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Penguin Car Earns Indy500 Spot 244

Posted by kdawson
from the not-bad-for-a-flightless-bird dept.
strredwolf writes "Despite generating over $12K in funds, well short of the $250K goal, the Tux 500 Project was able to secure a spot in the Indy 500 with driver Roberto Moreno piloting the Linux #77 Indy car. He's back in the pack in 31st place (only 5.5 MPH separates 31st place from 1st) but was able to secure it by re-qualifying with an average speed of 220.299 MPH. Will Moreno be able to pilot the penguin-tipped Indy car to victory next week at the 91st Indianapolis 500?"
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Penguin Car Earns Indy500 Spot

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  • by suso (153703) * on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:10AM (#19207069) Homepage Journal
    (I'm coming out of comment retirement to criticize Slashdot, not the community)

    Slashdot, you should be ashamed of yourself. Doing nothing to help, but claiming the rights after the fact. This was exactly the kind of grass roots project that you would have announced in the past, but choose to purposefully ignore it this time. You had a chance to announce this a long time ago, but according to Rob Malda himself, who said in full "there are so many reasons that this story doesn't interest me :)", the grass roots project wasn't worthy of your sacred pages. There were several times that a story about this project appeared in the firehose, but no story about the project's existance ever made it to the front page.

    All it would have taken from you is to accept one measley little story about the Tux500 project a few weeks ago and *bam*, it would have had the proper amount of publicity to energize the Linux community and raise enough money to fully sponsor the car. All it took was $1 from each person in just 1% of the community, so it would have worked even with 80% of the community doing their own thing. But since the project didn't get the good publicity it deserved, it only raised half the amount needed just to put a logo on the car. Fortunately the good will of the tux500 team seems to be allowing the logo to still be on the car. I guess they are better people than you.

    You know why so many community projects fail? Because the leaders don't believe in them.

    Just so the rest of you know for this discussion, I understand that sites like Slashdot are news sites. But IMHO, only half a news site. There have been hundreds of stories here over the years meant to mobilize the community (ie. Blender). I ask, why not this one?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by strider44 (650833)
      I get your arguments but this *is* Rob Malda's blog, so you can't really blame him for not putting up a story that obviously doesn't interest him...

      (that said, I may be biased because as an Australian this story doesn't really interest me either)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by suso (153703) *
        (that said, I may be biased because as an Australian this story doesn't really interest me either)

        Obviously it did interest you because you bothered to read the comments for it.
        • Indeed, as it interested me in so far as I am an Australian glad to see Linux making a name for itself. I read comments on half the slashdot stories I see purely because it is a source I can learn new things from or find some cool link to click on (note to self, never again surf at -1 and click Anonymous Coward links).

          Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with your initial post, but feel the need to point out that, in fact, there are often deeper reasons for something happening. I see this a lot in IRC channel
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sunburnt (890890)

          Obviously it did interest you because you bothered to read the comments for it.

          Not necessarily. Perhaps he or she's a compulsive reader like myself who, having no interest in auto racing and no faith in the efficacy of this form of advertising, is still willing to read the comments for each article to see if anything personally interesting is raised.

          Hell, I'm only reading this article because I won't get any work for another 45 minutes, and I figure that advertising discussions on /. are more likely to pr

          • by nelsonal (549144) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:55AM (#19207433) Journal
            There are two reasons. There are millions of racing fans, (the Indy 500 will probably have 5 million viewers) including many of the higher ups in most of the US auto industry. Second it's like product placement so people can't just get up and leave during the commercials (they're watching the cars and then see the ads. He might want to think about partnering the effort with Intel/AMD/HP/Oracle/Dell/IBM who could then foot a portion of the bill and could add further legitimacy.
            • 5.5 MPH is ALOT (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ganjadude (952775)
              It is clear that the submitter is not familiar with racing. 5.5MPH in a race is a HUGE gap, it is a 500 mile race on a 2 mile track. IF he stays at a constant 5.5 MPH behind the leader, he will be give or take 8 laps back at the end of the race. Unfortunately the more likely scenario is that he will lose speed throughout the race.
      • by hpavc (129350)
        This just in Mark Webber sitting in for Stephan Gregoire. Suddenly Aussies everywhere gone wild.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by smilindog2000 (907665)
      Here's another community project that /. could support, with the goal of bringing cheap telephones to the masses in under-developed countries: http://rowetel.com/ucasterisk/index.html [rowetel.com]. It's David Rowe's Free Telephony Project.
    • by tbone1 (309237) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:22AM (#19207141) Homepage
      Oh, I submitted this a couple weeks ago, including how even a braindead news organization noticed Linux at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Apparently it wasn't newsworthy THEN.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      All it would have taken from you is to accept one measley little story about the Tux500 project a few weeks ago and *bam*, it would have had the proper amount of publicity to energize the Linux community and raise enough money to fully sponsor the car. All it took was $1 from each person in just 1% of the community, so it would have worked even with 80% of the community doing their own thing. But since the project didn't get the good publicity it deserved, it only raised half the amount needed just to put a
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Leaving aside your bizarre arithmetic (a "$1 contribution" barely covers the costs of collecting it), why this one though? What the hell does Linux have to do with rednecks watching cars drive in an oval for a couple of hours? Wouldn't a quarter of a million dollars be better spent on handing out Ubuntu DVDs to the hillbillys?

