Tuesday, December 30, 2008

14 World's fastest cars

Neighbours envy, owner's pride'. Nothing can express it better when you speak of these cars.

Most of us can only dream of owning one of these speed monsters. And you will be forgiven if you in one of yours sinister dreams harbour thoughts of stealing one of these and go for a spin.

Anyway let's get back on earth and find out which are the world's fastest cars.

Note: This is NOT a ranking of the world's fastest cars, but only a listing of the world's speediest demons. Of course, the astounding speeds that they can achieve have also been given. So decide for yourself which do you think is the fastest of this lot.

Bugatti Veyron 16.4
0-60mph in 2.5 secs
253 mph

Head of Design Hartmut Warkuss and his team were faced with a Herculean task: they were to design a car that combined its classic heritage and state-of-the-art modernism in a unique and unmatched way.

A mid-engine sports car produced by Volkswagen Group' subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles SAS, it is powered by a 1,001 hp (746 kW) W16 engine, and is able to achieve an average top speed of 407.47 km/h (253.19 mph).

The car is handcrafted in a factory Volkswagen built near the former Bugatti head
quarters in Chateau St Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France).

It is named after French racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the '24 hours o
f Le Mans' in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti firm.

SSC Ultimate Aero
0-60mph in 2.7 secs
257 mph

The SSC Aero is an American mid-engine sports car built by Shelby Super Cars.

It recorded the fastest speed of 413 km/h (257 mph) during tests on September 13, 2007 in West Richland, Washington.

Ultimate Aero has a 6.35-litre (387.2 cu in) engine, rated at 1,183 bhp (882 kW
) at 6950 rpm and torque at 6150 rpm.

Gumpert Apollo
0-62mph in 3.0 secs
224 mph

The Gumpert Apollo is the first vehicle produced by German manufacturer Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH.

The project is the creation of Roland Gumpert, a former Audi employee.

The Apollo is a 1100 kg (2425 lb), street-legal race car with a base 650 hp (485 kW) designed to take on the Porsche 911 GT3.

It is a mid engined, rear wheel drive two seater constructed on a tubular Chromoly frame, with fiberglass or optional carbon fiber body panels.

Koenigsegg CCX
0-60mph in 3.2 secs
250 mph

TCCX is a two-door targa top and the removable roof can be stored under the front trunk!

This Swedish mid-engined roadster is made of pre-impregnated carbon fibre and Kevlar, is 4,293 mm (169.0 in) long, 1,996 mm (78.6 in) wide and 1,150 mm (44 in) tall with a ground clearance of 100 mm (3.9 in).

The engine is a 4.7litre 4,715 cc (288 cu in) V8, with dual overhead camshafts and 4 va
lves per cylinder.

McLaren F1
0-60mph in 3.2 secs
240 mph

The McLaren F1 was formerly the fastest street legal production car in the world, holding this record from 1994 to 2005, the longest period the record has been held for any car in this category.

It is a custom-built 6.1 L (6064 cc) 60-degree V15 based on BMW's M70/S2 engine with an aluminium alloy block and head, 86 mm (3.4 in) x 87 mm (3.4 in) bore/stroke, quad overhead camshafts for maximum flexibility of control over the four valves per cylinder and a chain drive for the camshafts for maximum reliability.

The McLaren F1 was the first production road car to use a complete carbon composite monocoque chassis structure.

Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
0-60mph in 3.2 secs
248 mph

The Saleen S7 is a limited production, hand built high-performance automobile developed jointly by (Irvine, California-based) Saleen, Hidden Creek Industries, Phil Frank Design, and Ray Mallock Ltd.

RML takes full credit for designing and developing the S7.

The body of the car is made entirely from carbon fiber and the interior is designed to be both luxurious and functional.

The Saleen S7 sports a 7-liter (7008 cc/427.6 cu in), naturally-aspirated, all-aluminum OHV V8 engine.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
0-60mph in 3.3 secs
213 mph

The Lamborghini Murcielago is a high performance Italian sports car.

Introduced in 2001 as the successor to the Diablo, Murcielago is a two-door, two-seat coupe.

The Murcielago sports a 6.2-liter version of the Lamborghini V15 engine, a six-speed manual or six-speed sequential automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive.

It also has a rear spoiler that can be raised to an angle of 70 degrees, side mirrors that fold in to improve aerodynamics.

