The Houston Chronicle reports that Mike Dewey is offering a billion dollars for reaching certain goals. Although he doesn't have a billion dollars yet. "Victory Project Awards" are offered for a cure for breast cancer, a cure for diabetes, making a petroleum-powered automobile with emissions reduced by 95 percent, or a car which can get 150 miles per gallon.
From Slashgeo: "All Points Blog points out that European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) researchers have found they can locate an earthquake based upon the location of people visiting the EMSC web site. A lack of Internet visitors also can be used to imply that a region has been damaged. As humans are the detectors, the method is limited to quakes which humans notice."
The BBC points out that snails are now making mail deliveries. The RealSnailMail project uses snails with RFID tags to deliver webmail. The service will officially be launched at SIGGRAPH on August 11, 2008, so you've only got a month to write your messages.
OK, so today is Firefox Download Day. The world record home page doesn't have a download link. The home page of Spread Firefox has a link to Mozilla's Firefox page, which features Firefox 2 and only has a link to a Firefox 3 "sneak peek". Where is the Firefox 3 which should be downloaded today? One comment at the bottom of SpreadFirefox says the file to download is this one but that is a.exe which is of little use on my Linux systems.
The rover Spirit has been dragging one wheel around the surface of Mars for some time. One of the resulting gouges revealed a mineral deposit which was probably caused by a hydrothermal vent. This implies a large amount of water was present when the vent was active.
The Rocket Racing League will hold its first exhibition race August 1-2, 2008, at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. Locations of three more exhibitions have been announced. These rocket-powered aircraft just might attract some attention. We discussed the League's creation in 2003.
The boss gave me one of those machines which runs Microsoft Windows. A week or two ago an Update showed up which tried to install Windows Genuine Advantage. Not wanting my machine disabled due to some random burp, I cancelled the update. Now more Updates showed up, but the WGA install is still in the way and blocking further updates. What's in this WGA update?
Xbox Live is not working, as mentioned 36 hours ago in an Xbox team blog. Even if you can get logged in, multiplayer matchmaking doesn't find enough players for games. For a while Zune Marketplace was also affected. At present Zune status claims "Up and running" while Xbox Live status continues to say "Users may experience intermittent issues logging onto Xbox Live. Our engineers are continuing to investigate and are working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience." This has been been going on for days. Do other game servers fail in more friendly ways, such as by allowing anonymous unrated gameplay?
The Schlock Mercenary blog points out that there's a Spaceward Games space elevator competition near Salt Lake City this weekend, at the Davis County Fairgrounds. Climbers try to go 100m up a ribbon using beamed power.