      God, the words feel dirty even as I type them, but I'm with Malda on this. It's a silly folly, and I'm glad that not many people wasted their money on it.

      • by Otter (3800)
        FYI, rednecks watch a different kind of car drive in circles. Eurowannabes watch these cars drive in circles, when not pretending to be really passionate Premier League fans.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by sheldon (2322)
        Rednecks? Indianapolis 500? Rednecks?

        Do you understand the difference between Indy 500 and Nascar? Most of the people I know, such as myself, who watch the Indy 500 are engineers.
        • Do you understand the difference between Indy 500 and Nascar? Most of the people I know, such as myself, who watch the Indy 500 are engineers.

          Well, the Indy 500 itself is becoming almost as redneckified as nascar is. Even Nascar drivers sometimes switch over to drive in it just for this one race. If you ask most people, Indy is just this race, separate from nascar, where they drive the "Indy" cars. In reality, its a whole racing series with these cars driving in ovals, the Indy Racing League [wikipedia.org] (to be fair, they did add street courses this year). I would rather watch CART [wikipedia.org] (CCWS) races, but much prefer GT/Lemans races where you get not only the str

          • by sheldon (2322)
            Certainly the split off of IRL from CART was sad, as I think it's brought down the overall excitement of the Indy 500. Although the last couple of years it has gotten better.

            As far as oval versus street. The big problem with street racing, is that while it's ok on tv because of multiple cameras... if you go to the race it's pretty boring. Every minute or two they come by and you see the positions are different, or a car is missing and you wonder what happened.

            They both require skill, just of a different
            • by llefler (184847)
              As far as oval versus street. The big problem with street racing, is that while it's ok on tv because of multiple cameras... if you go to the race it's pretty boring. Every minute or two they come by and you see the positions are different, or a car is missing and you wonder what happened.

              Have you been to an oval track? They're pretty boring too unless you're one of those guys with the portable TV and radio for driver chatter. After a while your neck starts wondering whether you're at a race or a tennis mat
      • by tbone1 (309237) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:44AM (#19207961) Homepage
        Get your facts straight, for one thing. These are REAL race cars; they don't have fenders.

        Second, the Indy 500 is unique in motor sports, like the Kentucky Derby is in horse racing. People who know nothing about the sport and who never give it a thought will sit down and watch the Indy 500. There is also a buzz about the 500 after the last few races, particularly after last year's finish. (You can see the finish at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l5-XKvL28E [youtube.com] if you haven't seen it yet.) Another thing to consider is the target market. The Indy 500 is a very middle-America, middle-class event; NASCAR is for po' folk and F1 is for elite snobs. (I live in Indy; I've seen the crowds; and while there may be exceptions, this is by and large the rule.) These people are the ones who are middle managers and start small businesses. Really, it's not a bad strategy to reach a target market.

        • by MosesJones (55544)
          Ahhhh some transatlantic things are just too wonderful to read...

          the Indy 500 is unique in motor sports, like the Kentucky Derby is in horse racing.

          So you mean its just a copy of something from Europe? The Derby [wikipedia.org] was first raced over 1779 and is where we all get the term "Derby" from.

          Monaco v Indy 500.... and you think there is a competition?
          • by Darby (84953)
            The Derby was first raced over 1779 and is where we all get the term "Derby" from.

