the past 12 years Ed Shadle, 68, Keith Zanghi, 55, and their 44-man team have been racing to break the world land speed record with the North American Eagle, a converted 1957 F-104 Starfighter 'turbojet car.' Although the team is rushing to beat out their biggest contender, Bloodhound SSC from Great Britain, whose team leader holds the previous land speed record and has secured much more financial support for the project, Shadle and Zanghi hope to run the Eagle at around 800 mph later this year, breaking the sound barrier and setting a new world record for fastest land vehicle."
Government

Terry Childs's Slow Road To Justice 253

Posted by kdawson
from the exceeding-fine dept.
snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia provides an update on the City of San Francisco's trial against IT admin Terry Childs, which — at eight weeks and counting — hasn't even seen the defense begin to present its case. The main spotlight thus far has been on the testimony of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. 'Many articles about this case have pounced on the fact that after Childs gave the passwords to the mayor, they couldn't immediately be used. Most of these pieces chalk this up to some kind of secondary infraction on Childs's part,' Venezia writes. 'Just because you give someone a password doesn't mean that person knows how to use it. Childs's security measures would have included access lists that blocked attempted logins from non-specified IP addresses or subnets. In short, it was nothing out of the ordinary if you know anything about network security.' But while the lack of technical expertise in the case is troubling, encouraging is the fact that the San Francisco Chronicle's 'breathless piece reporting on the mayor's testimony' drew comments 10-to-1 in Childs's favor, which may indicate that 'public opinion of this case has tilted in favor of the defense,' Venezia writes. Of course, 'if [the trial] drags into summer, Childs will have the dubious honor of being held in jail for two full years.' This for a man who 'ultimately protected the [City's] network until the bitter end.'"
Earth

Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays 439

Posted by kdawson
from the bend-me-shape-me dept.
strredwolf writes "Caltech has released a flexible solar array that converts 95% of single-wavelength incandescent light and 86% of all sunlight into electricity. Instead of being flat-panel, they stand thin silicon wires in a plastic substrate that scatters the light onto them. The total composition is 98% plastic, 2% wire — the amount of silicon used is 1/50th that of ordinary panels. So as soon as they can get these to market, solar could be very viable and cheap to produce." Update: 03/01 21:02 GMT by KD : Reader axelrosen points out evidence that the 80%+ efficiency figure is wrong. MIT's Tech Review, in covering the Caltech announcement, says that the new panel's efficiency is in the 15%-20% range — which is competitive with the current state of the art. And the Caltech panel should be far cheaper to manufacture.

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