Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Wonder Why This Bentley Is Doing A Burnout?

Wonder Why This Bentley Is Doing A Burnout?

Stay tuned for the full story here. In the meantime, go like this post by Hoonigan. Because Bentley Burnout.

There Is No Nod Toward Sanity With The Lancia Stratos

You can make an easy case for the legendary Stratos being one of the greatest cars of all time. Bold, brutal, and bizarre, it’s just so evocative. And here’s what it’s like to own one.

Petrolicious makes some of the best car videos on the ‘Net, and that they found a Stratos to film makes me incredibly happy.

Hearing this owner talk about how light and fidgety the car feels only makes me want one more. Hearing him talk about how poorly the originals were built only makes me look harder at Stratos replicas as well.

TSA Is Instagramming the Crazy Stuff It Confiscates at Checkpoints

TSA Is Instagramming the Crazy Stuff It Confiscates at Checkpoints

What is Instagram for if not bragging oh so subtly about the stuff you’re doing. It’s true for rich kids on fancy vacations, and apparently, it’s true for the Transportation Safety Administration, which has been posting images of the absurd stuff passengers are trying to carry on planes every day.

Since June 27th, the TSA has posted 10 gauzy, filter-soaked shots of handguns, concealed knives, fireworks, and even an (inert) hand grenade—all of which were confiscated from passengers trying to board flights. It’s proof in sepia and tan that the TSA is doing its job by keeping the skies safe.

TSA Is Instagramming the Crazy Stuff It Confiscates at Checkpoints

As Forbes points out, TSA is no stranger to using the Internet to get the message out about it successes. The agency has been blogging weekly updates about its dominion over the checkpoint line since 2008. Let’s just hope all that social media communication isn’t distracting agents from the all important task of taking dangerous implements away from air travelers in the first place. [TSA Instagram via Forbes]

‘Today, Lotus Is Slowly Regaining Its Early Form’

I’m in a Lotus-y mood this afternoon thanks to that video of 1980s Lotus car club meets. Few small companies have had as many ups and downs and have continued to struggle on the way Lotus has. You can’t keep a good sports car down!

This 1998 MotorWeek clip highlights Lotus’ offerings from the post-GM (Yes, GM owned Lotus for a while, no one likes to talk about it) era in which they were owned by Proton. And Mr. John Davis and his crew put two of the most iconic Lotuses through their paces: the twin-turbo V8 Esprit and the then-relatively new Elise.

They’re very different animals, but they’re both incredible machines. Let’s hope that Lotus can bounce back again soon.

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 1,391 views? It’s a Lotustravaganza!

Motorola taps into American patriotism to advertise the upcoming Moto X

As the summer days drone on, Motorola leaks more and more information about its forthcoming Android handset. The “superphone” was merely teased at last months’ AllThingsDigital D11 conference, but it looks like Motorola has gone ahead and flipped the switch on its advertising campaign for the Moto X.

Ad Age posts that Motorola is heavily playing up the fact that the handset was designed and assembled in the US, with a photo of a happy couple enjoying typical American summer fun. You can check out the advertisement in its entirety up above, but it will also be published in tomorrow’s editions of The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal to coincide with the upcoming Independence Day holiday. Nothing says patriotism like an Android handset made in America.

In the ad you can see the company’s new logo, which is a bit more colorful than its predecessor. Motorola also refers to itself as “A Google company,” which should help establish the brand with consumers who may have missed the change in ownership.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Review: Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is all too familiar

Remember disco? Larry does…

Fourteen months ago, unicorns and fairy dust still fueled the Kickstarter world. Major failures were rare and no Zach Braffs had arrived on the scene to kick up dust and make us cough; the place was mostly little-engines-who-could, promising the best of our old favorites along with a few cool new surprises.

And then Al Lowe showed up to stink up the joint.

I’m just kidding, of course. Kickstarter held up just fine after the creator of Leisure Suit Larry arrived to beg for our bucks. $655,000 and 14 months later, the horny fruits of his team’s labor have arrived: Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, a 1080p reimagining of the decidedly sophomoric 1987 MS-DOS adventure game/farcical sex comedy. It’s the latest in a recent line of point-and-click refreshes, but unlike similar modern takes on the Broken Sword and Monkey Island series, Lowe and company promised a bottom-to-top redo—or at least a re-groping-and-fondling—of the original game.