            And you still haven't learned to pronounce it properly ;-)

      • by skribble (98873) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:26AM (#19208401) Homepage
        I've really enjoyed reading lot's of the ignorant comments people are making about the Indy 500, so in short let me explain why this is, not only important from a sporting perspective but also from and environmental and technical perspective as well.

        1. The Indianapolis is the biggest annual sporting event. Period. More people attend, and more people watch on TV worldwide then any other event. If you wanted to get the message about linux out there, this would be the place to do it.

        2. This year all Indy cars run on Ethanol 85. While this isn't solar, it's far better then the traditional Gas of the past (hell I believe NASCAR is just now *thinking* about phasing out leaded gas).

        3. The engineering involved in these cars is amazing, not only as far as engine development (Honda had relatively little time to develop these engines to run on Ethanol 85, and have done so admirably). Also, the engines themselves are interesting in that they are normally aspirated (i.e. no Turbo, so SuperCharger just incredibly engineered 8Cyl Engines That can drive none stop at high speeds for ling distances. FWIW Honda wasn't picked to be the only engine supplier for indy cars, they got that way through attrition. The last year there were multiple engine manufacturers Honda so blew away Chevy that it just didn't make sense for them to continue.

        4. Engineering! Since the engines these days are identical (as are the tires) there is a great deal of parity initially, however engineers get to figure out best race packages using aerodynamics, gear boxes, Tire Pressure etc, and on top of that figure in fuel mileage (which should be interesting since as mentioned, the fuel is different this year) tire wear, etc.

        5. Of course given all that, the Drivers and Pit Crews make the difference. Of all the drivers (33) my guess would be that only about half of them have the mental toughness and backing human element to actually have a realistic chance of winning (and of that only a handful would have good vegas odds).

        6. Then of course there's a shred of luck and the unexpected that always makes this totally unpredictable. Weather, Freak accidents, mechanical issues, human error, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, all can have a hugh effect on the outcome.

        7. Finally... Indy Car racing is by far the most competitive racing series out there today. Lot's of passing, and lot's of skill (a minor mistake in an indy car, and you are in the wall with your car breaking away into pieces).

        8. Technological advancement. The Indy Car Series (and the IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)) Have been at the forefront of many automotive advances. The Ethanol thing is one recent, but the technologies devised for driver safety have not only been adopted by almost every other racing series, but have also been instrumental in the development of safety features for all cars built today.

        • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:45AM (#19209311) Journal
          Myopia is a wonderful thing...

          >1. The Indianapolis is the biggest annual sporting event. Period. More people attend, and more people watch on TV worldwide then any other event. If you wanted to get the message about linux out there, this would be the place to do it.

          I simply do not believe this. For example, the world cup and the olympics are both watched world wide. The Indy is a local USA thing.

          >2. This year all Indy cars run on Ethanol 85. While this isn't solar, it's far better then the traditional Gas of the past (hell I believe NASCAR is just now *thinking* about phasing out leaded gas).

          Who cares about the fuel? That's a geek detail.

          >3. The engineering involved in these cars is amazing, not only as far as engine development (Honda had relatively little time to develop these engines to run on Ethanol 85, and have done so admirably). Also, the engines themselves are interesting in that they are normally aspirated (i.e. no Turbo, so SuperCharger just incredibly engineered 8Cyl Engines That can drive none stop at high speeds for ling distances. FWIW Honda wasn't picked to be the only engine supplier for indy cars, they got that way through attrition. The last year there were multiple engine manufacturers Honda so blew away Chevy that it just didn't make sense for them to continue.

          The engineering in other formulas is also amazing compared to normal cars, but not compared to say a IC fab. I happen to have worked both for a F1 team and an IC manufacturer. So I know.

          F1 doesn't use Turbo either. They banned it to slow the cars down.

          >4. Engineering! Since the engines these days are identical (as are the tires) there is a great deal of parity initially, however engineers get to figure out best race packages using aerodynamics, gear boxes, Tire Pressure etc, and on top of that figure in fuel mileage (which should be interesting since as mentioned, the fuel is different this year) tire wear, etc.

          That's what race teams do in many formulas. It doesn't make Indy special.

          >5. Of course given all that, the Drivers and Pit Crews make the difference. Of all the drivers (33) my guess would be that only about half of them have the mental toughness and backing human element to actually have a realistic chance of winning (and of that only a handful would have good vegas odds).

