Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US (video)

Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US

Early this morning at Moffet Air Field in Mountain View, California, Solar Impulse finally took off on the first leg of its barnstorming tour across the US. Of course, this isn’t the first time the sun-powered plane and its pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, have flown long distance, but it is the first time it’s taken wing through American airspace. Why has it come across the pond? To raise pubilc and political awareness about the benefits of going green and increasing energy efficiency — and perhaps pick up an additional sponsor or two for its second-gen aircraft (currently in development) meant to fly around the world in 2015. “With the technologies we have onboard, we can divide by two the energy consumption of our world, and produce half of the rest [energy we need] with renewable sources” according to Piccard.

This first portion of the journey will end in Phoenix, and it’ll take around twenty hours to get there, as the plane’s meager output limits its average speed to around 40MPH. Should any of you want to join along with Piccard and Borschberg as they fly across the country, you can hit the Solar Impulse Across America website to see a livestream from the cockpit, along with real-time altitude, air speed and battery status of the aircraft. And, you can watch a video of Solar Impulse taking off on its North American journey and hear Borschberg talk about learning to fly it after the break.

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PlayJam’s Jasper Smith on Nokia’s lineage and two-piece smartphones

PlayJam's Jasper Smith on Nokia's lineage and two-piece smartphones

Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.

In the latest version of our weekly smattering of queries, PlayJam’s CEO Jasper Smith reflects on Nokia’s early device design and dreams of a space-scooting future. His thoughts on those topics and much more reside on the other side of the break.

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Source: Engadget Distro

Oh nothing, just 99 of Audi’s hottest ever cars all in one place.

Oh nothing, just 99 of Audi’s hottest ever cars all in one place. That’s cool, I guess. If you like that sort of thing.

Vimeo to exclusively carry new Kristen Bell movie the same day as theaters

Vimeo to carry new Kristen Bell movie the same day as theaters

The concept of a movie launching online alongside its theatrical debut isn’t new; we’ve seen a few (usually independent) movies reach iTunes that way, for example. Streaming service arrivals are still rare, however, and Vimeo On Demand just boosted its street cred with plans to carry Some Girl(s) on June 28th, the same day that the movie gets a wider theatrical release. Vimeo will be the exclusive online home of the Adam Brody and Kristen Bell picture, and production house Leeden Media takes a populist bent in explaining why: as with Bell’s return to Veronica Mars, it wants to cut out the usual in-between distributors. We’re sure that Vimeo’s tinier-than-usual 10 percent revenue cut and relatively uncrowded marketplace play a part, too. There’s no guarantee that other notable movies will follow suit, but it’s an important coup for an online service that’s not even two months old.

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Via: PaidContent

Source: Some Girl(s)

Engadget Podcast 342 – 05.03.13

Engadget Podcast 342 - 05.03.13

With something old, and something new (we’ll let you figure out what), this podcast has the makings of a wedding. There’s even a brief mention of something blue… hmmm.

Hosts: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater, Peter Rojas

Guest: Ryan Block

Producers: James Trew, Joe Pollicino

Hear the podcast:

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Who doesn’t love a vintage bus? This “Mobile Cinema” is stunning.

Who doesn’t love a vintage bus? This "Mobile Cinema" is stunning. (Photo via Newspress)

This Is How Space Exploration Was Imagined Before Sputnik

Artists’ impressions always played key role in promoting the ideas of space travel, forming our view of future, preparing people for the upcoming of manned or unmanned cosmic missions, spreading the visions of astronomical scientists and aerospace engineers.

I found the following illustrations in several Hungarian scientific journals, most of them are from the early Fifties, depicting the future Soviet space activities like launching one or more stage rockets, travelling to the Moon, constructing space stations. It is very interesting for me to see how they imagined the space age years before the first successful satellite launch in 1957.

Collection and scan: Attila Nagy

Distro Issue 89: With Google Glass, is the future of wearable computing finally in sight?

