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Archive for the ‘electronics’ Category

F1 2008 Round 6 Race Review. Monaco Grand Prix.

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Well race fans the Grand Prix of Monaco for 2008 must go down as one of the more interesting and dramatic races in recent memory. With an all Ferrari front row for the race it looked as though the Monaco drought may end for the Italian marque. However, rain began to fall as the cars sat on the grid with all teams switching to intermediate tyres. One team though tried to hang on just that little bit too long to see what the weather was going to do. That of course was Kimi Raikkonen’s team. They had not fully fitted their tyres within the regulatory ‘3 mins before the start of the warm-up lap’ and the Fin was hit with a drive through penalty. This was to be just the start of his troubles for the race. Without the aid of traction control and other banned driving aids this was going to be a race and a half, and we weren’t dissapointed here at Gadget Freaks at all!

Massa led off the start with Lewis Hamilton edging by Raikkonen with a great start, almost getting alongside Massa into the first corner. As rain began to fall the field miraculously managed to get around the opening lap  without incident, quite a feat at Monaco.

The order did not last long as incident after incident brought chaos and drama. Alonso was driving like he was in Nascar causing several collisions due to being over optimistic. Still it was nice to see some competitive overtaking on the street circuit! Lap 6 and Lewis Hamilton hits the armco barrier with his rear wheel destroying the tyre but nothing else. He was able to pit and hence change his race strategy. He rejoined the race in a good position and when on lap 16 Massa went off handing the lead to Robert Kubica, Lewis was looking good. 

 The conditions out on the circuit were treacherous as the number of front wing replacements would testify. Hamilton had found his way to the lead after the first round of pit stops and appeared to get some extra speed, leaving the rest in his wake ( or should that be spray? ) Kubica had passed Massa at the stops relegating the Brazilian to third with Adrian Sutil in the Force India car a brilliant fourth. Sutil was driving the race of his life and it looked as though the new team would not only get points but were perhaps in line for a podium finish. Sutil was racing the two Ferraris ! However, exiting the tunnel Raikkonen lost control under braking, his car weaving and skidding out of control smashing into the back of Sutil. Both cars sustained damage with Force India having to retire, much to the disdain of all watching. Raikkonen rejoined the race to finish in ninth place.

So at the checkered flag it was a jubilant Hamilton from Robert Kubica then Massa with Australian Mark Webber fourth, continuing his good run of points finishes this year. All in all it was a great race which saw Massa slip up again and Hamilton regaining the lead in the 2008 Championship. Raikkonen had a day to forget and was slammed in the press by former 2-time F1 Champ Niki Lauda who said, ” I cannot understand how the highest paid driver can have a race as stupid as that.”

After the excitement of the F1 Monaco race we here at Gadget Freaks are looking forward to the race of the year! The Moto GP Grand Prix of Italy at Mugello, June 1st 2008.

Top 5 Gadgets That Could Save The Planet!

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The Planet is in Peril!!! So it’s up to us Gadgeteers to do something to save it. We here at Gadget Freaks have become totally freaked out at the rapidity of the decline of species. Recently the polar bear, the largest terrestrial carnivore is now on the endangered list. In Australia ( a continent which has one of the worst rates of faunal species extinctions ) the hardy Tasmanian Devil has been listed on the endangered list. Ultimately it will be us, Homo sapiens that will be facing extinction. So let’s take a look at some gadgets and gizmos that may help to save the planet.

1- Seastead Project

First up on our list is this awesome concept house/construction. With this dwelling you can have energy self-sufficiency via wind,wave and solar power. Also you’ll have a steady supply of seafood,you can build a seal platform and a seabird rookery as well as using the support structure as a reef habitat.
Patri Friedman and Wayne Gramlich’s are responsible for the Seasteading project, which was originally conceived as a way to experiment with “diverse social, political, and legal systems.” Can’t really figure out what all those aspects have to do with floating spars topped with habitats, communications relays and solar panels, gathered into huge suspended gadget homes. They say these structures can result into self-governing enclaves. The home design is actually based on the same ballasting system that some older oil rigs used.

