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Monday Night (15 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 27-December-2010  21:44:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

mpot sent in this amusing video where a geek got his computer back two years after it was stolen, thanks to his own poor security. Normally we advise you to secure your computer to prevent people from accessing it remotely. After all, you don't want them to see what you're doing, accessing your files or installing keylogging malware. But maybe things are different if it's your computer you're trying to break into - two years after it was stolen from your apartment.

Rezin spotted a look at the National Tally Room in 1983, including the technology used for ABC's election coverage. In 1983 there were no computers on desks, you needed to read the tallyboard to know what was going on. There were no mobile phones either. Behind the tallyboard the numbers were put up, and carbon copies of the totals were also provided to a team of ABC data entry operators. It was these data entry operators that provided the numbers that drove the election coverage.

Tesladownunder has been busy over Christmas, thanks petercr. Terren's Christmas projects are some of his favourites - last year he created a nine-metre high Christmas tree using lightning-like sparks from a tesla coil and long-exposure photography; this year he's strapped a Christmas tree to a bicycle with a front light that is so powerful it could be seen from the International Space Station with the same intensity as a bright star (when pointed at the sky).

There's a huge new telescope under the South Pole. The massive telescope, which is the size of a cubic kilometer and located 1400 meters underground, took a decade to build and cost approximately $271 million. Oh, and if you lined up the world's three tallest skyscrapers, their collective height would be shorter than this telescope.

The ACCC have declared those hologram wrist-band things to be bogus, to nobody's surprise. Power Balance has admitted that there is no credible scientific basis for the claims and therefore no reasonable grounds for making representations about the benefits of the product. Power Balance has acknowledged that its conduct may have contravened the misleading and deceptive conduct section of the Trade Practices Act 1974. More here, here and here.

Microsoft are offering $10,000 for a better spell-checker. Microsoft Research and Bing are sponsoring a contest called the Speller Challenge. The goal: create a spell checker that delivers "the most plausible spelling alternatives for each search query" and deliver the service over a RESTful API. The first prize is $10,000. Registration opens on January 17th 2011. Sounds graet!

Apparently a prequel is planned for the film Alien, with Ridely Scott and H. R. Giger already onboard. The new prequel, apparently titled Alien Paradise, focuses strongly on the 'space jockey' race featured in one famous and rather archeological sequence from Ridley Scott's SF horror masterpiece.

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