Monthly Archives: May 2013

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The Daily Roundup for 05.31.2013

DNP The Daily RoundUp

You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.

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You Don’t Know Jack coming to OUYA June 11th

You Don't Know Jack coming to OUYA June 11th

If you so much as touched a computer in the 1990s, we’d wager that the mere mention of You Don’t Know Jack will bring back a flood of memories. Jellyvision’s irreverent trivia game has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, with its presence expanding to Facebook, iOS and Android, and the Jack Attack isn’t stopping there: beginning June 11th, you can “Screw Your Neighbor” on the OUYA game console. You’ll be able to get a trial 11-question episode for free or upgrade to get a full set of 20 games. Cleverly, this version includes a new feature called Party Play which lets up to three additional players compete against you by turning iOS and Android devices into external controllers. Not a bad addition for OUYA users eager to answer questions like the one you see above (and if you’re curious, we’re pretty sure the answer is “The Keebler Elves”).

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Unique Photo Shows the Ridiculous Size of America’s First Spaceships

Unique Photo Shows the Ridiculous Size of America's First Spaceships

One of the things that always shocks me when I go to the Kennedy Space Center is the tiny size of the Mercury (left) and Gemini (right) capsules—the missions that jumpstarted the American space exploration program. This unique photo clearly shows how ridiculous these tin cans are.

It also shows how big the astronauts’ gonads were. Look at them! These guys were actually strapping themselves to oversized photo booths attached to metal cylinders full of a few tons of explosive fuel. Even Gemini—designed to carry two humans and rendezvous in orbit—looks stupidly small. [Crooked Indifference]

Is This The Tesla Of Motorcycles?

Is This The Tesla Of Motorcycles?

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we’ve got reports from Wired:Autopia, Petrolicious, GreenCarReports and Yahoo! Autos.

Mission Motorcycles Hopes You’ll Pay $60K for a Tesla on Two WheelsAutopia

Electric bikes continue to improve and offer a certain few advantages over larger EVs, but range is still an issue. Now one group is promising 200 miles (max) range with a realistic 10 miles. Not bad.

More impressive is the lithium-ion battery, which packs 17 kWh of juice — one kWh more than the miserable four-wheeled Mitsubishi i-MiEV — along with a pair of on-board chargers that allow nine kW worth of energy transfer during charging. All told, Mission estimates a max range of 200 miles, but on the combined city/highway cycle, riders will get 140 miles in the real world, and be able to top up that massive battery pack in around two hours through the industry standard J1772 Level 2 charging stations. According to Seeger, “Even a short rest stop is enough time to add a significant amount of range.”

At the Monaco Grand Prix, where James Bond spends a weekend at Bernie’sYahoo! Autos

Is This The Tesla Of Motorcycles?

The great Neal Pollack takes on Monaco. We’ve got some posts coming from Bill Caswell as well.

Speaking of “paying for sex,” it’s impossible to describe the Monaco Grand Prix without talking about the Red Bull Energy Station, which has become the thumping hub of rich-person favor for the world’s most glamorous sporting weekend. The Energy Station, two stories of white steel and glass, makes an appearance at every European F1 event. But for Monaco, Red Bull adds a “terrace,” with an outdoor bar and comfortable white couches arranged around a pallet of fake grass, and, more impressively, an upstairs outdoor pool deck, with water that they keep crystal clear so you can see the Red Bull logo at the bottom. These components are assembled in Italy and then floated 40 miles down the coast, where they get parked in Monaco Harbor’s prime docking spot, within view of several sections of the track. An invitation to the Energy Station means that you’re the boss, or at least someone the boss deems worthy.

Does The Tesla Model S Electric Car Pollute More Than An SUV?GreenCarReports

Is This The Tesla Of Motorcycles?

There’s an ongoing debate over just how clean EVs are and it’s highly dependent on geography

We’ve arrived at a number for the real-world effective CO2 emissions of a Model S of 292 g/mi. Admittedly, that’s lot higher than Tesla claims on its website. But worse than a Grand Cherokee? Hardly. The V-6 Grand Cherokee’s official EPA CO2 number is 479 g/mi when fitted with the smallest engine offered, a 3.6-liter V-6. The more powerful V-8 model logs in at a whopping 592 g/mi.

ZAGATO DESIGN BLENDS THE DIVINE AND THE ABSURDPetrolicious

Is This The Tesla Of Motorcycles?

