Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flying car to take off in 2009

A company called Terrafugia is currently developing a plane that transitions into a car. For a mere $148,000 you too can own a Transition. When completed in late 2009, it will have an average cruising speed of 115 mph, gets over 25 mpg in the air. It’s classified as a Light Sport Utility vehicle and weighs only 1320 lbs. It will be powered by a 100 hp, 4-stroke Rotax 912 ULS. This engine is FAA certified to run on both 91+ octane autogas as well as 100LL. The same engine is used to power the rear push-prop and front wheels, using a clutch-based transmission for power selection. The Rotax engine is certified to allow a 5% ethanol mixture.

Cargo and dimensions
The vehicle will have 550 lbs of usable cargo weight in a 20 cubic foot space, which can be divided up among people, bags or fuel. It has a 20 gallon fuel tank which consumes about 120 lbs of fuel. Its maximum range is 460 miles (400 nm) when operating at 75% power, which is required to sustain 115mph cruising speed. When in folded position, the vehicle measures just 6.75 feet high, by 7.5 feet wide, by 18.75 feet long. No data on the wingspan was given, however it could not exceed approximately 35 feet due to the stated dimensions and mechanical operation of the wing through a single central hinge. The internal cabin space is 50 inches wide.

Transition’s wing loading is approximately 8.8 lbs per square foot, which is comparable to light sport or general purpose aviation aircraft. They currently have a working prototype wing design, however it is machine mounted and is not part of the actual aircraft. All of the pictures and images seen are either from a 1/5th scale prototype that was built and flown.

The vehicle goes from 1-2-3, or from 3-2-1 via the push of a button. It must be stopped, engine off, to make the transition. The vertical stabilizers double as rear taillights and indicators. A pilot’s license is required to operate the vehicle, which will have a price tag of approximately $148,000. It will be available in late 2009, with a full-size prototype completed in late 2008. A 1/5th prototype has already been created and flown.

In order to operate the vehicle, the pilot (not the driver) will have to be FAA certified and hold a pilot’s license. Currently only a visual flight rating (VFR) ability is planned, as the on-board instruments will not be sufficient for a full Instrument Rating.

Source TGD

Malware preinstalled on new hard drives

The Taipei Times is reporting that around 1,800 new 300GB and 500GB external hard drives manufactured by Maxtor shipped with malware on them. What makes this story even more interesting is that Taiwanese authorities suspected that Chinese authorities were involved.

“The bureau said that hard discs with such a large capacity are usually used by government agencies to store databases and other information. Sensitive information may have already been intercepted by Beijing through the two Web sites. That the method of attack was unusual, adding that it suspected Chinese authorities were involved. In recent years, the Chinese government has run an aggressive spying program relying on information technology and the Internet. This was the first time it had found that Trojan horse viruses had been placed on hard discs before they even reach the market.”

Now I’m not a security expert or anything like that, but doesn’t everyone format the hard drive before you install your OS on it? Of course you can use it just like storage device, and in that case something like that would be probably possible…

Source: Cnet

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Microsoft enhances Zune, new 8 GB version

Responding to criticism that its original line of Zune music players — available only in black, brown or white — failed to inspire consumers, Microsoft plans to launch on Tuesday a new line if Zunes in a range of colors and bedecked with tattoos, custom engravings, and other artwork.Microsoft will also introduce a $249 Zune with an 80-Gbyte hard drive capable of storing 20,000 songs, 25,000 pictures, and 250 hours of video. Additionally, two flash memory-based Zunes — an 8-Gbyte model and a 4-Gbyte model — will go on sale Tuesday.

The launch comes one year, less a day, after the original Zune player hit stores on November 14, 2006. Customers who purchase one of the new Zunes through Microsoft’s Zune Originals Website can choose designs from 18 “internationally recognized” artists along with up to three lines of laser-engraved custom text, according to Microsoft. The new Zunes feature redesigned software that Microsoft claims makes it easier to drag and drop content from a Windows desktop to a connected Zune player. A new search feature gives users a master view across all of their digital files, including songs, videos, and podcasts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

PSP - A Stylish Gamer's Must-Have

Simply stylish...

Gonna get one for myself soon...