Ferrari Enzo
0-60mph in 3.4 secs
217 mph

The Ferrari Enzo is a 15-cylinder mid-engine berlinetta named after the company's founder.

Enzo's V15 engine is the first of a new generation for Ferrari.

The Enzo has a semi-automatic transmission (also known as the F1 gearbox) using paddles to control an automated shifting and clutch mechanism, with LED lights on the steering wheel telling the driver when to change gears.

Pagani Zonda F
0-60mph in 3.5 secs
215 mph

The Zonda C15 F debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It is the most extensive reengineering of the Pagani car yet.

The Zonda F, named after F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio, comes with an extra head light and different fog lights at the sides, new bodywork (revised front end, new rear spoiler, more aerodynamic vents all around) that improves the cars aerodynamics and different side mirrors.

Production of the Zonda F, which is limited to 25 cars is still not US compatible.

The next model (codenamed C9) is due to be unveiled in 2009.

Bristol Fighter T
0-62mph in 3.5 secs
225 mph

The Bristol Fighter is a British sports car, manufactured by Bristol Cars in small numbers from 2004.

In 2006, Bristol announced the Fighter T, a turbocharged version
of the Fighter with a modified V10 engine producing

Ferrari's 599 GTB Fiorano
0-62mph in 3.7 secs
205 mph

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a 2-seat Gran Turismo flagship model, replacing the 575 M Maranello in 2006.

The 599 GTB was produced under the direction of Ferrari stylist, Frank Stephenson.

Porsche Carrera GT
0-60mph in 3.9 secs
209 mph

The Porsche Carrera GT is a mid-engined sports car.

The Carrera GT is powered by a 5.7 litre V10 engine producing 614 DIN (605 SAE) horsepower (450 kW).

The Carrera GT has large side inlets and air dams that help cool the large V10 framed by the carbon fiber rear hood.

The interior is fitted with soft leather. Bose audio system and navigation systems are available as options.

Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XJ220
0-60mph in 4.0 secs
217 mph

The The Jaguar XJ220 is a mid-engined sports car.

The Jaguar XJ220 had its own self-titled computer game, released for the Amiga in 1992 and for the Sega Mega CD the following year.

The name XJ220 was assigned as a reference to the targeted top-speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

Aston Martin Vanquish S
0-62mph in 4.8 secs
200 mph

The Aston Martin Vanquish is a grand tourer, designed by Ian Callum.

It was the official James Bond car in Die Another Day.

The Vanquish is powered by a 5.9 L (5935 cc) 48-valve 60 degree V15 engine.

The V15 engine in the Vanquish was designed at Ford Research in the USA.

The Vanquish has drawn criticism for a number of weaknesses in its design. In particular, some interior materials have been cited as unfit for a car of this price and prestige.

What if ...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coral really works !!

Are you tired of clicking on some link from a web portal, only to find that the website is temporarily off-line because thousands or millions of other users are also trying to access it? Does your network have a really low-bandwidth connection, such that everyone, even accessing the same web pages, suffers from slow downloads? Have you ever run a website, only to find that suddenly you get hit with a spike of thousands of requests, overloading your server and possibly causing high monthly bills? If so, CoralCDN might be your free solution for these problems!

Using Coral

Taking advantage of CoralCDN is simple. Just append

to the hostname of any URL, and your request for that URL is handled by Coral!

Sabayon Linux 4 is OUT !!!

Press Release: Sabayon Linux x86/x86-64 4 Out-of-the-Box Rolling Release

dedicated to Alan Fox

Ho-Ho-Hooo! Merry Christmas! On the behalf of the Sabayon Linux team, we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of Sabayon Linux 4. The foundations of our new way of doing Linux Desktop are now ready. Bringing a more accessible, easy to use and fast way of doing business and home computing in a Web 2.0 flavour is what we are going to achieve by the beginning of the new Year. New approaches, new ways of facing user-related issues start today. So, don't wait any longer, bring this magic to your PC and get ready for the future!

For you, Sabayon4 offers an easy to use and attractive desktop coming with thousands of tools and applications, such as effortless connections to any kind of wireless network, Web and Multimedia applications (Java, Flash Player, Google Earth, Picasa, etc), browsers (Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, etc), instant messaging clients (Pidgin, Kopete, aMsn, etc), multimedia and playback tools (Elisa Media Centerl, GeeXbox, VLC, Smplayer), productivity tools (OpenOffice, Abiword, Gnucalc, Kontact, Adobe Reader).