Each Seastead construction consists of a concrete-reinforced main pillar and tethered ballast weights. Adjusting the water in the ballast raises or lowers the spar in the water, while the small cross-section makes it resistant to strong waves, if you ever decide to place one in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Around 300 square feet of space on the upper platform can be used for residential purposes and the provided image even shows an Aeolian turbine that is able to provide the needed energy. Presumably there is enough room for many out-doors home appliances. Predicted costs are a few hundred million dollars to build a Seastead for a few thousand people, not that much considering how much it may potentially help the environment.

via Techpin

2- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

This whacky way out gadget could really help save the planet. All we need is one environment saving looney megalomaniac to round up all those that refuse to denounce greed and persist with profiteering at the expense of our fellow earth inhabitants. By simply deactivating the part of the brain that inspires greed we can rid the world of those that harm the planet.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a process in which you run an electromagnet over parts of the brain, which essentially turns them off. You may have LOL’d at the idea of Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo erasing Jim Carrey’s brain while dancing around in their underwear, but this brain altering technology is no joke. While effects don’t appear to be permanent or long-standing, doctors and researchers think it could show how the brain recovers from traumas such as stroke. Though the technology might run a teensy-weensy risk of causing epilepsy, that’s all. The video below shows grown men reciting nursery rhymes and turning into stuttering messes. [Daily Telegraph via Medgadget via io9]

3- Solar Powered Handheld MP4 and Nintendo Emulator

Here’s a third-party Nintendo emulator that doesn’t look like total garbage. Though it has the typical generic name of Solar MP4, this little device actually has some impressive features. It can play MP4 files up to 320×240 in size on its 3.5 inch TFT screen, it also has built-in emulators for NES, GameBoy and GameBoy Color games. Of course you have to use ROMS loaded via an SD card, but those are easy enough to find. It can even function as an e-Book reader with the ability to read out loud any text file as long as it’s written in English or Chinese.

Did I mention that it has a USB port to charge your other gadgets?

Via Slipperybrick

4- Surreal Spanish Solar Tower

 

The BBC has a report on the Europe’s first commercial solar power station. 600 giant concentrated heat boils water into steam to drive turbines. mirrors focus the sunlight onto a 40 story white concrete tower where the super-

I’m remembering the old joke about solar powered torches here, but even though the plant will only work for an hour after sundown, the main power draw in the south of Spain is air-con, and this station pumps out enough daytime juice to power 600 homes, with future expansion to 600,000 (that’s every home in Seville).

It doesn’t get much greener than this, but a side benefit is in the surreal beauty of the place. BBC science correspondent David Shukman paid a visit:

A concrete tower – 40 storeys high – stood bathed in intense white light, a totally bizarre image in the depths of the Andalusian countryside […] In fact, as we found out when we got closer, the rays of sunlight reflected by a field of 600 huge mirrors are so intense they illuminate the water vapour and dust hanging in the air.

It sounds like a tourist destination in the making. Remember to take your sunglasses.

 

Via Wired Blog

5- The Single Most Important Environmental Innovation

One word………….. CONDOM !!

The problem of population was first really explored by Thomas Malthus in a paper published in 1798. His idea was that, unfortunately, populations increase exponentially until all available resources are used up. Then competition and starvation halts the growth of the population. This, Malthus predicted, would happen to the population of humans alarmingly soon.
What he didn’t count on was our unique ability to create more resources from the land. We could rip up more, create machines, burn stored carbon, pave the world, manufacture powerful chemicals and otherwise subdue and control the Earth. We did it all because, by the very nature of life, we hate to see our children die, and we can’t stop, y’knowmakin‘ babies. That is the heart of our ecological crisis, and, without effective means of controlling Malthusian population dynamics, the Earth was screwed.

When effective, simple and reliable birth control was invented, first in the form of the latex condom, and then through various hormonal contraceptives, our species was given the ability to control this vicious system. For the first time in the HISTORY OF LIFE on this planet, a species is choosing not to use up every available resource and, instead, control it’s own population without the looming prospect of starvation.

Condoms aren’t solar powered or reusable or even recyclable, but they’ve made the environmental revolution possible. As simple birth control continues its spread across the globe, it leaves behind happier healthier societies with significantly less impact on the planet. That is the power of true innovation.

via Ecogeek

Written by gadgetfreaks

May 21, 2008 at 9:02 am

Moto GP 2008 Round 5 Race Preview.

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Well we are late in posting our race review from Sundays action but we though we’d make a few post-race comments. It was an amazing race full of action, drama and some absolutely sensational riding. The French weather loomed and caused all sorts of tension and uncertainty. Would it rain would it hold off. The race was declared a ‘dry race’ however, it did drizzle slightly.

