Hidden Lake Could Be Key To Helping Darfur

Africa

There may be a massive lake beneath Darfur detected by a team using a satellite participating in a search for water from space. The team is led by former NASA Apollo lunar participants, they’re using the satellite equipment to put together pieces of a puzzle that compose a picture of the 12,000 sq. mile mega lake in the western Sudanese province.

Although the lake drained years ago, researchers believe groundwater might still exist. And that just might help to bring a close to the clashes that have left hundreds of thousands dead due to war and strife if they’re successful in digging wells in the correct locations.

Link to Terra Daily with the details.

World’s Smallest Hydrogen Car

H powered mini car

From the Gadgets.Infoniac blog today I learned of some cool toys running on hydrogen that will soon be marketed towards us regular geeks (as opposed to the hard core science geeks that may have already established themselves as masters of tapping into the technology).

Shown here is the ‘H-Racer’, the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world and it fits in the palm of your hand. It operates on 100% clean fuel produced by a miniature solar powered hydrogen refueling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured by the sun.

Although simpler in design, this palm-size fuel cell car contains all the necessary technology to make it run.  It includes an on-board hydrogen storage tank, a fuel cell system connected to the car’s electric motor and a hydrogen refueling valve system that can connect the car’s storage tank to an external hydrogen refueling station.

Get your kit from Carl’s Electronics for just US$99.95 or get it from Amazon for a few cents less.

Car plus solar plus H storage tank

Office Subscription Service Launches in South Africa?

Africa

I’m not sure how I feel about pay as you go software but according to Reuters, that very service has been launched in South Africa. It appears that Microsoft Office software will be available in emerging markets in the future and South Africa is testing it out right now.

For the 199 rand (less than $30) you can get a 3 month subscription to use Office 2007.

It appears that it’s being tested out in Africa first since the pay as you go mobile phone service is very popular in regions that generally can’t afford high up-front costs to services.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be what we’re all doing in the future.

Link to the article on eWeek.

Touring OnStar’s Command Center

OnStar

PodTech goes behind the scenes to tour the OnStar Command Center to get details on how they operate and learn a few interesting tings about the data displayed on the massive screens on the wall.

If you’re not familiar with OnStar, a division of General Motors, OnStar provides motorists with a range of advanced, wireless communications solutions that make driving safer; including road-side assistance and automatic emergency response. Additional available services provide concierge assistance, offer destination directions, and other advanced convenience – all at the touch of a single dashboard-mounted button.

One cool thing I learned is the on board diagnostic data can be relayed via OnStar to your personal e-mail account.

Link to the podcast.

Link to the OnStar site for more information.

Could Facebook Become The Next Microsoft?

TechCrunch has a good article on the subject of Facebook and its continuing popularity especially when your favorite applications show up on the site to become the #1 stop for content and interaction.A few months ago they released the ‘Facebook platform’ and in short order thousands of applications have been delivered against that platform.

Link to the debate over Facebook as your future Web OS, the comments to the article are just as good.

China To Limit Teens’ Online Gaming In Favor Of Exercise

Questionable

The Chinese government has launched a campaign to limit the number of hours teenagers spend online playing games.

From MSNBC:

Under new rules that took effect Monday, Chinese Internet gaming companies must install a program that requires users to enter their ID card numbers. After three hours, players under 18 are prompted to stop and “do suitable physical exercise.

If they continue, the software slashes by half any points earned in the game. All points are wiped out if players stay on more than five hours.

Immortalize Your IT Guy

IT Crowd Site

I received all of this from Nicole P., but good golly, if you do nothing else on this page, go watch the clips from the British show ‘IT Crowd” she forwarded at the bottom, they’re farking hilarious 🙂

I will definitely be watching out for this when it’s available in the US.

She basically passed along a bit of info on the British sitcom the “IT Crowd” that is being released here on DVD in September (NBC is airing the American version this Fall).  The series (created by Ricky Gervais….the brain behind “The Office”) follows the hilarious day to day lives of two IT guys (Roy and Moss) and their flighty boss Jenn.

Below are some clips to give you more of an idea about the show.  They are also running a contest via the IT Crowd Blog to ‘Immortalize Your IT Guy.’ They are receiving picture submissions of IT Guys from all over and featuring the best ones every week until early September. At the end of the contest the winner will get their pictures featured in the Photo gallery of the next IT Crowd DVD release!