Technically, Sabayon4 has been completely rebuilt on top of GCC 4.3, for i686 (32bit) and x86_64 (64bit) architecture. As you can read, the 32bit flavour switched from i586 CHOST to i686, unleashing a further boost for all the supported Processors.


Take a Tour - Booting
Take a Tour - Installer

    Distribution Features:
  • Music by: Pornophonique - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (from: http://www.jamendo.com/it/album/7505)
  • Boot speed improvements, 25% gain
    - Boot services optimisation
    - Services now started in parallel
  • Entropy Package Manager 0.24.6, featuring User Generated Content, Website integration and 100+ bug fixes
    - 8500 applications available
    - No compilation required
    - Easy and fast security and general system updates
    - Fully compatibile with Portage 2.2 (EAPI2 compatible)
    - User Generated Content, make your vote and comments count on our development!
    - Textual and Graphical advanced clients, Equo and Spritz
    - Fully reliable Updates Notification Applet
    - 15% of speed gain over 0.23 (in 3.5.1)
  • Ext4, NTFS, AUFS and UnionFS Support
    - Ready for the future today, Ext4, the future Linux Filesystem is now a reality!
    - Does your Windows(tm) system contain music and photos? We support it out of the box!
  • HAL-based GPU and Input devices detection thanks to X.Org 7.4
    - Supporting AMD Catalyst Drivers 8.11 and Open Source RadeonHD
    - Supporting NVIDIA Drivers 180.11, 173.14.12, 96.43.09 and 71.86.07 through an automated selector
    - One click 3D Desktop Effects support
  • Incredible set of ready-to-use applications and Desktop Environments:
    - KDE 3.5.10 (Classic mode)
    - KDE 4.1.3 (Advanced mode, available through our repositories)
    - GNOME 2.24.2
    - XFCE 4.4.3
    - LXDE
    - Openbox 3.4.8 RC1
    - Fluxbox 1.1.1
    - OpenOffice 3.0
    - Firefox 3.0.4
    - aMule 2.2.2
    - Wine 1.1.10
    - Google Earth 4.3.7284.3916 and Picasa 2.7.3736.15
    - Adobe Flash 10
    - Java and IcedTea6
    - VirtualBox 2.0.6
    - and other 1000 applications available!
  • Sabayon Linux Installer:
    - Customizing your installation is now easier and faster
    - Ability to choose between 5 different pre-configured installation profiles
    - Faster post-installation configuration
  • Media Center functionalities:
    - GeeXbox 1.2
    - Elisa Media Center 0.3.5
  • For the future:
    - KDE 4.2 ready!
    - Can be upgraded to any 4.x Sabayon releases without a hitch!

Minimum requirements:
- an i686-compatible Processor (Intel Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Celeron, AMD K6-2, Athlon)
- 512Mb RAM
- 16 GB of free space
- A X.Org supported 2D GPU
- a DVD reader
Optimal requirements:
- a Dual Core Processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or better, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better)
- 1024Mb RAM
- 32 GB of free space
- A X.Org supported 3D GPU (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA)
- a DVD reader

Resources for Sabayon Linux 4:
Kernel Configuration:
- Sabayon Linux x86 4 kernel config
- Sabayon Linux x86-64 4 kernel config
Packages list:
- Sabayon Linux x86 4 Packages
- Sabayon Linux x86-64 4 Packages

Download It!
Our Mirrors Page:
- http://www.sabayonlinux.org/mirrors

- Sabayon Linux x86 4 Torrent Download
- Sabayon Linux x86-64 4 Torrent Download

10 best torrent websites of 2008

The list is based on traffic rank reports from Compete and Alexa, backed up by visitor reports from some of the site admins.

1. The Pirate Bay

It has been a good year for The Pirate Bay. The number of visitors spiked, despite efforts in Denmark and Italy to block access the site. Last month, The site celebrated its 5th anniversary, just after it broke the 25 million peers mark. At any given point in time, more than 25 million peers actively trade files thought the Pirate Bay tracker.

Compete rank 885 / Alexa rank 117 / 2007 #3

2. Mininova

Mininova has seen a steady rise in visitors in 2008, and more than 3 billion torrents were downloaded from the site in the past 12 months. In addition to user uploaded content, the Mininova team has started to focus more on premium publishers with their content distribution platform.