          Mental toughness? BS. A team wins on testing and competence. Mostly testing. The more money you have, the more testing you can do, the more tweaking you can do and the more bugs you can iron out. That's how the wealthy teams stay wealthy. True for Indy and F1.

          >6. Then of course there's a shred of luck and the unexpected that always makes this totally unpredictable. Weather, Freak accidents, mechanical issues, human error, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, all can have a hugh effect on the outcome.

          Also, true for other sports/motorsports. It doesn't make Indy special.

          >7. Finally... Indy Car racing is by far the most competitive racing series out there today. Lot's of passing, and lot's of skill (a minor mistake in an indy car, and you are in the wall with your car breaking away into pieces).

          Get real. It's an oval.

          >8. Technological advancement. The Indy Car Series (and the IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)) Have been at the forefront of many automotive advances. The Ethanol thing is one recent, but the technologies devised for driver safety have not only been adopted by almost every other racing series, but have also been instrumental in the development of safety features for all cars built today.

          Give us the data. Check the dates on specific safety feature being put in the rules. You will find Indy was first on about 0 of them.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Finally... Indy Car racing is by far the most competitive racing series out there today. Lot's of passing, and lot's of skill (a minor mistake in an indy car, and you are in the wall with your car breaking away into pieces).

          This is what I like about Rally racing. One minor mistake, and you're cartwheeling through the trees. Possibly rolling your vehicle directly over twenty or thirty spectators.

          Personally, rally awes me way more than open-wheel-whatever. Granted, the cars aren't on the track at the same t

        • ...but isn't it boring without all the turns of other racetracks?
        • And its called a race?? Sheesh... no wonder only hillbillies show up for the party...err... race in Indianapolis.

        • I've really enjoyed reading lot's of the ignorant comments people are making about the Indy 500, so in short let me explain why this is, not only important from a sporting perspective but also from and environmental and technical perspective as well.

          You might want to use better grammar if you're going to complain about ignorance.

          1. The Indianapolis is the biggest annual sporting event. Period. More people attend, and more people watch on TV worldwide then any other event.

          Bullshit. The Indy 500 is ab

        • by ocbwilg (259828)
          Speaking as someone who grew up in Indy and who is still heavily involved in motorsports, you really don't know what you're talking about.

          1. The Indianapolis is the biggest annual sporting event. Period. More people attend, and more people watch on TV worldwide then any other event. If you wanted to get the message about linux out there, this would be the place to do it.

          The Indy 500 used to be billed as the biggest single-day sporting event in the world, and pole-day qualifying used to be number 2. Th
    • by penp (1072374) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:30AM (#19207805)

      Slashdot, you should be ashamed of yourself. Doing nothing to help, but claiming the rights after the fact. This was exactly the kind of grass roots project that you would have announced in the past, but choose to purposefully ignore it this time. You had a chance to announce this a long time ago, but according to Rob Malda himself, who said in full "there are so many reasons that this story doesn't interest me :)", the grass roots project wasn't worthy of your sacred pages. There were several times that a story about this project appeared in the firehose, but no story about the project's existance ever made it to the front page.
      I could have sworn this had already made it to the front page a few times in the last month or so. At any rate, I know there was a smear campaign going around saying that the tux500 project was a scam, but there was really nothing conclusive. In the end, I really didn't care. I don't think the Indianapolis 500 is the ideal place to be promoting Linux, especially in the form of a tiny sticker on a car (or even if they had raised all the money, for an entire Tux500 car). I doubt anyone at the Indianapolis 500 is going to care about the fact that tux is represented on a car, beyond "hay look thar's a penguin on that thar car!"

      All it would have taken from you is to accept one measley little story about the Tux500 project a few weeks ago and *bam*, it would have had the proper amount of publicity to energize the Linux community and raise enough money to fully sponsor the car. All it took was $1 from each person in just 1% of the community, so it would have worked even with 80% of the community doing their own thing. But since the project didn't get the good publicity it deserved, it only raised half the amount needed just to put a logo on the car. Fortunately the good will of the tux500 team seems to be allowing the logo to still be on the car. I guess they are better people than you.
      Just because you believe in the project so adamantly does not mean that so many other people would believe in it just because it got posted on slashdot. It got plenty of publicity, anyone who visits any kind of linux forum can tell you that. But as I said before, the status quo seems to think that it is absolutely absurd, and the idea that they even raised $1000, let alone $12000 is even more absurd.

