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Solar Powered Car Attempts to Break Record 126

Snowdon writes "Jaycar Sunswift III today started on its 4000km journey across the Australian outback, in an attempt to beat the 8.5 day record from Perth to Sydney. The team expects to complete the journey in 6 days, depending on the weather. It is a seriously innovative machine, with the aerodynamic design iteratively optimised on 80 CS lab computers over three months, custom-built carbon-fibre wheels, chassis, suspension and steering components, and custom-built power electronics and telemetry/control systems (components of which presently use Linux, but will soon run Iguana/Wombat). It is the result of several years' work by both undergraduate and postgraduate students at UNSW. Keep track of the team's progress by visiting"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Scientists create world's largest novelty atom

haja writes: "CNN Reports: Scientists create world's largest novelty atom: Scientists have long been labeled as overly serious, narrowly focused individuals who don't have time for fun. But two University of Chicago atomic physicists proved that even the most buttoned-down professionals are capable of enjoying a good laugh every now and then. Last week, Drs. Marcus Hurley and Thom Fredericks unveiled what they are calling their "most hilarious work to date": an oversize novelty atom that measures "a ridiculously huge" 8.2 x 10-10 meters in diameter."

Best Approaches for J2EE Certification? 46

facetiousprogrammer writes "I have been working for several years at the same company. As part of the 2007 goal, my team is required to get the Brainbench J2EE certification. We have a good knowledge of the Java programming language itself but very little exposure to J2EE. Other teams in the company are using J2EE daily — hence the push for certification. What would be the best approach to be successful in getting the J2EE certification knowing that we won't work or get formal training on J2EE? Is it a desperate cause?"

Vendor AMD Announces Development of DTX Open Standard

AMD wants to enable to broad adoption of small form factor PCS with the development of DTX , and open standards specification. "The DTX standard will take advantage of the existing ATX infrastructure and benefits, including cost efficiency, system options and backward-compatibility, to allow for ground-breaking PC design. The DTX standard will be designed to embrace energy-efficient processors from AMD or other hardware vendors,
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What's not standard, and in your geek tool kit?

Kwiik writes: Aside from the standard screw drivers, multi tools, flash lights, collapsible chopsticks, bootable usb drives with linux, spyware software/hijackthis etc. what do you have in your tool kit? What do you have for repairing software, versus repairing hardware? Do you have a separate tool kit for Windows, Linux and OS-X? What do you recommend for a hardware tech/contracter getting started on his own and stepping away from the world of IT powerhouses? I'm trying to find "one of those things" that will make a client go "wow", and he'll know he found the right tech.

Submission + - Ball lightning successfully reproduced in lab

secretsather writes: " ll-lightning-successfully-reproduced-in-lab/

Aleister Crowley once reported what he referred to as globular electricity in 1916, "what I can only describe as calm amazement, that a dazzling globe of electric fire, apparently between six and twelve inches in diameter was stationary about six inches below and to the right of my knee." Mr. Crowley, it may not be all in your head.

A Brazilian team has managed to make similar spheres of light in the lab, while getting them to bounce around for several seconds.

The real mystery here is that ball lightning is a rare occurrence, where few people (approx. 3,000 in US) have actually encountered it. Ball lightning reportedly floats in the air and looks like a sphere, teardrop, or rod-like shape. Many have been said to be red, yellow, blue, or white in color, sometimes transparent, and are commonly associated with large thunderstorms; although, some claim to have experienced this phenomenon during normal weather.

It is typically the size of a grapefruit and lasts for a few seconds or minutes, sometimes hovering, even bouncing along the ground.

Many have made valiant efforts to explain ball lightning including Nikola Tesla in 1904, but a theory proposed by John Abrahamson and James Dinniss at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, claims this is the result of lighting striking soil; thereby converting silica within the soil into a vapor.

Antonio Pavao and Gerson Paiva from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil decided to test this theory by placing silicon between two electrodes and running a current through them. Moving the electrodes away from each other created an electrical arc which shot out glowing pieces of silicon.

This continued to occur until, suddenly, a sphere the size of a ping pong ball formed, and lasted around 8 seconds. "The luminous balls seem to be alive," says Pavao.

