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Media

Submission + - Journalist attempts to hack, gets caught (valleywag.com)

wawannem writes: "I know that fark is not likely considered the serious news institution that slashdot is... In fact, I've heard of it referred to as slashdot's immature, mentally handicapped, younger stepbrother. Whatever it is, it appears that it drew some attention from a Fox news affiliate. Enough attention that it seems a reporter may have tried to hack into their servers.
FTA — Curtis believes that Phillips, or someone working with Phillips, sent him and several other Fark employees deceptive emails in an attempt to get them to download a trojan, a form of computer virus. The Trojan was designed to capture their passwords and give the author access to Fark's servers. In one case, it succeeded, giving a hacker passwords to a file server and one Fark employee's email account; he tried, but failed, to break into Fark's Web servers and email.
The article goes into some other speculation about the reporter's intentions, but I would imagine that the title of journalist should not exempt him from punishment in this case."

Power

Submission + - Singing Tesla Coil (youtube.com)

wawannem writes: "So, who said that Tesla Coils weren't practical? Well, add MIDI player to the list of practical applications. Watch this amazing video of a Tesla Coil built by a few college kids that plays music. FTA —

This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear ... it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics."

Editorial

Submission + - Car-2-Car technologies to help make driving safer 1

An anonymous reader writes: Car manufacturers around the world are working on vehicle-to-vehicle technologies to help make driving safer. The Car-2-Car Consortium's system, which includes GM's Vehicle-to-Vehicle project, combines three technologies — a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) antenna, a wireless data system and a computer that interprets the information it receives. GPS tracks the position of the car while sensor data from the car — such as speed, direction, road conditions and if the windscreen wipers are on and if the brakes have been stamped on — is monitored by the on-board computer. A wireless system similar to existing wi-fi technology — based on the 802.11p protocol — transmits and receives data to and from nearby cars, creating an ad-hoc network. Data hops from car to car and the on-board computers can build a picture of road and traffic conditions based on information from multiple vehicles across a great distance. Cars travelling in opposite directions can share information about where they have been and so informing each other about where they are going. Vehicle to vehicle technology Traffic information about roadworks and speed limits can be displayed "The wireless system has a range of 500m outside the city and 100m in the city," said Prof Wieker. He said the consortium had opted for wireless rather than a mobile network because it was faster. "The data moves between cars in milliseconds," he said. Drivers receive warnings through messages on an in-car display, audio alerts and even seat vibrations. The system works through "data fusion and logical combination of information", said Prof Wieker. For example, if one driver switches on his fog lamp and slows down, the computer could interpret it as an anomaly. But if three or four cars follow suit, the computer could reasonably assume that there is a fog problem. The system stores this information and passes it on to cars several kilometres down the road which are travelling in the opposite direction, heading towards the fog problem. "It is useful not only as a safety system but could also be used to improve traffic efficiency," said Prof Wieker. The backers envisage the technology being embedded into traffic lights and road signs so that real-time traffic information can be passed to cars, potentially funnelling motorists to alternative routes.
Programming

Submission + - New Developers in an Agile Team (blogspot.com)

Ian writes: "Having new developers join the team this week has made me wonder about the best ways of introducing them to the code they will be working with. As a team we're pretty agile, which means we only really have basic high-level documentation about the system, and for a new recruit straight from university that might be a little too overwhelming.

The system we have is a relatively high-level .Net (C#) distributed system. The new guys do know C#, but are probably unfamiliar with at least some of the enterprise design patterns that we use.

With previous new starters we've paired with them and got them looking at production code as soon as possible. This seems to work quite well, but I was wondering what other people did to get the new guys up and productive in the shortest possible time.

What's the best way you've found for inducting new developers into an agile team?"

Programming

Submission + - Ultimate Developer Workstation

wawannem writes: I am currently creating a business plan for a startup I would like to create, and I am trying to budget for developer hardware. The startup is sort of a pie-in-the-sky idea, so I am asking for more than the typical IT budget. I am pricing hardware right now and I am wondering what other people think would make a great developer setup. The platform is sometimes referred to as SASH (Struts2, App Server (Tomcat, WebLogic, WebSphere, JBoss or Resin), Spring, and Hibernate) as opposed to LAMP. So, OS doesn't really matter, but will most likely be Linux-based, therefore linux compatibility is a must. I also want to be able to take work home, so I want a laptop with the capability to dock at the office. I was thinking of a high-end laptop with dual-core processors, excessive RAM and HD space. The real question though is how to setup the workstation in the docked environment. I was considering a dual-monitor setup so that I can run eclipse on one monitor and a web browser in the other. I figured that might be harder than it sounds since many laptops don't have dual video cards. I remember reading a "Joel On Software" entry a while back, but I would imagine the information would be dated and that entry concentrated mostly on furniture and office layout. I am wondering more about specific setups that were or would be productive for people doing similar work now.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Inside ReactOS

holden writes: "NewsForge has an article on a recent talk given by Alex Ionescu (a lead ReactOS developer). He talks about the recent progress made with ReactOS, but he spends the majority of his talking about the technical details of the ReactOS kernel architecture. He also talks about some of the unique problems faced by trying to build a binary compatible kernel, looking at some of the difficulties with how some vendors such as nvidia optimize there drivers and how ReactOS presently handles them, as well as how they plan to in the future. His complete talk is available online in a number of different formats."

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