What was the first thing SanDisk said to you about the design when they initially approached you and your team? Robert Curtis: SanDisk is … Read more
Remember how Tom Cruise's flyboy character in Top Gun seemed as at home riding the roadways on a motorcycle as he was jockeying an F-14 in the air?
Maverick is probably the kind of guy Northrop Grumman had in mind when it came up with the "visual centerpiece" of its 20th anniversary celebration of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Actually, the more immediate entertainment industry tie-in is with the TLC series American Chopper--Northrop tapped Orange County Choppers, the Newburgh, N.Y., motorcycle shop behind the TV show, to design and build a bike to do homage … Read more
We all know what fractals are, even if we can't explain them very well (myself included). In simplest terms, fractals are geometric shapes that can be split into increasingly smaller, yet identical, fragments.
In 2002, Scott Draves created something called "fractal flares," which are a class of fractals that use nonlinear transformations and color in a way to create spectacular images. His work was put into a free, open-source fractal-flame called Apophysis.
I've been playing a bit with Apophysis this week, and be warned: once you get started, you may find yourself spending hours creating increasingly … Read more
People say that marketing's job is to create believers. The atheistic Anti-God ad campaign in the UK that has stirred attention at home and abroad does the opposite: it endorses the beliefs of non-believers (and maybe - stretch goal - tries to convert some believers into non-believers). "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," claim posters that appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland, and Wales, as well as on the London Underground. The campaign was initiated by the British Humanist Association and is supported by scientist and vocal atheist Richard Dawkins. … Read more
Brian Cooley takes a look at new concepts for automotive interfaces from Visteon. Technologies include touch panels with proximity sensors and haptic response.
With touch-panel technology, Visteon is doing away with buttons and knobs in car dashboards. These new dashboards, on display at CES 2009, look like opaque, blank panels, but when you put your hand near the surface, a proximity sensor lights up button areas. Visteon has mapped standard car controls onto its touch panel, such as climate control and audio. The panels use haptic technology so you can feel it click. The company had a few other innovations on display, including a 3D navigation display and a driver alertness monitor.
CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2008
In December we invited you to vote for the 2008 Tech Car of the Year from our five nominees. Well, no upset this year, as our staff judges agreed with the voting public: the 2009 Nissan GT-R is our Tech Car of the Year. Nissan has been putting top-notch cabin tech into its Infiniti models, and applied the same gear to the GT-R. But that's only the beginning, as you can almost feel the circuitry running through the GT-R's advanced suspensions and road-holding systems. Likewise, the engine is a pretty impressive piece of engineering, bringing in supercar acceleration from a V-6, not to mention the new double-clutch gearbox.
The GT-R has some faults, such as the overly stiff ride, which isn't really mitigated by the Comfort setting for the suspension. And we had some staff disagreement about that double-clutch gearbox: Brian Cooley found problems with using it in traffic, while Wayne Cunningham felt it worked very smoothly. But we couldn't deny the tech tour de force that the Nissan GT-R represents.
At the Macworld 2009 keynote presentation this morning given by Phill Schiller (Steve Jobs was absent this year due to widely reported health issues), one of the more exciting new software developments was to the iLife suite of software for Mac.
Long touted as the comprehensive suite from Apple to manage your digital lifestyle, iLife includes the popular Mac apps iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, and iWeb. Over the course of the speech, several enhancements to each software were given screen time, and many of the new features were those long requested by fans as well as innovative new features from … Read more
2009 will be a year of major uncertainty. The doom and gloom of the economic downturn, the deterioration of mass markets, the pervasiveness of the digital lifestyle, a host of explosive political conflicts, and the fragmentation of traditional societal institutions are causing anxiety and propel a new search for simplicity and non-economic value systems.
Consumption-driven wealth and status are being replaced by identity, belonging, and a strong desire to contribute and do something "meaningful" rather than just acquire things. Trust and reputation are no longer enablers for the exchange of goods, services, and information, they are replacing them. … Read more
Location matters. Black Swan-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds "living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters – you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity." That's particularly true for romance. People move to big cities not to advance their careers, party, escape, disappear, be a star, and so on. The chick-flick fan that I am, I remember very well that candid line from Sex and the City (the movie): "I came to New York City to fall in love." Exactly. "Anyone who's predicting the decline of big cities has … Read more