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[H] Enthusiast Archives: October 2010Archive Listing

Sunday October 31, 2010

Amtrak and Siemens Bringing Electric Locomotives to US

Amtrak has commissioned Siemens to build 70 Cities Sprinter ACS-64 electric locomotives for use in the U.S. Northeast Corridor. Operating at speeds over 100mph, the locomotives also boast many safety upgrades as well.

The ACS-64 locomotives will be capable of operating on 25 kV, 12.5 kV, and 12 kV power supplies and will feature regenerative braking systems that can automatically return electricity to the power grid. Additional features include crash energy management components like anti-climbing technology and push-back couplers designed to keep the train upright, inline and on the tracks in the event of a collision.


Gaming [H]eadlines

IO Interactive hit with more layoffs @

F.E.A.R. release date and preorder bundles @ VE3D.IGN

Minecraft Halloween update @

And saving the best for last..

Richard Nixon slaying zombies in CoD: Black Ops @

Microsoft Online Services Hemorrhaging Cash, Microsoft Committed

While Microsoft’s revenue and profits have been fantastic these past fiscal quarters thanks mostly to Windows 7, their Online Services section has been burning through cash. This time Online Services reported a $560 million loss, with the same quarter from last year having a $477 million loss. Basically, Microsoft is willing to pump out the cash in order to stay competitive against Google and other cloud-giants.

Some signs in Microsoft’s online world are positive. In an Oct. 28 earnings call, executives reported a 13 percent increase in online advertising, and Bing continues to claim market share in the search arena.


More GeForce GTX 580 Rumors

NordicHardware has a good article clearing some of the mystery behind the GTX 580 rumors. Utilizing all of its CUDA cores, higher clock frequencies, and the sacrificing of High Performance Computing functionality for increased retail-presence is shaping up to make this card a monster. The launch date for both the GTX 580 and AMD’s HD 6900 series are expected around November 20th

We have had a hard time seeing how NVIDIA would be able to activate its sixteenth SM unit without severe problems with the power consumption. But with GF110 NVIDIA made an active choice and sacrificed the HPC functionality (High Performance Computing) that it talked so boldly about for Fermi, not only to make it smaller but also more efficient.


Botnet Master Made $140,000 a Month

Russian-Armenian Botnet operator Georg Avenesov is believed to have made up to $140,000 a month by renting and selling parts of his botnet. That number is likely to be exaggerated, but even taking that into consideration it’s still impressive.

Avanesov allegedly rented and sold part of his botnet, a common business model for those who run the networks. Other cybercriminals can rent the hacked machines for a specific time for their own purposes, such as sending a spam run or mining the PCs for personal details and files, among other nefarious actions.


Google Spent $1.6B on 40 Companies This Year

In the first three quarters of 2010 Google has spent $1.6 billion on forty companies with the largest acquisition being AdMob at $681 million.

The company, which had $33 billion in cash through the third quarter, vowed to continue its shopping spree into 2011


Even Mount Everest Has 3G

Ncell and TeliaSonera have teamed up to install 3G internet at the Mount Everest base camp which will cover the entire mountain and surrounding area. Climbing the mountain takes time, and no one should have to go that long without their pron!

Prior to Ncell’s upgrade, climbers had to use satellite phones to stay in touch with friends and family. Although it stands to reason that if you can afford the equipment and the trip to Everest, you can probably pony up $100.00 for a phone call.


Diaspora Delays Public Alpha to Thanksgiving

The open source Facebook alternative has been delayed again. The public alpha server is now aimed for a Thanksgiving release.

I personally think Diaspora has missed their opportunity. For awhile there the media was really creating quite a buzz about Facebook privacy concerns, but most of that has completely vanished in the time Diaspora has been in development.

Our basic feature set is almost done. Once that is stable, we’ll set up an alpha server so that anyone, not just developers, can try Diaspora and help us improve it. We’re shooting to do this before Thanksgiving.


Random USB Drives Protruding From the Wall

Aram Bartholl, as part of an art project, has embedded multiple USB drives in walls and curbs throughout New York. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not going to plug my computer into some random public USB.

The idea is to create an anonymous, offline file-sharing network in public space. The drives are completely public and anyone can plug in to drop and download files.


[H]appy [H]alloween

I figure everyone might need a little help perfecting their costume, so here’s a video on how to create authentic and realistic horror-film blood.

If you want fake blood done right, you've got to turn to the professionals. And I'm pretty sure the "I wish this blood were real/yours" look in this man's eyes qualifies him as professional.


Unfreeze Your Money

One of PayPal’s competitors dropped off 600lbs of ice outside of a PayPal conference earlier this week letting everyone know that "PayPal freezes your accounts." What a cool idea.

In some ways, PayPal has this coming and not just because of its account freeze issues. Back in its earlier days when it was still sparring with eBay, a group of PayPal employees headed to southern California for a major eBay event. The PayPal team then proceeded to offer conference attendees a chance at winning hundreds of dollars but only if they wore special PayPal-branded T-shirts to the conference the next day. Many of them did, and eBay got to watch its conference get taken over by a competitor. Of course, eBay then went on to acquire PayPal.


Saturday October 30, 2010

GE Buying ‘Tens of Thousands’ of EVs

I guess you could call this putting your money where your mouth is. General Electric will be placing the largest order ever for electric cars. Of course this is not a blind gesture on their part; GE has a vested interest in developing the electric car market worldwide.

Immelt didn’t specify a timeline for when the purchases would be made, nor did he identify which manufacturer(s) would receive the order. Smith told Bloomberg an order of that size would be filled by several companies. But our money is on Renault-Nissan getting the bulk of it.