Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
The BMW ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo - 450Nm of torque and 52 mpg

450 Nm ( 332 lbs-ft) of torque was once considered V8 territory, which just goes to show how times change. The BMW ALPINA D3 makes 450 Nm from a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel engine. The D supposedly stands for diesel, but could equally stand for Drehmoment, German for torque – just off idle, at 1500 rpm, the little monster is already producing an impressive 400 Nm of torque thanks to the smaller of its twin turbos already bringing serious induction pressure to bear, and while the car is capable of 152 mph and 0-100 km/h in 6.9 secs, the official fuel consumption and emission figures tell a very different story: 52.3 mpg (overall EU) and 143 g/km (manual gearbox version).  Read More

Rubens Barrichello, Ross Brawn and Jenson Button - write the new team off at your peril

The first cars were unloaded onto the pit apron at Albert Park yesterday in preparation for next weekend's first Formula One Grand Prix of the 2009 season. It already shapes up as the most intriguing F1 season ever. Technologically, despite a raft of changes this year, the wild card not yet fathomable is the implementation of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a fancy name for regenerative braking, and a technology that will ultimately force all F1 cars to use hybrid power sources, most likely during 2009, but not necessarily. Only a few teams will arrive in Melbourne ready to race with electronic KERS systems that offer approximately 80 bhp extra for six seconds a lap, but we're not even sure which teams they will yet be. The biggest intrigue of the weekend though, will be the performance of the newborn Brawn F1 team. Everyone always knew Ross Brawn was a special talent, but no-one saw this one coming. Brawn is poised to deliver one of the greatest motorsport fairy tales ever.  Read More

Whisky - Demon drink becomes sound financial investment

If you could resist drinking it, you may just find that hanging on to a few bottles of fine single malt could not only make a sound investment but one which is more interesting than boring old stocks and far more reliable than wine. At Bonhams in Edinburgh, their second ever dedicated whisky auction has not only shown that there's a strong market for rare whisky, (with 95% of all lots sold) but that the big boys of the auction world are taking it seriously.  Read More

VDSL2 deployment scenarios: fiber to the cabinet (FTTCab), fiber to the exchange (FTTEx),
...

The next generation of Super Broadband DSL is just around the corner. Swedish Telecommunications giant Ericsson has demonstrated 500-Mbits/s transmission rates over copper cabling by using new crosstalk cancellation or "vectorized" VDSL2 based modems. The data rate is over 20 times faster than the fastest ADSL2 services currently on offer in most countries. With products using the technology likely to be available by the end of the year, this will open up the possibility of broadband services such as video-on-demand over IPTV networks.  Read More

Electrostatic nanocapacitors formed in nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (darker yellow) fi...

It has been a big week for news on advances in energy storage technology. We recently reported on new research that makes a Lithium Ion battery perform more like a supercapacitor, now we can report on research on a supercapacitor that performs more like a battery. Researchers at the University of Maryland and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a supercapacitor with 10 billion nanoscale capacitors per square centimeter, giving it 250 times greater surface area than that of a conventional capacitor of comparable size. The Nano Supercapacitor is being developed primarily as part of a hybrid battery-capacitor system for electric cars.  Read More

UK Researcher claims there are just eight patterns behind all humour

Evolutionary theorist Alastair Clarke this week published details of eight patterns he claims to be the basis of all the humour that has ever been imagined or expressed, regardless of civilization, culture or personal taste. Clarke has stated before that humour is based on the surprise recognition of patterns but this is the first time he has identified the precise nature of the patterns involved, addressing the deceptively simple unit and context relationships at their foundation.  Read More

Survey shows successful women use a distinctive gender-associated influencing style

A recent survey of women leaders in information technology shows that 92% of those surveyed believe that the ability to influence stakeholders is key to their overall success, and view their influencing approach as very different from the style of their male colleagues. The study was conducted The Leader's Edge/Leaders By Design in partnership with a major professional association for CIOs.  Read More

Bang & Olufsen's BeoVision 4-103 plasma: 500 kilos, 103 inches, USD$123,000

Danish design company Bang & Olufsen has gone mega with its BeoVision 4 HDTV, formerly available in 50 and 65 inch versions, and announced the BeoVision 4-103 – a 103 inch plasma that weighs in at 500 kgs and will sell for GBP 85,000 (USD 123,000) when it hits showrooms in June. The screen is manufactured by Panasonic, but comes with a host of B&O picture improvement and home theatre technologies, the usual B&O knock-out styling and functionality, and a motorized stand that can be used to adjust the viewing angle and rotate the display, plus a motorized centre channel speaker which moves up and down so it can be concealed when not in use.  Read More

The Slik-Stik nexgen high-tech walking stick

The SLIK-STIK is a next-generation walking stick that just might be a killer app with the post war baby boom moving into senior citizenhood. It's adjustable in height, folds up for convenient storage and portability, has a rubberised non-slip hand grip, a forward facing super bright LED torch light and a foot-fall floodlight to ensure safe footing at night on pavements, steps, and other trip hazards. It also has a panic alarm and best of all, it incorporates an induction generator system inside, so a minute of winding the retractable handle is sufficient to provide several minutes of emergency illumination.  Read More

Memphis Car Audio SClass Flat Subwoofer

At just 3 inches deep, it’s not surprising that the Memphis Car Audio SClass Flat Subwoofer has won awards for innovation. If you want big bass you usually need big space. Memphis however, has developed a new method of attaching the spider to the voice coil that improves both durability and sound quality. Generally the spider/voice coil combination needs more space so as to maximize performance and the throw distance the speaker is capable of – more cone movement equals more bass.  Read More

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