They suggested the ball lighting was spinning by the movement of smoke trails that were left behind the orb, and estimated that they were approx 2000 Kelvin; hot enough to burn a hole in Paiva's jeans!

Few have had little success reproducing ball lightning using microwaves; which some disagree on whether it is the same phenomenon for they disappeared milliseconds after the microwaves were taken away.

These silica based orbs of lightning are by far the longest-lived made in the lab to date. These amazing spheres of light can be seen at"

Submission + - Dominos Pizza = Latest Guerilla Ads

SinGunner writes: On Youtube recently, there have been posts of a supposed spoiled rich girl (Mckenzie) who gets a red car instead of blue for her birthday and freaks out. Supposedly her little brother films the whole thing and posts it on Youtube. The resolution follow-up vids show her getting a new car and claiming to sell the old one on Ebay for 9.99 with a flash at the end for "", which redirects (slowly) to Dominos' latest ad campaign.

I'm not in marketing or an editor, you kids can re-write this with a Slashdot spin. It's bogus and only mildly amusing until you realize they're all actors and the joke is on you.

Submission + - TiVo for Motorola Cable Boxes & Series 3 Updat

TheTechLounge writes: "Tivo, probably my favorite Consumer Electronics company, made a few important announcements here at CES 2007. The first and most important announcement is the unveiling of the TiVo software ported to work on Motorola cable boxes that are subscribed to the Comcast cable network. The next feature is an update to the Series 3 software that allows you to view pictures in HD."

Submission + - warner brings blue ray and HDDVD on a single disc

ganjadude writes: "According to PC mag, Warner brothers has introduced total HD, a disc which has blue ray on 1 side and HDDVD on the other

"A two-format marketplace is not ideal," he concedes. "We can't change the fact that the current multiple-format marketplace is there." But with Total HD, "you can get all of the content with none of the risk."

Could this be the solution we have been looking for?"

Submission + - Apple Drops 'Computer' From Name

WeAz writes: "AppleInsider is reporting that Apple Computers will be renamed Apple, Inc. The move to rename the company follows Apple's move from traditional computing to being a serious competitor in multimedia (iPod, Apple TV) and telecommunications (iPhone)."
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Play GBA Games on Your Nintendo Wii

An anonymous reader writes: DCEmu have posted a tutorial that explains how to get Game Boy Advance games on your Nintendo Wii using an Action Replay disc with builtin Freeloader and also Datels Advance Game Port which plugs into a Gamecube Memory Card slot on the Nintendo Wii, using this tutorial will allow you to play all your GBA games and even homebrew if you have the hardware needed.

Submission + - Solar car attempts to break record

snowdon writes: "The UNSW solar car, Jaycar Sunswift III, set off yesterday in an attempt to break the world record for a west-to-east crossing of Australia: about 4000km. The previous record stands at 8.5 days, set by Dick Smith and Aurora in 1993, and the team is attempting to complete the journey in less than 6. The car is one of the most advanced ever built, and is the result of several years of undergrad and postgrad volunteer labour. Features of interest: the car's design was refined by performing simulations on a large (80 PC) cluster for three months; the car is constructed almost exclusively using carbon fibre (including suspension and steering components); the car's control, power and telemetry electronics are custom-built and run both Linux and L4/Iguana. You can track the team's progress over the next few days at"

Submission + - CanWest makes deal to buy Alliance- $2.3 billion

adamlazz writes: "CanWest Global Communications Corp and an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. are paying $2.3-billion to buy Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. The combined expertise of CanWest and Alliance Atlantis will enable them to produce even better Canadian content, promote it more effectively, and provide greater access to more viewers across more platforms. Alliance Atlantis' launch of BlogTv is a great example of the many 'platforms that will come in the future."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - uClinux on the PSP

chris_mulhearn writes: "I recently ported uClinux-2.4.19 to the Playstation Portable. It doesn't do very much yet, but it does boot into an interactive shell that is accessible through a serial port located on the headphone jack. There is also a minimal statically-linked userland based on sources in the uClinux-dist package. Check it out here."

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