Posts Tagged ‘Paris’
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Supercars are as important as space programs. They are a hotbed of technology development and these incredibly expensive platforms allow designers and engineers alike to run wild. Sometimes even when the vehicles are sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they do not directly make the companies money. But yet supercars are built over and over again because they are just that important.
The vehicle industry is at a turning point right now. Suddenly stuffing a lightweight high-output engine into a F1 body tweaked for the road isn’t enough. Well, it is right now in 2010, but that design won’t cut it three, four, and especially five years from now when the vehicle finally moves from development to retail. Nope, the Paris Auto Show is showing the world is going green and that includes the next generation of supercars.
The term green is usedÂ looselyÂ here. It doesn’t mean these 200+ MPH cars will suddenly see 50mpg numbers. No, some will still suck down fuel faster than a Ford F350, while others will use no gasoline. Both types however will employ foward-thinking technology that will eventually trickle down to your next Corilla or Malibu. This is why supercars are soÂ important.
Humanity is not going to ride one specific type of green vehicle off to the sunset. No, there is more than enough room for multiple green powertrains. Pure EV vehicles make a lot sense for city folkÂ while extended range hybrids like the Volt or Fisker Karma work better for those needing to drive longer distances. Advance diesel systems even have a place as both the fuel and engines become moreÂ efficientÂ and output less emissions. Traditional hybrids will likely overtake pure gasoline vehicles by the end of the decade as battery packs and electric motors drop in cost.
However, each of the aforementioned green powertrain options still have a long way to go before they reach any sort ofÂ maturity. It’s up to the supercars and their race carÂ brethernÂ to work out the kinks.
The Porsche 959 is a tech world cult classic. This is the car that Bill Gates and Paul Allen both imported to the states in the ’80s despite the US Department of Transportation deeming them illegal to drive. Gates’ sat in a US Customs warehouse for 13 years until the “Show and Display” category wasÂ authorized. But these tech giants wanted this car because it was the best in the world. It was the best in the world because Porsche threw out the mold and went wild.
The Porsche 911 platform was treading water in the early ’80s. The rear-mounted engine configuration used in the 911 was seemingly dying, but Porsche wanted to give it one more go. The company used the wild Group B rally circuit as an excuse and set out to develop the best on- and off-road car possible. The all-wheel drive 959 with adjustable ride height and a totally new sequentially turbocharged 2.85L flat-six engine emerged. In accordence to rally rules, a passenger version had to be made as well and so the 959 went on sale for $ 225,000.
Crazy expensive? Yes, but technicalÂ achievementsÂ of the 959 can still be seen in today’s 911 models. It was a necessary venture and perhaps saved the 911 from losing its spot atop the supercar podium.
Jaguar just introduced what is nearly a perfect electric throwback to the iconic XJ220 at the Paris Auto. Google Image Search “Jaguar supercar” and that’s what you get. While the XJ220 was the dream car of the ’90s, the just-unveiled C-X75 will likely be posterized by your kids. It’s the twin-turbine electric supercar of the future.
The C-X75 is just a concept right now, but most of the configuration is already doable by today’s standards. There are four 195HP electric motors at each of the wheels, powered by an extended range system similar to the one inside the Chevy Volt. Jaguar claims the vehicle can go 68 miles on battery power alone, although that’s likely when you’re treating the accelerator like there’s an egg under it. But unlike the Volt where an I4 gasoline engine is used to recharge the Li-on battery pack, the C-X75 employs micro-gas turbinesÂ developedÂ together with Bladon Jets. That’s the concept part.
But Jaguar is far from alone in their Paris Auto Show announcement. Lotus unveiled the Elite Gentlemen’s car that uses a KERS-inspired hybrid boost system along with announcingÂ a hybrid version of the Elan supercar is in the works that also uses the same system.
It’s everywhere. Green powertrains are now longer aÂ novelty, they’re a requirement.
Then there’s the Porsche 911 GT3 electric hybrid currently making the racing circuit rounds. This car uses a 480HP flat-six gasoline engine for the rear wheels and twin 60 kW motors for the front. A flywheel captures energy during braking and then delivers it either on-demand via a button or during flat-out runs. It’s apparently a thrill to drive and you’ll be able to catch the car at on October 2nd as it competes in Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans (PLM).
