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Australia’s Macquarie Speed Sailing Team is seeking ratification of a new World Sailing Speed Record set on December 19, thereby claiming the title of the world’s fastest sailing boat. Macquarie Innovation was timed over the 500m qualifying course at 48.57 knots and recorded speeds in excess of 51 knots during the 20 second run on December 19, 2008. It is expected that the final ratified speed will be reduced to 48.15 knots due to tidal influences experienced on the course – albeit still the fastest speed ever recorded by a sailing boat. What makes the attempt so significant is the boat’s remarkably efficient use of wind energy – the speeds were recorded in just 17 kt winds, and when the team gets the 20 knot winds it has been waiting for, the outright record of 50.57 kts set by French kite-boarder Alexandre Caizergues in Namibia on October 4, 2008 will almost certainly be bettered.  Read More

Honda's Hybrid Billboards

Primary among Honda’s brand values are its role as a leader in creating low emission, fuel efficient vehicles, and its most recent promotional efforts have taken Hybrid technology to new heights, quite literally. The massive billboards featuring the new Honda Accord Euro are illuminated by green solar power; with green energy electric backup. Just like a Hybrid. Outdoor advertising specialists, APN Outdoor have installed solar panels on several of the billboards being used in the Australian launch.  Read More


 Image courtesy of Allard Owner Club

Fear of the unknown often prevents us from fulfilling ambitions, and one aspiration common to many males is to lovingly restore an automobile. Coming up in Coventry in March is a rare opportunity to see how it’s done from go-to-whoa when a team of experts will restore a mid-1940s Allard L Type to its former glory on the Race Retro 2009 show floor in just three days. Sheet metal experts Contour Autocraft will demonstrate how to repair and recreate steel panels for the body, Jonspeed Racing will be rebuilding engines and restoration experts David A.C. Royle and Co will offer a unique insight into the craft of Ash Frame making. For those who appreciate craftsmanship, it’s an absolutely unique opportunity to time-lapse a process normally undertaken over years into a three-day tertiary course in rare craftsmanship, not to mention a weekend of auto nostalgia for the lads.  Read More

Lunacy Robot Game could inspire a generation

January Lunacy is an international seat-of-the-pants learning game with the promise to inspire a generation. At yesterday’s Kick Off, 1700 international teams were given the rules and a kit of parts - motors, batteries, a control system, and a mix of automation components – but no instructions. The students have six weeks to design, build and program their robotic athlete ready for play on the low-friction playing surface. In each 135 second match, the robots score points by picking up 9" balls and dropping them in trailers hitched to their opponents. Lunacy ticks all the boxes for building important life skills – collaborative learning and adapting on the fly under deadline conditions with measurable results. With 42,000 high-school students from as far afield as Brazil, Germany, Israel, Turkey and the Philippines, the FIRST Robotics Competition is an evolving engineering talent showcase with the potential to become a TV sport with the international appeal to rival F1 one day. FIRST also runs the FIRST LEGO League for 9-14 year-olds, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. The aim of this life-changing program is to inspire young people to become individual economic stimulus packages and pursue opportunities in science and technology.  Read More

Audi R8 V10 becomes first all-LED car

The order books have opened for the 196mph Audi R8 making it the first car in the world with all-LED (light emitting diode) headlamps, daytime running lights and turn indicators. LEDs are the headlight of the future due to their power, homogenous light distribution and the agreeable, daylight-esque colour and Audi can rightfully boast a technological edge with headlights four times more energy efficient than halogen headlights in addition to having a practically indefinite service life. LEDs can be made more or less bright electronically and hence able to be precisely adapted to conditions. In the future, headlights will react to variables such as weather conditions, speed and the distance between vehicles. Audi already has a pre-production headlight which offers exceptional visibility at night without irritating oncoming drivers, by measuring the distance of the approaching vehicle and adapting the shape of the beam continuously.  Read More

Load video and MP3s while charging your Electric Car

Panasonic plans to unveil a networking system that can exchange data between an electric car and home devices via electrical wiring at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The electric car networking prototype allows people and devices inside the home to check on an electric vehicle while it is being recharged. It will be one of several research developments on show at the HD-PLC Alliance stand in the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall, Panasonic says. Other prototypes will include an HD-PLC adapter for a security camera and an electrical monitoring system.  Read More

A nine inch iPod Touch?

Rumours surrounding Apple’s plans are in abundance right now, but what awaits us at the last Apple MacWorld keynote address next Tuesday is still no certainty. There’s a lot of speculation about the possibility of an iPhone Nano being announced, and a more recent rumour has been kickstarted by TechCrunch (which it reports to have substantiated from three sources), suggests there’s a much larger iPod Touch in the works, with a seven inch or even a nine inch screen (up from the current 3.5 inches). Ironically, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who recently joined the board of Axiotron, producers of the only existing Mac tablet, the 13.3-inch Modbook, will be presenting new hardware for the company at Macworld too. Could a nine inch upspecced iPod Touch with its multitouch interface become the weapon with which Apple finally goes to battle in the low priced netbook market?  Read More

The Race For A New Game Machine

When Sony entered into a partnership with Toshiba and IBM to design the Cell processor for their PlayStation 3, they agreed that IBM would eventually sell the Cell to other companies. What they didn't know was that parts of the Cell would be sold to their major competitor Microsoft for use in the Xbox 360 processor - before the Cell was completed.  Read More

The CW001 netbook

First International Computer's CW001 netbook is destined for US shores after arriving in the FCC database on the 31st of December last year. The 10.4-inch, Atom-based netbook is noteworthy for finding room for both a DVD-RW optical drive and an ExpressCard/34 slot - which appears to be a first for this form factor.  Read More

How to avoid taking out the garbage quite as frequently

Taking out the garbage (who and/or when and/or how frequently) is undoubtedly the greatest threat to household harmony of any domestic chore. The Broan Elite XE Trash Compactor won’t exactly remove the chore, but with a compaction ratio of 6-to-1, it’ll reduce the number of times you need to argue about it and/or do it. With a three-quarter horsepower motor offering 3000 pounds of compacting force, each 1.5 cubic foot compacted bag holds the equivalent of six 13 gallon bags of ordinary trash, so it’ll lighten the volume for local landfills and reduce the volume for garbage pick-up, providing a cost saving for consumers who pay by the load. The unit also has antimicrobial protection to fight odor-causing bacteria and a replaceable odor control disc that is rotated automatically and hence lasts six months.  Read More

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