Sinkhole images from around the world – Holy Kaw!

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Last week’s sinkhole that appeared in downtown Guatemala City — swallowing a three-story building in its wake — adds to the chasms that have appeared around the world. has a gallery of 10 sinkholes from Alabama to Iceland.

Guatemala sinkhole 2010. A similarly scary looking sinkhole suddenly appeared in 2007 just blocks away.

A parked bus was the unfortunate “meal” of a sinkhole that opened up in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, in 2003.

This 185-foot-deep (56-meter-deep) sinkhole appeared in 1994 in Mulberry, Florida, in a pile of waste material dumped by a mining company.

Check out images of all 10 sinkholes — some scary, some beautiful, and some serene — here.

Total National Geographic aggregation.


Photo credits: 1. Daniel LeClair, Reuters; 2. Jose Manuel Ribeiro, Reuters; 3. Selbypic/AP

Wow, talk about shit happens. Thats one big shit hole that would definitely put you in a world of shit if you are unlucky enough to be on the spot where the sinkhole were to open up.

Alienware M11x gets overseas Core i3 / i5 / i7 and NVIDIA Optimus update, US version due tomorrow? — Engadget

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We’ve been hearing about an impending CPU update to Alienware’s M11x for some time now, and now Dell Malaysia has quietly updated its website with options to order the revised not-quite-netbook. So what’s new? Well, there’s NVIDIA Optimus for starters, and the Intel Core 2 Duo processor has been thanked for its time and shown the door in lieu of Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs on a QS57 chipset. Prices start at RM 3,699, or about $1,110 in US bills. Speaking of which, while Dell’s US site has yet to update, we’ve seen what’s purported to be some internal documentation that pinpoints the official stateside launch for the revised M11x as tomorrow (technically, it’s already Tuesday in Malaysia). No confirmation yet, but hey, it’d make for a pretty nice pre-E3 gift.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Update: UK Alienware lovers can now also get their Core i5/i7 M11x fix, as the new hardware options have gone live on the laptop’s local microsite. Yes, Optimus is there too. [Thanks, Mike]

Wow, these are some kick ass specs and interestingly it seems to have been launched in Malaysia first :-). Yes you heard right, the US got it later.

All you Apple MacBook lovers bow down to the awesomeness of Alienware :p

iPhone 4 vs. the smartphone elite: EVO 4G, N8, Pre Plus, and HD2 — Engadget


We know how the iPhone 4 sizes up against the aging 3GS — but how does it fare against its fiercest competitors from all the major platforms? We wish we had some production Windows Phone 7 kit to check out here, but in the meantime, take a look at the results against the gruesome foursome of the EVO 4G, N8, Pre Plus, and HD2. You might be surprised by some of the results — and sorry, RIM, you don’t get to play until you bring some fresh, media-heavy hardware to the table. Nothing personal!

iPhone 4


Nokia N8

Palm Pre Plus


Platform iOS 4 Android 2.1 with Sense Symbian^3 webOS Windows Mobile 6.5
Processor Apple A4 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 680MHz ARM11-based 600MHz TI OMAP3430 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
Storage 16GB / 32GB internal 440MB internal, microSDHC expansion 16GB internal, microSDHC expansion 16GB Approx. 200MB internal, microSDHC expansion
Cellular Quadband GSM, pentaband HSPA CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A, WiMAX Quadband GSM, pentaband HSPA CDMA / EV-DO Rev. A or quadband GSM / dualband HSPA Quadband GSM, dualband HSPA
WiFi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g 802.11b/g1
Display size 3.5 inches 4.3 inches 3.5 inches 3.1 inches 4.3 inches
Display resolution 960 x 640 800 x 480 640 x 360 480 x 320 800 x 480
Display technology IPS LCD LCD AMOLED LCD LCD
Integrated TV-out No HDMI HDMI No No
Primary camera 5 megapixel AF, LED flash 8 megapixel AF, LED flash 12 megapixel AF, xenon flash 3 megapixel, LED flash 5 megapixel AF, LED flash
Secondary camera VGA 1.3 megapixel VGA None None
Video recording 720p at 30fps 720p at 24fps 720p at 25fps VGA at 30fps VGA at 30fps
Video calling Yes (WiFi only) Yes Yes No No
Location / orientation sensors AGPS, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope AGPS, compass, accelerometer AGPS, compass, accelerometer AGPS, accelerometer AGPS, compass, accelerometer
SIM standard Micro SIM N/A SIM SIM (on GSM variant) SIM
Quoted max talk time 7 hours on 3G, 14 hours on 2G 6 hours 5.83 hours on 3G, 12 hours on 2G 5.5 hours on Verizon, 5 hours on AT&T 5.33 hours on 3G, 6.33 hours on 2G
Quoted max media playback time 40 hours audio, 10 hours video None quoted 50 hours audio, 6 hours video None quoted 12 hours audio, 8 hours video
Weight 137 grams / 4.8 oz. 170 grams / 6.00 oz. 135 grams / 4.76 oz. 135 grams / 4.76 oz. 157 grams / 5.54 oz.
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 122 x 66 x 13mm 113.5 x 59 x 12.9mm 100.5 x 59.5 x 16.95mm 120.5 x 67 x 11mm