Some Cool NOKIA Codes

Might turn out to be useful. Don't blame me if it does not work :-)


Nokia code Code function
*3370# This Nokia code activates Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR) - Your Nokia cell phone uses the best sound quality but talk time is reduced my approx. 5%
#3370# Deactivate Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR)
*#4720# Activate Half Rate Codec - Your phone uses a lower quality sound but you should gain approx 30% more Talk Time
*#4720# With this Nokia code you can deactivate the Half Rate Codec
*#0000# Displays your phones software version, 1st Line : Software Version, 2nd Line : Software Release Date, 3rd Line : Compression Type
*#9999# Phones software version if *#0000# does not work
*#06# For checking the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI Number)
#pw+1234567890+1# Provider Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)
#pw+1234567890+2# Network Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)
#pw+1234567890+3# Country Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)
#pw+1234567890+4# SIM Card Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)
*#147# This lets you know who called you last (Only vodofone)
*#1471# Last call (Only vodofone)
*#21# This phone code allows you to check the number that "All Calls" are diverted to
*#2640# Displays phone security code in use
*#30# Lets you see the private number
*#43# Allows you to check the "Call Waiting" status of your cell phone.
*#61# Allows you to check the number that "On No Reply" calls are diverted to
*#62# Allows you to check the number that "Divert If Unreachable (no service)" calls are diverted to
*#67# Allows you to check the number that "On Busy Calls" are diverted to
*#67705646# Phone code that removes operator logo on 3310 & 3330
*#73# Reset phone timers and game scores
*#746025625# Displays the SIM Clock status, if your phone supports this power saving feature "SIM Clock Stop Allowed", it means you will get the best standby time possible
*#7760# Manufactures code
*#7780# Restore factory settings
*#8110# Software version for the nokia 8110
*#92702689# Displays - 1.Serial Number, 2.Date Made, 3.Purchase Date, 4.Date of last repair (0000 for no repairs), 5.Transfer User Data. To exit this mode you need to switch your phone off then on again
*#94870345123456789# Deactivate the PWM-Mem
**21*number# Turn on "All Calls" diverting to the phone number entered
**61*number# Turn on "No Reply" diverting to the phone number entered
**67*number# Turn on "On Busy" diverting to the phone number entered
12345 This is the default security code

Cell Makers Agree on a Single Charging Plug

Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Nokia have agreed to use micro USB as a charging-plug standard for phones. Your days of buying a bagful of accessories every time you switch phones have come to an end. Well, not quite. You will still have to toss out all your mini USB chargers, as this decision in truth indicates a rejection of that budding de facto standard. Yep, all the carriers and accessories makers will have one last chance to profit before the standard is in place.

Kudos Guys....


Windows ReadyBoost

Windows ReadyBoost improves system memory and boosts performance.

Adding system memory (typically referred to as RAM) is often the best way to improve a PC's performance, since more memory means more applications are ready to run without accessing the hard drive. However, upgrading memory can be difficult and costly, and some machines have limited memory expansion capabilities, making it impossible to add RAM.

Windows Vista introduces Windows ReadyBoost, a new concept in adding memory to a system. You can use non-volatile flash memory, such as that on a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive, to improve performance without having to add additional memory "under the hood."

The flash memory device serves as an additional memory cache—that is, memory that the computer can access much more quickly than it can access data on the hard drive. Windows ReadyBoost relies on the intelligent memory management of Windows SuperFetch and can significantly improve system responsiveness.

It's easy to use Windows ReadyBoost. When a removable memory device such as a USB flash drive or a secure digital (SD) memory card is first inserted into a port, Windows Vista checks to see if its performance is fast enough to work with Windows ReadyBoost. If so, you are asked if you want to use this device to speed up system performance. You can choose to allocate part of a USB drive's memory to speed up performance and use the remainder to store files.

Wi-Fi Detector Shirt

The Wi-Fi Detector shirt does everything you'd dream it could do: detect Wi-Fi signals and share them, via your chest, with the entire world. Spotting both 802.11b and 802.11g networks, signal strength is displayed in real time (big animated gif post-jump). After you are done broadcasting your (super ability?) to the world, just slip the AAA batteries out of the built-in pouch and unhook the decal, and you can wash the sweat away of a hard day's work of bandwidth theft.The Wi-Fi Detector shirt is a Think Geek exclusive and will be available this October for $29.99.

Sharp develops world's thinnest 2.2-inch LCD

Sharp corporation announced the world's thinnest ever LCD for mobile devices, a 2.2-inch screen with a thickness of just 0.68mm.

