Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Stories: Honda FC Sport Fuel Cell Sports Car Concept

Sunday Stories: Honda FC Sport Fuel Cell Sports Car Concept

Honda today revealed the Honda FC Sport design study model, a hydrogen-powered, three-seat sports car concept, at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The FC Sport emphasizes the design flexibility and potential of Honda's V Flow fuel cell technology - already deployed in the Honda FCX Clarity sedan - and reconfigures it into a lightweight sports car design with an ultra-low center of gravity, powerful electric motor performance and zero-emissions. The design study concept is inspired by supercar levels of performance through low weight and a high-performance, electrically driven fuel cell powertrain.

"The Honda FC Sport explores how to satisfy automotive performance enthusiasts in a world beyond petroleum," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "People who love sports cars will still have a reason to love in a hydrogen-powered future."

The high-output Honda fuel cell powertrain and a sleek, aerodynamic body contribute to the vehicle's performance potential. A modular approach to fuel cell component packaging and the electric drivetrain contribute to the FC Sport's low center of gravity with the majority of vehicle mass distributed between the axles, creating the balanced weight distribution sought after in sports cars.

The ideal placement of the Honda V-Flow fuel cell stack and related components demonstrates the benefits of a platform-specific, hydrogen-powered fuel cell powertrain. The FC Sport is configured to accommodate a custom-formed high-power fuel cell stack, located between the rear seats, and a battery pack placed low in the middle of the vehicle. The electric motor resides just forward of the rear axle. Two fuel storage tanks, visible from above, are located above the rear axle.

The optimal placement of fuel cell components for performance also allows for a relatively large passenger cabin by conventional supercar standards with enough space for three seating positions. The interior layout focuses primarily on the driver with a racecar-like center driving position. The enclosed canopy opens upward from the rear to allow for entry and exit. Two rear passenger seats flank the driver's left and right side.

The sleek, low-profile body is designed to convey a high-technology appearance with sculpting that combines angular shapes in the front of the vehicle that taper into geometric, hex forms in the rear. The rear hex forms house cooling radiators for the fuel cell. Formula 1-style barge boards behind the front wheels enhance high speed aerodynamics and convey the vehicle's racing pedigree. The hydrogen storage tanks, visible from the rear deck, showcase the FC Sports fuel cell technology in much the same way that a "naked bike" motorcycle showcases its engineering technology.

The glacier white body color conveys the FC Sport's clean environmental aspirations while the dark wheels and deeply tinted glass provide a symbolic contrast befitting of the vehicle's unique combination of clean power and high performance. Green construction techniques further contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. An organic, bio-structure theme is carried through to the body construction where exterior panels are intended to use plant-derived bio-plastics.

The Advanced Design Studio of Honda R&D Americas, in Pasadena, California, developed the FC Sport design study with the primary objective of using existing fuel cell technology as the basis for an ultimate Honda sports car. Designer Jason Wilbur led the design efforts.

Honda R&D Americas, Inc. began its operations in California in 1975 with local market research activities and has steadily grown its capabilities over the past 33 years to include all aspects of new vehicle design and development. Recent development efforts include trend-setting products such as the Honda Pilot, Ridgeline, Element, Civic Coupe and Civic Si.

In 2008, the company opened two new design centers in Southern California: the Acura Design Studio (Torrance), for the research and design of new Acura products; and the Advanced Design Studio (Pasadena), for the exploration and development of advanced design themes for both Honda and Acura.

The company operates 11 major R&D facilities in North America, including a full vehicle development center in Raymond, Ohio, and three design studios in Southern California. Honda R&D designers, engineers and support personnel are engaged in the development of Honda and Acura automobiles, powersports products, and power equipment for North America and global markets. The company's main centers of operation include the Los Angeles Center (Torrance, California), responsible for market research, concept development and styling design; the Ohio Center (Raymond, Ohio), responsible for complete product development, testing, and support of North American supplier and manufacturing operations; and a dynamic test facility in Cantil, California.

Sunday Stories: Mazda Refreshs Thier Demio - Mazda2 in Japan

Mazda Refreshs Thier Demio - Mazda2 in Japan

This morning Mazda Japan announced their refreshed Demio (Mazda2) for the Japanese market. What’s new here? Well nothing, or almost nothing. It has new body paint, Dark Silver. The interior is where most of the change have taken place, with a new high quality semi-gloss black metallic center panel, matching seat cover centers, and door trim. Here's a list of change from Mazda.

