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Comment Re:No kidding (Score 1) 215 215

If you look at their actual web page and not the article it does say they paid $20 for the balloon (300g latex weather balloon) and around $30 for the helium. So yeah it looks like it is within the reach of mortals now :) Probably to late in the year to do it now, but I'm definitely going to do this next spring/summer.

Comment Cost of Balloon? (Score 1) 215 215

I love articles like this, and I've dreamed of doing a similiar project. While the costs of the equipment is doable and with a little know how you can get a rig together for less than $200 it's the flight that cost so much. Does the $150 cover the weather balloon and the tank(s) of helium it took to get the payload there? If so I'd love to know where they bought it. Last time I priced a modest balloon it was in the $500-$1k US range (just for the balloon).

Comment More info please (Score 1) 45 45

Perhaps I'm the only one who doesnt understand what this is, can someone else elaborate? From my understanding of the page these are programs if given a dataset or description of a dataset can tell you how that data was derived. I can see this being useful in AI. If you have significant dataset of possibilities and trying to yield the best algorithm you could spawn a million children processes with their own genetic algorithm to come up with variations. Perhaps I'm way off. Would like some clarification or pointers to more info.
Software

Submission + - Google Mirror of Chess Endgame Tablebases->

jshriverWVU writes: "Seeking Googles help. There was a post a while back about Google offering to host "open source scientific data" for researchers. While the term is somewhat loose, I'm trying hard to promote and hope Google will promote mirroring the entire Chess endgame tablesbase set (3-4-5-6men) which runs about 1.5TB. This should be a drop in the bucket for Google, but for us chess researchers it's been a little rough. After Dr. Hyatts (main source ftp) lost it's array group of us researchers pooled together via management from Mr. Kirill Kryukov who setup a dedicated site and my own efforts to host data. While right now the entire dataset has been brought together beautifully via p2p sharing via edonkey. It would be very beneficial to have a single source mirror of the entire data set.

For my question, what do you all recommend for getting Googles attention? I've tried the various channels I've found via google (email) but no responses. If any research have been granted access to this wonderful project what did you do to get there?

The Chess community needs your help. There's at least 1 person in the world right now with the entire set who's willing to upload the dataset. Please bump this up. Perhaps a strong /. following will help the cause."

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Portables

Submission + - Dell Ubuntu not for Consumers

jshriverWVU writes: "Dell doesn't sell Ubuntu n-series machines to consumers only businesses. Having a new job and going to school part time I thought I'd vote with my wallet and went online to order a Dell notebook with Ubuntu. After a while of declining a ton of extras (even windows software) I finally get to the order form. Then proceed to checkout only to be asked for a business ID or tax ID to make the purchase. Being an individual I found no way around this so I called Dell sales directly to see if I could order it that way. After 15 minutes on the phone I am told that I can't get the laptop as an individual and they are only sold to businesses. So without a business ID I couldn't get one. WTF?"

Feed Engadget: Gecube's Dual GPU Gemini 3, featuring four DVI ports->

Filed under: Desktops, Gaming

Gecube's Gemini 3 is the only solution on the market right now if you need a crossfire ATI card setup, but your motherboard only has one 16x PCI-e slot. The Gemini 3 is two Radeon HD 2600 XT GPUs on one card, featuring four DVI ports -- yes, you can hook up four monitors to a single card. The performance isn't exactly highest end, but the card certainly held its own in the testing that the Tweaktown guys put it through. It also happens to draw a relatively small amount of power, and keeps cool thanks to its massive dual slot heatsink and fan. Unfortunately, we've got no idea when or for how much you can get your hands on this little powerhouse.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


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Displays

Submission + - New failsafe graphics mode for Ubuntu->

ianare writes: Ubuntu Xorg maintainer Bryce Harrington recently demonstrated the BulletProof-X feature that is planned for inclusion in Ubuntu 7.10. It provides a failsafe mode which will ensure that users never have to manually configure their graphics hardware settings from the command line. If Xorg fails to start, the failsafe mode will initiate with minimalistic settings, low resolution, and a limited number of colors. The failsafe mode also automatically runs Ubuntu's new GTK-based display configuration utility so that users can easily test various display settings and choose a configuration that will work properly with their hardware. Features like BulletProof-X deliver tangible usability improvements that contribute to a more positive user experience.
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Music

Submission + - Doom and Gloom for web radio->

An anonymous reader writes: DailyTech posted interviews with the founder of Pandora and management from Proton Radio (and Proton Music) asking them what SoundExchange's latest rulings mean to them. A lot of net radio stations are dreading the upcoming changes in royalty rates, which are said to be around 400%... a number that would bankrupt most of the industry. An interesting read for anyone who uses online radio...
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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - PC Gaming to meet it's Steamy Demise.->

Ethocybin writes: "I bought Lost Planet recently and I was informed by Steam that my CD-Key was already in use, so I contacted the seller for a replacement and he ignored me, I then contacted Steam so that they could "release" or "transfer" my CD-Key to my account (which it says on the steam powered website, that they can do) and it's been four days without any reply from Steam. I even provided pictures of the Game Manual with the CD-Key on the back as requested. I also tried phoning Capcom's technical support AND product support yet no answer from both their lines within working hours for four days. It just rings forever... So, what am I to do with this game? It's quickly become about as worthless as an AOL CD but my wallet still feels the burn of twenty pounds. My question is that, if they are to enforce such drastic and ridiculous measures of security, should they not also provide better customer support? It's a surprise to me Steam still have no Phone Support after their big global expansion marketing many third-party games."
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Sci-Fi

Submission + - 360-degree Holographic Display->

jshriverWVU writes: "Researchers at USC have taken another step towards that holiest of sci-fi dreams: the 3D holographic display. Using a spinning mirror covered with a "holographic diffuser," a special DVI implementation, and a high-speed projector, the team's device can project a three-dimensional image that can be viewed from 360 degrees — regardless of the viewer's height and distance. That's impressive, but that spinning mirror looks pretty dangerous. Check a video of the system in action after the break."
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Feed Techdirt: YouTube Says It's Sorry, Promises Thailand It Won't Do It Again, Gets Unblocked->

Back in April, the Thai government gained itself some publicity by blocking YouTube, after it discovered a video on the site making fun of the country's king. Google apparently decided that censoring videos deemed offensive by the Thais was acceptable on its sliding scale of evil, and now that the "program" to block the videos is apparently complete, Thais can once again access YouTube. No word, though, on whether the Thai government still plans to sue YouTube for running the video. Perhaps since the YouTube blocking technology works to the government's satisfaction, Google would be willing to cooperate with the Thais to help them with their other attempts to censor the internet. After all, if blocking some YouTube videos at the government's request doesn't trip the evil scale, it's hard to see why any other type of censorship would.
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... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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