Casey Stoner got a blinding start and led for the first section of the race. He was hauled in by a hard charging Rossi and was later overtaken by Pedrosa. Meanwhile Rossi was creating a gap at the front while Jorge Lorenzo was making his way up the field after a bad start.

Casey Stoner seemed to regain some composure after looking uncomfortable for a spell but that was to come to nothing as his machine seemed to expire at the end of the main straight. Stoner had to push his Ducati to get back to the pits where a spare bike with ‘wets’ had been prepared for him. Hoping for a miracle (rain), he rejoined the race two laps down. Meanwhile Rossi was in vintage form at the front while Lorenzo had amazingly moved up to second with Colin Edwards third and Pedrosa dropping off to fourth. And that would be how they crossed the finish line with Chris Vermeulin in fifth.

It was a welcome victory for ‘The Doctor’ who equalled Angel Nieto’s total of 90 Grand Prix wins. Rossi collected Nieto on the warm down lap and let the legend ride his M1 Yamaha with Valentino as passenger holding a flag that read ’90+90′. Only Giacomo Agostini has more wins than Rossi but with 32 more to get the record it remains to be seen if even the great Vale will be able to reach the milestone.

Special mention goes to “Iron Man”, Jorge Lorenzo! What an amazing ride to come from 10th place at the start of the race to second and was actually pulling time on Rossi. Simply amazing considering the guy can hardly walk! We here at Gadget Freaks firmly believe that if he can keep himself out of trouble he will be in line for a real upset this year. We’ll have to check the record books to see when the last time a rookie won the premier class.

So a great weekend for Yamaha getting a clean sweep of the podium. Ducati, however had a weekend to forget. With Casey Stoner’s (16th) machine failure and Marco Melandri (15th) at odds again with his machinery there will be some serious searching as the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello is next and they will be certainly be hoping for a taste of the Moet on home soil.

Championship Postions After 5 Rounds.

1- Valentino Rossi Yamaha  97

2- Jorge Lorenzo    Yamaha  94

3- Dani Pedrosa     Honda    94

4- Casey Stoner     Ducati    56

5- Colin Edwards   Yamaha  47

Next Race; Italian Grand Prix Mugello Italy June 1, 2008

Gadgeteer Weekly- The Week in Gadgets!

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The highlight from this week in gadgets and technology for us here at Gadget Freaks would have to be seeing the footage of Fusion Man flying his jet pack. We have posted here about the Gryphon Flying Wing and seen all manner of this type of gadget but at last someone actually flyng one. On May 14th 2008, Yves Rossy became the first man to fly a winged jetpack strapped to his back. Rossy, a Swiss pilot, has spent $285,000 on his creation and jumped out of a plane at 7,550 feet. After unfolding the wings he fired the 4 jet engines and flew for 6 minutes high above the Swiss Alps performing 360 degree turns and figure eights. Although the first flight with the prototype was a huge success there is no word on a production model at this time. I want one!!!!!

Regular readers to Gadget Freaks will already know how much we love motorsports. So not surprising that when we saw this Race Simulator we had this sudden feeling that our lives were not complete. If you have a spare $20,000 you might want to buy the Virtual GT model but hey, why fanny about when you are shelling out this much cash! You might be better off with the Motion Pro 2 at a cool $25,995. Then there are the upgrades which include a panoramic display ($12,995), a six-speed gated shifter and progressive clutch ($1,049) and even enhanced on site set/training ($2995). I can just picture one in the Gadget Freaks office! 

Another slightly less expensive gadget spotted this week are these neat Spy Camera Sunglasses. The glasses have 2 in-built cameras on the side arms and transmit video to a wireless receiver. The receiver has a 2.4″ screen with an internal memory of 128MB and supports an SD card up to 2 GB.

 

Here’s one that will surely qualify for the Darwin Awards! This Pulse Jet powered bicycle looks rather lethal in our book. It is the creation of Robert Maddox, a 47 year old American who designs and builds the largest pulsejet engines in the world. This contraption runs on kerosene and can thrust power between 14-1000 lbs. Time to start chlorinating the gene pool we think!

 

 

Written by gadgetfreaks

May 20, 2008 at 6:31 am

F1 2008 Round 4 Race Review. Turkish Delight for Massa.