There was an old saying back when NASCARs were closer to production cars, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” That statement may very well become relivent again, but in a slightly different context. Rather than selling, say, a Porsche 911 just because it won some random race, the vehicle will sell because it has a proven green powertrain.
Technology trickles down. Scoff at the seemingly-unattainableÂ supercar all you want, but they serve aÂ necessaryÂ part in vehicle development. This even applies to cars like the Volt. Sure, it’s pricey now, but GM developed a whole new powertrain system and eventually it will become more affordable.
src="http://www.slipperybrick.com/index.php?feedimage=wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bmeipad-sg.jpg" alt="" title="bmeipad-sg" width="500" height="363" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-53124" />When it comes to rear seat entertainment there are a lot of vehicles on the road that have TVs and movie players for kids and adults to watch on longer trips. Watching DVDs can be a bit boring after a while though and in most cars, you are out of luck.
BMW has unveiled at the Paris Motor Show new factory iPad docks for the rear seat passengers. The dock is very nice looking and integrated well into the design of the car. Some aftermarket docks just donâ€™t look good.
The dock will let the rear seat riders watch video, play games, and surf the web on the iPad while on the road. That is a really cool option to have and goes along with the factory iPhone mount the company already offers.
Here is George Hotz explaining how he jailbreak the iPhone and break the baseband, unfortunately I have not recorded the Q&A which was very interesting. This conf was awesome, Geohot is great in live. At 7:38 you can hear that Geohot has a new unreleased exploit !! Voici la vidÃ©o de Geohot lors de la nuit du hack Ã paris, il a donnÃ©e une confÃ©rence “Magique”, c’est la partie iPhone de la confÃ©rence (ma prÃ©fÃ©rÃ©), aprÃ¨s il parle de la PS3 mais je ne l’ai pas enregistrÃ©. Par contre il ya le question et rÃ©ponses qui Ã©tait excellent, si quelqu’un Ã une video je suis preneur. A 7:38 vous pouvez entendre que Geohot Ã un exploit qu’il n’a pas encore sortit, Ã§a promet ! Et n’hÃ©sitez pas Ã visiter www.ipodtutofast.com plus d’informations seront bientÃ´t Ã votre disposition.
The Social Bicycle System (SoBi) turns bike-sharing on its head, and is set to test in New York City this fall. Instead of big, central base-stations from which the bikes must be taken and returned, the SoBi puts all the tech on the bike itself. Here’s how it works:
The service consists of three parts. First, the SoBi unit which clamps to the bike and contains a GPS unit, a cellular device and a honking-great lock. Second is the SoBi server, and third is you or, more specifically, your cellphone.
Once registered, you can use your phone to track down a bike on a map. This may be locked to a regular bike-rack or at a designated base-station (yup, there are base-stations, but you don’t have to use them). Once you find a bike, you unlock it with your phone and ride away. If you don’t have a smart enough phone, you can just punch an unlock code into the unit or unlock it via SMS.
Because of the GPS and cellular connectivity, the server can authorize you and also always know where the bikes are. It will also allow you to track yourself, totting up the calories you burn as you avoid the legendary NYC pot-holes.
The bikes have some extras. If your bike is broken, hit the “repair” button and the bike will be flagged for pick-up. And what if you pop into the liquor store and come out to find another SoBi user has already taken off on “your” bike? There’s a “hold” button. which gives you ten minutes after locking the bike before it goes live again.
SoBi founder Ryan Rzepecki says that the startup costs are a fraction of those using traditional infrastructure-based systems, like the Velib in Paris of Bicing in Barcelona. Rzepecki says that these cost around $3,000 to $4,000 per bike to set up. SoBi costs less than $1,000 per bike.
The testing of the lock is the next part of the scheme. And we probably don’t have to point out that, being in New York, the lock is probably the most important part of the whole bike.
SoBi [Social Bicycles via Crunch Gear]
- Bicing: (Almost) Free Cycling in Barcelona, Spain
- Urban Transport Scheme Uses Street Lamps to Charge Scooters …
- Rent Bikes Via Cellphone in Germany
- Bike Sharing Comes to Silicon Valley
- Where Are the Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities in the World?
