2014 Paris Motor Show highlights
The impact of the economy on family stability

The Christmas holiday period coincides with a spike in domestic violence, suicides, partnership dissolution and the initiation of divorce proceedings in Christian countries. This year, the economic situation will add more stress as security is high on the agenda of basic human needs and a plummeting of couple's net worth seemingly has dire consequences on family stability. Indeed, remarkable new research from the U.K. Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) concludes that there is a direct relationship - for every unexpected 10% fall in housing prices, an extra 5% of couples will split up. Throw in all those share portfolios that have shrunk in value and there's good data to suggest we should not make any rash decisions this holiday period!  Read More

Bagtv: techno chic or fashion faux pas?

It may not be the most logical example of a two-in-one product we've ever seen, but Bagtv will almost certainly score you some points in the novelty department. As the name suggests, this line of handbags incorporates a 7-inch LCD screen into the design so that you can watch DVDs, Mpegs and view photos while you're out and about in the urban jungle.  Read More

The PlayStation 3

According to iSupply, in November 2006 the entry-level US$499 PlayStation 3 console was made up of over 4,048 different components at a cost to Sony of $805. Two years on, they've ripped open a current revision of the game console and while there's 30% fewer parts, Sony is still making a loss of just under $50 per console - making it clear why there was no aggressive price cuts this holiday season.  Read More

How iFart iPhone software makes US$10,000 a day

Tales of becoming instantly wealthy in the computer software industry were common a few decades ago, but the growth of online sales for iPhone apps via Apple’s popular iTunes App Store is starting to create a few overnight developer successes too. One of the stars of the last few weeks has been the iFart program – successfully digitising scatalogical humour, the US$0.99 app offers a virtual orchestra of flatulent effects (choose from the “squeeser”, the “wet one”, the “quack”, the “sick dog” and 16 more) and there’s a “Sneak Attack” function where you can set your phone up to trumpet rude noises a few minutes down the track. You may well scoff at the infantile humor, but thousands, indeed, tens of thousands of men are embracing their inner child and purchasing the application every day – sales revenues reached US$9000 a day on December 22.  Read More

US$15 Pogo Sketch turns MacBook Trackpad into pen tablet

It’s not often we report about potentially disruptive technology in a US$15 package, but that’s the way we see the Pogo Sketch. Made specifically for use with the newest MacBook multi-touch trackpad, the stylus is claimed to transform the notebook into a pen tablet for premium drawing programs and artistic applications. Without trying it, we can’t be sure it’s the real deal, but we acknowledge the massive potential of adding tablet functionality to any computer for just US$14.95. We recently raved about Ten One Design’s Pogo Stylus for the iPhone and iPod touch which uses the same special conductive tip to transfer the signal from the user’s hand to the capacitive touch screen display. Indeed, the Pogo Sketch can also be used on an iPhone and iPod touch too, so it’s potentially a game changer in our humble opinion.  Read More

Image via Gizmodo

Snapture Labs, the team behind the excellent Snapture camera software for the iPhone, have unveiled the SnaptureFlash - a protective iPhone case packing a Xenon flash with 50,000 lux brightness, which is about 100 times the brightness of your average LED flash.  Read More

The Danish Zenvo ST1 supercar – 1104 bhp and 1430 nm of torque

The numbers and specifications of the newly announced Danish-built Zenvo ST1 sports car put it in elite company. With 1104 bhp and a weight of 1376 kilograms, the Zenvo has a power to weight ratio only bettered by a handful of cars on the planet – the Caparo T1, SSC Ultimate Aero TT, Koenigsegg CCXR, Caterham Levante and the LeBlanc Mirabeu – plus a few supersport motorcycles. The 7 litre V8 engine uses a novel forced induction set-up featuring both supercharging and turbocharging to give it a staggering maximum torque figure of 1430 nm at 4500 rpm (Bugatti Veyron = 1250 nm), making it one of the fastest accelerating cars in existence – 0 to 100 in 3 seconds fast. Only 15 will be built with what we expect will be a price tag in seven figures, commensurate with its electronically-limited 375 kmh top speed.  Read More

Nissan NV200 to go into production

Nissan moves into the United States light commercial vehicle market in 2010 with a strategy for creating bespoke personalised commercial vehicles via a chain of pro shops. This news was brought clearly into focus this week with the news that an all-new NV200 compact van based on the NV200 Concept from Tokyo Motor Show (pictured) will go on sale in 2009 serves to offer an interesting glimpse of the future. Just how many of the NV200’s innovative features will be incorporated in the production version is not known just yet but the press release hints that it will include Nissan’s sliding cargo pod. The pod is latched inside the shell of the load area when the van is being driven, but at rest, it slides out to allow easy access to the customisable storage zones. The pod is deployed using hydraulic rams, and rests securely on drop-down legs. With the pod extended, the area left behind is transformed into a mobile office or other customisable environment. Given the recent showing of the NV2500 mobile site office concept by Nissan U.S., it’s clear that some very practical and space-efficient, purpose-built vans will become available in 2010.  Read More

Toyota to show battery-electric concept vehicle in Detroit

There's no images and no details, just a tantalizing two line press release, but given that this news comes from the world's largest car maker and manufacturer of the first mass produced hybrid vehicle, we think it rates a mention. Here's the release in full - "Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. will display a battery electric vehicle concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. This display marks the world debut of this concept vehicle".  Read More

The 50' Snowball Launcher

The Snowball Launcher will outdo even the most accomplished snow tosser by making and blasting softball-sized snowballs up to 50 feet. Unless you live anywhere near a city, in which case it might blast softball-sized chunks of muddy slush mixed with cigarette butts and gravel. Still, it is sure to give you the edge in snow fights this winter.  Read More

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