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The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia vandal predicts death

An anonymous reader writes: A wikipedia vandal inserted into wikipedia information that Nancy Benoit was dead 14 hours before police found out. The vandal later came forward and said it was just a coincidence, and apologizing for ever vandalizing wikipedia:

...I feel incredibly bad for all the attention this got because of the fact that what I said turned out to be the truth. Like I said it was just a major coincidence, and I will never vandalize anything on wikipedia or post wrongful information. I've learned from this experience. I just can't believe what I wrote was actually the case, I've remained stunned and saddened over it....

Submission + - First Tamarin vs. SpiderMonkey benchmarks (

mbarulli writes: "Dan Smith, the Tamarin module owner, was kind enough to share with Clipperz the first official benchmarks of Tamarin vs. SpiderMonkey! These numbers are a very good indicator of the benefits that Tamarin could bring to Mozilla-based products. Dan says: "Performance will be greatly improved over current JavaScript implementations, especially for typed code. Tamarin does much better than SpiderMonkey in nearly all tests except some of the numeric tests where it is doing extra type conversions. But future optimizations will certainly address these situations too.""

Submission + - Preparing 4 Digg / Slashdot Effect: Beyond Caching (

Anonymous Coward writes: "When preparing for an onslaught of traffic to your web site, the smallest mistake can turn your servers one time chance for fame and fortune into an overly-expensive brick sitting in a collocation cabinet. A great example is that, when it was profiled on Fox News as an mobile dating service, was almost unreachable."

Cold Fusion Gets a Boost From the US Navy 168

Tjeerd writes in to alert us to the publication in a highly respected, peer-reviewed journal of results indicative of table-top fusion. The US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, CA (called Spawar) has apparently been conducting research on "cold fusion" since the days of the discredited report of Pons and Fleischmann. They are reporting on the reproducible detection of highly energetic charged particles from a wire coated in palladium-deuterium and subjected to either an electric or a magnetic field. Their paper was published in February in the journal Naturwissenschaften (which has published work by Einstein, Heisenberg, and Lorenz). New Scientist also has a note about the fusion work but it is available only to subscribers.

Submission + - Digging Moon Dirt for $250,000--anyone want a job?

nlhouser writes: "How would it feel to be paid a huge pile of money to move a huge pile of simulated moon soil by using an autonomously operating system? Teams from Rancho Palos Verdes, California; Livermore, California; Berkeley, California; Fulks Run, Virginia; Rolla, MO; Berkley, Michigan, Milwaukee; Vancouver and British Columbia, have all registered to find out. The Regolith Excavation Challenge on May 12, 2007, will pay a team to excavate and deliver as much dirt as possible in 30 minutes — administered by the California Space Education and Workforce Institute, part of the California Space Authority in Santa Maria, California. This is one of seven challenges by NASA, and must use less than 30 W of power, while weighing less than 40k and excavate more than 150 kg of the required simulated moon dirt. This challenge is extremely important, as it is the first necessary step toward uncovering what is considered important in the moon's resources in the most economical and quickest way possible. Entitled the NASA's "2007 Regolith Excavation Centennial Challenge Overview", the challenge will be in a specific "head to head" competition format: Each team's excavation system must be fully autonomous Systems will perform in a square sandbox with compressed lunar regolith simulant Mass of the system cannot exceed 40 kilograms 30 Watts of DC power will be provided to the system Each system will have 30 minutes to excavate as much regolith as possible and deliver it to the fixed collector adjacent to the sandbox The total purse of $250,000 will go to the winning teams excavating the most regolith above 150 kilograms Where proposals were the original solution to ongoing NASA programs, recently it was found that "making awards based on actual achievements" resulted in novel and lower-cost solutions. The end challenge to this particular competition is the actual moon atmosphere. Resistance to penetration and blocking properties are due to the planet's exposure to the space environment — not because of the traditional influences of water, wind, or volcanic processes, as on Earth. According to NASA and the Centennial Challenge program, additional challenges are the lunar regolith's properties of weight, power, and time limitations from interplanetary travel. At this time, the lunar excavation requirements are unmet by any of the challenging teams for excavation technologies that are developed for any terrestrial use as they are still heavy, using lots of power, and still require a human operator. What is still needed is something lighter, more power efficient, while still being able to operate autonomously — all will be needed when excavating the real moon dirt in the near future."

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Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke