Tuesday 31 July 2007

Driving a Fjord

A Norwegian firm is looking to produce a new electric car with a range of ~112 miles on a charge and a top speed of 62mph.
Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard flew to Oslo to take a spin and sent back his people to hammer out a deal to supply Think with high-power lithium-ion batteries. An executive from PG&E, the giant California utility, dropped by during his vacation to talk about giving Think a foothold in the Golden State. Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway scooter, paid a visit, became an investor, and is now working on what could be the next breakthrough in automotive technology
This all sounds great I'd love one if Think want to send me one - I'll try it out and give them a review. If it is any good I might even buy one.
Think CEO Jan-Olaf Willums takes the wheel. Willums, looking slightly rumpled like the academic he once was, turns the ignition, and the stub-nosed coupe silently rolls toward an open stretch of pavement. Suddenly he punches the pedal, and the car takes off like a shot, the AC motor instantaneously transferring power to the wheels. The only sound is the squealing of tires as Willums throws the little car into a tight turn and barrels back to where he started.

Willums's pitch is this: He's not just selling an electric car; he's upending a century-old automotive paradigm, aiming to change the way cars are made, sold, owned, and driven.
The company will sell cars online, built to order. It will forgo showrooms and seed the market through car-sharing services like Zipcar. Every car will be Internet-and Wi-Fi-enabled, becoming, according to Willums, a rolling computer that can communicate wirelessly with its driver, other Think owners, and the power grid.

Think plans to sell the car but lease the battery as a way to overcome one of the biggest conundrums of electric cars. The battery is by far the most expensive component of the City, which will list for about $34,000 in Norway. Take the battery out of the equation, and Willums says he can sell the car for about $15,000 to $17,000 in the United States, with a "mobility fee" of $100 to $200 a month that might also include services like insurance and wireless Internet access.

This looks sweet, I want one.


Read more!

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Huge Homer

PAGANS have pledged to perform “rain magic” to wash away cartoon character Homer Simpson who was painted next to their famous fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant.

A giant 180ft Homer Simpson brandishing a doughnut was painted next to the well-endowed figure today in a publicity stunt to promote The Simpsons Movie released later this month.

The 17th century chalk outline of the naked, sexually aroused, club-wielding giant is believed by many to be a symbol of ancient spirituality.

Many couples also believe the 180ft giant, which is carved in the hillside above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, is an aid to fertility.

Homer has been painted with water-based biodegradable paint which will wash away as soon as it rains.

Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation, said: “It’s very disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing.

She added: “I’m amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It’s an area of scientific interest.” Via

Read more!

Saturday 14 July 2007

Oldest Intelligence

Recent research shows that the child rasied as the eldest sibling in a family is likely to have the highest IQ.
A Norwegian team found first born children and those who had lost elder siblings and had hence become the eldest, scored higher on intelligence.
Experts have disagreed for decades about how birth order might influence intellect and achievement.
Supporters of the theory argue the eldest child gets more undivided attention from their parents from an early age.
Others claim differences occur in the womb before birth because with each subsequent pregnancy the mother produces higher levels of antibodies that may attack the foetal brain.
While others claim the relationship between birth order and intelligence is false, being biased by family size - historically, couples with lower IQs have tended to have more children than couples with higher IQs.
Frank Sulloway, of the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, has been studying how upbringing influences personality and intelligence. He told the Daily Telegraph the higher IQ in the first-born could, in part, be gained by their tutoring of younger siblings.
via BBC
Read more!

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Facebook mobile

I don't know about you - but I have fairly recently discovered facebook. Unfortunately the powers that be at my work have a fairly draconian web filtering tool called websense. Websense does not like facebook, I suppose that is understandable to a certain degree – they are paying me to work after all.

Today it has come to my attention that Facebook has quietly launched its own WAP site that’s accessible to users of every operator. You access it by pointing your mobile browser to m.facebook.com. I’m actually very impressed.

It serves up a front page with your news feed of what friends have been up to, status updates (including a box to tap in what you’re doing right now), plus links to your friends’ photos, notes, and your groups and events, and a search box. It is supposed to sign you in automatically after your first visit – but that doesn’t work on my phone Sony Ericsson W550i.
The site is the way it focuses on the key bits of information and content that you might want to access on the go – you can tell someone’s thought hard about how and why someone might use Facebook on their phone. It loads up quickly, and works seamlessly. If you’re into Facebook – and it’s picking up a helluva lot of steam at the moment – this should be a bookmark on your phone.
Read more!

Thursday 5 July 2007

Unholy Smoke

Reverend Anthony Carr, of East Peckham walked into a police station in Tonbridge and started smoking. He said he flouted the ban to protest against the erosion of civil liberties.
The Police said they did not arrest him because it was an environmental health issue.
He added: "There are many things which are said to affect our health. You can't really regulate the minutiae of people's individual lives like that."

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council said the law protected public health and they would follow up any reports of the smoking ban being broken.

A spokesman for the Bishop of Rochester said: "We regard this as a personal matter - the church would not wish to comment on the incident.

"Officially, the church doesn't condone breaking the law."
Read more!

Monday 2 July 2007

Credit for Clergy

One of South Korea's top banks has rolled out a new credit card for Protestant clergy that will give them breaks on Bible purchases and allow them to gather bonus points they can turn into donations for their churches.

The state-run Industrial Bank of Korea said on Friday it had introduced its "I am Pastor" card that will give clergy the equivalent of a few dollars off when they purchase religious books or other texts at certain authorized Web sites.

"Pastors are usually not issued credit cards, because they do not meet credit requirements," said bank official Kwon Han-sup. "We do not expect to make much of a profit out of this."

The pastor card also allows users to have discounts when purchasing petrol or movie tickets and allows them to collect points that they can use for donations to charity.

The bank said it introduced the card to better help serve religious leaders.

It plans to release similar cards for the other main religions in the country after working out products targeted to Buddhist and Catholic leaders.

"We wanted to make one type of card for all of them but realized the clergy of these different religions have different needs," Kwon said.

Read more!