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Vincent Rice

The Jaguar C-X16 production concept sports car on the road

It's clear from the styling of the XF and XJ saloons that design chief Ian Callum has been developing and evolving a new design vocabulary for Jaguar that, while it may make an occasional nod to the marque's enviable heritage, looks decisively towards the future. Whilst the two saloons have been well received in terms of value, technology and comfort, there's been a nagging doubt about the coherence of their design. They are not "good-looking" cars. In addition the whole range, including the bonkers-fast and sporty XK, is still seen as older person's transportation. Well, no more. This week Jaguar has delivered a stunning and beautiful "pure" sports car concept that aims to give the mighty Porsche 911 a run for its money.  Read More

The Hybrid Air Vehicles heavy-lifter in Discovery Air livery

The famous and well documented Hindenburg disaster of 1937, when the hydrogen-filled airship burst into flames whilst attempting to tether to its moorings in New Jersey, killed off the 'lighter-than-air' aircraft industry, as well as 35 unfortunate souls. Since the 1970's however, a determined band of, mostly British, aviation engineers has been battling to design and build a commercially viable 'air vehicle'. Many false starts, experimental craft and research projects followed (funded mostly by the U.S. military) but viability remained elusive, until now.  Read More

The 2012 Bentley Continental GTC

Bentley is grateful to the professional sportsmen and rap stars that helped make the original Continental so successful, but as the brand grows and strengthens it needs to appeal to more mainstream markets of the US, Europe and China and these clients need a little more refinement in their boulevard bruiser. The "standard" Continental coupe was significantly updated at the end of last year after nearly eight years in production but the Convertible was always the more beautiful and desirable version and the new 2012 model on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month is no exception.  Read More

Steve Jobs

Revered by many, hated by some, but respected by most, the indisputable fact remains that Steve Jobs is the most successful business leader of his generation and quite possibly of all time. The numbers are impressive in themselves but the most remarkable aspect of his success is how it was achieved. Though he remains at Apple, the end of his tenure as CEO is the end of an era and an opportunity to try and grasp just exactly what it is he did and what lessons there are for all of us "trying to make a dent in the universe."  Read More

The Kemper Profiling Amp

Since the late 90s, the holy grail of music technology companies like Line 6 and others has been to digitally re-create guitar amplifiers so that hundreds of iconic tones could be stored in one box and used in the studio or live. Unfortunately, the dynamic behavior and feel of a tube amp is an extremely complex system to understand and while many thousands of guitar amp modellers have been sold due to the sheer convenience, they could not be said to be entirely convincing. In September, a new product called the Kemper Profiling Amp will hit the streets that aims to do away with that complexity and within 30 seconds perfectly re-create any guitar amplifier.  Read More

The Cadillac Ciel luxury open tourer concept car on the road.

A few years ago the very existence of parent company General Motors was hanging in the balance but the Cadillac brand has made a spectacular comeback with an edgy design vocabulary in the CTS line and a seriously powerful headline-grabbing variant in the CTS-V coupe. The house style is sufficiently distinctive and the handling sufficiently sorted (we'll ignore the soon-to-be-killed-off Escalade) that the CTS is attracting buyers in Europe, something notoriously difficult for US car brands. Cadillac is feeling confident and that confidence was evident at Monterey last week where it unveiled a concept convertible that showcases a design direction for the future and its desire to move further upmarket, which of course, is exactly where Cadillac should be.  Read More

The sun rises over Apple's new campus

With the success that Apple has achieved over the past decade, it's perhaps no surprise that it has outgrown its original "Infinite Loop" campus and is in need of a new flagship headquarters to bring the teams together under one roof. Since Steve Jobs will undoubtedly have been the driving force behind the building's conceptual design and hey, it's Apple, the architecture for the new campus is unlike anything else ever built. Indeed, Apple saw fit to engage London-based über-architect Sir Norman Foster and his team, a company known for its unashamedly modern, hi-tech and unique approaches to large buildings such as the Stanstead and Hong Kong airports, the American Air Museum, the Berlin Reichstag, the Dallas Opera House, The Smithsonian and part of the World Trade Center re-development. The statistics of the proposed building are staggering.  Read More

2012 Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special

Harley-Davidson is an American success story. The company has been manufacturing its iconic machines since 1903 but its values were forged by association with the post-war "rebel" motorcycle clubs and paradoxically with the highway patrol police they were so often in conflict with. Like so much of US manufacturing Harley-Davidson took a hit from the rise of the Far East in the 1980s but the boom years of 90's excess saw Harley-Davidson successfully consolidate its brand into the global symbol of 'the American Dream' that it is today. Harley-Davidson understands its place in the world and the 2012 model line up contains variations on all the traditional designs that people expect, some of them going back to the 1920's. It would be wrong however to imagine that the company rejects technological advancement - far from it, and there can be no more beautiful expression of that than the Night Rod Special.  Read More

The mighty Kiev moored up at Tianjin

After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90's three of its most powerful aircraft carriers sat rotting in a Kiev dock. With disputes over ownership and no money or crew to maintain them, the ships were eventually stripped of their weapons systems and engines by the Ukraine and one was sold to a Hong Kong based company, ostensibly to become casinos off the coast of gambling-crazy Macau. As we now know the Varyag ended up in the Chinese port of Larian and spent 10 years being refitted as a fully functioning modern aircraft carrier, much to the consternation of its China Sea neighbours and of course the US. As the Varyag starts sea trials it's sister carriers have suffered a somewhat different fate.  Read More

A fundamental property of metamaterials is the ability to produce negative refraction

Duke University is on a roll, showing off yet another potentially game-changing property of the exotic man-made substances known as metamaterials. This time the property could have deep consequences for the transmission of information via light. Maybe the most important potential use of all.  Read More

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