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Dashboard Devices ENV computer for the car

One of the highlights of CES will be the fully-featured ENV car computer from start-up Dashboard Devices. The US$2,700 in-dash double-DIN ENV runs a 7" touchscreen monitor, Windows XP with an automotive interface, has a 160GB drive and offers full computer functionality. It’ll respond to voice prompts, read your email aloud, turn your car into a wifi hotspot, offer GPS navigation, has a DVD drive, iPod control, internet radio, satellite radio and possibly HD Radio too and GSM cellular connectivity. The system is true dual zone so rear seat passengers can control their own different A/V experience and there’s even plans for a his-and-hers sunvisor displays. Accessories include a rear view camera, a sonar parking system, and the ability to view real time health information for various vehicle sub-systems using the OBDII "Engine Diagnostic System." Like we said, fully featured!  Read More

The 2WD Track diesel motorcycle with CVT

The Dutch E.V.A. company has been working on both a diesel motorcycle and a 2WD system for several years and the two have finally come together, with the release of the EUR 17,500 Track Diesel Motorcycle with adjustable front wheel hydraulic drive system as an optional extra. The 50 bhp in-line three cylinder diesel is both turbocharged and intercooled and offers a whopping 130Nm of torque from 1800 rpm upwards. The CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) helps the motorcycle keep its revs low and it hence uses very little fuel – 2.1 l/100km at 90 kmh – and is to be marketed as a go-anywhere adventure machine with an appetite for almost any fuel available (it’ll run on PPO), a full aluminium luggage travel system, and a desert-sand lifting device for lone adventurers.  Read More

PCADS – from water balloons to a killer app firefighting technology

Man’s engenuity knows no bounds and we are regularly fortunate enough to report on a technological solution that is so clever that it inspires us all to seek inspired responses to difficult problems. Bushfires deliver destruction and terror throughout the world and are often so powerful they defy man’s attempts to control them. In January 2003, Australians watched aghast as a bushfire destroyed 70% of the entire Australian Capital Territory and entered the suburbs of Canberra, the nation’s capital city. When a bushfire needs to be stopped, most countries simply do not have the resources. Until now! The PCADS system was inspired when a boy accurately dropped a water balloon on his father’s head from three stories up. The father contemplated the accuracy of his son’s handiwork and developed an ingenious firefighting technology – the PCADS.  Read More

The Aptera 2e

The already unmistakable Aptera 2e three-wheeler is continuing to evolve as it approaches its promised 2009 release with the latest development being the introduction of front-wheel drive to replace the original belt-driven rear wheel set-up. Front-wheel drive will now be used in all production vehicles with the company citing improved traction, stability and greater efficiency at high-speed as the key reasons for making the switch.  Read More

 The Reiter Gallardo GT3 Strada: roadgoing race car

Reiter Engineering’s factory-backed Lamborghinis run at the forefront of GT racing, which makes its latest offering a bit special – the Gallardo GT3 Strada is a roadgoing version of the company’s Gallardo GT3 race car. Everything you’d expect is there including more horsepower and much less weight, but the the cleverest bit is the exhaust system devised by German Formula 1 supplier MHG. Around town it delivers a sedate 75 db, but at the push of a button, remote control butterfly valves bring in high pass filters and the full symphony of the 535 bhp V-10 comes into play. You can be fairly confident that in one of these, you won’t find much out there capable of racing you to the shops and back successfully.  Read More

The cheeseburger in a can

We've just pulled the statistics on the ten most popular articles for 2008, and as expected, a wide range of weird and wonderful things made the list - from the electronic contact lens to the cheeseburger in a can. Read on for the full list.  Read More

Slegooning: snow sledding for speed demons

Flipping upside down on a snow sled usually puts an abrupt end to your downhill journey and leaves you with - at best - a face full of the white stuff and a short slog to retrieve your errant steed. Enter the Slegoon, a concept design from Londoner Spike Reid which puts a new spin on sledding by seating the rider in a semi-enclosed pod that can continue its run even when upside down.  Read More

Marantz's versatile hand-held iPod dock

Marantz is set to release a best-of-both world's solution for those who want the convenience of a hi-fi docking station without giving up the use of the iPod's intuitive interface. The IS301 system effectively turns the iPod itself into a remote control via a detachable, Bluetooth-equipped hand-held module that lets you stroll about with your iPod while controlling the audio output from your home system.  Read More

World of Goo

Just bought yourself a netbook and found yourself wondering what games will run without help from a modern GPU? Not to worry - there's a good ten million or so people out there in the same boat, and we've done some of the hard work for you.  Read More

The lucrative business of text messaging

What’s fair and reasonable pricing behaviour in business? There’s an excellent NYT article entitled “What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting” which might encourage you to think about this next time you send a text message. The cost to the Telcos of sending text messages is negligible because the space-limited texts ride for free inside a control channel reserved for operation of the wireless network - so every cent of the 20 cents you pay for a text message is profit to the Telco. Gartner reports there were 1.9 trillion text messages sent in 2007, 2.5 trillion in 2008, and an anticipated 3.3 trillion in 2009. Our normal concept of fair pricing considers products whose costs rise proportionally to volume. Author Randall Stross points out that the cost of text messaging in the United States has doubled in the same period.  Read More

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