11 AM: The "All Pause" has been lifted, and the remaining vehicles are being allowed to continue along the route—except for the team from the University of Central Florida, which has just been eliminated. It's too early to make an iron-clad assessment, but Virginia Tech and Stanford have been among the most impressive teams in the early going. Like every team, they've had glitches, including pauses and near-collisions, but have distinguished themselves in managing to shake off the problems in a reasonable amount of time. Still, most human drivers probably wouldn't feel comfortable sharing the road with them at this point. They swerve erratically at times and take many sections of the course at a snail's pace.
Gary Schmiedel, the leader of Team Oshkosh, is still reeling following his team's elimination from the race—especially since he doesn't even know exactly what happened yet. "When we get access to the vehicle, we'll be able to figure out what the problem was," he says. Seeing TerraMax fail was frustrating for him, a little like watching someone get clobbered and not being able to intervene. "When you see your robot having problems, you just have to sit back and watch."—Elizabeth Svoboda
By Gregory MonePosted 08.22.2007 at 12:47 pm 0 Comments
Though Google just about runs the universe at this point, the company does a stellar job of recovering from the inevitable, occassional evil deed. Consider the case of what the search giant itself calls "Google Video's Download to Own/Rent Refund Policy vs. Common Sense." The "Common Sense" side of the argument belongs to the users, the people who paid real money to download videos through Google, thinking they'd either own them for good, or rent them for the agreed-upon period. Unfortunately for them, Google axed the program. Which means that people who thought they had bought a video - as in, they own a copy for good - will have it stripped away.
The company originally offered Google Checkout credits to make it up to these customers, but that move incited a small revolution. "Common Sense" emerged victorious: Google is now offering a full credit card refund to anyone who ever bought a video, and will support playing the videos for another six months. From the official apology: "We make mistakes; we do our best not to repeat them - and we really do try to fix the ones we make. That said, the very least that our users should expect from us is that our mistakes be new and innovative, too."—Gregory Mone
I just wanted to thank everyone who entered our "Go Green" contest over on Instructables—and everyone else who submitted great greening ideas to the original post's comment thread. We're thrilled with the great response we've gotten, and it'll be a tough job judging all the entries. Stay tuned here for the winner's announcement and several of our favorite projects. —John Mahoney
I love my job, but something tells me How 2.0 would have been even more fun to run 40 years ago. Witness this 1964 PopSci article—with actual schematics—on building your own"ruby ray" laser. The best part is the sell: "The incredible ruby ray is one of the hottest scientific discoveries of the decade but practical uses are still scarce. Here's your chance to join the search." There's some advice we don't see enough of today: "Here, build some experiemental high-power stuff in your basement and let us know if you find something interesting to do with it."
Link via Makezine.com. —Mike Haney