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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Parrot AR.Drone - For iPhone and iPod Touch

This is an interesting toy for the iPhone and iPod Touch users.
It's a serious toy...
It's called the AR.Drone.
Developed by Parrot.
It's the first quadricopter that can be controller by iPhone and iPod touch.
Reality video game...

What you are seeing now is a guy holding a wireless remote controller, controlling a flying craft.
You will also notice flight-like display at the right-bottom corner of this image.
To explain this, the guy in gray is seeing another guy in white through his controller. The controller is displaying live video captured by the flying craft.

Here you go, seeing two guys controlling the AR.Drone competing with each other. They surely have an assigned mission to defeat the opponent. The mission is only known by the highly ambitious guys here.

This is the AR.Drone. But it won't function completely without a controller.

and this is the controller...installed with AR.Drone controlling software, communicates with the AR.Drone in real time, with capability to display live video captured by the AR.Drone.

Make sure you have an iPhone or an iPod first, then get one AR.Drone to have fun with the concept "When video games becomes reality".

You can watch videos showing the AR.Drone operating with iPhone/iPod here.


LED headlight - Design [video]

This video shows the exploded view of the true LED headlight apply on an Audi car.
The low beam, as well as the high beam, are shined upfront with 3 LEDs in the headlight.
New headlight technology, with well known power saving and long lasting properties of the LEDs.
The whole headlight is equipped with only LEDs, and no other types of lighting.
It's been some times for the challenge to make LEDs as powerful as halogen or HIDs.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lexus LFA [Video]

A video showcase of Lexus LFA...
I really love it...


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google Management

How many Google users actually know the people, the management of Google?
Google has provided a page with such an information. Click here to view.

Here  I quoted the important people of Google onto my blog here for those who might want to have a straight view over here (as of January 14th, 2010):

Board of Directors
Operating Committee
Key executives by function:
  • Kent Walker, Vice President & General Counsel
  • David Lawee, Vice President, Corporate Development
  • Megan Smith, Vice President, New Business Development, and General Manager,
  • Megan Smith, Vice President, New Business Development, and General Manager, 

Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century

I have discussed earlier on Engineering Challenges for the 21st century that involving parties are working on.
Let's look back a little bit to the 20th century. They are just anything that we are using and applying today.
Engineering is so important to the world.

Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century


Water Supply and Distribution
Radio and Television
Agricultural Mechanization
Air Conditioning
and Refrigeration


Household Appliances
Health Technologies
Petroleum and
Petrochemical Technologies

Laser and Fiber Optics
Nuclear Technologies
High-performance Materials

Looks familiar? Yes, they are what we see or use these days.
You can click on each item in the above list to read for more details.
Let's carry on and move forward with improving world. Nevertheless, improving lives...


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lexus LFA - Sports Car

This is one very important Sports Car to watch out.
The Lexus LFA - Approximately US$350,000

To me, it's going to be my dream car...

Max. Speed: 325 km/h
Acceleration 0-100km/h: 3.7 sec
Turning Radius: 6.1 m
Engine Type: 1LR.GUE
Engine Spec: V10, 72 degrees, 40 valves DOHC
Engine Bore & Stroke: 88 x 79
Engine Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel System: EFI
RON (min): RON95
Max. Output: 412kW(560ps)/8700rpm
Max Torque: 480Nm(48.9kgf-m)/6800rpm
Engine Red Zone: 9000
Transmission Type: 6 Gears Automatic Sequential Gearbox
Brake Type (Front and Rear): Disc (Carbon Ceramic Material)
Brake Disc Diameter (front/rear): 390mm/360mm
Braking System: ECB
Wheel Size/Type (front/rear): 20x9.5J/20x11.5J
Tyre Size (front): 265/35ZR20(95Y)
Tyre Size (rear): 305/30ZR20(99Y)
Tyre Brand: Bridgestone
Suspension (front): Double Wishbone
Suspension (rear): Multi-Link
Steering Gear Type: R&P
Steering Gear Ratio: 14.3
Power Steering Type: EPS
Dimension (Length, Width, Height): 4505, 1895, 1220 (mm)
Wheelbase Tread: (front/rear): 1580/1570 (mm)
Min. running ground clearance: 115 mm
Curb Mass: 1480 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 73 L
Cd: 0.31
Active Safety: VDIM (3 mode), VSC, TRAC/TRC, ABS
Passive Safety: SRS Airbag System, Restraint System
Navigation: HDD Navigation
Audio System: Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System
and more details at:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Top Ten Internet Browsers 2010