      You know why so many community projects fail? Because the leaders don't believe in them.
      How excited would the linux community be about a project to put tux on a billboard at the Super Bowl, or better yet, a commercial during the event? I'm sure there are lots more dumb ideas, most of them just don't end up with the financial backing of Tux500. You can't place the blame on the linux "leaders" for not wanting to get behind an idea of advertising linux in a highly commercial environment. It could send the wrong signal. GNU/Linux isnt about commercialism, it's about the community, which is where this argument fails.

      Just so the rest of you know for this discussion, I understand that sites like Slashdot are news sites. But IMHO, only half a news site. There have been hundreds of stories here over the years meant to mobilize the community (ie. Blender). I ask, why not this one?
      Personally, I have no interest in racing, let alone the Indianapolis 500. Most of my friends who support Linux, also have no interest. Why support advertisement of linux in an event which I also do not support? This is completely different from a stance to mobilize the community about something which is already WITHIN the community (i.e. blender)
      • by DrXym (126579)
        Just because you believe in the project so adamantly does not mean that so many other people would believe in it just because it got posted on slashdot. It got plenty of publicity, anyone who visits any kind of linux forum can tell you that. But as I said before, the status quo seems to think that it is absolutely absurd, and the idea that they even raised $1000, let alone $12000 is even more absurd.

        Quite. Talk such as "all it took was $1 from each person in just 1% of the community," etc. is nonsense si

        • by tbone1 (309237)
          few people outside of the US would have the slightest interest in Indianapolis 500.

          Indeed? I live in Indy. I used to work for one arm of an international publishing company that has offices here. When we had people come to town on business, we made sure that we took them to the Speedway to visit the museum and take a bus trip around the track. Even if they weren't into racing, it was generally considered pretty cool and neat. (And it's funny, everyone loved Andy Granatelli's STP Turbine.) When the CEO c

          • by DrXym (126579)
            I didn't say they hadn't heard of it. I say they aren't interested in it. Which is true. I'd like to see the race if I went to Indianapolis but it doesn't mean I have the slightest interest when I am not there.

            Coverage of the sport and NASCAR is close to zero outside of the North America and that reflects the amount of interest in it. If there is any coverage it might amount to a 20 second news item. The racing sport you are likely to see on mainstream channels outside of the US is Formula One.

      • Personally, I have no interest in racing, let alone the Indianapolis 500. Most of my friends who support Linux, also have no interest. Why support advertisement of linux in an event which I also do not support? This is completely different from a stance to mobilize the community about something which is already WITHIN the community (i.e. blender)

        The point you are missing is the question - why is this project NOW "news for nerds" if it wasn't "news for nerds" during the planning stages?

    • by sheldon (2322) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:40AM (#19207917)
      Or one of the other sites which are part of the OSDN empire.

      Then /. would gladly have pimped the story for ya!

      That'll teach you. Next time, learn how to play the /. game.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Slashdot, you should be ashamed of yourself. Doing nothing to help, but claiming the rights after the fact.

      I'm just going to chime in here and say that what likely happened here is that the nine trillion horribly crap story submissions about the tux500 poisoned our minds against the idea. In the last few days, properly-written story submissions with properly constructed links and the like started rolling out and I started voting them up, but I'd say about 90% of the tux500 submissions that crossed the fire

    • "There have been hundreds of stories here over the years meant to mobilize the community (ie. Blender). I ask, why not this one?"

      becoase blender is free software software project. and this tux500 thing is about racing a car at the indy500 with a logo.

      "Fortunately the good will of the tux500 team seems to be allowing the logo to still be on the car. I guess they are better people than you"

      Fortunately for whom?

      people know what linux is. think. who would have even cared about another indy500 team, unless they
    • Donated for myself and another geek, named anonymous. And believe me, im stingy with my $.
  • Well done (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:11AM (#19207075) Homepage Journal
    The year of Linux on the racetrack is upon us!

    I just wonder how the pitstop will go

    apt-get new-tyres
    • by HBI (604924)
      emerge new-tires, then wait till the race is over.