Compete rank 1,225 / Alexa rank 79 / 2007 #1

3. IsoHunt

Despite being ensnared in legal proceedings with the MPAA and CRIA, isoHunt is continuing to grow. This year they partnered with the Creative Commons music distribution site Jamendo, and just like The Pirate Bay, isoHunt added SSL encryption to the site, making it impossible for your ISP or the authorities to monitor users’ activities.

Compete rank 1,106 / Alexa rank 200 / 2007 #2

4. Torrentz

Torrentz.com, one of the oldest torrent sites around, celebrated its 5th anniversary in July. The site added a “verified torrents” feature this year, and inspired many other meta-search engines to do the same. Last month a “hacker” caused some problems after it took over the torrentz domain, but luckily this issue was resolved in a few hours.

Compete rank 2,039 / Alexa rank 220 / 2007 #4

5. TorrentReactor

TorrentReactor redesigned and optimized the site throughout 2008, which resulted in a significant increase in visitors. In addition, the TorrentReactor launched TorrentPrivacy, a service that allows BitTorrent users to download torrents anonymously.

Compete rank 2,150 / Alexa rank 532 / 2007 #9

6. Demonoid

After being forced to go offline following threats from the CRIA, Demonoid returned this April after 6 months of downtime. Since then it is business as usual, and most of the members returned quickly.

Compete rank 3,869 / Alexa rank 526 / 2007 #na

7. BTjunkie

In December 2007 BTjunkie was forced to leave their ISP following a takedown notice from the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. This year there were no troubles, and the site continues to go strong.

Compete rank 3,762 / Alexa rank 625 / 2007 #5

9. SumoTorrent

In 2007, SumoTorrent quickly settled itself among the top torrent sites, and traffic continued to increase this year. The pop-ups and redirects are new though, and don’t make it one of the most convenient sites to browse.

Compete rank 4,110 / Alexa rank 1,019 / 2007 #na

9. BTmon

BitTorrentMonster, BTmon for short, debuted in 10th place last year, and managed to climb a spot. Other than that, there is not much news surrounding the site.

Compete rank 4,737 / Alexa rank 989 / 2007 #10

10. TorrentPortal

Not much news about TorrentPortal this year either, but for BitTorrent sites that is usually a good thing. Traffic seems to be stable, although the site is not growing as fast as the other BitTorrent sites in this list.

Compete rank 4,300 / Alexa rank 1,126 / 2007 #7

Honorable mention: TorrentSpy

In 2006 TorrentSpy was more popular than any other BitTorrent site, but this changed quickly in August 2007, when a federal judge ordered TorrentSpy to log all user data. The judge ruled that TorrentSpy had to monitor its users in order to create detailed logs of their activities, and hand these over to the MPAA.

In a response to this decision - and to ensure the privacy of their users - TorrentSpy decided that it was best to block access to all users from the US. This led to a huge decrease in traffic, but still, it managed to make out top 10 list last year. March 2008 TorrentSpy owner Justin decided to shut down completely, and in May his company was ordered to pay a $110 million fine, which it will appeal.

Fonte | TorrentFreak

List of most unusual deaths

  • 456 BC: Aeschylus, a Greek playwright, was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone. The tortoise survived.[1]
  • 430 BC: Empedocles, Pre-Socratic philosopher, secretly jumped into an active volcano (Mt. Etna). According to Diogenes Laërtius, this was to convince the people of his time that he had been taken up by the gods on Olympus.
  • 272 BC: Pyrrhus of Epirus, the famous conquerer and source of the term pyrrhic victory, according to Plutarch died while fighting an urban battle in Argos on the back of an elephant when an old woman threw a roof tile at him, stunning him and allowing an Argive soldier to kill him. [2]
  • 270 BC: Philitas of Cos, Greek intellectual, is said by Athenaeus of Naucratis to have studied false arguments and erroneous word-usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.[3] Alan Cameron speculates that Philitas died from a wasting disease which his contemporaries joked was caused by his pedantry.[4]
  • 207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs.[5]
  • 162 BC: Eleazar Maccabeus was crushed to death at the Battle of Beth-zechariah by a War elephant that he believed to be carrying Seleucid King Antiochus V; charging in to battle, Eleazar rushed underneath the elephant and thrust a spear into its belly, whereupon it fell dead on top of him[6]
  • 4 BC: Herod the Great suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally gave up.[7] Similar symptoms-- abdominal pains and worms-- accompanied the death of his grandson Herod Agrippa in 44 AD, after he had imprisoned St Peter. At various times, each of these deaths has been considered divine retribution.[citation needed]
  • 64 - 67: St Peter was executed by the Romans. According to legend, he asked not to be crucified in the normal way, but was instead executed on an inverted cross. He said he was not worthy to be crucified in the same way as was Jesus.
  • c. 98: Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, was roasted to death in a brazen bull during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Saint Eustace, as well as his wife and children supposedly suffered a similar fate under Hadrian. According to legend, the creator of the brazen bull, Perillos of Athens, was the first to be put into the brazen bull when he presented his invention to Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum, but he was taken out before he died.[8]
  • 260: Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was used as a footstool by the King Shapur I. After a long period of punishment and humiliation, Shapur had the emperor skinned alive and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy.[9]
  • 415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and philosopher, was murdered by a mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells and what remained of her burned. (Various types of shells have been named: clams, oysters, abalones. Other sources claim tiles or pottery-shards were used.)[10]