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Gigabit Internet and phone service for $48 a month? It really exists

Vermont Telephone Company owner and CEO Michel Guité.
Vermont Telephone

Yesterday, we brought you the troubling tale of AT&T offering 768Kbps Internet for $20 a month (but the fee was actually more than $20 once you read the fine print).

Today, let’s shine a light on the flip side—a deal so good you’re going to be jealous of the few people who actually get to buy it. In a small part of Vermont, thanks to an ambitious local telco and $116 million in federal funds, residents can buy gigabit Internet and phone service for prices starting at $48 a month.

Gigabit Internet is ever so slowly inching its way through the US, but typically it costs a bit more than what these Vermont residents are paying. If you’re one of the very lucky people who live in a city with Google Fiber, you’re paying $70 a month for gigabit Internet or $120 per month for gigabit Internet and TV service. It’s a fair price based on the market—Sonic.net has gigabit Internet for $70 in parts of California, and the new gigabit Seattle costs $80 per month.

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If your sperm have no taste, you may end up sterile

Evolution is an aggressive recycler. Very few of a cell’s signaling pathways are used just once. Instead, a signal that’s interpreted in one way by a liver cell could be interpreted in a completely different way by an immune cell. One signaling pathway called Notch is used by so many different cell types (nerve, heart, blood vessels, immune cells, etc.) that scientists once quipped that there are only two types of biologists: those who work on Notch and those who don’t realize they’re working on Notch yet.

So it probably shouldn’t be a complete shock to find that the signaling pathway that’s involved in giving our tongues a sense of taste has been used for something completely different by other tissues. The surprise probably lies more in where they’re used—in sperm during their maturation process. It’s a finding that could have serious consequences for human fertility since there are both drugs and herbicides in use that inhibit the taste receptors.

This is probably one of the many discoveries that happened when researchers were trying to study something else entirely. That something was the process of sensing taste. Sweet and umami tastes are sensed by a complex formed from three related receptors called TAS1Rs. A complex of TAS1R2 and TAS1R3 senses sweet, while a 1 and 3 combination picks up the umami taste. Both of them signal through a protein called GNAT3. To study the process, some researchers were breeding mice to carry mutations in TAS1R3 and GNAT3.

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HTC pulls the plug on promised Android 4.2 update for a year-old phone

Sorry, One S owners—Android 4.1 and Sense 4 will have to be good enough for you.
HTC

When HTC released the One earlier this year with a new version of its Sense UI, the company promised that several of its One-series phones released in 2012 would receive some of the same enhancements and features in a future software update. The HTC One S, released in April of last year, was supposed to be one of those phones, but Android and Me reports that HTC is backtracking. The One S is no longer slated to receive an update to Android 4.2 or the new Sense UI, and it will remain on Android 4.1.1.

This means that the One S will miss out on the enhancements in Android 4.2, any improvements made in future versions of Android, and any changes made to the HTC Sense UI for the HTC One (including new features like Zoe and BlinkFeed). The HTC One X (and its many tweaked variants) will supposedly still be updated, but there’s no word on exactly when last year’s flagship will be getting the update.

The One S isn’t being skipped for lack of power—it has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus and 1GB of RAM on the inside. That’s more than enough to run the latest version of Android. If we had to guess, we’d say that the phone didn’t sell in enough numbers to be worth the trouble since this particular One variant was only sold through smaller carriers like T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile. In the past we’ve found HTC’s Android updates have come out relatively quickly, but as of late the company has been particularly aggressive about ending software support for its older handsets.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

A “bionic eye” renders the world in 6×9 resolution for the blind

A “bionic eye” that allows people with late stage retinitis pigmentosa to see will be available in 12 markets later this year, per an announcement from University Hospitals. UH will offer the eye, which uses an implant to render a scene for patients in 50 to 60 pixels of black, white, and gray imagery.

The Argus II implant, developed by Second Sight, focuses on rendering scenes for patients in contrast. In function, the Argus II is similar to a cochlear implant. It works by receiving and processing information into electric signals that stimulate the relevant body part to simulate a sensory experience.

The implant works with a set of glasses that include a small video camera, which records the scene. The video is then processed and transformed into “instructions” that are passed through a cable back to the glasses.

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