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First images Maxtra 125 motor and tests

The Chinese Maxtra Racing team completed its first series of tests on the all-new 125 GP development machine in the UK this week. The photography session for the tests has revealed the first images of the radical new motor’s innovative engine architecture. You’ll see from the accompanying image that the single cylinder points downwards at about 45 degrees. This previously untried layout offers improvements to both intake and exhaust. There is more space for an airbox, enhancing the effectiveness of the ram-air intake system and the exhaust clearly has a free run to the rear of the machine.The remarkable full story of the team and its plans can be found here.  Read More

ZR1 balances price, performance, economy

Chevrolet ZR1 was first shown in January, but until the on-road performance figures were released this week, we weren’t fully aware of how the vehicle’s specs would translate to tarmac performance. The US$103,300 ZR1 does 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.0 seconds, has a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), and puts a quarter-mile behind it in 11.3 seconds. And the racetrack isn’t the only place where the ZR1 trumps its super-car competitors – it beats them at the gas pump, too. According to fueleconomy.gov, the ZR1’s EPA-rated 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway mileage ratings beat 2008 competitors such as the Ferrari 599 GTB (11/15); the Lamborghini Murcielago (8/13) and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage (12/19).  Read More

Lapworks' portable Gamers Desk

LapWorks,best known for its ergonomic and heat-reducing laptop desks and stands, has entered the Gaming market with a portable Gamers Desk. As PC gamers move to their couches to play First Person Shooter (FPS) and other high precision games on their HDTV or laptop screen, the desk provides a comfortable, ergonomically-sound, wide flat platform across the lap with ample space for a broad gaming keyboard and optical mouse or a laptop and external mouse.  Read More

The rise and rise of iTunes

The remarkable success of Apple’s iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) continues to grow. This week Apple announced that five billion songs have now been downloaded, which means that in less than a year it has sold two billion tracks. The remarkable growth means that in the last year, Apple has moved past Amazon, Target, BestBuy and Wal-Mart, to become the largest music retailer in the US. It is now also the world’s most popular online movie store - not bad for a business that opened its doors in April 2003.  Read More

Optoma Pico Handheld Projector

The promise of micro projector systems integrated into our phones, PDAs and video iPods has been one we have awaited expectantly for so long that it has almost achieved vapourware status. Now Optoma has announced the first Pico projector based on the DLP Pico chipset will available be THIS year. Smaller than most smart phones, this new micro-portable projector fits in your palm and is the ideal companion to ultra-portable media devices such as iPods, PDA's, smart phones and digital cameras. That’s an iPod driving the device in the image – can’t wait for this one!  Read More

JVC adds flip-down iPod dock to LCD range

The impact of MP3 and MP3 players on the way we consume music has been massive – more people now listen to music than ever before and there has been a fundamental mindset shift about the portability and accessibility of music. Video too seems destined for the same mindset shift and the latest pointer to this is that JVC’s latest LCD Tvs all feature JVC's new TeleDock®, a flip-down iPod dock at the base of the set, providing a direct connection for playback through the TV.  Read More

Tankgrip makes a sports motorcycle two can ride

Riding a sports motorcycle with a pillion passenger is possibly a more challenging pastime than riding one properly without a pillion. The design of the bike is so racetrack orientated, that adequate provisions for a pillion are indeed, inconsequential other than meeting minimum regulatory standards. Any Yamaha R1, Suzuki Gixxer or Honda Fireblade perches the pillion six inches above the rider and 12 inches back. The pillions footpegs require the flexibility of a yoga master to use, and the pillion-handgrips invariably also require the arm-strength and balance of an Olympic gymnast for effective use. Under acceleration, the pillion feels vulnerable and under brakes, the rider takes the weight of the pillion. The main problem is that there’s just no logical place to put an effective, strong and comfortable set of pillion handgrips. Until now – enter the Tankgrip - this is a very good idea.  Read More

Stanley - the first-ever winner of the DARPA Grand Challenge

The pioneering autonomous vehicle that won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge will complete its world tour with a visit to its home town before taking its place at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Dubbed "Stanley", the robotic Volkswagen Touareg developed by the Stanford Racing Team will be on show at the Silicon Valley The Tech Museum of Innovation from June 20 through July 17.  Read More

The world’s largest and most expensive ship

It’s destined to be the world’s largest cruise ship – when launched next year, Royal Caribbean’s US$1.24 billion Project Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It’s the most expensive ship in history, and it’s longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard’s QM II), 43 per cent larger in size than the world’s largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card – in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park spanning the length of a football field and lined with balcony staterooms rising six decks high with views of the gardens below and the sky above.  Read More

PEIR system screenshot

A key starting point to helping the environment is determining what impact we personally have on the planet. To assist in this challenge researchers at UCLA have developed a way to generate online Personal Environmental Impact Reports (PEIR) using location data from cell phones.  Read More

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