UbuntuEEE is now Easy Peasy

Ubuntu Eee was started last December. It was just a script which fixed some of the issues that came with Ubuntu when installing it on an EeePC. In June was Ubuntu Eee released as a whole operating system. There was a new release already in September which really showed the potential of Ubuntu Eee. Softpedia ranked Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1 “The perfect operating system for your Asus Eee PC!”.

The script back in 2007 was downloaded about 3 000 times, the first release of Ubuntu Eee was downloaded about 60 000 times and Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1 has been downloaded over 225 000 times!

With this is Ubuntu Eee ready for it’s next leap. We want to bring the ease of Ubuntu Eee to all netbooks.
Because that’s what it’s been about: it’s easy. It’s the operating system you install and start using, real plug and play. The new release will be rebranded and released on January 1st. We wanted Easy in the new name. We’ve gone over it for several months, though the answer was right in front of us: It’s an Easy (operating system for a) PC - Ubuntu Eee will be rebranded as Easy Peasy.

Some loves the new name while some think it sounds childish. That’s why we have to make a really good looking and professional logo and webpage.

Link | Ubuntu Eee

Monday, December 8, 2008

Get your GMail stickers

Not too long ago, one of the Gmail engineers broke out her vinyl cutter and made some Gmail m-velope stickers. Pretty soon, they were pasted to our desks, stuck on our laptops, and adorning the walls around the office. Then other people started asking us about them -- first it was just other Googlers. But when a guy I was sitting next to on an airplane asked where he could get a Gmail sticker, we realized other people might like them too.

So we designed some more, and printed up a whole bunch.

There's the standard Gmail m-velope -- dressed up in glitter. One of three bookplate style stickers you can stick on anything from the inside of a favorite book to your laptop or your skateboard. (Trading with friends is encouraged -- we realize the unicorn isn't for everyone.) And there's a sheet of keyboard shortcut stickers intended as a tool to help people learn Gmail's shortcuts. The adhesive is a bit more removable than standard stickiness, so you can take them off once you've trained your fingers.

So how do you get your stickers? We may be all about speedy electronic communication, but this time we're going old school with snail mail. Just send a self-addressed stamped envelope (along with a note if you're so inclined) to:

Send me some Gmail stickers already
P.O. Box 391420
Mountain View, CA 94039-1420

Make sure to include enough postage to return a sticker pack via U.S. mail. It's less than one ounce, so a standard $0.42 stamp will do if you're in the United States; enclose an international reply coupon (IRC) if you're outside of the U.S. And be sure to send your envelope in soon -- one per person please.

*Our lawyers asked us to make sure it was clear that your contact information won't be maintained in any way and these stickers are "void where prohibited and only while supplies last."

How to increase USB sample rate in Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista’s default 125Hz USB sample rate is not enough for today’s gamers and end-users. There are many USB sample rate patches out there, but none of them are supporting Windows Vista SP1 - due to the new restricted driver signature enforcement feature. However, it is now possible to use these patches thanks to the latest version of our own Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider (DSEO), but I am not taking any responsibilities for any damages! Use it at your own risk.