Wonder which internet browser is the best?
I found this website listed out the top ten browsers according to their characteristics. .

As a snapshot listing, here you go:

  1. Firefox 
  2. Google Chrome 
  3. Internet Explorer 
  4. Opera 
  5. Safari 
  6. Maxthon 
  7. Flock 
  8. Avant Browser 
  9. Deepnet Explorer 
  10. PhaseOut 
You can read more reviews from the reference website. 


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Variable Valve Timing Systems [Comparison]

Well, VTEC, MIVEC, VVTi, etc. Many people already know about these technologies applying on nowadays cars. I was searching for some information on MIVEC, but came across this piece of writings. It's quoted in a Honda Fit Web Forum. Quite an informative piece of information, though a bit outdated. In case someone looking for a brief overview if these technologies, then I guess below is enough to educate one. Hopefully you don't mind that I quoted the whole thing from somewhere. Of course you can find for more information from many other sources through Google search or other search engines. 
There are a couple of ways by which car manufacturer's vary the valve timing. The most well known system is the VTEC which is used on some of the Honda engines. Other systems which some of you might not have heard of are:
* VarioCam/VarioCam Plus which is used on some of the Porsche engines,
* MIVEC(Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control) which is used on the Mitsubishi engines,
* VVT-i(Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) and now VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing and Lift with Intelligence) which is being used on the current Toyota and some Lexus engines,
* VVL(Variable Valve Lift) which is used on the Nissan engines and also featured in the 350Z is the CVTCS (Continuously Variable Valve Timing System)
* VANOS(Variable Onckenwellen Steuerung) which is used in the BMW engines and also the Double VANOS system on the new 3 Series and they are many more similar systems used by manufacturers such as Ford, Lamborghini and even Ferrari.

What do all these Vs have in common? Well, in case you don't already know (or haven't yet guessed despite the monster hint in the article's title), the V stands for valves or, more specifically, variable valve timing.

Before you can appreciate how important valve timing is, you have to understand how it relates to engine operation. Remember that an engine is basically a glorified air pump and, as such, the most effective way to increase horsepower and/or efficiency is to increase an engine's ability to process air. There are a number of ways to do this that range from altering the exhaust system to upgrading the fuel system to installing a less-restrictive air filter. Since an engine's valves play a major role in how air gets in and out of the combustion chamber, it makes sense to focus on them when looking to increase horsepower and efficiency.

This is exactly what Honda, Toyota and BMW and quite a number of other manufacturer's have done in recent years. By using advanced systems to alter the opening and closing of engine valves, they have created more powerful and clean burning engines that require less fuel and are relatively small in displacement.

Before we take a look at each of these variable valve-timing systems, let's rehash how valve timing normally works. Until recently, a manufacturer used one or more camshafts (plus some pushrods, lifters and rocker arms) to open and close an engine's valves. The camshaft/camshafts was turned by a timing chain that connected to the crankshaft. As engine rpm's rose and fell, the crankshaft and camshaft would turn faster or slower to keep valve timing relatively close to what was needed for engine operation.