      We'd need a lot more cars rigged together with distcc to have a chance!
    • by dfdashh (1060546) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:25AM (#19207181)
      I tried your command, but it gave me these problems... someone help!

      apt-get new-tyres

      The following packages have unmet dependencies:
      new-tyres: Depends: pit-crew (>= 5.0) but it is not going to be installed
      Depends: community-awareness (>= .01) but it is not going to be installed
      Depends: community-donations (>= .01) but it is not going to be installed
    • I think you're looking for something more along the lines of "sudo dpkg-reconfigure tyres-frontleft"
    • by markov_chain (202465) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:18AM (#19207653) Homepage
      It cannot work, because there will be a race condition!

      *rimshot*
    • Just don't use YUM - PLEASE! I'd rather the Linux car not be a DNF (did not finish).
    • Here he comes, here comes TuxRacer - he's a demon on wheels
      He's a demon and he's gonna be chasin' after redmond.

      He's gainin' on bill so he better look alive.
      He's busy revvin' up a powerful Mach 5.
      And when the odds are against him
      And there's dangerous work to do

      You bet your life Tux Racer will see it through.
      Go tux Racer! Go tux Racer! Go tux Racer, Go!

      He's off and flyin' as he guns the car around the track
      He's jammin' down the pedal like he's never comin' back
      Adventure's waitin' just ahead.
      Go Tux Racer! Go
  • by nmoog (701216) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:11AM (#19207079) Homepage Journal
    That sounds pretty good! Unless the race goes for, like, an hour.
    • by pato101 (851725)
      Nice joke. However, during the race, the aerodynamic drag lowers because of heading cars. Thus if everything is OK -perhaps- there won't be a difference of 5.5 miles per every race hour.
      • by BCW2 (168187) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:38AM (#19207267) Journal
        There is a big difference between qualifying trim and race trim. The cars that qualified at the front were running 4 - 5 MPH slower yesterday in race trim (more downforce added for handling in traffic = more drag). Hid chances are not good but it has been done from that far back before. Moreno is one hell of a good driver and has built a huge reputation as a substitute over the last few years, step into anyones car and go fast. If you see an interview he is also a nice guy.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by cdh (6170)
          The key word here is "substitute". He's not good enough to keep a steady ride since he lost his ride in Champ Car. He's not bad, but like you said, 5.5mph is huge. He needs great pit stops, attrition at the top, and some luck. It is, however, good to see an underfunded privateer team make the field, even though Indy is nothing compared to the old days (they almost didn't have enough cars to fill the 33 car field regardless of qualifying this year). Tony George must go.
          • by BCW2 (168187)
            "Tony George must go."
            Amen to that! His ego has destroyed open wheel racing in America. They don't even come close to selling out the 500 anymore. If they open all the grandstands they might sell more ticket to the NASCAR race in August.
          • by tbone1 (309237)
            Tony George must go.

            Ugh, please. CART was doing a lot to ruin the infrastructure of open-wheel racing before 1992, and the split was after 1995. When guys with the credentials that Jeff Gordon, Steve Kisner, and Jack Hewitt had couldn't even get someone to talk to them, that indicates a serious problem.

  • by packetmon (977047) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:17AM (#19207115) Homepage
    Will Moreno be able to pilot the penguin-tipped Indy car to victory next week at the 91st Indianapolis 500? No they won't. Haven't you seen the latest latest latest news? Because the car is using Linux anywhere whether its on a sticker, under someone's breathe, it should be obvious that the car its owner, its pit crew, and the tires have infringed on MS patents. I thought you knew by now that Microsoft patented Indy 500.
  • by kkelly (69745) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:26AM (#19207197)
    if the indy car was actually RUNNING LINUX, someone please correct me if I am wrong. At least have the car's ECU running linux and geeks might take an interest. I personally find no interest in donating money to see tux included in a sea of advertising, what are we talking here, a few stickers? Yes, I know ANY publicity is good publicity and I really am a capitalist at heart, but I need a little more to open my wallet.....
    • by EsJay (879629)
      Dang! I thought "penguin-tipped" meant a big ol' fiberglass penguin head on the car's nose.

      Better yet would be a something like the 3-foot tall chicken on top of our local Broasted Chicken!! delivery car.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      At least have the car's ECU running linux and geeks might take an interest.

      Linux is probably not ideal for an ECU - you want a looping program running pretty much in realtime. It might be OK for some of the data-gathering/control hardware though.

      -b.

