This is a great idea.The Tango PC is a desktop replacement in a tiny little package that you take everywhere. The clever bit is the docking station. You have one of those set up wherever you would like to use the PC (home, work, television) and then just plug your Tango in and go. It’s just a bit bigger than a modern smart phone, but still carries some impressive specs (Quad core AMD 2GHz A6-5200 APU with integrated AMD Radeon HD8400 GPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 64-bit Windows 7). Of course, you can also roll your own and run Linux, Chrome, or Steam. The tiny size is made possible by their new heat dispersion technology that pulls heat out of the Tango and into the docking station. The video below gives you a good idea of the relative size and capabilities.
A group of starlings is called a murmuration, and they can be pretty amazing.
Singer 911, the perfect Porsche
The Singer 911 is an amazing thing. Sure, for nearing half a million dollars, it should be an amazing car. But to really understand just how amazing you have to look at the crazed attention to detail that goes into the building of a Singer. No stone is left unturned as a 90-94 911 is turned into what many regard as the perfect Porsche, if not the coolest car on the planet. Here’s what it looks like on the outside.
Things only get better inside. Have a look at that dash, and the incredible woven leather of the seats. You can click all of the pictures to get bigger versions. Or, for the huge hi-res versions, head over to the Singer website. They also have a breakdown on all the options for the car. For a really good look at how obsessively complete the Singer 911 is, check out the report from Autoblog’s Michael Harley, who called it “the most alluring vehicle in the world.”
And if all of that isn’t enough, this video from Drive’s Chris Harris is excellent. It spends a lot of time at the factory, looking at how the Singer 911 came to be, and also features some great shots of the car in motion.
Formula 1 and the insane turbo V6
Formula 1 is the craziest of sports. Not because of the insane speeds on the track, but because of what happens with the rules from year to year. Over the years there have been a number of drastic changes. No refueling. No changing tires. Removal of traction control. The big news this year is the switch in engines. The 2.4 liter V8 is gone, replaced with the 1.6 liter V6 turbo. What does 1.6 liters bring you in the F1 world? 600 horsepower. Or, in another manner of measure, over 6 horsepower per cubic inch.
The power figures are really just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much technology packed into this package. The system will also have the aid of the new KERS replacement, which will add an extra 160 electric horsepower. It also contains my favorite bit, the MGU-H. Under power, the MGU-H absorbs power off the shaft of the turbo and sends it to the MGU-k, which can then apply that power to the drivetrain. But the real magic happens when you slow down. The sand in the Vaseline for turbo motors is turbo lag. The new system avoids that by having the MGU-H turn into a motor, keeping the turbo spinning at optimum levels, so when the driver accelerates again there is no lag waiting for the turbo to spin back up.
There is a lot more craziness to be found in the new systems and Jalopnik has a nice rundown of the Renault package. We are now less than two months away from the season opener in Melbourne. It looks like it is going to be a very interesting 2014 in Formula 1.
Seattle in the far far future
What will Seattle look like if all of the ice sheets melt? Perhaps a silly question. Even if it is a remote possibility, it is so far off in the future that any number of other planet changing events may be even more profound. But just for kicks and giggles, let us put on our sci-fi caps and take a look at what the greater Seattle area would look like after the seas rise 240′. You can click this image for the big one, or head over to Spatialities for even more looks at this crazy world. They also have posters of the maps available.
I think the whole things sets up perfectly for a post-apocalyptic movie. What would the society that lasted through such drastic changes look like? Would Queen Anne and Capitol Island be warring factions? Would you have renegades that inhabit the towers rising up from the sea? How about secret underwater lairs hidden in the shells of the buildings lost to the rising waters? The possibilities are endless, and make the whole project a lot of fun.
Movie Quotes, and Charts
The AFI has released their list of the 100 greatest movie quotes of all time. As with all such lists, the results are arguable. If you have a look though, I think you’ll agree that most of the choices are pretty solid. To make it more fun, flowingdata has created a collection of charts to represent all of the quotes. As you might expect, some quotes lend themselves to charting better than others. Here is a sample, and you can get the whole collection at the link.
Canon and Lens Longevity
If you can develop a product and then keep selling that same thing for 27 years with no changes, you are way ahead of the game. Canon has been able to do just that with their 50mm f2.5 Macro lens. It’s unthinkable in computer terms, but par for the course in lenses. The-Digital-Picture takes a look at the ten oldest lenses still available new from Canon, and number 10 came out in 1995. 19 years! It’s even more remarkable when you look at how the cameras these lenses work with have changed over that time.
In 1987, when the 50mm f2.5 was introduced, the big news on the camera side was the EOS 650 film camera, which was just getting auto-focus sorted properly. And they were still a decade away from a serious digital camera. Despite the huge leap from the EOS650 to the modern digital wonders of the 5D Mark III, the 50mm f2.5, and a whole pile of other lenses, soldier on.
Baseball according to Greg Maddux
You’ve probably heard that Greg Maddux is one of the newest members of the baseball Hall Of Fame. Deservedly so. He had an incredible career that included a span where he was otherworldly good. If you would like to hear a little about the philosophy that got him there, you have to have a look at this story at the Washington Post. I particularly enjoyed this example.
[expletive] Tony Gwynn! The whole thing is great, offering an interesting look at one of the greatest pitchers of our generation.
Behind The Scenes of Star Wars
There are a lot of interesting things to be found on twitter. This latest example comes from actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca. He has been posting some of his behind the scenes photos from the set of Star Wars. They’re pretty fantastic.
There is A LOT more to be found if you head over to Peter’s twitter page.
Vizio betting on 4k as the next big thing
One of the big stories at CES is the emergence of 4K televisions, or Ultra HD. You’re probably familiar with today’s 1080p sets. 4K is 2160P. The most interesting news I saw came from Vizio. First, with their announcement that their 4K TVs are going to start at $999.99 for the 50″ model. But even more surprising is the revelation that they are dropping 3D entirely. That’s a big deal, given that Vizio sells more TVs than any other company in the US. And it is quite a blow to the 3D market.
The sand in the vaseline though, is content. Those monitors are going to be capable of a gorgeous picture with their 3840×2160 resolution, but what are you going to watch on it? It appears that the first answer is likely to be Netflix. The company is trying to get out front before the real push for 4K content begins and they have started with their own productions. Moving forward, all of the Netflix originals will be finished in 4K. They have also partnered with Sony to get the entire Breaking Bad in 4K, and add other titles to the collection.
The question then becomes one of bandwidth. Streaming a 4K video is going to require a fat pipe, and the viewing technology may be arriving ahead of the delivery technology for many consumers. Still, this is a good look at where home entertainment is heading.