1. Download Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider (attached below).
2. Download HIDUSBF (attached below).
3. Run Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider and choose Enable Test Mode.
4. Extract HIDUSBF to some folder, right click on HIDUSBF.inf and choose Install.
5. Run Setup.exe from HIDUSBF’s folder, check the Filter on Device box and select your desired sample rate.
6. Run Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider again, choose Sign a System file and insert full path to the installed HIDUSBF.sys file (Usually C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\HIDUSBF.sys).
7. Restart your computer and enjoy.
8. Verify by using Mouse Rate or DirectInput Mouse Rate (attached below)

That should do the trick. Remember! Use it at your own risk! Do not blame me if your motherboard explodes, Vista or USB fails. But... I have already tested it myself with a lot of success, so you don't have any reason to worry. If you would like to uninstall it, just right click on HIDUSBFU.inf, choose Install and disable test mode from Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider.

Attached Files
File Type: zip hidusbf.zip (217.6 KB, 253 views)
File Type: exe dseo11.exe (705.4 KB, 257 views)
File Type: exe mouserate.exe (19.5 KB, 192 views)
File Type: exe dimr.exe (100.0 KB, 180 views)

Source | NGo-HQ

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

BBQ CaseMod

Spotted at QuakeCon 2008, some guy modded his computer to fit inside a barbecue grill. It (as if you couldn't tell) is the awesome. I especially like how the cooling fans glow to simulate fire.

picture from geekologie

Rare squid 'with elbows' caught on camera

Rare squid 'with elbows' caught on camera

A rare species of squid that appears to have elbows has been filmed in unprecedented clarity by an underwater camera.

By Matthew Moore
Last Updated: 3:45PM GMT 28 Nov 2008

The squid was spotted a mile and a half below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico at an oil and gas drilling site off the coast of Houston, Texas.

The footage, recorded on a remote-controlled camera, shows the creature's long tentacles hanging at right angles from shoulder-like "arms" jutting out of its body.

The magnapinna's peculiar arrangement of limbs has baffled marine biologists since the deep-sea species was first identified in 1998.

One theory is that the elbows help prevent the squid's tentacles from becoming tangled, as it drags them along the seabed trawling for food. Others suggest that the squid waits for prey to collide with and get trapped among its sticky limbs.

The footage, which was filmed by a Shell Oil camera at their Perdido drilling site in November last year, has been circulating among oil industry employees via email for months. It came to public attention after being featured on the National Geographic website.

Magnapinna squid, which live in darkness 4,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, have only been caught on camera a handful of times, and never at a drilling site.

Although their tentacles are remarkable, the animals are much smaller than giant squids which have been recorded to reach up to 52 ft in length.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

18 Undiscovered Websites Every Gamer Should Know

All credits go to "GAME FORUM -ADMIN"

Others, but what about the great, lesser-known gaming sites?

This post introduces 18 great gaming sites you might not have seen before. Whether you’re looking for freebies, music, laughs or oddities, there’s something here for occasional and hardcore gamers alike.

1. Overclocked Remix
is a community hub of users who painstakingly remix and arrange video game music. There are thousands of tracks available for download. If you like the soundtrack to your favorite game, you can bet it has been remixed and reworked here.

2. The Freeware Indie Games Database
offers just under 1,000 play-tested freeware titles from independent game developers. The games here are innovative and unique. Some of them are bound to be re-developed as Wii titles.

3. POKE is a light-weight utility that allows you to cheat in almost any single player game, whether it’s already published or to be published in the future.

4.The Daedalus Project
gets into the minds of MMORPG players. The website’s author has surveyed over 35,000 gamers and provides a detailed break-down of his findings in areas such as the player life-cycle, making friends and status reversal. It’s fascinating stuff.

5.Gaming Magazines of the Pre-Internet Era
is a treasure trove for retro gamers. It links out to .PDF databases of old and out of print gaming magazines.

6. The Grand List of Role Playing Game Clichés
is a list of 100+ painful clichés any RPG fan would have encountered before. My favorite? The No! My beloved peasant village cliché: “The hero’s home town, city, slum, or planet will usually be annihilated in a spectacular fashion before the end of the game, and often before the end of the opening scene.”

7. GameCakes
is the website for people who love cake and video games. These game-themed cakes run the gamut, from the bizarre to the majestic. The scrumptious photos will have you baking your own cupcakes in no time.

8. CrazyPC
is the hardcore gamer’s place for computer accessories. All the neon, case mods, plexiglass, tubes and coolant fluid you can poke a memory stick at.

9. VGMusic
is host to 24,000+ midi versions of video game tracks from all your retro favorites: Megaman, Mario, Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, et al.

