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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 24 declined, 5 accepted (29 total, 17.24% accepted)

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Submission + - Dean Kamen combines Stirling with electric (

Colin Smith writes: Dean Kamen, (inventor of the Segway) has combined a Stirling engine with a battery electric vehicle based on the Ford Think to provide a fully decoupled electric hybrid car which can run on any fuel which can provide enough heat to run the Stirling generator.

Ford Think:
Top speed: 55mph
0-30: 6.5 seconds
Range: 60 miles on battery

Think are also producing a purely battery "Think City" car which is capable of 62mph and with a range of 126miles.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Outsourcing the Law to India

Colin Smith writes: IT workers have had to face outsourcing and offshoring of skills and employment for most of the past decade. Indians are just as good and (currently) still very much cheaper than western employees.

The next stage of offshoring is beginning. The IT infrastructure is already in place to allow the offshoring of other knowledge based disciplines, beginning with some of the most expensive sectors in terms of fees; Lawyers.

Beyond lawyers, there is no reason that other knowledge based business functions cannot also be offshored. There is no reason that the highly educated and intelligent Indian management sector couldn't make substantial inroads into the size and cost of middle and upper management in multinational western corporations.

Submission + - The London Stock Exchange goes down for whole day

Colin Smith writes: Yikes!

TradElect... The Microsoft .Net based trading platform for the London Stock Exchange was offline all day, meaning that their 5 nines SLAs are shot for approximately the next 100 years.

It really doesn't get much more expensive than that. Well, at least nobody died.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The human race is likely to split into two races 5

Colin Smith writes:
Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said. Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

Presumably most Slashdot readers are already in the process of evolving into Morlocks.
Data Storage

Submission + - Coppola loses all his data 4

Colin Smith writes: This is really an object lesson in backup methodology.

Film director Francis Ford Coppola has appealed for the return of his computer backup device following a robbery at his house in Argentina on Wednesday. He told Argentine broadcaster Todo Noticias he had lost 15 years' worth of data, including writing and photographs of his family.

Once you have backed everything up... Take it somewhere else!

Submission + - DARPA Urban Challenge - self driving vehicles 1

Colin Smith writes: The DARPA Urban Challenge L.A. to Vegas race is heating up. Qualification is due in October for the November 3rd race.

"On a quiet university campus across the water from San Francisco, an enthusiastic bunch of young computer boffins are working on what could be the car of the future."

Here's a question though. If cars can drive themselves, why would I bother to own one? Why not just call one when required, like a taxi. The primary cost of a taxi ride is the driver's wage, without that a taxi ride would be cheaper than a bus or train ride. Ironically this may sound the death knell for the taxi, rail, bus and large scale car industries world wide.

Submission + - The National Archives dance with the devil

Colin Smith writes: The chief executive of the UK National Archives has declared that proprietary file formats are a "ticking timebomb". I has been clear to IT professionals for decades years that reading old formats gets more and more difficult with every passing year.

However, in a bizarre move, the National Archives are partnering with Microsoft, the primary proponent of proprietary formats to try to solve the problem.

In an amazing display of unctuousness, the head of Microsoft UK, Gordon Frazer "warned of a looming digital dark age".

You couldn't make this stuff up.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Look out Batman, the Jetman has arrived!

Colin Smith writes: A Swiss fellow named Yves Rossy has invented a jetpack. It is made of 3m carbon fibre wings and powered by four small gas turbine jet engines typically used by the radio controlled model fraternity. Crucially, the pilot can ascend and fly level at up to 200kph as well as descend. Control of the jetpack is achieved through small body movements much like a bird.

The next version of the jetpack is planned to have take off, longer flight time and aerobatic capabilities.

Submission + - India hits the limit on IT skills

Colin Smith writes:
Business leaders have warned that India's information technology (IT) industry is heading towards a severe shortage of highly-skilled manpower. 872.stm

India has hit the limit of IT skills in it's job market, which means even higher wage inflation in the sector. Currently about 1/7th of the pay of a US software engineer, those Indian engineers willing to change positions can expect to see a significant increase in pay over the next few years as demand far outstrips the job market's ability to supply developers.

Submission + - 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people

Colin Smith writes: The UK's information commissioner says there are now 4.2 million CCTV cameras operating in the UK, the average person is caught 300 times per day on the cameras. That's now one camera for every 14 people.
In addition to the cameras, the use of mobile phone location, keystroke logging at work, commercial transaction monitoring are all turning the UK into a surveillance society.

Ironically, the massive increase in the numbers of cameras over the last 10 years and ubiquitous monitoring don't seem to have had a particularly significant effect on levels of crime.


Submission + - Google to provide hosted applications

Colin Smith writes: With the reducing cost of bandwidth and the ubiquity of connectivity it makes more and more sense to avoid support costs and complications for small businesses by migrating key applications to centralised data centres.

In an economically inevitable move, which has huge implications for I.T. firms, Google have decided to provide paid for advert free applications.


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