Main features of the refined Demio:

-High quality semi-gloss black metallic center panel
-Matching seat cover centers and door trim (three designs: Calm White, Multi Black and Sporty Black)
-Silver garnish: parking brake release button, inner door handles and all automatic air conditioner dials.
-Silver highlights on the shift knob (automatic transmission [AT] and CVT models). An illuminated shifter display has also been added to make driving at night easier (AT and CVT models).
-Silver ring on the manual transmission shift boot.

-A new dark silver exterior body color, Aluminum Metallic, enhances the sense of high quality. There are now twelve available body colors.


Elsa Nvidia Quadro NVS 450

Need a New Display Port Video Card? Why Not Get Four?

Here's the ELSA NVidia Quadro NVS 450, a PCI Express2.0 card with 512MB of GDDR3 VRAM. It features not one but four display ports enabling the trader inside you to use four 2560x1600 LCDs at the same time.

You may notice this card may not be perfect for FarCry2, but if you want to watch four Blu-rays at the same time and in complete piece (passive cooling), this card maybe perfect for you!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Micro USB Thumb Key

A Micro USB Thumb Key

Buffalo Japan just announced a shiny new Micro USB thumb key, the RMUM Series. With a tiny size of 15 x 22 x 8mm at just 2.3g, this tiny USB thumb key is in fact a microSDHC card reader sold in a bundle with a 1, 2, 4 or 8GB microSD card.

It's available in Black or White, and will be released in Japan sometime in December.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Two New Full HD LCDs from Acer Japan

Two New Full HD LCDs from Acer Japan

Introducing Acer Japan's H223HQbmid a 21.5” LCD, and H243Hbmid a 24” LCD, . Both with a very interesting screen resolution of 1920x1080. While many LCDs are 1920x1200, Acer chose to follow the HD trend for these two entry level LCDs starting from 250€ to 330€.

Specwise, the 21.5” has a 20000:1 contrast ratio and a brightness of 300cd/m2, while the 24” has a 40000:1 contrast ratio with the same brightness. Otherwise the view angle of our LDCs is 160/170 and a 72% color reproduction in the NTSC spectrum. Since we're talking about Full HD screens, Acer made sure to provide them with an HDMI port.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The First EVER Hello Kitty Netbook!

The First EVER Hello Kitty Netbook!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud, very proud, to announce the first ever Hello Kitty Netbook! Onkyo Japan's Sotec will release a new Netbook based on their C1, the C101K3W, with a huge Hello Kitty reworked design!

Not only does it have a dedicated Hello Kitty wallpaper, but the lid design includes some Hello kitty flavor… A MUST for Hello Kitty fans!

As for specs, they're similar other Netbooks, an Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, an Intel 945GSE Express, 120GB of HDD…


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Samsung 256GB Solid State Drives

Samsung Now Producing 256GB Solid State Drives

Seoul, Korea – November 20, 2008: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced today that it has begun mass producing 256 gigabyte (GB) solid state drives for use in notebooks and desktop PCs. With the addition of the high-speed 256GB drive, Samsung now offers the most extensive line of SSDs in the industry with 8, 16, and 32GB SSDs for low-density designs and 64, 128 and 256GB alternatives for the higher densities.

The new 256GB SSD more than doubles the performance rates of Samsung 64GB and 128GB SSDs to become the SSD with the highest overall performance in the personal computer industry, combining sequential read rates of 220MB/s (megabytes per second) with sequential write rates of 200MB/s. This sharply narrows the performance gap between read and write operations to only 10 percent, compared to a read-write speed difference of between 20 and 70 percent for other SSDs. In addition, erase cycles are a rapid 100GBs per minute, allowing the entire drive to be re-written much faster, when needed.

”While SSD’s have always been touted for their performance, Samsung is turning the storage industry upside down now with an SSD that delivers truly disruptive performance,” said Jim Elliott, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. ”Getting our exceptionally high performing 256GB SSD in a notebook is analogous to having a 15,000rpm drive, without all of its size, noise, power and heating drawbacks.”

The Samsung 256GB SSD expedites data transfer when large multimedia files are simultaneously read and stored. It can store 25 high-definition movies* in just 21 minutes, a significant advancement over a 7200rpm HDD, which takes about 70 minutes. Furthermore, the 256GB SSD launches applications ten times faster than the fastest 7200rpm notebook HDD.

The 256GB SSD’s advanced performance can be attributed to a new, optimized, single platform design consisting of a chip controller, NAND flash and special drive firmware all developed by Samsung. This single platform is designed to easily adapt to Samsung’s 40nm class NAND flash memory.