    • by gosand (234100)
      Personally, I'd be ashamed to be sponsoring anything involved with the Indy 500. Have you ever been to it? I went once. Talk about a bunch of backward-ass ignorant rednecks. I went with my parents and a couple of their friends, who have been going to the Indy500 for years. This guy was talking about one year, there was an old boy who was sitting outside the main gate with a cane pole with a watermelon on the end of the line, and he had a big sign that said "Fishing for Niggers". He laughed as he told
  • by mtec (572168) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:35AM (#19207255)
    it'll probably be because of a faulty driver.
  • Finally (Score:3, Funny)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:40AM (#19207291) Homepage Journal
    a valid place story for car analogies!
  • I know many of us Linux users would like to see it replace Windows as the dominate OS, but frankly, why should we care? We Linux users have a wonderful OS that does everything a big geek like me could want, and far more than Windows can do. Saving Joe Sixpack the $70 he pays Microsoft to buy a machine with Windows pre-loaded isn't a cause I get excited about.

    I love making predictions, and here's my prediction for the future of Linux: Linux will never beat Windows in the market place. Instead, a new market will emerge for ultra-cheap computers (as in OLPC). Super-cheap computers with lots of RAM and non-volatile storage will one day cost $100 (in 2007 dollars). When this happens, Microsoft will not be able to compete against free Linux as the dominant OS on these machines. There just isn't enough profit per device to support Microsoft-like company. Instead Linux, or a derivative of GNU/Linux software, will power our new ultra-cheap devices. I think Microsoft understands this low-end disruption threat, and that's why they're so desperate to push Windows CE derivatives. However, the bean counters at Microsoft will always try to kill off unprofitable efforts like Windows CE, as the market, margins, and profit just aren't there compared to selling high-end software for high-end machines.

    If you think this idea is crazy, have you heard about the iPhone? It may not run Linux proper, but it's clearly in the GNU/open-source camp. Operating systems are mature technology, no longer worth much money. Apple showed great insight in dumping their own, and running with the free stuff. This gives them a huge advantage over Microsoft in the future battle for smart consumer devices. Others will follow Apple's lead, and dump Windows for GNU/Linux as the super low-cost PC/personal-computing-device market emerges. In the end, GNU/Linux will prevail, but never on the traditional high-end desktop that Joe Sixpack buys for web surfing, games, and porn.
    • by nelsonal (549144)
      Here's my prediction, Windows will be free too, but the money will be in providing the internet offered services to those $100 dollar computers. Why do you think Microsoft was willing to lose $2 billion/yr on the xBox project? (Hint, they could care less about bringing FPS to non-geeks). Do you really think search engine ads were going to be worth $100 billion?
    • There is one problem with this line of thought. One is peoples perception of cheap or free. Take cell phones for instance. If one factors in the cost of a subscription, free cell phone deals aren't really that great due to the lockin. How does MS compete with free? Make things subscription based. If they give away these one hundred dollar computers that only work w/ MS online technologies, they can keep your data on a server. At that point, you will have to use their technology to access it. Same pr
    • Apple uses a lot of open source technologies, but their platforms as a whole are still proprietary, and is used to drive sales to its up-market computers.
  • Despite? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaveCar (189300) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:20AM (#19207689)
    "Despite generating over $12K in funds, well short of the $250K goal, the Tux 500 Project was able to secure a spot in the Indy 500"

    Hang on. Despite generating over $12K in funds ... the Tux 500 Project was able to secure a spot in the Indy 500? Did generating over $12K hinder them somehow?

    Do you mean that despite not getting anywhere near the $250k goal they still managed to secure a spot? If so, why not say something along those lines rather than the confusing babble presented?

    I'm not being a grammar Nazi here - the grammar looks fine to me (and mine isn't the best) - but it's just that it makes no sense and you have read the line 5 times to work out what it is trying to say. Could we have some, y'know, editor type stuff going on here?
  • by porsche911 (64841) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:21AM (#19207701)
    The "only 5.5 MPH" difference huge. That's about 4 seconds a lap which means that over a 500 mile race on a 2.5 mile track, the 1st place car will lap the 31st place car 5 times. When you factor in driver ability, strategy and pitstops, the difference will be much greater. The top 3 cars in the race will probably be within .25 second of each other after 500 miles.

    In general, the cars are much slower now than they used to be. The 225.817MPH of the 1st place car would have been very far back in the grid compared with the 240 MPH+ of 10 or 15 years ago. I wish him luck.
    • by Oswald (235719)
      In general, the cars are much slower now than they used to be. The 225.817MPH of the 1st place car would have been very far back in the grid compared with the 240 MPH+ of 10 or 15 years ago. I wish him luck.