Unfortunately, the dynamics of airflow through a combustion chamber change radically between 2,000 rpm and 6,000 rpm. Despite the manufacturer's best efforts, there was just no way to maximize valve timing for high and low rpm with a simple crankshaft-driven valve train. Instead, engineers had to develop a "compromise" system that would allow an engine to start and run when pulling out of the driveway but also allow for strong acceleration and highway cruising at 70+ mph. Obviously, they were successful. However, because of the "compromise" nature of standard valve train systems, few engines were ever in their "sweet zone," which resulted in wasted fuel and reduced performance.

Variable valve timing has changed all that. By coming up with a way to alter valve timing between high and low rpm's, Honda, Toyota and BMW and many more manufacturer's can now tune valve operation for optimum performance and efficiency throughout the entire rev range.

Honda was the first to offer what it called VTEC in its Acura-badged performance models like the Integra GS-R and NSX (it has since worked its way into the Prelude and even the lowly Civic). VTEC stands for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. It basically uses two sets of camshaft profiles-one for low and mid-range rpm and one for high rpm operation. An electronic switch shifts between the two profiles at a specific rpm to increase peak horsepower and improve torque. As a VTEC driver, you can both hear and feel the change when the VTEC "kicks in" at higher rpm levels to improve performance. While this system does not offer continuously variable valve timing, it can make the most of high rpm operation while still providing solid drivability at lower rpm levels. Honda is already working on a three-step VTEC system that will further improve performance and efficiency across the engine rpm range.

The camshaft in a pushrod engine is often driven by gears or a short chain. Gear-drives are generally less prone to breakage than belt drives, which are often found in overhead cam engines.

Toyota saw the success Honda was having with VTEC (from both a functional and marketing standpoint) but decided to go a different route. Instead of the on/off system that VTEC employs, Toyota decided it wanted a continuously variable system that would maximize valve timing throughout the rpm range. Dubbed VVTi for Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Is this a dig at Honda, suggesting their system isn't intelligent?), Toyota uses a hydraulic rather than mechanical system to alter the intake cam's phasing. The main difference from VTEC is that VVTi maintains the same cam profile and alters only when the valves open and close in relation to engine speed. Also, this system works only on the intake valve while VTEC has two settings for the intake and the exhaust valves, which makes for a more dramatic gain in peak power than VVTi can claim.

Ferrari has a really neat way of doing this. The camshafts on some Ferrari engines are cut with a three-dimensional profile that varies along the length of the cam lobe. At one end of the cam lobe is the least aggressive cam profile, and at the other end is the most aggressive. The shape of the cam smoothly blends these two profiles together. A mechanism can slide the whole camshaft laterally so that the valve engages different parts of the cam. The shaft still spins just like a regular camshaft, but by gradually sliding the camshaft laterally as the engine speed and load increase, the valve timing can be optimized.

Several other manufacturers, including Ford, Lamborghini and Porsche have jumped on the cam phasing bandwagon because it is a relatively cheap method of increasing horsepower, torque and efficiency. BMW has also used a cam phasing system, called VANOS (Variable Onckenwellen Steuerung) for several years. Like the other manufacturers, this system only affected the intake cams. But, as of 1999, BMW is offering its Double VANOS system on the new 3 Series. As you might have guessed, Double VANOS manipulates both the intake and exhaust camshafts to provide efficient operation at all rpm's. This helps the new 328i, equipped with a 2.8-liter inline six, develop 193 peak horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. More impressive than the peak numbers, however, is the broad range of useable power that goes along with this system.

Several engine manufacturers are experimenting with systems that would allow infinite variability in valve timing. For example, imagine that each valve had a solenoid on it that could open and close the valve using computer control rather than relying on a camshaft. With this type of system, you would get maximum engine performance at every RPM. Something to look forward to in the future!

To close these series of articles on camshafts, you can see that as the benefits of variable valve timing used on cams become more apparent to both consumers and manufacturers, you can expect to see it on just about every vehicle sold in the world. I suspect that in five years, variable valve timing will be like ABS or side-impact beams: only really cheap cars won't have it. 


Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 important people awarded Nobel Prizes [History]

This is an interesting listing of 10 most important people awarded Nobel Prices in history.

1. Marie Curie The leading light in a family that between them amassed a remarkable five Nobel Prizes in the fields of Chemistry and Physics. She became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 when she was recognised, along with her husband Pierre and Antoine Henri Becquerel, with the Physics award for their research into radiation.
She later became the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes when she was given the Chemistry Prize in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her further research into radium. She is among a select group of people to have won prizes in two different fields.

2. Martin Luther King Jr.
The American civil rights activist was the youngest person to be recognised by the Nobel foundation when he won the Peace Prize in 1964, at the age of 35, for his work to end racial discrimination through non-violent means.
Even after his death in 1968 King's legacy lived on, and his image is still used today as a symbol by human rights groups around the world.

3. Albert Einstein
Arguably the world's most famous scientist, Einstein was given the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his services to physics, especially his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.
During his career he made significant contributions to the world of theoretical physics, among them his famous theories of relativity.

4. Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins
These three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for their discovery of the "double helix" structure of DNA nine years earlier.
The award was deemed controversial because of the death of Rosalind Franklin, a collaborator with Wilkins, four years earlier. Nobel foundation rules, which state the prizes cannot be given posthumously, meant her work was not recognised.

5. Jean-Paul Sartre
The French existentialist philosopher, writer and literary critic was the first person to turn down a Nobel Prize in 1964 when he declined the Prize for Literature.
Sartre is still recorded as the winner by the Nobel federation for his influential work which was "filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth".

6. Sir Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Ernst Chain and Sir Howard Florey for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect on infectious diseases.
The Scot made his discovery accidentally when he returned to his untidy laboratory from a holiday to discover a fungus had developed that destroyed the bacteria immediately surrounding it.

7. Hermann Muller
The American won the same prize as Fleming a year later, in 1946, for his discovery of the mutating effects of X-ray radiation.
His research and continued argument against nuclear war made him a figure of great political significance in later years as nuclear weapons became an increasingly controversial subject.

8. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Russian novelist and dissident, who spent time in a Soviet labour camp after writing letters that criticised the communist regime, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
His most famous novels, The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, for which he received the award, exposed the brutality of the Soviet Union's forced labour camps.

9. The International Committee of the Red Cross
The highest number of Nobel Prize wins goes to the International Committee of the Red Cross with three separate Nobel Peace Prizes.
In 1917 and 1944 the organisation was recognised for its work during the First and Second World Wars, and it was named as a winner again in 1963, along with the League of Red Cross Societies, to mark its 100th anniversary.

10. Sir Clive Granger
The Welsh economist won the 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his methods of analysing economic statistics, which revolutionised the way economists interpret financial data.
His prize was shared with Robert Engle III, for his research in a similar area.


Logitech Anywhere Mouse M905

Mouse...Mice...Mickey Mouse...? Why is it called a mouse when it's just a pointing device? I don't know, and I guess I won't discuss it here.
What I want to share here is a new computer mouse. It's from Logitech®.

What's so special about it?
It can be used on transparent surface!
What's transparent surface?
It can be referred to as glass surface.
Yes, this mouse can be used on glass coffee table without a need for opaque surface mouse pad.
It's now using a new optical sensor technology. Logitech® calls it Logitech® Darkfield Laser Tracking™.
So, now, this mouse is virtually applicable on any surface, regardless of it's opacity and transparency.
It's introduced as Logitech® Anywhere Mouse M905.

Its features include Wireless (RF) connected, programmable buttons, with 2 side integrated thumb buttons. 
(Note: it's stated however that the glass surface has to be minimm 4mm in thickness)


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Network Manager (a choice)

Yesterday, I came across an old video when I was housekeeping my HDD. Part of this video recommended a network tool for computer users. It helps to manage network connections when you have to connect your computer to different network locations.


I have tried this program, and it seems helpfull. You might find it usefull.
Happy trying.