10. Build Your Own Gaming Computers
is a website dedicated to helping you… well, you can probably guess. Gaming rigs sell for thousands of dollars and learning to build your own can save you lots of cash. This website provides advice on the entire process, from choosing parts to installation.

11. Abandonia
offers thousands of abandonware DOS downloads. Abandonware essentially means games which aren’t sold anymore, prompting their release into the public domain. They’re the games you might have owned and loved as a child or teenager. Chances are you’ll find some old favorites here.

12. Jay is Games
sources out the best casual games and brings them directly to you. The blog’s authors sure know their stuff and their opinions are worth listening to. Subscribe to their feed for a daily stream of gorgeous, idle distractions.

13. Old Grandma Hardcore
is the blog of a foul-mouthed, lovable gamer grandma (with the pictures to prove it!). No, we’re not talking Brain Training and The Sims — we’re talking games like Bioshock and The Darkness. This grandma really is hardcore!

14. Insert Credit
is a multi-author Japanese games and culture blog specializing in breaking news from the land of the rising sun.

15. Replacementdocs
is an online archive of .PDF game manuals for thousands of popular games. If you’ve experienced the frustration of losing the manual to your favorite title, replacementdocs should have a solution for you.

16. Wonderland
is an odds-and-ends gaming blog mainly known for its cool gamecrafts. From Darth Vader backpacks to Quake coasters, this blog is proof that gamers are an arty bunch.

17. The Speed Demos Archive
is host to hundreds of videos documenting the efforts of those dedicated individuals who’ve conquered games in the shortest time possible. Watch epic games like Half Life 2 and Icewind Dale beaten before your lunch-break is over.

18. The System Requirements Lab
analyzes your computer, benchmarking it against the minimum requirements of a specific product. Ever wondered if your computer can handle that gorgeous new release? Now you’ll know.

Update: Here are some more great websites that you might not have seen before, suggested from our readers

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/-Rock, Paper, Shotgun
http://www.automouse2.com/-Game Helper

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coffee with an Italian stallion

SINGAPORE: You could say this Italian has played quite a part in Singapore’s nation-building.

After all, Roberto Pregarz has been credited with single-handedly saving the Raffles Hotel — not the swish, super five-star establishment on Beach Road that it has become, but the iconic yet genteelly-going-to seed hotel it once was.

Famous it was, but with an owner who was unwilling to invest in it, business was poor. When the young Pregarz was made assistant general manager and handed the keys, his predecessor also told him: “Raffles will close in six months.”

His only chance at success then was his creativity. He exercised that to such an extent that despite his lack of prior hotel experience, Raffles not only survived the six months, Pregarz himself stayed and almost single-handedly operated the hotel for 22 years until it closed in early 1989 for extensive renovations.

It celebrated its centennial under him and in that year — 1986 — it was hailed as the “most famous hotel in the world”.

His achievements have been well-recognised all over the world and what he did to revive, resuscitate (and at times reinvent) the allure of what is arguably Singapore’s most well-known icon is chronicled in books and press reports. But how did an Italian man with a then shaky command of English do it?

The “human touch”, he says.

“My staff and I both spoke broken English ... (but) we had the same mentality. We understood and respected each other no matter what our jobs were. My job was not to give orders, but to help them. I had to prove to them that I could (help them).”

That is why during these trying times, Pregarz is fretting about how where everything is heading, as to his eyes it all seems to lack the “human touch” principle he operates by.

At Raffles, he wined and dined film stars and famous authors, but was also not above himself doing the dishes when the dishwasher broke down.

What is needed, he says, is a return to those days when everyone seemed to have a common purpose — nation building.

“The Minister Mentor and his colleagues were building the Singaporean,” he says. These days, he laments, some policymakers are “not down-to-earth with the bread-and-butter issues of most ordinary Singaporeans.

As he puts it, “their vision is so global that they cannot see their own housing estate. Investment and money seems more important to them than quality of life”.

“We have done extremely well for 40 years without casinos, why we need them now?” he asks. These will only create bigger problems for the new generation.

Singapore to him is home and Italy is a “place to visit to drink wine, eat pizzas, enjoy the sceneries, the arts”.

But Pregarz, 69, who married a Singaporean and is the father of two and a grandfather of one, wants to know: Who will be the Singaporean in 10 years time?

“We are now importing unskilled labourers while our skilled ones are being exported,” he says. “Singapore is still one of the best countries to work, to live and to raise a family, but for how long more if the present trend continues?”