      I don't follow the sport, so I went and checked. It looks like speeds dropped hard (about 10mph) after 1996. I can figure out that they changed the rules, but why? Driver safety? Fan safety? Cost?

      • by tbone1 (309237) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:08AM (#19208191) Homepage
        The speeds were reduced mostly for safety but also cost. The fastest lap turned at the 500 was in 1996 by Arie Luyendyk, at more than 239MPH. He said that he wasn't sure he was going to make it through turn 1, and hitting a concrete wall at 240 MPH is not safe, no matter how the car is made. That year, Scott Brayton, the pole sitter, was killed in a practice crash where the high speeds contributed to the severity of the impact. All the drivers and teams in the race agreed that the speeds were just too high and welcomed the slower speeds. (Think about that for a second.)

        Since then, the league's emphasis has been on safety. (In fact, the first innovation at the track was in the first race, when Ray Herroun put a rearview mirror on the car since he didn't have a riding mechanic to look back.) They changed the specs, which resulted in reduced speeds, and started requiring more safety features in the chassis. Speeds have gone back up, since the engineers are clever and can figure out how to get more out of less as time goes on. (A couple years ago, someone figured out how to reshape the rear-view mirrors to allow for more downforce, to use but one example.) Tony George also spent his own money on the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers that are now common on tracks; they certainly saved Rolf Schumacher's life at the 2005 USGP. One of the benefits touted about the new ethanol engines is that they get better mileage, so they can reduced fuel load which makes for safer cars. And so on. It's still a dangerous sport, but having seen the wrecks that Davey Hamilton and Kenny Brack, I'm amazed that both of them not only survived but came back to race later.

        I took the family to Pole Day qualifications, and there really isn't much difference you can see, sitting in the front row or high up, between 220MPH and 230MPH. I don't know if there will ever be a new track record at the 500, but I can live with that; the drivers are more likely to, as well.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by misfit815 (875442)
          Actually, Ralf missed the SAFER barrier. The F1 race runs in the opposite direction of the 500 (and the Brickyard) during the portion that it's on the oval. Coming the 'wrong way' through Turn 1, he hit the wall on the front stretch past the point where the barrier began/ended (depending on your point of view).

          To make matters worse, F1 brings their own safety crew to each track, and their regulations prohibited their one safety vehicle from going against traffic. This meant that the safety vehicle had to
  • Bill Gates is on his knees, right now. If you losten closely, you can hear his prayer;

    "Please please please, somone film the crash."
  • There is a word for this kind of race entry

    Backmarker

    Nuff said
  • by razpones (1077227) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:48AM (#19208019) Journal
    I for one wrote a little note asking if it was worth it to give money to this project. I did give them some money, and as a fan of racing (car and motorcycle and cycling), am exited to watch the race and root for the #77 car. Not only they are one of the under dogs out there (they even lost the first driver in a crash in the qualifying rounds) but a lot of the linux community was against them in a bad way, apparently even /., so more of an under dog IMHO. The new driver is a seasoned driver that has always been a "replacement" driver, but he is no doubt a good driver (better than the original in my opinion), also driving a formula one car, he even has won a few races in the champ car and the formula 3000 leagues. He also was running as of sunday morning practice in 13 place. I hope he does well, and just by being in the race it has proved that projects like this deserve the attention of the community, advertising anything in any media is very expensive and this is a good conduit to reach average people, or do we don't want to see Linux advertised at all?.
  • by schwit1 (797399) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:41AM (#19209911)
    Nascar is WWF on wheels(staged) Indy is a bunch of guys making boring left turns F1 doesn't have enough passing and too much depends upon the speed of the pit crew as opposed to driver skills. MotoGP has no pit stops and lots of passing. Every turn is a game of chicken and the bikes are close to what's available on the street.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PhillC (84728)
      Sorry to shatter your illusions, but MotoGP bikes are nothing like what's available on the street. Not even close! Apart from a limit on engine capacity (800cc) and the number of sets of tyres that can be used per weekend, everything else is completely open for change. You may see MotoGP replica bikes on the street, but you'll never be able to buy retail a bike approaching MotoGP engineering levels. Over time, MotoGP innovations make it into street bikes for sure, but it's a long process.

      If you want bikes t

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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