Also offering a high degree of energy efficiency, the new drive consumes 1.1 watts of power versus two or more watts for a comparable HDD, while delivering outstanding reliability and durability. The high operating speed of the 256GB SSD translates into longer periods in either stand-by or idle mode resulting in 40 minutes of extended operation on a single battery charge.

Similar in weight to a 128GB SSD (81 grams), the 2.5-inch Samsung 256GB SSD retains the standard 9.5 millimeter (mm) drive thickness.

Samsung's 256GB SSD is also available with optional proprietary encryption programming that provides full disk encryption, a key feature for many corporate users.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Samsung SyncMaster 2494HS

SyncMaster 2494HS, Now also in Japan

Samsung Japan juste announced the launch of their new SyncMaster 2494HS, a 23.6” LCD and its 1920x1080 resolution. Receiving Samsung’s dynamic contrast system, this LCD can achieve a contrast ratio up to 50000:1 with a brightness of 300cd/ms and a 5ms speed. The SyncMaster 2494HS also feature an HDMI, DVI (HDCP) and D-SUB port.
If you are interested in this new LCD, you should expect 330€ sales price in Japan.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Stories: Honda Life Mugen !!

Honda Life, Mugen Powered!

The legendary tuning company Mugen just released a new performance kit for the newly launched Honda Life.
Don’t get too excited, we're talking about a simple body-kit, a set of wheels, and an exhaust line.

Even if you you take a record lap at Tsukuba with a Mugen styled Honda Life, you'll only be driving a suped-up Kei-car.


Sunday Stories: Rumors : Nissan GT-R LM ? Hell Why not !

Rumors : Nissan GT-R LM ? Hell Why not !

Back in 1995 and 1996, when the name GT-R was at its peak, Nissan aimed to participate to one of the most difficult and prestigious race, the Le Mans. The result is here under your eyes with the famous R33 GT-R LM.
A decade later, Nissan stunned the world with its GT-R and strong with this new road devil Nissan is planning to revive the LM series with on the R35.
Well apparently it is what the Japanese tabloid magazine Best Car announced earlier this week.

A very close source from Nissan, apparently gave to Best Car some pretty nice information on the next “possible” GT-R LM, apparently and we will have to be careful on the following specs, the next GT-R LM will be available in 2 version with :
A Track only version limited to only 30 units with 550PS under the hood and a weight of only 1350kg. Obviously this version will be strip down to the maximum for a better power/weight ratio.
And a more humble version for civilians which will be available with all the confront you may need to drive your kids at school with enough power (550PS) under the bonnet to get there on time! Best Car also announced that this very version may be offered to only 300 lucky future owners ready to spend between 15 to 18 Million yen for this amazing GT-R.
Well we will see and hope that this “crazy” dream will come true.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

HTC Max 4G, world’s first GSM-WiMax Cellphone

World’s first GSM-WiMax Cellphone

Yesterday HTC announced officially ,the HTC Max 4G, which is basically your average HTC HD minus the HSDPA (3.5) but with a big jump over WiMax and making it the very first Windows Mobile 6.1 4G phone ever. So what is the advantage of the WiMax, compare to the HSDPA? Well with this new baby in town, you will be able to get “descent” data speed of 70Mb/sec (symmetric). Yep, I can see some of your drooling like babies, want one? No problems, but just brush up your Russian and get your passport ready since this baby is so far only available there.

Processor: Qualcomm® ESM7206A™ 528 MHz
Platform: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional

Memory: ROM: 256MB / RAM: 288MB / Flash: 8 GB

Dimensions: 113.5mm X 63.1mm X 13.9mm

Weight: 151 grams (with battery)

Display: 3.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution

Network: Tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:900/1800/1900 MHz, Yota Mobile WiMAX 2,5-2.7 GHz

Device Control: TouchFLO™ 3D

GPS: Inbuilt GPS

Connections: VoIP, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g ,Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR, HTC ExtUSB™

Main camera: High-resolution with autofocus

Second: VGA-camera

Additional: Motion G-sensor (automatically rotating picture), Proximity sensor (saving energy while talking due to the switching the display off), FM-radio

Audio: Ring tone formats: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, 40 polyphonic and standard MIDI format 0 and 1 (SMF)/SP MIDI

Battery: Li-Pol, 1500 mAh

Talk time: GSM: up to 420 minutes, VoIP: up to 230 minutes

Standby time: GSM: up to 350 hours, VoIP: up to 50 hours


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Samsung SPH-W6050

Samsung Announces Their New SPH-W6050 Handset

Here are the first official pictures of Samsung's SPH-W6050, officially announced today. So far only available in Korea, it comes with a 5Mpix autofocus camera module with integrated flash and a redesigned body for improved handling in camera mode. It features the new OMNIA front design, a 3” LCD with WVGA resolution (800x480), digital TV tuner DMB, microSD card slot, and a Haptic user interface.