1802.11n can be enabled with a registry hack.

Interesting comparison chart for those who want to get a new smartphone. Then again this is mainly applicable to those who reside in the US of A or Europe.

Notice HTC appearing a lot here? Those Taiwanese sure have come a long way…

Apple Announces Release of Safari 5 with Extensions – Mac Rumors

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Apple Announces Release of Safari 5 with Extensions

Monday June 07, 2010 06:15 PM EST
Written by Arnold Kim

Apple just issued a press release announcing the launch of Safari 5, but it hasn’t been officially posted on their site.

Apple today released Safari 5, the latest version of the world’s fastest and most innovative web browser, featuring the new Safari Reader for reading articles on the web without distraction, a 30 percent performance increase over Safari 4,* and the ability to choose Google, Yahoo! or Bing as the search service powering Safari’s search field. Available for both Mac and Windows, Safari 5 includes improved developer tools and supports more than a dozen new HTML5 technologies that allow web developers to create rich, dynamic websites. With Safari 5, developers can now create secure Safari Extensions to customize and enhance the browsing experience.

Features Include:

Safari Reader makes it easy to read single and multipage articles on the web by presenting them in a new, scrollable view without any additional content or clutter. When Safari 5 detects an article, users can click on the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field to display the entire article for clear, uninterrupted reading with options to enlarge, print or send via email.

– Powered by the Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari 5 on the Mac runs JavaScript 30 percent faster than Safari 4, three percent faster than Chrome 5.0, and over twice as fast as Firefox 3.6.* Safari 5 loads new webpages faster using Domain Name System (DNS) prefetching, and improves the caching of previously viewed pages to return to them more quickly.

– Safari 5 adds more than a dozen powerful HTML5 features that allow web developers to create media-rich experiences, including full screen playback and closed captions for HTML5 video. Other new HTML5 features in Safari 5 include HTML5 Geolocation, HTML5 sectioning elements, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, HTML5 Ruby, HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource and WebSocket.

– The new, free Safari Developer Program allows developers to customize and enhance, Safari 5 with extensions based on standard web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The Extension Builder, new in Safari 5, simplifies the development, installation and packaging of extensions. For enhanced security and stability, Safari Extensions are sandboxed, signed with a digital certificate from Apple and run solely in the browser.

According to the press release, Safari 5 should be available for free download today.

Update: The press release was pulled so we’re not sure what the status of Safari 5 is at the moment.

Update 2: Apple has now officially posted the press release announcing Safari 5, and it is now available via Apple’s Safari download site and Software Update. Apple has also released Safari 4.1 for Mac OS X Tiger users, bringing a significant number of enhancements in the areas of performance, usability, compatibility and security.

Rating (100 Positives; 42 Negatives)

Wow, a WebKit browser that supposedly has the extensibility of Firefox. Sounds like an interesting proposition but however Safari 4 on Windows is quite a memory hog, I have not tried Safari 5 but I hope they fix that.

Bye Bye Birdie: Why Twitter is On the Outs

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AN interesting editorial by a guy who thinks Twitter is going downhill. I am very much on the fence on this one. Personally I think Twitter is a great tool to consume news as is much better than using RSS IMO.

