Wednesday, 28 December 2011

BBC News - Train-switching technology 'poses hacking threat'

I suppose a potential weak link could always be the issuers and holders of the keys. I would hope that stringent audits would ensure the security though. You would hope...

Crazy PC Modding.

Mod of the Year 2011

Published on 23rd December 2011 by Antony Leather

Mod of the Year 2011

2011 has undoubtedly been one of the best ever years for PC modding. In fact, so many projects have graced our world-famous modding forum that we've had real trouble sifting through all the incredible talent that's been on show this year. As it stands, this is our biggest-ever Mod of the Year competition, with 25 projects taking part.

However, the back-to-back winner, Attila Lukacs, who claimed 1st place in 2009 and 2010 is absent, as he's still working on his follow up project. As such, this year's much sought-after Mod of the Year crown is definitely up for grabs, along with some epic prize bundles.

That's not to say Attila wouldn't have had some extremely stiff competition. This year we've had some of the most amazing projects we've ever seen, from water-cooled desk PCs, TRON Lightcycles, wooden wonders, mini-ITX masterpieces, scale starships and of course more racy-looking water-cooled PCs than you can shake a stick at.

There's something for everybody, whether you're into mods or scratchbuilds, air-cooling or water-cooling. As usual, though, we need you to vote for your favourite projects - you've got multiple votes to use and if you vote you'll also be in with a chance of winning some awesome Carbon Fibre modding mesh from Mnpctech - we've got 25 prizes to give away, so check out all the amazing projects and vote for your favourites.

The projects are listed below in alphabetical order with a description and gallery on the following pages. Once you've finished trying to cope with all the eyecandy, head over to the voting page. You have ten votes - use them wisely!

Beta by Peter Husar (Gtek)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Charge! by Frenk Janse (Frenkie)
*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Dreadnought by Javier Fernandez (pinchillo)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Filtration by Nick Jones (skorchio)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

FLush by Kenneth Machielsen (K.3nny)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

L3p D3sk - Silent Workstation (l3p)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Mid Century Madness by Jeffrey Stephenson (slipperyskip)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Nike advanced by Paul Tan (paultan)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

PC-Beto by Hans Peder Sahl (p0Pe)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Perspiration by Peter Ritchie (pistol_pete)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Phinix Nano Tower by Mike Krysztofiak (phinix)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

ROG Rampage by Nguyen Dinh Ban (nhenhophach)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Saturday Night Special by Jeff Alderman (bulldogjeff)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Silverstone TJ11 Carbon by Richard Keirsgieter (keir)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

SR-2 Stacker by Paul Edwards (coolmeister)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Stealthlow by Wayne Wilkinson (waynio)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Steam & Current by Tomasz Krawczyk (awadon)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Synthetica by Alex Ftoulis (AnGEL)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

The Retro HTPC by Magnus Persson ([WP@]WOLVERINE)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Toxicity by Craig Stewart (craigr1982)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

TRON Lightcycle by Brian Carter (boddaker)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

USS Eurisko by Sander van der Velden (asphiax)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

WCC: A present from GlaDOS by Martin and Stefan Blass (thechoozen)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

White by Alain Simpels (alain-s)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

Wii Unlimited Edition by Martin Nielsen (Angel OD)

*Mod of the Year 2011 Mod of the Year 2011

I particularly like the Dreadnought Pc.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Science Public Lecture Series 2012


After a really?successful?series of physics and astronomy lectures (which went on for over a year!), there will be a more general science series of lectures starting in the new year with the space shuttle story on the 12th of Jan.?

It's well worth coming down to the lectures even if you are not from a strong scientific background. I wouldn't consider myself among the most lowly of scientific minds and I always find them enlightening.?

If you know of anyone who might be interested in these lectures please pass the message on. It's in my interest to advertise it because I enjoy going to them, the more popular they are the longer they will go on for!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Human tests begin on robot exoskeleton


These guys are doing amazing work. It looks like there is still a lot of work to be done so I doubt we will see any real help for a good while yet. One major issue is keeping a power supply to an exoskeleton.

Rwanda's poo-powered prisons


This is an excellent idea. I can't imagine it smells particularly nice but everything else about this is cool.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Programming Board Game


This will be on my childrens christmas list. This and lumps of coal of course ;-)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another brilliant healthcare application for the Kinect.


I love seeing the amazing applications for the kinect. Also heard about this on the Wired UK Podcast. A great thing about this is that you could even start considering consultations from the home instead. The healthcare professional video calls the patient, asks them to walk in front of the kinect and then is able to analyse and conduct an interview remotely.

Learning skills from the older generation. The Amazings.

The Amazings is a new social enterprise launching in East London

We help people who are about to retire or have retired create amazing experiences with the skills, knowledge and passion they?ve picked up throughout their life. We handle the advertising and payments ? all the Amazing has to do is decide when they want to run their experience, turn up, be amazing, and then collect the cash.

I heard about this on the Wired UK podcast this morning. I was hoping it was a national incentive but at the moment it's only in East London. What an excellent idea though.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

MAKE | Homemade Carbon Fiber Violin


This reminds me of my GCSE Systems and Control. I opted to make an electric violin! Essentially it consisted of me foolishly sanding a piece of wood for 2 years until right near the end my uncle swooped in and helped me make a fully working electric violin out of an old park bench. It turned out to be an excellent project. I think I still have the basic shape of the violin somewhere. I'll have to get it out and post it at sometime. I am sure there could be money made in custom making them to order...

Software Development Method acting


I listened to the first part of .net rocks show 722 whilst out for my lunch. Dan North mentioned the excellent output of developers sitting with traders coding and pushing. To me this is one of the ultimate ways to achieve excellent software. I am a big fan of the idea of method acting as a software developer. I am pretty sure someone else has already coined the idea. 

Essentially I like the idea of sitting and working with the people I am going to write the software for. Working with them in their daily tasks as if I were a normal employee. It's how I started out coding. I worked in various jobs as an administrator, a construction estimator and many other roles. Initially with Excel and Access and then with and other tools I just wrote software that made my particular tasks and those of other people in the office easier. The code was outrageous but generally worked. When it didn't I could fix it easy enough, the person who had the problem told me there and then what was wrong and what they expected it to do. 

Sitting with people in this manner can help weedle out the features that the client doesn't even realise they need. I don't believe there is any greater method. Even asking them to do it front of you can cause a user to act as they think they should instead of how they actually work. Working with them builds up trust and a relationship that will help you all the way through the process. Think of the undercover boss idea.

There are problems associated with this obviously.. Your company loses a dev for a little time, and there is the question of paying for the developers time whilst this process is going on. For me the time saved afterwards in development and the strong understanding of the domain that will be gained pay for themselves.

Picture taken from

MAKE | Circuit-Bent NES


A circuit bent NES! Pretty cool. I need to do a little bit o circuit bending me thinks. I feel embarrassed that my NES hasn't been warmed up for some time in fact.

Classrooms of Tomorrow, Today: Kinect Math App Available for Download | KinectEDucation


Teaching maths with Kinect certainly makes maths more interesting. I think it helps answer the question asked by teens... "when are we ever going to need this?".

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

10 Billion Downloads! - Android Market

Android apps reduced to 10p to celebrate 10million downloads.

There are some cool apps here. I have Paper Camera, Minecraft and Asphalt 6 already and can especially recommend Minecraft. It's quite basic at the moment but there are more updates coming for it soon. This is the perfect time to get it.
Paper camera is also a nice little app for that price!


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