who have time to participate in contests
don't blame time, blame yourself for not managing it.
to find programmers who like contests.
and the people who win these contests happen to be very good programmers, so, all in all its a great way to find talent.
I assume someone will download the whole dataset and make a torrent out of it before long
If you RTFA, the guy who actually discovered it torrented the dataset.
Everything approaching a black hole is being compressed; you'd be exposed to the burning energy of a hundred thousand million thermonuclear explosions before reaching the event horizon.
The high temperatures is produced not by things getting compressed, but because breaking bonds between a pair of entangled particles is highly exothermic. Also Polchinski says things get burned at event horizon, not compressed.
robot that can largely think for itself
thats not correct.. all the rover does by itself is keep itself in operational condition (maintaining temp., etc), all other stuff like operating instruments, driving, etc is performed by sending commands through radio. http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/rover/brains/
say that it is counterfeit. Really cuts support costs!
Also cuts sales volume. If someone tells me there are lots of counterfeits that look almost like original, I'd stop buying.