Grand Challenge – No winner

The DARPA Challenge – which actually started in Barstow, not LA – ended without a winner. Many of the robots did not get far. The hummer did best, till it hit a pole while it was driving a bit off the road. The ghostrider motorcycle robot? It fell on it’s side within the first yards :( Video & Slideshow at NBC News.

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Move over Segway

The autonomous motorcycle is here. One of the participants in tomorrow’s Grand Challenge organized by DARPA is the first autonomous motorcycle: the ghostrider robot. Yes, a motorcycle that balances itself on two wheels, drives around avoiding obstacles and will map it’s way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without human intervention. This team won’t win the challenge because the vehicle lacks some speed, but their achievement does stand out compared to all the other 4 wheel drive vehicles which don’t have to balance themselves and have room aplenty for hardware. I hope the challenge gets some national news coverage so we can see these vehicles in action on the big screen.

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Thunderbird 0.5 POP password entry solution

This problem currently has no bug report in Bugzilla and was undocumented in the mozilla fora. There is no box/space to enter a password anywhere in TB. By design TB prompts (or should prompt) for the password the first time it connects to the new server/account. In my case with OS X it did this only at initial setup with the primary account; not with the second and further accounts that were added later. TB ignored my second account (which was set to check at startup). After not finding any solution yesterday & today; I right-clicked on the account – get messages for account. To my surprise over a minute later TB popped up a box to enter the password! This did not work for my tertiary account however, which was added in this same session. I check marked check for messages at startup & download immediately in the server settings. Closed TB. Re-opened TB and right-away there was the password box. So, if you are having this problem, try the following: add all your account details, check mark the server settings for getting the mail at startup. Close TB. Open TB and it should prompt you. If it doesn’t you can still try the right-click – get messages. Hope that works. … I don’t know why TB at startup this morning didn’t prompt for the password on account #2 though, even though this worked for #3. All I can say is that it is buggy!

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Account bugs in ThunderBird 0.5

ThunderBird 0.5 has a bug / missing feature regarding passwords beyond the primary POP account. TB 0.5 worked fine with one account. Today I wanted to use another email address with it, and there’s no place to enter the password. Anywhere. It also broke the Get Mail button. Frustrating to see this in an otherwise very nice program.

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Mozilla FireFox 0.8

An update (0.8) with a new name for the Mozilla cross platform open source browser. Welcome FireFox Those of us using Safari (under Mac OS X) are pretty accustomed to tabbed browsing. If you are running any flavor of Windows with Internet Explorer, you may want to download FireFox because of the tabbed browsing, built in security and other new features you don’t find in IE. That, and the lack of IE flaws & vulnerabilities.

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Don’t forget to put a stamp on your email!

I have always been a proponent to tax spammers for their bandwith & email usage to the point they can no longer stay in business. But! Now the big heads such as Bill Gates are proposing that every sender would pay x cents for every email?! Give me a break. Spam & viruses have already caused people to like their computer & the internet far less. Now we need digital stamps?! ISPs will be saving tons with all the saved bandwith by not having to deliver spam, so why should we have to pay more? Ggggrrrr. That’ll be $5 for that 1 MB email you are sending to 5 friends.

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How to ruin a new $2500+ Dual G5?

Note Feb 1: Turns out this was a prank using an empty G5 Case with some spare PC parts. Made a lot of people scratch their head though! Andy only had to wade through 1300 emails after his photos & story were published. – LOL. So Andy’s parents give him a brand new Dual G5 for Christmas. Great, right? No, Andy wishes it was a Dell. So what does Andy do? http://www.overclockers.com/tips1133/ I am at a loss for words, like so many Apple users. It’s like getting a brand new Mercedes, tossing everything out to put some hyundai hardware in it.

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XP re-install = 69 updates (44 critical) => instant reboot + Website Trojans

What does one do when it’s -15C outside? Stay warm & solve computer problems. I had an “interesting” afternoon yesterday. A) You take a working PC. Reinstall XP and the required drivers. Insert a very long list of Windows updates … and it will crash playing an MPEG clip. Repeatedly. (more) B) Last October I wiped a computer, installed Win98, updated it, installed antivirus, etc and took it off the network. Turns out it was infected with a drive-by installed trojan (downloader.esepor) that very same day. It had been piggy-backed onto some (hacked?) homepage and exploited at least one MS vulnerability. Ain’t PC’s fun? Well, I do love my PowerMac! ;) WINK

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More online music

HP will be launching an online music store in January (CBS ). Making them the 4th I believe. We have Apple, Dell (Musicmatch) and Napster (backed by Roxio). Rumor has it that Microsoft, Walmart, Sony and Amazon will follow next year. It’s going to be a crowded market!

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92″ Panorama LCD screen for PC

Not hot news as these appear to have been announced in February … but still! We all would like to use a bigger monitor, right? 19″ – 23″ scratch that. How about a whopping 92″(6400×1200) LCD! Check out the Grand Canyon which also comes in 76″ (5120×1024) & 81″ (6400×1200). For budgets smaller than $8500-$17500 there are also 45″, 51″ & 57″ 3 panel Cinerama models ($1800-$3000-$4000) … time to order a bigger desk before Santa comes?

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