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The second incarnation of the MINI Convertible

The second iteration of the front-wheel-drive MINI Convertible broke cover last week and did so with a spectacular set of numbers behind it. Three convertible versions of the iconic vehicle will be available: a 90 bhp 109 mph MINI One, a 115 bhp 120 mph MINI Cooper and a 170 bhp 134 mph Cooper S derivative. With emissions and running costs now a key buying criteria, all three deliver frugality at the bowser compared to their performance – 40.4, 38.7 and 34.0 mpg respectively. All come with an alphabet soup (EPS, ABS, EBD, CBC and DSC, not to mention AIRCON) of standard technologies, but the showpiece is the fabric roof which operates in two stages – press the button once and the roof slides back 40 cm to create a unique ‘open sunroof’ effect. Press the button again and the roof retracts fully, folding itself behind the rear seats inside 15 seconds.  Read More

EDG multimedia business card hits the market

Three years ago we wrote rather optimistically about the coming of the rCard, a US$25 multimedia business card (and promotional give-away and gaming device and …). Now there's a similar product that comes in three versions, each with different capabilities. It’s called EDG (pronounced edge) and will be initially marketed as is a digital video card that enables pharmaceutical firms to build and maintain relationships with their key audiences, but are lots of very useful ways to use the card in almost any business where making a first impression and delivering a high value message to create an important relationship.  Read More

Lenovo ThinkPad gets anti-theft Remote Disable feature

Lenovo is introducing a new security feature for ThinkPad notebooks which allows users to remotely disable their PC via SMS. Developed in conjunction with Phoenix Technologies, the Constant Secure Remote Disable feature is effectively a kill switch that works by creating a mobile phone text command such as “lockdown now PC” or “PC shut off” and sending it to the computer's onboard broadband service. If the PC is turned off when the command is sent, it's automatically disabled the next time it registers on the network.  Read More

Nikon Media Port UP

Here’s one we didn’t see coming. Nikon is much better known for capturing media through its cameras and lenses so the announcement of a multi-tasking portable viewer might have slipped past the media gaze as one of those weird things photographers have. It’s not – it’s for everyone and we think the Wi-Fi ready Media Port UP headset, which offers video comparable to viewing a 50-inch large screen from a distance of three meters and motion sensor control, could well find a niche among the emerging crop of portable media viewing solutions.  Read More

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Who ya gonna call? Atari have teamed up with developers Terminal Reality and Sony Pictures to bring gamers the eagerly awaited Ghostbusters: The Video Game. The release is set to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original slime-fest, and will be available across all current-generation systems - excluding the PSP.  Read More

TTX GP founder Azhar Hussain and the bike he commissioned, the prototype TTX01.

UPDATED It’s the first electric superbike and though its range is considerably less than the first modern four-stroke superbike, the 1969 Honda CB750, its top speed of 125 mph (200 km/h) is almost identical. Yesterday the first prototype of the TTX01 Electric Superbike was showcased at a press conference for the 2008 NEC Bike Show. Built to demonstrate the potential of electric sports motorcycles for the first emissions-free Grand Prix, the initial prototype is based on a Suzuki GSX750 frame and running gear and runs two 43 bhp Agni Lynch Electric motors arranged in line with the frame. Together, the motors produce 125 Newton Metres of torque and both have been modified to withstand high RPM using Kevlar-reinforced armatures. The vision is to create a lightweight, carbon fiber framed 2WD TTX02 with "hot swappable", 20 kilowatt hour battery packs, regenerative braking and a production run of 50 machines in 2010 with a target price of GBP20,000.  Read More

Making waves work: the Searaser hydro-power system

Our second ingenious example of bringing new approaches to hydro-power generation for the week, SEARASER works on the conventional principle of using water pressure to drive turbines but achieves this in a unique way. The system consists of a tethered wave energy converter which uses the rolling motion of waves to pump water to higher ground on-shore from where it can then be stored and used to create electricity on demand.  Read More

GM HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicle in Berlin

GM’s HydroGen4 fuel-cell vehicles will hit the road in Berlin as part of the company's extensive global zero-emission test program. Having already completed over 400,000 miles of testing in the U.S. (where its known as the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell), the tests in Germany will be the first European outing for the hydrogen EV which is capable of 0-62mph in around 12 seconds, has a top speed of 100mph and a range of around 200 miles.  Read More

The car key of the future - with integrated credit card

A few weeks back we reported that BMW was working on a smartkey, and now we have images too. Contactless transactions and the cashless society are moving inexorably closer and BMW’s Research and Technology division has now released information relating to the development of a prototype for a multifunctional car key which enables cashless payment and personalised vehicle access. Clearly, car keys are one of those things you carry with you almost constantly, so it makes sense.  Read More

Doro HandleEasy 330gsm

Like the recently discussed ClarityLife C900, Doro's HandleEasy mobile phones are aimed at the large number of consumers who simply want basic phone functionality without all the bells and whistles. The Swedish company has now entered the U.S. market with two models - the HandleEasy 330gsm and the HandleEasy 326i gsm - both of which feature an uncomplicated design, large display screens and finger-friendly keypads designed for easy calling and text-messaging rather than game playing or web-surfing.  Read More

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