When I build a Dell Zino HD with comparable specs to the baseline Mini, it's ~650 USD. Usually it's the case that a comparable Dell or HP system is about the same price as the Apple equivalent.
and the Physics will reveal itself to you. But really, an excellent place to start would be a math text for physics students, e.g., http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematical-Methods-Physics-Engineering-Comprehensive/dp/0521679710
eldavojohn writes "Weighing in at a mere 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter and containing a measly 300 terawatts of power, the University of Michigan has broken a record with a 1.3-micron speck wide laser. It's about two orders of magnitude higher than any other laser in the world and can perform for 30 femtoseconds once every ten seconds — some of the researchers speculate it is the most powerful laser in the universe. 'If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory ... To achieve this beam, the research team added another amplifier to the HERCULES laser system, which previously operated at 50 terawatts. HERCULES is a titanium-sapphire laser that takes up several rooms at U-M's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. Light fed into it bounces like a pinball off a series of mirrors and other optical elements. It gets stretched, energized, squeezed and focused along the way.'" And ... cue the evil chortling.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Stanford has a new website that not only shows you how cool their new 3-d modeling system is, but actually allows you to give it a try with your own photos. The system can take a 2-d still image and estimate a detailed 3-d structure which you can navigate. "For each small homogeneous patch in the image, we use a Markov Random Field (MRF) to infer a set of "plane parameters" that capture both the 3-d location and 3-d orientation of the patch. The MRF, trained via supervised learning, models both image depth cues as well as the relationships between different parts of the image. Other than assuming that the environment is made up of a number of small planes, our model makes no explicit assumptions about the structure of the scene; this enables the algorithm to capture much more detailed 3-d structure than does prior art (such as Saxena et al., 2005, Delage et al., 2005, and Hoiem et el., 2005), and also give a much richer experience in the 3-d flythroughs created using image-based rendering, even for scenes with significant non-vertical structure."
njcajun writes "The Python community now has its own magazine, available in print and digital format. The first issue is scheduled for October 1, but their website is offering discounted subscriptions and a chance to win a MacBook for those who subscribe now. They're also seeking Python authors, so if you're doing something cool with Python and want some extra cash, let them know. Visit the Python Magazine site, or view the announcement by their Editor in Chief."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
jimbojw writes, "Internet Explorer 7 was finally released this morning and is available via automatic update or download from Microsoft." And an anonymous reader notes stats on IE7 and FF2 downloads, adding: "Looks like FF2 is already outnumbering FF 1.5, while IE7 is having a hard time to find followers. Will today's release as a high-priority, force-fed update fix this issue?" The sans.org stats site will be updated throughout the day, so perhaps we'll get an indication.
An anonymous reader writes "A teen in Massachusetts has created a device that he hopes will help prevent traffic fatalities among teenagers. The unit plugs into a car and uses GPS to track and report on speeding — but only while the car exceeds a limit set by parents, so as to minimize invasion of the teen's privacy."