Vincent Rice has been an audio-visual design consultant for almost 30 years including six years with Warner Brothers Cinemas. He has designed several large retail installations in London and a dozen major nightclubs across the world from Belfast to Brno to Beruit. An accomplished musician and 3D computer graphics artist, Vince also writes for AV Magazine in the U.K. and the Loudscreen digital signage blog.
The mid-term future for fuel efficient vehicles with useful range is likely a hybrid solution of electric motors powered by batteries, topped up by a fuel-burning generator. Prof. Norbert Müller at Michigan State, backed by $2.5 million from the US Government, aims to make that last part of the equation a much more compact and efficient proposition with a revolutionary new form of combustion engine. Read More
The Ryugyong Hotel in the center of North Korea's capital city Pyongyang, must count as one of the strangest building projects, not to say one of the ugliest, in the world. Construction began in 1987 and continued until its abandonment in 1993 when the projected cost of required remedial rebuilding was simply too much for the impoverished city and state to bear. Now, twenty-four years after the first concrete block was laid, it's finally finished - kinda... Read More
The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are now established favorites for the mobile muso with new synths and sequencers seemingly coming out every week. Until iOS 4 however there was no standardized method for getting MIDI control signals in and out of the units for interfacing with ‘proper’ equipment. Some enterprising developers created methods using the Apple Camera Kit USB connector whilst Line 6 created its own proprietary method and the MIDI Mobilizer dongle to go with it. In the iOS 4 software release Apple ported the CoreMIDI programming interface framework from MacOS and developers finally had a standard method with which they were familiar. Though iOS4 was released a year ago, compatible MIDI interfaces are now only beginning to get to market. Read More
The FIA (Fédération International de l'Automobile) published its revised technical regulations for 2014 Formula One season last week. Having caused uproar amongst the engine manufacturers and F1 fans with a proposal for replacing the naturally aspirated V8s of today with turbo-charged 4-cylinder engines, an agreement was finally reached amongst the various interested parties to introduce turbo-charged V6s of 1.6 liter displacement. The continuing effort by the the FIA to "green" the sport and push development still provided a number of surprises in the published regulations, however. Read More
The world has changed greatly for Apple in the past few years. As of their earnings statement released Tuesday, three quarters of all income comes from the iPhone and iPad and the number of users of iOS is already at least four times that of Mac users. After the under-the-hood tweaks and rationalizations of previous operating system update Snow Leopard, the mission for Mac OS X Lion was clear - make the Mac OS comfortable and familiar to the new Apple mobile user audience without putting off established Mac veterans. Can they pull it off? Read More
Like all things digital, the technology in your beautiful new camera is heading towards obsolescence at an alarming rate. The same is true, though to a lesser extent, about that SLR lens with its own processors and motors for focus, aperture and stabilization. In the analog world of manual film lenses where a lifetime of use is guaranteed there has been a renaissance in the manufacture of high quality optics at all price points, driven in part by the advent of digital SLRs and cheaper camcorder options that are capable of delivering that "film look". But for serious moving picture shooting, still camera lenses just won’t cut it. Let’s explore why. Read More