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The book of famous Italian coachbuilders brims with names synonymous with beautiful cars, among them the houses of Frua, Ghia, Touring, Vignale, Scaglietti, Bertone, and of course, Pininfarina. Though generally remembered for their most gorgeous contributions to automotive design, each is also responsible for a fair share of more polarizing work as well, Bertone’s Volvo 262C and Pininfarina’s Mondial merely a few that readily spring to mind. None, however, come close to matching Carrozzeria Zagato’s record for controversy. Perhaps Italy’s most adventurous, and therefore most vulnerable to fail auto design studio, Zagato’s bold, envelope-pushing approach has resulted in stunning, breakthrough concepts and shockingly grotesque failures in equal measure.

Gizmodo How a Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV | Deadspin Does Jaden Smith,

Gizmodo How a Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV | Deadspin Does Jaden Smith, After Earth’s Uncompelling Star, Really Want This? | Jalopnik Did Transformers 4 Rip Off This Guy’s Design For The New Bumblebee? | Kotaku How Razer’s New Ultrathin Gaming Laptop Compares To A MacBook Air

Engadget Podcast 346 – 05.31.13

Engadget Podcast 343 - 05.10.13

We weren’t able to make into the studio again, but a week without a new episode of the Engadget Podcast is hardly a week at all, right? Tim’s still a traveling man, but he finally picked up a PlayStation Vita for entertainment on the move. Tune in to find out if he likes it and get a recap of the week’s tech news, including the tastiest tidbits from D11. Stream the audio below and find the video version embedded past the break.

Hosts: Tim Stevens, Peter Rojas

Producer: Joe Pollicino

Hear the podcast:

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Presenting The MotorWeek 1995 Driver’s Choice Awards!

On Thursday, after hours of research and huffing paint, we brought you a chart that will tell you exactly which new car to buy. But how were you supposed to do that in 1995, back when there was no Jalopnik and the Internet was only for hackers and perverts?

Easy — you tuned your dial to MotorWeek, television’s longest running automotive series. And their Driver’s Choice Awards will definitely steer you in the right direction. Kind of.

Some of their choices, like the E36 BMW M3 and Subaru Legacy Wagon, have held up well. As for others — like the Chevrolet Cavalier, Ford Windstar, and Buick Riviera — well, uh, not so much.

But don’t take my word for it! Fire up this classic MotorWeek clip that looks like it was filmed with a digital camera planted in front of a crappy TV playing a VHS tape before it was uploaded to YouTube.

MotorWeek Theater is our showcase of some of our favorite classic reviews from public television’s finest motoring program. How does this video only have 118 views on YouTube? Don’t you people like VHS?

Zoho announces Zoho Vault, provides a hub for businesses to manage passwords

Zoho announces Zoho Vault, provides a hub for businesses to manage passwords

Zoho’s more commonly known around the interwebs for its document editing tools, but today the service is launching a product that’s a little more business-oriented than its Office suite. With the newly introduced Zoho Vault, the company’s hoping to give business owners a centralized repository where they can easily manage their passwords online — something slightly similar to what LastPass offers. Of course, security will likely be very important for potential customers, and Zoho says it’ll be able to keep a rigorous lockdown by implementing things such as Host-Proof Hosting, a measure which encrypts passwords at the browser and stores only encrypted data on the server. The Personal Edition of Zoho Vault is available now for free and can be accessed by one person, while the Enterprise Edition costs a mere $1 per month, offers an iPhone app and supports unlimited users.

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Source: Zoho

Why The Isuzu Vehicross Is The Next Great Future Classic

Why The Isuzu Vehicross Is The Next Great Future Classic

Welcome to Future Classics, a new, semi-regular feature where we identify amazing and unappreciated cars from the late 90s, 2000s, and today that could be highly coveted by future generations. You may want to pick one of these up while you still can!

If I could single out one trait that I feel is sorely missing from modern cars, it would be "character." Today’s automobiles are faster, safer, more fuel efficient and better made than at any previous time in history. But too many of them are lacking in character and originality.

That’s why if I had to pick just one SUV or truck from the modern era destined for future classic status — one that doesn’t rhyme with "Shmaptor" or "Blightning," anyway — I’d pick the Isuzu Vehicross. It oozes character in every conceivable way.

Let’s check off all the ways the Vehicross is a unique snowflake in the most boring automotive landscape of all. A design that still seems futuristic today? Check. It comes from a much-beloved dead brand? Check. Sophisticated all-wheel-drive technology that makes it a highly-competent off roader? Check. General mechanical toughness? Check. Rarity? Check. Always designed to be a one-run niche vehicle? Check.