Mobile devices such as cell phones and digital cameras are rapidly becoming thinner as manufacturers strive to improve portability and offer consumers more stylish designs. As a result, thinner embedded components such as LCDs are also increasing in demand. The increase in demand for One-Seg (terrestrial digital broadcast) compatible handsets is leading to demands for greater visibility and higher image quality in displays intended for mobile devices.

The development the new 2.2-inch Mobile Advanced Super View LCD is based on proprietary Sharp fabrication techniques for thin LCDs, in particular, glass substrate and backlight technologies. This new Mobile Advanced Super View LCD delivers superior image quality approaching that of an LCD TV thanks to a high contrast ratio of 2000:1, wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, and fast response speed of 8 ms, which are among the highest levels in the industry.


  • Screen size: 2.2-inches
  • Pixel count 240 x 320 px (QVGA)
  • Module thickness 0.68 mm
  • Contrast: 2000:1
  • Viewing angle: Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal: 176 degrees
  • Response speed: 8 ms (black white display)

People of Massachusetts to be Having Sex With Robots by 2012

MSNBC is running a report on the impending likelihood of legalized marital relations with robots. They have word from a leading researcher at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, Dr. Levy, who seems to think peeps will be getting freaky with their robots by 2012, with marriage following by 2050. One thing is for sure; Gizmodo shall be supporting the revolution all the way! Dr. Levy said:
"Once you have a story like 'I had sex with a robot, and it was great!' appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I'd expect many people to jump on the bandwagon."
We are thinking you could probably drop the phrase "with a robot," as well as the blurb after the exclamation mark, and still have us convinced. Dr. Levy goes on to suggest that Massachusetts will be the first state to contain a robot-human sexing population. He justifies his theory by stating:
"Massachusetts is more liberal than most other jurisdictions in the United States and has been at the forefront of same-sex marriage."
Though we aren't too sure the reasoning is sound, we have already seen Roomba owners gaining an emotional attachment to their machines. Whether they will be putting their winkles in the Roomba's dinkle and allowing it to have a tinkle, we very much doubt. However, if sexbots get this real (NSFW), well, perhaps the ethics of robosexuals is a serious debate, after all.



Top 7 Most Annoying Mac “Features”

The Mac platform is certainly the best in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without some flaws. What follows are 7 things I think are the most annoying “Features” of Macs. Why 7? Well, there just aren’t enough fundamental problems with OS X to name much more.

In no particular order:

Drag to Trash To Eject or Disconnect - This has certainly improved over the years, but the least intuitive thing to do on the Mac is to drag a CD/DVD/Flash or Network Drive into the trash to eject it. Sure the icon now changes and there’s a dedicated keyboard key, but it’s still not intuitive.

One-button Trackpad - Sure there’s the new Mighty Mouse that can be configured for right and left clicks, but the MacBook and MacBook Pros are still still stuck with a single-button trackpad. It’s time Apple gives up the single button and acknowledges two buttons are just better. You are 90% of the way there, Apple. Just…just DO IT!

(yes, I know you can change prefs to have a two-fingered tap. It’s not the same.)

The inability to rename, delete or move files/folders from open or save dialog boxes - I have to admit - I really love this feature in Windows. When you’re saving/opening a file and you decide to rename or delete a folder or file, it’s super convenient to do it while you’re thinking of it right there in the save/open file dialog box.

Delete Key - Apple’s delete key only goes backwards and if you want it to be a forward delete you need to hit the function key, at least on a MacBook/MacBook Pro. And that cool new wireless keyboard.

Browser Windows - This always seems to throw Windows switchers for a loop. In Windows, you can open up a multitude of Internet Explorer windows and each show up in the tool bar making it very easy to switch from one to another. However, in Safari, each Window is treated (properly I might add) as an application window, forcing a different window control.

Window Size Control - Here’s another area were I think that other operating system excels. In Mac OS, you are limited as to where you can grab windows and if you want to resize them, you have to grab the triangle in the lower-right corner. In that other system, you can grab and/or resize from practically anywhere. There’s really not a good reason for this.

Hardware Obsolescence - There’s always something better around the corner. The drawback with a company that makes really bitchin' stuff is that they keep doing it. Does it really seem as if Apple senses when you (personally) buy something and then releases a new & improved version within a couple of weeks.

Open for debate... :-)