The higher-than-forecasted revenue from the goods and service tax and the money from fines should be used to help ordinary Singaporeans.

“Why these extras cannot be used to help the citizens during a crisis? Why do we need to charge GST on essential food items?” he questions passionately.

At the heart of his activism — Pregarz writes to the media regularly — is the Singapore he wants his children and grandchildren to live in. He treasures the Singapore that allowed for him and his wife, Helena to save part of their modest salaries to buy their own first home.

“My hope is that our leaders will study and follow the path of their predecessors, the builders of Singapore. Do not experiment. Stop and ponder on what we have achieved. Do not follow the Western style democracy. This is made to protect the delinquents, not the law-abiding citizens.”

He does not let up even when he is on his annual sojourn to Italy. Pregarz — who has been twice bestowed the title of cavaliere (roughly the equivalent of a knighthood or the Legion d’ Honneur) by the Italian government — takes that government to task as well.

His wife, a retired teacher, says: “It could be graffiti on the walls, beggars in the streets... When his friends start seeing his letters in the local newspaper, they say ‘Oh, Roberto is in town again’.”

Pregarz even had a part to play in giving Singapore the famous violinist Vanessa Mae. It was at Raffles Hotel that she was conceived.

“Yes, yes,” he says delighting in relating how it came about. “Her mother Pamela was playing the piano at the Palm Court that time and her father was the food and beverage manager.”

Ah, the human touch... -

New word 'Meh' enters English dictionary

Characters perform on stage at 'The Simpsons' Panel.

LONDON: "Meh", a word which indicates a lack of interest or enthusiasm, became the latest addition to the Collins English Dictionary on Monday.

The word, which beat hundreds of other suggestions from members of the public, will feature in the 30th anniversary edition of the dictionary, which is to be published next year.

Though the word apparently originates from North America, Collins said it was now widely used on the Internet, and was increasingly seen in British spoken English.

The dictionary entry for "meh" will say it can be used as an interjection to indicate indifference or boredom, as an adjective to describe something as boring or mediocre, or to show an individual is apathetic or unimpressed.

The word was popularised by the US comedy animation series "The Simpsons", where characters Bart and Lisa use it to express indifference when their father Homer suggests a day trip.

It was submitted by Erin Whyte from Nottingham, central England, and a panel of Collins language experts singled it out from the hundreds of other submissions because of its frequency of use in modern English.

"This is a new interjection from the US that seems to have inveigled its way into common speech over here," said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries.

"It shows people are increasingly writing in a register somewhere in between spoken and written English."

Other words submitted to Collins' campaign - which was launched in June and called on members of the public to suggest words they used in everyday English - were jargonaut (a fan of jargon); frenemy (an enemy disguised as a friend) and huggles (a hybrid of hugs and snuggles). - AFP/de

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tigers kill zoo worker in Singapore

By Khushwant Singh
Mr Nordin Mondong, 32, from Sarawak, is believed to have fallen into the moat surrounding the White tiger enclosure at about 12.15pm and was immediately pounced on by the three big cats weighing over 100 kg each. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
A MALAYSIAN cleaner was mauled to death by three tigers which pounced on him when he fell into the moat in the enclosure at the Singapore Zoo in Mandai on Thursday.

The man has been identified as Mr Nordin Montong, 32, from Sarawak. His family has been notified of his death, said the Singapore Zoo in a statement.

As a precautionary measure, the Zoo has temporarily closed the White Tiger exhibit.

The Zoo said the man, a contract worker, jumped into the moat at the tiger enclosure at 12.15pm and was pounced on by the three big cats weighing over 100 kg each.

Terrified visitors near the section watched the vicious attack in horror and screamed.

The commotion attracted the attention of a keeper who was nearby. Other keepers sprang to Mr Nordin's rescue by distracting the tigers.

The keepers managed to separate the Mr Nordin from the tiger.

"While waiting for the ambulance, our vets attended to him," said Ms Giswajit Guha, the Zoo's assistant director.

The ambulance arrived at 12.45pm but the mauled worker had died of injuries to his neck and body.

Mr Nordin started working at the Zoo in June.

It is believed he was not supposed to be in the Tiger enclosure and was assigned to clean the Chimpanzee section on Thursday.

He was seen behaving in an agitated manner before he fell into the moat.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to the worker's family and we will provide his family with whatever assistance they need during this period," said Ms Guha.

Police and the Zoo are investigating the incident.