- NYC Mayor: I'd Ban Bikes on Subways
Ce jour J de mise en vente de l’iPad, notre reporter SÃ©bastien Micke Ã©tait lÃ , parmi les premiers Ã prendre possession de son iPad Ã l’Apple Store de Los Angeles. Sur ParisMatch.com, aprÃ¨s dÃ©ballage de la derniÃ¨re petite merveille de Steve Jobs, notre photographe part Ã la dÃ©couverte de l’appli Paris Match pour iPad et nous fait partager ses premiÃ¨res impressions. Emotion et commentaires. Retrouvez dÃ¨s Ã prÃ©sent l’appli Paris Match iPad sur iTunes www.itunes.com ou itunes.apple.com
Like many, I first learned about letterboxing through an excellent article in Smithsonian Magazine back in 1998. I thought it was a fantastic idea, and longed to travel to England where it all began. If you are unfamiliar with letterboxing, visit one of two major sites that teach you about it, give clues to the boxes and list plenty of other information: Letterboxing North America and AtlasQuest.
The basic idea of letterboxing is very similar to geocaching. The puzzles specify a starting point, and then you follow clues to find the letterbox. GPS devices aren’t used, but instead you do things such as, “Walk 20 paces toward the tallest tree,” or perhaps you’ll have to decipher a cryptic poem to lead you to the box. Once you find the letterbox, inside you will find a rubber stamp and a log book, at the very least. You should have also brought your own rubber stamp and log book, along with an ink pad in case the box doesn’t have one, and a pen to write your name and the date in both books. Use your stamp to stamp their book, and their stamp to stamp your book. Sometimes there are other interesting things inside the letterbox, such as a traveling letterbox stamp. Those you can take to another letterbox and deposit there. Despite the popularity of geocaching, the more high tech version of letterboxing, letterboxing itself is still a very active pasttime.
To add to the fun, there are now some high tech tools to assist in letterboxing. BoxFinder by Agile Tortoise, an app for the iPod Touch or iPhone, will allow you to take your clues with you, paper-free. If you have an iPhone, you can search for letterboxes from wherever you have signal. If you have an iPod Touch, you’ll have to do the search from somewhere with wi-fi, and then you can save the search to bring the clues with you.
BoxFinder’s search feature allows you to search for letterboxes near your location, by address or by letterbox name. If you don’t have an address, just a city, it can perform that search as well. Once you have the list you want, you can save the list, email the list information, view the clues on the web, or open them in Safari. Those last two options are very similar, and I’m not sure why both are included. Viewing the clue on the web takes you, within BoxFinder, to its place on the web. I wouldn’t ever open the clues in Safari because it quits BoxFinder and you lose any unsaved search data.
This app uses the information located on AtlasQuest and Letterboxing North America, both of which contain international letterbox listings. To try out the international search possibilities, I saved searches for letterboxes in Bath, England, and Paris, France. Hopefully I’ll make it to both places one day, but in the meantime it’s a glimpse into European leisure time.
There are letterboxes all over the world, with thousands of them in the United States, so including some letterboxing on a future trip is easy. Adding letterboxing to some of your travels is even better than doing it at home, since with every new destination you’ll have new boxes to discover. Once you’ve been letterboxing from home for a while, you’ll quickly exhaust the local boxes.
While I think BoxFinder is quite useful, and I will use it on all my future letterboxing adventures, I do think there is room for improvement. It is a simple app and does what it does well, but I wish you could save individual letterboxes, rather than just saving search results. It’d be handy to do a search, and save only the ones you want to visit. I also wish that there was a way to mark information about the letterbox hunt, complete with the date and a notes field for such things as who was with you, what the hike was like and any other details.
There is at least one other letterboxing app that is somewhat more sophisticated (with a higher price to match), but if you’re looking for simplicity, ease of use and a great price, this one does the job. It does a few things and does them well.
BoxFinder is available at the iTunes app store for $1.99.
Wired: A simple app that allows you to search for letterboxes nearby or near an address. Does what it needs to do.
Tired: I wish it had some additional useful features.
Added after publication: BoxFinder has just been updated to include mapping of letterbox locations (for those that there is enough information to place on a map) and the ability to save individual letterboxes. Additional improvements will come in the future.
Note: I received a free copy of this app for review.
See the rest here:
Review: Paperless Letterboxing With BoxFinder for the iPhone / iPod Touch