The Vehicross, or VehiCROSS if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t capitalize the "M" in "Mini", just hit a 20-year mark of sorts. The car began life as a concept at the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show, although it didn’t hit production until 1997.

I remember seeing this thing back when it first debuted and thinking it was some kind of crazy electric car. I was wrong, but the car’s spaceship-like looks are enough to convince anyone that it’s far from ordinary, even today.

Why The Isuzu Vehicross Is The Next Great Future Classic

The Vehicross came out right as SUVs were starting to really hit their stride in terms of sales, the beginning of that kind of peak era that lasted until the early 2000s or so. I feel like it was a daring idea that took advantage of an exciting new segment.

It also came out back when people actually expected SUVs to be able to do off-road shit, before car companies realized that very few (if any) of their buyers were actually using them for that purpose. The Vehicross can hold its own when the pavement ends, baby.

Mounted on the Isuzu Trooper’s chassis and packing a 3.5-liter V6 good for a still-healthy 215 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque, the Vehicross packs a rather advanced 4WD system. I’ll let this 1999 article from Motor Trend break it down:

Under normal conditions, the system operates in rear-drive mode, but as conditions demand, torque is automatically transferred to the front axle to provide maximum grip. A display in the instrument cluster shows the driver how much torque is being routed to the front. One key difference between this and other automatic 4WD systems is that TOD uses a dedicated electronic control unit to oversee the process and draws upon input from 12 different input sensors. This collective input is continually compared to a preprogrammed 3D software map that determines how much torque to distribute to each axle, based on such parameters as vehicle speed, wheel speeds, and accelerator pedal angle, to monitor either actual or potential tire slippage. In this way, the system can actually begin correcting for traction loss before it’s even occurred. For more demanding conditions, a low-range transfer case also is provided.

They also praised its lack of body roll and impressive handling that lacked the harsh ride of most SUVs. Pretty badass for a late 90s car, right? And not the kind of thing you find on wimpy small crossovers these days. Let’s see your mom’s CR-V do all that. Spoiler alert: IT CAN’T.

Why The Isuzu Vehicross Is The Next Great Future Classic

The party continues inside with a tasteful, classy, simple interior that includes Recaro seats up front. Recaros! On a small SUV! It may look a little dated, but it’s honest, and it isn’t overcooked like so many modern interiors are.

Tough, stylish, unique — and underappreciated, like all great future classics. The Vehicross was only ever meant as a limited-production model. Just under 6,000 were ever made between 1997 and 2001, though the overwhelming majority of them were sent to the U.S.

But even with the intentional niche status, the car was never really a huge hit with buyers. As recently as 2010, Car and Driver was knocking it, saying Isuzu had to learn that "no one wants a three-door SUV that looks like an escapee from the set of Battlestar Galactica."

Y’all are a bunch of haters, man. Just writing about the Vehicross makes me want one. It’s something truly different in an endless sea of pedestrian grocery-getters, and I have a feeling that one day, future generations will appreciate it more than we have so far.

Why The Isuzu Vehicross Is The Next Great Future Classic

And the best part is that while they aren’t exactly plentiful, they are cheap. A recent search on Cars.com shows that one of these can easily be had for under $10,000. Those fancy 4WD gizmos could get expensive to repair, but the car is pretty robust overall. It’s a great way to get a decent rock climber without spending a ton of dough.

Isuzus in general are hugely unappreciated, even though they cranked out some awesome machines before they went kaput. The Vehicross is one of them. And years from now, people may look back on it and think, "Man, I really should have bought one when I had the chance."

Maybe you should while you still can.

Future Classics is a new feature we’re trying out on Fridays. What car from the last 15 years or so do you think will be sought after years from now? Feel free to give us some ideas in the comments.

Photos credit Tom Walker and Kat_Evans

DirecTV reportedly bidding $1 billion for Hulu

DirecTV reportedly bidding $1 billion for Hulu

And then there were three. Bloomberg is reporting that a trio of companies are hoping to fork out over one billion dollars for the privilege of taking online video service Hulu under their wing, and DirecTV is one of them. While we’re not quite sure which other companies are involved in the process, we’ve been told that Yahoo, Time Warner Cable and a few others have at least thrown out offers, with no confirmation on how much they were willing to spend. We’re quietly hoping that this potential bidding war will be resolved through an arm wrestling match, though DirecTV’s legal team likely wouldn’t approve.

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Source: Bloomberg