Prices are to be expected around 800,000 Won (Over $600 US).


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2 New SSDs from Green-House

2 New SSDs from Green-House

It seems that our little friends over at Green-House has the SSD fever, and today again they just announced 2 new IDE SSDs, with the GH-SSD**GP-1 Series, a 1.8” SSD which is available in 16 to 64GB and its big brother, the GH-SSD**GP-2 Series, a 2.5” one available in 16 to 128GB.

The 1.8” Model use a SLC chip which offer a 45MB/s reading speed and a 41MB/s in writing. And the 2.5” Module use SLC Chip from 16 to 64GB and MLC Chip (41MB/s reading speed and 16MB/s writing speed) on the 128GB version. No prices yet available.


Monday, November 17, 2008

All In One Digital Photo Frame with Integrated Printer

All In One Digital Photo Frame with Integrated Printer

Keian Japan will soon release the P71-A2-JP, a 7” (480 x 234) digital photo frame. It features SD (SDHC with max 32GB) and MS support, USB Host, Mp3 audio file support (for music listening while viewing photos), and a nice integrated printer that saves shots directly from a memory card once selected from the screen.

With its USB host it will be interesting to see if a larger external HDD drive full of pictures can be connected to it. If so, this will be a nice little device.

Printing resolution is about 300dpi on 100 x 150 mm photo paper.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Stories: Wald's Lexus IS-F, Official !!

Wald's Lexus IS-F, Official Pictures

Our good friends over at Wald sent us official pictures of their latest IS-F kit. If unfortunately they're still waiting for in-depth details its cost, the pictures below are quite explanatory when it comes to what's been changed.

Once again Wald worked their magic on the front and rear bumpers, the side skirt, the rear spoiler, and gave the IS-F a final killer look with their oh-so-gorgeous black wheels.

Now we hope this kit didn't add much weight to the IS-F that's already pretty heavy for a car with such pedigree. If you're interested in seeing the Wald IS-F in flesh you'll have to wait for its official launch at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

WALD International

Sunday Stories: Truck Or Die!

Truck Or Die! Toyota’s Vision of the SEMA 2008

Earlier today we talked about Honda and their SEMA 2008 show car selection. Now let’s see Toyota’s vision, and yes we have trucks, trucks, and more trucks... Oh wait there's a Yaris Too!

We admit that, except the Five Axis Design Yaris Club and the Tundra Ducati Transporter, we aren't overwhelmed by Toyota’s vision. From our European perspective we're not accustomed to seeing a truck as an everyday commuter.

Tunder Ducati Transport
The Ducati Desmosedici RR is the only street legal MotoGP bike ever produced. The ultimate track day bike requires the ultimate transport; that’s where Toyota comes in with the 2009 Tundra Ducati Desmosedici transporter.

The Tundra/Ducati Transporter is built on a Tundra CrewMax, which has been modified to accept a 6.5-inch bed. The transporter is tied thematically to the bike, incorporating Ducati Corse style along with high tech materials and execution to create synergies for two companies obsessed with quality and performance. Additional features include major bed innovations such as flip up bedsides, a motorized loading ramp by Rampage, integrated tool and spares storage, and popup solar panels for accessory power.
Performance is enhanced through the full catalog of TRD Performance parts such as supercharger, exhaust, intake, suspension and brakes.

The interior treatment by Fast Ed’s Interiors combines high tech style with Italian flair.

Five Axis Design Yaris Club
The Yaris Club project pays tribute to Toyota’s racing heritage harkening back to the late ‘60s when Toyota challenged for the Group 7 category of Can-Am racing with the Toyota 7.

The Yaris Club is a stripped-down, no-nonsense car with no extras – only what is needed to perform. The roof has been removed and the windshield lowered.

With the interior removed, a tonneau was fabricated, turning the Yaris into a single seater with a fairing that doubles as a driver headrest.

A supercharger, exhaust headers and a free-flowing exhaust were added for performance to back up the good looks. The suspension was lowered by two inches with front and rear coil-over shocks and larger brakes added.

The Yaris Club was developed by Five Axis in Huntington Beach, Calif.