However he does have a point about people spamming useless stuff but then again you don’t have to follow them now do you?

75 books every writer should read – Holy Kaw!

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Whether you plan to pen the next great American novel or you would just like to communicate more effectively on paper, there is a slew of reading material out there aimed at writers, and wannabe writers, looking to hone their skills. Online Universities collected 75 such books that cover everything from the basics of grammar to how to make writing a viable career.

A sampling:

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B.White: This book is a must-have for anyone who writes, as it has been the standard model for proper English style for decades.

Telling Lies for Fun & Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block: This book offers plenty of advice for those who want to write better and get their work published.

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’ Conner: O’ Conner is an editor at the New York Times Book Review and gives a witty and fun take on the often boring subject of grammar in this book.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: This is widely regarded as one of the best books for any aspiring author to read. Why? King’s book divides it’s time between being an instructional manual for writers and a richly engaging memoir that serves as a great example of how to write and write well.

Full list at Online Universities.

Tons of writing resources.

75 books to my reading list now, I’m broke now :S

BlackBerry Bold 9800 gets some glamour shots, looks like the slider of our dreams — Engadget

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The verdict is still out on OS 6, but there’s hardly any doubting the assured design and form factor that RIM has gone with for the BlackBerry Bold 9800 slider. Our latest look at the device comes courtesy of BlackBerry Times in China, who has what appears to be an early version of the device. They expect the smooth plastic back to be replaced by the leather look RIM favors on its higher end devices, but otherwise the unit looks to be pretty solid and far along. The Google-translated Chinese seems to confirm again that the screen is not SurePress. Not a lot of landmark news to be gleaned here, but we’re mostly stoked about these delicious bokeh-filled shots of device — it’s really looking good, and the comparison shot with other recent BlackBerries (check after the break) is rather helpful for sizing this thing up.

[Thanks, Johnny]

Nice device, I’m very iffy about BlackBerry OS 6 but damn, this device is nice !!

Dell Streak HDMI dock gets the hands-on treatment, kickstand-equipped case makes a cameo — Engadget

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Nice looking dock for the streak !! 🙂

Sony Ericsson prepping a 5-inch Android phone with QWERTY keyboard? (updated) — Engadget

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Well, this is just great timing. What we’re looking at here is supposedly a Sony Ericsson smartphone, which seems to sport a five-inch screen and a hinged slide-out keyboard like the HTC Shift and the Eking S515. Even if this prototype turns out to be legit, our tipster — who has a solid track record — says it’s only running on Android 2.1 and that development is in its infancy while low-level drivers are being tested. Well, we can probably wait, except we’re also told that internally SE doesn’t appear to have any plans for 2.2 yet. Cue the angry tomatoes and eggs, but bring us a PSP phone any day and we’ll call off the rally.

Update: We’ve received word from a second highly-trusted source who says that the display is 5.5 inches (too big to fit in the front pocket), and runs a clean Android 2.1 install. Oh, and it’s launching in the fall.

Damn, just when I thought I found my dream device, SE had to throw in a monkey wrench.

Iridium Back From The Dead?

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The mobile satellite services provider Iridium has ordered 81 spacecraft to upgrade its global network.

Thales Alenia Space of France will build the satellites – 66 to form the operational constellation, the remainder to act as spares.

The order makes the Iridium Next venture the biggest commercial space project in the world today.

The $2.1bn deal has largely been underwritten by the French export credit guarantee organisation, Coface. The overall cost of the Iridium Next project is likely to be about $2.9bn, much of which the company expects to finance out of its own cash flow…

Iridium, which allows subscribers to make a phone call and data connection anywhere in the world, began operating in 1998 but soon ran into financial difficulties.

It was purchased out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000 by investors who paid a fraction of the cost of setting up the first constellation.

Today, the company, which is based in McLean, Virginia, has about 360,000 subscribers worldwide, earning revenues amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Just under a quarter of those revenues come from US government and Department of Defense contracts.

Rock on, Iridium. Most geeks only remember the failure of the original company and haven’t a clue about the current successes.

Wow, never knew that there were doing things quietly behind the scenes. Good to know they are on their way out of the woods.

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