As a developer, I generally try to *remove* bugs from the software, but for a share of the $150,000, I'm sure I could let something slip through and then tell you where to find it.
Dilbert nailed this 18 years ago: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-11-13/
Our company does the same. My primary email address is firstname.lastname@example.org but I also have aliases of email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Conflicts are generally handled manually by adding a middle initial but since it's manual, it could be almost anything. The same mechanism is used for general aliasing for situations like name changes when someone gets married, they get both the old and new address.
USC has been working on 3D printing of buildings for a while now. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has developed a process he calls contour crafting that builds up a wall by adding concrete to it one contour at a time. You can find a TEDx video here. They're currently working with NASA to see if this technique can be used on the moon. But it doesn't seem like they've moved beyond the prototype stage.
JHarrison writes: "Spaceflight Now is running a story on the SpaceX Falcon 1 launch yesterday. Those of you watching the stream will have no doubt noticed the telemetry failure at 04:50, and turns out that was more than them turning the webcast off.. "A year after its maiden flight met a disastrous end, the SpaceX booster lifted off at 9:10 p.m. EDT (0110 GMT Wednesday) from a remote launch pad on Omelek Island, part of a U.S. Army base at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Controllers lost contact with the Falcon during the burn of the second stage that would have placed the rocket into orbit around Earth. "We did encounter, late in the second stage burn, a roll-control anomaly," Elon Musk, founder and chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., said in a post-launch call with reporters. Live video from cameras mounted aboard the rocket's second stage showed increasing oscillations about five minutes after liftoff, just before the public webcast was cut off. The rolling prevented the necessary speed to achieve a safe orbit, instead sending the stage on a suborbital trajectory back into the atmosphere.""
An anonymous reader writes with word that Redmond Developer News is reporting
that Microsoft has given in to EU threats of further fines. The company has opened up a whole host of protocols, including the Exchange protocol, under a license, the terms of which are not known. No other news outlet has picked up this story so far.
jj writes: "Ars Technica reports that Cingular/AT&T has blocked their customers from calling various 'free' calling services, like FuturePhone and PartyLine Connect, in the 712 area code. Cingular representative Mark Siegel said, "We have to pay terminating access for every minute the person is on the line. Typically these companies run them through local exchange companies that charge high access rates, so we end up paying high access charges."
If Cingular/AT&T is allowed to unilaterally block their customers from calling specific telephone numbers, what will stop them from blocking calls to competing cell carriers or even worse growing VoIP Providers like SunRocket or NuFone?"
Christopher D. Reimer writes: "The New York Times is reporting the death of John W. Backus, 82, creator of the FORTRAN programming language. From the article: 'Mr. Backus and his youthful team, then all in their 20s and 30s, devised a programming language that resembled a combination of English shorthand and algebra. Fortran, short for Formula Translator, was very similar to the algebraic formulas that scientists and engineers used in their daily work. With some training, they were no longer dependent on a programming priesthood to translate their science and engineering problems into a language a computer would understand.'"
John Hacking writes: "As Google Adwords and Google Adsense becomes more mainstream, the rate of fraud from self-clicking (commonly called Google-bation), and click-draining (clicking on competitors ads), will increase exponentially.
The problem is that the electronic antichrist has an obvious conflict of interest in eliminating fraud. Like most web site owners running Google Adsense, you probably are tempted to just "test" ads to make sure all the html you have embedded on your site is working.
In some markets these little "tests" can reward the web site owner over $20 per click. Drugs, bank loans and obesity cures pay pretty well I'm told.
And if you only test one click per day, that's $140 per week. You and Google share the booty and if the pain is spread across multiple Adwords advertisers. Who is to know? What are the chances of being caught?
The super-paranoid defrauders who do their research will probably discover the joys of anonymous proxy servers. With these little beauties you can click on your ads all day long. An iPod by lunchtime, a new Xbox 360 by dinner — the money and the buzz of ripping off the electronic antichrist becomes addictive.
And for the truly entrepreneurial why not hire some click-workers in a low-wage country?
Some enterprising click-workers roam from Internet cafe to Internet café in large third world cities with lists of web sites in their hands. They may use up to 15 different cafes per day in an effort to show the Google database different IP addresses.
Their full time job is to click on Adsense ads on specific web sites. They get 10 — 20 cents per click — substantial and pretty easy money for them. The Adsense publisher and Google get much more, and the poor old Adwords advertiser foots the bill.
And on the flip-side if you want to drain away your competitors advertising budget the technology is just click away.
It's 8:30. You've just arrived at work. You unlock your PC and open your browser — Firefox of course.
Taking your first slurp of coffee you go to Google and search on a keyword phrase for your industry. At top and right of page you see your competitor's ads.
You put your coffee down.
Click, click, click, click (center-button tab browsing is the best thing since the web browser). There goes $120 of your competitors advertising budget. Google is $120 richer.
You do this every day... $28,800 per year of your competitor's advertising budget blown on your coffees.
The phone rings. It's that boring client from Sydney. While you listen to her tales of woe on the phone you search on a term that may be related to her business.
Bingo! There they are. Click, refresh, click, refresh. That call just cost her $30.
You see the Google business model doesn't take into account human nature. Some people are greedy, rude, arrogant and nasty. Correction, a lot of people are greedy, rude, arrogant and nasty, especially if cash is involved.
Google has got away with it for so long (2-3 years), because the same sort of people ain't that tech-savvy. There were a few exceptions of course, but they were lost in the white noise.
Not now. As Google Adwords and Adsense becomes mainstream the rates of Google-bation and click-draining will increase.
This year watch out for the growth pay-per-action and pay-per-sale. The affiliate marketers have it right.