Distro Issue 89 With Google Glass, is the future of wearable computing finally in sight

Google has begun shipping the Explorer Edition of its high-tech headset to a select few over the past week. In a brand new edition of our e-magazine, Tim Stevens gives Google Glass the full review treatment, chronicles life behind the lens for a week and sits down with Google Ventures’ Bill Maris for a chat on the device. We also get cozy with Google Now for iOS in Hands-On, ogle more of Mission Workshop’s goods in Eyes-On and PlayJam CEO Jasper Smith tackles the Q&A. You can probably take it from here, but just in case, all of the download sources are down below for snatchin’ up a copy.

Distro Issue 89 PDF
Distro in the iTunes App Store
Distro in the Google Play Store

Distro in the Windows Store
Distro APK (for sideloading)
Like Distro on Facebook
Follow Distro on Twitter

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Source: iTunes, Google Play, Windows Store

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo: This Is It

The 911 Turbo celebrates its 40th birthday this year, so it’s only natural that Stuttgart made a new one. As you know already, the 991 Turbo won’t have a manual option, but comes with 560 horsepower in the S (520 in the Turbo), longer wheelbase, rear axle steering and all-wheel drive.

The 3.8-liter flat-six with variable geometry twin-turbocharging and direct injection packs 45 horsepower more in the Turbo than what you get from the naturally-aspirated 2014 911 GT3 for the European price of £118,349 ($184,186). The top of the range Turbo S has 85 more horses for £140,852 ($219,207) in Europe, so expect it to do "well under 7 min 30 sec" on the Nurburgring on standard street tires. We’ll update with U.S. pricing when we get it.

That has a lot to do with the fact that the steering angle of the rear wheels can be varied by up to 2.8 degrees, depending on vehicle speed. Porsche puts it this way:

Instead of conventional control arms, the system consists of two electro-mechanical actuators on the left and right of the rear axle. The steering angle of the rear wheels can be varied by up to 2.8 degrees, depending on vehicle speed. At speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h), when the front wheels are turned the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction. This actually corresponds to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase by 250 mm, which gives the 911 Turbo unrivalled cornering agility. The system lets the car turn faster into the bend and offers more dynamic steering responses. Furthermore, this noticeably simplifies low speed manoeuvring and parking.

At speeds above 50 mph (80 km/h), the system steers the rear wheels parallel to the turned front wheels. This is equivalent to a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase by a significant 500 mm and gives the sports car tremendous stability, especially at high speeds.

The all-wheel drive system is also new, with an electronically controlled and activated multi-plate clutch and a water cooling function. This, and the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, improves the Turbo’s acceleration to 3.2 seconds (with the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus), while the S is one tenth faster. Top speed is just under 200 mph. We will see what the 2015 McLaren P13 can say to those figures.

Apart from the full LED headlamps (optional on the Turbo), the two-tone 20-inch wheels (with central locking hubs on the S) and the usual widened body panels, the 991 Turbo features active aerodynamics thanks to the retractable three-stage front spoiler and a deployable rear wing which also has three settings depending on the conditions.

In case you were wondering, the new generation is "up to 16 percent" more fuel efficient than before.

Sounds nice, but can you forgive for the lack of manual?

New Toshiba AT10LE-A tablet leaked: Tegra 4, Android 4.2 and a keyboard dock

New Toshiba AT10LEA Android tablet leaked, combines Tegra 4 with Android 42

You might not have noticed, but Toshiba’s been playing the Android tablet game for the last few years. Now, a new leak suggests Toshiba’s next slab will house NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 mobile chip (clocked at 1.8GHz, according to an AnTuTu benchmark) and almost the very latest version of Android — that’s 4.2.1, if you’ve been keeping count. According to‘s stolen glances, there’s also a dockable keyboard with chiclet keys, but no trackpad. It appears to be more of a standalone dock than connected lid, with the tablet connected and propped at an angle rather then joined at a seam, although it may lie on top of the tablet to protect the screen when not in use.

We also got a peek at the ports along one of the edges, which includes micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a microSD slot, but no word just yet on internal storage and, well, much else at this point — not a digitizer in sight. We’ve added a shot of the keyboard add-on after the break and if you’re interest has been piqued, there’s more photos at the source.

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Via: Liliputing