Clip – The IT Crowd: All Women Just Want Bastards

[youtube bw-oCHZKS4g]

And here’s another good one, I won’t bore you with embedding a second video, just clicky.

Clip – The IT Crowd: Jen’s Dead
http://youtube.com/watch?v=pxZAAmBK1wA

And Even More Free Books, Tutorials And Lecture Notes

 

classroom

Get your geek studies in at FreeComputerBooks, it’s chock full of links to free online books. Here’s a sampling.

Math Books, IT References, Web books from PHP to AJAX to CSS.

Check out the Networking category for everything from  Telecom to TCP/IP.

Special Topics cover subjects like Neural Networks , LDAP, Version Control.

Computer Science  has got the largest inventory it appears from the Compiler, OOD/OOP, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture and much more.

Languages  covers everything from BASIC, COBOL, Ruby, C#, etc…

Other subject categories cover Java/J2EE,  Databases , Microsoft

You’re Joe IT, The IT Guy

Dice.com has an interactive game for you IT folks to let your frustrations out on a few Project Managers and Sales Execs.

You’re presented with a few video scenarios where you’re confonted by an irate manager, choose from various interesting weapons at your disposal to get even. You get nice artillerly like the Pizza Gun, Masochistic Mosquito, Giant Boxing Glove.

You’re undervalued around the office and overworked, expected to deliver miracles at 3PM on Friday. This is your chance to get even!

Tip – When you’re in the office map view, try mousing over all the worker bees in the cubes. Don’t forget the guy in the bathroom!

Dice_IT_Game_

Get Your MIT Education Online, Free

Classroom icon

You know what? Sometimes I’m so lazy.

How lazy? Indulge me while I explain. 

We’ve probably all seen this deal before in that you can download the MIT courseware for free from what appears to be all departments. From Aeronautics and Astronautics to Linguistics and Philosophy to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to Writing and Humanistic Studies and many more between!

This subject of the availability of the courses came up on Digg today, ah those loveable yet hate-filled bastards, what would we do with you? 🙂

But as sometimes happens when you have a bunch of latecomers jumping on the bandwagon of geekdom, they missed out on this topic that the geeks first learned of 5 years ago when it was discussed on Slashdot.

OK, back on topic now. I’m lazy, the last time I learned of the courseware I didn’t bookmark it, now I won’t have to worry about that ‘interesting training’ that I lost the link to again because I can just search the Geeknews archives. 😛

WhoNeedsAniPhone.com

With a domain name like that you’d think ‘why bother telling us about it, of course it’s just another anti-iPhone site you dork’.

And then you’d be wrong.

In fact developer on the site *loves* the iPhone, but wants to bring the cool UI pieces to Windows Mobile.

Here’s a snippet from the About page:

I personally have been using the Sprint PPC6700 for almost a year now and have grown to love and hate it… lets just put it this way… you can certainly tell that there is some version of Windows on this thing… lets just leave it at that.

I recently upgraded to Adobe’s Flash CS3, and to my surprise I stumbled upon Flash development for mobile devices…When I opened up a new project for a Windows Moblie device in [Adobe’s Flash] CS3 and started digging around it became clear to me… THIS WOULD BE A FANTASTIC DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT TO BUILD A NEW COOL INTERFACE FOR A WINDOWS MOBILE PHONE!

The goals are to develop the interface piece by piece:

  • A new launcher (see screenshot below)
  • A new locking screen
  • A weather application / widget
  • Possible future piece: contact manager

Here’s the homepage, the gallery of screens, About page with lots of info and lastly the Forums.

image92.jpg

image102.jpg

Microsoft’s Future Kitchen

No, this isn’t yet another story about a Starbucks machine on every floor of every building on MS’ campus.

This is about Microsoft focusing more efforts towards getting consumer friendly devices into every room of every home. Remember the Microsoft motto in the 90’s used to be ‘A PC on every desk’?

For the most part, with the exception of developing regions, you can consider that mission accomplished.

BBC has the story and goes behind the scenes of the research into MS’ next wave of features and projects you can expect to see in the coming decade.

Stumble Of The Day: Zombie Infection Simulation

Here’s a slick Zombie Infection Sim with an overhead view of a sim city (of sorts) populated with humans, a single zombie and rules on the expected behavior of both beings when they come in contact with each other. Do they fight or flight, if humans shoot at the zombie do they get a kill shot, what direction to run, etc…?

In my sim below, the green dots are zombies, pink are human. Watching the infection spread is good for about 3-4 minutes of fun.

 

Zombie Infection Sim