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What would we do without Lewis Hamilton? For me his passing move set up in the fastest corner in GP racing was the highlight of a race that almost cured my insomnia. Well it wasn’t the Ferrari whitewash that we expected with the Loveable Lewis Hamilton splitting the Ferraris and Robert Kubica’s BMW a distant fourth. I thought Hamilton had the race in the bag after his move on Massa but a 3 stop strategy put the Briton back a spot behind the Brazilian. I briefly fell asleep after Hamilton took the lead and awoke at the flag wondering what the hell had happened! Anyway, the French GP this weekend will surely keep me up- Moto GP that is! Read more……

Written by gadgetfreaks

May 12, 2008 at 10:21 am

Spies ‘R’ Us! Gadget Freaks Top 5 Spy Gadgets!

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One wonders at the amount of ‘Spy” gadgets available today. A quick look around the net reveals all manner of gizmos and gadgets. Some look harmless enough but some are just downright devious! Being the ‘Gadget Freaks’ we are we just can’t help ourselves, we love ’em! So let’s take a look at Gadget Freaks Top 5 Spy Gadgets!

1- Gryphon Attack Glider

Formerly known as The ESG Gryphon Personal Flying Wing this has to be the ultimate in Spy Gear! It has a maximum glide speed of 135 mph and has a heads up display and even onboard oxygen for those high altitude launches. This baby can carry a payload of 100lbs of onboard gear and has hard mount points for hooking up tactical bombs or missiles! With a glide range of 125 miles and a radar cross section of a seagull (or Stealth Bomber) you can glide into North Korea take out The Great Leader and like Ace Rimmer be back in time for a smoked kipper for breakfast. Only thing is you’ll need an extraction team as landing is acheived by separation from the wing which will activate your parachute.

 

2- Chewing Gum Wrapper Spy Camera

Now this is just downright sneaky, despicable and …well we love it! This neat little spy camera fits into a chewing gum wrapper and records video and audio. It has a Mini SD card slot for up to 2GB of memory. Just think you might want to choose an unpopular brand of gum to insert it into or your cover will be blown as quick as you can say, “That’s my gum”.

3- Lipstick Stun Gun

At #3 we have one for the Spyettes. More a self-defense gadget than a spy gadget but just what the Sexy Secret Agent needs to get out of a spot of bother. This crazy lipstick Stun Gun is 4 inches long and whacks a whopping 350,000 volts into its victim and has an in-built LED torch to blind your post-zapped supine assailant. So watch your pick up lines Gadgeteers and no more blonde jokes. However, there’s surely a great visual there were a blonde zaps herself in the ladies room or attacks you with a nice shade of Max Factor Crimson!

4- Wireless Spy Camera Pen w/ Solar Charger

Industrial and Commercial Espionage Boffins with a bit of green in them will love this one. This Wireless Spy Camera Pen appears to be a normal pen but is in fact…well I just told you! It comes with a solar recharger for the built-in Li-ion battery and has a transmission range of between 10-20 metres. Also included is a 2.5″ TFT LCD MP4 receiver with 64MB of internal memory and can support a Mini SD card upto 2GB for extra storage. With video resoluition of 882×240 pixels at 30 fps this spy gadget is just the thing for your next undercover sortee or just for plain fun. Transmission is activated by twisting the cap on the pen and it even writes too!

5- Erector Spykey – Kit Robot 

Nothing really covert about this one but it does look like a heck of a lot of fun. This DIY kit Robot has caterpillar type tracks and has a camera, Wi-Fi and an in-built microphone. Spykey even comes with its own software to enable it to be controlled from anywhere on the net. It has a functional webcam and a VOIP (Skype compatible) speaker phone. We only wish it would come in black or a Darth Vader model. Oh well can’t have everything.

Gadget News and Reviews: Pleo Destroyed At Maker Faire 2008

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We here at Gadget Freaks were shocked and appalled this week when we heard of the vicious and wanton destruction of an innocent and defenseless Pleo at Maker Faire 2008.  

Makers of Pleo, Ugobe have distanced themselves from the stunt and have stated they had absolutely nothing to do with this despicable act. Ugobe reps at the fair said they were, “shocked and appalled” at this act which was perpetrated by a so-called ComBot known as Vicious Verdict.

 

                                                        How Could Anyone Harm This?????

We here at Gadget Freaks had a sinking feeling when we heard this news and and were truly sickened when we viewed actual video footage of the incident. Funny how human nature works. We know it’s a robot but because Pleo is cute and a baby but somehow our protective instincts kick in as if it were a living animal. More as news comes to hand!

Written by gadgetfreaks

May 10, 2008 at 10:11 am