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Send To All – With James Corden

October 13th, 2015

This is quite an old video, but it’s still one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Once you’ve got a 15 minutes break, have a look. You will thank me later.

Ground Control (Apollo Archive)

October 12th, 2015

Beautiful find by Michael Zhang at Petapixel.

Last week, a treasure trove of 8,400 photos by Apollo astronauts was uploaded to Flickr, making the archive easily accessible to the public. Director of photography Tom Kucy decided to put a unique spin on the images: he added 3D motion to stills to make them look at like out-of-this-world slow-motion clips. The 2-minute 4K short film above is titled “Ground Control.”

Impressive work. I love how subtle those movements are. They augment the feeling of being suspended in zero gravity and bring those pictures to a whole new level. Must watch.

Kids love crashing toy cars. Adults in the real thing, not so much. That’s the angle behind Mercedes’ latest ad, crafted to promote the company’s latest safety systems.

The video clip humorously posits what would happen if Mercedes gave out sets of toy cars with strong magnets in them that would prevent kids from crashing them into each other. Needless to say, the kids depicted are not amused by the endeavor. And neither would we have been when we were that age. But the point is nevertheless made.

This is the kind of clever advertising that we would like to see more of.

Backup Memory

October 10th, 2015

Have you ever woke up with a song stuck in your head? A song that you know very well. You know exactly who the artist is, but for some reasons the title just doesn’t want to appear in your mind.

That is exactly how I woke up this morning. And as always is terrible, because unless I could find a way to get that title I would’ve ended up going crazy. I didn’t want to go through all the discography of Alicia Keys before finding the song I needed, so I started to enlist different technologies to come to my rescue.

I started with Shazam. But my vocal qualities were not enough to bring any result. Shazam just stared back at me with an empty look as of saying, come on man, really?! At this point I was already super frustrated because the chorus of the so kept hammering in my head, but I wasn’t any closer to a result.

Introducing Google. Yes, you know, that small search engine. I didn’t start from there because I had no idea what to type into the search box. I couldn’t remember much of the lyrics, mostly the melody of the chorus was my only point of reference. Turns out, you don’t need to know what to type. You just need something and Google will plug into your brain and get exactly the result you were looking for as you can see below.

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How is it possible that simply by typing ah ah ah ah… it got the song immediately?? I know that this piece may sounds stupid. Of course Google knows everything. It’s what the media keeps telling us. We always tend to forget how of a commodity Google has become over the year and you also tend to forget how good it is, because it is always so good.

It’s when it comes to those edge cases that the small lightbulb in your brain goes off and you realise that Google really is your backup memory.

P.S. Since I’ve now found the song, I can link it for your listening pleasure.

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Charlie Jane Anders was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the next Pixar blockbuster, The Good Dinosaur.

Even for a studio known for taking risks and breaking new ground, The Good Dinosaur is an odd duck. And the more you learn about it, the stranger it appears. We spent a day and a half at Pixar’s campus in Emeryville, CA with a group of other reporters from online outlets, and we saw a big chunk of the film. And director Peter Sohn and his whole crew explained to us how they threw out the rulebook to make The Good Dinosaur, and basically came up with a whole different way of creating a world.

It’s a lengthy article but it’s worth every word since it’ll give you a brand new insight into how Pixar works its magic.

Toyota Breakfast

October 9th, 2015

The LMP1 racer can harvest 6 megajoules of energy from regenerative braking during a lap of Le Mans, which lets the car produce over 1,000 horsepower when its electric motors are working in concert with a 3.7-liter V8.

Rather than using the grunt to spin tires, the team recently showed what was possible by channeling the current into making eggs, toast, and coffee for 171 people. The result was quite… electrifying.

This is so amusing to watch. I want one for my living room.

Star Wars Battlefront Beta – Available Now!

October 8th, 2015

This is going to be the game of the year. No doubts. Event from this limited public beta, you can immediately appreciate the scale and quality of this game.

The Star Wars universe is at your fingertips, in all its full glory. If you love Star Wars, you’ll love Battlefront.

You have time from today until the 12th of October to play the beta on PC (via Origin), PS4 and xBox One. You can’t miss it.

Now, if you’d excuse me, I have a Tie Interceptor to fly.

BMW 420d Sport Gran Coupé – Test Drive

October 8th, 2015

I had a chance for the past couple of days to test drive the BMW 420d Sport Gran Coupé and as always I have a couple of things to say about it. Let’s start with the specific engine configuration I was driving.

Transmission Fuel Type Drive Power Efficiency CO₂ Emissions
Manual Diesel sDrive (rear-wheels-drive) 190 hp 62.8 – 67.3 mpg 111.0 – 119.0 g/km

I’ve also done a full spec configuration that you can review at this link if you are interested in the whole package. All in all, it comes up to a grand total of £37,985 on the road cash price.

Now let’s get down to the finer details.

  • Steering wheel: this specific configuration doesn’t have the adaptive steering wheel. This means that no matter which speed you are going, the steering wheel always feel the same. In this case that means that it was always too light, even for lower speed. I believe this option should be considered a standard item nowadays.
    Except for that, the steering wheel is very comfortable and has a good grip.
    I like the cruise control buttons on the left side, that provide easy access and management of your set speed. On the right side you have the multimedia/phone controls which are very easy to use as well.
  • Interactive display: underneath the speedometer, there’s a small display which will show different information depending on which engine mode are you running with, music/entertainment or navigation aid. The clever take here is that the display is partly embedded into the analogue dial creating a neat effect. The information displayed can vary quite a lot but is always presented in a very readable format. Navigation reminders only appears when actions are required (for example, if you need to stay on the motorway for 100 miles, no information will be shown).
  • Fuel consumptions: the real time indicator of fuel consumotions is a good way to improve the efficiency of your driving style. In addition to that – if you run in Eco+ mode – the display will actively suggest the best moment to shift gear; it will tell you how to better use the throttle and it will prompt you to go on Neutral when idling so that the engine start/stop function can be activated.
    Because it’s a very graphical system, it’s very easy to use and it will not distract the driver even if there’s a lot to be taken in.
  • Gearbox: the manual gearbox is quite responsive, but there are a couple of things that would have probably benefited from more attention. The position of the reverse gear is just stupid. You have to go further out than the first gear, but the stick is crammed into a very small space, making this shift quite uncomfortable and not initial obvious. Plus, the stick itself feels very cheap. Everything else on the car is very refined and you can touch and appreciate the overall quality of the interiors. The gear stick seems to have fallen victim to a last minute budget cut because it feels worse than the one I had on my 2007 Fiat Grande Punto.

This is by no means a full review. It’s just a collection of quick thoughts gathered after a few hours drive. All in all, it’s a very smooth and elegant driving experience, packaged into nice overall design which will make it stand out in a very crowded parking lot.